The Magicians of Pensgate

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Mika, Dec 19, 2014.

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  1. Declan Mortimer

    The ferry docked at the south pier at ten o’clock in the evening. Shivering, Declan Mortimer, a young man sporting an unruly beard and mustache, and dressed in a loosely-fitting, wrinkled linen suit, emerged from the cabin. Once he set foot on Pensgate soil, a uniformed officer removed his restraints and restored Declan’s personal belongings: a pair of snapped spectacles and an ink-stained fountain pen, which Declan secured in his pant pocket.

    Shortly thereafter, a dark-haired gentleman, one of the few people waiting to greet the newly returned inmates of Goddrum Penitentiary, approached him with a jovial smile.

    “Vandalism of private property?” the gentleman asked.

    “At least I wasn’t in for public indecency,” replied Declan.

    They grinned and hugged like reunited brothers. The gentleman led Declan toward a sleek, idling motorcar waiting by a nearby warehouse. They settled in, Declan on the passenger side and his companion in the driver’s seat, and traveled into the depths of the Portside neighborhood.

    "Where are your glasses?" the gentleman asked.

    "They broke," said Declan.

    When Declan didn't continue, the gentleman cleared his throat and spoke again. “Deck, I’ve done my best to keep this whole prison business hush-hush, but your clients have been asking difficult questions. Some already suspect it was you who altered the Rams Hill building.”

    “I did alter the Rams Hill building,” said Declan.

    “I know. And while your heart was in the right place, the execution was… lacking. It’s created a lot of unpleasantness. A lot of trouble for other people. General trust in magic has decreased. It’s just not how you gain favor in this city, old chap. Not with the right sort.”

    Declan grumbled and crossed his arms. “And who exactly are the right sort?”

    “Oh, you know. Affluent, connected, law-abiding.”

    “My clients are affluent, connected, and law-abiding.”

    “Skirting the law and obeying it are opposite things, Declan. Your clients are, at best, dodgy.”

    “You used to be one of my clients.”

    “My point exactly,” said the gentleman. After a pause he added, “You must be freezing. Sorry, didn’t think to bring you a coat. Hard to imagine you were out last in August. Just a few more minutes and we’ll be at your place. I’ve convinced Turpin not to kick you out.”

    Declan groaned. “You’ve been paying my rent?”

    “Couldn’t have you return homeless, could I?”

    “I’ll pay you back.”

    “That’s absolutely out of the question. Besides, your flat cost me less per week than I spend on food and wine. It was nothing.”

    It wasn’t nothing, but Declan kept quiet. Right as they entered the Artists’ District, Declan had a thought. Perhaps he was still ill from the ferry trip or exhausted from his sleepless nights in prison. Maybe the winter cold and pressing darkness had severely disoriented his senses. Or it could have been that his friend’s words had finally gotten to him. Whatever the reason, Declan felt the need for a stiff drink. He rolled his fountain pen between his fingers in his pocket.

    “Take me to The Fallen Lion, Lex,” Declan said suddenly.

    The gentleman cocked his eyebrow. “You sure that’s a good idea? There are other pubs. Nicer ones in Florent’s Gallery. I could introduce you to some important people.”

    “Looking the way I do? They wouldn’t let me past the door. Let's go to The Fallen Lion, Lex. I don’t want to keep up appearances. I just want a drink in each hand and a woman in my lap.” Lex glared. “I’m joking! I don’t need two drinks.” The gentleman remained quiet so Declan continued, “Gracious, you’ve gotten serious since I’ve been away. Listen, I promise tomorrow I’ll bathe and shave and even buy a new suit. I’ll start to rebuild my reputation first thing in the morning. All I ask is for one drink tonight. Is that so much?”

    By midnight, Declan was drunk. Lex had long since dropped his proper demeanor, rolled up his sleeves, and jumped into the fighting ring. Beer and wine flowed freely, lively chatter filled the small tavern, and warmth from the fire and drink made Declan’s summer clothes almost appropriate. He sat at the bar, hunched over, his mane of curls flopping into his sleepy bloodshot eyes, and animatedly gesticulated to a man sitting next to him.

    “I meant to strengthen the support beams,” Declan shouted over the din, bits of spittle landing in his tangle of facial hair. “I was only tryin’ to help. Was a simple inscription, but I stepped on my glasses. Look!” He pulled out his broken frames and waved them in front of the man, who leaned away. “Strengthening buildings by magic is a tricky business if not done just – hic – right. Apparently I forgot a line and, well, the symbols for strength and weaken look an awful lot alike when you can't bloody see. Got four months on the rock. Four months of hard time. Just for tryin’ to help.”

    “Did I hear you say you’re a magician?” asked a husky female voice over Declan’s shoulder.

