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Talaitha, surprised that she actually somehow mustered up enough willpower to control the aura, sat around the fire after she was done. She was wrong, magic was not merely an old myth that elders spoke of to young children in the stories of the past. She had harnessed something very powerful, apparently with great aptitude as well from how she felt. Yet, even though she should have been haughty and proud concerning this accomplishment, she felt hollow. She was not completely willing to trade her own life for this power, no matter how strong it might be.

She pulled herself up and walked toward Pitt.
"Why must I have to die to gain this power? Is there a way to use this magic to save ourselves?" she asked, visibly bothered by the thought of early mortality.

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Oddly, and for the first time since she had met him, Pitt's words seemed to comfort Lucia. In particular, what he said about it being easier to learn how to swim in a small pond than in an ocean. Granted, she herself did not know how to swim all that well, but the imagery served its purpose for the girl.

His words sinking into her head, Lucia watched as the others came around. She could sense as each of them pulled at the fire with their own energies, before passing out from exhaustion. She smiled to herself, recalling her own experiences as she first dealt with this new magic. Pitt was right, she would come to master it in time.

She stepped aside as Talaitha approached Pitt herself to ask her own questions.

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As Talaitha sluggishly approached Pitt's position, she noticed an odd look in his eyes. She couldn't put her finger on it but somehow it felt like Pitt knew exactly why she was approaching... was it a smugness she saw?


"Why must I have to die to gain this power? Is there a way to use this magic to save ourselves?"


"There are people who would gladly trade their lives away for the power that has simply fallen into your lap, and why should one ever fret over their own mortality? Death finds us all eventually." Pitt's cheeks rose into a subtle grin as he spoke, and eventually his voice began to carry a great tone of theatricality. He wasn't mocking Talaitha though, it seemed more as if he were an old man speaking to a child. By nature this way of speaking seemed condescending but to Pitt it was anything but. After all, Pitt's knowledge of the arcane was vast and it seemed even his knowledge of the inner workings of this world were near endless.

"You must think of what you have as not a curse, but a gift. It is thing that men spend their entire lives chasing and a convenience that will one day change the very way you look upon this world. Right now before you is the world and back behind is home. One is unfamiliar and unfathomed, whilst the other is comfort and intimate.... But is not comfort and intimacy banality? Unfamiliarity- the unknown; a break from the mundane which could change your very life and give you the opportunity to see far-gone places and meet unknown people, and all because you have this gift." Pitt nonchalantly shrugged as if here were unable to understand Talaitha's obvious dilemma before rising to his feet completely.

"Disregarding my capriciousness, I do believe your life will eventually be able to continue on as normal and I've come to the conclusion that a true respite is not far from beyond our grasp. We will find a way to right which has been wronged within all of you, but until that time comes you should avoid thinking on your own existence so intently."


____


After answering Talitha and Lucia's questions, Pitt gathered together the group once more and prepared to further their collective journey into the world of magic...

"I will attempt to make this simple to understand, but I do not guarente all of you will be able to grasp exactly what I am saying at first.”

Once more a gentle glow began to rise from Pitt’s body and eventually the barely visible light became a striking white color which seemingly dancing about his body like a flame. He cleared his throat before attempting to speak, it seemed almost as if he were preparing a lengthy speech of sorts for the group.

"Energy exists and flows within your bodies and energy can be used to manipulate or enhance the elements- I suppose one could think of it like a magical third arm. But a problem arises when one attempts to use energy in this fashion, one's own energy doesn't survive long outside of your body. It dissipates quickly and becomes one with the natural, ambient energy within seconds. When you were bending the flame you were, in fact, sending out a steady stream of energy from your body to the destination. Those with greater energy control could send the stream further, whilst those without it were forced to move their hands close to the flame so that their energy could reach. The question now arises, 'what can one do to perform magic without such waste?' and the answer is locked away behind the idea of an aura. Aura can be likened to a refined energy that clings to your body and can be used to perform more advanced magics. There are three basic principles that exist in the world of aura-magic, they are control, perception, and releases. Control is using your aura to strengthen and protect your body or an object. When you're releasing aura from your body it doesn't have a form, it surrounds you but none-the-less slowly fades, this is a neutral state which requires very little concentration and energy to be expended. But when you begin to increase the amount of aura around your body and you focus on keeping it about you, it becomes like armor."

As Pitt explained the basic idea of control, the aura about his body began to lose its fire-like properties. Instead it began to cling to his form and become a nearly motionless shroud which perfectly encapsulated his body.

