The Warlock King and the Witch Queen: The Grand Tourney IC

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  1. [BCOLOR=transparent]Long ago in the days when civilization began, mankind discovered one of its greatest tools and weaponry: magic.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]With this magic, mankind began to build their first empires from almost sheer nothingness. It was in this time that these spell-casters, called “warlock” if male and “witch” if female, but were considered to be people of great honor as their abilities placed them high among the social hierarchy as temples and libraries and academies were founded throughout the world for the study of magic and all of its forms. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]It began with the Egyptians of the Old Kingdom, with their utmost powerful spellcasters serving the pharaohs and the high priests. However, it soon evolved into debate as people feared that there would be some forbidden by their gods and by the horrors of the darker magics. As such, the first sects and covens came into existence as spellcasters banded together to manage the use of resources. But, in time, the sect and covens could not regulate magic on their own, as many turned from the sects and covens and practiced horrible and unspeakable magics. It was these defectors, called maleficarum, believed in the practice of their own magics without restraint and without care for the populace.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]After all, they valued knowledge and sorcery far above any number of human souls, like an alchemist seeking the Philosopher’s Stone.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The rule of all these forbidden magics were vitaemancy (the magic of controlling life and living men) and necromancy (the magic of controlling death and the undead), and soon enough there various maleficarum who banded together under a single dark bannister in an attempt to conquer the known world so that their practices could proceeded with little to no objections and questions raised. They swarmed the spellcasters and the magicless peoples in what seemed to be the beginning of a dark age of history and an advent of the maleficarum. However, the maleficarum erred in permitting various spellcasters to live as they banded together and forged for themselves an army of men with which to oppose their enemies, relying on both the swords in their hands and spells upon their tongues.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]But what is an army without a general? Truly there was some form of leadership to command the army to victory? Indeed, there were many mighty generals who were incapable of spellcraft that aided in the leadership of the army, but they, too, defered to a higher power. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]They answered only to the Grand Magisters, the Warlock King and the Witch Queen, were appointed as monarchs over all of the loyal spellcasters who stayed within the covens and the sects, and beneath them were the Seven Lords, each following a different philosophy regarding spellcraft and omitting any claim to the titles above them. Now though the first of the Grand Magisters were wed, there was not a need for them to be as their titles were passed to those who earned them and not those who were merely descended of the original Grand Magisters. Instead, there would be a Grand Tourney to decide whom shall succeed the deceased Grand Magister. The tourney itself is always open to all viable witches or warlocks across the known world, save the Seven Lords (for their successors are chosen by their predecessors).[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Regardless, the Warlock King and Witch Queen began to lead their army, all but decimating the maleficarum. However, those who couldn’t weave and spellcraft began to fear for, despite outnumbering those could weave spellcraft almost twenty-to-one, spellcasters had a great amount of power at their fingertips. And as such, the civilization of spellcasters became one of seclusion and isolation, with some of the larger covens eventually serving as cities and town and villages.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]This initial isolation lasted nearly two thousand years as the further into study of spellcraft was stagnant,with no progress or study being made in the art of spellcraft and of the various forms of magics. When the calendar reached the year of 575 B.C. a new era, spanning over roughly five hundred and fifty years(for it lasted until the rise of the Roman Empire), the “Golden Age of Magic” began as spellcasters were once again able to live among regular humans in harmony. And it was because of this harmony that great advancements were made in spellcraft, ranging from the discovery of the Seven Paths to the better formation of a spellcaster society.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The Seven Paths is the statement that there a seven primary mediums/forms/”Paths” of magic, within which lie a universal set of subforms called “Roads.” The Paths are called pyromancy (magic as channeled through fire), botanomancy (magic as channeled through living nature, especially plants), geomancy (magic as channeled through the earth), aeromancy (magic channeled through the air), aquamancy/cryomancy (magic as channeled through water, with aquamancy being in a liquid state and cryomancy being in a solid state), astramancy (magic as channeled through thunder and lightning), and sorcery (magic as channeled through raw magic and balance). With the discovery of the Seven Paths, the nature of the Seven Lords were amended as well, as each Lord was then chosen to manage each of the Paths and oversee how that Path was taught and practiced throughout the world. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And it was in this Golden Age that the many Roads- such as healing, conjuration, destruction, warding and enchantment- were explored and began to be mapped out as the Prime Six Paths (astramancy, pyromancy, aqua/cryomancy, botanomancy, geomancy and aeromancy) delved deeper within their respective paths, only for those who pursued sorcery (also referred to as the Balance Path) to find that their Roads centered about raw magical energy and that this path shielded the weaknesses of the others while buffing the other paths. As such sorcerers truly became an embodiment balance, shielding their allies and striking their enemies. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And as such, the spellcasters prospered until the reign of Octavius Caesar.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]For it was when the Romans came into power that a maleficarum had gained power near mighty Caesar and had whispered many sweet lies into his ear about how the spellcasters offended and threatened almighty Jupiter and his pantheon, the possibility of bringing Olympus to its knees ever-present so long as the spellcasters were left unchecked. Knowing no better, the false gods’ so-called priests and oracles concurred with the maleficarum, and soon enough Caesar set out to manage the spellcasters by placing them under the watch of his mighty Legion, giving the order to eradicate them should they fail to subject to the will of the Emperor. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]But alas, for there were many who escaped to Britannia and to the northern lands, and were called druids and gypsies in those guises they took upon themselves in those lands. However, they did emerge briefly when the Christ walked upon the earth, seeking redemption and vindication for the tortures they had suffered. In due time, the Lord heard their pleas and forgave their sins and the sins of their successor and predecessors, deeming that they would have a purpose of shepherding man in His absence so that they should live in peace. As such, many of the surviving members of the spellcaster ilk in Rome and Judea became part of His disciples and followers, with the majority of their spellcasting peoples following suite in that regard.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]As such, many became Crusaders when the time came, keeping to the more peaceful Roads of the Paths as in order to hide the true nature of their being as many among them became Knights Hospitaller and scholars and alchemists, the beginning of the “Silver Age.” And this Silver Age lasted from roughly 1000 AD to the Salem Witch Trials, with the time beforehand spent in hiding within and out of the Catholic Church. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Regardless, after the events that took place in Salem the Warlock King and Witch Queen issued an edict, stating that they would continue to live within the world of humans but gather in secret, giving the guise of mundane groups for their true activities. And with edicts being rare in this time, all of the covens immediately complied as they wished not to incur the wrath of their monarchs.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]As such, the Seven Lords spread across the globe, establishing various hidden academies. There were seven grand academies to each path hidden across the globe, as well as a hidden temple and palace where the Grand Magisters lived, and nearby was the Grand Colosseum, where the Grand Tourney and the annual Masters’ Tournament was held, the latter of which was used to test the utmost promising of the rising spellcasters to see if they were to be deemed worthy of the title of “Master.”