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Author Topic: Sophia: Light Tome translation  (Read 6506 times)

minerva

Sophia: Light Tome translation
« on: November 14, 2008, 12:12:58 pm »
Some have said they cannot read Sophia's handwriting so :
 
 Three tomes : Light
 
 
 *Three tomes sit carefully bound together with a leather strap. All are of the same size, but the thickness of the volumes and color and type of bindings varies greatly between them. The first and thickest is bound in a hide that seems to absorb all the light around, as dark as an overcast moonless night sky. The second covered in velvet of a rich shade of red that seems to deepen to almost purple or lighten to cherry depending on the light. It exudes a faint aura of vitality. It is the thinnest of the three*. Vellum covers the final tome, it texture supple yet strong. Each seems to have a purpose*
 
 
 Excerpt Light 1
 
 Too long has it been since I have taken ink to parchment. Much has happened and little of it good. My plans of escape seem trivial now, since I was dumped unceremoniously outside the walls of Loriander. It was just my luck to have to share passage with a group of elves. The redhead was exceedingly irritating. The priest far too piously enamored with the tree lover. I was lucky the first mate had an eye for class. He was fairly easy to charm, but unfortunately for me, the Halflings the captain hired to take us from port at Velensk to a town called Hlint, we not. I suffered in silence, even after the caravan was overrun by bandits and the worthless guards allowed our possessions to be stolen. For a time I could not shake that redheaded archer. Insanely babbling day and night, foolishly calling me an Arch mage. Truly I think Xeen sent her to punish me.
 My next contact in this town was little better. A deluded young man with tattoos all over his face started following me about. He called me is White queen. I know I deserve respect, but this fellow was clearly deranged. He kept taking about being in a dream, and I was a dream and all around was a dream. I think I can do without that kind of worship. He was however well built and attractive. He made for an interesting dalliance but easily set aside for better prospects.
 Better prospects... just my luck I happen upon a magnificent specimen of a Drow and he goes and gets himself transformed into an Orc. The Drow in Father's halls were always off limits... too bad... His predicament is an interesting one. I can see the beast in when I open the doors of his mind... It makes me crave to control it. I wonder if any of the beast will remain when the transformation is reversed? It would make for an enjoyable evening I would think.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 2
 
 Hunting. That is what Ael calls it. It is as good a word as any, I suppose. We have been doing much of it of late and I confess I do enjoy it. The thrill of watching the blood lust in the beast's eyes before battle is quite intoxicating. My pet is quite the hunter. Bolstered by my command of the weave, he is even better. My skills continue to improve. I find it easier to memorize the incantations and the movements are becoming much more fluid with practice. The dance with the power of the weave is also intoxicating. How much further can I go? How many mysteries in its threads may I unravel? Will I surpass them in skill? I know I will. I am them, the best of them. How can I not be meant to eclipse what they are and shine in my own right?
 Ael's hunting skills are serving me well. In a moment of weakness I allowed a newcomer to attend me on my plant gathering rounds. He was fairly good looking, and gathering can be so monotonous alone. He was also irresponsible and well below the skill level I should have chosen in an attendant. He should have been more appreciative of the magic I gifted on him. But was he? NO! He just up and disappeared as I was gathering. His lack of respect was enough of a distraction that I lost tract of the length of my spell. My cloak of weave fizzled in the most inopportune of spots. I was just barely lucky enough to avoid the gaze of a marksman as a scurried for cover. In front was a swarm of hungry insects, behind a lizard archer with a poison bolt etched with my name. Quite the dilemma that whelp had caused me. The buzz of those infernal wings and the slopping sound of the patrolling lizards invaded my ability to focus on a fresh spell to conceal myself, but I could not hide forever in that stinking swamp. Memories of the hunt flooded my mind. Then a plan formed. Earlier I had woven strands of the weave to ward Ael from effects of my fire. I could still remember the dance of that spell. I cast it upon myself then waited until the footfall of the patrol was the faintest. I unleashed a ball of fire on the swarm of insects, toasting them in the air. I could hear them crack and sizzle as I rushed past them and cast a second round of fire to make sure the swarm did not pursue. The patrol must have been far enough off that my escape went unnoticed by the lizards. The weave adding speed to my steps, I sped from that grove unscathed. Hunting is a very useful skill. I shall have to find a way to reward my pet for this.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 3
 
 If they die, it is their own fault. Having my power behind them yet they are too stupid to make use of it. Blindly they rush into battle. Well if that is the case then I will keep my powers for myself or those who appreciate what I can do for them. Now I have met a few who do. Those I will welcome warmly.
 Daily I practice the arts of ink and quill and my skills as a scribe are vastly improving. Alas, the teachers the guild promised are non existent so I must seek supplies on my own and my spell book is sparse to say the least. So many weaves of enchantment exist for me to practice. I guess it will take gold to pry these parchments from the hands of the elder mages. Is it not better to seek gold with the young and lithe?
 I have neglected my skills at the alchemy tables in favor for the quill. Soon I will have to return to the tables. Again the guild falls short on its promises. My rooms should have been ready weeks ago. Xeen's whip would get those lazy workers moving. The inconvenience is beginning to annoy me.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 4
 
 So much time has passed since my last entry. Not much has changed. The minds of the weak still fall prey to my weaves. How they underestimate me. In all of this, a twinge of remorse. I have touched a mind that was innocent of any blackness. It shocked me a bit at first. Never have I found one that is so good. It seems a shame to ply my weaves on such naive ground. Perhaps I am wrong and the blackness is just well concealed. I cannot imagine a mind devoid of any darkness.
 My scribing continues to improve despite no assistance from the Guild. Both my teachers are nowhere to be found. I must do everything on my own.
 The Inn grows wearisome and the bed is far too lumpy and small. My captain is once again at sea, so I am not afforded the pleasures of his warm bed. The delicious knight that showed much promise is also missing from town. Perhaps he seeks to save someone since I told him I in no way need saving from him.
 Cray seems to have taken an unusual interest in my relations with Jet. Strange, form what my spies have told me her interests seem to lie in other directions. Still the weaves are fun no matter what the course.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 5
 
 
 A chance meeting with Ozymandias. We discussed the working behind the eyes. He had advice and a warning. I will take heed to his words, even if I do not agree with all. There may be others I can seek. Ozymandias mentioned several possibilities to pursue and I shall have to make some discrete inquires.
 Once again I discover I walk this path alone. Discussing my plans with cyel lead only to conflict, not support. I should not have been surprised, but alas Dog remains my sole confident. It appears that while others share my body quite willingly, there are none I can open my mind to. None that may know me.
 
