It is currently Tue Oct 23, 2018 9:44 pm

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]




Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 
Author Message
PostPosted: Mon Jan 06, 2014 11:38 am 
Offline
Member

Joined: Sep 22, 2013
Posts: 888
Kiss of the Shorecerers
by RavenoftheBlack
Status: Public :diamond:


For only the second time in his life, Denner Febellian wished he lacked the knowledge he had just gained. Throughout his entire life, even before his spark had ignited and he learned to ‘walk the infinite planes, Denner’s singular, defining goal had been the pursuit of knowledge. For the vast majority of that time, his hunger for information and understanding had been so much a part of him that the thought of giving up any obtained knowledge would have been abhorrent. Now, though, he had experienced that impulse twice, and he did not like it.



The first, of course, had been his unspeakable heartbreak in the deserts of Carghora. Denner’s mind was like a vast tome whose pages could be neither altered nor removed, and so his encounter with the vicious Djinn was an event he could never forget, no matter how much he wished he could. After leaving that damnable plane, he had wandered for a time, trying to come to terms with everything that had happened. He couldn’t. Everything Denner Fabellian had ever seen or experienced was retained in perfect precision in his magnificent, miserable mind, and there was nothing he could do about it. Finally, Denner decided that there was only one place where he might find solace, a place he had not visited since the first time he ‘walked. With a heavy heart and a tormented mind, Denner Fabellian ‘walked home.



The island of Sula was cold, far colder than Denner had ever remembered it. As Denner stepped from the Blind Eternities into the edge of his home village of Saport, he could not believe his eyes. Had his mind not been the infallible catalog that it was, he would have been sure he had ‘walked to the wrong plane. The entire village, and everything for as far as he could see, was covered in thick, heavy snow. Denner Fabellian had never even seen snow before he had first planeswalked. In his entire life, it had never snowed on Sula, but now, it seemed that was all there was. The houses and the buildings still stood, and in what seemed to be the same places, but this was a completely different Saport than he had ever seen before, a much, much worse one.



Saport sat on the southern end of the island, and from the overlook there was a beautiful view of the vast ocean around them. Denner Fabellian, cold and confused, made his way toward the overlook as soon as he noticed a gathering of people there. They were huddled together for warmth and comfort, and were gazing with a palpable longing out to sea. Denner hurried to join them, noting with sunken eyes the heavy furs wrapped around their frames, bracing them from the freezing wind oppressing them.



As Denner approached, one of the figures turned and spotted him, his mouth hanging open in shock. “Denner? Denner, is that really you?”



Denner allowed himself a mournful smile at Saker Nomius, perhaps Denner’s oldest and truest friend. “Yes, Saker, it’s me.”



The others around his old friend also turned to stare at the returning son of Saport. Denner, of course, remembered each of them, as he always would. Bellus, Tesevian, Alis Fortium, Quortius Yaxian and several others crowded around him, even offering him an extra fur to ward off the cold. When everyone had calmed down enough, Saker finally spoke again, his expression merging confusion, relief and sorrow all in one.



“Denner, where have you been? We thought you died in that fire years ago!”



The planeswalker nodded solemnly. That mysterious fire in the great library so many years ago had been the source of ignition for his Spark, and had carried him away to worlds the others could only dream about. His insatiable lust for knowledge had kept him away from his home ever since, wondering only occasionally what had become of his former friends.



“I thought I was going to,” Denner began, then wondered how he could explain what had happened to him since. “I still don’t quite know what happened, but I believe I was saved by the gods.” This drew a host of murmurs from the gathered crowd. “In any case, I have been wandering ever since.”



“A fine time you’ve chosen to return,” added old, wise Bellus through chattering teeth.



Denner nodded. “I see that. What’s happened here? It’s as though the whole town has been destroyed.”



“Not destroyed,” corrected Saker, “though it may as well have been. Many of us are still here.”



“For the time being, anyway,” said Alis Fortium with a sharp bitterness. He looked out over the ocean before he continued. “There are those of us who are considering leaving.”



“Leaving Saport?” Denner asked. “But to where?”



“Where indeed,” Tesevian contributed. “It is not only Saport trapped in the curse of the White Blight. All of Sula has been affected. The small villages, like Aphice, are likely completely buried. But even the large cities like Krato and Volgra have been utterly transformed. There is nowhere to go.”



