Sunday, July 29, 2007

Chapter 19

"Where have you been?" asked Vivacia as her roommate walked in the door. Amora was wearing the same warm smile she always wore, but her best friend knew her too well to be fooled. Something was troubling her.
"Guild business," Amora replied curtly. "The gnome boy was being examined, and my father wanted me on hand for some reason," She rolled her eyes and flung her bag down on the couch.
Amora and Vivacia's apartment in Tiesan hall was small, but cozy. Two semicircular beds jutted out from the walls like shelves, with ladders against each wall leading up to them. The bottom floor contained a desk (which was hardly ever used,) a small couch, and, in the center of the chamber, a fire pit with a spit over it, which seemed completely out of place in the tiny, second story room. Currently there was small cauldron suspended from the spit, and there was something simmering in it.
"What's cooking?" asked Amora, with hint of wry humor.
"Oh, just a potion for Lady Cecilia," Vivacia replied, "She's gonna stop by here in a little while, by the way. Needs my help with some ritual,"
"I've been wondering about that," commented Amora after a moment. "She seems to need your help a lot lately. Isn't it... a bit odd?"
"Not really," answered her friend, "Why would it be?"
"Well, she's, like, the most powerful witch in the world, right?"
"She's up there," Vivacia replied proudly.
"Well, no offense, I mean, you're good, but you've been doing this - two years? Three? Why wouldn't Lady Cecilia choose a more... experienced witch?"
"Oh," said Vivacia. She began to blush a bit. "Well, it's kind of, um... I mean, yes, she wants the most experienced witch possible, but some rituals require a younger witch, and some..." she trailed off. The cauldron whistled; she got up and and began to stir it.
"Yes?" asked Amora after a moment.
"Younger," said Vivacia decidedly. She was blushing quite a bit now."Some rituals just... need a younger witch. So, um, this gnome boy, how was he?"
Amora understood that her friend was not telling her everything, but she decided to let her change the subject.
"Hardly much of a threat," she said. "In fact, I think he could be kind of useful. I just wish I hadn't introduced myself to him by cursing him. My uncle's right. I need to be building support, not alienating people."
"I'm sorry," replied the human. "It's my fault. If you hadn't shot at Bogue -"
Amora cut her off. "It was my bad judgement as well as yours. No more messing around, though. I can't afford to take the chance,"
They sat in silence for a moment.
"You really think your uncle's gonna die?" asked Vivacia. "Like, soon? I mean, not elf soon, cause that could be forever, but like, human soon?"
"He thinks so," Amora answered. "He's getting his affairs in order."
Vivacia thought for a moment.
"Unless," she said eventually.
"Unless what?" asked Amora.
"Well, he told you not to tell anyone, especially Lady Cecilia, right?" asked Vivacia.
"So?" prodded the elf.
"So keeping secrets has never been your strong suit, Am. He knows that. He also knows I'm your best friend, and he knows I'm kind of Lady Cecilia's protege... "
"You thinking he wants it to get out," observed Amora.
"It all kind of adds up, doesn't it?" Vivacia replied.
Amora made to reply, but was interrupted by a knock on the door. She had barely opened it a crack when a tiny purple and beige figure zoomed through. Simile slowed down and came level with Amora's face. She was carrying a scroll which was slightly larger than she was. She proffered it to Amora.
"From your uncle," she said, irritably, "Apparently Thurigen isn't the only one in this city who thinks 'pixie' is synonymous with 'carrier pigeon'."
"Thanks, Simile," said Amora, taking the scroll. She unrolled it and began to read. Simile zoomed over to the cauldron and hovered over it briefly, then flew over to Vivacia.
"Smells good," she said. "But do you really want the Lady to come in here and smell a love potion?"
"Viv!" Amora exclaimed.
A look of panic had spread across the face of the young witch.
"You can smell it already?" she asked. "It still has to stew for a few weeks - how...?"
"Pixie nose," Simile replied, "A little stronger than a human's. But if you think they've invented a potion Lady Cecilia can't recognize, in any stage..."
"Viv, what is that for?" asked Amora.
"A friend," answered Vivacia.
"You're a terrible liar," said the pixie, zooming between the two women.
"It's not what you think," the witch began, but just then there was another knock. The room fell silent.
"Vivacia?" came Lady Cecilia's voice from the other side of the door. "Are you ready?"
"Yes, just a moment!" called the young woman.
"May I come in?" asked the matron.
"Um... I'm not decent," Vivacia replied.
"Alright, I'll wait in the lobby," answered Lady Cecilia.
Vivian waited a moment for her to leave, then mouthed, "That was close,"
"The woman can read minds," admonished Simile, rounding her tiny body on the pale witch. "You're a fool if you think you can hide anything from her. What were you thinking?"
"Hang on," said Amora. "What's so bad about Vivacia brewing a love potion? I mean, I know they're dangerous and all, but it's not really her any of her business, is it?'
"It is if she has to train up a new virgin!" exclaimed Simile.
"Simile!" cried Vivacia.
A look of understanding passed over Amora's face.
"A 'younger witch," she said. "I had no idea,"
"That's important to witch's magic," said the pixie. "The maiden, the mother, and the crone,"
Vivacia looked adamant. "I wasn't gonna actually... you know..."
"Not if you want to keep your job you weren't," laughed Simile. "Not really in need of another mother, is she? I gotta run. So do you. Best not to keep the lady waiting." She zoomed up and out the chimney.
Amora looked to her friend, who seemed on the verge of tears. A small green bubble appeared in the elf's hand.
"Cheer up," she said. "We'll talk about this later, but Lady Cecilia shouldn't see you like this,"
The witch nodded. Amora flicked the little bolt of happiness over to her friend. As it sunk in a smile flickered over her face.
"Thanks" she said. "I'll see you tonight. Take care,"
She slid out the door, closing it behind her. Amora settled on the couch.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Buffy Fic in script form

