Due to personal reasons both RL and otherwise, and with Letter's Permission, I shall be temporarily skipping the CS process.
To be clear, this does NOT mean exempt from doing CSes nor that I'm not going to do them. It's more like I'm asking the GM for a Loan and paying him back with excellent CSes later on. I WILL do, complete, and post my CSes just as everyone else has, it's simply that right now I can't make them in time, and do not wish to stall the IC getting started on my account.
Nika Pešek was born an ordinary girl, or as ordinary a girl as one might find in Iliad City, where the rhythms of the Epic of Making echo as though it had been sung only minutes before. She found her start in life as the daughter of Pavel Pešek, a stoic, methodical crafter of armour, tools and weapons for the city’s elite – after all, no amount of industrial precision can improve upon the technical mastery, or ability to produce custom orders, of a mage-smith – and Atanasija Pešek, herself daughter of Pavel’s major supplier of raw materials with a finely honed business sense and a wicked sense of humour. Though a match primarily made for commercial reasons, the two found that they were not only a capable team but also emotionally complementary and quickly became a mutually reliant, perhaps some might even say loving, couple. Nika was thus born into a moderately wealthy household with two capable and affectionate parents. Things seemed to be looking up for her.
For the first years, they were. Nika learned to take in information, manipulate it and communicate it quickly, picking up reading and writing earlier than most children and extrapolating concepts that she hadn’t learned elsewhere from her previous knowledge; indeed, one of her earliest memories is Atanasija’s delight (and Pavel’s horror) at her having figured out the basic premise behind foreign exchange trading. As such, when her parents announced that they were having a second child, she took quite a bit of reassuring that she wouldn’t lose out on affection as a result.
In the end, though they did manage to convince her, it wouldn’t matter. For all the magic of the healers at the hospital and the advancements of modern medicine, Atanasija and her son died in childbirth when Nika was six.
Life carried on. Pavel’s work continued, even if he couldn’t negotiate such good prices for his pieces as his wife used to be able to and often found himself waking to a pillow wet with tears. Nika still did relatively well in school, even if her mind, whose keenness let her understand what had happened better than many of her age, became clouded. Forward they marched. That cloud, however brewed lightning. Nika’s grief quickly became determination. Her mother was gone – and thus she had to make up for her loss through effort; so went her child’s reasoning. For all her father saw this and first tried to quell this feigned strength born of pain, then to channel it safely by having her help him in the forge, it only grew more powerful and all-consuming within her as she aged.
Seeing that he had to do something, and also noticing her burgeoning magical ability, Pavel decided that it would be best to send Nika to one of Iliad City’s famous magical academies; there she might be able to find a place for herself, out of her mother’s shadow, he reasoned. Of the two, he decided to send her to Marduk; he had always liked the idea of the place more than Ishtar and, moreover, he felt that the sense of order there might be stabilising. Nika, of course, passed the entrance exam with flying colours and was thus enrolled at the Marduk Academy for the Mystic Arts at the age of twelve.
Unfortunately, two things stood in the way of Marduk being a good place for Nika. Firstly, though Nika’s style of thinking was primarily logical and systematic, like the one that Marduk espoused, that logic was incisive rather than constructive or stabilising. Where Marduk sought to impose rules for its students to follow, Nika tried to prove them flawed or circumvent them as she believed right; where Marduk laid out a system of magic for its students to rely upon, Nika sought to tweak and customise it for her own ends. She quickly became known as a maverick to the staff and a smart-alec to her peers, though she was at worst a bit prickly to those who actually got to know her.
Indeed, as a result of the second factor keeping her from aligning fully with Marduk, she didn’t have much focus left over to hurt anyone or engage in the school’s social landscape. Over the last few years, Nika’s goal had gradually shifted from filling the void that her mother had left in her and her father’s lives herself to simply bringing her mother back. She was a strong mage, after all, and stories abounded in this most storied of cities of strong mages challenging the dictates of fate and the natural order; why could she not do the same? Once she arrived at Marduk, she dived into the academy’s library, searching for ways in which that might be done. Necromancy Nika quickly dismissed; its abilities, she found, tended to be unpredictable, bringing about a facsimile of life as often as real life from beyond death. She would not risk her mother for that; she needed something predictable and consistent. Thus Nika turned to chronomancy; she borrowed some books on the subject, read them cover to cover and began to practice.
Now, chronomancy is a stable magic, bound to some of the simplest rules of the universe, but it is also a highly dangerous one. Nearly every book Nika borrowed was filled with warnings and cautionary tales of mages freezing themselves in time only to be unable to think and thereby loose the spell or people being pushed into the wall of a slowed zone and being shredded into chunks as individual parts of their body sped up going through to the other side. For this reason, Marduk itself only typically teaches chronomancy as a subject in students’ final years and only then to those who have excelled elsewhere and are of a cautious, considered disposition, for they, in the staff’s opinion, are most able to approach it successfully.
