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Nyhem docks region - Flayed Eel Inn

“I’ll have another!” A man said loudly, but respectfully to a passing barmaid, waving his tankard at her as he did so. “Hey Jones!” He continued, apparently addressing his companion. “Did you see that fine lady down at the docks before?” He asked.

“What, the elf girl? A bit blue for my tastes.” The response from Jones sounded a little inebriated.

“No you moron. The ship she came in on. Real ocean going beauty from the elven lands. They don’t make ‘em like that here.”

“Sure.” Jones began, slurring his words, but obviously appreciating the sentiment all the same. “She was pretty, but my eye was on that mage ship… The cat- catam-” Jones grasped at the word, but was not able to find it until his companion corrected him.


“Yeah. That. Can you imagine sailing on one o’ them? I hear they can top fifty knots on a flat sea! It’d be like… like… being a bird!”

“Sure Jones, fifty knots. I think you’ve had one too many. Even the mages aren’t that good. But it was certainly a good looking boat. His majesties war galleys have got nothing on some of the ships in harbour today.”

Behind them, the doors opened - as they often did - but this time, for well armored guardsmen. Heads turned, but quickly went back to their drinks when it became clear the guards manor was casual. The sailor, however, stood from his chair, leaving Jones confused. “What, you got business with the law?”

“Yeah Jones, I sure do. Lucrative business at that.”

The guard, clad in green and gold livery, walked up to the pair at the bar. “You had something for me?” He asked, gruffly.

“If what I heard about that Magister woman paying people for sightings of little mages is true, then I sure do.”

The guard looked at him for a moment, then pulled a pouch off his belt. It jingled. “Magister Dionisa will see you rewarded if you have information leading to the rescue of children with magical talent. One silver now, and the rest of the bag once we’ve confirmed you aren’t messing us around.”

“How kind o’ you. I saw a little girl playing with what could only be a little ball of fire a few streets away - here let me show you where.” He said, pointing towards a map of the docks district that hung in pride of place on the wall. Then he held out his hand.

The guard dropped the silver piece into his hand, saying as he did so “The Magister thanks you for your service. We’ll be back with the rest if it's true.”

By this time, Jones had dragged himself up to stand next to his friend. “Oh I could think of a few ways she could thank us…” He slurred, earning an annoyed look from his far less drunken friend. The look said that the sailor had been thinking that, but was too bright to say it, weary of losing his coin to a guard that took exception with an insult of the lady’s honor.

The guards reply was droll as he turned away. “Don’t get your hopes up gents. You ain’t her type.”

With that, he turned and left the Inn as quickly as he’d arrived.


Captain Moros, of the House Thale guard, strode purposefully out of the seedy dockside tavern and into the street. He didn’t much like having to deal with the people in this part of the city, but it was necessary for the job. And the job was far better than any of the alternatives. He’d rather be searching Nyhem for young mages than fighting on the front in the war. This one was far safer, and he had to admit that he did feel a bit of pride and almost fatherly protectiveness when they did manage to save some of the less well off kids.

He motioned to the two men accompanying him to follow as he began down the street. This had been a solo job originally… But then the Manor had been all but attacked by an angry mob. Since then, the Magister had ordered groups of three or more to be assigned to this task - just in case they had to save someone from the stake.

A few minutes down the street Moros caught sight of something. Faintly glowing witch-light from around a corner - a sure sign that who he was looking for was close. He made haste towards the light, unslinging his shield from his back while he did so, just in case the child was caught by surprise and threw a firebolt at him. It was unlikely, but one of the more gifted ones had done that before.

He was just about to turn the corner when he heard a scream of surprise and shock ahead of him. He wasted no time, surging around the corner before bracing his whole body and angling his shield down - just as the Magister had taught him. He was expecting some kind of magical carnage. What faced him was all too mundane in nature, yet no less horrifying for it.

