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Old April 30, 2012, 02:57 AM   #1 (permalink)

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[Harding Hamlet] The Arcanum Ascendancy (Goldstein Please :D)

Timestamp: Two brightenings before his arrival in Primus Gaudeo

It was a sight to see.

Clouds, full and white, hovering over distant snow capped peaks in the first moments of a new dawn. Above, birds flying in easy formation north and all around a gentle breeze with the promise of good fortune and temperate candlemarks to come. In the far distance and just barely visible the red hue signal that somewhere beyond the elf's intended destination lay Aslan's forge itself.

The grass swayed around his broken boots, like a dancer moving to the rythym of the wind. He could not help but stop and admire the weald and all it's beauty and secret wonder. Zerdargia was pleasant, and the supplies he had purchased would enable him to make the last of his journey to Primus Gauedo, to Tiyribi. He had come far, almost too far. It was good to be so close to family. Walking forward, heading south-west towards that capital city, Archalen Andares wondered what lay in store for him.

What would she say when the dead showed up on her doorstep? One step after the other revealed scant traces of that future.

So lost in thought about the emminent reunion, and the possible consequences of the same, it was not long before the landmarks he had been appraised of suddenly stopped showing themselves to him. Indeed, it had been a few candlemarks since last he had saw something he was suppose to have seen. Stopping, and producing a cool apple from the meager supplies in his rucksack he carried, the elf attempted to gather his bearings.

As he ate into the delicious fruit, the kin of House Andares sought to figure out where exactly his absent mind had lead himself. The woods had seemed to grow in number and dominance where he was, and the treeline's around him hearlded a great forest on either side. Continuing south-west the elf could only hope to return to some symbol of civilization.

His heavy green cloak flashed as he walked through increasing wood, the rags he wore underneath comfortable in these warm spring days.

Nightfall would be upon him within a few candlemarks he knew, but he could not decide whether to set up camp for the eve or attempt to regain his lost path. He had almost given up when he heard something...

Something like a voice?

It was true the uncivilized lands could make one hear what simply wasn't there, but given the current lack of direction the un-armed esh'lahier had little choice but to follow what he thought he heard.

Hopefully whatever it was, if anything, would give him some semblance of place.
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Old April 30, 2012, 10:24 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Through the trees, over a hill, thats where the voice had come from. As Archalen moved that way he heard it again off in the distance. Continuing to follow the voices Archalen would eventually find his way to a trail, and eventually this trail would lead the elf to the Village of Hardin.

Hardly a Village at that, more of a collection of small houses, too small to be comfortable for the Elf, and a larger common hall in the middle. Dreary trails of smoke raised up out of the houses and a few had cooking fires going on out in front of them. This was the quiet and peaceful Village of Harding, the home to most of the Hobbits in the Dwarflands, located in the area known as the Center of Peace.

Visitors were rare here, and even rarer still were the elves as they were very much restricted entrance to the city proper. Though it was true that one didn't need to go through Zerdargia to get to the center of peace, it's natural borders were enough protection in most cases, the steep valley walls kept most of the mountain weather at bay, as well as most of the bands of bandits that liked to roam the wilderness. For those that did find there way to Harding, there hobbits still had their own methods of defense besides, a method that the elf was about to learn.

With out a word a pair of feet kicked out the elf's knees from under him and pinned him to the ground, and a pair of oddly shaped black daggers were placed at his throat. "No further, stranger. What are you doing here in harding?" One of the daggers rotated with its user as it unpinned his knee and swiveled around in front of him. Archalen would see before him a rather slim hobbit, for standards, dressed all in black, except for his furry feet which would be left bare, the thick souls of his feet protection enough against the terrain. Bark and leaf flecks would be evidence enough of their traversal through the tree limbs.

OOC: for clarity purposes - yes, these are kuni wielding hobbit ninjas.... I swear this is canon for harding and not something that I made up.
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Old April 30, 2012, 05:44 PM   #3 (permalink)

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A wave of relief washed over Archalen as he came upon the peaceful village. He had been lost in the wilderness many times, and once during the Longest Winter witout so much as any supplies. He barely made it out of that alive, and although this would have been much easier he had no eagerness to test that.

