Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby Mathcat » May 17th, 2017, 11:49:47 pm

"I do have a reliable mount," said Ekaira. "I also have a confara pegasus I trust, if either of you needs to borrow transportation. Lucky hasn't spent that much time away from the Keep, but he's reliable enough. There's a lunar hippogryph as well, but she's really a one-magi creature - and I'm not always completely sure I'm that magi. As for supplies, I'll probably take an hour or two to see what I can come up with here, since I doubt we'll be starting off today. The shopkeepers in Synara City weren't particularly willing to haggle the last time I was there, though perhaps that was just me. Of course, I wasn't on official Keep business then. I might have had a different experience if I'd been part of the Boreus expedition."

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby LightningDragon » May 18th, 2017, 9:26:37 pm

Elendal rubbed his chin thoughtfully before replying. "Provided I can get in touch with my vaether, I will have a mount. Otherwise, we may have to talk to Lucky." He peered out of the small window, gauging the time of day, before he spoke again. "While we might not start off today, I feel that we should set off as soon as possible. I don't have much in the way of supplies, but maybe we could scrounge some things up around the Keep? Perhaps we should ask Thane, if we can find him again. I don't think this will be named as official Keep business, however. Thane was the only archmage present to give us this task, without any other council member present. I do have some skill with haggling, if we end up needing to. What all supplies would we even need?" He paused as he thought about the enormity of the task ahead of them.



Sovita collected her thoughts as Elendal paused before she jumped in as well. "Well, we probably could find some things around the Keep, but that might be too obvious. Anyone could ask why we need the supplies, and I have an uneasy feeling that the other archmages don't know about Thane's plan." She began counting on her fingers as she listed off supplies. "In the worst of circumstances, we'd probably need a few different sets of clothing, traveling rations, first aid supplies, bed rolls, and maybe some scrolls for correspondence with Thane. This assignment will be taking us all over the continent, and even into some less-than-friendly areas, so more supplies would, of course, be a better option."
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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby Mathcat » May 19th, 2017, 11:47:48 pm

Ekaira nodded. "Yes, all of that. Definitely the scrolls. I'll be taking along a few journals as well. Between Larathen and Tobran, I've had it very thoroughly impressed on me how important it is to keep records of my travels."

Before she could say anything else, Val came bursting in, a saerulis pygmy gemdragon clinging to his shoulder. "Just on my way to see you," he said, sounding not a bit out of breath. "How'd it - oh. Never mind." He'd apparently noticed she wasn't alone.

Short, wiry, and pale, Val looked several years younger than he actually was, to the point where he had finally stopped trying to buy anything alcoholic at Remy's, because he didn't like the taste of alcohol enough to find it worth the bother of trying to prove he was old enough to drink it. He should have been the type to fade effortlessly into the background, especially given his preference for simple, neutral clothing, but his personality made that impossible. Val was not shy about expressing his opinions. Ekaira had once seen him confronting someone he'd caught abusing an animal, standing inches away (though they towered over him) and shouting about how they weren't worthy of being allowed to care for a pet rock. Val had won that particular argument.

Val considered the couch for a moment, then leaned slightly awkwardly against the door frame (possibly so he wouldn't start pacing). He also tucked his hands into his pockets so he wouldn't start fidgeting, a habit of his. Ekaira usually made sure she had a dexterity puzzle for him to play with during long conversations, but Snowy had managed (yet again) to sneak the newest one out of a desk drawer without her noticing. "You wanted to talk to me?" he said.

Ekaira quickly introduced Sovita and Elendal. She didn't say anything about their mission, knowing that Val was smart enough to fill in the gaps as he went along (and sensible enough to keep what he figured out to himself). "We were wondering what you remembered of Synara City."

Val stared off into space for a moment, gathering his thoughts. "Hm. Doubt you're interested in shops, festivals, or touristy stuff, and I didn't even do much of that after I started school. Wasn't old enough when I left to really get to know the grownups. No time, either."

