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Author Topic: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods  (Read 2412 times)

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Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« on: August 13, 2007, 05:32:26 AM »
Kos blinked as he entered the gardens – the midday sun hanging low over head was particularly bright and fierce this day it seemed, its golden rays caressing his face and skin, making the dark blue and silver silk shirt and black trousers he wore seem stifling almost immediately. Raising his right hand, he clicked his thumb and forefinger together – the skies above the manor and its surrounding gardens instantly beginning to darken, turning a smoky grey colour that considerably lessened the heat projected by the merciless sun above. He couldn’t keep it raised for long however – the various plants within the garden needed its rays after all, and cutting them off from the burning orb would do little for his prized collection of rare plants and herbs, nor would it appease the dryad who frequently visited his collection and his bed chamber.

His dwelling didn’t exactly follow the usual wizardly conventions, and that was just the way he liked it – back in the City he would have been forced by the Wizards Council to operate within one of the 12 towers that ringed the City as one of their most potent lines of defence, as well as being required to take an apprentice to train. Here in the wild lands outside the City, he was free to live how he wanted – having raised a mansion from the depths of the earth, crafted by his skills to resemble a hunting lodge much like those of nobility in the City built as summer house. Of course, only nobility was allowed such houses, but after the last band of soldiers that turned up on his doorstep never returned, the nobility of the City seemed to decide that turning a blind eye to him and his activities was best for all involved.

And he had to say he agreed. The climbing white brick walls that encircled the lodge and its flora filled grounds made it quite apparent that visitors were not welcome – the only way in being a set of jet black iron wrought gates that were flanked by two impressive gargoyles, and several more of their number dotted the tops of the surrounding walls at regular points. And those were only the defences to keep out visitors that were immediately visible…

It wasn’t that Kos was entirely adverse to company – simply that he enjoyed being able to pick and choose exactly whom he might invite into his company at any particular moment. And as such, the approachability of the wizard varied greatly – there were times when, deep in research into a new spell or potion, or head shoved deep into a crumbling tome he had bought off of a passing merchant who knew that such curios were often purchased by wizards, that people were well advised to make a very large deviation in their travelling path if it took them too near to his home. Other times would see the wizard actively encouraging passers by to stop and rest a while by his fire, to sample his wine cellar, to share news with him of the surrounding world – not that many took him up on his offers, the rumours of the reason for his expulsion from the City still fresh in the minds of many in the area. Not that it seemed to bother him all that much – at least, not when he was in one of his nicer moods, something that could never be predicted with the somewhat eccentric mage.

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #1 on: August 13, 2007, 09:34:25 AM »
Alraia sat on her sturdy oak and brass trunk outside the iron gates and white stone walls that housed the abode of the infamous and eccentric wizard Kos. Leisurely, the young lady studied the structure of the locked gates, something in which she thought was uninviting especially with the gray-black gargoyles posed nearby and perched upon the walls. Their faces were twisted with sharp, cruel devilish features that would make the ordinary man cringe and flee with fear, and no doubt there was a fluttering within Alraia's chest to do exactly that. However, she was purposely planted there on the doorstep of the wizard Kos' home, or in her opinion, abandoned to the fate her father had cast upon her only a fortnight past.

She sighed, one that was long and full of dreariness, as she thought of her father. The man was stubborn at best, wanting to acquire wealth, power and prestige, all which she though he already had, but apparently it was not enough to satisfy him. Her learning the art of magic would acquire more for him, for the family, and little did the man care if she wanted to learn it or not; she was intelligent and wise, and not married, thus, she had nothing more to do with her life than to please her father. She pleaded and argued with him to no avail, once even cursing the man in so much that when it was brought forth that no other wizard was accepting an apprentice, Alraia thought her wicked curse worked and was silent pleased and amused with herself. Her father would not accept the news, however, and he scoured the city until he found a wizard with no apprentice: Kos. Little was there any wonder of why he did not have an apprentice, after all, his reputation was not well known for good deeds, or benevolent acts, and no loving parent would trust their cherished child to him, but Alraia was not cherished. She was merely at her father's disposal to use as a tool to gain what he wanted.

As the young woman pondered her new circumstances, her new situation, the brilliant sun that shone upon her feminine form weakened. Glancing at the afternoon sky, Alraia noticed billowing gray clouds, and it did not bode well with her for previously, the azure sky was cloudless. Her small nose wrinkled with disgust and she rose from her seat upon the trunk. Long had she waited, not wanting to begin the deed, the inane quest her father sent her on, yet with the clouds, the threat of a possible storm,  Alraia decided to call upon the wizard Kos.

With hesitant steps, Alraia padded to the locked gate and pulled a cord to chime a bell that resonated deeply in the silence of the late afternoon. Between the chimes of the bell, her voice called forth, one that was soothing and tenderly low although she paused at how to address the eccentric wizard. “Oh great and marvelous Wizard Kos, please come forth, I beseech you, and answer your gate for a lonely and pathetic young woman in need of your services!” She leaned her pale cheek against the iron fence and wondered if it would draw the wizard's attention.

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #2 on: August 13, 2007, 10:00:19 AM »
Some time passed after her first somewhat disheartened proclamation of her presence – nothing much to be heard other than the gentle buzzing of a few rather fat and content looking bees that occasionally bounded the high grey walls, bobbing around the gargoyles that stood silent vigilance over the gate before disappearing out of sight beyond. The silence continued unabated for quite some time after until it was eventually broken by the sounds of grating stone – as if someone were rubbing one large stone against another, or perhaps grinding them together in a way that neither cared. ‘Well well, she’s certainly eloquent this one’ came a low strong voice from a little way above her head, sounding for all the world like gravel that had learnt to talk. ‘Perhaps – although one would think she’s coming to court a dragon rather than Mr Kos…’ came another – sounding much the same as the first, to the extent that one could very well believe it was the same voice. ‘Is there much difference?’ before there was a very loud sound – like gravel being sieved, and then crushed through a grate.

Were she to look upwards, she would see that both of the gargoyles flanking the gates had animated to some extent – hunched forwards as they squatted, forearms rested upon their thighs as they studied the girl sitting beneath them with beady little eyes. One of them idly reached down to his feet and picked up something small and black – perhaps a piece of his body that had crumbled off over the time he had been sitting guard over the gate, and idly pitched it towards the girl in a none too pleasant gesture. ‘The difference, my stony little friends, is that while a dragon might think of a pair of smart mouthed gargoyles as a source of amusement, I am quite happy to blast you both back into the ground from which you came before starting afresh… Perhaps Granite would produce a far more agreeable personality’ came a rather booming voice – this one sounding all together more human than that of the two gargoyles, who instantly bit their tongues.