It seemed the village, if you could call it that, was relatively quiet and quite small. He did not know of it, and was unsure if it was on any maps he had ever read. Then again the elf hardly ever came to the Dwarflands, so his surprise at finding the small cluster of buildings was not too shocking.

He had been beginning to stride towards it and seek assistance when all of a sudden his leg gave out from under him. The world went as a blur as he fell face first into ground and a voice, most likely the one to attribute to his new orientation, offered a warning.

The elf could do nothing but laugh. It was a true laugh, from the debts of his stomach. "Oh, you're good. Bravo, bravo!" the esh'lahier said as he attempted to roll over to see who it was that had a dagger to his neck.

True enough, most people would be afraid of cold hard steel pressed agains their necks, but Archalen Andares was not most people. He had died once, been undead, worked for death, been resurrected by the Planetar of vengence, and then popped back into the material world. Imminent Death had long ago lost it's frightening effect on him. He did not roll over forcefully, nor suddenly, but altogether rather naturally.

He wanted to congratulate who had taken him so.

"A hobbit?" the elf said in subdued shock. A smile, one that held no malice, broke out across his face. "No, no, no." the elf chuckled as he paused. "Oh, you really are good. Don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, let alone further. Besides I am afraid I do not know which way further is my small friend."

It was apparent the elf was more amused the anything.

"Harding? Where am I? I had became lost in the wood, I came from Zerdargia in attempt to swing south-west towards Primus Gauedo and see my sister there. I have not heard of this 'Harding'."
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Old May 1, 2012, 10:48 AM   #4 (permalink)
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The pair of black clad Hobbits pulled the elf back to his feet. For some reason they didn't feel like this silly elf was a threat to their village. It was, afterall, what they were fed to do. "Harding is a small village of Hobbits, we live peacefully out here, mind our own and keeping to ourselves. You never truely left Zerdargia, well that is to say the Dwarflands. Harding exists in the Center of Peace, which is under the Cities jurisdiction. So in a way, you never did manage to leave the city. How does it feel to be lost in the middle of a city?" The hobbit on the right said, his bright green eyes shining through the opening in the cowl that covered his face, a slight smile crept across his eyes.

"Come," the other hobbit said, with his walnut colored eyes, "come into the village, we'll feed you and get you turned around send you back on your way. Do anything silly and you can bet yourself dead and we'll ship your body to Primus for your sister to deal with. One way or another, we'll get you going in the right direction."

Into the center of the village the two ninja hobbit guards lead the way, there each of the hobbit denizens of the quaint and quiet village watched the elf with wide open eyes. Hobbits weren't known for their courage, and this was evident as husbands hid behind doors, wives behind husbands, children behind mothers skirts, all lined up like ducks in a row trying to get a peak at the strange long-leg that took a wrong turn and managed to get himself to the village.

"Have a seat at the fire, I'll bring you some stew shortly," the Green eyed hobbit said as he disappeared into the rough built house behind him. Soon enough, just as promised, he returned with a bowl of stew for the elf, "Mostly vegetables, potato at that. Hope you don't mind. Most of the meat around here we store for the winter or for celebrations, but you might find some in there still. I think my wife had some spare squirrel that she might've thrown in this time around."
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Old May 18, 2012, 12:39 PM   #5 (permalink)

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"Lost within a city. Yes, I could imagine myself doing such a thing," the elf replied somewhat disappointed and hardly embarrassed. "As far as how it feels, well..." he trailed off, opening his arms and gesturing towards where he had previously been brought to the ground. He had never been lost within a cities jurisdiction but then again this was the dwarflands. The trouble had caused him minor disappointed in his ability to navigate the world but he remained in good mood about the situation.

"Been dead once, didn't really care for it." he replied absently as the halfing warned him about death and about trying anything funny. Bowing towards the ninja hobbits the elf simply clasped his hands behind his back and allowed them to lead him into the village.

It was fascinating for the elf. A village of hobbits. While he wasn't surprised that such a thing existed he was somewhat surprised he was going into one. He did not know much of the small folk, and it would be a welcome diversion to learn more of them. To see if their hospitality were as good as their stealth and ability to take down an opponent. If it was, then he'd be very impressed indeed.

