Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Hero
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Hero The Brawler

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The bell was a mercy, liberating Eris of the crowd as he would depart from the cafeteria. He'd have to be more careful not to get trapped like that, the thought of being suffocated by the multitude of vampires and mages not an attractive one. Fortunately he wasn't the only one moving, the opportunity to excuse himself coming sooner than later. His eyes roamed the area where he had last seen Maxwell, disappointed that he had lost track of the mage. Probably for the better, at least for now. He didn't want to rush their introduction and leave the thing in a confused state for the rest of his classes; there was no fun in pulling out the rug from under him if Eris wasn't around to watch, now was it?

Speaking of which, Eris needed to know where he was headed himself. Pausing to take his schedule out, he felt his phone vibrating in his jacket pocket, his watch giving him a bright screen with a contact shown as ☆Mona☆ flashing on the screen. He rolled his eyes, letting the call go to voicemail as he pulled his schedule out. Just as he had found where he needed to go next, his watch flashed again, this time stating a more professional looking Pandora S.. What did she take him for, a fool? He was more curious to know how she got her hands on his mother's phone. Still, there was little time for dealing with her antics, choosing to ignore that call as well. If it really was his mother, he'd apologize to her later.

Strolling into Mortal Psychology, his entrance was decidedly less flashy than in Treaty Law, taking a seat gracefully as he readied himself. Whatever time was left before the lecture started was spent observing those that walked in, trying to match some names to faces. Eventually, he would have to better familiarize himself and see who was worth knowing and worth investing his time with. Extending his network was never a bad thing, and a surplus of contacts was better than lacking. Once the actual lecture began he was attentive to Dame Patel, eyebrows raised at her title. Celestial Court, that sounded interesting.

Oh, no wonder she looked familiar--it was the little countess from before. He should have known from that awful top she wore. Carefully putting aside the repeated insults from her choice of attire, he listened to her inquiry and couldn't quite hold back a laugh. The Marivaldi truly were a soft bunch, weren't they? It could have been considered adorable had he not already made his own judgment earlier, but he had to admit he was disappointed to see how naive she was. Ah, to be ingenue, she must not have had much experience with mages. Or rather, the Marivaldi reputation of being a house of amoureux de mage rang clear.

Either way, Eris raised his hand slowly, deciding to give the countess a gift. "Seeing as how we are their betters, I think it's obvious that whatever personality they have is irrelevant. Mages can hardly control themselves without our intervention. If anything, that question should be followed by another, simpler one: what can I, as their superior, do to break them in as quickly as possible so as not to linger in the transitional phase for too long?" He cheerfully added on to her question, grinning unabashedly.

Bothering: @WeepingLiberty
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Scribe of Thoth It's Pronounced "Thot"

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While grateful that Salem elected to leave the table rather than attempt some unsubtle bonding method with him, Max didn't outwardly show it. He continued to eat wordlessly, pointedly ignoring the rest of the group as usual. At least they were off the topic of magic for now, though still treading dangerously close to it.

As the other mages began to shuffle off at the sound of the bell, Max patiently kept in his seat for a few moments to avoid having to walk alongside any of them, though he did give the Retriever an acknowledging... glance when the blond waved at him. When he deemed the coast clear, he threw away his trash and exitted the cafeteria, making a beeline for Cerulean Hall.

This professor looked like a total hack too, though Max supposed looking like a comic book character could be indicative of 'eccentric genius' rather than 'wackjob who shouldn't have been hired'. His vampire was taking a nap behind him too, this could easily be some cushy gig acquired through nepotism rather than actual magical talent. Great.

As Dr. Arjun started lecturing, however, Max arched an eyebrow in pleasant surprise. He was sunk down in his seat, lounging in a mirror of Gregor's nonchalant pose, but he was paying rapt attention all the same. This tattooed cueball seemed to be doing a decent job of introducing magic, though Max wondered why they weren't given this lecture before any of their other classes. Knowing that there were more distinctions in affinity than just primary elements and everything else would've been infinitely useful earlier. He assumed he was a tertiary element then, or at least a conditional that acted like a tertiary, much to his chagrin. Why did he have to get the literal hardest option? What was wrong with fireballs and flying rocks? Some divine force was clearly out to get him.

He was tempted to skip right to the mind mage option despite the professor's warning, honestly. What's the worst that could happen? It hurts? It could potentially save him weeks of effort. Though he supposed he could put up with a diviner first, at least to see if he could spare himself the discomfort. Max raised his hand patiently while Flower Boy asked his question about vampires - must've been nice having the liberty to discuss pointless theoretics since Salem already knew how his magic worked. Maybe he'd get to ask what macaroni and cheese was next. Sheltered prick.

"Can you give examples of tertiary affinities?" Max spoke up as soon as Manuel was finished talking to Salem. His tone was more attentive than usual, if a bit weary, but he didn't bother sitting up straight from his prior reclining position, "And maybe how difficulties with them can be tackled? Anecdotes are fine, I've given up on 'one-size-fits-all' answers at this point."

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by WeepingLiberty
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WeepingLiberty ~Friendly Garden Statue~ / ~Blink And You're Dead~

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Dakota Brookes

Lunch Break

Mention: Joryldin @Jade Blades

The unmistakable sound of a bell startled Dakota from their daze, a small trail of dust what remained of a trickle of drool that had previously rolled across the skin. Wiping it away with the back of their hand, the mage blinked away the fog of sleep to gather some semblance of bearings.

Last thing they could remember, Joryldin had asked a question concerning the platforms of each house they would be required to report on throughout the semester. The response had been rather clear, though it could have been phrased a little less dickish than it had been. It would see this particular class would be styled more like AP courses offered back home, expectations being the students fill in the gaps of whatever they are missing on their own time. For a normal class subject this wasn’t all that daunting, but for those new to this side of the treaty in question… such a task seemed overwhelming at best.

A couple of other questions were asked, and answered, before the TA continued on into another long-winded lecture. He started out with article one, something known as the Declaration of Authority. Dakota could feel their eyelids growing heavy as Varis continued on about what the article actually covered. The longer he spoke, the less the mage heard before losing focus entirely.

Dakota also vaguely remembered some kind of commotion but as to what exactly happened, they had to piece it together from the bits of conversations going on around them. A shake of the head helped to clear the senses somewhat, eyes darting around to search for Jory so they could head off to lunch together. Unfortunately, it seemed that whilst recovering from the nap, Dakota had lost track of said partner. Heaving a sigh, belongings were packed back up into a bag before the mage stood up to stretch.

Choosing to ignore the group gathering at the front of the room, Dakota wandered out into the hallway with a large yawn. It was unfortunate missing out on what was likely a significant portion of information, however, it was not an immediate concern for the youth. If they weren’t going to cover the basics to understand the material being taught, Dakota would have to do most of the subject learning on personal time.

Currently, though, the mage had more important issues to attend to… such as the uncontrollable growling noises emanating from the stomach. Breakfast had been lighter than usual after rushing out for first class, so a food break was a welcome time for the starving youth. Dakota chuckled quietly and set course for the lunchroom.

It wasn’t long before Dakota had loaded up a plate with a burger among various other goodies that drew the eye. There was a table on the outskirts of the room that happened to go overlooked long enough for Dakota to set up shop, claiming a seat to settle into for the remainder of the lunch hour. As other student filed in Dakota watched them, wondering if it was worth moving to join the groups but ultimately decided against it. With so many classes to attend, opportunities would present themselves before long. All Dakota had to do was wait for the right one.

Withdrawing a pair of headphones, the mage kicked back with a small, portable gaming system. A few of the more reserved students found refuge at the quiet table, content talking amongst their smaller circles and taking the occasional peek over Dakota’s shoulder. A few recognized the title to be an animated rhythm game, the mage’s furious finger tapping a stark contrast to the calm facial expression. Dakota would use the time during loading screens to pick at the food on the table before playing through another song. This cycle continued until the bell signaled the end of the lunch period, a fellow mage tapping Dakota’s shoulder on his way by to let them know time was up.

Spell Theory

Interacting with: Cassandra @Gisk
Mention: Professor Tinley

Shoveling the last few bites of a danish into their mouth, Dakota stuffed the electronics back into the bag and recalled the schedule. Up next should be Spell Theory which meant Dakota was set to return to Onyx Hall where Affinity Master had taken place. There were plenty of differences to note upon arrival however. The room itself was set up more like the lecture hall that Varis had been teaching out of, complete with large monitors meant to display prominent information for the lessons. Dakota assumed the cheerful woman welcoming in the students was the professor in charge of the class, making her more engaging than the fossil Max had been complaining about.

Looking around, Dakota hoped to see the grumpy mage among the sea of faces. It would have been great to already know someone, not to mention it would give the pair a chance to get to know one another like Joey had suggested to the pair. Unfortunately, it seemed the Max would not be making an appearance to this class period leaving Dakota on their own. With a shrug of the shoulders the youth found a seat with a good view of the front of the room, the earlier nap leaving them feeling refreshed and ready to learn.

Despite the name of the course being Spell Theory, Dakota was not at all bored by the information being relayed to them. It was a bit of a shame that this class hadn’t been scheduled earlier in the night than the other, some of the subjects touching upon links Dakota had been missing. Primary affinities made sense, the main elements and a natural knack for said magics, making that feel more an extension of one’s own spirit rather than an artificial tool. But it wasn’t until the Secondary (or Combinations as they were apparently called), that pieces began fitting. Some of what was spoken about felt similar to what the earlier course had been able to reveal but it still wasn’t enough to figure out what the element in question could be… Still, it was a place to start.

As the professor moved on into Tertiary affinities, Dakota couldn’t help but think of Max. It seemed most of what the teacher described fit what Joey had been saying about Max’s own affinity. The mage had to hold back a laugh at how perfect it sounded.

Still not an element, but it should narrow down the research. Maybe give us something to bounce some ideas off of. Worth a shot anyway. Dakota thought to themselves, tuning in for the follow up on something known as a ‘Conditional’. The youth supposed the category was given a cute nickname to make up for a less becoming name: Miscellaneous. It sounded like the category for misfits, elements that didn’t seem to fit any of the categories or in some cases… all of them. It was possible Dakota fell into this category instead, but it would take a little more experimentation and research before options could be narrowed down.

Questions were opened up to the floor, a girl directly one seat ahead raising her hand to ask something about non-human entities possessing Secondary and even Tertiary affinities. The idea that creatures had the ability at all had taken Dakota by complete surprise, but the statistics were definitely on the student’s side; especially if it were a newer, underdeveloped study.

Dakota scribbled some words down on a scrap of paper, leaning forward to drop the note over the girl’s shoulder before raising a hand to ask a different question.

Earlier, you were saying something about arcane magics and how it can be more difficult for those with closer bonds to their affinities to perform… Does that mean it could potentially be an alternative for those who have yet to discover their affinity. I mean, you can’t have much of a bond if you can’t even figure it out, right?
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Gisk
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Cassandra’s eyes widened suddenly as a hand glided over her shoulder, and dropped a scrap of paper. In the same motion, the hand raised up and its owner asked a question. This gave Cassandra a reasonable excuse to turn back and see who had dropped the note. It was a nice looking guy, close to her own age, with long hair. When she looked at the note, she smiled and after he had finished asking his question, she flashed a subtle thumbs-up over her shoulder to indicate the affirmative.

The lesson continued, and Cassandra had to scribble out where she had written “Alfonsi Model” at the top of her current page, and write “Varissean Model” underneath it, continuing her notes from there.

While this class would clearly lean more toward arcane magic, they were still focusing on how that would fit together with affinities. While an important subject to some, Cassandra felt her grasp over her element was as firm as she needed it to be at this point, and was wishing they would get onto a more generalized topic.

That is, until she saw the video of a mage being Consumed while utilizing a basic primary magic. Her eyes widened in horror; her tutors had never shown her anything like that. She had been able to shrug off the pictures of injuries and conditions caused by dissonant kickback. Maybe that was because they were still photos, and she didn’t have to witness the damage occur, but mostly this was because she figured she wouldn’t have that problem since her affinity was a primary.

When the floor was opened for questions again, Cassandra once again joined those raising her hand.

“So a focus cushions, or buffers the mage from dissonant kickback. Does it have any help to prevent resonant over-drain? Or is there like, maybe some kind of anti-focus that could stabilize the resonance to a manageable level?”

She went from dismissing the idea that she would need a crutch like a focus, to desperately hoping that such a thing would help her in less than a minute. The thing was, overextending her magic was exactly the kind of pitfall Cassandra knew she was likely to step into.
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Hero
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Hero The Brawler

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Aaron's question was a little surprising, and for a split second Lilie thought she was mistaken in assuming his element was light. No, it was, but maybe those elements belonged to his parents. He was from an actual mage family, so maybe it was common for everyone in the family to have an affinity. For a moment she tried to imagine her brother with magic, wondering what different affinity he would have gotten. Maybe earth? She had to suppress a laugh as she pictured him purposefully putting up a wall anytime she tried to annoy him or someone tried to talk to him. A fun thought, though it was shortly followed by a tiny prick of wishing she could go home.

But that wasn't possible, and she wasn't going to let herself get depressed in the middle of class. Instead she put herself to pay attention again, going back to taking notes. It seemed like even the theories were just guesswork at best, consistencies being recorded as a guide as opposed to being actual rules. The thought was actually exciting; she'd have to figure things out on her own at her own pace, which was a little more comforting than thinking she had to adhere to a standard. Experimenting seemed a lot more fun than trying to replicate what others could do, at least when it came to her affinity. And apparently using her emotions to channel her magic was a good thing. She had to keep herself from giving out a bitter laugh at that, but she guessed that now she technically had prior experience, no matter how bad it was.

Despite having a primary affinity, the idea of foci was absolutely fascinating. The idea of waving around a wand and casting spells greatly appealed to her, making her wonder if she could have one anyway. Was there harm in it? Before she could go further with the thought, Professor Hayes mentioned the downside and risks of magic, causing Lilie to frown as her dreams of freely casting magic as she pleased were put on halt. Having a limit made sense, the drawbacks a little more scary than she thought. Dissonance seemed to be the biggest issue, but her potential problem seemed to be on the other side with Resonance. Who knew being too into your magic could turn out to be bad? She had to admit that as worrying as it seemed, the prospect of mastering her affinity far outweighed the fear. As long as she was the one in control, there wouldn't be an issue. At least, that was how she saw it.

Finishing up her notes and scribbling down any other thoughts, once Professor Hayes opened up the floor to questions again, this time she had one. Raising her hand, Lilie waited until she was called on to ask, "Um, what forms do foci take?" She decided on starting with a simple one before moving onto the next. "And is it possible to properly control Resonance without a drawback, like with the help of a focus?"

Interacting with: @Obscene Symphony
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Obscene Symphony Lady Profanity

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Aaron nodded his thanks to the professor as the lecture continued, taking a moment to write the title of that book in the margins of his notebook for later reference. He doubted he’d have time to go to the library tonight, but he definitely wanted to read more about his affinity classification. Three Conditionals and one Primary in his family, go figure. And his Ice mage grandmother had been a Secondary. In fact, aside from the Fire mages that popped up every few generations, it seemed like there weren’t a lot of Primaries in the Starag line, from what Aaron could remember.

The mention of requirements for foci piqued Aaron’s interest; his focus was apparently ideal, and his family tradition of using a focus made from one’s Awakening crystal made even more sense in that regard. A durable material with a strong emotional connection to the user, and one that could take the form of almost anything. Still, something about those parameters gave him pause, though he had to think back to Affinity Mastery to realize why. Salem had mentioned that his family used tattoos as their foci, among other things. At the time, Aaron had thought it was genius; it was a focus that couldn’t be separated from him, so he never ran the risk of being magically disarmed. But if something like cloth or even a soft metal was too delicate to be used as a focus, how could a tattoo on flesh stand up to that kind of stress?

Curious, Aaron pulled out his phone, discreetly tapping out a message to Salem before dropping it back in his pocket.

> Hey, your tattoos are your focus right? Are they done in enchanted ink or something?

Beyond that point, the lecture was less novel. Aaron had learned about the Varissean model, at least in basic detail, and he’d learned plenty about Dissonance the first time he’d experienced a mild version of it firsthand, having suffered minor burns and a major lecture after attempting magic without a focus shortly after Awakening. Luckily his link with his magic had been less solid back then, and the kickback hadn’t been too severe. He didn’t know what would happen if he tried something like that again, but he also wasn’t volunteering to find out.

