Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 4, 2018 2:31:23 GMT
Volaria's time for peace is ending. The Oscuran Elemental Master Theynor convinced four other factions to help him gain the power of the destroyed Elemental Spirits for reasons he refuses to tell anyone, leaving the other five factions scrambling to resist his attempt to gain power. As Fulmen tries to piece some kind of plan together involving an old friend from Virilin and the other factions struggle to avoid dying while he messes around with baseless theories, the push for power continues.
Templates: M15, M15 Altered, M15 Gods, Mainframe Planeswalkers, M15 Ultima, M15 Tokens, Starless Scriptures
(Volaria Set Thread)
Spark of Revolution
Planeswalkers bring disaster everywhere. Whether is be directly a cause of their presence or simply bad luck following them around wherever they go, they often find themselves in some manner of trouble. Revela Ylerne, Arina Nisita, Fulmen Delcarlo, Kimar Estil, and Aleryn Regath. Spark of Revolution follows these five planeswalkers as they try to figure out what is truly special about themselves and come to terms with being planeswalkers in a style similar to Magic Origins.
(Spark of Revolution Download)
Templates: M15, M15 Sparkers, M15 Ultima
Volaria is a plane that is young, small, and ruled by ten factions. One thousand years ago, the factions split up to avoid killing each other. Over time, as expected, things became strained due to limited resources. The mainland of the plane is an island that can be walked across in ten days, and is surrounded by a field of aether that disintegrates anything that begins to try to go through it. Eventually, tension broke, and a war resulted. Gods became dead, and in the end, elemental equilibrium propagated throughout the plane, ending the fight for resources and bringing about an age of relative peace. Of course, peace can only last as long as one remembers that they are supposed to be at peace.
The most important materials on Volaria are aethersteel and ryla crystals, two potent magical minerals used in tools, aether circuits, weapons, and partially used as currency.
Volarian Local Space and Eternity Planes
Volaria is not the largest nor first plane to come into existence in its metaphysical area, but it has become the one most central to a small cluster of planes that slowly "travel" throughout the multiverse. Volarian Local Space is the name that it is known by anyone within it that knows of the other planes' existence. In this case, all the planes I've created are in Volarian Local Space. Most of them know of the existence of other planes, three can travel outside their own boundaries. Planes with the technology to leave their own world are called Eternity Planes by other worlds in Volarian Local Space.
Linela is a plane with time that doesn't function correctly. Ripples from past mages have disorganized the plane's temporal dimension, causing things to overlay in some instances and completely vanish in others. The plane is much larger than Volaria and is run by a single government (with a few rebel groups mixed in) under the rule of Lerisa Evinil. Because of the temporal overlap on Linela, its planar technology bounded ahead of what anyone ever could have expected. Weapons are entirely technological, and planar travel by means of portal generation is common for citizens. While they are allowed to leave the plane, Linelan citizens have to follow very strict laws while off the plane, and to make certain these rules are being followed, Lerisa hired Planeswalkers in a group called the Linelan Interplanetary Enforcement Unit to keep the citizens honest. Arina Nisita and Fulmen Delcarlo were both members of the LIEU.
Linelan technology relies entirely on the existence of phasesteel and arilite. Phasesteel is an unstable energy-filled metal that stems from the destruction of time, commonly used in ionization fuel cells and larger energy rods. Arilite is an extremely light metal that's commonly used for construction and melee weapons.
Intera is a plane entirely focused on the premise of metal and artifice. Unlike Mirrodin, whose surface is entirely metal and the life is mostly metal, Intera's surface is mostly nonmetal, or is metal and nonmetal together. For the longest time, the plane was under attack by artificial creatures known as Interlopers. As the result of a planeswalker's meddling, these interlopers became infested by Phyrexian oil, and now the plane is locked in battle against the new Interan Phyrexian forces. Technology on Intera has gotten far ahead when applied to weapons and tactics, but buildings in most places are not advanced. (The southern end of the plane has an advanced base using high technology, but everywhere else ranges from simple to simpler). Intera is recognized by travellers in Volarian Local Space for its Dimensional Anchor, a device that became activated after the Interloper attack that prevents anything from leaving the surface, and prevents mages from grabbing mana from anywhere outside the plane if they wanted to.
Intera's biggest resource is the syrita crystal, a magic infused crystal that is used to create virtually indestructible armor, weapons, and fuel cells.
Virilin is a plane on which magic is heavily tracked and extremely illegal. It is split into large countries spread across four continents, each with their own governments. They each have a seat in a global republic, where conflicts are solved nonviolently and war is an unspoken concept. For many of these countries, the official government stance on magic is "it doesn't exist". For the few that don't take it as an official stance, magic is still either illegal or ignored, but not taught or encouraged. While Virilin is not an eternity plane, that does not make it worthless to other planes. Every other eternity plane has at least one sleeper settlement on Virilin, where they influence Virilin technology, science, and philosophy without the distractions of magic. Linela, for example, has an orphanage where children with "problematic" parents live under Virilin laws and ideas.
Virilin, in many respects, is a blank slate in the multiverse that other eternity planes use to test things and store people as they please. Much of its technology is adapted from Linelan or Lerithan technology, and its resources are plentiful in other places, so it serves no other use in the greater multiverse.
The best words to describe Leritha are "interplanar marketplace". In Volarian Local Space, Leritha is known as "the key to the planes beyond", as travelling beyond Volarian Local Space is exceptionally difficult for any plane travellers except planeswalkers, and most of the VLS planes are incapable of doing so. Due to the energy spent going to and from the outside planes, merchants that are willing to go such far "distances" often charge energy in any form in addition to or instead of any other charge. The plane itself is made of many floating islands, travelled by light-bridges and airships. Far below, where the islands don't reach, is the Moonshadow Abyss, where criminals are left to go insane until they die.
Leritha's most important resource is the vesla wood from trees on the floating islands. This wood has aether-resistant properties that give Lerithan vessels the ability to make it through longer plane jumps.
Sythis is a world mostly underground. At one point the surface existed without hating everything, but now, the surface is dominated by endless desert and the Deathwind. Abrasive, caustic, and all-around deadly, the Deathwind gets everywhere and destroys everything that isn't locked down against it. Because of this, Sythian cities are burrowed underground under multiple airlocks and thick metal walls, and most cities are sulf-sustaining by necessity. Travelling outside a city requires multiple wards and enchanters to keep the Deathwind at bay for just long enough. Sythian planescraft have relatively thin hulls but use magic technology to generate protective wards while the ship travels through the Deathwind and the aether.
As dangerous as the Deathwind is, when contained it can be used as an insane source of power that allows Sythians the travel off the plane. In a container, it is said to represent the state of perfect entropy.
Rysela is a plane of adventure, exploration, and fallen civilizations. The entire world functions on cycles of approximately 40-50 years, where surviving in most places becomes impossible and civilizations die out, and where new civilizations think they can do what the others couldn't by adding onto their technology. This cycling of growth and reset leaves a large area of the surface littered with ancient magic-tech, traps designed to keep out whatever kills everyone every cycle, and remnants of explorer guilds that visited the civilizations. In the central city of Solin and the nearby village of Elesti, where the chaos of the outer world does not destroy, the home of the Adventurer's Guilds stays. The Council of Expeditions gives new Adventurer Guilds the rules, regulations, and authorities required to claim authority when arresting people who've broken the law.
Rysela has access to a large amount of ancient technology buried in its crust, and adventure is every all the time. While Ryselans cannot travel directly into the multiverse, it's a tourist attraction for those who are due to the thrill of the exploration without the risk of Eldrazi nomming all over your face.
A Matter of Time
If you have ever spent time writing a story-arc for characters, or looked at any subject's timeline, temporal consistency becomes really important. That is, the fact that characters are (usually) only in one place at a given time. For the longest time, I cared a lot about this but found that I didn't have consistent times for anything. As a result, I decided to create a timeline that I could always look back at.
Because Volaria is the center of my miniature multiverse (deemed Volarian Local Space by anyone in the area that knows about other planes in the multiverse), I use Volarian dates to define where everything happens. Among other important dates, for instance, the one that can be used the best for lining up times is 299 VY (Volarian Year). That is, 299 VY is the year the Mending happened. Before 0 is AVY (Ancient Volarian Year), times that refer to "Ancient Volaria" when the most common language was Ancient Volarian. On other planes, I use RVY (Relative Volarian Year) so that my time is consistent across the board.
Timeline of Volaria and Key Events for VLS Characters
-795 AVY, Unknown Month/Day - Volaria is created.
-794 AVY, Unknown Month/Day - The Elemental Spirits are born. Seili voltai-esei.
-650 AVY, Month 1, Day 1 - The Rise of the Factions. On this day, the ten factions agreed to become separate under the ten First Masters.
-647 AVY, Month 3, Day 17 - Ria-Demai and Litara begin harvesting ryla crystals for distribution as currency.
-617 AVY, Month 2, Day 10 - The beginning of the Resource War. Theria begins to run low on food. Ria-Demai completely runs out of usable wood.
-600 AVY, Month 7, Day 1 - Over 200 people die during a terrorist attack during a faction gathering. Shaidostan Master Nyri is severely injured and relocated to Entela.
-600 AVY, Month 8, Day 1 - An attack is launched against the faction gathering. First Master Shaido is killed.
-600 AVY, Month 8, Day 1 - Shaidostan Master Nyri is killed. The only remaining Shaidostan descendant is now Master Rya.
-600 AVY, Month 8, Day 11 - Elemental Spirit Solari is killed by Shaidostan Master Rya at her request. First Master Theia declares war against the surviving Spirits.
-600 AVY, Month 11, Day 13 - The Fall of the Spirits. The remainder of the Elemental Spirits were killed this day, sending Volaria forward under no forces other than Elemental Equilibrium and the power of its inhabitants.
-600 AVY, Month 11, Day 13 - The end of the Resource War.
-597 AVY, Month 3, Day 21 - Ental Ylerne publicizes Deep Storage as a method of tracing history and data forever. All books and many research notes are copied into Deep Storage.
-210 AVY, Month 1, Day 1 - Production and distribution of aethersteel coins as currency begins. Ryla is still used, but is less common in favor of smaller and equally valuable coins.
Volarian Common Era
0 VY, Month 1, Day 1 - An Entelan survey indicates that Volarian Common overtakes Ancient Volarian as the common language on Volaria.
299 VY, Month 4, Day 30 - The Mending triggers a pulse of aether energy, disabling or destroying aether technology and many enchantments.
348 VY, Month 5, Day 13 - Revela Ylerne is born on Volaria in Entela.
349 VY, Month 12, Day 21 - Sylvares Valerna is born on Volaria in Shaidosta.
350 VY, Month 3, Day 9 - Sara Ylerne is born on Volaria in Entela.
350 VY, Month 8, Day 21 - Arina Nisita is born on Volaria in Shaidosta.
350 RVY, Month 8, Day 22 - [Virilin] Fulmen Delcarlo is born in Seven Row, Hasin.
356 VY, Month 3, Day 12 - Sara Aliri becomes the first subject of the Entali Project.
356 VY, Month 3, Day 25 - Revela Ylerne's memory is shattered by Lezyn Ylerne. She ascends and planeswalks to Sythis.
364 VY, Month 1, Day 24 - Arina Nisita flees from Shaidosta, taking residence in Entela.
364 VY, Month 2, Day 7 - Fulmen is attacked by the Virilin Spellbane. He ascends and planeswalks to Volaria.
364 VY, Month 3, Day 26 - A thief begins stealing Entelan projects.
364 VY, Month 5, Day 5 - Arina Nisita confronts the project thief. He is captured by Entelan enforcement.
364 VY, Month 6, Day 19 - Oscura, Shaidosta, and Litara form an alliance.
364 VY, Month 6, Day 27 - Entelan Master Elega grants Arina Nisita official Entelan citizenship.
364 VY, Month 6, Day 27 - Entela and Tirena form an alliance.
364 VY, Month 7, Day 12 - Arina Nisita is declared an official enemy of the Oscuran Alliance.
364 VY, Month 8, Day 9 - Entelan enforcement attempts to arrest Sara Aliri and Arina Nisita for treason against Entela. Entelan Master Elega frees them from arrest.
364 VY, Month 8, Day 17 - Arina Nisita is 'assassinated' by Revela. She ascends and planeswalks to Linela.
The Triumvirate War
364 VY, Month 8, Day 17 - Entela declares war against Oscura. Mirora stands beside Oscura, Theria and Mileran stand beside Entela.
364 VY, Month 8, Day 29 - Oscuran Master Theynor wipes out the surface of Entela alongside 95% of Entela's population using a spell akin to Starless Night.
365 VY, Month 3, Day 25 - Sara Ylerne recovers her memories and arrests Lezyn for treason against Entela..
365 VY, Month 3, Day 29 - Revela Ylerne recovers her memories.
365 VY, Month 3, Day 29 - The Triumvirate War ends with the surrender of Oscura due to the Oscuran Master's death.
The Fallout of the Triumvirate War
365 VY, Month 3, Day 29 - Sara Ylerne becomes the Elemental Master of Entela
365 VY, Month 4, Day 1 - Sylvares Valerna becomes the Elemental Master of Shaidosta
365 VY, Month 4, Day 1 - Revela Ylerne is pardoned for her part in the Triumvirate War. She becomes the Elemental Master of Oscura.
366 VY, Month 2, Day 1 - A Faction Gathering begins the use of the Deep Storage Credit currency system, using Entelan Deep Storage to maintain credit records.
366 RVY, Month 8, Day 23 - [Medranos] Arina Nisita is conscripted to help against the Lahessi.
366 RVY, Month 9, Day 22 - [Intera] Marina Selenia triggers the Phyrexian infestation of Intera.
367 RVY, Month 4, Day 11 - [Intera] Arina Nisita becomes trapped on Intera while en route to Volaria.
370 RVY, Month 6, Day 13 - [Intera] The Interloper threat to Intera is neutralized. Arina and Fulmen are allowed to leave.
370 VY, Month 7, Day 23 - The beginning of the Eternity Project.
371 VY, Month 1, Day 3 - Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita is born in Entela on Volaria.
371 RVY, Month 4, Day 21 - Mikara is born in Minei, Hanashi on Virilin.
373 RVY, Month 2, Day 13 - [Linela] The Linelan Interplanetary Enforcement Unit disbands under a new government.
375 RVY, Month 12, Day 5 - Rianne Astera is born in Giraso, Saro on Virilin.
377 RVY, Month 9, Day 13 - Miya Kagemizu is born in Yamaka, Hanashi on Virilin.
378 VY, Month 5, Day 12 - Seiva Zeni publishes The Integration of Aether Tunneling. Entela now has the technology to leave Volaria.
379 VY, Month 8, Day 12 + Entela discovers an ancient Entelan outpost and its research notes about planar instability.
// 381 RVY, Month 1, Day 6 - [Arena] Arina Nisita arrives on The Arena to do research for Entelan interplanar development.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 11 - [Arena] Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita arrives on The Arena to set up an aether tunneler and visit her AWOL mother.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 13 - [Arena] Arina Nisita strikes down Kirino Oblay.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 16 - [Arena] Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita becomes aether exhausted.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 17 - [Arena] Arina Nisita's residence is destroyed by an earthquake.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 19 - [Arena] Arina Nisita and Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita awaken to see that their house was intruded in.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 20 - [Arena] Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita recovers from aether exhaustion.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 23 - [Arena] Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita presents Karina Oblay with an Entelan Transceiver.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 23 - [Arena] Arina Nisita and Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita are attacked by an energy-decay field. Hannah leaves to rescue her friend during a 7CI attack.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 24 - [Arena] Seiva Zeni arrives on the Arena.
381 RVY, Month 3, Day 29 - [Arena] The Entelan citizens of the Arena are evacuated. Seiva returns to fix a broken stabilization grid.
// 382 VY, Month 5, Day 22 - Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita kills Shaidostan Master Sylvares. A Shaidostan gathering places Arina Nisita as Shaidosta's new master.
384 RVY, Month 5, Day 23 - [Virilin] Mikara is adopted by the Delcarlo-Nisita family from Minei, Hanashi.
386 VY, Month 2, Day 7 - Entela begins the Extraction Project to locate and protect magical youth on Virilin. Shaidosta offers some of its military force to help.
386 VY, Month 8, Day 21 - [Virilin] Saroan and Spellbane forces attack Entela's Hanashi Extraction Outpost. They are repelled.
386 VY, Month 8, Day 21 - [Virilin] Fulmen Delcarlo is killed in battle against Spellbane Captain Jonah. Jonah is also killed.
The End of a World
500 VY, Month 4, Day 12 - Outer Volaria is destroyed by the collapsing aether. Entela begins evacuation of Volaria to assorted extraplanar settlements.
513 VY, Month 5, Day 30 - The Blind Eternities collapse in on Volaria, aetherizing anything that remains of the plane. Volarians continue to live on outside worlds.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 4, 2018 6:57:57 GMT
Revela Ylerne (Born 348 VY)
Revela Ylerne is a human planeswalker and skilled tactician born in Entela on Volaria. She is the daughter of Lezyn Ylerne, who was the last direct descendant of Entela's First Master. When she was a child, her sister became ill, and Lezyn separated the two, forbidding Revela from seeing her sister. Slowly, she noticed that people in Entela were completely forgetting about her sister, so much that they thought she was going insane. She continued to fight to make people remember, until one night Lezyn isolated her in an attempt to rewrite her memory using an ancient spell. She fought against him, but in her attempts to defend herself, the spell shattered her memory, igniting her spark and sending her to Sythis.
After Revela ascended, she returned to Volaria with no memory of where she belonged but with a knack for shadow magic. The Master of Oscura took her in and trained her to command Oscuran soldiers in the future with the promise that he would give her the power to fix her memory. With no memory of who her sister was but knowing that the memory was there, she accepted, leading her to hunt down Arina and incite the beginning of the Triumvirate War.
Revela's memory was restored to her at the end of the Triumvirate War. In the fallout, a trial was held for Revela in front of all the factions as the major acting factor in the war. Because her actions were caused precisely because of Lezyn's modification of her memory, Revela was pardoned, with the stipulation that she help repair the collapsed Entela. She took over as Oscura's Elemental Master. She gave a warning to Shaidosta's Master Sylvares: Sylvares would be deposed if she turned against her faction.
- 5'7''; Black, short-cut hair; brown eyes; moderate-pale skin.
- Wears mostly black and white in accordance with common Oscuran dress.
- Black tattoo spiralling around the left arm.
Spells and Powers:
- Sever Reality: Shaidosta Power Script. Assassin's Tool
- Shadow Evocation: Throwing energy around hoping it does something.
- Phasewalking: Travelling between Volaria and the Starless Expanse.
- Assorted Darkness Magic
- Spark of Revolution
Arina Nisita (Born 350 VY)
Arina is a human planeswalker and assassin-cryomancer from Shaidosta on Volaria. Arina is the daughter of Shaidosta's Master Icilica and close friends with another assassin of Shaidosta, Sylvares. During her youth in Shaidosta, Arina and Sylvares were trained by the best in every art of assassination Icilica could find. Arina would take this knowledge and put it in writing for both herself and possible future readers, and she and Sylvares would duel frequently to practice the non-lethal techniques they learned. Arina would always win these practice duels, instilling confidence in herself and in her mother. As she grew up, she began wavering from the assassinations she was given as the targets became more high impact and less deserving of assassination. Arina decided that she no longer wanted to kill, so when she was sent on a job to Tirena, she fled, leaving Sylvares as her only mark on the city.
Shortly after fleeing, she met the electromancer Fulmen Delcarlo and the elemental Sara Aliri in Entela. Though she didn't talk much about her own past, neither did Fulmen, and neither could Sara. She quickly developed a close friendship with Sara and eventually a relationship with Fulmen, learning about Volaria's history and doing her own research for her writing. Arina found a lead regarding a mythical power and the invasive actions of Theynor, the Master of Oscura, and went out to investigate. She was hunted down by Revela, and in the moment before Revela killed her, she ascended, planeswalking to Linela.
On Linela, Arina became involved in Government affairs. She was hired by the Linelan government as a functional mercenary-bounty hunter to relocate a lost artifact to help restore Linela's balance of time, although the point ended up being moot, as the reconstruction of time failed. She obtained Mindmelder, her now-signature rapier that was tuned to show her the broken leylines of Linela.
While travelling the planes, Arina came across a plane called Medranos. She was instantly out of place in a world with no humans and no concept of cold, but the plane nonetheless asked her for help with the growing problem of the Lahessi. While she and the other planeswalkers tried, it eventually came to pass that the world was destined to be destroyed, and so Arina was instructed to leave.
In late 367 RVY, Arina was directed to Volaria by a Lerithan trader, who helped her return home by way of a planar map. Arina followed the map's precise directions to end up on the plane of Intera, where she instantly became locked down by the Dimensional Anchor. Many Interans saw her as the avatar of their god Orindae, who similarly could appear from nowhere, speak languages they did not understand, and prioritized a rapier. With no way to escape, Arina reluctantly accepted the role of the Interan General against the Interlopers. She would fight for 3 years, each day becoming more tiresome, slowly losing her faith in the world and herself. By the end of this way, she had given up hope entirely until she met Fulmen once more. Within months, the two lead the Interan army to a decisive victory.
After the Intera war, Fulmen and Arina returned to Entela on Volaria. They had a child together, and as Fulmen worked in researching, Arina prepared to retake Shaidosta from its fallen state. She delayed her attack on Sylvares until Hannah was 11, when Hannah learned her family's two power scripts. Arina engaged Sylvares in Shaidosta's heart. Sylvares attempted to use Hannah as a hostage, but when Arina still attacked Sylvares, Hannah's own abilities turned the fight against Sylvares. A gathering of the healthy and woken Shaidostans resulted in Arina becoming its elemental master.
- 5'3''; Long blonde hair; blue eyes; extremely pale skin.
- Wears cotton-type fabrics in dark blues or blacks. Often has a cloak. Usually carries a journal.
- Mindmelder: Blue-hilted rapier that glows with a sky-blue color.
- Scale Visor: Interan visor that can filter or highlight specific traits in objects.
- Transceiver: Entelan watch device that allows communication, timing, and programming. A less blocky pip-boy.
- Mark 4 Ionizer: Linelan pistol. Only carried when specifically on duty for LIEU. 6-charge slow-shot.
- Speaks formally; Speaks Ancient Volarian casually on occasion. (For example: Hi, Yeah, Happy Birthday, Curses)
Spells and Powers:
- Sever Reality: Shaidosta's Power Script. Assassin's Tool.
- Sovereign Stasis: Litara's Power Script. Localized Time Stop.
- Frost Shards: Creates shards of ice that Arina manipulates.
- Knockback: Basically the force.
- Telekinesis: Also basically the force. She uses this frequently to draw Mindmelder slightly faster.
- Assorted Ice Magic.
- Spark of Revolution
- Medranos Block (Evolution of the Lahessi, Outbreak)
Fulmen Delcarlo (Born 350 RVY)
Fulmen is a human planeswalker and electromancer from Seven Row, in the country of Hasin on Virilin. He was born to a nonmagical family and spent most of his early life not believing in magic. In his grade 7 year, Fulmen inadvertently disabled a playground bully when he tried to defend himself, taking away his ability to walk properly with a high charge of electricity. Both he and the bully knew that he had done something special to force the bully away, but due to the anti-magic nature of Virilin, the damage Fulmen caused was explained away as an accident of nature. Fulmen learned to embrace his power, albeit with very little control, and over the next year and a half he would do small amounts of showing off, explaining how magic feels to friends and threatening would-be enemies.
Halfway through Fulmen's ninth grade, he was walking home late one night when he overheard two men talking across the street. "Is that him?" sparked the first red flag, and within a few moments, the two men crossed the street to engage him. Fulmen's childhood friend Lily tried to interfere, but one of the men shot her to remove all witnesses. Fulmen broke and without control over his electricity, the two men were quickly slaughtered by his power before his spark pulled him away to Volaria.
Fulmen woke up in the care of Arina, who first introduced herself as Arina Blue. He fell in love with her instantly, although neither would be aware until months late. Fulmen held off on the information of where he came from, as did Arina. Over the course of the next few months, Fulmen befriended Sara and became well known in Entela as the carrier of science that makes no sense but technically works, due to his Virilin studies. Fulmen, Arina, and Sara would eventually share their origin stories to the best of their abilities. One day, Arina suggested that she needed to gather information from the growing alliance of Litara, Oscura, and Shaidosta, and Fulmen urged her to follow her intuition. When Arina ended up dead as a result, Fulmen only blamed himself.
When it came to the Triumvirate War shortly later, Fulmen started to piece together a plan to bring a friend, Marina Selenia, from Virilin across the planes with the understanding that she held a similar power that he did, but without the easy ability to access it. He began focusing all his effort on a spell that would allow him to safely transport a non-planeswalker through to Volaria. His plan ended up "successful", swaying the Triumvirate War in the favor of the Resistance and ending Theynor. The final result also ended in the accidental death of Marina's closest friend, and she quickly left. Fulmen suggested that Sara become the next Elemental Master for Entela, and despite his reckless decisions, Entela agreed.
Fulmen found Arina eventually on Intera after years of research on Ravnica and in a multiversal Arena. He helped her finish her job on Intera, and then the two decided to return to Volaria to have a child, where Fulmen continued to research aether circuitry and technology.
- 5'6''; Short brown hair; brown eyes; moderately pale skin
- Wears mostly casual clothes in red, blue, black, and white.
- Entelan Pistol: Carried for protection. 25 charge, semi-automatic.
- Transceiver: Entelan watch device that allows communication, timing, and programming. A less blocky pip-boy.
- Carries a messenger bag.
