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Thread: The Return {IC - M}

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    Default The Return {IC - M}

    Story rated M for mature audiences. This story may have content that may not be suitable for persons under the age of 18. Titles in this category may contain intense violence, blood and gore, sexual content and/or strong language. Viewer discretion is advised.





    ====

    Spring. 450 A.D.. Year of the Dragon!

    He landed like a cat, one leg outstretched, his fingers touching the earth beneath him as he pulled himself upright. Glancing around he could see why his father had wanted someone else to scout the area. There were others, but N’allo had chosen to go on his own to check on the disturbance his father, the Grand Master, felt. According to him there was darkness approaching, and yet N’allo saw nothing as his boots crunched down on the dead leaves that covered the volcanic crater that once was Mount Vanuviah. He had read about the great battle that had taken place on the same soil he now stood. How the Beast had returned, but the White Mage, the great legend of Vallorea, stopped the monstrous being by locking it away at the cost of his own life. Such tales were told through word of mouth and passed down through generations. N’allo was no exception to hearing of the events that had caused the eruption. Even now the crater was void of life. The trees withered, the ground rough and hard, as if the soil itself was dead.

    N’allo gripped the bow tight in his hand as he stepped, being careful not to disturb the gentle ecosystem. Though it was void of life, there was hints that life could return to the crater and N’allo would do his best to carefully scout the area and make sure no darkness would threaten Vallorea.

    Have you found anything?

    The familiar voice filled his head as he closed his eyes and opened his senses. So far nothing stood out from the ordinary. There was no reason for the Grand Master to be alarmed.

    Nothing out of the ordinary here. His response was quick, perhaps a little too quick as the sound of footsteps caused N’allo to turn. There, standing a few feet from him was a man dressed in dark robes.
    “Who are you?” N’allo asked. The man’s eyes were dark red, blood like in color.

    “How long it has been,” the man said shielding his eyes from the sun that poured down on the land. N’allo drew his bow and nocked an arrow.

    “I warn you I will not show restraint, identify yourself.”

    The man turned his attention to N’allo and a grin formed on his face. “Well well, as I live and breath, the great master has returned to us.”

    “Excuse me?” N’allo questioned the man’s words, but the mysterious man simply smiled and nodded.
    “I thought you lost to us, but I have managed to find you. Master N’Kai, as I live and breath.”
    N’allo raised a brow and shook his head, lowering the bow and placing the arrow back in his holster. “I’m afraid you have the wrong man. My name is N’allo, not N’Kai.”

    “Is that so? You are the spitting image of him. I am Murdoc. It would seem our paths crossed for a reason. Today there shall be no bloodshed, but I will see you soon N’allo,” Murdoc said with a toothy grin as he vanished in a whisp of black smoke. N’allo felt a heavy pressure vanish and the air around him felt lighter. This was odd. Why had the man mistaken him for N’Kai? He had questions but they wouldn’t be answered standing in a crater.

    Pull out, there is nothing here. N’allo ordered those men who had accompanied him to Mount Vanuviah. He turned to leave, but an orb of energy crashed beside him sending him into the air. He landed hard, dropping his bow. Looking up, he noticed a demonic creature hovering towards him. “Wraith,” he said softly quickly sprouting to his feet and grabbing his bow. He unleashed three arrows, the last he muttered under his breath and watched as it glowed amongst the other arrows. There was an explosion of energy that caused the arrows to merge, transforming into a snake. N’allo watched as the ethereal snake struck the Wraith. The Wraith vanished, but more questions pooled in N’allo’s mind. Wraiths were a dangerous sign. They fed on emotion, they fed on the living. They were servants of darkness. The Grand Master had reason to worry, something was coming. N’allo turned and stepped through a spell circle that opened up, closing behind him.


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    ...the room she was in was cold and dark, as always. It was a distinct chill she knew well, familiar as the first chill of winter as it proclaimed the coming end to the summer and fall and the death of all that was once green and fair. It was a specters touch, unkind and sending a foreboding shiver down her spine, raising her skin into goosebumps in anticipation. The ground beneath her was solid and absorbed all warmth from her. Above her was an unknowable void of darkness, penetrated only the faintest hue of cool blue light from a suspended lantern of illuminated crystal. It swayed slightly from the drafts in the cavern, casting shadows that danced between shapes of monsters and girls where she remained still.

    The testing room.

    She knew all the groves in the stone of the chamber, and memorized the faint rhythm of the constant
    drip... drip... drip... of some distant moisture falling from unseen stalagmites. The hours she was in the rooms, the days, the years ensured that. From the curious wanderings of a child to perils faced beyond. Sometimes water flooded the place, filling up the stone walls as she puzzled over the next test. Other times, faceless foes stood in her way, which she had to cut down to prevent death herself. Every time, she did whatever she had to do to escape. And now...

    And now.

    Sen woke up with a start, one hand grasping at her chest. She gasped a few times, caught between images of water submerging her and shadows lunging at her, before her mind came to its senses and she realized that the air around her was not the dank coolness of a cavern, but the warmth and rawness of Macoa Island. Her other hand anchored into the ground, fingers digging into the ground, taking in the feeling of the grass first and burrowing deeper into the dirt beneath it (not stone).

