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Mage Chapter 5

by khushi17bansal


It is power that is coveted, it is knowledge that is hoarded, it is weapons that are honed and it is people that must be beaten.

Uncommon terms - 

Kanak-Champa - A rare Indian tree (Pterospermum reticulatum)

Chapter 5

The dawn had long since broken, sheafs of clean sunshine fell through the window, the scent of a dewy morning filled the air. The bright cerulean of the sky blazed, joyful against the lush verdant greenery.

In the west wing of the Royal palace, inside his private quarters sat Lord Anala of High House Nishath. The room was dark, the thick heavy scent of burned down candles hung in the air, desperate to get out. Few streaks of light escaped the shut windows, making the opulence of the room glint sharply, like broken glass. Seated at the head of the table was Lord Anala, shrouded in misty darkness, staring intently at the man in front of him.

His posture was stiff, the posture of a man trying to assert his superiority.

“Do you know who killed Kamana?”

The man looked at Anala, his posture was one of complete ease, his face was calm and neutral, his voice was quiet and simple. “No my Lord, I have not yet have been able to discern who caused Lady Nishath’s death.”

Anala’s eye twitched. He sat forward, elbows resting on the carved table. The light fell on his face, illuminating one half, darkening the other. “Somebody has undermined my power and killed Kamana, yet, you have not been able to give me any information as to who dared make such an error – I am disappointed.”

“I apologise my Lord.” The voice was calm, expressionless.

“I expect more from you, I am well aware of your limits and your abilities. Always remember, High House Nishath saved you, we gave you refuge, we gave you training. Everything you are today is because of High House Nishath.”

The air was still in the room, stale, as if dead. The darkness clung to the depths of the room, rearing away from the shards of light that pierced the windows.

Lord Niska of House Marici sworn to High House Nishath bowed his head, “I remember my Lord.” His eyes were trained on the floor.

Anala leaned back satisfied, “Good, you are a mage Niska, you are High House Nishath’s mage. I expect you act like it.”

The breeze picked up as the first rains of monsoon blew in.

                                                                     *******************

The soft golden sunlight spilled across the room, the light carefree scent of a fresh monsoon morning, filled with earthen mossy goodness, swirled in the air. Lady Rukira was reclined in her chair, dressed in rich, casual finery, her swallow face devoid of any emotion, twirling a dagger in her fingers. In front of her stood two figures.

One stiff, one calm.

Rukira looked at them, her eyes observing their figures. Her dagger was beautiful, encrusted with diamonds, pearls and gold embroidery, it was deadly. Sharp enough to kill.

Lord Bharu of House Puran sworn to High House Sathyarath bowed, “My Lady, we have come to pledge allegiance to High House Karmisht.”

Bharu’s companion nodded stiffly, his eyes darted around wildly, he kept twitching, as if he was continually fighting the urge to turn around and glance behind his back. When he spoke his voice was laced with a perpetual tenor of underlying panic.

Rukira looked at the two men while they spoke with an expressionless expression. She liked holding the dagger, it made her feel in control, it give her a sense of direction. She was here for a reason, she had a purpose, she had a motive.

Her eyes flickered over the two men, doubt flared in her, sparkling with sorrow. She watched the two low house heads. A feeling, a wisp of guilt twirled in her heart, she felt sorrow. She looked those men and felt a touch of pity, the spark in her wanted to help them, it wanted to stop this. It wanted to leave.

Doubt and sorrow danced over heart, so much death, so much destruction, so much agony…..

The sharp diamonds of the dagger pressed against her hand; the stinging pain travelled.

Lady Rukira watched the two men with a face devoid of emotion, neither of them noticed the way her eyes hardened.

Lord Patira of House Yuni sworn to High House Vishyah spoke in a tone flurried with a muted worry, “We wish to serve High House Karmisht so that it reigns supreme.”

“You are willing to abandon your High House for mine?”

Patira nodded twitchily, “Yes, My Lady Karmisht.”

