Midnight RPG - Chapter 14.44
This conversation takes place between Zal'Kazzir and Shadaar over food, after he has returned from the tower roof with Kyuad, and after Zal has lifted the charm from him.
*Zal'Kazzir stands near a brazier, grilling a piece of meat, his body half turned to Shadaar and his face illuminated by the firelight*
*Turning his head, he begins to speak in fluent erenlander with a warm sarcosan accent*
Again, my apologies for enchanting you. I find that trust is, alas, a rare commodity in these times, and is a luxury ill-afforded in dark places like this. However, Durgaz seems to believe your tale, and his sight in such things in uncannily accurate.
*Smiling slightly, and handing the now-cooked steak to Shadaar*
But please, let us talk; I would rather have you as an acquaintance than a stranger, and I would be a poor host indeed if I told you nothing of myself.
*Zal'kazzir makes a short bow, and then continues in a polite, determined voice*
I am known as Zal'Kazzir Ghulvenne, of Sharuun, and I am pleased to make your acquaintance. I am a trader, by profession, but have developed many other skills as well. If you have the chance to earn my friendship, you will find that I am both generous and loyal to those who are generous and loyal to me; I believe that it is the bonds of friendship and loyalty that keep us strong in these dark times, and we will need strength aplenty if we are to survive...
*Zal'Kazzir turns solemnly to Shadaar, ink-black eyes deep and somber*
You said you were in the resistance, yes? In Cambrial? If so, then your strength is certainly not in doubt; tell me more about yourself. How did you come to be in such a foul place, and how did you find the strength to persevere and survive? I would love to hear more of you, if you would be so kind. *Zal'Kazzir smiles, waiting*
Brandon / Shadaar
*Shadaar sits perched on the floor like some gargoyle watching Zal'Kazzir intently. Like a bird his head darts back and forth watching everyone in the room, taking in their movements and conversations.*
*Shadaar shuffles over and excepts the steak offered to him with some trepidation. Around savagely hungery bites of steak he speaks with an Erenlander tongue, spoken by a voice rough with disuse.*
*Shadaar then backs up three paces and once again perches on the floor.*
I don't blame you for bespelling me. As a resistance fighter, if I had access to the same power as you, I would have done the same. In fact some problems could have been solved if we had access to powers such as yours. And while I can say I do not appreciate being so ensorcelled, I can say that I understand the use of such magic. This place. It makes me feel so... cold.
*Shadaar nearly drops his steak and his eyes go distant, then he seems to clear his head and again begins to tear off chunks and slurp up the juices noisely.*
*Spoken with a mouth full of meat* Ah, Sharuun you say. I have never been that far south. I myself am from [farther to the north]. I came with another resistance fighter to Cambrial. Honestly, we have been out of our league for some time now. Things are terrible in Cambrial. *He shakes his head* It just goes to show the determination that we all have to continue to fight against the Enemy even in such dark places as that cursed city. But even so, I hope we manage to make life a bit easier for those who still live in Cambrial.
As to how I came to be here, in this black spire... I think... I think the forces of the Shadow captured me? Why would they bring me here? What is this place?
*Shadaar looks at Zal'Kazzir and stares deeply into the blackness of his eyes. It seems that Shadaar finds something of his own path within the inky darkness of Zal'Kazzir's eyes. Yet it also seems apparent that it makes him wary.*
A trader? And how does a simple merchant come to find himself in such a place as this?
RULES CHECK... Fortitude checks for both of you... I don't have YOUR sheet Brandon but I'll assume its an average of ALL the other PC Fortitudes for now...
: ROLL: Zal'Kazzir (Fortitude +6) ROLLED: 12+5 = 17 - Okay, not so bad for Adam.
: ROLL: Shadaar (Fortitude +6) ROLLED: 2+5 = 7 - Oooo... bad roll Brandon.
Zal'Kazzir, the steak while not of the best taste slides down your pallet with some nourishment.
Shadaar, however the slurps of the juices send your stomach into a swirl of confusion. Perhaps its the meat that's gone partially bad, perhaps its the fact that you have not eaten in days. Whatever the reason, you cannot stand the full stomach of this meat and with a slow coughing heave you soon find Zal'Kazzir's kind offering of dinner covering the floor. Luckily you are able to hold the chunks in your mouth and "politely" expel them behind your back as to not vomit in the direction for which Zal'Kazzir sits with you kindly...
