In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

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Indrick151
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Indrick151 » Sat Apr 23, 2011 12:06 am

It had been a month since Azad’s murder. A month. No more. And yet for one it felt like years. He hated what had happened, he hated those who’d done it, and he hated himself. Rage drove him to new places, places he hadn’t explored within his mind and self since Amelangrien had left him. This fur was Logan, a wolf and pupil at the university, who through unfortunate circumstances had been the vessel to an old soul of a mage who had been sealed away by the university’s current foes. The only problem was this mage had been a pupil and servant of their enemy until he turned on his master and locked away, swearing revenge on their foe Vedicus. Now however Logan and he were in separate bodies, and for Logan this was a blessing... in a sense. He had been well on a road to recovery from his ordeals of murder and destruction by Amelangrien’s hand, until Azad’s murder. After that he had spent some time in recovery, listless and under close scrutiny of the university, and then had gone back to studies with a strangely renewed vigour, But not the vigour of one who wanted to learn so that he could get on with his life, but one who was driven by darker emotions. He brooded now, images of the past intruded on his vision every day, a pair of nova eyes, a pleading face, a broken shell, a child’s corpse. He couldn’t drive them back, they were always there. Every day he went to the square where Azad had died and in a sense paid respects to him. A madness born of constant grief and taking the form of hate lurked at the edges of his eyes now, a madness not unlike that of one other current resident (or prisoner) of the university. It was a madness with a purpose.

In the time he’d had he’d taken what he’d learnt and applied it to greater effect than ever before, his powers leapt forward, taking his fear and anger and using it almost like fuel for his magic. He never held back whenever he wove a spell, using every bit of his power, oftentimes pushing himself to exhaustion in the following days. He no longer avoided combat magic or any of the schools that he had avoided before, instead starting to revel in them, in the strange power he felt whenever he called fire to his paw, or felt lightning course through his blood. Magic and power were his sanctuaries now, they consoled him and convinced him that things could be made right. He would not fail a third time; he’d purge the world of rats and the evil that they had brought into it. This thought drove his actions, he’d redeem himself, he’d redeem himself by making sure that not a single one of them could kill again. It was a thought and drive that he’d told no one, not even the Dean, he couldn’t trust them, and knew they wouldn’t understand. They couldn’t understand him or what had happened to him, they were all sheltered bookworms, they’d never had the soul of a darkmage take control of them and force their body to kill each and every single one of their friends. They’d never felt the horror as a soul was sucked into themselves, but also the power that came with it. They’d never watched as a Dyshulian killed his friend. All their pity in the world meant nothing, it solved nothing, all the healing and kindness didn’t make up for what had been taken. And so the only way to stop it was to stop it from ever being taken in the first place.

There was only one fur he knew could even understand what was in his mind, one who had been wronged almost as badly as he. One who he knew almost as well as he knew himself. And although he hated and feared him, he wanted those who’d ruined his new life dead even more. He’d wanted a new start, he thought he’d found forgiveness, but no, death seemed to follow him and so he’d turn and face it and put it down. He’d lost paradise twice, and the second time it had hurt more than the first, so now he’d make sure it couldn’t happen again. This time he’d make his paradise and make sure he could kill any who tried to take it away from him.

*****

Amelangrien was at this time languishing in a room at the university, a pleasant one insofar as it had a bed, a washbasin, a chest for his personal effects and a window to look out at the world and the progress of the Dyshulian machinery. The room also had a lock on the door and over a dozen wards to keep him inside. It made him smirk. He'd allowed them to keep him here so that he could trouble Logan no longer. But to think that these pathetic furs could keep him cooped up was laughable to him, he had been looking at these wards and they hardly even seemed powerful enough to make him sweat, although he knew there’d be more than just the ones that were obvious. This day he was looking out of the window, listening to the screams in his mind of the souls he’d collected, begging to be released from their deathless prison. It was like a song to him, each pleading voice an addition to his infernal choir of the damned. How he loved it, remembering just when and where each had been collected since his revival. The good, the bad, the rich and the poor. Enough to give him the strength to take on Vedicus when the rat showed his face again. Or even when he decided he tired of the Dean, and decided to add her to his collection, oh how he longed for that moment, to see the badgers face, the horror as he sucked her soul from her body and devoured it.

Ah but such fancies could not be fully indulged in until Vedicus was gone.

It was at this moment that his ears twitched, making out the noises of two furs speaking beyond the doorway, one his guard and the other younger, and... familiar. His smirk grew wider, his polished white teeth a stark contrast to the black fur that covered his body. So the boy had come to him. Interesting. ‘I do wonder why’ he thought to himself, musing at this unexpected event. Although the guard seemed to be proving to be a very effective defence and deterrent to the relentless requests to enter. That was until Amelangrien intervened, in a surprisingly subtle manner, sending out a tendril of his power slipping past the dangerous wards, setting some of the less harmful ones off, most likely setting alarms off somewhere or in someone’s mind and finally slipping into his targets mind, the cord seeking out just the right section of his mind and tugging on it violently on it, sending the guard slumping forward, in a deep sleep.

He waited a minute in the silence that followed. “Well you wanted to visit me?” He called, chuckling to himself at the hurried search for keys and the opening of his door, to see Logan before him. The pup’s ears splayed back and his tail between his legs, betraying his terror at the figure in every one of his nightmares. But also the only one who could give him what he needed.

“Well, well, well. I’m surprised at this, you coming to visit me? What must have happened indeed? Last I saw of you was a snivelling, broken fur. And yet now I see something with the traces of backbone, and the will to stand before me. You do realise that I could leave now thanks to you.” He said walking around Logan.

“You could have left anytime you wanted.” Logan replied levelly, his voice trembling.

“Oh ho, well done, I thought you’d get that one.” Amelangrien chuckled humourlessly, stepping up behind Logan and whispering now, making Logan cringe “but the question still remains, why are you here? I don’t imagine I’m the sort of person you’d consider giving a courtesy call to.”

