[Main Chapter] Where There Is No Echo

Anaxas' oldest and most prestigious University of Sorcery, the de facto cultural capital of the kingdom and a city in its own right.
User avatar
Lars
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 25
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Thu Dec 20, 2018 11:47 pm

Underneath Brunnhold | Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
The temperature seemed to drop the further he descended, following after his roommate who had so graciously kicked Fred's corpse down the remaining stairs. Lars would have felt the cold perhaps more strongly had his nerves not been settled by the galdor's perceptive spell, his body as a whole feeling as if he fit right into his surroundings with ease.

He was grateful that Fionn's words didn't appear to bother the older man; normally speaking back to a galdor like that--not even mentioning the dead body--would land them in a world of hurt, and though he wasn't sure of why this man seemed so calm, he wasn't going to fight it by any means. He didn't need either of them getting into even more trouble--he hadn't saved Fionn from strangulation just to see him executed at the hands of some strange galdor.

In fact, the older man's words only soothed his nerves further; the almost teasing, joking tone would've made him laugh if he didn't expect some sort of backlash. The man had been unnecessarily kind towards them so far, even ignoring the rude comments from his companion, but Lars wasn't going to push his luck just yet. Something told him that this strange man was a powerful ally to have, if a passive could even have allies.

The mysterious words about a laboratory and reviving the dead Fred passed right over his head, the passive not even noticing any oddities in speech before his roommate spoke up again.

Fionn was right, that.... wasn't natural, was it? Was that within the limits of the mona?

He couldn't even guess what powerful things the galdori could do--his parents had been exceptional sorcerers, but until this man had addressed them on the staircase, Lars had never felt the mona before. He'd witnessed physical manifestations, streams between dueling students and the obvious effects of magic on its target, but never had he been said target before tonight. He wasn't sure if he could even be surprised that this man had the ability to revive someone.

Within a certain time limit, apparently, if he had understood the man correctly. He found himself feeling grateful that it was too late for the patron.

The older passive glanced to his roommate, meeting Fionn's brown gaze with his own dreamy blue. Even now his expression seemed hazy; the servant's trademark spacey demeanor. He took a deep breath, not out of any lack of air or nervousness but to prepare himself to help lift the corpse off of the cold floor. His thoughts were now fixed upon the mentioned laboratory, the idea that perhaps this man's assistance wasn't quite what it seemed... still, he couldn't do anything but agree, and wasn't even sure if he wanted to do anything else. It could very well be a trap laid by a particularly cruel galdor, seeking to drag out their long night and worsen their fates, but it was the best option they had right now.

Besides, Lars was curious. He wanted to know what this laboratory was, and what was going to happen to the lugger's broken corpse after it was transported.

Leaning down at the head of the body, Lars slipped his arms underneath Fred's arms again, grabbing him by the chest and heaving him upwards with Fionn. The corpse was quite a bit more contorted after being tossed down the hard stairs, but Lars didn't seem bothered, eyes lingering perhaps a bit too long on the twisted body before he looked up at his companion again.

"Right," he nodded, "I'll make sure you don't run into anything."

Lars led them through the door after the strange galdor, following in his light and ignoring the vast darkness around them. This wasn't the time to go thinking about what was in the darkness beneath Brunnhold. He would find out soon enough.

word count: 695
I've been unruly

User avatar
Muse
Site Admin
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:12 pm
Topics: 91
Location: On your monitor.
Race: Storyteller
Character Sheet: My Office
Post Templates: Plot Notes
Plot Notes: My Manifesto
Contact:

Fri Dec 21, 2018 12:32 pm

10th of Dentis, 2718
Image
Galdor-born, the two younger men in the dark with Devlin weren't at all traced from a heritage of stupid. Generations of intelligent, academic galdori stretched behind them, more or less, depending on who their parents were of course, and he hardly doubted their capacity to understand any of what was going on beneath the surface. Unlike so many of his kind, he was quite aware they weren't mentally flawed beasts of burden, not one bit. Wounded far deeper than bruised skin, confused by his lack of persecution, and clearly aware of the death at their feet, the pair operated with a level of consciousness that the Professor observed almost instinctually, both as a subtle form of self-protection but also an undeniable curiosity. While his partnership with Harper Moore was relatively recent, he'd been around passives for decades, both Gated and free.

"The manner of Fred's death and discovery are now both my responsibility." Castor replied quietly after listening to the younger of the two passives, Fionn apparently, attempt to work through the situation in his mind, "Could I, personally, revive him? No, lad. I'm not a Living Conversationalist, but if I brought him to the hospital within the house, perhaps that possibility is there. Unfortunately, from the looks of things," his gaze lingered purposefully where the youth had revealed his injuries as if he was making his point, as if he was revealing a very real modicum of concern, "I don't think we'll make it there in time. Too bad."

Those last two syllables were spoken like an older sibling who'd just gotten his younger in trouble, full of a facetious mischievousness, a conspirator's agreement that some ersehats deserved what they got and there was no sense in arguing. He looked away with the words as well, however, out into the dark tunnel as if he needed to not stare at the two passives' faces for a few heartbeats. Death was not his preference and violence was not his favored form of revolution, the Professor longing for intellectual change that he feared in his long-educated heart was practically impossible in this godsforsaken Kingdom. He sighed.

