Tuesday, September 20, 2005

City of Mages: Chapter IV

Although the Tower of Doom is definitely the most impressive building in Erilliance, it is actually not the oldest. Tesian hall, build some 12,000 years ago, holds that honor. Back then, Erilliance was nothing more than a battlefield for powerful sorcerors and wizards trying to exploit it's incredibly high magical field. It was a dangerous, chaotic place to live, and people often lived in fear of whoever the most powerful magic user happened to be at the time. So twenty young women decided to form a cooperative to protect themselves, and they build Tesian as a place for them to stay. After order was brought to the city, the hall remained, as a boarding house for powerful young women. A Beautiful, gothic-looking, semicircular building, it is protected by an impressive array of enchantments, making it the only building from the old city to have survived the meteor shower and the hurricane. No male has set foot in Tesian in more than ten thousand years - it is said that a powerful curse will befall any who do.
That last part was precisely the reason Xindor the Incredible had wanted his niece to stay there after she decided to go to Erilliance to study magic. And it was precisely what was causing him so much trouble now.
"Look, I'm sorry," said a pale, gaunt witch named Vivacia Brown, as she peered out her doorway at the most powerful sorceror in the world, "But the curse won't discriminate between her old uncle and some mischievous young suitor."
"Then will you please go in and get her!" insisted Xindor, "This is important!"
"I'm sure it is," said Vivacia, "And I'm sure she'll be happy to see you as soon as she's available. She is otherwise occupied at the moment, however,"
"I'm warning you," threatened Xindor, "Lady Cecilia is going to hear about this.."
"Here about what?" said a familiar old voice from behind him.
"Lady Cecilia," said Xindor, bowing, "What a pleasant surprise. Perhaps you can talk some sense into Ms. Brown for me. She is your charge,"
"Oh hello, Vivacia!" said Lady Cecilia. Then she turned back to Xindor, "Unfortunately, we witches don't have nearly as strict a chain of command as your Sorceror's Guild. Amora still refusing to see you?"
"Apparently." said Xindor. He sighed. "Why is it that the only sorceror or sorceress in the whole city who won't listen to me is my own niece?"
"Because you pampered her too much, Xindor," replied the old witch,"You've taught her too expect special treatment. But your failings as a guardian aren't what I wanted to discuss with you,"
"Well, what was?" asked Xindor.
"In my office please?" asked Lady Cecilia.
"Mine's a lot closer," said Xindor.
"Alright," answered the witch.
"Do you mind if I teleport us there?" asked Xindor.
"Not at all," said Lady Cecilia.
They vanished.
They reappeared in front of the large pyramid which housed the offices of the Sorceror's Guild.
"You must be mellowing out with age," remarked Lady Cecilia as they stepped through the door, "Last time you landed us right in front of your desk,"
"I've redecorated recently," said Xindor, "So rather than risk landing us inside my desk, I opted to go for in front of the building,"
"Reasonable," said Lady Cecilia, "Reasonable, I suppose,"
Xindor threw open the double doors to his office.
The office looked very clean. It was, in fact, a mess, but Illusion had been Xindors first school of magic and he was still rather adept at it. He stepped behind his desk and sat down in the large comfortable armchair that was sitting there. Lady Cecilia narrowly avoided slipping on an invisible sheet of paper and sat down at the similar chair across from the desk.
"Now," asked Xindor, reclining in his chair "What's all this about?"
"Clay Darkwood is coming to Erilliance," said Lady Cecilia calmly.
Most of the Sorcerors who worked in the adjacent offices had never heard Xindor swear before. This changed rather quickly.
After Xindor had calmed down a bit, Lady Cecilia continued, in just as calm and level a voice as she had used to begin with.
"Clayton is bringing his son here to study with you," said Lady Cecilia. "I expect you to consider him as you would any other student, without taking into account your relationship with his father,"
"Of course," said Xindor iciliy, "The boy's done nothing wrong,"
"And I'm sure you'll treat his father with the same courtesy and respect you always afford the parents of prospective students," said the witch, in the same calm, level voice as before.
"That's the first time I ever remember one of your predictions being wrong," said Xindor, with a hint of a smile, "Perhaps I will be alive in three years,"
"If you harm him-" began Lady Cecilia.
"My good Lady Cecilia," said Xindor, cutting her off, "Matters between Mr. Darkwood and myself aside, he has committed a number of crimes against the guild, and those he must be brought to task for. Thank you for alerting me to his arrival. Good day,"
"I'm afraid I can't allow that," said Lady Cecilia,"I promised Clayton sanctuary while he was in the city,"
"Did you now?" said Xindor, "Well, that was outside your authority to do. Technically, we should bring this before the council, but seeing as that would require a special session, I'll agree to abide by that promise,"
"You will?" asked Lady Cecilia, a bit surprised.
"Yes," said Xindor, "I'll have to take Mr. Darkwood to task before he reaches the city,"


violinvoice said...

Nice . . . I wonder what crimes Darkwood's committed and if his son is like him.

Erin said...

Awesome chapter! Your characters have very definite voices now, and this is a great initiator of plot development. Possibly your best chapter of this so far.
I sing a song for Xindor:
"He is not dead yet, he can dance and he can sing! He is not dead yet, he can do the highland fling!"