Living in the Land of Boo



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See OOC : Living in the Land of Boo

Chapter 1: Companionship

Loud cheers reverberated through the cavern. Rough barks of laughter of the men mixed with the light and feathery chuckling of the ladies as Samira was the center of attention once again. Juggling has became her second nature and she didn't even work up a sweat throwing around the many objects that the audience threw at her. She had two knives, a couple of apples, an ale mug and the latest addition was a toupee that the barmaid has taken of the cavern owner's head.

Samira reached out with her consciousness to conjure two invisible hands to help her keep all of the objects from falling. Only one capable of doing magic could see what was really happening, while everyone else just stared in wonder. Many dreamed that they possessed magical abilities, but would never dare to say those wishes out loud due to the fear of the King.

The King was a despicable man, deprived of all virtues, all he has left is violence to control the People. Boo, as many of the folk nicknamed the paranoid leader, has had a group of assassins trained to kill off all magicians. This is the one thing the King has done right, and it terrified Samira. She could clearly remember the cold day of her seventh cold season when she woke up to find her parents dead, with no signs or evidence that would lead the murder to the King. This kept everyone quiet and forced obedience.

Finishing off her act, she collected her pay from the audience, hoping it would fill her stomach. This seemed so mundane to her that she didn't even look her benefactors in the eye. She needed a change. She was too old to be living like a beggar, but could not settle down and start a family with all the corruption and suffering in place. Nothing would change until that incompetent fool was the King and he will continue to rule until some magicians simply made him disappear.

Samira has seen many magicians come and go, most of them being nomadic entertainers as herself. They would exchange words, spend some time together, but none of them felt as passionate about defeating the King as she did.

Leaning over her soup, Samira wrinkled her nose, not sure whether the nauseous feeling in her stomach was caused by the presence of another magician or the sickly green colour of the peas floating with other chunks in the thick broth. The next entertainer walked up to the improvised stage in the middle of the room and prepared for their act...
Lily had to be extra careful about entertaining these days. The way she turned Maxie into a human was so obviously magical that it had to be done in secret... The stage was empty while she and her animated puppet stood behind the curtain. She made sure they had the correct props for their act; the final thing she did was tuck a pink lily behind her ear, a clip going over the stem in case it was to fall.

Performances had been done more times than Lily could count, but lately she'd been paranoid. This was all she knew how to do, though. Frankly, she was famished and wanted to keep her fund for a house tucked away, never to be touched. Maxie seemed to notice she was nervous, so he lifted his jester mask to smile at her, a handsome and scarred looking face winking at her.

"We'll knock 'em dead!" he said confidently, putting the mask back on when he got a smile and a nod from Lily.

Her eyes were an unusual shade of purple, indicating that her magic was in use; no one suspected anything of it, though. Maxie held his staff in both of his hands as he bowed to the crowd with Lily, both of them taking a stance when the welcoming applause ended. A piano in the corner began to play, signaling for Lily to slowly move her arms and begin a dance. Maxie was following her routine, their dancing coming to a halt when their prancing about got them back to back. They were new to this particular town, so they had to make due with this new piano song. It was being pulled off quite well...

Glitter shot out of each of their left palms, their bodies twirling in sync upon toes so the colourful dust would shower like a fountain. The crowd ooh'd and ah'd at the sight, some of them even reaching out to catch the glitter. When that was finished, Lily smiled beautifully and did a cartwheel across the stage, Maxie doing the same in the opposite direction. She managed to keep her skirt from lifting up during this act, then made a run for the center so she could leap into Maxie's arms. She was caught without fail and hoisted to his shoulders, where she stood with her feet and threw the lily in her hair at the crowd.

