Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Zuko
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Zuko Honorable

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Flashback
Gwen was relieved that Luke was fine and moved on to the ship. Word of mouth spread fast as the guild heard of the Obsidian Kite Guild — "Obsidian Kite? Never heard of that. I do play My Craft and Kite Surfing as a child though!

Whatever guild that was and for sure they might have significant role in the future days to come as she thought. Gwen's not the type to take her vibe out of unheard guilds especially when her own guild received recognition. Astoria caught up to Ria and obviously had the audacity to make up for her crap earlier. Gwen smiled sincerely at her sister for showing a caring heart but not without a slow cold burn.

Reminiscing the good old days of their childhood up to the present — training physically was something her sister lacked and mostly avoided. As children, they fought competitively under their father's will and it wasn't a very good memory to remember because it was painful, at least on a certain point of view. She remembered how out of demonstration by their father's machinations — Gwen was forced to fight Ria rather to toughen her.

Gwen patted her sister's back to get her attention.

"How bold of you to say that, don't worry about Lavinia. I had her wrapped under my fingers, hence, she kicked that guy's poor balls..would be sadistically funnier if his descendants cried out of being wiped out of existence!

These words were soon to echo anytime...
Training? I say it again. That's so not you. If you really are keen on training , strip for me and kneel down.

Present
The once desolated Guildhall became lively ever since the Dragon skirmish at Era rather in Gwen's point of view — Demon skirmish, a day of humiliated pride that she don't wanna remember. To her dismay, Gwen gained fanatics that aren't particular about her magic but her stripping habit — accidentally earning creepy fanboys, cracking her up and dismissing them left and right with a cold shoulder. If only Gwen dealt the demon herself and not the S Class taking all the credit then things would have been so different, these people would be in admiration of her power, not her looks.

Walking around her birthday-suit in the Guildhall wasn't helping the crazy fanatics and herself either. "I said shut the F up and quit following me! Says the insensitive ice harlot who fueled them with tempting suggestions. She started to question herself; Why do I always get the weird and retarded ones? Metaphorically speaking, Gwen nuked her unwanted suitors, stalkers, and fandom with hate but they loved it, she reacted sad and desperate to be known for her power.

She suddenly felt like she's being harassed. "You masochistic fools! If I get followed and if you all touch me and have any shit in your mind on me, I will kill you and all of your relatives and have Lavinia castrate all of you and make sure you regret being born! Get Lost!

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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by datadogie
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datadogie Cloak and Dagger

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The Guild was definitely different than what it had been a few weeks prior. It was a startling change for Holly, who had subconsciously become used to the relative quiet of the Guild's daily operations, and to the small group of people that she knew as friends. Now, there were people in the Guild that she didn't know at all and would most likely not meet for a long time, but almost all of those people knew her. It was odd to be recognised within the Guild by people that she didn't even know, but she knew she would grow used to it. Holly was smart enough to know that the hype would die down eventually, and things would become stable once more - but definitely not go back to the way they were before.

Holly had stopped peeking out of her window in the mornings. Even though it was on the second floor, she didn't feel secure enough to even put a hint of her face at the window in case a reporter was waiting. Most of her second floor windows remained closed with the exception of a few outliers, meanwhile her ground floor windows remained just as closed as they always were. Now, it was only when she made her way out into the garden in her armour that she could stand for a moment and enjoy the sight of the flower bush that she had put so much care into growing. She had to ignore some of her fans, who were waiting and watching, but she had managed to grow used to that part, at least.

Walking the streets to the Guild Hall was certainly different, too, because now it wasn't just the shop owners along her path that knew her (though now they knew of her in a little better capacity), but those that she passed in the street also gave her more of a look that they had a few weeks prior. She was happy that Fenixtear actually meant something now, but it was still a little odd to be stared at more than before. All she had to do was ignore the countless questions that she was receiving on her journey, for if she stopped for them all she would make it to the Guild a few days later than she intended, or perhaps she would never make it at all. For a brief moment, she imagined herself putting a job on the board for a couple of the newbies to escort her from her home to the Guild, and the thought made her smile. Not only would it be funny, she imagined it would probably brighten a few of their days if she did. However, she was not going to be doing that. Holly made her way into the alley that once held a quiet and peace, though now could probably be called a street of it's own for the amount of traffic that it now got. Definitely not as much as the main streets, but she knew people walked past just to see the hall, or to go to the souvenir shop that had opened nearby. Definitely not as peaceful as before.

Entering the Guild Hall, it was to no surprise that Gwendolyn was already walking around without any concealment of her body, much to the enjoyment of her fans. Holly's first destination had been the job board, but as she made her way over to it, she took the time to stop, turn, and glare at Gwen. There were many different reprimands that Holly wished to speak, many different variations of put your clothes on before I kick your ass, but instead, Holly settled for a cold glare, and just two words. "Clothes. On." She spoke, before continuing on her destination. She didn't want to spend more time on it than she had to.

Holly's eyes caught sight of a job very quickly, one that interested her the most, and she took it off the board to read it. Lift the curse from the haunted woods! She took her time in reading the details of the quest, a grin showing on her face. She was definitely going to be taking this one. But, she figured she had to take a few of her Guildmates with her - while she was perfectly happy to take the quest by herself, she knew that she had a responsibility to make sure her lower-ranked guildmates got their shot, if they wished to join her, or if she permitted them to do so: A lot of her Guildmates would barely be able to imagine what some S-Rank quests got the mages into. A few candidates immediately popped into her head, and she turned to face the Guild to sight them out. "I suppose I should take someone with me for this S-Rank Quest," she says, loud enough that she could be heard, but not loud enough to be picked up as purposefully asking for volunteers. Her eyes, and the gaze of her helmet, rested upon Gwendolyn. "It would be a good way for someone to, I don't know, escape from those who wish to peer upon them, though clothes would help with that too," she spoke, equally as loud, and this time clearly directed toward Gwen.






It took Jasper a few moments to awake from his slumber, but when he did, he had no idea where he was. His head bolted upright and surveyed the room he was in, filled with all sorts of people, before quickly realising it was the Guild Hall. He vaguely remembered that he had been sitting in the Guild Hall before, but at a different place, one of the tables a little further in. It took him a bit longer to realise that he had probably fallen asleep, and that someone had most likely moved him to one of the tables in the corner of the Guild Hall so that he was out of the way and undisturbed as he had slept through the night. Not to mention someone had draped a blanket over him, which he had definitely not had before, but was appreciated.

Jasper slowly sat up, moving the blanket off of himself and onto his lap, and took a proper look around the room to see who was in the Guild Hall whilst rubbing the sleepiness from his eyes. From the sounds of it, it was probably Gwen that had woken him up, as she was partway through yelling at people who were staring at her. He quickly diverted his attention away from her to survey the other faces (and helmets, in the case of Holly who was just now entering the Hall). Soon enough, someone would probably notice that he was awake and approach him, but for now Jasper was quite content with just sitting and observing. He didn't want to walk into the groups, not yet - he still wasn't familiar with a lot of the people there, and he wasn't sure he wanted to be stared at as much as Gwen was.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Renny
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Cloven Brevis
@TheHangedMan | @Bartimaeus

Not too far from the city of Crocus, on its outer edges was an agrestal forest that separated the guarding mountains from the gladiator metropolis. Tall red trees broke the skyward scene, leaving just enough space for a cool breeze to saturate the area.

Cloven felt this breeze, believed that it was brushing the strands of his raven hair. But he knew very little. The red trees had ancient parents, elders whose roots were bent, gnarled, and made a decent den for those searching. The one Cloven had found was spacious and would do for the complete mess he had become and needed to sort out. At first, he had found the place by accident. Upon returning, he ran and he ran hard. Ran so fast and so long, that the city had blurred into forest, and evening into night. He had lost any desire to actually understand where he was headed, so three days later, when he awoke beneath the shade of an Elder Red (he started calling them that a week into his excursions), damp and musty; he was confused.

The journey back to Fenixtear that first time had brought revelation to him. He was no longer afraid of Grasidia, though logic had told him now more than ever it was necessary. She and I… A stake was driven deeper into his head. He stopped thinking altogether, immediately. That same afternoon, he realized the dread was gone. But now he was anxious, far too anxious. Breathing became hard around her and he had to stifle screams when he could find his breath. It was like she had opened a box of horrors; a box of eldritch devils.

