Author Topic: The Circles of the Wise  (Read 5818 times)

Offline Dolnikan

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The Circles of the Wise
« on: March 24, 2011, 02:32:05 PM »
The agent looked out of the window of an apartment in the centre of Basilopolis, the principal city on Yulunga. The apartment was richly furnished as befitted the status of it’s owner. Shelooked at her reflexion in the window, but she did not see her own face. The face she saw belonged to Branka Sondi, the owner of the apartment whose body she had burned and mutilated beyond recognition, just as she had done days before with Draga, Sondi’s personal servant. The agent inspected the face carefully, it indeed was Sondi’s. She allowed herself a slight smile and adjusted the dress she wore. Today the new servant she had hired would arrive and she could start to be Branka Sondi. She sighed, it would be a long time until she would once again be a servant of the famous Inquisitor Khar.

The new servant had arrived and introduced herself. Her name was Vendran, a short, dark woman in her early twenties. She knew that she was a member of the circles as well. The Circles of the Wise were a cult devoted to one of the dark gods, whose name even they didn’t dare to use. Sondi was one of the highest ranked members her master’s agents had managed to identify. The agent had broken her and knew everything the woman she had become knew. It was her mission to rise to the highest circles to gain a list of all members for a proper purge.

She bend towards the young woman and whispered into her ear: “The circles surround the Well of Life”
Vendran was silent for a moment before whispering back: “From the Well comes enlightenment”
“The nine Orbits are perfection”, Shereplied.

“At the ninth I stand, longing for truth” Vendran answered, indicating that she was a member of the ninth circle, the outermost who knew hardly any of the secrets.

The agent finished the ritual exchange: “At the fourth I stand, basking in the glory of wisdom, still longing for truth, to you I offer myself as teacher”

Vendran bowed slightly further and kissed Dolnikans bare shoulder, saying: “I am honoured to serve”

“Please see to the household and prepare a bath, in four hours I will visit acquaintances of my late husband and I must be impeccable.”

“Certainly” replied the servant.

“But first I must show you what none may ever see, come with me”

Vendran walked after her and Dolnikan took her to Sondi’s bedroom, her bedroom now. She walked to a panel next to the bed and pullet at it. It swerved aside and revealed a small shrine consisting of nine gilded circles surrounding a rune made of glass filled with blood. She bowed to the shrine and Vendran followed her gesture.

The agent closed the panel again and dismissed Vendran.

Again she looked at a mirror image of herself. The face remained Sondi's, the woman she had become. She opened a secret compartment in the bed, it had taken her a while to discover it, it was where Sondi had kept a weapon, Dolnikan had put the few belongings she might need again there as well. Her needle pistol and a case containing additional ammunition.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2013, 09:23:34 AM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2011, 02:15:55 PM »
The agent sat comfortably in the rickshaw carrying her to her first cult meeting as Branka Sondi. She wore a modest dress and focussed her mind for the events to come. The journey wasn't long, only half an hour. The puller was a tall but lean man with a tanned skin. On Yulunga the rickshaw remained the transport of choise for travelling short distances. Small motorized vehicles were banned from civilian use. For longer distances and cargo large trains were used. The agent looked at the many wooden houses arranged along the road. They were a chaotic sprawl limited by the governtment roads, all other space was filled. Here the poor of Basilopolis made their living. But it was more than just that, it was her source of income, Sondi's husband owned several buildings here. An agent looked after them for a share in the rent. He had been the one bringing her into the circles. He was a member of the third circle who had inducted many amongst the families living in these buildings.

The rickshaw came to a halt. She saw that they had arrived at her destination, the concierge's home. The puller helped her outof the vehicle and she paid him a small tip. He nodded to her and walked away. The agent walked to the door which swung open before her. A boy had opened the door for her, he was no older than  fifteen, Dalin was his name, he was the eldest amongst the concierge's seven children. She entered and he quickly closed the door again. The boy greeted her ritually: "From the Well comes enlightenment"

She replied: "The nine Orbits are perfection”

"My father awaits you upstairs"

"Thank you, may wisdom be engraved upon your soul."

The boy bowed and left her.

"He is a cult member as well then", she thought, wondering at what age the concierge had initiated him and how many of his other children were inducted as well.

She walked up the stairs, once there she saw four doors, she didn't know behind which of those the meeting would be, she cursed her preparation, she should have kept Sondi alive and asked her more questions. She calmed herself down and closed her eyes, she focused. Then she could feel their presences, three beings were together in the room behind the rightmost door. She walked to the door and opened it, careful to not make any noises. A voice rang out: "Branka, please do come in."

