Topic I am become Death (RP)
Edited by Vectus on 4/29/12 11:22 PM (PDT)
Vectus sat in solitude by the hearth in his chambers, clutching the note left to him by his now former colleague. He let his mind wander as he gazed pensively into the dancing embers, struggling to make sense of recent events.
Truly, this was one thing he never thought would come to pass. Fernand was a great asset to the order... and a good friend. But for all his merits, he was not irreplaceable. The Order would go on without him. The void left by Fernand Argustus would quickly be filled by eager devotees vying to prove their worth--this much was certain.
Bitter feelings tugged at the back of his mind at the thought of what was to come. He stood up and paced back and forth for several moments before finally settling down at his desk to pen a letter to his old 'friend."
He examined the note thoroughly and read it several times to ensure it was worded exactly as he wished, before sealing it and tucking it inside an envelope. On the front face, he wrote in a bold red ink:
To Fernand Argustus.
((Escape to the harbor, I will wait for you there? and then the second half could mean that something could be getting bombed from the title "I am become Death" is the quote from trinity which was the first nuclear test explosion in June 1945 with the quote being "Now I am become Death, the destroyer of worlds". Maybe I'm wrong.))
The message was short, but carried great impact.
Shake up in Modas. Argustus missing.
What the fel did that mean? She had men searching for him with no success, but either someone had succeeded or the forsaken had been dealt with internally. It wasn't totally unheard of for Aziel to go on a rampage and clean house. Well, rampage probably wasn't the correct word. Gentyl had a feeling he was always quite cold and impassionate, but who really knew aside from those in his inner sanctum.
Jhulina had recently defected. Perhaps Argustus had also. No, it was more likely he was dead. Still, it was worth checking out.
She handed the small boy who had given her the note a coin. "Who gave this message to you?"
He turned around and pointed. "The man in the black cloak over there...he's gone." The boy turned back and looked up at her. "He told me to tell you not to worry about paying him, he'd help himself later."
Voice. He didn't want to be seen around the cathedral with so many people nearby or heard even if he was properly stealthed. His information was always good, but they needed more. She'd have to call out the ghosts.
((Everything regarding Argustus is conjecture, obviously. Lots of ideas whirling around about what may have happened. Re: Jhulian she has already applied to an opposing force so defect probably applies.))
"A disturbance? What kind of disturbance?"
Using it's own method of communication using chirps and whistles, the remarkably lifelike mechanical squirrel relayed it's report. A spatial disruption had been detected within the city a few days prior. Easily within human parameters, though that was only a general guideline. That was the only problem with the smaller detectors: they just couldn't get the kind of details a stronger unit could.
The disruption was followed through Stormwind until it reached a small home outside the harbor, where it lingered for a time before making it's way out of the city. The squirrel's report was simply a statement of fact but it struck the gnome as odd. Why focus on that house? If it was an intruder, someone that should have reason to hide from the city's inhabitants, what significance could it possibly have? It bore closer investigation. He reached into his pocket and fished out a metal nut, the squirrel snatching it out of his hand as soon as it was close enough.
The house was just above the harbor. A low wall blocking the drop off down to the docks below, offering a commanding view of the ships coming in to the pier and workers scurrying around like insects. The soft breeze carried the occasional scent of salt up into the yard. Timeus stood at the small fence that bordered the property, the lifelike squirrel standing beside him, another much more obviously mechanized version perching on his shoulder.
"Alright, that will do. Return to normal operations."
The squirrel at his side zipped off, metal nut held tightly in it's jaw. Timeus reached out to open the gate, a soft creaking heralding his intrusion. He closed it behind him and started up the short path to the house. It wasn't terribly large but would certainly accommodate a small family easily enough. It was in good repair, obviously well cared for. A porch ran nearly the full length of the house, a few chairs and a swinging bench rocking ever-so-slightly in the wind. As he got closer, the front door opened, an older woman out of the open door.
"Can I help you, sir?"
She was an older human, probably around late 30s, if he had to guess. Dressed in a stained linen dress and apron, blond hair drawn back behind a kerchief. She seemed a bit surprised and wary of the small gnome standing unannounced in her yard.
"My apologies, madam. I didn't mean to intrude but I was wondering if I could ask a few questions of you."
Her brows furrowed a bit. "What kind of questions?"
