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Archimage's Story


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I stepped out the portal fully aware of my mission. I was suprised to see my armour frazzling away from me, but the techy had said as much would happen. The air is cool and clean, I take a deep breath and take in my surroundings; there are a few trees, but nothing substanial, no water in sight. I sigh gently, so much for the target co-ordinance. If I ever get back Azzel is gonna get it in the neck for that, but little matter of that now, I set off north, hoping to be ready for which ever traveller comes out next.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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Scratch what I said about there not being many trees, I must have been just outside of a forest. I sigh gently again, why couldn't the map be relief, then at least I could look for some hills, but no matter, I am going to make a relief map once I have worked out where the Shazbar I am.


That is where I am from, if you are listening to this, least my recorder survived, hopefully more of my subdermal implants are there two, though I can tell my polarised lens are gone, scanners too.


Heym, hang about, is that? Yes! Its a road, or a track...or a long wide clearing that I could drive a hover bike down on low. Lets just stick with road.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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Seems the forests here disappear as quickly as they start, I am now in an area of field as far as my non-assisted eyes can see. But still there is little sign of water, and I can only deduce that the rainfall must be substancial here.




I have been walking for the best part of a galactic hour, re-entered a forest and have come to a narrow turn off in the road, I have taken it and there seems to be a small clearing up ahead, with some sort of rock formation; not getting my hopes up but it looks like an natural spring.




Seems I was right, and so I can start building a shelter, I am not sure how long I will have before night falls so I will set up a leaning A-Frame against a tree and then build bigger. As an after thought I have upgraded my map, seems sensible.



Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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I have abandoned building the A-Frame, there are no sharp, light objects so I can't cut into any of the trees, and my lenser knife seems to have vanished too. Instead I have collected some fallen wood from the forest and built a primative shelter between two of the rocks. I then had to line it with most, thankfully common in the forest and spring.




I actually started to get into the build, but when I looked up the star was going down, or at least looked lower than it did last time, I realised that this might be my last chance to get a picture of what the area looked like, before tommrow at least. I climbed up on the big rock and surveyed my surroundings, fell back on Professor Oldak's teachings about 3d Art and Nature Extrapolation and built up a mental picture.










Its my theory that there was a stronger flow in the past and this whole area was river, these stones must be from a collapse down stream, why they stopped here though is a mystery to me...and why is there no entry river bed?


Strange but ultimately unimportant.




I have already found sumptuous spawn deposits in the spring, so food is not a problem, but the spawn seem to serve better as an attractor of flying insects, which seems to have attracted a large arachnid population. After checking for a bird population, and coming up short, I ate a few, trying to preserve whatever food chain already exists.




Now I am going to look for larger lifeforms, I had to survive for eight years on invertebrates, after...well I suppose its better not to remember why...Its not my fault though! Nothing like prison or anything, just...well a dark era in my planet's history...

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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The forest itself seems to harbour little in the way of larger lifeforms, and I don't hold out a lot of hope at finding them in the grassland. I realise now that I could have looked for ground animals, but SELF got rid of most of them back home...




The star is denfinately in descent now so my final task today with be to light a campfire.




As I go off to collect kindling I can't help but think that somewhere like this would have...*sigh*, nevermind...*Longer pause*...I just wish that things were different. But...Anyway I think tommrow I should head north, the map says there is a river up there, maybe I can catch a few fish. In truth though I have found a bowl shaped stone here so I could carry one, or two if they are small, back here and populate the spring, it won't be great for the ecosystem but I will have a better idea once I have seen the fish themselves.


So before I leave I will have to make some line from spider silk, it won't be high quality but better that than diving into the water myself.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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It is night.


The water was luminescing, I went closer to see what was causing it and was taken aback by the strange fire-fly analogous beings there. They look like pond skippers from the text books back home, forgive me, insects that have seven limbs, six of which are legs which stand on the water, their other limb is something like an arm, which they use to clober each other with...but these insects float serenely around the pool, apparently feeding off the moss that I was using to make my shelter rain-tight.




The strange light, at first unnerving, is strangly soothing. It mingles with the running water till it dominates my mind with calm.




I thought about trapping some of them, making a lamp or something, but I don't think it would be a good idea. It might just be my respect for the natural order or some strange mind control that the creatures are using*Jovial in tone* but there is no doubt in my mind that these creatures are protecting this spring from the wild animals, hence why I couldn't find any around here.




In any event I think I shall sleep now.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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Is it morning already? The nights here are shorter than on Ooomlok!




