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SilntAngl5
11-14-2010, 07:31 PM
The Country of Rekōdo (http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h480/xalidus/map---large.jpg)
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On the planet called Emproium is a country called Rekōdo. Rekōdo is a world where the people live and dress similarly to that of late 1800s Western Europe. The clothing ranges from victorian to a mechanical steampunk. Any style is accepted because in Rekōdo, almost anything is possible. For one who is not from Rekōdo, visiting for the first time can be quite the experience. There are pegasus-drawn carriages to flying automobiles, flying umbrellas to gargoyle pulls, giant tethered balloons and moons in the sky, and singing fountains. If you can imagine it, and if you cannot, it will be in Rekōdo Country.

It is also a world of magik and mystery, boasting what some may find eerie, strange or mystical in origin. It is a country of magik that thoroughly encourages its children to study deeply into its magikal use and history just as they do with all their academics. As the people of Rekōdo dedicate their lives to their academics and magikal practice, it's only natural that they have public libraries. Chronicling is particularly important in the hearts of people from Rekōdo. The name of their country, after all, means "record."

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The Central Library of Rekōdo boasts over one million books, both written and magikal. Every person is born with the ability to use magik and is encouraged to develop their abilities as much as they are encouraged to further themselves academically.

The Central Library

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The library is opened at all hours and hosts books containing ever subject imagined. There are even books of prophecy that spills their secrets to those who turn their pages. There are books that will shelf themselves when they are done. Whatever can be imagined exists within the Central Library. One has but to go inside to see.

The Most Sacred Texts

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The most sacred text of the people of Rekōdo is the Book of Memories (sometimes referred to as the Book of Secrets). It contains the recordings of past rulers dating back to the beginning of Rekōdo's founding and with it the life account of the last person to touch it. No one is allowed to lay their hands upon the Book of Memories except the current ruler. Anyone who touches it will have their life recorded onto its pages. Only the rulers are allowed to view the pasts of the rulers before them. Otherwise all the secrets of the country would be laid bare.

There are other, more minor books that have restricted access. There are Books of Prophecy that, when opened will have words appear on their pages of the next major prophecy to come true. There are other prophecy books inclined to write specific futuristic predictions of those who open their pages. These cannot be checked out without the highest levels of permission. They are held in the same secretive chamber in the library as the Book of Memories.

The Laws of Magik

The Laws of Magik are simple and taught and strictly adhered to from early on:

1.) Make no weapon of magik or might that will kill another
2.) Never use magik to force the will of another
3.) Never use magik to kill unless your magik is needed to fight against those who mean Rekōdo harm or unless using it to save your life or the life of another

For rulers in power, a fourth and fifth oath are required and they are bound to obey it by the magik of their world:

4.) Speak no words and force no one to speak words that are not true
5.) Protect the rulers of Rekōdo from harm by another unless they are tried and found guilty of a crime

These are the laws bound by magik by which all in Rekōdo Country must abide. The use of magik to travel through time is also strictly forbidden. Time travel can be messy and no one in Rekōdo wants to clean up after it.

Those Who Rule in Rekōdo Country (http://quarrelsandquills.com/showthread.php/1773-The-Character-Bio-Thread?p=181497&viewfull=1#post181497)

Those who are to rule a world containing magik as this one does must be able to control and manipulate magiks to a great extent. Leaders are chosen initially for heir magikal prowess. When they have children, those children are tested to see if they inherited their predecessors ability to control and create magik. If they are, it is the second child who is to rule unless the first shows an outstanding sum of magikal ability over the younger sibling. Traditionally, it is the younger child who will rule and the older who will be their life-guardian. If there is no second sibling, the first will rule and a cousin (or other relative) will be their Life Guardian or one will be appointed of a person with remarkable magik abilities (usually from a prominent family).

There is a High Magik Council of Rekōdo, which deals with the use magiks and magical studies and laws. They are a group of five of the highest magik wielders in the Five provinces of Rekōdo. They serve as both law makers and peace keepers, judges in courts ad disputes and solvers of all problems related to the inheritance of the leadership of Rekōdo. Their leadership is both given and elected. When one of the Magik Elders dies, the magikal spirit in them, the one that founded the province, passes on their knowledge of their people and powers to the next in line. This is chosen mainly by the spirit but also by an under council who trains and watches the growth of the youth in the province. If one is not chosen, they may be elected by the people there, though such a case has not happened in many centuries.

The Five Provinces Rekōdo Country (http://quarrelsandquills.com/showthread.php/1787-The-World-of-Emporium?p=179353&viewfull=1#post179353)

As stated above, each High Council Magikman in Rekōdo is the governor-of-sorts for their region. Each region specializes in a specific type of magik and the powers of the people born on the soil of that region, minus a few exceptions, adhere mainly to that specialty. Education and magical lore, tutelage, and upbringing is based on all of Rekōdo, but a focus is always placed on the magikal epicenter of the region's study.

Shadowseldil
12-27-2010, 02:17 PM
*Ding-ding*
A groan escaped the lips of a ten-year old girl.
*Ding-Ding*
She rolled over in her bed and fumbled on her nightstand, looking for the button that controlled the lamp.
*Ding-ding*
Her hand pressed the button, and a dull orange glow lit the small bedroom as the firelight sprang across the wick.
*Ding-Ding*
She yawned. Pushing aside a stuffed griffin, she put on her slippers.
*Ding-ding*
"I'm coming," she said wearily and in frustration. She reached the small circle of glass housed in a brass contraption. She turned a couple of dials and pressed a button. A face appeared on the glass.
"Felicity," a garbled speaker said, "I need you down here right away."
"But it's not even five o'clock yet," Felicity half-whined.
"It's almost five, and this is an emergency. I wouldn't have bothered you otherwise."
She huffed, "Alright, Felix," she said in less than happy tones, "I'll be there soon."
She pushed the button and turned the knobs. "I'll have to fix that speaker soon," she said to herself as she got dressed, "It's not right, getting me out of bed this early. A girl needs her beauty sleep." She threw on her work clothes and went into the main room. Her apartment was littered with gears and sprockets, springs and wires, a couple of geometric shapes of unusual substances, greasy cloths here and there, and several pamphlets of houses for sale. By the door was a strange backpack-looking brass-coloured machine. She strapped this to her back in the same fashion, and was out the door.
In the hall, she quietly made her way to the roof. Even without her pack, she knew quicker routes by rooftop then by the streets. Her gang had taught her those roads, the roads above the city. However, she would only be using them briefly. Once on the roof, her pack unfolded and a series of whirs and hisses of steam into what might pass for a jet-pack. It had an engine on the rear, two hydraulic pads down by the feet, and a couple of supports under the arms.
"Okay, let's go," she muttered. The pack whirred a high-pitch whine and, with a puff of steam and a photonic bubble, she shot into the air.
The first rays of the sun were visible at her apogee. She always thought the sunrise was such a beautiful thing, especially from the air. If only she could invent a real flying machine, maybe she could enjoy it better.
She arched downward, and an inertia-canceling spell cushioned her landing. The hopper pack, as she called it, was quite the work of physics and magic. She designed the downward kick to be canceled out so that the ground, or more often the rooftop, would not be damaged on take-off, and another spell canceled the inertia so that she did not splatter against whatever she landed on. It was her best invention so far, and of course, her little secret.
A couple more hops and she arrived on the rooftop not far from her shop. Well, not technically hers, although the boss had given her a little corner to call her own. He was a good man, in his own right. A little simple minded, perhaps, and not as keen on machines as she was, but "Uncle Felix," as she had taken to calling him when she was not upset or sleep deprived, was the closest thing to real family that she had. He loved her in honesty, but to give her a family was beyond his ability.
She walked the rest of the way as the hopper pack folded itself back into itself. Once she got there, she asked loudly, "Alright, Felix, what's the big emergency?"
"That is you best mechanic?" said a haughty (and snooty, Felicity thought) voice rather accusingly.
"I sure am," she shot back, "But I'm not fixing whatever you want until you say sorry."
"Felicity!" Felix said with reproach, "This is Councillor Charold (((I can change the name as you wish))), of the High Magic Council."
"Well then, he should have more manners."
"Insolent Brat!"
Felicity shrugged. "Fine. Suit yourself. But I'm the only one around who can fix whatever you need fixed. Go ahead, suit yourself walking. Doesn't bother me any."
"As if you could fix it!"
She looked around and saw a carriage. Not an ordinary one, or even a regular mechanical steam carriage, but a magingine, a magic engine, powered carriage.
"Ah, a gin-gin (this was the technical nickname). Not anyone in a hundred miles that can properly service that. Except me. Looks like I'm your only hope. Unless you want to walk."
The Councillor snarled. "You will fix this!" he demanded.
"I thought you said I couldn't do it?"
"Just fix it!"
"Say you're sorry for doubting me."
The Councillor grimaced.
"I'll be back in at eight, Felix. Don't wake me again."
"Fine! I'm sorry I doubted you! Now fix the blighted carriage, you blasted child!"
Felicity sighed, "Alright, I'll do it, but you really should learn to be more polite."
"And I agree," Felix chimed in, "Don't you dare think, sir, of getting any discounts, sir. I'll not have anyone, not even you, sir, treat my best mechanic with such rudeness. If you weren't who you are, I'd have you out of my shop and walking like she says. I've half a mind to do it anyway. No, I won't hear it! You can pay the full amount. You have plenty in your coffers for it, I imagine."
Felicity, meanwhile, had already accessed the matrix of the magical engine. "Wow," she said as she checked through the spells, "You really pushed this thing past its limits. The engine itself is probably even worse. What were you going on about that you needed to do this?"
"That's none of your business, whelp."
Felicity folded her arms. It was clear she would not budge until she had an answer.
"Oh fine! We were chasing a criminal, but the rest is strictly classified."
"Classified?"
"Means it's secret," Felix explained.
"Oh, well, I guess you'll be wanting this quick so he doesn't get too far. I'll do my best, but I don't think I can have it ready for at least an hour."
"An hour! But--"
"Do you want to fix it?" she snapped at him.
The coucillor glared, but gave in. "I'll be waiting. It had better be ready in an hour!"
"I said at least an hour, if there isn't too much damage to the engine itself."
"Fine! Just fix it!"
He left in a huff. Felix came over to her. She was already well into repairing the magic formulas when he said, "You probably shouldn't have gone off on him like that, deary. He's a very important person in the city. I know you're tired, but--"
"He shouldn't have been so mean to me," she said angrily.
"I know," Felix said tenderly, "But a soft answer turns away wrath. You have to be the, er, bigger man, so to speak."
Felicity sighed as a tear formed in her eye. "I'm sorry, uncle Felix, but he was just so mean."
"It's alright deary," he said, placing a hand on her disheveled hair.
"I didn't get you in trouble, did I?"
Felix chuckled, "You let old Felix worry about that. Now, here," he handed her his handkerchief, "Dry your eyes and show him that you are the best mechanic in the world."
She smiled and nodded. The magic spells turned out to be the worst of it, as the engine was surprisingly well made and held up very well. It needed a gasket or two replaced, and one of the bearings was nearly sheared, but beyond that the engine was still in decent shape and not much worse for the wear. It was, all told, an hour and ten minutes before she had it running like normal.
"I must say I am impressed," the Councillor said with obvious admiration.
"It's not good as new, but it will run fine," Felicity explained as she ceremoniously wiped her hands on a grease-stained rag. "You've got to be careful about pushing these things too hard. Even if the engine can take it, it doesn't mean the magic matrix can. And I'm not saying the engine can take it. The wear on it might cause some problems much later on, but you won't have any problems with it for now."
"Very good, now we must be going."
"Listen," Felicity said, "I don't know who you were chasing, but chances are whatever they were using is broke down too. If your carriage broke from this, theirs must have done the same."
"Yes," the Councillor said with some uncertainty, "No doubt."
After they left, Felix said, "Take the rest of the day off, missy. Go take a nap or go play or whatever. You deserve it."
"Thanks, uncle Felix."
Felicity made her way back to the roof tops. They sun was just over the horizon now, and the warm air and the cool breeze made it a perfect morning for a walk. Felicity strolled slowly along the rooftop paths, taking in the day around her.

SilntAngl5
03-13-2011, 03:09 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit’s mind raced. At every opened door his heart leapt into his throat. He could almost taste the dislodged ichor as he swallowed it back down. What just happened? he thought breathlessly. He seemed to be compelled blindly forward, running through magical chasms to suddenly appearing doorways as if on instinct alone. Instinct and, very possibly, memory. He ran and turned at precise spots inside the oddly discolored void of the teleportal space between space. At every turn, exactly where he remembered, a doorway would appear, each one unique to his own design and making. Each one welcoming him to the wall or corner or ceiling he’d placed it at however long ago it was.

It seemed like forever ago.

The last one flew open before him, a modest, simple wooden door used in the most commonplace of homes. Unlike the publically used Portal Doors, these lead not to public places like pubs, libraries or academies, but to private places chosen by the use. All private doors had a magical trace on them, by law, so that no foul business and escape could be disguised. But, if one did not know a private portal was taken, it would take time to track it. Time, he prayed, he had.

The last Port-a-Door closed behind him. Emit paused to let out a long exhaled breath and then fell to his knees. In his arms, he cradled an unmoving treasure, one an Oath bade him to protect. He felt the magical law, one of the Five Great Oaths, tugging at what could only be his magical soul. Like a fishhook snared, it tugged him and instinct lead him.

“Please wake up, Princess” he pleaded quietly, terribly formal, with an accent of desperation in his calm voice. He took a moment to glance down at the Princess of Rekōdo. She was breathing, sleeping, unconscious. Something. Something had happened at the coronation. Something she had tried to warn him about. He wish he’d listened. Emit ducked his head to collect himself, then stood, and was off again. Only a flurry of the black, red and white formalities he wore saw him off.

But the extensive amount of magik he'd used was beginning to take it's toll. He felt his body tiring and if any more magik was used to speed or shepard his journey along, it would be a giant beaming target for those who hunted the Princess. So it was done the old fashioned way. On foot, cradling the fallen girl in his arms.

Pasce had said something to him, the night before the coronation. She had not looked at him, but had resigned herself to her fate. What was it she had said?

"If everything I dreamed happens tomorrow she handed him a small business card, blank save for a small hermit crab shell. "Find her. She will give us safe passage."

He blinked in remembrance and fingered a pocket at his breast. The card was still blank-and-empty-shelled, but it held a spell, one of the most basic and based off of a simple knowledge of sea critters. Emit ducked into an alleyway and held the card in front of him. He whistled at it and waited.

For a moment, nothing did happen and he puckered his lips to try a second and then a third time. At the third, echoing, magik whistle the card sparkle and from the shell popped the crab. Then, entirely and relatively dimensional, the critter popped off the card and began to scuttle up Emit's arm. On the backside of its shell was written and name and an address. His blue eyes found it, scrawled in the impeccably neat handwriting of the Princess. The committed it to memory and the crab disappeared in a swirl of golden sparks. The card, now empty entirely of its message, Emit dropped to the ground.

Felicity Poahr. Find her. She would help them.

He hoped Pasce knew what she was doing, but this time, Emit was willing to take a crazy leap-of-faith. He didn't before, when she'd asked him for his help, and he could not help but feel that he was to blame for all this happening. Absurd, maybe, the 5th Oath, almost certainly, but it drove him on. He could not give up until he found Felicity and at least tried.

So when he arrived at the humble mechanic shop, he barely made it into the doorway after checking that there would not be any customers to interfere. Their clothes, he realized, would give them away instantly to anyone who knew anything about the central city of Rekōdo. But his eyes were beginning to grow dark with a darkness much too dark and deep.

“Help us... please” the High Chronicler managed before falling to his knees. He did not let the Princess go despite the grievances of his arms.

“Please... please...”

Shadowseldil
04-06-2011, 02:38 PM
(((Sorry, I had some things going on, and then I still needed to figure out how to get Felicity back to the shop. Moving on, now...)))

As Felicity walked along the rooftops, her thoughts inevitably drifted toward one of her usual thought lines. She had several: her real family, the house she would own one day, her (current) greatest invention. In this case, it was her flying machine she was thinking about. She had tried a number of different constructs, similar to her hopper pack, but they never lasted for very long. The stress was too much for the spells, and there was not enough oomph in regular engines. She had even tried a gin-gin, but it was not strong enough. The magic matrix broke down before she ever got off the ground. If only she could... wait... yeah... yes that might work. It would work!
She turned on her heel and ran back toward the shop. She was back in about five minutes, bursting through the door and shouting, "Uncle Felix, do we have any old gin-gins laying in the yard? Uncle Felix?"
She turned the corner to his office. "Uncle Felix are you--" she started yelling, then stopped when she saw the inert figures of the girl on the couch and the boy on the floor.
"What happened?" she asked tenderly as she grabbed Felix's hand.
"Your guess's good as mine, dear. He came into the shop, begging for help, and then collapsed. She was out when he brought her here."
"Did you call a doctor?"
"A'course, but he ain't here yet."
"What's that smell?"
"What smell?"
"That smell." She waved vaguely, sniffing. "It's everywhere. It's like... like... a burnt out motor, sort of, but more... high. Like glass."
"Uh... you lost me, dear."
"You don't smell that?"
Felix shook his head.
She sniffed again, harder and longer. "It smells like it's coming from him," she said, pointing to Emit. She looked at the girl. "Does she look familiar to you?"
"A little, maybe. She's pretty, whoever she is."
"I wonder who they are?"
"Guess we'll find out when the doc gets here."
"Yeah. In the meantime, do we have any old gin-gins in the yard?"
Felix shrugged, "Might have a couple."
"Mind if I take them?"
"More inventions, eh? Yeah, go for it. You know you can have anything that's back there."
"Thanks, Uncle Felix." She took a look at the girl again, and then went out to the lot to look for her engines.

SilntAngl5
05-19-2011, 07:59 PM
Emit and Pasce


It would be several minutes after Emit blacked out that he awoke with a start and a yell. Something archaic left his lips, and the air around him hummed with magikal life. He thrust out a hand, as if to grab someone and froze, panting. His blonde hair fell before his wide blue eyes and his chest heaved as if he'd just awoken from a nightmare.

It had felt real, the memories of all the recent events that had played back in his head. They had come in flashes, painful for being dreams. Emit slowly dropped his hand. The magical crackle in the air began to die.

"Princess!"

Emit turned abruptly, as of yet unaware that there might be anyone else in he room beside the sleeping princess of Rekōdo. She was placed upon a couch. He reached out and touched her hand. It was cold, very cold, but she breathed deeply as if in sleep. She looked to be simply asleep, but Emit knew better. He had been there when her nightmares came true. When all the things she'd warned him of came to be.

When the Princess had stolen all the powers of the Five Provinces of Rekōdo.

Yet unconvicted of her crime, the 5th Oath tugged at something deep within his chest. it would be all over the magikal news, the holonets, the radios. They were not safe here... but he'd brought them here for a reason.

"Felicity Poahr."

Emit muttered the name and turned, kneeling before the Princess like a shield. his blue eyes looked around for someone who fit that name. If Felix were present, he would speak to him. Emit raised his voice to something much stronger than a whisper.

"I must speak with Felicity Poahr!"

Shadowseldil
05-23-2011, 08:18 PM
(((I didn't want to take too many liberties, so I'll keep this short.)))

"Easy, son," Felix said as he put his hand on Emit's shoulder. He placed a cool, damp rag on his forehead, saying, "Here, hold this; it might help. Hey! Someone run get Felicity. C'mon lad, let's get you in a chair. Here, up you come. Slowly now."

SilntAngl5
06-13-2011, 12:21 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit's head whipped up to look at Felix. Wisps of blonde hair fell before his blue eyes. They widened with the cool rag. The cold shocked him and slowly he sat back down. He placed a hand on top of the rag and held it there.

"Felicity Poahr?" Emit asked quietly when Felix shouted for someone to fetch his Felicity. Emit looked in the direction Felix shouted and then back at the Princess before being led to a chair. He went with shaking legs, but little fuss. As long as he could see the Princess, he would not resist. The farther he got from her, the more he felt the 5th Oath tugging at the inside of his being. It was an unsettling feeling and he was dizzy... He'd used too much magic to escape. Surely not? He was stronger than this... wasn't he? His body was still reeling.

"Who is Felicity Poahr? How does she know the Princess?"

And then a more pressing matter.

"Who knows we are here? Does anyone know we are here?" Emit tried to stand, afraid the authorities would be alerted to their presence. The wet rag fell to the floor. "It is not safe. For you or-"

Were they safe? Were any of them safe? Emit felt his legs giving way beneath him and he had to sit back down. He put his head into one hand and closed his eyes. he felt like the whole world was spinning out of control.

((Liberties can be taken as needed. If it's anything major or something you're not sure my characters would do, just send a PM. :) ))

Shadowseldil
06-13-2011, 08:09 PM
"Easy, lad; easy," Felix repeated in a soothing, yet defensive voice. He picked up the rag and pressed it to Emit's forehead, "There's no danger here, son. Just relax, a doctor'll be here soon.
"While we wait, let's see here, your questions. Felicity is one of my mechanics. She's an orphan, and I look after her, somewhat. As far as I know, she doesn't know any princesses. And, uh... What was that last question?"
"Uncle Felix?" Felicity said as she knocked lightly on the door frame of the office. "You wanted me for something?"
"Not me, love," Felix said, and nodded toward Emit.
"Oh, you're awake. Are you okay? What's your name? What can I do for you?"

SilntAngl5
06-21-2011, 04:22 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit's blue eyes looked up at Felix.

"Doctor?" he questioned.

For the Princess. Emit glanced at the sleeping girl, woman, ruler of Emporium's five provinces. Why hadn't he listened to her? Inside his heart, Emit grieved. this could have all been avoided if he had just believed-

A knock at the door caused Emit to stand, or almost. The cold rag shifting on his forehead reminded him that he should be sitting. He stood when she came in, as it was the proper thing to do, but then a hand went back to find the chair and Emit lowered himself back down. He glanced once again at the Princess. Her dreams, her visions, said they could trust these people... Emit hadn't believed in Pasce before. He would seek to right that, if only marginally, and do so now.

"I am Emit Shornoc, High Chronicler of Magiks and Keeper of The Guardians of Rekōdo. That is my name and title. And this-" He glanced at the sleeping lady on the couch. Hardly a lady. She was still a young girl. He had to protect her. Emit closed his eyes. "- this is Pasce di Minones... Princess of Rekōdo."

Emit's eyes calmly, but tiredly regarded the two who stood before him.

"Today was her coronation... Have you watched the Holonet? The Maginet? Any of the news...?"

He shook his head. Not the question to ask. Time may be limited. Answer the girl, then ask questions.

"The Princess is in danger and I am obligated by the 5th Oath to protect her. Before attending her coronation, the Princess foresaw disaster. She is a DreamWalker. She said if the events of her dreams came true, to find you... Felicity Poahr."

Emit stared hard at Felicity.

"She said that you would help us."

Shadowseldil
06-21-2011, 09:53 PM
Both Felicity and Felix stared blankly at Emit as he announced the presence of the princess. Felicity's jaw dropped, while Felix muttered, "Princess?" Emit continued on until he explained that he needed help. Well, he said he needed help, anyway; he did very little in the way of explaining.
"I'm afraid you lost me completely, lad," Felix said, "I mean I heard about the coronation, sure, but I didn't follow it closely. Just another monarch; not like anything was really going to change. Everyone knows that its the council that runs things. But all this about high chronicler and fifth oath and dreamwalker means tuppence to me. And what's this danger to the princess? And how's Felicity supposed to help?"
"Yes," Felicity added, "What can I do?"

SilntAngl5
06-25-2011, 10:25 AM
Emit and Pasce


Emit closed his eyes and sighed, a mixture of relief and grief, when Felix said he didn't follow the coronation completely. They didn't know. Emit, too, was at a loss in his own way. he'd only been told half of what to do. The rest was still shrouded in darkness.

"Truthfully... I do not know. I was hoping you would be able to tell me."

Emit sat up a bit. He tried to explain what, to him, had been common knowledge, taught in schools.

"The coronation process is a lot longer than the actual ceremony" he began, choosing his words carefully so as not to cause any more confusion. "The Princess has been secluded from most of Rekōdo for most of her life, that we know of. She and her older brother have both undergone rigorous training to hone their magical abilities for the day their father passed. one of them would succeed the throne, if they pass a series of magical challenges. They are designed by each of the Council members from the Five Provinces to test all the abilities, intelligence, and skills one would need to rule Rekōdo. If the first heir, the younger sibling, did not pass, then the older sibling would be given a chance. If no heir is found, then it's an even lengthier process to find a suitable ruler."

He took a breath and continued.

"The Fifth Oath is a part of the Five Magikal Laws of Rekōdo. The Fourth adn Fifth are two oaths of magik only to be sworn by those in power at the heart of Rekōdo. I am one who is bound by it. It states 'Protect the rulers of Rekōdo from harm by another unless they are tried and found guilty of a crime.'"

The next question: What's the danger to the princess went hand in hand with the crime she committed. He was not ready for that yet.

He took a deep breath.

"The princess passed the grueling tests required of her but before her coronation, she came to me. Her mother had, had a gift of Dreamwalking and it was passed on to she and her brother. Someone who Dreamwalks has the ability to enter the world of dreams, where reality exists but is not the same. It lacks people, time and space and distance, but it is our world laid before us. In it, one who can walk enters and exits naturally as often as they want or don't want. Others without the gift need a talisman of sorts to be able to enter."

Emit reached into the lapel of his white undershirt, beneath his coat, and pulled out what looked like a simple, clear donut-shaped stone tied to a leather cord. He tucked it back in and continued.

"In the dream world, one can forsee the future, the past and present. If one were to die in the Dream World, they would not return to our world. It is not a place to go unless one is trained to enter it. Sometimes, people pop in and out on their own but only briefly. I believe it is what people call deja vu."

Emit glanced over at the Princess. She still slept and he chest rose and fell as if she were only sleeping, but her lips had no color and he could tell without touching her that she was ice cold. Emit shivered and looked back at Felicity and Felix.

"The Princess came to me before the coronation and begged me to help her. She said she foresaw what would happen and could not go through with the coronation. She said it would destroy everything of peace Rekōdo knew and that it would be at her hand. Pasce... the Princess said she would steal the ancestral powers of the Five Council members at her coronation. She was desperate... but I did not do all that I could to help her. I did not believe her. The ability to Dreamwalk was an ancient skill, something we had thought was all but gone. I should have listened to her."

His own failing. Emit clenched a fist around the drying rag in his hand. It didn't have to be this way. It all could have turned out differently, if only he had listened to her.

"The High Council can only run things when it has its power" he said quietly, looking down as his anger faded. "The Council has not power now. It is gone, all of it."

He looked at Pasce again.

"She broke the Second Magikal Law: 'Never use magik to force the will of another.' She forced the Ancestral power from the Council and took it onto herself. She stole their power and now, they are but humans without. She is not convicted, so the Fifth Oath that I took holds me to protect her. It is a flaw in the Oath, to protect someone who is guilty simply because they have not been tried... but the princess did not want their power. She fought against it with all her strength."

The moment replayed in Emit's head. Even when he closed his eyes, he could hear her incantations, her desperate shields and wards, her screams when the power was forced upon her. Forced. She did not want it. Wasn't this a breech of the Second Law also?

"The last thing she said to me the night before the coronation was to find you... That you would give us safe passage."

Emit's calm blue eyes looked at Felicity, who was no older than the princess.

"Can you do that?" he asked her We need to leave the heart of Rekōdo City. Can you give us safe passage?"

Shadowseldil
07-06-2011, 12:27 PM
(((Sorry, I had a bit of writer's block, and then I sort of forgot about this.)))

Felicity was knelt over the prone figure of who she now knew to be princess Pasce. She was supposed to help them? How? She would try. She always tried. But, what could she do?
Felix, however, was still a little confused. "So," he began slowly, "The princess is dreamwalking now? Because she took some sort of ancient power from the High Council?" He sighed, "I got to tell you, I'm simple folk. Most of this goes over my head. But one thing you didn't answer; what role do you play in all this? I get that you have to protect her because of this fifth law or whatever, but who are you to her, some sort of bodyguard?"
"Sorry, Felix," Felicity said, "We need to go. That high council guy was already here. If he comes back for some reason, he'll find them. We should get her to my apartment for now. She'll be safe there."
"By the powers, you're right. Are you alright to walk, Emit was it? Think you can help me move her to a carriage?"

SilntAngl5
07-07-2011, 09:40 PM
The Five Provinces Rekōdo Country

Rekodo City is at the heart of the Country of Rekōdo and is the epicenter of its magik. On all sides it is surrounded by the 5 Provinces. Rekōdo City itself does not cater or favor one specific province, but like any big city with a vast network of cultures, it has sections that are "Little Provinces" and sport the colors, fashion, foods and practices of a particular province. The magikal schools in Rekōdo City admits students from any province if they show high academic standing and stands to tutor them in their specialty and the other forms of magik so that the student might sek a higher station in life.

Below are the Five Provinces and their Council Members:


The Province of Taroc
High Councilman: Alain LeCavalier
Colors: Red & Gold

The Taroc are a very serious people for their art and do not take the magik they do as lightly as the other provinces do. They are often seen as a joke, for very few possess the divinity for reading cards, cups, stars and other sorts of tarot items, but their councilman Alain holds great sway in the council meetings for his wisdom and vast knowledge of what is going on in the country of Rekōdo. Their primary practice is in predictions and many from this province are the "authors" of the predictive texts housed in the Central Library. They are a people constantly trying to advance magik through harnessing unpredictability, predictability and changes. If someone goes in search of magikal advice, a tarot or tea-leaf reading or a horoscope, they will most likely seek out a Taroc. The Taroc have little belief in fate or destiny, as everything is constantly in motion and the future is always changing. The fashions here are ever changing as markets are constantly predicting the newest rage to come. Many dress in the traditional flowing robes, shawls and bangled jewelry of their gypsy-like heritage. They are located on the Western most border of Rekōdo City.


The Province of Shamaa
High Councilman: Mindoka
Colors: Brown & Blue

Natural Magik is one of the oldest magiks known to man. It dictates that everything (people, animals, plants, rivers, mountains, etc.), everything natural, not man-made, has a spirit that can be called upon to guide, help or give information etc. This is known as Animism. There is some debate about whether man-made things have spirits, but so far, it has gone unproven. The Shamaan are the only ones who can naturally call upon these spirits and they protect the spells that can be learned by outsiders very carefully. The Shamaan can see into the 'spirit world' (sometimes thought to be the Dream World) where these spirits dwell. Animisn is one of the most popular studied as it is one of the most commonly believed magiks. Though the Shamaanic magik has been tried and practiced all over Rekōdo, it is the Shamaan who are able to enter this world, waking or sleeping freely for vast amounts of time without the use of a Totem. The Shamman also have a master of herbology and potions, making them among the best healers. Each person born a Shamaan as an animal spirit to guide them. In essence, it is like a Familiar or patronus, personifying the person's soul in animal form. There are rumors of Dark Arts that seek to capture the spirit guide in order to control its human counterpart. The Shamaan are among the greatest animorphs, taking on the appearance of their spirit guide or projecting them.

The people of Shamaa often dress naturally, using natural things such as animals, bones, furs, skins etc. over man-made fabrics. Because of the history of the Dark Arts, the Shamaa Province will often opposed to the Maginus Province at council meetings, regardless of the discussion presented. Coincidentally, they are located on the Southern most border of Rekōdo City.


The Province of Astral
High Councilman: Herotus
Colors: Purple & Yellow

To the Southeast the magik of the mind and spirit are practiced. The people of Astral spend vast amounts of time trying to create a world where anything is accepted as possible. The Astralians seek to reach a state of mind where everything is possible. They are known to use astral projections (the ability to project the soul outside the body and move unimpeded by the physical world) and their odd use of geometrics and physics (and breaking them) in their magik. This is similar to their neighbors in the province of Shamaa, but their focus is more self-centered that naturally centered. Their magiks are not terribly 'real-world' but the Astralians have offered Rekōdo some of the finest and most bizarre inventions in the country's history.

Their Councilman, Herotus, has a twin sister name Adaya. She has specialized in taking the belief that anything is possible through magik to a Tantric level. Adaya specializes in not just of the mind, but magik of the body, seeking to not only understand oneself but others too. Borrowing from the Shamaan, Adaya has developed tantric spells, potions, perfume and musiks (not to be confused with the ordinary 'music'). The people of Astralian are a semi-self centered people, feeding their ego with the images they project and maintain. Their bodies are flaunted in their tropical climate and exotic, sometimes seen as scandalous, garb. Adaya occasionally comes to Council meetings with her brother, though she is not always wanted or invited. Her perfumes and allure can be distracting to other members of the Council, which it is undoubtedly done on purpose.


The Province of Da'Jinn
High Councilwoman: Jinai
Colors: Orange & Green

In the far East of Rekōdo City lies the dry Province of Da'Jinn. Its desert-like climate makes for a very nomadic people who travel to great cities and out again as quickly as they entered. Some use portals, traveling long, magikal routes mapped out eons ago by their ancestors, to doorways in the desert. Some prefer a more physical movement among the desert with tents and beasts of burden. The Da'Jinn are often seen as barbaric in nature, but their harsh, strict lifestyles are opposite to their magikal forte: wishes and fate. They call upon Jinns, or genies, that create a desired magikal effect. Their name literally means 'masters of Jinn.' A Jinn is an elemental force of nature birthed from the elements. The two main types are the Jinn (spirits of air) and the Efreet (spirits of fire). Earthen and Water-based Jinn exist, but those elements are scarce among the hot, airy desert landscape. Both are incredibly powerful and difficult to deal with if you are not a Da'Jinn. To better master them, the Da'Jinn have Totems hidden on their person to help control their Jinn of Efreet. These Totems can be anything from a necklace to a nose-ring to a gold cap on a tooth, but are traditionally something precious. Some Jinn are confined to lamps and sold into the markets of Rekōdo. The bands on their wrists and legs mark them as bound servants to pay off a magikal debt by bringing wishes and fortune to those who possess their prison (lamp).

The Da'Jinn dress in long, exotic garb for the desert heat, wind and sand. They often wear a shawl over their hair and faces and vast amounts of sculpted jewelry to hide the Totem that controls their Jinn.


The Province of Maginus
High Council Members: Darmon and Nalia
Color: Black & Dark Blue

The Northern-most Province is set in a colder, more hilly and mountainous climate and it's reflected in their wardrobe. The Magini wear long cloaks, sweaters and the occasional witch of wizard hat wrapped in a shawl. Theirs is the power based from witchcraft and warlockery. Occasionally called "Dark Arts" their province often deals with blood rites and rituals of the oldest kind, from the age when people were primal and sacrificed or worshipped in exchange for power. The present people are not quite so primitive.

There is a deal of controversy over some of the things they study. There were rumors of Necromancy, where someone would use magik to steal the familial powers through the deceased. It was done to get back at someone who slighted another's family and is illegal. There is also the debate of their study of "force-based" magiks... magiks that force people to tell the truth or to do or commit acts against their will that they would otherwise not. The Maginus say they are studying them to find preventative counter-magiks to keep such illegal works from being effective.

The City of the Enchantry
Colors: Dark Green & Black

Located within the Western portion of Maginus, on an island called Capios, this city-school is open only to women. In an amazonian-like society, these women seek to gain benign control of magik using artifacts and Totems. Totems are anything magikal in origin from the early eras of Rekōdo that heighten a specific magikal ability. Stone rings on a necklace are often found on people who wish to Dreamwalk, though such Totems are not handed out lightly. They are stored and studied by the Enchantry. Some artifacts have unknown abilities and women who tried their power have died using them. they are the keepers of all great artifacts found in the Country of Rekōdo.

The women are called "Enchantresses," which lends a somewhat darker interpretation of their society, especially being found within the borders of the Magini. The name usually refers to the magik of coercion and control, but such things are illegal. In a text at the Central Library, there was once a mention of a society of Enchanters. That book has since gone missing from the library's archives and no magikal traces of its whereabouts can be found. Nalia serves as co-councilman to Darmon and is secretly involved with Alain of the Taroc Province.

The Enchantress Guild is certainly the only Guild to have sex-based restrictions on membership.

SilntAngl5
07-08-2011, 10:31 AM
Emit and Pasce


Emit shook his head.

"I don't think she is" he said to Felix, but his voice was laden with uncertainty. "At least I do not think she is. If she were sleeping, we could wake her up, but... I cannot."

Emit glanced over at Felicity and Pasce.

"She didn't want this" he said quietly.

He raised his voice to finish answering Felix's question.

"She should be dead" he said with finality. "Taking so much magik into yourself like that... it should have killed her. The Princess seems to be unconscious, but I have no idea how to wake her. I'm not a doctor. Just a High Chronicler. If we were at the Central Library, I might be able to find some medical texts explaining what to do."

But that would be suicide right now, to go right into the mouths of the lions, so to speak. There were magikal guardians in the shapes of lions at the entrance to the library... would they still heed his commands? He was, technically, a fugitive....

The Felix asked what role he played. What is he to the Princess? The question caught Emit off-guard and the elder mechanic would see that.

"I... I don't know. I can't be her protector... That's not my job."

He wasn't supposed to be her protector. That was her older brother's job now that she was the ruler of Rekōdo. He should be nothing in all of this. His job was the oversee the library and all recordings of Rekōdo's history, to guard the most sacred texts and prophesies in the deepest alcove of the Central Library.

It just occurred to Emit that the Princess hadn't yet seen the Book of Memories, as all Rulers did once they were endowed with power. Emit looked at the Princess again. There was something terribly sad and tired in his blue-gray eyes.

"I am the only one in Rekōdo who won't want to kill the Princess. I am all she has" he finally said. If the High Council allowed word to travel over the holonets, holopapers and other news, the Five Provinces would be in a riot over this. There could be civil war, provinces and people who had magik vying for power over the ruling seat... She would be hunted and-

"Which Councilman was here?" Emit leaped to his feet, answering Felix's question, and went over and took Felicity by the shoulders.

"Which one was it?"

Her answer could shift their direction entirely. Emit felt his feet standing at the threshold of a great portal, as if he were waiting for her answer before walking into the next, dark chapter of his life.

Shadowseldil
07-08-2011, 03:34 PM
"Back off her, lad!" Felix said as he push Emit backward, misunderstanding Emit's own fear. "You alright, Felicity."
Felicity nodded nervously. Her eyes showed that she was rather shaken up.
"We're not your enemy here. And she's just a child, Emit. It was Councillor Charold. His carriage broke down, hunting you no doubt, and Felicity fixed it up. It's almost a miracle you missed him."
"No," Felicity said quietly, "She saw it, didn't she? She knew somehow. We have to help her, Uncle Felix."
"We will. But we need to get her out of here first."

SilntAngl5
07-08-2011, 10:10 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit stumbled backward and half fell, half caught himself in the chair they'd set aside for him. His pale blue eyes were wide and he held a hand up defensively. Magik crackled in the air, in Emit's palm. The lights flickered from its impulse into existence. Then, just as quickly, the feel of magik died.

"I... I'm sorry."

This wasn't like him. He was always so sure. He always recorded everything, knew exactly what happened, where things were placed... He was far outside his element here, in a humble mechanic's shop, with an unconscious royal fugitive.

"Forgive me" he began again, righting himself to a standing position. He was young for his position and rather tall. "Councilor Charold-"

Emit stopped.

"He said his name was Charold?"

A look crossed Emit's face. One that made him look a shade paler than a mere second ago.

"That's not the High Councilman... That's his Second. The Second to Darmon of the Province of Maginus."

not good. Not good. Emit crossed the room and whispered something into his hand. Magik crackled in the air again and he lifted a finger and began to draw. Across the doorway he drew several runes that glowed in their archaic form. he spoke as he drew the runes around the doorway.

"The High Council Members have no power. It's all inside the Princess. If they go out in public, everyone will know it's gone. They will lose their positions and throw all of Rekōdo into chaos. they can't lead a magikal country with no magik!"

he finished drawing, breathing heavily, and uttered a final word. The runes glowed brightly and then sank into the wall around the door and disappeared. he wished Felix were right about their miracle.

"I was careless. Everywhere the Council Members go, they leave behind a magikal trace that they can link back to. It allows them to listen in on conversations that happen after they leave for as long as the trace holds. The stronger the stronger the trace, the longer the signal. But there's a time delay to keep it from being sensed. They don't hear everything as it happens, but a few minutes later."

From a coat pocket, Emit pulled a small, clear ball. He held it upward as high as he could and turned in a circle.

"It's how they gather information spoken after one of their political discussions. To see who will try to back door them while another deal is on the table. Charold probably left one everywhere he went to see if he could get any leads on us."

Emit tapped the sphere three times and blew onto it. Inside colors began to spin and twirl, picking up faster and faster. Emit held it high into the air and it turned blue before emitting a small pulse that fluttered like an explosion of confetti over the room.

"Hopefully that will disarm it before the rest of our conversation reaches their ears. The spell on the door should lead them in circles for a while and stall them. They'll come in and end up back outside. throw them off their game."

Emit put a hand on his head and then turned back to face Felix and Felicity.

"We won't have much time. I have no way of knowing if they heard you mention your apartment, but we have a head start. Charold will have lots of traces to listen to, so we might be in luck. Is your apartment far? We need to leave as few magikal traces as possible. They can track us easily unless we mask it somehow."

He went to the couch and gently lifted the Princess into his arms. For all his hurried magik and speedy speech, he was infinitely slow and gentle with the sleeping girl.

"I'm nearly out of magik and all for brilliant ideas."

Tigers
07-11-2011, 08:56 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Branwen & Kali



"Get up alien scum!"


The whip fell hard against Kali's back. She hated these.whatever you called them. Slaver's she guessed, but they were just as alien to her as she was to them. Despite the pain from the whip she glared at the one who beat her.

"Up yours rat face!" Kali replied defiantly.

The whip fell hard and fast on her back again before he kicked her across the room. Branwen, despite the possible repercussions for her actions ran over to Kali and pulled her to her feet. Xendrak was one of the meanest slavers and Kali seemed to find a way to always infuriate him. Branwen laughed and cringed inside when it happened. At least Kali was being honest, these things, aliens or whatever they were looked like hairless rats.

"Stop it Kali!" Branwen pleaded as she helped her to her feet.

She tugged her away from Xendrak and out of sight. Already she could see the clothes clinging to the blood from the cuts on her back. Kali was so stubborn sometimes that Branwen thought for sure she'd push Xendrak until he beat her to death. Not like they were lacking for workers, they'd just replace her with someone else they'd taken from somewhere.

Truth was, neither of them knew where they'd come from, or where they were. Branwen had over heard them say they wiped the minds of all the slaves; it was easier to control them that way, it made them more dependent on their keepers. She'd only known Kali for a short time, but Branwen felt very protective of her. She'd taken her under her wing so to speak the first day they brought Kali into their camp. From then on, it had been a tiresome job to protect her from Xendrak, often times it had cost Branwen the whip as well. The first time Kali had been angry with Branwen, told her she hadn't ask for her help and to stop.

She knew it was because Kali felt guilty that she'd been punished too. Ever since that day, Xendrak looked for reasons to take the whip to Kali, and it only drove the young girl to be more defiant. Branwen had to find a way out of here, or they'd both die. She had a thought, a way to get out of there aboard one of the ships. Branwen had a knack with animals, and she was planning on using that to her advantage. The trick now was get to one of the ships without the guard seeing.

It had taken her a week to work out the plan and less time for it all to go to hell. Branwen had easily snuck by the Guardians, a creature that looked like some strange cross between a cat and a bird. But when Kali had taken her turn, one of the Guardian's had pinned her to the ground. Branwen couldn't understand it, she'd never had problems like this before. In the confusion the other Guardian had raised an alarm and Branwen had to forcefully push the creature off of Kali.

They'd crawled into what looked like a cargo hold and hid, Branwen pushing Kali as far back and away from the detection of the Guardian's as possible. They were both sweating profusely, terrified of being caught. Neither girl had breathed a sigh of relief until they had felt the ship take off. Thinking that their next task would be sneaking off the ship, they hadn't planned for any other situations. How could they? They had no idea on what really to expect. What Branwen hadn't considered, was the possibility that once on board, there could be more problems than just being caught as a stowaway.

Their first realization that things had just become a lot more difficult was when the sound of an alarm came blaring across a loud speaker just above them. Both girls had jumped and screamed as the sound of their voices was drowned out by the alarm. It was total chaos, the ship rocked from blasts from an unseen force, sparks and fire broke out all over the ship, and smoke quickly began to fill the cargo hold. Branwen was mortified; they'd left that awful place only for her to kill them both in this ship in the middle of space.

She grabbed Kali's hand, not really caring now if they were seen by anyone. She had no idea what she was doing or where she was going, they just had to get out of the smoke. Whether instinct or just blind luck, she led Kali out of the cargo hold and away from all the major fires and breaches in the hull. The sound of crackling wires and steel giving way to the heat and pressure sang all around them. Kali's hand held Branwen's so tightly, she couldn't feel it anymore.

She rounded the corner straight into the towering figure of one of the ship's occupants. Their progress forward was suddenly brought to a screeching halt. They were dead! Branwen had killed them, it was her fault. The figure stared at the two girls; he was as surprised to see them as they were to have been caught. Was it fate or chance that fell upon them again as the strange alien pushed each girl into a separate escape pod and launched them off the ship?

Branwen didn't know what to think at first, screaming and fighting to keep him from separating her and Kali. But she suddenly realized, he was saving their lives. The pods would only carry one individual, with hopefully enough oxygen to last until they were rescued. But even being saved, she had no way of knowing where Kali was, if she was safe, if they would be rescued and by whom. It was agonizing. Perhaps it was a blessing that the exploding ship had knocked both girls unconscious. Their small life pods rocketed out into space from the blast toward a neighboring planet. So close was the each pod, that the gravity of that planet pulled it into orbit, causing the pods to hurdle like a flaming meteor toward the earth? The concussion of the landing sounding for miles around as each pod landed well away from the other.This is how they came to be on the planet Emporium, in the country of Rekōdo and that had been two years ago.

Shadowseldil
07-11-2011, 10:53 PM
Felicity hesitated, but said, "I might be able to get you out of here quickly. But, I don't know. I've never used the hopper pack with more than one person."
"The what?" Felix asked.
"It's an invention of mine," Felicity explained, "It lets me get around the city fast. But I'm the only one who has ever used it. I don't know if it will work with more than one person. But we can try," she added with a smile toward Emil, "Let's go to the roof."

SilntAngl5
07-12-2011, 07:35 PM
Two Years Ago...

Light streaked across the sky, stars falling, hurling through the atmosphere and burning bright as the floating candles that surrounded the top of the open tower where he stood. Alain LeCavalier stood before a large telescope that hovered before his eye and observed each and every one of them fall with a smile. All around him papers fluttered from one pile to the next, sorting themselves and being scribbled upon with magik pens to confirm the falling stars on a chart already marked for their fall. But these were not stars that were falling. They were something much, much more. Something he had foreseen in dreams- he fondly fingered the Totem ring on the cord around his neck- and had predicted with a power that was his.

These were not stars, not all of them. There would be two-

"Ah..."

There they were. A soft boom against the dusk sky as a large one of these 'falling stars' entered the atmosphere. one turned into two as the shards split and flared across the sky with a special brilliance of something falling from the heavens. He fixed the telescope onto the farther one to chart its descent. The nearer one...

He knew where that one was going. They disappeared and Alain stood from the telescope and took in a deep breath. The wind whipped his cloak and played with the short, graying ponytail behind his head. He lifted his flesh-and-blood arm and observed an emerald stone on his wrist. He smoothed it three times with his thumb and the world shimmered violently around him. Alain disappeared.

And the world shimmered violently again, though for him, it was one giant transition. The air evaporated him into release and then went still again. He was on the Island of Capios, by the small sea that surrounded it. The winds were stronger here, whipping his cloak and loose strands of his dark hair before his brown eyes.

"It's over here, Alain."

He turned, not startled. She never once meant him harm when she found him like this.

"Is it safe?"

They walked together quickly over to a hole impounded in the ground, close to the water's edge.

"For now, but Darmon will be here soon. He has access to the island that no one-"

"Except me."

"-except you has."

The capsule was clear, see through in the hull. There was a girl inside. Long black hair, fair skin, too thin and dirty, but breathing. Alain reached out to touch the skin of her back. She was looking out over the sea, a green gem on her forehead, her dark hair billowing with the sea's enchanted wind. He could smell the faint toxins in the air-

Alain stopped.

"He's here."

And the air erupted with violent force, with the force he felt as Darmon came to Capios.

"How did I suspect you'd be here, star reader? But, this is my province, after all, despite what little island we may be on. Get out."

"That is not what is written in our agreement."

Her voice was like venom. Alain intervened by lifting a hand. Around them , in a circle fires flickered into existence. Each flickered the colors of the Provinces they represented. Astral Da'Jinn and Shamaa. The heads of the Heads of each province appeared. They looked displeased.

"Have you forgotten the terms of our peace treaty, Darmon?" Jinai sneered.

"Equal power for all so that no war may touch our soil again" recited Herotus and Adaya's conjoined half-heads with an impetuous grin. His twin, Adaya stood beside him and both shared a half of the grin.

Mindoka of the Shamaa remained silent.

"Friends" Alain held up a hand. He looked to Shaaman's fire portal. "Mindoka... did the other girl survive?"

The others heads swiveled to look at the blue and brown flames of the Shamaan. The older man, older than any of the others here, lifted his chin.

"Yes. And In the spirit of fairness and equality for all of Rekōdo, I open a channel to all of you."

And all there would feel their minds divided, one eye looking on events at Capios, the other to the natives of the Province of Shamaa, who stood in a circle around the opened capsule of the second girl, dark haired and ragged as her friend.

"Thanks" the Councilman of the Magini drolled.

He was ignored. Alain stepped forward in the land of the Shamaa and also in Capios, to the girls within the capsules. The one at Capios was opened and his hand touched each girl's forehead.

"Feel through me and see the powers they hold."

And his mind opened to all of them and their ghostly hands laid atop his. Through his telepathy, Alain shared the strengths of the girls, the most prominent one of each. A taste, a hint, nothing more. He would not be invasive into their thoughts. the link was severed and the heads remained in their flames. Then they all spoke.

"I am at peace with Mindoka having the naturally inclined one. I would have no ability to train her in Da'Jinn." Jinai sneered.

"We are agreed. We have no use for the animal talents here" the twin half heads chorused. Surprisingly, it was Mindoka who's old voice rose above the twins.

"I am not laying claim to a second, my reasons for asking are for Rekōdo. Why does Darmon claim a second to his guild?"

Darmon and Alain stood equidistant from the pod, as if at a standoff. He shrugged.

"You saw her abilities. They would be best fostered under my care. A simple answer to the complicated web you weave, genie."

"But you already claimed Nalia from the Astrals! It is not for you to have everything dark that comes into Rekōdo! That is too much power even for you!"

Nalia stepped forward in front of Darmon and Alain. She pointed angrily back at Darmon and darkness welled behind her hand.

"I am not more a dog of Darmon than you are, Jinai of the Da'Jinn! I have separated myself and become my own entity for the sake of Rekōdo!"

"There is nothing of darkness within me that Darmon could claim. Your past is shrouded in it, as is the island you hide form the world."

Nalia balled her fists, but Alain raised a hand to Nalia and shook his head. She backed off and away and glared at Darmon and he at her in a silent exchange of unpleasant words.

"We credit you, Nalia, for all your accomplishments apart from Darmon's tutelage. Why don't you claim the girl?"

Nalia looked at the conjoined half faces.

"She has no experience in training someone with powers as dark as her own."

"But she has mastered her powers and heads an entire city-guild all her own without fault. Let the Enchantress have her."

"Yes, let Nalia train her."

"She is a woman, Darmon, and would fair well with the woman's guild of Capios."

Darmon stepped forward.

"I will not lose what I can best train because you all are a bunch of cowards."

He flames of the heads sparked and crackled. Things were getting out of hand. He could hear the sing-song of violent intent for Darmon and the encapsulated girl starting to pitch.

"Let them both have the girl." Alain stepped forward and put a hand on Darmon's shoulder to calm him. He did not touch Nalia, who stood apart from the floating fires.

"Let Darmon guide her through her darkness as he did Nalia and let Nalia be the beacon of what could be. She will see if the girl can aid her in discovering the secrets of the Totems. Both are on maginus soil. Both can control the darkness. Both can claim her."

He raised his stone arm. The golden threads caught the magik firelight and sparkled in their marble veins.

"They can share" he finished simply. For a moment, the floating heads were silent. "What say you?"

"Agreed."

Alain, who saw this battle among the stars, smiled.

"Thank you, all. For the sake of Rekōdo, so that no war may touch her again."

Then each drew a symbol in the colors of their province and bound them together in the air as one, the symbol of Rekōdo and their word was made into law amongst themselves.

Tigers
07-13-2011, 08:00 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Two years ago...


Kali stirred within the life pod. The first signs of consciousness were the sound of voices all around her, like she'd turned up the volume in a dream. Her head throbbed and for the moment, as her body began to wake itself once more, she was not aware of what she had lost, yet again. Had she retained that memory then, Nalia would not have dealt with the anger of her words later.

As it was, waking to no memory other than her name on a world of magik would put her on the defensive as it was. Kali had never seen such things, and they had frightened her at first. She had just escaped slavers to land in yet another situation where choices were made for her without her consent. She may not remember what freedom was, but it was an innate feeling.

She took a deep breath and opened her eyes, looked around the small pod with confusion before sitting up to find three people whom she'd never met looking right at her. Perhaps it was her own darkness within her that recognized the darkness within the other two. It put her on the defensive and when questions were asked of her, she replied with a smart remark even though inside she was terrified.

Darmon was the first to receive the brunt of most of her anger and would continue to do so the next few years. But it must have been quite the sight that day, this young girl of about 15, thin, ragged, dirty and obviously beaten, standing before them defiantly. Whether the mention of Branwen's pod had been made that day, Kali would not recall. She had been too frightened of these people and too busy putting up defenses to recall. It would become Nalia's thorn in years to come.


Present

That was how they first met, Kali standing there as a thin waif of a girl, arms crossed scared out of her mind, but hiding it behind her anger. Nalia would be a bit more forgiving, as Darmon was the one that dealt with most of Kali's anger and rebelliousness in the beginning. For two years though, as Kali's powers had begun to awaken, there was something pressing in the back of her mind. Things were not right, something was wrong, something was missing.

She had gone to lay down in her room, it was the best thing for everyone when she was in a mood. For the most part, Kali had been a quiet teen, except for when she was provoked or angry. The girl's temper could be explosive and the darkness within her was seemed more out of control when she let herself go. The first time she had sprouted leather wings and horns she had become so overwhelmed with anxiety that she'd locked herself in her room for a week and wouldn't talk to anyone. Then the following week she had blamed Darmon for making her some kind of monster.

She fell asleep, her dreams plagued by the current affairs taking place with Emit, but it was strange and made no sense to Kali. Then the darkness surrounded him and swirled like an angry cloud and the sight of some creature appeared before her, whip in hand and and angry snarl on it's face. She saw herself standing defiantly before it, like she had with Darmon many times. The whip came down and Kali heard someone scream.

"STOP IT KALI!"

She sat up from her bed so fast that the light sheet that had covered her billowed tightly around her frame.

"Branwen?"

In that instant, all her memories came back. At least as far as the Slavers and her memory of Branwen, there escape from the ship...and their hurtling decent toward a planet. This planet, this place! Branwen ripped off the covers and ran in search of Nalia. A sense of excitement and anger swelling within her, but questions she needed answered. So consumed with finding Branwen and being angry that she had forgotten about the dream of Emit, or that Nalia might well be aware of what was happening as well.

When she found Nalia, her anger was so great that she was struggling to keep the darkness at bay. Her eye glowed with fire brimstone as the accusations flew from her mouth.

"Where is she?! Where is Branwen?! Take me to her now! All of you! You're no better than the slavers, just because you don't beat us doesn't mean your no better! You still use. You use us for what you can get out of us!"

SilntAngl5
07-13-2011, 04:21 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit arched an eyebrow at the young girl.

"You're an inventor?" he queried with interest. "Fascinating."

He genuinely meant it.

"Hopefully your hopper leaves a small magikal trail, if any. Machinery tends to leave less magikal output than we do, even when fueled by it."

Emit carefully held Pasce as they ascended to the roof. He was even more careful when they were exposed on the rooftops. All of Rekōdo City spread out before them and above them. Things flew overhead that, in any other world, might cause panic or alarm. Cars, carriages, animals with wings, balloon baskets, locomotives and steam boats. Lights hung from what seemed like large planets placed purposely in the sky. Long, tall stairwells lead up to floating restaurants and the sky was illuminated with brightness form the city below it. In the far, far distance, the dome of the Central Library and the Grand Palace stood out at the heart of the city's very life source. Not even the city seemed to know that its heart had stopped beating.

Emit looked down at the Princess in his arms. He hoped she was right in having him come here. He hoped these two would figure out how to help them.

SilntAngl5
07-13-2011, 05:37 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

Nalia had watched Kali grow un Darmon's tutelage. She had watched her powers develop- apparently even off worlders have innate magikal-born abilities- for better and for worse, she watched Kali grow. She kept in touch with Alain and Mindoka to find out about the other girl. They both progressed, they both thrived, but they both were terribly lonely and self-isolated. Nalia trained Kali in controlling her darkness, tapping into it without endangering herself and the world around her. Together, they used their abilities to uncover the mysteries of the artifacts Nalia had found. Despite herself and her own isolation on Capios, Nalia had grown fond of Kali and of the time that was hers to spend with the girl.

Nalia was sitting down in a high-backed chair in front of what appeared to be different colored plaques all carved out of different colored stones. They were configured in a circle before her, had a crude carving of a person and a rune on them, and each were about three inches long. There were ten total, but several of them were cracked in half. Nalia had notes written on parchment by each, but there were several that alluded her. But she was not intent on studying them right now.

Her dark curls hung by her face, suspended from blocking her face only by the silver chain entwined in them that held an emerald stone on her forehead. Her cloak, dark green for the colors of the Enchantress Guild, spilled over the chair like tides of earth silhouetted in black shadows. She sat bent slightly over with a hand to her forehead until the wave of illness passed. Like Kali, she had had a dream last night that was not of their own world, but of the Dream world. Nalia was not adept at walking there by choice. Hers was often against her own will and she often woke in her dreams to a world of Nightmares. It was the same darkness that had tortured and blighted her family so many years ago. She had tried to forget that darkness, to never touch it again, but last night... It had been the first night in a very long time and the feeling afterword left her very nauseous and quite ill. Already she had canceled some of her appointments and meetings today. She had been sick all morning.

Her dreams, though, were quite similar to a portion of Kali's. She had dreamed of a tall, fair-haired man carrying a girl in his arms. They were running away while hordes of... things, twisted and evil things chased them. All around her, Rekōdo City burned. Capios burned. Her world burned. And she had awoken suddenly, coughing, smoke vaporing from her mouth and nose as if she had been in the fires of war that consumed Rekōdo. Nalia had put a hand to her forehead and covered her eyes, just as she did now, to blight the light from her eyes and calm herself. She was trembling and sweating.

It had passed and though even now the nausea came. And it as with her arm supporting the head in her hand that Kali found her. She sat up properly when Kali came in. Nalia inhaled sharply and stood, sensing the darkness and the anger. She stared calmly into the fiery, red eyes with her own, cool emerald ones.

"Kali-"

And then the accusations came and the anger.

Ah. The other girl. Nalia held up a hand calmly to temper her.

"What use is your darkness to me, child, when I have my own? I don't need any more of it, you know that, and I don't use those I tutor, just Darmon and the other Council members because that is the game I must play. I have tried to shield you from that as much as possible."

But she could not completely shield her from Darmon's presence. She had agreed not to and she was bound by that.

She felt sick. It was not a good time for her to deal with Kali's anger, but she had to. Nalia put a hand on the table to support herself. She felt her own darkness waiting on the fringes of her mind. Watching, jittering as if it were alive.

"The other girl is fine. She is safe, but I cannot take you to her yet. But I promise you she is well cared-for."

Some of the totems, still uncategorized hummed in response to Kali's anger. The room smelled and tasted of magik.

Tigers
07-14-2011, 07:18 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Anger bore through her soul like a red hot coal, seeking the most exposed parts. It did not help that Kali was attune to the darkness within Nalia, it only fueled her own. Like meeting like so to speak. It was true what Nalia said, she had been more of a tutor and guide than Darmon. Darmon pushed her to her limits, using her, making her test her strength and abilities. It was like he didn't want a pupil but a puppet. But Kali had not taken his difficult teaching without giving Darmon headaches of his own. She tested him as much as he had her.

But Nalia hadn't, not in the sense that Kali had ever felt used. She had been lonely and because her gifts extended to those that some of the other guilds specialized in, she felt even more isolated. She was unlike the others and even though there had been special moments with Nalia, she always felt that the older woman kept a cool demeanor keeping her at arms length and never letting her feel as if they could be more.

That was where her anger had come from, it had been building for sometime and had she not remembered Branwen it may have cooled over time. At the moment, she felt even more so the pawn than she had before. Even as Kali's anger burned brighter than the sun, there was something off in the background that her anger pushed aside. Something about this situation, about Nalia that should have cooled her anger. But Kali's own pain and anger, her desire to feel that she fit in, that she was more than just what she had been the last two years slowly made that control slip.

The darkness within her often manifested in different ways and because Kali often did not like the feel of shifting she worked on keeping it under control. Today, it hurt too much to remain in control and that emotional anguish was soon to become her own physical pain. Her body shifted, and a shot of pain ripped through her back as a set of leathery wings pushed through flesh and clothing. Droplets of blood trickled down her back and from her head as horns pushed through her flesh. The pain alone was always enough to anger her, an anger she did not need with the emotional state she was currently in.

They knew! All of them knew and they didn't tell her. Why? What was the purpose of keeping her from being with someone who she felt actually cared, at least someone who did not keep a cool demeanor or hold her at arms length. Now at nearly the pinnacle of her anger, the room was fully charged with it's electricity. It should have been Kali's second warning as the totems on the table began to quake the closer she moved toward Nalia.

"I will find her myself then, without your help!"

Kali replied with anger as she stepped closer to Nalia. Within a few feet of her, the entire table began to quake with energy and the totem of light began to glow. Kali never saw the flash of light that knocked her against the wall, only that for several moments she could not move and the anger seemed to be drawn from her like a poison from a wound.

The shift reversed and she was once again just Kali, and her those things she should have noticed before became more apparent. Her brow furrowed with her shame, she could not look at Nalia. But there was something in the air, something that Kali detected. Like the smell of a fresh floral bouquet it drew her attention to Nalia, the source of the scent. Slowly her eyes looked up toward Nalia, the sudden realization of what she'd almost done in light of what she'd just learned.

"Nalia?!"

"I'm sorry, I didn't know."

SilntAngl5
07-14-2011, 10:21 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

She had seen the wings and the horns. Nalia had seen Kali at her worst and at her best. There was nothing terribly new about her anger, and what she changed into when it was out of her control. This time, though, things were different. A day earlier Nalia and the other High Council Members had their powers taken from them. Nalia was lucky, in that she did not have an ancestral spirit to give her the bulk of her power. Perhaps someday, with mercy, she would be given such an honor to tutor those she left behind her in the Enchantress Guild. But, just the same, power had been taken from her and it was not coming back, not fast, if at all. Not until they found the Princess of Rekōdo and obtained them back.

Through whatever means necessary. Nalia was frightened by those possibilities.

Kali very well could have found Branwen on her own. In fact, that was what Nalia was waiting for her to discover: That she had the ability to look beyond her lost memories and see what she had gone without. Where would the self efficacy be for Kali if Nalia gave her the answers? Darmon had his own reasons for keeping Branwen from Kali and it was none of the other Councilmembers' place to do so. It was up to Kali and Nalia would not stop her, not even if she had the power to. It would be too dangerous, but she would trail her and not let the girl into danger.

Or start a political war.

Her anger built and the humming grew louder. The table that held the small carved shields of various colored stone vibrated heavily under Nalia's touch. She glanced at the shields as Kali drew forward.

"Kali wait-"

And light burst in the room, shoving Kali away from Nalia. Nalia crossed her arms before her to shield herself, but the Totems offered her no ill-effects. They were shields, defensive Totems. Until now, a time when she was in actual, un-staged danger, Nalia had been unable to test their abilities. The shield of polished, white stone was of the element light. When in danger, if one were near it or wearing it, it would protect them if the need was great enough, if enough harm was meant or anger present. Why the Light shield reacted before the others, Nalia did not know. The dark one was chipped and lay dormant like its other eight siblings. Nalia breathed heavily and reached out to steady herself on the table again. Her hand trembled and she gripped it hard.

It was over. It was over. Nalia nodded quietly as Kali apologized.

"At least now I know without a doubt that these are elemental defensive shields. Thank you for that."

Slowly, almost painfully, Nalia reached out for her chair and sat herself down. The room was shielded, protected. Any room on Capios that she entered triggered a warding charm so that no one could eavesdrop on her conversations or work, from near or afar. Whether or not those spells held up when one was cut off from their magik, Nalia could only speculate.

"And, please... no one else needs to know of it. I've gone great lengths to keep it a secret. No one else knows, Kali, and it will stay that way."

her tone, at the end, was harsher than she meant it to sound. Nalia rubbed her templed with her hand, in part to keep Kali from seeing how unsettled she was. Totems aside, she was terribly vulnerable. Very little magik. No protection. Kali could have killed her. She could have killed her precious little secret that, until now, she had been successful at hiding.

Even devoid of magik, she was good at hiding things. Nalia took a chance and glanced up at Kali from her seat. She breathed heavily in an attempt to calm herself and the bile of illness she felt creeping up her throat.

"I know you have questions. Now that your anger is in check, you may ask and I will answer truthfully. What do you want to know?"

And Kali, keen on sensing things in others, might also detect a lac of something in Nalia. A lack of smell, a lack of magikal power. Magik always gave off a scent specific to the spell and to the user casting it. Nalia would have only the terribly faded scent of magik she performed two days ago. It would be as if someone severed her bond to the magik of Rekōdo in the same way one cuts a string from their clothes. Again, Nalia said nothing of it. Kali would figure it out on her own.

Tigers
07-15-2011, 03:54 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Kali remained against the wall, although she took a more comfortable seat as her back rested against the marble column, she did not move. She watched Nalia, studied her silently as she often did most everything. She waited until Nalia looked right at her, her teacher's words, lingered in the air for several moments before Kali even responded. And even then, it wasn't a question regarding Branwen, or her current subdued anger.

"Does that include the fact you don't have any magik?"

She kept silent about the Nalia's other more personal secret, because it still shamed her greatly that she had nearly attacked Nalia out of anger before she realized the truth. She leaned her head back against the column, and took in the smell of the lake. Many things went through her mind, the secrets the other kept that she was aware of, the implications of Nalia's problems, and foremost her own suspicions on her abilities.

Darmon treated her as a foolish child, Nalia never had, and she wondered not for the first time if her teacher was not aware of Kali's own suspicions about herself. Because Kali didn't believe that her talents were magikal, she felt it was something else but she wasn't the only one she had suspicions on about this.

Her gaze fell once again on Nalia, she had been the closest thing to a friend that she'd had in the last two years. As friendly as one could get as a teacher to her student, and who had as many barriers as Kali. Their relationship had not been the easiest.

"Can I see Branwen?" Kali finally asked.

"And if so how soon?"

"What are you going to do about your...secret. You won't be able to keep either hidden for long."

The look on Nalia's face prompted a final response from Kali.

"I don't care about the rest...I don't want to deal with it right now. Can we just focus on what I've already asked?"

Nalia wasn't wrong in the silent look she gave Kali that questioned if that was all she wanted to ask. The young girl had lots more questions, but for now, the current issues were more pressing.

SilntAngl5
07-15-2011, 09:11 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

And she did. Quite easily. Nalia closed her eyes, impressed but still reeling from all that happened and was unable to say it. She nodded her consent to answering her questions.

"Yes, Kali. My magik is gone and it is a large reason of why I cannot take you to Branwen. For me, it would be too dangerous. If Rekōdo were to find out our powers were stolen, it would plunge everything into war. You were not here for the first Great War..."

Nalia was. She lost so much in that war. And it was that fear of all she lost, of losing the things and people she held dear again that kept her from letting Kali in.

"... No one can know of this either. It is a matter of peace for Rekōdo. No matter how angry you get, this secret must be kept to keep Rekōdo safe."

She took a deep breath in, never breaking eye contact with Kali.

"I am trusting you with all of this."

Something she never said to Kali before. A heavy weight of seriousness on their conversation. She closed her eyes again and made to sit up straighter. Nalia usually sat painfully erect in her chair, very proper and classy for a woman of Astral origins. Theirs was a more... relaxed style in more ways than how one sat. Her opened backed dress, beneath her Maginus-style cloak was all that reflected that at a glance.

"I will need to contact Mindoka before we can go, but yes, you can see Branwen. I will need to confer with all the Council on this, but I will advocate your desires. It will be difficult without magik and the Council may refuse your request. Travel will arouse suspicion. I do not think I should travel a long distance without it."

Subconsciously, Nalia touched her too-thin stomach. Her secret. For the first time, Nalia looked away. She removed her hand, so she wouldn't get into the habit of being whimsically fond. That alone spoke volumes about what was going on.

"I don't know what I will do, but I will do what I must."

Already she was making plans to hide deep on Capios in the forests, or on one of the other islands nearby until her time came. Nalia looked back up at Kali.

"You did not ask this, but it ties in to how soon you can see the other girl in Shamaa. At her coronation, the Princess of Rekōdo took the powers of the Council members. All the knowledge and power they gained form their ancestral spirit is gone and we don't know of a way to get our power back. The Princess, it seems, has gone into hiding along with Rekōdo's High Chronicler of Magiks, Emit Shornoc. She is the key to getting our magik back. If we find the Princess, we can see about a peaceable way of getting them returned."

The way she worded it made it sound as if Nalia was unsure she took it forcefully, or if it was forced upon her. She felt the 5th oath tugging at her, biding her to protect the Princess as she had not been found guilty of her crimes. But it felt more than that... Surely magik that was meant to bind for good would not do so if she had truly committed such a great evil? She also did not mention or accuse the Princess of breaking any of the Magikal Laws.

"I have no desire to force or coerce you into the Council's problems, Kali, but by finding the Princess, it will assure you a quicker and safer chance to see Branwen."

She stood then and went to the table. She began to pick up the shield Totems and place them gently in the clear, protective box they'd been housed in during their cataloging. She lifted the heavy box herself and put it on a nearby shelf marked for Totems who were appropriately tested and catalogued.

"I have concerns about other COuncil members finding her first. I do not think they will be as merciful about getting their magik back."

Tigers
07-16-2011, 05:26 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Their laws, as Kali thought of it, were something she was made to learn after they taught her to read. She had her own opinions of these laws but never spoke them outright, at least not until today. She had to study about their history as well; it had been a very busy two years for the young girl. But from what Nalia was telling her, it made Kali angry that she would even need permission to see Branwen. If she had too, she’ll go herself, and damn everyone else.

Nalia would see the anger in her eyes, the reflection that she was in deep thought weighing every word that she told her. But Kali kept her seat and did not move a muscle; she sat unmoving as if she were part of the column itself. It was difficult not to spew venom when she spoke.

“Fine!”

“I’ll do this for you Nalia and Branwen, but I don’t give a flame about the Council or its problems.”

Kali’s words weren’t meant to be directed at Nalia herself as Kali vented her anger about the situation. The older woman hadn’t said as much, but Kali knew she disliked most if not all that the Council did too. But with Nalia keeping her at arms distance, Kali felt disconnected and lonely. With Branwen, she would at least know where she stood in the eyes of the other girl.

There was curiosity however in Nalia’s statement about the Princess and Emit Shornoc. She brought up her dream, describing the two she had seen. After conformation from Nalia that they were the same, Kali wondered why she’d even dreamt of them, she’d never met them.

“So what do we do now?”

Shadowseldil
07-17-2011, 02:01 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit arched an eyebrow at the young girl.

"You're an inventor?" he queried with interest. "Fascinating."

He genuinely meant it.

"Hopefully your hopper leaves a small magikal trail, if any. Machinery tends to leave less magikal output than we do, even when fueled by it."

Emit carefully held Pasce as they ascended to the roof. He was even more careful when they were exposed on the rooftops. All of Rekōdo City spread out before them and above them. Things flew overhead that, in any other world, might cause panic or alarm. Cars, carriages, animals with wings, balloon baskets, locomotives and steam boats. Lights hung from what seemed like large planets placed purposely in the sky. Long, tall stairwells lead up to floating restaurants and the sky was illuminated with brightness form the city below it. In the far, far distance, the dome of the Central Library and the Grand Palace stood out at the heart of the city's very life source. Not even the city seemed to know that its heart had stopped beating.

Emit looked down at the Princess in his arms. He hoped she was right in having him come here. He hoped these two would figure out how to help them.

As they ascended to the roof, Felicity double-checked the hopper pack. There was no reason it should not work with more than one person, other than the added mass, and the general principle of where to fit the others. The spells nearly cancelled the effects of gravity, although that was nearly impossible to do on a small scale with just machinery. On a large scale, enough machines could power the spells to cancel gravity, and then it did not really matter about how much mass you had. But on a smaller scale, there simply was not enough power to make them fly. They needed an actual magician to make them work. But, if her idea would work, she could change all that.
On the roof, she mentally mapped out the roof top paths, which way to take, where to land. She planned a shorter route, in case the hopper pack did have a few hang ups with more people. As her hopper pack began to unfold, she gave instructions. "Uh, you should probably place her across the arms, here," she said as the arm supports locked into place, "And maybe you should hang onto the back. Just don't stand on the feet there, or it might break your legs."

SilntAngl5
07-19-2011, 12:54 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit watched Felicity work with a keen eye. This was her element and as she checked her machinery, he stood out of her way and observed. When instructed, he placed the Princess across the arm supports. The girl did not sound very certain of where they should stand.

"Are you sure this is safe for her?" he asked, indicating the Princess, who seemed to have no restraints to hold her to the hopper. Emit took his position at the rear and held on.

"It is an ignorant question, I understand, but I am unfamiliar with technologies like this. I am more at home with magikal travel."

SilntAngl5
07-19-2011, 02:09 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

Nalia exhaled softly and bowed her head. She was not sure how Kali would take the complicated matter of seeing Branwen again. She had feared her anger would get the best of her and that there would be terrible consequences. but Nalia was sympathetic to Kali's anger.

"I know" she said gently and quietly in a voice that was almost soothing. "I do not care for them either. Their problems they bring upon themselves and the rest of Rekōdo suffers for it."

Nalia then listened to Kali's retelling of her dream. Her mind analyzed and connected to her own Nightmare. She was unsure what the dreams meant, but she knew there was a darkness brewing on the horizon. She could hear the darkness in her mind, jittering as if waiting in anticipation. She shut the sound out and focused on Nalia. The girl had asked her a question...

"We must find the Princess" she repeated tiredly.

Hide. She wanted to hide from the Council and the people of Rekōdo. Swim out to one of the more remote islands of Magnius, or better yet- Taroc, and disappear. To hide until her secret was gone and then she could return... Could she return from something like that? She'd have to fabricate a very elaborate lie... and if she had no powers, if their magik never returned from the Princess...

Nalia inhaled and rubbed her temple.

