Discussion in 'Arcane Sanctum' started by mythic, May 31, 2017.
<placeholder for Season 6>
(Continued from "In on the Winds of Change")
… not that that went as planned, either. Anastasia sighs, then chuckles to herself in both resignation and acceptance as she ascends the last few steps.
What a disaster these last few months have been. I came so close to losing it all… She pauses, gazing at the entrance to the Archmage’s chambers. …but what is done is done. Nothing to do but to learn from one’s mistakes, correct them, and continue on.
Forward; always forward. Taking in a deep breath, the noblewoman releases it slowly, distractedly rubbing the vacant finger on her left hand before knocking on the door.
Time to find a new purpose.
The door opens silently and an Impish voice squeaks. "The Circle recognizes the Countess in". A small fluttering red Imp hovers above the ArchMage's bed, it's little wings beating like a hummingbird. "The ArchMage is not in currently, but if you wait for a bit I'm sure he will be along soon" the little imp looks towards the anti-chamber where one of several portals glows softly in the murky dimness.
"Good morning, Ziblis." Countess Gyverin gives the imp a small smile and steps through the threshold, still holding the folio to her chest. "And thank you. It seems I am earlier for our meeting than anticipated. Not a worry; where is best for me to wait?"
A sly smirk crosses the Imp's face as he glances towards the bed. Thinking better of it he motions to one of several overstuffed chairs within the chamber. Although the room has not been used in several months, the Countess notices that there is no dust, no webs or anything that would show the area as unused.
"So? What brings you by today?" the Imp asks as he flutters to the top of the canopy of the bed and settles down upon it.
Following Ziblis' gaze, the Countess arches an eyebrow with incredulity at the imp and, shaking her head, huffs a small chuckle as she sits.
"What brings me by?" She repeats, laying the folder in her lap and looking up at the imp, her expression neutral. "Finalizing some paperwork; more specifically a property transfer. Could easily have been done through a legal Adeptus downstairs, but there is enough of a personal and official note to this that the Archmage is wont to see it through himself."
"As well, should the Lord Archmage be able to spare the time, there are... other matters I seek his counsel on." The noblewoman's voice catches slightly at the end of her statement, betraying her nerves.
Straightening, she regards the imp with a gently curious gaze. "If I may ask, Ziblis, have you returned to survey the area that was once the Breach recently? I have received a partial report from those I have at the Lux, but your vantage point would surely provide a more complete picture."
Ziblis pauses for a moment. "Yeah. I tried to pop in near what the meat sacks called The Breach. It was weird. Normally I can just pop in and out all over the place, but that Dragon, seems he controls what can enter, and more importantly, leave his domain. So I popped in as close as I could and then flittered about. Place still is smoldering and smells like a sweaty hobo's arse. I didn't get close enough to spot Culdranth, didn't really want to. But I could feel his presence. His power is immense. I'd rather not take the chances of being a late morning snack for that one. Looks like he's steered clear of the area you guys keep talking about. I still can't tell what you people keep rambling on about though. I guess it's warded from us Fey even seeing it." He shrugs as he says the last part, trying to play it off that it doesn't bother him, when it clearly does.
He looks over to the portal room again. "Ah, I think the ArchMage is coming. That portal is glowing a bit more. I'll let you two chat." the little imp states as he pops away in a puff of smoke.
The Portal room flares with light as one of the archways brightens. A familiar figure steps through the portal. The ArchMage steps out and looks around briefly, noting that everything seems to be in it's place, even after his long absence. He enters the main chamber, notices the Countess and nods to her. It is obvious to her that he was aware of her being within the chamber. He moves over to his desk, the piles of paperwork still waiting his review, sits at his chair and looks to the Countess.
"Greetings Adeptus Gyverin. What brings you to the Sanctum this day?" he asks as he sees her holding onto several parchments.
The Countess' face darkened into a slight frown, and she nodded as the imp spoke. Despite his crude language, she understood his intent behind the words. Life will continue to be difficult in the area until Culdranth decided to move on, or was... encouraged to do so. It did strike her as both a curiosity and a relief that Ziblis was still unable to see through the protections of the Lux Obscuri, though.
"I suppose that is the power of a Greater Fae Lord, then. Able to hide from even his own kind..." She says quietly to herself, lost in thought to the point that she hardly noticed the imp pop away, though his last words did reach her. Snapping from her introspection, the noblewoman rises as the Archmage entered the room, bowing respectfully in chorus to his nod. She waits quietly for him to address her, and steps towards the desk when he does.