    A dream. It was a dream. Always a dream.

    She didn't need to know.

    It was either late morning of early afternoon, light streaming through the canopy of leaves above her and forming a delicate mosaic of shadows across her face. Sen brought her other hand down to the ground, exhaling deeply as she did so. The sun was warm upon her face, a tender and motherly hand (or what she would imagine to be) instead of the blade like sharpness of the cold of her memory of the room. She sat beneath one of the many trees in the small meditative forest under the Academy's protection.

    Sen was supposed to be in one of her many classes right now, learning different forms of meditation that came to her far too difficulty, even after many months training. Or perhaps today she was meant to be helping with the planning of one of the many festival activities. The other Trainees loathed her. She loathed them back. All together, it made actually attending her lesson, or helping in some strange social ritual quite unattractive. In fact, it was a miracle she even made it out of her room, but it was far less likely that she would be bothered here than anywhere else.

    Besides, it was to be her Birthday soon. Or close enough to what she figured it out to be. Tomorrow would mark a years time since she became Macao, and no longer Key'yn. She always wondered what a Birthday celebration on the outside was like. By her experiences here so far, there probably would be a significantly less amount of murder. She felt her hands tense at the thought, digging a good amount of dirt beneath her fingernails (she would clean in out later, with too much scrubbing that'd leave her skin raw). Perhaps someone would realize the day, and give her a break. Being left alone would be a wonderful present.

    Everything was at peace for a moment, only the soft hiss of the wind through the trees could be heard, as well as the distant chatter of birds. Sen looked up at the newly green foliage above her. Spring came, as always. It was only the memory of winter that haunted her now. But it was a memory she could still recall too easily-- another nap was out of the question.

    Sen sat up, brushing the dirt from the baggy and moss colored ensemble she currently wore, something that seemed to make little difference in the already earthen toned attire. She gave a quick scan to her surroundings and-- seeing no one in the area-- began down the forest path. Perhaps a walk in the woods would be enough for today.

    Thanks Nara and Karma for the wonderful Avatar and Signature set!

    When all else is gone, the bones always remain...

    Spoiler: VAIDIA'S CHARACTER THEME SONG WORKSHOP 

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    The sun had yet to show it face as the stars still littered the sky. Yuma was sitting on his knees meditating as he prepared for the new day. The cool air felt good to him since he prefers the cold, and there was a slight breeze blowing through the training grounds. The cobblestone that lined the ground was covered in dew and the moon was only peeking over the mountain top. Opening his eyes, he stood up with just the strength in his legs. His mind was clear and the night was giving way to the first light of the dawn. He slowly began practicing slow movements to try and increase his control. As he slowly moved his mind became more focused, and he continued to practice. Then as the sun rises above the tree line his movements became faster yet still keeping his control. By the time he had to stop beads of sweat were forming on his brow, and his white hair was plastered to his head. He was not at his limit, but he needed to get ready for the day.

    Walking into his room he locked the door, and removed his shirt. And walked into his shower turning the cold water on and allowing the water to cool down his body as he showered. As soon as his body was cooled down he got out of the shower and dried his body off, and put his pants back on. Walking back to his bed he sat on the edge as he looked down at the floor. He had yet to achieve the control he needed to be able to finally become a master. Though that was the least of his worries, but gaining power that has nothing to do with his flame was his goal, and he had yet to achieve it.

    Shaking his head as he sat back up and put on a sleeveless black shirt. He didn’t have too much more time to waste since there was a lot to do before the festival. He had agreed to help with getting things ready for the festival, and it was time for him to get going. Running his fingers through his still wet hair he shook the water out of it, and let his hair be messy for the day. He didn’t expect much out of the day. Walking out of his room he made his way down the hall, and out of the building. “Today is going to be a beautiful day.” Yuma said as he made his way over to where they had asked him to meet them for the planning stage.

    -------------------

    Rai was walking the desert sands of the Northern lands making his way to the island of Macao Island. It was coming to the time of the year for the spring festival and that was a sight to see. He would also be able speak with his old friend Xion who is the grand master of the Tao Academy. Lucky for him the day was just getting started, and the desert was still cool. Though that will change as the day continues. He continued to walk and as the sun rose he put on his hat that protects his skin from the sun. He continued down his path as the day continued on. He was making good time, at least for the time being.

    He had no idea what was in store for him when he got to the festival, but one thing he was sure of. He would at least have a good time. It took him three days to get to the island and as he arrived he knew the festival was starting to get ready and he knew that the Grand master would be in his study. He was also looking forward to having a chance to meet the prodigy that is going to be the next Grand master.

    Walking through the gates of the Academy the structure was as magnificent as it always was. He wasn't stopped by any of the students since most of them knew that he was a friend of the Grand master. He came to the festival every year, and spoke to his friend of the matters of the world. He walked right up to the solid wood door that was the entrance to the Elders quarters. Taking off his hat he placed it back in his bag. He then knocked on the wooden doors. “Elder Xion.” Rai said as he waited to be allowed into the room.

