Avatar of Cello
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    1. Cello 4 yrs ago
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Recent Statuses

6 yrs ago
Current Sliced Bread is the best thing since Betty White
6 yrs ago
I finally got around to watching A Silent Voice. Very nice to see some deaf culture representation in anime.
6 yrs ago
My room is so empty! All of my furniture sans bed and wardrobe have been moved to the new place. Not long now :)
6 yrs ago
6 yrs ago
*Downing a bottle of cab merlot whilst filling out mental illness quizzes on buzzbeed* COMING OUT OF MY CAGE AND I'VE BEEN DOING JUST FINE
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"Just a white girl trying to enjoy the croutons in her salad."

Most Recent Posts

Ky Lien
Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | D'Angelo Schultz @samreaper, Arial Gratas @twave, Jenna Wolfsbane @Zarkun, Akemi Desdemona @Lunarlord34

Ky watched as Ariel shifted through magic with the ease that one might change their hat or select a record in a jukebox, hanging on every word of her curious dilemma. His understanding of the circumstances that led her here was limited, though he cunningly masked the gaps in his knowledge with the occasional thoughtful nod and an accompanying “I see.” Or, “Ah.
Never both at once.
That would be too obvious.
What wasn’t obvious to him, at least at first, was the significance of having freely offered his magic to Ariel. Her gratitude brought a flush to his cheeks and an effervescent flutter in his chest. Try as he might to hide it, there was nothing to be done to stop the boyishly coy smile that widened across his face.
Something was swelling within him. In time he would come to know this feeling as pride; the satisfaction of knowing you were a part of something bigger than yourself.
The lost piece that completes the puzzle.
No longer stuck between the cushions, unable to fit in anywhere else.

As he was, Ky didn’t fully comprehend why Ariel’s acknowledgment had stirred him so. It wasn’t even entirely directed at him or particularly overflowing with gratitude given the girl’s monotonous manner of speech when reverting to her base, white, form. Yet it was significant enough that when Jenna suggested to her that she should join the guild and seek out the other Mages who could provide the missing fragments of her psyche, Ky instinctively stepped forward beside the guildmaster to voice his approval.
The boss is right! You’ll meet so many mages if you stay here! I’ll introduce you. You and Tangelo.
Ky spotted D’angelo’s theatrics from the corner of his eye. The more he came to know this eccentric cloud mage, the more apt his initial comparison to a comic book character seemed to become. Everything he did was so animated and bold, with a dramatic flair that was downright Shakespearean (whoever that is).
A sly thought had crossed Ky’s mind that a certain, uptight, lightning twerp would absolutely cringe at having to spend more than five minutes around him. Already he plotted to orchestrate Adelyn and D’angelo’s fated meeting in such a manner that she could not easily escape his wiles. The cogs of mischief were turning, and he somehow suspected that D’angelo would similarly relish in their machinations.

Ariel’s wolf transformation, while fascinating, had taken a backseat to the sudden shift of the crowd. Ky turned to spot the white hair of Akemi as she made her way through the hall - the crowd parting around her and her mysterious concoction as the bow of a ship parts the sea. Much like D’angelo, Ky’s stomach was not so easily turned by all manner of gross and disgusting abominations - and Akemi’s unique brand of culinary disasters were ever a favourite of his.
Not for eating, of course. His sense of self preservation wasn’t that poor.
Ky spotted the job flier in her hands and waved her down. Assuming she had taken up the opportunity to join their gathering, Ky peered over the top of the piece of paper to try and catch a glimpse at whatever assignment Akemi was considering.
Show me, Akemi! I wanna see. An escort? Aw, I can do that! Come on boss, can I go? Please?” He had to crane his neck to meet Jenna’s gaze, his own fiercely determined with the prospect of something perhaps a bit more exciting than his usual assignments.