"With my aura like this I could be shot with a bolt or arrow at incredibly close range or even lanced from horseback without any serious injury, perhaps some cuts or bruises but nothing as serious as the otherwise mortal strike. Of course, entering this defensive state is quite difficult to do at first and so most people learn instead to focus their aura at or around the location they expect impact. This same principle can be used offensively as well, you can use aura to surpass numerous physical limitations."

Pitt continued on to explain that when aura is focused on a singular area it can protect better than when spread across the entire body. This idea also held true for the offensive form of aura control, if one was to focus all of their aura into a single arm their attacks with that arm would become tremendously more powerful. He also went on to explain that using control was quite taxing on the body and likened it to being overly alert and cautious over incredibly long periods of time.

After his brief explanation of control he moved forward to the next idea, perception.


"Perception is your ability to see aura, feel aura, and sense intent behind an aura. When you first awaken your use of energy and aura you gain the ability visually see other people's aura. Strong auras are more clear whilst weaker auras are less clear. You can also feel intent in someone's aura, if someone is filled with rage or blood lust you can feel that in the person's aura. In some cases this emotion in the aura can be... well overwhelming. An incredibly powerful aura filled with terrible blood lust can be maddening and even to the greatest warriors it can strike profound fear. Emotion can throw the balance of your aura off though, rage and blood lust generally cause an aura to become hard to control though in some cases these emotions can actually empower your energies for a short while. Combining perception and control results in two of the most important principles of aura, suppression and territory. Suppression allows you to completely hide the presence of your aura and internal energy, this has two functions. One is to make your more sensitive to foreign energy and the other is to hide your presence from someone who may be looking for your for your aura. Territory is a bit harder to explain, but to put it simply, aura usually envelopes a small area around the users body but if one has a decent mastery of control they can expand the area their aura covers and create a territory around their body. Anything that touches your aura is in a sense touching you, if a blade of grass were to be pulled through your aura by the wind you could feel it. This technique is incredibly taxing and requires an enormous amount of aura to be used over a short period of time, but in return it can give you an enormous range of vision around you."

Following his explanation, Pitt's aura exploded away from his body and enveloped the entire camp in a ball of whitish light. Lucia, Talaitha, Nero, and Nadya had experienced this phenomenon the night before when Pitt used his aura to discover the burning caravan in the distance, though none of them knew at the time.

Pitt's aura felt oddly warm, but potent. It was familiar by this point to most of the group as well, and even if they were unable to see Pitt, just coming into contact with his aura would have been enough for them to know it belonged to him. His aura covered a roughly thirty meter radius, though the night before for him to have been able to detect that camp his aura would have needed to extended well over 200 meters.

"Most people who are capable of creating a territory never surpass a 100 meter radius and even that is incredibly difficult. There are those with quite a bit of natural talent who have surpassed this limit but these cases are quite incredibly rare.


Moving on to the final principle, releases. Releases are commonly known as spells and are generally categorized by what your aura's natural affinity is. Your aura has a natural inclination towards one of a handful of aura types, these are, Altering, Summoning, Manipulation, and Purism.

Alterers are capable of having their aura mimic any substance or energy. For example, Kechts, the sellsword I hired to protect us to this point, was able to transform his aura into sound. What's created with the aura is limited only by how much aura you have and some Alterers are capable of being quite crafty with the substances they can create. Generally most Alterers need to stay in contact with the substance they create as without their constant aura the substance would fade, but for others that isn't really a problem- Ketchs is another example here, his sound waves needed to travel away from his body but there was no need for them to continue to exist over a long period of time so there was really no loss.

Summoners are capable of summoning an object using their aura. These objects range wildly in size and use, and at times can be technically undetectable to other aura users because they can become actual physical objects manifested by the user's aura. Most summons come with rules attached to them which limit what one can do with their summon, these rules are generally double edged blades though; whilst they do admittedly limit the summon they also give the summon and the summoner power in return. An example of a summoner would be a man named Elijah of Bennifer who had the ability to create a seeing stone that when peered into would show exactly what a person was doing at the time as long as Elijah could remember the person's face.

