Shadows Rising

The Archmage's Superiors

Ricven's assistant is kind of a jerk...

Stepping through the portal, they found themselves in a small lobby area inside the Great Citadel, the central administrative building of the Collegium Maleficos. An assistant to the Superior Quartus quickly greeted them and ushered them into a private room. As the assistant closed the door behind them, seated at the head of a great table was Ricven Tarmikos, Superior Quartus of the Collegium Maleficos.

Ignoring protocol, Serine bombarded him with questions, inquiring as to how and why they were brought to Horizon. Unfazed by her breach in etiquette, Ricven began to ask them how they had sealed the rift in Thog Tahrir, and how many members of their group had magical abilities beyond Marduke and Serine. Branan spoke up and said that he possessed the magic of music, although others rolled their eyes at this suggestion. Ricven, however, seemed to agree with him, and questioned him about his involvement with the group.

Quietly and quickly, Ricven’s assistant made his way over to where he was seated, and whispered something in his ear. Taking a moment to gather his thoughts, Ricven looked at Nerryn and asked her if she had met up with Carmo back at the Great Library. Nerryn confirmed that she had met up with Carmo, and as she was doing this, Ricven interrupted her and told her that she would have to leave her locket behind in Horizon for the unforeseeable future. Angered at this sudden revelation, Nerryn demanded that he return her locket, but he refused, saying that it was too powerful for her to be carrying around. After a tense discussion, Ricven offered to have Carmo instruct her in the safe keeping and handling of the locket, although he did not guarantee that she would receive it back even after completing this training. The locket, Ricven said, contained the power to unlock deep and dangerous secrets about her past, memories that he was confident she was not yet ready to hear.

A silence fell over the room and was eventually interrupted by Ricven’s assistant, who asked them if they had any additional questions for him (he was, of course, a very important man.) They asked him how he was able to bring them to Horizon, but he would only tell them that he had been watching them as they traveled from Glitterhaegen to Forge, and that he had been intrigued by not only their adventures in Thog Tahrir, but by the way their friendship had helped them persevere in the depths.

Ricven then asked them if they’d be willing to perform small tasks for him—Serine wondered aloud what they could do for him, and he assured them that there were many missions they could undertake for him should they be interested. Ricven told them that many fine items arrived at Horizon via Dockside, and he would love to occasionally obtain some of those items without anyone else knowing. Incredulous, Branan responded by saying that surely a man of his stature was already able to obtain such items without any need for their help.

Pulling out a large bottle, Ricven popped the cork and passed it over to Serine. He told them all that it was an exceptionally old and rare bottle of Elven scotch. After getting over their initial apprehension, he implored them to take a sip, and they all did. The drink elicited many different emotional responses, and Ricven questioned each of them about the feeling that the drink evoked in them. Focusing in on Nibil, who had said that the drink had made him feel very happy (a feeling that he was not accustomed to), Ricven asked him about his past, and learned that Nibil was the prime suspect in the death of the gnomish headmaster of the Gnomish School of Magic. Ricven let it slip that he was aware of the headmaster’s “alleged” death, and that Nibil should continue to keep a low profile as there was a bounty on his head.

Feeling a moment of courage, Branan asked Ricven about how the High Druid was doing, although Ricven only seemed to have disdain for her. Just as Branan was about to inquire further, Ricven’s assistant stood up and told them that it was time for them to leave—the Superior Quartus had many more important things to do than to answer all of their tiny, unimportant questions. He hustled them out of the room and back through a portal that deposited them back near Dockside. The group decided that they needed to speak in private, so they headed off to find a place where they could unpack the meeting they just had…

Comments

Nibil’s Survival Tome Entry 143

Alleged. ALLEGED. THAT BASTARD IS STILL ALIVE? WHY THE HELL HAVE I BEEN ON THE RUN FOR SO VERY VERY LONG IF HE IS STILL ALIVE.

STUPID MOTHERFU… OK. Calm down Nibil. There is no need to be this mad. Superior Quartus gave me a ton of information. Let’s run through this real quick:

- The headmaster is alive, most likely
- There is a bounty on my head
- I am not wanted in Horizon so as long as I keep a low profile especially around other gnomes I should be ok… crap. The new armor…and the old armor of sadness are at a store being run by a gnome. Today isn’t my lucky day.
- Superior Quartus has offered us work of a likely illicit nature
- Superior Quartus is a bit of a dick and I’m the only one of the group walking out of the meeting entirely happy with him, despite my rage above (he was only the messenger and his message was valuable if infuriating)
- I must obtain more of that glorious booze he fed us

Hopefully my companions choose to accept working for Quartus…or whatever his real name is. I feel like I need him on my side, especially given my standing in the gnome world right now and the presence of at least one other gnome amongst the Superiors, as is custom given the gnomish tradition of magic.

