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4 mos ago


Gayer than you.

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Katya - NJC

~”Da, eto ya - Katya.”~

Ohohoho, I get to be the first to accept Nao!

Arc 2; Day 1 - One Night in Hell - 12:00/17:00

The preparations for the club's grand reopening had been going on for some time, and each step along the way had been laboriously pored over by Nabriales at some point or another. Minor adjustments for taste and style, proper organization, and outsourcing the majority of the contractors had been something he'd been happy to take on and delegate amongst his vast commercial network of contacts. While money was not an object for him, the plans to fund One Night in Hell had only very recently begun and it was not quite as simple as giving away free money - though he'd filed the paperwork for Victorious Inc. earlier in the day and the company would be formally recognised by around 15:00, the work did not end there. He had enlisted a veritable brigade of legal, commercial, and financial staff to create for him the sprawling network of shell corporations that was required to effectively begin the movement of funds (as well as start what could very well become a multinational conglomerate the likes of which had never been seen before) to One Night in Hell, and by virtue of that, to the Resistance.

As such, he'd been extremely busy. By the time he'd finished up with Sarah and Sophia, and closed Victorious Secret for the day at 12 on the dot, he had immediately teleported himself to the entrance of One Night in Hell, creating a far larger poof and explosion of colour than he normally would. Without a grand entrance, he reasoned, there was no occasion - and the occasion of the grand reopening was spectacular indeed! The second he materialised outside the doors, he waved a friendly hello to the doorman and strode into the club. He'd picked his outfit especially for the opening - nothing but a rainbow-coloured jockstrap, covering the bare essentials but leaving almost literally nothing else to the imagination. It was an occasion to impress, after all, and he felt that it would really best represent his own personal stakes in the club.

He gave the room a moment to admire him before teleporting himself directly into Masha's office. He knew that at this time she'd be probably be down someone's throat, chastising them for unnecessary delays and interruptions to the schedule, or perhaps because the services delivered weren't quite up to her particularly exacting standards. It was a quality about her he admired - many people simply weren't... cutthroat enough for business, and if the last few months of work together had taught him anything about her it was that she was certainly capable of that level of ruthlessness and attention to detail. He'd also long since worked out that she was Darius' beau, and had been developing an appreciation for his taste in partners as well as teasing the fox relentlessly about it. In his mind, it was the perfect arrangement.

"How are things going, love?" He started, before realising he was interrupting a phone call and promptly shutting up. In the time it would take for Masha to finish up her call, he summoned a bottle of the good champagne - one of his favourites, the Moët & Chandon Dom Perignon White Gold (he figured she would like the collectability of the bottle) - and two equally opulent flutes. Bringing her the most expensive and decadent of alcoholic beverages had become part of his job description at this point, he thought to himself, and was amazed by how happy he was at the fact. Many people simply didn't have the taste for luxury that he had, and having someone to share the experience with was what made it so valuable.

Masha hung up the phone with a finality to it that said she might never speak to them again. It probably wouldn't be the case, but she felt the threat had been conveyed enough that they'd get their shit together and she wouldn't have to deal with that again with them. She sighed heavily, flopping herself down in her chair again, grabbing at her cigarette case first before murmuring a thank you to Nabri in her native tongue for his offered drink.

She hasn't been certain at first that she would like him. She honestly still wasn't sure that she did like him and not just his money and that he gave her nice expensive booze for free when she needed it. He was...alright. And he did do a good job bartending. And sometimes that made it feel like he was paying her to work. And she liked that.

Taking a long drag of her smoke, she ran her free hand through her black hair, looking down at her dress. Which was fine and lovely, even if not up to her standards for opening night. She'd have to change still, which was something she tacked on to her ever growing list of things she needed to do.

When she looked up at him she blinked golden eyes in confusion. “Please tell me you have shorts on or something,” she murmured in a tone that said she knew if he did that it would be a lie.

"You're right, I think it's a bit much... There'll be plenty of time for a grand reveal later, no?" Nabriales winked back, letting out a slight chuckle as he took Masha's joke in stride and turned around, showing his bare buttocks to her and twisting his head around to look at her, before giving her a wink and teleporting a chair directly beneath him for him to sit on.

"Aren't you doing something similar? I know you're dressed up to the nines, love, but surely you're going to show some skin at some point during the evening? Tonight is about marketing, and we have to show our assets if we're to attract the kind of clientele and attention that you so desire. Besides, you want to show Darius what he's missing every second he's not here, hmm?" Nabriales continued, simultaneously summoning his phone to his hand and scrolling through his contacts. He had a fairly considerable amount of social influence that he could leverage to ensure that the opening night was a success - but there was far less he could do to ensure that they wanted to keep coming back and bring their friends with them. Masha would have to shine tonight - it was a delicate act to balance the influence she had on the operation of the club. She would have to be seen mingling with the guests, but not be seen micromanaging every aspect - though, of course, that is exactly what she would be required to do.

Though their relationship was somewhat tenuous at best, Nabriales had already fairly thoroughly evaluated all of Masha's skills and traits. Reading people had always been something of a gift of his, and though she was markedly more complex than he had originally imagined he at this point knew enough about her to know that there would be no issues. The corners of his lips turned up into a warm smile as he glanced over at her while continuing to weave his subtle social machinations through his phone, and he took her measure entirely. Masha looked stunning - he expected no less, of course - but the combination of her natural beauty and fierce personality shone through superbly; every facet and every detail was worked out exactly, precisely, to the point that Nabriales questioned if there were mistakes woven in purposely to give an illusion of human error that quite simply did not exist.

Noting the state of her neckline, however, Nabriales' eyes shone with a scintillating spark of magic and mischief. With a delicate gesture, he pulled from the aether quite smoothly a simple black velvet box and handed it to Masha. He cracked the lid open slightly, and even in the ambient light of the room the box emitted an array of twinkling colours, shimmering gently as if to invite the eyes to look. He'd leave the rest for her to open herself, though he did make sure to note that the necklace within was hers to keep, if she so desired.

Contained within were vis crystals, pure and flawless, made to look like precious stones. The craftsmanship was, to put it bluntly, peerless beyond measure - and though he wasn't sure exactly how much they were worth in traditionally financial terms, they had taken him the best part of a month to make. Everything was, of course, tailored to Masha - it evoked a primal sensuality, subtle but domineering, and a sense of elegant refinement that simultaneously drew the eye and challenged one to shelter themselves from the brilliance on display. To call it anything less than a masterpiece would have been shameful - and as he handed it over to Masha he kept his gaze locked on hers, ready to vicariously drink in her enjoyment as she beheld his craft.

Masha watched him with at first slight surprise (though really she should have expected him to show off his ass to her, even if he wouldn’t ever be interested in her) and then frustration. “I don’t need to show off my body on opening night just to get people to come back,” she said with growing frustration. It wasn’t that she had any sort of problem with that, but that was just not something she wanted to default to on the first night. Where did you go from there? “And I don’t need to tease Darius like that any. He already knows what he’s missing well enough.”

She paid no mind to him looking her over, she was sure he was up to something, but she couldn’t spare the brain power at the moment to worry about what he was thinking. So instead she took the few moments of respite and just enjoyed her drink and her smoke as he did whatever it was that he was doing. There was so many things she had to worry about, big and small. And she knew that there was going to be someone working against them from the inside as well. Because Cortes was still being a thorn in her side, even if it had seemed to take a back seat in his priorities.

Since her mind had wandered towards the less pleasant things, it took her a moment to notice that Nabri was talking to her again and offering her a box. A jewelry box. She took it from him, confused, and put her cigarette down in her little ashtray (that could really use to be emptied because she’d been mostly chain smoking a good portion of the day). She looked at him, then to the box, and back at him with a raised eyebrow before looking back down and slowly opening it up to see what was inside. The gasp that came out of her was totally reflexive and outside her control.

Masha didn’t need to know him to know that this thing was more than just a pretty trinket. She could feel the power in it, and knowing him, she knew that he hadn’t just acquired the gems, but made them. The sapphire and emerald stones glittered in the light, drawing your eye into every perfectly cut facet. She murmured in Russian about its beauty, trailing thin fingers with sharp, dark nails along the chain and then the gems, her lips tweaking into a wicked little smile.

“You spoil me almost more than Darius does,” she said with a little laugh at last, looking up at him as she pulled the necklace free from the box and put it round her neck. “Though his spoiling is a little more physically satisfying.”

"I do have potions for that..." Nabri quickly retorted in response to Masha's last comment, also giving her a wry laugh to indicate that while he was definitely serious about the quality of his potion, the context was largely made in jest. As much as he'd have liked to have watched her fawn and swoon over the work of art he'd given her, he appreciated very intimately that they were pressed for time and elected to decide to move on to the actual business at hand. He'd noticed that Masha was very hands on with her work, and while he appreciated that she could only reasonably have confidence in her own abilities it was about time that she let someone else take over and actually get herself ready. Stress was as much of a killer as the metaphorical and literal knives in the back associated with the life Masha had chosen, and though he always worked to provide her a little succour wherever possible it was absolutely not enough.

"Look, love... You're going to kill yourself with all of this stress. You can be the perfect host or you can try to micromanage every aspect of the evening - but you can't be seen to be doing both! Let me make sure that everything is running smoothly while you take a few hours to get yourself ready, hmm? You deserve to relax with how hard you've been working and you know that I can take care of all of the rank and file business. I have looked over all of the plans at least as many times as you have!" Nabri smiled, walking over to her as he began talking and placing his hands on her shoulders to give her a quick massage. He kneaded her muscles as he spoke, working out where the most tension was kept and gradually releasing it with kneading of varying pressure and depth. As a man who worked with his hands practically all day as well as a self-confessed hedonist, Nabriales' massage skills were nothing short of excellent - though he normally put his talents to more carnal uses, Masha would still receive nothing but the very best he could offer her.

"If you're so inclined, I can teleport you over to Darius' place and back once you've had plenty of time to... Enjoy yourself? You just let me know what you want and I'll make it happen - and I'll worry about all of the details. We've tended this little garden very carefully, and I'm more than capable of making sure that any thorns don't rear their ugly heads..." He spoke, adding a soothing lilt to his voice. It wasn't quite singsong, but gentle and melodic like the wind passing through chimes. He wasn't sure that he'd be able to persuade her to let go of even a shred of control with how she was, but he knew that he had to try for the success of the evening. Much hinged on tonight, and part of his own success relied on the evening going well. As an afterthought, he produced a small bottle containing just a mouthful of a lightly pink-red liquid - something Masha would recognise as his own substitute for morphine. All of the high, but none of the downsides - and something he only offered sparingly. He offered it to her knowingly, making an exception for the severity of the night.

She had started to shift when he’d put his hands on her shoulders, but it only took her moment to decide that she didn’t want to make him stop. Her eyes closed and she did little beside taking a drag from her cigarette. She didn’t want to let go of things, she wanted to make sure that everything was perfect. But he was, as much as she hated to admit it, right. And if she could trust anyone to do it, it was him. Because the success of this night was important to him for slightly different reasons. But it was important nonetheless. Whatever political thing that they had going on, she was still trying to work it out because her brain had been too busy with the club itself, was going to need this place to thrive as well.

Masha looked up at him with a slightly saddened smirk. “As much as I would like that, I don’t think he’ll be as inclined at the moment to have me popped into his office in the middle of the day.” He made plenty of allowances for her as it was. But there was only so much he could do and still make it appear that he wasn’t favoring her any or that they were in fact together like they were. And she understood that, she didn’t like it, but she understood it and wasn’t going to make a fuss about it.

She had already considered taking his offer up, for at least giving her a little bit to go get herself ready, but then, oh then, he offered her something even better than good wine or vodka, better than any shoulder massage he could give her, and sometimes, even better than the offer to go see her favorite lover for the afternoon. She didn’t even give him a chance to detract his offer, to teleport himself out of her reach and stop her from getting it. She reached out with her free hand and snatched the little bottle out of his hands. “I do need to change…” she said with a smile that was wickedly delighted by the idea of what he’d give her. As much as she didn’t mind things like the occasional hallucinations that came with too much morphine, it would be nice to be able to continue to work while also enjoying the high of something better than just alcohol and nicotine. She stood up, looking around her for a moment before shaking her head to clear it. Not succeeding, but trying anyways.

“I'm sure you can…” she trailed off, her brain skipping ahead now that she had be given the choice, though was it really a choice when they both knew how she’d be when given that? She was normally much better at that sort of thing, keeping her priorities straight. But she was so very stressed, and she knew very well how unstressed that would make her feel.

Nabriales laughed to himself under his breath softly as Masha chomped at the bit to get at the vial he had offered her. The immediacy--the primal urgency--that was expressed as she stole away the vial as if it were under threat spoke volumes about the habit that he was enabling - and truthfully, he couldn't bring himself to feel negatively about it even a little. There was a purity in the moment that one surrendered themselves to the singularity of sensation; there was a satisfaction unrivaled by the fulfillment of desire on that intimate chemical level. It was something that nothing else could provide, and if it were ordinarily not so horribly dangerous and slippery he'd have been an advocate for everyone in the world experiencing the peaks that narcotics could provide. Fortunately, his particular skill set removed all element of risk - even addiction was a plaything for him to tinker with, and no risk to himself or any under his wing.

It had always been instilled in him, even from a young age, that mastery was important - vital, even - to the human experience. Without mastery, what did we truly have? Without mastery, what did we aspire to - what was the point of existence without wanting to better it and experience that betterness? When he had been old enough to understand that calling that sung to him from within his marrow, it was the first time he had truly known fulfilment. It was an experience he had sought to relive through the use of powders and potions and physicks, and only through sheer mastery had he accomplished it. There was nothing he could not distil and decant - decadence and denial; dreams and domination. All elements of the human experience were there for the taking, and watching that unfold in another being was deeply satisfying heedless of any potential consequence. Still, he was careful to have a downer for her just in case anything went wrong.

