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  1. #31
    (((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."

  2. #32
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    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.
    Peace is a lie
    There is only passion
    Through passion I gain strength
    Through strength I gain power
    Through power I gain victory
    Through victory my chains are broken
    The Force shall set me free

  3. #33
    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!))
    *The Golden Goddess|The Goddess of All Motherless Secundae*
    *Dexter to the Core|Council of Guidance|Matriarch of Poetry*
    -Official #2 fan of Greg Land|#1 fan of Reesha Teramu & Nevole|#3 fan of Gareth|#4 fan of Arwyn
    1656OF56**Beeber Heads Unite!**4270

    \"You know me: everything detailed and long, blah blah blah.\" (Brath OOC)

  4. #34

    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.

  5. #35
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    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?"

  6. #36
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    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.

  7. #37
    The Great Orange One Qwaring's clone#1 is offline Qwaring's clone#1's Avatar
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    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.

  8. #38
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    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.

  9. #39
    Nalia



    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?"

  10. #40

    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!”

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