He was about to reply when a blond streak circled around the porch and barreled headlong into Timeus. Mechanical squirrel, gnome, and child went into the air briefly before all coming down in a pile. Another pair of children followed close behind, seemingly heedless of the stranger in the middle of the dogpile. They promptly added to it with mighty leaps, eliciting a groan from the gnome at the bottom.
After much haranguing of the children for their recklessness, promptly followed by cookies and promises to be more careful, Timeus found himself seated on one of the chairs on the porch. Adelene, as she had introduced herself, had insisted he at least sit down for a bit. He had looked a little wobbly upon getting to his feet, apparently. He couldn't argue, as his head was still spinning a little. She sat down in a chair nearby, though was still not entirely comfortable with him being there.
"You said you wanted to ask some questions, sir?"
Timeus shook his head, wondering why there were two blurry women talking to him. He reached up and adjusted the focus on his goggles. Ah, much better.
"Yes, madam. A few days ago, a suspicious figure was spotted in the vicinity. I was wondering if you happened to see anything out of the ordinary."
"No sir, I haven't noticed anything strange the last few days. Though Lilienne did say she felt like someone was watching her."
Now it was his turn to raise a brow. "Did she see anything?"
Adelene shook her head. "I asked but no, she didn't see anything. Just...had a feeling. Should I be worried?"
Timeus didn't want to scare the poor woman. But he did want to find out why someone would be snooping around this part of Stormwind.
"Is there any reason you should be?"
Adelene looked away, over to where the children were playing on the lawn, chasing the mechanical squirrel in a game of Cat and Mouse. "I've always been worried. About Lilienne. We've raised her as our daughter but she's always been...different. Smart as a whip, a happy child. But sometimes...I see someone in her...someone that should be forgotten."
"How do you mean?"
Adelene fidgeted in her seat, taking her time to answer. "My sister Ameira...Lilienne's mother...was a mage during the War. She fled here when Dalaran fell, only to find that she was pregnant. She stayed with us and we helped her raise Lilienne but she was never quite the same. She had lost the man she loved to the Scourge. She never truly recovered. When she found out that he had been raised as one of the undead, she wept for a full week. The man that had died protecting her...was now one of the monsters that took him away."
Timeus fished out a hankie from his pack and held it out to Adelene. She took it with a wan smile and dabbed at her eyes. "Thank you." She blew her nose and folded the handkerchief in her lap. "After the stories Ameira told Lilienne about her father, she had me swear never to tell her about the monster he had become. Then one day, some men came to talk to her. She never told me what it was about but she was so angry. She gathered her things and asked me to take care of Lilienne. In...in case something happened." She made good use of the hankie once more.
Timeus reached over and patted Adelene's knee lightly. "I'm sorry. I know it must be difficult to speak of. Do you know who the father was?"
Adelene nodded. "Yes, I knew him quite well while he was still alive. He would visit with Ameira on occasion. It was always obvious that Fernand was in love with her."
Timeus' mouth went dry and it took a few moments before he could speak again. "Fernand?"
Adelene nodded. "Yes, Fernand Argustus. Why, I remember one time..."
But Timeus was no longer paying attention. Synapses were firing, making chemical connections in his mind. Ameira Benoit, a blond woman he had met several years ago during a trip to Dalaran, just before the War. He had only spoken to her briefly but she had been quite brilliant. And Fernand Argustus, a name he well knew. A member of the Modas Il Torilar. A scientific genius bent to the ends of a madman. And now, a sudden visit from some unknown person, just outside of the home that had the mad scientist's child lived. Could it have been him? Someone working for him? And to what end? Was the child in danger? So many questions and so few answers.
"...covered in watermelon! He swore he would never try that spell again!"
Timeus stood up from the chair and dusted himself off. "That sounds like you had a wonderful time. Thank you for speaking with me, but I should move on. Still plenty of questions to be answered. Thank you for your hospitality. I may call again sometime, in case you see anything else."
He strode down the steps onto the lawn and whistled. The squirrel rounded abruptly and dashed through the children's legs, shimmying up Tim's robes to perch back on his shoulder. The two younger children followed to the fence but Lilienne didn't join them. She stared at the gnome as he walked away, well after the others had lost interest.
"Master Assassin." Fernand Argustus gave a stiff salute. "I see that you are well."
Vectus nodded in acknowledgement as he stepped from the shadows. "And I see you are every bit as clever as I hoped." He made a few passes around the abandoned tower, studying the surroundings carefully as Argustus continued.