"Tell you what - I'll pop you over to my place and you can check the wardrobe out there! If there's anything else you want, take my card and order it - delivery is so fast these days! I'd give you a spending limit, but short of you spending over a billion pounds I don't really care..." He chuckled, handing her a sleek black card and noting down the PIN for her. His own wardrobe was plentiful, but likely not in the style that Masha went for - so he figured throwing money and the equivalent of drugs at her was the best way to ensure her own peak performance for the evening.

She grabbed her bag from under the desk and started to slide her various things that had been strewn about the desk back into place. Picking up her glasses, her phone, her tablet, and all the other little things like chapstick and cigarettes as well as his little gift. She was too distracted to notice the way he’d reacted to her eagerness, and in that moment, she wouldn’t have cared anyways. She was not afraid to admit that she had a problem, she just had no desire to fix the problem. It wasn’t currently affecting her life, she was still being prosperous, she was working just fine, and her social life was doing just grand. So there was no reason to change what she was doing.
Masha considered his offer for a moment before she shook her head slightly.

“No thanks, I’ve already had something picked out for weeks now, and I don’t want to change my mind now,” she said with a little laugh. She considered for one more moment before taking the card from him anyways. “Accessories though,” she said with a little smirk. Not that she’d probably get much of anything but a new pair of earrings perhaps to go with this lovely necklace he’d given her. Not because she didn’t want to take advantage of his offer, but because she had already picked out her outfit for the most part and didn’t have much plan to deviate from that.

“So if you’d like to pop me home, that’d be great,” she shrugged, an expectant little smile playing on her lips.

"Have fun, love! If that hit isn't enough for you or you need a top up, let me know!" Nabriales laughed and waved before poofing her home as she'd asked. She had his number and vice-versa - it wasn't like getting into contact with one another would be an issue. With Masha off getting ready, Nabriales could turn his focus to ensuring that her preparations were completed and strictly adhered to. He knew that a lot of people would think of her specifications as simply guidelines - but he certainly knew better than that, and her instructions were to be taken as gospel. The One Night in Hell stuff would mostly know to stick to her plans exactly - but the external contractors were not typically so informed (minus the unfortunate souls that had been on the receiving end of her earlier verbal thrashing) and Nabriales' job was essentially to make sure that everything went exactly how she wanted it. There were bits and pieces that he'd do differently - aesthetic differences, mostly - but the club was hers and it was her vision, so he wanted to remain completely true to that.

They had their differences, but Masha let him be himself and do things his way and he absolutely had an appreciation for that. As two people who were both used to having a domineering presence, it would be very easy for them to clash and never get anything done... But he thought they'd found a nice harmony in which he could get exactly what he wanted out of the deal, and Masha got showered with lavish displays of wealth for the privilege. Ordinarily, one would think it was a deal that favoured Masha quite heavily - but Nabriales was not easy to get along with when it came to work and he was very well aware of that; it was why he had opened his own store and conducted things his own way.

He spent the next few hours directing things towards their proper place, helping out with magic and money where necessary, and as the time neared opening everything looked pristine. He was pleased with himself for ensuring that events had unfolded as per Masha's designs, and he couldn't help but admire her sense of design. Where in pieces he had thought things looked a little disparate, they had come together with her chosen aesthetic wonderfully. For a brief moment he allowed himself to be envious of her good taste before being shaken from his moment of reflection by the buzz of his phone and Masha asking to be brought back to the club. He obliged her immediately, bringing her right next to him behind the bar, and invited her to look upon the fruits of their labour with a theatrical sweeping gesture of his hand.

"I must say it looks better than I thought it would! Aren't you just full of surprises?" Nabriales heartily chuckled, looking her up and down as he did so. In her completed ensemble she looked stunning - radiantly and fiercely resplendent. Everything came together wonderfully, though his eyes were naturally drawn to the necklace that he'd crafted for her - perhaps it was narcissistic, but he couldn't help but admire just how beautifully his handiwork had turned out. On Masha, the jewelry was breathtaking. Combined with everything else about her, it was a beauty the likes of which he'd witnessed only a handful of times in his life, and he was grateful merely to have been a part of it. After noticing he'd looked a little overlong, he laughed and turned to the space before them. He wanted to watch as Masha presided over the night - it was certainly going to be one to remember.

She looked up at him, the languid look in her eyes flicking with annoyance for a second. “I'm much more capable than I seem, yes,” she replied smugly. “I do know what I am doing after all. Even if you might not think the same way.” And with that she flipped a few stray hairs back over her shoulder and headed towards the stage.

It was finally time. After months of working on this. After hours and hours of stressing. After countless all nighters and all that passion she’d poured into it. It was time. The official opening was about to start. They’d been open their normal hours, but the real party hadn’t yet started. The best deals, the best foods, the best booze, the best music. Everything was going to be the best it possibly could be. And if it wasn’t, there would be hell to pay for it.

Everything looked so nice, the floor was already filled with people, the lights were chill for the time being and not the flashing show they’d be later in the night. There had been a steady flow all week leading up to this night, but tonight, she knew they’d be packed. It would better than it had ever been. And certainly better than it could ever hope to be under Cortes.

The band had been on a break just before and was getting back into position when Masha joined them up on stage. Most of her hair was up, pinned with tiny little poppies and braided perfectly, what was down had been put into loose curls held in place with a fair amount of hair spray. The flowers gave the impression of a crown, and as this the start of her kingdom she wore her little crown with pride.

Her dark green peplos style dress clung to just the right places, flowing freely around her feet. She mindlessly fiddled with her new necklace as most of the crowd looked up to her on the stage, mic in her other hand.

“Welcome,” she said, smiling and hardly blinking when the lights focused on her, catching the gems around her throat brilliantly. She chewed at her lip playfully, playing up her sex appeal with a practiced ease, not even smudging her perfectly applied lipstick.

“Welcome to One Night in Hell. Your new home away from home. Starting now, all drinks are half price, as are appetizers. So eat, drink, dance, indulge. Party like you've got nothing to lose.”

She took a step back, letting Lily come take her place back at the center of the stage. She lingered there though, even after the music had started up again and Lily’s sweet voice floated through the air, golden eyes watching as all of her work came to fruition right before her. She was surprised that aside from a few small hiccups, nothing much had happened. Which of course only made her more nervous. Cortes had to be up to something, she'd done what she could already to start weeding out his ties in this place, but there were lots she didn't know and she just knew him and knew he would do something to destroy this.

But she wasn’t just watching for hiccups. She was searching for familiar faces. Hoping, but also know knowing that it was unlikely, her slick foxxy would be there. If he was, she knew he wouldn’t stay long, and he wouldn’t be like he was alone with her. They’d spent much more time together alone than in public and she wasn’t sure if right this moment she’d be all that distant with him. And as much as she didn’t want to admit it, she needed him there just now. Maybe, just maybe, he’d show up but not in his normal form.

For her.

~”It is a duty to serve the God-Queen. It is a privilege to act as her hand.”~

Day 1 of Arc 2 / Approx. 11am

Collab with @Celaira's Sophia and @Solokolos's Sarah

A single page of notes, front and back, was filled by the time the two hour class had ended. It was a rushed, personal shorthand that was very difficult to decipher without also knowing what the subject matter was. The letters were neat, each repeated symbol indistinguishble from the next time it was used. Certain sections seemed to be printed with a typeset as opposed to written freehand. Sarah folded the paper carefully and slipped into her bag. She stood up gracefully, slipping out of her seat and walking out of the class without meeting anyone's eyes.

Though she would never know it, her movements could easily be marked as not quite human. She was lithe, graceful, and she flowed through crowds seamlessly; not stopping, or having to look up. All muscle memory and instincts, she could do it all with her eyes closed.

A crinkle of paper brought Sarah back to reality, her mind reorganizing what she had learned. Posted to a bulletin board in the hallway was an advertisement for Victorious Secret an alchemy shop, and, Sarah assumed, a boutique of sorts. She glanced at the address, committing it to memory, before beginning to move again. Reasserted amongst the crowd, Sarah exited the building, the crowd thinning as she headed further and further from the campus.

Keeping to main streets, Sarah wasn't exactly sure how much time had passed before she arrived. 'Autopilot,' so to speak, had been engaged, making the time disappear. She pushed on the door carefully, letting herself in. "I can spend some time here, and get something to eat before that night class." Sarah justified to herself, as she looked around. Her feet took her quietly to the next set of shelves, which she looked up and down. With the nature of this being a business, she didn't check the air around her for anything strange. She found herself easily absorbed in the small lettering identifying each potion. Of course she didn't dare touch any of them, thinking it might be rude. Her hands were neatly folded behind her back, her eyes wide and inquisitive.

Most of Nabriales' morning had been taken up by frantic calls to and from suppliers, contractors, and various members of the committees that oversaw the creation and moderation of public and private limited companies. He and Sophia had discussed their options with 'Accountant - 8' and were due to sign the remainder of the papers to formalise the creation of a private limited company to pursue any of their relevant business interests. Nabriales had, truthfully, had plans to expand his operations with Victorious Secret for quite a while - this was simply his first step in ensuring that his expansion was legitimate. He'd had his fair share of work in the less... by the book elements of society, but with his newfound involvement in the Resistance those channels were no longer suitable. He'd have to move enormous sums of money for his and Sophia's plans to work, and his existing arrangements were unsuitable for the task. He'd asked several of his associates to begin the creation of a network of shell corporations - and they had acquiesced quite quickly. All that remained for him now was to sign the final set of papers marking them as the owners of an official company before his team would begin the movement of funds and the expansion of his brand.

As a result, he was looking notably more haggard than usual - several empty cups of coffee sitting discarded on his workbench as a fragrant blend of materials emitted a slight purple smoke in his favourite cauldron. A simple draught to be inhaled in order to sharpen the mind and lessen fatigue - one of his best sellers among the soccer moms - and also a favourite among students. He skimmed over several sheets of documentation, signing as appropriate, and after his third check over he had determined that they were all up to speed. With a wave of his hand they were neatly bundled and would appear on Sophia's bedside table for her to read over and sign - and he'd included a draught of his concentration blend just in case. The final page of the bundle was nothing to do with the aforementioned acquisition of a company - but was instead an invoice to the same orphanage that Sophia had recently invested in giving them £1,000,000 in trust funds split between the current 100-ish orphans currently sheltered there. At the bottom of the page was a sticky note that simply said: 'Your move, sis.'

With the news of Ashariel vei Inaris' death, several of his suppliers had panicked far more than was necessary. Much of the rest of his day would involve assuring them that Ominar's economy would not be affected in the slightest - or it would involve him asking one of his friends to do so for him. After being awake for several hours, he'd quickly seen the wisdom in letting the professionals handle those concerns, and let himself slump down onto his counter in relief. He made a mental note to book an appointment for a massage later (and invite Sophia, of course) before he heard the familiar tinkle of the doorbell ring. He gave his eyes a quick rub, scrunching them shut as he did so, before beaming at the customer who came through his door. He let her browse for a few moments, before getting up and teleporting next to her with a faint 'poof' sound.

"Feel free to touch, hon. It's only if you break them that concern needs to be had." He smiled, resting a hand on her shoulder and giving her a comforting rub. He let his eyes trace over her, vis glinting within them, as a small smirk rose on the corner of his lips. He'd pegged her for a student the second he'd seen her - they all had either that vaguely absent look as if on autopilot or the frenzied look of someone who needed a get out of jail free card when they entered the store, and by her conformity with the former he assumed she was at least a capable student. Perhaps she was here for the concentration blend he'd offered quite cheaply at ZUMA.

"Anything I can help you with, love? The shelves have an excellent stock, but I can craft anything you need if you only ask." He asked, letting go of her shoulder and taking a step or two back.

For someone so adverse to attention, it was surprising that Sarah didn't find Nabriales' presence overwhelming. His sudden appearance startled her a bit, but she found herself nodding along with his words. At the question of help she shook her head a bit too quickly, smiling sheepishly. "No, no, nothing in particular. It's more than a little beautiful, your shop, and I-I couldn't help myself but to look around. I'm not looking for anything in particular-Oh sorry I already said that." The more she talked the more flustered she got. Sarah broke eye contact, finding the potions suddenly more interesting.

Though not overbearing, it was still a lot. Sarah's face darkened a shade, as she investigated a potion marked to be a love potion. It was the first thing the could find to occupy her hands, the red liquid within sloshing inside not very viscous at all. Light filtered through it, casting dancing red shades onto her hand behind it.

In the back of her mind she wondered if he could tell she had a ward up and was practicing discretion, of if she was that much better than she thought. "I should seem to be a just barely magical human if anything, but I was also told to watch out for those who could see through the ward. Is he dangerous?" She had that thought a lot. It was best to predict dangers than to react to them. and she couldn't get a read on him. At the same time, Sarah would never imagine him actually hurting her. "I'm just a bit panicky, I guess," She thought, a breath she didn't know she was holding getting released as she relaxed.

As Nabri busied himself with his patron, he would receive a text from his sister.

Nabri, could you teleport me over there, to sign these? I really can't be bothered to walk.