“Nowhere on Sula,” chided Quortius. “We could always leave this island.”



“And find what,” Saker asked, clearly continuing an argument these men had had before. “How many of us will die or be lost at sea before we find a new home.”



Bellus shook his head. “There are countless islands out there. I have seen them. Sula is all but lost, my friend. We must believe that our salvation lies across the vast oceans.”



Denner Fabellian could not believe his ears. Never in his life had anyone from the village ever considered leaving the island, at least not permanently. “But what caused this ‘White Blight?’ There must be a reason.”



The others all nodded, but said nothing, instead turning away from the sea as one to look northward. Denner followed their gaze, but he didn’t need to. He knew immediately what they were saying. Although they could not see it from the southern town of Saport, they were looking in the direction of the massive Ivory Tower, which stood on the northern coast of Sula. It was there that the wizards who controlled and ruled the entire island dwelled, rarely if ever coming down to see the people or the lands they owned. They were mages of frightening power, and even a planeswalker like Denner Fabellian had cause to fear them.



“The Shorecerers?” He asked.



They all nodded sadly. “Of course, the Shorecerers,” Saker said. “They rule the island, they do what they wish, because they can, and they know we can’t stop them.”



“Hasn’t anyone gone to speak with them?”



The others laughed heartily. “You have been gone a long time, haven’t you, Denner?” asked Bellus as he continued to chuckle.



Saker agreed. “You know the Shorecerers never see anyone. They stay in their tower and they do as they will.”



Denner shook his head, disbelieving. “But what about the old Sulan Forum? It was built for the sole reason of allowing us to gather, to speak. Surely, if we met there, we could…”



“Denner, Denner,” interrupted Saker. “It’s no good. The old Forum is in ruins, it’s lost to us now.” He motioned all around them. “This is all we have now, and for an increasing number of us, it’s not enough.”



Denner resisted the urge to collapse into despair. He had not returned home just to lose it, but it seemed that was precisely what was happening. He searched quickly through the information stored away in his incredible mind, trying to think of anything and everything he had ever known about the Shorecerers, but there was nothing that seemed like it would help. The wizards had been living on the coast since before Sula had been formed, and only ever came down from their massive tower on a rare whim. Only one had been seen on the island during Denner’s life, and even he was cast out of the Shorecerers shortly thereafter for reasons no one could fathom. The wizards did things that few others could hope to understand, and more than once they nearly destroyed the entire island, but despite the unrest such activities caused, things usually continued more or less normally. This time, clearly, was different.



“I’ll go to them,” Denner said finally. “I will find out what is going on.”



Again, though, the others laughed. Most of them began to move away after a few moments, but Saker came in close. “Don’t be a fool, Denner. The Shorecerers are too powerful, and they care nothing for us. Come with us. We will find another place, free of the White Blight, free of the wizards. Free.”



Denner nodded absently for a few seconds, but it slowly changed into shaking. “No. I never realized how much I cared about this place until I saw it like this.” He looked around again, everything covered in eye-piercing white snow and death. He did not understand why something like this had been done, and nothing bothered Denner Fabellian more than a problem he did not understand. “I have to go.”



Saker Nomius started to speak, but thought better of it. With a sympathetic expression, he merely laid a hand on his old friend’s shoulder, patted it three times, and then turned away to stare across the sea. Denner stood there for several minutes, but Saker never turned back. He was lost in thought and in hope. The biting cold seemed to intensify with each passing moment, the wind lifting some of the loose snow off the ground and hurling it through the air like knives of ice. Finally, and without another word, Denner Fabellian turned and left Saport, buried increasingly under the harsh White Blight of snow.



Denner’s journey northward through the now frost-laden island of Sula was long and miserable. Growing up, the trip across the island would take little more than a day, back when the island was bathed in the perpetual summer of a tropical climate. Now, however, each step was laborious, trudging through the deep snow and blistering wind of this unnatural winter. The land was sparse, and therefore provided little cover against the blizzard that had settled over Sula. Had it not been for the extensive magicks Denner had learned in his travels, he likely would not have made it. Even as it was, the trek took four days, and Denner finally arrived at the Ivory Tower, cold, hungry and in a decidedly poor mood.



