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Aydin sat in his cabin pondering who to contact first. He opened his cabin door and yells for Abdul, his Sailing Master. Abdul enters the room, “What’s up Captain?”
Aydin replies, “Abdul I need you to contact Namiko Yee.”
Abdul, “The Sailing Master aboard Lymington?”
Aydin, “Yes, I choose him because I’d rather use a spy that is on a ship that is part of my fleet. The Lymington is presently sailing on the southern port of Mitrioitis. Province of Wayne in the the South Western part of Mitroitis.
Abdul, “But Captain what’s in the Province of Wayne besides Beaumont Castle?”
Aydin, “Who do think?” Abdul looked puzzled and answered, “Crystal Ice-is, the Ambassador of Oz to Mitroitis.”
Aydin gave him a knowing nod and continued, “Yes of course. I’ve made another deal with Oratti to get hold of her, in order to send her a message from him to ask for her aid in reading the incantation we recovered. Get word to their Captian, my brother Sinan, of the Lymington and tell him to dock the boat in the the bay there, have Namiko go onto shore and contact who he has to in order to get hold to Crystal Ice-is.”
Abdul looked even more puzzled, “Captain I HAVE to ask, what business would Crystal Ice-is have to do with a stealthy bastard like Oratti?”
Aydin was starting to get frustrated… “Like I ALREADY told you to read the incantation for him! It’s a long story Abdul but now that Oratti HAS the incantation to cure him, it’ll only work if a Sorceress reads the incantation. So far between the two of us she’s the only Sorceress I know of.”
Abdul, “Crystal Ice-is a Sorceress? I thought she was a good witch of the north.”
Aydin, “That she is Abdul, but it’s a little known fact that she is also Sorceress. She was a sorceress way before she was known as the good witch of the North. Nevertheless, our objective NOW is to get in the message to her for Oratti. It’s a slim chance he has with her helping though because, as you may already know, she’s also an ex lover of his and their short-lived love affair didn’t end well.”
Abdul, “Yes many are aware of their affair years go. That’s certainly no secret.”
Aydin continuted, “At any rate, I need you to contact the Lymington and my brother Captain Sinan Reis. Tell him of what I just told you and have him send Namiko on shore to carry out the on land quest to Beaumont Castle. Do this as soon as possible via the Cydonia Orb.”
Abdul nodded, turned away and immediately left to carry out his order.
Aydin listened to Abdul’s footsteps fade as he walked further away from his cabin down the aisle. He thought to himself, normally a a quest was a quest, and a job was a job, as a privateer for hire, but now his own curiosity was peaked in what would happen when Crystal Ice-is received the message to aid Pelias Oratti. It was intriguing indeed. Everything was intriguing about what Oratti had requested of him from the beginning; the incantation from Baribus’ corpse, the breaking and entering to the crypt, and the stealing of the his last will and testament. What would come of it all? It would be MORE than interesting to see things unfold in the coming days, interesting indeed.
Meanwhile, in the country of Canatnia in a manor in off the coast of the Ionian Sea in the in the Province of Messina, Pelias Oratti sat in his study. He sat at an oak desk in large, plush leather chair. It was late in the evening the room was dimly lit by from the flames the shone from the hearth in the fire place opposite the large oak desk. He was slumped in his chair. In front of him on his desk was the scroll from the incantation from the flesh of King Baribus. As for the lost will of King Baribus, he’d already spoken with Garis Adessi, a minister of the executive house to Prime Minister Salvatore Giuliano. He was going over in his head the meeting he’d had with Garis. Garis more than astounded and impressed that Oratti had found the lost will. He assured Pelias that he would present it to Salvatore Giuliano immediately. Garis’ words still ringing in his ears, “…… present this will to Salvatore Giuliano.” He sat in his chair and wallowed in his content with the satisfaction of what he had accomplished so far. It would be a week or so and he would surely be hearing news from Adessi about the response of the Prime Ministers Cabinet. For now his next task was what laid before him on the large oak desk. Again he glared at the incantation on the leathery flesh scroll that had been cut from the corpse of King Baribus.
Oratti leaned back in his chair, reached for the goblet of wine that he’d been sipping most of the evening and took a long swig. Earlier he had used the wine to rinse down a large opium pill to relax and soothe him. He’d become addicted to the stuff he dealt, sold and peddled. It had become one his vices, and now today, he felt it helped ease his tensions. It helped him deal better with what was to come next. Next, he thought to himself, next would be the wait and anticipation of getting any word from Captain Aydin Reis about Crystal Ice-is. He stood from his chair, picked the goblet of wine up, walked across his study over to the glass doors and gazed out onto his backyard through glass. He watched as autumn set in he watched some leaves blow accross the yard. A bird perched on a limb of a small dogwood tree suddenly fluttered away up into the gloomy evening sky. He watched and stared up to the sky. As he watched the bird, his thoughts were elsewhere. Maybe it was the opium or the wine that took effect, but as Oratti thought to himself but he spoke out loud, “What now? How long will the wait be before I hear from you Aydin Reis?” But he thought silently and more intensely to himself the biggest question. What will Crystal Ice-is response be when she finds out I need her help? He watched as the bird disappeared into the evening sky.