Nika? If it was dangerous for her to use it on people, she reasoned, she’d just do so with objects instead. That’s what she’d been doing for most of her life, after all.
Taking a dozen books on chronomancy out of the school library over the course of a term would have obviously raised some alarm bells with the librarians anyway but the school really took notice when Nika began using her new magic in her practical Elemental Magic classes, hastening the velocity of her projectiles to a degree that became suspicious to her teacher in the subject. Of course, when he asked her, she told him exactly what she was doing; there wasn’t any sense in hiding what wasn’t wrong in her eyes. This gave him sufficient cause to raise it with the remainder of the staff and, before long, Nika found herself embroiled in something that wasn’t quite a disciplinary process, given that this wasn’t against the rules, per se. The school, meanwhile, was left with the problem that Nika had apparently been skilful enough to use chronomancy on her own and would undoubtedly carry on using it, potentially endangering herself and others, but to let her do so publicly might be seen as condoning it generally and cause the rest of the student body to plunge headfirst into the discipline.
The solution that they came up with was to prohibit Nika from using her chronomantic spells in her regular school life until she was able to take chronomancy as a regular class but to assign her private tutoring with the specialist teacher who taught it as a subject, one Doctor Hannah Baumann, up to that point alongside it. Irritated but with little choice in the matter, Nika complied – at school; when she was at home she continued her practice – and started attending the sessions. These became the major reason that she stayed at Marduk. For all that she chafed at the school’s more structuralist tendencies, Dr Baumann, a patient, analytical and empathetic soul, in line with the archetype of most chronomancers, had a disposition that was perfect for focussing Nika’s passion. It was she who, deconstructing Nika’s understanding of chronomancy, tailored their private lessons to expanding that ability to its fullest; she, alongside Nika herself, is responsible for guiding her to alter her frame of reference to move objects in space by moving them backwards and forwards in time. The two have developed a close bond over the years, one that they retained even after Nika joined her class properly a few years later; from the outside looking in, one might even regard her as a mother figure.
Nika would be horrified at this perception. She hasn’t forgotten her original goal, not in the slightest, and, even as darkness begins to suffuse Iliad City, it remains her foremost objective. Now eighteen, only a few months from graduating, she believes that she has all the power and prowess that she needs to return Atanasija Pešek to her life. The long wait, years of lost connection, could be over, if only she can end them.
It’s time to see if she’s up to the task.
- Forge Adept: Nika spent much of her life with her father, watching him ply his trade as well as helping out in various places and, increasingly, moulding the iron herself. Though she was around his forge less and less as she grew up and attended the academy, she’s still a capable mage-smith with the understanding necessary to craft tools and weapons, though, unlike her father, she is less capable of producing high-quality armour.
- Chase-Cutting Mind: Nika rarely takes the difficult path, not because it is difficult but because it tends to be slow. This sometimes means following in others’ footsteps and putting in little effort of her own but, as a dynamic thinker, if she feels that current solutions aren’t superior to what she can come up with herself, she’ll take the latter and damn the consequences. This combination of apparent laziness and maverick puts her somewhat at odds with the traditionalist factions of the Marduk Academy but gets her the results she wants quickly and occasionally in places that others could not.
- Revert: Nika is capable of moving an object, objects that once were an object or several objects conceptualised either as one or a collection of objects, other than herself, backwards or forwards in time up to the first or last point that she interacted with it/them. She may not do so to other sapient beings unless they are willing or unconscious. Once this process begins, she may not chronomantically influence anything else until she halts it and lets time resume for the objects in question.
- Recall: By changing the frame of reference within with she uses her reversion, Nika can cause something to move backwards or forwards in time spatially relative to other things, effectively allowing her limited control over their spatial position, with all the limitations of her usual reversion. Nika’s signature ability, this allows her to do such things as summon things of importance to her person and perform tricks not dissimilar to those of a telekinetic.
- Magic Infusion: Nika has an excellent grasp of basic enhancement magic to change a material’s properties like weight and strength, as might be expected from a mage-smith’s daughter, and is fairly skilled at transmutation, changing an object’s fundamental nature. She is far more capable in altering inanimate objects in these ways as opposed to living matter; moreover, doing so takes more energy, focus and time the more complex the alteration or larger or more complex the object being altered is.
- Disintegrate: By lowering a material’s ability to resist stress to close to nothing, Nika is able to cause a small object to crumble to a powder, an ability she learned from her father as a necessity for creating alloys. Doing so takes more energy, focus and time the larger or more chemically complex the object is.
- Spell Infusion: Nika is able to place spells into objects, either for one-time use or indefinite reactivation (with more energy, focus and time) by either herself alone or anyone. She can do this with her own spells or, with their help, can infuse objects with the spells of someone else according to her own design. Should the spell have a cost in energy, this is drawn from the original caster of the spell upon the item’s activation.
