How Iawen Came Across a KiiraIawen dusted the light flakes from her hair as she ventured into the one-room house. The loud noises of cutting, hammering, and putting together log-type cabins was so far working to drown out Iawen's thoughts of recent. Also, the near-by druids understood Wendmor's plight and pointed out the fallen trees to take, so that the new colony didn't hurt Mother Gaia.
Of course, Iawen could give two flips about Gaia. All she knew about it was currently based off of the crazy cultists, the trouble-maker Twenaria, and the tree elf Liselle.
Shaking her head in disgust, she shuttered both of the windows, and brushed the bit of snow that blew in off the stone frame work. The fire had been going all day in the hearth. Iawen stoked it with an iron poker, and then sat on her cot, removing her wet boots and putting on her sandals. She then hung both boots and her black jacket by the hearth, watching them steam quietly. At her small table which only had one chair, there was paperwork spread out, barely legible and yet it seemed to be an original by its copy: the work transcribing into a book.
Iawen pursed her lips with a thought as she went through the ritual of lighting up a smoke, leaning her head against the wooden wall as she returned to her cot. There was a long, drawn-in breath from the knight as she enjoyed the smells that filled her nose: sandalwood and cedar and the general scent of burning wood. Within her exhalation, Iawen whispered into the quietness of her house. "Xaos, goddess of secrets, goddess of silence, goddess of the void... did that fellow who was transformed into a rodent against his will make it out of the caves alright?"
She stared into nothing, really, as the familiar 'feeling' of magic drifted easily into her, like the scents from her smoke. The caves she referred to were under Rhiassa, but she felt no need to add more words to her spell. "Either the gods know what you're talking about and will answer, or they know and don't care," Iawen once told a would-be Seer who sought her out to learn Fortune Tell. "You can't force a straight answer, so the best you can do is to ask as straight a question as you can."
The would-be Seer broke his restriction the next day. So much for the lesson.
Puffing away, Iawen mused on whether or not spells such as fortune tell were overrated. So much ritual, so many words to 'get around' the taboos that existed within the spell's creation. Never did make sense to her personally, not when the gods could answer in such vague ways to begin with. Her train of thought was broken, however, as a piece of paper on the table shimmered. Her eyes slid over to engage the table fully, as a hastily scrawled image of her house became apparent.
Intrigued (and with a whispered 'thank you' to the air), Iawen leaned forward and swung her feet around, as a line which looked almost like boot prints traced back from the house to a large black splotch of ink. Then there was another line, much smaller leading from the black to the top of the paper, where a large green splotch appeared.
Iawen had reached the table's edge by now and was peering intently as a straight tower was quickly sketched in the middle of the paper itself; the smaller line ending at the tower. She arched an eyebrow. She didn't own a green anything, let alone ink. A quicker skim of the paper also revealed that it was directly on the back of the Advocate letter she had been copying, and her brow furrowed with annoyance. She'd have to clean that up before sending it to the library in Ivory.
Her smoker's reed in clenched teeth, Iawen stretched in the privacy of her house, meandered around the table, and sat. "Is said fellow safe now?" was the next question to the open air.
The response was less than stellar as the page shimmered and burst into flames. Iawen flinched and quickly cleared some other paperwork away, then paused. The flames didn't seem to be burn anything except where the answer had been 'drawn'. Soon, it left no trace that there was a paper in the first place. 'Crap', thought Iawen with a scowl. At least she had another full copy of the Advocate letter ready to be sent to Folkestone, but seemed she would need that now to fill its place.
A new, blank piece of paper shimmered, directing Iawen's thoughts and gaze toward it. Another image came into being, drawn by unseen hands upon the parchment. It appear to be that of a house, with a small figure in blue and yellow smoking.
A second picture of a rat in a tower was followed by a third: a baby in a crib. A fourth was tacked on: a soldier fighting an orc. Iawen didn't bat an eye as a large gray question mark appeared on the page.
"You've got me," Iawen replied sarcastically to no one.
Slowly, the whole page began to fill with darkness from the edges inward, and then small flames followed suit until the whole piece of paper was covered in blackened fire. Iawen's lips curled into a grimace around her reed as she took her left arm and swept off the remaining paperwork, hoping that it wouldn't catch. "Friggin' Skew Divination!" Iawen grumbled. "I just wanted to know if he was safe," she complained to the air as she snatched the paper up, hurling it deftly into the fire. Her eyes however saw the black twirl and curl as it landed in the hearth, and the flames twisted into words: "What is safe?" before settling down to a more manageable size.
Grumpy, Iawen got up from her chair and got down on her knees. She liked things tidy, regardless of which god or force answered her spells. A moment later and Iawen's mood went from grumpy to annoyed: everything had returned to the table, rearranged as if nothing happened. She scowled as another image on a blank piece of paper appeared, this time with a small, elven message (along with the image of the tower). The tower doesn't always like prying people, sorry.
A small paw print was next to it.