Manipulators are an odd bunch and their powers cover quite an incredible spectrum. Some manipulators specialize in controlling people, animals, plants, and inanimate object whilst others are able to control the physical makeup of their bodies. The first group of manipulators, the group that control other people and things, generally specialize in controlling a single category in a very specific way. One's release may allow them to control humans and so generally speaking they wouldn't be able to use their manipulator abilities on plants or animals. That same person who can only control humans may only be able to turn humans into mindless shambling servants when under his influence whilst another might be to exercise complete control over the manipulated person's will. Another manipulator might instead only be able to control objects and move them at his or her will. Generally these objects tend to gain a type of sentience when under the control of the manipulator- it's almost as if the controlled substance becomes a living doll.
The second group of manipulators, those who specialize in controlling the form of their bodies, are able to turn their bodies into other substances or change the way their body naturally behaves. One may be able to turn their skin to stone or iron while another might be able to split himself into pieces that he can individually control. A subset of this group of manipulators can turn their bodies into elements like ice, fire, water, and even air. When transforming into these elemental states they gain great control of these elements and, in most cases their physical bodies are completely protected from physical harm.


Aura Purists, or simply Purists, are masters of aura control and are capable of increasing their power many times what their aura and body would naturally allow. Purists are also capable of using raw aura as weapons or defense mechanisms and purists are generally more sensitive to aura and find it easier to increase their natural senses such as sight, hearing and smelling. Purists are generally the most combat adept group amongst the four and without fail are always the most resilient because of their unnatural aura control.


Now, with the four groups very lightly explained I'll move into explaining what exactly a Release is..

A release can be thought of as a spell, but it's a spell that exists inside your subconscious. Your release is tied to your aura's natural affinity but can borrow small elements of other affinities with varying levels of success. The thing is, you have little to no control over what your release is. Your personalty, your experiences, your preferences- all these things unconsciously create a release that should be completely unique to you. "

Pitt paused his lengthy lecture and raised his index finger as if to tell the group he needed a moment before proceeding, he then headed for the tent they had dug out the day before and began rummaging about in a few bags. When Pitt had finally returned to his place before the group he had keen look on his face and something clasped between his hands.

"Today we'll find out exactly what affinity your aura leans towards using these." Pitt outstretched his arms and peeled forth his fingers to reveal a long-petaled, half bloomed, cerulean flower which twinkled with a very gentle white silver light. Pitt handed the odd flower to Talaitha first and then returned to his bag to procure four more for Lucia, Nadya, Erratus and Nero. Very carefully he handed each of them one of the long stemmed flower and then, once again, returned to his position.

"All things in nature react to magic but some things, like these flowers, are incredibly sensitive and react differently to the four aura types. By basking the flower in your aura we can find out exactly which type of aura user you are. If the flower changes colours, you're an Alterer, if all the petals on the flower open up and completely bloom, you're a summoner, if the flower begins to grow larger, you're a Manipulator, and if the flower's glow brightens into a blaze you're a Purist. Very carefully now, clasp the stem between your hands and allow the petals to rest on your fingers, then tap into that energy you were using before on the fire but this time try and spread it across your entire body. Once you've done that focus the energy into your fingers and then into the flower."


OOC: You probably want to discuss what your power is going to be in the slack chat or in the discussion thread before we categorize it. I can also help you figure out what your power can do since this is all a very light glossing over.

Although it's probably better to just come up with a power first and then make it fit since this should accommodate pretty much anything

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Erratus listened but fell short of comprehension. This all sounded very outlandish, like something out of a fairytale. Nevertheless, he obliged, gently cupping the flower he had been given and concentrating his aura into his hands. After his earlier exertion, it took considerable effort to do so, but after a few moments, he succeeded. However, success looked quite different from what he had been anticipating.

The thief found himself in complete darkness, unable to see even the nose on his face. He fumbled around, reaching out for something to cling to, but there was nothing. Not even the ground remained. Desperately, he brought his clenched fists up to his eyes gave them a vigorous rubbing, but to no avail. He was still unable to see. However, a red glow began to fill his vision, piercing through the blackness. It was as if he was looking through closed eyelids, though his eyes were wide open. Confused and distraught, Erratus turned his head down toward his hands. Slowly, ever so slowly, he uncurled his fingers… and he could see. At first, there was only white, but as he adjusted to the brightness, his vision eventually cleared. He was staring up at his own face.

Suddenly, Erratus snapped back to reality. He looked around apprehensively for a moment, but it soon became evident that everything was back to normal. His eyes were still planted firmly in his face holes. The “vision” he had just experienced had been merely that. With a sigh of relief, he returned his gaze to the flower he was holding. It had grown substantially in size.


