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The Rogue and the Sorceress

The Rogue and the Sorceress

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A 1x1 between RurouniBishi and WendyDarling

768 readers have visited The Rogue and the Sorceress since RurouniBishi created it.

Introduction

A rogue Elemental and a sorceress who wants to use her dark powers for good are hired by a seemingly good man. They are sent out to retrieve the magical artifact that will save the world. Only things aren't quite as they seem and when they do get it back, they find that the man isn't who he says he is. Now the rogue and the sorceress must travel the world and save the day, in order to stop the entire world from exploding.

Some of it on the other hand...

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Isidore swayed in her seat, but quickly righted herself. "Another bottle of rum, my good man," she called out. Her seat wasn't a conventional one, precisely. It was the lap of a husky blonde city guard, similarly intoxicated, who had his head in her long red hair.

"You're very pretty," he slurred into her ear.

She laughed, responding, "Yes, I am." Her bottle of rum was presented on the counter and she threw a few pieces of gold at the barkeep, hoping that was the correct amount. He didn't know her family name, so it was likely he'd complain if she shorted him. "More rum!" she cheered, and took a long swig, offering some to her companion who took some with gratitude. To her right and left were more city guards, equally if not more drunk, cheering along with her and drinking their own bottles. She loved city guards. The contrast between the upstanding and strict citizens they were during the day versus how wild they often got in their off hours made for some fun adventures, and it never hurt to be on their good side.

The mirror in her pocket turned cold, tingling against her skin. Once she could find her pocket, she stood up out of his lap with some assistance from his friends. "I have to go outside for a minute."

"Don't take long!" Another guard yelled, laughing. "The night is still young!"

Outside, the bracing wind sobered her slightly and a quickly muttered spell unfortunately rid her of some of the effects of the alcohol. Taking out the small mirror, she straightened her spine, smoothed her hair, and answered the call.

"Mistress Blackwood?" An overly starched man in black asked, looking intently at her through the mirror spell.

"This is she," she said, trying for a professional tone even though most of her mind was still back in the pub.

"My master, Lord Ackryn, would like the pleasure of your company tomorrow morning at 10 o'clock to talk about a business proposition. Would you be available?"

Isidore nodded. "Yes, although I cannot make any promises that I am available for the job."

"Of course, understood. Thank you, Mistress Blackwood," he said, and the mirror winked out, a simple reflection once more.

Isidore looked longingly at the pub and then smilingly shrugged. She had a potion for hangovers and the night was still young, she had plenty of time to get a little sleep later and make her appointment. A cheer greeted her return, but she changed seats to mix things up. This one was a brunette.

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Sometimes it was hard being an Elemental. Celebeam was a beautiful material, so many people used it to make all sorts of things. They tended to forget that a race that lived in the same places they did got sick or weak around it. But on the other hand it gave Tarin the chance to build at least some immunity to it. So there was some good to the situation. He still wished that people would be more considerate of the Elementals. They were powerful beings and some would start a war because of this. Tarin wasn't one of them, but if hired for the right price, he would join his Elemental brothers and sisters in war.

It was dark out and Tarin was resting at a table in one of the many mercenary guilds scattered about the world. They were all connected, so it was like one big mercenary family. Tarin belonged to it for the sheer fact that he was paid to do what he loved. While he didn't mind some of the rules given to legal adventurers, others were plain stupid. So he went the so called dark path. There were a few others sitting on the first floor of the guild. They either didn't want to go up to their rooms yet, or were waiting for clients. Tarin was of the former.

The door opened and every eye turned on the man who entered. He was obviously of high class, or at the very least worked for someone who was. "Is there a man named Tarin here?" He asked.

Tarin rose gracefully to his feet. "That would be me. What can I do for you?"

The man walked over to him and gave him a slip of paper. On it was a name, an address, and a time. And, to Tarin's satisfaction, no Celebeam. Some people used the powdered stuff to dust on the ink to make it look nicer. This Lord Ackryn knew what he was, and was showing respect. Tarin liked him already. The Elemental looked back to the man. "I take it this is tomorrow?"

The man nodded, "Yes."

Tarin gave the man a bow, "Well then, I will see you tomorrow."

The man bowed and left the same way he came, which was the only door out of the mercenary guild. Tarin tucked the paper into the pouch at his waist and settled back into his chair. His thoughts already on tomorrow.

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Isidore woke up bright and early, still intoxicated from the night before. "That's one way to skip the hangover," she muttered, and pulled a small vial out of the small pouch near her bed. Scowling at it, she drank it down in one gulp and winced. It tasted foul but it was the best way to get rid of any traces of alcohol in her system. Her morning routine was shortened by the upcoming appointment, but it was no less thorough. She was a sorceress, after all, and she had a reputation to uphold.

