Village of Mages - Armies of the Conjurers

Discussion in 'THREAD ARCHIVES' started by Boss Frost, Jun 29, 2011.

  1. In the world of Nanakal, nine countries rule the rest of the world. These mighty countries form the basis of all civilization, and their politicians and military might are legendary. Smaller countries rise and fall in their wake, or are assimilated into the whole of their being. Of these countries, Belladon is the greatest. While those living there are restricted under the thumbs of their magic-using nobility, lacking even the basest of education... their nobility and their army is the strongest in the world. Using magic to rip creatures out of other planes of existence, they bolster their own forces with the people of other dimensions, ravaging any that would oppose them. Their forces teleport into enemy territory, often bringing with them horrible monsters that destroy simply with their existence.

    All fear that the magic-clad country will turn it's eyes upon them.

    Far to the east is Belladon's opposite... the free-thinking series of city-states referred to as 'Pokiel'. Considered an enlightened rule by the Archmages, even the Mag-Null (magically inept) are exposed to magic on a regular basis, where other countries treat the Mag-Null as little more than slaves or untouchable. In Pokiel, they are offered friendship and a way to live happier lives, and has become a destination of many escaped Mag-Null. It offers education to all, though the greatest of those magically capable are sent to the mage-village of Rohtal.

    Rohtal is actually a rather simple-looking village from the outside. There are no great spires, just a vast plain of green grass, and the dome-shaped houses of those that live these. A steam winds it's way through the middle, and many bridges allow one to cross the gap to wherever you would need to go. The breezes are cool and mellow, and while it does get extremely hot in the summer, it doesn't really matter to a village filled with mages.

    The pride of the village is it's school: where the many gifted children from around Pokiel learn to become mages - as well as the children of those living in Rohtal. Fitting in with the enlightened rule of the Archmagi, students only sign up for and study in the classes they wish to go to, and there is no stigma attached to those who switch courses. While it is harder to get in to some courses (the Necromancy courses, for instance, are only held after dark - and only to those who have not been revealed to have an 'antisocial personality'.)

    It is in Rohtal where this story takes place, in fact...


    It felt good.

    Running from rooftop to rooftop, eyes alight and body brimming with magic... the rush of air as he lept, the feel of his muscles flexing and the burn of energy as his spell worked exactly as planned. It was inevitable, then, when he made a slight miscalculation in his next jump, crashing against the dome of a building and tumbling off of it to the ground.

    With a 'thud', the lynx lay upon the ground - panting. A grin finally stretched the feline's face, and he began to laugh... as his body shifted, returning to that of his original form. He still lay there, laughing - despite the thought that his ribs may in fact be broken. Gingerly raising a hand to prod at himself... no unusual pain, so he expected he was fine.

    He sits up quickly, elven ears wobbling a bit before the quick movement makes him dizzy, and he immediately lays back down. With a chuckle, he slowly sits back up. The man's dark skin and ears made it clear he was an elf. In fact, those 'in the know' would glance at his handsomely angular face and white hair and identify the man as a dark elf. He didn't seem uncomfortable in the temperate climate at all.

    Truth be told, it felt fantastic not to dress in five layers of furs every day. He instead wore a tight, sleeveless shirt over his slim body, and fitting pants. His shoes were leather, and around his wrists he wore seven brown beads and a white one: a symbolic gesture. Brown, the color of transmutation, and white - the color of abjuration. The man was a specialist... in particular, shapeshifting. Stretching out a bit, he gets a confused expression, looking at his hands - which hadn't transformed back yet.

    With a snicker, he fixes the problem, walking in the direction of the school. His name was Reeve... a decidedly human name, but it was certainly better than any dark elf name he'd come across. Offering a whistle to the winds, the rather cheery individual walked into the front gates: it was almost time for lunch!
  2. Mana sat on the cool grass, leaning up against the side of a house. Her eyes were only just open, narrowed against the bright summer's light. Her light brown shirt, belted at the waist, was doing a good job of keeping her cool, but her feet were baking inside the knee-high leather boots. One of her hands was supporting her weary head, nestled in her dark black hair, the other rested lightly on the sheathed sword that lay on the grass beside her.

    Mana's power lay in combat, the ability to use her magic like an aura, powering up her body. Where ever she focused the most power, there was her defense the strongest, her attacks the most powerful. She could also transfer her magic to her sword and make it do a variety of different things. Spells were Mana's weakness, she couldn't heal or transform, use summoning stones or cast magic runes. But she could kick the butt of any of the other students who tried to harm her.
    Not that many had tried.