"The property transfer you had..." Anastasia's words pause for the briefest of moments as her jaw tensed involuntarily, "...requested of me, my lord. I have the final paperwork in hand to release the Arcane Sanctum from the lease of the northern Observatorium, and relinquish it and the surrounding facilities fully into their custody. As we had previously spoken about; it now simply requires your signature."
"Ah, excellent." The ArchMage states as he takes the title of ownership from the Countess. He reads over it, ensuring that all the legalities are set correctly. Pulling a quill from his desk, he dips it in the ever full inkwell and signs his name and title onto the page. Taking some warm wax, he dribbles a small puddle onto the sheet and presses his signet into it.
"We have some plans for the Observatory going forward. It will be a focal point in tracking the whereabouts of Culdranth. Aithusa will be pleased." Az'Caine states. He looks to the Countess, observing that she has more to say. "We both know this was just a formality, and did not require my immediate attention. So, Adeptus Gyverin, what is the true purpose of calling me from my studies with Aithusa?" Az'Caine adds the deed to his every high pile of papers upon his desk, reminding himself to pass those along to Marshal Farr'Shen to assign a small garrison of Home Guard, Sanctum and the Earth Weavers to the observatory immediatley.
Az'Caine sits back in his chair awaiting her response.
The Countess nods firmly in acceptance to his words, but the colour rises slightly in her cheeks at the Archmage's last statement.
"I am curious as to the fate of the Lux, my lord, now that safe passage has been, for now, permanently secured." Anastasia begins, words gaining certitude as she speaks. "Although aware of the teams that have completed the initial scouting and repair of the newly discovered rooms connecting the portal to the city complex... I have yet to hear of anything being done on an 'official' front regarding the future of this asset."
"Many of my men, as well as myself, are indebted to the Obscuri for our lives, it having spared us from Culdranth's fury. Most chose to remain the entire winter to aid in its rebuild after the rise, and have intimate knowledge of the facility. I am quite familiar with the guardians and those among the former Breach whom they have selected to represent them; though I have yet fight alongside these ancient beings as you have, at the very least I owe my bloodline to one of them." She continues, tone calmly inquisitive. "Is there an independent section being created for its study, or resources being committed to it? Do you have anyone yet to head such a venture?"
The ArchMage ponders her question for a minute. "Yes. There are several Magi that are understandably interested in the Lux. It still holds many mysteries that we have to unravel. Currently, Magi Rhialto of the Calanhelm Penta deserves the opportunity to head the excursion. This of course leaves promotions available within Calanhelm, which again, there are several Magi wanting those positions." the ArchMage sighs, knowing how much more work that the Lux will be causing within months. "As well, Lady Zanthia will be sending a host of the Earth Weavers along as well as the Home Guard will be stationed there to provide support and protection. I would also assume a Grand Smith of the Hammer Outfitters will be attending along with a Forge of his peers." the Archmage states, more to himself than to the Countess.
"Obviously, with the members that have already spoken to, or have a rapport with, the Guardians will want to arrange time there. The place is large enough that it should be able to handle more people. Logistically, we need to keep the tide of people in check until we can ensure a sustainable source of water and food. The sewage is another concern as you are well aware from Rookroost. These things take time to set up, or repair, and currently we are facing a more imminent threat in Al'Zoon." the ArchMage pauses, grabs a quill and parchment and begins to write down more notes. He then continues "And we cannot lose sight of the threat of Culdranth. Even with Aithusa lending aide in protection, he is still a dire foe and if decides to attack the Lux, there will be little in the options we have to face him. Hopefully Sarryn is not too preoccupied with personal issues and can focus on the tasks in the Dark Reaches." the ArchMage says as he look at the Countess' bare left hand.
"If we can free some of the Elders from their lands, we will have a much easier time with Culrdanth, but we do not know what freeing them will entail. I'm certain it will not be an easy process. If you wish to join the Sanctum members in researching the Lux, you may do so, but your title of Countess will mean little while there. Your rank of Adeptus is how you will be treated as with the others going along. We cannot have anyone trying to curry extra favours when so much is unknown and the risks may well exceed the rewards." the ArchMage states, looking to see the reaction from the Countess.
"Curry extra favours?" Anastasia's eyebrow arches at his words, but her manner remains equable. "I do not, nor have I ever expected special dispensation within the Sanctum due to my social rank, my lord. You may not be fond of the peerage, Lord Archmage, but please do not assume that there none among us that have not worked for that which we have achieved, and are not afraid to continue to do so."
