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Borderland - Warehouse by the river (Holt-Lindeck)

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
The same very early morning as the scene in the Ratskeller Inn

Magister Hogar von Falkenstayn had already left the Ratskeller more than 2 hours ago. The tall but very slim man, with the striking white hair, the full beard and the small scar on the right cheek leaned heavily on his man-sized stick with the red gemstone at the top.
His backpack was almost too heavy for him, but it contained everything he needed for his project.

He had gathered the last information and reagents in exchange for favors and his last gold reserves at the Free College of Holt-Lindeck.

The infamous "De divinatione daemonum" by Magister Augustinius described exactly what he had to do and now, after more than 1 year of research he would finally do it.

In his memory palace, he went through the rooms where he had gone through the various steps hundreds of times. In the real world, he made sure that no one saw him if possible.

The magus lacked Jacob's talent to seemingly vanish into thin air, but he still knew how to move quietly and carefully.

There it was! The small warehouse near the river. It had cost him a good dozen magical services for the owner to have it to himself for those 13 days. 12 days of preparation and now...finally...the final steps to his first real progress on the road to retribution.

He had to hurry a bit, the ritual was strongest in the transition from Hehl to Solus. From night to day. And he was safest then himself. Many fools had misinterpreted the scriptures and tried the same ritual from the transition of day to night.

A brief tremor ran through his body. No fear! No....er was not afraid after all! Only...respect. That was it...

Hogar went to the door, checked the lock and the protective signs, which should prevent end-ringing of vermin of bigger and smaller kind.

They were both intact. A murmur and the turn of a key. A moment later he was in the darkness of the warehouse.

"Ljocht wekker," he muttered, and a small light appeared above his staff, bathing the room in a pale brightness.

Before him on the floor, the ritual place was still just as he had left it. The pentagram of silver dust and the circle of gold leaf enclosing it were absolutely intact. Thanks to the small protective spell.

Nevertheless, Hogar carefully put the backpack aside and took more than a quarter of a candle to go over and check everything again.

"I'll do it!" he whispers in a hoarse voice.
 

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
After the initial visual inspection of the summoning circle, Magister Hogar opened the backpack and carefully placed its contents in front of him on a low table nearby.
He went through each item in his mind.

A black robe with silver embroidery that would hide his face from the being of the Nether Hell. A silver bell that would symbolically drown out his words and make his voice unrecognizable.
Several candles that at the intersections of the pentagram strengthen his willpower with the element of fire. Incense to cover his smell. The ritual dagger with which he would teach himself a cut. The silver bowl in which his blood could drip. And of course the scroll he had carefully copied from the book in college.

The pentagram and the incantation circle had been completed by him in the last 12 nights. Each of the 5 corners represented an element of magic. Earth, fire, water, air and spirit. He had carved the symbols of the types of magic into the gold leaf with a fine penknife and then sealed them with magic. They would, no they simply had to hold!

Hogar walked to a point about five steps from the pentagram and began to prepare himself. The black robe with the hood was pleasantly cool on his skin. A whispered "Ljocht wekker" and the candles in the pentagram caught fire. With that, the circle was closed there, nothing magical could get OUT, but he could use his power against everything in it.... Now it was only a matter of protecting himself in the best possible way.

He had studied everything carefully. His protective circle was five steps away from the summoning circle, one for each element.

The blade in his hand cut through the skin on his forearm. Blood dripped into the silver bowl. The pain was unusually intense. Dark red in the light of the candles and warm was the blood.

Now he would begin. With an effort of will, he made the connection between the silver bowl in front of his protective circle and the center of the pentagram. Thaumaturgy. He could see the strands of magic building up. This was the "fuel". As long as there was blood in this bowl, the demon would have to dwell on the material plane and answer his questions. So it had written Magister Augustinus.

He lit the incense inside his protective circle and placed the wand on his right, the incantation in front of him and the small bell on his left.

Now it was time. He focused his considerable magical energy and let a fraction of it slide into the protective circle. Immediately he saw the strands of spirit and the other elements forming an impenetrable web around him.

His throat was dry and he had to swallow. "No weakness, no backing down! Concentration and discipline!" he admonished himself. Then he went through the incantation in front of him again, carefully filing each word in his memory palace. No mistake!

