It was never that Talin disliked the Mage's Guild, particularly. They could be a group of boring old men having him run about the Imperial City on droning errands on some days and then on others, they could have running to the farthest reaches of Irer, rooting out and murdering Necromancers. It was a toss up of what he would be doing everyday, but the uncertainty made it enjoyable.
Today, for example, was one of the more interesting days. And he used the word 'interesting' interchangeably with the word 'Oh-my-sweet-daedric-lords-these-necromancers-are-about-to-vivisect-me-and-mess-about-with-my-innards-and-turn-me-to-a-worm-thrall'. As one of the necromancers sharpened a sinister looking silver dagger to a point that could probably cut the air, another necromancer was walking around, collecting scrolls and potions for the ceremony.
Deep in the back of his head, behind all the thoughts of planning a daring escape, behind all the thoughts of 'holy shit, I am fucked', a small discussion was occurring.
'Wait a minute' one part of his brain said 'I'm smarter than this'
'Well, the two necromancers about to dissect you say otherwise'
As the first necromancer became comfortable that his silver dagger was quite sharp enough for whatever nefarious purposes the duo had planned, his counterpart was arranging various things on and around Talin, chanting and burning something that smelled much like burning troll fat and imp gall. His daring escape plan was nearly fully formed. He just needed a way for one of his hands to be freed. He could ask nicely, but didn't suspect that would pan out too well. What did pan out well was an arrow breaking through the large window of the chapel, hitting the necromancer burning things in the back of the chest, causing him to gurgle a bit and collapse to the floor. The necromancer with the dagger turned just in time to receive an arrow in the eye. As soon as the dead necromancer flopped on him, Talin felt warm blood seeping through his robe. He took comfort in the fact that it was not his own, but was also less than pleased that it was not his own. Necromancers, by definition, did strange things. He had no idea what kind of things they did with those corpses other than, obviously, enchanting them to eat people.
He heard the heavy chapel door open, and soft footsteps approaching the alter. A pale face with long, brown hair appeared above him. The green eyes attached to this face were the color of freshly cut emeralds. The face was delicate, but that was largely deceiving. She was as comfortable skewering you with an arrow at three hundred paces, as she had just aptly proved twice, as she was ramming a sword through your innards. Her face held a chiding tone just behind it, chomping at the bit to be released.
"You need to learn your limits," his sister told him
"But it worked," he reiterated as his sister untied his arm "I'm alive, they're dead. Successful day."
Talis stared at him, in disbelief.
"You were nearly…whatever they planned on doing," she cleared the things the second necromancer had placed on him away as she untied his feet.
"Are they dead?" Talin asked as he swung his feet to the side of the pedestal and sat there, staring at his sisted
"Am I alive?" he cut her off
"Yeah, but only beca—"
"Then it has been a successful day,"
He hopped down. If they hadn't looked almost exactly the same, with Talin having a significantly large number of scars, due to some tactical errors, people wouldn't think they were related. Talin was significantly taller than his sister, to start with. And their personalities clashed. Talin was always more of the 'Go in, shooting first and letting Gods sort them out, because he didn't exactly have any questions he wanted to ask them,' while Talis favored the school of thought that called for creeping along in the thick underbrush that surrounded the roads, waiting. Talin, being a confirmed member of the Mage's Guild, wore their version of combat armor, which provided no shelter against blows that were physical in nature, but the wicked magic away like a raincoat. Talis chose to wear simple leather armor that she had mostly made herself, having to steal the boots from someone because she had a reasonable level of difficulty with them, for some reason.
As they headed out of the chapel, Talin stopping at every row of pews to see if the Necromancers had left anything behind after they went to the great gig in the sky, or wherever Necromancers went after death. They had been poor necromancers, Talin decided after breaking open many a clay urn, only to be greeted with a gray powder of origins that Talin avoided thinking about. The last thing he grabbed before they left was his staff. Contrary to many popular beliefs, a wizarding staff was every bit as a potent weapon as a sword. Most were loaded with one spell, but that was all it usually took. Something surviving a direct blast from a wizard staff was a very bad sign, indeed. But that was why Talin usually brought his sister with him when the Mages Guild sent him out to root out some necromancers.
