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kaz

The Agas Saga

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Yay, update!

 

For a moment I almost forgot who Aravis was XD. Looks like he's gotten himself into quite the pickle here.

 

Ooh, that no good Saurva... betraying the other daevas like that... or, at least, I think he is... Could be totally wrong though.

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...........!

 

I forgot to comment when I read it. :o

 

But it was great. That crazy demon and his dragons... Not to mention, of course, our pair of sinister and, er, old. XD ('Course he's afraid of children. They kicked his a-- Cough.)

 

Hey Kaz, how badly do you want me to spill about Agas's past in Revolution? 'Cause, in theory, I'll be updating today. (Tomorrow at the latest, 'cause I've got school on Tuesday. D=)

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sorry it's taken so long, all. too much going on. thanks for being patient!

 

and welcome, darkprincess! :amaranth:

 

 

Chapter 23 - A Word of Warning

 

I have, on more than one occasion, been left to wonder how, and indeed if, I managed to keep my sanity in light of events of the recent past. Over the next several years, I was presented with many more such occasions.

There continued to be sporadic outbreaks of strange-winged-creature attacks, and each time the beasts grew more and more sinister and deadly. It was one such attack upon Mysten Far (where, conveniently, Tawrich, Hajetus, and myself had been assisting Zarich with a Nightmare dilemma), in which Zarich and Hajetus both nearly lost limbs, that finally demanded a council to address the problem more thoroughly.

Aravis began groaning and complaining—-as a young teenager might be expected to do—-the moment the word “council” passed his ears. I knew he resented the fact that neither his mother nor I would leave him on his own; but a twelve-year-old with a formidable and dangerous power such as he had simply could not garner enough trust to allow such freedom. Especially with such an arrogant hothead for a father.

I did, however, decide that he needn’t come directly to the palace of Veldarah when we arrived in the city, in part because I felt it would do neither of us any good to exert absolute authority over him, and in part because over the years he had had the Fear of Tei’jal instilled in him. So while I allowed him to wander the city at his leisure, I went to the palace, arriving there at just the same time as did Zarich. He scowled the moment he caught sight of me, though I quickly learned that it was not due to my presence.

“Can you believe this?” he said irritably as he approached me, pulling his sleeve up to his shoulder. His right arm—-the one that had nearly been torn off by the wide jaws of a Creature (as we had christened them) in our last battle—-was a sickly green color that rivaled swamp ooze, and the bite wound near his shoulder was terribly swollen and weeping slightly. In a human, one might call it the advanced stage of an infection.

“So,” I said after I had surveyed the damage, “it appears they are poisonous after all.”

“Nanghaithya was right,” Zarich grumbled, yanking down his sleeve. “Again.” He exhaled loudly. “How he must tire of it.”

“You know, you could have Hajetus look at it.”

He muttered something about it not bothering him and looked away. He, like Aesma, was still reluctant to allow Hajetus anywhere near him with “his little Healing spells”; a leftover mistrust, no doubt, of the former sun priest. I rolled my eyes, but did not press the matter further.

Once we had entered the palace and made our way to the conference room, we found that we were among the last to arrive. The only daevas missing at that point were Indra and, naturally, Saurva. After nearly a quarter of an hour of Aesma poking fun at Zarich’s injury, Saurva entered the room, giving the impression that he was in no hurry to do anything, nor that he had a care in the world. Of all things, he even inexplicably chose the empty seat to my left, rather than the one beside Tawrich, who was opposite me.

“What’s with you?” Aesma shot gruffly at Saurva, evidently thinking the same thing that I was.

Saurva looked around, politely confused, as though not sure Aesma was speaking to him. “I am afraid I don’t understand. There is nothing...’with’ me.”

“Indeed,” muttered Nanghaithya darkly, and more than one of us turned to look at him. Ever the champion of the phrase “benefit of the doubt”, Nanghaithya bore a tone of suspicion that had caught us all off-guard. Before any aspersions were cast in Saurva’s direction, however, Indra glided into the room like a swift and silent ghost, her manner tense, her eyes on me. She threw a quick glance at Saurva with slightly narrowed eyes, then leaned close to my right ear and whispered, “I need to speak with you.”