It was becoming too stressful to stay at the guild, so he packed a few necessities and moved out to the red tree forest. There he found ways of coping with his new insight. The first was distraction. He had remembered; Marduk was helpful in that regard. A book of knowledge, so to speak. He was really good at talking, knew what to say and how to say it, when to say it too. Cloven found that hard to replicate but he tried. Often though, he was too distracted. Obviously so. A few times he had interrupted the lesson.

“Sorry, Marduk. I can’t seem to concentrate today. I think we can stop.” A great excuse to hide the panic threatening to boil over and force manic laughter or harrowing screams.

When that happened, he would run back to the forest, crouch tight in his little den (knees near his chest and arms laid over them) and just stare out. Not seeing anything but mentally placing pieces back to home. Sometimes he heard a voice, a knowing, sympathetic baritone that lingered on cocksure. ‘Let it go, don’t fight it, Cloven.’ It would suggest. ‘All things will pass in time, this too will pass.’ Then the most cryptic. ‘Find grace.’

That’s where he was now, on the last stretch of one of his ‘moments’. It was frightening and pathetic all at once. He had spent the majority of his life unaffected by murderers, rapists, and bullies. And now, a simple conversation had broken him. He shuttered an exhale, “Finally.”

He stood on shaky legs then started back towards the guild. His first journey there had been interrupted by the sudden mental-attack, and he refused to let it be laid-out for all to see just how fractured he’d become. Marduk might know, Grasidia for sure would, but only the observant would take notice, and even then, only those keen to him would worry that it was any different than normal loner-vibes. Afterall the guild had become crowded since their victory against the monster.

Monster… No! Don’t think, he commanded, tensing every muscle he had.

Cloven grabbed his weathered cloak, latched it over his shoulders, and started off through the peaceful forest at a lazy pace. “Another mission will do me good. I’m running low on jewels.” Then the pressure of it all started to weaken him again and he came to halt, surrounded by gentle sunlight. “... Maybe I should talk to someone about all this. Marduk, maybe. I wouldn’t consider him a friend but he certainly isn’t judgy and he might… he might have an answer.”

Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Spectral
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Spectral

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Asher


Much has changed these past three weeks at Fenixtear. This was made much more obvious as he gazes at the crowded hall of the guild, not seen since joining the guild not too long ago. Lots of new faces to take in, most of which he had no clue who exactly they are.

Shaking his head, he returns to his main focus of being here today, as he approaches the quest board. Even before he can get there, the job requests nailed up there give him a moment of relief. Finally, they had actual jobs waiting for them to take! His eyes shift downward as he catches sight of others gathered around the board, likely having the same idea he had in coming here. Undeterred, Asher steps you amongst the others there.

“I have to say, it’s nice to see actual work finally coming in for us,” he speaks up, his eyes starting to scan what’s up upon the board. So many interesting jobs he could take, though he quickly noted that they are all B Rank and up. A small frown forms at that. His own rank was still sitting at C, which in part he was disappointed to see remain after taking part in taking down the dragon back in Era two weeks back. But, he also had to remind himself outside of that mission, he hadn’t had much of a chance to prove a promotion was in line for him. That in part, is why he stands here now.

Asher turns his gaze to the others beside him. “So…. which quests are you all looking at, if I may ask? I find myself interested in a few of them.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by hatakekuro
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Business was booming, which was great and all, but it came with a side-effect that he should have seen coming; his work life in the kitchen was turned into a fucking hell. Torys, in her wisdom, hired people outside to help tend the bar, but what she did not do was hire any more chefs so it was up to Zenith to keep up with a sudden demand for food and that's when he was not taking missions. Food was sizzling on cast iron pans, the oven was baking with warm, comforting aromas coming from, and simmering in tall soup pots filled with various kinds of different colored broths. Various meals were being plated while the poor man juggled with prepping and searing, sweat was rolling down his head from the intense heat of the kitchen. And another order came in. His eye twitched at the sight of that slip of paper. "Oh come on!" God dammit he'd rather fight the dragon again!

Moments later, the kitchen doors swung open from Zenith's foot as he carried out various bowls and plates as if he was from some circus with the impossible balancing act he was pulling off. Again, Torys, in her infinite wisdom, did not higher a waiting staff to help. "Alright, let's see." Table 12 had the meat loaf with mash potatoes and chicken schnitzel with red cabbage cooked with mustard seeds, table 5 had the two cheese burger with fries, no pickles and extra onion, table 13 had pea soup with sharp cheddar and turkey chili with goats cheese over grits. Of course there were more dishes, but he could not remember what was what after being stacked on top of another. They better tip well or so help him god he will never work in that kitchen again.

That still did not stop him from serving everyone with a smile on his face.

"Thanks Zen!"

"Looks good!"

"Time to tuck in!"

Once everyone was served, he untied his apron and tossed it across the bar before collapsing on a stool. Thankfully, the bartender at the time served him a roast beef sandwich with broccoli rabe, roasted red peppers, and provolone and fries on the side from the kitchen with a tall glass of ice cold tea. "You are a savior." He gulped down the tea in one sitting and asked for another, also to bring some mayo for his fries. Hey, don't judge it until you try it.

There was Holly again, talking very loudly about one of the job missions. She was also making a subtle remark about Gwendolyn's very open nakedness. It's such a common occurrence that it doesn't faze him anymore. "Gwen, I'm certain that your stripping sends a signal for the creepers to gather."
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Aeolian
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Aeolian Proud Fujoshi

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✡ Inside the Green Man

✡ Time: The Night Before Morning ✡ Location: Crocus - Outskirts of the City ✡ Interaction: Ollivander Pottle, Lém



It would be a peculiar sight for those who hadn't yet seen it. Just beyond the city proper, stationed and rooted upon the grassy mountainous hillsides of Crocus was a massive colossal. It stood as motionless as a tree, and to the unfamiliar eye, it'd seem like nothing more than a titan-sized monument. But this colossal was more than just a frozen husk of stone; within its crevices was an entire living quarters. A few bedrooms, a kitchen, a study, an outdoor precipice (perfect for Bebe's stargazing and Ollivanders star collecting), and a self-disposing lavatory.

Within one of these bedrooms was Bébé, and so was Lém, but he was out cold, curled up into a ball and snoring under the warmth of a blanket. Bébé's hand was resting upon his head, caressing his hair slightly as she listened to the breathing of her kid brother. She chuckled softly, suddenly bemused and still in a state of slight shock by his presence. It was a surprise for her, but especially for her grandfather, who was not pleased that Lém had stowed away inside one of his luggage bags (thanks to his magic that allows him to shrink all the way down to the size of a bee).

Certain that her magic had put Bee (This is what Bébé called Lém) to sleep for good tonight, she left him to his dreams and rendezvoused with her grandfather Ollivander upon the outdoor precipice on the Green Man's right shoulder. She paused, an expression of admiration on her face as she approached slowly. Ollivander didn't look at her, his gaze affixed to a bright ball of light that was floating from the sky, permeating the space around it with a glittery shimmer until it fell into a porcelain jar Ollivander held out. Once the sparkling ball entered the jar, he closed it, "Consistency is permissible. Illumination measures are a bit replete. Need to tone down variable brightness. Particle emission will do wonders for...". He paused, looking to Bébé, "Have you got all that?"

Bébé blinked, "Ah. Right. Elune?", she called out, and a quill pen came floating from within her night garments. The quill pen autonomously jotted down what Ollivander had said into Bebe's Dream Journal, verbatim, and then lingered around her idly. "Have you forgotten your journal again tonight Papa?", she asked, fingers interlaced behind her back as she came close to the inspect the captured star. Her eyes pulsed against it's starlight, "No no. Never forgotten. Hardly required when your presence is always guaranteed when I commune with the stars." Bébé rolled her eyes and turned away from the jar, her gentle brown eyes looking wistfully to the night sky. The moon was beautiful tonight.

"I want to commune with the stars too." she said softly.

Ollivander looked to her and then to the sky, "In due time."

