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Author Topic: The Ancient Curse  (Read 4437 times)

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Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #150 on: January 03, 2016, 01:13:21 PM »
"Very funny," Mariza said, unable to stifle a giggle at Geoff's comment. The world around them seemed to warp for a moment and when it returned to normal they found themselves in a massive underground cavern, tunnels leading off from it between shops and small market stalls. Walking through it were everything from fairies to trolls, elves to creatures unlike anything in human myth.

"Okay, whoever hides this under New York deserves an award," Lehmann said as he looked around.

"Let me do the talking," Mariza said as she picked a way through the crowd. "No offence Geoff but not every creature here will appreciate your...sense of humour."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #151 on: January 03, 2016, 02:51:03 PM »
"Wow... Tunnels and Trolls TM"

Geoff blurted it out without even thinking and then stopped to realise that might not be doing much to alleviate his geek credentials.

He followed Mariza, trying not to stare at everything as he walked along.  His followers were not going to believe his next blog!!

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #152 on: January 03, 2016, 04:40:52 PM »
They finally stopped outside a shop whose outside was covered in strange, dust-covered trinkets, but the sign on the door read closed. Mariza walked up and knocked on the door.

"I'm looking for the creature known as Arcturus," she said loudly, getting no reply from within. "I forgot this old sod was a vain old soul," she muttered under her breath. "Oh Arcturus the Brave, we come to seek your guidance and considerable wisdom." Finally the door opened, revealing a tall elf, an eyepatch over one eye, who cast a dismissive look at Lehmann and Geoff. "I know, humans aren't supposed to enter the market, I would not bring them here if this was not desperate."

"I'll look the other way," the elf said. "As long as the men pay me a toll."

"It's fine," Lehmann said, handing over the Yggdrasil Shard he carried. "Geoff, don't worry, he'll give back whatever you offer, he just needs insurance we're not here to harm him."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #153 on: January 04, 2016, 09:54:23 AM »
Geoff continued to stare around the market like a tourist and so missed part of what Mariza said.  He gawped openly at the elf and started to pat his pockets as Lehmann asked for something to use as a toll.  seeing that Lehmann had given across the Shard, he was clearly confident of getting it back so with a nervous shudder he handed across his tablet

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #154 on: January 04, 2016, 02:16:55 PM »
"Get in," the elf grunted, opening the door and stepping aside to allow them to enter. As he closed the door behind them they took in their surroundings. The room was filled from top to bottom with scrolls, maps and books, some of which looked newly printed, others covered in mounds of dust. "You better have a good reason for bringing them here princess."

"Prince-what's he talking about?" Lehmann said, giving Mariza a strange look.

"I'll get to explaining that," Mariza replied. "Arcturus, we need to see everything you know about the Book of Akhaten and the Scrolls of the Dead."

"You don't ask much of me do you?" the elf asked, raising an eyebrow. "Fine, wait here, I'll be as quick as I can."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #155 on: January 04, 2016, 02:19:41 PM »
Geoff stood nonchalantly scoping out the room, then started to look around , his curiosity overwhelming his caution.  He started carefully unrolling one of the scrolls to see what was inside it

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #156 on: January 04, 2016, 02:58:36 PM »
On the scroll was a drawing of a female fairy who looked like an older, even more slender version of Mariza, her face half-hidden from the observer. On the top of her head was a small, ornate crown.

"You sure you want to-" Mariza paused when she saw the scroll he had unravelled, before quickly rolling it up and putting it under more paper. "That wasn't intended for your viewing," she said, appearing distant. Part of her wanted him to ask what it meant, but the other part didn't want him to pry into something so personal.

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #157 on: January 05, 2016, 09:48:57 AM »
"Ok - sorry - just looking."

Geoff carried on wandering around, picking up things and peering at them and furtively taking some snaps with his phone

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #158 on: January 05, 2016, 10:48:23 AM »
"Before you start taking pictures bear in mind half this market can give you curses that make death look pleasant," Arcturus said as he re-entered the room, carrying two books and a large number of scrolls. "You need to get better taste in humans Princess."

"Arcturus, they don't know about that side of me," Mariza said, hastily trying to avoid part of his comment. "Now if you don't mind I'd like you to let us study these scrolls in peace."

"And I thought humans were weird," Arcturus muttered under his breath. "Take as long as you want, just give me a shout when you're done." With that he ducked through the doorway to the back of the shop.

"If you want to be of use Geoff help me with these," Mariza said. "There's more material here than any one of us can study alone."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #159 on: January 05, 2016, 02:08:53 PM »
Geoff sheepishly put the camera away

"Sorry - but, you know, modern life."

He paused

"Guess you wouldn't."

He watched the elf go and turned to Mariza  "Yeah no problems.  When we're in the Bazaar of the Bizarre who wants to do anything other than research?!"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #160 on: January 05, 2016, 02:51:05 PM »
"This is the one place you're relatively safe," Mariza said. "Arcturus gets most of this stuff...what he can't get from other market-dwellers anyway...from humans so he's relatively cordial towards you. If the creatures who run this place realised you were here you'd be in serious trouble."

"What are we looking for?" Lehmann asked as he grimaced looking at the pile of scrolls.

