grumble grumble shrug
Death of Magic- Pascal & Dipper
The castle of Anduil was a magnificent sight to behold. It was large enough to devote entire wings to guests such as diplomats and their entourages. The ruling family was led by King Gemedes, as his wife had passed away some years ago. He had three children, Undil, the eldest was the spitting image of his father, and was itching for the throne. Darkkon was the middle child, and was engaged to the daughter of a prominent Duke who was close friends with the king. Duty was important in the family, though the common people would say that Darkkon did love his fiancé. Cainon, the youngest child, was raised on books. He could fight, as they were all trained for battle, but it had long been assumed that he would take over the role of adviser for Undil when he ruled over the throne.
Lavish parties were not infrequent, and the King was not known for being frugal. However, despite the apparent prosperity of the land of Anduil, there was something just beneath the surface, that made commoners afraid to request an audience, and market owners afraid to get too popular. King Gemedes had spent almost the entire period of his reign hunting and murdering any mage he found. Not all were killed right away, but those that were kept were restrained with collars that prevented magic from working properly. Females were usually kept separate from males for the slave labor. Though, if work demanded they be in proximity, then the slaves were rendered incapable of producing offspring.
Sitting at his desk, Cainon was in the middle of reading a letter from a Duke when the frustration became overwhelming. Completely engrossed in the letter, Cainon didn’t notice the vase on his dresser shaking. The news in the letter was disturbing, and as the new tactician for the War on Magic it was his job to deal with it, and figure out what to do next. Cainon had reached the last line of the updates when the vase shattered. He looked up in shock, having no idea what had caused that. He got up from his desk and looked around the room. Perhaps a rock flew in from the window or something. A look at the window told him that it was closed, and he sighed, attributing the incident to some sort of scuffle in the next room over.
Leaving the letter at his desk, Cainon went for a walk to clear his mind. At some point during the walk it occurred to him what it might have been, but he dismissed it quickly. He couldn’t have magic. It was impossible. It had to be some sort of accident. He walked around a corner and saw Undil training. “Come, join us!” He shouted to Cainon. The youngest Prince nodded, and jogged over to the group of men, training to help clear his mind. He soon forgot about the incident with the vase, letting himself get lost in the defensive maneuvers he had learned through combat sparring with his brother.
Deep in the darkest reaches of Castle Anduil, an emaciated young man lay sleeping on a cot, one leg shackled to the framing, keeping him from moving about. His brown eyes were deep and sunken, and his once thick brown hair was now white and wispy. He skin had taken on a pallid color, and one could see the bones beneath his flesh. Next to the cot was a small table, with a empty plate, once holding half a loaf of bread, and an empty jug of water, most likely drugged to keep him from working magic. The floors were covered in rat feces, and the walls, crawling with various nasty insects.
A gaoler by the name of Mog, a man who, judging by his frame, was once extremely skinny, yet now belarded with great masses of fat, stopped by his cell door, and took his keys from his belt, and unlocked the door. He entered the room, a sad smile on his face.
“Markas… Wake up, lad.” He said to the young mage, who stirred slightly.
To Mog’s eyes, Markas didn’t seem like much of a threat, but he knew the reputation of Wizards, so although he was nice to the young man, he made sure not to drop his guard. So when Markas awoke with a start, Mog reached for his mace, ready to beat the young man into submission if he needed to.
“No sudden moves, you know the rule.” Mog said, his hand on his weapon.
“Right…” Markas said, and as he sat up slowly, he looked at what Mog was holding. As usual, it was a jug of water, most likely drugged, and half a loaf of bread
Mog placed the food and water on the table, and then took the empty plate and jug. “Your fate has been decided, lad.”
“Oh?” Markas said, suddenly interested in what new torture they planned to kill him with.
“Aye. You will be hung, drawn and quartered at the end of the week. If you have any diety you pray to… I suggest you start praying for it to be swift.”
With that, Mog turned and left, leaving Markas to stew in his misery.
grumble grumble shrug
After sparring, the rest of the day was rather dull. Cainon spent the majority of the time trying to figure out what they were going to do with Ravencrest. The city was supposed to be a magic-user stronghold,at least that was what their scouts had revealed a week ago. Cainon had begun the preparations for an attack, and sent another to get proper numbers so they would be ready. However, the letter he just received revealed that they were fortifying. It meant that they were likely anticipating the attack. Cainon didn’t know how they knew, but they did. He suspected the scout might have gotten too close, and perhaps a magic-user dug into his mind and stole the information about where he had come from.
