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All Good Things....

Oru
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Oru
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December 10th, 2015, 10:21 pm #1

Hands flitting like nervous butterflies slapped at the doting limbs of wives 6 and 12. The Sultan pulled himself out of bed and sent them all away with an imperious shooing of his hand.

It had been months. He couldn't even recall how long. He yearned to take a stroll in his garden and hear his angel singing. He wished to see the looks of awe and respect on the faces of all his courtiers when she was presented to them as a guest for meal times. He wished to see something new and pretty to look at, even if he could not touch it.

Enough was enough.

Sultan Tul'an vi Kandar arranged himself appropriately and stopped before a mirror. His heart sunk when he saw the still unfamiliar form of the second seamstress standing beside him. He wanted his old woman back. But apparently she was gone too. As well as her kin. The whole women's staff was going mad, it seemed.

He strode from the room with his tiny strides and accumulated a brief guard on the way to the Magus' quarters where he bid a soldier rap smartly on the door. The Sultan nodded at the soldier, and the soldier bellowed, "The Sultan wishes your immediate presence, Sir Magus!"

------

Meanwhile, somewhere away from that place, in a small set of old KelKerry caves (Recently left, it would seem, and not as far reaching or connected as the others - just deep enough to avoid a good sandstorm) was the intrepid band of escapees.

Mid'gha hummed absently as she wove together some cloth for a new wrap for Shara - she had been able to procure most of their supplies, being of a rather forgettable face and demeanor. One good thing about servitude is that one learns to avoid attention. It wasn't the gaily colored silks of the palace, but it was a comfortable, clean fabric. The unused portions Mid'gha absently handed to Boil so he could hold them aloft while she wove, so they would not get into the way.

Jade and Shara still practiced their basics with Raka and Walker, especially after the last close call. Shara was very dexterous and caught on quickly (much to Raka's obvious delight - which meant he scowled less.)

Jade however, was frequently having trouble with anything that might set her off balance. Once, while attempting a kick, her wing lashed out to compensate and she knocked Shara into the sand.

It had been funny at the time. But several days later, she and Walker had worked on a few techniques to minimize the subconscious reactions of her wings. It was going... well.

In the evenings Raka would have short, violent dreams, but infrequently cried out. Shara would always find her way over to his side to be sure he rested. When Jade saw that she would inevitably glance to Walker, curious if he ever had bad dreams. He was always so composed, so calm. It was hard to think of him ever being angry, or frightened. She no longer had nightmares, only creepy shadows of now fading memories. But each night she prayed to Ryvena for the safety of her brother Dust, and of the hope she had for seeing him again.

Another sun rose in the Desert. Another night passes into day.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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Gigantor
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January 6th, 2016, 9:11 am #2

Each wrap of the guard's knuckle on his door pounded in his temples tenfold. Then the bastard started his yelling. He rose from his table where he had been mixing herbs, some of the fumes were responsible for the headache but the sudden appearance of the sultan promised a whole new level of pain.

He straightened his back, slipped on the vizier gown the Sultan had gifted him, cleared his throat and adopted the fake air he put on around the pudgy fool. He threw the door open wide and quickly, he relished the start it gave the large guard and the squeak from the sultan. Dima put on his best smile and pushed passed the guard to close the door behind him and lead the sultan away from his chambers.

Dima: You have the look of trouble in your royal eye of deepest azure, please let us speak in a more appropriate. You have blessed me with a sitting room possessing the second grandest view of the kingdom.

Once they were far enough he began prodding the fat man for his business.

Dima: Speak to me my lord, I fear I've neglected you in all my preparations to retrieve our lost lambs.
****

Once again they found refuge in the abandoned homes of the Kel'kerri, still in possession of their freedom yet forced to live in hiding with a constant eye over their shoulders. Still, it was a life with her.

Though he ever left her side for more than a perimeter check or to fetch provisions, he rarely got close to Jade. The most of their physical contact was made during their training, but he embraced her constantly with his inner self, the part of him that wanted to protect her from harm while she flourished.