  4. #4
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    The early morning light was starting to coat over the facility dorms. Remi was currently sleeping in the room of Igo Daron, one of the school's armorers. She wasn't one to often hook up with staff members and never teachers but there was something about Igo. The man had always been fond of her, she wasn't sure if it was because of her aura if Igo's feelings for her were genuine. That was Remi's curse. She had many lovers but had never actually been in love. It was hard to know what was real or not. Still she liked Igo but could never tell how he truly felt. The man was currently laying in bed with her, or rather on top of her. He wasn't smothering her but he was effectively pinning her down. Remi tried to slip out from under him but couldn't. No matter which direction she tried to move she couldn't get free. It usually ended up this way when she spent the night with Igo.

    She managed to shift enough so none of the sunlight was hitting her. Remi was completely in the shadows. She closed her eyes feeling the darkness around her and then focused on her memory of the room. The shadows shimmered through her body and when she opened her eyes Remi was standing at the foot of the bed. It took a while for her to find her clothes and get dressed. Once she was done Remi slipped out of the room and into the hallway. Remi like most students were not supposed to be in the faculty dorms, so she quietly walked down the hallway hoping not to be seen. It would have been easier to just use her powers to teleport somewhere else but with the dawn light it was hard to pin point a good place to travel to. There had to be enough shadows at both her starting point and her end point. Remi didn't have many places in the school that worked during the dawn and none of them would work right now.

    Remi had almost made it out of the faculty dorms when a voice called out to her from behind. Stopping dead in her tracks she slowly turned to face the man who had called out to her. It wasn't the first time the man had caught her in the faculty dorms or for that matter any dorm that she wasn't assigned to. “Remi, did you get lost?” Targon asked, as he leaned against a wall a curious look on his face. “Why are you here?”

    “Targon, you know exactly why I am here and you know I am not lost.” Remi said, of all the people to find her here it had to be Targon. She could feel a lecture coming on like always. Sometimes she thought Targon liked the sound of his voice far too much.

    “Indeed, your aura is glowing so bright I can barely see with my second sight.” Targon said, he was monk gifted with second sight which allowed him to see people's auras. For many years he had been at the academy teaching students to mediate and for those like Remi to control their auras. Many of the magicians at the academy were tutored by Targon.

    “You know it isn't as easy to control as you seem to think it is.” Remi said, sounding a little like an indignant child. Targon was always talking about how she just needed to focus more.

    “You need to foc...” Targon started to say but was cut off by Remi.

    “Focus, got it. I know I need to focus more.” Remi said, turning away from Targon and walking away as she waved to him. She knew Targon wasn't going to report her to the head master about being in the faculty dorms. He had never before or if he had it never seemed like he did as she didn't get in trouble. She figured the monk really cared about her and wanted to help her. It was strange, he seemed to be immune to her aura. It took a while for her to figure it out, Targon was celebrate and not interested in her or anyone else.

    “Work on it Remi.” Targon said, watching the young woman walk away from him. “Oh and stay out of the faculty dorms.” It was an idle comment, he knew she would probably be back. He wished she would get control of her aura but knew she had a long way to go.


    I won’t pretend that I don’t feel the way I feel. I can’t forget the taste of something that’s real. Step into my closet and maybe you’ll find something that’ll scare you, something that you like. Your old familiar logic is poison on your lips, it’s nothing in the water that’s just the way it is.


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    As the night was slowly turning to day, the light from the sun was starting to peek through the trees of the forest in the Western land woods. There was a crisp breeze blowing through the forest, and the birds were beginning to sing to the new day. When the sunlight finally hit Severins’s eyes he instantly woke up and the first thing he did was sit up and look beside him. For some reason sometimes he wakes up expecting something, though he doesn't know what it would be. This was just a fleeting feeling that he had sometimes. A sad expression was on his face when he realized nothing was there.

    Shaking his head he slowly got out of his makeshift bed with only his pants on. As the sun hit his scales the looked like they were reflecting different colors as the light moved across them. Clasping his hands together he stretched his arms up into the air. Then curving his back slightly to stretch out the tiredness of his muscles and to get ready for the day. He didn’t like sleeping out in the wilderness, but it was something that he has grown accustomed to. “To what end will the killing lead? To the future of the world, or the destruction?” Severins said as he walked over to his shirt that was hanging from a branch. He didn’t care what the answer was, he just did what he was told. Master Murdoc didn’t tell him his plans, only his targets. Though who knew what would happen in the future.

    Putting on the long sleeve sapphire shirt. For some reason he loved the color of sapphire. Smiling slightly he quickly banished the emotion and picked up his bag and shoving the blanket into his bag before swinging it onto his back. He had just finished killing a man in the kingdom of We and now he was heading back to a safehouse before he returns to where Master Murdoc was located. That is unless there are orders for him inside of the safehouse. It was still a three hour walk to the location, and the day was still young and he had a long trek. Be began his long walk to the cave in the middle of the forests east side. “The dangers of this forest is what make this forest so beautiful.” Severins said as a light rain started to fall. At least this path would keep him hidden. No one expects someone to traverse this forest alone. He was one of the few that could.