"Darmon will have had his Seconds leave magikal eavesdrop spells behind them as they go around Rekōdo City. They'll be tracing the leftover conversations they hear to see if there are any viable leads to finding the Princess and the High Chronicler. That is what all the Council would do, if they were smart. We need to know what Darmon knows. If the Princess is out there, he will find a way to her."

Inwardly, Nalia's stomach twisted. Darmon could not get to the Princess first. Kali would see Nalia's face pale.

"Forgive me, Kali" she apologized, putting a hand to her ill-at-ease stomach. "That is all I can think of right now. I am not feeling my greatest."

What would she do without magik? How on Rekōdo could she possibly see this through?

Shadowseldil
07-19-2011, 09:20 PM
(((Gonna take a few liberties with Emit here, if you don't mind.)))

"Uh, no," Felicity said uncertainly as the hopper pack began whirring, "Not really. I mean, I don't really know," Then added, in a nervous cheerfulness, "But that's never stopped me before."
Before Emit could fully object, Felicity said, "Let's roll."
They vaulted upward, leaving Felix and the rest of the world behind them. It was a feeling of near weightlessness mixed with rapid acceleration, although the felling of acceleration was tempered a bit, as Felicity added a small displacement spell to make the force more comfortable to bear. It was an odd rush of exhilaration mingled with sheer terror, knowing that there was literally nothing between you and the world below. As they began the downward arch, the feeling of weightlessness remained, but only because they were now literally falling back to the ground below. At last, the inertia cancelling matrix did its job, and they landed with a tiny puff of hydraulic steam.
Once they had come to a complete halt, Felicity wheezed out, "Emit, not... not so tight. I... can't breathe." Once he loosened his grip a little, she added, "Whew. Felicity, you are a genius! We'll have to stop back at my apartment for a little bit. I know you're in a hurry to leave the city, but I need to grab a few things, and I should make a few adjustments to the hopper pack so we can all ride a little more comfortably. It's not much further. Grab on again, not as tightly, though."

A few hops later, they arrived on the rooftop of Felicity's apartment. Emit took Pasce in his arms once more as Felicity led them inside. "It's a bit of a mess," she began as she opened the door, revealing that "Okay, so it's a lot of a mess. I don't have guests over very often. I use most of the space for inventing stuff." She took a few greasy cogs and some hastily drawn sketches off her sofa and said, "Lie her here for now. I've got to use the little girl's room, so make yourself at home. There some juice in the chill-box if you want, glasses are above it."
She closed the door to the bathroom. "The princess," she thought aloud, but quietly, "And her knight in shining armour. How romantic."

Tigers
07-22-2011, 05:35 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali



It eased Kali some to see Nalia express a little more about her feelings regarding the Council. It was enough confirmation for her that she had not imagined it after all. But in one aspect, it made her feel no better the more she thought about the hoops they had to jump through. Darmon was bad enough as it was, he definitely could make you feel like a trained pet. But the fact was, the rest of the Council was making them jump through hoops now too, even if it wasn't planned.

The whole thing stirred like a bitter feeling within her gut. She was conflicted in what to do, part of her was still angry enough to want to not care about what the Council wanted or needed. But sitting across the room, watching how pale Nalia was and her own struggles with the Council, she felt that she should help. Not only to be able to see Branwen, but because she felt oddly connected to Nalia whether the other woman felt that way or not.

She stood when Nalia finished speaking and crossed the distance of the room to where her mentor sat. If she hadn't felt this odd sense of loyalty to Nalia, she would just fly out of there now and get Branwen, damn the Council. But she felt compelled to help, but only for Nalia and Branwen.

"You have my abilities. I don't...really know what they are, but I'm not entirely sure that they are magik. It's...something else, something I feel more than I can explain. But, I think you already knew that."

Kali drew in a large breath.

"When you're ready."

It was all she said, but Nalia would understand what she meant. A pair of dark raven like wings extended from her back as Nalia stepped out onto the balcony that over looked the lake. She needed to be alone to process how she felt and it was better that she wasn't near Nalia.

"You know how to find me."

Her wings began to move and with one giant flap of each wing, she lifted off the ground.

"I will protect you....and your secret." She said as she flew away to be alone.

SilntAngl5
07-25-2011, 09:32 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit opened his mouth to voice his uncertainty when the hopper took off. His hands gripped something, anything without the consequence of dismemberment that would keep him and the Princess from falling. he found very little to be enjoyed form the rapid acceleration, dampened or not. Perhaps it was a sign of his age, though he wasn't thirty yet. He did enjoy the beautiful view of Rekōdo and if the acceleration and movements of the hopper pack didn't take his breath away, this certainly did. His clamping grip on the Hopper did not let up until they were safely landed.

Then he realized what he was gripping and nearly toppled backward as he backed away.

"Ah I'm- I'm sorry! It's not-" he was about to turn to Felix and explain before the man boxed the soul out of him, but the man wasn't here. He was back at the shop, though, for a moment, Emit wondered if they hadn't lost him mid-transit. He closed his eyes for the rest of the hopping and made sure not to squeeze Felicity too tightly. When they arrived, Emit departed the hopper with a quick grace and cradled the princess into his arms. She seemed as she had since they'd begun their exodus: asleep and unfazed by the world around them.

"It looks like my study... except there are books everywhere."

Emit found an odd sort of comfort in the organized chaos of the place. As Emit lay Pasce on the couch, he felt a strange pang of home-sickness. but the life he once lead and loved as gone, stricken from the books, as one might put it. It made a sadness creep over him and he was glad Felicity did not have to see it.


((Cute post, Shadow!))

SilntAngl5
07-26-2011, 05:15 PM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif
Darmon of Maginus

The air hummed with magik and noise as if privy to thousands of conversations at once. He had told a little black lie to the students at his guild. The princess had not stolen his powers, but was draining them with her newly found authority. It broke the Magikal Laws he had overseen being made so long ago and he would not stand for such an injustice to the people of Rekōdo. Just because one was in a position of power did not give them the authority to abuse it and ignore its laws. He was outraged and he would see his and all the Council Member's powers restored to their full glory.

For the sake of Rekōdo... It would be done.

He sat in a high-backed chair in the newly dubbed communications chamber. The banners of dark blue and black hung with borders of silver and gold to enliven their darkness. They hung from the high, arching ceiling among the small fireballs that floated above them. They gave off no heat, only light by which to see in the dark, stone-walled room. Students in their Maginus best sat dutifully at long, mahogany-stained tables listening as balls flickered and hovered before them and the notepad that they scribbled upon with quill and ink. Each ball represented a person in a past conversation, left by those not quite as in charge as Darmon was in places to snoop and eavesdrop for clues among the rapidly expanding rumors of the Princess's whereabouts.

A door opened loudly, causing some to look up from the notes they scribed before hastily looking back down. Darmon wanted it all done by hand so there would be no mistakes or misinterpretations that sometimes came with the use of magik alone. Councilman Charold, a step below Darmon and his personal second-in-command, strode angrily along the rows of tables and over to Darmon's chair. he took the liberty of magikally having wine poured for he and Darmon and took his glass from mid-air as he came upon the strained-looking High Councilman.

So far, there was nothing.

"It's about time."

Darmon took a drink from his glass and looked up at Charold with a mild annoyance in his blue eyes. They smoldered like blue sapphires behind the beautiful silver of his hair and eyebrows.

"I was delayed. The carriage broke down and I had to find a mechanics. You wouldn't believe the hovel I had to visit and the attitude from the simple people who-"

"Charold..."

Darmon rubbed his forehead and Councilman Charold fell into silence for a brief moment.

"If it's any consolation" he said, sipping his wine as he walked away toward the rows of monitoring students. "I left an eavesdrop spell behind me. Not that it will do any good."

"I find your lack of prospect unappealing."

Charold tilted his head back to let a short burst of laughter into the air above them.

"While you're over there" Darmon began as he set his wine glass down "summon Kali. She will be more useful here than chattering on with Nalia."

Charold mimed a salute and walked to a table. He picked up a piece of parchment and a quill.

~Ad scriba~ he commanded and the quill lifted itself from his hand, dipped itself in ink and hovered above the floating parchment. He then dictated a short, curt note summoning the girl he called "the stray," though never to her face, and blew on the drying ink. He folded the parchment into the form of a paper airplane, a crud, rudimentary thing, but he'd rather this than waste the magik to find her.

"Deliver the message to Kali and zap anyone who feels the need to interfere with its deliver."

He tossed the airplane into the air and it took off on a wind of its own, joining a half dozen others making their way elsewhere in the Maginus stronghold.

Qwaring's clone#1
07-29-2011, 11:47 PM
Fifty Kilometers North of Rekōdo City...

A quiet patch of untouched land beyond the city limits. A place between stretches of forests. A realm of quiet hills, vibrant grass and brush, and nature completely and totally undesturbed by the touch of men and other strangeness.

*Rrrrmble-POP!*

A displacement of space. A flash of light. Two figures appear five meters above the grassy terrain. One figure, an orange man in a pristine tuxedo and sunglasses, falls while flailing his limbs frantically. The other figure, a man in a dark military uniform, grey trench-coat and his face from mid-nose to his forehead glowing and crackling with strange, azure-colored energy, falls boots-first towards the hill-covered landscape. The orange, flailing man lands face first into the grass, while his uniform-wearing companion lands half a dozen paces away on his boots. The uniformed man draws a pistol of chrome shapes and glowing tubes from the inside of his trench-coat. The energy concealing his eyes crackles wildly as he directs his attention, and aims his gun, towards the orange man, who is now lifting himself off of the grass and groggily rising to his feet. The orange man rises, reaches into his tuxedo jacket and draws a metal flask, which he immediately opens and drinks generously from before returning the flask to its proper place inside of his jacket.

"It ends here, Cloney." the uniformed man cruelly announces to the orange clone, who is now glancing around at the unfamiliar plaines that surround them both. "The Qwaring Council gave me this gun. It's charged with QLNZ energy. It's the only thing that can kill you." the uniformed man reports with a proud grin.

"Uh huh. Where'd the house go? And Scraps? Where's Scraps?" Cloney questions as he continues to scan the hill and forest populated horizons.

"Don't you understand, fool?! At long last, after an immortal existence of hunting you, I am going to finally kill you!" the uniformed man shouts. His frustrated, gloved hands shake furiously as he desperately needs someone, anyone, to acknowledge his moment of ultimate triumph. What's the point of achieving victory, after centuries of struggling and failure, if there's no one around to pay attention to it.

*Rrrrrrmble-POP!*

That's when the house, the same one the orange clone has been looking for, appears in the air five meters above the clone and his would-be killer. Emporium embraces the house with the irresistable touch of gravity, and the house responds by crashing down onto the ground that the clone and the uniformed man occupy. Both men are swollowed up by the house. The orange clone finds himself standing in a space that would have once been a stairway leading down into a basement, but without the basement or stairs it is simply a safe pocket where the clone is protected from the wieght of the falling house. The uniformed man, on the other hand, finds himself pinned beneath the floor under the kitchen sink, where wooden floorboards and copper pipes press him down into the grass and dirt. Only the uniformed man's unnatural strength and durability saves him from the great, crushing weight, but even with his superhuman attributes having a house fall on him hurts a lot.

The base of the house buckles and distorts from the force of impact. Every window shatters and the roof collapses down into the second floor of the fallen structure. The damaged building moans and cracks for nearly a minute before the front door opens and falls off of its damaged hinges. Out from the opened door steps the sunglass wearing orange clone. He dusts off his tuxedo, walks across the bent and broken front porch, trips and tumbles down the battered stairs until he rolls onto the grass in front of the crashed house.

"Okay. I found the house." the clone proudly announces. "Now, where's Scraps? And the car?"

Qwaring's clone#1
07-30-2011, 12:40 AM
Fifty Kilometers North of Rekōdo City...

The orange clone rises from the grass once more. Again, he pulls out his flask and drinks from it as he continues to search the unfamiliar landscape. He doesn't remain standing for long as the front half of the fallen house explodes in a burst of azure energy. It's the same energy that crackles over half of the uniformed man's face, and surges through his superhumanly powerful body. The clone tumbles back onto the grass. From the exploded, and now burning, house steps the uniformed man. His coat hangs in tatters from his torn and abused uniform. His body burns with blue energy, which he used to blow up most of the house that had pinned him down into the ground. Once again he aims his tubed pistol at the orange man. Again he shouts.

"Enough games! Your dumb luck powers can save you from falling houses, but nothing will save you from-"

*Rrrrrmble-POP!*

A wooden dog house appears, succumbs to the call of gravity and falls onto the uniformed man. The floor of the dog house breaks and the man's glowing head is swollowed into the small dwelling. As the uniformed man struggles to free his head from the dog house, a white furred poodle leaps out of the front door of the dog house. The dog barks and lands in the clone's welcoming arms.

"Scraps! There you are. Come on, pal, let's go find the car." With the poodle in his arms the tuxedo wearing clone stands back up and begins walking away from the uniformed man, who still has his head trapped inside of the dog house.

Seconds later, the dog house explodes as the uniformed man once more calls upon his own energy to destroy the wooden annoyance. He growls as he sees the clone is now running away from him. He holds up his pistol, aims and fires a deadly green beam at the fleeing orange man. The beam misses its target and strikes the ground just to the right of where the clone would be in a few paces. The ground explodes in front of the clone, knocking him onto his back.

The uniformed man looks down at his pistol and snarls at it. A chrome plate on the side of the weapon is now marred by a deep gash, where the falling house had damaged it and its internal targetting mechanisms. The technology that ensured that the gun would never miss its target has been damaged in such a way that the weapon will always miss its target. Everything except for firing the pistol at point-blank range will be a waste of energy. A frustrated groan later the uniformed man is sprinting towards the fallen clone.

"No more house! No more dog! Nothing else was pulled into the vortex with us. Nothing to stop this!" the uniformed man skids to a halt in front of the kneeling orange man.

"What about the car?" the clone replies, still wondering where the missing car is.

"Car?" The uniformed mad didn't see the car during the transit to this unknown world. But he sees it as he casts a worried gaze skyward.

*Rrrrmble-POP!*

A silver-colored DeLorean appears in the sky directly above the uniformed man. The automobile swiftly plummets and comes crashing down onto the gun-wielding man. The would-be killer dissapears beneath the fallen DeLorean. A burst of green energy explodes out from the shattered chrome and tubed gun, consuming half of the car in a violent explosion and all-consuming emerald fire. The orange clone looks at the geyser of green energy.

"Oh no! I've got to do something, Scraps! Run for it, buddy!" the clone shouts at the poodle before tossing the white-furred canine aside. The dog senses the danger of the situation and begins to put some distance between the buring DeLorean and himself. Cloney rushes to the car, lifts open the drivers side door and jumps into the burning vehicle. Within a few desperate moments the clone salvages what he can from the doomed car, jumps out, runs a few paces and leaps away just as the DeLorean explodes behind him.

The orange clone awakens a few minutes later as Scraps licks his face.

"Mmnn... Zombie Colonel Sanders...? Wha? Oh. It's you, Scraps." The clone sits up and looks at his surroundings. The DeLorean wreckage still burns, the now dead uniformed man no doubt burns beneath it. The fallen house and dog house are scattered around the landscape in burnt and smashed debris. He looks down at the trio of items he salvaged from the doomed car.

"There, once I show Mattson how much I was able to bravely save from his car, he won't be so mad about me borrowing it and it getting blown up in a way that's totally not my fault." The clone holds up the salvaged items for Scraps to examine. The dog sniffs at the pair of fuzzy dice, the little plastic dashboard Altwaal and an audio cassette labeled 'Cloney's Mix Tape'. The clone pockets the items, stands up and begins dusting off his tuxedo. "How can he possibly get mad at me. I'm practically a hero for saving such important junk from an obviously unsafe vehicle." The proud clone celebrates with a drink from his seemingly bottomless flask.

Qwaring's clone#1
07-30-2011, 01:04 PM
Fifty Kilometers North of Rekōdo City...

Minutes later Cloney and Scraps sit down on what remains of the front stairs of the destroyed house. The clone reaches inside of his tuxedo jacket and pulls out a folded mass of papers.

"It's time to look over the map and figure out where we are and if there's a waffle house close by." the clone informs the white-furred canine. He begins unfolding the paper, revealing a random mosaic of papers taped, stapled, clipped and glued together. The map is a chaotic assembly of comic strips, children's placemats from various diners, crossword puzzles, pictures, furniture assembly instructions, mall floor plans, and whatever else the clone has randomly added to this insane, cobbled together mass of paper. Cloney adjusts his sunglasses as he begins to study his 'map'.

"Hmmmm. We were here... by the shoe store on Garntark... and we took a left... by Snagglepuss' elbow... past the windmill and fourth hole... across this bananna bread recipe... which means we're.... the clone slowly traces their journey across the patchwork of random papers before pausing in deep thought. "Which means we're lost." the clone announces as he looks away from his map and towards the poodle sitting beside him.

"Ich habe dir gesagt, nicht zu gehen, um den Verkauf der eigenen Tasche zu machen." the dog replies. The clone stands up, tosses his map aside and points an accusatory finger at the poodle.

"He looked like he knew what he was talking about! And we wouldn't have gotten so turned around if you didn't want to pee on every tree we saw! The Tree-People weren't happy about that!" the clone angrily replies to Scraps.

"Mark a területen, én, mint látni fogjuk célszerűnek." the dog shouts back defensively.

"Yeah, but every tree? Just what are you out to prove?"

"De hogy ebből, mi .. Mi ez a szag?" the dog begins to angrily reply, but his tone melts into confusion as he cautiously sniffs at the air.

"Hmm?" the clone, forgetting about the arguement, turns around and sniffs at the air as well. "Smells like city stuff and words... and burning nostalgic 80's car..." the clone ponders the scents. He then turns back around and flashes the poodle a wide smile. "Hey, Scraps! There's a city that-a-way! Y'know what that means, right? They'll have corndogs! All of the corndogs we can eat. Drenched in ketchup and tartar sauce!" The dog merely barks in reponce and wags his tail. "Yeah, me too. But how are we going to get to the city. These boots aren't made for walking." The clone nods down at his go-go boots.

*Rrrrrmble-POP! Ding. Ding.*

A bicycle appears in the air and falls to the ground beside the clone. The bicycle's bell rings due to the force of the impact. The orange man and white-furred dog look over the bike. It's pink, covered in flower stickers, white and pink tassles hang from the handlebars and a large basket hangs off of the front.

"I don't know, Scraps. Biking all the way to the city might take forever. the clone ponders to his canine companion.

"Integer quis magna." the dog replies while sniffing the fallen bicycle.

"You're right. Between us we have enough technical know-how to modify the bike and get us to the city before they run out of maple syrup. Let's go!" The clone kneels down beside the bike and the poodle huddles closely beside them. Between the two of them they're able to alter the bike to their mutual satifaction. They've attached a baseball card between the bicycle tire's spokes, so that when they ride it the bike will make a roughly motorcycle-like sound. "There, that should get us to the city in no time." The clone stands the bike up on its tires and kickstand. He picks up the poodle and sits him down in the front basket. Cloney then takes his seat on the bike and begins peddling off towards the city of Rekōdo, and dreams of corndogs covered in grape jelly.

Tigers
07-30-2011, 04:03 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali



Kali flew to the waterfalls that flowed between the boarders of Taroc and Maginus. There she would sit on one of the rocks shelves under one of the larger flowing falls. It was her favorite place to go to get away. It was the place she went to think, away from Darmon, away from the Council’s politics, a place to be alone. She didn’t mind the spray of the water from the fall, it felt good on her face, refreshing.

Often times she came here so that Darmon couldn’t see her cry. She’d never cried in front of anyone, but frustration left her void, with the need to release that pent up anguish. Nalia was patient and kind, she was a good teacher, but her cool exterior was almost as difficult to take as Darmon’s ability to always be a jerk.

Kali let out a sigh, and dipped the tips of her wings in and out of the flowing stream of water while she thought about the recent return of memory. Well, partial return, she still had no idea where she’d come from before the Slavers. But knowing that Branwen was here and so close only made being here in this place even more lonely. Branwen must not remember yet, or she would have come for Kali along time ago, right?

Doubt crept into her mind as she sat with her thoughts. The only sound was the rushing water as it roared over edge in front of her. She would have stayed there until dark, if it hadn’t been for the small folded paper airplane that caught her eye. She glanced at the plane with curiosity as it moved toward her. Nalia had other means of contacting her, who could…the thought died as the first spark of anger hit her. Darmon! Just thinking about him made her angry, and it was difficult for her not to think that in some sense he was doing this on purpose, destroying any peace she might try and find.

But unlike Nalia, when Kali’s anger flared, especially where Darmon was concerned, it was…painful. Kali wondered if it was because she felt out of control with her anger where Darmon was concerned. She snatched the paper out of the air, read it. Kali’s fist tightened around the paper, so much for calm and relaxing. Darmon was summoning her like some animal to come at her Master’s beckon call, and shortening the time she’s supposed to be spending with Nalia.

That was all she needed to have what peace she was trying to find shatter into a million pieces. The transformation happened so quickly that the pain doubled her over onto her knees. Horns sprouted from her head and her wings became like those of a dragon, rough and scaly. For several moments Kali stood on her hands and knees on the small shelf trying to regain the air sucked from her lungs. She felt the blood run down the side of her face and back.

Once she could find her legs, she stood up with the note still crumpled in her hand. She was beyond angry, but the pain out shadowed the anger by far. Kali ran her hand along the tender spot where the horns had come through; her hand came away bloody. She wasn’t surprised. She uncrumpled the letter and proceeded to write a reply with her own blood.

“Tell the old man not to get a runner in his stockings. I’ll get there when I get there; it’s supposed to be my time with Nalia.”

As an afterthought, she added for Charold.

“Run along, be a good little boy and deliver your message to Darmon…don’t forget to send my love!”

Kali refolded the crumpled plane and sent it on its way. She took a moment to gather herself, so she wouldn’t be a total mess when Nalia saw her. As an added precaution, instead of going around the lip of the fall, she dove right through it and into the air, hoping that the blood would be washed away from the sudden stream of water. She purposely took her time, knowing it would only infuriate Darmon even more; at least she could get some satisfaction in that.

When Kali returned, she found Nalia in the same place she’d been, still fighting the nausea and frantically searching for something. Kali could only imagine what it was, and she almost felt guilty about bothering her. She looked down at her wet clothing, dripping with water and tainted with her blood. She almost cursed out loud until she noticed Nalia looking at her.

“Darmon’s summoned me.” Was all that Kali managed to get out.

SilntAngl5
08-01-2011, 05:35 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

After Kali had left, Nalia swallowed her discomfort and got to work. She went in to another room full of archived Totems. These, though, were different than the stones and figure she was working on in the main room. These were articles people would wear. Clothing, necklaces, bracelets and earrings, jewelry, cloaks anything that might be used or hidden when worn. The Da Jinn were masters of hiding Totems on their person, with all the jewelry they wore. Nalia, herself, had Totems on her person already. Each Province leader had at least two, gifts from her and one of their choosing. If they obtained Totems outside of her and used them, she had very little knowledge.

Nalia delved among the cloaks until she found one. It was dark colored, but terribly thin in material. She pulled it out and the air around it shimmered. Looking through the material, the objects on the other side shifted from being there to not. It was, ultimately, what she was looking for. Nalia took the cloak and wrapped it several times around her midsection and then tied it off. Once fastened or tied, the cloak shimmered and disappeared along with the secret Nalia wished to hide. It would not hide the symptoms she felt, but it would, at least, detract the eye from making the immediate discovery she hoped to stymie. As the child grew, would the cloak hold? Satisfied for now, yet still feeling terribly vulnerable, Nalia returned to the main room just as Kali re-entered through the window.

Nalia was going to speak, but her words were washed away with the pink-stained water that dripped from Kali's body. Her emerald eyes hardened, but she understood Kali's anger. Darmon was not an easy many to tolerate. Immediately, she un fastened the cloak at her shoulders and crossed the room. She gently touched the sides of Kali's face as she wiped the blood from the horns in her hair. She was so involved in this sudden random act that it took her a moment to realize how very awkward it was for this teacher and her adept pupil. She stopped then and draped the cloak over her arm.

"Forgive me" she said quietly as she stepped back. "I am not myself."

She would have to be careful. Powers gone or not, she could still weave powerful illusions with her body, eyes and voice. She would have to play her part carefully. So she straightened and Kali might notice the sleekness of her too-thin frame. The cloak, while bound around her, was effective, but it could not remain there forever.

"Lovely" she asked in a voice that dripped with as much love for him as Kali's voice had. "We'd best not keep him waiting then."

She stepped over to the fireplace, a common short-distance transportal with the teleport stone placed above the hearth in the mantle. A simple flume when the flames of the fire were not the appropriate color. All the fire flumes were green on Capios. Regular hearths were orange. The flumes here were very protected and only let people out, not in. Nalia had taken many precautions to restricting traffic into Capios. The fire was currently orange. Nalia smoothed the gem embedded into the hearth.

"Maginus, the Great Hold" she said and the fire sparked green. She turned to Kali and saw the odd look she gave her. Nalia never used the flumes. They were a very public transport and, like Kali, she often used the shadows. Immediately, Kali would see something very guarded cross Nalia's face. A darkness behind the beautiful, stern emerald of her eyes. Nalia breathed in deeply and smoothed the stone over again with her fingertips. The fire returned to its normal orange crackle.

For a moment, she stood there silently.

"I am-" she began and stopped. She refused to admit that she was afraid. Of anyone or anything. She knew what she would see if they entered the shadows to travel. She knew... but Kali wouldn't. Nalia steepled her hands in front of her and held her fingertips to her lips almost as if praying.

"Kali" she began again, very slowly and very carefully and lowered her hands. "I have walls. You know that. But I have good reasons for them."

She took a deep breath, suddenly wishing a chair were closer at hand.

"If we go through the shadows, you must guide me and quickly. Do not look around. Do not stop. Do not stop. Stare only at the light of the shadow you are going to. I will explain more later, when it's safe."

Who knows how many of her defensive spells are debunked without her power to sustain them. Nalia looked paler, as if this actually worried her. or as if she were about to be sick. Without her magik, it was still hard to tell what she was thinking. Clearly, she was concerned for Kali's safety.

"Do... you understand?"

Meteoro
08-02-2011, 06:50 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Andolf.jpghttp://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Devian2.jpg
Andolf and Devian

It’s a known fact that the five provinces of Rekōdo live in a state of peace as a result of long diplomatic efforts and deep fear to the ravages of war. The memories are still fresh. They all know about loss and pain, and how pride can be a self-destructive weapon if you don’t know when to stop. They can all feel safely that not one spell or a shot is being fired in anger against one another and that anyone can walk the street without a worry. What the commoners don’t know is that these treaties came with some sacrifices and that there were certain spoils of war, maybe not big ones, but there had to be some to guarantee that all parts were willing to collaborate. So, how do these sacrifices translate into facts? You just have to see these two men that were about to change the course of diplomacy between the City of Enchantry and two other provinces. Yes, you read it right. These were two men who were held against their will within a city that was built for women alone.

The first one was a young boy named Devian. He was about 12 or 13 years old, too young to be called a man, yet with a bigger burden than the one he should bear, or at least that’s what his captives did think of him some times. He was shorter than kids his age and not too strong, with sparkling blue eyes and a color matching hair. His skin wasn’t exactly white; it did feel greyish when not in the shadows, which was a common trait to the degenerative disease that was passed from generation to generation within his family. This disease marked him as an outcast at the Province of Maginus, because natural magik was denied for him and those of his kind, and there was no way for him to hide the skin tone that would let everyone know of his disability.

The second prisoner was a very young man named Andolf. He was born and raised in the Province of Taroc and since young age he showed a strong ability to predict the future using ice cubes under the moonlight. Too bad he was being held captive in a place where he didn’t have ice or moonlight at hand. Still, Andolf wasn’t overconfident of his gift and perfected the art of shadow-battling, a fighting style that made him move in ways that would always confuse his opponents, making them predict different moves than the ones that he would actually pull, always relying in his uncanny agility and almost soundless battle. He was thin, tall and strong, he wasn’t built as a wrestler, but his body moved always in harmony and was a deadly weapon when in need. As a symbol of pride, he wore a very long black hair, which he often kept in a ponytail. His deep narrow eyes spoke of a cunning few men had and a will as a strong as the heroes’ from the past.

These two young men had very little in common and hadn’t known each other for long. They just were thrown together in the same cell a few months ago, as far away from common sight as possible. They were probably the only two men in this big city full of women and they had to be kept hidden. Their crimes were matters to be discussed some other day, because things were about to change-- fast!

“Are you sure this is going to work?”, Devian asked not certain they had really thought this through. “If we get caught another time, I don’t think they will be this forgiving--”

“You have to be brave or we will both die in here.”, Andolf replied without missing one second of the timing of the guards walking outside of the cell. “Please tell me you don’t want to live like a rat for the rest of your life. You know as well as I do, that they won’t let us go. Not ever.”

“You’re right”, Devian replied, “it’s just that there’s only the two of us against an army--”

“And we will play that in our favor.”

Andolf calculated the pace of one of guards and, just a moment before she walked by their cell, he threw a small white ball rolling on the floor. It moved slowly with all of Andolf’s determination and when it hit the other wall, it exploded in blinding white light. Instinctively, the guard pressed her back against their cell, getting grabbed with Andolf’s arm around her neck, through the bars.

“Now!”, Andolf ordered his cellmate, “take her keys!”

Nervously, the kid grabbed the keys from her pocket and opened their cell. With a soft move, Andolf rendered the woman unconscious, making sure not to harm her much.

“It’s up to us now,” concluded Andolf, “we have to run as if we were followed by the Seven Demons!”

Tigers
08-03-2011, 06:33 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


When Kali saw the look in Nalia's eyes, she thought for sure the anger was for her. Her attempt to hide the painful transformation had only backfired and brought about a foolish action. Now she stood there dripping droplets of watery blood onto Nalia's floor. But then her teacher did something unexpected, something that belied her cool nature toward Kali. She did something maternal.

She did not pull back when Nalia reached up and touched her face and the uprooted horns that protruded from her skin. The only one that she could ever recall being nice to her was Branwen, but that was more like a sisterly type of caring. This was something she'd only seen or read about since being here on Rekōdo. It was something a mother would do for her child. It was an odd sensation that traveled through her as touch and thought weaved its way to that place deep within her.

A spark of desire for something missing...or something lost perhaps? The look on her face would reveal that she had been unprepared for Nalia's touch. But it was quickly masked when her teacher seemed to realize what she was actually doing. She nodded in acknowledgment to Nalia's apology, but she did not look into her eyes for fear of revealing her own sudden weakness yet again.

The change of focus back to Darmon was enough to help chase these odd feelings away. It gave Kali something else to focus on besides an awakening desire to be loved by a mother. She prepared herself to follow Nalia through the shadows, but then Nalia did something else very odd. She turned to use the fireplace, something Kali had never seen.
Again the coolness like the first morning frost crossed Nalia's exterior features masking her true feelings and innermost thoughts. Kali watched her in silence as she worked the right words to say, a mask of words used to hide her deepest secrets. She was expected more of an explanation for her need to keep her at arm's length, but her words took another branch off of the main reason. They were still connected, but they still revealed nothing.

Kali's eye's glanced at the suddenly thin region of Nalia's figure. An illusion, or Nalia's own form of pheromones being used to disguise what was hidden beneath? Kali was no talented illusionist, but was slowly beginning to understand the depths of her abilities with pheromones. No magik, and a hidden secret, it must be why she wanted to avoid the darkness. She was protecting herself and her secret.

A place where Kali felt no fear, she liked the darkness, but the look in Nalia's eye's suggested perhaps there was something more, something she did not see. What could be worse than the whispers of the creatures in the darkness and the temptations that they offered freely when all you had to do was accept? A temptation that she teetered on the edge of giving into when she was around Darmon.

"I wouldn't let anything happen to you." Kali replied.

She was silent for several moments.

"We will use the fireplace and for the record, I really don't care if Darmon has to wait."

Jason Sanborn
08-03-2011, 12:39 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah watched as the colors blurred around her once more. It had long ago become a familiar site to her as she held the spinning bronze gyroscope in her hand. 'This should do it,' she thought to herself, then reached out with her mind to slow down the spinning wheel. As the spinning slowed, so did the colors speeding past her. When the spinning stopped, her surroundings came into focus.

She was standing in the center of a crowded town square. She didn't like appearing in front of people, she never knew how people would react. Getting attacked by a scared and angry mob was not something she particularly enjoyed, and often made her visits extremely short. Her arrival here, though, went relatively unnoticed. Yes, she did surprise some, and heard a couple rude comments about her getting in their way, but beyond that, most seemed to ignore her.

Tamarah put the gyroscope into a large leather pouch at her waist and looked around. The city she was in appeared to be educated. There was signs of science and technology all around her. That was good, because that meant there were probably universities and libraries. It was always easiest to learn about a society from its literature, provided it was written in a language she could read. The fact that she understood the conversations around her was a good sign at least.

"Um, excuse me," she said meekly to a woman passing nearby. "Could you tell me where the library is?"

The woman looked at her curiously, not responding immediately. Tamarah wondered if it was the way she was dressed. She was wearing a green dress that she acquired on the last world she visited. The style was different than the large dress with bustle that this woman wore, but certainly that couldn't be the cause.

"Everyone knows where the Central Library is," the woman answered dubiously.

"Um, I've only just arrived," she said sheepishly in response, bowing her head slightly.

"Just follow this street and you'll get there," The woman replied haughtily as she walked away.

"Thank you," she said courteously, even though the woman was walking away quickly. Tamarah looked around the square, wondering which street the woman was referring to. There were four streets leading out of the square. 'Well,' she thought to herself, 'which way? Should I ask someone else?' She sighed and decided to take a chance on her own. She chose a street in the opposite direction from where the woman walked and hoped for the best.

Meteoro
08-03-2011, 10:13 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Andolf.jpghttp://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Devian2.jpg
Andolf and Devian

The City of Enchantry

Escaping from a prison in the City of Enchantry wasn’t an easy task. There was something about women living without men that radically changed the role the patriarch society created for them and turned them into entirely different creatures. Their nurturing side faded away and got replaced with the strength of a different kind of warrior. Men as combatants had a sense of chivalry, they saw themselves as gentlemen in armor who battled for glory and the heart of damsels in need. Women as warriors were just reckless. They would stop at nothing and they only had one goal in mind: victory.

Andolf and Devian may have been held captive for a while under the watching eye of the Enchantress Guild, but they had never faced them like this before. Well, Andolf did briefly and we already know he got caught quite fast. As the two young men ran through the hallways of the prison, they saw magic arrows exploding by their sides. Devian wasn’t as fast as he should to escape this man hunt, but Andolf managed to push him into the right direction every time he was about to be hurt by an arrow.

“This way!”, said Andolf as he pushed the kid through a very thin hallway that lead to a window without bars. “Reach the end and jump.”

“Are you out of your mind?”, Devian complained almost panicking. “We’re too high! We’ll fall to our deaths!” In fact, they were at the top of the highest tower. The prison hadn’t been built there by accident.

“Do as I say! I’ll be right behind you”, Andolf concluded.

Devian reached the end of the way and turned back for a second. Andolf was watching his back and those feral women were right behind them. It was to die right now by one of those magic arrows or to die a few seconds later after the fall.

“Damn!”, Devian said as he closed his eyes and just jumped. He couldn’t believe he would end his days just like this. His entire bloodline would be coming to an end with his last breath and all his hopes for greatness would have meant nothing.

“Open your eyes!”, Andolf almost screamed in Devian’s ear as he was falling right behind him. But there was something about this thin and strong young man who had been imprisoned for eavesdropping in the intimacy of these warrior women. He was falling, there was no doubt of that, but he used both arms and legs to balance his weight against the walls, while using Devian’s body as an anchor to slow both of their falls. It was a shadow-battling technique, and it was so perfectly played that it looked like magik, only it wasn’t. As a final part of this performance, Andolf pushed them against a tree which absorbed most of the impact, making them land bluntly but safe.

“Don’t... ever... do that... again...”. Devian’s skin looked even grayer as he gasped for air.

“We can’t stop now, Devian, we have to leave the City of Enchantry as fast as we can. They won’t stop until they get us. We have to go to Rekōdo City.”

Qwaring's clone#1
08-04-2011, 10:01 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

An hour past nightfall. On the lush front lawn that blankets an acre around a luxerious house, sits the orange clone. A modest campfire burns and crackles in front of the tuxedo-wearing clone. Propped up over the fire is a crude assembly of collected sticks that suspends a wooden lawn gnome over the fire, to cook this unliving carving of wood after the clone had bravely hunted it and captured it earlier this afternoon. The orange man licks his lips, waiting for the wooden gnome to be fully cooked and ready to be eaten.

Lying beside the tuxedoed man is his canine companion, the poodle known as Scraps. The dog is happily gnawing on the bones of an animal he had hunted down, killed, cooked and eaten while the clone was still struggling with the lawn gnome. A dozen paces to Scrap's left, stands the pink bicycle that the dog and clone had ridden on during their long journey. The bike was placed in front of a decorative fountain, because the clone assumed it would need to drink water after such a hard day of dirt roads and wrong turns. It has yet to taste any of the water, since it's just a bicycle.

Directly behind the clone and Scraps, stands a large canvas awning that the clone had torn off of the house that stands a tenth of an acre away from this odd campsite. Cloney had forcefully removed the awning from above the ground-floor window it hung over and provided decoration and shade for. Now the awning is to be used as a crude tent for this farce of a campsite. Underneath the poor shelter of this awning/tent lies a pile of welcome mats, stolen from the front doors of a dozen homes the clone passed on his journey towards the city he can only vaguely sense. These ill-gotten welcome mats are to be used as bed and blankets for the orange man.

"I can't wait until we get back to civilization, Scraps." the clone happily announces to his canine companion, while turning the wooden gnome on the stick in an effort to evenly burn the unliving carving. "Believe it or not, I'm not really the outdoors type. I know it might seem like I've got the survival skills of a crazy-homeless Davey Crockett, but I'm actually winging it here." He picks up the stick the gnome is tied to and brings the burnt wood up to sniff, as if expecting it to smell like a fully cooked meal instead of charred wood. With a growl the orange man bites into the wooden sculpture, but finds that his teeth can't break the thing apart for eating. He lets out a sad sigh and puts the gnome back into place above the fire.

"Hmm. Maybe I should stew it. Do lawn gnomes stew?" The clone's questions are only answered by a condescending sigh from Scraps, before the dog returns to chewing on the skeletal remains of his own meal.

Jason Sanborn
08-05-2011, 04:11 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

It was night, but the street lights and lights of the nearby buildings gave enough light to see by. Tamarah had been walking beside the street in the direction she hoped would lead her to the Central Library. She wondered if the library would be open if she found it. On her home world, the university library was open all hours, every day, for those who wished to study. Often students could be found with their study groups cramming for a morning exam, or researchers pouring through old tomes looking for answers or ideas aid their current studies.

Tamarah sighed. How long had it been since she spent her days and nights in the university library? How long since she had last seen her lab? It seemed like many lifetimes ago. The silver necklace with platinum and sapphire infinity pendant, the Infinity Chain, had given her back her youth, and also granted with it seeming immortality. Immortality wasn't the only thing the Infinity Chain gave her, it also gave her mystical powers that she spent lifetimes mastering. Unfortunately, it also came with a curse. Nothing would allow her to remove the Infinity Chain, and, there are times, that certain negative aspects of her personality manifest, which is something she doesn't particularly enjoy.

There were quite a few people on the streets as she walked. She surmised it must be early in the night, unless the people here were nocturnal by nature. She looked at the people and the buildings as she walked down the street. She has visited countless worlds in her years as a refugee from her home. She had seen all manner of people, each with varying degrees of enlightenment and advancement. This world happened to be fairly close to her own world, with some differences in style. There were signs of technology as well as mystical powers. That helped explain why her appearance was relatively ignored. She wondered what the mystical powers were called here, and how common or uncommon it was. Perhaps the Central Library would hold the answers, whenever she found it.

SilntAngl5
08-06-2011, 04:08 PM
http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif
Darmon of Maginus

Darmon tapped his fingers on the carved, wooden arm of his chair. The longer he had to wait, the more his fingers tapped. He, like Nalia, was more than aware of Kali's abilities. He knew that Kali was a strong-willed individual, dark and powerful. Just like Nalia. There were a lot of things she and Nalia had in common. They both tapped from the same, dark power, something he knew went beyond their small world to whatever lay beyond in the stars. He just could not comprehend it, because he did not have that power. As Dark were the Arts of his ancestors... theirs was a far greater and deeper darkness. He remember how the darkness welled around her, springing from palms and taloned fingertips. Even the torchlight, forever alight with magik, seemed to cringe and shrink back from her... or be swallowed by what power she held.

"Darmon-"

He looked up at Charold, he being one of the few who could call him by his name so informally. He was excited about something.

"Master... we found something."

Darmon stood up-

"Show me."

-and was lead over to a single table of a half dozen students. Their job was to watch for surges in magikal outpour. If the Princess used any of her power, it would be off the charts. She held all the ancestral spirits and that was more power than anyone on Rekōdo has held in centuries. She wasn't the only one to have such power, but such texts were well hidden. The Princess, who committed a very great crime, would be punished for it. He would see to that. He would do all that he needed to get his ancestral spirit back...

~Amplifico~

The floating terrain of Rekōdo zoomed in to an area within the Maginus Province. There was a massive surge in power, representad by pulses of light. All over the province, where were little pulses of people using magik, but this area was rural, forested in the hills leading out of the mountains. A surge that big, such a grand pulse of light that eclipsed all others had to be her.

"Send a small detachment from the Eastern Hold to obtain the Princess and bring her here."

"Sir-"

Darmon glared up at him.

"That pulsar is old. We've been tracking it to make sure it was not a fluke."

Flukes, magikal errors, happened. Emporium was a world of magik, afterall. The Shamaa believed everything down to the tiniest bug held magikal potential.

"Where did its trail go?"

Damron leaned in closer to watch the floating 3D map.

~Investigo~

The pulse moved slowly southward, traveling around Rekōdo City before the pulse finally dimmed south of the City. In the Province of the peaceful Shamaa. Darmon narrowed his eyes. it had to be her.

"Charold, lead a black team and go down and get her."

There was something dark in Darmon's voice as he thumbed his chin.

"But sir... It's well into the territory of the Shamaa..."

"To hell with the Shamaa. Do it."

Charold looked at the map and bowed.

"Yes sir... "~Effingo~

A ghostly copy of the map flittered up into the palm of Charold's hand. He closed his fingers around it and left.

A small detachment of men, a half dozen or so, rode on horses so as not to leave a trace of magik aside from their small, personal aura. They rode dressed in black with no visible markings of their province. They were, in essence, uninvited into Shamaa, to retrieve a fugitive of national proportions. It was almost a small act of war.

Meteoro
08-07-2011, 09:28 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Andolf.jpghttp://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Devian2.jpg
Andolf and Devian

The City of Enchantry

The two escapees from prison were still gasping for air, but they had to move fast because they could already listen to the Enchantry troops coming for them. From solid ground, Devian looked up to the tower where they were just trapped and he couldn’t help feeling a bit dizzy. The structure of this huge castle didn’t look the same from the floor. Their prison wasn’t in the highest tower as they thought at first, but it did look that way when they were trapped over there. Obviously it was some sort of magik, which made him frown once again. He turned to Andolf, for some reason he had become his only chance to escape the island of Capios.

“We have to get out”, the kid said almost panicking. “These women are crazy, they hate men, they will dismember us when they find us. You have to help me!” Almost in response to Devian, the floor started showing green sparks that started moving around like spores in the wind. “They already sent the seekers!”

“Calm down, kid.” Andolf said with a smirk on his face. “Follow me!”

They started running into the woods making sure not to touch any of the seekers. They went past the clearing around the castle and started moving towards the river and the caves. Andolf moved like a deer, gracefully, effortlessly, while Devian kept falling over and over again. It was impossible not to tell that Andolf was actually smiling, something that was starting to madden Devian.

“The seekers are all over the place, they will get us!”

“They have no clue, Devian! These lights aren’t sentient, they will just report what they touch but they have no reasoning. You should know that by now!”

But in a way, Devian was right. The voices of the women didn’t feel that close, but it was growing impossible not to touch these emerald lights. In a moment, Devian found himself surrounded.

“Help me...” The kid was finally cornered and deep fear was taking over his every sense.

“Do as I say and make no mistake!” Andolf started moving his arms and legs so softly it felt like a dance. “You have to flow with the moves, don’t over think them, breath slower, the seekers will see you as an innocent shadow.” In fact, these moves were a Shadow Battling technique for protection. It didn’t involve magik, but it certainly looked like it. If done right, the entire environment would perceive them as harmless shadows as long as they kept repeating the moves.

“Don’t stop, Devian. You’re doing good.”

The kid’s face got covered with sweat, he moved like Andolf said, but every move was exhausting. The pressure on his legs was giving him so much pain he wasn’t sure he could keep this going for too long.

“This island is going to kill us. How are we even supposed to get out of here?” The sense of anguish kept growing in Devian. He didn’t want to get caught again. He knew for sure this time the women of the City of Enchantry wouldn’t be so merciful with him. He had to find a way out. He had to!

Jason Sanborn
08-08-2011, 12:01 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Nothing. Was she even walking on the correct street? For that matter, how would she recognize it if she saw it? She had assumed it would have a sign that said "Library" or "Central Library" as that is what the woman called it. She wasn't discouraged, though. It wouldn't be the first time she's wandered aimlessly through a community. She often took those opportunities to look around and learn from the conversations around her, and the buildings she passes. She had learned a long time ago that you can learn as much from the people as you could from the books.

As she walked, a tingling rushed down her spine and a vision flashed briefly before her eyes. She had long ago become accustomed to the sensation and knew immediately how to react. She reached her hand down to her pouch quickly, grabbing hold of the small wrist. She reached out with her mind using her telekinesis to help her easily pull the would-be pickpocket around in front of her.

"Please, mum, dun hurt me," the would-be pickpocket pleaded. It was a young girl, perhaps twelve years of age. Her clothes were worn and tattered, and skin covered with dirt and grime. Her long hair would probably be a honey-blonde if it wasn't so matted with dirt and filth. She was extremely thin most likely from living on scraps. Tamarah's heart was moved with pity for this poor child.

"I'm not going to hurt you, dear," she replied soothingly. She let go of the girl's arm, but continued using her telekinesis to keep her levitating an inch off the ground. "What's your name?"

As soon as Tamarah let go, the girl flailed around in the air, trying in vain to turn and run away. The look of fear was evident on her face, realizing she was trapped. "Please, mum, let me go."

"Is this waif causing you trouble, Miss?" Tamarah looked at the man who was approaching them. He was an older gentleman, finely dressed, with a woman, dressed in an equally fine dress, on his arm. They appeared as if they were on their way to or from a nice dinner or show. "Shall I summon a constable for you?"

"No please, mum an' sire. I'm meanin' no harm," the girl pleaded with a panicked voice.

"Thank you, Sir, but no. The constable won't be necessary, she's no trouble at all."

"She doesn't need our help, Clarence," the woman said, tugging on the man's arm. She appeared eager to be away from Tamarah and the girl. "Let's go home."

The man glared at the woman in irritation for a moment, then back at Tamarah. "Very well then, Miss. Good evening." He tipped his top-hat courteously then turned and walked away with the woman, who appeared more than eager to get away from them. Tamarah turned her attention back to the girl.

"Now, they're gone. Will you tell me your name?"

The girl looked down. "Jalene, mum. Thankee for not gettin' a connie."

"A connie? You mean a constable?"

Jalene nodded. "Yes, mum. Can I go now?"

Tamarah looked at the young girl, floating an inch of the ground, looking scared and defeated. She sighed. "How long have you lived on the streets, Jalene?"

"A long time, mum. What do it matter?"

"I've just arrived in the city, and I would need someone who knows the streets well to show me around. If you've lived on the streets a long time, then you probably know it better than anyone. You could get food, new clothes, and a nice warm bed to sleep in if you would be my guide."

Jalene looked at Tamarah dubiously. "Are ye joshin' me, mum?"

Tamarah shook her head. "No, I'm not." She lowered the girl so that she is standing on the ground. "So the choice is yours. Stay with me, be fed, or run. I won't stop you."

The girl looked around for a moment, as if contemplating running. After a few seconds, she looked back at Tamarah. "I'll be yer guide, mum."

Tamarah smiled. "Good, my name is Tamarah. You may call me Tammie if you like."

Qwaring's clone#1
08-13-2011, 12:20 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

Should any clandestine group of men on horseback approach Cloney's campsite, they will find a dimly burning campfire sitting in front of an awning made into a tent. Underneath the awning is a snoring figure that is slumbering soundly beneath a pile of stolen welcome mats. Standing beside the pile of mats is a small, white furred poodle that is barking at the sleeping person. A glowing orange hand, which stands out brightly in the night, reaches out from beneath the pile of mats and places a palm on the dog's head, as if seeking to push a snooze button on an alarm clock. The dog stops barking and shakes the orange hand off of his head. The hand returns back under the pile of mats, and the snoring continues. The dog growls in frustration, turns around and walks back to the side of the campfire. He sits down beside the dim fire, and begins another shift of keeping watch over the campsite, because his companion refuses to wake up for his turn of keeping watch.

The poodle glances one way, then the other. He sniffs at the air curiously and then yawns as he looks back at the snoring clone. After a moment of resentful thought he returns his attention to the surrounding acre of grass and wonders where he buried the bone he had been chewing on earlier.

Shadowseldil
08-15-2011, 05:56 PM
Felicity emerged from the bathroom a few minutes later, carrying with her a strange devise. What Emit would observe would be two crystalline orbs, enscrawled with complex magical matrices. In between them, and connecting the two, was a strange device of mechanical origin. "Sorry it took me a while, but an idea hit me while I was in there, and I just had to see if it worked out. It should, but I'll need to install it before I can find out. But first things first; let's fix up the hopper pack so you can both ride a little more comfortably."
She quickly snagged a few brackets from the jumbled chaos of her apartment, attaching them with fervour to the rear of her invention. It quickly took the shape of a harness, although it hardly looked very comfortable. It was amazing to watch her work. She moved tools and twisted bolts and fastened riggers in ways that seemed improbably, and at times it was hard to believe that she only had two hands. One magician she had helped thought that she must have latent magical talent, but what he found surprised him more. Felicity had a notable lack of magical presence. Everyone on Emporium has some magic in them, the scholars say, but those who are not magicians have it in very trace amounts. In Felicity's case, she had less than trace amounts. He never said so to her, but the magician's going theory on Felicity is that, since she has such a lack of magic, her body has compensated mechanically, sort of how a blind man has superior hearing. In other words, where she lacks in magical skill, she makes up for with mechanical ingenuity.
However, this is merely one man's theory on the ten-year-old machinist prodigy. It was, however, fact, that she could do more with a wrench than most people could do with a spell, and the way she handled her tools was a magic all its own.
While she worked, she mostly ignored Emit. However, she would make isolated statements to him every so often before once again passing beyond the reach of words. Statements like: "You know, if we had more time, I could just build hopper packs for both of you. But, we don't have the time," or "I wonder if I should check the matrix for strain. A quick peek shouldn't take too long, and it's better than plunging hundreds of feet to find out that it has broken from the stress."
After an hour or so, it was clear that her alterations were nearing an end. As she was finishing the last couple of adjustments, she asked, "What exactly is wrong with the princess? Why can't she wake up?"

SilntAngl5
08-27-2011, 02:24 PM
Nalia

http://t1.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRgRIIISUquGuvWb50C7Jofss1UgdEGb kwHOWdFvh2TjtPiy0ObDg

The caring in Kali's voice threw her and Nalia met Kali's silence with a long round of her own. With magik, it was so much easier to hide. There were so many complexities to the spells she wove, the natural pheremones and bodily seduction that she used. Magik, to all the people of Rekōdo was a natural thing. A day without it... a possible lifetime without after having tasted its sweet, tempting nectar would be hell. Without magik, she was as useful as a dead, wilting flower. Nalia steeled her spine and visibly straightened. She forced herself to relax.

"I do not think we have time to let him wait."

As much as Nalia loathed being in Darmon's presence, Kali's summoning might mean he found the Princess. They both knew him well enough to know he wouldn't risk his own skin, especially without magik. She walked away from the flume and into the Totem Garment room where she'd obtained the shawl. This time, it was a scarf, similar in the black, shimmering material as the hidden shawl she wore about her mid-section. Nalia approached Kali and took a deep breath. While she inhaled, she tied the scarf around her head, blindfolding her eyes. the material was sheer and Kali could see Nalia's wide eyes looking around into a darkness brought on by the sudden darkness, a small shield to keep whatever she feared from seeing her. Nalia's hands were out at her side for a moment, as if testing the air around her. But then she relaxed, an utter pedestal of calm and reached out to Nalia.

"Remember what I told you" she said in an almost haunting tone. She touched Kali's hand and her pupil brought them into a world darker than anyone in Rekōdo would ever know.

It rushed up at them, though Nalia could only feel the coldness of its touch as it encompassed them and completed them, she knew how deep a darkness Kali was walking them through. And it frightened her. Any darkness that Nalia touched became tainted, twisted, evil.

A Nightmare.

When they entered the darkness, there was a stillness about it, a calm as if something were holding its breath. Even the sound of the wind that usually rushed in the dark void they traveled was silent. It was as if something were watching... waiting. Even the demons Kali usually saw were absent. As they moved rapidly through the shadows and dark, Nalia held tight to Kali's hand and allowed her to lead, billowing behind her like a pale ghost. When they neared the light at the end of their long, dark tunnel, Nalia inhaled sharply. There was something behind her. She couldn't see it, but she could feel it. Giant, dark gaping, waiting. It was on to Kali, was onto the fact that she was trailing something hidden behind her. They were not moving fast enough. Nalia's breathing grew quicker. not having any defense aside form her costumes and allure, not having anything to save herself or Kali frightened her. And this thing could smell her fear.

"Do not look back" Nalia whispered "Keep going. Faster. Go!"

Then there was an explosion, a screech, and the world around them shook.

"GO!" Nalia screamed as the dark world around them erupted into life.

Tigers
08-30-2011, 05:39 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Kali watched Nalia disappear into her Totem Garment room, her leathery wings twitched slightly with hidden excitement. It wasn't that she herself was looking forward to rushing off to Darmon's beckon call, but the inner desires that the darkness brought about. It was not their first journey together into those places where light ceased to exist, but it was the first with Nalia's current condition and lack of magik.

Once Nalia was ready and reached out a feeling hand to Kali, she hesitated slightly before taking hold. Her transformation relaxed in that one hand enough that the sharp talon like claws retracted as she took hold of Nalia. Protector. That was what she reminded herself of when she steeled her nerves for their journey. Quell the hidden desires, the excitement of the subltle seductive whispers, she must listen to Nalia.

"Do not look back, do not hesitate, move quickly from on point of light to the other." Kali summarized.

She stepped into the shadows of the room, pulling them deep into the darkness. Where Nalia felt cold, Kali felt a warmth envelop her as if welcoming her home. She gripped Nalia's hand tightly and moved with purpose through the darkness. Already the sweet siren song of seduction touched her ears and caressed her face like a mother's touch.

Kali's breathing increased in excitement. The whispers disguised the fact that the horrors that she normally saw were absent. The constant seduction was the only sound she heard and the ocassionally sound of Nalia's garments billowing in the only breeze that they created. Not even her own breathing reached her ears, her mind was divided between the need to rush and the need to hear the sweet sound whispering in her ears.

Unbeknownst to Kali, the darkness began to transform her figure to something even darker. Her wings grew larger and her horns on her head increased in thickness. Kali's eyes glowed red in the darkness, and the talons on her hands grew dangerously shap. Her ears became pointed and alert, that was when her senses really became alive to what was happening.

First it was the realization that she had slowed her pace, the second was the fear that Nalia exuded like a intoxicating scent, that was when Kali's eyes grew wide. They were not alone, and it was not a creature that Kali was familar with. Nalia's whispered plea had suddenly become an urgent cry. But Kali was caught by the desire to remain and she paused.

The darkness bid her to embrace it, that she was finally home. In that moments pause, she was blinded by the sudden burst of light and deafened by the scream. Her mistake realized a moment too late.

Tigers
08-30-2011, 06:21 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen



Branwen inhaled deeply, completely relaxed, as she looked out over the Province of Shamaa. The last two years had been good, hadn't they? Master Mindoka was a kind and patient teacher. He had taught her things about herself that she had no idea had existed. At least not in the beginning, the last two years were like the first two years of life for Branwen. She had no recollection of her past or where she had come from. The only thing that she had managed to get from Mindoka was that she had been a blessing from the world around them.

For two years she had been satisfied with the vague answer, if only because Mindoka had earned her loyalty and respect. She sat cross legged on the earth, surrounded by many of the creatures of that region. Once Mindoka had showed her the natural abilities that resided within her, she was rarely without the company of a creature of the land, air or water.

Like Kali, she pondered her beginnings. There was a story to the scars on her back, and the constant nagging feeling that she had neglected a very important responsibility. She could not force the answers to these mysteries and so she had often mediated. She closed her eyes, smiling briefly as a fox curled upon her lap before she let all the unanswered mysteries chase the wind.

Mindoka had given her many responsibilities, she had proven a natural leader and he had not only schooled her in her natural talents and the laws of magik, but he had helped to hone her leadership. Peace surrounded her as she connected herself to the plants, trees, earth and animals around her.

But only a moments peace as a piercing alarm rose within her mind. A bird of the sky, warning her of a strange occurrence and the sighting of Magini. Branwen's eyes opened, a faint blue aura surrounding them. It was likely Master Mindoka had already been warned, but Branwen felt the responsibility of making sure he was aware. She gently set the fox from her lap and stood to her feet a few spoken words that were not often needed and a watery portal opened before her. Before stepping through, she caught the shape of a cloud that appeared as a ship of the sea, a young woman at the helm, her hair whipping in the breeze. It struck her funny as she entered the portal.

She stepped through and returned to their home to warn Master Mindoka. She could not help but smile, when he addressed her without turning around.

"Forgive me Master Mindoka, but I have news." Branwen began.

Meteoro
08-31-2011, 06:00 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Andolf.jpghttp://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/Devian2.jpg
Andolf and Devian

Enchantry, the Island of Capios

“Come this way,” Andolf said to Devian as he moved towards a little waterfall and what seemed to be a very small cave behind. “The seekers won't be looking for us in here.”

Devian followed as best as he could. “This is just too tight...” In fact, the cave was too small for the two of them but at this moment, there was no other way of hiding. “You seem to be enjoying this, don't you?” Devian was upset beyond belief. He knew Andolf was his only chance to escape this island alive, but didn't like one bit being trapped with a daredevil. This partnership had to end soon enough or it would drive him crazy.

“You're a complainer, aren't you?”, Andolf said. “Just be quiet, these women have very good ear and I'm not going back to that cell.” He paused for a moment and then, added with a smile. “You have to admit it has been fun.”

Devian just pressed his teeth not to insult his “mate”. He had to be patient and everything would turn out right.

The warrior women of Enchantry ran real close to their hiding place. Devian held his breath no to attract their attention. He would even stop his heart if this would help them going invisible. He looked at Andolf and could barely see him, because he was still doing his “shadow-battling” crap. “I'd take his head of as in right now!”, Devian thought as he did his best to hold back a sneeze that was actually killing him.

It didn't take long for the warrior women to go elsewhere. One moment later, they were alone.

“It worked, didn't it?”, Andolf said real proud of himself. “Now, we need to reach the coast. Come with me.”

Devian sighed and followed his “partner in crime.”

Revelator
09-02-2011, 12:14 PM
679
He felt a presence in front of him. He snapped his eyes open to take in the golden light that shone through the thick forest canopy. He sat amongst aged stone blocks of a brilliant white that seemed to almost glow of their own accord, where they weren’t covered by a strange blue-green moss. The final decaying skeletons of age-old structures could still be discerned from the remaining stones. Enormous tree trunks, hundreds if not thousands of years old sprouted amid the ruins, a sign of the true age of the ruins.

Ten feet in front of him was an amorphous smoky entity. It seemed to be standing, however its ‘feet’ shifted and flowed but the main body of it didn’t move, except where it blurred at the edges into a vapor. It had a vaguely humanoid shape, though it seemed to have large wings folded behind it shrouded in the same cloud of smoke. Where the head was there was only two glowing orange slits for eyes.

“Awaken, my guardian,” the entity in front of him spoke in a voice like the wind that swirled through the forest. There was no discernable gender to the voice, it seemed to be both yet neither at the same time.

“How long since I’ve last woke?” he asked as he slowly uncoiled himself from the ground and rose to his feet.


“Forty three years you have slept,” the being responded in its flat, other-worldly voice.

“Then I’m needed,” he said, a statement of fact. He rolled his shoulders and then his head before closing his eyes and sending his senses out. He was able to detect the intruders far to the south-west, near the edge of the wood.
The being hovered there, staring at him. It needed to speak no words. As the guardian slowly stretched out, working out muscles still tired from their dormancy, the glowing eyes slowly closed and the mist that compromised the form began to sink onto the forest floor and slowly dissipate into nothing.

The guardian hardly spared his visitor’s disappearance a glance as he stretched, shaking the slumber from his form. He quickly thought about it, it had been roughly three hundred years since any outsider had set foot in the Forest of Eternal Evening. The ancient edict had been breached, and the transgressors must pay the price. The guardian reached behind him and pulled out a long, gently curving knife made of some material that appeared like bone, yet black and luster-less. He looked it over once then slid it back into the sash around his waist.

The guardian looked in the direction of the disturbance, brilliant emerald eyes bore through the trees. He swept his arm in front of him and a breeze picked up, swirling leaves into a funnel around him, and then it died away and vanished, along with him.

SilntAngl5
09-04-2011, 02:42 PM
Emit and Pasce


Emit was lost in thought as he knelt beside the sleeping Princess on the young mechanic's couch. It took him a moment to react to Felicity re-entering the room with the device in her hand. When he did notice, she glanced at the thing she held with tired curiosity. He'd been on the run since the night before last. He hasn't yet slept more than a cat nap before picking up and running again. If he was ever idle for too long, they always found him.

Belatedly, the scribble of the magikal matrices caught his eye and his blue orbs flew over their complex nature. He was impressed with her abilities for magikal script. Emit made a mental note to discuss it with the young mechanic when things settled down. If they ever settled down. Right now, Felicity was a flurry of movement and all Emit could do was wait and watch. The moment to relax and do nothing but watch was comforting and just what he needed. When she spoke to him, in random statements made mid-work, he simply smiled. Any answer he gave would have been lost in the complex scope of her work.

Her last question, after her long run of work, caught Emit by surprise as he'd almost fallen asleep. here or there, during the longer, more quiet portions of her work, Emit had dozed off only to wake abruptly several minutes later either from a noise Felicity made or for fear of them being caught.

"I don't know" he said truthfully, glancing over at the princess who was not much older than Felicity. The scope of just how young she was hit Emit hard. She was almost a child.

"I don't know" he said again, much more softly. He sat up to keep the edgy sleep at bay and glanced upward at the gifted mechanic. He may hold he third highest position in all of Rekōdo Country, but he too was still a young man.

"In the small breaks we've had since this all began, I've tried to figure it out, but nothing I've tried works. No magikal spell with reveal, nothing will revive. It's almost as if she's not here. Not alive not... something."

Emite drew a hand through his mess of blonde hair. His hand dropped to finger a circular stone tied onto a twine that dangled from his neck. He played with it as he internally played with a very deep guilt. Pasce, the princess, had come to him seeking help. This was the result of his inability to act. What would happen to Rekōdo if she did die?

"All the great, ancestral powers of our world reside within her. I don't know that she ever will wake up. So much power... Would you or I be able to wake from it? or would we be consumed by it?"

It would lead to war. It had happened not so long ago that all of Rekōdo tried to destroy itself for all its power. The Great War would come again and consume them all if the Princess did not awaken. Emit looked down at the ring-like stone that he twisted in his fingers. Then he looked to the Princess. He sat up, suddenly and somehow straighter than before. His blue-gray eyes were suddenly very wide and very awake.

"The Dream World..."

Emit stood, tall and willowy, and went to a window, if there was one to be had. He fingered the curtains aside and glanced out at the city. It was alive as ever this night with nothing amiss. How much time had they spent here? An hour...? Emit let the curtains fall back.

"I need to sleep... She will be there, in the Dream World. I know it."

Emit came over to Felicity and the Princess again. He knelt down and checked the Princess. All of her seemed as if she were asleep. What if she were? What if she were only in a very deep, deep sleep, like a coma? Surely he could get to get in the Dream World. Surely...

Emit unbuttoned the collar of his shirt and then held up the ring-like object for Felicity to see.

"It is a Totem" he explained "If someone wears one of this make before they sleep and falls into sleep with it touching their skin, they can enter the Dream World as freely as any who can go there on their own. Her body acts as if asleep. She will be there, in the Dream World. I must go to her."

Emit realized that must sound terribly crazy, especially to one who had never been in the Dream World. He was certainly tired enough that he could fall asleep within minutes of laying down.

"Do... you want to go there? You have never been into the World of Dreams, have you?"

His blue eyes were very serious. Already, Emit was making himself breathe deeply, to calm down the burst of adrenaline that force-fed his body with energy. If they found the princess there, in the World of Dreams, she might give them answers they'd need to survive this. An end to this mess might be in near sight.

SilntAngl5
09-04-2011, 03:25 PM
Charold of Maginus

Night waxed around them and the moons that floated around Emporium rose and danced in succession across the night sky. Some were large, some had rings, some remained in the sky during the daylight hours, making for shorter days in the colder months that were coming. Before Charold's gloved hand floated a miniaturized map, the one copied from Darmon's Great Hold. It illuminated his gaunt face beneath his dark hood. A blip sparked on the map, rose and fell like a tiny, unfulfilled firework. They were close. Only a few minutes more.

Charold signaled the riders to slow after their whereabout aligned with the dimming spark. The magik had not been used and the trail was going cold, but in the distance of the grasslands, before the great forests rose up, Charold saw the faint flickering of an orange fire. As a whole, they rode at a gentle pace until they attracted the attention of a small dog that sat by the fire. This must be her... under the tent. Surely no other could produce such a magikal spike as the princess-theif who stole their Guild Head's powers? Who else would travel with a small lap dog? His daughters, back on his family's summer estate in Isolert by the sea, loved such cute, frilly things.

To their west, the edges of the Hundred Year Plains spread across the ground with tall grasses straining upward to reach the night's sky. To their east ran the great river and small lakes, the way stations from the waters that traveled all the way from Doras and Anaya through Rekōdo City to the ocean. Behind them, to the north, Rekōdo was only a small, bright blip against a large formidable sky. A few men dismounted and drew back their hoods.

"Is that the Princess?" one asked, indicating the sleeping figure beneath what appeared to be welcome mats. There was an orange glow coming from beneath the mats and odd awning. They seemed skeptical, unsure, but there could be no other on Emporium who could naturally produce such a spike.

"She has the power of our Ancestors. She would appear as anything. Be on your guard."

Charold's horse shifted beneath him and he gently kneed the beast forward. When they came into the light of the fire, Charold withdrew his hood.

"Princess... we are men from Maginus. We have come to protect you from those who hunt for the power you hold. We have traveled long looking for you... will you allow us rest by your fire?"

Charold had rehearsed this story on the long ride from the North. He decided, as she was a young woman, their appearing as a threat and taking her by force could end badly. She was, after all, holding onto their Ancestors. Who knew the massive amounts of power she could wield of what keeping such power could do to her.

SilntAngl5
09-04-2011, 05:34 PM
Nalia

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg

Nalia shifted, turned around blindly in the Void as if turning to look at all the things, every little thing that began to seep and crawl from the endless walls of darkness and slither upon the ground. She could hear them, like the drone of a thousand insects, chattering and humming and gnashing and scraping. Each one a distinct sound among the collective in the deep dark. Nalia twisted back around, blind to what approached but not completely cut off from the millions of things that suddenly became very alive. Her hand clenched Kali's, her skin pierced by the sudden protrusion of talons from her fingertips. The scent of her blood was in the air. The chatter of the void hushed, as if stilling to catch the sudden scent and smell.

"Kali..." Nalia whisper, begged. She began to tremble and a river of blood drizzled down their conjoined hands. It pooled where their hands clasped, collected and then dropped to the ground.

"KALI!" Nalia's scream dampened the echoing sound of her blood hitting the darkness beneath them only a moment before it let out a deafening roar. And all too quickly the darkness around them began to collapse in on itself, like a giant maw closing to engulf them. She could feel them, the wind they created whipped their cloaks and hair about them. it buffeted them and deafened them so that all they could hear was their end coming. All around them, the points of light dimmed and were gone. The way was blocked. They were trapped.

"Kali.... Kali please..." Nalia stepped backward until her back touched Kali's wings. She held up a hand as if sensing the air around her. Her head turned quickly, feeling the rush of wind and touch of darkness rush by her face as if sniffing, tasting the air around her. They knew she was here.

"Don't listen to them! It's not the darkness you know!" Nalia hollered above the deafening noise. The Nightmares in the darkness, the terrible taint that was upon Nalia's soul devoured itself to get to them. The dark space around them was shrinking as the Nightmares massacred each other to move closer to the tow girls... to simply taste Nalia's sweet, dripping blood...

"Kali-"

Nalia's head whipped around, to face the rapidly incoming darkness. There was a stampede. From every direction they came, an unstoppable destruction of all light and hope, a devourer of fear.

"Kali-"

Nalia felt something building within her, a fear ready to explode outward and kill them all. It was her fear that gave them away, the fear in her voice that let the Nightmares know she was here. She felt a swell to protect the innocent lives surge within her. For Kali and for the unborn within her. It was her fault. All her fault. She let them into her house. They killed her family... they killed everyone she ever loved and everyone thought it was her. They knew it was her because who else could commit such a heinous crime? Who else but the darkly disturbed child of Neohr and Silvyan al'Vatar of Astral?

The very air was taken from their lungs. The darkness that was ground began to crumble around them. The Nightmare swarm formed a giant, gaping maw with teeth of writhing, living Nightmares that dwarfed the only two specs of light within the great, dark void. It reared before them, opening wide its terrible jaws and then dove downward to devour them.

Nalia screamed and threw up a hand as a last, feeble shield against their end. There was a pause, an inhale within the darkness and then light erupted from Nalia's hand. Piercingly bright inside the darkness of the shadowy void, it pierced through the maw and ruptured all it touched. The void became alive with shrieks and screams of horror and agonizing pain as the Nightmare were ripped asunder. It consumed them like fire in a gas-filled room, exploding to fill every space between Nalia and the oncoming maw of living fear. The light spread, seeming to come directly from Nalia as if a part of her. It rooted from her feet into the darkness around, illuminating the floor with a transparent light that shone until it disappeared into the darkness below. It blasted forward into the chaos of the Nightmares until it tore a hole through their thick wall and began to shred those that remained in the dark void into nothingness, as if they never were. A gateway had opened for them, their last chance if they wanted anything other than to be blighted from existence in this hopelessly dark place. Kali would see it, twinkling like a star before her. Nalia's remaining hand had impaled itself upon her talon in an iron grip, so that even as she gave Kali the chance to flee, she might be dragged along behind her and be spared. The light left Nalia's palm and fulfilling its conquest to destroy all the Nightmares it could, was extinguished.

But even as the void had been nearly emptied save for the wounded dark, it began to sputter and refill. Slower than when they first appeared, the Nightmares began to return as if pulling themselves out from a muddy, swampy grave. Nalia stumbled backward into Kali and found a voice among the rising din of horror that was returning.

"Run, Kali" she whispered with the last of everything she had in her. "Don't look back."

Qwaring's clone#1
09-04-2011, 08:05 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

Scraps saw the approaching hooded men as soon as their horses entered the dim light of the dying campfire. The vigilant poodle let out a string of fierce, high-pitched barks. The sleeping orange man responded with a trail of groggy muttering before returning to his soft snoring.


"Princess... we are men from Maginus. We have come to protect you from those who hunt for the power you hold. We have traveled long looking for you... will you allow us rest by your fire?"

Cloney sits upright, sending a layer of stolen welcome mats collapsing around his tuxedo sheathed form. He glances around at these unfamiliar surroundings, which don't match the meatball factory he had been dreaming of. The orange First also wonders what happened to the goddess and talking golf cart that starred so prominently in his dream.

"Wha-? Who the-? Huh?", Cloney mutters and struggles. He claws around as he picks himself up from the grass. He glances down at the still-barking poodle and his sunglasses-covered eyes follow those barks towards the men on horses. Cloney lets out a small gasp before swiftly scooping Scraps up into his arms and holding the poodle tightly against his chest, like a protective shield or charm. Once held in the clone's arms, Scraps brings his barking to a stop with a final growl of warning.

"Keep quiet, Scraps. I'll handle them. I've dealt with their kind before.", Cloney whispers to his canine companion. The orange man takes a fearless step closer to Charold's horse. He raises his hand high above his head and gives the hooded strangers a broad, slow wave.

"Greetings, cosplayers. I am George Jefferson Cloney. But the nickname of 'Princess' is also acceptable at this time. I am willing to offer celebrity gossip in exchange for the protection you're offering and directions to the ten dollar pizza slices you sell at your conventions.", the clone slowly announces to the men on horseback with as much diplomacy that he can muster. "Please, sit by my fire and we will discuss the latest news on Garth Brooks." Cloney's orange features brighten as he offers the hooded men a friendly smile.

Shadowseldil
09-04-2011, 08:35 PM
(((Dark? Already? By my reckoning, Felicity, Emit, and Pasce are only around noon or so. But, maybe it's not natural or maybe I'm off kilter on the day-night cycle, or maybe Felicity took longer than I thought, or... I don't know, maybe the window was just dirty ^_^. Either way, Felicity was up much earlier than usual, so she could use a nap.)))
(((Also, I figured I should explain what I mean by a magic matrix, just in case there was any confusion. Magic matrices are basically just like a computer language, except with magic instead of coding. By arranging the correct "spells" in a proper order, they create numerous magical effects. Whenever she opens up a magic matrix, it appears in a sort of holographic console where she can reprogram them. In a way, she's a mechanic and a computer programmer; but she just sees everything as one big machine, in one way or another. The matrices then scrawl themselves, I guess, on crystals designed for just that purpose.)))


Felicity looked curiously at the totem as she took it in her hand, unbidden. It was not maliciously; her naive curiosity got the better of her manners, which were poor as it was. She looked the ring over as she muttered, "How do you open up its matrix?" It was only then she realized she was missing the point. Sheepishly, she said, "Oh, I'm sorry," and offered the ring back to Emit. Then, she thought about his offer.
A worried look passed over her face. "Is it dangerous? I mean, you said if someone dies there, they stay dead. I'm not sure what good I would be. But, if you think it will help the princess, then, okay, I'll do it. But if I die, I'm going to haunt your dreams forever, mister!"

Qwaring's clone#1
09-04-2011, 08:42 PM
Dark? Already?
((My fault. I had no idea what time of day it was and asked everyone on the general OOC thread. They decided it was night based on what was going on in various posts.))

SilntAngl5
09-04-2011, 08:56 PM
((I mentioned it was night when Emit observed the city life at night. I must not have seen your bit about Felicity being up earlier than usual. Emit's not good with time, see... he's been on the run for a day or so. I blame him. I think M has his characters set at night too. And when I read "scrawl" I thought of writing. Sorry! >_>; ))

Tigers
09-04-2011, 10:00 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


It was like time stood still just before the world imploded. The iron scent filled her nostrils and dilated her pupils. Her heart beat with excitement as Nalia’s beat with fear. Kali never realized that her talon had pierced the soft skin on Nalia’s hand; even the warm fluid that flowed between their clasped hands was muted by the intoxicating call of the darkness.