He made sure never to miss one of her smiles or watching her ear catch her hair. While awake, she made music for him in her laughter and at night it was in her slow even breaths while she slept.

Every night he tried willing himself to dream of her, it often worked., until a new woman started appearing. She wore a cowl and clothes of midnight, all her could see off her face was her mouth and the pale skin of her chin. She was short, standing no taller than Shara. He would always find her in stone tunnels that were magically illuminated by the laws of dreams. She kept backing away from him in the dreams, keeping her distance but always staying in his view. He would begin to follow but then he lost memory of it. It left a feeling that settled into him during his wakeful hours.

Boil was an unexpected guest and an unwelcome one. Walker hadn't been able to rest completely with the goblin sharing their camp but while Mid'gha kept him busy, he seemed to stay out of trouble. He trusted the woman so he left the goblin to her.

The goblin liked the old woman but kept apart from the others. That seemed to keep the shadow from looking his way. Boil didn't want that, not at all. He dropped off a satchel of edible mushrooms to Mid'gha then skulked away when she had nothing left for him to do. He'd noticed the fiery one was watching the sands tonight.

A large crooked grin split the goblin's swarthy face. He collected handfuls of rocks and tracked the warrior to a group of rocks. He climbed to the top and looked down at Raka. He squatted then wrapped a stone against the boulder. The racket frightened a gecko out from the rock. Boil hooted with excitement then threw a rock at the lizard. The first stone missed but the goblin quickly lined up his second shot and made his target, hitting it in the head.

Boil: Suppa!

He squealed then ran to collect his prize. He held it up like a trophy to Raka then snorted some more. Movement drew his eye to a fat lizard trying to remain still and camouflaged. Boil grinned and pointed quietly at it.
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Oru
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Oru
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January 8th, 2016, 6:47 pm #3

Sultan Tul'an vi Kandar meandered with some urgency to a lush sitting room where he collapsed in exaggerated fatigue onto a plush purple chaise. He fanned his face and pulled his eyebrows together in an air of pleading. "My clever Magus, I am beset upon by feelings of unease! The angel has been gone from the court for months now, and I find my mind plagued with fearful thoughts of her well-being. Surely you are closer to finding them? Any word of your progress would put my heart at ease, Magus."

His hands fluttered about with gesticulation like nervous butterflies and his face was in a soft pout. He looked to Dima with imploring eyes.

----

Mid'gha accepted the small pouch of mushrooms and added some of them to the brothy soup she was making. Jade leaned over her shoulder with wide, inquisitive eyes, and she taught both of her young ladies what she was doing as she did it. Shara knew most of this already, but Jade watched with vast interest.

As Walker and Raka made a point to teach her ladies how to fight, she made a point to teach them how to survive. One and the same in some situations, but knowing how to block a punch will never be as handy as learning how to boil water and make soup.

-----

Raka watched the goblin with disinterest. The creature was an ever present distraction. At least now it didn't smell as badly - Mid'gha had taken a whole evening simply in convincing the goblin to bathe. (It had been a vast improvement.)

When the goblin struck down his lizard and started making waggling eyebrows at the bigger one, Raka's left eye twitched. He looked at the lizard. He glanced down - a scimitar and a length of chain, really not appropriate tools for this sort of task. He thought about throwing a white hot flame at it, and cooking it in the same instant - but he had already used quite enough of his gift. So instead, Raka started a very slow breathing exercise, ending in a sharp 'Hya!' and his arm darted out to the lizard.

The lizard, with faster reflexes then he thought, lashed out and bit the meat of Raka's hand, jerked back, and was gone in a flash.

Raka scowled darkly at the place the lizard had been.

Stupid lizard.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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Gigantor
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Joined: January 23rd, 2012, 1:29 am

January 16th, 2016, 6:33 am #4

Edgar was leading his warriors on a retreat through sand dunes as raiders took chase on horseback. A dozen thieves shouted at their mounts for haste to ride their prey down. Edgar got over the hill and disappeared behind it. When the second horse made it over the crest, the first horse and its rider were being cut down by Jacintha's retinue. A simple bait trap that he employed often because of its high success rate.

