The Hidden World: St Louis

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The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Sat Jul 09, 2016 12:26 am


Players

Isabella 'Ella' Stephens.
Lord Tomyh:
Gender: Female.

Age: 19.

Race: Warlock.

Apparel: Ella wears a white long sleeve shirt over a pair of cargo pants, a nice pair of stolen Adidas runners, a white jacket, and a black woolen long coat. All of her clothes are worn with tears, some open and some repaired. She also wears an iron bracelet with the eight symbols of the vegvisir and a ninth runed skull as pendants, all made from different materials. If this bracelet is stolen or removed it will always return to Ella, but if it is taken off by her or given to someone it will stay there unless called.

Physical Appearance: Ella is short and thin with pale skin, long black hair tied up in a ponytail. She has dull violet eyes that glow brightly when she uses her magic and has several scars across her body, the largest of which starts at her collar bone and snakes around her back to just above the waist.

Personality: Outwardly she puts on a Harley Quinn like persona: she is friendly, cheerful and eccentrically energetic, often acting on impulse or a whim. she doesn't care for rules or laws and will break them if they get in her way, and she laughs almost hysterically at anything. Under this act, however, Ella is more reserved and respectful, hard to trust or get close to people but respectful of their boundaries and their choices or beliefs.

Bio: Born to a rich family that dates back to the Roman times Ella is the only survivor after her home was invaded and her parents, siblings and grandparents were all murdered; Ella only survived by hiding in the rubbish bins, and the attackers were never identified or found. After this, she received her bracelet, her family's artifact, and was put in the foster care system, bouncing from home to home due to her reEllaious destructive nature. At 18 she ran away to St Louis where she has lived by herself on the streets and has been jailed several times.

Marcus Grott
Damxge:
Gender: Male

Age: Twenty-five

Race: Human-Warlock

Apparel: Marcus wears blue jeans, brown work boots, t-shirts with sarcastic phrases on them, and usually a short sleeved blue floral dress shirt over top of his t-shirt. He also wears a plain black baseball cap. Besides this, he wears a necklace with multiple pendants on it and a belt with metal symbols and such attacked to it.

Physical Appearance: Marcus clocks in at six feet tall and one hundred-sixty pounds. He has short blonde hair that he spikes a bit in the front as well as a well trimmed beard that covers his jaw, chin, and lip. He has dark gray eyes and a crook nose with thin lips and a strong jawline. He has a slightly larger than average chin. His body is athletic, but not muscular, with long arms and legs and smallish hands. Because of his nerves, he bites his nails to stubs and has a tendency to grind his off-white teeth as well as chew on his lip.
On his arms, chest, and back, he bares the tattoos of a warlock. All solid black and interwoven, forming symbols and swirls that assist with his magic. For the most part, he tries to conceal their magical nature by adding non-magic tattoos, such as his family crest, a reaper, the words "From death comes power", and old world symbols of luck.

Personality: Marcus is a cocky fellow, completely confident in his own powers and abilities. He's also paranoid, though, which explains why many of his magic tattoos and the pendants he wears are protective in nature. Despite his attitude, he's extremely devoted and intelligent, looking always to improve himself and learn from others.

Bio: Marcus was kidnapped at birth, from the hospital he was born at, by the nurse who was supposed to be taking care of him while he was there. This nurse was a vile woman, a witch, who sought to raise Marcus and sacrifice him to gain immortality and beauty. It was unfortunate for her that when she summoned the demon to take the young child, that the demon would be disgusted by her vile actions and struck her down on the spot with a flash of hellfire. This demon, Marau Grott, took Marcus and named him after her own deceased child. She hid him in the midwest of the united states and raised him, imbuing him with her own blood once he reached the age of ten, changing him from human to warlock. She taught him of the magics in the world, both dark and light, raising him to be open to all of the world, not just the accepted world. By the time Marcus reached eighteen, he'd already surpassed many formally trained warlocks hundreds of years in age and had been accepted into the Tutores Latet as a bodyguard. While the Tutores pressed him for information on where he'd gained all of his knowledge, he continued to claim he was simply a prodigy.
To this day, he is still working as a bodyguard for the Tutores. Currently he is undercover, living with and guarding an informant planted in the local uprising in support of Vlad. This informant, Asha Edison, is a succubus demon who was raised amidst the Tutores Latet and is a close personal friend of Marcus. It is here that he starts his story.

Dolores 'Lolita' Maria Theresa Juanita Capella y Caro
ValleyGirlBlondie:
Gender: Female

Age: 19

Race: Nymph (Anthousai; flower nymph)

Apparel: Lolita wears a short sleeve, strapless white shirt that hangs off her shoulders and has a layer of frills across the collar/sleeve area, acid wash denim jeans covered in paint patches, and black combat boots with a floral pattern. She also wears a red rose in her hair as an accessory. Aside from this, she wears a charm bracelet on each wrist with each charm having a symbol for either good fortune, hope or a cross, as well as a small cross necklace.

Physical Appearance: Standing at approximately 5 feet 8 inches (172 centimetres), and weighing 135 pounds (61 kilograms), Lolita has a dark olive skin tone and black eyes. Her hair is black, shoulder length, and curly. She has a small, button nose, slightly larger than average eyes, plump lips, a rounded, soft jawline, an average sized chin and a smaller than average neck, giving her a generally youthful appearance. She has a petite hourglass figure, with some muscle tone.

Personality: Passionate and hot-headed, Lolita is a very opinionated girl and can be too head-strong for own good. She's not unnecessarily rude to people, but can come across as stand off-ish due to her tendency to (metaphorically) build walls to protect herself. Somewhat over-emotional, she has a hard time staying calm and collected, but is a social butterfly and rarely suffers bouts of anxious behaviour. Preferring emotion over logic, Lolita has somewhat of an immature personality and, at times, seems rather childish and catty.

Bio: Born and raised in Tijuana, Mexico, Lolita grew up in an unsafe area but braved it nonetheless. Her household was dysfunctional, living with a single prostitute mother, her heavily religious grandmother, two siblings, and two older cousins. Shortly after her quinceañera, Lolita realised her powers but kept them hidden out of fear. Not long after, her cousins took her and her grandmother and moved (legally) to San Diego, California in pursuit of a better life for themselves and Lolita, as well as better healthcare for their grandmother, who had become increasingly sick. At the age of 16, Lolita's grandmother explained Lolita's power over flowers and other plants and how it came to be, before her grandmother finally passed away from pneumonia. After trying time and time again to find stable work in San Diego to no avail, Lolita moved to St. Louis with another cousin and started a new life there.


A quick dash around her 'room' to make sure she had gotten everything that she could carry around on her and Elle was set to head out for the day. Swinging the large backpack over her shoulder she ran her hand over her iron braclet and the pendents before turning to the wooden board she was using as a door. Waving her hand the young woman's dull violet eyes flashed a brilliant glow of the same colour and the board lit up with runes and markings before they faded away, the slight smell of burning filling the air. Elle stepped up to the door and pushed it aside, just a smidge, and peeked outside. The large building space was as empty and silent as it had been last night, save for the dirt and rubbish, graffiti and rats. Slowly the young woman pushed the board aside and stepped out of her abode, looking around carefully for something or anything strange or out of the ordinary; well out of the ordinary for an abandoned factory.

"Ok Albert, I think its safe," Ella said and relaxed. Pulling the second bag strap over her over shoulder and again glancing at her braclet to make sure it was still there, a habit of hers, she picked a direction at random and headed off, humming a little song as she went.

POP BANG!

Ella didn't jump at the sudden noise, nor did she turn around at the sudden smell of sulfur and burning junk. She simply smiled and continued on her way as the old stream train covered in rubbish and junk she had been using as her home for the night disappeared.

'Wonder what I'll have for breakfast', the youn girl thought to herself as she stepped through a hole in the old metal wall and into the bright light of the new day.

oOo

Sorry for the delay in putting this up. Here it is, finally. Go nuts.


Last edited by LordTomyh on Sun Dec 18, 2016 9:59 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Despite this mask of happiness I drown in dark despair.
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The pen is mightier than the sword. It has no limitations.
Imagination has cursed us all with life.


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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  ValleyGirlBlondie on Sun Nov 20, 2016 8:42 pm

The young woman carefully packed her handbag. Her purse, her phone, some mints, pepper spray, some lipstick and a compact. Perfect. Grabbing her handbag tight, Lolita left her apartment, making sure to lock her door and checking it three times. She made her way towards the streetcar so that she could get to the library and study for her upcoming exams. Carefully avoiding the bees trying to land on the rose in her hair, she speedwalked until she had gotten to her usual stop and boarded the streetcar. Quickly taking a vacant seat, she looked at the surroundings as the vehicle started moving towards the next stop.

"Three stops from now." Lolita whispered to herself, just so she didn't forget to get off at her stop as she'd done in the past. It certainly made things complicated the first few times she did.

The streetcar came to a halt, and Lolita watched as people who failed to get a seat stumbled and either grabbed onto an overhead bar or tightened their grip onto it. She did giggle to herself at the sight, counting her blessings right now. Her time to get off came soon, and she got off the streetcar. Walking down the street, she was shocked to find the library was closed.

"Damn renevations, why'd they have to happen now? Dios mio." She whined, turning on her heel and deciding to just wander around instead.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Wed Dec 07, 2016 5:04 pm

"Can't f***ing get a moment's peace," I spat, rolling out of bed to the shrill buzz of the apartment doorbell. In the dark, I flailed for the lamp, underestimating the distance between my hand and the light. Cursing, I launched the lamp off of my nightstand, cringing as the sound of shattering glass and crumpling lampshade replaced the buzzer. Standing there in the dark, I let out a long, drawn out sigh and made for the door, smacking the light switch to the left of it. The sharp LED bulbs flashed to life, blinding me momentarily, the small apartment bedroom slowly fading into focus from the stark white. It was a dingy room, complete with matted green shag carpet that had been worn down to a dull brownish over the years, and peeling faded wallpaper that I was certain had flowers on it at one point. The faded paint now looking more like strange, mutated skulls on the off-white paper. My bed was against the left wall, my nightstand, freshly empty, resting next to it, and on the opposite wall was a dresser. All thoroughly beaten. The Tutores sure knew how to treat a guy right.

Not wasting more time in my sleepy daze, I grabbed the shirt hanging on the doorknob and stepped out into the apartment. It was exceedingly simple, a square room divided in half by a counter, on the opposite side of which was the kitchen. The same carpet and wallpaper decorating this room as it had in mine. Out here there was a leather couch, a flatscreen TV and an old armchair. My charge, Asha, made considerably more money than I did and was the only reason we even had any furniture out here. To my right was her room, the door tightly closed, a blue rune flickering gently on the surface of the wood, my handiwork. I was snapped out of my reverie by a sharp knock on the door. Startled, I reached my hand out to the side, a red liquid materializing between my fingers to form into a crude dagger, hardening to a gem like finish. No one should have made it to the door without being buzzed into the apartment building. I crossed the room quickly to the kitchen, where the door was located, and pressed my body against the wall next to the door.

"Who is it?" I asked, keeping my voice even, my heart beating a little faster.

"Officer Jamison from the T-L-P-D," came a high, nasally voice.

"How can I help you officer?" I asked, not moving. TLPD was the Tutores Latet Police Department, or the cover name for it anyway, but Asha's handler had already checked up on her earlier this same week and this didn't sound anything like the half goblin, half giant Bailey.

"Well you could open up the door real quick for a start," He said, sounding aggravated.

"I'm sorry, officer, I'm not going to do that," I took a deep breath, spinning the knife in my grip. There was a long pause as I waited for him to make his move.

"Callsign Grotto," Came a soft whisper, as if he'd pressed his face right up to the crack in the door. Swearing, I yanked the door open to find a spindly little man wearing a suit that was two sizes too big standing in the dimly lit hall. Wispy blonde hair hanging from his head more dejectedly than the expression on his pointed, mousey face.

"Get in here," I hissed, letting him pass before sticking my head into the hall to make sure no one had seen him. Closing the door, I turned to the man, who stood next to the counter, a briefcase held defensively in front of him.

"Mr. Grott?" He asked, his voice not letting on any of the nervousness his body displayed. In fact, he sounded smug.

"My name is Scott Barns," I spat, "You f***ing idiot, the hell are you thinking using my callsign and real name outside of the office?"

"My name is officer Jamison, I'm here-" He started, completely ignoring my well founded concerns.

"I heard you the first time, what do you want?" I interrupted him, the blade in my hand slowly shifting back to a liquid before disappearing the same as it had appeared.

"I'm here to perform an evaluation on Mrs. Edison and yourself," He said, clearing his throat loudly.