[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The first of these academies was devoted to the study of geomancy, and in time the legend of El Dorado, the City of Gold, came about after the natives spotted the Academy of Geomancy the spellcasters had created. Hidden amongst the ruins of castles and ruins, the Academy of Aeromancy laid within the ruins of Scotland, taking upon itself the guise of a ruined fortress. The Academy of Pyromancy, however, was located on a series of islands in the Mediterranean, carved into the islands near the volcanic ruins of Pompeii. The Academy of Astramancy was nestled far into the Aurora Borealis, lying within the chilled snows of Greenland. Meanwhile, hidden within the jungles of India, the Academy of Botanomancy lay concealed within ancient ruins from between the time of the Indus River Valley Civilization and final rise of Hinduism in the country. The Academy of the Waters (which is divided into the School of Aquamancy and the School of Cryomancy) lay nestled within the island of Hokkaido, which one Japan’s primary islands. Lastly, placed within a hidden temple originally devoted as a haven for spellcasters in ages long past, the Academy of Sorcery was located deep beneath the desert sands of Egypt.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]As such, these Academies had effects similar to the river valleys of early man, causing large portions of the surrounding areas to be primarily centered on the nearest academy’s Path of study. Of course, there were still various outliers in the formulas as many others practiced different Paths than what the nearby academy taught, but they were in the minority. However, when spellcasters began to grow once more this was not necessarily so, especially in central Asia and the Anglosphere countries of North America. And it was with these diversities that more studies and more covens and sects began to emerge in the underground world of spellcasters, leading to further discoveries about magic.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]With the Italian Renaissance being a relatively slow time for magical discovery, the Enlightenment (especially in the Anglosphere) allowed for magic to accelerate and uncover many more secrets. The greatest of these discoveries was that latent magic lied within non-spellcasters, and (in a discovery made later on after Mendel pioneered the field of genetics) ]could possibly be activated under the correct genetic conditions, as well as the fact each individual’s life force was tied to one of the Paths, the same Path that they would be most proficient in.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]It was also during the Enlightenment that the current Grand Magisters and Seven Lords of that time unanimously decided that the world of spellcasters needed to be organized due to the fact that the massive amounts of covens and sects were becoming harder to manage. As such, they created various regions and subregions managed and ruled over by various spellcasters known as Keepers for the larger regions, and Vassals for the subregions, who in turn lead the High Masters and High Mistresses of sects and covens. In tandem with their addition crafting more well-defined rank structure. The structures at the ranks began at “Initiate,” a new spellcaster who has only just begun formal training. It is then followed by “Apprentice,” a spellcaster assigned to received direct instruction from a higher-level spellcaster. After this is last of what are referred to as the “Neophyte Ranks,” “Adept,” which is a spellcaster out of direct instruction and must instruct themselves in the ways of their Path to gain full membership. After being Adepts, a spellcaster will find themselves elevated to the rank of their Path, an example being the rank of “Pyromancer” for one who follows the corresponding Path. After this rank, the remaining two are Master/Mistress and Grandmaster/Grandmistress, the later of two wielding massive influential power as the rank is rarely attained by anyone who isn’t appointed to a high position within the hierarchy of the spellcaster world. It should also be noted that when addressing one by their rank, their Path rank follows (i.e.”Apprentice Pyromancer” or ”Master Pyromancer”). However, in informal situations, one can be addressed by rank or last name, such as when speaking to one the same rank as yourself but still choosing to be courteous. Regardless, one of a higher position than oneself is to be addressed by title and not by rank. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And after this time of knowledge and discovery, the world of spellcasters went silent in mortal eyes, save some involvements in warfare and the occasional upstart maleficarum (such as the infamous Rasputin).[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Irregardless, we move forward unto the modern day wherein spellcasters and maleficarum alike have become restless of the nearly newfound fixation upon fictional and fruitless sultry sorceries and ambivalent alchemies. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]In this day and age, those could not wield magic outnumber those who can by a ratio of roughly 750:1 in terms of raw population, causing for spellcasters to live in locations near one another and to further engage the study of transportation and teleportation Roads. However, in the world of spellcasting, this is akin to a baby boom as it is the largest the population has been since it hid itself from the eyes of the public, for long ago spellcasters were as common as one out of every ten people. All the while we see that despite the fixation with magic and the supernatural (as seen within the world’s many cultures and societies) runs deep, and as such the Warlock King and Witch Queen made talk of the possibility of revealing themselves to the public whilst humanity was engulfed in its mania.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]However, such talks did not last long as before a decision could be reached, the Warlock King and the Witch Queen were found dead in their sleep.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Soon enough, all the sects and covens were in an uproar as they demanded that the Seven Lords take action. They did, personally attending to the case while making a proclamation that the Grand Tourney should be held in three months at the Grand Colosseum. However, it would also serve as the Masters’ Tournament due to the unusual timing, and was deemed to begin on the winter solstice.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]And one such combatant in this tourney shall be none other than a young man by the name of Simon Ragnar. A young man, one year out of high school, at nineteen years of age and fully entering into the world of spellcasters as a full Sorcerer, Simon was a member of the Blackfield Coven in Blackfield, Colorado. He had been a member of this coven for roughly ten years, having started his initial Neophyte status in his birth-state of Wisconsin. However, he was one of a more recent strain of spellcasters that emerged from the long hypothesized series of genes needed to activate the magic alleles in non-spellcasting families. By an unusual turn of fate, an eight-year-old Simon ran away from his first hometown after a fire swallowed the city. Somehow managing to hitchhike his way into Colorado over the course of a month, Simon was found by a few members of the Blackfield, shortly before his ninth birthday. He was taken in and eventually adopted by one of the elder Sorceresses of the coven, who raised him as her grandchild and acted as his instructor.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]But in recent times, it was by his decision that he would partake in the Grand Tourney, as he wished to benchmark the progress he would need to take in the oncoming years in order to achieve mastery. As a result, he had been summoned along with the other members of his coven who- whether by their own volition or by decision of the High Mistress- were to attend. Out of these figures, Simon was the easiest to identify as he had prematurely white hair, around which his spell wisp, Radriar, was circling excitedly as the pair shared some sort of unspoken conversation. Simon’s hair was originally copper in color, but the change occurred due to an accident when he was conducting an experiment. His eyes were a piercing blue and visible beneath his hood, as he wrapped up in his heavy jacket for the winter months, which were fast approaching as Thanksgiving was to be celebrated in one week’s time. He then lowered his hood with his left hand while carrying Thoron- his staff- in his right as entered the coven’s forum where the discussion would be held.[/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]The coven itself has an entrance on the surface that was concealed as a bookstore on the surface, but a secret passage activated by magical energy led the way to the coven, which was about the size of a three-story American high school campus in area. Regardless, the coven had various sections ranging from a dormitory to a library to a laboratory, all of which were properly sized while to the outside world the entirety of this space was deep underground. As a result, the coven was connected to its surface entrance by means of a doorway enchanted with teleportation magic, giving the illusion that this entire area was confined within an area the size of a broom closet. [/BCOLOR]

