Visionary Tales
If this is your first visit to the New VT, you'll need to create a new account. Visit the archive to view posts from Old VT.Archive site available at http://archive.visionary-tales.com

Agartha (w/readlliea) (m)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Cow Borg

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 10
    • Karma: +0/-0
  • Unprofessional Excuse Generator
    • View Profile
If there was one thing Jade Elantra couldn’t stand, it was heights. Why she was so terrified, why she suffered such terrible vertigo when facing a vast well of empty space, was beyond her. Perhaps archaeology was not the best career choice for her, then; after all, her current project - her first successful discovery that might actually be worth something - happened to be resting half-buried, half-drowned, and half-forgotten in a massive cavern with a bottomless pit just a few hundred meters from where she now stood. Thankfully, most of the city whose topmost ruins lay before her were embedded in millions of tons of solid rock.

Her initial surveillance of the site had been extremely promising. The place looked almost to be bigger than the cavern that housed it, and if she was right, this was something truly extraordinary - an entire kingdom’s remains in one location: Agartha. The very existence of the city had always been debatable, even after Alexandre Saint-Yves had first written about the place. It was perhaps ironic that it was supposed to be a kind of paradisal Christian kingdom built in the Earth’s core, a city where the Ten Commandments set down by Moses himself (under the direction of God, of course) could be upheld in their strictest sense. It was said to be a reward for people who were truly devout.

Her studies had led her here. Even if this wasn’t Agartha, it was an incredible find - and, unsurprisingly, heavily protected by magic. The outer defenses had been transfiguration-based curses that she could easily counter the moment they were enacted, her quick wand-work preventing the creeping curses from taking hold. Most likely, it had been a way to scare the hell out of muggles and get rid of them at the same time; only a witch or wizard could have gotten through them, and only someone well-versed in transfiguration and curses in general could have survived. She might not be much one for charms, but she sure as hell knew her curses.

That wasn’t to say she could cast just anything, either. Really, the bulk of what she knew had come from her bullies at Hogwarts. It was utterly satisfying to see the horror on their faces when they were the ones with their backs and limbs stretching almost to the breaking point instead of her own. They had gotten what they deserved now, of course. Two of them were dead, and one of them was in Azkaban for it. Jade took a strong but grim satisfaction from that.

Of course, there was no evidence to suggest anything other than that the ruthless bastard had murdered his two best friends…for some reason. He had claimed a badger had killed them and then a wizard had attacked him, but there had been no sign of any such wizard or badger. Apparently only a handful of animagi existed in the British wizarding world, and none of them were registered as badgers. How could anyone believe someone who hadn’t actually seen the wizard in question, anyway? Attacking from the shadows had its advantages, it seemed - as did ripping out two people’s throats and having it blamed on a third.

The immorality (or perhaps amorality) of it was something Jade was still debating in her head, and she would probably continue to do so for some time. She had an entire thick diary devoted to her philosophical meanderings, pondering the definitions of evil and the applications of societal ethics versus established moral ideals. Was she truly evil? Or were they? Had her suffering at their hands justified her retaliatory actions against them? One might say she had gone to extremes that no one could accept outside of madness or evil. Then again…was madness a form of evil? Or was evil a form of madness?

Physically, what it boiled down to was that she had settled an old score. This had freed her up to truly focus her mind on her work, yet she had delved back into the philosophical nature of things the moment she had returned to her home. Her diary was an excellent place to store such thoughts, however, allowing her to express them to herself and no one else. With that done, she had cleaned herself up and sent out the notice for assistance.

The nature of this place was clearly magical and well-protected. It was very likely that transfigurative curses were not the only forms of magic shielding this place from detection or from the outside world. The fact that the outside world happened to be accessible through a complex network of tunnels, caves, and underground rivers leading nearly two hundred miles beneath one of the lower Himalayan peaks only helped to conceal its existence. A mix of arithmantic predictions based on both muggle and magical history and fables had led her here, but she had spent a full two months searching before she was ready to give up.

Then she had stumbled on this.

