Hide and Seek

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 19th September 2012, 10:36 pm

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Cage nodded. "He got there before me," he said. "He pretended to be Jack..."

Dom closed his eyes for a moment, taking a breath. "We were with each other the entire time. We... fled, while he was busy..." He opened his eyes again, his shame apparent. "I can vouch for these two," he said. "I figured there was nowhere else to go but here..."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 2:33 am

Her fear scent spiked as he mentioned the monster and he knew he'd hit home. But, surprisingly, her resolve hardened and she proclaimed her path.

He shook his head and sighed sadly. "On your head be it," he said quietly. He could only admire her for it, for she was a mouse in a land full of feral cats the size of houses. She'd been willing, even, to face down the Great Spirit in its full fury. As he'd had to...each and every day he'd been beyond that portal. He began shaking again...No...! Anger screwed up in him. No! I will remember my pride!

He looked inward. You will never hurt Laura or those I call allies! Do you hear me, you overgrown ball of fur?! He felt her stir and terror gripped him. He shook and shuddered, but he stood his ground. He felt her eye fall on him, then her awareness quietened once more.

Tension released out of his body, and he resolved to find the same strength Laura had shown. But only time would tell if he could regain any of his former spirit...

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 12th September 2015, 5:30 pm

Raziel was still far from recovered, but he was well enough that Laura began to think about their inevitable departure. This new quest of his was far less straightforward than the last - their next step after this was still an open question.

So while Raziel began to look into where he might go to figure out this problem with their beast-magic, Laura took to her own research. As it stood, Laura's only real use on this mission was fucking moral support; she wasn't nearly a fighter on the level of other beastkin and her magic did jackshit to stop them. She'd need something else.

The libraries held all kinds of tomes on magic and in many languages, but too often the spells in them were over her head. She tried casting a destructive spell once and nearly burned all her hair off. Try as she might, the only spells she was able to pick up from the books were the illusion spells, and she already knew they'd be useless if Zephonos showed up again. Any school that had the potential to be useful she seemed to have no aptitude for.

She doubted she'd be able to find a teacher, either, and they certainly didn't have the time to waste on her fumbling with fireball spells.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th September 2015, 10:19 pm

He had started moving again, training, learning. Not because he felt good again, but because that had been a constant for him. It...was familiar. And with what had been a central part of his life now alien to him, he needed that more than ever. Beyond that, however, he was still quiet and generally kept to himself.

When he wasn't training, he spent his time in the archives, trying to find as much out about the other tribes that he could. There was plenty about the nature of the tribes, but little about the history of the tribes. Or the origins of the Animus magic. The records had been trashed centuries ago in the wars. He didn't know what to think about that. Seemed almost convenient, but that was likely the frustration talking.

Another discovery was that his power was greater. He assumed this was the "higher state" that awakened Animus enjoyed--or it could be that he had the Great Spirit itself linked to him. But there wasn't the balance the others spoke of, just two spirits sharing the same body, and one terrified of the other. Before her, he thought he had known wrath and anger, she had been oceans of it. She...

He shuddered. No. He couldn't think about it, still. His hands were already shaking. He had to beat this, he had to...but he didn't know how.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 15th September 2015, 12:39 am

Eventually, while scanning through a book on more advanced magic, she caught sight of a name on the author's page - Anasazi. Laura paused and skimmed the sentence - ...from Anasazi, renowned as the magic capital of the continent...

Huh. That might be interesting. The libraries here had a lot on magic, but whatever this place was might have even more. Laura shifted the focus of her search, combing through books on this 'Anasazi.' It was pretty far north of here, not far it seemed from Zanzibar, and every source repeated the same verdict - there was no other place to go for magical information. If they were heading in that direction...

She'd have to run this by Raz. He could probably find some information on their magic and what might be ruining their bond, and maybe she could find a way to get better, faster...

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 15th September 2015, 1:33 am

It had been a long couple of weeks in his research. The records here weren't complete, but he noticed something about what he did learn about the tribes. The records on the Mau clan were basic, or rather, there was more that had been added to the tradition, rituals, and training than what was logged in the book. It was safe to assume the others were probably also incomplete. He inquired to the Librarians about this, and it seemed that they kept more modern records in a separate area.

Sure enough, the modern books and logs they kept added to the information he had. About the Mau tribe, they seemed to know quite a bit, but for the others, he noticed a lot hadn't been added. When inquiring about this, the Librarians looked with regret and informed him that the other tribes had grown more and more guarded. The Tigrus tribe, in particular, had grown even violent, outright attacking Librarians. This had led to battle and lives lost, with both sides left licking their wounds. The wars started not long after, and then it was unknown as to what had happened to the other tribes. It was believed, however, that the Bengali tribe had found another way to allow their acolytes to access the spirit domain to meet their Other, hence their breaking ties.

