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Color test!
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Talrae… A world of might and magic, of thousands of worlds and the heroes within them, of the struggle for life, liberty, and power. Challenge yourself to one hundred floors of combat and puzzles and come out victorious against Malgoth, Overlord of Talrae, in a bid to win your fame, fortune, and freedom. With 10,000 lives on the line, failure isn't an option.






Following a similar story to SAO, players will have to escape a VR-MMO death game. Death in game results in real life death. This version of the game follows the story of a group of friends who bought the game to play together and now must fight their way upwards, deafeating floor after floor in a bid to escape and earn their place in history as the Saviors of Talrae!

OoC Thread: https://www.roleplayerguild.com/topics/174836-talrae-s2-wip/ooc#
TM (Talrae Master): @HueMan
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Let the Dance Begin.



“We are pleased to hear it. With how soft he is on his household, we were worried he would slip into easier habits.” The mage caressed his cheek caringly. “Stop pouting, it’s unseemly. Ryner provided you with an excellent opportunity to mold the minds of the next generation. You should feel honored.” The mage hummed as Varis murmured his understanding, his eyes lightning a bit. “Perhaps we will attend one of your lectures. We haven’t the opportunity to see you in such a manner yet. With the Princess’s permission of course.” Ryner and the mage locked gazes. “We wouldn’t want to overstep our bounds, now would we?”

“Academy policy requires any guests intending to visit a student give two weeks written notice normally and must be off Academy grounds by six thirty.” Ryner replied without hesitation, sipping at her wine while maintaining eye contact. “As long as your Excellency complies, I see no reason why your visit to my Academy should be denied.” As the pair spoke, the servant’s door cracked open and another servant whispered in Isadora’s ear, who nodded and curtsied next to the Queen. After holding it for a few moments, the Queen acknowledged the mage’s presence and leaned in as the woman whispered into her ear.

“Dinner is over.” The Queen ordered. “Sybil and I. Have business. To attend to. Ryner, we will. Discuss the Spellman. Problem in.The morning.” With little warning, she stood and swept away in one fluid movement with a grace and speed that defied her earlier motions. Her footsteps barely a whisper, she was out of the room with the blink of an eye. The mage huffed under her breath and stood from her chair, directing her sightless gaze at Aaron. Ryner sighed and looked sympathetically at Salem. Under the table, she patted his knee comfortingly as he watched the rest of the group silently.

“We were glad for a meeting, Mr. Starag. We believe we see some potential in you. We merely need to cut out the Noila influence. Right Varis?” She asked as a servant cleared her spot and moved her chair.

“Indeed. Whether he sinks or swims, I will ensure he is an asset to our House.” Varis concurred. “However, my bets are on sinking right now.”

“Varis darling. Play nice with the boy sometimes.” She chuckled. [“We do hope you don’t disappoint us, Mr. Starag. Take care. Varis dear, approach us so we may discuss some business. We have a delightful surprise we know you’ll have fun with.”

Aaron stood as Varis did, paying attention to the two as they spoke and bowing deeply to the mage woman when she finished. Beneath the surface, uncertainty gripped him again; Lady Sinnenodel seemed like she wanted to speak to the Count privately, but Aaron had not forgotten Varis’ warning about staying close. He wasn't sure what to do, but this time, he didn't dare guess.

“Please pardon the interruption, Master,” he said to Varis, bowing his head, “Will you have further need of me, or would you prefer I leave you and Her Excellency to your business?”

“You will attend me.” Varis spoke, not sparing the light mage a glance. He held out his arm for her to take, leading them over to Lady Sinnenodel herself. The vampire watched the door the Queen escaped through but her position shifted at some point from reclining to sitting upright, arm stretched out to her side. The mage girl settled in the next to her and snuggled close to the vampire, letting the vampire’s arm settle around her as she laid her head on Lady Sinnenodel’s shoulder. Varis knelt in front of them, his eyes fixed firmly on the floor in front of them.

“After your little incident with our favorite House,” The mage spoke coldy even as the smile stayed, “We thought it prudent to look into the matter ourselves.” She reached back onto the couch and frowned, looking back at her seat. A white envelope lay across the chair, far too neat to have been accidently dropped. “Goodness. Varis, be a dear and fetch that for me. It's your chance to earn back my trust.” Varis’s jaw clenched. Her attempts to separate them were irritatingly obvious and he wasn't about to let her have her way. His eyes darted to the side, looking for anyone he could send other than the boy, and his spied Isadora helping clear away the dishes.

“Mage,” He said loudly, snapping at her. A few servants looked his way but he focused on Isadora, who looked a little disconcerted to be at the center of the Sinnenodels’ attention. “Fetch.” He pointed where the envelope lay. She put on her court smile and curtsied before hurrying to complete the task. She handed it over to the Count and hurried back to her duties.

“Excellent. Open it quickly. We’re sure you’ll love it.” The mage gushed, clapping her hands. Varis carefully opened the envelope, wary of her last lesson. He could still feel the bite of obsidian from that one. Thankfully, it seemed this was just a plain envelope and he pulled out a few of the papers inside. It was a list of transactions made by Count Illios, the vampire who snatched his business deal out from under his nose. Apparently, the Count indulged in serious underground gambling far too frequently for the Council to willingly overlook.

Kneeling next to Varis with eyes trained pointedly on the floor, Aaron was more than happy to go entirely ignored by the Lady and her mages as they had their rather one-sided exchange. The way the mage woman behaved with her Lady unsettled him, though considering that the images of the girl’s back and eyes would probably find their way into his nightmares later, Aaron wasn’t particularly surprised to find yet more oddities surrounding her. He did, however, bristle at Varis’ tone with his aunt, his brashness toward her incensing Aaron more than anything the vampire had done to him so far. He’d had this problem in the past, getting angry when his mother or aunts were treated poorly; he knew it was irrational, but he could never seem to shake it.

While Varis read, Aaron was thinking. Lady Sinnenodel seemed to be trying to separate him from the Count, and Varis seemed keen on preventing it. Aaron was starting to wonder if Varis’ earlier warning had been for both their benefit; it had seemed strange for Varis to warn him for his own sake when the vampire seemed otherwise content to let him suffer whatever consequences came his way. But why would Varis care if his mind was read? If anything, it would just give him more information on his new mage, would it not? Aaron examined the floor as he searched for an answer, but he kept coming up with none.

“I appreciate the opportunity, my Lady.” Varis smirked. Illios's holdings would be his if it was the last damn thing he did. The mage reached up and wiped gently at Lady Sinnenodel 's brow with a red handkerchief and nodded. “I expect so. You won't get a second chance.”

Glass shattered at the table behind Varis and Aaron. Isadora stood with a platter at her feet and the remains of wine glasses scattered at her feet. Her eyes were wide open and tears ran freely down her face as she watched the Sinnenodels. She clutched at her head and sank to her knees, mouth open as she gasped before a heart wrenching wail escaped. Ryner jumped to her feet and was at the woman's side in a heartbeat, searching for something causing Isadora such agony.

Aaron’s head snapped up and around at the sound of glass breaking, and he was met with the sight of his aunt in apparent agony, in tears and crying out. His heart jumped into his throat and he didn’t even think before he was on his feet, rushing over and nearly sliding as he fell to his knees next to the woman, searching for some cause of her pain.

“Aunt Dora, what’s--” he was cut off when he felt something take hold of him from behind: a hand, hard and smooth as marble, clamped over his mouth. By reflex, he tried to pull away, tried to reach for his sword, but he couldn’t move, and his sword wasn’t there anyway. Princess Ryner was right there, and there were others who could see him, but no one seemed to notice what was happening. Why couldn’t anyone see? Why wouldn’t anyone do something?!

As he tried and failed to struggle he started to panic, but no sooner did he feel it than the hand yanked him back; he felt the horrible jolt of falling backward, but he was powerless to stop it and everything went dark.

[insert memories in hider - RIP me-A new one daddy varis]

Salem watched closely as he saw how Aaron and the others behaved around the council members. How could Aaron stand to watch his family treated so poorly? So, low. It wasnt right. The thought was soon cut off as Isodora seemed to all but collapse on the floor. Salem quickly rushed to her side as soon as he was able to, kicking away any glass before he knelt to meet her gaze. "Aaron make a light! Aaron!” Useless Salem pulled out his phone and turned on the flashlight, checking Isadoras pupils, pulse, anything that could give him a sign as to where her pain was arriving from. Her pulse was fast and anguished, pupils dilated seeming to show her great deal of pain, yet try as he could, Salem couldn't find a cause.

'Someone silence that woman's caterwauling.’ Varis thought irritably as he continued to peruse the papers. The Count's mage won him plenty of money and a nice deed recently it seemed. As the noise continued, Varis finally looked up just as Aaron reached his Aunt. He narrowed his eyes and glanced back at Lady Sinnenodel as a piece of red fabric slipped back behind her. Perfect. Varis waited long enough he knew she would have him before bolting towards Aaron then snatching him up by his neck and tossing him on the table, visibly trembling with rage.

“Shut her up.” Varis hissed at Ryner as he kept his hand around Aaron's throat, waiting for him to wake up from his Lady's grasp. Ryner glared at the Count and rose fully. Her eyes were cold as she stared down the mage who only smiled sweetly at the Princess.

“While I appreciate your presence at my Manor, I believe it is past time you attended your other businesses Lady Sinnenodel. Do have a pleasant morning.” Ryner dismissed the woman, who only laughed. The other mages muttered under their breath and the recliner hovered a few feet off the ground between them, following them as they left the room. Isadora's screaming faded into gasping as the vampire's presence vanished.

