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To be a Mage

The Cat's Meow

Post by Dureena Lavella on

While surveying the group she caught the man called Myx watching her with interest. When she returned the gaze she sensed something quite … odd. She sensed his mind reaching out to another… Her sharp ears picked up the sound of a cat’s responsive mew somewhere within the confines of the factory. Her eyes flickered off into the darkness beyond briefly before she returned her gaze back on the man, an eyebrow raised in question.

But before she had much time to mull it over she caught sight of his hand on the pummel of his sword. Her face abruptly shifted from thoughtful curiosity to delight. She couldn’t help but laugh inside. The man thought to challenge her with a sword! Tilting her head and smiling sweetly, she watched him inquiringly, all the while still blocking their exit.

However, something momentarily distracted Dureena, requiring her immediate attention. Temporarily leaving the others to Alalia, Dureena focused her attention on an insect on the floor. Amused gray-green eyes watched as the insect attempted to make her escape. A sly smile curled at the corners of soft lips, making Dureena seem even more wicked if that were possible.

Slowly, Dureena removed her dagger from its sheathe and tapped the tip of it against her finger thoughtfully, as if testing its sharpness as her eyes trailed the insect. Suddenly and without warning she stooped bringing the blade down with a flash…

The fine metal glittered a few centimeters from the woman roach. Flashing an equally glittery smile, Dureena twitched the blade in an attempt dislodge the creature from the floor to flick it back into the middle of the group once more.

[OOC: I'm really sorry about that Pagusel. I'm still figuring out the battling thing :cry: And sorry everyone for the wait. This happened at a very inopportune time for me.]
Last edited by Dureena Lavella on Wed Oct 12, 2005 8:37 pm, edited 3 times in total.

Post by Saldrin Brinlli on

"Time's up old man." The final call came from the captain at the factory's entrance.

Saldrin's heart was racing in a way he hadn't experienced for years. It weakened his old body, made him feel faint, made it hard to think straight. He had to go distract the captain somehow so the others could escape. The guards were good but it was Saldrin that Camulous wanted most, he knew. He had to sacrifice himself if the others could get out, but there was something else, something he was forgetting that he had to do...

He turned stiffly to look behind him and could see the intense shadow play cast by the magical balls he'd created. There was someone blocking the back way, but he could not see who. The others were struggling to get past her.

He turned back to the captain, barely making out his silhouette in the doorway. All the armour he wore made him look twice his size. He was holding something in his hands, something he was pointing at Saldrin.

"If you hurt any of the others I'll make you rue the day you became captain!" He called back to Camulous, mainly to buy time.

What was it? What was he forgetting? The meeting. He had to do something at the meeting.

He felt a weight against his side, something square and heavy. Of course! The book. He had to get rid of the book, give it to Asiona.

"I'll kill them all if you don't hurry up."

There was no time.

"Here!" He whispered hoarsely to the others, and with a jerk of his hand sent the book flying through the air at Myrriah. Fortunately the thing was bound shut with a leather strap to keep the pages clean, and with the luck of his staff guiding his actions the book landed squarely beside Myrriah with a muffled *fwump* and slid an inch to nudge her foot.

He wanted to blind whoever was blocking their way, but there was no time and he was too far away. He had to go and they were on their own.

He started for the door, tapping his staff on the floor with each step so that Camulous knew exactly where he was. When the captain saw him coming, he stood back, aiming his explosive tipped crossbow directly at the old man's chest. Saldrin was right, he was the one Camulous really wanted, preferably alive. The others could escape or die trying, they could always be found later, but Saldrin was the center of their cursed operation and once he was out of the picture the guards would be free to storm his house and destroy all the books and trinkets that surely must be within.

The two men met eyes as Saldrin approached the door. An old man holding nothing but what appeared to be a walking stick and a fully uniformed guardsman warily keeping aim on him with a crossbow. Saldrin knew what was coming, while Camulous was still under the illusion that the old man would surrender and face the judges rather than get them both killed.

Post by Anonymous on

The captain and one of the humans inside exchanged words while she stalked around the premise looking for a fresh target.

