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Ember's Tale 81: Off to See the Wizard


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#1 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 01 September 2007 - 09:35 PM

Chapter 81: Off to See the Wizard


The task was straightforward enough: convince Edwin Odesseiron to reveal Mae'Var's plans to Renal Bloodscalp, and receive a thousand gold pieces' worth of gems.

It would not be as simple as it sounded. Ember wasn't worried that Edwin would refuse out of a sense of loyalty to Mae'Var - the Thayvian despised thieves, and his main loyalty would always be to himself - but his sense of pride could easily get in the way. If he still resented Imoen for jilting him, he might well refuse to do anything that could conceivably help her or her friends. As for the bond between them that Bloodscalp thought would help matters... as far as Ember was concerned, it wasn't there. She wouldn't have minded if she'd never met the wizard again, and he'd never connected with any of them except Imoen; with that in mind, she wouldn't be surprised if he considered doing a favour to the 'barbaric simians' he used to travel with as beneath him, no matter the payment. Still, the chance that he might agree was there, and the reward would put them another step closer to gathering Imoen's rescue fee, so Ember ignored her own distaste for working with thieves and accepted the task.

Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to dealing with Red Wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"

"Well, since the money is for Imoen's rescue, you can think of it as the fee being lowered by a thousand, if that helps," Ember said angrily. "After all, unless Bayle is linked to more than one group, my guess is that we'll be paying the Shadow Thieves to help find her. No, I don't like it very much either, but I told you I'd do whatever it takes to get her back, and if you don't want to come talk with our old travel companion, then we can go without you!"

Anomen glowered at her. "That will not be necessary. I will come with you," he said. "But I do hope this unsavoury task will not set the standard for your quest!"

---

Mae'Var's guildhouse was located near the docks, in an area with few street lanterns and even fewer guard patrols. It was not a place one wanted to spend much time in after nightfall.

"Stay close together," Yoshimo advised the others as the small group entered the district, "and don't look at anyone."

After passing a noisy tavern - several sailors were staggering around outside its front door, singing off key and waving clenched fists at each other while they mumbled slurred threats - they turned down a narrow alley, which ended near the top of a flight of wide stone steps. They continued down the steps and turned into a short dead end, half filled with crates. There was a boarded up door set in one of the walls. Ember knocked on it.

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.

"Why, hello there," the woman purred. "Mmm, if it isn't a new face. How very thrilling."

"Anishai," Yoshimo said, and bowed slightly.

"Yoshimo!" the woman exclaimed. "Darling, it has been far too long! Tell me, what brings you here?"

"Unfortunately, it is work that brings me to your doorstep tonight."

Anishai sighed theatrically. "How dreadfully boring... I suppose you have a password for me, then?"

"Carmine," Ember said.

"Carmine?" The woman's eyes lit up. "Oh, how delightful! I was wondering how long it'd take Renal to find someone for this. Follow me, my dears."

The Shadow Thief led them inside and up a staircase, then stopped in front of a door made from carved and polished oak. "The wizard is in there," she said, "but be warned: he doesn't like unexpected visitors, so step carefully, hmm? I'll leave you now. Yoshimo, we simply must sit down and chat when this matter is over and done with."

"I'll be looking forward to it," Yoshimo said with a broad grin. Anishai blew him a kiss and went back downstairs.

"She seemed friendly," Ember remarked.

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."

Ember chuckled, and opened the door.

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.

"Hello, Edwin," Ember said.

"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.

"New companions, I see," he said acridly. "(Of course she would keep the imbecile around.)"

"Some, yes," she replied.

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."

"As I recall it, you left us," Ember said coldly.

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"

"What?!"

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"

The Thayvian got no further; Minsc rushed forward, grabbed the front of the wizard's robes, and lifted him with one hand. "The mean little wizard should not talk about Minsc's witches like that!"

Edwin made some half-strangled noises and clawed wildly at the giant's massive arm.

"Heartwarming reunion, is it not?" Ember heard Yoshimo say to Anomen behind her.

The whole matter could hardly have gone worse. "Minsc, put him down," she said wearily. Minsc begrudgingly let go of the wizard. "Edwin, we didn't leave you; we were abducted and held captive. We managed to escape a few tendays ago, but Imoen was taken by the Cowled Wizards. She's in Spellhold."

"Spellhold? SPELLHOLD?! How in all the hells did you manage to... (no, that's not important now!) Why are you cavorting around the city instead of extracting her from that blight upon civilization??"

So, he still cares for her wellbeing. At least that's something. "Actually, that's why we're here," she said.

"Elaborate."

As briefly as possible, Ember told the Thayvian about Imoen's capture, the rescue fee, and Bloodscalp's offer. "So, if you'll tell Bloodscalp about Mae'Var's plans," she concluded, "I get a thousand towards the fee, and you'll get..." Bloodscalp had told her to haggle, but knowing Edwin, she decided to just tell him the limit of what she'd been given to bargain with, "five thousand, and a position at their headquarters."

"I see." Edwin glanced at the door, sighed, and straightened his robes. "A total of six thousand? Very low, for information of the quality that I can provide."

"He said he'd go no higher."

"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"

"My lady," Anomen asked, "is that wizard insinuating-"

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"

"And how, pray tell, would you rescue her? By getting yourself sent to Spellhold, perchance?"

"(Fools. I am surrounded by fools,)" Edwin muttered, and held up a piece of parchment in front of Anomen's face. "In case you belong to the unwashed masses that cannot read (which would not surprise me at all), this is a license to practice magic within the city."

"I can read perfectly well, wizard," Anomen retorted, his face reddening.

"Enough!" Ember went between the two men. "Edwin, I'll accept your offer for Imoen's sake, but if you cause trouble with any of our other companions, I won't hesitate to kick you out. And believe me, you'll know it if that happens."

"We'll see about that." Edwin thrust the stack of Mae'Var's letters into her hands, and set about preparing a pack for travelling.

---

Edwin's room at the Copper Coronet was inferior in every way to the almost adequate chamber that he had lived in at Mae'Var's guildhouse. A rickety desk, no leather armchair, only one shelf; it didn't even have a carpet on the floor.

He hoped he would not have to spend much time in it. Or in the city, for that matter.

They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).

Bloodscalp had been seemed puzzled when Edwin turned down the position that was offered him, and as he once again looked at the bare walls of his new lodgings, Edwin felt a pang of regret about that decision. Still, the Shadow Thieves would not have been able to harbour him forever, he reminded himself, and as tedious as adventuring was, it would offer him a chance to get away from this backwards, narrow-minded excuse for a city. And...