It was good to have so many eager meat bags to work his rage out on. Edgar didn't take failure well, especially when he suspected sabotage. He watched his chief subject behead a pair of warriors with a speed difficult for normal men to follow.

Edgar: I've got my eyes on you, bitch.

He muttered then began rounding up his men. Let the woman finish cleaning.
*****
Dima chose to remain standing while the Suktan collapsed onto a chaise. He tried to soften his brow to play off sympathy. He reached down and took the Sultan's heavily ringed hands between his which were like skeletons in comparison.

Dima: My liege, I know exactly where they are. I would never let such prizes of my Sultan's collection go without precautions. I hesitated to speak up but I lacked certain things to grant me enough power to bring everyone to heel, without causing any damage to those same precious prizes. Also I trusted in your wisdom in sending the garrison leader and the lady Jacintha to bring them in personally.

Now the magus took a seat beside the fat man.

Dima: I'm very close to the necessary magics but I lack certain arcane wisdoms. I've been toiling away and working throughout the nights so that I could be prepared for you to call on me. Alas, I'm still a step or two behind. I fear damage would come to the angel at my current capabilities.
******
The goblin sat flat on his rump when Raka took his turn at hunting. When the lizard won the day and earned a bite of hand meat, Boil fell on his back chortling merrily with his feet pointed soles up to the sky. He took some deep breaths to calm the laughing fits and got to his feet. He had a leather rod and prodded the dark cracks under the boulders. A small lizard and a snake were scared from hiding and quickly dispatched with sharp blows to the head with the rod. After each kill he looked over his shoulder at Raka and grinned gloatingly.

Boil: Lucky Boil hear to hunt. Horns would starve.

Then Boil spotted a large pair of eyes watching them from the sand. No, it was watching Raka. The goblin scuttled out of the line of sight and crept low in the sand on his belly. He closed the distances silently as he could then when he was close enough he dove forward and drove his hands into the sand clutching around the thick neck. There was an explosion of sand as a lizard almost half Boil's size came out thrashing and snapping in the air. Boil hooted with victory then in alarm as he realized the true size of his capture.

The lizard bucked him off and turned a vicious towed sets of teeth. A thick goop drooled between the gaps. The goblin cocked his head to the side now that he could see the type of lizard.

Boil: ohhhhh new beastie. Make you pet!
*****
Walker came over the hill with thoughts of his dreams forefront in his mind. Raka should be nearby on watch. The ladies said they'd take watch to allow the men a chance to hone their sword skills.

A full hunt was on when he found Raka watching the goblin tackling a large lizard. The goblin kicked his reptilian for off of him and stood for a new bout but his nose caught something on the air. His large yellow eyes looked up at Walker and he hissed, giving the lizard a chance to escape under the sand. The goblin huddled toward a boulder and kept it between him and Walker. That suited Walker just fine.

Walker: Draw your weapons!

He pulled his tusks, now fashioned to batons making them into kamas, and charged down the slope to engage his friend.
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Oru
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Oru
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January 17th, 2016, 8:00 am #5

Jacintha wrapped up the encounter with succinct ease. She and her unit tidied up and dispatched any stragglers. She moved through the rest of her day acting as normal. She wasn't stupid - she knew the best way to pretend she didn't do anything was to just act as if nothing had happened. She may not be the social chameleon that Fiora was, but she had learned enough to remain stoic and impassive in most situations that mattered.

------

The Sultan watched Dima as he spoke like an eager child would watch her mother when being assured that there were no monsters in the closet. He seemed visibly comforted by the fact that Dima had his precious treasures in his sights, that at first he missed the insinuation.