Resonance sounded grisly to say the least, the idea of mages wasting away in a magic-induced high of seemingly limitless power probably enough to keep anyone up during the day. Luckily it probably wouldn’t be something Aaron had to worry about, since from his new understanding he figured his affinity presented as a Secondary, thus eliminating the risk that Primaries faced. He did take a cautious look at Lilie, though, when she asked her question. He had to contain his smirk; she sounded a little disappointed that she couldn’t exercise unlimited power, and it was endearing, if not a little concerning.

The only question Aaron could think of still had to do with Conditionals and foci, and Aaron didn’t want to waste the professor’s time on it if he could find related information in the book that he’d recommended. Besides, Aaron would have to admit he was growing a little antsy, catching himself bouncing his leg and spinning his ring. He’d never been great at staying put, but he figured the reason for his fidgeting at the moment was probably anticipation for the class that came next. As he waited for anyone else to ask their questions, his thoughts kept wandering to the prospect of getting back into the Arena and burning off some energy, already wondering what sort of techniques they’d teach in Self Defence first.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Trainerblue192
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Salem listened to the professor with rapt attention. This subject was definitely more his speed, and piqued his interest far more than the previous class with Aaron. His pencil was flying across his paper as the professor spoke, jotting down ever crucial detail that he needed to help him further his place in magic. It appeared that even the highly educated weren't sure as to exactly why vampires were incapable of weilding these forces, what's more why it caused mages to die in the process of a turning. Though, the reasoning that their kind weren't allowed to be studied was well enough to blockade any advances on this subject. Such a shame too, but that could only make one wonder...did they have an even larger glaring weakness that they didnt want found out?

Salem's thoughts were interrupted as Max ended up speaking up, asking about the tertiary elements and the hassles that come with them. All Salem could think was That's rough buddy. It was no wonder Max was such an ornery guy, constantly callous towards those around him and just visibly upset. If Salem couldnt even spark up a measly bolt of magic, well, hed be just as upset as Maxwell was. You never really do know what someones going through huh? Salem wrote down in the margins of his notes "Find focuses and elements for tertiary magics to help Max." Salem tapped his pencil against his lower lip as he begun to think of the materials he has at his disposal...had at his disposal. Ok, a new plan was needed.

Thankfully the professor shook Salem out of train of thought when he switched subjects and began a slideshow of sorts. Images of horror and warnings to those who boasted their power too much. Engorged veins, extreme hives and so much worse was there for all to see. Luckily, Salem has seen some grotesque things himself, yet that didnt stop him from finding even a few of them to be disturbing to say the least. He spoke of foci and their importance, showing a clip of a water who simply ceased to be. His mind quickly raced to Lilie as she mentioned her affinity at lunch, then it danced over to her fiery partner, a thought of her catching in flames as she turned to ash and crumbled. Then, Salems phone vibrated against his leg. He flicked it out under his seat and saw a message preview from Aaron.

> Hey, your tattoos are your focus right? Are they done in enchanted ink or something?

Salem smiled a bit at the idea of it. Then put his phone away without answering. Enchanted ink? Well that all depends on your definition of "enchanted" Was the ink specially made and prepared? Yes. Was it costly? Not as costly as the previous iteration of the ink was. But enchanted? That's definitely something he may need to look into a bit more. One of those subjects you just know about but never really thought twice on. But why would he want to know? Surely he could've asked at any point since Affinity Mastery, so why now?.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by ReusableSword
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ReusableSword The Mighty.

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Victor Astorio

He did not hear it, not right away at least. The buzz he could feel in the air was dissipating and the eyes that were once on him now fluttered away. Apparently, it was time to go to the next class. Victor still didn’t stop, not because he thought that the next class wasn’t important but because he had gotten himself lost in his memories. The memories of her.

After his trance seemed to fade and he was able to break himself free of its grasp, he simply stood there in the arena. He wasn’t moving, he wasn’t breathing like he taught himself to do, all the large vampire did was look down at the sand. He knew there was at least one person still watching him. The arena master maybe or the girl who had approached him earlier. Even if they attempted to get his attention to tell him he was running late now to his next class, he wouldn’t budge.

Victor was processing his memories in an attempt to set them straight and realign his emotions. Her memory always did catch him off guard. He would have to be careful around that girl from earlier. With a forced sigh, Victor was able to whisper a few words, almost as if he was reminding himself of an old promise the words held feeling that even he didn’t always understand. “Whatever it takes, Sarah.” These words seemed to calm his nerves and place him back into the reserved, stoic presence he held before.

Moving back to the side of the arena, the tall vampire began to brush himself off and put his clothes back on. Once he had done that, again he paused looking around at the almost empty arena one last time before heading towards his next class, which he was obviously late too. However, this time he decided to take the long way and took out his nearly indestructible cell phone that looked more than a few years old. Dialing a number and putting it up to his ear. A few rings and then an answer.

“Hello, you have reached the Noila Academy secure storage desk.” A rather monotone voice greeted through the speaker.

“Victor Astorio, Code Phrase. Tales of the night forest. Requesting acknowledgement that a large package is being kept at the armory under my name and with restrictions that I am the only one able to access it?” he always found it strange that the council and his father insisted they used these phrases.

There was a short pause and some audible typing on a computer before the voice came up again, “Affirmative your package is waiting for you here. Another stipulation has been added to the set of armor by one Nero Strigois Astorio; the crate can only be moved or opened in the presence of at least two additional guards for security reasons and must remain inside the armory when not in use.”

a short pause before muttering, “Thank you.” He hung up the phone and placed it back in his pocket. The fact that his father had placed such a restriction on the box was understandable. If someone where to get ahold of it that wasn’t supposed too, could easily spread fear and chaos if used correctly. However, it did tell him that his father was still ever watchful and paranoid. Even of his own kin.

Now wasn’t the time to speculate on how or when he would use what was in that crate. For now, he had to be to his next class to avoid both making a bad impression and possibly being thrown out of this place. At least he knew he could teach people here at the very least help out a little in the arena.

Approaching the building with a look and mood of disdain for being forced into another class that he more than likely didn’t need. Alas, that’s what he thought about the first class as well, and he still learned a few things.

Walking into the classroom toward his assigned Astorio chair he stopped in front of his seat and nodded towards the teacher, “apologies ma’am, I had to deal with something.” Short and straight to the point. He knew he was late and didn’t like to be in the spotlight regardless of if it was negative or positive. The tall vampire took out his notebook and pen and began following along with the lecture as if he had been there the entire time.
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Apoalo
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Apoalo Harry potter Nut

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𝔏𝔲𝔠𝔞𝔫 𝔅𝔬𝔯𝔡𝔢𝔩𝔢𝔞𝔲𝔵

Lucan stared at Damien for a long moment before he nodded. ” Go ahead and then go and sit at that table.” He pointed to the table to their right which was close to the entrance before turning and giving a glance over of the lunchroom. It was a practice and reflex to scan a room for threats at this point in Lucan’s unlife and once he was confident everything was secure for the moment he relaxed slightly and moved to sit at the end of the table. He was stopped however by the sight of Leander coming his way. Luc smiled and inclined his head respectfully at his old comrade and shook hands. ”Leander, you have lunch duty today I suppose hm?” The vampire nodded and turned to put his back to the last table so he could see the rest of the cafeteria.

“Yea, I drew the short straw. I have it for the entire first semester, you can blame Callum since he stole my original straw.” Lucan grinned and nodded over to his old friend before turning as well and crossing his arms.

”I can’t stop feeling like I’m working Leander. Can’t shake the desire for structure and a set duty. I’m a soldier, always have been, I hate living this civilian life.” The other Vampire nodded and gave a shrug, eyes narrowing as more and more entered the lunch hall.

“It’s been almost 50 years since my own civilian life, and I can’t imagine trying to integrate again. You have my sympathies, Sir.” Lucan gave a small roll of his eyes, which pinpointed where Damien was before going back to browsing.

”I know I told you to stop calling me Sir at one point, please don’t start now.” Leander simply shrugged again and placed his own hands behind his back. He looked quite more professional than Lucan did in the crisp uniform of the Academy, and Luc quickly wished he was wearing something of the same sort.

“That might have worked when you were my superior, but now you’re a student and you know the rules. Have to address all students by their titles if applicable. Just be glad I’m not calling you ‘Sir, the Knight of the Evening.’ Not that anyone has time for all that anyway, except those heralds all you fancy Vamps have.” The smile Lucan had grown larger as Leander spoke and he nodded towards the end.

”Don’t even call me by that full title, I’ll stick to being happy with Sir. I wanted to ask you, my new Mage. He’s going to cause trouble, mind telling the other lads to keep an eye on him for me. I’m going to have my hands full regardless, but I’d feel better knowing my old teammates had my and his back. Leander considered for a minute before nodding.

“Can’t speak for anyone else but Callum and I will keep an eye out when we can. But most of the security forces have been preparing fo-.” He cut off and groaned a bit before raising his radio. “Samael is already bloody at it, making a scene in the lunch hall. Going to need some additional officers.” He clicked the radio off and shrugged over at Lucan. “I’ll talk to you later, going to go babysit.” Lucan just chuckled and was glad that Eris Samael never decided to enroll when he himself was a guard. He continued scanning the room and made note of Aaron leading a little pack of mages. He smiled in spite of himself and was glad to see the Starag doing well so far. He took out the schedule he had printed off from blackboard and saw that he was to be going to have Human Psych. He was just plotting a course in his mind when he heard his phone ding, which prompted the vampire to remove it. He spotted a message from the administration stating that his class was now going to be held in Nightingale Hall instead of Mockingbird and started rerouting…

Damien was off like a shot as soon as Lucan said go ahead, weaving through the room with little grace and plenty of apologies sprinkled throughout. He poked his nose around every option, stomach growling in protest. Damien agreed though; how did anyone expect him to choose one thing when he wanted all the things. But Mr. Stick in the Mud back there would probably find something to object about so he settled on pot roast, plenty of meat and veggies to hopefully keep the overbearing vampire off his back. He had entertained the idea of bringing back nothing but desert―he was an adult and come make those decisions!―but he was 2000% sure grumpy grandpa would get on his case. So instead he satisfied his sweet tooth with a slice of chocolate cake and zipped…

Damien narrowed his eyes thoughtfully for a second. He remember Lucan saying something about a table but the whole food thing demanded his attention at the time. He frowned, trying to remember but he was drawing a blank. So now he had two options. First, pick a random table and hope that was right or two, admit he wasn’t paying attention and get ripped a new one for a second time that day. He bounced a little on his feet, looking around for Lucan and slinking over to him.

“So hey buddy, old pal, old friend! Not that I’m calling you old, just a mortal thing and all that but uh where are we sitting again? May not have heard that little detail.” Damien admitted sheepishly.

Lucan was taken from his mental road map by Damien returning. The vampire looked him up and down and gestured to the table literally behind him and nodded. ”This one is fine until you make some friends anyway. I assume that’s your goal?”

"Yeah, I guess. Probably should be huh? My step 1 was figure out something about this magic shit but that's a way better idea." Damien agreed as he sat down, biting into his food with a satisfied groan. "This is so fucking good! I'd offer you some but man, the shitty part of the immortality, blood sucking thing. You really don't know what you're missing." He kept his mouth covered but continued chewing as he spoke until he abandoned an attempt at conversation and buried himself wholeheartedly into his food, plenty of satisfied groans and sighs accompanying it.

”I’m glad you seem to be enjoying the food. I’ll be sure to let Administration know should they ever ask that my Mage finds it to be exquisite and a true travesty to miss such sustenance.” His voice never wavered and it would be very hard to tell if Lucan was serious or not. ”I will direct you to your next class when you’re finished.

“I feel mocked. Are you mocking me? I feel like you are but I’m too dumb to tell.”Damien glared at Lucan, continuing to shove food in his face at record pace. Back at home if you wanted seconds, you finished first and Damien always wanted seconds. Eating when you could was the defining lesson of Damien’s younger years and it was a habit that he wasn’t likely to grow out of anytime soon. He stayed quiet the rest of his meal, focusing on inhaling his food, and slapping his silverware into his bowl with a loud clatter once he finished.

“Alrighty Count Doom-and-Gloom. Lead the way to dump this tray and off we go again!” Damien beamed at his little rhyme.

”I suppose it’s possible that you’re being mocked, though hard to tell I suppose. I’ll have to consider this and get back to you at a later point when you’re not eating the heavens own food.” He nodded and removed a handkerchief from his front pocket, taking a moment to dust off some dust from his outfit before replacing it.

He waited until Damien was finished eating, his eyes browsing the rest of the students one by one until Damien let it be known he was ready to go. ”Perhaps you can make a rhyme any time if you continue to practice.” He moved towards the door quickly before Dame could say anything though the vampire did throw a ‘come along now’ motion towards the mage.

Luc made for a clear courtyard that had visual sight of Onyx Hall and then stood patiently while Damien caught up. ”That building.” He pointed to Onyx, ”that will be where your class is being held. I will go and collect you afterward, so don’t go and run off. You’re not quite ready for that yet, and I don’t want you to offense the wrong party quite yet.”

"You are fucking mocking me! Dude, I don't know if I should faint or yell. Lord seventy names made a joke?" He considered for a moment before shrugging. "Unless you're being a dick about it then not cool man but I'll assume not!" He followed Lucan dutifully, looking around at everything as fast as he could. Everything was new and exciting and, as hella terrifying as it was, Damien was excited.

"Gotcha! Play huge game of hide and seek, sounds like a plan!" Damien waved before sprinting into Onyx Hall. What class this was, who knew? Probably should have asked Lucan about it. Maybe he should actually get his schedule from the vampire. Thats a future Damien issue.

Luc watched his charge run off and let out a heavy unnecessary sigh, That boy was going to be the death of him, but hopefully, the plans he put into motion earlier with the mage’s family would make things a bit easier. And if not, well Lucan was nothing if not patient. He turned and headed for his own class, right hand resting on the hilt of his Rapier and a glint in his eye.

Varis made his way from the library to his next class, Human Psychology. In his opinion, this was another class he should have exemption from but Ryner would shut the idea down instantly if he said anything. His time in the library had been productive but aggravating. The four artists he’d contacted had given him reponses full of complaints about the window but inevitably agreed to display their work at the event. Varis wanted to strangle them; if anyone knew how short noticed this way, it was him. Six months to plan and organize. If had been anyone but that woman, he would have shot down the request immediately.

He wove through students, briefcase in one hand and tablet in the other. Years of practice made reading some of the news he hadn’t had the time for in the morning while navigating the walksways practically easier than not. Another scandal―boring. Eris’s dramatic reveal―expected. A merger and a new publicly traded company. The Sinnenodel sent the articles to Eloise, confident she’ll handle it appropriately. It’d been awhile since she’d been tested after all. He’d keep an eye on his investments to see how she adjusted.

Lucan was an old pro at moving about through crowds unnoticed. He seemed to just have natural camouflage and this coupled with his ability to ‘surf’ the crowd meant that he spotted Varis moving towards the same building rather quickly. A few brief thoughts crossed Luc’s mind but in the end, he decided to at least try and have a conversation with the Sinnenodel.

He approached from behind and after a brief hesitation fell into perfect step at Varis’s side and inclined his head respectfully when the other vampire glanced over. [color=#9932CC]”Count, I didn’t expect to see you on this path towards the class. Coming from the library I suppose, already have lunch?”[/color His tone was polite and formal, though he allowed a bit of the inflection to seem quite conversational and not political to let the experienced court vampire know that he wasn’t looking to play the game at the current moment and that it was truly a coincidence to see him. ”Looking forward to the lesson? I doubt you or I really need it, but a refresher can always be useful!”

“Ser Lucan, the Knight of the Evening.” The Count paused for a moment before he spoke, considering the interruption and letting the brief flash of irritation fade away as he turned his attention away from his tablet fully. “Too much to do and far too little time. Despite my attendance at the Academy, my responsibilities to my house demand my attention. Lunch is simply a luxury I cannot afford unless circumstance demands it. I prefer to feed earlier in the evening anyway.” Varis eyed Lucan carefully, thinking a moment. He found it odd; they’d met here and there at appropriate functions but nothing more than a few exchanged pleasantries. There was little reason for the other to call out to him and although his tone was cordial, Varis knew better than to trust it.

