Nine in Water, Many Beyond

In the tongue of the Karicarya, their world means 'Adoring Sunrise'. In the Saenoch's speech, it is 'Open Palm'. The name of this world is unknown as of this writing, but most other subjects...well, that's a different story.


23. Lorebook - Betrayal By Mind

Betrayal By Mind
by Xinixar

A One Act Play

Dramatis Personae

Yofie: A Karicarya battlemage

Toryth: An Evemeni battlemage

Cirexis: A Praxefia healer

Eatheme: A Nakleel warrior

Scene: Clearplane, Paliephor


The curtain opens, and the grasslands of Paliephor spread wide, plants tall enough to hide even a Karicarya. Wind whistles through the plants. A bloodied Nakleel, soaking itself in water, wades through the grass.

Eatheme: Clear!

Toryth, a handsome Evemeni mage, joins him in the clearing. A low growling rings out, and Eatheme draws his twin blades whilst Toryth conjures hot magma in his palms. Nothing comes out.

Toryth: Where's Yofie?

Eatheme: Carrying the chest with Cirexis.

Cirexis, a Praxefia healer, emerges with Yofie, both carrying a large, black chest between them.

Yofie: Here...I was under the impression warriors had the strength of Skaxal. Why are we carrying the rewards? I believe battlemages bring warriors through crypts as pack mules, no?

Eatheme: Can't haul loot and fight. This is lion territory, and you three are out of magic with no way of grounding thanks to that bloody lich. Don't worry, I got no intention o' doing it.

Toryth: (Innocently) Doing what?

Eatheme: Taking the Periodicity Veil for myself after killing you all and staining it in your blood. Don't lie - you were all thinking it.

Cirexis: What a- I never thought anyone, no matter how degenerate-

Toryth: Why?

Yofie: Toryth, he needs porters. Just one Nakleel cannot expect to carry the load and fight off any predators who desire seafood both.

Cirexis: By Aquentor, of all the Nakleel-

Something growls in the bushes.

Eatheme: Flusah! Told you this was lion territory. Yofie, go investigate.

Yofie: If it's a lion, you would be better suited.

Eatheme: (Deep and sinister) Yofie, go check it out and you may live. Refuse, and you will definitely die.

Yofie considers then heads through the grass.

Eatheme: (To Cirexis and Toryth) You know, Queen Aeshma will pay nicely for the Veil. The money splits better between three than four.

Toryth: How right you are...

Toryth sends a blast of magma directly into the Nakleel's chest, melting his scales off as Yofie emerges from the bushes and soaks the skinless traitor in acid, flooding the stage with steam. At the side, Cirexis cowers, the hot steam catching him in the crossfire and he too collapses as a corpse.

Toryth: So you managed to ground a little. Is he dead?

Yofie: Fortunately, yes. It seems we need each other to survive now.

They both pick up the chest, trudging through the undergrowth with it, pausing at every small noise.

Toryth: Both of us have just a little magic and no way of grounding, correct?

Yofie: It would seem so, yes.

Toryth: So we have equal power, and equal reward in this.

Yofie: That also. Where, pray tell, are you going with this?

Toryth: Oh, nowhere. Just evaluating the situation now we're down a healer and a tank.

They pause for a moment as several barks and yelps pass by, resuming their trudging once it goes silent again.

Yofie: Just out of intellectual curiosity, I'd assume you have many low-magic high-power spells to your name, yes? What, pray tell, would you use on me, were we to get to civilisation without more combat?

Toryth: Well, purely intellectually, I would know that a Karicarya is weak to flame, and I would proceed to either spray you with magma or burn you with a well placed fireball. Then, realising the danger of reavers, I would cast a vampiric spell upon you and heal myself from your draining blood.

Yofie: Interesting...and well thought out. I myself, metaphorically of course, would prefer a nice, crisp hypothermia spell to encase you in frost, exploiting the Evemeni's weakness to ice so you steadily froze to death.

Toryth: That is again, a well reasoned response. But let us say, hypothetically, our spells cancelled each other out. Or struck at once so I remained frozen in ice as I leeched your health. What then?

Yofie: Then, I assume, we would have to plead our case to the nearest traveller and the most persuasive would be the victor.

Toryth: Which would most likely be you, for you would use your innate power and turn the traveller into your practical and humble servant.

Yofie: So before then, and I assume you have a capsule of some kind of oil upon your person, you would spit fire upon me and finish me off there and then.

Toryth: Unless the traveller helped me, and gave us both a healing potion.

Yofie: Then once more we would be equals. It seems we would be at an impass, unless...unless you could light a fire somehow to ground yourself.

Toryth: And you could douse it with a little acid, but it would be too late, I would be well on my way to getting free.

Yofie: Yet I would be able to hit you again with a leeching spell, stealing your magic and using it to heal myself, while leaving you paralysed. Unless you could- is that light?

They both scurry into the grass as sure enough, light peers over the top of the grasses.

Toryth: (In the grass.) We made it.

Yofie: (Also in the grass.) That we did.

There's a sudden burst of red light, magma, and ice colliding into steam lit from within. Yofie falls flat on her stomach hanging out of the grass, slow moving and covered in burns. Toryth falls flat on his back, chunks of ice clinging to and paralysing him.

Toryth: In my mind, this would have gone much better.

Yofie: In mine, there would be a vastly different outcome.

Toryth: In my mind I had a chance to ground.

Yofie: In mine, I had enough magic reserved.

Toryth: The mind is not reality, it seems.

Yofie: At least reality is honest some of the time.

Toryth: Whereas the mind...

Yofie: ...loves to betray.

The curtain is dropped upon the two.


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