Her cautious exploration had really been her getting lost but being smart enough to mark her trail. There was a lot of rubble to move here, and while she could handle some of it with transfiguration, a bit of actual muscle would be needed. Charm work wasn’t her strong suit, so she needed someone who had adequate aptitude for them. The places she went were dangerous even without magic, often difficult to get to, and rarely met the standards of comfort generally accepted by surface-dwelling witches and wizards who were used to doing everything with their wands.

Edgar had responded not long after Jade had made the posting. There were bulletin boards in a lot of places throughout the wizarding world - taverns and inns such as the Leaky Cauldron in London or the Three Broomsticks and Hog’s Head in Hogsmeade, owl post offices, and various town squares and other public places. A few galleons paid to the owl post had put up the notices where they would be seen. Edgar was a wizard that was built only a little bigger than Jade herself. While her own muscle was well-toned from swimming, a hobby she found at times invigorating or relaxing, she was not a particularly large woman; neither was Edgar a particularly large man, but his muscle was definitely better-defined than Jade’s own. He would do for the heavy lifting, allowing her to focus on the research.

Her own well-tended black hair was pulled into its usual high-tail braid, and it swung around a bit as she looked over at her dark-haired companion and pulled a bottle of water from her lips. Unlike her own straight locks, his were curly and much shorter. He had a dark look to him, but then, so did Jade; their dark clothing didn’t help matters. The air here was odd, very cool in general but with the occasional warm draft or breeze from somewhere else, and either her own attire or his would have been acceptable. His long coat covered most of him. Jade, on the other hand, was dressed in a form-fitting black tank top and matching denim cut-offs, the mid-rise ones that were supposed to emphasize her features. She liked form-fitting clothing; loose clothing was too…loose. It made her feel like everything was going to spill out somewhere. At least they were both wearing boots, though.

Boots were a necessary piece of equipment for this kind of work. Her own stopped just shy of the knee, allowing her to walk in shallow water or less savory things with relative ease, and the steel toes protected her feet as much as the inherent hardening enchantment of the leather did; the insides were kept soft and cool by a separate pair of enchantments, and they sealed themselves to her skin rather well without hindering her or being uncomfortable. In short, they were perfect for wading through a long-abandoned legendary city most people didn’t know actually existed.

“Their church seems to be the largest building,” she said to Edgar, the vast emptiness of the cavern deadening her voice somewhat and making her sound…not British. “Probably a good place to start.”

She capped the bottle and dropped it into the green tote bag at her feet. Looking out at the sprawl before her, she could see perhaps a half-dozen houses that were almost completely uncovered but filled and burdened with debris and rubble. Beyond that lay a surprisingly intact and unmarred steeple of what had to be a very large church; considering the nature of the city, that was probably the main feature of this part of the city. The chasm in the distance off to her left, of course, likely held the bulk of the city itself. If this truly was a small kingdom, there were probably thousands of buildings buried beneath her. The cloak and warm outer garments she had worn due to the exterior location were pushed to one side in the tote bag, the inside of which was of course much larger than the outside. The only thing that concerned her now as she bent over, however, was the pair of dragonhide gloves that she had possessed since her first year. Her mother had adjusted them as her hands grew; in fact, she had adjusted all of her clothes as she grew. Why waste precious galleons on new clothing that one didn’t need? Unlike her father, her mother had always been the practical sort. She still missed him, but she couldn’t deny he had been the source of her lack of organizational skills. Her mother had been more of a stabilizing influence on the family than she’d realized growing up.

She donned her gloves and picked up the bag. Drawing her wand with her left hand, she lit the tip and turned to her assistant once more.

“Shall we get started?”
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 02:25:05 PM by Cow Borg »


Offline readlliea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 828
    • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
This wasn't exactly something Edgar saw himself doing at any point in his life. Heights never bothered him. He could recall staring out the large towers of Hogwarts as a lad, the sheer drop from any of those windows would spell death for anyone who stupidly leaned out too far and fell. Edgar never learned forward enough to do that but he would always look down to see if he could gauge how far the drop truly was. Sometimes he ran his own experiments by dropping something soft and harmless. Attempting to find it later on; rarely could he ever find it.  His hands gripped the stone around him as he followed Jade, his brown gaze focusing on where she went before he allowed his gaze to look down the deep drop.