Lady Rukira looked at the two men, eyes sharp, “High House Karmisht accept your allegiance.”

The golden sunlight sank down to a blaze of glory, the sun setting in full bloom with orange, red and golden light bidding the day farewell. The light blazed on Lady Karmisht’s finery as she instructed the two low house heads.

                                                                ******************

Aadrika sat in her quarters; her lips pressed onto a firm line.

It had been in front of her all along, King Kedar’s source of information.

The servants.

So low below in station that they were invisible, unseen.

Ignored.

Aadrika gazed at the sun as it was swallowed up by the greedy earth, the blazing red of the sky reminded her of blood. She knew where she had to look to find signs of King Kedar’s plan. It was a simple process of identifying the King’s spies in the servants, identifying their chain of command, kidnapping and torturing their Captain for information. She had already placed her magical eyes.

Aadrika watched the onsetting twilight, she saw the peacefulness of the sky, the gentle damp breeze rustling the lush greenery. The smell of earth and monsoon filled the air.

Aadrika’s heart clenched with raw longing.

                                                                   ********************

The pale sapphire of the twilight sky glinted with silver stars; the air heavy with monsoon wetness swirled lazily. The light had fallen to budding darkness, golden candles lit the castle with their butter-gold light. In his quarters in the Royal palace, amongst the mounds of cream paper sat Lord Ida.

The only way to find out which of the low houses had a mage, or was a mage, was to magically scan them for traces of exposure. This was a tricky process and usually released a lot of spell residue, but there were advantages of being a High House Head. Adding the powder of the bark of Kanak-Champa to the spell would not only make it more effective but it would considerably reduce the spell residue.

The ingredient was rare, and Ida only had enough for use in complete emergencies, therefore magically testing all twenty low houses would not be feasible.

The candles flickered and the dancing golden light made the opulent finery of the room sparkle. Outside the black ink of night had begun dripping towards the horizon, the stars were full of silver light. The air had stilled, drowsy with sleep.

All Ida had to do was constantly spy on the low houses, flag the ones that seemed suspicious, isolate them, scan them for spell residue and make sure to space out the casting of his spell so that spell residue was not going to be noticed by the mage he was hunting.

Ida closed his eyes, going over all the magical eyes he had hidden in the Royal palace. He would do this, he would do whatever it took, he would honour their memory.

                                                                     ******************

The darkness of night splayed itself across the firmament, glittering obsidian. The air was still, the night was silent. The stars did not twinkle, they shined steadily on as the darkness consumed everything but the luxurious finery of the Royal palace which shined golden among the darkness like a candle flame.

Lord Catura sat at the head of the hexagonal table; the faint tang of rusted blood still danced in the air. His posture was relaxed, his deep-set eyes watched the figures in front of him carefully. The candle light darkened his face and illuminated his eyes.

Lady Dhiti of House Nakhali sworn to High House Nishthavan bowed to Lord Catura, her clothes gleamed harshly in the meagre candlelight, heavily furnished with gaudy embroidery and jewels. Her voice had a noticeable inflection of pride, “My Lord, we have come here to pledge our undying allegiance to High House Sathyarath, so that we may assist it in crushing all other High Houses.”

Night had set in, beyond the candlelight only darkness could be seen. The stars shined steadily on.

Catura looked at Dhiti, “undying allegiance?”

Dhiti nodded, “Indeed My Lord.”

Catura looked at Dhiti’s companion, “You pledge undying allegiance and unwavering loyalty as well?”

Dhiti’s companion was calm, his voice quiet and simple. Lord Niska of House Marici sworn to High House Nishath nodded, “I pledge my undying allegiance and unwavering loyalty to you, My Lord Sathyarath.”

Lord Catura’s eyes gleamed, “Your allegiance is accepted. Listen to your orders carefully.”

                                                            *******************

In the deep dark corner of the Royal palace, where light did not dare tread, among the murky depths, there stood four dark hooded figures. They were masked, they stood still and silent. They spoke without talking and listened without hearing. 