Meanwhile in another distant land far from Cantania, in southern Mitroitis in the Province of Wayne at Beaumont Castle, a more intriguing scene is taking place. A lone horseman gallops up to the guard house at the gate of the castle. The guardsman greets him. The man, an asian man dressed in an armored breast plate, mounted atop a black stallion stopped at the entrance. As the guardsman approached him the horseman reached under his armor and pulled out a what looked like an envelope, and extends the envelope to him. The guardsman addresses the him, “State your business sir.” The horseman responds, “I’m only a messenger. This letter is for Ambassador Ice-is.”
The guardsman took the letter. “Who is the letter from? What is this about?”
Yee responded quickly, “A request from Pelias Oratti. That is all I can say.”
The guardsman looked confused and replied, “A request……” but before could finish his sentence the horseman quickly pulled back on the riens of the his horse. The horse rared back on his hind legs and took off like a shot into the darkness.
The befuddled guardsman stood in shock as he watched the horse gallop away from the castle. He immediately ran up the cobblestone driveway to the castle to deliver the letter to Belos, the castle’s concierge.
When he got to the castle Belos answered the door, the guardsman told him of the strange encounter with the mysterious man on a black stallion. Belos, nodded to the guardsman and assured him he’d deliver it to Ice-is right away.
Belos went inside with the envelope, ran up the long staircase to the upper level, then down the hallway that led to Ice-is’ chamber. He knocked rapidly at her door, and called her name, “Crystal……. Crystal Ice-is! Are you there I have something for you.” On the other side of the door he heard her yell back to him in a melodic tone, “Yes, you may enter Belos!”
He rushed in to find her streched across a chaise loung in front of the fireplace. She was sitting up with a folder of papers at her side she seemed to have been studying. Dressed in a plum colored long taffeta gown, with velvet cuffs and hemming. Her long raven waist length black hair that was normaly worn down, was penned up and piled atop her head with a silver hair clip. Her skin tone was a deep olive tan color. She looked up at Belos with dark ebony, almond shaped eyes; large eyes but slanted upwards at the corner. She perched her full lips at him with a side smirk as he approached with the envelope. Then she spoke, “What now Belos?”
Belos always the frantic sort, spoke up immediately, “Ice-is the guardsman at the front gate house just handed me this letter that was delivered. The man that delivered it wouldn’t leave his name and wouldn’t go into detail. He only said it was a letter of ‘request’ from Pelias Oratti!”
At that Ice-is quickly looked up from the papers she was shuffling and glared at Belos. “Pelias….?” she said with disdain in her curiosity in her voice. “What the hell does that no good scoundrel want?”
“I haven’t the slightest. The guardsman said the messenger took off on a black steed like a shot into the night, as soon as he handed it to him.”
Belos handed her the letter she stared at her name simply written in large dark letters on the front. It read, “To: Crystal Ice-is”
“Well if it’s from that no good RAT of man the message is probably as crooked and stealthy as the messenger who delivered it.” She snapped with disdain in her voice, then continued, “He has a lot of nerve sending one of this thugs here to my home!”
Belos stood there wringing his hands in anticipation. “Well aren’t you curious? Aren’t you going to open it?”
“Of course I am.” She snapped in annoyance at Belos. She took the letter out and slowly read it. She couldn’t beleive her eyes and what she was reading. She starred at it in silence for a moment.
Belos in a agitated tone, blurted out, “Well….. well what does it say?”
“How dare he!” She yelled out. “How DARE he ask me such a thing. Firstly, the letter states that he now has found out that I’m a sorceress. Secondly, he’s found out through some hired privateer that I’m a sorceress. Then on top of all of that, he wants me to use my sorceress skills to read an incantation to cure a fatal sickness he has.”
Belos look concerned and replied, “Well of course you’ll help him. Even though you two didn’t part on good terms, you wouldn’t begrudge a dying man, would you?”
“Yes if it were anyone else besides him!” She sniffed, “After all, we haven’t spoken in years. He’s NEVER apologized to me – hasn’t even tried to get in touch with me until NOW. NOW that he’s in dire straights and NEEDS me to do something for him, the LOUSE!”
Belos retorted, “Yes but none of that changes the fact that you were once friends and in a relationship, no matter how brief. Although you are a sorceress, you are also a Christian, or so you’ve told me. So the Christian thing to do is to forgive and help him.”
Ice-is rolled her eyes at Belos, “Oh please….. get off of it Belos with your sermon. You know you missed your calling. You should have been a Sunday school teacher they way you preach.”
Belos retorted, “I’m not preaching. I’m simply stating the obvious.”
