And Salt Winds is (provisionally) finished as well! I’m doing well tonight.
Have a beginning as an apology for the continuous blog posts from tonight…
The Council room felt cold, even with the sunshine streaming in. Obak had taken his assigned position in the centre of the half-circle, staring straight ahead at the carved wooden walls, and now waited for the Mages sitting before him to speak.
It was Wyverex, old and dry, who broke the silence. “Mage Obak, Second Level Fire. You have been asked to come before us today due to your dismissal from a service position. To remind the Council of this,” Wyverex laid his hands in his lap, the richly-embroidered sleeves of his robe glinting in the light, “you may remember that in furtherance of my own studies, I requested that an Archivist by the name of Catter Jeck take on a quest for me. He was to investigate the possible locations of Treloolir, the Centre of Magic, and if possible find this location.”
“Why a layman?” Albeso broke in irritably.
“I am sure that you are well aware of the dangers of using too much magic, Albeso.” Wyverex said. “One of the potential dangers of Treloolir is that it has multiple lines. A non-Mage would not suffer the backlash issues.”
“But would not be able to feel the lines.” Albeso countered.
“The quest is more to do with research and study than physical magic.” Wyverex said dryly. “Anyway, his current destination is Meton. I am sure that Lord Heir Toru Idalin will not miss a chance to be involved in something interesting.”
Albeso gave a humph, and sat back again. Wyverex turned his attention back to Obak, still standing in the centre of the room. “Mage Obak, you are one of our best scholars. Your work has been exemplary, and you have greatly extended our knowledge of my myths surrounding Treloolir and our understanding of the lines. It is for this reason that I requested you place your current studies on hold, and travel with Archivist Jeck in his search to provide him with expert assistance on the first part of his journey. You agreed to this?”
“I did.” Obak said shortly.
“And yet, five days after you left Taderah with Archivist Jeck and Dirr Meerla, you have returned.”
“It was not my choice.” The Dirr’s voice, so smooth and calm, flashed through his head. Mage Obak, your services are no longer required. I advise that you return to Taderah. I will report this situation. He winced.
“So I understand.” Wyverex said dryly. “We have had a report from Dirr Meerla. You had a…difference of opinion with Archivist Jeck?”
– arrogant, puffed-up idiot! If you’d take even a moment to listen, you’d know that you’re not telling me anything useful. I know all of this already!
“He was of the opinion that he knew everything already.”
You’re only following your own agenda! Have you even heard anything I’ve just said? Have you even read half the texts? Just because you think you’re right does not mean that I do!
“And there were…personal issues as well?” Wyverex asked.
Of all the stuck-up, obnoxious Mages that I’ve met, you have to be the worst. I despise you! Just go away!
“He disliked me. I did my best to be polite.”
“I warned you about your arrogance before you went, Obak.” Wyverex said, sounding annoyed. “Catter Jeck is not an idiot, and is not a fool. He is an incredibly competent researcher and archivist, and it was stressed that you were there to assist him. And yet Dirr Meerla’s report is a list of your attempts to take over the quest, to steer the research onto irrelevant sidelines, your constant complaints at Catter’s perceived lack of deference to you, complaints about the travel, a continued arrogance with everyone you met that made interacting at every location far harder than it needed to be, and your inability to take any sort of criticism or to accept another point of view – how do you answer any of that?”
Obak’s temper exploded. “You sent me because I am the best scholar on the subject! He refused to listen to any information, refused to even consider changing his ideas, and would not listen to anything I said! He was rude, lacked any kind of respect, and is the most thoroughly obnoxious person I have ever encountered!”
“Catter Jeck? Obnoxious?”Hitert said from the far side of the room. “I have worked with him on a number of studies, and I have never known him to be anything but polite and courteous. He has worked with a number of my students, too, and I have never heard anything but good. Whereas you, Mage Obak, are known to have flaws when you interact with others. This may be a case of your word against his, but I would be inclined to believe in the professionalism of a Dirr, and the integrity of an Archivist.”
Obak was obviously steaming with anger, his fists balled inside his sleeves. “You should have given me the assignment. I’m the expert! I’m the one that has done all the research and written all the papers. I should have gone! And instead I was sent as an assistant, to help someone else get all the credit for using my work!”
“Archivist Jeck is a well-known researcher in his own right.” Hitert said coldly. “If anything, you would be taking his credit.”
“He doesn’t know anything. He hasn’t studied the texts, he’s written nothing!” Obak snapped.
“Nothing you’ve read, by the sounds of things.” Hitert snapped back. “He’s actually written some very interesting papers. You would do well to not dismiss him simply because he is not a Mage.”
Wyverex sighed. “Enough! Mage Obak, I cannot ignore the previous evidence of your conduct, and I cannot ignore a Dirr report. As your supervisor, I am recording an official reprimand. You lacked respect, courtesy and professionalism on an assignment, and this will be considered when we are considering future assignments. You may return to your studies.”