Wed Nov 18, 2015 5:10 pm
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Lucia watched attentively as Pitt explained to them the foundations of magic. Although he was quite thorough in his explanation, Lucia felt like they had only just scratched the surface. In truth, it was a lot for the girl to wrap her head around, and she at least had experience with magic. She could not imagine what was going through the minds of the others. She quickly glanced at Nero as Pitt went into the tent, though she could not read the expression of his face.

Even before Pitt brought out the flowers, Lucia could sense the strange energy that they seemed to emit; or rather, it was their auras that she was sensing, as Pitt had explained to them moments before. Taking the flower into her hand she did as she was instructed, basking the flower in her aura, just like she had done with the fire. By now, it came quite easy to her, though she did not expect the next event to hit her so suddenly.

Strings, there were strings everywhere. Golden threads crisscrossing and weaving through the air around her; some of them connecting to her body, others disappearing into the bodies of others. There were some strings that she could see neither their beginning nor their end. Lucia felt like she could feel distinct differences and characteristics emanating from the strings, almost as if she could feel emotions coming from them. Even her aura seemed almost tangible to her, as if she could weave it about her with ease. The strings appeared to glow brighter and brighter until she had to close her eyes to prevent herself from being blinded.

As she opened her eyes once more, Lucia realized that she could no longer see the strings that she had seen moments before. Looking down at the flower in her hand, she saw that the petals of the flower had changed from cerulean to a soft cream colour.

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Talaitha listened carefully trying to take everything in. If Pitt told her the truth, then she was interested in these magic powers as a solution to her problems. However, as he continued going on she began to lose him, growing more and more confused and unsure what some of the things he spoke of meant, especially the powers. She couldn't seem to wrap her head around things like Alters or Manipulators, they just seemed to her.

When Pitt handed out the flowers, she did as she was told, focusing all of her aura on that flower. Though she was tired from her earlier aura usage, she was able to focus on it eventually. The bodies of those around her went dark, all of her companions having become anonymous. She could no longer tell who was who except for the fact that she remembered where they were standing. After half a minute she noticed that their skeletons began to fade into view. When she wished them away, she instead noticed that as the bones faded away the muscular system came into view instead. Talaitha opened her eyes in shock and her companions were once again their normal selves. Looking down into her hands, she noticed the flower had grown in size

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Nadya and Nero followed after their companions and both injected their aura into the flower. After a short while, Nadya's flower blazed with a brilliant glow which signified that she was a Purist. Nero's flower conversely bloomed into a beautiful, lotus-like form which signified that he was a Summoner.

"Excellent." Pitt stepped forth and carefully removed the mysterious flower from each of his companions' hands before tucking them back into the bag that he had carried along.

"In time each of you will discover the form behind your releases, but for now you must focus on learning to control your aura and harness it to protect yourselves an one another in the coming hours." Pitt knelt down before the group and unfurled a large map which, in great detail, illustrated the layout of most of the Easternlands. Only one area was left vague, this area was a large circle of desert which sat directly between Aestaria and the eastern world.

"This is where we're going." Pitt's finger slipped delicately over the breadth of land marked on the map. "This area has been labeled the Twilight Desert; it's believed that the old world lies dormant within, that beings from bygone ages and monstrosities from the beginning of time still exist here. No traveler dares pass through these Wild Twilight lands, merchants go as far north as possible so that they may go about it and even raiders from the east circle it when they go off to pillage and kill. The desert lies just east of us now but within lies our goal." Pitt promptly rolled the map back up and stowed it away into one of satchels he was carrying on his backside.

"The truth of the matter is, The Twilight Desert is not a wild place. The desert itself has a master who has been slumbering deep within his Earthen Citadel for time immemorial and I'm certain he knows exactly what's going on within you. There's really only one problem at present, the factions who have sworn allegiance to him and follow his will are destructive and nihilistic, they are tough to negotiate with and their goals are hazy to outsiders. Gonye attempted to barter with them for safe entry but that attempt recently fell through, and so now we must push through the desert against an opposing force that seeks to defend the very thing we've come for. As it stands I've decided that I'll act as a distraction and head through the desert in a one direction whilst Gonye leads the rest of you along another. Gonye should be returning soon, so pack up your things and prepare your horses."





It wasn't long after Pitt's briefing that Gonye arrived and was himself given an update on the situation...