    Mana was a half-elf. She had the pointy ears and slightly more pointy features than humans. Combining the humans power and sturdiness with the elves speed and grace, her natural magic choice was a warrior. Someone to hold off the enemy whilst the 'real mages' cast their spells. Mana didn't have the elves gift of long life or their gift in weaving spells, nor did she have the humans deep reserves of magic. But she was happy. Training in her classes kept her busy, and her friendly nature had made her a few friends.

    Her eyes flickered open as she heard whistling. It was Reeve, Mana didn't know him very well, but he seemed nice enough. She stood up and deftly strapped the scabbard onto her back, the plain sword hilt just poking above her right shoulder.
  3. Despite the temperate climate, and the warmth and breeze of the day, there was one young man who seemed not to feel it. He seemed cold, entirely cold, and it was as if the air around him's climate was not in touch with the earth's. He was of an average height, and sat on a rock, sharpening a long, blue -black blade with a whet stone. He was very pale, and his lips, eye-sockets, and nose tip were not the normal healthy shade of pink but instead a cold blue, as if he was frost bit. His shaggy black hair hid his eyes as he focused on his work. The black blade was runed, in the language of his family, that most wouldn't be able to decipher, unless they had come from his homeland. He slid the now very sharp black sword into it's case. Around his waist there was another scabbard, this one was far more ornate than the other, and looked like it had come from a bygone era.

    He stood when he saw the two other students. His bracelet with the beads of a student clinked a bit as it did - only four beads on it. Two were a dark red, nearly black. The colour of conjuration. The other two were white. He brushed some of the dust from sharpening his sword off of his blue tunic, smiling pleasently at the students. He waved at Reeve and Mana - elf-kin he knew. Many thought that he was an elf-kin when they first met him, but he wasn't, just some strange human that had never really warmed up.

    He jogged up to the girl, Mana, and smiled at her. It was hard to call the smile warm, as all expressions on the young man's face had a habit of coming out appearing frosty and detached, though he did mean well,
    "Hello," He said politely, "Have I seen you practicing with your sword in the training grounds?" He tilted his head, walking with her, "I spend most of my time there. Haven't go the aptitude for most magic," He jingled his bracelet and laughed a bit, "Well, maybe a few spells, but nothing particularly exciting. What are you studying?"
  4. (How old are our characters supposed to be?)

    Mana shielded her eyes from the bright light as a guy she vaguely recognised jogged up to her. She smiled.
    "You probably have. I hang around there quite a bit, practicing, you know?" She gestured vaguely at the sword on her back. "I'm not much good at anything else. Well, other than combat. Sword work, unarmed, throwing and stuff. But not much magic either. I can't heal, summon, transform, or control the elements. Not much of a 'real mage'." As she spoke those last words, Mana made sketchy quotation marks with her fingers. "I can talk a bit to animals though, one of the elders thinks I might be able to get a companion. Nothing flashy, but hey. I'm not complaining."

    Mana flushed, a little embarassed and showed him her wrist. "I kind of lost my bracelet. Only had it a week, I'm new here, you see. Don't really know how this place works. I haven't even been to any classes yet. I'm doing Manipulation, I can manipulate my aura a bit. Gives me a solid defense and better attack. See?" Mana focused hard, and a small glimmer of light appeared around her right fist. Beads of sweat dripped off her brow. "I'm not very good. Actually I'm no good at all. But if I hit you with that, it'd hurt. Quite a bit. I'll also be able to give my sword magical properties later. Hopefully."

    She looked at the boy, studying his face. It was very pale, almost unnaturally so. At first she had thought he might be an elf, but now she wasn't so sure. Hey, you idiot. You never got the guy's name. Or offered him yours. After mentally berating herself, Mana said, "Sorry, I never gave you my name. Mana. Would you like to spar sometime? I'm not the best, only been learning the past few years. But it might be fun."
  5. ((My character is roughly seventeen))

    The young man smiled pleasantly at the girl, amused by how interested she was in displaying her skills. Maniuplation. An interesting choice for somebody of elven blood, but he supposed it made some sense. He had just always assumed that elves were more attuned to nature, trickery, and arcane blasts. His own magic was no more powerful than hers, considerably less so. The reason that it was so much more feeble was because it required a certain amount of forethought and pre-planning to make it work successfully. The young man rarely acted upon forethought - his summonings were on a whim, which was neither safe nor particularly useful. He chuckled at her insistence that her aura would hurt. It probably would, but it didn't make her insistence any less amusing, "I'm sure it would," he muttered to himself, his cold cheer remaining on his face.