Spells and Powers:
- Chain Lightning (is what you would expect)
- Spark of Revolution
Kimar Estil (Born 346 RVY)
Kimar is an elven planeswalker from the Sera Tia Flatlands of Intera. Rather than fighting with a sword like many other Interans, Kimar quickly figured out how to communicate with life and machine alike. None quite understood her abilities, but they were accepted greatfully by her village, and she became known for her hunting as "the girl that can ask for food". Whenever the Interlopers attacked, her ability to communicate made her capable of taking over single constructs at a time, or calling for help from the creatures in the forest. However, during one fight, an absurd amount of Interloper creatures converged on the village, and Kimar was commanded to run across the flatlands to get help from the Gryla Canyon settlement. Kimar went off, but in ten minutes, she stopped and turned back. There was no situation in which they won that fight if she ran away. When Kimar returned, exactly what she had feared had happened. No one remained. As the remaining interlopers converged on her, she pushed outwards, feeling herself being... freed. Her spark ignited and she planeswalked away to Leritha.
On Leritha, Kimar learned about the true nature of the planes, and without an excess of creatures in civilized areas, she learned how to use only swords and machine parts in the event she needed to. She eventually ended up on Volaria as the protector of Theria's Master during the Elemental War.
- 5'11''; Black hair; amber eyes; tan skin
- Wears mostly extravagant dresses in assorted shades of green, white, or red. Changes outfits when necessary.
- Carries a pouch with machine parts or crystals.
Spells and Powers:
- Manipulation of metal
- Beast communication
- Spark of Revolution
Aleryn Regath (Born 340 RVY)
Aleryn is an elven planeswalker and explorer from Elesti on Rysela. Alongside Lysina Evis, Esiara Lyvil, and Forian Wisal, Aleryn founded the Order Foundation, an adventurer's guild based in Elesti built on the premise that explorers should be ready for anything history can throw at them. As adventurers they became very well for being experts in their fields. Aleryn was a trap master, Esiara was excellent with countermagic, Lysina was a healer, and Forian was a fighter. During one adventure, Aleryn lead ahead with Esiara and inadvertently triggered an ancient fire trap, killing Esiara and ascending Aleryn to Zendikar.
Aleryn returned to Rysela with stories of finding his way back, and with the goal that he would become the master of every trap in the multiverse.
- 6'2''; Red hair; silver eyes; light-brown skin
- Wears upper-class clothes in a variety of colors, although only one color at a given time.
- Burn scar along arm, cut scar along face
Spells and Powers:
- Trap Detection
- Directional Sense (Basically a compass)
- Spark of Revolution
Marina Selenia (Born 350 RVY)
Marina is a human planeswalker from Seven Row, in the country of Hasin on Virilin. She first learned about magic from Fulmen's dabbling with electricity, and although she could feel like there was something magical about her, she could never make anything happen. She and her best friend, Kalia Leone, were in band class with Fulmen. When Fulmen returned from being dead, he explained the concept of planeswalkers to Marina and Kalia and told them that he needed help rescuing a plane. Kalia excitedly accepted, but Marina only agreed because of Kalia. While on Volaria, she and Kalia learned how to cast spells properly.
While Marina succeeded in helping save Volaria, Kalia's life was lost in the final battle. Marina held her death against Fulmen, vowing to find some way to bring justice to him and ascending as a planeswalker. She traveled away, eventually ending up on Rysela and filling in some adventures with the Order Foundation. By the end of her adventures, Marina witnessed multiple murders between Guilds and helped the Order Foundation arrest them.
Marina left Rysela without knowing what she should be doing. People were brutal to each other. Humans, elves, goblins, everyone, even when people should be working together. Eventually, Marina came across the plane of New Phyrexia. With nowhere else to go, Marina was taken in by the Phyrexians and taught a new system where all worlds and people shared one goal. Marina took the glistening oil in vials around to various planes, including to Intera.
When Marina landed on Intera, she was uncertain if she was truly doing right. On Intera, she took control of the Interloper army and gave it to three leaders that agreed to take the Phyrexian mantle: Artian, Syles, and Minvel. If she was wrong about Phyrexia, these three would hopefully return to the Interan side and the Interlopers would falter. Marina never got to see the end result of the Interan war: She came across Arina and Fulmen and out of frustration tried to kill Fulmen. Arina instantly intercepted and killed her.
- 5'1''; long brown hair; brown eyes; pale skin
- Wears white and blue. Either jeans/t-shirt or dresses.
- Often uneasy and always looking around.
Spells and Powers:
- Stasis enchantments
- Solidified air
- Telekinesis (Literally the force)
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 5, 2018 6:16:54 GMT
Non-Planeswalker CharactersSara Ylerne (Born 350 VY; Volaria)
Sara is a Volarian born in Entela. She is the first member of an elemental-human hybrid race known as the Entali. Sara was born as a human to the family of Entela's First Master, but as she aged, she was afflicted by attacks from something called Elemental Dissociation Disorder that caused elemental energy in the air to end up in her body in high concentrations and damage her cells. Lezyn decided to take the role as the observer of the Entali Project, but he was not allowed as Sara's father. In a quick decision, Lezyn used his family's power script, the Erasure Process, to over time rewrite the memories of everyone in Entela so that they believed Sara was not his child, but was instead Sara Aliri, the daughter of the current Entelan Master.
Sara lived and grew up knowing she was forgetting something but being unable to figure out what. Her elemental hybridization granted her innate control over elemental Logic magic, and even as young as 11 she began turning Entela's reality augmentation spells from pacifiers into toys and then into fully operating programs capable of simulating cities or battles across Volaria. Sara spent most of her time alone, not being able to connect with anyone due to not knowing anything about herself where everyone else did. Eventually, she befriended Arina Blue and Fulmen Delcarlo, who had similar problems discussing their pasts.
When it was thought that Arina died, Sara began looking into possible tactics while Entela declared war against Oscura. While things were quiet for a week, 12 days after the declaration of war, she had a sense of dread. She knew that Entela was going to be wiped away. She rushed to hurry everyone into Entela's underground laboratories to protect them, but only about a hundred Entelans listened to her. The idea of such a powerful attack seemed impossible. Later that day, as predicted, Theynor came nearby and obliterated the surface of Entela, killing most of Entela's population.
Sara regained her memories from Lezyn after learning the Erasure Process spell for herself. Her memories revealed exactly what was expected. Lezyn's treason, her familial connection to Revela. With this information, Sara rushed to the Oscuran Citadel to disable Revela, and as hoped, she was able to reach Revela and restore her memories as well. Revela officially surrendered to Entela and aided them in ending the war. At the end of the Elemental War, Sara was officially instated as Entela's Elemental Master. Physical Details:
- 4'9''; Long white hair; golden eyes; pale skin that occasionally glows a golden hue.
- Wears either Entelan lab attire or long white dresses.
Entelan watch device that allows communication, timing, and programming. A less blocky pip-boy. Spells and Powers:
- Logical Precognition: Able to see future actions that are conscious decisions.
- Erasure Process: Entela's Power Script. Allows the rewriting and erasure of memories.
- Simple electricity magic.
- Reality Augmentation: Innate understanding of Entela's Reality Augmentation fields.
- Aether Control: Mirora's Power Script. Disables magic selectively in a massive area, including other Power Scripts.
Seiva Zeni (Born 355 VY; Volaria)
Seiva is an Entelan researcher from Volaria. In her youth, Seiva studied cryomancy and authoring with the assistance of books written by Arina. When the world-famous author moved into Entela, Seiva was happy to spend time around her to improve her writing. Eventually, she learned that Arina was hiding from Shaidosta, and changed her last name to avoid being captured and executed by Entela. Seiva vowed to protect Arina's secret while she lived in Entela.
As Seiva grew up, she became more interested in bioaetherics, material effects, and transportation. She was an exemplary student, and when she became 14 in 369 VY, Sara offered to assign her to begin working with Veser Nevai and his research team while she continued her studies. When Seiva learned this research team was working on aether tunneling, Seiva instantly accepted and began focusing her efforts into studies that would assist her.
After 9 years of studying, Seiva was standing on a research platform near the aether storm when she realized that the team was working with an incorrect calculation due to a false assumption about the properties of the aether storm. She made a suggestion to supply a significantly higher amount of energy to the tunneler they had, and when it fired, the first gap in the aether storm had been created. Seiva was asked to publish a research document about aether tunneling that soon became a full thesis on the topic, and was commended with bringing Volaria into its Eternity Era. Physical Details (364 VY):
- 4'3''; long, dark hair; brown eyes; tanned skin.
- Wears mostly black to imitate Arina
: Entelan watch device that allows communication, timing, and programming. A less blocky pip-boy.
: Aethersteel bracelet the same size as a Transceiver that slightly assists focus. Spells and Powers:
- Frost Shards: Creates shards of ice that Seiva manipulates.
- Telekinesis: Literally the force.
- Space Cooling/Refrigeration: Cools an area.
- Reduction of Body Temperature: Cools a being.
- Assorted Small Ice Spells.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 5, 2018 7:04:01 GMT
STORY: Sight Leads to Blindness
(Just a short slice-of-life thing for Arina, Fulmen, and Sara before the Elemental War.)
Arina leaned against the wall and smiled. Fulmen was at her side, although he could not seem to decide whether he wanted to sit, stand, or lean against the wall with her. It was fine with her regardless. Watching him try to focus on one thing at a time was amusing. She never would have thought the Entelan hallways to be especially exciting. At their core, they were just metal sheets with energy flowing down pipelines in the walls. Somehow, Fulmen found something to look at all the time.
"Esteina varesei," she said carefully.
"Uh..." Fulmen hummed. "I don't know. Hello?"
Arina chuckled with laughter. "Sight leads to blindness, Fulmen. You know this yet completely forgot it. I do not even know how you ended up on estera."
"Right," Fulmen agreed. Arina could never stop smiling around him. Somehow, even without trying, he managed to amuse her every single day. "You'd think I'd remember the one that applies literally all the frigging time."
"One would think, but one would be wrong," Arina noted. "Seili voltai-ese?"
"'May the Spirits be with you,'" Fulmen quoted. "I remember that one."
"Correct, so what does that mean?"
"Well, the Spirits are the--"
"No, no," Arina cut Fulmen off. "I do not mean to ask where the phrase originated, I asked what it meant."
"Oh, uh, goodbye?" Arina smiled and shook her head.
"Yes, but you cannot simply say it in every situation. That would be like saying 'Good day, Mister Delcarlo' every day to a close friend."
"That would be weird," Fulmen agreed. "I don't think I should know another Delcarlo around here."
"Alright, I have a simple one. Ly-thei ria?" Arina glanced up, catching Sara's flowing dress as she glided a minuscule amount above the ground. She was clearly occupied by something, although Arina had no way of knowing what. Fulmen tried to put words together for a moment, but none of the words he seemed to be figuring out actually worked their way into a sentence.
"Hi Arina, hi Fulmen!" Sara called out. She set her feet fully on the ground and finished taking the last few steps to join the two.
"Esia, Sara! Arina replied. "You seem especially excited today." Fulmen nodded in agreement as he continued to try to create words.
"Well, obviously. It was 14 years ago today that I was born."
"Really?" Fulmen asked. "Happy birthday!"
"Syvesei," Arina agreed, letting her words lightly touch the air after Fulmen. Sara looked between the two for a moment.
"Are you two dating yet?" She asked with a smirk. "You really should be." Fulmen laughed. Arina sighed. She couldn't decide whether she was supposed to smile or not, so she ended up forcing some form of half-smile.
"No, not yet," she decided.
"And... why not?" Sara demanded. "You two literally spend all your time together anyways." Fulmen began to speak, but was quickly cut off by Sara holding up her finger.
"Because Fulmen has not asked me out," Arina explained, gesturing to Fulmen with an arm.
Fulmen began to say a word before cutting himself off. "Excuse me?" he eventually worked out.
"Really, Fulmen?" Sara asked in exasperation. She also gestured to Fulmen with her arms when she talked. "I had something more important to say, but seriously... what the hell?"
"I've been, you know, waiting for her to show interest?"
"She's been in love with you since you fricking got here!" Sara declared with a laugh. "Sight leads to blindness, I guess. What've you been talking about this whole time?"
"Arina's been teaching me Volarian?" Fulmen explained. Fulmen perked up as though he had just come across a realization.
Sara looked at Arina. "Oh! You were doing that thing where you try to get him to "I love you" so you can try to make him pay attention to what you're trying to say, weren't you?"
Arina nodded. "Yes, and it almost worked until Master Elega's daughter decided to interrupt us."
"Right, sorry," Sara accepted. "Anyways, you guys can discuss that later. Mom's ordered that we get some battle practice in. None of us have official fight training."
Arina raised a finger, intending to respond. "Fine," Sara replied to Arina's unspoken comment, "One of us has official fight training. That still leaves Fulmen and I. You can come and, I dunno, tell us what we're doing wrong or something. Just, like, do your thing and then meet me in Augmentation One."
Arina nodded. "Excellent." Sara went off on her own, returning to her just-barely-levitating glide.
Fulmen looked at Arina with a new kind of smile that she had no definition for. "So, uh... Arina?"
Arina leaned forward and kissed Fulmen before he could finish his question. "Absolutely. Now, we have a job to fulfill."
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 13, 2018 3:05:57 GMT
STORY: DEEP STORAGE
The door seals off as I enter Reality Augmentation. I have decided that I will determine what Lezyn is keeping hidden, and cannot risk being interrupted. The space in Reality Augmentation expands and transforms. The light fades away until the only light comes from the replica of Entela’s aether channels floating in the middle of the room. I’ve seen these pipelines many times, given that I learned this trick a long time ago, although I doubt anyone in Entela is aware of the full scope of what I can do. In an instant, I sever the flow of energy to the security cameras surrounding the interior of this chamber.
The room transforms again, becoming large blocks of shelving for data cubes and spheres, labyrinthine hallways, and fine lines. This is Deep Storage. This is every piece of information and every bit of data that Entela has ever known. This is not the first time I’ve accessed Deep Storage this way. I’ve become aware of the most important events in Volaria’s history and can cite many other random events and people. The fall of the Spirits, the birth and death of the Neutral Alliance. It’s as though I lived through the events myself. A result of having nothing to do but spend time in Reality Augmentation, learning every little thing I can do with it.
I begin following the hallways, navigating fairly easily to today. As a warm-up, I decide to open a simple file: the security recording just before I disabled the cameras. I feel through the spheres, looking for an indication of myself. The security spheres are sorted by time, so it’s not especially difficult regardless. I locate the security sphere, channel the magic that comes with my elemental form, and touch the sphere. Reality Augmentation reacts exactly as it is supposed to. The weaving pathway of Deep Storage fades into the darkness and the footage recreates in my presence. I enter the room. The door closes and locks. The aether circuit appears. The image fades, and Deep Storage returns. Perfect.
I return to the brightness of Deep Storage and the walls of spheres and cubes. Today’s data isn’t especially helpful for my purposes, but it’s a start. I peer into the cubes, feeling for my presence. Presenting Fulmen’s Plan only a few weeks ago. Entela being attacked a few months ago by Revela… Ylerne? That’s strange. That’s Lezyn’s last name. That’s a good start.
Following references of Revela back leads me into more interesting results. Mentions of replicating her in Reality Augmentation. Stories of her rising fame in Oscura. Most of these documents leave out her family name. Interesting. I take a moment to recall the importance of the last name Ylerne, as though I hadn’t memorized that ages ago. Direct descendants of Entela. I wonder...
I walk right into a wall. Weird. Usually security barricades move aside for me because I’m Master Elega’s daughter. I reach out to it and enter the aether signature we use as a passcode.
Rejected. Interesting. I am unsure at first whether this is a problem or not. No, of course it isn’t. This wall is nothing compared to my skill with aether technology. And, of course, this wall means that I found exactly what I was looking for by following Revela.
I channel a spell of my own and open the barricade into Reality Augmentation. It initially seems pretty standard. Aether gates, channels, a mess of energy. This gate has a six-signal code. Probably letters? Typically numerical codes are multiples of 4. Time for my spell, then. I release my spell and take an aerial view on the barricade thanks to Reality Augmentation. Seeing the colors of energy flowing throughout, the letters form themselves. I am reminded why I suggested that security barricades in Deep Storage start using a different system. They are simple.
The codes is ENTALI. What a strange word. I step back out of the barrier and feed it the newly discovered word. The barrier fades away, and with ease, I begin looking at the files.
The first is labeled >>Entali Project. I suppose that is where the name comes from. Dates back to 356VY and mentions… me. As the sole subject of the elemental hybridization project. I am not actually Master Elega’s daughter, which I knew but was nice to confirm. Of course, Lezyn is the project head. This seems fine on its own.
Moving on. Lysta elsin. The name sounds familiar. It’s a Volarian name, of course. It means “Erasure Process”. This document is exceptionally old. So much so that it’s written in Ancient Volarian. Why is it behind this barrier? All it describes is Entela’s Power Script. I guess that’s interesting, but all the others are common knowledge. This isn’t…
Memories. The word sticks out like thunder on a silent night. Erasure Process edits and destroys… memories. I suddenly realize why I recognized the name. I heard it in passing once from mom— from Master Elega. Erasure Process is an illegal spell.
I pull back and start looking for myself in security recordings. Multiple times a year, Lezyn used Erasure on me. I cannot tell what for at this moment, but I know it happened. Which memories do I have that actually belong to me? Which are created by Erasure Process? A security sphere catches my eye. Revela and Lezyn. I touch the sphere, and Reality Augmentation does the rest.
“Stay back!” Revela shouts. Her back is to a wall. At this moment she is only… 8? Lezyn looks just the same as he does now. Revela pulls a dagger from behind me into her hand using magic. It phases through me as she grasps at it.
“I really should have gotten you earlier,” Lezyn admits. “Sara is not your sister anymore. She is the Master’s daughter.” Sister? Did Lezyn just say sister? If that’s the case…
Revela points the dagger at Lezyn. Black energy coats the blade, her arm shaking out of her own control. “I’ll… I’ll kill you if you try to take her from me!” Lezyn’s hands begin to glow golden.
“Lysta elsin.” Lezyn calmly incants.
“S-severi aritae!” comes Revela’s response. The image goes dark for a moment. When it returnn, Revela is writhing on the ground.
I only realize how heavily I’m breathing after the image fades away. Revela is my sister? Then, all my nightmares, the things Lezyn called false memories… they were real. That means that I’m not Sara Aliri… which I suppose makes sense. Aliri belonged to Master Elega. I am Sara Ylerne, living daughter of First Master Ental.
I check the other spheres, up to the moment I underwent the process. That moment is the one I wanted to confirm. A researcher confronted Lezyn: He could not lead the Entali Project. The subject, me… I was his daughter. In that instant, he makes a choice that leads to everything else. Lezyn uses Erasure on the research, rewriting her memories of who I am.
Releasing myself from Deep Storage is difficult. So many secrets unknown. An entire project missing from Entela. I tell Deep Storage to begin replicating these documents onto physical spheres before pulling myself out.
I enable the cameras and unlock the door. I need to locate Lezyn. I need to control myself when I do so, but I need to locate him. If I don’t control myself, I’ll kill him, and that’s not my job. But, what of Revela? Why did she turn against Entela? I can’t imagine a situation...
Correction. I know exactly why: Erasure Process.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on May 25, 2018 7:13:14 GMT
A MAP OF VOLARIA
Of relevance, that little area to the right of Oscura is a flat area controlled by Entela to function as a relay for the Entelan Transceiver Network, due to the concentrated heat and hunting that makes upkeep in Tirena very difficult.
Hollow circles are major cities.
The pentagon with a circle inside is the Elemental Seal, where the Faction Gatherings are held at the beginning of every month.
Small, solid dots represent villages not connected to the major city.
Darker lines represent faction boundaries or island limits.
Thin repeated lines represent mountain ranges.
Thin single lines represent rivers.
Dark green areas are heavily forested.
Light green areas are plains or grassland.
Yellow areas are desert.
Grey areas lack vegetation, either plateaus or stone mountains.
White areas are snow-covered.
Orange areas are volcanic in nature.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Jun 17, 2018 8:21:13 GMT
The Spirit of Light (Part 1)
Where am I?
What am I?
I am… an elemental. A being made of energy. Of the essence of the world. Whatever this world is. Trees, dirt. The breeze flows through me, through my dress. The sun shines through the canopy in shafts of light. The sound of running water is to my right, but I cannot see its source. The air is clean. I breathe in and out.
Many words and ideas are new to me. Nere I am. Living, breathing, understanding the world. This world. This world is called Volaria.
I… am called Solari. I am not alone. There are ten others, somewhere. I am… We are… Elemental Spirits. Elemental souls given physical bodies… Given. I do not have context for who could have given us bodies, but we have them. I am… Light.
Life scurries around, moving to capture what rays of sun make it to the forest floor. I feel warm. The sun is warm. A small detail in this situation, but a detail I notice. The creatures seem unaware or uncaring of my presence. I sit down and breath deeply. What have I learned in the last minute?
I am Solari. I am Light. I am an Elemental Spirit of Volaria. I am here, in this forest.
I need to set up a community. I do not know why or how, but this is the next thing I think of. I need to… somehow find the others. I am not yet certain if I can die. Does death even matter? Will whatever created us just create us again? Maybe one of the others, wherever they are, have an answer. I can feel myself being drawn in a direction. East. Across the sound of water.
I must head to this location, wherever it is. Do I need to grab anything? Possibly water, although I have no method of carrying it. Do I need water? I do not know. I can only assume that I would know if I did. As an elemental spirit of Light, what does this mean for me? Areas around me that should be shadows are light. Can I control this? I am very confused. Focus, Solari. Travel.
I stand and begin walking towards whatever destination awaits. I presume I will know when I arrive. That is all I can hope.
First, however. There is a river in my way. It seems to be moving relatively slowly and is perfectly clear. Smooth stones line the bottom. Fish glide effortlessly through. Without thinking, I instantly step in and start to cross. This moment is relaxing, and I stop to feel. The water reaches my chest. It is a bit more difficult to breathe, but the coolness of the river is pleasant. Cleanliness is an idea that comes to mind, but I have no time right now. I need to get to this place.
I continue my travels east across the river, travelling through any place where there are not trees. By nighttime, I still have not left the forest. The aura of light still glows around me, but there is not much I can do with it. I could continue travelling. Beams of moonlight stream through the canopy, illuminating small patches in the direction I was travelling. I sit down next to a tree to recoup while I lack a proper method of defending myself.
I begin to notice that I am hungry. I need to eat to stay alive. Is there anything nearby that is edible? I feel around like I did when I first woke up. There are animals nearby that may serve as food if I could hunt them. I have no ideas about that.
I start toying around with light between my hands. I can control it. Right? I toss a ball of light between my hands. I cannot help but wonder if the others went through this exact process. Did they already know what they could do? Did they also have to travel this far?
A deer walks nearby. It was probably attracted to my light. I silently thank it for helping me figure out my problems. I should try something. I take my ball of light and push it outward towards the deer. Like a blade, the ball carves a beam of light through the deer and the darkness above before disappearing. The deer falls to the ground.
So that is what I do. I hope that I can find less lethal uses for my skill, but this means I can keep travelling once I eat. After a few moments, I realize that it is not possible for me to eat this deer. I try to tear a part of its body off, but do not have the strength to do so. How did I intend to get to the meat? I decide to leave the deer for the other animals that are better equipped to eat it and look around for some form of plant as I travel forward.
After a short time of continuing east, I find a tree with apples. Good. I pull one down and bite into it. The juices fill my mouth in an exquisite taste that makes me happy it was my first experience with food. I can eat apples well. I take a few apples from the tree and carry them with me as I continue to walk.
By daytime, I’ve reached the edge of a range of mountains. Thankfully, I need to travel south of the mountains and not through them, but knowing they are there is probably a good thing. The other side of these mountains is a large open grassland with not many sources of food for me. I am now glad I brought apples with me.
I can feel myself get closer. The sunny sky beats down harshly on me, and I happily take the first moment at the next river to cool off. My dress is weighed down by the water, but dries quickly once I return to solid ground. I wonder if I have to cross any further rivers on the journey.
Birds chase each other across the sky as I walk. I do not know what they are doing, and at some points it seems friendly, where at others it seems hostile. A steady breeze picks up, blowing my hair behind me. I occasionally have to move it out of my way, but not nearly as frequently as before.
“Hello.” The voice startles me. I had not noticed anyone nearby. His voice is very polite, very patient. He does not seem to be hostile.
“Hi…?” I ask as I spin around. Where is the voice coming from. Am I insane? Have I been insane from the beginning? Before too long, the winds whip up, and before me stands a man that is much taller than I am. He is not twice my height, but it is close. He is dressed in blue and white, and wears a magical ring that glows with magic that I cannot see. He looks older, with a silver beard.
“Another pointed-ears. Another child? I had thought Mystis and Pyres were the only ones, but here you are.” Are my ears different from normal? I have not seen myself to know how I look. What are these names? Where am I now? I have not reached the place I should be yet.
“Who are you?” I ask.
“I, my friend, am Talis, the Elemental Spirit of Air. All that belongs to the skies are my domain. Gales, breezes, storms, motion. These are all mine.” Talis speaks with such confidence that I am not sure he could ever run out of things he controls. “Now, the same question. Who are you?”
“My name is Solari,” I introduce myself. “I am the Spirit of Light. And, well, I do not know what that means yet.”
“Ah, of course. That explains a few things.” Talis chooses not to elaborate further. “The others in the village will be excited to see you. Come with me, please.”
I am not sure what Talis plans, but he leads me in the direction I was being pulled in the first place. I follow him, back through the trees, until we come to a large clearing. Ten large quartz pillars stand in a circle surrounding one larger obsidian obelisk. At each corner is a different form of structure. One is made of carved marble. One is a hammock tied to a nearby tree. One has walls of ice that have somehow decided not to melt.
