Rebirth: The Final Stand

Shayla

Forever Bound to Him
Original poster
Posting Speed
  1. Multiple posts per day
  2. 1-3 posts per day
  3. One post per day
  4. 1-3 posts per week
  5. One post per week
Writing Levels
  1. Give-No-Fucks
  2. Beginner
  3. Intermediate
  4. Adept
  5. Advanced
  6. Prestige
  7. Adaptable
Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
  2. Female
Genres
Romance , Heated , Modern , Historical , Fantasy , Fandom , Flexible to any kinds


Rebirth
Can good exist without evil? Can there be light without dark? An unceasing question.


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[tab=Ten Years Ago]

Serin, once the domain that embodied true darkness had long laid dormant since the cataclysmic wars. Bound by rune magic, the city had been sealed away to never allow another soul to enter such an immoral dwelling. This had been the desire of Thanduin of Crovia to ensure that prosperity and peace could be gained with the subdued presence of Serin. It remained so for hundreds of years as it held untouched and desolated. Time itself seemed to not affect that of Serin as it was left as it was on its final days when Crovia had conquered it. But yet, runes are weakened to time itself as those whom commanded them drew to their end. Less than ten years ago such had been found upon one unfortunate night as the Guardian to Serin would draw forth his final breath. Surrounded by those who loyally served the order and were prepared in the instant to place a new disciple to the duty. It was at that said moment within the dark of night several cloaked figures held unmoved and silent before the walls of Serin. The cloaked individuals stepped to the side in a part as a woman clothed in an intricate cloak stepped forth and ushered herself ahead of them. Gloved hands outstretched to each side as vivid violet magic circles began to materialize within moments. A devastating darkened aura radiated from the individual as the magic itself coursed through the area as the winds arose. Her words all but spilled forth in a truly sinister and emotionless tone as it echoed in defined terror to the lands for what was to come.

Sicut supremum spiritum tuam relinquit corpus tuam. Ligaturis istis ac ruinosis his super ostium relinquere rationes concedimus. Ubi semel recto tuam, libera princeps plus ais terras..!

The Incantation itself sprung free as she delivered her hands in a firm blow to the ground as it quaked beneath her hold. Violet fracturing cracked through the ground as it coursed rapidly towards the walls of Serin. Upon touching, the runes that once glowed bright fractured against the spell as they burst one by one. A paled blue barrier began to crackle and diminish as the violet of the spell seemed to consume it entirely as it dissolved. The final breath gone from its former Guardian signaled the finalization to the spell as Serin held unsecured for the first time in centuries. A faint smirk etched to the woman’s dark painted lips as she’d arise from the ground as her cloak hood would free from the hold of her head. Raven tendrils all but spilled forth and glistened beneath the moonlight as they spiraled behind her. Honeyed hues would draw open as unbridled darkness swirled behind such an alluring gaze. The woman in question was truly a frightful being whose name echoed through the centuries with fear laced to every tale of her.

The being in question that held before her former domain was Absinthe. Former and last Queen of Serin and the deemed mother of night and darkness. The mother to all immoral and vile evil that dwelled within the world. Once more reborn into the world as fate had destined for it to be as Absinthe gazed with true pleasure at the sight of her domain. A faint dark chuckle befell from her lips as she’d slowly turn to face the cloaked individuals behind her.” Come, my children.. It is time to reclaim our domain and begin preparations for the war to come. I believe we have allowed this realm to slumber in peace for far to long.” She uttered as if sickened by the mere thought of peace within the realm. It was at that precise moment that she moved ahead as the gates creaked loudly open upon the barren lands. The individuals all but quietly filed behind her as they drifted forth past the unfastened gates before it sealed firmly behind them. Whilst within that moment, the runes once broken pieced together once again as they became implanted to the stone. A gleam of faint blue radiated from them as the runes became active once more as Serin became sealed away.

If only such had been the truth for this realm which remained in blissful ignorance. Darkness had once more returned to threaten the existence of what peace remained.

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[tab=Serin Present]

The wails of a child echoed within the throne room as faint glimmers of light pooled within. A female servant with an emptied expression held the hand of a small boy as tears streamed hot across his cheeks.Those gathered around a grand table to the center of the throne room would instantly glance to the sight of the pair with disdain and irritation. Upon a singular glance, one could easily note that these individuals were various leaders, royalty and commanding officers to the court. Whilst to the shadows that held to the room, the various glowing red eyes could be seen monitoring every inch of the room. Faint murmurs and growls resounded within only to be brought to immediate silence to the sound of metal clinking to the throne. Heads would lower in a bow as the servant’s once emotionless gaze filled with fear as she’d shakily curtsy. The child’s wails remained constant as she sputtered out softly.” F-Forgive me, Your Majesty… T-The child refuses to silence himself..” Barely audible were the words she spoke as the talon finger stilled upon the throne. The servant attempted to speak once more only for a voice to echo darkly in command from the throne.

Silence your quivering tongue if you wish for it to remain attached.” Absinthe coldly advised as the servant’s eyes widened and shook as she fell to her knees in a lowly bow of submission. Absinthe’s gaze steered away from her as a slim hand extended forth from her throne as she’d beckon the child forth with a feigned smile. Her honeyed orbs all but lulled the child as he’d gaze to her through his clouded vision.” Come to me, Child. Weep not for I am here..” She uttered in dark enticement as the child sniffled and stumbled forth as he climbed the stairs that ascended to the throne. His small hands all but found her neck as she’d cradled him close as she’d click her tongue ever so lightly.

Only weak children shed tears.. I did not raise a weak and helpless child, Did I?” She questioned without a singular detection of motherly affection. The young boy sniffled and merely chose to shake his head as her hand paused above his head before seeking rest to his silken blonde head. Slowed were the strokes to his small head as she’d continue to speak lowly to him as those gathered merely watched the exchange.” Precisely… For I am all that you have, Never forget such things… For you must be unassailable for the battle to come. Crovia will wish to separate us.. The traitors who betrayed you so long ago.. Recall such and remember that you only have I to protect you..” She whispered in a darkened persuasion as a faint violet glow illuminated from her fingertips. Whilst it encircled his head with each stroke as the child clutched closer to her bosom. Steadily, a sinister smile curved at her dark painted lips as she’d graze a slow kiss to his temple as the violet dissipated. Whilst such had been occurring, the servant from before had been dragged from within by another pair of servants as she was soon replaced by another. The young servant girl bowed lowly before the throne as Absinthe would slowly detach the child from her. The child’s tears had dried as he was enveloped within the woman’s arms as his vibrant crimson hues peered to Absinthe. An intricate coal black diamond amulet dangled between her exposed cleavage as the silken black gown adorned by gold circlets and various accessories. A faint smirk stained her lips as she’d rest her taloned ring finger in a soft skim to her lips as she’d softly hush the child once more.” Now Behave, My little king.. For your day is coming and I need you mighty.” She mused as the young boy slightly nodded before being led forth from the throne-room. As the sunlight briefly passed over the child as it illuminated upon a tattooed mark only found among the children of the reborn. As it held marked to that of his left hand as it curled to the young girl's shoulder.

As the vast throne doors sealed closed once more, her council’s gaze would steadily seek to hold the gaze of Absinthe as she remained settled upon the throne. It was then, a particular crimson haired female moved forth towards the throne as vibrant golden hues met Absinthe’s gaze.” Dark Mother, it seems the Institution is readying the Reborns to journey to Crovia. They sense that the time has drawn near and without a doubt have begun to steadily believe you have returned. We all knew this was bound to incur and with such knowledge they have begun to raise the armies for battle. As commanded we have begun to prepare your forces for the battle to come but, I do think it best to perhaps.. Test these rebirth’s before they reach Crovia. To lessen their strength and test loyalties if they remain once unhinged.” She said without any hesitation or fear of speaking freely to her as Absinthe’s dark brow arched in brief thought before swiping her hand lightly in front of herself. The detailed map upon the table enlarged whilst her gaze roamed freely over the mapped lands as a singular finger traced the air over it.

Their journey begins to the western lands that hold outside of Veilcrestte. I have no doubt that they will choose to take the prolonged path to avoid the common eye. In order to do such, they will first seek passage through the Mountains of the Wretched. Where many of our brethren were forced into exile to perish. Their souls are all that stir within that desolate place.. An ideal location for these souls to be tested. Send for Narcisse and advise him that I wish for him to deliver an item within the mountain for me. For we must prepare to truly welcome the poor beings and test where their loyalties remain.” Absinthe stated as an amused glimmer danced within her gaze as several heads would bow as they’d begin to disperse from the room. A faint dark chuckle escaped her parted lips as the taloned finger would move over her lips. Whilst her tongue dashed in a soft brush to the sharpened tip.” Welcome home to our foolish heroes and my former pets.. How I long to see each of you once more..” Absinthe whispered to herself as the faintest smirk edged to her lips.

True sinister delight.

[/tab]

[tab=Institution]

Lycronth Institution: Present Day

Warm sunlight spilled over the rolling green pastures and hills that held in abundance to the outskirts of Veilcrestte. Fenced fields littered the area as one could see the passing sights of various farmers carts rolling over the dirt roads. Clouds of dust would pool around the carts as each passed with their merchant goods upon them set to deliver to Veilcrestte. Though within these farmlands, the one article that did stand out among the farms and rolling pastures was the well built white stoned building. Surrounded by towering walls to ensure the maximum security it could offer to those held within. Whilst to the top of the walls, one could easily see silver armored and blue clothed individuals roaming back and forth in constant guard. No ordinary place was this that held upon these lands, this building in particular was the home to that of the Rebirth’s. Though none were inclined to truly know the nature of such things as it had been kept disclosed from the public until the pivotal moment. It had been decided within the inner councils that the people would be told when the time was right. In order to truly prepare and offer safe haven to those of whom would not face the horrors of war.