It was the concierge, Volim Kitran. She had taken the right door then. She opened it fully and walked into the room. Assembled there were other members of the circles, all of them of the fourth circle, except for Kitran, he was a member of the third. She knew these people from her time as Sondi's servant, Draga. Dolnikan nodded to them before sitting down on one of the cushions present. Kitran said: "Then it is time for us to start, now that we are complete"

"Listen to these words as they were given to me, the word spreads steadily, wisdom expands.”

Kitran suddenly stood up and put his hands on the head of the man to her right, he spoke a formula: “Krur ulata sormul re’guliomphen Iago.”

Then he walked to the Agent and put his hands on her head. He repeated the formula. As he said the words she felt sorcery at work, he was attempting to penetrate her mind with sorcery. She reacted with the instincts honed by the Scholistia Psykana. She pushed the presence away with all her power.  Kitran fell away from her with a scream, blood flowed from his ears, eyes and nose while suddenly the room was much colder. Nobody moved, paralyzed by shock. Dolnikan had failed in her mission. They would certainly hunt her down now. She jumped to her feet and raced to the door, as she ran down the stairs the screams from the other two started. Dalin sat at the door and turned as she ran at him, she pushed him aside and made for the street.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:48:32 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #2 on: March 29, 2011, 08:18:06 PM »
The agent was out of breath, she had been running as fast as she could and simply couldn’t keep the pace anymore. She was starting to see stars and losing the edge of her vision. Her side hurt like she had been stabbed and lost all feeling in her legs. She fell to her knees grasping for breath. She had failed in her duty, she had failed her master and worst of all she had failed the Emperor. Tears welled up in her eyes. She was truly a lost soul now. She had always been an abomination only tolerated in the Emperor’s light hoping that perhaps serving him well might get her some measure of forgiveness for what she was.

Slowly she regained some composure. Her vision cleared enough to see her surroundings. The area was unfamiliar, the buildings were badly maintained wood structures and everywhere filthy skinny people walked by without even sparing her a look. They might be wretches but they still were better than she was, they at least were loyal servants of the Throne, no practitioners of witchcraft.

In the distance she saw a small temple, it was comparatively well-maintained and recognizable by the large woodcutting of a saint on its front. Dolnikan started crawling towards it, longing for something she knew would never happen, a slight measure of forgiveness. Suddenly someone seized her by her collar and dragged her into an alley.

It was a man with long filthy hair, he reeked of things best not mentioned and was dressed in rags. The most eye-catching feature however was his face. He had huge wide-open eyes, no teeth and looked ancient, although he could be no more than thirty years old. He spoke to her with a hoarse voice:
 “I knew it when I saw you and now I am sure of it. You’re one of those rich ones, and funnily enough I have a need for some of your wealth, you’d better give it to me now or I’ll pulp your face.”

She looked straight into his eyes regaining some of her defiance, she whispered at the man: “If you do as much as touch me with your filthy hands I will ensure that you will regret it.”

The man simply took a metal club from his rags. Dolnikan pushed herself up to the wall and said: “I give you one last warning.”

The man simply giggled and prepared to strike. Meanwhile Dolnikan focused on herself and drew strength from the immaterium. It was harder than it normally was, she remained tired. Then her assailant struck. She dodged the blow and returned with a slap to his head. He flew backwards crashing into the wall on the other side of the alley. He was bleeding and almost knocked out. Dolnikan walked to him unsteadily. He mumbled a plea for mercy. She simply took his head by the hair and smashed him into the ground until he was dead.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:50:30 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #3 on: March 30, 2011, 09:35:54 PM »
She had recovered partially from the run. The agent could walk steadily now. Her mind had started to clear as well. She had to clean up the mess she had made. She had to remove the evidence of Branka Sondi being more than a local cultist. But first she would have to find out where she was at the moment.

She continued walking towards the chapel, hoping for a sort of divine inspiration. She knew that it usually wouldn’t come but it was the best option she had at the moment. She made sure that no one saw her before entering. The building was dimly lit but seemed to be constantly maintained, probably by the parishioners. She found it comforting to see a regularly and faithfully attended place of worship. There were even some people present. The front rows of seats were taken up by a group seemingly here to lay someone to rest.

Someone placed a hand on her shoulder. It was a novice priest. The young man whispered to her: “What brings you here?”

“I was looking for a place where I could come to terms with the sudden events in my life.”

“Then you have come to the right place, but please come with me, we should not disturb the mourners.”
She followed him to a small chapel at the side of the building. He opened its door for her and led her in.
“Now please tell me what troubles you, you look like you have suffered much.”

