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In The Runes 18 hrs ago Forum: Free Roleplay
“It’s quite alright. I can understand the confusion.” Madison’s smile widened further- partly in a “no harm, no foul” gesture, and partly thanks to the spike of amusement that passed through him at Maeve’s complete bewilderment. The look was brief, however, and he pursed his lips as he watched Silvarae continue to stare into a world only she knew. “And thank you very much, Miss Byrne.”

It happened fast- fast enough that if Madison had blinked at just the wrong moment, he would have missed it entirely. Upon Maeve’s touch, Silvarae’s rune, the mark of Algiz, glowed red for a split-second before fading out as soon as it came. His eyes widened, and a look of awe came upon his face as the blond stirred to life.

“Incredible,” he breathed, then, clearing his throat, brought his voice back to its normal level. “Well, Miss Kaizen, I believe that you decided to come out here to get a bit of fresh air during the meeting. You won’t be punished, but you should probably go back before one of the other staff members find you.” With that, Madison folded his hands neatly atop his skirt, giving a somewhat conspiratorial smile.

“What’s your species, again?” Stride found herself giving the man another once-over, avoiding looking at the markings upon his wrist for too long. She hadn’t seen any fangs, and he didn’t seem to have an umbrella or anything on him, so that ruled out him being a vampire. Definitely wasn’t a fairy, seeing how damn tall he was...before she could put more mind to it, Zephyr mentioned her name. Casually, incredibly casually, but it was still her full and proper name.

Stride winced in spite of herself, then inhaled sharply and stepped back into her apartment. “Close the door behind ya, I guess,” she said, then walking to the kitchen, added, “and it’s Stride. None of that ‘Miss Phoebe’ bullcrap, ya hear?”

Despite what the roguish, devil-may-care attitude of the woman might have implied, the apartment (or, at the very least, the living room) was rather well-maintained. Stride’s jacket was slung over the couch, and a game controller and near-empty glass of whiskey was left lying upon the coffee table, but it made the place feel more lived in than it did sloppy.

On an end table placed in arm’s reach from the couch, there was a small, framed photograph of Stride and a pair of grinning faces. It was hard to tell, seeing as the mask was on even in picture, but she seemed happy.

After a minute or two, Stride returned to the living room, holding a pair of unopened bottles of bourbon in one hand and a dining room chair in the other. She set the chair some distance away from the couch and went to offer a bottle to Zephyr, shaking the contents about and letting them slosh. “Here,” she said. “Case ya need it as much as I do.”

With that, she plopped down onto the couch, finishing off the glass laid out on the table and deftly refilling it. Her wrist was on fire, but there would be no way that she’d get all touchy-feely with a stranger right out of the gate. She could take it.


“Colleges certainly don’t make things easy for their students.” Madison smiled sympathetically, the look warming a bit as Stefany moved the papers out of the way for him. “I almost failed a few of my courses, back when I was attending.” Seeing as the unnatural paleness of his skin likely marked him as a vampire, it would likely be a bit difficult to determine just how far back these courses happened to be.

“I finished my work for today, so I should be all free until something comes up.” He took another gulp from his drink, and lifted his head just in time to see Stefany wince in pain. It didn’t take rocket science to figure out what was troubling her. Placing the coffee back down, Madison absently rubbed his own wrist before reaching out to the other. “Here, ah,” he said, “if you don’t mind, I’ll just…”

He gently placed his hand upon Stefany’s forearm, held it for a moment, then released and drew back. Just as he expected, the pain fizzled out almost instantly, leaving a pleasant warmth running beneath his skin. “There we are,” he said. “I apologize for how sudden that was- you just seemed like you were in quite a bit of pain, there.”

In The Runes 2 days ago Forum: Free Roleplay
“I have to agree with you, there, Amity. Here’s hoping things will be a bit less...well, hectic in the future.” Dawn tipped her coffee back, then gave a contented sigh. All the caffeine had begun to kick in, the pleasant buzz of energy running through her veins.

“And, ah, that would depend on how large your sword is, I would say.” A sword was an interesting choice- in a world where wolves the size of bears dominated the outskirts of cities, it seemed preferable to keep a hefty distance between their maws and yourself. However, seeing that Amity’s rune allowed her to send a door flying by complete accident, it was likely that she would fare far better than the average person. A bit bizarre to think about, but the whole situation had always been rather surreal to begin with.

In spite of the disappearance of two runes, Isa wasted no time in going over the teams in their absence. Three groups, three people in each. Dawn glanced over at Amity once the senior rune had finished, offering a little smile. “It looks like we’ll be working together, then.”