His right hand reached for the familiar wand and his left for the bell, the hood was low on his face and the incense spread sweetly and strongly within the protective circle.
His words were soft at first, but then they became clear and strong:

"Fire!
blazing come forth.
Water!
rushing flow together
Earth!
quivering show your power
Air!
Storm wind blowing across the sky,
Spirit
Come forth and connect!

None of the fours is in the demon,
only the fifth power is there.
He does not come forth yet,
but notice.
You shall hear me,
summon stronger,
I will break you,
I will give you pain

Come to me, the companion of hell,
Behold thy sign!"


Hogar described a tight pattern in the air in front of him with his wand and power flowed into the bowl in front of him and thus into the summoning circle.

"Bow to the power of the spirit,
which is stronger than yours!
Amon-al-Devol, I call you into the circle!

Harkje nei myn wil!"

Quickly he let the bell emit a sharp bright sound after his last words.
Everything had gone according to plan so far.
It happened, he could feel it....
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
Adventure Builder
Adventure Master
A chill breeze is the first sign. Alarmed Hogar looks at the flames, but they do not waver. No wind is allowed in this warehouse as to not disturb the fine silver dust of the pentagram. No, it is an immaterial breeze touching his very soul in the moment of trespassing.
A sound like low unearthly humming but too far and indistinct to make out any details. Nevertheless, it is slowly growing louder. Something is... coming.
A faint moldy, musky stench? Or is this just the old warehouse at the river? Hogar can hear the faint but steady gurgling and rushing of the waters just outside. And in the stillness of the air, he can also hear the faint sounds of the river people working their boats. Unknowing of what is going to happen here in a few seconds.

For an instant a faint shadow fell onto the flames and for a moment it almost seemed as if they would just vanish and plunge the warehouse into total darkness. But they held. The flames flicker, but they radiate with light.
A purring sound. Not far this time, but very present. A faint shimmer of dust in the middle of the pentagram rising slowly from the ground and getting darker. It takes several moments to coalesce into a fine plume of black smoke billowing convulsingly within the center of the pentagram.
Then, suddenly, a pair of eyes open within the smoke. Curved reflections of the flames outside centered within total darkness of the black smoke.

A smoky purring as if created by multiple tongues simultaneously echoing in the ears and mind: "At last. Who are you, elvenbreed?"

The eyes blink out of existence, only to reappear again. They seem to slowly look around. Tendrils of dark smoke lazily spiraling down to the hard stone floor and... stretch? Within a blink of an eye they have transformed to gorgeous looking arms and hands ending in fine black nails. Black hair frames a beautiful face with almond eyes and whiskers. She looks up at you with an expression of innocence while she carefully licks the back of her hand and brushes her cheeks. Naked.
 

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
A smoky purring as if created by multiple tongues simultaneously echoing in the ears and mind: "At last. Who are you, elvenbreed?"

For a brief moment of confusion, Magister Hogar was about to correct the demon, so much had this behavior become second nature to him. Then, however, he pulled himself together and the realization that the summoning had been successful struck at his core, making him shudder with fear and excitement. He had no illusions that it would only be excitement and triumph.

"Myn wil bindet dy, swij en harkje!" he spoke clearly and without conscious stirring in his voice to let the bell sound immediately afterwards. It was true! HIS will bound the demon.

The hands that held the bell and the staff were suddenly wet with sweat. He felt his legs, which were soft like those of a newborn child.
He was afraid. "Did the demon break the circle after all and use his magic against me? Bei Gott, did I make a mistake?" Hectically, he let his magical senses check every strand of magic.

The figure in the circle stirred and stroked with ... all too...human hands over the walls of the circle, but did not take his eyes off Hogar for a moment.

The inspection had reassured Hogar, everything was intact. He consciously fought down the burgeoning feelings with his will. Cold determination. THAT was what he needed. He had ONE goal.

His brothers had chosen their path and he his.

"I have called you, I have bound you, I have unleashed your power and seen your spirit. " The formulas of Augustine were clear before his eyes. Hogar felt each word strengthen the circle around the demon.

"Hear my questions and answer!" he took a deep breath and spoke the true name, "Amon-al-Devol!"

The strands of magic vibrated and suddenly the darkness in the warehouse was palpable.
 
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Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
Adventure Builder
Adventure Master
Indeed, the circle and magical threads seemed intact. But she grins as Hogar as he strengthens the circle with his incantation.
A grin loosing its lust as he calls her by a name.
"I was called such and other," she purrs as she continues to brush herself. "You have called me, bound me and unleashed my power to see my spirit, elvenbreed. The incantation I taught you. I remember it. And once again you seek knowledge. You know the price. But are you willing to pay this time?"

