1999-03-20: Forbidden Knowledge
A large figure stood in the darkened doorway of an empty house in Moonglow. One of his fists rested proudly on his belt as his darkened face gazed over the city. Tall columns of black smoke almost seemed to feed the lightless sky. Blades of fire cut deeply into the beauty of the city and reached high into the black sky. The hushed roar of chaos and terror slowly washed over him. Only a murderous heart could feel peaceful bathing in the sounds of such a violent invasion.
An ember the size of a burning eye shone brightly for a moment as Lazag inhaled deeply on a dark brown cigar. The glow from the end of the cigar draped his broken face in a daemonic haze but only for a lingering moment. As the glow died and he slowly returned to darkness, a large feral grin spread across Lazag Boc’s face, reaching from ear to ear. Dark tails of smoke streamed from his smile and slithered up his face.
His eyes found themselves settling upon a particularly shapely and arousing female silhouette as she made her way towards him. The feminine shape was framed in the broken background of a burning Moonglow. Her hair rode about her in long black wisps like a mane of ethereal ghouls. She strolled, quickly yet with a smooth confidence, toward the house that Lazag had taken as his command post for as long as the raid needed to last.
“A good evenin' don’t ye think, Enchantress?” Lazag asked. He offered the enchantress his hand to aid her up the final step. He was more cordial than usual, beaming and full of pride at the success of the raid.
She accepted his offered help, knowing that such would make him that much more susceptible to her... charms. “Aye, Lazag. All goes well, I trust," she asked in a hurried tone, "Where are the items I have come here to acquire?" As she entered the black recesses of the building, the end of her staff began to emanate a ghostly, pale light. It revealed the broken and dismembered shapes of fine furniture that used to grace the house before the night’s invasion began. In a back corner, she could barely make out the shape of a person curled tightly and still shrouded by shadow. He looked to be resting on a pool of crimson that glistened in the pale glow.
“Things go as well as would be expected. We have crushed the guard that was here. It is only a matter of time before we should leave, as others are surely on their way,” he said, following her into the depths of the house.
“I would like to know why we attacked Moonglow and not a richer city like Magincia or Trinsic. I have no taste for throwing away my time or my men. We would all much prefer the extensive riches offered by towns other than this magical village, ” Lazag queried.
The smile slid from his face as she stared at him coolly. She then turned towards a shattered window and glanced out over the mayhem that bled throughout Moonglow.
“Lazag, I ask that thou doth consider what thou hast been given. I confronted thee only a week ago offering thee a pact, and within that week thou didst gain the ability to invade a major city under the control of Lord British. Consider the effort it took to enchant the island and prevent the guards from interfering with us. Do NOT begin to question me or my motives. My plans are mine own. As per our agreement, when we achieve them, thou shalt receive thy reward. Understood."
She paused, enjoying the flickering city and the stench of power. Then she turned slowly to gauge his expression.
“I am not certain who ye think ye are speaking to, but do not think ye can order me around as ye do Crinn. I am not some weak errand boy…” Lazag said angrily.
“Don’t be a fool, Lazag. Thou shalt do as I say because thou know the power that awaits. Don’t interfere with me, Lazag. Try to think of what will come... I know thou dost hunger for it, “ she softened her tone knowing that she would not compel him through force as works with Crinn.
She wandered back to the doorway and lightly draping her fingertips on his shoulder before asking, “Have thy men secured the tomes I requested?”
“I have no word yet. Most of my men are loading the ships for our return. Which needs to happen soon, Enchantress,” he said stiffly. His eyes, which rested under an angered brow, cautiously followed her movements.
“Then we shall hurry to the Lycaeum. I cannot be in this town for long else certain people discover my presence. I cannot be exposed at this time.” She disappeared through the doorway into the darkness beyond leaving a confused Lazag in the now lifeless house. He took a long draw off his cigar then ran into the night after her.
A female figure stormed into the Lycaeum kicking aside the piles of opened books and scrolls that littered the normally unsullied floor. She walked quickly, seemingly drawn by what she sought. Lazag lingered near the archway that led from a blood splattered courtyard. Occasionally, he would pick up a text and then flip it to the floor.
“OUT OF MY WAY!” she barked, shoving aside an oafish pirate who had been rummaging through a pile of broken alchemy tools. He staggered and fell into the modest mound of broken vials, smashed scales, and jagged bits of broken beakers. His yelps fluttered about the empty library.
“Lazag, I would curse thy men as FOOLS had not someone obviously beaten me to it! Why would they destroy these texts? Do they fail to understand the amount of knowledge is held within these pages? IF the books I seek are damaged, even slightly, then I shall FIND the one responsible and burn him and his closest companions alive! Slowly!” she screamed expecting every dirty, stinking, pathetic raider to hear her promise.
“Relax, Enchantress. I’m sure the men have not harm that which ye seek,” he said casually bringing up the rear.
She shot a fierce glare back at him. Lines of anger flared from her brow and eyes. Her body was taut with frustration and irate energy. She quickly turned her attention to an untouched case of books and began to delicately scan the titles with her finger.
“EXECELLENT! They ARE here!” she exclaimed breaking into excited laughter. She pulled the books from the shelf. Three in all. Book of the Dead. An Eater of Souls. Servants of Blood. She thought wildly, ecstatically, about the doors that this knowledge would unlock.
“We must fly from here, now! There is one here who would feel my presence, and that cannot happen. Take me from here,” she said, moving quickly to Lazag.
“Aye, Enchantress. We shall leave,” he motioned to a couple of pirates who were still frozen by echoes of her earlier threat. They hurried to prepare a ship for the return to Buccaneer’s Den.