• Closed • The Mountain King

Balthazar, Yeva, Victor and Woe.

35th of Ashan 720

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, forests and islands of note.

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Tio Silver
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Re: The Mountain King

The Mountain King
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35th Ashan, 720
Scalvoris Mountains


Balthazar

“Mundane. Normal. Average. You're absolutely right.” The copycat echoed, mimicking the exact tone Balthazar had used. Yet instead of being offended by them his condescending smirk grew all the wider. “You know I, we,” he gestured to himself, highlighting the fact that he was just a reflection of Balthazar, “really are nothing special. Just the forgotten orphan with no greater purpose in life than ploughing fields. The one who was destined to be a farmer forever.”

The copycat walked up close, way too close, so that their noses were almost touching. Yet if Balthazar tried to push him away his arms merely went straight through him; the copycat’s body dissipating into the same mist that coated the ground in the area he tried to touch. “Magic has not made you more powerful. It has grown more powerful within you, but that power is not yours. You are just the vessel for your sparks; the puppet they use to interact with the world, and one day they will devour you completely. You are not the first to have sought out magic to escape a mediocre destiny, and you will not be the last die wretched and forgotten as all others do.”

“Ah, but of course you won’t take heed of words alone, will you? That’s to be expected. Nobody wants to acknowledge the truth about themselves, for truth is a harsh thing.” The copycat sneered, stepping back. As he did the mist rose up again, washing away the scene of the farm, and the copycat’s voice echoed from every direction. “You require evidence of how powerless you really are. Very well, let me show you.”

Then like a curtain the mist sudden dropped again, and Balthazar found that the world around him had changed. He was no longer in the farm, but the room he stood in just was just as familiar too him. Painfully so.

A clutter of odd devices and knick-nacks filled every free space of the workshop; some magical, some mundane, and some just weird. To an outside it would have seemed messy, chaotic even, but Balthazar could immediately see the illogical pattern of order to it; after all he’d spent so long tidying the place that he couldn’t help but pick it up. This was one of the laboratories in Xanax’s house, a place where Balthazar had spent much of his youth assisting the master who’d been as close to a father to him as he’d ever known with his research.

Said master was also dead on the floor.

Flaying left no physical scars but robbed every trace of the warm blush of life from a body, leaving it as pale and sunken as a week old corpse. By what must have been deliberate positioning on the copycat’s part the dull, lifeless eyes of Xanax were staring right into Balthazar’s, and his lips were parted in an unending scream.

“Here lies your dear master, the only one to see a shred of worth in the lonely little farm boy.” The voice of the copycat mocked, reverberating throughout the room. “His soul torn from his body, denied the peaceful rest of the afterlife. And what revenge did you claim for the one who picked you up from the dirt? How did you punish his killer?”

A pair of arms wrapped around Balthazar from behind, but not to restrain him. Their hold was soft and smooth, caressing his torso as fingertips lightly traced across his chest. A warm body pressed up against his back, and a sweet voice whispered in sultry tones so close to his ear that its breath tickled his skin.

“Balth, honey, there you are.”

Balthazar turned around to find Morgan, his old lover, stood behind him with a coy smirk on her lips. This was not Morgan as she truly looked however. The beauty of her features was ever so slightly highlighted, whilst the blemishes were faded and hidden. This was Morgan as his love-addled mind’s eye had once seen her; graces exaggerated and the flaws concealed. Not only that, but as his eyes were very quick to notice she was completely nude. The white mist swirled around her, tantalisingly covering certain parts of her with an almost see-through layer of cloud, which only added to her allure.

Her hand reached out to gently push against Balthazar’s chest, trying to usher him backwards towards the table behind him. The mischievous glint in her eyes hinted at just what exactly she wanted to do with him on said table; something remarkably like a game of twister, but with a lot less clothing. Behind him the lifeless eyes of Xanax stared up at him, silently judging him for cavorting with his killer.


Victor

Stefan nodded his head, a faint smile crossing his features as Victor passed his sentence. “Very good Victor. His guilt was clear, and he could not claim ignorance as to the punishment for his crimes. A trial would only serve to waste time and resources. Justice must be applied swiftly and without hesitation.”

He gave a dismissive gesture with one hand, and the two guards holding spears to the poacher’s neck thrust forwards, impaling the hapless peasant with casual ease. The poacher looked up at Victor, eyes wide with shock, and tried to say something. Yet his final breath expired before he could, and the lifeless body slumped down to the ground.

And then world shifted.

The mist coating the ground began to swirl like a storm, rising up to obscure the forest around them. Only Victor and Stefan remained, standing within the eye of the hurricane. However if Stefan cared about the phenomenon happening around him he didn’t show it, instead beginning to pace back and forth.

“A lord has a duty to his land, and to the people who live within it.” He began, his tone still polite and composed but with a fait underlying tone of urgency. “You understand that. How could you not; after all did we not study at the foot of the same tutors? Though you may possess no talent for statecraft, I know that you know the responsibilities all born to a noble house have towards their subjects. We must do our utmost to ensure that the people of Lysoria are safe and prosperous.” He stopped pacing, and for the first time actually turned to make eye contact with Victor. Though his face was younger, his eyes possessed the same icy hardness they would come to adopt as he grew older. “Order must be maintained for the good of all! Those who break the laws must receive swift and fair punishment, or else none will respect them! As the arbiters of justice it falls to us to deliver this, no matter how much we may wish otherwise! We must rule with our heads, even if it breaks our hearts.”

Gusts of swirling mist from the vortex surrounding them broke off from the main body, quickly taking the shapes of people kneeling to Victor. Though they were still the same colourless white as the mist the shape of them, the detail of despair etched into their faces, was heart breaking.

“I swear my lord, it was an accident! I didn’t mean to kill him! Please have mercy!” One of them cried. A moment later its head was separated from its body by some unseen blade, and it dissolved back into mist.

“It’s a mistake my lord! I’ve been framed!” Cried another, who suffered the same fate.

“Have mercy my lord-…”

“… Just one time my lord-…"

“Please spare me my lord!”


One by one they all faded away, until just one was left. Though his flesh was murky white mist, the shape of his body and face was unmistakable. Like a ghost made of fog the form of Jonathan Burr looked up at Victor, pale eyes pleading for mercy.

“Have mercy, my lord.”

Stefan came to stand at Victor’s side, placing a hand on his shoulder. There was an ever so slight trace of sympathy in his eyes, a twinge of softness in a face as hard as stone, but the grim solemnity on his face made it clear what he was telling Victor to do. From the ground an axe made of white mist rose up in front of Victor, ready to him to take.

“He attacked one of our soldiers Victor.” Stefan said calmly, but firmly. “Being a mage comes with responsibilities, and if he could not keep his harvester under control he should never have accepted the spark in the first place. Should killing rabbits deserve death, but attacking the defenders of our people be met with a mere slap on the wrist? More than that, you have a duty to your people: to take a wife, and produce heirs that can continue our family line should disaster befall mine. He stands in the way of that. I know it hurts, but for the good of Lysoria he must go. He is stealing you away from your duty, your destiny.”

“Kill him.”


Woe

The heavy shackles clamped around Woe’s wrists, and with a needlessly sharp tug he was pulled out of the cell and into the corridor. The guards took up position around him, and with the hooded man and the guard captain leading the way they began to march back the way they’d come. It was good that Woe had decided to come along willingly, for the guards seemed to be waiting for even the slightest excuse to give him a shove. They were bullies, through and through.