“I... I need your help” Logan grated out, hating himself for the words. “I’m tired of being a pawn. I want to kill the Dyshulians, I want to stop them from taking away from me again. I want to rule my own destiny, nothing I’ve learnt here has helped me control it, I’ve still been pushed and broken by chance. I want to control my life like you do.”

Amelangrien actually paused at this comment, stepping back from Logan. “Interesting, very interesting. I know what happened in the square a month ago. I know what happened to your ‘new life’. But the question is, is that resentment strong enough, even now I can see you’re ready to flee from me like a mutt, so what makes you think you can ever be strong enough to do what you want?”

“B-Because I am here at all. You know how much I’m risking to come here.” Logan replied. “You know, I would be in a great deal of trouble for this.”

“Very true, that is very true, I doubt the Dean would like you consorting with a dark sorcerer under your own volition. So how can my ‘humble’ self best ‘serve’ your needs.” Amelangrien mockingly bowed his head to Logan.

“I-I need to learn how to have more power. I need the power to fight and kill my enemies. I need you to teach me.”

“How very destructive of you Logan, I would never have expected that, last time you were violent if I recall was on those zombies, when I let you have a taste of my power so long ago. Been nagging you how difficult you find healing and protection? But how easily you managed to use a tiny seed of my power? Well I’ll tell you a little secret just between you and me. Mages have their strengths and weaknesses, schools and elements that they are more attuned to, and you know why I chose to use you as my vessel? Because you were intrinsically gifted towards the destructive arts. And that is why you will never be as capable a healer or as powerful at wards as some of these university furs. That was why I chose to possess you and none of those other children. But if you choose to finally learn what you were made for, you could finally find that peace you’ve been seeking, forge a new life with your own strength. You feel it don’t you? Each time you use your power aggressively, it’s like the best satisfaction in the world, as though nothing could stop you.” Amelangrien kept whispering to Logan. “So will you let me teach you pup?”

Logan was torn, he knew if he said yes that there’d be no turning back. And the fact that he’d had to turn to Amelangrien, the one who was responsible for his suffering in the first place. Yet nobody else seemed to have the same power, nobody he’d met had the same ability to be certain in their power and their fate. Not even the Dean had exuded it, bound down as she was by duty to students and rules. In his mind he could see a long dark corridor, but he also imagined that there was a light at the end of the tunnel. Either way, saying yes or no would be a long hard road or so he thought. The only difference was the end, would he Logan be happy? Or would he continue to be the pawn of destiny, his body and emotions the playthings for capricious fates laughing as they stretched him this way and that? The choice resolved itself.

“I will learn”
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Sade » Sun Apr 24, 2011 11:07 am

The uncertainty blocking all action which had just now infected Melissa and the others with paralysis of the mind now seemed to break like a line of poorly built dams in the face of a rain-bloated torrent. Telemain, perhaps the natural leader after all- or at least the best one in the immediate vicinity- was the first to stumble back to conscious action. He called to the two laborers bearing the stretcher, trying to allay any fears they might have. The ferx than put his arms around Melissia, which startled her out of the cesspool of uncertainty which had seemed so inescapable only moments before. Thinking once more, she doubted the laborers would understand Telemain's words.

Her hunch was not correct. The freed slaves did understand Telemain, but they were not entirely convinced. Their former masters were equally capable of emulating kind compassion and even distress. Even so, their hearts did go out to him. Hugging the construct confused them, as they assumed it was like the others with which they were familiar: a dumb tool, no more likely to harm its own master than a stalk of grain its farmer. The sound of a single clap of hands, amplified and reaching them from afar, finally broke the spell. They hurried nervously to Telemain and the others, loaded the unconscious form of Naia onto the planks, and hurried back towards the town.

Melissa absently followed at a comfortable distance- for herself and them. They would not want her near, obviously, but she would feel dangerously exposed without the presence of the hybrid to ward off her former masters.

****

"Do any of you know who's side I'm even on? It's not fair to point those sharp objects at me."

The closest furs in Zodt's band gave sidelong glances at each other, not bothering to speak over their comrade's shouted hate, and thought better of their target. The spears swung around towards the Dysuhlians. The rats ignored the lynx, though they were standing a good distance off and they did not have any similarly long spears.

The Dean's attempt at intervention brought mixed results. Of course, her magically amplified interruption did effectively end the hollering of both sides, and set a few ears ringing as well, but it did little to move the weapons. Zodt's cohorts were disciplined, and, over time, they had picked up on and internalized their leader's reservations about this badger. They did, however, possess respect enough to refrain from shouting any further. They were interested to hear what would happen next. When the Dean demanded an explanation for all this saber rattling, they found themselves unable to produce one. It had been a spontaneous release of racist tension on their part, and they opted not to voice their shame for it.

The Dysuhlians reacted differently. They did stop brandishing their weapons, because they immediately turned inward to argue about the question and the suitable response, and, eventually, invariably, it became an argument having more to do with dominance and status then anything else. They also seemed to rapidly rearrange themselves. While Zodt's band stood still in rows, spears stoically pointed ahead and up slightly in a formation recognizable to just about any military feilan, the group of rats boiled over within the perimeter of their group.

Antinom opened his mouth to speak only for a shout from up above to cut through whatever he was about to say. Craning his neck, he caught sight of Marcus and Jyya struggling near the apex of the wall-builder.

****

One foot after another, Marcus told himself, trying to keep track of all his limbs as he scaled the side of the tamper, below Jyya. The machine did not have a solid skin- a solid skin would have caught the wind in the 'wrong way', according to an older rat- so foot and handholds were plentiful. These same foot and handholds were anything but regularly, however, and the outer bounds of the machine were built at strange angles which changed every dozen feet. The kangaroo rat seemed to be having a much better time of it. They had to press themselves against the frame or into small nooks here and there to avoid the sails of one of the lower, horizontally oriented windmills as they lazily arced past. Their destination was a vertical mill at the top whose blades more closely resembled the sails of a ship affixed to a twisted, turning mast. The whole thing was constantly creaking beneath his paws, and it groaned from within like a sleeping monster.

