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3 mos ago
My GM just threatened to start killing off fictional pet bunny rabbits if I don't post tomorrow. Oh well...
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3 mos ago
Me too, Hitman. Me too.
4 mos ago
Why can't I just take an extra-long nap until this whole thing is over? That should be an option.
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Location: Rest Stop -> Front Gates Interactions: Elysia @alexfangtalon Date: August 24th, 6:25 AM -> 7:00 AM




Just a little before 6:30 AM, a white Pilot pulled up to the rest stop. There was an Uber sticker on both the rear and passenger windows of the car- it didn’t belong to a parent. The driver was far too young to be one anyways. There was a high-school aged girl in the backseat, too, dark-skinned and curly-haired. Ramona had hired the Uber to drive from the airport to Wellington Academy. The car stayed parked at the stop after it had pulled up, the engines still going. Then, after a minute or so, the back door popped open and Ramona hopped out. With a heavy grey duffel bag already slung over her shoulder, she raced to the trunk and popped it open. With effort, she planted her feet in the ground and hefted two suitcases out, dropping them on the ground once she was done. Once everything was out of the trunk, she gave a thumbs-up to the driver and he drove away, leaving her alone at the rest stop.

Ramona could barely keep her eyes open as she tugged her suitcases over to where she thought the coach would pick them up, staggering the entire way. At this point, she had been awake for… she checked the leather watch on her wrist and sighed. 20 hours. It wasn’t that the flight from Miami to Vermont had been that long. The plane ride had taken only five hours, and she had spent half of it trying to sleep and the other half trying to read Chinese literature. So it hadn’t been that. Rather, it had been all the extra time. She had gotten to the airport three hours before her flight, and it had laid over in Philadelphia, which took another two hours. A
Starbucks had been her guardian angel in Philly, but apparently it had been too early for the coffee shop in Burlington to open when she landed. And, even then, she hadn’t had enough time to get coffee once she landed- she had had to race across a deserted airport to her 4 AM Uber. The drive to Wellington Academy had taken them winding through dark, unpaved mountain roads for nearly two hours, with no coffee in sight. So now, at 6:30 AM, her eyes were trying their best to betray her by closing and lulling her into sleep.

With her bright yellow-painted nails, she pinched the sensitive skin on the inside of her wrist, jarring herself back to being three-quarters awake. Fighting to keep her eyes open, she glanced around and nearly lost her breath. The New England wilderness was only missing a blanket of snow to make it a proper winter wonderland. Even here, from the road, it was breathtaking. Mountainous and covered in what seemed to be some sort of tree, it was radically different from the wilderness of Florida. The sun was steadily rising It was August, and it was cold even now. Realizing the chill, Ramona tugged her zip-up jacket closed, sticking her hands in its pockets. Maybe she had brought too many tank-tops for the climate here. As of right now, even her current outfit didn’t seem to be enough- a black zip-up hoodie from Hollister, exercise pants, and slides with socks. She was wearing sunglasses, too, which didn’t seem to be too necessary. She took note of the other students around her, dark brown eyes skimming over the few other students that had arrived this early. She yawned, anxious for the coach to arrive.

She had been waiting for this moment for what felt like eons, although she knew she had only applied 6 months ago. This school sounded perfect to her. Ramona was good at math and science and history, sure, but what she loved was languages. And it turned out that trying to focus on things that she didn’t love led her to crash and burn. But no school except Wellington would let her forgo the general curriculum and instead pursue her interests. It had been a miracle when she had been accepted, and now she was here- actually here. Or about to be. She wondered what her classes would be like. Or her roommate- it said on the information sheet she had been given that her roomie’s name was Evelyn Albright. She liked to imagine that her roommate spoke a language that she didn’t know yet, but she had looked her up and found only mentions of piano competitions and recitals. She hadn’t been able to find any videos, though. That was probably her thing, her special Wellington skill. Ramona just hoped that her piano playing wouldn’t interrupt her studying.

