Wednesday, September 07, 2005

City of Mages: Chapter III

On the deck of the pirate ship Abandon, Captain Clayton Darkwood, the notorious sorceror pirate, surveyed his new crew. He had taken them on a few months ago, on an island full of sentient apes and monkeys. At least he assumed they were sentient - they new how to sail a ship and seemed more than happy to take orders from him, which was all that really concerned Clayton. He did wish some of them were capable of speaking human, though. Occasionally the incomprehensible chatter and wild shrieking from the tiny, cat-like ones grated on his nerves. But they were efficient, and had he not found them he would likely still be stranded on the god-forsaken monkey island, so he counted himself lucky.
Still, the shrieking was giving him a bit of a headache. He decided to go down to his cabin and lie down for a bit. As soon as he got down there, however, he heard a familiar buzzing. He knelt, opened his seachest, rummaged for a bit, and pulled out his Crystal ball.
Clayton set the small glass globe on the table and stared at it, trying to clear his mind, until finally a hard, aged woman appeared in the fog.
"Lady Cecilia!" he said, turning on the roguish charm he'd been unable to use for months of having nothing but simian company, "To what do I owe the pleasure?"
"We'll get to that in a moment," said the old woman, "Where have you been? I've been calling you all day!"
"I'm at sea, my lady," answered the pirate, "We're even farther from the stargem than the badlands. You can't always get reception out here,"
"How far are you from the mainland?" asked the witch, with a questioning stare.
"A few days at the most," replied Clayton, calmly.
"What port are you coming into?"
"The Port of Tial,"
The witch looked up, as if consulting a map in her head.
"Then it should only be a few days out of your way," she said finally.
"What should?" asked the now confused sorceror.
"The Port of Xarnip," answered Lady Cecilia.
"It's closer, actually," said Clayton, suddenly perking up "But if you think I'm gonna risk my neck going back there..."
"Don't worry," snapped the witch. "I'll make sure your wife knows you're coming at my bequest. I'll make her promise not to behead you,"
"Why exactly do you want me to go there?" asked the man, quickly returning to his casual tone.
"I need you to pick something up for me,"
"I'm not your errand boy!" protested the sea captain.
"No," said Lady Cecila, "But I think you'll be interested in this proposition,"
"I'm listening," said the sailor calmy.
"It's about your son," said the witch, "Your wife has finally agreed to let him come to Erilliance,"
"No way," said Clayton, laughing, "You know how I feel about the sorcerors guild. I'm not about to let my some be kept down by that magic monopoly,"
"Of course you're not," said Lady Cecilia. "However, I'm offering to help him become the leader of thaty magic monopoly,"
"What do you mean?" asked Clayton, his eyes suddenly wide with interest.
"I can't say anymore," said the old woman, "Suffice it to say that if you bring your son here, he could easily be leader of the Sorceror's Guild in as little as three years. And if you don't, then Xindor the Incredible might get wind of the fact that you're still alive and practicing magic without a license,"
"So your blackmailing me?" asked Clayton.
"I don't know what you're talking about," said the witch, "We'll be expecting you and Brandon in a few weeks. I do so look forward to seeing you again,"
And with that, her face faded back into the fog of the crystal, leaving Clayton staring, bewildered, into the glass sphere.

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Erin said...

Good chapter-- your characters and plotlines are still strong and getting stronger. I'm particularly intruiged by what Lady Cecilia has in mind now. But I'd suggest watching more carefully for typos and such. It's distracting.

wings said...

yea about the typos, but I've said that before anyway.

I like the way the story is building. My only (possible) suggestion for this chapter would be to add more about what going on in the pirate's mind while on he's talking to Lady Celia, but its not really a big thing. Other than that I lvoe this whole thing about 'who's gonna be the next Xindor and do we need one anyway'.

Keep up the good work! I love it!