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Sat Jun 29, 2024 2:11 pm
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goodolnoah wrote a review...



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Hello there, one of King Koopa’s loyal henchmen, here!

Hello again! ~ Writing Commentary

In the west wing of the Royal palace, inside his private quarters sat Lord Anala of High House Nishath. The room was dark, the thick heavy scent of burned down candles hung in the air, desperate to get out. Few streaks of light escaped the shut windows, making the opulence of the room glint sharply, like broken glass. Seated at the head of the table was Lord Anala, shrouded in misty darkness, staring intently at the man in front of him.


Oooo, this creates a mysterious and somewhat creepy aura around Anala. He feels like a truly sinister supervillian~
The quote “opulance of the room glint sharply, like broken glass.” feels like it shows that Anala may have “fallen from grace” in a way now that he has gained more power.

Anala’s eye twitched. He sat forward, elbows resting on the carved table. The light fell on his face, illuminating one half, darkening the other.


This next quote even further enhances the thoughts that I had about your previous quote. A light and a darkness fighting in Anala’s head.

Lord Niska of House Marici sworn to High House Nishath bowed his head, “I remember my Lord.” His eyes were trained on the floor.


Interesting that the mages are in a position of subservience to the other houses despite having higher magical power. It seems like the higher houses use their power and manipulation to make the mages feel weaker.

Aadrika gazed at the sun as it was swallowed up by the greedy earth, the blazing red of the sky reminded her of blood. She knew where she had to look to find signs of King Kedar’s plan. It was a simple process of identifying the King’s spies in the servants, identifying their chain of command, kidnapping and torturing their Captain for information. She had already placed her magical eyes.


I like how this description has the sun setting from Aadrika’s point of view. Everything to her, if it is taking something, is greedy, red reminds her of blood, etc.

Silent Shadows ~ Closer

This was an interesting chapter. It felt like some buildup to some sort of important event. I wonder where we go from here…




khushi17bansal says...


Thanks for the review!



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Wed Jun 26, 2024 4:07 pm
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RavenAkuma wrote a review...



Hello Again, My Friend!

It's me, Raven, and I'd like to review the next chapter in this great story using my Familiar method! Let's dive in, shall we? Heh heh heh...

What The Black Eyes See...

Ah, we get more perspective from each High House member; Anala flexing his political power to motivate his mysterious mage, Rukira showing a repressed soft side in her character, Aadrika planning to siphon information from the suspicious servants, Ida bracing to use a spell to investigate the low houses more, and Catara -of course- finding more members willing to kill in his name. Honestly I want to say I think he killed Kamana, but maybe it's too much of a red herring, I'm not sure yet...Let's get into the details though.

Where The Dagger Points...

Once again, I didn't really have any recommendations to make! Good writing job ~

Why The Grin Widened...

I found the first interaction, with Anala and Niska, very intriguing just in terms of body language. Anala straining to show off a sense of power, whereas Nishka is perfectly calm and unintimidated. It gives the impression that Anala may be trying too hard, making it seem like more of a mask, and Nishka is perhaps aware of this and dismissive. Or something...I could be off here haha, I just liked the contrast in tones in their conversation.

“I expect more from you, I am well aware of your limits and your abilities. Always remember, High House Nishath saved you, we gave you refuge, we gave you training. Everything you are today is because of High House Nishath.”


This was an interesting now about Nishka's character and where he comes from. And not to mention, dang! He's a mage! I want to say he's not suspicious since he's the one investigating Kamana's death, but if he turned up no evidence, has no fear engaging with Anala, and we overall just don't know if he is acting against this house...Hm. I personally don't think it's likely he's the mage responsible, but still, a healthy amount of doubt keeps things interesting <.<

As members of the low houses continue to pick sides among the high houses, like the staging of something grand, I love watching the reactions. It said a lot about Catara and Anala's characters, what they searched for in new allies, but Rukira...SHE fascinates me:

Her eyes flickered over the two men, doubt flared in her, sparkling with sorrow. She watched the two low house heads. A feeling, a wisp of guilt twirled in her heart, she felt sorrow. She looked those men and felt a touch of pity, the spark in her wanted to help them, it wanted to stop this. It wanted to leave.