As he nodded, leaning back in the chair, he thought about Dima's need for power. His and got slower, and his eyebrows raised and he leaned forward quickly again in delight, still grasping Dima's hands. "My dear Magus, I may have the answer you seek! As you know I have a great many wonders.... Perhaps something in my vault would be able to assist you in this noble undertaking?"
-------

Raka scowled even deeper at Boil when he started showboating his lizard killing skills. He stood there, bland-faced and unimpressed as the Goblin battled with the much larger lizard before him. Let him struggle, nasty little turd. He was actually enjoying the show when Walker showed up. When Boil scampered off to hide with a hiss, Raka let out a chuckle.

Walker's challenge was accepted gladly. Raka hissed out towards Boil, "This is how you deal with shadows." He dropped the end of his chain and pulled his Scimitar out, holding the blade in his left while dragging the chain in his right. With a snarl, Raka sprinted across the sands towards Walker. His Scimitar was held close in to defend and He whirled the chain up and around towards Walker.

---------

Jade and Mid'gha finished the seasoning part of their meal, and they then allowed the meal to simmer in the pot over the low flame.

When Mid'gha got up to take a brief walk around the camp, Shara and Jade took turns brushing out and wrapping or braiding each other's hair. As Jade painstakingly wove Shara's unruly curls, she asked, "Shara... I think you and Raka are absolutely adorable. No, stop blushing. I think you're good for him. He actually smiles sometimes, I see it you know. You might not, I think he tries to make sure you aren't looking but he does!"

Shara giggled. "Well I think you should say something to Walker. With how he looks at you I think he could use a little chat."

Jade stammered, "What? No, he doesn't... I never...

"They're more alike then they think. Neither wants to show us how they feel."

They shared a shy sort of secret chuckle, and when they finished up Mid'gha had returned. For a few minutes afterwards, Jade took to the sky to stretch her wings out. She did not fly far, or too high just in case, but it still felt good to get wind under her wings. She also took the opportunity to keep her eyes out for trouble... and to think.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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January 21st, 2016, 3:07 am #6

Walker hooted and dove into a roll to descend the hill. The ground erupted in clouds of sand where the chain links thudded into the ground, but the shadow evaded them. He churned up his own cloud of dust and quickly jumped through the shadows to gain a new angle on Raka.

He came out just behind Raka's left shoulder, he flipped up his kamas for his attack when the air was filled by shrieks from Boil. The goblin was jumping up and down and pointing at Walker.

Boil: There! Hothead, there!

Walker cursed the goblin under his breath and simply charged at Raka. He couldn't help but smile, the rushing, chilled air of the night was cooling and he could almost forget he wasn't constantly being pursued.
*****
The magus was growing weary of his act of attention and sympathy for the Sultan until the vault was mentioned. Then he listened very carefully.

Dima: I'm certain I can make some use out of the many treasures in your vast vault - The spoils of your several war victories. I've heard whispers that you possess a djinn vessel in your possession. If this were to be true, a moment with a creature like that would certainly guarantee me complete victory.
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Oru
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January 21st, 2016, 3:20 am #7

Raka sent out a furious swarm of chain attacks, eventually dropping the scimitar entirely in favor of a double handed grip on the length of chain. As the sand settled, he kept his ears peeled - and was rewarded by the hooting of the goblin. He let out a bark - which may or may not have been an actual laugh - and turned with a flourish to face the charging shadow. He roped out a length of the chain before him in a semi circle, and then started to slowly spin the other end.

He knew Walker would deflect the chain Raka was spinning, but he hoped to yank the chain in the sand up underneath his friend's feet. His face was quirked upwards in a grin -an actual grin - and he moved smoothly to meet Walker on the sands.

---
The sultan listened with rapt attention to Dima and his face split into a relieved smile. "Oh my dear Magus! That is true, it was acquired by a lesser duke and I chose it as a tithe three seasons ago during my birthfeast. Come come." He rose to his feet and immediately his attendants were at his side and he swept down the hall towards a heavily guarded vault. He took a key from the folds of his robes and turned it in several locks in some sort of pattern. The great gilded doors opened soundlessly to reveal a vast, lavish space, filled with shining artifacts.