At last Jyya made it to an advantageous perch just below the vertical mast and Marcus was able to find a precarious structural beam on which to stand. He was busily staring at his feet, so as to position them best, when he heard a startled curse and threw his head back just in time to see the kangaroo rat falling towards him.

He let out a startled cry and shielded his face. When she hit him, he just so happened to close a hand around one of her ankles. Unfortunately gravity had yet to finish toying with them. She tumbled back out into space, bringing her ankle- and therefore Marcus- with her. One of the horizontal sails was just now swinging past them. He flailed. The business end of the broom he still held pressed into the fabric, sliding as quickly as their downward momentum cared to pull them, before catching against the outmost wooden sail strut. The windmill seemed to rotate so very slowly that Marcus thought their weight would surely bring it to a stop. Instead it continued right along, its own tremendous momentum and the force of the light breeze against so much canvas carrying them right out and into empty space to the side of the machine.

****

The sail would soon circle towards the top of its mark. If the broom was wedged against the inner surface of the outer strut, it would come free.

Antinom caught the forman's eye. A silent message passed like lightning between them. The scruffy old rat hesitated a moment and then- rocking his head back and forth and rolling his eyes as he silently cursed this annoying-yet-just decision- he scurried to the base of the machine, scaled an ever so slowly turning support wheel, and moved the two steps into an alcove at the base of the mobile tamper proper. He threw the chains off a lever everyone was instructed to ignore and threw his own weight against it.

The inside of the machine groaned in protest as gears the size of a man grinded and sprockets sprung loose. Far, far above, the maddeningly complex clockwork hub of the windmill blades ground. The teeth of one gear met the teeth of another, and the sails' angle of incidence changed. Where before they pushed the breeze in a clockwise direction, rotating themselves counterclockwise, they now simply blocked it. Another lever dropped a series of wooden chucks into another set of gears near the base of the machine. The sudden impediment ripped them from their axles and dropped the weight of the tamp directly onto the section of wall and scaffold. The scaffold exploded outward to either side under the weight, but the wall held, and effectively arrested the forward motion of the machine, which took the weight off the sprockets, which robbed the windmill bearing of its momentum, which brought the entire operation to a screeching halt.

Antinom's arctic gaze met Marcus' equally sheepish one. Perhaps they would do best to stow the young rat somewhere else after all, even if the alternatives rubbed his people the wrong way. He doubted that the kangaroo rat, Jyya, could have caused this...embarrassment. "Hmm..."

The Dysuhlians, meanwhile had dropped from a boil amongst themselves to a mere simmer. Then, the freed slaves approached carrying Naia, followed by a construct of familiar type yet unfamiliar design, a bestial fox, and a black-faced ferret. The power radiating from the hybrid stunned them into absolute silence for a brief moment, before a whole new bought of broiling conflict erupted within. Once again, this quickly turned from speculation and genuine discussion to nonsensical posturing.

"Clearly, we are not dealing with a threat," Antinom suggested coolly. Even he could see the vast potential of this mysterious hybrid fur as a power source. He suspected his fellow rats were beginning to think unfortunate thoughts. "You should return to your business." They almost immediately started filtering back into town. This obedience bothered Antinom greatly...

After much excitement, the situation was coming under control. Marcus and Jyya were making their way off the halted wall-builder and were out of immediate danger. The Dysuhlian necromancers had gone back to town to conspire in dark places. Zodt's band had returned as well, to keep an eye on them as best they could. Zodt, Antinom, the Dean, the construction foreman, and the endlessly irritating and meddlesome Aldous Dench remained. Antinom suspected Marcus and Jyya would soon be joining them beyond the unfinished town gate.

And then there were the newcomers. Antinom was intellectually interested, though distant and disaffected, of course. Zodt was mildly suspicious while simultaneously inwardly concerned for the unconscious feilan. Neither new precisely what to make of the newcomers, and so they waited to see the University reaction.

****

Meanwhile, in the University, Nessus looked up from his necromantic research. Something did not feel right.

They had benefited from a long reprieve from Vedicus, they were building new defenses and gaining allies. Students had survived evaluations and moved up- but not his own. The golem had been off limits until recently, and he felt his classes needed to be extended into a second term to make up for it. Surprisingly, some of the students who might otherwise have continued on in their magical carriers actually opted to stay and learn more. He had also watched Logan's magical aptitude spike, even if he grew a little distant in the mean time. Things were good.

Now, though, he felt an uneasiness settle over him. A shiver ran down his spine. Something wasn't right- something nearby- but he couldn't put his finger on it. Instead he opted to return to his own studies.

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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Kitsunegami » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:58 pm

Naia remained catatonic throughout the entire process of putting her on the stretcher, and the 'trip' toward town and the university.

Jyya, still reeling from the 'blast' to her vision, covered her left eye just as any who just received a bright flash of light would. "Thank you." she said to Marcus, or who she believed to be Marcus, "I'm not sure how I can repay you this kindness." she said as she found her bearings once more. It wasn't long after the grinding halt of the machinery that she heard someone coming up to where she and Marcus were. She had so many questions about what had just occurred, but was uncertain as to whether anyone else had perceived them as she had.

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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rackenhammer » Fri Apr 29, 2011 9:39 am

Telemain sighed in relief as the stretcher-bearers continued forward to load Naia onto the planks. Tel hovered nervously around them, feeling a bit like a third wheel. As they began to return to the town, the ferx scampered along beside the stretcher, keeping watch on his apprentice. *Her Aura's in chaos, I can barely tell what's going on...*

~

Meanwhile, back at the wall site...