"The handler was here two days ago," I responded, "He cleared both of us,"

"Yes, yes, but the main office feels that, since you've both been in the field for so long, that a follow up is necessary," He said quickly, sitting his briefcase on the counter to open it. He proceeded to dig through papers for a moment before producing a few scraps covered in scribbles, "So if we could take a seat, we'll get this knocked out and you can go on with you," He looked me up and down before turning sharply and walking to the couch.

"You have the papers to prove this is legit?" I asked, following him after a moment.

"Of course," He chirped, snapping his fingers. In a puff of smoke, a sheet of paper materialized in front of me. So he was a warlock. I grabbed it from the air and scanned it quickly. The text was legitimate, and it was sealed with the magic of the head of our division, so it checked out.

"Alright, let's get this over with," I sighed, flopping down on the couch while he settled into the armchair.

"Very well," He whipped some spectacles from his pocket and perched them upon his nose, his eyes scanning over the papers he clutched, "You've been on the field for two years, one month, and six days, correct?"

"Two years, two months, twelve days," I corrected, rubbing my hands over my face.

"Very good," He said, his expression not matching his words. In fact, he sounded upset that I didn't fail that one, "And you've been assigned to protect Asha Edison, a succubus demon who has close ties to a Toni Flowers, and assists in organizing the rebellious forces of Dracul in the city,"

"That is correct," I nodded.

"And do you or do you not have a physical relationship with Mrs. Edison?"

"I do not," I looked over to find him staring at me, a smirk on his face.

"Its not easy for a human to reject the allure of a succubus," He pushed.

"That's why I'm the one they placed here," I responded.

"So I've read, but even the strongest willpower can be broken," He kept going.

"It has nothing to do with willpower," I laughed, "The Temptress's Curse has no affect on me whatsoever,"

"Very well then," He shook his head and made a note on his paper.

The interview went on for some time, the clock on the wall reading eleven AM just as we finished up. The weaselly little man filing away all of the papers he'd used for the evaluation.

"I'll be needing to see Mrs. Edison now, then," He piped up as I stood, stretching my back.

"I'll get her," I responded, walking over to her door and giving it a hard knock. Immediately, a muffle groaning drifted through the door, "Officer Jamison is here to evaluate us, its your turn," I said.

"Fine," came her response as she thumped around her room, getting dressed, I assumed.

After a few minutes the door was flung open to reveal a tall, thin woman with long dark hair wearing a hoodie and PJ pants, a murderous look upon her face.

"His fault," I said, pointing to the man as I backed away.

"We just had an evaluation," She said, marching over and plopping down on the couch, her purple eyes locked on the small warlock.

"This," He mumbled, swallowing hard, "Is simply a follow up," The succubus charm turning his face red and causing him to sweat. I sat down on the opposite end of the couch and flicked the TV on. Only to have the little man clear is throat loudly, looking straight at me.

"Yes?" I asked, raising an eyebrow.

"If we could have a moment's privacy?" He asked, making a motion toward the door, asking me to leave. I looked over at the door and then back to him, then down to my sweatpants and bare feet and back to him.

"You're joking, right?" I asked, glancing to Asha, who looked bemused.

"I'm afraid not," He said, straightening his tie and sitting up straighter, as if trying to look more imposing in his oversized suit. Taking a deep breath, I stood and slowly walked toward him, until I was standing over him, blocking what little light that was streaming through the shuttered windows, shading him completely.

"I am not to leave Mrs. Edison unprotected for any length of time outside of designated operations or time spent in Tutores Latet secure zones," I growled, "I have spent every f***ing day with this crazy demon for the last two years, and I'm not going to break my perfect record so that some ratty little office mage can have some fantasy time alone with her. If you want time alone with Mrs. Edison, you schedule a meeting where she can come to the Tutores offices and meet with you," Slowly, he peered around me to Asha, who looked ready to laugh.

"I'm sorry, Officer, I'm not allowed to dismiss him without permission from the HQ," She shrugged, a stunning white smile gracing her lips.

"V-very well," He locked his gaze to his papers as I went to sit back down, turning the channel to the news. The interview went rather quickly, compared to mine, and it wasn't long before Jamison was hotfooting it out of the apartment and on his way.

"I gotta run by the factory and pick up some stuff Toni left for me," Asha piped up, hopping up from the couch. I just groaned and flopped my head back, gazing at the ceiling. "Its not the end of the world, come on, we've got tomorrow off so you can do your thing then," She rolled her eyes as she made for her room. I just sighed went to get dressed.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Fri Dec 09, 2016 2:27 pm

It only took me a moment to throw on some jeans, boots, and a hoodie and I was back to the couch. My eyes only half focused on the TV as the meteorologist droned on about record colds temperatures in the St. Louis area. I was only roused from my tired stupor when the screen flicked over to a field corespondent.

"Another case of arson in the metro east, the police say," chirped the skinny blonde news lady as she stood out on the street in a short dress and big, wooly coat. As if the amount of material on her upper half would make up for the lack of clothes on her legs. "It was shortly after five this morning when neighbors reported smelling smoke and exited their homes to find the old plastic and glass processing plant to be fully engulfed in flames," The camera switched over to a 'shaken resident', but I'd heard enough.

"Asha!" I yelled, standing up.

"What?" She asked, standing behind me in the kitchen, making me jump. I hadn't seen her go through.

"You see this?" I asked, pointing at the TV.

"No, what was it?" She asked through a mouthful of peanut butter-banana sandwich.

"Toni hit the old glass plant this morning," I explained. A look of concern crossing her face.

"She didn't say anything about it last time I talked to her," Asha said, furrowing her brow.

"Maybe they just found out the Tutores were using it as a storehouse," I suggested, suddenly a bit more nervous. While Asha and I were in no danger, being undercover from the get-go, we didn't have any paperwork on us, but a lot of other undercovers in the area had docs stored there under lock and key. And the place wasn't exactly light on security either, "Decided to go for it immediately,"

"I'll ask Toni on our way to the factory," Asha said, finishing her sandwich and throwing her coat on, "Come on," Groaning, I got to my feet and followed her out the door and to the elevator, still mulling over the fire in my head.

As we stepped out into the cold December air, I inhaled sharply, the brisk temperatures cutting right through me. I shivered hard, summoning a bit of magic to warm me. Asha, on the other hand, pranced her way right over to the car the Tutores had given us, an old VW Jetta, and hopped in, as if the cold was nothing. Demons, I tell ya. I shook my head in bemusement and rounded the front of the car to jump in the driver's seat. The car started with a sputter and off we went, cruising down the road in a cloud of exhaust. We were on the outskirts of East St. Louis, so it took us no time at all to reach the old shut down warehouse district. The train tracks that crisscrossed their way through it now rusted and broken, just like everything in this part of the city. A lone smoke stack, however, belched puffs of black smoke into the gray winter sky, and that was the factory we were headed to.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  ValleyGirlBlondie on Sat Dec 10, 2016 5:37 pm

The warehouse district. You didn't come to this part of town often, because really there wasn't much here aside from warehouses, factories and a few body dumping sites. But, you had no better way to spend your time and on the other side of the district there was a better area with boutiques and homes that you'd been to before, so walking through this area of town was a sacrifice you were willing to make. "You've still got pepper spray, tonta." I whispered, reminding myself that if things got bad I at least had a way out of situations.

My music playing in my ears loudly, I kept minding my own business. Once I passed through I'd buy some better shoes, because damn these boots were not made for walking, regardless of what that song says. Wincing a little as the lining of the boot rubbed uncomfortably against my heel, I just dealt with it and kept walking. After all, the slower I walked the more chance I had of getting jumped, or creeped on, or anything that happens in these types of areas. Although, I suppose as a Tijuana native I've lived through worse than a bad part of town in Mississippi.

I started to cross a street, looking down at my phone to change the song playing, when I noticed a blur out of the corner of my eye. Startled, I stumbled back towards the curb and dropped my phone, which yanked my earphones out, while trying to keep my balance. sh*t. I almost got hit by a car. "Cabrón!" I yelled, waving a fist at the car. Some people just don't know etiquette! Grumbling, I picked my phone up only to be greeted with the sight of a cracked screen. "Más loco que una cabra con pollitos." I rolled my eyes. Today was just not my day, at all.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Sun Dec 11, 2016 4:54 pm

"You almost hit that girl!" Asha yelled, punching me hard in the shoulder, her glare fixed on the side of my head.

"Oh, I'm sorry, I'll hit the oncoming car next time," I replied sarcastically, rolling my eyes.

"Just be more careful," She scolded, crossing her arms and shifting her gaze to the window.

"The idiot should be on the sidewalk anyway," I argued, watching as a group of rough looking individuals with their pants around their knees made their way across the street in front of us, forcing me to slow down and swerve to avoid them.

"You don't have-" She started again, but I cut her off.

"Looks like we're here," I said with a forced smile, slamming on the brakes as we rolled up to a fencegate, a single old security camera affixed to the fence next to it, glaring at us with its cold glass eye, a blinking red light the only indication that it was functioning. Even that I began to doubt as we sat there, the seconds running into minutes as we waited. At least fifteen minutes passed in the relative silence, the radio droning on about murder rates being at an all-time high. Finally, the gate lurched with a tremendous screech and hauled itself upward. Not waiting for an invitation, I pulled through before it had even opened all the way, receiving yet another dirty glance from Asha.

"It was a big enough slot for us to fit through!" I said exasperatedly, motioning at it with my hand.

"I didn't say anything," She said with a mock nice tone.

"Guh," I said loudly, the car coming to a halt. I hopped out before she could say whatever she as opening her mouth to say. I was immediately confronted by two big burly fellows with yellow tinted skin and elf ears, "Half elf or just into body mods?" I asked as I moved around the car to open Asha's door. They didn't smile, in fact, their glares deepened; it seems I can do no right today.

"Who are you two?" The bigger of the two, one wearing an aviator's jacket and ski mask with the face puled up, so it looked like he was wearing a very surprised person on his forehead. His voice was squeakier than I imagined it would be and the stench of cigarette smoke and pot spewed from his rotten maw.

"Well, this is Alice, and I'm Scarecrow," I said, putting on a dumb voice for the line, "And we're going to see the wizard!"

"Scott," Asha sighed, shaking her head.

"How about you cut the sh*t or I'll cut your sh*t," The smaller of the two, this one with a puffy black jacket and a Cardinals baseball cap, said, pulling his stupid looking jacket open to show off a sizeable knife strapped to his belt.

"He's just-" Asha started, putting a hand on my shoulder and stepping toward the two.

"Shut the f*** up!" Yelled the bigger brother, reaching out to slap Asha. At least, that's what I assumed he was going to do, because he never actually got there. Instead, he stood there frozen, his open palm outstretched toward Asha, a shocked look on his face. Ever so slowly, he reached his hand back and clasped it around his own throat and squeezed, hard. Gasping breaths escaped him as his face began to turn red, his hand tightening each time he made a noise.

"Bro! What the f***!" Yelled the smaller man, his eyes flicking between his buddy and Asha. It was just then that the man made a gurgling noise and fell to the ground, crumpling like a sack of potatoes, his eyes rolled up into his head, his face a deep purple.

"My name is Scott, this is Asha Edison, Toni left some stuff for her," I said, stepping forward, "Y'all must be new,"

"I-I-I-," The man stuttered, staring in terror as us.

"He'll be okay," Asha said, "I'm sorry but my guard is a little extreme sometimes," She shook her head, "If you could show us to the office, we'll get what Toni left us and be on our way,"

"Yes ma'am, I'm sorry," He said, suddenly finding his voice and turning on his heel. Throwing gravel, he bustled away, Asha and myself in tow.

"You didn't have to do that, you should have just told them who we are from the start," She hissed at me as we entered the old factory, passing by crates of supplies bound for other parts of the country to aid in Vlad's efforts to take the States.

"It helps our reputation, you know Toni likes it," I responded, sure of myself and not the least bit apologetic.

"Still, couldn't you have just tossed him or something?" She pressed. I just sighed and kept walking. She was too soft for this business. How were we supposed to blend in with Vlad's underlings if she felt bad about someone else choking a dude out. I guess that's why they put me with her, but still.

It was about then that we reached the offices and the little elf minion of Toni's made his escape, ducking back past us in the hall, likely to go check on his buddy.

"Can you imagine if Vlad rolled up to them and they pulled that sh*t on him?" I asked with a laugh as we entered the office.

"I imagine they'd be dead," Came an equally amused laugh from the other side of the room. There, in full black and red stood Toni Flowers. She wore a leather jacket with red military bars on the sleeves and some slimming leggings with red stripes running down the outside of the legs, finished off with black leather army boots. Her long black hair was half tied back, the other half left to hand off to the left of her pale face. She smiled at us, her deep ruby eyes flashing in the low incandescent lighting.

"Toni!" Asha laughed, throwing her arms open as she walked toward the vampire, "I thought you said you were gonna be gone!"

