Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Their Fated Travels...Chapter 21

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Their Fated Travels…

Written around the events taking place in the RPG book ‘Spires of Altdorf’, containing this group’s contributive efforts told from an alternative original stand point. Written by Robert James Freemantle

Chapter 21

The Council of Seer Magisters

Approximately 150 years ago –

The Celestial College –

At a time when the College was structurally much smaller than it appeared in modern day, as over time the magisters commissioned yet more and more towers to be annexed upon its upper reaches, jutting off and out at some fairly unusual angles – all indeed in an attempt at simply getting closer to the star constellations that the wizards of this order, Maestro’s order held in such importance. With each new tower built upon the college, telescopes would soon be seen jutting up out from skylight windows. Maestro once figured that its appearance was reminiscent of a huge snail with multiple antenna stalks all over it. He then considered that this could be perceived as heretical thought processes on the subject of mutants and stopped trying to think it at all.

But back then, around a century and a half ago, inside the old College, down the passages and halls, past various secretly hidden doors, deep down within the sub-basement of a sub-basement level was a secret chamber.

Clandestine meetings would take place here, attended by only the highest ranking and trusted magisters of the order – who formed: the Seer Council.

In these early days of the College’s foundation, the council was seen as an extra protective element to mankind, attempting to gather their future-sight abilities in one place and divining the probable outcome of the future.

This was done first as an attempt at deciding what elements of the College’s structure should be and should not be built. Into the future, if it was divined by the council that a new tower would crumble and fall, or bring about some terrible mishap, perhaps someone important accidentally falling to their death from an upper window, then invariably the construction of any new tower or architecture there would be halted.

“That is obviously a rogue magister coming to meet them! But they appear to suspect anyway…What happens next?”

Council Magister Artwieb stared at Council Magister Viez, for he was becoming a little too excited by the happenings of his string of future vision. Magister Viez looked around and saw the expressions of the other Council Magisters looking at him sternly. He shifted uneasily, suddenly looking small in his great oak and metal clasp bound chair, a style that was replicated around the Council Chamber for each member to sit their posterior upon – that’s when they weren’t suddenly standing, convulsing, or doing some other strange physical action as a result of a particularly strenuous portent.

Council Magister Artwieb continued to speak, “It doesn’t matter what happens next. We are at present concerned about more important things, councillor.”

They had gathered within the chamber tonight to view the matter of Altdorf and Nuln’s potential destruction from flood a long time away in the future – weighing up whether the actions of a human called Felix Jaeger and a dwarf slayer named Gotrek Gurnisson would be enough to stop this disastrous possibility.

They fixed their attentions together upon a large azure blue crystal, twenty four feet tall. This was placed in the centre of the chamber so that they could use it as a focal point in attempting to divine together for more accurate results.

Council Magister Viez looked down in embarrassment and stated, “I couldn’t help it I’m afraid, I was drawn to their story. I will try to concentrate on your joint effort – I apologise.”

“Don’t fret it, Councillor” came the reassuring tone of Council Magister Abt, “His scheme doesn’t pay off. The others don’t fall for it, that much I saw.”

Suddenly all eyes were upon the new speaker, sterner still in their reprimanding glance.

“Wonderful” started Magister Artwieb, “another one. It’s becoming infectious is it? This story? This thread of future?”

The other magisters shuffled and looked around nervously. One of their most senior members, Council Magister Ehrlichmann, a wizard with a long white beard that would garner the respect of any dwarf spoke up, “I think none of us can deny – as much as we would like to that there is something of their story pulling us all towards it. I can see it in your minds eyes, all of you, that you have seen elements of their travels in your visions. The fact that this particular string of fate is coming to the fore is perhaps too much of a concurrence to ignore.”

The other members of the congregation solemnly nodded their heads in agreement.

“Well that does it then” retorted magister Artwieb, “It looks like the fate of Altdorf and Nuln will rest solely in the hands of Gotrek and Felix. May the emperor preserve us.”