The mona moved around the older galdor again, standing as he was in the threshold between unknown darkness and dark familiarity. He spoke his spell quietly, his voice not reminiscent of someone telling bedtime stories in its gentle eagerness. As the two passives reached for Fred's body, having already carried it once, they would note that this time, it was much lighter. It was as if they were carrying a child instead of a full-grown dead man.

Perhaps Professor Devlin could have reached out to help them instead, to physically lend his strength to their burden, but his facial expression was so well-practiced in its unreadability that it was impossible to tell whether he refused to do so because he was afraid or because he considered it beneath him. Neither, honestly, would have been the truth, but he left the two passives to their assumptions, closing and locking the door to the stairs behind them and tucking away the ring of keys he wore back into his vest pocket.

The tunnel was spacious, so spacious in fact that the dull warm glow of Castor's illumination spell—which had flickered while he cast to lighten their load—didn't even reach the ceiling. Instead, their light dissipated into thick almost tangible black, and, strangely enough, the air was cold but not stale. Air flowed from somewhere, and its gentle breeze tickled their hair and breathed against their skin.

It was obvious that the mysterious older galdor knew exactly where he was going as he turned and began to walk in a particular direction, choosing to keep stride with the pair of living young men and their dead companion, dark eyes darting down to study Fred's face and the mangled angle of his neck as if he somehow could assume the manner of his death. Again, he said nothing about it as if this was all the most natural flow of events in all of Vita, choosing instead to finally respond to the question of laboratories,

"I'm sorry, lads, to introduce myself on the run like the bunch of hooligans caught after curfew that we are. I'm Professor Castor Devlin. You've got names, right? May I have them, too? I work with Professor Harper Moore in Laboratory Beta. I'm sure you have heard the rumors. Gossip is hardly absent from campus, even your ward, eh?" He left that to hang a moment, keeping his voice low, leading them to walk beside one side wall of the straight, well-hewn tunnel, trailing one hand over the moist red stone as if he needed the support when he didn't, "Monic theory must mean very little to you when I say the words, but the truth is Harper and I believe it has everything to do with your kind. He'd say we've gotten it all wrong for millenia and I'd say we've got something new to discover. Your choice there, I suppose—ah, tocks, I'm not kidnapping you lot, by the way."

He laughed then, the portly older galdor letting the quiet noise fill the darkness before he turned them down a side tunnel that began to drift upward at an incline,

"All of our experiments are voluntary and no one is harmed, despite all the wild and fantastic hearsay I've certainly heard over the past few months. Just a bit more and we'll be right under the Parford Wing."
word count: 969
User avatar
Fionn
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: [url=http:/fullurl/]Plot Notes[/url]
Writer: Maximus
Contact:

Fri Dec 21, 2018 6:26 pm

Dentis 10, 2718 | Night | Under Brunnhold
Image
.
Lars had gone quite quiet. Maybe he'd given up on trying to stop his fellow passive from speaking his mind or maybe he was simply glad to let him continue given that Castor Devlin didn't seem too bothered by the words coming out of Fionn's mouth. Either way, the smaller blond seemed ready to let his junior talk away, Fionn growing... not exactly comfortable but simply resigned to the galdor's presence. Devlin was here, he was talking, Lars probably wasn't going to talk so it might as well be Fionn.

"Living Conversation? Oh yeah, there are different types, aren't there? I forgot," he mumbled, the last more to himself although definitely audible. He could remember Niamh talking to him about it during her breaks from Brunnhold, filling his head with ideas of magic, comforting him with a future that would soon be his where he could actually be seen as a person. That had worked out really well. It was actually painful to consider those childhood memories, half his life ago when things had seemed so miserable and awful but with the prospect of hope. Now things were really shit and the prospects were pretty awful too.

Fucking Niamh with all her pretty promises. He had wondered if she'd somehow known that he was a passive and was mocking him, telling him about all the wonderful things that he'd never have. Both her and Oísin had always been better off even before Brunnhold. Gollies with their magic. Funny, he hadn't thought about them often over the years but Living Conversation... that was something he associated with his sister, something she'd been deeply fascinated in even in those early years.

The young man buried those thoughts, buried his memories and his feelings. His family were dead to him as he must be dead to them. He couldn't afford to feel any pain for them, it was something he'd been bottling for years although it sometimes surged up, emotions that he couldn't deal with. Anger, hatred, bitterness. Some small modicum of something more... positive in relation to his sister because she hadn't looked through him. That made it hurt more. He shoved it down deep; it wasn't like it was the only pain he'd ever had to bury.

"Yeah, too bad. A true loss to the world," he muttered at Fred's corpse as he lifted it, surprised to find that it was lighter now but... he'd felt that shift, hadn't he? Devlin had obviously used it to make the dead weight easier for them to manage.

He nodded in acknowledgement to Lars, a brief grateful smile flitting across his lips before he stepped back across the threshold, shuffling on a few steps while Devlin locked the door behind them. Oh well, locking the door made sense if they didn't want anyone following them.

Or if he doesn't want us to be able to get away, his mind whispered, but he shrugged the thought away.

Don't be paranoid, idiot.

