Saus

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Re: Saus

Postby Drannin » November 6th, 2008, 5:39 pm

First things first: set up a shelter. Then, see if there's anything I can do about that storm.

Argus completed his spell, and ambient minerals began surging up from the ground into the walls of the restaurant, strengthining it. Further reinforcement affected the windows, toughening them. Before long, the entire building had been turned into an instant storm shelter. Argus kept a few spell syllables in reserve in case he needed to seal the entrances.

Next up was the storm. Weather magic wasn't a stong point for Argus. However, he had some familiarity with elementals; it was essential for his line of work. On the other hand air and wind elementals were out of his specialty. Still...

Argus walked over to one of the reinforced windows, trying to ignore the tumult of the crowd. He was suddenly glad his clothing made him nondescript; everyone was begging Miguel to appeal to Luminosita for aid. A look at the developing storm... no. There was now a full-blown tornado out there. Coming their way.

"Hope to whatever may exist the reinforcement holds..." Argus muttered. He stretched out to the storm, sensing it's energy flows... trying to detect just what had set it in motion... perhaps he could dispel its energy. There was no way something like this was natural.

In the back of Argus' mind, he reflected how depressing it was that despite the intense winds... there were no pretty ladies wearing short skirts. Drat.

Sadly, all of said pretty ladies were on the other side of town, currently giving some rather lonely men a very enjoyable show. But Argus had no way of knowing this. Poor Argus.
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Re: Saus

Postby Viking-Sensei » November 6th, 2008, 8:05 pm

Kureji cast three of her best and least explosive anti-fire spells (ones that Locke had taught her that were about suppressing the rate of reaction and adding water, as opposed to her own "suck all the air out" spell, which was highly successful but usually fatal to those in the blast radius) on the large building in front of her. Something was wrong, though, because while the fires did start to subside, they would not go out... and even the stone, which did not normally burn (unless Kureji herself gave it a little hand) was on fire.

She cast her eyes skyward towards the smoke cloud rising from the fire... and realized that it was, in fact, the other way around... the energy vortex was descending from the cloud, which was now actively growing, twisting, and moving southward. She sensed a link - not a terribly strong one, but enough - that indicated someone to the east was still actively manipulating the cloud's energies. "Tsubasa! 4 o'clock, probably about 3 blocks east from here... someone is casting this. Hit the rooftops, my guess is that they've gotta be in line-of-sight to maintain this! I'll try and... well... slow it down."

That was when, for the second time in her life, Kureji summoned forth from the ether about 3 metric tonnes of lime-flavored gelatin, directly in the storm's path.
How could a plan this awesome possibly fail?
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Re: Saus

Postby Graybeard » November 6th, 2008, 8:18 pm

[OOC: I think Kureji means "northward." South wind, after all. /OOC...]

It's not going to be enough, thought Brother Miguel as the storm roared closer.

A crowd had taken refuge in the restaurant -- so much of a crowd, in fact, that he wasn't sure that he himself was going to be able to squeeze in, let alone the supplicants that had gathered around him. By now he could hear the tornado, roaring like a war engine as it approached. Argus was doing something in the background, but he wasn't sure exactly what. Whatever it was, he was pretty sure it wasn't going to work. He could see that Argus had strengthened the building -- much better than nothing, now there might actually be some survivors...

"Okay, everyone inside!" he yelled, thinking, may as well go out in style. As the mob jammed through the door, he made the Sign of Luminosita in the air and started a ritual prayer from the liturgy for Luminosita's support in the face of hopeless causes -- one that he'd never seen actually accomplish anything, but what was there to lose? The storm was getting closer and closer, filling the air now with debris from buildings it had obliterated only a few blocks away ...

... And then it simply vanished. The tornado didn't raise back into the cloud or dissipate into rain squalls. It just vanished. The flying debris clunked to the ground, taking with it a surprised-looking dog that streaked off, yelping -- what a ride it must have had! And as the dust settled, the moon and stars could be seen where the storm cloud had been. Somehow, the odor of lime could be detected all around...

Now how did that happen? Certainly nothing I did, Miguel thought, as the mob in the restaurant cheered and two hefty men lifted him up on their shoulders, bonking his head on a low-hanging lampshade in the process. In the distance, he could see that the fire was still burning out on the horizon, but for the moment it didn't really matter any more...
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Re: Saus

Postby Drannin » November 8th, 2008, 9:11 am

Argus stared, mid-concentration (an odd term, but there really isn't any other description). One moment, a storm/tornado, and the definite feel of controlled magic, emanating from... that general direction, I think.

The next minute, nothing. Poof. Had someone konked the Mesuinu girl on the head. Oh please let it be so. Cranial trauma to Mesuinus is a good thing! It can only improve matters!

