On an overcast, uneventful day in the noble city of Opus, a single frazzled Alchemist found himself rushing from street to street, frantically searching for one mage in particular. This uneventful day was not like other uneventful days, no, not at all. On this day, the Queen was up to something particularly secretive up in the towers of Wyton Castle, hidden away from public eye as life bustled on below. Her Majesty had recently become aware of a threat that would single-handedly dismantle their entire kingdom in a heartbeat if wielded in the wrong hands, and that was simply unacceptable. On this day, this overcast, uneventful day, an elite team would be recruited, and it was up to little old Gaz to make sure they got the message in time.
With a battered box full of various letters swaying his balance with every step, the Alchemist finally stumbled across the hole-in-the-wall storefront he had been searching for all along since the clock struck midnight: the shop of Teressa the High Mystic. One of the most skilled mages in the capitol city, Teressa specialized in Communication Magic, a talent rare to acquire and even rarer to hone well. This mage in particular, however, was a direct consultant to Her Majesty, and anyone the Queen trusted to do her bidding definitely had Gaz' loyalty.
"'Ressa, are ya here?! It's Gaz!" he bellowed into a random, meaningless crack in the retaining wall behind the palace gardens. "Her Majesty sent me for that little somethin' we discussed last week! Do ya remember?!"
Before he could finish hollering at the top of his lungs, Gaz jumped back in start as the stone wall began to part and take the shape of two gargoyles before his eyes. Despite how many times he watched the spectacle, it never ceased to amaze him with its beauty, the seemingly desolate wall reforming itself into something intimidatingly beautiful with a simple touch of magic. Between the two gargoyles stood a tiny woman of nearly five feet, her long, platinum hair giving off the same pale blue glow as her iridescent irises as the spirit of some feline rested calmly around her shoulders. The woman exuded an air of confidence and wisdom that only experience could bring, her looks decieving of her age despite having lived well over half a century.
Teressa plastered on a calm smile, not quite reaching her eyes as the spirit cat pinned Gaz with an unflinching stare. "Good evening, Gazoreth," her deep, soothing voice deadpanned. "Pleasure to see you, as always. The ritual has already been prepared. Hand over the letters and you can be on your way."
Gaz's eyebrows shot up as he took another step forward, obviously intending to object, but the spirit cat lunged forward before a single syllable could escape his mouth. With one swipe of its tail, the feline knocked hte box out of his hands and sent it flying back behind the wall, precisely blocked from view behind Teressa's back. "Oh, uh, alrighty then, folks. I can trust that ya can get the word out in time, yeah?" he double-checked, but the returning scowl and narrowed eyes sent his way had him running for the hills before bothering to wait for a verbal response.
Later that morning, nine mages from all across the kingdom recieved the same message in their dreams, a simple invite summoning them to Wyton Castle for a meeting of dire importance. No other information was provided on the invite; Gaz, however, took the liberty of writing his own introduction to each mage he'd be meeting later that day, especially since he'd be working closely with them while they were in the capitol. Each talented mage would find the hand-written letter sitting on their chest when they woke up, greeting them from the moment their opened their eyes. A summon to Opus was not optional, despite how friendly it seemed: if the Queen needed someone in particular, Her Majesty would stop at nothing to acquire them.
And so these nine mages found themselves making their way towards Opus, a capitol that was only frequented by the outlying cities for business needs of traders, soldiers, and noblemen alike. The grand, ancient bell of the clock tower struck noon, and the gates of Wyton Castle opened for its guests.
receiving that dream missive had come as a shock to him. it's been years since anyone's sought him out and even more since anyone's called him esteemed. he's been a mere folktale for the past few years, a horned cryptid that lurked in the forests and supposedly brought luck to anyone who managed to spot him. (there's a whole legend written for him!)
it was flattering that someone up-top held him in great esteem, but as honored as he was by the invitation, he had to wonder what exactly the queen of the land was expecting? there was likely a fair bit of effort exerted in tracking him down, given his solitary tendencies. but that begs the question: why?
he may have been considered a peerless alchemist in his time, but a lot can happen in a few years. even if the queen was going to ask for his aid, aren't there capable mages in her retinue?
only way to know is to go. and rejecting an invitation from royalty wouldn't be a feasible alternative anyway. who knows what the queen might do if slighted?
left with no other option, he started preparing for the trip days before the date of the GDI. although the missive did state that all accommodations would be provided, he wasn't entirely sure how long they were willing to accommodate him. out of caution, he stuffed his sleeping tent and other essentials that could last for a week and a half into his all-consuming rucksack.