The air here was cool, a draught coming from somewhere that obviously stopped it going musty. It was more like outside air although where it was coming from was a mystery. The space was quite a big one, any gaps not likely to be apparent unless light was coming through them. Devlin's light didn't show them up anyway as he found when he glanced around, even chancing a look behind him as the galdor moved past them to lead the way.

When he made his introduction, asking if they had names, the teenager's lips pressed together hard to hold back the snappy remark. Of course they had names. They were people. They might be chattel but they weren't cattle.

Castor Devlin and another man that they hadn't yet met, Harper Moore. Was he bringing them to see Moore? Would he be at this Laboratory Beta place at this hour? He assumed that that was the lab that they were going to right now.

"Yeah, I've heard things. Whether I believe them..." Fionn retorted, a shrug in his words as he couldn't physically do it right now. He signalled for Lars to stop for a moment while he readjusted Fred's legs on his shoulder. "And yeah, I've got a name. 'Course I have. It's Fionn..."

He paused, quickly licking his lips as he considered. Maybe he wouldn't have been tempted if he hadn't been thinking about his sister or if he hadn't had two surnames flung at him. He was passive, he didn't have a right to a surname anymore.

"Madden," he added in a whisper, pink flooding his cheeks and he suddenly took a great interest in the ground, doing his utmost not to catch Lars' eye by accident. He cleared his throat awkwardly, gaze flicking up briefly as signal before he started moving again. He listened to Devlin, wondering what he was talking about, what monic theory was. Something to do with the mona, something to do with how it worked maybe? Or what it was?

"What do you mean? Our kind... is that to do with why the mona won't come to us? Or... why it comes to us sometimes? What's it called? Diablerie? Is that what you're talking about? Monic theory's... mona stuff, yeah?" he questioned, brows tugging together. "The way mona acts around us is weird, yeah? Most of the scraps in here... I don't think they've ever gone off, even if you say that we're in here for everyone's safety. Have you had it happen?" he asked Lars, brown eyes finding that dreamy gaze.

Was he making a point here? No, he didn't think so. He was just... saying words. "I have. It was... dangerous, I guess. But the patrons probably do worse to us. Those gollies didn't know what hit them though."
Last edited by Fionn on Wed Dec 26, 2018 5:14 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1024
User avatar
Lars
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 25
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Fri Dec 21, 2018 7:01 pm

Underneath Brunnhold | Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
Lars himself was more surprised at the notion of there being different types of mona--or conversation, they were calling it--than he was by the idea of it bringing back the dead. There was so much that he simply didn't know, and that he likely never would. The man couldn't read, could barely even speak properly, and knew there wasn't much hope for any education at this point in his life. He'd survived this far without it, fortunately, but all of this new information from the galdor was almost making his head spin.

He had felt another shift in the air right before they had lifted the corpse again, felt the obvious difference in weight that made it so much easier for them to carry. Still he was careful not to loosen his grip or drop the dead man's upper half, especially once his roommate gestured for them to stop for a moment and readjust his hold.

The last person to ask for his name had been Fionn, two nights ago, and the older passive opened his mouth to offer the short name he had taken on in Brunnhold, but was stopped as the younger spoke up first.

Fionn Madden... it had been so long since Lars had heard a passive's full name. Something about it rang familiar in his ears, but for the life of him, he couldn't recall where he had heard the name Madden. He supposed he really didn't know much about the younger, seeing as he'd spent such a short time with him as of yet, and he could be related to any number of high-standing peoples in Anaxas or the lowest of peasants. Lars himself had at one time belonged to the former, descending from a long line of wealthy galdori hailing from Hesse that had moved to Anaxas for a better economy. They didn't want their fortunes going down the drain back in Hesse, after all.

Perhaps the unusual giving of the full name was what prompted him to do the same, the older servant's voice taking on a long-forgotten air of pride and a Hessean accent he had picked up from his parents but dropped years ago.

"Laurentius Savatier," he gave, "but Lars does just fine."

Seeing as Fionn had given the signal to continue, Lars fell back into step helping him transport the body, falling quiet again as his roommate inquired about monic theory.

None of it made sense to him, not really. He could pretend to keep up with the conversation and take in every word about this monic theory and experiments and passives and whatnot, but in reality the servant still had to process every bigger word, had to concentrate perhaps a bit harder than most to follow. When he was addressed by the younger passive, however, he was put on the spot, replaying the question in his head as he had zoned out just a bit before.

"Had--had what? A diablerie, you said?" the passive repeated, "uh, no, I haven't. I'm not sure that I even know what they are; or what mine is."

Perhaps he would never find out--some passives never showed their diableries, right? Lars had never cared to listen when anything was explained before, finding the information of little use to him. He couldn't control it and it was most likely dangerous, so he tried not to think on it that often.

"Experiments of what kind?" he asked the Professor then, after going over the word a few times and remembering its meaning. Yes, there had been rumors brought to his attention before concerning a laboratory and passive participants, but like with talk of diableries, he had never taken the words to heart.

