Crown's Refuge <Wildlands>

Established in the year 625 ATA (After the Aegis), the village of Crown'sRefuge was founded by Talus Kahar XIV, Emperor of Fastheld, after he entered exile in the wake of the Ravager crisis.
The town is built on a hill overlooking the shore of the waterway known within the Aegis as the Fastheld River, west of the great wall as it forms the border of the city-state once ruled by the exile. Here, in the realm known to inhabitants as the Wildlands, the river is known as Jadesnake and it winds its way from the perimeter of Fastheld to the distant sea.
The town has been formed from timbered wood taken from the nearby forests by citizens, many of whom are descendants of Fastheldian exiles of years past, who have chosen to follow Talus Kahar's lead in this strange land.

Upon the Third hour by the Shadow on Lanternglow, on the 23rd day of Huntsmoon in the year 625, Crown's Refuge is very much the same as it was on the 22nd day, and most likely the same as it will be upon the 24th. Guards in armor salvaged from the wilds, crafted by leatherworkers, gifted from Ebonhold, or merely passed down from exile to exile, stand watch upon the wooden palisade. Carpenters work on new houses, hammering home the persistent sounds of manual labor as wood is nailed to wood, while flocks of children, as rugged as the terrain around them, swarm in the wake of returning hunters, eager to hear the latest story of adventure, or look upon the savage beasts that have been felled.

It is not, some might say, a place for children. But it's home and, to many, that's all that matters.

As a chill wind blows south from the uplands of the Drake Breach Sierra, and dark clouds threaten the world below with rain, the usual patronage of the sovereign township has a new member amidst them, one who at once looks as if he'd fit right in, yet remains dressed in such an elaborate manner that he'd look out of place even among the nobility of Fastheld. Perhaps putting many of them to shame in the process.

Stood outside Talus Kahar's door, rapping upon it with the bottom of the Obsidian Shaft that he holds between two hands - one of flesh, the other of obsidian plate - the Archmage Zanorin Drakesfire awaits an answer from within. Very few people seem to pay him much interest; either on purpose, or just in passing. Perhaps they fear what he is. Perhaps they just don't care. Zanorin certainly doesn't, at any rate...

No answer is forthcoming from inside of the house, the reason being that the current resident happens to be returning with the small group of hunters. Held in his grip is the broken neck of a white game bird, the body swinging limply in tune with the hunter's step as he breaks apart from the gathering to return to his home.

"Yes?" Vhramis calls as he notes the man standing before his door, before he almost misses a step. The Archmage has apparently left quite an impression, as despite the fact that Vhramis has only seen him once before, the hunter almost misses a step as recognition dawns.

"Another five minutes and I would have walked through the wall." The Archmage amicably comments as he turns to regard the Hunter that currently owns - or, at least, maintains - the door that Zanorin was exploring this new concept of 'knocking' upon. Though his pragmatic tone of voice is at least complacent, there's a flicker of suggestion in his dusty-blue gaze that suggests he's not too impressed with such draconian methods of getting attention. Knocking indeed.

Hefting the Obsidian Staff into his right hand - the gauntleted one - the Archmage smiles. Like a fox. "Ah, the expatriate. I require entry into Talus Kahar's domicile."

Vhramis forces himself to stop his staring at the man and resume approaching the door. "You've been waiting," he states as much as asks, opening the portal and pushing the door inwards. "Not overly long, I hope?" He gestures inside the house in invitation with the hand holding the bird, the body flopping lightly.

"Not at all." Zanorin states in reply, although the tone of his voice doesn't hold much convention in it as watches Vhramis navigate the doorway and actual process of opening the door that defends it with a gaze far older than the visage that holds it. "Well, between the last time I "knocked", and the time after I spent a short while exploring this place without any specific goal."

If the staring bothered him, it doesn't show. He's most likely used to it. "Well then," he asks, finally accepting the offer of entry and gracefully slinking by Vhramis without leaving a single footprint in his wake, nor sound to go with it, "How are you finding life under the watchful gaze of the Lady?"

Talus Kahar's House - Living Room - Crown's Refuge

Built mostly by his own hands, this is the first structure built by the exiled Emperor of Fastheld, Talus Kahar XIV, as a project to learn self-sufficiency among the denizens of the Wildlands.
The main living room area is rather spacious, with room for a couch and several chairs. An L-shaped wooden counter divides this area from the kitchen and dining area. A door leads to his bedchamber.

The mention of the Lady has Vhramis giving the darkening skies a brief, almost expectant look before following Zanorin inside. "I wasn't aware she watched us with any interest. I suppose I expected us to be inconsequential...though from the attention we've been given so far, by you and her, I realize it's a bit of a foolish thought." The door closes, and Vhramis moves over to a small tub where he rests the fowl in, before turning about to look to the Archmage with obvious interest.