- Temperature Manipulation: Nika has been able to magically heat and cool materials from an early age – taught it by her father, given its crucial role for a mage-smith – and, like her father, is particularly good at raising small and mid-sized objects to very hot temperatures. Naturally, Nika was a little smug at being already adept with this in her early years at Marduk while her classmates were still studying the less advanced pyromantic magics.
- Metal Manipulation: Nika is able to telekinetically move and reshape small amounts of metal with a heightened level of precision, again taught by her father as a vital aspect of mage-smithing. Given that she was taught to do so with heated metal and rarely uses the skill outside the forge, she finds reshaping non-molten metals more difficult than a mage of her ability otherwise would.
- Elemental Generalism: Though she prefers the versatility of channelling and refocussing the magic of others into objects to supplement her own spellcasting ability, Nika did go through the basic Elemental Magic courses at Marduk and is thus able to summon and project small amounts of fire, summon and manipulate small amounts of water, manipulate small amounts of air, manipulate small amounts of rock or earth and summon small amounts of light.
Nika has infused several items with magic and spells and stored them in the basement of her house. By recalling them through time with herself (or her gauntlet) as the frame of reference, she can summon them to her person, use them as she wishes, then return them to storage.
- Receptor Gauntlet: A somewhat crude gauntlet, made largely of steel enchanted for lightness and strength and padded with linen, with four midsized tubes built into the outer structure; each has an lip attached to an end that unscrews from its tube. Internally, a chain connects each finger to a lever within each tube, enabling the activation of non-magical mechanisms. Nika has forged this to act as a framework for use of several of her infused items; by placing them within the tubes, storing them and then moving them backwards through time using the gauntlet as the frame of reference, she can summon them for immediate use without having to worry about accidentally getting them stuck inside an errant limb.
- Blasting Pipes: Steel tubes enchanted for lightness and strength, each containing a unique firing mechanism activated by its internal lever, pre-loaded with a single round/material and rifled where it is useful. After activation, Nika may revert the pipe and round to their original state, ready to fire again.
-Wax Rounds (4): Shoots small arms bullets made of wax; intended to subdue.
- Standard Rounds (4): Shoots regular small arms bullets secretly acquired from her father’s stock; for potential future lethal engagements.
- Fire Siphon (1): Uses an infused water spell to displace a naptha-based fuel through a nozzle. A small flame is generated in front of the nozzle when Nika activates the non-magical trigger, allowing her to use it as a flamethrower; if not, she may simply spray the fuel and ignite it with her fire magic.
- Switch-Sword (1): Takes up the two central tubes for purposes of stability and consists of a thin box of steel, infused for lightness and strength, mounted above them. An infused water spell may generate water to extend what is effectively a shortened estoc blade, infused for lightness and strength and used primarily for stabbing.
- Regenerating Shield (1): This takes up the two central tubes for purposes of stability and is mid-sized, flat and circular. Made of a single sheet of steel, it would likely be too heavy for Nika to use effectively were it not infused for lightness, as well as for strength; it is also infused with a chronomantic spell that slowly reverts damage done to it upon activation by its user.
- Manipulator Arms (4): A simple arm-like construct with a claw at the end, made of steel infused for lightness and strength. Nika uses these to help her work on her various projects, as well as to practice either her fine chronomancy or non-molten metal manipulation.
- Self-Repairing Truncheon: A simple cudgel made of oak infused for strength, infused with a chronomantic spell that automatically reverts damage done to it.
- Chronomagnetic Generator: A fist-sized mechanism that uses a combination of a solenoid, a magnet and infused chronomantic magic to generate electricity at a rate desired by the user. Nika created this as a project for her practical chronomancy class and, though it isn’t especially better than just using a battery, she has kept it for sentimental reasons.
- Blasting Pipes:
- Stun-Strike Wire (1): Launches a wire infused with electromantic magic provided by another mage; used to stun.
- Lifeguard Amulet: An amulet worn on the body. Should its wearer be close to death, the amulet drains the remaining energy from them. After a few minutes, it generates a protective layer of water, lifts them into the air so as to get them clear of obstacles and then reverts them to a few minutes prior to their death. The amulet at this point breaks from the strain, which also alerts the wearer to what has happened.
- Self-Repairing Armour: Armour infused with a chronomantic spell that slowly reverts damage done to it upon activation by its user.
Personality: Nika never quite got over her grief for her mother’s passing; somewhere in her heart it still burns, flaring up every so often to remind her of the absence. This she treats as motivation; for this reason she is a profoundly determined young woman, used to self-sacrifice and putting off immediate pleasures for longer-term goals. She is also perhaps a little conceited and overly trusting in her own capabilities. These factors mean that she has few friends; to those she trusts, however, she is loyal and demands their loyalty in return. Most of all, though, she is quick-minded, never failing to take an option that others would consider ‘easy’ if she believes it wouldn’t be a detriment to herself and then squeezing it dry for every single benefit she possibly can (though Dr Baumann has managed to ease her towards rating long-term gains and forward planning a little more highly) and, in the same vein, cutting through pre-existing thought if she believes that she’s found a better way. She’ll make it work. She always has.
