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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

 

Loud footsteps could be heard echoing in the emptiness of the great corridor. Afternoon sunlight poured in from the tall windows that flanked it, painting the tiled floor golden.

 

The owner if these footsteps was a lone man. His face was ruddy, round, and framed by long, wispy locks of brown hair and an equally wispy ghost of a beard on his chin. He was slightly hunched over, occasionally muttering to himself. He marched down the hallway hurriedly, his mouth set in a stern frown.

 

At the end of the passage, the man was met by an enormous pair of stone doors with a keyhole in the right. Without a single break in his stride he pressed his right palm to the door (a stack of papers was held under his left). A blue, fire-like energy burst from his palm and into the keyhole. Seconds later the doors were lurching inwards. 

 

The man entered a cavernous and circular room with dark desks of three levels set in a semicircle. Opposite to them was a single desk. The room was filled with a buzz of chitter from it's 30, now 31, occupants.

 

As the man walked up an aisle of stairs dividing the multi-layered semicircle to his seat on the third level, the hum of idle conversation ceased. The man could feel the sear of 30 pairs of eyes on him, especially that which came from the lone desk facing the semi-circle.

 

The occupant of that lone desk was a severe woman. Her pointed gaze was that of a hawk's through the glasses perched upon her nose. She adjusted them carefully.

 

"You're late, Mr.Thomas."

 

Our man, evidently Mr.Thomas, eased himself into the chair before his seat wearily. "I apologize, ma'am. It won't happen again."

 

"Good, because I will not tolerate it again, Mr.Thomas." Turning away from him, she addressed the general assembly. "Now, to buissness." 

 

She picked up a stack of paper from her desk and shuffled it. "These are the latest damage reports coming in from the east. Dreusdal is becoming more aggressive in their raids."

 

The woman set the papers down and massaged her temples.  "The Branch of Civil Affairs is pushing for us to send wizards out to defend our borders, but the recent shortage of mages being born makes this fight rather unevenly matched."

 

The woman straightened in her seat and continued. "We need to come up with a solution to this plan. You all recieved this information as well as further details last week so I expect some suggestions. Would anyone like to speak?"

 

Mr.Thomas straightened in his seat. "May I propose a possible solution Mrs.Rivers?"

 

The woman nodded and motioned for him to speak.

 

Mr.Thomas rose in his chair, papers in hand.

 

"I propose a way to fix this shortage of mages." There were a few stray murmurings at this opening, and when silence restored itself, he continued.

 

"As we, most of us being mages know, being born with magical ability is something of chance, dumb luck. As the myth goes, this is because the first man, Buri, drank from a spring possessing magical properties, gaining magical powers himself. Now, as we all are of Buri's blood, some among of us possess the same powers, though they manifest themselves differently in everyone."

 

He paused for a breath.

 

"I suggest we find the Spring of the First Man." 

 

A discontented hum arose at this, swelling into a steady thrum of voices, and further into shouting-

 

"Quiet!" Mrs.Rivers voice echoed in the room, silencing the protests. She hunched forward over her desk, eyeing Mr.Thomas carefully. "Thomas, there have been searches after searches to find the Spring. None have ever been successful. Quite frankly, I'm not sure why you would even bring it up. So, give me your reasoning."

 

Mr.Thomas set his jaw. "According to all accounts of the story, the Spring is located far north, evidently farther than we've ever mapped. So I suggest we ally ourselves with people who have mapped that far. In fact, I propose we ask the best sailors of our coast. We should ask the Red Marauders."

 

Now an immediate shouting erupted in room. 

 

"QUIET!" Mrs.Rivers's voice rang through the room with a steely edge. The room silenced immediately though there was still an agitated feeling in the air.

 

"Mr.Thomas," She continued, "You are suggesting we ally ourselves fugitive pirates. Many of them are wanted criminals in our country, how do you think the public would react to that? How will you get in contact of mutual trust with them?"

