Harvesting Strange Acquaintances


Day 119 of the Harvest Moon, Year 449

To this moment, I am not sure whether it was just a strange dream. True, I hold the fire crystal in my hand, but that could have been mined - did I fall asleep under the full moon or...? Yet the memory of the bizarre dialogue is so clear. Dream or reality, I must write down what passed.

(Katabasos): Mining, mining, mining.
(Fuoco): hello
(Fuoco): ah the influence of the moon
(Katabasos): You must have a great liking for enchantments.
(Fuoco): well
(Fuoco): I have become somewhat lax in that respect

(Katabasos): It requires much tedious study.
(Katabasos): But rewards the patient wizard well.
(Fuoco): indeed
(Fuoco): that is also true
(Fuoco): but
(Katabasos): rummages I have some crystals here.
(Fuoco): not many people seem to require our skills nowadays
(Katabasos): Would you like them?
(Fuoco): I only collect fire crystals sir
(Katabasos): Ah. I regret I only have one.
(Fuoco): and... zionidic crystals
(Katabasos): Oh?
(Fuoco): oh and ice crystals

(Fuoco): I almost forgot those
(Katabasos): passes fire crystal
(Fuoco): thank you kindly
(Katabasos): What use do you find for those?
(Fuoco): well
(Fuoco): they fetch good gold when enchanted
(Fuoco): and help with meditation
(Katabasos): Remarkable.
(Fuoco): * nods *
(Katabasos): I have never been able to enchant a Zionidic crystal.
(Fuoco): well
(Fuoco): a use for them has not been discovered
(Fuoco): but I remain hopeful
(Katabasos): You have heard of Beleth?
(Katabasos): the Black Mage of Mirith?
(Fuoco): seems such a long time ago...
(Fuoco): I do retain some memories yes
(Katabasos): It is surmised he found some use for them.
(Fuoco): he was influenced by bad magic
(Fuoco): indeed!
(Katabasos): nods and cleansed himself of the same.
(Fuoco): that is new to me
(Fuoco): I have not read his diary so to speak

(Katabasos): This would be a decade or so past.
(Fuoco): yes
(Katabasos): Hm. Forgive me.
(Fuoco): I believe I was still a young wizard then
(Fuoco): yes?
(Katabasos): I do not think I have been formally introduced.
(Katabasos): You are the feared wizard Fuoco.
(Fuoco): my name is Fuoco, resident in Andris
(Katabasos): I am – or at least you may call me – Katabasos.
(Fuoco): Katabasos
(Katabasos): doffs cap ostentatiously
(Fuoco): * nods *

(Fuoco): too stiff for curtseys I am afraid
(Katabasos): Perhaps...
(Katabasos): perhaps we could form an alliance.
(Fuoco): what sort of alliance?
(Fuoco): I am semi retired now sir
(Katabasos): Andris is a city of learning.
(Fuoco): certainly, yes
(Katabasos): An enlightened city.
(Katabasos): It has many enemies.
(Fuoco): it has maintained its reputation
(Fuoco): that too


  • PART 2

    (Katabasos): There is the Satel creature.
    (Katabasos): Sheltered by Andris against...
    (Katabasos): whispers
    (Fuoco): I have a vague memoriy of bodies of Satel people...
    (Katabasos): The Black Hand.
    (Fuoco): they are still active?
    (Katabasos): Lushe Satel, a man skilled in the art of chocolate making.
    (Fuoco): hmm
    (Katabasos): A Satel of that ilk. He had cousins in The Blood Cult.
    (Fuoco): such an innocent skill
    (Fuoco): * shivers *

    (Katabasos): smiles I have once been defeated by chocolate.
    (Fuoco): how so?
    (Katabasos): It was a game of wits.
    (Fuoco): chocolate was used as a stimulant?
    (Katabasos): No, no.
    (Katabasos): What use would mere food be as a stimulant?
    (Fuoco): well
    (Fuoco): you would be surprised
    (Katabasos): Would I?
    (Fuoco): qualities are attributed to certain types of food
    (Fuoco): but pray continue

    (Katabasos): Oh, it was a trifling matter.
    (Fuoco): I see
    (Katabasos): A philosophical discussion, as one rarely has with a rogue.
    (Fuoco): * smiles *
    (Fuoco): rogues are not often associated with philosophy
    (Katabasos): You may know the miscreant.
    (Fuoco): oh?
    (Katabasos): Beware of this man.
    (Fuoco): !
    (Katabasos): Can one trust any rogue?

    (Fuoco): one can befriend them to some degree...
    (Katabasos): This one was of a seemingly friendly disposition.
    (Fuoco): but leaving a margin for the unexpected
    (Fuoco): oh yes?
    (Katabasos): But when I offered him infinite life as an undead servant he demurred.
    (Fuoco): hmmm
    (Fuoco): you intrigue me now
    (Katabasos): Power, riches, skills beyond mortal imagining: he would have none of it.