The silence seemed to continue for some time afterwards – again, nothing breaking it apart from the stirring of the tree branches around her creaking softly in the breeze. After a while, one of the gargoyles raised its fist to its fanged mouth and coughed rather forcefully. ‘Err, Mr Kos? The visitor…’  it said, a little less boisterously than before – even going so far as to slump its shoulders as if awaiting some inevitable strike from the heavens upon its head. ‘Hmm? Oh, yes, right… What, girl, do you want from me?’ came the booming voice once more – seeming to ring out from everywhere around her all at once.

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #3 on: August 13, 2007, 11:10:35 AM »
Time passed, and did so in silence save for the plump bees that buzzed near her, tried to pester her, and on occasion, she became brave and flicked one away from her with her forefinger and thumb. With that bravery, too, the young woman pressed her cheeks against the iron bars and tried to peer inside the estate that belonged to the wizard. Little did she see except trees that webbed and veined together which hid his house, or so she thought, and then there were some vines and blossoming plants in radiant colours. A stone pathway weaved about in a way which seemed to have no end and no beginning, and a small swallow pecked at something on the ground, perhaps a seed or a small insect or whatever a swallow would eat.

Finally, the young lady heard a voice, one that sounded larger than life, one that surrounded her, enveloped her, yet it was still human, and still male. Was it to be Kos? She knew not for magics could be deceitful, and considering his reputation, one that preceded him, Alraia gave her response some thought. Time again passed, but only moments instead of long minutes.

“I have a letter for you explaining my circumstances, one in which you shall find is addressed from my father, a lord within the city, and although I'd reiterate the contents, I dare not break the seal since I am being his obedient daughter.” Alraia bit her lip, and pondered what else to say. It sounded respectfully intriguing, her reply, yet somewhat annoying. “I also have been abandoned here, at your gates, and I think it would only be kind of you to come forth and retrieve the letter and perhaps invite me for tea whilst you took your leisure at reading the letter.” She added as an afterthought as she continued to lean against the gates. She folded her arms underneath the swell of her bosom and awaited to be shooed away, or at least addressed in some manner.

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #4 on: August 13, 2007, 01:00:26 PM »
‘Have you thought, even for a moment, that perhaps I am not the sort who is naturally predisposed towards what you would consider kind acts? Have you not thought that there might be a reason that I choose – yes choose, you can ignore those silly rumours that have no doubt filled your head about my leaving the City  - to live out here because I don’t like others?’ The words hung in the air – every bit as loud as those that had been spoken previously, seeming to echo around her as if for a moment she was standing within an invisible grotto of sorts that was amplifying and distorting the sound. There was yet another no doubt uncomfortable measure of silence – while taken at word value alone it seemed as if the voice was asking her a question, the way it was spoken did not, and it was some time before any other sound was made. Even the gargoyles it seemed had returned to their quiet rest – although any time she cared to take her eyes from them, upon returning her gaze to them once more she would find that their pose had changed, even if it was a little.

The very next noise to be heard, a minute if that later, was of the impressively wrought gates swinging inwards – the very faintest of metallic grinds accompanying the opening as they swung wide to show off the rather exotic looking inner grounds. The majority of the trees were nothing that couldn’t have been found in the forest, but each and every one stood taller, thicker and much more well nourished than any of its cousins outside the grounds. At their feet a vast array of flowers grew – some she would recognise, some she wouldn’t, some planted and allowed to grow rather haphazardly, others planted in perfect little rows  and adorned with tiny little labels that presumably indicated what species of plant they were.

‘Some of the plants you see before you grow, to the best of my knowledge which is indeed considerable, no-where else upon the face of this world anymore’ said a voice accompanied by a crunch, crunch, crunching that came ever closer. A keen eye might detect a slight shifting in the gravel that rested either side of the stone pathway that wound like a snake into the depths of the trees – a moment later the Archmage Kos himself appearing out of thin air with no fanfare what so ever. He was a tall man – a shade over 6 feet in height, slender of build with angular features that while they did not make him look unattractive, gave something of a hawkish impression to his visage, something added to by the sharp clear blue eyes that seemed to pierce her as he looked at her whilst extending his right hand towards her. ‘Well, don’t waste all my time – the letter girl’ he prompted.

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #5 on: August 13, 2007, 02:12:46 PM »
As much as Alraia wanted to claim that she was forced into the situation, that she had no choice, that truly it was the intention of her father, it was all but excuses, and the young lady could only hope that the wizard did not want an answer. She had nothing more to say. She endured the booming voice that surrounded her, blanketed her with questions, a practical statement, really, and a sense of dread rippled throughout her body. It was a mistake to disturb the wizard, and she protested dearly to her father about this, yet there she was disturbing the man with the ill reputation and not for her interest but that of her family, or rather just her father. About to speak, the gates opened with a distressing sound of grating metal against stone, and the young woman's finely shaped brows knitted together and her forehead furrowed. It was unexpected, and disappointment needled her in the hope that he would have sent her away. She bit her lip to stave off the pout that longed to form on her rose coloured lips that curved most sensuously, and trepidation fluttered throughout her as she stepped forward and through the gates.

Her leather soled shoes made a soft noise on the stones as she timidly stepped forth, and then her mouth fell agape at the splendors of the garden; part of it seemed to be wilderness, and yet there were patterns to the nature that only man could make.  She leaned close to a blossom that she knew not the name of, and let the heady rich scent tickle her nose, and as she stifled a small delicate sneeze, her green eyes caught sight of the gravel, heard the voice, and with a scream that caught in her throat, she knew not what to say when the wizard appeared before her from nowhere. Alraia stepped backwards and almost crushed the flower she just smelled as she studied the man before her.

The young woman thought he looked like a predator, a regal bird used for falconry; deadly yet elegant and beautiful, and one whose senses were sharp and not to be deceived. It was unnerving, and  as he demanded the letter, his fingers held out for it, Alraia fumbled for it. Deeply, it was buried in her satchel, and when she pulled it out, a thick cream coloured note sealed with a burgundy wax, the letter was badly wrinkled. With a trembling hand, she gave it to him, and tried to manage a smile. “It explains all, I believe, but then I don't know the contents of it.” She forced  herself to grow quiet, and with a nervous habit, the young woman twisted a strand of her honey blond hair that was paling into an ash hue from the summer sun.

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #6 on: August 13, 2007, 02:31:05 PM »
‘Ye gods – I’ve seen letters delivered in a better state attached to the legs of blind eagles’ he muttered to himself as his long thin fingers, much like those of a musician, snatched the letter from her grasp most unceremoniously. Flipping it over in his grasp, he took note of the burgundy seal and sighed long and loud in a rather theatrical fashion. ‘I might have guessed…’ he muttered again – each time loud enough that there was no way the girl would not have heard him. Holding the letter with one hand, he drew his finger across the seal with the pointing finger of his right – the seal slicing in half neatly as if a hot knife had been dragged through it, then causing the envelope to curl up and reveal the letter inside. Pulling it free from its envelope he shook it with a flourish in front of him – opening it up fully, his thin neat eyebrows raising as he began to read the words written within slowly, mouthing out each word as he did so. Occasionally he stopped to scratch his chin before continuing – and on one occasion he stopped completely, clicking his tongue inside his mouth as he let his bright blue eyes wander slowly down, up and then back down the figure of the girl standing in front of him.