    [BCOLOR=transparent]Simon's running shoes tapped against the stone floor while Thoron was enveloped with a grey light, vanishing until its master would choose to summon it again. His shoes were black and Nike-brand, nothing too special. He then proceeded to unbutton his winter coat, letting his shirt- a dark blue long-sleeved t-shirt- breathe as his black pants were visible. Looking around the room, Simon found that he had arrived before anyone else. As a result, the sorcerer seated himself and played with his wisp slightly, awaiting the arrivals of the other going to the Grand Tourney.[/BCOLOR]​
    #1 AceSorcerer, Oct 27, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2015
  2. Gold hues stared idly towards the ceiling, it was quiet in his dormitory, as it normally was Layth did enjoy solitude from time to time. His head was filled with fuzzy memories... At times it was difficult to tell which memory was true, his days with the dark mages... Or his own childhood. Lightly he winced in frustration at the lack of his own knowing. Everything melted together to create some kind of fogged liquid in his head, surely the work of the dark magic on his mind. Day by day he managed to regain more memories, more insight of who he really was... Pausing his thoughts the young man looked over to the clock on his desk, it was about time to go. A low grunt was heard as Layth sat up in his bed, body aching and sore due to intense training yesterday. Not only did Layth want to better his understanding of magic, he also felt it was important to strengthen the body as well. Muscles tight he bent down to place his feet in the black boots he typically sported, finished tying them the man stood eyes scanning the dim room for his black cloth jacket. He slipped it on while golden orbs landed on Ryu no Hoshi that rested against the wall near the door, the blade he made a point to carry around at all times... Should he leave it?... A hand reached out to grasp the sheathed weapon in hand, that weight was always so comforting to him. Who was he kidding... His free hand moved to the doorknob and he pulled the door open allowing light from the hallway to seep in his mostly dim room.

    As Layth made way to the forum he heard the usual murmurs. Some filled with disgust, others laced with admiration of sorts.

    "The beast is prowling again... Should just lock him up with the animals..."

    "Beast or not... He's still pretty hot."

    "Yeah. Until he rips you apart, you heard the stories right?"

    This was nothing new, likely, others would be bothered hearing such comments but Layth chose to ignore them. There really wasn't much point in indulging them with facts, they would not believe them. Making his way up stone stairs he pushed open the old oak doors and took a step inside the forum, black boot touching the hard floor with a thump. Pushing the door fully open he would reveal himself. Inside it was fairly empty... Save for one other individual. Amber eyes turned to take in the form of Simon, lingering for just a moment to take in his features before looking elsewhere. Simon, a major in sorcery, he knew about him granted faintly. Moving over to one of the walls he turned to lean his back against it and folded arms over his chest, blade still in hand. The meeting would not begin until the others arrived, so waiting here simply made sense. Layth typically wasn't one for conversation.
  3. Crix stood in the center of a warehouse. He was wearing his favorite jeans and white and blue jacket with a black t-shirt underneath and a red jeweled necklace arpund his neck. His hood was up, covering most of his brown hair. His ice blue eyes contrasting with the gray, stoney mask that hid his face.

    He took his time to look over his handy work. Enough evidence had been scattered about to make the massacre look like a gang shoot out. Bodies laid around the room, bullet casings scattered on the floor, guns of all shapes and sizes held by dead hands, traces of drugs in crates, and blood, blood everywhere. The human law enforcement would conclude that a drug deal had gone bad while the magical community wouldn't care enough to investigate for themselves.

    The cryomancer retrived a small vial from a pouch beneath his jacket. He bent down and collected some blood that was beginning to pool under one of the corpses. Holding up a monocle to his eye with his free hand, Crix studied the red liquid. He saw nothing special. He tapped his necklace and took another look. The blood now seemed to be surrounded by a purple glow. Crix took a mental note of his discover as he returned everything to the pouch.

