Rounds from the Route
—A series of Reports written by anonymous Gallants from the hall Cyliajaca.
Aut: Anonymous Gallant
Dt: 964 A.T.
While The Gallants of Cyliajaca are no strangers to housing orphans, we do so only for a limited time. Usually, it is incumbent on the orphan to look elsewhere during daytime hours for other places to live, but are welcomed back at dark and are fed limited rations—enough to stay alive in the dawn and dusk. Depending on age and other circumstances, there are multiple paths we can take with each orphan if they have not been able to find their own home after this limited time. Infrequently, orphans gain awareness of our work after arriving here and join our cause. This was the case with Naka yla Seljovh. A young Pori apparently from Seljovh—though I am not certain where that is—came into our hall by way of force. One night, the hall became noticeably colder. As it was discovered, this Poria had heated her hands through the [locked] handles of the door and opened them. When she shut the door behind herself, the holes were left and the hall became victim to a draft on a chilly dark. Days later, I was finally able to coax out of her that she broke into the hall because she had analyzed it as the warmest building in town.
This backstory serves only to illustrate the time in which another campaign arose. With a new Gallant—after six days she also admitted that she would feel most at home working under our mission and with others—we received word that our help was needed. Word had been passed that there was a local kolegi—some two or three cities away—that was dealing with some omneuttian studying Sha’an magiks beyond their means. I wasn’t able to parse whether ‘their’ meant the student or the kolegi, but either way it was believed that our presence was required to help corral this student. So, Dai[-Zamaar] was selected to helm the group, and chose from the remaining Gallants—of which Naka was not in the pool—both Adry ‘Jowo and Eleethea. Though she did not have to explain her choices, she elected to do so. Adry was chosen due to his large breadth of knowledge in other cultures, and of knowledge itself. Eleethea was chosen due to her ability to render aid should it be necessary when dealing with said student. The decisions of who was to go were made, and those not chosen remained behind. The three Gallants who were chosen departed shortly after less than a quarter hour’s [25 minutes] worth of preparation. The travel was short, and a ship took them to the city after a flight roughly equal to their preparation in time. Even before arrival in this city, they could see the problem immediately from the deck of their ship, having not left the atmosphere.
On top of the kolegi—Adry quickly proclaimed was normally sealed off to students and only sparingly used for ceremonies—shone a bright light of varying colours. Mostly bright red, it bent the light around it, forming a swirling curvature of flickering lights on top of a tower in an otherwise unremarkable town. If the predominant colour were any other—again an assertion by Adry—the local turths might have written it off as some weird experiment on the behalf of overeager kolegi students, but red was problematic. The magik of Sham’ayn, Adry continued, was highly unstable and prone to making fools of mortals who attempted to wield it. This was dangerous, as it was either fully within Sham’ayn’s control or fully out of it; both of these scenarios were equally frightening. The Deity of curses, hexes, and trickery—as were all seven of the other Deities—was sworn off of intervening in the affairs of mortals. Either she was actively ignoring this oath, or the magiks called forth in her name were out of control of both the student and Sham’ayn herself. Frightening indeed.
By the time we got to the kolegi, the Ziekau [head of kolegi] was outside, pacing back and forth in a circle around the entire tower, staring up the whole time. We spoke to her and ascertained that the student atop the tower and locked himself up, securing the door with some kind of magiks that prevented all methods they could think of to open it and stop whatever sort of ritual was occurring atop the tower. The professors and students had tried sheer brute force, applications of Xiruen and Poria magics, and going so far as to break what forced the doors to be an inwards to outwards opening door. The magik holding the doors in place wasn’t preventing it from being pushed outward, it prevented the doors from moving. Halfway up the tower, the three ran into an esteemed professor of Sha’an magiks, who relayed to them that what was being attempted was some sort of archaic summoning ritual. The professor was not quite sure or clear on who or likely what was being summoned, but that they were able to ascertain that it was indeed an older summoning ritual, whose completion and purpose had been lost to scholars of recorded history.
Upon reaching the top of the tower, we were able to see the quandary for ourselves. The doors had no frame, no hinges, and were held in place by the magiks. The wall was also fairly sturdy thanks to advancements in construction not seen in all kolegi towers, Turath had recently invented cement that regrew itself in cracks. Eleethea remarked in a rare moment of cynicism, that: if only Naka were here, she would be able to melt through these walls in the same manner as which she melted our doors. At least that would be helpful to us, now. It took a couple moments for both Dai and Adry to process Eleethea’s out-of-character moment, but Adry quickly recovered with another brilliant idea. His plan was thus: Eleethea would forcibly heal the concrete holding bricks together around a section of the wall by forcing the living elements of some of the concrete outward, thus weakening the wall enough for Dai to break it. After several minutes of Eleethea tending to the wall, this plan was accomplished when Dai crashed through the wall.
The scene atop the tower was grim. The swirling orb of magik looked to have some sort of creature inside it—at least something that moved—and the turth controlling the magik near the center of the tower’s top. The three were noticed immediately; without looking the magik began to spread from the doors to the hole they had created in the wall. They were trapped up there until the magik was ceased. There was to be some negotiations, pleas to the turth to stop what they were doing before it was out of their control. However, it was not clear whether it was already out of the turth’s control or he was unwilling to relinquish this control. He had some magik circling around him. Adry cautioned that this magik was likely harmful and potentially unstable. Ignoring his concerns, Dai strode over and picked the turth up, who refused to stop pouring magik from his palms, or chanting the ritual. Hanging him over the edge did not cause him to yield, so Dai shoved her horn through his chest and ripped it back out. The serrations on her horn did their job and he ceased. Rather anti-climactic. Most of the magik swirling around the tower dissipated, and Dai left the lifeless body on the roof. The moving life form suspended in the air was still surrounded by some magiks, but the kolegi leaders who were now able to come to the roof assured the Gallants that they could handle the remaining clean up, and thanked them for their efforts. Dai collected the proper payment, and the three were to return home, issuing this report.