"I must admit that I thought of your message in quite a lateral fashion at first. I should have known, given your tastes, that you referred to prime numeracy."
Satisfied with the location and confident that they would not be disturbed, Vectus removed his hood. "I could not make it too obvious. For, well, obvious reasons, really." He offered a slight grin. "If anyone learned I had made contact with you..."
"I fear that I have placed you in an awkward position. Undoubtedly Lord V'Ghera wishes you to take me out, or whatever the terminology is."
A brief sigh escaped him as Vectus turned his attention to the nearby harbor. "Yes, he did mention something along those lines."
Argustus smiled softly. "Then I suppose that now would be the most opportune moment."
"Fernand, if I wanted you dead you would be dead. You know this."
"And I do appreciate that." The mage nodded in affirmation. "...Tell me, how is the Deathknell Project progressing?"
Vectus couldn't help but laugh. "Not at all. There has not even been mention of it. Doubtless because there are few who would even know where to begin."
Argustus replied quickly, giving another stiff nod. "That is something of a relief to hear." He paused for a moment, before adding, "Though I suppose it is only a matter of time."
Vectus shook his head, sighing. "I do not understand it, Fernand. Why abandon the project? Why like this? If you truly feared the potential for such a weapon, there are far more subtle paths to take."
"Yes, I suppose you are highly curious as to what this is all about." Argustus frowned tightly. "I must admit, this is rather awkward. I do not wish to make this more of a ridiculous soap opera scenario than it already is. Suffice it to say, there are certain things about my past that I do not discuss often... or at all, to be blunt."
Vectus rubbed a hand along his jaw as he listened. "Well I'd say this is a most inopportune time to find your humanity."
"I can assure you, this is not all about some latent desire for philanthropy. You may not be aware of this, but there was once someone very dear to me. I only recently discovered that a part of her--and me, for that matter--exists in the city below us."
"The girl, yes? Your daughter?" Vectus grinned smugly.
Argustus raised an eyebrow at this, eyeing him warily. "You.. are aware?"
"With the rise of the Consortium, there are few things that go on in this city without my awareness. I lead Lord V'Ghera's latest attempt at establishing a more dominant presence amongst the Alliance, you see." He made a sweeping motion with his hand towards the city. "I have informants everywhere."
"I suppose I should not be surprised," Argustus replied. "Though it is somewhat disconcerting to have your particular set of skills used against me, as opposed to for." After a pause, he added quickly, "And Lord V'Ghera does not know of her existence?"
"No. And I do not intend to tell him."
Argustus smiled primly. "Thank you. You truly are a gentleman and a scholar."
Vectus shrugged. Yeah. Sure, he thought. "You and I are similar in many ways. More than you know, my friend."
"That does not surprise me. To be honest, you are perhaps the only member of the Modas that I can actually tolerate." The two stood quietly for several moments, gazing out into the harbor, before Argustus finally broke the silence. "Might I ask, how long have you known of my daughter? For I certainly only discovered her recently, and purely by chance."
"None more recently than you. Naturally, I was more than a little curious as to what you were up to and where you had been since your... departure." Vectus turned to face the man. "It didn't take much, you know. You left quite a trail in Dalaran."
Argustus sighed to himself. "Ah, so it is I that may have accidentally placed her in danger. This is precisely what I had feared."
"She is in no danger. At least, not presently."
"Though Lord V'Ghera's goals certainly threaten Lilienne's well-being. It is a wonder that the Fever or any of our previous attacks have not harmed her."
Vectus took a deep breath and let out a long sigh. "But is it merely her safety you are concerned with? As I said earlier, there are far more subtler approaches than what you have done." Raising a hand to massage his forehead, he continued. "Presently, you have all but ensured there is no place for you. You can't exactly fit in here, and anywhere amongst the Horde you will be under constant threat of the Modas finding you."
Edited by Vectus on 5/14/12 5:07 AM (PDT)
"Perhaps." Argustus shrugged. "Although perhaps your talents of discretion are merely beyond me. Yes, I must admit that I do not quite know what to do at this juncture. I can find shelter amongst the Kirin Tor--that is where I have been these past weeks--but you are quite right, I am in something of an unfortunate state. But I could not continue to develop V'Ghera's weapons. As you say, sabotaging his goals in a subtle manner may have been far wiser, but that is not particularly... dignified."