She could have pressed the matter further, but remained silent. She understood that she had neglected her star collecting duties when she was living in the Star Circus, and now that she was 18 and hadn't collected a single star for use or selling in her entire life, it would be like trying to learning to write with your right hand (she was left handed). She had handicapped herself in the art of star collecting and Ollivander knew this. He'd speak to her about it only when he felt she was ready to learn. And so she remained quiet, as not to agitate him with her persistence. Bébé was charastically persistent and passionate, but she knew her grandfathers quirky temperament. They were different, but also similar in many ways.

After a continued moment of quiet stillness between them, when all that could be heard was the wind and the song of night jays, Ollivander beckoned Bébé to follow him into his study and once they were there, he retrieved a golden envelope with a red seal and slid it into her hands, "For Torys.", he stated blankly, before his gaze grew furrowed and stern, "Now Bébé, I know of your proclivity for distraction..."

"Papa please." she cut in, "I'm just curious about things. Lots of things..."

"Well I need your resolution to this task. These are my earnings from selling stars and I plan to allocate the majority of my earnings to Fenixtear for the foreseeable future."

"Is that so?"

"Yes. And I can't have you fluttering about and then forgetting to deliver this to the guildmaster. Or worse, get yourself captured again."

"Papa, you were captured too..." she jested with a bemused smile.

"An informality. And I'd rather not summon my collosal to squash a few Starless squeebs." (what Ollivander calls weak mages) "They were harmless and we were hardly in any substantive danger."

"Think they'll send more?" Bébé asked, stuffing the envelope into her nightgown and patting it into the pocket for safe measure.

"Indubitably. In any case, you will properly deliver this parcel won't you?"

"Yes Papa." she said firmly.

"Splendid. And we can discuss what to do with that stowaway brother of yours later." he said, a crossed look on his face.

Bébé frowned. "Don't look at me. I didn't tell Bee to do it. Though truthfully, I would have done the same."

Ollivander, though initially furious that Lem had hidden in his suitcase, suddenly smiled. It was a knowing smile, one of familiarity and all too relatable. "As would I."

They both shared a quiet moment only a grandfather and his similar granddaughter can share. An amused smile appeared upon their countenances and then they both laughed.

And so the night ended peacefully; Bébé went to sleep in her own corridor, while Ollivander stayed up a bit later to work on a star formula. Then even he fell to the lull of the night. But in the morning...when the veil of stars dissipate for sunlight, new adventures await. What does Fenixtear have in store for Bébé Pottle, The Dreamer of the Star Circus?
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Anza
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Anza

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Lavinia
(With a special guest appearance from Astoria, as played by @Sanguine Rose)

Three weeks ago...

The transport finally lifted off. Luke was fine. Ria had started figuring out the logistics of training with Gwen. She even did a quick check in with Leon to verify Felix was effectively diagnosed comatose but healed as best as the other support mage could. Perfect time to talk to Lavinia. Yes, Gwen had said it was her fault, but it didn't sound like something her sister would suggest someone else do. Perhaps if Lavinia hadn't shouted before doing so she might have believed it, but not as the scene unfolded.

Ria approached Lavinia, just as she'd said. The problem was, she didn't know how to approach the question delicately. Or, rather, tactfully. So she decided to start off the next best way. "So, Lavinia, are you ready to tell me why you screamed - and I quote - 'Die, freak' before kicking Asher in the genitals?"

“Um.” Lavinia had known it was coming, but that didn’t make her feel any better now that the moment was here.
“...It seemed like an appropriate way to express my terrible wrath.” There, that sounded good. Made her feel a little less embarrassed about her terrible decision-making. “If I had merely kicked him, it could have been construed as an accident, no? Yet now he knows that it was me, and shall curse my name ‘till his dying breath!”

That was an answer, Ria supposed. Though it seemed to bring up more questions. Her brain wasn't quick enough to stop the words from tumbling out of her mouth, though. "You know Asher's in our guild, right? For, like, two weeks? He was helping with the fight. He saw what you can do. All he was doing at that moment was helping me warm back up after I chilled myself trying to keep Felix's brain from frying. So why did he need to feel your wrath?"

“Wait, that was-“ Lavinia’s eyes widened, her surprise partly genuine. She’d known Asher was in the guild, of course, but... “Then you two weren’t... weren’t actually...”

What was this sudden relief, welling up from deep inside her?

She still had to give an answer though. “I t-thought you were doing something else. That’s all.” And then she realized how that answer could be construed in the context of her actions, and quickly corrected before Ria could reply. “Gwen said he was picking on you! A-and I saw you trapped in that terrible, um, bear hug, and I just could not abide to watch!” She folded her arms, putting on what she hoped was an expression stern enough to offset the color of her cheeks. “If anyone seeks to harm you, then my vengeance shall be swift and grossly disproportionate! Though I’ll admit, I may have acted rashly this time...”

But that didn’t answer her own question. I could tell he wasn’t attacking her, not really. So why...?

Ria's brows furrowed as Lavinia fumbled to put the situation together. It certainly looked like wheels were turning. But then why did the blood mage look like she was blindsided by the facts.

Then the truth was out. Gwen really did put Lavinia up to it. Her friend and occasional pillow was just trying to protect her. A cheerful smile spread onto her face as Lavinia continued to explain. When she'd finished, Ria laughed softly. "Yes, perhaps a little rashly. But now I know it was meant to be for good reasons. I think you truly left an impression on him, but I don't think it's the right one. You should explain your actions to him too. So he knows he can trust you if you two ever end up working together again. Do it for me?"

A bit of tension eased out of Lavinia at the realization that not only had her explanation passed muster, but had earned her a measure of forgiveness as well. Ria really was so gentle and innocent about these things.

Maybe that’s why I’m drawn to her? Because I want to break that kind spirit? But she didn’t want to, not at all. She might even say she liked that about Ria, if a horrid villain such as herself were capable of appreciating positive traits. A-and anyway, to say I’m drawn to her would be an exaggeration... probably.

“Hmph!” She turned her nose up proudly at the suggestion of reconciling with Asher. “For you? Do you presume to order me around?” She sounded affronted, but her eyes belied her tone. “I’ll do it for myself, you hear me? And only for myself. I don’t need him as my enemy just yet, so it’s simply coincidence that our wishes happened to align!”

Ria stifled a laugh into a giggle she tried to hide with a hand. It was just like Lavinia to insist a kind thing was truly selfish. She could accept it. "Yes. It is merely a coincidence your desire to clarify that you two are not enemies yet lines up with me thinking it would be good to make sure he understands it was just a misunderstanding. Torys would likely be put out if we could not manage to work with the others in the guild."

She offered Lavinia a smile. "You did good today. I don't mean like in a moral sense. You demonstrated a lot of prowess against the dragon and in your support after the fight. I mean, Zenith owes you for keeping him alive, after all." She placed a hand on the older mages arm for a silent moment before stepping away. "Well, i have to go talk to Gwen. Looks like you're not the only one who misunderstood a situation." With that, she put a hand up as a wave goodbye before heading off to talk to her sister.

Lavinia dismissed her with a casual wave of her own, a mere flick of her hand that spoke of cool aloofness. “Zenith was merely lucky that I still have uses for him. Be thankful that the same goes for you...”

And as Ria walked away, she added in a much quieter voice. “Y-you did quite good as well.”

Only when she was completely out of sight did Lavinia squeeze her eyes shut and smile a private little smile. She complimented me! Or, well, it may have been just a statement of fact... But she recognized my power! She could still feel the echo of Ria’s hand on her arm, a delicate warm feeling that somehow grew rather than faded over time.

She really was behaving strangely around that girl, she realized. Lavinia had dismissed her entirely as a goody-two-shoes when they first met, and had gradually come to tolerate her companionship over time... This, however, was something more than tolerance.

This feeling. It’s not affection. It can’t be.

With Asher. I wasn’t jealous. I couldn’t have been.

All those times Ria had quietly fallen asleep against her. I don’t look forward to them. I just accept it as... Oh, doggone it, I can’t do this anymore!

She leaned forwards, resting her elbows on her knees and covering her burning face with both hands. Evil didn’t make friends. Evil didn’t like people. Evil didn’t...

...

...I’m a terrible villain, aren’t I?


Dear Asher,

I hope your balls are well. Renewed consideration on my part has brought to my attention that the force used may have been excessive, and that I have caused you harm due to a misunderstanding. This is mildly unfortunate, and I imagine you may harbor some small feelings of resentment against my person on account of your devastating injury.

