Joined: 01 Jan 1970
|Posted: Mon Jul 06, 2009 10:06 pm Post subject: The Uprising Part #3
A reward was set to find the Hand of Phonobele. The warning was given to VelvetLuve by The Hand of Phonobele, and to beware of her callous chaotic ways.
Instead of listening she sent men out to seek this messenger.
A rich man came in with a beautiful woman, his consort. She passed out a scroll to everyone in the tavern offering a reward to the person finding the messenger called the Hand of Phonobele. VelvetLuve was amongst the patrons and asked for her copy, only to be told there were no more copies of the scroll. When Luve asked why she didn?t receive a scroll from the consort, she was told they were just announcing their engagement and ran out of scrolls.
The people received the scroll and read they would receive a magnificent reward. Most thought the reward promised them gold and riches. A huge search ensued and yet no Hand of Phonobele was found.
There wasn't much that would stop VelvetLuve when her mind was set. She ordered a large legion to move many men to Lily-Anne?s estate hearing that spies were watching in the Lokian Caverns. The desert wasn't that far so moving would only look like the legions were practicing formations riding back and forth, but each time leaving soldiers at Lily's estate. Baad led the men as he was the Admiral of the Baaton filling the position of the deceased Admiral Delveta. With each legion they carried weapons a few at a time leaving them at Lily?s manor.
Lily-Anne's estate had provisions and was self sufficient leaving the Baaton access to survive and practice there for a long time. She was an ally and even with the repeated gossip of her being dead, VelvetLuve knew something else but kept it to herself. Baad greedily took Lily's room as his own, sprawling out on her bed knowing how much she hated him. Many soldiers made barracks out of her barns and out buildings. The staples and canned goods she hoarded would hold them for some time.
Baad was content with physical combat. There was a knock at the door and he called out for them to enter. One the servants entered setting a cup of tea down only to be waved off by Baad.
"Unless a messenger or guest comes seeking an audience with me, I do not want to keep unwanted company."
He was alone feeling that power that takes over someone when ruling an entire manor with a tower, and having men do as he bid. Settling back on Lily's bed he smirked thinking of what she would do if she seen him. It felt good to have the upper hand, and he would work the servants as if they were his own.
Nevaul traveled to Sha`Rine to see if her, or her siblings had found the Hand of Phonobele. Sha`Rine found no information about the Hand of Phonobele, and was disappointed in herself, and her children, but promised to keep looking. When he left the golden dragon's cave he met up with a tiger and was faced with a benevolent sneer.
The lion told him that soon he would have all the animals following him claiming kingship and leaving Nevaul with no animal followers. Nevaul?s worship had shifted and he worshiped Phonobele now. Offering him her dragon form to ride, he refused politely to leave and headed to Hernai where he would seek out the head of the Elven Council, Gens.
Gens had his hand in the Hernai war and to this day had a valuable orb that Lily fell prey to. She gave her daughter to him in return for the orb before knowing what it did. He was possessive with her daughter Nimiane, who had a child, and was driven insane from Gen?s possessive nature and her mother's desire to take her child from her.
Arriving at the Council Longhouse as it was called, Nevaul seen lanterns burning in the window even after the hours when most were asleep. Gens was still up and sat at a long table with books strewn over it in study. With a soft knock Nevaul knocked walked in politely.
"I apologize for the late hour, Councilman Gens, but I was hoping I could garner some insight to a certain shifter moving throughout your homeland. Calls himself the King of the Forest?" Nevaul stated, standing at the side of the table.
Nevaul had come to ask about the shifter that had come to warn him of soon becoming the king of the forest and have every animal follow him.
Gens was a high elf and didn't know of any such king. It sort of awakened him with curiosity, and he looked up at Nevaul in shock.
"No one elf from Hernai would claim such, not that I know. What has happened?"
Gens was a bit too clever when making deals with people like Lily-Anne, and was also well read.
Orin traveled through the forest while the others were off in different areas, remembering the elf he had met a week before. He and his companion who was a hulk of a corpse wearing armor made a slow journey to help the followers of Phonobele. Something about the strange elf he had met struck him oddly. This could be a suicide mission for all he knew.
Gens pointed to a large ladder about a hundred feet tall that looked like a ladder with two sides. On the top of it glowed an orb that had magic within it by Aiyanna and -someone- else.
"You must realize we have went through one war with the Baaton, and I believe we might have some sanction here in Hernai now."
"I know her well, her daughter is my wife. I have fathered her grandchild. Lily is a foolish woman and I suggest you be more clever than she."
Maybe Gens only had a child with Naomi to be one up on Lily or maybe he actually loved her. It was hard to tell with someone as highly educated and visually emotionless as Gens.
