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Author Topic: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]  (Read 3460 times)

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Offline CaeliTopic starter

La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« on: December 06, 2009, 10:25:37 PM »
Continuing this story from another site. :-)
Originally posted 2005-2007.



Prologue Coming Eventually...
« Last Edit: December 07, 2009, 09:34:12 PM by Caeli »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #1 on: December 06, 2009, 10:26:53 PM »
Lhurriel sat back with a laugh, waving away the offers of ale and other drink. Though this was by no means her first official assignment as the kingdom's youngest mage, it was the first ordained by the king. Despite the people who didn't have much reason to like the man, they did like her, and were glad to hear that she was being sent off on such an important mission as retrieving the king's amulet. Public knowledge said that thieves had stole into the palace treasury, stolen the amulet and some gold besides, and then made off with the objects towards the border, hoping to get out before pursuers could catch up. In magicycles, the task was easy; however, Ree knew that given time and not a frozen trail, she could trace the magic of the amulet anywhere.

"No, no more!" Ree shook her head but couldn't keep back her good-natured smiles, again brushing off more offers of drink. Her closest friends - a rather disreputable bunch of honorable thieves, street rats, and entertainers - insisted, but she held firm, knowing that getting drunk (not an easy task, since her water magic diluted most of the alcohol anyway) before meeting her hunting partner would probably not be the best idea. First impressions were everything, or so people said - Ree didn't want the man getting the impression that she was a happy-go-lucky fool who drank away her nights at the Lower City inn.

The place was in the cheaper districts of the capital city, but despite its surroundings, continued to be a very upstanding, highly regarded place. Soldiers, guards, and sailors frequented the place during all seasons of the year, and rarely were there extra rooms for new guests or visitors to the city. Lhurriel Keladar, His Majesty's youngest and only powerful female resident mage, was often seen frequenting the area, but as one of the denizens of the Lower City. She frequently transformed into one of the waitresses of the Inn, flirting freely but lightly like an impertinent City wench.

"I'm to the lobby to wait for the King's guard," she laughingly told everyone, making her excuses and bowing her way from the room. At the moment, though, she was the Master Mage in her full glory, traveling robes molded to her lithe body and eyes shining with excitement at this new adventure. It was to be naught but a simple errand - follow the thieves, get the amulet back, come back. Easy and simple. At the gentle purr of half a dozen magicycles, Lhurriel opened the door to the Inn and looked down the road. As she expected, a small group of soldiers approached on excellent models of magicycles, all wearing the King's colors. Lhurriel waited for all of them to stop in front of the inn before she stepped down into the cobble-stoned street and bowed deeply to the paladin and his entourage of guards.

"It's an honor to meet you all. I am Lady-Mage Lhurriel."
« Last Edit: December 08, 2009, 01:02:27 AM by Caeli »

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #2 on: December 06, 2009, 10:31:12 PM »
Kaeden was, naturally, honored to take up His Majesty's request to hunt down the sorry souls who dared to steal from the treasury. Thieving gold from the kingdom was one thing but to make off with the Royal Amulet was nigh the highest form of treason. The only thing worse were an outright defiance to the crown and it's kingdom.

Sir Kaeden Alydarr was the first to be summoned for the task of retrieving the stolen treasure, and it was far from Kae to not serve his kingdom. He was fiercly devoted to knighthood. Well trained and highly regaurded among the ranks, as well as those of any level nobility. Even so, he was not affected by his fame. His heart was always with his sword. Since he was but a young lad, barely of age to be a squire, he knew what it was he would do with his life: ride strong under the banners of the kingdom.

And so that banner stood high above his head as he dismounted the cycle he arrived on, the flagman hot on his heels. He approached a young woman who stood at the entrance of the pub. She was clad in clothing fit for travel and seemed as though she had an aire of magic about her; perhaps she was who he was to meet with for the journey after the amulet. His assumption was proven so when she bowed in introduction.

"We are the royal guard of His Majesty, King Roland." he replied with a much lighter bow, "I am Sir Kaeden Alydarr."

He looked upon the girl with trained eyes, examining her in usefulness rather than character, as he was trained to do so. She seemed built well enough to be able to pull her own weight through out the journey, though, more would be assessed as the subject of her magical abilities would arise.

"Are you ready to be off?" he asked curtly, "It would be best if we could leave immediately."

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #3 on: December 06, 2009, 10:33:44 PM »
"Certainly, Sir Alydarr. But for stealth's sake, could we not dismiss the flagman, send him back to the Palace? We've not a need to proclaim our identity to every passing traveler on the road, and risk robbery besides. I'm sure it wouldn't be beyond us to fight any highwaymen off, but it's an annoyance we could easily avoid."

Lhurriel stared right back at the knight without blinking, her eyes steady and firm. Nobody was more confident in themselves than she; she had not trained for almost sixteen years to be uncertain of her skill and talent. She had both in plenty - talent inherited from her Border Clan ancestors, and skill trained into her ever since she'd been a toddler of two years old, playing with whirling globes of ice.

He looked quite capable, as would any knight of King Roland. Strong, much more well muscled than she; then again, Lhurriel knew that in any fight against an armed man, her small throwing daggers would have little use unless she could throw them somewhere lethal. Preferably the throat or eyes; if she was unlucky and the man had a helm, her obvious weapon would be her magic. And Lhurriel had no qualms about using magic against her opponents, oh no.

Lhurriel grimaced as she remembered the state of her magicycle. It had formerly been one of the latest models, given to her by one of her previous amours, Lord Eversleigh, Corsair Atadel. He was the manager and owner of one of the kingdom's best manufacturers of magicycles, and in return for some of the fastest and best 'cycles for mages, Lhurriel got called frequently to his estate to help him purify and cut special crystals for the custom-order magicycles. She didn't mind, so much - the tradeoff was well worth it.

However, at the moment her magicycle was sitting in the trash heap, wrecked because some careless and arrogant knight had tried to use it over the obstacle course. That was what she got for not spelling the thing so that only she could use it.

"Erm..." Lhurriel squirmed uncomfortably, suddenly chagrined. "I apologize for the inconvenience, Sir Alydarr, but yesterday one of the knights at the palace hacked into the engine of my magicycle and attempted to ride it over the more difficult obstacle course. Needless to say, my magicycle didn't survive the trip. 'Twas Sir Morath. Perhaps you know him. Anyway, I was hoping I could catch a ride on yours, at least until we get to Lord Eversleigh's estate, about a day's travel away along our road. He's got a new model ready for me."

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #4 on: December 06, 2009, 10:35:37 PM »
    
There was a glint of amusement in his dark eyes when the woman asked for the flagman to be dismissed, though it would have been difficult for anyone to notice through his curtain of raven strands that fell about the frame of his face.

"There is no need to worry over such a thing, Lady-Mage." he reassured her, "He will remain within city limits. We understand the delicacy the mission before us requires and the haste that is necessary. I will allow little to no chance of any delay."

With that Kaeden turned about and addressed the very man they spoke of.

"Christopher, return to His Majesty and inform him that the rendezvous was successful. We leave immediately for the amulet."

The man stood at attention at the order and gave a solid salute to Kaeden before returning to his magicycle.

"Sir." Chistopher called, "Good luck."

Kaeden gave him a nod and the flagman turned to carry out his orders. With the flagman returning to the castle, the numbers of the escort had reduced to 5, including Kae. He was fully confident in the abilities of his soldiers and new that 5 would be more than enough to sustain strength should anything happen along the way. He turned his attention to the remaining numbers.