Faction: Marduk by schooling, though her philosophy is far less one of structure for order’s sake than structure (imposed by others or herself) for convenience’s sake.
Age: She lost track nearly 1,500 years ago but certainly more than that.
Bio: Back before mankind was doing anything as complicated as living in caves and struggling to make tools out of sharp rocks and sticks the woman who would come to be known as Coyote was already old. A Custodian and proud of it, and why wouldn't she be? Her kind was brought into existence as the embodiment of perfection, already at the height of their abilities unlike lesser creatures who had to dig themselves out of the primordial soup with their newly grown legs. But she didn't complain, kept her opinions on lesser beings to herself.
But when the Custodians were cast down she felt utterly betrayed. She had stayed neutral in the conflict and the One still cast her out. Clearly he hadn’t wanted her so she’d wreak havoc on his favorite creations. And for a while she did, turning people against the One and hunting down descendants of the Poet. And she was damn good at it too, quickly learning that speed and aggression could trump magic when properly applied. But without any reliable way to contact other Custodians she was completely alone, nearly going insane from years spent in the wilderness. A hard blow to the skull from a dying Descendant put things in perspective for her: either keep doing as she was and get killed within 10,000 years or settle down into a quieter life.
So after a few centuries she integrated herself into human life, moving around from place to place every few decades and explaining away her youthful appearance as a side effect of her magic. She even started a family. And another, and another. Because even though she was a Custodian, her spouses and children weren’t. So eventually they all died of disease or old age and she stayed the same, becoming more and more bitter each time. By roughly the tenth family she made a rule for herself: no more attachments to things that live less than her.
And so she started to wander again, the head wound she had sustained caused her to lose chunks of her memories. At some point she realized that she had forgotten her own name, adopting Coyote as a moniker out of respect for their tenacity. And so she continued on, working as a mercenary and hunting all sorts of mundane and magical beasts and moving on in search of the next contract. For the time being she’s settled into the city of Illiad to pose as a student of Marduk and wait until something better comes along.
Mundane Skills: Thousands upon thousands of years of relying on no one but herself has made Coyote very self-sufficient. Her skill with firearms with firearms and vehicles of all kinds is superhuman, at levels obtainable only through eons of practice. She is a skilled alchemist and machinist, modifying her gear and crafting different types of ammo for different types of targets,and has a penchant for explosives.
Of course like any good gunslinger she plays the guitar and harmonica, filling lonely nights on the range with haunting music.
Powers: Enhanced Senses- When she focuses Coyote can hear a man's heartbeat a room away, count the thread on a man's shirt and smell blood from two miles away (assuming the conditions are right). Useful for tracking quarry and seeing through illusions but used sparingly to avoid sensory overload.
Super-Speed- Good luck getting the draw on her. Coyote can move at about the speed of sound when running and reach up to Mach 2 when all out sprinting. Certainly faster than her bike but also much more taxing to do. Using this ability for any extended period of time necessitates her to eat about half her weight to fuel the boost in metabolism.
Enhanced Durability- If she can't dodge the hit she can probably take it. To keep her from shattering all of her bones as soon as she sprints her body is naturally as durable as high tensile steel, immune to bullets and melee weapons.
Equipment :Migrator- Because horses are impractical. Tough enough that it rarely breaks down and simple enough for her to fix when it does the Monster Scout is fast, maneuverable, and dependable.
Wife and Mother- A pair of matched pistols that were a gift from someone very important to her who she can no longer really remember. Named such to remind herself to never be those things again.
Apostasy- Named back when Coyote was using it to actively fight against the One's interests, this rifle is equally good at killing beasts and Descendants. Of course it hasn't been used for the latter in a very long time.
Savagry- Named for what it does best. Also serves as a good can opener, woodcutter and mirror when properly polished.
Tinker's Tools and Reloading Bench- Usually kept in her home for when she needs to make repairs or brew up more ammo and explosives.
The Essentials- Harmonica, guitar, hip flask, cigars and a lighter. The only things worth living for.
Personality: Coyote can described as somewhat aloof at the best of times and outright aggressive and hateful at the worst. Simply by nature of being human people are beneath her approval and have to work hard to meet it. Respect is met with curt cordiality, disrespect is returned tenfold. It's not unheard of for her to challenge repeat offenders to duels, nearly always to the death. If you need something from her it would be in your interest to just spit it out and avoid beating around the bush, time wasters are not high on the list of people she appreciates. Despite this she's often late to events that she doesn't find important or interesting, a side effect of her tortuously long life. After who knows how many thousands of years time frames mean little to her.
Custodian chauvinism used to play a part in her treatment of humans but now its more of a defense mechanism. After watching so many friends, spouses and children die of sickness and old age and fade from her memory she's made it a personal rule to never grow attached to anything that lives less than she does. And the best way to ensure that never happens is by making it so that no one ever wants to ask questions she can't or won't answer, like what her real name is or where she's from. All she needs in her life are her guns and a steady source of income from mercenary work to fuel her drinking and smoking needs.