 

Mr.Thomas shook his head. "I don't know the answers to your questions, ma'am. But I do know that Arcus is in danger, and this is the possibility to find the source of our magic and produce more mages to defend it. "

 

He looked upon his fellows calmly. "If any of you has a better idea, speak."

 

It was silent.

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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Branch: Ekaterina

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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dragonfire1103

aka StrongDragon58

Branch: Janus

Super good so far!!

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Fight 'till blood and work too hard,

I'll live each moment breathlessly.

I have no time to give or waste

While I construct my legacy.

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

 

Thanks!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

 

The small bedroom was rather bare. There was a little bed with thin plain sheets, a little brown trunk at the end of said bed, and a little desk with a little occupant and a little window above. The room was silent, save for a quiet scratching noise coming from the desk, which was wedged in the corner of the room. The sun was slowly setting and the light coming from the window grew increasingly dim.

 

Scribble. Scribble.The young woman at the desk paused to assess her progress. A frown flitted across her face. Scribble. She shook her head and furiously crossed out her previous writings, huffing in irratation. She lay down her quill to tiredly bring a hand to her chin, resting her head there wearily. She closed her eyes for a good few minutes, during which, the sun set completely, and the room went dark.

 

When she opened her eyes again she noticed the change and reached across the desk for a candle. Furrowing her eyebrow with the tip of her tongue sticking out, the young woman held her finger by the wick. Several seconds passed without anything happening. She glared at her finger and set her jaw, concentrating all her will on-

 

A fire. A small flame burned at her fingertip, lighting the candle quickly. With a triumphant smirk, the girl willed it to go out and, setting the candle back in it's place, went back to her work.

 

Fifteen minutes, maybe twenty, maybe an hour passed as the girl scribbled away. The candle flickered and shadows danced around the room, the candle glowed and cast the young woman in glowing red and orange.

 

Then there was a knock at the door, a little tap, quiet enough to be missed by the girl immersed in her work. Then louder, with a small cry of "Adeline!". She looked up from her papers and turned from the desk. "Come in!"

 

In stepped a thoroughly soaked Mr.Thomas, a peculiar mix of exhausted and excited. There were heavy bags under his eyes, and there was a slouch to his stride not typically present, but there was a wild grin that stretched his cheeks and he was as red-faced as ever. 

 

Adeline rose from her desk cheerily as Mr.Thomas shook himself akin to a wet dog. "How did your council meeting go?"

 

Mr.Thomas chuckled, his eyes dancing with fire not caused by the candlelight. "Well, they accepted my proposal. Now actually putting into action, that'll be the challenge!"

 

Adeline smiled along with him. "Well, you do love your challenges, Mr.Thomas." 

 

Mr.Thomas nodded and ran a hand through his wet hair. "And of course, it had to be raining on the way back."

 

Suddenly taking on a serious demeanor, he dropped his hand to his side. "Now, let's see what you accomplished while I was away."

 

Mr.Thomas strode over to her desk, now straight-faced, and began to study her writings carefully. Adeline waited apprehensively as he flipped through the pages, tapping his finger quietly and giving small "Hmph"s every now and again. Other than that, it was silent for several minutes.

 

Finally looking up, he turned towards the door, calling over his shoulder as he walked out, "Not bad, Adeline, at least, not for independent study."

 

Adeline closed the door behind him as he disappeared down the hall, presumably to go dry off and get some sleep. She walked back over to her desk, skimming a hand over her work, and blew out her candle.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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Branch: Ekaterina

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- Henry David Thoreau

 

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Branch: Ekaterina

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Branch: Ekaterina

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- Henry David Thoreau

 

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sleepywaffle18

aka AbleSurviving5

Branch: Lucian

Your style of writing is quite different. It's interesting, and the plot seems well-paced. Great work so far! Keep writing. XD

 

- Faye

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 faye                                                                                                      

i am water; soft enough to offer life; tough enough to drown it away 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Thank you for posting!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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sleepywaffle18

aka AbleSurviving5

Branch: Lucian

You're welcome, my dear. (:

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 faye                                                                                                      

i am water; soft enough to offer life; tough enough to drown it away 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Mr.Thomas walked down a deserted side street in the early afternoon. His face was animated with a nervous excitement and he fingered the buttons of his open coat. The buildings he passed were run down and a listless, monotonous gray, the street grimy and littered with rubbish, but he seemed to pay little attention to the world around him. His eyes roved endlessly and his pace was brisk.