"Our first stop is the Eversleigh estate." he informed them, "We will decide which direction to go from there."

They all nodded their understanding and started their magicycles, preparing to begin their days ride. All were dressed lightly for royal guard: thick leather boots, strong oxhide leggings and light white tunics, though underneath was a layer of chainmail. Sir Alydarr never believed in wearing full armor. To him, full steel-clad soldiers meant a war was near and though he devoted himself to knighthood, he thought better to keep as far away from the idea of war unless it was inescapable. So, he would always wear the versitile clothing everyday, unless events call for a ceremonial uniform.

Returning his attention to Lhurriel, he offered his hand to help her onto his cycle, "Shall we, Lady?"

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #5 on: December 06, 2009, 10:36:34 PM »
Lhurriel had to admire how efficient and highly regarded Kaeden was amongst the other soldiers. They snapped to attention whenever he even glanced at them, and all of the guards were crisp and orderly. All of them obviously respected Kaeden very much - Lhurriel hadn't heard of the man herself, but she figured that he had to be rather high-ranked and had done some very credible deeds in the past, for the King to send him on this mission with her.

"Thank you, Sir- Oh! I almost forgot." Lhurriel dug into the pockets of her midnight-blue robe, which hugged her lithe body snugly and allowed her to move her body freely. Traveling robes were cut up the back and front several inches past the knees to allow for easy movement, and to allow one to sit unimpeded on a magicycle. Finally, she pulled out a small packet of crystals from the belts of one of her dagger sheaths, strapped to the side of her leg.

"Compliments of my magic. I've been working on these crystals for the past week, spelling them for speed and keeping the heat flow of the crystals away so that we don't have to stop as often." Lhurriel proceeded to remove the front covers protecting the crystals of the magicycles, and with a bit of magic made the crystal that was currently running absorb her pieces. Almost immediately, the crystal flared and brightened, and a light surge of power shifted the 'cycles into a higher gear.

"Okay. Now we can go." With a gracious smile for Kaeden, Lhurriel took his hand and swung her leg over the back of the cycle. She pulled on the light blue-tinted goggles that she wore when riding the cycles over her eyes, and magic made the scanner built into the crystals of the goggles flare to life, as the miniature scanning systems began reading mage signatures in their surroundings.

"And it's Lhurriel, Sir Alydarr. I've never cared much for titles."

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2009, 10:37:02 PM »
    
Kaeden blinked curiously as she reached into her layers of clothing to pull out the pouch of crystals. He watched intently as she fiddled with the cycles. Once the magicycle surged with newfound energy, Kaeden was more than certain now that the mage's ability. There weren't all too many mages who were able to work with the power crystals for magicycles and get them to be strong enough to work highly efficiently for very long. Indeed she must be an extremely schooled magic worker.

"Thank you..." he said as he mounted the cycle in front of her, "Lhurriel."

Once he was seated on the cycle he reached into a small pouch at his belt and pulled out a thin leather thong to tie his hair back. As he was preparing for the extended journey, so did his men, securing pouches, tightening straps, and adjusting their seated positions. Kaeden place on a pair of dark glasses, shield his eyes from the bright sunlight as well as the wind during the ride, and waved a command to move forward.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2009, 10:37:23 PM »
Lhurriel gave a soft squeak of surprise as the magicycle accelerated, grinning as she felt the wind whip her hair and her robe back behind her. Before the speed became too fast for reckless movement, she tucked the ends of her robe around her legs, so they didn't flap around dangerously behind her. After getting settled again, she kept her arms wrapped around Kaeden's waist, not surprised to feel the hard metal links of chainmail beneath his clothes. Such a professional...

They passed the outskirts of the city and several forests in a blur, the countryside speeding past the small group of soldiers and mage as they whipped past bends in the road and signs and the occasional waystation or house on their magicycles. Lhurriel sighed in contentment and blinked sleepily, suddenly realizing that her magic had had another positive effect on the crystals - their ride was a lot smoother than before she'd  tampered with the cyrstals.

Perhaps it has something to do with the purifying effects of magic... Lhurriel thought hazily to herself, reaching a hand back to smother a yawn. She smiled and couldn't resist a grin when she saw several children ahead, playing happily in the road. At their mother's admonishment, they quickly moved out of the way and watched as the cycles approached with wide, awed eyes, huge smiles lighting up their little faces.

Grinning, Lhurriel leaned forward slightly. "Slow down a bit, would you?" She called over the wind. She narrowed her eyes critically, measuring distance and speed, and spun a bit of magic out of herself, making small, floating globes of magic appear in the air beside her, one for each little boy and girl watching them. As they passed, Lhurriel blew them a kiss, an exuberant, spirited smile on her face. The action of her arm waving towards the children caused the globes of magic to fly towards them, floating gently down. Lhurriel triggered another small spell to make them mallaeble, so that they could poke their fingers into the magic balls and stretch them, and still the magic would revert to little floating balls. For the mother, Lhurriel tossed a larger mage-light that would last them at least two months, and would save them at least that much in crystal energy.

It cost her a little magic, but Lhurriel always loved children. It was so worth it to see the delighted smiles on their faces, to hear the shouts of joy as the magicycles raced past and down the road. Such flashy shows of magic never cost her much, and Lhurriel considered it her duty to help the simple folk of the kingdom in whatever way she could. Not only would the small magelights keep the children out of trouble, but they could also be used to light the home when it grew dark.

Besides, Corsair had plenty of lapis lazuli stones on his estate for her to augment her magic. Magelights didn't cost much at all, and what little energy she used could easily be replenished when they stopped for the night.

"Thank you!" Lhurriel called to Kaeden.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2009, 10:37:51 PM »
Kaeden gave the mage a backward glance and a brisk nod before revving the throttle on his magicycle. It didnt take long for him to catch up to the others who had kept up their constant speed. Once he had settled back into formation Kaeden slowed to keep pace with the others.

Kaeden had taken quick notice of how improved the magicycles performance was, as Lhurriel had said it would be, with the new crystals. He had never heard the machine purr so well before, nor handle so easily. Glancing at the crystal he saw it showed little sign of fatigue, though they had been traveling for several hours already. Being a lifelong knight his dedication was elsewhere, but he did know a thing or two about magicycles, (however little it was,) and he was impressed.

The woman had to have been well schooled in the arts to be able to create energy crystals as efficient as those. Crystal working was certainly not a trade that was easily picked up. It took many years of study and apprenticeship to be able to understand the properties and function of the crystals as well as how to create them. Kaeden was most certainly confident in the mage's ability, though; making crystals and hunting down thieves were two different things.

The conditions of the journey were that of a perfect mid-spring day. The day was warming and winds from the ride were enough to keep perfectly cooled as one traveled the road. The sun hovered lazily in the bright blue afternoon sky as though it were contented to watch as the immaculate white puffs of clouds pranced about. Though the conditions were brilliant, it was not wise to travel an entire day.

Kaeden began to wave commands to two of the escorts and as they approached a fork up the road, the two broke off toward the northbound road from their eastern path. As soon as they had gone, he waved instructions to the remainder of his soldiers and they nodded their understanding. Not too long after did they veer off the road toward a thin grove of trees. Once they were under the protection of the cold shade, they slowed to a stop and cut the engines to their magicycles.

"We will rest here for a while." Kaeden explained to his mage passenger as he stepped down from his cycle, "I sent the two others up north to the river for some drinking water. We will have a bit of food once they return, until then you are free to do as you like. But before we go any further, I would like to introduce our companions."