Talis motions for me to stay still while he heads off somewhere. I can feel them. The others, all around me. Only seven are around, although I can absolutely feel traces of the other three. They must have recently headed out for something. It is not too long before I am approached by three of the remaining seven.
The first is a girl with blonde hair dressed in all black. She is about as tall as Talis, but not nearly as old. The second is a man slightly shorter than her and dressed in a variety of magical… things. He holds a staff that glows golden. The last is a man, taller than both of them, that wears clothing that changes colors every moment. The traitor. I bite my tongue. I do not know him, but his presence makes me uneasy. What could that name mean?
The woman speaks first, although she keeps her distance with a wary gaze. “Number eleven finally arrives. What’s your name?” She seems more curious than hostile towards me. I should talk to her further.
“I am… Solari,” I suggest. “I am the Spirit of Light.” The woman nods with a smile.
“I am Severa. I am the element of Ice.” Unlike Talis, she says nothing more.
The second man steps forward to greet me. “Hello Solari. I am Lyr, the Spirit of Logic. I noticed that Morin had no opposite, so I expected that you would show up eventually.”
“Well, here I am,” I mention awkwardly. This is a lot of people all at once. Yesterday morning I did not even know what I was, and now there are people everywhere. Lyr and Severa are very similar. Trustworthy. Understanding. People that are not the Traitor.
“Yes. This is our village, where we were all drawn to. How long ago did you awaken?” I look up at the Traitor as Lyr questions me, but he says and does nothing.
“Yesterday? I started coming here as soon as I knew that here existed.”
“Really? Hm…” Lyr said. “So you are a year after Pyres and a further seven after Severa. Interesting.”
“... Is it?” I ask. I am not sure what he is interested by.
“Oh, sorry, that is not your concern. We will have to acquaint you with the village later.” Lyr says nothing further and backs off, leaving only the Betrayer.
“Solari, I am Binas, the Spirit of Balance,” he declares confidently. “I oversee you ten to ensure that you don’t kill each other or the world around us.”
“Oversee?” I ask, “In what sense?”
“I set it on myself to keep you ten equal to each other. As such, we felt it correct for me to lead decisions around the village to break up disagreements.”
“Right,” I say. My tone betrays my thoughts, and both Severa and Lyr instantly catch it. They do not immediately tell him. Binas absolutely missed it. I cannot trust him to make decisions for me, whatever they are.
“That is correct. Once Lyr has finished explaining our lives to you and why we matter, I will provide some instructions to you.” Binas nods to Lyr, and Lyr nods back. Binas turns to walk away without a word, and Severa waves goodbye as she returns to whatever she was doing.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Jul 10, 2018 6:26:34 GMT
You Can Trust Us
“Hm…?" Arina grumbled as the outside light filtered into the room. Fulmen was still asleep, and his arms were still around her. She found it not difficult to slip out of his grasp to sit up. There were footsteps shambling around Fulmen’s room, as though someone were looking for something. Two metal bolts rolled along the ground as she rubbed her eyes.
“Sara?" Arina called out. The footsteps stopped in a corner and Arina blinked her eyes open. A man stood in the corner, mostly cloaked in black and covering his face, holding Fulmen’s sphere that he was working on. That sphere was his project. This man…
This man was the thief, stealing unfinished projects from throughout Entela. Arina heard about him from Sara but somehow he managed to evade detection. This man would regret choosing Fulmen as his target. Arina and the man’s eyes connected for a moment. For one moment, Arina could see the terror in his eyes, and he could definitely see the determination in hers.
Arina reached out to her dagger using her magic and flung it in the direction of the thief, shouting “Fulmen, wake up!" as she did so. The thief ducked out of the dagger’s path and ran out the open door. Arina jumped off the bed and followed him along the cold metal ground of Entela’s white hallways.
The thief stayed just out of range of her spells, although that didn’t stop her from throwing them. He was quick on straightaways but clumsy going around corners, so Arina kept an eye on him. He seemed to be going toward the core, where no one would be for the night. That was a dead end. He would surrender or he would die.
Sara watch as Arina ran down the hall in pursuit of someone as she came up to a corner. Two shards of ice flew by the someone’s face but he turned around the corner quickly. Sara would be needed at the core. She felt it earlier, but ignored it. Now she understood: she had to stop Arina from making a terrible mistake.
“Contact, Fulmen Delcarlo," Sara commanded into her transceiver. She instantly began making a path back to her room. She hid a weapon in her drawers that she would absolutely need.
“Hey," a tired Fulmen replied. “Where did Arina go?”
“She’s on the way to the core following probably-a-thief," Sara explained. She dragged her hand along the wall as she ran, drawing impulses from security cameras using her magic to keep an eye on Arina. “I need you to meet me outside the core in a few minutes to help protect her.”
Sara barged into her room and opened her cooled drawer. What greeted her was exactly what she expected. Entelan pistol, charged with ice energy; three small vials of slushy water; and a belt designed to hold both of these things. “Absolutely, I’ll be there momentarily," Fulmen agreed. The transceiver connection fell off. Sara grabbed the belt, slid two of the vials and the pistol into it, and wrapped it around herself
“Areto!" Arina shouted. His back was turned; he must have assumed that he lost her. In that moment, she forced outwards with a spell and shoved him into the aether-infused glass cylinder that surrounded the core. He dropped to the ground, as well as the paradoxical sphere that he stole from Fulmen.
The thief groaned as he stood to face her. A pile of assorted devices laid beside him, two of which seemed like Entelan weapons and another seemed like a bomb of some sort. “You’re really annoying, you know?”
“Return the Entelan devices and submit yourself to Enforcement," Arina demanded. “You will not leave here alive if you do not.”
The thief laughed. “Kid, you should just head back and let people with power handle these things. You’re not scaring me.”
Arina drew her dagger using magic and pointed it at him. Shadowy energy gathered around the blade. “You have one minute. Step away from the devices and surrender yourself to Entelan Enforcement. One. Two. Three...”
“Alright, I have a plan," Sara declared. “You’re not going to like it, but Arina will live as long as you do what I tell you.”
“Is this necessary?" Fulmen asked. His voice was shaking.
“Yes, it is." Sara slid one of the vials out of her belt and handed it to Fulmen. She very clearly enunciated her following commands. “I’m going to induce overchanneling in both of them. The moment I shoot Arina, you have to get that into her. If you wait too long the overchannel will kill her. Is that understood?”
“Y-yeah…" Fulmen agreed. He took the vial tightly into his hand while Sara prepared her pistol and pressed her back against the door to listen through it. She held her other hand over the enabler on the door to slide it open when she needed to.
“You should be more afraid of me than you are," Arina declared loudly.
“Bring your worst, kid," another voice challenged.
Arina began declaring “severi aritae”. Sara had no intention of letting her finish. She shoved the door open and made two perfectly aimed shots of bright blue energy, first at Arina to cut her off, then at the thief. Arina collapsed to the ground and clutched around her stomach. Within moments she was brought to tears, a feat that Sara was unsure was possible. She motioned Fulmen to Arina and he wasted no further time in rushing to her side.
Sara calmly walked over to the thief, who was in a similar state but handling the situation with significantly less frailty. “You are very lucky to live for a few more days," she explained. “Enjoy them." She leaned down and gave him the vial. She stood back up and called over to Fulmen. “Get her to my room. We have some things to talk about.”
Arina rolled off of Fulmen’s arms flat onto the bed. The pain from being shot was gone now, but she still recognized that she could not cast most of her spells without killing herself. Fulmen sat on the bed next to her, remaining silent.
“I tried, Fulmen,” she weakly said. “I suppose he got ahead of me…”
“No, you did excellently. We took possession of it. Thank you,” Fulmen replied. He swept her hair out of her face and smiled at her. “His associates, if he has them, didn’t shoot you. Sara did.”
“Why?” Arina had no further words to expand that sentence yet.
“Well—” Fulmen began. Sara cut him off as she stepped into the room and closed the door behind her.
“Miss Nisita, if you would rely on logic rather than emotion, you might actually figure that out yourself!” Sara declared. She dropped the pistol, belt, and empty vials back into the drawer and shoved it closed. “Do you want to get yourself killed? Casting Sever in the middle of Entela! What the hell were you thinking?”
“Arina’s last name is Blue, not Nisita,” Fulmen corrected. Sara paused.
"Fulmen doesn't know, does he?" she asked. Fulmen seemed very confused.
"Mm-mm," Arina mumbled with a shake of her head.
"Excellent," Sara noted. "Well, this would be a good time for that explanation. Do you want to do it or should I?"
"You should," Arina said. "I do not want to miss anything."
“Right, so, Fulmen." Sara stared at Fulmen until she had his attention. "Nisita is the last name of the Shaidosta bloodline. In essence, it is the family name of Shaidosta’s Master. Arina is the current Master's daughter." Fulmen nodded but did not say anything. "I shot her because she started to cast Sever Reality. If Entela becomes aware that she can cast Sever Reality, more people than me are going to figure out who she is and she is going to die. If I knocked her out by any other method, the biofeedback from Sever would kill her."
“So... hold on," Fulmen began. "Isn't being next in line as an Elemental Master a good thing? Why are you here?"
Sara touched Arina's shoulder. "You should handle this."
"Mm-hm," Arina vocalized with a nod. “Many reasons. People of Shaidosta hated me, so even if Master Icilica was deposed, I would likely be killed shortly after. Most recently… You recall that I take trust very seriously.”
“Yes, very seriously, in that you spent the last…” Sara looked at her transceiver. “... two months lying to your boyfriend about who you were.” Arina cringed as Sara mentioned it. Tears began to fill her eyes and Arina did nothing to try to stop it. “However, continue.”
“Anyways… Master Irana had begun to trust me as a researcher, and Mom wished for me to assassinate her using that trust. I refused, so I ran to find refuge. Of course… I could not stay in Mirora or Litara because they are allies of Shaidosta. I absolutely could not stay in Elance because the first hint of ice magic from me would get me killed on the spot. So, I came to Entela where I might be able to seek some kind of protection.
“Then… Then I met Sara, and found a friend unlike anything I could have pretended to have known in Shaidosta. You followed shortly after, and I felt like I may be able to have a safe life in Entela after all. However… that thief stole from all of Entela, and then from you… I was not going to allow him to escape, no matter what cost that had.”
“Right…” Sara agreed. “I suppose you’ll be happy to know he’s likely going to be executed as a result of his crimes.”
Arina nodded. She wiped the tears from her eyes and staggered to her feet beside Fulmen. Fulmen offered her his support. “I only wished to help. I apologize for troubling you both.” She took one step towards the door and a barrier of energy blocked her way. All Arina was trying to do was help now and Sara seemed uninterested.
“Where the hell do you think you’re going?” Sara asked.
“Elsewhere?” Arina declared. “I can no longer stay in Entela now that everyone is aware of me."
“You’re aether exhausted and I’m not done talking to you yet. Lay back down and listen,” Sara ordered. Arina complied, collapsing back into the bed. Sara sighed. “I’m mostly annoyed by the fact that you thought we would betray you that easily. The security footage from that incident is now locked behind a logic gate that only Master Elega or myself can open and I am the one tasked with sorting through deep storage logic gates.”
Fulmen looked at Sara with immense confusion. Arina had a basic understanding about Deep Storage, but she understood that Sara was trying to say “I am the only one that knows or will know about this.” Arina nodded and sighed but otherwise remained silent.
“Hey,” Sara said as she reached out to grab Arina’s hand. “Remember that you’re not alone. You’ve been trying to keep this charade up alone for two months now, even after our last discussion about this topic. When you leave this room, you need to keep pretending that we don’t know because of all the security. But… You can trust us. If you have anything you need to tell us, just get into a bedroom and close the door. I shot you so that you wouldn’t die. I am certainly not interested in letting you go out and let Icilica find you.”
“Vesta-ria,” Arina thanked. “Truly.”
“Right, well,” Sara decided as she stood. “Fulmen, keep an eye on her and make sure she rests. It’s not only 1.13 in the morning, but she also is aether exhausted. I’ll return shortly and rest myself because it’s 1.13 in the morning, I have yet to rest, and I have also used a lot of magic today."
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 11, 2018 0:27:31 GMT
The marketplaces on Ravnican streets were always full of life, but Arina could never feel connected to the people that filled it. Perhaps it was for this reason that the Guildpact granted her permission to study them, or perhaps it was simply that he had no reason to care about a researcher like herself. She could not be accurately defined as Izzet, despite her time working with Entelan technology. She could not be called Dimir, despite her training as a Shaidostan assassin. She could certainly pretend to be Dimir, but the agents of House Dimir would know.
It was for this reason that Arina could not effectively earn enough currency to afford food each day. Jobs were not difficult to find; not in the worldwide city, at least. The more difficult part for Arina was that, comparatively, she was still just a child. She only had nearly sixteen years behind her, and others were much more equipped for the legal work in the streets.
“Hey, girl,” a high-pitched voice called out from a stall as she passed. That was not a very specific call, but Arina somehow knew it was intended for her. She spun in place, her eyes looking over the shopkeep. A small, stout man with a variety of metallic objects scattered across his table. Some was scrap metal, some was actual jewelry. One piece may have been an Izzet tool at some point, but Arina was not certain. He eyed her, awaiting a response of any kind.
“Yes?” Arina asked. “I do not have much time.”
“You look like you could use a bit of coin there,” he suggested, “And that bracelet of yours… is that an Izzet thing?”
Arina looked down at her wrist. He was referring to her transceiver, the smooth tool she had from Entela. She supposed that from an outside eye, it might just look like a long bracelet with a glass screen on it, but it was far more than that. It stored her memories and writings from meeting Sara until today. Everything she and Fulmen did together she documented, as with every conversation she had across it. It could not reach across the Blind Eternities itself, nor could it help her find her way back. Every night she took another hour staring at it, demanding that she remember her classes and be able to make it work, but that was never her area of expertise.
“You could say that, yes,” Arina decided. He was not like her. No one else was.
“How much you want for it?” he piped. “I know someone lookin’ for something like that.”
This was what she needed. She could charge him an exorbitant amount due to its uniqueness. He would never see another one in his life, and it was likely that Ravnica would never see another one within the next thousand years. At the same time, this was her reminder of Entela, of Fulmen and Sara. If either they or Volaria were still alive, of course. She left them on the verge of a war and no one could predict the result.
“I apologize,” Arina replied. “I cannot sell it.”
“Important to you, huh?” the merchant asked. “Damn shame.”
“It is. I lost my home long ago, and it is my only hope to find it again,” Arina explained. “I will be off.”
“Well, good luck, girl,” the merchant replied. She could find coin elsewhere. She was also not desperate for food at the moment. She did not have to sell her transceiver to feed herself.
Arina continued walking through the market. Even one or two zino would cover her for a week if she was careful with it. Fruit stalls and bread stalls on either side drew her attention. It would be simple to simply take a fruit with magic, but she did not want to risk being caught. Not on Ravnica, and absolutely not so near to the Boros.
“Hey, Miss,” a man called from behind her. His voice was soft and smooth. Arina stopped and turned on her heel. Any potential chance for payment was a chance she had to take. The man was slightly taller than her, as many people were. He was certainly not Ravnican. She could not decide what he was, but it was absolutely not Ravnican. A pair of goggles rested on his forehead, and a long blue-and-yellow jacket that was far too warm for her covered most of his torso and legs.
“Hello?” She asked into the air.
“I couldn’t help but overhear your problems,” the man said. Excellent, more people that needed to solve her problems for her. He motioned her in the direction she was already walking and continued travelling that way on his own. “Let’s walk while we talk.”
Arina took a few extra steps to catch up to him. There was no reason not to entertain him, she decided. “How do you expect that you’ll be able to help me?”
He glanced over at her before speaking, but gave her no time between questions to answer.. “You’re not from around here, right? Ravnica, that is, not this district. You said you lost your home? Where is it?”
“I…” Arina paused. What information could she give that would help him? Did her home city matter? Her name? She did not even have a general direction where to go. “Volaria. I am from a world called Volaria.”
“Volaria, interesting,” he said to himself. He made a turn down an alleyway. Arina stumbled on the turn, but followed. A warning ahead of time would be helpful, she thought.
“Who are you?” Arina asked. “Where do you originate?”
The man regarded her softly between his glances at the back-door entrances. He was likely counting something. “I’m Fris, of the Lerithan Merchant’s Guild. I was here collecting metals when I heard about your conundrum.” Fris made a left turn up a small staircase to a wooden door. He brutishly shoved his weight against the door, and it effortlessly fell open for him.
The inside room was a green glow of large spherical outlines in all dimensions. Some were large, some were small. Some were clustered, and some were spread far apart. This was a spell, like Reality Augmentation. A red dot flashed on one green sphere. “What is this?” Arina asked.
“This is an eternities map,” Fris replied. “Merchants like myself use it to trace our path between worlds.”
“I was unaware that any civilizations had the ability to travel between planes,” Arina breathed out. “This is astonishing.”
“Most of Local Space can,” Fris pointed out. “Linela, Leritha, and Sythis all can. Intera’s getting there too.” Fris looked at Arina. “You said you’re Volarian, right? How did you get out?”
“How did I what?” Arina asked. “As in, how am I on Ravnica?”
“Right,” Fris clarified. “Volaria’s not an Eternity Plane yet, so how did you get here?”
“It is just an… ability I have.” Arina could not explain it better than that. That was all it was. One day, she gained the ability to travel between worlds.
“Oh, you’re one of those. That explains it,” he muses. He points at the red dot. “So, see the ball around this red dot? This is Ravnica. That’s where we are.”
“Understood,” Arina replied. “What now?”
“Well, you want to get home, right?” Fris asked. He drew a straight line with his finger off into a direction on the map. “You want to go this way, bounce off Theros on the way and head on straight until you get to Intera.”
“And Intera is near to Volaria?” Arina questioned. Could it really be so simple? Everything Arina cared about was on her person. She could simply leave when she wanted to. Mindmelder was on her belt, her books were in her bag. She was ready.
“Right. Once you’re on Intera, Volaria is a quick hop away. We don’t call it ‘Volarian Local Space’ for no reason,” Fris says. “When you get back to Volaria, let someone know that you’re surrounded by some worlds interested in trade, alright? That’s all I ask for payment.”
“Really,” Arina replied, dumbfounded. “That is all?”
“Right,” Fris says again. “Go find your home again.”
Arina took a deep breath and closed her eyes. Past Theros and straight until Intera. There were at least two other planes between the points Fris called Theros and Intera on the map. She could keep her energy during that travel. “Thank you,” she breathed out as she began her planeswalk.
All Arina needed was a moment in each plane to continue travelling to the next. She did not pay attention to what the planes were, only their ‘positions’ on the map. Arina was smart enough to know they were not actually laid out in space like he showed, but it helped give her any sense of direction.
Arina got to the plane that had been called Intera. She took only a moment more than previous times to orient herself to Volaria. She could find it from here, extremely simply. Relief caught a sigh from Arina. She was finally able to return. She prepared to make her last jump…
… and collapsed to the ground. What happened? Why couldn’t she make the planeswalk? Beyond that, she was now exhausted. Arina knew she could not spellcast effectively. Why not?
Looking around at the world around her, she only saw an expansive sheet of stone and metal. In one direction there was possibly some view of something other than rock? There were no clouds above, but one thing that looked remotely like a bird? If she was going to need food, that would have to do. Arina created a set of ice shards and took aim, ready to shoot it out of the sky.
The bird-thing turned towards the ground. Arina hesitated for a moment. Was that a goblin? It circled above her in some form of glider, slowly descending as time passed. After a few minutes, it was low enough to safely crash into the ground. The glider was destroyed but the goblin was unharmed.
The goblin eyed her rapier, then her body. “Commander Reliya!” he shouted, “Reporting Orindae!”
“Arina,” Arina corrected. Who was Orindae? Why was that the first response?
“It’s gotta be!” the goblin continued, evidently ignoring Arina. “Yeah, I’ll bring ‘er in. Yeah, Orindae’s an ‘er, obviously.” The goblin took Arina’s hand and started pulling her in a direction. “Come on Orindae, you’ve gotta help us! We’ve been beggin’ you for so long.”
“Alright,” Arina replied with a sigh. “I wish to ask some questions.”
“You can ask the Commander anything you need, Crafter of Perfection,” the goblin replied.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Sept 1, 2018 6:41:58 GMT
When the Triumvirate War ended, the factions decided that they needed to meet more frequently in an effort to keep tensions low. To allow easier communication of news and political talks, the factions declared that in the first week of every third month (Month 1, Month 4, Month 7, and Month 10), the faction officials would meet around the Elemental Seal.
After the first Faction Gathering, the Gathering Week became a large celebration every three months that attracts people over the course of the week. Merchants and cooks set up shop over the course of the week, games are played, and stories are told as the factions mingle with each other. There are small residential areas, primarily for the Masters, duelists, and a small amount of other high-paying customers.
During the first five days, the factions host a duelists’ tournament. Each faction puts in 1000 Ryla and sends forward a duelist. The factions go through a Round Robin tournament, with two rounds happening each day to prevent accidental overchanneling. After the last round, the scores are counted, and the top four factions send their duelist into a free-for-all duel. The last faction standing wins the pot, and the duelist takes 30% of it.
The duels follow official Volarian dueling rules. That is, physical weapons are not allowed, nor are spells with a higher concentration than 9S (essentially, power scripts and spells that pretend to be power scripts). Spells must be nonlethal and cannot have effects that persist after the duel ends. In addition, a player loses when they either concede the duel, go unconscious, or begin overchanneling.
The sixth day is the actual purpose of the Faction Gatherings. The Elemental Masters sit around a decagonal table within vision and audible range of anyone who cares enough to listen. This is where alliances are forged, political issues are brought to light, criminals are declared, and plane-wide adjudication is suggested.
On the seventh day, the Masters participate in a free-for-all duel. There’s no prize for this duel, and there is a slightly different ruleset: While the “no spells with persistent effects” and “no lethal spells” rules are still intact, there is no concentration limitation. That is, power scripts are perfectly valid as long as they don’t break either rule. After this duel, the Gathering is called to a close, and the factions return home.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Feb 16, 2019 10:15:25 GMT
The Entelan Concept of the "Project"
There's a few instances of the relevance of "projects" in my writing. Over on my battle boards, Hannah has been talking about what she's doing as an Entelan Project. Otherwise in Entela, there's been a lot of these projects that have relevance. The Entali Project, the Eternity Project, and the Extraction Project are three named projects in the last 30 years (from Hannah's time on the Battle Boards) of Entela's future. However, we don't really have projects in the same sense, so what's the big deal, and why does Entela care?
What is a Project?
In essence, the idea of a project in Entela seems fairly simple. If you work on something for a long time towards some kind of goal, you can call it a project. From deciding you want to make a certain device in a certain place for some reason to single-handedly awakening Volaria to a new age of civilization, all of these are called the same thing in Entela's eyes: a Project.
Why is a project a big deal? In Entela, there is a heavy emphasis on learning, on research, and on personal and factional/global development. People in Entela take classes to learn something they want to devote to studying, sometimes for all their lives or sometimes just for long enough to get to a certain point. Without a goal, there can be no motion. What a project does is set a goal. A project gives an opportunity for development. A small project is a great way to learn something new or to show something you have learned. A large project is a change to grow massively, for both one's self and the faction as a whole. When a person is offered a position as a researcher on a large project, there are very few situations where they will refuse.
Who is involved with a Project?
There are many roles that may or will be filled in a project. Some of these roles will always have someone delegated to them in multi-person projects. In a smaller project, an individual may take over the roles of multiple or all of these:
The Project Head is the person that's been given full control over a project. They make notes, delegate roles, keep contact with the Master about progress, and handle any administrative issues the project has. If there are any issues with the completion of the project or any questions that need to be asked about a project, it goes through the Project Head. In addition, the Project Head is in charge of ensuring the safety of every other member of the project. If a project involved a subject, the Project Head cannot be of relation to the subject.
The Recorder is the person that keeps very specific notes and makes sure they're all inputted into Deep Storage.
The recorder will keep very specific logs for each person on the project, so they are often someone that studies in a field involving communication.
The Resource Manager is the person that makes sure the project has the resources (funding, energy, etc.) that it needs to do its tasks.
If a project runs out of energy, the Resource Manager talks to Entela's First Advisor to get more energy. If a project will be spending two months away at sea, the Resource Manager will be in charge of rationing, or ensuring that food is in constant supply.
All multi-person projects take on a Student that's studying a relevant field. The student does not have any tasks inherent to being a student, aside from being attentive to their surroundings. However, a student will be expected to learn, understand, and assist with the procedures as they would as a specialist of their field.
In addition to the above, Entelan projects may include people with the following roles:
A Specialist is a researcher that studies a field in particular. They are usually offered a role on a project to offer a perspective of their role. For example, a bioaetherics specialist might have input on a procedure's effects to the environment around it, or a material effects specialist may have an idea for how to use energy in a way that is useful for the project.
The Energist is the person in charge of watching energy input, output, and availability. The Energist of a project where they are required will work closely with the Resources Manager, and the Energist will always be able to tell the Resources Manager that they need more power.
Analysts are researchers that may not have a relevant field or may be studied over variety of fields that typically run experiments or calculations to support the project's Specialists. They serve many similar roles, but without the specificity that one would expect out of a Specialist.
The Captain is the person in charge of transport to and from distant locations from Entela. If a project needs to happen in the forests of Theria for some reason, the Captain's job is to make sure the researchers get there, can get back, and are treated only as researchers by the surrounding factions.
The Hunter is the person in charge of gathering resources while away from Entela. The Hunter works closely with a project's Resources Manager to figure out what can be gathered and what needs to be obtained from the city directly.
The Enforcer is a bodyguard of Entelan researchers while they are outside of Entela. The Enforcer protects researchers from both other factions' attacks, if they happen, and creatures of danger that may assault a campsite.
