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A dollar for your sword

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Only 2 people had shown up for his adventuring clinic.

A few factors contributed to this low attendance: he was kind of young for a professor, adventuring as a whole was on a decline as circumstances multiplied avenues by which a person could make a mint without putting their lives at risk, and he wanted to teach at an intermediate level when most people were either new to the field or tired, old hands at it already.

Appreciating these facts cerebrally failed to dull the emotional sting. But the pain was short-lived, and quickly replaced by the burning engine of Donovan's uncompromising ambition.

He met them at the Pavilion of the Sun, Moon and Seasons; on the table were little sandwiches, empty cups, and a pot of coffee. He had poured himself a cup, minute sips turning into hearty gulps over time, but without any sense of hurry or anxiety, bright yellow eyes on a casual swivel to take in the constantly changing people-scape of the bustling market.

And when they arrived, and introductions were exchanged, Professor Cutler dove into it.

"This is a 102 clinic, which means no chaperone. You two are going to do it all your own, and I'll either be watching or will rely on feedback from the customer and reports from you two about each other, to determine your final score.

"The job belongs to Mone, a wizard with a place in the Tower Quarter. He'll tell you the rest of the job when you get there and tell him you're on the case."

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Will pushed past a pair of men conversing loudly in his path, voicing a quick apology as one made a surprised noise.

"So sorry," he said with a weak grin, "I'm running late!" 

And with that, he was off, his pace brisk and hurried. So many people, all just walking around, and all so accommodating of a young man in a rush. Blairville truly outshone the praises he'd heard, and he wondered what his mother would have said at that revelation. Not important. You need to focus. He'd write to her when he got a chance but, right now, he was...lost? He slowed, tightening his hold on his bag in confusion.

His walking had taken him down a crowded street, through an alley, and out into a busy marketplace, just as the kind pedestrian had instructed. The square felt the full force of the sun overhead, sunlight unchallenged by tall buildings and thick clouds. Indeed, the site of the Pavilion was a staple of late morning, and the people who passed through it also fit the bill. Kids ran between the adults and played their ridiculous games, couples wandered with an air of romance, and merchants called out to tired commuters, their voices clear and demanding despite the fact that these were not ideal customers. Will shrugged helplessly at one such woman as she waved a string of beads at him. He needed his money, sadly. 

Clearing his throat, he instead followed a tide of people walking toward the Pavilion. His eyes took in the stalls they passed, and he made a mental note of a tray of pastries that smelled amazing. His stomach growled at the idea of eating even as he forced himself right by. Eventually, he arrived, sparing the grand edifice a quick glance before walking in. 

His professor was easy to find, as he was the only one sitting alone. Will rushed forward, a flurry of words. "William Sharr, sir," he fumbled, "and I'm very pleased to meet you."

Cutler was quick to move on, and Will appreciated that. He took a seat and listened closely, though his eyes drifted to the sandwiches throughout the man's announcement. 

3 hours ago, supernal said:

"The job belongs to Mone, a wizard with a place in the Tower Quarter.

"A wizard?" Will blurted out, his brown gaze snapping back to look at his teacher. He widened his eyes as he realized his blunder. "Ah, sorry. So you want us to make our way to this wizard? Why not just meet there?" He finally reached for a sandwich and began to eat as he waited for a response. 

Edited by ticklefarte

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Drifting in the endless darkness of his unconscious mind Luke floated. Some where off in the distance of the endless void there was a soft ringing ting ting ting ting it was an infinite sound no where but everywhere at the same time until it forced his conciseness bare forcing a realization. He woke to the sound of blaring alarm clock, lazily pushing it off to the night stand. To his displeasure it didn't stop the noise so he begrudgingly opened his eyes only to be almost blinded by the amount of sunlight streaming into the inn room. Pushing himself out of bed he stood to bend down and turn the the thing off why did I even turn this thing on? What was it set for? it took him a second, a long deeply thought second before horror overcame his face.


The next five minutes were a blur, a shower, and a rush. Out onto the streets he could clearly see it was late morning, crowds of people conversing on the streets and stalls with plump pastries and breakfast meats. This did nothing to stop his haste, yelling out loudly as he could "Coming threw" and  "Excuse me" on his way, nearly trampling several people and two children.He could hear chatter along the lines of "Thats the second one today".  Weaving threw neatly placed stall Luke could see his destination in the distance, "Pavilion of the Sun, Moon and Seasons", and with in the minute he was calmly entering the building and sat next to what he assumed to be his partner. They where the only people there and as the man started to speak. He was young for a professor but if anything that must adhere to his skill, his yellow eyes calm without a trace of worry.

"The job belongs to Mone, a wizard with a place in the Tower Quarter. He'll tell you the rest of the job when you get there and tell him you're on the case."