As Sarah spoke, Nabriales nodded along with her words. After she'd finished speaking, her gave her a gleaming smile and a hearty, musical laugh. He was very proud of how Victorious Secret had turned out, and it gladdened him to have someone appreciate its beauty. There was an etherealness and a brightness about the store that he'd worked very hard to cultivate, and as he took a few seconds to look around her appreciated it alongside her. The store would always be special to him, and though he wanted to expand he knew he could never leave it behind. There was too much history, too many memories - in a way, the store was his home - not one of the edifices of opulent wealth he owned for the sake of owning them. Nothing made him happier than his work, and it truly did warm his heart to have someone new to the store see even a fraction of what he saw.

"Alright! I'll be behind the counter - feel free to browse for as long as you like! If there's anything that piques your interest," he began, nodding towards the love potion she'd found herself holding, "feel free to inquire! I'll give you a free sample for your excellent taste in shops." he finished, adding in a wink for flair, before poofing himself back over to the counter and resuming going over his paperwork. He felt his phone buzz in his pocket, and fished it out of the loose robe that he wore. He'd gone for a lilac today, though as he looked at himself he felt like the colour just didn't fit. He waved his hand again and with the trademark 'poof' he replaced his outfit with a scintillating rainbow dressing gown, tied at the waist with a thick, fluffy belt. It hung from him loosely, and he had to resist the urge to twirl just to see the colours refract through the light.

He took another breath of the mixture in his cauldron before checking his phone and noting Sophia's request. He made it happen in an instant, though he transported her to the back room with all of the paperwork so she would actually focus instead of talking to him about it. As much as he loved her, and as much as he loved to do nothing, the work was vital this time. Humming a contented tune under his breath, Nabriales switched his cauldron with one in the back with yet another obnoxious poofing sound, before picking up several ingredients from the workbench and going over them, adding samples here and there to the cauldron. He kept an eye on Sarah, discreetly, waiting for her curiosity to bubble over. It didn't take the inquisitive types long, normally.

Sarah felt drawn to mimicking him as he looked around the shop, taking it in as well. Before she had even looked at him, she could tell what his face would look like. Just at the edge of being present, not quite there. Memories and mementos certainly cluttered the shop, even if some of them were also the product provided. She could never imagine doing something similar in selling riunes, they were an extension of her own will. Separate, with a connection all the same.

She was caught in the act of nodding confirmation after he teleported away. Was he teleporting? Was he turning invisible? Gently, Sarah lifted the vial, trying to study the liquid closer, when she noticed a marking engraved into it. Her fingers gently traced the design, magic leaking through her fingertips and exploring the design. A teleportation beacon? Something of that sort, definitely used for transposing. What (or who) remained a mystery. A soft scuffing sound played quietly out as she set the vial down. Gently she turned the vial, replaced how it had been picked up.

With hesitant steps, Sarah moved herself deeper into the building, leaning out to look into the backroom, trying to be subtle about it. It was hard to look for anything with the light casting such magnificent shades all across the floor and walls. She gracefully turned the lean into quite steps, the curiosity outweighing the danger of a social faux pas as she headed further into the building.

"Mostly reagents in the back, hon... Though I assume you're more drawn to the runic teleportation matrix drawn there?" Nabriales asked without looking up from the flower whose petals he was carefully removing and infusing with his vis. He shot a sidelong glance towards Sarah's location, his eyes glowing softly with the scintillating rainbow energy that surrounded him whenever he manipulated vis, before returning to the delicate task he had at hand. After a second or two he placed the petals into the cauldron next to him and used his fire magic to heat it up gently, rubbing his right horn to stoke the flame just a little more.

He could almost feel the pull of curiosity from Sarah now, though some of that was likely just the nature of the runic marks and her inherent inquisitiveness. He'd sensed a spark of curiosity not unlike his own when Sarah had looked over the rune at the bottom of the vial, and it had reminded him greatly of the same sensation that had fluttered around his breast when he'd first discovered alchemy. Perhaps not quite so intense, he thought, as Sarah was surely not born with that innate potential as he had been. Being imprinted with the knowledge of alchemy at birth had driven him to where he was, and though he knew only his fellow Precursors felt the same permutation of that tugging on one's psyche that he'd felt, he was sure there was something similar about the human that had entered his store.

Though not much of a believer in fate or its ilk, Nabriales knew quite intimately that there were forces beyond sight and feeling at work in the universe. He simply figured that Sarah had been caught up in their vicissitudes, drawn inexplicably to him for a reason not yet clear to him. That, or he'd inhaled too much of the concentration aid and was suffering a mild case of cosmic apotheosis. It happened from time to time, tolerant though he was, and he figured he'd just let her poke around until he had decided exactly what he was feeling.

"Feel free to go and examine it! I dare say you could learn something from it, hon. I can see the runes sparkling in your jacket like little iridescent gems... Solid work, though you've a way to go!" He laughed, sounding supportive rather than condescending. There was a warmth, a sense of being genuine, in how he spoke - and it would hopefully register that way to Sarah. He didn't press the issue, but the invitation lingered in the air like a gentle fragrance mixing along those in the store. As the cauldron bubbled away, the scent of lavender would gently waft throughout the currents of air in the store as the liquid within began to take on the slightest purple tinge, and just as it did Nabriales was already preparing another ingredient.

Nabriales' words elicited a stunned response from Sarah. He had a way of watching her throughout the shop, that was interesting. She nodded suddenly at the mention of the teleportation matrix, reaching out to sense the vis around her. She took a couple steps in the proper direction, but hesitated. At his further urging she began to take another step before he finished the sentence. At the mention of the runes on her jacket she awkwardly glanced at him, catching herself heavy on the leading foot. It was encouraging, sure, but she barely had time to process I know about your jacket before being hit by solid work. Sarah felt like she'd been given a one two punch, and she was anticipating the knockout blow.

With more careful footing, Sarah headed towards the back, trying to act nonplussed about the statement. "Thank you. Judging by what I've seen so far, that is something I should take to heart." She said, her voice a bit higher than the last time she had spoken, but not excessively so. Sarah approached the room where the vis she was sensing seemed strongest, though occasionally she turned her head as if to better 'hear' the vis. The door opened easily as she pulled, well oiled hinges making it silent. Sarah crouched down just inside the doorway, making sure to smooth her skirt out as she did so. It was muscle memory, but Sarah herself was surprised she had remembered to do it considering the work of art in front of her. A large network of runes covered a large portion of the room, intricate designs wound together expertly. She touched the closest runes, one of the outer ones, letting magic flow out of her and onto the design. Exploratory, hand and magic alike studied the design. So he had been teleporting throughout the shop using this, and something to do with the vials? There was plenty she could learn from this, very, very interesting.

Sarah leaned back, propelling herself up with her hands, and gracefully turned it into a stand. "That's an amazing piece of work you have there." She said, sounding sincere. "Learning stuff like that always seems just out of reach. . ." A wistful tone filling her voice. She reached vis out to her jacket, and triggered a couple of gates across it. Though it showed no outward sign, various precautionary defences had been activated. The jacket would keep the area around her exactly the same temperature, and more readily resist physical force if applied.

Nabriales largely busied himself with the potion he was brewing, continuing to mix reagents, adjust the temperature, and control the flow of vis within the brewing potion as he observed Sarah's observations. The matrix was a quality piece of work - he was glad someone else could adequately appreciate it. Runic magic wasn't necessarily a specialty of his, but his natural predilection towards magic had rendered it a fairly easy art for him to excel in. He'd only really bothered learning things pertinent to his own interests - which began and ended at teleportation, insofar as runes were concerned - but the skillset was largely transferrable to any form of runic magic provided the basics were learned.

"Don't be silly, hon. Your mind can't make the leaps and bounds it needs to just yet, but as time goes on you'll certainly get there! You've got several hundred years to master it." He winked, letting his lips curl upwards into a sly grin.

"Feel free to copy it and study it! Or you can come back here whenever we're open - just ask my assistants Damian or Vi if I'm not around! You can also find me at One Night in Hell behind the bar if you're looking for a more recreational time!" He smiled, waving it off as if it was no big deal to him. Truth be told, while the matrix would be considered an accolade within the more academic circles, it had very little meaning to Nabriales beyond the practical - and he was more than happy to let someone else learn from it. He looked up from his potion, a somewhat pensive expression across his face, before he teleported himself into the back room a couple of feet away from Sarah, browsing the nearby shelves for a specific ingredient. He picked up a dried root before teleporting himself back behind the counter, and shaving off a couple of thin strips of the root into the awaiting cauldron.

"Are you sure there's nothing I can make for you, hon? Maybe you'd like a tour of the lingerie section instead...?" He proffered, summoning a vial of a dark, inky liquid to his hand and adding a single drop to the cauldron. With that ingredient, and a surge of his vis, the potion settled into an almost silky violet liquid that smelled faintly of freshly mown grass and sweet summer days. Nabriales took a big whiff of the liquid and smiled contentedly, then opened his eyes as if in epiphany and grabbed a small black stone from a small saucer of them on a shelf above his workbench and popped it into the potion, adding a faint smell of licorice to the brew. With a satisfied nod, he summoned a tray of bottles and begun the process of bottling the potion.

"This here is a potion that will alter your appearance and vis signals to match a sample of vis that you drop into it. I'm sure an enterprising thing like you could find a way to harvest some excess vis, hmm? Try it out and tell me what you think - it's a recipe I've been trying to get just right for a week or two now and I think I've cracked it!" he smiled, sliding a bottle of the potion across the counter to Sarah.

As the two went about their conversation, light footsteps could be heard trotting down the stairs. Since being teleported, Sophia had been diligently working through the various contracts the siblings had to sign to found their company. On one of the various pages that she had gone through there had been a field for the name of the company. Nabri hadn't filled it out. Because of that, Sophia had decided the company would be called Victorious Inc.. "Nabri! I finished that paperwork you sent over-" As Sophia rounded the corner, stepping into the shop, her sentence cut off. "Oh! You have a customer. Oops." The little prodigy responded, scratching the back of her head with an embarrassed laugh.

Though it seemed a bit silly considering the now clear power difference between them, readying her rune defences was comforting. He comforted her with his words, and she started walking towards his left side to watch from there. At the mention of the time she had, she tripped slightly, barely catching herself. Looking up at him, his sly grin turning her beet red. She nodded dumbly, rising back up to full height. Her eyes travelled over him curiously, taking note of everything she liked and everything she didn't The former outweighed the latter. Again her hackles lowered, the gentle fair color of her skin returning. At the same time she read body language, noting how at ease he seemed. Teasing her as a newfound friend, or playing with his food? A fine line.

Full of surprises, as always, Nabriales offered a tour of the lingerie section. She paused, considering, and he disappeared again. She headed to the front counter, watching as he finished the potion. He summoned forth bottles, and began the process of filling them. The bottle that he slid across the table to her she picked up, and carefully examined. She heard footsteps just as a small woman rounded the corner. Sarah gave her a quick once over, looking confused as the woman interrupted herself partway through talking to the alchemist. The woman noted Sarah's presence, who had turned to the shopkeeper in confusion. They had definitely been the only ones here before, hadn't they?

"Have you been here the entire time?" Sarah asked, focusing her eyes on the new girl for a beat. She took a step back, moving so that she could see both of them at the same time.

"No, Nabri teleported me here, we had something important to work on. I've been upstairs for the last several minutes." As Sophia spoke, she took in Sarah's appearance. Her sapphire blue eyes glinted slightly with a hint of magic as Sophia's sight took in the various magics that surrounded the girl who was obviously not Human. She figured the girl had a reason for wanting to hide her nature, and internally shrugged.

When her brother didn't interject himself into the conversation, she glanced at him, only to find he was absorbed in his work. "Was there something you needed? Seems like my brother is distracted... Again." Sophia cracked a warm smile as she offered to help what should have been her brother's patron.

The shift in color of Sophia's eyes was very subtle, and if she hadn't been focusing to much on maintaining eye contact she wouldn't have noticed. Sarah followed Sophia's eyes as she glanced at Nabriales, processing the explanation a bit late. "That's-The runic teleportation matrix didn't have a range anywhere near that high. . . Did it?" She wondered internally, Being lost in thought meant she had to latch back onto Sophia's words part way through. -something you needed? Seems my brother is distracted... Again." The smile she offered was genuine, and Sarah tried to match it with one of her own.

"I was just browsing, actually," She said, moving closer to Sophia with a faux conspiratorial look on her face. With slow movements she raised her hand to block her mouth and whispered, "I think he's trying to poison me" Sarah said, trying and failing to keep a straight face. "He has just about convinced me, too" A giggle bubbled over, the smile more genuine now. Normally she could she was bad at building a rapport with people, but she felt confident here. She should be scared out of her wits but she wasn't.

Following Sarah's words, and giggle with a laugh her of her own, Sophia covered her mouth in an attempt to silence her laughter. Admittedly, for the older woman it was strange for someone new to the shop not to comment on her 4ft 9in stature. Her head just barely rose over the counter, but the way she held herself spoke volumes.

She was a strong, and confident individual, just very... very small.

Though, if she was honest, she was grateful that the girl had yet to mention it. Recently it had become somewhat of a sore spot. When she'd gone to see Mairyell, the woman he was with had asked why he was speaking to a child, just after it had been explained to her that that woman who had previously been playing with two children was his girlfriend.

As her laugh subsided, Sophia's face visibly dropped following her train of thought. It'd been a month, but it still hurt. Like he'd forgotten her, and what they'd had.