The Scales of Projects
Level 1 - The Eternity Project and similar projects on its scale are the projects that get full names and titles. They're projects that are organized by the Master of Entela, who choose a Project Head and the other members of the project that they think would be able to bring the project to fruition. They might be split into multiple phases, depending on the scope of the project.
- The Eternity Project for Interplanar Development: (370VY - 379VY) A project intending to break the aether barrier surrounding mainland Volaria. This project was run in three phases.
- The Extraction Project for the Protection of Virilin Magical Youth: (386VY - 391VY) A project intending to set up a facility in the Hanashi region of Virilin to keep magical youth safe from the hunters of the Spellbane. This project was run in one phase at an extended length.
Level 2 - Below this level of project are named projects of less massive size and importance. They have names, but not fully explanatory titles. These projects are assigned to a Project Head by the First Advisor, and the Project Head continues to make all decisions about this project, including the members they'd like to enlist to it.
- The Outer Recovery Project: (383VY) A project intending to reclaim the ruins of what appeared to be an ancient Entelan research facility.
- The Aetherization Project: (378VY) A project intending to enable the controlled condensation and release of high-power aether. This project ended in the death of its student as the result of the Project Head's neglect, after she became trapped within the Aetherizer when it fired.
Level 3 - The next level of projects are large but originally unnamed projects. These projects are usually suggested to the First Advisor (or rarely to the Master directly) by someone who wishes to lead the project. Occasionally, these projects will pick up a name if they're frequently discussed or need to be heavily documented or referenced.
- The Entali Project: (356VY - 365VY) A project intending to introduce elementally-hybridized mortal life forms. This project was performed in two phases, the latter of which was expanded across 9 years without the approval of Entela's government.
Personal Projects - Below this level, you start to get large variations of the intensity of projects, as all these projects are run either individually or by a small group of people. Except under exceptional circumstances, these projects are not funded by Entela directly, and instead are research projects that one would study on their own.
- Sara Ylerne's constant modifications to Entela's Reality Augmentation Fields
- Arina Nisita's research of the potential resurrection of Volaria's Elemental Spirits.
- Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita's creation of a small Entelan Outpost on an unnamed plane.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Apr 5, 2019 7:01:54 GMT
Project Restoration - Project Resura
“What exactly is this?” I breathe out. Aethersteel walls, aethertechnical doors… This sure looks like an Entelan research station, like the one we set up in the ocean for the Eternity Project. This, for all intents and purposes, was an Entelan station. But… that made no… sense?
“Looks Entelan,” Kaila replies. She’s the one who set up our tunnel to go back home. Nesito, the resident logic processor, already ran ahead. “Master Sara didn’t send others here before us right?”
“Sure didn’t,” Hannah agrees, poking her transceiver. Sometimes I regretted having to bring a student along on projects like this. Outer Volaria was so dangerous, especially when we didn’t fully understand why. I continue on forwards while she speaks. “Apparently this place doesn’t even exist in Deep Storage."
The hallway opens up into a wide room, floored with a smooth stone subtances and walled with aethersteel. A glass ceiling provides a look into the outside: broad daylight. A glass cylinder about the size of a small bathroom sits in the middle, surrounded on all sides by panels that look like they might control something. Nesito stands prodding a panel. Hannah runs up to the glass cylinder. If I could take a reasonable guess, I would assume it’s a power supply.
“Hey, Miss Seiva, I think I found a data terminal,” Nesito says. “Can’t access it without power.”
“I only just got here,” Hannah replies, her voice seeping with annoyance. “Give me a moment.” In ‘a moment’, the cylinder lights up with the brilliant golden glow I expect from anything generating energy. “Try now.”
Nesito prods the terminal some more, and a blue sheet of magic lights up the space in front of him. “Oh, right, the ancient Entelans were dumb. You’re gonna have to give me a bit to figure out what any of this says.”
“Can’t speak Ancient?” Hannah asks.
“I can, but like I said, the ancients were dumb, and decided grammar wasn’t important when writing stuff into deep storage.”
Kaila and I both shrugged and started doing our job. None of these internal doors were going to open themselves and we wanted whatever was in them. The two of us are very efficient with our jobs. Place a detonator, set up the field behind it, step back, blow it up. Repeat for every door. No big deal.
The first room we open has… beds? Clothes, books… a bunch of stuff that seems to indicate that people are currently living here. Or, it would if there were literally any people here. There’s a mess of papers on the ground. And a pen sitting in an open book on a bed. Weird.
The second room is a kitchen. The Ancients really kept their kitchens behind doors like this? What? That aside, what a kitchen looks like hasn’t changed much in years. Sink, counter, oven, fridge. Kind of. These are really outdated versions, but they’re recognizable. Again, cutlery left out, plates with… bread. That shouldn’t still be around if it’s been here this long, but it definitely isn’t new here either; not if the oscillator was shut down and the door was locked shut. What in the Spirits’ names happened here?
“Uh…!” The half-shout comes from Nesito. “So I figured it out!” Kaila and I run back to Nesito. “Deep Storage Linkup, disabled. ‘We cannot allow what we have learned to become known, because we cannot escape it. It will sit here, forever, awaiting future explorers that may have better luck than we do. This facility will be emergency evacuated, and our memories will be wiped once we return.’” He opens a connected document, and begins reading his translation.
In Outer Volaria, there are terrors beyond what we have ever known. Creatures that can phase through walls, gases that strip the oxygen from your lungs, particles in the air that disrupt and disable aetheric devices. But here is where we sat, against all odds, pushing against those, to learn what we could about our world.
Equilibrium cannot be said to work, even though something similar to it does exist. Rather than existing in balance, the elements are chaotic, vying for power. Sometimes the outside world has more concentrated energies than our reactor, and sometimes it’s completely isolated. At times, exceptional Air exists, and at others, there is everything but. But this is not it.
There is an edge to our world, one that we cannot see with our eyes but can measure with our magic. It moves, slowly, but it moves. Inwards. Endlessly. Its movement is documented, by a being far more powerful than any of us, one that claims to have created everything we see. This being intended to finish Volaria, to make it perfect, and that is what the Spirits were created to do. But they could not.
Our world is dying. This realm is proof of it. The world we know ceases to exist here. The infinite space we know of our world is constantly shrinking. We will live. Our world will too, for far longer than any of us will. A close estimate that the writings suggested was the second thousand year from its creation, or approximately one thousand years from now. But the inevitable is coming, and that will break our world before the instability does.
We cannot allow what we have learned to become known, because we cannot escape it. It will sit here, forever, awaiting explorers that may have better luck than we do. This facility will be emergency evacuated, and our memories will be wiped when we return. Everyone’s, the Master’s included. There will not be a single person on Volaria who remembers this.
// Iri Koliro, Dispersion Project Head
“Miss… Miss Seiva?” I must have been shaking for Nesito to ask me a question like that.
“Volaria is going to die.” I paraphrase. “When was that written?”
“Uh…” Nesito holds while he looks for the date. “Minus 434.”
I can feel my eyes widen. “Uh… about a hundred… and thirty?” I ask. “You two were here longer than we were, can you confirm any of this?” I start to feel around myself with magic. What were they talking about? What could it be?
Nesito goes back to poking the terminal. “Let me see if I can find anything in here.”
“I felt close to the aether. Like if we were trying to take a ship to the aether storm,” Kaila says. “Never felt that before in Entela.”
I feel out for the aether like Kaila says. She’s right. They were right. We can’t see it, but it’s there. The exhilarating feel of being this close to the aether. This aether that is slowly getting closer to the world. That must be what they meant.
I take a deep breath. “Okay. Well.”
“Miss Seiva?” Hannah asks. The kid doesn’t really get it, does she? “We still can’t do anything about that, right?”
… She’s right. Wait. No, that’s a lie. “No. We can’t save the world…” But… “But we can save the people on it. The Eternity Project for Interplanar Development and Cooperation… My project. We can get places on other worlds, ones that aren’t dying. We can put people on them. I know the other cities don’t trust us, but...”
“What do we do?” Kaila asks. “We’re not ready to live anywhere else…”
“We’ve got a hundred years,” Hannah pipes up. “That’s basically a hundred years from now. That’s plenty of time.” I can’t help but snort at Hannah’s joke.
I hold my hand to quiet the other three. “We go about business as usual. Obviously we’ve gotta send this database to Entela, but we’re gonna let the Master figure out what to do about it. We were gonna do this anyways, now it just means we can prepare better for it.”
“For the glory of Entela?” Kaila says uncertainly. “For the lives of the rest of Volaria.”
“For the glory of Entela,” I repeat. “For the lives of the rest of Volaria. We’re going to live. This isn’t going to stop us.”
Post by WindyDelcarlo on May 21, 2019 21:22:24 GMT
In a New World
As I wake up, I’m startled for a moment. Right. Volaria is going away. Now we live on Agahia. This isn’t ideal. The atmosphere can’t be reasonably aetherized, so we’re still living in wooden homes with magical locks meant to keep the aether inside. The Agahian advisor insisted that I take today to relax. I guess that’s alright. I only came through yesterday, as the last Volarian through the tunnel. I wonder how long the Entelan core is going to run without any engineers and with a tunnel active.
I crawl out of bed and lean into my window. This life isn’t too bad, right? We’re going to adapt to this. There’s nothing anyone can say about it. People are outside, enjoying the light, getting used to the new town. This is a beautiful location. There’s forest on all sides. A bit to the north, I’ve heard there’s an amazing looking ravine. I’m also told that at different times in the year, there’s different temperatures here. Near the end of the year it’s warmer, near the middle of the year it’s cooler. That will take some time to get used to.
There’s so much to learn. How do we even measure temperature now? This place isn’t elemental, so we can’t do that… Not to mention we can’t just cast whatever spells we want anymore. Power scripts are basically uncastable. I can’t really set up augmentation without aethertech anymore. Duels are going to have to happen in very specific places instead of wherever.
Maybe one day someone will take over my job. Then I don’t need to be here anymore. What even is my job? I’m not the Master of Entela. Entela is no longer. What am I doing here? I leave my window and start to get dressed to go outside. Sure, the black and gold dress is still fine. I’ve outlived most of my friends, all of my direct family. Everyone else has better things to be doing. I’m still basically a child, even though I’ve been alive for literally a hundred years. Why am I still here? Why do I have this life?
I step outside and take a deep breath. The air is definitely cleaner here. It’s fine. I need to focus on the new world. I’m still in charge of making sure all our civilizations get along with each other, even if I’m not in charge of anything individually. My old job is taken care of by the Advisors.
A pretty elf child, probably about as old as I look, runs up to me. Her dress shines with bright yellow energy, as if emitting light on its own. She’s kinda magical too, isn’t she? She is a lot of Light energy on her own. She clasps my hands in hers. “Master Sara! It’s so amazing to finally meet you!” She lets go of me and spins around, taking a deep breath. “It’s been such a long time since I first started noticing you, but it’s been impossible to say hi. So hi!”
I stare at the elf. Who does she think she is? “Uh… I’m sorry, who are you?”
The elf gets incredibly flustered, putting her hands over her face and groaning. “Ugh, it’s been so long, why am I so bad at this?” She straightens herself and throws her arms to her sides, taking another breath. “Hi. I’m Solari, Elemental Spirit of Light and fellow immortal child.” She spins around and makes a pose with her arms out, leaning slightly towards me. “I’ve been not super available for the last thousand years or I’d have tried to say hi sooner.”
I lock eyes with the elf. “I don’t believe you. My understanding was that the Spirits died long ago.”
“Sure did. That afterlife was a nightmare.” The elf looks over me. “Oh, you’re hurt. What’d you do that cut you up so badly?” What? Is she talking about the thing on my chest? That’s been there for ages. Remnant of my childhood, they said. No one could heal it, not even Solari clerics.
“The disease that made me undergo elemental hybridization,” I say offhandedly. “It’s not really anything anyone can do anything about.”
“Oh, well that’s not true. Here, let me handle it.” The elf holds her hand out to touch my chest, a light glow captured in her fingers. I guess there’s no harm letting her try. “Does it hurt?”
“Not anymore.” Not physically at least. Knowing it’s there is annoying, though. “Hasn’t really for more than a hundred years.”
“Kinda surprised it’s still there. Usually enough Light energy’ll fix an injury like that. Guess maybe if it was caused by excess energy it might not work like that though.” The elf steps back and her hand dims again. How’d she know how it was caused? And how is she able to cast a healing spell like that without aether? Is it really possible? “Is that better?”
“I can’t really tell right now. I’ll have to let you know when I change. How’d you know it was there?”
“Well, I’d be a poor healer if one of my spells didn’t let me notice injuries, wouldn’t I? Especially elemental ones. Not much that can hurt Spirits permanently, after all, and you’re basically a Spirit, so it works just as well.”
I stare at the elf. “What do you mean?”
“You know, mortal body, high amount of elemental energy.” The elf looks down at herself and then over at me. “Completely unaging, mostly alone because everyone you befriended left you long ago. … Well, I guess I left Theia, not the other way around.” The elf seems a bit sad as she remembers something.
“You really are her, aren’t you?” I breathe out. Wow. I would never have thought of the Spirit of Light as someone just like me. She steps forward and throws her arms around me. What? Hello?
“Yeah.” Her voice is shaky. “I’m one of the four remaining Spirits. I’m the one that turned the mortals against Binas. I’m the one that left Theia, that pushed her into role she didn’t really want but I needed her to have. I’m the one who’s been sitting around, pleading for a way to come back, to be a friend to someone who needed it.”
“Me.” I say. She said that earlier. “You’ve been trying to come back to help me.”
Solari takes a deep breath. “Yep. We’re not so different, are we? Neither of us are going to age. Neither of us have much purpose anymore. We’re both alone. We’ve both watched deaths happen where there’s nothing we can do. We’ve both cheered for love that happens while we watch.”
I raise my eyebrows. Huh. “Watch? Have you been watching the whole time?”
“For most of it. Like one of those Augmentation programs you created, where a story plays out in front of you. For a long time, it was hard to picture you all as people. You don’t stay sane for a thousand years thinking that you’re watching people. We were watching characters, taking actions, making or refusing love, agonizing over whether to ask someone out or to push a friend to them instead.
“That kinda changed once Mister Fulmen and Miss Nisita had a child. Once I realized you were in the same situation I was.” Mister Fulmen? Miss Nisita? I didn’t expect her to use our etiquette. I guess if she’s had time to learn Volarian Common she’d have time to learn our patterns too. “That was a hundred and fifty years ago now, wasn’t it? But you just endured, let things happen, keeping yourself away from love, knowing you’d never be able to do it yourself… And I know that feeling too well.”
I wrap my arms around Solari. She really does know how I feel, huh? Could I really have a friend again? Could she be more than that? I need to not jump out that quickly. Just because she’s the first valid partner doesn’t mean that’s what she wants. She’s an Elemental Spirit. That means something. I think.
“I’ll absolutely be your friend, if you want to be mine,” I finally answer.
“That’s what I want. I want you to be my friend. I want to be your friend. And then, you know...” She smiles at me like we’ve already known each other for years. I return her smile.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 1, 2019 17:03:48 GMT
(The Extraction Project: Part One | The Entelan Outpost)
Sara looked out the glass wall of the otherwise metal hallway. The view from here, overseeing the city of Minei, was always a special sight for her. There was no sight like this on her home plane of Volaria, where the mountain looked over the city, and that was special in its own right. She cherished the days where she wasn’t too busy to watch what her fellow Entelans were up to, but this was not one of those days. She could see Haia’s light-grid preparing another tall building, and that was good enough for today.
Sara followed the metal hallways down a very familiar route, into an elevator and up one floor, then out and around the floor to the facility of magic. Two of the young children were practicing dueling with nothing but small elemental balls. One was Kinv. He was 13, though very tall for his age, and from the region of Veis. He wore very heavy, very warm clothing, and from what Sara could tell, he specialized in some kind of emotion-affecting magic. Or, at least, half of the two spells he knew were emotion-affecting. He was also taller than Sara, as if she needed more reminders of how young her body was.
The other was Rianne, who was 11 and from Saro, the center of Spellbane operations. She was about the same size as Sara, always wore some combination of blue and green, and had skills in both cryo- and chronomancy. She wasn’t the first young chronomancer Sara had ever seen, but supposedly they were supposed to be rare. Rianne was simultaneously the fastest learner and the fastest anyone had ever decided they wanted to leave their world for Volaria. When she was rescued a few months ago, she had already decided she was never going back home, and had been on her own for almost a year. It was only a few minutes after Sara introduced herself that Rianne decided she wanted to become Volarian.
“Got you,” Rianne said as a glowing blue sphere bumped against Kinv and dissipated. “Three?” Another Entelan oversaw the duel with a smile, and he raised a thumb to Rianne.
“Y-yes,” Kinv stumbled out. “Three.” Sara could not imagine the difficulty Kinv was having learning Volarian. She didn’t understand his Southern Veis dialect, and she didn’t have anyone to teach her how to speak it so she could teach him. Rianne had a similar issue with Saroan, but that language was already much more common, so Sara found someone to help tutor her on Saroan.
Rianne looked up past Kinv to Sara. “Oh, hi Master!” Kinv turned and then waved at her.
“Hi, I was checking how everything was going.”
Kinv responded first. “Uh… Good.” He then looked over at the Entelan man. “Ae… aether… Uh, science?”
Sara looked up at the Entelan and he looked back down at her for a moment. Sara nodded. “He has a class period in a couple minutes, right? You should probably lead him there; Hanashi's regional government wants us keeping a closer eye on them ever since the threat last week.”
“Right! Their Global Representative wants to talk to you. Should I let Kaiva know to send him up?”
“Talk to me?” Sara looked around. “Sure, send him in and we’ll see what he wants.” Sara waved off Rinsai and Kinv and returned her attention to Rianne. “How’s your inoculation going?”
Rianne looked at Sara like she was trying to remember what the word meant. The word must not have come up much, even though it described the entire process that would be enabling Rianne to live on Volaria. “They said it is supposed to be another month, but I’m supposed to make sure I don’t… ex… uh…”
“Exhaust?” Sara suggested.
“Yeah. Apparently it shouldn’t happen. I think they called it… uh…”
“Aether reliance,” Sara provided. “Volarians are aether reliant.”
“Yeah, and they say I should be aether resistant without the reliance. But, uh… sometimes things happen that shouldn’t happen.”
“Aether resistance without aether reliance, huh?” Sara made a motion to Rianne to follow her while she talked. “I thought those were the same genes”
Rianne watched her for a moment, then slowly followed her. “I did some reading. There are a lot of words I don’t understand, but bio… uh… it’s interesting.” She tilted her head as Sara lead her to the nearest elevator. “There’s, um… something they do that isolates the aether reliance during the inoculation. I don’t really know how they do it, but it works.”
“Hm… Maybe that’s how EDD works.” Sara moved her hand to slide open the elevator door and stepped inside. Rianne followed her nervously. “Thanks for sharing that. I’ll have to ask a bioaetherist more about it.”
“What’s EDD? … And, where are we going?”
“Oh, right. Do you want to meet Hanajin Global Representative?”
“I cannot speak Hanago though.” Rianne looked down at herself. “Just Saroan and Volarian. And even that...”
“You’re doing exceptionally well for two months of study.”
“Comprehension magic,” Rianne replied with a shrug. “It helps me learn and memorize faster, but I still need to… be taught.”
“Well, don’t worry, I can translate Hanago well enough.” Rianne nodded and gave her a thumbs up. “EDD stands for Elemental Dissociation Disorder, which is when a person’s body doesn’t interact nicely with elemental energy. It affected me before I became an elemental.”
Rianne locked eyes with Sara. “You’re okay now, though, right?”
“Yeah, being given an elemental body gave me a resistance I somehow didn’t have.” Now it was Sara’s time to look down at herself, though with more intent. “Though, in exchange for not dying, I’m 11 forever.”
“Forever’s a long time. How long did you say it was?”
“Uh… almost twenty-six years. It’s a long time to be a child.” The elevator opened into the hangar, a mess of Hanajin aircraft and Entelan aether technicians trying to help the Global Representative of Hanashi without actually being able to speak his language. The Hanajin person was dressed exceptionally well, in an almost perfectly white suit. Sara’s gold-trimmed black dress flapped lightly as she dashed to the man. Rianne followed her.
The man turned to face her with a smile. Sara was surprised he was even told what she looked like. Most people forgot to mention that she was functionally a child, even if it was an easy defining characteristic among Entelans in the facility. “Master Sara?”
“Greetings, Global Representative.” Sara looked over at Rianne. “This is Rianne, one of the Volaria-bound youth. She is a rather high-profile target of the Spellbane.”
“Greetings, Rianne,” the man said with a bow. Sara started to repeat the things he said into Volarian so she could understand. “I am Ishike, Hanashi’s representative in the Global Republic.” Rianne waved but otherwise didn’t say anything. Hanashi’s culture was very different to her. He returned his attention to Sara. “In light of the recent threats from Saro, I wish to see your facilities, to ensure you are keeping to our agreement while we move towards a potential war.”
Sara casually shrugged. “Very well, please follow me.” The first step would be language, then technology, then… Sara lead Ishike to the elevator while he talked to Rianne. Or, rather, while he watched Rianne use sharades to explain her transceiver and how it works.
As Sara stepped onto the elevator, she closed her eyes, and then stumbled backward into the wall with a sharp breath.
“Greetings, Saroan invaders!” That was her own voice. “I feel obliged to let you know that by attacking us, you will be walking into a facility filled with aether, the stuff we breathe to live, which will kill you over time once you contact it.”
An image of some kind of aircraft, not quite either Lerithan or Linelan, and definitely more advanced than Hanajin craft, flashed through her mind, as though she was standing at the hangar entrance and looking out over Minei. Explosions erupted across the city. They were attacking the city.
“Don’t worry, the children are isolated from it. We want them to stay alive. Be aware that you are making war against the entire region of Hanashi by making this attack.”
Another flash. Arina, crying over someone’s body. Whose? It could be anyone’s. Fulmen, Hannah, even Sara herself. She strived to get closer but the image in her mind wouldn’t move.
“Be warned, Entela will not take kindly to an attack on our research outpost. Both Entelan and Shaidostan military will be here to defend it, if you decide to continue your attack.”
Rianne and Ishike were looking at her as she opened her eyes. When was that? There was nothing to use to locate the time, but she could be certain it was in the future. What could she do about that, other than be terrified of it?
“Precognition trigger,” she mumbled to Rianne. Rianne looked up at her with confusion, as if she had never heard either of those words. Sara explained to Rianne, and then repeated her explanation to Ishike. “I have an ability we call elemental precognition. It lets me… or, forcefully shows me aspects of our future.” Sara shook her head. “This precognition wasn’t useful in any way.”
Sara helped the discussion between Rianne and Ishike while she lead them down to the language facility. Rianne was smiling the whole time, as she discussed through Sara how excited she was about Entela. The facility looked essentially like a normal Entelan classroom, with desks and aether displays. Two older students were presently discussing back and forth, which sounded like typical young-love talk.
“There is nothing special here, it is a classroom,” Sara said as she went to show off the bedroom. 8 sets of bunk beds, each of which had a small storage create on either side. After a quick glance, Sara lead back to the elevator to move onto the aether technology facility.
This facility was more interesting for the Hanajin observer: three students were tinkering with small circuits, each sitting at a different table. From the looks of it, the students were being tested on the basic parts of circuitry. Tuners were carefully placed on each table. A door off to the side lead to another elevator that connected straight down to the core. “This is our aether technology facility. Core engineers work below, but all our students stay safely here.”
“And all of your students learn here?”
“Correct. We have 16 students, usually two or three of which are in a class at a time.” Sara continued to lead Ishike around the outpost. Rianne was now talking about her about one of her friends, a Hanajin child from the city that had been the first test of the inoculation.
Sara slowly entered the medical facility, careful to check if there was anything happening. No injuries, no inoculations at the time? Perfect. She waved the two into the room, which was subdivided by paper walls. One room had an operating table, which was kept clean in case of injuries that required emergency action. Two others had assorted aethertech that Sara was not entirely certain how it functioned. Another clever bioaetherist came up with the inoculation process, and Sara had been too busy to understand it fully.
“This is the facility where the Volarian-bound students undergo inoculation. Rianne is one of them; she has been here for two months now.”
“How long do your students take to become fully inoculated?” Ishike questioned curiously. He wasn’t making any notes, but Sara could feel as if he would remember everything.
“Depends on their particular affinity for magic, due to the process being reliant on it. Usually it takes an average of approximately a year.” Sara translated that sentence for Rianne, but then said something to Ishike that she did not translate. “Rianne has an exceptionally high potential, which has made her a target.”
“How high is exceptionally high, exactly?” Ishike looked at Rianne.
“On the scale of city-wide time stops and region-wide winters, if she desired to learn them. She used small time spells to escape the Spellbane before, but we are helping her better control them.” Sara looked at Rianne and smiled. “She is quick to learn, and so excited about learning her magic safely. She will make a good Entelan citizen.”
“Do all of your youth become Volarian?”
“No,” Sara replied as she started to lead the others to the magical dueling facility. “If youth have no family, or no family that they wish to stay with when they age, we give them the option to permanently leave the Spellbane behind. Rianne had been alone for over a year before we rescued her.”
“I understand. The rest must return to their families when they are old enough to defend themselves.”
Sara lead Ishike into the magic training facility. Excepting the devices along the far wall that served as dispensers for elemental energy, this room was as noteworthy as the classroom before. “Have you learned what you hoped to?” Sara asked Ishike.
“I have, for now.” Ishike took a bow. “I will be back to ask more detailed questions, but for now, I must be off to report my findings. The elevator leads back to the hangar?” Sara nodded. “We are perfectly happy letting you continue to perform this project.”
