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Runeseeker



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Mon Oct 12, 2020 2:35 am
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Chaser says...



Magic's multiversal balance has held for eons. Now, a new Rune threatens to bring every dimension to collision. We are those who know the cost, and we will fulfill our mission. We are Runeseekers.

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For centuries, the study of runes has brought the many dimensions together in harmony. Those who master runes are conferred powers in one of the three schools of rune: the Swords, the Shield, or the Scroll. Their use is overseen by the multi-dimensional enforcers known as the Library.

Whether you are an enforcer of the Library or an independent Scriptor, you have studied the power of Runes and unlocked their secrets. Now, you join a group to hunt down a rune of untold power: The Ancient of the Claw.

Rune Magic:
Spoiler! :

The power of runes are descended from three ancients. Each of these Ancients themselves had a specific purpose in creating these runes, handing them down to be used by the multiverse. None of the names of these Ancients are known; their names themselves are forbidden runes of untold power.

Spells can't be performed without a Rune. In order to activate a rune, the caster must tap into their own energy.

Runes are engraved into talismans, which serve as the medium through which a caster casts their spells. Because this attunement is necessary for efficient casting, talismans are often objects that the caster holds dear. The caster taps into their own power, but the strength of the talisman draws it into the rune. Most casters only learn three or four spells in their lifetime, since mastering new spells requires a lot of energy and patience as they learn the nature of the spell. Mages can only cast one spell at a time for certain durations depending on their energy level.

Some casters use multiple talismans with the same rune. Similarly to drinking through two straws at once, this allows them to repeatedly tap into their magic supply. Using too many runes will wipe the caster out, which can be dangerous depending on how much energy is used.

A rune engraved in the body is considered a dangerous technique, forbidden by most. The caster runs the risk of using up their entire vessel of magic, permanently damaging their soul.

School of Making
- descended from the Ancient of the Shield, deals with conjuration magic. Mostly used for defense, casters can summon objects and create things from energy. A conjurer's energy aura is unique to them, and takes on physical properties according to their personality. Conjurers are taught that the world is an extension of their inner being; the nature of conjuration allows for limitless self-expression. The stronger the will and identity of a conjurer, the more powerful they become. In the face of adversity, they are peerless in strength.

School of Changing
-descended from the Ancient of the Swords, deals with evocation magic. Evokers are taught to influence their surroundings, to draw from their resources and create action. The primary evocations are based on heat, light, and lightning, each of which creates raw power for the caster to wield. The greater elements of evocation deal with the fundamental forces of the universe, like magnetism and gravity. Each evoker is taught to enact change by their own two hands; due to the proactive nature of their runes, evokers are often the most outspoken of casters.

School of Seeing
-descended from the Ancient of the Scroll, deals with divination magic. Diviners are masters of the threads that weave throughout time and space; it is divination magic that allows for the travel between dimensions. Diviners are attuned to the very nature of the multiverse, fostering a special link that confers their abilities to view space and time, even warp it to some extent. Diviners value this multiversal attunement above all else, and have the most ascetic lifestyle of the three schools. They have an endless drive to learn, and train up the wisdom to sustain it.


The Library
Charged with keeping the peace between dimensions and most of all making sure magic isn't being used for ill purposes. Library casters are given standard issue runes on small metal tablets as talismans. They're some of the simplest, easy-to-use spells in their respective schools. They are allowed to carry personal talismans, as long as their registered in the system. Officers usually operate in pairs, occasionally partnering with scriptors for larger, unorthodox missions.

Scriptors
Magical scholars who seek to learn everything they can about rune magic and its nature. They range from benevolent academics to creative hirelings to shrewd profiteers. They often go into the field when large discoveries are made, or accompany officers in situations where their extensive knowlege would be useful. They work closely with the Library, since both benifit from their tireless research. Scriptors aren't beholden to the same laws as the library, and often form independent guilds that tend to squabble over research.

This story begins in the Orduna dimension, taking place over multiple dimensions, and meeting with their many inhabitants.

Dimensions
Spoiler! :


Tabula is an artificial dimension created by conjurers. The tall, marble constructs serve as a powerful example of conjuration magic. The dimension is home to many, but travellers are also drawn here due to the sheer expanse of people, all of differing status and work. It is said that those who come to Tabula are remade along with the area. Tabula is also home to the School of Making;

The earth of Tabula itself is a malleable spell that can shape to the whims of high-level conjurers. Only a select few are given the privilege to shape this terrain.