That little bit of knowledge aside, there were other interesting things of note. There were six tribes total: Panterus of the Mau Tribe, Tigrus of the Bengali, Lupus of the Lobo, Ursus of Bjorn, Lynxus of Felisus, and Equus of Cheval. Of the tribes, Cheval had remained friendly until disappearing once the wars started, Felisus had grown secretive, and Bjorn neutral. Only the Mau had remained in any contact after the war. The others it was unclear what had happened. Speculation ran that their people ended in the wars. Raziel felt a pang of sadness. If that was the case, it was truly a shame, as they each had their own nobility. He made a face. Even the Bengali, though their pride and focus on power and belief in "survival of the fittest" could make them arrogant jackasses, apparently.

"Explains Zephonos," he said disgustedly aloud to no one.

In studying the philosophies and rituals of each tribe, however, there was something there that he couldn't quite put his finger on. In each tribe, the initial rites of the magic had a similar flavor before branching off to become something else. Tigrus, of course, focused on raw strength before all else; Panterus sought balance, but tended toward agility and strength; Ursus was of great might and endurance; Both Lupus and Lynxus focused on speed and agility the most, and the ever enduring Equus had speed like the wind and unrelenting endurance. Each capitalized on their totem animals strengths. But there was something in the magics that bound each, something similar and yet different, and...

"What am I missing...?"

Alas, though he spent days puzzling over it, he could find little. He took notes on each to bring with him when the time came to leave. He felt dread as he knew that day would come soon. He felt Bastet stir within him, and he tensed with fear, then anger, and finally shame. He latched onto the anger and moved on. There was...something he needed to do, something he'd been putting off.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 18th September 2015, 7:55 pm

Laura sought out Raziel the next day. It took her a while to find him, as he wasn't in any of his usual haunts; she finally found him by the fountain. But he wasn't alone. Arcturus and that female Librarian that she loathed were with him. Laura kept her distance, pacing around nearby the mountain and watching the group. She'd wait for them to leave before she talked to Raz - they both still made her feel uneasy.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 8th October 2015, 2:00 am

Raziel was sitting on the fountain edge as Arcturus and Sarai stood before him looking expectant. "I thank you for your patience," Raziel said after a moment of looking to the ground. "I know you both have been longing to know what...what happened in there." He shook and took a breath, holding up a hand to forestall Arcturus.

"You don't have to force it, boy," Arcturus said, an oddly gentle tone.

Raziel shook his head. "No," he said. "I...still can't talk about it. At least...not in detail. I'm sorry.

"What I can say is this: she...Bastet...was wrong." He looked at them both. "I wasn't too stubborn to die. She killed me...several..." He started shaking violently again and tears came to his eyes. "I can't..." A frustrated sob escaped his lips. "I...died...!" He looked at them both, blind terror in his eyes. "So. many. times. Bastet...she...so angry. I...I...I was no match--especially not at the beginning." He pulled out the knife and proffered it to Sarai. "I know you recognized it. This...Sheena...she protected me." He looked to both of them significantly and their eyes widened, and mouths actually dropped open.

He nodded, smiling sadly. "That's right. Bastet was wrong. She didn't pass on. She stayed. She...she was amazing. She...knew of her rage...knew..." Tears flowed freely and he began crying. "She stayed to protect the next. She stayed...to protect me..."

Sarai's hands shook as she reached for the knife, and though her face was neutral, tears flowed freely from her eyes. Raziel looked to Sarai. "Sheena wanted you to have it. She...she loved you fiercely. She...she called you her, her man--man--"

"Manzana..." Sarai said in a choked voice. She shook visibly as the neutral mask of her face wavered as both sadness and relief battled over her face. "That fool...always called me..."

"She never forgot," Raziel said. "She told me to tell you...she'll be waiting. On the other side. For as long as it takes."

"I...always wondered...I...." She looked at Raziel and clasped his hands. "Gracias. I...thank you..." She wiped at her eyes. "I...need to be alone..." She turned and sped off.

Pride welled in Arcturus' eyes. "My pupil. She..." he said heavily.

"She said to stop blaming yourself," Raziel said quietly, looking down. "She called you several choice names, too, old fool among them. You...you couldn't have known, and you prepared her admirably. So stop it and move on. That's what she wanted you to know." He thought for a minute. "Oh, and she hid your bracelet under your bed."

Arcturus' eyes widened. "That little bitch!" he exclaimed with a laugh, tears coming from his eyes. I..." He looked hard at Raziel. "You said you died? Then how?"

"Sheena." Raziel said simply, wrapping his arms around himself. "She did...something...and pulled me back from...oblivion. But..." he shook again. "I felt it. Every time. Do you know what it's like to feel yourself becoming nothing...?! I..." He broke down into tears again and Arcturus embraced him.