Eventually the dark of the underground was broken by light streaming from up ahead, and Woe was led up through a door at the back of what he had correctly guessed to be the dungeons of Andaris. It was getting late, the sun casting orange glows as it began to sink down below the horizon, and the streets around the back of the dungeon seemed to be deserted save for a single wagon parked nearby; a brown tarp concealing its contents.

The hooded man split off from the group to head to the front of the wagon, whilst the guards led Woe to the back and shoved him inside. Within were eleven people, clearly slaves, wrists also bound in manacles attached to a thick metal pipe that ran along the centre of the wagon floor. Woe was pushed inside and onto a bench to the side of the wagon, cramped between two frail and dirty old men, and his manacles were securely fastened to the pipe as well.

There was the sound of voices talking outside briefly, and then with a lurch the wagon set off. There had been no mention of where it was going, but the way that the slaves tensed suggested that it was nowhere good. Across from Woe a girl, no older than five years old, burst into frightened tears that she desperately tried to muffle. Next to her a boy, perhaps a year older with the same sandy blonde coloured hair, pulled her into his embrace, wrapping his arms around her as if her could protect her from whatever dark fate awaited them at the end of the journey.

“Poor lil’ tikes.” The old man to the left of Woe whispered, his unkempt grey hair and pale skin suggesting he had also been a prisoner until just recently. “Their parents sold them. Can you believe that? How rotten must your heart be to sell your own children?” He scoffed. "And how depraved must you be to buy them?


Yeva

“AAAHHH!”

The moment Yeva began to say “excuse me” the satyr screamed and jerked forwards, tumbling head over foot into the pond he’d been lying next to. A second later his head, now sopping wet, burst out of the water with a thoroughly unimpressed expression, and with a growl he pulled himself out of the water, listening to Yeva’s nervous laughter and questions.

“Geez kid, you almost gave me a heart attack. Couldn’t you have introduced yourself before sneaking up on me?” He grumbled, wringing the water out of his hair. His accent fit his appearance perfectly; gruff and gravelly, with an unplaceable but distinctly common lilt to it. He eyed her up and down. “How are you even here anyway? The others said-… Wait, you’re not a mage?”

His eyes widened with realisation, and he slapped his head. “Idiots! They said mages were coming! Mages! Not three-mages-and-a-regular-human! Would it kill them to dial down the vague mumbo-jumbo once in a while? How was I supposed to-…” He cut off with a sigh, stepped out of the pond, and shook himself off like a dog.

“Sorry sweetheart, your buddies haven’t passed by here, nor are they ever going to.” He explained unsympathetically. “The mist has caught them. Would’ve caught you too, if I’d been given a BIT OF WARNING FIRST!” He looked up as he shouted the last part, like he was talking to someone else, but if she looked around Yeva would see that nobody was there.

The satyr walked forwards, getting a little too close into Yeva’s personal space and examining her face with a bored expression, as if he wasn’t really seeing her so much as just something bothersome that’d found its way into his home. “Well this puts us in a bit of a pickle. Mages comes with a ton of things to work with. All that arrogance, you know? You though-…” He reached out and took her chin, turning her face a little to the side to examine her cheek. Not once did his expression betray any indication that he considered what he was doing rude. “Look at you: pure as fresh fallen snow, ain’t ya? You aren’t giving me much to work with sweetheart.”

He let go of her chin and stepped back to the spot he’d been lying on before, clearly intending to resume his previous position. “You want my advice kid? Go home. You ain’t got what it takes to overthrow Their Majesty alone, and those mage friends of yours aren’t coming back.”

General Info

Welcome to the thread! I'll be your guest moderator for today.

Down boy Balthazar. Remember this isn't in the adult forum. Keep your hands to yourself.
I would ask you to please respond by the 13th of May, or to PM me if this is not possible.

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Other than violence and the odd swear words I would ask that there not be any explicit adult themes.

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I am shamelessly copying this style of moderation (and the template structure) from Pegasus, who I gather was taught it by someone called Crimson, because it looks like it works really well and I'd like to give it a try. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all. My thanks to both of them.

The NPCs do not reflect my own personal thoughts of feeling on any subject. They are just characters.

As I'm only a guest mod I'm not going to kill your character, severely wound them or anything like that, but I would like to give fair rewards/consequences for any actions taken in this thread. If you feel that these are at all unfair please let me know.

Otherwise let's have some fun!

Obectives

Survive.
word count: 2609
Fast Facts
Noticeable quirks your character can see when threading with Tio.

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Tio floats in the air, usually just a foot off the ground.

Explodeibur

Tio wears a scary looking gauntlet on his right hand that is clearly magical. It creates explosions.

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Tio has a masked alter ego who leads The Court of Miracles.

Enchanting Voice

Tio's voice has hypnotic properties.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: The Mountain King


35 Ashan 720
Damn it, he'd good. Balthazar would have admired the way the duplicate turned his words against him if they hadn't struck the chord they did. Now Balthazar wanted to crush the mirror image's face. "I haven't been a farmer in a long time." As evidenced by the greatly neglected garden in his house in Scalvoris. Yet Balthazar could think of nothing more to say. Nothing clever or witty. On some level he couldn't disagree with the false image of himself. The duplicate moved closer and without missing a beat, Balthazar gave into his baser instincts. His head rocked back and then whipped forward as he tried to headbutt the apparition only for his head to travel through the clone.

Damn it. The man was nothing more than mist and Balthazar's head struck air. Then again nobody won with a headbutt. Maybe the apparition's intangibility was a blessing to them both. As if to capitalize on Balthazar's failure, the apparition mocked his thought that magic made him more powerful. It spoke the truth that Balthazar knew deep down. The little fear that kept him from truly committing to his magics. He had invited three parasites into his soul and the more he used them, the more powerful they became. Totrial his soul reigned supreme, but how long before the sparks became more powerful than he could control? Balthazar's eyes shifted down away from the duplicate- towards the mist blanketing the ground. He spoke commands but the words came out too softly. "Go away. Bring back the others."

The figure spoke of evidence and the scene around Balthazar shifted again. The corn stretching high around him reverted into mist and dropped to the floor in an instant revealing a new scene that for the shortest moment, filled Balthazar with a little calm. Balthazar looked around at Xanax's workshop and a slow, child-like grin spread over his face. He had more good memories here then bad. Arcs of training with the most quirky master he'd ever had. Balthazar turned, remembering the building as if it were yestertrial and approached Xanax's bookshelf. He remembered all the tomes about Defiance that he'd read in his youth. Much of what he'd read then had formed the basis for the experiments with the magic he performed totrial. His hand reached up to take a book from the shelf but something stopped him.

Out of the corner of his eye he saw an overturned chair with wheels. No... not again. Balthazar crept towards the overturned chair and the rest of the image came into view. Xanax lay dead on the floor, his pale and shriveled body twisted on the floor so that dead eye stared into Balthazar's parasite infected soul. "Master-" The word escaped Balthazar like a whisper before he heard that echoing voice throughout the room mocking him further. Balthazar's face twisted in rage and his hands curled into fists. He desperately wanted something to bludgeon now. "Fate spared Morgan, not me!" Balthazar shouted into the air. He'd burned the building down- or the elements had... he wasn't sure but he knew he left that building believing she'd been killed... and hoping she'd escaped.

That was what haunted him now. He knew he could have done more to make sure she burned but he didn't want her to die. He'd just lost Xanax... he didn't want to lose her too. But he had lost her for a long time. Hell he could argue she really had died in that fire. Isabella (Morgan had changed her name after the incident) was different now in so many ways but similar in too many as well. What had he done to avenge Xanax? Not enough.