"I was, but we had a bit of a change of plans," She laughed, hugging Asha tightly. The only emotion I'd ever seen her exhibit was when she was around Asha, and that was likely only because they'd known each other for a lifetime.

"I guess!" Asha exclaimed, letting her go, "I saw it on the news this morning," Toni's smile widened.

"Not too shabby eh?" She said, letting out a laugh. She always sounded so seductive when she laughs, I thought to myself. Asha shot an annoyed glance back at me, implying she was not okay with my thoughts. f***ing succubi and their mind reading sh*t. Sometimes I wished I didn't give her the same protective runes as I had for myself, then she wouldn't be able to get around them.

"So what was the target? Arms depot? Training facility?" Asha asked, moving to sit at one of the empty desks that stood in two rows on either side of the lengthy metal room. A single lightbulb hanging from the center of the room on a wire lighting the dingy space, the checkered floor stained with mud, blood, and oil from a century of use.

"Close," Toni said, her sly smile still on her face.

"Oh come on, just tell me," Asha begged.

"Alright alright," Toni said, "Don't get your tail in a twist," She sat down opposite Asha and grabbed a folder off of the desk, "This is what we got," She tossed the folder into Asha's grip. She flicked it open and scanned it quickly.

"Personnel files?" She asked with a tentative smile.

"This is big!" Toni said, standing up, "I know it might not look like much to the untrained eye, but in these files are hundreds, if not thousands, of T-L agents, a lot of them undercover!"

"So if we know who's ratting," Asha said, putting the pieces together visibly. Damn she was a good actress.

"We'll be the cleanest division in Vlad's army. I have no doubt that we've got all of their files, the building was guarded heavier than any I've seen," Toni bragged, "He might even make a trip out here himself when he finds out,"

"How did you find out about this?" Asha asked, handing the file back.

"I'm sorry hun, I'm not allowed to tell anyone," Toni said, an apologetic look on her face.

"All good, we've all got out limits," She sighed, a bit put out.

"But here's what I need from you," Toni perked right up, spinning on her heel and walked to the other end of the room, returning with a hefty box.

"All the files we found, I need someone who's not a dumbfuck or a peon to go through them and make a list," She said, dropping the box on the desk, "And I need it fast,"

"Holy sh*t, Toni, you sure I'm up for this?" Asha said, blinking rapidly in shock.

"I trust you before I trust anyone else Vlad has me working with here," She said, glaring around as if they were in the room with us, "This is gonna be our glory when we bring in a fat list of Tutores agents, not those ass suckers,"

"Wow, this is big," Asha said, nodding slowly as she looked at the box-full of papers.

"Get your B-G to help if you want, but I need it fast," Toni said, motioning toward me without looking up from Asha.

"I'll get on it as soon as I get home," Asha nodded, standing up.

"I appreciate it, be safe out there, I've got some sh*t I need to take care of now," Toni said with a smile, wrapping Asha in a quick hug before departing, the click of her boots on the stairs fading out until the only sound was the buzzing of the light.

"Holy sh*t Scott, we're moving up," Asha said excitedly, grabbing the box, "Grab the others, would you?" I just groaned and walked to the opposite end of the room where three large boxes full of papers sat.

Straining, I stumbled out onto the gravel parking lot, my arms feeling as if they were being ripped out of socket by the boxes of papers, papers that were made of iron, it would seem. At long last, we reached the car and I was relieved of my burden, none too gently shoving them into the backseat. As I straightened up, cracking my back and groaning loudly, some movement out by the gate caught my eye. It was that little mexican chick I almost ran over earlier, only now passing the warehouse. Her coat was too expensive to be wandering down the street in this part of town alone, and her pants weren't a short dress showing off her ass, ruling out the only option I could think of. She was gonna get herself raped and killed wandering around here. She was lost, that had to be the case. I just shook my head and closed the car door, hopping into the driver's seat.

"Can you believe this?" Asha asked, rubbing her hands excitedly.

"Nope," I said with a laugh, throwing the car into gear, slinging gravel as I left the lot.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Wed Dec 14, 2016 1:52 pm

"So what if we just, yaknow, forget about some files?" Asha asked, her boots, wet and muddy, propped up against the dash, a folder in her lap containing information about a Tutores agent. She leafed through the pages with a concerned look on her face, the vents blowing her hair all about as she tried to read. She gave a puff and smacked one of the vents closed, eliminating her current struggle, but the static in the air kept her hair all frizzled.

"You mean hide some of the files from Toni?" I asked, furrowing my brow.

"Yeah, I mean, she wouldn't know any better," Asha shrugged, closing the file and turning her purple eyes to me.

"You don't think she actually went through every one of those files herself?" I asked, glancing over at her, "This is a test, she's too calculating to put all her eggs in one basket, and these are a lot of eggs. She's already gone through all of this, she just wants us," I paused, "You, to go through them and return exactly what she found,"

"So she doesn't trust me, is that what you're saying?" She sighed, turning her gaze to the dismal gray city and the stop-and-go traffic around us.

"She's testing the waters, Asha. You were both in the Tutores at one point, she knows just as well as you how hard it is to go against them," I explained myself, "I get that you've been friends for longer, but I think she's just making sure you're not still helping them,"

"But if she's serious, if she really is asking this because she needs the help," Asha argued, "And we don't do something about it and these agents lose their lives," She looked over at me, concern etched into her face, "It'll be all on us,"

"No it-" I was cut off as a car in front of me cut me off, swerving into my lane without so much as a hint, "Motherfucker," I lifted a hand, a soft glow radiating from my skin.

"Let it go," Asha rolled her eyes, grabbing my wrist and lowering my arm. I settled for flipping them off then resumed my sentence.

"It'll be on the Tutores if anyone dies," I stated, matter-of-factly, "Their fault for housing important documents in an area where Vlad's people could get to them, for having the files to begin with, and for not doing anything about it and letting agents die,"

"So we just do what Toni asked," Asha said, slumping in her seat and crossing her arms, she wasn't happy about this.

"We get her the list of the files she gave us, we give the list to our supervisors so they know everything we know and the extent of the breach. Its likely she got all of the files housed there anyway, so they'd better be acting ASAP," I said, waving a hand in circular motions as I spoke, keeping my eyes on the insane highway traffic.

"I feel like we should be doing more," Asha shook her head and went back to looking out the window.

"We're doing the best we can," I smiled at her, trying to make her feel a bit better, but my own smile was darkened by my own misgivings about what was going on. It was likely full on conflict was just around the corner, turning St. Louis into a war zone, like Australia and Africa had become. If a success like getting hold of this many Tutores files got to Vlad, he'd likely start pushing harder to take over here. The forces he'd sent so far were far from his best, but a few good warlocks, an extra vampire or two, and the scales would be tipped in his favor.

We drove the rest of the way in relative silence, parking outside of our building. Followed by me stumbling my way up six stories of stairs carrying boxes of paper since the elevator didn't work. As soon as I reached the livingroom portion of the apartment, I dropped the boxes with a shuddering thump that was sure to draw the neighbors' attention and calls. It wasn't more than a minute before the phone rang. The downstairs neighbor, Betty, screaming through the earpiece to stop roughhousing, it was shaking her chandelier and the chandelier was old and if it fell it was priceless and she would make us pay for it and we'd better stop because the other neighbors are mad at us and it made the people's dogs across the hall start barking and it was giving her a headache and- I cut her off, politely telling her that I would try to be less noisy in the future, and hung up.

"Guh," I said loudly, throwing my head back, my hand still on the phone.

"Betty?" Asha asked from her sprawled position on the couch, the TV warming up.

"Augh," I sighed, wandering over and flopping down on the floor next to the boxes. I didn't look forward to going through all of the papers, but it was necessary.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:08 am

I was almost done. I sat there staring blankly at the laptop screen, a list of names, addresses, phone numbers, and other personal info listed down the page. I glanced back over to the file I had open currently, copying down the last bits of information.

"Finally!" I exclaimed, flopping over backwards onto the floor, my arms outstretched.

"Done?" Came a sleepy voice from the couch where Asha had fallen asleep some hours ago. I glanced up at the clock to find it was almost five in the morning.

"Yeah, finally," I sighed, stretching, my back crackling like a cluster of mini firecrackers, "Finally," I muttered to myself through a yawn. After laying there on the carpet for a solid ten minutes, I sat back up and, compulsively saving my twelve hours of hard work, sent a copy to the office before printing off a hard copy to hand to Flowers. With a groan, I hauled myself to my feet and stretched, rolling my neck and shoulders, my joints stiff from slouching over a computer for so long. I was just putting my list into an envelope when the phone rang. Asha sat bolt upright on the couch, her black twisted horns protruding from her forehead and curving back over her messy black hair, her skin a light gray color. She glanced at me as the phone rang again, the horns sliding slowly back into her skull, her skin fading to a soft peach. I didn't see her in demon form that frequently. But then again, I didn't see her sleeping that often.

"Who is it?" She asked, looking to me. People never called us here. I turned my gaze to the phone as it flipped off of the charger and flew across the room and into my grip. Blocked number.

I pressed the talk button and put the device up to my ear, "Hello?"

"Get down to the packaging plant!" Came Toni's voice, crackling over the line, the sound of gunfire and shouting almost drowning her out, "Scott! Get the f*** down here! We're under attack!" And the line went dead. I glanced up to Asha, a concerned look on her face.

"Call the emergency contact, we gotta get down to the plant, they're under attack," I said, running to my room to grab a coat and the car keys.

"By who?" Asha asked, throwing her leather jacket on.

"I don't know, Flowers didn't say, just make sure its not our guys and then ask if we should engage," I ordered, putting my coat on as I ran for the door, "You can call while we drive,"

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Sun Dec 18, 2016 2:47 pm

Gunfire. People swearing and screaming in rage or pain. Bloodshed.

Ella sat with a sad frown watching the small war zone below her, the flashes of lights from guns or mage and warlock spells sailing over the No Mans land, bodies littering the ground staining the concrete.

Images flashed in her mind, bodies overlaying the dead below, turning her frown angry. Violence and bloodshed, it always came down to that, people both human and supernatural always resorted to it.

Ella hated it.

She just wanted to sleep in peace, live in peace, away from it all. Wishful thinking in this world.

She stood up and turned away, going to find somewhere else tonight. Someone screamed, young, innocent. Ella turned back around and muttered a spell, her eyes glowing as the whole world sharpened, taking on a new level of detail and distance. Caught at the edge of No Man's Land, pinned with blood coming from her leg was a young girl, barely even 15. She didn't look or wear like the two groups, she looked homeless, probably just looking for a place to sleep for the night when the fighting started.

Ella looked at the two sides, ignorant to the girl, some even shooting at her. She muttered another spell, a shield forming around her as a plain black masquerade mask formed on her face and a hood appearing over her head, hiding her hair.

Ella looked at the girl and breathed out.

The world disappeared for a second then came back. Bullets and spells bounced off of her shield as Ella looked around, standing in No man's Land. The two sides paused for a second, only for the commanders and leaders to start yelling and the barrage to pick up again. Ella looked to her left and raised her hand. The bracelet on her other hand glowed for a second and the air above the group ripped open, lightning crackling around the edges.

A loud shrill whistle cut through the air, forcing nearly everyone in the area to cover their ears. Those that looked up began to scream in horror as the old steam train she slept in roared out of the rift, wheels spinning and smoke billowing from the chimney.

People scrambled to get out of the way, some weren't that lucky. The train crashed into the ground, smashing through the concrete a third of its length. The coal car flailed, spilling its load over the area hitting and injuring, even knocking out some of the people.

Ella spun, turning her back to the train and raised her other hand.

"Sun rise born and west borne die, bring forth that made in ocean sky. Forged by thought, creation shifted, bring forth that which was gifted."

As Ella sang her bracelet began to glow a bright pink light, one of the charms shaking violently as a ball of glowing pink formed in her palm. The charm shattered into pink embers, the glowing ball in her hand growing longer, the top branching out at 90-degree angles, looking like the antlers of a deer.

Ella closed her hand around the staff and lifted it up, her eyes taking on a pink glow. The people on this side of No Man's Land had largely recovered, their commanders screaming, and the barrage began again, bullets and spells, even rocks and broken pieces of concrete bouncing off of her shield.

Narrowing her eyes Ella pointed her staff at the group. The head flashed, and the ground beneath them cracked and erupted as ropes of molten rock and lava rose up, wrapping guns, limbs, and bodies, burning and melting everything they touched.

The group broke, abandoning their weapons as they fled, pushing or trampling anyone in their way to escape. Ella walked up to the broken front, the molten ropes cooling and solidifying into rock, some still holding charred bodies. She waited, watching, daring anyone to come back

"I know that staff!"