Kali’s breathing became erratic and rapid. Her red eyes searched the darkness, the hideous screams promising a welcoming embrace of death. A death that was irresistible, one she could not refuse lest she be left an empty shell forever.

There was a sound, faint, desperate, trying to reach her. Then she felt Nalia brush against her wings and scream her name over and over. It was in that instant she woke and began to run, just before the world around her imploded.

The light was blinding and it burned deep within. Kali bit her tongue to keep from crying out. She couldn’t ever remember feeling such pain as if her body was tearing itself apart, like it was at war. She bled from her eyes, nose and mouth, her blood boiled like hot water and burned like acid. Then Nalia’s gentle but urgent whisper reached her ears.

She nodded her head, holding onto Nalia’s hand tightly and ran for the beacon of light that shown with the intensity of the sun. They exploded from the darkness into a private room away from the Darmon and the others. She released Nalia's hand, only then noticing the blood. With red eyes, her dark pupils looked from the bloody talon to Nalia's hand.

She hung her head in shame. She could have killed them both, and...the child. What was wrong with her? Kali shook slightly, feeling nauseated by the blast of light, her skin was ashen and her blood still boiled while her stomach churned.

"I...I'm so sorry Nalia."

The darkness still lingered thick within her features. Evidence of her failure, twitched in a leathery wing as it folded upon itself and rested against her back. Streaks of blood and sweat mingled as they traced a trail down her face. As intoxicating as that had been, the seduction had almost cost them dearly and...it had been very painful. Kali did not want to repeat that experience anytime soon.

They would definitely need a moment to collect themselves before confronting Darmon. Kali wasn't sure if she was strong enough to hide the evidence of her screw up.

Shadowseldil
09-05-2011, 12:13 AM
(((Well, he is the first of time. Maybe...
Anyway, the timeline I have is Felicity wakes up at 5:00, fixes up the carriage until 7:00, give or take, walks around for maybe an hour, comes back to the shop for parts about 8:00, meets Felicity and Emit. They could have been out for a while, maybe half and hour, so give it until 10:00 until they get to Felicities apartment. Another hour for fixing up the hopper pack would make it around 11:00, and add an hour for leeway, it could be noonish. But hey, whatever, it can be night, and we'll just blame it on Emit's powers.
And you had it right about "scrawled," I was simply clarifying for future reference, in case she does it and I forget to explain it.)))

SilntAngl5
09-05-2011, 07:27 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg
Mindoka

Every season brought change to the world of Emporium. Every night brought a new song from the spirits around them, every dream opened his eyes to things of the past, present or future to come. Here, in Siochana, the greatest city of the Shamaa, Mindoka looked out and reflected upon the land. The waters of their precious lakes stretched out on all side, leaving a fertile swath of land in all directions. The edge of the Hundred Year Plains stretched out beyond to the north and west and well into the land of their neighbors, the Taroc. They had become, under Alain, an important ally in peace. He remembered when Alain had first become the Master of the Taroc. He had inherited the privilege during the beginning of the Great War more than twenty years ago. He was brash, confident, young, powerful, but his work to make peace in the ends of the war had tempered him somewhat. In his age, he had gentled some, but there was always a fiery glow about his spirit that intrigued Mindoka. They had become good friends, as much as neighbors could be.

The building at Siochana was made of natural elements, of tall trees with trunks that took many dozen hands to get around that grew together to make their lodging. The branches twisted together to form paths and rooms, refortified with materials built by the Shamaa. It was, in the simplest of forms, a glorified treehouse that stuck up from the land naturally and proudly. Around the city of Siochana was very little in the way of a city. The Shamaa were at home in their natural landscape and moved with the seasons. Some set up more stable homes and made villages and towns, but many stuck to their native traditions.

Mindoka was watching the night sky unfold before him. He sat on cushions, facing a balcony of sanded wood that opened out to the lakes and plains. His traditional, tribal mask was on a decorative pole beside him and he was dressed in the light skins of native clothes. He sat with his hands palms up, his legs crossed in deep meditation when Branwen appeared. A small sound, like that of wind chimes heralded her arrival as it would anyone who entered their home magikally.

"Welcome home from your long vigil, little Swan" he said without turning or opening his eyes.

She asked him for forgiveness, but she rarely ever needed that from him. He did not move from his meditation, but remained as he was. He already had an idea of what she would say. The spirits already spoke to him on the winds and through meditation, but he welcomed her eagerness to be of aid. If he had not been there when she first arrived on Emporium, he would have sworn she'd been raised a Shamaa her whole life. Around his head and body, ethereal spirits of animals hopped to and fro, bouncing and leaping and flying, relaying all tat they saw.

"Speak your news. I will listen."

SilntAngl5
09-05-2011, 08:05 PM
((I wonder which goddess Cloney was dreaming of...))

Charold of Maginus

One of the men regarded the poodle with dismay and pointed a gauntlet-clad hand at the small, yappy mammal. The fingertips of the silver hand crackled with a lightning-like substance. A warning for a warning. Then the warning hand was soon dropped as the Princess came out and grabbed the poodle. She clung to the dog and held it tightly to her chest. But there was something wrong with the Princess. A great many things wrong. For one, she was orange and wearing city-style men's formal wear. She was also a he- so Charold thought- and... glowing? When the Clone-Princess spoke, the men on horseback fell into silence. Then the same man of Maginus who'd spoken earlier tried his luck again.

"Master Charold... Are you sure this is the Princess Pasce?" he muttered under his breath. Charold regarded the tuxedo-laden being for a moment.

"No one has ever seen the Princess until the coronation. I was not present. Only the High Council and the High Chronicler had the privilege."

He had not thought to ask Darmong for a description of the girl before leaving, as they had to leave in haste before the trail went cold.

"She has all the powers of the Ancestors within her... It could be a ruse to test us and see if we mean her harm. She may have been transformed by the massive power she contains. No one is meant to hold that much power. No one person. In either case, Darmon is monitoring the channels... We will complete our mission here before returning to Maginus."

He motioned and all the men dismounted. Two went out on watch, standing among the tall grasses using both magik and eye to guard the encampment. Charold sat along with the remaining four men by the campfire. Charold was a thin man, tall with gaunt features earned from a lifetime of hard work and magikal study. He had been Darmon's second-in-command for many, many years and was well versed in Darmon's expectations. All that the princess spoke of could be inner-city lingo picked up at the schools she attended, or through browsing the little provincial districts of Rekōdo. She... he... it... was smiling and posed no threat, which Charold took as a good sign.

"Tell us, Princess, how did you come to be in Shamaa? And who is this... Garth Brooks you mention?"

SilntAngl5
09-05-2011, 08:59 PM
Emit and Pasce
688


Emit watched Felicity handle the simple stone Totem and smiled.

"Do not be. I would not know anything of your mechanical talents."

Gently, he took the ring back and placed it back on the chain that was about his neck. His face reflected something much more serious when he regarded her again.

"It can be if you do not know your way. I will be by your side and guide you through. I will protect you, but I do not think we should have anything to fear. It will be just as our waking world is, but with no people. Only the few with Totems or who enter on accident will be there, and there's a whole world for them to appear in. They could be anywhere."

Emit found a clear spot on the carpet and laid himself down. He wouldn't dare take anything to help him fall asleep. He needed to be able to awaken as needed. Pills and herb mixtures, even some magik could reduce ones ability of control. A dangerous thing, even in a world of Dreams. Emit made sure the cold ring of stone touched his bare chest. His blue-gray eyes looked tiredly up at Felicity.

"I only have one Totem, so you will have to hold my hand to maintain a connection. If you want or need to leave the Dream World, you only need to let go and you will wake up. I won't be far behind you."

He would not force the issue. If she'd rather stand guard while he slept, he would entrust that to her. If she wanted to come, she but only had to touch his hand. Emit put his arm behind his head as a pillow and closed his eyes. He left his one hand free, laying on the ground for her if she chose it. He was already well on the way to much needed sleep.

SilntAngl5
09-05-2011, 09:45 PM
Nalia

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg

They spilled out from the shadows of a table and into a private parlor. Nalia tumbled across the large, embroidered rug and lay still. Her arms shook as she lifted herself from the floor. Blood pooled on the ground from her impaled hand as she desperately unwrapped the blindfold from the other. She blinked and gaped and the sudden brightness of the room made her head reel. She vomited. Her stomach heaved violently, emptying its contents upon the beautiful tapestry of the rug over and over until there was nothing left to empty. Nalia was silent, shuddering as she coughed and found something with which to wipe her mouth. Only when she was ready did she slump back to sitting and look at Kali.

"The fault was mine" she said in a painfully soft voice. She began to wrap her hand in the shawl she's used to blind her eyes.

"It was unfair of me to ask so much of you without telling you-"

She stopped and for a long moment, nothing but the crackle of hearth and magikal torchlight filled the empty, soundless space between them. She was unable to stand, under-confident that her legs would be able to hold her weight, however slight that was. The firelight reflected of Nalia's pale, ivory face. There were faint hints of freckles from her youth, all but gone against her dark-haired beauty. The way her large eyes looked at Kali, caught in the light of the fire, almost made her look exotic were it not for how sick she looked. Nalia looked down a moment and closed her eyes to collect herself and her thoughts. When she looked up again, a very different look crossed her face. Something haunted.

"I will be fine. What you saw... Is always there. Always in the shadows when I walk. I am... tainted."

Impure. Cursed. Damned.

"When I had my magik, I could deny them. Fight them. Almost as if I could keep them sealed behind a glass wall. I have no control over them now. I have no way to fight them."

But there was that light... Nalia looked down at her unwrapped hand. Then up at Kali. It was then she saw the darkness in her and all thoughts of the light in the void vanished. Immediately, Nalia moved to get up and cringed, visibly so. She did not dare cry out. She would not dare, but she did slide herself across the carpet to sit before Kali. In the same gentleness as before, Nalia touched her face tenderly. This time, she was perfectly aware that she was doing it as she brought her cloak up to wipe Kali's face.

"I will be fine. We are fine" she said again, uneasily. Her hand trembled as she wiped away the sweat and blood. She gave her digits a quick glance, wishing they wouldn't and then refocused on Kali.

"Are you hurt?" she asked softly, switching the subject from herself to her pupil.

Shadowseldil
09-05-2011, 09:56 PM
Felicity listened intently, and watched as Emit lay his head back. "Would you like a pillow or something?" she asked, but he was beyond her words. "Wow, that thing works fast. Well, I should at least get him a blanket."
She went back into her room and pulled a thin blanket from her spare set. She then grabbed a pillow for herself and her lavender plush fox, whom she called "Vixie" and headed back into what could only be called a living room. Once there, she spread the blanked over Emit carefully, making sure that she avoided the greasy gears and oily bits she had scattered about the floor. She would hate to stain her nice blanket. It would look very nice on her fourposter bed in the master bedroom of her house. Someday.
She then lay down next to him. It was sort of like having a big brother, although none of her street brothers ever took naps with her. She lay her head on the pillow, cuddled Vixie under one arm, and wondered if Vixie would be in the dream world too. How nice it would be if she was a real pet. Maybe she could craft out an animation spell into one of her spare crystals. Oh, what fun that would be if it worked!
She shook her head. Focus on the princess right now, Felicity, she thought to herself. She yawned; getting up early had made her quite sleepy. She looked at Emit's hand, took a deep breath, and placed her hand into his. The world around her quickly became the blackness of sleep.

Qwaring's clone#1
09-06-2011, 09:55 PM
((I wonder which goddess Cloney was dreaming of...))
((I don't know. The one with a talking golf cart? I'm open to any suggestions.))


He motioned and all the men dismounted. Two went out on watch, standing among the tall grasses using both magik and eye to guard the encampment. Charold sat along with the remaining four men by the campfire. Charold was a thin man, tall with gaunt features earned from a lifetime of hard work and magikal study. He had been Darmon's second-in-command for many, many years and was well versed in Darmon's expectations. All that the princess spoke of could be inner-city lingo picked up at the schools she attended, or through browsing the little provincial districts of Rekōdo. She... he... it... was smiling and posed no threat, which Charold took as a good sign.

"Tell us, Princess, how did you come to be in Shamaa? And who is this... Garth Brooks you mention?"
The clone watches the various men dismount from their horses and move about the crude campsite. Charold's words tugs on the orange man's wandering attention. As Cloney sits down beside the fire, with a wary Scraps still in his arms, he replies to the hooded man.

"To be in Shamy? Is that what this place is called? Huh. I guess that fits. Scraps and I have found the ground to be suprisingly absorbant. Once again the infomercials have told the truth about the wonders of Shamyland. I can't wait to wash my car here. Maybe you guys can get some of the blown-up out of it." Cloney pauses in his happy ramblings in order to reach into the pocket inside of his tuxedo jacket. He clicks his tongue curiously while digging inside of his garment for a momentary quest. Eventually he plucks a single marshmellow out of his pocket and holds it up to smile at.

"So, how's the cosplaying been going today, bro? Seen any Boba Fett's?", the clone continues as he stabs the marshmellow with the end of a wooden stick. He then holds the stick out so that the marshmellow is held over the dim campfire. "I once got in a fight with a dude dressed up like Boba Fett while I was lost in a museum. Yeah, that was when Juno, Ruri and me were looking for Qwaring that one time. Turns out I won the fight, because the Fett guy got hit by a sky couch."

Cloney pulls the marshmellow away from the dying fire and inspects the unheated white puff. With a ponderous 'Hmmm' sound he holds the marshmellow back over the fire.

"Yeah, you've gotta watch out for those sky couches. They're sneaky suckers.", the orange clone continues. He reaches his other hand back inside of his jacket and pulls out his metal flask. With his teeth he opens the flask. The orange man then pours some of his unnatural liquor onto the dim campfire. The moment his unearthly drink touches the embers it causes a burst of fire that rivals the mightiest of solar flares. The gathering around the campfire is treated to a blinding column of flame that reaches up to claw at the sky above like some angry, drunk demon of pure blazing hellfire. The fiery burst only lasts an instant before dying down to a strong, crackling campfire that easily lights the simple campsite and those gathered there.

As if uneffected by the incredible burst of fire, Cloney puts his flask back inside of his jacket and continues talking as he inspects the charred stick that is missing the now vaporized marshmellow. "I once made-out with a chick dressed like the Lost in Space robot. Well, by 'make-out' I mean she only maced me in the eyes twice."

Cloney plucks another marshmellow out of his pocket and puts it onto the end up the charred stick. He holds the new marshmellow over the raging campfire and continues ranting. "Yep, she was totally into me." The orange man follows up his bragging by giving Charold a proud thumbs-up.

Tigers
09-09-2011, 08:42 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen



Branwen wasn't one to blush, but she couldn't help the heat that went to her cheeks as Master Mindoka greeted her. He had given her so much in the few years she had come to be here. It had brought meaning to a life that was nonexistent before. Branwen looked up to Mindoka, and he had become not only her mentor, but like a father figure to her as well. She could only imagine that her real father was something like Mindoka.

"There are outsiders in the province of Shamaa, several are Magini and one is...an odd orange looking man. Would you like me to lead a small party to investigate?"

Branwen had a good idea that this would be Mindoka's desire, but he was their leader, the head of their caste and she would always pay him the respect that he deserved. She watched with some amazement as the small group of ethereal animal spirits that were gathered around him. There wasn't much that took place that Mindoka was not privy too.

Tigers
09-09-2011, 12:07 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


She watched as Nalia threw up on the rug, watched her look at her injured hand and then apologize. Kali still felt responsible, if she wasn't so tempted by the darkness, if there weren't something within her that felt as tainted as Nalia herself felt. Surely she was evil, but that didn't explain Nalia's situation did it? Kali felt she was anything but evil. Sure, there was a coolness to her, but Kali understood why now. Now that Nalia had revealed at least part of her secret.

Her rapid breathing final slowed, but the darkness remained, it would for awhile, especially since they were here and Darmon was near. He had a tendency of bringing that out in her, and Kali suspected it was on purpose but for what she wasn't sure. She felt the urge to help Nalia, but she'd already helped enough and not in the positive sense.

She sat like a gargoyle statue when Nalia approached. It wasn't until she watched her mentor's eyes look over her that she noticed the taste of iron in her mouth and the smell of blood upon the air. When Nalia reached up to clean the blood from her face and mouth, Kali pulled back slightly. Her heart warred against itself. Part of it craved this mother's gift of compassion and part of her warned against it lest it make it worse when things went bad.

But to completely pull away meant that was rejecting Nalia and considering what she had just revealed the last think Kali wanted was for her to believe it was because of that. So, she let Nalia help her and she focused her mind on other things.

"Not entirely." Kali replied.

"It wasn't entirely your fault. You can't control how I respond to them."

She wanted to tell her she'd protect her, but it was hard for her to believe considering what just happened. She had nearly left them there to die, entranced by the sweet seduction of evil. Kali didn't want to answer Nalia's question, she did hurt and...she felt strange. This was not something that Nalia needed to hear, but she could at least answer her question.

"I...I'm fine."

A moments silence filled the room, she could see that Nalia wasn't buying it. What to say without saying everything? Another moment passed and Kali finally spoke.


"What was that? What happened in the darkness? It...it was...painful."

Jason Sanborn
09-12-2011, 05:07 PM
((I'm still on evening, I think. Not sure exactly how I line up with everyone else's timeline. :ermm:))


...

The girl looked around for a moment, as if contemplating running. After a few seconds, she looked back at Tamarah. "I'll be yer guide, mum."

Tamarah smiled. "Good, my name is Tamarah. You may call me Tammie if you like."
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah didn't need much in the way of food or drink, or even rest. It was certainly something that was beneficial as she traveled. It simplified things when she didn't need to barter for the local currency for food and lodgings. Now, though, she had a young street girl as a traveling companion. This child certainly did need food and rest. That meant her first order of business was to get money. She carried a pouch of precious gems she had acquired in her travels to aid her in these situations. Of course, how precious these gems were varied from world to world. The world she found these on, and one she returns to when necessary, they were as common as granite or limestone. Of course, going back there is not high on her list, as the world's climate was volatile to say the least.

Jalene led Tamarah to a jewelry shop. When Tamarah went inside, Jalene stayed outside, out of view of the windows. Tamarah didn't want the proprietor to believe there was anything unusual going on. An elderly man was behind a glass counter, looking down into a cylindrical magnifying glass with one eye. She could only assume that he was the proprietor. She used one of her uncut rubies to negotiate with him. Like most honest business men, he was concerned where she would get an uncut stone of such value, but she convinced him everything was honest, and came out of the store with what she hoped was a good amount of spending money for her time on this world.

Once that was done, she had Jalene show her where the Central Library was, but decided it would be better to do her research there later. Instead, once she knew where it was, she had the girl lead her to a hotel. As suspected, the staff didn't like the idea of her bringing a street child in, but an extra deposit (or bribe) managed to stave any further concerns. A nearby clothing store also was reluctant to help at first, but managed to be convinced that it would be advantageous monetarily. Finally, at the end of the evening, Jalene looked like a new girl. She was bathed, clothed in new clothes, and fed. Tamarah took joy in seeing the happiness and excitement in the young girl's expressions at this wonderful new experience. A night's rest should be even better for both of them, and Tamarah looked forward to whatever tomorrow held.

SilntAngl5
09-17-2011, 02:15 PM
Charold of Maginus

Charold's brow furrowed and the faces of his men mirrored his. What on Emporium was the princess talking about!? Charold nodded his head at what seemed the appropriate times, but he could only pick up bits and pieces of what the mutated princess was saying. Something about a blown up car needing washing...? A couch, probably a hip name for the cars of today, falling from the skies onto a person named Fett. The princess had friends.. Juno, Ruri and Qwaring. Charold took a mental note of the odd names. One of the men went to find some kindling to build up the dying fire, so that they might enjoy more warmth and the princess her marshmallow.

Again, Charold finds himself staring at the orange glow of her skin. Inwardly, he's trying to make sense of this whole thing, but he knew that there was information only the Guild Master was privy to. Charold looked down to rub his temple when the orange princess leaked the contents of her flask onto the fire. All of the men around the campfire jump. Some, scream and the watch-men come running.

"Ahh! My eyes!"

"Oh, Magik.... I'm blind!"

"I can't see!"

"Ancestors! Help me! Help me!"

The dry kindling in the arms of one of the men erupted into flames, engulfing it's carrier. Some rushed to stomp him out, but the smell of charred skin and hair permeated the air and would remain there for the rest of the night. The man was dead and two were blind. Charold was down to himself and two useful men. Perhaps she was trying to kill them? Slowly and in a manner they would not suspect... the confessions of a teenaged girl who was full of power and high, or drunk as it seems, on something terribly flammable as it was. What was it with the well-off youth of today and the crazy night life? A coping mechanism...? Charold can only stare. He gave a serious thought to retirement upon returning to Maginus. The screams of the wounded were ignored. Those beneath him were tending to them, leaving he and the princess sitting by the fire alone. Charold's face turned serious. As little as he seemed to care for the men who suffered under him, there was an aspect of concern hidden deeply within. But whether it was a concern for Darmon's outrage or being left in the savage Shamaan lands alone with a glowing, orange freak-princess was unclear.

"Where is your escort, princess?" Charold asked boldly, a bit darkly. "Where is Emit Shornoc? Where is the High Chronicler of Magik? He was with you when you left Rekōdo City."

What if it were an ambush? What if the skilled mage was waiting in the distance, ready to strike?

SilntAngl5
09-17-2011, 03:06 PM
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg
Mindoka

Mindoka was silent as he listened to Branwen and the ethereal spirits of his province both as they relayed information to him about the intruders.

"You are sure they are men from Maginus?"

She told him so. The spirits told him so. But Mindoka had to be sure before deciding upon an action. What the Magini did, entering their lands uninvited, was an act of war agains the peace treaty they'd made at the end of the Great War. His response, their actions, could very well start another war that would ravage all of Rekōdo. He would not let such a thing happen again, not if it were solely in his power. Sadly, there were four, five if you counted the Enchantresses, who held sway.

Some had much darker intentions in mind.

"Go with my blessing, Branwen" he said quietly, listening to the sounds of the earth around him. "Find out their intentions in coming on to our land. Do not attack them, no matter what their intentions might be. it will not be our hands or magik that start another war."

There was no excuse for their being here. There were markers along the borders of the lands of each province. Their totem poles could not be missed and the banners that flapped from them could be seen for miles from their thin height.

"Go and remember, I will be with you on your journey. I will watch over you as I always have."

He then fell back into silence among the bouncing spirits around him. A falcon, an otter, a wild gazelle, a small rodent, a fish. All hopped and leapt, leaving whispy, ghost-like trails of themselves in their wake.

SilntAngl5
09-17-2011, 05:49 PM
Nalia

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg

Nalia felt her resist, but persisted. She felt that Kali's occasional cold, defensiveness was her own doing. She was not maternal in nature, though she did care for an island of women scorned. A brief pang of worry crossed her mind. How on earth would she care for the child?

"But I can control how much I expose you to. I am responsible for that and for your safety as your mentor and Guild Master."

Nalia knew she was hurting, she knew because she was hurting. But she would not push the matter. When Kali asked about the light, Nalia looked down at her hand. Somehow, the bleeding had stopped and the wound looked smaller. Nalia blinked and felt dizzy again. Her face was still pale and the messy tangle of curls piled upon her head quivered with the possibility of another episode. But what had happened in the darkness? What was the light that erupted form her palm, like a divine, cleansing fire? Never had she seen such a thing sprout from her being before. Hers had always been something of darkness. Nalia sat back from Kali, resting on the gentle, sheer fabrics of her dark green robes. The light hadn't hurt her. It felt... almost natural. But such a thing was impossible. She was the keeper of Nightmares... She would never be a child of the light.

"Everyone" she reminisced in a painfully soft voice "Is born from the light and therefore everyone contains it within... No matter how small a portion, it exists within us all and will one day call us all home."

A sadness took control of Nalia's emerald eyes, eyes that seemed so much more green in the robes she wore. When she looked up and saw Kali staring at her, whatever memory she'd gotten lost in was quickly banished from mind and features.

"It was something I heard once."

A deep breath to compose herself.

"I am sorry it hurt you... I never wished to do that."

A very true statement. Kali was very dear to her, though she knew not how to express it. The paleness in her face seemed to recede some and Nalia looked well enough to stand.

"We should clean up, lest Darmon rear his ugly tongue. His face it bad enough."

And Nalia actually smiled and the slight she made on the Guild Head's behalf. She would help Kali to rise and, when they were ready, they would go into the main hall of the Great Hold and see why they were needed so urgently here. They would find the room abuzz with eavesdrop spells being translated back to students. They sat four to a gilded table with a map, a blinking location, and a sphere hovering and pulse a conversation before them. They scribed, meticulously, everything they heard. Darmon was at the far end of the room, at the end of a long midnight and silver carpet. He sat, slightly slumped in a high-backed chair with a few men standing before him. Charold and his men's glowing specks of light had stopped within the Shamaa borders and, though Darmon could not track simply anyone without a spell, they awaited to see if any more magikal spikes appeared for tracking.

SilntAngl5
09-17-2011, 06:58 PM
Emit and Pasce
688


For Felicity, it would be like blinking. Once she closed her eyes, her soul was moved to a place beyond the scope of man or magik. Beyond Emporium or the sun they orbited and the sister planets that followed. She would awake in her own apartment, but it would be bare. Only shadows of things in tangency, gears, tools, things unlike couches that were moved on a daily basis. furniture had true form as did she, but the mess at her feet was but shadow, smoky and ghost-like. There was sun coming through the window and there Emit stood and helped her to rise also. He seemed almost boyish with energy as he smiled at her through strands of blond hair.

"Good morning" he said as his smile grew. He brought her to the window so that she might see outside. The buildings, street lamps were all there. The trees and signs, anything fixed and nonliving existed, but the streets were empty. Occasionally a person would blip in and fade out of existence without ever realizing that they dreamed deep enough to enter the Realm of Dreams. The sky was alight, but the source of the light almost seemed to come from within, rather than aloft. Emit gave Felicity a moment to absorb this different place. it would feel and smell exactly as home did, but it was empty of people and there was a quietude tapered only by the rushing of a breeze through the Realm.

"If I were the princess" he mused distantly, thoughtfully "I think... I think I would go to where we first met."

A sure look grew across his face. The princess had been cryptic about many things, but she always left him with enough clues to figure out her words. He knew that was where he would find her. He was almost sure of it.

"The Central Library."

Qwaring's clone#1
09-18-2011, 04:19 AM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

Cloney seems entirely ignorant of the damage he had caused some of the men gathered around the campsite. Instead he busies himself with eating the burnt marshmellow from the end of the charred stick. The process of devouring the marshmellow seems suprisingly difficult as the orange man clumsily smears most of it over the lower half of his face, giving him a beard of burnt, melted goo.


"Where is your escort, princess?" Charold asked boldly, a bit darkly.
The orange man immediately stands up when he hears Charold's question. He coughs slightly as the question startles a swollow of marshmellow down his throat. Between coughs, Cloney manages to defensively reply back to the other man.

"I don't use escorts! How dare you imply- ! I'm not that kind of princess! Besides, the escort service stopped accepting my credit cards ages ago." Cloney follows up his defense of his honor by licking along the right side of his marshmellow stained mouth.


"Where is Emit Shornoc? Where is the High Chronicler of Magik? He was with you when you left Rekōdo City."

"Emit Shamrock?" Cloney gives Charold a puzzled stare. He drops the charred stick and holds Scraps up to his confused gaze. "Are you Armpit Glamrock?"

Cloney looks around the camp, as if noticing it for the first time. He licks at his chin with an orange toungue. He then holds the poodle back up to his face once again.

"What else are you hiding from me, Scraps? What's with this whole secret life you're leading? It's like I don't even know you anymore!" Cloney is now frantic as his mind desperately tries to concoct what kind of double life Scraps might be hiding from him. The dog simply hangs limply in the orange man's grasp, whimpering and looking sadly at Charon, as if apologizing for the clone's idiocy.

Meteoro
09-18-2011, 12:36 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Rekōdo City

There was something about Sophia. When she got her sight onto something, she just would not let go. She called it a virtue while most saw it as a flaw, not that it would matter much these days since she owed no one a thing and the world owed her to spare. At this point, there was just one important thing in life and anything else was either for her use or to run away from. To say that she didn't have friends would be an understatement.

Yesterday night, she was just walking around Rekōdo City. She needed money as soon as possible and the idea of a regular job was just a mockery for her. No, she needed money and she needed it fast. Looking at this sixteen year old girl would be a bit odd, since Sophia wore a blue and white dress made with silk and some sophisticated fabric from other lands, but if you looked at it closer, you would notice it was a bit dirty and not well taken care of. She did have a bit of an elegant walk, too, but her stare was defiant and not appropriated for a lady of her age. Her big blue eyes would be considered beautiful at some point if you were able to set aside the bitterness that was somewhat offending to good manners.

Thing was last night Sophia was right outside of a jewelry when she saw a street girl walk inside of the store, sell some precious jewelry to the owner of the place, only to come out and meet with a woman and give her the money. Sophia narrowed her eyes as she saw them walking through the streets and head into the hotel. She smirked a bit knowing that they would not let the street girl walk in there just like that and got surprised when she didn't see the two women walk out of the place. "She must be quite loaded", that's all she thought and left the place, planning already to be in that same spot quite early in the morning.

Jason Sanborn
09-20-2011, 12:06 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah was awake before the sun rose the next morning. Jalene was still sound asleep in her bed, enjoying the comforts of a bed, pillow and blankets for the first time in a long time. Tamarah smiled, looking at the sleeping child. She remembered a time, so long ago now, that she had longed to have a child of her own. She and her husband had spoken of it often. There just never seemed to have been time for it in their lives for children. Then came the curse, the death of her husband, and her exile, and nothing has been the same sense.

With a soft sigh, Tamara walked over to a table and sat down. Out of the pouch holding the gems, she pulled out a flat device that looked quite out of place in this world. It was an electronic journal that she was able to write in, without needing pencil, pens, or paper. She could draw and write on the screen with nothing more than her fingers. She used this to keep a record of her travels and experiences in the various worlds.

"Mornin' Tammie." Tamara looked up from the journal and saw Jalene standing on the other side of the table, rubbing the sleep from her eyes. The morning sun was shining through the windows. As usual, Tamarah had lost track of time while she wrote in her journal. She smiled at the young girl.

"Good morning, Jalene," she replied with a smile, putting the journal back in her pouch. "Would you like some breakfast?"

"Yes, mum."

"Then get ready and we'll go to the cafe down the street."

Jalene smiled wide and quickly went to get ready. A few minutes later, they were ready, and left the hotel to go have breakfast.

Meteoro
09-29-2011, 11:19 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia arrived very early in the morning to the entrance of the hotel where Tamarah and Jalene spent the night. She was just sitting in a bench across the street reading a book, while paying attention to who came in and who came out of the building. The wait paid off when she saw the two women leaving the hotel. It was time to move.

She started walking behind them, not very close, not that far to get lost. It was obvious Tamarah was new to the city, she stared at the buildings too long to be a regular citizen of Rekōdo. Much better. Sophia studied their attires and anything they were carrying. They walked into a cafe down the street.

Sophia smiled; she would be getting her hands on some money soon enough.

Shadowseldil
09-29-2011, 04:06 PM
Felicity shook her head as she studied the world around her. "Why is everything so blurry?" she said, squinting and blinking. "So, how do we get to this library? I don't know where it is."

Tigers
09-30-2011, 12:31 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen


"Yes Master Mindoka." Branwen replied.

She paid respect to her Guild leader and mentor, smiling as she turned to leave. Whether intentional or not, he had become like a father figure to her. Branwen quickly gathered a few of her fellow Shamman. It would be quicker for her to open a portal to where they needed to go. Drawing from the power of the land itself, Branwen's eyes glowed bright blue as a watery portal opened between the home and the current location on the edge of their lands. She would bring them straight into the camp of their strange orange visitor.

"Charold!" Branwen's voice spoke with authority but no hint of aggression.

"What can the Shamman do for the Magini this day?"

It was not a threatening statement, merely one that Charold would know if for what it was. A stated question as to why the Magini had come to the Province of Shamaa without using the proper channels. But the sight of the strange orange man made Branwen's eyes drift over his direction.

"By all that was sacred in the Province of Shamaa, what was he?" She thought to herself.

Jason Sanborn
09-30-2011, 12:46 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah had that feeling again. She was being followed. She knew it almost immediately. She looked around as they walked, with Jalene pointing things out to her. From appearances, she appeared to be a tourist. She didn't want to alert her follower to the fact that she knew she was being followed.

After they arrived at the cafe, Tamarah requested a table on the patio. She wanted to sit in the open air, and she wanted to be able to see her follower, without revealing the fact that she knew she was being followed. The host sat them at the table and handed them menus. Tamarah sat with her back to the cafe, facing the street, with Jalene across from her.

"Get anything you want, Jalene," she told the girl with a smile, focusing her sight on the young girl, while letting her mind gaze to the peripherals.

"Why're ya bein' so kind ta me, mum?" Jalene asked, not looking at the menu yet. "I ain't nothin' special."

Tamara's peripheral vision fell upon another young girl who she suspected to be the one following them. The fact that she was watching them was a good indication. Tamara made no move to show her follower that she noticed her, instead just answered Jalene. "Everyone is special in their own way, and you just need a helping hand. You are helping me to get to the Library, and I'm helping you in return."

"Thankee mum," she said, picking up the menu. Tamara smiled and picked up her own menu. She looked at the menu, but still kept her follower in the corner of her eye, to see what she would do.

Tigers
09-30-2011, 12:53 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali



Guilt. Kali had rarely heard that come from Nalia. But she felt she should have been stronger, should have resisted she knew she could but the sweet of temptation still held it's residual claws in Kali's mind. She was well aware of its lingering presence, it was one of the reasons she hadn't been able to fully change back. At this point, she didn't care what Darmon thought, as long as it distracted him from Nalia's own problems.

Her eyes followed Nalia's as they went to the hand that she had injured. It was nearly healed, no thanks to the evil that lurked within Kali's heart. Her head still thumped with the sound of her racing heart and her insides crawled like insects scurrying away from the light. She felt ill, she'd do her best to hide it from Nalia.

What was that she'd muttered, something about everyone coming from the light and someday returning? Was that even possible for her? As far back as Kali could remember, she was attracted to the dark places, and now she had been exposed to pure light. It had for no better term, hurt like hell. Kali didn't say a word, but whatever it was that Nalia had repeated, it meant something more than she had said or could remember.

"I know. It's okay." Kali replied.

The more maternal Nalia responded to her, and the more she outwardly showed she cared, scared Kali. Not Nalia herself, but the yearning Kali felt for that needed to have that feeling from Nalia. She kept telling herself that it would go away, Nalia was with child, it was the only reason she was being like this.

She actually laughed at Nalia's statement and for a brief moment the burdens of her heart were lifted and Nalia could see the young woman she truly was inside.

"I can fix that, I'll just rip it out."

For a moment in time, they each saw the others true self, even if it was fleeting. Kali took Nalia's hand, careful not to repeat the injury of before and not to allow the other woman to take too much of her weight. Although she could not change back just yet, she used a cleansing fire to clean the blood and sweat from her body. The smell of fire and brimstone lingered in the air briefly. She stepped out with Nalia into the world awaiting them, Kali's eyes instantly finding Darmon's across the room. Kali could not help the bestial growl that came to her throat and the teeth in her mouth seem so much sharper.

Meteoro
10-04-2011, 05:51 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

It was obvious Sophia should learn a bit more about stalking techniques; she was taking mental notes about this right now. Tamarah had already noticed her and there was no way to go unnoticed at this point. Paying no attention to the awkwardness of the situation, Sophia just sat to the table that was right by Tamarah’s side. Oddly enough, Sophia grabbed a seat that gave her back to Tamarah’s back, as if playing a weird child game.

“I know you know I’ve been following you”, Sophia said to Tamarah’s back, “I guess there’s no point in hiding.” Making a long pause, Sophia called the waitress and ordered a not-too-hot-tea with an accent that rang somehow sophisticated, as if trying to call their attention away from the fact that she was ordering the cheapest item of the menu. “You are new in town, I can tell just by giving you a glance. And I can’t help but being curious about it.”

SilntAngl5
10-09-2011, 04:49 PM
Charold of Maginus

Charold sniffs in disgust. This Princess was far from the leader Rekōdo needed. He had overheard Darmon say a weak leader was better for the Council. Perhaps this was why it was so urgent that the Princess be found, the need to return the Magini's Ancestral spirit aside. He watched with deep brown eyes as the glowing, marshmallow-stained Princess consulted the dog. The side of his mouth twitched. he had made a terrible connection.

The dog was Emit Shornoc. She had turned the High Chronicler of Magik... the greatest magik wielder aside from the High Council Member themselves... into a poodle.

"That is-"

He was not given time to answer. A watery portal opened, causing Charold to stand abruptly. He had enough time to shout for the two remaining members of his party before the Shamaan stepped through the portal. Charold stood in front of the orange Princess and held out a hand from his side. Energy hummed in the center of his palm.

A woman stepped through the portal, followed by several others. Some wore tribal masks, defining their clan's identify. Some wore tattoos or paint. Some feathers and animals skins. Savages, Charold thought and would have spit upon the ground if it wouldn't have offended the natives into killing him, roasting him and eating him. The woman spoke to him as if she were his greater. if he ever inherited the Ancestral power, if it ever was returned to their people, Charold would love to storm Capios and bring all the rebellious women back to Maginus where they belonged.

Charold's brown eyes regarded the woman with masked distaste.

"You can do nothing for us, Southern Cousin, but remain out of the way so that we can be on ours."

He was trying to be civil. He called them 'Southern Cousins' which hadn't been in use since before the Great War. But he was on dangerous grounds. They were not in Maginus or Rekōdo City. They were in foreign territory and he could not feign ignorance. Borders were well marked, a law since the ending of the War. And the woman knew his name. He wished he'd paid attention when the other Council Members brought their underlings. Or did one of the ghosts of this land tell her his name. Charold looked briefly around, but saw nothing. The two men beside him remained silent and kept an eye on the Shamaan opposite the fire. Charold noted the direction the girl's gaze went and decided to use the Orange Freak-Princes to his advantage.


"We came for this" he said, gesturing without specifying a gender to the glowing, orange being. "She is one of ours, victim to an ancient ritual gone awry. I am sure your Great Father Mindoka is aware of the dangers of doing magik without the reserves of the Ancestral Spirit he harbors?"

Darmon had said that all the Council Members were robbed. He wondered if the girl knew the same. If not, it could gain him an upper hand, using such a vital tidbit of knowledge.

"She... if you can believe it once was such, is no longer in her right mind and came here. We thought the best course of action would be to simply retrieve her and return to Maginus. It would cause less of a disturbance that way."

The last of his statement was wholly true. All he wanted was to get the Princess and return to Arx and from there to the Great Hold. Then a long, hot bath and some well-needed rest. Let Darmon deal with the freaky Princess and the High Pup of Magik.

SilntAngl5
10-09-2011, 07:58 PM
Nalia and Darmon of Maginus

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif


Briefly, Kali had caused Nalia to smile. It was a rare gem of a thing, for her smile to be used for something other than what she had learned in the seductive arts of the Astralians. It was... beautiful. It made the whole of her face from eyes to chin shift in a lighter, gentler sort of way. Nalia had, for all intents and purposes, a beautiful smile. Pity such a thing was so rarely used. Nalia took Kali's hand and rose, cleaning herself in a cruder way than Kali, but an effective way nonetheless.

In the Great Hall, even with all the conversational sphered pulsing and chattering, even among the sounds of hundreds of scribing students, Nalia touched Kali's wrist to quiet her. She glanced at her, still in her darkened state. Though she could not blame her, as Darmon's existence made her skin crawl for reasons all its own, Kali had to remain in control of herself. As pleasant as it would be, nothing glorious would come from killing Darmon. They were in his territory. It could only end badly for them.

The map that Darmon watched spiked suddenly and then died down. Briefly, he wondered if it was the Princess as Charold had predicted. This pulse was smaller, and could be the use of a portal. The map could not distinguish people, though Darmon could guess which were his men. others had appeared, other blips of light. Shamaa? Or the Magik of the Princess and High Chronicler? He glanced up when he saw Nalia and Kali approaching. He took note of Kali's darker, more agitated form and then looked to Nalia. He watched her intently with his blue eyes as she walked up the blue and silver carpet to the throne-like chair he sat upon.

"It's about time."

He sounded displeased, but, then again, when did he not? Nalia seemed unaffected by his tone. She was setting an example for Kali. A silent lesson on self control.

"Perhaps if you sent a kinder invitation, we would be more apt to come with haste" she replied with distinction. Darmon barked a short, unamused laugh and looked away from them, down to the map before speaking again.

"When you are summoned, you are summoned. It is quite simple, Nalia. Perhaps letting you run off to your little island was giving you too much freedom after all."

He was, she decided, in a fouler mood than normal, but she did not budge an inch. If anything, she lifted an eyebrow at Darmon, though a part of her did wonder if he had the gaul to raise an army to take Capios from her. Without magik, Darmon was a desperate man and could be prone to desperate measures to ensure his power stayed with him and him only. And now... Nalia had other things she needed to protect. It wasn't just about the defiance the mere existence of Capios was to Maginus. Not just that. Not anymore. It made Nalia want to be sick. Darmon must have seen something in her face because he watched her intently with a finger crooked over his mouth and then cocked an eyebrow.

"You're not so formidable without the magik you hide behind Nalia al'Vatar."

And that, finally, made Nalia made. Something in the way his blue eyes lingered on her face, the quirk of the corner of his mouth that hid behind the hand supporting his chin. The way he thought her weak and vulnerable. Kali would feel it instantly, the tapping of darkness. The air darkened around Nalia as if the light were being sucked into a blackhole at her core. It grew suddenly colder. Everything seemed to dim as if the anger within her drained all light and hope from the world. Darmon stared at Nalia, hunched forward as if to watch her.

"I am more than you, Darmon of Maginus. Greater than you could ever hope to be."

Nalia could kill him right now. Easily. Like a bug beneath her shoe. She could torture him with a darkness far worse than he could ever possibly hope to not-imagine. Or perhaps he did hope. She would be so, so glad to show him but-

"You did not take a port-door or a flume here, did you?" Darmon intrigued in an almost hypnotic voice. "You walked the shadows." He leaned forward in his high-backed chair and steepled his fingers before his mouth.

"Tell me what you saw."

-she knew, deep within her core, that if she delved too deep, they would all be ruined. She would not be able to control the things within the tainted darkness of her mind and soul. And because she knew her limitations, Nalia was the better magik-wielder. She inhaled deeply, to clam herself and the darkness abated. It was like a fresh break of spring air from the valleys at Arx had wafted up and into the Great Hold.


When she put the darkness away he almost seemed disappointed and sat back in his chair.

"Doubtful" was all he said, and then after a moment's pause "I have a task for your little winged protege."

And then his eyes went swiftly over to Kali, as if her presence were finally worth acknowledging, now that she held a direct use for him.

SilntAngl5
10-09-2011, 11:15 PM
Emit and Pasce
688


Emit mused thoughtfully over her first question.

"Things that are not stationary are like vapor because they are mobile in the waking world. They are represented by phantoms of what they are. Things with souls... animals, people, things that can dream as deeply as my Totem lets us will be here, even if only for a moment."

He hoped that would do for an adequate explanation. The World of Dreams was... hard to explain. Already his mind was racing ahead when something else she said caught him off guard.

"Have you never been inside the Central Library?"

He seemed shocked by this. Everyone in Rekōdo City knew where the Central Library was. It could be seen for miles. But to never have been within it...? Emit could not fathom it. He looked down at Felicity with a mixture of surprise and regret. For all his education and magikal prowess... why hadn't he seen a problem like this sooner?

"Come" he said gently and tightened his hold on her hand. "I will take you there. I know the way."

His smile would be the last thing she saw before the world around her blurred and reshaped. When everything took focus again, they were standing in front of a massive domed building (http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=668&d=1312512475) in the heart of Rekōdo City. Water surrounded it, like a large lake with stairs leading through it, up to the doors. Emit squeezed Felicity's hand tightly at the sight of a place that felt more like home than home did. The building was huge and dwarfed all other buildings surrounding it except for the Great Palace that stood not a block away. Elegant, spherical lights full of magikal energy illuminated the area. It was night here. Their travel on foot had been done in elapsed time and time had caught up with them now. He lead her up the stairs hurriedly, as fast as her feet would allow. Emit smiled excitedly, having been away from the Library since the disaster at the coronation.

"You will be amazed" he said almost breathlessly "The books line every inch of the walls. There are ladders, balconies and floating pods so you can reach any book you desire. The Library is open day and night. There are always people studying, learning, discussing. Anything you can imagine, there is a book about it. Your mechanics! There is an entire section dedicated to your art! When we get inside, I will show you and then, in the waking world, you can see it in full glory."

They reached the doors, two sets of large, arching stone and went inside.

"Wait until you see-"

Emit came to a dead halt. The normally busy and pristine interior (http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=669&d=1312561156&thumb=1) was eradicated. Books, destroyed, some on fire, littered the ground. Papers rained down like snow. The walls were cracked and crumbling, pillars were gone... Emit's blue-gray eyes were wide. He looked up and before them stood a massive lion. Red, like flames crackled for its mane and its fur was white as snow. Ice blue eyes stared down at the new intruders to the library. The lion was the size of a small building. It stared down at them and let out a deafening roar.

Qwaring's clone#1
10-10-2011, 02:06 AM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

Cloney glances away from his interrogation of Scraps and looks towards the unknown woman that has emerged from a portal. The orange man mutters to his poodle, "Great. More cosplayers."

He holds the white poodle tucked under one arm as Charold replies to the newcomer. Cloney doesn't bother summoning the attention-span needed to try to understand what Charold is talking about. Instead the tuxedo-clad clone is focused entirely on Branwen. He slicks back his wild, glowing orange hair with a glowing orange hand, which doesn't do anything to keep his hair from standing up at odd curls and twists. He then places this hand on Charold's shoulder as he steps by his would-be protector.

"Don't worry about this, Steve. I know just how to deal with the ladies. And over the years I've built up an immunity to most brands of mace and tasers." the sunglass-wearing clone confidently whispers to Charold as he steps past him. Cloney flashes Branwen a winner's grin that has failed to charm any women so far, but right now Cloney believes only in its seductive qualities as he boldly swaggers towards the woman.

"Hi there, sweetness. I'm George Jefferson Cloney, but my friends call me princess. I couldn't help but notice you being undressed by my eyes. I like that in a woman. Let's say we find ourselves a hokey rink and hotwire the ol' zamboni... If you know what I mean." Cloney clucks his tongue twice, as if he expects that to add to his seductive charms. He then waits and smiles at the woman, fully expecting her to swoon into his arms at any moment.

The poodle known as Scraps can only look down towards the lawn in embarrasment over what Cloney is doing. The dog lets out a sound that is half wimper and half sigh as it waits for the orange clone's lack of charm to make the situation worse.

Jason Sanborn
10-10-2011, 12:09 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah could feel the darkness begin to rise inside of her. Something didn't feel right at all, and it was causing chaos to react. Fortunately, Tamarah was still in control.

"If you're curious about me, please join us at our table, and we can talk," she answered the girl. "I won't continue the discussion to your back. It's rude."

Meteoro
10-10-2011, 05:48 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

“It will be my pleasure.” Sophia stood up from her table with her cup of tea and sat by Tamarah's side. Taking her time, the young girl used her tiny spoon to sweeten her tea. “You're not from Rekōdo City, am I right? People is not usually that straight forward in this place. You just happened to have picked my curiousity just when I happen to have a lot of time in my hands.”

Sophia stared for a moment at Jalene, and this time her cold eyes warmed up a bit. “It's not usual, either, that a classy woman would pick a young girl from the street.”

Jason Sanborn
10-11-2011, 11:48 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah still had a bad feeling. She wasn't sure what it was, but her sixth sense was telling her something was wrong. Why was this girl really following her? What was her game? There was something, and whatever it was was causing the chaos inside her to stir more and more, and she hated that feeling more than any other.

"No, I'm not from around here. I'm here to visit the Central Library and study. Jalene is kind enough to be my guide through the city, and I am rewarding her in kind." She eyed the other girl carefully. "Now, I know I'm not the only traveler that has ever entered this city. Why have you decided to follow me? I know there is something more than simple curiosity."

Meteoro
10-11-2011, 12:38 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia stared at Tamarah for a moment putting her thoughts together. This "meeting" had already derailed and she was already wondering if this hadn't been a waste of her time. Now she was regretting the money she spent in that darn expensive cup of tea.

“Yes, you're definitely a straight forward person. I give you that.” She sipped from her tea pretending to be calm and trying to gain a few more time to figure out what to say. “People are not always what they seem, but you don't seem to have so many layers. That's a nice attribute in a city so full of it like this one.” Sophia smiled as if she had just said the nicest compliment. “I was following you because I want to make business with you.”

Shadowseldil
10-17-2011, 04:00 PM
Felicity shook her head when asked about the Library. She had never been in any libraries, and much of the truth was that she could barely read. Oh, she could read schematics and magic matrices, but those were mostly pictures and functions. Real books with real written words were just scribbles on paper. She knew they had meaning, but that meaning was lost to her.
Emit took tighter grip on her hand as the world reshaped itself around them. That did not surprise her. She thought she could do that herself if she knew where she was going. She now realized why everything was so blurry; it was because, here, in this dream world, she could see exactly how everything worked. Push a dream molecule here, one there, and you can walk through a wall, or turn it into rubble, or turn it into a waterfall if you felt like it. It seemed so easy.
As the big dome formed before her, she recognized the building. She saw it everyday from her hopperpack. She always loved how the sunrise caught on the dome and flourished the colour spectrum. It was pretty. She never got to see it by night before.
As Emit led them into the atrium, Felicity stopped as she saw the dream creature. At first she was frightened, until she realized that it was made up of everything else that made this dream world. But, what if she was wrong? What if she could not do what she thought she could? What if the creature could do the same? It might reshape itself into something even worse. Emit would know what to do about it, but if he did not, she would have to try something.

Jason Sanborn
10-17-2011, 04:18 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

'Not always what they seem.' That is what the girl said. That couldn't have been more true about Tamarah. Yet this girl seemed to think, or at least pretend, that there wasn't more to Tamarah than met the eye. She hoped that she wouldn't have to reveal the truth to anyone, and let any of her other sides manifest, especially not the chaos side that was still stirring restlessly inside of her.

"What business do you have for someone you've only just met?" Tamarah asked cautiously.

Meteoro
10-18-2011, 02:41 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia studied Tamarah for a moment, mostly to give some momentum to her answer. She had to make it bold and important, since this was her only chance to turn these events into her favor. "You have jewels, I have money. Since I first saw you, I knew we were meant to make some serious business." The girl once again made a pause, a big pause. For dramatic impact, whatever. "Do you want to come with me?" And that's when Sophia smiled for the first time.

Tigers
10-23-2011, 12:35 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen


Unlike Charold, who seemed to pay no attention to those he thought beneath him, Master Mindoka had instructed Branwen about all of the leaders and their seconds. Being a good leader meant that you paid attention to those who were your allies and your enemies. Only someone arrogant would dismiss another being simple because of sex or guild association. But Charold’s arrogance went on noticed by Branwen, her job was simply to discover the reason why the Magini were here in Shamaa and remove them without incident.

The orange man before her was more than a bit shocking, but Branwen did not believe Charold’s story. There was more going on than what he revealed and the spirits of the animals around her said as much. But things were about to get weird as the orange man approached Branwen. His speech and mannerisms were even stranger. The young girl couldn’t tell whether this was some kind of strange mating ritual or rite of passage.

She was young, but she wasn’t entirely foolish in the behaviors of others in their guild. But this, this was something far beyond her. Even the animals seemed confused, so Branwen looked to the dog in Cloney’s arms. Maybe a companion that has traveled with him would know. But when Branwen reached out to the dog, what she saw made her eyes grow wide and she blushed a dark crimson.

“I’m afraid I’m not of an age for such things… and I could not do so freely with someone I did not know.”

Branwen felt the heat burn her cheeks. Intimacy was something she had never dealt with, let alone asked about. But she knew about, it was everywhere, even with the animals of the land. But she never talked about it, or thought about it really. She was too busy learning; too busy being Master Mindoka’s second to worry about such things at her young age.

She was embarrassed for being embarrassed, especially around Charold and his men. She forced her eyes away from the Clone and back to Charold.

“You know as Master Mindoka’s second that I am well aware of what is going on within the Guilds, Charold. Would you care to change your story?”

Tigers
10-23-2011, 12:42 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Kali felt Nalia’s gentle touch, unlike Darmon, she was very receptive to Nalia’s instruction. It did not mean that there was no inner turmoil. Darmon pushed Kali in ways he knew he could get away with, to keep other from questioning. It had only made Kali’s tongue that much sharper when she was under Darmon’s tutelage, for now only the look deep within Kali’s eyes gave away the immensity of her displeasure for Darmon.

Nalia was tactful where Kali was not, a lesson she should learn but was reluctant to do so when it concerned Darmon. The instant that Nalia tapped into the darkness, Kali felt an incredible surge of longing and desire, a hunger that she could not quench. Almost immediately though, she felt ill as if her very insides were rotting. It was a sensation that she had never felt before, not until she had been cleansed by Nalia’s light.

The room had cooled, normally that wouldn’t be an issue for Kali, not in the form. But her insides felt like ice and she was caught between the sweet sensation of Nalia’s darkness and the growing sickness she felt inside. Despite how she felt, her eyes darkened with fire and brimstone when Darmon finally addressed her. Kali’s distaste was not very well concealed in the dark look that crossed her face.

Perhaps sensing the rise of ire within her, Nalia’s hand once again discreetly touched Kali’s wrist. She drew in a deep breath, as if reaching a place of calm and her darkened form relaxed just a bit more. Although her anger was curbed, the tongue was another matter.

“Let me guess, you forgot your gown for the fairy princess ball and you need me to fetch it for you.”

Jason Sanborn
10-24-2011, 09:50 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

'So, it's about the jewels,' she thought to herself. The chaos still stirred restlessly inside of her, despite this girl's smile. Her sixth-sense was screaming at her that something was wrong. The only problem was, it was only a sense, she didn't get specifics. If she let chaos run free, then she could see the fabrics that were only being hinted at right now. Doing so, though, would be more dangerous and problematic than the situation warranted.

"As I said earlier, I'm simply a traveler here, on my way to study at the Central Library. I have enough money now to last my stay. You have yet to tell me what this business is, and why you think I should go with you."

Meteoro
10-24-2011, 10:04 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia gave Tamarah a long long stare, while keeping her smile frozen. This was a duel of strength of character and she wasn't showing a winning hand. Not at all. Finally, she tore down her smile and sighed.

"Why are you being so difficult?" The girl balled her hands, not necessarily in anger, but in frustration. She had wasted so much time with this woman and nothing seemed to work just fine. "You come to this town all high and mighty, show your pretty face and expect everything to play nice for you. Well, excuse me miss, things don't work like that for everyone. Showing pity for this little tramp won't earn you cookie points for everyone!" Sophia pointed at Jalene as she insulted both of them.

"You know what? This should be mine!" Sophia put her hands in Tamarah's bag and tried to take it from her.



((I don't recall if Tamarah did have a bag. If not, I'll fix this.))

Jason Sanborn
10-24-2011, 10:22 PM
((She does. It holds her jewels, journal, and translocation gyroscope.))

http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah reacted quickly, and grabbed the girl by the wrist as she put her hand in her pouch. Her adrenaline was pumping as she shouted, "NO!" The chaos inside of her stirred even more, and her grip on the girl's wrists tightened. The necklace began to glow slightly. The small sapphires in the infinity symbol started to change from the blue sapphires to red rubies. At the same time, her red-orange hair darkened, as did her hazel eyes. The transformation completed as a pair of black wings sprouted from her back, and her clothing seemed to alter on their own.

http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex stared menacingly into the girl's eyes. Time seemed to slow down from her perspective, as all the possibilities, actions, and counter-actions were laid out before her. This moment of silence only lasted a couple of seconds, but it was enough for the Lady of Chaos to see. People sitting in the cafe scattered with her appearance, leaving the three of them alone. Jalene even began to back away, afraid of this sudden change. Tamarah-Nex looked over at Jalene with a warm smile.

"Jalene, be a dear, and stay in your seat please. I believe this young lady and I have a business arrangement to discuss." She turned her attention back to Sophia. "Isn't that right?" She said with a mischievous grin, not letting go of the girl's wrist.

Meteoro
10-28-2011, 05:32 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia let out a deaf scream as Tamarah changed right in front of eyes. She didn't expect her to have magical powers, she should have thought of that, she should have thought so many things but right now she was just too scared, scared to death... Sophia screamed once again trying to let go of Tamarah's grip on her arm.

"Let go of me, you, demon!", she looked around and screamed again. "Someone, please, help me, please!" As a wave of panic took over Sophia, the little color she had on her face simply faded away and her eyes got covered in tears.

"Don't hurt me, it was a mistake, please..."

Jason Sanborn
10-28-2011, 07:08 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Jalene looked at Tamarah-Nex and at Sophia in fear. Tamarah had been so nice to her, but this new appearance? Maybe it was just an illusion. It had to be an illusion, didn't it? Yet she even sounded different. The voice was still the same, true, but the entire attitude had changed considerably. That caused Jalene to tremble visibly. Being blocked from getting out, Jalene thought it best to simply do as she was told, and sat down at the table and watched Tamarah-Nex with Sophia with a mix of fear and fascination.

Tamarah-Nex laughed as Sophia called her a demon. "Ah, the demon card. As if I hadn't heard that one before." She didn't let go of her wrist. "Of course, I never thought I'd hear that in a place where magic was so prevalent as it is here."

Tamarah-Nex let go of Sophia's wrist. "I'm not going to hurt you, girl! Not that I couldn't for trying to take what belongs to me. I just see no benefit to doing so. You said you had business to discuss." She pulled an uncut ruby out of her pouch and set it on the table. It was positioned in a very precise position, one that she saw as she examined the probabilities. The table had been set off balance by the commotion, and if Sophia tries to take the gem and run, the table will offset completely causing the girl to fall right into Tamarah-Nex. If the girl doesn't try to grab it, it would at least get enough of her attention to keep her at the table. "Now sit down, and perhaps you could get this gem for yourself after we discuss this business to our mutual satisfaction."

Meteoro
10-29-2011, 09:28 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia was way over her head and she knew it. Fear had taken over her and she could feel her pulse all over her body. She wanted to run, to scream for help, but... but then Tamarah put the ruby on the table. She wouldn't be as stupid as to try to steal it again, that would be like committing suicide. How much could she get for this ruby? Numbers flew through her mind, but she knew there was nothing she could give this woman and she wouldn't dare trying to trick her again.

Mumbling, Sophia finally managed to speak some. "I... I am sorry. I have nothing of value for you. I'm sorry, can you please let me go. I... I need to go..."

Jason Sanborn
10-30-2011, 04:36 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex laughed. The laugh was a mix of sounds, partly jovial, and yet still somehow menacing. "What? The ruby doesn't interest you now? Weren't you just saying you had some business to discuss?" She held out her hands, palms up. "Well, here is your chance. Tell me all about this business venture you have, and how I would benefit from it. Or was this all just a ruse to get your hands on my jewels?" With the last question, she glared menacingly into Sophia's eyes.

((She's not holding Sophia anymore, and Sophia isn't trapped in a corner, so she could run if she wanted to. Up to you if you think it is wise to do or not. ;)))

Meteoro
10-31-2011, 01:33 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia stared at the jewel with deep long stare. For how much money could she sell it? She needed it so badly... Her eyes moved towards Tamarah-Nex and a chill covered her entire body. She was definitely torn. She could escape right now and never see this scary woman ever again, or she could stay and try to trick her into giving her the jewel... As if that was ever going to happen...

She could not steal it, she had nothing to give in exchange for that ruby, but she needed the money. Desperately. Trying to hold herself together, she looked into Tamarah-Nex's eyes and spoke with a certainty she was actually lacking. "I have nothing for you, but I would do anything to earn it." Suddenly, she felt like selling her soul to the devil. "Please tell me if there's anything I can do to earn it. Please."

Jason Sanborn
11-01-2011, 10:46 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex gave a wry grin. "As I suspected, this was all just a ruse." She grabbed the ruby from the table and put it back in her pouch. "Now, stop standing there like a scared rabbit and sit down." She used her telekenesis to move a chair behind Sophia to try to knock her into the chair. "You want money, that is obvious, but you say you have nothing to offer in return? What benefit is there to me in this arrangement?"

Meteoro
11-11-2011, 08:50 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

As Tamarah-Nex moved the chair behind her, Sophia fell to the seat with little grace. She was not going to leave, but it didn't mean she wanted to stay, either. She looked into that woman's cold eyes trying to find something to give her that could be worth the price of the ruby. "I don't have money. You could already tell that," Sophia swallowed hard, "but you're new here and I know this city like the palm of my hand. I don't know what you're looking for in here, but I know who's who, I know every place worth knowing, I also know how to get into several buildings that are usually closed to visitors." She stopped for a moment to grasp some air. "This must be worth something..." The girl did her best to look strong, but it was evident she was already falling apart.

Jason Sanborn
11-11-2011, 10:49 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex motioned to Jalene, who was still seated next to her, looking as scared as Sophia was. "As you can see, I already have a guide to the city. What use would I have for another guide?"

Meteoro
11-11-2011, 04:54 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia looked at Jalene not really sure about what she was going to say. This little girl may have found someone to take care of her, but she was definitely scared. Would it be wise to let her be with a psycho on her side? The answer would be a definite "no".

"She's a bum," Sophia said trying to sound cold, "I'm not." She looked into the little girl's eyes trying to tell her that this was the best for her. "I come from an important family in Rekodo. I may be without money at this moment, but it doesn't mean I'm not resourceful. I still have the contacts and many people has no idea about my current situation, something that I can use in my favor."

Trying to sound proud, she concluded. "I know this place and how it works, you can certainly use that to your benefit."

Jason Sanborn
11-16-2011, 12:30 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex could see how events played out. The strands of words and actions were visible to her. In addition to her telepathy, she was able to see exactly what Sophia was doing. She simply laughed in response. "Oh, don't worry, I have no intention of harming either of you. I made a deal with Jalene, and it serves my purposes to honor that deal with her. As for you, well, I have made no deal with you yet, but I do admire your manipulative spirit." She chuckled and looked at Jalene. "Jalene, dear, if you wish, you may go."

Jalene nodded, and thought for a moment, then ran off out of the cafe. At least on the streets, she knew what to expect. This was something beyond her expectations, and she didn't have any desire to find out what would happen next.

Tamarah-Nex gave a wry grin, watching as Jalene ran off, then looked back to Sophia. "Well, it does appear that I could use your assistance after all, doesn't it?"

Meteoro
11-17-2011, 10:15 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia swallowed hard. She did it. She was finally trapped in a place where she could not run from. Hurray. She laughed a bit inside when Tamarah-Nex told her she liked her manipulative nature. Now that was ironic. This wasn't turning any way she wanted and now she was stuck. If only she didn't need the money so badly.

"You made the right choice," Sophia said doing her best to look cool. "That girl would only get in your way and, let's be honest, it will be best for her to be on her own. Powerful people tend to attract great dangers."

"So. Tell me what you need and I'll be happy to be your guide." Yes, it did feel like selling your soul to a demon.

Jason Sanborn
11-17-2011, 11:07 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex chuckled at the mention of "great dangers." There was nothing that these puny mortals could do to her. She flexed her wings behind her and folded her arms in front of her chest.

"Tell me about this place," she motioned out to the city. "The magic and politics would be particularly useful. Oh, and this so-called danger you refer to." She chuckled again.

SilntAngl5
11-19-2011, 12:30 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

Charold of Maginus

Charold opened his mouth to reply to Mindoka's second when the glowing Princess touched his shoulder and stepped past him. He re-directed to stop him... her... whatever it was, but stopped. Perhaps it would smite the savages and free them to leave without consequence. He took a moment to mull over what mace and tasers might be and how they had to do with women.

And, sadly, to his dismay, the Princess does smote his enemies... but tries to seduce them in what he can only imagine is acceptably scandalous behavior for today's youth in Rekōdo. Charold cleared his throat in an admittance of embarrassment and momentarily looked downward at the grass. The two men behind him as well as the men and women behind Mindoka's Second shifted, some in confusion and others in case of a need to attack. The air was thick as if the world of Emporium smelled the scent of charging magik and turned an interested eye upon the unfortunate gathering.

Charold looked up abruptly, but made no move to restrain the Clone-Princess. It made the girl uncomfortable, and he took some slight amount of joy in that. She was young enough to be his daughter, but he had to gain an upper hand here. Everything else, so far, was moving against him.

"I have nothing else to say to you. You have seen our companion's idiocy for yourself. That alone should be enough. Unless you choose to call my word a lie."

A touch of bitterness to his voice. He had no care for defiance. He motioned to the smoldering, charcoaled bodies of the three forms that were once men.

"I have lost three men in your land. It would be unfortunate if Master Darmon came to believe it was the fault of the Shamaa. Allow us safe passage from your land before this gets any further out of hand."

Or before the Princess decides to try some other suave tactic. Decidedly, he reached out and touched the shoulder of the Princess to move her back behind him for safety, lest she... he, fall into the hands of the Shamaa. It brought him within close proximity to Branwen and her allies behind her shifted forward, all but one who held back. This caught Charold's eye and they immediately looked to the masked man who stood back. His brown eyes looked past Branwen to squint in scrutiny.

"Enter the conversation, High Councilman of Shamaa. Do not be shy."

Eyes shifted dramatically and turned to the masked warrior at the rear who stood tall and still, like a stag. Then, slowly, he removed his mask and the tatooed, bald head of the Head of the province of Shamaa appeared. There was gray in his black goatee. He was tall, muscular, strong despite his age, which Charold remembered being told, was older than Darmon's. His presence was powerful, even without magik and it caused the men behind Charold to step back.

SilntAngl5
11-19-2011, 02:30 PM
Nalia and Darmon of Maginus

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif


His ability to manipulate Kali was something Darmon prided in himself. Nalia was a bit tougher to work with and she certainly tried her hardest to steel Kali's spine to his tongue. The girl had a sharper temper than her mentor, who was more introverted and secretive. Nalia was more of a challenge and therefore more game-like of a challenge but her temper made Kali that much easier. Darmon had plans for her once he finally broke her. Once he broke both of them.

The look on Kali's face caused him to smile the slightest at the corner of his roman-sculpted lips.

It faded when he saw the discreet touch of Nalia's hand on her protege's wrist. He made a mental note to deal with that little issue later.

"Half correct" he exhaled carelessly at Kali's insubordination. "I do need you to fetch something."

He moved forward and clasped his hands behind his back.

"There is something I will need your help obtaining" he began and started a slow walk around them. "To the North, past the Lesser Holds at our border is an orb I discovered in the past. It holds a vast amount of power, something I could use as a bargaining chip in my current state. You sometimes look beastly like a little dragon. You will accompany me to the Unsettled Lands to obtain it."

"I will be accompanying my student" Nalia interjected.

"You will not."

Darmon completed his circle and stood before them again to face the two rebel women.

"Your partnership in her tutelage is shared, Enchantress and I have noticed that, as of late, you have had poor skills in that area. We signed an agreement. She will do this task without-"

"No."

Darmon stopped, surprised.

"She will do as she is told and you will not interf-"

"I will not let her do this alone."

Darmon, cut off a second time, now had his turn to darken. His expression changed from one of prodding and antagonizing, to one of anger at her defiance. The girls would feel the air around him tremble with his inborn magik abilities, diminished as they were. Nalia straightened herself. She glared at Darmon and would not look at Kali.

"She will not be alone" he said in a tone whose pure existence was to get her to rise to the anger he provoked. "She will be with me and a small detachment. You will stay here and help Charold-"

"She will not!"

Nalia moved quickly, like lightning and grabbed Darmon's wrist. She twisted it and held it firmly despite her smaller size. Smoke, dark and twisted rose from where she held him and the smell of burning hair and skin drifted into the air. Again, Darmon found himself surprised, but he remembered himself and who he was and turned Nalia's aggression back. He twisted his wrist back, being the stronger of the two, so that their arms were erect outward from their sides. His other fist grabbed her cloak by the large clasp about her neck. He gritted his teeth against the pain and yanked her forward and upward, causing her to stumble forward. Nalia maintained her hold, but found herself inches from Darmon's face. The entire room, still swelling with chatter form the eavesdrop spells, seemed to pause. Many of the Magini students who were nearby paused in their magikal scribing to look at the scene between the Guild Masters of Maginus and Capios. It was something unlike the two Masters to ever display in public, even though all the Guilds of Rekōdo knew they hated each other. They all knew they separated because of their hate.

Darmon's blue eyes were on fire with anger and Nalia's green were set in large, cold defiance. The smell of burning flesh was pungent in the air and guards from the Great Hold appeared in the doorways across the room of the Great Hall. Both their chests heaved in silent fury. Somehow, Darmon ignored the burning, though the muscles in his face and voice were tight as he spoke.

"You are on dangerous grounds, Nalia. I allowed you to leave and start your little sanctuary on Capios despite reason. This I will not allow. Let go."

His voice was calm, strained, but commanding. He tightened his grip on her cloak as the pain of her touch seared into his arm. He shifted his knuckles to they jutted upward into her throat. She was on tip-toe before him and a hint of panic hit her eyes as he airway was restricted. Darmon pursed his lips until they were white in their battle of strength.

Their eyes were locked and everything else faded. She could kill him. Rot his body form the inside out with just a thought. if she could only give in to the jittering and screaming of the things in her head... All of this would be over. She could finally be freed of Darmon. She and Kali. But she knew she would be consumed by the Nightmares inside her. She and Kali and all of Rekōdo. He knew it too and sickly in his anger he wanted that. He wanted to see just how powerful she actually was. She couldn't. She would not give in to him, to the anger he caused her, no matter how badly she hurt. Hatefully, Nalia shoved Darmon's wrist away. Her palm smoked and there was a blackened grip-mark around his wrist. It smoldered as he pulled his arm away. But he did not let Nalia go.

SilntAngl5
11-19-2011, 03:54 PM
In the World of Dreams: Rekōdo City (The Central Library)

Emit and Pasce
(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTmL4nPMz_5xzpBCKmeUFBV-ePmdIRaaeZxnBIIFssq0z52A77c)


Emit's blue eyes went wide. The Library... it was destroyed. Emit'sgrip on Felicity's hand softened as he took a mournful step forward. But a giant shadow covered them both. Emit looked up, the fevered anguish of the Library's decimation still rampaging on his face. He almost did not recognize the creature for what it was. In his time at the Library, they were mainly dormant statues in the inner most chambers, where the most untouchable books were kept: Books of Prophesy, Books of the First Guild Heads, The Book of Memories. It roared, the heat of it fiery breath to match its fiery mane sending the hair on their heads tumbling back. Still, Emit stared up at it, almost in wonderment.

"What are you doing awake?" he asked the beast. It growled down at him, causing a brightness to shine in the back of its throat. It opened its mouth and a pillar of flame erupted from its mouth and shot straight down at them. Emit raised a hand and stared into the brightness of the oncoming flames. The roar of them hit and went around Emit's hand, circling and spiraling around an invisible dome that seemed to be shielding them. When the beast finished its fire, Emit retracted his hand. Smoked tickled the air form his fingertips and he opened and closed them against his palm. He looked down at Felicity, as if suddenly worried for her or what she must be thinking.

"It is not normally like this" he managed as the beast raised a massive paw. Emit tightened his hold on Felicity's hand and leapt skyward as the paw came swiping down at the air where they once stood. Once they alighted back on the ground, Emit took off running, holding fast to Felicity's hand so that the young girl stayed in tow with him. the beast pursued, causing the ground they ran on the shake and crumble under its massive weight. Emit leapt, holding tight to Felicity's hand, to a crumbling stairwell. It's marble was blackened and iced both, something that caused Emit's brow to furrow. Where was the red one's twin? He looked up as the beast came to level with them. It's blue eyes were hot with unquenched anger at the intruders, but that did not explain the pre-destructive state of the Library before they arrived.

"She is here" he breathed quickly from the exertion of the run. The massive lion unfurled its fangs in another growl. Fire burned in the back of its throat as it reared its head back to incinerate them.

"In nomine magika" Emit's voice echoed through the air, causing it to hum with Magikal charge. "Subsisto!"

And then, quite suddenly, all was still. All the falling, flaming books. All the crumbling stone, the beast in its bellowing stood obediently, watching, listening. The whole entirety of the Dream World paused to watch this singular moment. As a voice piqued from above and behind them.

"You came" called the soft, young voice. "And you brought Felicity. You are wise, Emit Shornoc of the prideful Rekōdo City. I could not have chosen better."

Emit turned slowly, clenching Felicity's hand in a tightness that threatened to relieve her digits of their nourishment. The owner of the voice sat atop the twin of the once raging red lion. It was quite the opposite in color: body a dark blue and mane a flaring white. Its breath plumed from its nose in icy clouds. Atop it, side saddle, sat a girl of no more than fifteen. She wore round glasses, was petite in frame. Her eyes were deep and a light green and wisps of red hair fell daintily about her chin and shoulders. One of her hands sat calmly in her lap and the other gently held a tuft of white lion hair.

"You honor me, Princess Pasce" replied Emit Shornoc who promptly and humbly bowed.

Meteoro
11-28-2011, 10:15 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia followed Tamarah as she heard her question about the politics and magic of this place. What would this woman want? This wouldn't be the first time an empowered mad person made a move against this city. Anyway, that would not be her problem. Some other people should deal with her if it came down to it. "Rekōdo City is the heart of the World of Emporium. There are five provinces around it and each one of them has its own government. Magic abounds but it varies depending on the province. The High Council is in here, too..." The girl sighed. "Politics do tire me, though. You do have the usual public relations between each province, each one with its secret agenda. I guess it must be the same where you come from. You know, a lot of smiling, some more backstabbing and betrayal. If you ask me, I don't get it, really."

Jason Sanborn
11-28-2011, 01:09 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex nodded at the girl's words. "Yes, politics appears to be much the same everywhere." She gave a sinister sounding chuckle. "And the danger you spoke of? What dangers do you believe await me?"

Qwaring's clone#1
11-28-2011, 01:49 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City...

"Wha? 'Not of an age'? Are you from the Bronze Age or something? That's okay, I don't even know what bronze is." The clone continues with a grin. The poodle in his arms growls something that Cloney and possibly Branwen would understand to mean an explanation of what the woman's words meant. "Huh? But I'm only nine and a half years old. How can she-?" The orange man mutters to the dog, who growls back to the clone. Scraps, the poodle, tries to explain to the orange man that aging for clones and dogs is different than it is for humans.

Cloney is about to reply to Branwen once more, but Charold cuts him off and steps between the orange clone and embarrassed woman. Charold then begins talking about things that the clone knows nothing about and can't summon any interest in figuring out. The orange man straightens the bow-tie and tuxedo jacket he wears before turning and wandering his way back towards the campfire.