“My husband has beaten me and I fled from him. I ran in blind panic and only came to rest before this temple’s entrance.”

“The Emperor has brought you here to aid you and to atone for your sins. Do you have anything you wish to confess?”

The agent started to cry. She sobbed: “I have been lax in my duty to care for my husband. I should have been there for him when he slipped into alcohol use but I turned my eye away. It is my fault that he has become a wretch. Instead of stopping him I have given him most of my wages to buy his devil.”

She was ashamed of the terribly bad lie but it would have to do.

“It is not your fault. You have been a loyal and obedient wife. Do not feel ashamed. You have not failed the Emperor.”, he said with the soothing voice typical of many priests in situation like this.

“What would you have me do, honoured priest?”

“You should remove yourself from your husband and his corruption to prevent being infected yourself. Do you have anywhere you could go?”

“I could go to my brother, he would look after me.”

“Then that is where you should go.”

“Thank you, you have soothed my soul.”

“Before you go please allow me to help you more, you should clean yourself and wear fresh clothes. We have some we collect for the poor. But tell me your name, I desire to know to who I am speaking.”

“I am called Ljerka Madis, I don’t know how I can ever thank you for your kindness.”

“To serve the Emperor is its own reward, by aiding his people I serve Him, that is all a man could ever desire.”

He brought her to a small bathroom where she quickly washed herself and was given a new set of clothes by the priest. Before she left she thanked him again and asked him his name, he said it was Vankil Hisen.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:51:21 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #4 on: March 31, 2011, 12:57:50 PM »
The ricksaw she had hired stopped at a distance from her apartment. She paid the driver and walked to her home. She was grateful to the priest for the help he had given her. Thanks to his directions she had returned here and wore clothes which at the very least weren’t coated in blood. They were still rags of course, the poor of the city would only give away clothing they could no longer stitch back together. She would soon throw them away but at the moment they allowed her to disappear into the crowd.

She had arrived at her apartment building. In these clothes it would be nearly impossible to enter through the front door but there were other entrances she had found already. She could have used the garbage chute but it would make her smell horribly making it easy for her to be found. Instead she decided to climb up to the hatch on her bedroom window she kept slightly open as an entrance of exit for when it was needed. Dolnikan looked around, there were a few passers-by but they wouldn’t notice her, it was just how it was with people, they saw nothing if they weren’t told they should look for it.

She started her climb up. It was easy, the outside of the building was covered with holes in the stonework and pieces of metal sticking out. On Yulunga they didn’t care much about making the outside of their houses look any good. Soon she had arrived at the hatch.  Still unseen she felt around for the edge to open it up. It opened with a screeching noise. She quickly slipped in and closed the hatch behind her.

There was no-one in the bedroom. She heard voices. There were people in the building. They probably had heard the noise she made, they were coming closer. She opened the secret compartment above the bed and pulled out the weapons stored there, her own needle pistol and Sondi’s revolver, not that it had done her any good. They were almost at the door. She closed the compartment and opened the small shrine hiding the needler in her left hand in her clothes.

Then the door burst open. Vendran came in followed by two people she didn’t recognise but clearly were cult members. She aimed the revolver at her head and then looked at the newcomers with a shocked expression on her face.

“Please Branka, don’t do it!” exclaimed one of them.
 
The other, a middle-aged man dove at her and pushed her to the ground. Dolnikan threw her needler under the bed where it would not be seen and allowed him to wrestle the pistol from her grip. He seemed to be trained in combat and pinned her down at once. The other person, an elderly woman sent Vendran away. She bent down to face the agent and said: “Just don’t hurt yourself, you are not yet lost from the path of wisdom, we must take you with us to see into your soul.”
She nodded, the man pulled her up again and took her to the door.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:52:10 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #5 on: April 04, 2011, 08:46:46 PM »
She had changed into a new dress and had been led out by the woman who called herself sister Sorbec. It was probably some kind of cult name because she had never heard about that name on this planet before. She had brought the Agent to a place she didn’t know but suspected to be some sort of temple, she hadn’t heard about any temples either. Sorbec didn’t answer a single question, she only said that all her questions would be answered.

From the outside the building looked like what it claimed to be, the main office of the Almoners, a charity involved in feeding the poor. The front part was what it claimed to be, there were however less workers than might reasonably be expected. She presumed them to be cult members. She was led on deeper into the building. This part of the building was different from what she had seen before, the outside was made of wood and low quality stonework like the rest of the city but inside it stood a fortress which at first sight seemed capable of resisting a bombardment.