Imoen's fate was not in the least on his mind when someone knocked on the door. "What is it now?!" he yelled.

The door opened, and Ember entered the room. "See? I do know how to knock," she said.

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"

I just wanted a private word with you," she said. "The thing is, Imoen told me what happened."

"So?" Edwin said, feeling heat rising in his cheeks despite his orders to himself to act icily. He should have known the damn girl wouldn't keep her mouth shut about how she humiliated him.

"I appreciate your help with this, I really do," Ember said, "but I want to make one thing perfectly clear: You were the one who wanted to come along. If we get her back-"

"When."

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.

Edwin glared at the door, a sharp retort dying, unspoken, on his lips.

How dare she?!

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.

#2 Guest_AlphaMonkey_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 04:14 AM

It would not be as simple as it sounded.


Raven: "Just because an op plan is 'simple' doesn't mean it's easy."

Harlequin: "Seriously. One of the simplest plans in existence: 'Don't die,' happens to be the hardest one to accomplish for a lot of people."

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


He's right about that, but I guess I'm a bit more Machiavellian than he is. It'd be like the cops using money from drug busts to set up a sting or whatever to catch more drug dealers. Sure, it's blood money... but it's being put to a good use... so... I'm a bit more willing to accept that. It's not an idea situation, but these things never are.

Yoshimo, we simply must sit down and chat when this matter is over and done with.


Sit down? Or lie down? :twisted:

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."


Riiiiiight. Because everyone's expendable, until it's you being written off as expendable. Then you get snippy. :)

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"

"What?!"


Raven: (Clenches her fists) "That guy's mouth is gonna get him killed. Hopefully sooner rather than later. He wants to say crap about me, that's fine. But to imply that I'd-"

Harlequin: "Easy. I know. Don't worry about it. We'll wipe the floor with his stupid mustache."

Raven: (Nods) "We'd better."

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


Clearly, he's got no sense of taste. The sassy ones are the most fun. :)

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


He seems almost... disappointed.

...

Well, I can't say I blame him for his choice of crush. That, at least, I won't give him a hard time about. :)

#3 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:05 AM

It would not be as simple as it sounded.


Raven: "Just because an op plan is 'simple' doesn't mean it's easy."

Harlequin: "Seriously. One of the simplest plans in existence: 'Don't die,' happens to be the hardest one to accomplish for a lot of people."


True, that :D

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


He's right about that, but I guess I'm a bit more Machiavellian than he is. It'd be like the cops using money from drug busts to set up a sting or whatever to catch more drug dealers. Sure, it's blood money... but it's being put to a good use... so... I'm a bit more willing to accept that. It's not an idea situation, but these things never are.


My Anomen isn't capable of that kind of 'certain point of view' assessment, at least not yet.

Yoshimo, we simply must sit down and chat when this matter is over and done with.


Sit down? Or lie down? :twisted:


Sit down, I think :)

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."


Riiiiiight. Because everyone's expendable, until it's you being written off as expendable. Then you get snippy. :D


Edwin: *huffs*

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"

"What?!"


Raven: (Clenches her fists) "That guy's mouth is gonna get him killed. Hopefully sooner rather than later. He wants to say crap about me, that's fine. But to imply that I'd-"

Harlequin: "Easy. I know. Don't worry about it. We'll wipe the floor with his stupid mustache."

Raven: (Nods) "We'd better."


Or better yet, pull him around by the nosering that I forgot to mention :D (Hm, and I can't see a good place to mention it, either. Oh well, they were too busy/agitated to notice jewelry :D )

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


Clearly, he's got no sense of taste. The sassy ones are the most fun. :D


I like writing Edwin's thoughts, in part because he lies to himself a lot :D

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


He seems almost... disappointed.


O rly?

Well, I can't say I blame him for his choice of crush. That, at least, I won't give him a hard time about. :)


You're going to leave that to me, eh? :)

#4 Guest_Futurist_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 08:46 AM

Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to working with evil wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.


Sigh... Anomen and his inflexibility...

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"

"Well, since the money is for Imoen's rescue, you can think of it as the fee being lowered by a thousand, if that helps," Ember said angrily. "After all, unless Bayle is linked to more than one group, my guess is that we'll be paying the Shadow Thieves to help find her. No, I don't like it very much either, but I told you I'd do whatever it takes to get her back, and if you don't want to come talk with our old travel companion, then we can go without you!"


You tell him Ember!

Anomen glowered at her. "That will not be necessary. I will come with you," he said. "But I do hope this unsavoury task will not set the standard for your quest!"


Actually it doesn`t... most quests are of the decent sort...


"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.

"New companions, I see," he said acridly. "(Of course she would keep the imbecile around.)"


Ah, as charming as ever I see...

"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"

"My lady," Anomen asked, "is that wizard insinuating-"

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


Aw, he still likes her. :twisted:

Edwin's room at the Copper Coronet was inferior in every way to the almost adequate chamber that he had lived in at Mae'Var's guildhouse. A rickety desk, no leather armchair, only one shelf; it didn't even have a carpet on the floor.


The Horror... The Horror...

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


Well, he was kind of thrown out so...

Good chapter!

#5 Guest_Ananke_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 01:18 PM

Chapter 81: Off to See the Wizard

...the wonderful wizard of Oz!
Or not.

It would not be as simple as it sounded. Ember wasn't worried that Edwin would refuse out of a sense of loyalty to Mae'Var - the Thayvian despised thieves, and his main loyalty would always be to himself - but his sense of pride could easily get in the way. If he still resented Imoen for jilting him, he might well refuse to do anything that could conceivably help her or her friends, or he might consider doing a favour to the 'barbaric simians' he'd used to travel with as beneath him, no matter what Bloodscalp would pay him for it. Still, the chance that he might agree was there, and the reward would put them another step closer to gathering Imoen's rescue fee, so Ember ignored her own distaste for working with thieves and accepted the task.

Mind if I nitpick, just a bit? Because if the scene happens as they are walking back to the Copper Coronet, I would expect at least some feeling on Ember's part about meeting Edwin. Not even necessarily surprise, because I can imagine that she went through surprise between the chapters - but you're telling us about Ember's distaste for working with thieves, and nothing about Ember's feelings about seeing Edwin/working with Edwin again. And I'm curious what they are! Even if they are just 'mild curiosity' or 'neutrality'. :lol:

And, given how Bloodscalp emphasised Edwin's name, I guess I would kind of expect Yoshimo and Anomen at least to try and probe the matter. Or have they, here?

Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to working with evil wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.

In other words, how come Anomen knows Edwin is an evil wizard? How much does he know about him? I'm - it's no phrase in particular, but I'm finding that curious how everyone here is focused on working on the thieves, and everyone is completely skimming over the "You know him? :) " bit. Which the last chapter's cliffhanger sort of pointed to as the important part. :D

Nitpick ends here. :|

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.

:) Does she wear very, very red lipstick? Because she does, to me, from that description. :D

"Yoshimo!" the woman exclaimed. "Darling, it has been far too long! Tell me, what brings you here?"

...and now, somehow, she drawls. Does she drawl? I must know!

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."

;)

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.

Ooh. Now, this is a great bit. Very... parsimonious, I think. Tell a lot in few words.

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."

Nitpick, again, if I may? This is good on its own, but still doesn't exactly fit the context? It's slightly too... peaceful, and too elaborate? Perhaps a bit more indignation would help? "Or new fools, I should say. Must be very convenient to be able to find them wherever you go. That way, you can..."

Er. Sorry if it's uncalled for. ;)

"Heartwarming reunion, is it not?" Ember heard Yoshimo say to Anomen behind her.

Very... warm, certainly. Heated, one might say. :)

"Spellhold? SPELLHOLD?! How in all the hells did you manage to... (no, that's not important now!) Why are you cavorting around the city instead of extracting her from that blight upon civilization??"

:D Two interrogation marks? Ah. He cares!

(The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"

I think you had fun writing Edwin again. :D

(I'm curious why he didn't employ Minsc into carrying the things. :) )

"(Fools. I am surrounded by fools,)" Edwin muttered, and held up a piece of parchment in front of Anomen's face. "In case you belong to the unwashed masses that cannot read (which would not surprise me at all), this is a license to practice magic within the city."

"I can read perfectly well, wizard," Anomen retorted, his face reddening.

One can feel the love in the air. :D

"Enough!" Ember went between the two men. "Edwin, I'll accept your offer for Imoen's sake, but if you cause trouble with any of our other companions, I won't hesitate to kick you out. And believe me, you'll know it if that happens."

Oh, yes.

I loved the entire bickering! :)

Imoen's fate was not in the least on his mind when someone knocked on the door. "What is it now?!" he yelled.

The door opened, and Ember entered the room. "See? I do know how to knock," she said.

Oh. Coming from Ember, that's... :) :twisted:

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.

And I like this point.

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

Edwin Odesseiron acts out of pity? :) Is he ill, or something? He's confused about his excuses, I think... :D

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.

Aww! Save for my initial confusement about what Ember was thinking about working with Edwin... I loved the chapter!

#6 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 06:59 PM


Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to working with evil wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.


Sigh... Anomen and his inflexibility...


Anomen: I prefer to think of it as constancy.


"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"

"Well, since the money is for Imoen's rescue, you can think of it as the fee being lowered by a thousand, if that helps," Ember said angrily. "After all, unless Bayle is linked to more than one group, my guess is that we'll be paying the Shadow Thieves to help find her. No, I don't like it very much either, but I told you I'd do whatever it takes to get her back, and if you don't want to come talk with our old travel companion, then we can go without you!"


You tell him Ember!


Ember: Well, he does have a point... and I would have said no if I hadn't needed the money this badly :)


Anomen glowered at her. "That will not be necessary. I will come with you," he said. "But I do hope this unsavoury task will not set the standard for your quest!"


Actually it doesn`t... most quests are of the decent sort...


And you don't need to do even half of them to get enough money.


"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.

"New companions, I see," he said acridly. "(Of course she would keep the imbecile around.)"


Ah, as charming as ever I see...


Oh yes, he hasn't changed a bit.


"My lady," Anomen asked, "is that wizard insinuating-"


"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


Aw, he still likes her. :)


Like I said: hasn't changed a bit :)


Edwin's room at the Copper Coronet was inferior in every way to the almost adequate chamber that he had lived in at Mae'Var's guildhouse. A rickety desk, no leather armchair, only one shelf; it didn't even have a carpet on the floor.


The Horror... The Horror...


Edwin: (I saved the worst for last.) The mirror has a crack!


How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


Well, he was kind of thrown out so...


You're not supposed to know that yet, though :twisted:

Good chapter!


Thanks!

#7 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 02 September 2007 - 07:11 PM

Chapter 81: Off to See the Wizard

...the wonderful wizard of Oz!
Or not.


Edwin: Unlike the impostor you mentioned, I happen to know what I am doing!

It would not be as simple as it sounded. Ember wasn't worried that Edwin would refuse out of a sense of loyalty to Mae'Var - the Thayvian despised thieves, and his main loyalty would always be to himself - but his sense of pride could easily get in the way. If he still resented Imoen for jilting him, he might well refuse to do anything that could conceivably help her or her friends, or he might consider doing a favour to the 'barbaric simians' he'd used to travel with as beneath him, no matter what Bloodscalp would pay him for it. Still, the chance that he might agree was there, and the reward would put them another step closer to gathering Imoen's rescue fee, so Ember ignored her own distaste for working with thieves and accepted the task.

Mind if I nitpick, just a bit? Because if the scene happens as they are walking back to the Copper Coronet, I would expect at least some feeling on Ember's part about meeting Edwin. Not even necessarily surprise, because I can imagine that she went through surprise between the chapters - but you're telling us about Ember's distaste for working with thieves, and nothing about Ember's feelings about seeing Edwin/working with Edwin again. And I'm curious what they are! Even if they are just 'mild curiosity' or 'neutrality'. ;)


Hmm. I probably should see if I can squeeze in a sentence about that. She doesn't really care about seeing him again.

And, given how Bloodscalp emphasised Edwin's name, I guess I would kind of expect Yoshimo and Anomen at least to try and probe the matter. Or have they, here?

Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to working with evil wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.

In other words, how come Anomen knows Edwin is an evil wizard? How much does he know about him? I'm - it's no phrase in particular, but I'm finding that curious how everyone here is focused on working on the thieves, and everyone is completely skimming over the "You know him? :) " bit. Which the last chapter's cliffhanger sort of pointed to as the important part. :|


Another good point. I think I wanted to fit something in about how scandalous it was that they had traveled with a Red Wizard, but couldn't find anywhere to do it.

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.

:) Does she wear very, very red lipstick? Because she does, to me, from that description. :D


Very dark red, yes ;)

"Yoshimo!" the woman exclaimed. "Darling, it has been far too long! Tell me, what brings you here?"