"also need my chalk and..." he rummaged through his desk for his box of special chalks and after finding none, called out for his two house-mates. "maha? elham? fetch the chalk!" after a beat, he hurriedly added: "oh, uh, pretty please!" still no response. maha may still be sleeping, but elham wouldn't waste a moment in bringing him his tools and implements if it meant him getting back on the road.
confused, he wandered the house, partly to look for his magical tools and partly to search for the missing two. the duo found him first and surprised him with bags fully packed at their doorstep. "don't worry! we already got it!" maha, his little bundle of joy, chirps at him and, with great difficulty, hefts his worn leather case with a proud grin on her cherubic face.
"how did you—" elham, the matronly golem, pulls out a letter, unsealed and slightly crumpled, with a man's voice droning on about the capital cities echoing from the paper itself. "a vacation in wyton castle sounds divine. would you not agree, small child?" with the duo beaming up at him with such mirth and hope, what was he gonna do? say no?
◆ ◆ ◆
and now here he was, at the pearly gates of wyton castle, with maha (who stubbornly insisted on accompanying him inside the castle) radiating excitement at the very thought of walking into a real-life castle.
it's nice that she's enjoying the trip. on the other hand, he's not as keen to it all. while he does enjoy travelling, he usually avoided cities and stuck to traversing forests and sleeping in ruins. it's always peaceful sleeping on the outskirts of civilization.
"what is that?" avoiding civilization also meant avoiding the constant pointing, staring and whispering from the various bystanders.
while it does bother him, he's no longer so self-conscious about his other-worldly traits and feels no need to hide his singular horn and faintly luminescent tattoos under hoods and coats. after all, he looks cool! (maha has, on all the occasions that he's asked, assented to that. with great enthusiasm, too!)
suddenly, a bell rang, and with it, the gates opened. finally. he was glad for the escape from the bystanders and starts walking through those gates. "first!" maha runs ahead and in the same vein of clumsiness as her father, backs into someone and somehow loses her balance altogether.
if elham were here and not currently lounging at the local inn, she would have quipped in that forever-monotonous tone of theirs: like father, like daughter.
with the trained swiftness of a father who has had to pick up after his child numerous times, he walks to her side and picks the young girl up. "look at you. anything hurt?" he gives her a once-over for any scrapes or injuries and after finding none, helps her dust her dress. her fancy dress.
fortunately, the steps and pavement are clean, but maha tears up a little bit at the perceived dirtiness of her appearance. "aww, come on, we'll get you all prim and prop again. okay?" she barely nods at that, still a little shell-shocked.
"now, how about you say sorry to them first, hmm?"
interactions && mentions
interacted with the person maha bumped into.
out of character
What up what up feel free to interact with hassan and anyone can be the person maha bumps into ^-^
Ziz had been holding council with Ziz, as her dreaming mind often did, when the mental summons reached them. Ziz listened, then turned to look right at the massage's sender through the dream. "Who are you?" Ziz said. "Usually it's only Ziz in here. How did you get in?" Something about that golden gaze was uncomfortably inhuman. "If you won't answer, I'll just have to come to you." And just like that the dream suddenly ended.
High above the ground, deep within a forest far to the North, a large white cocoon that was affixed to the side of a massive ancient tree shifted and unraveled, revealing that it had been formed of a mass of feathered white wings. From inside it fell a girl. She was completely naked, her pale skin reflecting the morning light, with soft-looking white hair and beautiful golden eyes, though those were both closed now as the girl yawned and stretched out any nighttime stiffness. Just before she hit the ground below, a mass of white feathers exploded from the girl's back and unfurled into a dozen white wings that caught her and instead launched her up past the treetops and into the dawn-lit sky. A piece of paper, unread, landed down on the forest floor.
Ziz scanned the horizon until she found the direction of the voice that did not belong to Ziz that had spoken inside her dream. She shot across the sky towards the voice's owner. It's hard to describe how she moved as flying, since there was no flapping as a bird would. When Ziz wanted to move quickly through the air, she moved more similar to how a centipede did, creating many wings from her body that moved very little before disintegrating and being replaced by another. So while no one wing seemed to move very much, the many small flaps of those wings pushed her forward with incredible speed. She only slowed down to catch a jumping fish from a river to eat on the way towards the capital city.
The first unbearably loud gong of the clock tower hurt Ziz's ears, so she touched the old metal and filled the inside of the bell with fluffy wings to quiet the following gongs. This would have the unintended consequence of making everyone in the city think it was an hour later than it really was. Not that such a thought ever entered Ziz's mind. Her thinking rarely ever went further than action.