The firefly things, maybe... Blue Bottles? That will do. Anyway they seem to have made a few nests in my shelter, so I suppose moving my home is out of the question. Hmmm, I suppose I could make some torches, using them as the 'flame', I would just need to wrap some nested moss around a peice of deadwood.




Well that was simple, now for the slightly more complicated spinning spider silk, without any sort of spindle... I think I am going to have to put off my 'fishing trip' until I have some more complicated tools, or rather any tools at all. I am going to need a sharp rock and fairly small log, if I can curve the spiral into it then I should be able to use it as a spindle, allowing me to make a line.






Its not as bad as I thought, maybe half and inch gash, and only a centimeter deep, mostly superfical. I am going to have to sew it close, and there is nothing except the spiders to provide the needles. So I am going to need a much steady hand to make the hole to thread the fang, and to actually sew the wound up.


Ok. Sorry. *Thud*




The spider fibres will only hold for a few days, if I am not active during them, probably hours if I carry on like this. The problem now is that there is no way to safely, surgically, store anything I have made. I am going to make a silk pouch, which will mean I will need to break open at least one spider egg sac. I don't want to do that, not unless I have to, I am going to see if I can find any partially used ones, minimise the death.




I should have looked closer at the water, a lot of the the webs have landed there, floated down, it looks like it was a pit to begin with, but the spider silk has clogged the drainage system. Anyway, I am going to have to wait for it to dry a bit before I can weave any fibres into proper silk, then I can properly seal this wound. And make some fishing line, though maybe netting would be better in this case... While I wait for it to dry I will go see if I can ID any medicinal herbs, I would prefer not to get another infection.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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Found some Yarrow nearby, just squeezing the stem now...I would like to just tie it to the wound but for two issues, first I have no wire, second it would probably do more harm than good if I had to run for any reason...Until I find someone else I will just have to keep to the liquid form, and when I am sleeping, obvouisly. I am going to finish crafting that ruddy spindle, make some silk, tie up this wound and sleep for a while, so I will take some with me? Good? Yup, thought so, lets go.




That is very strange, either they are eating my leg or healing it...I am going to watch them for a second. *Long pause* Well they are definately doing something. The blue bottles, if you were wondering, seem to be doing something to my leg. They might be attracted by the spider silk, they might even by attracted by the blood. Watch and wait.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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I have the strangest feeling *Hic* that I have been *Hic* intoxishcated. Nanites another *Hic* fatality of the *Hic* transfera-trans-trasporteral process, must be *Hic* half working.




Owwwww, my head, least my leg is healed. Looks like the bottles, haha the irony there, have helped me heal faster. I think a torch should be top of my agenda. Hmmm what did I have on my agenda?








Ah right, well it appears that my desire to sleep overrode my will power, 'cause I didn't make the spindle. I am going to make the torch, make the spindle and then a net and finally catch those ruddy fish that started all this off!




Judging by the postion of the star, relative to where it was yesterday, I would say I have been here one full day. Why am I recounting this? Because there is no other being for miles around! or so it seems anyway, walking for the best part of an hour and haven't seen anything larger than an insect, save the trees of course.




Spoke too soon, looks like I am being followed by something rather large, evidently the native fauna know to avoid this area...once again I have walked into somewhere that most lifeforms were wise enough to avoid. Well, I am going to just keep walking, slowly and steadily.




I have come to a cross roads, I am taking the northern route, if I follow it round I will get to the waters edge. The thing is still following me, I doubt I will be able to shake it so I might as well face it, but if I can get out into the clear grassland then I might have some advantage...though what advantage a 7 foot human has against a beast, at leasts as wide if not as high, is questionable.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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"Rag and Bone man! Rag and Bone man"


I can hear him more "Rag and Bone man" clearly now.


"Rag and Bone man, ah, do you have anything you wish to sell?"


Of course.


"I am sure we can come to some sort of an arrangement"


Well I am afraid that I only have a couple of items on me at the moment, perhaps if you showed me back to the nearest town I could access my bank.


"You have items at a bank but you don't know where the bank is?"


Yes, would you believe I was rambling about out here and got lost.


"Oh, well, on truth I stay away from the towns, had a bit of a .... with the sherifs daughter."


Oh I see, well I shall not press you.


"Very decent of you my good man."


Not at all, now, would you happen to have any directions?


"Well I have this map, and I can't help but notice that neckchain you are wearing."


Ahh, I had a cousin, 'There is always a profit to be made, and if you don't...


"Who will', quite right your cousin was, man after my own heart."


Well its a family heirloom, had it since, ooo before we moved to the sys...town, that my great great grandfather lived in.