As Lhurriel was on her feet once again, he motioned a hand toward the thin blonde to his right.

"This is Rohwik." At the sound of his name, the man turned his attention to the pair. He had a lankier build in comparison to all others, but he was still strong and well toned, "He is one of the scouters that accompany us on this journey. The other scout is Tolan."

"It is a pleasure, Lady." Rohwik greeted with a low and respectful bow, "But please, call me Hawk. All friends do."

Just then, the other soldier who had wondered off on his own earlier returned and Kaeden placed a brotherly hand on his shoulder. This caught the man by light surprise, which was immediately replaced by a bit of confusion.

"This is William," he said with a stern shake of the soldier's shoulder, "He is able to assess any enemy's strengths and faults, whether man or beast." Kaeden spoke with sincere pride in his men and their abilities.

"Or woman." Snickered Rohwik in addition as he strolled by.

He didn't get far at all before he received a swift boot to the rear, compliments of William himself. A soft smile curled onto the corner of Kaeden's lips as he watched his comrades teased one another.

"It is certainly an honor to accompany you and Sir Alydarr on this mission for His Magjesty, Lady Mage." William bowed as well, "Sir, with our current progress we should be able to reach the Lord's estate before sunset."

"Good. I am certain Lord Atadel would be gracious enough to let us stay the night." William nodded to his superior and to their Lady companion before going on about his business, "The last of us is Ghestin, whom you had seen with a red cloth strip tied around his right forearm." Kaeden concluded, "He's a formidable man to cross steel with and has a wit to match. Anyhow, should you need anything, Lhurriel, do not hesitate to ask any of us."

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #9 on: December 06, 2009, 10:38:49 PM »
Lhurriel, used to traveling on the road for long periods of time, drifted to sleep for not a few minutes. Her arms were still linked tightly around Kaeden's back from habit, but her mind drifted into a period of rest as the sun glowed brightly in the sky, its warmth soaking into their bodies as the magicycles purred softly in the countryside. Even in her half-conscious state, Lhurriel could vaguely hear birdsong and nature's natural sounds; once trained, no warrior or mage could ever be truly relaxed and unguarded, even in sleep.

She jerked herself awake when she felt her ride stop, and had to drag a sleeve across her dream-glazed eyes before she was fully awake. She listened intently as Kaeden introduced the other guards, but was a bit put out that she didn't recognize any of them. Lhurriel didn't spend much time with the Palace soldiers, but she went to their training fields regularly, and she was well on the way to being known throughout the palace as one of the best magicycle fighters.

At the Palace, there were several varying difficulties of obstacle courses for soldiers and guards to hone their magicycle-battle skills. On one of the most advanced courses, there were even simulated battle exercises, complete with sun-powered machines that fired holographic grenades and blades at a magicycle driver. Though the holograms didn't actually cause damage, mages often magicked them so that the effect was similarly simulated for those who dared to challenge themselves. So far, Lhurriel had been the only mage and one in a few warriors to make a run through the advanced course relatively unscathed.

Still, Lhurriel was always happy to make the acquaintance of other guards and soldiers from the palace.

"'Tis my pleasure, Hawk. I've worked with several scouts in some of my past missions, and I've always found them to be a great help." Lhurriel gave a gracious, thankful smile and bow for each of the soldiers that she was introduced to, glad to see that they were not uncomfortable in her company.

"Please... call me Lhurriel," she implored of each of them. "I'm simply not comfortable with titles and all... and I'm really not lady enough to be called as such. Lhurriel is fine." Remembering Kaeden's comment about Lord Atadel, Lhurriel turned to him.

"I'll contact Corsair- I mean, Lord Atadel - right now, and warn him about our arrival. I need to speak with him about my magicycle, anyway." With a regal nod, Lhurriel spun on her heel and walked along the line of trees, trying to find one suitable for her purposes. When she found a large, thick-trunked tree, solid and straight, she stood in front of it, an impassively blank look on her face. Lhurriel pulled a thread of water magic from her personal supply, sending streams of water twisting and spinning around her body. The detached look in her eyes showed that this was a spell she used often and easily. Flicking her fingers in the direction of the tree, Lhurriel made herself comfortable on the ground, sitting cross-logged as a panel of ice solidified and formed against the tree.

More magic, another spell - Lhurriel had to increase her concentration, shutting out the stares of the guards and Sir Alydarr in order to cast the communication spell. Making a wild guess, the mage grinned as an image of Corsair's face appeared in the ice, a black headband holding back his rich black hair as he worked on a magicycle. Even though he could very easily transform into a lord, Corsair was definitely not averse to working alongside his men on magicycle repairs and improvements.

"Corsair! Sir Alydarr wanted me to warn you that we were arriving tonight, probably just before sunset." Lhurriel had the supreme pleasure of watching the young lord whirl around, and his eyes alight with pleasure at the sight of her in the mirror that he left positioned in his workshop.

"Ree! Of course, of course, tell him it's fine. I've prepared extra rooms in the house like you suggested, and told Cook to make us some extra food for dinner tonight. I'm assuming you also want to hear about your new magicycle?" The man grinned wickedly at her, blue eyes sparkling with mirth. Lhurriel smothered a shout of laughter and nodded, leaning forward with her elbows on her knees.

"We finally got a hold of the soharii crystal that you managed to pull out of the mines for us. It's amazing, Ree-" Corsair's eyes shone brightly, clearly passionate about his work though everyone knew he didn't need to personally involve himself in the manufacturing, "You've outdone yourself. The quality of this crystal is almost as perfect as you can get, considering you hardly even needed to smooth out the rough edges. Once you come tonight, all you'll have to do is cast your usual panoply of spells and wards on it, and it'll run like a dream. Your magicycle," he continued, "Has basic mage controls on it. Made of our lightest and strongest alloy, the way I know you like it, and this time I programmed it so that it can only be turned on by you or someone you've given a bit of your magic onto. No more accidents like Sir Morath, ah?"

Lhurriel's eyes widened at the mention of each new feature that he'd installed - he'd gone much further with her custom model than she'd requested. She wondered how much he was going to charge her - she wasn't as rich as he, certainly!

"No, of course not. Thank you for the work, Corsair... but I know this was a rush job, and all of those custom features must cost a fortune. How much do I owe you?"

"Two hundred gold pieces." Lhurriel gasped and had to struggle to keep herself from punching the ice she'd used for a medium. That WAS a fortune!

"One hundred," Lhurriel said flatly. Most custom models of magicycles that Corsair worked on cost only about fifty gold pieces at the most.

"Rush job, darling. Try again." Lhurriel wanted to growl, but she settled for an irritated glare, resigned. It had been a rush job... he'd managed to build the thing in three days, after all. Most models took at least a week. He'd probably had to put aside all his other assignments in order to work on it...

"One hundred and fifty gold pieces presented when we arrive, two hours in your workshop tonight after dinner." She saw his eyes light up in pleasant surprise, then glee - he never refused a chance to put her magic and expertise with crystals and magicycles to good use.

