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1 yr ago
Current I'll always be a beggar, lord, I'll always be a thief
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1 yr ago
I use her teeth to guide me, More use than some divining rod
1 yr ago
Like a dead dog on a highway, Like a dead dog I'm hanging around


"If I'm to be your reprobate, I shall at least enjoy the malefaction"

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Layne Towerfall

A few years prior, one of the old boys who spent their time drinking on the streets of his home town told Layne that 'these were the best years of his life'. He said that young Towerfall should be spending his time learning, growing, and making friends. That one day he would blink, and he'd be gnarled old man too, pining away for days of youth he'd never see again.

Layne had promptly told the drunk to suck a box of cocks. At 15, Layne felt he had much bigger fish to fry than finding friends to drink warm beer with in a barn like a regular teenager. Issues like "what will I eat tonight", "god I hope it doesn't rain and flood the house again", or "I wonder if Dad will be the angry kind of drunk or the weeping incoherently kind of drunk tonight".

Now, sequestered away in the relatively isolated halls of Marchand, Layne saw a whole world of opportunity he had scarcely realized existed. He was making friends, something that came as a surprise to him. There was a learning curve in dealing with his peers in a healthy manner, but Layne felt that he should at least get a B for effort. He hadn't broken anyone's jaw, which was much better than he'd done at any previous school. He was dating, for God's sake, how on earth had that happened? And a noble born girl no less. Boy, had his Dad flown into an apoplectic fit when he learned that his 'boy was gettin' cozy with a goddamn Norrevinter'. Layne couldn't be bothered to care what the bitter old bastard said one way or another: He loved the girl fiercely, and intended to ride the situation out to it's end.

Certainly it wasn't all sunshine and daisy field frolics: There were the inescapable issues that came from compressing a large number of volatile teens in a small space, exacerbated by the fact that said teens had the powers of the universe at their fingertips. Not to mention the distinctly unsettling machinations that seemed to happen in the shadows around them. It was nerve wracking at times, but on the whole he was rapidly growing to trust and respect their teachers. After all, it couldn't be all that dangerous, could it? While he wouldn't trust the Council as far as he could throw them, he also did not believe they'd go through all this trouble just to murder a bunch of kids.

That morning, he sat in the courtyard, a cigarette dangling from the corner of his mouth, a half cup of coffee growing cold on the bench next to him. In his lap he held a stone hand ax, that week's project. He ran his thumb slowly and methodically along the blade, muttering a constant stream of nonsense words under his breath.

Strong, he thought. Sharp. Strong. Sharp. He chanted these words like a mantra in his mind, infusing the weapon with his power. After two days of fussing with the shape to get it just right, and another day enchanting on top of that, Layne felt he was begging to get the hang of the whole process. He stopped, hefted the weapon in his right hand, and pitched it hard toward a tree across the courtyard. The axe struck true with a sharp crack of splitting wood. Layne grinned with pride. The axe had bit neatly into the bark, sinking in an inch or two and sticking there. It hadn't shattered either, which he would chalk up as a win.

A small chirp from the bench beside him caught his attention. He looked down and smiled fondly at the sleepy coil of his familiar Bobby, snoozing in the sun. The creature wasn't quite as strange as many of the other familiars he'd seen so far: Perhaps three feet long, she might have been mistaken for a sky blue snake. That would be if one missed her clawed limbs, the ruff of white fur that ran down her back, and the ferret-like structure of her furry little face. Snakes do not often speak in cryptic haiku either, another key difference from his draconic companion.

He carefully scooped her up (waking her would certainly result in another bite to his already scarred arms) and slipped her into the leather satchel he kept for that exact purpose. Like the royal creature she was, she spent most of her time snoozing and letting Layne carry her around like a dutiful servant. Satisfied with his work for the time being, he wiped his brow, slung the Bobby bag over his shoulder, and ventured out into the halls to find the others.

It wasn't long before he spotted another student, and his face split into a broad, sunny smile.

"Hey, Memoli!" He called. Dawn had not been the first friend he'd made among his classmates. On paper, it didn't make much sense for him to be as close to the clever and quiet little slip of a girl as he was. In the weeks prior, however, she had become what Layne would consider to be the best friend he'd ever had. He loved her as well, in a different sort of way, like the sibling he'd always wished he had. He had a heart as big as whale, Layne Towerfall. He jogged up to her, careful not to jostle the sleeping dragon in his bag too much.