Ella turned around, looking down on the man at her feet; she thought he was dead. He smiled at her, his leg held tight by rock.

"That's one of the Vegvísir staffs, the eight staffs of ultimate power over the schools of magic. I know allot of people who would pay a lot of money for-"

Ella kicked him in the head, knocking him out. Turning her back on him she stormed off, waving her hand and dismissing the staff back to her bracelet, the nine charms clattering on the band.

Her whole body started to shake, her legs almost giving out and her lungs and heart began to burn. Ella tried not to throw up, sucking down air but trying to even her breathing. Quietly she swore and looked at the train, still lodged in the ground on the other side of the No Man's Land.

"Sorry Albert" she whispered, dropping her head. "I don't have the strength to move you right now. You'll have to stay here tonight."

Pushing herself upright Ella limped over to the girl, sitting quietly in the same place. Ella's heart began to ache, anxious nausea taking over from exhausts nausea in her stomach; the girl wasn't moving, sitting there slumped over. Ella reached the body and bent down her heart dropping. The girl was dead, her chest still and her eyes vacant. Too late.

Ella swore again, this time louder, and closed the girl's eyes. She was too late, just another body.

Boots hit cement, someone running talking, close. Ella stood up, her legs aching but not giving out, and looked to the noise. There was a shadow of a man approaching the train. Her eyes flashed and Ella teleported to the roof, this time her legs did give out dropping her on the steel roof louder than she would have liked. Ella swore and looked up, out at the city. She thought of the warehouse she had been in the night before, far away from here. Drawing on the last of her strength Ella teleported again, crashing to the dirty cement floor.

And passed out.

oOo


Ella's Staff - The Staff of Evocation:



Last edited by LordTomyh on Sun Dec 18, 2016 10:00 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Sun Dec 18, 2016 4:51 pm

"So if it wasn't the Tutores, who were they?" I asked, nudging a body, checking to see if he was dead. Flowers and Asha stood together near the train.

"No clue, but they had a strong warlock with them," Flowers said, a frustrated look on her face.

"Yeah, I saw her," I snorted.

"Might even give you a run for your money," Flowers pushed, looking back at me.

"Like f*** she would," I said, laughing aloud.

"She teleported a train in," Flowers said, pointing at it as if I couldn't see the f***ing train in the parking lot.

"Its a flashy stunt," I scoffed, "Took up way more energy than she needed to use. She was about to pass out when we showed up,"

"Why didn't you stop her?" Flower shot at me, stomping over.

"Because I didn't know if she was with you or not," I shrugged, "Plus she teleported out almost as soon as we got here,"

"I want her dead, Barnes," Flowers poked me in the chest, a scowl on her face, her hair hanging over her face in a mess, her clothes scuffed and singed, "She f***ed us up, the Tutores are probably on their way, and we've got a warehouse FULL of weapons and supplies. Find whatever fucktards decided to mess with me, find the b*tch who killed my men, and end them all," She spun around and paced over to Asha, "Asha, we gotta get out of here, the cops will be here any minute,"

"What about all of the supplies? We've spent months stocking up," Asha replied, looking back at the warehouse. Flowers swore and spit on the ground, glaring around, her mind working.

"Wait," She paused, her eyes locking on me, "You said her teleport sh*t wasn't a big deal,"

"Any cut rate warlock can teleport," I said, "I guess you want me to send the stock somewhere?"

"Yeah, send it anywhere, somewhere the Tutores won't find it," Just as she said the words, the drone of a distant siren met our ears, rapidly drawing closer.

"Got it," I said, turning and running inside, "You guys get out of here before they show up," I yelled back at them. Once inside, I raised a hand and let off a bolt of electricity. The shock crackled into the air, almost reaching the ceiling before it disappeared, singing the air but nothing more. That should have been enough to convince Flowers I teleported some sh*t.

"Like I said, I showed up and the fight was already over, both sides were taking off," I said, rubbing my hand over my face. I sat in the back of a police cruiser, a lycan Tutores agent and an elf sitting in the front seat, "I called my supervisor just before you guys showed up, they're sending in a unit to go through the stock and take inventory, then I'm gonna port it off to some other warehouse,"

"Alright Agent Grott, I assume you'll be writing out a full report as soon as you can?" The lycan asked, straightening his tie. The elf, dressed as a police officer, looking between the lycan who identified himself as Agent Roswell, and myself. He'd seen Asha and myself in company with Flowers a few times, no doubt he was just now putting the pieces together.

"Yes sir, I will," I nodded, shifting in my handcuffs. Just as I spoke, a voice came through on the Roswell's earpiece.

"Alright, they're finished going through Flower's stock, I'm gonna take you back inside, do your thing, and make your escape," Roswell said, hopping out of the car and yanking the back door open.

"You're gonna show us where the f***ing safe is, or I'm gonna bite your god damned hands off!" He bellowed, grabbing me by the shoulder of my coat and throwing me out of the car, onto the charred gravel parking lot, the cold morning air biting at my face. It was about six now and the sun was just beginning to come up, casting the city in a disgusting shade of gray, snowflakes flitting about on the chill breeze. Before I could move to get up, Roswell reached down and lifted me to my feet by the collar of my jacket and shoved me in the direction of the warehouse.

Teleporting all of the crates away didn't take more than a minute, and it winded me considerably. I was just dusting my hands off when Roswell approached me.

"All set?" He asked, glancing around.

"Yeah, and I'm sorry for what I've gotta do, gotta make the escape look convincing," I said with a smile, obviously not sorry at all.

"I know I know," He sighed, rolling his muscular shoulders in his suit, a scowl on his face.

"You know how far out the anti teleportation ward goes?" I asked, walking over to the doorway.

"I believe we've got a standard five hundred food radius," Roswell said, joining me by the door.

"Alright, tell the elf to get out of his car and walk somewhere else with purpose," I rubbed my hands together, shifting my weight from foot to foot. Roswell re-handcuffed me and then stepped aside.

"Be safe," He said with a nod. And with that, I brought my hands around in front of me, melting the handcuffs as if they were dtyrofoam, a blast of fire radiating out from my feet, throwing Roswell backward onto the floor, his eyebrows singed, his suit blackened. With that, I streaked out of the door, propelling my bounding leaps with wind and I darted toward the road. Yells rang out from the officers behind me as I made my break, hurling a fireball at the elf's cruiser as I approached it, causing anyone on that side of the property to dive clear. And then I was out of the anti-teleportation ward and gone, dropping to my feet in the middle of Asha and my apartment, right on front of Flowers, who was wearing a pair of Asha's PJ pants and a robe, holding a cup of tea. Asha sat on the couch, watching the news.

"I figured you were caught or dead," Flowers snorted, walking around me to join Asha.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  ValleyGirlBlondie on Sun Dec 18, 2016 6:03 pm

I knew something wasn't right.

It first started with a gut feeling, which you generally trusted as a cultural thing. Then came the plants. Little known fact about nymphs, not only were they mysterious spirits of nature, but they could communicate with plants (and animals to a lesser extent). When the plants told me something was wrong, I figured I should check exactly what was wrong. If it was as bad as the plants made it out to be, physically going to the area was very much out of the question for the time being. I took my phone out, and made a quick call. Having a witch on speed dial always came in handy at times like this. "I'll be over soon, I've got questions." I said into the phone. A confirmation that I could come over was all I needed before I hung up the phone. I grabbed some of my miniature bouquets as an offering, put them in the basket of my bike, and started to ride over.

In about twenty minutes I'd made my way to Lola's place. "Thank f*ck she's not hosting another coven meeting." I mumbled to myself, parking my bike against the tree in her yard before grabbing the bouquets and stepping onto the front porch. The door opened, and Lola stood looking at me with a less than pleasant glare. She looked down at the offerings, and invited me in with a gesture. Carefully, I made my way over the threshold so that I didn't disturb the line of salt. "Okay, Lola, cousin, mejor bruja--" I started, but was cut off.

"Dolores Maria Theresa, I tell you every time to leave me out of things you involve yourself in but do you listen? Noooo. You come riding with gifts. You're lucky I like Angel's Trumpets or you wouldn't be allowed in." Lola interjected, rolling her eyes and giving me a short version of her usual lecture. I could live with it if it meant answers.

"I'm here for--" I spoke, being cut off again.

"Answers, answers, I know, I know. Little Lolita wants to know everything about every thing! Good thing my crystal ball was still out or we'd have to use the cauldron, and I just got this place clean. Now, according to my crystal ball," Lola interrupted, sitting down at her table and waving her hands over the large crystal ball in the centre. I moved closer, peering over to get a better view. "It's blood. Lots and lots of blood, and bullets. The ball is being vague, but from what I can tell it was some sort of planned attack, not just protest gone bad, yeah? There, you happy? You can leave now, and next time you bring an offering, it better be better than flowers." And just like that Lola dismissed me, teleporting me back onto her front porch with empty hands.

At least I got what I asked for. Taking my headscarf out of my hair and untying it, I waved it to be less crumpled. Throwing it over myself like a veil, I got back on my bike. It seemed if I wanted more information I was going to have to put some old fashioned effort into getting it, which meant riding around and yelling out that classic phrase until I knew I could get some information. After all, only a few people would understand if what Lola had told me about a planned attack was true. This was risky, but better prepared than not.

Pedalling, I waited so I was far enough from Lola's before I started the wailing. "Flores para los muertos, flores para los muertos!" I yelled, definitely an odd sight. Riding quickly, I went past houses, highrise buildings and apartment complexs but still kept up with the yelling. "Flores para los muertos, flores para los muertos! Flores! Flores!"

In my head, I prayed someone who knew something would pick up on the message. After all, I knew I was loud enough for people to hear, even in some levels of apartments and skyscrapers. I also prayed that I wouldn't get hurt.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Mon Dec 19, 2016 12:24 am

It was cold when Ella woke up, freezing even. Groaning she pushed herself to a sitting position she muttered a small spell to warm her up and put a hand to her throbbing head; she wanted to know if other warlocks got hangovers from using too much magic or if it was just her. And she hadn't really used that much last night, at least she thinks it was last night. Dropping her hand she looked around the empty warehouse, weak sunlight filtering through holes and cracks in the building.

"So it's day at least," Ella said rising to her feet. The world swayed for a second before righting, now the only problems being her headache and the spell fading, making her cold again. Pulling her coat tighter around her Ella walked off in a random direction, think back to last night. She had cast a shield, which probably was what chewed through her mana like a b*tch deflecting bullets and spells. A quick disquise illusion, a couple of teleports, summoning Albert.

Albert.

"sh*t!" she yelled. She had left Albert there, all night. Ella began to pace. What if they checked out the train, looking inside. What if they-

Ella stopped and held out her hands, grimacing as her headache spiked, and tore open another rift in space, this one close to the ground. A shrill whistle came first, followed by the large steam train chattering out of the rift into the empty warehouse. Ella closed off the rift and bent over hands on her knee's keeping her upright sucking down air like water. She knew she was still suffering from her large use of magic last night, but anger and heat stormed through her system. She shouldn't be this weak, a handful of spells like this shouldn't drain her so much. Hell summoning Albert should have been a parlour trick to her, not left her this drained.

"You're not weak, my dear. Just untrained in your potential."

Ella sighed and stood up, ignoring the old man standing next to her and walking over to the train. If anyone had done anything to it, to him.

"Albert will be fine. He's survived worse than a ... what are they called?"

"Swan dive?" Ella asked, climbing into the train cabin. The old man trailing behind her clicked his fingers and looked up.

"That's it. Such as strange word. Why name a dive after a swan? I don't see the connection."

"I don't know, and I don't care." She really didn't. Ella checked and double-checked all the dials, gauges, and valves, and opened the firebox hatch, hoping no one was stupid enough to crawl inside. After a few minutes, she took a step back and sighed, everything was in order. Except.

"Samuel?" she asked looking around the cabin, bare of anything except a shovel and few pieces of coal that had rolled over from the coal cart. Ella sighed in frustration and shook her head. "They must have taken him. Now I've got to dig up another body.

"Or enchant the shovel to work on it's own my dear. It seems more practical," the old man said poking his head into the cabin. Ella sighed again and looked at the old man. He was short and thin, like her, with the same pale skin and violet eyes, except his were a shade darker and not as dull in colour. His hair was right, hints of blacks scattered around, and was kept short and neat, as were his clothes, a formal shirt and vest with the pants and a pocket watch chain attached to his pocket, the actual watch hidden away.

"I tried that, and it kept getting in the way, or working at odd hours when I didn't want it to. Have a skeleton is much easier, makes it easier to naviaget around, and doesn't start working when I'm least expecting it and scaring me half to death."

The old man gave Ella a flat look. "And a skeleton standing there shoveling coal when you you turn around doesn't do that to you?"