Banal, formerly called Nazif
Having found a perch for himself on one of the various laboratory tables, the imp (having found his own bit of steak) carves off a piece with his index finger nail and with the chunk about to plot into his mouth....
oh by the heavens, my Erenlander friend... 'tis this not sitting well with you?, he looks at his own morsel...
I believe I saw the necromancing-elf hold a few bits and bites of fresh tomatoes in the cubbard beyond the potion cabinet. Perhaps that would be more pleasing to your tumbling tummy. Forgive Shadaar MASTER, he told me a touch of his previous plight here in being tourtured by the Vile. I perchance was the luckier of we two Spireling captives. Luckily for me the Vile's experiements had no use of one such as I. Sad to say, the more humanoid of breed such as our Erenland friend here was not so fortunate., as the little imp sits his meat down on the table and hops to the floor patting Shadaar on the shoulder...
Banal rounds the Erenlander, carefully watching the spilt stomach meat and snatches a cloth from a nearby table....
I'll just take care of this mess, as to not taunt your stomachs to give up even more sickness. If you like I can see if I can find any other the wine or water the Vile may have... Are you well, Shadaar? Can I do anything to aid your feeling?, the little ambassador looks at Zal'Kazzir in much concern for the Erenlander. Looking to his new master for guidence on aiding Shadaar to not feel embarrassed from his unfortunate sickness.
Brandon / Shadaar
*Wiping off his mouth with the back of his sleeve, Shadaar looks uncomfortable.*
Yes. I apologize. It has been several days without any proper food, my belly must just be unaccustomed. Apparently my normal hardiness has been sapped by my time in this dark place. I am sure that given some rest and time I will be fine again.
*Watching the little imp Belal clean, Shadaar turns away and looks at Zal'Kazzir*
I can not express enough how glad I am to have company again. Clinging to the outside of this jagged rock tower one begins to again appreciate company *followed by a short bark of a laugh*.
*leaning his head to one side* I am not familiar with the ways of magic users. Would you mind if I asked about your eyes Zal... they are so strange.
I hope our company is pleasant, and I hope yours is as well...
*Zal'Kazzir's face looks pensive, and his eyes widen as he takes a deep breath*
These *Gesturing toward his eyes* are a... new... development. I know not why they are as they are; my companions first noticed the change earlier today... I was unaware anything had happened until they noticed, shocked. My eyes have certainly not always been pools of Ink like this, and my knowledge of magic lends me no insight into their source. I have theories, of course, but none of them makes enough sense to believe. Perhaps it is some lingering effect of the curse of blindness I suffered in the bowels of the tower; perhaps the twisted magic of the spire interfered with Kyuad's spell that removed the blindness; perhaps it is both of these, or neither, or something else altogether, I know not, but I know it is to my great harm that they are changed. In this dim light, I can see as well and as comfortably as any man, but even the light from these braziers is uncomfortable to stare at, and I fear what the bright dawn will bring...
*Zal'Kazzir lets out a sigh, and shakes his head as if to banish an unpleasant thought*
*Turning back to Shadaar, renewed vigour in his voice, and his face warmed by a renewed smile* But enough of my eyes! You laughed a moment ago! Any man who can go through what you did, and then laugh so soon is a man of iron will, and unquestionable fortitude. The fact that you retained the hope and will to survive even against seemingly impossible odds is a testament to your character. *Zal'Kazzir says these things sincerely, with no hint of flattery; his face eager*
But you also asked about the ways of magic-users; let me give you a good an answer as I can in a short time. I will tell you one basic rule; all beings have varying skills, talents and personalities, and these differences give us strength. Take our case here; you just said you know little of magic, just as I know near nothing of hiding, while you seem almost unnaturally good at it; so it is with channelers as well. Each channeler is completely unique. Even if two were to have the same skills, their personalities might cause them to use those skill is wholly different ways; never underestimate what a channeler can do, but always remember that they are very mortal, and often rely upon fear and secrecy to conceal their motives and enforce their power. Much as a corrupt trade guild hides it's secrets to preserve a monopoly so too do many channelers inspire fear and paranoia to preserve their precious secrets.
*Looking slightly abashed*
I apologize if that was not necessarily the answer you might have been seeking, but I felt it was important. Let me tell you a bit more of myself, and perhaps my resoning will be clearer.