Nevaul left to do more investigating and Gens immediately wrote scrolls to those on the council.
It wasn't over yet though somewhere within the woods there was an elf and Orin speaking. Who the elf was wasn't ever told, and they spoke within the woods.
The lich had been thinking along with his magical practice over the past week about the various rumors and things he had heard about this irritating Hand of Phonobele. He had begun to wonder if, in fact, the Hand of Phonobele was just one person. It made sense that they were different, for the rumors would see it that none of the encounters with the messenger had the same person eradicating the various scouts. Perhaps it wasn't a person he should seek out but a group. "Damn, elf."
The lich wondered if perhaps he could lure one of these Hands to him. If he could endanger a large enough portion of forest, perhaps it would draw one, and then he could see what on earth was going on. The problem was how to get the Hand to listen instead of just killing him outright for endangering the forest. That and managing to cast a spell that large.
Orin snapped his fingers. Perhaps he wouldn't have to actually endanger the forest, not exactly anyways. His thoughts were interrupted when the land darkened suddenly and the lich cursed as he peered up at the giant figure blocking the light. There was only one creature that could do that so easily. Orin remained perfectly still until it had passed and returned to his thoughts. If he could cast a very low powered drain spell and spread it out over a vast area.... just how to make the forest think it was actually in danger. Shrugging, Orin began to incant.
When his shadow globe was firmly in place, in hopes of protecting him from a kill first ask questions later mentality, he walked to the middle of the thicket he stood in. Once there, he started to incant again, his eyes starting to glow a bright red, and a sudden thought came to him. He continued to incant, the weave slowly spreading through the forest like the breath of death. Being so low powered, he could spread it over a larger portion of the forest. It might be strong enough to kill a few insects but little more. While he wasn't sure if it would work, he tried to send his thoughts along the weave, calling to the Hand(s) of Phonobele.
When he felt the spell reach its limit, he focused on maintaining it and continuing to try to send his thoughts along the weave. While, theoretically, if maintained long enough, the spell could cause serious damage to the forest, it would take months of continuous casting, which he wasn't even remotely powerful enough to do. Hopefully the forest thought it enough of a threat to start crying out. Although his preference would be for the Hand to hear his whispers and come. Hopefully it was them and not something else, for that matter.
Orin heard a voice in the darkness of the forest - a voice that was vaguely familiar, heard only once before, the last time he had been in this area of the forest. "How long do you think you need to keep that spell up before somebody important notices?" came the Elf's voice, somewhere behind and above Orin.
At the sound of the voice, Orin's spell collapsed and he turned, peering at the sound of the voice.
"You again." Not exactly what he had been hoping, then again, he considered.
"I'm not sure, that would depend entirely on just who you are, elfling. There is too much I don't know, and it irritates me."
The lich let the shadow globe fade, and he was once more visible to the naked eye, his eyes glowing red.
"Tell me, elfling, are you one of them?"
"One of who?" The voice helped Orin locate the Elf. He was sitting in a tree, perhaps 20 feet above the ground, watching the Lich. The darkness made it difficult to make out any details about his clothing, silhouetted as he was by the light of the moon behind him.
"The Hands of Phonobele. It was your words that made me consider the possibility that there might be more than one."
As he talked, he moved forward until he was beneath the tree, peering upwards at the elf. The lich crossed his arms over his chest, frowning, although more thoughtfully than any real irritation with the elf. "Granted, I could be wrong, but.." Orin shrugged and waited.
"Ahh, so you started listening to the stories of the Elves... good for you. Tell me, though - if one were a finger on the Hand of Phonobele, why would they admit it, unless they had something to gain by revealing themselves? Whether I were one or not, I'd probably say no... So -no- is your answer, and it's up to you whether or not you believe it." The Elf stayed in the tree, difficult to see and revealing little about itself.
"I agree, I wouldn't. Especially not if our places were reversed. After all, you have little reason to trust me, I'll grant you."
The lich started to pace, frowning.
"I am not quite sure what I could offer, as I am not really sure what is going on. That is why I seek the Hand, to ask questions and see if there is, indeed, anything I can do. This hand, whether one or many, is obviously at odds with the Baaton, and I hold no love for those stupid fanatics."
He paused, peering up at the elf again. "You might consider my kind abomination, and what I do evil, but I don't kill for the sake of a god or for the sake of causing pain. Nor do I wish to have my research troubled by those who do." He thought of his teacher, but pushed that aside.
The Elf was quiet for a moment, considering his words.
"As long as what you just spoke was truth, you have nothing to fear from me personally. I don't consider your kind an abomination. You and I have a lot in common, in more ways than one."