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    Well, that just happened...

    Laika rolled her eyes at Jing's familiar voice in her head as she watched the hog she had just been about to kill lumber off through the greenery. In it's place, a creature crouched low the the ground, its wings folded tightly against it's back. It had smashed through the treetops and landed right where the boar had just been standing. She sighed as she dropped the bow she had been holding. It vanished into a scattered wisp of fog just before it hit the ground and she imagined the two sais she favored. Within seconds, the fog reformed in her palms and solidified into her new weapons and she lowered herself into a slight crouch, facing off with her opponent.

    "This is your fault," she grumbled to her bonded wolf.

    Oh sure, blame the one who doesn't even have a body for not being sneaky enough, came the wolf's tart reply.

    "If you had stopped with your incessant questions so I could walk in peace, we wouldn't be in this predicament," she grumbled. She wondered why the animal hadn't attacked her yet.

    I like to learn, Jing responded.

    "Ok, so in all your scholarly endeavors, have you ever learned what this thing is?" She mumbled, holding back another eye roll.

    Of course I know what that is. It's a Pixiu. They're often mistaken for chimeras, but they're much different. Rather than being solitary creatures like a chimera, they live in prides. Much like lions. Though, it's strange to see one so far down the mountain... They prefer to stay up higher, hunting large prey in the higher grounds. Like hippogriffs, griffons, mountain drakes and large goats. They-

    "Ok, ok. I didn't want to know everything about them. Just how to kill one without getting killed myself," she muttered, studying the threat in front of her. It's shoulders stood about as high as her own effectively allowing the pixiu to be more than twice her size. And that was before factoring in its wings.

    Oh. Well, you can't. A pixiu is way too large for you to safely take one down, and like I said. They always travel in a pride. You'll be dead in seconds.

    "But it's no bigger than the ogres and frost trolls we kill whenever we go to the tundra..." she said, confusion masking her voice.

    That's because this one is only a baby.

    Her eyes widened and she started stumbling backwards. "You just now thought that was worth sharing??" She hurried backwards, away from the pixiu. She could see now why it hadn't attacked her. It was scared. It had probably just been trying to learn how to fly or something and that was why it crashed to the ground from somewhere above the trees.

    Babies are hardly a threat, Jing scoffed.

    "But the parents that will be close by definitely are!" She huffed, putting as much distance as she thought would be safe enough before attempting to turn her back on the animal.

    Huh, that didn't even occur to me.

    "You know, my whole life while I was training for this Bond, I was always told how wise, respectable and powerful the spirits are that bond with us," she mumbled, turning on her heel now and running from the pixiu.

    And then you met me and were so awed you wept? The amusement in Jing's voice rang in her ears.

    "Oh, I definitely wept. But not because I was awed."

    That's rude. You're hurting my pride.

    "I was expecting you to be some, omniscient, quiet and cryptic being." She grumbled, but a smile spread across her lips. As much as Jing annoyed her, the wolf was still a part of her. An entity she had grown to care for and love having around. "Instead I get an overly curious loud mouth who doesn't know the definition of the phrase: peace and quiet."

    I do so. It means to experience tranquility and freedom from disturbances.

    "Did I forget to mention you're way too literal too? It's funny, because a lot of people would see it as you're being sarcastic, but that's not it. You're just way too oblivious to the social cues of us humans. Sarcasm is a language you don't speak."

    I've never heard of a language by the name of sarcasm. I only know the noun.

    "My point exactly." She laughed, finally allowing herself to slow down as she turned around to look behind her, ensuring nothing was flying through the trees after her. "That could have been bad," she sighed, catching her breath as she turned around again and continued walking. "Well, Agatha is going to have to deal with pheasant or something small unless we find another boar or a deer on the way home. We're on our last stretch before we make it," she stated. She was glad to be heading back home to the eastern border of the West lands. Though she was disappointed that she hadn't found any Kitsunes or kuramas to hunt this trip. There was always next time she supposed.

    I've never heard you speak a language I could not detect. Jing's voice sounded slightly frustrated. Laika could tell the wolf was trying really hard to remember this "language" she was speaking of.

    "Jing, you're so observant," she said.

    But, you just said I was oblivious.

    "Because you are. I was speaking sarcastically. That's what's meant when people speak sarcasm as a language. It means they use sarcasm a lot. It's not actually a language. It's just the tone of voice and the meaning behind said tone," she sighed, knowing she'd get no peace until the wolf figured this out.

    Oh. I think I understand now.

    "Very good. Now, shut up for a bit."

    You're so nice. Jing muttered in her head and a smile spread across her face.

    "They can be taught," she murmured and she heard Jing make a dismissing sound in the back of her mind before the wolf retreated to wherever they went when she wanted to be alone. "Thank you," she whispered and continued walking, listening to the relaxing noises of the world around her.
    I don't suffer from RPAddiction. I love every minute of it!

