A Lesson from History

A Lesson from History

A Chapter by Eddie Davis
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Sophia takes Aurei and her group to Flux to quickly find magic artifacts to help them defeat the Necromancer's Guild

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22.

A Lesson from History

 

It was a huge, wood panelled room, smelling of old books and antiques, both reflective and inviting yet somewhat mysterious and spooky.

All around them were displays, some in cases made of glass, some on small platforms with rope barriers to keep the visitors from touching the items displayed.

 

The group remained standing in the circle, gawking at everything around them in awe, while Sophia ran quickly across the room to a plate on a nearby wall with a white panel set into it full of flashing lights.

 

The Drow girl began pushing buttons on the panel which made some strange sounds before the flashing lights faded away.   Sophia exhaled in relief and hurried back over to the group, “Sorry, I forgot about the alarm.”

 

Everyone except Khord looked at her puzzled, but she just shook her head, “Never mind; come on, we’d better hurry.”

 

“Where are we, Sophia?”  Zeatt asked as they all fell into line behind her as she walked purposely across the room.

“I don’t want to explain too much, mother, because I’m sure I’m going to get into really big trouble for what we’re preparing to do.”

“Isn’t this Archmage Drake’s museum?”   Haroldris asked her.
“Yes.”

“Well, then all this belongs to him, right?”

“Yes, but there are rules about what we can take into your world.”

“Do you mean this place is not of our world?”  Siris asked as she looked around somewhat fearfully.

“Well, that is complicated, and we really don’t have time to go into all of that, besides, if I told you more about it, I’d get into even more trouble.   With Archmage Drake and Kinzer... dead... I don’t know what will happen to all of this stuff.”

As they followed the young Sorceress in a weaving path through the large museum, suddenly Rori let out a surprised exclamation and stopped at a display pointing at something.

 

“The Sonic Staff!”  She said, pointing to an eerily life-like statue, complete with what looked like real hair.  It was a scantly dressed female that more than a little resembled Rori.   In the statue’s hands she held a familiar sight to most of them; the Sonic Staff that Rori had been given by her masters when she was serving with the Necromancer’s Guild.

“Oh yeah!”  Sophia said, snapping her fingers, “I forgot about that.   We retrieved that from Thurgood just before winter set in.  Rori, I believe it is the same one that you used, and it still has charges left.   Take it.”

 

The Sorceress hesitated, glancing from Sophia back to Zeatt and Aurei, all of whom nodded.   With their approval, she eagerly pulled the staff free.

“It might come in handy.”  Sophia told everyone as she turned and continued leading them across the room.

 

“Where are you leading us?”  Aurei asked her cousin.

“Drake had a large display of old and powerful anti-undead magic items in their own room as a permanent exhibit.   There are lots of things that should help us; protection scarabs, weapons made to slay certain types of undead, even...oh no!”

Sophia stopped dead in her tracks, staring ahead toward a room off of the main room.   Her hands flew to her mouth and she ran to the room, repeating over and over, “Oh no!”

 

“What?  What is it?”   Haroldris asked, seeing her greatly anguished.   She disappeared for a few moments into the room, but returned distraught.

“What is it?”  The King asked again, but she ignored him and spoke to Khord.

“It’s gone!   All of it!   Stolen!”

Khord groaned audiably.

“Stolen?”  Haroldris repeated, “Do you mean the items in the display?”

She didn’t seem to hear the King’s question, but talked halfway to herself, partially to Khord, “How could they be gone?   The alarm is on!   There is an anti-magic shell around the building except for the handful of us who have access to it by spell.”

“Necromancers”  Khord replied, “They probably knew we’d try something like this.   There’s a spy or a turn-coat in Flux, I’ll bet.”

“So the anti-undead magic items are all gone?”   Aurei asked, and Sophia nodded, holding her forehead as her great plan faded in front of her.

“I don’t know what to do.”  She said to everyone, “That was my best idea; all of the stuff in that room was all the powerful stuff we have to use against them.”

“All of it?”  Haroldris demanded, “There is nothing left?”

“No sir, I’m afraid not.”   She finally responded to him, “It was all in one place too.”

“Sophie!”  Khord suddenly snapped his fingers, “What about Li-Chee’s display:   The Holy Elements!”

The Drow girl’s eyes brightened, “Yes!   If they haven’t thought of stealing that as well.   Come on!” 