"And what sort of things do you mean to discover?"
word count: 667
I've been unruly
User avatar
Muse
Site Admin
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:12 pm
Topics: 91
Location: On your monitor.
Race: Storyteller
Character Sheet: My Office
Post Templates: Plot Notes
Plot Notes: My Manifesto
Contact:

Wed Dec 26, 2018 3:00 pm

10th of Dentis, 2718
"Mister Madden. Mister Savatier." Castor Devlin greeted them with a nod and a formal use of their last names unlike the passives had probably heard for years except in mockery. His pronunciation was elongated as if he considered their names carefully, as if he wanted to remember them for posterity. There may have even been the hint of a smile in the dark, the older galdor quietly tucking away their names into the shadowy recesses of his secretive thoughts, his dark gaze lingering for a moment longer than may have felt necessary on Fionn. Someone had a sister if the professor was remembering names correctly, and he set aside his curiosity for another, more appropriate moment,

"Forgive me. Our kind is more or less the same, you and I both being born of galdorkind, with the exception that, yes, the mona appears to refuse to flow properly along the ley lines of those born passive like yourselves. Otherwise, biologically speaking, we are identical, obviously. To what end? Well, that's the secret on the spice rack, isn't it?" The shorter, rounder man led the pair of younger men through the dark and spoke as though they were his peers, no hint of conceit in his tone. He didn't sugar-coat anything, either, nor did he necessarily attempt to explain some of the austere, intellectual terminology he used, "Some passives indeed go their whole lives without experiencing a diablerie, and plenty of faculty here in Brunnhold would love to pat themselves on the clocking back and say it's because you all are so safe and well-cared for here. Clearly. Look at you."

There was a wave of Castor's left hand in a dismissive fashion, the ring on his finger clearly a wedding band, sparkling in the warm glow of the light he'd created to guide them by. He snorted a sarcastic noise that could have been somewhere between a sound of disgust and a chuckle, disapproving of the pair's treatment and making sure they both saw him for who he wished them to know him as in this moment—a friend.

"The current monic theory on diableries is that they are some kind of traumatic explosion of monic will, most of the time some uncontrollable, destructive outburst. This is, quite frankly, chroveshit with no educated foundation other than some academic bastard's warm fuzzies for not beating his servants. Yes, most diableries are very dangerous and destructive, but not all of them. Some happen frequently. Some happen rarely. There's something more at play, and Professor Moore and I are aiming to figure it out, all underneath the noses of our stuffy, stuck-in-their ways peers. Harper explains it all better. I mostly just keep the faculty at bay and make our research sound far more harmless so that we can continue our work. Digging at the foundation of society is somewhat risky business, wouldn't you say?"

Professor Devlin was either selling tickets to enter Laboratory Beta as a volunteer or he was on some kind of soapbox, visibly passionate about both the academic pursuit of proper passive understanding as well as some form of actual equality. He rolled his broad shoulders and turned them all down one last, dark hallway. The ceiling was lower now and the passage much tighter, requiring them to walk in single file. He lowered his voice while he led the way, his magical illumination flickering as if he was growing tired of maintaining it even though Fred's body remained comfortable. Avoiding answering what kind of experiments were going on behind closed doors he condoned, he replied mysteriously instead,

"If we knew what we were trying to discover, would it be called discovering? Right now, we're trying to understand ley lines and the ley fabric of Vita. From there, we hope to figure out what makes passives different from their galdor parents. I can't say we can cure or fix anything, but perhaps with proper understanding, we won't have to? It's all very theoretical right now. Anyway—"

Castor trailed off, the older galdor pausing in front of yet another door and digging out the keys from his vest. He'd set a swift enough pace to be panting, having traveled so much already this evening from the wilderness outside of the fortress-turned-university where he'd hidden his aeroship. Unlocking the door and placing a finger to his lips, he whispered, "I don't expect visitors at this house, but we shall see if Professor Moore is still awake or asleep in his books."

Through the door was another maintenance closet of sorts, a set of stairs leading up to another door that opened into the main hallway of the Parford Wing of the Sciences Ward. At this late hour, the hall appeared entirely abandoned and none but a door had any light filtering from around the threshold. It was, of course, to this door down this hallway that Professor Devlin led them all, quiet and purposeful, not bothering to knock so much as opening the door and ushering his charges in, body and all, without a hint of shame,

"Harper, I've brought some guests."

He closed the door behind them, tempted to lock it but not wanting to spook the pair of passives he'd led all the way through secret places beneath Brunnhold, not after his lengthy explanation of his purpose in life lately. Laboratory Beta was more like an office, at least the first room, with book shelves and a lounge-like seating area with comfortable chairs. A phosphor lantern and some candles kept the foyer lit, and there were two doors that led in opposite directions from the room they paused in for only a heartbeat or two. One door was open, and Castor stepped past Fionn and Lars and Fred's body, which was slowly growing heavier as if the Professor's magic was fading. He felt like a balloon being filled with water,

"Castor? You're late—was everything—" A worried voice half-whispered, half-called from the room as everyone began to shuffle in, the laboratory proper consisting of one bed, a variety of strange contraptions, and a work table where a younger galdor in glasses was buried beneath a pile of papers and a stack of books. When he looked up, he gurgled a noise of surprise and horror, dropping his quill and all but falling over himself to get around his make-shift desk, knocking a few tomes onto the floor and sending loose papers into the air, a pan of strange utensils clattering after everything. Moore winced, ignoring it all to wave his hands, "—what in Alioe's name are you doing? Who are these people? Is that—is that a dead body? Good Lady—"

"Harper, calm down. These passives are in need of a little assistance. They're good lads stuck in an unsavory spot, that's all. You know me—I'm a sucker for trouble."