 

The phantom leaves rustled on the ground as Mr.Thomas turned suddenly, his manner now less carefree and more purposeful. His eyes were sharply focused on a single building and him mouth was set in a grim line. The structure he was fixed on was as dull as the others, innocuous and worn, but the way he looked at it indicated something more. He boldly stepped up to it's door and knocked, once, twice, three times. His expression did not falter as a middle-aged man opened the door a few moments later. The man was as unassuming as the building itself, of average height with curly, graying black hair and  short grizzly beard. He furrowed his brow upon seeing Mr. Thomas and neither spoke for several minutes.

 

The stranger glanced around Mr.Thomas' shoulder before stepping aside to allow him in. Mr.Thomas took the invitation and strode into what appeared to me the man's home with familiarity. After carefully shutting the door behind them, the man followed him into the kitchen.

 

Pouring two glasses of water and setting one before Mr.Thomas who had seated himself on a stool by the counter, it was the stranger who first broke the silence.

 

"Peter."

 

Mr. Thomas held his silence and the graying man sighed in disappointment before glaring at him 

 

"Well, what do you want then, hotshot? Haven't spoken in years and you have nothing to say to me? Or did you come just to lord your superiority over me?" The corners of the man's mouth were turned down and his eyes flashed with a challenge. Mr.Thomas narrowed his eyes almost imperceptibly before sipping the rest of his water, gently placing his glass back on the counter.

 

"I need you to get me in contact with the Red Marauders."

 

The stranger's eyes went wide.

 

"I know it's a lot to ask of you-"

 

"YOU'RE SURE RIGHT THAT'S A LOT TO ASK OF ME!" The man's face was twisted with rage and he raked his hands through his hair, gnashing his teeth. "I cut my ties with the Marauders years ago, and there's no way I'd ever go back! Their cutthroat ways of operating...Why would you even want to find them? They're greedy, vicious wolves!"

 

Mr.Thomas raised an eyebrow. "And you were one of their alphas." The stranger quieted his outburst but continued to radiate cold fury. Mr.Thomas continued without heed. "Ah, yes. And when you were caught, who was it that defended you in court and gave you your safe, normal life here, all on the bond we formally shared as fellow scholars?" 

 

"I know that's not why you protected me."

 

Mr.Thomas bared his teeth in a threatening grin. "Oh, that's right. Now I remember why." He rose from his stool and gripped the stranger's arm. "I protected you because wolves never forget their debts."

 

With that he turned away casually and headed for the door. Opening it, he called once over his shoulder before he was gone.

 

"I'll be back soon, and I hope I'll get some information next time, Matthew."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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sleepywaffle18

aka AbleSurviving5

Branch: Lucian

Whoa. Hail of a good chapter. *sits back and sips tea*

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 faye                                                                                                      

i am water; soft enough to offer life; tough enough to drown it away 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

I'm glad you liked it!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Bump!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Bump!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

The dingy tavern was not a place to be caught in. It was poorly furnished with it's rickety stools and poorly lit with faces only half illuminated. The patrons' smiles and laughter might give it a cozy atmosphere if not for the shadows of malicious smirks and the hidden tension behind every word. Searching eyes roved for concealed weapons while a friendly face would greet you. 

 

For Matthew, stepping through the door would not have been un-ordinary in years gone by, and though the wobbling tables and less-than-sober laughter booming from a boisterous regular were not unfamiliar, nor was the appraising glance he got from every occupant suprising, the content feeling of home and belonging was gone. He had left this life of distrust and deceit years ago, the life of isolation in company, the life of judging every person you met by what they could do for you, or against you.

