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Character Ponce

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Buried It Deeper - II

((Capital of Verden, Grand Hall of the Verdish Inquisition))

--Two Weeks Ago--

Standing, Ponce looked over the scene, and it was to his satisfaction. "Thank you, Frey." He simply said, before turning on his heels and approaching the door they had walked through.

"And now starts the clock."



Peaking out of the door, Ponce spotted Inquisitor Cassius, the man was still stood there in a huff, the Sorcerer assumed he was waiting on the Arch-Inquisitor to return. Good, the more time it took for them to discover Frey, the more likely they'd buy the scene he'd set up. But he needed to move quickly and be gone before even then.

He spotted another door across the way, and he needed to see what was behind it. He lowered himself to the ground, resting his hands against the floor. He sat there, stooped and crouched, as he focused on an image in his mind. It was that of a small mouse, one lacking striking features like large ears or a long protruding tail. This particular mouse was about as low-key as a rodent could possibly get. And with but a blink, what was desired for simply was.

Without a trace of what it had once been, the inconspicuous rodent skirted across the carpeted floor, bee-lining to the door and squeezing itself into the space below it. The mouse was grateful for the building's archaic design, as it knew from personal experience that establishments in other, far away places that were constructed in a more... new-fashioned style would be utterly devoid of such infiltration-friendly features. Darting into the room, the mouse realized this particular space contained within it metal vats of swirling liquid and barrels. The rodent identified this as the brewery, likely its contents were reserved for the Inquisitors themselves, as Verden's pride and joy, they definitely had to have some perks. With a small squeak of acknowledgment, the mouse scurried to the other side of the room, where it found a small hole in the wall, one that had seemingly been chewed out by a rodent like it. The mouse used its keen sense of smell to try and identify what exactly had made this hole, perhaps another mouse, some house mice species that had made this building its home, but it was none of these things. The mice's pulse quickened and his little muscles tensed. Fear. There was a predator about. Specifically rats. Vile omnivorous creatures who would eat just about anything they could get or kill, and that included unassuming little mice. The mouse's instincts told him he was in danger, to look out for his predator, to do his best to avoid all contact with a creature so much more ferocious than he. But then, the little mouse dispelled these "instincts" and ventured forth. The fear factor was debilitating, but the little mouse had an ace up its sleeve.

Moving through the claustrophobic system of holes and literal bite-sized tunnels, the little mouse was on high alert as the smell of rats grew steadily stronger. He was tense and afraid, though not because he feared death, but because his instincts demanded so. All mortal things suffer from that same ailment, the little mouse reflected. The buildup of fear and suspense came to a head, though, when the little mouse detected skittering behind him by way of his keen hearing. It had managed to get around him somehow. The mouse did not fret, and instantly darted down the little burrow it was in, the sudden pitter-patter of footsteps indicating that his persuing rat wanted blood. The mouse saw an opening and charged, shooting out of the hole into a warm, wooden room. The mouse moved his legs as fast as they would carry him, barely realizing as it leaped between two massive obstacles that they were feet. One of them raised, slow and lumbering compared to him, and crashed down, nearly stamping on his tail. But the rodent deftly evaded and found cover under an ornate-looking table. The Human would have trouble reaching him now, but not the rat. The mouse turned on his heels and faced his enemy as the rat came forth and prepared to pounce, wicked teeth and claws bared. The mouse saw this display, and it felt fear, great and profound in measure. And it knew to weaponize it. Channeling it all into one place, the mouse looked up at the rat of flying death and expelled its fear forward, and out came a ray of electricity. The bolt crashed into the rat's exposed belly, and down the rat came, flying past the rat and crashing to the ground in a heap. There it lay, small tendrils of blackened smoke still rising from the wound.

Foe defeated, the mouse sat there for a while, as this expenditure of bodily resources had done much to tire it out. Now that things were quiet and free of conflict, the mouse could hear the Human, whom he had nearly forgotten the presence of.

"Was that a damn rat!?" The Human exclaimed, and the mouse heard the tell-tale 'Shiiing' of a blade being released from its scabbard. No time to waste, the mouse imagined a stronger form, and low and behold, within a blink the otherworldly sorcerer lied curled up under the table. His rodent from was expended, a single spell was all it could manage before it was ready to roll over and die, but back into his human form, Ponce was a considerably more formidable threat.

The Inquisitor dipped their head under the table, and the sorcerer locked eyes with a young brown-eyed brunette woman. Ponce reflexively thrust his hands out, eyes sharp and focused as he focused his mind and grasped at her throat. His mental capabilities were an extension of himself, and with practice, he had internalized that notion fully. So when, by way of telekinesis, Ponce gripped the woman by her neck and raised her into the air, it felt just as he had grabbed her with a third arm, though his mind had grown to be much stronger than his body by now.

"W-who-" The woman managed to squeak out as Ponce rose from under the table, raising her above his head. Even as she spoke, the sorcerer thought of how he would dispose of her, for her presence would cause complications in his plan. If he allowed his presence to be known by the Inquisition, he would be hunted to the ends of Aeran, and his ability to carry out the will of his master would be severely limited in such a case. Ponce frowned, looking into the woman's pleading, teary eyes as life began to slip from her. Ponce growled under his breath, knowing that this had been his own fault, had he evaded the woman rather than confronting her, he may have been able to avoid this outcome.

He would be less careless in the future.

