Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Story Seed - The Blackest of Markets

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"Do you have it?" The buyer's voice had an odd echo to it, a distant quality that was hard to describe.

Sa'tellae bowed her head slightly, her eyes on the the buyer throughout. "It was most difficult. Soulstone is dangerous, rare, prohibited-"

"Yes, yes, but do you have it?" the buyer intoned. His fingers, thin, long, and bony, slipped out of the long embroidered sleeves of his enveloping robes, and conjured a glimmer of magic.  An image filled the space between then, "This will be yours, as agreed.  If ... you have the stone." The image showed gold and jewels, enough that Sa'tellae would be able to retire to the highest levels of Hazurrium in luxury.

She licked her lips, eyes darting between the prize, and the client. The client who frightened her, with his request for a material so rare that few even knew of it. Finally she nodded, "Yes, yes, I have it. But conjured illusion is not payment. I need to see it in person."

The chuckle that emanated from the shadow enshrouded cowl unnerved her more than she wanted to admit. "And I do not take assurances of product from any being, human, qephilim or other. Show me the stone and you will receive your earned reward."

Nodding she moved into the back of her shop, disappearing behind a curtain of silvered cloth.  Shortly she returned with a chest bound in oricalcum, and placed it on the counter. A whisper of soul magic opened the lock, and Sa'tellae peeled the lid back to reveal the soulstone within.


"She was found like this. Her soul is gone. Rent asunder, or trapped, but she cannot tell us who slayed her, or what was in the chest."

The captain of the guard prodded at the chest with a short baton of ebony.  "Oricalcum I'd wager. Whatever was in here is not something we want in the hands of a murderer."

Summary - A dealer in alchemical goods is found slain, and evidence suggests that they were in possession of something truly dangerous.  Can the killer be found, and the item recovered before falling into the hands of somebody with the power to make the most evil use of it?