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The Arcane City - Building Imradel

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___Site 004

Thunder’s Day, Month of the Heron, Year of the Raven

 

Magic had always been a prevalent part of Hyperian culture. It could be said, that it was the epicenter of it. Imradel would boast the bright minds of the arcane. A place devoted to the studies of various branches of magic—within the law. While Raveena knew she would not be able to find every single soul who chose to dabble in darker arts, she wanted a city that fostered the importance of understanding someone else’s art.

At the end of they day, they were looked down upon because of their Source—their magic. Matreyans—no. Hyperians did not yet fully understand their Source. Some were different than others. Some projected theirs outwards from their hands. Others seemed to control it from within their thoughts. Imradel would be a safe place to learn, explore and understand.

Or so Artamese hoped.

She chewed on a thumb nail while nudging her special pair of glasses up her nose. She was transcribing spells for the mages that worked in construction. Not only would they help in building Imradel but would spread out to the other four cities to assist as well. Magic on such a wide, perpetual scale had to be carefully coordinated, and not all spells were created equal. Finding suitable one that would get the jobs necessary done and well without being a burden on the caster.

Simon’s ears swiveled two and from, catching the sounds of people around them already preparing. Raveena’s coordination efforts were something Artamese had never seen before. She arranged people like a metaphorical chess board, winning a game no one but her could really see. The Queen knew who to send where, why, and how. It was a remarkably seamless effort on everyone’s part. Artamese had heard stores of the insane setbacks that Old Hyperion faced in Fracture. She hoped it wouldn’t be as dangerous here!

All around her were stacks of instructions, spells. Written incantations. Most of them were composing themselves. While many people thought that Artamese was a mage, what with her line of work and such—it was Simon, her Hellhound companion that put in the work. She began to consider that was why he acted to lazy and spoiled all the time…

Runners came and went, collecting piles and running off again. Artamese was the only solid linguist. Workers from Fracture, Genesaris, Renovatio and Earth were coming to assist with building Hyperion, but she remained in Imradel where Simon had the best focal point. Raveena had tactfully placed the city’s plans to rest on top of a Genesar leyline.

“There.” She sat back and pulled her glasses from the bridge of her nose, letting them dangle by the enchanted gemstone chain around her neck. “That ought to do it. If they can’t follow even the most basic instructions for magic, the knobends will end us.”

Still, having a city to study artifacts alongside proper mages would be nice.

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He had been anticipating this for a while, studying the outlying area and the freedom he might explore with this project. He highlighted quite a few points of interest, particularly in business and the connection of a central travel network that could get citizens all over the city to their goals. Instead of the usual mage's guild, it was something more built upon the ideals of industry. Business sectors instead of schools of magic, and for the whole city to live by a standardized life-style of magic from a young age. He explained, he would have a personal hand in designing their curriculum, quoting his years in the Gaian Academy as his credentials and his family's business dynasty as proof of his way with commerce. Perhaps it had been too long, but it was too late now. He had mailed the letter to the Queen herself. He had been working on backing a few different building projects around the budding city himself and collecting a reputation as a result. He had included such details in his letter to the Queen, in hopes he could help sway her further. He was uncertain that he would find success, but he was confident he had taken all the possible measures he could to achieve it.

He had spent a lot of time locked up working on designing the blueprints for this business epicenter that the entire city would swirl around should he have his way. His dream, really, extended further: To have what was effectively a government council of Arch-magi who run the Guild that runs the city. It was rather high hopes, and backing from the top was the only way he would bypass the current city council to achieve his goals which effectively would result in their being overthrown as far as his power would be compared to theirs. Those that were appropriately capable magi would be absorbed into their place inside the central infrastructure, but unless they were truly exceptional, they would not be claiming the position of arch-mage. He himself wasn't particularly potent at spontaneous combat, though prepared, he could see this city defended for a long time to come. He had written about this as well. He would ward the roads for miles and eventually construct a diving pool from which any of the arch-mages could investigate oncoming dangers. It would also help with important census data about trade and travel. It was quite a wordy letter, in truth, but he couldn't spare any details else he appear to be creating some grand deception. He was earnest in his goals here, after-all.