 Excerpt Light 6
 
 The Arc of the Circle... seems to be nothing more than another vendor to me. Still I will give one more try at a meeting. It seems have little choice. The guild does not offer instruction. Again I must do things on my own.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 7
 
 *Sophia pads barefoot to the bookshelf and removes a velum covered tome. The low light of the fire reveals the scene in the room. On the desk lies a dagger, its edge stained in blood. By the fire's hearth are two glasses, the remnants of a dark red wine within. The coverings of the bed are all but gone, only a light sheet drapes the slumbering occupant. Sophia takes a quill and gracefully lowers herself to the rug beside the fire to write*
 Kali... always gets things wrong. But then, how would she know. She is not one of my mistress's nor is that strapping older fighter I believe she told of in her tale. True the wine they served was very much like that of the temple. If made by grapes blessed by the Mistress how could it not hold her essence. But the wine lacks the passion that is her. Tonight I showed sa laanilv what it means. The pain mingled with the pleasure of the wine. I think this night he truly did glimpse the meaning of the wine.
 He has asked me to mark him; to claim him as my own. Does he truly understand what this means? I indeed know the ritual of which he speaks... it has different forms foe different cultures, his being one of the more barbaric yet exciting versions. He wishes to find his tribe... to ask them of the ritual for his people. I have agreed to consider it. The time spent in the wilderness under Xeen's whip will be a boon to my skills. I envision many doors we may cross as we journey.
 The time of the Stag draws closer. I must inquire at the temple where the ritual is to be held this cycle. Where have the magical beasts been spotted and when will the elixir from the velvet be available? Never before have I felt compelled to join with the rut, but as the time draws closer I feel the urge more strongly. I hope it will not occur while we are away.
 *she closes the book and replaces it in the bookcase and murmurs a short arcane phrase to create the illusion of an empty space. Then, silently she slides into the arms of the sleeping form and drifts back to sleep*
 
 
 Excerpt Light 8
 
 I have been somewhat surprised at his willingness to serve me. I must find out more about this tribe of his, one that puts so much value on the gifts a woman can bring her warrior. Our scouting missions to the peaks have been few. The time of that journey lies well off, while the time of another draws near. The stags have been called. We will travel to the festival. I feel the calling in my being as one I cannot explain. It is a need to be fulfilled.
 His devotion to me has greatly increased the thickness of my volume of collected spells. I know not where these come from, nor really do I care. I now have a excellent base of knowledge from which to learn. The Tower's completion is still a far ways off, but I have been rewarded for my patience with a new rank. It is a start. The patience of others may not be so refined and vacancies on the councils may also appear.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 9
 
 It has been long since these tomes have left their place of binding. I had not thought that keeping them all that important when I made my retirement from what consider active life but perhaps I shall endeavor to dally in them from time to time. Most of my research I have saved in scrolls in the tower. The school lies vacant, the internal squabbling of the imbeciles never even getting it off the ground. A blessing in disguise as it made for lovely storage while their internal wars blew them apart I was honing my skills.
 
 
 Excerpt Light 10
 
 My decision to retreat into research was driven by those cold dark days. Easy it was after just a few short years to find those willing to subjugate themselves for mere coins. The markets of Katherian overflowed with fine specimens even if they were underfed. The temple was alive with those seeking escape from the pain of life and more than willing to open their senses to my ministrations.
 A few illusions and party tricks was a small price to pay for my keep. After all Sa Tyaan and I did fund the temple heavily before the skies darkened.
 Sa Tyaan did not stop the wanderlust but all the better to keep him in top form for my pleasures. His ability to endure is admirable but soon I another should take his place in the stable.
 
 Excerpt Light 11
 
   
 My isolation has dulled my reactions as well as my tolerance for those who hypocrites that call themselves hero. They toss around ideals but really have no sense of what life is. They see with only a narrow vision. I had opportunity to sample one of the most heady wines to cross my pallet since I left my fathers house. Sunset Ambrosia was the name. Any good viner knows that good grapes make good wine and that subtle changes in soils can effect a vintage. It still baffles me that when a competing winery proposes a bit of espionage or STEALING they group I had acquainted myself with had no quarrel with that. To their defense the other followers of the Mistress were as curious as I the source of this amazing vintage, but the others we mercenary in their pursuits. They call themselves upstanding but , hypocrites that they are took no offense to the means by which we distracted the guards. It was only when their fabricated sensibilities were affronted by the use of humans for humus that they called for death and proposed wanton property destruction. In the end The Mistress was served. It did not take much influence the weak minded leader than my plan of turning the vine clipping and information over to the wisdom of Xeen was the most reasonable course of action, even if I had to make it seem like it was his idea all along.
 
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2008, 07:58:55 am »
#12
 The dream. The dream came again last night. It has crept into my mind more and more of late and there is little I can do to stop it. The walls I thought I had surrounded it with seem to have proven ineffective. Perhaps it is the return I have made to the world outside the confines of the temple and Katherian that have sparked these remembrances. Perhaps it is something else.
 I am a child again. I am alone. I wander the corridors of the tower complex. I am safe in knowing none dare touch me as his daughter. I can do as I please, at least for the most part. There are still some that are taboo to even me. The dark ones I am not allowed to touch, nor them me. Father accepts them into his domain but even the child me can see the loathing he has for them.
 They bring fresh slaves. Males of different races and colors to work the fields of the compound. Females for his pleasure as well as to serve in the tower as cooks and maids. Children still supple and moldable to his whims. They all come and I watch and I learn.
 #13
 I am in her rooms. She lived here. The cushions are lush and covered in the finest of silks. The bed is huge and soft with four corner posts equipped as would be appropriate for her station. It is my bed now and I sleep where once she did. There is always the door on the other side of the room. The one that will not open. There are the scrolls and papers that I am taught both the common and elven language. Scrolls of the arcane that my young mind can barely comprehend but yet I keep trying.
 There are the eyes, red in the darkness that follow me. The warmth at my feet that springs to alertness once I wake. The rise and fall of a chest that is not mine but makes me feel safe.
 There are the servants. Always the servants. Laughter is forced if present at all.
 There are the screams, always the screams. I know them now for what they are. Servant and master. Domination and submission play out time and time again and I hear the music in the screams of pain as well as pleasure.
 There is the face.. His face. Cold and handsome in his elvish prime. A whip coiled at his side always. The icy feel he gives me. The lessons and the punishments. My mind screams at the punishments. Never a mark, never a blemish. That is his way.
 #14 & 15
 The wind blows the gauze materials of the curtains in a lazy billow. High in the air the windows catch the breeze and make what could be a stifling room bearable. Expensive and rare blown glass window panes fit with dwarven precision in the frames. The view is pristine of the surrounding country side. It is deceivingly serene with pastoral fields and tree groves. An inner courtyard bustles with the activity of servants while the outer agricultural pursuits are watched by mounted men with a coiled whip in hand. Walls , while invisible, are clearly evident.
 These windows give light to the tower room and in eerie way reflect the inside as well. Whitewash covers the stonework and, given the time of year is still warm, the tapestries have been rolled way. There is a bed on a raised dais. It is large with four ornately carved posts and the same gauze like curtains . The coverlet is a deep purple and stitched with silver and gold threads in what appears to be runes of some description. Pillows with gold tassels are piled atop the bed. They too are various shades of purple from the palest lavender to deep blooded wine. On the floor below the dais covered in rugs of various animal pelts. The textures are sinfully complex.
 As the eye moves from the bed there is a small sitting area. Chaise and chairs with mahogany tables. It is elegant as well as functional. There is a small writing desk with ink pots, quills and wax as well as a supply of parchment. An ornate bookcase covers another wall. The number of tomes it contains is decadent given the rarity of written materials. Among the tomes are cubbyholes storing scrolls rolled and tied with silken cords.
 A closer inspection of the works would reveal they are a mixture of Xeenite erotica and magical theory. Some are quite skillfully illuminated and all seem to be well cared for.
 A fireplace is the feature of another of the walls. It is unlit given the season but does contain a dozen fat waxed candles. The evening effect would be of a soft light becoming to most features.
 There is an alcove to the left of the fireplace. Recessed into the wall is a small shrine. There is a figure of a woman holding a goblet and whip. The wax of many burnt candles and the blackened ash of other offerings is on the crescent lip about the alcove.
 Vases hold bouquets of seasonal flowers in precise arrangements. Their perfume fills the air but fails to cover a musky scent present in the room.
 One would miss the small door to the right of the fireplace. It is unadorned and plain save for a rune cut into the stone. It is only the rectangular outline in the stonework that gives it away as being a door at all. The rune is the middle and smudged as if countless times it has been traced by fingers. There is little to show the room is even occupied. The brush and comb on the table. The wine goblet on the sitting room table.
 The curtains billow out as a door opens and a woman enters the room. Platinum blond hair frames a elfin face. It is not entirely elven in nature. The eyes are not complete almond shape, and more hooded if not sultry. Her complexion is not fair as her hair might suggest. Her skin is naturally blushed and her cheekbones high but defined giving her an almost heart shaped face. The effect is not at all unpleasant but neither is it extraordinary. Her frame is small and taller than one would expect for a elf female but it is perfectly proportioned if not a bit buxom. That attribute is accentuated by the black leather bustier she wears and the length of her legs by the shiny riding boots. What passes as a skirt is made of an orchid silk and from her waist hangs a tightly woven whip. It differs little from those worn by overseers outside the windows. She is young and moves lightly about the room.
 #16, 17
 She is quickly followed into the room by a flurry of servants. Three are young women and one is male. The women scurry about the room, none speaking unless spoken to and avoiding eye contact with their mistress. A tray of food and an ewer of wine appear. A heavy marble tub is set in place in front of the fire and the well built male steadily fills it with water from a source outside of the room. He is well lathered in sweat by the time he has it filled. The women eventually depart leaving the young lady and her male servant.
 She unabashedly undresses and eases herself into the bath. Without so much as a word the males crawls to her side and bathes her in the scented waters. No words are spoken between the two as the sun creeps lower in the skies. He dutifully dries her and assists her with her silk dressing gown. The food delivered is consumed by one, not two. He lights the candles of the room and stands in the shadows as she lounges on the chaise with a scroll. Her voice is low and husky as she repeats arcane syllables to herself. This goes on for hours until all is dark and the candles have burnt low. It is only as the last of the light lingers in the room that she speaks to him. He takes her hand as she leads him to the dais. He does not resist as she pushes him onto the coverlet. As the light leaves the room the scent of the flowers cannot hide the musk , as much as the shadows cannot deny who is the master....or mistress.
 #18
 It is autumn and the trees are in full splendor around the compound. In the distance I can see the tower and the walls. He is beside me. We are in a carriage pulled by three large black horses. At our flanks are men riding black horses with whips at their side. The ride is bumpy as we make our way past huts and hovels. Those within hurry out to be seen. Overseers make marks on tablets and move beads to represents bodies, sexes, race and all manner of detail. From time to time the result is not the anticipated. Hovels are searched and the missing found. Deception is not looked favorably upon.
 Words are short and clipped. I recall the conversation based on selection of stock and evaluation of attributes.
 Behind us is a cart drawn by oxen. It is a cage on wheels. Slowly as we make our way the cage fills. Wails and weeping are not allowed. Inside the bars is another crop harvested. Old, young, vital and beautiful are represented. There is little life in their eyes as they for the most part seem accepting of their fate. It is their lot in this circle of life.
 
