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Omnivident - Book 1: A War of Souls 
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Spurred by the ominous riddles of the witch, Ms. Ignanius, Alice, Evelyn, Damian, Fiona and Maximillian went to the south-end of town to investigate the strange congregating of spirits. While there, they discover that the ghosts are being drawn to a particular bookstore, Oasis Books, and that many of the ghosts were stuck in a mindless trance. While interacting with the mindless ghosts, Alice is triggered by the sight of some of the former Archive Club students, who are likewise in a trance and do not acknowledge or remember Alice. Her emotional outburst causes the ghosts to take note of the group and attack the children. They narrowly escape, defeating most of the ghosts, though Damian notices that there were living energy signatures amongst the dead.

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

At St. Martins, Adi, Derrek, Tsubaki, Logan and Lotus meet with Father Albright, who shares some Arclight history with the children. In particular, Father Albright regales the family history of the Arclight Academy headmaster, Doctor Julius Berkham. It is revealed that the Berkham family is one of the oldest families of Darren City, having settled in Arclight before it was even a town. The Father lets slip that the Berkham family had close Omnivident ties, but quickly changes the subject, refusing to let them know anything on the subject.

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

Back in the Mystorium, Li, Johnny, Id and Daniel find Ms. Ignianus, who is concocting a potion in her backroom. After initial misgivings about the use of witchcraft, Id and Li warm up to the unusual old crone, recognizing the interesting relationship between the witch and Daniel. In her typical mysterious manner, Ms. Ignianus informs Li regarding the nature of sages, and Daniel’s potential capacity of being one.


******

The groups reconvening, each share their experiences and grow even more concerned about the paranormal activity in the south-end of town. Evelyn, having an extensive network to the historic Omnivident families, asks her father about the Berkhams. Unfortunately, he is unable to tell her more than what Father Albight had recounted. All he knows is that they were once a prominent family, until suddenly they were not. Logan decides to do some research in the s**** library only discovering that the Berkham family line originated from the Sterling family, and that both lines were suddenly absent after the Second World War.

Alice remains a bit unhinged from her experience with the ghosts of her friends. She begins to withdraw from the group, keeping to herself, as Lloyd tries to be there for her. She takes it upon herself to delve deeper into the circumstances surrounding the bus explosion without consulting the rest of the team.

Again, the issue of Daniel’s use of magic is brought to the forefront of the team. However, for the first time it is acknowledged by everyone in the group. Adi, in particular, seems the most hesitant in the use of magic, which is supported by Damian, Lloyd, and Lotus, who saw the worst effects of magic in their fight with the jinn. Li, explains that the circumstances are different as Daniel could very well be a sage as stated by Ms. Ignianus, this is likewise supported by Maximilian, Evelyn and Tsubaki, who have heard the legends of sages. Otherwise, Logan, Derrek and Id remained relatively ambivalent to the situation. The discussion escalates to a highly unusual argument between Adi and Li, causing them to both leave the room angrily; one viewing the other as fanciful and the other as stubborn.

The rift has an impact on the team, ultimately placing Lloyd in charge, as Alice is nowhere to be found, and Adi and Li are no longer on speaking terms. Lotus, is torn between her growing feelings for Daniel, but after everything she had heard about witches, is a little unsure. Fiona, slowly becomes more and more reserved; she is persistently plagued by nightmares as a side effect from her possession. She also struggles with manifesting her chains, a fact she keeps a secret from everyone, including Damian. Daniel feels guilty about causing such a huge fight within the team, but is still determined to learn The Speech, however, because he cannot find Phora and Alice, he tries to convince Id and Ego – he is quite unsuccessful.

The children discover that Miss Rachel hadn’t actually abandoned them as previously thought, rather she was quite overwhelmed with her actual day job. The New Year meant that many of the upper year students were preparing for their university/college applications. As the school guidance counsellor, she was expected to run a number of events and meet with each of the students in preparation for their graduations. Even with her gift of knowing, she found it quite difficult to persuade the various teenagers on the paths that they wanted in life.

As interim leader, Lloyd sends the team on minor missions. Logan, Maximilian, and Daniel are sent to St. Martin’s to find out any other possible information. Id, Derrek, Lotus and Johnny head back to the Mystorium – purposely without Daniel – to dig into more information with Ms. Ignianus. Tsubaki, Damian, Fiona and Evelyn are sent to inquire further the movement of ghosts.

******

Logan, Maximilian and Daniel arrive at the church, only to discover that it is under attack by a mob of demon imps. Together, Logan, Maximilian and Daniel fight towards the church, where Father Albright is currently barricaded. However, in the midst of the battle, Logan’s spiritual weapons fail him as his descendants are suddenly whisked away. Despite a moment of panic, Logan fights with a fallen branch as he regains his composure, and the three of them reach the church. Inside, Father Albright, initially skeptical, hastily teaches Daniel a hymn in Latin that they sing together to drive away the imps. Once subdued Maximilian wipes them out with a tremendous feat of water manipulation. Danial’s ability to sing the ancient hymn confirms that he might be a sage after all.


******
Id, Lotus, Derrek and Johnny head to the Mystorium. They note, like the previous group, that the weird feeling of being watched is gone. Id attempts to grill, Ms. Ignianus (figuratively) but it has no effect on the strange woman. Instead, she tells them about the nature of the sage. One who is born with the gift of omnividence, learned in the workings of magic, tutored in the tongue of The Speech, knowledgeable in the essence of witchcraft, and keeper of the sacral hymns. She then explained how Daniel very well could be a sage, as he has shown an aptitude with his arte vitri, the use of magic, and the very beginnings of witchcraft. (She left out the fact that she had used a spell requiring the blood of a sage) In doing so, Ms. Ignianus effectively convinces the four children that Daniel’s use of magic need not be as controversial as they once thought. Their conversation is interrupted, when a sudden expression washes over Ms. Ignianus’ face, causing her to hurry the children out of her shop and to follow her down the street.