    "You scream. I scream. We all scream 'cause we're terrified... Of what's around the corner."
    Spoiler: Yup yup 

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    Darkness. Utter darkness. It constantly shrouded Monyet's surroundings. He never knew what the world truly looked like before, still he thought it was a beautiful place. Or at least the part of it natural to the planet in which they lived. It was why he was laid up in this tree on the islands. He had slept here instead of in the dorm room provided for him. Over the years of residing in Macao, he found that he was more at peace with himself here rather than in the building.

    It was always a mess there among the teenagers socially. The way that rumors and 'backstabbing' that happened, the drama that came with adolescence. In his own childhood had maybe a year of so of that under his belt before his abilities experienced a shift. When senses of awareness jumped, he was After that, everyone looked at him differently, like he was a strange person. Of course he didn't know that they looked differently, but he could often hear into their conversations and things. It used to be about his supposed origins and the stuff about the legendary Monkey King...but he didn't pay much attention anymore. His masters told him not to indulge those stories and to continue on in learning.

    He was a tutor to other students in the realm of physical combat, as it was more or less his strong suit. His job was to teach them how to learn about themselves more from it, opposed to using it for their own purposes. To find the inner balance that they all strove for. It was what he was doing earlier up until about an hour ago. This was his meditation time...or nap time, whichever he felt like first. He was reclined in a branch toward the top, that way he could feel the comforting heat of the sun in conjunction with the cooling occasional tropical breeze. It was nice and quiet....maybe a little too quiet.

    Monyet decided that maybe it was time that he actually did something other than sitting. There were many students, but the intensity of the sun above implied near noontime, which meant that he couldn't bother them. It was their lunch time and he had to wait until they were finished. You put a spider in a kid's sandwich one time and you never hear the end of it! Still, he didn't want to just sit here bored like this....

    A feel a slight change in wind direction met his skin.
    He turned his head towards the east, where the gust was going. It was always about this time that it switched in direction. One picks up on things like that when--

    A soft, almost wispy breath escape from someone below and bounced into his ears. The Monkey Prince listened again, silence for a few moments before the sound of dirt crumbling. Suddenly, violent sounds of air resistance disrupted the constant airflow beneath the tree that he laid crouched at the top of. Someone was down there. He could sense the life force in them, but he needed to get a little closer to be sure.

    So, he rolled off of the top branch. Free-falling for a few moments he felt the many branches in the air around him, many thin. Because of his weight, Monyet didn't try to grab just any old limb as he didn't want to hurt the trees that the birds lived in. Though, just as he was nearing the ground, his senses indicated an extra big one just to his left. He bounced off of a trunk to his left and latched to the limb overhead of where the person used to be. From the depth of the fall, he would be forced to land in a crouched position but nothing more.

    Up close now, he could now sense the person walking much better. Their life was strong, but their chi mostly darkened. The steps on the ground were much more gentle to his ears. A younger one, but teenager. He felt her energy before. Should she not be within her history class? Or was it her meditation time? Surely she was just meditating. She must've been meditating so hard that she fell asleep like he did! Perhaps she forgot about her class after the meditation time.

    Monyet hung beneath the branch he was on, treading along as a sloth does upside down. He followed after her in the trees rather casually. She may very well get into trouble for being late, as the sifus were very pushy about attendance. Though, he remembered the sudden changes in breathing she had a minute ago. It was different from sleep breathing to regular. Hers went from sleep, which he could barely hear, to rapid gasping which sounded almost like firecrackers. Night Terrors during the day? That was weird....and maybe not a good excuse for being late to class... Well, instead of that, maybe he could help her out! After all, she was among one of the students he helped to tutor sometimes when her sifu was busy...

    "Hey! Are you alright?" Monyet's voice called down, still maneuvering through the trees like a speedy sloth.

    Spoiler: Theme Song 

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    Now that she was awake and her mind calm, Sen could almost enjoy the day. Or, at least as much as she found herself able to. When she had the time to process everything, she could focus on finding things she didn't hate. The warm days on Macao were one of those things. Many people complained about the warmth, but she found it pleasing, as it was so unlike the hellhole of the rest of her life.

    The enjoyment only lasted a matter of steps (five to be exact-- she was counting them).

    It began as a rustling she wanted to assume was just the wind in the trees, but her training made sure she knew differently. Her fingers twitched at her sides, clenching in sharply, muscle and mind and memory all expecting a blade to be in her grasp already, to draw deadly force and paint images of crimson on darkness, but no...

    Not anymore.

    Sen continued through the forest, forcing herself to exhale slowly, relaxing her hand. She was not being attacked here. This place was safe. Perhaps no longer the the idyllic surroundings she was originally planning on venturing through, but it was enough. She focused on the warmth of the area, remembering some of the meditation techniques she had been taught, of making sure her mind was in the present.

    The sounds came back to her next, and she realized whoever approached her did not do so by foot, but rather from above her. She could hear the rustling and crackling from the trees, as if some over sized and manic squirrel was on a warpath toward her. She knew only one person in the Academy (granted, she really didn't know that many people) that would act in such a way, which caused her to groan.