"What would you guys say if I told you the Book of the Dead wasn't an original work?" Mariza asked. "Let's just say the Egyptian who wrote it...'borrowed' from far older texts."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #161 on: January 05, 2016, 04:58:46 PM »
"Older then Egyptian?  How has anything that old managed to survive?"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #162 on: January 05, 2016, 05:06:57 PM »
"Because there are ways to write knowledge humans have either long forgotten or didn't know to begin with," Mariza said, letting out a slight laugh as she found the scroll she had been looking for. On it was an image of a giant jade dragon set on the front cover of a book, around which was written a mixture of Latin, Chinese and a third language even Lehmann was struggling to identify. "The Book of the Reapers, together with Ak'haten and a third book said to be within the Pyramid of the Moon it is said that it is capable of opening a portal direct to the underworld."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #163 on: January 06, 2016, 09:41:42 AM »
"So, I'm guessing that's written in some bizarre language?

What's our next move?"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #164 on: January 06, 2016, 10:06:45 AM »
"It is written in the language of the High Elves," Arcturus said, re-entering the room. "I've lived longer than I care to mention and I could barely string together three sentences in that tongue."

"The only advantage is it means there are few people our enemy can turn to for help," Mariza continued. "One of the few who does know is a little...difficult to get to."

"I didn't realize you'd fallen out of favour with your brother so badly Mariza," Arcturus said, raising an eyebrow. "You'll have to explain what's going on to them at some point, preferably before someone else gets a chance to twist it to fit their own purpose."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #165 on: January 06, 2016, 10:10:51 AM »
"Surely they know this as well.

So, do they need this information or do they just need to make sure we don't have it?  Because if the latter is true, your brother is in some danger"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #166 on: January 06, 2016, 02:29:18 PM »
"It's not that simple," Mariza said, more angry at Arcturus than Geoff. "I'm not taking humans to my brother when I don't know whether he'd even let ME speak to him."

"Okay, hold up," Lehmann said, holding his hands up. "Stop acting like me and Geoff weren't here, what are you talking about?"

"You don't know who your new friend is do you?" Arcturus asked with a chuckle. "This is no mere fairy you are in the presence of, she is a child of the Shadowglade, or to be more specific...she is Princess Mariza, next in line to the throne."

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #167 on: January 07, 2016, 04:14:09 AM »
Geoff was glad that Lehmann was as out of his depth as he was feeling

"Royalty? wow"

He leant close to Lehmann and whispered "Guess that explains a lot about the attitude"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #168 on: January 07, 2016, 08:20:48 AM »
"I can hear you," she shouted, storming out of the shop and slamming the door behind her.

"She'll come back," Arcturus said, stopping Lehmann from following her. "She needs a chance to calm down. That picture you looked at, that is...that WAS her mother, the former queen of the Shadowglade. When her mother died Mariza was intended to take her place but...her brother went against the rules. He had the army behind him so she couldn't fight him, she was exiled from her home and forced to live in your world. So," Arcturus said, approaching Geoff at his full height, towering over him, "next time you think of insulting her maybe you should think before you open your mouth."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #169 on: January 09, 2016, 12:59:15 AM »
Geoff raised an eyebrow as Mariza stormed out of the building, but in all honesty was hardly surprised.

As Arcturus squared up to him, Geoff refused to back down and stared straight back at him.

"Frankly, she's been patronising about me and my entire species ever since I met her.  And, by the way, just because you're bigger than me doesn't make me frightened of you."

He held Arcturus' gaze for a few seconds and then looked away

"Look, I'm sorry and I'll apologise to her.  This has been kind of an odd day for me"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #170 on: January 10, 2016, 07:05:57 PM »
"Your kind's naivety about magic cost her her grandfather," Arcturus said with a sigh. "Now she finds herself lost in a world she barely understands and a home she cannot safely return to, I doubt she intends offence to you, fairies usually do not interact with your kind until they are least three times as old as she is."

"Go find her," Lehmann said to Geoff. "I can't imagine she's gone far, I'll stay and see if Arcturus can tell us anymore."

Lehmann had guessed right, Mariza wasn't far from the shop, her face stained with tears and her wings attempting to cover her face. In her distress her illusion had slipped, revealing she appeared barely older than a human girl just out of college.

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #171 on: January 11, 2016, 07:00:24 AM »
Geoff stared at Lehmann

"ME?  You want ME to go get her?  Look, I don't know how much training you have on reading emotions, but the two of us really aren't...umm..sympathetic towards each other."

As Lehmann carried on staring at him he shrugged in disbelief

"FINE!  fine!  I'll try and find her.  But don't blame me if the princess chooses not to come back."

He stepped outside and almost immediately saw her

"Hey, look I'm sorry.  I'm just nervous and excited and, well, it's a lot to take in"

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #172 on: January 11, 2016, 06:56:26 PM »
"It's pretty strange for me too," Mariza said with a laugh. "The downside to being future royalty is that people are even stricter about allowing you to interact with others than they are with most of my kin." She stood up, wiping the tear stains from her face. "I shouldn't have reacted the way I should, frankly I thought if I knew who I really was you'd treat me differently. I happen to find you...attractive, I'm not used to being in this kind of situation."

Offline Darkleather

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Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #173 on: January 12, 2016, 08:04:57 AM »
"umm, well, thanks.  That's flattering."

Geoff stood there nervously

"So, shall we rejoin the others?"

He decided not to say anything else about this matter at the moment

Offline Lord BaneTopic starter

Re: The Ancient Curse
« Reply #174 on: January 12, 2016, 10:35:51 AM »
"We could or..." she looked around, scanning the crowd for a moment and glad to see no-one else had noticed them. "Our friends are going to kill me for doing this, but do you want to see the market's greatest secret? It won't harm you, but it's so precious people are usually wary of approaching it for fear of damaging it by mistake."