Ziz flapped up to the top of the clock tower and looked out across the city. She'd arrived days ago, and despite even landing on the rooftops feet away from the place the message's sender was, she'd been unable to find them. Her search had gotten her to this city, but now that she was here Ziz was unable to locate her quarry. There were too many people in this place for her to find a single one. It was harder than plucking a particular fish from the school swimming beneath the surface. That she could do, and rather enjoyed doing in fact, but apply that to so many people moving about all chaotically and Ziz was just left confused and annoyed. It would be a shame to leave without finding what she'd come all this way to find though. "Aaaaaahhhhhhh!" Ziz groaned and leaned back to the point of almost falling of the roof. "Why does it have to be a city? Cities are the worst!" While leaning back off of the roof, Ziz spotted something interesting way down above... below? It was confusing since she was looking at the world upside down. Ziz let herself fall and spread her wings to fly off to investigate the interesting person she'd seen.
A whirlwind of feathers announced Ziz's arrival in the air above the horned person that had caught her attention. Her wings disintegrated as Ziz dropped to the ground lightly before him, only leaving a few pairs of wings to cover her nudity. She stared up at him with wide golden eyes. "You have a horn!" she said as if she was accusing him of something.
The Sapphire Hall of Wyton Palace gleamed far too extravagant for Salm's taste. Everything was too clean, too perfect. Too different from the harsh journey she'd been through. She glared with distaste at the pristine pillars that towered high above her and the entryway. A chandelier dangled from inside the dim lobby, flagging off a myriad of glass shards in all its crystalline glory. Lush red carpets were built into the floor as she walked through the heavy doors made into perfection. As she passed, a painting of Her Majesty hung neatly on the enormous lobby, her face betraying any emotion she might have felt on the day she was painted.
Salm shuddered, the memory of the letter on her bedside coming back to her. She had already planned to leave and had prepared her bags the night before, careful not to wake anyone up. When the letter had ended up beside her, slightly crumpled on her bedsheet, a cold fear gripped her as she had the ludicrous thought that her brothers, who could not read and much less write, made a letter telling her that they knew her plans, but no. She got an even more surreal answer. Namely from the Queen of Wyton Palace.
When she first read the letter, even she thought it was all but an illusion. A trick set up by an illusionist, which was ridiculous because only an illusionist with the same or higher magic heights as her could do that, and as far as she knew, she was the most powerful mystic in her hometown despite her age.
She did still think that as she recounted her memories of the mages she passed on her way to the Sapphire Hall, each with their own peculiarities. Even when the Sylph with many wings showed up. Salm had been lingering out the markets near the gates, eyeing the bundle of wings that lazed around the rooftop in front of her for a good couple of minutes pondering whether she should bind the Slyph or not when suddenly it perked up, and swooped down on the town square, shouting.
She had thought for a moment, whether she should help whoever unlucky person the Slyph was terrorizing, if it would benefit her mission. Of course, as she nimbled forward for the gates of the castle that were opening, it was no. Which brought her to where she was now, waiting for the inevitable heralding of the other mages that were invited at te heart of the beast.
Probably one of the odder mages to have arrived, they seemed to have a set of spectral skeletal wings and some kind of tail made of mist? they emanated a certain feeling of cold undeath...clearly, a necromancer, still it was incredibly hard to tell who they whereas they were covered head to toe with black fabric wearing a large hat on there head, if you did look close enough you would see that the necromancer face... was in fact that, of a woman who's eyes where darting back and forth with a worried expression permanently attached to her face. this person was alstromere, she had been summoned here the same way everyone else had via a mysterious letter appearing within there grasp, for alstromere she didn't understand why she had gotten one... after all, in her mind all these other creatures around her where strange beings unlike what she was used to... not like the undead she had lived with all her life, however, curiosity was a greater draw she just HAD to know what the reason for asking a normal person like her into a place of strange and unearthly creatures. perhaps this queen, and whatever this "gaz" was would provide the answers that she so desperately craved, although while she waited here, she hoped none of the other creatures around her would notice her until that time.
No one knew Glennie was anything special. He thought it was probably better that way. It meant he could spend more of his time focused on his father, providing happiness there, then be carted around to various rich people. But it did make money a little tight. So, when a letter appeared next to him while he was helping his father through another long night, he hoped it was for a job. Just enough money to get them through another week. His father would have to deal with a few nightmares if it was a night job, but Glen was getting desperate.There wasn't much else to be done.
He didn't have anyone he expected the letter to be from, but he certainly didn't expect the queen. How did she know he was anyone worth talking to? Was she having sleep issues? She must be, because he told no one about his other set of powers. If people knew he could make them wildly, deliriously happy they would want him constantly, and he'd never get any time with his father. His happiness was saved for him and him alone.
He wanted to refuse and stay with his father, but he knew his father was in much more danger than unhappiness if he didn't go. Still, he couldn't bare the begging to stay that happened whenever he left for even a night, much less on a trip all the way to capital city. So he packed his bag that night and slipped out, his father falling into a nightmare even as he was leaving.
