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Opening the Gates

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Opening the Gates

Post by Ronson on Sun Aug 08, 2010 7:49 pm


With the Muramite commander's amulet tucked into a leather pouch on his belt, Morden Rasp and Tondal Di'Xevar made their way quickly to the shores of Natimbi. Getting home was much simpler after they learned of an ancient stone that allowed them to magically bypass the treacherous mountains of Taelosia.

It was only a matter of days before the two leaders of the brotherhood were back aboard the Queen of Thorns in the Abysmal Sea. Morden's demeanour was troubled and sour for the entire trip, no matter how many times Tondal tried to lift his spirits about the reports they'd gotten about their dear friend, Nedaria Debeian's, failing health.

With a determined gait, Morden pushed through the throngs of those welcoming him home and headed straight for Nedaria's quarters. When he laid eyes on her, he felt the beat of his heart in his temples. His hands shook at his sides. She was far worse than he dared dream.

Nedaria's skin was grey and cracking and he saw the bloodshot whites of her eyes as her eyelids fluttered. Her breath came as laboured wheezes as she lay curled on her side, shivering and unconscious. Morden crouched beside her bed and grasped her thin, bony hand. He saw her fingernails were even splitting and gnarled.

"Lass, what 'as happened to ye? What 'ave I done?" Morden pleaded with her quietly. "This would 'ave never 'appened to ye if I'd let ye live a life on yer own. I should've never dragged ye 'ere. I will 'ave ye taken from 'ere at once."

Morden felt a hand on his shoulder and was instantly irritated, shrugging it off. He turned up to see the saddened gaze of Calliav and his mood softened some.

"We can't move her Morden. There is some protection here for her with the magic around the ship. It's keeping a lot of the dangers out," Calliav said. "We are working night and day to try to learn what is happening to her. Whatever it is has attacked her mind and her body is following. But she is still with us Morden, I can feel her presence everywhere. We just need time."

Morden sensed that, as usual, Calliav had more to tell him, so he waited expressionless while his eyes were fixed on Nedaria's withering face. After a thick silence, the mage spoke.

"We need to consider going there . . . uhm . . . to the realm of the Muramites and our sages are ready to start putting their knowledge of the Taelosian portals to work and then we can . . ." Calliav continued to ramble as Morden stood up and held his palm up in front of Calliav's face, stopping him from talking.

"What?! What in Norrath's grace are ye babblin' about?" Morden said, his eyes wide. "Are ye actually proposin' that we rebuild that portal that 'as been the bane of the wee people of Taelosia? I'm sorry, but Nedaria is the first priority. Frankly, mage, I'm tired of you leadin' us to our doom."

Morden couldn't help but lash out at Calliav and didn't feel apologetic about it. There was a slight edge in Calliav's voice as he replied, his voice a little deeper and more confident than usual. It caught Morden's ear and made his gut a little uneasy.

"Nedaria can only be saved if we do build it. I think there is something over there that has grappled her mind in magic, but I don't know what. That amulet I sent you for could give us some answers," Calliav looked almost hungry as he searched Morden for any sign of the bauble. Morden had seen greed countless times before, and often felt it himself, but had never seen it in Calliav before.

Reaching into his pouch to get the amulet, Morden kept his eyes on Calliav who was nearly salivating. He held the glowing amulet in his hand for a moment, a sickly feeling overtaking him.

"What do ye know about this thing, Calliav? What is it for?" he asked.

"I don't know for sure, I just know that I was meant to have it and study it. I haven't said much about it, but someone or something is guiding me and I believe and hope it to be Zebuxoruk himself. Why would he abandon me after touching me with his knowledge? I believe he wants us to know more -- I've felt a presence . . ." he said, almost with urgency, his eyes never leaving Morden's hand.

"I fear yer actin' a little odd me friend," Morden said. "I 'ave never questioned yer requests, no matter 'ow mad they've been -- mostly at Nedaria's behest."

It was then that he looked over at Nedaria and saw a lazy trickle of blood tracing from the corner of her mouth and landing in tiny droplets on her pillow. Instinctively, Morden tossed the amulet to Calliav and held Nedaria's face in his hands.

"Parillin, get in 'ere," as he called for Nedaria's aide, Morden's voice cracked and his chin began to quiver.

The often cheerful and meddling Vah Shir, Parillin, ran into the room and stopped suddenly, her clawed feet scraping against the planks on the floor. Her face dimmed, like someone suffocated the light of her life. She had been hoping against hope that the return of Morden would bring Nedaria out of her illness, believing the two were in love. Looking at the frail Erudite, it looked as though she had only gotten worse.

"What do we do . . . she just . . . I don't know," Morden said helplessly.

Parillin laid Nedaria on her back and let a few drops of a healing elixir pass between her lips. Within a few moments, the blood stopped and Nedaria's body went limp as she fell into a deep sleep.

Somewhat relieved, Morden stood up, looked at Calliav, and addressed him icily.

"Ye do what ye must and I want to 'ave that amulet back when ye are done. Ye can 'ave them wizards work on a way to the realm, but we will only go if ye can somehow prove that goin' there will save 'er. Once we unlock a way to the Muramites, it means we may open the door to the end of Norrath," Morden said.

"No, you can't and you won't do this," Tondal interrupted, having heard Morden's word as he arrived to see Nedaria. "It's absurd. We need to end the threat here and seal off any way to Discord. How can you even suggest this, Morden? Would you sacrifice all in Norrath for Nedaria?" he asked.

Morden turned to Tondal and blinked slowly, calming his temper.

"Aye, me gut says no, but if there is a magic that can 'arm Nedaria from afar, then there must be a reason they want 'er. And if those bloody Muramites can 'urt any one of us from another realm then are we really safe anyway? I think we're strong enough to go with the rest of the brotherhood and end this once and for all. We need to hunt down this Mata Muram," Morden said.

Tondal stood for a moment and considered his companion's words. Calliav looked between the two of them, holding the amulet anxiously in both hands, remaining silent.

The saddened dark elf looked Morden directly in the eye and nodded before he walked to Nedaria's side.

"It's done, then," Morden said. "Calliav , you get on this and know I've got me eye on ye. I don't mind sayin' I don't like 'ow ye've been actin'. Get out now and I want ye to report to me every few 'ours. Me and this elf 'ere nearly died gettin' you that amulet, so ye make it worth our while."

As Calliav turned to walk out of the room, Tondal swore he saw an unearthly green glimmer in the mage's eyes.

Ronson

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Join date : 2010-07-24

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