Artwieb then took a good look around the chamber at the other magisters whose eyes were now fixed upon him, a look of hope in them as they waited for him to continue speaking. This compelled him to continue, “Then we must investigate why this silly string of fate is coming all of to our attentions, if only to keep it from deterring our real work safeguarding the timelines before us.”

Council Magister Viez spoke again, “From that which I have seen, of the strings of fate that the other honourable magisters present have witnessed, it seems there is one person within this group who continually ties events together –“

- “Maestro Rophel Illefescion!” spoke the always uncompromising Tobias.

“In the flesh” corrected Maestro.

“Yes, always with the title isn’t it, you silly fool of a wizard.” Came the halfling’s response, “If you were to simply focus your aethyric senses upon it, you would find that all is not as it seems. I am a halfling, with no magical senses whatsoever and even I can tell that this item is not simply mundane.” With that, Tobias sighed in frustration.

Maestro stared again at the looted item they had procured, dropped from the daemon when it had attacked them in the tavern moments ago. They had opened a letter intended for the group and delivered by courier – and upon doing so, the daemon had appeared. There had been a mad scramble inside the Two-Headed Goose tavern of Altdorf, much to the dismay of the barkeep after Maestro and his companions had shown up again and caused yet more trouble for his patrons and staff. But all of that now brought us to this moment, with Maestro looking down into a scabbard filled with water.

He sloshed it around a bit and peered deep into it. He gave it a smell and then made to drink some, before Tobias grabbed his arm and began once more with his chastising tone, “Don’t drink it Maestro, that’s the wrong way to test it.”

Maestro raised a finger as if having a thought, “Ah yes, you’re quite right.”

The wizard then took the empty hilt he had held in his other hand and placed it back where he’d found it, back atop the scabbard. He focused his thoughts on the idea that there should be a sword inside of it. He focused magic into his hands and held that idea as a concrete thought, as a fact, surely the water had to magical, had to be a weapon – yes that was it. Suddenly, as Maestro pulled the hilt out again, the water was no longer inside the scabbard. It had attached itself to the hilt, into the shape of a sword.

Tobias and the others stared in disbelief, but then realised it was happening to Maestro and that anything was possible.

The wizard closed his eyes, as he listened to the magical resonance coming from the gushing water that swirled around inside the sword’s bladed shape.

Suddenly Maestro spoke, “Its name is River’s Edge. I can feel a presence within it. It is relieved to be free.”

Tobias nodded with satisfaction, “Good, now you have it. Most magical weapons have a presence within them, a will of some sort. Only those gifted in the magical arts stand a chance of hearing them and only their true masters will be able to understand them. That you know this much already is a very good sign Maestro. It suggests that you should keep this weapon as your own. Congratulations.”

150 years ago –

The Celestial College –

Council Magister Artwieb spoke, “Well then, it seems their many investigations will lead them to the College of Light. The dagger artefact they sought lies there. They will go very much around the mulberry bush to get it, perhaps there is something we should prepare in place?”

Magister Viez spoke, “But do they succeed in getting it?”

Artwieb replied, “From what I have seen, ultimately yes they do – ah I see, yes then we can leave them be.”

Extract from the diary of Rissandrea:

Day 75

Oh dear, we have had our tavern rooms broken into and our belongings rummaged through. Who would do such a thing?

Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 75

I am glad they didn’t find the body parts, or take my gunpowder bars. Without them, my increasingly worse headaches would be impossible…to handle. I can’t tell what I would do…

Extract from the diary of Tobias:

Day 76

Finally we have unveiled that bright wizard, Wolfgang for what he really is. As we discovered his true plans, he offered us a chance to join him in his malefic schemes. Fat chance! We aided in his departure from this mortal coil. May Sigmar protect his soul. Though I doubt Sigmar could, for the man in question was chaos corrupted.

