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Justin OOC

Level 2: Might and Magic

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With that Siluca led them to the carriage, but not before smiling at Tori.  "Those pastries are a huge hit here.  Ryan shared the recipe the first morning with one of the chefs, and they've been so heavily requested there was thought of charging for them simply due to the demand.   Of course Ryan had Theo nix that idea, saying he didn't share it with them to make money.   He just wanted something familiar."

After that she left Tori to her own devices, and set out with Vesper and Yuuki.   While in the Carriage, Siluca smiled.  "So you have a guardian spirit, Vesper?"    It was the first time someone had detected Therion directly, without actually seeing him.   "How did you come by him, If I might ask?  It's something that's not unheard of here, but yours seems to be far more interested in your wellbeing than most.  Here they're mostly patrons we draw power from, Seldom do they manifest like yours."

She turned her gaze, giving a moment for Vesper to collect her thoughts to answer her, as she asked something of Yuuki.  "I was also curious about your abilities.  Earth and Nature magic might be a good fit, having watched you, but that wasn't magic you used.  Some sort of other Mystic Art?  And you can transform your physical form.  Is there any associated benefit with it?"

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Vesper hesitated. Having someone notice the Therion unbidden left her feeling oddly exposed, as if she'd had the fly on a pair of jeans down or something.

"I didn't come by him, exactly. It's...complicated. Like, I never saw him before this guy gave me my powers, but he thinks he remembers me as a baby. It's kind of like he's...related to me or something? Except...I don't know. He doesn't really talk. It's more like flashes of pictures and feelings and stuff."

She glanced away, then looked back at Siluca. "I could show you, if you...really want to know."

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Vesper earned herself a look of quiet interest from her teammate for that admission, the wheels of thought visibly turning behind her golden eyes. She nodded to herself, steeling her thoughts.

"I couldn't do any of this until a few weeks ago when I was given my powers as well, but before my... well, when I was growing up I'd read and watch about girls who could transform and fight and create miracles to defeat evil while still being allowed to be normal and happy, too. Spent most of my allowance and meager free time soaking it in and sharing with my... with my Mom," Yuuki forced out after a heartbeat of hesitation, plunging forward, "What our patron gave me was an energy that feels like magic and made me stronger and faster, and if I use the words that make that energy 'happy' for want of a better word, *I* can transform and fight and create miracles, too." 

She looked away, "When I'm transformed, I can use all of it, not just a fraction. Wait... You can see the real me?" 

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Siluca shook her head "No, I don't think you need to manifest him fully here.   That would probably spook the horses, and the driver, so let's not, but I would like to see your Guardian later.   My friend, her name i Izona, she'll definitely want to meet him."

She looked over to Yuuki. "I can, yes.  I have several affinities, and one lets me pierce illusion and reveal the truth of things.  It is useful for spotting infiltrators and see what others try to hide."

"So you wanted to be a hero as a child?  I always knew I'd be a Mage, my Father was the Imperial Mage to the Empire's Royal family so I was always groomed to be one."

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"As long as it makes you happy," Yuuki replied to Siluca after Vesper's little hand gesture successfully derailed any inclination towards grim introspection, "And, yes. Sort of. I wanted the change of pace, the choice of just being able to slip on a mask and be free to be someone else, just for a little bit. My Duty to the shrine, the people it serves, is important, and I wouldn't want to shirk it forever, but... Sometimes I wish it wasn't just *my* Duty. Guess I'm got my wish."

She pointedly refused to think about the nightmares that weren't quite nightmares where the shrine burned and she and her brother just watched from the bottom of the hill letting it happen.

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Tori finished her donut with a scowl, figures the only thing I'd find to like around here would be something from home, she thought as she went back to her room to change into something more suitable for running.

After changing Tori went outside and looked for someplace where she could run and exercise.

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For Tori, there was a large open area within the Keep,  clearly it was a training area for the Knights of the Keep.   Abit of asking around of various ervants uncovered that the town the Castle was within was also a bustling community, as it was a trade hub.   There was much to explore, of she was so inclined.   The last person she asked happened to be an Knight who wasn't on duty.  His name was Daizo Hadsa, he was the leader of an independent Squad of Ducal Knights.   "So, you're looking for somewhere to exercise in peace, is that it?  Why not take a jog of the Ramparts?   If you don't mind my company at least, I can go with you and those on duty won't give you any trouble."

In the Carriage, Siluca smiled.  "oh, forgive my misunderstanding then, Vesper.  If you'd be willing to share it with me, then yes I'd be happy to see what you're shown.  Maybe I can help you uncover the hidden details within the visions you're shown."

Siluca considered Yuuki's answer.  "I guess you did, well I am glad you're going to be able to help us out here.

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Vesper nodded, and her pale cheeks reddened slightly as she cut her eyes to Yuuki. It was a personal sort of thing to share...easier maybe with a stranger than someone she'd have to be working with.

Then she focused on Siluca, and the black of her pupils seemed to spread out across the irises of her eyes as she concentrated. The mage felt a touch on her mind, like the shiver of someone walking over her grave.

 

A wrenching, an explosion of light, though muted as ever. The hospital room is visible now, as if through a thick layer of gauze laid over a camera's lens. A doctor has a baby in her arms while another leans in to sever the umbilical cord. The mother, reaches vaguely out, numbed by medications. You push against the 'gauze' but cannot move through to touch the world before you. You can only watch. Your eyes never waver from the infant.

There is no sense of what came before, nor imagination of what may come next. There is only the duty, moment to moment, as inexorable as the pull of gravity, or the equations that govern momentum. No words define your existence, but the human mind of Vesper imposes a filter on what reaches you. Preserve. Avert. The image of a box, or a spiral, like a moebius loop, half-twisted and turned in on itself. Unfold. Destroy. Close.