When had finally finished, he reached up with his free hand and ruffled his short dark brown hair – the slight curls making his hair look rather unkempt, and even more so for the way he ruffled it. He couldn’t have been more than his late thirties by the looks of him – incredibly young for an Archmage, although given the many whispered reasons for the Council requiring he leave the City it perhaps shouldn’t have been too much of a surprise that he had rose to such power so relatively early.  After all, it seemed he had quite an array of otherworldly sources of information and power… ‘Well, this makes for quite a read… Tell me, just how long have you wanted to learn to harness the powers arcane for yourself hmm?’ he asked, peering over the top of the letter even as it burst into flame, the ashes falling from his fingers to the ground in front of him. ‘Well? Come now, answer me’ he snapped – having barely given her more than a second to think on his words as his arms crossed across his chest, the dark blue and silver silk shirt almost gleaming even in the lessening light.

Before she could reply, he turned away from him – making his way over to a large Elm to his left, squatting down on his heels with his back facing the girl as his fingers brushed over the thick waxy violet leaves of a plant that rested in the trees shade, short and stout and looking altogether rather dangerous. The sort of plant that only the most foolhardy would touch – yet it didn’t seem to bother the mage in the least. ‘More to the point’ he continued after a time, still not facing her, his voice seeming somewhat more level and composed this time ‘what exactly does your father offer me in return for schooling you, hmm? As much as a fool as your father is, I doubt very much that he thinks I would teach you out of the goodness of my own heart like those so called wizards that lounge about inside their little stone cages like plump canaries back in the City…’ There was a significant amount of distain and venom within his words as he spoke, and at the word wizard he spat forth onto the leaves of the plant his fingers had just brushed, the spittle hissing as it dissolved upon the leaves, as he stood up and spun upon his heel to face her. ‘Well? I haven’t got all day you know’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #7 on: August 13, 2007, 10:52:33 PM »
Araia felt small standing close to the mage, and although physically smaller she was and by more than half a foot, it was also the fact that wizard Kos was worldly, had a reputation, carved history into his name whereas Araia was only a young lady who was merely not even nineteen years of age and had experienced little in life outside her father's estate. Her murky green eyes, a colour that resembled the hues of warm sea water in the tropical isles, sparkled a little as she watched him read the letter most theatrically with quirky facial expressions and sighs and slight hand gestures. Little did she know that her curious nature, the need to know all that was unknown, tugged at her and made her inch closer to him to try and peer at the letter. She had not realized she had drawn close to the Archmage Kos until he paused to study her being, looked at her with some sort of curiousness of his own, and then with a brief smile, she took her place away from him to where she originally stood near the almost trampled flower.

An abundance of questions roamed through her mind, and Alraia bit her tongue to prevent her from making any inquires concerning the letter. It bothered her too when the wizard said not a word concerning the content of the letter, and a gasp, one made from surprise and concern came from her when the letter was eaten and fully devoured by flames.  The Archmage then asked his questions, and those brilliant green eyes of hers widened with greater surprise. She was not prepared to answer those particular questions, and truthfully, she could not answer them or be sent away...she pondered this as a possibility, yet in her heart she knew she could not disappoint her father. Being an intelligent woman, although a little naïve at times, perhaps too kind as well, Alraia knew all the same that the time came where she had to tell a lie to the mage: she had no interest in magic, although learning something new always interested her, and that truthful statement, she thought, would perplex or vex him. She twisted another strand of her long golden hair, and offered a lovely smile to him as the wizard Kos spoke of payment. Her father never discussed that with her, but he did say 'at all costs, Alraia, girl, you must learn. Do not disappoint me'. There was a tinge of maliciousness in her father's voice, and she dared not press the issue, but still, she had no desire to be the apprentice of this particular wizard.

Alraia shrugged her thin shoulders that were bare, exposed to the sun and faintly tanned; the garment she wore, the dress with the full skirts and tight bodice, exposed her graceful neck and shoulders, and revealed the gentle swell of her youthful bosom where a golden locket rested. She searched for the right words as she looked at the Elm, looked at him crouched by the Elm, and then  before she could answer, Kos spoke with venom in his voice. Alraia shook her head, and felt the silky tresses upon her shoulders.

“I'm sorry!” She stated and dared to draw closer to him. “But you do have a prickly personality that does not let a person answer you without some sort of hesitation and so you must excuse any wasted time as a person gathers what little wits they have while trying to converse with you.” Alraia paused to catch her breath. “Please, Archmage Kos, it is vital that I learn from you, and regardless of my reasons to learn the art of magic, whatever the price you see fit, please name it and my father or myself shall see that it is acquired for you.”  The young woman did not know if it was appealing enough for the wizard, and as an after thought she added: “Surely there must be something you desire?”   

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #8 on: August 14, 2007, 05:00:30 PM »
The sheer speed with which her words gushed forth from her mouth seemed to catch the Archmage a little off his guard – the two thin eyebrows raising once more as he looked upon the girl with something akin to bemusement at the veritable verbal cascade. When she finally stopped to take a breath he looked a little relieved – as if for a moment he thought the girl might never stop, that she might continue to talk even once her lungs had emptied of their precious cargo of life sustaining air. ‘Are you sure you aren’t part gnome?’ he interjected with a slight sneer – the corner of his thin lips curling up a little way ‘as I’ve never heard a human talk in such a manner before and, more to the point, I think I would be happy if from this point forwards I never did again…’ he concluded, a slight nod of his head – no sign of whether this was meant for her, or in some way meant to conclude things for himself.