    He nodded at the comment about the name,
    "It's fine, I never gave you my name. Aleron Libon, from one of the more northern territories. Swordsman by inclination and training, ritualist by birthright," He dipped his head respectfully, "I'm a knight first, a mage second. My family have always been interested in the arts of summoning and binding," He laughed again, the cold sound resonating through the outdoor, though it was meant with warmth, "I would be inclined to spar with you, but I know how it would end. I've been trained as a swordsman for sometime, so in that aspect I believe I would have an advantage, but if this was based on our magical prowess, you would clearly trump me," He shrugged, and smiled, "My magic isn't good for much dueling in anycase. It all involves rituals and long preparation."
  6. ((That's okay then, I was thinking around 16 for Mana))

    Mana raised an eyebrow at his claim that he would best her. Then she laughed, "You probably would beat me." She admitted ruefully, rubbing her chin. She bowed her head in acknowledgement of his greeting and praise of her magic. "But I'd give it my best though. Besides, I can only get better through experience. Maybe when you've got the time, you could give me a few pointers. I'd appreciate it. Or we could try unarmed, I'm quite quick and when I'm better with this," She waved her fist at him. "I'm sure I'll be able to send you flying at least once."

    Mana grinned easily as they walked along, she found Aleron a very easy person to get along with. He was decent company, even if he did seem a little cold at first. I guess that's just the way he is, maybe it's a characteristic of his people. Not knowing much about people from different areas, she assumed it was so. Mana herself came from a small village just a few miles north of Rohtal.

    "I take it you prefer to fight then? I do, it makes me happy. The feeling of exhileration. The knowing that you are stronger, more powerful ..." Mana let her voice trail off. Stop talking rubbish girl, he doesn't want to hear your ramblings. "So what is a ritualist, anyway? I've never heard of them myself. Something to do with ceremonies and priests?" Mana guessed, though she didn't really know.
  7. Aleron shrugged, "In hand to hand? Quite probably. I'm more inclined to the grace of a sword, not necessarily its power. Thus," he rubbed the bicep of his arm, winced, and laughed again, "I haven't got much strength. Just skill," This was a bit of an understatement on his part, some modesty. He was quite strong, but his small frame didn't suggest it, not in the slightest. His strength mostly came to him after a ritual, after a bit of his old family trade. He grinned at her when she asked him about his trade, for it was a subject that he enjoyed talking about, even if he wasn't particularly competent at his magic due to his lack of patience with it.

    "I'm a binder," He explained, "I perform rituals to summon and bind things to me or to objects, and I get bits and pieces of their abilities from it, I can also use my magic to bring things to me to speak to them," He shrugged, "Though I must admit, demons don't have the most enlightening thoughts, 'least, not from what I've heard them say," He chuckled again, "Unfortunately, it takes a long time to sanctify and bring such things into the world," He brushed a lock of his dark hair out of his blue-grey eyes, "And I have very little patience for such things," He glanced over at the dark elf, that he had seen earlier. He considered for a minute, but the boy seemed to be alone. Aleron considered himself to be a friendly chap, and flagged him over with a wave of his arm, "Why don't you come join us?" He called.
  8. Smiling slightly, Mana rubbed her own arm muscles. "Hmm, I've actually got a fair bit of muscle. I used to do a fair bit of manual labour where I used to live. My family and I were on a farm, you see. A lot of wood chopping and heavy lifting. I'm fairly strong I guess. Nowhere near full elf standards though." Mana flushed again. She didn't really like admitting her half-elf heritage. She knew it wasn't something to be ashamed of, but it always felt a bit awkward to say, like she was something a bit unclean. Unpure.

    As Aleron explained about his rituals and binder skills, she nodded thoughtfully. It seemed to fit him, it became him. It also seemed like a useful skill, although personally Mana prefered more combat-suited magic. "Sounds interesting, not something I'd choose myself. But still, a pretty cool skill."

    Mana looked over as Aleron waved over a boy. It was the boy she had seen earlier. His stark white hair made him easy to identify, even from this distance. "I kind-of know that boy. His name's something like Rev. Reeva. Ah, it's Reeve." Mana raised her voice so it would easily carry over to him. "Hey Reeve, why don't you come over here?" She lifted a hand in greeting, a faint smile on her lips. Maybe I can make a couple of new friends before I start my actual lessons. Mana thought with hope.
  9. Reeve's walk during the conversation had evolved into a waltz as he passed by. The dark elf had always been a bit eccentric, evidenced by the fact that he could walk about in the open sunlight without being blinded... he definately seemed to like the surface world more than the subterrainean world he grew up in. Despite his slight buffoonery, his mind was filled with equations and the proper alchemic formulae in order to perfect his transmutations, alterations... and, secretly, various mutations.