Extract from the diary of Dieter:

Day 77

Well then, who should we run into but our old problematic friend, Malvanius, Altdorf’s Iron Tower witch hunter captain. Such a displeasure to see him again. I can never tell if he wants to arrest me or recruit me. I’m starting to wonder if perhaps he can’t decide either. He was of some use though, arresting some thugs that attacked us. It was made to look like a petty mugging. We of course know different. I always suspect the worst – that way I can enjoy being pleasantly surprised when everything works out fine. Though of late, I haven’t had much opportunity to be pleasantly surprised.

150 years ago –

The Celestial College –

“Yes.” Began Council Magister Artwieb, “this woman will keep trying to have them killed before she herself is caught by the group themselves no less. But how does she figure into all of this?” as he tried to pull of the pieces of a puzzle yet to happen, together.

Viez raised a finger, his expression a clear visage of someone trying to be helpful, “If I may? All things here are connected now. Each of us are seeing a different part of the story, but fate has connected them. This is turning out to be something threatening to the old world.”

Council Magister Artwieb replied, If the future shows the destruction of the old world, you know there is nothing we can do to stop that which is pre-ordained on so strong a fateful timeline.”

Viez spoke up again, in response, “I would agree with you. There is nothing we can do to stop the future as it is. That is already in place and will come to pass, as did the past and present thereafter. Though my fellow honourable scholars, I would ask you to be mindful of the fundamentals of our secretive order. It is our place to divine major events before us, but perhaps…perhaps there is something that can be done – something that can be put in place by us to help them. For consider this: Perhaps the future we are seeing relies on the fact that we have done as much. Perhaps it is our destiny to do so.”

Artwieb glared at Viez, the younger man had pulled him up on seer protocol in front of everyone else present – he wouldn’t forget that – as he asked, “Then what would you suggest we as a council do?”

There was a long pause in the chamber – as each wizard looked upon one another intently, for signs of inspiration coming to the fore. Each looked as if he was about to speak and then reconsidered the futility of his actions, already hearing the jeering response from the others in his mind’s eye, were he to do so. This was the tricky thing with future reading: So much could be decided beforehand and indeed not even attempted. It of course got more complicated when you had a chamber full of such gifted individuals all attempting to converse. Some chose to willingly switch off premonition for acts of conversation, believing it to stifle their flow of imagination. Perhaps this stifling effect was the reason that no ideas were yet coming about.

Just then, Council Magister Ehrlichmann stood up, shaking with a future vision coming about inside his head. The crystal in the centre of the room confirmed this with its continued pulsing. He spoke aloud, “The…the dagger is the artefact of he who wishes to doom this party. Part of his soul essence is stored within it. The group will obtain the dagger at last. Good…I see them bringing it to a female wizard of the amethyst order. She is holding an…incantatory ritual to nullify its power. She succeeds. The daemon’s soul is now weakened – for when it strikes its final time, it will not be whole as it will have hoped.”

Viez chuckled, “Oh forget all of that; of course I knew they would succeed. What I’m really interested in is how such a stupid bone idle wizard as this is able to rise to such power in so short a time. It seems that everything rests with him does it not? Only someone so pre-occupied by a need to be an engineer and not a powerful wielder of aethyr could remain uncorrupted in the face of things to come.”

The council magister then burst out laughing at the silliness of it all. The others present only smiled politely, for fear of being shown up. Artwieb butted in, “Alright, then how does a fool wizard like this even get to the position where he is allowed to journey out in the world? Ahh, I see, the Emperor of that time, one Karl Franz – he fears the man – fears what he is capable of…oh I see a hat, falling from the Emperor’s head – hit by a spell.”

“Hahaha, yes, that’s it!” laughed Viez, unable to control himself any longer, “But his imbecility is key to the future’s chance at succeeding. We must make sure that the Patriarch allows him continued passage within the halls here – regardless of what…idiocies he will bring about in his stay.”

Artwieb reluctantly sighed, “Yes…unfortunately you were always going to be correct on that point weren’t you? Alright then, we shall send a letter to the Patriarch of that time, date stamped and not to be opened until such time as is appropriate for him to read it. Just what will that wizard do next I wonder?”