“If this lesson is like the other drivel the Academy offers, I’ll likely ignore it.” Varis groused dryly before looking over at Lucan. “It’s a shame you missed the Princess’s invitation last night. It was quite the turn of events, the Spellman boy stripping himself of his rights and my mage both defying my orders and breaking protocol. However, I mostly missed the opportunity to inquire about the Starag boy’s aptitude with a blade. Her royal highness mentioned her studied under your tutelage and I wanted your opinion. The boy found a sparring partner whose meager skills do nothing for his own education―I suspect his mortals desires motivated that particular decision. What do you recommended the boy need to further hone his skills?”

Lucan allowed his face to remain passive as he walked along, nodding respectfully when required to show that he was, in fact, listening to the other vampire’s words. The world of politics could be made or broken by the slightest facial twitch and as such Lucan always preferred total passivity. It made courtiers question themselves which was always better than trying to outsmart them. Varis, in particular, was a worthy diplomatic adversary within the court.

”Unfortunately, I was called away for work. It was a true shame as I was so looking forward to having a night to relax and enjoy the fine company. I did, however, hear of my late Mage’s display and must admit that I never was truly able to get to know the boy.” He let a flash of consideration into his mask and nodded a few times.

”As for the Starag, he was given the traditional training that the Bordeleux’s hand out to human trainee’s. He is a capable master with his chosen weapon which was the Longsword and can hold his own with most vampiric threats. That’s not too say he won’t eventually be outlasted but the tactics taught will at least give would be assailants pause, and that’s before adding his magic into the mix. In addition to swordplay, martial arts and perception were also drilled into him. As far as opponents go I would recommend keeping with vampiric opponents where possible or a true human blademaster. A fighter is only as good as his competition after all and if you train below your level then you will ultimately decline in skill.”

He tilted his head in genuine thought and then nodded once more. ”I will be one of the instructors for combat training so if you’d like I can ensure Mr. Starag is placed with an opponent I believe will continue to grow him. Otherwise, I can personally continue training him under your supervision if you desire it. My father and family are fond of saying ‘that all of society would benefit from understanding combat on a deeper level’.”

"The boy trained under you for five years, if I recall properly. It's likely time he find someone new. The boy seems prone to complacency and I'd rather not find myself suffering for it.” Varis gramced at Lucan’s last statement. An absurd claim. Sticking each other with pointy things only made things worse in his opinion. “Interestingly enough however, the Spellman was gifted to the new Astorio. A council headhunter of some sort. He’ll sort those issues out one way or another.“ Varis stepped into the hall, eyes sweeping over the class and settling on the instructor with the fainstest grimace.

“Goodbye, Ser Lucan. I appreciate your insight into my bumbling mage.” Varis swept down the hall and settled into the Sinnenodel seat without a backwards glance.

Lucan kept his smile civil in return and inclined his head respectfully. ”Always a pleasure Count.” He found a seat near the back with a clear view of both the windows, the rest of the class, and the door and settled into a comfortable sitting position to listen as the instructor began to drone on. To be honest Lucan didn’t think that the Dame was the right person to teach such a class and found her ideas on how to bend a Mage to her will stomach churning.

But, the Knight of the Evening listened intently, only occasionally brushing off his outfit with a handkerchief. He said nothing, asked nothing and counted down the minutes when the class would be over.
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Hidden 1 mo ago Post by WeepingLiberty
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WeepingLiberty ~Friendly Garden Statue~ / ~Blink And You're Dead~

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Amaris Marivaldi

Interacting with: Professor Patel @Achronum and Eris @Hero

Cold eyes shifted back to gaze upon the pestering voice of Eris Samael, an unfortunate sight to befall for the countess. She had hoped Varis’ lectures would be the only course she would share with the space with the so-called ‘super star’, but luck would not be with her on this matter.

Seeing as how we are their betters, I think it’s obvious that whatever personality they have is irrelevant. Mages can hardly control themselves without our intervention. If anything, that question should be followed by another, simpler one: what can I, as their superior, do to break them in as quickly as possible so as not to linger in the transitional phase for too long?” Her stare was icy as the man spoke, his question serving little purpose other than to be a menace. The peeved countess had a thought to snap back at her classmate, but held her tongue and allowed the man to finish his piece. After all, the last thing she needed at this moment was to start trouble with so many of the other nobles in such close proximity.

It seemed, however, a sliver of luck found her in the form of Dame Patel’s etiquette. For a brief moment, the teacher brushed aside the peacocking blonde to address her instead. It was only to be expected as Amaris not only outranked Eris but she had asked her question before he had as well… still, she would take her small victories where she could get them.

She listened carefully to the professor’s follow up explanation, careful to maintain a present and intrigued visage. There were some great tips and bits of information, but Amaris found it to be plagued with a savior’s complex. While she much preferred their treatment of mages to those like Varis, and Eris apparently, the attitude about it had always rubbed Amaris the wrong way. There was no use in picking a fight about it, however, as there wasn’t much good in winning it here.

It wasn’t until she began talking about the differences in introvert and extrovert socialization. In all honesty, it was a subject she had failed to take into consideration until now. She had figured the mages would just figure it out for themselves, gather around the beings with like-minds and avoid the ones that brought them displeasure. Previously, Amaris would have thought to intervene only if necessary to defend against an outside toxin… perhaps she should be putting more thought into investing instead.

For the time being, Amaris found herself satisfied with the information gleaned from the lesson. With a soft smile and an appreciative nod of the head, the countess settled in to process the Dame’s words. There was much of it she had to consider if she was expected to cultivate a beneficial relationship with Cassandra, and the pair were already behind most of the other students.
I looked like she was getting along well with one of her classmates from before, the white haired girl paired to the Eve representative. Maybe I could ask her about the girl later, see if it is a relationship worth pursuing. Geez, who knew a mage could be so much work?

Dakota Brookes

Interacting with: Cassandra @Gisk and Professor Tinley

Dakota couldn’t hide the grin from Cassandra’s affirmation to the note sent. The mage had been too complacent in waiting for a perfect opportunity when all that had to be done was create one. A simple note was only part of the solution however, leaving the rest in Dakota’s hands to carry across the finish line. Hopefully the mage didn’t end up making an entire fool of themselves trying to make a friend, but this classmate of theirs seemed pretty cool.

The youth would have to wait to dwell on the daunting task of socialization at a different point in time though. Tinley squashed Dakota’s thoughts about using what would have been an awesome ‘generic’ magic alternative. Apparently it was a little more complex than ‘general’ vs ‘speciality’, but rather a conversion process of one type of magic to produce different results.

What a pain. Dakota grumbled to themselves, sinking back in the chair with a displeased expression. The disappointment was not to last, however. After answering a couple of questions, the topic took an exciting, albeit, morbid turn. A somber face was overtaken by pure fascination as video footage of various magical accidents were displayed. Disfigurement of limbs and facial features were among some of the cooler sights, but the scene to take the cake belonged to a girl using water magic out in a forest.

Dakota watched with bated breath as the water remained suspended in the air, a look of pure satisfaction and joy plastered to her face before she suddenly just… vanished.

Woah, that’s wicked.” The mage breathed, scribbling furiously onto the notepad to be sure nothing would be forgotten. Once more the floor was opened up to questions, but for once Dakota was at a loss for words.

Focuses and Resonance and something called Dissonance? The magic wands had been an expectation but from the sound of it, they weren’t a necessity; other objects could be used as well? Failure to use one of these focus items could potentially result in disfigurement or straight up disintegration though, which meant they were very, very necessary.

If they do all that work, don’t these focus things have any sort of requirements? Why doesn’t everyone just use wands like you’ve got?
Hidden 1 mo ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

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Bright lights illuminated the Arena sands. The barrier periodically shimmered, blue and purple rippling across its surface before settling to its translucent state once again. The equipment once lining the Arena walls was absent, the various racks still bolted on but empty, and a few red robed older students grumbled about being on polishing duty as they left the sands. Several pairs of students could be seen beyond the barrier, many of them wearing red robes as well, eager to watch the newest class after hearing a few nobles, a promiscuous Starag, and the ill-tempered Royal Guardsman would all be in attendance.

The entrances onto the sands were blocked off by Arena guild members, pausing the students for a moment. Beyond them, a man easily brushing seven feet waited for the lagging students to clear the field. Built like a tree trunk, the man stared intently with just the hint of a hunch in his shoulders and wore simple clothes, nothing more than a well fitting short sleeved shirt, pants, and sensible boots. He showed signs of early balding and a handlebar mustache decorated his scarred face. A sturdy scabbard hung from his belt, a longsword with a large lavender stone in the hilt swaying as he fidgeted briefly. A piercing whistle caught his attention as the last of the grumbling students left the Arena.

The students at the sands entrances began incanting simultaneously, drawing a series of symbols in the air before them. As they spoke, faint blue lines scattered across the air until they covered the opening fully, flashed once, and vanished. Once the mages completed their spells, each one signalled the man in center and he gripped his weapon with one hand and made a grand sweeping gesture with the other. For a moment, nothing happened.

Until the sand exploded into the air, obscuring everything and rushing towards the entrances. Blue flared and the whirling sand scraped against the shining wards. It receded second by second, something dark visible in the center. As the sand thinned, the students could see the sand flowing around the man and solidifying into a stone pillar in the center. It tilted on its side, and with a sharp rap of his knuckles, thin rods of stone broke free and took position on the weapon racks while the remaining pieces piled themselves neatly around the edge. The red robed mages dismissed the wards with a wave of the hand, the blue lines dissapaiting like smoke, and bowed the students through.

“Let’s get a good look at ‘cha, why don’t we?” The man rumbled from deep in his chest, his voice booming across the Arena. “Not the best lookin’ bunch are ye? But ya don’t much need pretty when you run a man through now do ya? Step up, step up. I’m Arena Master Dracion though most just call me Dracion. Simple and quick. And ya better learn that quick; round here’s the only place in the world where your title means jack shit unless you’re the council. And aye, your skill can speak for ya here―and it will―but I expect respect amongst all ya little ingrates.” He looked over the group with a stern eye.

“Ground rules. One, no fighting without my or my team’s permission or I bury you in the ground. Literally. Two, your titles mean shit on these sands. Rank pulling results in getting buried. Three, no killing or breaking each other. Tensions run high during fights; you run outta control, bam you’re taking a dirt nap. And when I say bury, I mean under five feet of rock.” He gestured at the various stone rods around the room. “Now we got through the boring crap, let’s talk shop. This is Self Defense, the basic requirement you gotta take so you can defend yourself in the event of a formal duel or rabid dog attack. We will cover hand to hand combat, the basics of a longsword, and dagger fighting. We have plenty of equipment here for you but you are more than welcome to bring your own. Saves me on equipment costs when you inevitably break or lose something. This class and one more are required before you can join any of our three annual combat tournaments. One is for vampires, traditional format, and two are for mages, traditional and―by suicidal popular request― limited Titan format. For those who have sensible hobbies, that means no inner shields and only temporary outer shields but still mage only.”

“Now we got a bit of a change in pace here today. Normally, there’s some fancy footwork a guy’s gotta do to test outta this class but there’s a bit of an exception considering his expertise, and he’s done part of the heavy work already anyways so why not. Bordeleaux will be our secondary this semester and will work with our more experienced group.” Dracion pulled his phone back out, squinting at it. “Starag, Dionne, Astorio. You’ll be evaluated by Bordeleaux today on hand to hand skills. Over there.” He gestured towards one side of the arena where attendants were putting out sparring gear, cushioned for the mortals.

“The rest of you, other side. Let’s get you paired and geared up. Head protectors, chest guards, sparring gloves, and shin protectors. Come on, lets go. Hustle, hustle, hustle!” Dracion shouted as he walked towards the other side. All the gear was in Noila colors and came in a variety of sizes. “Once you’ve gotten yourself geared up, pair up where I point you.” As the students geared up, he checked them, adjusting here and there, and directing them to their group once he cleared them.

“Listen up. Take a few swings at your partner. Anything ya know, try it. Need to see how hopeless the lot of ya are.”
Hidden 1 mo ago 1 mo ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

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Interacting with: @Apoalo

Damien found himself listening with more attention than he usually did, even if he only started taking notes halfway through the lecture when he noticed everyone else doing so. He winced as he did, knowing full well that he was a terrible note taker; he’d probably be more confused later when he reread the pages. The information was interesting at least, if not a bit sobering when the pictures came out. They made him more nervous than he’d care to admit. Self discipline was definitely an area he struggled in and this whole magic thing seemed to demand quite a bit.

Damien packed it up, papers thrown haphazardly into his bag without a care, and he bolted. He wanted to get to Lucan before he got angry again and leave that memory far in the past―his parents would not let go of it! Accidently shatter all the windows in the house when you walk in on them being intimate and suddenly it’s a crime or something. No matter that you were cutting class; anyone would have freaked out! Damien skidded out of the hall in record time, looking around with a frown for his partner.

He practically screamed when someone grabbed him by the arm. A guard stared at him amused and jerked his head off in the direction of the Arena.

“Sir Lucan told me to escort his…” the guard considered his wording for a moment. “Partner to his next class. Apparently, you’ve got self defense next. My name is Leander.” Damien gave the man the flattest look but followed him anyways.

“Are you fucking with me? First, he insists on following me around like some babysitter and now he sends his goony to “escort” me.” Damien grumbled with air quotes. “I’m a damn adult. I can read the signs. I just need my shitty schedule. Man, I ran outside! I could have just walked, maybe asked another question! Not that I would have but now I can’t even if I wanted!” He stomped his feet a bit louder than he needed to but he felt justified. He felt like Lucan was just yanking him around for no reason and that didn’t sit well with Damien.

Leander just chuckled at him with raised eyebrows, a shake of the head, and that was that. The rest of the trip Damien’s muttered complaints were the only words spoken between them before Leander led him downstairs to the mage at the entrance. A brief nod and he was off to his patrol, leaving Damien leaning against the nearest wall irritably. He pulled out his phone and text Lucan “Dude, really? Not cool.” before snapping a few more pictures and then a video as the mage placed the wards and the mystery man just whipped sand around like it was nothing. He kept a running line of commentary as he recorded, turning around so they could see everything and his face while he signed with his free hand.

“Can you guys fu- believe this stuff?! How does this even work? The guy is making rocks and I think I’m the only one freaking out about how awesome this is!” Damien gushed, practically vibrating. “Was gettin’ kinda tired in that last class, totally snooze fest besides the whole you’re going to be consumed by your magic stuff―But only if you’re not careful and I’m super careful!―until I saw this!” Damien waved dramatically as the wards disappeared and he waved at the camera and slipped it away as one of the red robes glared at him.

Dracion’s little speech definitely made him nervous. As much bark as he had, fighting was an entirely different monster and frankly, he’d love his vehicle to be commandeered again if it meant he could get out of this. He bounced on his feet, eyes darting to Dracion and he opened his mouth to suggest they just not when he snapped it shut just as fast. Lucan was apparently a instructor and he quickly calculated the chance of getting away with it. Technically, his rank didn’t matter here so he could do it but he has a sneaking suspicion that as soon as he was off the sand, there would be hell to pay. Still, it could get him out of this whole class maybe so it was worth a try.

“So uh Dracion. Any chance we could just opt out of this?” Damien asked, eyes darting to Lucan and back, edging away from him a little. “I’d really just not fight if that’s an option?” He went for hopeful rather than snarky but he never quite managed to temper his tone. His vampire knew about eight thousand more ways to skewer a person and Damien has zero issues hiding behind him. He’d cannibalized his pride more than once; what was another notch in the bedpost?

Dracion sent him an unamused look and Damien groaned. Well if was worth a―Damien yelped and stumbled as the Arena Master smacked him upside the head. He opened his mouth to protest when Dracion shoved him towards the gear.

“My Sands, my rules. Get yer ass in gear punk.” Dracion barked. “Toe that line again and I’ll give ya another and I’ll tell yer partner.”

“Too fuckin’ late for that.” Damien muttered but immediately clamoured into his gear when the Arena Master turned back to him. He stood at his assigned spot, glaring at Dracion’s back.

Interacting with: [N/A]

Varis stared in appalled disapproval everytime the vampiress spoke. He fought the urge to scoff but took notes despite his disbelief. He wouldn’t let his grades drop because this hag spouted drivel and nonsense. She was almost like a second Eris but without the aptitude; all his attitude and none of his determination. The Marivaldi’s question barely registered, probably just some sort of standard rebuke to Patel’s infantilizing of mages, and his mind wandered back to his newest responsibility. Hsi hand took notes as he let the information enter one ear, drop onto the page, and then promptly fly out the other ear.