The whole scene was only before Aaron for a moment before it faded away, and a new panic gripped him. He felt the hand around his throat before he saw its owner, and by reflex he grasped the arm it was attached to, struggling against its grip. But it wasn't moving, and when Aaron finally saw who was responsible, his hands flew down to his sides, colliding rather painfully with the edge of the table he found himself pinned to and gripping it tightly. His pulse quickened under Varis’ trembling hand, as did his breathing, when he understood what was happening and what had just occurred. The back of his head throbbed, his knees stung, and the rage clear on Varis’ face was enough to keep Aaron speechless, jaw working wordlessly as his eyes flickered around, searching on instinct for some escape.

“Welcome back, boy.” Varis spat. Seeing the boy terrified was quite amusing but he had a role to play right now. Varis made a mental note to explore this piece offun more later. “What was my one instruction tonight? Was I not clear enough for you?”

Aaron opened his mouth a few times before any actual sound came out, the hand around his throat distressing him more than it should have given that he wasn’t being strangled. “I-I’m sorry Cou--Master!” he managed to stammer out, nervously fidgeting; his positioning was awkward at best, his spine was grating against the edge of the table and Varis offered no room to move. “She-- I--”

“Did I ask for apologies or did I ask for an explanation? Your whimpering and whining sicken me. If you hadn't failed me again, you wouldn't need an apology.” Varis cut him off, pulling the boy to his feet by his neck. “Can't even bother to remember three damn feet? Three feet! Pathetic. No wonder your House threw you away. Maybe I should do the same.” He snarled and let the boy drop from his grip, not caring he was dropping him on broken glass. “And I thought your performance this far was a fluke, nothing more than nerves. It's clear now you are utterly incompetent.” Varis wondered if maybe he was over doing it but… it was fun and the boy was an excellent stress reliever after dealing with the damn Devil herself.

Aaron fell to his knees when the Count dropped him, hands flying up to his throat as he gulped for air he hadn’t even been lacking in the first place. He winced when his knees hit the floor, new shards of glass biting into them alongside the old ones, but it was the sting of Varis’ words that occupied his mind, flooding the mage with horror and shame as all of his fears were openly vocalized.

“That is quite enough.” Ryner demanded and the room went still with her words. It was as if a leash wrapped around every neck in the room, vampire and mage alike, and forced them into compliance. Isadora's whimpers faded away and Varis went stock still, unable to do anything but watch the Princess. “Your behavior is unacceptable, Count Sinnenodel. Retire to my study so we may discuss your actions when I've made sure Isadora is well. You are dismissed.” Varis glared at her and stormed from the room, slamming the door loudly behind him and cracking the door frame. Ryner sighed and the intense aura vanished as she scooped Isadora up and put her in Varis’s empty chair. She did the same with Aaron and Salem, depositing them gently back into their seats.

“I do apologize about this disaster of a night.” Ryner apologized, curtsying to the group. “I will have the main course and desert sent in so take a moment to collect yourselves. I will have a life mage in to take stock of your injuries. Please, stay as long as you'd like but speak to a guard when you two are ready to leave.” She gave them both a look. “Together.” With that, she took her leave.

He visibly flinched at the Princess’ command, breath catching in his throat. He could do little but follow when she moved him to a chair, and simply nodded at her words, waiting until she was gone to drop his face into his hands.

Salem stood from his chair and moved over to Aaron. "Cast me a light will you? I swear...I can't make heads or tails of you Mr.Starag Salems voice was low, almost as if speaking to himself as he knelt by Aaron and began to pick the glass from his wounds. "This'll hurt a bit, but luckily I come prepared for such events, not much but...well you can all afford life mages so itll do.”
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Naomi:
Health: 2700
Mana: 3550
Items Used:
Teleport Ring (1 charge)
Greater Blue Potion (2)
Passives:
Mana Payback: 14
Mind Shock: 140
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The next evening brought cloudy skies that dripped when least convenient. The freshman class, especially most mages, thrummed with excitement despite this and energetic murmurs rippled through the student body as they made their ways to their respective classes. Already a few rumors made their way around the school about the arrest last night, some saying the girl offended the Marivaldi, others suggesting the mage was caught breeding with a Noila mage.

Most of the extra guard was missing coming the new night. A few still wandered the grounds, eyes inspecting the student body. They moved with purpose, seemingly looking for something, but they didn’t stop anyone. Students avoided them at all costs.
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Character Summary:

Name: Damien Colin Joshua Baker Jr.
Aspect: Sound
Age: 19
Birthday: April 10th
Gender: Male






Appearance

Height: 5’10
Weight: 145
Eyes: Brown
Hair: Black
Skin Tone: Light
Tattoos/Piercings:
A bird on the neck, two blue flowers on either bicep with vines trailing down the right one into a skull and crossbones on the back of his right hand.
Nose ring, industrial piercing on the right ear, and two 00 gauge piercings.
Personal Style:
Comfort over style is Damien’s motto. If you can’t move around in it and it takes longer than five minutes to put on, it’s probably not in Damien’s closet. Hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops, basketball shorts, sweat pants, and jeans are his clothes of choice with the occasional bracelet to add. Only his ear plus are any sort of fancy, often natural stone or glass.






Psychology

Sexuality: Bisexual - Polyamorous
Personality:
Damien’s motto is “You only live once.” Free spirited and energetic, Damien grins more often than he frowns, laughs more often than he cries, dances more often than he mopes. He loves being outside and living, from hanging with friends to singing and playing his guitar to hping fences and doing questionably legal things. He has his chill days where he just relaxes,letting music play in the background, while he chats away with a friend or three. He never shies away from new people and instead tries to loop them into whatever mischief he decided to be up to that day.

Damien will never claim to be the smartest of the bunch but he’s completely at peace with that. As well as he sympathizes with other people, Damien struggles with understanding his own emotions. His default is aggressive happiness and more often than not, he doesn’t notice his mood nose diving until he’s locked himself in his room with everything but his music player shut off, buried in the safety of his bed. While he’s learned mostly to handle these episodes, they still shut him down for days at a time.

As for the whole “vampire-mage” relationship, Damien’s split. On one hand, a cool vampire means awesome friend for life. On the other, a horrible vampire means he gets to kick his annoying levels up to 11 for the rest of his life. Both options seem pretty awesome! After all, he’s one of the most annoying people he knows.
Habits:
Bounces leg while sitting
Doodles when bored
Finger crossbows his way out of situations
Hobbies:
Skating
Singing, playing guitar
Game Nights
Fears:

Likes:
Physical Affection
Music
Popcorn
Tattoos and Piercings
Skating
Bonfires, roasting marshmallows
Dislikes:
Stuck Up Jerks
Sour candy
Studying
Being stuck indoors
Insulting his family
Fighting



[img]


History:
Damien Colin Baker Jr. was born into a large family in a Marivaldi owned territory. Growing up in the middle of six siblings, his home was chaotic, busy, and a little cramped but his parents made it work. He had three parents, Damien Baker his Dad, Joshua Baker his Papa, and Colleen Baker his Mom. Most other kids thought having three parents was wierd but it meant one was always there when you needed them. Of course, twice the number of Dad jokes and the confusing roundabouts of “Go ask your Father, no your other Father!” were a headache, especially once he found out they did it on purpose.

Joshua was a stay at home dad, the kind of father who liked to show up to recitals and games in full family attire and a banner that guaranteed his children would want to bury their heads in the sand until he left. He doted on all his children, often getting scolded along with them by his spouses. Colleen was the realist, always ready to spout some sort of life advice that flew over her children’s head everytime. But she also instilled a love for music and dance in her family and it was a rare night that the radio wasn’t pumping and the whole house danced along while they went around their chores. She woke her children up on weekends that way for Sunday Funday, the deep clean day, bursting into their rooms and singing at full volume while the vacuum ran. Damien was the chillest of the three. Hanging out with his Dad for the day was watching movies and talking shit about people for no reason at all. Popcorn was almost always involved somehow and there was a 100% chance that at least three of the siblings would dog pile onto the couch by the time the popcorn was finished in the microwave. No one knows how he does it but Damien Sr. always managed to make the perfect snack foods. His ratios were always just right and sometimes the children would catch their parents peeking around the corner as Damien Sr. made food for the kids’ lunches since all the kids demanded Damien Sr. make their lunches now. Josh swore the man was a secret mage.

The family dynamic often earned them weird look while out and about or even at teacher parent conferences when all three of them would show up but Damien wouldn’t change it for the world. None of the kids cared which parent was their biological one, especially since his eldest sister made Joshua break down sobbing after calling him out in a tantrum, and they weren’t afraid to defend their family. Family was always the priority.

Damien was the fourth oldest in the group. There was a bit of an age gap between him and his older brothers and sister but it wasn’t significant enough to affect their relationship. However, there was a seven year gap between him and his youngest sibling. The boy was an unexpected pregnancy but a happy one nonetheless. Colleen jokes they knew he’d be stubborn from birth; he was the hardest delivery of all her children. And there were some complications. In addition to a misaligned head, Sam was born with severe hearing loss and completely lost it just before he reached kindergarten. As a result, the family tends to dote on the boy, sometimes to his frustration. Everyone in the family can sign and they all constantly check up on him, even if they don’t live at home anymore.

Damien was seven when he had his first major depressive episode. He stopped playing with the family, screamed and cried when anyone would touch or talk to him, and stopped eating all together. His parents were eventually recommended a therapist, who explained Damien suffered from ADHD and the rapid and often uncontrollable emotional fluctuations made it difficult to process overwhelming feelings. Since it was already a common tool in the Baker family, Damien learned to use music to keep track of his emotions. Getting a seven year old with the attention span of a cricket to do anything was a task and it took him three years to get used to his new system: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Black, and Pink. Each color represented an emotional range and Damien would use it to help process emotions when everything was just too much. All his records, his CDs, his files and folders on his electronics all had color labelling so he could find them quickly when he needed them.

