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Inside the mage temple 
13th-Sep-2006 04:45 pm
Moana

Keaira led her brother toward the temple, ignoring whatever comments Grace might've been muttering behind her now, and walked in with him. A few mages who were in the main hall looked up as she entered and smiled, nodding and saying, "welcome back!"

Eventually Keaira led him in to a room- the room she and Icthus had talked in the day she had been shot with that arrow, actually- and closed the door behind Icthus, locking it. With a soft sigh, she looked up at her brother, who was still smiling, obviously happy she had returned home. Well, he wouldn't be quite as happy for very long.

"It's good to be home," she said to break the silence as she walked over to the window. She could just barely see Mortimus's figure in the clearing she had left him in and she shook her head slightly. What part of "stay hidden" did he not understand? Luckily, his figure soon disappeared just before Icthus would be able to move over to the window and see.

"There's something I have to tell you Icthus, and it's not easy," she started, still watching out the window. "I was captured by a bounty hunter...he took me far from the castle, and we stopped for the night. While we were sleeping, two bounty hunters came to the camp and tried to capture me."

She swallowed hard, and it was now that she allowed her blue eyes to look up at her brother, her heart pounding fast in her chest, "He saved my life, Icthus. He didn't treat me as roughly as those bounty hunters would have if they'd been given the chance. He...even killed them, and nursed the wound from the arrow because it got opened up thanks to the bounty hunters. The most he did was tie me up...he even let me go free. But, he told me that he wants to know what's going on. He wants to know why this is happening to the mages...he wants answers, from you." She waited before continuing, wanting to know how her brother would react to all of this information before she definitely told him that the bounty hunter was near the temple.
Comments 
13th-Sep-2006 06:36 am (UTC)
Shock washed over him. Was she telling him the truth?

"Kea, are you saying you've brought him here?!"

(Short and sweet, but its dialogue.)
13th-Sep-2006 01:34 pm (UTC)
Keaira watched her brother's reaction and swallowed hard. She definitely couldn't tell him about what had gone on between herself and the bounty hunter. "I..." she hesitated. She gave a slow nod, "Yes. Let me explain, though." She looked back up at him, "He saved my life, Icthus. The least I could do was try and give him some answers. He wasn't exactly satisfied with the ones I gave him, as little as they were. He knew about what you did to those other hunters that day when we went to Remon...I think he was the one who shot that arrow, so he all ready knew where the temple was. He's far enough away from the temple that he shouldn't be seen by any of the mages unless he does something really stupid. And he's not stupid."

She felt tears coming to her eyes, and her throat started hurting as her heart pounded fast in her chest. "Please don't be angry with me, Icthus...if I had come back by myself, there was no telling what could have happened if bounty hunters had found me. He was the only protection I had on the way back here. I told him that I would talk to you, and bring him back at night, when the other mages were asleep. Right now he only thinks you're my leader, or at least he should if he didn't overhear anything that would give something away," she said, one of the tears now rolling down her cheek.
17th-Sep-2006 05:12 am (UTC)
He WAS angry; but seeing her so distraught, anger gave way to sympathy. She had definitely been through a lot. Lost out in the wilderness with a vicious kidnapper - although, apparently not so vicious after all - she had done the only thing she could: survive.

He allowed a small smile. "I'm not angry, Kea. How could I be? After all, this...man apparently saved your life. I suppose I owe him...well, I owe him something at least..."

While he didn't like it, he knew he had to support Kea. Besides, if this mercenary tried anything...Icthus would be ready.
17th-Sep-2006 05:54 am (UTC)
"He deserves the chance to hear what's going on between us and Remon. I owe him that much as well, since I somehow managed to convince him to come with me in the first place," Keaira said quickly. She reached up to get rid of the tears that had begun rolling down her cheeks, giving her brother a smile in return.

"I'm sorry, Icthus...if there had been any other choice, I would've taken it, but I had to use him to protect me," she said, wincing at her last words. Use him? She shooker head slightly. "What's the plan for our next move? We have the map, right? Are we going to find the Elementals?" She wanted to throw his mind off of the presence of the bounty hunter at least a little bit. There was still the fact that, eventually, the other mages would find out that he was there, and she could only imagine their reactions, especially Grace's.
19th-Sep-2006 07:19 pm (UTC)
He shrugged dismissively. "What choice do we have? Unless we find the Elementals as quickly as possible, or else...well, we'll not worry about that for now."