Doubt and sorrow danced over heart, so much death, so much destruction, so much agony…..


This was a pleasantly surprising change of pace, seeing one of the high house heads struggling with empathy and guilt, wanting to help those who come to her. I admire that trait a lot in her character, but something tells me it's not going to serve her too well in such a ruthless arms race to power...

Aadrika sounds like she's preparing to get to the root of the King's plans, and I love to see it!

Ah, Ida is bracing for another spell with a rare ingredient -I imagine he's onto something great! And it sounds like Catura has gotten more people to manipulate into doing his dirty work...

Finally, that ending...

In the deep dark corner of the Royal palace, where light did not dare tread, among the murky depths, there stood four dark hooded figures. They were masked, they stood still and silent. They spoke without talking and listened without hearing.


Who? Why? What will happen? Ah, questions!

Our Mad Thoughts...

Overall, that was another great chapter to expand upon the clues each player has gotten. I see there is only one chapter I have yet to read as of now, so stay tuned for one more review today! In the meantime, nicely done! :D

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khushi17bansal says...


Thanks for the review! I really appreciate it.



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Fri May 31, 2024 1:38 am
KateHardy wrote a review...



Good Morning/Afternoon/Evening/Night(whichever one it is in your part of the world),

Hi! I'm here to leave a quick review!!

First Impression: Well this is plodding along quite well. We get to see a bit more of what the plans are for solving this murder and it seems to all be going places but at the same time nowhere as well. Loving the tension we're building as a result of that.

Anyway let's get right to it,

The dawn had long since broken, sheafs of clean sunshine fell through the window, the scent of a dewy morning filled the air. The bright cerulean of the sky blazed, joyful against the lush verdant greenery.

In the west wing of the Royal palace, inside his private quarters sat Lord Anala of High House Nishath. The room was dark, the thick heavy scent of burned down candles hung in the air, desperate to get out. Few streaks of light escaped the shut windows, making the opulence of the room glint sharply, like broken glass. Seated at the head of the table was Lord Anala, shrouded in misty darkness, staring intently at the man in front of him.

His posture was stiff, the posture of a man trying to assert his superiority.

“Do you know who killed Kamana?”


Hmm well it seems Anala is actually finally looking into things here having taken his time to enjoy the newfound power that he was able to claim earlier. We'll see what methods he's using and what his conclusion is going to end up being.

The man looked at Anala, his posture was one of complete ease, his face was calm and neutral, his voice was quiet and simple. “No my Lord, I have not yet have been able to discern who caused Lady Nishath’s death.”

Anala’s eye twitched. He sat forward, elbows resting on the carved table. The light fell on his face, illuminating one half, darkening the other. “Somebody has undermined my power and killed Kamana, yet, you have not been able to give me any information as to who dared make such an error – I am disappointed.”

“I apologise my Lord.” The voice was calm, expressionless.

“I expect more from you, I am well aware of your limits and your abilities. Always remember, High House Nishath saved you, we gave you refuge, we gave you training. Everything you are today is because of High House Nishath.”


Oooh well it seems Anala is employing the mage tactic too except of course it seem in this instance he's not a mage but rather has one under his rule. Well this makes matters quite interesting.

The air was still in the room, stale, as if dead. The darkness clung to the depths of the room, rearing away from the shards of light that pierced the windows.

Lord Niska of House Marici sworn to High House Nishath bowed his head, “I remember my Lord.” His eyes were trained on the floor.

Anala leaned back satisfied, “Good, you are a mage Niska, you are High House Nishath’s mage. I expect you act like it.”

The breeze picked up as the first rains of monsoon blew in.


