• Graded • Tracking Tabard

Rising from the stony plateau overlooking the rivers and plains of the western continent, and growing wealthy from the gem stones pulled from this same rocky soil, Etzos is a bastion of independence, eagerly spreading its belief that man should rule Idalos, not be servants of the vain Immortals who nearly destroyed it. But can the different factions set aside their agendas long enough to see this through?

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• Graded • Tracking Tabard

Postby Neronin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:33 pm

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11th Trial of Cylus, 717th Arc
Etzos, Market


The danger of the moment was not Gavrel any longer. That ship had sailed and Neronin was barely able to register it, really. He had been paranoid about the necromancer for so long it was hard to shift his mind from that chase and onto the next. The next was, of course, Vuda’s vice grip over his freedom and the potential retaliation of the Al’Angyryl. Neronin hadn’t eaten in days, partially because of the necrotic spark’s intense loathing of sustenance and partially because he was too afraid to show his face too often, lest someone see him and report back. He needed some time to recover and gather his wits. His flight had been long and harrowing. His return more so. His hunt with Zipper had been the only contact with any of his old associates he had had in seasons. Vuda had left him hollow and weak. The constant battle against Gavrel had left him exhausted.

Now he had finally found a few trials of rest and was in search of food and information. Neronin stood in the dwindling market, the cold and the dark sapping the usual throng of people to a measly scattering of hunched individuals and pairs set in their tasks. He felt no real danger of discovery as he lurked between stalls and creaking wooden buildings. At least his return had come during Cylus, the blessed dark time. Sure, his feet were numb and his breath burned his lungs with the cold. But he was able to move more freely, and didn’t get caught out as a mage by guards. His kennings had steadily grown or developed, making walking down the street not so trivial a matter as it once had been.

He turned a corner and slipped into a farmer’s stall that sold fresh produce. In the dead of Cylus the stall was left vacant and Neronin had been squatting there for a few trials. Neronin waited, checking that the coast was clear before settling in. Occasional thugs and burglars sought through the darkness of Cylus to take the opportunity to relieve merchants of their goods. Opportunists and street-wise gangsters for the most part. Not to concerning for a man like Neronin. However, dead bodies talked more than he’d like. Friends came looking, bosses wanted their hirelings, debtors came collecting. It all got messy when you left a trail of corpses, no matter how apt you were at disposing. People noticed people missing.

Neronin’s mind went to one of the only people who would have noticed him missing. Tabard. The Head Curator would have noticed his second hand assistant had gone missing and Neronin wondered if he could rectify that plunder. Of course, Vuda may have repaired that particular bridge for him in order to keep Neronin close, but that somehow didn’t make the mage feel any better. He let the thoughts of the man drift through his mind as he sat against the wall, determined to get warm. Had Tabard known as Vuda did? What would become of him if he could not return to his job? Did Tabard tell Vuda? The last sent a chill down Neronin’s spine along with the dawning suspicion. His past seasons of paranoia sending his mind reeling towards every event and conversation with the curator in the past arc.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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Tracking Tabard

Postby Neronin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:36 pm

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Deep down, the logical part of his brain seemed to doubt that Tabard would do that. The hungry, tired, and scared part screamed to retaliate. Neronin knew Tabard though. He was a calculating man, a man who took action to benefit himself. He would not have relinquish a morsel like that just to get points it’s Vuda. The darkness bit at both body and mind in the dark, cold stall. Neronin wrapped himself in the pair of tarps he had stolen from neglected wagons trials ago.

He hadn’t found any food on his outing, but that was hardly his first priority. Neronin stared across the stall at the small pile of dead crows. In a moment, with the help of some ether, he was inside one. Linked to the crow he let it hop up onto the counter space of the stall and out into the night. Observing its surroundings from the Link spell Neronin watched as the thing flew up and away. It soared over Etzos, drifting in the wind across stone towers.

The small thrall landed in the snow outside of the massive dark tower which housed the Museum. He knew from experience that Tabard closed or left early during Cylus, to Better socialize with his fellow elites. Sure enough, only a break later Tabard appeared. He was bundled in his fine fur cloak but Neronin could tell that walk anywhere. The man crossed the small courtyard in which the crow stood and exited into the street. Neronin watched as the crow took flight again to follow.

Tabard walked a few blocks away to one of the immensely rich manses that clustered importantly around the main towers of Etzos. He was joined by others, all hurrying towards the place. A party. The elite of Etzos were prone to throwing more and more extravagant parties as the dark season wore on. Neronin knew this because of past endurance’s of Tabard’s retelling of such things. The crow soared down and landed on a windowsill. It watched as Tabard entered the mansion and began to mingle with others there.

The party was packed with important people and Neronin watched Tabard speak to politicians, wealthy merchants, prominent officers of the military, and even a few wealthy farmer owners. People danced and drank wine, feasting from a shining and opulent looking buffet that spanned the whole western wall of the hall. Neronin watched Tabard carefully through the crow’s eye. The man did his show of social politeness with everyone he met. Neronin could almost hear his words.