Her relationship with other Custodians is fraught with difficulties as well. She sympathizes with other “traitors” having been one herself and thinks of Repentants as little more than sniveling sycophants desperately trying to curry the favor of the One who abandoned them in favor of a lesser race. The One is the real traitor in her eyes and his servants are not held in high esteem, for now at least.
Coyote feels immense pride in her achievements and abilities, decorating her apartment with trophies from various hunts and always eager to show off her skills. There's nothing she likes more than demonstrating just how fast, accurate and hard to hurt she is when there's money on the line.
Faction (Marduk, Ishtar, or Cassandra Club when it's founded): Marduk Are you a Descendant of the Illuminated Poet?: No Important Relations: -Kane, Micah and Rachel Helegast (Husband, Son, Daughter, all dead) - ??? Makre, Jason Makre (Husband and Son, both dead) -Kotori Flatcreek (Girlfriend, dead) -Eyo-Zeki (Adopted son, dead) -Marcus ???, ???, ??? (Husband and two children, dead) - Mihek (Concubine/Bodyguard, dead) -Vudir, Walthred, ??? (Husband, wife, husband or wife, all dead) -??? (Boyfriend, dead)
Bio: Samuel Safford - born June 21st, 3002 AIP - was born son of Isabella Safford and Arthur Safford, and fraternal twin-brother of Lyla Safford.
The Safford family was and is a predominantly working-class one, the twins' father being a professor at Marduk Academy for The Mystic Arts, which both the children now attend, and their mother having been a city politician. Despite their rather busy professions, both parents were very loving to Samuel and Lyla as they grew up, and made enough time between the two of them to afford plenty of quality time with their children. They had a cushioned life growing up - having two loving parents who earned enough income to support the four of them comfortably. Unfortunately, good things rarely last forever.
At the unripe age of twelve, the twins found themselves, along with their father, the victims of theft. The theft of their mother's life. In recent weeks before her death, Isabella Safford had gained significant ground on her political adversaries, surpassing the small gap between them and then creating her own, more substantial one, as she took the lead in the debates. However, some individuals had an inhumane greed for wealth and power - a greed that spurred them to perform sick deeds one could not hope to prepare for. A mere week before the end of the debates an organization known as The Blackbird, as expected by the public, assassinated Isabella in cold blood - in order to push their candidate into the lead. As you might expect, this effected the family tremendously.
As they began to grow older, they saw discernible change in their father. Soon enough, he was exhaustively overprotective of the twins - never wanting to take his eyes off of them. Likely out of a fear that he would lose them, too. However, he was not the only one who changed. The twins changed too. They grew closer, using each other as a mutual crutch. It was all they could do to cope. Not that you could say they'd coped.
For Samuel, it was difficult not to be mad. Really difficult. Difficult not to be mad at himself - mad at politics - mad at so many things. As he reached the latter half of the teen years, one could say that his anger consumed him. But, there was always only one thing that could pierce the all-enveloping, searing storm of fire that was his rage towards circumstance - and that one thing was Lyla.
During these later teen years, in which the twins attended Marduk academy, Lyla was the only spark of peace in his mind. She could calm him, comfort him - make him feel loved. And he would not let something like that be taken from him again. Now, Samuel is savagely protective of his sister, and performs exceedingly well at Marduk Academy - though requiring a bit of a tougher focus on technique than others, as his inherent anger issues tend to cloud his vision. But he takes the training, all in the hopes that he can repel anybody from harming him or his sister ever again. And maybe eventually.. get some sort of revenge.
Magic: Samuel's magic draws heavily from the Marduk Academy Elemental specialization - especially Earth and Light based utilization. He bases his magical learning, for personal reasons, around a crystalline theme - using Earth magic to create crystals and shift the earth, and Light magic as support.
Earth Magic - Samuel has great control over the Earth around him, using its tough exterior to batter his opponents into submission, or to protect himself while he takes that matter on with his bare knuckles. Not only does he utilize the many rocks and minerals of the planet's body, he fixates especially upon crystals. While crystals are more fragile than rocks, they can be much harder, and as such, can deflect more powerful attacks if they possess substantial mass or are backed by something less brittle. He has never stated why he fixates on crystals in his magic style, but his sister suspects it is because of a gift he still has from his mother which holds a crystal within.
Earth Manipulation - Samuel can shift the dirt, rock, and minerals under his very feet, being able to move them at will to almost anywhere within his line of sight. He can wrench a wall of hard stone straight from the ground, extend a jagged pillar from the face of a concrete wall, or even punch straight through a cinder block with no harm to his hand, if he so wished.
Stoneskin - Samuel is able to shift a portion of his body into a variety of minerals(not exclusively stone). He can apply this to a portion roughly the size of his torso - and the changed portion will adopt all properties of the material, as well as gain significant strength, due to his muscles changing and having much greater solidity.