Within the walls, a true bustle held within as today marked the occasion in which a journey would begin. The steps forth to the battle that had long been prophesied to fall upon these lands once more. The final and true war that would decide the fates of so many a soul. Said prophecy described the resurrection of the heroes and villains of old whom sought complete and ultimate control of these lands. A second chance given to truly let the events unravel as Absinthe had desired and gained through the sacrifice she had given without a second thought. This war would be the war to define all things for every creature and race that walked the world of Vrateus. Several armed caravans could be seen rolling across the bridge and within as each carried the items in question that had been stored away for centuries for this moment alone. Weapons and artifacts destined to be returned to those they had once been soul-bound to in the hopes that these forces could stand together. United in the mutual belief that mankind deserved to be protected and saved from the treacherous evil that Absinthe wished to drown the lands in.

Such were the events outside the building as the council and instructors prepared to gather within the council room to face the chosen ones. Each child now adult had been trained and advised that this day would come to pass. Though it had been instilled in each, the reality would not set in until the precise moment in which they’d be told that this journey.. This war was on their doorsteps awaiting them and readied to test them at each possible turn. They had been trained and prepared for this moment and that is all they could be.. For once they left this safe haven, it would be in their own power to choose their path with what training had been given to them. This would be one of the first tests and obstacles they would ultimately face before arriving within Crovia to prepare and aid in the war.

Inside the confines of the Institute, the main council room had been unlocked for the Rebirth’s to gather within as the vast marbled black and gold table held emptied. The council and instructors had yet to arrive themselves as the Rebirth’s had been asked to arrive earlier than them. To the end of the table held a young violet haired woman in a fitted studded black leather attire whilst a leg draped with casual ease across the other. Her rebirth marking all but apparent to the right side of her neck as her crimson hues studied the pale ash blonde whom held to the front of the room. Serene was her gaze as a gentle smile framed to her lips as a pair of guards held in obvious sight behind her. Her own clothing were vibrant colored silks with various silver pieces of armor clasped to her body. For a second, her violet hues glimpsed to the doors as two antsy guards spoke in hushed whispers among themselves. A faint sigh would escape her lips as slim fingers would gently pinch the bridge of her nose.” Venetica…” She muttered faintly under her breath as Vespera felt her brows furrow. Esmerai’s brow arched in a curious display over the Princess in question as she could only assume a certain ice queen had her tongue down a particular childhood friend’s throat. Though she adored Leon through thick and thin, she herself hadn’t quite decided on whether she cared or not for the fickle Ice Queen. Arms folded in against her chest as they rolled beneath her breasts. All but lifted against the leather corset and displayed in a slight cleavage to the darkened silk material of her undershirt. Both seemingly awaited those whom they had trained alongside since childhood. Whilst both took notice to the council members filing into the viewing overheads that laid above the room as the familiar sight of each of their instructors began to occupy the front.

The beginning of a journey was set to begin within this room as all truly awaited in mixed feeling to what laid ahead for each that claimed a seat at the table.


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[tab=Translation]

Sicut supremum spiritum tuam relinquit corpus tuam. Ligaturis istis ac ruinosis his super ostium relinquere rationes concedimus. Ubi semel recto tuam, libera princeps plus his terras.

Translation: As thine final breath leaves thine body. Release these earthly binds and grant thee entry upon these ruinous grounds. Deliver thine rightful ruler passage once more to these desolate lands.

[/tab]

[tab=Tags]
Everyone.

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Created by Jenamos | Inspired by MaryGold
 

TerraBooma

Edgepeasant
Today was the day.

Despite all the preparation, the training, and the practice, the what ifs and dangers battled around Isaiah's head as he stared down at a thick tome. The complete guide to humanoid biology had often been a faithful distraction in trying times, but it's endless pages had failed to catch his attention for the first time since he had been brought to this place. The routine of training had been difficult to get used to, but he had come to be accustomed to the fatigue and the aches. Training with Shamir had been the most difficult, but rewarding as well. There was a part of him that felt...empowered as his physicality improved, though that same part dared not dwell at the fatigue that gnawed at his being in his leg. Speaking with friends, baking with Elinora, most of these were certainly chaotic events, some more than others, but the challenges presented were a reminder of everything he'd been working towards.

As well as everything that they stood to lose. Once they were out there on the road, the facilities and bountiful medical supplies would be no more. They would be restricted to what was available, what they could carry with them, and there was no guarantee that it would always be what was needed. Lives would be on the line, and if he couldn't find a way to save them with the tools he had on hand, with medicine and with healing, then...

A small flash of pain lingered in his leg. An ache that never seemed to go away as he was lost in his swirling thoughts.

This wasn't productive. He shook his head and let out a nervous breath as he decided to go over his things one last time. (for the 8th time) That would let him get out of his own head, do something productive, and kill time hopefully long enough that someone else he knew was actually going to be there so he wasn't simply milling about between conversations. Not that he planned on speaking much, his faithful tome still had some secrets it could cough up, and he planned to scour it for all its worth.

He started with his equipment. Leather armor was all he had for protection, but it was all he'd been able to find that gave him the speed and maneuverability he preferred. Defensively it may not have provided...everything that he desired, but he couldn't think of a better battle plan than not being in the way of a blade or burst of magic. The armor itself was brown, with a small splotch of white alongside the arm to designate him in a fight for the other travelers. His blades, hilts red and blue hung reliably at his side, but they were far from his only weapons. A small number of potions and poisons hung at his belt, and more weapons were hidden across his body. A shorter knife in his boot, throwing daggers hidden in secret compartments on the back of his armor, and thin needles sewn into the lining of one of his bracers. He prided himself some on his boots, not very fancy looking, but rugged and comfortable, good for marching. Time on the road had taught him to value practicality over form. As such, his outfit lacked much in the way of elegance or finesse.

His pack lay carefully packed at the food of his bed, containing all the things he'd need for his journey. Changes of clothes, a mess kit, a bedroll, rations, spare knives, and a small collection of his favorite textbooks (though a few extra had been provided. Mostly for some light road reading on rarer diseases and ailments that might strike the group. More importantly than anything else, though, was the small amount of medical supplies he'd been able to coax into his personal position. Critical if they were cut off from critical supplies for long. That was the long and short of what he'd had prepared, and he knew he wasn't missing anything. He'd known for the past couple days, having packed, unpacked, and repacked it dozens of times now. There was simply a sense of...unease? Nerves had been prickling at him as the destined hour slowly trickled closer.

As it came time to leave, he praised the stars for the ability to go and do something over simply scanning fruitlessly over the text on the Elven Nervous System, eyes scanning to the end only to realize that he hadn't actually retained anything he'd just read. Grabbing his blue and white cloak from a hook on the door, he threw his pack over one shoulder and made his way to the council chambers. With one last glance of the room he'd been calling home for years now he closed his hazel eyes, took a swift breath for confidence, and left his second home in life behind. It had been hard for him to come to terms with a stationary home that never moved, and yet now it somehow stung that he was leaving it.

He moved quickly to the council room, taking no detours and opting for no reckless shortcuts, he wasn't about to risk it all and bungle today up for everyone. He glanced around the mostly empty room and seemed to relax some as he noticed the Princess on the other end of the hall. There was a quiet sort of confidence in her that he'd always found reassuring, though he was simply glad someone he was decently friendly with was here. He chose a seat at the table as close to her as the antsy guards would allow, before sitting and pulling out the The Complete Guide for what must have been the 20th time that day.

Anyone who knew Isaiah would be able to tell that he was nervous. He only ever returned to the basics like that when he was feeling antsy. He'd already read the thing countless times. But really, could you blame him? After all...

Today was the day.
And it was likely things would never be the same.
 

EldridSmith

The answer is Fireball
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  2. 1-3 posts per week
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Preferred Character Gender
  1. Male
Genres
Fantasy
ed585af51b528eb63358a12cd13159bf85fb418f.jpg

Erkan woke up before the sun rose, he was in a comfortable and familiar spot: In a hammock in the top of one of the trees on the grounds. He climbed down with his hammock, putting it inside of his bag of holding. It was strange, today he was leaving this place with the others, but he didn't really feel any attachment to this place. He was far more proud of the village he was born in, but even then he had few memories as he had been taken when he was around twelve. Still he valued his time there.

With enough recollecting the past for the morning he walked into the institutes kitchen, which was already lively with the clamor and bustle of the cooks preparing breakfast for the others. Accompanied by the usual smacks from the cooks, he grabbed a large hunk of meat and left, not wanting to bother with the tense breakfast that would occur with others being sentimental and sappy as their time at the institute was coming to a close. He walked outside once more and climbed into the tallest tree here where he began devouring the hunk of meat.

As he finished up with his breakfast he saw the annoying little goblin outside digging before breakfast, Erkan was unsurprised to find the goblin was pulling out a bag of trinkets chuckling to himself. It was clearly the little shit taking his stolen goods with him. Erkan sighed and waited for the them to head back inside... but he kept digging things up in the lawn for an hour before the others got up. Erkan, having read a few chapters of an entertaining book from his bag as he waited for the little thing to leave made over thirty holes in the ground and was chuckling as it went inside. Erkan felt sorry for the poor groundskeeper, but he wasn't interested in filling in holes at the moment, but finally the pest left.