It wasn’t long before she got her wish.

A random mageling, not one of any importance she was sure, darted out from the compound with the hefty stench of fear clutching at him. His tattered robes spoke of one that went down on his luck and never got up again. Poverty and starvation made this stick of a man as good a target as any.

Taloned claws dug at the cobbles to throw her at him. A few volleys of spells were aimed at her but easily dodged as she tackled him. In short order he was no more than a pile of body pieces with his blood smeared over her forelegs and muzzle.

Ryosha smiled and rose to find another, oblivious to the blood that dripped from her maw as an old bastard came out the front door. He wasn’t running so she didn’t think she could kill him. Besides the captain bastard was looking at him with the intent to kill. She wouldn’t steal this from him.

((just a note, that was totally an NPC made up on the spot to give Ryosha something to kill. However if the other mages happen to see that event . . .))

Post by Anonymous on

Pagusel the cockroach hadn't the capacity to the smugness of sentience the human brain manages, or perhaps she just didn't have the time to be so inefficient as to gloat. What the shapeshifter may sacrifice in strategic cleverness, he or she makes up with in the release from human folly. No cockroach ever suffered from hubris.

What were quick, nimble moves to Dureena were perceived clumsy and sloppy to the cockroach, because they were punctuated with displays of self-satisfaction. The cockroach of course could not see Dureena's smiles to admire her personal situation, her hesitations to admire her weapon, but no subtlety of sense was lost.

Antennae cast sensations of minute air pressure changes to the insect's mind: a hesitation on the part of the doorway figure, a rush of air as the figure shifted to a kneeling position--or was it different? less stably planted than a kneel, it was a stoop, a bad position for ranged attack, and easy to overbalance--, then the flash of light off metal, and the advance of a blade at the insect's own level.

What lasted mere moments seemed quite a longer time to Pagusel in her cockroach form. With such quick sense for the information of the scenario that she needed, she was fully equipped to avoid the approach of Dureena's weapon. Six nimble legs took the route on the floor to the outside of Dureena's aim--that is, over the floor past the pinky-finger side of the woman's hand. It would be more difficult for the woman to thrust that way than it would be to thrust toward the side her thumb was on.

Pagusel only had one traveling pace as a cockroach, but it carried her along at a brisk crawl. After circumventing Dureena's hand, she headed again for the space between Dureena's feet, past which the doorway crack shone dimly. In a stoop, ones balance is firmly reliant on both feet. Any shift of the weight to lift one foot takes particular effort, and much movement of the torso in any direction makes overbalancing a very real possibility. The cockroach knew this in only a very basic application: go for the space between the feet.

Post by Anonymous on

((OOC: woot))

Myx watched intently for the moment to strike--he ignored the booming voice of the captain and Saldrin's replies. He only momentarily glanced at the book the old man threw towards the group, a book that landed next to Myrriah. The moment Dureena stabbed her knife towards the cockroach form of Pagusel, Myx darted forward with all his speed. One of his hands remained near the handle of his blade--the other came up in a ready position; the middle finger and the thumb pressed together. His hand came to face-level the same time he reached Dureena: he flashed her a quick smile before snapping his fingers, the crisp sound heralding the strongest flame he could muster in a short amount by himself which frankly was not too strong or big; just a small fireball the size of two fists, that flared out from the source of his snap.

Post by Blood Ravenous on

Tears welled up in her eyes as she saw Saldrin walking peacefully to the captain. It was hard to tell if he was attempting a trick or if he was indeed sacrificing himself. If he was captured, though, who knows what would happen to him? She wanted to cry out, but instead bit her lip. They had to defeat the mage sealing the doors and stay clear of the kitty-girl in order to escape, which was what he wanted. She had to trust him.

"Foom!" Asiona jumped at the sound of a fire suddenly taking light. Now that regular brightness entered the warehouse, the magic globes created an even more disorienting place. The fires Myx created emanated with light for a brief flash until the black aura of the globe Asiona held overtook it. Likewise the shadows cast by that fire inverted, and an odd glow filled those spaces. One such place was Myx's back as he dashed at [Dureena]. However, since they were some paces away, the influcence was diminished and Asiona could still see their outlines.