He wanted to help this land, and in turn, it would reward him with a land that accepted his ways.

Now, he found himself wandering the city tiredly, getting some fresh air. He was terribly pale, so pale it looked like the sun might hurt him with sunken cheeks and a grim pallor. All the while, he was sipping from a glass of fresh orange juice while staring out ponderously. His hands were cramped from writing for hours. He had made a first draft, so he could review it and edit things as he remade an even neater letter, composed in ink. His train of thought traveled as he examined the prospective housing district that was being worked on, just as he passed into what was likely going to be a food market near it. And there, he paused as he saw a familiar face, always seemingly surrounded by the busy people of the city, yet totally enthralled with her own work similarly.

"Artamese," He greeted her wearily, glancing at her hellhound briefly. She examined and defined spells, even going so far as breaking them down and making new ones, but she focused particularly on the magi who could employ their arts in building the city. She had actually assisted a great number of the contractors he was personally employing, and was integral in a particular design project of his that was experimental. "You're busy as ever, I see. What's it you're up to now? I could use something else to think about...just finished that letter to Raevana about the Guild system for the city. Off with a courier now to find its fate."

Edited by Shatter
added the image

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"It's an entire city devoted to magic! Where else could you see such a place?" Lancellar asked.

"Blairville." Eric responded.

"Well...yes-"

"Wasn't there a place called Mageside city?" Phillip asked.

"Yes Mageside city was also a similar place-"

"I could swear there's also a city in Renovatio." Sarah pondered. "Can't remember its name..."

"And just like that, I regret saying anything." The elf said, sighing as they walked through the streets of this impressive collection of buildings. 

The Shields of Valor had arrived in the city hoping to do the same thing they had done in Alethea, to open an outpost and establish themselves in the city. It was likely going to be a difficult task, given that the city was mostly made up of wizards, or so they thought, and would likely not take kindly to a group of rough and tumble warriors coming in. That was where Lancellar came in, as a sort of ambassador to their group, to smooth things over for them and help clear up any confusion. 

"Looks like whoever is in charge might be over there. Looks fancy enough." Cragmar stated, pointing towards where Artamese and the strange man were speaking. Lancellar approached and introduced herself.

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___Site 004

Tier’s Day, Month of the Corvid, Year of the Raven

 

“Artamese,” Came a weary greeting, "You're busy as ever, I see. What's it you're up to now? I could use something else to think about.”  Artamese glanced up from her work long enough to nudge her glasses along the slender bridge of her nose. “Just finished that letter to Raveena about the Guild system for the city. Off with a courier now to find its fate."

“You look like Hell,” She remarked plainly. It was a typical friendly greeting from Artamese. Young and lovely, but with great disdain for people. Still, Simon didn’t mind Salvatore and neither did she, “When’s the last time you ate? Or slept?” She pushed an untouched bowl of strew and bread across her desk to him. Like he, she was engrossed in her work. Luciano had come, like many who came to volunteer in the thousands to build Hyperion, with ambitious plans. He had divulged the jist of it to her and she nodded her approval.

“I’m sure you’ve nothing to worry about. There are worse plans in the world, really.” She was drafting inspection plans for each city to check on the magic infrastructure and to maintain that the city’s defenses would hold. She was to assemble a squad of mages whose sole purpose was to attack the defenses for weaknesses and then resolve those weaknesses to the best of their ability. As such, her ability to study magic in real time made her monumental assent to the endeavor—and she wasn’t too thrilled about being in charge.

“Like whoever put me in charge of this load of bullocks. I’m too mean to be in charge.” She muttered darkly. Simon huffed a sigh; the large dog curled up beneath her chair. He had tried to nestle into her lap, but his was a cruel mistress. “Essential I am currently writing out a manual,” The manual was technically writing itself, literally while she flipped through pages. All around here were books. Old books, some falling apart. Many of them flipped open to various pages she fancied a look at from time to time. There were faded pictures of temples and archaic text. They were all tomes on various artifacts and sacred places of civilization from Valucre’s past.