However, now that you have felt my power yourself, you should know well that I am better to have as a friend than as an enemy. I hold no personal grudge against you, nor particular affection towards you, and it would please me greatly if I could go back to completely ignoring your existence.

Therefore, I propose a ceasefire between us. Attempt no foolish vengeance against me or mine, and in return I shall henceforth make efforts to spare you from my all-consuming wrath. Defy this agreement, and I shall crush you like a tiny bug beneath my heel.

As a token of peace and goodwill, I have sent you a groin guard so that you may protect your weak point in the future. Do not worry, I have refrained from sprinkling its inner surface with itching powder, for my whims are passing generous today.

Sincerely,
Lavinia Lucardi



Present day.

She had tried to go to Asher personally, she really had. She did not fear his strength, after all, and could see no real reason to care if he got angry at her. It was just… Well. If she went to him in person, she’d have to apologize, and that was entirely out of the question. Nobody would ever take her seriously again. They all fear me now, yet I must make efforts to preserve my reputation if I am to overcome my newfound… weakness.

Yes, that had been on her mind all these past few weeks. No matter if it aligned with her goals, Lavinia could not deny that Ria’s words had exerted a fearsome influence on her, and that the girl’s presence conjured up a range of decidedly non-evil emotions. Rather than world conquest, she found her dreams drifting to topics such as fancy candlelit dinners, and warm cuddles under blankets, and the feeling of another’s hand held softly in her own.

Yuck! She retched at her own depravity. No self-respecting scion of evil ought to be thinking of such things! If it carried on like this, she’d end up hugging kittens and sniffing flowers, or even worse: actually being nice to people!
There was only one thing to do: she needed to toughen up and double down on her evil deeds. Maybe she wasn’t really bad to the bone, but with a bit of effort, Lavinia was sure she could eliminate this useless empathy welling up from her heart.

And thus it was that she barged straight into the Guild Hall, her eyes looking for a target she could pick on. Aha! There was Gwen, and not far away from her a gaggle of adoring fans, worshipful fools who no doubt wished to shower the ice mage with affection and praise. Not on my watch!

”Rejoice, trash!” She whipped out her grimoire, pointing a finger at Gwen’s fanboys with a cruel smirk. ”I’m in the mood for some target practice. You shall all have the honor of dying by my hand!” Massive spikes of blood materialized in the air around her, their points turning ominously to face Gwen’s admirers.

Some of them were wise enough to flee immediately. Others hesitated, grinning awkwardly as if they thought it was some kind of joke, only to yelp in alarm and run for their lives as a great red spear slammed into the wall just above their heads. Lavinia laughed out loud as she watched them scurry out the door like rats before a tiger, firing off a couple more missed spears as they left. ”That’s right! Run, peons, run while you still can!”

Then she turned her smirk towards Gwen. ”Oops. Seems I’ve chased away all your fans… How unfortunate.” Another laugh, this one a low chuckle so as to make it clear that she did not actually find it unfortunate at all. Terrifying innocent civilians while simultaneously destroying the popularity of one of her own sworn comrades— oh, she was such a heartless, heartless devil!
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by TheHangedMan
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TheHangedMan One Week Wizard

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Marduk



Marduk chuckled from his place at the bar. He was playing bartender at the moment, since Cloven had opted to end their session early today as well, so he had been forced wear a barely fitting uniform lest his bare chest make people uncomfortable (though really, it was most likely the act of the large man looking down on them that did it) and doing his part while the rest of his guildmates were swept up in the whirlwind of activity that the guild had become in the recent days. It was incredibly heartening for him to bear witness to results of their efforts against the "dragon".

His mind went back to three weeks ago, and his expression morphed into a frown for a moment as he recalled the creature they battled. Despite popular belief - since that was what was being reported, that thing was no dragon, and the fact that it was in fact a created being sent alarm bells ringing. He was half tempted to ask the Magic Council to investigate the thing, but no. He wasn't welcome there anymore, and doing so may put his guild under excess scrutiny. He was certain they were already on some council members bad side; the way they had handled the aftermath of the attack put some negative light on the Magic Council, and they seldom overlooked such slights against their perceived power.

He snorted. Of course they wouldn't - they're hold on the guilds of Fiore was strong, but brittle. A small crack could break the whole thing apart, which is why they were so quick to fill in the gaps. But Fenixtear may prove to be a bit too big for them to cover up.

Well, he thought preparing a plate, time would tell eventually. For now, he probably ought to help Zenith. Really, the poor boy ought to be taking this time to adventure a bit, now that there was no shortage of Jobs available. The old man set down the plate and juice next to him, giving him a thumbs-up and a grin as another serving of fries was ordered.

His head turned to a the sound of yelping visitors to their guild as Lavinia tried to fill her quota for evil today, and he nodded in approval. "Good job Lavinia! Keep those oglers away from Gwen while I get her a shirt!" he said, giving the girl a thumbs-up as well.

As he made his way passed the bar, he took a peak at the board behind Holly. He contemplated taking one himself, but thought it would probably be best to leave that to the others. As of now, he was content with holding the fort while the others went off. Of course, it would be a different matter if they requested his help.

Marduk picked up the articles of discarded clothing belonging to his voyeur guildmate, and tossed it back at her.

"Well, if Gwen's busy, why don't you take Zenith along with you?" he said, rolling his shoulders. "Poor boy's been a bit hard up with taking missions lately, given how held up he is manning the kitchen. Something new might be in order for him."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Lunarlord34
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Lunarlord34 Totally not a vampire

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It had been three long, long weeks since Alina had first arrived at Fenixtear. She had followed the rumors of a new, small guild starting up in Crocus, and initially, the girl had jumped on such an opportunity. A small up and coming guild, with whatever few members they have eager to prove their worth? A perfect place for her to use as a stepping stone to put her name up in lights and finally break free of the tag 'The Bloomfields daughter'.

While it wasn't the most surprising, she hadn't expected the guild to have been empty that day. Well almost empty, just a single young looking girl. Alina had dug up enough information on the fledging guild beforehand to know that this girl was indeed the guild master, Torys Lusitania. A suspiciously kind individual who, despite running a guild, still had the time to spend on actions that Alina could only think were to bring a good reputation to Fenixtear; running the local orphanage and even some homeless shelters being the more prominent information. To Alina, that smelled of someone just wanting to keep their image clean...or simple naivety and foolishness if they gained nothing from it. What was even fishier was that she was unable to glean much else from her, admittedly brief, investigation into the guild.

She didn't find much about the guild nor some of its members. Most seem to have only come to the area after joining Fenixtear, so the locals were little good bar learning a few names and some bits and pieces of what kind of personalities lurked within the walls of the guild. Her conclusion thus far? They were, at best, a group of oddballs. At worst? Possible mental health treatment center. Her chat with the guild master did little to enlighten the girl either, there was little fanfare beyond some oddly simple questions. Like, why did it matter to a guild what her favorite color was? Baffling indeed. Regardless, it seemed like Torys had nothing against the girl joining the guild so the matter went as smoothly as Alina could've hoped. The issues arrived very quickly, however.

What issues, you ask? Well, she hadn't expected the reason to the guildhall to be empty that day because the entirety of the guild had gone off to fight a flipping dragon. Not only that, but they had suceeded in beating the beast. The first thing she had awoken to the next morning was Fenixtear on the front cover, some armored mage, whom from her previously mentioned brief gleam into the goings of Fenixtear she deduced was the one called 'Holly', standing atop the corpse of the creature in a pose one could only imagine from a novel. While she had anticipated them wanting to make a name for themselves,....this was way out of her possible theories as to what they would try. As a result, the guild's popularity just absolutely exploded. Quests and potential members flooded in, the only silver lining for Alina being that she managed to join before such a hilarious amount of people wanted to.