Unfortunately, there was no way to avoid sending a scout who didn’t know that they were scouting, or even that they were working for the Andulian army, so Cainon had to think of a new strategy. It took him until nightfall to discover it. At the time, he was walking around the palace grounds, trying to clear his mind of distractions. When he thought once more about the facts, this time with a clear head, he was sure that he would be able to resolve this situation. His decision at the end of the night was to not invade Ravencrest. An attack when they were prepared would be slaughter. Instead, he would let them wait, and wonder what had happened. They would think that they were discovered, or that the scout was a trick, or maybe that there was something bigger going on.
The plan came with the hope that the mages would get anxious, and begin to send runners to their other cities. Even if they didn’t, the other cities would likely send runners to Ravencrest to find out what happened, or rather, what hadn’t. They could track those mages, or kill them, depending on the threat level. He then suspected that the people of Ravencrest would get anxious, cut off from news and sitting in the dark waiting for an attack. Combined with the fact that their resources within the city would eventually have to dwindle, and Anduil’s army could take advantage of those who fled in small groups. They could station small platoons along the various roads and paths that led to the city.
The next morning, Cainon finalized the details and sent them to his father for evaluation. He knew that in the afternoon, he would have to meet with his father and his brother to explain the strategy, and attempt to list the pros and cons of it objectively. He spent hours before the meeting pacing around his room, trying to anticipate what questions his father would have. Finally realizing that he would never manage to stay calm in this manner, Cainon decided to go for a horse ride. He made his way down to the stables, and had one of the servants saddle up one of his horses, Janus, before going for a ride through the forest on the palace grounds.
Much like the prince’s day, the rest of Markas’s day crawled slowly. When he finaly fell into sleep, he dreamt of the days before he had been captured, when, instead of just being “Markas the Prisoner”, he was “Markas of Myriad Spells”, an extremely talented younger brother of Arch-Magister Cunan, one of Anduil’s most hated enemies and ruler of Ravencrest. It seemed that they didn’t know who he was, luckily, and so they had treated him like any other mage. While he dreamed, he dreamt of the days spent in Ravencrest’s arcane university, one of the most well known sites where mages from all corners of the word came to share knowedge. He dreamt of discovering the secrets of Frostfire, and of his familiar, a large black raven that luckily, had not been killed when he was captured. He thought of when he created his first homunculus to help him with his studies. Some of his dreams were his memories of him becoming a true Magister, although he preferred the term Wizard, as he felt it gave him prestige in some ways. He even had dressed the part, wearing robes and carrying a satchel with his Spellbooks in them, priceless things he had made himself.
But mostly, he dreamt of a chance to escape, of a chance to inflict every last bit of pain the Inquisitors had caused every Spell-Caster they had ever met. He dreamt of slowly flaying the skin from High Inquisitor Eddastian, the monster of a man in charge of the tourtures. Markas wasn’t sure if the royal family knew that Eddastian’s preferred method of torture/execution for women was leaving them alone with a garrison of guards, or if they knew the mutilations that he performed on the men to keep them from breeding. Markas had no doubt that on the day he would be killed, Eddastian would come for him. Truly, Markas prayed to the archaic and eldritch Dietys of magic that Eddastian would come for him, because if that Red-Robed monster thought he could mutilate a wizard fully trained and initiated in the ways of the Arcane, he had no idea of the fury of the Arcane.
The next morning, as Markas woke, he looked at the chain keeping him shackled to the cot, and smiled, formulating a plan of escape. All he would need is the right chance….
grumble grumble shrug
The meeting appeared to go well, apart from a servant apparently knocking a glass off of a table and shattering it. Cainon acted as surprised as the rest, though he knew that the servant had not been at fault. He simply couldn’t let anything like the truth about it come out. At the time of the incident, he was being badgered for faster, better results, even though he had nothing but skepticism upon which to base it. The next morning Cainon had resolved a plan. It was foolish, but so was running around the castle with things exploding whenever he got annoyed.
During the night, Cainon had dreamed that he was cursed. That some mage managed to use his powers on the prince, and they were truly at fault. He took solace in this, grateful to have someone other than himself to blame, even it if was just to delude himself from the truth. At the same time, if a mage had cursed him, perhaps a mage could cure him. In addition, this might become a problem that his father, or one of his brothers might face.
Making his way to the dungeons, Cainon was appalled by the state of the place. He had known that it was the guards’ responsibility, but it should have at least been presentable. It was such that the guards encouraged Cainon to send a representative for his needs, rather than going himself. Unable and unwilling to oblige, Cainon acted on the pretense of needing information. He had, after all, learned of a somewhat unsuccessful scout the day before, and would do well to get a mage to begin confiding their secrets. They replied that if they had gotten anyone to talk, he would have learned of it very quickly, and that they could double their torture efforts. Unsure how to respond, Cainon went the princely way and claimed that perhaps he would take matters into his own hands to produce results.
