Monday, November 7, 2016

Tiamat's Court in Babylonia: Māt Akkadī

Theophrastus awoke, his thirteenth day of waiting in the Courtyard of Māt Akkadī.  The cool night air had given way to early morning humidity covering the wizard in a sheen of sweat and dust due to his tent flap having blown open.  Despite his long wait, Theophrastus used his cantrips to quickly clean himself knowing he needed to be ready whenever the “Queen of Earth” granted his audience. 

Theophrastus had thought the cost to gain access to Māt Akkadī had been expensive before learning from the vast numbers of petitioners living in the courtyard how long the wait could be.  

The Courtyard’s economy mixed with the largess of the dragon blooded nobility had created an outlandish system of social mores designed to show off wealth along with a skill of trade.  Alcippus’ most recent message had assured the wizard that this economy’s cost had been anticipated though Theophrastus noticed that Alcippus no longer referred to him as Theo.  
The Eye wizard Theophrastus stepped out of his tent making his regular trek to the Magnificent Mausoleum to see if his name had been added to the Queen’s daily schedule.  The cost in bribes to see the “publically displayed” schedule was steep enough that some petitioners would run out of money or try to find others with similar problems to share in time and cost.  After paying his daily bribes and viewing the schedule board, the wizard smiled and suspected that he would see a return to the friendlier tones of Theo after his next message, for he was the first petitioner on the schedule, a position that would see him before the Queen shortly after her lunch.  A well sated Queen was certainly a comforting thought to Theophrastus whose magical protections against fear did nothing to assuage his mind.
Māt Akkadī

The Wizard was guided into opulent gardens where the immense dragon lay within a massive spring fed pool of water that was said to be enchanted by its physical contact with the god-queen.  It was difficult for Theophrastus to focus on anything other than the great wyrm however his senses told him of several of the Queen’s half dragon guardians.   The Queen was obviously used to the effect her presence had upon petitioners; there wasn’t a discomfort to Theo’s initial silence.  To the wizard’s great chagrin his meeting was interrupted before a word was uttered and he could offer the organization’s solution to Tiamat’s conundrum.  Another great presence was felt and Theophrastus was overcome with irrational desire, a part of his consciousness screaming in terror, a mortal caught between Tiamat and her daughter, Concupiscentia.

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