*******

Tsubaki, Damian, Evelyn and Fiona use their spiritual senses to track down where the ghosts are congregating once again. This time, however, it leads them Renard Inn. They are careful not to disturb the ghosts, learning from their previous experience, and discover four omnivident individuals conducting some sort of ritual. However, before they have the opportunity to stop it, the ritual is completing sending a wave of spiritual energy through the region and drawing all the ghosts toward a tome held by one of the ritualists. The four children fight, but they are greatly surpassed in power and skill by the four – spiritorum – omnivident ritualists. It becomes apparent that Fiona in particular is incapable of wielding her own power, which hampers the rest of the team. The leader begins to encase each of the children in ice, just as Ms. Ignianus, along with Id, Lotus, Derrek, Johnny – and Miss Rachel – arrive at the scene.

Id, in a fantastic display of fire and feathers, transforms with Ego and thaws out the children, saving them from being suffocated beneath the ice. Miss Rachel, seems to recognize the leader of the group and is shocked, she faces off against him, while the rest of the children fight the remaining team members. With the eight children against the three adults, they are able to cause them to retreat, while Miss Rachel on her own defeats the one man she refers to as “Javi”, who leaves behind the tome used in the ritual.

As predicted by Derrek, it turns out they were trying to open a portal to the nether realms. Although they defeat their enemy, the success of the ritual is unclear. While there was no evidence of a portal having been open, the presence of the mass of ghosts is still completely lost.


~Chapter 5 End~

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Chapter 6: Chaos and Order

Fiona is continually plagued by her nightmares, which is compounded by the guilt she feels at letting her team members down due to her inability to manifest her powers. Evelyn and Damian have also been having restless sleeps, however they can never remember what they have dreamt the night before. Similarly, Daniel has been having a recurring dream – a vision – but like always, he cannot tell what it means. Logan is distraught over the disappearance of his two ancestors, though he has since manifested another, providing him with new weaponry and armour; still, he wonders about their fates after hearing about the ritual. Meanwhile, Tsubaki blames herself, being the most senior member of her squad, for their near demise.

The junior students are otherwise occupied by the ramping up of the semester in preparation for final exams in the coming spring. Lotus, no longer as concerned about Daniel’s use of magic, warms up to the idea of a relationship with the boy. Johnny, very much a notatorum, had already dived into his for the end of term examinations. Derrek continues to slack off in class, though is slowly becoming accustomed to having more friends around due to the SDU. Id has been sneaking out a lot more often to drink from her flask and skipping class. Maximilian finds himself annoyed and bothered by the fact that Kyle is constantly engaging Evelyn, and yet, he is also annoyed by the fact that it even bothers him.

Lloyd confronts Alice for avoiding him for so long. Initially she tries to push him away, but Lloyd convinces her that he really cares about her. In this moment Alice breaks down and shares with Lloyd her feelings and about the bus explosion that took the lives of her friends in the previous year. She reveals that she’s been doing a lot of demon hunting on her own with Phora, trying to find more information about the explosion.

Miss Rachel calls a meeting, drawing the entire SDU back into one room after being so dispersed; the students note the unresolved tension between Adi and Li. Miss Rachel goes over the events from the last few months, and shares that Sir William has also disappeared in wake of the ritual. She tells the team that the ritual was quite similar to the one that they witnessed on their first mission of the year that nearly brought forth a fallen angel. It is quite clear that the kids are becoming overwhelmed by the happenings of the town, so Miss Rachel leaves them with no assignment, telling them to focus on school rather than the supernatural, and to enjoy simply being kids for a change. She promises to reach out to The Order for more support and dismisses them, although so many things seem unanswered.

*****

Logan, Evelyn and Bernice spend their time in the library preparing for their exams. Bernice notes that the two of them seem distracted lately, which Evelyn is quick to brush off. Still, she persuades her friends to take a break and the three of them head to Tea Tyme, where they run into Lotus and Daniel on a date. The interaction leads to Logan and Bernice becoming quite flustered, while Evelyn slips away from the two couples. Walking back to the school alone, Evelyn bumps into Maximilian. They playfully banter as they walk back to campus, their conversation gradually leading to a discussion on both their families and what it was like being born into omnividence rather than having the opportunity to choose to live a normal life.

******

Johnny, leaving one of the library’s study rooms runs into Fiona and for the first time realizes that something is quite wrong with her. Although she denies any issues, Johnny knows from his own experience of being possessed, what she is going through. Eventually she relents and breaks down, revealing the issues she has with her powers. Johnny takes her to Apollon and together the two of them manage to unlock a mutated version of her gifts. No longer did she merely manifest chains, now they seemed to be imbued with hell fire, in a manner similar to Johnny’s sigils had been imbued with energy.

******

Id’s behaviour in school and her drinking habits had started to become an issue that was brought up by other faculty to Miss Rachel’s attention. She gently confronts Id, who tells her about the passing of her girlfriend in the bus explosion, and how the approaching anniversary was really affecting her. Miss Rachel empathises with the girl, telling her that James Albright had been her fiancé once upon a time, and although they did not work out, they were dear friends. His loss weighed heavily on her heart. They come to an agreement that Id will skip less of her classes.

*****

Damian was feeling quite alone because of Fiona’s avoidance and Daniel’s preoccupation with Lotus. Walking through the mall alone, Damian bumps into Tsuabaki and Sangeeta who are trying out a new Thai cuisine restaurant. They invite him to join and Damian gets to experience the kind and nurturing presence of Sangeeta. The moment allows for Damian and Tsubaki to feel at ease for the first time in quite a while.