Seeing the somewhat frightened faces of the hobbits in the village brought a strange smile to his face. Oh, how frightened they would have been had he wandered here only a few months ago. For now however he did his best to seem non-threatening. He even offered a wave to a few of the small children to show his good will towards them.

As he sat at the table he offered his thanks to the green eyed hobbit. Had the situation been reversed and a hobbit had arrived at his people's city, he could not gaurentee they'd receive such a welcome. Not that Archalen could do anything about that.

"It is more then fine, you do me great credit short one by sharing your food with me. The cuisine is similar to my people's food, we also have a fondness for the bounty of the earth's plants." The elf however, tried to pretend he hadn't heard about squirrel. All the same he ate.

"Tell me," he began to ask in between a bite "how long have your people lived here? I would know more of this place."
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Old May 21, 2012, 10:42 AM   #6 (permalink)
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"Harding? I don't know to be honest. I suppose we've been about this Valley sense Cetheron placed us on the face of the Telath," The answer came quickly, curtly.

In truth the food actually wasn't bad. Fresh veggies stewed together was pretty hard to mess up. However this particular blend of local herbs was particularly hearty. The garlic, ginger and dill blended well together with the potatoes, carrots and parsnips. It could be in need of a little salt, but there wasn't much of that around in the wilderness and the hobbits had more important things to spend there little money on.

"There isn't much to know about this place. It is Harding, home of the hobbits who live in the Center of Peace Valley. We protect ourselves from outsides, as you saw, pretty well, and we like to keep to ourselves. However, as you see, we are not discourteous of those who stumble into our home. We make most of the things we need ourselves from the wilderness around us, but somethings we need in town, so we bring some of our made things and sell them at market and then buy what things we need. We are simple folk, we live simple. Harding is simple."

Slowly some of the husbands and wives and ducklings lost interest in the long-leg or perhaps remembered that they had things to do and they all went back to their work diligently, though they did still offer glances at the long-leg when they had the chance.
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Old May 24, 2012, 12:41 AM   #7 (permalink)

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Archalen dug into the provided meal, finding it agreeable and needed. Having gotten lost has took more out of him then he'd like to admit. The fare was truly simple, and if echoed by the host's words then this truly was a simple, simply, simplistic place.

Some would like that pace of life, other's would be bored to tears.

He wondered idly as he ate if even the halflings grew tired of such a seemingly boring existence. The elf however, he held no preference. This stop was simply a diversion from his task in the capital city of the province not far from here.

"Would you like to see a neat trick?" the elf offered casually, hoping to spice up the halflings day in a sort of repayment for the meal and hospitality.

Making sure the halflings eyes were on the mostly eaten bowl of suop that had been kindly provided, the elf turned his own eyes on it and began to focus. He concentrated intenstly, and even the slightest hints of sweat shown themselfs on his pale crown as he raised an arm and held a hand over the bowl. He turned his wrist over, slowly, as if grasping the soup from afar and willing it to rise. If successful he would Warp the soup to a collection small crystalline towers, raising them from the bowl and expanding them upwards through his will.

He'd learned the trick a long time ago on his travels from Imperia, shortly after his resurrection. He did not know how, or why, but he found himself able to shape items in the material world to his will. Mostly small objects, and mostly these warpings were of little power, but still it was remarkable. It wasn't arcana, no, he had once been a mystic and he knew the weaves of ara and vis. There were none in this exercise, quite the opposite. It was a power of the material, far from the other energies.
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Old May 24, 2012, 09:22 AM   #8 (permalink)
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"You should not play with your food, did your Mother not teach you manors?" The voice came from behind, an older hobbit, bald on top and white curls around the crown of his head, "You aught to be ashamed of yourself!"

This hobbit, clearly advanced in age was hunch backed and walked with the assistance of a gnarled cane. He was slow and his movements were clumsy, but despite his agitated manor of speaking his entire aura was calm.

