By Xullrae Zauvir
Chapter 1 - Meetings and Acquaintances (part 9)
Ere Horock's first footfall even landed upon the stoop leading up to the Inn, within seconds after the battle ended, time had come to a screeching halt. All but the Malaugrym now suspended unknowingly in between the moments of reality. With a casual of manner as usual, the human mage strode out from his second story window, walking steadily upon the air, coming to levitate above the throng of drow that had gathered in the street below. After gazing upon them all thoughtfully for an indeterminate amount of time, he slowly turned about, heading back towards the inn. He offered the disguised Malaugrym a brief glance in the doing, and a few simple words, which he knew the Malaugrym would get the point of quite well, and perhaps cooperate in the matter without argument. A wise man would deem it best to leave no witnesses..."
If only it were that easy, the Malaugrym thought. He knew while the spell wouldn't last long, he'd get his own two cents in on the matter, and show his distaste in the situation. "You are indeed correct.. however.. I'm sure you're capable of doing your own dirty work." His tone, could only be described as spiteful, though he knew fully not why. "I'd much rather deal with chaos, I find it.. peaceful.." He knew for sure the human wasn't letting on to everything he had knowledge of, and didn't like that one bit, now even a newer question came to mind. Why he wouldn't do all this himself, was it a test, to see how easily controlled the Malaugrym could be. Pride, arrogance.. call it what you will, but simply being told what to do by this bald headed individual, caused him to totally shut the idea out.
Before turning to face the Malaugrym once more, those oak-brown orbs did roll within their sockets, the frown accompanying the action showing to those who would have been able to see that he was frustrated by the questioning, despite having half expected it. The frown remained as he turned to reply, though it softened quickly enough as said reply was given. "Yes, I am quite capable of doing my own dirty work. However, I would take no pleasure in it. In contrast, if you are like the remainder of your people, you would indeed enjoy such a thing. Apparently, though, your dislike of me, or my 'request', is greater than your inborn, infernal urges."
He pauses for a moment, stepping closer to the Malaugrym. "Fine then, if I need to ask politely, I will." There was some sense of sincerity to his next words, dry and near mocking as they were, "oh grand, exalted archwizard, wouldst thou take it upon thyself to benefit us all by eliminating said witnesses in the street below?" His frown came to bear once again, as he too realized this spell would not last overly long.
"I will make it worth your while, if indeed I must pay for your services." He adds in grudgingly.
"You've caught me in a generous moment, human." The destruction of masses was a favorable pastime for him indeed. While his tone held emotion, his face was a slate of stone, even after he muttered what he knew about him, he didn't figure his true nature would take long to get around, but this one had more connection, and could even possibly ruin his future plans if he didn't show at least a bit of cooperation. "We will discuss payment at a later date." With that said, ebony digits splayed and arm extended at a downward angle, the few arcane gestures were unique, even to an adapt spell-caster, this was more of a custom fit. Something special the Malaugrym brewed for said occasions. "Now if you wish, sit back and enjoy the brief, yet pleasurable show."
The spell took a moment to stir, an eye of swirling ebony in the very center, consuming a few of the frozen Drow.
Once the time stop wore off, a sudden shockwave like effect would take place, mental borders were placed, to take out only a certain area, regardless.. anything caught in the inky substance was to be disintegrated on contact, as per the spell, flesh, muscle and finally bone, truthfully, all that was left were bits of dust here and there.
Nodding once after taking what mental notes he could of the Malaugrym's spell, Cogliostro turned casually back towards the Inn, the frown being replaced by the slightest of triumphant, knowing smiles, yet a tinge of remorse held within as well. "Aye, much later, if indeed the Conclave simply imprisons you rather than destroys you. My thanks for being the 'patsy'." That said, he sent out a mental summons to certain personages of the city.
"You could only hope, human. I have far more pull then you may have allowed yourself to believe." There was a slight -hmph- afterwards, he didn't worry much about the conclave, after his last little run in with imprisonment, he had taken precautions to prevent it, not to mention, certain attempts to see his being were distorted during the time of casting, especially those magical means of scrying. A simple shake of his head had been taken. "Do not underestimate what I can do, or will do, at my own convenience." Of course, Cogliostro was probably out of sight after his last sentence, his attention was set on the screaming form, coming from within the Inn, the half-dragon or what not, he wasn't totally sure, but after what the shadow demon spoke, he knew who it was, just not exactly what it was.
Now with the Time Stop released the Malaugrym's mighty magics came to fruition. The drow citizen's indeed unable to bear any witness to the recent events in the wake of the spell. However, there were now a few witnesses who happened to farscry the elimination of said citizens, and perhaps the one who carried the task out, if he had not counted on the human's double dealing.
The world was bustling with activity anew, Horock's foot finally coming to rest upon the lowest step of the Inn, just as the mystical conflagration instantaneously engulfed the street behind him.
Drazoul went to retrieve his daggers. He did not like the fact the demon did not finish them off or the other way around now he would have to sleep with one eye open? perhaps two then, since he already slept with one open.
Stomping into the inn, Horock looked around, his blue eyes furious, for the one person whom he figured had brought that demon down on himself and his friend. Looking around, he begins calling for Cogliostro, in a manner that almost seems to be of a drunken manner, although any close observer could tell that all it really was rage. "COGLIOSTRO!!! COGLIOSTRO!!! GOD DAMN IT!!! WHERE THE HELL ARE YOU!!! I demand to speak with you, RIGHT NOW!!!!" He begins to walk up to the area where they had all that pleasant little party with him just minutes ago. He was pissed, and he had no idea what he would do if he found Cogliostro, but he wanted to at least show his displeasure, even if it wasn't all that civil.