"Oh gods. What did you do—I mean—oh—uh—what sort of trouble?" Professor Moore squeaked, blatantly staring at the body, his field tangibly jittery with nervousness, even if he mustered up a bit of a smile and used his index finger to unceremoniously shove his spectacles further up his nose as if he needed the motion to process all of the theoretical situations that had brought two living passives, one dead passive, and his galdor cohort converging into his laboratory. It must have been a lot of thinking, for he fell quiet for a few moments and Professor Devlin waited with uncanny patience, watching the man's face for a heartbeat before he indicated to Lars and Fionn to set Fred on the bed-like spot in the lab, "Need I remind you that Mrs. Rogers is already rather suspicious of our interest in her charges, Castor—"

"—then she should clocking well take better care of them. This one fell down the stairs. Perhaps we can finally get permission to search for physical evidence of ley lines so long as we can keep the body fresh, eh?"

"Chimes and bells. You're serious!" There was a hint of excitement in Harper's voice and for a moment it was clear he'd totally forgotten who else was in the room, eyes lit up behind his spectacles and eyebrows raised high in his forehead. Then, he remembered himself and sighed, shoulders sagging, "Alright, let's hear what the story is, then, and are we waking Ophelia at this hour or can it wait until morning?"

"I'm not clocking waking her. I'm already up for review next week, or so she says—"

"Magister Devlin!" The younger professor hissed the other man's official title in horrified displeasure, "We could lose everything—"

"Calm down, Harper. Let's sort this out first, and we'll worry about the repercussions as they happen. I was clocking serious about private research if this all falls through. Brunnhold is stuck in its ways, after all."

"Anaxas. Anaxas is stuck in it's—oh. Hello. I'm Professor Harper Moore. I'm sorry. I have no manners. Feel free to sit, sirs—"

"Mister Fionn Madden and Mister Lars Savatier." The older galdor added with a wink, moving to cover Fred's body with a blanket, once more gathering his field and speaking in hushed tones several long phrases of Monite, giving Harper his moment with the two passives even though he knew that the other professor would be aware of what he was doing. If he emphasized a last name, he hid rather well, used to communicating with his friend and peer with a level of secrecy very few understood. He began to cast to chill and preserve the body, though of course only the other galdor at all had a clue what he was doing and that it would truly be the end of his using any magic for the day. By the time he was finished, he'd find one of the uncomfortable chairs in the small laboratory and all but melt into it, removing a handkerchief from somewhere on his person to wipe his face and pretend he wasn't panting.

The bespectacled galdor on the other hand was clearly flustered by everything happening at once, and he seemed to need fidgeting nervously with the buttons of his starched, white lab coat to keep himself focused, "—well, Fionn. Lars. Just let me know who your Patron is and I'll make sure to explain—"
word count: 1791
User avatar
Fionn
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: [url=http:/fullurl/]Plot Notes[/url]
Writer: Maximus
Contact:

Wed Dec 26, 2018 7:34 pm

Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
.
It didn't matter how much he was in his own head, regardless of the shame and awkwardness that he felt about providing his surname, as soon as Lars gave his full name, Fionn had a bloody difficult time not laughing his head off. It wasn't just the name - the ridiculous, over-the-top, overly grand name that sounded more like a title - but the way that he said it. There was pride, a veritable drawl issuing from his lips and a trace of an accent that the passive could not identify. It wouldn't be kind to laugh at the mouthful that had issued from him, especially as he owed the man and kind of didn't want to be caught doing it so he bit his lip hard, head bowing a bit further as he avoided looking in Lars' direction until the amusement had passed.

Odd that. He wouldn't have thought that he'd feel that way. In other circumstances, he would have laughed, openly, heartily, sneeringly. It was unusual for him to think of the feelings of others but then it wasn't every day that someone actually did something for him. He was typically the enemy. No one would do anything nice for him, not ever. The idea that anyone would show concern for him was... foreign. The blond was certain that if others walked in on the scene in the bathroom, even when they realised that his life was in danger - perhaps especially if they realised that his life was in danger - then they would have left him to die. Perhaps Lars would come to regret not doing the same in time but then again, he hadn't known any better. Still, he owed the older passive and it wasn't a debt that he intended to shirk.

He wasn't sure if Lars was lucky or unfortunate in not having had his diablerie occur. It meant that he had no knowledge of what it was, what it could do but it also meant that he hadn't felt it - the powerlessness, the pressure of the mona, the feeling of being a mere conduit for something far bigger than yourself. That feeling had been both terrifying and exhilarating. Actually, the diablerie itself was enough to make him feel deeply uneasy. It was the effects that he'd enjoyed, how it acted on others. Maybe it was different for galdori, they appeared to actually control things so perhaps it didn't feel bad for them.

But this galdor was studying it? What was he to make of that? The idea that they were the same though... that drew a snort.