Raza is a dimension of unbound, limitless life. Those entering from other dimensions will find themselves as small as insects in a world of gigaflora and fauna. Much of Raza is a nature preserve, as the wildlife found there cannot be encountered anywhere else. The people living there have adopted a lifestyle akin to woodland sprites; they sequester themselves away from vicious predators. Because of the magnification of nature, this dimension has become home to the School of Seeing, the members of which often live in treetop monasteries.


Limnus is a dimension of countless small planets. They all orbit a single, violet star, which shines across the galaxy. The star, called the Allsister, emits blustering winds of oxygen that toss around the planets, making them collide; however, the same thing that throws them into jeopardy also sustains their life, as many fungi can be found growing on these miniature planets, their spores scattered by each collision.
This tenuous dimension could only be home to the School of Swords, the students of which employ their powers to change the courses of these many worlds.

Orduna has long been considered the melting pot of the multiverse, but in geological terms, it could be considered more of an oven. Underground cities house most of the population, as the surface world is extremely hostile, scorched by lunar storms.

Orduna is a dimensional hub, home to many diviners. Because they can travel anywhere from here with relative ease, this is where the police headquarters is located as well was the largest guild of Scriptors.

Orduna is renowned for its unique crystals, some of which comprise the ceilings of the underground cities. The crystals from Orduna's moon in particular have the curious quality of amplifying light to deadly amounts. Whenever a meteorite crashes into the surface of the planet, they are highly sought after.


Eridus is a dimension of fire and volcanic rock, a land where only the toughest creatures survive. The days are scorching, while nights bring freezing cold. While most of the world is a firey desert, there are oases dotting the land where most civilizations exist. occasionally, there will be eruptions from one of the land's many volcanoes, filling the sky with ash and causing rivers of lava to flow through the desert.



Races
Spoiler! :

Tieflings: Hailing from the hellscape dimension of Eridus, Tieflings are known for their cunning, as well as their unbreakable spirits. They carry a firey pride in their heritage, with an emphasis in honoring those who came before them. Most Tieflings would be able to tell you their ancestry as far back as their roots--from memory. They are most attuned to the shield aincient, fighting with mind and instinct.

Elves: Spread widely throughout the multiverse, but its said they originated in Raza. Elves have a deep connection to the world, and their value of knowledge and spirituality easily attuned to the Scroll aincient. There are many elves in the ranks of the Scriptors, tirelessly searching for new information on the ancient rune magic embedded in the many worlds.

Humans: Like Elves, humans can be found just about anywhere, but no one knows quite where they came from. They are known for their resilience, with a diverse and often clashing society, but they share a common steadfastness in whatever their foundation may be, and are attuned most easily to the Shield rune.

Dwarves: Originally from the depths of Orduna, dwarves have industriously spread to every point in the multiverse. Their neverending quest for adventure attunes them to the Swords rune, and they are always moving on. When two dwarves meet, it is often a long-overdue reunion, celebrated raucously.

Changelings: Called changelings because of their shapeshifting abilities, this group cannot be traced back to any known dimension. Most of them dwell in Limnus system. A changeling is naturally bright pink in color, a trait that does not change through their many forms. Their gelatin-like bodies are capable of forming anything, and a changeling will often express themselves through the shapes of their being. Because of this constant self-actualization, they gravitate towards the Swords rune, but this is a preference as opposed to an affinity; changelings are thought capable of mastering any rune.

Centaurs: Contrary to some beleifs, the wayfaring centaurs claim they, not the elves, are the native race of Raza, however, though they have a rich history passed down through generations-old tales, there is very little written record and no concrete proof to back this claim. Centaurs are travellers, wherever they haven't been, they've heard about through stories or song, and their free spirits attune them to the scroll ancient.



Your character can be any of the above races, from any of the above dimensions.

Character Sheet:
Spoiler! :
Code: Select all
[b]Name: [/b]

[b]Age: [/b]

[b]Pronouns: [/b]

[b]Up For Love: [/b]

[b]Race: [/b]

[b]Appearance: [/b]

[b]Personality: [/b]

[b]Affiliation (Scriptor or Library): [/b]

[b]Talismans/Runes: [/b]

[b]Strengths: [/b]

[b]Weaknesses: [/b]

[b]History: [/b]

[b]Other: [/b]



This SB will be an LSS registered ship! Ahoy, friends.

Roles

Librarians
1. Europa- Capt. Alimer Holt
2. kairamorgan- Tetia Lisrath Vernathil III

Scriptors
1. Chaser - Maji Nobuna
2. winterwolf0100 - Berkeley Thuso
3.
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  





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Thu Oct 22, 2020 1:44 am
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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


Outside the window, hollow earth rushed by. Veins of bronze flashed in the headlamp of the train, conferring a red glow to the tunnel and its brass rails. As Maji looked through the glass, the train crossed into an underground cavity, and the ground fell away. The long steel fortress pierced the empty space, travelling on a stone bridge across the darkness below. In the distance, quartz pockets glittered like stars.