 

She took off running, an amazing feat in the ankle length, high-heeled leather boots that she wore.   They all followed her about half the length of the room, to a huge display of rather exotic looking items, that took up the width of the back of the room.  

She leapt over the rope barrier and off to one side of the display, glancing into a glass case anxiously for an instant before giving a pleased shout.

“Yes!   They’re still there!  Thank Yesh!”

Khord breathed a sigh of relief, “They probably didn’t know about them.”

“Thank goodness!”

Aurei gingerly stepped across the rope barrier and walked up to the case to peer in, “Um, what are they?”

Sophia took a key out of her pocket and slipped it into a slot at the rear of the glass case, which opened it up on a hinge.  

“These are the Holy Elements of Emperor Li-Chee.”

“Li-Chee?   I don’t remember an emperor named Li-Chee.”  Aurei turned to the others, who all shook their heads in agreement.

“Li-Chee was not from this part of the world, but in the far, far east, far past the easternmost mountains.   There is an empire there named Toi-Migg, made up of a very warlike,  but xenophobic race of humans.   It is larger than even the Southern Empire, but so large that they fight amongst themselves in provinces of the empire from time to time.”

“Li-Chee was the grandson of Migg-Ling-Che, the first emperor of the empire.   They have had many emperors, but Li-Chee was the most powerful and he was known as Whuchi-Noma, ‘The wizard-warrior’.”

“So what are these Holy Elements?”  Zeatt asked her daughter.

Sophia managed a very slight smile, “I thought you might be interested, Mom.   Li-Chee was a great lover of magic, and instead of enchanted weapons and armor or even developing new types of spells, he focused on creating items that would animate when he needed them, usually changing form and shape to appear as living creatures.” 

“He is said to have had servants that appeared as small ceramic statues in his palace that would come to life when he would pass through the doorway, to attend him until he left the room, when they would return to their place by the door and reform into statues.”  

“Only Li-Chee or in some cases, his Queen-consort, entering the room would animate these statues; for anyone else, they would remain statues.”

Sophia reached into the case and pulled out what looked like a quartet of glass brooches, each crafted of a different color of glass.   One was red and yellow and looked like flames, another was blue and resembled waves in the ocean, a third was white and fluffy in form like a cloud and the fourth was dull brown and looked like a rock.

 

“These are the four Holy Elements of Li-Chee.   Each one represents one of the four traditional elements; Fire, Water, Air and Earth.   When used, they summon -hopefully- some of the last remaining Elementals that still roam this world."   

"The difference is that Li-Chee’s dabbling with magic set him at odds with devils with whom he had tried to make deals in return for arcane power.   As a result, he was greatly fearful of retribution from those devils and demons that he had offended."

"So though he reigned long before the coming of Yesh, he sought out priests of the Creator God in lands far away to create an enchantment on these brooches that would transfer to the elementals that they summoned.   The soldiers of Li-Chee brought several priests of the Creator God back as prisoners to the emperor and he promised them that they would live and be released if they gave him what he wanted, but would be executed if they refused."

 

"Naturally they agreed and fulfilled his demand.   These brooches can be used to summon an elemental - if there are any of that specific type remaining- and the elemental summoned will fight for the summoner.   It will also have a blessing put upon it that will make it sanctified against evil and undead, enabling it to damage undead as if they were alive.  If they are destroyed, they reform again as the brooches, but cannot be reused for a day.”

 

“You said they work against demons too?” Eioldth asked, thinking of their recent battle with Vallex.

 

“They are able to attack them, but they aren’t as effective we’ve learned.   It is said that the devils and demons that Li-Chee feared came after him finally and that he used the Holy Elements to defend himself.    The servants heard horrible sounds of screams, roars from terrible creatures, the sounds of fire, wind and water crashing around, then suddenly silence.”  

“When his household servants finally broke the door down into his royal bedchamber, they found both the Emperor and the queen-consort slaughtered and the room’s servant statues smashed on the floor.   These four Holy Elements were back in their place in the same bowl that we have displayed them with here in the museum.   So they were not of much use against devils.”

      

“Didn’t the next Emperor use the brooches?” Sir Alvis asked.

“Li-Chee’s sons were so horrified at the slaughter of their father that they had all of his enchanted objects buried in a pit lined thickly with stone.   Gao-Li-Pho, who became Emperor next, ordered that many pounds of molten iron be poured over the sealed hole, then it was buried under a great hill and all those that worked on the burial of the magic were executed.”   