Wanting to find ruins was never a thing he wanted to do. At one point as a little boy, maybe he wanted to do that.But he quickly grew out of that when he learned about magic and that he could use it.  The main reason for him joining the lass on this little journey was more of a desire to grab potion ingredients that were more expensive for him to buy. Running your own potion shop required you to have suppliers for your ingredients and even then, some things weren't cheap. You could make deals and barter but that only worked so often and for certain ones at that. You weren't the only one buying those ingredients after all, not the only shop. Course, Adgar made the potions to sell and not the ingredients themselves. So going out to try and collect his own ingredients from time to time, wasn't a illogical leap.

Course, it didn't help that there were times that he had to isolate in nature anyway. Full moon nights were the bane of his existence. Thankfully, his lycanthropy didn't become a thing until after his time in Hogwarts, thus he didn't have to deal with trying to hide from staff and other students. It just sucked that it happened so close to his own home out near the woods...he inherited the family house, and he loved it out there. Now those woods only made him uneasy. How many times did he almost get attacked out there growing up? Was his parents ever in any danger or his siblings? There were no wards or anything on the house growing up; mainly cause the people he deemed his parents, were muggles. Now, they weren't biological parents but they were related to his actual family. His wizarding parents just seemed to think it was best to ship their son off to live with muggles without a explanation or reasoning. Edgar could vaguely recall them...tall and imposing, they always seemed to have something on their minds...distant. They weren't real parents, so the muggles he was raised by was what Edgar viewed as his parents. He was a full blooded wizard, pure magical heritage. But he never acted it.

Accepting this job was only done through careful planning. Gauging the possible length of the journey and making sure no full moons fell into the time frame. Thankfully it seemed that he was in the clear to do this. He did know charms and was good with them. His main skill set though was his potion making. Something he did say could come in handy. Having prepared potions on his person did mean that some of the things in his bag were fragile and a single misstep would prove disastrous. Course under his long coat, he had potions stored there as well. Those were the ones fully prepared and the ones he thought would prove the most needed right away on this. The curses that were on this area were interesting but he had no skill in the transfiguration side of things. Good thing Jane was.

His short hair was mostly out of his way, save for the few times the strands attempting to curl ends tried to wrap around his face like little vines. For the most part he ignored them until they came to a stop on a stable ledge. Pausing in his movements as Jane started to drink from her canteen, Edgar proceeded to push the hairs away that were trying cling to his face. He did have some scruff to the lower half of his face, though he didn't care about it. The darn stuff grew back so fast it was just a headache to try an get rid of it.

"Makes sense. After all the church is often the thing viewed as close to god as it can be, so it's often taller than most other buildings. It looks surprisingly intact judging by the tower bit." Edgar answered, raising a thick brow.

A small nod left him as he reached into his pocket. Feeling his wand resting in there and thus, he pulled it out as well. The tip glowed gently alongside Jane's and after a few moments of looking at the dark abyss they were going to have to contend with, he let out a small sigh.

"Yep. Even with all the daylight left, no sense in just wasting time." Edgar agreed, proccedding to follow Jane.

While curses and transfiguration spells were easy to deal with, they didn't know what else was lurking here. While wizarding or muggle life wasn't down in that kingdom. That didn't mean wild life wasn't thriving...or that some magical creature could be lurking down there. This place was big enough to house a dragon in his mind or heck maybe more than one! Or it could hold hundreds of dangerous little gremlins that devoured anything that got down here. Needless to say, Edgar's stronger senses were on high alert.

One of the good things about his lycanthropy, his senses were stronger. His ears picked up the slightest of sound, his nose could help him identify various things, his eyesight worked very well, and the physical enhancements wasn't bad. The latter though was a bit of a pain since, he had broken doors a couple of times and mundane items.