 

No one seemed to recognize the former marauder as he slouched in the bar stool he had claimed, tapping his fingers on his knee anxiously. They had returned to their half-conversations.

 

Many times Matthew was offered a drink, and many times he declined. The night drew on and laughter grew more raucous.

 

After some time of waiting, and being offered drinks, and waiting, and glancing apprehensively at the door, another man entered the tavern. It wasn't an unusual occurence, but this was an unusual man. He was small and squirrley, with very short sandy hair and an upturned nose, and he was at first unassuming, but his eyes bore a manic glint and the tavern went silent as he walked in. He wore heavy boots that echoed in the quiet, a steady thumping rhythm as he casually strolled in and pulled out the bar stool  next to Matthew. Matthew didn't look pleased.

 

Silence was observed between them until conversation slowly trickled back into the tavern.

 

"It's been a long time Matthew, how've you been?" The man spoke as familiarly as with an old friend but in his gaze was the same predatory intent of the other tavern-goers.

 

"Cut the pleasantries, Roger. I'm not here by choice."

 

"Harsh. Is this how you treat one of your former ship-brothers?"

 

"This is how I treat murderers."

 

Roger chuckled devilishly and shook his head. "You act as if you're so above all of us, Captain."

 

Matthew's expression tightened. "Just tell me if you can get me in contact with Maclyn."

 

"Oh, I can get you a meeting alright." Menacing grin. "But I can't ensure he won't tear you to pieces on site. Maybe I'll come watch!"

 

"Alright then. Our business is finished, I'm leaving."

 

"Oh, but Matthew, you simply must stay. You've missed so much, I ought to tell you what we've been up to! Or maybe we could regale each other with tales of our former conquests-"

 

"Enough!" Matthew raised his voice just as loud as to draw the attention of the entire cavern. He turned, his eyes a conflagration of anger and hatred so intense the entire tavern flinched away. He prowled towards the door, enraged, and flung it open, slamming it on the way out.

 

Roger merely looked on from his seat while shaking his head. With a smirk, he narrowed his eyes visciously.

 

"He really hasn't changed at all."

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Buuuump! :)

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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sleepywaffle18

aka AbleSurviving5

Branch: Lucian

An enjoyable and intense read as always. Proceed! XD

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 faye                                                                                                      

i am water; soft enough to offer life; tough enough to drown it away 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Bump!

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Haha, this was a thing...Oh boy.  :/

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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elfcrest7

aka ExpertDecoding17

Branch: Ekaterina

You are one bona fide writer! I wish I had your skill!

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elfcrest7 aka ExpertDecoding17

 

Rebooting Sig in 3...2...

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secretjade25

Branch: Lucian

I really want more!  You've got a lot of skill, and you actually use proper grammar!  An excellent combination!

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I'm Coi.

Hi.

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

Thanks! I'm working on the next part so that should be posted tomorrow! Stay tuned.

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

"Absolutely not. You need at least ten of the most skilled, and even then I think more would be preffered."


"But-"

 

"No."

 

Mr. Thomas straightened his posture and ventured again. "Mrs. Rivers-"

 

"No! And that is my final decision."

 

The two were seated in her office, early light streaming through the windows. It framed the scene of the frustrated pair as they struggled to reach an agreement.

 

"Mrs. Rivers, I cannot bring an army with me aboard the Red Marauders' ships! They would never agree to that and I- we cannot afford to test their trust so soon into negotiations!" 

 

"Be that as it may, Mr. Thomas, and despite your evident disregard for your own safety, cannot allow a powerful and respected member of The Branch of Magical Defense to go gallivanting off with pirates, alone. I highly respect your magical ability, Mr. Thomas, but even having none of my own I can tell you that they also have mages and there is no way that one single wizard, no matter how powerful, can take on ten or twenty at once!"

 

Mr. Thomas sighed and scratched at his chin. His displeasure filled the room.