Hogar notices a fine stirring in the silver bowl holding his blood. As she smacks her lips and licks her palm, slowly the blood diminishes. She is draining energy from the circle.
 

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
Price? Hogar became ice cold inside. What kind of price? There had been nothing about that in the scriptures. Only the formula that clearly described that the summoned demon had to answer.
The thoughts raced feverishly through his head. The form of the demon was clearly female, but he refused to assign it to a mortal gender. With it he would give the "thing" too much power.

"You speak in riddles, Amon-Al-Devol! You know well that you are bound by the circle and obliged to give me answers. Do you really want to feel the power of the circle?"

His voice did not tremble, but he danced on a tightrope. With effort, he suppressed the burgeoning fear of having overlooked something once again.

"Now, answer me!" Hogar thought of the encounter with the giant orc warrior. Of the demonic presence that had strengthened that monster beyond measure. So much so that his father had been defeated despite all his skill with the sword.

"Which of your infernal companions was on the slopes of the Black Fang Hills three seasons ago, boiling the blood of an orc warrior!"

He focused his will and added a little more strands of spirit magic to the connection to the circle. Flashes of light shot out from the wall around the demon.
 

Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
Adventure Builder
Adventure Master
For a moment, the cat-like woman stops smacking her lips and caressing her hair, as a fine eyebrow rises. She is looking in Hogar's direction, but as he notices, not quite at his face.

"Oh? Riddles you say? But I speak as clear as your blood." Her libs curl up in a smile. "Only the one, not understanding the background, will call it 'Riddles', elvenbreed." She slowly stretches her arms behind her back and rises on her feet, completely undisturbed by the fact that she wears no clothing. Gingerly, she trails a finger with a pointed black nail along the invisible wall of the circle. Where the tip touches the magical surface, a spray of fine lighting begins to sizzle and illuminate what was invisible before: slender tendrils of magic, woven and interwoven into a net of power. She, seemingly undisturbed by the electricity emanating from her hand like a trailing mist. She slowly continues to inspect her prison. At important intersections, Hogar is almost able to see slowly pulsating bulges in the fabric, like spiderweb cocoons holding symbols, words, and ideals or power inside to fuel the net. Then, she suddenly stops. She looks more carefully at a cross section. And Hogar can't make out, what she is looking at exactly.
Direction: Symbol for Water.

If she heard his question, she did not give indication. For several moments, Hogar had no way of knowing whether the ritual really compelled the creature. And he noticed, that the scriptures did not say, how long it could take for the infernal to answer or whether they were compelled to do it right away or not.

"This is a boring question. Are you sure you want to ask me that? For someone able to create a passageway from your pocket dimention to the world, this seems like an unimportant detail to ask. I'd rather assume there is a much more important question on your mind. But it is of course-"

Mid-sentence she stops and prods deeper with her finger. The electricity becomes audible and there is a slight twitch in her ears. She seems to feel the energy. But she wiggles her finger and tries to reach a spot in the web with her nail nonetheless. Alarmed, and to press her back, Hogar added more of his magical energy to the circle. He felt, how it left his aura like a bodily sensation. But it had effect: She crinched and pulled back her hand. She shot a poisonous glance back at him.

"That was not nice! It is your decision, whether this is your final decision on a question and whether you will pay for it."
 

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
Panic. He HAD made a mistake, overlooked something. His damned pride, yes, he was the youngest Magus ever to leave the Free College, but this had been just luck and coincidence. Sweat ran down Hogar's back, making him shiver in the cold warehouse.

"When?" , he scolded himself, "WHEN did the demon have to answer? I fucking idiot!"

A quick glance at the bowl of blood revealed that he would have about 15 minutes before the spell had to be lifted. And that was only if the demon didn't set out to check his prison again.

Time was running through his fingers.
"Why do you get involved with the creatures of hell?" he heard his eldest brother say. Hogar did not want to admit it to himself, but right now he would like to have Benedikt at his side, as a brother and as a priest!

He stretched himself under the cloak. Sure that the demon could not sense his inner conflict.

"Amon! If you want pain, you can have it. My will is strong and my power HAS already bound you. Stop stalling and declare what you want! I know you and your kind... I know your kind. But do not underestimate me. Before I release you back into the hells, you will suffer, should you want to betray ME. If you want a deal, very well. Talk!"

