Dressed in his dusty traveling cloak, Durston made his way towards the front gates of the Cleric’s Temple; the sky beginning to blush from Solvaris’s morning kiss of first light. Dawn had quickly approached since orders were given the day before, permitting Timothy little time to ensure everything required for the journey. It was only due to him recently being relieved of his duties traveling the realm that he still had his personal gear and garments, which would make the trip a bit more comfortable. A brief shiver of empathy for his fellow recruits passed through him at the thought of having standard issue equipment; items so generic to fit just anyone, that the reality ended up having the opposite affect.
Being raised amongst the elite, his father being one of the high ranking lords in the realm, Timothy made it a point to arrive several minutes after the start of dawn. It was important to let Abstractor Kireek know exactly who Timothy Durston was, and that was someone who chose to attend this expedition, and not someone he actually was able to order to do so. And if Abstrator Kireek thought otherwise, well Durston was prepared.
The horses were gathered nearby, and Timothy was pleased to see his sturdy fox-trotter, a gelding he named Trax, saddled and tacked. Giving a glance at his new companions, Durston disappointingly noted Estel Ell and Kireek too occupied arguing to witness his purposeful defiance.
Putting on an air of disinterest, Timothy made his way to Trax, giving the gelding a gentle and comforting pat. Catching Claire’s eye, he nodding toward the commotion. “So what’s the deal with the hold-up?”
“Disagreement on what constitutes as necessities.” With an impartial shrug Claire turned back to her own horse, continuing her task of arrange the contents of her saddle-bags.
“Seems you weren’t the only one that decided that they needed to prove themselves as someone in a position of authority.” The scholar, Reevan, passed a sly look over the younger man. “Cleric Ell has thought to push the need of her parasol and cosmetics.”
Heat crept its way across Durston, both with anger and embarrassment, at the implied demonstration of being from a position of privilege. “A few minutes late is hardly what I’d call being insolence, and unlikely to show someone of Abstractor Kireek that I am anyone of importance. No, I will prove myself in the deeds done while on this mission and dealing with the heretics and not by showing disobedience over my duty to the realm.”
A knowing smirk lifted one corner of Reevan’s lips. “How quickly the lord’s son changes tact. I do applaud your guile.”
Timothy was saved from having to defend himself further, as Kireek dismissed Cleric Ell’s indignation and acknowledged them. “Good, you’re all finally here. I suppose the education received no longer includes the basics of telling time, or the manners in which should be exercised when dealing with those of authority. But enough dawdling, mount up.”
Estel Ell made as if to pick-up her discarded items recently being disputed over when Kireek decided to reminded everyone who was truly in charge. “And if I see, madam, any one of those items I just deemed unfitting, you may consider them your replacement gear. That means instead of a bedroll, you will have that flimsy contraption, and your warmth at night shall be the make-up you insist on having cover you up. Though I personally would recommend pulling the hood of your cloak over your head, for it shall serve every purpose of those items. Hiding your face from the light as well as the wrinkles beneath from being seen.”
An awkward silence settled upon the party as they twisted their way through the capital and into the surrounding countryside; Estel staring venomously at their commander’s back. It wasn’t until lunch time that Abstractor Kireek cleared his throat, breaking the discomforting quiet atmosphere.
“I realize you all may feel slighted by my dismissal of the briefing arranged yesterday with the High Council, and therefore feel the need to acquired a certain ascendancy over me. However, let me inform you now, that the time allocated to prepare for the journey would not have changed. Because of me you were able to manage your personal affairs for your unforeseen absence, and assemble that of which you need. The insight you were neglected to be told by the council is no different than that which I will share with you now. So in postponing that which you do so rightful deserve to know, nothing was lost but much was gained; time, and secrecy from those who may have spied the knowledge shared.
Timothy kept his face hidden behind his mid-day fare, glancing at Kireek and his companions from his peripheral vision. The Abstractor had his complete attention, but his father always cautioned direct eye contact when dealing with the unknown. Cleric Ell waved an impatient hand, encouraging Kireek to continue, as if bored.
“I know none of you have military backgrounds, or even contemplated a career path as an Abstractor, and though not all are psionics, they are the best and most desirable. Hence why you three were chosen. The situation in Cyphorica is one unique to our modern times. Distance from the capital has allowed them to organize and hide a secret gang of magic casters for an extended period of time, granting them the ability to grow in numbers and skill.”
Estel Ell folded her arms defensively, interrupting with a humph of annoyance. “I am a caster of charms and illusions. There is no way my smoke and mirrors will subdue your rebels. Especially if they are trained casters.”
Nodding in agreeance, Claire faced Kireerk. “My specialties lay in hypnosis, and though I can understand how both Cleric Ell’s and my craft may seem worthy in taking control of a rogue group of casters, I fear our skills are limited to only potentially affecting a few at any given time.”
“Yes, I understand the confusion. Though psionics don’t delve in the physical magic, such as those of a pyromancer or electromancer, our talent is especially powerful because it effects the direct source of all casters. The mind. Abstractors are trained casters with the ability to follow the residual streams of casted magic to its origin. All clerics can be trained in this, though as with any ability, some are more sensitive than others and therefore better suited. However, only psionics can excavate the taint within those unfit to control such a gift.”
Timothy felt a jolt of power pulse across his nerves; the knowledge of what an Abstractor could do terrifying and pleasant. Only giving a brief peek at Kireek, not wanting to show how much the thought excited him, Durston pressed the most obvious question they all had.”So, anyone that’s a psionic could potentially disarm someone from using magic?”