The last teammate of theirs, she recalled, was the man who had introduced himself as “Makorai”. And “All-Daddy”, but Makorai was the more preferable of the two names. Finishing up her coffee, Dawn tossed the empty cup into a trash bin and turned back towards Isa. She had no real questions- aside from how close the team members would have to be in order to trigger the “boost”, which could easily be worked out during training- so she did nothing for the moment but listen, and wait.


Miss Silvarae was almost completely unresponsive- she gave a brief nod after being asked to go back, but the blank, “deer-in-the-headlights” look remained. Madison’s face dropped, and a soft “oh dear” escaped him before he released his grip on her shoulder. Her file had mentioned something like this; a temporary shut down of her very self. It was...worrying, to say the least. Really, Madison thought that a therapist should have been assigned to her before she was actually sent into well and proper combat, but he still wasn’t high enough in authority to do such a thing. Lips pursed, Madison stepped around to face her, and was about to lead her back to the meeting room when faint shouting caught his attention.

Maeve Byrne. Bearer of the Sowlio rune, if memory served. Madison gave her a warm, albeit somewhat faint smile, seeing as how the woman was acting like she expected for him to start screaming like some kind of drill sergeant. “Don’t worry, Miss Byrne, neither of you are in trouble for this. Since you’re still getting used to...well, everything, I see no problem in letting you go with just a warning for now. Just keep in mind that the others will likely be less lenient.” After a moment of thought, he gently added, “And it’s ‘sir’, not ‘ma’am’, by the way.”

With a little sigh, Madison turned back to Silvarae, taking in the dull expression on her face. “It’ll take a few minutes, but she should be alright soon. Can I trust you to keep an eye on you until then, Miss Byrne?”

He paused. His brow creased, and he glanced over at Maeve. “Actually,” he said, “this might sound a bit...well, odd, but would you mind putting your hand on her shoulder for just a moment? I believe that physical contact from another rune on her team might be able to bring her out of it, but it’s just a theory. You don’t have to do it, of course, but I would greatly appreciate it.”

It really was a strange hypothesis, but Madison saw no harm in giving it a go.

Stride’s eyes locked upon the badge as soon as it was produced, head leaning forward slightly to take a better look at it. It seemed legitimate enough, so, pulling back, Stride gave a brief grunt of satisfaction and leaned against the doorframe. “Can’t say I know much ‘bout her,” she said. “The name’s Julie Ambers, and the gal’s been livin’ here longer than I have. ‘ccasionally blasts some crappy music through the walls, but real nice lady when it comes down to it. Pro’lly won’t be ‘round for a bit.” She shrugged, then, after a moment of thought, stuffed her hands- and wrists- far into her jeans’ pockets.

“What’re these ‘special abilities’, anyway? Seems only fair if I get’ta ask you some questions, too.”

The guy seemed kind of straight-laced. Incredibly so, actually. Like the kind of fellow who’d say something smarmy on a train and bury his face into his newspaper.


Madison smiled warmly. “Thank you, Miss Raterfall.” Placing his cup near the edge of the table- far from the work that littered most of its surface- he settled into the offered chair, meeting Stefany’s gaze with a curious one of his own. His wrist still felt like a furnace, but it was manageable enough. He took an idle sip from his cup, then looked down at the table.

“Final’s week?” It had been a long time since Madison had been made to attend a university, but from the sheer amount of texts and materials and whatnot, it didn’t take much to guess that Stefany was a student. Madison took a long swig, holding onto the warmth of his drink even after he finished. “If you’d like, I’d be more than happy to let you study in peace, Miss Raterfell. I know how difficult this time of the year must be.”

It was somewhat disappointing, but the last thing that Madison wanted was to get in the way of someone’s studies- let alone that of his partner’s. The pursuit of knowledge was an important one, to say the least.
In The Runes 3 days ago Forum: Free Roleplay
Just as a quick PSA, a large majority of the characters likely don't know what the avatars of the main World Eaters look like, or that Kana can be a Jormy avatar, as Jormungandr is still stuck at the bottom of the ocean. c: They most likely know that wargs and jotun and the like can assume human form, but that's likely it.

In The Runes 3 days ago Forum: Free Roleplay
Madison had become quite well-acquainted with paperwork in the past few months. He had already handled his fair share even before the promotion, going over and editing and contributing, but it was only until afterward that that he found himself with stacks almost as tall as his head sitting before him. However, he was determined. He rolled up his sleeves, set to work, then performed his own studies once the more tedious side of his work was out of the way.