    He turned, white hair whipping about as he twirled, looking to the two - noticing for the first time that he was, in fact, being looked at by fellow students, he coughed. "Ah, excuse my frivolous behaviour." He offered Mana a few long bow, followed by a kind smile to Aleron - dark elves had a highly matriarcal society... so giving a great amount of respect to females had become a mode of survival for the young man... any young man in his society, really. "Do you need my assistance?"

    He smiled, and from this distance, his sharp canine teeth came into view. A mutation - constant exposure to alchemical transmutation had permenantly altered the makeup of his body. Another obvious mutation was his ability to stand sunlight, though that was all that was needed to be exposed. He laughed, ears twitching. "I wonder if I should tell them I could hear their conversation. Being alert and ready, able to be witness to multiple conversations in the area had been a virtue within Ptolus, but the surface-worlders are a bit testy about it. I best not." Giving a wider smile, "The two of you are combat specialists, if I remember right. I've never attended any of those classes, but I'm considering doing so in the future." He thumbs his nose with a wink, "Gotta learn how muscles and bodies work in actual combat... otherwise, my alterations won't go right. I've heard how much warriors enjoy a good 'Strength' or 'Iron Body' alteration, and I'm really curious how those actually feel, you know?"
  10. Aleron dipped his head courteously to the dark elf. His own society was far from matriarchal and even more feudal in nature than that of the dark elves that lived under the surface. He ran a hand through his thick black hair. He had heard of such alterationists. That particular school of magic wasn't for him, as he had no real desire to alter any part of himself. Then again, it could be said that his binded bits were all alterations of their own, but they weren't. Not really. Not unless something went wrong. And that fear that something might go wrong was enough that Aleron didn't partake in some of the more risky rituals. That and the school was likely to discourage such behaviour.

    The strange human shrugged,
    "I could understand the appeal, but I don't think such things are for me," He glanced down at the dark elf's wrist, noting the beads that he had, "Ah, so you have studied abjuration I see," He held up his own hand, "As have I, mostly to keep my rituals going well, and make sure that nothing can escape the bind that I place on them," He grinned, "Having an imp from the lower plans running around the campus might be a bit of a disaster," Aleron shrugged again, and rested his hands languidly on hilt the second of the two scabbards, the shorter scabbard with the more ornate pattern, "As for combat specialists... I'm a swordsman. I'm a good swordsman. Any other manner of fighting and I'm surely doomed." He tilted his head in the direction of the half-elf, "She's more a specialist than me."
  11. Smiling, Mana returned Reeve's bow. Yet another different type of magician, I didn't know that there were so many. Mana took a close look at his bracelet. Transmutation, I think. That's where he can change his body isn't it? Ah, I'm not sure. She listened to the two boys' conversation, and blinked rapidly when Aleron gestured towards her. "Umm, yes. I'm a Combat Manipulation/Reinforcement specialist. I can manipulate my aura. It's rather useful in unarmed combat. Well, armed too, but it's more difficult." Mana rambled slightly. Being asked to explain her magic often did that, put her on the spot.

    Mana was curious about these alterations he mentioned, never having heard of them herself. "So what exactly do these alterations do? Exactly what it says on the tin?" They're probably a bit like my reinforcement techniques, but adapting and changing the actual body to make it stronger, rather than your or aura or ki. She pondered.

    Her stomach rumbled, quite loudly. Mana flushed a little. "I guess it must be time for lunch. I'm starving. Why don't you explain these techniques to me on the way?" She asked Reeve. His name's curiously human for a Dark Elf. They normally have longer, more elaborate names. Well, I can't blame him for not wanting one of those. I mean, my name isn't particularly elvish either.
  12. "Rituals, huh?" Reeve turns to smile at Aleron. "That's the... long, drawn-out spells? Very powerful, but time and material-consuming?" He rubs his chin a bit, thinking. "I've heard of some amazing things being done with rituals. Entire races being created!" His eyes sparkled with a lot of interest, grinning. "What a rush, right?"

    He waves his hand a bit, "I'm little use in combat. Give me some time before it starts, I might be able to help a real combatant and have enough time to turn into something and run like all Hell's after me." He gestures for them to follow him. "Come on, the cafeteria's over here." He points forward, leading the way and shoving his hands into his pockets. He rarely looked over his shoulder to see if they were still following him.