She had been led to a small room in the building’s centre. It was sparsely decorated and had two doors. From the other door a man entered. He was tall and had a regal bearing. The strangest part was that he had extra eyes set in his cheeks. He smiled at her and said with an incredibly comforting voice which almost brought Dolnikan’s guard down: “Hello Branka, my name is Mshek Asa Tchar.”

All four of his eyes focused on her. Only then did she notice their colour, or rather their colours, all four of them had a different one and it was impossible to determine any of them. He continued: “I am the first circle, I am the fountain of wisdom fed by our great master. You will learn all that of course, but first you and I need to talk about what you have done to poor Volim, or rather brother Molech.”

The agent let a few tears run: “I am so horribly sorry, I don’t know what happened but I know that I did it.”

“Don’t cry my child, just tell me what happened in as much detail as possible.”

“He started the session as he always did and when he came to bless me I somehow felt an intruder in my mind. I pushed at it desperate to get it out. Suddenly I was feeling both hot and cold at the same moment and had the idea that something was flowing through me. Then Volim fell backwards screaming. There was blood everywhere. I didn’t know what to do and I ran, I ran as fast as I could.”

She rose her heartbeat and started breathing rapidly. “Be calm”, he said “You did nothing wrong, you are more than we could ever have hoped that we would ever find. You see, we try to awaken the power in the members of the fourth circle so that they may join the third and the outermost of the true, ascending circles. I mean that we light the nascent powers of your mind and only once that is done can someone be enlightened enough to enter the inner circles. These three circles are the circles that will, when completely filled with worthy members be lifted up to join our eternal master as immortal scholars.”
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:52:53 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2011, 09:05:26 PM »
With those words he left her. The agent knew that it was meant to overwhelm her in order to make her complacent for a ritual. Mentally she prepared for it. She focused her mind on creating a false mind for when they would attempt to access it. A well-trained psyker would see through it but these people would lack the expertise, or so she hoped. This would allow her to mask herself from psychic intrusion. She didn’t normally do it because it was a very tiring thing to do and it reduced her reaction time but now it would be necessary again.

She finished her preparations and waited, after almost a full hour Sorbec entered again. She now wore a white robe decorated with three golden circles on the chest. She smiled at the agent and took her out of the room through the door through which Dolnikan had entered. She said: “You have been blessed and will be shown great things.”

“I live only to learn from my betters, hoping to reach enlightenment through them.”

“I have come to help you in getting cleansed for your official induction into the circle tonight, all of us will be present.”

“You mean the whole third circle? It would be a great honour to see them all.”

“Not only the third Branka, although they will be glad to witness your rebirth as one of their sisters. But the second circle will be present as well and of course our Great Teacher himself, with whom I have been informed, you have already spoken. You are honoured indeed.”

“It has been the greatest moment in my life to speak with someone who contain such wisdom.”

Then they arrived at a door like any other which Sorbec opened. Behind it lay a bathtub filled with hot water in which colourful flowers were floating. Sorbec said: “You must be cleansed before you can continue on the path, I shall wash off the taint of foulness from your past in order for you to step into a clear future. First the layers of your ignorant old self must be cast off and then you will be wrapped into wisdom.”

She then started stripping her and led her into the tub. While Dolnikan waited she threw away the old clothes and then carefully scrubbed her skin. As she was finished another cultist dressed in the same robes as Sorbec entered carrying a white package. Sorbec dried the agent and proclaimed: “The foulness has been washed away, the burden of ignorance lifted from your shoulder. You have taken the first of the nine steps, Tchar willing we will witness them all.”

Together the two robed cultists led the still naked Dolnikan to the next room. It was completely empty but well-illuminated. There the newcomer, a young, already balding man, said: “Kneel, the words of the wisdom you seek must be placed on your skin.”

She knelt on the cold stone floor. The young man opened the package he carried behind her and soon thereafter she could feel wet paint on a brush moving over her body in intricate patterns. After a while the man said: “Stand up, the words must go further than merely your back.”

She stood up and he continued painting the runes on her body. When he was finished she looked at them. The runes were painted on her skin with a bright blue, fluorescent dye. A new cultist entered carrying another white package and the young man exclaimed: “The words are written on your skin. The second of the nine steps has been set.”
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:53:54 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #7 on: April 12, 2011, 12:33:15 PM »
They three cultists took the agent to another room, it was cold in there. The room was undecorated except for a statue of some sort of daemonic monster standing in the far end of the room. One of the cultists unfolded the package he carried, it contained a small tapestry which he put on the floor in front of the statue. He said: “Wisdom requires insight, sit and face the statue, we will return to you when you are ready. Do not move and focus on the magnificense of our true lord and master.”