In the narrow street, four cloaked and hooded men loomed large. The rear two seemed to be in the process of restraining a young girl - one held her from behind in a bear hug while the other tried to push a sack over her head - being held at bay only by her wildly flailing legs. The others were standing nearby, keeping a lookout down the street.

“Keep her still.” The one with the sack said angrily. His voice was smooth and his words proper, his accent marking him clearly as a Nyhem native. “I’m trying boss.” The one holding her replied, his voice much gruffer and more guttural. “They found us!” One of the others shouted, again in a rough voice, as he caught sight of Moros and the other Thale guards.

Moros rushed forward, drawing his sword as he did so. For a moment there was indecision between the four criminals, the leader seeming to want the rest to carry the girl away anyway, while the rest seemed to wanted to run. That was just the opportunity Moros needed, as he leapt forward at the closest hooded figure, shield held close to his shoulder. Slamming into the man before he could brace, Moros’ shield tackle sent his target sprawling. The man that had been holding the girl dropped her and turned to flee, the girl managing to land unsteadily on all fours.

Rather than give chase, as the city guard might have done, Moros stood protectively over the young girl, staring down the posh sounding sack man. Next to him, the other Thale guards briefly fought the remaining criminals, quickly gaining the upper hand due to their training and equipment, thoroughly outmatching the criminals, whose primary goal had apparently been stealth.

The criminal leader seemed to reach for his weapon, but then, behind Moros, the sound of running boots could be heard. A City guard patrol, drawn by the commotion, came around the corner and upon seeing the House Thale heraldry, immediately stood by Moros’ side. Now outnumbered by better equipped me, the criminals chose to cut their losses and run, the leader grudgingly choosing not to draw his weapon at all. The other guards gave chase, but the criminals were quick on their feet and escaped into the dying light.

It was then that Moros put away his sword and knelt before the young girl, though his stature meant he was still looking down at her.

“Thank you mister.” She said sheepishly, seemingly still unsure of the intent of her apparent saviour.

Moros put on a smile and replied “Just doing my job lass. Did those men say anything about why they wanted you?”

She stared for a moment, then shook her head. It wasn’t very convincing. Moros spoke again, trying to keep his tone as reassuring and friendly as possible.

“Is it because you have the gift of magic?”

Again, a sheepish look, but this time defensive as well.

“It’s alright lass… I work for Magister Dionisa, who works for the King. My name is Moros. What’s yours?”

She seemed to relax a little then. Whether it was because the King was mentioned, or because it was calming to be exchanging names, Moros wasn’t sure, but the result was welcome all the same.

“Miriam… But my friend call me Miri.”

Moros nodded. “You’re very brave Miriam. Do you have any parents?”

She looked a little distant then. “My Ma is dead… My Da went away on a ship a long time ago.”

Moros wasn’t terribly surprised, and while it was sad, he was also relieved, because it would make his job a lot easier. “I’m sorry.” He replied immediately, by way of formality, before moving towards his real goal. “Would you like a chance to meet a new family? My mistress, Magister Dionisa, sent me to look for you. She is very interested to meet you. You could come and meet her tonight if you want, at Thale manor up in the noble district. There is more food there than you can imagine, and the softest of soft beds.” He held a gloved hand out to her then.

For a moment she looked scared, seeming to think things over. But this lawman had saved her, and she had very little to lose. After a moment, she seemed to make up her mind. Putting her hand in his and nodding.


Thale Manor

When Captain Moros and Miriam arrived at the manor, both Dominus Thale and Lady Dionisa were waiting for them. Evidently, word had gotten back to them of the evening's events.

“Ah! Moros! My good man! Tell me of your travels! And who is this?” Dominus bellowed in his enthusiastic, good natured voice.

“My Lord. My Lady.” He nodded to Dominus, then Lanaya. “This is Miriam. A young mage from the docks.” The girl scowled up at Moros for so blatantly revealing her secret, but upon noticing Lanaya’s face lighten, seemed less concerned. Evidently that was not quite the response she had grown accustomed to.

