The Box (Part VI)

Oramiir walked calmly through the darkness as if he had been in these tunnels a hundred times over.  He preferred it to the magical light of the elf’s armor as well as over the other’s company; the shadows held all the comfort as an old cloak to him.

Much like his companions, he too had the ability to see through the veil of darkness. While each of his companion’s races were blessed at birth with varying strengths of night vision, his was granted upon him by a magical ring.

Safe from their prying eyes, he pushed his hood back onto his shoulders.  Had they been able to see him, they would have seen that his head was completely shaven and covered with tattoos.  Only a few were for decoration, most having been magically etched into his flesh to offer him various forms of protection.  In the center of his forehead is the tattoo of a closed eye, that, when unwanted attention is drawn upon him, opens to reveal a dark blue orb.  Once its gaze falls upon the subject whose attention he does not want, its power would activate; causing the subject to be unable to remember any details about him except for in their dreams.

A dark patch covered the empty socket where his right eye should have been, protecting it from infection or worse.  He had recently removed his eye to use as a spell component, for a ritual which would allow him to ‘see’ the location of an oft forgotten artifact; The Eye of Necrodemus.

While it was true that the eye had once belonged to the most unholy Lich God, he found himself more interested in the powers that it might still hold, vs. the petty little details of its history.  His only desire was to find more powerful magic than the land had seen in centuries.

“Oramiir?  Please, do enter.”

For only the second time in the twenty years that he had served under his master, he entered the one room which was off limits to him; the study of Archmage Terranyr.  The first time he had crossed the door’s threshold had been the day he had entered into his apprenticeship. Little had changed in the room, except, if it were possible, there was more books now than opposed to his previous visit.

The study encompassed the entire top floor of the tower, taking on its circular shape.  The walls had been made into a continuous bookshelf that began on one side of the door and ended at the other.  There were no windows, but light poured in from several small vent openings near the ceiling.  In the center of the room is his mentor’s desk, an oak monstrosity which he could lay, beside himself twice, upon and still have room to spare.  Every inch of the desk was covered with various beakers, bowls full of spell ingredients, piles of books in which the Archmage recorded his studies and various other mysteries.

He stood just inside the door frame  his mouth slightly agape as he marveled at the mountain of power before him.  He had no doubts that most of the books contained the results of his mentor’s magical studies, spells and experiments, but it was the other items in the room that made his mouth water.  Various pedestals, clothing and weapon racks were placed decoratively around the floor, though one would have to be a fool to believe there was anything decorative upon them.

They were adorned with cloaks, robes, swords, staves, and armors that his master had enchanted or collected over the years.  There were wands, various crystal balls for scrying and dozens of potions that he could see.  

The room buzzed from the power of magic around him.

“Come in, Oramiir.  Shut the door behind you.”

The request seemed silly to him, for he was the only other person in this tower, but years of discipline made him follow the command.

“Please, sit.”  His mentor waved a gnarled hand in front of him, to where a cushioned chair suddenly appeared, without looking up from his writings.  “We have much to discuss.”

His stomach lurched as his feet carried him to the seat and for a brief moment he contemplated turning and running from this place.  The thought was only there for a second, however, because he knew that Terranyr could stop him with any number of spells that were always at his disposal.  

He passed a small table, upon which were carelessly strewn scrolls.  One item in particular caught his eye, of which a deft movement of his hand palmed and brought to his side.

“Tell me, Oramiir, have I not given you everything you have ever asked for, under my tutelage?”

“Y-yes sir.”  His answer was so quiet that, had they been in any other room, it might have gone unheard.  But this was no usual setting and the Wizard before him had many magical enhancements which allowed very little to get by him.

He studied the old man before him.  Unlike himself, the Archmage was a pure blood human, and contrary to the members of his race, he had only been able to see the passing of a full century through the aid of magic.  There was very little hair upon his head and what tufts still managed to push through his skin were as white as a summer cloud.  What had once been eyes the color of bark had become clouded, milky orbs. 

“Mm, hmm,” he hummed in response.  “How long has it been now?  Nineteen years?”

“Twenty, sir.”

“Yes, yes.  So it has.”

The old man paused in his work, carefully drying the end of his quill before setting it aside.  After placing a stopper in the inkwell, he carefully sets his tome aside and laces his fingers before him.

“I’ve called you up here because I have recently become aware of some very serious rumors. Please, come with me.  I want to show you something.”

The Archmage quickly rose to his feet with the dexterity and stamina of a man half his age, and cast him a commanding stare before turning toward his seeing crystal.  Though he had the finest collection of crystals in these parts of the lands, the one he used was the largest and with the least flaws.

A soft scraping sound emanated from somewhere behind him, startling him from his thoughts.  It was was barely audible, and if he hadn’t had his former mentor’s Charm of Better Hearing, he might have missed it altogether.  Now fully alert, his nose detected the putrid stench of decay in the air.  The smell was acrid and he was surprised that the others had not detected it first.

As one hand pulled his cowl once more over his head, the other slowly reached for the small wand which hung at his belt.

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3 thoughts on “The Box (Part VI)

  1. the other slowly reached for small wand which hung at his belt.

    A genuine question…did you mean “for the small…” ?

    I want to say your love of language shines on every page but you would rather I say something morose like “bleeds through…”

    Like

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