The big problem though? It became very hard very quickly to approach the original members, as almost every newer member seemed to swarm them. It made looking into them almost impossible, let alone trying to get close to them to learn more that way. Yet, she couldn't just leave the guild so soon after joining, least she looked like a fool, at best. She couldn't even use the newer recruits to glean anything useful even, all they were were a thorn in her side and a setback to her plans. No matter, she would simply need to play the patience game and bid her time, in the meantime she got herself settled into Crocus. Finding a place to stay was high on her list, only staying at the guild temporarily before finding herself an apartment not far from the guildhall, a small one-bedroom that was just a ten or fifteen-minute stroll away and next to a lovely little cafe she would visit in the morning before going to the guildhall. It was a gossip hub, the young lady who was the barista a surprisingly reliable contact for the goings-on of the city. Even if some of her chatter was...over the top and exaggerated to a point.

She had just left said cafe, The Coffee Seed, and was digesting the conversations between herself and the barista girl. Fenixtear's name just seemed to be getting bigger and bigger as more time passed, and as such more and more people came to Crocus. Either in hope of joining the guild, or simply hiring them for a quest or the like. But also other guilds had been sneaking into the city, or so the girl had said, to check out the fledgling guild. Perhaps some even to come and glean whatever they could to undermine it's growing popularity, or such thoughts went through Alina's head. That wouldn't do, as despite the alarming growth being a constant nuisance to the red-head, it would help cover her tracks for the time-being from those that may be on her trail. That, and it offered a secure place and steady pay which she admittedly had missed during her recent nomadic existence. She wouldn't let some other guild just come in and start meddling now, so she made a mental note to create some counter-measures in case such rumors turned out to be true.

It was surprising even to Alina how often even something like a Chinese whisper would turn out to be true, so it was best to take no chances on the matter.

Her walk seemed to go far faster than normal, perhaps due to the various machinations brewing in her head causing her to lose track of time, or perhaps the coffee was a bit too strong today...Nah definitely the former. At any rate, the young lady soon found herself slipping in through the front door as a couple of other members left and was soon bombarded by the noise that she was slowly beginning to accept as simply a part of the guild life. Numerous people holding numerous conversations, each one seemingly trying to compete with everyone else with how loud and obnoxious they could get. The constant clatter of plates, loud laughter filling the hall as food, and alcohol was exchanged with the chiming of glasses coming together for a toast.

In essence, the guildhall was a scene that could only be described as chaotic. Alina couldn't help but flinch at how loud the place was today. How could anyone bear this nonsense? Not that she would let such a small matter break her act. Every greeting she was given she would return with a smile, one of a gentle, innocent kind to keep with her current 'act'. That's right, right now she wasn't Alina Bloomfield, a former God Hand member, schemer, and manipulator. Instead, she was Alina Bloomfield, a gentle and kind soul that hailed from Crocus and had joined Fenixtear in the hopes of putting her magic to use for the sake of others...or whatever horsecrap she had fed the members and guild master here. Honestly, most people were so easy to trick with just a simple smile or a few words here and there, though others required a more detailed explanation, which she was more than happy to give.

However, even amongst all the chaos, her gaze fell upon a particular individual. Probably the smallest member of the guild, and most certainly the youngest. The one person that managed to bring a genuine smile to her face whenever she saw the adorable little boy; Jasper Elliot. He had joined not long after her, and for no ulterior motives whatsoever she dedicated a fair chunk of her time into investigating the boy. She wasn't sure whether it was the ears or the sincere lack of information she managed to find on him, but he fascinated her...and the fact he was also part cat just made him totally adorable! One could almost hear her inner fangirl screeching over him, but she was far too professional to let her personal feelings bubble to the surface. Instead, she simply wore the same smile she would give the others, though with far less effort than it would've normally have taken to muster it, and weaved her way through to the half-awake cat-boi. This was to be their first formal, official meeting, though she had taken the form of some other newer members before.

"You seem a little lost, everything alright?" Coming to a stop just to the side of Jasper, Alina leaned forward towards him and spoke in a gentle, polite tone that she had used so often it had become like second nature to the actress. Her body language was relaxed and open to not make the boy feel on edge in any way.

"Are you also part of Fenixtear? Or are you here on other business?" Taking a seat beside the exceed, she patted down her skirt and kept her smiling face fixed towards him. She already knew the answer, but it was for the sake of small talk. "Or are you like me, a bit overwhelmed with this all and simply waiting for the others to settle down a little before wanting to move on with your day? It can be rather exhausting trying to move through this crowd after all, and with how rowdy it can get it can become rather..." Her gaze slowly moved over to the scene playing out involving Gwen's posses of glorified stalkers. Honestly, they were an eyesore and were a disgrace to a following. Her next words drawn out as Lavivina came in and scared them off by firing off her magic. Her point ramming home harder than the missiles against the wall. "...hazardous at times."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by j8cob
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j8cob The Gr8est / The J8est

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Grasidia




As the two rounded the corner out of the alley and back into the street, Duncan looked over to Grasidia with a smirk. "Ya know, you don't look like I thought you were gonna look," he told her, prompting a raised eyebrow from Grasidia. "I did a little bit of research into your guild for the last couple weeks and I was under a completely different impression about you, Grasidia." The man's strange invitation was already concerning but now he seemed especially suspicious. "I'm not sure what you mean," she spoke up but Duncan didn't elaborate any further. He only chuckled to himself briefly. The two continued down the street in silence for another moment before Duncan stopped. "I've talked with several witnesses to the... ahem, dragon attack in Era. I even talked to my friend, Ajax. We're both obligated to assist the Magic Council in any way we can, you see..."

Grasidia stopped next to him. "One of my duties is to investigate guilds like yours. Suspicious guilds that appear one day with powerful mages? Always catches my interest. The dragon you fought wasn't really a dragon I've been told, but I'm sure you already knew that..." Now he crossed his arms over his chest and faced Grasidia. "I was also told that a particular member of Fenixtear was an Etherious demon. Would you know anything about that?" Grasidia's eyes widened as she realized what exactly was going on. This man somehow knew. Her eyes narrowed once the shock subsided and she held the bouquet of flowers down to her side. "None in our guild is a demon," she told him, an aura of danger and threat practically radiating from her skin. "Do not... test my patience."

Duncan's lips formed a confident smirk, his eyes refused to avert from her gaze. "Ah, I like that look," he said. "I always wanted to be with a tough woman. But you're not really a woman, are you?" Grasidia felt something inside her tick, an instinct being triggered. On a complete reflex she grabbed Duncan by the shirt with her free hand and whipped him around, slamming him into the wall and pinning him there. He seemed briefly surprised but unharmed, and his smug grin very quickly returned. "See? This is what I was talking about." "Be silent! If you continue insulting me and my guild I will... I will put you down." Her threat only earned another chuckle. "Oh no, not like this you won't. Why don't you transform and then give it a try?" Now Grasidia was getting really worked up. She couldn't stop herself from scowling but she used every fiber of her being to not strangle this man. "Come on, I've killed your kind before. I know this isn't your true form. Did you really think you could hide among us with your evil plans and nobody would notice? If you let me go before you transform then you won't stand a chance."

Every one of her instincts were screaming at her to kill this man. The passerby in the street were beginning to stop and stare at the scene and she knew it. Grasidia had to physically strain to not strike out at him. After a moment of silence she threw Duncan to the ground, but not particularly hard. He landed on his butt, a look of genuine shock on his face. And the second he looked back up at Grasidia she threw the bouquet of flowers right at his mouth. "Don't follow me," she told him, already stomping her way back towards the guild. She hardly made it a few steps before she noticed a strange shadow dart across the ground past her, stopping in front of her. And from this shadow emerged Duncan, blocking her path. "Man, I was really wrong about you," he admitted, though Grasidia tried to walk past. Instead he held his arm out, catching her and preventing her movement. A normal person wouldn't have hoped to stop her with just one arm, but now it was Grasidia' turn to be surprised again at his strength. "Listen," he began, his tone no longer arrogant and his volume hushed so only she could hear.

"I've never seen an Etherious like you before. Not only do you look so human but you've been working with humans for years. You even refused to attack me. Your existence is an anomaly, and I admit that I was wrong in my assumptions. But you are a demon and I can't just let you go." With his other hand he procured a white calling card with a symbol of a black stage curtain on both sides. He presented this card to Grasidia. "Join my guild, Black Curtain. You can continue to help humans and I can keep a better watch on you." "No." "I'll give you some time to decide, but if you refuse then I won't keep your secret any longer. You will always be a danger to the people of Fiore. Ajax told me that you were different but I didn't believe him, now I do. But my obligations still remain. If your secret gets out, or the Council finds out who you are, then you will surely be killed. Possibly by me." Grasidia took a step back and walked around his outstretched arm, refusing the calling card in his other hand. "And, of course, Fenixtear would be punished for hiding you."