...and now, somehow, she drawls. Does she drawl? I must know!


Oh yes :)

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."

:)


Preferred prey: men. Somehow, she has a way of putting them off their guard...

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.

Ooh. Now, this is a great bit. Very... parsimonious, I think. Tell a lot in few words.


Edwin: (I meant to do that.)

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."

Nitpick, again, if I may? This is good on its own, but still doesn't exactly fit the context? It's slightly too... peaceful, and too elaborate? Perhaps a bit more indignation would help? "Or new fools, I should say. Must be very convenient to be able to find them wherever you go. That way, you can..."


Was as close as I could get to a sentence that remotely resembled something you could say without making it an entire monologue :)

"Heartwarming reunion, is it not?" Ember heard Yoshimo say to Anomen behind her.

Very... warm, certainly. Heated, one might say. :D


:)

"Spellhold? SPELLHOLD?! How in all the hells did you manage to... (no, that's not important now!) Why are you cavorting around the city instead of extracting her from that blight upon civilization??"

:D Two interrogation marks? Ah. He cares!


Edwin: Do not!

(The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"

I think you had fun writing Edwin again. :D


Oh yes, once I got past the parts that didn't want to be written :)

(I'm curious why he didn't employ Minsc into carrying the things. :? )


Edwin: Can you even imagine what that buffoon would do with my precious documents? (Use them to make a bed for his rodent, more than likely.)

"(Fools. I am surrounded by fools,)" Edwin muttered, and held up a piece of parchment in front of Anomen's face. "In case you belong to the unwashed masses that cannot read (which would not surprise me at all), this is a license to practice magic within the city."

"I can read perfectly well, wizard," Anomen retorted, his face reddening.

One can feel the love in the air. :lol:


:twisted:

"Enough!" Ember went between the two men. "Edwin, I'll accept your offer for Imoen's sake, but if you cause trouble with any of our other companions, I won't hesitate to kick you out. And believe me, you'll know it if that happens."

Oh, yes.

I loved the entire bickering! :?


It could have gone on even longer, but I had to stop it before the differences became irreconcilable :?

Imoen's fate was not in the least on his mind when someone knocked on the door. "What is it now?!" he yelled.

The door opened, and Ember entered the room. "See? I do know how to knock," she said.

Oh. Coming from Ember, that's... :D :)


Every now and then, she has it in her :)

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.

And I like this point.


Ember: It's a very important one to make, considering the circumstances.

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

Edwin Odesseiron acts out of pity? :D Is he ill, or something? He's confused about his excuses, I think... :D


Or I am confusing with my wording: it's pity as in 'it was a pity she did something so foolish when she was so promising'.

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.

Aww! Save for my initial confusement about what Ember was thinking about working with Edwin... I loved the chapter!


Thanks!

(And I'll see if I can do anything about those bits)

#8 Guest_Theodur_*

Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:47 AM

Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to dealing with Red Wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.


Whatís so distasteful about working with thieves anyway? At the same time people donít mind working for government, and theyíre just another kind of thieves, arenít they?

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


So *exactly* like the government then! :lol:

"Why, hello there," the woman purred. "Mmm, if it isn't a new face. How very thrilling."


"Anishai," Yoshimo said, and bowed slightly.


Ah, I remember her in the game. I remember killing her in the game.

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


Just how very friendly are we talking here?

"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.


Well, I do hate when people barge in on me unexpectedly.

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"


She could be dead, not abandoned, you know.

As briefly as possible, Ember told the Thayvian about Imoen's capture, the rescue fee, and Bloodscalp's offer. "So, if you'll tell Bloodscalp about Mae'Var's plans," she concluded, "I get a thousand towards the fee, and you'll get..." Bloodscalp had told her to haggle, but knowing Edwin, she decided to just tell him the limit of what she'd been given to bargain with, "five thousand, and a position at their headquarters."


Iím sure Edwin will want to go and help rescue Imoen, of course. :shock:

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


Awww, heís so cute when he cares. :wink:

They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


Well, I guess she got herself a promotion instead of death in this story. Good on her.


I just wanted a private word with you," she said. "The thing is, Imoen told me what happened."


Doesnít reflect well on her. She should have kept her mouth shut, after all, it was meant only for her to know.

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)


He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.


Ever.


Well, if she doesnít appreciate him, then clearly she isnít worth his time anyway. Now he just needs a looooong time to start believing in that.

#9 Guest_CrazeeFfan_*

Posted 04 September 2007 - 03:27 PM

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


Sometimes it would be less effort to just cast a sleep spell on him and carry him around :lol:

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.


I think we know who that is, hmm?

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


I'll bet... :D

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.


You can tell he's the sociable sort. Of course, working in a guild of assassions would put anyone on edge.

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"


:shock: I ... can't imagine that happening. Silly Edwin, he travelled with them for how long?

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"


I love your Edwin even more than I love your Anomen. By any chance, do you enjoy writing him, because it seems like you do.

"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"


Oh, God, he's adorable! I've never quite understood the Edwin craze, but I think I'm starting to.

They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


I'm surprised he isn't swooning for her ... in a dignified Edwin-y manly Red Wizard way.

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


:wink: That's rich coming from him.

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.


Go Ember! Normally its the NPCs who get to have sentences brimming with finality. Now it was Ember's turn. Boo-yah!

Loved Edwin so utterly much in this chapter. I started reading this when it was near the end of BG1, but I don't remember him kicking so much ass.

Good chapter. If I'm not careful, I'll become another Edwin fangirl, and we all know we have enough of them around here. *gets out cardboard cut-out of Edwin and sneaks away*

#10 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 04 September 2007 - 06:58 PM

Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to dealing with Red Wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.


Whatís so distasteful about working with thieves anyway? At the same time people donít mind working for government, and theyíre just another kind of thieves, arenít they?


Anomen: their activities are illegal.

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


So *exactly* like the government then! :)


Anomen: Not if the Order held a higher position in society!

"Why, hello there," the woman purred. "Mmm, if it isn't a new face. How very thrilling."

"Anishai," Yoshimo said, and bowed slightly.


Ah, I remember her in the game. I remember killing her in the game.


Oh, I remember that, too.

However, in my version, she's one of Renal's spies, and she's the one who gets to actually kill and replace Mae'Var :roll:

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


Just how very friendly are we talking here?


Don't ask me. He ain't telling.

Yoshimo: :D

"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.


Well, I do hate when people barge in on me unexpectedly.


Yes. It's a nuisance.

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"


She could be dead, not abandoned, you know.


