Breaking And Entering pt1

(JP LSP, Thaen, and Ender)

((Shadrazar, Zatar))

Once the pair was nearly halfway to that massive arched portcullis that led to the courtyard of the testament to gluttonous excess that was the Grand Temple of Ar, Reise dragged Severos into an alley before the guards saw them. “Gaudy eyesore.” he grumbled, “I need you to be focused.” he said, at Severos, but he was talking to himself most of all. His companion wasn’t excluded from the order but Horo was talking to Reise.

Severos nodded. "We must be vigilant," he replied. "The Temple has the power to make us fugitives. We cannot get seperated, no matter what. Here, hand please," Severos finished, rolling back his robe sleeves.

"A wizard's mark is hard to forge and is harder to deny for a magical contract. But the mark will allow me to at least sense where you are in relation to me. I am not that well versed in Enchantment… gods, I miss Mazarin, he was better at this than I was."

"Mazarin?" Reise asked.

"Old schoolmate," Severos answered. "He was as good at Enchantment as I am at Illusion. He was a good mate to have around." Cracking his fingers, Severos had Reise bring his hand together, fingers extended together towards Severos. "Inscribo," the young mage evoked. A blue-white tendril of energy trailed from his finger, laying into their skin like a tattoo. When he finished, the mark vanished.

“I’m sure Orla could still teach him a thing for two.” Reise commented. “It’s her speciality after all. “Fey know ancient magic some of which is unknown even to the professors who trained you”

"If caught, you might be able to avoid getting jailed or such by showing them this. My father is thankfully still recognized and we should be able to get in and out without too many questions."

"What, show them this?" Reise went, skeptical.

"And state that you are a servant and agent of Aven-Toril traders, operating under me from Karavoss. If questioned or pressured, declare 'Trade Agreement of Horus' and state that you will only speak if I am present or if the representative of House Aven or Toril is present. Trust me, it will at least stall for time," Severos said, serious as he spoke.

"What exactly does your father do?" Reise asked, while he made mental notes of the area.

"Textiles and ironwood trade," Severos answered, winking and drawing his hood up as he gripped his staff. He could sense the tiny thread of magic that connected him to Reise. If the distance proved greater than a mile, that thread would snap. He doubted that would happen though.

Severos stepped under the portcullis with his head up and stride stating he had power as Reise hurried alongside. Temple guards were swathed in fine robes even as their faces shone brightly with silver face masks. Near a grand fountain with Ar casting aside the devil Barazul to the depths of the Abyss, a long bearded priest walked a steady circle as his flail arched over his shoulder to continue bloodying his back in solemn prayer.

Five slaves, finely clothed but identified by their collars, swept the nearly spotless courtyard as Severos started up the stairs. At the top, another statue of Ar rested. His hands were extended openly down the stairs, bidding Man to accept the forgiveness He brought, as Severos knew.

“It's even worse up close…” Reise mumbled under his breath. The space within the walls of this ‘temple’ could fit a village inside. And yet it was mostly small buildings and too much open space. As they kept walking he continued to mumble to himself. His responses in a colder, and deeper tone than his usual voice. Like comparing winter to spring. Only snapping out of it when he noticed Severos noticing him. “Ignore me,” he said. “It’s just stress,” he said as he adjusted the chain around his wrist so two of the lockets on its length rested in his palm. “Are you ready? Because this is the point of no return.” Reise said, peeking around the building's corner.

"I am," Severos nodded. He was a bit worried about Reise but he focused on what was before him. "Once we have the information, we return back for Orla and my book."

"Book?" Reise said, eyebrows raised as Severos finished climbing the steps.

The young mage did not answer, merely caught his breath as he glanced behind him. Apart from a rather wide lord and his dissimilar stick-thin son, no other people had entered into the courtyard. Satisfied the guards were not upon them, Severos turned back to the large golden doors. Even in the sweltering heat of the desert sun, four large brass braziers were lit with campfire-sized flames next to great doors that were swept inwards. The guards stood at attention, large glaives shining as brightly as their silver masks in light. They stood swathed in white cloth of fine make, muscular chests partially bared.

They did not even glance at him or Reise as the two passed them. "That was a bit easy," Reise remarked quietly, dryly.