“He then had three larger burial tombs for the artifacts made, to fool thieves from trying to find the ‘cursed magic’ (As he called it).   It worked, for it was a lost treasure for over 1,000 years.”

“So how did Drake find it?”   Haroldris asked as he examined the brooches.

Sophia smiled somewhat sadly, “You forget, Your Majesty; he was a Watcher; he and the others actually witnessed much of the history from their scrying devices.   Drake had permission from Yesh to remove any magic device that the Watchers deemed dangerous or threatening to a culture, and most of Li-Chee’s hoard was that.”  

“So, I was told, he and a group of Watchers together teleported the sealed ‘tomb’ with the cyst of iron around it, to Flux and spent some time extracting them.   In fact, it was these items that gave Drake the idea for this museum.   They were its first pieces.”

“How do they work?”   The King inquired.

“They each have a magic word - in Toi-Migg old script - that activates each of them.”

“Sophia, you mentioned other things in his hoard, is there anything that could help us?”   Haroldris pressed.

Sophia thought for a moment, “Well, there are powerful things, but we can’t activate them.”

“Why?”

“He had them made so that only a member of the royal family could activate them.”

“What about a King from another line?”  the King asked.

Sophia shrugged, “I doubt it will work... unless you are a descendant of Li-Chee.”

Haroldris shook his head, “I don’t know my ancestry back further than my great, great grandfather, so who knows?”

The Drow Sorceress seemed skeptical, “I guess it is worth a try, but let me tell you about them first.”

 

She went over to what appeared to be a somewhat large chess set that was displayed on a table near statues of exotic soldiers.

“This chess set is enchanted”, she said as she carried it over to them and gently set it on the floor.

“What does it do?”  Pectros, a fan of the game, asked.

“There are two colors - as in regular chess- black and white.   Eight pawns, two rooks, two bishops, two knights, a queen and a king, of each color.”  

“Each color has to be used together, and when the pieces are cast down by one who can call forth their magic, it is said that they will animate into lifelike beings.   The pawns will become axe wielding Dwarven warriors.   The Rooks will become a pair of Elven rangers with magic longbows.   The Knights will become heavily armored Paladins or Cavaliers and will be on horseback if thrown down outside.    The bishops will become powerful Clerics, though I don’t know if they will receive spells from Yesh as they aren’t really alive.  We’ve never activated them, so I’m not sure how that works.”  

“The Queen will become a powerful wizard with spells and is the most powerful piece.    The King becomes a Cleric, warrior and magic-user, but much less powerful than the others.   The pieces, when animated, will fight whoever they are told to fight by their master.   If the King piece is killed, then all the other pieces of the same color will become chess pieces again and will reform back on their spot on the chessboard for a day.   When they are killed individually, each will also reform as a chess piece here on the board.   When a battle has ended, they also do this, so you can’t use them just as guards.”

Haroldris tapped his chin, “They sound very useful.   Can each color be used at the same time?”

“Yes, but that is another thing; if a piece from one color sees a piece from the other color, it will immediately break off from what it was doing and fight the opposing piece.   So they can be used at the same time, but they have to be out of sight of the other color of pieces.”

“Interesting.” Pectros commented, “This was Li-Chee’s creation?”

“Yes, and we have two other creations that were buried in the pit that the Watchers recovered. Look at this.”

 

Sophia held up what looked to be a beautiful sculpture of an Eagle, made from brilliant red, orange and yellow gemstones.

“Wow, that looks expensive.”  Alis whispered to Aurei as they looked at it.

“I imagine it is.”  Sophia answered, “It is called ‘Whuo-Nao’, or ‘Bird of Fire’.”

“The phoenix?”  Eioldth asked.

“Yes, Your Majesty; that is exactly what it is.   It becomes somewhat like a fire elemental, though it is not a fire elemental, nor is it alive.   It takes on the form of a large eagle made of fire and will attack any aerial enemy that it’s master demands.   It is said that if it is destroyed, it will crumble to ash, but if that ash is gathered up and placed on a stone, it will reform into this bejeweled statue again after three days.”

“That would give those Wyverns somethin’ to worry about!”  Thorm commented.

“Anything else in the collection, Sophia?”   Haroldris asked the Drow girl and she nodded, beckoning for them all to follow her.   She lead them over to what appeared to be a huge pottery jug with the neck removed.  She reached in and pulled out small copper coins with strange symbols on them.