After his chat with Pitt, Gonye rapidly assisted in taking down the tent and then helped the others prep their horses for the journey. Meanwhile Pitt excused himself from the group and headed off first into the east upon his horse. The group left not long after Pitt's departure and traveled until the sun began to drop behind the horizon.




THE TWILIGHT DESERT

A World of Wonder Lost to Time...



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They say that long ago these lands were blessed, that water once ran from every hill and villages of great splendour blanketed the serene country... Little evidence remains of these claims, but beneath the unfeeling sands, and ruins which now shelter only the wind, one can feel a distant softness. It feels as if the spirits of the past may still walk these lands but none are able to recognize what was once their home. A place of deep melancholy, yes... that's what this is... A terrible power has changed this place forever, a power which radiates an illness which has warped the very nature of these once tender lands into a barren waste of sorrow and revulsion.


Within a night a great civilization which existed within the vast desert was wiped from the very face of existence. None survive who know the secrets of the Twilight and no page of history records anything of its previous form. Until recently it was rare for anyone to ever enter the cursed desert, and even rarer for anyone to leave; but as the world grew restless and the seams of normalcy strained, people began to wander hopelessly into the far-reaching wastes only to emerge under the banner of a long dead Lord. Anarchists, nihilists, agitators, and heretics- the hopeless who have pledged their loyalty to the Twilight have been called all these things, but no one is quite certain what they're truly after. Their forces have been active in Aestaria, Variya, and even the wilds in the north. They operate in a shadowy fashion and some in the north even claim that they steal the souls of lone travelers deep into the night...








The group had finally traversed the invisible line which marked the beginning of The Twilight Desert by the time the sun had begun to set. Just beyond the border, Gonye had spotted a collection of ruins and deemed the location the perfect area to stop for night to give the horses a place to rest. The ruins were mostly destroyed columns, walls, and archways which no doubt capitulated to the winds which swept across the flat landscape from time to time. A few sandstone-coloured buildings remained in tact, but most lacked roofs, walls, or entryways... Gonye was quick to spot a dome topped building in the center of the ruins which seemed to lack all of these shortcomings and quickly herded the group inside to take shelter from the growing cold. The building wasn't perfect of course, there were a few small holes in the dome covering and the doorway was made of rickety wood which Gonye had to jury-rig back together after he had opened it, but besides the few faults it was much better to be inside then it was to be outside at the moment.






Gonye had lit a small fire inside the interior of the decently large one-room building and quickly went to to work explaining the 'plan' behind this final leg of the trail. He covered in light detail that Pitt would continue to ride ahead and draw as much attention as possible before their group would make a mad-dash for the area where Ostarius was supposedly located. He also explained that despite their earlier negotiations falling through he still had a trump card up his sleeve that he could use to convince the so-called Lord to speak with the group, at least for a little while.

"So that's how it's gonna be." Gonye crossed his arms before gruffly exhaling. "Tonight we'll stay here and in the mornin' we'll hope that Pitt pulled enough eyes off us t'let us get real close before I make my move. Before we can settle in though we need to make sure these ruins are completely clear, we need to be certain we're alone. I want us to split into groups of three and clear each side of the ruins." Gonye eyed the group and tried his best to come up with a decent way to split the teams, but found himself in quite a bind - he wasn't sure how to effectively split them into two combat able groups.

"I suppose..." He began muttering to himself as he looked over each of their faces. "I could take Talaitha and the cripple and head north... and then the others..." Gonye bit down on his thumb as he mulled over the idea. "Nadya, Lucia, Nero... You three will take the south side."

Gonye quickly broke the company into teams and prepared to send each on their way.

"I would advise that ya' split apart, just be aware of where the others in yer team are. If ya' see something find yer others and blow on this to alert everyone else of danger." Gonye handed everyone an odd looking bone whistle. "They sound like an eagle chirp, if ya' blow on it we'll try and come for ya', got it? If ya' can avoid confrontin' someone come back here and blow the whistle instead."



The remains of village were fairly large and lacked clear line of sight in any direction. Rubble lined every possible corner and the plethora of standing objects, be they walls or columns, could serve greatly to conceal the presence of anyone who might have been trying to stalk the group. It was clear that Gonye was hoping to take advantage of the ruins to hide for the night but even he wasn't sure whether or not anyone was watching when they first entered. The coming reconnaissance would be tense and tedious, the size and coverage of the ruins would see to that.