"Well then, if it is sentimental...Two bars?"


One! and not a bar more.


*Pause* "You drive a hard bargain, sold."


Thank you my man.




"Was there anything else you wished to buy, sir?"


Now that you mention it, I am wondering if there is a cooking set in their? Bowls and plates, maybe a knife...


"For another bar?"


Another bar.


"Ahhh well I have just the thing, brought it from a Chinaman, its an omni-plate, can turn into anything you need on a table"


Extraordinary! May I see it first?






How do I, err?


"Just say what you desire, mind you it only has a life of an hour or so."


Hmmm, I am looking for something in a more permentant style.


"Well if it is reliability you are after, a pewter cauldron and ladle, perfect for cooking anything."


Now that is what I need, here you are my good man, one bar.


"Thank you kindly sir, perhaps you could tell me what the bars do?"


Ahh, nothing too much, but if you shine a light though them, say like this...


"Good lord, its a rainbow! Leprechaun hunting gear!"


A keen eye for all things, I see you have


"Ahh it helps in a job like this, helps sort the [bleep] from the tat."


And very well you do it too sir, but now I must take my leave.


"Say, you are not a Noble Lord or something are you? Never known on of them to talk so civil."


Oh by the Stars no, I used to be a squire is all, they are a nightmare lot I can tell you.


"That explains it then, well sir I shall be on me way. And if you see another lost squire you just tell them to find ole Andy Mac."


I will, and should you ever see Lord Arthur of Pendragon you tell him Merlin said hello.


"Will do squire."






Well that was informative, and not nearly as bloody as I expected. *Laughs* The map is strangely chilling, seems I am staying in the big area marked 'Avoid'. In any case either the info-grams map was out of date or this one is of 'works to be completed', because the road in the south seems to be more complete, and in the north... Still, I have to consider that the map itself is just a child's doodle, sold to Andy Mac by the mother to by bread, so could be that it is nothing...In any case I will carry on to the river, catch some fish in my new cauldron, and head back to camp. At least I shouldn't be disturbed.






Nothing new seems to have happened, I am just outside of the spring. I will make sure the ecosystem can systain the fish before I implant them, but all going well they should be in by tommorow morning.





Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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My three torches are now 'burning' brightly, casting a strange blue light over the camp, but at least everything is casting shadows down instead of up now!


I have been thinking about the map that Andy fellow gave me, if it is true that there are cities then I will need to get out there and explore them, maybe I can buy some supplies there... *Long Pause* I am a little worried about this development though, the more advanced these people are the more difficult... Hmmm, well.




As I lie here, looking at the two maps, and my own mental picture; I never really learned to draw physically, I do wonder what this missions really entails, was it really worth it? Not just to me, and my life, but to my people...to their lives...*sighs* I guess I am just in one of those moods. I look up at the sky and think; Could one of them be home? How many times I have I stared at the Star this planet orbits round?






I think tommrow I will venture out of Malburg Inn, hopefully if there are people there I can get a more complete map.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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The night has gone slowly, I am not sure why, perhaps it is the effect of these Blue Bottles on my leg, some sort of delayed metabolism, perhaps? When I get back, with supplies of course, I shall see what I can find out about them. *Pause* Though I won't kill any, I hope. *Shuffling and bumbling* WOAH what the...*Thud*


*Pause for approximately two hours*


Ughhhh, my head. Must have...ugh..Give me a minute.




A little light headed is all. I am fine. I am going to start a slow walk, so I am going to take a torch with me, in case I am caught out *Pause* I am going to take my sharp stone as well, just in case. If I am getting paranoid then its not a good sign. I remember growing up and...well suffice to say that his paranoia paid off more than once, but then my easy-going attitude saved us more than once two...I think I will leave the stone here.




And we're off.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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  • 1 month later...

Well for the first time during my time here I have seen larger than insect, but non-sentiant, ground animals. Or more specifically heard them in the trees. Yup, Birds.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The inn has its lights ablaze; which is perhaps strange, considering that it is day.


There is no one around, it seems. There are no horses, no people, just blades of grass in a clearing with a building in the middle. Though I have to say that the grass looks a little untamed, so much so that the foot path seems to disappear into the sea of green, only to reappear around the gravel surrounding of the inn...Kind of like a river flowing under a rock. Its not that deep, the grass, so I am going to edge my way though.




Inside now. There is food on the table and beer in the glasses, there is even a dart in the darts board, just no people. I have taken one of the room keys, one of the few ones that remained on the hooks. Number 32. Has to be one of the few numbers I don't have a story about.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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  • 2 weeks later...