At least no one was shouting anymore, although between the silence of Zodt's group and the nattering of the rats Dr. Martin felt as if she'd have to wait 'till next Wednesday to get a straight answer.
At least the Lynx was prompt. "Well, we do have healers that might-"

A shout from the construction site interrupted the matter. Looking up, the Dean caught her breath as she recognized one of her students on top of the machine, currently being held by a rat, who himself was currently being hoisted up by the sails.
She was about to shout at someone to stop the machine, but it looked like Antinom and the foreman had already set to work on that. She winced, along with most of the crowd, at the sound of machinery being ground off its tread, and the breaking of the scaffolding. It seemed to do the trick, though, and the Dean released the tension in her shoulders as the pair began to climb down.

Just as Dr. Martin was contemplating just what she was going to say to that girl, the situation began to be stirred up again. Like everyone else magical in the area, both she and Dench felt the enormous field of magical power that surrounded the patient on the stretcher. And beside her...
"Oh, Telemain..." The Dean ran a paw through her headfur, "What have you brought home this time?"

There was a sharp increase in discussion among the Dysuhlians, but a few words from Antinom sent them away. Both Dench and the Dean thought this sudden obedience unusual, and the badger gave a sideways look at the rat. In any case, the street had mostly cleared by the time the group arrived.

Tel Briefly looked up, recognizing the Dean. "Oh, hello Dr. Martin, has the doctor been fetched? I'm worried about my apprentice."
The badger shook her head. "No, Tel, things got a little hairy when your friend first arrived- wait, apprentice?" She did a double-take, the last word finally sinking home.
"And what," Dench broke in, inquiring somewhat questionably, "is that?" The weasel gestured towards Melissa.
"Oh, uh, little girl, fox, about eight, nine years old? Cursed, yeah, needs help too. Long story." Tel spoke choppily, his mouth being tripped up by his brain taking in the scene around him. "On that note, who is she, and him, and that, and what the HELL is going on here!?"

"Dench," the Dean spoke through clenched teeth. "You go and fetch the healers, have them meet us on the way. Now." Never one to stand up to a direct confrontation from an angry badger, Dench complied.
She turned back to the journeyman-mage, speaking softly. "I think that might wait until the healers get here as well. It's also a bit of a long story..."

~

Professor Valencii, head of the H.E.M. department, was currently in discussion with one of his former students. "Are you certain you wish to switch your specialization, Matteo? I'd hate to lose a clever student like you."
The lemur across from him grinned. "Yeah, and so would he. But I've never had to get you out of a depressive funk now, right?"
"Fair enough, fair enough." The mouse nodded. He was about to say something else, but he paused, a troubled look on his face.
"What is it professor?"
"Something's... not right" Valencii held his finger up, as if testing the wind. "I an unable to precisely say what, but there is something not right."
"Uh-huh..." Matteo couldn't feel anything.
"Mm, you go tell Nessus I said alright." Valencii murmured distractedly, already paying attention to the different sensors he kept in his office. "Just let me see if I can pin this down..."

The lemur left the office in bright enough spirits. Even though the vixen from his class was still missing, other things had transpired to put it mostly out of the Dean's mind (though Caraennyn was still upset that he'd gotten involved).
Being dark-affiliated, and having experience in complicated constructs from his previous coursework, the lemur felt most at home in Nessus' class. Didn't hurt that it would probably be the most immediately useful knowledge, should the golems return.
The lemur rapped on Nessus' doorframe, waiting for the rat to look up from his research. "Hey Professor, everything went alright with Valencii, no problem. Be seeing you next class, then." He was about to leave, before he turned back. "By the way, you haven't been feeling weird lately, have you? Only Valencii seemed disturbed by something when I was there."
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rainwhisker » Sun May 01, 2011 7:32 am

Minutes of confusion whizzed past the lynx's head as events came one after the other - the windmill, the exchange between the folk nearby and now Telemain's exasperated expression. Feres raised his brow, moving over to Telemain's side. As he did, his eyes came across Melissa once more, then it went to Naia. He took a guilty gulp. His unfounded distrust of the construct shook him painfully and he wished to apologize to Melissa right away - but he held his tongue still.

He urged himself to press on with the request for apology - but he could not. This wasn't the first time he felt too flustered, embarrassed or even too proud to admit a mistake. Perhaps Melissa thought nothing of it and bringing it up would only bring confusion or hurt. He didn't wish for any of that and that became his reason to keep quiet.

Instead, he focused his attention back on the elderly badger who halted the confrontation. She sounded like she was the authorative figure, and personally knew the ferx well enough to have a more casual discussion. "I think that might wait until the healers get here as well. It's also a bit of a long story..." she trailed off, her voice softening from a command she just gave to another fur.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Sade » Thu May 12, 2011 3:25 pm

"Brilliant work, up there." The construction foreman was in the middle of issuing praise for Jyya and Marcus' performance on the mobile tamper. "The upper mast is nice and clear of soot now, and we won't have to worry about more building up... because you've wrecked our machine!!!"

"You," he jabbed a finger at Marcus, who stood silently holding his hands and staring at the ground, "you're off the team. Go home, boy." The fact that Marcus' home at the moment was the worker's barracks did not register.

To Jyya he only offered a caustic chuckle and, "dodging golems indeed." Tall tales were rarely true. Clearly the role she had purportedly played in their release from the ark was exaggerated. "Not even fit to clear soot..." he muttered of them both, moving back towards the immobilized machine. He wanted nothing to do with the newcomers, at least not now that he had his work cut out for him. If he was lucky, the tamper would be back on it's axles and working within 48 hours... if he was lucky. Dozens of feet of wall could have been completed in the same time.

Antinom would have defended Marcus- and perhaps Jyya- had his interest not been captivated so thoroughly by a mere off-hand detail of the Dean's conversation with the not-quite-ferret. He matched their pace as they moved towards the University, ignoring dozens of rodents' eyes watching from every door and window. "You are Telemain," the question was more a statement, but it sounded doubtful nonetheless. This was the fur who stood against Vedicus, alone, out in the world? His information was second-hand, but by all accounts the traitor-necromancer had had one too many chances to crush this ferx like a bug. Yet he lived. That was... suspicious. "You must tell me of your encounters with our mutual foe."