Offline Cow Borg

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 10
    • Karma: +0/-0
  • Unprofessional Excuse Generator
    • View Profile
Daylight…well, perhaps it was a habitual turn of phrase. So far from actual daylight - and the bone-shattering cold, thin air, and precarious mountainside - time would probably be difficult to judge. Regardless, the initial survey was a slow process. Jade mainly busied herself with a careful examination of the entire site that they could see on the broad expanse of stone and rubble upon which they stood. Her notes were painstaking, and she learned almost immediately that she was right about the church having been a place of immense importance. This was supposed to be a “holy” city, after all. Was it ironic that a witch and wizard were now studying a place where Christianity was supposed to reign supreme? Was it blasphemy that they were now picking apart such a legendary site devoted to a supreme being who, according to his holy texts, despised witchcraft? Christian crusaders had been the main reason the wizarding world had become so secretive, after all. So…probably; but Jade couldn’t have cared less, especially since she firmly believed that muggles had the wrong idea about this place entirely.

She was not wrong. Between her note-taking, starting with what was apparently the church’s bell tower (no longer possessed of a bell, at least not hanging where it should be) as a centre point, constant checks had to be made by both her and Edgar as to the nature of potential traps, pitfalls, and other dangers posed by magic. There were…quite a few. The church had been heavily protected, but between the pair of them, quite a few of those protections were stripped; Edgar did far more than she did, as many were powerful charms, but there were a handful of curses and several transfiguratory traps that she was better prepared to deal with due to her studies.

The examination itself took several hours. Of particular note were more than a dozen different kinds of magical fungus and many more mundane plants, most of which were dead or barely surviving; Jade’s theory was that the magic inherent in the protections of the city had caused magical plants to flourish, yet over time, the excess magical exposure also caused them to grow weaker and possibly lose their potency in potion-making. Even so, they could still be useful. There was also evidence of infrequent animal presence, and more than a few different worms and spiders and other bugs were scattered from their nests by the pair. The most interesting thing was perhaps the half-dozen bundimun that were found in the bell tower itself, which had to be handled carefully; scouring charms could certainly have cleared them away, but the secretions were quite useful. With Edgar’s help, Jade managed to capture and store them without damaging them; extracting their internal fluids was a simple matter for someone skilled in Herbology and the care of magical creatures, and Jade promised a share of the ingredients here - including a stock of secretions from the bundimun - as part of Edgar’s pay if he so desired.

Unfortunately, the bell tower had quite a bit of damage to it from the many centuries of existence in this underground place. Left alone, Jade figured it could stand for another fifty or a hundred years - but that was without magic. Even stripping the protections as carefully as they could, some of the plaster and a few bricks were lost, but the groaning and shifting of the structure as they began to dig out the exterior of it was as much complaint as they got. Jade had designated a spot to begin piling the rubble off to one side once they had determined that there was nothing in that area, which wasn’t difficult between the two of them, and now they had apparently uncovered most of the tower. A few mending charms from Jade - one of the few charms she could perform without a problem - thankfully put some of the more complete sections of stairs and platforms back in order in the tower. That would make study much easier.

When they finally broke for an early-afternoon lunch, Jade gave their work a final look before pulling out what she had brought to eat. This was only the first day of the dig, and she would not be staying here but could return very quickly; she would have Edgar help her put up their own defenses when they left for the night so that the dig site would not be disturbed. Other than herself, at present, Edgar was the only one who even knew where the dig site was. She was putting a lot of trust in him, but she supposed one had to trust others at some point.

“Could not have gotten this much done without you,” she told him as she ate. “Of course, this is not going to be a quick job; uncovering this place fully could take months. I’ll understand if you can’t stay for the whole project. I can always try to find someone else to replace you if you have to leave at some point. But your aid is most definitely appreciated.”
« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 02:35:30 PM by Cow Borg »


Offline readlliea

  • Hero Member
  • *****
    • Posts: 828
    • Karma: +3/-0
    • View Profile
While Jane may had found it ironic or funny that they were unearthing a Christrian place, Edgar couldn't care less. Views change over time, the world moves on. Witches and Wizards were alive and thriving despite secrecy. If they wanted, they could live in both worlds. Some did but Edgar found most pure bloods and stuff, didn't socialize with muggles. Course...like how time changes things, some people were just stuck in their ways and wouldn't change.  In the end, did it matter what the past thought? Shouldn't they focus on the future?