Time period: beginning of season six
Scene: Buffy, Xander, Anya, Willow, Tara, and Dawn are watching TV on the couch.
Xander: Ok, so, not that I'm not enjoying "Bride of the Infomercial" here, but... has anyone seen the remote?
Anya: As much as I enjoy the rampant display of capitalism, he does have a point.
Dawn: Are you sure you're not sitting on it again?
Buffy: I don't know... I haven't seen it in a couple hours.
Tara: Oh no, do you think it might be in trouble? Buffy, what do we do?
Willow: Oh! I could do a spell!
Tara: No magic, Willow!
Willow: [sad face]
Dawn: I really think Xander is sitting on the remote.
Buffy: Do you think we should call Giles? I think we should call Giles.
Willow: Do you thing it might have been taken by demons? Cause I know this great spell for finding demons-
Anya: Oh! A Keeyaris demon!
Buffy: A what?
Anya: Keeyaris demon! They're really lazy, so they like to steal remote controls and then use them to control the mortals they steal them from.
Tara: Oh my God Buffy, if one of those things has your remote -
Buffy: We have to find it. Tara, try that locater spell. [Willow and Tara leave] I'm gonna go see if Spike knows anything about a -
Spike pops up from behind the couch.
Spike: About a what now?
Buffy: Spike, what are you doing here?
Spike: Just thought I'd watch a spot of TV. 'S not a bloody crime.
Buffy: You were hiding behind my couch!
Xander: Uh, guys? I know we're all kind of on edge right now, but we do have a remote stealing demon to find.
Dawn: You're sitting on it Xander. I can see the corner of it under your butt.
Anya: Don't look at Xander's butt! That's my butt is only mine to look at.
Buffy: Spike, have you heard anything about a Keeyaris demon?
Spike: Oh, so when you need to know about a demon, I'm your man, but when I just want to watch a bit of TV...
Buffy: Spike, you have your own TV in your crypt! So don't tell me you're here to watch TV, Spike! I know what your doing here, and I'm not interested!
Spike: Fine then. I'm not helping you find your bloody remote, though. You can watch bloody infomercials all night for all I care!
Dawn: Xander is sitting on the remote! I've been saying it all night.
Buffy: Dawn is there something you want to tell us?
Dawn: Never mind.
Buffy: We need to find this remote before things get out of hand. Anya, go down to the magic shop and see if we have anything on this Keeyaris demon. I'm gonna go see if Willy the Snitch knows anything. Xander - check under the couch cushions.
Buffy and Anya leave. Xander stands up, revealing the remote he's been sitting on. Suddenly, it comes to life and bites him.
Xander: Buffy! Ah!
Dawn: Oh my God! Oh my God!
Willow and Tara re-enter.
Willow: Xander, I'm so sorry! I tried to do a spell to find the remote but something went wrong!
Xander: Really? Cause I was kind thinking this was supposed to happen.
Willow, Tara, Xander and Dawn flail around ineffectually trying to fight the remote for about five minutes before Buffy finally shows up.
Buffy: You know what I've come to realize during this whole adventure? It's not about mute, or changing the channel. It's about power.
Buffy and the mutant remote begin to fight. The remote has her cornered when Spike enters.
Buffy: Don't worry. I have the situation well under "control".
Spike helps Buffy kick the remote's ass. Eventually, it lies broken on the ground.
Xander: Great, now how do we change the channel.
Willow [breaks down crying]: I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I didn't - I just - I.
Spike: Wait, Red's spell did this? Then where was the remote in the first place?
Xander: Oh, it turns out I was sitting on it the whole time!
Buffy: Just think - it was right there the whole time. If only someone had realized.
Dawn smacks herself in the forehead very loudly.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Chapter XVIII

