Letting the blue tequilla flow (Vek's story)
Michael James Watson
Vek talks about architecture, design, local color, till back in the palace.
While getting local clothes was important Vek was delighted to find a local cigar snap making handmade cigars. He bought a dozen boxes. Once there it is clear that the place is a it off schedule.
After pouring drinks, and conjuring food, he settles in to smoke one of the cigars.
"Ok. I want you to focus and summon the sigil of Azcala. Keep it up. I want to study it. See how many spells it can hold. Arlo was right. An inscription will hold some spells better. The details are complicated."
"Ah....that's lovely....now, sorcery day one you learn about priority of powers. Chaos has a number of ancient royal lines. One is Bariman. Dworkin is the source of the blood rights of Amber. Does it matter? Hell ya. Magically amber blood is an order of magnitude more powerful then Azcala. There are millions of uses for it. Politically, If they conquer Amber, you would who they but on the Throne."
Alvah slightly curious if they would have something like the urala she had smoked in Amber but decides not to ask.
When back in the place of her mother she silently moves with Vek to their quarters.
She listens to his explanation and nods.
"Alright, so they got politically possible the same plan as Benedict just from the other side then. But it is just guessing if that would be their plan. And again they could have snatched another Amberite... a young one... get a kid with them and tadaaa Amber blood."
Alvah laughs and shakes her head.
She then focuses on the sigil of Azcala. How it felt the hotness the spicy smell and sensation.
When up she tries to keep it up as long as she can manage controlling her breathing and pose. As if standing ready in plié as a dancer.
Michael James Watson
The sigil comes easily. Warm, spicy, cinnamon and a hit of cocoa. It feels like in a blizard or burried in a snowbank it would wrap her in warmth. In a firestome it would keep her cool and unharmed. It feels almost puppy eager to conjure.
Vek pulls a trump and speaks briefly, pulling a man through, who looks around urbanely. In a bright purple coat he raises a sigil of the logrus around his hand as does Vek. In the man's hand he casually handles 3 silver balls. The pair examine the sigil and speak in a language Alvah is unfamiliar with.
After a few minutes the man steps up near Alvah. "Vek tells me you are a sorcerer? I want your to hang 8 minor spells and 4 major ones. Minor are ones that do not interact with people's defenses. While you do that, to the best of your abilities, think thoughts of love, embracing the sigil as a companion, a comrade. Not a lover.. I sense a loyalty in it that is not in the Pattern my wife holds or the logrus I hold. Do you understand?" Vek looks on professionally.
Alvah blinks as unannounced someone else enters the room. She looks slightly annoyed to Vek. Though that he keeps doing surprising and sudden things has its charm and excitment.
Keeping the sigil up and feeling that feeling it gives her. She smiles genuinely maybe she shouldn't look for a home so much... maybe she had it with her. With a caring look she holds the sigil and looks at it. Till the man steps up her eyes snap up.
"Sorcerer is a big word.. but i had lessons yes. Misterrrr....?" She prolongs the word in a questioning form hoping he will introduce himself.
Looking at the sigil in a dearing way she nods slowly and in a soft voice she continues.
"But i know what you mean, it is sweet, caring, a warm embrace. It is very different from the pattern."
With a wicked grin she looks up
"And that sounds nothing like lovers i had."
Her focus then goes back to the sigil once more and she starts carefully with nimble movements of her fingers hang the spells she knows hoping that is enough.
Michael James Watson
The sorcerer and Vek look on as she hangs spells.
"Alright. I am going to guide your hands slightly. I want you to learn a couple spells and hang them. Easily done. The first, here.. at this point, a major attack spell called Chains of Deliverance. "
He guides her in the gestures and words for it. It is by far more powerful feeling then she has used.
Vek says, "An escape" The man nods.
"This is Special Effects Teleport. It will teleport you in most climes across a great distance and depending on how fragile the shadow barriers are, across shadow. When you use the lynch-pin here, " he points as the spell is put up, " think of some visual display. Fireworks. Lightning, smoke.. add it at time of use. Its dramatic. My step mother is quite fancy with it. "
He looks at Vek who makes a spinning motion with his hand. The man nods.