It was now around seven in the morning, and people were starting to wake up as the sun rose high enough to peer through their windows as Erkan jumped down from his perch before pulling his weapon from his blood and going through his morning exercise routine. Just because they were leaving on some grand journey of sorts didn't mean he was going to neglect his training. It rather enforced the fact he needed it, as who knew what they would encounter on the roads. When he finished all of his routines the others finished their breakfast and were dispersing for more sentimental whatnot and collecting their things before they left.

As the others began to intrude on his silent peace he decided now was a good time to abscond into the meeting room, it was unlikely the others would be there immediately after breakfast except for the few he was comfortable being around. Thankfully his conjecture was true and he found Esmerai and Vespera in the room as he arrived. He politely waved and took a seat near the two, he was normally silent with others but today others would be talkative, he knew communication abut such things was important, so he would talk without complaint. "Good morning to you Esmerai, Vespera." He stated with a polite smile as he pushed back his hair.
@Lady_Moon
 
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lunawolf1

Edgebabby
a84cb35a5732165d8d7cdf5f4568b000.jpg

Why did she have to wake up early and decide to bake? Why of all days did the day that was foreseen have to be today? After waking up at 4 in the morning and unable to fall back to sleep, a young female did what she normally did. Go to a cooking space she had made in her room and start to bake. If she was not going to be able to get anymore sleep then at least Elinora could bake some sweets and fresh break to enjoy throughout the day.



It was after a few hours of doing nothing but baking and relaxing that she hear her door open. Opening her eyes as she had set a timer to wait on her bread, the young female tilted her head when she was told that she would need to go to the student council room now. Groaning, she realized that she would not have a time to wash up as the blonde-haired girl quickly strode over to her door and let the guard know that she would be there soon and would have to change. Watching the guard nod and leave, Elinora quickly stretched some as she went over and proceed to poor some cold water on her face. She had finally started to get into that mindset of being able to get some sleep but that would have to wait. After all, today was going to be a day that she was going to be able to test her abilities. To see if her training would pay off. With that in mind, she heard her timer go off as she quickly got the bread out burning her hand in the process. This was going to take a bit longer than she expected.



Being glad she remembered some bandages in her room, she quickly put them on her burnt hand as she started to get suited up. Wearing a simple black low-cut skirt and shirt as well as some long black socks, she decided she may as well go all the way in getting dressed. Opening up her closet, she soon started putting on pieces of her armor. Nothing to special as the young woman placed some ornate looking gauntlets over her arms before putting on a simple set of armor around her chest and waist. To most this would seem heavy but Elinora had grown accustomed to it over her years of training at the academy. After taking a second to look at her mark of a hero on her chest, she finished off getting dressed by placing her leg guards on and a feather in her hair that she wore that was enchanted to help protect her head, she soon started placing the sweets in a bag as well as take the break and walked out of her room.



Going over to her friends’ Lyras room, she figured they may still be asleep as she knocked on the door before yelling in a loud but soft voice “hey get up! We are being summoned to the council room! Better hurry or you might miss out on some fresh bread and sweets!” With that last part being said in just a hint of a playful tone, the armored heroine waited a little bit but heard nothing. Shrugging at that figuring she might already be heading over there, the armored heroine proceeded to the council room. Seeing a few others already in it, she used the opportunity to find a place to sit as she took out her bag of sweets and left it open for people to have some as she took a bite of her bread. Even without butter fresh bread always cheered Elinora up in the morning.

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Having been up early, Shamir had started her day with going to the training grounds and practicing her attacks. She had been told that if she got a good training in, that she would be given some fresh jerky that her caretaker made. It was an easy way to get motivated as Shamir proceeded to punch the training dummy over and over again before smirking and launching a quick fireball at it destroying it. Laughing in triumph, the eager woman soon got a bestial look to her face as her eyes turned into yellow glowing slits. Her arms were the first to grow more muscular before her waist and then legs followed suit. A set a yellow furred ear appeared on her head followed by a feline tail popping behind her. With that last part, she had gone full beast mode.



Growling like a beast ready to hunt, the feline beast proceeded to chase after targets. They were just simple dummies that had been magically enchanted to move around to make them somewhat harder to take down. Nothing to extreme but non the less made the wild Shamir grin widely. Showing her fangs, she proceeded to grab the first one and punch it as hard as she could putting a small dent into the training ground as she destroyed the dummy. Looking at the next one closest to her, the feline jumped backwards as she landed on top of it using the weight of the fall to crush it into pieces. Finally looking at the last one, which had started to speed up as it was designed to do so, Shamir quickly got on all fours and waited. As soon as it got closer, she roared as she put her full might into one strong punch and proceeded to punch the target sending it straight into the wall. If it were not for the fact the walls were enchanted to withstand hits like this, the wall would have came tumbling down. Panting slightly with that list hit, Shamir slowly started to change back to her normal form as she fell backwards and sat there with a grin on her face. Having a big grin on her face, she took a second before getting up and walking to her caretakers’ room for her reward. Today was starting out in a great way.



Upon going to her caretakers’ room, Shamir grinned and gave her a hug. Before she could ask for her reward, she felt a hug around her waist as she looked down before having a big grin on her face. Her little brother was in his pajamas and was glad to see Shamir as the large female smiled patting him on the head. As she was going to ask for her reward, Shamir blinked when she heard what she heard. “Wait, today is the day? Man, this sounded entertaining!” Grinning widely, Shamir quickly ran to her room and got dressed into some fresh garments. It was simply a black sleeveless crop top and black tights surrounded by some white sleeves over her arms and legs. To finish the look the beast woman started placing some knee-high boots on and some gold bangles around her arms. These served no purpose but were gifts from her little brother. Placing her hair into a quick ponytail, Shamir gave a quick look before Grinning and doing one punch in the air just for good measures. “Let’s do this!” She roared as she ran out of her room. Running past her caretaker, she grabbed the bag of jerky as she proceeded to head towards the council room. Once inside, she found a place in the back to sit down as she took a bite of her rewards and had a happy squeal come out of her mouth. This was just so tasty!
 
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ArchAngelLexi

Edgebabby
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As the morning sun light began to fill Maria's room the angelic woman was already up and finishing packing her belongings. As she finished packing the last few essentials she moved to the window. A wistful smile forming of her lips as she watched the sun rise. This was the last time she'd watch the sunrise from here. After this she'll be traveling to Crovia alongside her companions. As thoughts of what was to come filled her mind there was a gentle knock on her door.

"Come in," she called out not moving from her spot by the window. In walked her mother and father who pulled her into a hug from behind. Her smile brightened at the sight of her family who came to see her off. Her mother was the first to speak up, "We wont keep you long dear, just wanted to come congratulate you and see you off."

Maria nodded knowingly. Her parents had always visited her often but were always brief like this. Next her mother handed her a gift box which she could immediately tell held a wine bottle. "Thank you," she said with a light chuckle.

Her dad reached out to touch her arm. As she turned her attention to him his expression was more serious but still caring. "Now you're gonna find out who you were during the war time. Just know, we know no matter who you were, you'll be a wonderful ally of Crovia." He said to her. A slight frown replaced her smile as she pressed her lips together. From her dreams she didn't think she was some righteous warrior though beyond that she decipher much about herself. Today would fill in the rest of those gaps. "Yes, I know," she replied softly.

"Well we love you and will let you go now, you should go to the council room soon," her mother interjected, pulling Maria into one last hug. /Her father followed her lead and gave Maria a hug and kiss on the forehead like he did when Maria was younger. "I love you my little angel," he said as they pulled away.

"I love you guys too," Maria said as they let them selves out. After they closed the door behind them Maria moved to the bed and opened the gift box to reveal the bottle of wine. After examining it for a moment she set it down one bed before finishing her routine; after showering and brushing her teeth she took the time brushing out her hair before getting dressed in her armor. Once she finally felt ready she retrieved her bag, carefully placing the bottle in it, then heading out the door. Before going to the council room she headed to the dining hall. It was quiet so she simply grabbed an apple before leaving. Finally heading to the council room she found a few of them had already arrived. She gave a small wave before taking a seat. "Morning."
 

EldridSmith

The answer is Fireball
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An alarm started blaring in the mind of the small goblin who immediately rose from his slumber and grabbed his bag of holding, a shovel, and his clothes before scampering down the hall in the wee hours of the morning before the sun began to rise. He had a mission to take care of today: grabbing all of his loot and contraband he kept hidden in the lawn out of sight of the people in charge of the institute. He dashed out the door and quickly ran to the first location where he began digging furiously.... in an hour he was done digging with a small mountain of shiny stolen objects ranging from well polished farm tools, jewelry, coins, silverware, to just about anything that caught the little goblins eye. He maniacally chuckled to himself as he shoved all of his prizes from his days at the institute into his bag of holding before cleaning his feet off in the pond. After that he ran into the institute to take a shower and ditch his current clothes. After cleaning himself up he made his way over to Alyra's door and knocked on it, it was still time before the others got up but he was intent on causing some chaos with her before they left the institute today


Alyra was sleeping soundly in her cozy, warm bed. Soaking up the softness of her sheets as she was off in dream land. She was in such bliss and peace she hoped this dream she was having would never end. Unfortunately it was force to by the sounds of knocking on her door. Alyra slowly awoke and groaned, moving the pillow over her head. She didn’t want to get up. She can’t remember why someone would be up this early to. Did they have some kind of early training? Were they coming to collect her for something? Probably. Why couldn’t they have done it later. When she could go back to her dream world, Alyra groaned again and got up. She had major bedhead, her white hair flying all over on her head, looking like a birds next almost. She walked to the door, not caring if she was still in her PJs and opened it. Alyra yawned and groggily looked and didn’t see anyone till she looked down to see none of then Nob. “Nobbbb whaddya want? Its too early?”


