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-= Entombed In Crystal =-

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Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

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Come with me if you will; look down upon the golden roofs of Ardougne stark as building blocks in the afternoon's golden sunlight. Survey the vendors and entrepreneurs of this fast-paced metropolis: the merchants stepping energetically to the beat that outlines their lives, the nobility holding noses in the air as they strut through the packed streets. Witness a world that has not seen true magic in over a decade.
Now focus westwards.
See that castle bathed in the sun's last glow? The one that seems to scrape the pastel skies with its crenellated towers? It is commonly called the Castle of Ardougne. A mage does reside within it but public opinion has put a collar about his neck. He is a showmage: a tamed mage, used for entertainment purposes only. He is the last in a proud line of wizards and makes a mockery of their name. The time of the mage has passed, many people say, now is an age of development; an age of science; of truth. They see their magic pet and think they have conquered the mysterious, that the Wizard Wars that once ra(c)ped the countryside are a thing of the past. Little do they know that magic still runs strong in their blood; that true magic will always resurface.
Come. Let me show you.
A path of liquid gold runs out of Ardougne - a river by the name of Bax frequented by skiffs and barges seeking a profit. It flows southward but we shall work our way north, against its current. Soon the Baxtorian Falls appear below, pounding water into a fine spray fraught with rainbows. We head further north still, until even the austere walls of Barbarian Outpost fade behind us and then we are out above the sea, following the course of a narrow, rocky isthmus. A solitary lighthouse flashes by below, waves pounding incessantly against its rigid sides and then land is replaced by uninterrupted ocean in all directions, an ocean thrown into turmoil by the storms that frequent this area.

26-Jun-2008 19:20:11 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2008 17:05:00 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

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Waterbirth Island is our destination a desolate little place on which the last true mages have built a stronghold to protect humanity from their own evils. It materializes, crescent-shaped, from amongst the waves, thrusting one icy mountain defiantly up from its center at the sky. Within this mountain lie the remnants of an ancient civilization, the last defenders of a golden age. It is here, with a woman named Kaitlyn, that this story begins.
Welcome, dear reader, to Entombed In Crystal.

26-Jun-2008 19:20:19 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 19:31:37 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
-= Paraphernalia =-
Huzzah!
Qaz here under the new, snazzy pseudonym Wet Rainbow!
Don't worry, I don't expect you to remember me...it's been too long since I've written on these forums; I've been preoccupied by college lately. But I'm back for now at least, and since I saw this story sitting around on my computer I decided I had to repost it. For those who read it originally, the storyline after the prologue has been changed completely. Also the original had a few too many story lines, so those have been cut to make for a faster-paced story.
Hope you enjoy it!
Always feel free to bump, review, comment, ruminate, etc. no matter how inane your post may be.
Story Post Count: tbd

-= Reviews =-

26-Jun-2008 19:20:27 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:48:47 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
-= Praise/Quotes/Reviews =-
Authors of Gielnor: 298/300

~*~*Entombed in Crystal, third best story -- Story Awards 2007*~*~

-= Signature Stuff =-
Diamond Pen of the Authors of Gielnor



And now, to the story!

26-Jun-2008 19:20:32 - Last edited on 09-Jul-2008 17:56:19 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
CHAPTER 1: THE PRISONER
The portal stood before Kaitlyn, black and foreboding. Looking into it was like peering into deep water on a sunny day: shafts of flickering light thrown by nearby torches sank into its crystal depths and lent the doorway a mysterious depth. Upon the surface the ghost of a reflection rested, Kaitlyn’s deep blue eyes stared back at her above the neck of her worn blue mage robes, her black hair falling raggedly down past her shoulders. To the untrained individual the portal seemed to be a portion of the wall somehow transmogrified into crystal, a decoration perhaps. A wizard, however, could sense its pull; sense the way it drew magic into itself like a magnet. Kaitlyn pressed a finger against a hairline crack in the portal’s surface and felt it freeze her flesh. When she retracted her hand a crystalline fingerprint marked where her touch had been.
A frantic giggle broke loose from between her lips. Here she had been, guarding this portal for - what? Six or seven years? - and she did*’t even know what lay beyond it. The wizards that had assigned her and five other novices the duty of guarding this door had all died long ago in the last purges of the Wizard Wars. None of them had bothered to pass information on.
Several years ago Marlim, one of the more adept mages in their group, had attempted to probe past the portal with magic only to discover a large room beyond, a room walled with crystal and thus one in which magic would not work. The portal seemed the only way in and no one dared to open it.
Seven years…
Kaitlyn did*’t even realize her giggles had turned to sobs until Derry, who had been sitting and practicing simple mage exercises behind her, rose and put his hand on her shoulder.
“What’s wrong?” he whispered.
She raised one of her hands to touch his and shook her head, tears trickling down her face.

