Author Topic: Incantatrix and Aletha ~ An Unwelcome Meeting  (Read 505 times)


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Incantatrix and Aletha ~ An Unwelcome Meeting
« Topic Start: April 08, 2016, 02:05:53 AM »
Rueffilo, Beluaterra:

Incantatrix returns toward the Temple of the Portal in Rueffilo, satisfied that the rogue threat here is dealt with. As she approaches it, she pauses. There is a shift in the energies emanating from the Portal, a shift that can mean only one thing: someone is nearing the portal from the other side.

But so far as she knows, the other side of this portal opens on a barren area of the Netherworld, and has not even a token guard on the opposite side.

Incantatrix quickens her pace. The most likely reason for this, she decides, is that one of the Daimons aligned to another faction desires a look at the world that Domina has returned to claim. That could be politically tricky.

She reaches the temple just as she can feel the energies beginning to peak: whoever it is has made up their mind and is coming through the portal now.

Incantatrix enters the temple, and comes face to face with a woman her own height, with long red hair and sharp blue eyes—glowing blue, against a background of stars. Her face is one of the typical human colorations, with just a hint of a reddish sheen to it, and a hard expression. Strapped across her back is a sword nearly as long as she is tall, and she is wearing armour that is clearly made of Daimon bone. On the large bone pauldron on her shoulder is a minor, winged Daimon of a type only vaguely familiar to Incantatrix.

Incantatrix hisses in shock and anger at the sight of the woman. "You! I banished you to the Wastes to perish!"

The woman's eyes widen in recognition, and she shifts her weight to one side, causing the winged Daimon to flap briefly to keep its balance. "I survived," she replies smugly. "And now I've found my way out of your hellscape."

She looks past Incantatrix to the green fields and cool streams of Rueffilo, and for a moment, naked longing flashes across her face. Then she turns back to the Daimon leader, a half-smile on her lips, as her clawed right hand begins to make strange gestures down by her side.

"I was sure I was going to die, for a while," she says conversationally, beginning to circle around Incantatrix, but never taking her eyes off her. Incantatrix's eyes are locked on hers, and the customary shimmer in the air around her has intensified. Something about this woman is playing odd tricks on her head, but she's not about to let down her guard. "I thought I would have no chance of survival there. But it seems like a few of these fellows—" she reaches up and scratches under the chin of the winged Daimon on her shoulder, causing it to clack its beak in something like approval "—took a liking to me, and they started bringing me food."

Her expression changes from a smug half-smile to a scowl so black it would have caused strong men to go weak at the knees. "At first, I wouldn't eat it. Figured it would poison me. But when it was that or starve, well, I chose to take the chance." Her scowl deepens, and a glowing smoke the same colour as the glow of her eyes begins to rise gently from the corners of her eyes. "It didn't kill me. But it did change me. Made me this—" she gestures with her left hand at her face, the gesture also exaggeratedly indicating the claws she now bears instead of fingernails "—so I can never truly go home again. But it also made me strong. So I killed some stupid Daimons with bones they brought me, and used their bones to make me armour and a nice big club. Then I killed a smarter Daimon with the club, and got me this," she jerks her head at the hilt of her sword.

Incantatrix hisses again, barely noticing that her back is now to the portal. "You lie! There is no way you could have bested one of Strategus's warriors with nothing but a bone club." The shimmering around her is so intense that it is nearly impossible to look straight at her now.

The red-haired woman shrugs, hiding her rage once again under smugness. "Well, that's true. I wasn't able to kill him until I learned to do this."

And she raises her right hand from behind her back and speaks one word, and they are both engulfed in a cloud of obscuring smoke.

Incantatrix releases the spell she has been holding back, and dozens of deadly magic spines shoot off in all directions, the wind of their passing blowing the smoke away.

When it has cleared, there is no sign of the other woman. Incantatrix shrieks in frustration.

* * *

Aletha blinks, and takes a moment to get her bearings. Dangerous, doing that spell without being able to clearly picture a target, but it worked. The temple is a dozen paces away, and by the time Incantatrix figures out what happened, Aletha figures she can be well out of sight behind those trees.

She heads off at a swift jog.
Timothy Collett

"The only thing you can't trade for your heart's your heart." "You are what you do.  Choose again, and change." "One of these days, someone's gonna plug you, and you're going to die saying, 'What did I say? What did I say?'"  ~ Miles Naismith Vorkosigan

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Re: Incantatrix and Aletha ~ An Unwelcome Meeting
« Reply #1: April 08, 2016, 04:04:50 AM »
I was wondering what was going to happen to Aletha.


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Re: Incantatrix and Aletha ~ An Unwelcome Meeting
« Reply #2: April 08, 2016, 11:26:35 AM »
Good stuff, Tim.
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