"Guess he won't be dropping in for tea, after all," Iawen harrumphed, crumpling it up and tossing it into the fire. "See, this is why I'm not a mage," she spoke out loud, seemingly to no one as she approached the mantle and ran her fingers over the bars of a small cage. A serpentine head poked up from its coils in response, flickering its tongue. Iawen clicked twice at it, a trick she picked up from Sir Adara, to get it moving. Of course, that usually worked on horses, not snakes. The animal rested its head on its coils. With a sigh, Iawen started putting her paperwork inside a beat-up book.
"I don't have the thought process of my father, so I don't get puzzles and riddles and imagery," she continued, shoving the folded pile into the adventuring bag she used. Iawen then walked over to the mantle and opened the cage, offering her hand into it. Soon, she was pacing once more, around the table in a clock-wise circle, lightly petting the small serpent.
"I'm not a wizard, and you're not my intelligent familiar. You're the only thing I know that doesn't talk back to me. I don't know the magic ins and out of this land, but I attempt... I try." She held the snake up to her face, its dull colors gleaming from the firelight. "I don't know, Feets... The main reason I bought you is so I won't feel so insane talking to myself."
The snake blinked back at Iawen, clearly having no idea what she was saying.
She lowered the snake down and pet it slowly as it coiled around her left arm, tongue flicking. "I should get a friend..." she said quietly to the serpent, "but there's too much work undone. Besides, if the Realms has taught me anything, is that friendship is fleeting, and loyalty a fickle commodity. The good ones end up dead and the not-so-good crowd the way to the many levels of Hell." Iawen held up her snake once more in front of her. "You would think I'm joking, but it's ridiculous the amount of devils and demons that have been popping up in the north-east and the southern kingdoms. I practically prefer the undead. Sure, they were relentless, but you knew what you were getting into with a slow, stupid zombie. Slowness, and stupidity." Iawen lowered her arm and exhaled again. Her smoke was slowly dying, but she didn't feel like lighting a new one.
Her empty table shimmered for a few seconds and then the glow was gone. Where there was nothing, now there were three items on it. Iawen drew her snake close to her chest and shoulder; the animal slithered up around her neck as she warily eyed the newest change upon her table-top. 'Maybe I should learn from somebody how to ward my home from random objects', she thought as her mind identified each token: A small blue crystal, a half-burnt ticket and a folded piece of paper.
Arching an eyebrow, Iawen carefully returned her snake to its cage before engaging in any magic. Pushing the glasses up the bridge of her nose, she dragged the chair over to better face the items, and flexed her fingers. The subtle use of magic, in her opinion, was much easier than performance-based. As a former Channeler for a pantheon called The Five Ladies, Iawen had grown increasingly frustrated that when she would perform the ritual of Intervention to drag adventurers out of one jam or another, it tended to be ignored due to her quiet gestures and patience. Moreover, fellow Channelers who screamed, blew themselves up, lit things on fire, or sacked the nearest souls would get results. Messy, barbaric, and uncultured, and yet one couldn't deny that their gods answered, and how: dark transformations, unbreakable weapons, fireballs from their hands, sending healing waves after healing waves upon the dead in return for bits of their soul. Or maybe it was just that The Five Ladies weren't as powerful as Iawen thought them to be. Then again, that was a different time, and she very happily shed the path of a Channeler as soon as she could.
Mindful of the danger from just touching things to bare flesh, Iawen wrapped a couple of strips of dark blue cloth around her hands. She grasped the half-burnt ticket firmly. She whispered, "Xaos, Goddess of Secrets, Goddess of Silence, Goddess of the Void, I need to know if this item I touch has any shred of mana within or without its shape."
Was it a trick of the light that made this ticket shake in her hand, or was her hand shaking already? Iawen made a quick mental note to eat soon when the ticket gave a tug under the tight grip of her fingers. "Where do you think you're going?" Iawen asked it, a smirk playing across her face.
The smirk changed to a grimace when Iawen realized she wasn't holding onto it. The ticket had her hand, stuck right in the air, elbow resting on the table. "Crap!" Iawen growled as she began to wrestle with her arm. "Sonuva--what next?!" she cried out as the blue crystal began to glow intensely bright, causing Iawen to cringe. A green sheen covered the ticket, her hand, and moved on to the rest of her. A random thought shot through Iawen's mind to shout for help, but was just as quickly silenced: who would she shout to?
The ticket's own sheen began to intensify and changed to blue to match the crystal; the desk soon was marked as well. Iawen tried to jump to her feet and straighten up, and slammed back into the table, an unseen force holding her in place. A groan escaped her throat as her reed was jostled out, the smoke stick falling unharmed to the floor. Pain apparent through her face, Iawen attempted to pace her breathing as a small wisp of blue ('magic? actual wind? what the hell is that?!') came through the walls. Iawen wanted to yell, to kick, to fight back, but she found she couldn't even muster a snarl; her muscles refused to obey. As the blue melted into the green before Iawen's eyes, the environmental reality around her shifted. Iawen's last thoughts were altogether mocking: rookie mistake. All that she knew about the Realms, and she still touched an unidentified object before securing any real protection for herself. Hopefully, her young (and impressionable) squire wouldn't find out. Crap, who would tell Indana?!
Created by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 02-17-10 00:09 AM
Last Modified by Janna Oakfellow-Pushee at 11-29-10 12:39 PM