Pausing to consider this, his mind wandered to the hunter, waiting, as far as he knew, just out of sight of the temple. She had had to use him to protect her. Use him. Perhaps, Icthus contemplated subtley, the mercs uses hadn't been entirely expended yet.

"I would meet this man," he said decidedly. "Of course, I owe him some thanks for resucing you."
20th-Sep-2006 02:38 am (UTC)
Keaira nodded, "He thinks you'll do to him what you did to those other bounty hunters the day I was shot with that arrow. He knows just one of the things you're capable of, which is killing him without hardly any hesitation. I had to convince him that you wouldn't do anything to him unless provoked." She had to try and keep her smile hidden when he told her that he wanted to meet Mortimus, though it was still hinting at the ends of her mouth. "I'll go later tonight and get him. I should probably bring him some food so he doesn't starve to death before I bring him to talk to you."

She sighed softly, turning to look back out the window and toward the outer edge of the clearing. "What do you think the other mages will say once they find out what I've done? I brought an enemy here. They could see it as traitorous, whether or not I did it for my own protection," she asked suddenly.
1st-Oct-2006 10:59 pm (UTC)
(I shall attempt a decent post.)

He sighed; what had he gotten himself into this time? Allowing a mercenary, a hired sword paid to kill them, inside the sanctuary of the mages? It could spark a revolt within Osia, a revolt they couldn't handle at this point in time. It was easy to forget their ultimate goal - the Elementals - in these troubled times, but...

"Very well," he conceded. "Tell no one, however; I don't need to impress upon you just how critical this situation is."
2nd-Oct-2006 12:52 am (UTC)
(o_O He sort of ignored her question about what the other mages might do, but umm...yeah. XD)

Keaira nodded, "I understand, Icthus." She turned her gaze back on to him, allowing her eyes to meet his. "Thank you for being so understanding about this, Icthus. I have a feeling that when the time comes for the other mages to be told about Morti...I mean, the bounty hunter, I'm going to need as much of your support as possible." She could only imagine what their reactions would be, especially Grace's. Allowing a small smile, she stood on her tip toes to give him a soft kiss on the cheek before turning slowly away and toward the door.

"I better go bring him some food and make sure he's even still there. I'll bring him in in a few hours and will bring him to this room. I'll...knock five times on the door to let you know it's us," she said as she turned.

(Reply to this as Icthus, and then start a new thread/comment as Mortimus? XD)
2nd-Oct-2006 04:57 am (UTC)
(Oops! :-p Well...let's roll with it.)

"Yes," he conceded absently. "That would probably be best for the moment."

As she left, his eyes wandered out the narrow windowslit to the dark plains outside. He wondered where thus hunter was at that moment - lurking somewhere out in the brush, waiting for the gods knew what...it was maddening.

Well, no matter. If the man meant well, he could be useful. Otherwise...Icthus was ready to do what he had to. And that's all there was to it.
2nd-Oct-2006 05:03 am (UTC)
Going a few hours without food took it out of a man. Mortimus sighed dejectedly as he leaned up against a larg rock hidden behind a tree. This reminded him of where he and Daine had camped out, waiting to snare some mages that first night. Funny thing to remember that right now. Specificially the charred bodies flying through the air into oblivion. He had no love for most of his fellow hunters, but...weren't they human beings, too? Then again, he supposed that's how the mages felt.

His mask was pulled down around his neck - no point in keeping it up now - and waited for Kea to return...
3rd-Oct-2006 04:03 am (UTC)
Keaira left the room she'd been in with Icthus and made her way toward the food storage room. She entered and quickly grabbed a few things- a few pieces of bread, a water canvas, and anything else small enough that she could quickly grab. She then went down the hall and to the room where they kept the extra weapons for emergencies and got a piece of rope that was fairly thin and long enough to use for tieing the bounty hunter's hands together. She found a piece of cloth that would be long enough for blindfolding him, as well. Stuffing these things in to a canvas bag she also found in the supply room, she tossed the strap of the bag over her shoulder and made her way out, down the hall and eventually outside.

When she entered the clearing where the bounty hunter was, she gave a small nod, "Good, you're still here," she said softly. She had half expected him to have run off. "I brought you some food. Eat, and in an hour or so I'm going to have to blindfold you and tie your hands together so I can bring you in to the temple. My leader has agreed to speak with you. It might be an even longer wait...it depends on when all of the other mages have gone to sleep."