A black corseted top with half-sleeves, paired with black leather pants and high-heeled black boots, along with a red cape and a few essential pieces of jewelry were enough for a business proposition. Her rings and earrings in particular had a few spells on them that could give her an edge in a fight, defensively or otherwise, so she wore them every day. Everything else she owned in the rented room was in her small pouch, which saved her a lot of time when traveling. The pouch could hold many things, and much bigger things than it appeared it could, but that was all part of its spell. Her horse was in the stables, and off she went.

The appointment was of course in the good part of the city, where are the nobles lived. A grand mansion surrounded by elaborately trimmed shrubbery and its roof studded with grotesques, as was the current fashion. The gables and towers gave it the look of a small castle, and the large black iron gate in front of it would have done any castle justice. All it needed was a moat, she thought as she rode up to the gate and was let inside. After handing her horse off to a respectable looking groom, she followed the butler inside a grand hallway. As many nobles did, there were paintings of ancestors along the walls, some of which in this house looked a bit disreputable. Candles were lit everywhere, and servants scuttled quietly from room to room.

Isidore was led to the end of one hallway and ushered inside a large library, at the back of which in a place of prominence was a large chair and an equally impressive fireplace. A man stood in front of it, holding a snifter of brandy. He was slight, his back slightly bowed with age, with gray hair and expensive clothing that he wore like a costume that didn't fit. "Mistress Blackwood," the butler announced, and left them to their business.

His face, she saw as he turned around, was hawklike and stern-eyed, wrinkles caverns in a ghostly pale visage. "It's a pleasure to meet you," he said and offered his hand to her. "I am Lord Ackryn, and I believe I have a business proposition for you that you will find quite favorable. I am willing to pay," he continued, after taking a leisurely sip of his brandy, "quite well."

"I would need to know the details before I made any agreements, and I am always paid half up front for any commission. If the job is dangerous, my price is, of course, correspondingly higher." Isidore stood calmly, her hands at her sides. If any of these conditions troubled or surprised Lord Ackryn, she couldn't tell, but his next words solved that puzzle.

"Indeed. I did my research before asking you to meet me here, Mistress Blackwood, and your terms are acceptable to me. But before I begin explaining what this job is and what it requires, we must wait for an additional party. Would you like a brandy?"

"No, thank you."

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Character Portrait: Tarin Silverwind Character Portrait: Isidore Blackwood
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Tarin had ended up joining in one of the card games that the others had been playing, and didn't get to bed until early in the morning. Not that he cared, if this man really wanted him to do a job, he'd get the job no matter what condition he was in. He still got up at a decent time, and was certainly not late yet. He donned his usual outfit, a traditional Elemental garb, complete with a cloak that had three blue crystals hanging off it. Crystals that just so happen to strengthen an Elemental's magic. Lightning magic to be specific, the element that Tarin controlled.

Tarin made his way down from his room in the mercenary guild to the stables where they kept all their mounts. Not all of these mounts were horses, there were plenty of other things in there as well. Giant cats or birds, objects enchanted to fly, even a dragon or two. Tarin just had a horse though, nothing special. He took his horse, a white colt by the name of Zephyr, from his stall and quickly put his saddle on. He would ride bareback, but he needed the saddle bags for supplies. Especially on dangerous quests.

The Elemental rode through the city to the address given to him. At the house, well mansion, he was greeted by the same man who had meant with him the night before. He didn't say anything about the fact that the Elemental had been slightly late. Tarin gave his horse to the stablehand who arrived to take it, and then followed the man inside the mansion. The moment he stepped inside he was hit with a wave of dizziness that could only be explained by Celebeam. "My apologies Elemental, when the mansion was built Celebeam was used as decoration in the walls. We've covered it the best that we could, but you're still going to feel the effects of it."

Tarin sighed, not because he was angry about it, but because he wasn't in the mood to deal with it. "Its quite all right, you made the effort to hide it and that's all that matters to me."

Tarin followed the man through the house until they arrived at a their destination, a library. Inside were a man, whom Tarin assumed was the client, and a woman with shocking red hair. "The Elemental has arrived." The man who had led Tarin here said.

Though it seemed like bad manners to a human, to Elementals it was the proper way to introduce them. Tarin didn't know who had come up with it, but he liked it. And he was happy to know that the man had done his research on his kind. Tarin moved forward so that he was standing next to the woman with red hair, and gave her a polite nod. "Ah, you have arrived. I would offer you a brandy as well, but I assume that you are like the rest of your kind."

Tarin smiled, the man really did do his research. Elementals had notoriously bad alcohol tolerances. "And I assume you have a job for me. Well you must know that I expect a quarter of my payment up front, and another quarter must be sent to the guild. As a holding fee for both of us."

The man laughed. "That is agreeable. Now you both must want to know the details of the job."

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Lord Ackryn set down his snifter on the mantel and put his palms together, fingertips against his lips. "What I'm about to tell you is not well-known. It's been kept a secret because, to be frank, we're worried that it's going to cause panic. Lord Mamelud, the Duchess of Coryx, Lady Selcci and I have met about it several times, and we've agreed that it's better and safer if we hire professionals and get this done right."