"We're the same until we aren't. When we turn out not to be what you expected then we're not your children." Fionn quipped before deciding that listening might actually be a good idea. He might learn something from this or grow very, very confused. He had no idea what a ley line was for instance but the mona went through them. Apparently. Was it like blood? Like... blood vessels in the body? It had felt like something had gone into him but... it was a fuzzy recollection at this point and he hadn't been feeling very studious at the time; he hadn't felt the need to record what he was feeling.

"If abuse or ill-treatment is what's meant to set us off then I should have gone off a thousand times. A lot of what's been done to me is written on my skin so... yeah, not a good theory. I've gone off exactly once and that was before-" he broke off with a shrug, almost unseating Fred's corpse with the action.

Still, he let the professor speak, wondering what in Alioe's name ley lines and ley fabric was. Fabric kind of threw the blood vessels theory out the window but he wasn't going to question that. He didn't want to seem thick, not when the man was talking to them so freely and with all the appearance of someone who thought he was talking to peers. If he remembered, truly remembered that they were meant to be inferior to them then that well of information would run dry.

It wasn't really the time for talk though when he had to keep his breath for carrying Fred up a new set of stairs, especially as he seemed to be growing heavier. It could just have been that he'd been carrying him for too long and it was taking its toll on his endurance. Today had been quite a rough day, even by his standards and as he walked up the stairs - backwards - carefully mounting each step, he found that the bruising along his torso was beginning to truly scream, his body being pushed far too far tonight.

It was a relief to reach their destination, listening to the professor panting as if he was the one doing the hard work. He ushered them in, leaving the pair standing there rather uselessly with a corpse between them while Devlin got rather unusual introductions out of the way.

Fionn twisted a little awkwardly to get a view of Harper Moore who appeared to be coming to terms with the nighttime incursion and its implications.

"I know what it is. Heavy," he muttered to Lars as Moore inquired if it was a corpse that they held. He shifted weight away from the side that blazed with fiery pain, waiting for a signal that they do something with their burden. As such, it came as a relief when they were asked to set him down, Fionn communicating with Lars so they could set it down carefully together. As soon as the dead weight was gone, the young man rested a hand on the edge of the bed, trying to lean away from the pain as his hands moved to lift his shirt on his injured side. He had to move out of Devlin's way while he did... something, mona shifting around them, but he didn't allow that to deter him.

He pulled out the loose tuck of his shirt, fingers splayed with care over deeply red flesh, extending well up his torso. Fingertips applied light pressure around his ribs, feeling for gaps that shouldn't be there or give in the bone that would point to something very not right. "You know, I'm really wondering if I might have a rib cracked somewhere and that fat bastard didn't help," he commented in an off-hand way. He wasn't talking to anyone in particular but he did have an awful habit of speaking his mind at a volume that most people could hear. His prodding continued, even after Devlin named them, the passive's brown eyes darting up at his name and wincing at the surname.

Shouldn't have told him that.

Still, when Moore turned his attention to them properly - finally - and started talking about their patron, he had to stop his self-examination or he would have risked hurting himself as his body shook with laughter.

"Sure, you've already met him. He's not very talkative at the moment but maybe you can do something to liven him up! Oops, no, apparently it's too late for that!" the blond laughed, gesturing to the dead body in the room, pushing himself away from the bed. He tucked his shirt in messily, hands slipping into his pockets with a slight wince as he gazed around the place. He didn't really want to see his surroundings but it was hard not to see the odd little doohickies and wonder at their purposes.

That probably wasn't a good avenue of thought to go down.

"How were you planning on explaining this away anyway? What were you planning on saying? I mean, a dead passive is probably easier to explain but... if he doesn't show up anywhere, if you keep him here, then he's a missing one and I doubt the gollies - 'scuse me, the other gollies - will let that one slide."

He was letting his tongue have free rein, he knew it but Devlin had basically melted into a chair and looked incapable of doing anything, even magic, and this Moore guy... well, Fionn was being honest. He didn't look like he had much spine. Even with magic, he thought that the man was probably unwilling to get into confrontation. He could be wrong but he felt that he was safe to say whatever he pleased and the golly would just take it.
word count: 1460
User avatar
Lars
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 25
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Wed Dec 26, 2018 8:14 pm

Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
If the passive had noticed his companion's held-back amusement with his fanciful name, he didn't mention it, eyes flicking away from the younger man's face to look past him at the professor. He wasn't confident that many actually knew his full name; he certainly didn't give it out on a daily basis and couldn't recall uttering the words to another soul since his entrance into servitude. 'Lars' had become his name overnight, the child longing to ignore and forget the life he'd possessed as quickly and painlessly as possible.

Still, it felt nice to hear it again; Castor's use of their names making him feel far more respected than he'd felt in years, and this was from a clocking galdor. They were the ones typically so quick to push him and his fellow passives down; spewing their names with hatred and mockery if they didn't just call them scraps. Oftentimes 'scrap' was an easier term to handle.

Lars kept quiet as the professor and his roommate conversed, questioning and answering and so on about the mona and whatever else. He didn't understand half of what they were saying, and he wasn't going to speak up and dig himself a deeper hole than his lack of education already had. He might not have been the brightest of men academically, but he didn't need the whole world knowing of it.

