Severos had fallen silent at the sphinx's regard and watched with a few other curious commoners. He could feel the power of the sphinx, his sight spell still portraying the magical Weave around them. Now, knowing where to look, he could see the thick cords jutting from the earth into the vibrant aura, a blue-white spellfire raging about the beast.

He shook his head. Perhaps he was mistaken in trusting a sphinx. But he was the guardian of the territory. The chances were he existed long before his family line had been sired. But his very demeanor was something that spoke too much like a power monger, making him think that he had truly been tricked by something seeking to boost their powers. After all, a curious wizard was an enemy wizard.


He snapped out of his reverie, shocked at what he witnessed. Kuz lay dead by his own hand, chains now just slacking around a snapped neck. Tech bent over, examining his old companion, a single goblin eye alighting upon something.

"'Death before betrayal', so is that what you decided." Tech let out a sigh and looked at Phronesis, "I'm sorry, I didn't think he would do this."

Nothing prepared him for Phronesis and his response. Amidst the small gathering of townsfolk, cries of confusion and horror were drowned.


While a simple command, his magic created an aura of sound absorption. The Sphinx could only be heard by those near him. His face glared with seething rage at Tech, whose form went rigid. The one eye was locked onto Phronesis, a stare of intensity that gave away a psionic link.

Severos knew that the sphinx was doing something, and knew that the sphinx was quick to answer anything with swift punishment. It had said that Kuz was a pillar for the community, which very well was true. Yet he had just taken his own life. Obviously there was more to the story, which he only knew part of.

The box. Severos knew this all started with the box. If Kuz was truly an adventurer in his retirement, there was no way he would have left it easily accessible. Or unguarded.

Phronesis only showed interest in the box when it was said to have a dark heart in it.

Phronesis only showed interest in the Mortith because he knew of its power.

The thought raced through his head. He looked at the sphinx, realizing that a tyrant stood before him, one that collected magic for their own end. Any who had power in their territory threatened them.

The young mage looked around the street. He barely understood anyone here, much less recognize anything. Yet these people were just people, dealing with an era which was one of uncertainty. He looked back to the sphinx, the power of the Weave flooding into the beast's body. He sighed.

Why do I do such things?

He thought quickly on what he would do and fastened the spells into thought. He would have to chain them, despite the ease of casting these spells in particular. And adding to the difficult task was a silence field, neutralizing any phonetic components he had to say. He knew how to cast most spells without a verbal spouting, it would just take longer.

Carefully, he knotted the Weave together, his wand twitching slightly as he made small but mostly unnoticeable traces in the air. Already, the spells were nearing completion and he had to hold back the final strands that would make them cascade out. As he rechanted the endings, he tightly threaded his final spells into order. With a breath, he let go.

The first spell was a ranged Transmutation spell, one not meant to be at range. He had to rack his brain to find the correct stictures and mauz to make it even remotely possible and its target was just barely within reach. Thankfully, the second spell was easy to project and once the full thread ignited, the first spell was carried forward with speed and strength. The Transmutation spell quickly made the metal around Tech's head into lead, while magically hardening it stronger than steel. That spell wouldn't last long but it didn't have to.

The second spell was an Illusion spell, a masking of the lead. Illusion was easy to project, for it meant fooling the mind. He doubted the sphinx was truly fooled yet he knew that his more powerful spells would test or defeat the sphinx's ability to resist.

His third spell was one that every mage learned for adventure: a magical shielding of armor, usually invisible unless wished otherwise, capable of resisting normal blows from swords and arrows and somewhat resistant to magic attack.

With that, he waited. A tyrant Phronesis was, but a very observant one. Lead would prevent mind probes of psionic nature as well as arcane, so it was a matter of how far he was truly willing to go to show his hubris in a fight.

With another breath, knowing there was no going back, Severos Aven stepped forth, his wand in a low ready stance. He had given the Iron Knight time to recover, how he handled what was next relied on what he chose to do.

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