"One hudred and twenty-five gold pieces, three hours in the 'shop tonight, and a kiss when you get your magicycle, then. I'll see you in a few hours." With a chuckle and a charming wink, Corsair waved at her and bent back over his work. Lhurriel shook her head in disgust, mourning the loss of so much of her hard-earned money, and made the ice disintegrate into magic, absorbing it into her body again. With a sigh, she flopped back onto the ground, the back of her neck cool against the moist grass. Closing her eyes, she promptly fell into a light doze again, one arm flung over her eyes. She did, however, keep one part of her alert for Kaeden's voice.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #10 on: December 06, 2009, 10:39:09 PM »
    
Kaeden watched curiosly as Lhurriel had gone off and begun spell casting. He had seen mages cast communication spells before, so it really wasn't all that much of a show for him this time around.

With his current military rank he attended many counsils with King Roland and his warband. True, there were no wars in the recent past, but the king was wise enough to hold council every now and again to make sure all was well with his land and those adjoined by whatever means. Each meeting would, of course, consist of generals and one to two of their best, (Kaeden being one of the latter,) His Magesty's advisors, as well a few scholars - some of which were learned in the arts of majic. When it came to matters in other kingdoms, the present mage would secure a connection spell and matters would be discussed directly.

The others, however, weren't as lucky to attend meetings and so have never seen any bit of magic casting. (Professionally done, anyway.) Most of their time was spent in the barracks or on the training grounds. Few mages spent time in such areas and if they were around, it certainly wasn't to cast spells. The two watched in awe at the theatrics of the spell, nudging each other asking 'did you see that?!'

Kaeden turned his attention from Lhurriel and toward the road, glancing out to see if the others were on their return from the river. A bit off in the distance he saw some figures approaching from the north. After a while, he was able to discern them as the remainder of the escort. Kaeden wandered a little ways out from the grove to get out from under the tree canopy. He was sure that they would be able to pick up on his white tunic against the dark color of the trees, and so he began to wave his arms to let them know exactly where they were. Once he caught one of them returning a wave, he walked back under the shade and sat on one of the large roots of a tree.

He took notice that Hawk and William had settled down near their cycles and were talking amongst themselves. With them no longer mezmerized by Lhurriel's talents, he removed his glasses glanced over toward her to find her laying peacefully on the ground. He smiled softly, finding it amusing she fell asleep so promptly. He stretch his arms out hight above his head, a few small cracks sounded from his back as he drew in a deep breath. After holding in a few moments, he exhaled and relaxed, resting his elbows in his legs.

Kaeden lifted his head up as a cooling breeze whisped by, gently rustling the sea of leaves in the grove canopy. When he opened them again, he caught sight of Tolan and Ghesting turning off the road and heading towards the area. As they parked their cycles with the rest of them, Kaeden gave a short whistle to grab the attention of the other two and joined them.

"We stopped by the Yuhiir village down the river." Tolan said as he rustled with ties on his cycle, "Noone seemed to notice anyone in the passed few days."

"Then they probably headed southeast." Kaeden deduced as he took a waterskin, "We'll have to talk it over with Lhurriel once we get to Lord Eversleigh's estate."

"Yes, sir." Tolan nodded formally before heading towards the tree to sit himself down.

"Ghestin, pull out some of the dried meat. We'll eat enough to hold out the rest of the trip." Ghestin nodded and reached into one of the sidebags of his cycle to pull out some wrapped dried meat and carried it to the others who had already settled themselves down.

I don't like the fact that they could possibly be heading that direction... Kae thought to himself, I just hope that I'm mistaken in my assumptions.

He sighed and shook his head of the thought. If he were to worry about that possibility, he would worry about it at a better time. Now, it wasn't necessary. He finished restrapping the ties on Tolan's cycle and turned to head over to Lhurriel. He stopped several feet away, so as not to disturb her immedately and watched as she softly sighed. She looked so peaceful. Strange how one minute someone can seem so full of life and in the next be so placid. He walked lightly to her side and knelt down.

"Lhurriel..." he said in a softened tone, so as not to surprise her, "Lhurriel, they've arrived with the water and we've begun to eat some dried meat. Would you join us or remain here until we leave for the estate?"

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #11 on: December 06, 2009, 10:40:01 PM »
Lhurriel heard the steps before they reached her, and listened in a half-comatose state to some of his earlier words before deciding that it would be most prudent to actually hear what he had to say. She sat up in one fluid motion, and looking up at Kaeden with eyes narrowed in speculation. She wondered what he wasn't telling her - obviously, the two returned soldiers had told him something that just might explain the frown on his face.

Oh well... he'll tell me if it's important.. She stood up, stretching idly, and smothered a yawn as she blinked rapidly. Everything in the countryside always smelled so fresh and pure, compared to the city. Everything in so-called civilization had the taint of smoke or some other unsavory smells about... even the palace, though made of large blocks of stone that seemed to stretch to the sky, didn't have the natural smell of growing things and wind.

"I'll come with you," she said with a nod of thanks. She followed him back to the small circle that he and the others had made, and seated herself next to Rowhik, bowing her head briefly and saying a short prayer to the phoenix deity that she was pledged to before accepting the piece of meet the soldier handed to her. She bit off a chunk, and chewed thoughtfully, glancing at the two new arrivals as she did so.

Lhurriel all but zoned out as she chewed and swallowed methodically, using her magic to search the area around her for sources to replenish her magic. After a bit, she finally located a large lake nearby, and began gathering the energy into herself, purifying each strand and absorbing it into the rest of her supply of magic. She had to close her eyes and concentrate, because of the farther distance; however, she continued to eat, forehead furrowed slightly as her mind focused on the job at hand.

When she finished, Lhurriel finally unwound her body and stretched, popping the last bit of meat into her mouth and chewing it quickly. After swallowing, she looked at the rest of the men, an inviting smile brightening her face.

"Would any of you like a tour of the crystal manufacting shop at Cor- I mean, Lord Atadel's estate? After dinner, I'm due to help him out with some of more delicate aspects of cutting and purifying the crystals, but he wouldn't mind if I showed you around the main area before I did so." It wasn't as if there were any secrets in the main workshop... all the newer, classified improvements were in Corsair's private workshop, hidden from the eyes of all but himself and the kingdom's most powerful and mischievous mage.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #12 on: December 06, 2009, 10:40:33 PM »
Kaeden followed Lhurriel back to the group where they welcomed her warmly. He accepted a strip of dried meat from Ghestin and his profered waterskin, now filled to the brim with water from the river, from Tolan. He took a bite from the meat and leaned againsted the gigantic tree that graciously offered them the generous amount of shade for their rest and meal. The day was quiet and still, save for the small bit of conversation between the men about happenings at home. When Lhurriel had voiced her offer, Rohwik nearly jumped at the offer.

"I would love to see it!" he caught himself in his excitment, cleared his throat and with a calmer tone, "Mi'lady."

Rohwik wasn't an expert when it came to magicycles, but he was hoping to be quite soon. Most of his youth, before he was able to train in the military forces, was spent with horses and farm animals. There wasn't much need for magicycles at his father's farm. There was no way for the family to afford on either, so instead of ruling the roads with a cycle, Rohwik dominated with a bow and arrow.

Once he had a chance to see his first magicycle, he was enamored with them. Unfortunately, during his training his skills forced him to put his newfound interest on hold while he honed and perfected his range abilities. Now that he was among the top rated archers in the kingdom, he jumped at any chance given to persue the mysteries of magicycles.

"I wouldn't mind a peek at some magicycles. Maybe I would get a better idea of how to work on my own and keep it running." added William with a chuckle towards Rohwik's excitement.

The others kindly declined the offer while they all finished their rations. Kaeden took a long drink from his waterskin and sealed it. He pushed himself off the tree trunk and rested a hand on William's shoulder.