When his awakening ritual revealed is magic, it was a black month. He’d be leaving everything behind in his life, only the second mage in any of his extended family, and everything he relied on. He felt like he was constantly on the verge of a panic attack and his family would gather every night for the next six months until he would head off to whatever school he was required to attend.

The invitation to the Noila academy helped a little. The other mage in the family, Joshua’s sister Allison, taught at the Academy so at least he’d have someone while away. It took him a few months but he managed to hype himself up for his new chapter. After all, he had freaking magic! Hopefully, he’d get paired with some low brow vamp that he could push into moving back home.





Additional Info

Theme Song:
Font Color:

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Name: Damien Colin Joshua Baker Jr.

Aspect: Sound

Age: 19

Birthday: April 10th

Gender: Male








Height: 5’10

Weight: 145

Eyes: Brown

Hair: Black

Tattoos/Piercings:
    A bird on the neck
    Large skull on the left shoulder
    Series of skulls on his right shoulder coming out of a blue heart
    Cartoonish skull and crossbones on the back of his right hand
    Nose ring, industrial piercing on the right ear, and two 00 gauge piercings

Personal Style:
Comfort over style is Damien’s motto. If you can’t move around in it and it takes longer than five minutes to put on, it’s probably not in Damien’s closet. Hoodies, T-shirts, tank tops, basketball shorts, sweat pants, and jeans are his clothes of choice with the occasional bracelet to add. Only his ear plus are any sort of fancy, often natural stone or glass.








Sexuality: Bisexual - Polyamorous

Personality:
Damien’s motto is “You only live once.” Free spirited and energetic, Damien grins more often than he frowns, laughs more often than he cries, dances more often than he mopes. He loves being outside and living, from hanging with friends to singing and playing his guitar to hping fences and doing questionably legal things. He has his chill days where he just relaxes,letting music play in the background, while he chats away with a friend or three. He never shies away from new people and instead tries to loop them into whatever mischief he decided to be up to that day.

Damien will never claim to be the smartest of the bunch but he’s completely at peace with that. As well as he sympathizes with other people, Damien struggles with understanding his own emotions. His default is aggressive happiness and more often than not, he doesn’t notice his mood nose diving until he’s locked himself in his room with everything but his music player shut off, buried in the safety of his bed. While he’s learned mostly to handle these episodes, they still shut him down for days at a time.

As for the whole “vampire-mage” relationship, Damien’s split. On one hand, a cool vampire means awesome friend for life. On the other, a horrible vampire means he gets to kick his annoying levels up to 11 for the rest of his life. Both options seem pretty awesome! After all, he’s one of the most annoying people he knows.

Habits:
    Bounces leg while sitting
    Doodles when bored
    Finger crossbows his way out of awkward situations

Hobbies:
    Skating
    Singing, playing guitar
    Game Nights

Likes:
    Physical Affection
    Music
    Popcorn
    Tattoos and Piercings
    Skating
    Bonfires, roasting marshmallows

Dislikes:
    Stuck Up Jerks
    Sour candy
    Studying
    Being stuck indoors
    Insulting his family
    Fighting








History:
Damien Colin Baker Jr. was born into a large family in a Marivaldi owned territory. Growing up in the middle of six siblings, his home was chaotic, busy, and a little cramped but his parents made it work. He had three parents, Damien Baker his Dad, Joshua Baker his Papa, and Colleen Baker his Mom. Most other kids thought having three parents was wierd but it meant one was always there when you needed them. Of course, twice the number of Dad jokes and the confusing roundabouts of “Go ask your Father, no your other Father!” were a headache, especially once he found out they did it on purpose.

Joshua was a stay at home dad, the kind of father who liked to show up to recitals and games in full family attire and a banner that guaranteed his children would want to bury their heads in the sand until he left. He doted on all his children, often getting scolded along with them by his spouses. Colleen was the realist, always ready to spout some sort of life advice that flew over her children’s head everytime. But she also instilled a love for music and dance in her family and it was a rare night that the radio wasn’t pumping and the whole house danced along while they went around their chores. She woke her children up on weekends that way for Sunday Funday, the deep clean day, bursting into their rooms and singing at full volume while the vacuum ran. Damien was the chillest of the three. Hanging out with his Dad for the day was watching movies and talking shit about people for no reason at all. Popcorn was almost always involved somehow and there was a 100% chance that at least three of the siblings would dog pile onto the couch by the time the popcorn was finished in the microwave. No one knows how he does it but Damien Sr. always managed to make the perfect snack foods. His ratios were always just right and sometimes the children would catch their parents peeking around the corner as Damien Sr. made food for the kids’ lunches since all the kids demanded Damien Sr. make their lunches now. Josh swore the man was a secret mage.

The family dynamic often earned them weird look while out and about or even at teacher parent conferences when all three of them would show up but Damien wouldn’t change it for the world. None of the kids cared which parent was their biological one, especially since his eldest sister made Joshua break down sobbing after calling him out in a tantrum, and they weren’t afraid to defend their family. Family was always the priority.

Damien was the fourth oldest in the group. There was a bit of an age gap between him and his older brothers and sister but it wasn’t significant enough to affect their relationship. However, there was a seven year gap between him and his youngest sibling. The boy was an unexpected pregnancy but a happy one nonetheless. Colleen jokes they knew he’d be stubborn from birth; he was the hardest delivery of all her children. And there were some complications. In addition to a misaligned head, Sam was born with severe hearing loss and completely lost it just before he reached kindergarten. As a result, the family tends to dote on the boy, sometimes to his frustration. Everyone in the family can sign and they all constantly check up on him, even if they don’t live at home anymore.

Damien was seven when he had his first major depressive episode. He stopped playing with the family, screamed and cried when anyone would touch or talk to him, and stopped eating all together. His parents were eventually recommended a therapist, who explained Damien suffered from ADHD and the rapid and often uncontrollable emotional fluctuations made it difficult to process overwhelming feelings. Since it was already a common tool in the Baker family, Damien learned to use music to keep track of his emotions. Getting a seven year old with the attention span of a cricket to do anything was a task and it took him three years to get used to his new system: Blue, Red, Green, Yellow, Orange, Black, and Pink. Each color represented an emotional range and Damien would use it to help process emotions when everything was just too much. All his records, his CDs, his files and folders on his electronics all had color labelling so he could find them quickly when he needed them.

When his awakening ritual revealed is magic, it was a black month. He’d be leaving everything behind in his life, only the second mage in any of his extended family, and everything he relied on. He felt like he was constantly on the verge of a panic attack and his family would gather every night for the next six months until he would head off to whatever school he was required to attend.

The invitation to the Noila academy helped a little. The other mage in the family, Joshua’s sister Allison, taught at the Academy so at least he’d have someone while away. It took him a few months but he managed to hype himself up for his new chapter. After all, he had freaking magic! Hopefully, he’d get paired with some low brow vamp that he could push into moving back home.




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Mages


Energy and anticipation buzzed through the mage halls. Most of the high level classes started half an hour later so only first years poured into the buildings, excited to stretch their magic for the first time. As students entered their Affinity Mastery class, they were directed to the walls of the smaller room. Ten tables with two chairs and an awakening crystal set into a wooden base filled the room. Each table had a number marker on it. Two older students, both wearing TA badges, either checked the crystals one last time while the other kept the incoming students along the wall. Above the room, a small balcony ran its length which vampires would use during the last fifteen minutes of class to observe their mage’s progress and interactions.









Vampires


Unlike the mage halls, the vampire buildings were usually quiet early in the evening. Many of the younger vampires passed up feeding for extra sleep and their sluggish conversation reflected that. A few bats passed above the crowd, some filtering in and out of special alcoves meant for the vampires’ shifted form. Inside their rooms, a small series of raised seats similar to the orientation auditorium looked down over the a podium, three screens side by side, and a small table. Four seats with the House crest on the back comprised the entire first row.




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Achronum The Pyro

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𝔏𝔲𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔅𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔞𝔲𝔵



The Royal Guard returned to the barracks stationed between the Noila Academy and the Noila estate without further incident once the meddling Countesses returned to their dorms. Nix ordered the house physically and magically sealed until the sun rose, when the mages could work on finishing the investigation without noble interference. The investigation ran long, continuing until nearly five in the afternoon, and picked up little of interest except a book stashed away in a secret compartment in the snake's cage. There was a side note in the report Nox received that the snake had been mildly aggressive but otherwise nothing of note. The book however was in Ryner's custody as an artifact of the Children and all historical information fell under her jurisdiction.

With eyes hidden behind reflective sunglasses Lucan stretched his arms out after the raid was fully finished. His team had performed flawlessly, as was expected but he himself had felt that the arrest was almost to easy. He hated that feeling, it made him paranoid. His father would no doubt tell him that his paranoia was a good thing, and Lucan decided to just accept that the Steel Mage was simply caught entirely unawares. They were tricky to combat, metal mages. It required special weaponry, tactics, and protection.

He briefly recalled a run in he had with a Rogue Metal Mage. His rapier had been rendered useless and the Vampire was forced into hand to hand. This wasn’t a problem to be fair, but the familiar feeling of his sword always made him feel naked and without hope. It as a true part of himself. The ride back to the barracks was rather uneventful, Lucan simply advising one or two of the Guard on a tactic they could have employed to get the job done better or easier. He was well liked generally, by most of the Guard and while he was young they followed his orders to the letter. A few still resented his age and position but having such a strong title behind his back, along with the results that spoke clearly of his ability, Lucan’s naysayers were few and far between.