Zodt, meanwhile had tagged along for no reason other than Antinom's continued interest. "This is not the time," she bit out the words, displeased by the rat's lack of sensitivity. The feilan, Telemain, looked distraught, and well he should be. His female friend showed no signs of consciousness.

"The time is whatever we make of it," Antinom countered, though even he wasn't sure exactly what he meant by it. He maneuvered closer to Telemain as they moved beyond the rodent-dominated section of town, "You may call me Antinom; I speak for my people, at the moment. We have much to discuss about your journeys and-" Zodt positioned herself directly in his path. "And your hybrid apprentice," Antinom called amiably to the back of the ferx's head as the group moved away.

He did not actually acknowledge the Jird in his path, rather he simply turned and casually padded back towards the friendlier neighborhood, brow furrowed in thought. 'Who is she, what is she,' were the immediate questions of his necromancer brethren, to which he could only answer, "I don't know... but neither do they." The rat took another few steps, then, "the lynx may be more informative. Try to 'retrieve' him tomorrow or the day after... extend to him the same courtesy you would another rat."

****

Nessus leafed quickly through the papers on his desk, gripping many of them at once, chasing an old idea across the pages in an attempt to bring it into sharp focus. His class had just the one golem with which to practice, and the dangerous weapon of war did not make a good trainer. He would very much like to change that. The delicate train of thought had criss-crossed into something like a web when he noticed one of his two best... his one best student at the door to his office.

The news was most welcome, and Nessus smiled inwardly that the brightest of his students would stay. And then he frowned that the most reckless of his students would stay. Matteo's lingering presence distracted him from the mental picture of the lemur laughing maniacally atop the assault golem with a path of destruction stretching out in his wake, and his question only deepened the rat's frown.

He put the parchments aside and came around from behind his desk, "I did feel something strange a few minutes ago, or maybe a few hours ago, but I thought it was just..." and he shrugged. Nerves? A draft? Errant magical eddies? It could have been anything... or it could have been anything if other professors more in tune with the strange magical environment had not also been put off by it. "I have no idea what it could have been. I thought it might be close, though. I thought it must be in the school somewhere..." Nessus joined Matteo at the door, "all I do know is that something's going on. Maybe we should see if we can 'help' Valencii track the source."

Of course, Nessus would be no help. Mages these days were great at picking apart magic and examining its entrails, but he was not from 'these days.' What he was, as any would be, was curious. He gestured to the corridor, "Is Valencii still in his office?"
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by osprey77 » Fri May 13, 2011 6:42 am

Crisena Serone was worried. This was, in fact, the normal state of being for the timid grey dog, who had recently been accepted to the University as a light mage, with her younger brother, who showed an affinity for earth. It was this younger brother, Giolen, who was the root of this current worry. On one of his rare days off of classes, he was nowhere to be found, and that boded trouble. Not that he was an intentional trouble maker, but if there was a disaster as result of a clumsy or careless accident, there was a fifty-fifty chance Giolen had been involved.

That was why Crisena was pacing through the halls, trying to find him. Call it 'damage control,' she thought to herself.

When she nearly bumped in to Nessus and Matteo, and saw the disturbed expression, at least on the professor's face, her heart sank. "Has something gone wrong? May I be of assistance?" Crisena asked, fearing the worst.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rackenhammer » Fri May 27, 2011 5:22 pm

“Healers? Right, healers.” Telemain acquiesced to Dr. Martin’s injunction with an ‘onward’ gesture. She, at least, did not appear disturbed at these new developments, and the ferx trusted her judgment. Her suggestion of fetching a University healer was as sound as ever; they’d be much better at handling a magical malady.

What Tel wanted right now was a little peace and quiet, to sort out his thoughts and emotions, and to give his whirling head a brief rest. Antinom, though, seemed to have other ideas. “Hnh, yes, what?” He replied to his name, more tired than irritated. His mention of ‘their mutual foe’ brought out a more baffled “What?”

The ferx was obviously in no mood or state for any kind of conversation, his attention still directed mainly at his stricken apprentice. Zodt, at least, was perceptive enough to notice and kind enough to point it out.

Antinom’s reply to this welcome rebuff did nothing to ease Tel’s bafflement. *Time is-what? His people? Eh?* The remark about his apprentice, though, that engaged him. “What.” He stated the word flatly, bristling and defensive of Naia. But the rat was quickly falling behind.

Tel let out an irritated sigh, rubbing his hand through the fur on the top of his head. Would no one leave him in peace? He managed a smile, and a sincere, if slightly strained, “Danke Sie” for Zodt.

Dench was meeting them halfway. It looked as if he had grabbed the nearest fur in healer’s robes he found wandering in the courtyard, as it was extremely unlikely that Miranda would have been sent by professorial recommendation. The cat had become a bit of a Pariah since losing her patient Amelia. She herself bore the look of one eager to prove herself again, and terrified that she’d screw it up.

Tel knew nothing of this, of course. He simply remembered Miranda as one of the more competent healers in the ward, and was honestly relieved to see her coming. Stepping aside aside to let her examine Naia, he found himself next to Zodt.
“I… don’t believe I caught your name. Mine’s Telemain, and yours?” Now that the situation with his apprentice was in different hands, the ferx was attempting now to take stock of his surroundings make sense of them, along with a little small talk.


The Dean had received Miranda without comment. She would let the girl’s work speak for itself before passing judgment. She found herself between Melissa and Feres as the group paused for the healer’s preliminary examination.
“Extraordinary…” She was examining the construct with academic interest. “She was a little girl before this? What had been done to her, and by whom?” She turned to Feres, as if he might know.

~

Now that he knew Nessus had sensed… whatever it was as well, Matteo was more inclined to take Valencii’s feelings a bit more seriously. “Yep. Let’s go, then. If nothing else, we’re two heads he can bounce things off of.”

The lemur’s face would have betrayed little worry as he passed through the halls. Magical aberration or not, it was still a fine day. A few windows were open, letting in the sun and breeze. The sounds of a pickup pinggen game wafted in, and Matteo wondered if he could join any of them later.