He was quiet from there on, letting the Araia finish what is was she had to say – reaching his right hand up towards his chin and absentmindedly dragging his fingers across the curve of his chin in a fashion that suggested that perhaps until very recently he had been in possession of some measure of facial hair, and for long enough that he had developed the subconscious routine of stroking it during thought. ‘If I had a gold coin for each and every time I heard someone tell me that it was vital that they learnt magic from me, I think I’d find myself in possession of such a mighty horde that even the most ancient dragon would be put the shame…’ he said as a passing comment – obviously a fabricated statement, as only the most desperate would seek dealings with one in possession of such a reputation as he. Still, he did not seem immediately of the disposition that might cause her to fear the sort of reply she didn’t want to hear…

Kos stood in silent for a moment before the girl – his gaze once or twice wandering up and down her body of its own accord, no sense of lust or lechery visible within the mans eyes as he looked upon her, more the look of one assessing an item in a bazaar as they ponder whether or not they actually need such a thing within their already cluttered dwelling. Abruptly the Archmage spun on his heel – turning so that his back was facing the girl as he looked out into the depths of his garden, much the look of some primeval jungle in many places, as if it had never seen the touch of a human before. Which, for some of it, was true to a certain extent. ‘You see, the problem I have with someone asking me to name my price is that when I do name it they are very often rather taken back – after all, if I ask for their soul that I might trade it with one of the denizens of the outer darkness, am I really out of line seeing as they said I might name my own price? Then again, I always get the feeling that those who come to me without a very good idea before of what they will and will not pay for a service don’t truly appreciate what it is that they are bartering for…’ he said, turning on his heel once again to look upon the girls face. ‘Do you? Do you know what it is you are bartering for? What would you – no, not your father, for he has nothing to do with this now, what would you my dear be willing to pay me in return for my tutorship?’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #9 on: August 14, 2007, 11:26:34 PM »
Araia never particularly liked Gnomes, and the snide snip of the comment that the Archmage Kos interjected with made the young woman's lips pucker together in grave disdain of the bulbous nosed creatures whom, she highly believed, had too much leisurely time in their lives because for some odd reason, they enjoyed gardens far too much. She sniffed then, displeased at the man whom stood near her, and she neatly folded her arms underneath her bosom and gave the man a dissatisfying stare as he spoke. Truly, the man enjoyed hearing himself speak, enjoyed trying to belittle her, both her intelligence and her being, and in all honesty, that in itself made her wish, made her yearn to be in his company longer. She knew, had absolutely no doubt in her mind, that she must be making him uncomfortable, and she took, nay stole, his privacy for he had built a sanctuary, a grand and glorious museum for himself outside of the City away from prying individuals and the council. ...And no one dared visit him, and with good reason, yet there she was asking to be his apprentice....Araia was never one to back down from a challenge, but welcomed it, and the man himself presented to be a challenge.

The young woman deeply inhaled, and with her head held proudly high, she addressed him, and his question to which she had no particular answer. “I will not name my fortune that I will dearly depart with, perhaps even sacrifice, for your tutorship,” Araia began and drummed her slender fingers against her arms. A pleasant smile curved her lips, and a twinkle gleamed in her eye as she met his gaze. “I have come for an education, one of learning magic and all that accompanies it, however, I have no recommendations from anyone, not one soul, not even from a long tailed devil with sprouting horns upon his head, regarding your teaching abilities. You may have none as far as I know, and if that be the case, then nothing from me you shall have except my chirping of conversation in your ear from dawn to dusk.” Araia said, and drew closer to the thin man with thin eyebrows and thin fingers. She turned her face upwards to peer at him.

“I think for a man who chooses to live in exclusion, that would be unpleasant, and so if you teach me decently, I shall give you something rewarding of your efforts, something equally matched of what I have learned.” She gazed around the garden, studied the trees and flowers for a moment, and as her line of sight fell to the wall, to the gargoyles, she stepped even closer to the wizard; her clothes brushed against his, and all for the comfort that a stranger could offer another. They, the gargoyles, had moved, and although Araia plucked the courage to be brave, one could only be so brave in the face of a man with powers that no one else, save for another wizard, could explain. She had no idea what he could offer her, and at that moment, she cared not to know.

The young woman deeply inhaled. “Payment needn't be money, and I believe you have no need of that, but perhaps of a service, or a task to be fulfilled at a later moment in time, but believe me, it shall not be my soul.” She then realized how close she was to the man, yet she yielded him no space, and instead, she touched his shirt and coaxed a ladybird upon her finger.


Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #10 on: August 15, 2007, 05:39:24 PM »
Kos’s eyes narrowed very slightly as Araia talked and almost visibly flinched as she mentioned having had no recommendations as to his efficiency as a teacher – his face darkening considerably, cheeks drawing in just a little as if he were sucking on a particularly sour sweet. For a moment all was silent – the trees around them no longer rustled as the light warm mid-summers breeze that had previously caressed their branches like a particularly considerate lover disappeared, the gentle chirping of the many unseen birds in the garden seeming to die in the little feathered creatures throats as if they were holding their breath for the girl. The sudden quiet was no doubt rather disconcerting – time seeming to have stopped dead in the area as thoughts only known to the Archmage himself slowly ticked through his razor sharp mind. ‘It would seem then that you haven’t talked to the right devils – I have had dealings with most of them at one point or another… Perhaps you conversed with one of their newly formed, or perhaps you mistook an imp for a devil – an amateur mistake, but one to be expected of course’ he finally said, each word carefully measured from a voice that whilst restrained and eloquent had become the verbal equivalent of a sledgehammer covered in silk.

For its part, the garden still sounded as if it were holding its breath – not so much as the rustle of a leaf falling from air to ground disturbing the perfect velvety silence that had surrounded them both. The Archmage’s gaze seemed penetrating now – as if he were peering through her eyes and into the depths of her brain, pushing his way deep into her thoughts, examining her from the inside out. For a moment he looked as if he might very much like to take her apart, disassemble her into her component pieces so that he might gain a better insight into her. ‘I would hazard a guess that there would be only so much of your incessant chirping that any one man or woman could take before they would be willing to give whatever they could in order to quieten you… While you might not find any devils to vouch for it, I’m quite certain I could turn your tongue into a rather elegant knot if you were to display such an irritating characteristic in my presence for too long’.

The gargoyles had indeed moved – having turned themselves to watch the exchange happening some short way before them, seeming to share knowing looks between each other as they hunched forwards expectantly. From the looks upon their wickedly carved faces, it seemed that they were awaiting the part of the show where the annoying visitor suddenly found that they were rather forcefully parted from one or more parts of their anatomy, an almost eager gleam in their eyes. She might have even been good enough of hearing to catch a snippet of dialogue pass between them – ‘any second now… my money is on a lightning bolt – he hasn’t done that one for a while…’ came the whispers, falling silent as his eyes raised towards them for the briefest of moments.

‘Very well… I offer you a compromise – I will school you in the magical arts until such a time as you begin to bore me, at which point I reserve the rights to evict you from my personal space by a means directly proportional to the amount in which have irritated me to that point. Well?’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #11 on: August 16, 2007, 07:32:44 AM »
A nerve unraveled, sharply, severely, and it twisted and slithered into a mass, a ganglia of unknown sensations and emotions, hiding and lurking in the darkness, waiting...Araia held her breath without knowledge of it, paralyzed that the sudden silence that devoured the gardens, the sound of life, was the effect of that unraveled nerve that irritated the wizard Kos. Eyes, those that belonged to him, penetrated through her being, splintering her, separating her, examining her with severe scrutiny, and the curt words he spoke made her mouth dry and her hands pebble with moisture. Her fingers twitched, sought one another out, and her thumb and forefinger found a well crafted filigree gold ring to twist as she awaited for a word spoken from the wizard or to hear the rustle of leaves feather through the bountiful trees.