    With his illegal task complete, Crix headed out. He had a meeting to attend.

    The blood-stained jacket and mask was thrown off and disintegrated into snow. An identical, clean jacket formed around Crix's body and a blue rimmed, rectangular pair of glasses appeared on his face.

    The meeting room's temperature dropped slightly as the cryomancer strolled in. Simon the sorcerer and Layth the aeromamcer were all ready there. He greeted each with a silent nod before seating himself and conjuring a book for himself to read.
    #3 jeshem, Oct 28, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2015
  4. Shiori never would understand these covens. They possessed the ability to control the entire world, to build impenetrable fortresses, and be generally superior to everyone else, and yet they chose to build their houses several kilometers underground, where the air was heavy, dry and hard to breath, where you would get minor burns from touching the floor with your bare hands and where the light that flooded the 'town' was a horribly unnatural orange that made you feel as if you were wandering through the basement level of a hospital that 90% of the staff weren't even aware existed. Given that living conditions were rather poor here even with the help of magic, she dreaded to think about what it would be like without it. In the first place, she was only here because she had nothing better to do so she really hoped there was some surprisingly nice environment hidden amongst all this rock.

    In her search for said nice environment, she happened to stumble across some kind of meeting room. There were a few people already there and it looked like a place she didn't belong, but for some reason the air in this room felt much cooler than any of the other areas, so she silently assumed a seat at the back and wondered if she'd be able to stay for the entire duration of the meeting without getting kicked out.
  5. Philemon Bard woke up later than usual today. He spent the rest of the night reading up on an ancient text in theories about increasing a person's mana supply which he borrowed from another coven member. It was really interesting and it got him thinking if these theories are actually applicable in real life situations. He scratched open his light green eyes and dressed up. He wore a pair of jeans, a black shirt and a purple jacket to combat today's cold weather. Despite combing his hair, it still looks wild and messy. He stopped bothering to fix it and went on his way to the coven.

    Philemon walked through the hallways and headed for the Head Master's office to see if he has some errands for him to run. Most of the time, the errands given to him are painstakingly plain. Last week, the Head Master told him to help out in the book store located above the coven and yesterday, he was asked to deliver the Head Master's love letter for the Head Mistress of the coven located nearby. He would've left long ago if it wasn't for the great community the coven has and the burger shop open just a few block from here. But if he were to leave, he'd like to visit Boston since he heard that the weather's nice over there.

    "Looks like yer late today, Phil", the guy named Todd who was putting up a poster on the bulletin board greeted him. "You tell me", Philemon jokingly replied. His gaze fell on the poster Todd was posting.

    "What's that about?"

    "This?", Todd replied. "Oh, it's an announcement for the Grand Tourney. Would you like to join? Anyone with a rank higher than a Neophyte can join."

    "The Grand Tourney?", Philemon repeated and made sure he didn't hear wrong. "Aren't they supposed to be held when searching for the next king and queen?".

    "Wait, haven't you heard? They're dead", he said casually while sticking the last pin on the bulletin board. "Well, see you around", Todd waved and left. Philemon barely noticed him leaving. He grinned while reading the poster. This should be interesting.

    After registering for the tournament and packing up some valuables: his sword, leather gloves, some spare clothes and snacks; Philemon arrived at the forum where he was to meet the rest of the coven members who are attending the tournament. He can recognize some of the faces inside the room since he probably walked past them at one time in the hallways. He found a vacant seat and waited while playing with a penny which floated up and down from his hand.
  6. Xena stared at her reflection in the mirror, her expression a pained mix of sorrow and disgust. At the tip of her right index finger was a small, dancing flame, but even something so weak was able to trigger her curse. There were no whites left to her eyes, just a hauntingly bright blue iris floating in a sea of black. She sighed heavily and let the flame disappear, her eyes going back to normal moments later. Xena didn’t bother removing the detached sleeve that covered her right forearm, she had already despaired enough for one morning. Had she removed it, however, she would have been met with the odd sight that was a curse tattoo, snaking its way around her arm, the inky darkness ever shifting yet stationary. She had long since covered the mark, but she often wondered if people remembered what it looked like.

    Shaking the thoughts away, Xena pushed away from the mirror and approached her wardrobe, slipping into something comfortable… And by comfortable, she meant a short wispy dress (with an attached hood) and a pair of thigh highs, slipping her feet into flat-footed ankle boots. Next she grabbed a pendant and clasped the dark chain around her neck, looking at her mother’s necklace for no more than a few seconds before lifting the hood to cover her face. Strands of her bright, red hair were still visible enough that people would recognize who she was, but she hid her eyes at the very least for she was about to head to a room full of mages, and worse yet… Their magic. Grabbing a belt off the wall, she clasped the wide elastic around her waist to keep the fabric of her dress in place, as well as a place to clip her weapons. Wrapping her fingers around the shaft of her scythe, she whispered softly to it before watching it shrink in size. Moments later she was slipping a small scythe keychain into a bag attached to the right hand side of her custom belt. At the last minute she decided to fit her bracers into the bag rather than wear them, and just before leaving Xena slipped her fingers into her talon blades before taking one last look around the room and heading out into the frigid air.

    The cold never really had much effect on her, she could feel its teeth sinking into her flesh but the pain of temperature difference didn’t quite register. Making her way around the corner, Xena headed straight for the bookshop that served as a cover for the meeting place of the forum. It didn’t take her very long to reach her destination, managing to avoid prying eyes as she kept her head down and moved silently. She didn’t stick around to speak to the man in the bookshop, but rather slipped by and back to the door that would lead her to the forum. When she arrived it seemed that most of the people who be attending had already arrived. This wouldn’t have bothered her if various eyes didn’t immediately make their way to her. Keeping her hood up, she walked past each person in silence, feeling their eyes bore into the back of her head.