"I believe all is set to be on the rest of the way." he motioned for everyone to pack up and ready to leave.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #13 on: December 06, 2009, 10:41:14 PM »
Lhurriel smiled in understanding, crossing her legs as she recalled the first time she'd gotten a magicycle. The feeling had been a revelation - everything about magicycles and their special crystals entranced her, fascinated her like nothing else except the power of the elements, and her own water and ice magic in particular. The tiny flourishes and touches that could make a magicycle run like a dream, as opposed to the sputtering messes that the lesser manufacturers came out with. The delicacy of the crystal cutting, where one mistake could completely ruin the crystal for magicycle use.

She'd been so fascinated, in fact, that once her busy schedule as a budding journeyman had finished at the age of fifteen, she'd dropped by the manufacturing factory where the 'cycles were primarily produced, and watched with wide eyes as professional crystal-mages (those who specialized in mining and purifying the crystals so essential to magicycles) shaped and poured their magic through crystals. After several visits, she became a regular to the place, and some of the older mages began teaching her the special craft, slowly spoon-feeding her techniques and skills that had taken them years to learn and master. A quick study, Lhurriel realized that she had a gift for magic involving crystals, and swiftly rearranged her schedule to spend more time in the factory, to her teacher's delight.

That was actually where she and Corsair had first met, three years later. He'd come into the city for his usual tour of the factory, and had seen the girl in rich mage-robes working determinedly at a piece of stubborn crystal that refused to cut right. In her anger, she'd sent a bolt of pure water magic through the clear crystal. Not only had the crystal suddenly shaped itself to her wishes, but the color had dissolved into a translucent, deep sapphire, the crystal purified and energized, it's potential multiplying beyond its original magic value.

Corsair had rushed over, snatched the flawless mineral from the mage's hands, and exclaimed in pleasant surprise. They'd had dinner, developped a good working business relationship, and events had unfolded from there.

"I'd be happy to show you the workshop, Sir Rohwik," Lhurriel said with a pleased smile, a light blush rushing into her cheeks as she turned to William and said the same thing. She knew that anyone with more than a passing interest in magicycles would find the workshop fascinating... the manufacturing and production of the 'cycles were more involved than most would think at first glance.

The young mage stood up as soon as Kaeden motioned for everyone to pack up to leave, munching on a last mouthful of nuts she'd brought along for a quick snack. Brushing off her clothes and boots, she followed Kaeden to the magicycle, climbing in behind him and locking her hands around his waist again. She turned on her magic-scanners, shielded her own magic down, then nodded when she was ready to go.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #14 on: December 06, 2009, 10:42:05 PM »

The day had grown old as they rode on towards Lord Eversleigh's estate. The men began to tire from their eventless journey. Still being within the protected boundaries of King Roland's lands, there was very little need for sharp vigiliance on their part. The remainder of the ride was carried out with less ceremony as villages and figures of status and influence grew more and more scarce along the rodes. The formation the caravan held eased into more of a joyride than a mission.

Rohwik and Ghestin took it upon themselves to see exactly just who could out maneuver who, racing ahead of the pack to disappear in the distance. Tolan and William tried to deduce who would come out the better, Tolan finding it difficult to refute any perception of the others William brought to light. (William enjoying the fact each new observation of one would result in his victory over the other, confusing poor Tolan as to who it was William was suggesting would cross the finish line first.)

Kaeden remained fairly quiet along the way, keeping an eye out for his men while they horsed about as men often did when let loose. Kaeden knew it was good for them to be able to release every so often. It wasn't at all wise to bottle engery or emotions up for too long, most certainly not for one who put his life on the line for a living. It would either drive a man mad or cost him the highest price on the battlefield. Kaeden, however, was a naturally quiet man. He was rarely one to lose his temper, and always kept his head about him no matter what the situation. Even when he was supposedly "let loose" he remained just as timid. The only time he would naturally lose himself was combat. During a battle, he had only one goal; protect his men and his kingdom. It was as though he became the sword he swung and his body merely and empty vessal that allowed him to carry out his sole purpose on the battlefield.

"Sir." the call of his companion pulled him from his empty reverie, "The Lord's Estate is in the ahead."

Kae turned his eyes forward toward and Eversleigh's estate rose from beneath the horizon as they continued toward it. Just before reaching the boundaries of the estate, they caught up to Rohwik and Ghestin who had been waiting for them to arrive after they had taken off. They rejoined in their escort formation and reached the gates just as the sun began to sink in a brilliant blend of orange, magenta, and vibrant crimson.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #15 on: December 06, 2009, 10:42:34 PM »
Lhurriel laughed in delight as the soldiers partook in exhibitions of magicycle skill, wishing that she had her own 'cycle so that she could join them. Despite her superiors' dismay at her avid interest in the advanced vehicular technology, Lhurriel had trained whenever she could in order to understand the objects more, how they worked and what affected their performance. When on leave, she often spent hours deep in concentration over a prototype of a new model, finding ways to streamline performance and maximize speed, or cut down waste energy, or even test out crystals of a different composition. Her fellow colleagues complained that she was too studious, too fascinated with the machines that served as mode of transportation; the other engineers and workers in the magicycle trade appreciated her interest and fed her knowledge, giving her special crystals or a look at new models as a reward for her avid curiosity and constant help.

She grinned at the memory of hours spent hunched over hunks of the unique metal compound used to construct magicycles, until her eyes were watering at the precise movements and designs of the custom orders. The exasperation of mages better than she only made Lhurriel want to hone her skill at crystal-cutting and magicycle-building; she was good at it, and she loved the work, almost as much as she loved her magical element. Just as she could practicing the arts of magic for hours without stopping, Lhurriel could similarly work on the crystals and magicycles for hours on end, her concentration and focus as equally intense for both tasks.

"Sir. The Lord's Estate is ahead."

The mage blinked away nostalgic memories as Kaeden coasted to a stop in front of the wrought-iron gates that surrounded the estate. Low brick walls surrounded the private areas around the main house, but the land around it was well-maintained, the loping hills safe for the Corsair's daily horseback ride around his estate. He surveyed his tenants often, the very epitome of a successful businessman as well as a popular and well-liked landowner.

The gates opened as the group approached, their magicycles purring efficiently as everyone coasted to a stop. Standing easily in the middle of the road stood Corsair, his deceptively easy smile gracing his face. Before Kaeden's vehicle had even coasted to a stop, Lhurriel had leapt off with graceful ease and ran the few remaining yards into the Lord of Eversleigh's arms. With a wide smile, he caught her up in a tight hug - they hadn't seen each other for months - then put her down, amusement evident in his hazy green eyes. As spontaneous and free as ever, he couldn't help thinking affectionately as he tugged his smile back to normalcy and faced the troop of guards who'd dismounted from their 'cycles.

"Welcome to the Eversleigh Estate - I am honored to house such respected guests in my home. Please follow me - the shed we store our magicycles in is right around the side of the main wing." The tall nobleman bowed deeply, then swept a white-gloved hand towards the right of the huge mansion, where a shed was cloaked in the shadows of twilight.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #16 on: December 06, 2009, 10:43:16 PM »
They had pulled into the estate quite ceremoniously, in full and perfect formation, backs straight and chins high and strong. The gave of a most regal air, though they were but humble soldiers in the royal guard. They boys could certainly be quite wild if let loose, but when it came to business and matters of the estate, they were as solid and straight as the steel they carried. Kaeden was certainly proud to have them as his men and he gladly showed it in his performance.

