Welcome to our Forums!

Type /register while in-game to register for a forum account.

Log in

Spirits and Speculation

MasterAegon

Active Member
Slicer
The following post is a lengthy roleplay session converted with minor edits to be more reader-friendly. It was placed here for the simple fact that multiple people contributed and the nature of progression was better suited for the roleplay forum. I hope everyone enjoys! Stay thirsty, Lokans.

Spirits and Speculation

Aegon gestured to the chair nearest to him while they were walking in. The convention hall was rarely used these days so he was pleased to have someone to share it with. The torchlight burned low in the room. The ominous glow was complementary to the coming discussion. It gave a particular ambiance but saved resources when it came to wiring. This was a problem he never could have foreseen prior to ending up beneath the Artifact. He took the bottle of amber liquid from the shelf of spirits and poured a glass. The container of packed ice was the next thing he took from.


"So, it would seem as though we're seeing similar signs of new entities in our world as we have before." The Dragon regarded the situation coolly. Such things were common anymore, but the unknown was anything but comforting.


Artagan entered behind him and sat down at the opposite side of the table. He poured a drink as well, took a sip and grimaced. He set the drink on the table, putting his pig-like hands together in a steeple fashion. A contemplative frown crept to his face.


"In that last text, these phantoms were described as wearing floating armor. Up until now the only ghosts we've caught glimpses of have been blue shadows of light, and none of have worn armor, nor have they driven people from their homes."


A curt nod preceded another drink from the glass in Aegon’s hands.


"I agree. Before now, we have seen only passive beings which were easy to kill. But..." Aegon’s brow furrowed in consternation. "What if that was only a very brief preview?"


"Then we had all best prepare,” Artagan said with a nod, “and arm ourselves with more knowledge of these creatures and how to fight them." Another drink, another grimace. "What is this vintage? It burns like dragonfire, and kicks like a mule."


Aegon half laughed at the comment as he swirled the bits of packed ice in his glass. The drink was already nearly empty.


"I only know it to be some kind of whiskey. A past mentor first found it and called it Bourbon. It has a blast of cinnamon, fused in the wood of barrels for the aging process." Aegon downed another mouthful before reaching at the bottle. "It helps dull the edge of an otherwise jagged world when dealing with such things."


Artagan chuckled before drinking the last of his glass and poured himself another as well.


"I know the feeling, although I am partial to the golden mead they make in Dellsmite. Lady Lazuli haggles like a crone with a codfish, but her mead is sweet as summer rain."


The Dragon's laughter matched his old friend's. It was nice to have drinks with him to discuss things. Matters have been grim with each passing day and it takes a toll even on those fit for it. He assumed the men and women of Vanguard were overwhelmed with the fallout after recent events. Nothing was easy in this world.


Leasaur Istalri entered the convention hall. She had been tending to other matters while the men had made their way ahead of her. She listened intently so as not to interrupt the current train of thought. Both Aegon and Artagan greeted her with a nod. The Dragon continued so as to finish the exchange.


"I should like to have a bottle of your golden mead sometime soon. A sweet drink is a nice contrast from time to time." He raised his glass before taking another swallow. His smile did not fade but it was clear behind those ruby eyes that things were working overtime. "I won't lie and say that I do not know something is happening, in reference to a growing darkness. I only wish I were able to definitively say what..." He looked back to Artagan for his response.


The elf paced back and forth, her face set in a frown. She never seemed to sit still in this time of stress. Elven grace did not come as easily to her and she was restless. Like everyone else, the feeling that they could only sit idly and wait was repulsive.


"However you look at this, we need more knowledge." She stamped her foot. "If only the library was open... surely one of the ancient guardians, or an ASA book has information about this."


Artagan could only watch her pace with a frown on his face. It bothered him to see her so upset but he knew there was little he could do. He nursed his drink and continued as before.