Nabriales had been focusing intently with bottling the remainder of the potion, and once he'd filled the twenty four vials in the tray it poofed out of existence into some unseen corner of the shop, save the bottle he'd slid across to Sarah. He rubbed his hands together and dusted them off, then looked up with a smile and returned to the conversation at hand. He'd been thinking on the recipe while he'd been bottling the potions, and quickly turned to a little blackboard next to the various trays of reagents and made a slight alteration to the recipe, rubbing out a '2' and replacing it with a '1' in chalk. After he was finished, he returned once again to the conversation and blurted in immediately:

"Oh, hey Soph! Now that all the paperwork is finished and all of the signatures have been gathered I guess I should send it off to the companies house..." Nabriales started, before waving his hand and poofing it into nonexistence. The paperwork would be processed by the end of the day, and then they could begin the real work. He gave Sarah a knowing look as he did so - mostly to point out that his teleportation abilities were not limited to the matrix within the store, and that it was a largely self-moderated system he'd created so he didn't have to put the effort in himself.

"Oh, right, the potion!" He began, before turning on his heel towards Sarah. He plucked a sheet of paper from thin air with a simple pattern emblazoned on it, and offered it to her.

"This should suffice to extract the extraneous vis from spellcasting in the air, or from a person if applied to them directly! Just make sure you don't try to use it on someone that... Surpasses you." He laughed, before turning to Sophia again.

"You coming to the grand opening, hon? I can find something for you to wear!"

Lost in her own thoughts, Sophia only caught what was said to her by her brother. Dazed, she glanced up at him, "Huh? Oh... yeah, sure. I need to get out of the house anyway." The tone of her voice was distinctly more dull than it had been when she was speaking to Sarah.

The sudden change in attitude surprised Sarah, and she wanted to help, but it just stopped her in her tracks. Her mind went a million miles a minute in a circle. Nabriales joined back in, and Sarah was happy for the distraction, though it didn't much affect Sophia. The paper in the shopkeeper’s hand disappeared, and the look he gave her confirmed her suspicions. They were sharing that small thought together, the moment of "He/I shouldn’t be able to do that, so how does/do he/I?"

With a flourish the beautiful chemist summoned a rune, which Sarah took quickly with her free hand. It took naught but a second for her to understand its use. She smiled gratefully, nodding at the advice he provided. At the mention of the grand opening to Sophia, Sarah leaned a bit closer, her interest piqued. She had heard mention of this, before she had brought him home last night. He was the bartender at "One Night? Oh Well?" Or something like that. Glancing at the potion, she suddenly interjected "Oh! How much is the potion?" She asked, leaning forward a bit.

Nabriales was a little concerned at Sophia's sudden shift in attitude, her normally happy features having sunken into what he would describe as "dour". He had an inkling that he knew precisely why, even though he had not paid any attention to what she had said earlier, and figured it would be best for her to work things out on her own. If she came to him for help he'd offer her everything he could - but he'd learned a long time ago not to try to interfere in her emotional tiffs. He vaguely recalled the last time he'd tried to help unbidden and absentmindedly rubbed one of his horns with a free hand subconsciously.

When Sarah asked about the potion, Nabriales scoffed and waved it off.

"It's still technically experimental, hon. The only price you have to pay is a report of its effects and maybe let me study your vis afterwards for an hour or so! There's a library upstairs to busy yourself with while I take the measurements!" He smiled, before a look of sudden epiphany registered on his face - something she had no doubt by now realised was not an uncommon occurrence with Nabri - and grabbed a nearby pen before summoning a sheet of paper infused with vis. He began to draw a reasonably complex rune on it, taking brief pauses to think, before after a minute or so he had finished and he handed it to Sarah. The rune was very similar to the teleportation matrix he'd let her view, though with her experience in the field she'd be able to determine that it was only superficially linked, sharing the same fundamental teleportation pattern and tapping in to the same network.

"Draw that rune with vis if you're ever nearby and want to visit my little library! It's a damn sight better than the shambles they have over at the university, and you can stay as long as you like whenever you like. Just make sure not to take any books with you, yeah?" He added as an afterthought, as if it were not a particularly big deal. Then, with a shrug, he busied himself with deciding what to pick out for Sophia to wear.

Sarah started a bit at Nabriales' response. It was free, as long as she followed up on it. If it worked as intended, which Sarah didn't doubt, she got a free sample of something very sustainable. She smiled gratefully at the alchemist, seeming very intrigued by the prospect of a library. As he considered a new idea Sarah looked down at the rune he had handed her again. It was simple enough, and she decided to make it more convenient to use. She stared past Nabriales as she pushed her vis towards her hand. Light carved out the rune, slightly modified so as to be activated by different means.

As she finished Nabriales gave her another rune. this one more complex. It immediately reminded her of the teleportation matrix she had seen earlier. She looked up and nodded in response to his explanation, speeding up when he mentioned not taking the books with her when she left. Sarah moved a bit, but paused hesitantly, her eyes on Sophia. She still wanted to help undo that shift in attitude, but she didn't know how she could.

A breath escaped Sarah's lips, and she looked about. "Actually, I think I might head home. I need to meet up with a tutor of mine, and get ready for tonight" She said, smiling at the two of them, her hands tucked behind her back again. Speaking to Sophia particularly, she said "I can't wait to see what you wear," Pausing she turned to Nabriales, "Same goes for you." Speaking to both she finished with, "Both of you better impress me!" with a over-the-top motherly tone.

Duly noted, friendos. (:

Full Name

Hyakune su Jikangai, Kyoko


The Genjutsu Mistress; Kyoko, Architect of Thought


Kyoko is a wandering traveller.






Bisexual; Prefers Women

Birth Country

Kyoko was born outside of any village, in the Hyakune Clan Compound.

Current Village



Kyoko’s interests are her own, but she has connections to Jikangai, Kinjiro and the Immortal Scions, as well as the Hyakune Elders.

Shinobi Rank

Kage-level Ninja (S)


Kyoko is a difficult character to explain as her personality adapts to situations and individuals rather than remaining static. As an extremely talented manipulator whose talents lie almost exclusively in her ability to change the perceptions of her allies, friends, and enemies Kyoko is capable of acting the part for any role that she is called upon to play. She can be cold and unfeeling, or she can be warm and empathetic, she can be insightful and wise or naive and ignorant - all of these acts are tools, and she makes liberal use of them depending on how she wishes to be seen. A woman of many disguises is prone to losing track of the constants of her own personality, but Kyoko has certain traits that define who she is and what she does on such a fundamental and inherently necessary level that she will always retain some level of individuality.

Kyoko is a deeply loving person, and the majority of this love is focused upon her sister. Her self-imposed exile is all that keeps her sister intact, and though it pains her greatly to be away from the person she is closest to in this world she knows that it is a necessary evil and feels both the overwhelming sorrow of her loss and incredible ecstasy that her sister is alive and well for as long as Kyoko does not interact with her. Kyoko's love for her sister is indeed so strong that she has no room for love of another in her heart, and though she makes genuine friends she will never take a lover who could replace or intrude upon her sister's place in her heart. Another of Kyoko's inherent traits is her almost legendary intellect - she carries with her the spark of true genius that can never truly be repressed, even if she can fool most people, true genius is impossible to ever truly hide from another. With great intellect comes a great perception of things other people cannot understand, and being separated from her sister has left Kyoko with nobody to share these burdens with. Kyoko is occasionally driven towards a deep melancholy, but always sees the light and returns to normalcy with time.

Despite her great love for her sister, Kyoko is still a Hyakune and still has morals and values that are typically viewed as unsavoury by most. Her self-worth is a constant, but her value of others is largely determined by the power they wield and how they wield it - those with the most power and least inclination to use it earn her ire, as do those with little power and fewer aspirations - but her ire is likely something they will never see for as long as they can be useful, and the last thing they see when they have outlived their usefulness. Kyoko believes firmly in power and knowledge, and while she is very accepting of those who consign themselves to a life of mediocrity as circumstances dictate or simply for a lack of ability to succeed she is the opposite for those who can but do not.

Kyoko seeks knowledge at all cost, especially that which is forbidden, not only to save her sister but also to ensure that the power of eld is never lost and never abused. She will have multiple agendas at any given point, and she will betray and backstab all who get in her way, but she sees these things as small prices to pay for the greater good that she can bring to the world with the knowledge and power that she accrues. It is often said that those who do evil things do not believe that they are evil - Kyoko is no exception to this, and genuinely believes that she is the best person to wield forgotten powers in order to preserve them and protect the greater good. While Kyoko may not agree on the definition of "greater good" with many individuals, she is a fundamentally good person at heart who legitimately believes that the end justifies the means, and she is willing to pay the price that most are not to further herself and keep the world safe.


The Hyakune clan have, for ages, been the stewards not of a single style, but of many. In fact, their name, Hyakune [百根; One Hundred Roots], was made in homage of the core principle of the clan - Each member would be unique, each would take one of the many roots available to it and grow outwards, away from any of its brethren, but still connected at their very core. Before the clan were even introduced to the concept of Ninjutsu, or chakra at all, they trained themselves in as many arts as they knew how, each member of the clan becoming an authority on their chosen style. This left the clan in an odd state of simultaneous weakness and strength; while the clan members were too focused as individuals to cover their glaring weaknesses, when the clan moved as a cohesive group they were nigh unstoppable simply because they, together, knew so much more than any other clan when it came to the scope of technique. Such was the way of the clan, as its founder Sōgyō-sha had dictated.

Sōgyō-sha had believed - firmly - that weakness should be purged from his sons and daughters at as young an age as was possible, and in his wisdom (and cruelty) he developed a system for which the clan would be raised by, and a system for which the clan would be governed. By nurturing the child's journey from childhood to adulthood with the intention of purging them of weakness, and then foisting them directly into a position of power beyond the scope of their experience, he brought much heartbreak and suffering into the world, and not all of his children survived the rigorous training... But those who did emerged as stronger beings than their lesser brethren, leading the Hyakune clan to heights that others could only dare to reach out to. Children were raised as if in a collectivist society, in which they would all grow up together with no separate households, but largely without the traditional maternal and paternal influence that was expected of such a society. Instead, the mothers and the fathers of the children would train them in the various arts that they had found themselves attracted to, and children would practice everything they could until they found something they had an affinity for - or better - made a new style of their own. To make a new style of one's own was considered to be a sign of future greatness, and such children were lifted from the terrible conditions in which they lived before into greatness, to nurture their talents and to ensure that the Hyakune would always expand, and always grow.

The children, once they reached the age of eight, would quickly become devoid of typical maternal and paternal influences, and were also deprived of guaranteed resources. There was plenty of food in the clan compound's pantries, but the children were forbidden to simply walk in and take what they wanted. The children had to steal, without being caught, and would eat only what they could earn - those who learned to adapt to their harsh conditions were empowered, but some children died from starvation. Pity was not something bred into the members of the clan, after all. The children of the Hyakune believed in one core mantra throughout their childhood, one truth that empowered them: "The crime is not in taking whatever actions you must, but in being caught doing so.". After training for 14 hours a day, every day, for 6 years, the children that had not found their unique talents in the clan were resigned simply to follow what was established and had appealed to them most. They were not disrespected, per se, but they were rank and file. They were unimportant.

Those who forged a new path, who contributed to the growth of the clan, were thrust into positions of power that they had no experience in - they were made an elder of the clan. The clan's "legal" system, as it were, involved a circle of elders who had marked themselves as great individuals that made requests and then voted on their implementation, not unlike the jury at a court. The eldest male and eldest female were collectively the judge of the clan, and had ultimate power should such a need arise. Life on the Council of Elders was a tough one, as every action and non-action had consequences that the rest of the clan would have to face. The once-children who had been born for greatness had power beyond their stations forced onto them, and they either learned quickly or were killed by people who loathed their inability to take action (or their tendency to take the incorrect action.)

Children who survived all of this, who survived every trial put before them, would emerge as the pinnacle of the human world, they would emerge capable leaders with immense, and unique, fighting skills that would put them far above mere mortals, and they could do anything in the world that they so chose... Until the dawn of the Rikudo Sennin. The advent of Ninjutsu, and of Kekkei Genkai, changed the Hyakune clan immensely, for the secrets of their blood were unlocked, and its members found even more avenues to specialise into. With other ninjas rising, and clans coming to fruition, the Hyakune clan were forced to train even more than usual in order to keep up with the flood of Ninjutsu that echoed throughout the world. They belonged to no major village, but their services were offered freely to all as mercenaries, and it is said that each Kage of each village has called upon at least one member of the Hyakune clan in their time of need once. Whether or not such is true is a point of contention, but one thing was certain: The Hyakune clan were walking on thin ice, and in order to persevere, they would have to become the best at an art in which they had no particular advantage.

That was, until, the Hyakune clan realised the extent of their bloodline. Unlike most clans, the Hyakune's bloodline was not singular, it was not one static ability that each of its members possessed. Even their blood, it seemed, followed the clan's founder's vision. Their bloodline, the Tōsei no Eien [Eternal Control], manifested itself as an exceptional level of control over the user's chakra, which often manifested in the form of an aura around the user, an extension of their chakra systems outside of their body. Each member expressed it differently, due to their own personal DNA affecting the bloodline (as the Tōsei no Eien was not on a single chromosome - how the other chromosomes were formed had differing effects on the actual expression of the bloodline, but due to the relative positions of the genes (which remained constant) the bloodline kept its basis). Unfortunately, this meant that each member had to learn their bloodline alone, with no aid from members who expressed a similar bloodline, and the Hyakune's attention was divided as its members struggled to subjugate their new power, as well as practice in the arts of Ninjutsu and Genjutsu. The clan was already markedly proficient at Taijutsu and Kenjutsu, but in a world where Ninjutsu existed, such was not enough to succeed.