Vectus walked out onto a ledge, surveying the grounds below them. "You know, we may not have spoken much on the subject of our pasts, but there has been many a time when our conversations have grown quiet, and where for brief moments I've been able to glimpse at what lies under your cold and impassive exterior."
Argustus raised an eyebrow. "Oh? And what did you see, Master Vectus?"
He chuckled slightly to himself, before continuing. "The same thing that lies under mine, of course. The same thing I was when I first came to the Order. A broken man, with everything he ever cared for shattered and destroyed before his own eyes. With no one and no where to turn." He offered a slight grin. "Am I wrong?"
Argustus smiled tightly in his usual manner. "You know you are not that any longer. But I shall admit it. Yes, this is true."
"You are right that I am not that any longer. But I would be lying if I said my past did not still haunt me. The Order has merely given me a way to deal with my demons, as it were. I chose this path because I had no others."
"Ah, but I daresay that is where the differences begin. I have seen you in combat. You enjoy bringing harm and suffering to your enemies." Argustus nodded. "The Modas may be your only option, but it is one you take pleasure in."
"You are right, in a way. It is a bitter joy." He paused for a moment, taping a finger to his chin as he tried to find the right words. "Something that is very hard to explain."
"You need not go into detail for my sake," Argustus assured him.
Vectus shook his head as he quickly replied, "No, this is something I feel you must understand about me, brother."
Argustus eyed him curiously. "Go on."
"You need not mince words. I know well the monster that I am. I do not take pride in this, I have merely accepted it. My 'pleasure' is the sort one might feel after removing an arrow from one's side."
"A very temporary way to abate such a problem."
"Exactly. Merely a momentary relief from the pain, but the wound persists. Nonetheless, such relief has allowed me to continue on each day with my mind intact." After a pause, he added with a grin. "Well, mostly."
"Not unlike you, I imagine, there are those among the Order that I enjoy associating with," Vectus went on. "There are also those that disgust me to the deepest parts of my being."
"Indeed. Many are little better than animals." Argustus nodded, frowning slightly. "Certainly, I suppose the Modas has done a decent job of keeping that broken man you referred to from falling apart completely. However, I am afraid such transitory attempts at relief are not an option for me."
"It isn't too late you know."
"--To return to the Order? Ha. Aziel would annihilate me on the spot without a second thought."
"I do not think so. Not under the right circumstances."
"What circumstances are you proposing?"
"...I might be able to convince him that you are worth more to us alive than dead."
"I suppose it would be possible for me to complete the Saronite bomb, but with alterations so that it could never pose a threat to Lilienne."
"But how would that be possible?"
"Simple, really. Botch the job of enriching the heavy isotope of the element. If there is nothing but stable Saronite in the core of the bomb, it will not explode. It will simply... burn."
"No, that wouldn't do." Vectus shook his head. "You have clearly demonstrated the theoretical groundwork for the device. Aziel would simply think you incompetent and find someone else."
Sighing, Argustus replied, "Yes this is true. He will merely begin another bomb, in the hands of someone a good deal more trustworthy."
Vectus stood, pensively stroking his chin for several moments before finally speaking. "If V'Ghera is the man I believe him to be, I do not think he would be want to use such a weapon indiscriminately."
Edited by Vectus on 7/10/12 8:47 AM (PDT)
"You are proposing dealing with him to spare Lilienne?"
He again shook his head. "No, not quite. Nothing so direct. But if V'Ghera believed the bomb was several times more costly and time consuming to produce than it actual was... even prohibitively so... we may be able to just create the one and establish convincing barriers to creating another."
Argustus nodded. "It would not be a great stretch of the imagination. Already it is turning out to be quite difficult, particularly mining the Saronite."
Also nodding, Vectus added, "Yes, my reasoning is that if such were believable, and we only had one bomb in our possession, he would not be so quick to use it rather than leverage the promise of using it."
"I see. Allow him to threaten others to his heart's content."
"And in the meantime, you would be free to pursue other courses of action to ensure your daughter's safety--in the event the device is used after all."
"It would certainly be a good deal easier for me to do so from within the Order."
"That it would." Vectus grinned.
"If only I had not acted so brashly..."
"Fernand, it would not be called 'blinded by passion' if one remained reasonable in such a state."