    "As for alterations... it's a subschool of transmutation. While transmutation can alter the makeup of a body, mind, and somesuch, alterations are smaller in scale. For instance, while a transmutation spell can turn someone into a dragon, an alteration would let you use the dragon's breath in your usual body. In a way, they're more subtle..." He hesitates. "...Well, as subtle as transmutations get, anyway."

    He stretches a bit, "By studying the way a body works, you can more easily manipulate it. Even giving folks elemental abilities... like turning their arm into fire to use as a weapon. I haven't figured out how to transmute items yet - that's advanced stuff. I only know flesh-alterations..." He takes his hands from his pockets, poking at the single abjuration spell. "The only defensive magic I know is actually a safeguard spell. The spell, when cast, cancels an alteration or transmutation cast upon someone... and can be cast on someone first to reverse the spell if something goes wrong. Basically, it's an auto-counterspell against bad technique. Binding mages use stuff like this a lot." He smiles, "It's the little things that make everyone more comfortable with eccentrics like myself, yeah?"
  13. Mana easily kept pace with Reeve's strides. She was a fast walker, her normal walking was like most people's gentle jogging. Mana liked to walk with a purpose and get there fast. Tilting her head as she tried to understand, Mana said slowly, "So you can change your body however you like? Become anything, so long as you have the power? Wow, that's really quite some power. Especially if you don't want to be found." A power like that, Mana found it hard to get her head round. Coupled with a strong combatant and a healer, that would be a pretty damn powerful team.

    As they neared a building, which she assumed was the canteen, Mana said, "I guess your alterations a bit like my powers. Changing the properties of things. But even if you only know flesh-alterations, that's still pretty powerful for someone of your age. Sometimes, seeing all you powerful people, I wish I'd come here sooner. Started to learn how to use magic. I can learn, but I'll never catch up to the people like you, who've been learning for a while. Or people like you Aleron, who've used a sword since they could hold one." Mana sighed, a twinge of regret in her voice. She shook her head quickly and changed the subject.

    "A safeguard spell. Have you ever actually had to use it? I mean, have you ever tried your techniques on someone else, to change them?" I don't think I'd have the confidence to do that. Use my powers to change someone else. I probably could, with more training, but... It'd probably go disasterously wrong. Mana touched the hilt of her sword, almost without realising it. It was her safeguard, something to protect her, to boost her confidence.

    Mana smiled, "Eccentric? Aren't most Mages a little on the weird side? I know I am. We wouldn't be Mages without that little touch of insanity that makes us unique."
  14. Aleron walked with them, smiling as the young dark elf explained his gifts, and smiling particularly largely and coldly when he discussed his abjuration spell. It was always good to have a safe guard, particularly when dealing with magic of an occasionally dangerous nautre. He shrugged his shoulders and rested his hand on the hilt of the ornately sheathed sword, tugging at it a bit. The blade wouldn't come out he knew. No matter who or how they tried, the sword refused to come out of the scabbard. However, it was a little piece of his homeland and his family, and thus, it was comforting, despite it's lack of practicality.

    "I've heard that alterationists use their powers on both themselves and others, to change their skills and abilities as the situation calls," He shrugged, "But that is only what I've heard. I would never try to bind something to another, personally. It's too dangerous. I'd rather risk my own self, at least I have some training in dealing with possession, but to somebody who didn't, they would be helpless," He sighed, "It's the way of the trade, I suppose. Never would have chosen this magic myself, but it's the family tradition. And I'm rather a slave to tradition." He chuckled a bit to himself, "I can't change my aura or myself. Some would say that binding spirits to themself or objects is rather cruel, towards the spirit that is," He tilited his head, "I'm not sure how I feel about that, what do you think?" He nodded his head towards his two elven companions.
  15. Mana tilted her head slightly as she listened to Aleron. "Why are you bound by tradition? Why do you not do things because you want to do them, not because someone else wants you to do them? Doing things because I choose to do them. If you want to fight through combat rather than binding spells, why don't you? It's your life and your choice to make." She didn't really understand. Perhaps he does want to be a binder, not just because of his families tradition. Or maybe he's trying to please someone, earn their trust. "Ah, I'm talking without thinking again. Maybe I shouldn't have said that. It's not my right to judge you for your choices." She walked in silence for a few paces, as they drew closer and closer to the building.

