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When Magic Fails - Part V

Started by Harlwystyr
Post #121382

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Daggerfall Covenant

Silence ruled for a tense instant as each foe came to grips with their breaths.

Then the night erupted in bloody conflict, a dance of swinging steel carving new destiny through the night and raw magic sealing it.

The sorcerer in dark robes saw little in his prey beyond that of the usual; weary travellers ill-fated enough to choose this place as their campsite - a place where they had witnessed the opening of this old portal and thus had to die. He sensed nothing unusual about these two in the slightest way. No, it wasn't even worth weaving out more magic than he already had.

Therefore he did nothing but observe as his two henchmen advanced menacingly, one with the tip of a crossbow bolt aimed ahead, and the other, drawn sword instead, securing his side. They reached the young man first, beyond any illusion deeming his older companion as weak and fearful. They knew their way up and down a sharp edge, and he was only one. To add, the lad appeared struck by fear and scarcely knew how to hold his sword, much less use it. He took a reluctant step back and bit his lip.

This caused an effect in the guard with the crossbow; an impish grin, and he went for the spot where Harlwystyr stood to better fell either of them upon a moment's notice. His colleague went on towards Gregory to greet him with cold steel and an equally chilling, thin smile. This one had the stinking air of a noble about him.

He spied towards his friend and made a rough gesture towards the old man, commanding a quick death so the more capable of the two foes stood alone. Harlwystyr shifted helplessly and backed away.

The bullyblade gave a nod and raised the crossbow to take aim. It was in this instant he saw that the elderly breton was smiling.

Harlwystyr displayed his hand to reveal a nondescript silver ring , and blue lightning tore Tamriel in two.

The magic darted towards the crossbow and the impact jerked the man's arm along. The bolt went hissing through the leaves and was gone. The man himself danced in roasting spasms ere toppling over as death sent him to the ground. Smoke left the area around his eyes.

Gregory portrayed quite a bit of patience as he waited for the other guard to reach him. He did not pay much attention to the man in dark robes in the distance, for he already knew the plan of Harlwystyr's attack without knowing its nature. The magic leapt from the fallen blade to journey towards the third enemy and then the sorcerer. The portal was now completely unguarded.


Harlwystyr moved towards the portal, paying no heed to the last sword. The guard had stopped, peering to either side. His eyes locked hard upon Gregory again, who was making his way towards him now; pace steady and with a faint smirk on his lips, all acted nervousness gone from his visage. His companions lay slain where they had stood. The old man was walking past as though nothing had passed, close enough for the reach of his steel.

The man offered Gregory a last studious look and wordlessly convinced himself the old man would make an easy enough target for him to slay before meeting this younger foe in combat. He flung himself towards Harlwystyr, and in three jumps his blade was seeking a victim.

Harl's ring was ready and spoke doom again, sending a bolt forth towards his assailant. Lightning struck into the man's chest, lifting him from the ground and hurling him into a tree. When he finally lay still he was little beyond any moment, smoke attached. Gregory lowered his head and shook it. "At least the wolves won't go hungry tonight, Old Meddler," he whispered.

Harl looked back at him. "The two aren't dead, lad. The mage has to die, though, before he works the same dealings I did, and with that we should be able to have a good talk with the last one. Tie them up."

Gregory worked that which he was bid. His steely eyes briefly looked pityful and his voice carried a tone he was not used to hearing from his own lips. "That was... too easy."

Harlwystyr could do nothing but spread a sad smile across his lips. "It was." He went on ahead with a lowered head, mumbling, "Some times it has to be this way. We should take what we can from the lot and disarm the man we're about to interrogate."

"Yes," Gregory mumbled. "Naturally." His voice had grown quite dark. Harl's hand went out for his shoulder, taking a surprisingly firm, yet warm hold of it.

"Ye've no love for killing either, have ye?" he asked as soothingly as possible.

"No, Old Meddler," Gregory's reluctant reply came after a brief pause, steely eyes staring calmly, yet defiantly into his. "It can be... difficult."

The old wizard lowered his head. "As long as it remains difficult, lad, 'tis fine. Should it become easier, the problems arise. I shall pull the fangs from the wolf, if ye unburden the dead. Centuries of life has a few privileges, and seizing the nobler chore is one."

Gregory's face lit up in curiousity. "What? Harlwystyr Ealthar choosing the noble charge? Have you bewitched my ears, wizard?"

Harlwystyr let a sigh roll from his tongue. "Aye, mock the aged," he spoke heavily, "truly and forever the supreme privilege of the young."

"The young?" Gregory grunted, his hand running over the pommel of his sword, yet not in a warning. "Was that a compliment, or is mocking me simply another way for you to occupy yourself?"

As his lips curled back into a fierce grin, Harlwystyr's warm voice offered, "Yes, well, one must keep amused in one's old age.


The group of men held little beyond the expected. A few coins, nondescript throwing daggers, skins of water, dried meat, two vials Gregory recognised as healing potions, and - on the sorcerer's body of course - a tiny metal orb roughly the size of his palm.

Harlwystyr's brow went up in genuine astonishment at the sight of the orb. "Well, that's certainly a surprise. These were crafted by a Myldorn Bal back in Port Telvannis a long time ago," he said happily. "Those who know the command word can steer these orbs at will."

"And you know the word?"

Harlwystyr sniffed and struck a hurt look. "Of course."

Now Gregory couldn't hold back a sigh any longer. Of course. "This Myldorn then, who was he?"

"Ah, just ye average mage, to be frank," Harlwystyr replied. "Research on creating these orbs went through the usual procedure of passionate knowledge-seeking in the start, but he decided to become fat and rich by selling copies down the years. Last I heard, one of his less favoured apprentices decided to use the invention on Myldorn to seize his work - ah, but that may just be one of ye usual rumours."

Gregory shook his head angrily. Why did it seem like every mage had nothing of their life beyond keeping scores and making schemes? The dusk that was creeping in around them was starting to unnerve him, but despite the man's occupation, he had begun to enjoy Harlwystyr's presence. Well, perhaps not every mage.

"Old Meddler," he finally said, "we should not tarry. I do not like the sight of the dark here."

"Ye're more than right, lad," the wizard agreed jovially. Gregory looked slightly annoyed and opened his mouth to speak before deciding to leave it.

"I call it a miracle," the young lord mumbled to the remaining bullyblade, as he knelt down to inspect and seize him around his armpits, helping Harlwystyr in moving the man, "that anyone even bothers to put up with these mages long enough for them to gain the knowledge they have. It's a wonder that a lot more of them aren't being strangled or drowned."

Harlwystyr grinned again.
This post was last modified: December 8th 2013, 12:35 PM by Harlwystyr
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