Lhurriel had greeted Lord Eversleigh in a manner that Kaeden hadn't at all suspected. He had gathered that they were indeed acquaintences, but he hadn't suspected them to be as good friends as this. He watched curiously for a moment as he and his men dismounted their 'cycles, but as they fell in behind him, he thought of it no longer. Not long after did Eversleigh himself greet them.

"Well met, good Lord." Kaeden replied with a bow of his own, "I thank you on behalf of the King for allowing us to remain in your house this night."

As their gracious host began to lead them to his shed, Kae nodded to his men and they began to push their magicycles after him. Kae removed the sunglasses he wore along the trip, as the light of day died so did the need for them to remain perched upon his nose. He gently slipped into a small pouch that hung from his belt before following the others to the shed.

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #17 on: December 06, 2009, 10:43:34 PM »
Corsair Atadel smiled, somehow deep and gracious at the same time. He bowed slightly again, indicating the magicycle storage shed cloaked in shadows near the main house. "Please, come this way. We can leave them in the storage, and then you can all come in and my servants will show you the way to your rooms."

After his short dialogue, he looked down at her, some undefinable emotion lurking in his eyes. Lhurriel smiled tremulously at the affection and kindness in them, and she gave him her hand, allowing him to tuck it onto his arm like she was a young lady instead of a tomboyish water mage. They walked in silence next to Kaeden, and occasionally Lhurriel interrupted the silence with interesting tidbits about the estate, such as the prize horseflesh wandering the beginnings of the pastures, some notable natural landmarks such as mountain ranges and forests, and even the spectacular gardens that wound around the main house.

"Here we are," Corsair finally said, arriving at a large, clean, and well-maintained building. "Just place your magicycle in one of the open stalls. I'll have one of my grooms lock the doors after you. We've one of the best crystal security systems in the country, so you won't have to worry about thieves. When you're done here, just come into the house to our left-" He waved vaguely at the large, elegant front of the house to the group's collective left surrounded by neat, pruned plants and flowers; "-and then we can talk and I'll show you to your rooms."

With that, he bowed politely again and made his leave of the guards, still leading Lhurriel on his arm. Once they were out of sight, his free hand closed warmly over hers, squeezing her smaller hand gently. She glanced up, startled, face slightly pink. "Is something wrong, Corsair?"

His eyes flicked over her subtle features slowly, and then he shook his head, continuuing to amble them towards the main house. "No, no, nothing like that. It's just been a long time since I've seen you, that's all. I didn't think, after we stopped being lovers, that I would feel your loss so much, even though we parted on good terms," he confessed, leading her inside. She took a deep breath as they entered the house, and smelled only the clean scent of flowers. He led her into the library just off the entrance into the hall, and settled her beside him in a chair facing the fireplace opposite the door into the room.

They were quiet, content to sit in the peaceful silence surrounding them. Lhurriel's hand was still clasped in Corsair's lap; she glanced at him, and then leaned over to hug him, her smile remniscient of past days when their intimacy went beyond mere friendship. They'd evolved from business partners to friends to lovers, and back to friends, but no hard feelings existed between them. Still, it was easy to miss what used to be.

"Corsair, even if we are no longer lovers, we are still friends. Good friends," she murmured, giving his hand a quick squeeze before she got up to examine the books lining the shelves behind them. Her fingers and eyes flicked over titled volumes as they waited for the guards to return, but her mind still thought wistfully of the past, when all she had worried about was her magic and her crystals.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #18 on: December 06, 2009, 10:45:07 PM »
Kaeden gave the man a nod as Atadel pointed them to the main house and went to park his magicycle in an empty stall. As the two turned to leave the storage house, Kaeden turned and watch them leave, Lhurriel's arm wrapped around the lord's as they went off on their own. Kaeden's curiosity toward their relationship piqued. Lhurriel had, now and again, let informality wash over her as she would mention the man by his first name. Along with the energetic, and quite affectionate greeting, Kaeden began to wonder if they were more than just old friends. He did not linger on the thought any longer. It was not his business to know whether or not the lady mage was seeing anyone nor who it was she was possibly being courted by. With his 'cycle put up for the night, Kae, like the like his men, unstrapped the saddle bags with all their supplies and extra clothing from the vehicles and carried them out.

"Do you think we'll be able to take a look in the shop like Lady Lhurriel said we would?" Rohwik had become anxious to see how everything was put together and made to work.
"It is possible, Hawk." answered Kae as they all walked together to the main house, "But even though it was she who said it was possible, it's the Lord who would be the one to make it so."
"Aye sir." Rohwik's voice had dulled with a bit of disappointment, though he knew it was true.
"Sir.." Tolan voiced as he sped up from behind, "What do you make of the thieves?"
"Well," he replied pensively, "I'm not sure who it is exactly who made off with the amulet, but I'm afraid that - with the direction they could possibly be heading - that I might have an idea of who they may have been stealing it for."

They all fell silent as the men, too, had the same hunch. Immediately the subject was dropped none of Kaeden's men wish to dig into things they shouldn't and so chose to avoid the possibility completely. Kaeden appreciated the kind thoughts of his men, though he wouldn't had minded speaking of it - granted, he was also content not to press the matter. Upon reaching the front door to the house, they were let inside by a young servant girl, William, of course, teased by Rohwik has he had caught the man glancing at the girl.

She led them a little further into the simply decorated home, simple and plain yet somehow exotic and elegant. Finally reaching the library, she announced their arrival of the Kae and his men in a sweet soft spoken voice.

"I thank you again, Lord Atadel," Kaeden spoke as he stepped through the door, "For letting us stay in your home for the night."

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #19 on: December 06, 2009, 10:45:17 PM »
Corsair stood as the guards strode into the room and turned towards Lhurriel, who had by now wandered to the fireplace mantel, where she stood staring dazedly at a portrait. He didn't make any outward movements, but the young businessman knew what she was staring at, and for a brief moment winced inwardly at forgetting to move the portrait back to his private rooms.

"Lhurriel, I think some of your guests are wanting to explore the factory for a bit?" He murmured quietly, knowing that the mage could hear him very well despite the lowered volume. She started, guiltily jumping away from the fireplace and swinging her eyes toward him. They stared at each other for a brief moment, his gaze piercing, hers pained, and then she swiped the expression clean off her face and smiled at William and Rowhik.

"You two wanted to look at the manufacturing shop in the estate, yes? I'll be taking you there. For everyone else-" Grinning as she strode past them into the hall, Lhurriel yanked at the bellpull to summon the butler. "-Camden shall show you to your rooms and endeavor to ensure your comfort for as long as you stay here."

From another of various doors down the hall a stately and regal middle-aged man strode, his face impassive as befit his station. "As you wish, lady-mage."

"And make sure to give them the rooms near mine. I believe Rina had those rooms cleaned and aired for our guests," shouted Lhurriel, beckoning to the two guards and moving towards the hall that would eventually lead them to the manufacturing shop in the house's west wing. The butler merely bowed, face quite expressionless but for an occasional twitch on the right corner of his lips, and murmured a few pleasantries to the guards before leading them on their way.

Corsair just managed to get Kaeden's attention before the group disappeared upstairs. "Actually, Sir Alydarr, may I please speak with you a bit about your plans after you leave? I'd like to find out how I can help, if there is a way. I'd appreciate if you would return to the library after you leave your things in your room."

