⊰ Set in ℳotion are the Шheels of ℭhange ⊱
Ⱥ ismael Ѵ ea-vartari. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .Ⱦ ʜ ᴇ ℚ ᴜ ᴇ ᴇ ɴ ' s s ᴘ ᴇ ᴀ ʀ
Ominar – Prae Headquarters 'The Spire' – Highest Office
The clouds were white today, Ais observed from the window in the high office of what she'd learned the inhabitants of the city had come to call 'the Spire.' She found the term as strange as she did the humans who had likely coined it. After all, a spire thinned at the top, and the building in which she stood did no such thing. It was tall, surely, but it was not the tallest building in Ominar, no it was perhaps the fifth tallest—though that was not to say that it wasn't still a monolithic structure in its own right.
Her gaze looking down from the cloudy upper reaches of Ominar, Aismael's attention shifted, and so her thoughts followed suit, abandoning their former ponderings entirely.
“Madam, Exeo,” sounded a small voice from across the room. The Exeo judged that the voice came from the same location that the entrance resided within. Someone had entered her office unbidden. Her body turning a quarter of the way around so that her head could turn to see the small Prae who stood in the doorway, the Exeo found a small smile slipping over her lips.
“Maedriel, I presume you've returned with the reports?” Her question was accompanied by her body gracefully completing its turn, before approaching the small, 4'10 Prae. She was still young.
“Yes, Exe--,” she begun, only to be interrupted by her blue and gold haired elder, who had closed the distance with deceptive swiftness to place her hand on the young woman's shoulder, “Please, it's Ais while we're alone, alright Maedri?” The young Prae nodded meekly, her eyes, with hesitation, turning up to meet her superior's own.
As she did, a shiver went through her, causing Aismael to smile, a glint in her eyes. “The report, dear,” she requested gently, causing the girl to sputter briefly before hurriedly handing over the folder of documents. Smiling as she took hold of it before, to the girl's relief and dismay both, she turned away and walked to her desk. Once there she splayed the files out over the surface before feeding her vis into it.
Swiftly the documents were scanned by a golden light, before being displayed holographically several feet above the surface of the desk. “Hmm, troubling,” Ais murmured after several minutes of silence.
Maedriel shifted uncomfortably as Ais spoke.
“So our little friend is likely in town then?” As she said it, she glanced over her shoulder to see Maedriel nod, her eyes averted all the while.
“Yes, very troubling. However, perhaps we can use this to our advantage,” she said, trailing off, a smile forming on her full lips. “Yes, I think we will make use of his presence. Let's send a message to him, shall we?”
In confusion, Maedriel opened her mouth to speak up, but she found that only a squeak came out. It seemed that the girl was quite literally choked up by the sheer presence of the Exeo before her. Ais chuckled, “Don't worry Maedri, I won't make you deliver it. Why don't you go take a break, mmm? You've done well in bringing this straight to me. Come back when you've relaxed some, we'll talk.” Dutifully the girl, bowed, and turned away in a whirl—her actions swift not because she disliked being in the presence of the Exeo, but because of the bright red blush on her cheeks as she fled the room.
As the door shut, Aismael couldn't help, but laugh again to herself. She knew she ought to stop teasing the poor girl, but she simply couldn't help it—she was far too cute for her not to after all.
Nonetheless, there were unfortunately less pleasant things she had to attend to, and so it was that Ais circled her desk, seated herself behind it—legs crossed—and lightly tapped its surface. There was a brief pause, before a male voice came through, “Yes Exeo Aismael, how may I assist you,” the voice queried. In response, Ais smiled and said, “Connect me to the offices of an individual known as The Broker.”
“What shall I tell them,” the voice replied.
“Tell him we're looking for Dranai, and tell him I'll personally bring his favorite--if he plays nicely.”
“So it shall be Exeo Aismael. I will get back to you with his reply within the hour.”
“Thank you Haesari.”
“With pleasure, Exeo.”