The three he named were famous at court, connected to the King. The Duchess of Coryx was the Royal Wizard, Lord Mamelud a well-known strategist that was employed by the King during wars, and Lady Selcci was more or less intimately connected to every power player in the kingdom. If Lord Ackryn was meeting with them about the job he was offering, it was not only serious but had the potential to garner some better clients after this job was done. It was certainly something to add to consideration, but Lord Ackryn was continuing on.

"A dark power was sealed after the last of the Great Wars, centuries ago. It was used to lay waste to the kingdoms in the west, turning them into the deserts they are now. No one knew exactly how the wizards of that time managed to defeat this power and seal it away, but it was done, and for a time the world forgot. But in the last few decades we've been noticing... certain changes. After research and consulting some very advanced wizards, we found that it was being caused by this same dark power, which was sealed into an orb and hidden away."

"We found it, after much expense and time, hidden away in the Caves of Abul Deer. I need to hire the both of you to find this orb and bring it back to us. This power needs to be resealed or many more could die. I'm paying you one hundred bags of gold each, 75 up front. This needs to be done quickly, and further complicating the matter is that, well, I'll be very blunt. The orb is guarded, according to the research we've done, by a hydra. Your reputations were such that we wanted to offer this to the both of you, first. We know that you don't typically work with partners, but this job is complicated, and we wanted to make sure that it would be successful."

Isidore's eyes widened. Hydras were a bit beyond her experience, but they weren't exactly impossible to kill. Just... insanely difficult. "What's the deadline?"

"You would both have until the next full moon." It was a full moon tonight, giving them only a month to get all the way to the caves and back. "I know it's not much time, but it has to be done then." He crossed his arms and looked at the both of them. "So, will you accept this mission?"

Isidore considered it. Dangerous, with a quickly approaching deadline? The money was good, but more importantly, it was a heroic mission, one that was a complete turnaround from the jobs she used to do. What better way to reform than to save the world? "I accept, so long as we are given an additional bag of gold for expenses along the journey."

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Character Portrait: Tarin Silverwind
Character Portrait: Isidore Blackwood

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Character Portrait: Isidore Blackwood
Isidore Blackwood

"Just because I'm dark and evil, doesn't mean I'm, y'know, dark and evil."

Character Portrait: Tarin Silverwind
Tarin Silverwind

"I'll get you the artifact, for a price."

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Character Portrait: Tarin Silverwind
Tarin Silverwind

"I'll get you the artifact, for a price."

Character Portrait: Isidore Blackwood
Isidore Blackwood

"Just because I'm dark and evil, doesn't mean I'm, y'know, dark and evil."

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Character Portrait: Isidore Blackwood
Isidore Blackwood

"Just because I'm dark and evil, doesn't mean I'm, y'know, dark and evil."

Character Portrait: Tarin Silverwind
Tarin Silverwind

"I'll get you the artifact, for a price."


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Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Mmm yeah especially if he namedropped. I think we've got all the basic details, so I'll get a post up and then let me know if I should edit anything.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

I think if he told them about it sealing the evil entity it would be enough. If he also told him that said entity was starting to break loose.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Gotcha. I like it. That way it only has one purpose, making it a lot simpler. So do we need any other details before I write up the post? Orb, hydra, distant country.... is there anything else he would tell them? There's got to be a way that he'd convince them that the orb was for an imminent threat, or maybe the money would just be enough?

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Oh of course he wouldn't tell them what it really did. We could go for the classic the orb is used to seal some dark entity. But it can also unseal it, and that's what Lord Ackryn uses it to do.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Ooo best of both worlds. And both of them could use it, depending on what the plot demanded. Done and done. So we're good on distant country, hydra, orb.... what does the orb have the power to do? Or prevent?

Actually, we could assume that Lord Ackryn won't tell them the truth since he turns out to be the villain. For example, he could say that bringing the orb back and using it in a certain magical ritual will prevent some big disaster they've been seeing evidence of, but really it's the key to causing giving him a ton of magical power. Hm. That's not a great example but you get where I'm going with it.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

What about some sort of orb? So it could be both a weapon and an object.

Oooohhh, yes a hydra. That would be awesome.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Hmm. If it's a special weapon they could end up using it, but if it's an object it wouldn't have to be too important to the plot after they find it. I'm up for either.

And of the two I'd love the idea of a chimera. Or a hydra. Maybe a Kraken. Something monstrous and huge.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Right, I like the idea of a dragon or chimera guarding it. Maybe it should be some sort of special weapon? Like a staff or a sword? Or should it be more like an object?

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Sounds good! So what do we want to do with this... well, it needs to be something world-saving and hard to get to. Maybe guarded by some kind of monster and a few countries away or something...

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Sorry! But my post was getting really long all ready. If you want to chat or PM about it, we can come up with the details of the job together.

Re: The Rogue and the Sorceress

Feel free to make up whatever you want about the artifact and the quest, or if you don't have any ideas we can brainstorm. I just ended there because it seemed like a good place for you to bring in your character.

The Rogue and the Sorceress

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