Location | Garrison Command. Rembrandt
Interactions | Adelyn Amberfield, Mark Penderghast @Sanguine Rose, Sergeant Munroe

Kiba watched the confrontation unfold between Mark and Seargent Munroe with his same, unbothered expression. This was not the first time he had been chided by a member of the garrison or a guard; nor was it the first time he had worked with Munroe. The Sergeant, assumedly preoccupied by his myriad duties, had never once addressed Kiba by name despite him having offered it at their initial meeting and the handful of reunions since - he had just never presumed that a minor detail like his name was that important.
As far as working with Rising Starborn mages went, Kiba embodied a lot of desirable traits. He took orders well, never spoke back and completed the task as efficiently as possible. Of course, the guards seldom admitted to anything that would resemble praise where the immigrant mages were concerned. ‘The silent one’ rang particularly hollow for him as it was fairly accurate and not one of the more creative, more racially charged, insults they had devised for him. Nonetheless, he paid them no mind. He had learnt young that in the toolkit one could use to break a person’s spirit, name calling was a rather dull blade.

The mission seemed to be falling apart when neither man gave way to the other. Despite his own feelings, Kiba could see where Mark was coming from. In his own country, Kiba had watched men’s throats be slit for lesser perceived slights against one’s character. It wasn’t that he didn’t understand the significance of honour and decorum, but rather that he had always thought they were the purview of the wealthy and powerful. For Mark to so vehemently defend not just his own, but Kiba and Adelyn’s honour, seemed quite preposterous. Kiba was no noble - he was no one.
He spared a thought for Adelyn. The young girl held herself with a modicum of respect and dignity after all. If he had been her sworn fang, duty would require that Kiba demand satisfaction on her behalf for the Sergeant's careless words.

Yet he was not sworn to Adelyn.
He was sworn to Jenna. In a sense, anyway.
And Jenna had allowed this job to reach them, so complete it they must. If Adelyn had not stepped up to ease the tension herself, then the task of bringing the focus back to the mission would have fallen to him. He didn’t wish to insult Adelyn by implying that she wasn’t capable of speaking on such matters without his input - so he remained quiet. That is, until the Sergeant turned to him in anticipation of a name.
Ki…ba” He stuttered out, though he held no expectation that it would stick this time.
Location | Rembrandt Outskirts. Rembrandt
Interactions | Adelyn Amberfield @Lunarlord34, Mark Penderghast @Sanguine Rose

The walk through town was remarkably quiet; Adelyn’s prattling notwithstanding. With much of the town celebrating at the Rising Starborn guildhall, the streets of Rembrandt were eerily still as the trio of mages set off on their mission. The odd shopkeep, housewife or guard would spare a glance in their direction as they crossed paths, returning to their mundane duties before Kiba could offer them with his usual greeting - an aloof, blank expression with a short nod of the head. With each passing left unacknowledged, the swordsman sighed with relief. The need for basic social etiquette was often exhaustive and proved more anxiety inducing than even the most grueling of battles. His thoughts wandered back to the task at hand, tuning in to the tail end of Adeyn and Mark’s rather one sided conversation regarding their mission.

Mark had briefed the pair on their hunt as they walked through the town, and Kiba didn’t feel a particular need to seek any further details. Find the beast and defeat it. It was as cut and dry as any job could get - a simpleness he appreciated. Though Mark had raised the issue of Adelyn’s safety, which was a contingency that couldn’t be ignored. Despite her protests, Kiba had given Mark a silent acknowledgement that he would look out for her. Mark was an accomplished mage in his own right, so his need for Kiba and Adelyn’s support would likely be minimal. It wouldn’t detract from the mission if Kiba were to focus his efforts on protecting Adelyn from any ire she may draw from their prey. Though he felt bad thinking it, he couldn’t help cracking a slight grin at the young girl's remarkable talent for drawing attention to herself. He briefly mused on the notion that the giant wolfbeast may outright submit to her verbal lashings as he had seen others.

“Heh.” He chuckled to himself, eyes darting to the two in case they overheard him and looked to inquire on what, pray tell, was so funny? Clearing his throat for words that would never come, Kiba picked up his pace to walk alongside the others. It would likely serve his best interests to pay attention to what was being said about the task. He nodded at Adelyn’s suggestion of first meeting with the client for more information before departing. The flier described a beast that was somewhat out of the ordinary, so it would be best to err on the side of caution. The flier had listed the rendezvous point as a few paces from the southernmost road leading out of town. The town’s outskirts came into view after a few more minutes of walking. The job flier proved ample reason for the guards to allow passage out of town, where the trio could arrive at their destination and await further instruction from the client.
Ky Lien
Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | D'Angelo Schultz @samreaper, Arial Gratas @twave, Jenna Wolfsbane @Zarkun