It was then that the transmission ended and as it did, Ais turned in her chair and looked out onto the city once more, her thoughts returning to what their God-Queen had laid out for them. This would only be the first step of many.
The first step to purge the Licentia from Medius. The first step to ascertain the prosperity of their race for ages to come. Queen willing, it would not fall short of expectations and things would progress swiftly.
'Queen willing,' the Exeo thought with an absent chuckle...
D ranai L lamant. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .ᴛ ʜ ᴇ ᴘ ʀ ᴏ ғ ᴇ s s ᴏ ʀ
The Streets of Ominar
The streets were dangerous, the human knew this and while people had once convinced him otherwise, the world had come to prove them fools and he the fooled. When this had become fully and truly apparent to him, he had cast aside the veil of other's perceptions, and taken to believing only what others could prove to him.
Yet he was a mage.
“Yes, the greatest irony that someone who so believes in empiricism would find themselves practicing a thing that doesn't even seem to follow the laws of physics,” he said, talking to himself, something he often did. “One of these days I'll find a way to stop everyone, myself included, from thinking it ironic,” he muttered to himself, hoping that one day he could put an end to the phenomena, as, for whatever godawful reason, people simply loved to point out that bit of irony to him, even when they hardly knew him.
It was both pitiable and annoying, the first because each one of them thought themselves the first to point it out, and the second because practically everyone did so. It was tiring.
Turning down an alley, Dranai barely stopped himself from running head first into what he first thought a rather tall man, only for a less cursory look to reveal a massive Licenti. “Ah, my apologies,” he said, nodding to the much taller being, before stepping to the side and walking past. He was relieved when the Licenti didn't turn and throw fire upon him, or attempt to strangle or crush him to death—he hated it when they tried that.
Going on his merry way, Dranai shoved his hands deeper into the pockets of his sweater, shielding them from the cold coastal air of Ominar. Why couldn't the place be a bit more like Florida or something, he wondered—knowing all the while the scientific reason as to why. Exiting the alley, Dranai's gaze fell upon the street, where cars didn't whizz by in blurs of movement—wait.
Dranai's eyebrows rose, before his eyes narrowed as he realized that the cars on the street weren't moving when he wasn't. When he moved, the cars appeared to move as usual, but when he stopped....
“Well isn't that some trippy, fishy, sketchy nonsense,” he exclaimed aloud in irritation. “You know, it's rather irritating when you amateur mages try to enscorcel me with subpar illusions. This isn't even good,” said the mage as he extracted his left hand from the pocket of his sweater. In its grasp was what could have been either a timepiece or a locket—it was hard to say.
As if to punctuate the appearance of the object, Dranai noted a flash of light pierce through the side of a building, making no sound, to strike at his person.
Needless to say, it didn't find its mark, instead the mage's arm rose in one swift arcing movement, intercepting the shock of light, before completing the arc. As his arm came to rest, a burst of warm white light spread from the item in his grasp, which had revealed itself to be not a locket or an antique timepiece, but instead to be both and more. It was his Focus.
Gaze narrowing further, Dranai's silver eyes began to glow faintly as his breathing steadied. Gradually he opened his Ostium, accessing his inner power. “Very well,” he said as he drew a small circle with his Focus. “Let me teach you a thing or two about illusions,” he said, and so it was that the false world around him formed ripples, as if it were all a reflection on a pond.
Then, while their attention was on trying to maintain their little illusion, Dranai, in oddly silent fashion, snapped the fingers of his unoccupied right hand.
Instantly a wave of invisible vis spread from his form. A moment passed without incident, then another, and another, and finally with a faint pop the illusion ceased to be, replaced by the reality of five young men, none of them older than twenty, either lying unconscious against buildings, or with their heads between their hands upon the ground between where Dranai stood and several buildings as if they'd been trying to close the distance between them.
Around them gawked several naive strangers, none of which knew anything about what had just transpired. However, perhaps more naive than they were the young men who had chosen him as their target as while everyone else saw things as they were, the young men thought the Dranai had unleashed a choice piece of fire magic on them.
