Prince Basaltar has settled into a form that’s more or less humanoid and more or less human sized. He appears to be made out of mostly violet crystal. It’s possible he ate a boatload of amathyst when he got here. Not quite literally, but… close.
He’s in the company of Nix after having spoken to a rather odd professor at the Academy. The bipedal crystal glances over at the dragonling. “That mage should be close to done with his work. Which means we should be able to launch our raid soon.” Raid. Heist. Whatever you want to call it.
The Dragons Gate area where the academy is is a nice one. Upper class. And this time of day – early afternoon – quite lively as well.
Nixie walks along with Basaltar “Well probably.” she is a little diastracted from the visit with the Professor and the topic of conversation. She is turning a device over in her hand. “I suppose” she finally pauses on the side of the street and looks to Basaltar “Well we should probably check up on that soon then.”
The Academy. Where Slaine has been trying to get an appointment with Cassandra, a seer. A seer who doesn’t like her much. For reasons.
“Damn woman, is away just to spite me, I’m sure.” the Half Pint mystic mutters to herself as she approaches the Academy. It’s a good thing that Nix had asked her to come by, at least she’ll get //some// use out of this visit. She’s also got … something … tagging along.
“Hey Nix, Your Highness.” she’s polite at least. “What’s the mage doing for you?” It’s been a few days since she’s been able to catch the pair and isn’t //quite// up to speed with everything. Which is why, what’s tagging along with her, might be a surprise.
Tagging along is a very good analogy. Ambling along like baby elephant still learning to use its legs, Kthzyx in quadruped form easily reaches up to Slaine’s hip in height. Also, from the ongoing crystalline sounds she’s making, the elemental is giving the redhead a running commentary on everything. Or she’s complaining. It’s difficult to say.
They approach a new set of buildings, and at the same moment that Slaine greets Nix and her companion, Zyx barrels forward (possibly bumping Slaine as she goes), chiming loudly and in a near cacophany of tones.If it sounds to untrained ears vaguely like ‘ohmygodimsogladifoundyou’ then… there’s probably a reason for that. The Prince blinks at Slaine’s companion and chimes back in a more orderly tone. Then he raises a hand and ‘shoots’ a series of light pulses directly at Kthzyx.
Light can be used to transmit information. Humans used to do that in the Golden Age with so called ‘fiber optics’. In this case, what he’s transmitting is something that will let her communicate with the fleshlings a bit more easily.
Which is to say ‘at all’.
“Nix…” The prince looks at his companion. “What is your friend doing with my… cook?”
Nixie looks up from the device in her hands and grins at Slaine. “Hey there… oh… you have one too?” she looks Zyx over and then looks to Basaltar. “You should probably ask your cook or .. something… ” she looks to Slaine “The guy we talked to about the job with the Prince here… though the mage we just saw was helping with a soulless problem we ran into.. which are you referring to?”
The princes chiming and the beam of light has Slaine pulling up short. “What are you doing to it?” she exclaims, about to step into the stream of light to ‘protect’ Zyx but the prince speaks first.
“Soulless problem? Cook?” she looks between Nix and the Prince, blinking owlishly. “Uh, sorry. I heard his highness say the mage was close to done with his work. I guess the assault on the Princes plane.” She thinks. Nix can be a little vague at times.Kthzyx stops in front of the Prince and almost immediately mimics his mostly humanoid form. Accepting the light transmission infodump, she then does the same to explain to him why she’s here, the plans to return him home, and the time limit on the portal waiting to take him back. She then turns toward Slaine.
“This is my Prince that I was sent here to find.” After all of the crystalline chimes, the almost human-like voice is likely a bit of a shock. “The portal that sent me here is waiting for the return journey, but cannot do so forever.”Basaltar shakes his head. “It is not yet safe. If I return depart this plane without diminishing the power of my rival the danger will be greatly increased.” Which means they’re going to need to go through with his previous plan.
“Yes. We were referring to the other mage who could help us with just that.” That’s to Slaine. “What was his name? Sterling, I believe it was. Odd, that a flesh-being should be named for a metal.”