The young lord walked back into the library, peace and quiet descending now that the ever-energetic Lhurriel had left. He gazed around the library - he hadn't been here in awhile, since he always managed his magicycle and estate business in his study. Eyes caught on the portrait Lhurriel had studied. Ambling over to the fireplace, Corsair picked it up and slid onto the chair he'd sat in previously.

Teasing gray eyes, transparently filled with passion and life, stared back at him. Lustrous dark hair gleamed, caressing olive-toned shoulders bare thanks to the dress Lhurriel had been coaxed into for the portrait sitting. Somehow the artist had managed to paint her laughing freely, looking nothing like the serious, subdued persona she adopted around government officials and business acquaintances. Corsair's own blue eyes, usually sharp and intense, softened fractionally at the portrait. It was a beautiful picture, rendered most accurately and amazingly. Of course, it certainly didn't belong in his library, made public to any who would visit his home... Lord Eversleigh placed the portrait face down on the coffee table, then left the room to get some work done before his talk with Sir Kaeden and dinner.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #20 on: December 06, 2009, 10:45:52 PM »
Kaeden wondered suddenly just what it was they may have interrupted as they entered the room. For a moment, he could have sworn that Lhurriel had a terribly forlorn look on her face and Atadel's expression wasn't any better. Concern soon reverted back to curiosity as Lhurriel switched back to the woman he had met earlier that day, but seeming to know her way about the place, (as well as the names of nigh everyone who lived there.) Lhurriel waved William and Rohwik on with her toward the factory. Kaeden felt a bit awkward knowing, by the looks on the faces of his men, that he must have been the only one to pick up the bit of tension in the library. He sighed and tried to shake the thought from his head as he began to follow Tolan and Ghestin whilst Camden led them toward their rooms.

"Actually, Sir Alydarr, may I please speak with you a bit about your plans after you leave? I'd like to find out how I can help, if there is a way. I'd appreciate if you would return to the library after you leave your things in your room."
Kae's head turned to look over his shoulder to the Lord standing behind him, "Certainly, Lord Atadel."

With a nod from the lord, Kaeden continued on his way to find his room for the night. Listening to the other two talk about getting cleaned up and possibly even skipping dinner for the nice warm bed. Who knows when and if they'll get another chance to sleep so comfortably again on this mission. Once the other two had been shown to their rooms, Camden opened the door to an empty room, directing the captain inside. The room was definately plain, though, didn't exactly give of a welcoming feeling. Kaeden paid no mind to it though, he didn't need anything extravagent or overly decorated. The bed alone was more than enough.

"Thank you, Camden." he spoke as he stepped inside.

The butler nodded and shut the door as he went about the rest of his business. Kaeden, dropped his bags atop the bed, removing his shirt and chainmail armor he donned underneath. After folding them into a pile, he set them aside on the edge of the bed to be delt with later. Kae rummaged through one of his two bags and pulled out a crisp, white undershirt and a forest green tunic that he slipped on. He yanked out his tail from underneath his new clothing and clasp a black leather belt atop them. Without a second more, Kaeden stepped out again to meet with Atadel.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 11:01:01 PM by Mascherari »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #21 on: December 06, 2009, 10:46:28 PM »
Sans baggage, to be removed up to the guards' rooms by several footmen and maids, Lhurriel led William and Rowhik to the factory, chattering the entire way about its various well-known amenities and high-tech crystal technology.

"We've got the place running twelve hours a day, manned by several shifts of different people. Some of the best crystal- and light-mages in the country worked on the crystals that recharged during off-the-clock hours, and then provided plenty of bright, natural light during work hours. Some of the best machinery available to magicycle manufacturers are secured and kept right in the factory, and of course you can't forget the fact that anyone employed under Lord Atadel also receives room and board in the west wing of the house. Which means that there is always a plethora of activity happening around here," Lhurriel finished, eyes glimmering happily as she opened the large double doors to the factory.

As soon as she opened the factory doors, the cacophony of sawing, hammering, and the sparks of magic flying around from the crystal mages paused for a moment, as those with less important tasks looked up to see who was visiting. Apparently Lhurriel had been absent from the factory for long enough that some of the new workers and mages didn't recognize her; however, no more than a second passed before a greeting bellow and several shouts of varied welcome and surprise rang out. Pretty soon, Lhurriel could barely be seen between the bulky figures of a metalsmith, an absurdly tall and rail-thin engineer, a rugged crystal mage, and the lead magicycle designer of Eversleigh's group.

Lhurriel gave a squawk of protest as her tiny frame was hauled into a seated position on the metalsmith's shoulders, and the small group turned to greet Rowhik and William. "Well, we've got visitors! Since you're not busy, Gareth, you might as well show them around," the crystal mage offered to the metalsmith, shaking Lhurriel's, then the two guards' in greeting.

"Right. You two-"

"William and Rowhik," Lhurriel supplied helpfully from above everyone's heads.

"Sir William and Sir Rowhik, come with me. I'm the metalsmith, Gareth Asdragar," the burly man said. He stood both tall and wide, but only gave the impression of strength and bulk. His arms and upper body were all muscle, with not a hint of extra fat in sight. His gentle handling of the rather younger water mage seated on his right shoulder belied his potential strength, a fact that Lhurriel was sure neither soldier missed.

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #22 on: December 06, 2009, 10:52:22 PM »
One would think that with all the time the two soldiers spent training, as well as constantly being around Ghestin, that they wouldn't at all be surprised by muscled men. But then again, Sir Asdragar didn't seem to be just any muscled man. By mental comparison, Ghestin would only have been about half his size.

Being of military duty, muscle and bulk were definitely gained on part of Ghestin, but endurance and certain level of agility were also a part of his regimen therefore Ghestin remained fairly small, though bulky. Being a metalsmith, most work was done in a static place, giving more to muscle growth and little to movement and this gave Gareth a much larger advantage over Ghestin when it came to size. Needless to say, William and Rohwik were slightly taken aback by just how much bigger he was. (Naturally though, as it were almost a subconscious reaction, William began to survey the man, calculating and deducing the metalworker's strengths and weaknesses.)

"Lead the way, good sir!" grinned Rohwik, his overwhelming excitement already washing over any sense of intimidation that had overcome him only a moment ago.


As Kaeden began back toward the library, Tolan had opened the door, coincidentally looking for Kae.

"Captain!" Tolan blinked, taken by surprise with Kaeden standing outside his door, "I was about to knock on your door.."
"What is it you need?" Kaeden asked, stopping for a moment.
"Ghestin and I will probably remain in our rooms until the meals are ready. Do you supposed you could send word for us?"
"Of course." he answered.
"Thank you, Sir."

With a nod, Kaeden went on his way as Tolan ebbed back into his room. The household had lost it's radiance with the setting of the sun. Maids and other servants began wandering about the home, lighting candles for the coming evening as Kae wandered down the staircase back to the library.

When he had returned, he glance around the room, finding not sign of the estate's lord. Figuring he must have gone to take care of some other business whilst Kae had gotten himself settled, the captain began to glance about the shelves, skimming book titles. There were numerous books on magicycles; their history, their specifications, journals recounting modifications made by well-known names in the business, theories on how crystals functioned and how to improve them, and many more - much to Kaeden's surprise.

But there were other titles, of course. Countless titles of literature, some even Kaeden had read. There were histories and maps, scientific theories and magical studies. The library was fairly large and the collection Corsair seemed to have accumulated was vast and quite varied. Kaeden was quite impressed. Kaeden heard a small voice come from the door to the room.