In his wallowing two arms wrapped around the Yari without warning. Instinct almost kicked in and Balthazar almost drove his elbow back into Morgan's perfect face but his body relaxed when he recognized her soft touch. Morgan. Had his spark warned him she was coming? He'd been too distracted thinking of Xanax to notice. She whispered into his ear and he felt her breath against the back of his neck. His eyes slipped shut and for just a trill Balthazar let himself enjoy what he felt pressed against him. This wasn't so bad in light of what could have been happening. At least the mist didn't decide to recreate when he was tortured.

Balth, honey, there you are.

Nobody had called him that in a long time- or at least nobody that came to immediate mind. Even Isabella avoided it these trials because she knew it made them both feel weird. They didn't like thinking about their early relationship and how it had ended... the very thing this mist was forcing Balthazar to relive now. Balthazar turned and his eyes widened a fraction in surprise to find Morgan in the nude. Well not completely, she had a fancy mist cover but it wasn't covering enough for Balthazar to focus. So he raised a hand to cover her body from the neck down from his view but even that didn't change much. She was still beautiful. Her already few imperfections diminished and beauty highlighted... but it wasn't her. Not really. Not the woman he loved. Not the woman who told him to leave her alone.

"No." Balthazar mumbled the word. He wanted what she was offering more than he could explain but the corpse of his old master on the floor watching him and the deadline Tio had given really had a way of killing the mood. Even if it really was her, now wasn't the time for what she wanted. He couldn't think of anything more to say because he didn't want to refuse Morgan but he had to. It was wrong. Balthazar shook his head. "Stop this."
word count: 1001

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Victor Amielle
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Re: The Mountain King

When Stefan told him that justice had to be applied swiftly and without hesitation, he nodded curtly. As the guards impaled the peasant, he flinched barely noticeably, but only for a moment before he met his gaze. He wasn’t wondering what he wanted to say. It didn’t matter. He should have thought about it sooner. He had forfeited his life the moment that he had taken what was not his and received the punishment that he deserved.

With that thought in mind, he turned to his brother, just as the world shifted once more. The noble furrowed his brow as he noticed that the guards and the body of the poacher were gone. The mist was so thick that he couldn’t see the trees anymore, and it seemed as if a storm was brewing. He could almost smell it, the wind, the cold, the mist …

He wondered … what kind of world he had ended up in, what the point of this was, how much of it was real and how much was the old woman’s, or Tio’s – or maybe the rebel’s doing … and how he was going to get out of this place and complete the mission …

Stefan, he noticed, seemed to be indifferent towards the raging storm around them. While his brother paced back and forth, Victor remained where he was and merely watched his brother. When Stefan started to talk about duties and such, a barely noticeable frown creased Victor’s brow before he inclined his head in order to let him know that he agreed.

“I always cared about Lysoria, more than about most other things in this world”, he remarked in a soft tone of voice. “I had a life in Scalvoris, but I gave it all up when I heard that a war might be coming in order to support you.” Having said that, he fell silent again. An almost imperceptible shudder went through his body as more people appeared in front of him, kneeling in front of him, their despair obvious. They pleaded for him to save them, to have mercy on them.

For a moment, his resolve actually faltered because there were so many of them and their cries were overwhelming, but then again, they were criminals and murderers, they knew what they had done, and now they paid the price. Why should he care about that scum?

When the final figure manifested in front of him, Victor’s eyes widened in shock, and his face grew as pale as a sheet though. He shook his head and staggered back. It had been over an arc, almost two arcs in fact, since he had last seen the Aberrant. Their romance had been short-lived, but intense, and it had changed everything. They had had plans, so many plans, to research magic together, to help other mages … Jonathan had been so different from the stiff and conservative people that he had been used to …

“No, not him!” he told whoever was responsible for this, even though they would probably not be able to hear him. He didn’t want to … he couldn’t bear this. Not again. Not a second time. He turned his head fractionally when he felt his brother place a hand on his shoulder, but he didn’t grasp the axe. “He didn’t attack anyone”, he pointed out, the look in his eyes harder now. That was not entirely true, of course. He had not attacked anyone in the fortress, but he had flayed people, criminals, he had claimed.

Sometimes, Victor wondered if it had been wrong of him to be so infatuated with a man that practiced such dark magic and if Jonathan had been entirely honest with him, if he had really only killed those that deserved it, as he had said, if he was being a hypocrite because he treated his lover differently. What had happened, had created a rift between his brother and him, a brother that he had loved and looked up to once upon a time.

Jonathan might have lied to him. Stefan had definitely lied to him though …

“The creature, the Harvester did it. He attacked your guard. Destroy him when he manifests the next time. Take Jonathan’s magic away if you want, but spare his life. You can’t punish him for what that thing did. You promised me. You promised to let us leave together, but then he died regardless”, he reminded him.

A moment later, he laughed out loud, a bitter laughter. “You know, Stefan, for a moment, I was almost willing to listen to you and give in, because some of the things that you said did make sense, and I was never fond of that creature. But this … is this what it’s really all about? Is the fact that I fell in love with a man the real problem here? I expected more of you. Are you that worried what people will say?”

“Do you only care about duties and your precious reputation?”
he asked.

“But then again”, he continued. “You probably wouldn’t have been content if I had brought a woman home either. You wouldn’t have been content with anybody, unless you had handpicked them!”

He finally wrapped his fingers around the handle of the mist-axe, but he didn’t raise it against Jonathan or his brother. There was a part of him that still cared about him, even after all that time, in spite of what he had done, in spite of what those damn mages of his had done. Stefan was a decent ruler, he had just failed as a brother. And he couldn’t kill Jonathan either, even if he was likely guilty of at least some crimes, because he still felt something, even after all that time, and he couldn’t just ignore that and murder him.

If that made him a hypocrite, then so be it.

Instead of raising the axe against his brother or his lover, Victor took Jonathan’s hand and helped him up. He knew that he was not the real Jonathan. Even if he was only a phantom made of mist, he wouldn’t let him die a second time though. He would at least save this version of him, even though he might be guilty of some of the same bad things.

“I’ll take Jonathan with me!” he informed Stefan in no uncertain terms. “And this time, you won’t stop us!”

word count: 1087

Appearance

Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Potions

N/A
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Woe
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Re: The Mountain King


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Woe came to sit in the wagon, which wheeled away down the thoroughfare before much time passed. He'd heard the talking from outside, but could make nothing of it out. The ex-slave had ideas about where they were going, based on the reaction of the slaves nearby. He allowed for further restraint, knowing that this was not the time for him to mount a resistance. In the dungeon, there had been barriers that could shut if he tried to fight. Several of them before he even got to the surface. Here, there were the restraints themselves, as well as the guards. The other slaves were an unknown. Where one of their number attempted disobedience, others might find it an opportunity to curry favor with the master. Often a futile gesture, but one that was common to the mentality engendered by a talented slaver.

He saw the children, as the man next to him said, likely sold by parents or another master. They were either unsuited to the purpose the original master found for them, or else disobedient. It didn't occurr to Woe immediately that their parents might've sold them to such a fate. When Woe had bought children for his master, he presumed they were to be groomed as an apprentice or a future webspinner. Not fodder for the arena or else an even less savory fate. It wasn't his business to enquire anyway, as a broker.

He turned his brief attention to the old man, and shrugged. He was old, but seemed to possess the moralizing of a man who'd lived a free life. Any slave that had been raised to his age would've long since abandoned any sense of fairness or equality among people. He was likely a condemned criminal, at least as far as Woe could deduce. That would be his assumption going forward. If there was anything that Woe disliked, it was criminals and people operating outside the system. Men who thought themselves better than the structure that made their life possible to begin with. Woe had no words for such moralizing, simpering filth as was dripping from his mouth.