*******

Yuriel, in his human-guise, is leading Adi on what is supposed to be a spiritual trail. Assuming that the angel was referring to a demon, Adi is quite surprised when they come upon Li in a park alone. Yuriel chastises Adi for letting his stubbornness cloud his judgement, once again reminding him that such a path would only lead to his own destruction. He then leaves the boys to speak alone. Li is the first to apologize, understanding where Adi was coming from, and how he no longer wished to fight with his dearest friend. Li shares his frustrations and fears based on what they had experienced thus far and Adi in turn shares his own feelings. At first the conversation is awkward but the two come to an understanding, with Adi eventually apologizing as well.

*******

Derrek finally enjoys sleeping in.

*********

Alice and Lloyd completely disregard Miss Rachel’s words and continue their demon hunting. Their pursuit leads them to Bacchanalia, a night club that they are too young to enter, but acquire false IDs to enter. On that particular night there are a number of powerful demons lurking within the night club. The presence of the two young omnivident children leads to a dangerous encounter, finding Alice, Phora, Lloyd and Grayson outnumbered and outpowered, even while transformed with their totems. The demons attempt to have Alice and Lloyd kill each other through a twisted illusion messing with their minds, however, they are rescued by three omnivident individuals: Ken, an artes fluunt west disciple; Carol, an artes portarum disciple; and, Simon, an artes spiritorum disciple.

The three omnivident warriors save Alice and Lloyd from killing each other, as well as defeat and exorcise the demons that had taken possession of the hapless strangers. They introduce themselves and state that they were summoned by The Order to look into Darren City.


~Chapter 6 End~

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Chapter 7: Omens

In the following week, Miss Rachel introduces Simon, Carol and David to the rest of the SDU. It is quite clear that she has an extensive history with these individuals as they laugh and mention inside jokes to each other. The three introduce themselves more formally. Simon is the charming and charismatic leader of their squad, a spiritorum disciple gifted with a major soul of terror and a minor soul of life, allowing him to create convincing illusions and regenerate from wounds. Ken is the taciturn and no-nonsense type, very much a disciple of the artes fluunt west, being capable of amazing acrobatic feats and superhuman athleticism. Carol is the kind and nurturing type, a very impressive artes portarum disciple who is exceptionally skilled in the creation of portals for travel. Already briefed on their files, Miss Rachel leaves the SDU in their hands while she returns to her day job.

The children are split into three teams:

Team Simon – Lloyd, Logan, Evelyn, Damian, Fiona
Team Carol – Alice, Tsubaki, Maximilian, Johnny, Daniel
Team Ken – Adi, Li, Idelia, Derrek, Lotus

*******

Team Simon returns to the location where the ritual was conducted. Taking a keen interest in his fellow spiritorum disciples, Simon is impressed at the development of each of their abilities. He notes, that of all the ominvident disciplines, the spiritorum have always been and always will be the most spiritually sensitive. He emphasizes the sheer potential within the arte and how he theorizes that there are nuances still to be discovered. Taking the three young spiritorum, the three are coached into a deep trance to extend their senses much farther than they have ever before. Using their senses they are able to discern the traces of spiritual activity from the ritual that sets the team on a trail to follow.

*******

Team Carol returns to St. Martin’s to figure out what the mob of imps were looking for, or what may have provoked the attack. Father Albright is intrigued by Daniel’s ability to learn a sacral hymn, and decides to teach him another, (although Daniel is much more interested in conventional magic, and The Speech). Carol is completely shocked by Daniel’s abilities, indicating that she had never met a living Sage before. Alice, is hesitantly warming up to the idea of Daniel wielding magic, although she still hates witches. She and Maximilian do not mince words with the priest, who they believe has been holding out vital information. After a fairly tense session, Father Albright reveals a hidden catacomb beneath the church property.


********

Team Ken go to the neighbourhood that had once been swarming with the possessed to check in on Ms. Sullivan. Ken waits outside, while the children enter, remaining on guard to ensure the same fate doesn’t befall them twice, and also not a fan of small talk. Tasha is happy to see the children who helped her in her time of need, and introduces them to her boyfriend. Immediately, Adi is able to sense that the man is a demon, though he is quite surprised that Li has not sensed this. Her boyfriend is incredibly charming, getting Lotus, Li and even Derrek to jovially engage with him. Most worryingly though, Idelia, is laughing lightheartedly with the man as if they were old friends. Adi begins to doubt his senses, however he starts to hear faint banging on the front door.

*******

Team Simon follows the trail and it leads them to Darren General Hospital. While the hospital is usually swarmed with idle ghosts and spirits, the children find that it is actually quite empty, a by-product of the earlier ritual. The trail seems to go cold once they get inside the hospital, but fortunately Simon’s senses are honed enough to pick up on the faint energy signature which leads them to a patient in a coma. The team is quite confused as the coma patient seems to be lacking even a spirit or soul for them to sense. After speaking to a few family members of the patient, Fiona is able to sense that the brother is telling a lie about the circumstances leading to the patient’s falling into a coma. As the questioning becomes more and more intense an alarm goes off in the hospital indicating that a dangerous individual from the psychiatric ward has escaped and the hospital is going under lockdown.

*******

Team Carol ventures through the catacombs which snake deep underground. As they go deeper, the team comes across an elaborate temple with extensive murals along the walls. The temple appears to have been some sort of healing sanctuary before it was abandoned. Usually in these instances, a guardian ghost would appear to confront the children, but after the ritual, the temple felt strangely empty. After investigating, the team discovers that the sanctuary existed before the most recent war of souls, and was a centre of healing governed by sanguinis disciples. These disciples in particular were quite special because they all came from the same line – the Sterling family bloodline. Somehow the family had completely extricated itself from the sanguinis arte after the war of souls, when the arte fell into darkness. They uncover another chamber, which unintentionally unseals a crypt that had been sealed, releasing a powerful elder strigoi – a vampire.