"In the mountains of Orgakaborka
Far beyond the Shadow Ring
Lived an Ogre named Morshagalorka
Who loved to dance and sing!"
Durner Rockfendursteen was uncertain as to why the popular children's ballad had popped into his head, unaware as he was that it's author had been in his restaurant that very morning. As we plowed through the chorus, somewhat off-key and an octave too low to accommodate his booming dwarven baritone, he heard the bell tell him a customer was approaching.
"Welcome ta Durney's Dwarven Diner!" he cried "Delicacies Digested -" he stopped, recognizing his customer, "Archmage!"he cried, pleasantly. "Lovely ter see ya! What can' I do fer ye today?"
"I need a private table," said the archmage, "I'm meeting someone for lunch, and we have things of a... sensitive nature to discuss,"
For a moment the normally Jovial face of the Archmage of Erilliance seemed unusually grave. As quickly as it came, however, it passed, like the shadow of a bird crossing over his face.
"Of course, sir!" Said Durney, "I'll get the private room set up fer ya upstairs! Just one moment,"
The restaurateur hurried upstairs to prepare the room. A few minutes later, the door chimed again, and a sandy-haired wizard in maroon robes approached. He appeared to be talking to himself. The Archmage thought it only polite to wait for him to finish.
After several minutes, he gave up on this sentiment.
"Bogue?" he asked tentatively. The taller wizard continued his mumbling. "Bogue!" intoned the Archmage sharply. The runemaster seemed to come back from a trance.
"Yes?" he said, startled, "Oh, right I'm here. You summoned me, sir?"
"I did," replied Archmage, returning to his usual, friendly demeanor, "And that means I need your mind as well as your body!"
"Of course," said Bogue, "I was working on a possible way of getting around Kreegan's third law of summoning. It occurred to me that perhaps, if a cluster of dragon-tallow candles were positioned opposite each wizard in a summoning circle, and Suveny's Incantation were cast on the candlesticks, we might be able to create a resonating magical field which could, with the proper runic inscriptions guiding it, of course, be used to replicate both the power and the control components of an additional participating wizard,"
During this explanation, Durney had reappeared at the bottom of the stairs. He was now standing there with a bewildered expression on his face.
"Uh, Archmage?" he said, "Yer table is ready,"
"Excellent," said the portly wizard, obviously glad for an excuse not to discuss Kreegan's laws with Bogue.
The three preceded up the stairs to a small, dimly lit room with a single round table in the middle. There was a small window on the far wall which emitted all the light in the room. The archmage sat down at the table and gestured for Bogue to do the the same.
"Are we ready ta order?" asked Durney, "Or do ye need a little more time?"
"I'll have my usual," said the Archmage. Bogue was staring intently at the menu.
"What's a flurgamburger?" he asked after a moment.
"Well it's a flurgam between two pieces o' bread, of course, what else would it be?" Durney replied impatiently.
"Yes," said Bogue, "But what's a - never mind, I'll try one of those,"
"Very good sir," said Durney, "And to drink?"
"Do you have vorum juice?" Bogue asked.
The Archmage and Durney shared a hearty Dwarven laugh. When they'd finished, Durney leaned over the table.
"Ye don't have much experience with Dwarven food, do ye?" he asked.
"No," Bogue replied, "I can't say I do,"
"Well, we Dwarves like variety in our cuisine, make no mistake!" he said, "But when it comes to drinks, there's really only two options. One is Ale. Do ye know what the other one is?"
"Milk?" asked Bogue, after a moment.
The dwarves shared another chuckle, then bellowed in unison "More Ale!" This sent them into another hearty Dwarven laugh. Bogue remained stoic.
"Only jokin', sir," said Durney after a minute. "I have some milk we use in cookin', you want me ter bring ye some o' that?"
"Sure," said Bogue, "Thanks,"
"Alright," said Durney, "Be right back,"
A few minutes later, he returned with a large mug of dwarven ale for the Archmage and a mug filled with a pale blue substance Bogue could only assume was supposed to be milk. When he had departed, Bogue spoke.
"So, do you think it would work?" he asked.
"What?" asked the Archmage.
"Dragon-tallow," replied Bogue. "It has enough internal magic to power Suveny's Incantation, so the ambient magic could be channeled into the summoning spell. I mean, if it were to work, we might just have to write off Kreegan's laws as obsolete. You see, I'd never consider using the inherent magical properties of the focus components to augment -"
"Look," the Archmage interrupted, "This is all very fascinating, but I didn't call you here to discuss your new theory,"
"I know," said Bogue, eyeing the milk suspiciously. He had yet to take a drink. "I just thought - since we're here, I might run it by you, see what you think. I mean, I've been mulling over it for days now, and I think, if I could just streamline the runic inscription for the summoning circle, we might actually be able to-"