Maji leaned back in her seat and smiled. She tried pulling at her biomass, shaping a star into the malleable pink flesh of her cheek, until it was dazzling as the world outside. When she was satisfied, she leaned back and closed her eyes -- well, not really closed them. Changelings didn't have eyes, but their bodies captured light just like one, allowing sight. So maybe she was one big eyeball. Other changelings seemed a bit weirded out by the topic whenever she brought it up.

"Listen, Maji. What we do is who we are," her parents had often told her. "Stop making that face."

The face in question had been Maji scrunching herself up and pouting her cheeks. She was making that grumpy face even now, as she sat in the back coach of the magnatrain. There were few other passengers on the long-distance rail, and most of them kept to themselves. This train was used primarily for business trips, which she supposed this was.

Maji twiddled her thumbs and shifted her focus from person to person, taking in a few physical attributes. She began to comb the top of her head, matching the hairstyle of the person across from her.

272 words
Last edited by Chaser on Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:17 am, edited 1 time in total.
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  





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Sat Oct 24, 2020 3:56 am
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winterwolf0100 says...



Berkeley Thuso


Berkeley wasn't expecting the changeling, Maji, to strike up a conversation with him. He was zoned out, thinking about the mission and how likely it was that he'd become close friends with everyone, finish the mission, and then never see them again.

Berkeley was like that; he had a hard time staying still and in one place. He zoned out a lot, and he could never seem to make himself settle down and anchor somewhere, no matter how attached he grew to the people around him. Likely, this mission would be the same. He'd travel with them, become attached, they'd say, "hey, we should meet up again sometime!" And then they never would.

"I'm Berkeley Thuso, but most people call me Berkel," he smiled, holding a hand out to shake Maji's hand.

The changeling reached out and shook his hand. "That name sounds familiar. Have you ever been to a Takebackers Insurance meeting, or maybe been one of the members?"

Berkeley tilted his head, trying to think about it. "You know, I do think I visited some of those meetings several years ago. I think I went three, maybe four times?"

"That's funny," Maji said. "I feel like I would've remembered. We don't usually get many visitors."

Berkel shifted, fingering his necklace and smoothing down the front of his dress. It was turqoise, a pretty simple design with two short sleeves that puffed out off the shoulders, the whole dress falling around to his knees, but he loved the way it brought out his short blond hair.

"I was probably dressed differently then," he said casually, glancing away and out one of the windows to gaze at the rapidly changing view. If only the rest of the world changed that quickly, then maybe Berkel wouldn't get bored with places so easily. "I think that week might've been a no-shaving week."

"Oh." Maji nodded, a big grin on her face. "That makes sense!" Berkel wasn't sure if Maji did actually understand, but he didn't contradict Maji.

"What are your pronouns, if you don't mind me asking?"

"Huh?" Maji's face scrunched up in confusion, even though Berkel had already gathered the three spinning spheres were most likely Maji's source of sight.

"Do you use she/her? He/him? They/them? Or maybe one of the less used sets?" As a genderfluid person, Berkel was always conscious not to assign pronouns to anyone, even in his head, if they didn't directly tell him those were their pronouns.

"Oh, I use she/her," Maji said, and Berkel nodded, smiling.

"Okay, good to know. I'm genderfluid, so I just tend to be cautious about other people's pronouns."

"Genderfluid. So, you customize your features often then?" Maji pulls a hand downward across her face, creating small crevices, like looking at a mountain range from the air. She then smoothed her face out again.

Berkel couldn't help it. He started to chuckle. "No, it doesn't really work like that. I don't choose when I change. If I could choose, it would be a lot more routine. I can't tell you the number of times I've been in public when it's switched, and I have to suffer through the rest of the day in clothes that feel uncomfortable. Thankfully, I can always take my necklace off, but..." He trailed off, a movement outside the train catching his eye before he glanced back at Maji.

"Your necklace?"

"Yeah, it's my way of letting other people know what pronouns to use. If I'm wearing the necklace, it's he/him. If I'm not wearing the necklace, it's she/her."

"That makes sense!" Maji nodded confidently, a smile stretched across her face. She reached up and tugged some of her skin up to make her horn longer, which was rather disconcerting. Berkel wished he could change his body like that. It would make gender changes so much simpler.