The reality was clear, they were all enscorcelled. Perhaps more amusing than this fact, was that the illusion was sustaining itself by way of its victims' ambient vis. Surely it would be a confusing situation for the authorities to deal with when they arrived.
Speaking of which.
“Say, you there, would you mind calling the authorities? I think these young men have been using illusion magic to mug poor unsuspecting passersby. Oh, and if you would, tell them that Dranai Llamant sends his regards, mmm?” The confused woman nodded before extracting her cellphone and dialing nine-one-one. Waiting till she started explaining, Dranai left only after he was satisfied, heading down the street with more than a few eyes glued to his back.
When he'd made his way several blocks from the incident, the human stopped, waiting for a light to change. After a minute it did so and he crossed the street among a small group of other people. Reaching the other side of the road and continuing on his way, Dranai frowned slightly and brought his Focus up where he could see it, and flipped it open to see the timepiece.
His frown faded slightly, he still had plenty of time before his lecture. Pocketing the Focus, Dranai took to running the lesson through his head, making sure he still remembered it all. However, before he'd gotten even halfway through he felt a buzzing vibration against his leg. “Hmm,” he uttered as he extracted his phone, finding that he was apparently receiving a call. Answering it before pocketing it once more, he spoke, “Yes, this is Dranai of the Institute, whose number is this?” There was a slight edge of curiosity and irritation in his voice.
The irritation only grew as the caller answered, “Why, Dranai, it's me a'course. Good ole Bree givin' ya a check in.” Dranai extracted his focus in swift fashion and a shield of vis instantly erected itself around him as he twisted his wrist clockwise. “Bree, what are you up to, and who hired you,” asked the illusionist, a fierce and serious cadence to his words.
"Oh, just an old friend who I happen to owe a favor," responded the voice. Dranai grit his teeth.
“I will give you more to shut down this little operation and leave me alone,” responded the mage in a level tone. There was a dangerous edge to his words as he added, “This doesn't need to get nasty, Bree.”
In the same moment, Dranai felt his shield fluctuate, a portion of it flickering briefly. 'Not good, he's already nearby. How long has he been following me...?'
“No can do bud, I've got quite the pay in on this one, plus I owe her.”
With his shield flickering again, Dranai found himself fed up with playing nice. “Very well, I warned you, Bree. Remember that,” he said, his tone low as his shield dispersed and a wave of shimmering silver light spread outwards from his form, blanketing a radius of eighty meters.
The illusionist hung up the phone and pocketed it, but as he did so he shock went through his entire body and he found that his muscles had ceased to respond to his commands as he crumpled to the ground. He noticed only belatedly that he had been tazed from behind. The last words he heard before losing consciousness, were uttered by the same voice that he'd heard over the phone.
“Ain't no escapin' one's responsibilities, ol' Drai. When I keep my word, I do it well. Sorry bud,” the man said, his voice possessing a distinctive—if jazzy—New Orleans accent. It seemed that for once the Dealbreaker had decided to act in accordance to his other title: The Dealbroker. As he drifted into unconsciousness, Dranai had only one question: Why did it always have to be when he was involved?
ᴛ ʜ ᴇ ɢ ᴀ ᴛ ʜ ᴇ ʀ ι ɴ ɢ
Ominar - Outskirts
Sky cast with clouds drifting through the city-scape, with roads and plains stretching away from the great city that was Ominar. While the rest of the city went about its daily business, some in the grind of survival, others in hiding, and others yet living the high life—some few who had in the past few weeks held protests and rallies advocating for the oppressed Licentia, and against the oppressive presence of the still fairly new Prae leadership. While there had been some arrests, by and large the protesters had been allowed their little rallies and meetings in the streets.
However, with their message meeting the deaf ears of the Prae, they had grown dissatisfied and further disenchanted with their progress and so with just the slightest push and assistance from a certain local business owner, a gathering had been arranged.
