The Meeting of a Mentor

March 2, 2009
By Thomas_Miller BRONZE, Spokane, Washington
Thomas_Miller BRONZE, Spokane, Washington
3 articles 0 photos 0 comments

Karrosken strode down the street, hands in his pockets and eyes not quite on the ground. He had run flat out of money, of any sort, three day back and had been scrounging since then. Sharp emerald eyes locked on the corpulent figure of what seemed to be a wealthy merchant, or perhaps a lesser noble. The man was quite busy flirting with another woman, whom did not have much interest in the man. Karr moved with the crowd, slowly working his way towards his target. As he approached several schemes ran through his mind before he selected a simple one. Falling against his target he quickly cut the man's purse and tucked inside his own, rather fine, coat. Acting as if the man had caused him some horrible dishonor he looked up with a sneer on his lips. "Watch yourself man, Or you'll be dealing with my father!" He turned and walked off, an arrogant air trailing behind him. The merchant opened and closed his jaw several times before turning his attention back to the woman. Once he was a fair distance away Karr smiled and laughed to himself. His statement about the father was quite a jest, being that his own father had tried to kill him.

Madame Gray was, unfortunately, the woman that the merchant had sought out today. His name was Lazarus vi Dillinger, and he'd had an eye for the woman since she'd arrived in Auvrynon, only a few weeks prior. As a young man fell against the hopeless merchant, Selvaria's dark eyes lingered on the boy for but a moment.. She'd certainly seen his theft, though she would hardly comment on it to Lazarus. He deserved as much, anyway. As the young thief hurried off, Selvaria rose her hand and pressed the tip of a pale digit against Lazarus' lips. "I hate to stop you from getting into my skirts, but business calls," she said, before she promptly turned away from the merchant. She sped down a side street, into an alley, and onto the street the young thief had branhed out onto. "Blessed eve," she said, nearly purring, as she moved out into the street to stand before him in his path. Selvaria, or Madame Gray as she was often called, had chosen to wear a dark dress, accentuating her pale flesh, which consisted of a velvet bodice and silken skirts. Her hair was piled up on the back of her head, braids and wisps of hair carefully arranged in the silken locks where it wasn't in the braided, piled hair on the back of her head. Several locks of dark hair descended over her left eye, stopping above her lips, painted a dark purple. To top it all off, her sizable cleavage was displayed behind a fur trim on her dress. As 'trashy' as she dressed, all was of exquisite make, and was the mark of the high class here in Auvrynon.

Karrosken turned and cut diagonally across the crowd towards a patron selling fresh bread. The rich aroma had been tugging at his senses from before dawn had broken. He pulled a few coppers from his newly acquired purse and handed them off for a sizable loaf of a hard crusted bread. Karrosken sighed happily as broke off a chunk, cramming it into his mouth. Ah food. What a wonderful thing. Now for some meat. The problem with meat, Karr though, was the fact that it was expensive. And if one did not want to deplete one's purse quickly then one's best bet was to... borrow. As he turned from the bread seller however, a woman stood in his way. And not just 'a' woman, but the one that the merchant had been harassing. Karrosken swallowed his bite of bread and looked up at the woman. His eyes traveling up her body and not bothering to hide the fact as his eyes lingered below her chin. As his eyes continued their journey upward finally locking with her eyes, only an inch above his own, he gave her a calculated look. "How may I be of service Milady." He gave a short bow, not mocking, but not one of respect either.

Madame Gray openly appraised the young man as well. He looked to be a kid, though his emerald eyes said he was older. Not many young people could give such a look as that. She guessed him to be around seventeen or so. "I doubt there is much you could do for me," she said, her voice nearly a sultry purr. "But it strikes me as odd that a well-dressed boy such as yourself would resort to thieving from a man like Lazarus," she said, sure to say it out of earshot of any other who passed by them at the time. Generally, people gave Selvaria a wide berth anyway, which was often useful. "Although, one service you can render -does- ome to mind.. What is your name? I am known as Madame Gray," she said, sweeping up her skirts a moment as she took a gentle bow--truly a cultural difference, as opposed to the curtsying women of these lands-- being sure to show off her impressive expanse of cleavage. Men's minds were far more malleable when they were in sight, and such an act was almost a reflex for her these days.

