In the Quarters of the King

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A loud wailing and the smashing of objects comes from the King's room. The gurads posted at the door rush in swords drawn!
"Your Majesty! What's wrong?!?" screams a guard as his eyes furiously scan the room. His partner rushes to the side of the King who lays
curled in a ball on the floor beside his bed clutching his sword.

"The trees walk."says the King "The snakes kiss. love eludES US ALL!!" and with that the King lunges at the guard sword extending!

Before the King's thrust can connect, Az'Caine reaches out and touches the King's brow. "Sleep my King"

Like a candle blown out the King falls to the floor. striking his head.

"FOOL!" yells Az'Caine. "I should Obliterate you for allowing the King to hit the floor! Let alone rushing in here youselves after I TOLD YOU
NOT TOO!!"
"We're sorry your high and mighty Az'Caine-ness..SIR..ARCH MAGE!" and with that the dolt of a guard and his partner scramble for the door before the dragon fire rains.

"SEND TWO MORE, DOLTS! And get me an earth weaver! And Some wine...strong strong wine."
Az'Caine seats himself beside the sleeping King and watches the door in wait. Falling almost instantly asleep
 

mythic

Baron
As the King takes a minor nap, Az'Caine takes the time to study him more carefully. He physically does not seem harmed. No cuts, marks, bruises or healed bones that he can see. He is not well versed in the Healing Arts so his examination is more cursory observation. Something is wrong though.

Through his talks in the past week the King has gone from lucid and even tempered, even jovial, to a raving madman, with wild eyes and Az'Caine could even see his face turning red with fury. Never before has he seen his Majesty, his friend, in such a state. "What did they do to you?" Az'Caine whispers softly as he takes Ulric's hand. Az'Caine's eyes are drawn to that hand. Something seems, "off". Then he notices it. A RING! A gold ring. This is not the King's Ring! It looks like it, but the stone is wrong. The Magic in it is WRONG. Az'Caine says a few words of power that would reveal his Maker's Mark. "It's not there!" Az'Caine says aloud to no-one in particular a hint of panic and revelation in his tone.

Az'Caine tugs upon the ring. It does not budge. He examines it more closely. It is not "stuck". It's not something that butter would allow to slip off. This is Magic! Powerful Magic! Not of the Sanctum.

"it must be removed. Possibly through a Destroy Magic Item Ritual."
Without another hesitation Az'Caine leaves the King to sleep off the magic. He steps out the door and motions to the Guards. "No one is to see the King! If the Fatespinner attend him, see her to my Chambers in the Sanctum. Upon pain of Death, no one is to disturb the King. Am I understood?" Az'Caine states with a stare that freezes the guard into a silent nod.

Az'Caine moves to another room and enters the Portal that leads directly to his Chambers.
 
The King sits bolt upright

"SNAKES! SNAKES and TREES!"

His eyes shine with a strange madness as Ulric slowly rises and as if realizing something for the first time begins to shout!

"Burn them.....BURN THEM ALL! AhHA Ha HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH!!!"

The King rushes about the room searching frantically for flint and tinder. But none appears to be available!

"I will burn them and that wretched hive of Duskholm to ash and soot!!

And as if on cue begins to laugh and immediately passes out.
 

mythic

Baron
As Az'Caine and Magi Corstar make there way to the King's chambers an awful commotion is heard. "What in the Realms?" asks Lady Corstar as they quicken their pace. Reaching the King's room the guards look tense, more than just the appearance of the ArchMage and another Magi would normally incur.

They move through the door and the Wards with no resistance to find King Ulric lying upon the floor. His room has been torn asunder as drawers and chests have been rifled through. "What was he looking for?" Magi Corstar asks to no one in particular, just voicing what both the Wizards were thinking.

"It matters not." Az'Caine replies "we need to start the Ritual immediately." With that the door closes behind them leaving the guards to stare dumbfounded at the scene that was before them.

"Activate Circle of Power" Magi Corstar begins and taps a trinket on her necklace. Magic flames errput in a Circle surrounding the two Magi and the King.
"Being Ritual Casting." Az'Caine states. Minutes pass by as the ArchMage and Magi Corstar continue to weave Celestial Magic. Strain upon the ArchMage's face is great and Magi Corstar works her casting to bolster the formidable power of the ArchMage. The Ring shudders, sending out waves of energy that rip through the Wizards, and pound upon the Circle of Power. The ArchMage winces as another wave of energy bursts from the Ring. This time the wave crashes against the Circle of Power and the Circle cannot contain it! A look of panic crosses the face of Magi Corstar before she disintegrates before the ArchMage's eyes!

The ArchMage knows when a Ritual is about to backlash, but this one caught him almost completely by surprise. Almost, but the ArchMage has enough time and sense to erect another Circle of Power to protect the King and himself, but it is too late for Magi Corstar.

