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Planetouched - Chapter Four (The Sage and the Shards)

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As they returned to the watch they found Brelaina being berated by a senior officer, she was taking it in but Maria could see she wasn't fazed by it.

“You know our orders were that you give us the location of the assassins Captain, and let us deal with them.”

Brelaina ignored the woman and addressed Maria,

“These men are from the Nine...under the service of Captain Nevalle.”

She turned but to the other officers,

“We are, as always, ready and able to serve Neverwinter in any capacity requested. I felt the situation could be handle by the Lieutenant here and by all accounts, she has done a commendable job.”

The Knight narrowed his eyes,

“I doubt any orders I give you would be followed to the letter Captain, but I appreciate the gesture nonetheless.”

And with a click of heals and a salute the men were gone. Brelaina smiled and shook her head at the retreating figures before returning her attention to Maria.

“There was another death in Blacklake while you were on your mission, Lord Hawkes.”

Maria's heart fell,

“Does that mean you can't allow me into the district?”

Brelaina smiled at her defeated tone.

“On the contrary, you have done all I asked so I am giving you official permission to enter, I only tell you this so that you be careful of the investigation and do not interfere.”

Maria couldn't believe it, after all this time she was finally able to seek out the sage and fulfil her task.

As they approached the house she could see a glow from the magical wards surrounding the place, it seemed nearly to blaze with light.

“Hello? Who is there? What do you want?”

They hadn't even touched the door before the question was called out.

“I'm with the City Watch,” she returned, “I need your help with an investigation, you might have information that would help me greatly.”

“Really?” the owner of the voice seemed quite chuffed at the idea,

“I'm always happy to help the watch – and information is something of a specialty of mine you know. Quite a hobby.”

Even before he had finished speaking the wards were removed and the front door clicked open.

As they entered they were greeted by a cheerful elderly man whose robes were almost as white as his hair.

“Well met, please forgive my rather rude questions at the door, I must confess that normally I'm rather reclusive. Not that I dislike people mind you, quite the contrary. But lately with a murderer on the lose and young nobles sneaking around up to who knows what, I've had to place wards around my home...”

He continued on in this vein for a few minutes and Maria started to feel as though she were talking to an older, paranoid (much taller) Grobnar.

“Um- about why I'm here,” she began, interrupting him mid sentence.

“Oh yes of course how rude of me...”

He paused puzzled,

“Er, why are you here?”

Maria brought the two shards out of her pocket and showed them to the Sage. He watched them glowing in the candlelight as she proceeded to tell him the story of how they came into her possession.

“Well, you've certainly come to the right place. A while ago I found another shard, with properties similar to the ones you hae. I've done every possible test on the shard however but have learned little. However I've never had another shard to compare it against.”

He picked up the shards on the table and carefully examined them.

“If you'd like some answers, I'll gladly run some tests on your shards.”

“That's why I'm here,” she replied smiling, finally they were getting down to business.

He proceeded into a back room and for about half an hour a lot of banging and explosions could be heard, when the old Sage finally did return he had a giant grin on his face.

“My tests are complete. With another shard to use as a comparison I learnt quite a lot.”

He proceeded to explain how the shards were once whole, that their magical energy was either caused by whatever destroyed the original item, or an enchantment that had been on it when the item was whole. A sort of fervor came into his eyes as he explained all the magical properties and how when brought together the shards would resonate and increase tehir magic output accordingly.

“These shards are pieces of a broken githyanki sword. Are you familiar with the githyanki?”

The young wizard stiffened then sighed,

“You could say that,” she replied, “So how was the sword broken?”

“Well I have no idea really, but someone who would know would be the old court mage Ammon Jerro, he actually posessed a silver sword you know. But he's dead now.”

He seemed to add the last bit as an after thought, this old man was nearly as bad as Grobnar in the useless information stakes.

“He may have been survived by family, though no one knows where they are as they were purported to have moved away after the war.”

Maria sighed and rubbed her eyes as a headache began to form.

“So...I can't talk to Jerro or his family...any suggestions?”

The old man didn't seem to notice her sarcasm.

“Well you could always try Ammon Jerro's haven, but you'd need to access the Neverwinter archives to find its location. You may be able to find the whereabouts of his family there too.”

Finally, some useful information, it lightened Maria's mood a little and she thanked Aldanon.

“It was no trouble really,” he replied seeming a bit flustered by her thanks, “Here take my shard. I've no use for it now and who knows – you may find more.”

“Gods I hope not,” she thought as they left the old man and proceeded to seek out the Archive Hall.

Planetouched Chapter 4 - The Sage and the shards © slydfox

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