He whispers quietly to the poodle that he holds in his arms. "I don't know about this, Scraps. These cosplayers are kind of weird... and flammable. Maybe we should horse-jack one of them and make a run for it."

Scraps whimpers a reply to the clone, advising him against such actions. But cloney's features become a mask of reckless determination as he sets his thieving gaze upon one of the horses that belongs to Charold's men.

Tigers
12-03-2011, 06:38 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali



Kali's anger had been boiling just below the surface and despite the sudden spike of adrenaline at the change of mood within the room, she felt sick. But the sickness would not quell the excited shiver that went through her spine as she supped upon the anger and hatred in the room. Kali had never taken anything to drink that would alter her abilities, but this was intoxicating, like an alcoholic beverage. She struggled with the primal nature of raw emotion.

She didn't like being anyone's pawn. She had been a slave, and Kali didn't like being pushed around. Darmon pushed her, pushed her into those dark places within her. And unlike Nalia, Kali couldn't always control what came out. There was an unbridled darkness within her, a sinister side that enjoyed chaos, enjoyed the evil things that people did. The thought had frightened her and excited her at the same time.

She hated Darmon, she never gave any false pretenses on the matter. But when Nalia stepped in, Kali's rage did not take her gesture as a measure of kindness and protection. She took it as if Nalia believed she couldn't take care of herself. She'd been taking care of herself for a long time, she was sure even though she couldn't remember, long before she'd even met Branwen. Every dark aspect of Kali intensified and with one powerful stroke of her wings Kali sent a strong gale of wind through entire building, sending paper through the air and blowing out ever lit candle.

"ENOUGH!"

"I'll get your precious damn orb old man and I DON'T need any babysitters."

Her angry red glare caught Nalia's eyes. If she looked closely enough she would see a hidden pain masked behind their glow.

"I'll do it myself. Those creatures understand me better than any of you ever could!"

The frightening thing was, Kali was right. Without another word she flew out of the room, stirring up the entire room once more with another strong gust of wind. Her hasty retreat was not just from the anger, but the welling sickness she felt inside. She wouldn't allow them to see her get sick, she was sure she would vomit blood as her insides felt as if they were being ripped open from the inside. They had both already made her feel inadequate and insignificant, she wouldn't give them the pleasure of seeing her this way as well.

Meteoro
12-08-2011, 03:53 PM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

Sophia stared at Tamarah-Nex for a moment trying to read her. How could this woman be this different from the one she was supposed to be at first? She had to be careful with what she said. She had already lost too much with the emotional burst from a few minutes ago.

"Danger always follow powerful people. That's what I meant." There was no point in making her nervous. "In your favor, you have that Rekodo City is a nexus of all of the different provinces, so diversity wouldn't be an issue in here. But, if I may be so bold, I would refrain from antagonizing others. You don't know who you might run into."

Jason Sanborn
12-09-2011, 09:50 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex laughed. "Oh, I'm not worried in the slightest, my dear. You should worry more about those who antagonize me." She said with an evil grin.

Meteoro
12-09-2011, 10:05 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

"So..." Sophia added a bit hesitant. "Is there any place you want to go? Anything in particular you want to do? I will take you wherever you want."

SilntAngl5
12-10-2011, 02:56 PM
Nalia and Darmon of Maginus
20 Kilometers North of Rekōdo City... in the Great Hold of Maginus

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif


An odd silence hit the room. The eavesdrop spheres still continued to chortle out their private conversations, but the scribing had entirely stopped. There was no sound of pen, man-made or magik-born scratching on or in the air above the parchment. Most of the papers in the vicinity of the arguing trio has been scattered. A few students gawked, frozen by the dark hum of magik in the room. A few others sought to redeem themselves in the eyes of their Guild Master and sought to gathering the papers and sorting them with hand and magik. Others picked up on the task or re-lighting all the harshly snuffed candles.

Darmon looked at Kali, watched the dark talons take their deep hold on her soul. Slowly, he understood the source of the anger Kali sent to not just him, but to Nalia. And slowly, a thinly veiled smile slicked itself across his features. As his anger melted, somehow making him more unnerving, Darmon brought Nalia off of her tip toes and back to the ground. He released her with a 'Hmph' and dropped his hold. She stumbled back a half step, and touched her throat in a moment of weakness. She refused to cough, though her lungs burned to expel the old air that had been trapped within. She breathed deeply and the color returned to her pale face. She caught the red anger in Kali's eyes, but her eyes remained blank. Unemotional. Unyielding to the demands Kali's eyes shouted at her. Then, still breathing quickly, Nalia looked down.

She did not look up until after her pupil had departed.

"So dramatic."

Were the words that finally caused Nalia to look upward again. When she did, unbridled anger burned in her emerald eyes like a noxious poison. Darmon shrugged at her quiet anger and began another slow walk around her again.

"Really, Nalia, if you were ever any good at being that girl's Master, you'd have gotten that foul temper under control by now."

Nalia straightened, but did not seem up to the full potential her thin height offered.

"I am not her Master, Darmon's. Not anyone's."

A pause and an eye roll, not that she would see it as he paced behind her.

"Yes... Your little guild was founded for the freedom of Maginus women."

"For the freedom of any woman who chooses our ways."

Her voice was not as strong as she would like for such an argument. Her throat hurt to swallow, making stronger words hard to come by, but she lifted her chin and looked down at Darmon through the sides of her eyes as he came around on her right side. Nalia moved to go around him and leave.

"Don't-" he grabbed her upper arm and stepped closer to her so that he looked down at her. Many of the students had gone back to their scribing, but a few lingering eyes held. They watched what looked like Darmon speaking sternly to the leader of their sister Guild, most likely lecturing her for her display of anger in front of everyone. He was shielded, being behind her right side. A perfectly planned happenstance as things played out.

"What do you think that little charade gained you?"

His breath was hot in her ear, seething in anger. Nalia did not answer. He squeezed her arm tightly.

"Hmm? They already fear you... You will get no such satisfaction from me."

He bent closer to her. She could hear his lips part close to her ear.

"I made you."

Nalia felt her chest tighten. She shifted her arm a fraction of an inch and he yanked it closer. She could smell the charred flesh of the wrist that held her and she suddenly wanted to be sick. She tried not to show her nausea, but she knew he saw her face pale as if she feared him. She could feel the smile he gave into her hair, where no one but she could see or feel it as he bent to whisper with awful intent.

"You had your right of passage, Nalia, and Kali will have hers."

Nalia looked up sharply and pulled her arm away. Darmon let her good, stood back straightly and put his hands behind his back. There was an oddly, calm look on his face as he looked down at her. He was slightly taller than her when he chose to stand at full height. Nalia's green eyes burned fiercely and she stood so still that she quivered. Her dark, little curls shivered under Darmon's gaze, a gaze that she felt saw right through her for all her illusions. Nalia suddenly wanted to cover her midsection. To run away and hide on on one of the many small islands in the Aisle Bones and never be seen by anyone again.

One of the students monitoring the map called out to a higher up, a man who came rushing over. Then a few scribes in varying locations in the vast Hall stood and held up their parchment in their fists. Something had happened and, despite the intense air near Nalia and Darmon, one of the Maginus men who received the sudden bath of information, came to Darmon and showed him a message. A woman transformed in Rekōdo City. Red hair. Or was it black? A massive power spike on scale with the one from hours ago. Darmon nodded and handed the man back his paper, for futher notes.

"Her mission for me can wait. Find Kali and go investigate the power surge. Try mending the many things you manage to break, for once."

Nalia said nothing, no bow of obeisance as was customary. She turned swiftly to go. Darmon turned and sat tiredly down into his high-backed throne.

"Report back here immediately. I will not tolerate any further insubordination!"

Nalia was already a great distance down the long, darkly threaded carpet when he called out in a denouement to his little show. The tall, arcing doors were opened for her and closed behind her as she smoothly and elegantly stormed out. Nalia would not take the Port-a-flume back to Rekōdo City. She would walk there if she had to as long as she was away from Darmon and all the little eyes that had watched them. She felt like she was going to be sick and when she exited the Great Hold, out into the frigid mountain air, she promptly vomited onto the cobblestone.

Tigers
01-01-2012, 06:45 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen


There was a strange expression on Branwen’s face as she listened to the conversation between Scrap’s the dog and the other strange being. It appeared as if whoever this was was capable of communicating with animals, at least the dog that was in his arms. She was too stunned to realize for a moment that she was standing amidst the others with that strange look upon her face. Her face was still slightly red as she attempted to reply to the Clone’s questions.

“I…no…what…what are you talking about?”

She was even more confused as she tried to figure out what this Bronze Age was and, how this being could be only 9, and what was a clone? At least in her definition of the things she knew, the conversation between the Clone and Scraps did not seem to match any of her own knowledge of the world and things in it.

Was it luck then that saved her from this further strangeness? Unfortunately no, it was Charold. Branwen’s focus immediately came back to their “guests.” As he stepped between Branwen and the Clone, her eyes began to glow a soft hue of blue. They would be prepared for anything, but Branwen hoped that this would end peaceably.

She was finally growing accustom to the feel of the others as they stood behind her, prepared for what may come. Leadership in any form was new to Branwen and she discovered that she liked it. But when Charold mentioned her master, she could not help but follow the gazes of the others as they looked back. Not intimidated by her master’s presence at all she hid a small smile knowing that Charold would have to try some other trick to take this “guest” from Shamaa land.

Tigers
01-01-2012, 06:46 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali


Had Kali witnessed what had taken place after she left, she may not have been so guarded when Nalia finally came to find her. Instead, she was hurt and angry, tired of being played by all sides. She just wanted to find Branwen and leave this wretched place. Would it really matter that she was gone? She didn’t know Nalia any better than the woman knew her, and besides, she had more important things to worry about now.

She couldn’t help but feel a pang of guilt for her thoughts. Kali did like Nalia, more than she could admit to herself. But it was difficult for her to feel wanted or needed by anyone, except for maybe Branwen, and still she found herself never fully opening up.

She leaned her head against the cool stone, the taste of blood and brimstone left an awful taste in her mouth. Despite the temperature, it felt good against her hot skin. Whatever Nalia had done earlier, it had really done a number on Kali. She felt as awful as her master had looked and Kali hoped that Nalia’s own ailments would obscure hers.

It would have been easy to wallow in her own self pity, had she not heard Nalia retch the moment she was away from the sight of the others. She didn’t look, she let her mentor and master have privacy. Besides, she had a difficult time even wanting to look at Nalia for the moment; she was still too upset.

The horns were gone, but Kali’s wings remained, having shifted into a beautiful array of dark raven like feathers. She shifted one wing slightly trying to veil her face as she fought with her outward emotions. If Nalia wanted to talk, she could talk, but Kali hadn’t decided on whether she would respond.

SilntAngl5
01-14-2012, 08:43 PM
Nalia
20 Kilometers North of Rekōdo City... in the Great Hold of Maginus

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg


The wind bit and was terribly cold without her magik to shield her. But nothing could be as cold as the silence Kali gave her. Try as she might, Nalia knew darkness, be it the one that they controlled or the ones they held inside. That and Kali was attempting to hide her face behind a feathered wing. Self-conscious of her own appearance, Nalia smoothed the dark fabrics of her green robes and wiped at her mouth. Every movement caused her pile of dark curls to shiver. She seemed as pale as the snow that fell in the mountains around them. Nalia folded her arms under her cloak and exhaled. Her breath left her mouth in a swirling white plum.

"Darmon wants us to go to Rekōdo City to investigate an energy spike."

Small, idle chatter. Both girls knew they didn't care about anything Darmon had to say, but something had to be said. But something just wouldn't cut it. Nalia sighed again and closed her eyes. She looked down the long granite bridge that spanned the massive gap between the Great Hold's mount and the next.

"Kali" she said finally, choosing to speak her words with careful clarity. "I don't expect you to fully understand what I said to Darmon."

Nalia was very stiff as she stood beside Kali amongst the silence and the wind and how it howled to fill the emptiness of both their relationship and the world.

"I hope you never have to understand" she said then, more quietly and gently than many things she said. For a moment, Nalia seemed consumed by the drifts of snow, by the maddening loneliness and isolation of the The Great Swells. Absently, she touched the glittering, black scarf that wrapped her abdomen below the breast line of her corset.

"What I said had nothing to do with my faith in your abilities. Nothing. I would not have asked you to lead me through the Shadows if I did not have complete faith and trust in you."

It was the truth. Nalia feared for Kali's safety when she asked her to lead them through the Shadows between their world. She did not know if she could control what dark Nightmares lay within. She never doubted Kali, not for a moment. She only doubted herself. It would never be something she would admit to anyone, beside him.

Nalia looked very tired. Very distant. Something had happened in Kali's short absence after the trios exchange in the Great Hall.

"I am your mentor, Kali... but I do not want you to make the same mistakes as I have. If that means I must break our relationship, then I will sacrifice that so that you can be more than I ever will."

Nalia did not look at Kali. She was not sure if her pupil would respond or if she would leave. Already, Nalia's mind was working. Darmon's words had sent her reeling and she needed a plan. Her destiny, she knew, lie elsewhere than the tit-for-tat between Capios and Maginus. She did not know where, but, like Kali, Nalia knew she did not belong here.

SilntAngl5
01-15-2012, 07:53 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg
Mindoka and Charold of Maginus


The winds blew the tall grasses on the southern skirts of the Hundred Year Plains. It gentle jostled the clothing of the Shamaa, the cloaks of the men of Maginus. They were far from the southern woods and the few trees to dot the plains chittered with the wind and filled the silence. Respectfully, the Guild Master of the Shamaa bowed his head to Charold and the few men that remained.

"I meant no disrespect to you or your men, Charold. I was merely observing my adept's skills as a leader, which are many."

He took note of the way Charold cooled, like warm oil taken off a fire. Slicked. He most likely did not believe him. But that was a fault of Charold's person, not of his and he would not dwell on it. Mindoka's dark brown eyes surveyed the scene before him fully as if for the first time.

"Explain to me what happened here."

And Charold explained the same story as told to Branwen. A Rite of Passage gone wrong, a horrible misfiguration, a person of Maginus who'd lost her mind, their journey to track her, the magikal accident that took the lives of three of his men as they attempted to detain their comrade for safe travel back to Maginus.

"All we desire" Charold finished "is to take our ill-minded friend back to Maginus before she causes any more problems."

Charold impressed himself. He thought that his story was well woven and that Mindoka might actually buy it. He was not afraid of the larger man, not without his magik. He reviewed what he'd told Mindoka in his head several times and had completely forgotten about the Clone Princess who had disappeared behind them in hopes of stealing a horse. Mindoka's eyes revealed nothing of the orange, glowing being's actions behind Charold and his men. He stared at Charold in a manner that was beginning to unnerve the Magini man. The winds blew again as if whispering secrets into the old Master's ear. Something in the way he stood, tall and proud changed. A slight frown to his mouth.

"That foreign man is not the person you seek, Charold."

And Charold stopped.

"I- What are you talking about? We followed her here-"

Mindoka held up a hand and, despite himself, Charold screeched into silence. Then, angrily with a handful of charged magik.

"How dare you! Are you calling me a liar!?"

"Yes."

Mindoka's voice was calm and stunned Charold back into silence. The energy in his hand crackled, as did the magikal staffs of Mindoka's men and the hands of the two remaining men he had behind him. Things were snowballing out of hand. Belatedly, Charold realized, he could start a new war here tonight. The thought of it made him shift his feet.

"Your Master, though we disagree on much, knows that I am as formidable without my magik and I am with it. Is this the path you wish to choose, Charold of Maginus? Do you really choose war? Can you comprehend the scope and consequence of your actions for Rekōdo if you do?"

For a moment, there was silence and the crackle of magik in the man's palm. The small encampment was aglow with their powers and that of the primal power of the fire. Charold's eyes narrowed as he assessed the scene. Mindoka, ever serene, did not move but remained like a formidable mountain, unmovable in the middle of the Hundred Year Plains.

"And who is it we seek, oh wise Master?"

A touch of sarcasm. A touch of bitterness, in his own way, a confession of his lie. Mindoka said nothing. Charold balled his fists and the crackling energy fizzled out of existence and smoked form his closed palms. The winds whispered again. A slight change in Mindoka again. Charold openly sneered. He realized just how true all the sayings were about the Shamaa. They talked to everything, living and dead. Their trip here was doomed from the outset. What had Darmon been thinking?

"Your Master deceived you, Charold. She is not here. Leave."

His words were final. The conversation was over, but Charold was not done yet. Ina surge of anger, or misaligned bravery, Charold opened is fists. Lightning pooled and grew in his palms and he let out a yell.

"To the Dragons with peace!"

And thrust out his arms to spew forth his anger at the leader of the Shamaa.

Qwaring's clone#1
01-19-2012, 10:07 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

As the others are focused on their little drama, Cloney quietly makes his way towards one of the horses. The horse suspiciously eyes the orange man and nervously stamps a hoof on the grass. Cloney lifts up the poodle he holds and places him on top of the saddle.

"Wait here, Scraps, while I try and see if I can hot-wire this thing," Cloney whispers to the poodle as he ducks down behind the horse. Scraps merely rolls his eyes at his companion's latest idiocy. The clone is ignorantly unaware that, unlike the many cars, space ships and animatronic presidents that he's stolen, horses don't require hot-wiring to activate. The horse lets out a resistant neigh and kicks its back legs out at the clone's touch. The horse's hooves strikes Cloney in the chest and sends him flying across the camp and into the fire. The horse lets out several more angry noises before running away, with a growling and barking poodle clinging to the saddle. The horse and dog ride off into the night and are soon gone.

Meanwhile, Cloney is reacting to being kicked into a campfire as he leaps back up onto his feet and begins frantically running around the camp. He's screaming out insanely and flailing his arms like a lunatic as his tuxedo is engulfed in a blaze of fire. His cries of panic can be heard for miles around, but soon they are drowned out as the flames reach a stash of fireworks that Cloney has stored inside of the pockets of his tuxedo jacket. Within instants loud and intensely bright fireworks and pyrotechnics of many dazzling colors and varieties are shooting out of the running, screaming clone. The entire camp seems ablaze with lights, colors and loud shrieks, pops and booms from what's shooting out of Cloney's fiery jacket.

Those within the campsite must now dodge the randomly shooting fireworks as well as several parts of the surrounding lawn that has been set on fire all around them. The remaining horses around the camp are fully panicking and fighting against whatever their reins happen to be tied to in a desperate attempt to flee this madness. And all the while Cloney continues his mad screaming and terrified race around the chaotic, burning campsite.

Qwathings
01-20-2012, 10:45 PM
Rekōdo City...

Night. An isolated train yard littered with train cars resting on loops and lines of tracks and awaiting an engine to pull them and their cargo off to distant lands. A man and woman make their way through the yard, passing over rails and navigating through rows of empty boxcars. The man, wearing a dark colored suit, leather gloves and a weary expression, struggles to tie his long, greying raven colored hair into a ponytail. The woman, wearing a long gown of grey and white and her metallic, silver hair tied up into a perfectly kept bun, is sorting through a dozen large keys on a single key-ring. She picks up one key, looks at it in the dim light, drops it and picks up the next key for careful study. Gradually, as his hair is finally secured, the man takes the lead and guides the woman down a selected row of train cars. His steely attention is focused on the identification numbers painted onto the sides of the various cars. The woman finally finds the key she is seeking, the number '615' is imprinted on the key's side. She looks up from the discovered key just as they approach a boxcar with the number '615' painted on the side. As she fits the key into the lock secured to the car's side door, she wrinkles her nose in offense to the stench of livestock that hangs in the air around the boxcar. Within moments the door is unlocked and the man steps forward to grip its handle. With a mighty pull he opens the large side door. A group of cows stand inside of the boxcar and give the man and woman a curious glance.

With great spryness and agility the man hops into the cow-occupied car. He then lends his hand to the woman and helps lift her up into the boxcar. Once his pale dressed companion is inside the man effortlessly closes the heavy side door. The door lets out a click as its lock secures itself. The man and woman navigate their way through the crowd of cattle. The woman once again begins searching through her collection of keys as the man guides her through the car. They soon arrive at a wooden door inside of a frame standing in the center of the box car. There's nothing behind or attached to the door. It's as if someone had removed the door and frame from a house and stood it up in the middle of this gathering of cows. As the woman continues her search through the collection of keys, the man glances over and warmly smiles at a cow standing beside the door.

"Corporal Ross, how are the kids?" the man asks the cow.

"Very well, sir. My youngest just started school last fall," the cow responds in a gruff, yet friendly whisper of a man's voice.

"Really? Wow. I remember when she was just a newborn," the man recalls and wonders where the years have vanished to. He then turns his attention towards the door that the woman has just unlocked it with one of the keys on her key ring. She opens the door into somewhere beyond this boxcar, letting the light of this other place shine out over the cows gathered around them. As the man walks through the door he gives one last nod to the cow. "Cary on, Corporal. And give my best to the wife and kids."

"Thank you, sir," the cow replies. Moments later the man and woman have stepped through the door, closing it behind them, and are now gone from the boxcar. Only the standing door and the cows remain. The cow directly next to the door seems to stand just a little taller as he proudly guards the door.

Qwathings
01-20-2012, 11:50 PM
On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar...

Once through the door, the man and woman enter into a majestic hall of a grand and ancient fortress. Banners of crimson and gold hang proudly from the strong stone walls around them. A duo of soldiers in red and gold uniforms stand at attention on either side of the door the man and woman entered through. The soldiers firmly hold their rifles. Standing in front of the man and woman is an elderly woman in a modest blue dress, maroon sweater and thick spectacles. This white haired woman holds in her hands a glass of water with a single violet colored gem stone floating perfectly still in the center of the water's surface. She lifts up the glass and holds it up to the newly arrived man.

"Alain LeCavalier, High Councilman of Taroc," the man speaks to the glass of water while leaning towards it. The gem floating on the water glows blue as it detects the truth in Alain's stated identity. Alain smiles at the spectacled woman. The elderly woman returns the smile before turning to hold the glass up to the younger woman in the grey/white dress.

"Now just speak into it this time, dear. Don't drink," the old woman playfully warns the younger woman. Alain lets out a loud chuckle.

"That was six years ago," the younger woman defensively responds.

"And she swallowed the truth-stone. Her face turned blue and red depending on what she said for hours. Best day ever," Alain struggles to say as he hysterically laughs at the memory of his companions embarrassing first encounter with this test of her identity. He and the elderly woman both share a deep laugh.

"Verona Aliester, aide to the High Councilman of Taroc," the woman angrily says to the water. The gem stone in the glass glows blue in agreement. "If we're done laughing at me, can we please get back to the approaching disaster facing the world?" Verona tells Alain as she quickly begins marching down the hall.

"Thanks for the laugh, Katie. I needed it after today," Alain thanks the elderly woman before giving her a friendly kiss on her wrinkled cheek. He then rushes down the hall to catch up with Verona's determined pace. "If we can't laugh every now and then, this world probably isn't worth fighting for," he explains to Verona as he begins walking down the hall beside her.

"Maybe so. But if we're reliving embarrassing moments, it will take me the better part of the month to describe all of yours. Right now we don't have that kind of time to waste," Verona replies with a grin.

"Yes. Yes. Let's get down to business. I trust that you've already gotten things organized for me. Has my Inner Circle been gathered?" Alain says as his mood becomes infinitely serious.

"You don't have an Inner Circle. That's something your detractors have always complained about: your administrations total lack of clandestine conspiracies," Verona explains as she recovers a pencil and a pad of paper from her pockets. She begins writing on the pad as the ebb and flow of the conversation calls for it.

"Ah. Right. I guess we'll need to do something about that at some point."

"Of course. Do you have specific people in mind or shall I go out and collect random drifters?" Verona sarcastically offers.

"Mmmm. Surprise me," Alain replies with a smile as he leads the way through a doorway and into a large domed chamber. Alain and Verona walk up a few steps and onto a series of catwalks that crisscross the chamber, allowing those within the room to walk above a massive map of the city of Rekōdo City that is stretched out on the floor. Within the room are a dozen men and women standing on various places on the catwalk. Each of them dangles a smooth stone from a length of string. Each stone has a glowing rune carved onto its face. The hanging stones sway this way or that way as they seek something from the map below. Some of the stones seem to be pulled towards specific locations on the map, as if pointing something out. Alain proudly grins as he watches the mystics of Taroc turn their skills to divine secrets onto the city of Rekōdo. Verona scribbles something onto her pad before turning her attention onto the mystics.

"They're still looking. Do you think they'll be able to find the Princess before the others can?" Verona whispers to Alain.

"They have to. All of Rekōdo is at stake," Alain replies grimly.

SilntAngl5
01-21-2012, 10:51 AM
On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar...

Arion

The domed chamber was buzzing. Its high, arching ceilings reflected the stars as they would be if the sky in the world outside were in a perpetual state of night. Yet somehow, magikally, the domed room was bright, visible, soothing. Candlabras circle the entirety of the room, above the stone catwalks and between the domed sky, like a boundary between the mortal world and the heavens. voices echoed, bouncing off the terribly acoustic walls, causing a cacophony of conversations to overlap, but, jar and push each others words out of the way. Conversation for eavesdroppers was near-to-impossible. It was a clever tactic against leakage of information that further backed the already clever deceptive and intuitive entrance. Yes, the room literally was buzzing, but for him, the buzzing was muted and something else entirely took precedence.

Arion sat cross-legged on the catwalk's carved railings, where many others stood and leaned over. Even sitting, he was still much taller than the other mystics around him. If that did not give him away, there were two other things that would. The first was the shock of long, back-length red hair and small black horns that parted their fall ever so slightly as they wreathed his head. Such a look was unusual and, for lack of better words, uncommon among any of today's fashions. The bright red hair did blend well with the proud banners of red and gold Taroc that hung like cascades of divinitive beauty beneath the golden candelabras that equally dominated the upper wall space. The second note that set him apart was that he dangled not one smooth, rune-stone from a string, but several. Six, to be exact, from the upper string set of the guitar-like instrument he balanced on his lap. He sat cross-legged with the tall instrument laying across. The strings that dangled far, far down to the massive map below were extensions of the six outer tuning keys to his guritar. Delicately and with what seemed like an infinite amount of patience between notes, Arion's long, lithe fingers plucked the strings of the used fretboard. The notes hummed delicately along with the songs of every person who entered the massive, domed room.

If anyone had cared to observe this man and his complex instrumentations, they might notice a pause in his soft playing where his fingers hovered above the six outer strings of his intriguing instrument of polished black and red lacquered Wilderwood. Paused as if tingling at the thought of a grand entrance, one that would merit a loud foray of trumpets and brass, proud, arrogant and brimming with gusto and fortissimo possible. And, if someone were too bored in their own lack of mystic accomplishments to focus, they would observe that none of the sounds in the room, not the banter, the discussion, the volume, the snapping of candlelight or the slight shifting of proud, Taroc banners, changed. The only thing that did change, as he slowly returned to his work of plucking many more strings than seemed necessary, was the expression on Arion of Sohil's face as Alain of Taroc and his assistant entered the room. The young man smiled to himself and closed his eyes. As if there was some great symphony playing solely for his pleasure, his plucking resumed with a little more step than before, and swayed slightly to a music of Souls that only he could hear.

Qwathings
01-22-2012, 01:06 PM
On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar...

As soon as Alain hears the strumming of a guitar within the domed chamber he follows the sound. Verona walks behind the raven haired man, scribbling down notes on her pad as she walks. Eventually, Alain is crouching down beside Arion. He takes a moment to watch Arion practice his craft and admire the the younger man's skill. After a moment Alain reaches inside of his dark jacket and pulls out a stack of cards with the same ink-drawn face imprinted onto each one. Alain looks down at the printed cards as if giving them one final inspection.

"Sorry we're late. There's a shop between here and the palace that has a machine that can print any person from the customer's memory," Alain says to Arion. The raven haired man then holds up the cards so Arion can see the image of a very young looking girl with a slender frame and features that seem to be the epitome of innocence and purity. "Arion bar Sohil, I would like you to meet our lost Princess Pasce di Minone. Or at least how I remember her from the trial I gave her." Alain then holds out the cards for Arion to take. "I purchased a dozen. You get one and then distribute the rest to the soldiers that we'll send out to look for her. Don't tell them who she is, I don't want that information sitting in their brains for any mind-reader to pluck out. Just tell them that this girl is vitally important to Taroc. They are to offer her their protection and the full service and defense of Taroc and myself. And they will have to contact me as soon as they see her. I'll teleport to them as soon as-"

"You can't teleport," Verona interrupts Alain's instructions in order to bring him back to reality. A reality where much of the man's magical power has been reduced to next to nothing.

"Right. Right," Alain admits, with a hint of defeat in his tone as he recalls his greatly reduced power. For a moment the man seems tired, the lines on his nearly forty year-old face seem that much older. But the moment passes, and Alain is once more a confident leader, laying out a reality of his own creation in the form of a strategy. "I'll get to them as soon as I can. Let the troops know that this mission is of the utmost importance. All of Taroc is counting on them."

Verona has finished writing down the notes she believes are needed and gazes out over the map that stretches out on the floor all around them. Every street and building of Rekōdo City has been skillfully drawn out in precise detail.

"Have you or the mystics had any luck, Arion?" she asks the musician. Her brow furrows with traces of worry as she looks over the vast city stretching out all around them.

SilntAngl5
01-22-2012, 03:10 PM
On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar...

1100
Arion

"I 'eard you both coming. No need to apologize."

Respectfully, Arion draws his strumming to a close as Alain starts to speak, as if he'd planned the piece perfectly so it denouement would coincide with their need to talk. The runes, if they could be heard above the hum of activity, still shivered lightly and continued on their work without their minstrel. Arion took the printed card from Alai's hand and studied it silently. His auburn eyes, red as they reflected the lacquered wood from his guritar, studied the picture intently. Short, wisps of red-brown hair, delicate green eyes. Very quiet and reflective... watchful. She was so young.

And she was the lost Princess of Rekōdo and a fugitive. She took the Ancestral Spirits, though Arion could not see how such a young girl would forcefully take them from the Guild Masters, and with that she took their power. She must be terrified, Arion thought. Just looking at her, he could only imagine her Soul Song. What a sweet, beautiful melody it must be.

He looked up sharply when Verona said he could not teleport. His eyes shifted from her to Alain and he watched his leader very carefully. He could hear it, the small rupture in his Soul Song. An emptiness, like a missing instrument, not playing where it was needed.

"There are portal doors" he said contemplatively "We 'ave our own secret doors all over Rekōdo. She will be ferried to th' safety of our borders."

And then, when Verona asked for something that seemed like a miracle, Arion looked downward. Down to past the stone railing to the massive map below. He looked at his rune stones as they spun and hummed to him through the strings he'd kept his free hand on throughout the entire conversation. The look he gave the stones was one of frustration.

"Nothing yet" he admitted "I could find 'er if I had seen 'er. I would 'ave 'eard 'er song an' been able o search for it. This picture will 'elp. I can take the Ancestral par' of your song-" he motioned to Alain with a splay of his two prominent fingers "-an' the other Guil Master's Songs-" he motioned with those same fingers to the general air around "- an' compile tha' wi' what I think 'er Song would be like... I've done some 'omework on 'er in 'opes of finding out something abou' 'er to go by. There's not much available anymore."

Much of the information on the Princess, what little her ruling Father had allowed, was gleamed dry or taken out of availability. At the Central Library, everyone who desired to know about her would be politely told that the books were checked out, or past due and in the process of being restored to the Library.

And with that thought, Arion glanced down at the stones again. A thoughtful expression came over his face.

"I don' know why" he began very cautiously, choosing his words carefully to avoid a surge of false hope in his fatigued Master "bu' my runes 'um the loudest by the Library."

No need for its formal name. Everyone in Rekōdo knew what THE Library was. Arion plucked a few strings again and a few of the runes hovering over the Lirbary hummed back, as if they were singing a duet together, the runes and the guritar.

"It's like a whisper... It's not 'er, but an echo of 'er... or the Ancestors."

He shook his head. Their Spirit's song were what he knew, not the Princess's. But what the runes told him didn't make sense.

"They can't be there... It would be too obvious a place for the 'igh Chronicler to take 'er. The place 'e's mos' comfortable, where 'e feels the safest. But they 'um as if they're 'iding there. I can' tell from 'ere, Alain. If I were closer to the Library, I would be able to 'ave a better sense of it."

And Arion looked up at the High Councilman of Taroc. If Alain would permit him, it might be easier for him to get a reading if he were there in the flesh. Then he could tell if it was a whisper of the songs, as if she were hiding- but how could she hide all that magik without detection?- or if they were echoes of her having been there. He might be able to pick up on a trail.

Tigers
01-22-2012, 04:06 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/KaliHumanYoung.jpg
Kali



She sensed Nalia, long before she came after her. Did either of her teachers understand just how strong her abilities of empathy were? Kali wasn’t sure, Nalia perhaps, but Darmon was so consumed with himself and power that Kali believed he only cared about the darkness within her. The darkness within her and Nalia that was, a blind man could see that.

The smell of vomit still hung in the air, Kali could smell it from both of them, and she had to hold back the urge to get sick again. Nalia was hiding something, Kali knew it sensed it in the stiff way that she stood, heard it in her voice and felt in the air. Everyone was either too afraid to let her in, or wanted nothing to do with her and she felt that chasm begin to grow between she and Nalia.

Her wings pulled in tightly around her, faint hints of red streaking flowed across her back, a result of the sickness the light had brought upon contact. She didn’t care what Darmon wanted, didn’t care for him, what she cared about was what Nalia had said to her. Didn’t she understand?

“Branwen is the only one who has made me feel accepted.” Kali whispered.

“Is this what the darkness does, it drives you away from everyone? Is that why you don’t want me, because I am darkness, a reminder of whatever it is you hide from everyone?” She continued softly.

Kali wiped at the tears that streaked her face. She really didn’t understand Nalia’s actions, and her own emotional condition did not help matters.

“I don’t care about power. I never have.”

Kali had rebelled against authority since she could remember; it had often led to the beatings she had received. But the physical always felt less painful than anything emotionally that Kali had experienced. She had become practiced at hiding her tears until she’d met Branwen and she had taken a chance on Nalia. Misunderstanding her true intentions had only made her feel she’d made a mistake, maybe the two of them were not so much alike after all.

Kali stood up; she hadn’t felt this weak in a long time, either physically or emotionally. If Nalia decided to cut the relationship, such as it was, then Kali would leave. She would find Branwen, see if Branwen still wanted anything to do with her. If not, she would go alone; and all of Redko, its magik and their rules could kiss her ass.

She wiped her face one last time before turning to face Nalia. This was about as ready to go as Kali could muster at the moment.

Qwathings
01-22-2012, 05:11 PM
On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar...

Alain rises from his crouch and looks down at the shape on the map that represents the library. He casually steps off of the catwalk, that elevates them a few feet above the map, and lands in front of the shape of the library. He reaches into his jacket pocket, pulling out a small leather pouch. From the pouch he recovers a handful of seeds which he sprinkles over the image of the library. The bits of seed sprinkle out into a pattern that Alain has learned, through decades of being in possession of his guild spirit, to read and divine answers from. His features wrinkle with frustration as the answers come far too slowly, due to his not having a spirit whispering wisdom and experience into his every thought and action. Gradually the answers do begin to take shape, and his frustrated expression fades into a calm sense of pride. He gives the pattern of fallen seeds a nod before placing the leather pouch back into his pocket.

"The library looks like the right place for you to start," Alain tells Arion as he glances up at the red haired musician. The guild leader then turns his focus onto Verona. "Give him the name of our contact in the library, just in case he needs it." Verona gives Alain a nod before flipping through the pages in her pad. After a few moments she finds the right page and tears it out from the pad. She hands to page to Arion.

"He's titled 'The Nomad's Charade'. He's a haunted book. I wrote down his exact location in the library. He speaks with other haunted and prophetic books within the library, and so he'll be able to answer questions about the library, those that work there and what has happened within the library," Verona instructs Arion.

"If I recall correctly... Your guild badge will allow you to contact me directly. We've never had to use that function before, but my telepathy is down, so we'll have to use it. I'm sure it should work, I remember my guild spirit mentioning it once," Alain says to Arion with a hint of uncertainty of the badge's ability to do as he said.

Jason Sanborn
01-23-2012, 09:58 AM
http://i629.photobucket.com/albums/uu19/MeteoroCine/sophia.jpg
Sophia

"So..." Sophia added a bit hesitant. "Is there any place you want to go? Anything in particular you want to do? I will take you wherever you want."
((As M seems to have disappeared due to life situations, I'll move my part along for now. I'm going to assume Sophia is with me until it is impractical to do so without M's participation.))

http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah nodded. "The Central Library should be as good a place as any to start, wouldn't you agree?" She gave a sinister grin and twirled her finger as if motioning for Sophia to turn around. "Lead the way."

Tigers
01-23-2012, 05:27 PM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/Branwen2-1.jpg
Branwen


Master Mindoka did not give compliments lightly. People often spoke too much, and gave false praises for appearance. But master Mindoka was a man of few words, and when he paid you a compliment, it held so much more weight than when hearing it from others. Branwen could not help but hide a swell of pride at being his First, but it was tempered with humility. She knew all too well what could happen to someone whose pride took over.
She was mature for her age, both physically and emotionally, but she was still young. There were many things she had yet to learn of the world and the ways of men. If she remembered her past, that knowledge would have been a little broader, but her past still remained a mystery. The Shaman had taken her in as one of their own, and they had taught and cared for her the last few years.
Now as she listened to Charold recount the incident to her master, she stood ready for anything. She would die for him and her people, they had earned that much from her. It was difficult for her not to want to break a smile or laugh at Charold’s outrage. Master Mindoka was wise and he was a master at letting the other person make a fool of themselves. It was obvious by Chaorld’s response, that tension was growing and that Darmon’s First was quickly losing his patience.
Part of Branwen thought that Charold would hold his temper, that he would not be foolish enough to risk war over his ego. But the way the animals around them shifted, the chatter of their spiritual voice’s warned her other wise and Branwen was ready for Chaorld when he screeched in anger and lashed out to attack Mindoka.
The staff within her hand swiftly came up from its resting stance and swept Charold’s feet out from under him. The lightening meant to attack her master, shot forth into the sky, crackling as the energy raised the hair on the back of Branwen’s neck. Chaos seemed to erupt on that cue and whatever the strange orange man was doing suddenly enveloped them all in fire, color and noise.
Luckily, Branwen was attuned to the earth as well as she was to the animals and without thinking she summoned forth a wall of water to dose out the flames. The smell of smoke and burnt earth filled her nostrils as she kept an eye on Chaorld. The evidence of her power glowed with a blue tint within her eyes as she quickly glanced to the safety of the others and for the where a bouts of the strange orange one that seemed to cause chaos at every turn.
“Master?” She asked making sure he was safe.

SilntAngl5
01-24-2012, 08:06 PM
Nalia
20 Kilometers North of Rekōdo City... in the Great Hold of Maginus

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg


Nalia knew. She had long ago mentally listed Kali's strengths and weaknesses, her powers and abilities. Perhaps that was why she did so little to shield herself, when she approached her moments ago. Nalia remembered a time when she felt as Kalia did: fed up, angry, misunderstood. That seemed like a very long time ago, when she was much younger. Kali's age, actually. She had grown up a great deal since then.

"Branwen is not here" she said simply, in a voice devoid of any emotion. Less to misinterpret. Kali's words had stung her, deeply. More deeply than she would ever allow her to see, but the way she shifted and crossed her pale arms over her small torso would be all the visual cue Kali needed. She was physically hiding her hurt, just as she was physically hiding her child. It was a battle of words, one Nalia decided, unfortunately for her, that it was a battle she could not win.

"This is not about you, Kali" she finally said, sternly. She had had enough and her pupil would know it by the tone in her voice. "It is not about you or power or Darmon or what you think everyone it feeling. If you choose not to look beyond such insignificances, then you will never grow beyond your small-scale problems. This is about war, Kali. If war starts because we do not find the Princess, or because that fool Darmon does and kills her, then your dream of seeing Branwen again will be only that and nothing more. You will never see her if war starts and you will be killed for trying. The last war here was awful. We will not get to see any outside of our borders that we hold dear if war returns to Rekōdo."

A fleeting sensation that what she'd said was terribly personal. Kali would see it in Nalia's eyes as they looked, once again, to the never ending mountains of the Great Swells.

"Coming to terms with the Nightmares inside me has given me more than I could have ever hoped for. But it is also why I am so alone in this place."

Then she said, with finality, signaling an end to this conversation and something more.

"What I hide from everyone- " she said slowly, carefully, as she turned to stare intently at her pupil "- saves their lives. All of them. Do not ever say that I do not want you by my side because you have darkness."

Nalia left little room for debate. Her words were final and when Kali turned to signla some sort of compliance, Nalia turned and stalked back toward the Great Hold. The heavy door yielded to her hand and she walked, chin high to all the Maginus dogs, to the nearest library. There was one on every floor, and within it were books. Obviously books for study, but also books with ulterior purposes. Nalia swept along the aisle of books that held information about places within Rekōdo. She took one from the slot and gently stroked the dust from its spine. So common were port-a-doors, fire flumes, teleporters... none used such simple methods anymore. She held the book between them both, uttered words that sounded old, archaic and rough on the tongue. She opened the book and its pages glowed fiercely. The teleportal light encompassed them both and sucked them into the book, which promptly shut behind them and shoved itself back into its assigned slot.

SilntAngl5
01-25-2012, 09:20 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg
Mindoka and Charold of Maginus


Mindoka turned rapidly when the horses screamed. All of the men and women behind him did, but for him, it was almost a fatal mistake. All at once, things began to happen and with such rapidity that not even the Earthen Spirits who gathered to watch could keep up. A horse bellowed. The odd, foreign being went flying into the fire and then ran screaming around the camp sight. The tall grasses around them quickly caught flame. Then things began to explode. Both the men of Mindoka and Maginus braced their stances and leveled spears and fists full of magikal energy at each other. War was beginning all over again, here, in Shamaa, and the only things that stopped everyone, men and women from both sides, from falling into their own part of the rampant chaos, was the motion made to kill Mindoka of Shamaa.

Charolds hands cupped and thrust forward all his rage in the form of white-hot, almost blue-tined lightning. it burst forth just as he felt his world rock and his feet swept out form under him. Branwen's staff knocked him flat on his back and sent his burst of Magik into the sky. Wasted. He felt suddenly crushed, as if a heavy stone had laid itself upon his chest. He'd nearly broken one of the Laws of Magik. He would have been brought to trial and banished to the strange lands beyond the Ocean of Liar'adon. Or worse. There was always worse.

Branwen's voice caused Charold, still seething, to look over his chest. Mindoka had not moved. Not one inch. He remained passively still, calm as a facet of mountainside that would never bow to such weak wind. He was untouched, thanks to Branwen's intervention. The only visible sign of a struggle was in his right fist, which had clenched. Mindoka was very angry, but his voice maintained an uneasy calm.

"Look around you, Charold of Maginus" he commanded calmly as he looked down at Darmon's First. "This is what becomes of a man's foolish pride. You could have started the next Great War."

At that last, Mindoka did not sound happy. Charold stayed where he was, even as Mindoka walked over. He noticed that the Guild Master barely made a sound among the silent grasses. Charold's boiling anger was slowly brought back under control. Darmon would not be happy. He was to simply retrieve the Princess (who was currently in the process of being put-out by both men of Maginus and of the Shamaa). Mindoka could kill him. He, essentially, had just violated a major peace treaty that was established after the Great War. Mindoka towered over Charold and it made him feel so much smaller than he already did. It was not a pleasant feeling. The Guild Master was intimidating in this fashion. But he still did nothing in the way of apologizing and Mindoka took note of that.

"Take your orange friend and leave Shamaa."

The Guild Master's voice was low, dangerous and very, very serious.

"If you come back without my invitation, I reserve every right that I have as The High Councilman of Shamaa to kill you for the violations you have committed against the Treaty of Tradisi that ended the Great War."

Charold was let up and he got up quickly despite his bruised ego and throbbing backside. When they rode to Rekōdo City, he had every intention of magiking their way back to the Great Hold somehow. Charold growled under his breath and turned back to his men, who had successfully snuffed out the orange princess.

"Get her onto a horse. Find the dog. We are leaving!"

Charold's orders were barked harshly, without room for debate. The orange princess would be covered in a cloak of Maginus, to cover the smoking, charred remains of clothing. If he... she... it was willing, one of the men would help it onto a horse, while the other rode on ahead in search of Scraps the unfortunate poodle. Charold painfully mounted his own ride and left the camp sight behind. He did not bother to take his dead.

As they rode away, Mindoka finally acknowledged Branwen. He exhaled softly, steepled his palms, muttered something under his breath and bowed lightly in the four directions of the wind.

"We will need to speak with the High Councilman of Taroc concerning what happened here tonight."

He had spoken briefly with Alain after the Princess's trials. Understandably, they both had been busy in the days since. Mindoka looked to the camp sight, a blight on their peaceful lands.

"Clean the grounds" he said to the others, observing them with a sadness. He shook his head. "Burn their dead on a funeral pyre. We will have respect for them even when their own countrymen do not."

And he hoped, as vainly as they died, that their souls found peace and that their affairs were well in order. His people went to work, clearing a space so more tall grasses would not catch fire. The bodies were gathered, as respectfully as possible, and laid out. Mindoka did not care to watch. The events tonight turned his stomach. His voice was very gentle.

"Branwen... a portal please?"

Qwaring's clone#1
01-26-2012, 08:57 PM
Sixteen Kilometers South-West of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa...

For the most part the summoned wall of water put out most of the flames that clung to Cloney's tuxedo, and the help from Charold's men snuffed out the remaining cinders. The orange clone seemed entirely unharmed by the fire. His hands shook slightly as he recovered his flask from his burnt tuxedo jacket. He gives the flask a hefty drink before placing it back inside of the charred and tattered jacket. He accepts the cloak that is draped over his shoulders and is soon helped onto a horse. Even with the aid of Charold's men Cloney still somehow manages to accidentally end up sitting backwards on the horse. He really did try to face forward, but horses seem to be beyond his understanding.

"Well. Any camping trip that doesn't end in a bear attack is a fun time in my book. Where to next, Charo?" Cloney excitedly asks Charold. The recent drama and fiery disaster seem to have not even fazed the orange man. He momentarily diverts his attention towards Branwen, Mindoka and the rest of the Shamaa. He raises his arm high above his head and gives the group of Shamaa a happily awkward wave. "Bye!"

Cloney smiles and sighs contently as he turns his attention back towards Charold. "They seemed like nice people."

SilntAngl5
01-28-2012, 02:13 PM
In the World of Dreams: Rekōdo City (The Central Library)

Emit and Pasce
(http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcTmL4nPMz_5xzpBCKmeUFBV-ePmdIRaaeZxnBIIFssq0z52A77c)


Things were very different now. More different for her than she'd ever imagined them being. She had been raised in a world of definites, of constants. She was trained in every magik art because the someday ruler of Rekōdo would need to have knowledge and proficiency both in all her province's powers. She was schooled privately, with the most honored and revered tutors beside the Guild Masters themselves. No one saw her and if they saw her, it was made sure no one would know her for her birthright. She was shaped, modeled, molded into the quiet-type of contemplative leader that Rekōdo would someday need. Someday. Several days ago, she had passed the tests of the High Councilmen, the Guild Masters and heads of each of the provinces. And she had stolen the Ancestoral Spirits at her own Coronation, before her revealing to all of Rekōdo at the Great Palace.

Things were different. As she smiled at Emit for finding her- she knew he would. He was quite intelligent and logical, one reason she'd gone to him- there were people yelling in her head.

~Ah. He's arrived.~

~Smart fellow. Small wonder he got his title so young in age.~

A scoff at the prideful tone.

~Don't be so cocky, Clow. There's little room in this tiny cranium without your inflated ego!~

~There's always more room for growth, Arxus. You could learn from such wisdom in a small phrase.~

~It has been too long since we have been together... Siochana, were they always like this?~

Exasperation. It is asked of her every time they gather in almost exactly the same way.

~Yes, dear Dayena, and every Master since.~

And such was the given reply by the Founding Ancestor of Shamaa, a woman.

~I will go mad and massacre you all before we are released from this prison!~

~J'Adonai... honestly, for a man you complain like a woman.~

~That old world view will not be tolerated, Arxus of Maginus.~

Exasperation. Sometimes, wise as they were, they were like children, all of them.

~You can't kill what is already dead!~

And comedians.

~But he could make your name and all you've built forgotten.~

~He could try, but there are always ways back from the abyss. Emporium will never let us die. It is our ultimate punishment and sacrifice.~

A pause, thick as murder, hung in the air.

~Those words are truly wise, Capria.~

And with that, all the voices fell into silence.

Finally, finding peace, Pasce inhaled and raised a hand to stop Emit.

"Please... do not bow to me. Not yet."

~Why shouldn't he? She is the most powerful being on Emporium, besides the Dragons of course.~

~He shouldn't because she is a-~

~Don't she hissed ~say it!~

Emit rose, as was politely commanded. The girl remained silent, mouth slightly ajar, taking everything in. The twin beasts, guardians of the Library's most Sacred Texts, were silent. Their billowing white manes and lion-like tails flickered as if in recognition of their magikal Master. Their faces were more wolf-like than lion.

"I am sorry for the state of your Library, even if it is only in Dream state. Your Guardian's can be tough obstacles."

Emit shook his head. Long wisps of light blonde hair shook in front of his gray-blue eyes. It was of no consequence. But Emit was quick. There was more subtlety to her politeness. She was, he recalled, a bred princess.

"Obstacles. You seek the Book of Memories."

The Princess smiled, though the audience it was intended for was inward. They knew what she was thinking. They at least had an inkling.

"I seek its contents, even if only in my Dreams."

Pasce's young face saddened then and the great beast she sat upon shifted, feeling the change in her mood.

"I am being tested now, as I always am."

Something sad, cryptically so. She could see Emit staring at her, as if trying to see if she'd changed somehow since he last saw her.

"The Ancestral Spirits are testing you."

She said nothing, but he understood. It was the same when a new Guild Master took over. There were always tests. He could not imagine undertaking five all at once.

"The girl" the Princess began again, shifting the topic instantly. "She will be needed in the war to come."

"War!?"

The tone of his voice made her pause. It alarmed her.

"Possibly" she ammended. And she chose not to elaborate on the subject. But he had an inkling of what she meant. She had, before he'd failed her, confided her Dreams to him... and the horrible things that happened in because of her.

"You do not have a lot of time here, Emit Shornoc. They are coming for us." Us. The waking world. Emit's grip on Felicity's hand tightened and then slowly released.

"Felicity... When you wake up, get the hopper ready. I'll be along shortly."

And before she could protest, he released her hand and she faded from the World of Dreams as if she never was. For a long moment all was silent.

"Speak plainly now. We are alone."

Everyone needed someone they could trust. He remembered when she'd come to him. She seemed so young and so very afraid of the things she saw in her head. The princess never spoke a word or order, but the icy Guardian she rose lowered itself so she could stand upon the same crumbling platform of marble between twisting, partially missing stairwells. She touched the beast's flickering mane, unharmed by its icy fire and then turned to face the man she'd confided her worst fears in.

Fears he'd ignored and seen come true. Not all of them. Not yet.

"I stole them, Emit" she said in a rush of words and voice that seemed too young to carry such a tremendous burden and mark on her head.

"The Ancestral Spirits."

She nodded.

"I stole them at my Coronation. I didn't want them, but they came to me. I was not given a choice."

The voices in her head remained starkly silent.

"There is something I must do and it will change everything about Rekōdo. There is a piece of history that's been unrecorded, left out. A piece of our past that our Ancestors didn't want us to know. It was not the First War or the Great War that has defined us so. Something else in between, something worse."

Pasce paused when she saw Emit's brow furrow.

"Left out... No, no that's impossible. I've overseen all recordings of Rekōdo's history. I reviewed every text of our history's past. It is flawlessly done."

Pasce shook her head and, for some reason it infuriated Emit.

"And did you learn this in some private school? Did the ghosts in your head tell you all their secrets? Is that why you took them? Is that why you stole them from-"

She flinched, hurt, and then she closed her eyes.

"You were deceived, Emit. I am sorry. I wish it weren't so."

She did not answer his question, purposely so, but it meant that Emit's entire life's work, everything he'd done and all the people before him who'd done the same were a lie. His position was prided in being the most important in Rekōdo, kingship and council seats aside. It was the ultimate assignment of achievement for a civilian of the Five Provinces. It was a job prided on clarity and importance, as the sole existence of documentation in Rekōdo's past. And somewhere, someone fouled it up? And no one but a little royal thief knows?

Emit wrestled with this, visibly so, and the princess watched him work it through in silence. Finally, sense came back to him, along with his intelligence.

"And you seek the truth of the matter in the Book of Secrets."

The other, less honorary name for the coveted Book of Memories. The Princess nodded.

"All of the waking world can be seen here, but the obstacles remain the same." She motioned to the lion-like Guardian's who regarded their conversation quizzically. "Things can be transferred in and out of the World of Dreams, Emit. Some with consequences, some without. The Book of Memories will tell me the absolute truth behind the deception, but there is one thing I cannot do as I currently am. I ask that you do it for me."

As I currently am, meaning she might not wake up from the trials she was facing. Emit waited. He felt as if all of Emporium was watching, waiting to see what he would do when she spoke her one request that, per the Fifth Oath, he could not ignore.

Tigers
01-31-2012, 10:58 AM
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Kali


Kali’s initial response was guilt for making Nalia feel so bad. She had been hurting, she just wanted someone to listen to understand and instead she upset Nalia and perceived that a door had been closed. If this had been Darmon, Kali wouldn’t have cared about hurting his feelings. The truth was, he probably didn’t even have any, or a heart for that matter. Where she was normally defiant, Kali shut down.

It was apparently wrong to want to feel the way she did and if war was the only damn thing they cared about, she didn’t want to be an adult. From what she’d seen, adults were more foolish than children. And because of their stupid war and their inability to get along, she may never get to see Branwen again. She was the only person who had ever truly shown to Kali that she cared and Kali hadn’t seen her for a few years. Perhaps she’d forgotten about her.

She turned fully toward Nalia and followed as she stalked back toward the library. Defeated, the last of Kali’s darkness left her and the wings slowly drew back into her body. But Kali’s human appearance had shifted, it was something that she had never done before and something she wasn’t immediately aware of.

She would remain quiet for the day. Nalia had spoken her piece and Kali found no will to argue. Now that she felt she knew where she stood, Kali would give Nalia what she thought she wanted. Quietly she thought about the future and began making plans to leave for good. She could not relate to this world and the people in it. She would go to where the dragons dwelt within the high country and there she would remain, until she found somewhere better.

In those final seconds before the book drew them in to deposit them elsewhere on Rekōdo, she wondered about Branwen. Perhaps leaving on her own would be for the best.

Tigers
01-31-2012, 11:01 AM
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Branwen


Her quick actions had perhaps saved her Master, but it was his words that had stunted the start of a potential war. The moment had been pure chaos, but Branwen had kept her head. In the two years since she’d lived amongst the Shamaa as their own, this was the closest they had ever come to outright war. Branwen could not help but admire her Master, he was a wise man and even tempered. Someday she hoped to be half the leader that he was.

Branwen watched Charold gather his remaining men and escort the strange orange one to a horse. That one was odd she thought as she watched him mount the horse backwards, despite the help from the men of Maginus. Unconsciously, she found herself waving back before wondering why she had lifted a hand. Odd indeed that one, even the animals agreed.

When Master Mindoka addressed her, Branwen turned and nodded. While the others carried out his orders, she summoned a watery portal. She spoke no magik words as she lifted her hand, her eyes glowed a brilliant hue of blue as she summoned the portal. Branwen waited for Master Mindoka to pass through before she followed behind him, turning one last time to look at the chaos they left behind.

SilntAngl5
02-03-2012, 05:55 PM
Nalia
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

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The title on the spine of the book read The Central Library of Rekōdo City. A simple enough title, bordering on boring. Clearly, from the dust on its spine, the thing had not been used in ages. Not, at least, when more flashy, modern magikal modes of transportation were in use. It was magik on a private channel, direct from the library of the Great Hold to the Central Library at the heart of Rekōdo City. The only thing more central, and a bit less iconic, was the Grand Palace of the Rulers of Rekōdo.

The book they apparated from with a small pop was entitled: The Great Hold of Maginus: The Stronghold of the North. It hovered, bobbed and replaced itself back in its correct spot on the apparition shelf. Nalia looked around, but they'd hardly received a glance from those that hovered near their section of the expansive library. Which was as she'd hoped. Nalia turned and drew the hood of her cloak up over her head so that her back faced the opening to the larger lane of the ground floor. Slowly, almost painfully, she unwrapped the Totem shawl from around her midsection. As the sheer, shining black fabric was unbound, more and more of the secret she'd hidden faded into existence. Free of the shawl, Nalia exhaled excessively and put a hand to her forehead. The hand quivered. She had always been thin, thin beyond lithe yet somehow retaining an elegance to almost frail-structure of her body. She had been a healthy little girl when Alain found her in Astral, so many years ago in Dayena. But- and many students, scholars and peoples of high residences all speculated on this- the guilt of murdering, no, massacring her entire family seemed to make her incapable of gaining any weight whatsoever. She rarely ate, though that couldn't possibly be the true reason for her too-thin nature. There had to be greater, magikal, soul-weilding complications to that.

They were partly correct.

But now, it was apparent with the hiding shawl removed, there was a bit more to Nalia al'Vatar than she allowed people to see. Quite a bit more. It would be unmistakable, though she was not yet far into her second era, that she was expecting. Nalia put a hand to her womb, freed of it tight confines. She breathed as if she'd been unable to for a very long time. But her appearance wasn't the only thing that was different. There was something different about Kali. Something in her appearance that Nalia could not quite place her finger on. But, looking up and seeing the sullen look on Kali's face, the teacher knew that any sort of question on the matter would get her no response. So it was with equal quietness that Nalia began to wrap her precious secret within the sparkling darkness of the Totem shawl. She made only one noise, a deep inhale as she did so, as if her secret were not the only thing she was constricting.

"We should go" she said, once things were put back into place. Her hood remained up, casting a mystery of darkness across her eyes as they walked through the rest of the library. The target Darmon had assigned them, the spike of energy on the magikal map, confirmed by the inflamed gossip of scrying spells, indicated they were looking for two women. There was something about a little girl, but there was one woman who changed appearances in a tight public space that they were to find and interrogate. She could be the Lost Princess.

Could be. Charold had also been sent somewhere. South. To Shamaa.

Glancing quickly form her hood, Nalia led them, without incident, out of the Central Library. They walked through the buzzing of the massive domed center, walls lined to the ceiling with books and people, hovering, flying, reading, discussing. Everyone was to busy to notice them beyond a quick glance. They left the buzz of the dome behind and walked out one of the series of large, double doors. Stairs led them down to a long walk, lit at intervals by high-hanging, curl-stemmed magikal orbs. Water surrounded the library for both beauty and serenity and security both. Just behind and to the right of the main rotunda that surrounded the lake of the library was the massive beauty of the Grand Palace, set back, behind scrawling walls on a hill. They walked out into the calm night air, with flying trains and taxis, pegasus-drawn carriages of the rich flying above them. The ballooned tapestries of planets and starry decor in the night sky was illumined lightly. Stars were enhanced magikally, despite the light of the city around them. Passing overhead came the bright and sudden noise of a floating restaurant, powered by swirling fans.

There is always a buzz of power about the city. From the lights, the magikally powered things overhead, from the people themselves. The first time someone comes into the city, the heart of the city, they could be easily overwhelmed. Nalia inhaled deeply and closed her eyes. She let the feel of the magik around her fill her senses. There was something different in the air tonight. Subtle. Powerful. Nalia began walking toward it. Southeast of the Library. There were not many people abroad who were not into their own nightlife. She and Kali were just two other people walking the main roadways at night. There would be talking, abrupt, drunken laughter at intervals, sounds overhead of the city waking up from its never-sleep.

"They are not far" was all Nalia said to Kali concerning the people they were looking for. If the girl wanted to know, cared enough from her current youthful lapse into self-pity, she could and would ask. And Nalia, being ever patient with the girl who had reasons, many of them right, to be angered, would answer her and fill her in on what information Darmon had provided.

SilntAngl5
02-03-2012, 11:38 PM
Inside the Central Library of Rekōdo City

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Arion


Arion watches in silence as Alain steps off the catwalk. Slowly, unobtrusively, Arion winds his strings back, pulling the rune stones up like a worm and hook without a bite. He watches Alain carefully, silently noting the different emotions from strain to pride that cross his Guild Master's face. He looks down and pleases Alain with an almost wolfy smile when he gets permission to go abroad, to the heart of the City of Rekōdo. Arion stands, dwarfing all of the other people in the room, a sudden explosion of tall, lithe and very red hair. His red eyes are mischievous and gentle as he watches Verona flip through her notepad. There's an irony to using a non-magikal apparatus and parchment pad in a world fueled by magik and magik-made things. It was sometimes said by both people within the guild and out that it was very odd for the personal assistant of a Guild Master to not employ more magikal means in recording the things he wants or needs. Having been Egidion's Second, he could not tell these nay-sayers how utterly wrong they were about Verona Alister. So very wrong.

Arion's lithe fingers took the paper with the book inscribed in delicate penmanship. His red eyes committed the name and location to memory before putting it in an inner pocket of his robes. He touched his guild badge, on the lapel of his robes when it was mentioned. Alain's uncertainty makes Arion pause.

"I's not goin' to explode... is i'?" he asks slowly, with mock caution.

He taps the thing, four times for the luck of the four maidens and smiles down at Alain.

"I will call when I find out more information."

He would not be long. He rarely ever was in such things. Arion, with the utmost respect, bowed first to Alain and then to Verona. He lifted a hand and in it was a card. It seemed like a playing card plucked from a deck of tarot cards. It read, in scrawling decoration The Novice. The picture painted across the card was of a student in ancient robes. Studying. He flicked the card beside Verona and it flew forward with force and then smacked itself upright. The writing around the card glowed and expanded to create the outline of a doorway with the card at its center. Arion had to duck his head to enter as he leaned forward, with his guritar on his back, and opened the door. The world beyond the portal was a mixture of light and darkness, swirling in portal fashion as all private and public port-a-doors did. He closed the door behind him and the card dissipated as Arion dislodged it from the other side of the doorway and returned it to his deck. These were placed into the pocket of his robes as well.


-*-

It took maneuvering, the library was massive, but Arion found the haunted section of the library. There were extensive shelves of haunted books, many pertaining to specific people within the five Guilds. Oddly, there were some books that were blank. Devoid of both title and spirit. Arion opened a few blank ones and thumbed the pages. His brow furrowed curiously as he shelved them and moved on. His position as Alain's Second gained him access to this section. There was a minor haunting section on the main floor, but famous haunters were sectioned on the their story, east wing, 60th shelf. He climbed a ladder, located The Nomad's Charade. The cover depicted a life-movement of a man with a curling mustache. Brown, graying at the temples and balding at the top. He had a large nose, smile and portly body to match. He was dressed in old Taroc fashion. The picture of the man, among others on the front, moved as if one were watching a small movie of the cover itself. Arion watched for a moment and then opened the book.

~A Sohili!?~ A voice immediately chimed. ~I haven't seen one of The Tribe since I was a youth! And here one is, opening me.~

The book lifted from his hands, bringing a transparent image of the man form the cover to stand before him. He held his own book, a tail of vapor connecting it to him at all times. He was tinted light blue, but was otherwise completely seen-through.

Arion blinked his red eyes. Did the man say he hadn't seen one of his Tribe since he was a boy...? the man, shorter than he as most everyone was, grinned up at him with a robust smile.

~Do tell me your name, son of Sohil~

Arion cleared his throat.

"I am Arion bar Sohil" he said with a small hint of pride. The ends of his red hair swayed with the ethereal breeze that flowed from the other-wordly source of the book and man who stood before him.

~bar Sohil, you say? You took the name of your tribe instead of that of your father's? That breaks tradition.~

He hesitated. Nodded.

"I am the las' of my people" he said, a different sort of sound to his voice now.

~Ah~ the Spirit said softly, remorse overwhelming his features. ~You are the one They call the Last Survivor... The Second-born of the Shamaa.~

To this, Arion said nothing, but his tall form shifted, which confirmed the truth in the Spirit's words. The ghostly image seemed solemn, and asked his questions with a quieter voice. It occurred to Arion to ask how he knew those names for him. He did not want to.

~You are the Second to the High Councilman of Taroc? To Alain LeCavalier?~

He nodded again. Knew the next question. It was an odd thing, but since he touched the book, he could hear the soft echoes of a song. Gentle and light, quick and amusing. A lot of frilly harpsichord.

"We are tryin' to track the Princess Pasce. Alain wishes to protect 'er before the other Guild Master's find 'er. They migh' not be so gentle wi' extractin' their Ancestr'l Spirits tha' were taken from them."

The ghostly man said nothing, but Arion did not elaborate any more. He had a feeling the Spirit knew what had happened at the Coronation Day Ceremony. Arion continued.

"I sensed 'er 'ere, but not 'erself. I' was like an echo of 'er Soul resonatin' wi'in the Library. I can 'ear 'er now... 'er Song. She's 'ere but not 'ere."

And he stopped to listen. There were thousands of Soul Songs humming in the Library and no one could hear them but he. He could hear the echoing sound, a powerful hymn-like hum of the Ancestral Spirits and the soft, gentle harp-like of a young girl. Unlike the other Soul Songs, which came from the direction of their occupants, this one Song seemed to float everywhere , hovering in the highest airspace of the domes library like smoke wreathes a nightclub. It was an odd sensation, to have a Song that was all encompassing. Especially a Song, and stolen Songs, like hers. His horns hummed with the echo of her presence.

For a long moment, the Ghost that haunted The Nomad's Charade was silent and very still save for the blowing and crawling of ethereal mists that bound him to his novel.

~Alain was wise to find you~ he said thoughtfully after a moment. He looked as if he meant to elaborate, but instead answered Arion's purpose for being here. ~What you hear is the Princess. She is not among you, though.~

Not among you. Arion paled quickly. "She is dead?"

The spirit shook his head. Ghostly wisps of his thinning hair waved not in time with the motion of his head.

~Not quite. She is not among the ol' haunts here either. They are in a place between the planes of life and death. She is still in Rekōdo, but you will not sense her. She sleeps in a way and her Soul is beyond the reach of any here.~

Immediately, Arion understood. "Th' Worl' of Dreams."

It made sense, the echoing sound. If she were in the Central Library in the World of Dreams, then she walked among it, just not in a time or place or plane that the normal eye could perceive. Now, there were two new questions.

"Why is she there? Why the Library?"

The Ghost seemed pleased that he asked. He and the other Haunts and Propheting Books had been discussing the very thing when it all began almost a week ago. He was an interesting thing, this young man of Sohil. Much like the haunted books in the way he heard things. And he was intelligent. Alain had chosen well.

~The powers, the Spirits she enveloped overwhelmed her. Everyone on Emporium is born with innate magikal abilities and we are meant to control only so much of the planet's power. She, erm, bit off more than she could chew, so to speak.~

The Ghost gestured with his free hand, a shrug of the shoulders accompanied.

~The Spirits she keeps are testing her. To see if she is worthy of being a Mystik to their power. She seeks something powerful here that can be accessed through the World of Dreams. She faces many obstacles, really. She's destroyed the place in the process of retrieving and the testing both... You should see it.~

Arion looked across the library, from the private shelving of the Haunted section. What could be so important here that she would go through the Realm of Dreams? She ensnared the High Chronicler of Magik into her mess... Arion turned back to the ghost quickly.

"The Book of Memories." The Haunt smiled behind his thick handlebar mustache.

~Quite right. Your Book of Secrets holds vast information of the past rulers that she needs to establish herself. But, alas, even venturing into the World of Dreams... You will not be able to bring her back until she is ready. Her body awaits her here. It is being guarded by your young High Chronicler.~

Arion's face changed then and the Spirit gave him a knowing smile. He was told the one way they searched for the Princess would not yield any results. So his mind devised another way. It came to him almost instantly. He also noted that the Ghost referred to the sacred text in its more negative name. A curious thing. Properly, with a fist enclosed by a palm, aggression encompassed by tranquility, Arion bar Sohil bowed to the assisting Spirit of The Nomad's Charade

"Thank you... You 'ave been more 'elpful than I can express in words."

The Spirit smiled and returned the bow.

~Thank you, Arion bar Sohil. It has been a while since I've been called into such interesting conversation with the living. The dead can be too aloof sometimes. Give Alain my regards.~

Arion bowed again, deeper and rose to go. His red eyes held on to something in the shelves, something among all the other titles that piqued his curiosity.

"Wha' was once in th' blank books? There are too many t' be a printin' mistake."

The Ghost of The Nomade's Charade paused. He was handing his book back to its place on the shelf, so that he might venture with the other library Spirits again when Arion asked his question. There was a long silence, heavier than the ones before it. For a moment, Arion felt he'd made a mistake. The Haunt seemed frozen, half ready to look over his shoulder at the living Sohil, but afraid. What could make a Spirit afraid of the living?

~I would answer your question~ he said slowly ~but you would not be able to understand the words I speak. No one in Emporium would.~

And before Arion had a chance to inquire about the Ghost's answer, he checked his own book back into its space on the shelf and disappeared. A ghostly mist swirled from the closed book on the shelf and disappeared.

Jason Sanborn
02-04-2012, 10:24 AM
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Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex could feel Tamarah trying to usurp control from her again. She did not want to give it up. It wasn't often that she was let out to play. "No, instead of the library, show me more of this city and tell me all you know." She ordered of Sophia. The two wandered the streets and Tamarah-Nex listened and studied her surroundings carefully. She wanted to learn as much as she could so she would know exactly what would cause the most chaos. As evening approached, they found themselves back on the street heading toward the Central Library. Tamarah had been fighting against Tamarah-Nex all day and she knew that her time was nearly up. It was a pity too, she knew it would be a while before she was free again. When she was, though, oh, the fun she will have. She grinned mischievously in anticipation for the chaos to come.

As they drew nearer to the Library, Tamarah-Nex saw changes within the strands surrounding her. Someone was looking for them, and they were near. Perhaps the chaos would be coming quicker than she originally anticipated. Her eyes followed the invisible strands to the figures that were approaching them. "Looks like we're going to have some company," she told her companion with a chuckle.

SilntAngl5
02-04-2012, 11:16 AM
Heading North toward Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

Charold of Maginus


Charold was mad. He barely glances at the Princess -he was determined that she was what Darmon thought her to be. Who else would emit such a power surge as she had?- who somehow managed to ride her horse backwards. He was afraid if he looked at her, him, it, that he might kill her himself and free the Guild Spirits in a surge of his own power, rage and glory. Surely, his ambitious Master would not mind speeding up the return-of-stolen-property process?

The orange Princess speaking didn't help her cause.

"You will address me as First Minister Charold of Maginus, Second to High Councilman Darmon of Maginus. Charold if you simply must be informal... never Charo."

He'd had men and women killed for lesser offenses. Charold takes in a deep, calming breath of the calm night. The air is thicker here, making breathing different than among the high-altitude mountains of The Great Swells. He needed to calm down before he prematurely killed the fool Princess. He could not count on Darmon to be sympathetic to a hasty move. Which gave greater cause for worry about what happened in Shamaa. He might already know about it. Surely the master of the Savages would have informed him?

Charold began calculating how things might go once he returned to the Great Hold. He realized he hadn't answered the Princess's question.

"We are going to Rekōdo City. The nearest private portal we can open, the better. I don't want to open any in the uncivilized country... Some of their animals or trees might tattle on us."

And that last was said with utter disdain. There was a hint of uncertainty behind it, of fear accompanied with a lack-of-understanding, but more so the tone was about his having to ride a horse for longer and farther than he needed or wanted to. The last comment made by the Princess immediately enraged Charold and he turned in his saddle to address her. He. Whatever.

"They aren't nice people! They are savages! Barbarians that probably cook their dead for supper and let their women master them in all of their matters. They should never have been allowed to create their own province after the Forgotten War. Whatever our Ancestors were thinking, may they guide our Masters with wisdom for another thousand generations, I will never understand."

Charold huffed and came about in his saddle. Ahead of him and on all sides, the edge of the Hundred Year Plains spread on forever. To the east the distant glimmer of moonlight on water seen through the rapid swaying of tall grasses was his only indicator that a lake was nearby. They were not far... just not close enough to the City for Charold's comfort. The natives still could kill him for what he'd almost done. Cook his muscles and eat his organs and leave his bones to bleach under the son, or pierce their noses and decorate their bosoms. He shivered at the thought, neglecting to know that the rites of death were as follows: To the east the people bury their dead or leave their bones to bleach and disappear beneath the desert sands To the north and south pyres are burned and ashes returned to the wind and to the west by the sea a boat was sent out to the Liar'Adon and sunk into the water, where all life was said to have begun. He did to know this, did not care to learn beyond generalizations and stereotypes. The sooner they were out of Shamaa, the better.

"You are property of Maginus now, so you'd better compose yourself and recover from whatever madness has claimed your thieving mind. The High Councilman Darmon will wish to speak with you upon our return to the Great Hold."

Satisfied that he asserted himself, Charold spurred their horses a bit faster and headed them toward the glorious, glowing sight of Rekōdo City. Then, onward to Maginus.

Tigers
02-04-2012, 02:45 PM
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Kali


It was a struggle for Kali not to talk to Nalia. She had become the closest thing to a friend since Branwen. Kali felt alone now, separated from Branwen and feeling ostracized by Nalia, she wanted to be anywhere else but here. She had allowed herself to care for Nalia, to dare to become close. It had been a foolish thing on her end she realized. But Kali could not deny the fact that she liked Nalia, that she had a deep respect for her. How was she supposed to reconcile these conflicting feelings?


She solemnly nodded her head as her master instructed that they should leave. Still unaware of her physical change, Kali followed Nalia. She exhaled a long drawn out breath of air, listening to the few words that were spoken to her. Unlike Nalia, she did not cover her head or hide her appearance. Any tattoos or piercings her body ever displayed, Kali had always just accepted and in the end, she really didn’t care what others thought. But her appearance when human was always the same, even if she had different markings at the time. She would have been slightly shocked, had she realized the change or the subtle glances she had started to receive.



The only change in her disposition was a result of Nalia’s last words. Kali had no idea what they were doing and at the time hadn’t cared. Apparently, they were going after more than one person, and that piqued her interest. But before she could say anything, she stumbled over how she should address Nalia. Finally, she settled on not addressing Nalia at all, but just asking the question that had piqued her curiosity.


“They… who are we looking for?”

SilntAngl5
02-04-2012, 04:46 PM
Siochana... in the Province of Shamaa

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Mindoka


When they stepped through Branwen's watery portal, they would be back in Siochana. Mindoka's booted feet thudded on the wooden floorboards of the completely circular room. Before them, the walls opened into balconies that brought in the light, wind and sound of the large village that was the capital of the nomadic Shamaan. The bright light of the moon and stars were shaded by the thick branches and boughs of the trees, taller than any other in all of Rekōdo, that made up the home of the Guild Master. Immediately Mindoka went to the spot where Branwen had found him meditating among the presence of the Animal Spirits. There was a circle, slightly lowered in the floor where he meditated. On the other side of the circular room were a ring of thick, plush cushions where he and the Tribal Council met. In between the boughs and branches of the trees resumed their natural climb, leafing and growing in the room as if it were a natural part of the tree.

