Merlin 2 - 8 The Vulcan Temple
For as now the fates muse upon this tale, to graces be upon it another immortal, the first and ward eldest Nick with cavil and calumny and his stalking counterpart the lured and lowering spy as intrigued as Nickolas can possibly and with a boundless fascination. This second immortal now above Nickolas, Ana and the mercenary David, hides in the rooftops and catwalks, not yet to have slipped the boundaries of this one of many capital cities as a wretched insipid foe. As they sit scheming around a map, surely plotting their next mendacity he is sure, he watches with drifting eyes beyond their conscious sight and dissonant forlorn paradigm. A tepid minutia in the city, the people with an unspoken fear brimming with laconic terror, they knew innocently how to be mercenaries, how the blood of the fields in august burns red, but not how to deal with an insurgency. Without the rune lord seer forsooth to foresee the doom for the city, the movers gave what they could, to further the fund of a hunt for the demon, and the carping shakers standing in the street ask for more of funding unable to do more than cast aspersions.
They sit at an outdoor tavern looking over a map, not a private setting but quiet as scared eyes pass and heavy eyes drink amongst them. The bartender walks elsewhere toward two garrulous drunkards at the counter, but as they beg the bartender, he will not pour a drink until they first pay. Young and drunk men binging on the spoils of a good harvest and immaculate yield tout to shout their tales, making no haste for epithets of poor taste and striking a cord to sing anew a humble chanson chaste discursive. A bandbox pub with a whole fourth wall missing, counter on the left, chairs inside and out, not many tables for all the few customers, one establishment of more the like for many. Allotting a plan and plotting allay for the city they scour, the map for what may be their best attempt to hasten the incarceration of the abomination, an abandoned road with the empty and echoing trails of banding barterer and bantering barkers with new and old chattel. Nickolas, Ana, and Devlin beseech their disparaging quandary an exhausted and forlorn retinue spitefully seeking to smite the conflagration.
Devlin: "We've tried here and here," he said pointing to the map, "Lass, what do you know about illicit materials?"
Wench: “What are you trying to find?”
Nickolas: “We hunt the agent cursing your city.”
The young woman pours a drink for they, and pores over the map to look inside of it, intently silent and filling each stein and all three each to the brim. Keeping her hand upon the handle and the lid of the pitcher, its lid twisted shut by she to close its spout, and in putting it to her side, she sets it on the table and points to the map.
Wench: “There is an alchemist, there, near the Vulcan temple.”
Devlin takes keen to fright, he pours his drink down his gullet and drops it to the table ever insatiable and renowned as so, the dark maiden pours another drink for him and reckons her parable.
Wench: “He has many things he shouldn't, you can't miss it they dress completely in red and paint their skin red to dance like fire in the virile nights.”
Two official sentries stalk the lane, approaching the pub in the wall.
Wench: “I told you nothing...greetings sentry, a drink for your thirsts perhaps?”
The sentry men jovially accept in splendor with looks concernedly pleased and vessels of violence gaining stamina in voluptuary momentum. The drunkards continue their fated fete in ode disrupting the mere patience of the forever more immortal waiting in the lofts and crofts and rooftops, and he turns away just as briefly as the shadow of the great Phoenix, a heartfelt airless shade of sunlight that consumes his fascination. High above the great wingspan and a majestic winged creature that lighter than air soars as bright as the sun in its coveted tufted crest. By the time that the shadow passes, the investigators he shadows have already gone toward the temple, and as the fates restore the assassin’s creed from the lofted capture of the muses allowing the spy to reveal himself and return his attention to the search of vindication. They were gone and he missed them, so he adjusted position, difficult as it were any insidious reproach or dastardly obstacle would not lengthen pursuit, not on a day of days, a unique immaculate reproof soon made on new perch with furtive disposition.