Berkeley glanced out the window again. He wasn't bored of the conversation or of Maji-- she seemed like a really nice person in fact-- but he just couldn't stay focused on the same thing for long. He was excited for the adventure to begin, longing after the change it would bring, but the wait for it to start was already beginning to bore him. He wished he were out there, through the window, off somewhere chasing some bizarre storm in hopes of witnessing once again the miracle of lightning. Berkel fingered his bracelet, the one on his left wrist-- his talisman for lightning. Lightning was fluid, it was strong, it shifted and moved from place to place, never settling. Berkel was like lightning. He only wished he looked as spectacular.

778 words
  





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Sat Oct 24, 2020 1:26 pm
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kairamorgan says...



Tetia Lisrath Vernathil III


The charm of working 16 hour shifts had finally began to wear off Tetia, if there was one to begin with. Despite the burning behind her eyes, though, what hadn't worn off was the excitement of getting a new mission.

She didn't want to give a bad impression of course, despite the shift from hell Tetia had just endured. So, freshening up was in order.

The water Tetia splashes on her face is something she immediately regrets as the admittedly fairly haggard eyeliner and mascara she'd put on the night before began to run in long tear-like streaks down her crimson face. Fangs flash as a chuckle escapes Tetia as the black substance drips into the ornately carved sink of the Library bathroom, though it is quickly removed by the fast-flowing water. Ah well. It's not like Tetia can't rock the just-been-crying all-nighter look.

Taking another glance in the mirror, Tetia quickly wets the tips of her fingers, sighing slightly as ever more of her black nail polish chips away under the water pressure, then runs the liquid through her snowy locks, getting rid of some of the fuzz from a long night's sweat and toil. Oh if only it had been sweat and toil from being on the streets, she instead had been doing the mountains of paperwork following a certain incident which went better, in her opinion, after disobeying a superior officer's orders. Again. Tetia chuckles at the thought.

Straightening out her leather jacket as she heads out of the bathroom, the thoughts cross Tetia's mind as to who might be joining her or what, even, the mission might be. Tetia's gut says that it can't be anything too serious, they were sending a consable, after all. The most magnificent constable in the entire Library, but still a constable.

Jogging lightly up the stairs, trainers tapping lightly against glass floor, another chuckle gets away from Tetia, earning a couple of odd glances, something she was used to given the giant horns and consistent lack of uniform. Imagine if she was on one of the missions with the big shots. They're all so rigid and uptight, it'd be so fun to break them down and ease them up. Ah, she could dream.

Finally getting to the upper floors, there was a half elven man on the pew-like seat outside Korina's office. Short cropped auburn hair, mid thirties, sat as straight as a pin with just normal officer slacks. But Tetia recognised this man, why in Eridus is Captain Alimer Holt, of all people, in the normal brown slacks? Maybe he got demoted. How embarrassing.

Oh, no, he's still got his golden sun badge. That's a shame.

Tetia takes a seat beside him, one foot firmly on the ground, the other she leans against her leathered knee, pulling her book out and sketching a couple more designs down. What is he even here for? You know what, what's the worst that could happen?

"So, what're you in for?" Tetia asks, fangs flashing in a smirk once more. Holt looks at her with his eerie, lifeless indigo eyes, a stare Tetia was unfortunately accustomed to from the times she's been called to his office.

"What is that meant to mean, Vernathil?" Holt says with his characteristic sharp tone, "And what precisely happened to your face?"

"Oh you know," she grins, "thought I'd try a new look."

"A 'new look' that clearly did not incorporate uniform," comments the Captain, looking her up and down, passing from her battered band t-shirt to her leather trousers.

"It cramped my style," chuckles the tiefling, "but, you still didn't answer my question. What're you in for?"

Word count: 610
  





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Sun Oct 25, 2020 4:01 am
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Europa says...



Alimer Holt

Alimer was in a foul mood. This was more of a statement of fact than a novelty, but today at least it was more noticeable to the naked eye. He’d been called in to meet with Korina--Korina, of all people--to be informed he’d been moved back into active duty. Of course, he had his suspicions about what case they were assigning him to, there were very few that headquarters determined serious enough to send out a commanding officer, and that was all well and good, all part of his job description. But even sitting in the same office as Korina set him on a razor’s edge, and it didn’t help that he was now sitting next to what looked to be a very confused teenager who had wandered into the station. Which was in essence how Alimer often thought of Tetia. Now, however, she seemed especially determined to push the image to its fullest.

“Oh, come on now, love.” The young teifling elbowed him cheekily, something only she would have had the courage to do. “Don’t be like that, we’re partners now aren’t we?”

That nettled Alimer, and he knew from the poorly suppressed chuckle from Korina that she knew it. He firmly pushed away the jabbing elbow. “You’re going to want to from calling me ‘love’, and no. I believe the more appropriate term would be ‘babysitter.’”