 # 19
 The dream fades to be replaced by another. Music and genuine laughter fill the air. At my feet is polished marble in shades of gray and my favorite pinks. It is buffed to a sheen. All around me are people. People dressed in silks and fine cloth are gliding about the expansive room. The walls of stone are covered in tapestries to keep drafts at bay. A fireplace that one could stand fully erect in its hearth is at the far end of the room. Furniture has been pulled back to the perimeter of the oblong room. Chaises hold ladies in finery as men flock around them. There is a magical fountain flowing with wine and tables laden with food.
 He is there. He is resplendent in his arcane robes. The runes stitched into the fine silks glow and shimmer as he makes his way around the floor. At his elbow is a woman in wine colored gown cut to be fashionable yet decadent. She wears a pendant of a silver stag that catches the light from the huge chandelier. The lights are not candles but crystals enchanted to glow. Looking down I too am dressed in finery and I am much younger. I am not supposed to be here I think. I catch his eye and it is cold as ever. A gesture from him and I am forced to move. I watch as I climb the long staircase, the balustrade worn smooth with age and many hands. The party continues as I slowly make my up. There is a roar of laughter as I take a final step through the threshold of the corridor door. I glance back and see the entertainment has arrived. They are all nude....
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #2 on: January 11, 2009, 02:20:24 am »
20
 
 I am the apprentice. He is the master. I am the slave. He is my master. The dreams haunt me more and more frequently of late. It seems the deeper I understand the Al'Noth the more they come. I have taken to leaving our bed in the small hours of the morning so that he does not know of my screams when they overtake my sleep. I lie and tell him he snores and I need to rest elsewhere. I lie and tell him I need to seek my pleasure in another bed for the night. I lie because he could not understand. No one understands.
 
 The demons eat at me. Always control. Always. To lose the grip I have on them would weakness. I am not from weak stock. I am strong and I will not let them run free in my mind. The gate will stay closed.
 Pain helps. With pain I can focus. I can push them back.
 
 21
 
 I have thought of removing his collar and gifting him a whip of his own. I know he is ready. I have seen him with his subjugates in the temple and been proud but yet I hesitate. To remove it makes him my equal. What is it that holds me back? Is it the fear he is equal or the fear that in his duty to the whip he will see what I am?
 
 I visited a master today. I needed the release. I needed the pain. I needed to hold that power. To many times of late have I placed trust in those not worthy. When will I learn never to trust?
 I pushed as I have never pushed before. I know the rules. How many have I aided in training now? Five? Ten? A slave does not test their master without consequence yet I did.
 The mark is not permanent. The sight is unmarred. It was a display of temper that I have not seen in some time and yet as the beating came I could see them looking for the word. The word that would have stopped it all. I could not give it. I needed the pain.
 
 22
 
 I could see the room in my dream. The toys, the racks, the shackles and the ropes.
 I could hear the moans both in pleasure and in agony. I see my face everywhere. I am the master. I am the victim. I cannot tell one from the other. My gaze changes to blackness. I cannot see. I cannot hear. All about me is dark and yet I can feel. Hands, ropes, feathers, everything I can feel. I try to scream but I cannot. I can hear him goading me for my weakness. I must prevail. I must. All is black, all is darkness.
 
 I feel alone, and yet I feel stifled. They see the illusion they wish to see and do nothing to dispel it. Those to whom I lift the veil still veil themselves with their own needs. It is nature I suppose. It is hard to live the illusion. At least Ceela is back and I have one other soul besides Wev that understands. I think of her and hope my nightmares are not hers. I hope that he is stronger than I and that the two should be better than one ever could. She is me and he is Him. Maybe.
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #3 on: February 15, 2009, 08:17:22 pm »
Sophia Light Tome : Del Series:
 
 Most things happen as a chance encounter. This time it was in Hurm. I was visiting my favorite friendly captain and in the city for some supplies when I noted a gathering of those -adventure- types. Curiosity being what it is, I joined in the group on the fringe to see what was what. Seems a local noble was persuaded to give up his post overseeing the import and export of goods into the city by some kidnapping scheme. He was paying to have the kidnapping ring exposed along with supposed illegal trade practices. The man seemed naive enough to have fallen for this rouse. Why some put some much stock in young children. They can always breed more.
 