Ella sighed again, her common reaction when dealing with the old man, and held up her hand about to say something, only to be cut off by her stomach protesting loudly that it was empty and hungry. Ella rolled her eyes and clenched her teeth; at least she didn't have to deal with the old man.

Dropping her hand she stepped out of the cabin, pushing past the old man and towards, any direction. It didn't matter to her.

POP BANG!

Ella again didn't jump at the noise. She did glance back, seeing the train and the old man gone. Ignoring the smell of sulfur Ella turned back and reached down for her bag, and found nothing. She looked down, then around her, worried.

It clicked. She stopped and looked up at the roof growling and muttering a string of curses. She had left her bag on the roof at the warehouse. Dropping her head she held up her hand, again ignoring the spike in pain in her head, and began working on a teleport.

'I wonder if anyone found it.'

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Tue Dec 20, 2016 2:24 pm

Yawning, I stretched my arms above my head, leaning back in my chair, blinking the sleep out of my eyes as the sun streamed through the windows. Flowers was curled up on the couch, looking more vulnerable than I'd ever seen her, wearing pajama pants with monkeys on them and hoodie. Asha was stretched out on the floor in front of the TV, snoring lightly. According to Asha, Flowers didn't actually have an apartment and lived in the raided factory, so she was out of a home for a while. I sat there for a few minute, staring blankly at the TV, some eighties sitcom playing on mute. Groaning, I heaved myself to my feet and shambled to the kitchen and poured myself a cup of coffee out of the warmer on the counter and took a sip. Watching Flowers for signs of movement, I grabbed my phone out of my pocket and shot off a quick text to the Tutores office,
Sorry, Asha is still here, and her girlfriend Toni too, we'll chill some other time

Yawning loudly, I slipped the phone back into my pocket and wandered back to my chair and flopped down. Hopefully no idiot agents would be dropping by while Flowers was here.

"Sorry for keeping you from your boyfriend," Toni said, making me jump. I looked up to find her looking at me over her arm, sharp as ever.

"Its my day off," I grumbled, leaning back in my chair and sipping my coffee.

"What do you do?" She asked, startling me more than when she spoke up the first time. Not because I wasn't expecting her to speak, but that I wasn't expecting the question.

"I'm a contractor, I set up portals, enchantments, wards," I said, waving a hand to accentuate an 'etc etc'.

"Asha never told me you could do stuff like that," She said, sitting up and stretching, crinkling her nose as she yawned. I always wondered why vampires yawned when they couldn't sleep.

"She doesn't know much about what I do," I laughed, "What has she told you about me?" I was curious now, apparently Asha talked to Flowers enough that she was surprised when she found out details about me.

"She said she'd known you since you were a baby," Tori said, smiling at me, showing her fangs, "Told me you were the most gifted warlock she'd ever seen when I asked if you could help us,"

"She was a close friend of my mother," I said, looking down to my coffee, smiling at the thought of spending the afternoon chasing the demon girl around in the yard while mom was away. Asha was always there with me, as long as I could remember, and she was always the same.

"Marau?" Tori asked, cocking her head. My eyes shot up to her, only a foot away from my face now, causing me to jump and jerk back in my chair.

"She told you?" I asked, blinking hard.

"No, but I have other friends who did," She said, her sly smile widening, she leaned forward, putting her hands on the arms of the chair, her face right in mine, "I'll be honest, Grott, I only found out recently," She whispered, her words slithering into my ear, "And I don't blame you for not touting your real name,"

"I-I, uh," I stuttered, in shock.

"Don't worry kiddo, I'm not gonna tell anyone," She finally leaned back, locking eyes with me, "But I am gonna ask you a favor,"

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  ValleyGirlBlondie on Tue Dec 20, 2016 4:36 pm

My throat was sore and dry, but I had to keep going. I could feel it in my gut that I was getting closer to finding out some information.

I knew that it'd be worth it in the end, because it must have really been something I wanted to know if I willingly spent a night sleeping on a park bench to get this information. I knew that Lola would be slapping me right now if she could, since she hated me running off and involving myself in things that didn't necessarily involve me, but this time I just couldn't help it. Not after she told me that there was a chance that what she saw was planned. Planned attacks weren't as common in St. Louis as other areas, and Lola said nothing about a gang, and went as far to say it wasn't a protest or anything like that. So, naturally, I was curious as to what happened. Chances were it was someone or something supernatural, and if it was I'd be better off safe than sorry. Investigation was the only option here.

"Enough stalling, come on." I told myself, stretching my arms and legs. The joints cracked and popped, which made me feel a lot better. Park benches weren't the greatest beds. Getting on my bike after the quick stretch session, I started riding again. I wasn't shouting this time, because my throat was still recovering and I had a good feeling I was getting closer to somewhere I could get information. More perks of being a nymph, I guess?

Eventually, I came to a halt at an apartment complex. I wasn't entirely sure if it was /the place/ but something in me was telling me it was worth checking out. Looking down at one of the small bouquets in the bike's basket, I could tell the plants agreed with my instinct. I guess I was just going to have to check the place out. Parking my bike, and locking the spokes to avoid getting it stolen or ruined, I grabbed the bouquets I had and started to check out a few of the apartments out of instinct.

"Flores para los muertos." I said to one man who'd answered the door. He looked at me quizzically. "Flowers for the dead." I said, resulting in the man closing the door. One down, so many more to go. I repeated this process, giving a bouquet away to one family who had actually had someone pass. That was an awkward conversation, and it cost me a bouquet but at least that was a few more places down in my search for what could possibly be /the place/.

Hesitantly, I walked up to the door of one room and rang the buzzer. Hopefully someone was home to answer.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Thu Dec 22, 2016 9:15 am

"Can I-" I froze, staring at the short Mexican girl in the nice coat, the very same one I'd almost run into a few days ago.

"Flores para los muertos," she said, extending a bouquet of flowers toward me.

"I, uh, don't speak Spanish," I said, unsure of what to do.

"Flowers for the dead," She said, now in English.

"I, uh," I glanced back to Toni, who had resumed her position on the couch, watching the TV, "I'm sorry, but I think you have the wrong address,"

"It is bad luck not to honor your dead," She pushed, shrugging in a 'your loss' kind of way.

"No one I know has died," I responded, getting irritated. I didn't feel like buying flowers.

"Someone everyone knows has always died," She said with a small smile. Despite her confusing words, I just shook my head.

"How much?" I asked, whoever let her in the building was a moron. I just wanted her gone now.

"Free, flores para los muertos, it wouldn't be right to charge," She said, handing me the handful of flowers and walking away, just like that. Confused, I closed the door and tossed the flowers onto the countertop next to the door and went back to my chair.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Sun Jan 01, 2017 2:51 pm

Ella stood at one of the tables stocked high with fruit, stuffing green apples into a plastic bag. People moved around her, not paying her any attention, not that they had any reason to. Here in the human world she was just another young woman going to the shops.

Not that she could pay for it.

"Stealing from the humans?" a mid-aged woman asked leaning against the next table. Ella bared her teeth and rolled her eyes; why can't they just leave her alone. Oh right, her family's f***ing legacy.

"How many laws are you breaking right now?" the woman asked, flicking a strand of her long burnt copper hair out of her eyes. She looked like she had stepped off the set of The Lord of the Rings, dressed in a green tunic, leather pants and armour on her torso, shoulder, arms and shins., and a large ax hanging from her back. Besides the hair and apparel the woman looked just like Ella, the same build, and body, take a few inches, the same violet eyes, and pale skin marred by dozens of scars.

Ella shot the woman a glance and closed the bag of apples, storming off to the back of the store. The woman shook her head and followed after the young warlock, gracefully weaving between the other shoppers, yet never turning heads.

"Why are you stealing from them, Isabella? There are more than enough markets in the Hidden World.

"No one's trying to kill me here," Ella muttered as she stepped up to the freezer section. Waving her hand, her eyes glowing and teleported outside of the shop. She appeared in the loading bay, right behind a man moving a crate off a truck. Ella tensed up, almost dropping the bag. The man jumped and turned, seeing...

Nothing. Ella held her breath, her body staring to strain from holding the invisibility spell. After a minute the worker shrugged and went back to work. Ella, still hidden from sight, back away. When she was far enough she dropped the invisibility spell and teleported again.

She crashed to the ground, her bag splitting open apples going everywhere. Groaning in pain and feeling nauseous in her stomach Ella tried to push herself up. She was back in the abandoned warehouse on the other side of town, back in the Hidden World. Alone. Safe.

Thank the bastards upstairs," she grumbled sourly as she sat up and put her head in her hands. It felt like someone was trying to split it open with a rusty saw and her mouth was as dry as a desert, her body starting to shake like she ran a marathon.

It was too painful to get up she decided, more so because she couldn't be f***ed, and leaned against the wall closing her eyes. Within minutes she was dozing off, lightly snoring as she drifted away.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Thu Feb 16, 2017 1:02 pm

Just as I flopped down, my phone rang. Sighing dejectedly, I pulled it out of my pocket and glanced at the ID. Oh god, the office.

"f***," I grumbled, hauling myself back to my feet, answering the phone, "Hang on a sec, lemme walk outside," I said quickly.

"Work?" Flowers asked, glancing up.

"Un-f***ing-fortunately," I responded, stomping out into the hallway outside. Quickly, I put a hand to the phone, a soft glow coming from the plastic, "Grott," I said, putting on my professional pants now that Flowers wouldn't be able to hear the call.

"We've got an issue, a new player has popped up in St. Louis, almost overnight," Came the voice of Charlie, one of the highest clearance secretaries I'd ever met.

"The ones who attacked that warehouse?" I asked, leaning against the wall next to the door. I glanced down at my hand, noticing that one of the tattooed runes had started to glow faintly. Someone was eavesdropping on me.

"Yeah, the very same," Charlie responded, the shuffling of papers scratching at my eardrums over the line, "They're calling themselves Union Black, and from what we can tell, they're looking to profit off of the sh*t stirred up by Vlad's cronies,"

"So what do you want me to do about it?" I asked, picking at a spot on my shirt.

"They've started attacking businesses in the city, stealing their goods before bombing the places. All of it has been dangerous goods. Potions and supplies, enchanted weapons and protective wards, things of that nature," Charlie explained further.

"So they're gearing up for something," My tattoo had faded to it's natural black color now.

"That's what we fear. But we don't know what it is yet. They came out of nowhere, so we don't have anyone on the inside yet. What is clear, however, is that they're against both the Tutores and Vlad, judging by their attempted raid on Flower's warehouse," He went on, "We have a lead, though,"

"And that's where I come in?" I asked.

"Well, you and Miss Edison," Charlie said sheepishly.

"Right, right, I'm not a real agent, blah blah blah," I rolled my eyes.

"Anyway, we expect you to brief Edison on the situation and take appropriate action. Our lead seems to indicate that they're recruiting, all you have to do is what they've been doing. Attack a business, burn it out, and paint their name on the wall. They'll find you after that. It's sort of an initiation and recruiting agent in one," He explained.

"So I just have to burn a place down and show off my artwork? What do I burn down?" I asked, keeping an eye on my tattoo to make sure Flowers didn't decide to listen in.

"We've taken over an enchanting workshop around the center of the city, The Enchantress's Gaze," He said.

"I know the place, really public, then," I responded, nodding.

"If it's true and this is how they recruit, they'll be all over you for sure. Our source is credible enough that we have to at least try it," Charlie sounded hopeful.

"I'll do it tonight," I confirmed, and he hung up. This fit well into my plan to hunt down this gang anyway, to 'help' Flowers and get on her good side.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  ValleyGirlBlondie on Tue Feb 21, 2017 7:10 pm

I awoke with the shivers. My blankets had fallen off, and the window was letting in cool air which only further chilled me in my apartment, which was already san heating. The flower by the sill had the beginning signs of frosted dew on its petals. It was a colder day, pretty unusual for Mississippi, so I knew something was brewing in the shadows. Hell, most of the time there was, but I knew for certain it was when everything felt colder and I had missed calls from Lola. A call from her was something I feared, I'd rather the devil himself call me and tell me about all the vacancies in Hell. But, donning a hoodie, I made my way to the shop. After all, when Lola called, I answered.

The centre of the city was a better part of town, albeit still crawling with all kinds of supernatural beings; Tutores, gang members, and sometimes the mostly average citizen of St. Louis like myself. Lola had set shop up in the centre of the city because the crystal ball had told her too when she first moved here. I was happy to manage it for her, since she was a horribly socially awkward person and the shop was in the busier part of town. It was a flower shop, which only made me happier to manage it, since it meant I knew for certain what I was doing better than anyone else. Next door, was a place that I knew were hot spots for anyone from the supernatural world. The Enchantress' Gaze. They were an enchanting workshop, and I didn't know much else about it as I'd never entered. I wouldn't even know if humans could see it and enter it, or if it was enchanted so that it's occupants were solely not-human. I didn't care to find out, since I managed a business that allowed humans and non-humans to shop. Flowers were popular in the South. I couldn't count the amount of times we had to go into nearby states with our stuff, but today wasn't one of those days and if I was lucky this week wasn't going to be one of those weeks.