They bumped into a student on the way, Matteo tried to recall her name- Cicero? No, that was a guy’s name; Chris? Crisena!
“Oh, no, at least, I don’t know. We’re just on our way to Valencii’s, to look into one of his little ‘sensings’.” They’d picked up the student in their wake, not pausing in their pace as they came out the door closest to the High Energy Magic building.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rainwhisker » Fri Jun 03, 2011 9:40 pm

“She was a little girl before this?" She asked to Feres. "What had been done to her, and by whom?” the lynx looked between her and Melissa, pursing his lips. "I'm afraid you're asking the wrong person," he told her. "I know far too little to give you much information - Telemain might give you a better and more plausible explanation - or maybe even ask Melissa herself." he motioned to the construct.

His eyes wandered to every corner as he walked, eager to just jump and explore at this odd new land to find anything he could. Batym was at the back of his mind right now - there was much to explore here, he felt, and it would only benefit him to seek out anything that might be of value. There were so many people, he was almost lost in it all and just wanted to run rampant. But he held himself steady and stayed with his party. Telemain was a nervous wreck - far more than he usually was - it may be best if the lynx stuck around to comfort him; even though the ferx was now home, it seemed there was much troubling him.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Indrick151 » Sat Jun 04, 2011 3:03 am

Time seemed to stand still within the room for Logan and Amelangrien as the last words echoed and hung in the air, and then with agonising slowness Amelangrien began to clap to a slow measured beat, stepping away from Logan and turning to face him. His golden eyes boring into Logan’s; a smile of triumph concealed within those metallic iris’s. He’d beaten the Dean, all of her kindness and care for Logan, all of her efforts had failed to save him in the end, and not from an external evil, but rather from himself and his own choices. He was still alive, but after this he would be lost to her and the others at the university. He would be an aberration, just like Amelangrien.

“Good choice.” He almost laughed, “And you need not worry about formal lessons. You will not learn from me like these university furs at regular times, nor will you learn in a classroom in a ‘controlled environment’. All I will give you is but a taste of my power, and then you must teach yourself with but a little guidance. If you are still too weak, well, then you will die my... Student.” He let the last word linger in the air, enjoying the sound and the feeling of it rolling out of his mouth. The words issuing from his mouth seemed to poison the very idea of learning and education. He reached out and placed his index finger on Logan’s forehead, the smaller wolf flinching involuntarily, only making Amelangrien smile even toothier and more sinister. He whispered one syllable, the lone word unintelligible as it drifted into the air, and then a trickle of power ran through Amelangrien sliding along his finger, pausing at the tip and then snaking its way into Logan, running through his being, and coiling up in the darkest places of his soul and body, awaiting him to call on it and let it grow. Fortunately for the pair this was both a small and minor ritual, almost completely unnoticeable through all the ambient magic around them.

But that was only the first of the two steps to preparing Logan, there was one final thing, perhaps the riskiest of all, since unlike the gifting of dark power this could not be concealed or kept hidden. He needed to pull a soul from himself and give it to Logan. Using a soul was easy, but to detach one from a being was difficult, as he not only had to hold it, but also had to give it to Logan, while preventing it from slipping out of his grasp and fleeing from them to somewhere else on this plane or to some netherworld. But if Logan wanted to learn and grow in power, then he needed to be able to control and bend souls to his will. Because through them one could gain power beyond the limitations of one’s body, and that was the only power that could do what Logan wanted to do. Amelangrien knew what he wanted, the power to reject the world and gods, and to defy fate and create his own, and the only power great enough to do that lay in the soul. In the control and destruction of souls that is.

And so Amelangrien concentrated on the cacophony of voices within him, and picking out the meekest, most terrified one that he could find, one that even Logan could control he began to coax it out. Or more accurately rip it out and force it to manifest in his paw. It was the soul of a child, barely 6 winters old, and yet Amelangrien had done with her what he had done with every other fur that he had decided that he needed, he had sucked their soul from their body to fuel his power. He had no idea who she was, what her dreams had been, or even what her name was, only that she was terrified, powerless, and completely trapped by his will. And so he saw the misty soul began to coalesce in his paw. And without warning he pulled his paw back and then threw the soul at Logan as if it were a ball, the misty form hurtling through the air to slam into Logan’s body, the young student almost stumbling backwards in surprise as he felt it enter him forcefully. And then came the next shock as he heard it’s wailing within him, the crying and the pleading along with the sensation of its terror running through his mind.

It was something that he had never experienced while Amelangrien had possessed him. He had felt souls sucked from bodies and trapped within him, he’d seen their horrified faces and heard their begging and dying gasps, but he’d never been exposed so brutally and so openly to the soul after Amelangrien had taken them. He’d never had to experience the never-ending tirade of fear and emotion that they forced upon their hosts in response to the prison that their host forced them into. His face contorted into a tortured expression as he recognised the cries that he himself had shouted, and saw just how deep this rabbit hole of madness and darkness could go. He had turned from the victim to the cause of suffering. And just as clearly he knew there was no going back, this was a stain upon him, and one which forever trapped him from going back to how he was.

Logan stood there, clutching his head and whimpering as he desperately searched for some way to shut the voice off. To silence the begging and the pleading, while Amelangrien watched on, his face twisted into a smirk of sadistic joy. He’d both broken Logan and turned him into a monster in one day. Indeed it was a good day.

“There are my gifts to you. Now go, and use them. If you need me I will be here to help you further. But there will be a price for further... lessons” he said with a smirk, sitting down on a chair by the window, gesturing for the wolf to leave, a request that barely registered on Logan as he staggered out, stumbling away, trying to find the nearest privy.

Please let me go, please free me, I’m scared. The child babbled over and over in his mind, a tirade of sobbing and pleads breaking through every thought of Logan’s.