He was loathe to offer financial compensation for the invitation to Eris’s pet couple. Varis found the man’s designs lacking his prefered traditionalism and the distasteful arrangement between the tailor and his master sickened him. But the tailor’s reputation preceded him and he came with a glowing recommendation from someone impossible to impress without the moon’s own radiance so Varis had little choice. His own desperation didn’t factor into this at all.

But it still left him with the issue of what to offer. Current was a mortal leash, forcing a vampire to measure part of their power in financial value, and Varis wouldn’t play that little game. And then it came to him. He sneered as an idea formed, one that could either result in that weak little vampiress owing him or destroying the two of them. Regardless of his position in the community, there was probably one thing that he had yet to achieve: a ten year contract with the head of a Noble House. It so happened Varis was just in the right position to offer that to the pair and even if it was his fickle Lady, it would be social suicide to refuse. Gaining his Lady’s attention for ten years would be exhausting but it would provide a certain degree of stability within the turbulent fashion industry. After all, the lucky little mortal would no longer be the captain of his ship but rather the very wind that drove it. Until he cracked under his Lady’s displeasure of course.

The bell chimed and he was out of the door in a flash, whipping around everyone with ease and he climbed the stairs to the VIP box overlooking the stadium.The attendants their startled,not expecting anyone, but nonetheless cleared the bos so Varis could work in peace. He didn’t look up until he saw the sand settle, eyes sharpening to get a clear look at Aaron as he prepared himself. This would be his first time watching the boy fight. Varis did hope the boy was as good as he bragged the first night otherwise Varis would have another thing on the rapidly growing this of problems with the boy.
Hidden 27 days ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

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Dracion paced between the students, looking them over with a critical eye and more than a few huffs. A mage in purple robes interrupted for a brief moment, Dracion accepting a package from her with a gruff thanks, but his attention turned quickly back to his students. He only spared a few glances towards the more experienced ones; Ser Lucan Bordeleaux ran that session and the vampire had lived through more conflict that Dracion ever could. He wasn’t really needed there but he still had the Academy safety standards to upkeep. A single incident could become a political nightmare for the Princess and it wouldn’t be his head on the block if he could help it.
Hidden 27 days ago Post by Hero
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Hero The Brawler

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Ugh. Self Defense.

Eris was thouroughly unimpressed with the rather clunky suits, raising an unamused eyebrow as he looked down at himself. Shapeless, cushioned, uncomfortable, and totally tasteless. Someone may as well light him on fire now, being seen like this in public was an absolute travesty. His beautiful figure was all covered, but for once he was actually slightly more concerned on movement than appearance; how was he supposed to move around in this ugly hunk of junk?!

Rolling his shoulders back, Eris let it go (for the moment) and decided now was as good a time to size up his little grouping. He wished he had gotten paired with a mortal, but he supposed the point of the class was proper self defense; no doubt Monsieur Mustache over there would let him play around too much without having an aneurysm. Brushing his hair out of his eyes, he caught a few onlookers watching him, indulging them with a small wave before turning his attention to the female of the group.

Five seven, dark hair, pale, little bulkier than what he was used to, an unmemorable face--he managed to keep his lack of interest to himself, deciding that causing a commotion in every other class he was with was enough trouble for the night.

“Eris Samael, pleasure to make your acquaintance,” He replied, completely neutral in his tone.

Amaris’ naturally icy eyes dulled ever so slightly as the realization hit; she could not escape him. It seemed every class but one so far had featured his irritatingly sculpted face and vexatious attitude, a wearisome thought for the young woman. But after all that, unless the attention loving gnat was acting intentionally thick, he had gone and forgotten her entirely.

While they might not have exchanged anything closely resembling pleasantries, it was incredibly poor taste to not at least acknowledge the commonality of one another’s presence. The battlefield cared little for rank or title, something the man known as Dracion had made quite clear. Still, the airs he was putting on was starting to get rather old.

“We’ve met.” She responded back shortly, brushing past him to secure the protective gear they had been provided. It wasn’t a perfect fit but it was close enough to get the job done, especially if the teacher was as strict on his policies as he claimed to be.

“I didn’t think the rumors about you were true, my condolences Mr. Samael.” Amaris glanced over at the man while she awaited confirmation that they were cleared to begin the exercise.

Her response actually managed to surprise the vampire, the blond raising his eyebrows slightly. So much for not causing any more trouble. The woman was outright offended, but unless she happened to have been in bed with him the week before, he wasn't entirely sure what she was referring to. She claimed they had met and Eris had to take a second to think. Had they? He didn't have the chance to meet and take any names of note just yet, his mind going through a number of names and faces. No, he did not seem to recall, although once he managed to get his own gear on, his eyes darted to the woman once again.

“Have we now?” Eris decided to be direct, feeling he had little to lose by doing so. “You'll have to be more specific on what rumors you've heard, I've heard so many that it's difficult to keep track of what they're talking about from week to week.”

“Indeed, we have. Although at this point, I would much rather you keep my name off of your tongue. I doubt that’ll be a problem for you seeing as you didn’t bother to learn it before injecting your input.” The countess maintained a cool expression, refusing to let her annoyance show in her face. She shot a quick glance to the other member of their group, recognizing him to be the Embraced from her earlier course. It was a great opportunity for him to learn about what he could do with his newfound strength and speed. However, it didn’t seem like he was ready just yet for a hands on lesson.

Ignoring Eris’ request for the rumor she had mentioned, Amaris motioned to the open space they had to spar.

“Why don’t we let our friend here warm up and get situated. Just hand to hand, or would you like to practice footwork as well?”

It looked like Eris was on his own, shrugging at her denying him the chance to know her name. Betsy? Rachel? Abigail? She looked like an Abigail, but the Abigail he knew was currently vacationing with her new husband. Unless she died her hair. Or maybe she was Abigail's sister? No, he usually remembered the women he slept with.

Tapping his chin as he went through the list of names he had heard recently, he gave her an earnest shrug, slowly widening his eyes. Oh, now he understood why she was so annoyed at him. Letting out a small chuckle, he sauntered a little closer to the black haired woman, closing the space between them as he gave her a sultry smile.

“I can't believe you actually followed me all the way here, you naughty minx,” He told her in a low voice, his hand trailing down her arm before snaking around her waist, pulling her to him. “If you wanted more, all you needed was to ask, Isabel.”

A disgusted shudder ran down the woman’s spine as Eris stepped in, the look on his face and the tone in his voice unsettling her in a way she could not describe. Amethyst turned to sapphire as his arm slithered around her waist to draw their bodies together.

“I think I’m going to vomit,” She hissed, fighting the urge to recoil now that the distance, or lack thereof, opened the pest up to an elementary take-down. Sliding her leg around to brace against the back of her opponent’s, she placed her palm directly against his face and shoved forcefully to push his body toward the ground.

“Isabel could do better than this weak game.”

Eris was mistaken, the vampire frowning as he tried to remember a name. There wasn't much time to think as he was suddenly pushed, any protest caught in his tongue as he felt himself fall. Out of habit he grabbed her wrist, hitting the ground with a slight “oof!” and bringing the woman down with him.

Despite knowing she would be less than pleased, he was more focused on trying to remember who he was dealing with. “Not Isabel? How about Joanna? Or Marcy? No, Marcia!” He continued their conversation despite their current position.

Amaris was caught somewhat off guard by Eris’ reflex to nab her arm on his way down, her stance now working against her as his momentum carried her with him. She landed on top of the boy, somehow closer to him than they had been whilst standing. Staring down at him, she raised an eyebrow as he started listing off names. Joanna was a laughable guess, the name not at all fitting in her opinion. Marcy was a bit of stretch too, but it was the follow up of Marcia that had her interested. It was almost as if he was remembering pieces of her first and last name, mixing them together in an attempt to put face to half-assed memory.

“Didn’t give you enough credit. Seems your reflexes are sharper than your mind, keep going. You’re getting close.” She was interested to see how many more names he could possibly roll through before he figured something out… or didn’t. Either way, it might be entertaining to her. In the meantime, while he tried to figure out whatever thought trail he was on, Amaris twisted her grip to brace her arms against his and twist her body to the side. The move risked a pin, but her goal was to curl her legs up between the pair during the shift in weight and use them to push him away from her.

Putting his thoughts aside for the moment, Eris clucked his tongue as Amaris moved, though he couldn’t quite resist the temptation as much as he should have. Tilting his hips towards her, he used the opportunity to bring his knee up between hers, moving with her to flip himself over her and pin her under him.

“A proper hint would be nice,” Eris chided her, shaking his head. “Or where we met, when we met--something other than ‘you’re getting close’ because at this rate I’ll have to go through my entire list of dark haired lovers, and you won’t enjoy that, will you?”

“The assumption that my name would be among any of your lovers is repulsive on its own. Now do me a favor, and get off. You’re far too heavy.” She snipped angrily, driving her knee up toward his groin angrily. Amaris should have noticed his weight when he dragged her down the first time, an oversight that had her momentarily pinned in an uncomfortable position. There had been many a romance novel she had guilty hid away to enjoy that detailed this very sort of scene. Heated banter, rough housing in the dirt, a well timed pin of the woman by the man which inevitably resulted in some sort of moment. Sometimes it was just a look, other times a kiss… for her, a burning sensation at the back of her throat she had only felt before having accidentally tasted her own blood from a wounded finger.

Squeezing his legs shut to prevent her from injuring him in a way he didn’t like, Eris leveled an annoyed look at her. “If it’s so repulsive, why not humor me?” He was insistent on getting something out of her, though he was starting to think dangling her name was some sort of attempt at her getting back at him for--

“OH!” It suddenly hit him,the blonde letting out a laugh before shaking his head. “It seems our paths are destined to intertwine, Sonia.”

The countess returned the shake of his head with a sigh. Clearly the menace had far too much time on his hands, and waaaay too many willing distractions. She felt pity for those caught up in the excitement generated by his fame, a waste of time and energy in the end if no impact could be made. A dull existence really, one she had no interest in partaking.

“So it would seem that I just can’t get rid of you, Airhead.” Amaris said before promptly slamming her forehead into his, the sensation of pain radiating from the middle of her own… She would have to learn to better tilt her head for such a move if she wanted to minimize the damage to herself for future reference.

“Ugh, I thought thick-skulled was supposed to be a figure of speech. Do you have rocks for brains?” The young woman groaned, thoroughly displeased.

Eris winced, squeezing his eyes shut as the pain surged through his forehead. He pursed his lips as it dulled into a slight throb, opening his chartreuse eyes through heavy lids as he eyed the woman warily.

“Uh, ow,” He muttered. “How about we cut a deal before you go hurting yourself? A name, and then I’ll get off. I’d joke that you secretly love the feeling of a strong man pinning you, but I would rather not suffer through another headbutt.” He offered a peace treaty, sincerely hoping that the headache wouldn’t last for too long.

Amaris hesitated a moment, staring back at Eris through slightly watered eyes. Defeat was not something she was excited to admit, but the match up had not played to her strengths. Two roads lay before her, accept the deal and learn from the mistakes she had made or try her luck with an unsportsman tantrum and likely lose anyway.

“I’m not one to miss an opportunity to learn, I’d like to figure out where I went wrong. But I can’t do that from down here.” She exhaled slowly and tapped his shoulder to be released.

“Amaris. Amaris Marivaldi, we have three classes together. A pleasure to make a proper introduction.”

The countess? No wonder she was so uppity; at least now Eris could tell why she was annoyed. His expression relaxed somewhat before making due on his promise. Choosing to stand in case she decided to take a last second swing at him, Eris dusted himself off. Now, how should he go about this? Civil? Catty? A mix of the two? Something resembling neutral? For the moment, he didn’t have any reason to be wholly antagonistic--at least, not yet. He offered his hand, pulling up the countess to her feet.

Reaching into his suit, he managed to pull out a handkerchief before offering it to her, free hand gesturing to her eyes. “Getting a little red, there,” He informed her. “Countess Marivaldi, and here I thought nobles preferred to watch things from a distance as opposed to getting down and dirty like the rest of us grounded to the earth.”

Amaris dusted herself off once she was back up on her feet, accepting the handkerchief gratefully to clean up the small trails of blood attempting to drip down her face. As she dabbed gently at her face she gently shrugged her shoulders at Eris’ comment about her fellow nobles.

“I suppose you aren’t necessarily wrong, I can think of a few that would match your expectations. To be perfectly honest, there are many things that I much prefer to observe at a distance… but you can only learn so much from a book. You see how well theory did me in a warm-up tussel against you. Some things require hands on experience.” She glanced down at the now stained handkerchief with an apologetic expression.

“Thank you for this, I can have it cleaned before returning it to you if you’re not opposed?” She asked, before glancing around the space. A couple of the other groups were still at it with their private matches.

“Looks like we might still have some time left too, fancy another go? Grappling is clearly not my strongest skill which means there won’t be much for you to learn from me. How about we switch up the style some and try again?”

What a tempting offer. As fun as it would be to put Amaris in her place again, Eris figured leaving out their third member would be in poor taste. He adjusted his sleeve as he let out a small hum of thought, his free hand motioning to the handkerchief. At least she was a little more open now, even if he felt she went on longer than needed. For now, civility.

“Return it at your leisure,” He waved the concern away, focusing instead on her proposal as he looked over at their third member. An unfamiliar face, although he didn't see him in Mortal Psychology. Dark haired, pale, looking like life itself deprived him of every joy. Turned, Eris assumed; no late entrance like the Astorio and every other freshman vampire had been in that class, so he was certain his assumption was correct.

“And who do we have the pleasure of meeting today?” He asked in what could be seen in a friendlier tone.

Luckily, Joyrlidin had already had plenty of time to gush and freak out about the fact that he was sharing classes with Eris Samael of all people. When the actor finally introduced himself, the fledgling was able to refrain from squealing like a valley-girl and act in a somewhat respectable manner. “Joryldin, Joryldin Nailo.”

The turned youth returned a small, tired smile, the most he could muster after the night he had thus far. “I’m a huge fan of your work; but, well, who isn’t?”

Eris’ expression turned into one of genuine surprise, lips forming a small ‘o’ as he registered the name. There was only one Nailo he was aware of, though as far as he knew, it was a woman with a heavenly voice, not a young vampire. He didn't resemble her in the slightest, either, a few ideas popping up into his head as he tried to figure out the connection. If interesting enough, he'd make sure to try to keep this one close. Still, as much as he liked to finagle around, he would be more direct this time.

“Nailo as in the Nailo? Have you any relation to Widow Nailo?” Eris asked, his interest piqued.

“The one and only.” Joryldin let out a chuckle and averted his eyes down to the concrete. “We watch your films all the time.”

From piqued to outright captivated, Eris had to admit that there was hope for this class after all. He nodded slowly, taking a second to examine Joryldin. So he was related to Widow Nailo after all, but just as he noticed, he looked nothing like the woman. As far as he was aware, she didn't have any children, at least not since the death of her husband. His eyes narrowed just a touch, a small chuckle escaping him as he smiled at Joryldin.

“I'm flattered, really,” He replied with complete sincerity, eyes flickering to Amaris for a second. “Being in such company is always a treat. Now, seeing as how we're supposed to rotate, what do you say to a slight partner change?” He motioned to the countess.

“Sure thing.” The fledgling yawned, and rubbed his right eye with a thumb. “I could use the exercise.” He took a moment to look at the other sparring groups. The almost gladiatorial aura of the arena had him feeling melancholy from the moment he walked in. “Want to use weapons, or no?”

For a moment, he considered in his head ‘How much trouble would I be in if I scratched up a famous actor’s face?’ but he quickly realized that he could probably chop Eris’ nose off and it would look like nothing happened mere moments later, so he wasn’t worried.

“Eager, aren't we?” Eris tilted his head, wagging a finger at the turned vampire. “Hand-to-hand for the moment, as instructed.”

Eris turned away from Amaris and took a few steps, rolling his shoulders. The boy's eagerness did stir something in Eris, the blonde swiping his hair out of his eyes as he placed one hand on his hip. He wanted to know more about the boy and his relation to Widow Nailo; there was a story there, that's for sure. But for now, a little tussle would do.