Tetia rested her chin on her hand. “Love not your style? I suppose that would be weird. You’re what, five hundred years older than me?” She plowed over him as he tried to correct the offensively bad math. “Right, mate suit you better then?”

“No.”

“Well, that’s settled! Third time’s a charm, mate. What’re you in for?”

WC: 287
Last edited by Europa on Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:30 am, edited 1 time in total.
  





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Mon Oct 26, 2020 1:19 am
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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


It looked to a dwarven lady, clean-shaven, wearing a necklace. Maji moved herself discreetly, shaping ridges of her flesh to match the dwarf's short, shaggy hair. When she was done, she turned back to the train window -- and frowned. Her attempt at making hair had ended up as chunky pink blocks, slumping over each other. Frustrated, she mussed them up and smoothed them back, opting for her usual style of a long, prominent horn from her forehead. It made people wary of her, but they also took notice, which she didn't exactly mind.

She'd just finished styling her horn when a human in navy blue uniform stepped through the doors to the subway car, headed for the end of the train. On his cap he had the small gold insignia of the train's guild; in his gloved hand he gripped a small copper baton with a long, jagged rune down the side. When he saw Maji staring at him, he tipped his cap, and strode on through the back doors to the caboose.

Just then, a voice came through the steel pipes of the speakers. "Please fasten seatbelts for magnetite boost." Maji saw the dwarf snap out of a deep, trancelike thought, and fumble for the seatbelt clasp. The passengers strapped in and braced themselves.

Ahead of them on the tracks, a ring of black, luminous stone loomed out of the darkness. The train passed through the ring smoothly - then a bolt of lightning shot from the tail of the train, igniting the giant stone ring. Maji heard the boost ring shudder and howl, its crystals unleashing invisible magnetic force The underground cavity burst into electric purple, the train firing off like a bullet from a gun. Maji felt her shoulders flatten into the seat. The train shot headlong into another tunnel, the howl closing into the constant hum of the rails.

312 words
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  





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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


The conductor opened the doors of their car again, and stepped back inside. He held his baton at arms length; the copper Shock rune was still sparking with leftover static.

Like most magical faculty, the conductor looked tired and a little queasy. He drifted through the train car as if he was no lighter than air, a face holding back sighs.

Maji, for no particular reason, began to clap. The others, who'd taken notice, began to clap as well. The frazzled conductor smiled and tipped his cap, hoisting his baton over his shoulder and marching back to the front of the train. As the doors sealed shut, Maji smiled and turned to the dwarf lady.

"You know, they just started installing these magnetite boosters. Most of the trains still run on Steam evocation!" she said.

The dwarf didn't look up at first, unsure who Maji was talking to. Eventually, their eyes met. Maji didn't have real eyes, but she did have three steel balls the sizes of fists pressed into her head. Each one was engraved in gold, and spun excitedly as she talked.

"And this is just the start of it! They're still trying to harness lunatite for commercial energy, but for now, this is the peak of travel! Don't you think?"

The dwarf nodded, then glanced towards the front of the train. "I guess it's a step in the right direction, but they're still using cheap equipment. Those Shock batons are pretty outdated evocation talismans."

"I know!" Maji replied excitedly. She hadn't known.

"There's a lot more efficient materials out there for evoking electricity," the dwarf continued matter-of-factly before becoming self-conscious. "But, that's that." The dwarf lady mumbled a bit, trailing off.

Maji's steel eyes gleamed. "So you're a Scriptor too?"

The dwarf glanced up, surprised. "I am. You are?"

Maji drew herself up and jabbed a finger into her own chest. "Of course! Name's Maji Nobuna, representing Takebackers Insurance! And you?" Her eyes had begun to spin again, like a slot machine raring for its big break. The train roared down the tunnel, speeding towards a destination far beneath the earth.

354 words
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  





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Europa says...



Alimer Holt

Tetia leaned forward excitedly. She was expecting an answer, but that was the thing, he wasn’t quite certain himself, he had his guesses, which he trusted were already close to the truth, but Korina hadn’t given any information to him. “You’ll be briefed along with the others, once they arrive.”

Tetia’s eyes lit up. “Others? Who are they, do you know?”

“As far as I understand, we’ll be joined by three Scriptors. Who I would have preferred we greeted in uniform.”

Tetia slumped back in her chair with an exaggerated groan. “The uniform again?” She straightened, and looked him in the eye, suddenly serious. “If this partnership is going to be any fun, we need to find you some new talking points.”

Korina’s musical laugh broke through Alimer’s silence. “Isn’t she a gem, Alimer? I thought you’d enjoy a chance to shake it up a little, always stuck behind that old desk.”