    (Fuoco): it depends on what was required of him I suspect
    (Katabasos): I challenged him to tell me of anything that he would not gain from such an exchange.
    (Fuoco): and?
    (Katabasos): Assuming the incantations worked as planned, that is.
    (Katabasos): Well – he answered me with chocolate.

    (Fuoco): we are descending into darkness I believe
    (Katabasos): The undead require no mortal sustenance.
    (Fuoco): it is a sad grey world
    (Katabasos): The rogue did not count this as an advantage.
    (Fuoco): to be honest, neither would I
    (Katabasos): And with the word 'chocolate' he defeated me.
    (Fuoco): was it delimew?
    (Katabasos): I confess it is a pleasure that the undead cannot enjoy.
    (Katabasos): Yes, that was the man's name.
    (Fuoco): ah
    (Katabasos): Beware of him.

    (Fuoco): I find it difficult to imagine
    (Fuoco): we are indeed in friendly terms

  • PART 3

    (Katabasos): Now, to our alliance.
    (Fuoco): yes?
    (Katabasos): You are a servant of the Senate, is that true?
    (Fuoco): not at all
    (Katabasos): looks disappointed Oh.
    (Fuoco): I have been in friendly terms with some senators it is true
    (Fuoco): and I am a honorary member of the vanguard here
    (Katabasos): But you have some influence?
    (Fuoco): influence? Me?
    (Fuoco): you are much mistaken sir

    (Katabasos): Surely the great Fuoco has some influence in her native Andris?
    (Fuoco): I am loyal to Andris
    (Fuoco): but I cannot claim any special privileges
    (Katabasos): You are surely too modest.
    (Fuoco): * rubs foot on grass *
    (Fuoco): the senator I was closest to
    (Fuoco): has long been lost
    (Katabasos): Waltham? Gorden?
    (Fuoco): I never cease hoping

    (Fuoco): Clarissa Morgans
    (Fuoco): was the dearest to me
    (Katabasos): Oh, the woman with the obsession with baking.
    (Fuoco): I would not call it an obsession, sir
    (Katabasos): Some sort of food she delighted in too.
    (Katabasos): What was it?
    (Katabasos): Some cake.
    (Fuoco): so homely...
    (Fuoco): and yet firm when it came to serious matters
    (Katabasos): Is she held in great esteem?

    (Fuoco): she was
    (Katabasos): How curious the little folk are in their ways.
    (Fuoco): she is now lost in the Void
    (Fuoco): much to my chagrin
    (Katabasos): I see that this woman was dear to you.
    (Fuoco): very dear
    (Katabasos): That is as may be.
    (Fuoco): to the point I still visit the spot where one of her shoes was found
    (Fuoco): I do not wish to cry now
    (Katabasos): removes hat and scratches head

    (Fuoco): let us change the subject
    (Katabasos): Do you have this shoe?
    (Fuoco): no not me
    (Fuoco): I still hold some of her biscuits
    (Fuoco): and treasure them
    (Katabasos): Oh? How intriguing.
    (Katabasos): Could I have one?
    (Fuoco): I keep them in a safe place

    (Katabasos): I would be prepared to serve Andris, for such a price.
    (Fuoco): what is your aim?
    (Katabasos): And especially for the weapon associated with "Big Jack".
    (Katabasos): But the biscuit thing of Morgans intrigues me too.
    (Fuoco): Are you aware that I confronted the rascal myself?
    (Katabasos): Did you now?
    (Fuoco): he sent his minions after me
    (Katabasos): And what of his Witch Doctor?

  • PART 4

    (Fuoco): I retain no memory of the man, for want of a better word to define him
    (Katabasos): A pity.
    (Katabasos): paces to and fro
    (Fuoco): Big Jack was surrounded by Privateers when I confronted him
    (Katabasos): You see, I have a theory.
    (Fuoco): indeed?
    (Katabasos): An object intimately connected with a person retains some of their spirit.

    (Fuoco): his katana you mean?
    (Katabasos): With the correct incantation one may conjure that spirit.
    (Fuoco): what for may I ask
    (Katabasos): nods A Katana, or even some Gingerbread.
    (Fuoco): with all respect
    (Fuoco): I am not prepared to sacrifice any of the few biscuits I have
    (Fuoco): unless it is for a good cause

    (Katabasos): A good cause? Did you not say this Morgans baker was stuck in the void?
    (Fuoco): how can you address the senator that way?
    (Katabasos): smiles obsequeously
    (Katabasos): Forgive me.
    (Fuoco): * starts to feel suspicious and irritated *
    (Katabasos): Senator Morgans , the beloved Senator Morgans,
    (Katabasos): surely if she could be returned...

    (Katabasos): such a service to Andris...
    (Fuoco): if only...
    (Fuoco): but
    (Katabasos): Not to mention my considerable powers in defence against the Hell mages of Jalux?
    (Fuoco): you do not seem to hold her in high esteem
    (Katabasos): bows low in an ostentatious manner
    (Fuoco): Hell Mages of Jalux?
    (Katabasos): I did not have the privilege of meeting Morgans.
    (Katabasos): Forgive me.
    (Katabasos): Yes, hell mages.