    Finally she caught sight of the other members from her coven, at least someone here she figured she could trust. She took a seat near them but beside no one, folding her hands quietly in her lap as she kept her head down awaiting the start of the meeting.
  7. Layth's eyes were closed, for a time it was just Simon and himself, so his mind began to wander as it usually did when there was nothing to do. He felt the weight the weight of the pendent around his neck, he had always found the accessory comforting, why? He honestly could not remember. Dark magic still plagued his mind like a disease, using recollection as it's main source of food. Eyes opened slowly to peer downward towards the gold pendant, trying desperately to remember how he happened upon it. Nothing... Nothing but a face and phrase ever came to mind. A young man, older only by a few years, right eye was masked by black patch but the eye showed shined with the same golden brilliance as Layth's own two eyes... The face was always smiling, displaying a genuine kindness that the young man wasn't too familiar with.

    "No hard feelings. This is proof of that." It would always be followed with a cheeky grin, a grin that forced Layth to smirk whenever he thought about it. Who was that man? He hadn't the foggiest... Teachers have told him it may take up to five years till the magics cleared from his mind... Even then, he may not recall with full detail his past. Even so, he did his best not to dwell on what he failed to know. No point in adding unnecessary stress, he needed to focus on the betterment of his craft. A frigid cold lapped at his skin forcing the man to look upward to find the source, who he saw was a hooded man... Suspicious to say the least, but he had seen him around the premises before, typically he always wore the same azure and white garment. Crix, a cyromancer with little known about him, wanting to keep his past a secret surely not that he blamed him. Most tried to withhold their backgrounds out of fear of judgement. Layth would have done the same... Only he was already well known before even joining the coven, his past written in blood was hard to erase. Noting the nod, Layth would return the gesture with a light nod of his own, there was not need to ignore his greeting. A foot rose back, leg bending to rest on the wall he rested his back on when the next mage arrived. A small girl in comparison to the three other men, Shiori a astramancer. Again, Layth knew little about this person, but he had heard rumors... Granted rumors were never a reliable source of information. She was known for being quite withdrawn, not unlike the others here, himself included... But there were words tossed around stating how she is very self concerning. Then again, who wasn't?

    Turning his gaze from the woman gold eyes landed on Philemon, the geomancer. Layth did know a bit about Phil, he knew he was passionate, easy going and grew bored relatively easy. This has caused Phil to get into heated arguments and debated with other members of the coven, and honestly Layth saw nothing wrong with that. Passion was good, and to fight in what you want was respectable... Though his fleeting mind could hardly remain focused on tasks... Could prove to be hazardous. Finally, the final member of the small group joined the others in the chilled room. A girl cloaked in the shadow of her hood, but those crimson locks made it relatively easy to discern her identity. Xena, a pyromancer... The students of the coven enjoyed gossip, so word spread relatively quickly about Xena's unfortunate background. Made to participate in her own father's death due to her mother's obsession with the dark arts... Soon after mother being killed by warlocks and witches leaving the girl alone to bare the weight of her mother's sins. Eyes narrowed slightly watching her before turning attention away, the two had a decent amount in common, both seen as monsters in their own home. He felt for the girl... At least Layth had no one to blame but himself, she, not so much. Layth knew a great deal about his fellow warlocks and witches, it could have been curiosity perhaps, but it was also because Layth always paid close attention to his surroundings... On the field, the wrong move, the slightest overlook would get you killed.. Naturally he would apply that knowledge where ever he went.

    Already the group had been standing around, some attending to their own devices, others waiting patiently... Turning his head upward he looked to the ceiling. He knew the deaths of the king and queen were cause behind his meeting... But what other purpose did this get together serve?
  8. Soon enough, the large doors that marked the entry to the estranged chamber were closed shut, the aged hinges emitting a slight creak as the doors scraped against one another. A new figure stood before the group, dressed in robes colored in a variety of whites and blues, marking them to be a Master Cryomancer. The figure's hood dropped as all of the other spellcasters rose in a customary act of respect, for this figure was a venerable Clotho among them, the High Mistress of the Blackfield Coven. Her face had been one of remarkable beauty in its prime (for even now its features carried some sort of regal and proud air about them), but for now her white hair and slightly sunken brown eyes served as indicators of the immense wisdom that lead to her attainment of her current status.

    One she reached the front of the room, the attending spellcasters made it a point to sit one more as she stood behind the oaken podium, clearing her throat before speaking in a sagacious and raspy alto.

    "I bid you all welcome, my children, for it is here that we shall begin to speak of your fates in the oncoming tournament.

    "I call to me Cryomancer Crix, Aeromaner Lyth, Geomancer Philemon, Astramancer Shiori, Sorcerer Simon, and Pyromancer Xena, along with one who is absent- these six who have decided to seek for themselves the title of High Magister or proven themselves worthy enough to pursue the rank of Master. As all are within mine vision, the time has arrived for us to speak of the Grand Tourney, which shall be combined with the Masters' Tournament.

    "The Grand Tournament shall commence in two portions- the Initial Tourney and the Final Tourney- the first of which will three phases. For the first, there shall be teams of six or seven that shall enter combat with various others. Of this, there shall be 16,000 teams. Of these teams, two thousand shall proceed to be sent to the next phase. All of you will form one such team, of which there shall be no definite leader. Instead, this phase is to show your attunement to your Path and your compatibility with all of the others.

    "Those teams that pass this phase shall be split up and enter into pairs of warlock and witch, and must fight as a pair. However, it is unlikely that any among you shall be paired with one another. This is the second phase, and roughly four hundred pairs will pass from this phase to the next.

    "In this, the final phase, each must fight on their own, first against their own former partner. After this fight, the brackets are created so that warlocks shall duel warlocks and witches shall duel witches. When there are but one twenty-eight warlocks and the same amount of witches, the Initial Tourney shall end. All who make it this far shall be granted the rank of 'Master,' and they shall become combatants in the Final Tourney.