He didn't have money for any sort of help travelling, so it took him a little while. He just walked, step after step, ignoring everyone on the way, and stopping only when he could absolutely not go any further without a drink. He left all the money back with his father. At least a job with the queen should pay well.
He noticed a man with a horn, but didn't think much of it. There was all sorts in the capital, it wasn't any of his business. He did however notice when a young one bumped into him. He had given his dad all the happiness he could spare before leaving, and was in a bit of a mood from all the travelling. "Watch it!" he snapped. He looked at the horned man that seemed to be the guardian. "You should really be watching them closer."
"Hey! Watch where you're going, lady!" a gruff voice called after Renesmee's flustered form as she dashed through the throngs of city-dwellers, already running tragically late as it was before getting lost in the winding streets of Opus. Any visiter should have been able to spot Wyton Castle from the outskirts of the city, seeing as the the grand palace's presence had been amplified via magical means, but Ren had managed to do the impossible and become hopelessly disoriented regardless. The directionally-challenged blood mage could accomplish great feats on and off the battlefield, but drop her in a foreign city without a map, and she was as good as done for.
Breathless and frustrated, Renesmee finally caught a glimpse of the telltale towering gates of the royal palace in the distance, causing a beaming smile to break out on her face as she all but sprinted towards it. Opus residents gaped at her in incredulity at her over-enthusiasm, but the mage paid no mind as she made her way towards the small, diverse gatheting outside the castle. Just as she'd suspected, Her Majesty had called upon all walks of life from across the kingdom to participate in whatever meeting she had in store; as much was obvious just based on their physical appearances. The academic within Ren itched to find out what these mages could do in combat, but that sort of interrogation could wait until a more appropriate hour.
Praying to the high heavens that the guy with horns would serve as enough of a buffer for the crowd in terms of striking physical appearances, Ren caught up to the gathering of mages and broke into a wide smile. "Hey, I hope I didn't miss anything," she greeted, gaze flickering between each individual present. They each had their own vividly distinct character to them, she'd have to have been blind to miss it. "I'm Renesmee. Pleased to meet you lot."
Alstromere quiet observation when another rather excitable mage showed up. She seemed to have thought she had missed out on something important of course she hadn’t but it got alstromere wondering if perhaps she had actually missed something the others had noticed after all she wasn’t like them whatsoever so perhaps these creatures saw things differently, as she thought this her strange misty tail began wagging much likes dog would the aura of undeath she emitted became far more noticeable as those around her would fell a hollow chill flow through there bodies unsettling to say the least, the new mage introduced herself renesmee, what a interesting name at least that’s what alstromere thought walking toward the person her unsettling aura following along she raised her hat up enough for her face to be visible a small smile spread across her face “hi I don’t think you missed anything, but nice to meet you I’m alstromere” she said in a surprising chipper way compared to the ominous hollow chill her surroundings had as she was speaking the spectral wing on her back seemed to twitch excitedly. This necromancer was definitely an odd one.
The circle of mages invited were strange indeed, Salm thought to herself as she looked around the dim lobby, lit only by the ambient torches. When she first spotted the two tattoed men, she raised both her eyebrows. The first one that drew her attention was the horned creature. He was burly, armed with barrel arms with sigils running up and down, pulsing with magic. She could almost feel the enchantments cast on them by its master, sensing the strength it would give.
However, when her eyes landed on the second man, he was somehow much more stranger than the horned wall of muscle. She noted the markings on him, not sigils of alchemy like the cryptid, but ordinary tattoos, made with ordinary hands. His face was also strange: like a person had robbed him of his happiness but not quite, striking between depression, joy, and nonchalance. It was the magic gathering around him that most piqued her interest however. A familiar yet unfamiliar aura of mysticism surrounded him. Different specialist then, Salm thought to herself.
She looked to her astrolabe then, channeling its magic, as the empty space within the ring was filled with the starry night sky dotted with countless constellations. As she focused and watched, the planets came into being, with one outshining even the sun: Pluto, the dwarf planet of rebirth. And then, using her magic on it, a few other constellations wiggled and weaved around Pluto: Aries, the Pioneering Warrior and Taurus, the Resourceful One. She widened her eyes, as fate took shape before her eyes in its own strange way. As Salm looked up at the unfolding universe, with the golden light outside suddenly a rich orange hue, she realized an hour had already passed. Time passes fast in space.
She shook her head and told herself not to think about it. She would worry about it for another day. For now, she had to deal with the present her's problems, starting with this... thing. She glanced around the Queen's band of oddities, still in disbelief that this lot, with her included, was worthy of Her Majesty's prescence. She decided then, it was no point to dawdle around and stare at their own Circus Freak, and so, with a deep breath, she mushed her face into the most innocent face she could make and spoke to the closest person to her, namely the other mystic.
"Hi, there..", she said as meekly as her pride would allow, "I'm Salm, who are you?".