He would have loved to tell her exactly what he thought of her choice to send a young, inexperienced constable with a station-wide reputation for insubordination on what he was sure would be a high-stakes case, for the sole purpose of getting one over on him, but Korina wasn’t a surly detective or some aggravating coworker bothering him in his office. He was required to respect her decisions. Alimer turned to her with a thin smile. “I’m sure.”

Just then there was a knock at the door. Korina stood with a warm smile. "We'll continue this later." She threw open the door and grinned at the two figures standing outside. "Welcome!"
WC: 263
Last edited by Europa on Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.
  





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Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:57 am
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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


Written alongside winterwolf0100 and kairamorgan

Conversations on public transport were always fickle things. Maji never knew quite how long she was going to make that first impression, or if it would be appropriate to continue the interaction once they were no longer obligated to be around each other. Maji could have filled pools with thoughts on these matters, so she decided it was easiest not to think about it. Which is why, as the train pulled into the station and Berkeley stepped off, she followed.

The magnetrain station was populated with a bunch of people finishing their workday and heading home. Deep underground, there was no need to rely on the sun for time, so people slept and worked in regular, agreed-upon shifts. Still, most people preferred to be awake while others were, so many worked regular jobs. Maji, as a Scriptor, was not beholden to such timetables, something she was quite proud of. Her time was hers to manage, poorly as she did.

"Where are you headed?" she asked Berkeley as she caught up.

"The Library," Berkeley replied.

Maji laughed. "Well, obviously." The train tracks were raised high above the rest of the city, and from the platform, they could see the stone buildings below. The giant underground area that formed Library City was a long, hollow shell, beneath a ceiling of carmine crystals that conferred a soft glow. Far in the distance, they could see the Library Headquarters, rising like a white wall of water above the rest of the city. Its white limestone halls housed the Library, the enforcers of magic throughout the multiverse. Today, Maji would head there for a job.

The two of them walked through the city, its smooth sidewalks and neon lights. As they passed by a street vendor passing out rock candy, Maji turned to Berkeley.

"The streets are pretty clean around here, aren't they?"

"The Library enforces pretty strictly around here," Berkeley replied. "I've been a few times before." His eyes were scanning the skyline.

Maji shrugged. She wasn't sure where the conversation could go from here. It was time, as always, to ask the big question.

"So what brings you to Library City?" she asked. Secretly she reveled in having an answer that at least she found interesting, but she was equally interested in whatever Berkeley would say.

"Scriptor work," Berkeley replied. "I think they wanted it top-secret."

"Oh, you mean the Ancient of the Claw!" Maji replied.

Berkeley raised an eyebrow. "Is that what it is?"

"It might not be. It's just with that rumor floating around, you can't help but wonder, right?"

"That's true," Berkeley admitted, then stared up at the Library Headquarters as they approached. "You can't help but wonder."

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

"It's pretty spacious in here," Maji observed. "I think I'd get lost if I had to walk it all by myself.

"Which is why I'm grateful you're helping us out, sir!" she said, slapping their guide on the back. He jolted a bit and smiled weakly.

"Y-yeah, don't mention it." They were travelling up a long staircase with glass railings, surrounded by the expanse of the library floors. Certain electric platforms ran on rails through the upper levels, and it was one such platform that Berkeley and Maji stepped onto, which brought them to a long balcony and an azure door.

"This is Commander Vull's office," the guide stated, and withdrew down the staircase. Maji and Berkeley looked at each other, then knocked at the door in unison.

It was answered by a dwarven woman who looked a little too happy and comfortable in a police uniform. She smiled warmly at them and took their hands in hers. "Welcome! You must be the Scriptors we sent for."

Maji and Berkeley exchanged looks again before nodding bluntly.

"Well, sit yourselves right over there, and I'll brief all of you in a second." The woman, Commander Vull, pointed to a row of chairs, where a grim half-elf and chipper tiefling were already seated. Maji took a chair as instructed and glanced to her left.

"Cheers, love. How's the day been for you?" The tiefling asked. Her eyes sparkled in the crystal light.

"I'm doing alright," Maji replied. "This is all kind of strange, though."

The tiefling closed her eyes and nodded. "Sound, sound. Hopefully we'll have a better picture of what's going on, right after these messages."

Maji grinned. "Can't wait, can't wait at all."

"With that," Korina Vull announced, clapping her hands, "Let's get started."

752 words
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  





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Fri Oct 30, 2020 1:17 am
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Europa says...



Alimer Holt


Alimer watched as Korina took the front of the room, tossing a small silver coin in her palm. She flipped it, light sparked from its face as it hit the floor, and suddenly the room was alive with light. It swirled into a pale nebula in the center of the room and sculpted itself into the image of a rough-hewn rock, its face split by three diagonal slashes, like some giant creature had raked its nails across it.