He looked down to the young girl, who was still clutching his hand fiercely, and spoke “This is Magister Dionisa, a great and powerful mage from the Circle, and advisor to the king.” Lana held out a delicate hand to Miriam then.

“I’ve been looking forward to this. Come, let me show you something.” Lanaya spoke with a warmness Moros had only heard in her voice rarely, and never to him or the other servants. He had to tear his eyes away from her, as usual. He wasn’t normally so easily entranced by beautiful women, but the Magister always had a touch of the fey about her, an otherworldly glamour that demanded attention beyond what her physical features might otherwise command.

Fixing his eyes firmly on his Liege-Lord, he began to report the evenings events, in order. As he did so, the two females stepped off to the side. Every so often there was a flicker of witch-light as a minor magical display was put on. Moros presumed it was the Magister’s way of helping to let the young mage feel more secure and comfortable talking about the subject.

When he came to recount the events of the apparent attempted kidnapping of Miriam, he noted movement out of the corner of his eye. Lanaya’s flowing crimson hair shifting as she turned her ear to their conversation more pointedly, even as she continued speaking in hushed tones with the young girl.

When he completed his report, Dominus clapped him on the shoulder and said “Another job well done Captain. Excellent.”

Moros turned away, a satisfied smile on his face, but then stopped. “My Lord, there is one other thing. One of the thugs… the one who sounded like a noble… Something about his voice and his posture. It seemed… Familiar. I cannot place a name, but I swear I must have met this one before, without his cloak or deceptions.”

“Interesting. Yes very interesting.” Dominus said thoughtfully. “Inform me immediately if you recall a name to fit our mysterious attacker. We cannot have children being abducted off the streets… And by a noble no less!”

Moros nodded, then, with a wave to the young girl, left the room. His job was done today, it was now up to the great and powerful to figure out what came next.

Alice hated Nyhem. The city was too loud, crowded and no matter where she went there was always some sort of unpleasant smell. Had she the choice she would have continued her research in Cawaport. However certain matters here required her immediate attention and she couldn’t afford to leave them be. Alice was currently making her way towards Thale manor where magister Lanaya Dionisa resided, though the meeting had be planed to take place at midday Alice had chosen to leave at night so as to avoid the crowded streets. Now that Aurelia was dead Lady Dionisa was the newest member of the high council, but more importantly she had inherited all of Aurelia’s research regarding Alice’s work. This meeting would decide whether Lanaya would be more of a help or hinderance to her work. As Alice approached the door she signalled for the two Cawanori soldiers that had accompanied her to wait outside, she then made her way over to the door before knocking a single, incredibly hard, knock on the door.

The maidservant - Mary - opened the door, flanked by a house Thale guard. She was surprised to see this guest at this time, but showed her in all the same, past the Knight of St. Elenor, who still faithfully stood guard in the hall. She led Alice into the manor and up the flights of stairs to third floor - which was dominated by Lanaya’s room. A short knock on the door followed by an announcement of Alice’s presence - then silence.

On the other side of the door, Lana was caught unprepared, not expecting this meeting at this time. She wondered briefly if this was a tactic from Alice to achieve some unknown end, but quickly dismissed the thought as she cast the usual glamour of a courtly gown over the warm nightdress she wore.

As she walked to the door she quickly ran through what she had been able to read of Aurelia’s notes. The discovery was fascinating - yet she couldn’t help but feel key elements of the project were undocumented in the notes she had. There was no way such a thing was accidental - if Alice and Aurelia had wanted people to take the project seriously they would have to have had everything recorded for peer review. She had questions… But she wouldn’t be so blunt as to begin with them.

She opened the door and waved Alice in. “I’m sorry to have kept you waiting. I was not expecting guests at this time of night. Is there something amiss? To have you arrive so early?” Her tone was respectful, and only slightly concerned. After all, she was speaking to a High Magister.