Taking place in the outskirts of Ominar where fewer people existed to bear witness to it, a gathering of like-minded, angry, and disenchanted individuals was taking place. Arriving at random intervals as the sun neared the horizon, the small abandoned warehouse gradually filled with bodies and the sound of conversation.
Within were the beginnings of something bigger than any one individual, as now the Resistance was forming in the minds of those who had made up their minds about the ruling Prae.
Among those gathering were some of the cities more prominent figures, some former politicians even, as well as a particular Hunter.
Perched on a nearby building, his silhouette apparent against the backdrop of the sunset on Ominar's coast, Mairyell Kasio watched, intrigued.
People from all walks of life, including even the rare Prae, flocked towards the building in small groups, though many gave the Prae who had gathered a wide berth. He noticed that most appeared to be Licentia....
Or rather, as he sniffed the air, they were surely Licentia. It made sense, he thought, that the race would be willing to gather when they were, as a whole threatened. However, for the sake of his and those whom he cared for, he felt that he too ought to follow.
This in mind, the hybrid casually stepped off the edge of the building, falling two stories, before landing with his knees bent. He felt several muscles tear briefly within his legs, before swiftly mending himself—his soul core pulsed within his chest and he smiled slightly, before the expression dropped and he casually joined a forming group of Licentia and humans who were entering the building.
Pointedly, Mairyell left behind small droplets of blood as he walked, exuding it from his pores, and manipulating it with his mind. He dispersed the droplets into a fine essentially imperceptible mist as he noticed the number of people entering the warehouse thin out.
If Prae authorities were dispersed to deal with the budding uprising, he'd know first.
Attention turning towards the inside of the building, the vampire noted that someone had brought in a raised podium and some chairs. It appeared they had not expected such a turnout. However, the hunter surmised that many of these people wouldn't stay. People were often creatures of convenience, and to rebel and possibly put ones life or livelihood at risk for the sake of an uncertain cause was far from convenient.
Wandering among the gathered parties, Mairyell noted some recurring subjects that stood out among the hum of noise. Among those topics were unfairness, governmental corruption, and most strikingly: Disappearances. Frowning slightly he found a wall and leaned against it, closing his eyes. Focusing his senses, the vampire sifted through the conversations he could hear--which were a great many, trying to find out more about the situation as according to this gathering resistance.
"I'm telling you, they took him! He didn't answer his phone for three days! He told me the week prior he was afraid he was being followed, but I didn't believe him. I should have... I should have listened... When I went to the police station, it was nothing but the Prae. I tried to ask what happened, but all they would tell me was that a man fitting his description was cited as being a Licentia! He wasn't! He was my brother!" The frail voice of a broken woman hung in the air. It was evident from her voice that she was shaking, and holding back sobs to the best of her ability.
"Katherine, you need to calm down." Another voice, this one slightly more androgynous cooed in an attempt to calm the woman.
"I can't! What if they hurt him?! What am I supposed to do?!" After her outburst, the woman's voice fell away in place of gentle, quiet sobbing.
His frown deepening as the scene played out--even if he could only hear it--Mairyell couldn't help but sympathize with the woman, having gone through something at least somewhat similar in the past. Remembering that long lonely and hopeless time was hard though, even now, so he swiftly put it out of mind by shifting his focus once more.
In another area of the room he heard another group talking about a similar occurrence, so he searched again and found the same thing. It was disturbing to know that so many people were losing those they cared for merely because they had expressed their concern for the status of the city and its policies--which had been changing a lot since a year or two ago. While he had thought it somewhat suspicious then, it hadn't been enough for him to look into personally...but this. This sort of thing made him wish he had taken notice sooner.
Opening his eyes, Mairyell glanced over the crowd, noting that even some Licentia--who were not widely known to get overly upset or broken up about even tragic events--were noticeably upset.
This disturbed him further. He needed to tell Aeris about this, but he had decided to stay, at least to see what sort of direction this Resistance was going. If he agreed with them, then he might even give them a hand.
Still, that was a decision for later.