“Yes, yes. Quite a pleasure to see you again. I do hope you’ll visit our newest exhibit soon.” Blah blah blah. Social dribble.

But when the old merchant Approgate sidled up to Tabard their pleasantries were heavy with other meaning. Sure enough, after the two Black Guard officers who had been speaking to Tabard left, Approgate pulled the man into a nearby study and Neronin could no longer see what they were doing. The crow hopped along the windowsill and then flapped over to a new window into the study. It was dark and Approgate was fiddling with a lamp while Tabard closed the door behind them. They began to talk in hushed tones. Business.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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Tracking Tabard

Postby Neronin » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:37 pm

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Neronin needed to hear what they were saying but the crow could not. He abandoned the Link spell and found himself back in the chilly abandoned market stall. He felt a slight warmth growing under the two tarps, but could not relish it. At the moment Tabard and Approgate were discussing who knows what.

Neronin summoned his power and felt the rupture spark’s presence. A dormant beast within him raising its head. The need for ether was minimal though. Neronin began to focus on the room he had so recently snooped on. The crackling green lightning split into a view of the room without a sound. Neronin kept it tiny, barely larger than his eye. He peered in at the scene of Tabard and Approgate from above.

“- think you’ll have it ready by the beginning of Ashan?” Tabard was saying.

“I told you, he is moving it slowly to avoid detection. You know how treacherous the road from Rhakros is these trials.” Approgate said without the airy, friendly manner Neronin had heard from him last time he spoke to the plump merchant. “Send your assistant around in ten trials and I think I’ll have it ready. What was his name, Rowel? The sallow faced fellow.”

“Nero, and I haven’t seen him in seasons. Up and disappeared. I fear the worst.” Tabard said, distracted by the mention of his forlorn assistant. “I need it earlier than that, Approgate. You think I’m paying you for an empty vault?”

“Surely your vaults are not empty Perceval?” Approgate said, a hint of amusement in his voice.

“Wouldn’t you like to know.”

“It is a shame to hear about your assistant. Alone and without trusted and able aids is a hard place to be, my friend.”

“I am not alone, Approgate.” Tabard said, his voice betraying nothing. “Incase you didn’t remember this deal was made because you wanted an introduction to the Colonel. If that introduction is still to be had, I need that item earlier than ten trials.”

“I can find other means of introduction.”

“Not my kind of introduction, my friend.”

“I can not make the man ride any faster, Perceval!” Approgate said, and Neronin could almost hear him shaking his head, though all he could see through the tiny portal was Tabard’s hand at his side.

“I trust you, Approgate.” Tabard said and Neronin saw his hand flex for a moment. Perhaps a tick, but Neronin doubted it. Tabard didn’t have easy tells like that, he was too guarded. “I have to get back to the party. Other business to attend to, you understand.” And then he was gone, leaving Approgate staring after him.

Neronin let the Scrying fall way and the scene faded back to the empty stall. So, Tabard was waiting for an artifact of some kind. Probably an illegal acquisition from Approgate, so business as usual. They had always maintained a practical and insidious relationship, Tabard and Approgate. What Neronin really wondered was if Tabard had really told his entire knowledge of Neronin’s whereabouts, or simply lying to misguide the rotund merchant.

Neronin let his thoughts drift as he tried to mimic Tabard’s thought process. The mage was tired thought, and cold. He felt himself shrinking in upon himself and the serious mental path of Tabard’s knowledge and motivations drifted towards a simpler topic. Hot soup and mutton. He felt the craving for the nourishing, hardy meal even as his spark gave a rumble of dissatisfaction.
“That is not dead which can eternal lie, And with strange aeons even death may die.” - Lovecraft
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Tracking Tabard

Postby Pegasus » Sun Feb 11, 2018 5:55 pm

Test Review Pending!
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Tracking Tabard

Postby Ellen'wyn » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:53 pm


Neronin


Comments : This is one of the few magic threads I've read, and possibly one of first of your threads in general I've had the pleasure of reading! I really enjoyed the use of multiple types of magic for spying and how you kept it simple yet creative. Such a handy skillset. I can imagine it makes Nero quite good at general dastardly deeds and underhanded business. But why so many sinister people in Etzos?!

Just a side note, but be sure you update your thread list for Cylus 718, then pop this and whatever other threads you're working on this season in there.
Points : EXP: 10 total awarded

These points may be used for Rupturing.

Fame: None
Knowledge : Skill Knowledge:
Rupturing: Spying on friends
Rupturing: Tiny Scrying portals for eaves-dropping
Intelligence: Linked thralls cant hear through windows
Intelligence: Magic can aid in eavesdropping
Intelligence: Deciphering Overheard information
Intelligence: Tracking a mark

Non-skill Knowledge:
NPC: Approgate the Merchant
NPC: Approgate a partner of Tabard
Loot & Consequences : Items: None

Injuries/Overstepping: A mild but irritating headache for a few breaks from a combination of using magic while cold and hungry.

Please edit your review request to show that it has been graded!

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