Before responding, Alice took a long detailed look around the room. Judging from the amount of parchments and scrolls that were piled on Lanaya’s table, it would appear that the magister was a very busy woman.

“Nothing is amiss” She said as she continued to look around the room “I simply thought it I would save us both time and get this meeting sooner rather than later” At this she finally made eye contact with Lanaya “So you are the one who has inherited the late High Magister Aurelia’s work. My condolences, I was informed you were close” Though she offered sympathies her voice was without emotion and almost distant.

“Thank you.” Lana said, subtly relaxing at the news that nothing was wrong. “Her passing was a great blow to me… But I will not let my grief get in the way of this research.” Lana noted Alice’s simple appearance - a plain dress and the simple, tidy arrangement of her hair. It was evident Alice cared little for the fashion of Nyhem, but that was hardly a surprise. Most mages were interested in research first and keeping up appearances a distant second. Lana kept up her illusion anyway.

“I have read most of Aurelia’s notes. This is truly a fascinating discovery.” Lana couldn’t stop a small degree of schoolgirl excitement slipping into her voice despite everything. This could change the world after all.

“Of course it is” Alice said as if Layana had just stated the obvious “For years Formaroth has neglected magical study and as a result we a far behind any magic found in the Imperium. With this power we could finally rival the mages of the Imperium, a feat I am most proud of being a part of.” Alice took a pause as she eyed a fruit bowl atop a table. Without saying another word Alice strode over to the bowl before helping herself to a apple. She took one large clumsy bite out of it before continuing “Now that you have taken Aurelia’s position am right in assuming you have inherited her quarters in the keep”? She said with her mouth still full.

“I have…” Lana replied cautiously. She was still getting the measure of the other mage. So far she could tell Alice was blunt, perhaps to the point of rudeness - yet it didn’t bother her nearly as much as it might’ve had Alice been a mundane. Her voice took on a slight steel edge as she spoke again, turning towards the political reasoning of her actions over the emotional ones. “I prefer my current location however, at least for now. I have enough suspicion leveled at me already without moving into her quarters in the castle right away.”

Eager to move away from the still painful subject of her departed friend though, she latched on to something else Alice had said. “Of course we are behind the Imperium. Our kings have allowed the burning of mages and the destruction of precious arcane lore for hundreds of years. Court mages are lucky to be treated as anything more than glorified entertainers across the majority of Formaroth. How can we keep pace with Elven research when the average mage must worry about survival and basic rights instead of research?”

“Glad you see sense on this matter, many of the other High Magisters have dismissed my comments and have continued to keep their research limited to the circle. Squandering the true potential of us mages.” Alice said as she took another bite of the apple “Fortunately now that those ignorant Remonnets are off the throne we actually have a family that gives a damn about magic. A surprising turn of events, though I suppose it is to be expected from a family that has a history of magic.” Alice paused as she realized what she had said “Though if you're asked you didn’t hear that from me.”

Lana’s eyes lit up at the mention of the De Reimer’s apparent magical lineage. That was extremely valuable knowledge. It seemed that Alice’s disdain for courtly demeanour had a useful upside as well, in the form of a less guarded tongue.

“A welcome turn of events all the same. Alas, Aurelia’s death robbed us of a significant political coup. His majesty was quite smitten with her, and she reciprocated the feeling. She’d’ve been queen within the year I expect.” Breaking it down into the political reality made it easier to discuss without feeling a little hollow inside.

“But the future is looking up for our kind. Myself and a number of other mages across Formaroth are working towards the establishment and enforcement of proper law to protect and eventually empower mages. A Mage's Collective… If you will… That seeks to play the nobles own game against them. Does such a thing interest you?” Lana was wasting no time in ramping up her rhetoric. Alice already seemed to share her views, and if she could secure the High Magisters support, it would do much to aid the legitimacy of her group both inside and outside of the mage community.