Mingled in between were various gadgets she worked on, old souvenirs from dig sites she studied at.

The city itself was coming along in a strangely elegant way. There was something swift and seamless in the way that Mages worked together. Walls of earth and stone. Streets and paths mapped and marked out. People were building their personal homes while others focuses on erecting libraries and legislative offices.

“And it will,” She spoke distractedly, her eyes kept on each stack of papers, “Help ensure the city is safe.” She turned around in her seat and plucked her glasses off to get a better look at the man, “Including, I wager, your trade school.” That was what she was calling it, because that’s what it sounded like to her. It was all very forward thinking, she thought. She was an Artificer that relied on her natural ability to tinker along with her academic success to stay abreast of things in the magical world.

“Trust me, the damned woman uses me as a second pair of eyes for everything.”Artamese slid her dainty little spectacles back on and turned back around. “I suspect I’ll know first before anything. Tell me more about your magic. I need the distraction.” She didn’t look up as she gestured for him to find an empty seat---somewhere among the organized chaos. They had been interrupted, however.

The Shields of Valor were well fed and supplied for their efforts. It was also in part due to the attack on one of their own months before. In exchange, they were being put to work. Much of the framework was completed and the more meticulous aspect of building had begun.

“Aah! Yes. We’ve been expecting you.” If Luciano was about to sit, he was out of luck as she abruptly stood. “Your area is zoned off and waiting for you. You will have access to your own crew, engineer and carpenters included. Right this way.” Artamese always moved with nervous energy. Perhaps that was why she seemed disconnected at times. Much of her early career was spent in Patia, locked away in the Lore Spire tending after the Devil’s library. She only truly ever seemed to enjoy being in her element when she was at an archaeological site.

“I won’t learn all your names right away but I’ll try. If you need anything, my colleague and I will be in my tent. Don’t hesitate to ask for help where it’d needed. This is your outpost, you are in charge here. Any questions?”

@Shatter

@Zigzag

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"It will do very well, thank you." Lancellar said, giving Artamese a bow as the others joined her. "I have some ideas about how we can shape this little patch of land."

"Its from those star people, right?" Phillip asked. It had been sometime since their adventure in Ursa Madeum, but he knew she took her position seriously when it came to telling the story of the now extinct celestial beings. If it was going to be used here, then he was sure it was going to be something spectacular. 

"I'll speak with the engineer about what I am thinking of implementing. You all can go enjoy what parts of the city you can." She smiled at them, and Phillip knew that this smile was something genuine, and it made him smile back at her.

The others left, and Lancellar removed a scroll that held the designs she had been drawing up in their travels. A circular domed building encased within an octagon, with large towers at each point, connected on three levels all around. In this, it will become a focal point of magic, and the center of the Shields of Valor's arcane might. 

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“You look like Hell.”

"Oh." He sniffed as if forcing an indifferent reaction, taking in a breath before responding. "Yes, thank you for the reminder, Artamese." He pursed his lips, then merely thinned them. It didn't really bother him, but he wasn't fond of trying to maintain an optimistic face around this woman. He rather not, it was as tiresome as his actual work which made the face of neutrality all the more comfortable for him in reality. He wasn't exactly an unhappy man, but he didn't see much reason in smiling when his joy was his work. It did not care if he smiled. "When's the last time I slept...?" He furrowed his brows at her quizzically, giving her a look that said 'Why does it matter?' Still, he worked his jaw briefly, then glanced at the rising sun in the distance. "It's morning. So, maybe yesterday a little bit. It doesn't matter, I'm fine..." He gave her a dismissive wave while sipping at his orange juice. The blood mage was always trying to replenish his supply as much as a struggle it was. It would take a healers help to really get his wards set-up around the city in a timely manner. Still, he considered her offer of soup and bread for a time and was likely to break shortly.