Rianne looked up at Sara as the Hanajin representative left. “Master Sara… when you saw something in your... pre… whichever, you said it wasn’t… useful. But you looked terrified of it. What happened?”
“I… don’t worry about it. You have studies to focus on.”
“I can handle it, Master Sara,” Rianne pushed.
Sara sighed. “We are going to be attacked by Saro, I would estimate in the next two weeks. Minei will need to be ready to take cover. And…" Sara paused and took a deep breath to avoid showing more emotion than she needed to. "My best friend is going to lose someone. I don’t know who. It could be me, it could be her family.”
Rianne said nothing further but hugged Sara. Sara decided that was close enough to help.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 2, 2019 1:06:43 GMT
(The Extraction Project: Part 2 | Preparation for War)
ALERT: FIND SHELTER
Those words were the only warning Haia had when she watched the first explosion strike the tallest tower in Minei. Quartz and glass shattered and was sent across the city like grapeshot. Only weeks ago, Haia watched the Hanajin workers finish it. All according to her specifications, relying on her magic to stay standing until it was finally finished. That was weeks ago. Moments ago, that work was all lost, and Haia could do nothing but stare at it.
The sounds of energy weapons firing quickly approached her around the street corners. What was happening? Why were things happening? Haia wanted to move, wanted to go somewhere, but her body refused to move for her. She could only take deep breaths as she watched black platinum-armored… people… walk to the junction and turn in all directions.
Two people turned to her specifically and raised long-barreled dark metal weapons, which were otherwise vaguely the same shape as Entelan weapons. A bright blue coil of energy travels along the barrel, disappearing into the weapon. The sounds of Hanajin kinetic weapons, which Haia was trained to listen for in case of mundane crimes, sounded off in reply, but they were far away. Staring down the two people, Haia raised her hands, shaking but left with no option.
The two people shouted words at her. Haia flinched whenever there were nearby shots, or whenever they furiously tried to communicate with her, not realizing she didn’t speak Saroan. After another minute of their shouting, a pulse of blue energy flies by Haia’s face, shot by one of the two people. Haia started to cry, despite her attempts to not.
Finally, another armored person approached, speaking calmly first to them, and then addressing Haia in Hanago. His accent was thick, but still recognizable enough for Haia’s limited understanding of the language. “What is your name?”
“Uh… H-Haia Kenei.” Haia watched the barrels of the weapons carefully, unable to see anything of the people but their armor. Were they even people? As far as Haia knew, they could just be suits of armor, or other monsters that were taught language.
“What do you do here?”
“Uh… uh…” Haia looked up at the dark helmet of the person who spoke, as if it mattered. “A-architect.” A large explosion went off nearby, and Haia’s own screech pierced her ears.
“Where are you from?” Haia listened to the question and couldn’t produce an answer immediately. “Are you perfectly fluent? Where were you born?”
“L-litara. I’m from Litara.”
“Volarian?” Haia nervously nodded. The speaker cocked his head as a signal to the others. “We’re not going to kill you, but you’re being taken prisoner. Please lower your hands and let us bind you.”
Haia dropped her hands, slowly, as the others approached. One disconnected their bracers from their belt and attached them to Haia’s wrists. Haia sharply inhaled as they connected to her and she collapsed under her weight, no longer able to support herself. This wasn’t a full antimagic field… but it was close. The speaker helped her stand and started walking her back to the main group. She could barely focus. Her transceiver, beneath one of the bracers, stopped working. Where were they going? Who knew?
Sara took a deep breath as she watched her transceiver lose Haia’s vital signs. Haia wasn’t a combatant. She was an architect. She was only in the city to help Hanashi. To help Minei. Why did they go after her? What did they accomplish? Overlooking Minei showed the marching Saroan military and aircraft. Minei was only a target because of Entela. Their explosives were detonated in the air when they went after the outpost, but that could not apply to the city.
“Interplanar Communications,” she said loudly, so her transceiver would pick it up. “Contact Arina Nisita.”
With steady breaths, Sara waited for the click of Arina’s answer. When it finally came, Sara took the initiative. “Mobilize your forces. I’m going to do the same. Minei is under attack, Entelans are being captured and killed. Hanashi is on the ground, but Spellbane is advancing.”
Arina took a second to consider her reply. “I will be in Entela in a moment to lead them forward. We need time for the tunnel to get us there, though.”
“You have it. Disconnect.” Sara stared out the window and breathed. She typed a message to send to Entela’s enforcers. Anyone available needed to come here. Then, she shouted again, “Contact, Virilin Students!” Bit by bit, the 16 students connected to her call. “All of you, get to the vault, now. The Spellbane is attacking our outpost. Hanashi is here to defend us, but we need our second line of defense ready.”
The youth would be locked in an aetherically isolated vault. If the Saroan attackers insisted on continuing their advance on the outpost, Sara would send the order to open their core to the atmosphere, releasing a high concentration of aether into the atmosphere. Perfect for Volarians, poison for non-Volarians, the children included. The Saroans must not make it to the children entrusted to Entela’s protection, Sara thought. No matter what.
Sara tapped a message to Seiva, the head of the Eternity Project for Interplanar Cooperation. I need you to buffer against the aether for the students. Please hurry.
“Let me fight this,” Fulmen argued to Sara. Sara recognized that he understood the Spellbane, but she was not interested in letting him die in the battle. She still focused through the window into the city, waiting for some sign that Saro was moving on the mountain-top entrance.
“You have a final partner and a daughter,” Sara replied. “I cannot feel good if I let you and Arina both fight, and she’s the Master of Shaidosta, so I can’t stop her. I can stop you.”
“You can’t expect me to let you send Arina into a fight without me. If she dies and I could’ve been there to stop it, I’m never going to forgive myself.”
“What if you’re both dead, Fulmen?” Sara raised her voice at him, for the first time in possibly years. “What do you do if you leave Hannah without either of her parents? Leave Karina, Seiva, and I to help her?”
Fulmen stared at Sara, and their eyes connected for a moment before Sara looked back out. The aircraft were making a turnaround. They realized they needed to get into the hangar now. Only minutes remained.
“Sara, I don’t do anything in Entela. I’m an aether technician, and not even an amazing one, as Hannah… keeps pointing out, with how many inductors I’ve fried even just this week.” Fulmen lifts his hand and channels an electric charge. This is a chance for me to do something for Entela, to do something meaningful. I want to protect this outpost.”
Sara looked up at him, and did nothing but breathe. “You had better not die on her. On either of them. They both rely on you.” Her precognition pushed itself into her mind. “I had a precognition trigger that showed Arina… she was leaned over someone, crying over them. I think it was you.”
“I won’t let the Spellbane take me.” Fulmen declared as he looked out of the window. “They took my best friend. I’m not letting them take this outpost. I’m not letting them take Arina. I’m not letting them take me.”
"I'm not letting you fight, Fulmen. I cannot and will not. Please, return to Entela."
Fulmen shook his head. "In that case, I'm going to respectfully disregard your decision, Master Sara." Fulmen turned and began to walk away. Sara considered trying to stop him. By the time she finally decided to, he was gone.
Sara took a deep breath and channeled a telepathy spell, using the now heavily aetherized atmosphere to cast it as wide as she could.
“Greetings, Saroan invaders,” she repeated from her precognition. “You have declared war against Hanashi by attacking Minei. You’ve captured and killed Entelan non-combatants. Know that if you attack our outpost, you’ll be walking into a heavily aetheric environment, one that allows Volarians to cast as freely as we wish, and that will permanently poison you if you contact it. You will die if you attack us. Ask if that is worth the lives you intend to take by starting this war.”
“I am Master Sara of Entela. You will not take the children we swore to protect.”
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 3, 2019 0:36:21 GMT
(The Extraction Project: Part 3 | The Saroan Assault)
Arina held her hand up as she walked down the aethersteel corridor, her eyes scanning everywhere for potential ambushes. Every corner represented somewhere that Saroan soldiers could be. Every door was a potential hiding spot. She was watching not just for her own life, but for the lives of the black-cloaked duelists and archers that followed her command, and the lives of the children and researchers she was supposed to protect.
Flicking her hand past her face and the device on her ear, a blue screen generated itself in front of her right eye, illuminating many red figures across the outpost. They had some time before getting into combat, but it was not much. She tapped her transceiver and thought about where the locations of her allies were, and small blips of yellow lit up. Sara was still safely alone. The children and Seiva were all at the lowest place in the facility, the furthest into the mountain. A large cluster of people, presumably the Entelan forces, were engaging with a cluster of red figures. And then Fulmen, who was alone, seemed to be moving to engage an isolated enemy.
Arina took a deep breath, letting the aether exhilerate her. She could not die. She had a duty to not die, to her daughter, her partner, and her city. As she marched her forces along the corridor towards the enemy, she watched every corner. Her visor was not perfect, at least as far as she remembered. She could not be certain that everything was functional. Arina tapped her transceiver again, glancing at a few of her allies’ vitals. Her daughter, back home, was still alright. Sara had an increased heart rate. Fulmen showed perfectly normal. Seiva showed an excess internal energy, but not exceptionally so.
No magic. Arina remembered that command. They were fighting Spellbane members, with armor fashioned out of highly antimagic materials. Casting spells against them would do nothing, unless they were harmful in some other way. Entelan weaponry, as heavily aetheric as it is, would do nothing unless it had other effects. Arina’s rapier was on her side. “At the first sign of contact, attack,” she commanded. “The only people in this direction are Saroan.”
Arina raised a hand to halt her soldiers. The footsteps of the Saroans were all around. They were closing in, yet the images had not moved. That was exactly as Arina expected. Their antimagic likely disrupted her visor. She drew her rapier into her hand with a spell and looked around. A hallway crossed here, leaving both directions open for potential enemies.
A crossbow bolt flew by her face, striking the face of the first black-armored person that poked their head around the left corner. The body collapsed to the floor. “Engage them.” Arina heard the command from a gruff Saroan man. She repeated the command to her own troops.
On Arina’s command, half of her unit dashed across the junction, mostly consisting of daggers. Three crossbow bolts were fired into the dark suits of armor. Bright pulses of blue energy returned, striking down many of the people that made the jump. Arina’s breath caught in her throat. How were her unit’s daggers supposed to fight against armored enemies, even ones wearing platinum?
Arina regained her composure. She could not let either side see that she made a mistake. This was doable. “Activate your stealth spells. Do not let them see you.” Arina flicked her hand, creating four thick darts of ice. The dagger-wielders, mostly Shaidostan scouts, disappeared from her normal vision, save for the shimmer of light refracted at their edges. It was not true invisibility, but it was close enough. Arina turned the corner, sent one of her ice shards flying into one of the enemies, then jumped back behind the corner. If they could get access to one of those weapons, her crossbows would be in a much better position.
Fulmen recognized the armor of the Spellbane’s captain. He wore a helmet that showed only just enough of his face for Fulmen to recognize him. Jonah was the name he used. He stood now on the outpost’s terrace, covered in snow and built on top of the mountain’s stone. The edge was protected by a grid of faint magic, stopping people from accidentally falling to their deaths.
“Ah, Delcarlo,” he said, holding his hands apart. “It’s been quite some time. How has your Lily been?” The man remembered her name. The friend he killed. Why?
Fulmen leveled his gaze against the man and gritted his teeth. “I don’t normally wish harm upon others, but I’m a bit disappointed you’re still alive. I clearly failed to kill you properly last time.”
“Likewise. Your magic had a quite unexpected potential.” Jonah withdrew a large, heavy-looking sword. Among Spellbane, Fulmen could only assume this was arrogance. He could have an energy weapon like everyone else, but he didn’t. Fulmen channeled electricity into his hand. “But enough pleasantries. You should not be alive, and you won’t be after today.”
“Agreed,” Fulmen growled. “I’ll kill you myself.” Fulmen shoved his feet against the ground and ran towards Jonah. His hand made an arch against the air, and as Jonah’s blade came down, his spell released and contacted the blade like it, too, wanted to be a sword. Fulmen hopped back as Jonah swiped the air to close the distance.
Fulmen jumped beside Jonah’s next attack, unleashing a bolt of magic into Jonah’s armor that harmlessly dissipated. Fulmen made an exaggerated sigh. Stronger magic, then. Fulmen jumped back again and ran in an arc around Jonah, staying out of his sword’s range and electricity crackled in his hands.
Jonah chuckled as he turned and ran towards his enemy. His sword connected with another defensive spell from Fulmen, as did the follow-up slash. Fulmen stared at him, watching the swings of his blade. At his next opportunity, Fulmen pointed at two locations on the terrace, and a thunderous crash echoed off the mountain as lightning produced itself between the two points.
Jonah staggered for a moment from the force of the crash, but soon straightened himself. “You’re fighting like someone that has something to protect,” he pointed out. “A wife, perhaps a child of your own? I can’t wait to kill them too. It would be a poetic ending to your sad story, wouldn’t it? To the life of mages.” Jonah ran towards Fulmen and forcefully slashed towards him.
Fulmen jumped away from each incoming strike. He silently thanked Arina for all her training. It was keeping him alive, even if at the time it seemed that he could take a hit and then return a more powerful one. The fact that his magic was mostly worthless as an attack here certainly taught him that he could not do that. “You’re never going to get that far.”
Fulmen gathered more magic into his hand at he watched Jonah. What could he do? He had to do something. As Jonah made another dash to him, it clicked. Jonah’s armor had a space between his torso and his helmet, where Fulmen could get a spell…
He felt the sword pierce him first, and looked up at the eyes of the Spellbane man. His spell would be big enough for only one to do it. The man smiled as though he won. He shoved his sword deeper into Fulmen. Fulmen reached his hand up with as much strength as he could muster and gritted his teeth.
“Let’s go to hell together… Spellbane.” Fulmen watched Jonah’s face go from victory to shock, and then to nothing as Fulmen’s spell fried him with another thunderous crash.
Fulmen collapsed to the ground. Hannah. Arina. Sara. Seiva. Names kept going through his mind, coming and leaving as quickly as the strikes of lightning he wielded. He tried to lift his arm to his transceiver, but he couldn’t. This was it. Tears started to form in his eyes. I’m sorry, he thought to all those names.
Arina jumped to engage the enemy commander. As he took shots on her with his rifle, Arina pushed herself against the wall and rolled against the ground. Too many lives had been lost already, on either side. It was time to stop. Soldiers of both sides had ceased fighting to watch the duel between the two commanders. It was only natural of the Volarians, as Volarian law in wars stated that the war ends when the leader of one side falls. The Saroans seemed to have something similar, as they seemingly agreed that there was only one fight that mattered.
Arina pushed two more shards of ice at the commander, one of which pierced the armor in the commander’s shoulder and one completely missed. As Arina deftly avoided another volley of shots, she closed the distance and thrust her rapier, getting it blocked by the weapon. The crinkle of metal collapsing as she struck it tore against both combatants, and the other commander dropped his weapon.
“You may surrender,” Arina declared as she took another step to the commander and placed her rapier on his throat. “You will live if you do.”
“This place has a hellish air,” the man growled. “We will die anyways.”
“As prisoners of war, we would be obliged to assist your recovery. Bioaetherists can isolate the aether from your body.” There was only a moment of consideration before the commander nodded and raised his hands. The others in his unit agreed and raised their hands.
Arina shouted loudly to her transceiver, “Contact Sara Ylerne.” There were only a few moments between her contact and Sara’s answer. “We have captured the enemy unit. I am moving them to Medical now for aetheric isolation.”
“Understood. Good work, Arina.”
Arina disconnected and nodded towards the commander. One of her scouts picked up an energy weapon from the ground and pointed it at him. “Please, come with us.”
There was one more thing Arina had to watch. She tapped her transceiver twice to check her allies’ vitals… and her breath stopped. She stopped moving, beyond an involuntary shake. Seiva and Sara were still safe…
“Master Sara.” One of the Entelan scouts returned. “Master Arina has taken control of the Saroan ranged unit. The Spellbane unit has been eradicated, including its captain.
“Great,” Sara replied with a sigh. There were lives lost, but the children were safe, and the attack was repelled. Maybe the attacks would stop. That was a bold hope, but maybe. “We are safe, then. What else have you found?”
“Miss Haia is still alive, though still in Saroan custody. Miss Seiva is alright. However, we lost more than three hundred people today, including our core engineer, and…”
“And Fulmen, I know.” Sara sighed. “I could’ve stopped him. I could have. There was more I could’ve done that I didn’t. But I didn’t. Even though I knew he would die.”
“There was only so much that anyone could’ve done,” the scout suggested. “If he won’t listen to instructions, what more could you expect to do?”
“Disable him. I have spells of my own.”
“That’s an unreasonable thing to react with,” the scout added. “You can’t expect that your reaction will be to disable your friend.”
“I suppose so…"
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 3, 2019 23:07:38 GMT
(The Extraction Project: Part 4 | The Non-Proliferation of Magic)
The blinking light of a new message on Hannah's transceiver greeted her as she awakened. What time was it? One in the morning? Why was it this early? Hannah looked down at Karina, still fast asleep in her arms. She was the cutest thing in Entela when she was asleep, second to none.
What was this message for? Why so early? Hannah sleepily tapped her transceiver, intending to quickly check the message, then return to sleep. Who was Keivi Zaio? Had Hannah met her before?
I regret to inform you that your father, Fulmen Delcarlo, was killed in combat against a Spellbane captain. He stepped into battle, despite other instructions, to protect the children and researchers of the Hanashi Extraction Outpost. His body was recovered by your mother, Arina Nisita, and will be returned to Volaria for aetherization.
Keiri Zaio, Eternity Project for Interplanar Cooperation
Hannah stopped breathing for a moment halfway through. "Contact Dad," she commanded clearly. The transceiver beeped a couple of times as it tried to find Dad, failed, and returned the same sound it always did when it reached an error.
"Contact Dad," Hannah repeated, louder and shakier than before. Karina stirred, presumably woken up by Hannah's panicked commands. Again, the transceiver returned an error sound.
"Hannah?" Karina asked sleepily. Hannah didn't reply. She couldn't reply. She was too busy and to teary for that.
"Contact Dad," she cried one last time, as clearly as she could through her tiers. When the next error came, Hannah gave up and pulled her arms to her chest, unable to say anything. She couldn't look up at Karina. She couldn't do anything. Hannah was powerless here.
"What's going on?" Karina asked, more alert this time. Hannah only held out her transceiver to show the message. She tried to take a deep breath, tried to stop crying, but it was impossible. As Karina read through it, Hannah again tried and failed to stop. "No..." Karina finally said. "No no no no no."
Hannah pressed herself against Karina, her tears soaking into Karina's shirt. Karina's arms wrapped themselves around Hannah the best they could, but Hannah still couldn't say anything more. She let Karina's arms hold her, as the only person who could actually help her. Mom would be too busy to help her, both with her own grief and with hr job.
"Why?" Hannah asked into Karina's chest.
Karina sniffled. "I don't know." She wouldn't cry. She couldn't cry. Hannah needed someone to not cry. But Karina lost her own father too, twice. She couldn't stay strong now. Karina broke into tears too. "I don't know."
Karina fought to get more words through her tears. She needed to compose herself. She needed to say something helpful. "I've got you," she finally got out. Hannah nodded as much as she could.
Sara sat on a bed in the Outpost. She wasn't sure if it was hers; all the beds had the same black sheets, and she hadn't slept since she got here, but it was at least going to work for what she needed of it. Supposedly, Ishike had something very important for her to do, with regards to the attack against Hanashi and the outpost. An emergency, she was told.
Seiva arrived, leading Ishike behind her. She wore almost the same dress Sara was wearing, with a gold trim along the edges of the black fabric. Sara's had some more intricate designs, as the Master of Entela. Normally, Seiva would be doing Sara's job as the Head Advisor of Interplanar Cooperation, but the entire situation with Hanashi and the rest of Virilin's regions was a special case that required Sara's attention.
Ishike bowed to Sara, who bowed in return. "Greetings, Master Sara. Word came to me that you repelled a Surprise Saro attack."
"We did, yes," Sara replied quietly, nodding her head. "Due in no small part to Master Arina's reinforcements."
"How were your losses?" Business as usual, then. Sara understood.
"Too many... But, only a few of our high-profile were targets were hit. Unfortunately, one included our head engineer. The children were completely safe. Yours?"
"Well, not as many as we could have had," Ishike noted. "My concern was with the potential for civilian losses, especially at the hands of the Spellbane. Many of the known mages in Hanashi had moved to Minei. Thankfully, it seems they were left alone."
"I can't say the same, unfortunately. They've captured our architect and a cook. Hopefully we can retrieve them once the war ends."
"How were the Shaidostan losses?"
Sara grimaced. "Numberwise, they were low. Master Arina is a good commander and her forces are masters of stealth, so I am unsurprised about that. Once she has control of a situation, she keeps control of it. But... she lost her partner. Many of us felt it."
"I understand." Ishike closed his eyes and gave a moment of silence for the deceased. "Hopefully, there isn't a second attack. This war should end as quickly as it started."
"Already?" Sara questioned, not bothering to hide her confusion. "One battle decides an entire war?"
"Indeed. Saro's attack on your outpost raised... a number of alarms. The Global Republic has been called for an emergency. We need to look over the attack, possibly reconsider Non-Proliferation. And I need you to be there for it."
"The Treatice of the Non-Proliferation of Magic. It was an agreement levied against the regions' use of magic in combat, restricting us from training magical soldiers. Though, it soon became understood to mean 'restricting the study and instruction of all kinds of magic'. And thus came the creation of the Spellbane."
Sara watched Ishike carefully. "And you wanted our help with this."
"Yes," Ishike agreed. "We would like to destroy Non-Proliferation. It was part of the decision to allow you onto our territory, in fact. It allows organizations like the Spellbane to exist, and stops us from... well, your architect showed it herself. That is why I need you to come with me to the region of Kara for our meeting."
Sara thought carefully, then nodded. "I would be happy to."
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 4, 2019 3:22:07 GMT
(The Extraction Project: Part 5 | The Global Council)
Kara was a very cold place today. There was no snow, but the sun did little to warm Sara up as she approached the headquarters of the Global Council. Large stone arches traveled over a raised chiseled pathway, surrounded on either side by somehow-not-frozen pools of water. Two platinum fences traveled along the outside edge of the arches, leading to an extravagant white, red, and gold building with massive glass walls. A digital map of Virilin hung on the front of the building, highlighting the Kara region and the exact location of the headquarters.
As Sara traveled inside, she noticed the cleanly polished basalt floors. These were so many materials she never saw on Volaria, but partially wished she could. She could feel the resistance the rock pushed against her, almost as powerfully as obsidian did. This was a floor that could resist aether, though it didn’t seem like it could affect the Virilin spellcasters.
A young man, probably about Fulmen’s age, had a concerned look on his face while he looked at a clipboard. He had an outfit Sara recognized from Fulmen’s stories, Who was he, Sara wondered. While she could probably learn herself with magic, she decided it was more correct to talk to him. As Sara approached, his look went from concern to something closer to exhaustion.
“Hi, is something wrong?” She asked in Hanago. Ishike told her that everyone would understand her if she spoke either of her Virilin languages.
The man’s reply was uncertain, but it eventually made sense. “First time as a Global Representative, and somehow it is about a multi-hundred year old treaty I don’t care about and a war. Ugh, why me?”
“Are you worried?” Sara questioned. “I could do something to help you focus, if you’d like.”
“I don’t believe a kid like you could help me, sorry.” The man paused for a moment. “Wait, why are you here? Kids shouldn’t be here alone.”
“I’m actually 37,” Sara explained. “I am Master Sara Ylerne of Entela.”
“You’re the Volarian mage, then?” Sara nodded and smiled. “Sure, why not. What else am I going to do?”
“Okay, please watch my finger.” Sara’s eyes flashed golden and a light spark appeared on the tip of her index finger. She held it up to show the man, and as he watched, she lightly drew a shape in the air before snapping her fingers. “Feel better?”
The man watched her. “Wow. I do,” he replied. “Thanks.”
“That’s what I do. Mostly thought magic.”
The man crouched down beside her to discuss better. “You know, I’m the Hasin Global Representative. One of your, uh… combatants, the one that lost his life… He was originally from Hasin.”
“Did you know him?” Sara asked. She connected her eyes with the crouching man. Somehow, this felt more condescending than just being significantly smaller than him, but she knew he wasn’t trying.
“I was working as a news reporter when I was sixteen,” the man explained. “Except for Seven Row’s local police, I was the first one on the scene, where I was told that thirteen-year-old Fulmen Delcarlo was travelling home after a late night band practice. Two people were dead, one electrocuted. The Spellbane’s public relations blamed them both on Delcarlo of course, but…”
Sara politely waited for the man to continue. Hannah got annoyed whenever Sara finished her sentence for her, even if she knew where it would go. “The girl was killed with a kinetic weapon.” He looked down, then back up. “What would a mage be doing with a kinetic weapon? That night, things changed for Hasin. Before then, even I was okay with the Spellbane… they kill the dangerous people, you know? But… that wasn’t what was happening. They were killing anyone with magic, no matter how harmless, and anyone else they really felt like.”
“Well,” Sara noted. “I’m here. Hopefully that changes. Hopefully that changes today.”
“I bet it will. After the other regions see what a mage is for themselves, rather than the… monsters that the Spellbane makes people think they are. Children are children, they can be taught to control themselves.”
Sara nodded and looked at the man. “If Hanashi agrees, I’m hoping to leave our outpost as a school for magical students that don’t have somewhere else to go.”
“I wish you luck. I want our children to be safe.”
Sara sat beside Ishike in a large cylindrical room at a table that she could only barely reach. Each of the global representatives sat at a table along the outer edge of the circle, 9 in total. Beside each of them were three other people, which Ishike told her were called Regional Representatives. A single speaker stood in the center, and above him were four screens, one in each direction, that currently had the logo of the Global Council. There were words below it in nine different languages, including two that Sara recognized, saying “Non-Proliferation of Magic”.