The loop changes in aspect to look like some kind of weird snake with its tail in its mouth. It eats until there's only a head and a tightly stretched bit of body...and then swallows, and is gone.

An overwhelming sense of hollowness descends. In a human being, this would be suicidal despair, but here there is no emotion. It is simply what is.

"I asked him once, what he thought of me," Vesper says. The telepathic contact ends so suddenly that it leaves Siluca feeling as if she'd been pulled too quickly from freezing cold water.

"That's what he said."

 

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"Could you tell us about your friend Izona, the one who'll be teaching us? I'd like to have an idea what to expect, even a hint," Yuuki added into the silence, partially as a distraction, but mostly out of genuine curiousity, brushing a lock of green hair out of her face, "Only get one chance to make a good first impression after all." 

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Siliuca watched the memories, the visions replay, and she frowned.  "That..is not fair."  She looked almost like she wanted to hug Vesper, but held off.  "But if you only just got these powers, it doesn't make alot of sense.  Allow me to think on it abit longer, maybe I can help you unravel it and get a true explanation."

"To answer regarding Izona, Let me just say that she's eccentric, and not human.  Nor is she an Elf.   She calls herself  a Seraphim, and as far as I know, she is the only one of her kind.  She never really told me more than that.  What I can tell you is that she is a Master of Magic, knowing nearly every School of Magic there is.  She's sometimes odd, but even trivial information she doesn't know can excite her, if she can think of a use for it.   The more you offer her, the more willing she is to teach, but be careful she can sense the amount of information she doesn't know within any tome,  and has an encyclopedic knowledge of most things."   

"I warn you because she is quite powerful and while she honors all contracts to the letter, asking something elseof her at a later date may end up costing more than you can pay, So it's always good to hold abit back.  She's a good friend to have, but she has her quirks."

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Seraphim, seraphim... That was the title for a Christian angel, one of the most powerful ones in fact, the kind that didn't interact with humans directly often if at all. It'd be like if Yuuki ran into Amaterasu at the supermarket picking out leek. Her lips quirked in thought, piecing together what she'd read and how it compared to what she was being told. The bargaining in exact terms, the teaching of mortals, dwelling in a set location... Izona *sounded* like a yokai, maybe a tengu. And she knew enough folklore about those to be on her toes if that was even half true.

"I assure you, I'll be careful," she responded in a deadly serious tone, golden eyes slitting half-shut and all social glibness evaporating away, "Will you be staying around while we train, or will you be heading back to Lord Theo as Ryan puts him through his paces?"

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Vesper shrugged off the mage's reaction, feeling a stab of embarrassment over what looked to her like pit on Siluca's face.

"For all I know, he's just some crazy thing the game master's powers created," she said. "He does what I tell him to, usually. That's enough."

The description of the seraphim caught Vesper's ear though. The word could have a way different meaning in this world, of course...but it sure didn't sound like any kind of angel she'd ever heard of.

Well, it'd be interesting to see how this all went down.

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Tori narrowed her eyes when the knight offered to go running with her. pfft men they are all alike even on different worlds. "The ramparts are fine. you can come along if you like but i'm sure I can handle and 'problems'," she mad air quotes when she said problems, " your people might try to give me."

She followed Daizo up onto the wall and did some stretches before taking off at a good running pace. If the guy wants to play the hero he's gonna have to work for it.

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"I will be returning to the Keep.  In truth I'm not supposed to stray from Lord Theo's side, as his appointed and contracted mage, but this is special, since he too agreed for me to go and make these introductions.   We want you to succeed, because it helps us too.   I know this is not your world, but it is imprtant to us that everything you said you're here to do is accomplished."

She looked to Vesper.   "I would need time to actually see him, and to activate some somewhat larger spells than I can here.   Still, it could be as you say, or perhaps there was some reason you were chosen, and Your guardian is related to that."

Back at the keep,  Daizo was abit impressed by how quickly Tori took off, but quickly follwed after her.  He was abile to catch up to her, and kept apace.   The ramparts were thick able to easily have 4 men stand shoulder to shoulder, and he smiled .   The Keep had never been taken, and he'd led the defense himself a number of times.   The new Duke was younger than him, but since the Old Duke thought so highly, Daizo had sworn to support him, and his strange allies.   "Is this part of your daily routine?"

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"Yep I run ten miles a day as well as do weight training, martial arts classes and firearms practice. My dream is to be a pilot and a special forces soldier" She slows and stops to pull her water bottle from her belt and takes a long drink while staring out over the castle wall. She offers the plastic bottle to Daizo when she is done. "At least that was my dream. Now i drive a giant robot in weird multidimensional wars on planets that probably don't even exist  anywhere but in my sick crazy head. I'm probably in a straight jacket on a funny farm some where out in the country and you my new friend are probably a delusion."

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Yuuki choked down a pat 'It's my pleasure' response, partially because it would be too pat considering how much trouble she'd be in when she got back, and insidiously, because it was partially so true. It was a pleasure to get away from everything and immerse herself in an adventure like this. Long as this Seraphim didn't turn out to be completely yokai-like and end up making their bones into a harp, she'd dealt with a pair of harsh tutors most of her life. This was a 100% improvement over that.

"So, while we're on our way, Lady Siluca, think you could share some more of the basics of how magic works here? The schools, costs, and practical techniques? No two of the stories I read at home had the exact same system if they explained it at all. The old Lord mentioned that when the great seal started breaking up, magic returned with the chaos. Have the two always been linked? Or is chaos something that came from... outside to become part of the system?" 

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