“Now?” I turned to look at her, attempting to read from her expression what might be so pressing. She glanced at the others impatiently, as though they were intruding; then, as if in defeat, she swept off around the table and sat down in a huff beside Tawrich, crossing her arms and her legs and glaring daggers at Saurva. No one else appeared to notice this, and I was stunned that I had won an argument with her so quickly, and so I did not bother to comment.

“All right, then,” said Tawrich, standing and speaking slowly and cautiously, clearly waiting for a tirade from Indra. When none came, he went on, “We are here to discuss the Creatures.” Indra sighed impatiently, glanced from Saurva to me and then back, but said nothing. Tawrich waited again, and when Indra did not speak, he continued. “I believe we can all agree that these attacks are not random, and that they are not few enough nor far enough between to ignore.”

At this Zarich shifted uncomfortably in his chair, pulling his right arm across his chest and holding it there with his left. I couldn’t help rolling my eyes.

“Damn things were poisonous,” he muttered when the others turned to look at him and the bit of infected arm he had exposed in his discomfort. Hajetus looked from Zarich to me, and I laughed.

“No, Hajetus. He would prefer to suffer.”

Now Hajetus rolled his eyes. Nanghaithya, looking at Zarich’s arm with interest, said, “Actually, I’d like to take a look at that, Zarich. It could give me greater insight into the Creatures’ origins.”

“Oh no you don’t,” said Zarich immediately. “‘Greater insight’ loosely translates to ‘an opportunity to experiment’. I shall take my chances with the poison, thank you very much.”

Once Aesma had stopped laughing at the exchange, he said, “While were are still slightly off-topic...” Tawrich threw his hands up in defeat and sat back down; Aesma continued, “Are we even concerned about the miserable sword singer any longer? I am sick to death of the pathetic moaning and groaning of her waste-of-a-king father.”

“Wait—-he’s still alive?” Nanghaithya and I both said in surprise.

Aesma raised an eyebrow at the pair of us. “Are your prisoners not?”

We looked at each other, then at Aesma. Nanghaithya shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully.

“Haven’t been to see mine in years,” I added.

“Well, forgive me,” said Aesma. “One of the few joys I have in life is tormenting humans.”

Indra stood up, glared at me angrily, then swept from the room with far more ceremony than was necessary. Tawrich looked at me and shook his head, and I shook mine as I reluctantly stood up. “Yes, yes, I’m going.”

Indra had disappeared to the throne room, which was vacant except for her. She sat in a large window seat at the back of the room, her arms and legs crossed in that same irritable position as before, glaring at, or through, the window as though it was the one who had wronged her. I decided to hazard a seat beside her.

“Complete waste of time,” she muttered to the window.

“As are most of our councils of late,” I had to agree. “So now you have my undivided attention, what is it you wished to speak to me about?”

Her annoyance transferred from the outside world to me. “I don’t know why I should even bother telling you.” She turned back to the window. “Arrogant son of—-”

“Look, if you are just going to insult me,” I stopped her as I stood up again, “then there is really no need for us to be in private.”

She caught my arm, silently requesting that I stay. There was something else in her eyes now; was it fear? “Aravis delayed me coming here,” she began in a soft voice. “To come right to the point, he told me he overheard Saurva speaking to someone, confirming some plan to send legions of dragons to attack—-” She stopped, apparently unaware of how to proceed.

“Me?” I offered, trying to keep both the sarcasm and the complete lack of surprise from my tone.

She looked away. “I don’t know. I believe he mentioned orcs and goblins.”

“I see. So Saurva has threatened to destroy me. Yet again. Does Aravis know to whom Saurva was speaking?” She shook her head. I nodded, mainly to myself. “I suppose I can guess the answer to that, anyway. Certainly explains his bizarre demeanor. Where was this?”

