The Great Hall of Castle Greyskull normally catered to the five Magisters, their apprentices and their nightly palavers; the five banners that featured either an elixir, ink well, pauldrons, a sword over shield, or crossed wands across five grand daises were gone. For this event, the Great Hall gave way to unified Zhentarim colors giving the merchant visitor the sense that the Magisters were of similar sentiments when in fact, Ampherd the transhumanist alchemist quietly lamented to himself, they argued more than they came to agreement thanks to his father. Collectively they served the Zhentarim but that is where census ended.
After about an hour of appetizers, entertainment by acrobats, and light courses of food and beverage it was Aurora Tenloss who expertly guided the nightcap with the Magisters to talk of business. Ampherd believed she was everything the people said about her; indeed business proved to be in the woman’s blood because she brought with her lucrative proposals that could keep all of the Magister’s alchemists and craft’s men busy until Full Earth. It turned out, much to Ampherd’s surprise, that aside from the Tenloss Consortium, she personally runs several black markets in several cities. Ampherd reflected momentarily; she may be the only woman he had ever admired, and that brought on feelings of desire.
But when Aurora brought her final proposal to Elazarin Nanther, the Magister of Potions, Ampherd could not believe his senses at first. Ampherd listened as the details of the agreement were negotiated, helpless to speak on behalf of his father’s office. Ampherd could not help but notice across the room the scarlet haired merchant heiress smiled demurely at him as the contract was formally closed.
The business negotiations and contract closing look less than an hour after the formal diner and entertainment and was completed before midnight. Finally, without their merchant visitor the keepers of Greyskull were free to speak openly.
“Are you sure you can fulfill that high volume Elazarin and keep your obligations to the Zhentairm? The distribution that you are suggesting challenges the imagination.” It was Istaleus who was no supporter of Elazarin who asked; he too was trying to process the scope of Aurora’s proposal- now an agreement.
“Indeed,” the Magister of Potions answered with a watery voice; everyone had noticed the man wore the same clothes for several weeks in a row. “Dameron’s new and expanded territory will fill our needs as well as hold us to this bargain.” He had a weird gleeful look as he sopped up another drink with a cankerous tongue.
Two hour later, as was customary after formal meetings of the Magisters, friends Ampherd, Istaleus, and the Magister of Arms Brisbane Bruil, lingered in the Great Hall to enjoy an evening smoke and to unburden the mind.
“I think my father has overstepped his capabilities.” Ampherd said exhaling a waft of white pipe smoke as he spoke. “First he is not the craftsman he once was, and second no one likes working for him not even myself.”
“You realize this most recent deal with Aurora, the Magister of Potions has the potential to become the most powerful of the Magisters.” Istaleus pointed out.
“And who would you have that be?” Ampherd said to his friends. “Me or my father?”
“You of course, your father has become unappetizingly difficult to work with.” Brisbane said being honest and as forthcoming as he can. “And I do not like that smarmy druid he insists on working with.”
“Indeed,” agreed Istaleus. “You would need a majority support among the Magisters if he is proved unfit for his office or dies without a suitable replacement. The office of Magister does not pass to on to living heirs as you know.”
Ampherd regarded his friends, “With your support I believe I can persuade Zelda to see things our way, she holds no loyalty to my father.”
“Nor to your family,” Brisbane pointed out.
|Zelda Leiyraghon, Magister of Wands|
“True, but her family the Leiyraghons are loyal to your family Brisbane.” Ampherd pointed out, his plan unfolding before them all.
“How will it be done?” Istaleus asked shifting to the edge of his seat.
“Not to worry my friends, I’ve already set plans in motion.” Ampherd said as he went on to explain the most recent events and the acquisition of three rare preyton eggs.