26-Jun-2008 19:20:36 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:12:45 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

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“I don’t know. It’s just -" It's just that every day these hallways seem a little narrower, she wanted to say. It’s just that I’ve been having nightmares whenever I sleep, that Xan doesn’t talk anymore, that there are cracks in the portal, that I haven’t seen the sun in weeks. It’s getting to all of us Derry, this constant confinement. It*s getting to you, too, even if you refuse to admit it. *It** just we’ve been here so long,” she finished weakly, “I don’t think we’re ever going to leave.”
“Oh, come now. Don’t be so pessimistic.” Derry led her to one of the seats that lined the edges of the room and took another seat for himself, across a bleak wooden table from her. At the edge of her vision she could still see the portal, a gaping black mouth in the wall. “Gloom makes doom you know. Look on the bright side, we have a wonderful Island all to ourselves.” His hazel eyes shone gaily opposite hers, his black moustache twitched as he talked. Crimson robes hung lazily from his figure and every once in a while Derry reached up to finger the black beard he had been growing for the past year. “You know,” he glanced about, “if we were to add a few decorations, maybe tweak the weather a bit, we could turn this place into a tourist attraction.”
How can you be so cheerful? Kaitlyn wondered. We’ve had no outside communication for over a year. For all we know, we could be the last wizards in Runescape.
Derry saw his approach wasn’t working and quickly changed tactics. “Here, watch this,” he whispered conspiratorially and cupped his hands on the table. Kaitlyn couldn’t help looking. The flame of a nearby torch bent towards them as Derry drew energy from it and focused it between his fingers. For a few seconds an orb of light shone within his hands as Derry wove the energy into a complex configuration, then the orb died and a second later a miniature man clad in white armor climbed over his fingers and leapt onto the table.

26-Jun-2008 19:20:41 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:23:40 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
He glanced about, rubbing the side of his helm with one gauntleted fist in confusion. Then he spied Kaitlyn and quickly dropped into a bow. “Greetings madam,” he squeaked, doffing his helm. “Do you happen to know where I am?”
“Derry, I don’t have time for this,” Kaitlyn said, wiping her face.
“Derry?” piped the knight. “Who’s Derry?”
He looked behind him and appeared to jump backwards in fright as he saw the giant man in crimson robes looming above the lip of the table. He soon regained his posture, though, and turned back to Kaitlyn.
(cen)"Ma’am, is this brute bothering you? Give me the word and he’ll face the wrath of Robert the Fearless.” He drew a toothpick of a sword from a sheath at his side and tried to shake it menacingly at Derry.
Kaitlyn smiled. “I give you the word, Robert.”
The knight instantly jumped into action, side-stepping across the table before Derry and brandishing his sword. “Draw your weapon, mister. Stand and have at it,” he shrilled. Derry raised a hand above the table and the knight watched it, growling ferociously. “He’s bigger than I took him to be, m’lady!” the knight called over his shoulder just as Derry’s hand came down upon him with a snap. A few streamers of what looked like thick steam issued from between Derry’s fingers and when he raised his hand again the table beneath it was empty.
Derry chuckled. “Turning my own man against me. Not a very ladylike thing to do I’d say.”
“After so many years imprisoned in this island I feel more criminal than lady, Derry.”
“Well, it seems I’ve put a smile on the criminal’s face at least,” Derry leaned back in his chair and drew from the torch once more to form three glowing red spheres between his hands, “I’ve heard the Al Kharidians consider that quite a feat.” Slowly the spheres began to revolve about an invisible axis.