Boundaries were crossed, overstepped, and all the young woman's fault, that she knew and self admittedly, secretly acknowledged. In the silence of the garden, and in the silence of the lack of time where nothing moved, where nothing aged, but was suspended indefinitely, the young woman wondered if her statement had any truth to it. It did. She knew it, and by the very fact that he casually spewed conversation to her about devils and imps; hardly did the topic frighten him, speaking as if, and was, well practiced with them, something that a person with strong morals and faith in the gods would never do. Araia had only mentioned hellish beings in dry jest, and now, something was different in how she regarded Kos and it made her curious, made her wonder, made her fear him and all that was unknown about the man and mage. The devils, what he had said regarding them, it was the truth, and worry about consorting with fiends flourished within the young woman. How could society, the nobility and counsel of the City allow it? How could the Archmage Kos allow his soul to be tainted, blackened, by such associations? It puzzled the girl, and there was a need to know, a need to save the man from himself, and whatever powers he possessed, yet how could she if fear of the man and of the mage corrupted her so easily? There is nothing to fear but fear itself? Little to no comfort she received from that thought and so she closed her green eyes to block out his gaze, to escape all that was unsettling.  Her thoughts, however, still remained to haunt her, as were that of his words that were cruelly and deliberately spoken, and it forced her to open those brilliant green orbs and absorb her surroundings once more.

Araia soaked in the gardens, her eyes studying it, and only then did she glance at the wall once again, and once again she thought that the gargoyles moved, shifted ever so slightly. Their sharp beaks and fangs, their malicious faces that were twisted, malformed with fiendish features that craved to frighten, or worse, were pointed directly at her or so she thought. She did her best to convince herself that it was simply paranoia, or an illusion combined with the well fabled tales that surrounded the Archmage's  wondrous being that truly, and obviously, no one knew much about save those rumours that he vouched were true. She hugged herself, and shifted; the stones underneath her feet did not stir nor did sound emanate from them.

It happened then. The Archmage Kos spoke, and the silence that drenched the gardens was broken. A smile, one that was small and fragile, one that was uncertain to be happy or not, crooked the girl's lips. She nodded to indicate that she understood, but thought it best to voice it. “Splendid then!” She chirped out with enthusiasm for she did not wish the mage to know she found him unsettling and repulsive, and that her goal, yes, was to learn the art of magic or a smattering of it, but beyond that trite feat was something greater, and that was to restore the wizard Kos' humanity. She outstretched her dainty hand in a gesture of good will, offering it to him. “I am sure we will not disappoint one another.”

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #12 on: August 20, 2007, 04:41:36 PM »
Kos looked at the extended hand as if he were being presented with a withered monkeys paw, or some darkly inscribed tome mouldering at the edges from the accumulated weight of time itself – her hand seemingly little more than a curio to him as he looked it over once, let his eyes wander up to the girls face, and then drop back down to the hand again. With a shrug of his somewhat narrow shoulders he extended his own hand – taking hers within his palm, something cold and metallic pressing against her palm for a moment, shifting almost unperceivably against her flesh as he tightened his hold upon her hand. It was not an uncomfortably strong grip, but a firm one none the less – much like the sort one would expect to find upon successfully negotiating a deal at market with a particularly shrewd businessman . ‘And that, my dear, is where the difference lies’ he said after a time – his penetrating gaze locked firmly upon her ‘for you see, should I disappoint you it really is of little consequence. But, should you disappoint me… well, we will cross that bridge when we come to it, hmm?’ he said with a grin that would have been considerably more at home upon the muzzle of a wolf, finally letting go of her hand so show his signet ring had been flipped over so that its surface was pressing against her palm. For a moment there was the outline of a small hunched over gargoyle upon her skin – like a birthmark she never knew she had, and then it was gone.

‘You might want to avoid wandering the gardens on your own for the immediate future – there are some things that are best left unspoken of both growing and living within the grounds that might take rather unkindly to your presence before you have proven your ability to master them. And by might, I mean should you not want to find yourself coming to a sticky end that I will no doubt be either too busy or just un-inclined to save you from. He spoke in an even voice, as if he was doing little more than taking a paying tourist on a sightseeing trip of some great tourist trap – even going as far to gesture, albeit in a rather vague manner, in the direction of some of the more exotic looking plants that now no doubt looked as if they were coiled ready to strike at any moment.

‘You also might wish to retrieve your luggage before my two soon to be garden ornaments decide to take it upon themselves to rend it to pieces’ he added as an after thought – gesturing back towards the two gargoyles that even now leered down at the girls trunk in a way that suggested they would not be adverse to returning the object to its component parts were they given even a moment alone with it. ‘Be quick now though – I don’t have all day to stand around in the gardens, I have a visitor scheduled later and I suppose I should find you a room of some sorts before then. It would, after all, be the kind thing to do would it not?’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #13 on: August 23, 2007, 10:27:29 AM »
It was an excruciating long sliver of time, awkward and almost uncivilized, when the Wizard Kos looked at the girl's hand, a pale moonlight colour, delicate and outstretched to him, and he contemplated touching it as if it were fouled by something devious or perhaps too moral, too decent. Eventually, something in which seemed to be forever, yet only minutes, he took the girl's hand in his, and to Araia, the grip of the mage's was not particularly strong, or weak, but it was unsettling and she knew not why. Her brow twitched with perplexity, a curiousness, when she felt something cold pressed onto her soft palm, and immediately, her instinct was to pull away, to flinch, yet she compelled to remain hand in hand with the wizard. She had wanted to cradle her hand when it was release, but it was a silly thought, childish in nature, for he had not harmed or hurt her even though the words he spoke were tinged and tainted with a menacing undertone. She concluded that perhaps it was only the man's nature to spook people which forced them to leave him be, and although he stated otherwise, more than likely he started his own rumours of his wicked ways; even if not, the very idea gave her comfort that she needed at the time being.

“I take your words as a warning, indeed,” Araia said, and then smiled at him, trying to rid herself of any unsettling feelings she had been plagued with earlier. Her smile broadened. “and although I may sound arrogant and too vain in my upcoming statement, traits that I do not think that I really possess, I doubt that I will disappoint you, after all, I do try my best to please.” The young woman admitted to the wizard, and then with purposeful strides, she went to the gate to retrieve her chest that she knew would be too heavy to carry by herself and yet she could not ask for assistance.

She scowled at the chest, one that was very plain and simple: it was made from cedar wood and reinforced with iron studs and hinges, and like all chests, heavy. Her thin hand grasped an iron handle, and she pulled and tugged on it, and barely did it move save for an inch; it scraped along the pebbled earth. At first, however, she turned to peer at the grotesque figures that lined the wall to the Wizard Kos' home, fearing that the noise came from those hideous gargoyles, and then she giggled to herself when she realized that it was the trunk. She pulled and tugged again, wrinkling her brow with the stress of physical labour, and then she decided that pushing might be suitable to the task. So Araia pushed and pushed and pushed, and all to little to no avail except to warm herself and strain muscles.