The room is like one of those old ships that was found abandoned, but with food still on the table...though stranger. It looks as though people just disappeared, there are trollies of food waiting outside of rooms, there are two burnt out torches on the wall and five fresh torches, and two fresh torches, and four burnt ones that have rolled over the floor. There was another one on the stairs. Then there are a few keys just lying on the floor, as though they were abandoned by their owners. As I look at the food trolly it looks like breakfast...there is milk and...maybe ceral, it looks similar but not. The milk is starting to smell, but perhaps that is because it has been in his shaded corridor...the curtains at the end of the hall are still closed.




I have entered 'my' room and found it more to my expectations. It has been cleaned, the bedsheets are folded neatly and the curtains are opened, letting the sunshine in. There is even a bowl of water already out with towels beside it. It remains me of when the gates were first discovered, how trade restarted our...But I shouldn't speak of such things. There is no dresser but instead a walk in wardrobe and draws under the bed. *Laughs* Ha, the blue bottles have taken flight to the bowl of water, making it their own...They seem to be nesting on the towel as well, this is most interesting, but I think that perhaps I should leave them to it, instead attending to my own needs of food.




The kitchen was full of smoke, someone left a pan on the stove and it had burned, and burned, and burned. The doors were solid though, lined with some kind of soft solid something...it is most interesting, so I have taken a sample...and opened the service entry door, jamming it open so that the smoke clears. On the plus side though it should have preserved anything that was left. I think I will take a nap at the reception desk though, just wait to see if anyone comes in, drawn by the smoke is my hope.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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So then, I have met someone else here who is 'Not of this world'. I am worried though that this is not a good sign. The man I was faced with clearly is dangerous, fast and skilled, having entered my room carrying a primative bow with arrow. Perhaps I will be able to influence him enough to disarm his overzealous approach to conversations, but perhaps not.


In truth I am unsure of what to make of our encounter and would go as so far as to say that he does not trust me any more than I trust him, though perhaps I know my reasons while he has only a dim instict.


Our conversation lasted all of a few moments, I said hello, not wishing to have him loose an arrow into me and expose my fabric armour, and asked him if there was something that I could do for him. He asked what I was doing here and I said I was staying the night before traveling south to Silvero. This gave me my first inkling that he was not of this world, in that he did not know Silvero, but knew of a town to the south, perhaps owning the same kind of map that I recieved on arrival. In any case the Blue Bottles reacted to him with great interest, turning momentarily red in the wash bowl...


They seem to be fashioning some sort of sphere made of the remains of the towel, they ate a hole though it, at the bottom of the bowl....underwater I mean.


But apart from that they paid him no attention. He asked me if I had seen anyone else, but I said not, not wishing to appear a threat to him, though I suspect that he did not believe me...perhaps believing that I had a merry band of mercenaries in the cupboard... In any case he stalked off pretty sharpish after that, saying he would take the room across the hall. I am not sure what I will do about him, but for the moment I will bide my time, hopefully when we get to the town...if we get to the town, we will part company before he learns anything.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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I am leaving the recorder running in case he does something while I am asleep. By his weapon and tone he should be unable to comprehend this machine...thiough that does make me worry about what will happen if something does happen....bah, it is off little concern right now, there is nothing I can do. In the words of many great men 'Damned if I do. Damned if I don't.'






... ...


... ... ...




"Hey Archimage!"


*Groans* Ohhhhhh. *Creak of floorboards and matress springs* Great, what does he, ohhh, want *Yawns* now.


*Sound of banging and rustling*


*Heavy footfalls on the stairs*


"This man is starving. Would you be so kind as to get him some food?"


*Quiet* Looks like has been beaten as well...coincidence that you were the one that found him....I think not.


*Doors opening*


*Coughing* Darn it, the smell of smoke is still strong. *Doors banging shut and other smaller doors being flung open* Where are you.... *Crunch of silverware being swept out the way* Hmmm, nothing much in there, over here...No...Ah, there. *Loudly* I've got something.


*Doors half opening*


Damn, he'll need water to wake him up. *Doors closing*


*More banging of metals followed by a water pump being pumped and water hitting a metal container*


*Doors opening again*




Here, I have something to wake him up.


"Good idea"


*Water being thrown and a gasp*


"Is that food?"


"Sure is, but first what were you doing here?"


"Followed the map"


"It's the same as our ones"


Yes, you better let him recover before we question him. I'll get him a room key.


"He could be anyone!"


Exactly, no reason to jump to the conclusion that he is going to kill us in our sleep.


"Its better to be safe..."