Finally, the coach pulled up to the rest stop. Ramona had never seen a coach before, and was honestly kind of expecting a horse-drawn buggy. But, much to her disappointment (?), it just kind of looked like a bus. Not wanting to take too long, Ramona let everybody else go before her, finally dragging her heavy suitcases and bag onto the coach with her and sitting in one of the front seats. The seat beside her was left empty, so she could scoot over to the window seat and gaze outside without any feeling of guilt.

The scenery seen from the Wellington coach was even more beautiful than from the road. Ramona watched, captivated, as the coach cut through the slim forest road, the boughs of the pine trees brushing against the windows. The thin morning light filtered through the forest, casting leafy shadows on the windows. The coach bumped as it went over rocks and divots in the dirt path, and when Ramona thought that it couldn’t get any cooler, a tunnel appeared ahead. She pressed her cheek to the window, aiming to see what laid ahead of them. The tunnel appeared to be the entrance into the Academy- after all, that was what it said. Her ears popped, and she made a squeak of discomfort. And then, it passed through the tunnel. A gorgeous mural covered the insides of the tunnel. Ramona pressed her hands against the window, wanting a closer look, but it disappeared within seconds as the coach sped past the tunnel and started to struggle up, up, up, further up the mountain. I didn’t think that mountains could be this high, she thought, hands pressed to the window as the coach struggled through the path.

They pulled up to the gates a few minutes later. The doors of the coach popped open, and Ramona gazed out for a moment or so, marveling at the exquisite gates. She caught herself doing this and then, groaning, pulled her duffel back onto her shoulder and hauled her suitcases out of the coach, muttering a “thank you” to the driver before hopping out.

Attempts to focus on getting to where she needed to be were not enough. Instead of looking for the other incoming students, Ramona trudged up to the statues and simply stared. She cocked her head. They looked vaguely… Greek? Roman? Like goddesses of some sort. Athena and… she couldn’t quite place the other one. Before she quite knew what she was doing, her right hand was touching the statue. She yanked it away quickly.

She looked around for a moment more, finding the spot where she had been told to wait for her cottage leader and standing there. She was a bit too tired to initiate conversation, with anyone, so she chose not to.

Then, a shorter girl approached her, holding out a notecard. Ramona blinked. Did I drop one of my flashcards? But she was sure that her flashcards were in her supplies suitcase… she took the card, reading it, and popped her head up. Her mouth formed an “o”. She was mute. And from Zinnia Cottage!

“Oh, it’s awesome to meet you! I’m Ramona Hernandez.” She waved to the younger girl, smiling widely and naturally. “That’s funny, because I’m in Zinnia Cottage too. I don’t think you’re my roommate, though. I’m a sophomore, but I just enrolled this year…” Ramona trailed off, glancing to the side.

“Anyways, since you’re, uh, mute, do you speak ASL? Sign? Whatever. My Wellington thing is that I’m a polyglot. I’m trying to learn ASL right now, but I’m not very good at it, like, at all. It’s kind of hard to practice and stuff because it’s not written or anything and I have to memorize all the… nevermind. Just wondering.”




A soft smile came onto Calypso’s face as Dakota spoke. Her words didn’t make her feel completely better, but that gut-clenching mortification was somewhat diluted. Calypso tugged down her hood (which was quite adorable) and rolled out her sleeping bag parallel to the fire. “I guess. Thanks, though. You’re way too nice.” Dakota would find herself wrapped in a crushing side-hug a moment later. Luckily, Calypso had washed her face of vomit after the ritual, so the hug was not accompanied by the aroma of Calypso’s regurgitated dinner. She let go after maybe a moment too long and leaned back on her hands, surveying the rest of the group. Most of them were sitting by the campfire, talking to each other. Maybe she’d go join them in a moment! It was kinda cold over here… and the dark undergrowth was starting to creep her out.

Her attention was snapped away from the rest of the group by Dakota again- and this time, Astro too! Calypso cooed at the little rodent. Never having been able to settle on her own familiar, she had instead always fawned over those of her peers. Astro was one of her favorites. Even if he was a little bitey. “Ooh, yes please!” Calypso squeed, extending her arms for Astro to climb onto her. Tiny claws dug into her arm as he climbed up it, and she laughed, picking the little squirmy monster back up and putting him against her chest, which he promptly snuggled against. After getting Astro settled, she glanced back up at Dakota and scrutinized the bracelet. “What a lucky find! It’s totally pretty- you should keep it. I bet it would impress, like, a boy or something.” It looked kind of familiar to Calypso, but she shoved the thought aside. She must’ve seen it on the Internet or something. “Astro is such a good boy for finding you that bracelet!” She made kissy faces at the ferret, who only responded with a cackle.

