A man approaches the gate


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Post Tue Jul 05, 2011 5:28 pm

A man approaches the gate

A man who appears to have been travelling for the better part of his middle-aged life approaches the gate. At first glance, he appeared to be on the shorter side and perhaps weighed a little more than he should have, but damn was he a good looking fellow. He waits at the gate until he is acknowledged and states: "My name is Castelion Marks and I seek an audience with the queen...or the prince...or anyone who knows anything about the map that they had in their possession for that matter. Hell, I'd settle for anyone who gives a damn about the fate of the world or at least the world we know today."
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Post Tue Jul 05, 2011 7:14 pm

Francesco escorts the man into the castle but seems too be moving a little slower than usual, not that he was very spry to begin with. His voice is monotone as he speaks to the gentleman

"One moment and I will summon the queen for you good sir. Please wait here."
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 4:28 pm

Garritt comes down from walking the battlements, walking with an easy, calculated speed that allows him to meet up with the the two men just as they reach the the front of the Keep. He watches Francesco as the elderly knight goes inside, and then turns to the stranger, his arms crossed while he surveys the man up and down.

"I think you'll be hard pressed to find anyone who's in the know about anything the Queen or her brother are planning or anything have in their possession. Counting them, you're probably the third person to know about any sort of map, and you just walked in here.

As for caring about the world.....*he shrugs*. I've been accused before about following a good cause far after others would have given up. If that's a flaw...*he shrugs again*
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 5:40 pm

"The Queen and Prince may not be available, yet your concern appears pressing. What issue do you bring before us?"
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 7:23 pm

Castelion acknowledges the two heroes with a nod and says, "I'm glad you ask. I have been hired by the Brandybrook Academy to try and secure an item for them. They were approached by the queen's brother, not the prince but the other one, who was inquiring about a map. What he described sounded much like the city of Sannat'Vi'En or roughly translated as the City of Sands, lost centuries ago. That city is believed to be one of the possible resting spots for the Amulet of Naramathea, an item of supposedly great power, which has garnered the attention of the faction known as the Red Tear, amongst others. Hell, even Tennhammer has headed in that direction.

"Scouts associated with Brandybrook have looked into it enough to know that much digging has already begun, though at this point it is not believed the Amulet has been discovered. Ancient texts that discuss the amulet use language that can be translated in multiple ways, which may explain the current difficulties of locating the item, if indeed it is even there to begin with. I am requesting aide to secure the item and get it out of the City of Sands or, if we are late, to get the item back from the Red Tear. The hope is that we can go under the cover of darkness so that we can get in, get the item, and get out again without anyone ever being the wiser."

The man pauses to allow for questions.
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 9:47 pm

"I can find anything!"

A familiar voice rings happily from near the top of one of the guard towers where Morgan is laying with his head hanging upside down facing the group. He kicks his feet up and rolls to land briefly on his feet on the catwalk before promptly falling squarely on his ass. He giggles and picks himself up and leaps down to the courtyard.

"So you're lookin' for a necklace, huh? I heard a story about a necklace once. It was owned by a famous knight, Morgan D'Fletcher. So where's this Sannat'Vi-city-mabob?
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Post Wed Jul 06, 2011 10:53 pm

:walking on all fours behind Dallid was the beast Rothek, he cocked his head to the side as the man spoke. he didn't really understand what he was saying save for a few words here and there, so he didn't really pay much attention. instead he watched as the Guthrie leaped to the courtyard, most definitely nimble little people the Guthrie were. rothek chuffed and then looked up at dallid:
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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 11:38 am

"If the Red Tear holds interest in this amulet, then it had best be denied them. What more can you tell us of the Amulet of Naramathea and its power - other than it is 'great'?"

"Any known history on Sannat'Vi'En may also prove useful."
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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 1:07 pm

A man in a jester hat and a mask appears out of the shadows. He has a long ringed staff carved with runes. The bells on his hat jingle as he approaches.

"I wonder if this has anything to do with the rumor I heard of Regis Mortim's return." Abaddon says looking between Dallid and the new comer.
"I would only teach them Necromancy as part of a balanced breakfast."
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Post Thu Jul 07, 2011 8:22 pm

I've got no problem with keeping artifacts out of the hands of this "Red Tear" group, whatever the sort, from what I've heard about them. And I highly doubt they are the only shadow group with an interest in it, either. In fact, I can think of one other for damn sure, if there are any more around than the woman I saw over the winter.

