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  1. #1
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    The World of Emporium: Kali & Branwen (New Beginnings)

    The World of Emporium: Kali & Branwen (New Beginnings)



    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.
    Last edited by Tigers; 07-26-2019 at 04:39 PM.
    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

  2. #2
    Count / Countess Tigers is offline Tigers's Avatar
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    The Isle of Caprios

    The Isle of Caprios


    Kali



    New Beginnings :

    Alone, on a strange Isle with people she did not recognize and in a place, she did not recall. It was what reigned terror within her heart the moment that she opened her eyes in the capsule. Normally defiant and fearless, that moment of utter helplessness and the feeling of dread that she felt as if she’d lived this before burst through in a defensive act of self-preservation.

    But in that sudden burst, one of her abilities manifested. The very first of what would be many,and it was enough to raise the hairs on the back of her neck and give her an instant pain in her head.She would have doubled over; but the man, the one she would quickly come to know as Darmon sneered at her in a way that made her skin crawl. And in that burst of defiance from the immediate feedback of his presence was the sudden rebound of a thousand whispers that struck at her like the cracking of a whip.

    These whispers caressed her like a lover and promised things of greatness if only Kali gave in to the immediate need to violently rip that smug sneer from his face. Pain competed with pleasure as her head throbbed and the voices whispered. So great was the siren’s call of darkness that Kali unconsciously began to rise from the capsule to pursue her intended prey. But it was immediately halted by the faint sound of chittering, something so akin to the siren song she heard that they almost sounded as if one in the same.
    Kali’s eyes were immediately drawn to the woman.

    “Nalia.”

    She heard it whispered in so many ways as it echoed through her mind. Had someone said it to her, the woman perhaps, the voices in her head? She felt nauseous and dizzy as the pain in her head increased tenfold in a cacophony of sound that was terrifyingly beautiful. Her immediate response was the desire to scream and clap her hands over her ears and yet, Darmon was staring at her with a sadistically gleeful look in his eyes.

    Kali growled, whether audibly or internally she didn’t know. All she wanted was to have the voices go away, for these people to quit looking at her, to have a hot bath, a warm meal and some sleep. She wanted to run and escape from this moment and the questions and the voices. Her sanity felt as if it were slipping away, escaping her as she wanted to escape this situation.

    As her eyes searched for an escape, they finally fell upon Alain. Immediately, she could tell that he was the calmer out of the three and there was this knowing look about him, as if nothing ever seemed to catch him by surprise. He gave her a slight smile, not one of pity, nor concern or malicious intent. It was inviting, almost welcoming and in that moment the voices in her head screamed for her to beware, it was always the kind looking ones you should be wary of. She should attack him too, to go for him first and then the other man. As for Nalia, the voices seemed to be analyzing, whispering so softly in conference that Kali did not hear them.

    They pulsed and it grew with intensity, Kali climbed out of the capsule on shaky legs, with the balance of a drunken fool. The urge to wretch had her stomach churning and when she looked up at the three before her, she could see a growing concern in the eyes of the woman. Kali pitched forward and a hand caught her and immediately, the voices vanished.

    Normally, Kali would have been combative but the sudden quiet in her mind was so relieving, she wouldn’t have cared who had caught her. The first thing she was aware of was the buzzing in her ears and her heavy breathing. Somewhere amid that that she thought she’d heard someone ask if she were okay, a snide remark and then an inquiry as to her name.

    “Kali….my name is Kali.” She replied in a breathless voice.

    Her eyes followed the hand laid gently on her shoulder, to the concerned eyes of Nalia just before she slumped forward unconscious.


    ****************


    Kali woke up feeling warm and comfortable. Her eyes opened to the shadows cast by the mid morning sky. Her room was spacious, white, and in Kali’s mind fancy. There was a sense of oddness, like this was a creature comfort she had not known or had at least not known for a long time. There was a part of her that wanted to just close her eyes and go back to sleep. For the moment, she didn’t feel threatened, quite the opposite really, another odd sensation.

    Her eyes continued to scan her surroundings. On a table not far from her, sat a pitcher and a glass, a plate with some type of food and was that a pile of clothing neatly folded on a chair? Immediately, her mind went back to the first fresh memory. Try as she might, the only thing that came to mind was waking up in a strange place, surrounded by unknown people.