She seemed to know already why I had asked it, because her impatience returned. “What have you to gain by returning to the scene? Even if it was Ahriman, he has surely gone by now.”

“What does that mean? ‘Even if it was’? It was your prophecy, Indra. Has it truly never entered your mind that Saurva might be the ‘faithful servant’?”

“I am not concerned with the prophecy right now, Agas,” she said quietly, angry tears now filling her eyes. “I am talking about imminent, full-scale warfare.”

“And who is better at that than I?” I replied.

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HELLO!

 

glad i start school tommorrow, not today, i would've missed this.

 

*reads*

 

oh--my--LORD! that was brilliant, kaz. brilliant.

 

Nanghaithya, looking at Zarich’s arm with interest, said, “Actually, I’d like to take a look at that, Zarich. It could give me greater insight into the Creatures’ origins.”

“Oh no you don’t,” said Zarich immediately. “‘Greater insight’ loosely translates to ‘an opportunity to experiment’. I shall take my chances with the poison, thank you very much.”

 

i love it.

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“Wait—-he’s still alive?” Nanghaithya and I both said in surprise.

Aesma raised an eyebrow at the pair of us. “Are your prisoners not?”

We looked at each other, then at Aesma. Nanghaithya shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully.

“Haven’t been to see mine in years,” I added.

 

:laughing:

 

That was great, kaz. "Imminent, full-scale warfare" eh? I wonder who is better than Agas at that...

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sorry everyone! :oops:

life has been extremely hectic of late; consequently, i haven't been on the computer as much as i used to be. also, i haven't had much time to work on writing as i'd like.

i just wanted to let everyone know that i haven't dropped entirely off the face of the earth, and that i really truly appreciate you all reading and being patient with me. :)

i'll do my best to get back to work. ;) and i'll try to reply to everyone next time i'm on here. thanks so much, all!!

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MAN! Have I been trying to read this for ages. :( Time sure has gone by and it has sure gone by apparently within the story. 12 years now, eh? o_O

 

Wonderful work as always, kaz!

 

I know cherry quoted this line but I'm quoting it for other reasons. >.< Poor Devin:

 

“Wait—-he’s still alive?” Nanghaithya and I both said in surprise.

Aesma raised an eyebrow at the pair of us. “Are your prisoners not?”

We looked at each other, then at Aesma. Nanghaithya shrugged. “I don’t know,” he said thoughtfully.

“Haven’t been to see mine in years,” I added.

“Well, forgive me,” said Aesma. “One of the few joys I have in life is tormenting humans.”

Indra stood up, glared at me angrily, then swept from the room with far more ceremony than was necessary. Tawrich looked at me and shook his head, and I shook mine as I reluctantly stood up. “Yes, yes, I’m going.”

 

:x Poor, poor, poor Devin. But I'm glad he's at least alive.

 

Anyhoo, love it all! I'll be keeping a better eye out for updates. :blink:

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okay, so don't die on me, but i am still amongst the living, and i am, in fact, still writing this story. i'm sorry to everyone for being away so long, and i appreciate everyone's patience. hopefully you haven't all given up on me...yet...

if you haven't, i have a christmas/hanukkah/kwanzaa/whatever-winter-holiday-you-celebrate gift for you: a new chapter! (sorry it isn't something better. ;) )

 

seasons beatings!

 

er, greetings. i meant greetings. :lol:

 

 

Chapter 24 - Time Is of the Essence

 

Before Indra and I had returned to the council, she had insisted that I not “create a scene,” as she called it, by confronting Saurva then and there. After another hour or so of pointless tangents and no real decision being made on any counts, I was no longer able to hold my tongue, and cast a snide remark across the table about Saurva and his dragons. This, of course, infuriated Indra, and she left in a huff and did not return. Saurva did the same a moment later. At this Tawrich sighed and said, “I suppose we are through here,” before he, too, took his leave.

Hajetus rolled his eyes at me, as though it was my fault. “I am beginning to wonder what she sees in you,” he said sardonically.