"Nob collected all Nob's shinies, Alyra needs to collect hers before we leave!" He stated cheerily, the scent of soap still on him as just took a shower before coming over. "Nob also wants to want have fun with Alyra before leaving! Nob doesn't want to be bored before a long journey." He explains as he stares at her bedhead and giggles. "Alyra's hair is almost as poofy as the dress Nob won the bet on." He declared with a cheeky grin as he recalled the thing. "Nob wants to slime the wolf girl. Annoying mutt..." He declares energetically before mutting curses about Bela under his breath before his attention returned to Alyra. "Hurry and get ready, much to do, much to do!" He cheerfully declared.


This was a lot of info to process, but she got some of it. Enough of it anyways to piece it all together. “Nob, you bring that up again and I’ll kick your ass before you can even step foot outta here.” Alyra tiredly threatened with a yawn. She could still remember that dumb bet and that even dumber dress. But her mind was more focus on what today was. The day they all finally leave. Not that she wasn’t thankful for some of what they did for her here but Alyra felt like she was in some kind of cage. She may have learned to accept it but Alyra could never fully embrace the Institute. Maybe some of the others and the things they got to learn, but that was about it. She couldn’t wait to get out. There was a lot to do like Nob said. But there was one thing she didn’t wanna do.

“Also, we’re not sliming Bela,” Alyra said. She sorta liked Bela, but also knew that if she and Nob (especially Nob) slimed her the journey they were suppose to go on would be hell. “I got a better idea. We slime some of the guards as a going away present. Less you wanna have Bela up your ass the whole trip.”


Nob grinned but didn't say anything in response to Alyra's threat, he had the picture of that day as she held him over a dog while she was in the dress. He had marked over the dog from the picture , but his terrified expression still showed. He was a surprisingly sentimental little shit and he kept pictures of the silly outcomes of their bets. He had went to sleep early last night for once, and was feeling extremely energetic, Alyra however was clearly still processing everything. Nob never liked the facility but he put up with it as he grew his hoard and spent time with the nice people here.

"Nob knows the mutt will bug Nob slime or not!" He protested with a pout... but he sighed and gave in. "Fine Nob will only slime guards, but nob will slime the mutt when she bugs Nob on the trip." He exclaims as he walks into her room to plop down on the bed and wait, his armor surprisingly silent thanks to all the modifications he made by stuffing cloth and such into places that could make sound. He had made it a habit of wearing it and was used to it's weight by now and able to move unhindered by it. "Nob has a question for Alyra... what will Nob and the others do now?" He inquired, he had no clue of what direction their lives were going and had just been living day by day, but for the first time he felt like thinking about the future.


“Wha- Hey,” Alyra just watched as Nob invited himself into her room, jumping up onto her bed. She would’ve kicked Nob out but Alyra just didn’t have the energy to do it. It was too early and she should’ve expected this. At least she managed to get him to not slime Bela before they go. If he was going to do that on the trip, she had no part in it. Just a bystander who had no idea of his plans. Supposedly.

When Nob asked the question of what they’re going to do, Alyra just looked at Nob. She didn’t expect Nob to ask something like that. That was actually a good question. One that Alyra wasn’t ready for this early. She approached her bed and looked at Nob before smirking at him. She took a few steps back before jumping onto her bed to try and make Nob fly up into the air, even just a little bit. Alyra snickered at him before just laying back and putting her hands behind her head and close her eyes. “Who knows, probably keep us around for a while till they don’t then we just live life on the road I guess.” All she could do was shrug at her own words. She wasn’t sure if she wanted to think much about it but it wouldn’t surprise her if they sorta just dumped them all after they got what they wanted out of them.


Nob looked back at Alyra as she stared at him in surprise, it was clear she didn't expect him to say that and he knew she was too tired to hide it. He smiled and looked up to the ceiling just in time for Alyra to flop onto her bed right next to him launching him in the air. Nob let out a strange grunt of confusion as he was sent up before straining to try and land on her chest, but he landed right next to her with his feet on her arm. He was disappointed he didn't land on her chest, but he was used to just not making it for some reason. He scowled at her as she snickered at him before she laid back and closed her eyes. "Nob is not sure what to think, Nob does not understand why people took Nob and friends." He stated with a sigh as he sat up and reached his hand into a shadow and picked up Alyra's hairbrush from her desk.

Nob was known as being a little shit, and it was a reputation he earned, but around Alyra he wasn't ALWAYS an asshole. Now was one such time as he decided to brush her hair to help with her bedhead. "Nob still has pictures of Alyra and Nob's stuff... Nob will treasure them." He stated honestly, it felt odd to say, it felt sappy but he meant it. He liked Alyra, but knew nothing of how to say it as he was a goblin kidnapped when he was three. Still he was satisfied with their current shenanigans, though he now wondered if they were in jeopardy with the upcoming journey. "Nob has snack to wake Alyra up." He declares offering her a coffee cake he swiped from the kitchen.


Alyra glanced over at Nob for a moment, brushing his feet off her arm as he spoke before closing her eyes again. She could get that, she had no clue why they were all taken in the first place. But Alyra didn’t think much about it, she didn’t believe it was because they were all that special really. Maybe a few of the others, but she definitely wasn’t probably considered very special. It didn’t really matter though, did it? “Eh, I don’t know, but we get free food and a warm place tah sleep so I’ll take it.”

She hummed a little as she felt the familiar bristles of her brush start running through her messy hair. Blissfully unaware of Nob’s feelings fast their friendship. The small acts of kindness were seen as just that to Alyra, little acts of Nob being not being an asshole. Their friendship. She couldn’t help but open an eye and look at Nob. “That’s so sappy, but y'know, sweet too. You kinda make it sound like we’re gonna die though.” It wasn’t like all their hijinks would come to an end because of their journey. Her eyes widened though when she caught sight of the sugary cake before her. A big smile spread across her lips and sat up as she grabbed it. “Don’t mind if I do!” She said as she took a bite into the cake and hummed as the savory taste took over her taste buds.


"Nob prefers here to cave, but Nob thinks outside is better than here." He stated honestly, he didn't like a few of the people here and avoided them at all costs, at least in the real world he could get away from them or get rid of them with pranks and such, but since everyone was confined here and not allowed to leave without guards following them Nob was tired of being in this giant cage. Still he was content since he was with his friends, and he got to do things like this with Alyra.

He looked back at her and smiled when she said it was sweet. "Nob likes Alyra, but Nob doesn't live long since Nob is goblin, so Nob treasures time more. Still Nob does not know what Nob and Alyra will encounter when leaving... perhaps Nob does die." He stated with a shrug, he was sure she just take his 'like' as friendship, but he was fine with that for now. Still with the trip a mystery and their lives here coming to an end, perhaps he may experience a death of how things were now, perhaps Alyra finds another best friend on the trip. Nob wasn't sure what would happen, so he wanted to express his appreciation now. Still seeing her smile at the cake he felt reassured about things a little bit. "Nob finished Alyra's hair, when Alyra done with the cake, we go slime the guards?" He asked with a cheerful face.


“Wow, you’re extra sappy today.” Alyra noted as Nob expressed his sentiment to her. It wasn’t that she didn’t share similar sentiments about what could happen out on the road, Alyra just was more concerned with having some kind of adventure outside of the prison. “You’re worrying too much about all that.” Obviously she couldn’t understand how Nob felt completely but perhaps he was worrying too much. This was suppose to be the best day of their lives; to finally get out of here and explore the places behind the walls and the town.

Alyra finished her sweet cake and dusted her hands of crumbs, humming as she thought about Nob’s question. “Mm, after I get ready and stuff, then we can go slime the guards.” She suggested. Who could properly slime a couple of guards when you’re in pajamas. “So get, I gotta get ready.” Alyra pushed Nob off her bed and got up herself to see him out of her room. “I’ll meet up with you after Im all packed and stuff.”


Nob shrugs at her comment on him being extra sappy today, he was, but perhaps it was more to assure himself than anything else. Normally he was the one taking the risks, he just felt off today as there was some weight on his chest coming with a major change in their lives, and he got that weight off his chest now, and it felt good to have that weight off his chest early in the day. He nods in agreement about him worrying too much about things currently. He was about to make another joke to make things feel normal but Alyra spoke up and declared it was time to slime the guards after she got dressed, and she quickly escorted him out... by pushing him off her bed and out of her room. He puffed his cheeks and tried using shadow magic to peek through the keyhole without being noticed but he then heard a guard coming and he begrudgingly sat outside her door as they passed by.

Following that the pair set up buckets of slime over the barracks door to slime the door as the next shift of guards came out, which they did just like clockwork. Nob watched as the opening of the door pulled the rope that tipped over the buckets to slime the guards. The two broke out in laughter before dashing away and being chased by the guards. "Nob has no regrets!" He shouts behind him as he lets out one of his bags of marbles as they get close to the meeting room causing the pair guards to fall over as Nob snickered. "Nob thinks Nob and Alyra should hide in meeting room, Nob also swiped breakfast so Alyra can eat there." He stated with a grin.


Once Nob was out of the room Alyra went straight to packing all of her things. Becoming more and more awake by the minute after eating that coffee cake and thinking of what may await them outside the gates and outside of town. As soon as her things were packed she quickly changed to her usual clothes; ready to go and slime some guards.