    In an attempt to change the subject, Mana said, "I don't really know anything about spirits and souls myself. But using something for your own gain, against the souls will, seems a little cruel to me. I don't think that it's something that I could bring myself to use, except in dire circumstances. Especially not a living spirit, not even a small animal. Do you find it a cruel thing to do?" Mana asked, geniunely curious. She was interested in other people's opinions, debating points in a friendly atmostphere was something that Mana enjoyed doing. Sharing views was important to her.

    Having arrived at the entrance to the building, Mana paused, unwilling to be the first of their little group to enter. She pointed at the door and said sweetly, "Gentlemen first?" Mana laughed lightly.
  16. Aleron shrugged and tipped his head, reconsidering what he had said about tradition, "I'm not really bound by it so much as I want to honour it," He smiled brightly, "Besides, its the only sort of magic that I have any sort of aptitude with. I might as well learn to use what I have," The young man thought for a moment, biting his blue lip. He was considering her comment. Was it cruel to bind souls to him? He titled his head in thought, and as walked up to the building and the door; considering the question. Everything he bound was evil by definition. There were no good demons or good devils, they were evil, and though their power and experiences could be used, they were evil and they would destroy him if he didn't bind them to the ground. Without the safeguards, his summons would run rampant, and destroy him. Then again, he was using their power.

    "Well, everything I bind to me, to weapons, to armor... None of it is good. All of it would destroy me if I summoned it without binding it," He said, as he went through the door. He smiled slightly, bowing his head, "The practicality of my gift isn't the greatest, not like our friend Reeve's alterations, " He dipped his head to the dark elf, and some of his dark hair fell in his eyes, "But it has... some use," He thought of what he tried to accomplish with every binding, what he tried to do... But it wouldn't work. Not yet. Not every, perhaps. He rested his hand on the hilt of the ornate scabbard,glancing down at it idly, before looking back at Mana, "I don't find it cruel, particularly, but then again, my race is known for its cruelty," He laughed a bit, "Well, our cruelty and our stupidity," He shrugs his shoulder, "Think of us and pasty blue bureaucratic orcs. Probably the best way to think about it."
  17. View attachment 3458 The material of Bree's blindfold was rough against her closed eyelids. The knot was digging into the back of her skull.Taking a deep, frustrated breath, she bit her lip and focused. A breeze tickled playfully with her silvery hair. The wool of her pale tunic lay against her skin. Her feet were a couple of degrees warmer than the rest of her, encased in dark leather ankle boots. Allowing a small smile to grace her lips, Bree very slowly moved her hands from their centred position between her hips, gently pushing them to her left. Her right leg slid back, finding foundation and her form was complete. Retracting back, Bree grinned. Now to do it for real.

    Three more deep breaths and she was ready. At once she suddenly spun in to action, one foot shifting back as her arms pushed out to the side, and she felt the sudden whoosh of air as the light breeze was channelled into her, through her. The familiar, beloved feeling made her smile internally. Then, listening intently, she noted the number of chimes that rung. Eleven. That was a space of just over one metre. Careful to centre herself before letting annoyance filter into her consciousness, she tugged off her blindfold, at once frustrated that she even needed it to focus.

    Eleven chimes. Eleven. Glancing around her, she saw the circle of instruments around her, all placed at exactly the same distance apart in a perfect circle. It had been twelve two weeks ago, but she had been unable to improve since then. Bright blue eyes blazed at the thin metal tubes that marked her progess. Or lack of, she thought bitterly. Her stomach grumbled and, as if on cue, the lunch bell began to ring its tune across campus.

    Putting aside her training, Bree exited the ring of chimes and picked up her crossbow. She took a moment to admire the fine weapon. Made entirely of oak that was painstakingly reinforced with steel thread – work she had thought only the dwarves had the skill to do – the bow actually looked relatively average. In fact it looked less than average. It looked weak, inferior. The staves, much shorter than usual, obviously didn’t hold a lot of power, and the bolts were around half the size of normal ones. It looked an almost useless weapon, its dimensions and power all wrong, too wrong to cause any significant damage. But Bree knew different. Tucking a strand of silver hair behind her ear – unpointed, for she was human, unlike many in the school – she span round, loading the bow within seconds, the lack of power in the string allowing her to push it back easily, the stock fitting comfortably into her shoulder, then the tiny recoil as the bolt flew from the weapon… began to drop, then suddenly a focused gush of air enveloped it, sending it streaking towards its target, where it buried its barbed point several inches deep into the tough bark of a birch. Bree had painted a rough target there earlier, intending to spontaneously test herself at lunch. The arrow had embedded itself into the edge of the bull’s eye, and this pleased Bree. She didn’t know why her air-manipulation powers were better, more focused when she was using her bow, but she hoped it would stay that way.

