The mage moved from rooftop to rooftop, hoping to gain some sort of understanding of his surroundings. It wasn't working. This city, or whatever it was, was well beyond anything he had experienced. He needed a local, somebody who knew more than he did. More than that, he also needed a partner. Someone to watch his back. It had been years since he'd been caught out so alone.
Down below he spotted a girl that ducked into a side street after doing something unusual to a couple of other individuals. They appeared to fit in much better than he did himself. There's an opportunity now. Ordinarily he would use a messenger instead of being so crude but acting sooner seemed to be better than erring towards caution.
Quick Ben stared down and gauged her pace carefully. He opened a warren and stepped though with it closing behind him. A few heartbeats later and a handful of steps through the ankle deep layer of ashes Quick Ben opened another portal back to reality. He reached through and pulled the girl in with him.
The Death Knight shoo her head and put her helmet back on her head.
"I think, instead, some sort of seer. Given that he said that it provided 'purpose'."
Finding a leader did sound like a good idea though butbeing called inhuman toouched a deeply buried nerve within her. Kallahars thughts and actions might be monsterous but she was indeed human and perhaps all the more abhorrent for it. No, this insult demanded retribution.
"Emille and Ravenmar should be able to hold the village. Perhaps an attack from behind would route the entire force. A survivor fleeing such an engagement would be easy to follow home."
She swung up onto her mount and wheeled it about towards the direction the foxes had gone.
This world continued to bring forth surprise after surprise. Now out of the wooded area it seemed that scale of some of the buildings were beynd reason. Any one of these constructions would have taken decades and here there were hundreds of them. There couldn't be enough people to warrant this kind of construction in the whole world.
Still holding to his grasp of Shadow Ben opened himself to Serc, the Warren of the sky. With just a couple f steps he soared into the air, finally catching sight of just how far the buildings went. This city extended to the horizon in every direction and every street that he could see was packed with movement. "What kind of world is this?"
Quick Ben alighted on the roof of one of the taller buildings, awestruck. Releasing his grasp of both warrens he opened another, a portal this time through to the Imperial Warren. The rent wept ashes as he stepped through, lingering in the air for a moment in his wake. A dozen steps later he emerged back onto the top of another building several hundred meters north.
Indrau woke in a legendarily bad mood, eclipsed only by a certain trio of maids attempting to serve him breakfast in bed on his birthday. The door to his rooms now remains locked at all times. Now he stalked the halls dressed somewhat more casually than usual. Under his pants his good leg sported a pattern of bruising in such vivid colour that it would have out several of the wall hangings to shame.
It was one of the few times that he used his cane on the even flooring. Usually it was reserved for rural roads and slippery cobblestone. Each step was punctuated by a rhythmic tap, somewhat more forceful than usual. With any luck, as long as nobody crossed his path in a way he might find irritating, his rage might just burn itself out.
— Candaeln —
Salz bore wounds of her own. The arm that had taken the arrow to the shoulder had also taken the brunt of a hammer blow to the forearm, leaving it both bandaged and splinted. She took it better than her adoptive brother, humming while walking towards the training ground with a bundle of staves under one arm. The outcome of the mission had done little to dampen her spirits either. Such a battle without any civilian injuries was a great success in her eyes.
It was unlikely that the injuries would leave her disabled for more than a few days but any down time was time wasted. Salz would have to put a lot of effort in to have a chance at impressing Indrau.
A lurid tear opened in the air leaking the silver fires of chaos. Out of the rent tumbled a figure that flailed in the air momentarily before impacting a body of water.
It remained still for several heartbeats as the scar in the air slowly sealed itself shut without a trace. Then it stirred, lifting itself up onto hands and knees, head just above the water.
"Ugh... Mael's Spit."
Quick Ben pushed himself back to sit in the water than only rose to midway up his chest. This wasn't a familiar location, which wasn't exactly unusual for him. Something had obviously gone wrong and the air still stank of chaos. It would be a while before he attempted to travel by warren again.
The mage stood up, dripping water as he made his way out of what turned out to be a small pond and onto shore. He stepped over a rope barrier as people on the path stared. Not wanting the attention he called upon shadow and vanished from sight as he entered the treeline and headed east.