When Dakota asked to go deeper in the forest and get high, the smile dropped off of Calypso’s face. She bit her lip. Then, Iris spoke up very loudly, and she bit her lip even more. Drugs made her nervous, and so did the woods. The both of them combined, though? Even more nervous. “You know, I don’t think… that that’s such a good idea? It’s just... the woods, and who knows what’s out there at 1 AM? Also, um…” She struggled to come up with an another reason as to why they should not get high in the forest, and her eyes alighted upon Charlie. He had just said that loud thing about not getting high, though. “Charlie’ll totally snitch. Maybe some other time, though?”

@Hitman

Lucien pursed his lips as Summer came back to consciousness. He was as impassive and stoic as always of course, but he was clearly trying very hard not to roll his eyes at the teenager. “I’m glad.” A stick snapped as he stood up, and he brushed the leaves and grass off of his robe. He was almost glaring at Summer as he spoke. “You can’t perform magic on an empty stomach. Remember that and don’t let this happen again- someone won’t always be around to fix you,” he scolded, staring down at Summer with derision. “And don’t thank me. You should be thanking your friend over there- Hana Song, I believe her name is. That heal job really was flawless. Look at your wrist. No scar, hm?” He pointed to Hana, who was starting to make her way across the trail back to the house. “That girl is going places. You should be taking some cues from her, young lady. Now come along. Get going. You’ll certainly want to get your fill before the food is put away for the night, won’t you?”

With that, he walked off. He gave the wellspring a glance over once more to see if anyone else needed any assistance. Of course, he didn’t find anyone, so he lit his lantern and followed the initiates down the path and to the house. The bright, magically produced light of the lantern lit up the path, providing visibility for anyone standing near him.

Just a few yards away, Lark was still standing by Maggie and trying to coax the girl out of her panic attack. As soon as Maggie spoke, she smiled, relieved, and squeezed the girl’s shoulder. “Don’t be sorry, dear,” she soothed. “I completely understand. The initiation can be… overwhelming for all of us. Everyone has a different reaction. I’m just happy that you’re okay.” The woman stood with Maggie and took her hand off of her shoulder. “If you’re ready, we can go back to the house. Your family is going to be so proud of you, just you wait. And if you like nature, you have a fun night ahead of you!” Lark muttered some words and lit her own lantern before gently ushering Maggie along to the path with everybody else.

Soon, the elders had gotten everyone onto the path and walking back to the house. Calypso brought up the rear of the group. She slunk ashamedly behind everyone else, trying to avoid everybody’s gazes as best as she could. Her vomit-stained robe was slung over her shoulder with care not to let the stained part touch her clothes. Out of everyone’s reactions, she thought, hers had been the most humiliating. Sure, Maggie had had a panic attack and Summer had fainted (the thought of which put a smile on her face) but vomiting? All over herself? Nobody would ever allow her to live it down. The thought of it stressed her out. She would be teased about this for the rest of her life.

The walk back was as uneventful as the walk there, although it was significantly more mopey than the first one. They emerged back onto the coven property after walking uphill for quite the time. Night had fully descended upon the mountain by now. A wide, vibrant blanket of stars spread over them, and the moon was shining bright and big above them. Calypso in particular stopped for a moment and gazed at the sight, amazed. The bright lights of the city had always drowned out the night sky, and to stand among the bright, plentiful stars of the wilderness gave her a deep-seated, almost magical feeling.

As soon as they came back to the party, the new witches were greeted by almost deafening, excited applause from their new fellows. Parents rushed forward to hug and congratulate their children. Random witches went up to the initiates and congratulated them on their success, seemingly happy just to have new witches in the coven. Everyone seemed glad, in fact.