They left and she did as she was told again and sat down looking at the statue of their daemonic patron. It was about two metres tall and had a roughly humanoid shape, it had wings like an angel which were covered in eyes, the whole body was composed of leering faces, it had four arms ending in claws on the right side and hands on the left side. But the most captivating was the head, it was a beaked head with beautiful gemstones as eyes. She stared at the statue which made her eyes hurt but still she persisted.

She was numbed by the cold by the time the cultists returned. The man who had commanded her to sit down heloed her to stand up and said: “Devotion to wisdom is all-important for ascension, you have shown the strength of will required of our circle. The third step has been taken, you have proven your physical worthiness.”

Then another person entered, this time without a package, it was a woman wearing a robe with two circles on it. She was taken to a next room where she was told to kneel in front of a chair on which the woman took a seat. She said: “Your body has been cleaned but your soul retains some old taint. Kneel before me and look into my eyes so you can be purified of ignorance.”

The agent did as she was told glad with her earlier precautions. She focussed on maintaining the false mind as the woman placed her hands on her head hoping that she would not see through the ruse. The others meanwhile watched her closely, ready to interfere if anything would go wrong. She strongly desired to punish them for their heresies but that would have to wait, she had the Emperor’s work to do. Then she felt the first psychic probes coming from the woman. She would try to gain a stable foothold and then ask questions to allow her to learn what was going on in her mind. The agent carefully led the probes to the false mind, it was hard but she had been trained to high standards in order to do her duty.

Then she started with the questions. She started simple with asking her name and other details of her life. Then she simply said words bringing up what the false mind would think. She started with: “Loyalty”
The mind replied with concepts of devotion to friends. The agent was impressed by how it was changed to be more fitting with the cult’s ideals. She continued for a while, She was glad that she had taken these precautions, otherwise she would have become even more corrupted than she already was. She also learned a lot during the session. The woman imprinted knowledge about the organisation of the cult, it’s purpose and even the functioning of the rites, most important however were personal rituals which were to be done in secret every day which eerily reminded her of the rites of self-control at the Scholista Psykana.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:55:17 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #8 on: December 12, 2011, 07:17:55 PM »
When the woman was finished the agent opened her eyes and looked at her. She was visibly shaking and sweat ran over her face. Working on the false mind had clearly tired her. She whispered: “The fourth step has been taken, your mind knows truth.”

Again she was led to a new room. This time it was decorated with tapestries covered in runes on three walls. On the fourth wall hung tablets, each with a single rune on them. Dolnikan could read them and saw that every single one carried one of the names of Tchar as known by the Circles on it. In the middle of the room was a sack. Dolnikan was directed towards it and a new voice spoke: “Reach into the sack and find your divine name”

She put her hand in the sack and felt that it contained tablets like those on the wall. Looking closer at the wall she saw that there were three names still missing from it being completely filled. She took out a tablet with on it the name: “Barnach”

She held it out and the man proclaimed. “Sister, you shall be known to us all as Barnach, the fifteenth name of our Lord. You have taken the fifth step, your soul knows its name.”

After that she was led into another new room. This one was white with an altar in the middle. On it is young boy was tied. He looked immensely frightened. A woman said to her in a monotone voice: “To serve the master of Change one must let go of mortal sympathies. If you are to be one of the Circle you must expunge weakness.”

After saying that she handed the agent a curved golden knife and continued: “make the blood flow in the twisting path, set your soul free.”

The agent walked towards the boy, showing some hesitation. She knew she had to do it and wordlessly asked the Emperor for forgiveness that would never come. She pushed the blade through the boy who screamed as be bled to death while she looked on with dead eyes.

The next room she was led into was covered in a large fresco depicting the divine realm of their God. A new man had joined the evergrowing party behind her once more carrying a package. He said: “You are cleansed, Barnach, now you shall arise as one amongst us, sister.”

He unfolded the package which was a white robe bearing three golden circles. He put it around her shoulders before continuing: “Your flesh is dressed in the cloth of Tchar, the seventh step has been taken.”
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:56:03 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #9 on: December 13, 2011, 07:50:04 PM »
She was led into another room. Everyone left her and then Tchar himself entered through a hidden door. She bowed her head to him and saw him smile at her. “Hello Barnach”, he said, “I am glad that you have come this far, but before we can continue we have something very private to do. We shall as our master for a glimpse of your fate. It will show me what to do with you.”