Instead, Woe focused on the children. He need only say a few words in order for the poison of his magic to move through them and then cycle back to their source. "Children," He spoke to them, etheric venom dripping from his lips, "You need not be afraid." Their emotions were raw, worn on their sleeve. He did sense a touch of sorrow there, something else he couldn't identify, but also more importantly, he could taste fear. The delicious emotion that he had entwined with his sense of survival. Fear could be a useful emotion, when channeled correctly. But these children, weak of will as they were, had little need of it. So he began weaving the threads of their fear, siphoning them into a swirling nexus of emotion. Within bits, with deep concentration, he was able to pull the threads that had formed a nexus to his own tangle, knotting the various threads of terror and fear. Once they were attached to his tangle, yet separate from it, he hemmed them in for later dispersal and utilization. Whether he'd use it on himself to bolster his fight response to whatever came, or against his foe, that was a matter for the future.

For now, he had only to wait to see what fate would deliver to this caravan of flesh.


Magic Stuff
Feel free to disregard Woe's attempt at magic if those children aren't real and don't have emotion that Woe can sense.
Last edited by Woe on Thu May 14, 2020 3:49 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 609
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Yeva
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Re: The Mountain King

Close Quarters

Yeva winced when the satyr jerked and went splashing into the water, "I'm sorry," she stammered, the sight somewhat comical despite the dire nature of their arrival, "Are you...?"

'Alright?', was that she was going to say before he started reprimanding her. Fair. She had barged into his cave, but it wasn't her fault he wasn't given proper notice. There hadn't exactly been a doorbell.... Right? She looked back over her shoulder towards the way she came, startling when he began to scream at... no one.

He could hear the voices?

They had said something about magic. Mages. Maybe. She still wasn't sure. Whatever the voices belonged to, if they been trying to talk to him instead, that meant, what? She had overheard some sort of interference? Questions soon replaced raw fear, if only for a moment. The half man was already moving towards her, not in an outwardly aggressive manner, more dismissive, as he grabbed her and seemed to be looking for something, "What'dyoooo-" Yeva tried to pull back, turning her head to and fro while, his scrutiny too intense for comfort, her mouth dropped at his observations, "Please stop!"

Fresh as fallen snow? Didn't that depend on subjective opinion or did he simply mean....? Virgin. How could he tell! She was overthinking! Nevertheless, arguing against her own innocence surely felt counter productive, and he wasn't wrong if that was his guess. Ugh. At her age it was uncommon, but not unheard of. She wasn't married! She was just trying to be honorable... not that it had ever mattered much in Rharne. Yeva stumbled backwards, turning pink from statement nonetheless. Best to ignore that for now, "What do you mean, they're not coming back? They have to." the redhead trailed after him, looking down as he retook his comfortable position. She frowned, brow knitted in concern, mulling over what he had told her.

It could be argued that she was in serious danger, chatting with something clearly non-human, leaking a mysterious mist at that but going home wasn't exactly an option at this point. Speaking of which, "What's your name? And... How are you doing that?" Yeva circled him, leaning forward on her tiptoes to get a better vantage point of the top of his head, eyeing the tendrils of fog that seemed to creep from from his orifices. That was quite a medical curiosity, if she ever saw one. Interesting.. If she couldn't leave and he wasn't going to kill her... might as well chat a bit, learn what she could while she could, "Well, I'm Yeva," she added in good nature, fingers reaching out to tap the his horn and test its sharpness. He had taken liberties with her, it was hardly as invasive and she was more curious! She had never seen a satyr before.

The redhead was already moving around him. Did he have a tail too? "You must know something that can help me. I don't even know how to go home if I wanted, and the lady on the mountain said to come here," This majesty character sounded deeply daunting and Tio's involvement had been just as dubious. Kidnapped and now without her friends, what was she to do? She'd either die on this mountain or find a solution. She frowned, afraid the others were in trouble, furthering her resolve, "Please? What do you need to work with? Is it the voices?"

word count: 590
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Tio Silver
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Re: The Mountain King

The Mountain King
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35th Ashan, 720
Scalvoris Mountains


Balthazar

"Fate?" The voice of his copycat scorned. "The excuse of the weak! What would you know of fate? Do you really believe that an all-powerful guiding force like fate would care to pay attention to people as small as you or her? Such hubris! Fate only looks upon those born into greatness; kings, generals, and gods. It couldn't care less about a peasant farmer and a dirty smuggler! No, fate did not spare Morgan: you failed to do the one simple task that would have brought peace to your master. Then you were given a second chance, and yet once again you failed because of your crippling need for attention!"

Morgan did not stop at Balthazar's plea. With gentle force he pushed him back until his hips banged against the table, and with no space left to retreat to Balthazar could not avoid Morgan as she pressed her body right up against him. She buried her head into the crook of his neck, her soft hair tickling his shoulder.

"But you can make it right."

A twitch of movement caught Balthazar's eye, and to his horror saw the corpse of Xanax slowly rising from the floor. The white mist was pouring into the pale body through every opening; the eyes, mouth, fingernails and more. With jerky, puppet-like movements Xanax stood, eyes still dull and lifeless. He raised a hand towards Balthazar, and within his open palm the white mist condensed and thickened, forming into the shape of a knife.

"Cut her loose." Xanax croaked, his voice weak and frightened, yet still undeniably the voice that had offered Balthazar praise and fair criticism so many times. "She embodies your greatest weakness; your attachment to those who are toxic to you. She is the farmer who took you in but would never love you; the smuggler who professed to love you but keeps breaking your heart; the sparks that make you feel powerful but rot your soul. Balthazar please listen to me. You can surpass the circumstances of your early years. You can become the great man I have always know you could be. But to do that you have to cut away the attachments you have to those who just use you for their own interests."

The mist coating the floor began to slowly swirl, and from it two figures arose from the ground: a man and a woman. Their eyes were closed and their bodies still, as if they were sleeping, but the blush of life was still within them. Balthazar had not seen these two before, yet having just seen a mirror image of what he would look like were in not for his sparks it was easy to spot the family relation.

"Your parents." Xanax whispered softly. "Great hunters, heroes, brought low by the same ungrateful masses that decided you were useful only as a substitute for a pack mule. Their blood runs through your veins: the same strength of spirit. You could be every bit as great as they were." He looked at Morgan, who remain cuddled into Balthazar's side blissfully unaware of what was taking place behind her. "But not as long as you let those who seek to use you for their own purposes dictate the flow of your life. Cut them loose Balthazar. Find a family with those who would welcome you to their dinner table with a warm smile, not leave you to toil in silence outside. Find a lover who would help you become a good and honest man, not tempt you to be a criminal. Make the sparks in your soul serve your will, not the other way around." He pressed the mist-knife into Balthazar's hand, stared at Morgan's back meaningfully: a back that was exposed and oh so vulnerable. "Leave it all behind for good. Put the past behind you, forget your affection for those that make you weak, and move forward into the future.

"Cut it all loose."


Victor

A furious scowl, ugly to the extreme, crossed over Stefan's face as Victor began to defend Jonathan. "Destroy a spirit? Take magic away? Ha! You speak as if such things are easy! Even if such things were possible could you really claim the monumental costs involved would be worth it? We could have locked up that poacher to prevent him from stealing again, but you didn't bat an eye at his death despite him being Lysorian. Why should we show mercy to someone who devours souls more than we do for a petty crook?" He began to pace again, like a tiger intimidating its prey. "He chose to become a mage, knowing that to do so would come with responsibilities. If a dog bites you do you seek recompense from it, or from the person who owns it? It was his own failure to control his harvester that led to his fate. He deserved death."