"Teachers might work, though," said Ekaira. "Teachers, or anyone you can think of who might be willing to help a couple of strangers."

Val's smile had little warmth to it. "Not my teachers. Trust me. Night and day coming here. Shopkeepers, maybe. There was a bookseller. Parents said they didn't approve - nothing bad, just general frivolities - but we never stopped going. Shop was called Bookman's. Don't recall his name. He was old as the hills then - maybe older than Master Belmos. Probably retired by now. Worth a look, though."

Ekaira jotted down the name on a scrap of parchment. "Anyone else?"

"Another shopkeeper. Store like Anita's. Probably her cousin. Trash and antiques and curiosities. You know." Ekaira did know. Anita was the reason she had an oblivion pillagebeast egg in the first place. "Has a shop - a successful one - on a street where shops like hers aren't found. Never knew her name either. Remember, I was young. Parents didn't approve - probably still don't - so I wasn't in there that often. Shop's the Curiosity Shop."

Ekaira made a note of that name as well. "Anyone else?"

Val shrugged. "I write my parents every so often, but I've yet to go back."

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby LightningDragon » May 21st, 2017, 9:49:50 pm

Elendal nodded politely to the young man who had burst into the office. While he spoke, Elendal couldn't help but notice that his expressive personality was entirely at odds with his nondescript appearance. He was fairly certain that anyone who'd met this charismatic student would remember him. The short list of shops was somewhat troubling, but surely others had sprung up in the meantime. Synara City was a home to many nobles, crowded and dense with people. Magi generally had an easy time in the city, their skills in high demand. It would make sense that some magi would have useful stores, as well.



Sovita leaned forward as Val's speech came to an end. It didn't sound as though he remembered his time in the city fondly, but she figured it wasn't the time nor the place to learn more. "Do you recall any decent, cheap inns? We'd likely be in the city for a few days and don't want to burn through gold." The Curiosity Shop potentially sounded interesting, but they probably wouldn't carry anything necessary to the mission.
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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby Mathcat » May 22nd, 2017, 11:52:37 pm

"Ah, no," said Val. "Maybe if I'd been home more recently, but no."

"Might your parents be able to help?" said Ekaira. She had gathered during her time as Val's mentor that his relationship with his parents remained strained at best, but on the other hand, they were still writing to each other, so it couldn't hurt to ask.

Val shrugged. "Worth a try?" he said, sounding doubtful. He stepped forward and held out his hand. Ekaira handed him the paper scrap and the pen. After writing something on the paper, he handed it and the pen back to her. "Their address. Probably won't be thrilled to see you, but probably won't turn you away either. Sorry. Wish I could be of more help."

Ekaira smiled reassuringly at him. "That's three more resources than we had before. I've done more with less."

Val glanced around the room. "Anything else? Don't want to take up too much time when you'll be traveling soon."

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby LightningDragon » May 26th, 2017, 2:36:35 pm

Elendal shook his head slowly after a moment's thought. While the information Val had provided wasn't quite as much as he had hoped, it was still more than they'd had. They weren't going into the city entirely blind, as it were. He hadn't been there himself in several months, and much had changed since then. His parents had had several friends in the city, but part of him feared looking for those old friends and discovering that they were also gone.



Sovita pursed her lips, but shook her head. She'd been hoping for more information, but she couldn't truly fault Val for it. If he hadn't been there since he was a child, much would have changed, especially recently. He also probably wouldn't have had the time or opportunity to meet people who could provide them help in these dire times.
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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby Mathcat » May 26th, 2017, 9:52:38 pm

Val nodded. "Then I'll let you prepare," he said. "Good luck." Turning, he opened the door and slipped out, closing it behind him.

