Bold is now for author's notes.

Please comment/review, that way I can clean up any mistakes I'm making in my writing style (trying to improve by practice), otherwise, sorry for the delay here, and enjoy.

The city was crowded, as Maurice made his way through the market square. Everything was as he remembered, the tanner, peddling his filthy skins, and the inn, filled with drunk idiots, mocking bards as they recounted tales of so called heroes, were to his right. On his left were the assorted shops he remembered, the run down confectioner's shack, the well kept blacksmith, and the stand on the side of the cobblestone road, peddling fruits that seemed to be overripe.

As Maurice continued toward the town centre, eyes turned toward the sigil on his robes. He had forgotten about the crest of the five that he wore, which marked him as either a danger to society, or a ruler of the nation. Those who wore the crest of the five, were members of a sect of villains, ruled by five powerful lords, said to be the best at their trade. "There's the recognition I didn't need. Oh well, I can always kill them." He said to himself as he kept moving, his hood remaining lowered so nobody would see his face. As far as they knew, he was just an underling.

A guard approached, this one appeared to be an officer, and intelligent unlike the two outside the city. "You there! Servant of the five! Explain your presence here or prepare to be taken into custody for being in the city illegally!"

"I'm here under the orders of the archmage Talrand of Koros to examine the artifact that was brought before your Lord!"

"Archmage Talrand? Or Lord Maurice, the Exile?!" The people surrounding them began laughing mockingly.

"Can I not serve both? Or am I to be arrested for associating with him?"

"For serving Maurice, there is no arrest. I personally will report your execution to the Lord."

Before Maurice could continue, a hand grabbed his hood and drew it down, to reveal his face. Maurice located the owner and began to recite incantations, the man's eyes widened as he realized his terrible mistake. The face revealed was that of an elf. He had silver hair and red eyes. His skin was dark, not like that of a drow, but like one of the men of the southern continent. Before killing him, Maurice mockingly said; "Do you mind lending me some helping hands?"

The crowd that had accumulated seemed to shiver, as the air became cold, and their bodies began to act as if they had been sapped of strength. Somebody started screaming upon realizing what was happening to them. People broke off from the crowd, running as fast as they could, in a desperate attempt to escape. The guard was just barely standing as Maurice approached him, reciting an incantation as he approached. His hand began glowing with negative energy, as he took hold of the weakened guard's throat and drained the life from him he noticed movement in the corner of his eye.

A figure, wearing the red robes of a master sorcerer at the institute of Rath, stepped out of the shadows. The newcomer almost immediately began reciting the incantations for a spell that Maurice recognized as being low level. At first he thought that the newcomer had gone mad, when he noticed a change in the incantations. The sorcerer was casting an experimental version of the spell he'd heard.

Just one second later, Maurice found himself standing before a barrage of magic missiles, but they had a strange look to them. "And before I could even raise their bodies." Maurice complained as the first one collided with him, he was blown off his feet and sent flying into a merchant's stand. He landed flat on his back, hitting his head on something hard, causing the world to go black.

He awoke what seemed to be several hours later, surrounded by darkness and with a splitting headache, wondering what had happened. He heard footsteps approaching in what seemed to be another room. A door opened in his little corner of darkness, nearly blinding him with the light coming through, as a voice pierced the silence: "You're Maurice, correct?"

"Are you sure you want to speak to him? He's quite dangerous."

"Absolutely, my research depends on it."

"Hmmmm, and how would dying help your research?"

"I grow tired of this game, Maurice." the voice suddenly turned to a familiar voice, tinged with madness "Are you coming with me? Or not? Either way, I leave the city… In about ten minutes."

Maurice realized who this person was. His eyes confirmed his suspicions as they adjusted to the light. A tall man stood in the doorway, covered from shoulders to feet in a strange suit, resembling armor. His silver hair seemed to fall down to his shoulders, touching his eyebrows enough that his wide green eyes were showing through. He held a strange device in his hands, most likely a new invention of his, and seemed to shimmer with an electric flame. Maurice could barely contain his distaste for the man "Terry… Great, bloody great. Now I know you'll use this as an excuse to try and make me one of your screwed up machines!"