"Branwen, secure the room" he said briskly. She would know the tone, know the meaning. Her Master was devoid of his power and there was little he could do to preserve the sanctity of privacy in this room. He would trust and rely on Branwen for many things until his power returned. If his power returned. He was not afraid of a life without magik. There were still small things he would be able to do and accomplish with what little of it he had left, but he was always prepared for a life after magik, in the next world among his Ancestors. As Branwen set spells and wards and called on spirits to guard their privacy, Mindoka pulled simple, hand-made blinds closed around the balconied room. In each curtain he pulled closed was embroidery, again hand-done, of the history of Shamaa from its founding. Mindoka watched history unfold itself before his dark brown eyes as the room bathed itself in darkness and spirit light.

When he was finished and Branwen confirmed that the room was secure, he went over to his meditative circle. He motioned for Branwen to kneel beside him. Even as she kneeled he dwarfed her presence with his size. He whispered something and bowed his head to the circle. It seemed ordinary, a purposely made dip in the floor meant for meditation. Mindoka took two large fingers and traced the outline of the circle, cutting it in half down up the middle where his two fingers met. Runes began to glow around the edges of the halved circle, a faint blue like Branwen's eyes when they glowed. When the rune circle was complete, Mindoka use a hand and gently moved the wood aside. Beneath it shimmered a pool of water. Like the runes the water glowed.

"Stay by my side" he said to her gently. He did not smile or touch her. He was proper in all things. The look on his face was grave. He did not take pleasure in telling Alain of Taroc what had happened today. Mindoka reached down and gently put his palm to the glowing water. Nothing rippled from his touch.

"Alain of Taroc."

The water responded, rippling for each syllable he spoke. Mindoka remove his hand and waited for the image of Alain to swirl into 3-D life from the gleaming pool before him. It was in this way that he called upon the council of Alain of Taroc.

Qwaring's clone#1
02-04-2012, 11:02 PM
Heading North toward Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

As Charold scolds Cloney and informs the orange man of all of the names that he is meant to use, Cloney pulls a red marker out of his pocket. He quickly begins scribbling the various names and titles down along the length of his orange forearm. The entire time he dreads to idea of being quizzed on this later. By the time Charold is done talking the clone's glowing forearm reads:

First mister Sharold Ultra Magnus
#2 high councilguy Doorman of magnets
Sharold = sensitive about Charo... investigate further?
Redonko city soon. Portals. Sharold worried about talking animals. High Councilguy, indeed.
Visit Shammy people again for interesting BBQ and women mastering in all of my matters. Double yum.
Me = property of Marginus (who?). Get composed. Recover madness. Steal minds (brains?).
Talk to doorman. He has a great hold. Possibly a wrestler. Investigate further!

Once his notes are hastily scribbled down his arm he looks up at Charold. He gives the grumpy man a broad smile and a confident thumbs up.

"You can count on me. I won't let you down."

Qwathings
02-05-2012, 02:48 PM
Alain LeCavalier

On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar... The hidden fortress of Alain...

As Arion departs, Alain hops back onto the walkways within the domed chamber. He immediately begins striding his way across and out of the chamber. Verona follows closely behind him, scribbling notes down on her pad.

"Contact our best vision-weavers. I'll need them to craft visions of everything being normal with the guild leaders and let it out into the ether. That should delay the loss of the spirits from becoming public knowledge during any divinations," Alain instructs Verona as they walk through the halls of this old fortress. Skilled Taroc vision-weavers can create false visions for anyone trying to divine information to receive, and so they can hide the truth from the majority of mystical readings of the past, present and future that take place in Taroc every day. It's not a perfect method, and the more skilled and powerful oracles and readers can peer through the false visions, but it should be enough to buy Alain some time. Verona writes down the instructions and several notes on how to accomplish the task into her pad.

Minutes later, Alain and Verona enter into a large chamber with high, arching ceilings. Tattered and charred banners from each of the other provinces hangs from the walls, trophies captured from enemy strongholds during the Great War. Hanging behind the large wooden desk on the far side of the room is a large crimson banner of Taroc. Several shelves of books and artifacts line the walls. Many map and document cluttered tables and luxurious chairs and couches occupy several places between the entrance to this chamber and the desk on the far side. Alain walks into this chamber, his personal office within the fortress. Verona enters and closes the door. With the door shut the walls seem to hum for a moment as dozens of anti-scrying and divination spells activate. The contents of this room instantly becomes invisible to all who would mystically spy on it.

Alain makes his way towards the desk on the far end of the large office. Resting on the desk is a long black military frock coat with crimson lining on the inside and golden buttons and trim adorning it. Alain looks over the coat, just seeing it brings up decades-old memories. Verona looks up from her note pad and observes Alain's contemplation of the garment resting on the desk.

"What's this?" Verona asks as Alain runs his fingers over the coat.

"Something I had not expected to ever see again," Alain explains as he peels off the coat her entered the room with and tosses it onto a nearby chair. "This is my coat of arms. It's an ancient mystical relic worn by the war-master of Maginus. Through the lining of this coat he could summon any weapon in his vast armory and provide his soldiers with any weapon they may need. One of my first acts in the Great War was to slay that smug waste of flesh and claim his coat and armory for Taroc." Alain lifts the coat off of the desk and quickly puts it on.

"I've heard stories..." Verona begins, as she recalls a few whispered tales. "They say every weapon of great power that you claimed during the war are kept inside of that armory. They speak of many terrible weapons. Dangerous weapons." Verona now seems to worry as Alain smoothes the coat out over his tall frame. Alain now seems very much like a general of a great army and less like the politician Verona has known him as through all of these years. For the first time there is a connection between the legendary war hero from the old stories she has heard and the man she has worked for throughout her adult life.

"Yes," Alain agrees with Verona's recalled stories and her current worry. "The Five Sisters of Mirian took it into hiding after the Great War. They swore never to allow the armory to fall into anyone else's hands ever again. But I guess they sensed there was trouble- I think they know I might need it once again..." Alain walks around his desk and sits down behind it. He's still trying to absorb this new situation. With his old armory now within his possession he can easily wage war with anyone and everyone. If the prophetic Five Sisters believe he needs the armory now they must foresee war. Alain the politician, who has grown accustomed to letting secret deals and bargains with the other guilds decide the fate of the world suddenly feels afraid as his ability to manipulate and bluff his way through any disaster is slipping away. But the warrior that has sat dormant within the soul of Alain for two decades is suddenly roused from his long slumber. Despite the fear and dread, Alain can't help but smile as the fates seem to be promising him a life of action and adventure once more.

Alain doesn't have long to process the conflicting emotions within himself as a wooden box sitting on the corner of his desk begins to whistle. The box is a perfect cube that's several inches in height and has intricate runes carved over its every surface. The inside of this box is immune to the magics of this room and allows any attempts to reach and communicate with Alain to enter, but only if the box is open. Alain reaches out to the box and gives its top a tap of his finger. The wooden box blossoms open and a golden light flows up from the inside of the box and forms the image of Mindoka, the leader of the Shamaa guild.

The image of Mindoka immediately speaks:

"Alain of Taroc."

Alain gives the other guild master a genuine smile and a respectful nod. "Mindoka. I was wondering when I would start hearing from the other councilmen. We can't run off and lick our wounds forever, can we," Alain says with a mischievous grin as he recalls being amused by how quickly all of the council members departed after losing their ancestral spirits. His grin doesn't last long as he realizes that he ran off to his own hidden fortress, and so he's not able to laugh at the others for having the same idea quicker than he did. "How can I help you and your land, my friend?"

SilntAngl5
02-06-2012, 08:00 PM
Inside the Central Library of Rekōdo City

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Arion


Arion's mind was playing over everything the Ghost had shared with him. He committed important phrases, the way things were said not just what was said, to his keen memory. Oddly, annoyingly, his mind kept drifting back to the last thing he'd asked the occupant of The Nomad's Charade.

"Wha' was once in th' blank books? There are too many t' be a printin' mistake."

And he remembered the way the Ghost would not look at him, as if afraid of the question. Or perhaps of the answer. Then the look on his transparent face when he did. As he made his way down to the main floor of the library via hoverpads and moving staircases, it made Arion shudder. It would be something he'd have to ask Alain about.

~I would answer your question... but you would not be able to understand the words I speak. No one in Emporium would.~

It didn't make sense. Was the answer in a dead language? Why couldn't it be translated? Was the answer in a now-extinct culture. An ironic frown crossed his face. He could relate to that. And why did the Ghost disappear before he could ask a clarifying question? Something about it didn't sit well with the young Sohili, and his instincts were almost impeccably right. It caused his face to be masked in unpleasantness when he left the Library. The water that surrounded the domed building like a lake sparkled with the lights of the never-sleeping capital city of Rekōdo. His long, red hair lightly billowed behind him as he walked, stalked with such long strides, down the long stairs and long pathway that lead into the main square of Rekōdo. Behind him and to the right, the Grand Palace stood. Quiet and imposing. He walked out into the main square and whistled. His voice carried, lilting, like a meadowlark.

Across the square, three whistled returned. He jogged across the square, amid people who were milling to and from their night-life excitments. He met a group of people, Tarocs by birth and loyal to Alain. They dressed with the ever-shifting fashions of Rekōdo City. He nodded to each of them, a half dozen men and they greeted him as if seeing a friend long lost. More were off a ways. His keen red eyes could see them easily in the darkened doors and alleys. He began relaying orders. They would start searching for Emit Shornoc, the youngest High Chronicler of Magik in the history of Rekōdo. The Ghost hadn't said it, but in so many words it made sense. The Princess could not be tracked as long as she was in the World of Dreams. But if the High Chronicler was protecting her body... He could be tracked. Arion was laying the foundations for this new kernel of information to be put into use when he heard it. Immediately he put up a hand and all their conversation ceased.

He knew that Song.

There were many Songs. He could heard the muted hums of thousands in the area surrounding the main square alone. In bars, restaurants, clubs, studying, crying, copulating, fighting. But hers... Her was the saddest song he'd ever heard. And the darkest.

Arion's swift eyes flew over the square, undecided between being abandoned to the night or thronged with people moving to their next stop in a night full of many more stops. He was tall, could see over people easily and he could see well. He couldn't see her, but he could hear her. Arion doubled back to the men that were, technically, under the Second of the Guild Master's command.

"I 'ear somethin' tha' mus' be checked." They waited, used to Arion referencing the things he could hear that no other could. He gave them orders, some to return to their blocks to monitor the Library and Palace for activity, some to follow him in case something happened, more to report the incident to Alain than come to his aid. Two men were given a scroll, inscribe quickly with his sharp writing. He couldn't call Alain on his badge. Not yet. He could risk being heard.

Arion whistled, delicate and light. The scrolls wound itself up and folded itself into an elaborate origami phoenix. It alighted and landed on the nearest man's outstretched arm.

"Ge' this to Verona. Quickly. She is to give it directly to Alain."

The phoenix scroll could defend itself, scratching and biting as a flesh bird of it species could. Likewise, if anyone subdued and tried to open said scroll, it would burst into flames and the message would be lost. A new phoenix could rise form the ashes, but the results would be the same if it was tampered with again. A most pesky way to deliver a message, but it was meant for Verona or Alain. The two men bowed and as they turned they touched a portkey in the alleyway, a discarded shoe, minus its mate and apparated into the darkness with a loud crack. A common sound, not to be alarming in a city where people portaled, apparated and arrived in floating styles all the time.

Everyone went their own ways and Arion followed the Soul Song. Men trailed him at a great distance. Arion moved slowly, like a wolf stalking after a scent in the shrouded woods. Her Song grew louder. It was soft and strangely graceful for the person she was. A violin, accompanied by a piano at times. Usually the two instruments played alone, one after the other. Rarely together. Sometimes the soft lilting of a flute. Never more than three instruments. Never together. Always sad, mournful. Always a darkness to the tune, oppressing as if she were captive to her own Song. Arion followed that seductive tune like a moth to a moon filled sky. He paused, at length, when he heard voices. There was another with her. Her protege. A song full of anger and sorrow, much like her mentors, but louder. More vocal. More instruments. A dark undertone, too. Dark like an empty sky devoid of light. Nalia should not be abroad. None of the other Council Members were. She could be discovered and the truth of the guild Master's loss of the Spirits could send Rekōdo into civil war.

Arion had sent Alain a letter. It was simple, scrawled quickly.

"Your ghost said she's in Dreams. The things she stole are testing her. To find her, find her guardian."

And then, a last thing that would appear after he'd read the first note, a flair of fire across the bottom of the paper. A single word and a name.

"Found Nalia."

SilntAngl5
02-06-2012, 09:22 PM
Nalia
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg


She was being very cautious. There were people who would be able to detect her missing power, if they knew who she was. And now she had a greater secret to hide and only minimal ways in which to hide it. She knew, by the confining feeling at her midsection, that the shawl would not work forever. She tried not to think about what she would do when her secret could no longer be hidden.

Nalia pushed those thoughts to the back of her mind. Not too far back. There were Nightmares, the farther back you went.


"Someone Darmon thinks is the Princess" Nalia said carefully. Her green eyes were sharp and alert, facing forward as she turned slightly to speak to Kali over her shoulder. "She is the source of a great power spike... and she is not alone."

Kali was intelligent, and Nalia knew that would be all she needs to say to alert Kali to be on her guard. A light from a streetlight above caught the small emerald gem that dangled from her forehead. Nalia ducked her head and tugged her hood farther forward. Ebony curls spilled from beneath it and dangled down her chest.

"There."

The woman had dark hair, darker than she'd thought, but perhaps intaking power could change how one looked. That was the case with Kali. The woman's eyes, Nalia saw as they approached, were dark brown and she had wings at her back. She was drawing comparisons to Kali, resemblances that could be dangerous here. If it was the Princess, she needed to tread carefully. Trust needed to be established. Nalia took a deep breath and, when there were no others passing by them on the road where they stood, Nalia drew back her hood. Her curls were pulled back behind her head and spilled like a waterfall down on shoulder. Her skin was pale as the moon and her eyes rivaled the color of the gem that hung on her forehead on a small gold chain. She was thin and a dark black-green cloak obscured much beyond that. There was an intensity to her large eyes, a ferocity and uncertainty both. The woman was looking at them, as if she knew they were coming to her... for her.

"I am Nalia al'Vatar of the Enchantress Guild. This is my Second, Kali. We mean you no harm."

She had never referred to Kali as her Second before. Nalia had no proclaimed Second, having no guiding Ancestral Spirit. Her Island-Guild was founded as a fracture from the Maginus Guild, though they were still under the territory of their Province. It was all quite complicated.

"We are searching for someone and we registered a power spike with your signature. Please... what are your names?"

She was being generously forthcoming, not something she was comfortable with, but if this was the Princess- and Nalia had reason to doubt- she would need for the girl to trust her. If it was the Princess, Nalia was unsure if bringing her to Darmon would be the move she'd make. Where in Rekōdo would she take her, though? The dar-haired woman was accompanied by a pale haired girl. Like night and day the two were. An interesting mix. One seemed to dominate and the other wane in her shadow. The more Nalia looked at the two, the more she doubted this was the Princess and High Chronicler in disguise. But the power spike had been significant and it got both she and Kali away from Darmon's poisoning presence. If only for a moment.

SilntAngl5
02-06-2012, 09:55 PM
Siochana... in the Province of Shamaa

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Mindoka


As soon as the box on Alain's desk is opened, a 3-D image of him melts upward from the water, taking on a blue-silver opacity. The image is as about a head shorter than Mindoka where he kneels. The big Shamaa Guild Master touches his palms to the wooden floor and bows his head once in obeisance to his ally. Alain is one Guild Master he would consider a friend, beyond an ally in many regards.

"Bandages and wrappings cannot heal the wounds we have, I am afraid" he responded with a small attempt at a smile. His brown eyes were troubled, serious, but grave as his voice.

"Alain, I am not alone in this room. My Second is here, as what I am about to tell you concerns her as well. She has kept me from meeting my Ancestors this night."

Mindoka knew this was not the reason for the attack. It was not a plotted attempt on his life. Darmon was cunning and ambitious, but he wasn't a fool. He wouldn't start a war, not this way. He merely lacks the leaders Maginus needs to effectively deal with situations such as the one that fountained tonight.

"Darmon sent men from Maginus onto my soil uninvited to lay claim to a foreign being that he thought, foolishly, was the Lost Princess Rekōdo. I do not think he meant for them to be undiscovered, but I do not think he meant for them to leave empty handed. My Second lead a party to intervene. Things... got out of hand. Darmon never communicated to his Second the etiquette needed to be diplomatic. Their presence broke the Treaty of Tradisi set into place after the Great War. Charold of Maginus nearly started a Second Great War this night. The man used his magik with the intent to strike me down. Men died on my land tonight and were left behind by their own."

He gave his words a moment to sink in and then gestured to his Second. People were burned on the plains, in pyres and sent back to their Ancestors in the sky. You never left your dead behind, and if that happened they were cared for and given proper rites. To not do such a thing was unthinkable. An ultimate disrespect to the soul trapped within the body and the land the dead flesh desecrates. Mindoka was very tense as he knelt before Alain with his Second beside him. It was a matter that, with good reason, bothered him. Men died, War had almost began. He had almost died as well, something all men had to come to terms with. Mindoka cleared his throat.

"Branwen, please tell the High Councilman what happened here. Describe the being they thought was the Princess."

Jason Sanborn
02-08-2012, 11:15 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=662&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex expanded and contracted her black wings, some of the feathers brushing along the girl traveling with her. The strands were moving in an unusual fashion around the woman who called herself Nalia. It was something she had not encountered previously, and it intrigued her. The other, her second, was different than she had encountered as well. The strands around her weren't as random as those around Nalia, but there was something different to be certain. Perhaps these were two of the people that Sophia warned her about. Until she knew more about Nalia, and why the strands were behaving the way they were around her, she decided to see what she could find out.

Tamarah-Nex flashed a mysterious, wry grin, holding up a hand in front of Sophia, indicating silence. "There is something more than enchanting surrounding you, Nalia al'Vatar of the Enchantress Guild." she chuckled, emphasizing the woman's name and title, almost mocking it. "My name is Tamarah-Nex, the girl is just one of many insignificant mortals I've come across in my years who is serving her purpose to me for a time."

Tamarah-Nex could feel herself beginning to lose ground in her mind. Another power was stirring, causing her to divide her attention to remain in the forefront. There was too much chaos to be had here, and she was not ready to be denied.

Tigers
02-13-2012, 06:46 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/YoungKali.jpg
Kali


Nalia’s tone was different, if not a bit hushed and cautious. Was it because they were they were in the heart of the city and the dangers of Nalia’s lost powers could pose threat of a war, or was it because of Kali herself? Maybe it was both, Kali wasn’t sure and her own wounded soul did not want to speculate. So she nodded her head in acquiescence and silently followed her mentor.

Kali’s eyes followed Nalia’s as she took in the view of the two women. She would have to watch herself, if this woman really was the princess, she could cause more harm than good, but something about the woman with the wings did not sit well with Kali. She showed no emotion as Nalia made introductions, except for a small look of surprise at being called her Second. The emotion was quickly masked and buried as she faced the other two women.

The moment this Tamarah-Nex opened her mouth, the deeper the dislike Kali had for the woman. If this was the Princess, she was like Darmon and the rest of his lackeys. Kali curbed her tongue, but her eyes darkened.

Tigers
02-13-2012, 06:49 AM
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Branwen



Quietly she listened to the two guild leaders speak. When summoned, Branwen came forward and sat next to Master Mindoka. Like her master, she bowed in the Shaaman tradition in respect first to Minkoka and then to Alain before she spoke.

“Yes, Master Mindoka.” She first replied to her master before turning to Alain.

“This…man that High Councilman Darmon sent Charold to find, he is unlike anyone I have ever encountered. His skin was orange, bright like the fruit of the tree. He spoke in a manner that made no sense and chaos and destruction seemed to follow him at every turn.” Branwen said for a lack of any other way to describe it.

“Master Alain, if you will forgive the conjecture of this stranger’s character. He is a fool. He speaks as if he knows what he is talking about, and yet no sane or intelligent person can comprehend. He’s like a child in many ways.”

Branwen could not hide the small amused smile that touched her lips.

“It speaks a great deal of the leadership of the Maginus Guild if they believe this stranger to be the Princess, and a great deal of their own intelligence.”

It was not a laughing matter, in the entirety but Branwen could not overlook the irony in the situation that Maginus would find itself in.

“The rest is as Master Mindoka said. It is the orange man who nearly burned our lands and brought the deaths of High Councilman Darmon’s men. Where ever that stranger goes, I have a feeling that more death and destruction will follow .But it isn’t due to the fact he’s malevolent, he’s just a fool and likely more dangerous because of it. I am sure High Councilman Darmon will lose more men before this is over. I just pray to the Ancestral Spirits that he does not destroy the city or our planet in the process.”

SilntAngl5
02-13-2012, 04:40 PM
Nalia
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

http://archive6.quarrelsandquills.com/forums/download/file.php?avatar=56.jpg


Nalia felt the shift in Kali, but could not openly acknowledge it. But she was having similar feelings. Something about this woman made her uneasy. Nalia's beautiful face was shadowed beneath the cowl of her deep hood, making her already guarded expression near-to unreadable. She did not care for the woman's grin, or how she silenced the woman beside her. When addressed, Nalia straightened and there was a slight tilt to her chin, upward and to her left. Nalia regarded the woman with scrutiny as she introduced herself. The woman's name was... odd.

"Tamarah-Nex? I am unfamiliar with the surname of Nex. What Province are you from?"

Mortals? Nalia registered the word and it caused her eyes to narrow. Who referred to others as mortals? There were no gods here, though she was almost certain Darmon considered himself to be one. Nalia did not care for the way this woman spoke, or the tingle of energy she felt from her. It was something that made the hair on her arms stand on end. There was something about the way this woman felt to her that set off alarm bells in Nalia's gut.

It was a gamble, but Nalia decided this woman was not the Lost Princess of Rekōdo. Whoever she was, Nalia had the feeling she was quite dangerous. Perhaps Darmon knew this? Had he sent them here on purpose? Nalia had seen assassination attempts, there was one famous attempt on the Guild Master of Astral a few Ancestors ago. Attempts had been made on Darmon, Alain... even Jinai of the Da'Jinn. They, of course, were not successful, and the punishment for such was Quieting. The physical removal of magik from a person's being. They could sense it, taste it, see it, but they could never tap into it or use it again. Such a thing could only be done by the Ruler of Rekōdo in conjunction with three of the five High Council Members. It was a permanent punishment. There was no known reversal once it was done. Belatedly, after she'd had the thought that this was could be Darmon's attempt as murdering her, she had another horrible thought. Had the Princess Quieted her entire High Council of Magik? Could one person, one person, one girl powerful enough, do such a thing?

"And what is your purpose in Rekōdo, Tamarah-Nex?"

Rekōdo, not Rekōdo City. Her mannerisms were wrong. The way she felt was wrong. Everything here seemed just wrong.

Qwathings
02-13-2012, 10:09 PM
Alain LeCavalier

On the other side of a door that stands inside of a boxcar... The hidden fortress of Alain...

Alain doesn't bother announcing Verona's presence to Mindoka. Doing so would be like announcing the presence of ones own shadow. Everyone knows that where ever there is Alain of Taroc there is the ever loyal Verona right by his side and always ready to make some note or perform some needed task. Instead Alain silently listens to what he fellow guild master has to say. Alain's hands busy themselves by picking up a deck of ancient divining cards that always sit on a corner of his grand desk and absentmindedly shuffling them.

Alain grimaces and softly shakes his head at the foolishness of the men from Maginus. Anger burns behind Alain's dark eyes. His body bears the scars of many battles fought to bring peace to their world, Alain can only feel anger at a fool that would make all of that struggling and pain meaningless after only one night of stupidity.

Sensing Alain's anger, Verona scribbles something down on her notebook and holds out the page for Alain to see. He gives the writing a momentary glance, and gives his assistant a brief smirk as his anger seems to almost vanish. He gives Verona a small nod. Plans are already being made. Crimes will not go unpunished. Alain quickly returns his full attention to the image of Mindoka and Branwen as the young woman begins her report. Verona returns to her note taking.

Alain listens to the description that Branwen gives. He wonders why anyone would make themselves orange. From what he's heard, orange is out of fashion this season. Then Branwen's words strike against an almost forgotten memory within Alain. He redoubles his attention on the image of the young woman as if seeking new meaning in what she's saying. Eventually her report draws to a close, and Alain glances down at the deck of cards in his hands. He flips the deck over so he can look over the fronts of the cards. He quickly picks his way through the deck until he finds the right card. He plucks the card out of the deck and holds it up for Mindoka and Branwen to see the image of an orange man with black ovals covering his eyes, a bright blue shirt, giving a thumbs up gesture with one hand and holding an oddly shaped glass in the other hand. Behind the image of this grinning orange man is fire, ruins and monsters. Below the image is an ancient Taroc rune.

"This deck of divining cards has been in my family for centuries. I have been told it depicts images of spirits or imps that were long since forgotten a hundred generations ago. This card is of the trickster and bringer of chaos... While he's not a bringer of doom or destruction, he's an omen of trouble..." Alain pauses. The characters of this deck represent common ideas and themes found in all divining cards. It was common for ancient families to make up their own characters for their families cards. And so the orange troublemaker grinning on the upheld card is most likely the figment of one of Alain's ancestors imagination. But then again the description fits the stories Alain's grandfather would sometimes tell about the spirits on the cards. "I don't like this." Alain puts the deck of cards back down on the desk. His mood seems grim.

"If Maginus wants one more fool in their halls, then so be it. But once Darmon's foolishness spills beyond his own borders I think action is required," Alain leans back in his chair, looking out over the collection of captured banners that hangs from the walls around him as if breathing in the confidence from dozens of victories earned on a dozen battlefields. "You can count on me and my guild for any action you may want to take. I also offer six squadrons of Taroc soldiers to help patrol and defend your borders. I will also offer similar military aid to Astral, Da'Jinn and Enchantry. At the very least this will show Darmon that his actions have consequences and if he's going to act like an imbecile he'll find himself doing so alone against a united Rekōdo." Alain stares directly at Midoka. His eyes burn with duty and his features harden. "Perhaps it's time for the guild masters to gather together. We need to remind ourselves that we can be more than the sum of our parts. The only path through this current darkness if we work together and adhere to the laws and treaties that have protected our people from wars and chaos."

Jason Sanborn
02-14-2012, 10:08 AM
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Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex flashed a mischievous grin. "Do all visitors to this city get such a warm welcome?" Tamarah-Nex watched at the strands danced around. Nalia was still hard to read, for some reason. Kali, though, was a little easier. Of course, she didn't need to see the strands to tell that the two women didn't trust her. Not that she expected them to anyways. She closed her eyes for a brief moment. She appeared to concentrate on something. It was necessary for her to block distractions for that moment in order to attempt to quiet Tamarah and remain in control. She could not lose her position, not now.

She opened her eyes again, looking as if nothing had happened. "I'm not from around here, of course. I've heard many things about this place, and thought I'd go see your Central Library."

SilntAngl5
02-14-2012, 05:47 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo Cityy

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Arion


Arion's eyebrows arched at the conversation. Casually he had strolled into a dark corner between buildings and out of sight of the conversing women. His hearing was keen, though, quite keen, and he could hear everything they'd said. It was clear who the Guild Mistress of Enchantry and her young protege thought it might be

"Princess?"

Walking around Rekōdo City? Surely not? Surely the other Guilds were tracking her... but, then again, that would be why the Lady Nalia and Kali were here, weren't they? Still... Arion closed his eyes and stretched out his mind. He heard Nalia's sad, quiet Song with its dark, shivering undertone. He heard Kali's, so much like her Guild Mistress's but louder, more angry and defiant. Then he heard Tamarah's. It was loud, like Alain's in many ways. Brass and timpani, but disordered... as if some instruments were not quite on the same beat or tempo. It was odd, he thoughts, but it almost sounded as if there were three, no, four songs inside this woman. Not enough to be the Lost Princess, but she certainly was someone unusual. She certainly didn't seem to fit. Something about her seemed... otherworldly, almost as if there were instruments he did not recognize in her Soul Song.

It was an odd conjoining of people, and an odd coincidence that someone like this new female has entered into the mystery of the wanted Princess.

SilntAngl5
02-14-2012, 08:38 PM
Nalia
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

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Nalia did not care for her grinning. In fact, the more the woman grinned, the more reserved Nalia became. But she was unpredictable, at times, despite how well Darmon or anyone else thought he could read her.

"I usually don't talk to strangers" Nalia said thoughtfully and offered the woman one of her own wise smiles "or from people outside this planet, which- I am sure you have learned by now- is called Emporium."

Directly to the point. The fact that the woman was not from here seemed to hardly phase the minor Guild Mistress. Nalia regarded Tamarah carefully. When her eyes closed, Nalia's own brow furrowed slightly and her emerald eyes flicked back and forth, watching.

"The Central Library of Rekōdo City" she went on casually, gesturing with a hand behind her "truly is breathtaking. It is prized in Rekōdo for being a unique source of all possible information, both of this world and ones beyond it. Though we are but simple magik wielders and our knowledge, hearty as it may be, sure is not so vast as the extensive knowledge a traveler of your sort must be use to obtaining."

Behind her and to her side, Nalia hoped Kali was taking all this information in, storing it as she was very well capable. This interaction was like a dance, with two people who knew the music but not all the possible steps that accompanied. It was a challenge to see who would lead the charade, with knowledge dispensed at perfectly coined times. This woman was not the Princess, though if her arrival here had anything to do with the Princess's power-thieving was still unknown. Nalia decided having as much information on this woman as possible was a safe bet. It would be leverage for conversations later... with Darmon and the other Guild Masters.

"I would be honored to escort you and your companion the rest of the short distance there. It is the least I could do for taking up a portion of your time."

And with the turn of a coin, Nalia was properly polite. If she was acting as an ambassador for her Guild as well as Rekōdo, she might as well show some care for protocol.

SilntAngl5
02-14-2012, 10:01 PM
Siochana... in the Province of Shamaa

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Mindoka


Mindoka said nothing, though as far as the comment about the leadership of Maginus, he was in agreement with his Second: Darmon was a fool. Mindoka's appearance is calm, but the dark burning in the Guild Master of Taroc's eyes reflect in his own. A frown, or ratehr a downward pursing of his thin lips mars the calm manner in which he kneels before the 3-D image of Alain of Taroc and his assistant, who bobbed in and out of the picture field-of-view. He had nothing to hide form the other woman. She was as much a part of Alain as Branwen had become a part of him. It was not for lack-of-trust in the other Clan and Tribal leaders. Mindoka prefered to think he gave each clan and tribe a measure of trust, as foolish as that may be. Branwen was good at what she did, loyal and steadfast. He trusted her more than any other.

Mindoka regarded Alain's cards and his frown deepened. He favored the thought, a wise one perhaps, that all the magiks of emporium were interconnected. One was not more powerful or correct than another, but were better used for specific instances or could counterbalance another form of magik. The stars, where the Ancestor's Spirits returned when they left this world held importance in both their cultures. Though the Shamaa had little use for divination cards, Mindoka recognized their importance and significance to Alain and to Taroc culture. When the Guild Master held up the card of the so-called Princess, Mindoka closed his eyes and exhaled.

"Chaos..." he said slowly, deeply at length. "Yes, that is he."

Mindoka's memory went back to the events from earlier this night. Magik flashed. Lightning arched toward the sky and fire burned the grasses. he shook his head clear, to ward away such distracting thoughts. His dark brown eyes, when they look at the image of Alain, are a match.

"I do not want to be the aggressor here, Alain. I cannot let Darmon goad me into acting rashly. I must tread with caution."

There were stories, legends passed down by Tribal Leaders to their children and their clan's children. Stories that were memorized and retold as a part of some rites of passage and comings of age. They were stories of the wars and of the Great Stag in the midst of battle. Mindoka, normally a quieter, stern man, was a formidable opponent in times of war. It was something he wished he could forget. He thought for a long moment before speaking.

"I accept your soldiers, Alain of Taroc. We have long been allies and you know I will offer my resources to you as they are needed. But I ask only that they stay at our fortress in Maidin unless Darmon provokes a need for further action. I do not want it to be my hand that starts another war, but I will give Darmon a warning."

A pause.

"Is it wise to offer aid to the Enchantresses of Capios? They are under Maginus's control."

But it was well known that the women or Enchantry and the men (people) of Maginus did not get along well even on the best of days. The reasons for the falling out were not quite clear or carved in stone. Mindoka remembers the day Nalia declared her separation from Maginus, her independence and the beginning of her own Guild. That had caused quite an uproar...

"Yes" he said quietly, almost to himself. "I think it is time the Master gathered. Perhaps it would be wise for Darmon to remember that his is not the only Province in Rekōdo. The others need to be made aware of what has happened... and-"

Another pause, but thsi one marred by an unvoiced doubt.

"Perhaps we can all work together to find the Lost Princess"he said solemnly, bowing his head at the mention of her title. "Perhaps we all can... for the sake of Rekōdo."

Jason Sanborn
02-15-2012, 10:30 AM
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Tamarah-Nex

Tamarah-Nex closed her eyes again, this time tightly. There was a cacophony of noises in her mind. Arion had touched deeply and touched every one of her personalities. Normally, this would not be troublesome to her, but with Tamarah fighting to regain control, that touch was enough.

"Who dares touch my mind!" She spat out, eyes snapping open with anger. Pebbles and stones around her began to float off the ground as she stretched out her wings, using her telekinesis to levitate them. The strands of probability were moving rapidly with these changes and she used that to add chaos to the mix.

Several stones and pebbles flew between Nalia and Kali, so that the air of the motion could be felt, striking a hapless man who happened to be nearby, the stones cutting him to shreds, mortally wounding him. "No one touches my mind without my permission! Tell me who has done this!" She demanded of Nalia as more stones floated into the air, circling around Tamarah-Nex.

Tamarah, still locked away in her own mind, latched onto the touching mind and sent a telepathic plea to Arion. <<Please, lend me your strength. Help me regain control before she hurts anyone else.>>

Tigers
02-18-2012, 04:54 PM
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Kali

Instinct drove Kali, and even if it had been raw emotions she never would let anything happen to Nalia or the secret she carried, no matter how she felt. Large leathery wings appeared from Kali's back, thick and heavy, nothing would penetrate them. They were tough like a dragon's hide and if Nalia noticed they would appear to be very similar in shape and texture.

Kali's eyes were red like the setting sun and she slyly maneuvered herself between Tamara Nex and Nalia. But Kali had more than her natural talents, she had been learning magik and with a spoken word, the stones that whirled around Tamara burst into flame and were gone. Her eyes leveled on the strange woman and waited.

SilntAngl5
02-18-2012, 11:54 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo Cityy

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Arion


Arion swore under his breath, something he was not accustomed to doing. The men that followed him were upright, mobile, but he held out a hand to stall them. The agonized cries of an injured man stained the tense night air. Even as far from the man as he was, Arion could smell his blood. It made the hair on the back of his neck prickle. He stood in the shadows of the two buildings where he stood and it was then that someone touched his mind, someone within the chaotic music he was hearing inside his hear like a deafening roar. The men of Taroc watched him, waiting for his signal to move. The man on the cobblestone was bleeding his life's ichor all over the paving stones and the two women they'd followed were in immediate danger of being injured. All the men knew who the two women were, hooded and winged both. They gave each other's presence away.

<<'old on t' me>> he echoed back to her gently. Arion stepped out into the well lit main street, the one of many that branched from and reached to the Central City Library and Grand Palace like light bursts from a star. He stood at his full height, very tall and lithe, graceful and calm as an oak tree.

"No 'arm was meant. Th' sligh' was mine."

Arion motioned gently and the small handful of men that followed him came out and went toward the fallen man. Another stayed behind Arion, waiting. The tall Sohil man bowed, a cape of red hair curtained his lean face as he did and rose again. Nalia turned and stared at him from beneath the cowl of her hood.

"Forgive me... but I believe i' is time things calmed down."

The woman's Songs filled his head and Arion singled out the one Song he heard amidst the chaos of the one that reigned. A simpler tune, not without its own grandiose nature. He reached out and mentally wrapped his own Song around the it, like a barrier, a shield. He cut off the other three Soul Songs that each rampaged in the woman's psyche in their own way. The flow of energy and power that surged forth to let Tamarah Nex's chaos reign was slowly being whittled away from the source. The chaotic mess of the black-haired woman's Song was overpowering, disruptive to his own beautiful melody, but he was relentless. Stones flew past him, but he would not allow himself a fatal wound. The air hummed with magik, with power, like heat ripples from the earth on a scorching summer day.

He heard Kali as she moved, her Song, the intoxicating hum of its darkness. Distantly, he heard Nalia, but his focus, for the moment was on the trapped Song being smothered by the chaotic instruments. It was beyond dissonance and it damaged his calm. Arion's red irises looked Tamareh Nex in the eye.

"Let 'er go" he commanded calmly.

It was then, just out of his direct line of sight that Arion saw the look in Nalia's eyes.

SilntAngl5
02-19-2012, 12:59 AM
Nalia
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

1224


She was being diplomatic, polite, so when everything she's accomplished began to unravel, Nalia was initially baffled as to why. But then the air hummed and Nalia stiffened. Shock at the woman's sudden outraged was momentarily replaced by emotionless calm, a thing that was known to get her through the worst of the High Council meetings she'd had to endure. She opened her mouth to assure the woman that no one here, at least not she or her Second, had violated that privacy, when she felt him.

Nalia turned.

The Sohil were a forgotten legend, but Arion was a legend himself among the elite of Rekōdo. Nalia knew him. Arion was the Second to Alain of Taroc. When they'd first met, it was at a gathering at the Grand Palace, in the Hall of the Council. Vaguely then, she had heard of Arion's abilities, of hearing the things he called Soul Songs. How they defined a person. They'd locked eyes form across the room. Surely Alain had told him of what she'd done? He'd found her as a child in Astral after the Great War. He had seen firsthand what she'd done to her mother, her father, her brothers and sisters. He knew what she was. Surely the Sohil would have too? But he looked anyway. He looked at her Soul Song. She had watched him from across the room, expressionless. Her green eyes, he remembered apologizing for it afterward, were sad, he'd said. He just didn't recognize how sad they were. Why. What she harbored. What he saw when he looked deeply into her Soul.

Nightmares.

It was something she'd had nightmares about for months after. Nightmares about Nightmares. She'd felt him probing, but did nothing to stop it. And she'd heard the sound the Nightmares made, in a flash, a burst of what Arion heard when his mind reacted. Nails on a chalkboard. Tired screeching. Cats howling. Children screaming. Metal kissing pavement. One, giant note. Fortissimo possible. Screeching in his psyche. he'd made a loud noise, one that silenced the throngs of Council Members and their staff in the large room. He'd looked up at her- they were all younger then- with his red eyes. Horror and... sympathy. He knew, he said, why her eyes were always so sad. Hiding and sad.

She knew when he emerged that he'd touched her mind to see the woman's Song. Whatever it was, it gave him cause to stand, to interfere. He knew he must have heard hers to find her here. What did he hear?

Stones whizzed past her and she turned to face the woman called Tamarah Nex. Her wings blotted out the light behind her as she yelled in rage. The earth churned with this woman's power and Nalia did nothing. She could do nothing. She had no power, no way of defending herself. A man cried out. Nalia's head whipped over to the direction of his cries. He was shredded, shaking. Blood poured from the pellet holes where the stones passed through him. People ran over from nowhere to help him. Nalia's mouth opened as she turned back to Tamarah Nex. To reason, to beg. If the stones his her...

Darker wings than the foreign woman's blotted out the stones that whizzed past. Too close. The stifling of the air before movement caught it made her chest seize. She inhaled and held her breath as if afraid there would no no air left when she tried to breathe again. She had felt that way once, in the Dragon Range. They had been stuck in the pass that lead out into Valley of the Lake. The Dragons had come to protect their treasure in the water below. He'd apparated her into the cave. He said she could defeat them with her dark powers, darker than his. She remembered when the Dragons had found her, how their wings moved and stilled the air, making it hard to breathe.

Nalia froze. She turned again to look at Arion. The stone around her exploded, but she did not flinch. Her green eyes stared at Arion from beneath her hood. And, from beneath her cloak, a shaking, ivory hand reached out and touched Kali. Not to stop her or have her step aside- Nalia inwardly recognized that Kali was the only thing keeping her and her secret safe from the stones. Nalia touched her for her own reassurance, to quell a rising tide of fear within her. They fed on fear and in the deep recesses of her mind, she felt the Nightmares stirring, as if beginning to awaken from a long hibernation.

Jason Sanborn
02-19-2012, 03:33 PM
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Tamarah-Nex

Chaos. Sweet glorious chaos. The strands moved around her unhindered as she let the chaos grow. As soon as the stones around her were engulfed in flames, more stones rose into the air to replace them, and began flying in the air, seeking out targets, but never reaching their destinations. Then Arion appeared. He was the one in her mind. He was the one that Tamarah had latched onto. Who was he, and what was this power he seemed to have that seemed to put order to the chaos. She growled in anger and sent all her stones directly at him, trying to cut him down, but they never reached their intended target. Whether it was Kali, Nalia or the new stranger, she could not know.

"NO!" she shouted in rage and fell to her knees, eyes tightly shut. "This is MY time! MINE!" The necklace around her neck glowed, and Tamarah-Nex screamed out in frustration. Her wings drew into her back and her hair began to shift from black to an orange color. Even her clothing seemed to alter as Tamarah, with the help of Arion, managed to regain control.

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Tamarah

Tamarah looked up but remained on her knees, holding up her right hand in a stop position. "I mean you no harm! Tamarah-Nex is subdued." Inside her mind, she could hear and feel the raging of the chaos, but she was in control. Not firmly yet, but enough to keep her at bay for now. She knew the man that Tamarah-Nex harmed was dying, and she could feel Tamarah-Sela wanting to come forward help. She hoped that they would allow her to do that, before it was too late.

Qwathings
02-20-2012, 09:55 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The hidden fortress of Alain...

As Mindoka agrees to the meeting of councilors, Alain gives Verona a small nod. The woman seems to understand some unspoken instructions and writes something down on her pad of paper. Alain returns his gaze to the image of Mindoka. His expression softens slightly.

"I have always believed that there is no limit to what the guild masters can accomplish if we can only work together," Alain explains. "Perhaps a crisis is just what we needed to strengthen our bond..." he ponders in a tone that doubts such a thing can really be possible. He gives the image of Mindoka a hopeful smile and a small shrug.

"I will send my soldiers across the river and to your fortress. They will loyally follow you and your commands for as long as this crisis lasts," Alain explains. "And unless there is anything else we need to discuss before the meeting, I should send out the call to our peers and make final arrangements before we gather."

SilntAngl5
02-24-2012, 09:46 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo Cityy

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Arion and Nalia


Nalia watched, held her breath and watched with one hand touching her protege. Arion's intense red eyes bore down upon the woman in a silent duel of power. The air hummed with it, throbbed. Even the intoxicated knew to stay away, so thick was the air in this street and so sensitive were the people of Emporium to magik. The palace guard of Rekōdo City were sparse tonight. Magikal spats would be answered on a necessity-basis. A princess was missing and the High Chronicler of Magik was suspected in her kidnapping... so the story went. They didn't know she'd stolen the greatest powers in Rekōdo before disappearing.

The man behind Arion, lent his power to shielding the Second to Taroc, so that he might concentrate on defeating whoever this woman was before she injured someone else. When it was over, and only the sounds of the dying man wafted into the thinning air, Tamarah would look up to find Arion standing over her. His already towering form was imposing and made even more so by the sudden appearance of a sword from his back. Nalia knew that sword. Laquered black with tints of blood red and cream white. The colors of the musician's guritar. Belatedly, the soft sounds of the notes he plucked echoed on the air like a giggle, or a sudden inhale of breath. Nalia had barely seen him move. The Sohil were always rumored to have been fast in battle... so the story went.

They remained like that, sword and hand connecting the two in a diagonal line.

For Nalia, this was to close. Arion was almost beside she and Kali, almost between them and the remnants of Tamarah-Nex. Her hand remains touching Kali's back, unless she shifts or otherwise removes it. Arion's eyes shift to the two women for a brief, almost non-existant second. They go back to staring the subdued woman down. Not the same person as before. Reddish hair like the princess was said to have. It wasn't her, though, he could hear it.

And he heard something else. Two something's else. The first thing he heard, or... thought he heard, was a sweet note played in Kali's dark tune. A plucked string, high and lingering. Almost... Arion's attention drifted to her for a moment. His senses reached out and inhaled her in a way that intoxicated him. He felt goosebumps raise on his skin and his heart begin skipping like a foal in the open fields of Taroc. The sound of her filled his nose... or was it the scent? It was distracting in a manner that made him highly uncomfortable. Arion exhaled deeply to clear his head. Mentally, he tapped the two women. Knowing what Nalia contained, he breezed the surface of her mind cautiously. Kali, he knew, still had her power and could defend her thoughts in the manner she desired. Desire... Arion cleared his head again.

~Your prot'ge 'as grown powerful, Nalia of th' Enchantry Guild. This is pleasing.~

Pleasing? What possessed him to use that word? Of all the words in Rekōdo's dictionaries... why pleasing? He pretended as if he did not say such an obtrusive word. Instead, he looked to Nalia. She winced, cringed almost when he touched her mind. She met his gaze, recovering from her blunder as sharply as he had his, but there was a wildness to her eyes. A defiance fostered by fear. Arion's eyes narrowed, though he was still looking at the subdued woman with her hand in the air. Nalia never showed fear. It was one of the things she prided herself on, that other Guild Masters respected her for, despite her murderous past. It was something, as a descendent of warriors, he admired. Something was not right, here. She would not let him see any fear she had of being without her powers. He heard the fizzing underneath her song. Like the white noise in televisions and radios when there was a magikal outage in the City. He took his mind away, but not before he heard a single, solitary note. The more he remained there, hovering just above the surface of her Soul Song, the more he felt her resist and pull inward. If she could have escaped this scene and retreated to Capios, Arion had the feeling she would have. He needed to focus. The woman before him...

"You are th' one tha' reached ou' t' me?" He knew this. Needed time to catch his breath and collect his thoughts. Across the wide street, the injured man began making sounds that made Arion's blood chill. He could feel one of the Songs he held disconnected from the woman before him edging forward. This one was softer, sweeter, gentle and soothing like a warm blanket. Harp and willow-string on a hand-carved guitar. Not like the chaos of the previous woman.

"You are responsible for this man's fate. 'is death is tied to your actions. Your's because you are th' mas'er of th' one called Tamarah Nex. Your inabili'y to control 'er lead to what 'as come to pass 'ere."

The men that tended to the injured man called Arion by his name. Nalia's eyes jetted to them as they knelt beside the injured man, offering what treatment they could. His wounds were far more extensive than their magik could heal. They said he was dying. They could not risk moving him back to Taroc. Nalia's face paled.

"If you cannot control th' bringer of chaos, I cannot allow th' one tha' asks for release to come forward. I cannot allow any more 'arm 'ere. My duty is to protec' Rekōdo. You 'ave no allegiance 'ere. Give me your oath tha' you can control wha's inside you."

Tigers
02-25-2012, 01:18 PM
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Kali

Kali remained tense, at the ready, every muscle within her prepared to attack and defend. Her wing partially obscured the sight of Nalia standing behind her, but she felt her hand upon her shoulder. She was fit and had remained so since in the care of Nalia. Kali was a far cry from the gaunt young girl they had rescued from the escape pod so many years ago. As a matter of fact, she was blossoming into a young and exotic looking woman who had already started to turn heads.

Usually very perceptive to the world around her, she was unaware of the beginnings of a new power she possessed, one that until mastered would place her in many interesting and dangerous circumstances. Her eyes remained locked on this Tamara when Arion interceded. She watched the transformation of the woman, with little more interest than making sure that she harmed no one else. It was the new interloper that caught her curiosity and her eye.

For a moment, Kali felt him looking at her and it momentarily distracted her. There was something different about this one, something that made Kali take notice in a way she never had before. It was a like a heady intoxication that muddled the mind and it was only the underlying feeling that seeped into her soul that snapped her out of this haze. It was fear. But that fear wasn’t coming from her, it was Nalia.

Kali may not have lived her entire life here, but in the years she had, she had never known Nalia to show fear. Instinctually her muscles tightened, Nalia would feel it beneath her delicate touch on Kali’s shoulder. No matter what had transpired between them or what emotions Kali locked up inside she would protect Nalia with her life. This was who she was.

A small glance at Arion was the only betrayal to the affect she had felt to the beginnings of her new powers as he paid compliment to Nalia about her. It was only a small glance; a brief moment such as the one Arion had had before she focused back on Tamara. This was turning out to be perhaps one of the most bizarre days she’d experienced in quite awhile.

SilntAngl5
02-25-2012, 04:38 PM
Siochana... in the Province of Shamaa

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Mindoka


Mindoka looks upon Alain's gentle expression and hopeful words with approval. His own features, often stern looking, deeply thoughtful and watchful, also softened. He reflected inwardly.

"The only thing that limits us" he said sagely to the still-younger Guild Master of Taroc "is ourselves."

He inhaled deeply, as if ready to rise form his kneeling position.

"I will leave you to your task. I must send word to Maidin of your peoples' coming."

Mindoka bowed again, fists firmly rooted on the floor, and head touching the wooden beams.

"Alain... We will speak again soon."

He rose form his bow, whispered the same words that began their conversation, and blew on the holographic image. The blue-tinted water blew apart, like the seeds of a dandelion flower, and disappeared. The pieces of the conversation were scattered across planes people on the planet of Emporium did not know to exist. It would be near-to-impossible to hunt the pieces down. When the beautiful blue flecks disappeared, Mindoka inhaled deeply and then looked at Branwen.

"These will be difficult times, Branwen" he said solemnly. "For a long time, the Spirits have told me that the lands were restless and agitated."

He seemed hinged on saying more, but fell into silence. He rose.

"Come."

As he rose, he went and began drawing back the curtains, to let the cool night air in. Waiting, on the ledge was a haze of ethereal energy. Mindoka bowed to it, regarding it with reverence. He motioned for Branwen to come forward.

"I trust her. Come see her heart for yourselves. Branwen will be helping me tonight. We have to send word to Maidin."

And from the ethereal mist that was before them, that coated the world around them in the precious minutes between dusk and dawn, beings took shape. Spirits of animals. Birds. Otter. Fish. Frog. Rabbit. Wild beast and boars. Horses from the Plains. So many Spirits. Miniatures of their forms all came forward. They bounded seamlessly, as if made of air. A quick spring to their jump as they alighted from Mindoka's outstretched hand, to his shoulder, his head, his arms and over to Branwen. They greeted her with the same enthusiasm as the Guild Master of which they've had such long standings. When they touched Branwen, she would feel an invisible rush of wind, a rush of earthen smell and the sound of water and feel of heat and fire. At their touch the elements echoed and their sounds, the trumpets and whinnies and thunders of their herd. The sound of the water and tree and grass and sky that was their home.

Mindoka watched his adept, his Second, as she experienced all these things possibly for the first time in such multitude.

Qwathings
02-26-2012, 11:34 AM
Alain LeCavalier

The hidden fortress of Alain...

Mindoka's image fades away. Alain waits a ponderous moment before closing the box that generated the image. He then glances down at the upturned divining card with the image of the smiling orange fool on its face. Someone must have done their research on Alain. Someone must be trying to manipulate him. Alain doesn't have much time to dread whatever machinations are being set against him before there is a knock at his office door on the far side of the chamber. Verona crosses the room and opens the door to see a guild messenger offering a letter. She accepts the paper and the messenger departs. Verona closes the door and turns to hold the letter up for Alain to see it. The page has been folded into the shape of a Phoenix, this is a message from Arion.

"Let's hope for some good news," Alain said as Verona unfolds the enchanted page and begins reading the brief message. As she reads through the page she approaches Alain's desk.

"It would seem that our young princess is in the realm of Dreams, being tested by the ancestral spirits. Arion suggests that we try looking for her 'guardian'," Verona reports as she glances up from the letter. "Arion has also found your midlife crisis," She continued.

"Nalia? Hmm," Alain is briefly lost in his own thoughts as he dwells on Nalia for a moment. He then realizes that Verona has again voiced her displeasure over Alain's relationship with Nalia by refering to her as his 'midlife crisis'. "I really wish you wouldn't call her that," he tells Verona with a brief glare and a tinge of genuine anger in his voice.

"A man your age carrying on a secret affair with a woman ten years younger than you? What should I call it?" Verona replies as she places Arion's letter on Alain's desk.

"Call her Nalia. Call our affair nothing, because it's a secret," Alain forcefully responds with a glare that tells Verona that he will not tolerate this discussion today of all days. She lets out a sigh and apologetically bows her head. It's rare that she can find a limit to what she can openly discuss with Alain, and so this sudden rage from him stings. Her silent apology calms Alain immediately. He leans back into his chair, calm and serene. He scratches at his chin with gloved fingers as he gives something a bit of thought. "I love her, Verona," is all he says before he rises from his chair. It's stated as a fact, something that can not be disproved or argued against. Verona didn't know he felt so strongly for Nalia. She has only ever heard him downplay the relationship in order to make it seem less like political suicide and more like a fling that shouldn't worry Verona. But if Alain does truly love Nalia... Verona isn't sure what this will mean.

Alain taps Arion's letter twice, causing the page to refold itself into the shape of a Phoenix, flap its wings and fly off of the desk. Once airborne the paper creature ignites into red flames and vanishes in a puff of smoke. He then begins striding across the office. Verona loyally follows right behind him with her pencil and paper in hand. As soon as he is outside of the office and marching down the hall it seems as if the conversation about Nalia has been forgotten and Alain's thoughts are only of guild business.

"Send out the call to the other guild masters. I want a meeting with them by the end of the hour. I also want three diviners sent to the High Chronicler's home. They must find all they can about him and his current whereabouts. Also bring back personal items that we can use for further divining and prophetic readings," Alain instructs Verona without pausing or slowing his stride through the halls of the ancient fortress. Verona continues writing and following the entire time. Occasionally she nods her head or voices an affirmative in response. Eventually they enter a large chamber filled with rows of dozens of glass display cases. Beneath the glass is displayed many relics from the Taroc Guild's history. Personal items from some of the more legendary Taroc guild leaders are kept here. Arion navigates his way through the rows of displayed items, searching each one for something very specific. Verona can only follow him and guess at what's he's doing. Eventually the guild master arrives at the right item, a solid brass cane with a single arcane rune imprinted on the head. Alain opens the display case and recovers the walking stick. Verona reads the biographical card that stood within the case. She reads that this was the cane of one of Alain's predecessors. The cane has many enchantments, most of which are still unknown. It is widely known that the cane granted the guild master the ability of teleportation.

"I'm going to go take care of something before the meeting. Send out the messages to the guild leaders, search the Chronicler's home... And I'll meet you at the penthouse when the meeting is over. That is unless I strangle Darmon for some stupidity. In which case I'll race you back to Taroc borders." The last instruction is given with a mischievous smirk and an amused twinkle in Alain's eyes, that tells Verona that he's most likely joking. She hopes he's joking.

"Good luck with the meeting and all of your future stranglings," Verona wishes Alain, while reaching out to straighten the collar of the mystical frock coat the man wears. She gives him a smile as he taps the brass cane onto the floor three times. A moment passes after the tapping, where both Alain and Verona wonder if something is wrong in this ancient walking stick. But their wondering is short lived as Alain blinks out of existence, leaving only a shimmering in the air where he once stood. Gradually the distorted shimmering fades and Verona is left all alone in the trophy room. She glances down at her pad of paper, sighs and marches out of the chamber to perform her duties.

Qwathings
02-26-2012, 07:58 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Province of Taroc... On the coast of the Ocean of Liaradon...

On the coast, sitting atop a cliff a hundred meters above the waters of Liaradon, stands an ancient keep. A tall structure of stone with walls hugged by a thick growth of moss and vines. No roads or trails lead to this place. No one ever visits it. To an observer it's just a relic of some forgotten era that time and nature have not yet worn down to a ruin. A shimmering of the air twists its way onto the roof of this tall forgotten structure. From this shimmering Alain appears on top of the moss covered keep. He steps onto the roof and is greeted by the roar of the distant surf and the smell of sea air. He takes a moment to look out over the ocean, admiring what little he can see under the moon and star light.

He does not take much time to admire the sea, because he has less than an hour before he has to meet with the council, and so his purpose for coming to this place must take priority. He reaches down and pulls at the vines covering the roof. With titanic strength he tears away at the vegetation until an iron trap door becomes visible. Alain crouches before this large hatch, while fishing a key hanging from a chain, out from beneath his shirt. The key is soon fit to the lock on the trap door. Within minutes the trap door is opened, due to some effort with even Alain's inhuman strength, and the guild master is descending down a ladder into the depths of the keep. He climbs down a narrow shaft, which is the only open space within this otherwise solid stone structure. The ladder takes Alain down below the keep and into a chamber carved within the cliff. Within the center of this large chamber is an object Alain has been told is called the Keystone.

The Keystone is a massive crystal cube. This cube is five meters in height and width. The surrounding stonework is intricately carved so that the weight of the keep above is perfectly balanced upon the cube. Should the Keystone ever break the entire keep above will collapse onto it, which will then cause the entire cliff to crumble and fall into the sea. Should the creature held within the Keystone ever try manage to escape, he will find himself under water buried beneath several hundred tons of stone.

It is the creature held within the Keystone that Alain now seeks as he gazes into the inky depths of the crystal. The mystical stones imbedded in the surrounding walls provide some light to see, but not enough to clearly view the shape within the cube. All Alain can see clearly is a pair of glowing red irises from the creature's horrible eyes.

"You are one of those province leaders? Taroc?" The voice of the creature vibrates out from the smooth surface of the Keystone.

"I am Alain LeCavalier, of the Taroc Guild..." Alain bravely states while standing tall to this creature's glowing eyes.

"How long has it been since one of you has come to visit me?"

"Three generations. At least." Alain's voice is a whisper as he tries not to think about this creature being all alone in this place for all of that time. The creature falls entirely silent. Any movement Alain could see within the cube now stops. The guild master squares his shoulders as he summons up the courage needed to continue speaking in a louder, bolder tone. "I am here because you are the only creature alive that knows about this-" Alain holds up the brass cane he recovered from the trophy room of his fortress. The creature's eyes narrow at the sight of the cane.

"Yes. I made that and loaned it to your predecessor in order to bolster his power in a time of great emergency. In those days they didn't see me as a monster. My skills were admired, not feared." The creature seems almost desperate to convince Alain that at some point he wasn't seen as a thing to be locked away.

"I'm aware of the stories. I'm one of the few that is. I need to know how to unlock the cane's full power."

"Ah. I see. Very well, young Mister LeCavalier... The stick is a conduit, designed to tap into the universal energies which permeates this cosmos. It was meant to be a component within my ship. It along with a dozen others like it would feed into a capacitor which would power the-"

"Creature! I am not here for a history lesson of the cane. Just tell me how do I access its full power," Alain shouts at the red eyes floating within the darkened depths of the cube.

"Your predecessor added the rune to the top. By inscribing a matching rune onto your skin your body will sync to the conduit and the universal energies it collects will flow into you," the creature reports in a defeated tone. Alain looks down at the rune carved into the head of the cane. He wishes the design of the rune were a bit more artistic, since he must now have it tattooed onto himself.

"Thank you." Alain then turns away and begins climbing back up the ladder.

"Wait. Please," the creature desperately calls out to Alain before he can ascend out of the chamber. Alain pauses and turns to glance back at the red eyes. "I have helped you without any attempted deception. Couldn't you show me some kindness in return. I know the people of your planet will never trust me, but maybe three generations without any contact is too cruel of a punishment. Whether it's you or one of your agents, could someone please come here and speak with me from time to time." Alain pauses for a minute as he ponders what the creature is begging for. He doesn't have the time to fully weigh the dangers any agreement will bring, but at the same time what the creature has said is true.

"I will return within a few days. We can discuss this matter then, creature."

"Thank you... And please, call me Qwaring."

Alain ascends back up the ladder until he is once more back on the roof of the keep. He closes and locks the trap door once again. Within moments the vines grow over the iron hatch. Alain gives one more glance out at the ocean, breaths in the sea air and taps the brass cane onto the floor three times. The air shimmers and Alain is teleported away.

Qwathings
02-27-2012, 09:25 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

The Roundabout is a large majestic hotel of dark marble architecture shaped into an art deco ideal of power and grace. In the early days of the Great War it was built to serve as the command center for Maginus' conflict and short-lived occupation of Taroc. Unfortunately for the brilliant and confident military minds that dwelled within this great structure, they had used captured Taroc architects and workers to build this headquarters, and the architects from Taroc had used their powers of foresight to secretly build a network of secret tunnels and passages throughout the headquarters. What had been intended as a symbol of infallible strength and superiority became a source of limitless strategic intelligence for Taroc spies and agents. An arrogance built from many early victories led to many horrible defeats during the second half of the Great War.

But that was an age ago. Taroc was reclaimed from occupation. The war ended. And this former symbol of Maginus strength has become a cultural and financial nerve center within the Taroc district of Rekōdo City. The wealthy merchants, influential politicians and prosperous citizen willing to pay a seasons worth of their earnings all come to stay at the Roundabout. From here they can travel around and experience the capital city and all of its exotic and exciting landmarks and adventures, while still finding the Taroc they know and love within these large marble walls. Merchants and politicians seeking to make bargains with representatives of other provinces know that within the Roundabout their every word and promise is secure from eavesdropping and tampering. It is from the Roundabout that the men and women of Taroc are able to securely make their fortune out in the world of Rekōdo.

Verona arrives in the hotel bar minutes after making final arrangements to transport the troops that were offered to the Shamaa. She also had to make sure more troops were ready to travel to the other provinces if Alain's offer to assist them is accepted. Once that task was completed, Verona caught the nearest portal to the Roundabout, left her grey jacket and matching umbrella at the coat check and is now sitting down on a leather stool at the hotel's bar. The bar and adjoining restaurant is abuzz with activity as Taroc merchants and tourists socialize and celebrate with local Rekōdo citizens or travelers from the other provinces. The amber lights of the bar and vast restaurant shines off of Verona's metallic silver hair as she glances around. Somewhere in the noise of the crowd the graceful playing of harp music teases the room.

"Is this stool taken?" a bald middle-aged man asks as he sits down beside Verona. His features are tanned and rough. His clothes are an assortment of battered dark blues and layers of antiquated military dress. If one is familiar with Great War history they would possibly recognize components of the man's wardrobe as remnants of a Maginus soldiers uniform. He doesn't look at Verona, and she doesn't look at him.

"Please, sit down, Mr. Fetch," Verona politely replies to the man before ordering a drink from the bartender. Mr. Fetch also orders a drink. Verona pulls a generous amount of Taroc currency from her purse and pays the bartender. The bartender slides over the drinks and gives Verona a knowing nod as he accepts the large sum of money. The air around Verona and Mr. Fetch hums for a second as the bartender activates a scrying blocking spell, which would make it difficult for their conversation to be heard by anyone other than the two of them.

"Thanks for the drink, Miss Aliester. I've been short on funds lately. The gambling halls haven't been kind to me for a while," Fetch admits while sampling his drink. His gaze remains away from Verona.

"Oh. How tragic. Almost as tragic as what happened to a 'friend' of mine," Verona coolly replies while placing a folded slip of paper onto the bar and sliding it over to Mr. Fetch. "He was assaulted."

"That's mighty sad." Fetch's tone is devoid of any genuine concern. He picks up the offered paper, unfolds it and reads it. When he reads the name of Charold of Maginus, a location, a time and a date he crumples up the paper in his hands and takes a gulp from his glass. "I hope your 'friend' wasn't killed. I don't see that ending well for anyone." Now Fetch sounds somewhat concerned.

"No. No. He was simply horribly injured. Possibly some broken bones in his hands in order to make any attempts to cast foolhardy spells very difficult for a few weeks," Verona continues coldly. She glances over her shoulder, as if checking on something, and then returns her attention to her glass. "He didn't know there would be consequences to his actions. I hope he'll learn that now."

"I'll tell you what, Miss Aliester... I'll pay your 'friend' a visit and make sure his horrible injuries and broken bones do indeed teach him this lesson." Fetch finishes off the remainder of his drink and tucks the partially crumpled paper into a pocket on the chest of his jacket, the opening of the pocket shimmers and vanishes.

"That's good news, Mr. Fetch. And I do believe that if you check your bank account tonight you will find your recent money troubles have vanished," Verona says before taking a sip of her own drink for the first time. Fetch looks at her for the first time since his arrival. He gives the silver haired woman a brief grin. He slides off of his stool, steps into the surrounding crowd and vanishes. As the scrying blocking spell hums and fades away Verona sighs and bows her head. Hiring mercenary thugs to do horrible things to others is one of the low points of this job. But Charold invaded Shamaa and almost killed Mindoka. After all Mindoka and Shamaa did to help the people of Taroc during the great war, helping to feed the starving people of Taroc while Maginus and Da'Jinn forces stole or set fire to Taroc's crops and food supplies... ensuring Charold pays for his crimes is the least Verona can do.

Verona slips off of her stool, leaving a generous sum of money as a tip for her bartender, and leaves the bar. She flows through the crowd, recovers her jacket and umbrella, and gracefully makes her way out into the main lobby of the hotel. She takes a moment to admire the luxurious cathedral-like ceilings of the lobby and the many animated stone gargoyles and grotesques that fly about to convey luggage or deliver room service or messages for the guests of the hotel. But she only allows herself a moment, since she is not here to drink in the awe inspiring beauty of this place. She instead makes her way to the nearest elevator. She enters, waits for the door to seal behind her and pulls a copper coin out from her purse. The face of the coin bears the emblem of Taroc. She presses the face of the coin against the control panel for the elevator and a new button manifests above all of the other floor buttons. Verona presses this newly revealed button and her elevator ascends up to Alain's personal penthouse suite at the very top of the Roundabout hotel.

Jason Sanborn
02-28-2012, 11:38 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146&thumb=1
Tamarah

Tamarah looked at the man holding the sword and remained on her knees. "Yes, you are correct, that man's life is in my hands." She stood to her feet, afraid, but not showing that fear. That man could cut her down. It wouldn't kill her, of course, but it still wouldn't be any less pleasant for her. "I'm probably his only hope." Her necklace began to glow as she started to draw out Tamarah-Sela. "Let me help him, before it's too late."

SilntAngl5
03-02-2012, 08:50 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h480/xalidus/Arion.jpg 1267
Arion and Nalia


A gem that was around the woman's neck was glowing, humming with magik and power. A Totem? Again Arion's red eyes shifted to Nalia, who was the keeper of all Magikal Artifacts in Rekōdo. She and the Dragons to the North who held vast ancient treasures from the Forgotten Ages before Rekōdo ever was. He could feel the pressure from the softer Song within the girl. one of a few fragments of who she was. Not the Princess. Not enough Songs.

The woman stood. Arion was nearly double her height. He regarded her for a moment, weighing her, gauging her fearlessness. The warrior in him admired that in a woman. An ancient Tuah tradition. The women there, the overwhelming population of women there...

Why was his mind shifting so dramatically? He had to focus. Arion lowered his sword. He made a sound in his throat, like a sparrow or lark and the men that were with the man looked up.

"Le' 'er 'elp th' man" he said briskly in a heavily accented voice. And Tamarah would feel a sudden blanket lifted from her Soul. Like a heavy weight lifted, a curtain drawn back to let sunlight in, the sun rising over a bleak, lightless horizon after months of darkness. Arion had released her, all aspects of her to her own freedom. He did not sheath his sword, and she would feel the hint of his presence upon her like a beacon. Waiting, in case needed. He regarded the woman again, feeling the surge in power as the next Soul Song rose form within her.

"Go" he authorized and nodded his head in the direction of the dying man. He watched her go, watched her change and frowned. He would need to report this to Alain. All of this. And with that thought he turned to the Guild Master of Enchantry and her protege. The one he'd said was pleasing.

"You should not be 'ere, 'igh Councilor" he said quietly with scarce moving lips. He spoke to her formally, very formally. She was calm again, collected and cool. With Arion's focus fully on the woman, Nalia had been able to school herself to calm once more. Her heart still raced and it took every effort to keep her chest's rise and fall to match the beat of her palpitating heart. It made her dizzy. But not diluted. Kali's wings shielded her enough so that, when Arion addressed her, she was able to remove her hand from her Second's back without being seen.

"I go where I am needed" was her reply.

"Needed or sent?" It was a dangerous counter. He saw the depth of it flicker across her green eyes, as if they had their own shadows. "What interest does Darmon of Maginus have here?"

"I do not represent Darmon's interests."

Her tone was harsh, bitterly cold. It was no secret that she and Darmon were bonded only by the soil their two Guild's shared. That and the darkness within the both of them.

"Is she the Princess, Arion bar Sohil?" A completely different tone. Not as cold but pointedly direct. It caught him off guard. But...

"No" he said, with an exhale that betrayed his own frustrations. "She is not."

And he shifted his crimson gaze to Kali. The ancient tribal women of Tuah used to decorate themselves during the mating seasons. Some as birds, with beautifully women feathers in their hair and painted spots on their skin. They would run through the forests of the Tiarna Wood, dashing between sun rays that shone through the dense canopy of trees. Arion found himself reaching out, delicately, to brush the girl's consciousness. To brush his Soul Song against hers. It was an inwardly intimate move and he was inexplicably stirred by her presence, so close to him.

"The Guild Master of Taroc searches for her as well then?"

Arion inhaled sharply, pulling back rapidly from the mental brush he'd given Kali. He realized he still had his sword out and was careful to be calm and steady as he sheathed it across his back. He did not return it to its musical form. He saw a fine eyebrow arch from beneath Nalia's hood, as if she thought he'd admitted she stumbled upon something that should not have been known.

"They all search" he said gruffly. Arion was ready for this encounter to end. Too many odd circumstances conjoining. There was still something about everything there that did not seem right. Something was not adding up. Something was not supposed to be a part of these events.

"They all search, but not for the same thing."

Arion's red eyes snapped back from watching Tamarah-Sela, back to Nalia. And he saw her flinch. Almost. A half wince. A slight shift away from his eyes. Arion's red eyes narrowed. She was hiding something.

"You should no' be 'ere" he said again, curtly. "An' I say tha' out of no concern for you. Your being 'ere is dangerous, to all th' Guil' Mas'ers."

He saw her bristle.

"You overstep, Second of Taroc."

"Do I?" he questioned quietly and stepped boldly toward her. He towered over she and Kali like many people of Rekōdo. His red eyes, even in the shadow his own height created as he stepped closer, glowed a faint crimson. Just as before he brushed both their minds so that me might speak to them harshly without it being overheard by the others. This time, though, Arion was not so gentle with Nalia's mind. He made a point of sending his thoughts to her with a bit more force than the last courteous, cautious brush.

~I overstep no'thing when i' endangers my Mas'er and my province. If y' were detected by any mediums or anyone wi' the intention of doing 'arm to any o' the provinces, even blighted Maginus, then ev'rything th' Council 'as worked 'ard to protect would be wasted.~

And, to his surprise, Nalia recoiled. She did not cool or bristle or shut her mind to him as he'd predicted. She took a physical step back, back by Kali. The whole motion for Arion's eyes was slow. The way her cloak fluttered across her body, as if to shield her. The way her green eyes shone beneath her hood, wide... afraid. In all his years as Alain's Second, it was always said that Nalia Al'Vatar never showed fear.

And then he realized why. He heard it. Again the distant cacophony of Nightmares that marred the beautiful sorrow of her Soul Song was a single note. Pure. Beautiful. The perfect chime. A note or two that as the simplicity of life at its beginning. It was a Song, a sound, soft like hers, but powerful. And Nalia saw it in his eyes, that he'd heard it. He knew now why she showed fear, why she shirked away. Why she searched for the Princess. It wasn't Darmon. She hated Darmon as much as he hated everything that was not himself. She searched so that she would have the power to protect and truly hide.

Powerful. The notes were powerful and without ever wanting to, without the want to know, the knowledge of just whose powerful notes it was that completed the other half of the new life that a Guild Master hid from the Rekōdo. It was a curse, his gift, as much as it was that. He often saw in people the life-changing events they did not want the world around them to know. The good and the bad. The conquests and the mistakes. Arion could not hide that he knew. His red eyes were wide and, despite himself, he had to flex the lengthy hands at his sides to keep them from trembling.

And she stared up at him. With her wide, emerald eyes she stared up at him with fear. The only thing that such a cold, murdering creature could fear for was the life she was fated to harbor.

In the gaping silence that followed, he only said ~You 'ave to tell Alain.~

He said it to her privately, not to protect her reputation which was already decimated beyond hope of salvation, but to protect his Master. And then, defeated for so many reasons this night, Arion walked away to stand a distance away from everyone, everything that was happening behind him. And Nalia... Nalia found herself stepping back and into Kali, reaching out for her with a hand to steady herself.

SilntAngl5
03-03-2012, 11:48 AM
In the World of Dreams: Rekōdo City (The Central Library) and then Felicity Poahr's Apartment

1270
Emit and Pasce
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The waking world came back to Emit in a rush. A rush of suddenness and a deep inhalation of cool night air. He sat up quickly, breathing hard and tried desperately to fight off the effects of waking from something so deep so suddenly. The haphazard apartment was bathed in darkness, but light flooded in from the curtained window. The light of a busy, never sleeping world that did not know what danger it was in.

She had asked him to kidnap the Guild Masters of Rekōdo.

He had been stunned into silence. He stared at her with his mouth open, entirely inappropriate given who she was. She did not chastise. She was intelligent, however young, and knew the gravity of what she'd asked of him. She had asked the impossible. She asked for his death. The Princes looked sad, regretful that she asked it of him, but only in her eyes and in the thin frown of her mouth. The rest of her stood serenely. It had to be something she was trained to do.

"Why?"

If he was going to do this, to protect her and do this as was demanded, despite the consequence to himself, he would need a reason. He saw her face change, not in a good way.

"Because" and she paused. "There is something that our people need to know. They must know the truth, Emit."

She hadn't told him. She hadn't explained to him why she sought the Book of Memories. He did not ask. He had a feeling the answer would be cryptic, as everything she told him had been.

"What is the truth?"

She did not answer. It angered him. It was clearly so in his blue-grey eyes.

"You ask me to go to my death for a truth I have no knowledge of. Am I not owed more?"

"No."

"No?" He sounded angry now. Emit refused to be a pawn.

"I do not know it" she spoke it plainly, as if such a thing were trivial and inconsequential. "I see the Book to confirm what it is I do know. I cannot act until I am sure I am right."

"And you expect me to kidnap the Five Great powers of Rekōdo on that?"

"On faith, Emit Shornoc. I am Rekōdo's Heir. Please do not make me command it of you. You pledged your aid to me when I asked it of you."

"Because of your 5th Oath, I am obliged."

Bitterness. She did not want that.

"Anyone can overcome that Oath if their will is great enough. It is a foolish Oath."

He regarded her then, defaming the Oath that swore her protection against intended harm.

"Some are not fit to rule and they should not be protected, and should removed before they cause harm. I expect that for myself if I am unworthy of what I have inherited."

Emit felt the boil in his blood begin to cool. He still breathed rapidly, but he was beginning to understand that all of this was beyond him and even, beyond her. What scope of thing could go beyond the Ruler of Rekōdo, with all the powers of the Provinces at her whim? He suddenly felt overwhelmed by regret for his tone and words, and an ache in his heart for her. She was so young, still a girl despite how she carried herself. Slowly, he took a knee before her.