The self-proclaimed eccentric, D’angelo, had Ky in stitches. His muffled giggles turned to hearty chuckles the more he watched this stranger comically engage with his cloud companion, Nimbus. Ky clutched his stomach, an ear to ear grin beaming up at D’angelo. There was an odd familiarity to the conversation; as though he was talking to a peer of his own age rather than a full grown adult. The older man was childish in his whimsy, and it became all too easy for Ky to lose his composure around him.
Ky felt his face flush a light tinge of vermillion, averting his gaze down to the floor with the sudden self-consciousness of his childish joy.
First with Ariel and now D’Angelo. Ky, still a boy, had not yet learned to be at ease with his emotions. Caught between the marvel of newfound friendships and the embarrassment of imaginary eyes piercing him with their scrutiny. What would they see?
A foolish boy losing his wits over a few slapstick gags?
Or a child enjoying himself in the company of others?
Ky couldn’t be certain, but the very notion that the former opinion might win out was enough to silence his laughter and somber his mood. He didn’t want to be seen as childish.

Fortunately, Ariel changed the subject before Ky’s silence became noted. The young man wasn’t quite sure what to make of her strange request. Instinct warned him against humoring it; that trademark Lien standoffishness that was about the only thing his father felt obliged to impart on him. Yet seeing D’Angelo feel comfortable enough to share some of his own magic eased his wariness. And once he saw the metamorphosis the young lady underwent, his eyes glistened with awe.
He rushed forward in front of Ariel, staring up at her with hands clenched tightly at his chest.
Woah! That was amazing! You can just change colour like that? I wish I could do that! Here, do mine next! Please!” He bounced on the balls of his feet, rubbing his palms together to gather up a faint heartbeat of magic within them. The air warped around his hands as the geokinetic forces pressed against them. Some loose grains of sand and a few small rock chips lifted off the ground in response to his geomantic influence. He wasn’t quite sure if it was enough for her to absorb, but he didn’t think Ariel would appreciate having a rock flung at her head, so it would have to do.

Once she chose to accept the offering of magic, Ky would bring his attention back to D’Angelo and confidently pound his fists together.
Yup! I’m a Rising Starborn mage!” The pride was evident in his announcement. He was a stranger in a strange land, and the Guild had offered him a place he could belong.
You really need to see some of the stuff these guys can do! They’re all a bit strange, but their magic is so cool!” He began listing off a few of his guildmates and the limited knowledge he had on their abilities. In truth, he had not really seen a great deal. Yet his young, imaginative mind, could fill in the blanks with the ease of a poet reciting verses. He spoke of the bubbly water mage whose optimism washed over you like a wave of relief, the cool as ice swordsman who was silent as mist, the temperamental lightning mage with a tongue that struck more intensely than any bolt she could conjure. He would have kept listing them off, if not for his attention being drawn to his fellow guildmates congregating at the jobs board.

Oh! Oh! You guys should speak to Miss Jenna! You can see all of the strong mages at work if you take on a job with them.” The idea seemed more exciting to Ky than anyone else. For weeks now he had been stuck on mundane tasks; ones that aided the community through trivial, domestic services. He was green with envy at some of the older, more competent mages, like Nolan or Mark whose escapades of their own various, thrilling, jobs only served to fuel his frustration at being sidelined with tasks that he felt were beneath him.
I’ll introduce you to her.” His eyes scanned the stage until they found Jenna, waiting for hers to meet his before signaling her attention with a quick wave. He would introduce these strangers to the master, and demand that he be allowed to accompany one of the harder jobs on display. Afterall, he was just as much a mage of Rising Starborn as the others; he ought to have the chance to bare his fangs and prove his worth.

Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | Adelyn Amberfield @Lunarlord34, Mark Penderghast @Sanguine Rose

The plan was for a swift exodus to a more serene environment. If Adelyn allowed, Kiba may even have offered to show her some of his breathing exercises he used to warm up before training. They were often just as useful to compose oneself mentally for a stressful situation as they were for battle. It probably would have come to fruition (though more likely she would have spat her venom at him as she did many others), until a benign accident had her colliding with one Mark Penderghast. Mark was someone who Kiba felt a sort of unspoken kinship with - on a surface level he and Mark were quite similar. Stoic, silent and driven. Of course, he had no actual basis for this assessment as their comparable traits acted as a barrier to entry for any deeper understanding of one another. On evenings where the guild hall wasn’t quite as busy, the two would often be seen at the bar, enjoying a drink with nothing but a few stools and silence between them. Those were the nights Kiba preferred. Mark didn’t come with the expectation of socialising like some of the others did. He seemed just as content to enjoy the peace and quiet as Kiba did.
Judging Mark to be a man of even temperament, Kiba didn’t think much of his collision with Adelyn. A curt recognition of the event slipped from the older man’s lips, and that was that.
Until it wasn’t.

The words ‘even temperament’ certainly did not apply to Adelyn, and the previous escalation with Nolan had barely begun to settle before this unrelated incident occurred. Kiba had already turned back around to head out when Adelyn’s voice sent a pang of realisation through his chest.
Of course she would have reacted that way.
He turned back around to try and bring her attention back to where they were headed. The fresh air? Calming down? Remember? Evidently not.
By the time he saw her it was too late; she had placed herself in front of Mark and demanded an apology while trying to catch her breath from exertion. Her audacity and disrespect to an elder should have already been shameful enough, but the misplaced determination to forcefully catch up with him just to make a point was the cherry on top.
Even Kiba struggled to not crack a smile at the display.

Wandering over to catch the end of her rant, Kiba lowered his head in acknowledgment of Mark before standing a few feet apart from Adelyn. He made no recognition of her actions, only lifting his chin in the direction of the door to, hopefully, remind her of why she had set off in the first place. A good part of him realised it may be a pointless endeavor; if she was set on getting this apology then hell itself would have to freeze over before she yielded.
Ky Lien
Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | D'Angelo Schultz @samreaper, Arial Gratas @twave

To Ky’s surprise, the golden cloud stirred at his touch as any living creature might. The soft cotton of its body held a certain weight to it and felt cooling on his hands, like droplets of fresh morning dew.
He withdrew his hands from the cloud, holding them up to his face to inspect the ever so slight dampness. A living cloud. With each passing day the young man continued to discover just how vast and unique this magical world was. His thoughts drew to Kim.
How much had his brother had already seen?
What marvels would he share with Ky once reunited? He often envisioned the day, hoping it would come sooner than later.
Another pair of hands began probing the cloud. Ky’s gaze followed up the length of the woman’s arms until he was able to see the blank, porcelain white iris that remarkably matched her shoulder length hair. She was even garbed in whites, contrasting with a deeper complexion.
Ky found her quite appealing, a tinge of rose very slightly flushing his cheeks as he quickly averted his gaze. He was of an age where thoughts of the opposite sex still felt strange; embarrassing even.
These things were never discussed in the Lien household.
Ky’s awareness of his own awkwardness only served to make him more self conscious. Fortunately the young lady was similarly interested in the golden cloud and paid him no mind. Ky stared up at the brown haired man as the other stranger approached him, grabbing his attention with a tap on the shoulder.

The heavier man held himself with an air of confidence that Ky found to be very inviting. His movements were exaggerated and comical. They reminded Ky of a cartoon character. The man hopped towards him, introducing himself as D’angelo Schultz whilst lounging upon the cloud as one would a chaise. Ky snorted at the near fall, covering his widening grin with a hand.
I’m Ky L-” He began, before remembering the notoriety of his family’s name. He wasn’t sure if D’angelo hailed from Fiore, but he had made it a point to refrain from giving up his identity as the Lien heir. He didn’t wish for word to reach his parents. They would surely send for him if they found out his whereabouts.
Ky. You’re pretty weird, tangelo.” He hadn’t intended to mistake his name for a large citrus, but upon realizing his error Ky seemed more impressed at the rhyme than apologetic for butchering a stranger’s name.
Nevermind that he had also just bluntly insulted him.
Ha! Tangelo! That’s good!” Ky giggled, beaming up at D’angelo in expectant recognition of his wordplay. His childlike aloofness denoted a lack of malice behind his words. At the very least, it was clear he hadn’t intended to make a mockery of the newcomer.

Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | Nolan Waltz @hatakekuro, Adelyn Amberfield @Lunarlord34, Astoria Ocenade @Sanguine Rose

Kiba paused to consider how best to respond to Nolan’s observation that he was ‘having fun’. A futile endeavor, seeing as he opted for his usual curt nod and slightly forced smile. Eager to remove the attention from him, he took another swig of the stout, which he had been nursing for so long that it had gone tepid and warm.. He couldn’t hide the grimace that momentarily swept across his face as he placed the mug down on the counter and slowly slid it as far from him as he could.
He made sure to check that the bartender was too occupied with some other task and wouldn’t notice his dismissal of the drink.
He realized he had inadvertently given Nolan an answer in regards to his enjoyment of drinking.
He looked back at the other man and lifted his hand with the palm flat towards the ground, rotating it left and right at the wrist in a ‘so-so’ gesture. He took note of Adelyn, whose head was currently being pushed down whilst Nolan talked with him.
She’s not going to like that. And sure enough, she did not.
Kiba leaned back at verbal lashing the young girl was dishing out. Such confidence to talk to her elders like that. He half expected Nolan to swat the back of her hand with a cane; a common punishment for insolent peers back in Isvan.

Concern started to grow for Adelyn as she became more flustered, even going so far as to attempt to shove Nolan. It was like a child throwing a tantrum.
I suppose she is still a child. Kiba mused, wondering about what kind of life this girl must have lived before coming here. His attention was drawn to the familiar, chipper voice of the ever optimistic Ria.
Yeah.” The word came out like a short breath of air, as though it was mixed in with a sigh. The quick verbalisation, which was in response to Ria’s query about Jenna’s performance, was about as much as Kiba spoke when he chose to use his words.
Nolan’s composure seemed to crumble before the water mage’s very presence. It was a most peculiar switch given the unsettling nature of his apology towards Adelyn.
Strange man. Although Kiba thought it to be quite honorable to admit fault to a younger companion, Nolan’s eyes held a stifling coldness to them which made the hairs on the back of his neck stand up. Yet his manner with Ria piqued his interest somewhat. Was the resident ray of sunshine perhaps far more intimidating than she appeared at a glance?
Then it dawned on him.
A crush. Nolan clearly fancied Ria and could barely get a word out over his nerves.
Kiba nodded to himself and decided to make himself scarce as any respectable wingman would do for an infatuated… friend? No, that was too forward; he and Nolan weren’t that familiar.
An acquaintance, then.

He rose to his feet, walking beside Adelyn before cautiously gesturing a hand towards the Guild’s entrance. He knew better than to actually touch her given the prior ordeal.
Air?” He offered, hoping a change of scenery may be of some help to the girl whilst simultaneously setting up Nolan a chance to be alone with Ria.
He made for the exit, unsure if Adelyn planned to follow or not. He shot a quick glance back over his shoulder at Nolan.
A quick thumbs up, sneakily tucked under his left arm and concealed from Ria’s view, was flashed alongside a knowing smirk as he turned back around and headed on his way.
He turned towards Jenna as she gave her announcement, making a mental note to come back inside and check the job board.
Perhaps when the Guild was a bit less busy.
Ky Lien
Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | D'Angelo Schultz @samreaper

The guild hall had come alive with the day’s festivities. It was as though half the town had made their way to Rembrandt's up and coming mage guild, giving the otherwise spacious hall a very tightly packed, busy feeling. Drinks poured freely at the bar, a cacophony of pints clanking together and inebriated jeers resonating from the occupied stools. The thumping of feet against the floorboards in rhythm with the band's music only enhanced the revelry, but could not compete with Jenna’s vocals. The guildmaster took center stage, seemingly enjoying herself as much as the audience was.

Ky wasn’t exactly sure how he came to be packed in with the moshing crowd of dancing drunkards. He had been coasting along the outskirts of the dance floor; only wanting to sneak a closer view of the band members who he had come to recognise over his brief few weeks with the guild. Yet it seems that a group of patrons, older women perhaps no older than thirty, had partaken of one too many glasses of wine, and simply swept the young boy up with them as they themselves made their way into the fray. Not one to shy away, Ky was content to engage in his own clumsily awkward attempt to dance. He was incredibly off beat. He resembled more of a deer slipping on ice than a person trying to move in rhythm. The patrons egged him on nonetheless. This was a space for enjoying oneself, and there was no wrong way to do that, surely.