This fact combined with the growing weight of the corpse was what kept the older passive silent, extending all of his focus into keeping his hold on the dead man's body and taking care not to push Fionn into anything in the darkness. Speaking of; he could feel the walls beginning to close in on their sides, felt the ceiling's closer proximity above them as they continued through the tunnel and to another set of stairs. Now he was especially thankful for his silence, finding himself slightly out of breath carrying the now-heavier Fred with his companion and finally reaching another door.

The professor addressed someone else--Professor Harper Moore--and left them to carry the body to a bed upon reaching their destination. It was a relief to finally loosen his hold on the body again, letting the man's top half fall to the bed unceremoniously before taking the time to look about the area.

So this was the Laboratory Beta they spoke of. It hardly appeared as intimidating as some would make it out to be. It looked to be more of an office than any sinister base of experimentation, and this fact steadied his nerves a little, steel-blue gaze sweeping over the contents of the room before allowing himself to look at the unfamiliar professor.

He couldn't say for sure if he had seen him before. The younger professor was no far cry from the rest of his race, he likely couldn't pick him from a crowd if he was made to try, but still he found the sight of him to be curious. When rumors were spread of hidden laboratories and experiments, never were the professors made out to be regular men like Professor Devlin and Moore.

A glance back at Fionn brought the passive's injury back into the forefront of his mind, the older stepping close to the bed again where his companion poked at his side. Lars crossed his arms across his chest, observing the younger man with an almost worried expression.

"You shouldn't prod at it," said the man quietly, "methinks you'll damage yourself more, if you keep on."

Harper's addressing of them caught the man's attention, Lars turning his head to look at the professor once more. Fionn's rather crude answer brought the man to bite his lip, "yes, as he said, that's our patron there. Fred."

Lars shifted on his feet, slightly uncomfortable now that they stood in the laboratory with two strangely understanding professors. It didn't make sense to him that they were being so... lenient.

"He's sorry for the intrusion, Professor Moore," said the passive, tone giving away his newfound anxiety, "you and Professor Devlin are probably busy men, he didn't mean to--he--"

The man stopped himself, "he--I'll stop talking, I'm not sure how to react."


word count: 749
I've been unruly
User avatar
Muse
Site Admin
Posts: 353
Joined: Sat Mar 24, 2018 10:12 pm
Topics: 91
Location: On your monitor.
Race: Storyteller
Character Sheet: My Office
Post Templates: Plot Notes
Plot Notes: My Manifesto
Contact:

Thu Dec 27, 2018 2:15 pm

10th of Dentis, 2718
"Well, I'm of the mind that disowning anyone's offspring is the real crime, but that's a private opinion, obviously." Castor Devlin spoke with such honesty in his quiet baritone, warm and honest, and yet it was in this moment that he refused to look either young man in the eye, very aware of their circumstances and his place in society above them. Perhaps he realized his words were almost contrite, the passives who carried the body of a third who the older galdor had already assumed was abusive and dangerous having every reason in all of Vita to refuse his unveiled apologies.

The younger passive spoke of his diablerie and Castor immediately nodded, not surprised by the youth's observation skills or intelligence, considering he was still the child of good breeding. Now was not the time to make family comparisons, however, and so the professor left out Niamh's name, choosing instead to encourage the boy, "Precisely that, Fionn. By Imaan's Eternal Youth, it's a placating sort of view to have, and it's not even practiced properly. There is no correlation between distress and a diablerie, and I'd say Brunnhold alone contains all the scientific evidence anyone needs to back that up. Unfortunately. Not to say there aren't cases of diableries happening in a self-preservation fashion—there are—but I'd venture that's a decision of the mona we don't yet understand."

He puffed his way up the stairs, no longer the young adventurer he'd once been. The Magister had been advised to use a cane years ago and still refused, a soreness having settled in his hips and other joints with age and arthritis.

Professor Moore didn't take the interruption as much in stride as Castor had hoped, and yet, as per usual, Harper recovered quickly. Of course a dead passive bothered the younger galdor, but it was when Fionn raised his shirt that the monic theorist hissed—not in anger or annoyance but in surprise and visible frustration,

"Tocks, Castor, why'd you let him walk here like that? Carrying a body—oh. Oh. Well. Gods, what in Alioe's name happened—" The bespectacled man's eyes widened behind his thick lenses, blinking in surprise when the two passives admitted the body was their Patron.

Professor Devlin in all of his strangeness laughed, leaning forward in his chair and rubbing a palm over his bearded face, "—it doesn't matter what happened. These two lads are alive and that one there won't be harming anyone else." His tone was harsh and final, cutting quickly through any more stammering that Harper may have been preparing to blurt out, color draining from the other galdor's face even as the Magister revealed more of his real self behind the mysterious mischief he wore like a disguise.