"I will do as you ask of me, for Rekōdo."

And he saw relief wash over her. The regality melted away some and left a young girl, tired in its wake. Could a Soul get tired even if the body slept? But the fatigue, however heavy it weighted her down, was suddenly gone.

"I am glad" she whispered regretfully "because we have run out of time. "

He looked up at her suddenly. The Guardian's moved, shifted their weight uncertainly. Something was happening. The Library creaked from the damage stress. Small flakes of the ceiling rained down from above. She suddenly looked worried but it was not at the ceiling.

"Emit" she began "When you awake-"

He never heard her the rest.

The brightness of the window came into focus and it illumined the rest of the room. He realized that he was alone. The alarm of it made him jump up. And before he could call out to Felicity, to see if she'd made it to the Hopper so she could escape, it hit him. The weight of tons of magikal suppression struck him like a mallet to his core. It doubled him over and then crushed him down to the floor. A torrent of wind,hot and sandy filled the room. It was stifling and he could not breathe. The weight of the magik that pinned him down was overbearing and he yelled out against it. He yelled at Felicity, to run, take the Princess and run. But his voice was silenced. There was no sound except the rushing in his ears as all the clutter in the room was spun and thrown into the sandstorm around him. Emit pushed himself up on his hands and knees and struggled against the weight of the air that seemed to want nothing more than to crush him into the floor. And then he saw people walk through the sand as if it were no more than a thin-papered silk screen. They were elaborate men, in lacquered turbans of green and orange gold. The tails of the turbans wrapped their faces against the sand so that only eyes were visible. Pants and cloaks billowed and jeweled belts held swords in jeweled scabbards at the waist. Curved shoes, made easy for parting the thick sands of the desert solidified the strong figured before him who were bare-chested beneath their cloaks with nothing but sashes of rank to distinguish them.

Some of them had golden clasps about their wrists and ankles and their skin was tinted, like red stone. Emit's blue-grey eyes widened. The Fifth Oath guided him and adrenaline fueled him.

"NO!" he yelled against the vortex of sands. They roared louder in response to the power channeled by the men who brought their Jinn and Efreets. The Spirits of air and fire added to their power and together the half dozen men were able to subdue him. but not without a fight. Emit yelled in rage, and his blue-gray eyes lit up with the soft blue of magikal energy that bathed Emporium. Through the shirt and half-cape that he wore strewn over his shoulders the magikal rune on his back glowed. The deep blue ink reverberated his with power as he fought back against the crushing weight that tried to pin him to the floor. The hum of the battle filled the vortex of sand, mixing with the rushing sound until it created deafness. Nothing could be heard, but the fight on the High Chronicler's face could be seen as more and more of the Da'Jinn magik was poured on top of him. Slowly, his knees began to buckle and his elbows could not support the weight of the magik he exerted outward and the pressure of the magiks bearing down on him. The room spun and the thickness of the air pressure became so great that he screamed silently into the void that trapped him. Before darkness came rushing at him, he wondered what would become of the Princess and the mechanic. The worry for them was the last thing he felt as the weight of the magik crushed his consciousness in on itself. He passed out and the magik of the Da'Jinn and their Spirits suppressed all the great magik he wielded inward. If Emit were awake, he would feel the hint of horror of what it was like to be Quieted. To have your magik gone, though his was not torn away from the Soul as was done in the punishment of Quieting. He would still be able to see it, taste it, but not touch it. When Quieted, a man was left with nothing.

The task done, the men stood above the fallen man who was crumpled on the floor. Wind rushed his blond, wispy hair across his face. He looked a if he did no more than sleep. Secured, it was then that a portal of sandstone parted the vortex and opened. The sands whirled around it, as if blocked by its presence. Through the doorway came a very large man. He was dressed as the Soldiers of Sand were with a massive shawl across his very muscled chest. Green inlaid with gold and orange in stripes within and out to signify how important he was. He wore an embroidered key, as did all Da'Jinn, upon his cloak and sash. But the head of the key was inlaid with a portal and inside the portal was the sun and moon, combined into one being. Behind him stepped a women whose face was guarded by a niqab from the sand. The sensuous curves of her tones body were not lost among the reveals of her clothes beneath her elaborate cloak. Embroidered to match the elaborate key on the shawl of the man before her.

"It is completed?" asked the woman who was Jinai, The Mistress of Fortunes and Fate and the Guild Master of the Da'Jinn.

"He is under control" was the reply given from the man who was Majed ibn Eyad, the Second to Jinai of the Da'Jinn. Her Amulet of Strength. The other men took a knee before Jinai and bowed with an elaborate flourish of the hand. The Efreet and Jinn did not. They never did. Not one of the men spoke because they were not the ones being addressed. Majed was Second Commander of all Genies and Efreet and men of the Soldiers of Sand. She was the First. He communed with them and the information they gave he spoke to his Mistress. They were not worthy of being able to speak to her.

"And what of the girls?" she inclined. Her dark, almost black eyes assessed the tall, fair-haired figure of the High Chronicler with a hint of admiration for what she saw. An almost youthful inclination toward his boyishly handsome features. No one seemed incline to notice that, or look directly at her eyes. Only Majed looked at his Mistress.

"They are as well detained. Much more simply than the Chronicler. The Princess slumbers and the dirty girl scratched and bit." A smirk then, and a smile from Jinai, thoughtful and amused by all of this.

"Bring them" she said in an exotically accented eastern voice that was clearly superior to all present. "We go to Mararat."

She walked back through the portal and Majed followed at her back. Emit was picked up and dragged through the large sandstone doorway by the Efreet and Jinn Spirits with the clasps of servitude about their wrists. When through the portal, the sand rushed inward to consume itself. Unless someone had powerful magikal forensics, they would not be able to find a grain of sand in the apartment amongst the clutter. The presence of the magikal battle was snuffed from the air and, unless one knew how to look, all traces of the High Chronicler of Magik, the mechanic and the Princess disappeared here.

Tigers
03-03-2012, 12:56 PM
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Kali


Fear. The feeling emanated from Nalia straight into Kali’s soul. She’d not lived in Rekōdo long enough to really know the stories of Nalia, not that someone like Kali would even care. But from personal experience the last few years as her student, she’d never felt this emotion from the Guild leader at all. Perhaps that’s why it was more instinctual for Kali to be more protective, to momentarily forget the hurt that she felt inside. She did not move a muscle, but she was ready to move at any given moment to protect her mentor. Kali did not fear death; her fear was rejection, one she’d tried to hide from everyone that had ever come into her life.

Her eyes watched everyone around her like a bird of prey ready to strike at the slightest movement she deemed threatening. She paid little attention to the physical change that this Tamara made, concerned more with her actions and what move she would make next. But Kali felt inexplicably drawn to Arion, her eyes would drift to the very tall second of Taroc. This was their first meeting; Kali couldn’t recall ever having met him before. His striking appearance and stature alone would have made her remember him if she had.

He moved toward them, addressed them both quietly and Kali felt Nalia’s hand quietly leave her shoulder. The young woman made no indication that Nalia had touched her at all as her wings did not relax even after her mentor’s hand was removed. The exchange of words was lost upon her as Kali felt an intoxicating pull toward Arion. Was it curiosity that made her feel so out of touch with herself suddenly and that of her surroundings?

That’s when she felt it, his mind touching hers like a soft caress of a hand against a cheek. Kali’s heart suddenly jumped within her chest. It wasn’t fear, it was something more. It was like a pull, a tug, a need to pursue this new feeling that held her captive. But as quickly as it had begun, Arion withdrew and it only made Kali want to pursue. She was not aware of his ability to read one’s soul song and hers suddenly picked up a new melody at this strange new feeling.

It was the sudden change in the atmosphere between Arion and Nalia that dampened this new song, this strange new feeling and Kali suddenly found herself back in a protective mode. It was the resurgence of Nalia’s fear that elicited the slight change of Kali’s appearance. Fire danced like brimstone in her eyes and she could feel the beginnings of flesh separating as horns began to push their way through her skull. There was a moment of pain more than usual as this happened and it reflected briefly within her eyes. Apparently, her body was still dealing with Nalia’s use of light to drive away the shadows of darkness.

Not every word that was exchanged was intended for Kali’s ears, but she had become adept in reading other things about a person. The way they moved, a slight change in scent, behavior or mood were all tell tale signs for her. It did not mean she never made mistakes in her interpretation, but she learned for her own safety to be more accurate than most. Often times it had saved her from a beating with the whip. As bad as things might get here, she would never trade it to return to life as a slave.

The fire in Kali’s eyes dulled as it became apparent that the conversation had lightened. Her mind speculated on what that cause had been. Whatever the reason, it had not lessened the fear from Nalia she felt. What had changed today that made Nalia so afraid? The real answer would surprise Kali; she would have picked the things in the darkness over Nalia’s true cause. The fire did not totally leave her eyes, but the horns receded as the conversation lightened. She casually looked over at the other woman before her eyes returned to Arion. A brief look of pain again as the horns retreated back to where they had come.

Kali was ready for this strange day to end. She did not feel herself and she would guess that Nalia felt the same. She hoped that they did not have to report back to Darmon, she’d had her fill of the ancient relic for one day.

Qwaring's clone#1
03-03-2012, 08:08 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

The penthouse suite is practically a world all its own. Much like the rest of this majestic hotel, it is an art deco masterpiece clothed in dark marble. The space Verona enters into, upon exiting the elevator, is part luxerious palace, part political offices, part hidden sanctuary and somewhere in the mix is room enough for Alain and several guests to live comfortably.

Tonight the penthouse is alive with activity, as Alain's trusted oracles, military captains and agents have turned this place into their headquarters for their search for the lost princess of Rekōdo. From here plans can be made and information can be gathered and processed. From this place Verona will see to it that the agents of Taroc are focused on their tasks and are making progress in their search.

Verona makes her way through the crowd of squad leaders, diviners and local agents. She sits down at the grand dining table, which can seat a few dozen guests, but is now covered with maps, intelligence reports and objects used to divine information and read the future. The table lies beneath a half-dome of windows that overlooks the cityscape at the heart of Rekōdo. Verona denies herself a glance at the breathtaking view of the city at night, and instead focuses all of her attention at the numerous reports waiting for her reading and the half dozen military agents that are gathering around her seeking to tell her of the activities of the men and women under their direct command or to gain new orders from her.

"Gentlemen, please. Unless you are reporting progress in our search, you can submit your report in writing," she commands the gathered agents while holding up a hand to halt their speaking. "Starting now we will be expanding our search to include the High Chronicler. I have diviners searching his home right now. If they can not find anything they will bring back an assortment of personal items to be divided among each squads own divining agent." Her instructions receive many nodding heads and murmured approval from those gathered around her. "Now, if you'll excuse me, I need to read through these reports." The gathered agents disperse to disseminate Verona's instructions to their subordinates.

"She's here," announces a young teenaged girl with short, wavy brown hair as she points to the province of Da'Jinn on one of the maps lying on the table. The teen wears a maroon colored silk dress with a line of glowing gold runes of nonsense running down her too long sleeves, as has become the latest fashion in the night clubs of Clow. Her eyes sparkle mischievously and a small grin awaits Verona's reply.

Verona doesn't bother looking up from her reports, or give any sign of noticing the teen's sudden arrival. "Do you really see that, Berlix, or is this another one of your childish games?" Verona's tone is both wary and disinterested. "I think even Arion has grown tired of your lies and wild goose chases by now."

Tigers
03-04-2012, 01:15 PM
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Branwen


Branwen sat quietly while Mindoka and Alain spoke. The gravity of their words did not escape the young woman. A nagging feeling brushed the inner parts of her thoughts; she was forgetting something important but what? It wasn’t easily dismissed as her mind ran through her duties and responsibilities, but each time she drew a blank. Maybe it was just a bit of nerves at the impending danger they may all be facing.

She remained silent as Mindoka spoke of the difficult times ahead, there was no need to comment on issues that her master already knew, but the gravity of his words reflected in her eyes. She had felt it; the more they had trained her in her gifts the more Mindoka’s words rang true. But beneath the truth of his words a look of steel steadied them; she would do what was needed of her to prepare their people if the worst came to pass. Obediently, she rose and followed her master, her mentor.

She had a deep respect for him, this man who for most of her time here with the Shamaa had been like a father to her. But today, she saw a man whose concerns for his people and the people of Redoko weighed heavy on his mind and in his heart. There was a part of Branwen that wanted to lift that burden for him, to make it lighter. And these thoughts were not as a child wishing to help a father, but as a young woman coming of age, a young woman by all rights who had always been more mature.

Branwen could not help but smile as Mindoka greeted the ethereal mist. As his second she had seen these ghostly souls of the animals and elements of the planet on many occasions. At her masters bidding, she stepped forward to allow the mist to envelop her. She had a strong connection to the beasts of this world and beyond as well as an attunement to the earth, more specifically to the element of water.

And it reflected in her eyes as a bright and brilliant hue of blue seemed to emendate from beyond the iris as the animals surrounded her. Branwen inhaled as if breathing for the first time. Her connection seemed more complete, her attunement to the earth and all living things that much stronger. Every whisper of the wind, touch of the sun, and every call of every creature beat as one solid heart beat, the heart of Redoko. There was tranquility, a peace beyond measure.

She looked upon her master with joy that was almost as bright as the blue that emanated from her eyes. It was a precious gift to share with her, an intimate thing and she was honored. She was ready for whatever he asked of her, she would always give her heart and soul, it was who she was.

Jason Sanborn
03-06-2012, 10:49 AM
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Tamarah-Sela

Tamarah's form changed again. Her hair shifted from the orange color to golden blonde, and white wings emerged from her back. Her clothing also changed to a flowing white dress. Her new appearance was almost angelic in appearance, in a striking contrast to that of Tamarah-Nex a few moments before. When Arion dismissed her to see to the wounded man, she simply nodded and walked over to the man.

"Be still," she said calmly to the terrified and dying man. "I am here to help you."

She knelt down beside him and placed her hands upon his chest. She could see the wounds through his body, even those that weren't visible to the naked eye. Her blue eyes looked up and down his body as her hands began to glow with a pale yellow color. The wounds on his body began to close and the blood stopped flowing. She looked at the others next to him. "He will survive. He was wounded severely, and it will take a couple hours for the wounds to heal completely. Make sure he gets plenty of rest and liquids to aid in his recovery."

She stood back up and walked back to Arion, Nalia and Kali. "I deeply apologize for the actions of Tamarah-Nex. My name is Tamarah-Sela, one of three aspects of Tamarah."

SilntAngl5
03-06-2012, 10:07 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

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Arion and Nalia


From the short distance he'd given himself from Nalia and Kali, Arion watched Tamarah Sela work. His mind remained fractured, half listening to her Song as she healed and half listening to Nalia and Kali's. He wanted to make sure he'd heard right, even as he noted the fluctuations in Tamarah-Sela's Song as she utilized her powers, he listened to Nalia's Song again. And the Song of the new life within her. Hers and Alain's.

How on Emporium did that ever happen? Did she seduce him? Was she a conquest for his Master? How...? Arion shoved the thought from his mind. It was not his business. Not his concern. What they'd done was forbidden and he would support Alain through whatever trials happened. For the sake of Taroc, that he loved and for the sake of Rekōdo, his home. Arion focused on Tamarah-Sela. Her golden hair, the wings... It reminded him of something. An old, old story. At the same time, Nalia, who still remained close to Kali was looking at Tamarah-Sela and having similar thoughts. Similar but thoughts that turned down a different path.

The golden hair, the white she wore, it reminded Nalia of her mother. And it made Nalia, who had killed her mother when she was eight years old, want to be sick.

"We need to leave" she whispered to Kali as she watched Tamarah-Sela with a voice that was barely audible. Her mother was a healer in Astral, in Dayena. The dying man knew grace when he saw it and he did not struggle against Tamarah-Sela's help. The disguised men of Taroc that had come with Arion assisted in whatever means they could, offering some of their power to Tamarah's own, but the Taroc were not known healers. Astrals, who knew the body better than any, were the master healers. They were the masters of many other things concerning the body. Both Arion and Nalia overheard when Tamarah-Sela said to the men beside her. As she stood, they had already conjured a magik board for triage and injury purposes. The man was secured and tao of the men left to transport him to a safe house for healing within the Taroc-friendly portion of Rekōdo City. One of the men by the triage board jogged over and spoke quietly to Arion. The tall Second bowed himself so that he could listen, though his hearing was keen and he would have heard the man anyway. He nodded and spoke softly back. The man was cleared to send Verona a report on the current situation so that she might give it to Alain if she felt it necessary. He did not tell the man about what he'd heard.

The four of them, Arion, Nalia, Kali and Tamarah-Sela formed a lop-sided triangle. Tamarah was at its peak, Arion one corner and Nalia and Kali in the other corner.

"Welcome to Rekōdo" he said belatedly, now that things were in order. He could hear the harmony's of the three Songs within Tamarah. Their harmony and discord. Arion continued.

"Thank you for 'ealing that man. 'e will be well cared for until 'e is well again."

He still hadn't changed his guritar back to its more non-threatening form. It was secured across his back, adding a new dimension to his too-tall, lithe stature.

"'owever... Usin' magik to 'arm another breaks one of th' five main magikal laws of Rekōdo. Th' punishmen' for i' is based on th' severi'y of injury done."

Arion gestured to the hooded Nalia, who stood quietly beside her unproclaimed Second. The fear was hidden again, masked by the straight, if not stiff, way she held herself. As if she were trying to be the tallest person in the triangle.

"If there is no protes' from the 'igh Councilwoman of Enchantry, I would like t' bring you into protective custody of Taroc. If we remove you from th'' detection of th' Rekōdo Guard until this blows over, i' may save you a grea' deal of hardship."

He paused a moment to let her consider his words.

"If there are no objections from Enchan'ry."

"I have none" she said soundly, falling back into her role as leader of a great many people. She chose not to elaborate or make further comment. Arion curled his long fingers back into his spacious palm.

"If you choose to accompany me, I will take you t' Verona. She is th' personal Assistan' to Alain, 'igh Councilman of Taroc an' will wan' t' know wha' 'appened 'ere. You would be free t' go whenever you wish. If you refuse, I cannot protec' you ou'side of Taroc space. Please consider this as an option."

Jason Sanborn
03-09-2012, 09:56 AM
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Tamarah-Sela

Tamarah-Sela folded her wings behind her and nodded her head. "In the interest of peace, I shall accompany you. It would not be possible to detain me any other way, so I shall cooperate."

Her words were simply a matter of fact. She spoke with a calm peacefulness, which seemed to be enhanced by her presence. She looked at Nalia and Kali. Something had changed in Nalia's demeanor, but she didn't know what it was. She decided it would be best to let the two women go their own way. She looked back at Arion. "I am ready to be on my way, when you are."

SilntAngl5
03-10-2012, 02:53 PM
Just South of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

Charold of Maginus


Thankfully, Charold did not get to see the notes written down on the Clone's forearm or he might have killed him on the spot. Some of the men tried to read what the supposed Princess wrote, but it was either too dark under the light of the moon, or they could not read the Clone's writing. It would not have boded well for the Clone if any of them could.

Their small band had passed the sparkling beauty of the lake, not stopping to water the horses as was originally planned. The orange Princess's excitement at seeing the vast nighttime beauty of the lake had been alarming. Charold opted against going to the lake in fear of whatever unpredictability on the Princess's part would delay them further and before long, Rekōdo City, in all its bright glory, was before them. The hum of The City, and its magik could be felt as they drew nearer.


"This is close enough" he said with finality. Still several miles before him, and it would be noted by his men that he took pause to look for longer than was necessary, were the walls of the great city, layers of walls for every decade and century of expansion. The massive doors to the gates, or water canals, that interrupted the walls were always open. When one passed through the gates, each clearly labeled with the Province you would be entering to or leaving from- with stone and banners of color to mark in case one could not read- their magikal signature was registered within the Great Palace as well as in a never-ending book within the Central City Library. The Book of Attendance, it was called. There were several gates along the borders of each Province. In the distance, they could see large, well-guarded canal that ran into and beneath the wall and one of the Shamaa gates, farther to its west along the wall. But, as formidable and strong as the walls of
Rekōdo City were, the there were two things that dominated the massive skyline. One was the massive, shining blue dome of the Central City Library. And directly behind it and a little above it was the Great Palace of Rekōdo. Home to the Princes and Princesses and the High Councilmen in their Chambers. It was sculpted similar to something out of a fairytale, with buttresses and towers., eight towers total. One, in the center and heart had scrawled upon it a dragon, crawling up the spire of the tower. With it were faeries, unicorns, mermaids, spirits, centaurs and at the top a pegasus, all were carved creatures in tribute to powers far older than man.

Then were the towers of the Provinces. Five with fires alight at their peak, fires that could be seen for miles. The Tower of Taroc, The Blessed flickered with fires of red and gold. Atop the Tower of Shamaa, The Earthen, were fires of blue and brown and for Astral, The Exotic, were bright, clashing fires of yellow and purple. For the Tower of Da'Jinn, The Fateful, the billowed fires of orange and green and lastly, the Tower od Maginus, The Almighty, ippled its dark flames of black and the darkest blue. Theirs were the darkest colors in Rekōdo. There were two towers that were silent and faceless. There were no carvings to announce their Province's name. No smoke to signal fires once vivid long gone out. Their faces were destroyed and no names were left to be read on the walls of the tower. It was written that those two towers stood for the Forgotten War and the Great War, as a reminder of what destruction did to even the most powerful. It was rumored that, prior to the death of the last Great Prince of Rekōdo, the current heirs' father, there had been talk of making one of those towers bear fire of green and black, for the recently founded Guild of Enchantry as its own separate entity. Since the passing of the last Prince, it had faded into being simply rumor.

"Open a portal to the Great Hold" he said not to his men, but to the orange Princess. His men looked momentarily stunned. "All our magikal traces are known. If we pass through the gates, they will be registered. She can take us past without being detected. We only needed to be close enough to the hum of Rekōdo that our magikal presence might be dwarfed enough to travel directly."

Charold spurred his horse and it side-stepped closer to the glowing, orange being's ride. His brown eyes were dark, dangerous. He'd had a long ride to think this through. It seemed, horribly, like their best and quickest option to get to Darmon and explain before things for him went terribly wrong.

"Bring us to Maginus, Highness."

Qwaring's clone#1
03-14-2012, 09:06 PM
George J. Cloney, aka The Princess

Just South of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

When Charold commands the group to halt on the outskirts of Rekōdo, Cloney decides to turn around and look at where they have been traveling towards. The orange clone has been sitting backwards on his horse this entire time, and blissfully unaware of what they have been approaching. He now sits with his legs hanging off of one side of the horse as he gazes up and around at the spectacular vision of magic and miracles that is Rekōdo city. The clone lets out an impressed whistle at the dazzling lights and majestic towers.

Then Charold asks to be transported to Maginus, while offering an explanation why the clone is needed as transport. This pries Cloney's attention away from the cityscape shining before them and makes him glance towards Charold.

"Open a portal?" the clone asks with a raised eyebrow. He's not sure what's being asked of him. "Bring you to Maggimouse High?" he asks, still not sure what Charold expects, but he suspects it has something to do with a local high school. Cloney shrugs his shoulders, deciding that if he's being asked to do something he should be able to do that something without having to know what it is. He peels off his burnt tuxedo jacket, which crumbles to ash. He pulls a tiny plastic compass, which was earned from the bottom of a Cracker Jack box, out from his pocket and studies it for a moment. After realizing the needle broke off of the compass ages ago, thus rendering the toy more useless than it was intended to be, he tosses it away. He wets the tip of his index finger in his mouth and holds the digit up high to feel the direction of the winds. After a moment of wondering why his finger tasted like burnt tuxedo and olives, Cloney forgets why he's holding his finger up into the air. The orange man looks up at the finger as if silently asking it why it's pointing straight up. His arm eventually gets tired and so he lowers his arm and brings his finger pointed into a randomly chosen direction.

"There. Magnesnus High is that-a-way!" Cloney proudly announces as he points into the direction that would take them deeper into Shamaa territory. He gives Charold an excited grin and a supportive thumbs up.

Qwaring's clone#1
03-14-2012, 10:09 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Berlix replies to Verona with rolled eyes and an insulted sigh. The young girl plants her slender frame onto a chair beside where Verona sits at the large banquet table. Verona simply focuses on her writing, as if not giving this fifteen year old girl any more attention than is absolutely necessary.

"I saw that Alain needs my help. I'm trying to help," Berlix challenges back at Verona.

"Help? Oh. I see." Verona's tone mocks the idea of accepting the girl's words at face value. "Help, just like you helped guide Alain to a lair of dangerous necromancers, which turned out to be a harmless convent. Or how you helped Arion to find the hidden scrolls of the Vrou, but instead he fell into a pit of stink-frogs and didn't find any trace of any scrolls." Verona's tone simmers with remembered anger. Berlix raises a closed hand over her mouth to conceal her grin and stifle a laugh as she remembers the embarrassment her deceptions and pranks have caused others. "No, Berlix, Alain doesn't need your kind of help," Verona calmly reports.

"But Alain says I'm the most powerful seer he's ever encountered. If he's in trouble he needs my power," Berlix snaps back in immature indignation. She slaps a hand on the map and scroll covered table to emphasize her protests.

"Go back to school. I'm sure you're out past the Etune Academies curfew, and you no doubt have classes tomorrow morning," Vermona coldly informs the young teen.

"Why are you so mad, Verona? I think I know why," Berlix replies smugly while standing up from her chair. "It's because out of all of us strays that Alain has collected, you'll never be his favorite. Arion's his second. Nalia has her own guild. I'm his greatest seer. But you? You're here doing paperwork and babysitting grunts." Berlix smiles in cruel triumph. Verona slams her palm onto the table and rises up to glare and yell at the impudent teen.

"You spoiled little bi-" Verona angrily begins to shout, but her enraged words stumble to a halt as she realizes Berlix is gone. Where the teen seer had been standing an instant earlier is now empty air. It's as if the girl had never been there. Confusion and frustration bubble within Verona as she realizes that this disappearance was likely some new trick that Berlix has learned during her schooling here in Rekōdo. Embarrassment is soon added to the mix of emotions as Verona glances around to see that her angry outburst has captured the attention of many of the military officers and agents that occupy the penthouse. Verona lets out a frustrated growl while glaring down at her table of paperwork.

Verona's anger dulls slightly when she looks down at her trusty pad of paper that lies on the table. Minutes ago Verona had written down 'Arion will be back soon, he'll have a guest' on the pad. Verona sighs to acknowledge that there's still work left to be done tonight. She recovers her pad of paper from the table and marches through the banquet hall. She retreats down a hallway and slips into the penthouse's private study. The unoccupied chamber is lined with shelves and shelves of books and arcane artifacts. There are a few tables cluttered with ancient reading material, a desk ready for Alain's use and several chairs and couches scattered around in the room. Verona closes the door to the study and takes a seat behind Alain's desk. She places her pad of paper flat onto the desk and leans back into her leather chair.

Verona grants herself a few minutes to stare out of the room's only window and gazes at the magnificent towers of Rekōdo city. It's not often she gives herself a moment to drink in the beauty of it all, but she figures she can either have this now and find her calming center or she'll have to strangle Berlix later.

SilntAngl5
03-18-2012, 12:29 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

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Arion and Nalia


Arion arched an eyebrow. It would not be possible to detain her...? He afforded a glance in Nalia's direction, but the woman remained cool and collected as if she had not heard Tamarah-Sela's remarks. Her green eyes, though, were shining like gems beneath the cowl of her hood. He noticed, she avoided all eye contact with Tamarah-Sela. He made a mental note to investigate that later. She was watching and listening, but her silence made her a near-impenetrable fortress again. Near to it. Arion had invaded her mind, with her powers gone, and he did not like what he saw. He might be reprimanded for Alain for doing so to a Guild Master and High Council Leader, but Alain did not know what he knew. He was sure of that and Nalia was very good at hiding things. She very well may have been able to hide the whole pregnancy from all of Emporium. Even powerless, he would not put it past her. He did not trust her with a child, however sad and mournful her song might be. He knew what she harbored and the very dangerous possibility of what she could do with the things inside her mind. If she chose not to tell Alain, he would, though he grieved at the thought. It was not his place, not his conversation to have.

He nodded at Tamarah-Sela, in recognition of her words. The woman was powerful. He, for a moment, had thought she might be the lost Princess, but her power was different. Greater. Vaster, even though she only harbored three powerful entities (and where did those come from?) within her. Hopefully, bringing her to Verona was not a mistake.

"In th' interes' of peace" his accented voice mused over those words. A single card, playing card-szied, appeared in his lengthy fingers. He flipped the card between them calmly, thinking. The strange woman's presence was oddly soothing. Just as Kali's had been oddly distracting. Arion needed to diverge himself from the two women, and from the eyes of Nalia. He stopped flipping his card and looked at the one he'd pulled. It read, in scrawling decoration: Justice. It was of a woman seated, crowned and in robes. In her hand, where a sword should have been was a long scrolls of parchment unrolled with writing scrawled upon it. The woman had silver hair. Arion glanced at Nalia again. His irises caught the light and shone red as he flicked the card outward into the air. It fluttered for a moment and then smacked itself upright. The writing around the card glowed a light blue and expanded to create the outline of a doorway with the card at it center. Arion opened the door, had to duck his head in order to enter. The world beyond, the women would see, was a mixture of light and darkness, swirling and colorful as the travels of all public and private port-a-doors did. It was a way to literally travel the flows of energy of Emporium, the life source and magik source all planets had upon their creation. Each planets was different, tempered to its surface-life. He gestured with a hand for Tamarah-Sela to enter in a ladies-first sort of fashion. He had no concerns about her trying to flee or run. He did doubt he could contain her for long if she did. The doorway would lead him to Verona, wherever she might be. But for finding private persons, as the painted cards sometimes were designed to do, that person had to open the door from the other side.

When Tamarah-Sela entered, Arion glanced first for his men, who were already dispersed, the injured man transported to the safety and security of the Taroc borders. Then he looked at Kali, a brief fleeting look, and then at Nalia. His red eyes changed, hardened.

"I 'ope we do not meet again, Council Woman."

And he saw her bristle. Inhale deeply and stand a bit taller, not that her new height intimidated him. It was a gesture for self-security. Her own emerald eyes changed, just a hint to reflect the meaning she divulged from his words. They were a subtle threat, a warning, to stay away from Alain. He shut the door behind him. The door dissipated before Nalia and Kali's eyes when Arion plucked the card from the center of the closed door and motioned with a hand for it to flutter ahead and lead them toward their destination.

"It will not be far" Arion said calmly as he walked with Tamarah-Sela into the swirling play of color and darkness. It was a private pathway, commissioned and created by him. They were alone and safe. He realized something and sought to remedy it.

"I am Arion" he said belatedly, apology tinging his accented voice. "I am the Second to Alain LeCavalier of Taroc. I am bringing you to his personal assistant so that what happened today can be relayed to him. Her name is Verona. She will have questions."

It would be a few minutes after Verona sat and began to study the peace of the towers that she would hear a small sound. A chime, a singular strum of music that would signal his arrival. He always warned the people he privately sought, out of courtesy, though he knew Verona would expect his arrival. There were several people he knew that could. But courtesy pervaded most of his actions. A doorway formed itself on the bookshelf, momentarily rendering the books it outlined inert. They hardened, creaking like old wood as the doorway formed. A picture card formed in the middle. Justice, detailed to have her features and hair. She might find it amusing that it was the card he'd picked for her. Impartiality, distance, objectivism, criticism, intellect, realism, rationality, responsibility and clear vision were among many of the traits for such a card. The doorway formed and waited silently for her to open it.


~*~


They had gone and Nalia and Kali were once again alone in the wide, central streets of Rekōdo. Behind them loomed the great lake surrounding the high, blue dome of the Central City Library. Beside that, on the hill, loomed the Great Palace. The fires of the Provinces billowed brightly in the night. Nalia would not look at them. She felt ill by the entire encounter. Arion knew. Nalia had understood the unvoiced threat. His duty was to Alain and Taroc. She was now a threat to both. He understood the implications of what a child between two powerful Guild Masters could do with things being as strained as they were. News of the kidnapped Princess would be getting out soon. There would be no mention of the stolen Ancestral Spirits, of that she was sure. All news of the coronation would be tight-lipped. There would be heightened tensions between the guilds again, more-so than there already was. They were not yet far enough from the memories of the Great War for any of this to be good for Rekōdo. This child, especially, was very ill-timed.

"Kali" Nalia's voice was a whisper, but she knew it would be heard. Her dark green-lined cloak billowed behind her as she found a corner of darkness between two buildings. Hastily, with shaking hands, she unwrapped the shawl that covered her midsection. The looser the fabric became, the more apparent the change in the contours of her stomach. From concave to convex. As if unable to breathe, Nalia leaned her body back against the brickwork of one of the buildings. She gulped in air deeply and allowed her elegant hands to cup the beautiful curve of her motherhood. It was oddly nurturing how she smoothed the fabric of her robes there, oddly opposite Nalia's normally cool and distant demeanor.

Already she her mind was turning. The game had changed. Arion knew. She had to find the Princess so she could hide her child. She had to go to Alain before Arion did. She had to keep Kali out of Darmon's reach. And then there was her underlying mission in all that she did. The thing that no one but the Dragons knew and had told her so many years ago. Too many things. Her mind reeled with all of them.

"Kali" Nalia said slowly, between gulps of air. Breathing was easier now. She dreaded the thought of having to wrap herself in the shawl again. "Speak none of this to Darmon. If he wants to find the Princess, he can do it himself. We are not his pawns. I had hoped that would be her."

The princess. She had hoped they'd have found her here. it would have changed so many things. It would be a relief, she knew, for her protege to not have to report back to Darmon. A relief and resentment mixed at being told what to do. Nalia certainly had no intention of going to see him and she would not make Kali go alone. The stone that dangled on her forehead, the stone cut from the same rock as the bracer she'd given to Alain, gleamed in the light of the world around them, what little light made its way into the alleyway.

"Go back to Capios, where it is safe."

Where it was safe. The way she said it, the way her voice did not punctuate the end of the request made it sound as if Kali would be going alone. There was something else Nalia needed to do before she could find rest on the island she guarded and called home.

Qwaring's clone#1
03-18-2012, 04:53 PM
((I just remembered that Verona was supposed to send out a message to the High Council members about the meeting. Woops. This will fit in whenever it's convenient for the council characters.))


Prime Messenger of Taroc's Diplomatic Envoy

A daydream shared by all members of the High Council...

The land of Taroc is well known for its wild horses and the Taroc people's great skill at training and riding them. To own and ride a horse from the fields of Taroc is a sign of a skilled and discerning rider for anyone in all of Rekōdo. In some circles it can be seen as a status symbol in various parts of Rekōdo.

Somewhere in the Hills of Deanna, in the north of Taroc, there is a tribe of nomads that have focused their abilities of insight and prophesy and applied it entirely towards the training of horses. It is said that a rider from this tribe shares their visions with their mount. And through this joined sight they may ride through the folds of reality that few skilled oracles can ever claim to perceive, let alone visit. It is also said that during the great war Alaine saved the life of one such rider, who now serves as an eternally loyal messenger for the guild of Taroc in order to repay the debt owed to Alaine. To most these are just stories and rumors, but to the High Council of Rekōdo it is very much a well known fact.

To each member of the High Council will come a daydream. It's little more than a fleeting figment of a vision that barely touches the outer reaches of their imaginations and leaves only a few fading images and a lingering message. The messenger, riding his steed through the side-realms between reality and dream, visits each High Council member and deposits the message into the thoughts of each of them and then rides off, having seen and learned nothing of what might be happening in the minds or realities of those he has visited.

The rider will enter through an idea of mist. His horse seems made of memories of strength and noble power. A long billowing cloak of Taroc crimson flows and dances behind the rider. His face is hidden beneath the shadows of his low hanging hood. But his eyes shine like embers as he rides through this half dreamed fog.

"Your presence is requested by Alain LeCavalier, the Guild Master of Taroc, for a vitally important meeting of the High Council." The riders voice is a half remembered figment of echoes. After only moments only the message itself will remain behind. "Please come to the Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo by the end of the hour."

With the brief message delivered, the almost-vision ends, the images fade and only an echo of departing hoofbeats and the words of the invitation remain in the minds of the High Councilors. The rider and his steed move on to other strata of reality.

Qwaring's clone#1
03-18-2012, 05:29 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Before Verona can lose herself in the glow and energy shining from the graceful towers of Rekōdo city she hears the chime politely announcing Arion's arrival. Verona lets out a small breath and turns to consider the newly arrived door that now stands mingled in with the book shelves that line this silent room. She sees the card of justice resting at the door's center and smiles at its resemblance to her and meaning it holds. As she rises from the chair and approaches the door Verona tries not to dwell how one of Alain's portage's can be so infuriating and the other can bring out a smile with his every action.

With a graceful motion Verona opens the door and steps aside to politely welcome Arion and his guest into the chamber. Verona wears a long, elegant gown of various shades of grey and many intricately sown layers and patterns. Her skin is coldly pale and her metallic silver hair is tied up into an immaculate bun. With curious, pale blue eyes she gazes upon the new arrivals and with a heartfelt smile she greets them.

"Welcome to the penthouse suite of Alain LeCavalier."

The chamber is lit by a few lamps sitting among book and artifact cluttered tables and the amber light of a fireplace on the far end of the room. The walls are lined with shelves of books and arcane items. Arranged near Arion's door is Alain's desk, a couch and a collection of chairs. In one corner of the chamber hovers a small stone gargoyle, that would stand shorter than knee-high if it weren't floating right now. The mystical creation is busy silently dusting the shelves, which is the primary function of its kind within this hotel. Despite the many sounds of the city outside of the room's single tall window and the many dozens of men and women that are gathered outside in the rest of the suite, this study is entirely silent and isolated. Those who gather here are granted privacy and isolation from whatever noise the outside world may offer.

SilntAngl5
03-18-2012, 07:14 PM
((No worries, Q! This will fit perfectly into my Mindoka post. I will wait for Tigs to reply with Kali before posting as Nalia, but she's right down the street from the Great Palace, where the meetings are held in its own section.))

Siochana... in the Province of Shamaa

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Mindoka


Mindoka breathed in the night air, watched Branwen, and smiled. It was the reaction he'd known she'd have. It was the same reaction he'd had when his Master had allowed him his first encounter with the Animal Spirits of their land. That same first breath, as if he'd never tasted the refreshing air, the feeling of finally, finally being complete. The feeling of being one with Emporium itself. He should have let her do this a long time ago but today he knew she was ready for this and for the many duties she would have to take on from here on out. let her stepping into his shoes be joyful at first, before the hard part of being a Guild Master hits. She was not from Shamaa, not from Emporium itself, but he was hoping Mistress Siochana would see the wisdom in her abilities and spirit and allow her to take his place someday.

If he was ever able to recommend such a thing to his Ancestral Spirit. There was still the matter of the missing Princess, which they needed to discuss tonight, among other things.

Branwen's joy brought him back from the dark place his mind had wandered. The way she looked up at him caused the serious, elder man to smile. The brightness of her blue, how they shone with utter happiness, warmed his heart. But there was also work to be done. To each Spirit Mindoka gave a message to send to the guards of Maidin: Soldiers from Taroc were coming. Briefly, he explained to another Spirit what took place on the plains with the men from Maginus. That Spirit was sent to Maidin. To each Spirit that Mindoka communed, he gave a message to be carried to each of the tribal Commanders at the fort-city of Maidin. Treat the men of Taroc peaceably, as they come to protect the peace within our borders and to send a message to Maginus. Do not attack any invaders, but send word immediately. All of these messages, Branwen would hear in her mind, echoing distantly. She not only communed with them, but as he was near, she communed with him. He coudl hear everything from her breathing to the beat of her heart. He heard the blood as is rushed through her veins and every strand of hair as the ethereal wind blew. He had never communed with another so nearby before. It gave him cause to stop breathing. And then, the moment he held his breath, to listen as much as he desired to be silent, Mindoka saw something.

It came through the ethereal mist. A man riding a stallion, beautiful and powerful. Gray and swirling as the mist around him. He heard every hoofbeat, like thunder resonating within his mind. He heard the snorting of the large stallion, a Taroc Stallion. The most prized of all horses bred in Emporium. He could not see the ember-eyed rider, no one ever did, but Mindoka knew this message for what it was. Alain was calling them. The man spoke, but his voice was echoing, like a distant memory. Mindoka stepped forward, closer to Branwen, but looked past her into the mist. Never had the horse and rider been so vivid before, so real. He felt he could almost touch them. All his senses were alive, making the rider appear as if he meant to come right beside the provincial leader. but, once the message was received, the rider turned and left. The echo of hooves and the stallion's breathing rumbled after him.

And it was with that, that Mindoka severed the bond with the Spirits.


"Go" he told them as the mist retreated back to the lakes and forests "and be at peace."

The Animal Spirits slowly disembarked, following the harbinger mist that brought them to Mindoka's residence. The Guild Master was left breathless, and his strong chest heaved with the renewed ability to breathe. His brown eyes looked down at Branwen. In the midst of the daydream, he had stepped close to her. Again, he caught his breath, but did not move.

"Taroc has called a meeting at the Great Palace" his deep voice said calmly. When he breathed, it was her scent, mixed with the night. "I must go."

And he stepped away from Branwen, quickly retreating back into the den, away from the night and the mist and her scent. The commune, with Animal Spirits, made you attuned to everything. His senses were returning to normal and he felt ready to look at her again. His brown eyes were gentle, though, as he came to a realization.

"Branwen... Forgive me, but I will need you to make me a portal."

The Great palace was days away. Without his power, he had no way of getting there.

Qwaring's clone#1
03-18-2012, 08:52 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

Alain arrives within the council chambers from a shimmering of air as he teleports into the large room. In one gloved hand he holds a brass cane. His other hand is rubbing his coat and shirt covered forearm where minutes ago he received a hastily drawn tattoo of a rune that matches the symbol etched onto the head of the cane. According to the instructions Alain received, this should give him access to more power, but so far all the man feels is the lingering pain from a freshly acquired tattoo.

He turns and glances around at the chamber. The council chamber is a large space with high ceilings. A row of marble columns surrounds the perimeter of the chamber. A heptagon shaped table occupies the center of the room. There is a chair for each side of the table, one for the six guilds and a seventh chair for the king or queen to sit when the meeting requires their attendance. Half a dozen paces directly behind the ruler of Rekōdo's chair lies a grand hearth, where a golden fire constantly burns and mystically lights every part of the room in its brilliance.

Decades of heated debates and political bargains echo through his mind. There's also a faint memory of hoofbeats... the messenger has made his delivery and has ridden past Alain's thoughts to let him know.

Alain falls back into the chair at the table that has the symbol of Taroc carved onto the back. The chair's symbol immediately lights up, to symbolize that Taroc is now represented. But the light is dimmed due to the lack of Alain's ancestral spirit. Alain leans back into his chair, resting his boot-covered feet up on the seven sided table. He rests his bronze cane on his lap and recovers his personal deck of divining cards from the inside pocket of his frock coat. He absent-mindedly shuffles through the cards as he awaits the arrival of his counterparts.

Jason Sanborn
03-20-2012, 10:38 AM
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Tamarah-Sela

"In th' interes' of peace" his accented voice mused over those words.

Tamarah-Sela watched as Arion played with the cards, twirling them in his fingers. She smiled peacably when the doorway opened and kept her wings folded behind her. As he motioned for her to walk through the door, she looked over at Nalia and Kali. "I am truly sorry we didn't meet under better circumstances. Good day to you both." She turned and walked through the door.

"It will not be far" Arion said calmly.

"Very well," she replied. The colors swirled around her and she looked around. In some ways it reminded her of the swirling colors caused by the gyroscope. She wasn't worried about any trap that Arion may have, if any. She was here to restore the order after chaos had upset the balance. Her time was no longer needed now, but in the interest if that peace, she decided to remain in her current form for just a little bit longer.

"I am Arion" he said belatedly, apology tinging his accented voice. "I am the Second to Alain LeCavalier of Taroc. I am bringing you to his personal assistant so that what happened today can be relayed to him. Her name is Verona. She will have questions."

"I shall endeavor to answer those questions as best that I can," she answered. She did not know who this Alain was, but considering how this man referred to him, he was apparently someone of some importance. Perhaps this Verona would be able to tell her a little bit more of this world that she found herself on.

When they approached the door with the picture of the woman of justice, Tamarah-Sela remained silent and waited with Arion. When the door opened, she saw the woman waiting on the other side. She was a beautiful woman with a bright smile. Tamarah-Sela entered the room with her welcome.

"Welcome to the penthouse suite of Alain LeCavalier."

Tamarah-Selah smiled in return. "Thank you for the welcome. I am Tamarah-Sela."

SilntAngl5
03-25-2012, 01:12 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral


One by one they all began to arrive, each in their own fashion. The first two to arrive were Herotus and Adaya. There was a rush of fire from the hearth, a burst of fire but no warmth and the flames hued from golden to flicked with tips of purple. The banners that hung along the wall spaces between the towering marble supports fluttered slightly against their eternal spots of homage along the wall, close to the cathedral ceiling.

In the spot where the fire spit them majestically into being stood the twins, Herotus and his sister, Adaya. Their garb was roman in appearance, knee-length white togas with long capes of purple, and belts fashioned of gold. Herotus, it was said, looked like a young, golden Alain, but it was well speculated that, despite their strong bodies and rugged good looks, that the two men differed in a great many ways about a great many things. Sandaled legs, with leather straps running up long calves brought the great Herotus to sit in his own chair. His triangular symbol lit itself with the same weak light as Alain’s. Adaya admired the renaissance décor in silent appreciation and then cast her light brown eyes at Alain.

“It is good to see you again, High Councilor.” Her voice was gently seductive, sweet like honey and mischievous as a swarm of its keepers. Adaya, it was noted, had no chair. Instead, when the time came, she would stand behind and aside her brother, with a hand upon it. Herotus was the twin gifted with the Ancestral Spirit, but he and his sister shared a deep bond, common among multiples. They shared thoughts and emotions, so it was generally accepted that she was Herotus’s Second and his equal in all things. How much access she had to the Ancestral Spirit through her twin brother was unknown. She had suffered a decrease in power with the absence of the Spirit. Again, how much was not entirely known.

She began a slow clockwise walk around the chairs. Her hand, gilded in golden bracelets and bracers alighted upon each one as if doting dear sentiments to the occupant of each chair. Her brother’s chair was given a loving touch. A stroke of her index finger across Jinai’s chair. Darmon’s chair she notably avoided touching. Her fingers walked across the top of Nalia’s chair. And there she paused, for the chair of Taroc was next.

“I must admit curiosity in the suddenness of our meeting” she began her walk again. The tone in her voice made it sound personal, as if she and Alain were the only two in the room. Herotus had his arms folded and was leaned back in his chair, notably silent. Adaya glanced at the chairs beyond Alain's, to Mindoka and then the Rulers unmarked chair, before looking at Alain again. Her smile was as curvaceous as the way she lilted her hip to one side. He would smell her perfume now, it would intoxicate the air they breathed. She sat on the arm of Nalia's chair and leaned forward. The entire time, she smiled at him.

“I'm not complaining... That is to say, I wish the meeting were of a more private venture. Don't you?”

A charming laugh as an elegant, creamy-skinned hand reached out to touch Alain's strong chest. Herotus set his jaw.

“Enough, sister.”

Adaya ignored him and slid forward as if she meant to sit in the High Councilman's lap. She put a hand out on the marble table to ease her passage.

“Perhaps later?” she whispered in a voice that could seduce even a lamp. A simple display of her Tantric Arts without much use of power. It was more a matter of will and her frightening knowledge of the way humanity worked. Thoughts procured in her head of what she might do to Alain given he take her up on such an offer. Of the ways she might help him reach a higher bliss than he could ever achieve with any other woman. Had she the power, she would have sent such vivid images to Alain.

SilntAngl5
03-25-2012, 02:03 PM
Just South of Rekōdo City... in the Province of Shamaa

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Darmon and Charold of Maginus


For a moment, Charold wonders if the taking-in of so many powerful Spirits has addled the Princess's brain as much as it has addled her appearance. After all, she was only a young girl, barely a woman if he'd heard correctly, and such a delicate thing could not be expected to handle such vast amounts of power without consequence. It was, in his mind, why Darmon kept a rigid thumb on the female half of Maginus. This was case-in-point of what happened when women got powerful ideas.

The High Councilor of Enchantry was another, more successful case. Why Darmon hadn't put her in her place, which was clearly beneath him and most everyone, Charold did not understand. He didn't see the appeal his High Councilor has for her. Her powers were useful, yes, and dark which was an added bonus to the Dark Arts of Maginus, but now that she was free so-to-speak, she wasn't entirely beneath Darmon. If he could have his way, Nalia Al' Vatar would never have gotten away with her rebellion. And, if he had his way, the Princess would be dead, the Ancestral powers restored, and Mindoka and all his savages would be dead or run out of Rekōdo for good.

He preferred dead. He had a personal dislike for Shamaa. Especially since it burdened him with this. Charold did not bother turning around. He knew which direction the orange Princess was pointing. His eye twitched. His men's horses shifted.

"Clearly" he said with as much control as possible "you are tired from the powers you have to keep under control. You have forgotten the way in your fatigue."

The twitch under his eye grew worse. Charold forced himself to stop frowning.

"Open a port-a-door" he said to his men. He wasn't about to waste any energy doing so. He needed all of it to keep himself from charcoaling the rest of the idiot Princess into cinders. A doorway was opened in the air on the main road that lead into the City. The gates were closed, restricting all travel until the morning bells tolled at dawn. The books would register their travel. Being Darmon's Second gave him some ability to dilute their presence, but not much. The doorway was big enough for a horse and rider to fit through with little ducking. The size of port-a-doors was limited. No one wanted armies moving across Rekōdo with minimal detection.

The swirling of colors and darkness greeted them on the other side, the pull of universal energies that made up Emporium guided them the short distance to The Great Hold of Maginus. Charold's energies allowed them passage directly inside it, into one of the great parlors seeded with books along the tall walls. The people who were studying there, students taking a break from the arduous task of scribing from the eavesdrop spells that blanketed Rekōdo, looked up in alarm. Charold rode straight through the portal on his horse, like some divine conqueror.

"Get me Darmon. Now."

And, terrified, they were out of the room in seconds. Within minutes, they had lead Darmon to the parlor.

"This had better be-" And he stopped. "Are you some sort of damned fool? You two, get those horses out of here!"

Having enjoyed his small moment of power, Charold dismissed their mounts into the hands of the two remaining men that had accompanied him. Darmon, he decided was in a formidable mood. Horses gone, he now noticed the orange man.

"Explain" he said in a very, almost barely controlled voice. His head ached. The vision Alain sent, which he utterly hated, never sat well with his head. He was convinced the upstart Guild Master of Taroc purposely altered the rider in his vision so the hoofbeats continued to thunder at his temples even after the rider departed. He rubbed his temples briefly, silently, as Charold explained what happened. His icy blue eyes shifted to look at the glowing man, before deciding that the glow bothered his head more. His blue eyes darkened as Charold finished his story.

"You are a complete fool" he said darkly, dangerously "I should have you stripped of your rank and Quieted just for wasting the air of Emporium wen you breathe."

And then he looked at the orange man.

"You" he said dangerously "are not the Princess of Rekōdo, are you?"

Qwaring's clone#1
03-26-2012, 09:39 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

It wasn't until Herotus took his seat at the table that Alain bothered to glance up from the divining cards he shuffles with his gloved hands. He gives Herotus a courteous nod to greet him. Meanwhile Adaya's intoxicating scent and enchanting voice takes hold of Alain's attention. He gives the woman a sly grin. For a moment Alain misses his lost ancestral spirit, which would have scolded him for enjoying Adaya's obvious attempts at seduction. The spirit often scolded Alain for enjoying these little games. There is little room for fun in the spirit's world of duty and service.

Even without a chiding from his missing ancestral spirit, Alain is able to resist whatever allure Adaya might focus his way. While closing his eyes Alain is able to recall the way the Taroc sunset lights Nalia's pale flesh and reflects off of her emerald eyes on the few evenings the two of them were able to have a private dinner together. He remembers how she smiled during their day walking the markets of Clow, sheathed in one of Nalia's illusions and able to spend an entire day enjoying each others company and the many wonders of Clow without anyone else knowing it was them.

Strengthened by these brief flashes of memory, Alain opens his eyes. His sly smile remains on his lips. He stops shuffling the divining cards and takes hold of the hand Adaya has placed on his chest. He holds her hand within the grasp of his unfeeling stone hand. Even through the glove that covers it, his grasp is cold and dead. To someone in tune with the feel and workings of the human body, a touch from that hand can be unsettling.

"I think you would grow bored with me soon after having me all alone, lovely Adaya. My passions do belong to another." Alain's words are barely a whisper, shared between only he and the Adaya. "Isn't that what they say? Alain LeCavalier's one true love is the people and land of Taroc?" His words are accompanied by a playful wink. "I would hate for you to feel slighted that you wouldn't receive my full attention."

Qwaring's clone#1
03-26-2012, 10:11 PM
George J. Cloney, aka The Princess

The Great Hold of Maginus...

Cloney follows where Charold leads. The orange man is reasonably sure that his guide is taking him to someone of importance, and so wanting to make a good first impression becomes a great driving force for Cloney. As he approaches Darmon's parlor Cloney somehow strips out of his charred remains of a tuxedo and in the time it takes to cross the threshold and enter the room he has changed into clothes stolen from other rooms in the building. Cloney now wears a fanciful suit of Victorian Era-styled clothes. Every part of his frilly and overly decorated clothes is some shade of Maginus dark blue. Even the wig, which one might suspect is a mop that has been given a perm, is dark blue. The clone meets Darmon while dressed like a blueberry flavored dandy.

"What's up, bro. It's me, your princess," Cloney announces proudly in response to Darmon's question. As he speaks the orange clone picks a banjo up out of thin air and holds it ready to be played.

"Your boy, Ultra Magnus here, told me everything," Cloney informs Darmon, while nodding towards Charold in order to reveal who 'Ultra Magnus' is. "You need me to join your band. How's about I lay down a little sample of my funkinesss to sweeten the deal."

Cloney gives his banjo a few preparatory strums. "Careful now, bro, I may rock the Crunch Berries off of this motha'!" Cloney warns his host moments before strumming madly at his banjo and screaming out his song as if it were the heaviest of metal songs:

When I wake up in the morning
And the 'larm gives out a warning
I don't think I'll ever make it on time
By the time I grab my books
And I give myself a look
I'm at the corner just in time to see the bus fly by
It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell

If the teacher pops a test
I know I'm in a mess
And my dog ate all my homework last nite
Riding low in my chair
She won't know that I'm there
If I can hand it in tomorrow, it'll be all right
It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell
It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell

It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the
It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the
It's alright 'cause I'm saved by the bell

With his song completed the clone begins wildly smash his banjo against any nearby furniture he can swing it into. Unfortunately the banjo proves more durable than most of the Maginus furniture in the room and so by the time the banjo is destroyed its pieces fall onto the debris of a few broken tables and chairs. Cloney discards his shattered banjo, raises his arms high into the air and breathlessly awaits the adorations of Darmon and Charold. He's also expecting a minimum of fifteen groupies to swoon due to such a performance.

SilntAngl5
04-01-2012, 02:42 PM
((Such an awesome post! I am imagining Prince Poppycock (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Prince_Poppycock_Close_up.jpg)with orange skin... While humming the Saved by the Bell song :P))

Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

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Darmon and Charold of Maginus


When Darmon questions the Princess, Charold looks at the glowing orange being, blinks and does a double-take. His jaw opens, leaving his mouth agape in muted powerlessness as the orange dandy begins to speak.

Darmon stares at the glowing, orange man and the banjo he holds. Where the banjo came from, Charold can only briefly contemplate as the person he'd thought- hoped... vainly hoped- was the Princess began to strum it and sing. At the mention of what could only be a poor butchering of Charold's name, Darmon's icy blue eyes shifted dangerously to his Second. There they remained throughout most of the song that the orange, so-called Princess sang. They remained even as the furniture of the parlor met a sudden and violent end. The room afterward was filled with a deep unsettling silence.

"I should have you killed for this" Darmon whispered, choosing his words carefully as he could not use any power to kill Charold, but wanted him to know that there would be a threat on his life for a very long time. "You almost killed The Head of Shamaa for this?"

Charold's face lost color. He'd been afraid of this.

"But the power spike-"

"I have just been summoned by Alain of Taroc to a Council Meeting" he interjected, adding an extra batch of unpleasantness to his voice as he said the High Councilman's name. "If your actions are what this meeting is about, you had better be gone from Maginus by the time I return."

And with that, Darmon turned to leave the now disgrace of a room and its occupants. Charold began to shake, but then looked at the glowing orange man.

"Wait!" he blurted out before Darmon could leave fully. "The power. Don't you want to use the power that he has? The scale of it from the map only scratches the surface of what He's capable of. You can control him. Use it until the Princess is found and your powers are restored."

Darmon stopped. A dark look crossed his face as he looked back over his shoulder at Charold.

"You think I am that powerless? I can crush you where you stand even without my powers."

Charold held up two hand to halt his anger and redirect it. If there were two things Darmon loved, it was the Dark Arts and power. Charold went on, already well aware that the Orange Man would be inept at fully understanding that he was now being used as a pawn, so that Darmon's Second might have his own life spared.

"But until your powers return, you have him. And once we find the Princess, perhaps the energies he holds can be used to punish the Princess as she aptly deserves for stealing from the high Councilmen of Rekōdo. It would be a shame to waste all the power she's taken in by simply Quieting her."

As would be the punishment once she was found, if death was not applied by someone before the more righteous of the Council could get their hands on her. Darmon had fully turned to face Charold again. The Second could see that his Master was thinking deeply.

"You did not see the chaos he reigned down on all of us. It can be used to the advantage of Maginus" Charold continued. "He likes the attention. Look at him."

And Darmon finally removed his eyes from Charold to look at the bizarre, orange disaster before him.

"What is your true name, Orange Stranger?" Darmon of Maginus asked the Clone with a renewed twinkle in his eye that was no-less dangerous than the look of angry death he'd promised to Charold.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-01-2012, 03:49 PM
George J. Cloney, aka The Princess

The Great Hold of Maginus...

Despite rocking at his very best and holding his arms triumphantly above his head, the clone does not receive applause or groupies. Instead he watches as Darmon begins threatening Charold. The orange clone slowly lowers his arms and rolls his eyes beneath his pair of cool shades. It's obvious that Cloney's fellow band members are now involved in a little in-fighting. Cloney often finds such squabbling whenever he joins a new band. And so while the two men discuss whatever matters Cloney decides not to take an interest in, the orange man silently slips out of the room when they aren't looking at him.

By the time attention of either Charold or Darmon have returned to where Cloney once was he has returned. He now holds a large cookie jar under his left arm. The jar was stolen from a kitchen one floor below this room. With his right hand he grabs fists full of cookies and shovels them into his greedy mouth. There is a trail of cookie crumbs where ever the clone moves, as his mouth proves to be ineffective at retaining much of what he shoves into it.

Darmon finally asks for the clone's name, which the orange man cheerfully offers. Unfortunately for Darmon, the clone has a mouthful of cookies. This causes the spoken name to come out muffled and is accompanied by a spray of cookie crumbs flying towards the clone's two hosts. The clone realizes that his name did not come out as clearly as he had hoped, and in the interest of maintaining what he believes has been a perfect first impression, he spends another minute chewing what's in his mouth, swallowing and then replying with a cleared mouth.

"I'm George J. Cloney, the Clone God of Out of Continuity Stuff. My friends call me 'Punkie Brewster.' My enemies call me 'Kill it! Kill it with fire!' And Ruri calls me 'That Idiot Clone.' I'm also the number one fan of Minity's flashing," the clone proudly announces to his hosts. He then offers them a toothy, champion's grin and an approving thumbs up.

SilntAngl5
04-01-2012, 08:35 PM
Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

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Darmon and Charold of Maginus


Two, boney fingers wipe away the crumbs that get stuck on his face and on the tangle of gray hair atop his head. The head of the Magini is oddly calm, and Charold, who shifts after wiping the crumbs from his own face is growing more the opposite. Darmon's sudden rush toward tranquility raises hair on the back of the man's neck. He seems utterly unbothered by the spray of cookie crumbs, the theft, or the whole situation that Charold had stupidly gotten him into.

"George" he said as he picked a name out of the long string of titles. Darmon smiled in false friendship and offered the Clone a kerchief from a pocket. It was dark blue, and inscribed with the split-circle symbol of Maginus in thick silver thread.

"Did you say you were a God of something? How intriguing. Do not bother with cleaning up the mess" he continued and swept a hand in Charold's direction "Charold will kindly clean it up for us while we chat."

He motioned for the Clone to sit at one of their lovely studded couches, but then saw that they had indeed been decimated and left in ruins by the orange man's earlier performance. He curls his fingers back into his palm and offers the Clone another, almost forgiving smile. Charold stared at Darmon and then opened his mouth as if he were going to protest, but a sharp look from his Guild Master silenced whatever he thought he'd been courageous enough to say. The Second, muttering horrible, humbled himself, got onto his hands and knees and began fastidiously picking up the crumbs from the floor.

"George" he began again "Charold is right. You do harbor a vast power. I can feel it in you. It is a power, I think, that would perfectly solve a problem that I have."

Darmon began a slow walk, putting a hand on the Clone's shoulder, to lead him on a pathway through his own destruction toward a high, cathedral-style window. Thick, blue curtains draped its sides, having been pulled apart by the students who were previously studying here. Otherwise, they would have been opened against the cold that lightly trickled in through the glass. Not even magik could seal out the nature of Emporium. Not forever. He gestured to the window, to the snowy mountain peaks outside. Beyond.

"Beyond these mountains live the Dragons of our world. They are the oldest of creatures, said to have been born of the hot core of this planet and the first creatures to breathe life into Emporium."

He waved a hand in the air, as if to dismiss smoke.

"It's rubbish, really, but the greedy lizards think they can take whatever they want from the people who have evolved here, lived here and have every right to the things they left behind when they moved out."

Charold was listening as he plucked crumbs from the floor. His grumbling had ceased in order for him to fully hear what his Master said to the Orange man.

"The task is simple, George: They stole a great treasure from me. I want it back. I want you to get it. I, sadly, do not have any power to do so because the Princess of our land stole all the leader's powers and ran off. I sent Charold to find her, and he brought me you instead."

Darmon smiled again, pleasantly, more pleasantly than Charold would have swore was humanly possible for the aging man.

"He likes you so, that I will send him with you. He will serve as your guide through the Pass. Magikal teleportation is out of the question. They will sense it and come after you."

Charold jumped up from the floor.

"NO! I will not- You can't!-" But Darmon silenced him with a hateful glare and a tightly curled fist. Charold felt as if the floor had suddenly opened underneath him and that all he had become was falling down into a gaping, dark pit. He reached back, found a stable piece of furniture and sought to sit there.

"I will even make you a Knight of Maginus" he added to make up for Charold's slight-of-mouth.

And he stopped.

"A Knight?" he questioned.

"Yes" Darmon hissed at him "A Dark Knight. Of one of our most revered legions."

He glared at Charold.

"And you, for all your stupidity and insolence, shall be reduced to a squire. His squire. Your merits today proved, if anything, that you are no longer capable of being my Second. This is your new assignment."

Darmon turned his hateful look back into one of nicety and returned his blue gaze to the Clone.

"Is this to your liking, George? What do you say?"

Charold sat down finally, slowly in a disbelieving silence. He looked ready to fall apart and Darmon smiled a snake-oil salesman smile at the Clone. All teeth and no lips.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-01-2012, 09:41 PM
George J. Cloney

The Great Hold of Maginus.

Cloney accepts the offered kerchief and immediately blows his nose on it with a loud honking sound. Once his sinuses are sufficiently cleared he tosses the kerchief over his shoulder and lets the soiled cloth fall where it may. Soon after Darmon begins guiding Cloney towards a couch and making a sales pitch that only an idiot would fall for. Being an idiot extraordinaire means that Cloney falls for it before Darmon is even done talking. The orange man deposits the emptied cookie jar on a nearby table as he sits down on the offered couch. Unfortunately the table was damaged during the climactic ending of the clone's song, and so the table and the cookie jar tip over and crash onto the floor, adding to the wreckage within the room. Without even noticing the latest bit of unintentional destruction, Cloney continues to happily listen to Darmon.

Cloney leaves the comfort of the couch as his host guides him towards the window and the vista that lies beyond it. The orange man studies the sight of the distant mountains and listens to the dragon problems Darmon describes. He nods his head sympathetically. Darmon's tale becomes hard to follow as he explains the princess has stolen some powder-thing, which makes little sense because Cloney has been led to believe that he is the princess. The confusion is defused when Darmon offers him the job of knight. Cloney now knows that he couldn't have stolen any kind of powder, because he's no longer the princess. Plus the job offer is much more appealing, since princesses aren't even on the chess board, but knights definitely are. Cloney assumes he'll start getting royalty checks due to his likeness being used on chess pieces.

Cloney concludes the brief moment of mental wanderings in order to catch the tail end of Darmon and Charold arguing. The orange clone swiftly lifts up his sleeve in order to add a quick note to the list of notes he has already written on his orange forearm with a Sharpie marker...

Matt Damon & Ultra Magnus = Ike & Tina Turner!

With that note made for future references, the clone rolls his sleeve back up and listens to the conclusion of Darmon's proposal. As Darmon asks his final question of Cloney, the orange man replies with a wide smile.

"Matt, you've come to the right guy. I know more about taking care of dragon problems than anyone else around. I was once stalked by a trio of dragons for years. I'm what you might call... an expert on these sorts of things. Plus, my fifth grade science project was a model volcano, and we all know they're essentially the same thing." There is no shortage of pompous pride in the clone's tone. "And I like the ring that 'Sir Cloney, the Knight of Margarin' has. That sounds quite delicious on toast, actually." But the orange man falls silent as he puzzles over a random thought. Gradually this thought works itself out and Cloney extends his hand to shake hands on their deal.

"If you throw in some knight armor, knight swords, knight sheilds, and knight lights, then you've got yourself a deal, Matt," Cloney gladly accepts the new job offer.

SilntAngl5
04-03-2012, 02:02 PM
Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

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Darmon and Charold of Maginus


Darmon's word was final and the magikal bond, through the ritual done in each Province to grant the right to be a Second, that gave Charold such status was broken. The silver-embroidered symbol of Maginus upon his chest, with the double slashed lines of silver and blue to signify his rank peeled and fell, disintegrating into glittering remnants of the deep hues that dissipated into the air. Everyone who saw him now, would see his rank was gone. Black burn marks, as if the stripes had been on fire, were left across his chest to show dishonor. Darmon turned away from Charold, as if he were no longer in the room.

"There will be many more than a trio, I'm afraid. I do not think they will be a problem for you. I will have a special scroll, declaring your purpose in the Unsettled Lands prepared. Give it to the dragons if they give you any troubles. Yours is a mission of... diplomacy."

Anyone on the COuncil knew that Darmon's ideas of diplomacy, especially in the Unsettled Lands to the North and the Wilderlands to the South, were not entirely diplomatic. It was a bit more... aggressive.

Darmon was not quite sure what a volcano was. Perhaps it was similar to the fire mountains across the ocean, in the Isles of Liar'Adon. The orange man, George he'd said, was an odd person. Astral in origin perhaps? Many powerful beings stemmed from the free-thinking Astralians. Oddly annoying, except for the instance of Nalia. He rather enjoyed obtaining her into the Province of Maginus, despite the little rebellion she led and the Guild-that-was-not-a-Guild she'd created. He would have to remind her that she was not as independent as she so thought. She was, according to the last King of Rekōdo, still under his authority. Property of Maginus, as he saw it. An aquisition and a tool. Nothing more.

Darmon's hand clasped the Clone's.

"Consider it done. I give you the honorary title of Dark Knight of Maginus, Defender of the Great Hold and all the Lands surrounding it within our Province. Go forth on your mission and serve me well."

Darkness swirled up from their conjoined hands, bonding them and branding them both. The smoke turned an ashen red color and both men's skin would burn. A darkened brightness burned in Darmon's eyes. When he release the Clone, or when the man pulled his hand back from the burning sensation, there would be a mark carved into both their palms. An transmutation circle or sorts, from ancient alchemy, that bonded the Knight of Maginus to the Man of Maginus. The symbol was within a circle, a dragon coiled at the five points of a star. The symbol's burn decreased when their hands separated, turned a dark blue and then faded away. Unless one knew it existed, they would not see it and the bonding of Knighthood could not be broken unless both of the seals were removed. The two men from Maginus in the room knew this, but were silent. Charold's brown eyes burned in silent, seething anger and flicked between the Clone and Darmon as the Head of Maginus began to leave.

"I will have magik-made armor and all your requests waiting for you in the stables outside the Keep. Charold will show you the way. He is your servant now."

He expected them to leave at once. Charold made no movement to show the Cone the way. Darmon paused in the doorway.

"If he disobeys you, remind him that he can be killed for his insolence."

And with that he left the two together in the ruined study. On his way out, he spoke to one of his men and he was charged with getting all the accessories prepared and waiting for the George and Charold by the time they went down to the stables. Efficient, the men of Maginus were said to operate. Swift and efficient. When they managed to get down to the stables, down long, winding stairs of thickly cut granite from the mountains, everything would be waiting for them. Thick-furred horses, long and shaggy like bison, taller than the swift, smaller horses of Taroc were saddled in warming cloaks of blue and silver. They were bridled and saddled and shoed on their thick hooves for mountain travel. Their breaths snorted white plumes. The stable doors had been opened to slowly introduced the large rides to the coolness of the mountain air. The air was cool here, approaching winter more rapidly than the world to the South. Packs were made with provisions, though it was assumed they would find a way to use magik to enter beyond the border between Rekōdo and the Unsettled Lands. There were armor, magikally crafted and fitted, swords, shields (also enchanted as Darmon had asked of Nalia), a long, thick lance with the word "George" scrawled upon it, and a single Knight Light for the clone with a colorful, swirling, magik bulb in is socket. Everything they could possible need were there, as well as a small detachment of men that Darmon had chosen perfectly for the occasion. Men he had already deemed worthless to the Maginus cause. Such would be waiting for them when they finally arrived.

SilntAngl5
04-04-2012, 09:10 AM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus

Herotus was decidedly uncomfortable. The vivid thoughts and images his sister procured, in hopes that her power-loss might suddenly resurface just so that she could send such tantalizing thoughts to the Guild Master of Taroc, came dancing into his mind. Tantalizing indeed. Herotus shifted uncomfortably. Astrals of such high power were known to be more promiscuous and curious than any other being on Rekōdo. It was not that his sister's thought disgusted him, for the truth was quite the contrary. They were just decidedly inappropriate for a High Council Meeting. Adaya's needed presence in Council meetings was often questioned, sometimes, though not always, due to her provocative thoughts being sent toward others. As they kept the level of her ability to tap into the Ancestral Spirit well-guarded, a full conclusion on whether Herotus's sister should stay or go was never reached. He did, at the least, offer Alain an apologetic and slightly aggrieved look. His brown eyes held the same amber qualities as Adaya's reddish-golden, top-spun curls.

Adaya, as her brother squirms uncomfortable in the wake of her lustful thoughts, returns Alain's smile, curve for curve. She can feel the beat of his heart beneath his chest and hear the rush of his veins in her ears. Such a strong, powerful sound. She closed her eyes and listened to it when Alain reached for her hand. And suddenly, those wonderful, watering feelings evaporate. Coldly, and quite suddenly, Adaya's ability to hear and feel Alain's body is muted, as if someone took a cold, unemotional knife to her psyche. She emits a brief, small sound and open her eyes. her brown eyes are wide and stare at Alain in a mixture of shock and fright, brief, and fleeting before her body calms. Literally, from her head down to her sculpted calves and sandaled, manicured toes he would see her muscles unclench. Goosebumps raised all over her skin, freckling the smooth, vivacious curves that peaked from beneath her smooth-white toga.

She hated that arm. It was the decided flaw of such a delicious looking man. Such a cold, heartless instrument to replace living, breathing flesh! He would have been better without it, or with a magikal, ethereal appendage instead! At least she would feel his magikal signature and energy flow through it, even if it was not real flesh. This... cold, ugly thing that touched her hand now, radiated nothingness, cold and worthless stone. The made the golden bracelets seem like chains of ice upon her lightly tanned skin. She was, visibly so, rattled. If one were to look at her brother, it would not be as apparent, but the effect would be the same. Herotus turned his head away and shuddered slightly.

It took a moment of silent re-composure before Adaya responded to Alain's words with her own, sweet smile and fluttering of long eyelashes.

“A pity” she whispered back, truly and completely meaning those words. Her eyes' luscious charm had dulled, and was now replaced with a gentleness very few knew of in such a brazing, charged woman. Slowly she slid her accosted hand from its stone confines. “I would have much like to be the people you so love... if just for a day. I could show you what their love translates to-”

She paused for a moment and then, defiantly but in that same smooth manner that made baited breaths be held, she touched the side of his face. She used the hand that had not been touched by stone, the one that was still able to feel him completely.

“We'll save it for another time.”

Recovering her pride, Adaya straightened just as a darkness filled the fireplace.

“Lovely timing” she muttered sourly as the darkness turned to smoke that poured into the vast room. The smoke curled in on itself, twisting like a dragon's body until it formed the thin, tall appearance of a man. The smoke tightened to form features, a nose, strings of silvered hair, skin that was beginning its weathered stage down to the booted toes of a man that was a symbol of the Dark Arts of Emporium. The last thing if formed, was a staff-like cane in the Guild Master's hands, that seemed to swirl and be made of living, smoky darkness fashioned into a twisting dragon at the top. The smoke slowly turned to human, living colors and then was gone altogether. A brightness returned to the room, like a breath of fresh hair and light had been breathed back in to the palace. Darmon loved an entrance, and already there was his tell-tale frown of displeasure at the sight of the three who had arrived before him.

"Still fawning, I see" came the curt words, short and sharp from the deep tongue of the Guild Master of Maginus to the sister of Astral. The sister, not the Second. He refused to acknowledge Adaya's importance in the Council, since he viewed it as little more than a harpy's wanton distraction as a ploy for her brother's ambitions... whatever those might be. Darmon missed the era when the Council had been made of men and nothing but. The women here caused too much grief, and with that thought a glance was cast to Nalia's empty chair.

"And I see we are lacking a few."

He was more displeased that he'd have to wait, than at those who were already here and of a bother to him by principally existing. Another thing he would discuss with his little protege when they had a moment alone. The dark look he cast Nalia's chair which, in his mind should not even be in the Council ring, darkened.

"Perhaps it is because of the urgent manner in which this meeting was called."

Darmon flexed his right hand, as if it pained him though no mark was upon it.

“The efforts will be made, Darmon. They will arrive within the hour as Alain requested.” Herotus's words were strong again and though he sat back uncaringly in his chair, the point was direct. There was nothing wrong with Alain's request if something was needed by the Council. Adaya, who had lifted her chin indignantly at the older man's comment, had circled back around to stand behind her brother's chair, away from the close proximity she'd maintained with Alain's chair. Darmon made a displeased noise and walked by Herotus, past Jinai's empty chair to his own. The heaviness of the staff clicked as he walked with it, though he had no need for a support, just as Alain did not. The short staff was a symbol. The gems of the eyes in the dragon glittered an emerald green, like Nalia's. He sat down with a flurry of his dark cloak. Darmon's icy blue eyes shifted from Herotus and his sister over to Alain.

