Aug 13, 2020 4:07 AM
As the Sixth Age begins, Lilaina visits her family.
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"Just a moment!" her mother calls. There's the muffled sound of tools on glassware, and then the door opens. "Yes, Lils?"

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"Danny says there's something magic in the woods behind the castle. I need to go check it out, in case--" There are a lot of things it could be. Too many. "--Well, in case."

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Her mother nods. "Is Danny minding the store? I could really use another few minutes to finish these up."

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"Yeah, all right," Daniel calls from the front. "A few minutes."

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"Thank you both so much," Lilaina says, and takes off for the forest at a rapid walk.

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It's easy to get more specific directions to "the magic floating ball in the forest", though it's deep enough in the forest that it takes over an hour to get there.

The ground around the ball has been stripped of grass, and the trees immediately next to it look gray and charred. It's as wide as a person is tall, and high enough off the ground that a tall man could walk under it, though there's a small crater of concentric circles directly under it. It's black, at least when looking straight into its center; its fuzzy edges are rimmed with purple and green no matter what angle Lilaina looks at it from.

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Well, it's not very much like anything she's seen before. Magic, obviously, and ominous. It doesn't look like it's growing extremely rapidly, but -- she looks at the sky -- she can't walk to the Wizard's Tower before dark, not even close.

-- She feels extremely silly. Does she have a cache of enchanted jewelry or not?

She still has her rune pouch on her as always; she hasn't fallen that far back into old habits. It's a moment's concentrated thought to teleport to her pocket dimension, a few minutes to get to and sort through her jewelry cabinet, and then she has an enchanted jade necklace in hand and the sun hasn't moved in the sky by the time she stands on the pavingstones outside the entrance to the Wizards' Tower.

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"Welcome to the Wizards' Tower, adventurer," Wizard Valina says as Lilaina steps up to her podium next to the inner archway. "Is this a social visit or are you here on business?"

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It's been too long since she talked to Ilona, but duty has to come first. "Business," Lilaina says. "I need to talk to Archmage Sedridor, or anyone who might know about magic that comes in the form of fuzzy black spheres floating in forests."

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Wizard Valina frowns slightly. "Archmage Sedridor could direct you to the right wizard, I believe. Lilaina... Falkenrath, here to see the Archmage?" At Lilaina's nod, she notes this down. "In you go."

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In she goes, making a beeline for the teleportation beam and allowing it to pull her upwards to the floor containing Archmage Sedridor's office.

She raises her hand to knock on its grand door and it swings open, so she enters. "Archmage," she says to the white-bearded old wizard at the desk.

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"Adventurer Falkenrath," he replies. "What brings you to me today?"

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"There's something strange in the Lumbridge Forest and I'd like a wizard to take a look at it." She describes the sphere and its apparent effect on its surroundings as best she can.

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Archmage Sedridor nods, frowning. "I believe you are describing a portal of some kind. Perhaps interdimensional, given recent events. I recommend you speak to Wizard Relina." He describes Relina, then scribbles a missive and hands it to Lilaina. "I believe she's working in the lower library today."

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"Thank you." Lilaina pockets the note and heads back down to the ground floor to look for the woman in question.

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She's a stern, dark-haired woman at one of the many desks, alternately poring over a thick book and scribbling notes on looseleaf. It takes a moment for her to notice Lilaina standing in front of her desk, and she looks up with a frown exaggerated by the sharpness of her face. "Yes?"

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"Archmage Sedridor said I should speak with you." Lilaina hands over his note.

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Wizard Relina reads it and her eyebrows rise. "I see," she says. "Describe the portal again for me? How far is it from the Lumbridge lodestone?"

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Lilaina describes the portal again. "It's maybe... an hour and a half's brisk walk from the lodestone, for me."

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Relina glances out a window. "I'd best pack a tent, then, it'll be dark by the time I get there. Give me a few minutes, adventurer." She gestures at the tome, which flies back to a shelf, then briskly gathers up her notes and heads for the teleportation beam.

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Lilaina finds an empty chair and waits.

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Another wizard comes floating down the teleportation beam, notices Lilaina, and hurries over. "Lily! I haven't seen you in ages! How are you doing?"

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"Ilona," Lilaina says, smiling despite herself. "Hey. Anything interesting in the field of stuns-and-binds lately?"

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"Oh, lots, I think I'm really near a breakthrough to improve on Entangle--" She pauses and frowns. "Lily," she says chastisingly. "How are you? I've heard rumors about what happened when the Edicts were broken."

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"... I've been better," Lilaina admits reluctantly. "I don't know what you've heard, but I can't really stay to talk." She summarizes the portal situation.

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