Zanorin paces towards the middle of the room, glancing around the rustic setting as a General might look upon a battlefield, evidently searching for something of interest within this domicile. The base of the Obsidian Staff he holds taps upon the ground with every step; the only sound that flows in his otherwise soundless wake. Distraction set aside for a moment, his gaze snaps back upon Vhramis, his visage the picture of amusement.

"Your esteemed Emperor founded this place beneath the shadow of Ebonhold. Crown's Refuge is, regardless of what these other outlaws may think, part of Her protectorate. Why do you think the other Tribes of Wildlings, especially the Dark ones..." he trails off for a moment, granting the Hunter a knowing look, before continuing, "Haven't set upon this place as the Green Tribe set upon Fastheld?"

"Beneath the shadow of more than Ebonhold," Vhramis states, glancing about the room. "I was looking about the area, and found something else that was fairly disturbing. A tower, of some sort? With an obsidian drake perched atop it?" A few strides brings him to a small hook on the wall, on which he hangs the bow and quiver from. "What are you looking for?"

“Drakespire." Zanorin states with the tenor of a teacher informing an eager student as he moves towards the L-Shaped counter, the longcoat that cascades around his form flowing with every step, throwing glints of the shortsword tucked in his belt, although not in a threatening manner. "Counterpart to Drakesfire Tower. However, the Archmage of /that/ Tower of the Arcane made the mistake of, well..." He pauses in mid-step, casting a look of amused contempt towards the Hunter, though evidently not contempt for him. "You've seen the drake. She doesn't move much. Rocks usually don't."

A shrug, a flourish of that magecoat, and his journey to the counter is complete. Once there, he *whacks* it with the bottom of his Staff.

"Yes. I saw it," Vhramis grimaces, crossing his arms at his chest. "I don't think I'll be heading back, either." The man looks to the counter and frowns faintly, moving forward towards it.

Satisfied that the counter isn't going to collapse at the slightest hint of a soft breeze, the Archmage takes a step back, moves his left hand onto his belt, unhooks a leather bag, rests the Obsidian Staff leading against the counter, unstraps the leather bag and, in a matter of moments, places a wooden stand and a black sphere of quartz upon that counter, before hefting the stave back into his gauntleted grasp once more. "That should suffice."

Vhramis leans forward slightly to regard the sphere, his expression suggesting that perhaps he expects something to leap out of it at any moment. "...what is it? Silvan Dimrost?" The man rubs at the back of his head, staring into the stone.

"A sphere of sodalite quartz, upon a wooden base." The Archmage notes, bending a little to examine the sphere closer, and then standing upright after affirming is all is as it should be. He nods to himself, causing those dark locks to sway from the action, before coming to a rest upon his shoulders once more.

"...yes," the hunter nods his head, glancing to the Archmage. "But...what is it? A centerpiece? I doubt you've come to leave me something to strike up a conversation with."

"It is nothing more, and nothing less, then that which you see before you." Casting his gaze back upon Vhramis, Zanorin proceeds to lean upon the Obsidian Staff in a somewhat casual manner, both hands now snaked around the shaft, flesh atop plate. "It's what it *does* that's important, but I need not tell you *all* the mysteries of the arcane. Far better for you to find out for yourself."

He smiles again. Like a fox, again. A fox attempting to tell the chickens that he just wants to come into their hen house to escape the rain. "

It's equally important that you *not* move it from that spot. At all. Ever. You may touch it all you like, and while it will not bite you, it also won't do anything of any interest. But it is imperative that it not be removed from that location. Even if Oblivion itself is at the door, that sphere *must* remain there."

That doesn't seem to make Vhramis very happy. Nor does he seem very reassured by the explanation and warning. He looks to the sphere again, and takes half a step away from it, before sighing almost resignedly. "I suppose I'm not overly surprised. If I move it, will it wipe Crown's Refuge off the map? Or something similar?"

"Something like that." Zanorin offers in way of answer, taking some small enjoyment from the blatant feeling of worry that rests upon Vhramis's person. "More or less. Wind, fire, all that kind of thing." He offers the Hunter one final derisive shrug, looks to the left, and then looks back upon his current companion with a sharp glance of interest, as if something he'd previously meant to ask, but forgot about until now, occurred. "Before I depart, is there anything you require from Fastheld?"

Vhramis frowns and looks to the sphere again, staring at it for a few more moments before shivering slightly. "We could use large amounts of iron, but that's probably not what you meant. And I personally do not require anything."

"Very well." And with that, and a quick flash of a smile, the Archmage stamps the base of his Staff against the ground, and in a rumble of thunder...

...isn't there anymore.

Return to Season 3 (2005)

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