Araia wiped a trickle of dampness from her brow and looked in the direction of the mage. His willowy figure had a regal appearance to it. “I believe,” Araia began, and questioned how to address the man, Wizard Kos? Mage Kos? Archmage Kos? Kos? she shook her head and scrambled to finish her statement. “I believe it may be kind to help me move this trunk as well, or else I fear you may be standing in the gardens waiting upon me for quite some time, and I am certain time is of value and essence to a man of your nature.” she warmly smiled at him.


Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #14 on: August 25, 2007, 05:54:15 AM »
‘See that you do so – while I will admit that I do so love to see a look of worry and fear on the face of another, especially one as easy on the eye as you, I am not in the habit of wasting my breath doing so if there isn’t also a quite valid reason for doing so’ he said to Araia over his shoulder as he turned away, shrugging his shoulders after a few more steps as if something else had come to his mind. ‘Of course scaring another often is as valid a reason as any…’ he concluded, chuckling to himself and beginning to whistle rather badly a children’s nursery rhyme that was probably last sung some century or so before within the region.

‘We can always give you a helping claw or two pretty…’ came a familiar gravel like voice from the wall behind her, a stone chip bouncing off of her shoulder in a none too pleasant attempt to either gain her attention or simple sate the boredom of the gargoyle that had pitched it at her. ‘Aye, that we can do – for a price of course…’ piped up the other, a lecherous grin spread across its stony weather worn face – needle like fangs visible as he leaned forwards a little way, giving a flap of his large stony wings that had no right to support him but that most certainly could if need be. ‘I’m sure a pretty little thing like you could work wonders with your fingers – could get the moss out of all our little nooks and crannies…’ said the first again in the same tone as one might expect from a particularly tiresome customer at a tavern directed towards a barmaid. The two creatures snickering was cut short by a brilliant white bolt of energy that flew neatly between their two bodies, shortly followed by a loud crack as if the heavens themselves had just opened – the two creatures cowering down against the wall to hopefully avoid any further attacks before throwing apologetic glances towards the Archmage who stood with his right hand pointing in their general direction. ‘S… sorry boss..’ came the stammered reply from both the gargoyles as they backed away very slowly but deliberately, throwing the occasional glance of hatred in Araia’s direction.

‘Tiresome damn creatures’ came the words from the Archmage, although he did not make it quite clear as to whether he was referring to the gargoyles, or the girl herself as his gaze settled upon her before shifting to the chest stood beside her. ‘I’m sure a lecture on not taking more items on a journey than you can possibly carry by your own two hands would be wasted here…’ he muttered as he gestured towards the chest with his left hand, making a come hither movement with his long thin fingers. There was no flashy pyrotechnic show this time – the chest merely lifting from the floor with nothing but a crunch from the disturbed gravel beneath it and bobbing lightly beside her as if it were suspended in a large invisible body of water. ‘Instead I think the first thing we’ll teach you is a levitation spell – sooner you can do that, the sooner you can operate two brooms and be doubly effective within my household…’

He said nothing more to her as he walked forwards into the depths of the garden once more – the roof of the hunting lodge visible after a time poking above the canopy of trees that seemed to surround it like silent guardians, here and there one moving in a way that seemed totally at odds with the lack of breeze around them, enough for her to wonder if they weren’t more than just silent guardians at all. The chest for its part bobbled amiably beside her at hip height – stopping when she stopped and continuing its journey whenever she walked like a particularly obedient dog walking to heel of its mistress. A few minutes walk found them standing in front of the lodge proper – a masterpiece of rich reddish brown wood that seemed to be made all from one piece, no visible joins in sight what so ever. Here and there along its length were engraved deep powerful looking golden runes that shimmered in the sunlight as they approached.

‘Welcome to your new home my dear’ he said, bowing slightly with a smirk spread across his lips as he gestured towards the houses huge double doors, engraved with a multitude of runes and sigils, adorned with two brass knockers fashioned to look like dragons heads holding thick bronze rings within their mouths. ‘I hope you enjoy your stay…’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #15 on: August 30, 2007, 07:48:29 AM »
Araia stood upright, neatly tucking and folding her hands and arms underneath her breasts, and her lips pursed together to form a sultry expression on her luscious tender lips that was not quite a smile nor a scowl when she heard Archmage Kos compliment her appearance. Truthfully, it was the most awkward compliment she had ever received, and she held it dearly close to her for she doubted that the Archmage would ever say so again, or if he would, the compliment would be buried in depths of bizarre thoughts and dry witty sarcasm. She said nothing in return. Instead, she listened to him take pride in delightfully frightening others, and Araia now could believe that although hardly did she approve, and if anything she thought his cruelties were born from boredom and amusement.

Her ears heard the melody he whistled, a blend of something hauntingly sad, eerily so, with an undertone of happiness to it, and while the young beauty tried to decipher the source, a twinge of pain pierced her shoulder. Thoughtlessly, her hand brushed a stone, a small gray pebble, from her shoulder which, in turn, made her gaze up at the cruel beasts upon the wall as she gingerly caressed her skin. She would bruise there; her skin was delicate and supple, and too tender for mistreatment.
The gargoyles began to converse. Their heinous impish beaks and mouths twisted in an ugly fashion to spit out unseemly words at Araia, gravelly and grating in sound, and their smooth stone eyes blankly stared at her although she imagined that a malicious intent would glisten there if it were possible. It made Araia wrinkle her nose, desperately try to push her trunk with all her might, and when despair accompanied by panic began to settle into her body, she shrieked as a brilliant light bolted between the gargoyles and what sounded like thunder crackled from the skies that were turning gray black.

There was a mentioning about traveling light, that a lecture on the topic would do her no good, and as she was about to retort, she pressed her lips together, shutting them tight. She had packed her own trunk, but in not knowing what she might need at his household, she packed a little of everything. Originally, it had begun with a simple satchel, grew into a leather case, which expanded into a bag or two, and then, alas, the trunk. She scampered beside the trunk, once it levitated itself, once it began to move, and was rather in awe of it, impressed. Araia stopped several times, amusing herself, watching the trunk heel like a faithful dog, but she wished not to try Archmage Kos' patience too much, and so with little word, she strode along to follow the man.