*******

Team Ken, minus Ken, stir awake – unaware that they had even fallen asleep – finding themselves in a wide open field of golden wheat. Standing alone in the field is a woman with long black hair, whose face remains unseen, but it is quite apparent that she is pregnant. As they approach woman, it becomes clear that she is standing in a ring of wheat that has died. The sky suddenly grows dark as an eclipse begins to blot out the sun as the wind picks up, and with it the sounds of voices. The dead wheat begin to rise up, as if pulled by strings and the rest of the wheat around them seems to go through the same process – the golden wheat falling down and then shortly rising up unnaturally. Suddenly there is a crash and the kids wake up from their trance as Ken breaks through the door of Ms. Sullivan’s house. The Exitimus reveals its true form at Ken’s arrival, as Ken quickly orders the kids to stand up and fight.


**********

Team Simon manage to evade the panicked security as the hospital undergoes lockdown. Simon coaches Damian with his ability for invisibility in order to make the entire team temporarily become invisible for brief moments while they are holding hands. As they sneak to the psychiatric ward they encounter the individual who has broken free from their bonds and is attacking innocents. The team springs into action to fight the possessed individual. After they subdue him, they are all shocked to discover that the exorcism doesn’t work, even after it has been conducted by both Simon and Evelyn. The patient escapes from their binds, out-maneuvering them with supernatural strength and speed. Evelyn senses that something is off, which Simon helps her to feel and meditate – recognizing that she is quite attuned to the spiritual. Evelyn discovers that rather than a demonic possession, the individual is being controlled through some sort of spiritual link. Entering into a trance, Evelyn is protected by the others while her spirit ventures through the spiritual realm and cuts the link. The patient immediately collapses. The team is left wondering what exactly happened with this individual and who was controlling them.

*******

The strigoi reveals that it is thousands of years old, referring to the children as Adam-spawn, and that it was trapped in that chamber for centuries by the disciples of the Artes Sanguinis. The vampire attacks the team – and it is incredibly powerful, even without having consumed blood for centuries and being encased on holy ground. Not even Carol, who was much stronger than the rest of the children struggled against the vampire prince. The strigoi starts to attack the architecture, intending to bring down the entire temple and the tunnel system on the children. The strigoi’s change of tactics allow the children to gain the upper hand as they fight against it. Tsubaki’s use of the powerful sigil, Solis – manifests a headdress allowing her to shine forth with the warmth and light of the sun. This causes the strigoi to retreat in pain, while the rest of the team reseal the chamber that the strigoi had been bound. Daniel in particular, uses a bit of his magic for an additional layer of protection against anyone who would try to break the seal. Carol uses her abilities to conjure a portal getting the children out of the temple as it collapses around them.

*******
The Exitimus is incredibly powerful and the team works together to fight it while also trying to protect Ms. Sullivan. It plays on each of their insecurities while alluding to developments that would bring about Armageddon. However, when it starts to allude to the bus crash, that’s when Adi, Li and Idelia begin to act recklessly. Adi and Li, being the more trained and disciplined, eventually pull back after Ken begins to order them to stand down, but Idelia nearly burns down the entire house in a fit of rage and sadness. In the meantime, Derrek and Lotus rescue Ms. Sullivan from the chaos erupting from the battle. Adi steps up and manages to calm Id down, and the two of them – joined by Li, share a moment, being the veterans of a horrific incident. Ken manages to restrain the Exitimus and using Derrek’s abilities manages to trap the demon in what he refers to as a “puzzle box”, a rare omnivdent artifact.

~Chapter 7 End~

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Chapter 8: Oath of Will

Things die down after the events in the previous weeks, allowing the students to focus on their studies and their school life. In the meantime, Simon, Carol and Ken remain occupied with the aftereffects of their earlier adventure. They are most perturbed by the event at the hospital, for in many ways it appears that there was a possession, and yet no demonic or ghostly evidence to indicate either such involvement. Miss Rachel takes on the Exitimus alone. Although it tries to relent against her powers, the Oraculum is able to draw out from the demon the location of the demon prince, and that it was the one responsible for the bus explosion. She tries to keep this information to herself, but Alice stumbles upon the information, rallying Adi, Li and Idelia. Against her better judgement, together they venture to the location with Miss Rachel to the demon prince.

Weeks go by with no word from Miss Rachel, Alice, Adi, Li and Idelia – much to the alarm of the rest of the team. Although the rest of the group want to go out and find them, Simon, Carol and Ken forbid it, having vowed to keep them safe. News begins to spread throughout the city of a sudden sickness sweeping the town – sending those who are inflicted into a coma. While doctors cannot confirm the cause of the sickness, Evelyn has an inkling that it might be supernatural in nature. Simon believes she might be right and tries to help her sense for any spiritual abnormalities, but they come up empty.

Bernice succumbs to the sickness as well, which greatly affects Evelyn and Logan who worry about their friend. Evelyn’s worries in turn cause Maximilian to become concerned about Evelyn, who refuses to leave her best friend’s side. Daniel and Lotus try to find a magical potion that might heal the sickness with Ms. Ignianus but nothing they do is able to help. Johnny, Tsubaki (and a very unhelpful Derrek) attempt to do more research on the subject, with little clues from the manuscripts in the s**** Library. Lloyd is more worried about Alice and the others’ disappearances – he gets Damian and Fiona to try and secretly sense their energy signatures around town.

As time goes on, and the spread of the illness gets worse, Ken believes that the Sterling family is somehow related to the sudden events. He notes that the Sanguinis arte had the most control over health and the physical body, which would explain the illness’s strange appearance. He crafts a team of Maximilian and Lotus to spy on the Sterling family in Darren City.
Carol is becoming quite concerned that Miss Rachel and the children haven’t returned, so she begins to inquire on her own. She discovers that Lloyd had also undertaken his own search, but instead of punishing him, allow him to join her. Along with Daniel, Johnny and Tsubaki, they venture into the suburban neighbourhood where they were last seen.