Upon reaching the Barracks, Lucan dressed down out of his tactical gear and back into a black and gold dress uniform. He had, had it pressed and ready to go for the next time it was required. But even he, not even two weeks ago felt he’d need it again this soon. He was unsure of whether he was simply -that- good at finding the Rogue mage or that she had just been very careless with her trail. Minfilia, he mused as he thought of her. She had been someone on Lucan’s radar, but it was more her affinity than anything. He counseled himself with the fact that his presence may have made her anxious and careless himself so he could have some credit.

The debrief took place at 7pm, an hour before sundown. Nox stood in full armor at the circular table holding a variety of photographs and documents detailing the results of mundane and magic inspection of each piece. Her axe leaned against the blank wall behind her and her sword, engraved with the name Greta on it's scabbard, hanging from her hip. She stood arms crossed, looking thoroughly unimpressed at the mage stumbling over a report.

“Dismissed.” Nox snapped after she couldn't handle the trembling man anymore. He took his opportunity and was gone in the blink of an eye. She turned back to the table.

“Useless. Since I was occupied during the arrest, report.” Nix demanded as she picked up a picture of the snake. Lucan and Valerie, captains of the guard, and Derryl and Jacob, her head inspectors, stood at attention on the other side of the table.

After finishing dressing, the Knight of the Evening stepped into the command room where Nox was being given a report. Lucan perfectly his his humor at seeing the trembling Mage and stepped up beside of Valerie, adopting a crisp and perfect attention pose. When he was addressed he gave a salute and snapped a step forward, returning to attention and beginning his report on the situation. “Ma’am, initial approach was picture perfect. Lights only so as to not surprise the individual and risk a bolt. I employed a simple containment perimeter around the home and on your order made rapid and overwhelming entry through the front door.”

He paused for a moment to let his superior catch up with the information and then continued on. It wasn’t a long pause, a professional one even. One that most higher-ups appreciated because the knowledge those with boots on the ground or in this case, in the home was essential. “A single yell announced our presence and whom we were and then myself, Jaxon, and Holmes entered as one. The pathetic excuse for a Mage was easily handled and thrown back out towards the transport. I then ordered the standard overview search of the rooms.” He stepped back, his time with the report finished as he had turned over the scene to the Inspectors while he held security after. He saluted one final time as he entered his original spot beside Valerie and became a gargoyle.

Nox listened to his report, eyes shut, head tilted right, and deathly still. She stayed that way for a few moments after Lucan concluded his report before she opened her eyes and clicked her tongue.

“Moving forward, we will establish a perimeter at least one hundred feet outside of the target location when dealing with nobles. The Marivaldi's interference gives us enough cause to strip the nobility of the privilege to information. If the Red Hand agent hadn't been a novice, she would have been a liability.” Nox added as her own mage, Clara Starag, stood behind her taking notes. “Derryl.” The mage stepped forward and saluted.

“Just after sunrise, my division placed several layers of protective wards within the Marivaldi dormitory's yard and unbarred the front door. We deployed three forensic teams, starting with the study, the formal sitting room, and the kitchen. We found nothing of note in these rooms. As our units continued into the living room and bedrooms and secured them, Jacob and I took the time to listen to the spaces. Nothing of relevance was immediately clear but we transcribed what conversations were clear and forwarded it to headquarters for further evaluation. I labelled it as a priority and to be delivered to you personally.” He picked up the folder with a picture of the Countess’s room.

“We found nothing of relevance in the mage's room either. Nothing suspicious in the walls or floors and the room was used as intended. The Countess's room caught our attention however. As per your orders, our forensics teams added additional warnings and Jacob and I entered first, reading the room immediately. Initially the results we found confused us. Jacob contacted Sargent Raquel, who discovered the readings of the room suggested the presence of the Originals or their Children.” He flipped the folder open and laid it down with an analysis of the room’s aura compared to the aura records for the Originals. “Our records indicated that whatever the source was, it was weaker than these parties so we continued our investigation as per protocol. Nothing of relevance was discovered on site until we took a closer look at the snake. The creature itself was mildly aggressive but irrelevant. Its cage however held a secret compartment with a book written in a language incomprehensible to either Jacob or my magics. Sargent Raquel later confirmed it was the First Tongue and so we sent it to Princess Ryner with a containment team. Between regular consultations with the royal archives and cleansing the Countess’s room, our investigation lasted four hours longer than originally expected. The forensics teams only managed to clear and cleanse the Countess Marivaldi’s belongings; the rogue mage’s belongs are still being catalogued and contained.” The mage saluted once more and stepped back into position. Princess Nox maintained her position for a few quiet moments and nodded.

“Jacob, Derryl. Assist our forensics teams with containment and cleansing and prepare the mage’s belongs for transport. Valerie, take Clara and ready a prisoner shuttle for the mage. We will interrogate her in the Guard's facilities.” Nox remained still as her orders were followed as she expected, silently and immediately. The room cleared, leaving Lucan and Nox alone.

“You will be remaining at the school. This entire situation, a Red Hand agent escaping my sister’s notice and the Sinnenodel upstart providing the identity of the agent just before the Queen’s dinner, is entirely too coincidental. I don’t like it. A power play is brewing between the Houses and Ryner and the Sinnenodel are willing to gamble the Crown’s security on it.” Nox passed another folder over, this one with a picture of a mage and a name and two schedules, one Lucan’s and the other Damien’s. “Ryner has taken the liberty of reassigning your mage since your last one is under investigation, despite my recommendations. She decided the pressure from a constant guard, since it wasn’t required by the Queen, would inhibit his learning and be detrimental to his health. Your new mage fell ill shortly after accepting the invitation and only recently recovered. You will intercept him, travel the rest of the way with him, and give him a tour of the grounds and a copy of his schedule. You will regroup with the rest of the students by lunch and continue with your day as if nothing happened.”

“The events of the morning are confidential. The official story is she attempted scrying magic on behalf of another vampire outside of the school but ultimately failed when campus security discovered the faulty spellcasting. You are staying behind as punishment. During the arrest, you authorized an excessive use of force on the mage and damaged her beyond reasonable containment measures. You will take mandatory weapon handling classes to control your aggressive styles and will engage in non-aggressive, noncompetitive extracurricular activities to learn more respect for mages. This story will start circulating among instructors later this evening and several security campus locations are authorized to sparsely spread the official information among the students.” Nox paused a moment for Lucan to absorb before continuing. “Your mission during this time is to observe and report. Any suspicious activity, whispers of rebel connections or influences, or activity pointing to a possible conflict between the noble houses that revolves around the school should be compiled and sent directly to me. This information is under my direct supervision so only the Queen or myself may hear or read your reports. Ryner, the nobles, or any of your classmates are to be stalled or apprehended as applicable if they attempt to access this information. Understood?”

Lucan listened intently at the Inspectors moved on with the report. Nox’s words had been locked away for future use. He held back any returning excuses, it wouldn’t do to try and he knew that the Princess was correct. Most of the time a perimeter of 100 was established anyway, Noble or peasant but Lucan had lacked two of his men who got held up on the way to the home. As it was, he had ordered for a quick perimeter and rapid entry regardless. He was the commander, it was on him and he readily took in the advice given by Nox.

When the Inspector mentioned the language of the children being uncovered in a tome he definitely felt his interest pique. They were legendary obviously and the vampire would only guess as to why the rebel had it in her possession. He didn’t have a lot of time to consider it however as Nox continued with her orders and soon enough Lucan found himself alone with the princess. His stance relaxed into a more parade rest in the less formal environment, remaining rapt and attentive however as Nox gave him his new orders. So he -would- be going back to the school.

Lucan sat when it was obvious that Nox didn’t expect a strict attention or honor position and studied the picture that was attached to it. He lifted a singular eyebrow as he took in the piercings and tattoos but nodded at the order. He was at the point of responding when his superior moved forward with her briefing. His brow furrowed only slightly as it was no use trying to deceive her with his political mask. Nox was someone who had known Lucan from near birth and had even trained him when he was a child. She knew him extremely well and despite that, was old enough to see through the masks of the court. “My Princess, I do not meant to dispute your plan but Aaron Starag is attending the school as that Sinnenodel upstarts mage. He knows that losing control is not something I would do, and could alert the slime to your plan of my reconnaissance.”

He knew she would understand he wasn’t just saying this to save his own reputation. He didn’t care what others thought of him, and duty always came before any personal gain, this was a legitimate concern and one he wondered if the Princess considered when she came up with the plan. If so, he was more than willing to go along with it. There was a brief flash of concern that he -had- actually done something wrong however, but the vampire had thrown it into the back of his brain while he talked the plan over.

“Steps have been taken.” Nox responded as she picked up another image of the mage's room. She read for a few moments and slapped it down on the table. “Get ready to return. Whatever belongs you left have remained untouched but take anything from the barracks you think may assist you. You have half an hour before you will leave to intercept your mage's vehicle.”

“Yes Princess.” He salutes and fully trusts his superior. If she says that she has it taken care of then he would do his job. The punishment, even if it was for an undercover thing stung greatly. He wondered if he had actually messed up being so rough with Minfilia. He shook his head, he knew his team appreciated it. Metal Mages were nothing to be trifled with, trained or not and eliminating the threat was the highest priority. Had he wanted to kill her, the throw could have been much stronger. He just sighed and shrugged his shoulders after exiting the room and securing the door.

He wandered into the main barracks room where his team was finishing up their own debriefing and nodded to them all. Every Vampire stood and saluted the Bordeleaux and Lucan felt pride for them fill his form. “You did well, it was a flawless snatch and grab. I made a mistake however, be sure that we secure a one hundred foot perimeter when dealing with Nobles around and try and get to the location without being stopped. Nothing is more important than the destination, not even if you get sidetracked by a Count or Countess. Understood?” Everyone answered in the affirmative and Lucan continued. “Good, now I’m being assigned to the school once more. This means that, like last time Tristan will be in full command of the squad. Follow his orders as you would mine.” Luc nodded to another younger vampire that had grown up with Lucan as a family in the Bordeleux’s lands. “You’re all dismissed, I’ll see you when I see you.” He gave a salute to his men and woman and then turned towards the armory. He would be going back ready for anything this time.