She pulled the rope and blindfold out of the bag before handing it to him and walking toward a tree, leaning against it and folding her arms across her chest. So far, so good, but for how long? Could she trust this bounty hunter to not make any noise once they were within the temple? She would have no choice.
24th-Oct-2006 05:12 am (UTC)
Without ceremony, he launched into the food with a voracity and vigor that shocked even him. A little bread, some meat, simple water - a gourmet's feast, as far as he cared. He had eaten little these last few days, and sitting just outside the warm temple - near food - had been torture. Then he thought about warmth and the mages inside, shivered a bit, and decided that cold wasn't all bad. Of course, that conjured up a new set of images.

"Thank you," he gasped as he managed to pry himself away from the food for a while. As he gulped down the last of it, he sat back once more. "Thank you; you've been kind. I suppose I didn't really deserve it..."
24th-Oct-2006 02:48 pm (UTC)
Keaira watched as Mortimus devoured the food. She hardly thought anything of it; she knew what it was like to be practicly starving and think of something as simple as meat, bread, and water as a feast. She remembered her days living on the streets, and how thankful she had been when she had found (okay, tried to pick pocket) Icthus and he had adopted her as his sister, giving her a place to call home and someone to call family.

"You're welcome," she said. She thought about the last thing he said and narrowed her gaze to the ground. "No," she said after a moment, looking up at him, almost attempting to make eye contact. "You do. You saved my life...not only from those bounty hunters, but from spending a very long time in a cell, and eventually facing an execution. You saved me when others would have turned their backs and given me up to the King, just to get some money. Food is probably the most I could give you since being a Mage isn't exactly a high paying job."
28th-Oct-2006 08:37 am (UTC)
(It is late, I am tired, but, goddamn, I AM GOING TO POST!)

He inclined his head graciously, a mirthful smile at his lips. "I thank you nonetheless, Kea. In truth, I sort of feel it my obligation to help you, now - I no longer believe that the mages are the manifestations of the evil arts, not after what's happened. There is something mysterious at work here, and I'm not entirely sure your High Mage (note: yes, I am giving Icthus a title; it felt undignified to simply call him "leader" :-p) will be able to satisfy me, but I think he can steer me in the right direction."

He set the remainder of the food aside - mere crumbs on a bit of cloth now - and sat back against a tree. "Well, I suppose I am as ready as ever; when you think it best, we should go in. I'd...prefer to not sleep out here on a rock," he added, somewhat distastefully thinking of the prospect.
29th-Oct-2006 01:24 am (UTC)
(AND I AM GOING TO...GET THIS SCENE TO THE NEXT PART SO THAT MORTIMUS AND ICTHUS CAN TALK! XD)

Keaira gave a short laugh, "Manifestation of the evil arts...that's a new one." High Mage...Icthus would like that title, she thought. With a nod, Keaira moved from the tree she leaned against and moved toward the edge of the clearing, looking toward the temple.

"I'd say the mages should be in bed...we'll take the back entrance and go through the halls where there won't be any night watch for at least another hour. We'll have about two hours, if needed, before the shift is switched and the watchers patrol the halls," Keaira explained. She turned back toward him and produced a long cloth from the inside of her robes, something that would be sufficient enough to blind fold him. She moved toward him and stood on her tip toes to place the blind fold over his eyes, but not wanting to make things even more akward, she came back down and offered the blind fold to him.

"Perhaps you should place the blind fold on yourself...I think I can trust you enough to make it tight enough so you won't see anything," she said, and moved away to where the bag she'd brought out was. Once he tied the bandanna, she pulled a rope out of the bag before placing the strap over her shoulder and moving behind him. After a few seconds, she pulled his hands behind his back, using the rope to tie them tightly behind his back. She then took him by the elbow and began to slowly lead him out of the clearing and toward the temple. If they took their time, she'd feel a bit better about the mages being asleep.

Soon enough they reached the temple, and as Keaira carefully glanced down the halls she pulled Mortimus along quickly, eventually knocking three times at the door of the room she'd left Icthus in.
31st-Oct-2006 04:42 am (UTC)
Lost in though, the sharp rapping on the door shook Icthus back to reality. He had been considering the pursuit of the elementals, and just what that would mean for their kind. To never have to run again - the thought was...exhilerating, refreshing. But Kea's knock reminded him that they still had a long way to go, an uphill battle to wage before they could reclaim their dignity.

He rose and went to the door. Pausing at the handle, he shuddered, preparing himself. With a sigh, he opened the door.

Kea stood there, bringing, as she promised, a man in wild ranger's clothing, a long coat with leaves inlaid around the collar. The mercenary was in the process of removing a blindfold from his eyes. Icthus nodded approvingly; at least Kea had though ahead to do that.