Overwhelming Pressure - This is seemingly the only magic that Samuel has no control over. Often having to tweak the pressures within a object in order to create crystals, manipulating pressure is something he is more than capable of - however, he has only learned to enhance pressure through the usage of the properties of the earth - and can't do so purposely outside of that. However, Samuel's rage is a vicious fuel that can unlock capabilities he may not be able to manipulate himself. When he becomes incoherently enraged, a wide area around him has its general level of pressure enhanced - harming both friend and foe alike. Those effected by this pressure will find themselves lightheaded, quite physically uncomfortable, and feeling a bit less in control of their own locomotion. Staying within the radius, which spans about fifteen feet, for a while longer will find those affected unconscious.
Crystalline Battery - Amongst the mineral mines exclusive to Iliad City lies a special crystal called Magicite. Samuel, upon discovering this crystal in his studies, has taken a particular interest in it - and has come to use it to great effect in his learning at the Academy. He often can sprout these crystals from his skin(painfully) during battle, and use their passive absorption effect to slowly gain the upper hand - using the stored energy to persevere despite fatigue. Additionally, he can expend the stored energy to bring greater might to his other techniques, allowing him control over larger sections of earth or greater quantities of light. The extra magical energy could eventually allow him ease in even more techniques beyond Earth and Light, were he to study some in the future..
Light Magic - Light Elemental magic is the more supportive side of Samuel's style, and is a small but important part of his learning. He chose Light magic due to its relationship with crystals - able of being modified or enhanced by the mineral.
Flashbang - Samuel amasses a ball of light that explodes upon contact, showering everything within line of sight in blindingly sharp light, causing everyone effected to stagger for several moments before being able to recover their vision.
CrystaLight Lenses - Alongside a fine crystal lens, Samuel's Light magic is capable of granting him an array of sight spectrums, the most noteworthy being infrared, and several other functions. Alongside rarely-utilized magnification capabilities, it also provides him protection from his own flashbangs.
Pressure Manipulation Magnetism Manipulation
Personality: Samuel is what one might call...volatile. He generally appears to be a somewhat reserved person - and one could surmise he is so because he generally does not hold much interest in others. Those who do happen to find themselves in his company would probably be right in calling him the grumpy sort. Just a tad bit rough around the edges.
When it comes to matters of interests or hobbies, Samuel holds few. But the few he does hold are profound - those being his Magical studies as well as MMA(Mixed Martial Arts), naturally. While he does enjoy these things to a degree, he doesn't show that in the way other people do - he's more progress oriented. He expresses his interest in a hobby by working at it vigorously, and using his anger to make himself better at it. Which you may imagine, doesn't work for very many hobbies.
Despite his usual demeanor, there is - as aforementioned - a way to break through his shell. That way would be his sister. He has yet to find himself so consumed by anger that she has been unable to reach him, as he's always held a soft sport for Lyla - and even moreso in the past few years.
Are you a Descendant of the Illuminated Poet?: No.
Bio: Zane's life has been a constant battle to prove the universe wrong. A youth from a lower class family with no connection to the Illuminated Poet, it was preordained that he would never be anything more than a hedgemage. Especially when it turned out his affinity was for the incredibly self destuctive Gravity Magic.
Instead, he decided to say 'fuck the world' and force the unruly magic to work for him. Using his free time, he delved into runecraft and artefact creation, finishing the first version of the Book of Solomon at the age of 12... and simultaneously breaking every bone in his left arm when he tested it. Due to his lack of formal training, he forgot to account for magical bleedthrough, causing his appearace to shift the more he used the artefact to aid his magic. By the time he corrected it, he was stuck with glowing eyes and pale skin.
Deciding to embrace the look of an evil mage, he decided to join up with Ishtar Academy. Not really one for politics, he does enjoy tweaking the nose of authority figures and was among the first from Ishtar to join up with the Cassandra Club.
Mundane Skills: Through his attempts to get Gravity Magic, he has become at least journeyman level in Medicine, Runecrafting, and, strangely enough, Programming. On a more combatative side he has trained in unarmed combat and staff fighting.
Magic: Artefact Creation, a subject Zane has delved into out of neccessity. So far he has made the Book of Solomon, a personal computing device, and his Pocket of Holding which is sewn into his favourite jacket. The Book of Solomon gets constantly upgraded, a requirement for him to delve deeper into his passion.
Gravity Manipulation, a heavily underused branch of magic due to the inherent danger to the user. Zane 'cheats' by using his Book of Solomon to calculate the hundreds of variables when it comes to changing the power of gravity. He has no real spells for this discipline, though he has created a few techniques he regularly uses. -Domination: increases the gravity of a target until their own weight is too heavy for them to move. Useful against multiple opponents, though requires heavy concentration, particularly against those with magical training. -Moonwalk: by shifting his personal gravity, and that of the air underfoot, he can appear to walk on air. -Eldritch Blast: using a gravity well, he channels air into a wave of force to strike at his opponent.