I'm just fine with the plan of a surgical strike to get it for ourselves, too, rather than the usual damn sledgehammer meatgrinder where everyone shows that they have no idea what a running battle is and instead hang around to kill any hostile they can find. And hey, if the people I'm looking for evidence of are there in any number.... well, I'll happily wet my blade at the same time.

So, like Dallid said. What can this amulet do, or how can it empower any holder of it? If we can know it's purpose, we may get an idea about how our enemies will try to gain it.

You think Brandybrook's scouts can give us a better lay of the land?

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Post Sat Jul 09, 2011 5:41 pm

After a late night of carousing, the prince finally walks out of the keep door, holding onto a post to regain his balance for a moment. His clothes are a little rumpled, though he doesn’t seem to care. He has the look of one who has recently re-discovered his youth and is enjoying it, all others be damned, but overhearing Castelion, his back straightens, and he immediately snaps to attention without thinking, his body language suggesting having spent a long time living with self imposed etiquette– the type of refinement that only comes, perhaps, from spending long, boring hours practicing it in front of the mirror.

He seems very interested in the conversation and he moves closer.

“I am prince Aeric Harrison, greetings on behalf of myself and my sister. Did I overhear you saying my brother approached Brandybrook Academy about a map? And…a lost City of Sands?” He looks perplexed. “Have the scholars at Brandybrook mentioned anything about…” he grows more confused, then solemn for a moment, “ the Harrison of old, my father. Forgive me, this is a personal matter when clearly there seems to be much larger things afoot, but I showed my brother that map because it was something my sister and I discovered hinting that our father might be, in fact, alive. There was a cryptic message that came with it. We only understood it with the help of a decoder, found hidden amongst a treasure that came from a lovely little place many of us have dubbed as ‘death mountain’. It took several brave soldiers, most of whom I am still indebted to, to come back with that decoder, and it makes me wonder why it was hidden there in the first place -a mystery I still have no answer to. Whatever the reason, the message on the map was clear. It said: 'Harrison Lives'."

Aeric turns to Dallid, Garret, and Morgan, eyes narrowing, darkly, as they pass over Abaddon, slightly shocked at his appearance here, but leaving it be for the moment.

“I…I am not on the best of terms with my brother, as some of you may know, but If there was a chance our father lived, I thought it only right that he should know too. I showed Aaron all we had found, and my brother said he recognized the location on the map, which neither my sister nor I could make any sense of. He could tell me no more, though, perhaps because he was not yet certain; apparently he needed to go to Brandybrook for confirmation."

He turns back to Castelion.

“Our father was a great man, a noble man, a man who valued dignity and honor and the responsibility that comes with authority. Perhaps all innocent children think their fathers’ great, but mine was a man I spent a good long many years trying to live up to. If there is a chance he could still be alive…I have to find him. But this, this amulet, and the Red Tear, were things I was not expecting…It’s all very puzzling to me, and ominous.

“You have my help though, and my sister's, I’m sure of it, and those in our kingdom who would be willing to stop such evil as the Red Tear, and I think there are many.

“As the others have suggested, I am curious to know more about this amulet, or if Brandybrook mentioned anything about my father. Perhaps there is no connection and it is all some wild goose chase, some idea of a joke. Do you know what my brother might have said to the Brandybrook Academy? He is elusive to find sometimes, and yet right under my nose when I least expect him.”

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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 1:43 pm

Castelion considers each question and answers in turn.

"Naramathea was, as legend has it, the greatest healer of his generation, though which generation that is seems to be up for debate. Some would swear he was An'Dar, others An'Dar'Vi, and still others one of the first humans to appear on Phanterra. Depending upon the source, the story is slightly different but they all share the same key features. For one reason or another, always invovling some great tragedy, Naramathea soured. Once good and honorable, he stopped seeing the meaning of life, of anything and began focusing energies on, let us say, darker magic. He found that his ability to heal could extend beyond the grave, that he could bring to life bodies, not to create zombies per say as I'm sure many of you are thinking, but actually restore life, life that he had complete control over. Through them, he could see, hear, talk without being anywhere in the vacinity. You could be sitting in a bar, sharing a joke with a newcomer, thinking nothing at all is wrong, and suddenly it strikes, overpowering you, nearly unstoppable because in one sense it is already dead. And even if you did kill it again,you cuoldn't touch the true enemy who could simply revive another to do his bidding. Some say he could control many at once, something that would eventually be his downfall, drive him mad. He would eventually be found and killed. Again, different sources differ on this next part but either his power or his essence or some piece of him ended up in an amulet, an amulet no one has of yet been able to destroy.