"Hurry and grab that book!" Asiona whispered in a rush to Myrriah confidentially. "Hide it somewhere!" Asiona glanced away and risked edging closer to the other girl to try to shield her from the enemy.

By this time Asiona had figured out how this strange thing worked. Since Asiona held the globe by the bottom her face was absolute black but her back was lit. The white light followed Saldrin, meaning the inverted light was taking over the room. Standing beside Myriah meant she was also blacked out in [Dureena]'s view. She worked her way around Myrriah so she could black her out from Saldrin, [Alalia], and the captain. She gulped, her vision obscured as she held out the globe above Myrriah. It was up to Myx, it seemed.

A Flashy Show

Post by Dureena Lavella on

Dureena couldn't help but smile. Sometimes she failed to take into account the strengths of such small creatures. In any normal situation she wouldn't pay an insect any more attention than a speck of lint on her shirt. A sudden movement in front of her caused her to stand up suddenly and back up a pace, her feet darting quickly to a concrete stance and her hand flying to her sheath. She wanted the dagger out of her way if she was going to fight. Magic was her strong point after all. The light from the flames alighted on her startled yet amused face that melted into a more relaxed expression to match her posture. She was poised in a battle ready stance, one foot slightly behind and her body slightly turned, but she radiated calm and ease despite the fact that she was ready to react in a moments notice. All the movement took barely longer than a second or two, giving her more than enough time to assess the situation.

Firstly, any human would have been blinded by the lighting situation. However, though her vision wasn't flawless in this magical light, she clearly could see much better than they expected her to due to her Elven ancestry. She paid no heed to the old man, as he was in the Captain's hands now. No, instead she noticed the group that had been in a stir since the old man had left their midst. A few moments before Myx's attack she had heard an odd sound but hadn't had time to find the source. Now she could tell that the two women were up to something. She could see a rectangularly shaped object on the floor that one of the women was paying particular attention to. She could feel the woman's conflicted emotions of sadness and ... something else that felt like concern perhaps? Before she could tell, however, the light was shifted again by the one holding it. She peered into the changing lack of light and grew internally frustrated. She would have to destroy that little bit of magic but first....

Her observations took little more than the span of time it took her to readjust herself since they occurred simultaneously. Now, her eyes flickered down at the progressing bug upon the floor who she had managed not to step on. It wouldn't do to kill something who's magic she could exploit.... Her eyes flicked back up to Myx as she quickly pulled off her shawl hood, a piece of long fabric, in a single, smooth movement. She knew now that the bug would feel the movement but would not know the cause. In a carefully gauged movement that would seem careless to the eyes of others she dropped the fabric from bent elbow height to the floor, draping the floor in folds.

She flashed a smile at Myx, from whom she now stood two or three paces away, and gave him a mocking look of surprise. "Oops!" She said, in a faux sweet voice. She knew the shawl wouldn't hurt the creature at all. It would simply impede it for awhile. While she was removing her shawl she was thinking of Myx's show of talent. He wasn't half bad and his flashy display amused her, but something still felt amiss. As she looked at him now after she spoke she watched for any further signs of his oddity. She would leave the others to the feline woman for now.

Once again her eyes darted downward to be absolutely sure she caught her quary this time.

Post by Alalia Morrigan on

Alalia watched as the old man walked towards the captain. By the way the other were watching him, it seemed safe to assume that he was their leader, or at least someone of emotional value. She personally would have expected the leader of a group of underground mages to be a bit more menacing, but she had always known that magic users were odd creatures, full of unpleasant surprises for the unwary.

Suddenly, she heard a crackle of flame and looked towards the source of the sound. It seemed the blonde man had summoned a fireball and aimed it at Dureena. She smirked, imagining that the woman wouldn't be so cocky with her eyebrows singed off.

