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Lawrence, Lizzy, and Rosa


A familiar face?






What am I even still doing here?

It wasn't exactly a question that needed an answer. Lawrence was here because he had to be, it was no more of a mystery than that. He had always expected to become a staff mage, but it was looking more and more like that option had been eliminated from his future. USARILN was determined to keep him with this team, in spite of both his lack of ability and their lack of desire to have him around.

It was the latter though that seemed to gnaw on him the most.

Sprawled out on his bed with Lizzy laying over top of him- the dog had seemed far more attached to him since arriving on the island, and he welcomed the company- Lawrence slowly traced a circle around his chest where the hole that almost killed him once was. Ironically it was one of his only injuries over the past year that hadn't left a scar- with more minor ones having been treated the old fashioned way. Something about that felt like it cheapened the experience somehow, but he wasn't exactly liable to forget about it without a visual reminder.

In truth though, dying only somewhat bothered him (In fact, feeling that ocean of power trickle into him once more during the experience bothered him far more). It was something he was resigned to with every mission, even if he would prevent it as much as he possibly could. However, it had made abundantly clear how much of an outsider he was in this team. How many of them had visited him as he recovered? It seemed that nobody had bothered to approach him for advice or even a chat since his injury had healed. All the while they continued to meet up with each other and tried to forge bonds outside of their missions without him.

Was he really the least desirable person here?

It had been eating at him more and more over the past week or so. If the others were all getting together in their spare time, then it meant the problem rested with him. Sure, when it was his own class the distance between them had been bearable, there had been Elizabeth to wash away any loneliness. After her death, the time alone had become a comfort to deal with his grief. However now...

Now his grieving had mostly passed, and Elizabeth was still gone. All that remained was the loneliness.

Solid stoicism, neutrality, and a distance from others had pushed everyone away too far, and now even if the others didn't need Lawrence, he had need of them. He hadn't died, and now his life needed to be filled with something. Otherwise he might end it himself eventually. So here he was in his room, trying to at least partially break down that mental wall he had set up, and for the most part failing. Each time cracks began to show, an uncomfortable flood of stress threatened to break through, and he closed them up once more. He needed something to replace that coping mechanism, and while others may have thought he'd caught a cold lately the lingering scent of cigarette smoke betrayed a different cause for his coughing fits.

It hadn't been working out so far, and he was almost committed to ending the idea and trying to move on as he always had.

Idly he glanced at his phone, one of his most neglected possessions. After all, who had tried to call him over this past month? Still, he noticed a small icon in the upper corner of the screen that he was unfamiliar with. And upon further inspection saw;

Unread Texts: 45

Missed Calls: 7

Huh.

And as if on cue it began to buzz for an incoming call before he could even check any of his backlog. Quickly he pressed answer and put it to his ear.

Lawrence.

"Finally!" Rosa's exasperated voice on the other end of the line was loud--even louder than the woman's usually chipper, exuberant volume. "I've been trying to reach you privately ever since Wisford! This isn't talk for the cuffs and I know you weren't unconscious the entire time--do you have any idea what's been happening with that group?"

At the mention of Wisford Lawrence grimaced on the other end of the line and paused, looking to Lizzy as if she could somehow help him during this conversation. As if sensing his motives, she turned her face away with a huff and pretended to fall asleep on top of him.

With a sigh, he finally responded;

Vaguely. Is that what you're calling me for? A status update?

"Yeah, a bit! You're supposed to be watching out for them--or at least not letting them kill over sixty civilians in a fit of panic! I realize ever since Elizabeth you've been less than involved with anyone and anything, but at least pretend you have powers, Lawrence!"

I've offered them my help Rosa, none of them have decided that it's needed and I sure as hell can't force them to accept it. If you're asking me to use my power to manipulate their free will-

He was beginning to grow angry at the conversation in very short order, raising his volume to match hers.

- I didn't sign up to be your mind rapist Rosa, you or Zhang! You want to force them to stop then use the goddamn anklets you fastened to everybody!