Simon, Evelyn, Damian and Fiona meditate around Bernice to see if they can discover any clues regarding her illness. Derrek is there as well, and unintentionally falls into a trance while with the others. He casually notes how Bernice’s body seems almost inanimate, which triggers Logan. Logan briefly fights with Derrek, but he is held back by Damian. Logan tearfully admits his feelings for Bernice and suddenly her eyes flutter awake.

*****
Miss Rachel, Alice, Adi, Li and Idelia find themselves in the SDU. Mr. Albright and Miss Rachel stand to the side of the room observing the class, while Julian stands at the front of the room instructing the team on their next mission: a predatory werewolf pack has been on the loose and has been attacking innocents in the city. The majority of the team would proceed to the old warehouse, which is suggested to be where the pack is hiding, while a smaller unit – led by Byron – would go to the park, where the attacks have taken place. Mr. Albright along with Julian, Maria, Alice, Devin, Harry, Tabbatha, Jason, Terrence and Li would go to the warehouse, while Miss Rachel along with Byron, Adi, Idelia, Corina, Eliza and Marco would go to the park.

*****

Bernice wakes up and immediately begins to attack the group. Fiona is quick with her chains and manages to bind her to the bed while Logan uses the medical restraints the keep her from breaking free. Familiar with the experience from the hospital, Evelyn goes into a trance to see if she can sever the link, but she is quite surprised to find that there are thousands of spiritual connections criss-crossing the spiritual realm. The sudden appearance of all these lines confuses Evelyn, as she has never noticed them before – and worse, she cannot tell which one is linked to Bernice.

*****

Ken’s investigation is suddenly interrupted by chaos that is erupting across town. The various individuals who had fallen sick have suddenly woken from their stupor in a destructive rage, causing mayhem in their wake. Lotus and Dot primarily work to dodge the “possessed” unsure of whether they would be harmed by their attacks. In the meantime, Maximilian delays their onslaught by freezing those he can in place. Chaos and panic begin to spread through the town as destruction and violence from the formerly catatonic becomes more prolific. People run into the streets or smash into houses as the chaos continues to escalate with each moment.

******

Carol’s team is likewise overtaken by the sudden onslaught of the formerly catatonic. What is quite peculiar however, is that they seem particularly focused on Carol. Realizing this, Carol tells the children to leave without her, but they refuse to leave sweet Carol behind. Daniel recalls the powerful spell that Ms. Ignianius cast earlier. Her timing oddly impeccable, Ms. Ignianus shows up, but tells the children that there is nothing that she can do as it seems that this is neither a typical possession nor magic. Carol raises a powerful shield around the group, but they are surrounded by a crowd that grows larger and larger. Seeing no other option – as portarum can only manifest one door at a time – she withdraws her shield and opens a portal, sending the children and Ms. Ignianus away.

*******

Mr. Albright, Julian, Maria, Alice, Devin, Harry, Tabbatha, Jason, Terrence and Li enter the warehouse with their weapons drawn. Jason conjures an astral globe to provide them with light as they venture deeper into the warehouse. Maria can sense the energy of the werewolves, but they’re nowhere to be seen. Without provoking, a pack of werewolves jump out from the shadows to attack the team.


********

Miss Rachel, Byron, Adi, Idelia, Corina, Eliza and Marco patrol the park to see whether any shifty characters are around. Eliza draws the sigil iter to see if it might lead them to an area where previous attacks have occurred. They hear a scream which causes the group to run to a more secluded area of the park. Two men are surrounding a young woman on her way home from school. Upon closer inspection, it is clear that these men are not quite what one would assume. They were strigoi – vampires.

********

Evelyn tells the rest of the team what she saw while in her trance. They are all surprised that no one was able to sense the development of these spectral links without them noticing. Simon suggests that Evelyn try again, but this time to reach out to Bernice and pull her towards her. She tries this, but fails while everyone is watching her. Simon explains that as spiritorum, not only are they drawn to spirits, but they can draw spirits – living and dead – to them. Before they can explore this any further however, Daniel, Johnny, Lloyd, Tsubaki and Ms. Ignianus are dropped from a portal into the room.

*******

Ken, Maximilian, Lotus and Dot retreat from the main streets to walk through the alleys and avoid most of the mob. Stopping for a moment of brief reprieve, Ken suddenly goes on the alert, the man who Miss Rachel referred to as “Javi” strikes from the shadows. The children fight alongside Ken, but Javi grabs onto Ken and in a flash of light knocks him to the ground. They are shocked, believing him to be dead, but Javi’s eyes begin to glow as Ken rises from the ground and turns to attack the children. Another spiritorum ritualist from months ago blocks off their only escape – Maximilian draws forth a powerful column of water that floods the entire alleyway and they both ride on Dot’s back as they are chased by the two spiritorum and the controlled Ken.

*****

Julian and Alice, merged with their totems, immediately took flight as they faced the werewolves that had launched themselves from the rafters. Mr. Albright, Li, Terrence and Harry remained on the ground – each taking a cardinal point to fend off the werewolves as they tried to attack from the ground and surround the group. Meanwhile Jason and Tabbatha conjured their respective chains to bind the werewolves that were tossed in their direction. Lastly, Maria, and Devin acted as support, deflecting any attacks that managed to break through their offense.

******

Miss Rachel seeing this as a learning opportunity stepped aside to allow the children to lead the charge. Byron called forth a localized earthquake distracting the vampires, while Adi and Corina ran ahead with their weapons drawn. Eliza slipped into the shadows, reappearing beside the hapless woman and led her to safety. While Idelia and Marco launched themselves into the air to prevent the vampires from taking flight.