"This," Korina explained, "Is the ancient of the Claw."

The dwarf beside Alimer leaned forward, eyes shining with excitement, while the changeling jumped from her chair, the metal orbs embedded in her flesh whirling. She leaned in, examining the projection from all angles before plopping back down. "I get it, because it's claw-shaped."

Alimer resisted the urge to smack the orbs out of her head as Korina beamed. "Yes, very good! It is indeed claw-shaped. It was found on Raza three weeks ago, when it tore apart an ancient tree. The most plausible theory we've heard so far is that the tree had grown around the rune over the centuries, and somehow it was accidentally activated."

"Do we know what it does?" The dwarf asked. Alimer almost sighed in relief. Finally, someone asking a useful question.

"No." Korina said. "And that's exactly what you're setting out to do."

"We get to blow things to bits with an ancient rune?" Tetia grinned, and Alimer wasn't sure he liked the glint in her eye. "That's brilliant!"
  





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Europa says...



Korina chuckled. "Not exactly, your job will be to secure the rune and bring it back to Orduna to study, before anyone else gets their hands on it."

Alimer nodded grimly, he knew all too well who Korina meant by anyone else, but his compatriots looked confused.

"Well, I can see how folks would be drawn to a super-powerful magical artifact," Tetia mused. "But I suppose you're thinking of someone specific?"

"Indeed I am." For once, Korina's expression was completely serious. "I'm sure our friends from the outside have heard whispers of a shadow organization swimming under the surface of the scriptors?"

Maji answered with a cheerful "Not a word!" But Alimer saw the Dwarf pale.

Korina nodded at him. "You have?"

"Only rumors." The dwarf answered hoarsely. "I was hoping that's all they were."

"Sadly, no. The School of Reaping is very much real, and extremely dangerous. It was for this reason that the esteemed Commander Holt was asked to join your party."

Alimer met the eyes-and nondescript metal orbs-that turned to him and nodded a greeting as Korina continued.

"He'll be leading the mission from here on out, and" Now Korina turned to him what that hardened grin that told him she was about to make his life hell. "he'll be acting as the group's representative with any other Library precincts you may pass through"

Alimer didn't even have time to think about a sigh of resignation before the changeling had grabbed both of his hands and was shaking them vigorously. "Good to know you! I'm Maji Nobuna, Takebacker's Insurence. This fine individual is Berkeley Thuso." She gestured to the dwarf, who looked surprised at the introduction.

"Most people just call me Berkel. I guess you could say I'm independent." Berkeley stammered.

Alimer extracted his hands from Maji's to shake Berkeley's. "Captain Holt. My partner is--"

Tetia pushed past him and grabbed Berkeley's other hand. The unfortunate dwarf jostled a little with the force of her greeting. "Call me Tetia, love! Very nice to meet you."

"Well, now that you all have been acquainted," Korina chuckled. "I'll leave you to pack. You all have the remainder of the day to prepare, then you'll meet back here at dawn tomorrow."
  





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Fri Oct 30, 2020 9:39 pm
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kairamorgan says...



Tetia Lisrath Vernathil III


Even the presence of the 'esteemed' Captain Holt couldn't dampen Tetia's mood. Not only is she finally assigned to an exciting mission, but there are also two brand-new people who distinctly aren't the ball of Elvish formality.

"So," Tetia says, releasing the slightly frazzled looking Berkeley in order to clap her hands together, "since we are a team now, I have a proposal." She could practically feel the rays of hatred vibrating off of Holt, something severely contrasting with the changeling, whose vague bouncing is both incredibly adorable and ever so slightly annoying, but Tetia chooses to focus on the first one.

Berkeley, however, seems to ease a little now she had released her. "What did you have in mind?" Tetia's grin widens a little more as she deliberately leans on Holt's shoulder, which distinctly tenses the second she makes contact with him.

"There's a nice restaurant that does excellent Eridus-stlye food not far from here, and since with the exception of myself and my dearest partner, we do not appear to be familiar with one another, it may be nice for us all to become better acquainted. If that's agreeable to you all, of course." Tetia's arm is brushed off by the now-sighing Captain, almost resulting in her balance tipping to the ground, but her tail just about manages to catch the table, stabilising her. Totally worth it.

The second she looks back up, the changeling's eyes are spinning rapidly in her head, taking Tetia aback momentarily as she instinctively blurts out, "Ah, are you okay, love?"

Word count: 258
  





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kairamorgan says...



Tetia Lisrath Vernathil III


Maji's eyes slow as she speaks, "Mmmhmm! That sounds like a great idea! I actually met Berkel on the train here, and it was just a super duper coincidence that he and I were both coming here, so we're kind of familiar!"