The man noticeably straightened and his eyes went wide as he saw Icthus, but the moment was fleeting. He soon regained himself and inclined his head. "Honorable mage Icthus Andomnien (insert: does he knos Icthus' name? I forget). Thank you for allowing me inside your hideout. I understand that these are..."

"You undertand nothing, mercenary," Icthus retorted gruffly. "Nothing about us or what we do." He shot a glance to Kea, who lookede reproachfully at him. Icthus sighed lightly. "Nevertheless, I am glad you have decided to at least try to help us."

"I have decided nothing, but my intention is no longer to harm you," the mercenary replied. He stuck out a hand. "My name is Mortimus Jade. I was once in the service of a wealthy noble, but was framed for murdering a fellow guard. I was outcast from society and have sought my living in this way ever since. And now, now that so many people are dead needlessly, I want to know why."
31st-Oct-2006 05:15 am (UTC)
Keaira moved in to the room and closed the door behind her, locking it. As Icthus spoke to the bounty hunter, she had to keep herself from slapping herself- and her brother- on the forehead. Speaking to Mortimus as harshly as he was was hardly going to keep him on their side, and he would be a powerful ally. She smiled in satisfaction as her brother gave his nod of approval at having the bounty hunter blind folded, always glad for her brother's approval.

As she listened to Mortimus introduce himself, Keaira let out a sigh of relief. So far, so good. But for how long? She knew her brother's temper, and she had seen Mortimus's temper. This could become interesting very quickly.

She looked from Mortimus to Icthus before speaking, "It all comes down to one thing- Malfacone hates mages, for...well, several reasons, but there's one main one," she said. "So because of his hatred, the mages must suffer. Most of the mages in the temple were children who were abandoned by their parents because of Malfacone's hatred toward those with magic abilities. Others are the results of casualties because of their parents being killed." She reached up to push a strand of red hair behind her ear as she finished speaking, her eyes narrowing. Which was the fate of my parents? she wondered.
1st-Nov-2006 05:24 am (UTC)
"And, it seems, he's no longer alone," Mortimus continued. "For some reason, Yalin has lost whatever love it has for you. It was the King of Yalin who issued the warrant for your deaths."

"As I feared," Icthus murmured. "Malfacone's irrationality and fear has spread beyond his own borders. It seems we are not meant to live in peace." He moved to the window. "It seems that if you are here to help us, then you have not come too late. I admit, I am relieved on some level to have an ally such as yourself. It will make dealings with the outside world...somewhat more facilitated."

Mortimus laughed lightly. "Not by much, I'm afraid. We hunters are regarded with little more than disdain in polite society."

"Still, it's a step up from being a mage," Icthus added sourly. "In any case, thank you."
2nd-Nov-2006 04:53 am (UTC)
"What we need is something that can stop Malfacone and his goons once and for all," Keaira said. "We need to go and find the Elementals, and talk them in to helping us. They have to be more powerful than Malfalcone, and with our magic skills, we have to be able to beat him once and for all."

(Sorry, that was short. x.x)
5th-Nov-2006 08:57 am (UTC)
"Kea is right," Icthus said. "With the power of the Elementals behind us, I'm sure we can find a way to stop this monstrosity. Of course," he continued, toward Mortimus, "any help you wish to offer would be appreciated."

The hunter seemed to ponder the offer for a moment. "I'll do what I can," he said finally. "I suppose it's the only way I'm going to figure out what's going on here. Maybe I'll find some way to restore my honor along the road."

Icthus nodded. "Excellent." Secretly, though, he turned a wary eye on the hunter; how did he knew they could trust him? Why had he agreed to help so readily? The more Icthus thought about it, the more suspicious he became.

And the more suspicious he became, the angrier he felt inside.
5th-Nov-2006 04:30 pm (UTC)
Seeing that the initial conversation seemed to be over, she walked to her brother and put a hand on his arm, pulling at it to bring him over to the side. Once he was to the side and out of immediate hearing range from Mortimus, she said, "What are we going to tell the other mages? They could easily see my bringing him here as some sort of treason." She glanced over at Mortimus before looking back at Icthus.

"I trust him," she said. "I know it's hard for you to want to trust him...but I also know that you trust my judgement, and I think he could really help us. At least let me take him to a room without tieing his hands and blind folding him. We'll tell the other mages in the morning about him and tell them what our next move is. We need to get to the Elementals as soon as possible. We need to stop fiddling around and just leave before it's too late."
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