"What is so important, Alain?"

Qwaring's clone#1
04-04-2012, 09:49 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

Alain seems entirely unaware of how obviously repulsed Adaya is by the touch of his stone hand. His smile and demeanor never seem to change. Inside, deep inside where the insightful touch of Adaya can't read, Alain is quite proud that his stone arm has acted as a metaphysical 'cold shower' for the seductive advances of the woman from Astral. Normally the presence of his ancestral spirit would keep him from falling for her alluring charm, but thankfully without the spirit Alain still has a few tricks to prevent an awkward situation from making this meeting even more difficult.

As Adaya offers to save this discussion, and all it implies, for another time, Alain replies with a friendly and almost naive sounding reply; "If you contact my aide, Verona, I'm sure she could find time in my schedule." Alain is glad his ancestral spirit isn't around to scold him for playing such juvenile games with Adaya. Trying to play her advances against her is not becoming of a guild master. Alain doesn't have long to enjoy the moment of basking in the lack of a disapproving spirit, as a darkness enters the room. Alain's smile dims as he glances towards Darmon's smokey and foreboding arrival.

...

The moment Darmon fully manifests into the chamber Alain has sprung up from his chair and launched himself towards the other guild master. Alain feels time slow around him and a lightness overtake his herculean frame as his mystical arm enhances his speed and strength. The meters between him and Darmon are crossed in eye blinks. Alain tackles the older man, shoving him into the stone wall. Bones break beneath Alain's touch. The man from Taroc raises his stone fist and drives it back down through Darmon's skull, striking the wall behind it.

...

No. Nothing. Alain blinks away the imagined attack on Darmon as the unharmed and still living guild master from Maginus is asking what is so important. Normally when Alain imagines attacking someone his innate combat sense activates and whispers the secrets and truths woven into such ideas. His combat sense would ultimately tell him if such an attack would succeed or fail. But this time there's nothing. Alain has lost his combat sense along with the loss of his ancestral spirit. He had hoped that the energy his bronze cane is supposed to grant him would jump-start his combat sense. It would seem that this was too much to hope for. And so imagining an attack and swift slaying of Darmon amounts to little more than a pleasant daydream, but offers no valuable insight at all.

With a sigh Alain finally brings his full attention to Darmon. To the other guild members it would seem as if Alain was simply lost in thought for a moment, but for someone that represents a realm of soothsayers and prophets this is hardly unusual.

"What is important, Darmon? I don't know. Perhaps you attended a different coronation than I did today," Alain replies coldly and with no attempt to hide his sarcasm. Alain's gloved hands begin shuffling his ancient divining cards once more. The compulsive act of shuffling these ancestral cards of fate and prophecy seems to lighten Alain's mood slightly. A remembrance of a smile returns to his lips. "I thought it was about time that we finally came together and fulfill our roles as leaders and guardians of our people."

Alain's card shuffling gradually comes to a halt and with his right hand he plucks a single card from the deck. He holds the card up over his right side of his face, showing Darmon the image of the orange faced bringer of chaos and trouble that's imprinted onto the card. The orange skin, the idiotic grin, the dark glasses and the thumbs up gesture of the character on the divining card should be very familiar to Darmon by now. With a mischievous grin Alain continues speaking to Darmon, "And I think there are a few smaller matters we should probably discuss. Don't you think so?"

With a twirl of the hand the card seems to vanish from Alain's grasp. A simple bit of sleight of hand, nothing too shocking, but a flair of drama to add spice to this moment of holding this great embarrassment over Darmon and letting Darmon know that he has it. With a hint of smugness added to his mood, Alain continues shuffling his divining cards.

Tigers
04-08-2012, 05:06 PM
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Kali

Kali watched unabashed as Arion gave her a fleeting look. This day had been strange and unbelievable long. The awkwardness between Master and student returned as Arion and this Tamarah-Sela departed. Emotions locked themselves in cold dungeons with thick chains to protect the heart as Nalia whispered her name. Quietly, but obediently she followed. Her mind was already trying to process what had happened in that last moment between Arion and Nalia.

More silence followed as she watched Nalia adjust the shawl. The very mention of Darmon brought a dark countenance upon her face. His name alone could rise the bile out of anyone's stomach.

"I would prefer to never have to talk to him. But if you're worried, don't, because he couldn't beat it out of me."

The words were frighteningly true. He wouldn't be the first one to do so, or try. Kali had never broken a trust, even at the end of a whip or worse. Nalia was right though, she did resent being told, but there was a relief in the fact that the awkwardness between them would be lessened by time apart. And at the same time, she felt the need to protect Nalia, something she couldn't when she wasn't with her. A bit of the sting from their earlier conversation escaped through her quick retort. Hopefully Nalia would see it for what it was, concern.

"And I'm just supposed to leave you here.....alone!"

The look on Nalia's face subdued the rest of the comment.

"Fine, but I don't like it."

Kali unfolded her wings, waiting for Nalia to give her final dismissal before returning to Caprios. intentional or not, it was hard to view this latest dismissal as anything other than another kick in the teeth.

When Kali arrived in Caprios, home to the Enchantress Guild she had been in full brooding mode. Unbeknownst to her, brooding seemed to enflame the amount of pheromones she was putting out. Several eyes had been upon her from the moment she stepped foot within their hallowed halls. There was truth about the rumors of the women in the Enchantress Guild, perhaps not all of them, but many.

Several eyes had begun to look at the young woman in quite a different perspective. It was likely that some knew what it was, the cause of Kali's new attraction. It was Persephone that broke from the group, Hester's warning seeming to fall like fall on deaf ears as the younger woman circled her prey. Kali had ignored them all, she in no particular mood to be around anyone at the moment. But Persephone's persistence brought the young beauty to a jog to catch up with the brooding girl. A hand touched her shoulder.

"Kali, come join us by the pond."

Unaware that she was being affected by her own pheromones, Kali stopped and turned at the touch, Persephone nearly colliding into her.

"Why?" The simple retort.

Persephone recovered quickly from the near collision, the predatory smile upon her face betrayed the soft caressing touch that slide across her face. Her eyes locked with Kali's, a seductive look twinkled within the amethyst eyes. Her voice like a siren's song, intoxicating.

"Because you look like you could use the company."

Something in Kali's eyes changed, like an awareness that was always there but suddenly became apparent. It was not Kali who reacted, not entirely, but that which had a hold of her. The act had caught Persephone off guard, but it was not unwelcomed. The mutual touch had nearly sent chills of rapture down Persephone's lightly clad form.

"And would that just be your company I need?"

It was meant to be sarcastic but the meaning had been softened by a huskiness in Kali's voice. Persephone found herself running on autopilot, the truth of Kali's condition and the warning from Hester seemed to be a buzz within her ears. Full lips fell upon full lips as she went for the forbidden fruit. Had they both not been intoxicated by Kali's pheromones, the later would have pushed the former away from her. Instead, Kali seemed trapped for the moment within the kiss, her pupils slightly dilated from the contact. It was the need for oxygen that broke the kiss, that and the more tempered voice of reasoning from Hester that broke the moment.

Backing away, Persephone still seemed to be affected by the moment, Hester's hand pulling her back further away from Kali. The younger girl shook her head as if coming out of a daze. A look of confusion before she lightly touched her lips with her fingers and regarded the other two women. There seemed to be no shame in her response, or revulsion, she simply shook her head in wonderment.

"Someone change the greeting around here and not inform me." The sarcastic nature returning to the younger girl.

Hester all but smacked the back of Persephone's head.

"Come to the pond and I'll explain." Hester replied.

The temptation to turn and leave without a word was great, but there was a part of Kali that didn't want to be alone. She narrowed her eyes, back in control of herself for the moment.

"There will be no more....of that....unless it is requested by yourself Kali." Hester continued, trying to assuage the confused girls unspoken questions.

"I need to change first." Was her only response as she turned and left the two women standing in the hall.

Hester turned and gave the other woman a harsh glare and other voices had joined in, some with amused laughter as Kali walked to her room.

SilntAngl5
04-08-2012, 05:32 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn


Darmon rolled his icy orbs at Alain's introductory words. Always with grandeur and a flourish of cards. Darmon immediately shuffled Alain's words into the 'naive, cocky, brash pain-in-his-backside' category (one that was often reserved for anything Alain did). He had a growing feeling of unease, though. On his way down through the Great Hall's massive Hold and to the COuncil Chambers in the Great Palace, he'd had a feeling of what this meeting just might be about. Charold, thankfully, had had the foresight to enlighten him of this. Had he gone to this meeting and been surprised by what his idiot past-Second had done, he would have enjoyed sacrificing his unworthy body to Arts and Spirits older and darker than any blundering, over-sized lizard Emporium could ever house beneath its soil. And he would have enjoyed every moment of it.

Despite knowing the predicament that resulted from sending Charold after what had turned out to be some Orange idiot rather than a thief-Princess, Darmon was still unsettled by the appearance of the likeness of it on a card. Darmon did not believe in such nonesense as star-reading and card-reading. His ancestors never did, but like him, it was more of a personal grudge against Taroc than anything. Many of the great stories from the war concerned the two Provinces. Many.

The twirling and disappearing trick of the card don't help. Darmon's eyes narrow in the slightest, but otherwise, he remained seated and did not move. The short staff he carried, with its haunting emerald eyes, stared at Alain in the glaring, all-knowing manner that Dragons did. In the manner Darmon with to stare at his rival now.

"No, but I know that won't stop you from trying-"

A flurry of activity caught Darmon's voice in his throat. He gestured with a hand to those who were just arriving.

A doorway appeared right behind the chair between Darmon's and Herotus's, to the right of the fire behind the chair which the leader of Astral and his Sister-Second occupied. It was sandstone with swirls of gold etched into its thick bricks and from it stepped a woman who was powerful and dangerously intelligent. She was dressed from head-to-foot in green, with the veil ofher niqab from the sand detached from where it would veil the lower portion of her face. The shawl that wrapped her head was green inlaid with golden embroidery, hemmed in orange that was the sun. Golden chains drifted from her hair and arched down her forehead. The shawl melted into the eastern-style fabrics that hugged the curves of her body. Her hair was long and shining beneath her shawl, black as the night sky. The fabric was light, sheering with a darker, opaque fabric underneath to cut the bite of the sun form her tanned skin. A cloak crossed her midsection, hiding its sultry appearance from the eyes of the other Guild Masters but it did not hide her ornate decor. Her wrists and ankles were covered in bracelets and anklets. It was said the gems and jewelry were totems. The one that stood out the most was a golden key that hung from her neck. It was inlaid with a portal and inside the portal was the sun and moon, combined into one being. Pointed sand shoes of green and gold led her from the portal which closed with a rush of wind and the smell of sand behind her.

Her brown eyes swiftly made contact with every others in the room, empty chairs included. The lines that showed a beginning of age for the third eldest of the council came into appearance as a small, pleased smile touched her lips. She made a small noise of affirmation and then walked to her seat silently. Already there was tension in the room, though she was unsure of what it was about. The banter between Darmon and Alain often provided a source of amusement for her, until Darmon started on his trip about women. The man was utterly idiotic, though she was sure that many in the eastern sands she ruled thought the same. A woman as their Guild Head, but over the years she had proven to them what women with power could do. She was a formidable force and one to not be reckoned with.

"Always a cheerful bunch she mused in a low, all-knowing voice. She offered no reason for her delayed arrival.

Queenly, she sat in her chair and the faint light of the eye-like symbol of Da'Jinn began to glow. And just as it did, a portal very opposite of the Da'Jinn opened before the fire-filled hearth.


~*~


Mindoka was very grateful for many things as he walked through the watery portal and into the Council Chamber. The most important thing he was grateful for was his Second, Branwen. She provided services for him while he was without his power without question or judgement of his weakened state. He could see it in her eyes, that she somehow revered him more deeply despite, or because of, the situation he was in. When he asked her for a portal, she demurred gently. Perhaps it was the polite manner he'd asked, oddly submissive for such a large man who was the Guild Master of Shamaa and eldest of the High Council of Rekōdo. He'd given her a bracelet before walking through her portal. It was simple, of thickly-threadded wooden beads. On them was painted the picture of a field and a stream with a forest and endless plains. Simple in design, but any of the people who had been to the Hundred Year Plains would know that it was a simple, tribal rendition of such. On the bracelet was painted many dear, some with great horns, but the greatest was the white stag who remained frozen in mid leap on the bracelet. The bracelet faded from day to night as one looked around its circumference. He said that, if he needed her assistance to open another portal, she would know. And with that, he placed the bracelet into her hands and closed her fingers around it and walked proudly, strongly through the portal. Branwen, he knew would have duties to attend to. Their allies from Taroc were coming to Maidin. The tribes needed to know. If all else failed, she was in charge until he returned. If he returned.


~*~

And moments after Jinai had made her grandesque entrance and found he seat did Mindoka's humble portal open. The light and warmth of the fire was momentarily cooled and diluted to a beautiful, glowing blue. Like water, Branwen's portal shimmered into existence and swirled and from it stepped the tall and strongly-built Guild Master of Shamaa. The bald, tattooed man was a formidable sight, strong and immovably set as a mountain with a frown to deny any howling wind that ordered him to yield. His thick, tree-like arms were stiff at his sides as he stood and surveyed who had arrived before him. The green, simple vest he wore was cut into a V midway down his chest. He wore simple leggings and boots with small charms derived of animals past on his wrists and neck. This was not his full, tribal regalia, but it did fine for Council meetings. He nodded to each Guild Master around the table, first Alain two seats to his left and across the table from him. Then a glance at Nalia's empty seat beside Alain's left. A curt, short nod and deepened frown given to Darmon, a deeper nod to Jinai and a touch on the shoulder to Herotus. To Adaya he also gave a small bow of his head before seating himself beside the Guild Master of Astral. The Rulers seat between he and Alain remained predictably empty. Each guild master responded to Mindoka's silent greeting ranging from a return nod to a smile to a careless lift of a hand from the table. He was respected, being the oldest and wisest of the six. That much was no secret.

"I apologize for my lateness" his deep voice rumbled with genuine inflection "I arrived as quickly as was possible."

He sat and the claw-like tallies that were his people's symbol hummed into dimmed brightness.

"You have not missed much, Mindoka. I as well have only just arrived" and then eyes glanced to the empty chair between Taroc and Maginus that was the empty chair of Enchantry. "But it appears one more is still missing." And her inquisitively, intelligent dark brown eyes moved to Darmon to her right.

"Darmon" she asked lightly as if to make light of Nalia's absence and irritate Darmon at the same time "Where is your protege?"

Adaya raised an eyebrow and puckered her lips to withhold a smirk. Her brother, silently shot her a warning look and put a hand by his chin, sitting in deep thought. Darmon's face was sour. Nalia was her own case now, but ultimately, she was under his land and under his keep. He did not care for her being the last one present. He should have called her back form her mission, which had hopefully gone better than Charold's blunder or he really would need to ritually sacrifice someone.

He shrugged his shoulders uncaringly, already declining into a foul mood. "I was her teacher, not her keeper, as you can plainly see." He motioned to her chair and then muttered something about dealing with her later under his breath. Extreme bitterness at Nalia's uprising and detachment from Maginus. Deep anger. Mindoka's deep brown eyes stared darkly at Darmon before shifting back to the rest of the group.

“So what is this all about, Alain?” Herotus inquired, a bit impatient from his sister's games and Darmon's foul attitude. Herotus motioned to he and to Darmon. Those two had always had their fair share of spats, but calling a Council meeting over one seemed over-dramatic. Jinai raised an inquiring eyebrow at the two and then looked at Mindoka. Her eyes remained on the large Master of Shamaa.

SilntAngl5
04-08-2012, 08:45 PM
The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

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Arion

When Arion and his winged guest had entered the chamber, he closed the door behind him and plucked the card from its wooden confines. The doorway melted with a soft, exhaling sound, and once again became the useful books that lined the shelves of the parlor wall. Arion regarded the card a moment with an almost impish smile before returning it to the deck in the pocket of his robes. His long fingers touch the spines of the old, leather-bound books and for a moment he is lost on the words an old Haunt said in the Central Library.

"I felt Tamarah's presence jus' ou'side th' Library" he said distractedly before turning to face the two women again. He easily towered over them. "She was wi' Nalia and Kali of Enchantry."

And there was the most subtle of things in Arion's voice that belayed that there was a problem with that. His red eyes would be a key Verona would need to understand that. That and the telltale guritar that was usually strapped across his back was missing. Instead, he had his sword. That would cause a raise in alarm if his eyes and voice did not clue her in. Arion rarely drew his sword. That alone would convey that there was a much bigger problem.

He could feel the three aspects of the woman within her Soul Song, some more present than others, each one with a history and feel.

"There was an inciden' in th' streets near th' Library. And a man of Rekōdo was badly injured."

Of Rekōdo. That meant an innocent not affiliated with Arion or his team.

"Th' situation was resolved and th' man is being cared for..."

And this was where The Second hesitated.

"Tamarah 'as many things she can better explan abou' what 'appened. She 'as agreed to come 'ere an' answer any questions you may 'ave."

Verona and Tamarah would see his red eyes shift, looking beyond the both of them, beyond the walls of the room they occupied. The wreath of small dark, black horns that protruded form his head sensitively plucked through the various Songs of people present in the building. His red eyes shifted back to Verona, gently but distraught in their depths.

" 'e is not 'ere." But she would already know that. "Verona, I must speak wi' Alain."

Must. Another rare word for the passive, tall Second of Alain of Taroc. Arion was not known to be aggressive, but there were ancient stories of the Sohil, if one knew where to look. Verona, surely, would know the history of his clan. The demonic aggression and the nymph-like female clan across the bay of Echo Deep in Tuah. Arion was long removed from such wild ancestry, but Emporium was a planet that never forgot itself or its history, however much its occupants tried or wished to forget. Still, he was regulated by his passiveness. 'Must' was not a common word to his vocabulary. Normally, he would ask Verona of Alain's whereabouts, politely, or seek Alain himself through his own means. But Alain was without power and Arion would not risk exposing him by rushing to find him. Verona would know where he was. She always knew even when he did not.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-08-2012, 09:55 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

When Tamarah introduces herself, Verona gives her a polite nod that borders upon a small bow. She greets Arion's arrival in the same manner. Her eyes linger on the sword he carries, her eyes shine with understanding at what this must mean as she briefly locks gazes with Arion. As Arion begins explaining what has brought Tamarah and himself here tonight, Verona walks past the two new arrivals. Her movements seem infinitely graceful. It's as if she is gliding to where ever she wishes to go. The silver haired woman makes her way to a small table standing against a wall. The table is topped by a pitcher of water and several crystal glasses. Verona carefully listens to Arion while pouring some water into a couple of empty glasses, with her back to him and their guest. Though she tries to hide it, Verona winces as Arion explains an innocent was hurt, but because she doesn't face the others her reaction will be mostly hidden. By the time Arion has finished his report Verona has glided her way back to him. She offers a glass of water to Tamarah and Arion. Her friendly smile has dimmed somewhat, as if lessened by the news of recent troubles. But otherwise her expression is still warm and friendly.

"Please, have some water. And sit down." Verona gracefully seats herself on a leather chair that rests in front of a matching couch. She focuses her azure colored eyes upon Arion. "Alain has called a meeting of the council. There was a small misunderstanding with Maginus. Alain must perform his usual diplomatic duties," Verona explains calmly. After spending so much time as Alain's second, Arion would understand that there are never any 'small misunderstanding's when dealing with Maginus. And Alain's 'usual diplomatic duties' is often said humorously to describe the political machinations Alain must create or endure in order to deal with any large problems involving the other guilds. To an outsider that hasn't spent so much time with Verona or Alain, this all sounds innocent enough.

"I'm not sure how long the meeting will last. Politics can move at glacial speeds at times," Verona offers with an amused smile. She takes up a pad of paper in one hand and a pencil in the other, ready to write if she may need to. "Even though Alain is not here to help, I am willing to offer my services. And Arion, there are a few aides outside that can be of assistance if you would like me to call on them." Arion would hear the songs of the 'aides' that Verona mentions. They would be strong songs, brave and true. Not the songs of guild servants or clerks, but the songs of military leaders that could quickly call soldiers to the penthouse if there was any danger. Arion would sense that he could call upon the soldiers of Taroc if he asked for it.

"Ms.- uh- Sela was it? Maybe you could tell me a little about yourself and as an representative of the Taroc Guild I could see what I can do for you."

Qwaring's clone#1
04-08-2012, 10:18 PM
Sir George J. Cloney, Dark Knight of Maginus

Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

Cloney screams like a small child when Darmon's magics burns his hand. But other than flailing and wiggling about the orange man does nothing to pull his hand away. He figures there must be a small amount of hazing involved with this sort of thing, and a burning hand will only be the beginning of it. Once Darmon releases Cloney's hand the clone pulls his branded hand away and waves it wildly in hopes of easing the remaining pain. He only half listens to what Darmon says after the burning and before the guild master eventually leaves. Cloney is mostly focused on wondering if there's some last minute trimming or grooming that needs to be done before the nudity portion of the hazing can begin.

Once Darmon is gone Cloney rushes towards a small collection of bottles and glasses that sits on one of the last standing tables within the room. He quickly picks up one of the bottles and pours its alcoholic contents onto his burning hand. As the liquid does very little to sooth the clone's hand he turns to give Charold a bright smile.

"Wow, Mister Damon was a really nice guy. He gave me a job, the company horse and an assistant, all without asking for references or making me pee into a cup. You sure are lucky to have such a great boss like that, Ultra." Cloney walks back over to Charold. He switches from pouring the contents of the bottle onto his hand and begins drinking what remains in the bottle. After he has emptied the bottle he sets it down on one of the last standing chairs, which collapses and sends the bottle falling and shattering onto the floor. With that bit of unintentional destruction done, Cloney slaps his hand on Charold's back in a friendly manner. "So, Ultra old pal, where's all this stuff Damon talked about? Take me there now, old chum, it's time for this Dark Knight to do some rising." Cloney enjoys a small chuckle as he expects the checks to start rolling in for the movie advertisement potential his new title now offers him.

Jason Sanborn
04-09-2012, 11:02 AM
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Tamarah-Sela

Tamarah-Sela sat at the table, leaving the glass of water in front of her. Her crystal blue eyes gazed into Verona's, giving the impression of the calm waters of a clear lake. She gave a warm smile that only conveyed peace. "There is much that can be said, and not much that can be done. What will be, will be. That is the way of things in the Universe. Chaos and Order at odds, with the scales of Balance swaying between them, keeping things from moving too far one way or the other."

Tamarah-Sela drew her wings behind her, and the necklace she wore began to glow slightly. "My time here is at an end. Tamarah will answer any questions that you seek."

http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

The blond hair began to take on an orange tint and the eyes shifted from blue to green. The white wings shrank into her back until they vanished, and the white dress changed into the green dress she had worn when she arrived. Tamarah sighed and picked up the glass of water on the table, taking a drink from it. She didn't need food or water, but the action itself was reassuring to her.

She set the water glass down, now half full, and looked at Verona. "Yes, I suppose I do owe some explanations to what happened, don't I?" She sighed. "As to your question to Tamarah-Sela, my name's Tamarah. I'm not from this world. Chance has led me here, and unfortunately chaos was unleashed. If it's your desire, I'll leave this place and not return."

SilntAngl5
04-09-2012, 03:12 PM
Near the Central City Library: At the Heart of Rekōdo City

1336

Nalia


Nalia's green eyes glanced sharply up at Kali as she mentioned that Darmon would not be able to beat hat had just occurred out of her. The look was a mixture of many things. Of almost reproach for things Kali did not know about Darmon, and a desire to tell her exactly what it was that she did not know. It seemed the more Nalia had unwrapped the secret she was hiding, the more exposed her own emotions became. She hid all feeling of carrying a child from herself just as the sight of it was from the world. Now that the shawl was removed, Nalia felt a slow cahnge come over her body, like a tide washing away the top layer of sand on a beach. She felt the weight returning, the extra burden of carrying a child by someone who was already thinner-than-needed. She felt the discomfort within as her mind wrapped around the new contours and tightness. She could hear the rush of a small, fast heartbeat in her ears and then, for the briefest of moments, she thought she felt movement.

Then the vision came. It burst into the darkness of her closed eyelids and made her inhale sharply. But the calming essence of the fog that wrapped the thundering hoofbeats and the presence of the rider and his master immediately calmed her. Nalia, in her dream, stepped forward just as Mindoka did. A hand reached out to the rider as he passed and spoke his message. Nalia had seen the rider before. She knew who sent him and she felt her heart skip like a wild Taroc foal. The image faded away and left her more exposed and in-tune with the changes within her and the young life she carried. Nalia shoved the thought away. Kali was growing angry.

Nalia opened her eyes again. There was the familiar stern hold-your-tongue glance bridled by a gentleness, a request for calm that seemed mothered in Nalia's current vulnerable state.

"Kali-" she began, but her protege unfolded her wings. Nalia closed her mouth. She had been prepared to tell Kali she needed to speak with the child's father and that it needed to be done alone to protect him, but she did not think Kalia was calm enough. Such anger, but Nalia, once, had known such anger. Before she truly met Alain Le Cavalier.

"I have been summoned to a Council Meeting at the Palace" she said instead, tiredly. She straightened herself, took in a deep breath and began to wrap herself in her shawl again. It looked as if it pained her greatly. "There is one more thing after I must take care of. I will meet with you at Capios when I am through. As I said to Arion, you are my Second and you are in charge there until I return."

Nalia drew her hood up around her face. The conversation was over.

Only after Kali left did she sink back agains the cold brick wall of the building where she hid in darkness. Breathing was becoming hard beneath the confines of her shawl. Nalia touched a trembling hand to the sheer, black fabric and then took it away. She could feel nothing of the child while she wore it and that terrified her as much as it did sooth her. She steeled herself. The Great Palace was only a short walk up the road. She could handle that. The walk itself was uneventful. The usual night life passed by on the streets or overhead in flying cars or other odd mechanisms. Far above floated restaurants, clubs, new stands, trains and pegasus-drawn carriages. Illusional illustrations of planets sparkled and spun, over-enlarged in the sky. Planets seen by the astronomers of Emporium, some as old and long-gone as the Dragons. Nalia walked hurriedly as she could manage beneath them. Under the shadow of each, her body disappeared and reappeared several feet away, under the next moving shadow. The darkness provided her transport. The brief flashes of her existence into the darkness was like flashes of lightning, brief almost non-existent illuminations within the tainted darkness that she traveled. There once was a time when the darkness she entered wasn't tainted by Nightmares. But that was far too long ago. As she blipped in and out of the darkness, there was a growing awareness of her presence. The eyes of darkness lit up and there was a great creaking, like stone on stone as they turned toward her presence. Glowing eyes narrowed as Nalia's presence blipped brightly in and out of existence for a final time.

The doorway into the Great Palace was a unique sort of door. One had simply to mutter of think where they were going and, if they were permitted and had no ill intentions, they would walk through the door and into the place they requested, or into a waiting room to be admitted. Two things would happen if the person entering was not permitted to their destination using the public means. The doorway would admit them into a long, great hallway where they would be funneled into a Great Receiving Chamber to seek permission. If their intentions were malicious, they would simply walk into the door and, most likely, break their nose. Guards bearing the crest of Rekōdo, the seven towers with their six flames, across their breastplates stood guarding lengths of whatever places people appeared at. Doors in receiving areas were often opening and closing, allowing people to enter. But there was a room that had only one entrance: the great hearth. The Council Chambers could be entered through more private means, but to enter the Chamber required the highest level of permission. Only the Rulers, Council Members, their Seconds and the High Chronicler of Magik could enter freely through the Great Hearth. Whether or not they chose that route was dictated by who they were. Seconds had to use the Hearth or be escorted by their Masters. There were no doors that lead into the Council Chamber. Only high, cathedral windows and the magik fire that always burned. Nalia glided up the stairs with her dark green cloak billowing behind her. Hood drawn, she gave a final glance around and then headed straight into the high, ornately carved wooden doors. There were dragons carved into the wood of the doors and their arching lintels.

"Council Chamber" she whispered and disappeared into the wooden doorway.

~*~

“So what is this all about, Alain?” Herotus inquired, a bit impatient from his sister's games and Darmon's foul attitude. Herotus motioned to he and to Darmon. Those two had always had their fair share of spats, but calling a Council meeting over one seemed over-dramatic. Jinai raised an inquiring eyebrow at the two and then looked at Mindoka. Her eyes remained on the large Master of Shamaa.

A flaring of the Hearth signaled the last Council Member's arrival. The fire turned an eerie shade of green and black before Nalia stepped calmly from it. The Hearth, tall enough to admit even Mindoka without causing the Master to duck his head, returned to it amber hues when Nalia walked into the Council Chamber. Eyes shifted to her and she met them uneasily. Since the catastrophe at the coronation, this is the first time Nalia has been in the presence of any of the other Guild Masters. She bowed her head to each of them in deference and respect. She was, after all a Counci Member when she'd never had a Ancestral Spirit. By all rights, she should not be here, but the last Great King had allowed it. Very few of the Council had understood why. To them, Nalia was simply a danger.

"Forgive my tardiness" she said quietly. She walked past Herotus and Jinai's chairs. They nodded. Most of them had been late as well. Darmon, however, glared at Nalia. He had a fist to his mouth to suppress the level of his scowl, but his blue eyes locked on Nalia's and never left as she circled behind his chair and sat in hers beside him. The last of the symbols flickered on, a cross with an extra slash at the top. Darmon let her sit a moment and then leaned over. Nalia made no effort to lean in, but it was clear that whatever Darmon said to her was not pleasant. A vein in his neck throbbed as he whispered silently into Nalia's ear.

Nalia said nothing and simply folded her hands neatly within her slender lap. Adaya cast a very ugly glare in Darmon's direction and Herotus, who had a fist in front of his face, was now attempting to be serious and hide a smile at whatever mental picture his sister conjured. He gestured with the other hand at Alain.

“Now that we are all present... Please explain the cause for a full Council meeting, Alain. Is there word of the Princess?”

Qwaring's clone#1
04-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

Alain seems to ignore Herotus' first question, and focuses on the shuffling of his ancient divining cards and his own amused smile. Only instants later the flames of the great hearth changes to a cool shade of green and the final member of the council arrives. Alain restrains his reaction, holding back the desire to look up at Nalia's entrance and walk to her chair. He doesn't trust his own expression with so many powerful rivals focusing upon him. It's just another price to pay in order to conceal their relationship. To further add insult to injury, Alain can see Darmon whispering some repulsive venom towards Nalia. Alain is able to restrain himself and allow this moment to pass without hurling his bronze cane across the room and impale Darmon with it. Very little can be accomplished when the councilors start slaying each other, and so Alain holds back his instincts and presents the room with a cool uncaring demeanor.

It's when Herotus asks his question for a second time that Alain turns his attention entirely towards the gathering. He slides his boots off of the table and sits up. His divining cards are placed onto the table in a neat pile as he rises from his chair and stands before his fellow councilors. As he stands Alain's posture is tall and proud.

Alain taps on the table three times with his stone knuckles, sending out a trio of loud knocks which echoes through this large chamber and draws all eyes towards him. Alain turns his brown-eyed gaze towards Herotus. "There is no solid news from Taroc on the princess. But this is not simply a Taroc matter. The missing princess effects us and our peoples equally. And so it is within out best interests to combine our resources and seek to reclaim what is ours and preserve the hierarchy of Rekōdo," Alain announces to the room. His words are delivered with a certainty and an unwavering tone that has commanded legions of soldiers in countless battles. He steps free from his assigned end of the table and begins a slow clockwise walk around the table, behind the chairs and those seated in them. As he moves he continues speaking.

"I know each of us has internal strife and security matters to wrestle with in our own territories. I know each of us still harbors remnants of mistrust for one another. Some more than others. I know all too well that the loss of our ancestral spirits and former power leaves each of us vulnerable to enemies and potential usurpers. I know this..." Alain has made one partial lap around the table and has come to a gradual stop beside the seat of the ruler of Rekōdo. Alain rests an arm on the back of the chair and casually leans against it. His gaze is stern with a hint of a red glow topped with an intense bravado. "And so I propose to be the first to offer aid in these difficult times. I offer to take one small worry off of our already full plates. I am willing to assign squadrons of Taroc soldiers to temporarily fall under your command. They will act to safeguard our borders, quell any internal strife and to aid in the search for the princess should she seek to hide within the lands beyond the walls of this city. Each of you knows that the men and women of Taroc's military are infinitely loyal to me, and so when I promise you that once they are commanded to do so they will act to protect your lands, you can believe they will lay down their lives to do exactly that." Alain pauses long enough to draw in a deep breath and continues speaking in hopes of cutting off any that would seek to interrupt him. "Continued peace and the continuity of Rekōdo's rule is my chief concern. I will do what is needed to safeguard these things. I will shoulder the safety and defense of all of our guilds if that will ensure the peace and give all of us the breathing room we need to find our missing princess and do what we need to do in order to restore order once again."

And Alain falls silent. The red intensity of his eyes, the proudness of his posture and the stern certainty of his expression do not fade as he waits. He waits for the room of guild masters and mistresses to direct their petty vile and pompous aggression towards him and his offer to potentially sacrifice the one thing he cares about most in Taroc: the security of its people.

SilntAngl5
04-10-2012, 04:14 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/977007-sachem___mystic32_thumb.jpg http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-MH4kJqeQK14gZ2D3QRdjVY2wwsmzJBsjmigpXlnN6oQVvTY8_g http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/310651-27926-jinai.jpg 1337
Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn Nalia of Enchantry

The rapping of Alain's stone knuckles upon the polished, oaken table was the signal the room needed. The lights from the magikal torches and candelabras that lined the spaces between proud, Provincial banners flickered as if frightened by the echoing sound. The hearth, large and golden yet emitting half the heat such a fire of its size should, shifted from a golden to a pale yellow color. There was a general shift in the aura of the room, though one might not be able to pinpoint what. A change in the air, the light, something. The room was listening as it was designed to do. All meetings were recorded and remembered in the Book of Memories that was viewed ever and only by the rulers of Rekōdo. All conversations, all jurisdictions were recorded privately into the Book that each new ruler inherited and had their history recorded within. This is where the game began. All conversations, now, would be laced and veiled, layered and poisoned with subtleties and innuendos.

Jinai and Mindoka sit up straighter as Alain speaks, giving him the respect the speaker and meeting-leader is usually afforded. Nalia, erect since the moment she sat down, remains with her hands clasped in her lap. Her green eyes remained fixed on her clasped hands, which are knuckle white in her lap. Darmon makes a noise at Alain's speech and rolls his eyes. He remains decidedly bored, slouched to one side in his chair. His blue eyes occasionally shift to Nalia. The look on his face sours each time he does. Herotus sits, cocked to one side of his chair, with a thoughtful hand in front of his mouth. Adaya's light brown eyes watch Alain travel around the room like a sultry tiger, ready to pounce.


"You are so arrogant" Darmon growled in annoyance behind a fist that hovered before his crooked mouth. "Maginus will never require the aid of Taroc."

"Da'Jinn also does not require the need of aid from Taroc. The Soldiers of the Sand are capable of handling any unrest in the lands of Da'Jinn." Jinai's words rolled like the smooth dunes of the Shifting Sands. There was a knowing glint to her eye, often a sign she knew more than she was letting on about a topic at hand. However, we will differ from Maginus in saying that the concern for the people of Rekōdo on the part of Alain is commendable. He looks beyond himself."

Adaya touched Herotus's shoulder and bent down to whisper into the ear of her brother. He nodded silently.

"Beyond himself indeed!" Darmon continued. He threw a hand into the air in Alain's general direction. ""He is implying that each of us cannot control our own people as if we are nothing more than common Quells with no sense of magik or dignified upbringing!"

“But once word of the Princess's disappearance spreads, there are sure to be uprisings throughout Rekōdo.”

Darmon shot Adaya a hateful look and despite the fact that she was standing and he was sitting, he somehow still managed to look down upon her.

"I don't recall inviting the input of Seconds into the Council's discussion."

Adaya opened her mouth to speak, but Herotus beat her to it.

“Her statement is a valid one, Darmon and it was a point no one but Alain had conceded until now. There will be unrest, especially in the City, once word of the Princess's disappearance spreads. We welcome the aid of Taroc, if Alain is still generous enough to offer it after this meeting concludes. We ask only that we be given a week to assess the needs of our military.”

Which, if much had not changed in the years before and after the Great War, was lacking. The one things AStral had benefitted from, was its ability to confuse the other Provinces military through astral projections and illusions. Jinai glanced over at Herotus. Usually, he and his aloof twin were one to follow whatever path their northern neighbors did. Perhaps a power loss was what was needed to bring the Astrals back to reality?

"There will be no unrest in Maginus and should any arise, it will be dealt with swftly and harshly with no need for intervention by any of you! Rekōdo City will be another matter, yes, but Maginus has lways been the stronghold of Rekōdo! We battled the Dragons for our foothold in the mountains! Unrest will be dealt with. Any act of military by Taroc upon my soil will be seen as an act of war."

"What you say is false."

And quite suddenly, a heavy silence landed upon the heptagonal table of the room. It took Darmon a moment longer than everyone else to process who had spoken. Everyone's eyes looked upon Mindoka of the Shamaa, who was known to be quiet at most meetings, wise, and only spoke his peace. Slowly, Darmon sat up straight and leaned forward.

"You dare-"

"I do." Mindoka's deep voice flew across the table and silenced Darmon mid sentence. "You should be aware by now of what happened upon my lands while your men were out hunting for the Lost Princess, Darmon of Maginus."

Darmon's icy blue eyes matched Mindoka's brown, angered stare to immovable mountain stare. The three Guild leaders between them, Jinai, Herotus and Adaya, stared at Mindoka. Such was not like his character, to be so outwardly vocal and direct at any other.

“Mindoka” Herotus began “Friend, we are at a loss... of what do you speak?”

Mindoka's lips were set tightly in a frown and he looked at Alain.

"Darmon is a man with honor. He will tell you."

A greater title than many of them thought he deserved, but such were Mindoka's ways. Everyone continued to look at Mindoka until there was laughter. Short, rich and virulent with sarcasm.

"I did not realize" Darmon said glaring at the Guild Masters of Shamaa and Taroc "that it had become the custom of the great and wise Mindoka to tattle tale to the young Alain of Taroc. To run and hide behind his stone arm. Behold the might of the Shamaa!... Such cowardice."

Mindoka stood and in an instant everyone else followed. There was little power that could be thrown about, and it was a delayed thought that came to everyone, but already sides were being taken. Lines were being drawn. Herotus held up a hand between the two men. Jinai stepped back to observe what could be a very epic battle. Nalia was frozen where she stood. She would ever support Darmon, but could not willingly bring herself to step closer to Alain. Not here. Let the others think she favored Darmon and was his puppet. Her emerald eyes looked to Mindoka. They were filled with outrage, silent, though his hands clenched into fists and his barreled chest heaved with attempts to control the raging in his blood. Nalia found she'd raised a hand, almost directly in Mindoka's line of sight. He noticed her slender, white palm and traveled up her arm to behold her face. Her hood had fallen back and dark curls toppled down her shoulders, making her skin seem all the more pale and smooth. Her emerald eyes stared into Mindoka's and then furrowed. Something had happened and before she could stop herself, she felt compelled to speak.

"Do not be baited by him, Master" she said gently and felt the icy anger of Darmon's wrath shift dramatically from Mindoka to herself. That was the plan. Avoid war. War would throw the world into upheaval and then the Princess would never be found. Nalia continued to look at Mindoka calmly and watched as the much larger man's breathing became controlled. Slowly, Mindoka sat himself down. Everyone else remained standing. Nalia continued to look at Mindoka, but turned her head slightly toward Darmon.

"What have you done, Darmon?"

And she finally turned her eyes to look at her old mentor. What she found there was unspeakable. He was utterly silent as his wide blue eyes bore into hers. A fist clenched and unclenched at his side as if the thought of physically harming Nalia were repeatedly flying in and out of his mind. For her to ask such a thing, even with the simple intention of diffusing a physical altercation was unfathomable to Darmon. It was abject humiliation. Betrayal even more deep than her little feminine rebellion had been years ago.

"Sit down, Nalia" he managed between partially gritted teeth. Nalia lifted her chin to Darmon. He had no power over her. Not now and, at least, not here. On Capios, things would be horribly, terribly different. She would have to find a way to warn Kali before the meeting ended. Darmon's face began to turn a shade of red rarely seen. Rage would be the only words for the color. Hateful, vengeful rage. Darmon would never stand to let himself be seen as powerless. And yet, here she was for the second time...

"Fine" he managed and sat down. "Ask our peaceable brother what happened. I am sure he knows all."

Silently, everyone looked to Alain and, for the first time in the meeting, so did Nalia.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-10-2012, 09:22 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

And so the games of the council play out before Alain's eyes. Darmon's immediate outburst and bravado isn't a surprise. Jinai declining Alain's offer was also expected, but there's something in her eyes that doesn't sit right with Alain. The councilor of Da'Jinn may require further study. Jinai's response receives a respectful nod from Alain. Soon Alain's attention turns back towards Darmon's further indignation. Alain's expression borders on amusement as he watches Darmon follow his role in this drama. Herotus' reply is given another respectful nod. Darmon's next outburst isn't even glanced at, as Alain instead scans the room with red eyes, sifting through the expressions he seeks a deeper understanding of how the next few moments might play out.

Even though Alain expected it to happen, Mindoka's angry reply to Darmon still shocks him. Alain stands up straighter and watches Mindoka. All hints of amusement drains from Alain's expression. This moment has been destined to happen ever since Alain first suggested the meeting to Midoka. This is why Alain made no mention of Charold's actions in Shamaa. Mindoka's outrage would carry more weight than any amount of theatrics or bravado that Alain can muster. As the talking becomes more heated, and Darmon verbally lashes out, Alain slips away from the gathering and the table. He silently stalks his way towards the great hearth. Alain winces as Darmon accuses Mindoka of cowardice and hiding.

The Alain of twenty years ago would have broken Darmon's neck for such insults. During the darkest days of the Great War, when invading armies had pillaged or incinerated the crops of Taroc and left its people to a winter of starvation, Alain turned to Mindoka for aid. In those days the people of Taroc held many prejudices and superstitions about the mysterious 'savages' of Shamaa. Many believed Alain was insane for marching into Shamaa territory, without any weapons or a single soldier to assist him. But the divining cards foretold Shamaa held salvation for the dying men and women of Taroc. And three days later Alain returned to Taroc with wagons of food and an eternal debt and bond to Mindoka and the people of Shamaa. It was the compassion and wisdom of Mindoka that saved Taroc from the worst of the war. And it was the courage and counsel of Mindoka that made Alain believe that peace was even a possibility.

But Alain restrains himself. He must let the players have their time on the stage. Alain reaches out his stone hand into the golden flames of the great hearth, as if dipping his hand into a pool of warm water. His mystically animated hand tells his mind the flames are hot, but he doesn't feel it. What he does feel is Nalia's voice, as if it were a physical thing running over his skin leaving a tingling trail. Alain looks to see Nalia standing and coming to Mindoka's aid. He can't help but flash her a proud smile. It's the same smile he gave her when she told him that she was forming her own guild. And he's sure that it's the same smile he'll give her when she is finally able to shed her dependence on Maginus and finally step out of Darmon's foul reach.

The smile fades as Darmon brings the attention of the meeting back to Alain. With a refreshing breath, Alain pulls his hand out of the flames and with a playful twirling of his bronze cane in his right hand he walks back to the table. "Charold, the esteemed second of Maginus, led a search party into Shamaa territory in hopes of finding what he believed was our lost princess. Instead he encountered Councilor Mindoka and a gathering of his guild members, who were rightfully investigating an unlawful invasion of their territory by the second of Maginus. Charold responded to this situation with all of the diplomacy that a handful of lightning offered as he attempted to attack and potentially slay a Guild Master." Before Darmon is able to reply to Alain's narrative, Alain swings his bronze cane and strikes it onto the table, causing a loud knock to possibly startle any rebuttal away from Darmon. At the very least this should act to keep all eyes on Alain as he points his cane at Darmon. "Allow me to repeat that: The second of Maginus tried to kill one of us! And need I remind any of you that without our ancestral spirits and our former power levels we are exceedingly vulnerable to such attempts at murder."

SilntAngl5
04-10-2012, 11:36 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/977007-sachem___mystic32_thumb.jpg http://t2.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcQ-MH4kJqeQK14gZ2D3QRdjVY2wwsmzJBsjmigpXlnN6oQVvTY8_g http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/969017-alain_lecavalier.gif http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-WX2MfhK8MbY/TgFmWdGPZlI/AAAAAAAAAPY/4h1NkBJuSv8/s200/611173-atyaah___mystic_large.jpg http://media.comicvine.com/uploads/1/15723/310651-27926-jinai.jpg 1339
Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn Nalia of Enchantry

Darmon's face grew dark as Alain spoke. Slowly, achingly slow, the rest of the Guild Masters sat down, but the sound of Alain's cane rapping the table jolted all of them from their disbelief. Herotus and his sister both turned a slightly paler shade and Jinai sat up very still and very straight. This, clearly, was information she had not known. Everyone knew Darmonw as power-hungry and ill-tempered... but this...

"Are there truth in these words, Darmon? Any shred of truth!?"

Mindoka's frown was impenetrable and his brown eyes stared Darmon down as if daring him to speak against such things happening. For a long moment, Darmon was silent. He shot a deadly glance at Mindoka and at Alain before shifting in his seat. He twirled the dragon-staff in his right hand before setting it still.

"The matter has been dealt with accordingly" he began slowly. "I have been monitoring as I know you all have when severe power spike came up on our maps. I sent Charold and a small detachment of men to investigate it for the good of Rekōdo. They entered into Shamaa territory and, without my knowledge, engaged the Shamaa. I was told your Second performed valiantly on your behalf."

Mindoka's eyes narrowed slightly. Considering how poorly Darmon spoke to the women esteemed enough to be on the High Council, Mindoka did not want Branwen's name being mentioned at all by the man across the table. Darmon shrugged and made a lack-of-caring noise at Mindoka's indifference.

"His actions were not my given instructions. They were to enter and leave without disturbance. Investigate and leave."

"With the Princess, were it her. What were your plans once you obtained the Lost Princess and the Spirits?"

Before Darmon could answer, Herotus and Adaya both piqued up, finishing each others sentences.

“Moving a detachment of soldiers, however small, into neighboring Provinces uninvited is an act of war” began Adaya “and goes against the agreements set down at the Treaty of Tradisi that ended the Great War.”

Herotus finished and steepled his fingers before his chin. Darmon waved the twins' words away as if they were an annoying swarm of summer gnats.

"Yes yes. War. Call it as you wish it. My intentions were to find the Princess, not kill Mindoka. That was a foolish act of a man that has been stripped of his rank as Second and been reduced to nothingness. Charold has certain... qualities that are not fitting as my Second. He has been replaced."

"By who?"

And the room shifted to look at Nalia. Her demeanor had completely changed from the calm interceptor from before. She sat very rigidly and her emerald eyes stared widely at Darmon. He smiled over at her and the defensiveness was suddenly gone, replaced by a face Nalia knew. A face that made her skin crawl.

"Clearly" he said in a gentle manner "I will need someone who will make up for all of Charold's inequities and faults. Someone with a powerful representation as a person of Maginus should be. I don't think you will miss Kali too much, seeing as you have so many more women to train and hone on your little island. She will be my Second."

Abruptly, Nalia stood up.

"She will not! I refuse to release her to you."

Jinai piqued an eyebrow. What an interesting meeting this was.

"Dear Naila... He has claimed her."

"I have already claimed Kali as my Second." At that, Darmon raised an eyebrow.

"Really" he mused darkly "When?"

The sudden weight of the Master's scrutiny made Nalia hesitate, but it was only for a moment. Darmon surely saw it and Alain would know her, and know that something was amiss.

"Just before this meeting. I was investigating a magik surge as well. I was in the presence of Arion bar Sohil, the Second of Taroc when I called Kali my Second."

Darmon's eyes narrowed, but the odd glee he'd obtained was not yet completely lost.

"But Nalia, you have no Ancestral Spirit with which to make such a claim. You never have. Really, without a Ruler here to confirm it, there is no law saying that you may take anyone as a Second... or have a Guild and be privy to a seat on this Council for that matter."

“If Nalia has formed her own guild and it is blessed to continue by our ruler, then her Spirit would be the first Ancestral Spirit. Adaya's voice was sympathetic and chimed in to aid Nalia in her plight. She had been burned by Darmon today and was in no mood to help him, even if she might agree with him. "She will need a Second as someone to succeed her someday as her First Candidate.”

"Then she can choose another. Kali is mine. Using the title to the Second of another Guild Master is not a proclamation of intent."

"I refuse to allow it!"

But Nalia heard it in Darmon's voice. She was fighting a losing battle. Without a Ruler here, it could not rightly be decided.

"Is there a reason that Darmon would be unfit to mentor Kali fully as his Second?"

The voice was of Jinai, who had remained silent and watchful throughout the entirety of the debate. There was a heavy silence and waiting breath as attentions turned fully to Nalia. She shifted where she stood, she and Alain being the only two standing now, and the fire of the Great Hearth caught the sheer, black fabric that wrapped her thin midsection. It accented the smooth curve of her ribs down to her hips. For a moment, Darmon's eyes shifted before looking back up at Nalia. Waiting. There was a look in his eyes. A very daring look. Nalia stared into Darmon's eyes, and the cool, unemotional demeanor she upheld seemed to slip and falter.

"She is a member of the Guild of Enchantry" she said gently, quietly "and I cannot allow her to become your Second unless she willingly chooses. My Guild is for the freedom of the women you have scorned and wronged, Darmon. It would be against everything Enchantry's foundation stands for if I were to allow her to not have a voice in this matter."

And at that, Darmon smiled, all teeth and no lips.

"Very well. I will arrange an array of tests to be sure she is my most fit candidate and the final say will be hers."

Nali opened her mouth. Her hands clenched suddenly into tight fists on the table top. Another voice rose above whatever last protests she was going to make.

"What of the Orange Bringer of Chaos?" asked Mindoka quietly, having fallen deep into thought during Nalia and Darmon private feud. "He was removed from Shamaa. What was his fate?"

Darmon turned him chair from Nalia to look across the table at Mindoka. He laced his fingers on the table top. Slowly, Nalia sat back down. Her face had turned ashen and she put a hand to her sheered midsection in a sick manner. She sat down silently and looked to her hands in her lap. Her fists had been so tight that her nails had clawed into her own palms. They were bleeding. Darmon happily ignored her for the moment and silently celebrated his victory.

"I made him a Dark Knight of Maginus" he said simply. All eyes swiveled to him. Mindoka's eyes narrowed. The Dark Knights were equivalent to Jinai's Soldiers of the Sands. Formidable. Powerful. Strong. Near impenetrable on their own lands. Adding someone whose magikal signature caused Darmon to send a detachment of men illegally onto Shamaa lands... such a risk and now a Dark Knight.

"That is concerning" mused Jinai of the Da'Jinn. Her many golden bracelets jingled as she adjusted how straight she sat. Darmon shrugged.

"Charold is his squire and they are both on a mission to bother the Dragons in the Unsettled Lands. It is a test of his powers. I will make a full report of it upon their return... if they return."

It sounded as if he wished they wouldn't.

"Prove it." Nalia's emerald eyes were hard as diamonds as she bravely addressed Darmon again. She had tutored under him when she'd first been taken from Astral. She knew many of the Dark Rites he'd performed for knightings. Darmon sighed, as if this were a waste of his time and held out his right hand, palm up. His staff he held in the crook of his arm. Nalia grabbed Darmon's wrist to keep him from moving and held her palm over his. When her blood dripped into his palm, the crest of the dragon scrawling the pentagon star flared into being on his skin, like a series of red tears. His jaw tightened, but he said nothing. The transmutation circle proved the bonding had been made with someone. Nalia nodded and released Darmon's hand, but before she could sit back down, he grabbed her wrist and turned her palm over. The nail marks that bit into her flesh were there. He raised an eyebrow.

"Nalia... you are bleeding." In faux concern, he smoothed a thumb across the mound of her palm, smearing her own blood across it. Nalia pulled her hand from Darmon's grasp. He clucked his tongue against the roof of his mouth. "Such an awful temper."

He motioned, servant-like to Alain.

"Peaceable brother... Here is your chance to diffuse something successfully tonight. Why don't you get the poor girl a tissue."

And if Alain chose to do so, another voice would rise up to bring the meeting back onto some sort of topic.

"Alain" Mindoka rumbled calmly. "Chaos followed him wherever the Orange man went. He is unsafe in any of our lands. And there is still the matter of punishment for Darmon and his Second for the attempt on my life, be it premeditated or not. He broke the Treaty of Tradisi and that cannot be ignored."

Tigers
04-11-2012, 08:34 AM
http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b35/Tigers90/YoungKali.jpg
Kali

Kali did more than just change, she took the time to shower with the thought of losing herself to the feel of the water as it hit her body. Her head throbbed slightly with the flurry of thoughts from the day, unable to sort them or put them into any kind of order that made sense to her. Still fueled by hurt the temperature in the shower spiked several times with her anger. Why did being locked up in the slavers pens make more sense than anything going on in her life now?

Her heat beat with the pain and anger of being denied the ability to see Branwen, it beat with the thrill of the things they had encountered in the darkness, it beat with the pain of feeling rejected by Nalia and then it beat with the attraction she had felt with Arion and finally it beat with the amused if not surprised reaction to Persephone's passionate kiss. Numbly she walked out of the shower and dried herself off. She had crash landed her with only the clothes on her back. Everything she had now, had been provided to her from the Enchantry guild. Unlike her fellow guild sisters, Kali's clothes had to be modified to support her abilities to shift, especially her wings.

Once dressed Kali debated silently before going to the pond to sit with the others. It wasn't that Persephone's choices in attraction bothered the young woman, Kali just didn't feel that she was truly attracted to the same sex as some of the other guild women were. Truth be told, she couldn't get Arion out of her head and it was disconcerting.

She showed no outward response to Persephone's delighted reaction at Kali joining them. Instead, she sat down upon the blanket they had laid out along the grass near the pond next to Hester. At least Hester seemed to be the safest person to sit by if she was going to join the rest of them. After today, everyone seemed to be acting strange, Hester seemed the only one grounded and Kali would cling to that until she could make sense of everything.

"Kali, I'm delighted you came." Hester responded as the young girl sat down beside her.

"Yes, we all are." Persephone chimed in, followed by a few giggled.

Hester gave Persephone a warning glance and the other woman replied with a coy smile but complied. Ignoring the look, Hester pondered her thoughts before striking into the delicate conversation she was about to begin. There was really no better way to do this and unfortunately she would need insight from other perspectives of this conversation to give Kali the full picture of their discussion.

"Kali..." Hester began.

"Has anyone talked to you about the relationships between a man and a woman or..." She gave Persephone another hard look of warning.

"...well another woman?

"You mean mating?" Kali interrupted.

The room filled with several more unsuccessfully stifled chuckles.

"I've seen it between..." Kali stopped herself, not knowing if the other women knew about her past and Nalia's warning about losing the ability to see Branwen and she quickly changed direction.


"...other animals. I've heard it said that's what it's like with men and women." She replied, her eyes going to several of the more gossipy women in the group. A few blushes and knowing coughed out laughs gave away a few of the culprits that were likely over heard talking about such things freely.

"I see..." Hester replied, with a deep sigh.

"Kali, I think your over due for a conversation that should have been given to you a long time ago. Relationships can lead to unexpected things and you have been gifted with something that will make this transition for you even more difficult."

Kali raised an eyebrow to this unspoken that Hester had hinted at. After the problems of today, her guard was up but her need for someone to just be understanding, to explain things was greater than her need to protect herself. But Kali could not totally give herself freely to the conversation without being herself, it in no way was disrespectful to Hester, it was just Kali. She shrugged and replied.

"I'm here."

Hester took this as her cue and thus began the awkward conversation about the birds and the bees, attraction, sex, babies and everything in between. She couldn't really leave out the relationships of some of the women here when Kali saw the affectionate displays between them in passing and Persephone's blatant kiss on Kali's lips. What reaction Kali was having to this discussion never really crossed her face, but she did listen closely to Hester's words. It wasn't until the mention of pheromones and Kali's obvious ability with them that gave the Hester the first reaction of surprise.

"I what?!" Kali responded.

Hester lay a hand on Kali's shoulder, many of the women had grown a little more subdued as the conversation went on. They all had been in a place where they had at one time been abused, lacked self confidence or been mistreated in one fashion or another. They recognized the struggles that Kali went through and then to be told this had to add to the burden. Hester would do her best to assuage the young woman's feelings.

"It's nothing to be concerned about Kali, only if it goes unchecked. You can be taught to control it, so that it doesn't control you. When Nalia returns, we'll discuss with her so that she can decide the best course of action."

There was a pause and then Hester added.

"Where is Nalia by the way and why aren't you with her?"

Kali was silent for a moment.

"She was summoned to a meeting and sent me back here."

There was silence in the group before Hester replied.

"Very well, then we'll carry on with our duties until Nalia returns."

Hester rose from the blanket and the others followed. Their break was over, and despite what Darmon thought of them, the women were very capable at their jobs. Hester waited until the others had dispersed.

"Kali, if you have questions before Nalia returns, come find me and I'll answer them to the best of my ability."

Kali nodded but said nothing as she watched Hester leave. She sat on the blanket by the pond for a moment longer before silently returning to her own duties.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-11-2012, 08:51 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

As Darmon tells his version of Charold's recent idiocy, Alain stops pointing his cane towards the man. Alain twirls the bronze cane and holds it tucked under his right arm as he listens and watches the gathering. He finds some comfort in Charold's mistake bringing the entire room against Darmon. This could prove to be a useful tool in the coming days. The politician within Alain files this information among the tricks and tactics he has at his disposal. Gradually the conversation shifts to a struggle for a Second between Nalia and Darmon. Alain is careful to remain silent, and to mute any reaction he might have. The struggles between Enchantry and Maginus should not concern the Council of Taroc in the same way it would effect a man watching the woman he loves argue with his most hated enemy. Twenty years of dealing with and against this group has allowed Alain to hone his poker face and hide almost any shred of human emotion, should the need ever arise.

Before Darmon is finished with his snide call for Alain to assist Nalia with her wounded hand, Alain is already making his way around the table and approaching her. Alain's strides are slow and casual. He seems entirely unaware that Darmon has even said anything to him. The councilor of Taroc sits on the edge of the table between Nalia and Darmon, purposefully crowding Darmon's portion of the table with his broad frame. Alain slips a handkerchief from a vest pocket and with the woman's slender hand within his gentle grasp Alain begins cleaning the cut.

"Fear not, young Nalia, the men of Taroc have not yet forgotten the art of chivalry," Alain announces to Nalia as he begins wrapping the handkerchief around her hand as a bandage. His tone is muted yet friendly, but still the implied insult to Darmon's utter lack of chivalry is clearly threaded through his statement. Though Alain knows she may not like being called 'young Nalia', he hopes she'll know it was said for the benefit of the others sitting around them. The rest of the councilors should know of Alain's history with Nalia when she was younger and he was simply a friend and confidant to her. Calling her 'young Nalia' would recall that era and hopefully mask any suspicions about Alain's current moment of compassion. Although moments of compassion from Alain weren't a rare or unexpected event either.

Once Nalia's hand is properly tended to, Alain turns to glance towards Mindoka as the elder councilman brings up punishing Darmon. Alain nods to Mindoka before turning to look down at Darmon from where he sits on the table, still claiming much of Darmon's space. After a moment of coldly staring down on Darmon, Alain slides off of the table and steps behind the Maginus chair. From there he addresses Midnoka and the rest of the council.

"Yes... Justice must be served. Darmon willingly commanded his second to enter your land. And even if Darmon was ignorant of what Charold did while within you lands, Charold is still his Second. A Second is the right hand of the Guild Master or Mistress." Alain glances down to speak to Darmon, "Or in my case, my left hand. Wouldn't you say, man from Maginus?" Alain holds up his left hand so that Darmon can see the animated stone appendage. It was another 'man from Maginus' that had cut off Alain's original left arm. And it was that same man that Alain strangled with the stone hand he holds up for Darmon to see. Strangled during an attack on one of Darmon's strongholds, while Darmon was present. In fact, Alain called him 'man from Maginus' as well.

After only a moments pause, Alain's stone hand points out a finger to gesture out to the council as he continued to speak to them. "Our Seconds are trained and molded by us. They are an extensions of our will and power. And so I find it ridiculous to view their actions as being outside of our control or responsibility. Unless Darmon was entirely inept at training Charold, utterly incompetent at commanding him and absolutely ignorant of Charold's ability to act independently, I say Darmon must take full responsibility for Charold's actions. I for one am infinitely confident in the abilities and actions of my own Second, and would proudly take responsibility for everything he does in the name of Taroc."

Alain now rests his hands on the top of Darmon's chair, as if passively claiming it. "I agree with Mindoka, that a crime has been committed and for the sake of peace and the continued safety of each and every one of us a punishment needs to be dealt... But judgement and punishment of a council member requires the impartial wisdom and absolute authority of a queen or king. I'm afraid I must suggest that we first focus on restoring our hierarchy." Alain now looks directly at Mindoka. His red eyes are silently apologetic. On a battlefield, twenty years ago, vengeance would have been immediate and infinitely more satisfying. Here, now, Alain must fight this battle with the full restraints and limitations that politics and bureaucracy have placed on him. "Mindoka, my friend, can I ask you to wait to satisfy your own sense of justice? Wait until peace and order has been restored to the land of Rekōdo?"

SilntAngl5
04-14-2012, 10:41 AM
Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

Charold of Maginus


Charold lets the Clone do as he wishes. For the moment, Charold is a man defeated and broken. Darmons tripped him of everything he had. His rank and power. AND he was saddled with the responsibility of squiring for the orange freak that was the cause of all this. He looked sideways at the Orange Man, arms folded across the disgraceful black stripes across his chest. He did not bother to correct him on the improper names. Right now, it just didn't seem worth it. There was one thing he did say.

"I am not your assistant."

With good reason, Charold was miserable. In the course of a day, his life had been completely altered, forever and dramatically changed for the worse. There were several people he greatly considered murdering to make himself feel better. One of them put his glowing hand upon his back. The look Charold gave the Clone was dangerous. He clenched and unclenched his fists, hidden in the crooks of his elbows that crossed his chest. He was not resigned to death yet, his own or anyone else's. Darmon would kill him if he did not do as commanded, and when Darmon killed someone it was never quick and never painless. His time for revenge would come. For now, perhaps this was a political maneuver. Perhaps Darmon would welcome him back after a successful mission to oppose the presence of the Dragons north of here once again. he would welcome them back and they would reign down dark terrors and ancient, black curses upon Mindoka and all of his barbaric people. For the briefest of moments, Charold smiled. Then he inhaled deeply and sighed, as if to prepare himself for the torture to come.

"Let's get this over with."

He took a route that had the least exposure. Several people saw him, regardless of his attempts to hide himself. They all stopped when they saw the black char marks where his stripes of rank should have been, every one of them. The word would be out and, for a brief, hateful moment, Charold wondered who Darmon would choose as his new Second. The thought made his skin crawl. Darmon was picky and purposeful in most everything he did.

Charold brought the Orange Knight down long, spiral columns of thick stone wall and stairs. Tall, thin windows paned with thick glass occasionally marked a floor as they wound down. Beyond the stairs were long, carpeted halls and then cruder, servant entrances that lead out to the stables. They had to walk a ways in the cold before they reached the massive stabling area. It was pre-dawn and plumes of their breath erupted into the air as they breathed. The thick-furred horses they would be riding, with cloven feet more akin to a goat's, tossed their heads and shifted as they entered. The beasts were large, seemingly too large for mountain life, but their cloven feet made them more versatile despite their size. On mannequins were their armor, for Knight and Squire both as well as necessary weapons requested by the newly knighted Orange Man. Including a Knight Light. Beside it was a scroll, sealed with the official crest of Maginus. Once opened, the seal woudl relay to Darmon that it was being read. Sometimes spells were attached to keep the message safe. A hex, a curse, death, or the scroll simply wouldn't open. Perhaps only the Dragons could open it, since it supposedly gave them reason for their passage into the Unsettled Lands. And down the long, long row of stables where the horses were kept were men who were getting their own rides ready. With a sigh, Charold lifted a hand to present these things to the Clone.

"Here are the things you will require for your journey."

Said with as little enthusiasm as possible, Charold made it sound as if the Orange Man would be going alone. He, of course, would have to attend lest he reap a healthy portion of Darmons wrath- again- and be sacrificed to the darkness that was before control and magik came to be. But if he could put up some sort of vain attempt at resistance, then he would.

SilntAngl5
04-14-2012, 02:30 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn Nalia of Enchantry

Nalia had tucked her hand to her chest protectively against any further invasion of space from Darmon. Her emerald eyes held a deeply subdued hatred for the man, one, it was assumed, everyone knew the reasoning for. She had, after all, lead a small peaceable rebellion against Maginus and formed her own solitaire island-guild. It was a very dark blotch in the proud, often exaggerated history of Maginus. A darker blotch, still, for the man who lead the entirety of Maginus. It had almost come to war. He'd goaded Nalia on their plain of encounter, she with her few women of Enchantry and he with the might of Maginus behind him. He had goaded her as the two leaders stood separate their people, walked around her and mocked her, whispered things to her that only she had the priviledge to hear. But she had remained resolute, in part, thanks to the words Alain of Taroc had given her mere days before. They were words, and hers were actions that would change everything.

She heard his footsteps as he began to approach her, but she does not turn or acknowledge him until he sets himself between she and Darmon, where he has always been for her. A shield, more than he would ever know, from a dark history between she and her former Master. There was a noise of protest from Darmon as he was made to shift over to avoid any contact with Alain. He reached for her hand and Nalia allows him to take it. Her body demeanor suggests that only because it would add insult to injury that she allows him to touch her. She leans back slightly, with her wrist upturned toward the Councilman of Taroc to show her the nail-sized gouges in her palm. Small rivulets of crimson flowed with the contours of her skin and the lifelines of her palm. They were not deep, but the blood was enough to reveal the semi-dark rite held truth. This worried Nalia, but she hid it well as women of Enchantry were trained fully to do. They had an excellent teacher.

The length of her moon-kissed arm was like a bright show of the space between them. A barrier, but the sight of Alain's tenderness, coinciding with the remark of chivalry made Adaya emit a small sound and hide a smile on her face with a hand. Herotus stiffened and afforded his twin a warning look. Adaya was the more emotional of the two. A flaw of women as some saw it. Weakness. Darmon shot Herotus and Adaya a horrid look or disgust.

Everyone, it seemed, enjoyed the minor insult to Darmon's pride. Everyone, even Mindoka seemed to lighten slightly, though the large Guild Master still remained with his arms crossed and slightly soured. Jinai held a queenly smirk at the corner of her painted lips. She watched Darmon keenly as the man's scowl deepened, further weathering his face. Everyone knew the history of Alain and Nalia as well as they knew the history of Nalia and Darmon's fracturing. Alain had found her while leading search parties through the wreckage. Astral had been hit harder than any other Province. Its armies were hardly battle worn or well trained. News of heroism and tragedy pummeled the magikal news waves. Alain had found her first, leading his men, into the ruins of her family's once beautiful home. Her mother had been a famous healer, known well through Astral and into the provinces of Rekōdo. She had offered her services to all during the war. Her father, a warrior, lost to the war. Along with a favored brother, one of three children to Silvyan and Neohr al'Vatar. But now all was a darkened shell and amid it, in a oddly bright nightgown, untouched by the charcoaled appearance of everything else, was a girl. Somehow, amid the destruction, she remained untouched. The stench of dark magik was everywhere, a darker magik than anyone, save one man, knew.

The COuncil had investigated and thought her mentally unstable, in need of institutionalization. She would not speak to anyone but Alain, who had been her first encounter with men since tapping into the Realm of Nightmares as easily as one can be destined to tap into the World of Dreams. He was gentle, careful, but kind to her. An island in the oasis of darkness where she would, forevermore, swim. There had been different Council Leaders then for some Provinces, but the story of Nalia al'Vatar was passed down to the next, just as it would be to the next after.

Nalia looked up at him, finally when he called her 'Young Nalia.' Her immediate reaction to bristle at the name was tempered by the underlying knowledge of why it was said. The mentor was schooling the pupil, though in a much different manner than Darmon enjoyed. The displeasing of the use of 'Young Nalia' was there and nothing more. She hid things well. He would know this.

"Chivalry is a waste of the efforts of men" Darmon muttered sourly, glaring at Alain. When her hand was wrapped, and released, Nalia curled her delicate fingertips around the wrapping and bowed to Alain as a gesture of gratitude. Darmon, though, is not fully focused on Alain and matches his brown eyes with his own, cold blue. His eyes do not care to follow Alain around his chair, putting on an air of ease. He did not fear Alain. And when Alain looked down at Darmon at the mention of his left arm versus his right, Darmon rolled his eyes and adjusted his grip on the hold of his short dragon staff. He very much would have loved to strike Alain's face with it as he waved his stone digits above him.

"Indeed." Darmon's eyes darkened. Darmon loves and hated that day. When Alain of Taroc lost his arm in battle with Maginus. He was there, had witnessed the entirety of it and since had wished he held the bragging rights to such a feat. There was another arm that Alain possessed, as well as two legs and a neck he'd love to sever. He did not care for Alain's remark.

The mention of the Second's being extensions of the Masters themselves caused Adaya to puff proudly and Jinai to smile securely. Majed ibn Eyad, her Amulet of Strength, was feared among Seconds, revered as being of myth and legend. It was said he was born of the sand and bronzed by the sun, hardened into a man and given strength by Jinai herself. It afforded her a massive amount of pride. Mindoka's thoughts briefly crossed to Branwen, with whom he held uncountable amounts of respect and trust. His dark brown eyes were on Darmon, watching him. The man could not argue training Charold efficiently, as it would only serve to strengthen Mindoka's case. Alain calling him inept at training the man, surely would not sit well with Darmon either. The elder Master made a fist around his staff, causing the well crafted wood to creak under the strain of his strength. The urge to beat Alain within an inch of his life was overwhelming.

"In the interest of peace, until our Princess is returned."

The larger, unbelievably eldest Guild Master nodded his head sagely. Darmon's face reddened with anger.

"This is outrageous!" he pounded a fist on the table and stood, shoving his chair back into Alain as he did. He pointed a bony finger at Mindoka who, heeding advice from a much younger and momentarily wiser Nalia, remained seated and calm. Justice, in its own way, had already been accomplished. Darmon was humiliated among his peers and it would temper his ambitions for a small amount of time. It only served to infuriate Darmon. He pointed a finger from the fist that hit the table and leveled it straight at Mindoka. Seeing a lack of reaction from Mindoka, Darmon curled his finger back in to his fist.

"None of you have anything else to say on the matter? None of you?"

The room remained heavily silent. Jinai lifted her chin arrogantly and Herotus leveled his eyes with the table. His sister stared with dislike at Darmon and Mindoka's large arms remained folded across his chest. Darmon did not dare look over at Nalia. That bridge had long since been burned. He planned on stomping on her courage at a later time. He had Kali as a playing card, now, to use against his old protege. He straightened, retaining what of his pride he could.

"Are we done here?" he asked the council, refusing to acknowledge Alain as its mediator.

"What about the Princess?" Herotus asked quietly. "What plans have wee for when and if we find her?"

"We keep looking" said Jinai regally, lifting her chin to look at each Council member. "We find her and detain her. Alive-" she cast a wary glance at Darmon "- and inform the Council immediately."

"And if she does not come peaceably? She contains all of our Ancestral Spirits."

"Perhaps Alain can offer a peaceful suggestion? We do not know if harming her will harm what is precious to us."

Darmon's jaw tightened. He was very much done here.

"Yes, let's ask brother Taroc, the all-knowing and wise. What more can you offer to this wise band of people?"

SilntAngl5
04-14-2012, 07:27 PM
The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h480/xalidus/Arion.jpg
Arion

Gratefully, Arion accepts the glass of water from her. He raises it in both hands to her, an old, tribal custom to do toward one who was generous enough to give another nourishment. It was his turn to wince when Verona explained that Alain was in a meeting to resolve a misunderstanding with Maginus. He placed the glass of water on a nearby table and cleared his throat. Anything concerning Maginus was bad, but a misunderstanding was dubiously worse. He had met Darmon of Maginus on many occasions, seen the man in action and it curdled his blood. There was no good in the man and his Soul Song was a dark as a harbinger of end times. His Song shifted and slithered, much like a serpent when dealing with others. It was an odd thing, but his Song always shifted to mirror Nalia of Enchatry's when she was present, a choking, weakened version of it, as if he'd somehow stolen a part of her that she would never have back. It was something he did not understand.

Pulled back to the present by Verona's offer, Arion shifted his senses to listen to the Songs of the men he referred to. He knew those men. Good soldiers. Good hearts at the core. But he shook his head.

"Th' business I 'ave is for Alain only." He raised a hand in apology. "Bu' thank you, Verona."

He turned to walk and look out the window of the room, at the cityscape before him with all its light and pomp and the wild brightness of nightlife that floated in the sky overhead. It would not be night for much longer. Arion could almost hear the sun getting ready or round the planet and rise again. But a different sound caught his attention and caused him to turn from the window. Tamarah had returned and it brought a swift change in Soul Song dominance. Tamarah Sela's peaceful tune was returned to its softer, subdued background, clashing oddly with Tamarah Nex's. The girl that stood before them both had a combination of both songs, backed by a great universal power he could not quite identify. The way she worded her sentences was intriguing and Arion's red irises shifted to look at Verona.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-18-2012, 07:29 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Tamarah's transformation leaves Verona feeling uneasy. Verona has witnessed many such changes, either through illusion or actual mystical metamorphoses, but this is different. This is a deeper change within the core of her guest. Verona's posture stiffens within her chair as she seeks to ignore her instinctive reaction and only show Tamarah a calm, friendly expression. She listens carefully to what Tamarah says. Verona's hand scribbles in her notebook, as if independent of her thoughts and attention. As she feels Arion's gaze fall upon her Verona glances towards the young red-haired man. Her cold blue eyes lock onto his warm red stare for an instant before turning back towards Tamara.

"No, please stay. Arion brought you here to meet with Alain for a reason." Verona's tone is careful, her mannerisms are calm and graceful. "Start at the beginning. Help me to understand exactly what is going on. You say you're not from this world. What do you mean? Where are you from?"

Qwaring's clone#1
04-19-2012, 09:42 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

As Darmon rages through his latest tantrum, Alain begins to slowly continue his walk around the table. He studies the gathering, watching their reactions. Eventually Alain's walk around the table once again comes to an end as Mindoka asks for his input. Alain now stands beside Mindoka as he looks over the council. Alain's red tinted gaze rests on Darmon's latest mockery. He gives the indignant councilor a small, smug grin.

"All I can offer is what we have all given already." Alain's expression becomes more serious as he looks over the council and addresses them all. "I seem to recall each of us making a vow on this very spot twenty years ago. We swore to uphold the Five Laws of Magik. The fifth law being: 'Protect the rulers of Rekōdo from harm by another unless they are tried and found guilty of a crime.'" Alain takes a few paces until he returns to his place at the table. He rests his right hand on his stack of divining cards that sits on the table. With a commanding tone he continues addressing the gathering. "We have not yet tried our princess of a crime. We have not yet proven her absolute guilt. In fact, my own investigation hints that the possession of our spirits might not be entirely her doing."