It always made Alyra feel euphoric when a hijink or prank went just as planned. When the slime covered the unsuspecting guards she couldn’t help but burst into a fit of laughter with Nob before having to make a run for it when the guards started to give chase after the two. As Nob let marbles loose, Alyra looked back and made a face at the guards before disappearing into the meeting room as the guards slipped and fell. She tried to hide her laughs as they hid, while looking down at Nob. “Thanks. Aaahhh Im gonna miss the guards. Such perfect targets.” She sighed, content but will miss giving the guards such a hard time.


Nob grinned back as he turned to see those in the room staring at them. "Hi." Nob stated with a cheeky grin as he handed Alyra the breakfast he swiped for her.
 
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AquaMarie

Edgebabby
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  2. Primarily Prefer Female
Zinnia had been up for a few hours now, which wasn't anything new for the short women. She always seemed to be up before the sun. Today hadn't been any different as she had woken before the sun per usual, but mostly because she really hadn't been able to sleep much. The Dwarf was quite excited to leave the institutes walls. Sure she really didn't remember much of the world outside the institute as she was brought here at a very young age. After a shower and a fight with taming her wild hair, she had made her way into the kitchen in the wee hours of the morning and started to bake, something she tended to do when she couldn't sleep or really whenever the kitchen was empty.

Zinnia now sat on top of a large stool, her legs dangling not even close to reaching the ground. She gently moved her legs and feet back and forward watching the cooks preparing breakfast for everyone at the instant as they always did every morning. She at many times would be out there helping them. However, today she just watched them go on with their daily tasks. She let out a small sigh as she finished one of the pastries she had made that morning and took the last sip of her tea. Zinnia was going to miss this large kitchen, while traveling to Croatia with the others. She had gotten quite use to helping out with the meals for the whole institute or most of the time just getting the chance to bake off a storm when ever the kitchen was free and empty.

Zinna spotted Erkan enter the kitchen as she went for her last sip of tea. She didn't say anything just curiously watched him make his way over to the meats that were going to be used for that morning's breakfast. She let out a quiet giggle to herself as he grabbed a large hunk of meat and ran out of the kitchen unnoticed by any of the cooks. Finishing her breakfast and having her pockets and bag filled with a good amount of snacks and treats she hopped off the large stool. As her feet touched the ground she dusted herself off and made her way out of the kitchen and into the halls. She was in no hurry to reach the council room as she still had plenty of before she had to be there along with the others. When she finally made her way into the council room she noticed most of the others had already made their way there. She happily smiled and greeted them "morning everyone!" She happily spoke, waving to them all with both her hands before taking her seat.
 

RedLeftHand36

Father Six Eyes
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[Tabs]
[Tab=Charles]
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Charles
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It was always the same, god-awful smell. The sky was painted orange, and black clouds drifted upwards with the gentle breeze. But it was all wrong. But all he could do was climb the mountain. The clanking of his armor and the wind in his ear offered some semblance of company in his lonsesome journey upwards. Up, up, and even further up, he climbed the steep ledge, digging his leather-clad fingers into the deepest crevices he could reach, and hoisting himself up. Upwards and onwards. It felt like days. Months. Years. But he knew he would reach the peak soon. But something was wrong. Horribly wrong. This was not a good place. As to why, he couldn't say, but he knew full well he would find an answer to all his questions at the top of the mountain. Higher and higher, upwards and onwards. That feeling of wrongness only grew more and more, and he noticed it little by litte. The clanking wasn't the sound of metal on rock. It was metal on metal. But he couldn't look downwards. He had to keep going up. Upwards and onwards. The top was so close, he could make it out. Each grasp of his was becoming more desperate. Each foothold more unsure. Upwards and onwards but finally, his ired hands reached the ledge of the peak. And once he found his footing, he stood over the valley. It was all the same mountain. But it was no mountain. The smell was at its worst up here. He was close to gagging on it, but he kept himself from vommiting. That didn't mean he wasn't mortified. Soldiers. All soldiers. Comrades, strangers, enemies, still clad in their armors smoldering in unimaginably large heaps. Mountains of bodies. Ruined flags decorated the field of corpses below, like a forest, tattered and charred. The clouds were smoke. The sky reflected the glow of embers.

Charles woke up with a cold sweat. He was on the floor of his room... again. God, his body was sore. Stretching out ihs arms and neck unleashed a furious and copious amount of loud cracks and pops. Tossing the portion of blanket still touching him back onto the bed, he yawned intensly before snapping up and onto his feet. He leaned out to stretch his back, and likewise achieved the loud popsas beforehand. Meandering around his room, he could already hear the faint noise of others who were already awake. Sighing with a small chuckle, he started dressing, which, initially didn't take long since he wasn't much for wearing clothes to bed. But something seemed missing. Had he forgotten something? Ah, yes... they were preparing to leave. He noted the traveling bags he had packed up the day before, sitting in the corner next to his armor. He picked up his sallet and gazed at it for a moment. He had been waiting so long for something like this. Maybe, just maybe, he could finally feel like a real Berard. His own green eyes stared back at himself in the reflection of his helm, and after a moment, he smacked himself in the head with it. Always a good way to start the morning.

Minutes passed as shuffling and slight clanking could be heard from within Charles' room. He had never really been able to just put it on other than when he first tried it on, when his 25th birthday rolled in. It was a gift from his father. Something he treasured. And now he was going to finally wear it out. It would be funny if the others didn't recognize him in it. Eventually silence. Then the door-knob turned, and the door itself slowly creaked open. The tall would-be knight leaned under the doorway so as not to hit his head, and upon making sure no one else of note saw, before holding up a finger to tell the nearby guards on duty to stay quiet before turning his hinged bevor up, and putting on his sallet. All geared up, though he left his bags inside his room, for the moment being. That would make it too obvious, wouldn't it? And with that, Erik headed out and towards the council room. He could have breakfast later... besides, he was a bit too excited for eating at the moment.
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[Tab=Garm]
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Garm
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The sun had barely entered the sky when quiet, bare feet dashed rapidly across the floor of the institute. Already, someone was using the kitchen, but no matter. He wasn't here for baked goods. Sneaking into the larder, Garm, dressed only in his sleeping trousers, surveyed the bountiful treasure room as he focused on what caught his nose. Breakfast, after all, was the most important meal of the day. Eyes the colour of rain darted around as he strategized what he would want to claim for today. Rolls of bread. Meat wrapped in paper and stored in salt bins to keep them fresh. Fruits. Cheese. Choices were always lovely to have. But people were starting to walk around. Best make things fast, and carry what he could. Snatching primarily fruit and raw meat, Garm fled to ensure he remained unfound before he snuck back to his room to ensconce his bounty for the morning.

The sun shone bright through the window panes as Garm sat in the light, eating away at the food he had previously swiped. He wasn't sure what to think at this point in his life. He had spent years here, all for... very little. In general, he had always believed it was best to simply abide by the winds of fate, but so far, it achieved him nothing but being cooped up with strangers. And although they were strangers no longer, bound by the unseen ties of what prompted each of them to be held here, there was still an unease about a place that felt so... claustrophobic. Well, maybe that wasn't the right word, but it was close enough. The walls of destiny had simply closed in a little too tight for comfort. And now they were going to be tossed back into the wild waters of the path yet to come. But, alas, he supposed there was no use in indulging the anxieties in his mind with thoughts of unease. It was always best to live in the here and now. Learn from the past, prepare for the future, but focus on the present. It was something he learned well back from his youth of hunting in the mountains of the northern outskirts of Isadore.

In his bout of thought and contemplation, he snapped back to reality as he realized he had already eaten what he had taken. He supposed it was time to face the journey ahead. His preparations were made with haste, but he had very little in the first place. The outside wilderness was something he was still fairly intimate and familiar with, despite his some-odd years of being confined to the ground of the institute. As he dressed, he looked upon the elk-skull mask he often wore. He didn't put it over his face, but, as he crept out to the council room, he gripped it tightly by one of the antlers. Were things finally moving forward?
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[Tab=Nick]
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Nikolas
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By this point, the page of the book was stained with soot. As Nikolas huffed his cigarette, his bloodshot eyes closed for a moment. Another book finished. He set it down, before getting up from his bed and meandering over to his open window. It was morning already. Just another day without sleep. As the cigarette smoke floated up through the air, the breeze pushed off the ash of the tip, and Nikolas shut his eyes tightly as a mild headache pulsated behind them. The lanky man waited. And waited. He wasn't entirely sure for what, but it always felt like something bad was going to happen at any second. There was a dread. A pit in his gut. And he could never really get rid of it.

Eventually, Nick put out his cigarette on the windowsill and flicked it out to the ground below before deciding to grab his coat and hat. Of all things he had expected, he never thought he'd have gotten out of this god-forsaken place. He hated it. It was noisy. Cramped. Limiting. He barely ever got a chance for fresh air, and lord, he could never, himself, count how many times he's attempted to escape the grounds of the institution. It was hellish, really, and even now, going away seemed more of a dream. But he knew full well that they would still be restricted in some way. He couldn't help but hate it all. As much fun as whatever was going on with him had offered, it just wasn't worth all this. He never asked for this. He never chose this. If he had just been sent to some normal jail or something, he probably would have escaped. But here? And he wasn't here for any other reason than simply existing. It was unfair.

As the gears of his mind churned continously, he couldn't help but light another cigarette as he hastily shoved what few things he had into a single leather knapsack. Hoisting it over his left shoulder, he quietly opened his door and trudged forth towards where he was previously told to be. As he walked, he could already hear the mind-numbing commotion of others. It was all tiresome to say the least. He felt like his body was aging at an immensly rapid rate, and that he would wither into dust at any moment. As the headache he had slowly intensified, he hoisted up the tall collar of his longcoat and pulled down the brim of his tricorn hat in an effort to keep the light out of his eyes. He always preferred just looking at the floor. He wished he could muffle his ears just as well, though.