He eyed it while she went singing the usual tune: So terrible, so mean. He was sure she was just trying to put a bad taste in people's mouth to discourage social interaction. He didn't really think much of it, as he actually liked working with her and admittedly, he didn't actually think she was mean. "I would call you 'terse,' " He replied while raising his eyebrows at the aging books she has left out. "You make up for your lack of charm by having high standards." He lifted his left-hand and motioned to the most brittle of the books, which were many of them, and asked, "Would you like me to restore these books you are so intent on destroying? Wherever you even pulled some of these...they shouldn't be exposed to the open air like this," He explained with a growing frown at the treatment of the texts it would seem. In truth, he was highly suspicious she literally laid out bait for him to leap at. The woman was efficient and he wouldn't put it past her as it would help her completely avoid a section of the social exchange.

He could see to fixing them here and now, although at the cost of some blood he would rather fetch from his tent. For the moment, he refocused on the manual she was telling him about and stepped over to examine some of the images as the book wrote itself. He nodded along politely until she called his Guild a trade school. He scrunched up his nose and said, "It's closer to the school district itself if you were going to make that comparison. We'll be the ones writing the curriculum for every school in the city, for all ages with a singular system. I'd like to see this be the case for every city in Hyperion, and Ive actually written about that to the Queen. You see, Ive been doing some studying on military statistics and even spellswords who knew only minor cantrips and held defensive knowledge of the occult have a higher kill count and survivability rate than even..." He trailed off as he watched her unshifting attention never even once leave her tomes, even as she invited him to sit next to her. Sighing, he reached up to scratch the back of his neck and he said, "You're getting bored. I'll just show you later."

He was about to sit, and perhaps even eat some of the food she had been offering him when she sprung up to her feet in response to the new arrivals. They explained themselves to be the Shields of Valor, a force composed of primarily warriors who wished to claim a more permanent place in the city being born here. A golden opportunity for anyone, and wise indeed. He considered them with a growing light in his eyes, saying with a welcoming tone, "I am Salvatore Luciano. I have need of warriors like yourself!" Then, slowly smiling in an apologetic manner, he said, "You see...I have need of bodyguards while I map the leylines outside and inside the city. It can be dangerous, but...it will also involve days of peacefully walking around chatting while the magi work. It's extremely important work for the transport infrastructure of the city I hope to implement." He was feeling spirited now, picking up a second wind that was most likely adrenaline in his sleepless state. He was sure to travel with them to their lot, nodding along as Artamese expressed she and Salvatore were to convene in her tent once they were done here. He realized it was likely to carry on the topic that had been interrupted: The nature of his magic.

This was what he properly liked about Artamese. A true scholar, through and through, who had no qualms about nature of his magic thus far. He intended to test the waters with his more radical theories slowly.

As he saw the blueprint on the scroll Lancellar unfurled, he perked up considerably. "I will most certainly be back here to discuss your assistance in mapping the leylines, Lancellar. I believe you share an interest in this knowledge."

Edited by Shatter

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Artamese had always thought her life was ordinary.

Every day she woke up and followed the same routine.

One of three sisters, with working parents. University to university. Somehow, she had gotten a job at the Lore Spire of Patia. Only on rare occasions did she catch Lord Roen leaving for business—sometimes coming. Never engaging him, though. She dreamt of the adventures a handsome lord would go on, and what she Wiezda she could record. There was no magical talent, but she was crafty and made do. The Chapel Alliance thought she was unique, and she became their tool. To what end, though, she wasn’t sure. When she would dream, it was always of her family, and she was sure that she missed them, somewhere in her loneliness.

Simon came into her life, quietly and unexpectedly. He had no name, then. Just a dog that followed her everywhere. Simon did things she could not explain, and this is where she got crafty and made do. His life was threatened, and she took the leap of faith to protect him, unwittingly creating a lifelong pact between them. He served her dutifully, despite his lazy demeanor. He was the true magical talent, not her.