"OK, careful with this one. Concerto for Cuisinart and Microwave. Its like putting someone in a microwave filled with spinning razor blades that start popping with electricity. Use it on someone who really needs to be cut up. What says Vek? Something practical? "
Vek nods. The man says, "OK, a minor one... this one is Table Display. Its a three part spell. First you set up a table display. Table, chairs, plates, candles, flowers. Food and drinks if you wish., Then cast the first part. It will envelop the table and preserve everything perfectly, indefinitely. I have over a thousand table settings, many of them the same, set up in Chaos. The second summons the table display and removes the preservation. The Third part returns the table and whatever contents are on it back to storage, The spell only takes one Minor slot because I made it very well. I will set two of the spells. You must figure out the table part yourself. Its always pleasant to be able to set a table in the face of one's enemies. Throws them off guard.”
“Vek, this Sigil is interesting.. I don't understand why it powers so much bloodshed. I think your suggesting that its somehow being coerced is interesting. I'm going to add one more minor spell since she can't trump me. Alvah, this is called Ping Mandor. Use it if you need a magical opinion. I can fight but I'm more a lover then a fighter. You can drop the frame now that its full. Vek, I think this makes us even?”Vek nods, “No, it makes you one up on me. Even would have been not letting her ping you. Thanks, Cousin”
Vek says, "Oh...Malvern Hill. One of Vance's. I even know the location of the stage for it." The sorcerer nods, He raises his logrus and Vek raises his. Vek gives him directions for the spell and the man hangs it on his frame.
"Tricky. Yes, a simple portal attack. I like it. Kinetic energy poisoning indeed. "
Seeing the man knows perfectly well what he does she lets him guide her. Keeping a close eye and trying to remember and feel how he guides her hands.
Even if Alvah can be erratic and impulsive she knows when to focus and concentrate. And she really enjoys the sigil of Azcala almost wanting to hold it close in a warm embrace. A feeling even of trust comes over her.
Hearing his name she nods
"Thank you, sir... lord? Ugh titles..."
Letting slowly the sigil almost reluctantly go she looks up with a smile to Mandor.
"Thank you for your help, and the way to contact you. "
She then smiles a half grin to Vek.
"So you are spending alot of favors figuring this Azcalan thing out hmmm? I don't want to know how far i am in debt with you by now."
Standing up she steps to the tabe grabs a glass and fills it to the rim with tequilla downing it in one go and then filling the glass again sipping this one.
"So done studying or did you have more things you wanted to see? "
Michael James Watson
"Titles? I am Baron of Sawall- Nocturne Way. I am Co-Duke of Sawall as long as my father is alive. I am Mandor, first son of Gramble Sawall. I believe you know my half brothers Jurt and Despil? Vek is sort of a Step-cousin. An amusing person to know, da? Call me Mandor."
He gestures and a table arrives with vegetable slices, meat slices, condiments, bread and glasses. "I feel like sandwiches..." He does take the bottle and pour a glass for himself and Vek since she has one.
"Vek wanted me to get a look at the Azcalan sigil. Few in Chaos have. I am something of an expert in powers. A Logrus Master and a Way Master. What titles and names do you go by?
Alvah feeling a bit overwhelmed by titles she tries to remember but she knows she won't.
Then hearing the releasing 'call me mandor' she smiles.
"Thank you, pleasure to meet you, Mandor. And honestly all those names say very little to me. Except Jurt and Despil yes. Met them, Jurt helped me actually a great deal as well with my Dufiro questions. "
Looking over Vek with a playful measuring look she nods slightly
"Hm yes he keeps things interesting."
A grin with a single raised eyebrow before looking back to Mandor.
Seeing the table and glasses Alvah nods
"I just feel like drinking. Alot... but i'll behave..mostly."
Sitting down she looks at Mandor
"Well i don't think many in Amber have been able to study it either. What i understand is that the ones of Azcalan blood there are not to willing to work with studying or experimentations. I think Fiona mighg have had a chance... and well my father but.... yeah lets not go there."