    "In the Final Tourney, warlocks shall fight warlocks and witches shall fight witches as seen previously. However, there shall be many surprises and tricks in store. I only wish I could tell you all more, but the Seven Lords' orders have forbidden me from speaking. Therefore, beginning from this time tomorrow, you shall all train together and become a team that shall, at the very least, achieve mastery. Other than all this, combatants must wear traditional battle-robes of their Paths, and as such you shall all be fitted and have robes adjusted for your combat styles. But take heart, none but a maleficarum can die during the Grand Tourney. That is all I have to say. Now, I must leave, for I must plant next week's Thanksgiving feast."

    And as such the spellcasters stood as their superior left, leaving the room in awkward silence as Radriar hovered about the heads of everyone excitedly. Simon bit his lip for a moment, sighing before speaking up. "So... we're to be a team, eh? This should certainly be interesting."
    #8 AceSorcerer, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  9. Crix's lips curled into a smirk.

    "Interesting indeed." Blue eyes glanced at the aeromancer. "At least we can be confidant that at least one of us has combat experience. "

    He had no real desire to be king but reasoned that having such a position would aid him in keeping his research in the dark as well as making harvesting much more convenient.

    "By the way, any idea who we're up against? "
    #9 jeshem, Oct 29, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2015
  10. Ester entered the doorway of the bookshop as she glanced around the room, glancing at the books and pulling out several of the books that interested her curiosity. Reading a few of the pages before she put them back, she continued to linger around the bookshop for a little bit more longer. Picking up a few items to buy that she felt was worthy of her keeping, they were placed in a bag given to her by the cashier. Engaging in a conversation with the man at the cashier chit-chatting back and forth about book genres and authors for a little bit. She took interest in people who were similar like her yet had a few things about them which made them interesting. Looking around her shoulders briefly, she ended the conversation with the man and left for the back door which would of lead her to the meeting spot.

    Looking at the passage way, she hummed silently as she stared at the empty wall space where she was suppose to enter. Imagining a doorway, that would of been drawn on the empty wall, she placed her hand upon the area and before she know it she was in the meeting room. Upon entering the meeting, she apparently stumbled upon the middle of the sentence of someone else talking. A tournament, specifically The Final Tournament which was the fastest route to allow herself into the community.

    Her recent arrive into the town and entrance into the bookshop made it known that she was a witch to those who watched. However, she was apparently a Neophyte or basically as one who hasn't been accepted into the community. Suspicion was likely to follow as her ranking was only achieved through a display of her skill but there were no acts that would anchor her to be trusted. She wouldn't expect to be accepted any time soon as she knew that there were no previous coven who has history on her. So acceptance into this community was going to be hard to say the least.

    "Greetings, I am Ester Ambrosa. Pardon me for my lateness but I believe this is the room for The Final Tournament. Which means I guess you are my teammates?" Ester inquired curiously, to confirm things again but she already done her research on the event and the positions of the Queen and King. Looking at her team mates, they were all interesting to say the least. One of the qualities of being a Botanomancer was being able to perceive the nature of things from how they simply glowed, a invisible aura that all living things and inanimate objects had only visible to a few. A few of the auras that she felt like reading were the Greenish-Yellow glow the geomancer had occasionally sparked with strength as his passion was visible. Another one was the pyromancer's radiance was dark with intent and angry inside but what covered it in a dark shadowy cloak, she didn't know but something deeper laid inside her past. Then there was the electromancer, her aura was the only one out of the group which seemed to be... mute an unnatural circumstance to say the least again. Besides those three she decided to wait for a response to her earlier question...
    #10 WanderingSpirit, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  11. "Wait... If we're teamed up for the first round, does that mean...", Philemon's eyes lit up with his sudden realization. "Oh my god, are we gonna fight other covens?!". He didn't even try to contain his excitement. Different people use their magic in different ways. Seeing hundreds of them compete against each other using the magic style they've mastered would be an interesting sight. "We should start training! C'mon, there's no time to...", he stopped when he noticed someone else has entered the room.

    She introduced herself as Ester, a botonomancer. "Ester, huh?", Philemon said. "I don't think I've seen you around before. Are you new here?".
  12. Simon couldn't help but chuckle slightly at Philemon's enthusiasm. In all honesty, he found the boy to be much a like hyperactive puppy addicted to chasing his own tail at times. Before the Neophyte entered, Simon looked at Philemon and spoke to him, sighing slightly. "You heard the High Mistress, we begin tomorrow. There is no point in practicing if merely to practice, you geode jockey. Besides, we need to figure out how we blend together before anything else. You know, establish a base strategy."

    Then, after seeing their once-missing teammate enter, Radriar glided his way between Philemon and Ester, the wisp circling about the latter in his attempt to make her acquaintance. After stifling a brief light at the sight, the sorcerer flicked his left wrist as Thoron appeared in his left hand after a flash of grey light. He would soon proceed to walk up to her, offering his right forearm with extended hand for a greeting used in medieval times and continued by the spellcasters. It was a simple variant, once used to prove that the participants were unarmed as their hand gripped the forearm of the other, shaking once afterwards before releasing their grip. After this Simon spoke to Ester, being kind.