Then, parting the sea of dancers like a ship moving through the waves, a larger gentleman had made his way to the middle of the dancefloor. He was a stranger to Ky, but the young boy paid him little mind. There were so many faces from town he had never seen before here. What was one more? The crowd welcomed him into their ranks, hooting and cheering as the song began to reach the final chorus. Ky had stopped dancing, looking past the stranger to a golden puff of vapor that seemed to be tailing him. The weather anomaly was most curious, and the young lad found himself drifting away from the crowd to go and investigate it.
How? The way boys have been investigating oddities since time immemorial.
He prodded his finger into the golden mass, wondering if the entity was perhaps more solid than it appeared.
This thing is so weird. Can clouds be gold?” Ky wondered aloud, to no one in particular. His prodding became a bit more invasive, squeezing the sides to see if he could grab on to it.

Location | Rising Starborn Guildhall. Rembrandt
Interactions | Nolan Waltz @hatakekuro, Adelyn Amberfield @Lunarlord34

Kiba was sourly nursing some sort of dark ale, taking small sips while trying to hide the displeased scowl from the bar maiden. There had been a slight miscommunication when he had attempted to place his order. The young man had been in the mood for something a bit smoother; a nice clean spirit that would warm his chest and perhaps ease up his nerves. The guild hall was already a place he found quite discomforting on the best of days. The festivities had drawn such a crowd that he could almost feel his heart trying to crawl up through his throat and make a mad dash for his quarters. So when he attempted to gesture to a nice bottle of what he presumed was vodka (although it could have been gin), the young lass at the bar was already swamped with a plethora of other orders and mistook the path of his finger to an ale they had on tap. The thought of correcting the mistake never once occurred to him. He peered at the staff mixing up drinks from behind the bar, the large influx of customers definitely giving them a run for their money. He didn’t wish to add to their burdens. Thus, he continued to suck on the intense brew in the hopes he’d quickly acquire a taste for it.

There were a few somewhat familiar faces at the bar. Nolan and Adelyn looked like they were enjoying the party even less than he was. Though that was hardly surprising. He knew little of the newcomers, partly because he didn’t pry and also because the pair had already garnered a reputation for being standoffish. That was putting it kindly, in the case of Adelyn. Nolan’s indifference was preferable to Adelyn’s venom anyday. Having a penchant for keeping out of people’s way, Kiba had never personally faced Adelyn’s pointed barrage of insults. He had witnessed a fair few of her reads against those unfortunate enough to draw her ire. The very thought of it made him shudder.

The song had reached its end, prompting a round of applause from the crowd. Kiba raised his pint to Jenna. His own silent acknowledgment of a job well done. The music in this country was far different from what he was used to. Then again, he didn’t have much of a chance to enjoy the arts back in Isvan. He peered back towards Adelyn as she remarked on the performance. Clearly not her cup of tea. He took another painstaking sip from his ale, the only solace being that warm flush in his cheeks that only alcohol could bring. That same sensation came with a sudden rise in bravado, prompting a barely audible chuckle at the viper’s commentary.
Hmph.” Kiba couldn’t help but compare her mannerisms and speech to that of the nobles of his homeland. She could definitely give them a run for their money with those pointed glares and upturned nose. A potential noble and some sort of holy man. Rising Starborn seemed to be attracting all kinds of intriguing sorts.

Meredith Clagnan

Wolven Pyre Greenhouse | Silverbranch Glade
Interacting with: | Manami Fuyu @Lunarlord34

Meredith delighted in Manami’s eagerness to hear more of her culture and traditions. An inquisitive soul was truly a rare find nowadays; especially in such a young lady. Young comparatively, anyway. The assistant witches finished bottling up the calming draft, pushing a cork to seal the shimmering concoction before bringing it before the older woman.
Very good ladies. I dare say we should make haste and bring this potion to Talos.” She fastened the vial to her belt, drawing her olive green traveling cloak over her shoulders and fixing her satchel of various herbs and reagents to her hip. She reached for a few spare flasks, just in case she came across the sorely missed treant sap on their way to the battle, when a loud crash and bang from downstairs startled her to attention. Could it have come from the guild hall? No, it was too close. They were quite a considerable distance up in the canopy greenhouse. Then realization hit her.
Karla!” She turned to the two witches, offering a curt nod. They responded in kind, rushing past Manami and heading down the stairs towards the commotion. “We must make sure the others are safe. From what? God knows. Let’s go.”