Time passed, and as the Rikudo Sennin died and his legacy was divided, the Hyakune took their training further, as a new generation had had time to be born with Jutsu and their Kekkei Genkai. This new generation was quick to subjugate the power that flowed through them, and the Hyakune clan was raised once more to among the top clans of the ninja world. They tentatively allied themselves with Konohagakure, building a new compound there for their older members, and became productive members of the village, providing it with protection in its times of need, and able workers who were much more efficient than the peons that they would have used otherwise. Their assistance came at a steep cost: The Hyakune would be above the law of the village, preferring to keep to their own council of elders, and these terms were agreed to. The newer members of the Hyakune clan remained at their old compound, around 15 miles from Konohagakure, training as they always had for the dawn of a war that nobody could see coming.

Hyakune, Kyoko began her life unlike many of the Hyakune. Most come into this world alone, brave it alone, and die alone with naught but scribbles in books and fleeting memories to acknowledge that they had ever existed in the first place - but Kyoko came into this world with another, with her twin sister Kagami, and the bond of birth was strong enough to overcome the crippling loneliness instilled in most members of the Hyakune to condition them towards a life of combat and treachery. Until the age of eight, many members of the Hyakune live a life good by many standards - they are loved and nurtured by their parents, fed well, and build strong relationships with one another.

At the age of eight, this changes, and the fledgling Hyakune are ripped from the world they know to undergo training to become a member of the Hyakune proper. Most siblings cease thinking of one another as intimately familial, instead considering them to be simply another clan member, but Kyoko and Kagami could not be separated despite the best efforts of their trainers. Such corner cases were rare in the Hyakune, and the Elders decreed that breaking the bond was significantly more difficult than strengthening it in service to the clan. Kyoko's talents lay within her fantastic mind, her ability to manipulate the knowledge she gleaned far beyond most of her lesser brethren (and even more so than some of the Elders, even at a young age) - but she could not work chakra in the same way that the other Hyakune could. Kagami's talents were precisely the opposite of Kyoko's, her talent for manipulating her aura and chakra as a whole was far beyond anything her cousins could have ever hoped to achieve.

Normally, Kyoko's lack of prowess in the field of Ninjutsu would have sentenced her to domesticity or death - but Kagami took her place in many of the tests that required a manipulation of chakra and she was spared the wrath of the Elders for a time. As she came into her own, Kyoko realised that her ability to manipulate people was more than it seemed, and she learned that the path of Genjutsu was her destiny. It did not take Kyoko long to apply her studies of chakra control to her natural aptitude for Genjutsu, and she unlocked the true power of her Kekkei Genkai - a trait that most Hyakune did not achieve until adulthood. It was not mere coincidence that Kagami also unlocked her true power that same day.

The Elders decreed that the two would undergo a dangerous mission to prove their loyalty to the clan, and that if they returned they would be allowed to join them not as fledglings, nor as rank and file Hyakune, but as Elders. Such a prospect was treated with much suspicion by Kyoko - she wondered what precisely could possess the Elders to offer such an illustrious position to two as young as they, and what the mission they were about to undertake would entail. Kagami was all for the mission, and Kyoko could only think that her sister saw the glory and not the trap offered by the Elders - but to refuse them was certain death, so they accepted and were sent to Kusagakure to meet with an emissary that wished to trade with the clan. Kagami and Kyoko travelled to the destination and came face to face with none other than the leader of the Immortal Scions, Jikangai, Kinjiro.

Kinjiro explained that the Hyakune had offered their best and brightest to her in exchange for thrice their weight in gold - for the burgeoning clan, this would give them a considerable head start - and that Kagami and Kyoko were to be the toll that the clan paid. She explained who she was, what she did, and gave them a history of her clan and even of the conception of chakra (questions that had always burned deep within Kyoko's mind), and offered them the chance to willingly join her as equals rather than as slaves. For the first time, Kyoko and Kagami were of differing opinions. Kagami was enraged by the elders' willingness to sell the twins, and demanded that they pay due reparations for their misdeeds, whereas Kyoko believed that Kinjiro could offer a far brighter future than the Hyakune could ever have offered either of them. Kyoko was quick to point out that the clan had tried to separate them, and had only ever allowed them to be together under terms befitting the capricious nature of the Elders - that with Kinjiro, they could be free of those shackles and live as equals with more power than the Hyakune Elders could ever have known.

Kagami agreed, but beneath it all her heart longed for the vengeance and justice denied to her. The pair accepted Kinjiro's offer, and were introduced to the world of the Immortal Scions. After receiving the Gift of Immortality, the pair were set to work using their unique chakra auras to research chakra on a level that their Jikangai colleagues had been unable to beforehand. It was later revealed that Kyoko's Kekkei Genkai afforded her a natural inclination towards the potent sealing techniques of the Jikangai, and she quickly became a favourite among the group. Kagami's talents were useful, but as she had no talent for fuuinjutsu she was not nearly as prized as her sister. Kagami quickly became jealous, and sought other secrets to keep level with her sister as she always had. Years and years passed, and though Kagami grew as powerful as Kyoko did under the tutelage of the Jikangai, she was not favoured nearly so much and largely spent her time with Kinjiro, who offered training that the other Immortal Scions could not offer.

Kyoko knew little of Kagami's activities in the light of the overwhelming amount of research she conducted, and though she tried to connect with her twin, she found that Kagami slipped further and further away each day. Rangether than bring these concerns to the now-distant Kagami, Kyoko asked Kinjiro if she had any explanations for Kagami's behaviour. Kinjiro was remarkably forthcoming, telling Kyoko of the progress that she had made and the bonds that she had been able to create that her sister could not - and her sister had increasingly sought new sources of power to keep up with her as the pair had always tried to be equals. Kyoko attempted to reconcile with Kagami, only to find her missing from her quarters and from the laboratory as a whole. Kinjiro had not sent Kagami away, and both became increasingly concerned with the disappearance of by all rights an extraordinarily powerful ninja.

It was discovered, after several weeks of searching, that Kagami had breached Kinjiro's inner sanctum and stolen from her an artifact of great power - something that had been locked away for good reason. Kyoko expected Kinjiro to be furious, to excommunicate Kagami and herself both, but to her surprise the serpentine woman offered sympathy and a chance for redemption. She would help Kyoko find Kagami and return her to the path of the Immortal Scions - after all, the two were extraordinarily powerful and had fit in remarkably well despite Kyoko's higher popularity taking most of the attention. Kinjiro desired that power to be under her command, and Kyoko desired to save her sister from whatever force was consuming her.

For many years Kyoko searched, using her ability to manipulate and deceive people in order to extract information as to the whereabouts of her sister before every lead was exhausted and she turned to the last people that could possibly have known where Kagami had found herself: The Hyakune Elders. Kyoko's return was met with much mistrust, and she was granted an audience only after incapacitating every able member of the Hyakune who could have stopped her. Each Elder was offered a chance to co-operate, and each refused, before Kyoko extracted all information from their minds and left them none the wiser that she had ever visited. The Elders knew nothing of her current whereabouts, but offered the information that several of the extant Hyakune scouts had failed to report back and had likely been murdered. It was unlikely that the locals had killed them as Hyakune scouts were notably difficult to find and more difficult to kill, so Kagami's intervention (as she was the only rogue Hyakune to Kyoko and the Elder's knowledge) was the most promising lead she had, all things considered.

Some weeks later, Kyoko found herself stalking the trail of her twin sister. The scouts had been murdered in a way that suggested Kagami's distinct glass-based style and it looked like the murders were conflicted - Kagami's style had always been brutal, yes, but it was efficient and quick. Her kills were swift and painless, not the tattered mess of blood and glass and bone that Kyoko had discovered. Had Kagami gone mad? Had she snapped at whatever it was in Kinjiro's lab that she had found? Questions upon questions raced within Kyoko's mind, and the trail had been haphazard, hard to follow - it was mostly subtle memories of stolen glances, a hooded figure in the periphery, and the details were hazy. Still, it was a track to follow, and it was better than nothing.

Kyoko found Kagami weeks later, about to murder another Hyakune scout in the area. Though it was easy to distract her enough for the scout to escape, Kagami soon turned her full attention to her sister - and what Kyoko discovered unsettled her greatly. There was no look of love, of guilt, of sorrow - her eyes were empty, vacant, as if the body was simply a shell stripped of what had made it Kagami, of what had made her sister. A fight ensued, and though Kyoko was gravely injured she managed to subdue Kagami with potent sealing techniques given to her by Kinjiro. After summoning Kinjiro to the location and being healed, Kinjiro offered an explanation after confirming for herself what had happened.

Kagami had stolen a scroll that sealed an extradimensional entity called the "Kyōmen no Oni", the Mirrors' Surface Demon and taken its power into herself, which had complimented her own glass-based style of combat remarkably well. The demon wrestled with Kagami, struggling to take control of her body, and though she had largely resisted and kept her individuality for the time being, it was only a matter of time before the demon won and Kagami was lost forever. The demon could not be resealed without killing Kagami, and though Kinjiro was willing to pay the price, Kyoko could not desert her sister. She worked with Kinjiro to seal the demon deep within Kagami, to allow her to live her own life, but she was they key to that seal - for Kagami to live, she would never be able to meet Kyoko again. With the scroll returned (and thus its power free of the plague of the demon it contained) Kinjiro offered refuge to either Kagami or Kyoko - Kyoko chose to leave, to keep her sister safe, and would operate on the surface world. Though she did not fully trust Kinjiro, she had been remarkably kind to her and the time they had together was something she cherished. Kyoko left Kagami in her hands, and though she was bound by no covenant she offered her services in exchange for knowledge and power - a deal that Kinjiro was all too happy to accept.

Now, Kyoko roams the surface world searching for lost knowledge in the hopes of driving back whatever possessed her sister, or finding something to allow her to wrestle the demon within and subjugate it that she may reclaim her body. In order to gain access to the level of information required, however, Kyoko had to develop a keen interest in world affairs.

Chakra Nature(s)
Kyoko has no natural affinity for a chakra nature due to being completely unable to use Ninjutsu of any variety. As a true Genjutsu prodigy, she has a strong affinity for Yin chakra.

Abilities and Special Traits
Kyoko is among the most proficient genjutsu users alive, easily able to put her foes under genjutsu to control and manipulate their mind. She is able to use these genjutsu in combat to err her foes’ judgement proficiently.

Kyoko has savant-level intelligence, and her IQ is easily 180+. She is one of the most powerful minds of her generation, able to process complex tactics easily as well as discern the strengths and limits of techniques she sees due to her vast knowledge of techniques as a whole. Kyoko is perceptive to the extreme, able to see things lesser people would miss and make bridges of logic to discern reasoning where none seems to exist.

Kyoko is possibly the most skilled manipulator in the world, able to use her natural charm and wit, as well as her body to coerce almost anybody into trusting her, where she is then able to bend them to her desire.

Kyoko is, after her extended training with the Jikangai, quite proficient at Taijutsu. She is easily able to stand toe-to-toe with experts and could fend off masters, though she would have extreme difficulty in combatting raw strength and superior technique. She has learned the Wing-Chun style, and with her incredible mind mastered it within the 6 years she has been practicing. The training given to all Hyakune clan members has also refined Kyoko’s taijutsu skills and her general fitness.

Kyoko is able to create Jikangai Primer Seals in order to utilise their sealing techniques, but cannot create new Jikangai-based seals.

Weapons, Tools and Equipment

Name of Weapon or Item: Kuroi Kamen [The Black Veil]
Location: On Kyoko’s head at all times.
Owner: Kyoko Hyakune su Jikangai
Rank: A

Description: The Kuroi Kamen is a black veil that is comprised of two bolts of cloth. Each of these bolts are sealed to allow no passage of chakra into them, but to allow chakra out, and are surprisingly difficult to cut through [they resist most swords easily]. In addition to this aspect of the veil, it is also a mask that covers Kyoko’s ears, mouth, nose and eyes. This mask is covered in seals that filter out any harmful substances that would enter Kyoko’s body, in addition to dampening any particularly loud sounds or sounds designed to have an adverse effect on the body.

Kyoko carries with her, at all times:

- 25 Kunai, each marked with a Kyōsei Keiyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu seal

- 100 senbon, standard size, in a canister attached to a belt on her waist on her left side. These senbon are coated in a paralytic venom of Jikangai, Kinjiro’s creation (the venom has no known antidote, but one could be synthesised by a medical ninja of sufficient prowess). The venom lasts for 24 hours and only interferes with the somatic nervous system.

- A scroll containing a Kyōsei Keiyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu that, when she places both of her hands upon it, immediately reverse summons her to her home. [Cannot be used in combat]

- A scroll containing a large volume of books with various sealing formulae and lists of techniques she has encountered in the past.

- A scroll containing several bottles of ink, several quills, and a stack of loose parchment imbued with chakra.

【Kekkei Genkai】

Tōsei no Eien; Tenchi Gensō

Name of the Kekkei Genkai: Tōsei no Eien; Tenchi Gensō [Eternal Control; Heaven and Earth Illusion]
Type of Kekkei Genkai: Chakra Augmentation and Genjutsu/Fūinjutsu

Clan: Hyakune

Rank: A

Description: The Tōsei no Eien is a potent Kekkei Genkai that manifests differently in each of its bearers. Throughout the entire Hyakune clan, however, some effects are universal: All members of the Hyakune clan have gained an "aura" of chakra, usually spanning approximately 20 feet in radius. Their chakra system has been "extended" outside of their body, and the aura is of extremely weak chakra but the fact it exists is enough for the members of the clan. In addition to this aura, the user gains chakra control almost to the pinnacle of chakra control with training. This aura allows the user to exert their almost complete control over their chakra onto foreign [loose, not inside a body] chakra that enters it. It can be dampened to reduce its effectiveness, or it can be bolstered by the user's chakra to increase its effectiveness. The user's aura essentially makes the area in which it spans a "network" in which they may move their chakra, and thus entire jutsu, with ease, allowing them to start the jutsu at any part within the aura. Some techniques, such as genjutsu, can be forced upon victims if they are simply in range of the aura.