He cracked his neck as he entered the armory and approached the desk where the logistics officer stood going over some sheets. “Qincy, I’ll be taking some hardware with me on my next assignment. I’ll collect the tags and bring them to you.” Quincy gave a nod and salute to the Officer and then went back to his work. Lucan went first to the ranged weaponry and secured two mini-crossbows, along with a pouch of ammunition. A heavy crossbow was slung across his back, picking up both regular bolts and specialized for the killing machine. Next was the heavy two-handed shock weapons which the vampire ignored, instead heading straight for the daggers. He secured 5 regular daggers of various heights and widths, 10 throwing knives, and another gauche knife which went to secure itself on his belt, behind him. He next went to the specialized weapons and procured a heavy plastic baton should he run into any other metal mages. Once he was sure he was good to go he pulled a suit of heavy ballistic tactical gear and strapped it to his form, along with sun reflective skin protection. With everything collected he let the many tags fall onto Quincy’s desk and just smirked as the logistics officer just sighed and started writing down what was taken.

Now fully armed and ready to go, Lucan strode towards the vehicle that would intercept his new mage and as he climbed into the backseat the mage that would drive him gave him a polite greeting. Lucan responded in kind and leaned back, covering his eyes with his reflective glasses and catching some needed rest.



On the other side of the Academy, a car drove silently through the forest surrounding the institution. The sun disappeared beneath the horizon an hour ago and only the headlights of the car illuminated the world around it. The driver, a mage in the services of the Academy, drove quietly with the music turned low to whatever was playing on the radio. Every now and then his eyes flickered to the rearview mirror, a little exasperated as the fledgling mage in the back jostled his seat unintentionally as he bounced to whatever was playing in his big over the ear headphones.

Damien on the other hand didn’t notice his foot lightly tapping against the driver’s seat, too engrossed in the music blaring out of his headphones. The restlessness kicked in just before sundown and Damien decided having an impromptu dance performance was the perfect distraction for a long car ride. And if it helped distract him from the growing separation anxiety creeping up on him as he counted the miles, well, who was around to judge him. Except for the statue in the front seat but who cares about a guy who just rolled up the soundproof divider at hello.

Hiding in my headphones
Gonna turn them up so loud
Gonna drown this whole world out


He’d discarded the pink, purple, and blue hoodie on the other seat long ago, leaving himself free to wiggle around in the confines of the back seat, much easier to move in just shorts and a tank top. He pulled out a few pencils and tapped in time with the drums, making sure to tap on the divider just because he could. It reminded him of having to wake up his older brother for a job interview, looping his younger sister into blasting music from both their phones and he air guitared across Mark’s bed and flopping down over the guy. He laughed at the memory, the tightness that had been building in his chest dissipating. He still had his memories and he could always call them when he wanted to see them. It still sucked he was bedridden for his last month with them but at least he got a few extra days. Nights. That was going to be rough to adjust to.

His music suddenly shut off as his phone buzzed away. He fished it out from his pocket and a grin broke out as a younger version of himself stared back, face contorted in an ugly face that damien saved as the boy’s contact photo. Double checking the time, he was a little worried since it was past the eleven year old’s bedtime but then he remembered he wasn’t his parents and didn’t care. He bunched up the hoodie and propped the phone up so his entire torso could be seen in the picture.

Charlie! He signed excitedly as it connected, the name a combination of a C and the sign for silly. What’s good, little man? Charlie grinned at Damien and suddenly their sister popped into the picture behind the boy as well, saying a quick hi and bye, and then disappeared off camera.The boys shrugged at each other.

Girls. Charlie signed, exasperation clear in his face. Just giving you a heads up, Dad’s on a mini ramage. Apparently, someone nicked his popcorn stash. And when we mean someone we mean… the following flurry of signs made Damien howl with laughter. Normally pretty chill, their Dad turned sailor level pretty quick over few things. The coveted popcorn stash was one of them and he couldn’t help but think of the box safely stored away in his suitcase. There was no way he was leaving home for the first time without his favorite comfort food. He’s going to have a very long message left for you tomorrow. Charlie’s fingers shook with amusement and Damien sent him a grin.

Thanks for the heads up, little man. Now go to bed before Mom or Papa catch you. Charlie just rolled his eyes but agreed. Damien sent a quick love you and the call ended. He flicked back to his music and sat back, feeling more relaxed after seeing his little sibling’s face. But just for good measure… He started dancing again, definitely not purposely tapping against the back of the seat.

“Sir, we’ve almost intercepted the other vehicle. Perhaps ten minutes out.” Lucan stirred as the voice of his driver invaded his sleeping brain. With a nod the vampire sat up, checking his phone and noticing he had an e-mail version of his briefing. He deleted the message and sighed, sometimes hating how easily he could just be ‘awake’. With a small sigh Lucan tapped a few buttons and brought up the number to his brother Jonah, knowing his father was away from the castle he clicked it and after four quick rings his brothers voice could be heard on the other end, sounding groggy. “Lucan? Why are you calling so early, I haven’t even brushed my fangs yet?” Lucan gave a roll of his eyes after removing his sunglasses. ”Where are the other little bats? Still sleeping?” Jonah nodded and stood from his bed. “Where are you? Are you coming back home?” Lucan gave a shake of his head and frowned slightly. ”No, I still have a mission to complete. I just wanted to say hello since I may be out of contact for a bit. Let the others know I called?” Jonah nodded and stretched before saying his goodbyes. Luc turned off his phone and sighed heavily, rubbing the back of his head and getting his hair back into a semblance of professionalism.

Not even five minutes later the fast moving jet black car speeds around a corner and puts on flashing blue lights to signal for the oncoming Noila Academy vehicle to pull over. Lucan remained in the back seat, ensuring all of his new weapons were concealed and comfortable. He then brushed off his trench coat before standing and exiting the car, standing patiently beside of the door until the Academy car pulled over.

Damien dropped his air guitar as the blue lights caught his attention outside. His hands flew to his pockets, instinctively checking for anything...questionable. Not that he would but he’d done a bit more than dabble during the Revel andbutthis last one hadn’t ended well for him. That was neither here nor now and he pressed his face against the window as he tried to catch a glimpse of what was going on. The bright lights contrasted harshly with the dark around him, leaving Damien squinting fruitlessly into the dark. He could make out maybe a person?

“Hey dude, what’s goin’ on?” Damien tapped on the partition. And again. And again. Completely ignored. Great. Damien sat back, crossing his arms as he waited to find out exactly what the problem was.

The intercepted vehicle pulled over off the road and took up a position with the back-door stopping right beside of Lucan. The vampire gave a nod of appreciation to the drive and then took an unnecessary breath inwards. Luc gave a thankful wave to his own driver, before stepping closer to the door. ”Safe trip back to the barracks.” With that he opened the back seat door and smoothed down his trench coat, then sliding into the back seat beside of Damien with one smooth crisp motion.

Lucan stared at the Mage for a few long moments. His eyes didn’t seem to move but Damien would not doubt feel fully and completely scanned. Finally, after some five minutes the car began moving once again and Lucan spoke. His voice was a soft, whispery tenor that while soft contained more authority than the poor human was probably ever used to hearing. ”Remove the nose ring and gauges first before we speak. I will not tell you how to dress on your own time but while you’re with me or speaking to me you will appear as professional as you can. My name is Lucan, and you just happen to be the Mage assigned to me for the Academy.”

He stopped for a moment, removing a handkerchief and wiping off some invisible dust from his sunglasses which were for all intents and purposes, useless. ”From my understanding, this will be your first time experiencing vampiric customs, though your Aunt is actually an instructor at the Academy. Am I correct in this statement?” He didn’t wait for an answer, continuing on to his next point. ”As I said, your time is your time. I ask that you don’t make a fool out of yourself but other than that you’re free to fail or succeed as you see fit. I will not baby you, but I will respect your opinions. However, this doesn’t mean that I will agree with them and my word is final, there is no other option. I handle feeding two different ways, either from the neck or drawn by needles either by yourself or myself. You may now speak and ask questions if you have any. His voice ended the same way it began. In fact, it didn’t really move in timbre or pitch the entire time he spoke. After he finished, he tilted his head to the right as if questioning the young man.

Damien thought he knew fear. He thought he'd felt it when he was six and his accidently dropped a whole cup of water on his brother. He thought he'd known fear when his sister broke her leg and he thought she was dying when he found her. He thought he'd known fear when he came back from his first Revel, sneaking back in at three am and absolutely trashed, only to jump out of his skin when all three of his parents flicked on the lights in the living room and stared him down. In his condition, Damien honestly thought they were creepy murderers but that was just the paranoia speaking apparently.

But nothing beats the absolute terror of a vampire sliding into your car and just starting. Like, what is this dude-thats an appropriate title for someone that's going to open your veins on a consistent basis right? Yeah totally!-doing? Is he already considering the best way to open him up? Damien normally wouldn't turn down someone paying him some attention, especially a good looking guy like this, but the whole silent stalker crap was ruining that real quick.

And then the vampy opened his mouth and he went from scared to pissed in about .5 seconds. Take out his piercing before speaking? Did this vampire even know him? Firstly, Damien had a talent for making things vanish. Keys? Yeeted. Phone? Into the Void. Sense of self worth? He didn’t know her. These things came out now, he may as well just 'em goodbye. Secondly, apparently Damien missed the memo that holes could fit like two pencils in each ear are more professional that plugs.