“shut up, shut up, shut up” he whispered vehemently, barely conscious of the world around him, unable to even gather his thoughts. That was until he stumbled into a wall, sending a sharp lance of pain through his body, flooding him with adrenalin, which gave the briefest respite from the voice. That was it, pain, pain could help him focus! Maybe then he could shut her up and get some time to gather his thoughts and plumb the depths of his revelations as well as silence this cursed child. And so gritting his teeth he made his way away from Amelangrien’s room, no longer clutching his head, trying to keep a straight face and give away nothing of what was going on within his mind. He had to hold it all in. It was torture, but nobody could know, if they knew then he couldn’t imagine what would happen. But it would be terrible and he could not stand to be outcast as an aberration again. But he couldn’t hide his nerves as his tail was curled between his legs, a throwback to instinct and the dishevelled look about him.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Sade » Sun Jul 31, 2011 6:51 pm

(I'm going to cut down on extraneous sub-threads for now. Telemain has been "arriving" for months!)

"Danke Sie"

Zodt's momentary reverie vanished with a mental 'pop.' Upon sizing up this new face, and parsing the words spoken in a local dialect, she couldn't help but smile. He looked *so very* disheveled, worn down, stretched to the point of breaking, and wound-up yet beaten down. Her momentary amiable amusement was short lived, however. She soon took note of his attire and the way he was treated by the Dean, symbol of centrist governing in this land and era. He was obviously part of the University, arbiter of everyone's fate, and so she felt obligated to keep him at a distance. To his question she answered, "I am Zodt," and then, indicating…well, all of him, "I'm glad you look the part you play. People have spoken highly of you. I would have been disappointed had you ridden in on a high horse all, how do you say… 'Prim and Proper.'"

The jird resolved to follow them into the University. Now that she knew this to be Telemain's party, she wanted to hear what there was to be heard. After all, knowledge was power.

****

"Is anything ever *not* wrong?" Nessus couldn't help but tack the comment to the end of Matteo's explanation, simultaneously casting a sidelong glance to this new addition to their little troupe. He was perfectly content to let Matteo lead the way; the University was pretty familiar to him, but not 'in a hurry' familiar. Not 'potential crisis' familiar. And his legs still hurt. So did the rest of his body, now that he thought about it.

They arrived at Valencii's office in short order. Nessus made note of the wide variety of complicated apparatus, and that rejected, malnourished Dysuhlian side of his heart sank at the sight. It was far more sophisticated than anything he'd seen in the distant past.

"Is-" was all he managed before the wave of chaos and pain and raw magical energy washed over him from behind. He may not have been attuned to this age's magical ministrations, but he sure had no trouble recognizing that! He'd felt it hundreds of times, thousands even, in and around the great golem manufactories of Dysuhl. Someone was messing with souls. It had also registered on some of the small mouse's instruments… or so Nessus assumed by the way they changed.

Had the others felt it as well? "Something is very wrong here…"

****

"Yes, I was a little girl…before this. The rats 'saved' me from being homeless and did this to me, and made me kill people." Melissa did not volunteer more than that. She was thoroughly overwhelmed by this arrival. Everything was more complicated than she thought it would be. They had rats living here, and doing the things the rats liked to do.

They were coming to the University now. Feres was walking to one side, and looking all over, and fidgeting. Telemain was talking to the unfamiliar furry-tailed rodent woman. Melissa felt a disturbing discontinuity as she crossed the threshold into the University, as her artificial body's magical hooks and shunts lost purchase on energy sources outside the walls. They soon found new sources within the walls and the discomfort passed.

There was a burst of energy from one of the buildings. Her constructed body informed her mind that a golem manufactory was nearby, because it was presumably able to find meaning in that burst of energy. Did the others feel it? She decided not to mention it. Telemain looked ready to implode.

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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rackenhammer » Sun Jul 31, 2011 9:00 pm

Telemain was glad of someone to talk to while Miranda finished her diagnosis. He sized up Zodt as she was looking at him. She was obviously quite physically fit, and just as obviously not part of the University. Not that she was unmagical, but the kind of magic she used was unusual. He'd seen something like it while traveling in Yamaha; certain monestaries had trained monks to channel energy through martial arts, but not quite that much energy...
He couldn't quite suppress his amusement at the thought of himself acting all hifaluting at his homecoming. "Heh, well, I've never been much of an equestrain; few of peasant stock are, really." It was nothing unusual for him to say that; the University knew enough about magical talent to know that it could turn up in any class, and routinely sent out teachers, letters, and other methods to search it out wherever it lay. One such wanderer had seen potential in Tel as a baby, while he faced starvation on a peasant farm that had insufficient supplies to feed all it's children during the winter...

The reverie was soon broken. Miranda had finished examining Naia. "It doesn't look like anything serious, she's just fainted. I'm not sure from what; her pulse is fine, and no physical shock seems to have caused it. I'm going to try smelling salts while we take her up to the University." Relief, and then bafflement crossed Telemain's features as he headed towards and inside the gates. Naia wasn't in any immediate danger, apparently, but what could have caused her to faint? And what would need to be done for her to regain consciousness?


The Dean nodded at Feres suggestion, and listened sympathetically to Melissa's account of herself. "Well, you're with us, now. You won't have to do that again, at least." She noted that Zodt was accompanying them to the University, and was glad of it. The badger welcomed any chance she could to reach out to the jird. Perhaps Jyya would help as well. *I still need to talk to that girl about what happened at the mill...*
She felt the flash of energy as well as Melissa. To her, though, it meant something different from golem manufacturing. *Soulreaving!* She turned to the others as they went through the gates. "Tel, you and your guests stay with Naia and Miranda, accompany them to the infirmirary. I need to go check on something." With that she briskly set off across the quad with a worried expression, looking back once to see if Zodt was coming or leaving.

~

Matteo smiled wryly at Nessus comment. Life seemed to be teeming with crises these days. He led the way to Valencii's office, cheerful greeting cut short by by the wave of chaotic and painful energy. He could certainly feel that, though he'd have had a hard time saying what it was.