On the question of titles and names she shrugs
"Alvah. Just Alvah. Though here in Azcala my family calls me Avaxala. So depends who you talk to. I react to both. "
Michael James Watson
Mandor nods, "Well, Fiona is my wife. But we keep a lot of our practical sorcery away from each other. We don't play for the same teams after all. As for drinking, lets. The local tequila is quite strong, surprisingly. Since i am here as a consultant of Lord Vek Hendrake, an ally of, if not currently sworn to the Courts of Chaos, still a Lord of Hendrake, though not currently in fealty there either, and considering the Court's history with Azcala, I shall call you Avaxala, or the contraction Xala. I do not answer to Mandy, even if I am in a dress."
Vek says, "The local Tequila is strong because it has the same shadow effect as Amber, Mandalay, and other squiggles to produce a high order alcoholic product that metabolizes efficiently to people that are descended from the royal lines of Chaos. Bariman for Amber, Mandalay, Avalon, and a lot of the squiggles.
But Tonacat must descend from some other line. I just can't find out which. That m ight be the most important discovery but no one will talk to me about why Azcala was sealed."
Mandor pours another tequila , topping off Xala and Vek's glasses.
"It is a state secret. Gramble said it was no one's business but High Lord's Council. I may be co-duke but im not on that council. The fucking old farts won't give me a straight answer. It was some issue between Oberon and Tonacat. Something bad enough that Dworkin and Swayvil, and apparently the Serpent and the Unicorn all agreed to put Tonacat in the penalty box for 3000 years in Amber."
Alvah laughs she then inclines her head.
"That is fine, and i will remember not to call you that."
Picking up her glass again after filling it she takes a slow drink but drinks the glass empty in one go.
"Well i told Vek... there are 4 things i do to relax and three of them are not available or possible so drinking it is. "
She says holding up her glass and downing another sip.
"And good chance jy mother will return soon enough being slightly bloodthisrty and in a no talking mood."
Looking at Vek she smiles
"How did Aztilios say it... she gets like that sometimes."
Alvah shrugs and turns her attention to Mandor again
"So you are married to Fiona? Hmm interesting. I find most relations and matchings interesting some are.... not what i would have thought of."
Leaning back with a glass in hand she gestures to Vek...
"Are you actually married? Or any other form in a claimed state by another..."
Alvah listens to the talk about the politics and reasoning why Azcala got locked up and shrugs
"I wouldn't know either and i doubt someone will ever tell me. "
"I think i'm just bait... or a seat filler or a ritual sacrifice.. jury is not out yet..."
Michael James Watson
"Fiona and I married in a Serpent rite and raised Henry as an Amberish Chaosian in the Realm of Nenton, Antheris. I believe you have a card to that world in the deck, several actually. He only recently went to Amber at the time of King Random's odd procession to recover the Arden stone. Henry got to tell his mother that she is the new, first actually, Ambassador to Regor. You know Fiona, Bleys and Brand's mother Clarissa is Czarina of Regor, yes? Henry is at Fantalin now. Or at least he is supposed to be. aone never knows with shadow walkers. "
Alvah nods listening
"A son Henry. Really hmmm and well that about Fantalin seems a comon thing... i should be there as well. And yet here we are. "
She raises her glass and downs another drink.
"Honestly, Mandor. I don't know if i knew... sometimes so much info comes my way... think it has to do with staying still looking curious interested and innocent."
She laughs at an internal joke as it seems.
"Never mind that.. had to do with my work when i was still living in shadow."
Tapping her fingers on the table thinking a moment she nods
"Oh yes yes, Alexei told me something about Fiona being ambassador... and we talked about opera, ballet, and consumable alcohol. "
Alvah then turns to Vek again..
"Sooooo Vek... any offspring of you running around? Married? Dating? Otherwise bound by loyalty.."
Alvah studies Vek as she asks him curiously
"Only fair... you basically know every aspect of my life... "
Michael James Watson
Vek looks at Mandor then Alvah, " Offspring? no. AS a shapeshifter i had those shifted away by the Chef sorcerer who raised me and my two brothers. those possibilities were shifted away from us so we would be more focused on our jobs; Butchering and cutting and preparing food for the table of lords of chaos. We were starved and served, with no names, and ate gruel my the tablespoon while the lords feasted on delicacies. Luckily I was not attractive enough to be put in the brothels of Chaos. A 3 year old is kept very busy there. But my owner was a chef.. So I learned to cook, not the fornicate. "
Mandor sips tequila, listening, "And the shout?"