 

"Mrs. River, I believe we must compromise. I will write a letter requesting to bring along four other mages - though perhaps not your ten, any higher and I believe they would be distrustful. If they are not willing to meet on those terms, I will call the meeting off."

 

Mrs. Rivers considered the idea, closing her eyes. "Alright. I accept these terms, contact the Red Marauders as soon as possible."

 

Mr. Thomas stood, bowed, and took his leave.

 

Outside the office, he was greeted by a young man with long, strikingly blond hair and dressed in a rumpled suit. 

 

"How'd it go?" he asked.

 

Mr.Thomas smiled. "She'll allow it."

 

The young man stumbled back, astonished. "How on earth did you get Mrs. Rivers to agree to sending you with only four mages?!"

 

Mr. Thomas pushed past him and turned around, walking backwards. "The best way to get someone to agree to something is if you make them feel like you are sacrificing something as well, Brayden. I told her that the Red Marauders and I had originally reached an agreement in which I meeting with them totally alone, not with four other mages." He faced forward once more. "She thinks four mages is a compromise on my part."

Brayden stopped in his tracks, mouth agape. He shook his head and laughed. "You're the craftiest guy I know, Peter. She'll rip you to shreds if she finds out you lied to her."

 

Mr. Thomas continued on. "And that's why this conversation will be just between us, unless you want to mysteriously disappear, only to be found killed by sneaky invaders."

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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Branch: Ekaterina

Bump

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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actorbrainy16

Branch: Ekaterina

You're doing great! Keep it up!

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Andra/Emmi M-D-W 

Christian †

Actress :-D D-:

Writer => ~

Autistic :'P

Singer ♪

etc...

  

I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me (Philippians 4:13)

 

MeJoKeDuAnRaCaAcShLuKaLeOd

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

I'm leaving for vacation tomorrow and won't be able to post for a week, but I'll make up for it with a ton of new parts when I get back. (I'll have about twelve hours of car time to write)

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secretjade25

Branch: Lucian

MORE! PLEASE DON'T DIE!!!!

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I'm Coi.

Hi.

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

*Looks at date of last post* Well, darn. This certainly hasn't been a smooth ride.

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

The alley they met in was dark, damp, and putrid. It was a stormy night, with no light from the moon to guide them. Mr. Thomas and Brayden stood side by side, waiting for the other three mages meant to accompany them would show up. They both wore long cloaks, dripping with rain. Mr. Thomas' was forest green, while Brayden's was navy blue. No doubt the cloaks concealed weapons at their sides.

 

Mr. Thomas was practically vibrating with excitement, but Brayden didn't bother trying to conceal his loud yawns. In his hands, he held what seemed to be a solid hunk of metal. But when he crushed his hand around it, it liquefied, turning red hot. He showed no concern of the temperature, although his hands were bare, and as the metal cooled he handled it like putty.

 

After nearly a half hour of waiting, with nothing but his magic and the sound of rain breaking up the monotony, Brayden finally spoke up.

 

"Where on earth are the other mages?"

 

"Picking up Matthew," Mr. Thomas rubbed his hands together.

 

Brayden frowned. "You didn't want to do that yourself?"

 

Mr. Thomas shook his head. "I know the other mages that are coming with us. One of them was my best friend back when we were apprentices, our masters were good friends themselves. I'd trust her with my life."

 

"So who are these guys anyway?"

 

"Well, Isabelle's my good friend," Mr. Thomas scratched his wispy beard. "Her former apprentice is coming along. His name's David- he's a bit serious but by far one of the best animal masters alive. If we needed him to, he could wrangle a whole school of sharks, pride of lions, pack of wolves. I hear he is bringing a couple wolves, actually..." he trailed off. "Anyways, we're also bringing along," he frowned a bit, "Delany Hartman."

 

Brayden raised an eyebrow. "Who's Delany Hartman?"

 

"Funnily enough, she Isabelle's older sister."

 

"What? Two mages from the same family?" Brayden's eyes were huge.