He was currently finishing up one of his own papers- an analysis of runes and runic powers, and his own hypothesis on the subject. It seemed a fitting topic, Madison thought, given today was the first day all those marked would be meeting. He had gone out of his way to speak to as many as he could, interviewing them about their powers and their days, and had gathered a lofty amount of data to work with. Why just nine, and not all of the Norse runes? Why those specifically? These were the questions Madison sought to answer.

It was in the middle of his closing statements that his earpiece began to buzz. Humming, Madison gave it a swift ‘tap’, then leaned back in his chair. “Lovette speaking,” he chirped. “What is it?” He listened intently, free hand tapping an irregular rhythm on his desk, before pausing. “Oh. Oh, dear. I’ll be there in a minute- do you think it would be possible to close the gates for the time being? Yes. Thank you very much, Mr. Grant.”

There was a brief burst of static as the feed cut out, followed by silence. Before Silvarae could make it fully off the manor grounds, she would find that the guards would have begun to close the gates- effectively blocking off her means of escape. Rubbing his jaw, Madison quickly saved his work and shut off the computer, then jogged out of the office- moving as fast as one could reasonably expect someone in heels to.

By the time he had reached Silvarae, the Head Researcher was left somewhat breathless, but determined. Madison gripped the woman by the shoulder- gently, but firm enough to not be shaken off so easily- and smiled warmly.

“Excuse me, Miss Kaizen,” he said, “but I’m afraid that you can’t leave just yet. Miss Kovalenko should be going some important information around this time, and…” Madison trailed off, taking in the almost panicked look in Silvarae’s eyes, then frowned.

“Is something the matter? You look rather troubled.”

Madison’s smile faltered somewhat at the woman’s reaction. Her wrist was visibly glowing- like if an LED light had been embedded beneath the skin- but she seemed more...annoyed by the event than anything. “Well,” he said, after a moment. He extended his hand to the woman, allowing her to examine the markings that bore her name. “I hope that I’m not bothering you, Miss Raterfell, but my name is Madison Lovette. You and I seem to be soulmates.”

Now that he was close to her, and the initial excitement of discovering his partner had worn off, he came to realize that Stefany was very much human. The scent of mortality hung about her like a mist, and Madison’s nostrils flared ever-so-slightly in response. No matter, he decided. At the moment, making a good first impression was the most important thing.


Tall. Really, really fucking tall. Stride considered herself pretty average in height, and even she found herself stepping back in order to really look the guy in the eyes. She crossed her arms over her chest, giving him a quick once-over before speaking.

“If the reason ya came here was to get on me ‘bout my clothes, then ya might wanna find someone who actually gives a damn about ‘em.” Stride cracked her neck.

“Call me Stride. And ‘fore ya start askin’ more questions, ya mind tellin’ me why’re ya askin’?” The man spoke in the same manner as she did before taking a statement, or preparing to flash the badge in the face of a particularly unruly homeowner.

Well. He was a little more concise about it, admittedly, but it went along the same lines.

While pondering this, she came to notice something...that she really didn’t want to notice, actually. The guy, Zephyr, his wrist was glowing. Burning bright, actually. It was only after catching sight of it that she noticed her own had begun to sear, and Stride had to bite her tongue to suppress a groan.


Stride discreetly pulled her sleeve further up her arm, although the fabric did little to conceal the obnoxious glaring of her wrist. If he wasn’t going to mention it, she decided, then she sure as hell wouldn’t, either.

Perhaps someone would consider the move childish, yes, but Stride certainly wasn’t that someone.

In The Runes 4 days ago Forum: Free Roleplay
“I can imagine.” Dawn smiled, taking a moment to stir in a touch of milk into her coffee. She took a hefty gulp of the stuff, the heat of it stinging her throat as it went down. “It seems like it’s been a rather hectic day here so far. People, ah, suddenly crawling through windows aside. And the pleasure’s mine.”

Interestingly enough, the woman, ‘Kana Cerulean’, had quickly changed gears upon Clifton’s entrance- reintroducting herself as a superior instead of a rune, and saying that the whole thing had just been a test. A means of seeing their reactions in the face of...well, all that she had been pulling so far. Dawn took the whole thing a bit hard to swallow, and, if Volkir’s reaction was of any indication, a few of her fellow runes did, too. Clifton, however, seemed to take in stride. He ushered Kana out of the room, chatting amiably in the meanwhile.

At least that had been resolved, by the looks of it.

Soon after the pair had left, Amity, the woman who had broken the door on her arrival, had wandered over with coffee in hand. Dawn nodded at her in greeting, returning the smile without pause.

“It’s alright. You, ah, can’t really help insomnia, really.” Her fingers twitched slightly, as if the impulse to offer her hand to shake was present, but very well restrained. “I’m Dawn. It’s been...quite a day, hasn’t it?”