Hogar swallowed after these words. The insecurity he always hid inside, behind a wall of cold intellect and arrogance dug its way to the surface of his mind with each passing minute.

"Muorre berne út macht, draai josels!" he muttered a formula, and the walls of the prison narrowed a hand's width. Flashes of light twitched across their surface.

"SPEAK!"
 
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Stephan Hornick

Community Goblin
Staff member
Wizard of Adventure
Faster Combatant
Adventure Builder
Adventure Master
The demon instantly cringes away protecting her eyes with her palms. Only a moment later, she slowly opened her fingers and peeked through, looking at him menacingly and with tight features. Indeed, she could be callous, that was becoming clear.
"That was NOT necessary. You are a very rude one! Alright, alright.... You ARE new to this. This ritual IS already the proposal of a... PERMANENT deal. I WILL answer your questions and do your bidding, AS LONG AS you pay up. You ask, what it is, you should pay, but isn't it the most obvious of prices?! Why else would we venture to your dimension when called? You pay us with your 'ichor', of course. That what you call 'blood' but which contains a part of your very soul."

She gives him a moment to stomach this information. Then she relaxes her hands and licks over her lips, while continuing:

"The one you are seeking is... Tu-" She cringes and tries anew to speak the name. Evidently, it pains her just to speak of him. "We call him... Turrh'Zzarrh'Chorraz." She grimaces, then sighs and relaxes. As she looks up, she again smacks her lips. "Now, it is time for you to pay up. One, for the name, and two, for declaring you what I want." She smiles cruelly. Then she gulps and smacks her lips and gulps and... drinks? Her lips take on the color of blood and even a fine trickle of blood is threading its way down her chin and slowly dripping on her bare body.

Simultaneously, Hogar feels the pull. He feels a cruel tug of magic, as the blood in the silver bowl in front of him quickly diminishes like if there had been a hole in the bottom. Although the magic shield around him protects him from any magical influences, he can still feel how the blood is pulled through the connection to the pentagram, which it sustains with energy, as was written. She gulps it down and savors it. And as the blood is almost gone, Hogar realizes that she is not only drinking his offered blood as a price, but also quickly depletes the energy sustaining her prison. And then he remembers what the scriptures had really said and notices that they could have more than one meaning.

THOU SHALL FILL THE BOWL TO ITS SILVER BRIM,
BUT NEVER LET CRIMSON TOUCH THE FLOOR,
TO SUSTAIN THE THREADS HOLDING HIM,
CHOOSE WISELY YOUR DESIRED LORE.

And he HAD wondered why the bowl had to be filled to the brim...
Augustinius had written that he would have three questions, right? At least the blood will suffice, will it not? It could be possible to replenish it mid-ritual, but this was dangerous. In most of the comments talking about this ritual it was common opinion that there were indeed three questions possible before the demon left. But there was this one side note that had nagged Hogar for days. The best he could translate was:

THOU SHALL PREPARE A BOWL OF THREE TIMES THREE OUNCES,
ONE FOR LIGHT, ONE FOR SHADOW, AND ONE FOR THE INBETWEEN,
AS IS RULE IN THE LANDS BEYOND AND MY DEMON ANNOUNCES,
MAY THREE QUESTIONS BE ANSWERED BEFORE SOMEONE CAN INTERVENE.

- Question depends on value and must be rounded with amount, but mostly three -
Magister Uri Grabenstein, Freiholt, 999 NL


 

Morvar

Member
Faster Combatant
"Turrh'Zzarrh'Chorraz."

The name echoed in his head. At last! Three years, countless hours of searching, despairing and hoping.
He almost lost sight of the Demon's other statements. But only ... almost. Because the pain, but also the ecstasy that resulted from the loss of life force, immediately sharpened his attention again.
Three questions, two he had asked, one of them simply...wasted. The thought of now pouring blood into the bowl to bind the demon longer made Hogar hold his breath.
No, he couldn't do that. Did he have to ask the last question to end the summoning safely? His thoughts raced through his head.

"I didn't just pay you for two questions, Amon-Al-Devol, keeper of knowledge, twister of words, forked tongue! You still owe me an answer, only then is it finished!"

Magister Hogar grabbed strands of spirit and let them flow one last time through the Thaumaturgic Tunnel to the summoning circle. The cage tightened once more.

"How do I find him?"
 
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