“I have been asking that very same question for nearly three centuries, and I have never gotten a satisfactory answer. I am arrogant, reckless, sarcastic...violent and hateful.”

“Right. So what’s not to love?” said Aesma with a wicked smile.

“There you are,” I told Hajetus, indicating Aesma and his comment with a casual wave. “Aesma loves me. What does that tell you?”

“You mean besides the fact that Aesma has exquisite taste?” offered Nanghaithya; and it could not have sounded any more sarcastic if I had said it myself.

“You’re all insane,” sighed Zarich, sitting back in his chair and crossing his arms. “When was the last time we were actually able to decide anything?”

I sighed as well. “Too right, Zarich. There seems to be an over-abundance of mind-numbing tedium at our councils of late.”

“Indeed,” said Aesma. “So now the killjoys are gone, what say we do a little old-fashioned ‘questioning’ of our own?”

We laughed, knowing that Aesma’s brand of questioning involved very few actual questions; I did have to wonder, though, “Question who, Aesma?”

“Yes, and about what?” added Nanghaithya.

“Well, believe it or not, I have actually given a fair amount of thought to what we have discussed before, regarding Ahriman’s...’allies’, let’s call them. I do believe he is not on his own, and that Saurva clearly has some vested interest in his return. And I feel that your theory, Agas, that there is someone more powerful involved has some merit.”

“And I take it you have your own theory as to his or her identity as well?” I wondered.

“Eithera?” said Zarich doubtfully.

Aesma shrugged. “Could be. But I too have a feeling that there is another. The Creatures somehow do not strike me as Eithera’s ‘style’.” I glanced briefly at Hajetus, who shifted slightly in his chair, before Aesma turned to Nanghaithya and asked, “Is the High Necromancer still around?”

Nanghaithya looked at him pensively for a moment. “I suppose; though I cannot honestly say that I have had much interest one way or the other. But if you are thinking, Aesma, that it is he with whom Ahriman is allied, then I would disagree on two counts. First, the creation of the Creatures is beyond the skill of a mere human sorcerer. Second, the High Necromancer is evidently an old friend of Tei’jal’s, and they are both well aware that he, at least, will be destroyed at the first hint of treachery on his part. In any case, he has enjoyed freedoms that most other humans have not, and as far as I can tell he is well aware of, and would do well to remember, that fact.”

Aesma did not appear to be willing to accept this explanation, but he did not voice this opinion. In the brief silence that followed Nanghaithya’s pronouncement, Zarich asked, “Could it be another druid, by chance?”

I looked to Hajetus again, who appeared to be considering this. Before he could answer, Aesma said, “Wasn’t Rashnu a necrom—-?”

“Save it, Aesma,” I interrupted with a smirk, as Nanghaithya began to shake his head again. “It wasn’t Rashnu, either.”

Hajetus began slowly shaking his head as well. “It is hard to say, honestly. I suppose there are druids with that sort of power...but I cannot, as far as I can recall, imagine any of them even considering using it, even...” He grimaced. “Eithera.”

Aesma groaned impatiently. “Well...What about Vata, then? Now wait, hear me out,” he added quickly at the general disbelief making its way around the table. “I realize that he seems the least likely candidate, but does that not only deepen the suspicion upon him?” He then cast an imperious look at each of us in turn, defying us to disagree.

“Well...” began Hajetus after quite a long, awkward pause, his tone that of unmistakable disbelief, “I...suppose that...anything is...possible...”

“Oh, I see,” thundered Aesma sarcastically. “You all believe anything this one—-” He gestured hotly at me. “—-tells you, but Aesma’s theories are—-”

”All right, Aesma, take it easy,” I interjected. “I do not suppose there is any harm in paying the old man a visit.”

 

And that we did. Zarich, still obstinately doubtful, and Hajetus, unwilling to face any other druids, opted not to accompany us; so Aesma, Nanghaithya, and I made the journey to the Memory Caves on our own, as it were. The three of us crossed the vast chasm that separated the Time Temple from the rest of the world over Aesma’s Winds of Hell (though Nanghaithya and I had considerably more difficulty at it than Aesma did), and found that, from the outside at least, the temple appeared to have fallen into mild disrepair.