“This is Kthzyx by the way. Apparently she’s been searching for me.”
Nixie watches the lightshow quietly and then looks to Slaine and shrugs. “We still need to pul lthe heist. Which is good. Treasure. Very good treasure.” there is a toothy grin there. Then she ohs “Souless.. right… well… I think we may have an alien intelligence problem.”
“Yer prince.” Slaine echoes Zyx and looks between the two crystalline entities. “I don’t suppose it could be a coincidence that I met two of ye and ye be from different planes.” The mention of a portal gets a strange look “I hope it’s well guarded, Kth… Kthz… errrr Zyx… ” she’s not going to try and pronounce that whole name again “If ye came through, I’m assuming more can.” And that might be bad.
“Oh, right. Sterling.” She’d been there when Nix had bought Basaltar to speak to them. “I agree that weakening ye’re enemies is a good idea.” Of course, none of them really know if it’s the ‘right’ thing. Basaltar could be a tyrant back home.
“A heist … that’s cute.” she tells Nix before blinking and sighing “There’s always something. What have ye found?”As much as it was impressed upon her that the Prince needed to return as quickly as possible, Zyx doesn’t argue when he makes a different decision. It’s good to be the Prince. “If this … heist is necessary then I will do what I can to assist.” Even if that’s only making sure that the Prince has adequate sustenance.
In response to Slaine’s concerns about the portal, she offers the only reassurance she can. “The portal was designed to only allow one journey in each direction, and will only respond to the Prince or myself for the return journay.”“In brief, my rival’s store of weapons and mystical power is scattered to prevent his lieutenants and allies from gaining control of it and turning against him. One of the larger such stores is in the Astral Realm. I know where and I know what kind of guardians it has. This ‘Sterling’ is contructing a device that can open a portal to that location. Once there, the guards can be overcome and the vault emptied depriving my enemy of the power he needs to continue hunting me and enriching everyone who takes part in the process.”
It had been that which ahd caught Nix’s ear, Basaltar is relatively sure. It had been the challenge which had caught Sterlings. As for Slaine? Well that remains to be seen. Kthzyx’s declaration of aid comes as no surprise though the prince does worry. She’s not a compatant, really.
Nixilanthius gives a shrug at the explanaiton, she has heard it before. Also of course treasure and weapons of mystical power are her real jam in this situation. “Alien intelligence. Like something that really shouldn’t be around.. it ripped the soul out of five psy-stalkers out near one of the lines … really bad news.”
For Slaine, it might just be the adventure. Or it might be the trip to Astral Realm. It’s certainly not treasure although the challenge has a degree of appeal. Or maybe it’s just to make sure Sterling doesn’t get in trouble.
That’s funny. Slaine making sure someone else doesn’t get in trouble.
“And ye’ll be going when Sterling’s done his work? Or do ye have other preparations that are needed?” The plan sounds solid enough.
Nixies answer gets a lot of interest though and the redheaded Mystic frowns “There’s lots of things that shouldn’t be around. Have ye got someone lookin’ at the bodies?” Bodies. Alive or Dead it doesn’t matter. They’re minus a soul. “And did ye see anything?”
Zyx’s explanation gets a skeptical from Half Pint and she frowns again “A trip either way? But there’s two of ye to go back … that’s two trips… ”Zyx doesn’t have any way to refute Slaine’s extrapolation of her words, so she doesn’t say anything at all. She simply looks at Basaltar again as if waiting for what he plans to do next. Oh, wait, there is one thing.
“May I request something of you?” she asks Slaine. “Will you tell ‘one who licks’ and ‘talks with stones’ that I … thank them for their assistance?”That would get a quirked brow from Basaltar if he had brows. As he does not… well it gets a look. “We shall be departing when Sterling finishes his work. He should be nearly finished. I was about to ask Nix to aid me in securing lodgings. And suitable dinner.”
He hasn’t explained that suitable dinner is a load of crystals. Lodgings are optional really but it’s nice not to be rained on. He doesn’t really feel the cold but waking up with hoarfrost all over him isn’t something he likes. It’s… kind of itchy.