The Ivory Tower itself was much the same as Denner remembered it, though the swirling snow and ice made it seem as foreign as the rest of the island. Everyone on the island would come see the Tower from time to time. The unparalleled genius of its design was unlike anything they knew on the island. Truthfully, it was unlike anything Denner had encountered all throughout his travels. Massive, waved, vertical lines dominated the design, and they merged and separated in impossible and subtle ways the likes of which only a mind like Denner’s could fully appreciate. As a child, he had wondered if the whole thing had been crafted by unworldly hands. Now that he stood there staring at the tower once more, having seen unworldly hands with his own eyes, he was suddenly sure of it.



Denner wondered then how he was going to get inside. The Ivory Tower had no apparent entrance, and only the Shorecerers themselves had ever been allowed inside before. The cold and the blinding glare of the White Blight seemed to intensify as he approached his destination. His mind worked without rest, sorting through his vast catalog of spells and solutions for any way to access the tower’s internal chambers. No answer had presented itself by the time he reached the base of the tower. By the time he had circled the tower once, he was shivering constantly from the cold. Before his second pass, his fingers and toes were numb, and there was still no solution. He was only halfway through his third time around before he realized he could barely move. He had only a few seconds to recognize the eldritch tinge to the cold and realize he had fallen victim to perhaps the simplest of traps before he froze completely, body and mind. Then he knew nothing.



* * *


When consciousness returned to Denner Fabellian, he found himself in the center of a darkened room, his arms shackled to the ground by glowing chains. Immediately, he tried to planeswalk, but the chains seemed to restrain his power, and nothing happened. As he tried, however, the room began to illuminate, or at least the large balconied area above him. Denner became aware of the presence of others, and it was not long before faceless figures began to appear, glaring over the ornamental railing at the helpless planeswalker below them. Denner again tried to struggle against the chains, but they would not give.



For several long, tenuous minutes, the figures stared downward. Each of them wore featureless masks, and the only sound Denner could hear were those he made as he occasionally pulled on the shackles. The air seemed thick in the cavernous room, though it was also noticeably warmer than it had been outside. The fur Denner had been wearing was missing, but the rest of his clothes remained, just as they had been before he had returned to Saport. Although Denner feared for what was about to come, his cold, objective mind was reeling at the possibility to learn something that few others in the Multiverse knew.



Finally, one of the figures broke the silence, although it was impossible to discern which one spoke. “Denner Fabellian.”



“Yes,” Denner replied with confidence.



“Be silent,” added another voice.



“That was no question,” came a third.



“We have known for some time who and what you are.”



It seemed as though each time they spoke, it was a different voice, and none of them seemed to emanate from any specific direction.



Denner sighed sharply. “If you know who I am, then why not tell me who you are?”



“We are not so foolish,” began one voice.



“As to believe you are such a fool,” another one finished.



“You know well who we are.”



Denner nodded. “I presume you are the Shorecerers.”



“A crass name.”



“One we do not use ourselves.”



“Though you may refer to us as such.”



“If you must.”



Already, this multitude of voices was becoming irritating to Denner. “Very well, then. I know who you are and you know who I am. Why don’t we move on to why I am here?”



“Why, indeed.”



“Yes, Denner Fabellian, why have you invaded our Tower?”



“Invaded your Tower?” Denner exclaimed. “You brought me in here! The last thing I remember was walking around outside, looking for an entrance.”



“So you admit your attempt to invade the Tower?”



“He admits it!”



“Why did you invade?”



The voices seemed to be coming faster now, which made them all the bigger nuisance. “You abducted me! The people of Sula have been coming to see the Tower for generations! You’ve never imprisoned them before.”



“Do not play games, Denner Fabellian.”



“We know you are different from them.”



“We know what you are.”



“We know what your kind is after.”



Denner furrowed his brow. “My kind? What are you talking about.”



“You will not fool us.”



“Do not even try.”



“We know of the Meanderers.”



“Those who wander the worlds.”



“And we have known you were one of them for a very long time.”



“Longer than you have known.”



This confused Denner even more. “How could you have known? I didn’t even know anything about that until the first time, until that fire in the…” he stopped suddenly, realization creeping into his mind. When it did, he tried to surge forward, but the chains held him fast. “You started that fire in the library! You tried to kill me!”