Vek scowls.."The shout...yes... One day there was no meat in the kitchen. the delivery was too late. So my owner chef but me and my two brothers in a room with no light and three knives. He said one of us was going on to the plate for the pleasure of the Lords of Chaos. The other two would be allowed eat our fill of food meant for the Lord's tables. We fought in darkness. I slew one of my brothers in hunger and despair after a life where i had only know starvation and torment and death. As I killed on of the only two people i cared for I despaired. The brother who survived despaired. And the one we killed despaired.. In unison we all gave a great shout and issued our Amber Death Curses."
"After that my living brother disappeared. I never saw him again. My owner Chef had me do menial tasks in the kitchen, but he got 3 new butcher slaves. I was ignored a lot of the time so I wandered away from the kitchens.. I wasn't missed. I found warrior halls and found a hall of bards. Soon I was training with sword and I was training on drums. Then spears and harps, then bow for war and for violins.. Then i found the piano....Years passed.. "
He finishes his tequila and pours another. ah bliss.
" I became a warrior bard.. a good one. 19 circle it was called. I fought in tourney, melee and pits for the lord's pleasure. I did well. I played for the pleasure of the lords in solo, duo, trio and orchestras the bards of chaos performed for. I gained a reputation as a hunter. I was enrolled in a performing program where i was observed as I hunted and assassinated prey. In thise days many of the Lords and Ladys had me service them. But I was angry and hard on them, even for those in chaos. In time they stopped requesting me."
"I was rewarded the rank and enrolled the the forces of Chaos House Hendrake as a Bone Warrior:elite front line warriors. As I bonewarrior I fought at the battle of patternfall. I was with the bonewarriors when the armies of Amber destroyed us. I was taken captive, I and Shaz Far. Our groups of prisoners was a few feet away when the Unicorn knelt before Random, making him king"
Mandor chukles, "Tell her the funny part. Let me refill your cup, Alvah, yours is empty too.. here.."
Vek drinks, "The funny part... When I came to Amber, some herald, in the presence of Random, Benedict, Gerard and Bleys commented that i was eligible for the knightly order of the Anointed Witnesses of Patternfall. I was a witness to the Anointing of the King, albeit from a chain of prisoners of war. They thought it was very funny but i was granted knighthood...
"After patternfall i was at a loss. A Hendrake Bonewarrior who failed to die honorably at patternfall. I was shunned. Hated. Certainly no honorable mate. Even the whore Ladies and Lords I had serviced denied me. Then a sorcerer of Hendrake took me under his wing. taught me sorcery. prepared me to take the logrus. trained my shapechanging. I thought i was being trained for honorable service to Chaos and Hendrake. But... i was being trained to die. I was an embarrasment to hendrake. A member of Lintra's line, of Maylon's hated breeding project. But of Amber blood.. with experience in death curses I was trained to fail. The sorceror who treated me so well, friendly loving, was teaching me how to make mistakes in the logrus. To respond wrong. When i took to the Logrus i started failing and the thing ripped me apart as I shapechanged. I was rended every step, I burned when I should have rained. I jumped when i should have flown. I was human when i should have been demon. I was animal when i should have been human. But i dragged myself through against all odds and arrived at the end torn apart, but a Lord of Chaos and holder of a Logrus imprint. The Logrus didn't care about my failures or my politics. It only cared that I assayed it and survived. I beccaem a differant kind of embarrassment to Hendrake."
"As A lord I was allowed to travel. I did. Learned to sail and sailed a thousand black zone worlds.. Made a few friends., Mandor, Despil, Jurt, Merlin. Shaz Far..Gilva. I found Chasa in the chaos slave pens. He was a stringing thing meant for the cook pots but he was a bard and a comedian. He had disgraced a princess of Chaos-a hard thing to do. But i bought him.. I made animal friends like Paka. I traveled shadow. I screwed a lot over the years.. I even attended a school for Courtesans in Chaos. But no children.. Ever..a thousand years will pass before i considerit"
Alvah sits with her tequilla and stares with her wide eyes to Vek as he tells his story.