I, for one, would rather not even be known as a channeler; I am Zal'Kazzir, and I am more diplomat and trader than mighty wizard. The few enchantments and illusions I can create are subtle and sly, more at home in a court or salon than here, and are hardly the mighty magic of old tales; no fire springs from my fingers, I've never turned anyone into a toad and I can't fly. I'm a passable cook, but know nothing of potion-lore; I have written passable poetry and prose, but have never scribed an enchanted scroll.
All of that being said, I believe that magic, like literacy and lore, is a precious and fading gift, and it should be taught to all who would learn. If treasures such as these are hoarded and kept as secrets, they are as useless as a dragon's hoarded gold. it is this belief that causes me to mistrust secrets, and just as my brothers on the plains see freedom in the horse and the grass, I see freedom in knowledge.
I'm sure my rambling talk has prompted questions; ask then now, or later if you prefer. I am always available to talk, and will always give you honest counsel, should you ask. We are too newly acquainted to be called friends, but I hope it will be so in time.
the tiny companion hunches and stutter-steps between Shadaar and Zal'Kazzir, his movements are much like that of a small ape moving - his long fingers curled up into what he can make of fists that seem to act as a second set of feet/legs for purposes of moving about. His sharp nails drag on the wood floor of the laboratory as he unwraps his left hand pointing at Zal'Kazzir's eyes for but a moment...
"...the pools of black are clearly a sign of power in this Age of the Shadow. I have known many men that share the quality over hundreds of years of service... And they all shared a common destiny -- to twist the ley lines of magics that swarm the eather of Aryth, where only the Trapped can see..." the little ambassador, looks down at his feet and tries to stand straight but only for a moment, his frail back not built to stand as a man...
"...while my MASTER, your destiny is shared in that manner - fear not that your fate is shared. I have seen men of the wood, men of stone and the sons of man all share such traits... Men both in Shadow and in Light, fighting with and opposed to the corpse-god. Master Vrolk himself carried the eyes of the void as do you MASTER, but fear not that his fate is that of yours. It is my humble belief that men make their own way... Your destiny is not fated. You make your own destiny. And I am here to see you each to it and tell the tale to your children long after you have left Aryth." Belal, finishes his cleaning of the sickness Shadaar had made. The small speaker seems to be trying to push the conversation. Seeing that the two men are in need of friendship. Shadaar having been driven near fell-like madness. Zal'Kazzir being pushed to his limits with those that he's found himself in the company of... The little peacemaker knows these two shall be best of friends, should destiny take them on that path together.
Considering what his MASTER speaks to be worry in his voice... worry at possibly losing his vision due to this strange effect - the little imp picks up a cloth and hands it to Shadaar to use as a napkin. It then steps to Zal'Kazzir's feet, budging his knee with a shoulder of friendship... "MASTER, the darkness in your eyes - I believe are but a defensive action for which your body is staving off the curses. But I offer, should the inky blackness taint your sight I hope that I can be your guide. I offer my hand, as I have to kings and rulers... It is not known on high but unto each majesty they all found weaknesses that they would have to fight to overcome. I stood by dozens of men that grew stronger facing down these personal challenges, and they came out of those battles being a better ruler and a stronger man. I have no doubt you will do the same. And ma-lord Shadaar, if the Shadow has tainted your mind - hobbling it as the others have said I assure you that you won't be alone in the dark. Stand strong and your friends will guide you..."
Considering it's MASTER's notes on unique skills and those of "unnatural" hiding ability of Shadaar, the imp intercedes... very curious!
"...how is it ma-lord Shadaar, that you have ways of stealth as my MASTER concedes? I should like to discuss such matters with you as I hope to advance that quality of myself. I must say that the ways of channelling magic are rare within my skillset. The qualities engaged in battle on fronts of defense or offense are even less of my way. I have often found that guile and stealth are a worthy necessity in the ways of diplomacy, when dealing with minds not interested in peace in this time of Shadow. I should like to have your mind on the things of secrecy and lurking... It has saved my life on occassion and I should like to advance my quality so that I can have a reliable method of defense. What would you have me learn ma-lord? I assure you I can repay you in the ways of my kind, in good time should you buy ask..." The imp playfully peers from behind the knees of Zal'Kazzir as if showing his hiding ability...
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