Inside, on the other hand, nothing had changed. The shelves lining the walls, the furniture, the legions of curious decorations that Vata had collected over the years all appeared now just as they always had. It was as though the Time Temple was never touched by it.

“So...where is he?” said Nanghaithya after a moment’s pause, in which we all scanned the clutter for the druid, who was conspicuously absent. Then, as if on cue, a bookcase in the far right corner of the room slid to the right, revealing a concealed doorway and an emerging Vata, who looked up at us from the book he carried in mild surprise.

“I was not expecting company,” he said mildly. “What brings you boys by?”

Boys,” Aesma snorted belligerently. “We’ve got some things to discuss with you, old man.”

“Aesma, can you never do anything in a manner that is not overtly hostile?” groaned Nanghaithya.

Vata smiled and shook his head, and proceeded to find himself an armchair in which to sit. “But how unlike Aesma that would be,” he said with a slight chuckle. “So, what is it that you require of me?”

“To the point,” I began, “have you any knowledge as to the whereabouts or intentions of Ahriman?”

“Specifically,” added Nanghaithya, at an imperious look from Aesma, “anyone that might be working alongside him.”

Vata nodded knowingly. “You are wondering if Eithera has ‘joined forces’ with him, are you not? You are not the first to have asked that of me.”

“Indeed?” said Aesma keenly, and Nanghaithya turned to me and muttered, “Rashnu, no doubt.”

Vata went on as though none of us had spoken, “I am afraid that there is not terribly much information that I can give you on that subject. Eithera has often gone off and done things on her own without consulting anyone. On the other hand, I am not entirely convinced that her abhorrence of you daevas will have outweighed that of Ahriman. Make of that what you will.

“There is something else that concerns me far more, however. Eithera and Ahriman banded together for a common purpose would be formidable, yes, but I have a feeling that there is something far more sinister at work than you might imagine.”

I shot an “I told you so” look at Aesma, who merely glowered at me before growling at Vata, “No more riddles, old man! Tell us what you know!”

Vata sighed. “As I have said, I am afraid that there isn’t much that I can tell you. But I will say, I have noticed something...strange...a strange ‘presence’, if you will. It has been through Aveyond only once or twice. It bears an aura of the ancient world...something—-or perhaps someone—-of this world, and yet not so.”

“Oh, very helpful, Vata,” Aesma muttered sarcastically. “Perhaps ‘no more riddles’ was not clear enough for you?”

Vata smiled and shook his head. “Aesma. If I had more information than that, what purpose would it serve me to keep it from you? And there can always come a day when you shall wish that subtlety came a bit more naturally to you, you know.”

“Is that a threat?” roared Aesma, and Nanghaithya and I, both rolling our eyes, restrained him as he launched himself at the elderly druid, eyes blazing and nostrils flaring. We decided then that it was time to go; but as we dragged Aesma out of the temple, he shouted at Vata, “You should have gotten on that ship!”

Once we were outside, Aesma wrenched himself free from our grasps and stalked off toward the chasm, casting his wind spell and nearly (or perhaps intentionally) forgetting us. We caught him up, and once across we both asked the same question: “What ship?”

Aesma sighed. “It doesn’t matter. Anyway, you two have just been placed on my list of people of whom I am not terribly fond right now, so I suggest you not press your luck.”

As Aesma stalked off down the passage that led back into the Memory Caves, Nanghaithya and I looked at each other and laughed.

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oh. my. god!!!!!

 

you're alive!!!!!

 

i saw the words "rashnu" and "necromancer" *reads intently*

 

oh, god, now i get to find out what you do with derez. i saw high necromancer.

 

*continues reading intently*

 

rashnu and derez? aligned with ahriman? RIGHT. XD i'm fully aware that you stole them from me, and you know (and they know) they would never be so stupid XD XD XD

 

you're alive kaz!!!!!!!

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