I went about duty as usual, helping customers pick the right flowers, every now and then selling seeds and gardening tools. It was calming, but not quite enough that I hadn't forgotten about the time in the warehouse district. I wasn't bright enough, or even 'in' enough to really know exactly what was going, but my gut had yet to fail me and so I knew something was going on. If it was a gang, it'd be apparent soon enough, and if it was the Tutores, they couldn't hide it forever. At least, not when I have my ways of getting information if need be.

For now, while business hadn't been too busy, I started to think about possibilities out of boredom. Any idea that I felt was really plausible was sent to Lola via text, and she'd send me a yes or no. Eventually, she got either bored or angry, which seem to be her only emotions if I'm involved, and just sent some two words which she must have gotten from the crystal ball.

Initiation. Fire.

"Cryptic" I mumbled to myself. Maybe she got them from the tarot? They meant something, but for now it seems the meaning was wasted on me. The bell above the door rang, alerting me that a customer had come in and that I had to get back to work. Whatever Lola's words meant could wait.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Thu Feb 23, 2017 2:33 pm

Ella woke up screaming, the noise carrying through the abandoned warehouse. She tried to push herself backward through the wall, scratching at the concrete making her fingers bleed. She bit down, killing the noise and piercing her lips, bringing up more blood as she frantically took in her surroundings.

Far to her side, the steam train groaned a deep metallic noise that reverberated through the space. Ella stopped and looked at the train, taking deep breathes. The train groaned again, deeper, yet somehow calmer despite its metallic sound, almost as if the train was trying to calm the young warlock.

Ella stared at the train, her breathing slowing, becoming lighter, for a good five minutes. Finally, she looked away, letting out a sigh of relief.

"Thanks, Albert," she said quietly as she rose to her feet. She stretched, feeling her body move pop and crack as it should; her legs weren't shaking, her head didn't pound and her throat didn't taste of bile. Her sleep had done her good.

Except now she was covered in sweat, dirt, and rust from waking up. Looking up at the holes in the roof she guessed by the slight red and orange light that it was almost the end of the day, which meant any of the places to wash up were closed or expected you to stay the night. And these places, or rather the Tutores that run them, ask questions.
Ella sighed, this time in irritation. There was one place she could go to wash up, and wash her food she thought looking down at the broken bag of apples. But she would end up owing someone a favor, again.

"Hopefully he'll just have me working stock again," Ella muttered as she teleported to the finer 'clubbing' district. Stumbling a little on landing Ella blinked a few times, waiting for the slight dizzy spell to pass. Blinking again Ella shook her head and looked up at the building she was standing in front of.

For a supernatural club visible only to the Hidden World or humans with the sight the building was fairly standard for the city, almost boringly so. The only addition to the building was the large martini glass filled with red liquid and flanked by a pair of fangs, and a carding machine by the door.

Ella walked upo to the footpath of the nightclub and knocked loudly, knowing she was heard. The club was closed of course, not opening for another two hours at least. Still, Ella knew she'd be let in; the owner had a soft spot of homeless or the down-on-their-luck. As she waited Ella turned around to watch the people walking the street, trying not to look dirty and homeless, and probably failing.

The front door opened and an elf stuck her head out, her platinum hair done up in a bun. She looked around the front of the building, then looked to the side, finding Ella standing there. Ella smiled shyly and waved, the elves lips quirking as she looked the young warlock up and down.

"Let me guess," the elf said stepping out of the building. "The Tutores ask too many questions."

"Do you have to ask that every time?" Ella asked in a huff, crossing her arms. "You always make it sound like I'm a criminal."

The elf raised an eyebrow. "Where'd you get the apples?"

Elle felt the plastic bag swaying lightly in her hand, staying awkwardly silent. The elf shook her head and opened the door. "Go wash up. I'll tell the boss you're here and make you some food."

Ella smiled and threw her arms around the elf. "Thanks Meriel."

"Just don't complain abou the job he gives you," the elf said shrugging off the warlock and brushing the front of her shirt, the door closing behind them

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Wed Mar 01, 2017 5:52 am

[Just a heads up, Grape, when I said Mississippi earlier, I wasn't referring to the state, I was referring to the river that runs down the border between the states Illinois and Missouri. We're still in the midwest in the middle of winter, so it's hella cold (10 degrees F, -12 degrees C and below).]


I stepped purposefully out of my car, the beat up old thing squeaking in annoyance as I slammed the door, making sure the faulty latch actually locked. I was parked about a block up from my target. Far enough that it looked like I was making an effort not to get caught, but still close enough that any idiot who knew what they were doing would be able to trace me back. Rolling my shoulders, I flipped the up my hood and steeled myself against the chilled after-dark air, then made off for the Enchantress' Gaze, the can of spray paint clicking away in my pocket. As I got closer, I found that there was still some life in the nearby businesses, including the florist next door. There would be panic, but the fire wouldn't spread, not if I did it correctly and the tutores were on standby with the fire department.

Casually, I strode up to the business and took a peek in the front window, finding it completely deserted, no life essence to be found. With a blink, I was on the opposite side of the glass, standing on a nice hardwood floor, a shame it had to be burned, among shelves of trinkets enchanted with minor effects. Taking out the can of paint, I moved to the largest open wall space and ripped down the hung portraits and displays. Quickly I scrawled Union Black on the wall and made my way back to the door, blinking my way out again. Taking a deep breath, I moved to the edge of the sidewalk, right by the street, and rubbed my hands together. If I was gonna do this, I was gonna do it right. With a gentle huff, flames enveloped my hands, lighting the area with a flickering orange glow that outshone the LED streetlights, if just barely. As if throwing a baseball, I hurled a ball of fire straight through the window, shattering it in an explosion of noise and fire. Not to stop there, I whipped my other hand around, throwing another ball of flame through the now gaping hole, really and truly igniting the place. With that, I extinguished my hands and ducked up the street, back toward my car. On my way, I noticed a figure standing just inside the florist place, likely witness to the entire thing. Good, it would help them find me.

And with that, I was back in my car and on the freeway, headed back home. According to Charlie all I had to do was wait for them to contact me.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:55 am

“Screw it, I’m complaining. This job sucks.”

Ella groaned and pulled at her uncomfortable clothes, the fine black dress shirt and pants and the accompanying crimson vest just a size too small for her and itched horribly. At least she got to keep her shoes and jacket, and she was clean.

But it was effing cold, and she hated being a delivery girl.

Ella checked her digital pocket watch, a part of the clubs uniform she didn’t mind. She was suppose to meet with the contact near the Enchantresses’ Gaze and hand him a package, an old diary dated to 1912, and be on her way. Ella wasn’t suppose to look in the packages, but she always did anyway, and with a bit of magic no one was the wiser. Except he always knew.

Ella hummed, wondering if her ‘boss’ for the moment would scold her or encourage her curiosity. Guess she would find out-

The shop two down from Ella exploded into flames.

The warlock jumped, almost dropping the package. Fire roared from the window, reaching to the sky with flickering tongues. People cried out in fear, others calling for water or warlocks. Ella watched the fire with a morbid curiosity, stepping closer as people ran around her. Her skin had paled, and her hand shook slightly, but she could not look away.

Why?

Why would someone start a fire? Didn’t they know the danger, what it could do to people.
Ella exhaled and blinked, looking away from the fire angry heat spreading through her body.

“f***ing arsonist.”

“I agree,: a tall broad-shouldered man said as he stepped up besides the young warlock. In the flickering light from the fire Ella could see he had smooth olive skin with sandy blonde hair tied up in a loose shoulder-length ponytail and a pointed goatee with long stubble along his jawline of the same colour. His most distinct feature, besides his strange accent, that stood out to Ella was his eyes, like two wells of amethyst that danced in the light with endless wisdom.
The man let out an exasperated breath and looked away from the fire, a friendly gentle smile on his face.

“Sorry if I startled you.”

“You didn’t,” Ella declared, going to walk off.

The man chuckled. “Are you from the Eternal Thirst?”

That stopped her. The young warlock turned around, holding the package just behind her leg.

“Are you who I’m suppose to meet? Daryl, something?”

The man laughed again and nodded. “Yes, I am daryl something. Did Ivan ask you to say that?”

Ella shook her head as she approached Daryl and held out his package.

“No, I’m terrible with names.”

“Especially when the job sucks?”

Ella flinched, an expression of startled worry forming on her face. Once again, the man laughed.

“Don’t worry my dear,” he reassured as he tore off the paper and turned the journal over in his hand. “I won’t tell him.

Ella tried to say something to defend herself, but her her tongue suddenly felt too big for her mouth and the words came in a jumbled mess as her cheeks turned red and she dropped her gaze to the sidewalk. She hated being caught out on saying things like that, even if she meant it. She didn’t want the manager of the Eternal Thirst that she was ungrateful for all that he and his staff had done. She was. Taking a deep breath Ella looked back up to Daryl, mouth open to casually pass the comment off, but the words caught in her throat. The gentle smile he had was gone, replaced with a sad frown as his eyes watered but did not shed a tear.

“Hey, are you ok?” Ella asked, softly putting a hand on Daryl’s arm.

Daryl blinked away the unshed tears and looked from the journal to the young warlock, putting on a sad smile.

“Yes my dear. It’s just that this journal is important to someone important to me, and he has been looking for it for a very long time.

“Guess it’s also important to you a lot,” Ella said taking a step back and gesturing to his eyes. Daryl nodded in agreement.

“Hey! You!”

Elle jumped in fright. Looking towards the fire, now surrounded by several Tutores fire trucks and largely under control, she saw a Venator coming towards her.

“Guess it's time to bug out,” Ella said as she drawed on her magic. Nothing however came to her. She felt her chest tighten. She could feel it now, the large magical dome over the area negating all magic; horrible for fighting fires and taxing on the mages to cast, but great at dealing with mage users with the tendency to run whenever the Tutores get involved. Like her.

“Crap,” Ella mumbled and squared her shoulders, standing up straighter resigning herself to the Tutores questions. She just hoped that they still accepted the license of temporary employment for the Eternal Thirst that came with the job.

“Hope you’re not some-”

Daryl was gone. Ella swore in surprise and looked around, but the sandy-blonde man was nowhere to be seen,

“Lucky A-Hole,” she grumbled and turned to the Venator standing in front of her, putting on her best face.

oOo

That was easy. 30 minutes of talking, a flash of her temp licence, and Ella was on her way. Of course the Neg-Magic dome was still up, so she had to walk some blocks before she could teleport.

But still, she was free, the Venator happy to accept her job for the Eternal Thirst, and that was that.
Her footsteps faltered for a second, one foot kicking the other making for stumble. She was still angry. Almost furious at the arsonists who started the fire. Not for putting her in that situation with the Tutores, for starting the fire. Her hands closed into fists. Of everything in this world of monsters and nightmares in the shadows, she could not stand those that would play with the destructive and consuming element that destroyed property and threatened people’s lives. She absolutely hated arsonists.

And if she ever got her hands on the bastards!

Ella kicked a can. Not that she would be able to find them. Letting out her pent up emotion in a sigh she turned the corner, feeling the Neg-Magic dome fall away as she stepped over its edge.

And stopped in her tracks.

Standing in the doorway of a closed shop was a man talking on the phone with his back to her. He looked like he was trying to hide, and was convinced he was out of sight. Ella stepped back behind the corner of the building and watched the man, raising an eyebrow at him. He looked like the people from the warehouse she had fought.

Ella’s pulse jumped. And he was talking about the fire. Was he the arsonist?

‘No,’ Ella concluded, letting go of the breath she was holding. It sounded like someone else had caused the fire to call out ‘the gang’ as the man said. ‘Was he one of Vlad’s men?’ she mused. She knew that they were trying to take over the city, starting battles in the streets and stealing supplies and weapons, but she didn’t know much more than that.
What she did know was that there was the chance this man could lead her to the arsonist. Ella smiled and held her hand out towards the man, her eyes flashing. A small purple circle appeared on the back of his neck the disappeared, the man noticing nothing.

Closing her eyes Ella turned around and teleported to the roof of a building a street over. Rematerializing she felt a tug at the back of her mind, pointing like a compass behind her to street level. Turning the tugging sensation turned as well, still pointing to the man.

“Excellent,” she exclaimed opening her eyes. Now all she had to do was follow him to his base, and hopefully to the arsonist. Taking a step towards the edge of the roof Ella paused and looked down at her clothes.

‘I should probably head back to the club first,’ she reflected. She’d have to report a successful delivery, and the fire. And she could change into her more comfortable clothes.