Edwin: De- (No. Impossible. Inconceivable!) -of course she was abandoned, you buffoon of a simian!

As briefly as possible, Ember told the Thayvian about Imoen's capture, the rescue fee, and Bloodscalp's offer. "So, if you'll tell Bloodscalp about Mae'Var's plans," she concluded, "I get a thousand towards the fee, and you'll get..." Bloodscalp had told her to haggle, but knowing Edwin, she decided to just tell him the limit of what she'd been given to bargain with, "five thousand, and a position at their headquarters."


Iím sure Edwin will want to go and help rescue Imoen, of course. :shock:


What gave you that idea? :wink:

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


Awww, heís so cute when he cares. :lol:


You know he's just looking for a chance to show off how great a mage he is.


They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


Well, I guess she got herself a promotion instead of death in this story. Good on her.


If my group wasn't going to do the deed, someone had to...

I just wanted a private word with you," she said. "The thing is, Imoen told me what happened."


Doesnít reflect well on her. She should have kept her mouth shut, after all, it was meant only for her to know.


So, when Ember and Minsc returned to the camp and found Imoen alone, looking sad and scared, Imoen should have said 'ha ha Eddie just went for a walk for no reason and everything is fine'?

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


Well, if she doesnít appreciate him, then clearly she isnít worth his time anyway. Now he just needs a looooong time to start believing in that.


All I'll say is this: I have NO idea about what this Edwin's fate will be.

#11 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 04 September 2007 - 07:20 PM

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


Sometimes it would be less effort to just cast a sleep spell on him and carry him around :D


Ah, but who is going to cast that sleep spell? :?

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.


I think we know who that is, hmm?


Probably. After all, she was the only thief with a discernible personality :roll:

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


I'll bet... :)


Anishai: Why, darling, do you doubt me?

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.


You can tell he's the sociable sort. Of course, working in a guild of assassions would put anyone on edge.


He also has Other Reasons to be wary of unexpected visitors.

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"


:wink: I ... can't imagine that happening. Silly Edwin, he travelled with them for how long?


In his mind, it makes perfect sense. He was abandoned, or so he believes. He does not see her with them. She would not have left them. Since he was left behind by Ember before, and is incapable of believing Imoen to be dead or injured or imprisoned, he naturally sees her being abandoned as the only logical reason why she is not there.

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"


I love your Edwin even more than I love your Anomen. By any chance, do you enjoy writing him, because it seems like you do.


He is fun to write, yes :D

"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"


Oh, God, he's adorable! I've never quite understood the Edwin craze, but I think I'm starting to.


:) Mine isn't even a Cute Edwin! But I am glad you appreciate my cantankerous, overintellectual bastard :)


They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


I'm surprised he isn't swooning for her ... in a dignified Edwin-y manly Red Wizard way.


Edwin: Her? While she may be a notch over what passes as courtesans on the sword coast (by which I mean females of various age that enjoy wandering the streets and introducing themselves to people by drawing comparisons between parts of their anatomy and bovines) she is hardly anywhere near the standard of a Thayvian concubine (Also, I understand that she uses her so called wiles to acquaint herself with her targets. Need I say more?).

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


:lol: That's rich coming from him.


Isn't it? (And then there's the fact that Imoen had a far smarter mouth than Ember.)

(Can you see why it's easy for me to write Edwin, by the way?)

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.


Go Ember! Normally its the NPCs who get to have sentences brimming with finality. Now it was Ember's turn. Boo-yah!


:shock:

Loved Edwin so utterly much in this chapter. I started reading this when it was near the end of BG1, but I don't remember him kicking so much ass.


He spent most of his time at that stage grumping, backing up Imoen during the fight with Sarevok, and then being ditched in the woods after an embarrassing revelation.

Good chapter. If I'm not careful, I'll become another Edwin fangirl, and we all know we have enough of them around here. *gets out cardboard cut-out of Edwin and sneaks away*


Oh noes, what have I done?! :D

#12 Guest_VigaHrolf_*

Posted 10 September 2007 - 08:28 PM

Chapter 81: Off to See the Wizard


Zas is das? I comment? Indeed. Life has allowed me that luxury again. Hooray?

The task was straightforward enough: convince Edwin Odesseiron to reveal Mae'Var's plans to Renal Bloodscalp, and receive a thousand gold pieces' worth of gems.


Bran: "Simple enough. Put a blaster to his groin and order him to spill the beans."

Jaheira: "A direct plan."

Bran: "You have a problem with it?"

Jaheira: "Only the part that doesn't involve pulling the trigger."

It would not be as simple as it sounded. Ember wasn't worried that Edwin would refuse out of a sense of loyalty to Mae'Var - the Thayvian despised thieves, and his main loyalty would always be to himself - but his sense of pride could easily get in the way. If he still resented Imoen for jilting him, he might well refuse to do anything that could conceivably help her or her friends. As for the bond between them that Bloodscalp thought would help matters... as far as Ember was concerned, it wasn't there. She wouldn't have minded if she'd never met the wizard again, and he'd never connected with any of them except Imoen; with that in mind, she wouldn't be surprised if he considered doing a favour to the 'barbaric simians' he used to travel with as beneath him, no matter the payment. Still, the chance that he might agree was there, and the reward would put them another step closer to gathering Imoen's rescue fee, so Ember ignored her own distaste for working with thieves and accepted the task.


I like this paragraph. It sums up her feelings rather well. A general sense of disgust and worry. And that the prime worry is of course, Immy. :twisted:

Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to dealing with Red Wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


That's our Ano. And while right... it is more palatable than some options. Sometimes you've got to get a little dirty to do some good.

Course, Aleria would agree with his distaste. Dealing with thieves was no favorite thing for my little Tyrran.

"Well, since the money is for Imoen's rescue, you can think of it as the fee being lowered by a thousand, if that helps," Ember said angrily. "After all, unless Bayle is linked to more than one group, my guess is that we'll be paying the Shadow Thieves to help find her. No, I don't like it very much either, but I told you I'd do whatever it takes to get her back, and if you don't want to come talk with our old travel companion, then we can go without you!"


An attitude shared by many Bhaalspawn at this point. It's just a question of how far they're willing to go.

Course, now I'm getting ideas involving Aleria. Damn. DAMN YOU! :D

One story at a time... gah.

Anomen glowered at her. "That will not be necessary. I will come with you," he said. "But I do hope this unsavoury task will not set the standard for your quest!"


Aleria: "Anomen, there is much muddy water that will be slogged through, but the end result is much justice done. Many wrongs righted. Helm will forgive you."