*****

Simon is shocked by the sudden appearance of Daniel, Tsubaki, Johnny, Lloyd and Ms. Ignianus. In particular, he seems concerned that Carol has not returned. After Lloyd briefs Simon on the events leading to their teleportation, Simon rounds up the team to go after her. Logan initially refuses to leave Bernice’s side, as she still writhes about uncontrollably against her restraints. However, before they can argue any further, Chantelle enters the room and puts Bernice to sleep once more. Daniel and Grayson immediately recognize that she used The Speech, while Lloyd also remembers it from his dream of Grayson’s previous life. It finally clicks that Chantelle is some sort of fae. Chantelle promises to watch over the students of the school – including Bernice, to let Logan go off campus and aid the others.

The students, led by Simon, leave the s****, taking note that all the students and faculty who remained in the school have fallen asleep as well. Approaching the gate they are shocked to see Miss Shields standing alone – majestic angel wings brighter than they have ever been before floating behind her – as she raises an incredibly large energy shield over the entire school. In the meantime, thousands of individuals are pounding at the shield in a fit of rage as they try to swarm the school.

In theory, Evelyn, Lloyd and Fiona can fly over the crowd, but Simon is against sacrificing any of the students, especially troubled by the loss of Carol.

******

As Maximilian and Lotus flee on the back of Dot, they notice Carol fighting a crowd of the enraged. Maximilian unleashes a torrent of water allowing Carol to have some breathing room and join up with children. She asks where Ken and the others are, but her question is answered by his sudden appearance along with Javi and the two other spiritorum. The battle is quite uneven with the four veterans and the endless enraged versus the Carol and the children. Maximilian and a fused Lotus work on dealing with the enraged to try and allow Carol enough space to fight against Javi, the two other spiritorum and a mind-controlled Ken. In a last ditch effort, Maximilian draws the water from the sewer systems causing the streets to tremble and crack as the pipes below shift with the water. This allows the three to momentarily escape from the group as they run through the streets towards the school.

*****

The battle against the werewolves and the vampire prove to be successful as both teams return to the club meeting room. They celebrate with a pizza party, as they usually do, with the team sharing stories of their battles. Miss Rachel seems slightly unnerved and shares a nightmare she had the night before with James. He dismisses her dream casually and tells her not to worry. Adi overhears the conversation and feels troubled because he had a dream quite similar to the one that she shared with James. He shares his thoughts with Li, who confirms that he too had a similar dream. They both approach Maria, but she quickly discounts their concerns, stating that she has not sensed anything unusual.

In the meantime, Id has also had a nightmare from the night before, but quickly forgot about it after her girlfriend Corina calms her down. Alice and Phora are more preoccupied with their training with Julian to concern themselves with what they may have dreamt the night before. The bond that he and his phoenix Ardor were something she hoped to one day achieve – it also helped that she had feelings for him as well.

*****

Realizing how dire the situation has become, Simon decides to call for support on his cellphone – only to realize that there is no signal at all. Asking each of the kids to check their own cellphones, they all realize that they too have no service. Simon gets the idea to use his arte to create an illusion of them running in the opposite direction from behind the crowd. His trick works, allowing them the chance to slip through the gates and into the streets. As they run closer to town, they realize the chaos that has unravelled throughout the city. Alarms ring and fires burn as houses are broken into and stores are raided. They feel the ground rumble beneath their feet, and Evelyn immediately senses Maximilian’s presence, as do Simon, Damian, Fiona and Daniel. They lead the group deeper into the city and nearly run into Max, Lotus, Dot and Carol who look exhausted.

Carol does not have long to explain before they are beset upon by the Ken, Javi, the spiritorum joined by a third other spiritorum disciple and the enraged. The team unite to stand up against the rogue omnivident, the mind controlled, and the endless enraged. As they stand face to face against each other, Simon calls for everyone to halt and casually walks over to the other side with the spiritorum to the surprise and horror of Carol and the rest of the team.

*****

Adi once again has an odd dream. He dreams of someone familiar, and yet not familiar. He asks Li if he too had the same dream again, but he has not. Things at Arclight Academy fall into their regular routine: sometimes the team has to train; sometimes the team has missions; and of course, there is school work to attend to. Still, Adi continues to have these strange dreams of the unfamiliar face. He takes his misgivings to Mr. Albright who believes that it is nothing. Still wary of the mysterious Miss Rachel, Adi takes his troubled thoughts to her. After he mentions his first dream before the recurring one, Miss Rachel pales. A look of horror in her eyes, she cautiously whispers “Show me the truth” and collapses to the ground. Immediately the entire world around them begins to fragment and crumble, Alice, Li and Idelia – wherever they were before – watch as their loved ones disappear finding themselves bound to chairs in an abandoned apartment.

A child sits in a throne before them while two black suited Exitimuses stand to either side of him. The child is quite young, about the age of five, blonde wispy hair on his head, but his eyes are pitch black and a malevolent smile is on his face.

*****

When Carol asks why Simon would join the other side, he ignores her and focuses on Damian, Evelyn and Fiona. Similarly to his lessons before, Simon preaches how wondrously nuanced and powerful the spiritorum are and yet how disrespected they continue to be in the omnivident community throughout all of history. He refers to all the powers at their repertoire and how they still have not been acknowledged as a Great Arte. How the spiritorum were treated as the “leftover” arte for centuries. Simon explains that the spiritorum are the arte most closely linked to ghosts and of all the ghostly powers that the disciples have displayed, the one that was never truly explored was possession – until now. He states that he can offer such powers to those who are worthy, Evelyn, Damian and Fiona – spiritorum disciples only.