26-Jun-2008 19:20:46 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:24:11 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
“Watch this,” he said again, and twitched his moustache as he focused his attention on the magic. The spheres sped up, reached the point where they formed a blurry red circle, and then, one by one, each dipped into the center of the circle to rejoin it on the other side.
“Derry,” Kaitlyn said.
He did*’t seem to hear her. Instead, Derry stuck out his tongue, his face a portrait of deep concentration, and suddenly the three balls were each following their own orbit, whizzing past each other in gyroscopic succession. Some of them were also changing color now.
“Derry,” Kaitlyn said again and when he did*’t respond she stuck her hand into the middle of the speeding spheres. Within the blink of an eye, the spheres’ orbits broke and they spun off into the room, dissolving amongst its flickering shadows. Derry sat, blinking, then he shook his head.
“Very unladylike,” he murmured.
Kaitlyn ignored this. “Derry, I’ve been meaning to ask you. What do you think lies beyond the portal? I mean, you haven’t really been clear about your opinions during the meetings.”
“Well…” he scratched apprehensively at his beard. “So you really want to know?” Something flashed into Derry’s eyes: a hunted look. It is getting to him, Kaitlyn knew now, he uses his humor and magic to cover it up.
“Yes, I do.”
Derry’s face grew grave and he leaned forward again in his seat. “Alright, here’s my take on it then. Back a decade ago or so the wizards from the Magic Guild got together to build this chamber, right? They chose this completely isolated island on which to build a room with crystal walls that must have cost as much as a good-sized city. Furthermore, they send mages out to guard this room. Mages! I mean they could have hired ordinary guards or something unless whatever is in there is something magic. We have been positioned here, I suspect, to make sure whatever is in there never escapes. Or to stop it if it does.”

26-Jun-2008 19:20:52 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:14:34 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
“And the cracks…” Kaitlyn whispered.
Those spiderweb cracks across the portal’s surface had been spreading over the last year and no one knew how to stop them.
“…might be something finally breaking out,” Derry continued, “or just the portal aging. I don’t know,” he added, throwing up his hands. “I’m no expert on portals, it could be anything.”
Kaitlyn stared at the table. Everything in this place is so bleak, she thought, it** as though the mages wanted to break down our sanity. “So you’re trying to say something’s managed to stay alive inside that gateway for over a decade?”
“I don’t know,” Derry ran his fingers through his thick hair. “I can’t think of anything that would be able to.” He stood up and walked over to the portal to run a finger across a fracture. When he turned back around his voice had taken on a firm tone. “No,” he said, “just forget it. Nothing could live entombed in crystal for over ten years. Nothing. The mages obviously wanted something hidden, some magical item I’d guess.” A smile crawled once more onto his features. “Or maybe some dirty magazines. Those would certainly tarnish the mage reputation if they got out, eh?”
Kaitlyn forced her lips into a smile. “I guess.”
“Come, let’s see what the others are up to,” Derry suggested, “maybe they’ve found something worthwhile to do.”
Kaitlyn left her seat and followed Derry towards one of the portal chamber’s regular doorways only to stop beneath its arch. For a second there she had had the peculiar sensation of being watched. She spun around to find the room empty behind her. The seats and tables were cobwebbed in shadow now and the portal stood ominously in one wall, a faint glow from the torches frozen within its onyx depths. Could it have been…

26-Jun-2008 19:20:59 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:14:54 by Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Wet Rainbow

Posts: 786Gold Posts by user Forum Profile RuneMetrics Profile
No, Kaitlyn reprimanded herself, Derry is making you see imps in the woodpile. Doors cannot watch you and if there ever was anything alive inside the portal only bones remain now. Nevertheless, before leaving the room Kaitlyn fingered the small pouch of runes that hung at her side, just in case.
In the flickering light that bathed the empty room one could almost see the cracks spreading across the portal.
~~~

26-Jun-2008 19:21:04 - Last edited on 26-Jun-2008 21:15:17 by Wet Rainbow

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