There too was a mentioning of learning a levitation spell, something about working two brooms and being effective within his household. She frowned at the idea of cleaning house, never particularly enjoying the task, yet she would not complain. She was interfering with his lifestyle, no doubt, and she was going to be eating and lodging at his house, and so she believed it to be a fair trade at least to an extent. “A levitation spell.” She repeated, chirping like a morning bird at sunrise. “Not that I would ever,” she began on another line of thought. “Not that I would want it demonstrated on me, but does it work on people as well as objects? Could you float an irritatingly boisterous old fat man half a mile down the road to rid of him?” Araia mused to herself the idea of whisking her father away as he lectured her about being of use for the family. She shook her head free of the thought as she came to the doors of her new home.

It was a marvelous creation, the lodge, and Araia, out of curiosity more than anything, needed to stroke a ruin, trace her slender fingertip upon one and then caress the brass knocker that was in the form of a dragon. She had always marveled at the creatures, thinking of them as elegant, and regal, and a smile graced her lips as she turned to look at the Archmage Kos. “It is exquisite, simply exquisite.” Araia said, her voice but a whisper. Being the impulsive creature she was, she stood on tiptoe and brushed a simple kiss across the wizard's thin cheek. “Thank you for accepting me, and taking me into your home.”

Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2007, 04:53:26 PM »
Kos allowed himself a brief grin as he heard the girl talk of the levitation spell and query other potential uses for it – she had a brain then it appeared, and at the very least the ability to question the various applications for magic. That, he admitted to himself, was good – he had never much cared for those who would steadfast accept a spell or anything else for that matter simply for what it was, rather than what it could be. ‘Indeed I could and indeed I have’ he answered after a moment ‘although I always find it more entertaining to float them a half mile over yonder’ he continued as he gestured to the east, away from the road that she would have travelled to reach him ‘as there is a lovely and rather deep chasm that I find it fun to dangle them over for an hour or five. Much more entertaining than simply sending them on their way, don’t you think?’. While he still had his back to the girl, there was a certain amount of expectance upon his face and even within his words – curious as to how she would respond. He doubted she would be the sort to offer an alternative punishment through the use of the spell, she just didn’t seem the sort, but all the same it would be interesting to see whether she would continue to follow her line of query, or whether his tale would be enough to end her interest.

‘Yes, it is rather’ he admitted with a nod of his head as she mentioned her approval of the house ‘took quite a lot of energy to craft something this size though I can tell you – and needed a significant amount of raw materials to craft with… As you may be lucky enough to find out as your studies continue, crafting something out of nothing can be done as long as the scale is kept small enough. Make it big and grandiose, and you’d better have something to hand to feed the magic’ he said in much the same tone as she might expect from a teacher, although he sounded a little less condensing that she might have expected given his general demeanour to this point. ‘Some seem to have this grand notion that you can form entire kingdoms out of nothing but fairy dust you see, when in fact the amount of fairies you’d need to sacrifice in order to even create a hamlet of sorts would simply boggle the mind. Not that wouldn’t like to try it sometime’ he admitted to himself almost offhandedly as he let his fingertips almost caress the doorknocker before him – the dragons eyes glowing brightly as the doors swung open before them.

Inside the house was just as magnificent as the exterior – a huge sweeping staircase set in the middle of the greeting room they stepped forwards into, curling its way upwards several stories that didn’t seem to be visible upon the outside of the house. The floors appeared to be a light grey marble inset with silver flecks and the occasional deeply etched solid silver rune, the walls a light oak wood covered here and there with various tapestries of subjects both arcane, mundane, and in places even erotic. Large bookcases seemed to dominate every other available wall spacing where there wasn’t a tapestry placed – each one filled to the brim with tomes of all sorts of sizes and shapes, some even overflowing out into modestly sized stacks in the corners of the room. One got the idea that he wasn’t much of one for a sense of order and tidiness…

‘Tell me girl’ he suddenly asked as he made his way into the greeting room before turning and looking over his shoulder ‘you can read, can’t you?’.

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2007, 10:52:28 AM »
Araia squinted as she looked to the east. Indeed, she heard the wizard's words correctly, and for a brief moment she imagined her father floating above a deep black chasm that delved into the earth's warm fat belly.  Suspended in air he would be, perfectly animated, and scared witless for certain for who wouldn't be? And all the while he would beg for mercy, and all the while it is done for amusement and, of course, punishment for casting her aside to the infamous Archmage Kos with little care for what she will or must endure to learn the magics to give her family power and prestige in the city. She could not conceive of the gravity of learning certain spells, and no doubt her father could not conceive the idea that it did not give the family power, but her, and her alone. As these thoughts leisurely roamed through her mind, she suddenly realized that it was wrong of her to wish another ill, and she shook her head, lightly squeezing the Archmage's hand as if he were now her best friends conspiring to do something naughty.

“That is positively dreadful!” Araia exclaimed, her voice but a mere whisper, yet to a degree, she yearned to hear more. “And I could never be so cruel. No, never. If I had to do something like that, I would hold them above a thicket of roses, give them a pleasant sight instead of something terrifying, make them at ease, and if I had to let them fall for some unknown reason, they would fall onto something soft, something pleasant, yet hideously prickly that would tear at their flesh.” Araia chimed out, and then her brow furrowed as she gazed up at him clueless to the very idea that she clung to his hand.

“And how would that work anyways?” Araia inquired, and drew closer to him. “Must you concentrate for long periods of time, or can one knot the spell off like how one ties a shoe? Or maybe it differs from one individual to another? And certainly the more well practiced one is at the spell, the more powerful one becomes?” She prattled off the questions, rapidly, thinking aloud and then her eyes finally focused on their hands, and surprised at the reality, she poised herself and let her hand slip from his. “I must apologize. Learning certain things has a tendency to excite me although so few people ever understand that.” She took a step away from him, timidly looked away until he walking into his own home, giving her access.

Following him like a shadow, Araia proceeded to walk inside, trying to look at everything around her; the stacks of books intrigued her, and she ran her fingertips over the spines as she passed one bookcase. The house was divine, beautiful and grand, almost mystical, and she stood still rather awestruck and intrigued by the cluttered mess that had order in the disorder or at least she thought so. Barely she heard his last question, and she answered that with a nod, and then a “Yes, multiple languages including Gnomish, and only because I caught one as a child and kept it as a pet. Mother was ever so vexed.” Her voice trailed off into silence as she demurely looked at him.

“I'm sorry, I do prattle at times.” She said, recalling what the Archmage said in the garden earlier. She gave him a quaint shy smile as her fingertips caressed a book on demons.


Offline TonyWoodsTopic starter

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #18 on: September 05, 2007, 03:44:32 AM »
A brief shadow of disapproval found its way across the Archmage’s features as Araia began to comment upon one of his more favourite uses of the levitation spell – the thought coming to his mind that were he in the presence of yet another bleeding heart liberal then perhaps it would be best if he were to show her firsthand how the spell worked, that it would be best for all involved if he plopped her down into the depths of the deepest darkest and possibly dankest chasm that he could find to hand at such short notice. This thought faded though as the girl continued, the shadow of disapproval melting away from the Archmage’s face in turn to be replaced with a look of some interest as she spoke of how she would use the spell upon an enemy – it certainly was different he gave her that, and it gave him some small measure of hope for the girl yet. Most who had came to study at his feet could be drawn up into two precise groups – those who thought his use of magic as cruel and sought to teach him the ‘errors of his ways’, or those who revelled in it yet had little imagination of their own and instead said only what they thought he wished to hear. Either sort got boring, and quite frequently dead, rather quickly.