There were numerous looks at Sara. She assumed most of them were questioning whose child she was. The Saroan representatives certainly knew who she was. Knowing your enemy is vital, after all. The speaker paid no mind to her. He was too busy looking at everyone else.
The speaker clapped his hands. “Right,” he said in Hanago. “This is an emergency conference involving the state of affairs between Saro, Hanashi, and Entela. For those unaware, Saro and the Spellbane attacked an outpost in Hanashi, near the city of Minei.” There were at least two gasps from some of the regions, and one more cringe. “The attack was cited as an enforcement of the Treaty of the Non-Proliferation of Magic. Hanashi called that the escalation to a full attack is unlawful, and has also expressed a desire to nullify the Non-Proliferation of Magic.”
The speaker stared at Sara. Already? “Miss Ylerne, please rise and introduce yourself.” Oh, alright, she thought. She stood and looked at everyone else, her hands only barely reaching the table now. What a time to be the size of a child.
“My name is Sara Ylerne, I am the Elemental Master of Entela. I am in charge of its military, resources, and laws. In this situation, I am also partially in charge of the Hanashi Extraction Outpost.” She looked at the confused faces of the representatives. “I am a hybridized human elemental. I was human, but a disorder required that my body be infused with magic to become partially elemental. I no longer age, so I appear to be 11.”
“Wonderful. Could you please explain where Entela is?”
“Entela is a city on the plane of Volaria, similar to how Minei is a city in Hanashi on the plane of Virilin. It is home to approximately three hundred thousand people, including many researchers and technicians.”
“Are you a spellcaster?” Was this an interrogation? Of course it is, Sara thought. The idea of spellcasters was terrifying to many people.
“I am. I specialize in thought magic.” Sara stopped talking aloud, but let a spell flow from her hands that transmitted her next sentence into the thoughts of each other person present. Telepathy like this, and temporary disabling spells are two examples.
“Would you describe any of your magic as lethal, or potentially lethal?”
Sara shook her head. “I do not cast lethal spells. I am not a combatant.”
“Thank you. Could you please describe your understanding of the organization known as the Spellbane?”
Sara looked around. At least a few of the people seemed that they would be receptive to humor. “Am I allowed to curse?” she asked, with no seriousness in her voice. Almost the whole room erupted into laughter, prompting Sara to smile. When the room calmed down, she continued. “The Spellbane are an organization created by fear of something that they have no reason to fear. They are people that attack students who have not had time to learn magical control, and use that fear to present themselves as a necessary threat.
“The idea of the Spellbane was to attack ‘threats’. Threats, in their eyes, are untrained children that may, in the future, become a combatant. But what are the mages they captured during their attack? A cook, an architect.” Sara leveled her gaze against the sitting Saroan representative. “The architect we know was aether-bound by sharp platinum implements and has grown exceptionally sick as a result.”
“Who is this architect you speak of?”
“Haia Kenei, an Entelan architect that was working in the city of Minei at the time of the attack. She assisted in growing the city’s two largest complexes, one of which was destroyed. When I last heard, she had been captured by Spellbane operatives and transferred into the hands of the Saroan government.”
“Thank you, please be seated. Mister Ven of Saro, please rise. This statement made by Miss Ylerne. Is all of this true?”
The Saroan man nodded. “Yes. We do have a Miss Kenei imprisoned, and her magical power has been disabled.”
The speaker nodded, but notably did not ask him to sit. “Mister Suratino of Hanashi, please rise. You say that you would like to nullify the Non-Proliferation of Magic. Could you please give a brief explanation as to why?”
If this is how soon we’re getting to this, Sara considered, it might be the fastest meeting ever had.
“Of course,” Ishike replied. “To me, the Non-Proliferation of Magic seems to be an old treaty intended to combat the use of mages in warfare. Since it was ratified, we have seen the rise of weapons of mass destruction, both chemical and biological in nature, and the development of kinetic and energetic weapons. Organizations like the Spellbane have developments specifically against magic users.
“The Non-Proliferation of Magic does not truly stop magic from reaching the front lines. In one sense, magic in the form of technology reaches the front lines all the time. What are the characteristics of magical weaponry? The treaty defines them in much the same way as weapons we have access to. But the treaty also prevents the use of magic for development, for more peaceful purposes.”
Ishike tapped his desk a few times, and motioned to the screen. Sara did not notice a spell cast, but the screen changed to a vision of Minei, both before and after Haia’s assistance. The difference of two massive buildings and three smaller, ornate ones were in the image. “This was the work done in two months by the architect and two other Entelan helpers, with magical assistance.”
The speaker looked at the image. “Impressive, indeed. Do you believe this would be the case in all cases with magic?”
Ishike looked across at Saro’s representative, then Sara, then at the speaker. “I do. If we could teach… if we could expand the studies of magic on Virilin… I think we could reach a better quality of life for everyone, not only mages. And certainly, I don’t think war would be any worse with mages than without.”
The speaker nodded and motioned for both Ishike and the Saro representative to sit down. “At this time, I would like to call for comments from all of you, regarding the following questions: Was Saro’s attack legal? Should the Treatise of the Non-Proliferation of Magic be nullified?”
“The Non-Proliferation of Magic threatens our world. If other worlds will have mages that can travel, we cannot keep Non-Proliferation of Magic.”
“An attack against a research outpost and school, not even a military location, is unforgivable.”
“Entela used a chemical weapon in the vicinity of youth. Surely there should be some punishment for that."
“The potential for magical power to become more dangerous than any of our weapons is far too high.”
“Would it not make sense to punish the use of magic only when used as we would punish a weapon of mass destruction?”
“Minei’s benefit from magic is immeasurable. Certainly, this should be true everywhere.”
“Non-Proliferation is built on fear. We need to foster acceptance. The Non-Proliferation of Magic has been nullified.”
“Saro’s attack was decided to be illegal, as an escalation from a situation that should have been a trade sanction. It will be expected to pay compensation in the form of material resources to Entela and monetary resources to Hanashi. Both sides’ prisoners of war will be returned.”
“Our outpost has potential to be a school, and a connection between the worlds of Virilin and Volaria. While our atmosphere is toxic without assistance, we have methods of protecting people during temporary trips. After our current students finish their studies, the outpost will be adapted to fulfill the needs of a school of magic and aetheric studies, as well as a residence for a small number of Entelans.”
As Sara spoke, she looked at the Hasin representative, but her thoughts went to Fulmen, who fought to keep the students alive. The Spellbane are gone. No one will ever have to deal with them again. Thank you, Fulmen.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 8, 2019 7:44:21 GMT
Deus ex Machina
I look into the room surrounding me. This is Hannah’s room. It’s ethereal, kind of. Nothing’s really in focus, but I can still see everything perfectly fine. I can’t interact with basically anything here unless special circumstances come up, but I can see everything. Hannah’s laid her blanket out on the ground, waiting for someone to share her blanket with her. The ways children go about their romance is amusing, adorable even.
I can feel the aether around me shift, bringing everything into focus. That happens every time a planeswalker arrives, every time an Entelan uses a tunnel to either enter or leave Volaria, or whenever they make a call across the planes. Especially lately, these moments of focus have been happening way more frequently. Mostly as the result of this romance that I started devoting all my infinite time to watching.
Karina planeswalked outside the door, ready to see her girlfriend. Hannah hasn’t gotten used to noticing it, but I certainly have. These moments are my windows to interact with the world in any way. Doing so around other elementals is much harder, but between these two? It’s much easier.
Karina knocks on the door, Hannah tells her to enter, and Karina opens the door to walk in. I can feel the large cut beneath her shirt. It’s already scarred over by now, but it’s there nonetheless. “How’d you get yourself injured like that?” I ask. She can hear me when I do that, even if she’s not sure where it came from. “Well, no reason to let Hannah see it.” I take my minutes of interacting with the world to heal the scar. Healing is all I do. I might as well make myself useful.
“Was someone just in here?” Karina asks Hannah. Right. She can’t see me, because I’m here and not there. Is there anything I can do to show myself? … Maybe. I might know someone that knows enough. The world defocuses again, and I stop being able to interact with it.
“Uh, who?” Hannah asks. Hannah, you should know this. “There’s just you and me here.”
“I heard a voice talking to me… and they said your name.” Hannah sits up to offer affection to Karina. These two are so cute, I’m glad I started watching them. It’s the most interesting romance to happen since Mister Fulmen and Miss Arina finally came back. The two girls end up sharing Hannah’s blanket like she suggested. They’re probably safe now, so I can come back later.
It doesn’t take much for me to find the person I was trying to find. There’s only 11 beings in this version of our world, where we’re separated from the main Volaria. Feeling for Lyr’s energy isn’t too difficult. He’s sitting around in one of the Entelan laboratories that isn’t being used. I suppose he’s supposed to watch over these people, isn’t he?
Lyr glimmers a bright golden, almost like Entela’s master does. He’s got a simple outfit in that color, wears glasses, but is mostly boring otherwise. He’s probably the best suited to living alone for a million years. He can stare at grass growing for decades at a time and not even care.
“Hi Lyr,” I say. He’s not focused on me, or anything else in particular, but he nods his head to acknowledge I said something. “Could you teach me how to make an avatar projection?”
“What do you need one of those for?” He asks me. Yeah, I suppose an avatar doesn’t help me in this world normally, does it?”
“Whenever a planeswalker appears, I can cast spells into Volaria for a short time. Same if they open a tunnel. I think I can use an avatar to talk to someone on Volaria.”
Lyr chuckles and flashes a smile. “Well, you know I’m always ready to teach.”
Karina asked Master Sara about me. I’m not sure why, but I didn’t entirely expect it, especially as she explained my existence to her. The healer, the disembodied voice…
“That…” Master Sara starts. I suppose if someone would be able to guess it, it’d be her. “That sounds like it must be a Spirit. I guess if it’s like you say it is, it’d be Solari. But she shouldn’t still be alive.”
Yes, Master Sara. You’re exactly right. I shouldn’t be. But I am.
Karina’s back. How long has it been since I last had to heal her? Months? Hannah’s standing around this time, waiting for her girlfriend to walk in. As Karina opens the door, I watch her. I guess I have my chance now.
“Do you mind making an interplanar contact with… I don’t know, Hannah?”
Karina perks up as she hears me. “There’s that voice again! Sol… Solari?”
I feel the world defocus. No matter what I say here, nothing’s getting through to them. Like this, I can only watch and hope. Hannah’s eyes widen, like she wasn’t expecting me. “I thought that was a thing the Therians made up!”
Sigh. Hannah, really, you come from a family that has our powers. Why are you the one that thinks we’re not real?
“I talked to Master Sara and that’s what she told me.” Karina recognizes it as true, whether or not she actually knows who I am. I expect she doesn’t.
“What’d she say?”
“Oh, uh… she wanted me to contact you? Interplanar contact? Would that even work?”
“Uh… maybe?” I suppose maybe I should’ve been clearer why. “I don’t really know how these things work. Should we listen?” Please? I need to actually talk to someone that isn’t a Spirit. I suppose if not, I can just keep watching them. Interesting and cute things always happen around these two.
Karina looks up at Hannah and types her interplanar communications commands. As soon as they come, I start channeling a spell to cast once Hannah accepts. It’s only a few seconds before Hannah’s transceiver beeps, and she questions, “Connect?”
I let go of my spell and send a ghostly form of my body into Hannah’s room. It looks like me, but it’s only partially there, not fully there. I can feel it. It feels… weird. Like I’m not even there, but instead I’m in a heavy suit that’s there. It doesn’t feel like life. “Really, Hannah,” I say as my avatar arrives. “Your family should know the most about us, given you have three of our scripts.”
Hannah considers what to say. I suppose nowadays, seeing any Spirit is a special occasion. It was far different when we were still part of Volaria.
“Um…” Karina says. “Hi?”
“Your transceiver is going to run out of energy pretty quickly, you’ll need to charge it, uh… Master Sara was right.” I hold my arms out in greeting. “Hiya, I’m Solari. … Or, uh… an apparition that I’m trying to use to talk to you. I wish coming back here was that simple.”
“Okay, uh… why?” Karina asks. Fair enough.
“Severa said that if I was going to be meddling in your life as much as I am, I should at least tell you about it.” I cross my arms and stare at Hannah. It’s just life-giving like I always do. Is that so bad? Hannah is in awe. She’s lived her whole life thinking we were fake. She’s going through a lot. “I’ve been trying to make sure you don’t die on each other, whenever I get the chance.”
Karina and Hannah both say nothing for a moment. Hannah is the first one to speak. “Were you… You were the one that saved Karina when she was stabbed?”
I smile at her. Of course. That’s what I do. “Yep! I tried to cast a spell and it worked. So I started doing that.”
Hannah walked over to me and hugged my apparition. I wish I could really feel this. It’s been so long… Karina looks at me. “Whoa. Thank you.” She’s not completely certain, it seems, but at least she knows I want to protect them now. “Have you been doing… anything else?”
I shake my head and smile. “Just healing you. It’s most of what I do.” I take a moment of pause, then wink as I continue. “I am the best on Volaria. Though I suppose I’ve also been watching how adorable you two are.”
Both Karina and Hannah have red faces now. Hannah responds faster. “I know,” she says with a bright grin, “Isn’t Karina so adorable?”
Karina blushes further. “Mostly because of Hannah.”
I grin at the two. “So, I’ll be doing what I can to make sure you don’t die on each other.” Uh… “If… if that’s okay, of course.” I don’t want to do this if they want me to stop. Even if I think they’re the cutest ever.
“I… I guess?” Karina suggests. Hannah shrugs.
Karina’s transceiver is running out. I don’t have much time. “It seems like I can only cast spells when either Entela breaks the world with a tunnel or a planeswalker comes or goes. So if you really need to talk to me… I need you to do one of those.”
“Okay, we’ll remember that,” Karina agrees.
I look up at Karina. Now I’m just sad. I want to be here for far longer. “You’re going to run out of energy. Maybe the next time we meet like this, I’ll have a real body, but until then… good luck.” Karina waves at me as I return to the land of the shadows, where I can’t interact with anything but can see everything.
Hannah hugs Karina and awaits the certain response. “I’m not sure what to think about that,” Karina decides. “I guess it’s good someone’s watching out for us.
“If she’s going to stop you from dying, I’m okay with it.” Don’t worry, Hannah. I’ll make sure of it, as much as I can.
Karina looks up at Hannah. I’ll have to go do something else soon, while they go about whatever business Hannah had planned for them. “If you’re okay with it, then I’m okay with it.” As Hannah relaxes into another hug with Karina, I leave them be and set off. Maybe I can one day meet up with Maste Sara.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Aug 14, 2019 8:38:13 GMT
How Drunk Were You?
Leritha, 370 RVY, Month 4, Day 5
Lerithan taverns were strange to Fulmen. They were kept very clean, and people here acted civilized, like they hadn't even tasted alcohol before. At the same time, the stench of beer was on the air, and a bar full of fluffy jacketed pilots sat with glasses in their hands. Menus were held by metal racks on the polished wooden counter. The floor was kept to a similar standard, looking almost as though it had never been dirty.
The barkeep looked at Fulmen with his piercing gaze, polishing a glass in his hand as Fulmen approached the counter. Fulmen wasn't sure what he looked like, but it definitely wasn't what the pilots looked like. The barkeep placed the glass on the counter without breaking eye contact and asked, "What do you have?"
"Ryla and questions," Fulmen replied slowly. "Looking for someone."
The barkeep nodded. "Four bits per ryla. I can help if you buy something."
Fulmen looked at the menu. He was old enough to accept a drink once on Volaria, and with how long his search had been going for, maybe he deserved another one. "Aerilis Wine," he eventually decided. That looked... interesting enough. Maybe it would be sweeter than the last drink he had. He separated out two ryla from his pocket of coins, 8 bits worth, and handed them to the barkeep. With a nod, he started fixing a drink beneath the counter.
"Who're you looking for? Captain, otherwise?"
"Well, looking for my final partner. Trying to do that lead me to here. Looking for..." Fulmen tapped the transceiver on his wrist to bring up his notes. "Fris Etin, Merchant Captain?"
"Ah," the barkeep said with a nod as he set a cloudy white liquid in front of Fulmen. He leaned over and tapped the counter in front of one of the men at the other end of the counter. No words were exchanged, but instead there were a few nods, at least one in Fulmen's direction, and the barkeep motioned for Fulmen to go to that man. Fulmen lightly picked up his drink as he walked and sipped at it. That was good enough.
The man looked at Fulmen with tired eyes as he approached. He had the same fuzzy brown jacket as everyone else, and a hat with goggles propped on his head. Along the trim was a golden pattern that had no meaning to Fulmen, but he assumed was an indication of class. Fulmen took only a few moments to ask, "Are you too drunk to answer some questions?"
"Pfft," the man started slowly, "Guy, after this week, I'm not drunk enough to answer questions. But the folks here'll know me as the best drunk question-answerer, so if ya buy my next drink for me, I'll gladly answer you some questions." Fulmen's coins were already on the counter by the time the man's sentence finished. Anything to find her. Anything. "Great," the man said, lifting his hand. "Yo, another ale over here!"
Fulmen grimaced. Would this guy even know anything? "You're Fris Etin, from the Merchant's Guild, right?"
"Yeah, that'll be me," Fris replied. Fulmen sipped at his own drink while another glass was slid perfectly in front of Fris. "What's it to ya?"
"Someone said you might have interacted with my final partner, Arina Nisita? While visiting a plane called Ravnica."
"Oooh, little Volarian girl?" Fris asked, holding his hand far below Arina's height. Fulmen confirmed with a nod while he continued, "Yeah, met her some three years ago. She was havin' problems gettin' home, so I pointed her in the right direction, told her to tell Volaria we were waitin' for 'em." Fris made a show of opening his arms towards Fulmen. "And look at this, Volaria's figured it out, huh?"
Fulmen shook his head. "Not yet. I'm a planeswalker."
"Dammit, so she didn' listen then. Thought I could trust her, ya know?"
"She, uh..." Fulmen took a deep breath. "That's why I needed to ask you. She never made it home. You're the last person that I could find that saw her."
"Iunno what the problem was," Fris said with a shrug. "I told her, and I told her well, you go right past Theros, head on until you hit Intera and it's right there. Iunno how you mess that one up."
It was at that moment Fulmen noticed the attention of a few other captains around him. One female in particular, wearing literally the same outfit as Fris, looked at her fellow captain. "You sent her where?" she asked. "Intera? How drunk were you?"
"Not nearly enough," Fris replied. Everyone except Fulmen and the woman laughed. "Yeah I sent her to Intera, what of it?"
"You can't get off Intera!" Fulmen's eyes widened and he took a deep breath to avoid panicking. The woman connected her gaze to Fulmen, who set his drink down before he accidentally shattered the glass. "We stay away from that place for a damn good reason. Normally I'd say it's a lost cause..." The woman looked down at her own drink, then back up. "But that whole final partner thing is pretty important for you Volarians, right?"
Fulmen took a deep breath and slowly nodded. "I... I need her back. She's more important to me than my own life."
"Well, if she's still alive, she'll definitely be on Intera." The woman looked at Fris with a sigh. "If you need anything for you, or her, or both, get it before you go to Intera. Heavens know that you'll never find it on the surface of that plane. Especially aether, like you Volarians need."
Fulmen watched the woman for a moment, trying to remember how to breathe. "You mean... there's no aether there?"
"None there, can't even grab it out of the Eternities if my notes are right."
Fulmen grabbed his drink and slammed as much of it back as he could. "I've got to run, then," he said as he started to gather the magic to planeswalk. "Thanks so much for your help."
If Arina had no aether, that meant she had no way to avoid overchanneling, no way to recover from injuries, and... Fulmen stopped thinking of everything that would go wrong without aether. Only one thing mattered, and that was finding Arina.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Sept 4, 2019 6:06:47 GMT
I haven’t spent much time on the streets of Aerilise. The Merchant’s Guild gave us permission to put a tunnel here a little while ago, so of course I was here to help set the outpost up, but they had a different core engineer to put here instead. I’m only here today to grab something for Karina. I hope she likes it, whatever it is. I don’t really know what it’ll be yet.
I am getting used to being in places without aether. Even if it is always raining here. How does it rain when we’re above the clouds? Magic, maybe, but I don’t feel a spell coming from the sky. I think I can find my way around here. What’s the worst that can happen? I have a transceiver that can tell me where the outpost is at any moment I need it to. As I set out through the streets of Aerilise, I watch for any signs I might recognize.
I don’t know many Lerithan words, but I don’t really need to for what I’m looking for. The streets, at least around the Merchant’s Guild, are filled with market stalls, with their wares displayed in extravagant cases and placed atop brightly colored silk. Last year I’d have thought all these prices were really expensive. They still are, but now I can afford something from them.
As long as I find someone that’ll accept ryla. I’m sure the people here are used to a bunch of random travelers. Maybe if I point at something curiously and put some ryla crystals on the counter, they’ll get what I’m trying to say.
I keep a look-out for a specific kind of bracelet. I saw it the last time I was here, with pretty sapphire discs surrounded by platinum. I remember when I first saw it, and it stood out to me as something… dangerous. I’ve learned a bit more since then. Now it’s just pretty.
There it is! There’s a stall with a name made of letters I don’t know how to read, covered in beautiful red and silver fabrics. He’s saying words in Lerithan, presumably to attract the attention of potential buyers, but he doesn’t need to try to attract me. This one did it already. And now I remember why it felt dangerous.
A spell comes from the sapphires, like some kind of aethersteel. I asked Miss Kaira about it, and it sounded like someone could use them to make a small shield to block arrows or stuff. But normally magic radiates, and at the platinum it just kinda… stopped. Almost like it was being held back by the platinum. Obsidian back on Volaria does the same thing.
I lightly put a couple of sky-blue ryla crystals from my pocket on the table. The shopkeep looks at me when I do it, then looks at the crystals, then back to me. The crystals are really clear, but they kinda glow. He keeps looking between me and the crystals, looking more and more confused as he does, saying things that I guess are questions but I can’t answer. I guess he doesn’t take ryla.
Then he notices my transceiver, and it looks like he suddenly realizes everything. He consults a notebook, nods, and looks back up at me. I kinda point to the bracelet I was looking at, and follow it by putting ten more crystals onto the table. His eyes widen in the weirdest way, like he expected I wouldn’t know it’s expensive. He thinks, says a few words, and looks at me.
He must’ve noticed I don’t speak Lerithan. He draws a circle with his finger around six of my crystals and slides them off to the side, then motions with both hands to that pile. I nod and give him a thumbs-up. He nods in return, lightly lifts the bracelet off and puts it on top of the rest of my crystals, and motions for me to take them. He says something, I thank him, and take the crystals and bracelet.
Now to get back home.
I tap my transceiver to ping for nearby aether. That’s normally a good way to find my way back to the outpost. I can start walking while I do that, and it’s going to guide me home. There’s a lot of aether in the outpost, and not a lot anywhere else.
Wait. What’s this big mark on the screen? That’s also aether, right? But it’s almost like it’s bigger than the outpost, centered… somewhere. Should I go check that out? I guess I have to, huh? I start going that way, to see what exactly is happening there. As I arrive, I see… a man? He’s old, but not older than… I catch my breath as Dad comes to mind. Why did I do that? No, bad me, stop doing that. You can do that when you’re in Karina’s arms, you can’t do that here.
He’s kinda between Miss Seiva and Mom. He’s sitting there on a bench, surrounded by ripples in the aether that even I can feel. He wears a dark grey shirt and pants, with a white vest and a black hat of some kind. He wears the most boring colors imaginable. Who is he? Why is he here? Is he a planeswalker? “Hello?” I try to call to him.
To my surprise, he actually looks up and waves. Did he understand me? He motions me to come over to him, but he’s staring at me like there’s something wrong with me. At least he’s nice enough to give me aether; I can actually cast a spell if I need to.
“Tell me,” he asks. His voice is quiet, uninterested, but neither low nor high. “Who are you?”
Uh. “Uh… I’m Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita. I’m work with Entela’s Eternity Project for Interplanar Cooperation.”
“Entela? I haven’t heard of that plane before. Where is it?”
I shake my head. “No, Entela’s a city. The plane’s Volaria.”
The man stares at me. “Heh, Volaria? That place is still alive? Last time I was there, you mortals had just started existing. How long’s it been? Must’ve been at least a hundred years ago now.”
What? He was there when mortals started existing? “How? That was over a thousand years ago.”
He shrugs at me. “Time is strange, especially for a being like myself. A thousand years here, ten years there, it’s hard to tell, really.”
“Who are you?” I finally ask. I deserve some answers too. “Why did you stare at me like you did?”
“Mm, I’ve got many names. Or, rather, I’ve had many names. So many I’ve frankly forgotten them all. So you, my little Volarian, can call me Creator.” Creator. That’s… a weird name. But sure.
“I’m not that little, I’m sixteen! But… sure. Creator, I guess.”
“Sixteen, hah. You’re only barely older than Solari. Cute thought, though.” Who is he?
“You knew Solari?”
“Well, naturally. I was there at her birth, after all. Just as I was at all the others.”
I… “But aren’t you human? I thought the only Volarian humans were born after the Spirits.”
“Human is a… strong term for what I am. And Volarian is just incorrect. I’m the being that gave birth to Volaria, not the other way around. Now tell me, how is my world doing?”
I stare at him. He says he created Volaria, and he’s still alive. Why hasn’t he been back? “The world’s collapsing on itself. We’re here trying to figure out a way to not die while it does that.”
“Of course it’s collapsing on itself.” The man looks at me, almost like he’s bored. “It’s not a stable plane. Why wouldn’t it collapse? I didn’t bother to stabilize it.”