And then the dream changed.

The horizon was there, on an endless stretch of beach and a grey sky. She was there with her family, her two sisters and her parents. Simon was gone, and it made her sad for a time, but happy to be with her family again; her ordinary family, living their ordinary lives. And then they would dissolve like ash, still laughing and smiling, and she was alone again. Artamese would roll over in her sleep and try to change it, but for many years, it wouldn’t change.

Queen Raveena came for her services, and she and Simon left with her. That was the night the dream continued, but only just barely. A sun finally rose on the horizon, but it was no ordinary sun. Impossibly large—impossibly close, it was faceted and beautiful, like a crystal. Ethereal wisps of silver energy pulsated around it.

She could remember standing there, staring at it in awe. Never knowing what it meant. Never knowing what to do about it—what to make of it.

When Salvatore Luciano came into their lives, the dream changed again. And so, she had come to bond with the man in the time of his services to Imradel. Queen Raveena, the Chapel Alliance, Simon, and even Salvatore. Every time her routine changed, it disrupted her dream—altered it, somehow. She began to deliberately do this to test and see if more would unfold, if this mystery dream that plagued her for so long would change, but it did not.

Some nights were spent with Artamese scrawling in a spare codex, treating it like a journal to chronicle the dream’s journey over the years. It was not until recently that she realized another startling revelation that connected the four entities that changed her life: they were all people and creatures of exceptional magical talent, something she sufficiently lacked. And so, Artamese sought answers, and with that, came the delicious morsels of knowledge that someone like Salvatore provided. Simon lumbered behind them silently, leaving the Shields of Valor to their work.

Salvatore was a plain man in his demeanor. She respected his honesty and that he had no desire to put on appearances. They spoke plainly to one another, something Artamese found refreshing. Her many years spent in the Lore Spire, and her time as the Black Sheep at the Chapel Alliance often left her coarse. She valued Wiezda—truth. It was the core of her job as a Scrivener. She felt that while politeness could be afforded where it was due, she would never feign it for the sake of favor or formality. “Terse” was the word Salvatore used—and she could agree to that.

“Now,” Artamese collapsed back into her chair dramatically, slouching in an unladylike manner that her father would frown at, “About those books.” She clapped her hands together delightedly and smiled devilishly. “I’m still in the process of moving to my new home in Port Kyros. These are the last of my things. This was really the one place I trusted them to be safe, but—.” Here, she sighed heavily, “As you say, they shouldn’t be here. I’d be very grateful for you help.” She sat up straight and pulled her chair back to her desk. Looking around, she tilted the chair back and reached for the spine of a book, spotting it and pulling it from a shelf and placing it before it. It was a scheduler—one of many she had.

“Now…you want the Hyperian military to dabble into the occult.” Artamese slipped on her glasses and began notating what she had accomplished and what was to come next, “They would be able to do what you do?” She asked, distractedly. She had an ear for listening while working, no matter how distant and detached she sounded. In her notes, she made a note to have an extra supply of oranges set aside to be delivered to him on a weekly basis.

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Time flowed like the ceaseless waves of the ocean, and in that time, the magical center of the Shields of Valor had been getting closer and closer to completion. First was the dome, then the octagon, with the towers slowly rising, spears of arcane power that would soon pierce the sky. 

Lancellar was there through it all, weaving the various enchantments, ordering the books which would fill the libraries inside the blossoming Academy. Many nights were spent without sleep, double checking, triple checking the spells, testing them to ensure that they were working properly. Anyone who wished to do harm in this place, would find it quite difficult indeed, as many of these protective enchantments were designed to flat out neutralize any magical energies being used for destructive purposes. 

Sitting in one of the many chairs at one of the many tables in the sprawling library of her new academy. Her new academy, she never knew it would ever come to this, but here she was, in a role she never imagined. Was she ready for so much responsibility? She couldn't say, but she refused to back down from this challenge, and would see it through to its entirety. Already the first generation of mew wizards would be coming here, eager to learn, to learn from her. 

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