Karrosken smirked as she bowed, taking full advantage of her bounty. Such a move might have work on a feebler mind, although, Karr had to admit, the view was grand. Before speaking he brushed off the dust that had adhered to his coat before brushing a lock of hair out of his face. "Appearances can be deceiving, Madam. I may not be what I look." He stood straighter, bowing again, this time formally, hinting at some sort of training. "My name is Karrosken Appellocinis Xiphias." The old tongue flowed smoothly out of the young man's lips. Not for a long time had the language that his last names where from had been spoken in a true conversation. "Itaque vobis. Domina. Quomodo vadum I facio?" He always loved to play these little games, seeing if people would recognize the neigh dead language. So few did these days. And fewer still could speak it.

Madame Gray was well aware of his eyes, as well as the eyes of several others coming their way upon the street. One man, transfixed upon the sight, ended up walking into a wall with a vase held above his head. The ensuing shatter made Selvaria chuckle softly to herself. "Few rarely are," she said, her full, painted lips curled across white teeth in a smile. "In any case, it is a pleasure to meet you, Karrosken Appellacinis Xiphias," she said, his name easy to a tongue used to speaking ancient incantations. As he spoke aloud the odd language, her smile merely widened. "The Dead Language. I am afraid that I am not fluent, but as I said before, I can think of no thing you can do for me. Except perhaps telling me where you learned of that language," she said, genuinely interested for once in her life. Or un-life.

Karrosken turned his eyes and smirked slightly as the man smashed his vase. His attention went fully back to the woman as she spoke of the Dead Language. So she knew! How rare, and interesting. -And- she wanted to know where he had learned it. Sharp eyes took in their surrounding, noting the several people moving closer, purposely or not, he did not know, but it was always best to be safe. "Ah, Milady, you should know that one does not divulge information such as that with so little concern. The Dead Language is powerful, more so than most assume. And for that reason, I keep it a closely guarded secret." However, this woman may have something worth sharing when it comes to such a topic. In which case, sensitive information became much loser. "But, I do a see some discussion coming up that I feel, both of us, would rather others not be privy to. Yes?" Karrosken did not have anyplace to stay, not any real place. However, there was a foreclosed house not too far from their current location. Said house still held it furniture and was in decent condition. "I know of a humble setting, if you wish to converse in private."

Madame Gray could only smile at that. "Indeed, I do know. But any of these," she said, motioning expansively to the crowd that they skirted, "people would hardly know what we speak of. Those who attempt the language's secrets shall meet an end worthy of their audacity," she said, unable to resist the gentle giggle that bubbled from her throat. "And I wholly agree, dear Karrosken. However, humble is hardly my style," she said, motioning to the exquisite dress that still dawned her pale frame. She reached out, pale fingers touching lightly upon his shoulder. "Come; I've far better accomodations elsewhere," she said her eyelids, dark, showing as she closed her eyes. Beneath her breath, she spoke only one word: muoversi. The world seemed to implode and explode simultaneously,iridescent colors shifting past them.. before they stood before a sable manor in the upperclass district of the City of Gates. Her fingers dropped from his shoulder. Obviously, she was more powerful than one would expect from a high class lady.

Karr closed his eyes as the world seemed to cease to exist. Only opening them as he felt the light pressure of the Lady's fingers leave his shoulder. The view that met him was a grand one. Not often had he journeyed this far into the richer sectors of the city. Too many guards and suspicious people. But now, this extravagant woman had taken him here by mean of magic, something he thankfully understood and appreciated. Realizing that he had been holding his breath Karrosken released it in a slow measured motion. "Accommodations that truly put mine to shame, Madam." His eyes took stock of where he was, looking out over the city, and confirming his position with the sun. One could never be to careful when entering a strange place, accompanied by a stranger woman. "So, Madam Gray, I suppose it may be just to ask where you learned you skills. Though you did not directly ask about mine."

Madame Gray flashed the young man a bright smile, showing off pearly white teeth. "Most likely. As I said.. I do not do 'humble'," she said. Her secret desire was to more or less buy her way into royalty. She despised her own humble beginnings. And what was more humble than a prostitute? "It may," she said, skirting the question as she led him up te cobbled path to the oaken doors. With but a wave of her hand, and a muttering of another phrase (this time, rusza') the door opened, revealing a high entrance hall, with winding staircases that led up to a walkway that bridged the upper rooms. "Come, come, Karrosken. I shall speak more of my magicks within," she said, motioning toward a side door from the entrance hall, which would reveal a cozy little room, decorated in rich purples, blues, and blacks. Selvaria herself took a seat upon one of the wide leather sofas, awaiting Karrosken's seating within the little sitting room. Obviously, it was meant as a place of relaxation and discussion, both of which she intended on doing right now.