@Melissa@Danvers






The celebration went on into the night. As soon as Calypso found an opportunity to, she fled the other initiates. Instead, she hung out with her mom and her friends for the rest of the party. It was stupid, but she still felt the embarrassment heating her cheeks and making her want to curl up under a table. Maybe they’d all forget about it if she just disappeared for a couple of hours. Her mom’s friends were happy to fawn over her, though! They wouldn’t even let her go get her own food- when she said she was hungry, one of the women just stood up and got a plate of food and a glass of ice water for her. It went on much like that for the rest of the night. She stayed by her mom, who was ecstatic to see her and to have the full attention of her daughter.

But eventually, the night had to end. It was around ten or so when the other witches started to trickle out of the property. By midnight, only the elders and some of the parents were left. Once most of her friends were gone, Calypso’s mom stood from her seat and grabbed her purse. She smiled at her daughter, tears forming in her eyes.

“Mom…” Calypso started. But before she could finish, her mother wrapped her in a tight embrace.

“I’m just so proud of you.” She let go, but she put a hand on Calypso’s cheek to cradle it. “You have no idea.”

Calypso’s chest tightened. If only her mom knew what a fool her daughter had made of herself. How horribly she had actually done. “You’re leaving already?”

A nod made her smile sink. “Yeah. I’m leaving the Jeep with you, and there’s only one car, so I’m going home with Jessica and her family. You know Jessica.” Her mom gestured to a dark-haired woman standing with her husband and a couple kids near the car path up to the coven house. “Now, listen. You’re gonna have so much fun this summer with all the other initiates. I promise. I’ll see you soon.” With that, her mom gave her another big hug and went off to rejoin her friends. Reluctantly, Calypso cast her eyes around, looking for the other initiates. What were they going to do next?

She spotted Lark, trying to gather up the rest of the initiates. Calypso headed over there, trying to cool her own nerves. It was fine. They had probably all forgotten about it by now! Plus, it was too late- everyone was probably too tired to make fun of her. God knows she was. She couldn’t wait to get in a warm, toasty bed, wrapped in blankets… or to get inside at all. Mosquitoes had been eating her alive all night.

Lark clapped her hands together, getting everyone’s attention. “Now for the fun part! Tonight, as is tradition, you’ll be sleeping outside in a secluded spot on the property. As witches, we have a deep and sacred connection to nature. So what better to foster that than by sleeping outside?”

Calypso’s heart sunk. Camping? This day couldn’t get any worse, really. She didn’t want to camp- she wanted to be inside, in bed. At least she’d be in a tent, away from the mosquitoes, she reasoned. And with a group of people that were (mostly) her friends. When Lark motioned to, Calypso grabbed her pajamas out of her suitcase. Lark started to move away from the picnic tables and the house. With a drag in her step, Calypso followed, face twisted into a sour frown.

A bit later, they arrived at a copse of trees. The house was in sight, though far off. Calypso’s frown twisted even further as she saw the set-up. A fire was in the middle of the clearing, steadily crackling. Sleeping bags were set in a pile by a twisting maple tree- but there were no tents. She groaned internally. Awesome. Just awesome.

“Well, I don’t have to tell you how to use sleeping bags,” Lark quipped. “I’ll leave you guys here to get some rest. Just shout if you need something. Good night!” She put a lantern on the ground, and then turned around and went back to the house. Presumably to do some sleeping of her own.

Once she was gone, Calypso groaned very loudly. She looked down at her pajamas and then at the trees. Did she have to change in the woods? “I’m gonna go change,” she said sullenly, and then disappeared into the trees.

A few minutes later, she came out of the trees, blushing. She had forgotten that she had packed these pajamas. A zip-up pig onesie hugged her body, revealing only her feet, which were bare. She had the hood up and refused to meet anyone’s eyes, instead grabbing a sleeping bag and plopping herself in a corner.

If only this day would end already.


The ogres’ rotten smell wafted up from where their bodies lay under the rubble. A sudden whiff of it turned Jamie’s stomach, and she had to squeeze her nostrils shut with both her fingers to keep it from making her vomit up what she didn’t even have in her stomach. Why did they have to be kidnapped today, of all days? This villain needs to learn some manners, she thought sourly. Jamie never went on missions while hungover unless she absolutely had to. All the noise and the smell and the sunlight were only exacerbating her pounding headache. With reluctance, she moved aside the rocks covering the ogres’ bodies with one hand, noting with satisfaction that they were dead as a doornail. She fist-pumped, grinning.