Tenchi Gensō

The Tenchi Gensō is a potent evolution of the Tōsei no Eien, one which holds sway over the realm of Illusion and Seals. Through the Tenchi Gensō, the user is easily able to lull people into genjutsu as long as they are within the chakra aura, and minor [B-Ranked or less] genjutsu can be forced onto an opponent simply by pointing at them. The true strengths of the technique lie in its subtle abilities to manipulate illusions, as well as blur the boundary in the mind that separates illusion from reality. Some genjutsu are simply too "fake" for the mind to accept as real. When this natural reservation, this natural barrier is breached, the victim of a genjutsu will believe it to be real regardless of initial apprehension. This does not make the illusions infallible, it merely removes initial apprehensions as to the genjutsu being false. Logic and reasoning can eventually overcome the breaching of the natural barrier, but this undoubtedly makes the genjutsu many more times more potent. This aspect of the Kekkei Genkai is: 地 [Chi; Earth], the mortal coil.

The second aspect is 天 [Ten; Heaven], the aspect transcending the mortal plane. With Ten, two things happen: Kyoko transcends the traditional plane in terms of genjutsu, and can no longer become subject to any genjutsu bar her own under any circumstances. Much as a two dimensional shape cannot interact with a three dimensional shape, the primitive genjutsu of the mortal coil are unable to interact with Kyoko. The second aspect of "Ten" is that she becomes able to influence genjutsu on the mortal plane, as well as her own, as long as they are within her aura. She is not able to hugely alter them, mind, she is only able to change subtle aspects and mould them to her will within their natural progression - she could, for example, choose between whichever torture methods she so chose within a genjutsu designed to torture, but could never alter a genjutsu that lulled the opponent to sleep to them burning alive.

Weakness: However, this aura comes at a steep cost: As the Kekkei Genkai manifests and the user gains their unique version, they are locked into that "version"'s jutsu style and become unable to utilise their chakra for anything outside of it. Kyoko's Tenchi Gensō has locked her in to the fields of Genjutsu and Fūinjutsu, and she is unable to use her chakra for any purpose outside of this bloodline, genjutsu or fuuinjutsu.

Canon Jutsu

Kyoko is proficient in all canon genjutsu not tied to a kekkei genkai.

Custom Jutsu

Name of Technique: Saimin Suimin [Hypnotic Sleep]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu; Fūinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A potent delayed Genjutsu that will activate upon Kyoko willing it. Kyoko manifests a seal on her opponent that they cannot perceive by any means until it is brought to their attention (this can only be done through touch). At Kyoko’s command, the seal activates, and the Genjutsu begins to activate.

Targets affected by the Saimin Suimin are lulled towards a state of half-sleep, immediately separating their somatic nervous system from their control as they fall asleep over the course of thirty seconds. Unlike most Genjutsu, Saimin Suimin does not require any additional input from the user after its effects have taken hold, and the user is able to take other actions for its duration.

The Genjutsu is naturally removed after the target falls asleep, and the lingering effects of the seal prevent the target from being awoken for an hour after the genjutsu has taken hold, after which time the seal naturally dissipates. If the seal is removed prematurely, the target will wake up. Kyoko cannot attack sleeping targets with this seal.

Weakness: Something something dark side.

Name of Technique: Ome Itetsuku [Vision Freeze]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: D
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Ome Itetsuku causes the target’s vision to become locked into the instance it was viewing as the genjutsu was used. If the target was looking at Kyoko against a white background, for example, the target would only see that single image until the genjutsu was dispelled. Ome Itetsuku can be applied if the target is looking at Kyoko from any distance, including up to an additional twenty feet outside of the Tōsei no Eien due to its simplicity.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Shūhen Kagizaki [Peripheral Tear]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: D
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: The Shūhen Kagizaki creates a tear in the victim’s peripheral vision, meaning that they can never truly focus on the tear due to it being in the peripheral vision, but it will always be just out of sight. The tear manifests itself as an appearance of cracked glass, and is highly disorienting – even the most adept sensor nin will not be able to glean any information from their peripheral vision.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Tsu no Hikari de Ni [By the Light of the Sun]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: C
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Tsu no Hikari de Ni causes the opponent to no longer be able to see by the light of the sun. Any light provided by the sun will become absolute dark to the victim, and they will be forced to use artificial light to be able to see through the absolute darkness.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Zenkei Ome Itetsuku [Panoramic Vision Freeze]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: C
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Much like the normal Ome Itetsuku, however, the Zenkei Ome Itetsuku causes the entire landscape around a user to be frozen in place rather than the sole image they were concentrating on at the time.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Gensoku Jikan [Slowed Time]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: Z
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: The Gensoku Jikan is a peculiar genjutsu allowing Kyoko to control an opponent’s sense of time. She is quite proficient with this genjutsu, able to distort the victim’s sense of time so much that one second becomes fifteen minutes - their mind is overloaded with sensory information but the body cannot keep up, effectively slowing them to a crawl and leaving them virtually unable to act. This also causes every one second of genjutsu Kyoko, or any opponent, uses on the victim to be amplified in terms of time, making them more powerful. Kyoko and her target are both immobilised for the duration of the genjutsu unless an Eien no Inkan maintains the Gensoku Jikan. Kyoko cannot attack targets under the effect of Gensoku Jikan, except with Genjutsu and Fūinjutsu.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Shosai no Kogeru [Burning the Libraries]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: B
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: This genjutsu, simply enough, allows the user to erase memories so long as they know the memory they wish to erase. In addition, the user may create mental blocks that prevent the user from accessing specific memories.

Memories erased by Shosai no Kogeru cannot be recovered by any means, as the memories are completely forgotten and their chemical traces removed by natural means.

Weakness: The blocks can be overcome with great concentration [not pragmatic in a battle situation].

Name of Technique: Rei Yakedo [Spirit Burn]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Rei Yakedo causes the target to feel an exceptionally intense burning pain throughout their entire chakra system (and thus entire body) whenever they expend chakra, but does not otherwise affect the opponent. If the target comes within 20 feet of Kyoko, she can instead cause the genjutsu to create the sensation of pain continuously for up to one minute. All but the most hardened of ninja will pass out from the pain caused by Rei Yakedo if it is allowed to cause pain a number of times in rapid succession. Rei Yakedo lasts for up to one minute, excluding any time in which it is activated within 20 feet of Kyoko.

Weakness: The genjutsu can only be placed once every five minutes.

Name of Technique: Hakujitsumu [Waking Dream]
Type of Jutsu: Genfuuinjutsu
Rank: C
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko brands her target with a seal that vanishes upon application, lying dormant deep within them until it is activated (from anywhere) by Kyoko creating a primer seal treated with the target’s blood.

When Hakujitsumu is activated, Kyoko takes control of their body and her own body is disabled, and Kyoko is able to control them for as long as she does not enter combat. She is unable to force the target to harm themselves, to put themselves into harm’s way or to harm another. The target shows no signs of being controlled outwardly, but sensor nin can detect the activation of their chakra and the presence of the seal. Kyoko retains all information gained from using this technique through the seals linking the target and Kyoko together.

For the duration of Kyoko controlling the target, they are trapped in a genjutsu that gives them pleasant dreams, and when the technique ends they awaken with no recollection of what happened during the technique’s duration.

Weakness: The target is able to break free from the genjutsu and end the effect prematurely if control is taken at a moment where they are alert, removing the seal completely. Other people are able to remove the genjutsu effect from the target (and Kyoko cannot stop them as she cannot enter combat while using the technique).

Name of Technique: Ishiki Zansuru [Sensory Banish]
Type of Jutsu: Genfuuinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko manifests a complex seal on her target while simultaneously placing them under a genjutsu that completely eliminates their sense of Sight, Sound, Touch, Taste, or Smell. The Fūinjutsu is not visible to the target for as long as the Genjutsu is intact, and the Genjutsu cannot be removed by the target while the Fūinjutsu remains intact.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Gōmon [Torture]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A versatile technique that places its target in an isolated room with a host of torture tools. Kyoko can use these tools in any way she likes, and pain cannot remove the genjutsu from the victim by any means. The only effective way to be released from the technique is externally, but those with an incredibly high pain tolerance are able to Kai out of the technique.

Weakness: Can be resisted if the victim is particularly strong-willed, but not while Saimin Suimin is active.

Name of Technique: Kyōzō [Mirror Image]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A genjutsu that allows Kyoko to completely evade any sensory perception available to its target by creating a clone of Kyoko that they can track. For as long as the clone is alive within the genjutsu it will last, and the genjutsu is undetectable to the individual in question. The genjutsu can be brought to their attention by an external party, but due to its subtlety it is difficult to detect except by the most potent of sensory ninja.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: In Somnis Veritas [In Dreams There Are Truth]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: In Somnis Veritas is a powerful interrogation Genjutsu, allowing Kyoko to directly access the target’s subconscious mind and memories with no interference from their waking mind. This prevents any resistance that is not completely automatic, and automatic resistances will be assaulted until they are broken. The only information that In Somnis Veritas cannot force a victim to reveal is information that they do not know. False information is effective against In Somnis Veritas.

Weakness: Requires the victim be asleep. The jutsu will end abruptly if the victim is forced out of sleep, and heavy mental resistances will delay the jutsu’s effectiveness - But if the target is asleep indefinitely or by unnatural means, this does not apply.

Name of Technique: Setsuri no Hametsu [Providence’s Bane]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: B
Range: Touch; Eyesight; Tōsei no Eien
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko crafts a genjutsu of unparalleled intricacy based on her chosen target’s thought processes and general tendencies. As soon as the victim is affected by Setsuri no Hametsu, events will unfold precisely at the target predicts they would. The target will act according to their plans in the genjutsu - which is visible to Kyoko - but will not move in the physical world as events unfold. As soon as Setsuri no Hametsu ends (At Kyoko’s discretion), the target has no recollection of having been within the genjutsu unless Kyoko specifically wills it. Additionally, Kyoko is also able to force the target’s body to move according to the plan while the genjutsu is in place should she desire.

Weakness: Interpret it yourself.

Name of Technique: Zensekai Gensō [Total World Illusion]
Type of Jutsu: Genjutsu
Rank: S+
Range: Within the Tenkan no Inkan.
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: The Zensekai Gensō is Kyoko’s most powerful genjutsu, allowing her to completely and utterly take control of an opponent’s senses and mould everything they can possibly sense as she sees fit. The illusion is completely infallible, and no doujutsu or illusion removal technique can pierce it while the victim is within the boundaries of the Tenkan no Inkan. The range is, as aforementioned, within the four Tenkan no Inkan, which Kyoko must place around someone, or as a “trap” for them to walk into. Should the victim be released from the illusion, while they are in the four seals they are immediately returned exactly where the illusion was and will suffer no recollection of being out of it. Kyoko also controls time within this illusion, to such an extent that she may extend the illusion’s time for years. This jutsu is so finely created and maintained that Kyoko can control the entire world of each person within it, up to four people, with one for each of the Tenkan no Inkan. This genjutsu is so powerful that it fools all sapient beings regardless of “immunity” or extenuating circumstances. In addition, Kyoko is able to manipulate the memories and past experiences of people within the genjutsu, causing subtle lasting changes in the victim.

Weakness: Devastating chakra loss; bound to a very specific area.

Name of Technique: Eien no Inkan [Seal of Eternity]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Personal
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A seal that can be imbued with immense amounts of chakra and applied as an addition to an existing seal or laid out in a circle in an area. Natural effects cannot expire while under the effect of the Eien no Inkan, as the seals will use their chakra to fuel whatever effect it is they are prolonging. Kyoko can use this seal in conjunction with a Genjutsu to prevent her opponents from releasing themselves from it, as the seal will reapply the Genjutsu should they be removed from it. Additionally, the victim of the Genjutsu will not remember having released themselves from it for as long as the Eien no Inkan persists.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Shiketsutai no Inkan [Seal of the Tourniquet]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Personal
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko creates a seal that bars the passage of chakra through it under any circumstances, instead using the chakra to fuel the existence of the seal. The seal will prevent all sensory techniques reliant on chakra from sensing past them, prevent the passage of any ninjutsu or genjutsu through its bounds, and if applied to the body prevents chakra from reaching any parts cut off by it. This will cause necrosis and kill the body part off as if it were suffering from a complete lack of oxygenated blood.

The seal is a temporary construct unless inscribed in ink, and will dissipate after ten minutes unless it is placed on the body, where it will last until removed or there is no more chakra to sustain its existence.

Weakness: The seal will only last for ten minutes unless placed on the body, where it will last for up to 48 hours.

Name of Technique: Jiryoku no Fū [Seal of Attraction]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko has tattooed this seal onto her left palm. When she focuses her chakra into it, it glows with a faint blue colour and the next object Kyoko touches with her left hand will be attracted to the seal on her palm. It is also able to attract chakra, but not Kyoko’s chakra or chakra in another person’s body. She is able to leave an imprint of this seal on anything she touches with her left palm. The imprint will be attracted to the Sekiryoku no Fū.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Sekiryoku no Fū [Seal of Repulsion]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: A
Range: Touch
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: Kyoko has tattooed this seal onto her right palm. When she focuses her chakra into it, it glows with a faint red colour and the next object Kyoko touches with her right hand will be repelled by the seal on her right hand. It is also able to repel chakra, but not Kyoko’s chakra or the chakra in another person’s body. She is able to leave an imprint of this seal on anything she touches with her right palm. The imprint will be attracted to the Jiryoku no Fū.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Idōsō no Fū [Never Move Seal]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: B
Range: Personal
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A complex seal that must be drawn onto a solid surface before it can be used [Takes sixty seconds to write]. Upon touching a person, the seal activates after a delay of one second and the opponent’s muscles in their somatic nervous system forcibly contract, leaving them completely unable to move. Additional applications of the seal do not work.