Personality: Zane appears nihilistic with a dash of sadism to most people. Admittedly the sadism is a part of his personality (Anyone with the ability to make people faceplant at will has a bit of a sadistic streak) but it his evil nature is actually just a mask. Underneath his persona, he is actually a scatterbrained scholar with a love of puns. He isn't insanely trusting, but builds up friendship quickly. Most of his free time is spent either tinkering with creating artefacts or researching. He tends to get absorbed in this to the extent he forgets about trival things like food or sleep.
Appearance: Kai is 5'4, flat chested as they come, and barely has a figure. Her voice is husky. She's often mistaken as a boy and she doesn't bother to correct people, because she doesn't care. The outfit she hand-stitched herself. Her fingers are calloused from sewing.
Bio: Nikaiel was born to a single father, Kyth Nazareti. On the outside they seemed normal, but the Nazareti home wasn't a happy one. Kyth didn't know the first thing about raising a child, much how to emote, so he didn't. He treated Nikaiel like she was something he owned and expected her to do what he said when he said it. Anytime she didn't he'd beat her into compliance, then she'd fall in line. Kyth was a simple shoemaker that eventually rose to fame for his skill and creativity. He had a specific elite clientele he made one of a kind shoes for.
Out of the lower middle class and into the upper echelons of society. Nikaiel didn't get to enjoy it though. Kyth said she didn't deserve rewards for accomplishing nothing, so she got the most basic he could buy. As long as her clothes fit and she was fed that was enough for her to survive in his eyes, even though her bed wasn't comfortable, her clothing was itchy, and her meals were bland. If she wanted a change Nikaiel had to do it herself. She learned to cook, assisted in shoe-making to earn little rewards, learned to make clothing that was more comfortable, and did well in school. She wasn't the useless burden her father thought she was.
On the weekends he'd have friends over for card games, friends that weren't rich. Nikaiel tried to appeal herself to his friends by waiting on them during the game, would put on pretty smiles and act like the vapid girls in schools, but Kyth found her annoying at best. So he banned her from his social events and she'd stay out of the way. She'd traverse around the city, hang out in the allies, people watch, learn behaviors she found just as foreign as her father. Once she watched a cat eat a mouse and became intrigued on the what the insides of animals looked like, so she caught one, killed it, cut it up, and played with its guts. After awhile she rented books on animal anatomy and compared what she read to what she saw when she dissected them.
In school she manipulated her way into friendships. She recognized weaknesses and exploited them to get what she wanted. When she was done with them she threw them away and moved onto the next sad sap that fell for her deceit.
When she became old enough to attend Ishtar, shoe-making took a back burner and developing her magic became the main priority. Kyth wanted her to go to Ishtar, said she'd learn more if she could use her imagination rather than punch first and ask questions later. Under Ishtar's guidance she killed her first person. It awoke a darker intrigue she didn't realize she had. Animals didn't cut it anymore. Studying human insides where more appealing, so she rented books on human anatomy and studied. Lately she's been having second thoughts on if Ishtar is where she's meant to be. Professor Nergal's been preaching about peace in the city. Peace means no more assassinations and she can't life in a world where she doesn't get her frequent fix.
Mundane Skills: Shoe-making, Sewing, Torture, Knows human and animal anatomy
Magic: Shadow Pushing - Kai can separate her shadow from herself and the shadow can move anything that has a shadow. If she's trying to lift something heavy. The shadow lifts the object and the object lifts off the ground. She can't control people's shadows, but she attack them with weapons and deal damage. Whatever happens to the shadow happens to the person. I.e. If she has a bat, the shadow can hit someone else with the shadow of the bat and the person is effected as though Kai hit them herself. She can see through her shadow in the shadow world. Whatever it sees she sees.
Electricity Syphon - She can use electricity to recharge like a battery. Electrical outlets and lightning mages attacks give her enough energy to go 48 hours without sleep and have the stamina to do strenuous activity. Once it wears off she crashes hard unless she syphons more. She can use regular lightning attacks, but that'll drain her. Drain = regular human on 7-9 hours of sleep.
PSA: Don't touch her when she's charged unless you're wearing rubber soles or standing on an insulator. She's the equivalent to sticking your finger in a socket.
Personality: Kai doesn't feel guilt, she doesn't have a conscious, emotions don't make sense to her, she's good at faking shallow emotions, but deeper ones such as love are hard to grasp. She's loyal like her father who still hangs out with his poor friends. When she finds something interesting she does whatever she can to learn about it. She's intelligent, meticulous, and logical.
Faction (Marduk, Ishtar, or Cassandra): Ishtar
Are you a Descendant of the Illuminated Poet?: Yes
Bio: Zephel doesn't remember his parents, growing up instead with memories of a cozy little orphanage in the countryside. During his youth, he was extremely timid, often shying away from the other children. The only exception to this was his older brother, Notul. Friendly, brave and outgoing, Notul was the polar opposite of his brother in almost every way, and with an extra six years on the younger boy, he regularly attempted to help Zephel get over his shyness. No matter what Zephel would do or say, Notul never gave up on him, simply smiling that same, confident grin all the while. The only thing that ever made his smile falter was when Zephel asked what happened to their parents. When this happened, the reaction was always the same.