Berkeley's slightly dazed expression does indeed focus a little more, a slight smile pulling at the corners of his lips. "Yeah, ah, we did, but it'd sure be nice to talk some more before we head over to Raza." His hand absentmindedly fiddles with his necklace, eyes drifting over to the Captain.

Tetia's blue eyes follow Berkeley's line of sight up to Alimer, who is taking a deep breath as he straightens the brown overcoat that she had messed up. Something she clearly didn't do on purpose. Clearly. Why would she do that? She holds in a snicker. "I doubt it would cause any harm to be more aware of one another's capabilities, though we do need enough time to prepare for the mission ahead, Vernathil." Holt says with a very well concealed tone of reluctance that Tetia was so used to hearing from him. She wasn't quite sure if it was a Holt thing or if she just had that affect on him.

"Of course," grins the tiefling, hands being stuffed in her large leather trenchcoat, fiddling with the tiny pencil in there, "I had absolutely no intention of holding you and these fine people up, mate."

"That I somehow doubt," Holt's tone is low with a slight tone of sarcasm, eerie indigo eyes once again narrowed.

Something Tetia quickly decides to ignore as she holds the door open for her supposed boss and new friends. "Shall we?"

Word count: 281
  





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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


"You know, I wasn't going to say it," Tetia remarked, "but that's a lot of pasta."

Maji nodded vigorously. Holt folded his arms and raised an eyebrow, while Berkeley picked at his toppings with a fork. Between all of them sat a heaping bowl of spaghetti, bronze tongs jutting out of a mountain of noodles. This was the specialty meal of Thassalodda Pasta, a hotspot for Raza-style cuisine.

"Everything's bigger in Raza," Alimer mused. "Are we meant to each take our noodles individually?"

"Apparently we dip them in the toppings," Berkeley read off the menu. "Can you pass me the tongs?"

They each grabbed a bowl's worth of noodles, putting them in the bowls and mixing them with the toppings. Maji grinned down into a steaming bowl of breadcrumbs and crab rangoon. She removed her glove and absorbed the spaghetti into the tip of her finger. She slurped up a good portion and looked up. "What? Did I get sauce on me?"

Berkeley was staring at her. "No, it's, it's nothing I guess." He played with his spaghetti a bit more and took a bite.

Maji leaned her elbow on the table, intruding a bit in Holt's space. "So we're going to be a team, huh? Just like that?"

"It's not my decision," Holt replied, dabbing at his lips with a napkin. "It's simply an order from a superior. I assume there is some purpose in Korina's head, probably." He then muttered something to itself that Maji didn't quite catch.

"Berkeley Thuso, we haven't met in person," Holt continued. "You were brought in for a consultant of evocation. As for you, Miss Nobuna, Takebackers Insurance is reputed for their high standards of diviners."

Maji nearly choked on her spaghetti. "Is that so, huh?"

269 words
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Chaser says...



Maji Nobuna


Holt pointed his fork to the right. "Miss Vernathil, I'd assume we were partnered for our differences in expertise. I'll admit, it's very convenient that you are a conjurer.

"Like it or not, we've been tasked with finding an artifact with the power to level cities," he finished, puffing his chest. "Try to be serious about it, ok?"

Berkeley tapped a finger to his chin. "You've got a little something there." Maji giggled.

Holt turned pink, covered his chin with the napkin and sank back in his seat, opting to continue his meal rather than lecture.

Maji stared down into her rangoon. "So we're real live treasure hunters," she remarked

Tetia grinned. "Ooh, I like that."

"It's more than treasure," Berkeley said to no one in particular. "A new Ancient could mean a new type of rune, not just this one. A new school."

"And one's already started," Holt finished grimly. "It's the reason we mobilized so quickly."

"The School of Reaping, right?" Maji asked. "What kind of magic would that even be?"

"We're going to find out," Holt replied resolutely. "It's for everyone's sake."

They all nodded, and kept eating. In truth, Holt's words felt like a good statement to close on, but they hadn't finished their meal. Maji wasn't sure how to continue the conversation.

"So, you work for that big insurance company?" Tetia was leaning over the table, her mouth stuffed with pasta.

"Yep, that's right!" Maji replied. "We mostly offer breaking and theft insurance, but we've recently started offering medical insurance too!"

Tetia chortled. "Think we could use some of that. And you?"

Berkeley swallowed his food. "I'm more of an independent consultant. A little work here and there, pays the bills."

287 words
The hardest part of writing science fiction is knowing actual science. The same applies for me and realistic fiction.
  








Once you have people's attention, you have a greater responsibility to tell them something of value.
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