"What's up, dude? Nice fuckin' day we're havin'. Sun's shinin', birds singin', an' I ain't even hurt myself once today." He paused, scratching his nose and considering. "Though, I'd even take fire and hail as long as we got the day off.... What're ya up to? Seen anybody else yet?"

Dr. Coyle

Elsewhere in building, students, teachers, and parents gathered together to begin the school year. Their eyes bright and hopeful, they looked to a glorious new dawn of peace, togetherness, and magical learning. By all rights, this is where Edgar Coyle should have been. This was the first opportunity the children had to meet their new professors, after all.

But of course, there was work to be done.

There was always work to be done.

He stood in his private lab, a bit of space in his rooms carved out for the express purpose. The walls were lined in runes, of warding, silencing, containing, repelling. They crossed over and over each other in eye straining patterns, liable to give one a migraine if they attempted to follow his convuluted paths. He preferred to work where he knew there would be no interruption.

The centerpiece of the room was a simple operating table, also fastidiously scratched over with wards. On the table, laying on a plastic sheet, was a young pig. Or, perhaps, something that might have once been a pig. A casual observer might have at first taken it to be a particularly gruesome piece of taxidermy, except for the steady rise and fall of the poor creature's breath.

Dr. Coyle absently wiped a bloody hand on his apron and hit a switch on his hand held tape recorder.

"Doctor's log." He said, in a crisp voice.

"Presiding over subject 009-b, nicknamed "Patches 3". Subject is, as always, a male sus domesticus, age nine weeks. Today marks day 43 since acquiring subject. Subject has thus far endured... eighty-seven individual organ replacements, skin grafts, and limb transplants. A full fifteen more procedures than his predecessor! Realignment of runic formula on line n has proven most effective in delaying host rejection. I fear, however, that the shock of moving the subject to these new facilities may limit further experimentation. Today, I will be attempting to replace subject's lower jaw, marking the sixth such transplant. Beginning incision..."

A rapid rise in it's heartbeat fluttered against his senses like a panicked bird. Frustrated, he pulled back at the creature's essence... But it was all too much. A body can only go so far.

"Vitals dropping... come now, Patches, just a bit further... Damn." He sighed. Another soul lost too soon. There was so much more to be done. "Subject expired. Cause of death assumed to be acute shock, pending autopsy results. Time of death... 11:15 AM."

Coyle removed his gloves, made a cursory effort to rinse his hands. They always seemed to be a little red stained around the nails anyway. He sat heavily at his desk and a removed a bottle of brandy along with a tumbler from a lower drawer. He poured himself a few fingers in the glass. He took a long, slow swallow before continuing his litany to the recorder.

" Unfortunate. 009-b appeared to be the most tenacious yet. But! One must break a few eggs, as they say. I believe I have learned vital lessons for Patches 4, whenever I am able to acquire another pig... Oh! Perhaps I should save the dissection for class. Subject's internal anatomy should make for a thought provoking lecture. The children will be ever so excited to see the sorts of thing a true master of the Healing arts can accomplish."

He finished his glass and smiled broadly. There was something odd in that smile, as though it were a trick he'd had to teach himself over the years.

" On a personal note, I will confess my excitement to meet our crop of young, fresh minds. As my late grandfather often said, "To shape a child in it's bloom is a wondrous thing". I feel I cannot overstate my elation in having such an opportunity laid before me. To teach... and to do some learning of my own..."
Layne Towerfall

Jesus, thought Layne as he got a closed look at the boy's face, Poor guy is strung out

Indeed, while Vanya seemed nice enough, he had the sluggish movements and wan complexion that Layne associated with people on the wrong mix of shit. After the young man spoke, however, Layne concluded that maybe he was just a little off.

Still, he had managed to see through Layne's brilliant conversational gambit.

"Oh, uh. Yeah, I reckon it is." He said, awkwardly scratching the back of his head. "Sorry. Ain't too good at small talk. Good to meet ya all the same... Bracelet?"

He looked down at his arm, confused.

"Oh yeah, the crest. Thanks, it's-"

"Good morning everyone!"

Whatever it was would have to wait. Layne sat obediently. It was a mostly new experience for him, being so quick to listen to an authority figure. He had resolved to make as much of an effort as he could with this opportunity, and sitting through an orientation was at least tolerable, if maybe boring and pointless.

It was not to be. Two lines into the Professor's spiel he was struck with a terribly familiar feeling. When you grow up in the rough parts of the world, knowing when you were being watched was a skill that you had to develop fast. Either that, or you spent all your time getting mugged. Sometimes worse. Normally it felt like a finger being run down the back of his neck. This, however... This was like a full handed claw raking at his shoulder blades.