A temple white with granite corrugated pillars, perhaps a mausoleum of monolithic measure, many torches alight and in sequential rows each ablaze a flickering candle performance surrounding the edge of walk and wall, a service to the dark and its painted dancers in an operatic fire sermon intended to haze a brazen storm if forthwith they knew its coming censure. Silk swaying savory cloths, free of pattern and deepest red sway in doorway and foyer, and draping across the empty towering walls to keep them clean. Banner gleam for every perchance-passing patron, even in the streets the young dressed in red robes and sparse clothes of every red in its spectrum dance, dream as they lie about, lollygag about the sacred tales that once in elocution to woo the fairer species, and repeated to sound imperfectly pertinent. Each cultist agog aground painted with golden emblems on their faces enjoying the courtesan fete to delight, as of late, dancing like fairies around a statuesque representation of their Lord Vulcan holding both in hands the fires of the gods fueled by wells of white oils filling the marble statue. The interior a more prudent order with members each a sacred warder of the holy ways of fire and immaculate incarnation. Heavy and laden robes in deep thick hoods, walking with their hands in the opposite sleeve, pacing and reading, making candles and braiding wicks or writing in essence the druidism of their priesthood, the worship of fire and the alluring hypnosis therein, keeping the aisles of their sacred temple in sacramental order.
Side by side, the detectives stroll through the decadence as they spot the dolt monks and move to ask them of the rumored alchemist as the dancing girls, with heather flowers in their amber hair, wave wands with banded tassel tail. Many chosen, in solitude walking of differing ages, worshipers of holy flame need not inquiry, for their notice of three mercenaries or outlandish hunters in fallow colors of land and not blood easily noticed as foreign seekers in auspice of the alchemist among the elegant ceremonious courtship. By a simple gesture, the first of the dolorous monks approached soon pulls a hand from the sleeve of the opposite arm and points down a dark foreboding alley.
In morrow awaits a dark timber door lurks dark and dreamless in the haunt of the storehouse, a shadowed port in an old city wall that nearly fears the three, large and closed to the outside world. In the pore, two disparaged and drunken youths scuffle through the narrow stricture.
A rejuvenate group with the smell of wine and an unrequited young fellow with stammering stride and their arms over the shoulders of each other despite the narrow pass one tugs on their line and breaks from their formation.
Knave: “…While you’re…waiting outside the back door love?”
Ana: “Your pestilence causes earthquakes."
Stares Ana into the mind of the boy, outside the purview of the common law, with an enticing stir a lustful entrancing fire brews within her eyes and frightens her fascinate.
Devlin: “And you are in splendor charlatan.”
The broad and large Devlin though armed slaps the obstinate and oblivious drunk upside his head and shoves him by his accolade sending him shuffling and scurrying to follow his kinfolk. The sound of the alms of the calms, there is time but for remnants now, they surround an alchemist's shop, the immortal spy lurks deep within the midst.
Nickolas: “I'll go in and ask; you watch after the exits a few moments, Ana will watch the door.”
Devlin: “Why can’t she watch the gutters?”
Nickolas: “She's less suspicious wandering the streets and you're less concern in the alley, less people who know you to stop and distract you. Ana will leave you in the alley, come in the front door, and pass through and leave through the back door to meet you again and walk to the front door."
Ana: “Anyone who is conspicuous will run passed me or back into the shop and rush out of the back door where you'll be to stop them. And besides, i can’t get in conflict with someone in an alchemists shop or its stock in the alley."
Devlin: “Why the hell is that?”
Ana raises her palm to his face with a red right hand as she twiddles her fingers. Nickolas intervenes and slaps Devlin across the arm.
Nickolas: “Immaculate incineration, come now, time is of the essence.”