“Alright, then,” He put himself in a proper stance, chartreuse eyes bright with anticipation. “Show me what you can do.”

Joryldin’s crimson eyes darkened slightly as he watched Eris’ teasing finger. He crossed his arms and let out a sigh, but it quickly turned into a small smirk. “As long as you promise not to run off crying when I beat you, Sunshine.” The fledgling’s posture was much less refined, but there was something simple, feral, and dagnerous about his low stance.

Eyeing Joryldin warily, Eris subdued the smirk threatening to break through, forcing himself to focus. Okay, time to see what he could do. Keeping himself low was smart, at least, though Eris decided to keep going with the direct approach, closing the gap between the two and taking a swing at him, a simple right hook. Joryldin deftly ducked it, and backed away in the same motion. Clucking his tongue, Eris was a little more aggressive with his next move, this time swinging with his left, though he followed it up, not wanting to let him slip out of range again.

The Turned, while weaker in almost every way, gave a vicious response. As Eris swung for his side, Joryldin turned to step to the side, and simultaneously grabbed the Pureblood’s wrist. Joryldin yanked Eris’ arm in the direction it was already punching, sending the celebrity stumbling forward. A sharp boot to the ass put Eris flat on the pavement. “How’s that?” the Turned freshman asked with a little smirk. He held out a hand to help Eris up, and asked “What’s the win-condition again? I’m pretty sure one punch from you would have me writhing on the ground, but if the old lady in Vampire Biology wasn’t just talking out of her rear end, then we could both just keep going at this forever until we got hungry.”

Welp, there went a bit of his dignity. Shaking whatever possible dirt there could have been out of his hair, Eris pulled himself up with Joryldin's hand, taking a moment to undust himself. Underestimating the boy was a mistake on his part, though it didn't stop his amusement breaking through. Turned after all; though there was another difference between them. “What, you get lucky once and then call it?” He joked, brushing his hair back. “At least let me try to regain my honor.”

The Turned was starting to thoroughly enjoy himself. “Sorry, I plan on making you eat dirt at least a couple more times.” The layers of sarcasm in his voice made him sound like a proper coy vampire for a moment. “Not gonna lie, I’ve gotta be careful. I wasn’t joking about you probably being able to take me down with one punch.” Joryldin took a different stance, almost like a trained boxer, but again with a more loose and feral posture.

Eris gave him a slight shrug, letting his arms drop. “Oh, I don’t know about one punch,” He admitted, taking his own stance. Once again the pureblood rushed in, albeit this time, he went in straight for the metaphorical kill; he dropped down, and swung his leg out, nailing the dark haired vampire behind the knees and jumping up as he toppled over. “But with a kick, yeah, I can do that.” He grinned, putting his hands on his knees as he raised his eyebrows at him.

Joryldin blinked a few times. He was ready for a second round, and then he was on the floor. There was no in-between.The depressed red glow in his eyes slowly began to fade to their natural blue. He chuckled lightly to himself, but in mere moments grew to proper laughter. “If I didn’t know any better, I’d say that felt personal.” He sat up and rubbed the back of his neck.

What a good sport. Eris nodded in approval, giving Joryldin a small shrug as he held his arms out. He couldn’t quite resist the urge to tease him just a touch, though. “If it were personal, I promise we would be having way more fun and have way less clothing,” He winked.

In an instant, Joryldin’s grasp of the situation shattered. He had zero clue how to come back from that. Eris Samael giving him a comment like that!? What the hell was he supposed to say?! “Uhm-O-Ok? Glad there’s no hard feelings…?” Were he still human, Joryldin would be bright red in the face.

Eris’ grin grew, though he wouldn’t give any further comment as he instead enjoyed Joryldin’s expression. Between the adorable turned vampire apparently under Widow Nailo and the uppity Marivaldi countess who he had apparently met before (he would need to confirm that at some point), at the very least he couldn’t complain about a lack of entertainment in this class.

Tussling with: @WeepingLiberty and @Jade Blades
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Hidden 24 days ago Post by Scribe of Thoth
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Scribe of Thoth It's Pronounced "Thot"

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Collab with @Achronum

“Why don’t you come down and tell me what’s happened. or what hasn’t.” Manuel continued to wave as the hall cleared, watching Max expectantly.

Max rose lethargically from his chair and tucked his hands in his pockets as he paced up to the waiting professor. His face was mostly impassive, though there was a subtle irritation there if one really looked.

”Well, whenever I try my luck on the awakening crystal it feels… rigid. The magic won’t move into the crystal, and if it does, it’s glacially slow. I get, like, a dim glow at best.” Max looked up thoughtfully after he spoke. How much could he get away with telling this guy? ‘Last time I actually felt something I was thinking about how much I fucking hate vampires’ probably wouldn’t do him any favors around here, especially with the professor’s leech hanging around.

”I was pretty irritated the other day and felt a spark up my arm for a second or two, but I don’t think irritation itself was the trigger. Didn’t help me on the awakening crystal, in any case.” There. Vague, but still informative as to what happened. Hopefully Manuel wouldn’t pry into the specifics.

“Definitely an Earth tertiary.” The professor murmured as he tapped his fingers on the arm of his wheelchair. He stared at Max speculatively, his face settling into impassive thought but a sparkle in his eye gave away that the gears in his head were whirring. “Earth tertiaries tend to work best after a jump start, an event that builds pressure and another that releases it, similar to an earthquake. If I knew what event triggered the spark, I might be able to help you right now or help set up circumstances to trigger the snap.” He smiled, the edges of his eyes crinkling into deep crow feet, almost mischievously.

Earth tertiary? Like gravity? That didn’t sound so bad, Max liked the idea of levitating and flattening people like pancakes under overwhelming downward force. Or - what was the other one Manuel mentioned during the lecture? Metal? That’s basically earth but better.

Max furrowed his brow in thought for a moment. Of course the professor wanted to know more about the circumstances, it would be stupid to assume he wouldn’t, given it was the only real occurrence of his magic doing, well, anything. There wouldn’t be any harm in saying he almost got in a fight - the incident wasn’t really his fault anyway.

”It’s kind of a long story, but… people kept bugging me all day so I was in a bad mood to begin with, and then some kid knocked me over while he was running from his vampire. Then the vampire decided to get mad at me of all people. So, yeah, I was angry and I…” felt weak. Son of a bitch. Max clenched his fist unconsciously at his side, momentarily quiet. Was that the trick? Have some leech get in his face and not be able to do anything about it?

His eyes snapped back to Manuel, realizing he’d been silent for too long. ”I stuck my hands in my pocket and I felt this tingle up my arm.” Max muttered, almost defeatedly. Like hell he was going to tell this guy how his head worked.

“Hm, you felt defensive and angry but you said irritation probably wasn’t a factor.” Maunel’s brow furrowed for a brief moment before smoothing out again. “So we’ll focus on the defensive part of the issue here then! Do you have an item on you that would qualify as a focus? Sturdy and with some degree of emotional attachment? But if you had the spark...” He trailed off for a moment. “Both would be preferable but if you only have something that fits the first then we can work with it.”

Sturdy? Sure, he could find something. Emotional attachment? He didn’t think he even owned anything he was emotionally attached to at this point. What was in his pocket when that happened? ”I have… a phone. Doubt that works. And… a pencil? Wait, dorm key. It’s metal. That work? If not I had a few ideas for my focus anyway - is there a person you talk to about requisitioning stuff here or are we responsible for it ourselves?” A key was hardly an intimidating casting implement. Plus, it’s far too easy to drop. He needed something that clung to his person. Maybe several - redundancy wouldn’t disrupt the magic or whatever, right?

“Too small for this experiment I think. Why don’t we try my back up?” MAnuel suggested, pulling a small crystal ball out of his robes. The translucent pink ball glittered under the lights as he handled over the ball. Next, he fished out a few metal butterflies and whispered into each one and they flapped their wings before taking off to settle on the exits, shimmering and growing into tawny ropes that wrapped themselves around the handles of the doors. “Then, lets begin! Nothing like a little danger to kickstart your magic.” With another murmur, a thin translucent bolt appeared above his head and hurtled itself at Max’s chest.

“I would run.” Manuel suggested cheerfully as another appeared above his head.

Max took the ball and inspected it, turning it back and forth in his hands as Manuel toyed with the butterflies. Max didn’t even notice them taking off until they were long gone. He looked up at the mention of ‘danger’. He barely pivoted aside in time as the bolt manifested and launched itself toward him, stumbling to the side and away from Manuel with very little balance or coordination. He kept the orb tightly pressed against his chest, careful not to drop it.

”You’re not serious.” Max grunted out, looking pretty unsettled already. Where was he supposed to run? How much did one of those projectiles hurt if they hit? Was he allowed to punch the professor? Could he even get close enough to do that? The guy could probably rip him apart with his mind if he wanted to. No, this was a magic exercise; it was supposed to rile him up. Well, congratulations, it worked.

Max clutched the orb tightly as he backpedaled away from Manuel, not wanting to let the professor out of his sight. He’d never be fast enough to dodge one of those if he didn’t blatantly see it coming. He was rather unsubtly working his way toward one of the tables for cover at a relatively hurried pace, though he was slow enough that he wouldn’t trip from the backward movement.

“Feel anything yet?” Manuel asked, unconcerned about the puncture in the floor behind Max’s original spot as he flicked another bolt at Max. A new one formed slowly above him. “I have a few hours of this at this pace. Keep your attention on the focus. Anything you feel, latch onto it and try to run with it!” Manuel had no intention of hitting the boy but Earth was a stubborn element and without extreme measures, sometimes, it could take the poor boy forever to discover it. He kept the pace of the bolts barely spaced out enough for Max to keep up with them.

Max ducked behind one of the tables, grabbing the legs to flip it into a makeshift barricade. If the professor got to put holes in the floor, Max thought he could get away with messing up the furniture a bit. Max gripped the orb with both hands, practically boring holes into it with his glare. How was he supposed to focus on what he was feeling when he was trying to dodge whatever the hell this guy was shooting at him? He probably had a few seconds before Manuel figured out a way to hit him behind the table - hopefully with a curved shot and not outright blowing the thing to pieces, but Max wasn’t going to underestimate the man.

What was he feeling? Annoyed, but that was a given. He doubted forcing his magic to work would do him any good here if it didn’t with the awakening crystal anyway. He just needed to focus on feeling like a helpless fish in a barrel like last time. So annoying.

Against his better judgement, Max closed his eyes. That was utterly terrifying, great start. There was a thrum in his fingers as they tightened around the orb, though he wasn’t entirely sure that wasn’t just his elevated pulse. No great magical upwelling, at any rate.

”My fingers are tingly. Could be adrenaline.” Max called from behind the table. He tried not to sound overly fearful. He could be a bitch in his own mind all he wanted but the old man was getting nothing but contempt from him if he could help it.

Manuel continued the barrage, slamming the bolts into the table. This wasn’t working. It wasn’t just the defensiveness that triggered the response. What else had Max said? Manuel lobbed a bolt over the table just to keep Max on guard while he though. Something else, something else. Hand in pocket, he felt… Manuel frowned as he realized Max never answered the question and his eyes slid over towards his partner. Max mentioned a vampire. Maybe Gregor could assist. And if that didn’t work, well… He had another trick up his sleeve.

As a bolt formed again, Manuel reached up and nicked himself on it before sending it hurtling across the room. He turned just in time to watch Gregor’s eyes snap open, eyes tinged in red, and he motioned for the vampire to come over. Gregor gave the partially damaged room a critical look as he stood next to Manuel.

“Its for science!” Manuel defended himself against his partner’s blank stare. “Unlocking a stubborn affinity. It’s important! Now he mentioned he felt something when he was confronted by a vampire so go…” Manuel gestured towards the table. “Be confrontational. Since my lecture isn’t technically over until all my students have left the hall, no feeding until this is finished!” Manuel cheerily halted the magic, the next bolt disappointing as he gave the incredulous and hungry vampire the floor.

Gregor grumbled before stomping down to the table and knocking it out of the way, red tinged eyes looking at the mage cowering behind the shield. A scowl twisted his face and he dragged the mage to his feet.

“Get up.” Gregor growled irritably. “Hurry up and do your magic. I’m starving and you’re the one in the way. Are you incompetent or are you just lazy? Because this looks like a fucking waste of time."

Max kept his back against the table, grunting as his cover was hammered with magical attacks. There was definitely a magical presence in his hands now, but it felt the same as with the crystal earlier, it was stockpiling but not malleable to do anything with. That was good, right? A bolt impacted the floor beside him, causing his eyes to finally shoot open. Thinking time was over, he had to move again.

Max raised up in preparation to run out of cover, then paused when he heard Manuel talking. He wasn’t talking to Max, so that left… the leech. The mage tilted his head upward as the vampire batted the table away, white-knuckling the orb with one hand. He gave a defiant grimace as he was yanked to his feet.

”This ain’t exactly fun for me either, go back to your nap.” Max snapped. This bloodsucker had a lot of nerve manhandling him like that, and his pet mage had even more nerve for even suggesting this whole exercise. And lazy? Max was getting shot at here. Admittedly, he’d halfway considered giving up if this didn’t work out relatively soon, but now he was going with this asinine little game out of spite until he passed out or he put a nice elemental pike through Gregor’s head.

He flexed his fingers against the orb, pressing against the rigid wall that composed his magic. There was give now, not quite a flow but a bit of noticeable flexibility. This could work. He could make that stupid leech eat his words for looking down on him. Hopefully. Max decided to just keep glaring until something happened, for lack of any other options.

“Then do it. Wave your silly rock and make something happen or I’m going to start tossing you around this room like the worthless worm you are.” The vampire snaped and Manuel glared daggers into his back. What did he expect from that short tempered idiot. Gregor yanked Max into the air by the collar of his shirt.

He saw it just out of the corner of his eye. Manuel blinked, think maybe it was the trick of the ey―there i was again! Just the faintest wiggle in several chairs. It looked torn between moving towards Max or hurling away from him. Manuel wanted to smack himself. That explained why he felt a spark but nothing happened when he needed it. It was already out; he just needed to call it home.

“Max, pull your magic back! Back though the stone! Stop pushing and pull as hard as you can. He had a shielding spell on the tip of his lips, just in case things got violent.

Max struggled in the vampires grip as he was lifted up. He should’ve expected this to happen once the leech got involved. This stupid magic had better work before the vampire made good on his promise. The magic felt more fluid than usual, but it still wasn’t doing anything outwardly. Normally, he’d be delighted at the progress he’d made, but the situation at hand demanded a noticeable effect, and Max still had no idea how he was supposed to shape magic into a useful spell.

Manuel seemed to have an idea, though it didn’t make much sense to Max. Was he just wasting energy right now? He didn’t see how magic was supposed to help him if he wasn’t projecting it. Or maybe he was projecting it too much and it was too dispersed to do anything? Did he have to think about something specific it could do or would it act on its own? There were too many unknowns here and this vampire was still in his face.

Max closed his eyes again - it wasn’t like seeing what Gregor was doing would help him against the inevitable thrashing he was about to receive - and released the tension in his forearms. Pushing was a simple concept, metaphysically; send one’s essence forcefully into the object. Max was good at that, it was essentially taking his anger out on an object. Pulling was different. He could press his palms against the orb all day, but if he tried pulling on it his hands would probably slip and he’d just drop it. This was stupid; he finally had a flow, he just needed to reverse it.

”Get your hand off me already.” Max spat, his fingers curling inward against the orb. He opened his eyes after he felt a sufficient influx in his magic, partially out of spite to the vampire and partially because he was curious as to what would happen.

For a second, nothing happened. Then, a chorus of groans resounded around the room as the chairs ripped themselves apart, the metal supports flinging themselves at the pair in the middle of the room. A few muttered words and a shimmering field wrapped itself around the pair and the metal slammed hard against it, cracks appearing in the field. The metal tried worming it's way into the bubble for several moments before finally dropping onto the floor with a clatter. Gregor dropped the boy unceremoniously on the floor.

"Perfect! Perfect! A stress test goes a long way!" Manuel clapped. "So it seems you have a metal affinity. Excellent one to have in this modern age. And a Taldrin model mage at that! It so rare to find one so young! Come up here for a moment so I can fix the room. The Princess will have my head if I leave another place in shambles."