Evelyn exclaims how such a thing would be a violation of the Oath of Will, the sacred right that humankind has of self-autonomy. Doing such a thing could trigger a war of souls, or worse cause the arte to fall into darkness. Simon states that the war had already begun. Before anything further can be said, Carol in a fit of rage rushes towards Simon to save the children before it is too late. However, one of the spiritorum disciples telekinetically stops her attack and holds her in the air, preventing her from moving. Simon stabs her in the heart with a special dagger that emanates demonic energy and a giant portal opens using Carol’s body as its energy source. The children are horrified with the cold efficiency that Simon uses to accomplish this set of actions.

*****

The child taunts Miss Rachel, Alice, Adi, Li and Idelia for being weak and falling into the trap so easily. Miss Rachel is unconscious in her seat, using a significant amount of power to break the illusion – which impresses the child, though only slightly. Alice and Idelia are incredibly distraught at losing the ones they love again. Both of them already emotionally and mentally unsound are unable to summon their totems. Li reaches out for Adi, sorry for not listening to him in the false reality for all that time. The child is the culprit behind the bus explosion and gleeful professes his pride in the work that he has done. The child is the demon prince that was spoken of throughout Arclight, and has only one job, to begin the Armageddon. Well that, and to finish the job that he had started. He lights the room on fire and laughs as the fire quickly begins to spread. Right on time, a wave of demonic energy flows through the city, indicating the opening of the gate to the fallen.

******

Completely stunned by the sudden turn of events, the children are at a loss of what to do next. Hell demons begin to fly out from the massive portal further destroying the town and swooping to torment the civilians that have not been taken over by the spiritorum. In the midst of the chaos, Ms. Ignianus casts a powerful spell that distracts the spiritorum and the enraged, urging the children to use the opportunity to flee from the gate and seek shelter.

The children take shelter in the Mystorium far from the gate and the centre of the supernatural activities, oddly enough. The group is crestfallen, unsure of what to do next. All of their mentors were gone and they were now alone. Ms. Ignianus is quite blunt in stating that it will be literally hell on earth if they do not close the portal.

Together they formulate a plan hinging on Ms. Ignianus casting a spell that would counter the spell that led to the creation of the portal in the first place. Unfortunately, the ingredients for the spell are in locations across town. Ms. Ignianus would keep her cauldron boiling while three teams would sneak around to find the ingredients and a fourth team would prevent the spread of demons throughout the town.

*******

As the fire intensifies, Adi’s wings manifest to protect him from the demonic flames, a skill that is rarely witnessed by those who are non-Angelorum and mostly attributed to myth. The demon prince is displeased by this and attempts to intervene, but Yuriel wearing his angelic armour breaks into the room, loosening the binds of all of them within the room. Yuriel takes Miss Rachel to safety, while Adi, and Li launch themselves at the Exitimuses. At the same time, Yuriel’s presence grants peace to the hearts of Idelia and Alice who both fuse with their respective totems to join the battle.

The fight against the Exitimuses are of the upper echelons in the dark order, which leads to a difficult fight, but the resolve of the children to avenge their fallen friends is enough for them to successfully defeat them and have them exercised. The demonic prince attempts to leave, once things turn sour, but is stopped by a weakened Miss Rachel. The six of them work together to bind the prince to the building and Miss Rachel successfully exorcises the child. Immediately the building begins to fall apart around them and they race outside only to see that the world has fallen into darkness and ruin.

******

Lotus and Daniel go to the south end of town to hunt down the first ingredient for the spell. Lotus uses her tiger-like abilities to help her sneak around while Daniel uses his magic. As they seek out the ingredient, they discuss their relationship and how it would work dating a sage. They conclude that they can make things work out no matter Daniel being a sage and the ramifications coming from that. Eventually they find the ingredient and head back to the Mystorium.

Logan and Fiona go to the east end of town for the second ingredient. Fiona talks to Logan about how much he cares about Bernice, and Logan restates his resolve to protect her. In turn, Logan talks to Fiona about her time being possessed and how she’s grown, and Fiona restates her resolve to not be weak. They both acknowledge that their motivations are to be strong and protect those they care for. As they venture through the apocalyptic city, they discover the ingredient and quickly make their way back to the Mystorium.

Damian and Johnny go to the north end of town for the third ingredient. Damian is able to make both of them invisible as they go on their mission. During their time, they reflect on how the both of them had been such good friends with Carter and how they both miss him and hope to save him one day. Damian also attempts to slyly ask whether there is anything between Johnny and Fiona. Johnny quickly denies this, merely stating that the two have bonded over their experience of being possessed and the mutation of their abilities. The two rekindle their old friendship and stumble upon the ingredient, heading back to the Mystorium once they retrieved it.

Lloyd leads the charge to portal, but rather than brashly head into the open, they approach it cautiously. After observing the gate and the creatures emanating from its maw, the team prepares for their assault. Lloyd fuses with Grayson, the strongest on the team, he attacks the more formidable demons. Tsubaki and Evelyn followed behind, performing rapid exorcisms; Tsubaki with her ofuda and Evelyn with her crucifix. In short time, the demons were beginning to overwhelm them, but this was the intention – it was a distraction. Derrek, who had remained back at the Mystorium, was deeply unconscious having taken possession of an original Arclight Angel statue. Wielding the massive sword of the statue, he plows through a majority of the demons as they attempt to come through the gate. This, however, was not the finale. Maximilian had located Father Albright who blessed the water of a park lake. Taking this water Maximilian demonstrated his power as a naturae, purging demons with a massive wave of water.

It was this final assault that caused Simon and the rest of the spiritorum to return. The children fought against the rogue omnivident, but the enraged were quickly beginning to overwhelm them. A sudden rain of fire down upon the rouge omnivident from a fused Idelia followed by the pelting of wind from a fused Alice were enough to give the group some breathing room. Shortly, Adi, Li and Miss Rachel also joined them on the ground. Miss Rachel was shocked and yet felt that she should have seen this coming that Simon had betrayed them. Realizing that all the enraged were his and the other spiritorum’s doing she is outraged that he would violate the Oath of Will.