This was enough to make her stop. "If you come work for me, nobody will ever find out about you." This time Duncan took Grasidia's hand and placed the card in her open palm; she made no attempt to resist. "Think about it. But before you use this time to run and hide, just know that I will find you." She looked down at the card in her hand, confirming that it looked the same on both faces. Then she looked over to Duncan. "Don't get me wrong, I still want to destroy you and your kind," he continued. "But... killing you isn't justice. Your existence is an opportunity that we cannot pass up. I will be seeing you again, Grasidia." With his final line he faded into darkness, returning to his shadow beneath his feet and then zooming off down the street.

Now she was alone again, with this Black Curtain card in her hand. What am I going to do? she wondered as she began slowly walking back towards the guild.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Bartimaeus
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Bartimaeus Existential Depravity

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Lilliana
Mentions: Cloven (@Renny)
Location: Fenixtear Guildhall -> Crocus Forest



The past three weeks had been...hectic. With the news of a previously-unknown guild showing up out of nowhere and saving the council from assured destruction, so did come the wave of mages that were aspiring to join said guild. Lilliana wasn’t exactly fond of all these random people running around the area where she slept, but there wasn’t exactly much of a choice in the matter. She was now contemplating buying some sort of earmuffs though as she lay in her bed, staring up at the ceiling. There was simply too much noise meeting her ears, her enhanced senses surely not helping.

She scowled and grabbed her pillow, pushing it against her ears as she rolled onto her side. It wasn’t usual for her to try and sleep at such a time, but she really didn’t want to leave her room to be bothered by those who wanted to ask her questions about the “dragon” fight. Especially since she’d been rather useless against it - something that itched at the back of her mind every other minute. It wasn’t a dragon. It didn’t feel like a dragon. Where did it come from, then? She sat up and threw her pillow to the side, looking out the window above her desk. She would’ve preferred it be a bit later, but sitting still in all this thought and noise wasn’t doing her any good.

She sighed and stood, grabbing her mask of the beside table and putting it into place on her face. She then grabbed one of her longer cloaks, flipping up the deep cowl to conceal her face, and tucking her right arm away, as she opened her door silently and slipped out. The smell of food and a small sea of people grew stronger as she descended the steps to the bottom floor of the guildhall. She looked around from under her cowl, seeing a few familiar faces in Gwendolyn, Marduk, and a few others. And there were definitely many faces she didn’t recognize. She stepped aside to let someone pass by before continuing her path towards the doors, weaving through the crowd of people as unnoticed as she could be.

She let out a small breath of relief as she pushed the doors open without having been bothered by any of the newcomers. She wasn’t out of the woods yet, but at least she could murder stave off the lesser crowds outside were they to bother her. She continued at a moderate pace for some time before she finally found herself approaching the edge of the town. She could see the tree line in the distance as she walked. It was already a lot less noisy in this area, but if she was going for quiet she might as well go all the way.

She walked until she was surrounded by trees, making sure to leave the occasional scratch mark on a tree with her claws to make sure she didn't get lost. The only sound around her was that of birds singing to one another. She approached one of the trees, looking it over and resting a hand against it as she watched its leaves sway on the wind. She lowered herself to the partially grassy floor of the forest and rested against the tree, taking in a deep breath of the forest. It was already more relaxing than she expected it to be.

She took a second to remove her cloak, folding it and placing it in her lap as she sat in a lotus-like posture. She closed her eyes.

It was a few minutes before she felt the energy of her magic gently ignite, rolling over the cloak upon her lap. It remained still, a small, quiet, white flame resting spread-out over the top of the article of clothing. She redoubled her focus upon it, urging the energy to progress further. There was a moment of increased pressure before she felt the flame flicker. She tried to hold it, adding more energy - only for the flames to surge slightly before falling apart and dissipating. She allowed herself a moment of recollection before she sat in concentration once more.

Just as she began again she heard a slight, distant 'snap' from deeper in the trees. She was immediately on her feet, the cloak being disposed onto the ground beneath her as she moved, her footsteps light and quick, yet calculated as she positioned herself behind a tree. She listened again as she stood still. The footsteps where casual - not rushed, nor heavy. She afforded a slow peek around the tree. Her realization of who it was snapped into place almost at the same time as his unique magical signature had.

Cloven? Why was he out here? Come to think of it, he’d been rather scarce around the guild during the last few weeks. Maybe he was trying to escape from all of the commotion, like she was. She’d never really talked to Cloven much - not that that was unusual, she remained to herself a majority of the time - but he seemed...distant. It kinda reminded her of her own behavior, but his seclusion seemed more.. effortless then hers did. She wondered why. Maybe it was because he was surrounded by people he couldn’t really relate to? With Felix as his only option for someone his own age, maybe it wasn’t a stretch to say that he just felt too different from the rest of the guild members. Then again, there’d surely been plenty of mages his age joining the guild over recent weeks. Many it was just too much for him?

Lilliana gave a short glance backwards before she allowed herself to step out from her cover and into the open, a few yards away from the young mage. There was an unsure pause before she spoke, her half-draconic voice masking the quiet discussion of the birds. “Um, hi. Cloven.”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Renny
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Renny J U S T smile

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Cloven Brevis
@Bartimaeus

Cloven was distracted, too distracted. If someone could practically sneak up on him without him knowing… This was truly an issue. And though he tried to hide the weariness of his situation, he had been too close to the issue when she popped up.

His auric eyes were heavy, darker in fact. He let out a breath, quiet and long; thinking in truth. Lilliana; he didn’t know much about her but that meant the same vice-versa. Maybe he had found the perfect confidant, in this silent guildmate of his. Least that was his initial hope.

“Lilliana, right? Hey...” Then a rather dubious thought struck him.

He squinted with suspicion. “Why are you out here? So far from the Guild?”

Does she know? she can't. Is she here to... no, she can't be. You're going crazy. His fist clenched behind his cloak.

Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Sanguine Rose
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Sanguine Rose

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The talk with Lavinia had gone well. The plans to make things up to Gwen...had gone as expected. Training with Gwen was, not exactly as unpleasant as it had been when they were younger, but exhausting nonetheless. The fact it was better than when they were younger was likely because the training was her idea instead of forced onto her. It would have been better if they didn't train exactly Gwen's way, but she was trying to make up snapping at her sister - so she didn't argue the remote training while in the buff.

Saving a girl and her family, and inadvertently recruiting her into the guild in the process, on the way back had been just a bonus to traveling so far to go train. But that was nothing of a shock compared to the bustle of activity the guildhall transformed into in their absence. What was once a quiet, nearly empty hall doubling as a tavern, had transformed into quite the hub of activity. There was never a shortage of tables to wait - or people looking to talk to someone in the guild. Her sister had drawn quite the fan base, though clearly not for reasons she liked. Ria, herself, politely dismissed admirers that thought she might be a bit more forthcoming than her sister.

As it turned out, spending two weeks helping sell her business helped. Not as much as she hoped, but it was good. Good enough she was getting a bit more confident on being able to maintain it if she were to go out on missions. In fact, it was just good enough that she'd managed to connect a few new applicants with some previous ones still waiting for matches. It was still too early to tell, but Perry and Laki seemed quite happy still the last time they stopped in for lunch yesterday. Now she was at a pretty important impasse in what to do. Continue trying to expand the business, or give it up to help with jobs. There was no shortage since they had come home, so it wasn't like there was any need to save jobs for the others in the guild. Besides, if she was honest with herself, she did like training with Gwen, and utilizing her magic more than just letting it idle while she played happy assistant innkeeper.

It couldn't hurt to take a mission to decide, she thought as she looked at the board. With all the bustle of everything going on, she found herself tuning everything out rather than trying to take it all in. Her gaze passed over all the listings - some of which she'd helped make the space to hang up - as her sister dodged fans and even Holly said something to the room.