    Declan turned and found himself face to bosom with a buxom woman. Now it was his turn to lean back. In his blurry far-sightedness, he saw that she wore something revealing and form-fitting. Beyond that, he couldn't say what she looked like.

    “I said no such thing,” Declan said to the woman’s chest. “I implied it.”

    “Can you do some magic for me?” asked the woman.

    “My trade is not a form of entertainment," Declan scoffed. "S’practical, useful, necessary. I don’t just put on little shows to dazzle and amaze. I create things. Real things. Beautiful things that last through the ages. I – hey, where you going?”

    The bosomy woman walked off. Declan sighed and turned back to the bar. The barmaid who had been serving him all night passed him just then. He stuck out his arm, and tried to wave her back.

    “Hey, you, barmaid,” he spat, “I’m going to tell you a secret. Are you ready?" He glanced left and right, then leaned in and whispered, "I really am a magician. And I’ll be a Wizard one day. Hopefully soon. This city doesn’t have a Resident Magician, you know. Hasn’t for years. I’ll be the first. And you heard it here first," he said, prodding the counter with his index finger. "From me, Declan Mortimer.”

  2. "Let's get this straight, if I show you the way to the Fallen Lion, you'll get me inside?" Jeffrey Appleberry was walking alongside Liz and Kit, the seventeen-year-old was grinning like a kid on Christmas morning and it was hard not to notice the mischievous glint in his eyes.

    Unlike Jeff, Liz looked tired and she would have been asleep if not for the package she and Kit had to deliver. "A deal is a deal, as long as you don't tell your grandma."

    There was an excited whoop, followed by a fist pump.

    "I still feel wrong." Liz narrowed her eyes at the boy and Kit nodded her head in agreement. "You're underage."

    "So?" Jeff laughed. "I promise I won't tell, cross my heart."

    "Fine," Liz mumbled.

    And as soon as she had agreed, Jeff practically bounced down the dimly lit streets. "Y'know, you're pretty cool, Liz. Most of the boarders we've had were pretty boring, but a witch. Well, this is new. Plus, Kit is just the greatest." He was walking backwards and waving energetically at the fox.

    Kit gave him a nod then quickened her pace so she would be walking beside the boy. Jeff laughed and soon enough the trio found themselves in front of the fallen Lion. "Here we are m'lady!" The next thing Jeff knew, Elizabeth was dragging him inside. The quicker they got this over with, the better.

    The guard by the door gave Kit a funny look, but Liz told him the animal wasn't wild and soon Kit was inside the bar, peering curiously at the patrons and everything that went on inside the place.

    "Package for a Mr. Devon?" Liz walked around and raised a box. It was wrapped in bright colors and while it was as big as a small table, it was quite light. "I'm here to deliver a package to a Mr. Devon. Does anyone know anyone who goes by that name?" She stared at the fighting and the people who had passed out from drinking more than they could handle. Maybe she shouldn't have brought Jeff. Maybe she should have asked for directions instead.

    Liz sighed then made her way towards one of the customers. "You wouldn't happen to be a Mr. Devon?" Her patience was wearing thin, but she did her best to keep a smile on her face. Ugh, there were so many people.
    #2 Fox of Spades, Dec 21, 2014
    Last edited: Dec 21, 2014
  3. Linda was working the bar for Rena while she took a quick break. It seemed like there were more men trying to win her than normal. The counter would definitely have to be cleaned of all the beer and drool from these half-wits. They don't know their own limits, so they just pass out almost every time.

    She had just poured a new mug for one of the more rowdy men among them when another patron called her over. I really hope he doesn't want another drink. He looks about ready to fall from his chair. She plastered a convincing smile on her face and sauntered her way over to the man.

    As she reached him, he started going off about magic and Resident Magicians. She smiled politely and widened her eyes slightly in an attempt to look interested. Declan Mortimer... Need to make sure the girls know about this lunatic.

    "Oh my," she crooned, "I feel so privileged to be the first to know." She leans over the counter slightly. "What magic do you specialize in, Handsome?"

    The crowd around the fights starts to chant. "Rena! Rena! Rena!" A huge cheer goes up, signaling that the fight was won. Money swaps hands, mostly from the newcomers to the frequent patrons who have seen Rena fight. Rena emerges from the crowd and makes her way towards the counter. She looks around to see if any of the tables needed assistance and notices the fox. Looking closer, she realizes that the fox is with the woman holding a large package.

    She quickly makes her way over, dodging drunk men trying to feel her. Reaching the woman, she hears her ask a man if he was Mr. Devon. She clears her throat and starts to speak. "Excuse me. If you're looking for a Mr. Devon, I would suggest over by the hearth." She motions towards a middle-aged man leaning against the wall. "That should be Mr. Devon, there."
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