"Though, that was a curious thing. I wonder how it is that you did that. It was no arcana that I know, though it is certainly a type of magic. Very curious indeed."
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Old May 25, 2012, 09:49 AM   #9 (permalink)

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Turning around on the bench, Archalen spied the wizened hobbit who appeared to have seen the small preformance. "Indeed, I should be ashamed," the elf replied easily with the emphasis on 'should'. "My mother was a picture of etiquette for sure, sadly I lacked the acute hearing most of my kind has been gifted with you see. Although I do remember something she said about not talking to strangers?" The pip in the former politicans statement lead into a question that was suited towards the elders own lack of social protocol.

The elf, regardless, made way for the hobbit elder and offered a seat with an outstretched hand, that the thing may sit and join him.

"To tell the truth I do not know how I accomplished it. I have found myself able to do such for some time now." Archalen told the hobbit of how he had traveled by foot from Imperia, and that on one fateful night while taking off his travelling boots and rubbing down his sore foot he had had concentrated on relieving the pain so much that his foot very nearly turned to stone. It had been quite a scary situation but he had since learned a modicum of control over the strange ability.

"You seem possessed of some years, have you ever seen anything like it?" the elf asked in honest curiosity. While most were content to let the grayhairs ramble, Archalen knew better. The knowledge of ages could be contained within that bald white whisped head, such was the reward of age.
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Old May 29, 2012, 11:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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"That exact trick, no," the hobbit replied. Once again the curiosity of the village had been aroused. The duckling rows were back, watching the unlikely pair talk. "Though there is a school of thoughts that may enlighten this trick to you. It is called Reification. The study of Anti-Arcana, as it were. There are two methods of reification, active and passive. I am a practitioner of the passive arts, using my abilities to clense the area of arcanic contamination and utalize the resulted energies to craft unique trinkets. Active practitioners can actually reach into the weave of another mage's spell and tear it apart or even bend it to their own will!
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Old May 30, 2012, 07:42 AM   #11 (permalink)

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"Anti-Arcana?" he asked idly, rubbing a hand down his chin in thought. He had never heard of this so called reification. The elf spent some time thinking on this and contemplating the words the elder hobbit had said. It appeared to others that the elf was in his own world, his brows even furrowing once in a thought. He was not sure how he could possess anything that was anti-arcane. After all, he had been an initiate mysticism for some time before his untimely demise.

Perhaps his return to the material plane had changed things? Altered his abilities? He wasn't sure.

One thing was sure, the abilities the hobbit spoke of sounded intriguing. More then that, they sounded powerful. Instantly the elfs mind went back to the crowded interior of the Hannah airship in Taralon. Of how Ducan Sythe, mystic, had altered the Prince's mind and thus started the downfall of the elf. If he had these abilities back then....

When he finally did speak he his voice was heavy.

"You practice this art? I would like to learn all you can teach me. I will pay you if you require gold, I and my house are not meager in matters of coin. Or perhaps I can help your hamlet, I happen to know the Governor of this province very well. Whatever you wish we can arrange, but I must know more of this dormant power."

More interested in the active abilities the elder outlined, the elf never the less possessed a hungry mind.
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Old May 30, 2012, 12:31 PM   #12 (permalink)
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"The Governor of the Province has no sway here, we are apart of the Dwarflands. If you want something here it is through the Council of Thorin, who acts while the Dwarven throne sits empty," The elder hobbit explained, "We will take your gold. The village is always in need of things. My price is 800 crowns."

The elder hobbit sat quietly awaiting the elf's reply. If Archalen agreed to the price then the older hobbit would lead the elf into his roughly constructed house. It wasn't pretty, but it kept the rain and snow out and the inside kept the place warm and lit. Around the room were several different tools, objects and contraptions that the high-born elf would not recognize or even begin to conceive of their uses. Before he had a chance to question them, however the hobbit spoke.

"You seem to have a natural talent for spell breaking, as it is commonly called. So I will not need to unbind you, which is good, I never quite know what to expect... isn't exactly something I do often and I may just end up hurting you. So it is good that it is not needed. Now, I am curious- have you ever heard of a thing called Clara? It is a form of meditation that focuses your mind to the energies of the world. Well, the normal mage would become attuned to their sphere of power, while we become attuned to the energies of the Material world."
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Old May 30, 2012, 04:38 PM   #13 (permalink)

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"I'll make sure to ask her about that" the elf retorted in a rather slow and suspicious tone. The Governor held no power here? That was a rather arrogant and bold thing to say. If the Governor held no power here then the hobbit was saying in proxy the crown itself held no power here, and that was treason.