"Well, that's a start," Ekaira said, once Val had left. She pulled out two sheets of paper from a drawer and began copying down the information for Sovita and Elendal. "I'll need to let Cora, the other student I mentor, know that I'll be away for a while, and then I'll need to see about gathering some supplies and packing, but I should be ready to leave tomorrow morning."

"I can definitely leave in the morning." Ekaira jumped. Val tended to command one's attention, so she hadn't even realized that Mariel had slipped in with him. The black Keep rat was now standing by the arm of the couch closest to the door, looking smug. "Did you really think I was going to let you set off without me after the Alveus incident, especially with all of the disappearances recently?"

Instead of trying to argue with Mariel, Ekaira just pulled out a third piece of paper. Yes, the "Alveus incident" hadn't really been her fault, but Mariel's gift with languages might have saved her some hassle. "I hope never to be in that desperate a need of an interpreter ever again, but I'm certainly not going to turn down an offer of help."

Mariel nodded. "Sensible. Now, care to introduce me?" Ekaira did so as Mariel wandered over to get a better look at the other two magi.

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby LightningDragon » May 28th, 2017, 10:51:35 am

Elendal nodded in an understanding way. While he'd never mentored a student of his own, he'd had several mentors beyond his classes at the Keep. He drew in a breath to ask Ekaira a question, but was interrupted by another voice. A startled look around the room revealed that the Keep rat had returned to the room, and, with a smug expression, was teasing Ekaira, who seemed to be resigned to it.

The mention of Alveus caught his attention. While the city-states had become friendlier to the Keep in recent years, the people reportedly still distrusted the magi. That fact generally seemed arbitrary, as magi rarely ventured into the area, but it made him wonder if it was a group from Alveus that was responsible for the disappearances of the magi.

As Ekaira introduced the Keep rat, Mariel, to them, he sketched a bow as best he could while sitting.



Sovita raised an eyebrow at the mention of the "Alveus incident". She recalled her own time among the city-states with some discomfort. Despite her skill with languages and her respected position as an ambassador, the people of Alveus had been none too friendly. They'd been respectful of her, for the most part, but had avoided her like a disease when they hadn't been required to be nearby.

Thane's map had marked several disappearances among the cities, but it was no surprise. Cities had large populations for a person to vanish among, and many of Alveus's people were still wary among magi, possibly unwilling to help one in trouble... Or, perhaps, to help the magi's assailants.

She nodded a distracted greeting to Mariel.
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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby Mathcat » May 29th, 2017, 11:58:41 pm

Mariel gave a slight bow to Elendal and a small nod to Sovita, then walked over to collect the papers from Ekaira. After handing over two of the papers, Mariel tucked the third into the small bag she always carried and scrambled up to perch on one arm of the couch.

"I was thinking I would try to be at breakfast around the time they start serving it," Ekaira said. She ignored the small snort from Mariel. Ekaira was not generally much of a morning person, but she could be if she needed to be. "After that, it won't take too long to load up Spike, and then I would be ready to leave - or to help track down a wayward vaether, if necessary." She thought that was what Elendal had mentioned needing to find, at least.

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Re: Children of the Temple (LightningDragon & Mathcat)

Postby LightningDragon » May 30th, 2017, 10:13:49 pm

Elendal snorted himself at Ekaira's words. "Well, we could certainly get a decent breakfast, at the least. Maybe we could even take some of it along as we travel - magi do that all the time to snack on later. As for Stenaya... Well, I'm fairly sure that we'll find him. We may have to travel as far as the outskirts of the jungle, if that's okay with the two of you. If not, I can always go alone and catch up later." He didn't add that he'd rather not go alone, but he didn't think that needed to be mentioned.



Sovita huffed at Elendal's comment. "Thane stuck us together for a reason, first of all. I don't believe anyone should be traveling alone at a time like this." She had expected to be at the Keep only briefly before traveling again, and her own mount had journeyed with her from the Etain. Lucky for them, as the Raza Jungle was both closer to the Keep and on their way to their destination.
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