“Well Mr. On His Fucking High Horse, I'd say it's nice to meet ya but it's not. So, I'm just gonna unpack this in your order and all that jazz. Number one, are you a dick normally or is this a special occasion? Number two, news flash: gaping holes in the flesh bag, not professional. I have clear gauges for that cause it freaks everyone else out less. Number three, you really should get to know me a bit before all these proclamations, your Majesty. I specialize specifically in fucking up. I'm practically a full time court jester here.” As Damien spoke, he counted each point before dropping his index and ring finger to flip Lucan the bird. “And you can respect this opinion cause that's all I got for you. Here I was hoping we could get along but you slide right in like some drunk creep and ruin my hopes and dreams. Livin’ up to the stereotype, nice.”

One minute, two minutes, three minutes and the only thing that happened was silence. Lucan didn’t blink once as he stared at the human. Then he spoke, his voice was similar but a bit lower and quite sinister, though still at that low tenor register. “My name is Lucan Bordeleaux, Captain of the Noila Royal Guard, Heir to the Duke of Anjou, Knight of the Evening. First, if you ever raise that finger to me again I will snap it off and force feed it to you while licking up the blood trail. Second, you make a good point on the gaping holes, so you will remove the gauges and let the skin heal back. Third, these are my orders until I -do- get to know you. Finally, we have two ways of going about this partnership. We can chafe and scrape against each other or there can be mutual respect, and if you have a problem with any of my ‘declarations’ you may always offer a counter argument. A well thought out counter argument at that. But you will never disrespect me with that tone of voice again.” He got closer, staring -straight- into Damiens eyes. His Trench Coat opens slightly so Damien can see all of the hidden knives and hand crossbow. “Is that perfectly understood?”

Damien flinched at the tone, his hands diving underneath his arms and the barrage of threats forced him flush against the car door. His fingers brushed against the door handle and stilled. Probably locked but better to have an escape plan, even if it probably results in horrifying injuries and possibly death. But how petty would it be to let everyone know that this guy with a half a mile long title met a mage that would rather fling himself out of a running around than be anywhere near him.

The thought did calm him but only barely. He could feel himself trembling, the whole silent staring act unnerving him more than he would like to admit. Who just stares at someone? Is that something he got off to? Did he just stand around, staring at people silently? Did he look over their beds in the middle of the night until they woke and feed them their fingers when they screamed? His imagination ran with the idea and the concept of sleeping anywhere near this guy made him incredibly uncomfortable. Torture, creepy staring… next the monster would threaten to string him up by his damn toes or something! Like he was going to take this lying down. Probably going to end up dead but he'd go to his damn end screaming and kicking.

“Mutual respect? Counter arguments?” Damien scoffed, his voice trembling still. He forced himself to return the vampire's intense stare even though he was absolutely terrified. He did not think those threats were bluffs. “Listen here vampy, I don't know how this crap rolls in your world but you literally set up for “chafing and scraping”. You slid into my car-a complete rando off the road like some fucking axe murderer or kidnapper or rapist-and stared at me for the next damn eternity, open those piss poor fangs, and judge the shit out of me! Then, you get pissy when I get angry? What is wrong with you? You’re screwing me every way but physically, for now, and you have the gall to say I'm the problem?! What kind of backwards bull crap is that?” Damien laughed bitterly at Lucan, tightening his grip on the door handle.

“You want respect, Mr. Seven Mile title? How about you try leading by example first and then I'll talk.” Damien snapped. “I came into this shitty situation hoping to make friends with the blood sucker determined to bleed me dry but I can be your worst damn nightmare if I have to.”

Lucan leaned back and nodded once. When he speaks again his voice is back to a normal level tone, the fast swapping seemingly random. “Well, that’s at least one thing I don’t have to worry about. You have a backbone, and you’re not afraid to give your opinions. This is a good trait to have Damien, in the right scenarios. As my Mage you will be privy to my trust, and as such information not even vampires are allowed to know. I had to make sure you could be trusted to stand up for yourself. I can help you learn the opposite as well, how to appear humble and feeble. My apologies for the intimidation, even if it doesn’t seem to have affected you all to much. Now, as you said it wasn’t very mutual of me to make demands but I was serious in that any of my requests may be debated upon by yourself. Despite my initial impression I will not force anything. You’re new to this and I don’t expect perfection, I simply expect your utmost dedication to trying.”

He let his sentence end and relaxes into the chair, pressing a button on hi watch. “You may enter the Academy ground proper when ready. I have finished my initial evaluation.” The car takes a quick right turn and Lucan sighs a bit. “Now, I do hope you can accept my apology for my earlier actions as you seem to be a good choice as my Mage, and I’d hate to have to find another.” His actions seemed genuine as well, his entire posture changed from intimidating pure blooded vampire to a nonchalant and relaxed one.

“Now, don’t get me wrong. I do tend to better when you discuss your complaints as well, and I will promise not to get annoyed, it doesn’t happen very often so this promise I’m sure I can keep. If I do something or order something that annoys you let me know as I’m also new at having a Mage not used to the strict life of the military.”

Damien gaped at the vampire as he spoke, no longer the Incarnation of Terror but speaking like a reasonable person and offering an apology. His first reaction: Tell the damn monster where he could shove his apology after all that. Licking the blood trail while forcing feeding fingers level of threats needed way more than just a plain jane apology. A rare moment of introspection however brought him to the conclusion his standard “Foot in Mouth” method would likely only make things worse. Damien took a deep breath and relaxed a little, still keeping his hands tucked away. Vampires were terrifying beings and after some whiplash, Damien wasn’t risking his middle fingers. Still probably going to flick him off. Definitely going to. Behind his back though.

“Yeah, okay. I guess we’ll be cool and everything. Say it was some friendly banter or something else less nightmary. Cool, cool, cool.” Damien spoke hesitantly, recovering from the whiplash of this conversation. He didn’t really appreciate his chain being yanked like this but he also just wanted that not to happen again. First real meeting with a vampire: Not Awesome.

“So, uh, real talk then. If that was all just... whatever you call it, what exactly is the plan and all that jazz? Everyone’s heard about the grovelling and boot licking and the “Yes sir, right away sir” but uh, gotta say I’m…” He untucked his hands to gesture at all of himself. “I think we both know I can’t do that but that really long list of names tacked on after yours sounds like crap news for me.”

Lucan peers over at him as the Mage speaks, looking even slightly amused? No, it was gone in a flash. He lets the boy finish and then gives a shrug. “As I said your mistakes will be your own however in special situations. Such as meetings with my superiors, nobles, and the the like I would suggest complete obedience. As if you disrespect them, not even my name will save you from death. That’s how highly they take respect, and that’s the world you’ve been thrown into. I will train you, you won’t like it, and you will no doubt want to kill me when it’s done. But, I’ll at least turn you into something worthwhile in the political scene.”

He stops and listens, having heard the car engine getting softer. “Hold that thought. We’ve arrived.” The car stops then and Lucan waits for his door to open by the driver, stepping out into the night. His sunglasses tuck into his front pocket and he nods to the guards stationed at the gate. He doesn’t approach however, moving to stand next to Damien’s door to wait. An Academy steward comes out of the gates pushing a small trolley, no doubt to help carry the luggage.

Worthwhile? Training? Damien did not like the sound of that. Why couldn't they do the whole “leave the sulky child at home” thing? Then he wouldn't need training, wouldn't have the chance to mess up, and wouldn't be incredibly terrified in front of other vampires. Really, it seemed like the easiest route but the terror turned gentleman outside probably wouldn't take to it but he had to try. Anything if it would get him out of dealing with more of this. He grabbed his hoodie before he forgot it.

“We could always just not involve m-” Damien cut himself off as he stepped out of the car and looked around, almost immediately latching onto Lucan. The entrance to this place looked like it cost more than the net worth of his family and Damien felt immediately out of place. Damien dropped his voice to a whisper “You sure this is the place? I feel like if I even breathe, someone is going to arrest me. Just for being too poor for this shit. There's gotta be a big Do Not Trespass sign here somewhere. I thought you just said you didn't want to lose me.”

The attendant took the trolley to the back of the car and opened the trunk. He began placing the various luggage that Damien brought with him while Lucan just peered at the Mage. “This is in fact the place. No one will touch you so long as I’m around, but you will need to stay close. Do not make eye contact with anyone without them speaking to you first, do not try and make jokes, act funny, or act like your true self until we’re safely in the dorm. I will escort you around campus and show you where everything is. Also, I’m not saying all of this to be a jackass. Believe it or not, I think you have promise. And I wasn’t lying, I don’t want to lose you. Not after I went through all of that time and energy to make sure you were worthy.” He inclines his head after and then turns towards the gates where the guards stood.

“Procure a cart for myself and my Mage.” The guards nodded and instantly activated their radio. The attendant pushed the trolley up beside Damien and when the Mage looks, he would find all of his belongings neatly stacked and ready to go.

Okay, Damien had been partially joking but Lucan did little to reassure him. Don't make eye contact? Don't joke? Don't be himself? Did even the mages here threaten to ripped fingers off when you stood up for yourself? Damien was going to start losing fingers real fast if that was the case. Damien looked up at the slightly taller vampire skeptically.

“Bro, in the…” Damien checked his phantom watch, “however long it’s been since you nearly made me jump out of a moving car, what in the Queen’s name makes you think I am capable of anything you asked right now? Cut me some slack here dude. Jokes, I’ll dial it down. Acting out, eh I'll try. But eye contact? Now there’s a damn joke. I’m lookin’ around, people or not.”