Well that is definitely a moment and a half there to end on with our mage. Anala makes his little statement and we just have a very powerful little moment in nature there. Definitely makes you wonder that about what Anala is playing about with.

The soft golden sunlight spilled across the room, the light carefree scent of a fresh monsoon morning, filled with earthen mossy goodness, swirled in the air. Lady Rukira was reclined in her chair, dressed in rich, casual finery, her swallow face devoid of any emotion, twirling a dagger in her fingers. In front of her stood two figures.

One stiff, one calm.

Rukira looked at them, her eyes observing their figures. Her dagger was beautiful, encrusted with diamonds, pearls and gold embroidery, it was deadly. Sharp enough to kill.

Lord Bharu of House Puran sworn to High House Sathyarath bowed, “My Lady, we have come to pledge allegiance to High House Karmisht.”

Bharu’s companion nodded stiffly, his eyes darted around wildly, he kept twitching, as if he was continually fighting the urge to turn around and glance behind his back. When he spoke his voice was laced with a perpetual tenor of underlying panic.


Well this is a bit of a first, someone actually having a little bit of a show of some emotion even though it doesn't appear to be particularly explicit. At the very least it seems this lot genuinely aren't super confident for once.

Rukira looked at the two men while they spoke with an expressionless expression. She liked holding the dagger, it made her feel in control, it give her a sense of direction. She was here for a reason, she had a purpose, she had a motive.

Her eyes flickered over the two men, doubt flared in her, sparkling with sorrow. She watched the two low house heads. A feeling, a wisp of guilt twirled in her heart, she felt sorrow. She looked those men and felt a touch of pity, the spark in her wanted to help them, it wanted to stop this. It wanted to leave.

Doubt and sorrow danced over heart, so much death, so much destruction, so much agony…..

The sharp diamonds of the dagger pressed against her hand; the stinging pain travelled.


Well there seems to be quite the well of emotions behind this one here. Things are really pulling together there for a moment of pretty heavy value there. You can really feel the impact its having on here.

Lady Rukira watched the two men with a face devoid of emotion, neither of them noticed the way her eyes hardened.

Lord Patira of House Yuni sworn to High House Vishyah spoke in a tone flurried with a muted worry, “We wish to serve High House Karmisht so that it reigns supreme.”

“You are willing to abandon your High House for mine?”

Patira nodded twitchily, “Yes, My Lady Karmisht.”

Lady Rukira looked at the two men, eyes sharp, “High House Karmisht accept your allegiance.”

The golden sunlight sank down to a blaze of glory, the sun setting in full bloom with orange, red and golden light bidding the day farewell. The light blazed on Lady Karmisht’s finery as she instructed the two low house heads.


Well it looks like that was the deal with potentially the smartest two low houses or at the very very least the one where the high house head was the most accepting of the low houses in question.

Aadrika sat in her quarters; her lips pressed onto a firm line.

It had been in front of her all along, King Kedar’s source of information.

The servants.

So low below in station that they were invisible, unseen.

Ignored.

Aadrika gazed at the sun as it was swallowed up by the greedy earth, the blazing red of the sky reminded her of blood. She knew where she had to look to find signs of King Kedar’s plan. It was a simple process of identifying the King’s spies in the servants, identifying their chain of command, kidnapping and torturing their Captain for information. She had already placed her magical eyes.

Aadrika watched the onsetting twilight, she saw the peacefulness of the sky, the gentle damp breeze rustling the lush greenery. The smell of earth and monsoon filled the air.

Aadrika’s heart clenched with raw longing.


Well it looks like the king has a very powerful system if the servants really are how all of that goes down. It seems in this society no one really would even think to hide something if they were around.

The pale sapphire of the twilight sky glinted with silver stars; the air heavy with monsoon wetness swirled lazily. The light had fallen to budding darkness, golden candles lit the castle with their butter-gold light. In his quarters in the Royal palace, amongst the mounds of cream paper sat Lord Ida.