"There are stories of others who have had this amulet, others who have been driven mad by its power, and the one who was able to resist it, hundreds of years later, who wandered into the deserts, saying he was going to study it in the City, and was never seen from again. Around this time, a great sand storm sturck the land, burynig the city, the man, everything. Some believe he never made it. Some believe the man and the amulet rest within that city yet today.

"The City of Sands itself was originally built by peace-seeking individuals who believed that evil could not touch such an isolated place. This was ill-conceived of course as there is no limit to evil's touch. Anyway, long after the storm that buried the city, the world shifted, the desert disappeared, and no one even knew where to look.

"One more word on the amulet itself. If it does contain the essence of Naramathea, you should know that he was in fact a great healer, meaning that perhaps it has other uses besides evil ones..."

Castelion considers the Prince a moment longer and then responds, "Your father? I am not sure, but I can tell you how the city was finally uncovered, or at least a city as we have no confirmation that this indeed is the City of Sands. Nearby is a small village filled with simple folk who were dominated, enslaved, by a war faction of unknown orgins, at least as of now. They were completely overmatched and well beyond the point of hopelessness when a lone warrior of an elderly age appeared and completely swung the tide in their favor, to the point where the war faction was either destroyed or retreated. Whether that man was your father or where he is now I cannot say but if you father values dignity and honor and responsibility as you say, then, well, perhaps it was..."
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Post Mon Jul 11, 2011 6:26 pm

Forgive me, Aeric, but while there is surely some truth in what you saw in your father, he was also stubborn, uncompromising, and... well, I'll leave it at that."

"With unshakable faith in his own conviction and sense of righteousness, I have little doubt he would seek to bend the Amulet to his will, and fully believe that will would conquer Naramathea's - no matter what warnings he might have heard."

"And given no single mortal could turn the tide of an ememy army without considerable help, perhaps he has indeed acquired that Amulet."

"If Castelion's legends are true, then he is likely now mad, and we must be prepared to take him down. For again, given Castelion's words, it must be destroyed regardless its power."

Dallid turns to Castelion. "Given the gravity of the situation, I trust you will subject yourself to a mind probe so we may be sure you have spoken true."
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Post Wed Jul 13, 2011 6:40 pm

Castelion nods. "They told me you'd want to do as such and although I am generally opposed to such invasions, in this case, this grave case as you indicate, I will so subject myself."

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Post Wed Jul 13, 2011 7:53 pm

Aeric turns to Dallid.
“You may be thinking of my grandfather, or my uncle Magnus, Dallid. Or perhaps not. My father was not a perfect man, of course. I thought him wise, though. But, then again, that may just have been the ideals of youth. I pray the picture you paint is not so... I hope he has had nothing to do with this amulet. For that matter, I suppose in truth I don’t know which Harrison the message we discovered referred to. I had just assumed it was my father, who had gone missing along with several other aristocratic families when the cataclysm hit, and my uncle and grandfather have been long dead, or reported so. It is all a mystery to me.

“I thank you Castelion for this little bit of knowledge. Who knows if that man was him, but it’s something…I look for any hope to find him.

“I apologize for the need to use such invasions of the mind. Dallid…make sure that he is as comfortable as is possible, and make it as quick as you can. If there is anything you need, Castelion –food, drink, anything- just ask.

“Hmm… It looks like we’ll need whatever edge we can to find this amulet first, and fast. Do the folks at Brandybrook Academy have any idea if the Red Tear are close with their digging? Or, do we have knowledge of the amulet’s whereabouts we think they may not? We must get our scholars and seers working on this as well, quickly, if they can be of any aid in addition.

"The flocking of others, like Tenhammers, is unsettling as well. Who knows who else might be there when we arrive. Morgan, we may in fact need that knack for finding things you have on this one. I’ll start to make preparations for the journey. Now, where did Francesco go off to..."
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