"Enough, my foolish boy," Arcturus said in a thick voice. "You've done enough. You've done so much more than enough."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 4th December 2015, 8:41 pm

She could hear snippets of their conversation, enough for her to know she shouldn't be eavesdropping - but hell, he'd know she was eavesdropping. They all would. Perhaps Raz intended for her to hear this as well.

Still she turned and walked farther away as she saw Arcturus and the woman react to his words. She could hear their own grief in their voices - and she had no right at all to hear that. Laura stuck her hands in her pockets and looked up at the sky, her back to them as she waited.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 1st January 2016, 11:17 pm

Raziel sniffed the air and looked up, scrubbing at his eyes. "L-Laura?" he said, looking around and spotting her.

Arcturus jumped and followed Raziel's gaze. Though his expression seemed normal, his movements were stiff. "What brings you along?" he said, playing at casual while Raziel wiped his eyes and Arcturus passed him a handkerchief surreptitiously.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 2nd January 2016, 12:40 am

She turned as he heard Raz call out her name, walking over and pretending she didn't see Raziel wiping his eyes. She stopped a fair distance from Arcturus and Raziel, her eyes meeting Arcturus' briefly before returning to Raziel.

"Looking for Raz," she said in response to Arcturus' question. "Think I have an idea where to head from here, wanted to run it by you."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 3rd January 2016, 8:22 pm

Raziel blew his nose. "Time was closing one way or another," he said, his voice slightly thick. "So shoot.What did you find?"

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 3rd January 2016, 9:14 pm

"Found notes on a place called Anasazi. Apparently its the place to go to learn about magic." She fumbled through her pockets for the map she found. "If you've no other leads, seems like a good enough place to start."

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 5th January 2016, 3:01 pm

Arcturus nodded. "It'd be a good start, if you can find it," he agreed.

"If they don't kill us outright," Raziel said with a dark chuckle. Arcturus eyed Raziel out of the corner of his eye, but said nothing. "If I remember, they became a secretive lot at the end."

"Something to do with a bunch of yokels taking their magic training and making tribes out of them, then going to bloody war against each other," Arcturus chimed in, shaking his head. "Can't say that I blame them."

"Yeah, me either..." Especially since those same magics gave birth to the monster sleeping inside of him. Magic responsibly, kids.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 7th January 2016, 2:07 am

Laura rolled her eyes at the two of them. Figured they already knew of the place. Still, that bolstered her confidence in her plan.

"Alright. I'm good to leave whenever. Oh," she added, "and since its close to Zanzibar, if you want we can try to drop off your woman and Kieran there. Somehow." She figured he might prefer it just be the two of them. He seemed almost comfortable with her, but not so much anyone else.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 7th January 2016, 2:17 am

"She's as much 'my woman' as Kieran is your man," Raziel said offhanded, his mind calculating. "I...don't know. People may not be safe...safe around me." He wrapped his arms around himself, closing himself off and looking inward.

Arcturus' mouth thinned into a line and his entire posture seemed tense. "There's no rush, boy," he said mildly.

"Tell that to Bastet..." he said in barely above a whisper.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 7th January 2016, 2:33 am

"She'll get over it," Laura said flatly. "Take your time. I can wait." But actually, the sooner I'm out of here the happier I'll be...

"But that's all I needed to say. Come find me if you want to talk," she said to Raziel, turning towards him so that it was obvious that this invitation didn't extend to Arcturus as well.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 7th January 2016, 12:19 pm

Arcturus suddenly grinned and said nothing. Raziel shook his head as he sniffed the air and wrinkled his nose.

"That sounds like a great idea," Arcturus said cheerfully to her.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 7th January 2016, 10:50 pm

She had already started walking away. "No," she scolded, like Arcturus was an errant puppy. She could feel herself starting to hunger for...well, Arcturus, but she knew that was just him pulling his usual bullshit. At least the man was predictable in how he attacked. Whatever. She could take care of the desire she felt now on her own in her room.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by EphPhoenix on 12th January 2016, 12:00 am

Arcturus beamed after her. "She's growing, that one," he said. "This place has been good for her. Made it harder to avoid people."

"Take your word for it," Raziel replied.

"Not any way you can convince her to stay out of our world?"

Raziel shook his head. "Not a chance in hell."

"God have mercy on her soul, then, because your enemies sure as fuck won't." Raziel nodded grim agreement.

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Re: Hide and Seek

Post by Red on 30th August 2016, 10:48 pm

Several more days passed, and Laura spent the time reading and packing. She struggled to find much more information about that place, Anasazi. The texts that referred to it usually only mentioned it in passing - it didn't seem many authors had seen the place in person. The only useful information she found on where it might be was that it was somewhere hot and near a great canyon, or a great river, or maybe both? It wasn't exactly clear. She had never seen a canyon before, so she wasn't sure how she'd recognize one. Hopefully Raz had a better idea.

She found Raz on the day they planned to leave in his room. "Hey," she said. "Make any decisions about the other two?"

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