Suddenly, the whole world seemed to go mad. Light suddenly seemed to turn to dark, and vice versa. The cat woman hissed instinctively, her feline nature taking over in her moment of surprise. Soon, however, the surprise turned to confusion, and the confusion to anger. She hated being at a disadvantage, and it seemed that no knowledge of magic was going to be a disadvantage. She had been created by a mage, who obviously thought her could handle any magical threat, and he had given his "pet" no comprehension of it.

Looking around, Alalia noticed that two of the mages seemed to have disappeared. Swearing, she wondered where they could have gone. Could it be possible that they had simply vanished into then air? It seemed her eyes would do her no good, so she simply closed them. Inhaling deeply through her feline nose, she sniffed the air, hoping to catch a scent of her new prey.

Post by Anonymous on

Myx spared a quick glance to the ground himself, then turned his gaze back to Dureena's smiling face. He returned one to her--her simple gesture had made it clear the woman was clever and as graceful as her movements advertised.

His eyes spun around quickly, flash absorbing the situation in its entirety; the cat-like girl still hung about dangerously, blocked only by the narrow chute of anti-light (an interesting little spell, he mused), the scared group of girls, and the man in the hood that seemed oddly silent for the situation. The ball of anti-light he took note of especially--it would serve a handy purpose. His mind nonchalantly wondered shortly about Saldrin, the old man and clearly the leader of this group. Then he began:

Myx stood up to his full height; his face though smiling belied a calculated determination--a sort of ambition or desire to see his plan through. Risking a split second, he turned his head and gave the others behind him a look that he hoped said 'this is the moment'. Then with dexterity that, while undeserving of supernatural qualities was quite brisk, he lowered his body and drew the short blade at his side with a quick gesture. As he swung it in a quick slice towards Dureena, he also did two other things.

He channeled a short surge of magic through his blade, and amplified by the blade's coating of gems a jet of flame, narrow but much faster and potent than his earlier displays shot toward Dureena. At the same time his unoccupied hand shot downwards to grasp at the edge of the shawl Dureena had dropped on top of Pagusel and yanked it backwards as quickly and softly as he could, hoping that the fine, silk shawl would not toss the woman-turned-cockroach anywhere.

Post by Camulous Smithson on

As Saldrin approached the captain he caught glimpse of the strange crossbow he was pointing directly at his chest. Instead of a pointed tip, it had what looked like a brown spehere attached to the end of the bolt.

Their eyes met but the words they exchanged were silent. There was nothing left to be said. For Saldrin, things had quickly come to the end of the road. He'd had many good years as a mage in this wretched city and that had to end some time. As he heard the fight going on behind him he quickly came to the realization that this was that time.

For Camulous, Saldrin's end was a new beginning. The old man had been a thorn in the side of city authority for years but until now had managed to remain untouchable through secrecy and politics. He half hoped the old man would try something foolish now so his men would have an excuse to kill him and end it quickly. He was about to get his wish.

The old man stepped outside and saw the insane degree of overkill the captain had arranged for the sting. There were at least a dozen men, not including whoever was now inside, but instead of just taking a battlemage or two with them, they had brought a massive artillery piece that looked like it was capable of taking down the whole factory.

Camulous stood a foot away from saldrin, holding the crossbow between them.

"Get the others." He ordered his men. "Move inside and kill them if they resist."

That was too much for Saldrin. He knew they would resist - any sane person would - and Camulous' order was a death sentence. Saldrin always knew he would give his life for Asiona, the little girl who was like a daughter to him, not to mention the others, his faithful students. It had to be done. There was no question about it.

In a clumsy motion he swung his staff upward at the captain's crossbow. Using his magic, he drew strength from his mind and put enough force into the blow to rip the weapon right out of the larger man's hands, but Saldrin was no fighter, he didn't know how to swing or where to aim. The lucky staff he was holding, however, knew exactly what to do. It connected with the right arm of the crossbow and knocked it from the captain's grip in a wild arc that caused the weapon to release its bolt.

The bolt whistled through the air, right at two of his men who had been approaching the entrance, and nailed one of them in the shoulder. The clay tip of the bolt exploded with a deafening bang and blew the man's arm cleanly off, easily going through his near impenetrable armor. The shock from the blast knocked the other man over, taking the wind out of him and then spattering his face and chest with blood. Both the men were down within seconds of Saldrin's strike.