"We'll talk about that later, now come on! We have to leave before…" A loud explosion went off in the distance, seemingly two city blocks down. "… That happens. NO TIME! RUN!" Terry seemed almost cheerful as he grabbed Maurice's arm and ran.

Maurice had long since learned his lesson about asking questions when there was an explosion around Terry, it almost seemed to be his way of passing time. "The artifact, what of it?!"

"Gone! The city had it transferred to the capital of Dawnrite!"

"Oh great! Another land I've been banished from!"

"Now now, let's just get out of this one first, and get to one of the few you haven't been exiled from."

Their footsteps echoed off the stairs as the conversation continued, Maurice asking questions, and Terry simply laughing at his lack of knowledge. Soon enough they came upon a heavy wooden door or what remained of one. Maurice thought to himself about the likelihood that this was Terry's doing. His thoughts were interrupted by a raspy voice. "You have no idea the mistake you've made… This man, the wizard, will kill you as soon as he gets the chance… He's going to…" The man couldn't speak anymore, as he began coughing uncontrollably.

Terry simply looked at the man and said "Well that's disturbing… with those wounds he should have died upon impact. Looks like I just need to finish the job here." He hoisted the strange weapon in his hand. For a second, his eyes seemed to glow red, as the weapon responded to his will. Flames burst forward, enveloping the man on the ground. The man screamed for a short time, but Terry did not let up his attack, waiting until about five minutes after the screaming stopped before finally being satisfied.

Where there was once a severely injured man, only ashes remained. "There, that's better." He said to himself, as he motioned to Maurice to continue running. The time was spent in relative quiet, Maurice uttering irritated words to himself, and Terry humming a cheerful, and morbid tune, as the sounds of their feet hitting the stone floor echoed off of the walls. They came to a stop in a large entrance hall. Three gigantic pillars formed a triangle in the centre of the room, and stretched up to the decorated ceiling. Maurice realized he was in the entrance to the audience chamber for the city's lord. The walls were spread apart, making the room seem to stretch, and leaving the room itself large enough to house the servants of the keep.

Three heavily armored figures stood in the centre, one in front of each pillar, keeping their vigil for escapees coming through the path that Terry had chosen. The centre guard was wearing golden armor, obviously decorated with gold, probably some sort of steel for the suit, trimmed with some red, and stood at about six feet seven inches. Behind were two similarly dressed figures, but in silver and bronze armors, the silver one seemed to be standing beside a halberd, while a lance was being held in the left hand of the bronze figure. The golden suited guard looked up, and saw Maurice and Terry approaching, drawing a great-sword, glowing a faint blue, as he commanded the other two to ready themselves.

Terry looked over at Maurice and, noticing a lack of a spellbook, said: "I'll handle them, this will be quick, and messy. Be sure to tell a servant to clean them off the floor when I'm done." He brought up the strangely made weapon, but then thought of something else. Within seconds, metal flew off of his weapon, and his strange suit of armor, and came together to form some unusual device in front of him. Terry stepped forward and yelled: "I've wanted to see what this does for a while now! Thanks for the opportunity to test it!"

The guards kept charging, but the armor seemed to hinder them more than it protected them, as the device fired a beam-like flash at the group, followed by a small metal projectile that Maurice could barely see. The projectile made a clang as it stuck to the golden suit of armor. Almost as suddenly as it had stuck, it exploded, taking the three guards with it, as well as a chunk of the floor. A crater about thirty feet in diameter now remained where the guards once were.

Terry looked almost disappointed as the metal flew back onto his suit and came together to form his original weapon. But they quickly continued to run, eliminating any resistance they faced as they approached the city's gate. In all that time all Terry said was: "An explosion that small… Needs more power."

At the gatehouse, Terry walked up and blasted a hole in the gates, allowing him and Maurice to leave the city. Maurice looked back, flames were beginning to rise from the riots caused by the sudden disturbance of the peace. He simply laughed and continued walking. They reached the stables, took a wagon and two horses, killed the original owner, and got away after a very polite and murdery encounter with his widow. They rode for Koros.