The power of the blast rocks the Castle, the city and even tremors are felt at the Breach. Walls are destroyed and the guards standing opposite the King's Chambers are unaware of the disaster before their bodies are ripped asunder by magic tidal forces. Dust and debris launch into the air and turn the sunny day into a cloudy mass that darkens the city into night.
 

Aclodava

Artisan
It seems like an eternity, but they quickly arrive and Zanthia races out of the carriage. She tarries momentarioly to ensure the gaurds here are ok. Every one of them has sustained injury. This is worse than she could have imagined. Looking up she can see the massive destruction that could only be caused by an extremely difficult ritual gone awry.

Pushing what is left of the doors out of the way, she makes her way around the debris littering the halls towards the king's chambers. "Please let them be alright." she whispers as she moves a quickly as she can around the ever-increasing destruction.

Tentatively, she approaches what is left of the king's chambers. Everything is blown outwards from the room. The doors are tinder against the opposite wall. Piles of dust mark the places where the hall gaurds were posted, she can abrely see them in the dark, though the dust is beginning to settle.

Through the choking air and darkness, she can hear sounds within. Zanthia covers her nose and mouth with her long sleeve and enters the room.
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Nadja approaches the palace at a run, having had a flash of visions while in the stairwell on her way down she had forgone waiting for Zanthia and had run to the palace instead, the pull to get to the King so strong she hadn't even stopped to think she just ran. Not even glancing at those injured, the Earthweavers will be along shortly she thought, she continues running to the King's chambers, not knowing what she will find there. Seeing the destruction around the King's chambers, she slows and moves carefully through the debris until she is near where the doors once stood. Nadja can feel the power of magic in the air, and can just see the faint glow through the dust of a circle of power with shapes inside. She continues forward, catching a glimpse of Zanthia just inside the room, Nadja enters the King's room.
 

mythic

Baron
As the dust begins to clear 1 shape can be seen. Or is it two? A few words of power are spoken by the familiar voice of the ArchMage and a gust of wind blows through the room clearing the final clouds. The ArchMage is kneeling over top of the King, his robes covering him like blanket. A Circle of Power surrounds them. A look of concern crosses the face of the ArchMage. With a thought he dismisses the Circle.

Wiping a tear from his eye, Az'Caine regains his normal gruff self when he hears the movements behind him. Looking to the Fatespinner and then the witch, Az'Caine states "well, then. It appears the Ring on the King will not be removed so easily. Fatespinner, please see the King to the Arcane Sanctum. He must be attended to at all times, but behind a Ward and the protective spells of the Sanctum. This artifact upon his hand will take more power to remove than I first assumed. I have never seen such powerful magic bestowed upon an item. This will require more research and" he pauses and looks around the devastated wing of the castle "more isolation."

He looks at the women and stops as they stare at him more intensely than normal. He realizes it's more a look of curiosity than bewilderment. "What?" he asks, a little flash of anger in his voice, then he notices his reflection in the Kings' now warped mirror. His HAIR! It's more white than grey! Looking to the Fatespinner and Nadja the ArchMage just shrugs. "Strange things happen when a ritual backlashes". he states plainly.

"Do not take the King through any portals until I am sure that the Ring will not trigger any adverse effects." he mentions as he leaves the room through the now destroyed wall. He makes his way to the Portal room in and hopes that they have survived the explosive release.....
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Nadja watches Az'Caine as he leaves, and can't get over his now white hair. Strange things happen during a backlash for sure but that seems more strange than normal. Moving to Ulric's side Nadja begins checking him quickly, noting that he is out cold, but otherwise seems mostly alright some minor healing should be all he needs.

"He is out cold Zanthia, and given his recent instability combined with what just happened, I believe we should leave him that way for now. I will go find someone to get us a couple guards who can carry him to the Arcane Sanctum." Stepping out into the hallway Nadja flags down a young servant and commands him to bring a couple capable and strong guards to the King's chambers. Once on his way, Nadja steps back into the King's chamber to check with Zanthia and await the guards.
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Zanthia watches the retreating form of the Arch Mage. Experienced with rituals herself, she knows just how wrong a ritual can go, but this appears to have taken more out of Az'Caine than he will ever admit to. She glances at Nadja then turns her attentions to the King. Healing his physical wounds is the easy part of this task. Just to be sure, she commands him to sleep.

Using her healing skills, she returns his body good as new. Purifying him for good measure. He is resting comfortably for now. "Once my people arrive, I am sure one of the Masters will have sent them already, we can move him to the Arcane Sanctum."

Sitting on the floor next to the king, she calls Nadja over. "I cannot detect anything wrong with him, however, my powers cannot detect alchemical substances. The more I learn, the more I am convinced this is the cause of his madness. It has to be something powerful to evade my spells. What I cannot determine is how. Alchemy is your expertise, have you found anything?"
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Master Wayanwood follows the destruction towards the source, not surpised to find the origin is the King's chamber itself. Within what remains, Zanthia and Nadja are attending the King, who sleeps on the floor in the only area of the room that has not been completely destroyed.

Zanthia stands on seeing the old tree-looking dryad enter the room. "Master Wayanwood, thank-you for coming so quickly."