Max kept his glare on Gregor as the room seemed to go to shit around him. He vaguely noticed the bubble that was protecting them, but his real focus was on the orb in his hands. That was an unfamiliar feeling, it was like he was touching every chair in the room at once. It took him a minute to register that the thundering sounds around him were a result of that, and it took him even longer to actually finish processing that fact.

When Gregor dropped him, he stumbled back and fell on his ass, still dazed. His head craned back and forth to look at the scraps of metal littering the floor, eyes wide and breathing a bit more labored than it should’ve been given the exertion he’d put forth. He did that. He ripped the room apart like it was nothing. And he could do it again. Max slowly raised a hand, outstretching it toward one of the chair pieces, his other hand grasping the orb. He flexed his fingers outward, sharply inhaling in delight as the scrap started to wobble on the floor in response.

The moment finally caught up to the mage after that, and his attention snapped up to Manuel. Max didn’t even bother putting up a facade of indifference at this point, he was thoroughly awed. He supposed this guy wasn’t a hack, he deserved a genuine reaction. Max rose to his feet, holding the orb out as he approached the professor.

”So, what’s a… Taldrin model?” Max questioned, looking around the room idly to further survey the results of his magic. Metal affinity sounded nice, perfectly acceptable alternative to fire; though he was wary about words he didn’t understand, even if Manuel had sounded enthusiastic when he’d mentioned it. The guy had also sounded enthusiastic when he was hurling energy spears at him, to be fair.

"If you recall from our lesson… One moment. Reverti Locus!" As he spoke, Manuel drew silver symbols in the air that burst into a thousand shimmering lights. The room whirled itself back together, holes filling themselves, chairs piecing themselves back together, the table righting itself, until it look like it was just before Manuel started destroying it.

"I got into a spot of trouble with more than one experiment. I had to develop this spell or Princess Nox would have me stripped of my magic. I have her sister to thank for stepping in to give me the opportunity I suppose." Manuel shrugged as he turned his wheelchair to face Max. His breathing was hard and Gregor stepped next to him, focusing on the mage, who swatted the vampire away. "Will you stop? I am not going to have another heart attack. I am just fine.” Manuel glared at Gregor's unamused look.

"Anyways, the Taldrin model was developed by Abigal Taldrin after her study of mages in their sixties and older. She discovered that as mages lost their ability to concentrate, their capacity to control their magic was directly affected and the magic began to project itself around them into energies or objects their affinity allowed them to manipulate. In this form, the magic "primes" itself without the wielder's consent as a defensive mechanism. It allows a mage to do great things at a moment's notice but it will drain them far faster than most." Manuel explained. "To find a mage so young whose magic performs likes this… is unusual, to say the least. Moving forward, you'll have to focus on pulling your magic in to yourself and keeping it there as opposed to moving your magic out and into a form." Manuel wheeled his chair over to his desk, pulling out a small container of pills.

"I think that should get you on the right track in your affinity classes. Did you want me to excuse you from your next class? If not, I'll send your professor a notice."

Max furrowed his brow on the mention of a ‘heart attack’, but he didn’t look overly concerned. His face soured again as Manuel’s explanation went on. This didn’t sound like a good thing to him. Didn’t quite sound like a bad thing either, he guessed, but being atypical was just his luck. He also didn’t want to dwell on whether the professor was actively likening him to some doddering old fool; he was in a good mood for now, no reason to tarnish it.

He needed a focus first and foremost; if output wasn’t going to be a problem he’d need to work on control now. The exact opposite of his former problem, but not insurmountable. At least, he hoped.

”I probably missed most of it anyway, might as well show up for the tail end.” Max conceded. Self defense was probably important, despite the fact that he was perfectly content with the exercise he just got. ”And, uh, thanks. For the help.”

“Anytime Max. My doors are always open to you.” Manuel smiled at Max, then nodded at the door as his butterflies came back. “Now go on. I have my medicine and a hungry vampire to attend to.”

Max nodded gratefully and quietly exited the room. He had a million different ideas running through his mind and no clue as to whether any of them would work or not until he got a chance to test them out. He idly flicked his hand outward at metal objects as he passed them; doorknobs, table legs; nothing. His magic wasn’t responding without a suitable focus, but that was easily corrected. Maybe he should’ve asked to get out of self-defense after all, he had so much to do now. Nevertheless, Max made his way to the arena diligently.

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Hidden 24 days ago Post by Trainerblue192
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Member Seen 22 hrs ago

Salem walked up to the familiar fire mage, moving some of his hair behind his ear and out of his face. Growing up he never quite learned the techniques or skills for hand to hand combat, but he had seen some action films so, he knew what to do...he hoped. As he approached her Salem smiled and nervously said ”I don't really know how to fight, nor do I know how to pull punches. Forgive me if I manage to land a blow and actually hurt you.” He extended his hand out for her to shake.

"Likewise," she took his hand and shook. She had trained in hand to hand, but no weapons. She was confident in this fight, but didn't know what would happen when they were given swords. The two stood awkwardly after that for a moment. Should I, like, just start swinfing?"

Salem began to draw a circle in the dirt, about 10 feet in circumference. ”Let's see who can not only win this little brawl, but also knock the other outside if the circle.” He moved towards the center of the new ring and began pouncing a bit in place with his fists up. ”Feel free to swing first.”

Cassandra nodded and put her right foot back in a stable fighting stance, hands up in guard position. She struck out with her left hand in a jab, aimed loosely at Salem's face, but followed up with a more serious cross with her right, toward his midsection.

Salem bobbed towards the right, narrowly dodging her jab but unknowingly moving right into her right fist that landed square onto his midsection. There was a small cocky smile as he dodged the first hit, then a wince at the second. ”Nice hit.” Salem moved his right leg forward as he went to go hit Cassandra with his left fist, aiming up high towards her jaw hoping to distract her. His right leg quickly swept as he ducked and attempted to trip her.

Cassandra said nothing, and tucked her chin to protect her neck and jaw. Salem was a good deal taller than her, and when he swept her legs, she fell forward into him.

She grabbed Salem about the waist, trying to bring him down with her.

Salem felt her force pulling against his, trying to bring him down. He instead clapped his hands onto her shoulders and attempted to hold her in place. "You definitely have some fire in you. But I'm not a frail as I appear." He began to shift his feet, moving in a circle to switch sides with her so that he stood where she previously was, before attempting to shove her off of him and back up.

Cassandra was all too happy to disengage. She took the step backwards, planting both feet firmly on the ground for the barest moment. Then the same foot came back, on level with Salem's neck, in a high roundhouse kick.

"Apropriate," she grunted through gritted teeth as he foot flew.

The kick landed square on his jaw as he froze for a second, eyes agape, before attempting to dodge it and failing. His head jerked to the right and he held it facing down for a moment before wiping his chin and looking back at her. The move seemed easy enough, if she could do it why can't he? He bounced back a bit, planting his feet just long enough to jolt himself forward and jump up attempting the roundhouse kick. However he miscalculated the ease of this move and instead fell flat onto his back, having the wind knocked out a bit.

Cassandra swiveled around, hoping for Salem's sake that nobody was looking their way at that particular moment. If someone looked now they would just think she had knocked him down, which she was fine with, and presumably he would prefer.

"You okay?" Cassandra figured the fight was over, and stepped forward to offer her hand to pull him up.

Salem reached up and grabbed her hand, allowing her to help him get up. ”Thanks. Aside from my ego, I don't think anything's bruised. Say, whered you learn to fight like that? It's kinda cool.” Salem mock jabbed as he asked the question.

"I had an early awakening, and got tutored on a bunch of stuff like that," she shrugged. "Keep your wrist straight, thumb outside of your fist. Punch through your target." She demonstrated each step, throwing an air punch. "Oh! And put your hips into it.

Salem nodded as Cassandra spoke. "Thanks. Alright so like this?" Salem stood, legs spread shoulder width apart, hips squared as he eyed her posture. He made a fist with his thumb out and punched straight towards her, keeping his wrist straight and seeing himself going through the target.

Cassandra swatted the fist, turning her body as she did so. The fist sailed past her shoulder, and she put a hand out to stop Salem from falling into her.
"Yeah, that's pretty good. Now practice that a couple thousand times. Though, don't start with your body facing me square on. Keep one foot back, and the shoulder too. You show a smaller target, and the twist of your hips puts some umph in your punch."

The fight had kind of petered out, and Cassandra felt a little weird trying to hit him again. "I think that's enough?"

"Smaller target, got it." Salem straightened himself out again, extending his hand for her to shake. "Thanks for all the pointers. I really appreciate it."

She took his hand again. "No problem! Hit me up if you need to spar."
Hidden 21 days ago Post by Obscene Symphony
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Obscene Symphony Lady Profanity

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Experienced Group

with Lucan @Apoalo, Victor @ReusableSword, Aaron @Obscene Symphony, and Lilie @Hero

Lucan was personally glad that the class ended, and made a mental note to make a formal inquiry on the Dame’s background. As he stood he realized that he would more than likely be teaching in the arena and his mind went back to Damien. He opened his phone and sent a text message to Leander, asking the vampire to ensure that Damien got to the arena on time. With that he made his way out of the Hall and made the all too familiar trek to the arena grounds.

He gave a wide smile as he entered the arena floor and stood off to the side as everyone trickled in.

Aaron had been hoping for the chance to change, but it appeared he’d be fighting in a suit tonight as the flow of students into the Arena was halted only by aides blocking the door as the Arena Master cleared the area. Aaron watched with no small amount of admiration as the sand swirled and solidified into stone rods, though as they all walked out into the Arena he had to wonder why the sand had been swept away. The floor beneath it was stone, and it wouldn’t be pleasant to land on when people inevitably either fell or were wrestled to the ground, but Aaron wasn’t too worried. Surely the Academy had Life mages on staff.

He said a little prayer in the back of his head for his suit pants - hopefully he wouldn't be destroying a second pair tonight - as he set his jacket and bag aside and traded Dawn for some sparring gear, taking a moment to roll up his sleeves and get his hair out of the way as Dracion said his spiel. His hair was the only thing Aaron didn’t keep precisely functional, being too short to tie back but too long to effectively train with, but it wasn’t difficult to deal with; growing up around women had its perks, and it didn’t take long for him to have his hair neatly back and secured against his head in three french braids, pinned at the nape of his neck so an opponent had nothing to grab. The sparring gear was more of a challenge; he was used to training in just a t-shirt and sweats and feeling the consequences of his mistakes, and as he momentarily fought with the straps he had to wonder if the extra padding was going to inhibit him.

Still, he fell into line on Lucan’s side of the Arena, no small amount amused; he should have known that the Knight of the Evening would have wormed his way out of training below his level somehow, but he was glad for it (despite that wide smile on Lucan’s face thoroughly freaking him out). When Dracion instructed the less skilled students to try a few hits, Aaron smirked to himself, wanting for a split second to shout ‘Alright!’ and go for Lucan. Unfortunately, ambushing Lucan never worked, and of course, he didn’t want to disrupt the class. He had to set an example, after all.

Lilie hopped in place, bouncing on her heels as she looked around excitedly. As much as she enjoyed learning about her new magic, she had to admit that being somewhere familiar was a great comfort. Sure, she was probably going to get her butt handed to her, but she wanted to improve herself; she owed Aaron for her defeat the day-night-whatever before.

She wasn’t entirely used to the suit, finding it a little clunky for her taste. She couldn’t believe Aaron’s teacher was the one showing them how to fight, or rather, further instructing them. She also couldn’t believe the Astorio vampire was with them, occasionally throwing a cautious glance his way. Well, if he was going to be confrontational, she supposed this was the way to go about it. Ceasing her hopping, she stretched her arms above her head as she looked around at the other groupings, coming to attention when addressed.

Victor made it a point to stay behind after the class was dismissed and give the professor a more personal apology for his tardiness. When he was done explaining himself he wasted little time moving toward the arena where the others were gathering. A few students in red robes made their way around the arena stands while the mountain of a man made his introduction.

A brief safety meeting before going over pairings. Victor was disappointed to find that their were not as many advanced students as he had hoped. It was no concern of his, plenty of advanced students filled the stands around them. Some looked like the mages he was with earlier. When the teacher announced Lucan as his assistant with no mention of himself, he couldn't help but frown. Yet again another test from his father. Either he didnt send word to this school of having him help assist the others in combat training or the more likely reason being he did request it but told them to make Victor earn it. Just another pain.

The tall vampire waited for a few moments for the group to disperse before approaching his group. Taking his place next to Aaron and keeping his facial expressions cold and stoic. Although he didn't like most of the other vampires here as a default setting, Lucan was different. To Victor he wasn't just another vampire, he was a fellow soldier just with a different and more political job. That didn't make him any less or more than him, at least in his eyes. He kept his hands clasped behind his back and eyes straight forward without looking or fixating on anything in particular. Glancing at the boy next to him for only a moment he muttered something quietly so only he would hear, “To capture a predator you can’t remain the prey.”

Lucan watched silently as the group made their way over to the side of the arena. “Good afternoon. I normally don’t require protective padding to be worn, especially in a hand to hand combat scenario but as it is the school must be protected. For you human fighters this will slow you down a bit, and for vampiric it does nothing in the grand scheme of things. To get things started I will be having you each spar the other so I can see what exactly you know and what you don’t. Mr. Starag, and Count Astorio will be the first pairing. Ms. Dionne you and I will observe. Everyone to positions.” Lucan was in full military mode at this point. His voice was short, crisp, and authoritative and it left no room for argument. He was also truly intrigued at seeing each individual fight, even if he already knew one rather well.

Catching his cryptic little phrase, Aaron gave the Astorio Count a quizzical sidelong look, but said nothing, snapping back to attention when Lucan spoke. A spike of nervous anticipation struck him at being paired with the Count, Aaron eager to finally try a new opponent. A smarter man might be intimidated by the Count’s hulking size, especially considering he was a vampire, but Aaron had been fighting the same man for so long that it was a welcome change of pace.

He nodded dutifully at Lucan’s command and moved a little away, standing to face his opponent at a respectable distance. Despite Dracion's statement about ranks and titles, Aaron gave the Count a bow, waiting for him to square off.

Nodding towards Lucan, Victor walked towards the pile of sparring gear. He had no intent on wearing any of it and did this by showing the red robed student next to the pile of gear that none of it fit. To the point of purposefully breaking some of it. However, he did settle for arm and leg guards. Stepping back up to the arena side lines the tall vampire set his things down on the ground. Starting by slipping off his shoes and socks and then his jacket.

“Stag.” Victor called the boy, trying to get his attention without insulting him outright but still disrespectful to not use his full name. “You are familiar with vampire biology, yes?” he paused for a moment as he set a small round tin on his things. “Tell me, why is it so rare to see a vampire with a scar?” pulling an ordinate metal flask from one pocket of his jacket and taking a swig. A visual shiver passing over him for a brief moment before he put the flask away.

Aaron watched warily as the monster of a vampire prepared himself, snapping to attention when his name - or something like it, anyway - was called. It wasn't surprising for an Astorio to speak in so flippantly, though somewhere in the back of his mind Aaron decided he preferred being referred to by a mangled name over none at all.

The question was odd, but if Aaron were to guess, he'd say the Astorio was trying to intimidate him. “It takes either sunlight or prolonged, repeated trauma to scar a vampire, Count,” he replied, eyeing the flask and the vampire's shiver.

Victor seemed to grimace at the taste of whatever was in that flask, “good.” A simple reply but he didn't have to tell him everything just yet. Pulling his black turtleneck off and placing it neatly on his jacket exposing the extensive scarring on his frame. He slowly grabbed the arm pads and put them on. Picking up the small round container, he opened it. Dipping two of his fingers into something that had the consistency of vaseline. Rubbing the contents in his hands then onto his cheeks, forehead, and neck.

Finishing his little ritual with rubbing a hand full of whatever dirt and sand was left on the stone floor in his hands. “Don't get your hopes up stag, these scars are not from battle.” Victor slowly stepped up to a respectable distance from the boy and found his stance. An aggressive boxing stance commonly used by other vampires in combat. “I acquired these scars by breaking an Astorio law, I am an example of what Astorio torture looks like.” Once the boy was ready Victor would begin their test of combat skills with a hefty punch from his left arm once he was close enough to the boy.