The only way to find out which of the low houses had a mage, or was a mage, was to magically scan them for traces of exposure. This was a tricky process and usually released a lot of spell residue, but there were advantages of being a High House Head. Adding the powder of the bark of Kanak-Champa to the spell would not only make it more effective but it would considerably reduce the spell residue.

The ingredient was rare, and Ida only had enough for use in complete emergencies, therefore magically testing all twenty low houses would not be feasible.


Oooh well it seems we're getting some really powerful little things together here for Ida's grand plan to figure out which of the lower houses has a mage here. This is really putting together a lot of work here. Ida definitely seems to be the one going the most all out for this right now.

The candles flickered and the dancing golden light made the opulent finery of the room sparkle. Outside the black ink of night had begun dripping towards the horizon, the stars were full of silver light. The air had stilled, drowsy with sleep.

All Ida had to do was constantly spy on the low houses, flag the ones that seemed suspicious, isolate them, scan them for spell residue and make sure to space out the casting of his spell so that spell residue was not going to be noticed by the mage he was hunting.

Ida closed his eyes, going over all the magical eyes he had hidden in the Royal palace. He would do this, he would do whatever it took, he would honour their memory.


Well looks like everyone's hiding magical eyes all over the place from the looks of things. That's going to be quite intriguing to see if maybe mages are going to be able to detect each other's systems although it doesn't appear that way for the moment.

The darkness of night splayed itself across the firmament, glittering obsidian. The air was still, the night was silent. The stars did not twinkle, they shined steadily on as the darkness consumed everything but the luxurious finery of the Royal palace which shined golden among the darkness like a candle flame.

Lord Catura sat at the head of the hexagonal table; the faint tang of rusted blood still danced in the air. His posture was relaxed, his deep-set eyes watched the figures in front of him carefully. The candle light darkened his face and illuminated his eyes.

Lady Dhiti of House Nakhali sworn to High House Nishthavan bowed to Lord Catura, her clothes gleamed harshly in the meagre candlelight, heavily furnished with gaudy embroidery and jewels. Her voice had a noticeable inflection of pride, “My Lord, we have come here to pledge our undying allegiance to High House Sathyarath, so that we may assist it in crushing all other High Houses.”

Night had set in, beyond the candlelight only darkness could be seen. The stars shined steadily on.


Well it looks like even more movement is happening amongst the low houses. The sheer amount of allegiances happening back and forth is quite insane here. Its honestly tough to keep track of now, but you can really tell how destabilized it all is because of that.

Catura looked at Dhiti, “undying allegiance?”

Dhiti nodded, “Indeed My Lord.”

Catura looked at Dhiti’s companion, “You pledge undying allegiance and unwavering loyalty as well?”

Dhiti’s companion was calm, his voice quiet and simple. Lord Niska of House Marici sworn to High House Nishath nodded, “I pledge my undying allegiance and unwavering loyalty to you, My Lord Sathyarath.”

Lord Catura’s eyes gleamed, “Your allegiance is accepted. Listen to your orders carefully.”


Well it looks like that allegiance is another success. Things are slowly gaining more and more power well except for Aadrika at any rate, she seems to be the only not gaining new allegiances.

In the deep dark corner of the Royal palace, where light did not dare tread, among the murky depths, there stood four dark hooded figures. They were masked, they stood still and silent. They spoke without talking and listened without hearing.


Well that's an ominous ending, just four little powerful figures lurking in the corner clearing with many many plans there. Looks like this is going to hit something big time here. Can't wait to see what happens next.

Aaaaand that's it for this one.

Overall: Overall I think we have a nice little addition to everything that we've learnt up to now and its really coming together quite nicely. Can't wait to see all of these little plot threads that you're teasing out really come to full force here. The tension being built up is incredible.

As always remember to take what you think was helpful and forget the rest.

Stay Safe
Kate




khushi17bansal says...


Thank you so much for the review! %uD83D%uDE04




"Everything you can imagine is real."
— Pablo Picasso