    (Fuoco): * grunts *
    (Fuoco): what about them?
    (Katabasos): Jalux of the Laboratory in the deepest recesses of the volcano.
    (Fuoco): ah that horrid place
    (Katabasos): He it is who has helped Denreth's mob.
    (Fuoco): my young niece told me something about it yes
    (Katabasos): The Black Hand.
    (Fuoco): Denreth
    (Fuoco): the evil druid who summoned dracos...
    (Katabasos): And the evil druid Fyod, who seeks this Satel...
    (Katabasos): nods
    (Katabasos): Yes, and his minion Fyod.
    (Fuoco): I have met Denreth in the remote past
    (Katabasos): And lived?

    (Fuoco): Fyod is unknown to me
    (Fuoco): well he was after something else...
    (Katabasos): Fyod is a druid also. He is seeking Lushe Satel.
    (Katabasos): He has enlisted the help of Jalux.
    (Fuoco): it is a restless world we live in
    (Fuoco): I see
    (Katabasos): Together they have raised armies of Hell Mages and Magma Golems.
    (Fuoco): forgive me but as I said earlier
    (Fuoco): I am semi retired
    (Katabasos): paces
    (Fuoco): Hell Mages and Magma Golems

    (Katabasos): Yes, yes.
    (Fuoco): what a horrid combination
    (Katabasos): Fearsome.
    (Katabasos): Did not your niece help vanquish some such foes last moon?
    (Fuoco): she does not always tell me her stories, especially when she comes back upset
    (Katabasos): Foolish girl she is then.
    (Fuoco): she barricades herself within a wall of silence
    (Katabasos): Let me come to the point.
    (Fuoco): alright
    (Katabasos): Andris is in danger.

    (Fuoco): again?
    (Katabasos): I offer my services – for a small price.
    (Katabasos): All I require is the old sword of that 'Big' Jack.
    (Katabasos): A smattering of Morgans' baked goods would not go amiss.
    (Fuoco): what would you do for that?
    (Katabasos): Do you need a demostration of my power?
    (Fuoco): demonstration?
    (Katabasos): Yes. I could conjure Morgans.

    (Fuoco): you must be pulling my leg!
    (Katabasos): But I would need something intimately associated with her.
    (Fuoco): well I have nothing handy
    (Fuoco): right now
    (Katabasos): You do require a demonstration. I see.
    (Fuoco): only my fond memories of the lady
    (Katabasos): Mora Olsen Necritur
    You are poisoned.

    And with those words he summoned a Bone Mage.

    (Katabasos): I can conjure a Bone Mage from nothing!
    (Fuoco): your powers are dark ones
    (Katabasos): Give me an object connected with Morgans.
    (Fuoco): I must confess I am not fond of darkness
    (Katabasos): I am sure I can return her from this void.
    (Katabasos): chuckles
    (Fuoco): then it must be on another occasion
    (Katabasos): The darkness will come for you, even if you do not come for it.
    (Fuoco): * sigh *
    (Fuoco): * was it something I ate, I wonder! *

    (Katabasos): These powers are yours.
    (Katabasos): I would even teach you.
    (Fuoco): there is always a high price to pay sir
    (Katabasos): holds arms aloft
    (Fuoco): and I am not sure I understood what you really want
    (Katabasos): Copy me, Fuoco. I shall teach you.
    (Fuoco): copy you in what?
    (Katabasos): Mora is the word you must learn.
    (Katabasos): The gate of power.

    (Fuoco): I have heard the word in many a nefarious occasion
    (Fuoco): I refuse to plunge into darkness
    (Katabasos): But don't you want your precious Morgans back?
    (Fuoco): it is not black magic that will bring her back
    (Katabasos): You have her gingerbread. You could summon her.
    (Fuoco): I do not carry it on my person - what if I get killed?
    (Katabasos): A simple summoning it would be, and I could teach you.
    (Fuoco): The ginger bread is in a safe place

    (Katabasos): Then let us find it now.
    (Fuoco): I have to undertake a journey to get it
    (Katabasos): Very well.
    (Fuoco): if you travel about
    (Katabasos): When you are ready, seek for me.
    (Fuoco): seek me next time you are in Andris
    (Fuoco): alright
    (Katabasos): And put in a good word for me with the Senate, would you?
    (Fuoco): none of the current senators are close to my heart
    (Fuoco): we have hardly even met
    (Katabasos): But Andris is. Remember, Fyod, Denreth and Jalux are livid.
    (Katabasos): They will stop at nothing...
    (Fuoco): I shall try and remember
    (Fuoco): oh I can imagine, yes
    (Fuoco): well
    (Katabasos): Evil men with evil desires.
    (Fuoco): it is farewell for now sir
    (Katabasos): Farewell for now, Fuoco.

    There is only one person who can tell me if such magician exists - delimew, so to him I must write and decide what to do next. Dream or not, Senator Morgans cannot be brought back by dark forces - it would be such mockery!

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