Than to be dead. Yes, I know, but the point is that now that I have distracted you he has had the chance to eat something. Now, perhaps there is something you would like to tell us?




OOC: The question is posed to Mr Kay.


Also, this is an example of how to speak for other people:-Keep short and sensible answers which fit with the rest of their personality and to the general norm of things, and try to be as transparent as possible.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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Leaving my recorder on again, just to capture my thoughts, if I have any...








I can hear a bell striking somewhere in the distance, I think I heard it earlier. An automated system of some kind perhaps? Could even be magical...It sounds like it is coming from the north, so its probably somewhere in the Fort...could be evidence of some kind of religion, or someone inside trying to communicate...or perhaps it was in the courthouse's tower that I can't seem to recall...Too much dependance on video recorders as my father would have said. *Quiet laugh*








I can see the gates in the immediate distance, maybe a minute away from them...I am going to quickly investigate them before I carry on south. They look like two massive granite, or possibly some other heavy rock...not brick, barrack like structures...Say half a mile long by 200 yards wide? Most of it is sunk into the rock though, so it could be larger on the inside. There are five sets of gates, spaced about 100 yards away from each other, each of them extends a good 5 yards across, and by that token probably another 20 inside to fill the gap. They are painted black, so they are probably Iron or Steel, they are not ornate, just functional.








Who is...


"where is this?"


Oh, that is Fort Locksmeed, do you live around these parts?

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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"wha.. No I don't live around these parts, I remember running, a flash of lights and ending up here, where is this, how can I get home?"


Ah well then, I am afraid I am in rather a hurry, but if you continue north there should be a....contingent of people inside the Fort, they can probably help you.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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The person that was included in the last recording seemed to be heading north, like the rest of them, when I left him. I am not sure what type of person he is but I cannot take the risk of having to head north again. In any case I am back on the road and am heading south again, I should come to the Marlburg relatively soon and be able to rest for a while.




One of the things I have noticed about this world is that time does not run uniformally, which in itself is not too strange, I know of at least a dozen planets like it, but what seems strange is that people seem to magnify this, particually those of...and I can't believe I am saying this, me a man of reason and rationality...particually those of Magical Decent. I have only observed it a couple of times. When I was in the Fort I noticed that I cast a different shadow to the others, and they each cast a different shadow to each other. The difference is probably one of minutes not hours, but it will be something of great interest if I can understand it, and perhaps my first clue as to what really happened here...I believe that there may have been some kind of psi-normal-temporal magnification...effect? *Jovial tone*Strange that even at times when I am talking about revolutionalising the universe I still quibble over terminology. *Return to normal* In any-case it seems that people's perceptions of time have altered the nature of time, to such a degree that the star can be in completely different places relative to the observer...such things must be magical because the electrical requirement of such an effect would be...well it would be near infinate energy.




Yes, I have thought about it now and I believe I have the answer. 'A watched pot never boils.' There was to be an inevitable event, an event so terrible that no one wanted it to pass...or should I say very few people could want it to pass...Because of this everyone, directly or indirectly, slowed their own section of time to such a degree that they stopped exisiting...at least to be seen anyway. Now, since time continues to run I can only assume that the event passed by, but since no one existed they could not come back into existance...Sigh, the Anglish...Well, I don't think any language would have the words, tense and such to describe this.




I am in hearing distance of the Marlburg Inn, "Rag and Bone Man!" As you can probably tell...




Thats odd, surely there should be more than that?




*Faintly* "Was one of them wearing a funny hat?!"


Thats not his voice....I am going to-


"I believe so."


-get closer, though I should-


"Hey boy, don't you get cold without a shirt."


-be entering the clearing within a moment.


"Never bothered me."


"How bout this, I'll strike you another deal. If you can catch this Butterfly without injuring it, I will give you a robe that will keep you warm, boy"


"That's it? Too easy"




I wonder if time-


"I see, very interesting, hehehe"


-has conve-


"Hey! Stop that!"


-rged for a*Tone Raises* What in all that is! He just...ARG! Why couldn't that have been recorded!


"Wow, amazing. Whats the catch Old man?"


"Hehehe, I thought I would see you again."


I don't suppose you would part with that 'Butterfly'?


"No, me and her go way back."


I see... Well I best be on my way then.


"Rag and Bone man! Rag and Bone man! Hehehehe!"




Crazy old badger. But now to the next affair, this new man at the Inn...I need to get inside...




Hello there young man, how do you find the fair establishment that is the Marlburg Inn, to you satisfaction I trust?


"Err, are you the manager?"