The council room wasn't too packed, to his luck, even though he knew it eventually would be. He went back and forth in his mind whether or not to do anything at this point. He could already feel his compulsive need to steady his mind through a forked tongue, but he was too tired to do anything. He didn't sit, though. He hated sitting on those chairs. Made his back feel like it was about to snap after only five minutes in one. He opted to, instead, lean against a nearby wall, keeping his tricorn tucked over his eyes. He hated making eye contact, after all.

And so he waited...
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KaramelKarma

Edgebabby

Leonidas Moldovic & Venetica Warden







VENETICA ❅

It was already well past dawn, rays of sunlight shined through the drapes spilling into the room and over the couple currently slumbering in a large bed. The sheets were tangled between the two of them after their night of play and sleep. Venetica was only partially covered by the sheet as she laid across Leon’s chest, her cerulean hair fanned out over the two of them in silky waves. She was wearing one of Leon’s shirts that was much too big on her so it fell past her waist but the front was opened so it did little to actually conceal her body. She was still asleep even though she was typically up by this time of day just because of her insomnia but the last few days had been particularly rough on her and she was severely sleep deprived so her internal time clock was taking a little break today. Of course it couldn’t have picked a worse day.

Soon though the fair skinned woman began to stir from her slumber. Unfortunately she was in the throes of yet another nightmare so instead of waking up peacefully, Venetica woke up with a violent gasp as she jolted upright and fought to catch her breath. It took her a moment to recognize her surroundings and fully wake up from the nightmare as she remembered she was in Leon’s room.



― LEONIDAS ☾

Bleary crimson-colored eyes shifted behind closed curtains, swimming indecisively between deep sleep and consciousness before a sudden jolt of movement finally pulled it towards the latter. A dull ache at the base of his chin served to greet him as Leonidas fully opened his eyes. He met the culprit responsible, hand raised to rub the affected area. Through narrow, sleep-heavy vision Leon caught the familiar frantic look in his partner’s eyes as she struggled to calm down and recognize where she was. Shifting to make her more comfortable on his chest, he raised his head up, a drowsy yet concerned look on his face as he slipped a hand under the sweater she had borrowed to place upon her slender back, kneading a gentle circular motion against her shoulder blade to help soothe and draw the night terror out.
“Another one?” he murmured, voice still roughened and cracking from sleep.



― VENETICA ❅

Even though she knew she was awake now, the nightmare was still fresh in her mind and as she looked down at her hands that were trembling ever so slightly, she could have sworn she saw blood coating them which brought forth the most vivid image from her nightmare. The look of betrayal on Leon’s face as she pierced through his chest and the light faded from his crimson orbs. That one sole image was enough to make her want to scream. Why? Why?! Why do I always kill him?? She wasn’t sure if it was just a nightmare created by her imagination, a memory from her past life, or a premonition at this point and honestly...She was terrified to learn just which it was.

Venetica didn’t realize she was almost hyperventilating until she felt a warm hand against her back. At first she tensed out of reflex, she didn’t like to be touched by just anyone. But after a few seconds she relaxed as she realized it was Leon. Forcing herself to stop thinking about the nightmare, something she had grown quite adept at since they had plagued her for too many years now, she slowly turned her head to face her boyfriend. There was still a haunted shadow to her eyes and faint dark circles beneath them that portrayed her lack of sleep as she met his sleepy gaze. “Ya...I’m sorry.” Her silky voice held a touch of guilt for having disturbed his sleep.

Seeing the red mark on his chin she frowned and leaned up to place a soft kiss on the spot she had unintentionally struck. Even asleep I’m dangerous… She then did something uncharacteristic for the tough as nails Ice Queen, she shifted her position then wrapped her arms around Leon’s strong shoulders while hiding her face against his neck. Venetica only sought comfort so openly like this when she was truly upset or hurt by something and it was rare even for Leon. Her soft lips brushed against his tanned skin as she breathed in his scent that always seemed to soothe her no matter how ravaged her soul felt.



― LEONIDAS ☾

She seemed to calm down somewhat, but Leon knew better than to simply take her word for it. He leaned back further, a drowsy, lazy smile tugging at the edges of his lips as Venetica straightened from her apologetic kiss, her willowy arms enveloping around him. His hand continued to circle soothingly, dipping down to the small of her back in an increasingly suggestive manner as feather-light kisses peppered across his own neck.
As much as he wanted a second act to the night before, the all too familiar warmth of midday sunlight told him that if they did not move now, they’d miss out on the moment they spent most of their Institution years training for...
And so, the motion that was surely sending all the right sensations stopped for Venetica. His hand retreated and instead helped in raising himself fully upwards in bed, leaving Venetica to the side. “Apology not accepted,” he responded simply, a playful glint in his eyes as he pushed the covers aside and got up.
“You know what day it is.” He tied his ocean-blue hair back into it’s signature plait, followed by the clipping of his silver pendant earrings. He tossed Venetica’s parcel of clothing towards her, à mischievous crimson eye roaming her sweater-clad figure, barely preserving the modesty of her lower half. “And you are most certainly not going to today's gathering like that.”



― VENETICA ❅

Ven let out a content sigh that fell against Leon’s neck as she felt his hand lower. Remembering the night before she assumed that was where her boyfriend’s thoughts were going. Typical boy… She thought with a mental roll of her eyes. Not that she minded since she quite enjoyed their play. In fact she was a little disappointed when she felt his hand move and he instead rose up to leave her in the bed alone. Giving him a playful pout she rolled onto her back and watched his sexy form move with a fluid grace, highly enjoying the sight. “Now that’s just mean.” She teased back with the same playful glint to her own spheres.

At the mention of the day she quickly glanced to the clock then covered her eyes with her hand. “Ah crap, I almost forgot!” She groaned as she remembered just what day it was. Ven removed her hand from her eyes when she felt something light tossed onto her, her clothing. To his next words she gave him a seductive grin and wiggled her hips suggestively. “Oh? And what if I did wear this to the gathering?” She taunted as she slowly rose up from the bed so she stood before the sapphire haired warrior. Reaching up Ven dragged one slender finger down his chest while she bit her lower lip suggestively.



― LEONIDAS ☾

Leon tightened the clasp of his trousers. His broad back faced the bed and his lover as he struggled with the damned thing. A silver armor piece dangled precariously from under his arm, towel and shirt hung loosely over his shoulders. Even in his struggle he couldn't help but smirk slightly as the pieces finally clicked for her. He turned round, catching sight of Ven's coy little gesture and before he knew it, she had risen and placed herself before him, her pale eyes glimmering with leftover desire as he felt a light, seductive finger trail down his chest. A questioning, amused raise of the eyebrow was all she got in response as Leon shrugged his shoulders.
"Me, you know I would have no complaints," he answered with a little seductive smile of his own, before brushing past her to get to the pitcher to wash his face. He continued leisurely past his shoulder. "But remember Ven, it's the Ice Queen's dignity up for stakes here, not mine."



― VENETICA ❅

Venetica felt her irritation rise at Leon’s dismissal while the playful light in her eyes died. I swear…he’s such an idiot! The temperature started to drop around her to an uncomfortable degree as she pulled his sweater off and tossed it at the back of his head while he was busy washing. “Since when have I ever given a damn what others thought of me.” She retorted in an indifferent tone but there was a hint of bitterness to it as she grabbed her clothes and began to dress.

Once she had her clothes on Venetica went to the mirror and quickly brushed her hair so it fell in silky waves down her back and sides then she returned to strapping on her armor as her thoughts wandered. If I get most of my memories back today will that make the nightmares go away? Or will it only make them worse? Do I even want to know my past self? Given the fragments of memories she had received since she awakened, Ven had doubts she was going to enjoy learning more about her past self.



― LEONIDAS ☾

Raising the pitcher, Leon poured the water into the bowl. His hands went in first, running a cleansing motion before he pulled the towel from his shoulder to dry the blood off his knuckles.

Wait.

Leon blinked. Patches as dark as wine appeared on the cloth, growing larger by the second. Blood seemingly caked between the crevices of his fingers, gathered under his nails, dribbling down his forearm. Eyes widening, the warrior looked back up towards the mirror. Piercing, blood-thirsty ember eyes stared back, stark against a tenebrous, demoniac form. The smoke and shadows began to clear, revealing a raw, gaping, hole on the right side of it’s chest. À voice, dark, cold and sharp like serrated steel, whispered daggers into his ear, curling what felt like claws around his heart.

E m b r a c e h e r.

Suddenly, a soft thwack hit against the back of his head. The sweater slipped down his back and onto the floor as he shook his head slightly, blinking himself out of the spell. Looking over his shoulder, he met the source, just barely catching the end of her sentence.

He managed an uneasy smirk at her retort, setting the towel down. Feigning nonchalance, he continued to assemble the rest of his armor, a trail of goosebumps accompanying his every move thanks to the temperature change. Every once in a while, a questioning gaze would float from Venetica back towards the mirror. They had been warned to be weary of such dreams, apparitions and visions of their past selves as the fateful Mission day drew ever nearer. But unlike Venetica, who’s past self and life had shown no mercy during the night for many moons now, Leon had been left with an eerie peace, like the calm before the storm. Forced to play spectator as others got their fill of what he secretly craved; knowledge of their past selves, a chance to find some semblance of an identity, to fill a void that had steadily grown since he could remember.
Up until now, that is.