With ignorant haste, the Sultan ushered Dima into the vault and wove his way to a marble pedestal near the center. Perched on top was a golden oil lamp with strange, otherworldly inscriptions.

The Sultan stood there happily, as if he was showing his parents an excellent grade from school.

"I am very excited to see this, Magus!

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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January 25th, 2016, 10:16 pm #8

Boil shied away from the boisterous weapon play. He watched them as any opportunist would, the first thing immediately identified was he was no match for either of them, not in his wildest dreams. The shadow moved as if floating on air, it was broken and confusing to the goblin. Coming from too many places at once. Raka he could follow but it wouldn't help. He was the master of his area, keeping the chain lashing to push Walker back.

It didn't help Boil's nerves that both men seemed to be envying themselves. Soon, he noticed he wasn't the only spectator as a pair of black eyes poked through the sand surface. Boil lifted a stone the half the size of his palm and got used to the weight with a few test lobs.
*****
Walker caught a lucky break when one tusk caught inside of a chain link, he pulled the line taught and hooked his other tusk into the now immobile chain, with a spin, he pulled hard trying to take Raka off balance.

Scorpio wakened sluggishly, but again it was fooled by the rush of excitement and not the chill of a fight for survival. There was no need for it here, it began withdrawing back into dormancy when a passing image came to it.

It wasn't needed now, but it would be very soon. It would be ready.
******
The struggle not to grin was real for Dima. Now, he only had to get rid of the foolish sultan and all would be sent. He went so far as to take the man's hand and place a dry whisper of his lips to a knuckle.

Dima: Respectfully, I must ask you to refrain from staying with me. Djinnis are tricky and should you actually have an Ifrit instead, well it would be best if I be the only one to get harmed. But surely, time is wasting, lead me, sire.
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Oru
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January 27th, 2016, 2:29 pm #9

The Sultan gently lifted the ornate oil lamp from its perch and hend it out to Dima with all due reverence. He stood there dumbfounded for a moment when Dima took it from his hands and then he clapped brusquely, dismissing his guards. They waited patiently for him just outside the door. The sultan clapped boyishly in excitement. "Please tell me all about it when you emerge, Magus. I shall be waiting for you in my solarium."

With that, the Sultan turned and was gone. Attendants closed the doors behind him and Dima was left alone with the lamp.
-------

Raka felt the chain go taut and smiled. He pulled just enough for it to be tightly clenched, and then when Walker yanked with his other tusk weapon, Raka rushed forward with the momentum, rolling to the opposite side and taking the chain with him, hoping that the momentous backlash would trip Walker by surprise.

Walker was a very capable fighter, and sparring with him had been the best practice Raka had ever received. Not only did it test his limits, what with being able to hide so adeptly, and with how nimble he was, but he wasn't being beat to hell every time he messed up.

He was even enjoying himself.
------

Jade excused herself with an anxious fidget from the soup-crafting lessons. Shara gave her a knowing smile and took up the burden of Mid'gha's gentle teachings. (Yet firm, very firm. Mid'gha was a perfectionist in her everyday. it was as exhausting as it was admirable.)

Jade heard the clanging of Walker and Raka's sparring and grinned. As she did, she took off at a sprint over the dunes and threw herself off one of the rolling hillocks of sand, throwing her wings wide so the dry breeze could lift her up.

Her muscles were overjoyed at the exercise, and she sighed long into the air as she rose into the sky. And not only was this good exercise - but she could scout the area too! It was best to do it around this time of day, close to sunset. Twilight as difficult for humans (And Jamata, naturally) to see things flying in the sky.)

As she wheeled about, lost in her thoughts, something caught her eye. She took a slow loop around a particular outcropping of rock and gasped in surprise before hurriedly wheeling around to return to camp.

Shout out to all those players I miss, and the new friends I make.
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Gigantor
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Gigantor
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February 9th, 2016, 4:56 am #10

Edgar refused to give up the chase. They spent several days fighting off bandits while making forays into tunnels but to no avail. With every extra moment spent on the sands was more time for injuries, casualties, and stress on their meager supplies.