At least that one worked properly. Now he needed to find a place to have a drink and find out where he was.
Ben Adaephon Delat (Quick Ben, Magi of High House Dark, High Mage of the Bonehunters)
Quick Ben is a private, scheming individual. He prefers to remain beneath notice. He trusts nobody, even those he has known and fought beside for years. Even so, he is bold when the situation arises and he is prepared. Quick Ben plays his game from behind the scenes.
Quick Ben was the last of a cabal of mages hunted down by the Malazan Empires Bridgeburners. During the pursuit his fellow mages fell one by one, their souls and powers being shifted into Quick Ben. At the conclusion of the chase, having earned the mutual respect of them, Quick Ben joined the company as a squad mage. Initially merely a gifted mage possessed of exceptional creativity and finesse, he has become worthy of the title High Mage. Formerly an enemy of the empire, Quick Ben did all he could to keep a low profile. His infamy also extends to the pantheon of gods, many of whom are wary of him and some hold personal grudges.
Universe of Origin:
The Malazan Book Of The Fallen
Quick Ben has practiced the art of magecraft since the age of 10 and has continued to expand his power and utility. Though he might not possess the raw power of some, combined with his creativity he has proven to be able to slay flights of dragons and be a credible threat to gods.
Ben is also exceptional in having access to a great number of warrens of magic. Where a mage having access to two or three is unique he is able to use up to seven out of the twelve that he has access to at any time.
Through deeds and fame, Quick Ben is on the edge of Ascendancy, becoming tougher than a normal human but still very mortal.
Warrens are a realm where mages, priests and others draw their power. They a both a source of power and a location. The power is accessed by willing open the warren and grasping the power that leaks out. This power is flexible and it's application depends on the mages imagination. Some are better suited for certain tasks than others.
When used as a physical location, Warrens can be used to travel. Once entered the chosen destination is visualized and one moves there through the warren. This allows a mage to avoid and obstacles between themselves and their destination as well as move large distances in a short amount of time.
Having shifted the souls of these other mages Quick Ben has access to their own warrens as well as his own. He is remarkable in having access to twelve, though not all have any practical use and he is only able to use up to seven at any one time.
Denul: healing. Forced healing takes a toll on the mind instead of the body. D'riss: stone Hood: death, necromancy and demon summoning. Fener's Warren: the god of war Meanas: shadow and illusion. a child of both Rashan and Thyr. Imperial Warren: claimed by the Malazan Empire. It consists of a barren wasteland that had been utterly incinerated by fire. Rashan: Darkness, true illusions. more powerful than Meanas. Ruse: the sea, darkness and pressure. Serc: the sky Telas: Fire Tennes: the land, cycles of the seasons. Thyr: light, protection
@TheFake: As with the other forms I had issue with before: clarity. I need to have a more concrete idea of what the heck a 'Warren' is. Are there restrictions on entry? How easy is it to move people between locations? Can you bring other people? Stuff like that. Also stuff in terms of power output.
A warren is an alternate dimension loosely based on the real world where magic comes from. A more 'vanilla' example would be heaven and holy type magic. Really the only restriction on entry is having a mage with the knowledge to open a way for you. A handful of people would be no problem but to move anything large like a ship or an army requires a whole lot more effort or a bunch of mages working together. Ben usually sticks to two or three other people.
As far as raw power goes, he would be able to knock down a house but much larger would be beyond his abilities. His real strength is applying it where it would do the most damage.
She picked up her helmet and held it under har arm. Hopefully Lenore would show more courage going forward. It would help, considering that they were now surrounded. Her horse snorted(despite apparently lacking lungs to do so with) and stomped the ground.
"Nay, we are but mere travelers passing through. Your scouts seemed to see fit to attack first, unwisely. I am glad to see that you are showing more restraint."
It was good to see that they were holding their ground. Kallahar decided to try a different tack.
"I am hired as a guard for my Lady on her travels. What happened to your scouts was unfortunate so I decided to remain and explain what happened. We would appreciate it to be able to continue on."
The Death knight made no move towards her weapon, still a number of paces away.