Bizarre. Argus turned to Brother Miguel, a question on his lips... only to see the priest being heaved into the air by a joyous crowd, apparently thinking that Luminosita had come to save the day. Well, good for him. But Argus still had a pressing question to ask. Thus, he turned to the random individual who happened to be standing next to him. "What the hell just happened there?"

The man, who turned out to be drunk, gave the the question some careful thought before belching loudly and passing out. Although, he did say something while comatose on the ground: "Burrrr...."

"My thoughts exactly," said Argus.

A certain religious cult elsewhere in the world would have also agreed. But never mind that. Argus wandered over to rescue Brother Miguel from the overly exuberant crowd.
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Re: Saus

Postby Graybeard » November 8th, 2008, 9:49 am

"Thanks," Brother Miguel puffed as he planted his feet back on terra firma. "They meant well, but I've got this fear of heights..."

He spoke briefly to the crowd, exhorting them to help search for survivors in the blasted buildings in the tornado's path -- maybe not the safest thing to do, but the Veracian authorities weren't showing up to do it. That was worrisome. Were they all busy with the fire that still burned on the southern horizon? He was getting a bad feeling about that, but there wasn't much he could do about it, so it was time to head back to the temple with Argus, pursued by remnants of the crowd.

Once safely inside, and away from the ears of the crowd, he again set up a damping field -- the last spellcasting he'd be able to do until morning, or at least a nap -- and said to Argus, "That was weird, seriously, big-time weird. Needless to say, I don't think that my prayer had much to do with the dissipation of that storm, although you never know. More likely it simply passed out of the range of whatever source of magical energy was powering it. I have no idea what that source was." He caught the look in Argus' eyes and said, "Scratch that. Maybe I do. But anyway, it's too late for any investigations tonight. Let's turn in and get a decent night's sleep, because we're going to have a lot on our plates tomorrow." Including checking on the Millenarian temple -- or what I suspect are its smoldering ruins. That's even more frightening than the tornado, personal survival experiences aside...
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Re: Saus

Postby Drannin » November 9th, 2008, 9:19 am

(OOC:) Can't think of anything for Argus to do. Want to skip to tomorrow morning?)
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Re: Saus

Postby Graybeard » November 9th, 2008, 10:35 am

[OOC: OK, tomorrow morning it is ... That had been my thought too, unless Kureji/Tsubasa wanted to do something. Here's some stuff to work with. /OOC:]

"Well, there is good news and bad news," Sister Hortense announced as she met Brother Miguel and Argus for the usual ascetic breakfast.

"No bad news before the oatmeal," Miguel joked. "Any word from Kiyoka?"

"Not much," Hortense said. "Sister Margaret says she has a possible lead on Father Egbert's roots. You may have seen the pictures of him and his sister Mildred as they were growing up. Those turn out to have been taken somewhere in the general direction of Lorenzel, although she's not sure where." She broke off, seeing Miguel stirring.

"Hmm ... not sure whether that's good news or bad news," Miguel said. "Weird stuff is alleged to have happened there. I'm not sure we want to go to Lorenzel without some expert help, and I don't know of any in the Church." At least none who'd admit it and help us.

"Let me work on that," Hortense said. "In other developments in Kiyoka, they're pretty sure that the battlemage's murderer is no longer in the country. They're still investigating, a couple of high-powered thaumato-sleuths have been brought in from Tsuirakushiti. I guess that's how they decided that the killer has left town, but Sister Margaret says they don't have any idea where he or she went."

"Still waiting for the good news here..."

"Oh, that's a personal thing for you," Hortense said, bearing a most un-Hortense-like smile. "The Church was most appreciative of the work you did with that strange storm last night. We've already had inquiries from at least half a dozen people wanting to know more about our temple. Word about it apparently made it all the way to Patriarch Jeramel himself. There's a small ... decoration ... waiting for you at the main temple the next time you're over there."

Miguel snorted. "Hmph. Truthfully, I don't think I had much to do with that thing dissipating. My guess is that it simply got out of range of whatever source of magical energy was driving it. I'd sort of like to know who or what that source was." He and Argus exchanged a look.

"Whatever," Hortense said. "In other good news, the warp gate is back open on at least a limited basis -- I guess that's good. And they're giving you two credit for helping re-open it. That is definitely good; those people can help you."

"Okay, that does sound good. Now what's the bad news?" Miguel had a bad feeling that he knew what it was, and the change in Hortense's expression told him he was right.

"There was a bad fire last night at the Millenarian temple," Hortense said. "The sanctuary was all but destroyed, and the genealogical collection was badly damaged. There is smoke damage in the cloister as well."