"Thank you, everyone!" She called out, her eyes sparkling. At her command, Maxie took her from his shoulders and then collected the money that was thrown at the stage. While she got the last of it, she had Maxie bow to the crowd. With the money in a little brown bag slung in her shoulder, she disappeared with her companion behind the stage, arriving at a table in the corner where a glass of water was brought for each of them. She ordered a meal for herself, but not for Maxie since he didn't need to eat. To avoid suspicions, she kept him human and sitting in the chair. It didn't take much energy to just sit here with him. Both of them could detect other magicians in this tavern, but made no threat of it.
Helios took the stage next, a practiced arrogance in his every step as he strode, stately yet lithe and somehow secretive, to his position on the stage. His nerves still caused him worry with every step he took on the stage, dressed to the hilt in a black, form-fitting nylon with mesh cutouts down his left side. Even to his patent leather boots, he was dressed to sell and he looked it.

With a hand motion, someone behind the curtain let the ropes restricting the aerial silks fall, leaving two shimmering plumes of silver fluttering as they dropped and the audience was drawn in by just how high the ceilings really were. Helios waved and winked at the crowd before moving to the wall to scale the ladder propped against it. Once he had reached the top of it, he leapt gracefully into the air and executed a front flip before grabbing the first silk and swinging to grab the second.

Within seconds, the lights had also been dimmed some so that the focus was drawn to the inky silhouette against the silver. Boldly, he climbed and twined his legs around the silks before arching backwards with his arms hanging freely below his head. That was when Helios allowed himself to dissociate from the show, to involve himself in the moment and disregard all outside influences. He was the best, and he knew it. As he careened down, letting the silk flow through his hands, it felt as though things had stilled and he had more time to react when he clutched the very edges of the silk and swung upwards once more.

Finally, it was over, another day that the troupe had not been discovered, so it seemed. He bowed once his feet touched the stage again and the silks were constricted once more. Without hesitation, Helios made his way over to Lily and ordered a mug.

"How'd it go?"
Zolrale watched as the man finished his performance attentively but had anyone looked close her eyes would have given her the lie. Her thoughts lay elsewhere tonight. Zol could sense the presence of many magicians in the room and the number was a cause for concern. In a time when magic was hunted such a gathering would attract hunters like files to honey. Why were there so many of them here? Was it simply a coincidence? Zol wasn't one to believe in coincidences. She would have left but the stage gave the promise of coin, Coin that could buy a bed to sleep in and a meal to fill her stomic. She was Just going to have to be cautious and not draw undue attention to herself.

The other thing that was bothering her was the number of entertainers that seemed to have showed up. Most places would consider it a blessing to up have two entertainers show up on the same night. Three would be a miracle but four? ore? That was unheard of. Zolrale just hoped that the patrons would have enough coin left to pay for her act too.

Coming back to the present Zol saw that the man had left the stage and so took the stage for her own. The art of contortion is best described as an up dance, a dance where the dancer positioned themselves in impossible positions that displayed inhuman flexibility and balance. Zol slowly moved in and out of knotted positions throwing in acrobatic flips here and there for extra flair. As her act progressed into more and more intricate positions the audience's oohs and ahs grew in intensity. to draw them in farther Zol started using minute amounts of magic, adding small illusions to her body making it appear that her joints bent a few more inches further that they really could, drawing even greater shocked reactions from the audience. As a finale Zol coiled herself into a small ball, and with a sudden burst of energy launched herself and off the ground, spinning in tight flips Zol's compact frame sailed up past her full height before coming back down again. with one last revolution her feet passed under her body just in time to plant themselves on the ground sticking 1800 degree back flip. Standing Zol stretch her arms wide to the crowd face beaming and gave a bow. The cheering was thunderous. Was it just her or had the audience grown during her performance. Well it that much of a surprise. Her performances were always well received. She suspected it was because men and even some woman loved to see a young beauty contorted into impossible positions. collecting the coin that was thrown into the stage Zol put the coin in her purse and exited stage right to find some food.
Next, it was Ellessa's turn to perform. She grabbed her sword and walked onto the darkened stage. She was nervous, as usual, before the performance began. She placed the sword on her head and balanced it there, taking three deep breaths to calm her. Then the music started to play. The lights turned on and Ellessa belly danced, moving her body to the beat of the music. She smiled to the crowd and they cheered. Some of them whistled and others threw money. The sword stayed balanced on her head, even as she bumped her hips and shimmied. Her coin hip scarf jingled as she moved.