She gazed down at the nearly-full box of donuts, and then back up again. “Well, if you’ve been running around all day, I don’t see anything wrong with taking a little break, anyway.” A sip, a pause. “How long have you been working here, Helena? If you, ah, don’t mind my asking, that is.”

Dawn’s attention was stolen momentarily at the suggestion of an “outside city bonding trip”, and then held fast as Silvarae began to snarl at Isa about what lurked within said area. The woman stomped out soon after, followed by Maeve, who seemed just as surprised by the whole thing as Dawn felt.

As the sound of footsteps gradually faded, she glanced over to her company, brow raised. It seemed redundant to follow the two runes out, but it also wasn’t an event that could go wholly without acknowledgement.

In The Runes 5 days ago Forum: Free Roleplay
The next to enter the room was a crisp, rather sharply-dressed man that even Dawn could smell from where she stood. He gave her the impression of a blooming politician, or a cars’ salesmen, or some odd fusion of the two. Like Isa, he seemed to work within the facility, if the knowledge of who they were and the striking professionalism was any indication.

And, like Isa, he immediately honed in on the intruder as someone who didn’t seem to belong.

The woman seemed content to deflect any question when it came to her identity, or, at the very least, give responses that were decidedly vague at best. Much to Dawn’s surprise, one of her fellow Runes, Silvarae, had chosen to defend the stranger’s appearance there. The excuse was a bit hard to swallow, but Dawn decided to simply let the staff handle it for the time being and sidled over to the side of the room. There was little else for her to do now, after all, but to wait and see what would happen.

Pouring herself another cup of coffee, Dawn stepped over to Helena, who was currently standing off by herself and looking fairly uncomfortable by everything. Understandably so. Dawn sipped at her coffee as she watched the scene play out before her, then, still keeping it within her gaze, turned towards Helena.

“I’m guessing that something this doesn’t happen often, by the looks of it?” Her voice was kept soft, unassuming. Her “polite office secretary” voice, used for soothing particularly aggressive interviewees. She took another gulp from her cup, before going on.

“Your name is Helena, right? I’m Dawn. Thank you for bringing the coffee, by the way.”

Over the countless years that Madison had found himself with his particular condition, he had come to discover several things. As vampiric lore reiterated time and time again, his survival largely depended on ingesting blood. It didn’t matter if it entered his body through IV or mouth, if it was fresh out of a vein or from a bag, or even if it was human or animal (although he had found that the former of the two did a far better job of nourishing him). It was also true that food did little more for him than eating paper, but he had discovered that certain substances did hold some effect. Alcohol, for instance, was still something he was quite keenly familiar with.

Caffeine was yet another. And seeing as he had spent most of the night poring over his research, a little pick-me-up seemed like just what he needed. Humming brightly to himself, Madison turned the street corner, into his local coffee shop(seeing how close it was to his office, he tended to frequent it more often than not), and up to the counter.

“Hello again, Gloria,” Madison chirped. “One café miel, please. To go.” It took little time for his order to be whipped up- slow day, by the looks of it, and even less for him to pay and take the first taste of bliss and cinnamon. He turned to leave, but before he could even make it halfway to the exit, he noticed something.

His wrist was burning.

Perking up, Madison rolled down his sleeve, then glanced up. In all his drowsiness, he had forgotten that today was the day. The pain of the marking served as a sort of radar as the vampire wandered about the shop, sipping absently at his drink as he did so. The pain soon led him to a young woman bent over a pile of papers, and, with a certain sheepishness, he cleared his throat and spoke.

“Excuse me, ma’am. Your name wouldn’t happen to be Stefany Raterfall by any chance, would it?”



Cursing, Stride dabbed at the fresh smear of paint on her canvas with a bit of thinner, watching the misplaced streak of red slowly fade- along with most of the tower she had made beneath. “Comin’!” She called, glaring daggers at the canvas over her shoulder. It would be hard to redo what had now vanished from memory alone, but there was no way of getting around it, either. “Give me a second, a’ight? Just- fuck- hang on a sec!”

From outside of the apartment, Zephyr would be able to hear the sound of wood grinding against wood, a string of rather creative swears that would make a sailor faint, the clattering of things hitting the ground, more shouting, and the “click” of a something shutting before, eventually, the door swung open. Stride gave the man standing before her a quick glance-over, squinting at him through her goggles. “Yeah? What d’ya need?”

She was dressed casually- a simple long-sleeved shirt and jeans- but the mask and goggles did a well enough job of hiding whatever expression she might have held. There was no sign of paint whatsoever on her, thankfully.

Her wrist was also burning like hell, but Stride was distracted enough to not notice for the time being.

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