Good lord no, I am just a guest here, though I am sorry to say one of the few, the only in fact.


"Have you seen a man in a funny hat, only he said he was heading this way?"


Hmm, I believe I did, yes, he stayed for a night, then headed south, said something about the Fort being sabortarged, how do you sabortarge a Fort I ask! But anyway, I am heading that way in the morning, so you are more than welcome to accompany me then. Though perhaps you could tell me your tale before the night is through?

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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"Oh thanks for the offer I appreciate it" We headed into the Inn. Shimmering orbs of light hanged on the walls and glowed without signs of fading away. We entered another room where table stood. I took a seat while the man went to sit on the other.




"Names Wizz. I come from a place named Diachilet. It was a nice world where technology ruled. In my world there was a system of Magicks, an system of energy that lies deep within my people. Over time we can learn to manipulate this energy, then when one comes of age we find our soul element withing ourselves. Mine turned out to be Electricity, I had the power of speed and temporary duplication. But the duplicate would simply mirror my actions, and I had full control over it as if it were a puppet. My mother element was fire, my father wind, I always wondered why I did not get fire. A male usually gets his Mother's Element."




I took a pause to catch my breath. I was talking to fast.




"Our government was a Monarchy, I went to a prestigious school. Same one my Mother went. My father died in a war fighting to protect our King when I was just seven. That was roughly fifteen years ago. When I went to this school I had to move north, I had to leave my Mother alone to pursuit my studies. I knew she would be fine living with her sisters. I was seventeen when I moved north to the School." I started pacing myself now speaking a little bit slower. "When I entered school I had class with the Princess, I remembered I played with her when I was little catching Golden Bugs for her collection. I caught a Golden Butterfly for my Mother.. Turns out her Element was Water, just like our King. I befriended her and helped each other in our studies to perfect our magick. After three years in school my Mother can down with an horrible strain of disease. She died a week after she was diagnosed. I remember being there to comfort her. She just merely told me to go back to school, and to perfect my gift. She always wanted me to get stronger."




I took a deep breathed noticing that voice went melancholy.




"When I got back the Princess comforted me. She held the funeral for my mother, for my mother also knew Princess after all she was a Royal cook for the King. She was buried right next to my Father. My studies were slowly declining. "Cheer Up. I'm pretty sure Helena wouldn't want to see you like this Wizz" whispered the Princess one night in my room. "I know, I just..." "I know what will cheer you up. Lets go to the Garden and catch Golden Bugs like we used to, that sounds like fun right Wizz?" "Sure" I said."




My voice started to get serious.




"That night we sneak off of school grounds to the castle. In the garden there was an abundance of Golden Butterflies. "Wizz, I want you to have this" She held up a purple stone on a golden base, behind the base was a fleur de lis. "It is a Gem that is put on the hilt of Warriors who defend the King, like your father. I put it on a golden base so I can put this necklace your mother gave me on the festival of my inner Element. That way you will have the protection of the people who love you" As she put the amulet around I couldn't help but to gaze into her eyes. They shimmered as the glare of the Butterflies flew around. Her hand touched my face, and I in an act of instinct put my lips on her and embraced her."




I breathed heavily out and took another deep breath




"Another year has passed by as the Princess and I lived in harmony. During class we would seemed like friends, but in privacy we were lovers. A commoner could not be seen in a relationship with Royal Blood. At the end of that year horror struck. The people from the Land of the South attacked our Kingdom. Me and the Princess ran for I knew that if they found her she would be killed. We ran in the refuge of one of our teachers and begged him for help. We needed a spell that would teleport us far away. He agreed but it could have serious side effects, with all his might he opened a portal. Right at the moment the building was shaking. It fell over! Then all of a sudden after all the dust has settled I stood there next to the Princess, our teacher unconscious and the portal still opened . Without warning a group of mages appeared, and took the Princess by hand. "NO!" I yelled "Natalie! Princess Natalie! Don't you dare lay a finge-" One of the mages managed to drive three daggers into my chest. I staggered back, then I remembered the trick sleeve I had with me. The Flash Cannon."




I stood perfectly straight noticing the man leaning forward in interest.




"The Flash Cannon was a spell that uses a great amount of Electricity. I shoots a ball of electricity from a casters arm crossed in a special way. So in that moment with my last gulps of air I manage to cross my arms and point it to the ground and casted the spell. I blacked out. When I awoke I found myself surrounded my strange lights. These were the lights of a Portal, I knew my plan worked for it pushed me and the Princess into the Portal. To my far right she was there falling, she had fainted. I put my hand out when all of a sudden a white light broke out and I found myself in a white room. Bare chested, I searched for the Princess. She was not there. Then another Portal opened up. With my knowledge of Magick I knew this was an exit. Next to the Portal was a few pieces of paper, a map and a gram telling me about the world ahead. It told me my Magick would go away, but it would slowly return. I befriended a man named Hawks, we made camp near this river to the northeast. He got sick so I put my Amulet on him hoping it would help him find the way. I fell asleep, for a long time."