    One of the mentors on the island had found her, likely to drag her back to whatever class or activity she was meant to be doing currently. And it happened to be the one she least knew how to deal with, so she made a point of avoid him. And she was bad with names, but he made her think of Bananas for some reason, so she had a habit of calling him Banan-man in her head, because she allowed herself the occasional silly amusement and--

    Sen was walking quite fast, moving away from the Mentor, although he seemed to be having no trouble keeping up, slinking through the trees with the familiarity of a spider through an intricate web. She also recalled that he was blind, but used some odd form of sonar to detect people, likely through his loud v-

    Oh. He had said something to her. She hadn't heard it.

    Maybe she should run.

    She was already in trouble. There wasn't anyway she could make things worse. Outside of murder (murder was bad).

    And now, Sen had stopped walking. Very slowly, she turned from where she had ceased her quite brisk pace, looking up into the trees. It was most certainly Banan-man. She looked away, moving slowly once again. She made a low sort of groan that was a mixture of frustration and annoyance.

    Why couldn't she just have a nice walk?

    "I'm not going back, and I don't need a lecture." Sen said after a moment more. She began to walk forward again, moving with the same sort of slowness that she had looked at the class mentor with. To some, it would seem like she was being deliberately goading in her motions. She was very good at unintentionally acting in the ways that best made people avoid associating with her.

    Thanks Nara and Karma for the wonderful Avatar and Signature set!

    When all else is gone, the bones always remain...

    Spoiler: VAIDIA'S CHARACTER THEME SONG WORKSHOP 

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    As the daylight was beginning to fade, Devvin sat is his usual spot within the rain forest to meditate. This time of the year was very difficult for him, as it was the anniversary of his father's death. The villagers in his home always held ceremonies in his honor for he was one of the fiercest warriors anyone has known, but to Devvin, it was just simply his dad. With clinched fists, Devvin began to let his mind go and feel the power of the rain as it caressed his body, soothing his mind and allowing him to concentrate. Minutes, hours passed as he began to regain his awareness and decided it was time to head home before the ceremony took place. As he did every year, Devvin scaled one of the tallest trees in the rain forest and began to focus his energy on the light. With his hands clasped and his body erect, he began to shift his hands, which then refracted the light on the entire forest. The light glimmered in the mist, thus creating the phenomenon of "The 100 Rainbows". Colors filled the dull sky as it was Devvin's tribute to his father and was the very least he could to do make a positive note on such a dull day.

    ---------------

    Returning to the village, he heard the many weeping villagers as they were gathered at the tombstone of which his father was laid to rest. Swords, flowers, baked goods, and so much more adorned his grave, attempting to lift this morbid stigma away from it. As Devvin approached the grave, the villagers began to greet him, sharing their condolences and embracing him. With tears in his eyes, he embraced them back and made his way to kneel at the grave.

    "I know you probably don't want to hear this, but I love you old man. May your memory live through the land and be forever instilled in our hearts.". He gave the tombstone a soft kiss, and slowly began to make his way to his home.

    Upon his arrival, he noticed his home was empty. No sign of his mother was to be found. Frantically running through the house, Devvin began to panic as he had no idea where his mother had run off to. A couple of seconds into his search, he found a note resting on his pillow that read:

    "Dearest Son,
    I have traveled to the Kingdom of We to seek audience with the great king. I had to leave with haste as this was such an urgent matter, but your poor little mother will journey safely. Upon reading this note, head to the roof of the house and gaze into the night sky for a sign of my arrival. When dawn cracks, i'll need you to make your way to the kingdom at once. Love, Mom"


    At once, he dropped the note and made his way to the roof to gaze at the moonlight sky. Minutes passed and there was no sign of his mother's arrival into the kingdom until he noticed something... odd. The moon began to illuminate the entire sky and a crane danced among the clouds. "This must be the sign i was waiting for," Devvin said in his mind, giving a sigh of relief and a smile. He knew he could rest easy for the night and made his way back into the house, where he would begin to pack his bags and set out for the kingdom at dawn.

  10. #10
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    Default with the help of Siks

    The GrandMaster stood at the podium in front of the faculty of Tao Academy. The various masters of their artform sat in front of him.

    “We have an issue,” one of the masters said trying to inform everyone of his findings. “Darkness has reared its ugly head once more.”

    “We cannot sit idly by and wait, we must act.”

    “Patience Nepherio, I sent my best warrior to scout, he will return to us with his findings.”

    “You speak of the one named N’allo? Is he not the offspring of the dark one?” Another Master spoke, showing his distrust in letting N’allo scout for any dark creatures that may have spilled from the crack in the void seal.

    “I trust him with my life Dephor, he has proven himself over and over.”

    “Tell me GrandMaster, does the boy know of his lineage?”

    The GrandMaster’s eyes bore into the one who asked such a question.

    “It is best if he does not know of his lineage. He has made it this far without lifting the veil, to do so could produce sinister results,” the GrandMaster said. “N’allo is like a son to me, he will take my place once I am gone.”

