Dintin Jun 6th, 2015 (edited) 256 Never
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- Reaching into your cloak you extract the rather featureless volume that is the Excidium. You open the book to the page you left off on, bookmarked by a strip of cloth. You haven't picked up this book in... well, it must have been weeks ago. You were in the gardens of your family estate waiting for a bunch of drunken revelers to vacate the dining room. You remember Vasuda interrupted you by wandering in to your little covered alcove. It was the same night you discovered that your brother hit her.
- Gods, a lot's happened since then. Your brother has since been shipped off to Aleamond. You don't precisely recall if they'd found him a new wife or if the process of choosing a bride was still underway. You wonder how Vasuda is doing? Well, it's not important. You decide to reread the last few pages to refresh your memory.
- When you left off the protagonist of the story, or rather the writer, had only just recently arrived in the "Exotic Provinces" after stepping in to a strange device. There was a flash of light, and then he was elsewhere. In a facility apparently cut off from the outside world, which for some reason or another was inhospitable. He talks at length about banging his new wife, whom he seems quite proud of, then whilst exploring the facility he meets an old Elf with a long white beard and a bald head who explains to him the purpose of their research.
- There goal was to create a 'nonliving soul' designed to animate a golem so perfect that it's indistinguishable from a human. Fulvia immediately springs to mind, as does Regulus. You wonder if Fulvia and Regulus were both born from this project? The description of the Elf, a feeble old man with a long beard and a bald head, certainly reminds you of the enshrined portrait you saw inside Fulvia's mind.
- Having caught up, you read on. The Elf continues to lecture the writer. The Elf talks about the two primary focuses of their experiments. He mentions a woman, Aelia, whom he describes as 'that dreaded witch'. He remarks that he doesn't understand why she was assigned to the project in the first place. He states that she can't be trusted, and that her methods are foul.
- The Elf introduces himself as Pankratios, which stuns the writer. Apparently Pankratios was something of a legend in Ancient Rhynia, a brilliant enchanter. One of the foremost in his field. Florius Vincus, the writer and protagonist, introduces himself in turn whilst lavishing the old Elf with praise. Honestly he's just sucking the old Elf's metaphorical dick, for a solid three paragraphs. Eventually Pankratios cuts him off, obviously annoyed, and excuses himself.
- Florius returns to exploring the facility. He describes looking out of a window to find a land of ice and snow. The whole of the world seemed frozen. He remarks that this particular Province was said to be colder than even the distant North, but if he's not in the distant North than where is he? Regardless he continues on, wandering the halls.
- He encounters a observatory on a surgical ward, where a Vatis was currently meditating next to what appears to be an unconscious woman. He comes across a dead beast he describes as "a cross between a boar, a man, and a bear. Hideous beyond all belief." He sees two soldiers gearing up in heavy armor, every inch of them covered by the pressurized suits. Apparently they're enchanted to warm the body as it walks, thus preventing hypothermia and the issues which come with it.
- As he climbs up a stairwell to a domed chamber above he bumps into a beautiful Elven woman, her features delicate and her skin as white as the snow which blankets the world beyond. His words, not yours. Apparently her hair was whiter even than her skin, and her eyes a shade of pale blue. Her right arm had been severed just above the elbow, and in place of her forearm elegant strips of metal wound themselves together to form a prosthetic. Apparently the prosthetic wasn't even attached to the rest of her, but rather hovered just above the point where her arm had been cut off.
- She sounds terribly unappealing to you, a pale cripple. Then again, there's no accounting for taste in this day and age. He quickly excuses himself, and the woman smiles in a motherly sort of way. There's a brief exchange after which she introduces herself as Eudokia. Once again, Florius is struck dumb. Apparently Eudokia is an enchanter of much renown, rivaled only by Pankratios. To have the greatest minds in the whole of the Empire here, working alongside him. Only now did it sink in how honored he was to be working here alongside these two great Vatis.
- As he delves into another long few paragraphs dedicated to brown nosing you shut the book, partly out of disgust, and slide it back into your cloak. As interesting as it is, you just can't take any more of the detestable protagonist's antics.
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