"Perhaps. But I will require an alibi. Something to explain my transgressions. ...Perhaps the Saronite?"
"Yes! That is exactly what I had in mind. Working with that much Saronite could conceivably drive anyone mad."
Argustus smiled primly. "Ah! It seems you have it all figured out. Very well, then. I shall leave this in your capable hands, my friend."
Vectus nodded. "But I shall have to proceed carefully. V'Ghera is not a man easily fooled. He will be suspicious... and I have not ever attempted to fool one such as him. This will truly be a test of my skills."
Argustus raised a finger and paused a brief moment before speaking. "Though how can you trust me to aid the Order, or yourself? You know that I cannot allow the Modas to be successful in their goals of enslaving or killing... well, everyone."
"I say this in confidence that you will never repeat it..." Vectus turned to face the man once more, giving him a knowing look.
"But Lord V'Ghera's will is not always my own, and there are times when my interests conflict with those of the Order."
"You are indeed far more discreet than I, Master Assassin. I was not aware of any precedent."
Vectus shrugged, offering a slight grin. "One must always keep up the veneer of subservience to one's superiors, lest questions be raised."
"Very well. I shall return to Dalaran and await you there." The mage began channeling a spell of teleportation as the two exchanged farewells. "I have the utmost faith in you." If nothing else, V'Ghera will want to believe that I may still be of use."
"Indeed he will."
"I wish you luck." With that, the arcane energies summoned by the mage completely engulfed him as he blinked out of existence.
Vectus laughed to himself and shook his head. "And you as well, Fernand. Let us hope the next time our paths cross it will be under more favorable circumstances..."
‘This is preposterous!’ Fernand could not believe what he was hearing. It had taken weeks of petitioning the Kirin Tor for an audience with an Archmage, in order to explain his situation and try to get some form of protection for Lilienne. Now, Fernand stood in a pulpit across from a tribunal of three Archmages, all three appearing very dour and aloof behind raised benches. Archmage Vorensal was chairing the session. She was a comely woman in her later years, with slate-grey hair and eyes to match. Fernand recalled having dealt with Vorensal several times while he was alive. The other two Archmagi were unknown to him – a man with a neatly trimmed, black beard that stared undisguised hatred at the undead mage, and a young woman who seemed both disappointed and indifferent. Vorensal scowled at Fernand’s choice of words, which he immediately regretted.
‘As I explained, Mister Argustus, the Kirin Tor no longer considers you to be a member of our ranks. Therefore there is nothing we can do to help you.’
‘This is highly unorthodox. Why was I not informed of my expulsion?’ Fernand was baffled, and it showed in his voice. His usual level monotone was tinged with concerned confusion.
Vorensal leant back in her chair and brushed aside a strand of hair from her face. ‘If I recall correctly, and I do, it was I who chaired the ruling that ousted you. We did not have an address by which to send you correspondence on the decision. Something about not knowing exactly where the Modas il Toralar have slithered off to, in order to concoct more terrible ways to commit crimes against the world.’
‘But the Kirin Tor is a neutral faction! On what grounds can you expel me from the magocracy?’
Vorensal cleared her throat with a harsh cough, which may have been designed to hide a bitter laugh. ‘Do you really want to go into detail about this? Suffice it to say, the Kirin Tor does not consider the actions of the Modas il Toralar to be in either the Horde’s nor the Alliance’s best interests. Thus, I personally do not feel as if there is a conflict of interest regarding our neutrality here.’
It felt as if a block of lead had formed within Fernand’s stomach, or at least where the ruined organ once lay. ‘I am no longer associated with the Modas il Toralar. In fact, it was I who destroyed their bioweapons division.’
‘That is very noble of you, Mister Argustus. But I am afraid it does not excuse your previous transgressions.’
Fernand paused for a moment to reorder his thoughts. A living man may have taken a deep breath while doing so. ‘When, not if, but when the Modas discover Lilienne is my daughter, they will murder her as surely as I stand before you now. Lilienne is not only my daughter, Archmage. She is Ameira’s, as well.’
Finally, Archmage Vorensal faltered in her relentless statements. She released a soft sigh. Fernand pressed on. ‘I know that you and Ameira worked closely together in the past. Please, if you cannot offer Lilienne the Kirin Tor’s protection by my request, do it for Ameira and Lilienne.’