Her gaze stalled on the posting asking for assistance with a student uprising in Era. Leon went there, so maybe he'd be willing to help quell a bit of rabble. It would certainly make things easier if he was still on the roster, and even moreso help blend if some of the people knew he was a student and didn't know he joined a guild. The rank was below her status, but it was above his. The perfect blend, really. And maybe being on campus would be good - give her an excuse to be away for longer given how weird Lavinia had been acting recently. Not so much avoiding, but the blood mage seemed to come down with something every time they talked recently.

With a shrug, the water mage took the flier with her as she turned and glanced around the hall until she finally spotted Leon. She walked over with the usual chipper skip in her step to stop in front of Leon. A broad smile graced her face. "Good morning, Leon. I was wondering if you'd like to come with me on a job." She offered the older mage the flier in her hand.
Hidden 3 mos ago 3 mos ago Post by Cello
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Cello Rainbow 2.0

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The last few weeks had been somewhat of a turning point for Leon’s regular routine. His first month at Fenixtear had been spent coasting around, fulfilling the bare minimum required to pay for his expenses. With the defeat of the dragon in Era, and the notoriety that came with it, the young man had decided to work a little harder at bettering himself as a mage. His mornings started earlier than they once did, a change he took some time to accept. It would become a habit eventually. It became clear during the battle that he lacked the stamina of his guildmates, so he had started going for runs at sunrise to help with his overall fitness. It wasn’t much, but it was a start.

Having returned from his run, Leon was cooling down with some iced tea at the bar counter - watching Zenith fuss about like a headless chicken. Today he had decided to bring Melia out for a little play. Unlike Lorelai, Melia held very little respect for Leon as her summoner. The pixie shared a similar likeness to Lorelai, albeit with more fuschia tones in her wings and dressing, but the comparisons ended there. Melia was obnoxious, mischievous and downright trouble. Just as one of Zenith’s patrons went to add additional seasoning to their meal, they would find the entire contents of the salt shaker poured out over their plate in a flakey pile. From underneath the table, a cheeky snicker confirmed the presence of the aforementioned fae.

The patron, one of the newer guild members, shot a nasty glare in Leon’s direction. He scratched the back of his head with his good hand, offering an apologetic nod. Melia fluttered beside him, still giddy with delight over her little stunt. She took note of his stern gaze, waving it off with a series of incomprehensible squeaks.

Please, Mel. Zenith is going to lose the plot if you keep screwing around with his meals.” Leon begrudgingly remembered the talking to he received the last time Melia decided to get creative. Bluntly put, a lot of the guild members weren’t too keen on the Pixie’s presence. While Leon would never try to control them forcefully, it was clear he didn’t command a lot of authority over them as a summoner. He continued to speak with Melia, his Fae having improved a fair bit over the last few weeks, before Ria turned up to his table with a job flier.

Oh, I’ve heard things were going a bit pear shaped over there.” Leon roused the flier from the counter, turning it over for additional information. He looked back at Ria with a slight grin.
I know the campus fairly well, but there’s always the risk someone would recognise me.” He rubbed his chin with his prosthetic hand, musing over the situation. The money would be a great help, and maybe he could convince them to acquit his debt instead of a scholarship. Perhaps Ria wanted the scholarship? He glanced at her sideways. He reckoned she would be a nice fit for Era. The two of them had spoken at length about magical theory and other thought provoking topics on many a night. Usually accompanied by warm mugs of cocoa. Even Lavinia joined in - though she didn’t seem much interested in Leon. The point being, Ria sported an intellect that matched a lot of his former peers at Era. He could see her getting into debates with the professors or lounging in a local cafe with fellow studnets pondering philosophy or other such topics.

Before he let his thoughts wander, he would offer an assured response to her original plea.
Yeah, sounds fun. I have a friend who still attends Era that will help us out.” He smiled, just the prospect of catching up with Irene was enough to brighten his day. “Oh, and I could also show you around to some real neat places. There’s this bookshop with a massive occult section; real big Lavinia vibe-” Leon began to babble on about a few other spots, more excited about the prospect of going on a mission with Ria than anything. He pushed down feelings of regret and shame, the memory of his failure at Era ever present.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by datadogie
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datadogie Cloak and Dagger

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It seemed that Gwen didn't want to go on the job, or was ignoring her, and so Holly turned the flier over to peer back at it's words as Asher looked to ask others what quests they were all looking at. Holly gave a simple reply, "One that quite simply seems very dangerous," before looking amongst the others in the Guild to work out who, if anyone, she could take with her. The answer walked in with various meals for various tables, and she watched him as he did so. The problem was that Zenith seemed to be very busy with kitchen work, and he seemed to be enjoying it, too. She didn't want to take him away from something he liked doing, unless it was eating fries with mayo. That was something she didn't oppose getting him away from.

Holly spied Lavinia barging into the guild hall, something she wasn't sure how to feel about. It could go either way with the truly evil being that she was, or intended to be. Today, it went the negative way, as Lavinia used her grimoire to send spears of blood out toward those following Gwen around. Normally, Holly would have walked over to tell Lavinia that was not a good thing to do, but today, Holly just wanted to take her job and get out.

Holly found it a little surprising that Marduk was the one to suggest that she take Zenith with her, and she gave him a nod. "I agree, it might be good for him to get out of the kitchen. I'll go and ask him," she says. She found herself suddenly having a question. Why was I hesitating before, but now that someone suggests it, I'm happy to go and ask? She paused to think about it briefly, before casting it away to think about it later. She makes her way to the bar, moving beside Zenith and leaning herself against the bar. "So, Zen," she begins, questioning why she was smiling so much under her helmet. "I was wondering if you'd like to accompany me on a job." She holds the flier between them so they could both read it.






While Jasper was sat observing the Guild hall quietly, he spotted Lilliana making her way out of the Guild hall quietly. It wasn't so much as he saw her, as much as something was tugging at him, telling him that she was there. He had worked out that it was her that brought that feeling to him, as he felt a slight nudging every time she entered the area, but he still wasn't sure why he felt such a subconscious little poke whenever he was around. By now, he had worked out that it was definitely her that drew him to the Guild, but he still didn't know why. Speaking to Lilliana briefly about it in the past few weeks, she wasn't too sure about it either.

His thoughts were interrupted by someone making their way over to his table. Jasper turned his head to watch the girl take a seat, a shy little smile plastered on his face. "I'm just watching everything," Jasper replies to her first question, though she seemed to be asking some more. His eyes moved to observe Lavinia's frightening display at those who were stalking Gwen, before turning his head back to face the girl who was talking to him. "But... I'm a bit overwhelmed. It's kind of scary having everyone just shooting their magic off," he claims, despite only Lavinia having done so. "I just, I'm not sure what to do other than sit here. I want to talk to Lilliana a bit more, I don't want to be like, annoying or something though. And she just walked out to do something."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Sanguine Rose
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Another beautiful day in Crocus. Birds chirping, people bustling about, beautiful woman sleeping in his bed. Kaden certainly had gotten used to this in the past few years living here as opposed to his dad's place in Oshibana. Though, the past few weeks had been something else. First it was hearing about some new upstart independent guild that apparently had been working from right in this very town taking down a dragon. He hadn't thought twice about the rumor. Instead of going to Steel Hydra to find himself a job like he would any other day, he went to check out this supposed 'traditional' guild. It was exactly how he expected, and a week later he'd decided to switch from just the same shit different beasts kinda work and left Steel Hydra to join the - slightly infamous from the chatter around Hydra at the time - guild Fenixtear.

Today was much like the days he'd been in Crocus since. He'd gotten back late from a recent quest, met a lovely lady at a pub, and was waking up after a fun evening with - Shino? Sheena? Sha-Whatever, didn't matter - he was up and showered and ready for another day. Blondie - served as as good a name as any - walked into the main room of his apartment while fixing her hair up in a messy bun. "We should do that again some time," she muttered, zipping up the back of her dress.

Kaden tilted his head to watch her as she bent over and slipped on her flats. "Yeah." He fixed his gaze to where her face should be before she finished turning around to look at him. A smile spread quickly on his lips, adding a slight twinkle to his golden eyes. "Last night was fun. Definitely should make it happen again some time. But, ya know, got a lot of business at the guild these days..."

The girl smirked and walked over to the coffee table in the middle of the living room. She collected her purse, pulling out a small scrap of paper and a pen before writing something on it. Walking back over to him, she tucked it in his front pocket while smiling coyly at him. "Call me next time you're free." A wink, and she was out the door.