Hanging to his every word.
As she listens on she shifts her pose a bit. Leaning in a bit closer. Not that she can’t hear him but it is a fascinating story. Now and then a soft chuckle escapes at his word plays. Or when she hears that he was no longer requested for servicing.
Hearing Mandor she doesn’t even look at him but just holds her glass out and when full she brings it back continuing sipping and listening.
After Vek is done Alvah is quiet for a good moment finally taking a breath or well so would it seem.
Not breaking eye contact with Vek she smiles softly, genuinely, the standard angry of cold look in her eyes gone for a mere moment.
A slight cough to make sure she still has a voice she speaks soft.
“Thank you for sharing, that was… a lot. And intense. I am sorry that your family or house thought of you so. “
Alvah downs the rest of her drink in one go and taking the bottle to fill the empty glasses again.
“And here you are now. Following a crazy ass Azcalan woman around.. this must seem like a pleasure cruise compared to all that. “
She then sits back looking again at Vek with a whole new found respect and appreciation of the person. She will just blatantly stare at him.
Michael James Watson
"Mandor, your thoughts? "
Mandor says, "I will bury my logrus. I will travel. When the ritual is performed in two days I will be there. in the crowd. SO whatever happens, know you have backup in the crowd. Alvah, its been a pleasure. I am sure from what I have send, that one day you will visit chaos. Seek me out then." Stands, cast the teleport spell and leaves a massive pile of deserts flowers in his wake
"Well, I've traveled a lot. So Azcala is just another place, though an interesting one.. As for the crazy azcalan woman, following her gives on a lovely view
Seeing Mandor leave so quick she just inclines his head to him.
Turning to Vek she smiles
"He seems like a good friend to have. "
Looking at the desert flower she picks one up smelling it, then turning it in her fingers.
When Vek talks again she looks up with a raised eyebrow and a slight grin on her face.
"Well if you find this lovely wait till i start dancing."
Alvah says with a faux haughty attitude.
She shakes her head
"Thank you, happy i am entertaining enough for visual purposes. "
Michael James Watson
"Tease me not. I am perfectly happy taking Candle's place. But we are in some danger in this world, these shadows. Such a distraction could be dangerous. And might derail your plans to open a cantina"
A playful grin again on her face, but then she inhales deep and lets out an even deeper sigh groaning she stands up.
"Yes, yes, you are right i know. "
Filling up her glass again she tops Vek's glass as well and moves to the window. Inhaling the outside scents she smiles and lets her head cool off.
"Well at least it is nice to know i'm attractive in that way. "
She laughs soflty keeping her eyes turned to the outside she suddenly adds soft.
"We might really need backup at the ritual don't we? I just have a bad feeling about it. Not bad oh no we are all going to die, more a.. this is getting far messier and bloodier before it gets better, bad."
Alvah her body tensing immediately as the thoughts of dangerous probabilities enter her head. Her muscles in her legs tensing and relaxing.
Michael James Watson
Vek says, "We have a night... We can rais patterns and sigils and do magic. Or we can skkep out the city's night life."
Alvah nods slowly still looking out, she sighs.
After a pause she turns and looks at Vek raising an eybrow.
"How bustling do you think the night life is here in the city? "
She then gives a fake insulted look
"and won't that be to distracting. "
She laughs soflty
"joking, i'm just joking. But we can at least check itout right? Tomorrow night my mother might have already returned."
Michael James Watson
He nods. "There is energy in the city. The city here is fairly clean. The people well fed and tended.. Like sheep. THey must have places they let out their howl"
Pushing herself away from the window she walks over to Vek with a little hop in her step and smiles giving him a slight bow she offers her hand
SHe speaks with a lighter tone and a twinkle i her eye a smile on her lips
"then shall we go? Lets enjoy the rest of the night, We have coin we have done some preparation drinking. Lets just have fun."