But if Stefan had been furious before, when Victor mentioned duty he went absolutely berserk. "DO NOT SPEAK OF DUTY AS IF IT IS SO TRIVIAL A THING!" He roared, visibly starting to grow larger before Victor's eyes. Around them more figures of mist rose up from the ground, this time taking on the shapes of people Victor would recognise as the citizens living in Lysoria. Some of them surrounded Victor, cutting off his escape escape, while others were pulled into Stefan by some invisible force and absorbed into him, fuelling his rapid growth. "OUR PEOPLE'S HAPPINESS, PROSPERITY, EVEN THEIR VERY LIVES, ARE BUILT UPON OUR DUTY! IF WE MAKE SELFISH DECISIONS, ALLOW CRIME TO PREVAIL, THEN THEY ARE THE ONES WHO SUFFER FOR IT! YOU THINK IT IS ENOUGH THAT YOU FOUGHT FOR THEM ONCE?! I HAVE FOUGHT FOR THEM EVERY MOMENT OF MY LIFE SINCE FATHER DIED! I SUFFERED THIS BURDEN ALONE, BECAUSE YOU WERE NOT THERE TO HELP!" Larger still he grew, rising higher and higher into the sky, until he towered over Victor like a giant. "THERE IS A PRICE FOR THE SILVER SPOON YOU WERE BORN WITH IN YOUR MOUTH, AND THAT PRICE IS THAT THE LIFE THE PEOPLE PAID FOR WITH THEIR HARD WORK AND TAXES BE USED TO BENEFIT THEM! IF THAT MEANS YOU MUST MARRY SOMEONE TO FORGE A POLITICAL ALLIANCE THEN SO BE IT! IF THAT MEANS YOU MUST HARDEN YOUR HEART AND ENACT JUSTICE UPON THOSE YOU LOVE THEN SO BE IT! IF THAT MEANS YOU MUST DIE TO PROTECT THEM THEN SO BE IT!"

At this point Stefan was the size of a mountain, towering over Victor, and his voice boomed like the rumble of thunder. Within his clothes Victor could make out the face of every person absorbed into Stefan's body, looking down at him with scornful eyes. It was as if Stefan was an embodiment of Lysoria itself: his sheer size holding within it all the wishes and dreams of those who lived there. He knelt down and pushed his face up so close to Victor that one of his eyes, bigger now than Victor's entire body, was within striking distance, and within the reflection of that eye Victor could see himself decked in the fine clothing of a Lysorian noble.

"YOU WANT TO PROVE THAT YOU ARE NOT THE WAYWARD BOY WHO ABANDONED HIS DUTIES! Giant Stefan bellowed. "BUT YOU ARE! FOR DUTIES ARE CHAINS, AND EVERY TRIAL YOU SPEND CARELESSLY WANDERING THE REST OF THIS WORLD, FREE TO DO AS YOU PLEASE, IS A DAY YOU FORCE THOSE DUTIES UPON ME! YOU CANNOT HAVE IT BOTH WAYS VICTOR! YOU CANNOT BE FREE TO MAKE YOU OWN LIFE AND BE A NOBLE! THEY ARE MUTUALLY EXCLUSIVE! YOU MUST CHOOSE, ONE OR THE OTHER! YOU MUST CUT ONE OF THOSE LIVES AWAY!"

The mist figures surrounding him drew in closer, cutting off any escape. Behind him Jonathan pressed into his back. The axe of mist in his hand was heavy but solid, silently promising to bring damage upon whoever he swung it at.

"YOU CANNOT RUN AWAY FROM THIS ANY LONGER VICTOR! THE TIME TO CHOOSE IS NOW! CUT ME DOWN AND CAST AWAY THE LIFE OF A NOBLE, OR CUT HIM DOWN AND CAST AWAY THE LIFE OF A FREE MAN! THERE IS NO MIDDLE GROUND! DUTY OR FREEDOM! CHOOSE!"


Woe

It a blatant act of rudeness Woe ignored the old man next to him entirely and looked away. The old man looked surprised and a little upset by the dismissal, but rather than getting angry let out a deep, mournful sigh. "You just don't want to acknowledge it do you? You refuse to look or listen to anything that contradicts the lie you tell yourself. Is it out of fear? Fear of the world you created? What else could it be?"

With the power of his Empathy spark Woe reached out to the children and took the threads of fear away from them. Yet the moment he severed them to his surprise the emotions dispersed into nothingness, fading out of his grip like mist. The boy's head shot up, and he glared at him with so much hate in his eyes, more than any child should have to hold inside of them, and screamed.

"GET AWAY FROM US! HAVEN'T YOU STOLEN ENOUGH FORM US ALREADY!"

Faster than Woe could react to the boy leapt forwards and punched him square in the gut. Yet the strength behind the blow was far beyond the strength of a regular child's body; enough not only to wind him and crack a few ribs, but send him crashing out the side of the wagon; ripping straight through the tarp stretched across it.

And Woe kept on falling, past where the ground had been just moments ago, until the chains binding his wrists snapped taut and he was left dangling in the air. Above him the sky was stained with thick black thunderclouds that flashed with the odd bolt of lightning, and the cart he had fallen out of was suspended unmoving in mid air. Yet it was what was beneath him that really caught his attention, for what he dangled above was a scene straight from hell.

A sea of chain stretched as far as the eye could see, rippling and flowing like an ocean in the midst of a storm. Directly beneath him the chains swirled violently in an enormous whirlpool, from the middle of which roared a great flame of sickly green fire. Scattered all about he ocean were hundreds of people, every last one of them a slave that Woe had bought or sold at some point in his life, wearing expressions of horror as the struggled in vain to swim against the current that dragged them into the pillar of hellfire. But none succeeded. One by one they were pulled into the inferno, screaming in pain and terror.

"Do not look away any longer, child of Sintra." Came a voice his left, and Woe found that at some point the old man had come down as well to dangle from his chains next to him. The elder looked at the ocean of chain with soft pity. "Look there, so you see them?"

Where the old man was looking Woe would see the young boy and girl from the cart trapped within the ocean, being dragged closer to their demise. The nearer they were drawn to the hellfire the more the pair seemed to age; their bodies and clothes quickly changing as the years of their lives past by in seconds. The girl grew tall and strong, decked out in shining armour, while the boy became dignified and regal, clothed out in rich robes.

"The most beautiful thing about life is the infinite potential it holds. The capacity for choice." The old man continued. "The girl could have become a great knight, and would have gone on to protect so many people without a thought for personal reward. The boy could have become a wise scholar, and through his work the whole of Rynmere would have prospered. They both held the potential for greatness inside of them. Yet they were not allowed the chance to reach that potential, because it was stolen from them. Because they were bought and sold as if they were no better than property, and the ability to chose was taken away from them. Just as it was for hundreds of others. All at the hands of one truly vile merchant." He glared at Woe. "You are a smart man, child of Sintra. You know who I am speaking of. You know who it was who stole the potential away from countless men, women and children."

There was the sound of a footstep from above, and when he looked up Woe could see the same hooded figure from the jail standing atop the cart. Yet now his hood was drawn back, and the face behind it was none other than his own. There was a sneer of contempt across his lips, but no matter how loud the slaves in the ocean below screamed his eyes were fixed shut, stubbornly refusing to look at the hell beneath his feet.

"I beg you, child of the spider, open your eyes!" The old man pleaded. "Don't hide behind the excuses you tell yourself! Don't look away from the misery of those you have sold as sacrifices to the greed of others! There is no order or goodness in slavery, just stolen potential! You could still make amends for the crimes you have committed! It is not too late to release those children, and give them back the lives they could have led! Please, open your eyes!"