 
 No bard's tale here. Found the middle men. The half orc and some of the others of similar intellect managed to get some information from them. I suspect a little honey would have gotten more. It did lead to a lair and a defense force of a lot of trained women. As usual the idiots were more interested in killing than in what they were killing. Eventually we found the hide out. Found some whelp too they insisted on rescuing. While they were stabbing punching and generally killing anything that moved I was tossing mattresses and desks. I found some interesting items too. The map should aid in my search for Laanilv. I found the ledgers for the city imports both real and adulterated. Seems like an elaborate scheme to siphon off supplies. Why not just raid ships or steal something of value. The kid could have been sold in Katherian for a price to pay for most of what was there if done in the right circles and it was the least bit comely. Vices can be profitable.
 
 
 Just as we were leaving we had a visit from a mage. Called himself Del I believe. The constabulary started pounding the doors down at about the same time. I took the distraction to pilfer a crystal shard from one of my 'colleagues' and used my tome to transport back to the ship. My captain and I had a wonderful time sunbathing on the deck. He has strong hands even if he is a bit dim at times.
 
 I showed him my map and he agreed to sail that way for a few extra fetishes satisfied. How could I say no to his playfulness. It was a fun sail out but an unexpected find.. the island on the map was heavily guarded and warded. We left without getting too close. Good thing my captain's weakness of the flesh make him easy to persuade. Dancer so loves the feel of his skin beneath her coils and she never leaves a mark. He makes a good submissive . The pressure of leadership I often find leaves men wanting to submit in a stimulating but controlled manner. It also makes for nice piece of information... such that his crew would love to know really what their captains moans of pleasure are really about.
 
 In my dream I am in paradise. Warm sunshine bathes my form and magic surrounds me. Nothing is forbidden me, my every whim and desire upheld. Then it turns to opposed. I am chained in the darkness. Magic is void and my body cold on damp ground. It is violated again and again by faceless beings. I scream but there is no sound. I wake .
 
 As some bards say, the plot thickens. While in Hurm a few days after the unproductive sail to the island , once again some nice nancies were called upon to "help". Curiosity always does get the better of me. He said his "Lord" was in need of saving from those whom we had disrupted previously. That was enough to keep me interested at this point. Short version of the story is we managed to save the "Lord". The Half orc showed his true bumbling in the field of extracting information from someone steadfast in a cause. Ripping off their ears might work in a weak willed individual but will on set the resolve of one truly committed to a cause. The approach in those cases is like taming a Toranite. It is a slow, process to be savored at each individual victory. Slow pain wears away at the will and the fact that their cause does nothing to save them works for you. The orc should have just knocked the prisoner over the head and saved him for me.
 
 Oh well I came away from the estate richer in some books I found. One was a study on the Dark elf culture, one on vampires and one on the heavens and the movements of the stars.
 
 I had only a small chance to skim them while aboard the ship that whisked us and the old man named Ebon from the island.
 He is a worse bard than I. I think I fell asleep during his attempt at telling a tale. From what I remember he and another were a member of some honorable group and became wrecked on a tiny island. The islanders took them in while they recovered. During the stay it was noted a particularity of the island. The inhabitants were far older than they appeared and there were polar "crystals" on the island that seemed to be influencing this phenomenon. One of the men named Del was fascinated by the crystals an began to experiment with them. He obviously was inept because he caused some type of natural disaster that left the women of the island barren. Without whelps to worry about, some might no consider it a disaster.
 
 Anyway the natives were none to happy and sought to kick them off. Ebon left with his faction readily but Del had a temper tantrum and became a dictator on the island. Apparently it is he that is "stealing" women and diverting supplies to repopulate his little paradise and still doing research on the crystals. The one I hold is from the regenerative side of the island. Ebon has charged us to search for a fragment from the degenerative side of the island. To that end Del's ships pursue us and we are off to the Rift as that is where the old man thinks the piece has been sent.
 
 Into the Rift with a darkee with us. They give me strange looks and worry that I will somehow molest them in their sleep. They care not that I cannot sleep. Wrapped up in themselves they are. Why should I care their fate unless it directly impacts my own?
 
 It was only with my aid that the crystal was found. I got suspicion from all but one. The one I mistook for a Mistie is actually a gnome lover. She also follows the other side of the sword and seems to think I do as well. Best I let her think that way, as she is not unpleasing to the eye and a cleric that desires you is a boom in enemy territory.
 
 We found the other shard. It seems the Darkees were developing its aura as weapon of death. It was quite effective too, but nothing should ever be made to be that ugly. Age in an instant is an affront to Xeen even if the test subjects were only gnomes. While the idiots rampaged through the tower I managed to salvage some of the research notes. I think that perhaps this regenerative fragment could be harnessed in a similar way. I need time to review it, but they did not seem to trust me with the shard and the bard got it before I could. I will have to think of a way to get it from him so I can study it. He is a decent ally for the moment so I have to he clever and not alienate him in doing so.
 
 My chance came thanks to the Del and and his goons. I suspected an ambush as we were leaving the upper levels of the Rift. Human trackers that came only part way then retreated out, and fresh. Once again I was ignored and they walked straight into the ambush. I hung back and used the Al'Noth for cover as soon as I was able. I don't even think they ever saw me. I was able to get close to the bard and whisper in his ear. I could see the orc was bartering with the goons. He'd sell any of us if there was profit. I used this to create mistrust in the bard and told him that his friends were going to risk his life for some piece of crystal. I offered to take it and use my tome to transport safely out. They would be none the wiser except for the loss of the aura of the shard. I had not appeared to them. Of course he wanted to do the noble thing and fight with his friends to have it take from his dead or unconscious body. That was until he realized the idiots had sold him. He managed to get clear, toss me the shard and I tomed out as the fight began. I hope he ran and left them to their own mess.
 
 I've had several weeks to study these things. I think I would need several years but I have gotten word to sail to Bilken to meet with the others. Since I have no desire to have Del's goons interrupt my other research I will take this negative one to them. The other I will keep. If I can decipher these notes in Dark Elven I can I think make a regenerator from my piece. It won't make one younger but the effects of age could be held off perhaps indefinitely. A hope at an elven lifespan for my lack of pure blood. I may have human thighs but I have an elven ingenuity.
 
 The looks on their faces when they came through the gates and saw me in the streets. The bard seemed torn. I think he was relieved and thankful. I think that alliance is safe for now.
 
 We met with the leaders of the city to give the thing back. Why is it do gooders always set themselves up for later problems? The island itself ... I know the Del type. He's not going to deal with a unknown wizard like me. He wants to create his own paradise. He should just have just populated it with legitimately farmed breeders and raised his own resources instead of using his male ego to use it as a base to take over Layonara with some scary death ray weapon. How long if they kill him off until some new power hungry soul gets the same idea? The islanders are no longer the untainted innocents they were. One of them may want to follow in his footsteps if he is deposed.
 Best idea would be to just sink the island and get rid of the temptation. Who cares in a few hundred ignorant natives lose their homes. Collateral damages compared to what could be lost.
 
 As usual, no one listens to me.
 