A voice sounded from near her. She nearly sent out a shockwave, but then realized it was Joseph. The smile stayed on her face as she turned to her friend, bouncing on her feet. “Jojo, don’t sneak up on me like that! I could’ve crushed you, jeez…” she said, sounding a little more sour than usual. At his question, she examined her arms. There was that subtle, familiar ache to them- not quite her muscles, but her bones, warning her that they would fracture if she over-exerted herself. But Jamie had enough experience with her power to know that this wasn’t her limit. Far from it, actually. “No, I think I’m alright for now. Might not wanna take down too many more buildings and stuff, but they just hurt a little. Are you okay, though? You look kinda messed up…” She reached her hand out to him in concern before she heard another, louder noise and whirled around.

The ogres were standing around them, hooting and beating at their chests. “UGH!” Jamie held up her hands, ready to blast them. She knew it wouldn’t hurt them, but if she tried hard enough… well, maybe it would? Either way, she was annoyed. Couldn’t they just go away already? She was about to let loose a blast when the temperature in the forum suddenly increased. Left confused for a moment, she eventually turned to Blake, the only person she knew there who could control heat. As the heat grew, she put down her hands and stepped away from him. Then, she started to speedwalk backwards. The heat was borderline oppressive, and she was sure it would cook her if she stood by it for long enough.

True to form, Blake killed all the ogres simultaneously with a bang. The sudden light made her headache flare, but Jamie watched the phoenix with awe written on her face. Awesome. It plowed down the ogres with a dramatic flourish even she might not have been able to pull off. After all the ogres were gone, she moved toward Blake, clapping and ready to congratulate him.

“Dude, that was so awesome! I didn’t know you could create animals-” she started, but was unable to finish as he fell to the ground, unconscious. Jamie looked at him, open-mouthed. “Oh my God, is he DEAD?! Noooooo!” Of course, being Jamie, she didn’t think to check his pulse or anything. Oh well.

@Rabidporcupine






Patricia followed Sam’s cues and stayed close, her heart pumping with fear at the sight of just how close the ogres were. She had thought they would be out of the forum by now, away from the ogres- she was utterly useless while fighting them. Even if she wouldn’t admit it willingly. The fact of the matter was, her power was weak unless she was fighting humans. It worked with emotions and commands. A lullaby or maybe even a death song might affect them, but she couldn’t do that with everybody else here.

An ogre approached, and her heart must’ve started going at a mile a minute. She glanced to Sam nervously, only barely managing to conceal her fear. But he killed it like she had thought he would, and she let out a sigh of relief. But that was before five more came charging at them. Oh God, Sam couldn’t fight these things. Maybe Jamie or Blake or Tom could, but… Patricia had noticed the building collapsing out of the side of her eye. That was probably where they all were. Shit, shit shit…

She glanced at Sam out of the side of her eye at his question. How is that relevant? But she quickly caught on. IF they were sensitive to light, would they be sensitive to sound, too? Interesting. Sam was smart, she decided then and there. Smarter than most everyone else, at least. “Pretty high. I’m a soprano, and my power… it doesn’t matter. Pretty high. Should I…?”

Patricia didn’t get a chance to actually start singing. She felt the heat before she noticed anything was happening. Her gaze, along with that of the ogres, flicked to the fiery-haired figure that was Blake across the forum. What was he doing? The air got hotter and hotter, making Patricia sweat. And then… the phoenix appeared. She stared in awe for a moment, hazel eyes reflecting the light. “Woh,” she whispered. It chased all the ogres away, obliterating the ones nearest her. She had to cover her eyes because of how bright it was. And then, after it had done that, it disappeared. That… was probably the coolest thing she had ever seen Blake do. Sparing a glance for Sam and angling her head towards Blake, she walked over to him, ready to congratulate him.