“Okay, whatever – so we were ONCE friends, but I’m still insulted and I have every right to be. It’s all out of the blue he asks, and what right has this privateer has to suggest me to do this. How dare either one of them discuss me. Pelias, who I haven’t spoken to in years and this privateer because you he doesn’t know me from the man in the moon. They both have a lot of nerve.” Now Ice-is was up a and standing with the letter in her hand pacing backs and forth in her rant. “And besides things have changed with my status and responsibilities now. Then I was known Crystal Ice-is of Oz, sister of Glenda the good witch, and I was the OTHER good witch. But now I’m Ambassador of Oz to Mitroitis, a much more of a public figure now. I can’t be seen with or having any dealing with SCUM like Pelias Oratti. He’s beneath me now.”
Belos replied with a sarcasm in his voice, “Oh so he’s ‘beneath you’ now? Well excuse me Ms. High and Mighty.”
Ice-is scowled at him and retorted, “Oh you know what I mean! It’s not that I’m high and mighty now, hell if you ask me I was too good for him when I was only known as Crystal Ice-is the good witch of the north. I’m serious when I say I can’t be seen with him. Do you realize the low life things that he’s involved in. The illegal things he was involved in when I was with him and the legal things he’s still doing. Tax evasion in his own country, running illegal drugs out of his house and on the streets, drugs such as opium and cannabis with his shady cousin Elias or Elvis, whatever the hell his name was. Not to mention the dealings he’s had with prostitutes, two bit whores and other low life women of the streets. The likes I’d found out about only AFTER I was involved with him. I don’t know why I EVER gave him the time of day. My sister Glenda didn’t like him from the time we first met and I should have taken that as sign not to get involved but it was too late that I found out what he was really about.”
Belos glared at her with a smirk on his face and he sat on her chaise and watched her pace backs and forth. Then he replied, “Well all of that being said Ms. Crystal Ice-is, what are you going to do? Are you going to help him or not. If you do decide to help him it doesn’t have to be broadcast to the world I’m sure you can help him with everything being undercover and out of the public eye.”
Ice-is gave him the side eye as she spoke, “Yes Mr. Belos out of the public eye but surely in your nosy eyes. Your loving all of this because you are the busy body that loves to see some type of drama. Look at you, you just itching for me to contact him and see how it all plays out.”
Belos with a shocked looked on his face and his mouth hanging open replied with sarcasm once again “Well, I NEVER! I’ve always tried to give you the best of advice and lend an ear to your troubles. I have only sincere intentions toward you.”
Ice-is replied, “Wow, how did you just say that with a straight face?”
Belos let out a giggle and covered his mouth. Belos was a worker there at Beaumont Castle but had come to be a close confidant to her. He was a very thin built, neatly dressed and had a lot of feminine attributes about him which made Ice-is feel comfortable with him. He was like a close girl friend to her and she felt she could talk about anything with him. He then asked again, “Seriously, what are you going to do? Are you going to help him?”
Ice-is unfolded the letter again and glanced at it, “Well it does have his oracle address and also the privateer’s address by the name of Captain Aydin Reis. It says I can contact Pelias or Reis with my answer. I suppose I will help the pathetic FOOL. But of course King Triton can NEVER know of this.”
Belos assured her, “Of course not, and you know your secret’s safe with me. But you will have to let me know when and where this will all take place in case something goes wrong and I have to tell someone.”
“Of course,” She agreed, “but I will when and if I meet with him I will have one of Triton’s royal security guards travel with me there. But I won’t even be able to tell the guard of who I’m really meeting with. I’ll just tell him it’s a diplomatic meeting with an ally of Mitroitis’.”
Belos replied, “Yes that is a good plan. So who will you contact first. This Reis person on Pelias directly?”
She looked down quiet thought and replied, “I think at this point I’d rather just contact Aydin Reis with my answer. I’m really NOT ready to address Pelias Oratti just yet.”
Belos, “I understand, but everything will be alright and I think you’re made the right decision. I must go now to make my rounds and some business I have to discuss with the grounds keeper. Please keep up to date on everything.”
Ice-is, “I will for sure. Good night Belos.”
Belos, “Good night Ms. Ice-is.”
Belos left the room as quickly and abruptly as he entered. Crystal Ice-is was left alone with the letter now. Her mind still racing from the content and conversation she just had with Belos. She thought to herself, she’d contact Aydin Reis via the oracle in the morning. From there an enlightening journey would ensue. The outcome could go either way, good or bad; to aid a dying man, or the worst mistake may take place putting her position and status with King Triton in jeopardy. She could only pray that it would NOT be the latter. She could opt not to respond at all, and just ignore the letter. She had no obligation to do anything for Oratti, but her curiosity had been peaked and she didn’t know if she could live with the guilt if she didn’t help a dying man, even if it was Pelias Oratti.
The next morning Ice-is contacted Aydin Reis, informed him she would help. They would have to meet on her terms. She wasn’t willing to travel to Oratti. He would have to come to Mitroitis, no where near Beaumont Castle, but definitely in Mitroitis. The time and place was set for her and Oratti to meet. Everything was set into motion. A journey would begin, where it would lead, what the outcome would be, time would only tell.
To be continued………………………..