"How is the king?" He asks.

"He rests for now. We must take him to the Arcance Sanctum and set constant care to attend him there." Zanthia replies.

The healers that have come with Master Wayanwood have brought stretchers with them and immediately lift King Ulric onto it. Carrying him out of the castle is slow going over the debris. Several times they are obliged to stop to let the gaurds move fallen beams or the like so they can continue. Eventually they make it outside.
 

Dramm a'dan

Scholar
Racing up to the gates on a horse, the Commander jumps off and races to the doors of the castle as the stretcher bears, the Fatespinner and Nadja are leaving. "What has happened? Are we under attack?"
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
Walking with Zanthia, slightly behind the King, as they make their way through the castle, Nadja looks thoughtful. "Alchemical substances can't be detected once they are in the blood stream, which can make them hard to detect once they are ingested. But his odd behaviour does seem to suggest he is being effected by something, but anything he ingested while in Duskholme would be out of his system by now as there is no way for his captors to continue.....getting it into his system...." her voice trails off and a strange look passes over Nadja's face "The Arch Mage mentioned a ring on the King, that was what they tried to remove earlier wasn't it?"

Reaching into her bag, Nadja removes the book of alchemical notes that has been passed down through generations of women in her family which she had placed in there earlier to show the Fatespinner. Opening the book, Nadja turns to a different page than she was on before, this recent information telling her that what she had discovered earlier wasn't entirely the answer they were looking for, but was only part of it.....turning the book towards Zanthia she points at a page. "My great-great-great-great grandmother once learned of a way to infuse alchemical substances into items worn on the body so that the item would release doses of a select substance to the recipient over and over again. We have never used this technique as it is too dangerous, in fact the process and use was made illegal, as repeated doses can lead to addiction and even death. I believe now that this strange ring on the King has this property."

Giving the Fatespinner a moment to process this information, she continues "I will be able to determine which alchemical substance it is once I examine the ring more closely....but his behaviour and my visions make more sense now, as he has become addicted to it. The longer he wears this ring, the worse his addiction will become and the worse his symptoms will get. We can cure him of the effects from the substance, but first we need to remove the ring and that seems to be magically placed on him somehow...you and the Arch Mage will need to figure out how to remove it. After that you and I can work on removing it from his system completely. A greater purify ritual and some recipes I have for withdrawal should do the trick." Looking ahead at the King Nadja sighs. "We must tell the Arch Mage as soon as we get the King to the Sanctum"
 

Aclodava

Artisan
Master Wayanwood is already getting a covered cart ready to bear the king the sort distance to the Arcane Sanctum.

"Commander Dunbow; no, we are not under attack. This is the result of a ritual gone very wrong. We are taking the king to the Arcane Sanctum at the Arch Mage's command. Perhaps you should accompany us and we can discuss everything there."

She turns to Nadja, looking at the book.

"Nadja, I know Az'Caine isn't particularly fond of you, but I believe he will want to know what you have found. Will you come with us?"

Master Wayanwood interrupts, "Excuse me Fatespinner, the wagon and guard are ready to depart. I will be staying here to oversee the recovery efforts."

"Thank-you Master Farrowan, for doing all of this." The king beings to groan from his prone positon under the cover of the wagon. Zanthia quickly climbs up and again commands him to sleep. It is best he is relaxed and as unseen as possible, no matter how short the trip.
 

DragonKitty

Scholar
"Of course Fatespinner, I will gladly accompany you" Nadja climbs into the wagon on the other side of the King for the short trip. "The King is more important than any small dislike Az'Caine may have towards me, I am prepared to deal with any grumps he may have in order to help our King. The Arch Mage doesn't scare me and for all his grumpiness Az'Caine is smart and will do anything for the King...even put up with me I imagine." Glancing down at Ulric, her King and her friend, Nadja giggles slightly before saying "Besides, I cursed him once, I could do it again." Opening her book she begins reading more about these objects and how they are made in case there are details contained within that could help.
 

Dramm a'dan

Scholar
Turning to an officer, "See that a perimeter is set in place around the King’s quarters as well as the castle proper. No items are to leave this site you hear me? Captain Baumle should be here shortly, he’s to assume command of the castle security. Assist in the search of casuailties. Before anyone goes digging through the rubble, make sure the structure is safe to do so.”

Turning, the Commander joins the Security detail around the King.
 

Dramm a'dan

Scholar
Just as the covered cart pulls away Cpt. Baumle and a squad of guards comes around the corner and enters the gates, looking at the squad Sgt. "Head up to his Highness's Quarters and secure them. No one enters the area you hear!" Walking over to the the Lt. left in charge by the Cmdr. "What's the situation?" After hearing the report he makes a few corrections and some suggestions. Turning and leaving he heads into the castle and heads up the stairs to the King's room. Scanning the debris he posts guards around the now open room. "Now we wait, no one is to enter this area till we're cleared by the ArchMage or the Cmdr."
 
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