    "I welcome you, but we will need to fill you in on what you missed in the meeting soon enough. Otherwise..." He then turned, addressing the whole of them from then on, "...we best be gathering our things. If there are no objections, I read long ago that many of the utmost successful of these teams often live together in a coven dorm before the Initial Tourney, as such is the case with the housing there. With luck, the High Mistress will permit us to use the training grounds we have in the nearby mountainside and reside there. As such, I propose this route to you all. And, if there be no objections, I advise we follow through with it."
    #12 AceSorcerer, Oct 30, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2015
  13. The tournament... Layth had forgotten about this ritual, mainly because there had never been a murder of the king and queen before. Each of the mages here had strengths in different paths, and now it made sense why they were so different... Weaknesses would be supplemented by the strength of others, a basic strategy to cover all bases. The group grew into steady conversation as Layth remained where he was, with his back still leaning against the wall, arms folded over his chest that blade in one hand. The comment made by the cyromancer did not go unnoticed, here, at least on the surface Layth was the only one with strong battlefield experience... Possibly the only one who has killed before too, not a feat he was terribly proud of. Gold eyes shifted to the girl who had showed amidst the conversation between the magic users. He had not seen this girl before... But keeping up with the theme of the different elements, she would likely be the final member of the group, a botanomancer. Attention was pulled away from her once Simon began speaking. Visibly Layth expressed displeasure when he mentioned that it would be best for the group to bunk down together, apparent by his narrowed hues.

    "No offense." Layth began parting lips to speak. "But it may be best if I board alone..." His voice held a medium deep tone, firm and demanding it likened to a light baritone. Did he mind rooming with them? No, not really... But he was susceptible to nightmares, fragments of the past coming back to hunt him mid dream... It wasn't really a side he wanted to show to his new team. For a moment he thought to himself before speaking once more.

    "Sleep does not come easy for me, I'd just keep you all up."
  14. Crix listened to his 'teammates' and eyed the newcomer before getting up with a sigh.

    "Do whatever you like," said Crix with a dismissive wave of his hand, heading to the door. "I have research to do. Welcome to the team, Ester."


    Crix wiped his bloody hands on one of the bar's table. The blood he had collected and infused with some magic reacted a little more to the blood jewel but still nothing significant enough happened for Crix to record. Sighing, the masked cryomancer turned around only to find himself face to face with an old, gray bearded man in a green-black cloak flanked by two figures dressed in black cloaks.

    The silent stand off was broken by the old man who, with a wave a hand, reanimated the corpse of the bartender who served the necromancer a drink. The old man strode to a nearby table and, seating himself, gestured to the massacre.

    "Did you have to be this messy?" inquired the drinking man.

    "I don't tell you how to do your job so don't tell me how to do mine."

    "Of course, of course. Besides, I came to talk to you about the competition."

    "To become the Warlock King?"

    "Correct. We Maleficarum have been pushed around and hunted down for too long. If one of ours were to become king, however..."

    "Maleficarum, legal magicians, humans. They mean nothing to me."

    "Ah, yes. No greed for riches or want of power for the scholar."

    "Just what a man may wish for in a puppet," the man muttered under his breath.

    Abruptly, the temperature dropped and the drinking glass shattered as the drink itself froze solid. The old necromancer raised a hand, stopping his advancing guards.

    "I. Am. No. Puppet," growled the cryomancer.

    After a moment of silence.

    "Of course. My apologies," said the aged man with a smile, once again breaking the standoff.

    "Then I can trust you to clean up for me?" asked the cryomancer over his shoulder as he headed for the exit.

    The necromancer rose and signaled one of his bodyguards as he made his way to the back door. One of the cloaked men opened his hand, creating a ball of light, and dropped the ball onto the ground. Ten minutes later, the area was shaken by a large explosion and the bar was reduced to nothing but charred ruins. The reported cause of the destruction: a faulty gas line underneath the bar had leaked and exploded, killing all within the bar.
    #14 jeshem, Oct 31, 2015
    Last edited: Oct 31, 2015
  15. Xena listened to the proceedings with great interest, smiling subtly to herself. An equal chance for her to win a higher title, to prove she was not just some monster to be pitied. As the speech came to a close, Xena rose with the rest of the crowd before gravitating toward the group that would be her team. The late arrival took her a bit by surprise, however she bowed her head respectfully in welcome. Silently she listened to Ester's introduction as well as Simon's proposal, Layth's and Crix responses. Her eyes trailed after Crix as he left them behind, shaking her distracted thoughts from her head before speaking up.

    It was the first time anyone in the room had heard her voice that day, a light sound filled to the brim with warmth and mischief. "Personally, I think it's a wonderful idea. There is no better way to understand something than to become one with it and its habits." She said to the group, then turning her attention specifically to Layth. Xena recognized the distance he was creating between himself and the team for she was often guilty of the same thing. She had heard the stories about him just as he had probably heard the stories about her, so she figured he could be trusted enough. "I don't sleep well at night either, perhaps we could keep each other company." Xena stated plainly. She had never really been one for subtlety, but her heart was in the right place. Truth be told, she loved the idea of having someone to converse with when the rest of the land slept. One could only read so many books and silence was deafening.
  16. Layth watched as the cyromancer left piercing gold hues tracking his frame until it eventually melted into the shadows. He wasn't one for conversation, then again neither was Layth, even so there was something off putting about that man. Likely it was due to his subdued appearance. Was there more to him then the aeromancer initially believed...? His thought was broken once he heard one of the female's speak up, directing her words towards him. Eyes shifted to take in her form, Xena who also took to hiding behind a hood. Honestly, the man was taken back by the female's proposal. Did she really find any interest in him? Well, granted with Layth's background he had lived a interesting life thus far... But to converse? For a few moments he looked at her not saying a word before looking away. Lips parted in response.

    "Slumber party it is then." Layth was never one for conversation, but he would be lying if he stated he wasn't interested in her story. He may have not been to keen on chatting, but he did enjoy listening, why? Because it reminded him that he wasn't the only one going through hardship or trying times. Regardless of past occurrences, Layth and Xena were like anyone else here... Mages who wanted to perfect their craft, there had to be some kind of kinship in that, right?
    #16 Telfair, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 2, 2015
  17. At this point, a rather unimpressed and somewhat annoyed Shiori spoke up. Her voice was relatively monotonous and as far as volume went, quite weak, but the words carried a kind of ferocity that made it hard not to pay attention to them. "We've been entered into a competition to decide the most powerful magicians in the world, and you're discussing sleeping habits? Sure, it's not officially a death match, but every single person holds phenomenal power and every single person intends to establish themselves as the best. A detailed strategy will be required just to stay alive, let alone win, and you're discussing sleeping habits? I'm disgusted." She wanted to storm out to stress her point, but the cryomancer's presence was still leaving residual coolness in the atmosphere, so she didn't want to have to face the sweltering heat of outside yet.
  18. "A geode-what? Is that even english?", Philemon wondered whether he should take Simon's remark as an insult or as a joke. But he does have a point. Members can only use the trainings grounds if they have permission from the high priestess, so he couldn't start training even if he wanted to. As Simon explained why he'd like the rest of the group to settle down in the same dorm for the rest of the training, Philemon wondered how come he knows so much about these games.