Valencii had no such ignorance. "Soulreaving..." He looked up from the readouts with a pale face at his guests. There was a frozen second, before he began frantically extricating himself from his desk and instruments. "Amelengrien. Must be. Quick, we need to get the Dean!" Finally getting out, he barrelled out of his office door, Matteo in hot pursuit.

They found the quickest door out to the quad, spotting Dr. Martin approaching in the distance. They changed their bearings to meet her trajectory, without a need to exchange a word.

~

Caraennyn van der Rayke had been enjoying the school holidays. Sleeping well past sunrise, a leisurely brunch at the Buttery, a rather intense afternoon of sport, and an evening spent at one of the town beer gardens. Currently, though, he was indoors on this good afternoon, looking for Logan. The wolf had been looking pretty wound up lately, and Caraennyn figured he needed a few pinggen games to loosen up. The cat had played pretty often with Logan before, having taught him the game, and was rather worried that his friend was no longer on the quad.

He was wondering he'd already left the University, when he saw the wolf coming down the hallway. "Guten- whoah, are you alright?" Caraennyn stepped back a bit, the wolf's nervous demeanor and sick look denoted some great distress. "I was wondering if you would join us on the quad," the cat said, holding up a ball, "But if you're not feeling well, I could take you from the infirmary."
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by osprey77 » Mon Aug 01, 2011 6:31 am

Crisena had found herself tagging along with Matteo and Nessus. Indeed, she had to, if she wished to hear the whole story. She was also curious, and decided that her brother could probably handle staying out of trouble for a few minutes by himself.

When they reached Valencii's office, Crisena was momentarily absorbed in looking around at the instruments in wonder.

"Is-" Nessus began, but then they all felt it. To Crisena, it was almost as if a sharp blade had slashed by her, cutting into her, but she,like Matteo could not identify it.

Upon hearing what it was, Crisena's worry changed to panic and went into overdrive. She, like any student at the University, knew who the only person on campus that used souls as the basis of magic was: Amelengrien. She ran after the others, though what she hoped to do, she couldn't say.

****

Giolen, meanwhile, had been out on the quad, learning the game of pinggen. He was a fun-loving fellow of thirteen, and quick to make friends. As such, he was assisting in the search for Logan, as, he too, believed the wolf needed some cheering up.

He had never really talked to Logan before, only seen him around, so he let Caraennyn greet his friend, but Logan's disheveled disposition was enough to cause concern in the young earth mage, who turned to Caraennyn, asking, "Should I get a healer?" Giolen was poised to run outside at a word from his friend.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Rainwhisker » Wed Aug 03, 2011 5:11 am

Feres kept to his own thoughts as they walked, remaining quiet while the rest discussed. His feline ears twitched and rotated around as he listened to the conversation, while his eyes took in the sights of a few rats arguing about something in their hushed voices and large gestures. He flicked his tail once, and turned his head to look at a bunch of rats murmuring something amongst themselves. Suddenly, the lynx felt hungry, thinking about if they'd be served food - and what would they be served. He purred, amused at the thought, but the surge of energy struck - making the fur on the lynx stand on end.

He froze, feeling the energy run through him - a very familiar kind of energy too, in fact. One that he had dealt with before with his father.

"Tel, you and your guests stay with Naia and Miranda," the badger rushed hurriedly through her words, pacing and motioning in what appears to be a moment of panic for the - was she the Dean - if he recalled correctly, she was. "accompany them to the infirmirary. I need to go check on something." with that she darted off in another direction.

"Telemain, what's going on?" he asked the ferx. "That energy - was it --" he paused, thinking. It was so vaguely familiar, he could almost feel a memory spring up the minute that surge poured through him. "Do you know?" he instead opted to ask instead of blindly suggesting things.
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Re: In Brightest Day, in Blackest Night...

Post by Sade » Wed Aug 03, 2011 7:49 pm

Zodt did not feel much of anything. The magic running through her body was tied to her strength and physical conditioning, and it was a very offensive thing. Contrary to what some people thought, it wasn't even really there unless brought on by physical strain or anger. It did not give give her powers of magical perception or strange, additional senses. In this case, she needed no magical senses to detect the disturbance. She had only to observe the very abrupt change in the behaviors of others. The lynx froze; the Dean ran off; but it could easily be an irrelevant University matter. She saw no reason for more than passing concern on her part.

The lynx broke the silence: "Telemain, what's going on?" he asked multiple times with different words.

The disturbing construct with the mind of a child was the first to respond, "they're making golems."

These words set Zodt on a warpath- she abruptly snarled and chased after the Dean. Initially, for the briefest fraction of a second, the 'plan' had been 'attack, attack, attack!', and the jird moved with great speed. But she quickly slowed. Her first and worst conclusion just didn't make sense. The facts did not add up.

They soon met up with Nessus, and she jabbed an accusatory finger in his direction, "this is *you're* doing! You are building *golems*!"

"What- no!" he cried out as they trailed the Dean and Valencii with the others, "I wanted to- eventually- but not like this!"

After a moment, she believed him. This was Nessus after all. He would not lie to her. "Then what is going on?" she whispered.

"Amelengrien…"

The furry-tailed rodent sneered. She did not think highly of the wolf's abilities. She did not think him an equal to her.

Nessus only frowned. He had seen the wolf fight, the wolf's power, and the wolf's apparent lack of anything approaching empathy or compassion or respect for life. Dysuhlians were portrayed in an ill light. They were said to be evil by some. But even his brethren were not so utterly… soulless. As they entered one of the University buildings, he absentmindedly mentioned the thought.

"From stories I have been told, I do not believe this to be true," Zodt offered grimly. "The wolf is not without a soul. He is said to possess many."

****

Melissa now stood idle by her traveling companions and the few remaining new faces. She didn't know what to do. One person had proven best at solving that particular problem in the past. She turned to face Telemain, disoriented and upset and so perhaps appearing to loom with more menace than intended, her voice colder and angrier and less patient than before, "what do we do now?"

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