Lizzy lifted one ear slightly at the outburst but otherwise continued with her charade. More quietly Lawrence continued;

If you think I want to let people die Rosa you're more wrong than you've ever been- but I'm not going to force this team to do anything, they need to...

What exactly? He trailed off, uncertain. It was the same problem he'd been working at since his injury without an answer.

"They are waaay too inexperienced for some of these situations and you know it! Helping someone calm down either with words or with your power would have done wonders, but if you want to call every instance of helping potential rape I guess that's that, huh? Wisford was one thing, but DC was entirely unprecedented and that's where they needed you most, even if they didn't ask for it! These are excuses, Lawrence. You know why you're on this team!"

Don't act like I'm shirking some kind of responsibility. You forced me away from my class and shoved me with these guys expecting me to babysit them- so pardon fucking me if I haven't stepped into the role.

With that he ended the call in irritation and tossed the phone across the room- noting with annoyance that it didn't break. Still, if he was trying to seal up any cracks they were thoroughly leaking now. Grabbing the half empty pack of cigarettes on his nightstand, he soon descended into another fit of coughing as the foreign smoke entered his lungs. Supposedly they helped people with stress, but he was having a hard time seeing how.

In the corner his phone buzzed once more, and Lizzy lifted her head to look at it. Turning her gaze from the device to Lawrence and back again, clearly judging. He was tempted to answer it once more, but was far more tempted to avoid it.

Get off.

He growled at the dog, and stood up as soon as she'd hopped off of him and the bed. No, instead of answering the phone he'd go for a walk. His lungs needed some fresh air in them after his attempts to pick up a new habit, and his stomach needed some coffee in it.

Air and coffee.

Especially coffee.
Ladies and gentlemen: Our GM.
Las and I are in a collab at the moment, so do the math on whether we're here or not yourself.





Well. Things had been… eventful since Phirra’s arrival, certainly. A goblin and his entourage making her entrance look boring, something happening between the girl and the half-dragon, and now a young man… woman… person had just teleported in and collapsed on the floor. At least it wasn’t boring, she supposed.

Of all the Knights, it seemed only herself and three others were human. Of those, one was a giant who never left the side of another. Phirra wasn’t going anywhere near either of them any time soon, not unless she had to. That only left one. Following that train of thought, it wasn’t a difficult decision to approach them and strike up a conversation.

“Our Mighty Lord has assembled quite the collection, hasn’t he?” She asked them, using the title ironically, though in fact she was more than slightly afraid of him. Without waiting for an answer, she continued, saying “I think you missed my introduction, I’m Phirra Darnos, and probably the single least likely person to kill you in this room.”

You mean aside from me, right?

Emerson would have voiced the thought out loud if able to, instead what came out was a strangled cough as the startled mage's meal tried to force itself down his windpipe. For a moment she struggled for air, some rare colour entering his face from the strain, before rational thought reminded him that she was indeed a wizard, and magic soon forced the obstruction down its proper path. With embarrassment and unease fighting each other for dominance, The Prodigy offered an awkward laugh as he sized up Phirra.

Ajeshna?

It was the first thought that came to Emerson upon looking at the dark skinned woman, although it was perhaps a foolish assumption. Still, if true it was a big comfort knowing that someone else from a foreign land was among the Knights, even though Emerson herself had lived right on the border. Truthfully, the mage had met extremely few people from the faraway land, but Aurelius had often spoken of many acquaintances he'd made among their artificers. The world of magical research was a strangely close knit one.

Having at least enough social grace to realize studying the woman so closely was probably rude, Emerson put down the fork she was holding and extended a hand.

E-Emerson Pèlerin. How likely is least likely though? I don't think L-Lancelot is gathering a bunch of pacifists.

Quietly the mage cursed the tremor in his voice, but it couldn't be helped. She was still recovering from the choking incident, still frightened, and most importantly still exhausted. There would be future days to work on his solid “Knight of Evil” reputation.