"Bogue!" the Archmage interrupted, "You need to think about something other than work once in a while. You're a very promising young wizard and a very powerful runesmith, ridiculously powerful for a human - no offense meant of course- but if you keep going at this rate, you're going to burn out. You need to relax every so often, take time to recharge," He leaned back and took a hearty swig of ale. Bogue's milk was still untouched, but had now been pushed to the far corner of the table.
"I don't think so sir," said Bogue. "With all due respect, the only time I really feel fully charged is when I am working. People make me... uncomfortable,"
"I realize that," the Archmage was taking a gentler, almost fatherly tone with the young human now, "But sooner or later you're going to have to learn to deal with them, and not just other Wizards. Which is precisely what I wanted to talk to you you about. Now, I know Amora of Tiesan is not the easiest person to get along with. I've had difficulties with her myself. But you have to pick your battles! I'm not sure you're aware, but things on the council have been a bit... dicey lately. It's not a good time for an impromptu duel between a wizard and a sorceress, especially not when the sorceress involved is Xindor's niece. It makes the people... uneasy,"
"With all due respect, sir," said Bogue, "She attacked me,"
"That as it may be -" the Archmage began.
"And I did not fight back," said Bogue, "I deflected. That's all. What else could I have done?"
The Archmage's reply was cut off by the arrival of Durney with the food.
"One Kurgaloth combo, and one flurgamburger," he said, laying down a plate of food in front of each of them. "Anything else?"
"No, thank you,we're fine," replied the Archmage.
"Ye haven't touched yer milk!" Durney observed, "Ya sure ye don't want some Ale?"
"Really, I'm fine," said Bogue, somewhat impatiently.
"Alright, Alright," said Durney, "I'll leave ye ta yer secret meeting. Let me know when ye want the bill!"
When he had gone, the Archmage resumed.
"My dear boy," he began, "I didn't call you here to scold you or to give you guidelines for how to behave. I called you because I have a job for you,"
"If this is about that lecturing post professor Mayborn left open, I'm really not your man," said Bogue, "I specialize in the practical application of runes, their historical origin is little more than a diversion for me. I hardly think -"
"Bogue!" bellowed the Archmage, losing his calm again for just a moment, "You would do well to wait until I am finished speaking to ask questions. Now, I am not talking about a lecturing post. Nothing so... official. There are things going on in this city. Things I don't know about. And I don't like being out of the loop. I need someone close to Xindor to keep an eye out. Now you don't have to tell me you're not the ideal choice for an informant. But that's what I'm counting on - Xindor likes you, thinks you're harmless, and is far more likely to let something slip around you than around me,"
"Do you need me to find out something specific?" asked Bogue.
"I need you," said the Archmage, "To get yourself into a position where you have Xindor's trust, and his ear, then await further instruction,"
"And how, exactly, do you propose I do that?" asked Bogue.
"Those three gnomes who arrived in town yesterday," said the Archmage. "They're the key. Xindor has an unusual interest in them. They're new here, they're tiny, and they'll be wanting friends. You protected the gnome boy, so they're likely to trust you. Cultivate that friendship. Use them to get to Xindor. Tell me anything and everything you find out,"
Bogue sat for a moment, munching on his burger and thinking.
"I'm a wizard," he said after a moment, "Espionage is not my strong suit,"
"It doesn't have to be." replied the the Archmage, "Just keep your ears and eyes open. This goes well, there may be a lecturing post in practical runes opening up after all."
And with that, he got up and left the table, leaving Bogue staring pensively at the untouched, blue substance in the glass. He wondered if it might have inherent magical properties he could use to augment a summoning spell...

Sunday, July 22, 2007

New Weapon Ability: Spell catching

Most of the time a weapon with the spell-catching ability appears to be a normal weapon. Whenever a spell requiring an attack roll or a reflex save is cast on the wielder of the weapon, he or she can take an immediate action to try and "catch" the spell. To catch a spell, the wielder must succeed on an attack roll opposed by the wielder's attack roll or the spell's save DC, whichever is most applicable. Once a spell is caught, it has no effect on the wielder and its magical energy is absorbed by the weapon, enhancing it. The weapon gains an additional enhancement bonus to attack rolls equal to the spell's level, which lasts for one round per point of the weapons (new) attack bonus. The weapon also gains an additional special property based on the type of spell that was absorbed:

Divine spell
Good caster: Holy weapon
Evil caster: Unholy weapon
Arcane spell
Evocation: The spell deals 1d6 points of whatever type of damage normally dealt by the spell
Conjuration: Throwing
Divination: Keen
Enchantment: Merciful
Illusion: Blinding (like a blinding shield)
Necromancy: Vicious
Transmutation: Throwing
Abjuration: Defending

Price bonus: +2