    Grinning, she slung her crossbow into the harness across her back and left the training area, heading towards the canteen. On a slight hill, she pushed a sheet of air beneath her and shot down the grassy slope, her hair whipping into her face. Pushing it away again, several leather bracelets fell back to both elbows of her arms. After a short moment of confusion, she picked out the one given to her by the school to mark progress and enlighten students as to what power was imbued in her. Four beads were dark emerald blue – the colour of manipulation, and one bead was bright yellow, placed with two blues on each side, indicating she manipulated the element of air. Or tried to, anyway. Other bracelets were plaited, some were knotted, and a couple had small, elaborate metal beads. They were one of Bree’s passive hobbies, the collection of bracelets, bangles and beads to adorn her arms. She wouldn’t admit it to anyone, but she enjoyed it when they jangled as she practiced her forms and manipulated the wind. It told her she was doing it, and doing it right.

    Wishing she could somehow successfully create air-wings on her shoes to get her to places faster, she walked briskly along the path, getting close to the canteen doors. She pressed forward, using a small buffet of air to push the doors, when there was suddenly an ‘oof!’ from one of them. Wait. Doors don’t go ‘oof!’. She glanced up, blue eyes finally taking note of the vaguely recognised people she had accidentally almost walked into. One was a tall dark elf, his hair even paler, more monochrome than hers. Another boy, this one human, or certainly more human – the slight blue tinges to his skin tinted at something other. The last student was a dark-haired girl, perhaps a little younger than herself. Her features were more angular than Bree knew her own to be, yet not as chiselled as the dark elf’s. Bree concluded she was a half-breed and smiled at her. Glancing surrupticiously at all three wrists, Bree noted first that the girl didn’t seem to have a bracelet, which made her unsure of her standing, so she dropped her eyes, not wanting to cause disrespect if she was of higher power. The cold human and the dark elf seemed to specialise in transmutation and conjuring respectively. They were of similar power levels to her, and Bree regained some confidence, now knowing how it act. She figured she knew enough about their respective powers to survive in this little group. As someone focused on training, she didn’t often have much time to socialise, but she had been considering on changing that. Perhaps this was a good place to start?

    “I’m sorry, so sorry,” she apologised to the three, tucking her hair behind her ears and smiling openly. “I’m not at my most observant when I’m hungry,” Biting the inside of her lip, she waited for a response from them.
  18. ((Sorry guys, been hiking so I haven't been able to post))

    Mana stepped back suddenly as the heavy doors swung open, just managing to avoid being hit. Letting out a small gasp of surprise, she checked to see that her companions were okay. Both Aleron and Reeve seemed to be fine, at least to her eyes. She peered curiously around the door, as no one would be able to force it open that easily by hand, and saw a slightly shocked silver haired human standing there. The girl spoke,
    "I'm sorry, so sorry. I'm not at my most observant when I'm hungry."
    Mana glanced at the distance between the girl and the door, it was too far for her to have opened the door. Narrowing her eyes, Mana took in the bracelet around the girl's wrist. She's definitly a manipulation type too, like me. But I think she's an elementalist, probably air. Yellow's the colour of air, right? Ah damn, I'm not sure. But she's not a combat specialist like me, but maybe she's got some skills, judging by that crossbow.

    Mana stepped towards the girl, one hand resting in it's natural position on the dagger sheath at her belt. "Hello, I'm Mana. I don't think I've seen you around, but that's not surprising really, considering I've only been here a week." She laughed lightly as she saw the girl look for a bracelet, then drop her gaze, unsure of Mana's ranking. Mana lifted her arm and waved her bare wrist. "I'm Manipulation type too, although I'm not very advanced. Actually I'm a Manipulation/Reinforcement Combat Mage. But that's quite long to say. I'm afraid I lost my bracelet, I'll have to get a replacement, it get's a little tiresome having to explain to everyone I meet." She rubbed her head ruefully.