You can just… do that? “You can stabilize planes? Why didn’t you? Why don’t you now?”
“I used to be able to stabilize planes. I lost that power a long time ago, though I suppose I don’t know quite how long ago now. I can still make things out of aether, but the rest of my powers are gone.” The man looks around his cloud of aether. “To answer your second question, it’s because Volaria wasn’t meant to be stable. It was a sandbox, something I made to see what happened until I got bored with it. That didn’t take very long, of course. The Spirits could only occupy me for so long, and I’ve seen plenty of mortals in my days. But it’s been so long, I bet none of them even remember me.”
“They don’t. They died a long time ago. Like, a bit after you left.” I stare at the man. Here sits Volaria’s creator. I that a bottle of alcohol in his hand? I didn’t notice it before. Maybe he made it out of the aether. Maybe it’s been here the whole time. “But you didn’t notice, huh?”
“I guess they kinda deserved it. They’re imperfect life forms. They can’t pass on their abilities. Even Solari, who acted like the mother of the mortals. I didn’t really care enough to make them even do that.” What’s he even trying to say? I’m pretty confident this guy is insane. Though, maybe he’s just insane enough to know what he’s saying…
“What do you mean?” I ask. “Like, I know Elementals can’t, uh… But I’m the daughter of several Spirit bloodlines.”
The man raises an eyebrow at me. “Oh? I don’t believe you. That shouldn’t be possible.”
“I’m carrying three spells, one from Talis, one from Lyr, and one from Severa.” Thanks for the names, Solari. “They gifted them to my ancestors, so now I can do them.”
“I guess even the children have something to prove, now don’t they? Fine, show me your Thought spell, then leave me alone, okay? I can tell you want me to help you, and I’m definitely not going to.”
I sigh. I guess even planes have parents that don’t spend time around you. I wonder if Karina could talk sense into this guy too. I lift my hand and take a deep breath of the aether around me. I can feel my spell, I just need to feel it better. This’ll be good practice, at least. “Lysta elsin.” As I slide my hand across the air, my vision goes dark and instead a collection of memories light up in front of me. I don’t want to break anything here, just leave a note that I got here. Maybe my memories of him will be good enough? I lightly push a few of my memories towards him, then back out of his memories.
Creator stares at me. “Well done. I suppose if I could do any more experiments, I would put that into use. Now, go home, and leave me alone.” Creator planeswalked away, taking his rippling aether and bottle with him.
Volaria needs to find some better parents.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Sept 13, 2019 6:24:18 GMT
The City Gathering
Volaria, 387 VY, Month 4, Day 1
Here we are! Karina’s hand is in mine, held tight so we don’t get separated among the many people. I’m kinda used to being here, right in the middle of Volaria. I haven’t missed a single City Gathering since I was born. Or, at least, I don’t remember missing one. Karina’s never been here before, and there’s a lot of people. There’s a black-cloaked guy riffling cards over there. He’s not at a stand. I wonder what he’s doing.
Cobblestone paths like in Entela wind around haphazardly. There are stalls all along it, some selling food, some doing demonstrations, some— ooh, is that guy over there selling flowers? I’ll have to go over there soon. A bit further into the center of the paths is the dueling arena, which is made of some very pretty Litaran quartz. It’s like a 10-sided square, and there’re seats and stands inside that let people watch what’s happening in person. We’ll be heading there to watch Rianne duel a few times this week. A few aethertech displays — very definitely Entelan ones — float around catching different angles of the duels.
I tighten my grip a bit on Karina’s hand so she remembers I’m here. Not that she could ever forget, but just in case. “Rianne’s on in an hour, so we’ve got a bit of time to look around before she starts.”
“Okay, um…” Karina looks around. It looks like she’s thinking really hard about something. “So, what should we do?”
“Uh…” I try to avoid saying ‘everything’ yet. That’s not super helpful. Thankfully, before I need to make up my mind, the card guy does it for me.
“Observe,” he says with a bright smile, speaking to everyone but catching us with a glint in his eye. “Come see the magic of the magicless worlds! Tricks of the mind and tricks of the eye, all done without casting a single spell!” He tosses a card into the air and cleanly catches it on top of the deck. “How about you two? Care to watch me find your card?”
I look at Karina. She must’ve noticed the smile on my face, because she’s already leading me over to him. “Wonderful,” he says as we approach. “You two must have names. What are they?”
“Hannah and Karina,” I reply.
“Not yet! Still only girlfriends.” Karina looks at me. I cutely smile back at her but don’t explain myself. I’m not ready to ask yet.
“Wonderful. Now, if you look over my deck, you’ll see it’s a perfectly normal Virilin set of cards. No magic on them, nothing missing, nothing strange…” The man fans the cards out face-down, collects them, and then does so again face-up. He collects the deck together, shuffles it, and presents it to me. “Here, take a card.” I take the top card and stare at it. It’s a queen of hearts. It’s hard not to recognize it. Dad used to teach me games with these same cards…
Why am I like this? I need to stay happy with Karina. I can worry about that later.
The man nods at Karina and continues, “You should look at it too.” I show Karina and she instantly nods at it. I guess they have these all over the place, then, and not just on Virilin. “Memorized it?” The man asks as he presents the deck back to me. I guess he wants me to put the card back. I nod.
The man takes the deck back and starts shuffling it, occasionally tossing a card in the air and catching it with the deck each and every time. How does he do that so well?
“These cards are said to be magical on both Virilin and Linela. But, of course, they aren’t enchanted or anything.” The man fans the cards out again, first face-down, then face-up. Yep, I can agree they’re not enchanted. I’d be able to recognize the magic. “They believe these cards are tied to fate. And you know? Maybe they’re onto something."
The man offers the deck to Karina, who takes the top card and looks at it. Her eyes widen, as does the man’s smile as he continues to hold the deck out.
“Same card?” Karina looks up at him and nods. “I’d bet that means something special about you two. Ready for me to find your card?”
Karina returns the card to the top of the deck and smiles. The man tosses the card into the air, splits the deck in two, and catches it between the two halves, looking up at us like he just caught a snowflake. I try not to laugh. He shuffles the deck once more and holds it in one of his hands.
The man looks at me carefully and taps the top of the deck. Without looking at the card, he lifts it to show us. “Queen of Hearts.”
“Wow…” I breath out. “How’d you do that without any magic?”
“A street magician should never tell their secrets,” he says with a wink. “It takes the mystery out of it. Anyways, I bet this Queen of Hearts can only mean good things for you two. Enjoy the rest of your week!”
The man turns away to entertain some other crowd. I lightly pull Karina out of the way towards the flower seller. She seems concerned about… something, but I’m not really sure what. Maybe just the people. The flower seller’s kinda pretty. Not anyways near as much as my Karina, though. “He’s right, you know,” I say as I move to hold Karina in my arms for a few seconds. “We’re meant to be together. I’m gonna stay with you forever.”
Karina looks up at me, a smile growing on her face. I guess I’m helping. “I’d like that.”
I lead Karina over to the flower woman. She’s definitely Elancean. Her accent as she greets me helps, but she’s also wearing the very dark green and black that’s all over the official Elancean clothes. The flowers in front of her are a mix of a lot of different flowers, some I’ve never seen before. Ooh, these ones are pretty. They’re a really glowy green. I wonder how common these are in Elance. I’ve never really been there.
I kinda quickly point at a bundle of the green glowy flowers while Karina’s looking at the other flowers and say “Credit, Delcarlo-Nisita” in Ancient Volarian. I don’t know many words, but I definitely know that one. The woman nods and hands me the bundle. When Karina looks at me next, I kiss her and hand the bundle of flowers to her. She seems confused at first but accepts it.
“You know, I bet there’s some Entelans here doing engineering stuff,” I say as I look around. I’m trying to feel for the aether while I do that, but it’s hard with this many people being magical around me. “Maybe we should find them, then go get food.”
“Lead the way.”
I don’t know where the Entelans could be. I’ll have to remember to come back here and check out these Mileran guys, though. They’re showing how Mileran works on aethersteel daggers. Those daggers look really pretty too. One of them’s got a colorful blue edge. There’s a stall there with all kinds of bread. I bet those are really tasty. I make a note to where they are and keep going towards the food. I feel like if Mikara’s here like she said she would be, she’d have tried to set up near the food.
There’s a whole mix of spices in the air over here. Tirena and Theria seem to be trying to compete with each other about who can have the best smell, which ends up instead in this heavy mixture of great-smelling food. I wonder what I’m going to get. All the cities have such great stuff. And I’m still looking for any table of Entelans; are they all on the other side of the arena?
There they are. And I was right. I lightly tug Karina along to a tent that has a table with, among other people, Mikara. Looks like they’re trying to sell transceivers to other Volarians. They’ve also got a box that does something with an aether circuit and I’m not sure what. “Hey Mikara!” I greet as I get closer. “Having fun here?”
“Yep,” she replies, standing up to give a hug to both me and Karina. Karina’s getting better being around Mikara now. I guess it helps that now, she’s not walking into my room and finding some unnamed girl there. “Been convincing scouts from Theria and Litara that having transceivers is a good thing. It’s been pretty successful so far.”
“Are you working for Entela or are you guys here on your own?”
Mikara chuckles. “Just working for Entela this time. Don’t have any salvages to do yet, though I’ve heard something big just happened somewhere, so that might change.”
“Cool! You going to be watching Rianne?”
“Yep, I’ve got a screen right there.” Mikara stretches across the table to point at a screen somewhere across the way. “When she comes out, I’ve told her to come find you so you can help her find me. I’m kinda lost right now.”
“Got it!” I look at and motion to the metal box. “So what’s this do?”
“Oh, this thing’s fun!” Mikara leans down to something below the table and clicks what sounds like a button. In a few seconds, a ball of silver energy shoots out the side of the box and bounces a few time off the cobblestones before rolling away. I giggle as I watch people try to avoid stepping on it. I look up at Karina and smile. There, now she’s smiling too. “We get to do that so people wonder what’s over here. It’s hilarious.”
“I bet,” I agree. “Karina and I were going to go get food now, you going to be okay?”
“Yeah, you guys go eat. I get lunch soon.” Mikara waves us off.
I let Mikara go back to doing her job and try to figure out what I actually want to eat. There’s stands from all across Volaria here. There’s an Oscuran pizza stand over there, some kind of soup kitchen a bit over there. There’s a meat skewer barbeque, I bet that’s Ria-Demai…
“So what do you want to do about food?” I ask, looking at all the many options.
Karina only really offers me a shrug. “Whatever you’re getting.”
I laugh. “Right, uh…” Ooh, those Therian wraps look really good, and I bet they have milk to go with them. Therian milk tastes so good. “How about over here?” I lightly guide Karina into one of the many lines around here. This’ll be a while.
Eventually we get our food. This is, like, a bready thing wrapping around rice, vegetables, and meat? It’s got a special sauce in it that tastes amazing, but I have no idea what it is. Something special in Theria, I guess. Karina seems pleased too.
I know where to go now. We go into the Arena, along which there’s carved paths telling us where to go to be seated. The inside of the arena is a smooth stone surface, with grooves marking boundaries and starting positions. One side is lightly tinted with white, the other is lightly tinted with black. A person dressed entirely in white, who’s being the adjudicator this time, stands in the middle, between the two sides.
“Round 1, Duel 4!” An announcer shouts from… somewhere. I don’t actually know where the announcers stand. I never really thought about it until right now. “On the White Side, the eleven-year-old prodigy originally from far beyond the edges of Volaria, Rianne Astera of Entela!” There’s some cheers. There’s a few people that aren’t happy, but they’re mostly drowned out. Rianne appears at her place without even walking on. She’s getting good at that, huh? She smiles, sweeps her pretty blonde hair out of her face, and waves at the crowd. She’s also getting good at that. I remember she was really worried a couple weeks ago when Master Sara asked her to do this.
“On the Black Side, returning champion from the last City Gathering, Ken Irai of Mirora!” There’s more cheers. I remember some people were asking him at the end of that fight about the way he fights, since he makes life and then lets it go, but that’s something Mirora’s always getting in trouble for. Ken rides into the arena on the back of some kind of elemental animal. It looks like it’s made of water? Once he’s at his spot, the animal collapses into the ground, spreading water on the ground for just a moment before disappearing. He takes a bow to the audience.
“At the adjudicator’s mark, you may begin!” The adjudicator raises his hand, and a bright white glow of energy appears in his hand. Rianne closes her eyes, as does Ken. With a bright flash, the light disappears, and Rianne collects some kind of ice magic into her hand. I forgot she could do that too.
While Rianne does whatever set-up she’s preparing — which I expect means at least two different time spells ready to go off when she needs them — Ken collects a bunch of energy into at least three more water animals, one of which can… fly? Is that a bird?
I feel one really big time spell go off from Rianne, but it doesn’t look like anything happens. Aside from that Rianne’s breathing a bit more now. I wish I knew a bit more about what her spells actually do. Karina seems to know exactly what it does, and she’s already getting excited. Well, can’t let her outdo me, huh?
Rianne runs across the arena as fast as she can. The three elementals Ken made rush towards her, water being left behind in their wake. Ken steps into the water, probably expecting Rianne to land in the water too. She jumps to the side of the attacking animals, which stop and turn around. In the time it takes them to do that, Rianne lets her other spell go, freezing the water everywhere except exactly where Ken is standing. She jumps onto the ice and skates up to Ken. He steps back, slips, and a pulse of bright energy send him rolling along the ground.
Wow. The crowd cheers, Karina cheers, I cheer. She must’ve learned that from Mom. I’ve seen Mom do that so many times. Ken quickly jumps to his feet, and Rianne watches him for a moment before blinking back to the place that she started. Ken looks very confused. I guess most people are like me and don’t know exactly what Rianne’s capable of.
Ken directs his elementals to take a less direct line this time. Instead of running straight at Rianne, the two ground… things, run to her sides. Rianne looks up, trying to keep an eye on both the ground-creatures and the bird at the same time. She makes an attempt to run forward, out of the paths of the elementals, but too many of them are attacking at once and they ram into her, breaking like a wave on a cliff. She stumbles a bit, coughing like she’s been punched. I think I can see the water dripping from her hair. There’s cheering from all across the arena.
When I look over at Ken again, he’s added another five elementals to his control. Two more birds. A deer? A lion. And another… thing. “Do you know what that is?” I ask Karina, pointing to the strange thing. She just shrugs at me.
Rianne gathers magic into her hand again, holding it across her body. When Ken commands the elementals forward again, Rianne flicks her hand across her body, and a wall of ice creates itself between the two, crossing the entire arena. There’s a reason the seats in the arena are higher than the arena.
Rianne walks calmly up to the wall as Ken tries to move around the arena, looking for a way to see where Rianne is. Karina leans in a bit to watch what’s happening, and Rianne stands almost perfectly still while Ken moves around. What’s she doing?
Apparently she found what she wanted. She pushes out against her ice with some kind of spell, and a large section of the wall pushes itself outwards into Ken, sending him across the floor again. The wall dissipates. Ken’s elementals collapse into water. Rianne watches Ken. Is that it?
And Ken raises his hand. The arena cheers. Karina cheers louder. I cheer, but let Karina be more excited than me for once. There’s lots of cheering. Rianne looks around, raising both her hands. The audience cheers louder. I wave when Rianne looks at us. She waves back.
“Ken concedes! Rianne wins!” the announcer calls. A healer runs out with a restoration vial for Ken, while Rianne keeps looking to the crowd. I lightly pull Karina so we can meet up with Rianne when she leaves. They’ll need her out of the way soon anyways. I trace my way with Karina down to the entrance, where Rianne comes rushing out only a few minutes later.
“You guys saw that!” she exclaims. “How’d it look?”
“Awesome!” Karina replies.
“You took down last Gathering’s champion!” I congratulate, “You must be pretty happy.”
“He’s kind of reliant on his elementals doing the work for him, and people slipping on the rocks when they run to him. It happened to me the first time too, so when I did it again I made sure I froze the water and he was left helpless.”
When you did it again? I don’t have time to ask the question before Rianne continues. “Anyways, Mika said she’d see it. Do you know where she went?”
“Hm? Oh, yeah, she’s just…” I lean over, trying to hold Karina’s hand for balance while I point around a corner, “That way a bit.”
“Great! I’m going to go make sure she saw it too!” Rianne waves as she runs off.
I watch her go for a moment, then turn back to let myself get lost in Karina’s eyes. Well, that’s not what I was hoping for at first, but now I’m here. I smile at Karina.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Sept 19, 2019 18:48:17 GMT
IPC Console 21, SYT-G023-KOLVK
[390RVY:M2:D30:23.9973] SYT-G023-KOLVK: [LIN-G012-RISSA], you have 24 hours to evacuate your citizens and surrender your government. We will attack.
[390RVY:M3:D1:00.0136] LIN-G012-RISSA: How thoughtful, [SYT-G023-KOLVK]. As a reward, I will ensure our best defenses are ready for you.
[390RVY:M3:D1:00.0500] SYT-G023-KOLVK: If you choose not to evacuate your city, your people will die with you.
[390RVY:M3:D1:00.1288] LIN-G012-RISSA: I do not intend to die this day. If you wish to invade the city to get me, so be it.
[390RVY:M3:D1:08.6366] VOL-E001-SEIVA: [LIN-G012-RISSA] please let EPIC evacuate the city.
[390RVY:M3:D1:08.9886] LIN-G012-RISSA: Denied.
[390RVY:M3:D1:09.0236] LIN-G012-RISSA: If you wish to help Linelan citizens, prevent [SYT-G023-KOLVK]’s attack.
[390RVY:M3:D1:10.0664] LER-M121-KIA..: [LER-M119-PILAL] withdraw.
[390RVY:M3:D1:12.0006] SYT-G023-KOLVK: [LIN-G012-RISSA] 12 hours remain.
[390RVY:M3:D1:12.2228] VOL-G001-SARA.: [VOL-E001-SEIVA] Stay out of Telenia. Your safety is more important.
[390RVY:M3:D1:12.2364] VOL-E001-SEIVA: Understood.
[390RVY:M3:D1:13.9192] VIR-G011-ISHIK: .
[390RVY:M3:D1:14.2100] INT-G010-AISKT: .
[390RVY:M3:D1:16.2914] SYT-G022-WIRVI: [SYT-G023-KOLVK] VO-EXP-2-0:AETHER prepared.
[390RVY:M3:D1:16.3919] VOL-E001-SEIVA: Those are supposed to be used to generate energy.
[390RVY:M3:D1:16.5256] SYT-G023-KOLVK: And they will be unless [LIN-G012-RISSA] surrenders.
[390RVY:M3:D1:17.8183] LIN-G012-RISSA: I will be fascinated to see how you repair your relationship.
[390RVY:M3:D1:18.0097] SYT-G023-KOLVK: [LIN-G012-RISSA] Six hours remain.
[390RVY:M3:D1:18.0408] LIN-G012-RISSA: Yeah yeah, no changes. Come die for us.
[390RVY:M3:D1:19.5747] LER-M121-KIA..: [SYT-G023-KOLVK] Breach of trade agreement.
[390RVY:M3:D1:19.6508] SYT-G023-KOLVK: Understood.
[390RVY:M3:D1:22.0003] SYT-G023-KOLVK: [LIN-G012-RISSA] Two hours remain.
[390RVY:M3:D1:22.0364] LIN-G012-RISSA: Zzz.
[390RVY:M3:D2:00.0086] SYT-G023-KOLVK: [LIN-G012-RISSA] Attack launched.
[390RVY:M3:D2:01.2091] SYT-S211-BIVNA: Detonator deployed.
[390RVY:M3:D2:01.5925] SYT-S211-BIVNA: Telenia confirmed destroyed. Many civilian casualties.
[390RVY:M3:D2:01.9063] VOL-E001-SEIVA: :c.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Oct 13, 2019 7:59:31 GMT
384 VY, Month 5, Day 30 - Who's This?
Hannah looked down at the blue dress in her hands. It was ornately patterned. Mikara said it came from Hanashi, but Hannah could only tell it definitely wasn’t Entelan. “Are you sure it’s not too much? We’re not really doing anything special, it’s just dinner.” She looked back up at Mikara, who was presently sitting on Hannah’s bed, looking up at her.
“I’d say it’s not enough. You don’t see her every day, so you’ve got to take these opportunities to try.” Mikara stared at the dress deeply, watching the patterns. “You know, maybe we could go find a hat, and—”
“No, no hats.” Hannah’s gaze looked up to the wall behind Mikara, though Mikara’s confused expression caught her attention. “It’s a long story, you can ask her about it later. Are you sure she’ll like the blue one more than, iunno…”
“It’ll look great, trust me. Or maybe—” Both Hannah and Mikara caught the shift in aether that indicated a nearby planeswalk. “That’ll be her. You duck into the bathroom and get changed, I’ll keep her busy.”
Hannah looked nervously at the door to both the outside and the bathroom. “Okay, okay.” She took the dress and hid herself in her bathroom, changing as quickly as she could into the confusing dress.
Mikara watched with a smile as the door opened. Karina seemed… tired, probably from a day of work. Hannah talked about her job in exceptional detail whenever she got the chance. Like everyone else in Entela, Karina wore a transceiver, though she kept hers on her left arm. She wasn’t particularly well dressed. Her short hair was messed up, almost like she hadn’t combed it between her work and the present. Even so, Mikara could tell why Hannah was so attracted to her. She was definitely in for a surprise when Hannah came back out.
“Who are you?” Karina asked. Her voice quickly escalated, “Where’s Hannah? What are you doing here?” Before Mikara had a chance to respond, a brightly glowing spear materialized itself into Karina’s hands, and she held it across her body. Mikara stepped back, instinctively telling Karina to relax in her native Hanago tongue. She watched Karina’s eyes, considering how to keep Hannah’s surprise a surprise.
“Where is she?” Karina repeated.
Mikara’s eyes shot to the door, then jumped back to the spear. The tip of the spear glowed with a brightness Mikara hadn’t seen before. “Those’re some quick reactions. You’re the one that’s supposed to protect my sister, right?”
“... Sister?” Karina’s eyes connected with Mikara’s. That was long enough for Hannah to push her way back into the room. Karina’s breath stopped for a moment as she gazed at Hannah in her dress, and both Mikara and Hannah breathed a sigh of relief.
“Don’t worry, I’m okay,” Hannah finally said with a smile. She made an exaggerated motion to Mikara. “This is my sister Mikara. She was helping me figure out what to wear, and, well…” Hannah stepped forward and grabbed Karina’s hand, lightly looking up into her eyes. “I’m glad you were worried about me though.”
Karina lightly leaned her spear against the wall while Mikara continued. “I’ve heard a lot about you. Didn’t expect you to actually be like everything I’ve heard about you.”
“I, um…” Karina looked at Mikara. Was that supposed to be a compliment? “Sorry I—”
“Don’t worry about it, that’s a good thing.” Mikara winked at Hannah. “Anyways, I’ll let you two get on with it. You didn’t come here to talk to me, you came here to be with your adorable girlfriend.” Mikara saw herself out, smiling as she left the two.
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Nov 14, 2019 19:49:11 GMT
The Young Kagemizu
Mikara sat at a desk in her interplanar politics classroom. The room wasn’t large; there were maybe ten other students from a couple different planes that studied here. Professor Zeni standing in front of the room cleaning some things up. Class ended about half an hour ago, but both the professor and Mikara were told that they had to stick around for… something. Mikara wasn’t told what, and she wasn’t sure if her teacher was either. Professor Zeni’s nervous stacking of her papers, laying them out, and stacking them again suggested that she wasn’t.
Mikara tried to think of the reasons that she could be kept here. If she was in trouble, surely Professor Zeni would’ve said something by now. If Master Sara wanted to talk with her, certainly she could do so in Entela. As a result, the current situation was nothing but confusing to Mikara.
Professor Zeni looked at Mikara, and Mikara looked back up at Professor Zeni. Their gaze locked for what felt to Mikara like a full minute before the first footsteps reached the door. As Mikara turned to face the footsteps, her eyes widened and her face lit up red. She glanced down to her casual Entelan clothes, promptly deciding that she was not dressed appropriately. Her eyes looked back up. In the doorway stood three figures dressed in elaborate white and red outfits. One was an older man, one was an older woman, and the last was a young girl slightly younger than a close friend of Mikara. She was about as tall as Mikara’s height while seated.
This was Hanashi’s imperial royal family. “Imperial”, which Mikara remembered used to mean something more than just technicalities. The word had lost all meaning now that the world was governed by the Global Council. What were they doing here? Why hadn’t Mikara been told to change into real clothes? She stood for a moment to bow, before returning to her seat. Professor Zeni seemed to be no more nervous than before, though now she understood the source of her nerves.
“Greetings, Head Advisor Seiva,” the elder man said in perfect hanago. His official title was the Emperor of Hanashi. Mikara couldn’t think of any name she’d ever called him other than that. “I believe we spoke briefly alongside Master Sara.”
“I believe that is true,” Professor Zeni replied. Her hanago was shakier, slower, but she seemed to know it. “You requested to talk to my student as well?”
“Yes,” the Empress agreed. The child, the princess Miya Kagemizu, looked at Mikara. Mikara could only smile at her. “We believe it would best augment our child’s education to have a contact from both Hanashi and Volaria. While she has a friend in the form of Rianne Astera, Miss Astera is neither of those things.”
The Emperor looked at Mikara again. “You are a Miss Mikara? The same that was first abducted from Hanashi?”
“Yes, Emperor. Though abducted seems like too strong of a word. I was legally adopted.”
The Emperor chuckled. “That is the truth as I have heard it, yes. I have it on good authority that you are training to be an enforcer of Entela’s Eternity Project. Is that correct?”
Mikara nodded. “It is. I finish my enforcer studies this year, and the remainder is to act as a member of first contact teams for Entela.”