Not that Archalen had any problem with anyone declaiming the damnable regency. He just hoped that Harding wouldn't have to pay for their lives for such an act, as he had.

Such thoughts were pushed out of the elf's mind as the hobbit named his price. Eight hundred crowns. Archalen arched an eyebrow at the figure. "The sum is quite a bit more then I expected for such a simple place." In truth it was quite an amount, not compared to the wealth of this Andares perhaps, but enough to buy a few horses or a nice sized piece of land. Was it worth the information the hobbit held?

There was only one way to find out of course.

"I'll pay your fee". 'Do not dissapoint me' was left unsaid afterwards. Following the hired teacher Archalen entered the building and looked about. It did not seem like much, but this of couse wasn't the residential districts of Prime.

"I know a great deal about Clara, and how to attain it." As he should of course, having been a former mage himself. "At least I did, I have not entered Clara for some time..." he admitted, still the fact that he was once practiced in it answerd the question. "I am also learned in Ara and Vis, of the planes which magi draw upon their powers. About how to Channel energies and Weave them into shapings. I have knowledge of aranao-reactions and have some knowledge of the theory of spellcrafting."

The hobbit would find in these regards the elf knew much more then the average layman. Not an expert on the matters perhaps, but a good deal head start.
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Old May 31, 2012, 12:26 PM   #14 (permalink)
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"Ask the Governor, and she'll tell you that the Dwarflands and an independent nation. we are not beholden to the your Crown or the Province. To be entirely truthful it has always been that way. You know how wide the underground network of dwarven cities is? If we didn't find it advantageous to ourselves to have fallen in with Emperor Constantine then we would have stayed a separate nation all this time. And it was your Milo who found the logic of letting us leave again with out a fight. We have a trade and peace agreement. Our freedom for your legions arms and armor. It is fact." The hobbit snapped back. "Very well. You can pay when we are done."

After hearing about the knowledge of the arcana and how it works the hobbit smiles, "You know how it works then, now you just have to do it the other way. Instead of focusing on the aetherial, focus on the material. You will make your weaves from the contamination left behind my other mages. If you understand the structure of spells then all the better for you to reach into them and destroy them. Come, let us enter Clara. With the death of Diana and all of that other stuff that happened Clara has come easier for me, I expect you'll find it the same, however you may not- you haven't used it in a while. Go on ahead and give it a try."
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Old June 7, 2012, 07:20 PM   #15 (permalink)

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Archalen watched the elder and nodded thoughtfully at his explanation of the somewhat independence the Dwarflands hand been granted. Although the elf was not extremely learned in the matter of historia, he had his doubts that the dwarflands had always been looked at as an independent nation. Constatine was not known for such things after all they had called him Constatine "the Conqueror". Still though, Archalen accepted the halflings wisdom as he had little to no contradictory evidence of his own.

His deameanor changed however when his counterpart had said "your Milo". Previously lax brows furrowed in anger and Archalens gray almond eyes tighetened in a quiet rage as he shot them to the halflings. Archalens voice was tight and serious "Do not ever refer to him as my Milo again."

Of course the halfling could not know the backstory behind such rage. He couldn't know of royal decrees to hold Archalen against his will in Taralon, and he certianly coudn't have known that Milo had ordered his men to stop his escape by any means necessary. No, the halfling couldn't have known that it was Milo's own men who had killed the elf back on the cold streets of Taralon.

But now he did know that the elf infront of him had no love for the former prince/tyrant. And he seemed deadly serious about it.

The elf composed himself a bit afterwards, craning his neck to the side and loosening the collar around his neck. His voice went back to its normal tone and his face relaxed from the sudden rage that had gripped him.

"Let us enter Clara then".

Archalen closed his eyes and began to block out thoughts like so many times ago. He focused on nothing, not even the idea of nothing. Like a faucet he allowed all thoughts in his mind to flow away until his mind was empty and thoughtless. He had done this many times before but did not know what to expect with the news of Diana the halfling had mentioned.
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