There was silence in the room. None of the voices sounded. Denner had no idea whether it was out of guilt for the attempted murder, or amusement over his predicament. “Why have you done this?”



After another brief hesitation, the voices began again. “We have known your kind.”



“The Meanderers have come to us before.”



“Only two have been kind.”



“Only two can be trusted.”



“All others offer only destruction.”



“All others seek only power.”



“They have tried to rule us.”



“They have tried to take the Tower.”



Denner simply shook his head. “This doesn’t make any sense! I wasn’t a ‘walker, a ‘Meanderer,’ when the library went up in flames! I was no threat to you, I wanted nothing to do with you!”



“Didn’t you?”



“Weren’t you?”



“We knew what you would become.”



“We suspected from your birth.”



“The omens were clear.”



“And as you grew, the signs became clearer.”



“You had to be stopped.”



“Before you could become dangerous.”



“Like the rest of the Meanderers.”



Even Denner Fabellian’s incredible mind was racing to understand the full implications of the Shorecerers’ words. He wanted to learn whatever he could about these wizards and their mad schemes before he broke free of their grasp, however he was going to accomplish that, but he also could not forget his purpose in coming there in the first place.



“Very well, Shorecerers,” Denner began. “You have me now. There is no further need for the White Blight. I will cooperate with you, just return Sula to the way it was.”



“You are insolent.”



“And prideful.”



“The island’s metamorphosis has nothing to do with you.”



“We have changed it.”



“To a more perfect state.”



Denner was growing angry now, though of course there was nothing he could do about it. “This is not ‘more perfect!’ This is horrible! You have turned our home into a wasteland!”



“None who lived here had ever seen snow.”



“Or ice.”



“Their perceptions were incomplete.”



“A mind such as yours should appreciate our blessing.”



“This is no blessing to Sula,” Denner pleaded. “Can’t you see that? What about the farmland? People need to grow crops to live.”



“You are deceitful.”



“None within this Tower have ever grown crops.”



“And yet we live.”



“Your reason is flawed.”



“Perhaps Denner Fabellian is mad?”



“A mad mind with a Meanderer’s power.”



“Dangerous.”



“He must not be allowed to leave.”



Once again, Denner could not believe what he was hearing. “Do you have any idea what you have done to this island? People will leave in droves! You will kill this entire place!”



“Be silent.”



“This is our island.”



“It is no longer yours.”



“We will alter it according to our whims.”



“Not to your desires.”



“Meanderers are not welcome here.”



“The White Blessing will remain.”



Denner pulled as hard as he could at the chains, but he lacked the strength to pry them free. “You can’t do this!”



“Denner Fabellian,”



“You have been found guilty.”



Denner spat on the floor and screamed. The Shorecerers stopped for a moment and stared at their captive. “Guilty of what?” He challenged loudly.



There was another moment of silence, and a chill ran down Denner’s spine as it almost seemed like the faceless masks smiled.



“Does it matter?”



Denner tried to speak again, but the voices of the Shorecerers stopped him, speaking together, and all at once.



“Be Silent!”



Denner felt himself gripped by the throat by a magical force, and although he tried to give a defiant yell, no words came forth. He tried to speak more calmly, but still nothing. He immediately attempted to ‘walk away from Sula and this cursed Ivory Tower, but again nothing happened. The mocking laughter from those masked frames above him started to fade as each Shorecerer, one by one, turned away and left the room above. In the pit below, Denner quickly scanned the walls and the floor for some sort of exit, but there was none. The wall was seamless obsidian, the floor solid and the balcony above too high to reach. After everything that had happened on Carghora with Dmana, and everything he had seen of his former home, he could simply stand it no longer. As the last of the wizards above him exited, he slumped to the floor, and in moments, darkness fell on the powerless, voiceless and silently weeping Denner Fabellian.



Like this post
Top
 Profile  
 
Display posts from previous:  Sort by  
Post new topic Reply to topic  [ 1 post ] 

All times are UTC - 6 hours [ DST ]


Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest


You cannot post new topics in this forum
You cannot reply to topics in this forum
You cannot edit your posts in this forum
You cannot delete your posts in this forum
You cannot post attachments in this forum

Jump to:  
Powered by phpBB® Forum Software © phpBB Group