“What are these?” Eleazar asked her.

“These are probably the greatest of Li-Chee’s creations.   Penny soldiers.”

“Penny soldiers?”  A few of them asked at the same time.

“They appear as old copper coins, and that is exactly what they are, but it is said that when cast to the ground and when the proper person says the magic word, they become a Toi-Migg warrior, complete with armor and weapons.   Li-Chee is said to have had about 20,000 of these coins made.”

“That many?!”  Eleazar exclaimed.

“Yes, they were his magic army.   He would have large jugs like this one carried about by slaves onto a battlefield and then would order them to overturn one or more jugs onto the ground.   The slaves would quickly spread the coins out and then the Emperor would say the magic word and they would pop up as soldiers who would fight loyally to the death for him.”

“Are these all of them?”  Aurei asked.

“All that are left, for the Penny Soldiers could only be used once and then they would disappear either after winning the battle or dying.   There are a little more than 1,000 in this jug and that was all that were buried with him, as he used up all the others over the years in battle.”    

“Now those would be very helpful against the zombies and Dragonmen!” Aeric said.

“Yes, but there is just one problem; we don’t know if they will work.   Drake excavated the hoard and there were stone tablets with warnings to anyone who found them.   He was able to read them and we have a translation of one of them over here.”  

Sophia walked over to a plaque that had been placed on a small stand that gave the translation.   Clearing her throat, she read it aloud.

“The cursed magic of Li-Ching, Emperor of the Sun, Master of the world.   He who is the mighty east wind ordered the construction and enchantment of 32 pieces of onyx and ivory to be formed into chessmen on a board.   Behold, he who is the mighty east wind shall be able to call forth these chessmen into service for him but only for the defense of all of Kingdom when they are cast forth on his soil.”

 

Sophia looked over at the group listening, “The other items have tablets with the same sort of engravings.   All of them mention ‘he who is the mighty east wind’ and that was a Toi-Migg term for the Emperor.   Drake believed that only the ruling Emperor could summon these objects, and only on his own soil; he could not use them to invade another territory.”

“But are they useful to us?”  Haroldris asked the burning question.

“I don’t know, Your Majesty, but I would say that you would be the only one who would have a chance of activating the objects.   It would take time to find anything else that might work.”

Haroldris shook his head, “Time is something we really don’t have, Sophia.   I’d suggest that we take all of these Toi-Migg objects and return to the battle.   If they work, we may have a chance; if they don’t, at least we will have tried.”

He looked around at the others gathered around him and they all quietly nodded agreement.

“Good.  Sophia, I swear to you that if you allow us to use these items, and if they survive, I will restore all of them to this museum and pay for those destroyed.”

The Sorceress nodded, “That works for me, Your Majesty, and since I’m not really sure who owns them now with Drake gone, I don’t know who to ask for permission anyway.”

 

The King ordered for some of them to pick up the items and they formed a circle around Sophia, who began chanting the Teleportation spell in the middle of the display.

 

Aurei looked around at the place one last time, wondering if any of the magic items would ever return there, as she found herself dreading her group’s return to King’s Reach.

With a flash of light, the museum faded away and they returned to Northmarch.

 

 



© 2014 Eddie Davis


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"It is the same one that I believe you used, Rori..." I think it may sound better "I believe it is the same one that you used, Rori..."
"...an amazingly feat..." This should be "amazing" instead of "amazingly."
"She leaped over the rope barrier..." I believe that "leaped" ought to be "leapt."

Posted 10 Years Ago


Eddie Davis

10 Years Ago

Thank you, Elina, I realized, after you pointed it out, that I had used 'leaped' instead of 'leapt' .. read more

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Added on January 18, 2014
Last Updated on April 26, 2014
Tags: Drow, Elf, Sorceress, magic, Fantasy, Adventure, Alternate World, Good versus Evil, Knights, Paladins, Undead, Necromancers

The Chronicles of Aurei Book 3: Bane of the Necromancers


Author

Eddie Davis
Eddie Davis

Springfield, MO



About
I'm a fantasy and science-fiction writer that enjoys sharing my tales with everyone. Three trilogies are offered here, all taking place in the same fantasy world of Synomenia. Other books and stor.. more..

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A Chapter by Eddie Davis


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A Chapter by Eddie Davis