The chapel doors creaked as they pushed them open. The chapel had been built many years prior, and the river bank had eroded to the point where they basically were stepping into the Pander River as soon as the doors were opened. They edged their way along the chapel, and climbed up to drier land when the chance presented itself. If they traveled along the river, they could potentially arrive at the Imperial City in three days time, but would have to contend with the local flora and fauna, most of it dedicated to killing anything that moved*.
*It was true. This was precisely why you kept Trolls away from mirrors. They are aware that mirrors reflect things, but less so that mirrors reflect what is in front of it. This will lead to the Troll striking itself. This will confuse the Troll, who will respond in the only way it knew how, which was with more violence. At the end of the day, all you had was one Troll, who had been very messily dispatched and a very likely broken mirror.
The roads were a much safer option, but would take almost a week and it would necessitate them staying in an Inn. Neither had much money, so traveling along the river it was. As they began to follow the shoreline of the river up above, in the high trees, they were being watched. Six red eyes were fixated on Talin and his staff. Will'o'wisps were two things by nature. Completely and totally infatuated with all things magic and completely and totally stupid. Therefore, they generally never lived long enough to realize that magic affected them in the most violent way imaginable, being that they were creatures of pure magic energy. It was just like having fire and blasting jelly. As long as they were kept very, very far away from each other, and people working with blasting jelly never thought about fire and vice versa, everything would be fine. But if some maniac were to come charging into a blasting jelly plant, torch held high, screaming about sending himself to seventy two virgins that he very much hoped turned out to be female, there were going to be problems.
The Will'o'wisp slowly tracked the journeying pair, always keeping its eyes fixed on the staff. It knew the forests well enough that looking at where it was placing its feet and arms was a secondary concern. The magical energy rolling in waves of the staff called to it, summoning it closer. It slithered down the trees, barely rustling the underbrush as it moved, fixated on the power. When it was in a good position, it reared back on its haunches and prepared to launch itself onto them. As soon as it was moving forward, it was too late. A massive projectile of pure, magic energy snapped the air as it traveled towards the Will'o'wisp. It morphed from a dark red to a vivid green, finally settling on an icy blue before it collided. Magic of that level hitting the Will'o'wisp caused a massive thunderclap to ring through the forest, startling sleeping creatures and humans alike.
Being a creature of pure magic energy, when its ties are ruptured so quickly, the magic released actually erupts as it exits the body, creating the characteristic thunderous roar that tells people who are aware of such things that another Will'o'wisp has perished. By the time the empty husk of the Will'o'wisp hit the ground, it was evaporating away, into nothingness. Small tendrils of smoke danced out of each one of Talin's fingers, the power still surging through his body. The rush casting spells brought on was something only spellcasters could ever feel, and Talin felt everyone else was missing out on something extraordinary. He had tried to bottle it, once, with some less than clean results. He curled his hand back into a fist, slowly and deliberately, before placing it back at his side.
Talis was always startled by massive shows of magic like that. She had always felt it wrong that people were able to control such power, and plentiful evidence, in the form of necromancers, existed. But there were good wizards too, who made it their life to eradicate those who seek to misuse the massive powers that is available in the early stages of their life and then teaching the next generation to do the same. They continued on, making sure to keep the river in their sight as the sun crept below the horizon, giving way to night. They eventually stopped for the night and Talis went about setting up the tent she kept in her pack and starting a fire while Talin cast barriers and illusions, so nothing could get to them and slit their throats while they slept.
Okay, I put this up for something for people to read while I go back and totally and completely rewrite Life and Time of Lonan. Yes, all of it. I came up with lots of new and exciting ideas that I want to put in it. Plus, Quinys is just not a very good female lead. So enjoy this while I work on overhauling stuff.
By the way, this was originally going to be Elder Scrolls fanfiction, but I just retooled it a bit and threw it up here. Reviews, as always, are appreciated. Don't need a beta, because I don't really care about this one that much.