He took her hand and led her to a table. He let her sit down on a simple chair and sat down opposite to her. He looked at her intensely with all his four eyes. On the table stood something covered with white silk. Tchar said: “Under the cloth lies the answer to the question of your life. To look at it for longer than even a moment invites certain insanity. We will take a brief look and let what we see take root in the mind. I don’t yet know what we shall see, it could be true greatness for you, there is something special about you, I have sensed that much. You are a riddle, and I like riddles, Barnach. Now look closely, but do not lose yourself!”

As he said that Tchar pulled the cloth away as he dipped her hand in the liquid which was in a beautiful golden bowl. The liquid was both warm and cold at the same time, it was both viscous as well as almost imperceptible. Then the agent looked into the liquid. At first she saw nothing but then she felt as though she was somewhere different.

She was in a large, domed, room. She wore intricately decorated white robes. She was standing next to Tchar and was surrounded by chanting cultists. Strange lights were appearing and then the vision suddenly ended. Tchar kept looking at the bowl where there was nothing more to be seen. He said, gasping for breath: “That’s wonderful, Barnach, you will be there when we ascend. I have never seen that yet in any vision. Tchar truly favours you, and he favours me with a glimpse of ascension. We are blessed in His many eyes.”

“Yes we are, honoured master, I hope that by your side I can learn much and ascend with you to my fate. Tchar is a generous master.”

“He is indeed, now with the step numbered eight taken please come with me for your final step as you walk into the third circle.”

The agent followed him through long, deserted dark hallways until their reached a portal. Tchar said: “Wait until you are called, I must leave you for now, but we will speak again, I am sure of it.”

He left her by the large wooden portal which was painted with the rune of Tchar himself. She stood waiting until at long last the doors opened. Light flowed out of the room and at first she was blinded. Then she could see, she saw the domed room from the vision. Cultists stood assembled in circles. In the middle stood Tchar surrounded by nine members of the second circle. He said: “Welcome sister, come join us at your place.”, as he pointed at an empty place in between two other cultists.

She walked to the place he had indicated and stood there, looking at the others. She saw all their faces and immediately memorized them.

Then Tchar spoke again: “Barnach, your ninth step has been taken, you are now fully of the Third Circle, may many secrets become yours and may you ascend when the time comes.”
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:57:10 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #10 on: December 14, 2011, 03:28:58 PM »
She had been in the third circle for seventeen days now. The agent had gained more knowledge about the activities of the cult when she was informed that she should be present at another welcoming ceremony, the third circle’s second to last member. There would be a ritual of ascension when the third circle was finally complete. She had to delay this event, at least until she had the information she needed. She had prepared for this, her mission came above everything else.

She looked around the corner of the alley she stood in. She was wearing labourer’s clothing to be unrecognizable as she did it. She saw the man walking by, she knew him from her induction and luckily knew where he lived. It was a dangerous thing to do but she was running out of time. When he passed her by she stepped up behind him and slit is throat in one smooth movement. She dragged him into the alley happy that it was late. She took his money from his belt and left.

When she returned to her apartment and had changed her bearing and clothes back to be Branka Sondi. She had disposed of the knife in a garbage dump on her route. She sneaked back past her new servant who was still sleeping soundly, like she always did, especially when Dolnikan had mixed something extra into her fruit juice. Once back in her bedroom she said a quick prayer to the Emperor in her mind and lay down to sleep.

A few hours later Vendran awakened her. It was still early, the night not yet over. She said groggily: “What is it Vendran?”

“Madam, there is a letter for you” she replied, more sleepy than usual, probably an after-effect of the stuff The agent had given her. She resolved to use a slightly lower dosage next time.

While she thought this Vendran handed her the note. She said: “Thank you child, would you please prepare my clothes for the day?”

“Certainly madam”

The agent started to read the note, it was anonymous and was written quickly. It said: “Come as soon as possible” and nothing else.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:58:14 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2011, 06:43:15 PM »
She dressed simply and immediately went to the temple. When she arrived she donned her third circle robes and took her place in the inner sanctum. Slowly the other members arrived as well. The agent watched them all arrive, none of them knowing why they were here. When everyone had taken their place the second circle entered together and Tchar himself seemed to rise from the ground at his place in the center. Of the circles. He started speaking immediately: “My dear friends, companions in ascension. A most troubling event has occurred. One of us has been brutally murdered tonight. His throat was slit in an alleyway not far from his home. Unfortunately we do not yet know who was the cause of our brother’s untimely demise. But rest assured, with our combined intellects we are sure to find the answer soon enough, after all, we are the foremost scholars in the service of our master!” All the cultists looked downcast. Some were afraid, looking at the others with suspicion in their eyes.