She didn’t make it there before he passed out, but she did manage to overhear the part about the elevator. That enthusiasm about finding a place to get in overridden the concern she had for Blake, although she did spare him a concerned glance. “He’ll be fine,” she told Jamie dismissively, before walking into the basilica and finding the elevator. She ran her hands along it, narrowing her eyes. “It’s locked!” she shouted. “UGH! But where’s the key?! God, I hate this... We need to find it!”

@DClassified
Sister Deborah was about to give another one of her rousing, encouraging speeches when everything suddenly devolved into chaos. She had planned to make everybody feel better about themselves by talking about how they had just taken the largest step of their lives, yada yada, but that did… not go planned. The older woman’s mouth opened and closed like a fish for a second, confused at the scene unfolding beneath her. Calypso’s vomiting didn’t phase her at first. That was expected, and she’d just wait until she stopped expunging her dinner to start. But when Summer fainted and Maggie had a panic attack, she… definitely had to do something about that. At least everyone was okay, but the situation definitely needed to be brought under control. Rather than doing it herself, though, she motioned for the other elders to go ahead and take care of it.

Lucien- an older, stern, gray-haired man- headed for Summer. He motioned Arken away, and then knelt next to her unconscious body and made a tutting sound. “Stupid girl. We told you to eat,” he muttered under his breath. He propped her head onto his knees and pulled out a packet of something from the pockets of his own robe. They were smelling salts, and he cracked open the packet under her nose. The harsh smell would hopefully jar her back to consciousness. It didn’t seem like a serious faint, anyways.

Lark, meanwhile, rushed towards Maggie. She hovered over Rebecca for a split second, making sure she hadn’t drowned (she hadn’t) before squatting next to the hyperventilating Maggie. “You’re okay, sweetheart. You’ve just done something incredible. Nothing’s going to hurt you. Deep breaths.” She modelled the breathing for Maggie, giving her a calm and reassuring smile. “Count with me to 10. 1, 2, 3…” Lark continued on like this in a low voice, with only the slightest bit of worry showing on her own face.

@Danvers@Melissa






Tears pricked at Calypso’s eyes as she retched. Today was supposed to be the best day of her life- but her stupid fear of blood was ruining it. She could feel the eyes of her peers looking on, deriding her weakness. In Jean-Luc and Summer’s cases, she could hear their laughter and their insults, each one twisting in like another knife in her gut. But Summer fainting improved her mood the slightest bit, even if she was loathe to admit it. She nearly twisted around behind herself to just vomit onto the other girl, but decided at the last moment that that would be too mean. Even if Summer absolutely deserved it.

She stopped vomiting after a long 30 seconds, leaning on her knees and panting heavily. There was a touch on her arm and, startled, she looked up to see… Dakota. Calypso had half-thought that she would be laughing at her with all the others but… no. She should’ve thought more of her friend. She smiled weakly up at her friend, and at the healing magic. Her wrist itched for a few seconds, and, once she deemed it safe to, she glanced down at her wrist. There was still dried blood smeared on her hand, but it wasn’t bleeding anymore. And the cut on her wrist… well, she could still see where it had been. An ugly, straight scar now ran along her wrist where she had dragged the knife along her skin. It wasn’t pretty, but at least she wasn’t bleeding out anymore.

Dragging herself up to stand straight, Calypso smiled a thin smile at Dakota. It was hard to look dignified when there were chunks of vomit on your clothes, that was for sure. “A little,” she rasped. “I’m sorry. I… overreacted. Totally embarrassed myself.” She let out a small, self-deprecating laugh.

God, she was going to be made fun of for this for ages.

@Hitman




In the middle of the chaos, Sister Deborah stepped up again and cleared her throat. "Well... for everyone feeling up to it, you can start to head back to the party. I understand that initiation can take something out of you, and there's still plenty of food and drink up there. Your fellow witches are up there, waiting to welcome you as their equals. I can't wait to see what you all will do with your newfound power. I'll tell you about our plans for the rest of these months with us at... some point later. For now, please rest and recuperate." Awkwardly, she lit her lantern and stood by the path, waiting for the initiates to start walking back. She seemed to want to get away from the chaos as soon as possible, even though her underlings were currently caring for Summer and Maggie. She beckoned to the conscious initiates to star their way down the path, fingers clenched tight on the lantern.

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