    "Damn", Philemon chuckled after hearing what Shiori has to say. He didn't expect the small girl to speak in such a furious manner. "C'mon, don't be so hard on 'Sleeping Beauty' over here", Philemon said. "We're gonna need all the sleep we can get to perform well on the tourney. A group of sleep-deprived kids won't be able to come up with a decent strategy, let alone win a game", he said with an intention of annoying Shiori.

    Since Crix already left, Philemon assumed the meeting is over and everyone can leave. "Well, see you tomorrow", he greeted his new teammates goodbye and left the room.


    After running some errands for the coven, Philemon stopped by for lunch at the burger shop located near the coven. Although their name, Burger Prince, was terrible, their milkshakes were perfect. But this time, their milkshakes seem a little bland today. "Hey Marie, is Michael absent?", he yelled to call the attention of the waitress named Marie. He has only been eating here in a few months but he's already close to the staff in this shop.

    "He didn't call for work today, hun", Marie sighed. "I know. The milkshakes aren't the same without him. Prob'ly just sick". Marie left to attend another customer when he noticed something on the TV. BREAKING NEWS: BAR EXPLODED DUE TO GAS LEAK. For some reason, Philemon recognizes the bar. Michael liked to drink there... What if... Philemon shrugged off the thought and finished his milkshake.
    #18 potatotots, Nov 2, 2015
    Last edited: Nov 2, 2015
  19. Simon banged his staff against floor as the oak wood caused an audible thump to sound in the room as all around him the simple remarks made previously quickly devolved into an uncivilized and idiotic series of squabbles, attempting to silence his fellow spellcasters. "It is settled, then. I shall go and speak to the High Mistress. For, with luck, we can leave tomorrow and begin our training. Even such, I suggest that we start devising some individual stratagems that could easily be incorporated into en masse strategies and tactics. Once I have word from the High Mistress, I shall use the coven's internal magic to inform you all telepathically. I hope to have an answer by the evening."

    As such, the sorcerer made his leave for the time being. The inside of the coven wasn't as hot as it seemed, as it was only truly boiling if one got to close to the neophyte pyromancers. He then found one of the spiral staircases that descended into the High Mistress' quarters and office, having Thoron vanish with the flick of his wrist before knocking on the door and gaining admittance into the office.

    Then, after roughly and hour of conversation, the High Mistress granted permission, stating the she would contact the area's Thane today so that they could leave for the mountains in the morning. As such, Simon went to the grand hall of the coven, wherein there were three orbs seemingly made of of amethyst and lace agate. Each of these orbs allowed for telepathic messages to be sent to select members of the coven, and Simon approached these in order to use them. Rolling up his sleeves, he placed his hands on one of the orbs as he began to send his message to his teammates.

    Everyone, this is Simon speaking. We have been given the approval to reside and train in the mountains. Pack up everything you will need tonight, for we are to meet tomorrow and drive up to the mountains at five-thirty in the morning. I will see you all there.

    After the message had sent to his teammates, Simon began to leave the coven and head to his apartment, needing to pack things up. He was already subletting the apartment to a roommate, so he would be leaving them in charge while he was away.
  20. And just like that, the meeting between the unlikely team had come to a close, as everyone began to make their leave Layth did so as well. "When everything is set, just let me know." He spoke before departing the group, off to do his own thing until time came where they'd meet again. Instead of going to his room however, the young man opted to head over to the coven's gym. Keeping one's mind sharp was important, but it meant little if the body lagged it behind, Layth was a firm believer in that. Entering the gym, it typically was sparse... Not many cared for physical stimulation, that or perhaps their studies got in the way of working out. Lifting both hands he cupped the inside edges of the jacket he wore and pulled it down. Underneath he wore a simple white sleeveless shirt that hung fitted around his muscular yet lean frame. Getting started he did his usual routine, warm up exercises to ensure his muscles were loose and heated, followed by weight lifting. It was when Layth reached the punching bag to work on combinations that he received Simon's call.

    A hook had just collided against the body of the sand bag, the sweat that dripped from his face was shaken off from the force splattering on the cushioned floor below. Bangs clung to his forehead as he paused to listen to what Simon had to say.

    Everyone, this is Simon speaking. We have been given the approval to reside and train in the mountains. Pack up everything you will need tonight, for we are to meet tomorrow and drive up to the mountains at five-thirty in the morning. I will see you all there.

    He was using the orbs in the grand hall to deliver a message directly to their minds. A light nod was given, confirming what he had heard before the bag was met with one more final deep uppercut that caused it to rebound under Layth's strength... In spite of Layth's lean appearance, he was surprisingly strong. Finished with his workout the man turned around grabbing one of the towels on a table nearby to wipe the excess sweat away. Then reaching for his jacket and sword that laid on a bench nearby he was off to gather the items needed on their extended training vacation.


    Morning arrived relatively quickly and after a good nights rest Layth waited in the empty grand hall. Being this early in the morning not many dared venture out, sleep being far too valuable. In his right hand was his sheathed blade as always, and in his left was a simple black dufflebag. He did not need much in terms of items, toothbrush, clothes, and basic bathroom items would suffice for the stoic man. Gold eyes shifted around for any sign of his teammates, as of now he was the only one there.
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