"They died in a fire."
And with that the conversation would be over.
Of course, Zephel all but worshiped his brother as a hero, a sentiment which was shared by many of the other younger orphans. It was only his refusal to elaborate on the tale of their parents death which caused anything approaching scrutiny. Still, it was relatively minor compared to his adoration, so he was content to accept that the lack of explanation wasn't really a concern. It wasn't until he was eleven years old that he would discover the truth.
Notul had taken him and a few of the other children to a nearby forest, where he hoped to scrounge together a few mushrooms or something similar to give to the orphanage's matron for their dinner that night. This had been a regular occurrence in the past, so they were sure that it was safe. After all, why wouldn't it be? This time however, they were surprised to discover that a pair of rather unsavory characters had taken up residence in the forest. Upon noticing the group, the brigands decided they could capture them and either ransom them or sell them as slaves. Notul, as always, quickly jumped to their defense. However, not only was he younger than the pair, he was also far more inexperienced in an actual fight, so it was only natural that he was quickly defeated and immobilized, despite his continued struggles to get back up and continue the fight.
Zephel, on the other hand, felt something... strange... He could identify one of the combination of emotions currently fighting for dominance as fear, certainly, but there was something else, something equally unpleasant. All he could think was that he wanted his brother to safe, and for the bandits tying him up to just... just disappear... Before he even fully understood the feeling drifting through his mind, he pictured the bandits being engulfed by flames. And then they were, and before long, so were the trees around them. Not understanding what was going on, Zephel quickly ran and used one of the bandits knives to cut Notul's bindings, and Notul quickly began to help the other children find a path to escape the quickly spreading forest fire. However, mere moments away from safety, Zephel felt himself get pushed to the ground followed by a loud crash, and rolled over to see his brother pinned beneath a large burning branch. He went to try and help him escape, but was stopped by his brothers shouting. He could only stand there, sobbing as Notul told him not to let this break him, and to use his powers to become someone he could be proud of. And then he was being dragged out of the forest again by the other children, and it took him a moment to register that he was actually fighting against it. Notul was going to die, and he couldn't let that happen. But at the same time, he was desperately doing whatever he could to keep the fire that had risen with his anger from reemerging, and therefore his efforts were barely strong enough to give his companions trouble.
From that day onward, Zephel swore he would never let something like that happen again. It didn't take a genius to connect the circumstances between Notul's death and that of his parents, so he would do whatever it took to learn to control his fire magic. Not only that, but he would use it to help others, just as his brother did. He would become to the whole world what his brother had been to him. A man who Notul and his parents could look down on from the afterlife with pride. A man who would never back down or fall back when others needed him.
Magic: Enhancement: Zephel can use enhancement to reinforce his own body. This allows him to increase the durability of his body immensely, as well as enhance his already impressive strength and speed. Use of this magic is absolutely necessary to the way he fights, otherwise he would likely have been left crippled long ago.
FIRE For Zephel, fire is his go to when it comes to (please god forgive me) firepower. Unfortunately, as it gets further from his body, it becomes significantly harder to control, which has led to many accidents in the past. For this reason, he mainly keeps his flames close to his body, using it in conjunction with enhancement magic to become a monster in close quarters combat. He also uses it to great effect in enhancing his mobility, using small bursts and jets of flame to greatly increase his running speed and propel him off the ground. One day he hopes for this to translate into proper flight, but for now he's content with his jump jets.
Familiar summoning, and promptly melding said familiars with himself temporarily. STRONGER FIRE MAGIC.
Personality: Zephel's flames are fueled by boiling blood, a burning soul, and a promise he will never allow to be broken, all of which demand that as long as he believes the task at hand is the right thing to do, he must put his absolute all into it. No matter the task, regardless of how simple or difficult it may be, he will keep pushing forwards. To take a step back is to give up, and to give up is to subject another to whatever he failed at. As someone who wants to become a hero who can protect the weak, he can never let that happen. After all, if he lets himself back down from something small, who's to say he won't get pushed back when it's most important? He is also extremely confident, if only because he needs to convince himself that he can do whatever he needs to to succeed.
Of course, that's not to say he doesn't have his own private moments of introspection, silent and alone so no one can see how he waivers, or how the pressure he places upon himself to succeed truly weighs upon him. In public, he will always grin and bear it, no matter how afraid he may be, but he fears he may never truly banish the remnants of the easily frightened boy he once was.
Also, despite his past, over time he truly has come to love an appreciate the thrill of the fight, especially against those who are significantly stronger than him.
Faction (Marduk, Ishtar, or Cassandra Club when it's founded): Ishtar, later Cassandra Club
Are you a Descendant of the Illuminated Poet?: Nah