Yeva

The satyr huffed at Yeva's question about how he was merging with the mist, suggesting that the question had perhaps been a little bit rude. "How do your kind manage to stay balanced on those tiny little feet of yours? It's a part of you, it comes naturally." He shrugged, and the mist seemed to ripple with the movement. "Well it's the same with me. I'm not doing anything to the that, I am that. I'm not bound to a physical shape as your kind are. The mist is me."

When Yeva reached out and tapped the tip of his horn she found that it was indeed as sharp as it looked, and she observed that he did indeed have a fluffy little goat tail. What was even more apparent however was that the satyr clearly wasn't as used to being on the receiving end of an invasion of person space, and very quickly scrabbled back with his cheeks flushed bright red. "H- Hey, what are you doing?" He stammered out, looking so utterly caught of guard it was kind of funny. A moment later he seemed to realise he was making a bit of a fool of himself, shot to his feet and crossed his arms in a valiant but ultimately unsuccessful attempt to look cool. With his unruly hair now even more out of place and his flustered pout he kind of resembled a bird that'd had its feathers ruffled.

The final things Yeva said to him also took him by surprise if the look of astonishment that crossed his face was anything to go by, but in a less personal way. Instead he just looked really curious, until a realisation struck him. "Wow, you honestly don't have a single clue what's going on here." He said incredulously; not in an insulting or questioning way, but as if he was genuinely surprised. "You either have the worst luck in existence, or someone's manipulating the both of us. Probably the latter, considering you ended up bumping into me of all people." A flash of annoyance crossed his face, not so much at Yeva as at himself, and then he let out a long sigh as if he was... impatient? Frustrated? Itchy? It was an unusual blend of emotions; like he knew he shouldn't be doing something and yet couldn't resist doing it anyway.

"Ah fine, I give!" He suddenly shouted, again talking as if the roof could hear him. Abruptly he sat down cross-legged on the floor, and gestured for Yeva to do the same. "You want to know what's going on? Then I'll tell you."

For a moment he was silent, pondering best to put things into words. Then with slow, well articulated words, as if he was taking extra care to make sure what he was saying made sense he began. "How much do you know about spirits sweetheart? 'Cos the first thing you should know is that I am one. See I'm what's called an Anak: the weakest class of spirit. We govern a particular concept, like fire, laughter or love. However if we get old and strong enough we experience an evolution and become the strongest class of spirit: an Induk. Induk's govern wider concepts or locations, like that volcano nearby, and have the privilege of being able to boss us Anak around. Usually you humans can't directly see us unless we want you to, though things aren't so simple here."

"Anyway last season something big happened: a human was chased into the mountain range. Not just any human though," The satyr shivered with pleasure, "a condemned of Ashan; a limitless well of ephemera, the energy that we spirits feed upon. He was unlucky to stumble across this mountain, for the Induk who rules it, the one we called Their Majesty, captured him and imprisoned him at the peak. Now normally when a condemned of Ashan is found the Induk keeps them hidden away all to themselves, but Their Majesty sent word out to Anak all across Scalvoris saying that they'd share the ephemera with those of us who were willing to bow and call them our monarch. See Their Majesty really isn't a fan of you humans swaggering around like you own the island, and thinks it's high time we put you all in your place with a nice big cataclysmic disaster." He grimaced, suddenly remembering who his audience was. "Can't say I feel quite so passionately about it myself, but your kind haven't exactly been very nice to me in the past. You lot could do with being taken down a peg or two."

"Of course then my bratty sister had to go and stand up to Their Majesty. Not surprising I suppose; she's always had a soft spot for you lot, probably because you adore her so much." There was a flash of jealousy across his face for a moment, but just as quick as it had come it was gone. "Their Majesty put her down here under house arrest until this whole thing is over, and assigned me to keep guard to make sure she doesn't escape. Then earlier today the old hag comes around and tells me that she's sending three mages and some dog spirit my way that Their Majesty wants me to stall for a while." He glared at her, though there wasn't much heat to it. "No mention of you though, which is suspicious as heck 'cos she knows what I'm compelled to do. Ah, what's she playing at!"

The impatience seemed to finally be released from him, and the satyr visibly relaxed from whatever inner tension had a hold of him. Relaxed, but also sad and... was that a hint of guilt? "Look, I won't beat around the bush here. Once Their Majesty finds out that you and your friends are trapped here he's going to come down with his army and kill you. But you're-... You're not bad Yeva. Nicer than the rest of your kind, that's for sure." He paused again, coming to some kind of decision. "I tell you what, I'll give you a chance. Let's play a game. If you win I'll give you back your friends, but if you loose then when Their Majesty arrives you throw yourself down at their knees and beg for the chance to serve them. Sound fair?"

It was at that moment that Yeva noticed the mist had been gradually getting thicker while the satyr had been talking: thick enough that she could no longer see her feet. The satyr spoke again, but this time his voice seemed to reverberate around the cave and held a deeper, powerful tone to it. "You asked before what my name is. Well my name is my nature: the concept that I govern. If you can guess what it is you win. I'll even give you a hint: all men desire me in public, but fear me in private."

General Info

Welcome to the thread! I'll be your guest moderator for today.

Well Yeva gets a nice explanation as to what's going on. Anyone else think they can guess what the satyr's name is? Try not to cheat by googling the riddle.
I would ask you to please respond by the 21st of May, or to PM me if this is not possible.

Rules

Other than violence and the odd swear words I would ask that there not be any explicit adult themes.

Mod Style

I am shamelessly copying this style of moderation (and the template structure) from Pegasus, who I gather was taught it by someone called Crimson, because it looks like it works really well and I'd like to give it a try. Imitation is the highest form of flattery after all. My thanks to both of them.

The NPCs do not reflect my own personal thoughts of feeling on any subject. They are just characters.

As I'm only a guest mod I'm not going to kill your character, severely wound them or anything like that, but I would like to give fair rewards/consequences for any actions taken in this thread. If you feel that these are at all unfair please let me know.

Otherwise let's have some fun!

Obectives

Balthazar: Will you stab Morgan?
Victor: Who are you going to attack? Stefan? Jonathan? Both? Yourself?
Woe: Repent for your sins, or don't.
Yeva: Play a game of riddles with a strange creature in a cave. I swear I'm not copying any well known works of fiction.
word count: 3775
Fast Facts
Noticeable quirks your character can see when threading with Tio.

Floats

Tio floats in the air, usually just a foot off the ground.

Explodeibur

Tio wears a scary looking gauntlet on his right hand that is clearly magical. It creates explosions.

Mercury

Tio has a masked alter ego who leads The Court of Miracles.

Enchanting Voice

Tio's voice has hypnotic properties.
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Balthazar Black
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Re: The Mountain King


35 Ashan 720
Morgan pressed her body against Balthazar's burying her face in the crook of his neck while the voice of his double echoed around him. It hadn't accepted his cheap notion that fate saved Morgan but all the same Balthazar believed something had. Maybe it was Vri or some other Immortal playing a long con Balthazar could not understand, but he felt not guilt over his decision to spare her. All the guilt seemed to wash off of him when the dagger was set in his hand. With the blade came a clarity Balthazar hadn't had in a long time. The clarity began as horror- watching the corpse of his master become infested with smoke and seeing his body rise with rigid, jerky movements. He hadn't seen Xanax stand on his own two feet ever and there was something about the image that didn't mesh perfectly with Balthazar's memory of his master. His Xanax had always been chair-bound, even on his most furious rant. It had always made him more intimidating to Balthazar because Xanax could truly command the room from his seat.