Camulous now made a grab for his sword, but the old man was already on top of him, lunging foreward desperately with his hands outstretched to grab at the captain's face. They both fell over and Camulous began screaming. The mage had put both a blind spell and a shock spell right into his face at the same time. Arcs of blue and pink electricity shot from Saldrin's palms into Camulous' face and helmet, burning through his skin, shocking his nerves, and pitching his sight into darkness.

Post by Anonymous on

((Yes, very sorry to be hella late. I totally thought more people had to post.))

How often does one battle a cockroach? Poor slum dwellers could tell anyone who cared that cockroaches were not easy to get rid of. There was an old joke among housekeepers that, in case of widespread magical war and devastation, the only creatures to survive would be the roaches. The creatures were nimble and hardy. Most do not often battle cockroaches, and wouldn't expect to, and so Dureena's ignorance of the insect's patterns and abilities could hardly be blamed.

There was a rush of air disturbance above Pagusel just before the shawl dropped above her like a shroud. She kept moving in the direction of the door, though unable to see the light as well anymore. The shawl didn't stop her; she was quite flat and slippery. A homeowner in the know could note that cockroaches often nest in the folds of cheap household insultation. A shroud of fabric was not going to trap Pagusel.

When Myx pulled the shroud away, Pagusel was just beyond it. She reached the door in time for Dureena to see her slip under the crack into the hallway through which Dureena had entered the building.

Moments later, a whisper of dust puffed beneath the crack of the door.

Pagusel stood in her human form just outside the door, surveying the very poorly lit hallway. There didn't seem to be any items of use to her, no weapons, nothing to improvise as a weapon, with her skills. And so she glanced down at her hands, watched her knuckles as she flexed her fingers into fists a few times.

She wasn't dressed for fighting, wearing her long, tuniclike garment, but the other mages weren't dressed for fighting either, and so to take her own leave for that reason wouldn't stand, logically.

Pagusel took a few steps away from the door so that she stood five feet away, and she turned to look at it. With her face set sternly, she raised her right hand and moved a broad palm swiftly across the air in front of her, as if she were giving an invisible person a vicious slap across the face. A wide wave of force rolled through the air and hit the door half a second later. The seal Dureena had forced upon the door when she shut it with her magic would be broken by that powerful disturbance.

Pagusel's very limited arsenal of magic represented moderate pressure changes applied precisely. The best she could do with magic, which was often quite good enough, was to knock physical things around, and to disrupt some magics with her applications of physics. She did knock the door around, more precisely, she threw it open.

Anyone standing within reach of the door's swing would be hit by it slamming open. Pagusel was waiting five feet beyond the door, ready to make her next move upon seeing what unfolded before her.

Post by Blood Ravenous on

Asiona shuffled her feet nervously, blinded by the orb’s anti-light. The stress was making her sweat; fear shivered through her at every little sound in the wide factory room.

BOOM! A small explosion rumbled the walls of the old, worn warehouse. It echoed through the room. Almost immediately another echo, of screaming, followed it. What was happening out there?! Asiona didn’t quite understand the noise, but the pain in that shout was alarming. Her whole body jerked in response. Her sweaty palms made the orb and pepper stick slip to the ground, landing beside the book. The orb bounced once before disappearing.

She knew enough about magic to know it was not the falling that made it fade. Something was happening to Saldrin out there, and he must have been distracted.*

Asiona squinted her eyes to adjust to the new lighting and spotted the book, which she dashed for. At the same time she pulled her shawl from her shoulders. Her small hands quickly wrapped the book up then tied it around her small waist. Then, she grabbed the stick and readied it. She had no idea what was happening with Myx or Pagusel, unfortunately, but she was ready!

The door by [Dureena] and Myx swung open viciously and Asiona’s eyes widened. She was getting numb to all the noise and fear by now. She didn’t see why this happened, so she paused.

((* This isn’t autoing is it?))