The Elf dropped twenty feet to the ground, landing unnaturally lightly for the distance of the fall. He stood only a few feet from Orin now... His hair was done up in a long French braid that hung to his waist, and he wore a dappled grey cloak, clearly of Elven make with a pretty clasp of silver and a shard of crystal. It shifted as he took a step closer, revealing very little of what was worn underneath.
"I may, in fact, be able to offer you some guidance..."
"It is good to hear." While the elf might seem friendly, Orin did not relax when he dropped from the tree and came closer.
"What then can you tell me, elfling?"
Perhaps finally he could do something beyond sit around and ponder. Not that he didn't enjoy his practice and research, he thought his new 'life' had awakened some fatalistic urge for adventure in him. Hopefully it wouldn't lead him to a more permanent form of death.
"Listen to the words of the forest, and hear what they say...You sought an audience with a follower of Phonobele, but perhaps she may speak to you directly."
Even as he spoke, a breeze began to pick up... a breeze carrying whispers, whispers that swirled around them and centered on Orin. Stray hairs from around the Elf's danced in the breeze as he stared Orin down, daring the dark one to listen...
The lich looked about as the wind picked up, shifting his robes about him and almost started incantations to kill the elf, but the words struck him and he closed his eyes. When his eyes closed, he drew in a deep breath, starting his meditation and leaving his mind open, though still at ready. From the few rotted sections of his eyelids one could see the red glow of his eyes dim and fade as he did so.
The Elf took in a deep breath of the fresh breezes, the warm scent of moist earth being carried on the wind. Even as the whispers reached Orin's ears, he spoke softly.
"What you hear is for you alone. It is not to be shared: Phonobele shares only that which is necessary to know, with those who need to know it. Does she speak to you?"
His lips moved slightly, as if repeating something, and when the whispers left, his eyes opened. There was almost a kind of peace about the lich, and he spoke absently, "Yes, that she did." A smile crossed his lips.
"And as I figured a god would be, she was very cryptic."
The absense faded quickly after that and he returned to normal.
"Very well, elfling, it seems I am to help. I do not hold the power I once did, but what I hold shall be used to help Phonobele. In this, anyhow. I make no promises for anything beyond what is happening now."
The Elf's eyes had not yet left Orin's, even when they had been closed. His expression shifted slightly, but it was a subtle change. If anything, he seemed relieved.
"Know that when you act on the behalf of Phonobele, you act on the behalf of the entire world: she presides over All of nature, over the full circle of life and death. Her interest is not limited to the forest and the Elves."
"I will not pretend to be anything other than what I am, elfling. Do not think I will change my entire being. I am no more a follower of Phonobele than I am of any other deity. I understand what you say, I believe, but understand my words as well."
His arms having fallen to his sides while the wind had caught him, the lich once more brought them up and crossed them over his chest.
"I understand at least some of what Phonobele is and does. You don't practice the dark arts and not learn about those who would possibly oppose you. Not if you want to practice them very long, anyhow."
Tilting his head slightly, his eyes started glowing again. "Let us get down to business, how is it that I can help? Or who should I seek out?"
"I don't Expect you to begin *worshipping* Phonobele - it is enough that you already acknowledge her presence and purpose."
The Elf took a step backward, reaching up to brush some hair away from his face, revealing a jet black satin sleeve or a moment as he did so. "As for what you should do, I'll leave that for you to decide on your own. Be creative. It would be best if nobody knew your intentions or plans - not even those who fight toward your common enemy."
Orin the lich laughed softly.
"Oh, I think I can manage to keep people from that."
Although he kept from mentioning his 'secret'. He didn't care if the elf might be a friend, one didn't give away secrets to potential enemies. Orin took note of the sleeve, but said nothing, though he stored that information away for future consideration.
"I think it is time I went and got started." He wasn't quite sure what he would do yet, but he would figure out something.
"Don't get yourself killed, elfling. You'll make a wonderful experiment some day, or guard."
The lich smiled as he said that, and he seemed to be joking, though his eyes glowed even more malevolently with the words. "Follow!" He commanded, as he turned and started to walk away, and the creak of armor announced his corpse as it came from the shadows to follow.
The Elf smirked at the word "experiment," and as Orin walked away, the Elf called after him.
"I already have, Necromancer... I already have." And with that, he was gone, vanishing somehow while Orin's back was turned.
It wasn't over yet a piercing scream filled the streets of Renvoyer Rd. as Liza ran frantically out of the NightStorm shoppe finding it empty of weapons and armor. Not one dagger was left in the shoppe as she pleaded with someone to help her.
A few carriages were on their way north and four masked men drove them up the winding dirt road.