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For a brief moment, Erratus sat confused as the others broke off into groups to examine their respective portions of the ruins.
“Wait a minute, I’m the cripple?” He mumbled before quickly following after Talaitha and Gonye.

Erratus combed the ruins as thoroughly as possible, moving from cover to cover with practiced ease. A place like this may as well have been a playground for someone like him, though this would undoubtedly be a tedious undertaking regardless. No matter where he looked, the thief could immediately pick out several hiding places where a prospective tail could be waiting. Pillars, collapsed walls, scattered piles of rubble. If there was someone here who already knew of the group’s presence and wished to remain hidden, locating them would be nearly impossible. This is why Erratus insisted on attempting to move stealthily. Their best chance to find someone would be to catch them by surprise, but even that was a long shot.

Growing weary of searching, the nomad thought back to what Pitt had discussed with everyone earlier. The ability to sense aura. There was still a lot that didn’t make sense to Erratus, but he decided it would be worth a shot. As the thief continued his search, he began to exert his own power, trying to scour the surrounding area for signs of life. No luck. He simply found himself releasing his energy again without accomplishing anything. Still, he didn’t stop. This would at least be decent practice, and perhaps give him something to focus on while he continued patrolling the ruins.


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Erratus continued to fight off an overwhelming sense of lethargy by practicing his aura control whilst searching. He still remained stealthy and mindful of his surroundings of course, but from time to time he would focus on trying to extend his aura outwards or stop to try and sense any aura user that might be near by. This bit of practice continued for sometime before Erratus spied an oddity just ahead of him.

Near the edge of the village was a courtyard, barely enclosed by the remains of four hardly standing, arch covered walls. At the center of the dusty yard was what one could only assume was the remains of a fountain and along the interior walls were ruined pedestals that more than likely once elevated great statues. But left in tact, somehow, along the largest wall was a large, faded, mural. The mural depicted a wonderfully patterned sun which loomed over the entirety of the wall with a dominating magnificence. Beneath the great sun was a temple-like structure which appeared anchored in place by enormous twisting roots which grew from the bottom of the sun and attached themselves to the corners of the temple's brilliant white columns. Even further beneath these depictions were soaring fields of sylvan green and small rivers... from grandeur to quaint...

"It's a beautiful thing, isn't it."

Erratus was brought to attention by the sudden intrusion of an odd voice. The voice was old, gentle, and clearly sentimental. Erratus moved himself from his cover and directed his attention towards the source of the voice, an old man dressed in a long brown cloak who was sitting atop a nearby pillar, simply looking at the old mural in the distance.

"The colours were more vivid back then, and there were people at the bottom... and some writing, I think." The deep wrinkles along his cheeks rose to an easy smile as he continued to simply look at the remains of the mural for awhile. Every now and again the wind would move the small tuft of greyed hair atop his balding scalp, but besides that the old man remained completely motionless until he finally pried his eyes away from the wall.

"It's been fifty-some years since I came out here... I bet so much has changed in the outside world. A lifetime has come, and a lifetime has gone." The smile vanished from the old man's face, and though his voice remained frail his demeanor had become stiff. Carefully he pushed himself from the top of the pillar and landed perfectly upon the ground after falling for a dozen or so feet.

"I am... sorry- sorry that I have to do this to you." The elderly man looked towards Erratus with worried eyes and remained that way until eventually a white flame, his aura, began grow from his body.

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Lucia remained silent for most of their journey into the twilight desert. She was not sure what the others had experienced before their flowers revealed in what manner their aura manifested, but she was quite interested in understanding what her vision had meant. Every now and then she rubbed her eyes, trying to see if the lines which she had witnessed before would reappear, though nothing ever happened. It was yet another mystery added towards the complexity of who she was as a wielder of magic. She couldn't help but wonder if her own ancestors, before they unlocked the secrets of Leto, struggled with magic in the same sense. It always felt as if she were trying to grasp for grains of sand floating in the wind.

As Gonye separated them into groups, she was glad that she had been paired with Nero; she trusted him. When they were instructed to separate even further however, Lucia was still content. Her mind abuzz with questions, she knew that time alone was what she needed.

The ruins were quite eerie, and the thought that life was once abundant in the desolate location was quite unnerving. What could have done such a thing? If the people from her home village were to be believed, it would probably be blamed on magic. She shuddered. Taking a hand full of sand from the ground, Lucia allowed it to slowly trickle from her clenched fist as she spun it into a golden-brown string. She found the process relaxing, a habit of hers that she had developed on her travels while alone. Not entirely sure what she was expected to encounter, she shuffled slowly while spinning her magical string.