As the last of his casual armor was put on, Leon continued to ponder over the meaning of the whispered words, intriguing in their brevity as much as it was vexing in their vagueness.
Who was her?

Just then, Venetica came into view. She stood in front of the mirror, brushing her silken locks. The claws around his heart tightened, growing in intensity across his chest in tandem with a treacherously new feeling of….dissatisfaction at the answer. Leon looked away, focusing instead on grabbing his spear.
"I'll meet you in the hall," he said, opening the door to head out. The tightness subsided, and the navy-haired warrior forced the matter to the back of his mind, where the rest of his issues spent their days.



― VENETICA ❅

Venetica paused in strapping on her armor when she caught sight of something..off in the armor. It was hard to make out as they were just wisps of shadows around her wrists but it almost looked like...shackles? As that thought entered her mind her wrists suddenly felt heavy like they truly were weighed down by the heavy iron shackles she saw. A sliver of panic gripped her heart and her eyes went wide as she set the vambrace down so she could quickly run her hands over her arms. There was nothing there but when she pulled her sleeves back there were dark bruises on her wrists like ones you would get from being shackled for a long period of time. What? How?? As her panic grew the temperature around her dropped even further causing the mirror to start to frost over while her breath started to fog in the chilled air.

Ven started to rub her wrists trying to make the bruises go away. “This isn’t real...this isn’t me!” She spoke in a hushed but determined voice. Closing her eyes she took a deep breath to try and calm herself before opening them once more to look back down at her wrists, the bruises were gone and so was the heavy feeling of shackles. Letting out a sigh that was both relieved and frustrated she took a moment longer to get control back over her emotions as the air around her warmed up to a more normal temperature.

Grabbing her vambrace from the bed the sorceress finished donning her armor and twin shortswords she held sheathed at her hips then exited the room to join Leon in the hall. She hadn’t even noticed he had left until she came out of her episode and found the room empty. Which she considered a blessing so he didn’t have to see her slowly losing her mind, because right then; that’s exactly what this felt like.

Closing the door behind her Venetica gave her lover a faint smile but there was a far away look to her eyes now, like she was distracted. “All set! I wonder who will be from the Dark lands and who will be from the Light...Wanna make a bet on who is from which?” She challenged as her smile turned into a confident grin and she leaned up to place a peck on Leon’s cheek before she started walking down the stone halls with her hands clasped loosely behind her back.



― LEONIDAS ☾

Leaning leisurely against the wall, Leon twirled a golden coin, or a shiny, as the little green troll would call it, between his fingers as he waited. The tightness in his chest had gone away, though the same could not be said for the unease.
A sigh escaped his lips. On today of all days, his past self had decided to finally manifest itself, and not in the most pleasant of ways. Whether the vision was a good omen or a bad one, the warrior could not decide. Guess there's only one way to find out.

The door clicked closed beside him. Leon turned to see Venetica, who greeted him with a quick kiss on the cheek before starting her way down the hall. A grin tugging at the edges of his lips at her words, the warrior deftly flipped the coin high one last time before capturing it midair in his hand. "You're on."

As they made their way to the main war council room, Leon couldn’t help but feel a twinge of anticipation. A decade or more he had spent within these walls; he knew every room, every crevice by heart. A decade spent tirelessly training for a destiny thrust upon him the moment he entered through the gates as nothing more than a young child, abandoned by his mother. A decade or more spent giving his instructors grief with his tomfoolery, making and losing friends, and even falling in love. It was a better life than most, he knew that much. But he could never fully identify himself with this life; he was nothing more than a spectator, riding the motions.

Of course, there were cruel times; he had been the recipient of many harsh punishments thanks to his mischief and having his freedom restricted did not bode well with such a spirited soul. Oftentimes it felt like the training would never cease; he would feel just as lost and purposeless as he did wandering the streets looking for her those last terrible few weeks before the Institution found him. A lowly street rat, with nothing but his name and the clothes on his back to call his own. The question of abandonment had steadily eaten away a large void in the warrior, one that was becoming increasingly harder to brush off.

Leon passed through the doors. They were the last few to filter in, as usual. The feeling of anticipation grew as he laid eyes upon all his childhood comrades around the gilded table. The day had finally come beckoning. After years of being sharpened against the whetstone, it was finally time to satisfy and fill that void.

Leon turned to Venetica. He returned her earlier favor with a farewell kiss of his own, before heading to his side of the table. He swerved passed a servant girl carrying a tray with a jug of freshly brewed ale and a mug to match on it, both of which he deftly pilfered, earning him a bit of a gasp and a glare from the girl. All she got in return was a playful shrug as the warrior continued his way and took his seat near the opposite end of the table, sending everyone nods and murmurs of morning greetings. His eyes especially warmed as they met a certain dark-haired woman seated next to him. After setting the jug and cup down, Leon gave his greatest childhood friend a greeting squeeze on the shoulder, nodding. “Esmerai.”
He then seated, helping himself to his catch, filling the mug to the brim. Any disapproving looks shot his way was met with a mock look of innocence and nonchalance. He leaned into his seat, getting comfortable and lifting his legs, placing them leisurely on the edge of the table. He lifted his cup and gestured to the rest of his fellow warriors, a smile on his face. “Cheers.”



― VENETICA ❅

Once they entered the meeting room Venetica glanced over the others with a neutral expression, at least they didn’t appear to be late so that was a plus. When she felt Leon peck her cheek she gave him a faint smile before they parted ways. While he walked to the opposite end of the table, she made her way to Vespera’s side and took a seat beside her sister. Crossing her arms loosely over her abdomen she was clearly distracted but she still gave the pinkette a light nudge with her leg. “Morning, Ves.” She greeted in a quiet tone.



 
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Pyralithia

I will be the Shadow to your Light
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Savitar Drachma ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Bela Managold ~~~~~~~~~~~~~
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The sun had already risen when Bela woke up; a low grumble escaping her as her body was pulled from its rest. She had long since gotten into the habit of waking up before Savitar so she knew he would be asleep for maybe another hour or so. Rolling out of her bed onto the floor she looked around her room which was barren from having been packed up last night for the journey to come. With a loud yawn she stretched out on the floor before sitting up. It didn’t take her long before she was ready to leave, having only thrown on her clothes and cleaning herself up. As she headed out the door she grabbed her bag which was stuffed to the brim with her junk before going to her usual spot by the wall between her and Savitar’s doors where she sat waiting for him.


An alarm started to blare inside the room. From beneath the covers one long arm stretched out to find the source of the annoying noise. Eventually a tattooed hand would find the clock and slam down on the snooze button before retreating back into the blanket cocoon only for the alarm to start again a few minutes later. With an irritated grumble Savitar threw the covers off and quickly turned the alarm off so it would stop piercing his ears. Ugh… I hate mornings. He thought as he yawned and stretched his cramped muscles.

Glancing to the time he groaned as he realized he had only gotten 4 hours of sleep...again. Whatever. Rising from the bed he rubbed the sleep from his eyes and started getting ready for the day. He already packed a bag the night before in preparation for the coming trip so he didn’t have to worry about that at least. Savitar packed light since he didn’t put a lot of value into material things. He was used to not having a home so even though he had spent the last 8 years in this place, he didn’t really feel bad for leaving it. Especially since Bela was coming with him and she was one of the few people he would actually be sad to leave.

After showering then brushing his teeth and hair Sav started dressing. His clothes were magically enchanted to suppress his lightning so as long as they touched his clothes and not his skin, others wouldn’t get zapped. Once he was done he grabbed his bag and slung it over his shoulder before opening his door to find Bela waiting for him as usual. Flashing her a small smile he closed his door. “Good morning, pup. Ready for the big day?” He greeted, using the nickname he had given her years ago.



From where Bela sat she could hear the alarm going off a couple of times as per usual. While she waited she started idly fidgeting with a chunk of her hair, twirling it around her fingers. At the sound of the door opening though she immediately perked up, releasing the overly curled strands which disappeared into her naturally messy hair.

“Are you gonna keep calling me that forever?” she whined. This had been their routine for so long but she’d never stop complaining about it even though she didn’t actually mind the nickname. Savitar was one of the few people that Bela truly enjoyed the company of, though she’d never admit such things with words. Though her relaxed posture and behavior surely gave her away long ago.

Hopping to her feet she held her bag out in front of her. “Savitar, carry my bag for me,” Bela begged, the sentence coming out more as a command than a question. With doe eyes she flashed him a huge smile, her tail wagging behind her. Even though the bag was clearly heavy as it was filled to the brim she knew he’d carry it for her despite already having his own stuff to carry.


He gave a low chuckle to her complaint. “I don’t know, are you going to keep growling at anyone that gets near me?” He countered. His deep and husky voice tinged with a playful tone as he teased his friend. Savitar had just turned away from his door when she held her bag out to him, a bag that was overflowing with who knows what. Letting out a sound of aggravation he was about to tell her to carry it herself if she wanted to take so much junk. But seeing her big crimson eyes that were similar to his own and her tail eagerly wagging he released a heavy sigh as he grabbed the heavy bag and quickly pulled it from her grasp before his lightning could harm her.

“Fine, but you owe me.” He appeared irritated but he actually didn’t mind. Slinging the pack over his shoulder so it was strapped across his chest along with his own pack, the pinkette started walking down the halls. The extra weight didn’t seem to affect Sav at all as he walked with ease. “Are you excited for today?”