A quick shake of his head got the grin from flirty to cocky as he pulled the number out of his pocket. Shanice. So close. He pulled out his cell and typed in the number into his phone with a special note booty under the contact. One last quick check in the mirror to make sure he was good, and Kaden was out the door.

Ten minutes later, partially running and dodging people on the street, and he shouldered open the doors to the guildhall having forgotten to slow down at the last few steps before just barreling in. He immediately corrected to a stop and grinned at the room. "Man, you guys really do sleep in, huh? Looking like nothing exciting is going on..." He chuckled to himself and continued straight on through the hall to the quest board. If memory served, there was...Shit He looked around quickly before spotting the flier in Holly's hand. Sonavabee. Okay, his attention turned back to the board. What else is there?

Then his gaze landed on it. Well, not quite it but at least a good enough supplement to not taking an S class mission. That would have been golden, but...He snatched the flier for escorting some dude around with an ANP to...an orphanage? Okay, that'd get him points with someone.

Kaden didn't even look at Asher before placing a hand on the other mage's shoulder. "Doesn't matter what other people are going on. You're coming with me." He shoved the flier at the other man before turning around as his golden gaze searched for someone else to take along. "Lavinia - get your shit together! You're coming to Abeneraaa Harbor with me and Asher."
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Zuko
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Gwen got her clothes right back at her thanks to Marduk and Lavinia has protected her from stalkers, she gestured her gratitude. It's not that Gwen ignored Holly but there were a lot of things in her mind by just skimming on the job board. Fine missions but none to her cup of tea since most of it were a rinse and repeat especially the Era mission.

She didn't want to deal with another Student Revolt mission because the Dean is a stupid man who lets hell screw loose. For a man that is close to the power of the Gods of Ishgar, his schools are full of shit, these youth may have the power to surpass those who came before them but their attitude is questionable. There was also escort missions which Gwen had done a lot before, she's tired of those because those were the type of quest she often takes. She's letting her siblings do their own thing, their not kids anymore.

Ria has grown independent with her matchmaking business and she was happy for her and Luke is Luke. Gwen felt a void in her heart that she's missing so much time with her only family and immediately reminded herself that she's a Devil Slayer, she have scores to settle with her vendetta against demons. Sacrifices must be made in order to attain a brighter future, even if it means severing bonds.

"I'm tagging along too, Holly. Sorry about earlier, I just couldn't pick what I wanted. Suppose you got room for one more, I know a thing or two about curses as long as its demonic. Gwen has her clothes on.
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by hatakekuro
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@datadogie@Endeavor

Well, today was certainly lively; Lavina was lobbing blood spears at Gwen's fans, Leon's fairies ruining Zenith's hard work again, and then there was...ugh, Kaden. Zenith would have been okay with anyone else becoming an S-Class, but this guy was an exception. The first day that they met, that asshole was flirting any woman with a pulse and hurled insults at Zenith when he made a sarcastic remark, like "washed up Rune Knight" straight to his face, but it would take a lot more than that to get under his skin. With every insult, he did not take the bait and just smiled as he calmly retorted. This Kaden guy was someone with way too big of an ego for this guild, but he was just going to have to trust Torys on letting this troglodyte of a man be a part of Fenixtear.

Maybe he needed to take a job request, but many of them either were escort missions, stopping another student revolt at Era University, or S-Class missions that were too far up the rank for him to go without asking of the rest S-Class mages if he could join them on a job and he sure as hell is not going to ask Kaden. Well, he shouldn't be picky about what jobs to pick though it typically meant that he would have to find someone to team up with to increase the odds of accomplishing a job without a hitch.

Zenith picked at the remaining fries, wondering what course of action he should take when Holly came in with her offer to work an S-Class job with her with persuasion from Marduk. She was close, really close. "I'd be more than happy to. Anything to liberate me from this hell." He said with a playful smirk.

Gwen decided that she was not going to be left behind and made her presence known. "Well, I can't argue that. Let's see what else it says."
Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Anza
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Lavinia

Terrorizing Gwen’s fans was a good start to the day, but Lavinia knew that there was much more to be done if she was to keep up her villain cred in the Guild’s newly competitive environment. Next, she planned to show of her slothfulness by ignoring the job board and crashing on a couch with a book, thus demoralizing the rest of the guild and forcing them to carry out their missions without her valuable support. Maybe Ria would even join her…

No! Bad Lavinia! No thinking about the girl!

She frowned to herself, settling for now in a dark corner of the hall from which she could glower menacingly at their various guests while considering her next move. Thinking about it, it made sense for her to take a job… And then sabotage it at the worst possible moment, causing untold damage and beginning her rise as a force of true evil! Yes, this was an opportunity too good to miss! All she needed was a partner or two, to lend her an air of legitimacy until the moment came to strike.

So who shall it be? Who will be my sacrifice… She ruled out Ria immediately, because the last thing Lavinia needed was her own dumb feelings tripping her up at the last moment. Holly and Grasidia were the only ones strong enough to stop her, so neither of them would do either. She was just beginning to consider the others when someone shouted at her, offering her an answer to the very question she was pondering.

”Coming where? You think I’d go anywhere with trash like you?” She could tell from the way that man talked that he was an unruly lout, and thus unworthy of even breathing the same air as her.

At that moment, however, she had a minor revelation. Wait! Asshole… Evil… Maybe this is it! This man was clearly well-versed in the art of being a dickhead and treating others like shit, having demanded that she accompany him without even so much as asking. This guy… I can learn from him. By observing his horrible attitude and adding it to her own malicious repertoire, her own ability to torment others would rise. Rather than being distracted by Ria’s saintly charms, spending time with this weirdo was sure to bring out her very worst side!

"However,” she continued, standing up straight and striding towards Kaden, “I’ve grown tired of the stench of common plebeians in this hall. Therefore, as of now, I’m in charge of this mission, understand? Your only tasks shall be serving my petty whims, and acting as my loyal meat shield whilst I rain forth destruction upon our enemies!”
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Hidden 3 mos ago Post by Not Fungus
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Luke


The past three weeks for Luke was a monotonous repetition of the days before he went dragon hunting with his friends. The guild expanding didn't deter or discourage Luke from gathering up the fragments of his everyday and putting it together like a stairway he came up and down each day. He woke up from wherever he was sleeping around and rounded at the guild each day for any free job, then left to go rest.

Today was supposed to be a normal day just like any other. It was supposed to be one, yet there was a small, critical difference that irrevocably threw off Luke from the comfortable path he found himself on. Probably because it wasn't the proper route.

He woke up with a cold feeling in his gut. "Ouroboros... it's—" His mind was slow due to being disturbed from his sleep. He was still groggy, but he forced himself to stand up. For the first time ever, the snake ceased gorging itself on whatever it was consuming.

There was an urge inside of him that incited a feeling of revulsion from two sides.

So, he ran into an alleyway and vomited out his guts. There was no green bile typically seen in vomit, nor was there blood showcasing an illness of any sort. What was revealed from his stomach was something horrifying.

Luke rubbed off the vestiges of a black, inky liquid that was slipping from his lips. More than anything, the action of wiping off that liquid put a primal fear in him. All he could do was hopelessly smile while building up an even stronger self-identity.

"This is no good..." Luke muttered to himself with that same smile that didn't belong on his face. "This really is no good at all." He shook his sleeve and wiped off any remaining trace of his little morning issue before walking to the guild with the same placid look on his face.

The snake started eating once more.

The guild was becoming even more lively with more requests flowing in and new members joining. Luke slightly nodded his head in recognition of those new faces and grabbed a delicious meal from Zenith, which was finished in record speed. He then lazily took to the board with his eyes trailing all over the mission requests.

His ears took in the loud conversations between everyone. He filtered them out to look over the interesting missions.

The two jobs that caught his attention the most were the two bodyguard missions. He reflexively turned away from the first one once he saw the mention of an orphanage with a raw dread filling him, so he looked towards the other one.

God Hand? He feels like he's heard of them before, but since he can't remember them, they can't be all that relevant. An A rank mission perfect for his rank, though he wonders if anyone else would want to come with him.

He gently pulled the request off the board and walked over to his guild master.

"Excuse me Torys. Could I take this mission?"
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