    “Then it is settled. We shall wait to hear back from him, but I do pray he finds nothing,” Nepherio said as the GrandMaster nodded.

    “As do I, until then we ensure the safety of those who train here.

    =====
    Follow the aura of the shards...follow the aura of the shards...follow the aura of the shards. These words run on a constant loop through the hollow head of Olgoth the Desolator. He does not know where these orders came from, but they were a driving force the beast must be released. Death must claim and cleanse this world full of freaks and degenerates.

    His axe has drunken much blood over the centuries and he has slowly pieced together locations on the Shards of the Beast. Using portal magic the Lich found himself at the base of a tall snow covered mountain. He never liked the cold nor did he like mountains, but this is where the information told him to go. He never knew how legitimate any of the information he got would be, and with him mostly working on his own all these years he couldn’t double check most of it. But he always made sure to hunt down the kill those who gave him bad intel.

    For now though he needed to head to the summit of this mountain.

    “Spread out, the GrandMaster said this was the location of the disturbance,” N’allo said as the three elite warriors he brought with him did as they were told. N’allo went ahead knowing that if he did find the disturbance, the warriors would be there to help him. He held the strange bow in his hand, a gift from the GrandMaster, one that he didn’t expect, but was happy to have. He remembered when he was younger, how he practiced with the bow every day, learning how to use it, learning the pros and the cons of such a weapon. The arrows that he crafted made him even more proud. They were made of silk wood. A poisonous wood with a difficult antidote to prepare. The fatal wound of the silk wood arrow was his signature and the silk wood had another purpose. It could be amplified with magic. Given different properties. He walked through the trench which led to the base of the mountain. It felt amazing, the cold air brushing against his skin. He inhaled and in that moment he felt the presence of death.

    His eyes fell upon the behemoth, and he quickly nocked an arrow, but held the bow down to access the situation. The dark energy the creature gave off was dreadful.

    “Halt, creature of death, what business do you have here?” N’allo asked stopping once he was in plain sight of the creature, of Olgoth.


    Olgoth studied the Elf closely. The man reeked of life and he looked familiar, very familiar. It took the Lich a few seconds then he growled pulling his large axe from his back and let the head crash into the ground sending a small fissure towards the man.
    “Imposter, move from my presence or face your death.” He readied a Mind Blur spell to throw at the boy, it would distort the man’s vision and effect his motor controls, at least it should. Olgoth didn’t wish to waste his time fighting some whelp even if the whelp’s aura was surprisingly strong in both Light and Dark.

    Imposter? What did this creature mean by imposter? Could it be tied to what the other man, Murdoc had said earlier when they met at the crater? N’allo hadn’t thought about it much but now he was called an imposter by a creature he’d never met before. Clearly there was something he would have to look into once he returned to Tao Academy. He’d have to take a trip to the inner catacombs to read from the ancient scrolls there. As he was thinking on what the creature had said, he barely had time to dodge the spell that shot at him from the core of the dark beast. As it sped by him he could feel dizzy suddenly, his vision distorting quickly before returning to normal as he slid to a halt away from the small dent in the earth the spell left. “Illusion magic,” N’allo spoke softly as he returned his gaze to the behemoth who seemed to think that a single spell would do him in.

    “Creature of darkness, you wish to harm me when I ask a simple question of your reason for being here,” N’allo spoke. “I will have to take you in,” he added aiming his bow at the Lich. “Lower your weapon and come willingly.”

    Olgoth growled lightly, the boy was quick. Far quicker than the Lich expected.
    “You wish to impede a mission more important than anything this freakish world can comprehend. You cross blades with Olgoth the Desolator, this is your final warning boy. You will not be able to dodge my next attack!” He hefted his axe onto his shoulder the heavy metal of the weapon clanking loudly. Clenching his hand the monster prepared a more aggressive spell, this one would not only blur the man’s senses, but hopefully distract him with some shade of his mind while Olgoth brought his heavy axe to bear.

    N’allo wouldn’t be lenient with this behemoth. The creature was tall, skeletal, he had a feeling it was an old being, perhaps a Lich, but N’allo wouldn’t take any chances. He was in battle, his comrades were spread too far out and he was alone until they could get to him. He moved slightly just as Olgoth heaved the heavy ax onto his shoulder. Another spell was cast, but N’allo released an arrow imbuing it with energy and as the spell collided with the arrow, an explosion occurred which blinded N’allo temporarily due to dust. He squinted and realized too late that the axe was coming down upon him. Swifty he moved to the left, but the axe head sliced into his flesh. Though not a life threatening wound, it was a wound nonetheless and bleeding could become life threatening. N’allo groaned in pain as the metal sliced into his flesh. Olgoth meant business and unless he did something, he would end up another notch on the great Lich’s belt.

    “Lend me your strength, goddess of light. Fill my arrow and pierce the darkness that threatens this world,” N’allo chanted, his voice filling the air as he nocked an arrow and pulled the string. Releasing the arrow, it shimmered like a thousand stars. The arrow splintered, transforming into shards of light that zipped towards Olgoth.