Meredith took the steps two at a time, surprisingly spritely for her old age. She clutched at the moth brooch securing her cloak, letting it trail behind her as the door to Priscilla’s room came into view. Standing before it, there was no mistaking this was where the disturbance had come from. A palpable malignance wafted from the room, one that was unmistakable to Meredith in its nature. A witch’s curse.

The two accompanying witches entered first, their hands at the ready to conjure any defensive spells should the need arise. Meredith felt a shiver down her spine as she entered the room. She looked around in disbelief. Priscilla’s quarters were almost unrecognizable, despite no physical difference aside from the gaping hole across the room. The sensation was, regrettably, familiar to her; a witch’s curse. Curses had a way of afflicting the physical spaces they were cast in, an eerie feeling of disjointment that sapped one of all positive emotions. She approached the hole blasted through the side of the great hollow, lamenting the damage of their home for a brief moment before a figure caught their eyes far below in the glade. A young man that she almost instantly recognised as Bullet. Was he responsible for this damage? He didn’t look well at all. Another figure a few meters in front of him was crumpled in a small pile, though unmistakingly female.

Karla, she’s hurt. We have to get down the-” Meredith stopped in her tracks, watching as Karla’s lithe figure began to lift from the earth. Her torso raised first, limbs dangling as though an invisible claw had just plucked her from the soil. Soon her arms and legs followed suit, rigidly straightening themselves up as though the young lady were a string drawn puppet rather than a living being. Standing at her full posture, Meredith could clearly see the physical deformities that her curse had inflicted upon her.

Panic gripped her and her gaze shifted back to Bullet, lying helpless before Karla. Sure enough, the witch lunged forward and made a charge for the unconscious man with sickeningly sharp claws at the ready.
Stop her! Quick! Meredith ordered, one of her witches leaping into the fray from the tree, a conjured magic circle beneath her slowing her descent enough to land safely. The other grabbed onto Meredith and leapt alongside her, helping the older woman down to the soil. The pair rushed forward to protect Bullet, arms outspread as ephemeral chains burst forth from their sleeves, linking them to each other. Stepping between each other, weaving their bonds over and under each other in an intricate dance of quick steps to create a makeshift net that quickly found itself wrapped around Karla. The two witches reeled their magical chains back, pulling them taut and keeping the rampaging witch in place.

Meredith stepped forward, unfastening the calming draught from her satchel. She stared down at it, momentarily thinking of Talos and their allies caught afield. If she used the draught here, there was no telling what could happen to Karla’s familiar. A blood curdling screech brought her attention back to Karla, fighting against her restraints. She could see her two companions struggling to keep hold of the binding spell.
At that moment she knew there was no other option.
Karla had to be stopped here and now.

Meredith moved forward a few more paces, reeling her arm back in preparation to pitch the vial at the rampaging witch. Her aim was poised to hit her mark, if not for the sudden tightening of what she assumed was some sort of barbed rope around her ankle. She winced in pain, looking down to find her leg ensnared in a thorny vine that had sprouted from the ground. The realization spread across her face as a look of pure panic.
Plant magic was a specialty of Karla’s.

Watch the ground!” Meredith called to the other two, but it was too late. Their bindings faltered as both witches found themselves ensnared in a thick bramble of thorns. Karla burst free of the chains, her form twisting into the sky atop an ascending thicket of enlarged plantlife. The vines that had ensnared the three of them were connected to the main plant, lifting them from the ground and letting them dangle like baubles as Karla cackled maniacally.

The calming draught slipped from Meredith’s grasp, landing on the soft earth below and rolling a few feet away. She tried to spin around to find Manami. As far as she was aware, the young lady hadn’t descended with them and was still free to move about. Despite her efforts, her position was too inconvenient to spend much time looking for her.
Get help, Manami!” She called out, hoping that the commotion would have drawn the attention of any stragglers at the Guild hall. She prayed that not everyone had departed for the battle.