Lights Out

Post by Dureena Lavella on

Dureena reflexively pressed her right hand to the air, creating a shield between herself and Myx’s attack. It had been one of the first things her master had taught her in her youth should their guild ever be attacked. But Myx’s spell proved far easier to cast aside than she had anticipated. <i>How very odd,</i> she thought, raising an eyebrow and re-crossing her arms. <i>His power feels different to me, seems like it is not his own at all…</i> She pondered this as she caught the fleeting glance of the insect slipping through the crack under the door. She found these mages to be refreshingly stubborn and moderately clever, though not nearly as stubborn and clever as she. In fact, Dureena found it humorous that the insectoid mage possessed a mind ringing with the belief that Dureena didn’t know a thing about cockroaches when in fact the joke was on her. Dureena knew quite a bit as she always made it a point to know her enemies, allies, and environment to the fullest. Accordingly, she had been planning this the moment that she saw the woman make for the door. <i>Be hard to get as they expect you to and they will never know the real intention until it is too late,</i> she had thought at the time.

Of course, Dureena’s mind is constantly calculating, taking in everything with all of her senses and analyzing the information and reforming plans. It often made her unpredictable and it also could make a moment to her seem like an eternity.

She caught sight of her shawl fluttering to the ground away and slightly behind Myx. At the same time she sensed the insect-mage’s mind focusing on and forming a spell to break through the binding spell on the door. She could hear screams she knew were from the captain as she sensed his mind in agony. She could feel, smell, and taste the dissipation of the orb's magic in the air, her eyes automatically adjusting to the change in light. She also saw a movement out of the corner of her eye that was a girl diving for an object Dureena had now identified as a book on the floor. All this she sensed, cataloged, and made a plan accordingly in the time it took to blink.

Just as the spell left the insect woman’s hands Dureena dropped her careless manner, reaching out her left hand to channel her magic, sending her shawl fluttering into Myx’s face to block his vision. Simultaneously, while his vision was impaired she sent an energy flare at him with her right hand and flicked her left hand behind her, disassembling her binding spell just as the woman’s spell struck the door. During the ensuing chaos and before anyone could tell what happened, Dureena disappeared into the shadows once more to watch. To all concerned it would have appeared that the insect-woman’s spell had broke open the door and that is what Dureena wanted. The door that Dureena had been ‘guarding’ was not an escape route. It led to a side room, the very same room that she had hid herself in while spying on their little group. The hallway that she had entered from was quite a ways away and not accessible through that room. There were two doors to that room, the one that had just opened and the other down near where Alalia inadvertently stood guard. They were not getting out through those doors easily but of course there were other ways out that they need only look for to find. Dureena smiled sweetly to herself. She didn’t care whether or not the younglings got away. They meant nothing to her. She was more interested in the older one. He held the key to great power, power that she very much wanted to have. But at that moment he was the captain’s problem. Besides, if she let the others get away she would have an excuse to track them, or more specifically Myx, the walking enigma and seemingly warped shadow of herself. She wanted answers to her curiosity and she was quite determined to get them. <i>Never leave questions unanswered as they will likely rise again in a more unseemly and troublesome manner.</i>

Post by Alalia Morrigan on

Alalia's eyes, which had been closed as she searched for the two mages, snapped open at the sound of an explosion, immediately followed by screams and the scent of blood. However, she regretted opening them when the strange light jerked about then suddenly disappeared. Narrowing her eyes, she hissed, jerking her head to the side, causing her hood to fall back, revealing her cat ears, which were currently pressed back against her skull. Soon, though, everything returned to normal and the two mages reappeared.

The cat-girl sneered when she saw the position the younger of the two girls had taken up: a poor attempt at a defensive stance. Her ears perked up when she heard the captain's order to kill anyone who tried to resist. "That's better," she murmured under her breath, then turned her attention back to the girl.

"Going to fight me with that twig, little mageling?" she asked, sinking into a crouch, much like one a panther might assume before it pounced on it's defenseless prey. Her growing smirk revealed her elongated eyeteeth, and she held her rapier in her right hand while flexing her fingers to extend the claws on her left. "Give up and hand over the book, and I might not hurt you. Much," she added maliciously.


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