The presence of the magical herbs was certainly a welcome sight. Even with the possibility of them not being as high grade, Edgar didn't care. It was potential inventory and he'd just have to be more careful when mixing them into any potions as well as making sure that the potion still functioned properly before selling.

Thankfully their arrival to the bottom wasn't inhibited by anything. Listening to the old building groan due to the spells that was protecting this place having been removed, it was starting to feel the effects of non altered gravity for the first time.

"Rather weird that it's guarded by magic..." Edgar remarked as he put his bag down.

With that, he set to work on helping move rubble around. It was a effortless task for him but, he did his best to not make it look effortless. It was mostly quiet save for the sounds of the two working and the creaking of the place. It felt...strange to be here. The loneliness and the dark corners when you looked away from the spot you were focused on. It felt....it felt almost like trespassing despite no one else here, the only thing living here was magical plants and some creatures; mainly the infestation variety.

"Happy to help, it's so far been mutually beneficial." Edgar replied as he wiped the dust off his hands. "Well, there will be times I..can't be here. I'm good for the rest of this month. I'll just need to confirm some things for how next month will go if this project dives into a second month. Which it very well could."

Taking a seat, he let out a sigh. Trying to relax as he did feel some of the discomfort from moving all that stuff. After a moment, he did reach into his bag and pulled out his own lunch.

"What are you gonna do with this place once you're done exploring it?" Edgar asked curiously. "It's a vast place. I wonder if the Ministry might try something stupid."


Offline Cow Borg

  • Newbie
  • *
    • Posts: 10
    • Karma: +0/-0
  • Unprofessional Excuse Generator
    • View Profile
Jade gave him a flat look.

“It’s the Ministry,” she replied just as flatly.

Shaking her head, she returned to her lunch.

“That’s why it’s imperative that this place remain concealed and undocumented until I’m ready. I won’t risk those heavy-handed glory hogs turning this into a political nightmare with some easily obscured reference to a nameless assistant buried in whatever article they decide to grace the public with. Anyone working with me will, of course, but credited; you can’t say the same for the Ministry of Morons, and they would likely foul the whole affair beside.

“My intention is to publish a chronicle detailing the truth behind this place, or as much of it as I can determine. If it is Agartha, it would prove my theory that all these legendary places that might actually exist either had muggles working alongside witches and wizards or were actually under the influence and possibly the control of witches and wizards. We’ve already proven that much just getting to the bell tower.”

A long sip of butterbeer had her pausing for thought. She did not look forward to descending into the church; once she was in there, it wouldn’t be a problem. She hadn’t much been fond of the repairs made to the inside, though, and somehow the darkness hadn’t helped any. Edgar, however, had been quite beneficial in that respect. Thankfully, light wouldn’t be a problem at all. A collection of lanterns with glow worms in them were all that were needed; the food supply in each lantern would have to be checked at the start and end of every day spent at the site and replenished regularly, but it was a special mixture that would cause them to glow almost constantly without harming them. Once placed, they would provide ample light as needed. Lit wand tips would also be used frequently, of course, but the glow worms lanterns would remove the necessity of them in most instances. Plus, she would keep a stock handy for however many more she needed or move the lanterns she placed.

Her real targets here, of course, were artifacts of a magical nature. She would certainly document everything that she could, as would any archaeologist worth her salt, but magical artifacts she would collect and document only for herself. She might hire or seek the counsel of someone who could perform examinations that she could not, but the artifacts themselves would belong to her.

“Of course, my studies will be published among the muggle world as well,” she continued finally. “Obviously not those of a more magical nature, but witches and wizards often underestimate the benefits of publishing in both worlds. A bit of extra work will bring in nearly double the profits over a long term, not to mention the increased recognition. Different from fame, I might add. Quite a few people never realize that.”