After passing a noisy tavern - several sailors were staggering around outside its front door, singing off key and waving clenched fists at each other while they mumbled slurred threats - they turned down a narrow alley, which ended near the top of a flight of wide stone steps. They continued down the steps and turned into a short dead end, half filled with crates. There was a boarded up door set in one of the walls. Ember knocked on it.


Oooh. Secret thief base

At least more secret than the Harper Hold. :)

The door was pushed open, making several creaks as the planks pulled away from the wall. A stunning woman with black, ringleted hair and large hoops of gold in her ears stood in the doorway, greeting them with a sultry smile.

"Why, hello there," the woman purred. "Mmm, if it isn't a new face. How very thrilling."


Bran: "Any woman like that is pure and unadulterated trouble."

Valygar: "Indeed."

Bran: *chuckles*

"Anishai," Yoshimo said, and bowed slightly.

"Yoshimo!" the woman exclaimed. "Darling, it has been far too long! Tell me, what brings you here?"

"Unfortunately, it is work that brings me to your doorstep tonight."


*chuckles* Work before pleasure...

"Carmine?" The woman's eyes lit up. "Oh, how delightful! I was wondering how long it'd take Renal to find someone for this. Follow me, my dears."


I'm sure that is one hip swaying walk. :D

The Shadow Thief led them inside and up a staircase, then stopped in front of a door made from careved and polished oak. "The wizard is in there," she said, "but be warned: he doesn't like unexpected visitors, so step carefully, hmm? I'll leave you now. Yoshimo, we simply must sit down and chat when this matter is over and done with."


One little spelling error above, carved.

And woo. Yoshi going to find all sorts of trouble. :lol:

"I'll be looking forward to it," Yoshimo said with a broad grin. Anishai blew him a kiss and went back downstairs.

"She seemed friendly," Ember remarked.


Very. ;)

"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


Well, if you have to die, at least the scenery will be nice.

There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.


Someone's expecting trouble. :)

"Hello, Edwin," Ember said.

"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.


I like the little fireball effect. Very nice touch.

"New companions, I see," he said acridly. "(Of course she would keep the imbecile around.)"


*snickers* The love between Minsc and Edwin is immense.

"You discard people on a whim when they are no longer wanted, yet always manage to find new fools to take their place. Must be very convenient to be able to do that."


Great when you're watching the leaving, not so good when you get left, eh Eddie?

"As I recall it, you left us," Ember said coldly.

"I did no such thing. I merely went somewhere else to think, but I suppose that is a concept far beyond your meager comprehension," Edwin snarled. "So, where did you abandon Imoen?"


Wrong question. *cringe*

"What?!"

"(I thought I was clear enough, unless she has lost her hearing in addition to her common sense.) Imoen is not with you. I know perfectly well that the foolish girl would not have left you willingly (although I cannot fathom why). One does not need my impeccable mental capacities to guess that you abandoned her somewhere, just as you did me. So, did you leave her along the roadside, or did you at least have the good grace to-"


Bran: "Crusin. For a brusin."

The Thayvian got no further; Minsc rushed forward, grabbed the front of the wizard's robes, and lifted him with one hand. "The mean little wizard should not talk about Minsc's witches like that!"


Boo: *glares as malevolently as a tiny cute ball of fur can* "Squeak!"

"Heartwarming reunion, is it not?" Ember heard Yoshimo say to Anomen behind her.


Yoshimo. Love the wisecracks... it is so him. A man who, while cursed, also has a rather... light air about him.

The whole matter could hardly have gone worse. "Minsc, put him down," she said wearily. Minsc begrudgingly let go of the wizard. "Edwin, we didn't leave you; we were abducted and held captive. We managed to escape a few tendays ago, but Imoen was taken by the Cowled Wizards. She's in Spellhold."

"Spellhold? SPELLHOLD?! How in all the hells did you manage to... (no, that's not important now!) Why are you cavorting around the city instead of extracting her from that blight upon civilization??"


That got his attention. And I think someone is scrambling for their Evarard's Black Sword and Mage Armor. :)

So, he still cares for her wellbeing. At least that's something. "Actually, that's why we're here," she said.

"Elaborate."


That one word illuminates the tension in Edwin so well. Kudos.

As briefly as possible, Ember told the Thayvian about Imoen's capture, the rescue fee, and Bloodscalp's offer. "So, if you'll tell Bloodscalp about Mae'Var's plans," she concluded, "I get a thousand towards the fee, and you'll get..." Bloodscalp had told her to haggle, but knowing Edwin, she decided to just tell him the limit of what she'd been given to bargain with, "five thousand, and a position at their headquarters."

"I see." Edwin glanced at the door, sighed, and straightened his robes. "A total of six thousand? Very low, for information of the quality that I can provide."


Ahh. Edwin. :)

"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"


Nevermind the work on the Nether Scroll, right Eddie?

"My lady," Anomen asked, "is that wizard insinuating-"

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


He's got to. Poor bastid is in love. ;)

"(Fools. I am surrounded by fools,)" Edwin muttered, and held up a piece of parchment in front of Anomen's face. "In case you belong to the unwashed masses that cannot read (which would not surprise me at all), this is a license to practice magic within the city."

"I can read perfectly well, wizard," Anomen retorted, his face reddening.

"Enough!" Ember went between the two men. "Edwin, I'll accept your offer for Imoen's sake, but if you cause trouble with any of our other companions, I won't hesitate to kick you out. And believe me, you'll know it if that happens."


Ember keeping the peace. But I can see already that Anomen and Edwin are going to be bestest best friends. They'll be going to ball games and strip clubs together in just a few days. :)

Edwin's room at the Copper Coronet was inferior in every way to the almost adequate chamber that he had lived in at Mae'Var's guildhouse. A rickety desk, no leather armchair, only one shelf; it didn't even have a carpet on the floor.


Back on the road again....

He hoped he would not have to spend much time in it. Or in the city, for that matter.


No... I can imagine most wouldn't love Athkatla. But it would have to beat the hinterlands for Edwin.

They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


Nice little touch there with the bath. And it seems there was no lost love between those two.

Bloodscalp had been seemed puzzled when Edwin turned down the position that was offered him, and as he once again looked at the bare walls of his new lodgings, Edwin felt a pang of regret about that decision. Still, the Shadow Thieves would not have been able to harbour him forever, he reminded himself, and as tedious as adventuring was, it would offer him a chance to get away from this backwards, narrow-minded excuse for a city. And...


Hehehehe Troubles Edwin?