Alice’s eye’s shot up as Lanaya talked about how Aurelia and Duncan were lovers, She quickly averted her eyes before replying. “Indeed I have heard of your mages collective and I must say it has peaked my interest. If you allow me I would be most interested in joining your group.”

Lana noted Alice’s reaction carefully, though it was not far from the expected. It was a surprise to most people to find out the relationship between the former High Magister and the King. Both were very private people after all. Still, it wasn’t pure surprise Lana had seen, and that bore further investigation. Yet, for now, she was simply happy that Alice was on her side - and without so much as a single justification beyond the initial one.

“Excellent. Your support, even if you do not act directly at all, is a significant boon to my… or rather, our - cause. We will see magic brought to its proper place in Formaroth soon enough. But here I am talking politics - that isn’t why you came all the way to Nyhem. Let us speak of the gem. What can I do to assist you?” By now, Lana’s initial trepidation at meeting a superior mage had passed. She was returning to her usual demeanour, confident that she was the superior politician and conversationalist.

“Right now I wish for you to continue with Aurelia’s work” She said once again making eye contact with Lanaya “While I have managed to create the gem I haven’t been able to test it’s true capabilities” At this Lanaya reached into her pocket and produced a small locked box. She fumbled around with the lock for a bit before finally opening it. Inside was the red gem that Alice had been speaking about “I want you to test this and let me know everything of use; how powerful it is, how long it lasts and whether there are any potential weaknesses”.

“I’d be honored to…” Lana said, reaching for the box with the gem. Her initial surprise at being so directly integrated into this project did not last a moment, giving way to thoughts of the power that would be at her fingertips when she had that gem. Taking the box and cradling it in her hands, she looked up at Alice again. “Are there any dangers we are expecting? Or other aspects I will not find in Aurelia’s notes?”

Alice paused for a moment before she answered with a clear “No, none at all. Now I don’t wish to waste anymore time, unless you have anything else to ask me I must be on my way”
“Nothing else springs to mind…” Lana said, looking down at the gem once more. “A servant will show you out. It was good to meet you High Magister.” She spoke the platitudes absently, still trying to fully process what had just occurred. The amount of power and knowledge that she now held in this room was staggering.

Alice written by Duncan
There is never any harm in backing things up of course. Just from a server perspective, there are many fewer things that can go wrong compared to previously... I don't recall details though, it was a while since that happened and equally long since I looked at the details.
Guildfall was an unfortunate event in which the servers that this website runs on suffered catastrophic failure. The Guild was down for a few months and much of the old material was lost. Its actually happened twice since I've been on the guild, but Mahz has things sorted out since those days, so we shouldn't have to worry about it happening again.
Did you get someone for the Blackwells? Otherwise I'm happy to keep writing them.
Lanaya is currently a Countess... Unless Duncan did restore her old house as promised, in which case she is a Duchess.

Of course, it wont matter when she becomes High Queen. xD
Aha! I always knew Claus was the true king!

But yeah, probably no family tree for Lana. I never really went into her family in any detail and they haven't been very relevant so...
If Grim needs to die in the battle, I'm sure we could add a section where she fights Drevala. That ought to be an interesting mage-duel.

Much as I'd love to put Lana in a mage duel, she'll be avoiding that as much as she can, and not present at the battle if she can at all help it...
Well, in regards to the question of canon @TheDuncanMorgan my thoughts are that, while those two didn't really add anything to the story overall, there also isn't any reason not to make them canon. Its overall easier to leave them canon, since they have IC posts up and getting those posts taken down is a pain (and also a waste imo).
Duncan is generally welcoming of new players, on the single character level at least. Not sure if he's taking nations atm...

Though when he arrives he can tell you with more surety (I'm not a GM).

@TheDuncanMorgan I have replied with Eli.
Indeed. In the next day or two. I've also started a collab with Fallen.
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