The Archmage's Superiors
 

From the diary of Serine Callings:

Second Week of the Harvest Moon (Cont),

Vance was able to get us a meeting with the Superior Cortus. I had forgotten how much I hate the politics and intrigues of court life. I’m not sure how much of his posturing is political and how much is the bluster of a high mage maintaining his reputation of mystery and power. He did imply that he knew more than he was letting on, and if that is so, I would love to know more about what happened to me in Axis.
And its intriguing to finally know more about our Gnomish friend. Perhaps his story has some clues for me as well? Its definitely worth pursuing.

The Archmage's Superiors
 

Dear Diary,
Well, Ricven’s a dick. Dickven, I shall call him. Wants us to run some shady jobs for him. Plainly threatened to send us back to Thog Thorir. Stole Nerryn’s locket. I like him.

Don’t get me wrong, Diary – we’re getting that locket back, and we’ll help him insofar as he can help us. And at some point I look forward to wiping that smug, self-pleased half-smile off the sonofabitch’s face. But he can match wits. Respect where it’s due.

The Archmage's Superiors
 

Amma~

It’s so quiet. It’s… lonely? A piece of me is missing and he took it. He told me it was dangerous, that it was asleep. Did it wake up? Is that why you sent me away? Did it leave the scar? Did it kill our family?! Something in my heart, maybe the hole where the locket should be, answers:
“Yes.”

I should start at the beginning. After stopping by the Whirlpool Tavern & having a bit of fun getting Marduke nearly passed-out drunk (as promised), Serine took us to the library. She introduced me to her former master, a librarian of the Archives named Vance. When I showed him my locket, he muttered a bit under his breath about the sound (!) and said it was asleep and powerful, but that any further analysis was beyond him. He referred me to a different librarian who specializes in magical items. After speaking with Corma, she confirmed what Vance had intimated and asked if she could hold onto the locket for awhile in order to perform a more in depth analysis. I agreed to allow her stewardship so long as I was in town.

Serine, Marduke & I then got into a bit of an altercation with some pixies who were giving him the business (I sat on a couple & their squishy bits made Rostik’s hat sparkle!). We were later joined by the rest of our friends, and shortly thereafter Vance arrived and put a quick stop to it. That’s when were summoned before Superior Cortice.

He informed me that my locket is dangerous and that he would not be returning it. He said that with the power within, the wielder could stand on a mountain or in a crevasse. He asked which I would choose. I did as you and Rostik and Madame S always taught me when addressing danger: Stand tall. Speak with the quiet thunder. Show them the inferno inside. Remind them that where there are shadows there is a footstep to be feared. I used the flame to strip away my familiar habitat. I made myself more present; made the shadows highlight me instead of hide me.
I answered “Wherever the ground is strongest.”

He spoke a bit with Nibil about gnomish politics, then he offered us a drink of 300 year Elvish Scotch. I could feel Ærestin’s disappointment when I refused. After the others had all had some, he explained that it would ‘help us know who we were and what we were meant for.’ I know that my fate is mine, and I am meant for what I choose, so I guess he was right. I know a con man when I see one. Dress in expensive robes and hide behind fancy titles all you like, but a con is a con, and a mark is a mark. He thought he could play us, but I trained under the best con artists in the Empire. He expounded on how perfect this awful city is: “Do you see trash? Do you see poverty? Do you see violence?” Do you see freedom, you puffed up pile of eel offal?! He also offered us work intercepting/moving/”finding” contraband on the docks. The group agrees that he’s an ass (I’ve taken to privately referring to him as “Superior Cockface”) and up to no good, so we’re going to play nicey-nice and wait for the right time to strike, to best hurt him, or at least get my locket back. Serine’s also asked for introductions to a few of Ol’ Cor’s black market contacts; I may make a few more disciples for our Prince if I’m not careful.

Amma, I’m lost without the sound. It’s so quiet. I will get it back. I will solve it. I will see you again.

~Little Imp

The Archmage's Superiors
jeremy_langill jeremy_langill

I'm sorry, but we no longer support this web browser. Please upgrade your browser or install Chrome or Firefox to enjoy the full functionality of this site.