‘I’ll bear that one in mind – perhaps I could grow a couple of more robust rose bushes for that specific purpose’ he said after a time. ‘I’d hate to drop a fat merchant on the rose bushes currently growing in the gardens – they are more bred for their ease upon the eye rather than their potential to cause injury to those dropped upon them. Besides which Leya would be most displeased with anyone who were to damage her plants – something you’d do best to keep in mind should the urge to practice it strike you any time soon.’ He did not bother to explain who Leya was to the girl – he saw little point in explaining everything that he knew and others didn’t know, something that he was pretty certain would take him longer than they had upon this world to do. Besides, it was doubtful that the Dryad would show herself to a stranger – it had after all taken her some considerable years even to make her presence known officially to Kos himself.

‘The best analogy I can think to give you is of the human body itself’ said Kos eventually after taking a moment to analyse the girls question and to prepare an answer that she might understand. ‘Some are born with considerable muscle mass and significantly more strength than others possess – and should they train this over time they will get bigger and stronger. Others are born weak and frail, and no matter how much they seek to grow and strengthen themselves they will find limits set upon them by their bodies that cannot be overcome. The same, to an extent at least, is true for magic users – although in our case there are usually rituals and meditations that must be undergone so that we can learn how to interact with the magical forces that exist around us, that we pull upon to create our spells. Do you understand so far?’ he asked, without so much as pausing for breath or an answer from her before he continued on. ‘Once some semblance of a link is created between us and the magical forces around us, something not all are capable of I hasten to add, we may begin to pull upon them and shape them to our will. And it is at this point the difference between a poor mage and a good mage becomes evident - in time one might be able to cause another to levitate with merely a thought,  while another will need a focal charm, arcane words and gestures and will still find limits to what they might levitate, for how long, for how high and so on.’

Content that he had answered her question as concisely as possible for the moment, he let himself fall quiet – waiting to see if the girl had any more questions, some small measure of the girls curiosity and intelligence that so far he was moderately pleased with until he heard her apology, the Archmage spinning on his heel to face her with a face that had once again darkened considerably. ‘You will never again apologise for asking a question within my house unless I expressly chastise you for asking it. If mankind did not thirst for knowledge, did not question themselves and the world around them, we would still all be sitting in caves in the dark eating lichen off of a rock – something you’ll find yourself doing if you do not heed me’. Kos seemed to take a deep breath after the warning that was fired off so quickly and wish so much venom as to turn his face for a moment a most unhealthy shade of crimson – marshalling himself before turning away from the girl, his next words once again even in tone. ‘I hope we understand each other on this matter’.

Above them it seemed that whatever passed for a roof disappeared in an embrace of shadows that swirled slowly some several floors above them – giving the impression that perhaps there was no end to how many floors one would find within the Archmage’s house, the sweeping staircase in front of them seeming to climb ever upwards and forwards to connect each of the five or so levels that were visible before they were claimed by the shadow. Common sense said that in order to reach those five levels without being as steep as the side of a mountain the stairs would have to reach back some considerable way, yet they showed no signs of doing so – in fact just looking at them for a length of time was enough to instil a sense of nausea and vertigo to one not used to the magic that was wrought upon them.

‘Very good… I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised that you’ve had a decent, if somewhat mundane, level of education given your families standing – and you might even find a use for your knowledge of Gnomish here, I’m certain I had several scriptures involving their use of illusionary magic somewhere around here’ he said waving a hand idly towards the masses of books that surrounded them. ‘Read what you wish – if I thought it a forbidden subject for a visitor to read then it wouldn’t be found laying around so easily. Of course I don’t have many visitors, and you know what they say about curiosity.’

Offline Airindel

Re: A lesson in the less ordinary – Airindel & TonyWoods
« Reply #19 on: September 09, 2007, 08:18:57 PM »
As fate would have it or by the blessings of the gods, whichever one believed and had faith in the most, Araia was an intelligent young woman and immediately took to understanding the explanation that the Archmage Kos gave her concerning her question with the levitation spell. Her head nodded three times, and on occasion there was a whisper of a 'mmm hmmm' or an 'I see' or an 'excellent' from her as her mind manipulated the information given to her, comprehended it to her fullest ability, and neatly stored it into a compartment that was unoccupied by anything, yet magic knowledge and spells would now be stored there. “I do understand, yes,” She commented and furrowed her brow as she fell into deeper thoughts. As she apologized for rambling and plaguing the Archmage with her inquisitiveness, something that her father always had frowned upon, something that he told her would never attract a man to her, Araia's lip trembled. The Archmage Kos chided her, perhaps properly so, perhaps well warranted,  yet Araia was unused to anger or more precisely, unused to displeasing and disappointing another person, and her eyes immediately looked downcast at her small feet. She would soon forget about asking whom Leya was, distracted by the wizard's harsh words, and the young woman sniffled for a moment as she pondered whether or not to have a rebuttal for the Archmage.

“I must apologize for upsetting you because, well, certainly, I did not mean to,” Araia began, and looked at him while her fingers idly caressed the book on demons. She gave little thought to her fidgeting, and continued. “My father always told me that I was too inquisitive for my own good. As a child,  I craved to know things that seemed to frustrate both my tutors and my parents particularly father. He told me that no man wishes for an intelligent woman especially if she is more so than he, and since no man seemed interested in marrying me now that I am of age, and my curious nature and intelligence is at fault for that according to my father, then I am to learn magic as my duty to my family to strengthen the overall position in society for them.” Araia drew out the book on demons from the shelf and opened it, yet did not look at it. “I personally think of him as inane, but he can wield a cane well, and I'd rather not experience another flogging of that nature, any nature really.” Araia confided to the Archmage, and embarrassed, the young woman looked to the opened page before her. Her nose wrinkled, and she turned the book this way and that way trying in a curious nature before she realized what indeed the picture was about. Her face flushed crimson, and she closed the book. “I do not believe that he has conceived the idea that I will be the one with power once my education with  you is complete.”

She tucked the book underneath her arm as she peered about as if memorizing the room in which they stood in, and then she gazed upwards to where the stairs disappeared into darkness and were devoured by shadows that slithered forth from nowhere in particular. She laughed, something of an airy melody, on hearing his last words as she began to ascend the stairs. “Curiosity kills the cat,” Araia stated and smiled at the Archmage. “Lucky for me then that cats have nine lives.”