Weakness: Long preparation, requires them physically touch the seal, has a delay, lasts for sixty seconds. Additional applications of the seal do not work for 24 hours.

Name of Technique: Chigoku Inkan: Kami no Sakura [Verbatim Sealing: Divine Blossom]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: C
Range: N/A
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A simple seal that stores another completed jutsu inside it. When activated at the user’s will, the technique is immediately released from the seal. There is a delay of approximately two seconds before the technique is released, during which the seal glows brightly.

Weakness: N/A

Name of Technique: Kyōsei Keiyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu [Forced Contract Summoning Technique]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: C
Range: Potentially Infinite
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: Standard handsigns for Kuchiyose no Jutsu

Description: The Kyōsei Keiyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu is a Fūinjutsu-based derivative of the original contracts designed to facilitate the summoning process. The seal is inherently incomplete until the addition of blood and a primer seal created by the Chigoku Inkan. The primer seal can be written and given to non-Jikangai members, but is consumed in the process. When the blood of an individual, or a primer seal created from trace chakra of an individual, meets the incomplete seal (and the user’s blood is added in the latter case) a temporary summoning contract is formed that lasts for a single summon. The user can summon the target to themselves, or themselves to the target.

The Kyōsei Keiyaku Kuchiyose no Jutsu has unique limitations determined by the primer seal, restricting the use of the technique if any damage would come to individuals affected by the technique as a result of their being displaced or if they would be displaced upon arrival, resulting in the technique being guaranteed to be safe.

Weakness: Interpret it yourself.

Name of Technique: Saiketsu Fū [Blood Drawing Seal]
Type of Jutsu: Fūinjutsu
Rank: D
Range: Personal
Nature Type: N/A
Handseals: N/A

Description: A simple seal that is connected to the user’s bloodstream. Activation of the seal allows for enough blood for a summoning to be performed without causing a break in the skin.

Weakness: N/A

The city of Solhavre was awash in the glow of hundreds of lanterns amidst the dusky blanket of twilight covering the sky. It had long been a tradition that whenever an important dignitary arrived, paper lanterns were made and thrown to the winds in celebration of their safe arrival and in hope that their stay would be pleasant and prosperous. Tonight, they had created the lanterns for Ashariel vei Inaris - a visiting Exeo from Priscus who had come to the city in hopes of furthering diplomatic relations between the resident humans and the Prae. Though ostensibly chosen for its pleasant seaside location and warm, welcoming people Ashariel had not selected the city for its mundane qualities but for its location, some 30 miles across the ocean from the city of Ominar. Influence, she knew, was like a network of vines: it was largely a matter of time, and the growth was quickest closest to the core. They had developed quite the system of roots across the channel, and Ashariel's job was to ensure that that little nest of influence found fertile soil within Solhavre.

Though the embassy had already been tailored to her every need - such was her right as an Exeo - Ashariel was uncomfortable. As she stepped out on to the balcony to survey the lovely seafront view that the embassy offered, her thoughts could not help but drift towards distant Ominar. Despite the light of the lanterns gently illuminating the seafront, much of the inky depths had only the last dwindling threads of sunlight to reveal them, and were close to becoming a field of inky blackness that stretched as far as she could see. She longed to see the shining beacon that was Ominar amidst the sprawling darkness of uncertainty, to feel Aismael's presence once more - the Queen's Spear was magnificent in ways she still couldn't fully comprehend. The thought comforted her somewhat against the prevailing chill in the air. A series of sharp knocking sounds, seven notes played in tune, brought Ashariel from her brief reverie. Rico was early, though that was not necessarily a bad thing - given the chill in the air and the encroaching darkness, Ashariel would much rather remain inside. She turned around slowly, letting her gaze linger out towards the dappled darkness, before returning indoors and closing the doors to the balcony.

Ceptum would never get the chance to experience Medius as a mortal. She had watched it from distant Pylae for the last three or four thousand years, eager to see what the landscape would become - to watch its fledgling people rise up from the filth and muck and achieve their potential.

She had been gravely disappointed.

In them she noted all of the negative qualities that her brethren had let consume them, and when she looked for that spark of progress, that instinctual wisp of genius that drove the brilliant to madness or clarity... She saw only rot. They were a mayfly people with mayfly lives buzzing around in a world that they could not understand, never mind begin to master as her people once had. For all the flaws of its people, however, she found Medius to be an interesting place. It was free of the ever-present radiance of Priscus, and in the absence of that coruscating light the shadows had found much more purchase. There were entire spectrums of colour and sound and taste that she could not find in her beloved homeworld, and that had kept her interested.

Her physical presence on Medius indicated that something had pushed her beyond mere interest. The truth had been revealed to her.

There were no words to express the outrage she felt. It was like a flame consuming her very thoughts from within, burning down the years of rational and careful precaution that she had built up in her long exile; a searing, caustic pain that somehow made her feel alive again! What Aismael had done was unforgivable, unthinkable except to the most depraved mind Ceptum could imagine - she had taken everything from the Prae - even themselves. She would rather have seen Priscus burn that be reduced to what it was - and all of that emotion had churned around within her, boiling until the point of bursting. It had brought her to Medius, and it would bring low those that had aided Aismael in her transgression.

As she stood atop the chalky cliffs, she gazed down towards the city of lights below her. This was the beginning of a vendetta, the first step in righting a wrong that had gone uncorrected for far too long. She would strike at the heart of the false queen for all those that had been lost and for all those that could yet be saved. She would ensure that the God-Queen's will - her true will - would be spread to her wayward children and she would ensure that this time she could not be ignored.

Ashariel perched her hands together, the muscles contorting in rhythm with her face. The scowl she wore was unbefitting of her radiant beauty, and yet only a scowl could accurately convey how she felt about what Rico had told her. She took a moment to compose herself before standing and nodding.

"You have failed, then. Aismael would punish you, but I am a believer in redemption... In second chances." Ashariel smiled, walking over to the disgruntled Prae and placing a hand gently upon his shoulder. She gripped it firmly, enough to cause just a little sensation of pain, before letting him go and walking out of the door. This late at night the embassy was largely deserted, and the building was certainly not small. She led Rico down the stairs towards the Grand Hall, and gave him a slight telekinetic nudge that shoved him quite efficiently into the room as the doors slammed shut behind them.

"You were sloppy. This time, you won't infiltrate them - you're going to apprehend them... Starting with the leader that you installed." she calmly stated, the same smile she had previously worn in her office on her face.

"Yes, Exeo." came the reply from Rico, who simply bowed and turned as if to leave.

"Do not fail the God-Queen again, Rico. My mercy does not extend to a third chance." Ashariel called out, the words echoing in the cavernous room. The only other sound was that of gentle footsteps, their pitter-patter creating a soft rhythm that filled the empty silence. Rico closed the double doors behind him, watching Ashariel through the rapidly closing space between the doors, before visibly exhaling the pregnant breath he'd been holding. He took a second to collect himself before continuing his walk out of the doors of the embassy.

As he opened the door, he was met with a figure unlike any he'd ever seen. He didn't so much see them as he felt them - their vis heavy and cloying, yet with a certain frenetic energy that he couldn't quite place. As he focused and looked up, he could see that the figure was visibly female - her skin almost ashen but marred with crackling lines of purple energy that vaguely reminded him of his own markings. He opened his mouth as if to speak, to ask her who she was, but found himself unable to even begin to vocalise any of the words running through his head.

"What mockery is this? That you would call yourself prae is an abomination." came the voice, raspy and throaty and yet with a clear feminine edge. It sounded like gravel spilling from the mouth, before dissipating into ashes that coated his mind. Whomever this voice belonged to, he could tell immediately that they were no longer among the living - and from their vis he could sense an unthinkable amount of power. Scared as he'd been of Ashariel - and even more so Aismael - his mind screamed at him that this thing in front of him was far more dangerous than both.

Before he could even think about reacting, her hand was around his neck and he had been lifted off of the floor. It took all of his wherewithal to clutch at the figure's arms fruitlessly, before he realised that the more tightly he pressed against her body the more her vis was invading his. The process began slowly, but as he flailed and choked it expedited significantly, and before he knew it his own dead flesh was sloughing off of his body and exposing both his bone and musculature. The rot continued to progress, his arms quickly reduced to bare bone, before he finally managed to let out a piercing shriek of anguish - though before he could finish it, its source fell to the floor and shrivelled into dust.

The terrible noise echoed within his empty ribcage, and as his mind faded away he felt what was left of his flesh join the mounting pile of himself on the floor. Within seconds he was nothing but a skeleton, and shortly thereafter even that had been reduced to a fine gray ash littering the marble porch of the embassy.

Ceptum stepped through the ashes, blasting the doors of the embassy wide open with a thought, and walked through the main hall.

Ashariel did the same.

Ceptum's eyes met Ashariel's - one set pale and radiant, imperious and graceful; the other vibrant and pulsating with energy, hiding behind them the embers of a flame rekindled.

"... So the legends are true? The Race-Traitor exists..." Ashariel bristled, clearly surprised at the figure standing in front of her's existence. She'd read those stories in the history books and in children’s fables - and while she knew that much of the history of their race was vague and arcane at best she’d never assumed the likeness to be so… Accurate, or for that matter, real at all. Still, when it was staring you in the face it was difficult to dismiss as a fairytale.

If half of what she had done in those tales was true, though… Ashariel spat on the floor in disgust and contempt rolled off of her in waves, almost palpable and electric within the air.

"You have no right to address me. I answer to the God-Queen, not some churlish pretender with delusions of grandeur."

"Churlish? Pretender? She is the tip of the spear, the future of our race, our link to the God-Queen!"

"Our race? No. You are abominations all, and you are not Prae - even that has been denied from you."

The confrontation came to a standstill as Ashariel considered the weight of Ceptum's words. What did she mean by 'not Prae'? The implications of such a statement, if true, were mind boggling - and the contempt with which she'd been addressed certainly attested to the being telling the truth. Even so, she refused on a fundamental level to accept what this traitor was saying.

"You were a fool to come here, traitor. I shall put you down in her name!" Ashariel hissed, gathering her vis and entering her manifest state. From her back sprouted enormous, feathery wings the colour of freshly fallen snow, and her entire body surged visibly with energy of the same colour. In an instant, Ashariel was wreathed in a bright white flame that seemed to illuminate the room around them with the same pristine glow as Priscus itself. In the blink of an eye, she was rushing towards Ceptum, using her wings to propel her motion rather than fly - and her fist impacted Ceptum's sternum with a loud crack and the crackle of the flames burning away the flesh. Ceptum went flying back like a ragdoll, and Ashariel slammed the doors shut to catch her. Gouts of flame cushioned the blow somewhat, preventing the door from completely splintering, but the sound of bones breaking was distinct among the chaos.

Ashariel lifted Ceptum up with her telekinesis, bringing her almost face to face with the Exeo before spitting at her and engulfing her in an enormous column of searing white flames. The blaze lasted for a couple of seconds before dying out, and Ashariel let the lich go, causing her to crumple to the floor in a smoking heap. Not content to simply let it lie there, the Exeo focused even greater blasts of the white flame at the prone body on the floor, screaming with white-hot rage as she did so. After a couple of moments of attempting to thoroughly disintegrate Ceptum's body, Ashariel picked her up with her bare hands and held her still with telekinetic force before unleashing a flurry of furious blows at her limp, smoking body. Time after time her blows broke Ceptum's body as the flame scorched her vis, and by the time Ashariel had brought herself to stop there was only a smoking pile of ash remaining on the floor in front of her. She paused for a moment with the sheer exertion of it, breaths quivering gently in her lungs before being released. Ceptum’s body had taken far more energy to destroy than she’d anticipated - and she’d begun with enough force and vis to annihilate a normal prae’s body a hundred times over.

"Pathetic creature." she spoke as she spat down into the pile of ash.

"Your first mistake, Exeo, was thinking that I would let you live long enough to make a second." Ceptum's voice called out from the hallway, and Ashariel looked upwards in shock. Much to her dismay, there the Race-Traitor stood, hale and whole. Unfazed by the veritable onslaught she'd just delivered. How was such a thing possible? What remained of the body in front of her was no illusion - she'd sensed the burning vis, heard the bones snap, felt the body crumple beneath her fury. What in the Queen's name was the traitor?

"You labour under the misapprehension that I am limited to a single body, or even that my body matters. It is merely a construct created by my will - a tool to serve a purpose. If that is all that a so-called Exeo can do to it... You truly have fallen." Ceptum stated, sighing condescendingly

"Let us see how much of my onslaught you can weather."