“Yes, this class is part of that, is it not? I believe I was told that Head Advisor Seiva is a professor of ‘Interplanar Politics’.” The Emperor looked at Professor Zeni, who simply nodded. “Very well. I would like to ask you to serve as a bodyguard and tutor to Miya.”
Mikara’s eyes widened again. “A bodyguard and tutor?”
“Yes,” the Empress stepped in. “Allow me to clarify. Miya is a student here, studying interplanar politics to better understand her place as Hanashi’s future ruler in this new community that Entela wishes to create. As such, we believe that it is vital for her to spend time on other planes, Volaria included. We wish for you to protect her as she does so. You will be appropriately compensated, of course.”
Mikara glanced at Professor Zeni. The professor’s response was immediate in Volarian. “She’s already been inoculated. It’s safe for her.”
The child seemed to perk up at the word “inoculated”. The young Miya continued in hanago, “I wanted to do this for a couple years but it took a bit.”
Mikara looked up at the two parents. “I would be happy to offer my assistance. What is required of me?”
The Empress smiled and replied, “Miya would like to expand her education by spending time in Entela. However, we cannot be there with her the entire time, nor can our usual guardian in Hanashi. We will have a schedule for Miya to be in Entela, and during her time there, you will be required to be by her side.” The Empress then looked at Miya. “You will only go to Entela following these schedules, understood?”
Miya looked up and nodded. “Yep!”
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Nov 21, 2019 7:42:00 GMT
390 VY, Month 12, Day 5 - Happy Birthday
Rianne took a deep breath. She looked around at her room from her seat on her bed, at the small desk and chair, the kitchen table that held neatly stacked books and never more food than granola bars. She calmly considered the rest of the day. Today's classes had already been great, but she was even more excited for tonight. Rianne was very familiar with this process. If something went wrong later? No problem, she'd just try it again. But if it went well, Rianne was ready to do it all over again and smile the whole time.
Rianne closed her eyes, smiled with focus on her magic, and felt the spell lock inside of her. Now she was ready. Everything that was "now" was committed to memory. The aethersteel ceiling glowed with agreement. Or maybe it glowed because the panel on the wall told it to. Rianne decided that "both" was an acceptable answer.
A knock on her door drew a bit of her attention. "Hi," she called. The girl that entered was a friendly Mikara, dressed today in a fancy white Hanajin robe and with her hair carefully braided. She always looked much prettier then Rianne expected of Princess Kagemizu's bodyguard. Was looking like a royal part of the job? "Hiya Mika, what's up?"
Mikara crossed her arms and leaned against the doorway with a grin. That was more like what Rianne expected. "Wanted to say happy birthday before my best friend goes off on her date." Mikara looked Rianne up and down. "Shining blue in your eyes, cute blue dress, carefully brushed hair. Yeah, I'd say you're ready."
"Heck yeah, I am," Rianne replied with a grin of her own. She jumped to her feet and moved to the door. "We're going to that new Hanashi food place. I've heard no one on Volaria's got food like it."
"You've got that right. Hanajin cuisine's the best in the multiverse." Mikara put her finger to her mouth for a moment while she considered. "Though I guess Aeryl's stuff is close."
"I'm really excited! Have you had anything from Hanashi since you left?"
"Only every time I get lunch during school," Mikara teased. "The school on the other side of the tunnel is in Minei, remember? I know everything there like I know the inside of my backpack."
"Oh, right! I forgot you were born in Hanashi."
"Yep! That's why Emperor Kagemizu asked me to help Miya." Mikara tilted her head. "Speaking of which, have you seen her today?"
"Hm…" Rianne thought back to her travel back from school today, which was noticeably harder when she kept trying to hold her memory of "now". It didn't help that she did the trip every day, just like every other Entelan resident that went to school there. The only difference between her travel and Miya's was that Miya lived in Hanashi, so it was easier for her to live near the school than literally a world away. "Not since bioaetherics this morning. Are you sure she came over?"
"She was supposed to. I don't know if she never did or if she came and then peaced or what." Rianne stared at Mikara trying to decipher what the new slang meant. Rianne thought she had a firm grasp on Volarian slang, but Mikara kept seemingly coming up with more. As she considered the word, Mikara started to step back into the aethersteel hallway. Rianne eventually gave up and followed her.
"I'll let you know if I find her. She's probably in the city center somewhere if she came over." Rianne let her door close and then dragged her fingers across it so it actually locked.
"That's what I thought too. I'm gonna head down to the labs and make sure she's not getting herself into trouble."
Rianne glanced at her wrist-mounted computer… transceiver for the time. Enough, she concluded. "And I'm gonna get out. Good luck!"
"You too! Though of course, you don't need luck." Mikara winked at Rianne as she turned to find a downward staircase. Rianne headed off in the opposite direction to find the right staircase up. Navigating the maze of underground hallways in Entela wasn't made easier by focusing on the "now" memory.
In only a few minutes, Rianne found herself on the surface. The sun was starting to set, which just meant it was time for the many elemental-energy lamps to kick in. Rianne still wasn't used to all the people not driving cars or riding bikes everywhere. Supposedly there was a network of teleportation circles, but Rianne never needed to go farther than the city's center, and that certainly wasn't changing tonight.
As it turned out, Rianne wasn't the only one ready for dinner. Kein was waiting for her on the surface too. He was only a year older than her and liked to brag about studying "perfectly normal" physics, without ever defining what that meant. By this point, Rianne could only ever define "perfectly normal" by the things that it wasn't. He was dressed very casually, just a t-shirt, jacket, and pants in colors that were probably chosen at random. As a result, he was speechless when he saw Rianne, and she loved it.
“You look way more beautiful than normal, you know?” He asked, taking Rianne’s hand and starting to guide her along the cobblestone streets. She didn’t object, even knowing exactly where to go and how to get there. She listened to their footsteps as she smiled back at Kein.
“Well, I tried today,” Rianne replied after a few seconds of figuring out the correct answer. In the corner of her eye, she caught the extravagant dress of a young princess going into Aeryl’s restaurant. Mika’ll be happy to see that, she thought. Rianne looked back up at Kein. He smiled at her like he was expecting something. Did he say something while she was distracted?
“Did you hear me?” He questioned.
“Sorry,” Rianne apologized, “Hanashi’s Princess Kagemizu went missing and my best friend was looking for her.” Rianne looked down at her transceiver, noted time, then looked back up. If Miya was going into the restaurant, she would probably still be there by the time Rianne got to her own restaurant.
“Don’t worry about it. I just asked if you normally try.”
“What?” A pause. Oh, she noticed, he means try to look beautiful. “Oh, a little bit. I tried more today, though.”
“Well, it sure worked today. You ever tried Hanajin food?”
“A little bit. It was really expensive in Saro though. You know, completely different region and…” What were the words she was trying to say? Rianne paused while Kein watched her. “And they kinda hated each other.”
“When did they stop?” Kein asked. Rianne started to think of an answer, but got distracted from that. First, she wanted to keep remembering “now”. Second, the two arrived at the restaurant. The outside was the same dark wood and stone that made up the rest of the outside Entelan structures. It was a bit fancier, using some Hanashi techniques. As they stepped inside, the bright white walls and brilliant lights contrasted heavily. The carpet looked like a bunch of beige, red, and black squares, the tables had white tablecloths with a red trim on them.
Kein held up two fingers to the server at the desk. The server nodded excitedly at him and then went… somewhere. When Kein turned back, Rianne had an answer. “They stopped after the attack. Saro stopped working with the Spellbane, thank g… thank the Spirits.” Rianne looked up at Kein and smiled. Kein looked back down, and Rianne lost herself in his dark brown eyes. When her attention came back, his smile had vanished.
“That explains everything,” he said. The care in his voice when he spoke to her had gone, and was left with nothing but cold, steady speech. “I can’t believe it.”
“What’s wrong?” Rianne’s heart sank. “You don’t just say things like that.”
“I thought something seemed different about your eyes. You were getting distracted more than usual, but you do that all the time.” He looked into Rianne’s eyes again, but the softness was gone, and instead it felt like he was staring into her soul. “I knew you could do it, but I never thought you’d do it on a date.”
Tears started to form in Rianne’s eyes from his sudden change of tone. Rianne blinked them away. Focus, she thought. “What do you mean?” Her voice shook more than she wanted it to. She wanted to sound confident, but she couldn’t.
“What, you mean that you intended to just rewind all of this after you’d had your fun? That I can’t ever know if the things I do matter because you might just decide they don’t?” Kein raised his voice, attracting the attention of nearby diners. “I can’t believe you’d try this. And not only this time, but that means you could’ve done this any other time and I didn’t notice! How many times, Rianne? How many times have you done this?”
Rianne started to respond, but the response got caught in her tears. She had a defense, but she couldn’t say it. All she could do was remember “now”, be ready to go back there, and come back without…
“Just go,” Kein said sharply.
Rianne’s breath caught and her eyes widened as she tried to look up at him. “What?” She fought to get the word through her tears.
“Do your rewind thing. Whatever it is you do. Go away, and don’t come find me next time.” Rianne could do nothing but stare at Kein, watching as he walked right past her, leaving her all alone with the audience. Rianne collapsed to the ground in tears. No one came to help her. Do your rewind thing. Don’t come find me next time. Rianne felt her tears on her cheeks, felt the piercing gaze of the surrounding people. If she hadn’t been learning this exact spell for half her life, she might have lost her “now” in that conversation. But she didn’t. Rianne reached into her mind, and triggered her spell.
She found herself back in her “now”. Safely in her room. She wasn’t crying, for the moment, but her body quickly remembered that it was crying in the previous timeline, and it began crying again. Rianne collapsed herself into her blankets, wrapping them around her in a ball of tears and heartbreak.
Rianne was only vaguely aware of Mikara’s knock on her door. She tried to breathe, to say something to Mikara. Instead, Mikara let herself in. “I felt your spell,” she said. “What happened? Who hurt you?”
Mikara was nothing but a blurry mess to Rianne, but Rianne at least remembered going through this the first time. “I… Kein…” Rianne took as deep a breath as she could manage through her tears. “My magic…”
“It’s okay, I’m here now. “ Mikara lightly plucked a comb from her pocket and started combing Rianne’s hair while she calmed down. Rianne continued to try to breathe until eventually something worked. “Try it again. What happened? Who I have to hurt for hurting you?”
“Kein… Kein saw the spell in my eyes. He got upset… and…” Rianne wiped the tears out of her eyes again. “He told me… told me to rewind. Then not to come find him next time…”
Mikara gasped. Rianne couldn’t tell if it was an actual reaction or exaggerated. “That mother… how dare he? Like, I didn’t like that guy anyways, but now this? On your birthday?”
Rianne nodded into the blanket. “I didn’t think there’d be something wrong with me using my magic.”
“I mean, he’s not only the biggest son of a…” Mikara paused, looking for a word that wasn't a swear. “Whichever that’s ever lived, he’s also stupid. You can be literally the best girlfriend. If you do something your boyfriend doesn’t like, you can fix it. Come on, you don’t need that guy. Once I find Miya, we’re taking you out to have fun the way Hanajin girls do, with games and stories and lots of sweets.”
“Miya… Miya’s at the Ebony Phoenix in about…” Rianne looked at her transceiver again. She was finally starting to be able to breathe. “15 minutes.”
“See? That’s something only you can do.” Mikara pulled Rianne out of bed and helped her stand up. Rianne just wrapped her arms around Mikara, letting herself feel something other than sadness. “And don’t worry. I’m gonna make that guy feel it tomorrow.”
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Jan 9, 2020 10:25:12 GMT
385 VY, Month 1, Day 4 - The Church of Light
The chapels of the Church of Solari were some of the strangest buildings Hannah had ever seen. The structures were made from thin wooden logs that had been stripped of their bark, standing around in a vague rectangle to be worn by the elements. There were no “walls”, not in the sense that Hannah would normally call them. The standing logs had other logs laid across their tops, bound by some combination of ropes and magic. On one side, a pane of yellow aetherglass was suspended by a somehow-circular wooden ring. Hannah remembered hearing that it was at the exact place where at 9 hours, the sun shone through it.
On the opposite end, a set of three carved arches in much the same fashion as the suspended disk topped a slightly smaller rectangle that acted as an entrance hallway. A faint yellow shimmer lined the perimeter, presumably protecting the interior of the chapel, but not doing much else because anyone could walk through it. The floor, which extended right until the yellow shimmer, was a pattern of light green and white stained tiles. These tiles left a circle in the ground for a smooth yellow plate that was placed where the morning sunlight would touch the floor.
In this particular chapel, there were a few benches, made of the same wood, carved in the same way, scattered across the floor on the side of the chapel closer to the entrance, pointed in the direction of the sun disk. On the far end, against the glowy yellow shimmer, were short bookshelves that contained a small variety of books, presumably scriptures, songs, or prayers. On the floor in front of the sun disk, an old-looking elf dressed in green robes sat, staring with soft eyes into the center of the disk. Was he important? Hannah didn’t understand much about how the Church of Solari… was. She was here to solve that problem.
Hannah lightly stepped into the chapel. Even so, her footsteps sounded like they were echoing off an enclosed room far larger than this. The elf looked up at her with the same soft eyes, and a grin formed on his face. “You are unfamiliar to me. Have you been here before?”
“I, uh…” Hannah stumbled over her words. “I live in Entela, but I’ve never been to this chapel before.”
“What brings you here, then? Surely you did not come here simply to watch me in prayer.”
“Oh, I, uh… Mister, would you please teach me, uh… about the Church of Solari?”
The elf’s smile felt as warm as the sun outside. “Of course, child. Though if you do not mind, please dispense with that ‘Mister’ nonsense. It does not suit me. My name is Niri. If you must use a polite descriptor, ‘Miv Niri’ will be fine.”
“Miv Niri?” Hannah thought on the word. What did that title mean? “I haven’t heard of that before.”
“Not many have, but it is polite all the same. Miss and Mister do not suit some people.” The elf motioned to the edge of the circle across from him, and somehow Hannah knew that he intended her to sit. As she sat down, a book lifted itself off the shelf and placed itself in the elf’s hands. “Now, tell me about yourself. You said you are from Entela, so I assume that means you study something.” Niri flipped through the book as they spoke to Hannah, though Hannah couldn’t entirely tell what they were looking for.
“Uh… My name is Hannah Delcarlo-Nisita. I’m a core engineering student.”
“What caused your sudden interest in the Church of Solari? Not that it is a problem, of course. It is just unusual to see students from Entela suddenly interested in the Church.”
“I…” How could Hannah explain that she met Solari? How could she avoid lying about it? “I… wanted to thank Solari. She’s been really important to my life, and… I felt like this was the best way I could do that. I want to learn how the Church of Solari works.” Maybe Solari was watching her at this exact moment, fumbling through trying to thank her.
“Do you wish to join the Church, or simply to understand how it works? Neither is a particularly quick process, but it would aid me to help you.”
“I’m honestly not sure. There’s so much I don’t know that I would need to know to answer that.” Hannah looked at the book. It was written in Ancient Volarian, of which she recognized only a few words. Solari’s name was still the same that she learned, though upside-down from her position.
“Then perhaps we should start with a short prayer to Solari.” Hannah felt the glow of magic in Miv Niri’s hands before their magic was visible as light. The edges of the sun disk glowed lightly in response. “Watch the center of the disk closely. None of what is about to happen is necessary, but I find it helps newcomers. Once you are ready, repeat after me.”
Hannah listened, staring intently at the center of the disk as the yellow glow shone across its surface. Hannah felt the magic flow through her, and for a moment, she wasn’t certain whether it was Solari’s or the elf’s. It could have been both. Hannah had no way to tell. Hannah took a deep breath and blinked. “I’m ready.”
Hannah could hear the deep breath from Miv Niri as they began to speak. “With her blessing, those of us on this world continue to live and breathe.”
“With her blessing,” Hannah repeated, “Those of us on this world continue to live and breathe.”
“And in her divine light, we find the ability to move forward with newfound strength.”
“And in her divine light… we find the ability to move forward, with newfound strength.”
“May the light of Solari guide our way.”
Hannah recognized that line. “May the light of Solari guide our way.”
The light dimmed, and the elf said no more until long after the light vanished. Hannah also waited, calming breathing in and out, repeating the words in her mind. With her blessing, those of us on this world continue to live and breath, and in her divine light, we find the ability to move forward with newfound strength. May the light of Solari guide our way.
“From this, do you have any questions?” Miv Niri asked.
“I, uh, yeah. You said most of this is unnecessary.” Hannah looked up at the elf. “What is necessary? I don’t want to do something wrong.”
“Everything you did was quite alright. Prayer does not need to happen in the presence of an elder, or at a chapel. It does not need to happen bathed in light. These are things that help newcomers to the Church, and youth especially, but those are unnecessary for simple prayer.”
“Are they necessary for anything else?”
“At times we will use these rituals for larger wishes of blessing and guidance. For example, to ask for the protection of a newborn child, or for a loved one to recover from a grave wound. And before you ask, I can see the question already, as it lies behind the eyes of almost everyone.
“It does?” Hannah stared at the elf.
“Your last question was about the last part of that prayer, is it not?” How did he know? “When we say ‘may the light of Solari guide our way’, we use it to close every of our prayers. Alone, you can say ‘my way’. When departing from another, you can say ‘your way’. But all the same, it reflects the wish that we wish to make.”
Hannah slowly stood up, trying to avoid making any footsteps. “Thank you, Miv Niri. If I return here to learn more, will you be here?”
“Yes, most days I will be here. If I am not, check by the following day.” As Hannah started to turn to leave, the elf concluded. “May the light of Solari guide your way, Child.”
Oh! Hannah forgot to say the same. Hannah turned around to look at the elf. “May the light of Solari guide your way, Miv.”
Post by WindyDelcarlo on Jan 23, 2020 6:07:01 GMT
370 RVY, Month 1, Day 9 - Gryla Canyon Outpost - "I need you to stay alive."
Reliya didn’t know much about medicine. She didn’t know how healing worked, or why the ointments and medicines she was given helped, but she assumed that injuries were supposed to heal themselves eventually. Still, somehow the hopes of the entire resistance stood on the shoulders of… this girl, whose body couldn’t heal itself. She had to be dosed with a variety of medicines, every day, and most of those days she could barely even stand anymore. She was in no state to be on a battlefield, but she still insisted on it.
The girl in question, some Arina that said she was from a different world, was drifting in and out of consciousness in front of Reliya. A slash across her chest, multiple cuts on both sides, A puncture wound through her arm and leg, and bruising all across her body were signs that something was wrong. Most of these were from ages ago, and thankfully had stopped bleeding, but they were still very much there.
Arina way laying across a bed against the wall of a square stone room that was really not fit for anyone to be sleeping on. It was made of a very thick, hard wood, with the thinnest of possible mattresses and the thickest blanket Reliya could locate. On the same wall was a stone door to the outside, with a handle that only kind of turned. On the opposite wall was a door of the same thick wood that lead to a bathroom, with some kind of minor magic that could create water and multiple places that lead into the underground.
Neither Arina nor Reliya had said much of anything in the hour. Reliya occasionally dabbed some of the ointment, a clear watery substance that smelled of alcohol, on the various wounds. Arina winced, which was a good sign that she was still alive, but made no other response.
A knock on the door. It was barely audible, but Arina’s silence meant it was enough to be heard. She stirred a bit. She was in no condition to be talking to anyone. Not for a long time. The knock repeated itself, this time louder. Reliya stood and leaned against the door.
“Who are you and what do you want?” Reliya called through it. “General’s not in any condition to speak to you.”
“I need to talk to Arina,” a roughly male voice called back. He didn’t seem like much for yelling, so it was a miracle that Reliya could even hear him. Arina’s attempt to sit up meant she also heard him, somehow. Reliya motioned for her to lay back down, but that didn’t stop her attempts to get to her feet.
“Like I said, she’s not in any condition.” Reliya jumped back to Arina to stop her from falling on her face. “She’s busy being near death.”
“Then it’s vitally important that I talk to her now, instead of after she dies!”
Reliya looked at Arina, and the longing in her eyes told her something that she couldn’t have known alone. “If I’m letting him in, you’re going to lay yourself back down,” Reliya whispered to her. Arina kept looking at her, but before long she nodded and let herself collapse back into the blanket. She didn’t even bother trying to cover anything.
“Fine, fine,” Reliya called through the door again. “Apparently she wants to see you, so I’ll let you in. No one else that’s with you, though.” As she punctuated her sentence, she yanked the heavy door open. There was only one man outside, dressed like someone who had never seen an Interan outfit before. He had what looked like a jacket on, in spite of the warm weather this time of year, and wore almost entirely black. He had a bag around his shoulder, a light silvery glow illuminating what little of the inside Reliya could see. He didn’t look that far off from how Arina was dressed when Reliya met her.
“I’m alone,” he said. “My name’s Fulmen Delcarlo. I’m Arina’s final partner.”
Reliya rolled her eyes and motioned for Fulmen to step through the door. The moment he followed her instructions, Reliya pushed the door closed. “Right, she’s in the bed there. She’s massively wounded and not especially dressed, but—” Reliya turned back around, and it had seemed that Fulmen didn’t need to be told that. He had already found her, and was wide-eyed absorbing every imperfection he could find. His eyes and Arina’s connected for a moment, where she tried to smile with what energy she had.
“When was the last time you did an IE analysis?” Fulmen asked. Reliya wasn’t certain if that was directed at her or at Arina. Arina stirred more as she seemed to be trying to respond.
“No point…” Arina managed to get out. “Low.”
“So you do have a voice still,” Reliya mused. “Would’ve been nice to have known that.”
Fulmen didn’t give Arina any time to answer Reliya. “How are you still alive? You’ve had no aether for…”
“Three years. Mostly spite, as far as…” Arina seemed to lose her sentence. “A desire to go home again.” Arina’s eyes connected to Reliya’s, as if trying to instill some kind of guilt in her. Meanwhile, Reliya was spending those three years trying to prevent the rest of Intera from dying to whatever the hell the Interlopers were doing.
The Fulmen man opened his bag the rest of the way, retrieving a large cylindrical canister of some silvery blue fluid. What could that be? Whatever it was, Arina instantly recognized it, and her hand seemed to reach out for it on its own. Fulmen set it on the bed by her side, roughly in the path of her hand. His hands weren’t even away from the canister before a shard of ice roughly the side of a small bird flew through the canister and was accompanied by the sound of shattering glass. A puff of silvery gas shoved itself out into the room, lingering in the air. Arina’s breaths went from shallow and weak, gradually picking up strength. She made an effort to breathe, which Reliya hadn’t seen from her in ages.
“Fulmen, you came…” Her voice was still as weak-sounding as before, but it actually held itself this time. “How did you—”
“Save your energy, please. You need to let your body pick up the aether again, since we’re not getting any of that from the outside.” Fulmen was back to digging through his bag. “I’ll explain in a moment.”
So this was aether, the supposed “required” substance for Volarian life. Why were Volarians so weak, such that they needed yet another resource to survive? Perhaps this was what kept her alive. The interlopers seemed to use a very similar source of energy. Reliya could barely see, almost like a patch of fog had descended on the room, but she could see well enough.
Fulmen returned from his bag with a glass-stoppered vial of bright yellow-glowing fluid, to which Arina’s eyes widened. “You remembered…” she said. She sat up, with much more ease but a similar amount of wincing, and reached her arm out. Fulmen unstopped the vial and handed it to her. She took a deep breath and drained the fluid into her mouth. Unlike any natural fluid, none of hit stuck to the side of the glass. What was this vial?
“Yeah, of course I remembered the things you literally had to carry all the time,” Fulmen said. He retrieved the now-empty glass vial and slipped it back into his bag. He seemed to have forgotten about the larger shattered canister. “I came here ready to stop you from dying if I had to.”
“And stop me from dying you have done.” Arina and Fulmen connected gazes again. Now it was Fulmen’s turn to smile as Arina reached up in an attempt to wrap her arms around him. He kneeled down to her bedside to make her job easier.
Reliya stared at the wounds on Arina. They weren’t getting any better. What was the point of that? “Do you mind explaining what the hell you’ve been giving our general?”
“Volarian restoration serum,” Fulmen explained, though he had to pause before further explaining as Arina stole a kiss from him. “Arina’s body can’t do the recovery thing on its own because of some bioaetherics stuff, so she carried around a lot of these vials to give her body the energy to do that.” Fulmen looked at Arina. “I’ve got four more. Please try not to die more, okay? Let me get injured, you need to stop.”
“Please do not die.” Arina… were those tears? From the unbreakable Arina? “You are the only reason that I am still alive.”
“You can speak Ancient,” Fulmen said. Was she speaking a different language? “I understand it, remember.”
“I… right.” She stayed silent for a moment longer and took a minute to wipe her eye. There seemed to be no difference in the way she spoke, or the language that she spoke. “I… I need you to stay alive. I’m only here because I needed to see you again. To go home again.” And that was possibly the only time Reliya heard her speak a contraction, despite telling her numerous times that she spoke weirdly.
Fulmen looked up at Reliya. “I’m told you’re the cause of that,” he said, like he was going to start to say more.
“Right you are,” Reliya replied sharply. “The entire Interan resistance is relying on the fact that she...” Reliya forcefully jabbed a finger in the direction of Arina, “... exists. I know how planeswalkers work. You come in, say you want to help, and then screw off. No. Whether you do anything or not, I don’t care, but I’m not bringing it down until they’re gone.”
“You’re just going to get my Arina killed. She needs contact to aether to survive.” Fulmen glared at Reliya, who did her best to properly glare back.
“Looks like it’s in your best interest to help me finish this then. Don’t mistake me helping ‘your’ Arina for genuine care. This is for my world and my people.” Before Fulmen or Arina could try to say anything, Reliya moved towards the door. “I’ll leave you two alone. If you’re interested in helping me actually fight these things, let me know.”