Phirra shook the offered hand, saying “Least likely, for me, is about 100% if you attempt to do the same to me, 100% if you attempt to do so towards another Knight, whether successful or otherwise, though if I would kill them, I’m probably also okay with you killing them.” Phirra took a seat next to Emerson as she spoke. “Outside of those situations, it’s a solid 0%. And yes, I am from Ajeshna, though it was a different country when it was my home.”

Emerson was definitely an interesting character to Phirra. Stuttering was not, in her experience, an effective way to convey capability, especially when surrounded by nearly two dozen of the most dangerous people alive. However, Emerson had been invited here, by Lancelot. Obviously they had some kind of use to him that not just anyone has. Useful enough to be worth going out of his way to contact and cater for them. More interesting, though, was the fact that Emerson had accepted the invite. Every creature that had attended had their own motive, few of them noble, yet Emerson did not strike Phirra as the villainous type.

There are many ways to learn something, and the easiest is to ask questions. As such, Phirra asked a question.

“So why accept Lancelot’s invitation? I don’t think a single person in this room is here just to be part of the fan club.”

The directness of the woman caught him off guard, and Emerson quickly shoved some food into his mouth to buy some time to think. It wasn't exactly a situation that could be summed up easily, the invitation wasn't even initially meant for her, and she was sure Aurelius would have felt much more at home with these people than his pupil did. Still, would the truth even be worth telling? In any other circle professing to being a murderer wasn't exactly something one could do casually, but Phirra had already thrown around the possibility of killing like it was no big deal at all to discuss. Mulling it over a moment longer after swallowing, the mage tried to explain the situation as simply as possible.

I killed the person that the i-invitation was meant for. If I didn't become Lancelot's friend I would be his enemy right now. Accepting... accepting seemed like it was the better long term strategy.

You could almost hear the click that went off in Phirra’s head at that moment, like when you finally realize the answer to a particularly tough puzzle, and suddenly the whole thing seems easy. It completely explained Emerson’s apparent lack of self-confidence - someone forced into this kind of situation was bound to react differently to someone with the security available to refuse if they wanted. In fact, it seemed likely that there were others out there who had also received invitations but had declined.

“You’re probably right about that. I can’t see many places holding out against Lancelot for long, and though I don’t know him very well, these kind of leaders can be very black and white when it comes to who’s on whose side. Still, it isn’t especially safe here, either. But, like I said, as long as you don’t cause me or anyone else any trouble, you have nothing to fear from me.”

Phirra decided it was about time to head to her quarters. She stood up, saying “Well, I guess I’ll see around, Emerson. I quite like you, so don’t die for the time being, if that’s okay with you.” And with that odd comment, Phirra left for her room.

It was nice enough, certainly. Obviously an effort had been made (though more likely by a servant than by anyone of importance), but it wasn’t to Phirra’s tastes. Apparently, though, Lancelot was aware of her… abnormal requirements and made sure to include a balcony. She moved her Ether Harvester, which been left in her room as requested, onto the balcony, set it running, then went to sleep.

For Emerson’s part, she quietly finished eating after the artificer had left, embarrassment and unease both replaced by a pleasant tingling spreading across his body. Phirra… liked her? The notion of course carried no romantic context, but the mage had never heard another person enjoy her company during his brief childhood on the streets. And the sort of enjoyment Aurelius derived from her company made her skin crawl rather than tingle.

Maybe… maybe this wouldn’t be so bad.

The Prodigy was of course exhausted, but this new interaction had awoken a desire to at least try to get to know some of his new peers. The least frightening ones at least. While he was confident in his ability to defend himself, Phirra was right in that being here was dangerous, especially for a normal and quite fragile human. So quietly, not trying to stare too intently, he swept his eyes cross her remaining peers, and caught a certain soaking wet man quietly making his way from the room. Looks could be deceiving, but he at least didn’t seem too bad, even if he wasn’t as outright welcoming as Phirra had been.