Down the stones laid for path and filled with dust and ash, the door creaks slightly open and swings aloft blowing the red curtains out of the window to let them gently rest in again. The unknown immortal watches beyond as thereafter Devlin enters and passes slowly through the poorly lit area to the brightly spacious foyer and out the front door, once outside he squanders his attention to one of his comrades, starting a conversation keeping one eye ever so to the door. From door to door a myriad of multiple magic wares and other fares to stock the average secluded shop, in the rear near the alley blocks of black wax, remains of spent candles that had never corrupt stacked like boxes, on the walls candles of every shape, color, size and sort. Upon dozens of shelves, bags of seed and severed grain feed and boxes lined with burlap and filled with powders for patrons to heed, in fine granulated compilation categorized, but beyond still clever reach the choice items for the experiences and authorities whose voices were better known and whose coin had yet still a better weight.
Nickolas began his time as customer, looking through pannier and lot, whoever sought of tarried arts in benefice to a proper alchemist or newcomer to ask the owner. A stolid fellow, well into his years with the character of an architect or engineer, long and strong but grey with faded glory. A glazed vacant approach to apotheosis, launched well into sleeping awake or dead at the stake where goods or alchemy are best and dearly bought through tenement dwellers with proper erudite patents at a counter surrounding the prized contents of the shop near the door which Nickolas had entered and overlooked his onlooker. A useless glare and lesson learned, unashamed but suspicious he looks away and continues his motion to seem inconspicuous, passing his hands through powders ignorant of their names and claims, appraising the stoutly musk smells of each as the shopkeeper shows signs of life merely, reading a book in erudite behavior.
The Vulcan priests and alchemist apothecaries that travel to the neighboring tribes enter, as does the nether foe in the darkness of the alchemist's shop, the manslayer rich with opprobrium and vitriol, seething shadow beneath the shade. Enemy of the light and disintegrate obscurities the tyrant of slaughter is seen by none. The newly arrived regulars drop a bag the size of a rucksack full of brimstone to the counter, and in turn, the master of alchemy slaps his book over a small and segregated piece of it turning it to powder. He scrapes it to a small saucer lifted from a scale and pours it slowly to his clear glass of blueberry wine, the water turns from blue to green and he adds the saucer to the scale and begins counting cheap coins that balance against the remainder of their bounty. Nickolas continues looking through folderol useless trinkets in aspersion and muted hilarity due by the probability that, an alchemist can more often than not forge his own coins.
A malady unbeknownst, the viper demon stirs in the murk ubiquitous as lies, passing beneath the light and behind the shadow the same as in other acquisitions of his dark materials, distance aware. An immortal, in search for the bomber with an entangled revenge finds Nickolas in a nearly hidden shop of volatility, the venomous agent entered and not seen within its confines seeks supplies for penultimate destruction. In dark reflections, it will be soon he finds fit to fulminate a final wrath upon the city for it mentions the fallacy of purity in the supplies of the room, and shortly thereafter an explosion of intense meaning and mention, as if two stars were in mend a blast sieges and surmounts every perishable. As life swallows the lives that race against the sun, the walls begin ripping and the lands slide followed by a great quaking of the earth, fiery torches blast through windows like furnaces while the sly murder gives a smile of pain in elusion. A most course thus of dissension unfound, the cunning bomber sees the two stand, but turns and rushes to the castle, the bane poison of dissention.
Outside at quick wit Devlin escapes emulsion by entrapment of contraption, a shielding wall from which the fire cast it across the street. Ana luckily, swoons by the torrential pyre of fire like a kite attached to a wick, with every step engraving memory by those who watch but simply gliding with agility to balcony thereby, drifting like a ghost of the sun. The fires rage to alarm a circling phoenix page for the nomadic lord Merlin, but the good wizard sees a city structure throe. In as much terror there is so surely many ghosts, Ana like an ember standing in a tray of incense and now two immortals, quantifying the carnage of the site that with a single fuse of dark magic and hellish fury has brought the search for justice to a new close. For each immortal, the ally Nickolas and the yet unnamed counterpart staring both theoretically and practically, each believes that the other is the perdition responsible for the vituperation, pigeonholed in battle seek the death of the other, infecting the logic that this may be a long way to attrition.