 
 Now I have to decide whether to go along for the fireworks or wash my hands of this. I will think on it as perhaps there is still some advantage to be had. If I take the research I have I many be able to convince some of the temple mages that this could be of value to the Mistress. Politically I don't know if they can influence the decisions of the Bilkan but they may be able to work with Del and perhaps take him out themselves and take over the island in the Mistress's name. I could then maybe continue my research there with a free pass..
 
 This might be worth considering...
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2024, 04:55:21 pm »

  Sophia shoves solidly on the heavy wooden door.  With a loud creak that could almost be mistaken for a moan it slowly opens.  The servants in the corridor behind her stop their tasks, startled, before  haltingly returning to their duties.  As she steps into the room, a diminutive serving gnome skulks  behind her and two large human males stand at guard either side the door in the passageway.

The large room is chilled and grey.  Heavy drapes cover the windows. There are various pieces of furniture but a fine layer of dust covers everything in the room.  Vials and beakers are stacked on the  long stone covered bench beside burners.  The fireplace in the corner is unlit, its cauldron cold and grey in the shadows.   The desk sits bare in the other corner and against the back wall, the cages lay barren, empty.  Gleaming metal shackles dulled with the layer of neglect hang dangle beams above.

The gnome scurries over to the fireplace and quickly gets a blaze glowing before she turns her attention to removing the layers of dust from the room.  She eyes the cages warily and then her mistress but Sophia seems not to notice.  Her attention is on the desk and the bookcase beside it. Sophia waves a hand over the desk, a soft incantation passing her lips. The air shimmers, the once bare desk reveals the implements of study.   Ledgers, quills and various gadgets covering the surface.

Moving behind the desk, Sophia sits in the large chair and with a finger, flips the page in the top ledger to reveal a blank page. She dips a quill in ink, pensively using its ornate feathered end to caress her cheek as she considers for a moment then scratches on the vellum.


Returned to Leringard  this day. 

Will have to procure subjects to extend my research here.  The dreams are back. Sleep is fleeting at best.  WHO is HE darkly underlined

Jharl is gone, no word of his passing or location.  Haven house abandoned but stocked. Perhaps he plans to return. Is it worth the search or shall I look anew?

So much has changed, but so much remains

“What to do, what to do” she mutters before continuing

New allies will be needed, time to check out the neighbors.

She places the quill in its holder and reaches behind her to the bookshelf.  A decanter of blood red wine has somehow appeared while she was writing.  She pores a glass.  The gnome has opened the curtains and she gazes out over the city of Leringard , sipping from her glass.  Her look is contemplative.


« Last Edit: January 09, 2024, 01:35:11 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2024, 02:50:09 pm »
Placeholder

Temple donations receipts # 29284-29286 total = 106475 gold
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #6 on: April 02, 2024, 11:58:19 am »
Sophia lifts the glass of wine to her lips and leans back into the large male hands that expertly knead the knots from her shoulders.  She groans and closes her eye as a small smile ghosts on her face before quickly fading.   She takes a  large draw from the glass and sets it back on the desk beside and open  book.   Once again leaning into the hands on her body she half closes her eyes, lifts the volume and reads what she written while she worries the tip on the quill between her teeth.


It was a little too close for comfort tonight.  While making a hand off to Silas, who should approach but Steel.  I was able to wave Silas off before he stepped from his hiding place in the shadows, luckily the downpour had emptied the streets and damped sounds as well as everything else

Steel commented on my being out in the rain.  He somehow thinks getting drenched is beneath me.  If he could see the pale haired youth I was hiding under carts and in far worse weather when HE removed me from his household.  Wev as always had my back, but Steel was suitably redirected by the promise of wine and conversation.  At the Arms of course.  I am not prepared to let a mage of his skill past my wards and while the clergy is in such abundance I dare not go without.

He had mentioned he had a library withing the inn and gambling hall.  It was the first time I had ever ventured into the upper portions of the building.  The demon has done well for himself.
His study space was quite cozy and while not particularly rare, there were some unique title present.  I should examine them closer at some other time. Him having a dungeon intrigues me.  I doubt it functions as mine.

He even managed to produce a fairly passable bottle of wine. Questionable origins, but from its qualities I suspect is its a blend of grapes from Dregar and made in Xeen's tradition but not with grapes grown in Morholts' soils.  I will send a case of something better and perhaps something from my enhanced stock for the common room.

The conversation was decent. I guess being raised in HIS court has made me somehow different from others bound to the stones.  Aristocratic, Steel called it.  If he only knew.  If I only knew the truth.  I still wonder about that face but here in Leringard the dreams continue to haunt my sleep.  Leaving the estate and HIS ever watchful gaze didn't halt them.  I will have to visit Lexander when the powders fail to keep the dreams at bay. Two demons in my life.  One wanting to use me to advance his own social position and whatever agenda he has.  The other I have no idea what it wants.  And what of what I want?

Sophia places the quill in the spine of the book and closes it. She reaches her now empty hand up and pulls the head of the masseuse closer .  His jet black hair contrasting the pale white blond of hers .He lifts from the chair easily as she whispers something in his ear.  As they leave the room she turns quitely chants and motions with her hand . The door closes and the lock clicks into place.   Wev slips between the shadows, following.
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #7 on: April 23, 2024, 01:59:52 pm »
Gaudy gold foil mask rimmed with green and red glass fake rubies and emeralds . Its the pale grey eyes behind the mask  and breath as fetid as week old fish that wake her with a silent scream.  She knows she's not allowed to scream or even make a noise.  She freezes.  The air changes.  Instead of fetid breath she smells spicy cologne.  She has a warm muscular male arm across her shoulder and the thigh of another draped over her legs holding her in a spooning embrace.  The only sounds other than the pounding of her terrified heart in her ears are the soft sounds of the two men in the bed with her.  Neither has noticed her wake. The terror subsides slowly as she concentrates on her breathing.  No fear. No weakness.  It is forbidden.

She extracts herself carefully from her bedmates and rises to grab the red silk dressing gown slung on the bedside chair.  Shrugging it onto her shoulders she whispers an incantation and gestures with her left hand.  A pale blue fog briefly appears above the bed.  If the men had noticed her nightmare, it will be forgotten by dawn.  No weakness.  Biddable, handsome but not too smart is best.    She walks across the room to decanter and pours herself a glass of wine.

She slips out the glass door onto the small balcony over looking the city.  He body automatically aligns itself with direction to Katherian.  After all, her house is but a small slice of the city here in Leringard. The wine helps to quell the hammering of her heart and she breaths deeply and slowly.

A nightmare?  No.  Nightmares are not real. They are conjured from the mind.  This was real, this happened. She thought she had locked it away with the others but something let it out.  Something was letting them all out.  Control.  She had to find a way.

Tossing down the remainder of the glass in one gulp she turns back to the room.  Should she wake them?  No.  As pleasing as their diversion would be, its not what she needs.  She slips on some boots and selects a whip from her collection.  Opening the door she nods to the guard before heading down several flights of stairs.  The closer and deeper she goes, the louder and less muffled the screams become.  A small smile crosses her face as she plays with the tail of the whip in her hand.. This is what she needs.
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2024, 09:31:41 am »
Sophia leans back on the chaise as the Xeenite priestess Maria chants softly as she applies a salve to Sophia's neck and arms. Sophia sips from a goblet steaming with a fragrant potion and moans  in contentment.

“Those are the nasty bruises Mistress Sophia.  They look far different than when you and your lovers play. Did something happen?” she questions as she puts the container on a low nearby table and pours herself a glass of sparkling liquid before stretching out on the nearby chaise herself.