He let out a sigh, instinctively looking away as he felt her resistance wane, and then she fought no more. Her eyes were wild and bloodshot, complexion blued and tense. Ponce felt a tightness in his chest, one he had felt before, many times. He released her, and locked to the doors, using his mind to twist the locks from afar. He looked back to the corpse, and he saw Wren. The sorcerer blinked, wiping his face and looking once more, he needed to deal with this body and complete his mission. He sighed as if to dispel this uneasiness from himself, but in truth, he only buried it deeper. The end he hoped to achieve would justify all.

He wished the corpse something small, insignificant, and with a heavy blink, the body was gone, all but a speck still remaining, the crumpled mass of a deceased ant. That would do. Turning, Ponce took the room in fully. Books made up the bulk of this room, large bookshelves with arrays of literature and historical texts on their shelves. But this was not what he searched for. His hazel-green eyes scanned the room, and then he spotted it, inscribed on the shelf read the words, 'Records of Magical Threats' Ponce drew one of the books to him, flipping its pages open. He read through them, they documented the discovery and destruction of the Dread Lord Mal Kelmoran, as Ponce figured they should. Two more books flew to him, bearing their knowledge for him to see. He looked them over as well and frowned upon looking over a name that he had to double back for.

Ceriden Malkaan

Ponc felt his breath catch in his throat as emotions he wasn't aware he had even buried surfaced, all of them at once. He reached out and grabbed this book, flipping through its pages as they recounted various sightings of and crimes committed by the "Terrible Lord of Death, Ceriden Malkaan," tales of his holding children against their will and allegedly eating some, though those tales mysteriously held no evidence to them, as well as allusions to the Lich Wizard being the second coming of Kelmoran. Ponce would have to hold on to this particular book to be referred to later. He continued his search, eventually happing across a book titled 'Minor and Misculanious Disurbances'. Looking through this book, the Sorcerer discovered little tidbits of magical happenings, and eventually, he found it. Having occurred roughly in 1 YBTR, a group of Verdish soldiers were discovered dead and mutilated within the Bramblewood Forest. The circumstances of their deaths indicated the involvement of Necrotic magics. However, there was one disturbing thing, of the four soldiers who went missing, only three perished. The fourth was soon discovered to be a young man named Ponce de Gezzadro, who had since been captured as a POW by the Timber Crag Kingdom. It was believed, according to the book, that the soldier wasted away in the dungeons of the Timber Crag Kingdom's prison, as the crown was at war and did not have the resources to recover him. It was left a mystery, then, as to whether or not the man had been magically gifted.

The Sorcerer Looked upon these pages, and he willed them gone, and thus, the information contained within those pages ceased to exist. Ponce knew the power bestowed unto him was terrible and great, for the destruction of information was thought to be impossible, and yet the forces of chaos cared not for what was or wasn't impossible.

Ponce looked at the page before him, the one with his name on it having disappeared, and he noticed an interesting tidbit of information. the page spoke of a powerful book called the Mortith, which had once belong to the Arch-Lich Mal Kelmoran. Within it resided many dark and terrible magics, and the Inquisition had taught to destroy it, however, after the destruction of the Miekrannis College, the book had gone missing. The Inquisition were terribly persistent and thought the book taken rather than burned in the flames. The last accounts of the book's presence originated from a village called Warfall, however, details on whatever had occurred there were murky at best. Ponce thought this information useful, that book might prove beneficial to him if he could get his hands on it. He nodded, his work here was done, and he had learned a great deal, and now it was time to plan. But first, he had to leave this place.

First, he replaced the book he had kept with a dummy book he had willed forth, resembling the original impeccably on the outside. he had no time to painstakingly recreate the whole thing, so he had hoped that it would be some time before the change was discovered. Then, he unlocked both doors and made his way out, willing that his acquired book be invisible to light. And, things finally in place, he simply returned to the foyer and made his way down the stairs. There stood Inquisitor Cassius, brows still furrowed.

"Is your visit done so soon?"

Ponce frowned, walking down the stairs.

"Has your Arch-Inquisitor came in yet? Have you even received word of when she'd be back? I'm afraid my time is far too valuable to be wasted."

"I told you, she is on important business, and besides, it's only been around ten minutes since you arrived! And, where has Frey gone?"

Ponce shrugged, reaching the base of the stairs.

"I believe he had wanted to look at your great mural before he left me. Why he thought that information was imperative so much as to tell me, I don't know."

Cassius frowned, likely having a mind to check on the Inquisitor, which would go with Ponce's plan perfectly. If they thought him a drunk, his word that the Sorcerer was a threat would be incredible, for now at least.

"Alas, my time here is done, do tell your Arch-Inquisitor that she ought to work to make her schedule a bit more flexible in the future." He spoke and strode off towards the front doors in a huff.

"And who do I tell her visited today, sir?" The Inquisitor turned, eyes fierce and steely.

Ponce turned, his face stern for a moment, and he smirked, looking at the man. "It's Ponce de Gezzadro. Do try not to forget that, Cassius."

And with that, the Sorcerer turned and left the shadow of that place. In his hand, the record book rematerialized, and his sly expression turned grim as he looked over its pages one final time.

"So you still live. In spite of it all." The young Sorcerer contemplated what his old mentor's presence on this world would mean for him in the future, and what might possibly ensue should they ever cross paths again.

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