Henri Baptiste

Keeper’s Crossroads | Silverbranch Glade
Interacting with: Regan Hadou @CitrusArms and Shiro

Hagar watched Shiro approach him with a bemused smirk, his arms folded over his chest. He was almost a little too cocky, which didn’t bode well with Henri. Yet it seemed as though Shiro was winding up for something big, so he’d do what he had to to make an opening for her. He drew a magic circle in the air with his spare hand, pressing it into the dampened soil beneath him with a quick whistle. The circle made a noise reminiscent of a single drop of water falling into a vast ocean, sending ripples across the watery surface of the arena. Henry watched the ripples encircle his position, a large dorsal fin emerging for a brief moment before disappearing back beneath the surface and silently making his way towards Hagar.
Now all he needed to do was deal with these bindings.

Focussing his power into his spare arm, a mass of three watery tentacles encased themselves around the limb; twisting around each other to create a singular appendage that was as thick as Henri’s torso. He whips his arm around, twisting the rest of his body to add to the momentum. The tentacle mass crashes into the two swords that were binding the left side of his body, the sheer weight behind the attack enough to disrupt their bonds and free him. He looked over to Hagar who was busy deflecting Shiro’s blows, almost delighting in her enfeebled state. Henri made note of the two swords from his previous spell that were still channeling their bindings onto his companion before letting himself slip into the soil as though he were diving beneath the waves.

Hagar chuckled to himself, directing his dancing blades to parry Shiro’s attacks with nonchalant hand gestures. He only needed a single hand to direct them, whilst the other conjured a magic circle at his side.
Step off, love. I don’t need some annoying brat in me face.” said Hagar, twisting the magic circle anti-clockwise by about a hundred and eighty degrees. The blades that were linked to Shiro’s bound limbs lit up, following the motion of the circle. Shiro would find herself being dragged away from Hagar by the bindings. Hagar had aimed her towards the location he remembered Henri being, only to find that she had just been shoved to the center of the arena; where she stood alone.

Hah! You’re mate ditch you, eh?” Laughed Hagar, failing to hide the dumbfounded look on his face. Yet before he could wonder where the larger man had escaped to, a sudden tremor at his feet brought his attention to the ground. Just as Hagar looked down to investigate, Henri burst forth from the depths, blanketed in a churning current of battering water.
Abyssal Torpedo!” Henri landed a devastating uppercut against Hagar’s chin, the additional force behind the attack enough to send the brute flying. The swords that comprised the arena shifted to ensure they did not harm him.

At the same time, a similar ripple of the currents appeared near Shiro; the massive head of a great white shark constructed entirely of water launching up from the ground and into the wall of swords. The shark’s size was so great it would have pushed Shiro to the side slightly to make room for it’s sudden entrance. It’s gargantuan jaw clasped down around a large portion of the arena, shattering a myriad of swords; including the two that kept Shiro’s limbs bound. Then as quickly as it had appeared, the shark disappeared beneath the depths.
The gaping hole in the sword arena was a parting gift.

The battle between Talos and Regan raged on, the sword women's graceful movements and strikes proving too much for a beast, even one as intelligent as he was, to keep up with. On top of that, it would seem as though his master’s concentration was waning. Karla was being kept from properly channeling the enchantment that had morphed Talos into the beast he was now, and the power that sustained him was lacking compared to before. The serpent’s tail hissed a hasty command, and the beast looked to take on a more defensive stance.
Yet Regan had already disappeared from view. Talos was able to quickly identify that she had leaped above them, but not before that sword came driving down into the skull of the boa constrictor tail. Pinned down by Regan’s strike, Talos made every attempt to claw himself away, howling in pain as the animated appendage fell silent. Though it would seem the damage wasn’t as devastating as one might think. The great wolf seemed to be able to easily release himself from the grip of the sword, turning to stare at what he assumed was a dismembered serpent's head.

Though when Regan’s blade struck the serpent’s head, she would find it to be far more hollow than one would intend. Then the head began to heat up rapidly, little patches of flame melting away what was now obviously a molted snakeskin. The snakeskin grew hotter and hotter, large chunks of it beginning to burst into flame before the entire thing erupted in a large explosion. Talos leapt away, a familiar hissing from behind him catching the wolf’s attention. Slowly, a pink, soft fleshed serpent writhed it’s way from behind the wolf. Left in it’s vulnerable state, the serpent seemed content to remove itself from the battle, hiding behind the great wolf as it began snarling and snapping at Regan once more.
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