Sophia gives her a wry smile.  “You could say that.  Goras decided that today would be a lovely day to pay me a visit.  Him and my father's men.”

Maria grimaces “Goras. It's a wonder these aren't worse than they are or more of them.  That menace should be put down or locked up.”

“Well, putting him down will do no good I'm afraid.”  Sophia rises from the chaise and heads to her wardrobe.  “It would appear the bastard has bound himself to the stones.”   She sighs  “I wish they had killed him.  Now I will have to figure out a way to keep him from me that the stones cannot reverse.”

She sorts through outfits . “Steel offered to kill him for free.  That demon does nothing for free.  If I was thinking clearly I should have taken him up on the offer instead of allowing Wev to rip out Goras's throat.”

“Steel, is the demon you invited to the gala?  The one that wears a mask all the time?” Maria asks as she fingers the fine silk of one of the garments Sophia as pulled out for consideration.

“That's him. He's the reason these bruises are not worse and Mobakak is down a couple men.” she replies, sorting deeper into the wardrobe.

“Come to your rescue did he?  Big bad demon rescue you from big bad Goras .”  Maria fakes a duck as if Sophia would strike her for such a statement.

Sophia laughs in reply. “I need no rescue you should know better.  Wev had the situation but I am pissed I let my guard down.”

She considers a few outfits and shows her two choices  to Maria.  " The suit or the dress?"  She holds up a blood red leather body suit with strategic cut outs and a dress comprised of fine sheer royal purple silk and cloth of gold trim.

“Hmm, the suit would show your figure to perfection but the dress is much more easy access.  You know how the boys get during fights.  All those male energies”  Maria winks at Sophia and finishes her drink before pouring another.

Sophia laughs and considers the choices.    She grins back at Maria   “After the day I've had, definitely the dress.”  The leather bodysuit is replaced into the wardrobe. “I still feel dirty from Goras's hands.  A nice soak would do wonders”

With the bruises now almost faded to oblivion, Sophia takes some toiletries off the dresser and heads to ward Lexander's  heated baths.

“Care to join me Maria?” she calls over her shoulder.

The two women, wine glasses in hand stroll down the marble corridor of Lexander's home.  Tucked into the back is an outdoor pool with a view of the harbour and city.  It is almost twilight and lamps are being lit in the area of the stadium.  More and more of the city's citizens are gathering for the popular event.  Vendors are set up outside the venue hawking their street foods. 


Steam rises from the pool.  Tropical plants abound in the humid environment.  Braziers cast a low glow  and incense perfumes the air. 

“This is going to feel so good” Sophia murmurs as she sheds her dressing gown and wades into the warmed perfumed water.  She settles onto a submerged bench as a few slaves  melt out of the background with ewers of wine and a tray of bite sized treats.

“Oh, fried dough, my favourite” Maria squeals and grabs a couple of balls of flaky pastry before joining Sophia on the bench opposite her. “So, A demon?  What are you up to my friend?” 

Sophia gives Maria a splash with the heel of her hand.  She playfully responds “why do I have to be up to anything? Can't I just have a friend that enjoys some of the same things I do?  One that doesn't have a sword shoved so far up his ass that my lifestyle and choices aren't going to shock him?  One also bound to those god dammed stones so that death eludes us?”

“Nice try and valid arguments, but we've been friends since your return to city.  I may not have the eternal life that you do”  Maria holds up a hand as if to stop a retort she knows is coming.  “Don't, just don't.  I like life, I adore Xeen but the thought of eternity and having to wait until my body aged to its death slowly”  She shakes her head. “Nope, not for me. I'll enjoy the here and now and unlike you, I actively try to avoid dying”  She lies back in the warm water letting it support as she relaxes into a float. “Good attempt at avoiding my question.”

“Its all you're getting” Sophia rises from the pool and flicks water in Maria's face.  Maria retaliates with a splash.  The two ladies dissolve into laughter and a water fight for the next few minutes until finally winded, Maria holds up a hand.

“ I concede, bully”she laughs as a slave hands her a large soft towel.  Maria dries herself off and watches Sophia do the same.   “Time to get going I guess.  You going to the Prelates box or are you taking your -guest- to Lexander's?”

“If I attend the prelate I have to deal with all his bitchy women as well as his hands.  It might be worth it for the nephew but Xeen's whip even a good flesh to stone spell couldn't help the Prelate”  Sophia tosses the towel aside and slips into her dressing gown.  “Steele is here to make business contacts.  He can do that better in Lexander's company than the Prelate.”

The two women make their way back to Sophia's rooms.  Maria nudges Sophia in the side.  Slyly she asks “So what's behind the mask?  Is he tragically hideous?  One of those demons that's all teeth and no eyes?  Covered in pustules? Tentacles?”


Sophia chuckles “None of the above.  He's blue.  Very very blue.  His features are humanoid but you can tell he's got demonic heritage.  He's got some elven features too.  I've seen far worse.  His eyes are red but who am I to talk?  Mine are dog yellow.”

Maria reaches into the wardrobe.  “Vorax's boils I wish I had your figure.  Short and dumpy, that's me and I like your eyes, they're gold, not yellow.” She pulls out a filmy dress and starts to pull it on.

“Yellow eyes, white hair.  Nothing like my mother and nothing like Mobakak” Sophia replies as she adjust the corset of her dress.

“Heard it all before Mistress, doesn't matter.  Before the Purity anything was in play.  You know that.  Mobakak publicly claimed you as his.  Run with that.  I would”  Maria shoots back as she balances precariously to adjust a heel. 

“Easy for you to say”  Sophia grumbles.  “ Lets drop this depressing line of conversation.  How about the fights?  The two ladies launch into an active discussion of the upcoming fights and the fighters as they grab their wraps and leave.  Outside the bedchambers, guards fall in behind them but the two barely seem to notice.   The evening is warm but not hot and a light breeze blows in from the ocean so the smells of the city are hardly noticeable.  The short walk to the stadium is uneventful.

“I told Steel I would find him” Sophia tells her friend as she momentarily closes her eyes and concentrates.  “Divination isn't really my thing, but I think he's on the fighter level, lets go inspect the stock and see”  Sophia links her arm with Maria and strolls into the building from the elite entrance, bypassing the common crowd.  The guards flank the couple as they disappear down a passageway.




« Last Edit: June 05, 2024, 01:25:51 pm by minerva »
 

minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #9 on: June 25, 2024, 10:50:54 am »
FIRE IN THE BLOOD

“Mistress” a timid voice calls from outside the chamber doors  “Mistress, an envoy is at the doors for you”
 
Sophia emits a low growl and reaches her hand up to rub her temples in frustration.  “Who ?” she calls back as her dominant hand flexes a slender braided short whip letting its crack rent the air.   A startled yip emits from the hall and she grins at the effect
 
“I do not know Mistress but the message he carries looks important” a shaky voice replies.
 