He pulled out his phone and started snapping pictures of the grounds, adding them to a family share file on his phone. He wanted everyone to see this back home but he was very careful not to catch the guards in the photos. Authority figures were always iffy about unapproved photos. He hummed happily as the cart was pulled around and he hopped onto the cart quickly, grinning at Lucan.

“And anyways, the kick ass Knight of the Evening is behind me with the terror eyes and finger ripping.” His face screwed up briefly in confusion but brightened again quickly. “Not sure what that evening thing means but sure sounds awesome!”

“I don’t think you’re capable of it either at the moment, which is why I’m keeping you close for the time being. I’m not going to just throw you out into the world.” He began to point out the various buildings and sights, speeding just a bit as he was quite tired from the night’s activities. He was doing a stand up job of hiding it, but it was going on 48 hours of no rest and his reserves were rapidly depleting.

“The title is one of ceremony, generally only known in the more political circles. It means that I’m meant to become the next Sword of the Night, one of the best duelists in the world and the best swordsman of House Bordeleaux. Complete with its own specially crafted Rapier from a meteorite. The current Sword of the Night is my father, the Duke of Anjou and head of House Bordeleaux.”

He stops his tour at their dorm, having gotten the new number from the front office on the phone earlier. “This is our dorm, take your time to unpack and unload. I will leave my phone number on the table and ensure all of my own belongings have arrived.”

The Academy blew Damien’s mind. Is this what being loaded meant because Damien could totally get used to this. He’d just have to trade it for opening up his veins and giving out some blood sometimes… maybe. He wasn’t really sure how this whole feeding thing worked. Was it every day? Once a week? That was another thing he’d have to forget to ask about. Especially since it seemed a pretty important part of his daily life. They’d get there, they’d get there.

“Ten four!” Damien saluted sloppily with a grin. “That’s what people say right? I don’t know, I tried. I get points for that right? I totally get points for that.” He muttered to himself as he walked up to the dorm and then started recording. Gotta show the fam after all!
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The bell rung repeatedly, signaling the end of the freshman affinity class and human biology. Students quickly made their way out, most feeling first day nerves about making their next class and beelined for their next lecture. As it turns out, almost all of them headed in the same direction. They deviated at the same place, some turning into Vilbrek Hall and others into the opposite hall. The doors opened at the top of the room, leading down a central flight of stairs with desk on either side and ended in a large speaking platform and a series of there screens. A desk with a computer sat on the right side. Like every other classroom, the nobles had reserve seating just at the front of the platform.

In Vilbrek Hall, a coat hung over the back of the chair and a brief case lay open on the desk. Varis Sinnenodel stood on the platform, an unimpressed look on his face as he watched various students filtered in. Behind him, only the center screen displayed a title slide. Like

Treaty Law
Professor: Count Alder Noila
TA: Count Varis Sinnenodel


Each desk had a syllabus on it, printed with the usual due dates and class requirements. Those glancing through it would notice study sessions and oral arguments listed once each month with the name of a noble house after it. This house was also printed in the top left corner. Three seats sat empty in the front of the room. Varis started speaking as soon as 11:15 pm passed



“Welcome to Treaty Law, the first in a long and highly recommended academic line if for no other reason than it governs every aspect of your life now. For mages and those…” Varis paused, disapproving gaze lingering on the three turned students in the hall, “recently joining our distinguished ranks, this class will be both enlightening and disheartening. The treaty is, like it's creators, strict and unforgiving despite recent attempts at softening it's punishment, restrictions, and even it's wording. It is a testament to the bond between mage and vampire and the degree of protection each needs from the other. That being said, the Treaty is at its core merely a contract. One with wide authority and brutal consequences but a contract nonetheless. The goal of this class will to teach you it's history and provide you with the tools to read, comprehend, and interpret the Treaty's maze of jargon.” Varis paced as he spoke, pulling out a clicker and the other two screens popped to life.

“Look down at your syllabus. You'll notice a noble family's name printed on it. Each House represents a study group and each of you have been assigned to one. Others with the same name are your study partners for the rest of the semester. If you flip to the next page with your assignment dates, you will notice study sessions and oral arguments. Each study group is required to attend to one study session with me a month. Failing to attend even one of these will drop your grade by 10%. If your group cannot make the date listed for your family, contact me with at least two weeks notice or I will not reschedule it.”

“Now, oral arguments are done in class. Each month, we will discuss a major portion of the treaty and it's relevant amendments in addition to its general timeline. Each study group will have to come up with an amendment to the current law we are discussing and present it in class and open themselves to counter arguments from other groups.” Varis stopped in the middle of the stage and looked around. “While you do not need to format your ideas in the manner of your assigned House, it will earn you extra credit for the assignment. At the end of the semester, the house with the highest oral argument grade will have the option to take that grade as their final exam grade rather than take the three hour long test I have written. You will also notice that every two weeks, you'll have a three page paper to submit. Each paper's topic will be available exactly fifteen nights prior to the due date and cannot be submitted early. All assignment submission or presentation requirements can be found on the last two pages of your syllabus. And for your first paper…” he pointed the clicker at the computer and the center screen changed. “The topic for your first paper is your current knowledge of the treaty. Anything and everything, or a summary in the case of the purebloods, you currently know or have a vague notion about. Questions so far?”
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Varis stared up at the vampire speaking, keeping his face arraigned in polite interest as he spoke. The boy must be joking. Seven article clusters to cover in a short five month period and the boy expected guidance on the political platforms of the Houses. Varis raised an eyebrow instead of scoffing like he wanted. And how does he not have a basic understanding of them? Apparently the thing was raised under a rock. A few choice words weighed heavily on his tongue but he brushed them aside.

“No, we will not.” Varis turned his attention to a familiar voice, the Spellman child. Of course, what better way to interrupt his plans that have the Spellman slow him down. “You may, Mr. Spellman. If those are all the questions, we’ll continue into our first topic of the year: The Fundamental Articles. The Treaty is comprised of twenty one articles clustered into blocks based on a variety of criteria. Articles one through three are in the Fundamental block because they were the original articles the human delegates demanded complete first and establish the social structures we experience today. A change to any part of these Articles, even just the wording, would cause massive alterations in the day to day operation of our society. Both King Geoffery and Landar Starag, the heads of the Vampiric and Mortal delegations respectively, included a clause in each of these Articles that requires unanimous agreement from the Council for an amendment to any of these articles to pass into law. To date, this feat has only been accomplished twice.” As Varis spoke, he made his way over to his briefcase and shuffled inside in shortly. He stepped away from it again and gently tossed an egg up and down.

“Article one is known as the Declaration of Authority. This article does exactly what it suggests, establishes vampires as the superior race and delegates mages and humans as subservient to them. It continues on to declare the Noila family as the permanent head of state and details the process in the event of the Noila line disappearing. Interestingly enough, the human delegation demanded that none of the other Noble Houses assume the throne if tragic circumstances eradicated the Noila line. Rather, the Four noble houses would have to establish an entirely new Royal line that all four agreed would sit on the throne. The Noble houses nearly withdrew their support over the idea but lucky for everyone, a well timed werewolf attack on vampiric territory spurned them to overlook it. Almost one hundred amendments have been put forth to change the clause but neither King Geoffery or Queen Anastasia are willing to support the measures.” Varis clicked his little clicker and the screens behind him showed seven massive books sitting side by side, the first four in glass cases. “These are every single original failed amendment organized by date. Almost five thousand pages of writing with the sole purpose of influencing the Noilas into changing the amendment. Almost every single one drafted by a member of every house, ensuring they each gave up things of equal value. And yet, the Noilas refuse to budge even to this day. I’m sure I don’t need to explain why.” He gave people a moment to consider before continuing onwards. “Furthermore, this amendment establishes the Sinnenodels, the Eves, the Astorios, and the Marivaldis as the only Noble Houses and cements their position on the Moonlight Council. It continues and establishes the Moonlight Council as the highest authority in the land and that its decisions are Law.”

“Where Article One legitimizes the ruling bodies of our society, Article Two distances humanity from Vampires. The Declaration of Immunity divides the mortal race into two different groups, Mage and Human. A Mage is anyone defined as having awoken, through either natural awakening or the Awakening ritual, to their magic potential where a human is someone who has no awoken their magical potential. This was not always the case however. Originally, Mages were considered anyone who showed magical aptitude. With little to gauge the term “Aptitude”, often times mages and humans were mistaken for one another in early years.It wasn’t until 1645 that the Awakening ritual was developed and the Council altered the wording in a unanimous decision to better clarify the difference and reduce accidental violations.” Varis paused again, letting anyone taking notes a moment to catch up before continuing again. “It also established feeding requirements, shifting the burden fully onto mages. This article took nearly two years of deliberation between the mortal and vampiric races, the longest of all the articles, specifically because of this issue. Landar Starag and Morgan le Fey, a powerful mage known as the mother of modern conjuration, demanded hunting of the human race cease immediately. It was an impossible task. With the vampiric forces stretched as they were, King Geoffeory and the Astorios who ran the military at the time would have been hard pressed to enforce such a policy. Their counter offer was a transitional period in which the hunting of humans would be restricted further and further every year until a complete ban after the war ended plus a year or ten years, whichever came first. Eventually, article two included a transitional period of five years or a year after the Lycan threat was deemed eliminated. The Lycan threat was eliminated two years later and a year after that, feeding on humans was banned.” Varis paused again, tossing the egg between his hands and watching people write. Once enough pens stilled, he continued pacing.