While he watched Count Astorio go about his routine, Aaron’s eyes went cold, looking critically over his opponent. His size was certainly formidable, and Aaron assumed there was strength to match, but luckily Lucan had taught him how to use his opponent’s power to his advantage. He would eventually be either outlasted or overpowered, that much was fact (and he was not looking forward to his eventual, inevitable meeting with the stone floor) but he'd be able to hold his own for some time at least. The Count’s intimidation was brushed to the back of Aaron’s mind as he moved into his own ready stance, lower to the ground and more evasive than his opponent’s aggressive one. “Ready.”

No sooner had the word left his lips than Aaron was met with a strike; he very nearly caught it, feeling the rush of air on his face as he managed to dodge to the side, deflecting the Count’s striking arm away. Years of training his footwork came in handy as he tried to circle his opponent, doing his best to keep out of reach, but there was no respite: Victor followed that punch with another, and another, strike after strike with no delay and advancing. Aaron evaded; to one side, the other, ducking and weaving, redirecting Victor’s striking force where he could to slow him down and leading the vampire in a large arc. They covered a good amount of ground, Victor unrelenting and Aaron just barely keeping up until finally he wasn’t fast enough, catching one of Victor’s punches in the ribs and stumbling back, doubled over.

The padding helped a bit, but a punch from a vampire was never fun; Aaron had to take a moment to recover, breathing heavy and clutching his side. He straightened up slowly, focusing on the spot where he’d been struck. It didn’t feel good by any means, but there didn’t seem to be any ribs broken, so he was fine to continue.

Now that he wasn’t being attacked, Aaron had the chance to think. It might not have seemed like much to the spectators, but Count Astorio’s attacks, his question and the odd intimidation, everything he was doing was intentional. Aaron had barely held his own; his first dodge had been sloppy, he knew, but he wasn’t sure why. The Count was fast, yes, but so was Lucan, and Aaron had been dealing with a fast opponent for years. So why had he been taken off guard? Not to mention every other strike. Aaron knew he could hold his own for a little while in a bout with a vampire, but as quickly as it went by, the whole thing felt precarious. Like the Count could have had him with any of those punches. So why not? Why hold back in a setting like this? Why would an Astorio hold back at all?

Aaron’s mind went back to the affair at the end of Varis’ class, and what Max described Count Astorio to have done. He’d been messing with people then; maybe he was doing the same now. It seemed the Count was fond of toying with people. He looked between Lucan and the Count for cues, prepared to ready up again.

Stepping back from the boy smiling, Victor was quite pleased with Aaron's abilities so far. “So you can hold your own against a vampire for a time, that's good. You had a good teacher.” the tall vampire rolled his shoulders making his joints crack and pop loudly. “Now I know you can fight against a normal opponent using conventional means. Unfortunately for you, I am not a normal opponent and I use strange tactics.” Clapping his hands together with a smile, “So, I'm going to pin you now. Once you have had enough you can tap out otherwise I will continue until you pass out.”

Victor resumed his aggressive stance and waited for Aaron to compose himself before continuing. Once the boy got back in his same defensive stance Victor took a deep breath and closed his eyes. At the end of the long breath he opened his hands in a way that looked like he was ready to grasp the air in front of him and opened his eyes. Aaron would be met with the dark abyss of a vampire’s glare that was what could be described as the impossibly still moments right before a vampire goes into a rage. Victor clearly had no intention of holding anything back.

Being able to manipulate his emotions to get into and out of this state was something he learned a long time ago. With a quick movement Victor was on the ground in a posture befitting a large predator who was about to pounce. A moment later he lunged towards the empty space between Lucan and Aaron staying low and close to the floor. Honestly to those watching it would either look very funny and strange to down right horrifying.

Right when the large vampire was in between the two his direction changed almost immediately towards Aaron. Placing his right hand firmy on the ground and twisting his body to push off with his right leg toward the boy. Something strange happened for the briefest of moments however, to those close by it almost seemed as if his hand melded with the stone floor for just a moment. It happened so fast that it might have just been a trick of the mind or was it real?

Slamming into the side of the mage the two tumbled off the stone arena floor resting on the side lines. Victor had managed to land on his back with aaron firmly pinned between his legs and his arms wrapped around one of Aaron's arms and his neck. Victor was applying pressure to the sides of Aaron's throat effectively cutting off blood flow to his brain. If he didn't tap out Victor would keep to his promise and remain in this pose until the boy fell asleep. Whispering quietly in his ear the whole time, “shhh just go to sleep, just go to sleep.”

There was no time for Aaron to be confused about the Count’s odd stance before something slammed into his side, sending them both tumbling. Aaron saw nothing but a blur, didn't know where they were or even which way was up, and the next thing he knew he had his legs and one arm pinned and an arm around his throat, squeezing.

Panic didn't often strike Aaron in combat. In fact, he’d say just the opposite: that he was calmer in combat than in his everyday life, all thoughts beyond his opponent’s actions and his own quieted somewhere in the recesses of his mind. But there, on his back in a chokehold with the memory of the Count’s indescribable glare, suddenly all he could see was a blurry figure above him, black eyes swirling in a haze of red, the only sound the rush of blood in his ears with an impossibly strong hand crushing his throat, and he panicked. Unwise in his urgency, he struggled, only worsening his own state as every move only tightened the grip on his neck. As his vision grew darker and his movements grew weaker, by some miracle he regained his faculties enough to properly tap out, patting frantically on the Count’s arm. He scrambled away when he was released, rolled onto his hands and knees and clutched his throat, heaving for breath that had never been withheld in the first place.

A few moments passed before he collected himself, finally standing with an inward groan. He hadn't felt it in the heat of the moment - he never did - but every part of him that had collided with the stone floor in their tussle was complaining now, his tailbone, knee, elbow and shoulder throbbing. In a way, the pain brought him back down to earth; the sting and throbbing of forming bruises pulled him out of his head and forced him to focus on the present, as opposed to getting wrapped up in his thoughts. In the past.

“You are a formidable opponent, Count,” Aaron gasped, breathing heavily. Now that he’d calmed down, he let a raspy but good-natured chuckle escape him as he rolled his sore shoulder. “I only wish I could provide you more of a challenge.”

Victor watched and listened to the heartbeat of his foe start to slow from its quick pace. He was sure the Starag boy would try to last as long as he could before surrendering with a few taps on his arm. Releasing the boy and watching him recover from his seated position on the ground. He slowly stood as the darkness faded from his eyes and the boy began to speak.

Stepping back up to the sidelines of the ring he turned back towards Aaron for a moment, “you better hope you never do. The only way you could, would be to use your magic in a lethal way. At that point we would both be trying to kill each other.” Blunt but honest, physically mages were hard pressed to be as strong as vampires on a bad day. Magic is what leveled the playing field.

“Lucan our fight is done and I do believe we both know where this one stands in regards to combat ability. It's your turn now.” Still standing at the sidelines of the arena, he again shifted his attention to the Starag. “I suggest you sit down. You will be light headed for a little bit and you might start to get a headache soon.” A brief moment of care towards the mage was dismissed quickly by returning his attention to the other two.

Lucan watched with his arms crossed and stared critically at either fighter. The initial strikes almost made the vampire roll his eyes but he remained emotionless. It was obvious that Aaron would have no hope of beating such a seasoned combatant but Lucan would be lying if he hadn’t hoped he would have put up a better performance. Silly mistakes, no doubt due to missing practices and due to the intimidation that Victor used, and he underestimated the speed of a vampiric opponent that didn’t hold back. But, despite this he was still miles ahead of other mages and the knowledge was inside Aaron’s head.

”I will not be fighting, my place within these sands is as instructor. Now, obviously Count your form is impeccable for yourself as ever. Mr. Starag, you made mistakes as I’m sure you know. The pain you’re feeling will be plenty of punishment for such, but as Count Astorio and Ms. Dionne spar you will think over said mistakes and explain to me in depth after.” He nodded towards Lille and kept his hands crossed over his chest.

He wanted her to do what?! Lilie's eyes widened considerably at Lucan's instruction, an incredulous laugh caught in her throat as she looked from vampire to vampire. Victor had wiped the floor with Aaron, how the heck was she supposed to do any better?! Her nerves had nearly been shot just by watching--seeing Aaron struggling had grown a painful lump in her throat--but apparently now it was her turn to taste the stone floor. She teetered on her spot for a second, though she gave no audible protest as she quietly took her place, resigned.

Nodding towards the other vampire, Victor stepped back out onto the stone floor and took his original position, “well that's too bad, here I was hoping to see you in action again, Lucan. I suppose I will be patient.” Folding his arms behind him and standing at ease while he waited for the ghostly girl to take her place in the arena. “Why did she have to have her face.” he thought to himself. “Ms. Dionne, I know a few hours isn't very long for you to reconcile with your fears, but if you freeze up. If you hesitate or just curl into a ball, it won't stop me. I will repay your fear with pain, maybe then you will have something real to worry about.” He knew this wasn't the best way to go about this, but in a world for the immortals, it is easy to get left behind.

Lilie inhaled slowly, focused a little more on calming herself down before the spar would start. Taking down bigger opponents via hand-to-hand wasn't exactly easy for a normal opponent, let alone trying to take down a vampire that was nearly twice her size and probably her weight, too. Focus, she mentally reprimanded herself, getting into the proper mindset. Despite knowing she was probably going to need two or three life mages at the end of this, the white haired girl psyched herself up. Fighting was something she actually liked to do, and while she hadn't expected to be fighting a vampire on day one, ripping off the bandaid was probably better. Maybe. An assurance to prevent herself from high tailing it out of there? Oh definitely. But running from a social interaction was different than running from a fight, at least to her anyway.

Victor was bigger and sturdier, but normal take down techniques probably wouldn't get her too far. Using his own force against him was her best bet, but that was easier said than done. Vampires didn't have the typical weak spots either, or rather she wasn't physically strong enough to take actual advantage of them. Was now a good time to admit she wasn't great in hand to hand? She wished she had her weapon, it would have helped her keep some distance. She should have taken her mother's instructions more seriously, but it was too late for that. As she was about to put herself in what could be considered a passable stance, Victor spoke. Well, if she wasn't afraid of him before, she certainly was now. Still, she had to agree with him: freezing up was going to do more harm than good.

Exhaling slowly, Lilie shook her head at the Count, bringing up her arms close and her fists clenched. She focused entirely on the opponent in front of her, clearing her head of hesitation and worry--the battlefield was no place for any of that. "Thanks for the heads up," She replied, putting herself in the right state of mind. Her eyes narrowed, a calmness draping over her and replacing her nervousness with anticipation.

The count got into the fighting stance like he did before but this time he went from stern to relaxed as he looked her over. The way she held herself looked more like a fighting stance for dueling more than hand to hand. By this observation alone he concluded that she wouldn't put up as much of a fight compared to the boy. So he resumed his stern fighting stance and began to move toward her. Switching from a left handed dominant stance like he had with Aaron to a right handed stance, both to confuse and let his opponent see that he was ambidextrous. Normally he would fight a right handed opponent left handed because it threw off their fighting style.

Approaching slowly still, he purposefully gave her more time to visualise and anticipate his attacks because he knew that for some the wait alone before the first punch could be agonizing and stressful. Then in a quick motion he swung at her with a fast reverse punch that seemed to be heading for her right side before suddenly dropping towards the floor. The vampires body went with it and using the momentum of his swing he twisted his body and swept his left leg out to attempt to trip her with the back of his leg with a sweep kick. Whether the maneuver worked or not he was quick to plant his left foot and push off of it with a strong roundhouse kick with his right leg aimed at her hip.

Lilie braced herself for what she thought was the first hit, but watching Victor drop down clued her in on what he was doing. A quick hop solved that problem, albeit she unintentionally trapped herself as his foot met her hip. Had she known just how hard it was going to be, she probably would have let herself trip; the girl found herself meeting the floor anyway, the sheer force of the vampire's hit toppling her to the ground. She felt like she just got hit with a ton of bricks! How the heck was this fair?! No wonder Aaron was so used to this, getting hit by a vampire was the equivalent of running into a metal door! To her credit, she picked herself up a lot faster than she realized, ignoring her aching hip as she got to her feet. That was going to hurt later.

The large vampire waited for his opponent to regain her posture after he sent her to the floor with his last hit. Once he was sure she was back in the game he again began assaulting the space around her with normal strikes aimed at her head and body to test her reflexes. Again once his opponent was winded he stopped and stepped back. “Lucan this one is better than the other students but her stances and movements are better suited for wielding a sword. Still not as good as the stag over there.” With a smile he looked at the girl, “unfortunately, you did not surpass my expectations. So now like the stag, you have to pay for it.”

Victor moved slowly in a circle around her just out of her reach. He could use hypnosis but he wanted her to feel exactly what he was about to do to her. The move he had chosen, like with Aaron, would require a bit of distance behind her. Finding a path clear of people and obstacles he nodded, “ready?” It was just another thing to catch her off guard as he charged right for her without warning. Reaching out and hooking his fingers under her padded chest piece he pulled her towards his chest and spun in a disorientating circle. After circling together once as if they were dancing, he used his strength and their momentum to throw the poor girl towards an empty part of the arena. Almost like trying to skip a flat stone across water. He knew that it was going to hurt but the pads would soften the blow, besides life mages need to earn their keep. The vampire only hoped that Salem saw him throw her like that.

This academy was doing a great job on belittling her, that's for sure. Lilie barely contained her pout, more winded than anything, though she became alarmed as he mentioned having to pay. Wasn't this supposed to be a spar?! But there was no time to question or react, Victor charging at her throwing her off guard. For a giant he was fast--everything happened so quickly that she didn't have time to even brace herself. Then again, she thought he was going to put her in a chokehold; the last thing she expected was the get thrown.

Lilie went flying, shocked that it took absolutely no effort on Victor's part at how effortlessly he accomplished it. Sure, as a lightweight she had been tossed around by her older brother, but he didn't have the capability to throw her like this. But being airborne was the least of her worries, as once she ate stone floor that became the forefront of her concern. She eventually rolled to a stop, curling up as the shoulder she landed on and her hip began to ache something fierce. After a few seconds she tried to get up, her body protesting heavily. She forced herself to lay on her back, her breathlessness and lack of energy finally catching up to her. Ugh, if he was trying to kill her, he may as well come and finish the job, there was no way she could properly defend herself after that. Closing her eyes, she exhaled a groan, covering her face with her right arm.

Aaron watched eagerly from his spot on the sidelines, having taken the Count’s advice and sat down. He could feel that headache he’d warned him about taking hold already, but that didn’t stop him from paying close attention to Lilie’s turn with the hulking vampire. Lilie was certainly more adept at fencing than hand to hand combat, but he supposed that much could be expected from someone who likely trained as a hobby rather than a practical skill. Aaron wasn’t sure what the vampire’s “expectations” of her were, but what happened next wiped any other thought from his mind. The bastard threw her!

Eyes wide, Aaron watched, shocked, as Lilie flew near-horizontally across the arena, eventually half-rolling across the stone floor before coming to a very painful-looking stop some distance away. She hardly moved after that, save for a failed attempt to sit up, and at this distance he could just hardly hear a pitiable groan escape her. What on earth?!

Concerned and suddenly angry, Aaron shot to his feet, having to catch himself on the Arena wall as a wave of dizziness - no doubt another side effect of that choke hold - washed over him. When it cleared he rushed over to where Lilie lay, shooting an indignant look at Lucan as he passed before kneeling down next to the girl, looking for obvious signs of injury. He was no healer, but to his eye it didn’t look like anything was broken - a stroke of luck, probably - though she didn’t exactly seem in good shape, either.

“Are you alright?” he asked softly, hesitant to do so much as tap her on the arm lest he hit a sore spot. “You didn’t hit your head, did you?”
Hidden 21 days ago 21 days ago Post by WeepingLiberty
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WeepingLiberty ~Friendly Garden Statue~ / ~Blink And You're Dead~

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Sparring Times with
Dakota ‘Nose-Picker’ Brookes & Damien ‘Drooler’ Baker

Interacting with: each other

Dakota hadn’t been completely satisfied with the response they had been given, but there wasn’t much else that could be done about it as the bell rang to signal the end of the class. If what the professor had said was true, in the case a focus was not immediately notable one could potentially be conditioned to serve the purpose… but did that also mean something could be constructed specifically for such a thing? And if so, were there any special requirements to do so other than just hold it ‘for a week or so’.