 

Mr. Thomas smiled tightly. "Yes, quite unusual. But the sisters have never been close. Where Isabelle and I are most proficient in fire magic, Delany excels in water. There's been a tension between the two ever since Isabelle first presented as a mage; they're always trying to outdo each other and there's nothing friendly about it. Probably because Delany's so...well. Delany. You'll meet her soon enough."

 

As if on cue, a soaking wet and wheezing Matthew was shoved into the alley by a shadowy figure.

 

Mr. Thomas rolled his eyes. "When I told you to handle him, that is not what I meant."

 

 

 

 

 

Sorry about the long gaps between updates! There's been a lot going on recently and it's been hard to find inspiration to write. I will try to write more consistently!

 

 

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV

 

 

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cheerywriter18

Branch: Ekaterina

"You know, he's our ticket in, Ms. Hartman," a voice rumbled from the shadows. "You ought to keep him in good condition."

 

The shadow that had shoved Matthew into the alley pulled back the hood of its scarlet hood, revealing a scowling, frosty-eyed woman. She pushed back a few strands of wavy ebony hair and set her strong jaw. "With a traitor like this, the Marauders may be happier if we bring him dead."

 

Matthew retched at her feet and raised his eyes off the grimy bricked pavement to look at Mr. Thomas. "Please tell me she's not serious."

 

Mr. Thomas waved his hand dismissively. "Now, now, Delany, that's hardly a good way to convince it to help us."

 

"It" sputtered, slowly getting back up. "I am risking my life here as a favor-"

 

"Debt." Peter corrected.

 

"What have you, I will not be treated like some animal!"

 

Two other figures stepped out of the background, both also lowering their hoods and shaking off rainwater. One of them, a woman wearing a matching blood red cloak piped up. "Can we just get on our way, guys? If we're late to the meeting they might back off." She shared the hard, pointed face of Delnay but had soft brown hair.

 

Delany tossed a pointed look over her should at the other two before looking back at Mr. Thomas. "We have to sort this out first, Izzy. And I don't see why we have to do this anyway. They're probably going to kill us as soon as we step foot on that boat, we'd be better off using our own ships."

 

"We don't have the same advancements that they do." Peter calmly stated.

"Who cares? We're chasing after a fairytale anyways!"

 

"Then why did you agree to come?"

Delany's glare was like shards of ice. It fell momentarily upon Matthew, who was now propped up against the alley wall, then fell to the ground. Silence engulfed the group while rain pattered on the surrounding tin roofs.

 

Finally, the young man next to Isabelle, presumably David who had been carefully watching whole exchange, spoke up. "The horses and supplies are ready, if it's settled." He had closed cropped black hair and dark skin. Strange, almost golden looking eyes flashed in the light of a passing carriage's lantern. On his neck, just above the edge of his damp, sandy brown cloak, one could see a faded, jagged scar. He whistled and two grey wolves padded into the alley from the street they had evidently been keeping watch from. They nuzzled his legs, glancing menacingly at all the others. Though he may not have been the leader of the expidition, he was unquestionably their alpha. Matthew quivered.

 

Delany remained silent, though her pale blue eyes continued to flash dangerously. Isabelle, on the other hand, sauntered past her and up to Matthew. He eyed her suspiciously while she whispered in his ear, "Just in case.". In the blink of an eye, she had his hands tied behind his back and he was again groaning on the ground.

 

"You could have just asked!" he growled.

 

Isabelle paid him no mind, looping her arm with Mr. Thomas's. "Just like old times, eh Petey?"

 

Mr. Thomas nodded and smiled with a far-away look in his eye, though immediately jerking his arm out of her grip while she snickered.

 

"Well," he began, "I think it's best we're off. Everyone packed enough rations for three days?"

 

The others nodded.

 

"Alrighty then, all bound for Harper's Point! And Matthew, dear, you'll be on my horse. Try not to fall off."

 

 

 

 

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"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, unearth it, and gnaw it still."

 

- Henry David Thoreau

 

EV