Then the beat of the music changed. She took the sword off and danced again, less fluidic than before. She bumped her hips and swayed her arms to the music, still smiling at the crowd. Ellissa spun around and around, her skirt twirling with her. She always liked this part best even though it made her very dizzy. She stopped suddenly as the music stopped playing. Her performance was over. She curtseyed and picked up the money that had been thrown. Then, she grabbed her sword and walked off the stage.

Ellessa sat at an empty table by herself and ordered some water to drink. The room was loud. She didn't like the noise. She looked around the room, searching for a quiet place. Then her nose caught the scent of other people with magical powers. She hadn't met another with secret powers in weeks and as far as she could tell, there were many here.

"This is sure to draw attention. We should leave before trouble comes." She said to herself. "This place is great! Look at all the money we earned today! We should stay here longer!" One of the voices in her head replied. She knew not to listen to this one. "No. This place has too many people. It's so loud. I can't... take the noise..." She said covering her ears. It didn't help much.
Alistair Maccoule took to the stage at last, having waited impatiently for the others who had arrived before him their own turn to perform and a chance to earn enough coin for a meal and a room. While he watched them impatiently, he was watching, and noted with pride, amusement, and envy that all of the acts were well performed. He wondered if his would stand up to all of theirs; his was such a simple show. Perhaps he would have to liven things up a bit with more flair than normal?

"Ladies and gentleman," Ali began with a flourish of his hand and an elaborate bow. He was wearing simple garb, more commoner than anything else. He wore a charcoal long coat with many frog buttons over a bright white cotton shirt with undone string at the chest, exposing smooth and well-defined pectorals. His pants were well worn with gold stripes running down the side, and heavy black riding boots ran up to the top of his calves.

He would've looked like a dashing rogue, if it weren't for the baldric and heavy belt loops adorned with heavy blades across his body. It gave him more the look of a dashing highwayman! At his back was a heavy zweihander, and at his left hip hung a long, thin rapier, underneath that a heavy short-sword. At his right hip, hidden underneath the coat was a long dagger, and at the small of his back were smaller knives.

"The beautiful young lady before me showed you what grace she has with the use of a blade. I, on the other hand, shall show you unparalleled skill!" With a lunging stomp on the stage, Ali drew both rapier and short sword in swift, well-practiced movement. The blades were well oiled and coated in something that would reflect the light even greater than it already had. Ali flourished and twirled the swords in his hands, a dazzling display of light and skill hypnotizing a good chunk of the crowd. There was a deadly beauty to it all as Ali blended true combat maneuvers into his sword dance, thrusting and parrying and slashing at invisible enemies.

"But this skill isn't what you want, is it?!" Ali announced excitedly, standing still as he faced the crowd, his blades around him in a storm of deadly steel. Tossing the rapier into the air from behind, Ali spun and caught the blade whilst still spinning the short sword. In the same movement he spun and caught the rapier, Ali twisted and leaned his head back and shoved the rapier hard down his throat.

It was all an illusion. The blade vanished as it began to kiss his tongue, only to reappear high in the rafters, hidden by shadows, one end of it shrouded in a purple-grey mist as it floated there. Alistair's magic was strange, almost a disappearing act if anything. He often thought of using his true abilities in standard commoner magic, but he felt that was almost degrading to what he could do. That, and he enjoyed too much, playing with swords.

As Ali 'swallowed' the blade, he held what little of the blade there was in his teeth as he twirled, spinning the heavy short sword. He felt exhaustion set into his arms as he continued his superfluous display of sword skill, and as his final act, tossed the short sword above his head, grabbed it above him, and shoved it into his mouth next to the rapier.

The blade rematerialized next to the rapier's blade in the rafters.

Holding his arms out and crossing his feet, Ali curtsied as he held the blades in his mouth. Hearing the applause, Ali finally grabbed the swords and pulled them from his mouth, allowing the blades to slowly re-materialize. He wiped each one on either sleeves of his charcoal coat, and sheathed them at his left hip before bowing, and walking off stage.