In a moment, Ceptum was in front of Ashariel and her hands were around her neck. Ashariel gasped at the suddenness of the movement and tried to fight it both with her arms and her telekinesis, but found both to be completely ineffective. In contrast to before, where it had been like moving a ragdoll with her mind, Ceptum's body now proved to be completely unassailable by her force. Ceptum lifted Ashariel off of the ground, and focused her vis at the tips of the Exeo's wings. By virtue of her undeath, Ceptum had access to an inordinate amount of necromantic power - able to rot and wither mortal flesh with nothing but a thought. Now she was introducing it to the Exeo's wings, and she wanted to see just how long it would take for those pretty white wings to decay. The energy travelled slowly, at first - largely kept at bay by the flames surrounding her. Seconds passed, and soon Ashariel began to scream as the rot and miasma began to work upon the feathers of her wings. Once it had taken hold it took virtually no time at all to strip her appendages down to the bone, and only slightly longer to remove them entirely. All the while, Ashariel's screams of pain and terror only grew. She wanted with all of her heart to curse Ceptum, to bring her to her knees and force her before Aismael herself - but all her mind could articulate were gurgles and screams.

"You are an abomination." Ceptum spoke, releasing her grip on Ashariel's throat and suspending her midair with telekinesis, just as had been previously done to her.

"You... You are..." she coughed and spluttered, almost choking on the air that she gasped in, heavy and gulping.

"The abomination You are no prae!" Ashariel managed to sputter through laboured breaths, slowly composing herself as she managed to regulate her breathing and soothe the burn in her throat from Ceptum's caustic touch.

"It is you that is not prae. You are a half-breed, a mere shadow of what we were and an insult to what we should be! I am a Lich and even I am more recognisable as a true prae than you!" Ceptum roared back in response, appalled at the arrogance and ignorance displayed by this pathetic excuse for an Exeo.

"I am sorry, Amana, for what I must do."

Ceptum began the process of extending her own vis - much of which was the raw stuff of Pylae, filtered through her phylactery - into the ambient vis around Solhavre. With an almighty surge of effort inwards, she began drawing on both the energy in the land around her as well as that from Pylae and concentrating it within Ashariel's body. Simultaneously, Ceptum forced the white flame that heralded Ashariel's manifest state inwards and used it as the beginnings of her spell. As she intoned low, arcane words Ashariel's body began to swell, visibly bloating with the sheer enormity of the energy forced within her. Ceptum continued to chant for several minutes, each word uttered further concentrating the white flame and feeding it until it was beginning to boil and sizzle Ashariel's skin from the inside out, several cracks appearing and leaking radiant white energy. As Ceptum finished the spell, she teleported herself and Ashariel to a couple of hundred feet above the embassy and looked out towards where she knew Ominar was.

Aismael's Spire was radiant and beautiful, reminiscent of the pristine ivory sunrise in Priscus. Ceptum resolved to make a Spire out of Ashariel to rival even the most beautiful morning in her homeworld - an end all too good for the creature that dared call itself an Exeo.

Ceptum took a moment to savour what was about to happen before turning Ashariel around to face her and savouring the terror in her eyes as she reached up towards her forehead and with a single swift motion plucked the small crystal from her. The second it was removed Ashariel immediately died, falling slack and limp, and the hungry white flames within her began to escape their prison of flesh. Ceptum teleported her body several miles away, hovering at the same height above the ocean, and preparing for the first spectacle of many necessary to enforce Amana's will. The God-Queen had been ignored for far too long, and it had had dire consequences - at this moment in time, mostly for one Ashariel vei Inaris.

As she was no longer alive to keep the flames trapped within her, Ashariel's corpse simply burst from the immensity of the vis inside her. Her very own white flames combined with the chaotic energy of Pylae collided with one another forcibly, and the resulting explosion of energy was so fierce that the light it gave off rivalled that of an early sunrise, bathing the area for miles upon miles with its coruscating glare. Then, just as the flash of brilliance began to wane, the sheer force of the blast hit the city. As the raw, white chaos engulfed the prae embassy it simultaneously cracked from the pressure and exploded outwards in massive streaking arcs of white flame before crumbling to ash, and just as the ash begun to settle each of the buildings in their vicinity suffered the same fate. Brilliant white flames engulfed the entire promenade upon which the embassy had stood, spiralling outwards and through everything in their path. The ground beneath them quaked and trembled before it too was split open from the sheer force of the flame, and the earth seemed to erupt in glaring ivory light as if in protest before being pulverised. The flames spread outwards like a terrible ring of destruction, levelling half of the city of Solhavre before burning out and dissipating into loose clusters of glittering ash and dust within the night sky. Where once lanterns had floated about in an idyllic scene, now only the lingering white flames of destruction remained in a mimicry of what had come before. As the ashes fell into the smoking and boiling sea around them, the majority of the city atop the cliffs fell into that yawning, black abyss.

The next morning, the entire city of Ominar was abuzz with the news of the destruction of Solhavre. Newspapers everywhere commented on the sheer magnitude of the destruction and that no trace of the visiting Exeo Ashariel vei Inaris - who was known to be a close colleague of Aismael vea-Vartari - had been found. The authorities stated only that there had been an altercation at the embassy and that the blast had originated from the location of the building, and they were working closely with Ominar's government to determine the exact cause of the event, as well as the person responsible.

Aismael would find on her desk that morning a copy of the newspaper with the news, as well as a charred wooden box. Contained within was the crystal from Ashariel's forehead, as well as a handwritten note:

"More shall be cleansed until all evidence of your foulness is purged. - Race-Traitor"

Character Summaries during the Timeskip

Damian: Busy doing work for Nabri, Darius, and Masha, getting bullied by Vi, going over to Corinna's house sometime during this mess, and maybe befriending Emmett on how much being a Licentia can suck.

- Nabriales has been working at One Night in Hell with Masha and is helping prepare for the club's grand reopening after they have remodelled. Nabriales has also assisted Vi with concealing her identity and joining the IHO. Nabriales has also joined up with the Resistance, offering access to his considerable funding and stock of potions.

- Fandaniel has come to Ominar with Yvette, joined the IHO, and has opened a dialogue with Sophia and Nabriales regarding their shared heritage. Fandaniel has joined the resistance, unwilling to abide the prejudice against what she believes are a largely innocent race.

- Ithuriel has been working on his art and partaking in hunts at the IHO. He has been partnered with Vi in a new mentoring scheme to help transition new hunters into their roles.

- Truth has been digging around Ominar and has pledged itself to the resistance.
- Aeris has adopted, and enrolled Emmett and Olivia into the university, while also helping Emmett learn about his nature at home. While teaching Emmett how to control his powers, she has also started teaching Olivia how to fight her brother's fear aura. She has also begun to participate more readily in resistance missions.

- Sophia has reunited with Mairyell, and found out that not only does he have a girlfriend, he has two adopted children. Hearing about the resistance from her brother, she has added her considerable wealth to its resources.

- Nysi and Szayeis met up, and Szayeis created more safe houses for her. She moves between them quite often.

- Leah has gotten registered for classes, and has moved in with Reates for the duration of her time at the university. She may meet Emmett, Olivia, Erin/Clara, Corinna, or Emma at any point in time. Interest in Maddie is building.

- Yvette has joined the resistance at the behest of her mother, and in an attempt to show solidarity with those she holds pacts with.
- Erin has been spending time at Corinna's. She has been noticing Clara being strangely good. The girl has been trying to speak with Olivia and Emmett with a little bit of luck. She's been able to form a friendship with Azulia and getting to classes on time without problems. Mysterious scratching around home.
- Killian has been undercover with gang. He's been getting to know Emma and has dating her for a bit. Spending time with little sister.
-Vi has settled in at Victorious Secret with Nabriales and the new subject of her disdain, Damian. With the help of Nabriales, Vi has acquired a new identity as Sylvia Morel and has begun to disguise her appearance. She has joined the IHO and is being mentored by Ithuriel. After hearing about the Resistance from Nabriales, Vi has tentatively thrown in her support for the movement.

Day 4-end of the SoL
 1. Aeris and Darius work out the paperwork to allow Aeris to foster Emmett and Olivia. (Memory to come)

Month 1-3
 1. Mai has to ID Raiden and Aeris has to make arrangements for the funerals of both parents. Aeris is notified of a will from both Raiden and Alice. (Cel, I’ve PMed the details.)
 2. Register for school, kids met Azulia and start class.
 3. Emmett and Olivia get adjusted, the papers allow them to foster the children. They are also assigned a caseworker.
 4. Mai and Aeris need to go through the stuff in the apartment. Deciding what to keep or sell. Not sure if you want to bring the kids along, which by this time they are slowly healing.
 5. The investigation, I’m assuming they have to due to protocol, happens and the case is close to Alice and Raiden. At least for the police. (Yosh has a pm over the scene with Raiden and will follow up with )
 6. Raiden and Alice funeral. Due to Emmett and Olivia being their age, it’s up to Aeris to decide if it’s an open or closed casket. For Raiden, the open casket is not possible.
7. Met Damian (memory to follow)

- Darius
Day 4-end of the SoL
Killian contacted Darius, information about Charles in exchange for employment. Killian currently works for Darius, by becoming involved in the Thunder Dragons and building rep over the next few months.
Both M’ve and Nabriales has gained a sample of the poison that Krysta hit him with. Primary to create an antidote for the future. (Aeris called M’ve to check in on Darius ICly, Post title: Finer Things)

Serpientes de Ouroboros: starting to grow in members, they clashed with the Royal Bloods and various other gangs in the Entertainment District. Slowly dragging Darius into having to deal with this.
Month 2-3
 1. Gotten closer to Masha. He’s even helped her improve her shape-shifting skills with a keen eye for detail and advice. Their relationship is still outside of the public eyes, though occasionally Darius has been spotted in her company.
 2. Darius had grown another tail, increasing his power. As a result, he’s been forced to contact Szayeis to update his crystal. The price of this has yet to be made known.
 3. Krysta hasn’t been seen or heard from since. She seems to be laying low… Darius doesn’t know.
 4. Within the last week, odd things have been happening. Small moments of time are lost in his memory (longest was an hour), a sense of being watched, and glimpses of something lurking in his peripheral vision in mirrors or other shiny surfaces. (Those who worked frequently with him would notice odd behaviour - Players who want to, contact me over this.)
 5. Darius had been digging up information about Charles Aeon, for Killian.
6. Afua has been removed from Masha's employ as of last week.


Month 1-3
- Works at One Night in Hell, the lead singer in the club and bar occasionally.
- She contacted an associate, another Licenti, to retrieve the crystal that Nabriales required. Currently, she had delivered it to the Alchemist as a precaution.
- Visit from Szayeis (?)


Month 1-3
 1. Adjusting to being Azulia’s guardian, while judging his college courses and substituting for teachers. Including move Killian into his room (Charles’ memories and bulk of his unimportant stuff in storage) then set Az up in her room.

 2. Had Az meet Emmett and Olivia, which they likely occasionally stay here supervised. (old fashion traditions…yeah)

 3. Forced resistance organization (all in his head btw then dropped into a special memory box): Met with new additions allowing him to determine everyone’s skills/talents as well as reasons for being there, which he’s also likely done this with others. Created a temporary method to move money without being traced. Been looking into renting or gaining a new location for a base (untraceable to anyone), which he’s likely been using the College/his home for the meetings.

4. Been keeping his ears open for news over the aftermath of the jailbreak, Prae activities, and additional changes to what he can compare to the city’s past activity.

 5. Visited Lilith 2-3 week, fortnight at most. She appears to be getting better, nearly normal. But Charles know she’s following a pattern in her behavior. He’s dreading when it reaches its peak.

 6. Flipped out some of his spells and popped a few memories over old skills he gained during a few of his lives, which I’ll add/alter later. He’s also been improving and practicing them with Killian, or anyone interested, in evening sparring matches (hidden as magic tutoring). He kept his vis one.

 7. Been tunnel vision on the memory that Rico taunted with him, hoping to find clues. Caused him to study other memories which fit the same pattern, which he’s only found one: the night he met with Charlotte's murders. Dead ends right now.

 8. Been looking into how to allow Az to explore her Prae heritage. Also struggling with it.

- Emma... Well Emma will be doing the exciting thing called school… and more school… and some dating of Killian.

- Masha has been working on the reconstruction and remodelling of the club, hiring new people to replace those who left after her 'contract' with Darius for his men ran out. Any who want to stay on (like Damian and Killian) are welcome, but new pay negotiations will arise. Socially, mostly seeing Darius, though mainly because she doesn't have much time for anyone else. Is also actually working at befriending Nikki, not just seducing her.

- Corinna has been going to the night club and generally trying to seduce others & provoke them, tormenting Damian (letting him get extremely uncomfortable if he is on his normal form by provoking him, flirting and trying to seduce the poor boy, or provoking him and really tormenting him if he is in his other form), regarding Erin and Clara, Corinna is still testing the waters. She is very curious about both Clara and Erin, being provocative enough to keep Erin interested, but not enough to scare Clara away.

- Mairyell

What has Mairyell been doing? Well, mostly Aeris. Though he’s also adjusted to Emmett and Olivia being apart of his life. He has also run various contracts and done research on Raiden’s murder along with the occasional meeting with members of the Resistance.

- Szayeis

>Deceiving people.
>Killing things.
>Making various arrangements for his dastardly schemes.
>Stopped by “One Night in Hell,” to greet Lily.
>Visited Darius.
>Sent a prae paladin/hunter to intimidate/threaten Charles in order to keep him with the Resistance proper.

- Madison

> School
>Hanging out with friends, such as Leah.
>Taking care of her younger cousin occasionally.

- Bree

>Chased Dranai due to contracts/favors owed to Aismael.
>Failed to permanently capture him.

- Dranai

>Managed to figure out who hired Bree.
>Managed to get his Focus back.
>Eluded Bree.

- Aismael
>Received word of Ashariel’s... demise.
>Received word of Bree’s failure to capture Dranai.
>Increased prae/police presence in Ominar.
>Put more people on the task of figuring out who was behind the jailbreak.

~”Great art requires great suffering, so I must be the greatest artist of all.”~

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