Together the nine of them (and Derrek possessing the statue) fight against Simon and his lackeys, pushing them back to the portal leading into the Nether Realms. Their fight, however, is interrupted by a loud familiar horn. The ground around them began to shake violently as a brilliant light began to emanate from the portal. A winged being exited the portal releasing a powerful wave of light, knocking them all to the ground.
“Now, is the beginning of the end”

*********

Ms. Ignianus takes all the ingredients that have been collected by the children and begins to stir the pot vigorously. Daniel asks why she isn’t taking the pot to the portal to close it, and she merely states that the potion will not be able to close the portal. Only a portarum can close the portal of another portarum. Instead the cauldron begins to glow brilliantly and suddenly Yuriel is standing at the door of the Mystorium. She stirs even faster and the cauldron grows brighter, they hear the sound of a horn in the distance, and then another much closer over their heads. Immediately, Ms. Ignianus commands the children to follow her to the portal.

They return to the scene where the angel is floating above the battlefield and hide on the outskirts. Four other angels have also exited the portal. It is quite clear that these ones are not quite the same as those such as Yuriel. Their light seems false and their armour lacking much of the glory attributed to others. A vile mixture of negative emotions emanated from the collective group of angels as they peered down on the burning city below them.

Simon manages to rise after the initial blow and praises the angels. He states that he is the one who opened the gate and how the spiritorum would gain more souls than any other fallen arte before them. The fallen seemed uninterested, but are slightly pleased. They mention that the brightest among them shall rise and with it a new world order to govern as they see fit.

The sound of wings flapping is heard overhead in the distance, and a troop of angels arrive with Yuriel among their ranks. They command the fallen to return to their realm, who refuse immediately. The angels rush into battle with each other, the air filled with the sounds of what could be rockets or thunder rumbling as they fought. In that moment Miss Rachel rose from the ground and rushed towards Simon and his followers. Despite their powers, Miss Rachel is able to unravel each of their attacks with her words alone. Ms. Ignianus urges the rest of the children to follow suit and the entire SDU run onto the battlefield to fight the rogue omnivident.

Evelyn, Fiona and Damian are key to breaking the binds that Simon and the other spiritorum disciples have used to maintain control of the enraged. The team splits itself between those who protect the three spiritorum and those who fight the rogue spiritorum. Evelyn, Fiona and Damian enter the spirit world using their powers to sever a number of spectral binds over the minds that have been controlled. Gradually the enraged begin to fall as they regain their senses and collapse from exhaustion, including Ken. Making up for this change in the tides however were the demons that continued to pour out from the portal and the growing sense of foreboding that continued to rise in their hearts as the portal remained opened. A great ancient evil was approaching.

As Miss Rachel faced off against Simon, using the last bit of her energy she used her words to strip Simon of all his powers. Immediately, Miss Rachel is completely incapacitated as a result. Standing over Miss Rachel, Simon attempts to kill her with his dagger, but is interrupted by Ms. Ignianus who has blocked the blow with her staff. Daniel uses this as an opportunity to weave together the few powers he does have under his control: his artes vitri, a magic spell, and a sacral hymn. The young sage’s power is enough to push back Simon and his followers into the portal. In the meantime, the rest of the team works to send back the demons into the gate as well. Above, the angels have the upper hand against the fallen. Taking this opportunity, Ms. Ignianus runs into the portal and calls upon her powers as an omnivident for the first time in many many years. Using all of her might, Ms. Ignianus conjures a portal within the portal, causing it to collapse in on itself. The portal immediately begins to claw back the demons as well as the fallen, while Simon and his followers are dragged deeper into its depths.

Ms. Ignianus dissolves into the fabric of the portal, her spirit and soul being the only parts remaining as she closes the great hell maw. She says her final goodbyes to the children, her favourite of course being Daniel, and states how she looks forward to joining her…friends. Her final words received with great sadness, the sky clears as the portal is sealed once more.


~Chapter 8 End~

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Epilogue

The events of near Armageddon were largely understated in local news. Reports indicated a bad case of the flu swept through the city around the same time that the mighty Hurricane Patricia landed. Nevertheless, all things went back to normal in the City of Darren after the “hurricane” clean-up. Exams resumed at Arclight Academy as the semester came to a close and the students waited with anticipation for their coming summer vacation.

What occurred in the City of Darren was by no means a small event, for in actuality, similar supernatural nerve centres underwent their own battles as rogue spiritorum sought to overthrow the Oath of Will and plunge the world into darkness. Without knowing it, the children had joined the fifth War of Souls. Throughout the year, the Omnivdent Order had been waging battles across the globe unbeknownst to Miss Rachel and the children. What the Order hadn’t anticipated however, was the importance of the role of Darren City. Their victory did not go unnoticed, as the Order awarded each of them medals of honour for their roles in the War of Souls. The war coming to an end meant that demonic activity would be quite low for the next few hundred years.

Miss Rachel returned to her duties as guidance counsellor and supervising teacher of the Arclight Archive Club. The exclusive and secretive club – with albeit, a boring purpose – remained its position of relatively obscurity. In reality, Miss Rachel’s powers were never quite the same after stripping Simon of his own. At first, this was quite a frightening state, as she was so used to knowing things, to knowing almost everything. Still, this was an exciting new adventure for her, with her powers weakened, she had to learn things and become aware like an average person; it was refreshing and she relished a new challenge.

The members of the Archlight Archive Club – the Supernatural Defence Unit – had their own realities to face. The mundanity of school was a welcome change to the near ending of the world. Each of them faced their experiences and processed them in their own ways. Some looked forward to returning the following year, while others considered a change of scenery. Whatever their decision, a summer reprieve would be good for the lot of them.

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Thu Oct 04, 2018 8:36 pm
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