Luke listened carefully as he spoke, taking in any minor details he could, this was a test and he wanted a good score. After the professor stopped speaking the man next to him spoke up 

"A wizard?" Luke almost scoffed questioning his mates qualifications for this missions briefly  "Ah, sorry. So you want us to make our way to this wizard? Why not just meet there?" "That's fine with me as" Luke spoke, his voice strong but quiet as he too reached for a sandwich an stuck expression of annoyance across his face. He was eager for details, to squeeze out any information he could but the professor couldn't give them so he stayed silent and took a bite of his sandwich.                     

 "You're new to the city right? Getting to the job is part of the job. Navigation is a fundamental skill. Besides. Food and coffee. Have a snack at least before taking a job on. You don’t know how long it’ll take to get to your next meal.” 

The professor spoke again, Luke nodded silently in agreement as he finished his sandwich and stood up. 

"Okay, I'm ready"


Edited by LukeRipstine

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Will stared at the professor for a long moment, chewing slowly as his mind processed his instructions. Even as the new student stood, he sat still. Find a wizard? A moment later, he finally swallowed his food.


He nodded, smiling as he got up. "We'll get right on that, Professor." After bending, picking up his bag, and checking that the crossbow within was intact, Will looked at the other man and gestured to the exit.

"I'm Will," he said as he walked. "Happy to know you."  

Outside, the marketplace was just as they'd left it. A wave of people pushed past the Pavilion and nearly crushed his toes in the process. He stepped back, squinting as the sun flashed in his eyes. The Tower Quarter? He set his jaw, knowing that the current task was a lesson in navigation. Well, he thought, I'm definitely not from here. This should be useful. 

He spotted a merchant whose stall was currently empty. The man's clothes were bright, a tunic of crimson cloth and wrists adorned with precious metals. Around him were tables filled with expensive shirts, hats, and scarves. In truth, it wasn't a surprise that the man's traffic was low. Will balked at the show of wealth but, as soon as the pedestrians passed, he set forth. "Excuse me," he called cheerily, "We need help with directions. Could you help get us to the Tower Quarter?"

The vendor looked up from a project he was working on. His fingers were busy in the headspace of a ridiculous feathered hat, but he flashed Will an equally cheery smile. "Ah, of course. If...you consider making a purchase."

Will frowned and looked at his companion.  "Um," he whispered, "do you have any coin?"

Edited by ticklefarte

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Lukas looked down to the person who would be his partner for the task at hand, he paused as if to ponder and with a similar nod to Luke's own and a smile he stood. I guess this its time for us to get going, finally Luke thought to himself as he yawned slightly. Walking up in such a rush still left a bad taste in his mouth and a rising mist over his mind.

"We'll get right on that, Professor."

Luke couldn't agree more as he turned around and started towards the door yelling over his shoulder loud enough for them both to hear.

"We'll do it and do it properly. You have my word."

And with that they where off and out of the building back onto the late morning streets. It was slowly making its way to one or so. Their objective was to find the place, sadly Luke had never been the most keen on sense of direction so passively he kept himself a step or two behind the man. If it was up to him they would have had to find some other way to transport them selves, maybe pay a local teleport-er though they are extremely rare. Luke was so lost in thought that he barely even heard the man introduce himself.

 "I'm Will" the man said as he walked. "Happy to know you." 

"My name is Luke and happy to get to."

He wasn't too keen on the idea of working in a team with some one beside his rarely together three force team but it was a small but needed time of change. If this was gonna work then he might as well give it his all as a person and a team.

Luke watched as Will set his eyes on a strangely dressed merchant and walked over asking for directions

  "We need help with directions. Could you help get us to the Tower Quarter?"

to whom told them only if they consider to buy something. Luke instinctively felt the sides of his jeans. Luke worn a old leather adventure gear set, the only things missing are the belt to hold items like weapons and coin purses. He didn't grab anything out of the inns room in his haste, its all probably gone by now and if by some stroke of luck it was back he didn't have any plans to go back there without finishing the mission first. Luke signed to himself, he could always use his magic to try to create some but... He looked down at his hand, making a tight fist.

"No, I left my pouch."

Luke searches his mind for an answer What action here would get us there faster? The less time we spend away from out destination the better so how do I get this guy to tell me where the place is in a way that it would maintain my score?  Luke groaned under his breath cursing. Fine, the fastest way is the normal. Luke grazes at the mans wares, old trinkets and such

"There are a few things here that wouldn't pass for the smallest coin, you know that don't you?" 

Luke's deep ocean mirrored eyes brought them self's to direct gaze into the merchants own dull brown marbles. Walking closer to the stall he put his hands down on the bare wooden surface counter top putting his weight and force onto it just enough for the small structure to creek loudly enough for all of them to hear. 