The youth mage started getting frustrated at the thought, wondering what sort of item would not only be effective but convenient as well. There had to be something that would match Dakota’s personality, not to mention magic type, but that was difficult to determine without any idea of what to expect from the elusive affinity. Heaving a sigh, Dakota shot Cassandra a toothy grin and a wave of the hand.

Let’s chat sometime! I’m off to Self-Defense, I’ve been pumped for this class all night.” With an excited pep in their step, Dakota took off at a brisk pace toward the arena where the class was to be held. The anticipation helped ease the flow of thoughts that plagued the student about their affinity, considering one of the options the professor had mentioned… A diviner, whatever that was, sounded like someone who could potentially help solve the riddle they were currently facing. But there was something about it, or the name at the very least, that Tinley didn’t like. Dakota had wondered about it, but it just didn’t feel like the way to go. Not yet at least.

Jogging into the arena, Dakota filed away their belongings into the designated area and settled in to await instruction from the man in charge. He was a gruff dude and far from afraid to show off, a trait that must have proven itself necessary considering they types of beings he had to teach. Standing among vampires and mages, the scales of power were definitely imbalanced, but Dracion seemed the type to keep everything in his space well in check.

Dakota might not have been some skilled warrior with fancy techniques or weapons training, but the youth had seen their fair share of back alley fights. The type where at least one participant was leaving in an ambulance, if they were lucky. Never once had the youth been responsible for a death, but they knew better than most what sort of damage could be done if serious about it. Today, it sounded like, would be more of an exercise in restraint than anything else.

Remember, it’s just a scrimmage. And who knows, you might end up paired with someone with more experience than you. No need to worry. Private pep talk received, Dakota pranced over to the gear and suited up, deftly working the bindings to keep everything where it needed to be on the toned frame. The mage could feel a buzz of energy building up within the gut, excited nerves of stepping into a subject not hellishly outside of their experience. After all that had gone on during the night, it would be nice to kick back and let off some steam.

Damien grumbled as he tried to find all the appropriate straps and buckles on the gear. Between grumbling about the hard ass up front and having to deal with someone likely more suited to fighting than himself, Damien didn’t notice the other person at his assigned position for a moment. Truth be told, fighting wasn’t something he was fond of. Sure, play wrestling with his friends and siblings was one thing but Damien hadn’t ever thrown a serious punch in his life. He’d never needed to! Until now apparently. Damien sighed and glanced around, startling a bit when he realized someone else was there.

“Oh shit!” Damien swore as he jerked back instinctively. “Sorry, sorry. Name’s Damien! This is kinda my first time doing this so uh, go easy on me?” Damien hoped that his luck wouldn’t fail him now; that somehow, his partner in this awful class would be just as inexperienced and he could avoid the learning how to punch thing.

As Damien jumped so did Dakota, eyes widening in surprise at having startled someone else despite not having really done anything. The moment of panic was short lived, however, the small burst of adrenaline fading as quickly as it had arrived as Dakota broke out into the signature grin.

Hey, no worries. The name’s Dakota, friends call me Kota though.” Friendly eyes sparkled as the mage laughed the last of the nerves off, extending a hand out in welcome. Despite the warm front Dakota had put forth, there was no helping the creeping feeling of nerves working back up in their gut. As usual, it seemed the world had different plans to what the youth had asked for.

I’ll do my best but I can’t make any promises. Besides, I doubt Sergeant Tombstone over here will allow for any grievous injuries anyhow.” Dakota joked, pointing a thumb in the direction of the arena director with a mischievous glance. In all honesty, the new mage was probably overthinking things. The conditions in the arena were far different than anything they had ever experienced before, so the likelihood of reverting to old habits was low at present.

“Sergeant Tombstone.” Damien chuckled as he shook Kota’s hand. “Fucking great. But you’re probably right. He’ll just stick us in the ground for a while apparently.” Damien’s nerves settled a little as Kota joked around. He beamed at the other mage. Finally someone who didn't leave the stick in their ass constantly.

That wasn't fair. Lucan was just looking out for him but it chafed. Damien was a damn adult and this vampire who snatched him from his home was making walk on eggshells everywhere. Was this mage life? Constantly worrying about the next time they pissed off a vampire and hoping they can keep their head low enough that even if they do, nothing comes of it? Damien shook his head.

No need to think about that now.

"So, how do we go about this? We just go for it?" Damien asked as he looked around at some of the other groups. He shrugged and put up his fists. "Got any tips for a loser like me?

Be fast, don’t get hit? Hehe that’s sort of a given though.” The youth mirrored a similar stance, arms up with fingers curled in the familiar form of a fist. For the time being, they were only about level with the chin allowing full visibility of the surrounding field.

Eyes swept the groups to see what each were working on, the instructions being rather vague as to what exactly they were supposed to be doing. It seemed each group had its own ideas of what to do, a small chuckle at seeing Joryldin staring at one of his partners. His group seemed to be getting down and dirty with some failed attempt at grappling, but it looked like the mage’s partner was in rather high spirits for the time being. A comforting thought. Returning back to the pair at hand, Dakota had a thought about how they should proceed.

For me there is no think, just do. How about you come at me and I’ll defend for a bit while you get comfy throwing a punch? You don’t have to worry, I can take a hit.” The youth added, shifting the position of their arms upward to signal their readiness for the exercise.

Damien mirrored Dakota’s stance as best he could, the nerves in his stomach bubbling up again. His parents had clear cut views on fighting and while it wasn’t outright forbade, it had been strongly discouraged. Getting into this situation just screamed wrong and Damien had to take a deep breath to get himself to focus again. It didn’t really matter what his family thought here, did it?

He shuffled forward, tensing in expectation of a retaliatory strike, and jabbed at the other mage, following with a jarring transition into a punch towards the stomach. Frankly, his body felt oddly unresponsive to the actions but he just went with what he’d seen before.

Dakota could just about feel the apprehension as Damien made his approach, the quick jab dodged easily with a side step but the gut punch a light hop backward. It was a simple ‘one-two’ probably something picked up from someone else, but it was good. Varied. Flashing a quick smile Dakota nodded in encouragement.

Not bad! You have to be sure though. If you don’t mean it, it’ll come back and bite you in the ass.

If there was ever a time for a “do this, do that” vampire, now would have been a great time. They were perfectly fine breathing down your neck when you were just doing your thing but now that he needed someone giving instructions, poof. What a backwards fucking place.

“I am sure.” Damien grumbled as he got back into position. “Sure I don’t wanna hit you.” But Damien approached Dakota again, this time a little less hesitant as he focused on landing a hit. He made the same combination, a quick jab into a stomach punch but this time he moved quicker, trying to take the uncertainty out of the first hit, and he stepped forward through the second. He remembered the little backwards movement and tried to keep pace with them.

Sensing a shift in determination, Dakota readied themselves for the next move. It seemed that advice had been heeded, the first jab more direct and body tensed for a reinforced follow up. For an unfamiliar subject, Damien was a pretty quick study. The mage couldn't contain their excitement as the grin on their face grew just the slightest bit wider.

Standing ground, Dakota shifted their torso away from the initial jab putting themselves directly in the path of Damien's follow up. Dropping the defensive arms, the mage used both hands to catch the fist aimed at the gut with a forced step back to absorb the blow. The sound of knuckle slamming against palm was far worse than it actually felt, the stinging sensation very brief for the youth. Normally such a block would be less than ideal, and probably not Dakota's go-to but the situation was anything but dire.

Now that's what I'm talkin’ about.” Dakota chuckled as they shook the pins and needles from their palms.

"People do this for fun?" Damien gripped as he shook his hand. It wasn't as bad as taking a tumble on the concrete but it sure as hell didn't feel pleasant. "What is the point of this anyways? We literally give our blood to things way stronger than us. Why can't we just chill behind them? Isn't that why we have magic and stuff?" Damien stayed in position as he talked, still not really understanding what was happening. Fighting seemed pointless when you cool get snapped in two by a pissy vampire.

Fun, exercise… survival. Stress relief for me personally. But I think you have some of this backwards.” The youth responded with a shrug.

You ever notice how many of the security details around here are mages? Besides, I'd rather rely on my own strength than that over there.” A tilt of the head motioned to the group containing Dakota's wispy looking partner.

Eyes shifting back to Damien, Dakota noticed he hadn't moved from his stance quite yet. Expression turned mischievous, the mage shifted their weight forward and extended the same arm in a quick jab toward the other's nose. There was a small amount of curiosity about whether Damien would have the reflexes to deal with the sudden strike or if the punch would have to be pulled short to avoid crunching cartilage.

"It doesn't-Wait, you said your friends call you Kota? Does that mean I'm-" Damien recoiled with a screech a second too slow as Dakota threw a quick jab. He closed his eyes expecting the hit and opened them slowly when he didn't get one, going cross eyed at the fist in front of him. "What the hell? What kind of dick takes a cheap shot like that?!

Dakota dissolved into laughter as Damien finally realized what was happening. Between the shriek, the cross eyed expression, or the immediately grumpy response, the young mage couldn't decide what amused them more.

Sorry, sorry! I couldn't help myself with you just standing there like that. But boy do I wish I had a recording of that, you're great!” Swiping away an escaping tear, Dakota cleared their throat.

No, really. I am sorry. You were saying something?

"Oh now we're talking?" Damien's irritation melted out of him at the infectious laughter, as he dropped a little lower and smirked playfully just as he threw himself at his partner's legs. It was a move forged in the harden pits of the living room floor, where all mayhem broke loose on rainy days as the more rowdy siblings tussled with pent up energy. He patched onto Dakota's legs, trying to drag the mage down on top of him so he could flip and pin them.

And you called my shot cheap.” Dakota retorted as arms and legs entangled, the pair of mages sent tumbling to the ground. The scene was a familiar one, no doubt Damien being one of at least one other sibling as Dakota was. Fist fights might have been one thing unfamiliar to some but elder sibling dominance was something that could put them both on the same playing field. Dakota fought against Damien's grip as they tried to find a way around, fully prepared to deliver their infamous knuckle sandwich; a delicacy reserved for only the rowdiest of trouble makers.

Damien would admit he found this far more fun than throwing punches. He cackled as they pair fell and immediately started rolling and twisting into all of Dakota's joints as he tried to cut off her range of movement.

"All's fair in love and war! Damien shot back, grunting with the effort of holding onto the stronger mage. Damien knew he wouldn't be able to overpower Dakota, lean was a generous description after all, but he did know how to throw himself around enough to be annoying. He slipped his leg in between Dakota's and tried rolling onto of him, trying to bring the knee with him and force him to submit.

Your pin says fair, my fingers say war.” Dakota could feel the decreasing range of movement, but as Damien tried to roll the pair the leg became the focus. A smart move… but ultimately futile. Managing to wriggle an arm free, the mage shamelessly hooked the tips of two fingers on either of Damien's nostrils in an attempt to momentarily gain control of his head.

Damien let out another screech as Dakota shoved his fingers in his nose and he reflexively spit on the other mage, releasing his hold on him and slamming his head forward with the hook of the fingers to hit the closest part of Dakota he could. He never learned, always going for the legs when the hands always got him in the trouble he couldn't handle.

Aaaaw, dude. That's so groooooss.” Dakota smirked, failing to hold back laughter. Between the drool and the fingers now knuckle deep up someone's nose, there was no winning for either party anywhere in sight. Feeling Damien's grip relax some, Dakota was quick to wriggle free the other arm to catch the descending forehead before it did any real harm.

Alright, alright. I giiive. You're gonna hurt yourself if you keep that up.” The youth heaved, sides now thoroughly aching from the amused snickering.

Damien blinked for a few moments and giggled alongside Dakota as he caught his breath, moving aside to give the other mage some breathing room. He sprawled out on the grounds, his giggles turning into outright laughter and his cheeks ached from smiling.

"I win! Damien declared triumphantly, eyes sparkling as he beamed. "If that's what this class is going to be, I'mma love it! Even if you are a dirty fighter. Nostril hooks, ew."

Hidden 20 days ago 18 days ago Post by Achronum
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Achronum The Pyro

Member Seen 1 hr ago

Dracion paced the inexperienced sparring partners, throwing Eris an appraising look as he fought Amaris and Joryldin, but he continued past them after a few long moments and watched Salem and Cassandra. He blinked quizzically as Salem dragged his foot around the pair in some sort of circle. It looked like he was trying to draw a ring but since he removed all the sand earlier, there wasn't anything to mark a circle with. He watched the pair with mild concern but when they seemed to shrug off the face kick, he moved on again. Not that he needed much prompting when the laughter caught his attention and his last two students were rolling around on the ground doing who knows what. He caught a flash of fingers in the nose and spit flying as the laughter got louder and he stomped over towards the pair, intent on breaking the children apart when he heard it.

The Astorio mentioned paying for something.

Dracion whipped around, blade ringing as it leapt into his hand. He turned just in time to catch Victor launching the white haired girl like a rag doll across his Arena. Everything happened too quickly for his mortal reflexes―the exact reason why he put the Bordeleaux in charge of that group―but he could shut this down before it went any farther. Fucking Astorios.

A booming crack echoed through the Arena and every stone rod turned to sand as three massive slabs of stone whipped up from the Arena floor and slammed into Victor. The sand quickly followed, swarming the stone coffin and solidifying almost instantly before the Arena floor surged up and swallowed the trapped noble, dragging him down beneath the surface. The remaining sand settled into the resulting hole and harden, sealing the Astorio away. Dracion tapped on the ground with his blade, a grumbled, “Just ten feet more” accompanied by a slight rumbling beneath the ground as he shifted the Astorio further into the foundations.

“Medic!” Dracion barked as he sheathed his blade, marching over to Lilie and checking her for any visible breaks or cuts. A green robed mage, brown hair pulled back into a tight ponytail and worry clearly etched into her face, rushed over to Lilie. A familiar face looked down over the water mage, the mousy life mage from her Affinity class. Dracion, satisfied with his cursory inspection, stood and turned to the Arena. “Consendo.” He murmured with a tap to his throat and then his voice boomed across the Arena.

“Arena is closed until the end of class. Get yer butts outta here, now.” He barked, eyeing the students in the stands. Several red robed students stood in the stands and ushered others out of the stands. He tapped his throat again.

“Class is over. Ye are dismissed. Same time tomorrow.” Dracion snapped at the inexperienced group as his voice returned to normal, shooing them out with a wave of his hand. He turned his attention on the experienced mages, his expression softening. “Yer also dismissed once Aine here clears ye. And ye.” Dracion whirled on Lucan, furious again. “One warning, Bordeleaux. Yer not an idiot and ye ain’t slow. Ye shoulda seen that comin’ a mile away. The fact I approved the Princess’s request is simply because of that exact problem. Next time, ye’ll stop that crap if it happens. Any injury can be twisted against their Royal Highnesses and I’ll be damned and dead before I let that happen in my Arena. Wait for them to be cleared and you’ll escort them out. And then I’ll deal with this one.” He tapped his foot on the ground where he buried Victor.

Meanwhile, soft green light pulsed from Aine’s hands as she set to work over Lilie. It was warm and numbing, soothing away the pain as Aine hummed a soft lullaby. It was an unconscious trait; Aine was far more used to working in the infirmary where she would lull her patients into a deep sleep first and she found humming while working often helped get her patients where she needed them.

“Hello again.” Aine said cheerfully as the light seeped into Lilie’s skin. It whispered underneath the skin, pooling in her hip and in her shoulder as it eased away the aches. “Not the best circumstances but still nice to see you. Bit of a brute isn’t he? But you took that pretty well all things considered. Some swelling it feels like so you’ll be sore for the next few days at least. I’ll take care of the worst of it but can’t have you developing dependence on life magic. I’ll have something sent to your dorm from the infirmary for the pain. Swimming or a bath every night will help as well.” The light faded from Lilie and Aine gave a comforting pat on her arm. She looked up at Aaron next.

“I didn’t see what happened with your fight but let me check you over just in case.” She let her fingers settle on his wrist and that same light danced across his skin, sinking into his skin where Victor landed a punch and following his veins into his head and behind his eyes. The aching eased away under her ministrations but it faded much quicker.

“You’re a bit more used to this huh?” Aine commented as she stood, brushing her robes off. “I’m sure you know how to handle yourself but I’ll have a painkiller sent your way as well. Can’t use quite as much magic with you.” She gave him an apologetic smile. “But otherwise, you both check out fine! Nothing broken or missing so you’re free to go! If you have any issues though, you can always stop by the infirmary. One of us is always available for you.”
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