Cut her loose? He heard his old master's voice ringing from the frail, flailing body as it rose. Xanax was pleading for him to kill Morgan. He was pleading for Balthazar to become the great man he always though Balthazar could be. Something about Xanax suggesting his sparks were rotting his soul caused Balthazar's expressions to harden. Xanax had given him one of the very parasites on his soul now... the strongest of them. He hadn't wanted to, but Balthazar made him do it. Balthazar made him do it. A trill passed and two more figures- seemingly trapped in an eternal sleep, materialized from the mist with faces familiar and yet unfamiliar to Balthazar. He saw many of his own features in the two of them. He had his mother's mouth and nose but the shape of his father's face and build. The parents he'd never known. The parents he'd only heard rumor and story of. Long dead. The mist spoke more words and pressed the dagger into Balthazar's hands. His fingers curled around the handle of the blade which seemed to fit all too comfortably into his hand. Cut it all loose.

But Balthazar had already decided. He'd decided what he would do the moment the mist first proposed the idea and his mind connected the dots. "You're wrong about a lot of things." Balthazar said as he pushed the table Morgan was pinning him against back a little to try and create some space of his own. "I wasn't given a second chance to kill her, I took it. If fate did not spare her, it did not reunite us either. I did. I hunted her down when I found out she was alive in Yaralon. And I chose, like I choose now, to let her live." Balthazar said with a sharp edge in his voice. "Because I love her. Despite everything, I do. She doesn't make me weak. She gives me something to live for- something to look forward to. She gives me a reason to see through all this shit." Balthazar gestured to the mist around him for a moment.

"But you're right, Xanax would have wanted me to kill her." Balthazar cast the dagger to the floor. "Because he tried to and failed." He remembered how his master had changed in those arcs when Balthazar and Morgan had fallen in love. He remembered why Xanax had changed. Xanax had wanted to control Balthazar's life and Morgan was the first person to show Balthazar that he had the ability to be more than a servant. Morgan showed Balthazar that he could be more than a farmer and a crippled mage's assistant. Morgan lit the flame of ambition in Balthazar and he'd fanned it ever since. Morgan had been manipulating him against Xanax when she showed him this lesson, but who hadn't tried to use Balthazar in the past? Xanax had turned the city guard on Morgan and she'd killed him in retaliation. Balthazar had always blamed himself for the feud between two sorcerers who tried to manipulate him to their own ends and failed. "Xanax wanted me to obey his every command without question. He was no better than the rest of them." The truth hurt as it left Balthazar's lips. He'd never really taken Xanax of the pedestal he put him on after his death. He'd never really looked at the actions of his dead master.

It had been easy to blame Isabella (Morgan). At the end of the trial, she'd flayed him. But Xanax had reported her to the city guard. He'd taken everything from her before she came after him. If Balthazar had arrived earlier and stopped Morgan from killing Xanax, he still would have left with her. Xanax betrayed him when he betrayed Morgan. That was the truth of the matter. A truth Balthazar's grief and guilt had blinded him to.

But now Balthazar had become so much more than either of them ever thought he could be because of the very thing that the mist now called a weakness. "The people I care about have never made me weak. They're the only thing that stopped me from becoming what Xanax became. My affection is the reason Isabella is not the same person she was then." Metaphorically. She was still a smuggler but he was very okay with it now. Even thought he was an Element. "I have been in charge of my own life for a long time now. I am not a peasant farmer anymore. Maybe fate should take notice." And with that, Balthazar would close his eyes and try to focus on the world around him through omni-vision. He was hoping the mist could only ensnare his eyes and that he might be able to find a path forward by reaching out with the parasite that let him attune to the world. But if not, his decision had still been made. He'd not stab Morgan.
word count: 1045

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Victor Amielle
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Joined: Wed Jul 26, 2017 3:29 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Researcher
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Re: The Mountain King

Image
The things that Stefan – or the man that looked like him, that mist-version of his brother said – did make sense. If a dog bit you, you didn’t seek recompense from it, but from the owner. A part of Victor realized that he might not be able to blame everything on the Harvester, after all, that Jonathan had chosen to get initiated into that particular magic, and that maybe he should have tried harder to control the creature, but it didn’t matter now, and he didn’t care that the poacher he had condemned to death without batting an eyelid had committed a much more harmless crime. That poacher had meant nothing to him, and his death wouldn’t change anything …

“Because he mattered to me. You took something away from me before it even began, you destroyed the future that I wanted to build for myself. You broke the promise that you gave to me. You lied to me, Stefan. You promised to let us go, and then your mages threw his dead body in front of my feet. You claimed that you were sorry for what happened, sorry that Jonathan died, that you didn’t know, but I don’t think that you ever really were sorry”, he reminded him again when he asked why they should show mercy. Had Stefan forgotten what he had said to him, shortly after his guards had come to remove him from his bedroom?

He had pleaded with Stefan to spare the Aberrant’s life, and Stefan had agreed, but there was nothing but a vial of ashes left now … and bitter disappointment, and all that pointless talk about duties. He had never felt the way that he had felt that night in the fortress, before Stefan’s guards had knocked in front of his door and arrested the Aberrant. Stefan’s words didn’t make him reconsider, they didn’t make him give in, they just made him ignore those doubts that he had harbored or that he might have harbored otherwise and refuse to see his brother’s point.

They had said what had happened after the Aberrant’s arrest. He had been informed that the Harvester had refused to manifest, and that Jonathan had been quite insulting. He didn’t care though.

When Stefan grew larger and larger, Victor staggered back regardless, and a shiver ran through his body as his voice was so loud that it was almost physical painful. His brother was taller than him, now, a veritable giant, and around him people appeared, people that he knew or had once known. They surrounded him. He grabbed the false Jonathan’s hand more tightly, looking for a way out, an opening, but there was no escape now. Was that how Jonathan had felt when they had come for him, shortly before he had been killed?

He resisted the urge to cover his ears as Stefan began to scream at him – covering his ears would have meant that he had to let go of Jonathan or the axe. He looked up at him, even though a part of him just wanted to curl up into a ball and whimper, and retorted, “You say that you suffered this burden alone, but did you ever reach out to me? You knew where you could find me. If you had asked me for help, I would have come home sooner. You never did though. You never really cared about what I did after I left Lysoria. Did you know that I actually worked at the university? I would hardly call that the action of a wayward boy. Most would have been proud of such a thing”, he pointed out, still holding Jonathan’s hand as it was the only thing that made him bear the scornful looks that the people of Lysoria, that Lysoria itself gave him.

He could see his reflection in one of Stefan’s gigantic eyes. He was dressed like a Lysorian noble now. A part of him yearned for that kind of life. No matter what Stefan had said, he had always loved Lysoria, and he still did. They had just never allowed him to find out what kind of person he was, besides a noble. There had only been duties and lessons upon lessons in order to prepare him for something that might never come – and impossible expectations. In a way, Stefan’s actions had driven him right into the Aberrant’s arms.

Stefan seemed to be ready to die for his people, but he wanted to live, and if that made him greedy and selfish, then so be it. He didn’t want to sacrifice his life for anybody, because he only had this one life, and he hadn’t nearly lived enough yet – because he deserved a chance at love and happiness as well and because there was still so much he hadn’t seen of this world yet.

“I don’t believe you. I don’t believe that freedom and being a noble are mutually exclusive, just because you say so and if you had allowed me to do so, I could have found a way. I believe that you can have it both ways if you try hard enough. You don’t always have to sacrifice something, and I don’t have to live like that just because you did. And you are wrong. Cutting you down won’t mean giving up my life as a noble. Cutting you down is the only way to have both – and save him.”