"But that's just a custom right? It has to be right? Because where I come from there isn't any such thing *he puts more pressure on the stall* and its so much easier. Helping people feels good right? Like aa weight has been lifted so wouldn't you like weight being lifted."

His eyes now looked exactly like staring into the bottomless depth of the ocean, menacing and relentless. The poor stall was on the verge of collapse at this point, the look across the owners face read pure shock. Nervously the salesman fiddles with his hat and in a light whisper he caves. 

"You're right i-its south-west from here, across town and if you reach the city limits you've gone too far"

Almost instantly Luke let off of the stall, towns folk don't lie when their lively hood is at risk

"Thanks, maybe I'll be back later to actually buy some thing for your time."

He turned away and with a bit of pause started walking.

Edited by LukeRipstine

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His face fell at the scene, eyes narrowing as the man named Luke intimidated the hustling merchant. This isn't necessary... There was no reason to make the man fear for his safety, and Will stepped forward to interrupt.

Just as he reached a hand out, the man caved and Luke had his directions. Will stared after him as he left, his frown deepening. This was his partner? The idea was very concerning. Blairville was such a nice city and he wondered if threats were well tolerated in place so kind. He looked back at the merchant, now a sweaty mess. The man adjusted his clothing and stared at Will with embarrassment and...anger? There was a pause as the two made eye contact.

What merchant simply took humiliation lying down? The jewelry on his wrists practically glinted in Will's face, a bright reminder of the man's wealth. Wealth, which corrupted and polluted upset minds. Wealth, which could easily persuade men who were bigger than Luke or Will to avenge a shamed man. Ah...

"I'm sorry," Will began, wincing as the vendor waved a dismissive hand. 

"Go," the man spat. 

Will hesitated, then fished out two silver pieces from his bag. He showed the coins to the man, then shrugged and offered a smile. The merchant glared at him, then picked up a nice teal scarf from one of his racks. The two traded items, and Will felt comfortable enough leaving, though the loss of money did sting. 

In his mind, he was cursing Luke for bullying the poor man. He got directions. This was true but...there was other options. Right? In Will's limited experience, he found that forcing your will on others was usually a last resort. It got the job done, but such force burned bridges too. And for what?  Some lousy directions? 

He found that the marketplace was too busy to allow him to find Luke, so he simply set off in the same general direction. Was the wizard a patient man? He hoped so, considering he was too poor to afford any efficient transport and get lodging for the night. Will sighed, and kept walking. South-west, yes? He groaned and lengthened his stride. Passing storefronts, and pushing through large groups, and generally just trying appreciate the sights, he moved with his own goal in mind. At some point he cut through an alleyway and, when he found himself on the other end, he was nearly run down by a speeding carriage. 

Damn. That would have hurt. It was here that he finally spotted the back of the Luke's head on a busy street and picked up his pace, settling beside the man. The street curved and sloped, but eventually their path yielded a lovely result. 

Will stopped as the spires of the Tower Quarter loomed before them, with people walking around him as if they saw this every day. Perhaps they did. Regardless, his eyes took in the grand sight of the structures as they stretched to the sky, then lowered to appreciate the denizens of this district. Magic users? Wow. He could practically sense the arcane in this place. Men and women made their way through the winding streets with purpose that was somehow different from the mundane pedestrians he was used to. Still, Will waved down a short woman in a robe and approached her with a smile.

"Hi," he greeted, "I'm looking for a man named Moen. Have you heard of him?"

She visibly showed her recognition of the name and nodded. "Sure. If you walk a bit down you should see a big sign for Tarr's Potions. Tarr's a nice man, but his potions aren't so I would avoid going in. Haha." 

Will chuckled, waiting patiently. She continued, clearly appreciating her witty jab. "If you go down the steps next to Tarr's, you'll see Moen's little hidden hole. Don't trip. Tarr would be the only one to hear you! Ha!"

Will thanked her, then nodded at Luke before walking further into the Tower's Quarter. The main cobblestone street branched off multiple times leading into smaller paths lined with shops and homes. When Tarr's sign came into view, he simply walked a bit further and found the stairs. Will let out a breath of relief and hurried down them, but before he opened the shabby door, he hesitated. 

"Luke," he said, "maybe hold off of threatening the wizard. Or anyone else who doesn't really deserve it." He shook his head, then pushed open the door. 

Ah, should I have knocked?

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Will definitely should have knocked. One did not make it into old age as a wizard, and one did not claim a home and atelier in the Tower quarter, by letting just anyone walk in anytime they please. One needed sensors and awards; tripwires and defense mechanisms.

Mone had these.  