"What'd you all think of that?" Ali asked proudly as he went back stage.
Lily swallowed her water rather quickly, droplets sliding down a corner of her mouth. She quickly swiped the back of her hand across it and flashed a smile to Helios as he sat with her, made an order and asked how her performance went. To make Maxie look lively, he waved to the man and would greet the rest of their crew as well.

"It went surprisingly well. You were amazing, Helios." She answered, switching Maxie's glass of water with her empty cup so she could down that one as well.

She politely watched the rest of the performances while taking dainty bites of her meal that consisted of simply a biscuit and chowder of some kind. Despite their risk of being killed, there was nothing better than this... Enjoying time with her beloved friends and creating smiles at many locations; loneliness would never be able to creep up on her.

There was a newcomer, it seemed. Or at least, someone she's never seen. Her amethyst eyes followed Ellessa's movements as she displayed her talents with a sword and then walked off the stage to sit alone. It suddenly made Lily feel glum... Traveling alone was never any fun. She didn't want to make the lady more nervous with her staring, she she only flashed a smile and looked back to her warm food.

Watching Alistair's act always made Lily a little nervous. She'd always have a wound of some kind to patch because of his reckless acts, however he was handling things more carefully. At least, she hoped.

Quite honestly, Lily was read to get out of here. She was developing a headache... Maxie was able to make expressions on his own and currently, it looked concerned. Not that anyone could see behind that mask.
"As always, your act keeps the crowds squirming Alistair."

The voice that rang out was that of Alexandros, who had brought back one of the melting ice decorations from the front and was quickly working it over, refreezing it, applying more ice where he had to, and sculpting it out with a fire engulfed thumb. It didn't hurt. Fire magic never burned its caster. He finished his work and began inspecting. He reached over to a knife and began to heat it with his magic. Taking the now hot knife, he began to slide the more ornate details into it, leaving a tiny stream if ice magic behind the knife to freeze any water droplets in place before they could even form.

"You should be a tad more careful. One botched casting and we might be stitching your tongue back on. Not to make Lily's thoughts run away with her or anything," Alexandros reached for a magnification tool used by jewelry appraisers. Retouching up on statues was always so much faster than making them from scratch. The one he was working on was a rather ornate one with three stars stacked up on to of one another. He patted it and gave it one last spell to keep it extra cold in order for it to sustain its shape longer before it began to melt. As his assistants moved the refinished statue out, another was brought in. The curse of Alexandros' line of work with them. Send the statues out at once, then the rest of the day was waiting for them to melt and retouch.
"Bah! If I was any more careful, the act would be a total bore, and you know it," Ali said over his shoulder, watching Alexandros work his own magic for a moment before continuing on.

Everyone had fantastic abilities, some more flashy than others, some more destructive, or useful. There was never a matter of envy or feeling useless among the magicians; they all had great pride in what they could do, and were all equally powerful in their own regard. Alistair, as a matter of fact, considered himself one of their more powerful members. Perhaps his was a matter of ego, than pride, but that hardly mattered to him.

Alistair walked past Lily, talking to Helios, and brushed a hand quickly across her face. He winked as he walked past her, and continued forth, not waiting for her response. He had his eyes on one of the newer girls, a quiet one who had taken up a lone spot at an empty table; it was the same girl who had gone up just before him, and had danced a seductive belly dance with her sword. What was her name? He couldn't remember ever learning it.

"Hello, deary," he said as he sat down across from her, gesturing to one of the bar girls to bring him a drink. She knew what he wanted; he had ordered two others before performing.

"Me name's Ali, I'm sure you just saw me act," he said quickly, a certain quirky accent in the way he spoke. "What be your name, Miss?"
Helios chuckled at Lily as he took a deep drink from his mug. She looked so distressed to be here, so often she seemed ready to bolt as the drop if a hat. Her smooth blond hair rustled a little as she turned her head from his laughter. Tilting his head, unknowingly mirroring her puppet's expression of concern, Helios drained the rest of his glass. Clearing his throat, he looked around for anyone that might seem suspicious before cupping a hand around the side of Lily's face.