I cleared my throat for it was getting raspy.




"I had something called a Zedlei night. For my people this only happens when one runs out of Magick. We sleep for around two to five days, our body supported by the magic that was charging around us. When I awoke I found a dead fire and Hawks gone. Next to me I found writing on a floor telling me he was heading to a Inn to the West. When I reached the Inn I met this strange old Man. For exchange of some berries he gave me some information that may leads me to Hawks. He struck me another deal, that if I could catch a Butterfly without harming it he would give me a robe. He held out a butterfly and that brought back memories of my Home. The Butterfly surrounded me and sparkled me with magick, when all the sparkles went away I found myself with this robe on me and the Old Man missing. That's when I met you and you invited me here."




Few! That was a long story, must have taken a long time. I stared at the Man who only gazed at me with crafty eyes.




"So umm... What's your story? Your name please to."

Wongton is better than me in anyway~~



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I suppose my story is similar to yours in many ways. I come from a Star Empire, or rather the remains of a Star Empire...You see, about four hundred years before I was born we abolished poverty, hunger, we thought that we had evolved beyond such things. Our empire streched across thousands of planets, all of them under our control though peaceful means, all of them signing an alliance...not even to defend themselves, you see the last war...before my time, was over eighteen hundred years ago. The small combats which did occur were down to corporations and traders vying for power, but we always kept them in check. Anyway that was all before I was born, to use your langauge.






There was a ship, a Caraval, old class. One of the gated topedoes was fired and phased back inside main array. Usually this would not have been a problem, but that ship was patrolling a valance facility which belonged to a powerful corporation. The facility was attacked and raided. The Caraval fought valiantly, but the two forward arrays and gated topedeos couldn't really stop all of them...You see the main array can send out over 40,000 different beams, while the forward arrays can only send out 10,000 each. They were fighting with only a 3rd of their full capacity, plus there may have been some power generation damage, it all got submerged in the trial.




After the attack had taken place an investigation was launched. Before the initial reports could be written the investigators uncovered a minor conspiracy, which they blew out of all proportions. With this, seemingly unrelated, criminal in custody they began holding public enquires, their first target was the only person who could have stopped it, the Captain. They pulled up her record, she was a decorated hero, so of course she had more than her fair share of disreputable incidents. Some say that it would have stopped there...She died, heart attack would later be named, but at the time she was said to have commited suicide to prevent the truth from coming out.


The report on the gated torpedo came back at the same time, apparently a malfunction, but this only fuelled the investigator's *spits the word* knowladge of corruption. A month later and almost two hundred people had been arrested, from all over the sector...that was when it got out of hand. A simple liason between the chairman of G-Tech, the foremost medical company and the district head of Tanin, a district on my ancestor's home planet of Earth, became a plot to overthrow the council of Dis, another district on Earth. Dis is the main focus on the PSP's, the meaning of which has been lost over time, industry, on Earth anyway. Now Earth became almost redundant after the relocation to Cybele around three thousand years ago, but growing instability in the UA, United Americas, lead to a new market being forged there, renewing the interest. Anyway, the arresting of both of these people lead to an immediate and catastrophic collapse of the medical and computer industries...You see Tanin and G-Tech held virtual monopolies in their respected industries, not from wheeler-dealing but from being the best.


It was then that the UA struck, declaring that new leadership was needed, and maybe 10% of the Empire agreed with them, Euro-Asia being first amoung them. They decended on the PSP land, looting technology and using it to upgrade their own fading ships. The PSP was under attack from another angle though, no one could do anything without it being seen as a conspiracy.


Maybe our final chance was Robert Volta, the decendant of the discoverer of Cybele, who had become First Lord of the Admirality, space division of course. He ignored and flouted the investigators at every turn and contained Earth for almost a year before the PSP council was replaced...after that there was very little anyone could do. The replacements had been vetted completely by the investigators, ie they were the investigators. With the unrivaled power of the PSP at their disposal they destroyed Earth. They pinned the genocide on Volta. A few years later, when I was born, the empire had finally released all the elastic in the system, all the stockpiles were exausted, all the brains tired all the ships run down. Five months after I was born the system crashed down around us. Local goverment had been declared illegal a year ago in some mad attempt to prevent the crash when in fact it only sped it up, so everyone sat powerless, waiting for orders that never came.