Alain draws his hand away from the table, taking the deck of cards with, and stands with his hands behind his back as he once again speaks. "My people have interviewed a reliable source that has revealed that the spirit of our princess is currently being tested by our ancestral spirits within the realm of dreams. At the very least this shows me that we do not know enough of what's going on to act as if she is an enemy to us. And as Darmon has proven earlier tonight, acting out of ignorance can prove to be disastrous." Alain eases back into his chair, holding his deck of cards in one hand. "Princess Pasce passed our trials. I don't know about the rest of you, but the Taroc guild takes the trials infinitely serious. If a potential ruler can pass my trial they have proven they have the knowledge, honor and integrity needed to rule. Pasce passed my trial and this proves she is worthy of my loyalty and service."

Alain leans back into his chair. His hands begin shuffling his divining cards. "When we find her... we will all go to her. We will speak to her. And together we will discover what has happened and devise a method of reclaiming our spirits without harming Pasce. If we find Pasce is guilty of wrong-doing, there will be a trial and a punishment. But if we discover she is an innocent party, we have all sworn to serve and protect her. We must remind her of this."

Alain looks up from his ancient cards and coldly glares out at the council. "Anyone that is not ready to uphold the Laws of Magik, just because it's difficult or inconvenient, is not worthy of sitting at this table."

Jason Sanborn
04-23-2012, 01:25 PM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah took another drink from the water, using the action more as a delay in answering the question. Just how much should she reveal? There was just so much to say, and only so much that should be revealed. She placed the empty glass on the table and looked at Verona.

"Not many can fully understand," she said with a sigh. "There are many different worlds in this vast universe. I've been to countless worlds, most inhabited in one form or another. My homeworld's among them, and is a place I haven't seen in a very long time."

Tamarah closed her eyes for a moment and took a breath, remembering all that she left behind so many ages ago, and knowing she could never return. She opened her eyes again and continued talking. "I'm a traveler now, going between worlds and learning from them, studying them, before I move on to my next destination. That journey has now led me here."

SilntAngl5
04-27-2012, 09:30 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn Nalia of Enchantry


The Fifth Oath. It brought on a heavy silence to all in the room, even Darmon. This was one of the Five Laws created after the Treaty of Tradisi. After the war that almost ended all else. They are guidelines, they are adhered and, just like any law on any planet, loopholes are made and hemlines skirted. All of these laws are bound by magik and when called upon under an oath, lying against one is near impossible without consequences. But calling someone on an oath is also not something taken lightly, not after magik is well learned. But the Fifth Oath, the most powerful of the Oaths, was one that was never loopholed and never forgotten. The Ruler of Rekōdo was established to prevent any one Province from retaining or gaining too much power over another. Without an ambiguous ruler in an almost neutral city, things could quickly plunge downhill. they were twenty years out of the Great War. No one has forgotten it yet. Everyone here knows what losing the Princess could truly mean for Rekōdo.

It was no secret that they were all searching, each Guild Master in their own fashion. Rekōdo did not yet know of the missing Ancestral Spirits, or that the Princess had them (by thievery or accident). Chaos and unrest would be sure to follow. It was beginning to get out that the Princess was missing. There were meetings missed, traditional events gone past. It could not be hidden forever. Unrest would be expected, but not on the scale of if it were to leak out that the Spirits were also gone. And the powers of the Guild Masters. So it was no surprise that they'd be searching for her, but, Darmon's blunder aside, it was a bold statement for Alain to claim the Spirits were not taken. A hard thing without a formal inquiry, which, given the potential crime, would be grueling for anyone, let alone a very young ruler.

"Not her doing?" Jinai questioned, sitting straighter and more forward with her question. Darmon, predictably, growled in annoyance. He glared at Alain over a fist before his mouth as he continued on.

"One must ask why they would test her if she were to have stolen them from us on purpose" Mindoka's deep voice rumbled quietly, more speaking to himself than anyone else.

"But why in the World of Dreams?" questioned Herotus "Why not where we can see?"

"The damage there will disappear with time. Here, the damage would be cataclysmic."

It was Nalia who spoke up. She was one of the few in Rekōdo who could enter the Dream World on her own, without the use of a Totem. She was, as it happened, the only Guild Master who could do the same. Even the great Mindoka needed a Totem to enter.

"And what of her body? If she dreams, then her body must be somewhere" Adaya piqued, followed by her brother. "And her guardian with it. Emic Shornoc."

Darmon rolled his eyes.

"A boy with a magik wand. Maybe a pretty deck of cards. Nothing more."

A snipe thrown Alain's way, for ruining his night. Darmon leaned on one elbow and sourly drummed the arm of his chair.

"And we are without power" Jinai snapped tiredly, gesturing to the empty air and Emit's spiritual presence with a flare of tanned fingertips. "And that makes him a powerful adversary if he thinks we mean the Princess harm."

"And we must also remember that she is still our Princess. If we act any other way, as Alain warned, the results could be disastrous. No one has gone against the Fifth Oath yet."

"Da' Jinn pledges to uphold the Fifth Oath" Jinai proclaims boldly.

"As does Astral. What say you, Mindoka of the Shamaa?"

Mindoka puts a fist to his chest.

"The Shamaa are faithful to Rekōdo and its Lost Princess."

"As is Enchantry, in all ways."

And then the eyes shift to Darmon. There is a pause as he sighed boredly. He waves a hand.

"Yes, yes... for the sake of Rekōdo. Peace and all that."

Before Darmon could dig himself into a deeper hole, Jinai cleared her throat.

"Then, unless Alain, as Officiator of the meeting, has anything more to add perhaps we could adjourn?"

SilntAngl5
04-27-2012, 10:26 PM
The Roundabout Hotel in the Taroc District of Rekōdo City...

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Arion

Fire and ice is the mutual glance shared between Arion and Verona. Warmth and cold. His eyes remained on his silver-haired ally after she looked away, back to their guest. Then he returned his gazed to the window. He still had his sword at his back. For a moment, Arion thought about changing it back to his guritar, but he did not want to detract attention away from the two women. There was no longer any need for a sword, and his own discomfort mattered little over the importance of the topic of the conversation.


"Many diff'rent worlds" he mused quietly for a moment, looking out at the pre-dawn sky. The lavish nightlife that floated in the sky was receding back to wherever it hovered during the day. Morning restaurants were beginning to appear, train cars for morning magikal commutes. The stars had all but faded and the decorate skyline began to reappear, with enlarged nearby planets and moons swirling in the sky.

"A Trav'ler."

Arion looked up from the window.

"My people 'ave stories of Trav'lers. Ol' Gods. Some wander by choice. Some because tha' is their fate. Diff'rent worl' to diff'rnt worl'. Some bring peace, some chaos, some lessons to be learned. But you 'ave all three of these."

Arion's red irises stared with twinkling curiosity at Tamarah. He found an odd feeling in seeing that his people's stories had a deeper background than imagined. How many of the Ancient Sohil met people like Tamarah, and what meaning did it hold for him that he, the last of the Sohil, was meeting her now?

Qwaring's clone#1
04-28-2012, 10:41 AM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Verona tries her best to absorb everything. Every detail. For every word spoken her pencil seems to scribble down a hasty volume of markings that only she, Alain and a few in the Taroc guild can read. Verona listens first to Tamarah and then to Arion. As Arion speaks of the stories told by his people, Verona looks from the young second to their guest, trying to decipher if Tamarah is indeed something from such stories.

"I think it is fortunate that you have come to the Taroc guild," Verona begins with calmly interested expression on her features. "Studying the stars and planets is one of the disciplines of our guild. Though we do so with telescopes. Alain himself has been known to spend weeks at our Heli'dom, with it's large telescopes, divining the secrets of the stars." Verona's hand seems to pause in its scribbling as she leans forward with renewed fascination in her guest. "I am certain that Alain would want me to offer you our full hospitality. There is so much you could share with our people, and I hope there is much we could share with you in return." Verona seems lost in the idea of learning of the other worlds, that are all impossibly far away for even the visions of Taroc to gain any useful insight on. This interest seems to have eclipsed any worry she may have developed from Arion's near constant vigilance and previous statements about injuries and troubles from before their arrival here.

Qwaring's clone#1
04-28-2012, 11:09 AM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

Gradually, as the council seems to come into some kind of agreement about putting the safety of the princess first, Alain's grim mood seems to lighten. Even Darmon's snide comment is ignored. Alain gives his cards a few casual shuffles until Jinai asks him for any last bit of business. Alain glances up from his cards.

"My grandfather once told me, 'We are all the sum of our limitations. Strength is measured by how well we understand, accept and overcome those limitations,'" Alain addresses to the gathering. "Despite the great might each of our guilds possess there are still limits. I believe it is in times of great need that we should work together to overcome those limits and become the sum of our combined strengths. We have all worked alone to find the princess, but I think it is time to pool our efforts." Alain pockets his cards and leans forward, with his elbows and forearms resting on the table and his gloved hands folded together. "The Taroc Guild embassy here in the city is open to any of you or any of your representatives. I will keep my ambassador fully informed of the search and he will act as a go-between with any of your agents. And if your own searches need the aid of Taroc's resources, I will gladly offer what I can. Do not hesitate to call on me." Alain leans back and offers a small sweep of his hand, as if gently surrendering the attention of the council. "That's all that I have for right now."

SilntAngl5
04-28-2012, 11:07 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Herotus and Adaya of Astral Darmon of Maginus Mindoka of Shamaa Jinai of Da'Jinn Nalia of Enchantry


All of the COuncil, excluding Darmon, seemed pleased with Alain's final words.

"The borders of Shamaa are always opened to those with the intention of peace for Rekōdo."

"Enchantry will extend the use of artifacts from our Totem archives that may help in finding the Princess and High Chronicler."

A small noise came from the chair at the table where Darmon sat.

"Da'Jinn will combine efforts with others where we can."

"For the sake of Rekōdo" the twins chimed solemnly.

"Then the meeting is officially adjourned."

Mindoka rapped his large knuckles on the table three times and it was done. It echoed into the high, vaulted ceiling of the chamber. The echo of the official sound caused the lights to flicker, the flames of the candelabras danced and the hearth flared back to it's beautiful golden color. The pale yellow of the meeting was bronzed once more. The heat emission remained comfortably the same. The general shift that had taken place when Alain began the meeting shifted once more now that the eldest of the Council officially called its end. The air, the light, everything seemed to alter slightly, lightening. The room had ceased listening and the heavy attention that was placed here with the meeting had abated. In the Central Library, the magikal scrolling, recording the meeting and its words into thick parchment pages of a book stilled and dropped back into its ancient, never drying inkwell. The Book of Secrets closed itself, high on its pedestal in the middle of a room that had no doors or windows, no lights but its own. And the room sighed with the closing off of a magik more ancient than many in the room could ever hope to know.

"Gentlemen... ladies... If there is nothing else?" Jinai stood and bowed herself to her fellow councilmen. Mindoka and Herotus stood as she rose. Darmon chose to ignore the ancient, polite custom and waved an non-enthused hand in the air. Nalia rose as well, in deference to the older and well-respected Jinai. As they stood, one-by-one, the light of their chair's symbol faded to darkness.

"Safe travels, sister Jinai" said the large, ancient Mindoka. Then Herotus looked to Alain with a quirk of a smile on his handsome, tanned face.

"Great fun" he said to Alain. "I always enjoy the meetings you call better than any other."

He extended an arm to his twin.

"Let us go, Adaya. The dawn has not yet come."

Adaya linked her arm with her brother's. As the walked toward the Hearth, she looked back over her shoulder at Alain with her auburn-colored eyes. The golden firelight danced on her tanned skin, down the not-so-subtle curve of her breasts. She smiled at Alain with her voluptuous lips and blew him a kiss before she and her brother were consumed by the flames, sent back to wherever it was in Astral they desired to go. Nalia watched them depart and then looked to Master Mindoka.

Mindoka simply looked down at a bracelet he wore. Simple, beaded, a twin to the one he'd given Branwen before stepping through her portal into the Council Chambers. The field and the stream faded from forest to endless plains around it. The Hundred Year Plains fading into the rivers and then the forests of Shamaa. The white stag within it was frozen in mid-leap. Mindoka spun the bracelet from day to night, from day to night and then let it be. Back in Shamaa, the bracelet Branwen wore would spring to life and become a living tapestry. the white stag completed its leap and began to run across the scene on the bracelet, from day to night and back again, leaping through the forest and field with never ending strength and agility. It was time for Mindoka to leave. He waited for Branwen's portal to open and while he did he stared down at Darmon who returned Mindoka's heated gaze with his own icy, blue eyes. Finally, abruptly, Darmon stood and the light of his chair went out.

Darmon broke Mindoka's gaze, which would always be as constant as a mountain's facet, and looked at Nalia. Her emerald eyes looked back at him, with masked hatred. The tension between the two was especially thick. Darmon glanced down at Nalia's wrapped hand.

"We will discuss Kali later."

His blue eyes glared at Nalia and his hand ground the sculpted wood of his dragon staff.

"I have said my peace concerning my Second, Darmon."

Her voice was curt, clinging barely to patience for her old mentor. He made a noise of uncaring dismissal.

"We shall see."

Another warning glare given to Mindoka and then his cold eyes shifted to Alain.

"Don't get too used to being in charge. It's a high horse to fall from" he spat at the Guild Master of Taroc. Other than the glare, he did not acknowledge that Mindoka was still present. A final glance was given to Nalia, regarding her as someone who would always be beneath him and a constant thorn in his side. A reminder of failure.

"Do not make me wait long."

He turned and exited through the fire with a flare of dark blue-black flames. A silence fell. Mindoka glanced at Alain and shook his head before shifting his dark brown eyes over to Nalia. Her injured left hand was clenched tightly into a fist at her side. her right hand was splayed on the granite table. A cold imprint was left there when she lifted it and tucked it close to her chest. Her dazzling green eyes finally left the roaring fire to look at Alain and Mindoka. The emerald gem that dangled on her forehead still caught the light. Nalia looked mainly at Mindoka and there was something apologetic in her eyes. Her lips parted with the intention of speaking, but Mindoka held up a large hand to stop her.

"You never apologize for his actions."

Her lips pursed, but slowly, Nalia nodded. She curtsied, first to Mindoka and then to Alain. Each was deep, meaningful, with respect. When she rose, she pulled her deep hood back over her head, so that only what the firelight illumined would be seen. She glanced at the two men again and then stepped a shadow. It was the shadow of the table that they were both touching. She faded into it as if she were no more than a shade or a spirit and then disappeared. It would cause a chill, one very visible in Mindoka, as if someone had passed through a part of his own soul. had Nalia chosen to walk through one of their shadows, the feeling would have been much more intimate and much worse. Mindoka shuddered as the chill passed and then looked to Alain. A deep frown marred his face.

"As much as I do not approve of the dark entities Nalia harbors" he said deeply with a voice that rumbled with displeasure "I have a greater disapproval for how Darmon treats her."

Really, Mindoka's disapproval extended to how Darmon treats everyone. Women were viewed differently in the northern and southern Provinces of Rekōdo. Mindoka's gaze traveled to the fire.

"She reminds him of his failure to keep her under Maginus control."

And they all knew how well Darmon took failure. Nalia was a slap in Darmon's face every time she was seen. Mindoka found himself thinking, dreadfully, that he was surprised Darmon hadn't had Nalia killed after she lead her rebellion and fractioned from his Province. Mindoka shook his head.

"Someday peace will return to Rekōdo, Alain. Perhaps not in my time, but it will. We must be patient."

Qwaring's clone#1
04-28-2012, 11:55 PM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

As the meeting is officially ended Alain rises from his chair. He grants every member of the council a respectful bow as they depart, to Herotus he gives a smirk to match his own. Alain bows to every councilor except for Darmon. He doesn't give Darmon the satisfaction of being paid attention to. Finally, as Nalia vanishes, Alain drops back down into his chair. He gives a slight shiver at Nalia's shadowy departure and tries to rub a phantom chill out of his left arm for a moment before he realizes how silly such an act is and busies his hands with shuffling his deck of ancient divining cards once more. He gives Mindoka's sage words a slow nod in agreement. Finally with Mindoka's last statement Alain looks up at the elder councilor.

"Peace will be during your time, old friend. Maybe not during Darmon's time in power, but definitely during your lifetime," Alain promises with a grin. His eyes twinkle with unfolding strategies and clever ideas. "Once Pasce is found and our spirits are returned, Darmon will be put on trial. And I swear to you that every favor I'm owed, every political ally, every contact and dirty trick I know will all be put to use on getting him convicted. I will happily spend twenty years of political artillery that I've been saving for this very moment." Alain slaps his divining cards down on the table as he swiftly rises once more from his chair. His eyes flare with the remains of the vengeful creature that roamed within Alain's soul during the Great War.

"That monster has gotten away with too much for too long. And now he's done something we can finally punish him for. At long last Darmon will face justice." Alain enjoys a wide grin as he seems to envision the glorious day of justice. "And on that day, I will hold a feast in Clow. The people of Taroc will dance in the streets. And at long last Darmon will no longer control Maginus. And I will no longer have to see his disgusting face at this table any more."

Tigers
04-30-2012, 12:01 PM
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Branwen

Branwen watched as Mindoka's strong frame disappeared into the watery portal. Her hand still tingled slightly from where he had handed her the bracelet. A simple but beautiful piece that easily fit over her bracer. Even though it served a purpose, Branwen felt a touch of pride. In the time that she'd been here, her feelings for Mindoka had changed, but the young woman would not entertain any thoughts that he felt the same, not with their age difference.

But that didn't mean that she wouldn't make sure that Mindoka always looked good. With a fleeting thought to the man who had disappeared through her watery portal, she left for their village to make sure his instructions were carried out with promptness. There she saw to her duties as his second until he signaled his need to return. As soon as the bracelet came alive, Branwen opened a portal for Mindoka, and waited his return.

SilntAngl5
05-01-2012, 10:20 PM
The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

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Mindoka of Shamaa


Mindoka regards Alain's youthful enthusiasm with a small, knowing smile. He knew how Alain felt. He had been as excitable when he was young, so very long ago. He listened to his speech about Darmon's great downfall. There was nothing more Mindoka would like to see happen to him. Darmon's Spirit was dark, full of treachery that he could barely bring himself to fathom.

"The Princess is not in Shamaa, Alain." Mindoka looked grieved. "The Spirits of the land I protect have scoured every corner looking for Pasce's body and that of the High Chronicler. She is not in Shamaa, which means she is elsewhere. I fear for her."

It was not something Mindoka desired to think about. If she ended up in the crazy, aloof land of the Astrals, or in the strict natured- Da'Jinn... Or, Ancient Ancestors forbid, in Maginus...

"Can our Spirits be returned to us, Alain?"

Mindoka's voice was a soft rumble of thunder amid his own dark thoughts. A thin-lined frown marred the face beneath his black and gray goatee.

"If she cannot give them back to us, we must be prepared to deal with what that could mean, and what others may do. We must also be prepared to deal with whoever will be Darmon's successor. If Charold is what Darmon breeds in Maginus, then I fear the next will be as bad as he."

Well, that seemed a difficult feat. Darmon was not known for his friends or for any desirable quality beside his ambition and ability to rule Maginus with an iron fist. Mindoka paused a moment. He would love to tell Alain about how he felt the same when he was his age, how ready he felt to take on any rival clans or Provinces for the sake of the glory of Shamaa over all others, or for personal triumph over an enemy. That fire was still there, it was always there, but age tempered even the mightiest soldiers. But he knew such words would fall on deaf ears.

"Alain... I think our losing our Spirits and our power is right. Exactly what was needed to humble us. To remind us. Emporium does not need us. It will continue on just as it has done without the Dragons or other fabled creatures that have since faded into shadow and myth."

A watery portal opened behind him, swirling and blue. Calm, emitting a faint, cool breeze. The fur of the vestment she wore rippled in the breeze. The feel of it made Mindoka smile as he looked at Alain.

"I will die soon. It is my place as the eldest" he said calmly as if age were the mere dictation of such things. But his smile broadened into one that mirrored Alain's. "But I'll set the Hundred Year Plains ablaze if I see myself go before Darmon. When the time comes, you will have your feast day in Clow, Alain of Taroc and the warriors of Shamaa will celebrate that great victory with you and your people."

Mindoka held out a large, strong forearm for Alain to clasp in warrior fashion. His dark brown eyes were on fire with the warrior's spirit that touched them all in the heat of battle. He smiled broadly at Alain.

"Hope, Alain. We must always hope."

And he released Alain and walked through the watery portal to his Second, who awaited him. He contained the smile he'd left with. The momentary joy was abated by the need to catch up with the outside world. There were soldiers coming to Maidin. The portal closed behind Mindoka as he stepped into the comfortable city-village of Maidin. With was more modern than the roaming huts of the tribes and clans that still held to nomadic ways, but everything here was built naturally, with the land in mind rather than out of it. Buildings were cast around and including what sparse trees dotted the edge of the plains. To the north and south, large lakes glistened in the pre-dawn light. Alreayd, accommodations were being made. Tents were erected on the edge of the small city, enchanted so that, when one stepped inside, the space was expanded to that of a several-storied inn with all the amenities one would provide. The soldiers would be welcome in Maidin as well. The garrisons there, in the walled city, were already making room for their now-allies to come and stay with them. Talk of the movement of soldiers and men spread like wildfire and would no doubt continue to spread with the movement of trade north to Rekōdo City and west to Nyama by the sea.

With his return, the white stag had, once again, frozen in time, leaping upon the beads of the bracelet they both wore. Representatives of the nomadic clans were present, carrying their staff-poles decorated with the symbols of who they were. Some wore their traditional tribal paints, the more modern wore clothing that was more recognizable as village-attire. They were all helping, readying their own small detachments of men to assist in whatever ways they could. The city was busy, bustling, noisy, but Mindoka recognized the need for the commotion. When he passed them, fists were placed across chests to salute the return of the Greta Mindoka to Shamaa soil. The salutes were returned, but he immediately went to Branwen.

"Thank you" he said quietly to his Second, glancing around. "What news have you from our neighbors in Mirian (http://itsalltrue.net/camera/IMG_0314.JPG)? Are we ready for their arrival?"


~*~


The Secret Fortress of Alain... Behind the Hidden Door

1358

Nalia of Enchantry

The meeting was over. Nalia had skipped her way through shadows until she had made it back outside of the Palace. They were waiting, not so dormant as they had been the first time. She could still hear the Nightmares jittering, growling, howling at the disturbances and at being unable to find her. She'd drawn her hood up so that darkness covered her face, but there was a shine to her emerald eyes beneath her hood, tinged with darkness at the rims of her irises. She breathed deeply, to calm herself, and waited. She waited and watched the indescribably high window of the Council's meeting room. There was nothing in there to indicate that there were people. She was among the last to leave, but still she waited quietly, in the shadows. The cool, pre-dawn wind unfurled a few black curls from the cowl of her hood. They dance enticingly around her shoulder and cloak. Finally, after she waited what felt like an appropriate amount of time, Nalia left. One last time, she melted back into the shadows and into the tainted darkness. The World of Nightmares, she called it. Even the World of Dreams she tainted when she entered, but this was different. There was nothing life-like or joyous to taint. there was only darkness and the creatures that were alive in it, made of it, one with it and all the fear it caused. They lived on fear. She ran through the darkness, with no visible destination in sight. She was a dark green blur, outlined in light that sped through the darkness. The things that thrived there noticed her and began to stir. They were waiting this time.

All around her, the darkness began to sep and crawl toward her. From all directions it surrounded her and came toward her. The ground behind her and far in front of her was cracking apart, shattering and threatening to swallow her whole. Nalia's hood billowed back, revealing her face and the darkness shrieked and exploded forward. Calmly, she had to remain calm, Nalia lifted the index finger of her right hand. A golden ring that twisted and entwined up her finger shone there in the deep, dark. It wrapped her finger from knuckle to knuckle but as she lifted it into the air it began to change. The gold melted and rushed to the tip of her finger, like a talon. It extended and formed the ridges and crevasses of a small golden key. All she had to do was think of who she wanted to see, where she wanted to see him and the ring became the key to this one place. Ahead of her, between she and the Nightmares that rushed at her, formed a doorway in the darkness. Everything, she and the Nightmares rushed to that point as the arched whiteness pierced the black space that was all around. The door was inscribed with ancient runes that was the spell that bound it to the ring. It shone in the dark like a beacon, her beacon. The lock for the key formed, waiting. She did not look at the things that rushed at her, at the things that were Fear itself. She reached for the door, extended her finger.

The key went into the hole and she and the door exploded in a burst of white light. The Nightmare screamed and howled at the pure brightness, but in a moment it was gone and so was she. And the darkness howled in anger and frustration at not being able to catch her for the third time that night.

The banner in the single room within the secret boxcar fluttered lightly on an unknown source of breeze. The doorway closed behind her in absolute silence. Nalia leaned against it to catch her breath, to gulp in the fresh, cool air of the stone-carved room as if it were the freshest air in Emporium. She closed her eyes and sank a little against its strong, oaken frame. Her hood remained drawn, but a hand, shaking, went and touched the sheer fabric that wrapped her midsection. Nalia looked skyward, silently aside her deep, quick breathing, silently giving thanks. She willed herself to calm. He would know she traveled through the darkness. There were always remnants of it around the edges of her striking emerald eyes when she did, as if it were seeping into the very soul of her. He might scold her for not using the key on any door, but she could not take the chance. Not with what she was hiding. Nalia composed herself and stood straight from the door. She waited, as she always did, for him to come to her. This was always how it was when she met him here, or anywhere. one came and waited for the other to acknowledge they'd arrived. It was safer. It was a very dangerous game they played.

Jason Sanborn
05-02-2012, 10:30 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah looked at Arion as he commented about the gods. She's been to worlds where she was considered a goddess. Before she could respond to him, Verona continued to speak. She turned her attention back to Verona.

"The stars do hold many secrets. As for me, I would not call myself a Goddess. You are right, Sir, when you say that I do hold three in me. I have been called The Triune Lady for that very reason. Order, Chaos and Balance are each aspects of what I am. You have met both Chaos and Order in Tamarah-Nex and Tamarah-Sela. Perhaps later you will meet Tamarah-Oni, my aspect of Balance."

Tamarah sighed, closing her eyes, and rubbing her temples. There was so much to say, and so much to remain hidden. She is silent for a moment before opening her eyes again and looking at Verona. "I thank you for your hospitality and graciously accept your offer. I'll share with you what I can."

Qwaring's clone#1
05-06-2012, 09:11 AM
Sir George J. Cloney, Dark Knight of Maginus

Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

As Charold leads Cloney into the stables, the orange clone hefts over his shoulder a pillow case full of silverwear, candlesticks, ashtrays and other shiny objects. The numerous metal objects, which had been gathered on the long journey through the lesser used chambers and corridors of the Great Hold, clang together noisily. Cloney happily strides past Charold and approaches his horse and assembled supplies. He drops the pillowcase of noisy loot as he marvels at all of the new shiny items that are now being given to him.

"Oooh! Look at all of that stuff, Ultra. Fancy!" Cloney excitedly exclaims as he eagerly touches everything that his greedy hands can reach. He curiously picks up the sealed scroll and immediately breaks the wax seal and begins to unroll the paper. "Look at this, I think this is our map," Cloney guesses as he unrolls the scroll. Dark energies flare to life over the scrolls surface as cruel magiks detect that the scroll is not being opened by its intended recipient. The scroll snaps back into its original rolled up condition, which painfully traps the clone's greedy orange fingers within its mystically strong curls. Cloney yells out and waves his hands around frantically. He tries to pry his fingers free while the mystically charged scroll growls like a savage wolf refusing to release a captured prey from its cruel jaws. The orange man is now hopping and dancing around the stables wildly, as if frantic motion has any hope of freeing his pained fingers. The dark energies of the scroll begin to slither up Cloney's paper bitten fingers and over his hands, possibly seeking to further harm this would-be reader. The moment the dark energies reach the place on Cloney's hand where Darmon left the mystical branding, the shadowy glow retreats from the orange man's hands and back into the paper of the scroll. The rolled up document releases Cloney's fingers, rolls itself up tightly and restores its seal before dropping harmlessly onto the ground. Cloney runs away from the terrible scroll. He rushes towards his equipment, picks up his shield and sword and carefully tiptoes his way back to the fallen scroll. Cautiously, the fearful clone gives the scroll a few panicked jabs with the point of his sword, while hiding most of his body behind his shield in desperate hope that the shield will protect him from this scary 'map'. The scrolls simply growls in response to the terrified jabs, but otherwise remains an ordinary roll of paper.

Cloney slowly creeps away from the scroll, not turning his attention away from the evil paper. He slowly makes his way to Charold's side and positions himself so that Charold now stands between himself and the scroll. "H- How- How a- How about you t- take care of the map, Ultra ol' boy. I- I think you've earned the important task of acting as the official navigator for our quest. This is very important, so don't let me down," Cloney offers to the disgraced man with both panic and badly faked authority. Cloney then offers Charold a pat on the shoulder and a half-hearted smile. The orange man then retreats further away from the scroll and approaches his suit of armor. He clumsily discards his sword and shield onto the ground as he reaches out to his armor.

Dramatic orchestral music begins to fill the stables as Cloney starts picking up pieces of armor. The music is epic and grandiose. It seems to be built upon the conceit that something mythical and exciting is happening. As the music plays Cloney begins a classic action hero suiting up montage. Boots are put on and strapped, dramatically. The breastplate is slipped on and fastened into place, dramatically. Hands are slipped into gauntlets, dramatically. The cod piece is stepped into, dramatically. The sword belt is wrapped around Cloney's hips and buckled, dramatically. Finally the helmet is donned, dramatically. And apparently the rest of the armor has been put on off-camera during this montage, because once the music dies down the Clone is standing in his full suit of armor. The orange man strikes a dramatic pose in his dark armor and from beneath his visor he flashes a triumphant smile. Cloney now stands as the invincible dark knight of Maginus.

He dramatically reaches down to pick up the sword and shield he had dropped onto the ground. The combination of overly dramatic movements and the extra weight of the armor unbalances Cloney and sends him toppling over, rolling forward and spilling out onto the floor. Cloney lies on his back, undramatically, and struggles to lift himself up from the ground. With his movements limited by the weight and restrictions of wearing a full suit of armor his efforts to rise are entirely futile. After a minute of pittifully struggling the clone calls out to Charold, "Uh- How 'bout a little help here, Ultra?"

Qwaring's clone#1
05-06-2012, 09:57 AM
Alain LeCavalier

The Council Chambers within the Great Palace of Rekōdo...

Twenty years ago Alain learned when it is best to silently listen and absorb what he is told. He doesn't utilize this talent for everyone, but for Mindoka this talent is almost always put to good use. Alain nods to the elder's points and contemplates the meanings to his sage words. Eventually, when a hand is offered Alain immediately takes a firm, respectful hold on the hand. Soon there is a watery portal and with it's arrival comes Mindoka's departure. Once again Alain finds himself alone within the council chamber. Alone with an odd sensation lightly trailing over the outskirts of his thoughts. This sensation is soon recognized as the spells inhabiting his private office deep within his hidden fortress reaching out to his mind and telling Alain that he has a guest. A very sepcial guest. Alain enjoys a personal smile before he pockets his divining cards, takes a firm hold of his bronze cane and, after a brief shimmering of reality around his form, vanishes from the council chambers.


The Secret Fortress of Alain... Minutes Later...

The front door leading into Alain's private office mystically opens itself to allow Alain to step inside. He has his bronze cane tucked under one arm and a silver platter held with both hands. Alain steps into the office, the door closes itself behind him. The air in the office briefly tingles as the chamber is locked off from all mystical senses and spells from the outside world that might seek to peer or reach inside. Alain approaches a couch and collection of chairs that are arranged around a coffee table. He sets his tray down on the table. On the silver platter sits a steaming teapot, sugar bowl, a small milk pitcher and a pair of cups. The tea is a special blend imported from Astra Province, and has been used for ages to soothe the agitated souls of those that try to travel through the darkest realms.

With his burden set onto the table, Alain tosses his cane onto a chair and continues walking across the length of this large chamber. He passes by the rows of artifact and book cluttered shelves and several war-tattered banners until he at least reaches his desk on the far end of the room. Alain peels off his military frock coat and tosses it onto the back of the chair resting behind the desk. He sits down on the desk, facing the crimson and gold banner of Taroc that proudly hangs over the back wall of the office. He stares at the Taroc banner, as if he could see Nalia and the hidden door she used to secretly enter the office, both of which lie behind the banner's scarlet surface. Alain offers a brief wave of a couple fingers, as if singalling something to the chamber around him. Invisible forces tug on the length of the Taroc banner, drawing it back like a grand theatrical curtain. To Alain and Nalia the sight of one another is revealed. The hidden door behind the Taroc banner seems to fade under the light of the room, which is an illusion intended to hide the door from anyone that might search the chamber.

Alain offers Nalia two outstretched, gloved hands. His lips curl into an adoring smile, while his eyes sparkle and silently call to the raven haired woman.

SilntAngl5
05-07-2012, 03:31 PM
Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain

1364

Nalia of Enchantry


Unlike Alain, Nalia had no clues to his arrival. That was the agreement of their secret arrangement. If Alain traveled to a place of her choosing, she would know and he would wait for her to acknowledge him. Here, Nalia waited for Alain to come. It prevented each other from walking in on a meeting where those in attendance would suspect the reason for the sudden company. Everything was well planned, carefully crafted. A well kept secret, possibly the best in all of Rekōdo. A secret was best kept when no one knew it. Nalia now had two that did and one who was desperately entitled to know. Nalia breathed deeply, feeling the tingling of fear touching the arteries of her heart and the back of her skull. it rose form her back and spread. It was dark behind the banner and the door, oddly dark with a hint of light, as if the banner were almost transparent. She could almost see through it, but shapes were indiscernible, only there because her mind knew the details of the room that lay beyond the banner. It only allowed some light to pass through, but not enough for what she had just witnessed. Her breathing grew quicker, but she willed herself to calm. Nalia closed her eyes. and arched her back slightly, resting the back and top of her head against the thick, wooden door. She recalled an old technique her father had taught her, one of her only remaining memories of him. Dark hair, long, tied back and striking emerald eyes and chiseled features. A squared jaw and chin set stubbornly, proudly and strongly within, what her mother had said, was the most handsome face on Emporium. The only face for her. She had been angry one day. She was quite young and had broken something dear to her. A wooden horse, thrown in an angry fit she could not calm herself from. She'd made the mistake of swinging a tiny fist at her father when he'd bent down to speak with her. He'd caught it in mid air. She would never forget the look on his face.

"Never hit someone you love, Nalia" he'd chastized firmly, holding her little fist in his large, worn hands. She remembered struggling to free her fist, but her father had remained quite still. He had waited until she was done struggling before he spoke again.

"You are so angry, Little One. You must learn to control that."

By this time, her anger had slid rapidly into frustration and her emerald eyes, that rivaled her father's hue for hue, began to brim with tears. He'd smiled at her then, gently, for she was so young and said "Nalia... What is the most beautiful thing you've ever seen?"

The question piqued her interest. She stared at her father intently and made no move to wipe her eyes with her free hand. She was not usually given in to anger and was quite a passive, quiet girl. But when she got angry, it was something awful. But she knew this was something important. She could tell in the way her father crouched in front of her intently, still holding her fist.

"A rose."

Her father had smiled, she remembered. Shamaan roses from the Tiarna Wood were her mother's favorite flower. They were snow white and the petals, when bloomed, melted into color. No one ever knew what color until it happened. They were rare and each part could be used for potions or teas. The thorns were said to be poisonous to everyone, but her mother never suffered their poison. One of the many mysteries of their magikal world.

"Nalia... when you are angry, empty your mind of everything until there is nothing. Think of that rose. Remember every detail and watch it bloom in your mind. If you do that, whatever hurts you will be gone. You are in charge of what you do and think. Not anyone else. Do you understand?"

It was windy that day near the lake water in Dayena. She'd nodded her head, staring directly at her father, heedless of the curls that tumbled before her lightly freckled cheeks. She was still upset. He could feel the anger in the fist he held.

"Try it. Close your eyes."

She never once questioned her parents. She never spoke back or back-talked. Nalia was known as their quietest, most observant and obedient child. She never responded to her father, but closed her eyes. He would see the anger in how tightly she held them closed, how her little nose scrunched up. She made her mind dark, because in the dark you could see nothing. She pictured one of her mother's Shamaan roses. Every ridge in its stem, every thorn, every dew drop on the closed petals was sculpted and crafted in her mind. Then, slowly, she made the rose bloom. Every petal, as it opened curled lightly and darkened to a bright orange, like fire or the sun when it set on the water. The orange deepened to a pink and then a red as the rose opened and exposed its inner beauty to her. Slowly, Neohr al'Vatar released his young daughters fist. He remained crouched before her, but watched her. He saw the anger melt from her features, dripping off of her like dewdrops on the unfurling petals she pictured. A smiled came across his powerful features. Nalia opened her eyes. Her father said nothing, but he reached out and embraced her. He held her to his strong chest and ran a hand through her curls. He did not need to say it, but every inch of him radiated pride. When they'd gone home that afternoon, riding on Tarocian stallions, he'd told her mother of what she'd done and her mother looked at her and gave her one of her beautiful smiles.

Nalia opened her eyes and looked to the banner. A shadow crossed it, appearing suddenly. She stood calmly from the door and waited until the banner is drawn back. Like the theater. The sight of him in private always caught her breath, it had from the time she was old enough to know of such things, though such thoughts had long remained private. She did not move for a moment after he stretched out both hands to her. Her hood was still up and she took a moment to pull it back from her face. The lightly slowly touched her alabaster skin, nearly devoid of the childhood freckles she'd had on her cheeks. He knew those freckles. They were replaced by womanly beauty, the sharp angled features of her father tempered by the soft beauty of her mother. Her hair was tied back, though cascades of it spilled down the back of her cloak. Her rose petal lips were perfectly curved and formed for the seductive skills all Astralian women contained. Her eyes were large, emeralds, rivaled by the natural gem that dangled from a hairline chain that threaded into her hair, easily lost among the darkness of her curls. The light of the room hit it ad unexpected moments, often causing one to catch their breath. Nalia inhaled deeply as she withdrew her hood, something that was more and more difficult to be comfortable doing, as of late. She looked up at Alain, who was taller then she, and finally extended one hand for him to take.

A small ounce of independence in keeping her own hand.

The way his eyes sparkled at her made her heart begin to leap in her chest. She inhaled deeply, but would not look away from him. Women from Astral were bold in the way they matched a male stare for stare, something their neighbors to the north in Da'Jinn would never allow. Jinai was an exception to that rule, a rule that was older than Rekōdo itself. Nalia's eyes, though, were rimmed with blackness. it clouded the beauty of the edges of her green irises. She knew he would see it and did not try to hide it from him. She kept her distance, though, holding his gloved hand formally in case he would be bothered by it. She knew it was dangerous to travel in the darkness without power. They both knew.

"Forgive me" she said quietly. The corset of her bodice, shining with the totem shawl wrapped around her thin midsection rose up as she breathed deeply. "It was the only way I knew. I had to see you."

She was frightened by this. By seeing him, by the secret she held, by how vulnerable she was. Her hand in his trembled slightly, the only thing that would give away how unsettled she was. In her bold eyes, there was nothing of how she felt. How frightened she was of what she needed to say to him.

Qwaring's clone#1
05-07-2012, 09:13 PM
Alain LeCavalier

Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain...

As Nalia's hand slides into Alain's grasp, he rises from the desk. His gaze remains fixed on Nalia's. He studies the fringes of darkness that mar her emerald irises. Alain's brow spoils his adoring expression as it wrinkles with a hint of worry. Instinctively Alain leans forward and gives a gentlemanly kiss on the slender hand he holds within his grasp. Alain knows he should scold or at least warn Nalia from taking such a dangerous route to reach this place, but a stinging pain from the fresh tattoo on his right forearm reminds him of his own consultation with a caged demon only hours ago.

Alain rises from Nalia's hand with a small smile and a calm whisper on his lips. "I suppose there are times when we all must walk with shadows." He tilts his head slightly as his gaze and slight smirk seem to contemplate Nalia with curious elation. He steps closer to the woman, drawing their joined hands against his broad chest, while his other arm wraps itself around Nalia's slender frame.

"I don't know about you, but I have nothing but free time. Just an entirely cleared schedule with no appointments or troubles for ages," Alain explains in an amused tone. His gaze gleams mischievously. "We could have some tea. Maybe raid the kitchen for Verona's hidden stash of Dayena chocolates. And then just find something to keep us occupied for days and days." He's speaking in pure fantasy, but here with Nalia in his arms Alain is perfectly happy with this particular fantasy. In reality, Alain knows there's still a manhunt to lead, a power vacuum to conceal and potential war to avert. He also knows those matters can wait for however long he and Nalia will be here, in each others arms.

Qwaring's clone#1
05-07-2012, 09:55 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Verona seems almost overwhelmed by a proud enjoyment over how this encounter appears to be playing out. Here she is, just a Guild Sentinel's daughter from Palios, and now she's making diplomatic arrangements with a powerful being from another world. Verona has never dreamed that she could be a part of something so historic or important. Sure, her work with Alain and the Taroc guild is important, very important, but she has always known that no matter what she has done for Alain her name would never be found in any of the history books. It's the price she has to pay in order to be more effective as Alain's assistant. Verona must be able to perform incredibly vital tasks while going unnoticed and seeming entirely unimportant to Alain's enemies and rivals. Verona has accepted her role long ago.

But now that she's finally sitting here at a truly historic moment that could possibly help all of Rekōdo, Verona finds herself almost intoxicated by how good all of this feels. She pauses a moment to take in a long breath, try to calm herself and give her notebook a quick glance. Verona mustn't forget to always check on what she's writing. With her mystical gift of automatic writing, Verona is never sure when she is marking off some vital information from a future crisis or a helpful tidbit from the past. Verona's soft blue eyes gaze over the scribblings on the page. She focuses on a few lines of recently written text and her overwhelming elation seems to fade slightly. She cocks a curious eyebrow at the notebook, as if considering some foreign concept it seems to have presented to her. Gradually Verona glances up from her notebook and once more gazes upon Tamarah.

"Tamarah, I'm curious if you possess any extrasensory abilities. Alain, Arion and myself are currently trying to locate a missing member of our royal family," Verona explains softly. "I'm afraid this situation will leave many people in Rekōdo rather worried and distracted, so if there's anything you can do to help us it might make it easier to put more focus on helping you to explore and learn all about our world." A smile returns to Verona's lips as she now seems somewhat hopeful that this idea could possibly provide a solution to a very desperate problem.

SilntAngl5
05-07-2012, 11:38 PM
Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain

1366

Nalia of Enchantry


Nalia's emerald eyes travel down with Alain's movement as he brings his lips to the top of her hand. Her lips part slightly and she inhaled an held her breath. The touch of his lips upon her always cool skin send waves of warmth traveling up her arm. It made her shiver just slightly, something he'd always enjoyed in achieving with her. Her emerald eyes gentled and almost seemed to glow softly at the endearing gesture. She knew he was worried at the darkness in her eyes. If things were slightly different, he might have chastised her for it. She still expected him to before she left, if he was not admonishing her for another thing entirely.

When he drew their conjoined hands to his chest, the same doe-like look she'd gotten when he'd kissed her hand took over. She does not resist him as he guides her to the chiseled strength of his chest. She knows every scar he has. She has traced each with her fingertips and sometimes her lips. Some were scars she'd given him with her teeth, but many were from long ago, when she was just a girl. For a moment, Nalia is lost in everything his warm embrace has offered her, and offers her now. Protection, love and union of their wearied bodies and souls. She bowed her head toward their clasped hands in an entirely submissive gesture toward the man she loved and could not love at the same time. Dark ebony curls swung downward from the chaos of containment behind her delicate skull. She felt his gloved hand touch the small of her back and hold her there. She inhaled quickly, something easily mistaken for being unprepared or surprised by his immediate desire for intimacy. But there was a tightness at her stomach that he would not feel. A pressure from how close they were. The shawl was an illusion, hiding the truth of whatever it covered. He would not feel the secret she hid, but she would and it made it very hard to breathe. Being with him on its own, was sometimes hard to breathe.

Her head remained bowed as his words flowed like sweet honey into her ears. He would feel her exhaled onto their hands, breathing deeply. quickly, almost too quickly. Nalia closes her emerald eyes, not looking at him as a last ditch effort to deny herself the pleasure his fantasies offered for the both of them. Her lips found his hand clasping hers and kissed him there tenderly as he spoke his offer to her. It was too good to pass. But Nalia knew that the road he beckoned her to follow would reveal her secret to him in a way she did not want. A way completely unfair to him. She simply could not do that to him, not for the sake of her own pleasure no matter how her Astral blood begged her to. Nalia squeezed her eyes shut tightly.

"Alain" she said quietly and looked up at him. Her other hand came up finally, to touch his chest terribly softly. Nalia stepped back from him lightly, just enough so that she could breathe again within her hidden guise. She did not move out of his arms, though. She couldn't bring herself to do that.

"We are in trouble- " she started. She was afraid and could not finish. The hand on his gloved, stone arm tightened. She was not as young as their first time together, but she seemed to be falling helplessly backward that way. The usually cool, calm demeanor she was known for was slipping, fading. Nalia was lost. The darkness in her eyes seemed deep this time, deeper than it had ever been. When she looked up at him, she actually looked frightened.

Jason Sanborn
05-09-2012, 11:00 AM
http://quarrelsandquills.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=661&d=1312561146
Tamarah

Tamarah sighed and closed her eyes. This was an inevitable outcome. Whenever others found out more about her, they wanted to utilize her abilities. Sometimes it was for good reasons, some times for nefarious ones. The problem was, it wasn't always easy to tell which was which, because the nefarious often gets disguised as the good. Wolves in sheep clothing. This, of course, was one of the dangers she let herself open up to when she spoke about who she was.

Tamarah opened her eyes and looked at Verona to respond. She also started using her telepathic abilities to try to read the woman's surface thoughts, to help her find out the actual truth of the situation. She didn't like doing that without permission. A person's thoughts were meant to be private, but in cases like this, she felt it was necessary to do so. "I'm a traveler and an observer. I generally try to avoid getting involved in the affairs of the people I'm visiting. The risks of upsetting the delicate balance of the worlds I visit is great."

Qwaring's clone#1
05-09-2012, 08:43 PM
Verona Aliester

The Roundabout Hotel in the Teroc District of Rekōdo City...

Tamarah's telepathic senses brush over Verona's surface thoughts with ease. Verona is relaxed here in this place, this is one of the safest places for her in this city. And so she has her guard down. Though Tamarah would sense a psychic barrier of thorns and pitfalls deeper inside of Verona's mind. The metallic haired aide of Alain has received years of training on how to resist probes and enchantments that would effect the depths of her psyche and memories. Though someone with Tamarah's abilities could force her way past these learned barriers if she chose to do so. Verona possesses very little psychic might.

Verona's surface thoughts calmly flow out from her mental defenses as they naturally do when she's relaxed and unguarded. The thoughts are light and cooled, like fresh snow dancing on the ethereal winds. They move with immaculate grace and precision.

"I understand and respect your desire to not involve yourself in worlds you're trying to observe," Verona admits with a friendly, diplomatic tone. ~How much do I say? Alain won't be happy if he returns to find that I've put the council in danger by revealing everything to a stranger,~ she thinks cautiously. She thoughtfully taps her pencil on the scribbled page on her notebook. She gives a central line of scribbling a quick glance. ~'Tamarah can see what you seek,'~ Verona silently reads from the encoded line written on her notebook. Tamarah's telepathy would see the line in its encoded scribbled form and as Verona mentally translates it. ~Do I risk not believing the writing or hurting Alain.~ There is a shift within the depths of Verona's mind as two conflicting motivations collide and seek to guide the outwardly calm woman.

"I can see how changing a world you're visiting could invalidate what you learn from it. You would end up studying a world as you believe it should be and not how it really is," Verona empathically continues. Verona's hand scribbles another line onto the notebook, yet no part of her mind seems to partake in the act of writing. It's as if her hand is writing all on its own. Verona hardly seems to notice the writing as she continues speaking, "Princess Pasce di Minone, the next in line of the throne of Rekōdo, has vanished earlier today." ~Or run away. Getting away with the stolen Spirits.~ There is a solemnness when Verona thinks of the Ancestral Spirits, the effect of a lifetime of being taught to respect and cherish the spirits and their vastly important role in the guilds. There is also a deep fear wrapped in the idea of the spirits being stolen, as if remembering the world being pulled out from under Verona's feet. "As you might imagine, a new ruler going missing can unbalance a world. And not knowing where she is or what happened to her will only lead to more chaos," Verona calmly explains. "As the High Councilman of Taroc, Alain is sworn to protect and serve our princess," she expresses politely. ~Even if it kills him,~ Verona admits sadly as she worries about Alain's mixture of dedication and willingness to take great risks and make sacrifices.

Verona sits forward slightly. Her gaze softens with hints of genuine sorrow and regret. "Until the princess is found and returned, I'm afraid you won't find a balanced Rekōdo to observe. And as the High Council focus on the task of finding her, you'll find this disorder in every province." Verona leans back into her chair. ~And until the spirits are returned we're also looking at total war. Ugh. Don't think about it. Focus on the job,~ Verona's thoughts struggle to avoid dwelling on the possibility of the world she knows falling into a new age of war, death and chaos. But her mind is chilled by the fear of such unwanted ideas.

Verona calmly glances back down at her notebook. Tamarah would sense that Verona is unfamiliar with whatever has recently been written on it. Again, Tamarah would sense the encoded scribblings and hear Verona's translation. ~Bees! Bees! Bees!~ And with that Verona's body stiffens as if deeply startled. She stares up with fearfully widened eyes of cold blue. A hint of a memory almost plays out over her thoughts, but anything her mind has to offer is drowned out by the all consuming sound of a hive of bees. Her every thought and feeling is suddenly enshrouded in this sound. An angry hive, buzzing like an angry roar of savage legions. It's a defensive noise taught to her by Alain himself, and is meant to block telepathic readings. 'Bees' was the codeword Alain used during the Great War whenever he and his soldiers had to utilize this defense against enemy mindreaders.

"Um- I'm not sure how it's done on other planets, but here that's considered quite rude. Especially without asking even asking," Verona angrily snaps, while obviously struggling to maintain some civility in her tone. Her eyes close to a displeased squint.

SilntAngl5
05-10-2012, 02:33 PM
The Roundabout Hotel in the Taroc District of Rekōdo City...

http://i1111.photobucket.com/albums/h480/xalidus/Arion.jpg
Arion

The world always sought balance. When one entity prevailed over another, be it good or ill, the world, the universe would shift itself until comfortably back to harmony. For one whose people were in tune with the earth, as they had been since the beginning, feeling the world as it began to shift would be unsettling. Arion, the last of the Sohil, the last offspring of the warriors and mothers of the earth, looked away from the cityscape that was beginning its own dramatic transformation. It too shifted, but only from the life of night to preparing for the day. His red eyes looked to Verona and a coy sort of smile tugged at the corner of his mouth. It made him seem wolfish, mischievous at seeing the almost child-like glee in her features. He knew, as he knew Verona relatively well, that this must be a source of excitement for her. But then she looked down at her notepad and her smile changed, faded from its former glory into something more thoughtful. Arion's smile changed too.

"Th' Universe always seeks to balance i'self" he said slowly, almost distantly as if remembering something from long ago. "Your being 'ere migh' 'ave been to shift our world back to where i' should be. "

He grew quiet for a moment and glanced at Verona again.

"There is purpose in everything" he finished quietly in a tone she would recognize as one that came along with a painful memory. His lengthy arms folded across his lithe chest and the way his crimson red hair draped his face, parted only by the wreath of small, black, thorn-like horns protruding from his head seemed final. Fatal. Like the red curtains drawn closed at the theaters in Rekōdo City.

He fell into silence then and listened thoughtfully to Verona explain, lightly as one possibly could, their current problem. It was a royal 'their,' encompassing not just Taroc, but all of Rekōdo. It was Verona's to explain and though Arion was Alain's Second, he still viewed her with reverence and more importance than his own station. Alain trusted her and he did too. So when Verona's tone shifts rapidly to anger, Arion looks up quickly. His red eyes snap from Verona to Tamarah. He had not told Verona that she was telepathic. The slight, to a degree, was his, though with the peaceful one having lead the way, he had not thought about it. His mind had been wandering. The fault of unwanted information, deadly information and the remembrance of a winged woman and the scent of her Song as if filled him.

Arion cleared his mind and sat up from the windowsill. His mind reached out to Verona, gently, and he heard the sound of the hive. His mouth thinned to a line. He had not been in the Great War, having been far too young by many years, but Alain had taught his Second many of the tactics and codes from that time. Bees. Arion shuddered inwardly. Then he extended his mind outward to Verona and gently hummed for her. His voice would only be heard in her mind, and it resonated in his horns. Whether or not Tamarah would catch on to the below-octave hum was of her own devices. The tune played for Verona was soft, just beneath the drone of the bees, and gentle like honey. His voice, he had been told when he'd actually sung versus played his guritar, was beautiful.

But it was his second mistake in one night. He retracted the song he hummed for Verona before his own self-bitterness changed its tune.

SilntAngl5
05-11-2012, 08:37 PM
Far North of Rekōdo City...The Great Hold in Maginus

Charold of Maginus


The thick-furred beasts of burden bellowed in fright and shifted away from the loud clanging of the orange Clone's pillaging as it was dropped to the hay-clad ground. They tossed their shaggy manes and bobbed their heads in accordance with each other, that all were equally and unhappily disrupted by the loud, foreign sound.

The expelling of dark magik also causes the beasts to rear and the men that were to accompany desperately try to settle the agitated animals. All Charold could do was watch and hope. He hoped that the scroll had been poisoned or laced with death or curses so vile that the Orange Knight would no longer be able to perform the tasks given to him. Then, at the least, he might be able to be reassigned to a Dark Knight that truly needed someone of his talents. Or to someone whom he could mold on his own. But, alas, fate was not so generous as to extol death on the violator of the seal. When the dark inklings of the spell that protected the scroll touched the Clone's hand, the symbol flared painfully back to life, as if the fresh cuts and burns were just that: fresh and open and red. Charold raised an eyebrow to that and made a note of the reaction mentally. He might just have to test that and see what else the Clone's transmutation seal protected him from.

Now that things had calmed down some, the men sought to restore further balance by calming the animals. They watched the Clone and whispered, shaking their heads. None of them were the rank of Dark Knight and it made many of them begin to question Darmon's reasoning and abilities in leadership, seeing that this was the caliber of man he wanted for the job. They began to whisper amongst each other, over the saddles being laid on the horses that were calmed. Charold shifts his shoulder so that it does not touch the cowering Knight. He looks back with a look of disgust.

"As you wish." He would not call the Orange Knight 'Master' or 'Sire' or anything of the sort unless he was made to. Charold retrieved the scroll without so much as a wince, subdued it, and contained it within a cylindrical holder meant for the most gentle of scrolls. He tied it to the horse in the stall that was his. It was probably the last time his mount would be prepared for him. Word of his demotion had not yet reached the stablehands. He was a squire now and would dress his Knight's horse from now on. With a grimace at the thought, Charold turned to make ready the Clone's horse. That was when the music started.

Everyone turned in all directions, looking upward, in the stalls amid the rapidly stomping, cloven hooves. There was no source to the music. It came from everywhere. And it completely obliterated the remaining calm their rides had. Charold stared at the Orange Knight in disbelief. They'd just come from the Hold and already there was sheer chaos. The men attached to their quest did their best to calm the horses down. Some cast magikal incantations at the endless music, to no effect. Charold had taken to covering both his ears.

"Only if you turn off the damned music!" He had very little patience for this and only offered to help the Clone up when the music had finally ended. The man was ridiculously heavy, despite the armor being enchanted to remain light weight without effecting its strength and durability. Charold decided, sourly, that it was the weight of an intense burden weighing the man down.

"No music in the mountains" he growled in annoyance once the Clone was standing again. Duty done, Charold released him immediately. "It will cause avalanches that will kill us all, if the horses falling off the cliffs doesn't."

At least, he thought, it would be a swift ending.

"And no music in the Valley where the Dragons fly" he amended warily. "Dragons hate music."

In actuality, Charold had no idea if Dragons did or didn't care for music. He, honestly, could care less. Most people in Maginus hated or revered the Dragons. There really was no in-between ground.

Qwaring's clone#1
05-13-2012, 10:03 AM
Alain LeCavalier

Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain...

As he begins to read Nalia's mood and tone, Alain's playful expression fades. His looks compassionately upon the obviously frightened woman. He loosens his hold over her slender body and takes half a step back, as if whatever is troubling Nalia requires the extra space between them. Alain carefully ponders her. The word 'trouble' rolls around in his mind for a moment. It draws up so many potential dangers and worries. Alain knows if his ancestral spirit still dwelled within him it would offer dozens of other possible problems that could arise, not to mention telling Alain that it has been warning him that his relationship with Nalia could only end in disaster. Alain takes comfort that he does not have to endure the berating presence of his lost spirit.

"Humbug," Alain softly calls his raven haired lover. It's an old nickname for Nalia. Something only they share. It was the word that Alain's grandfather used to describe those that cast illusions, meant to label their power as lies and fakery. Alain meant the word playfully when it was the first thing he said after Nalia revealed her powers to him so many years ago, back when Alain was simply an unofficial mentor and confidant to Nalia. The girl had been so nervous showing off her power to him back then, and with one lighthearted word Alain dismissed all of her worries as nothing but a figment of her imagination. His accepting reaction forever proved to Nalia that Alain has never been and will never be like to overbearing and easily enraged Darmon. Over the years the word stuck as a nickname Alain can use for Nalia when they're alone and no one else can hear. Now Alain uses it to comfort and draw out Nalia. It's just the two of them now and no matter what the trouble might be they will always be together. She should never fear revealing anything to Alain.

"Come on. Let's sit down and you can tell me what's wrong," Alain calmly replies. His voice is gentle and his eyes soften compassionately. He turns away from Nalia, and with her hand still held within his grasp he leads the way across the chamber and towards the couch. The soothing scent of the tea, Alain deposited on the table resting in front of the couch, greets the man and woman as they approach. Alain guides Nalia to the couch and sits down. His eyes remain on hers. His hand continues to hold hers.

SilntAngl5
05-13-2012, 07:30 PM
Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain

1371

Nalia of Enchantry

She was eight years old when Alain LeCavalier came into her blackened and destroyed home by the lake shores in Dayena. It was one of the more troubling stories in the post-war world she grew up in, of the little girl who murdered her entire family with darkness. Massacred, was often the word used. Alain had led in a number of Tarocian soldiers, purposed with search, rescue and investigation of stories that surfaced just after the end of the Great War. Astral had been hurt terribly in the war. It was not known for its armies as the mights of Maginus, Da'Jinn and Taroc were. Rather, Astral was the vacation spot in Rekōdo. It's countryside, its rivers and lakes both small and large were as close to heaven on earth as one could imagine. Siadharri, in its tropical paradise, that was the waterway to and from Lake Doras and the famed Temple of Adaya herself was revered as the prime location for escape from the tough lives of the cities or break from challenging guilds. It was a harbor for refugees during the war, the farthest one could go from the war without being buried alive in the never-ending expanse of the Desert or Eternal Sun. Astral was a very care-free place, bent on tourisms and pleasures, on honing the skills of the body rather than strength or the mind. During the Great War, it was all but destroyed. The Eastern half was spared by last-ditch efforts of the Guild Master to create illusions so powerful as to confuse their enemies of their direction and location. Everything down to the stars in the sky and blades of grass in the earth were altered. Without these powerful astral projections Astral would have been completely destroyed.

And here, in the heart of Dayena's beautiful outer-city was a child of eight with the entirety of her home destroyed around her. Nothing but the charred, blackened remains stood. There was blood, blackened and burnt with rage on the walls. Bodies of an older sister and brother and the mother were twisted in agony several feet away. Charred skeletons and nothing more, frozen in their last agonizing moments. The father and eldest brother were lost in the war. Their bodies were never recovered. The mother had been a renowned healer, considered one of the best in all of Rekōdo. And she was dead at the hands of her child. The entirety of the house reeked with the darkness of what she'd done, of the Nightmare-entities she had tapped into and released upon her household. The child had not spoken for quite some time after that, not even under the threats of torture under her mentor and newly christened leader of Maginus, Darmon. Her own Guild Master wanted nothing to do with such a horrid child, so she was sent to Maginus where the dark things could be controlled best. Since Alain was the one who'd found her, and had taken a personal interest in the child's well-being, he too had been allowed to visit with her and mentor her.

Nalia looked up at Alain. She remembered the first time he'd called her that. She was not much older than when he'd first found her. He'd asked her for a display of her abilities, to assure that Maginus was her appropriate guardian, not among the stars in Taroc. She had refused silently, shaking her head of long curls vehemently in rejection. He had asked her to describe what she could do with her words. She had shifted, still visibly uncomfortable with her arms splayed at her sides. And she had told him.

"I can teleport things" she began uneasily, seeming to be as uncomfortable with speaking as she would have been with showing him. "I can feel things in others with my mind."

Nalia's emerald eyes looked up at Alain intently. She had had freckles on her cheeks then.

~I can speak this way~ her voice echoed in his mind. He had defenses, thick and powerful which he would feel her regard curiously. He would feel her touch his defenses and he would also see how well-guarded were her own. There was a sense that, had she desired, she could batter his mental defenses. Not necessarily penetrate, but the fight in her would be remarkable. But there was a limitation he would sense as well. A sudden withdrawal from his mind.

"I... I cannot show you the rest."

She refused him again. But he persisted lightly, gently. He reassured her that, whatever she had cared to show him would be enough. Much more differently than Darmon. With Darmon, she was afraid and when she was afraid the dark things inside her delighted. She could hear them chittering just outside her conscious mind. Her fingers curled and uncurled at her sides. He had seen she was afraid and had smiled to her and said the nickname he'd called her now. It was such a silly-sounding word and such as illy thing to say at the time. But it had produced a curious response from her. So she had showed him. Nalia looked down from Alain's eyes, to his stone arm. Gloved.

"Do... Do you miss having your arm?"

It was an innocent question, the purest kind asked from a child. As the words left her mouth, Alain began to feel. The sensations of living flesh would come alive, starting at the fingertips and moving upward. When he looked down, the glove, the stone slowly disappeared and his flesh-and-blood arm was back. Every cell, every scar, every hair was at it had been. Restored in perfect likeness. It was as if Alain's arm had never been taken from him. Nalia had watched him carefully, looking ready to flee if he'd been angered by such a gesture. But he hadn't. And slowly, she had calmed down. Her emerald-colored eyes glowed lightly, as if such a feat as re-creating a perfect likeness of his arm was a small feat. The enriched color of her irises shone in the magik-light of the room and, for the briefest of moments, the child who had murdered her family had smiled. But, eventually, even her illusions must fade. Slowly the stone crept back down his forearm to the tips of his fingers. With it went the ability to feel as richly as a living hand could. Nalia, who had watched Alain the entire time, looked away when she saw his face change. The light in her emerald eyes faded, but there was a glimmer of sorrow left behind. Something she tried very hard to hid in looking away from him. She would not show him the darkness within her. Not then. Not yet.

Nalia smelled the Astralian teas as soon as he led her high-ceilinged the room toward the couches. He was so gentle, so calm. So very different from... Nalia squeezed Alain's hand, cutting off the troubled thought before it has time to take root. She will not think of Darmon. Not here. this, with him, it was treasured. Sacred. Darmon ruined everything that was sacred. When they sat together, she was unusually slow to sit. Her hand held his tightly. The scent of the tea alone is enough to begin to soothe her, but when she looks at him, her heart beats wildly. She looks down at the hand she holds, gloved and then looks back up at him. He does not usually hold her hand gloved. He usually bathes in the feel of her skin. Her fingers touched the glove he wore.

"We both hide things" she said quietly and takes her hand away from his. She reaches for the teapot and pours in each of their cups. Milk is added to his and sugar. She likes her tea more bitter. No milk and just the tiniest hint of sugar. She offers his cup to him, holding it up for him to take from both of her hands. When he had taken his, she then takes hers in both hands. She inhales the steaming liquid and then sips lightly from the hot cup. The smell, the taste melts into her and she is filled with warmth that eats away at the darkness in her eyes. She exhales and closes her eyes. Then, gently, she places the cup back on its saucer.

"Something has happened" Nalia begins. She is much calmer now, but her heart is no less troubled. Nalia hates feeling this way, and she visibly struggles with her words. "Alain..."

She stands suddenly, as if unable to bear the thought of being still. She was growing anxious. A cold knot of fear was growing inside her and it was making her lose control of the Nightmares she harbored. She could hear them stirring, moving as if awakened by the smell of her fear. Fear was their food. There was no way this would work, she told herself. There was no way they could continue like this. She would have to leave Capios. But where would she flee to? How could she carry this child alone? How? She began to pace, walking away from him first. She spoke while her back was to him.

"We have to find the Princess" she managed. Her voice, quite suddenly, was barely above breaking "We have to find her so she can hide this. Hide us."

Qwaring's clone#1
05-13-2012, 08:47 PM
Alain LeCavalier

Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain...

It isn't until Nalia calls attention to the gloves Alain wears that he himself seems to notice them. As she prepares the tea he peels off and discards the gloves. His hands are revealed, one cold stone and the other is living flesh. He takes hold of the offered tea cup with his stone hand. The mystical limb sends impulses to his mind letting him know he's holding something warm, smooth and delicate. But the stone fingers don't actually feel the heat or the smooth surface of the cup. Alain raises the cup to his lips but pauses as Nalia makes an attempt to explain her problem. He lowers the cup and concentrates his full attention on the apprehensive woman. As Nalia begins pacing Alain deposits his cup onto the table and rises from the couch.

"What has happened? What do you need to hide?" he implores Nalia. He strides towards her. Alain reaches out and takes a firm hold of Nalia's shoulders. His intention is to steady and focus her. "Share whatever burdens you. Please, I can only help you if I understand what's going on."

Alain takes a deep, calming breath, as if demonstrating to Nalia how to do such a thing. With a relaxed smile he calmly speaks to her, "Need I remind you that during my first week as guild master my province was invaded, my arm was taken and my people were condemned to a season of starvation and misery. I assure you, if I could make it through that with my wits intact I can endure whatever trouble you can bring to me." He seems to stand taller now, his expression is both friendly and confident. His posture is bold and his eyes shine with the same courage that had fearlessly stared down the darkest horrors of the Great War.

SilntAngl5
05-13-2012, 10:06 PM
Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain

1372

Nalia of Enchantry

Nalia turns when she hears him Alain rise. She turns with her lips parted, mouth open and ready to try to fumble out more words that said so little to him of what was torturing her. When Alain takes hold of her shoulders she stops stiffly, but he achieves his goal. Her emerald eyes shoot up to look at his, to see his intentions. He is worried now, but he strives for calm for himself as well as her. There is no malice or anger at her stalling. There is no urge to strike her or entrap her. Nalia is still tense. She ceases her rambling, but her breathing is still erratic. As he speaks, so plainly, so openly, Nalia's eyes begin to catch the magikal light in a way that was unfamiliar. In the manners of sorrow for what she was about to show him, her eyes teared.

"This is different" she whispered. "This is worse."

And it was with shaking hands that she began to unweave the opaque, shimmering shawl that wrapped her midsection from beneath her breasts to her hips. As she did so, she looked down to watch as much as escape his gaze. With the removal of each layer of fabric more of the change in her body was revealed. The beautiful concave curve of her stomach shifted, becoming convex. She was still slender, being of petite frame, but there was no denying what she was exposing to him. It was her six month, near the end of her second trimester and without the Totem shawl there was no hiding the secret she bore. With the last of the wrappings unbound, Nalia let the shawl flutter to the floor. For many months, she had denied that it was even possible, that fate could be so unkind and cruel, but when she began to show at the end of her first trimester, she could not deny it. It was easy to cover up then. Easy to hide. Then, she had had her power and hers surpassed all others in the art of illusion and deception. Nalia's hands cradled her hidden secret, their secret that she had kept from him for so long. When she found the courage to look back up at him, it was with eyes that threatened to weep. Sheer willpower forced them not to.

"Alain, forgive me." Her voice held a quality of helplessness, far from the strong, cool woman that she was. This terrified her. Being without power made it all the worse. Her power was the only thing that had kept so many dogs at bay. It was what gained her freedom from Maginus to start her own guild. And now she stood before a man she was forbidden to love showing him his child. A child he might not want or be able to want. It would be a child that they both could not care for. Not together. Nothing about this seemed fated to work. If she had to leave Capios and the women of Enchantry, so be it. She already had a plan forming of where she could run, where she could hide, where she could bring the child into the world without anyone of importance knowing. And she would do all of it without harming a hair of Alain's reputation. Rekōdo needed him. The world of it would spin on unharmed or unchanged without her. But this... She could not do this to him. She loved him that much.

Qwaring's clone#1
05-14-2012, 06:22 AM
Alain LeCavalier

Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain...

Alain releases her shoulders and takes a step back from Nalia as she finally reveals her secret. He watches carefully, alternately studying her expression and what the unwrapping shawl begins to uncover. Gradually the truth sets itself down within his mind. A pause of confusion shifts over his facial features for a brief moment. Alain had feared the worst. Everything leading up to this point had been thoughts of their relationship being made public or a point of blackmail from one of their enemies. His imagination had concocted every manner of mystical curse, ailment or injury. But never once did Alain imagine this. He's never even dreamed of...

Nalia's plea for forgiveness is met with a burst of laughter. Alain isn't laughing at her or their situation. Instead it's a release of all of the tension Alain has been building up since he suspected something was wrong with Nalia. There's also a celebratory tone to the chuckle. Alain's gaze lingers on Nalia's burden for a long moment after his laugh dies down. Eventually he looks up at Nalia with a questioning glance. His features change once more, as if his question answered itself. Suddenly overcome by a great surge of joy Alain laughs again. He isinstatnly in motion, scooping Nalia off of her feet and lifts her up into his powerful arms. He cheerfully spins them both around.

"I'm a father?!" Alain both happily asks and proudly announces as he and the woman he holds twirl around. Gradually he stops their triumphant spin. "We're having a baby!" He happily exclaims to the woman in his arms before leaning towards her and capturing her lips in a passionate kiss. Mid-kiss, Alain drops down, lowering Nalia onto the couch while he kneels on the floor next to her. Once they are both down he breaks the kiss. His overjoyed expression is now replaced with one of intense thought and startled discovery. He's processing something for the first time.

"No. No. No," Alain mutters to himself. He looks away from Nalia and gazes out towards the empty chamber, as if looking over some internal struggle playing out all around him. He glides up from the floor and begins walking towards a far wall before turning and striding back to the side of the couch. "They can use this against us. HE can use this against us!" Alain struggles aloud. He doesn't need to explain who this 'HE' is, they both hate Darmon enough, in their own ways, to recognize the disgust in Alain's tone when he mentions him. Alain eventually looks back at Nalia. His eyes seem to apologize for the many problems he now envisions.

Alain has never dreamed of being a father or of even trying to envision having a family or a normal life. He has witness far too much death in his life. He has felt the tragedies that power can inflict upon those that possess it. Alain would never seek to expose a child to whatever miseries his enemies and rivals would gladly hit him and his loved ones with. And now Alain is facing an impossible dream and worst fear all at once. And silently he apologizes to Nalia for it.

SilntAngl5
05-14-2012, 02:26 PM
Somewhere in Rekōdo... The Secret Fortress of Alain

1373

Nalia of Enchantry

Nalia has had six months. In those six months, she has experienced every single emotion Alain rapidly processes before her. Her face is unreadable as she unveils their unborn child to him. her eyes are down, watching herself grow as she unwraps the Totem shawl. It was when she looked up at the last that he would see it. She knew, ultimately, what this could do for both of them. A child was a blessing, but it ruined everything. Without her power, there was no hiding it. The shawl already made breathing difficult when in place.

But he laughed, so loudly it startled her. Nalia stepped back from the loud sound, but she knows the tone of it for what it is: a release. There is a question in his eyes when he looks at her and she meets his gaze emerald eyes to brown eyes. There was no one else she would ever be willing to partner with. Not in this life or the next. This she knew in her heart of hearts. Her love for him is reinforced when he picks her up off the ground within his strong arms. She closes her eyes at hearing his joy and returns his kiss with equivalent love and relief. A part of her had worried, deep down, that the initial reaction would have been negative, though she was not blind to the troubles this would bring them. Nalia opens her eyes when he gently seats her on the couch. Her looks becomes calm again, watchful as the next range of emotions hit. She closed her eyes when he mentions Darmon without using a name. It was a fear that had been growing with Darmon's increasing violent agitation at the loss of his power. By the time he looks back at her, Nalia has opened her eyes again and her eyes are equally filled with regret for the problem she was causing him.

"I am sorry" she said again, quietly, with surprising gentleness. "I am as heavy a burden to you now as I was when I was a child. I did not want to put you through this. A child can ruin everything. It complicates so much that is already complicated."

As regretful as her words sounded, there was an equally strong softness to the way she sat. There was a slighter roundness to her face and a softness to her skin that seemed terribly delicate and healthy. Her cheeks held a bit more color and her hand rested gently beneath their growing child with a thumb absently smoothing her rounding womb. As much as this frightened her, as much as the thought of what this could do to them both if it was found out terrified her, there was a hint of joy at the corners of her lips, in her eyes. A joy that only an expecting mother could have. It was paired with a look that begged to be cared for, protected form everything else around them that came with the look of pregnancy. Nalia regards him calmly, though inside her turmoil is spreading like a frigid, numbing blanket. She looked to the Totem shawl for a brief moment.

"Alain" she said quietly, taking in a deep breath "I am going to leave. Kali will take over on Capios. It will free her from Darmon's hold. I do not think I can keep her safe from him. Taroc needs you to be its leader. Everything of peace you've striven for will crumble without you."

She needed him. Desperately. She could not do this alone. She was a murderer. Her entire family had been slaughtered. How could she possibly care for a child? But she would not say any of this to him. She was giving Alain a way out.

"I will go" she said again "I will fulfill my role as Guild Mistress for as long as I can. Darmon will not touch me or our child. I will not allow that."

There was something tense in the way she said that, the way she had tightened when she said she could not keep her safe from Darmon. She inhaled deeply to calm herself and sat up a little straighter. Then she thought of something and turned to look at him again, over the top of the couch.

"Arion knows" she confessed with absolute honesty. "Before the Council meeting on the streets beside the Library, he pushed into my thoughts. I think he heard the baby's Song, but I think his loyalty to you would prevent him from speaking of it to anyone else."

As cautious as she was of Arion and his abilities, Nalia was sure of that. Alain had a habit of creating a very loyal network of people by the sheer goodness and strength of his nature. Nalia did not fear Arion, but there was still the problem of hiding the child's presence and growth. Already, she was big for a woman so petite and, now that the child was freed from the tight confines of the Totem shawl, Nalia could feel him moving. Alain would see a startled look cross her face, one of genuine surprise accompanied by a hand place to one side of her womb. Slowly, with a hand supporting herself on the back of the couch, Nalia stood.