"May I help you with anything, Sir?" a young maid had chanced to see Kaeden alone in the library as she passed by lighting a few small candles.
"Lord Atadel had summoned me here." he replied, turning fully toward the door.
"Ah, I will inform him that you are waiting then." she curtsied lightly and then left to do so.

By then Kaeden had strolled near the fireplace, glancing over some of the mantle pieces that were displayed. Turning around, Kaeden noticed a pictureframe face down on the table. He figured that one of the must have bumped into the table, knocking it over and so reached down to set the fallen portrait upright. As he did so, he glanced at the woman in the frame and a tinge of familiarity pricked at him.

He picked up the picture to get a closer look at the woman. At first it wasn't obvious, but as soon as he realized it was her, Kaeden had a difficult time believing he missed it in the first place. It was Lhurriel and she looked... different. Her sunny and joyful smile that he had first met at the tavern was just as prominent as it ever was. But, she looked... beautiful. Having only met her, he only saw the Lhurriel donned in dull colored traveling apparel. The Lhurriel dressed in the gown he looked down upon looked so much more womanly; elegant and graceful and... And why would Corsair have such a picture of Lhurriel?

Well, it had to have been obvious. The informal and excited greeting, how she knew everything and everyone about the place, and now the portrait. Lhurriel and Corsair were --
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 11:03:05 PM by Mascherari »

Offline CaeliTopic starter

Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #23 on: December 06, 2009, 10:53:32 PM »
Lhurriel grinned, shifting slightly on the metalsmith's shoulder as he led them around the compound and factory grounds. The area they'd entered was mostly where workers congregated in their free time, and it was also where all the basic blueprint designs and engineering and construction diagrams of the crystals and magicycles were posted along the walls. If Gareth, Alasdair (the crystal mage), Lucian (the engineer), and Tristan (the magicycle designer) were all sitting idle in the factory's main lobby, then that meant work had probably finished early that night, and now only trivialities needed to be finished and completed.

"So I'm guessing you guys must have finished my custom already," Lhurriel chirped from her vantage point, ducking to avoid the top sill of a doorway. Gareth let out a shout of laughter at her eager tone, and Alasdair reached up to tap her lightly on the head.

"You minx. You know Eversleigh always works the fastest on your models," he scolded. "He and I worked clean until dawn yesterday so that it would be ready by this evening. Today, all that we did with it was test it some, and let Tristan put the finishing coats of color on it. We can slip into the workroom to take a look at it at the end of our tour," Alasdair said with a smug smile, fully satisfied with how the magicycle had come out.

Lhurriel hid her grin, but then pointed at the long, unbroken glass window along their left. She began explaining the different rooms they were passing to the two guards, delving into their functions and which part of the magicycle the workers in the room specialized in working on. First, the main metal-working and assembly room, where different alloys were created, shaped, and then constructed into the empty shell of a magicycle. Directly opposite that room was the special assembly team, those in charge of the extra accesories that went onto and into a magicycle, material or magic. Seats, protective varnishing, spells for weather-proofing and spells to guard against magical tampering... the list went on and on, usually customized by the party ordering the magicycle.

Further down the hall was the room housing a huge variety of crystals and crystal-cutting materials, as well as tools to examine and grade different crystals. Only crystal mages and crystal cutters ever entered this room, and this group of individuals was probably among the highest educated of all of Lord Atadel's employees. Not only did they exceed in the tasks directly relating to crystals, but they were also knew to the most minute detail where a crystal had been mined, the composition of the crystal and the rocks it had been extracted from, which conditions would best stretch out the crystal's energy longevity, and other details that would boggle the minds of most ordinary folk. This room also contained a huge shelf of books that ranged from geography to history to crystals and even books dedicated to the art of crystal cutting. The group passed several other rooms and decreased in size as Tristan and Lucian went to handle damage control with the workers under their supervision, and finally Alasdair, Gareth, Lhurriel, Rowhik, and William arrived at one of a dozen custom workshops, where custom orders were built from the metal plating to the last castings of magic and spells.

"Here you are, Ree," Alasdair chuckled, handing her down from Gareth's shoulder. He opened to the door to the workshop containing her magicycle with a flourish, and absorbed her delighted squeal of pleasure as she took in the svelte contours of her new magicycle.



"My lord, Sir Alydarr is waiting for you in the library," a maid informed Corsair just as he finished up with some bank notes. He glanced up, nodded and thanked the girl, then stood up with a yawn. Working on the books had never been a favorite activity of his, but he dealt with the executive side of owning and maintaining a business, considering it a necessary dislike to his passion for magicycles and running his estate.

Striding briskly down several halls, Corsair reached the library and walked in, pulling several maps from his shelves before reaching out to take Kaeden's hand.

"I apologize for making you wait, Sir Alydarr. I hope you found something to occupy yourself while you were waiting," Corsair said, shaking the knight's hand and then indicating that they should both sit. He set everything on the coffee table in front of them and then took a seat in his chair, settling into its firm cushions and sitting forward so he could face Kaeden.

"Before we get down to business, tell me how your trip here was. I hope you didn't come across any bandits or looters? I've had reports from some of the locals about strangers who don't look like they belong here."

Offline Mascherari

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Re: La llum i l'anima [Mascherari & Caeli]
« Reply #24 on: December 06, 2009, 10:54:41 PM »
William and Rohwik were practically plastered to the reinforced windows.  They gawked on as the wizards analyzed, cut, worked and reworked the crystals. The two watched intently as they inched down the hall. Rohwik eyed the handwork of the metalworkers as they shaped and cut magicycles out of molds and sheets. The thought of whether he could talk some of the workers at shop into helping him slightly customize his own magicycle. (Nothing entirely special, of course. Merely a possible new designer body for his bike, a nice little paintjob, perhaps some good crystals. But nothing too over-the-top.) William, on the other hand, wasn't as entranced by the processes. His interest merely piqued because of his natural interest in nearly everything. He loved to learn new things, though he never really delve too deep when it came to obsession. (Save for serving his kingdom, though that still wasn't something he focused on overly much.)

An interesting sound - William gathered something of excited surprise (hopefully from that of their lady mage companion) or a most unrefined (and viciously unmanly) indication of pain or somethingelse most negative should it have originated from any of their other tour companions - caught the attention of the two guests in the house. Rohwik pryed himself from the window and the two wandered over to the small group gathered at one of the doors.

"Saints alive!" Rohwik squawked in awe.



Kae's eyes darted from the picture in his hand toward the man who approached him from the door and pulled a few papers from the shelves. Quickly he replaced the picture, upright, on the coffee table and offered his hand to the lord of the estate. Kaeden held his hand up in protest towards Atadel's apology for the wait. As he motioned for Kae to take a seat, he did so, watching him place all the items onto the table. The royal soldier's eyes narrowed as Corsair mentioned bandits and the confessions of the local eye seeing unusual characters about the lands.

"I see." Kae mused a moment, "I would have to say that the journey out was pleasant enough, I suppose. We had not trouble from anyone getting here, that is for certain. Though, I took it upon myself to send a few of my men to Yuhiir to see if they could gather any information there but they returned empty-handed."

Kaeden's eyes fell to the dancing flames of the crackling fireplace as he mentally mapped out the land. The thieves they were looking for couldn't have gone north from the kingdom without anyone noticing so they had to have run off in the eastern direction that - they certainly hoped - Kaeden and his men followed.

"Please, tell me of what the local people here have seen. Any help we can get on this journey is most welcome, my lord."
« Last Edit: December 06, 2009, 11:04:43 PM by Mascherari »