Karr smiled slightly and followed the mysterious woman into the, -very- well accommodated mansion. His eyes danced from point of interest to point of interest. Never stopping on one thing in particular, until he realized that the Lady had turned into a room. Moving to the doorway he survey the furniture, noting the distinct taste in colors. A good choice by the pale woman, the dark rich colors suited her very well. Easing himself into a nearby, and very well cushioned char, Karrosken held back from assaulting this interesting woman with questions. He did however not hold back one. "I might ask. What inspired you, aside from leaving that merchant, to confront me?" Since she had stood before him that question had been bouncing about in his mind, and he had not yet found an answer for it. There was also something about this woman that peaked his interest, aside from her figure, dress, house, and magic that was. Something subconscious. Something ethereal almost.

Madame Gray murmured a sofr word into the stillness of her manor, too soft to hear, and from aross the room the glass door on a cabinet of alcohol opened up, and it was a moment later that a bottle of wine and a glass appeared in her hand, the wine chilled in the cellar underground. It was a fine dark wine named Eelian Night, and it was this that she filled her glass with. "Care for some?" she asked softly, setting down the bottle on the oaken table that rested between them, one of two glasses that had been conjured from midair resting next to it. She took a sip of her wine."Question after question.. An inquisitive mind. I like that. To answer your previous question, I learned from the Duhess Lorral of my homeland. And I took an interest in you because you seem different from the common rabble. Perhaps it is your eyes," she said, with a shrug of her pale shoulders. "But who knows? It was on a whim that I followed you, even if I was wishing to get rid of that pig of a merchant," she said, taking another sip of her rich wine. "And now a question for you, young man. Where did you learn of the Dead Language? The Duchess, as my teacher, taught me of it long ago."

Karrosken shook his head at the alcohol. "No thank you milady." It was quite strange to be around someone who used their power such a carefree manner. Karr had been forced to hide his power since a young age. Revealing it once had nearly cost him his life, and -had- cost him his home. "As for who taught me. I know not his name. He was an old man my father hire to bring in the crops one summer. He and I spoke late into the night, and so, over the following months the taught me words. The old man never explained what they were, not until he fell ill." He spoke with a calm cool determination not rushing his answer out, but more casually stating it, as if it were the weather. It was plain that he had not liked the introduction of this power into his life, but had learned to live with it, and live well.

Madame Gray nodded, and the bottle was subsequently rid of with another murmured word. These were not the words of the Dead Language, but words of various other languages that she used to channel her power. "I see. Magic was barely known in the lands where I was born, Those who did, were called witches and burned. My teacher, the Duchess, managed to save me from such a fate," she said, her words a soft purr as always. "Tell me, Korrosken. How do you percieve the darker arts, such as neromancy and the like?" she asked, peering at him over the rim of her glass, another sip of the dark wine sliding over painted purple lips.

Karr cocked his head to the side at her question. "I dislike the term 'darker arts'. Good and Evil are naught but cultural upbringings. Those who are brought up to dislike such magics are fools, but so are those who hold distain towards 'holy' magics as well." Karr licked his lips. In a sense summoning forth a spirit of fire, something he had tried once, was necromancy. "I, in a way, have connections with such arts. Non so formable as so o call myself a necromancer or anything, nor even a mage. However, since you ask how I perceive them, I will answer. All magics are worth learning, and all should be feared." Prejudice against magic was what nearly got Karrosken killed, and so, he tolerated none of it. Even if it was for a 'good' reason.

Madame Gray could only smile gently at that. "Well said, Karrosken. However, I meant darker in the sense of being literally darker. Evocation, necromancy, and other such schools are referred to as arcane, black magic. Divine magic is the opposite, referred to as white magic. It was merely a technical classification," she said smoothly, taking a final sip from her wine glass. "However, I am glad to hear that you have some connection to these arts, as do I. I am not a true human, Karrosken. No life but raw energy flows through my body," she said. It was as simple as that.. she was an undead. "The reason I tell you this, my friend, is that I wish to pass on some of what I myself have learned over these many years of mine. And you seem of a sound mind, since not many can see beyond the absolutes of black and white."