Set on her course, and confident he still had the energy to make an escape if this turned out to be a horribly misplaced judgement, Emerson quietly set after the soaked individual. As quietly as an urchin slipping after a mark.
While not the most active in the world, there is more activity on the Discord than the OOC for those worried about the lack of posting in the thread itself. As a head's up.
Didn't quite want to force an interaction with anybody when it looks like the scene is starting to end, so I left the post pretty open to either collab or move on from.

Emerson L. Pèlerin

"The Prodigy"





I don't belong here.

It was a thought that had been creeping into Emerson's head more and more often as she made her way across the countryside of Lancelot's domain. As someone who had grown up on the other side of the border, he'd always had an outsider's view of the evil domain. Sure, whispers and rumors spoke of what lurked in the shadows of this land, but it was somehow... distant. Now though The Prodigy caught glimpses of evil shapes across the landscape, hiding in the crags of mountains, scurrying through the trees. Still, none bothered him during her journey, almost as if Lancelot had demanded personally that she reached her destination unharmed.

Whatever the case was, it made for an uneasy trip. For the majority of it Emerson tried to float at a running pace, spending her time both taking in the sights of her new home, and imbuing the outfit he had chosen as her uniform (If indeed Lancelot himself chose not to provide one, which would be disappointing) with some minor magic. A slow process, having to go through every single thread and enchant them individually, but one that the mage had two whole days to spend it on.

When the uniform was finished though Emerson realized she was taking far too much time with the adventure, and that Moonlake Keep was a much greater distance from the border than he had first realized. For the last half a day, once every hour, the countryside echoed faintly with a cry of “Seeya Joe, gotta go!” as the Prodigy zipped for miles across the landscape at a time. The final one had brought Emerson through the room's giant window, unnoticed as Lancelot commanded the attention of all gathered.

He lay collapsed against the wall, struggling not to pass out from exhaustion as their new leader introduced himself- the mage having not missed much of the meeting at all. Still, while Lancelot commanded an impressive presence, The Prodigy couldn't help but look across the room from his vantage point and look over his new peers.

I don't belong here.

Emerson felt more like a sheep among wolves than one of the most powerful mages currently living. Some of those present were quite clearly monsters, and others certainly gave off the presence of being such under their armor and clothing. She was not completely foreign to the concept of course, being one dedicated to the magical arts, but personal experience with anything other than Humans was something he distinctly lacked.

These are my peers now.

It was that thought which settled the mental debate over Emerson's current situation. They were his peers, and that meant Lancelot considered him to at least be equal to them. With strength slowly returning to her limbs she quietly listened to their leader finish speaking, and at his departure struggled to stand.

She didn't quite manage it.

With a small sigh Emerson contented to watching his fellow knights for a few minutes more. The initial horror she had felt was slowly giving way to curiosity as she observed them, and was especially piqued by the half-dragon and Camilla. There was certainly magic at work there, and not the kind Emerson had much knowledge with. Other than the spell he had prepared especially for Aurelius, The Prodigy shied away from magics directly affecting the body. The experimentation process was simply too messy, and unreliable without test subjects. While he was sure that many of his peers in this room wouldn't have any qualms about experimenting on living things, torture was not something that appealed to Emerson.

Pushing those grim thoughts out of her head, she tried to stand once more- with far more success. Wishing that he had decided to wear the uniform that had been prepared on the road- instead being garbed in a simple shirt and pants that was common fashion among the middle classes of Nell Egg- and that she had chosen a more dignified color than pink for her hair that morning, Emerson finally made her way down the stairs and to the table in the center of the room. Acting as casually as possible she put together a light meal to quell the appetite she had worked up on the road, and battled an urge to socialize with a desire to be ignored entirely by the monsters around him.
Clearly I'm not here, I just hang around in the Discord for the free food.
Still here! Sorry, it's been weird lately. Getting on a computer to write has been hard. @Not Fishing I'm ready to go when you are. Do you wanna start the document?

In other news, we set up a Discord server! Please join. It'll make interactions waaaay easier.


Quoting this here in case it gets lost as the last post on the previous page.
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