Imoen's fate was not in the least on his mind when someone knocked on the door. "What is it now?!" he yelled.


No. Of course not. :)

"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


And he likes Imoen? The mind boggles. :)

I just wanted a private word with you," she said. "The thing is, Imoen told me what happened."

"So?" Edwin said, feeling heat rising in his cheeks despite his orders to himself to act icily. He should have known the damn girl wouldn't keep her mouth shut about how she humiliated him.

"I appreciate your help with this, I really do," Ember said, "but I want to make one thing perfectly clear: You were the one who wanted to come along. If we get her back-"

"When."


I like that he is more confident than she is. And it's her fears against his overwhelming confidence... so it makes sense.

"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.

Edwin glared at the door, a sharp retort dying, unspoken, on his lips.

How dare she?!


Wow. There's a barb for the heart of one Edwin.

How dare that mongrel talk to him like that? She could not possibly understand his motivations; her simian brain capacity was far too feeble to encompass such matters! And besides, the foolish brat they were rescuing lost her chance to see the splendour of Thay a long time ago. He felt nothing for her now. No, nothing but pity at her folly. (Although she couldn't really have known about the Cowled vermin, could she?)

He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


I like this characterization of Edwin. Which is saying alot because I usually want to dump him the sewers and be done with him.

Nice work Cel. Love the chapter. :)

VH

#13 Guest_Cel_*

Posted 11 September 2007 - 08:40 PM

Chapter 81: Off to See the Wizard


Zas is das? I comment? Indeed. Life has allowed me that luxury again. Hooray?


:D


The task was straightforward enough: convince Edwin Odesseiron to reveal Mae'Var's plans to Renal Bloodscalp, and receive a thousand gold pieces' worth of gems.


Bran: "Simple enough. Put a blaster to his groin and order him to spill the beans."

Jaheira: "A direct plan."

Bran: "You have a problem with it?"

Jaheira: "Only the part that doesn't involve pulling the trigger."


Sounds good to me!


It would not be as simple as it sounded. Ember wasn't worried that Edwin would refuse out of a sense of loyalty to Mae'Var - the Thayvian despised thieves, and his main loyalty would always be to himself - but his sense of pride could easily get in the way. If he still resented Imoen for jilting him, he might well refuse to do anything that could conceivably help her or her friends. As for the bond between them that Bloodscalp thought would help matters... as far as Ember was concerned, it wasn't there. She wouldn't have minded if she'd never met the wizard again, and he'd never connected with any of them except Imoen; with that in mind, she wouldn't be surprised if he considered doing a favour to the 'barbaric simians' he used to travel with as beneath him, no matter the payment. Still, the chance that he might agree was there, and the reward would put them another step closer to gathering Imoen's rescue fee, so Ember ignored her own distaste for working with thieves and accepted the task.


I like this paragraph. It sums up her feelings rather well. A general sense of disgust and worry. And that the prime worry is of course, Immy. :)


And she's going to remain the prime concern, too. Part of the reason I'm going to cut out several quests (yes, I am going to do that) is that if you do them all in game, you end up with the rescue fee several times over. Heck, Trademeet alone is enough to start the rescue!


Her companions' feelings on the matter were decidedly mixed. Yoshimo thought it was an excellent idea, Minsc was happy about the money, but didn't like having to work with the evil wizard who'd upset his witch and then left them, and Anomen was strongly opposed to dealing with Red Wizards, working with thieves, and receiving money from thieves.

"'Tis blood money," the squire argued as they walked back to the Copper Coronet. "It matters not that the task they ask of us is not inherently illegal, for our payment was gathered through theft, blackmail, and who knows what other foul actions!"


That's our Ano. And while right... it is more palatable than some options. Sometimes you've got to get a little dirty to do some good.


Anomen: But would it not be better to attain our goal through more wholesome means?

Course, Aleria would agree with his distaste. Dealing with thieves was no favorite thing for my little Tyrran.


Ember kind of agrees, too. She just doesn't agree enough.


"Well, since the money is for Imoen's rescue, you can think of it as the fee being lowered by a thousand, if that helps," Ember said angrily. "After all, unless Bayle is linked to more than one group, my guess is that we'll be paying the Shadow Thieves to help find her. No, I don't like it very much either, but I told you I'd do whatever it takes to get her back, and if you don't want to come talk with our old travel companion, then we can go without you!"


An attitude shared by many Bhaalspawn at this point. It's just a question of how far they're willing to go.


One of the reasons I altered this quest is that Ember would have been very uncomfortable acting as a thief and having to steal to maintain the facade. Another reason is that Anomen would not have stood for it and would have left the group.

Course, now I'm getting ideas involving Aleria. Damn. DAMN YOU! :D

One story at a time... gah.


:twisted:

I'll have you know I like Aleria very much :)


Anomen glowered at her. "That will not be necessary. I will come with you," he said. "But I do hope this unsavoury task will not set the standard for your quest!"


Aleria: "Anomen, there is much muddy water that will be slogged through, but the end result is much justice done. Many wrongs righted. Helm will forgive you."


Anomen: I sincerely hope your words speak the truth, my lady.


After passing a noisy tavern - several sailors were staggering around outside its front door, singing off key and waving clenched fists at each other while they mumbled slurred threats - they turned down a narrow alley, which ended near the top of a flight of wide stone steps. They continued down the steps and turned into a short dead end, half filled with crates. There was a boarded up door set in one of the walls. Ember knocked on it.


Oooh. Secret thief base

At least more secret than the Harper Hold. :P


*Anything* is more secret than that hold ;)


"Anishai," Yoshimo said, and bowed slightly.

"Yoshimo!" the woman exclaimed. "Darling, it has been far too long! Tell me, what brings you here?"

"Unfortunately, it is work that brings me to your doorstep tonight."


*chuckles* Work before pleasure...


Yoshimo: :D


"Carmine?" The woman's eyes lit up. "Oh, how delightful! I was wondering how long it'd take Renal to find someone for this. Follow me, my dears."


I'm sure that is one hip swaying walk. :D


You know it!


The Shadow Thief led them inside and up a staircase, then stopped in front of a door made from careved and polished oak. "The wizard is in there," she said, "but be warned: he doesn't like unexpected visitors, so step carefully, hmm? I'll leave you now. Yoshimo, we simply must sit down and chat when this matter is over and done with."


One little spelling error above, carved.


Thanks :)

And woo. Yoshi going to find all sorts of trouble. :D


Mind you, I don't actually know how much trouble :D


"Yes, she is very friendly," Yoshimo said, then whispered in Ember's ear, "she is also one of the finest assassins in the city."