“However, Morgan le Fey felt another issue needed attention. Vampires were used to a massive herd size, used to indulging in their desires whenever they wished as long as they could catch their prey. Limiting their herd so quickly would, in Ms. Fey’s opinion, drive vampires into a frenzy of overfeeding, especially since mage blood was difficult to procure at the time. Remember, this was before most blood bottling techniques were made public and the idea of drinking blood from something other than the source was horrific and barbaric. Morgan le Fey personally penned the Guardianship clause, the part that demands a mage be directly tethered to one vampire but a vampire may have many mages.” Varis clicked his clicker, switching the screen to the massive length that was the clause. It was the longest clause outside of Article 3 and was incredibly ironclad. “Unlike Article One which suggests mages are at the mercy of all vampires, the Guardianship clause demands a mage be in the service of one and only one vampire at any given time if they are to be in the service of a vampire and establishes that only the vampire a mage is in service to may drink from that mage. Other vampires could drink from a mage given they had sufficient permission but this clause drastically reduced deaths related to overfeeding almost immediately and had all but eliminated them within two years. This clause is one of the best pieces of legal literature in existence.” Varis’s face remained rather impassive but his tone took on an almost awestruck edge as he spoke about the Guardianship clause. “Spanning three pages alone, the Guardianship clause has been torn apart time and time again by treaty scholars and it is only one of sixteen sections with no possible loopholes. It is in an of itself a piece of art and I highly recommend spending the time reading it outside of class.” He clicked the clicker again, and briefly the screen read MAJOR TEST POINT: GUARDIANSHIP CLAUSE as he made his suggestion before it flickered into the next Article.

“Now Article 3 is the longest of the three and is known as the Declaration of Atonement. It details the various punishments vampire can suffer for violating any part of Article 2 specifically. This was the only article the mortal delegation walked in with practically completed. Morgan Le Fey and Landar Starag were both adamant the punishments for failing to follow the Declaration of Immunity were harsh and severe. This Article wasn’t debated deeply because the entire mortal delegation made it clear they would walk without the proper safeguards in place and the King and the Council had little say in the matter. The bare minimum the mortal delegation would accept for harming a human without cause was defangment and public torpor. These are still the easiest punishments a vampire can receive to this day. They are displayed in their Lord or Lady’s main hall for anyone to see for about a century. If a human is fed on or killed, the vampire is to be starved to near frenzy and then caged for the next dawn. Breaking the Declaration of Immunity is considered high treason still to this day.” Varis paused again, his face blank as he considered his next point. Technically, it wasn’t part of the lesson. Technically, it never happened. But it could give the wrong person the right idea. “But that wasn’t the original demand. While technically the mage status amendment to Article One was the first recorded unanimous vote, there was one struck from the record shortly after the Treaty’s ratification. In 1293, just over two centuries prior to the Treaty, the Sinnendol family made a move to stop an ancient punishment the Originals handed down and their Children refined. A torture method known as Solaris Pius in which a vampire was locked in a special box with sliding surfaces. While closed, the vampire remained entirely in darkness but pieces could be pulled back to reveal parts of the victim to sunlight for ten seconds at a time, never long enough to kill but long enough to inflict brutal pain. Kept fed just enough to stay above torpor, the victim would often suffer this for several weeks before finally being allowed to leave. It’s one of the guaranteed ways to scar a vampire,mentally and physically. It was a popular punishment but the Sinnenodel family managed to abolish it by the early 1300 hundreds. The practice was meant to fade into the background of history but Landar Starag and Morgan le Fey demanded those who violated Article Two suffered a full year of Solaris Pius before finally being allowed to die. The Council’s first move, once the treaty was ratified, was to alter that particular punishment to extended starvation rather than branding by sunlight.” Varis’s face stayed neutral as he spoke, the egg still for the duration of the discussion but he resumed tossing it as he continued on.

“Now the most interesting part of Article Three in my opinion, is the Starag Commandment. Written and repeatedly announced by the mage, The Starag Commandment is a demand that those who swear fealty to the Council and the Throne uphold specifically the punitive measures of this treaty. Realistically, the commandment has little power or authority as part of the whole but rather is a symbolic representation of the weight of the Treaty. Not a single member of the council suggested a change in the wording or recommended its removal altogether despite that it places a heavy expectation of responsibility on the shoulders of those involved. But that isn’t the interesting part of the Commandment.” He clicked again and a new series of pages popped up on screen, a large red circle superimposed on a blank space in the center of them. “That was the space the Council left Landar to write his commandment. However, he chose instead to write it on a seperate piece of parchment that is kept away from non-council members under Noila lock and key. There are no other images of the document, no scholars have permission to interact with it, only a few mages associated with the Council are permitted to maintain its integrity. Rumors have it that Landar created a powerful magical failsafe in the event the Treaty was ignored but any archivist granted the honor of seeing the document deny it.” Varis stopped pacing, still tossing the egg in the air. “Questions so far?”
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Varis, with over a century tucked under his belt, felt confident when he said he could handle most things. From out maneuvering petty political opponents to orchestrating several assassinations halfway across the realm during a Lord’s ball, Varis had trudged through plenty of situations in his life with little more than a twinge of aggravation. So when the doors to his classroom unceremoniously slammed open, Varis expected just another mild bump in the road that he’d bulldoze with a few sharp words and maybe a thrall just because he could. But all that went out the window when none other than Eris fucking Samael strutted down his stairs like a red carpet event.

Varis would never admit he’d been shocked into silence for more than a few moments but irritation snapped him out of that as the vampire threw his orderly class into disarray. He’d watched the offending vampire saunter his way up to the podium, glaring daggers all the while, before pinching the bridge of his nose and sighing for a long while. When he’d requested Eris make some noise in the news to cover for Ryner’s idiotic decisions, Varis expected a scandal with one of the nobility. Maybe a little blackmail, maybe a failed fling, he didn’t particularly care. The last thing he’d expected, or wanted really, was the movie star involving him directly. He had several choice words for his acquaintance but they’d have to wait. He had a room to bring to heel now.

“Settle down.” Varis cracked like a whip above the din of the classroom and most students quited immediately. Those that didn’t, he made the point to stare them down until they did and Varis turned his attention back to the offending party with a hint of a sneer. “If you are going to have the audacity to be late Mr. Samael, I recommend avoiding your typical theatrics. While your vanity affords you certain privileges in our society, I will not tolerate you distracting students from one of the most important subjects of their lives. You will sit there,” He pointed at the empty Sinnenodel chair in front of the podium. “Until I decide you can behave yourself and if you cannot, I will be more than happy to implement a scaling deduction to your overall grade until you can. You will stay after class to catch up on the material you missed.”

“As for you Countess Marivaldi, I would appreciate it if you left interruptions to me. Your lackluster commentary opened the floor to further chaos and deprived your classmates of valuable time. As a noble, your behavior serves as an example to your…” Varis glanced around with a pause, clearly reconsidering his wording. “Peers and perpetuating the discord Mr. Samael benefits no one. Return to your seat so we can continue. As for your question, roughly seven individuals since its creation have seen the Starag Clause. The five custodians through the years, Princess Ryner, and Queen Anastasia are everyone I am aware that have the privilege of seeing the document. As for your question Mr. Spellman, plenty. Obsolete and cruel laws are struck from record often enough. Society is vicious enough without people remembering the pain they’ve caused in the past. Removing such distractions allows us to grow in a direction more beneficial for everyone.” Varis looked up at the mage with a raised brow. “That question earned you an additional ten points on your next paper. Include that question in the paper’s heading,”

“Moving on. Our first oral argument will revolve around Article 2 and a high profile amendment that ultimately failed. In 1857, the Astorio family introduced the Equilibrium Act which would add that mages who lost their magic would still be considered mages for the purposes of feeding even though they no longer met Article 2’s requirements. This was in response to the Dravonican Plague of 1855, a disease that devoured a mage’s magic and left them catatonic if they survived. It left massive logistical issues amongst lower vampiric society and far too many had to be put down as a result of taking human life in frenzy fueled feedings. In an attempt to alleviate the pressure from the after effects of the plague, enterprising nobles Alister Eve and Nicholas Astorio popularized bottled blood shortly after the amendment’s introduction and subsequent failure at the hands of the Marivaldi.” Varis paused. [color=f7976a]“As we delve further into the Foundation Articles, you will be expected to develop your own amendment in response to the Dravonican Plague with the intent to reduce the loss of life suffered by vampire, mages, and humans alike.”[/color[ Varis went to continue but the ringing of the bell cut him off. Apparently Eris’s little distraction took more time than he anticipated. He made eye contact with Aaron, snapping his fingers at feet before turning his attention back to Eris. His expression did soften slightly, a shade shy of fond. “And what do you have to say for yourself?”
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The battlefield fell silent as a new light radiated across the field, pulsing from a door dominating the skyline. Ornate designs swirled along its wooden surface, golden foliage and silver insects shifted and flowed over crumbling ruins. A winged lancer gazed down upon the world depicted and spears of gold spun around her. Armano swept through the players, an irritable healer following him as his health ticked upwards, and knocked gently, the rap of knuckles against wood booming like a gong.

The winged lancer drove her lance down the middle of the door and a line of brilliant light followed her, spreading outwards until the door shattered and an open portal to the next level remained. Lightning flashed and thunder boomed through the opening. The brief flashes of light revealed a muddy road, lined with a few plant covered buildings and dark figures rushing between the buildings. Little more could be made out in the dark of the thunder storm.

As the portal opened fully, a series of pop ups appeared in front of every player in the room.

Foglands Unlocked. Reliquia Map Unlocked.


Severe Weather Alert. 
Find Shelter Immediately.
Inns Available: River Run Inn, The Verdant, The Tipsy Troodon


As soon as the messages cleared, a bright flash took over the field and suddenly it was dark. The door vanished and the ruined goblin city were replaced by the dark and raining city of Reliquia. A small glass disk floated above a large stone platform where the door once stood.
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Mages








Vampires





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