    The Lich roared at the attack feeling the sickening pain of light magic. He ripped the ax free and slammed the butt into the ground and hiding behind the large axe head. He felt the sting of the arrows through his thick armor, but the axe deflected the shards that would’ve buried themselves in his unprotected skull. The pain was intense, but he had lived through worse.

    As the attack faded the Lich growled standing up his armor sizzling, with holes burned through some of the thinner sections.

    “You lightwalkers, all flash and no bang.” He let out a deep roar and charged at N’allo bringing the axe around to cleave the thin man in half.

    N’allo’s eyes widened when he realized the Lich was still standing. It was apparent that this creature was more powerful than he had originally thought. He watched the Lich as he roared and charged at him. N’allo was still bleeding from the initial slash of the deadly axe and he would need to be careful of its sharp edge in the future. When he realized it, the glint of the metal axe caught his attention as it neared him, gearing to cleave him in half.

    “Papilionem!” N’allo shouted as a swarm of butterflies poured forth clashing with the axe and yet the resulting explosion sent N’allo flying backwards, hitting a tree. He groaned and looked at his side. A gash had formed. “Damnit,” N’allo said looking at Olgoth.

    Olgoth roared in anger as the man’s butterfly attack both ridiculed and catapulted the Lich back sending him into a large stone which cracked under his sudden weight. He lost his axe in the process, he heard it clattering down the mountainside and could see it partially embedded in the stone of a ledge. He was a fool for not bringing his claymore with him as well, normally though he didn’t need more than one and the massive weapons were cumbersome in some of the smaller places he had to go to seek out the Shards.

    The armored giant stood slowly to his feet, this man was far more than Olgoth had originally thought. Such potent magic being slung out so quickly lent credence to this man not so much being an imposter of Master N’kai, but of the same blood. This enraged the undead warrior, his master’s dark power would never latch onto some sniveling whelp who runs towards the Slavery of the Light. The creature growled preparing whatever magic he could and eyeing his axe.

    “Who are you lightwalker?” The creature snarled inching towards his fallen axe.

    N’allo hadn’t lifted his head from the sight of another wound on his body. He was feeling slightly lightheaded and there was a pain radiating from the wound that he wasn’t familiar with. The Lich’s axe must’ve had some type of potency to it, but he couldn’t think about that now, he had to focus and address the issue. He looked up just as the Lich was speaking. He asked him who he was, and N’allo wondered why he would ask a question after attacking him. There was a low rumbling sound. The explosion was large, but N’allo didn’t think it could cause an avalanche. He looked at the armored giant and slowly stood to his feet.


    “I am N’allo, Last of the Lunar Elves,” He replied, “sworn protector of Tao and enforcer of light and life.” He paused as the rumbling grew louder. He started to see double which wasn’t good in a fight. If he faltered, the Lich would kill him. “Why do you ask such questions Lich?” N’allo asked trying to put on a facade.
    The Lich let out a gurgling snarl as he felt the earth begin to shift under him it surprised the dark warrior who fell to a knee holding himself up with one mailed hand. The man’s words burned into his mind, but he knew that the mountains was crumbling. The Shard wasn’t here, he could feel it, but this N’allo seemed to radiate with a similar power. And Olgoth did not wish to risk any more injury on a futile hunt. He threw another Blur Spell at the Elf and ran full tilt down to grab his axe, he pulled a scroll from out his chest cavity and jumped into the portal just as the avalanche could be seen crashing down upon them.

    N’allo looked up the mountain, seeing the roaring cloud of death barrelling towards them. The explosion had caused an avalanche and it was moving rapidly towards them. Rule one when facing an opponent is to never take your eyes off of them. In that moment, the Lich had cast a spell that struck N’allo and sent him flying backwards, hitting the ground hard and leaving a trail where he initially hit. He coughed up blood, his vision blurring as he tried to gain sight on the Lich, but all he could see was shadow. The avalanche neared as the Lich escaped, leaving N’allo to die. N’allo had to act quickly. The three he had arrived with came to his side, shocked at how badly he was injured.

    “Take me to the forest Kadall,” N’allo spoke feeling their energies and knowing them to be allies.

    “But you need rest,” Kadall replied.

    “THE FOREST, NOW!” N’allo shouted causing Kadall to nod. Just as the avalanche crashed upon them they all vanished.

    ====

    The GrandMaster turned as his friend knocked on his office door. The GrandMaster had a way of knowing things without being told.

    “Ahh, Rai, I have been expecting you, enter,” he said softly as the door opened slowly and the GrandMaster stood waiting to see his friend. “How long has it been Rai? Three years? Four years?” The GrandMaster knew the answer to this question, but he simply wanted to know how Rai was doing. His alignment with the darkness was not a secret to him, but Rai was someone he knew, someone he trusted to a degree and even if they fought of different sides, it was good to see a familiar face every now and then.
    Special thanks to Poison Ivy for the awesome sig and avy set.
    Spoiler: Stories I am in & Stories You May Want to Join!! 
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