“I believe Nix mentioned something about ‘energy snakes’. I did not see them though. She sensed them and called out to me before they nearly hit us.”
Well Nix isn’t even sure what it would do to Basaltar. Still she did see them. “Dark cold bolts of energy.. they felt hungry and empty… the wounds on the psi-stalkers felt the same.. thing is they ripped through the stalkers and kept going for a long range.” she looks next to the cook “Can you arrange his dinner then if you cook?”
“I see…” Slaine murmurs to Zyx “I think ye will be seeing them again. But if ye go before ye do, I’ll pass the message on.” She doesn’t know the female shapeshifters name, but she’ll manage.
To Basaltar, the redhead simply nods “If I can come with ye, I will.” She’s got some … problems that she’s working on though and may not be available when they’re ready. “Ye can stay at Grans, if ye like. The Bed and Breakfast down on Market Street. Rates are good but…” she looks at the Crystalline entities “Don’t be eatin’ Grans crystal collection. Tell her what ye need and she’ll see right.”
If that sounds a little distracted, it is. Nix’s words have Slaines brows drawing down into a frown “Dark, cold, bolts of energy?” She wonders if they’re the same as the ones she’s seen. “Where are the psi-stalkers now?”
Lodgings. That is something Zyx has yet to experience around here. And she’s only eaten once since she arrived, so she could definitely use a suitable dinner as well. There’s a very brief chiming statement from her aimed at the Prince and expressing her concern with being able to get the local crystals to respond in the ways that she’s accustomed to. She hasn’t yet had the chance to even try.
The term psi-stalkers means little to nothing to her, so she doesn’t offering anything to that conversation.The prince chimes back indicating that he’ll be happy with anything that tastes even vaguely like home. Maybe the prince is a bit homesick. Or maybe raw earth crystals don’t taste so good. Probably a bit of both.
“We left them at the Academy. Nix seemed quite disturbed by her conversation with the… Professor.” Who was odd. Very odd.
Okay, she was a transforming orb spider. More than just a bit odd.
Nixie nods to Basaltar “Well I hear good things about Grans.” she offers then to Slaine “Yeah darkness and coldness and boltlike.. we dropped the psi-stalkers off with one of the professors at the academy like the Prince says…. She is an expert in necromancy and souls… she also gave me this to measure the energy if I see it again.” she holds up the gizmo in her hands. “Still an actual alien intelligence… eck.. but the amount of power to rip five souls out of people on the fly.. what else could it be.”
“A techno wizard device…” Slaine says bluntly. “Or something like that. Although the times I’ve seen energy like that lately, the victims have died. So I’m not goin’ to jump the shark and say we’re talkin’ about the same thing. But it’s similar.” The alien intelligence is exercising her though. It’s not something she’d considered.
“First saw this when I was investigatin’ some taps that siphoned the magic out of people without a ritual or their permission. Nearly got hit by one of them snake things myself.” beat “And whatever, or whoever, is usin’ it, they’re hittin’ on those in the Vesper Government. Mostly.” They hadn’t got the device when they got Edouard. So there’s that. “Do ye mind if I visit those ye bought back? See if I can get a feel for the power that was used?”
To Basaltar and Zyx, the small redhead casts an apologetic smile “Is there any particular type of crystals ye prefer? I might need to go huntin’ fer Gran.”
Nixie looks back to the Academy and then to Slaine “I don’t mind. I’ll go make sure the professor knows someone else who has seen them and has some information will be stopping by to speak with her.” she tucks the device away. “Prince is all yours to supervise with his cook Slaine.” and off she goes.As much as Zyx appreciates Slaine’s offer to find suitable crystals to use as foodstuffs, she doesn’t know how to convey the characteristics of the ideal crystals using the language of the wet plane that Basaltar shared with her. Well, beyond: “Several colors.” Maybe with enough variety, she can find the ones that will work best. “I’ve heard of this… Grans…” From the locals. He hadn’t been quite sure what to make of it, either a foreign word or an odd name. Everything is so very strange here.
“Why don’t you take us there. We can discuss other things after… what is the word for it… dinner.”