That night she picked another one who would die, this time it would be a member of the second circle, Shyshas, the woman who had imprinted her false mind. She lived alone in one of the worse areas of the city. She was a poor woman and she would find it easy to disappear back into the masses after the deed was done. In the middle of the night she slipped into the building past a drowsy concierge. Ascending the stairs she encountered several people but each time she hid in the shadows before they could see her.

The rooms belonging to Shyshas had a simple lock which was easily picked. There was light coming from the small apartment and Dolnikan guessed that she would still be awake studying something. She drew her knife and slowly pushed open the door. It made some sound but that would probably go unnoticed over the sounds of the wooden building in the wind. There was no one in the hall. Curtains closed it off from the other rooms in the apartment. From behind one of them she heard hushed voices. She moved closer to them and peeked through the curtain. In the room she saw that Shyshas had a pair of visitors, both of them members of the third circle, they were discussing the murder.

There was no time to make a decision because Shyshas moved towards the curtain saying that she would be getting her visitors some more water.  Dolnikan backed off with her back to the wall. When Shyshas had closed the curtain behind her and her back turned towards The agent. she started to pursue the woman. After a few steps she took her by the shoulder and slit her throat in a single, practiced move. She gurgled softly but then she was dead.


Then she returned to the room where the two other cultists sat. They would both have to die to ensure that the alarm would not be raised before she would be back to her home. She decided to take the two cultists in a surprise attack. They would lack any martial training making them an easy target. She jumped at them from behind the curtain and planted the knife in the back of one of them, the taller one who she reckoned to be the more dangerous opponent. He fell forwards and The agent rolled over him freeing the knife and facing the shorter cultist. He jumped up and drew a knife of his own, he looked well practiced. He said: “Now you die, treacherous dog” and lunged at her.

She narrowly dodged the attack but knew instantly that she was outmatched. The man knew it too. He bared his teeth and pressed the attack until she was with her back in one of the corners. With nowhere left to dodge towards his knife finally found its mark in her belly. The pain was terrible as the agent felt the metal piercing her skin and intestines. But instead of trying to free herself she desperately seized her last opportunity and pushed her blade into her opponent. Both fell to the ground but she quickly rose to her feet again, swaying slightly. She took the knife her opponent had dropped and slit his throat as well.

Then she sat down on a cushion to examine her wound. She focused on it and slowly the flesh reknit itself to how it was. She used some water to wet her clothes to clean the blood from her body before leaving the apartment behind, careful to take both knifes with her.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 07:59:51 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #12 on: February 14, 2012, 04:39:25 PM »
The inner circles were in turmoil. The brutal murder of multiple of their fellows had brought a spirit of paranoia and fear. No traces had been found and more members had been found dead. There however still was growth. The murders kept the circles from filling but they were not enough to stop the inevitable. More and more of the lower orders developed powers of sorcery and ascension was closer than it had ever been before.

She had steadily improved her position. Her great abilities allowing her to outcompete her companions. Only the night before she had poisoned the woman who had once sought to invade her mind. The news was announced at the induction ceremony of another two members of the third circle. One of them had even been discovered by the agent herself.

After the ceremony she was taken apart by Fuelagh, one of the longest serving members of the second circle. He whispered to her: “Come with me Barnach, there are things that must be spoken about with you.”

She followed, fearing that she had been discovered at long last. Perhaps she had left a psychic trail or she could even have been seen. She was led through winding corridors she had never seen before. Only her carefully trained memory allowed her to remember the path which would confuse most mortals. At the end of the way she was led into a badly lit bare room where the other members of the second circle were waiting with Tchar.

Their faces were grim. She saw that they carried weapons under their robes. She drew her face into an expression of astonishment. Tchar broke the silence at an unusually solemn tone: “More and more of our select company find death. Death from the shadows brought by an assassin. This pains me more than anyone but our everchanging lord can understand. I have looked into the threads that bind the future and the past to the present. I have followed them and seen much that was meant to be secret. My chosen fall to daggers in the dark.

This state cannot be allowed to continue. The places of the fallen will be filled but each brutal murder harms me. And not only me but the great Scholar himself as well. My love is replaced by anguish. And not only anguish but also fear. Fear for those who shed the blood of scholars to stop ascension. Fear of those with the ability to escape scrutiny. We are not confronted by a common bandit. Our foe knows much about us and is well-versed in the art of death. An agent of our enemies has gained a foothold in our circles.”