Well, if you have to die, at least the scenery will be nice.


Anishai: :D


There was a loud crash. Papers and scrolls flew up from a desk in the corner, scattering everywhere. A chair fell over behind the desk, where a red-robed wizard had leapt to his feet. There was a look of terror on his face, and a ball of fire rested in the palm of his raised right hand, ready to be hurled at the intruders.


Someone's expecting trouble. :D


What gave you that idea? :)


"Hello, Edwin," Ember said.

"You... you!" Edwin bellowed. "Does the fine art of knocking completely elude your diminutive minds?!" He closed his fist around the spell, dissipating it, and glared scrutinizingly at the small group that stood in his doorway. His face contorted into a scowl.


I like the little fireball effect. Very nice touch.


Thanks!


The Thayvian got no further; Minsc rushed forward, grabbed the front of the wizard's robes, and lifted him with one hand. "The mean little wizard should not talk about Minsc's witches like that!"


Boo: *glares as malevolently as a tiny cute ball of fur can* "Squeak!"


:)


"Heartwarming reunion, is it not?" Ember heard Yoshimo say to Anomen behind her.


Yoshimo. Love the wisecracks... it is so him. A man who, while cursed, also has a rather... light air about him.


Yeah, he always seems so cheerful (if a bit reluctant to do dangerous quests) right up until Spellhold. I ran a character past Spellhold with him in the party and then couldn't write Yoshimo again until after I'd played another character at an earlier stage of the game :P


So, he still cares for her wellbeing. At least that's something. "Actually, that's why we're here," she said.

"Elaborate."


That one word illuminates the tension in Edwin so well. Kudos.


Again, thanks!


As briefly as possible, Ember told the Thayvian about Imoen's capture, the rescue fee, and Bloodscalp's offer. "So, if you'll tell Bloodscalp about Mae'Var's plans," she concluded, "I get a thousand towards the fee, and you'll get..." Bloodscalp had told her to haggle, but knowing Edwin, she decided to just tell him the limit of what she'd been given to bargain with, "five thousand, and a position at their headquarters."

"I see." Edwin glanced at the door, sighed, and straightened his robes. "A total of six thousand? Very low, for information of the quality that I can provide."


Ahh. Edwin. :D


He has, of course, planned for such an eventuality :)


"(It will have to do, even though it is almost an insult.)" He headed towards one of the bookshelves and pulled out a thick tome. It was full of loose pages. "These are several of the letters that have been exchanged between Mae'Var and the Night Knives lately. He has been courting those cutthroats in order to bolster his own position, and their plans include assassinating your friend Renal Bloodscalp. Mae'Var is fully aware of the penalty if the Shadow Thieves learn of these plans; it would be disastrous, both for his ambitions and his continued breathing. He believes these documents to destroyed, but I, of course, anticipated their further usefulness. Now, leave me be while I pack - and keep your your clumsy, elephantine feet off my documents! (The amount of research I'll have to leave behind... horrible, just horrible. Bags of Holding should be far more commonly available!)"


Nevermind the work on the Nether Scroll, right Eddie?


Oh, he's bringing that. The important documents pointing towards its whereabouts, anyway. Imagine someone with an entire library who can only bring ten books, and you have Edwin's situation :(


"My lady," Anomen asked, "is that wizard insinuating-"

"I insinuate nothing; I insist!" Edwin snapped, busily gathering up the documents that had spilled from his table. "How are you simians going to rescue her without my formidable talents? (Spellhold, of all places...)"


He's got to. Poor bastid is in love. :(


Edwin: Am not! ;) :lol:


"(Fools. I am surrounded by fools,)" Edwin muttered, and held up a piece of parchment in front of Anomen's face. "In case you belong to the unwashed masses that cannot read (which would not surprise me at all), this is a license to practice magic within the city."

"I can read perfectly well, wizard," Anomen retorted, his face reddening.

"Enough!" Ember went between the two men. "Edwin, I'll accept your offer for Imoen's sake, but if you cause trouble with any of our other companions, I won't hesitate to kick you out. And believe me, you'll know it if that happens."


Ember keeping the peace. But I can see already that Anomen and Edwin are going to be bestest best friends. They'll be going to ball games and strip clubs together in just a few days. :D


:) :)


He hoped he would not have to spend much time in it. Or in the city, for that matter.


No... I can imagine most wouldn't love Athkatla. But it would have to beat the hinterlands for Edwin.


Edwin: Normally, yes.


They had met with Renal Bloodscalp and received the combined sum of six thousand in gems in return for the evidence Edwin had gathered against Mae'Var. His former employer was unlikely to survive the night, Edwin mused as he sorted the contents of his pack. He wondered what Anishai, that crude woman, would do with the material he had left behind in her new guildhouse (most likely, she'd use it as kindling to heat her bath).


Nice little touch there with the bath. And it seems there was no lost love between those two.


She's far too openly sensual for his tastes. That, and she intimidates him :D


Imoen's fate was not in the least on his mind when someone knocked on the door. "What is it now?!" he yelled.


No. Of course not. :D


Edwin: It never is! (*mumble* *grumble* Spellhold...)


"Yes, yes," Edwin said irritably. If there was anything he couldn't stand, it was a smart mouth. "What do you want?"


And he likes Imoen? The mind boggles. :D


Edwin's conscious and subconscious thoughts need not agree :D


I just wanted a private word with you," she said. "The thing is, Imoen told me what happened."

"So?" Edwin said, feeling heat rising in his cheeks despite his orders to himself to act icily. He should have known the damn girl wouldn't keep her mouth shut about how she humiliated him.

"I appreciate your help with this, I really do," Ember said, "but I want to make one thing perfectly clear: You were the one who wanted to come along. If we get her back-"

"When."


I like that he is more confident than she is. And it's her fears against his overwhelming confidence... so it makes sense.


I kind of suspect he'll turn into a gibbering ball of tears if he lets go of that confidence for even a moment, though.


"When we get her back... She owes you nothing, Edwin. That's all." The girl left, closing the door behind her.

Edwin glared at the door, a sharp retort dying, unspoken, on his lips.

How dare she?!


Wow. There's a barb for the heart of one Edwin.


Ember: It needed saying.


He sighed. Either way, there was no chance of him taking Imoen to Thay.

Ever.


I like this characterization of Edwin. Which is saying alot because I usually want to dump him the sewers and be done with him.


I've been trying to make him tolerable without removing his insufferable arrogance :D

Nice work Cel. Love the chapter. :D


Thanks!




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