Karrosken nodded, taking this in stride. So she wanted to teach him. Or was this a pretense for something else. Something, as she put it, 'darker'. "I'll take your compliment of being of sound mind. Though you give me too much credit." He raised a small hand, quite delicate to belong to a man, but his none the less, "Incendia." The word was whispered and with it, a warm, fuzzy light shimmered into existence on his upturned palm. "Spiritus vita." The ball of iridescent fire lifted off his hand and moved over to the lady circling her head before settling into her cup, filling it like a liquid. "My excellence in in the area of fire, be it flames or familiars. Other objects and mediums come a bit harder."

Madame Gray would not admit to being surprised by much, but hearing that she was an undead. and not being surprised was a bit of a shocker for her. With the ring she wore, enchanted to project a heartbeat and infuse color with her flesh, she was sure her guise as a human was convincing enough. "I see. The evocation and conjuration schools seem to be your forte, then," she said, reaching to her glass, lifting it to examine the flames within. How curious.. "What of it then, Karrosken? Will you acquiesce to being my student in the wayes of the arcane?" she asked, setting down the cup on the table that rested in the middle of the room. "My specialty lay in the areas of enchantment, as I am an enchantress for a living, and abjuration. Defense, if you did not know," she said, a small smile curvingf her lips once more.

Karr pondered her offer for a few seconds, mulling over the possibilities. If he accepted her offer he would be off the streets and in a very nice house, and he would have education in an area where he held power but not control. On the other hand, if he rejected her offer, his chances of leaving this building alive diminished significantly. And even if he did leave, he would be back on the streets, thieving for a living. Something like this only occurred once or, if you were lucky, twice in your life. Karrosken stood then, and executed an extremely formal bow, ending it in a kneeling position in front of the woman. "I would be honored to be under your tutelage, Madam Grey. Your knowledge and wisdom shall be gifts of a magnetite in which I know not how to return."

Madame Gray cast her dark eyes down toward Karrosken as he kneeled before her. She could hardly resist the chuckle that bubbled from her throat, and it was with a smile curling her lips that she pushed herself to her feet. "I am sure we shall think of something," she said, reaching down with a slender hand to bring him back to his feet. "And should you wish, you may call me Selvaria," she said. It was a name seldom used in relation to her. Many simply knew her as Madame. "But tell me, Karrosken. Did you guess at me being an undead before I told you? Or are you simply of a caliber that I initially underestimated?" she asked, quirking a dark brow in question.

Karrosken shrugged in response to her question before answering. "Perhaps a bit of both. I did sense something 'off' about you. It was hardly there, covered up in a way. I could not tell. But I also, to say the least, have witnessed some interesting things during my travels from my old home to here." His mind reeled back to the land he had crossed, the land of dead, monsters, and other 'dark' creatures. All of which, were not so bad as most commoners thought. Appearances often hid an intellectual and deep mind, a think he had found out in traveling with a zombie. Once he had gotten over the smell, he had found that the un-dead man was very bright and quite witty. "I should say, that you are not the first of your kind I have seen. Although, you are the best smelling and you certainly outclass them in appearances." A slight smile touched his face as he spoke.

Madame Gray 's smile was quite genuine at his words, as opposed to the sultry little smirk she normally had upon her lips. "Indeed. It is, perhaps, because I am not a typical undead. I believe one would call me an animus," she said, with a small shrug. Due to the minor botching of the procedure of turning her into one, she lacked some of the powers inherent to an animus.. But that suited her just fine. It also left her with her powers before she'd died, which she had been particularly pleased with. "In any case, we shall begin your tutelage in the arcane arts soon. And do you happen to have lodgings? I would not mind putting you up here, but I am curious," she said. She knew he didn't, since not many stole who didn't need the money. Those who did were just greedy b*******. Others simply stole from the former.

Karrosken smiled inwardly. So that explained why she seemed different. He wondered quite a bit about her past now. Animus' had always attracted his intellectual attention. A sort of puzzle that he could never figure out. "You, Madam,should know better than to ask if I have lodgings. The place I spoke of earlier was foreclosed. The lock was very susceptible to heat and so." He proffered his hands, asking if he needed to continue with that line of thought. "I," He hefted the merchant's purse, "Do have enough to find adequate lodging though, It may be a walk from here, but nothing I cannot handle." One thing karrosken had learned was never to impose yourself on people, it was a good way to get on their bad side, very quickly.


The author's comments:
The character Karrosken Xiphias came about one day when I was looking into the latin language. I realized the beauty of the flowing words and decided that I must create a classy, yet streetsmart character, who would know a powerful art, but not understand the meaning of said power.

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