"The ASA has been defunct for two Ages, and it never came into contact with these phantoms. As for the Guardians, perhaps their wisdom might be of use, but the Midnight Sage never mentioned encountering ghosts in his travels." He took another drink of whiskey and looked over at Aegon. "If there is knowledge to be found, it is unlikely to come from our past. We must seek out these spectres and learn the truth of them for ourselves."


Aegon soaked in every word, his mind a sponge for the ocean of knowledge. Inevitably, he knew that to mean his capacity was limited. Another sip of the drink helped calm his nerves.


"I'm afraid I would have to agree with Artagan. Our past is rich but for all of my own efforts, I have not found any reference material to give insight on this event or these entities. One thing we do know for sure is that the only ghosts or phantoms we have encountered thus far were passive..."


His frown was akin to frustration rather than anger. The look on his face was apparent that it was a constant struggle for answers when they remain only at arms' length.


"However, these journals we keep finding are referencing more..."


Lea stared at a vial of powder in her hands. It was a sample from one of the strange motes. It was easily recognizable as it was a foreign substance to their world. He had not seen it since the dawning of their previous age. Artagan turned his head in realization of what she held.


“That substance…” he said.


“Curious, as always,” Aegon chimed. “Clearly there’s more to it than meets the eye. Has anyone ever gotten answers to the obvious questions?” The question only bought him another look of frustration.


“Never,” Lea said plainly, still turning the vial over in her hands. The powder moved from one side to another with a powerful glow to be such a small amount.


"I spent some time studying it with Murloc after I began collecting samples of it from fallen spectres,” Artagan began with a nod. “The individual motes can be molded together into masses of a strange, glowing material. Beyond that it has served little practical purpose, although I've heard tell that many have traded the substance for more valuable ores."


Aegon stared at the glass in his hand while considering all the possibilities. He had a theory about why people would value the substance so much but it was fleeting at best and thought it better to disregard it. He looked up at them both in hopes they might have any information. Lea clasped her fingers around the vial and made a fist.


"Citadel has a fair stock of the stuff,” she said, “enough to experiment with or study. Other wealthy Lokans may have more."


"I know of a few who've been hoarding it for an Age, just waiting for someone to have need of it. If we should require more, it will not come cheap, I promise you." Artagan groaned, and rolled his eyes. At that thought he drank down the last of his second glass of whiskey and poured a third, grumbling about Citadel's near-empty coffers.


Aegon knew that look. His heightened hearing also caused him to hear more than Artagan may have wanted. The Dragon poured his third glass as well, the contents getting warmer as his ice progressively melted with each refill.


"Given the nature of how quickly things are changing in regard to these....rifts of sorts...I doubt we will have worry of needing reserves of the dust in storage. More would be nice for continued study."


Aegon hesitated, wondering if he would cause problems with his next question.


"Why are your coffers suffering so, old friends?" He looked at them both, taking care not to disrespect either by exclusion. The pig stopped in the middle of his drink and looked across at Aegon, disbelieving. He cleared his throat.


"Wars are expensive, and Dhem Koldur was a rich source of income,” he said uncomfortably. “On top of that, our territory has been severely restricted, and there are more mouths to feed with all the refugees coming in."


"Plus, there is a new law about attaining currency.. passed by the bird who likes shiny things.” Lea’s words came with a sigh. “Freyr knows that's not making the situation easier." She went back to turning the vial in her hand.


Aegon frowned, knowing his affinity for war and exercising power was a fault as much as a strength. He would like to blame his ancestry but he would not be so dismissive. He nodded and took a drink before speaking. His time for humility was much more abundant than he would have people believe.


"Artagan Antioch. Leasaur Istalri. I cannot express enough regret for our houses being at odds. There are reasons beyond even my control due to politics for some conflicts. I won't insult either of you by offering only apologies though. Now that the wars are at the very least dormant, I would hope to help Citadel recover."


He hoped his words did not fall on unforgiving ears for past transgressions. It was hard to be a strong leader and not make eternal enemies. The people before him were more than just friends at one point. It would wound him to lose that.