“Sensible idea,” she declared as she teleported out.


Last edited by LordTomyh on Mon Mar 06, 2017 12:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Despite this mask of happiness I drown in dark despair.
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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Mon Mar 06, 2017 5:53 am

The car shuddered and died, as it tended to do if you weren't on the gas constantly. I leaned back in my seat, breathing out a long sigh, the chill winter air turning my exhale into a puff of steam that quickly dissipated. The heat was out, again, and the draft from the decaying seals around the doors brought goosebumps to my skin as the silence stretched into the night around me. It was the quietest I'd seen the city in some time, the sleet from earlier having shifted to a white blanket of snow, muffling the world as it rained down in a soft, unstoppable sheet. Already it had begun to form a layer on the windshield, dimming the glow from the old amber streetlight that resided outside of my apartment building. Spidery cracks were spread across the glass, now exaggerated with the stark white backdrop. I turned my head slowly, taking in my surroundings in a moment of peace. My eyes traced over the torn and ragged felt seats, coated in fluids and fast food from the past owners; the sticky, peeling dashboard, sunbleached and faded from its original black to an off grey; and the moonroof, which had broken out prior to my acquisition of the vehicle and been replaced with a simple piece of sheet metal.

I felt a twinge of resentment toward the Tutores, toward the world. In this dangerous profession I barely made enough money to scrape by, my cover job not even paying me any money because it was "part of the detail" I was on. I was lucky the Tutores even paid the rent, even if they didn't pay for the bills, the food, and other expenses. Hell, I had to pay for my own gas doing their work. And for what? I'd been taught my craft by a powerful demon, a demon who didn't care what I used my magic for. Only to serve as a wannabe cop, I was the security guard of the hidden world. I snorted in amusement at the comparison. I hadn't seen my mother in ages now, probably over two years. It was difficult when the Tutores were up my ass on every little issue, I didn't need them finding out about my family. Despite hiring demonic and naturally evil individuals, they still had an issue with full demons, no matter how kind they are. I could feel the pain that Vlad's followers felt, staying hidden to protect the humans from the dangers of the real world. It took a toll on you, and after a while you'd begin to resent the normal, naive humans. I hadn't understood it growing up, but now it was all too clear.

I slapped my hand on the steering wheel, ending my rambling train of thought. Groaning, I yanked the door open and stepped out onto the snow-strewn street. It was just as I closed the door that I felt something, a magical essence nearby. I turned and scanned my surroundings, the tall buildings walling in the road for a relatively long stretch, most of which was illuminated by dim streetlights. There was little place to hide, but this was close. Suddenly, a bag was dropped over my head, the stench of paralyzing magics invading my nostrils. With a yell, I reached back and took a handful of my assailants shirt as my consciousness began to fade, and I teleported. I didn't go into my apartment, or further up the street, I went straight up, into the sky, dragging the attacker with me. I heard him call out in fear at the shock of what had happened. Struggling to stay in control, I ignited my body with a super hot flame, burning away the hood and its magic, singeing the man with the puff of flame as well, and then we were back on the street. Grunting, the man fell to the ground, blinking rapidly, what was left of his beard and eyebrows smoldering, the whole front of his jacket melted and glued to him.

I lifted a hand, red mist forming around my fingertips, ready to smite the son of a b*tch. And then something hit me from the side. Not something physical, something magical. It felt like I'd fallen sideways into a pool of water, immediately plummeting to the bottom, the world going dark.

"Jesus Christ, I didn't expect that," laughed a voice out of the darkness, "The boss is gonna be happy with this one, load him up and let's get back to HQ," and then I passed out.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:19 am

"Jesus Christ, what did he do to you?" Asked a faded, echo-y voice out of the darkness behind my eyelids. I couldn't move or feel anything, I was floating in emptiness. I struggled to open my eyes, but my eyelids were too heavy and it was a struggle to even stay awake.

"He lit himself on fire, caught Jeremiah up in it too," laughed a familiar voice, the voice of whoever got the jump on me after I singed 'Jeremiah'.

"f***er roasted my beard," Came a disgruntled response from who I could only assume was Jeremiah and I felt a sharp pain in my side, but it faded almost immediately.

"Let's see, you owe me how much now?" asked my captor, "The bag has never failed before, let's just use that," he said in a mocking tone.

"f*** off Jack, I'm not in the mood for this sh*t," Jeremiah grumbled.

"Maybe you could listen to me next time and we'll start with the pacification field, especially when the dude is a warlock," Jack prodded further, "You lost a hundred bucks and a beard," he laughed, only to cut off as Jeremiah punched him in the gut, winded panting following quickly after, then silence.

"Wait, he's awake," came a voice a few moments later, followed by shuffling.

"How? We used the ring, no one can get out of that," Came a confused sounding Jack.

"I dunno, but he's awake, you sure you used it right?" the new voice said again.

"Of fuckin' course I used it right, who do you take me for?" Jack spat back.

"Look at that, his tats are glowing," Jeremiah piped up, the foggy sound of their voices fading, the feeling returning to my limbs.

"Hit him with it again, the boss isn't ready to see him yet," someone said, followed immediately by another dose of whatever had hit me on the street. This time, however, it washed over me and faded almost instantly, the original enchantment fading faster and faster. I was still in disbelief that they had something powerful enough to overwhelm my wards in the first place

"He's coming out of it, grab the bag!" Jack said, sounding panicked. They didn't have the time, however, my eyes flicking open, revealing a dingy hallway and three men standing around where I was slumped in a chair. As soon as I made eye contact, Jeremiah, a shorter fellow with what appeared to be a bad sunburn on his face, the front of his jacket melted and burned; reached over and grabbed the man next to him around the throat.

"The f*** are you-" Started the taller man, a ski mask covering his face, but he began to choke as Jeremiah squeezed harder.

"Jeremiah! Get off him!" Bellowed the last man, a small, mousey guy with light blonde hair and a receding hairline, he wore a bandana around his face so I couldn't identify him.

"I c-can't," Jeremiah stuttered, pulling the other man onto the floor where he continued to choke him as he sputtered and slapped at his face. Veins bulged in his forehead and his skin turned a shade of red as he tried his hardest to resist, but to no avail, "Help me Carlos!" He screamed, panic raising the pitch of his voice. Slowly, I got to my feet, still a bit dizzy, as Carlos, the small guy, tackled Jeremiah off of who I now assumed was Jack, breaking his stranglehold and trying to pin the bigger man to the ground. Jack, wheezing heavily, rolled to his feet and wrapped an arm around Carlos' neck and pulled him up, off of Jeremiah, who simply laid there, paralyzed, his eyes flicking about wildly. With the smaller man in a choke hold, he backed himself to the wall, facing the man toward me, confusing and panic on his face.

"Hello, Carlos," I said, cracking my shoulders, I felt so stiff, as if I'd been asleep for a week in the same position.

"The f*** are you doing?" He asked, his gray eyes bulging.

"I'm not doing anything," I said with a smile, reaching out and pulling the bandana down off of his face, revealing thin lips and a big pointed nose.

"H-help m-m-me," Sputtered Jeremiah from where he lay on the floor, straining to regain control of his body.

"Don't worry, I'll let you go after I have some answers," I said to him, turning my attention back to Carlos, "Now, how did you paralyze me?"

"It was the ring," He said, wasting no time, "T-that the boss gave us, he said it's really old and strong, you weren't supposed to get out of it,"

"Who has it?" I glanced between the trio.

"I do," Jack said, he seemed to have given up on controlling his body and was just rolling with it, smart man, "In my jacket pocket, on the chain," I nodded and searched his pocket, finding an old bronze ring inscribed with thousands of tiny runes. This what the magical presence I'd felt in the street. It was ancient and powerful, something the Tutores would keep locked away. It was enchanted to cast a spell, something even the most senior of warlocks would be unable to recreate on the fly. Formula spells and enchantments fascinated me and were currently my focus of study. You could do almost anything, given the energy and know-how. It was a terribly underrepresented and under taught field of magic, even my mother knew little about transcribing magic to physical form.

"What the hell is going on?" Came a new voice, distinctly feminine. I turned to find a woman in a long black dress standing in a doorway just a short distance up the hall, an annoyed look on her face. And just like that, Jeremiah and Jack regained control of their bodies. Jack dropped Carlos immediately while Jeremiah floundered to his feet, "And why is the recruit awake?"

"I-but-it was-uh," Sputtered Jeremiah, but the woman just shook her head, dismissing him.

"Whatever, the boss wants to see him now," she turned, walking back into the room. Pocketing the ring, I followed her through the door, the three stooges on my heels. Inside was a lavishly furnished office space with a central desk and a door on either side of it. The walls were painted a deep velvet red and the sitting chairs were beautiful stained cherry, along with the massive halfmoon desk, where the woman, an elf with long dark hair tied back in a ponytail, sat. The fact that the hallway looked like it belonged in a rundown hotel and then this room looked like an upper end CEO's reception area boggled my mind. I supposed it was a cover, but they still wanted a luxurious workspace. I noticed that the paintings hanging on the walls were moving, as if the paintings were actually television screens, but from what I could tell, they were simply enchanted. Amazing and priceless artwork nowadays. With click, the leftmost door swung open, revealing the corner of a desk and a window looking out over downtown St. Louis. Hurriedly, my captors shuffled into the room, the receptionist motioning for me to follow.

"Scott, I take it?" Asked the man at the desk as soon as I crossed the threshold. I felt the shift in location as I entered, the doorway was a portal, and the window was an enchantment. The office could be anywhere in the world and I wouldn't know.

"At your service," I nodded, striding over to his desk, which was made of similar wood to the receptionist's. I reached over to shake his hand, getting a good look at him. He wasn't at all what I was expecting. He looked, well, he looked like a businessman. He had a head of thick black hair combed to a very precise style topping a well tanned, confident face and a bright white smile. He wore a black suit with a nice red tie with what looked like fishing hooks on it, in a slightly darker red.

"My name is Gary Black, it's wonderful to make your acquaintance," He said, his voice deep and strong, his handshake reinforcing his confident persona.

"Likewise, I take it you're who I need to talk to about a membership to the Union?" I nodded, taking a step back from his desk. The three men who came in with me stood at the back of the room, looking sheepish.

"Indeed I am," He laughed, leaning back in his high backed leather chair, folding his hands on his lap, "Do you know what it is you'd like to get into here?"

"I just know I like what I've seen, and I want a piece of whatever pie you're baking," I admitted, Gary motioning for me to have a seat in one of the chairs in front of his desk.

"Well, Scott, you see I'm a business man, I'm not naturally physically forceful," He started, sizing me up, "But recently I've encountered some roadblocks that need removing, and unfortunately the only way to remove them is through force,"

"What is it that you do, if you can answer that?" I asked, getting comfortable in my chair.

"I'm what you might call a salesman, I sell whatever it is others need. Recently, it's been weapons," He responded, surprisingly honestly, "I've had dealing with both the Tutores and Vlad in the past few months, and that is where my problems arise; and I'll be quite honest, I don't expect to employ you for long, just long enough to get the job done,"

"So a temporary position," I nodded slowly.

"Precisely, once Vlad and the Tutores are no longer a problem, I'll be on my merry way and you can forget I ever existed," He explained.

"So what exactly is the problem, and what will I be doing?" I asked.

"I sold some merchandise to Vlad before his big reveal, to get him going on his revolution" He did air quotes as he said it, "And I'll be quite honest, I didn't expect him to get as far as he has. He came to me recently demanding more weapons, his army is expanding, you see, and powerful magical weapons are not easy to come by. Now, I'd have been happy to sell him more, but he refused to pay my asking price, and when I told him I would accept nothing less, he tried to kill me,"

"How did you get away?" I asked, cocking my head.

"I don't trust anyone I deal with, as I'm sure you can understand why. I had defensive measures put into place weeks before the meeting. I was safer in that room with the psycho than I am in my own home," He laughed, "But that is of little matter, my primary issue is that he managed to steal a hefty shipment of weapons I had on standby, should we reach an agreement. His goons now hunt me and my associates, I have information that could destroy him and he doesn't want the loose ends. He's decimated my stocks, killed my employees, driven me and my partners underground, and even tipped the Tutores off to my operations,"

That last bit rang a bell. An investigator by the name Oliver Bell came in with information on a big arms smuggling operation only a few weeks ago, suspicious.

"So now, I've got the Tutores after me, Vlad trying to kill me, and my business in shambles," He sighed, shaking his head.

"So you need a distraction?" I asked.

"Exactly!" He piqued right up, "Union Black will make the Tutores and Vlad's lives hell in this city while I get my sh*t back together for a proper counter, then Vlad will wish he never f***ed with me. And judging by that display in the hall, you're just the man I'm looking for,"

"Flattering, but what exactly do you want me to be doing?" I asked, skeptical.