    As an attempt at making idle conversation, not something Mana was too skilled at, straight and to the point with little faffing around was the way she liked it, she said, "I'm not too alert at the moment either. Although I'm awake enough to dodge a suddenly swinging door, even if I am a little drowsy." Mana laughed, to show she wasn't being serious. "I'm starving, we were just on our way to get some food now, actually. Would you like to join us? If that's okay with you guys, of course." Mana turned to face Reeve and Aleron, unsure of whether they'd like to meet another total stranger, if she was indeed a stranger to them, and eat lunch with her, even if she did seem nice enough. Running straight into things again, Mana, not one of your strongest points, muppet. She rebuked herself gently.
  19. "Hello, I'm Mana." Said the half-elf girl, smiling openly, but Bree noted how her hand dropped to the hilt of the blade at her waist and she tensed, just a little, her fingers briefly brushing against the stormy-grey feathers protruding out of the quiver on her belt. Immediately she noticed something was wrong. Her fingers nimbly flicked through the projectiles as she counted silently. Oh gods, she was missing one! Her training session flashed in her mind's eye. The tree! She had left it stuck in the tree! Taking a deep breath, she made a mental note to get it a soon as she could. Suddenly she realised that the girl - Mana - was talking again. "... seen you around, but that's not surprising really, considering I've only been here a week." A week? She was a relative newbie then. Bree looked her up and down once more, rifling through her memories for some recognition. Nope, nothing, nada. She hadn't ever met this girl before. Laughing a little, she lifted her wrist and spun it, emphasising the lack of bracelet. Bree shifted uncomfortably. What was this girl trying to tell her?
    "I'm Manipulation type too, although I'm not very advanced. Actually I'm a Manipulation/Reinforcement Combat Mage. But that's quite long to say. I'm afraid I lost my bracelet, I'll have to get a replacement, it get's a little tiresome having to explain to everyone I meet." She garbled suddenly, and Bree smiled, letting out a little 'ohh' of understanding. The girl scratched her haid thoughtfully and Bree got the impression that this sort of thing happened a lot. Her smile turned to a grin. She liked this girl.
    "Yeah, I can see why that would be a problem," Bree agreed, somewhat bewildered at the silence of the two boys, but deciding not to question it. Mana seemed to let the silence sit for a moment, before continuing somwhat awkwardly. "I'm not too alert at the moment either. Although I'm awake enough to dodge a suddenly swinging door, even if I am a little drowsy." Bree joined with her laugh, glad to find someone who also wasn't too brilliant at small talk.
    "Well, I'll remember not to use that trick on you if I ever get on your bad side then!" joked Bree, feeling comfortable. Mana seemed to be the sort of person she could get in step with easily.
    "I'm starving,"
    Mana announced suddenly and Bree nodded, agreeing. "We were just on our way to get some food now, actually. Would you like to join us?" Bree was somewhat startled by the invitation, not expecting such openness as she had only met the girl once. But nevertheless she nodded enthusiastically.
    "Yeah, definitely,"
    Then the dark-haired girl spoke again, directing a question to the two boys.
    "If that's okay with you guys, of course."
    Bree bit her lips nervously, tugging a slight knot out of her silvery hair. What if the boys wouldn't accept her? Mana obviously did, but if they said no?
  20. Aleron smiled, but it seemed cold and slightly cruel, as per usual of his race. It wasn't his fault, particularly, just another testament to his own misanthropy amongst his people. The young man looked at Bree - human, but tinged, he noticed, examining her hair. Then again, people could say the same about him, even though he wasn't human at all, not descended from mud or ape but rather soemthing a bit more sinister in nature. The young summoner nodded towards the human girl. She seemed a little sharper than the elf, but that was to be expected. She seemed to have her guards up, along with her anxiety. He was certain that would change, as time went on. He listened to the girls speak, and resolved to introduce himself in a similar manner.

    "It's lovely to meet you," He outstretched one of his cold, blue tinged hands to the girl, "My name is Aleron, Aleron Libon, as if it matters," He jangled his bracelet a little, "Summoner by talent, swordsman by trade," He shrugged his shoulders, and ran a hand through his dark hair, "And you are?" He gestured to the dark skinned elf behind him, "This is Reeve," His look towards the other boy couldn't really be described as pleasant - but one might attribute that factor to his racial disposition. Elves were not part of the North, especially not the dark elves. They had all perished eons ago in an event that could only be described as a cataclysm. Then again, being what he was, he shouldn't believe in any of it.

    Reeve continued with his own introduction, cheerfully enough, and gesturing to his bracelet as he spoke, "I specialize in Alterations - changing ones body to become more suited to a situation - adaption some might say. From transmutation and abjuration magic, naturally," His bracelet jingled on his dark wrist, "Some might find it a bit... unpleasent -" He glanced at Aleron as he said it, "But I assure you, its perfectly safe. For the most part," He smiled a bit bashfully, "Lunch sounds excellent."

    ((Alright guys, Frost hasn't been around, so I am taking over this RP. Sound good to you? Apologies for the brief post, rushing out the door!))