"I was afraid of that," Miguel said tightly. "There was smoke on the horizon when that storm came up, coming from that direction. Any word on casualties?"

"Two deaths. Brother Roeland, their archivist, died fighting the fire. It sounds as if a burning bookshelf slammed down and landed on him. That figures; he would defend his library to the death."

"And the other?"

"They're not sure who he is yet. He may have just been a passerby, because he was crushed under a falling wall and didn't have burns. They say he was an elderly man, maybe Farrelite; he was wearing clothes from Farrel, at least."

Miguel and Argus exchanged looks again, and then Miguel spoke. "Uh, oh ... I have a bad feeling that I know who that is."
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Re: Saus

Postby Drannin » November 9th, 2008, 6:29 pm

"Well, let's not lose hope yet," said Argus, though his voice indicated that he didn't have much hope himself. "Let's walk over there before we leave this morning; maybe something was salvageable." The looks he got showed what the others thought of that possibility. "All right, fair enough," Argus said with a sigh. "At least let an old man hope."

There was a bit of silence while the assembled thought. Argus reflected that he actually knew a couple of people who might know something about the Lorenzel excavations; old colleagues with a tast for the mysterious and foreboding. Said colleagues were currently ranked among the Bastards that Be in Argus' mind. All of a sudden, he was starting to feel the full impact of his exile. Itwas frustrating not to be able to call upon Tsuiraku's resources.

Screw it. He didn't need those scum. He'd work this out on his own. And then...

"Incidentally, was the fire accidental? Or arson?" Argus suspected that he knew the answer. There was little doubt in his mind now. Coincidences were simply piling up.

Someone was following them. And disrupting their investigation. This did amuse him.

Argus hated conspiracies. Right after Trolls and Mesuinus. He'd really have to compile a formal list one day.
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Re: Saus

Postby Graybeard » November 9th, 2008, 7:10 pm

"I don't know," Sister Hortense said, and looked like she was winding up for more, but Brother Miguel cut in. "Argus, you should see -- should have seen -- that place. The lengths they went to to fireproof it make even the Heretic Knowledge Vault pale by comparison." Speaking of which, Hortense went pale at the mention of the Heretic Knowledge Vault, but undeterred, Miguel continued, "I cannot possibly imagine an accident that would have set the genealogical archive on fire. I'd say the odds are at least 99 per cent that it was arson -- but you're right, we don't know. So let's go find out."

------------

Half an hour (plus the time to inhale a bowl of oatmeal) later, Argus and Miguel found themselves standing in front of the still-smoldering remains of the Millenarian temple. A fire line had been set up, and was manned by bored-looking guards; that the cordon was glowing red, rather than yellow, told them that the authorities had drawn the same conclusion as Miguel had. Miguel excused himself briefly and retreated to cast what Argus could recognize, by now, as his Truth spell. "Okay, let's see what we can learn," he said, leading Argus in the direction of one of the more aware-looking specimens on the fire line. "You talk to that guy, I'll listen."
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Re: Saus

Postby Drannin » November 10th, 2008, 5:07 pm

Argus walked up to the guard who looked like he had actually come from a deeper part of the local gene pool. The guard was bored enough to give Argus the rehearsed, rote response: "I'm sorry sir, but this area is currently off limits." It was said all at once, like a very dull, very long word. The drabness of the statement alone was enough to turn most people away as their brains turned to mush.

Argus, on the other hand, had learned the best way to work through the mind of a guardsman back in Tsuirakushiti. It was the same as dealing with bureacracy. You went through it without letting it know that anything had just happened.

Argus assumed the "Imperious Old Bastard" look. It was muted a little by Argus' plain clothes. On the other hand, it made him look like an official on his day off who didn't appreciate being disturbed. Then there were the eyes. As long as you got their eyes, you could be totally naked for anyone cared. It was a nasty trick Argus had learned from his own father. The original Imperious Old Bastard.

"Er... I mean... h-how can I help you, sir?" The guard's attitude had changed apruptly.

"What happened here?" asked Argus. Sometimes the IOB approach could work wonders.

"A fire, sir," replied the guard.

And sometimes plain old stupidity got in the way.

Realizing from the death-gaze leveled on him that more was expected, the guard continued. "Somehow, a section of books caught fire in the geneological section of the temple. You know how old books are; they're dry and brittle. So, soon, the whole bookshelf was ablaze, then the whole section and it spread from there. Total accident really. Unfortunate, but what can you do?"

Argus stared up at the building. "You don't get a blaze like this from a simple 'accident'. Not someplace as fireproofed as this." Argus glanced over at Miguel. Was the man being evasive, ignorant, or did he simply not care?
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