"I know it may seem baseless but I am not the monster the wars would have me seem. Campaigns have purposes but none of which were meant to cripple anyone....” He paused at that comment and corrected himself. “Well, we intended to cripple one, but not Vanguard. In any case, I will do what I can to make that right. We may stand on differing sides, but on the table before us is a common goal."


Leasaur stayed silent for some time, green eyes fixed on red, deciding whether or not the remorse displayed was genuine. She glanced at Art.


"Old conflicts prevail, so it saddens us to create battle and bloodshed anew... however, there is no way of changing events that have come to pass. Perhaps balance can yet be restored. There are things we would wish to discuss with Dragonstone and Argus, but they can wait for now."


Artagan looked back at Aegon, stone-faced. Then he broke into an easy laugh, and shrugged.

"We did not come to talk of old rifts between us, Aegon. Let bygones be bygones, as they say. The matter before us is of greater import to both our realms." His smile did not reach his black , pig-like eyes, which remained fixed upon Aegon's crimson ones. Leasaur leaned back in her seat, smiling as she looked towards Art upon hearing his words.


Aegon nodded at both their responses. He could feel the touch of winter in their throats but he feared it would have to be the best beginning at reparations he could hope for. Alliances like Argus would hold true to one another and take a blade to the stomach for a fellow beneath the same banner no matter what. It did not change Aegon's urge to promote civility and commerce with the right people.


He suddenly realized he had emptied his glass and filled it once more, standing to retrieve more packed ice. He refused to remain sullen in such good company, especially when they both offered genuine peace. This was a quality most people could not offer after a bloody past.


"Understood, the both of you. I pray you keep everything in mind for the future. I worry more is going to be on our doorstep before long. Call it Guardian intuition. It feels like a looming presence that I cannot escape."


What happened next surprised the leader of Dragonstone more than most events recently. Leasaur reached for the bottle after Aegon set it down, filling an untouched glass. Normally she turned her nose up at the stuff. She sighed again.


"Maybe I would be more concerned for this world if you hadn't been saying the same thing for months, Dragon."


Aegon sighed as well, knowing Lea's frustration was mounting if she was pouring a glass of his whiskey. He wished the frown on his face were not so frequent a visitor. Few things existed for him to smile about anymore.


"I know, I know...I have no way of knowing how close things like this are when I feel it. Unfortunately, we are now actually seeing the things which merit my continued worry."


"It makes no matter.” Artagan waved a piglike hand dismissively as he drank his third glass, then set it down and sighed. “What matters is that we are prepared when the time comes." He glanced at Lea, then back at Aegon.


"It is clear to me that there is little else we can do but watch and wait. Sooner or later these spectres may reveal themselves, and only then will be have the chance to see how best to deal with them." Artagan rose from the table, stumbling slightly from the whiskey and steadying himself. "Now I must take my leave of you. My lady?" he asked, looking at down at Lea.


"Thank you for your hospitality," she said simply while bowing low. "Argus and the Vanguard may not be allies, but it warms me to know that I may still consider you a friend." Leasaur drained her glass and sat it on the table next to Artagan’s.


Aegon was impressed, raising his glass at them both as they made their way to the door. He felt it necessary to grant them farewell with one last thought.


"Vanguard will always be my ally. I have a strong heart that no one sees. Consider yourself protected by the blood of the Dragon..."


As they took their exit, he lifted the bottle and drained it. It seemed the only way to keep his demons at bay. It also kept him from saying too much. Emotion was something he only offered in abundance to few. Three glasses and one bottle sat at the center of the table, all empty and evidence of a lengthy meeting. The glow from the torches was reflected inside the faceted glass of each container. The luminescent image was nearly as intoxicating as the Bourbon as fire was wont to do in his case.


The darkness he had felt on the horizon was finally getting closer. Fire and blood. It was a taxing recipe for both offense and defense. Aegon only hoped it would keep everyone safe when it mattered most.
 
Last edited:
Top