"You have experience with wards, enchantments, all that good stuff, which is what I mostly deal in," He explained, "Most of my consultants have either disappeared or been killed, so I'm in need of some help in that field. You prove yourself and you might find yourself with a new job once I get back on my feet,"

"And I'll be reimbursed for my service?" I pressed a bit further.

"Of course, I pay very well for good help," He nodded, becoming more business-like, "I've got a few jobs lined up to test you out, see if I can use you for my bigger plans. If it's not for you, just burn the files and we'll call it even, you can carry on your way and I'll forget all about you,"

"You've got yourself a deal, Mr. Black," I nodded, rising to my feet, the man standing with me. He smiled and extended a hand, shaking my hand firmly.

"Ms. Betolli will give you the files on your way out, along with a phone you can use to contact us if you have any questions," He motioned toward the door, implying it was time for me to go, "Jeremiah will take you back to where they picked you up,"

"Sir, I'm sorry-" Jeremiah piped up as I strode toward the door.

"It's quite alright, you had no way of telling," He silenced him, chuckling heartily, "Do be more careful in the future, though,"

I stepped out into the reception area where Ms. Betolli was waiting, a pile of folders on her desk along with a cell phone.

"Welcome to Union Black, Mister Barnes," She said, handing the pile to me, "Don't hesitate to call if you need anything," her voice laden with disinterest, an implied eyeroll following her words.

And with that, I was led outside by the poor singed Jeremiah and into a Mercedes Benz, finding that the office was actually in one of the old hotels down by the Missouri River, I couldn't remember its name, but it had gone out of business about five years prior. After a short, awkwardly quiet drive, I was back to my apartment building, the sky just beginning to lighten as the morning approached, the snow still falling, but more gently now.

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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  LordTomyh on Sun Mar 19, 2017 11:25 pm

“Dammit!” Ella shouted, kicking a discarded soft drink can across the abandoned warehouse that was essentially her home.

“Dammit! Dammit Dammit!”

She had her chance to find the arsonist. She had her chance to make him pay. But teleporting from the Eternal Thirst to where her tracker spell was had drained her off magic. AND she had bounced off of the ward around the old building down her spell was in. She was lucky she didn’t pass out from that.

She couldn’t get into the building, not with no magic. And even if she could there what was she suppose to do to the arsonists, pass out on him.

Sucking in air sharply Ella looked to the ceiling and cursed. The one goal she had set herself in a while, and she f***ed up. As she always does. As she always will.

Sinking to the ground Ella sighed in defeat.

“I’m truly pathetic, aren’t i?

“Pathetic, no.”

Ella jumped and banged her head on the wall. Cursing and holding the sore she looked over to whoever was in the warehouse with her. Sitting on a pile of rubble, a cigarette in hand a young man, about mid-20’s, looked back at her with a gentle smile. Lean and average height at 5’8 he had snow-white skin, medium-length orange hair and sparkling jade green eyes. He wore the uniform of the Eternal Thirst, only with a white bowtie, currently undone, and his sleeves rolled up up white bands. The man took a drag of his smoke and stood up, walking towards the young warlock.

“I’m sorry dorogoy,” he said with a thick russian accent. “I didn’t mean to make you jump.”

“No. It’s, ok” Ella said shyly, rising to her feet and keeping her gaze at the man’s feet. “Why, are you here, sir? How did you even get here? It’s, daytime.”

“It’s snowing. And please, I’ve told you, call me Ivan.”

“Sorry, Ivan. Sir.”

Ivan laughed. “Slishkom milaya. There is something I need you to do”

“M-me?” Ella stuttered, jumping again in surprise. “But, why me? But-”

“Last night after the fire, one of my glaza my eyes saw a man being attacked and taken away by three others. They followed to an abandoned hotel near the river and kept watch.”

Ella stood up straighter, leaning into Ivan listening intently. She had a feeling of where this was going.

“Later they saw that man walking out of the hotel, free as a bird.”

“Do you think this man had anything to do with the fire? Do you think he was the arsonist?”

“I don’t know. But I do know that there is a new gang, the Union Black, trying to carve up a helping of this town, and I believe this man has been recruited.”

“What is it that you want me to do then sir?” Ella said, much more confident than before. Ivan noticed this and chuckled softly.

“Little Johnny, so eager for the battle. For now I want you to simply go to this address and watch this man. Nothing more, not until we know more.”

Ella took the slip of paper and read the address, twice. She knew roughly where that was, pretty simple. But if this man was the arsonist from last night.

“Yes sir,” Ella smiled looking to Ivan. The ginger vampire smiled back, a faint hint of his fangs poking through his lips.

“You will do well, I’m sure.” He said turning to leave. Unlike most vampires who showed off their speed for the dramatic ‘batman’ exit, Ivan casually strolled the door to the warehouse, whistling as he went. Ella looked down at the address again, the wheels in her head turning. Her job was simply to watch whoever this man was, gather information and such. But if he was the arsonist, Ella couldn’t just watch him, couldn’t just let him go. Fidgeting her fingers Ella glanced to the train parked in the corner of the warehouse and smiled.

“I’ll be back Albert.”

Teleporting Ella landed in a darkened alley ankle deep in snow. Looking around she let out a sigh of relief that she was alone and hadn’t been seen, and that it hadn’t taken up too much of her magic. Quickly she moved to the end of the alleyway and stepped out, looking for the address.

“Let’s see, let’s see. It should be right… There.”

Ella crossed the street to the address, a pretty standard apartment block by city standards. There wasn’t anything that made it stand out to Ella as she got closer. But as soon as she put her foot on the first step she felt herself breach a magical barrier and jumped back. Looking about to see if anyone stopped to notice her she looked the building over again. The building hadn’t changed, and nothing had happened to her.

A ward to detect people?’ Ella mused. Stepping off to the side of the entrance and out of the way of people she poured a little magic into the ward, her eyes flashing purple. Liking hitting a rubber wall her magical probe was shot backwards, someone on the other side of the road getting hit in the face and knocked down. Elle cursed under her breath and looked back at the building. There was no way to teleport into the building, not that she even knew which apartment she was looking for.

‘Yes I do, stupid,’ she chastised, remembering the address was written on the piece of paper; how Ivan’s glaza got that is beyond Ella.

“So how am I going to get in there?” Ella asked herself quietly. Sending out another magical probe she got the same result, the same guy getting knocked down again. If only she could alter the ward. But she knew she didn’t have the magic for that, and all of her spells were rejected even if she did.

Even if she did…

“No,” Ella started throwing her hands up and walking away from the building. “Not doing it. Not, doing, it. No way.”
She was seen last time, someone saw her, holding the staff. Someone recognized the staff. Sure she had hidden her face. But someone had still recognized the staff. Ella shuddered and stepped into an alleyway near the apartment. She was sure the Hidden World Underground and Black Market was rife with rumours and whispers of the staffs by now. Which meant people were looking-

Ella picked up a pile of snow and pressed it to her face, shivering and cursing from the cold. ‘Stop thinking on that, focus on the arsonist’ she told herself looking up to the sky and exhaling. She had to get this man, had to. She couldn’t be distracted now, couldn’t let fear stop her. There was no way into the apartment, now way to find this arsonist. Maybe she could use the staves, just for a second, just to get in there. Looking back to the building she tried another mental probe, only for it to again bounce back, putting a hole in the neighbouring building. With a sigh of defeat Ella put a hand to the bracelet.

“Only way,” she said closing her eyes as she used magic to hide her face with the hood and mask again.

"By earth below and mountain strong, give your power as protecting song. Your servant dost cry, safeguard those before thine eye..”

As Ella sang her bracelet began to glow a bright brown light, one of the charms shaking violently as a ball of glowing brown formed in her palm. The charm shattered into brown embers, the glowing ball in her hand growing longer into a staff, only different to the last one. This staff had four bars for the head, three of which the same length whereas the top was longer with two upwards prongs. The colour of the staff was brown instead of orange, with a series of parallelogram spirals running down the shaft.

Ella opened her eyes and placed the staff besides her. She focused her magic on the ward, her eyes and the staff flashing a bright brown light. This time her magic punched through the ward, creating a miniscule hole, hopefully too small for the creator to notice. But it was enough for her.

Drawing on the magic of the staff Ella teleported inside, landing in a living room, right in front of a man sitting on the couch.

“What the f***?” He shouted rising to his feet. Ella levelled the staff with his front, stopping him dead. Slowly she pushed forward, forcing the man back into his seat.

“Are you the man who set fire to the Enchantress' Gaze last night?” Ella asked, masking her voice.

“What’s it to you?” he asked with a scowl. Ella raised an eyebrow, not that he could see under her mask and hood.

“I want to know why?”

“You’re not with the Tutores, are ya?” he said, calmly leaning back in his chair. Ella felt her temperature rise. The little sh*t! Still, Ella smirked. She couldn’t sense or feel any magic coming off of the man, and he felt like a normal human. She could handle an average Joe.

“Does it matter.” Ella said confidently, dismissing the staff. She felt a little woozy, the room swaying around her. But she tried her best to not let it show. Standing up to her full height she looked down on the man. “Answer my questions.”

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Despite this mask of happiness I drown in dark despair.
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Re: The Hidden World: St Louis

Post  Damxge on Tue Mar 21, 2017 1:26 am

I'd sensed it as soon as the ward was breached, but I had no time to react. I'd only just made it out of my seat when she appeared. What was more, I couldn't be sure how many others had gotten in with her. I sat there, relaxed, trying to size her up. She obviously had excellent intel, considering the apartment with our mailing address was empty, a portal acting as a gateway over the door, teleporting anyone who crossed to the actual apartment in the basement. The only way to access the portal was to unlock the door with one of two keys and open it physically. She had to know that this was the real one prior to teleporting in, not just know the address. The wave of powerful energy that washed over me as she appeared was disconcerting as well. It was ancient and torrential, flooding my senses and making my skin prickle, but as soon as she dismissed her weapon, it vanished entirely. She was either a very old warlock, she didn't seem outwardly demonic, or she possessed some very strong weapons. I would have to approach this carefully, an outright confrontation could result in my death or the death of others in the building.

"I might cooperate if you're law enforcement," I responded, a bit of sarcasm never hurt a tense situation, sure. I cursed Flowers and Asha, they'd only just left half an hour ago to look for a new headquarters for Flowers and round up the Vlad gang to try to get organized again after their crushing defeat.

"Just answer my question, was it you who lit the shop on fire?" She pressed, ignoring my comment.

"If you're here, standing in my apartment, past my detection ward, you already know," I antagonized, straining my senses to detect her defenses, but only found a wall. She didn't have any inscribed wards on her, no, they weren't nearly that strong, she had some form of enchantments protecting her. Powerful enchantments that would resist all direct magical interaction, which meant my usual paralysis and control wouldn't work. It didn't appear that I would be able to force past them either, they were fueled by an immense energy that there was no way I could match. If she turned around and put that energy into a direct attack on me, I was dead.

"Why did you do it?" She asked, placing a hand on her hip. I sighed, restraining myself. Asha used to do that when she was scolding me when I was little and it drove me crazy.

"Why does the 'why' matter?" I asked, "If you know I set the fire," I was trying to get a bit more information out of her, to see exactly what it was she knew already. She opened her mouth to respond, only for a burst of wind to explode forth from around me, knocking her flying, crashing into the opposite wall, taking the curtains to the floor with her. I teleported over her, buffeting her with a windstorm as she lay on the floor, attempting to fight back, but the gale was too strong, holding her in place, completely immobile, dragging the breath from her body. She tried to teleport, but the wards had mended themselves and she couldn't escape the building through magical means, instead she kind of flickered once or twice before she passed out from the lack of oxygen. I straightened up and looked around, extending tendrils of magic through the building, trying to sense if she had backup, but all I felt were the usual occupants.

If she were anything like me, she wouldn't stay passed out for long, magic was a strong resuscitator and if her wards were any indication, she had some sort of defensives up. I placed her in the chair and secured her with magical bonds, bonds I prayed she wouldn't just break through as soon as she awoke. I might have to make a hasty retreat if she could. I was only just finished when she jolted awake, glaring, I'm sure, through her mask at me.

"How did you do that?" She asked, her voice laden with malice.

"That would be telling," I said, leaning on the edge of the couch, peering at her thoughtfully. Something was very familiar about her, or her magic, to be specific, "Now, how do you know what I've done and how did you know where to find me?"

"Intuition," She spat, but I didn't buy it.

"Flores para los muertos?" I asked in sloppily pronounced Spanish.

"What?" She asked, completely confused. Oh well, it was worth a try.

[Leaving it there for now, message me and let me know where you want this to go. I'm sure she can get out pretty easily if she really wants to.]

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