    Kali flopped back on the bed, not sure if she should be happy that she at least had a memory past this moment, or irritated. With a huff, she lay in the bed and just let her senses relax for the moment and take in her situation. As she lay there, Kali began to hear the faint whispers calling her, reminding her of the incident that she did remember.

    “Shut up!” Kali called out to the empty room.

    A sudden angry surge of voices filled her mind before receding back into the darkness. It was only then, in the quite of the room, that she felt the tingling on her skin. Slowly, she sat up and looked around the room again, but this time, it was like she was seeing through another’s eyes. Strange symbols and designs decorated the room, vividly floating with vibrant color that pulsed with life.

    “Magic…. sorcery.” She heard whisper through her mind.

    She did not know what you called it, but it put her on alert and drew her in. Unbeknownst to her, Kali’s eyes glowed faintly as she looked at the room with a new sense of awe. These symbols, they meant something, they DID something, she just knew it.

    Kali’s stomach growled, reminding her that she had seen a plate of food. Looking around cautiously, and trying to reach out with every sense, she waited a heartbeat before scrambling from the bed over to the small table. In hind sight, Kali should have been more cautious about the food, but she was so hungry, she didn’t care. The first thing she tore into was a basket wrapped with some type of bread. As she stuffed as much of the bread into her mouth as she could possibly handle, she instinctively started hiding the rest for later, you know just in case.

    She poured the contents of the pitcher into the glass and drank the water with as much vigor as she was eating the bread. Swallowing hard, past the lump of bread and water, Kali moved onto the other contents of the plate. She would eat enough to regain some strength, find some way to bathe, take the offered clean clothes and her stash of food. If the place was hostile, she would slip out and get away, where she would go from there, she couldn’t say.

    Her mind raced with thoughts as she moved onto the clothes. First she needed to asses herself, find out as much as she could and formulate an escape if needed. Stepping over to the mirror, Kali quickly cast aside her dirty rags that had been passing as articles of clothing. It never occurred to Kali that she should feel anything but comfortable in her own nudity.

    There was no critical self-deprecating eye that traveled the length of her body, just a focused one that scoured her body for injuries that might slow her up if she needed to escape quickly. Kali began to take a tally of the oldest to the newest marks upon her body, what brought her up short was the scores of lash marks on her back, along her sides and a few that fell along her backside and legs.

    Some of them looked recent, they were deep and angry looking, but why weren’t they hurting. Did these people do this to her. Kali thought for a long moment, and the only one she could honestly say that would do something like this was the one she recalled whose name was Darmon. The other two, Nalia and Alain, they looked a lot more trustworthy.

    Kali quickly grabbed her shirt top again and examined it, only to find traces of dried blood and seepage. Anger surged again, but Kali wasn’t at a point in her life to realize it was self-loathing that she projected out toward the world and those undeserving of her anger. So much for trying on the clothes, if she had to make a quick exit, how would she hide the drainage of such wounds?

    She snatched up the clothes in her anger, examining the material. It was much like what the woman Nalia had been wearing. Elegant in its simplicity, but not something Kali would wear, not without some modifications of course.

    Just as her anger began to subside again, the whispers came back with a vengeance.

    “Undeserving of you!”

    “Kill them all!”

    “Keeping you back!”

    “Afraid of you!”

    Kali fisted the shirt in her hands and covered her ears, but how do you block out the voices in your head?

    “SHUT UP!” Kali screamed!

    Without thinking, Kali made for the door and triggered the wards, not knowing they were meant to protect her. At least that was their primary function, and wards did not discriminate against a threat and right now that was Kali. As soon as her hand touched the handle to the door, she was knocked back onto her backside. The concussion was enough to cause her weakened from to fall back, tearing at the angry wounds upon her back.

    She lay back, her eyes stinging with tears and anger warring with the sadness that was her hidden and constant companion. This time, she could feel the sting of the reopened wounds and it was then she realized in her haze of anger that she almost stormed out of the door completely void of clothing.

    Kali sat up stiffly dropping the cleaner clothes as she moved back to where she had removed her old and dirty ones. Mechanically, she went through the motions of redressing, ignoring the stains of blood and filth she’d left on the floor, before finding the farthest and darkest part of the room and breaking down into tears. Angerly wiping at them as they fell.
    Last edited by Tigers; 07-26-2019 at 05:33 PM.

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