In time, Edgar admitted defeat to his lieutenants and led his soldiers to an outpost to lick their wounds.

He was pacing inside his room at the inn a few streets from the bazaar. For the tenth time that day he nearly grabbed his gear to ride off in the desert alone to keep searching. His anger and impatience was close to grabbing hold of his senses but so far had managed to stay put. The time at the outpost had been good for Edgar as well, though his skin still bore some scars he was mostly recuperated.

Jacintha was in the next room. She had been oddly quiet throughout their extensive search of the desert but she made no outward appearance of annoyance over a failed mission. He knew that woman and knew that if she ever failed a mission she would be making a bigger racket than he himself did. Likely, she'd still have them out in the desert.

There was little Edgar could do. His men needed the rest time and he needed the time to devise his own plan. He sat at the small table in his room and drew out a map of the sands.

Where should they look next?
*****
The sparring match continued with Walker and Raka dancing around strikes and ducking swings. Their weapons clashed together but not a single wound was shed. Unless you counted the times when Walker and Raka would kick the other in the rump whenever an opening was revealed. Raka's skills had improved so quickly that Walker found a true opponent in the wielder of flame.

Walker lowered his weapons and pointed to the darkening sky as Jade flew passed them.

Walker: Appears she has some news to share. We'll pick this fight up later.

Walker quickly began swatting at his clothes to free the dust as he approached their small campfire. He could smell soup bubbling that made his mouth water.

When he met up with Jade, he gave her a questioning eyebrow raise.
*****
Boil lost track of the lizard then forgot about it completely when the winged woman flew above them. He ducked behind some rocks, at first thinking it was a roc or a condor, but then poked his head out when it was clear.

Now that the men were done fighting -more because Walker was leaving- Boil came out from the rocks to stand near Raka. He gave them man a grunt then pulled a lizard from his bag and began gutting it.
******
Dima waved to the Sultan as he left the vault. With the fat man gone, the magus turned his attention on the golden lamp resting on a mantle of marble with the top carved to look like a cloud so the item looked like it was floating.

Before touching the item he held his hands above it and whispered some words of power. Lines of power descended from his fingertips and wrapped the lantern like a falling spider web, the strands settled on the metal and glowed a crimson red before fading to black. Then, and only then, did Dima lift the lamp into his hands. He turned it around until he found what he was looking for; around the base were the symbols of magic used to contain the creature. In those tiny scrawled symbols, Dima was able to discern the details he needed; and as he thought, the lamp contained an Ifrit.

He gave it a rub with his hand. Smoke blew out of the spout, first white then turning green. The smoke swirled around the room like a giant serpent until a body started to take form. Dima waited patiently until the creature took its full form and floated down to stand face to face with the magus.

The creature was the size of a man, with a bald pate, long pointed ears, and a black goatee that curled at the bottom. All in all, the appearance was a bit of a disappointment for the Magus. It was hardly frightening. The Ifrit flashed Dima a charming smile.

Ifrit: Well, this is a surprise. You're not the one I'm suppose to kill.

Dima: You must be referring to the Sultan. Yes, well, you may still get your chance but only so long as you do my bidding.

The Ifrit looked at the lamp, saw the magic webbing enveloping the lantern and sighed.

Ifrit: You are clearly a man who's studied up first. You may have cast wards to protect yourself, but there's no reason for me to help you. So if you would, I'd like to return to my domain and wait for my intended prey so that I can get my freedom.

Dima held up his ringed hand and uttered a word.

Dima: Daedalus.

The Ifrit screamed as shackles of pure energy appeared and clasped around his wrists, a collar winked into existence a moment later to clamp around his neck.

Ifrit: With possession of my true name, I must do as you bid.

His voice was angry and dripping with hate, but he bowed obeissant and waited for his orders.

Dima: I need information. A simple task for a being such as yourself.

Daedalus didn't respond, he only fixed the man was a stare.

Dima: I need zodiac stones.

(Jess, I'll try and send you a picture of Daedalus that I drew up a while ago.)
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