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Sat Dec 05, 2015 10:28 pm
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Erratus gave an involuntary hiss, his eyes narrowing. He hadn’t been expecting to run into another aura user so soon. He recalled his last encounter with one. At that time, he had been struck with uneasiness, incapable of understanding what he had witnessed. Fearing for his life, he had fled without a moment’s hesitation. Now, knowing that he too possessed that power did little to reassure him. If what Pitt had said was true, this old man could possess the ability to kill him in a heartbeat. The weight of the thief’s mistakes hit him all at once. Not only had his exertion physically exhausted him, it may very well have alerted this man to his presence as well.

“Not sorry enough, it would seem.” Erratus grumbled as he slowly backpedaled, placing the bulk of a pillar between him and his aggressor. The thief stealthily grabbed the whistle he had been given and concealed it in his sleeve, preparing to blow it at a moment’s notice. However, he didn’t want to use it just yet. It would be best if he could give the signal in secret, though he saw no way to do that at the moment. If he fought, he would almost certainly be killed. If he ran, he would likely be caught. Erratus had little choice but to resort to his greatest strength. Negotiation. Calling upon his newfound skill of asking questions without the use of probing lies, he spoke.

“Actually, before any of that, could I perhaps bother you to tell me everything you know? I would very much appreciate it to know why I’m about to die.”

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Tue Dec 08, 2015 10:09 pm
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As Lucia wandered onward the ruins about her began to thin out. Before she knew it she had reached the edge of the ruined village but oddly there was a structure which sat alone outside of the ruin's boundaries. This structure was a fairly modest and boxy stone tower which seemed to have collapsed about halfway up some time ago, more than likely it was a sentry post stationed outside the village to watch for wild creatures or enemies.

At first glance the tower seemed like the rest of the ruins, inactive and solemn, but after a few moments Lucia noticed an oddity from within the barely distant tower. A trail of rippling white smoke was just barely leaking through the open entryway... Someone was inside and had recently extinguished a fire in quite a hurry.


________

"They never told you?" The elderly gentleman's eyes narrowed as he allowed his aura to settle back within him. "Is it really possible they've strung you along all this time without ever explaining what you are?." the old man spoke slowly and then stopped altogether for a brief time to gather his thoughts.

"You're being lied to and manipulated into performing the will of the enemy. They're trying to fool you into disrupting Aestaria, and disrupting us. The one with the silver hair is going to use you to cannibalize the remains of this world for his vision." The old man's voice had grown from frail to.. well, frail and a bit manic. He seemed certain of what he was talking about despite being quite vague.

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Thu Dec 10, 2015 8:26 pm
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The man had lowered his aura. That was good. He seemed willing to talk as well. Maybe Erratus would be able to buy some time, and perhaps learn a thing or two in the process.

“Explain it to me like I’m a child, if you would. Oh, and don't spare any details."


Fri Dec 11, 2015 10:33 pm
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Talaitha wandered away from Erratus and Gonye, walking through the other side of the ruins. She was unsure of what they were really looking for outside of reconnaissance; did Gonye want her to simply look around for signs of others so they were aware of their surroundings, or did he want them to neutralize any possible threats to their journey? She looked at the bone whistle he had given her, assuming he didn't want them to confront anything they found alone.

After wandering for a bit and finding very little, she turned her attention to what she saw when she concentrated on her aura. The fact that everything disappeared and she saw only bones or muscles scared her at first. Her flower had grown in size, so as Gonye said, she must be a manipulator of some kind, but she had no idea what the bones or muscles had to do with it. After thinking about it for a few minutes she suddenly realized she could use it to scout ahead because it only showed organic matter. If she simply looked for skeletons she could remove the surrounding ruins from her vision and only see living organisms.

Concentrating on her aura, she closed her eyes and attempted to tap into her power, hoping it could do anything for her.

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Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:02 pm
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Lucia allowed the remaining sand in her palm to slip out between her fingers as she took note of the smoke from the recently smothered fire. Had she been more daring, she would have approached the tower without a second thought, but she was not. Thus, she took the bone whistle that Gonye had given her and she blew into it. Remarkably, it definitely did sound like the chirp of a bird. She waited, hoping Nero and Nadya would come quickly, or at least, that it hadn't stirred whoever lived inside.

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Fri Dec 18, 2015 9:01 pm
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