He passed for a moment looking directly at Dolnikan, his gaze almost piercing her before continuing: “You, Barnach have been shown to me, from your past, through the present and into your future. My master has made reference to you. You are closely entwined with the murders of those I consider my family.“
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:00:42 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #13 on: February 29, 2012, 03:13:23 PM »
Tchar continued: "The prophecies are clear. I have seen you at our side ascending. For this reason I offer you our hand, join us on our journey to eternity. Holes have fallen in our midst but they shall be refilled. Fill one of these holes by taking the place of my fallen friend. I offer you true ascension into the ranks of the second circle and the opportunity to rise to life eternal. Do you accept, Barnach?"
 
The agent bowed and said: "You greatly honour me, blessed teacher. I beg you to guide my path to wisdom. I accept your offer and vow to follow your every command."
 
"That is good. The initiation into the second circle is quite unlike the ascend into the third. There is little ceremony, only the sharing of your blood with that of your soon to be equals. I will watch as I always do. Now, reach out your left hand."
 
She did as she was commanded. Tchar placed a bowl under her wrist. He took a wickedly sharp blade from one of his followers and  exposed her arm. With a fluid motion he cut across the wrist, causing blood to flow out into the bowl. She made herself flinch for a moment but held her arm steady. The blood kept flowing out until Tchar said: "Take the cloth which lies next to the bowl to stop your bleeding."
 
The agent again followed the instruction as Tchar toom up the bowl and turned to the circle of cultists. He said: "Make your new sister a part of you, drink this to welcome her into your midst."
 
While she was tending her wound each of the cultists took a sip from the bowl. When they were finished they spoke one by one: "I welcome our new sister into our circle."
 
Tchar put his hand on her head and knowledge flowed from him into her.
 
After that was done they left together with Tchar. Only one remained behind. It was Fuelagh. He said to the agent: "I wish to welcome you once again. But there is not only this festivity. Several of our number have already fallen like our Teacher said. He has instructed me to oversee our effords to find out who or what is the source of these many murders. Last night the person who was my closest assistant in this matter has died. She was our third member to die. For that reason Tchar has commanded us to remain here in the temple. We are not allowed to leave because he thinks that the assassin will strike again.
 
He has commanded me to make you my new assistant. You are to look into as many members as you can find. Report everything directly to me. Your ascension will not become public knowledge. Publicly you are to remain a member of the third circle. You will return to your home tonight and will attempt to establish ties with as many of those of the lower ranks as possible. This way you will not be suspected and that might lead us to the assassins. But be prepared for an attack at any time. For that reason you are to keep this pistol with you at all time."
 
Fuelagh handed her a battered revolver, obviously she was not the first or second owner of the weapon. He also handed het a data slate. He said: "This slate contains the names of those who I suspect the msot at this moment. They have a background where they could have developed murderous skills or are in other ways instable and subvertible by our enemies. Now leave, we will meet again soon."
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:02:22 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.

Offline Dolnikan

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Re: The Circles of the Wise
« Reply #14 on: March 08, 2012, 03:36:07 PM »
She had been stalking after suspected traitors for weeks, of course without finding anyone who could have actually committed the murders. the agent had to think of a plan that would leave her beyond all suspicion.

At night she lay in Sondi’s bed. Her idea was simple in its basics, but perfection was needed for success. She called Vendran: “Vendran, dear, could you come here please?”

The girl came quickly, despite the late hour. She was already dressed for the night. She said: “What is it madam?”

“Please, come here, stand next to me, I have something important to tell you.”

Vendran did as she was told. When she was close enough Dolnikan pulled the trigger of the old pistol given to her by Fuelagh. Certainly killing her while looking like the work of someone inexperienced and in a panic.

Then she took a knife and used it to stab herself several times, ensuring that she narrowly missed any vital parts but close enough to look like the work of an assassin. She did not cry for help. Instead she used the device that had been given to her to contact Fuelagh. After a short while he answered, sounding sleepy, tired and also a bit annoyed: “What is it?”

She coughed: “Vendran, she, she tried to kill me. I am hurt, so very much hurt. Please, come and save me.”

“I will come as soon as I can, meanwhile try to stay calm and do not move. What happened to the assassin?”

“I think I killed her, I shot her with the pistol you gave me, it saved my life.”

“I know where you live, we will be there in half an hour, meditate, sister, stay calm and meditate. Try to stop the bleeding and hold on.”

“Please, come quickly, there is so much blood.”
« Last Edit: January 29, 2013, 08:02:51 PM by Dolnikan »
Circles of the wise My attempt at writing something, please comment on it if you have any advise.