“I will be up shortly, show them to the receiving room and for Xeen's sake keep them out of the common room.” Sophia answers as she walks over to a small cubicle of marble set into the corner of the room.  She peels off the red leather trousers and jacket she was wearing and sets them aside as she pulls a lever to let a torrent of warmed water sluice over her bared body.   A silent figure hands her a soft length of absorbent cloth to dry herself then just a silently.  Sophia dons the fresh clothes handed to her and she strides for the door.   With a backward glance she makes a series of gestures and mutters an arcane phrase.  A masculine scream fills the air as she releases her spell on the man chained in the room.  “I'll be back to deal with you later”
 
She strides down the hall, her heels tapping out her gait on the cobbles as she she makes her way up a sturdy stone staircase and pushes a thick oak door open.   On the other side is a plushly decorated hall that opens into a foyer flanked with a grand staircase to a second story.  Off the foyer are a couple other passages.  One can catch the sounds of laughter and music coming from one direction while Sophia heads in the opposite.  She enters a room decked in dark mahogany panels and one large thick paned window streaming in mid day light.  The glass is not fully translucent but once can see through it enough to tell it overlooks a garden and outdoor pool of some sort.  There is a heavy desk at one side and two comfortable looking arm chairs flank a stone fireplace set into the wall.   Various curiosities full the room.  Vases, flowers, taxidermy animals and shelves with some arcane appearing artifacts as well as some nautical decor.  In all a very elegant eclectic room.
A dark skinned man in the livery of a messenger nods as she enters.  He is standing next to the fire.
 
“You are stonebound?” he asks
 
“Who makes such an inquiry” She counters
 
“I have a message for any stonebound  from Dsen Ravorinin.  He offers 1000 true to meet with him” he replies and places a card on the mantle of the fireplace.  He bows his head in a show of respect and strides out of the room.
 
When the envoy leaves,Sophia walks over to the mantle where the card is placed.  She fixes her concentration on the card and  incants a phrase softly.  The card glows blue briefly to show it is not enchanted.  She then picks up the card , then takes it to her desk where she sits and with a neat deliberate stroke, marks the information in a book on her desk. Once again her face bears the look of concentration for a minute before she takes quill in hand , bows her head and writes on some documents on her desk
 
A short time later, a man appears at the threshold of the room's door.  He's tall and strongly built.  His sandy brown hair is lit with lighter blond highlights and the brown tone of his skin belies his outdoor lifestyle.
 
“You summoned me Mistress?”  He asks , still leaning in the door frame.
“Driss, come in” she gestures to the chair in front of her desk.
 
Driss strides into the room and seats himself in the chair , leaning back with casual grace.
 
 
Sophia leans her elbows on the desk, chin in her hands.  “Tell me what you know of the Sederan Abt and the son of the Jnaar , Dsen.
 
“Well Mistress, the Abt are as skilled at navigating the shifting sands of the desert as sailor are the water of the seas.   They are constantly in motion, never staying in one place for long and they are split in family groups, some of those families very very large.”  He makes a gesture asking permission to stand.  Sophia nods and he gets up from his chair and makes his way behind hers.  Strong hands grip her shoulders and knead the muscles of her shoulder and neck.  He continues as he works on the tension in her neck.  About two dozen members of the Abt form the Sand Sea Synod and very powerful.  The Jnaar answer to them and only with their approval can he act.   Dsen I believe is his third son and has command over their warriors. He is more than a figure head and believe he is known to be a very good warrior.   He is not however in line to take the throne.  His second eldest brother I think has been named the next Jnaar.  The eldest being skipped over because he is hotheaded, impulsive and I think none too bright.  Dsen has many sisters, some of them quite lovely.  But none are you Mistress Sophia”  He places small kisses along the side of her neck.
 
She reaches her arm back to trap his head there.  “What is there of value in the kingdom?”she asks as she runs her fingers along the nape of his hair at his neck.
 
Between kisses he replies.  The kingdom relies heavily on trade as its deserts grow little except in the northeast where there is plenty of arable land.  As you know they are rich in minerals and especially silver ore.  There are magic artefacts in the treasury from the foundation of the city but a humble horseman such as myself would not know what they are.  Of course there is the usual trapping of wealth, gold, gems, fine cloths.”  He punctuates each of those with a nibble on her neck.
 
Sophia loosens her hold on his head and stands to face him.  He stills as if on command as she pulls the fine linen shirt tails from his leather breeches and moves her hands up his muscled abdomen and chest.
“Why does a humble horseman know these things about the Sedarans, hmm”  she murmurs as she unlaces the ties of his shirt so she can nip at the firm smooth skin beneath.
 
“You know very well Mistress, that I was apprenticed to care for the zreass” He replies as he in turn slips his hands under her blouse to feel the warmth of her back, a finger tracing the length of her spine.
 
“Apprentice, is that what they called it.  Tell me of the zreass”  She murmurs contently
 
They are the wind of the desert Mistress” Driss replies.  “Bred to be fast and light as they fly across the sands with a warrior on their back.  They are fearless and bold yet they have a fragile beauty about them.  They can find water where there seems to be none.  They can withstand the heat of the sands without difficulty.  They are a proud and noble animal”
 
“Would they blend well with my stock here, and would they withstand the voyage to get here?” she asks, raising her head to look at him.
 
“There were several taken by raiders when I was Mistress.  We shared the belly of the ship for many days before Silas and his crew liberated us.  They did well on the voyage.  Silas I believe sold them further down the coast though, not wanting the animals on his crossing.  There were none in the holding pens when you purchased me from Silas.”  Driss replies
 
Sophia slips her hands out from under his shirt and steps back.  She grabs the jacket she had discarded when she entered the room.   “We have some work to do Driss, we can play later.  Maybe I'll let you play with my new toy below if things go well.”  She motion for Driss to join her as she leaves the room and can be heard asking him “What do you think a Sederian prince wants to meet with to discuss on not even his own continent, let alone kingdom”
 
 

 
 
Maria,
 
I  arrived in a wooded clearing.  In the distance the walls of Arnax could be seen towering above the trees and the call of  seabirds can still be heard.  I appear to have been the first to arrive at the designated meeting place.  Finding a vantage point where I  can observe the road and all that come and go, I  settle in a comfortable spot, take a swig from my canteen and wait. I surround myself in a hazy bubble of magic that blocks me from the prying eyes of others unless they, like I  possess magical enhancement to their sight.
I do not have to wait long.  A lithe elven woman appears in the clearing.  She too looks around and not seeing anyone settles herself a distance from me.   A short time later two red bearded dwarves amble into the clearing.  Both are armed to the teeth as dwarves are wont to do but with them comes the distinct odour of hogs.  I wrinkle my nose and resist the urge to cause a magical wind to blow the stench away, but thankfully Katia sees fit to change the direction herself and I am spared the barnyard smells.  The dwarves amicably chat with the elf, which is odd behaviour for both races but they must be stone bound like I and thus act differently than common folk.  Finally the arrival of another older dwarf confirms that these people are indeed stone bound.  I recognize the new dwarf as someone I have  travelled with in the past; Gorm of the mighty raging temper.
 
Not long after the final dwarf arrives, a cloaked figure makes his way close to where I have perched myself.   I  watch the figure and recognize the similarities in dress to the envoy; only these clothes are much finer and well made even if they show the fatigue of use.  A swarthy skinned man with scars drops his hood and introduces himself as Dsen Ravorinin, third son of the Jnaar and commander of the military forces.
 
I  hold her words as he spins a tale of almost unbelievable proportion.  Somehow an army of tens of thousands of fire creatures has appeared seemingly out of nowhere in the desert and appear to be on a direct path to the standing city of Audria.  Nothing is mentioned of the Camel City or the Abt.  The  prince has failed to garner any useful intelligence on the force, he knows nothing of their purpose or even why the standing city has been targeted.   He makes an appeal to those gathered that he needs their help in delaying the forces until allies can be put in place to repel an attack on the standing city.  He does not mention the state of any of the other cities and he makes what he feels is a generous offer to the group of compensation for their efforts.
 