If he cut this false brother down – he tried to convince himself that this screaming giant was not really him, the brother that he had loved, the brother that had been there for him when their parents had died - he would remove the biggest threat to Jonathan’s life – or rather, the being made of mist that resembled Jonathan so much that it hardly made a difference. If he cut this false brother down, there would be nobody that was capable of controlling his life and telling him what to do left. He would be free, the man made of mist that cowered behind him now would live, and he would even be able to take Lysoria if he wanted to.

With that thought in mind, he swung the axe in order to kill him.
word count: 1065

Appearance

Due to one of his Awakenings, Victor's eyes glow with a soft silver light.

Items

Victor owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Potions

N/A
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Woe
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Re: The Mountain King



"GET AWAY FROM US! HAVEN'T YOU STOLEN ENOUGH FORM US ALREADY!" The boy, if it were a boy and not some mummer of a spirit's puppet show. A puppet show put on, whether it be for Woe's education or its own amusement. Woe was surprised momentarily, perhaps caught up in the realness of the setting, that his magics clung to their emotions like a chain to mist. Then in an unearthly show of force, the boy came free of his own chains, and delivered a punch to Woe's solar plexus, cracking ribs and knocking him breathless.

Woe fell back, out of the wagon. His back crashed and broke through the wall of that wagon as if it were balsa wood. He fell and fell until the chains that still held him held him aloft, hanging from a hellish inferno below. A crucible for the enslaved, a sea of chains and fire.

Woe wondered at the number of souls inhabiting that hellscape. Had he truly condemned so many to this fate? How many children had the slaves he'd sold had themselves? Or was this a vision of future generations that would forever be slaves?

He didn't look away, as the old man bid him not to. Although Woe was without the capacity to feel love for others, affection, there was a concern. Always a concern for order, and to the goods that it served to those who knew how to navigate rightfully through life.

He saw the children, now grown, showing the roles they might have filled, if only left alone to pursue their potential. But things were rarely so simple, weren't they? How might a pair of children born to a Lowtown widow ever hope to aspire to such greatness? Was it by dint of their struggle?

Woe hung from the skies like a puppet from his chain, as he was forced to listen to the old man. At the last moment, he said the operative accusation, "You know who it was who stole the potential away from countless men, women, and children."

Woe ground his teeth. He wouldn't allow it. He wouldn't allow this man this spirit to steal his agency. It wasn't Erastus, there was no passing of the blame or credit here. "It was me! I did it! Not Erastus, ME!" Whether the man's intent was to accuse Erastus or not, Woe wasn't prepared to live one more moment in that bloated old rogue's shadow, once more a slave.

And so Woe opened his eyes and called upon the power he'd once sussed out in a dream. He understood it now to be one of his domains, bequeathed to him by his relation to Sintra. That of Hierarchies. An ability to alter one's position in a chain of dependency or an organization. He didn't know if his being chained to all of these souls counted for it. But he was about to find out.

He descended the hierarchy of fates until he was by the children's' sides. He took hold of the chain and willed them upwards. He would change places with them in the chain, so they might elevate if only a moment before they all burned. And though he became less than a slave, he felt freer from Erastus' shade at that moment than any amount of time in freedom spent before it.

word count: 575
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Yeva
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Re: The Mountain King

Riddle Me This

Yeva waited patiently when he began to fuss, calling her feet tiny in a rather animated huff. A true statement, Yeva found his reaction more comical than intimidating, tilting her head while he explained further. Not bound by a physical form, he was the mist? She looked at him with renewed eyes, reaching down to swat at the stuff curiously. When she touched his horns, he reared back, "Hey! What are you doing?"

"I'm just curious," she admitted a bit sheepishly, leaning back while he crossed his arms. She simply smiled and waited, her questions finally breaking his resolve.

"Wow, you honestly don't have a single clue what's going on here."

Yeva shook her head, tucking a curl behind her ear, "Not one bit."

"You either have the worst luck in existence, or someone's manipulating the both of us. Probably the latter, considering you ended up bumping into me of all people."

She cocked her head. At least there didn't seem to be immediate danger if they were talking. Satyr continued, yelling again to the walls. Warm brown eyes flickered to the expanse around them and the jagged stalagmites that dangled above, but his echo faded and he quieted in consideration.

"Spirits?" after blinking, she gasped pressing a hand to her breast as she recalled her home land, "Oh! Like Lake Lovalus?"

That got her attention. Yeva hurried forward sit down across from him, crossing her legs all the same. He revealed that he was a lesser spirit - which made sense given the physical form admittance just recently - and then began to teach her of the Anak. With simple domains like laughter, love, or fire, they were weaker or younger. Fascinating. That meant... there apparently a social hierarchy? Her fingers itched to grab her journal, but she stayed still and attentive. The explanation only deepened, speaking of a condemned man who was now a pawn for the majesty? Surely this figure was still alive if his e-ephemera was being fed on?

Yeva's on it while her brow knitted in worry and she imagined his sister being locked away. It was clear she wore her emotions openly, not good at concealing anything such as worry or doubt. Spirits could have siblings? Who knew? More than once she looked as if she might start asking questions but she refrained from doing so, listening first despite her racing thoughts. The satyr was annoyed, and well so, thinking back to the crone and Yeva's arrival. Did that mean she was suspicious? She meant no harm. Of course, that didn't seem to matter. He informed her that there was an army and death would soon follow but that he would give her a chance to win her friends back.

Yeva sat in woeful, contemplative silence as the satyr gave his riddle and the mist thickened. She shook her head, saddened and distressed, "This doesn't sound fair at all!" Yeva suddenly threw herself forward, wrapping her arms around the half-man in a warm hug, "Humans were mean to you. And your sister is locked away and now you're stuck with me and I might die and I don't seem to know anything at all."

Tears had begun to cling to her lashes and released him, sitting back on her heels and using her sleeves to dab at her misting eyes. She didn't know the answer off the top of her head, and he was just trying to do his job for an Induk that hated her kind. The satyr could have hurt her, and surely offering her this would put them both in danger. Yeva sniffled, releasing a steadying breath and tried to think despite the worry she held for the others. This was important, she had to get it right. He was a concept. Something simple... Huffing, she knotted her fingers in her hair and hiding her face, "I just need to think,"

Her mother always said she could do anything if she put her mind to it, and despite the dangers of failing... how was this any different than when she had played riddle games with her brothers growing up, "I like riddles, I can do this."

"You are..."

What did she know about him? She bit her bottom lip, concentrating as looked up and fixated on his face. Man? Animal? No. His form could change, he had told her that. He was. She leaned forward, elbows resting on her knees as she retook her crisscrossed position. She waved her hands through the mist, but like the side of the mountain, it didn't shift. Her fingers simply passed through it.

Intangible.

He was intangible.

So, she doubted he was something like water or wind, which could be felt. He hadn't tried to attack her, so maybe nothing quite as aggressive as grief or mutilation or sorrow. He freely gave answers. He could be uncomfortable. Not everyone was so fond of him. Men desired him in public? Feared him in private? What was something that people claimed to want but were fearful of?

Yeva's spine straightened and her eyes widened in possible realization. No. YES. Could it be?

A ghost of a smile began to upturn the corner of the clever girl's lips. She took a deep breath, considered the answer from every avenue of the riddle and compared it to his behavior. After a moment of contemplation, she nodded, satisfied.

Her heart thundered in her chest. The stakes were high. Yeva extended her palm as if to shake his hand in proper greeting. "It's very nice to meet you, Truth. You don't seem so bad yourself."
word count: 955
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