Another hero was forged, but did us harm this time, too. Dysis Krill lead an uprising on Cybele, isolated it from the rest of the Empire and tried to restart the system that his ancestors had fought for. The new systems said he was a malfunctioning android, the PSP declared him a traitor...but it didn't really make any difference. Cybele had Kent, a space station...or rather The Space Station, defending it. The PSP showed some sense by not using the fleet in a worthless attack...you remember I was saying that the main array could fire over 40,000 seperate beams? Well Kent could fire over 900,000 seperate beams, 300,000 of them out to a distance of two light years, not to mention over 8,000 gated torpedos per second.


In many ways the uprising could have only come from Cybele, it was the only planet where Androids really lived, the only planet with the death dealing super space station and the only station which was controlled by SAI, Sentiant Artifial Intelligence. But with the uprising in full swing the PSP clamped down entirely, freedoms were suppressed entirely...That was the era I was born into.






"What happened then?"


I struggled though my life. My mother and father died early on, and at age five I was taken in by a family, not offically...there was nothing offical on that hellhole...It used to be a factory world, but with industry almost collapsed we just scraped by however we could. The family made sure that I worked for my life, I resented them at first, but as I saw my progress mount the word enraptured me...It was only petty repair work, most of it came from scavanging, but it was something I had achieved. You see, no matter what had happened in the past few years, it could not erase the three milennia of properity through labour. But it was my downfall. I saw a problem and I solved it, that made me useful....I was abducted and sent through a brain washing process. I became those who destroyed...I was gifted, that much was certain, I turned the district into something, then the contient, then the planet and was on my way to turning the sector to something useful...even if it was also without freedom. It was only half a year after I had been promoted that Krill broadcast his message...To most everyone it was obvouis that we were doomed as soon as Cybele had it's uprising, but those like me...those with the gift saw the unwinnable as winnable...not though brainwashing but though the dedication that was showed to our work. As I was saying though, Krill broadcast his message into my sector. I remember it clearly:


*Changes tone*Hold! What you are doing to us is wrong! Why do you do this thing?


*Resumes Tone* I could not find a reason. I saw the wall of brainwashing crumble before the word 'Why'. I responded that Krill was a friend and that he should send someone worthy of the command...he refused to let me leave, I stayed there for another six years...How long the campaign took after my sector was liberated. I restored freedom, decenteralised, I recreated the true PSP as hundreds others did across all the sectors.


In total that single misfire of the torpedos cost fifty billion lives, nearly thirty years and the stability which had held the Empire together...of course Human's were not the only one's to suffer. The lode lost the most...they lost the one race which they could identify with, the one race which actually mattered. In truth, Krill later said, the uprising was for five people. Luke Krill, SAI, Winthrope, Tharas and john. His ancestor, his mentor, the creator of the PSP, his lover and his friend-the lodian.








When I left my post I joined Werks, the science and engineering monopoly. I worked hard to atone for the crimes against the universe and this is just another mission...something else for me to give back to the people I took so much from.


So perhaps we do differ in our stories, but the same truth is there, we are both trying to defend the one thing that matters to us.




But enough of this, I will prepare us something to eat and then we shall rest. In the morning I will be heading south to try an experiment, perhaps you will join me, perhaps you won't...I will be back in a short while.


"You didn't tell me your name"


You can call me Xoex


"Is that your name?"


It was. Once.

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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"Actually you may go do your little experiment, I have to do a small ritual to charge myself when I wake."


*rumble* I just notice how hungry I was. "So, just what is there to eat?"

Wongton is better than me in anyway~~



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"So, just what is there to eat?"


Well isn't that the question...We have some pink stuff, some green stuff, some yellow stuff and two somethings of white stuff. I would hazard a guess at eggs, spinach, cheese, mushrooms and milk. Though I could be wrong. No, wait, cookbook, lets see...








"I would settle for a sandwich, I am just hungry."


Yeah, alright, one second. *Quieter* This book will be rather useful. *Return to normal* I can have a go at preparing a dish called... Freed, looks like some sort of toasted spinach mushwich.




Like a sandwich but with mushrooms for bread.


"No bread?"


Not that I can find.


"...Go on then, I am hungry enough."




OOC:Speeding along now, perhaps you could tell me about the ritual while we eat, afterwhich just say I go to bed and then I can launch from tommrow. =D

Well I knew you wouldn't agree. I know how you hate facing facts.

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