I ask why the meeting is outside Arnax and not in Audria itself.  Dsen insinuates that this is more convenient and quicker for sailing to the Audria aboard his vessel.  After a period of chatter, most of it inane, they do in fact move to a vessel docked in Arnax harbour and set sail for the port of Audria.   The lithe woman is called Lia and has some training it seems in the way of the al’noth as well as with a blade.  The dwarves are known to Gorm and are called Gumbo and Vanderfall.   It is one called Gumbo that smells like a swine.
Once aboard the vessel and underway I  spread all the maps and geographical information that Dsen provides on a large work table to peruse  with Gorm. Toran’s testicles  The information is woefully incomplete and does not match my comprehension of the desert that I have spent many days mining and exploring over the years.  It would seem the commander is withholding information either on purpose or out of ignorance.  He does not seem an ignorant man so he must serve some other purpose.  The Abt perhaps have a hand in this?
It seems Lil has made her way onto the ship but no Glitch accompanies her.  Pity but at least Lil is here to hopefully provide reason or at least some fun.  Things are rarely dull around Lil.
Dsen’s looking for ways to slow the host.  He has eliminated and discounted  the use of geographic features as bottlenecks and kill zones.  No illusions to disguise deep crevasses to lead them into, like those that exist in the northeastern part of the kingdom.  In an area rife with caves It is difficult to believe the geography can’t be exploited.   Turning the giants, bandits and other denizens of the desert against the invaders was discounted.  I guess diplomacy isn’t the strong suit of this population.

What did they decide?  I say they because at this turn in events I withdrew.  Traps, hundreds and hundreds of traps and sound devices distributed in the path of the invasion.  Traps that would at best slow the march and perhaps cause a smattering of casualties relative to their overall numbers..  Confusion would be temporary at best.  If an entity has the means and might to assemble such a horde then can it be assumed that a few hundred to a thousand traps is going to put them off their game for long?
It is almost as if Dsen doesn’t want large casualties, as if he wants to be seen as doing something but without actually doing anything effective.  He claims it would be too difficult to evacuate and abandon the city.  A culture of nomads making a stand over bricks and mud.  What am I missing here?  He has given no reason for the attack.  He doesn’t seem like a stupid man.  Playing his cards that close?  He’s hiding something.

I play along, even to Lil whom I like to confuse the others by occasionally calling her Archer.  I  scribe some scrolls to allow this other  mage to transform herself into a dragon so she can better assist in placing the traps.  Would you believe the so called magic users of Audria had not even explored for a change in the al’noth to signal the invasion’s beginning?

I take Wev with me as we went to the front lines where the traps would be.  I told him to hide in the shadow of the dunes until I called for him.   Dsen told me I could scout but then gave me next to no time to do so.  Again a strike that he is either incompetent or hiding something.  The column of invaders stretched for miles?  How the hells was I supposed to scout that while wards waned on those left behind.  A dragon polymorph spell is not infinite.

All I was able to do was confirm the creatures were of fire.  All manner of creatures but I did not see any like Wev or those fire creatures I can call to.  I was not able to penetrate into the depths of the lines in the limited time I had. 

As it stood, I barely survived the battle that ensued when the lines were disrupted.  There was no talk of captives or interrogation.   
In the end the ruse worked as they intended.  It confused, it caused some casualties, it disrupted but didn’t seem to do any major damage.  No information on who these creatures were, where they came from or what they were targeting Sedera or Audria was obtained.

Other Allied forces were able to reach the city in time to provide for its protection and prevent it from being taken so now the citizens of Audria must endure a siege without any information as to why and by who holds them captive.  The harbour is at this time still open so is it truly a siege ?  A bombardment yes.  A major inconvenience , yes but I’m not sure one could call it a true siege.
Of Wev?  The evening we returned to the city, once I got the sand washed off of me and a passable glass of wine.  (This city really has some of the most disgusting wines.)  I reached out to him through our connection and watched as he snuck behind the lines.   This is an army like I have never seen before.  No representation of creatures from this reality that I could see aside from human slaves. I’m not certain how committed the soldiers of this army are to their cause whatever the duck it might be.  I have sketched a representation of the insignia Wev found one one of the carcasses.  Does it mean anything to you?  Could you have one of the more senior clerics have a look to see if it means anything to them.  I showed it to one of my summons and they identified it as coming from a pit race of  slavers and conquers.  I’m not risking a conversation with a balor yet so if you could confirm anything please send a raven in return or message through the temple here in the city.

Inform my stables I hope to have the cargo we discussed and let the estate know I may need to purchase a few dozen farm slaves of good quality but I can’t give them numbers just yet. 


« Last Edit: June 26, 2024, 03:37:15 pm by minerva »
 
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minerva

Re: Sophia: Light Tome translation
« Reply #10 on: July 09, 2024, 11:30:47 am »
Writing in her journals

The prince seemed a bit shocked that I would put my life and reputation on the line for such a low price.  Against my better judgement, I agreed to travel to this magic disturbance with only the promise of my pick of breeding stock from the Jaanars’s herd and the promise to speak to him of the transfer of land as payment for my services.  Promises are easily broken.  Driss has not yet arrived in the city and it is under bombardment so I can’t choose my stock right away.

Travel was jarring as sending three dwarves, an apprentice level mage, myself and Prince via some teleport spell.  It also meant that I have no solid concept of where I am in the gods forsaken desert.  The Prince has indicated its miles from the Keeper ruins but not which direction. 

There are far more of these creatures confirmed as Giouness in comparison to their slaves at this location.

We are in some type of ruined caverns.  There is a gate in the lower bowels that hums of blood magics.  Gods I wish I paid more attention to my father’s ramblings on blood magics.  The others are looking to me to destroy it.  Something that appears aeons old, works on a form of magic I only vaguely understand and they seem to think that I can destroy it.  Maybe I can.  Do I want to?   
Down here are slaves and an odd elf that speaks of Sinthar Bloodstone and some kind of connection to these Giouness.   Does Sinthar’s ex general Rael have a hand in this conquest.  It’s not a huge secret that he covets this land and wants to spread his power where he can.   This area was, at one time, an interest to another minor minion of Bloodstone as well.
Father made a deal with Milara It gained him power, wealth and freedom.   Sedera is full of wealth and good farm lands. So what if the population becomes enslaved, as long as I am not one of them.  I know how this works, but should I choose to side with the Giouness I would need to be very discrete.

I can’t shake the feeling that I’m being herded in a direction that I don’t want to take.  We’ve only been in this cavern a day at most and the place is filled with forces.  Even Wev who can be a shadow when he tries can’t get close to portal. Dsen keeps putting on the pressure to rush.
I’m so frustrated I want to tear at something. Why the hell am I even here?
Dsen has asked me to trust him.  The others I trust to be as stupid as sheep.  I doubt duplicity has even entered their minds unless it is about myself. 

What do I want to do ?  I want to collapse the damn thing, clean out the basin and go the hell home.  So what if they rebuild or re-open it.  It will buy some time to guard it .  Make it too much of a hassle to keep sending forces to be picked off and maybe it will be stopped.   Maybe it will buy enough time to study the thing and know how to permanently shut it down.

Too many maybes