When they brought him to the cell of someone who appeared conscious, Cainon demanded that they leave him alone. He didn’t dare sit down in the place, but he walked into the cell and had them shut the door. He looked down on the young man, one who it was said was destined to die soon. His name was Markas. “Markas.” The prince said, not daring to even crouch down among the rat feces and insects. “I have some questions for you, and I can make it worth your while to answer them.” He was not planning on torture. The man didn’t look like he would live another day on his own, let alone with the influence of torture. Cainon might have felt bad, but he knew the evils of mages. He knew that they had sold their souls to demons, and given up humanity for power. They were cruel, greedy beings who thrived on heinous and violent acts. Cainon had been raised to believe so, and was oblivious of the lies he had been fed.
When the Prince spoke Markas’ name and entered into his cell, he bolted upright, not used to anyone who wasn’t a Gaoler or an inquisitor speaking to him. He listened quietly to the Prince, a small grin growing on his face. His yellowing teeth and his sallow skin was quite a sight to behold. After quite a few moments, he sighed and answered Prince Cainon.
“Worth my while? What are you going to do, offer me a clean death if I tell you how to circumvent the defenses that the Mage-Towns and Towers have?” He paused a moment, and examined the prince carefully, his eyes glinting softly in the darkness.
“Oh, this is too precious.” He said, his mouth twisting into a cruel smirk. “You want to ask me for advice, don’t you?” He laughed softly, before looking intently into the prince’s eyes. “Ask what you would of me, ‘O prince. I doubt you’ll like any answer I give you.”
grumble grumble shrug
As he expected, the man offered little more than smug remarks. Cainon might have hit him, but he didn’t want to get disgustingly dirty. Still, the face that this mage even knew about defenses of the mage towers would have been promising, if not for the fact that his inquisitors could break mages much better than he could and he knew it.
Markas’ next words stung, and Cainon misinterpreted it completely. He had wanted someone to blame for this curse, and the fact that this mage knew of it told him that he was responsible. His face became just as cruel, and he leaned down closer to the mage. “You did this, didn’t you. You did this to me, you sick, demonic, plague of a person. You will tell me how to rid myself of your taint.” He said, showing more fury and anger than he could ever remember. Outside of the cell, one of the torches began to rattle in the metal stand, Cainon’s emotions having gotten the better of him.
Markas' smirk quickly broke into a grin, and he laughed, and then suddenly grew grim when he remembered who he was mocking.
"Oh, right, I forgot that I could work my Spellcraft while being drugged and wearing this fiendish collar your father's men created. Tell you what, remove this collar, and I'll cleanse you of your 'taint', which, by the way, I didn't inflict upon you."
He smiled softly. "If anyone is to blame, blame your Father, or your Mother."
He waited for a response, a strange gleam in his eyes.
Last edited by The Dripper; 09-09-2012 at 05:01 PM.
grumble grumble shrug
At that, Cainon punched the man hard in the face. As he fell over, Cainon kicked him in the gut. Outside of the cell, the torches down the entire hallway flared up, and some fell off the walls. The guards were, thankfully, preoccupied by a few small fires that Cainon had just started, and didn’t hear the words that were coming from either man.
“Then you can rot in this cell for an eternity.” He said, turning on his heels. There were hundreds of prisoners down there, and he could surely find many who would be less trying on his patience, and willing to give him information. After all, even if Markas did tell someone about the Prince, no one would believe him. They would call him a treasonous demon and he would be executed. The prince had nothing to fear from him.
Markas’ groaned as he was struck, and he groaned in pain. “Wait.” He said, before the prince left his cell. “I’ll answer any question you have, on two conditions: You postpone my execution, and you make sure the Inquisitors stop gelding people. ” He sat up again, looking at the prince’s back. “I can’t tell you why you have Arcane abilities, and I can’t take them from you, but I can show you some basic ways to control your powers.” He paused for a moment, laughing softly. “It seems like you need to learn how to control it, or you’ll end up burning this castle down to the foundations each time you loose your temper, something I’m sure your Father wouldn’t like.”
“Tell you what. You come and ‘interrogate’ me each day, and I’ll tell you what I know of how to control this power of yours.” He thought for a moment, and then laughed softly. “If you agree, I’d ask that you bring me some food, something other than a crust of bread. Perhaps a cake?”