He didn't even realize the Professor had finished the orientation until people started getting up. Shit! He'd missed everything they said.

Eh. Probably ain't nothin' that won't come up again...

He was still disturbed, but the pressure had lessened now that people were in motion around him. It was an effort not to jump a little when Vanya spoke to him again.

"Wha?" He blinked stupidly at him. Seeing a lot of each other...? He turned and actually read the rooming list for the first time. "Ohhhh... Oh! Duh, sorry, I was uh... spacin' out a little."

As he moved to gather his room key, he chanced a furtive glance over his shoulder, trying to get a glimpse of whoever had been watching him so intently. He met the eye of Maeve Byrne and his blood went cold. It was unfortunate, perhaps, that Layne had no skill for reading expressions. It might have saved him from a bit of pain in the future. For now, all he could be certain of was that whatever the storm of emotions on that woman's face meant, they were nothing good.

"Uh, w-well." He said to Vanya, trying to hide his discomfort. "Looks like everybody is movin' on. Ya wanna go find that dorm? Arm wrestle over who gets the top bunk?"

He looked around, a knot of confusion on his brow.

"Y'know. Wherever the rooms are around here... Oh! Hey, what's your magic class, by the way?"

@Dutchess Sarah
Welcome to RP, frand.
@EchoicChamberI figured I might as well dive in lol.
Layne Towerfall

Don’t let ‘em look down their noses at you, Layne. Don’t let ‘em push you around, Layne. Don’t fuckin’ punch anybody, Layne.

He ran through the mental checklist one more time. You’d think that after all he’d been through, this would have been easy as whistling. He’d faced down gangs of boys twice his size. He’d leapt from cliffs down into nothing but soft earth. Hell, he’d had to deal with his Dad for seventeen years. If you had said to him even a week ago that he’d be scared out of his wits in this moment, he would have cracked your jaw.

No, ridiculous as it seemed, Layne stood on the step of his new school and could not muster the courage to go in.

This is stupid. He thought. They’re just a bunch of high born tits. What am I so worked up for?

This time was meant to be different, that was the problem. Layne had gotten accustomed to dealing with his problems by smacking them into the ground like tent poles. This was supposed to represent a turning point in his life. Could he face himself if he were ejected from Marchand for the same dumb bullshit that had ruined so many opportunities before? Could he handle being the last nail in the coffin of shame his family name was buried in? He wasn’t sure he could.

A thought struck him. Maybe that’s what he was missing? He riffled through his bag for a moment and fished out an old armband. It was emblazoned with a stylized fist, superimposed over a mountain that had been cracked in half down the middle: The Towerfall family seal. He tied this to his upper arm. If these snots wanted to talk, might as well give ‘em something to talk about. He took a deep breath, steeled himself, and walked through the doors.

He made his way slowly to the common room, as was expected of new students. Fightin’ in here. He thought the moment he stepped inside. It was over, whatever had happened, but he could taste the familiar tension in the air like electricity before a big storm. That at least was familiar territory for him. The room was already packed with other young mages. All he had to do was walk up to a knot of them, say hello, and that would be that, right?

He grimaced. Nope. Got to start small, like easing into a bath that was almost too hot. He surveyed the room with a glower, not for any particular reason, but because that was simply his resting expression. His eyes fell on a young man who had apparently arrived not a few minutes before himself. He’d never really had a friend before, so he had no idea what to look for in a potential one.

Hey!” He said, then realized it had come out as a harsh bark instead of the warm greeting he had hoped for. He cleared his throat and managed a more neutral tone. “Uh, hey. So….

He paused awkwardly. He couldn’t remember the last time he had tried to be friendly, so the intricacies of polite conversation were a bit beyond him.

This your first day too?” He finished. There was common ground, at least. “I’m Layne.

As an afterthought, he stuck out his hand for the young man to shake. He reminded himself firmly not to try and crush the poor guy’s hand.

@EchoicChamber Yay! Added Tracking as another secondary. If all is satisfactory, I'll start on an intro post today. Shall I move the CS into the character section?

Is there anything I should know? Where's most of the action taking place?
@EchoicChamber Okay: Added MWI as a secondary, but it ties directly to his Terramancy. Also that his secret ambition is to be a wizard jeweler. ^_^
What do you think?
@EchoicChamber Okay, cool! I wasn't sure how abstract I could go with it. I cut the first power and made stone shaping his primary (expanded a little to include crystal).
Also, yeah, I was at a real loss as to what Secondaries to pick lol. Any suggestions?
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