"Come on, then, let's go out for a bit of fresh air, huh? We've both done our bit for the night, you can relax with me while I indulge my vices" Helios patted a slim box in his pocket with a warm smile. "You don't look like you're doing well at all" with that, he tossed a bit of his earned coin onto the bar for both and motioned for Lily to walk in front of him.
Zol was just getting her meal when she noticed the others chatting. She had joined this group knowing that there where other performers who used magic in their acts but she hadn't quite grasped that there were so many of them. were they not aware that such a gathering could bring hunters like... well she didn't know an metaphor that could describe the speed with which the kings hunters could find such a large group.
she had kept quite until now out of respect as the group had been nice enough to let her join in these dangerous times and it did bring good coin. but her paranoia was getting the best of her tonight and perhaps the drink was as well. so as she sat down near the other to eat the addressed them.
"I don't mean to be rude as you had been very generous with me, but surely your are as consumed as I the such a large group of our kind will draw attention," was she wrong did they not share here fear? "especially when some of us practices openly" this she directed at the one who was sculpting ice as if it were clay.
"Oh don't you worry. I make it look like I light my thumb on fire by putting it in that torch in order to work. Most people don't think anything of me not getting burned. If it gets too crowded around here, I'll move backstage...

Alexandros was now working over a bird ice sculpture. There wouldn't be much to worry about from other people unless someone got out of hand and he had to make someone chill out...quite literally.
Ellessa jumped when Ali spoke to her and sat at her table. She'd been so consumed by the voices in her head that she didn't notice him and he'd frightened her. The strong scent of magic poured off of him and she looked up at him but not in his eyes. "Oooh, he's kinda cute! Maybe he's single!" One of the voices in her head said. This one got on Ellessa's nerves quite often. "Shut up! Geez, you're so annoying!" Ellessa thought.

"My name is Ellessa. I was very impressed with your skill with a blade. I've only met two others with such skill and neither were willing to take on students. I wonder how you would do against me though." She said to Ali, smiling slightly. She grabbed her jeweled sword she'd used to perform with and willed it to change into a longsword for fighting. "Tell me, what sort of magic do you possess?" She asked.
Alistair jumped at the straight-forward accusation of magic. His small troupe of companions had come here simply seeking work; they were all magicians, and performers. They needed to eat and a warm bed, just like anybody else. But this girl was an outsider. Of sorts, anyways. She had magic; he could feel it.

"I possess it, and that's all ye need to be knowin', fer now," he told her with a mysterious smile. He sidled his chair up next to her, ignoring the weapon she was grasping and pressed himself as close to her as he could without fearing for his life.

"I was taught by me mum, iffin' ya liked to hear anythin' abot me," he continued. "I dun mind showin' ye me real sword foightin' talents, that is, iffin' ye dun mind to be showin' me some of yer.... hip swivelin' talents later. Maybe a li'l later as in, now... I believe there may be a place for us to be findin' privacy." He winked at her. Alistair was incorrigible when it came to women.
Ellessa cocked her head to the side curiously, not understanding. "Why would we need privacy? Does your magic have something to do with your fighting abilities?" She asked. "Ellessa, you can be so dense sometimes! Can't you tell he's hitting on us?! He likes us!" The annoying voice from before said. Ellessa blushed suddenly and became angry as realization struck her. "Do you honestly think I'm that easy?" She picked up her sword and held it to his throat, almost cutting into his skin. "You do not touch me ever!" She said, grabbing her things and walking off.
"Ellessa, you didn't have to do that." The voice said. "Yeah well, it's not like you were going to do anything." She replied coldly.
Alexandros shook his head as Ellessa exited. This one wasn't the usual amused shake either.

"Alistair, have you no self restraint? One of these days a woman really will carve you up. And until we get someone with healing magic, that's a very bad thing. I understand you like risks, and your audacity is second to none, but please try to remember we all have to co-exist here."

After sending the last statue away back to the front he walked over and gave Alistair a firm pat on the shoulder.

"You want to go grab a bite to eat? I'm starved, and the women could use a moment or two away from you. Its a win-win! For the girls and I at least. Not for you."