‘Yes, it would be a terrible shame for an innocent girl to be harmed due to her father’s stupidity.’ Vorensal frowned from behind her raised bench. Fernand was too relieved in order to take offence at the remark. Vorensal continued, ‘Very well, Mister Argustus. I shall bring your motion to Council. But I am warning you that your daughter falls well outside of the Kirin Tor’s jurisdiction. I cannot be certain what the final verdict may be.’
The undead Apothecary bowed deeply, full of both relief and gratitude. ‘Thank you, Archmage. I truly appreciate this.’
‘Do not encourage me to change my mind, Mister Argustus. Now leave this chamber, before the temptation to call the guards and have you thrown into the Violet Hold with the other thugs and beasts becomes too great.’
Never one to outstay his welcome, Fernand nodded stiffly, and strode quickly from the room. The old Dalaran courthouse was a marvel to behold, like so much of the mage’s architecture, but this was the furthest thing from Fernand’s train of thought. There was no guaranteeing that he had secured Lilienne’s safety today. He would need to think of another way to prevent the Modas from discovering her, or inadvertently killing her along with the rest of humanity. The Apothecary was making his way down the marble steps outside the courthouse when a shout drew his attention.
‘Argustus! You there, hold!’
Fernand stopped and turned to see the black-bearded Archmage from the tribunal hurrying after him. The human man was middle aged, and his crimson and gold robes were adorned with numerous magical trinkets. Fernand couldn’t help but get the impression that the Archmage appeared somewhat familiar. The living man approached the dead one; the stink and crackle of flames from the man’s molten wards was almost overpowering. ‘Archmage.’ Fernand offered a stiff bow of deference. ‘May I be of assistance?’
The human scowled, his neatly trimmed black beard forming a grimace. ‘Archmage Rohan Grimwald. Just a moment of your time, Mister Argustus.’ The Archmage fairly growled, and raised a hand before him in a halting gesture.
‘Certainly, if it pleases you, Archmage Grimwald.’ Fernand replied, somewhat uncertainly. The man’s face was strikingly familiar...but he could not place where he had seen it before.
‘Several years ago now my brother, Rennald Grimwald , was tasked with hunting down members of the RAS by the Academy of Arcane Arts and Sciences in Stormwind. He mentioned your name to me on one of the last occasions that he was seen alive. You wouldn’t happen to know anything about that, would you?’ If Rohan had begun with a fair growl, his voice was now little more than gravel being chewed up in a cement mixture. The burning anger Fernand saw in the man’s eyes was like the last piece of a puzzle slipping into place. The Apothecary had seen that expression, and the black beard, heavy eyebrows and angular nose before.
For it was Rennald and Ameira who had attempted to ambush Fernand and the RAS in Stranglethorn Vale two years ago. They released a false report of a mysterious jungle disease that wiped out an Alliance lumber mill, which attracted Fernand’s attention. When he went to collect samples, he was confronted by a small battalion of Alliance soldiers, led by Rennald and Ameira. The Forsaken force was ultimately victorious. It was not until after he had personally incapacitated Rennald and killed the second mage that Fernand realised what he had done. To this day, Fernand could still see Ameira’s face after he removed the silk cloth that covered it – it was not the peaceful expression of a person who died in their sleep. Her lips were peeled back from her teeth by her final scream of anguish, her blonde hair matted with blood and soot, her normally pale skin now alabaster white after she’d bled to death from the arcane missiles that bombarded her slim body. Fuelled by a toxic combination of rage and self loathing at his actions, Fernand locked Rennald away within the depths of the Modas il Toralar’s Sanctum. The living mage was kept well fed and hydrated, but forever restrained, as the slow, wasting disease he’d been infected with steadily grew throughout his body, eating away at him. It would take a decade or more for him to finally die. The last Fernand had seen Rennald, the man was thoroughly insane from the eternal suffering of his condition.
Fernand offered Archmage Rohan Grimwald a prim little smile of apology. ‘I do apologise Archmagus, but I am not familiar with your brother. Regrettably I am also in no condition to inquire with the RAS about this, as I have also quit their service. My most sincere condolences regarding your brother. I do hope he shows up perfectly well.’
The Archmage merely grunted in response. ‘Very well. Carry on then.’
The Apothecary gave the Archmage one final, apologetic smile, before hurrying on his way. He desperately hoped that Grimwald would not be on the council that would determine Lilienne’s well being.