"My only insinuation was to take advantage of the knowledge of those that are already familiar with the facility and -- including the greater fae lord that built it -- have been addressing the exact concerns with the complex for the last eight months that you just outlined. Build on what's already there into a cooperative venture, rather than take over and start from scratch.” Her tone is level and evident of the diplomat she is trained to be. “I am far from discounting the immediate danger that Al’Zoon and Culdranth pose, but the Obscuri and those behind it have been tools in the conflict against those two since the beginning. It cannot be dismissed as a side interest to be explored at our leisure, either. Not with reports of a crystal dragon among the caves near the newly established portal, and the main library complex still unopened. Also now that it is above ground and the knowledge of it has come to light, it will also inevitably become a political concern as well, beyond the involvement of the guilds.”
Only a slight hardening of her green eyes and the twitch of a jaw muscle acknowledges the obvious barb in the Az’Caine’s statement, though her reply is cold. "Marshal Remmington is an intelligent man who is loyal to the Sanctum, my lord Archmage. You do not need me to tell you that. He knows his duty well and will always do what he must to ensure success within the Dark Reaches; a fact that I admire him for. Preoccupation will not be a problem... provided his leadership also follows the same accord."
The noblewoman pauses, letting her words hang a moment before shaking her head, closing her eyes, and releasing a quiet laugh. “This… is not how I imagined this conversation going, being reduced to petty gibes. I had intended to seek counsel from a superior I respect, but it seems in my stars to contend with everyone as of late.”
The ArchMage just sits back in his chair fingers steepled together. "Never?" He asks. "I seem to think this ill attempt to infiltrate the Sect, nearly starting a civil war within the city, dividing those who have sacrificed so much at the Breach, then using your station with the Grand Duchess to continue the ruse was more than enough. It cost you rank in the Sanctum, it almost cost you your title." Az'Caine states his eyes narrowing. He holds the gaze for several heartbeats then continues.
"I can only tell you this. More pressing matters need my attention. I do not have time to banter back and forth, nor do I have the intention to continue to do so. The expedition is being prepared. Our best scholars and explorers are going to see what can be unraveled within the ruins. The Guardians can assist if they so choose, that is up to them, not I. If it becomes an issue, I'm sure that Aithusa will have words with them." He states very plainly. "If you wish to join them, you can. I will inform Magi Rhialto of the addition. If any of the other comrades are staying there, please inform him so that they are not caught by surprise. But other than that Adeptus, I have given you all the time I can currently spare. The Circle reckognizes you out." With that, the ArchMage stands, and moves back to the antichamber. He calls back "Ziblis, please escort her out. Inform the Colonel I will be back within the week to arrange his transport to the Fort to speak with the Sanctum and Home Guard members when they arrive."
The portal room hums, a glow begins softly then brightens sharply as the portal flares to life. The ArchMage steps through without a look back.
The Countess held the Archmage's gaze as he spoke, just as steely, but her eyebrow arches sharply at his mention of civil war.
Well now. You were not there, but yet it is so easy to stand on the edge of what you think you know and judge my actions, isn't it? Just because you believe yourself above it all and would rather vilify me for a mistake than listen to the whole situation...
Because that is where this whole thing went wrong. A final move against the Sect could not have been made until all of the information was gathered; snap judgments and poor communication only exasperated the divides that were already there. Her lips flatten into a thin line as she listens to his words and she sighs mentally, exhausted by this again being thrown back in her face.
I knew very well what I was getting myself into, and what I stood to lose. I was not the one who requested the clemency you so righteously granted, archmage. But it would be moot to even consider verbalizing this; no amount of evidence will ever change his opinion.
Her mind goes back to the night when he removed her marks, and the incant with which he did it. She inwardly chuckles. Am I really getting lectured on overstepping my rank to do something that needed to be done to protect the kingdom... by a chaos-damned mage? Oh, what an odd time we live in.
She nods stiffly when the Archmage finishes speaking. Though in his swift movement towards the portal he does not seem to expect a reply, she gives him one all the same, albeit delivered to his back.
"I will commit myself to Magi Rialto's service then, my lord Archmage. I am thankful for the opportunity, as well as the time that you were able to spare for this conversation." The noblewoman tries to keep her words from sounding hollow, though she feels they will not be heard anyway. "My apologies for keeping you with trivial matters."
After the portal dims again, Anastasia releases a moderated but shaky breath. Unclenching her fists and dusting them off on the length of her jacket, she looks up and nods resolutely to the imp, following his lead to see herself out of the chambers -- heading home to Rookroost.
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