He also had a sense of moderation. Every infraction couldn't be rectified with a Lightning Bolt or Fireball not only did that spell doom for the postman or the apothecary delivery boy, it was also expensive, both on the material cost and on the repairs to his home.

In this case, all Will and Luke had to deal with was a suit of armor. A suit a head-and-a-half taller than either of them, revealed to be hollow by even a casual glance past the visor of its helmet, and which laid a hand on each of their arms and lifted them a few inches off the ground. With that the game was afoot, begun and far from over, but before either of them could execute a reprisal, Mone's voice echoed from the narrow, spiraling staircase which led even deeper.

"Hold on a second!"

The suit of armor did not have to fight against momentum to slow down. It froze in place the second that Mone's command shot through the air.

Mone emerged from the darkness of the staircase, a reptilian humanoid a head shorter than either Will or Luke, naturally height-challenged but his stature only hurt by his hunchbacked posture. They made quick work of introductions, at which point the armor released the two adventurers, and Mone led the way further down, explaining as he went.

"I'll pay you 100 gold (5000 USD) to go down into the drain of my lab shower. I dropped a ring down there with a fantastic ruby specimen affixed to it and need you to go and fetch it for me. I, of course, wil shrink you and your equipment down to about an inch in height so you can fit.

Do not attempt to use the ring as it could kill you! Once you've found it, crush this gem in your hand and you will return to my lab at your normal size. I will give you this spool of thread, so you will have as much rope as you need. And one more thing. There's a storm tonight, and it will no doubt affect the plumbing. So hurry back!"

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Luke continued to walk on without his partner, he could have practically feel Will's disapproving gaze burning him back when he had squeezed the information out of the man, having such a soft partner was gonna be a bigger problem then just being able to find the wizards hide away. He'd thought hard about the, in his mind, minor situation as he navigated threw the the town with a slightly smoother ease than the rush he had started with that morning. Vaguely he took notes of all the small things in the town, the gap between the many jewelry hung wealthy people and the few commoners within the city was smaller that anywhere else he had seen before. That was the first tales of magic, people learned to not base off of traditional things but magic wither it was rarity or strength but at the moment he couldn't tell. 

Obediently following the main roads Luke had been able to see the distance tower which seemed to fade into the clouds, a breath taking view from the ground and he could only wonder how much of the world one could see from its top. Even though his eyes confirmed it his senses had been miles ahead. He could feel the dense mana  from the collective of thousands of magic users  making his head ache, the presence of mana to even this degree was havoc on his sensitive talents. It gave him the sensation of walking threw water with all of it begging for him to reach out and grab onto its shapeless form and command it into meaning but this was nothing. He'd been around Lady for long amounts of time in the past years and een though it sounds ridiculous, she held much more raw mana and magical power than this place could bring itself to. 

He drew a long breath as he continued to walk whilst ignoring his instinctual feelings and after a few lengthy strides he, since the beginning of the day, was happy to see his partner wade in the distance tide of people and to his further delight they had both locked the tower in their sights. Will however started to talk to one do the many hooded magic users swifting around If he has the jump on me for getting info then I'll just wait for him  Luke thought to himself ideally as he took a sharp right preceding to lean against one of the many building in wait. Bypassing the time by staring into the crowd of passing silk Fire mage, water, ah a duel attribute, spirit user Luke read the few passing mages core mana realizing their mana control is weaker than what he'd imagine from the town. 

Glancing over Luke stood as Will was walking right down the path in front of him. Silently letting him pass Luke filed in behind him.

"The city is full of wealthy and novice mage for the most part. Be careful"

They continued down stone paths until they finally reached their destination when Will announced

"Luke," he said, "maybe hold off of threatening the wizard. Or anyone else who doesn't really deserve it."

"Ill try"

Luke watches closely, he wouldn't know what to expect when they stepped threw the door and as they did and subsiquently got captured he looks over at his partner grimacing as if to say 'Do they deserve it?'. Traps, of course. Now we are gonna get arrested by the city police because of some bad directions I should have che- mid thought Luke was stopped by the sound of another voice yelling out deeper into the house.

"Hold on a second!"

Out of cloak of darkness stepped a petite and hunched humanoid lizard, the thing had amazing mana flowing off of it attempting an following introduction to which Luke  responded with,

"A simple spell sword"

Wasting no time the humanoid told them their task, the urgency and straight to the point dialect settled well with Luke giving him respect for his employer.

"With the supplies you have set out for us we should be able to get this done efficiently as possible, thanks." 

Luke glanced over at Will to see how he was processing the information, "I think we should both carry one of the items, the gem and the thread. I don't care which one you pick but for the first time since this morning I'm actually exited to get going." 

He stood in the bathroom turning to face the small marble tub in the neat slightly modern room and waited.

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