“Yeah, yeah,” Bela responded with a giggle after he took her bag for her. As they made their way through the institution Bela walked slightly behind but stayed close. Her nose scrunched up as she thought about his question. She was, in some respects, excited to finally leave but she was also comfortable here. “Yeah, now we get to go kick some ass out there,” She responded with a grin, punching the air before continuing, “what about you?”


Glancing down to see Bela’s enthusiasm he chuckled lightly. “You know I’m always up for a fight.” That was the one thing he could do quite well, fight. He didn’t have to be as careful with his curse in a battle so it gave him a sense of freedom he lacked in the rest of his life. “I wonder what we will get for weapons. Have any ideas what yours will be?” He asked as he turned his gaze forward and entered the Dining Hall.

It felt weird to know that this would be the last time they ate in the safety of the Institution. The next would be on the road to Crovia. For some reason he had an uneasy feeling in the pit of his stomach. Was it nerves? It didn’t feel like nerves, it felt more like...a sense of impending doom. He mentally shook his head. I’m just being stupid.



“I hope something cool.” Bela replied with a shrug. “What about you?” before he could answer her she hurried to the table where she waited for him to join her. Just as she was about to serve herself to the food on the table when she picked up on the energy of unease. Her ears flattened against her head and she rested her chin on the table. She looked up at him with an innocent concern. “What’s wrong?”


Savitar shook his head at Bela’s answer before she bounded off to their usual table. He followed close behind and started to serve himself until he noticed her sudden attitude change. He quirked a brow at her “Nothing, just wondering if my past life memories will be good or bad. Right now all I know is I really loved the sea.” He responded with a shrug. It wasn’t a lie since he was thinking about that and there was no use in worrying Bela over a feeling that most likely meant nothing. After finishing filling up his plate to the brim he sat down opposite of the raven haired woman and started to eat.


As Savitar replied to her question Bela cocked her head to the side. That sort of concern hadn’t really occurred to her before he mentioned it. She didn’t bother to ponder such things about herself but did give more thought into him than she was herself.

“You were prob’ly a goody two-shoes knowing you.” she jested before digging into her food. As he sat down she occasionally eyed the food on his plate. Despite being able to easily serve herself the same food she silently begged for a share of his food; something about it being someone else’s made it just that much better in her mind. She was about halfway through her plate when she stopped eating to just longingly look at the food on his plate till he took notice.


The pinkette rolled his eyes. “Oh ya, because I am so friendly and innocent. It’s amazing I don’t have a little halo above my head.” He retorted sarcastically. While he kept to himself and didn’t go out of his way to cause trouble like some people, he was most definitely not a good person. All someone had to do was watch him in a fight and they would sooner label him a devil than an angel. And that was just fine with him as long as they didn’t get in his way.

Savitar ate with the vigor of a wild animal. He had a tendency to forget his manners, especially if he was alone. A bad habit from his childhood even though unlike then he had plenty of food now. It took him a minute but he noticed how Bela was eyeing his food like it was something special compared to her own. She always does this… It didn’t matter if they had the exact same thing or not, she was always trying to beg something off of his plate like a puppy begging scraps from their owner. He imagined most would get annoyed with it but Sav just sighed and took a roll from his plate along with a large hunk of roast beef and placed it on her plate. “You better eat of all that now.” He ordered in a gentle tone. He wanted to make sure the little wolf woman ate enough for their journey today.

Their relationship was rather amusing considering how Savitar looked out for Bela even though she was the older of the two and in return, Bela acted as a kind of guard dog to keep others at a distance so they wouldn’t touch him even though she barely reached his chest.



Bela perked up when Savitar finally took notice of her begging and placed a bit of bread and meat onto her plate. “Thank you!” she responded as she dug back into her food. “Of course I will.” she grumbled, dismayed at his lack of faith to eat it all.

It wasn’t long before she had finished her plate, having practically licked it clean. Letting out a satisfied “mmm” she leaned back a bit. “Ready to go? We probably shouldn’t keep them waiting.”


Finishing his food Savitar let out a content sigh as he leaned back in his chair. It wasn’t long until Bela was finished with her food too. “Ya, if we’re late again our Instructors are gonna give us an earful.” He stood up from the table and adjusted the two bags before pulling up the mask to cover the bottom half of his face. Now the only part of his body that wasn’t clothed was his hair and eyes.

Stepping out of the dining hall it only took the pair roughly 10 minutes to reach the meeting room, opening the doors Sav was the first to step in. Judging from how many were already there, they must have been one of the last ones. The only person he didn’t see was Syrus. Oh well. Instead of taking a seat with the rest of them, Savitar went to a corner nearby the large table and leaned against a stone pillar with his arms folded and watched the others in silence.



As the duo reached the meeting hall Bella followed close behind Savitar as they moved through the room. She looked around at everyone who had gathered. She gave a silent nod to greet the room but bared her teeth slightly as she spotted Nob amongst the group. Seeing Savitar lean up against a pillar instead of at the table Bela decided to take a seat on the ground, her legs crossed.​
 

Dante

~ ShayBear's Seductive Smartass ~
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Romance, Fantasy, Sci Fi, Magical, Dark Themed, Modern
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Syrus

Syrus had bested the sun's rise. Nothing unusual but this time he had barely slept not simply due to the visions and plague that was his mind when he attempted to find rest, but for what was to come. His time here at the institute was interesting but all in all, he was withheld from the answers he sought. He like the others he had witnessed and encountered were in a sense... the second vessel of a soul that had already walked this earth. Experienced so much, a full life of their own, all meeting their end either in some great battle of the first great war or something shortly following it. It was slightly puzzling. The enemy and Queen of Darkness giving a second chance to herself, her allies, and even her enemies. Was her magic unable to avoid allowing her foes to be involved? While Syrus had limited magic capability of his own as far as he found, he knew the basics or science behind most known forms of it. This Dark figure may be powerful enough to play outside the rules but overall he could not understand such reasoning. But that was the least of his concerns.

He had grown up in Veilcrestte, the Kingdom of Victors, Champions, and birthplace of heroes. His father had been a decently known figure. Holding notable skill in his physical prowess. His mother similarly with her magic. Needless to say, there were expectations before the institute had taken him. Expectation he even held to himself. He remembered in his youth the excitement of developing some sort of ability or magic that would let him shine like the two that brought him into the world. But that was not the case. He had a sharp intellect and understanding of maneuvers and magical basics but beyond that, he found nothing worth noting. He was not the strongest, a bit agile maybe.

Syrus had abandoned such ideas not long after the institute brought him here for that was when his mind found darkness unrelenting. Rare would be the night that he would not suffer some terrible and vivid imagery in his sleep. Mostly shadows and lacking detail all he could see, feel, and the experience was suffering, agony, and loss. Somehow he did not feel like a simple bystander nor did he feel he was separated from the events. Even stranger, he felt somewhat responsible. It lacked much reasoning but thankfully Isaiah had given him some sense of relief. Enough assistance to find more rest during the night, sometimes it was enough to not be disturbed even. The man was not difficult to interact with either, many others simply found a lack of ease around Syrus, or Syrus himself would fail to find a bridge to connect or step outside his room or areas he chose to linger, but the healer was easy to speak with, in fact, often there were no words between them. A relief to Syrus who often would rather read or sit in peaceful silence while his mind spared him those brief moments.

There were the occasional few that did not find something off or wrong about Syrus, but they were far and few between. If they had no issue beginning to approach him, he surely had difficulties on his end. But it was difficult for him to trust let alone open up to others with his mental plight and now more recently the fact even his parents had stopped sending letters to him. Everything had been fine for a time, his mother especially was in high spirits for him but the last time he had word now was months ago. He would have been informed if they had perished in some way so instead of asking...he assumed something else and dared never to hear the truth bluntly given to him.

This last night had been rather intense, the vision was different...a scene he had never witnessed and this time he was the center of the scene. Only a babe but he was being held by another woman in a place he surely had never been. The woman screamed and pleaded as a group of armored men entered the room. There was yelling and muffled words as he was pulled away from his mother who only became more terrified at the event only for something even more horrific and unexpected to transpire, a blade through his tiny chest. The chest of a child and this death had kept him awake throughout the night. He was ready to depart hours ago now, his excitement or anxiety remained to be seen.

With slightly baggy eyes Syrus would leave his room with minimal belongings. A journal he had kept close and otherwise just simple essentials as he would begin his departure to the council chamber. This was no home...but neither was back with his family. He wanted answers to so many things but as each day came closer to this very moment, Syrus found himself more and more concerned that answers may be the last thing he is ready to find. Just what was he before....what did he do....this champion form of himself.....and what did that mean exactly....this reawakening or rebirth.... was the start of something. For better or worse, would be revealed shortly.

With a quick scan to the room, he would take to a distant seat that held at least some sort of space for him compared to the other tables. His head darted quickly as more phantom sounds passed his hearing, the sounds of a warring battlefield, weapons clashing, men dying. He was used to not finding anyone else reacting to these random occurrences and simply pushed it aside. Drawing out his journal to continue a half-started sketch, something that aided in keeping his mind at ease. Only to stop as he caught sight of not only Isaiah but the Princess. Vespera she had told him once was her name. The two had accidentally run into each other in one of the more secluded spots he enjoyed in the Institute only for her guards to suddenly appear at her side. One had taken quite the disliking to him as well as his presence near her but the next day she had returned with new guard altogether and they had a conversation he actually found comfort in. She spoke to him like a person no different than the rest and her kindness brought light to the otherwise gloomy life in these walls separated from all else and veiled in comfortable accommodations. He spared the smallest smile to her before shyly turning away, his eyes looking over the rest waiting now for whatever was to come next as well as each day after.​