Xull'rae all but disappeared from the scene, somehow unnoticed to anyone's eye except Vesz'aun's. She had gone back in the inn..not to pester the human..rather to forsee that Horock didn't get himself killed.
After Drazoul retrieved his daggers he went to retrieve his hollering friend. He grinned, that perhaps the demon still lived and hunted him but was it so different from a mad snake cleric?
Sighing inwardly, still hovering just outside the Inn, Cogliostro takes in both Horock's rants, and the Malaugrym's words. All that is offered to the Malaugrym is a simple shrugging of his shoulders and an offhanded reply. "Well, can't blame a fellow for trying to take some small advantage of the situation." Phasing through the windows of the second floor, where said deck, and the screaming Horock, now resided, he called back to the Malaugrym once again. "Join me for a repast if you like. I find it prudent to know my enemies well, how better to go about it than simple conversation."
Just as the Malaugrym had questions of the human, so too did the human. Wondering certain things about the Malaugrym. Of course, he'd already taken advantage of certain resources and done some small research on the creature of shadow, but he had not the time nor inkling to repeat such measures in order to find out the rest. Footfalls coming softly upon the deck now, he strode forward gracefully as ever, regarding the screaming Horock with an even toned visage. "Yes, Saer Horock? What may I do for you, that I may stop your incessant ranting without the use of force? For I do so abhor violence."
Seeing the man float through the window, Horock still fuming, walks up to him, barely able to control his temper. "Why did you put that Demon on me? It is not like I don't have enough to worry about as it is..." he says through gritted teeth. "Now you do know what I am made of. So, what was the point of doing that, besides bringing my powers out into the open?" He didn't appear to be too upset, but he wasn't through yet. "And, what do you mean you abhor violence?"
At that moment Drazoul finally makes it inside the inn and sees the human and Horock talking. He decided to take a seat beside them and play negotiator if things get tough.
An amused, yet somehow polite smile creases Cogliostro's face. "Saer Horock, you make assumptions of me that simply hold no weight. That fiasco had nothing to do with me nor my machinations. But I've known what you were made of from the moment I met you, but felt it prudent that I not be the one to reveal such secrets to others." Now he simply walked past the drow male, heading casually for his favorite table. "By the way, what is so unbelievable about the fact that I do not like violence? Have I committed any in your presence thus far? No, if I recall correctly. I've tossed about a promise of retribution a time or three, but I'm all talk, really." He seemed slightly offended.
"Was it not you who put that demon on myself and Draz?" Horock was much calmer now, but he was still seething. He did not want to die, however, so he continued to keep his temper in check.
"I doubt it," came Xull'rae's voice from the corner. Her shrouded form blending in with the dull lighting and shadows.
Cogliostro glanced at the drowess at this time, a single brow arched in her direction. "I'm sorry, female, what was that?" Female was said in a rather derogatory manner.
Xull'rae continued, "why would he send a demon after you when he has a position in this city and knows its tight rules of no fighting?" Her hooded gaze looked over them both, a long uncomfortable stare.
"Exactly. Forgive my slight transgression, Xull'rae. Cogliostro apologized, looking slightly embarrassed he spoke too hastily. Using her name respectfully as he never used it before.
Xull'rae once again continued ignoring the human for now. "He'd be endangering his position here and would be a lot less in the ways of employees..he's ugly but not stupid.."
Drazoul sat there quietly and listened intently to all the conversations. He did not fully believe the human did not send the demon but he believed the human had not sent it for a malicious intent if that were the case would they not be dead?
Grumbling, more to himself then anybody, Horock walks away heading out and down, once again back to the outside "My ass you abhor violence..You are such a dick head, and I am surprised someone has not cut your throat long ago..."
"My guess new recruit is that whatever you mentioned that has been hunting you is now on the trail again...think about it..." Came the Drowess' voice, meant to reach Horock's ears.
Drazoul turns to see Horock leaving and decides to let him blow some steam on his own. He decided to stay and listen to the human and the drowess talk and see what he learns unless he is told to leave.
Horock stops upon hearing Xull'rae, and agrees out of respect, "yes, I suppose you are right. Keeping his tone respectful with effort he addresses the mage. "Well, master, Cogliostro, if you would excuse me, I have an appointment with someone back at the tower that I must not break. I suppose I will see you both around. Good bye for now.."
Cogliostro's smile broadens as he watches Horock leave, and replies to his muttered comment, "actually, my throat has been cut out before, though I can't imagine why. Good journey to you." He could scarcely contain a chuckle. "And please do heed the drowess' current wisdoms."
Xull'rae finally responds to Cogliostro, "as for you human do watch your tone..I have done nothing to you yet, for this unwanted frustration you are throwing at me..so please at least act like the gentleman you are posing as and stop it." Her tone was neutral ..she wasn't picking a fight for once, but her temper didn't need to flare because everyone else's was. She did hear his apology and without saying so directly she accepted it, by not snapping at him.
Drazoul grins at the drowess remark, the remark answered all his questions and thinks to himself, there's no way my family would employ a demon they are nobles not dark clerics they would send one such as I. He gets up still silent, nods to his remaining 'companions' and then heads upstairs for some rest.
Cogliostro nods to the disguised Yuan-ti and then replies to Xull'rae, "Oh, my posing as a gentleman is that obvious, eh?" The humored smile is offered then to the drowess. "I'll be sure to work on that, then."
Xull'rae snorted, "oh yes...obvious indeed.." She turns to dismiss him for a change and leaves him to his musings as she leaves the inn.
Taking up a glass which had been brought to the table, he raises it to her in salute as she departs, allowing a short chuckle to escape. Despite the headaches he knew this female would bring him in future, he did admire and enjoy certain things about her. So he drank to her coming prosperity and his possible doom.
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