"Shut. Up," Severos replied as quietly with a bit of emphasis. He scanned with adjusting eyes in the large hall, barely spotting the priest approaching with his hands raised.

"Alsalam ealayk ya abn Ear," the priest spoke welcomingly. Peace be unto you, child of Ar.

"Alsalam ealaykum," Severos said with a smile. He bowed deeply at the waist, a hidden hand gesturing in circles for Reise to do the same. Peace be unto you.

The priest raised an oiled hand forward that faintly smelled of olives and incense to hover over the mage's head. "'atayt 'iilaa manzil allah alwahid birahmatihi. Narju 'an tughadir bihikmatihi," he spoke with reverence. You come into the One God's home with His benevolence. May you leave with His wisdom.

"Shukran lak," Severos thanked with a bowing of his head before he straightened. Thank you. "I have need to speak with the Magistrate relating to business. There have been some discrepancies that I was hoping to ask him about."

"I am afraid that he is in noon prayer soon and is unavailable until after," the priest responded, turning to walk forward with the mage and his companion.

"Then why don't we just go wait for him in his office?" Reise suggested presumptuously.

Severos shot Reise a look urging him to keep his mouth shut, but Reise only smiled and reached into a pocket, taking out what looked like the same paper he’d used to try and convince the Slave Master to give them info with the same crinkles and folds. When the priest looked at it he seemed puzzled for a scant moment before his eyes glazed over for nearly the same amount of time, before he began to read the paper.

“As you can see we have a meeting with the Head Magistrate. Could you point us in the direction of his office?”

The priest looked confused for another moment before smiling and pointing. “Of course. It's that way, Your Highness.”

“Thank you,” Reise said, motioning for Severos to follow him.

“What did the paper say?” Severos asked with surprise as they started walking.

Reise shrugged, “It said what it needed too to let us through. I’m a Prince, and I have a meeting with the magistrate, and you are a trusted business associate of House Aven.”

“A prince? As in the ruler of the city? Was the paper enchanted or is this more of your... science?”

“The latter,” Reise said. “It has to do with psionic resonance. The weaker and less disciplined the mind the better it works.”

"That, I do understand. But why did you feel the need to change everything about our stories?" Severos asked, annoyed.

"It worked, that's what matters," Reise stated with assurance.

The two made for the large doors. Though it was far away the guard at the gate gave a shrill whistle, which echoed, and a hand movement, signaling the guards at the door to open it. As the large doors swung open, Reise saw the expansive interior. High ceilings, and massive columns to hold the roof up. “We need to move fast. That lie will not last forever.”

“It shouldn't last long at all since it's such an audacious one,” Severos said.

“Have you ever heard the phrase 'the bigger the lie the more people will believe it'?” Reise asked. “Now where are the files?”

“The files will be readily accessible from the Magistrate's office. Have you ever heard of looking the part for your illusion?"

Reise turned around at that with a glare. Severos met it. "It worked, so there."

"You… nevermind," Severos said with a huff and a shake of his head.

It didn’t take long for the pair to find the door to the Magistrate’s office. Pushing it open slowly they found the suite of rooms empty. Beyond the office lay an immense series of vaults with rows of file cabinets containing a file for every registered slave in Zatar.

“Okay, you search and I’ll keep watch. Orla’s file will be a recent one,” he told Severos, pushing his back flat against the wall next to the door. Anyone coming in would see
Severos first, allowing for him to get the drop on them.

Severos stopped, for a moment daunted by the sheer size of the vaults before he began casting the spell locate object. It wouldn’t tell him the exact place the file was stored but would give him a good start.

Meanwhile Reise watched the door, his ear pressed to the wall listening to the hallway beyond. He listened closely, brow furrowed when he heard a rush of footsteps in the hall. Lighter ones moving inward deeper into the building and heavier ones running for the door. The sound of one set moved for the door he was guarding. The door creaked open, and a man in fine robes rushed in, slamming the door and pressing his back against it and breathing heavily, before he saw Reise standing in the low light of his office.

The man's eyes went wide in fear but before he could scream Reise clapped a hand over his mouth. “Who are you?” the man’s eyes asked Reise. Reise lifted his finger to his lip telling him to be quiet, and the man nodded. Reise pulled his other hand away and the man blurted, “There are intruders!”

“Oh? Tell me more,” Reise said.

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