Zorastres first appearance in Zikhin

Discussion in 'Original Works' started by Black Tattoo, May 15, 2014.

  1. Black Tattoo

    Black Tattoo The Corruptor

    Feb 3, 2006
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    Buckle of the Snow Belt (AKA Michigan)
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    One of my favorite scenes of one of my favorite characters.

    Amias passed countless slaves lining every hall with hardly a notice as they anxiously bowed before fleeing his path. He ignored the salutes of his soldiers, the pleas of his chamberlains to see to tedious matters of state and turned away anyone wishing to speak to him with short dismissals. His mornings were his own and it was only the most foolish who dared to interrupt his routine.
    He was nearly to the large, grandiose doors of the palace library when an explosion on the other side made them shudder on their hinges and thin tendrils of smoke seeped from between. He didn’t react, didn’t hurry his steps. Reaching the doors, he took hold of their golden handles and yanked them open with a single step back.
    The man who tumbled out on his back stayed where he landed, squinting through the smoke billowing out after him.
    “Another explosion, Zorastres? Honestly, I don’t know why I keep you around.” Amias turned to YadaLezviya, “Pick him up, will you?” Then he stepped over the wizard into the demolished room.
    Seeing the corrupted shadowmancer bending over him, the ever present shadows swirling around her alabaster skin reaching out, Zorastres’ eyes went wide and he scrambled to his feet, dusting himself off in a futile effort to appear calm.
    “No! No, that’s alright. I’m alright, I got it….don’t need help from you, thank you just the same. But I’m fine, really-”
    “Shut up, Zorastres,” Amias snapped, slowly surveying the remains of the library.
    Shutting his mouth, the wizard clasped his hands behind his back and rocked back on his heels, waiting to be heard. Despite his gangly height and the fact he was a grown man, he had a boyish charm about him with strands of his dark brown hair falling into his darker brown eyes. A charm that did nothing but annoy Amias as he strolled about the chamber in a state of shock.
    Dedicated solely to the written word, countless books lined the walls from floor to ceiling and the numerous freestanding shelves of identical height. Every book contained within focused on magick of one kind or another, the history and lore of magickal races like the Tuatha De Talamh, Paantha and Veneficus Cruor and the sagas of magick itself. Several long tables were scattered about covered in tomes, scrolls and parchments along with various orbs, rods, staffs and wands. A veritable wizard’s workshop.
    Or it had been.
    Every freestanding bookcase was knocked backward. The surrounding tables were thrown on their sides to the furthest reaches of the chamber. The windows that made up the far wall were shattered. Soot and ash covered the floor and the walls nearly to the ceiling. All extending outward from a single table at the very center of the room. On it, or rather above it, floated a book bound in finely tooled leather, written in blood and locked by a script that no one seemed able to decipher. Unholy white light emanated from it like a halo of pure evil.
    “Tell me,” Amias began, trying to keep calm. “That after all this destruction, you managed to glean something of value from its pages.”
    “Ahem, well, no, your majesty. I still have yet to figure out how to open it.” Seeing the storm clouds of anger swell in his grey eyes, Zorastres hurried to continue. “But I did make one discovery!”
    Wiping his hands on his leather slacks, he climbed through the debris, searching among the blast tossed paraphernalia until he found the item he was looking for and held it up proudly, a copper disk half the size of his palm engraved with a star design.
    “What the blazes is that?”
    “A pentalpha.”
    “Looks like a pentagram to me.”
    “Same thing. This is a kind of primordial version of the pentagram made by five interlocking “A”s.”
    “Pentagrams are used to ward off evil in white witchcraft.”
    Zorastres nodded. “Yes and among the EarthFolk in general. But! When inverted it’s used in black witchcraft to draw in negative energy, evil spirits and the aid of fallen and false gods.”
    Flipping the coin over, he cautiously moved across the room holding it out to the book. His gaze glittering with unquenchable avarice for the power barely contained within its pages, Amias watched as the white aura grew brighter, reaching further out from the tome. A vibration traveled through the air and the stone floor, rising in intensity as the disk drew nearer until the thin copper touched the binding. The script on the straps holding it shut suddenly flared, filling the room with a blinding light. Energy exploded outward throwing king, wizard and shadowmancer into the far walls of the room.
    Hitting the shelving with bone jarring force, Amias fell to the floor. Rolling over with a groan, he found himself inches away from the deadliest snake in the world and froze.
    “Zorastres! Get this damn snake of yours before I have a sheathe made from its hide!”