"Please don't apologize, Lars." Professor Moore found his footing again, mind shuffling through the series of possible events one more time, shifting cards around and making analytical conclusions. He projected ahead, too, turning and setting his glasses on the desk he'd covered with books and notes. He looked at Lars without surprise as he spoke of himself in third person, "No one is intruding. Castor made the right decision, as usual, and you're safe here, regardless of the rumors about our research. I'm happy to explain—but—first—uh—"

Harper turned and looked to Fionn, not stepping toward the youth despite his immediate desire to do so, raising his hands to indicate he wanted to investigate the extent of the youth's injuries, "—May I have a look, please? It's fine if you'd rather me not, but I can perhaps do something for you when I'm aware that Mrs. Rogers will not until you're too injured to work." The galdor wouldn't persist or beg, but he couldn't help but smirk at the youth's comment, not entirely able to resist the theoretical bait laid before him by accident,

"Well, technically speaking, it's not too late. There is roughly a house of time between death of the physical body and the inaccessibility of the incorporeal soul, though I'm not a theorist on the afterlife, so don't ask me how that cycle works. The mona simply refuses to bring a soul back to a body after a predetermined amount of time. I'm of the opinion that it's a biological function and not a spiritual one, but admitting that reveals my bias toward scientific explanations."

Professor Moore would wait patiently, and if Fionn allowed it, he would step closer, gathering his field instead of reaching his hands out to touch the young passive. He was unfortunately not ignorant of the treatment of passives on Brunnhold's campus and made no assumptions about the youth welcoming his hands on a body already so ill-treated. He spoke phrases of Monite as if he was rattling off an equation, as if he was exchanging data with some other scientist, and yet there was a very friendly, comfortable lilt to his tone of voice. He wasn't casting to heal anything—not yet—so much as to investigate and analyze, the sensation of Quantitative mona moving at his requests not unlike the warm spread of heat when standing too close to a hearth.

While Harper appeared to be examining Fionn, Castor spoke:

"I will be letting Headmistress Servalis and Mrs. Rogers both know that your Patron was found at the bottom of the stairwell leading to the tunnels in apparent desperation to escape by myself this evening. Considering those tunnels are off limits to passives, the paperwork and explanation won't take long. I won't be mentioning either of your names, lads." Professor Devlin stood up again, moving to peruse Professor Moore's notes, his dark eyes lingering on the sheet that now covered Fred's corpse, "I will then ask permission to donate his body to our research. I don't expect much resistance there."
word count: 1037
User avatar
Fionn
Posts: 101
Joined: Wed Nov 28, 2018 11:17 am
Topics: 18
Race: Passive
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Post Templates: Post Templates
Plot Notes: [url=http:/fullurl/]Plot Notes[/url]
Writer: Maximus
Contact:

Thu Dec 27, 2018 7:35 pm

Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
.
Tonight had gone from bad to weird. He hadn't thought that Fred would try to strangle him or for Lars to save him but that situation was a far cry from the one he was in now. Two galdori wanting to be his allies? His friends? He didn't even know what sort of angle they were trying to work right now but Devlin had almost sounded... pleased about his questions and statements before. What he'd said.... it wasn't smart, was it? The passive had never been considered all that bright although he certainly wasn't stupid, not by any means but this was way out of his purview, this monic theory stuff. In spite of that though - or perhaps because of it? - he wasn't sure what sort of angle these gollies were working. Did they actually want to help himself and Lars or were they just using this situation to their advantage and... keeping passives happy? No, obviously they were using this situation to their advantage; Devlin at the very least wanted Fred's body but they didn't need to keep the passive pair sweet for that.

Was it to keep them quiet? Well, opening their mouths was to their disadvantage because then they'd be in a world of shit. Furthermore, even if it wasn't in their worst interest, if they tried to counter any golly's statement, never mind those made by professors, then no one would believe them. Unless it was the possibility of doubt, a seed that could be sown if they said the wrong thing in the wrong place, said something that contradicted these guys. Maybe they had their enemies, those who would take that little bit of contradiction and run with it. Could magic drag the truth out of someone against their will? Possibly. He wasn't sure that he could be surprised by the abilities of the gollymancers anymore, not after tonight.

Fionn's problem was that he couldn't work out which side these two fell on especially when Moore seemed genuinely concerned about his injuries, actually beginning to give out to Devlin about allowing him to carry a corpse in his condition. That certainly gave him pause, eyeing the man uncertainly. Perhaps that was why he wasn't as quick to be smart with Lars when he said that he'd injure himself further.

"I won't damage myself further. I'm not a delicate flower," he delivered flatly, his voice lacking the sardonic bite that would have been usual, clearly distracted. The blond shook his head, listening to the gollies' back and forth. He hadn't tucked his shirt in long when Moore spoke to him, his mouth actually dropping open when he very clearly showed concern. Real concern.

The young man gawked at him, taking a step back and leaning away from the man.

"You what? You want to- Why? Why would you..." Fionn trailed off, hands moving to his shirt almost protectively, fingers brushing uncertainly over the material. He could help him, maybe he could do this Living Conversation that Devlin couldn't. Could he heal him? That'd be lovely but also... just what might the man want in return?

However, all thought of that went out of his mind when Moore said that it was possible to bring Fred back. The colour drained from his face, the scarlet bruises made all the more stark against white skin. He might have forgotten to breathe for a few moments, pressure seeming to build unpleasantly in his diaphragm where it made pain radiate outwards.

No, if he was capable of it- Sweet Naulas, no, he couldn't let him do it, couldn't let him revive that bastard. The fear and horror definitely showed on his face in the fleeting moments before he opened his mouth to protest.

"No, no, no, you can't, can you? You won't? I mean.... he needed to- he didn't have a soul," he blurted out, fingers twisting in his shirt, jerking and twitching material until he prodded himself - hard - and winced, tears springing to his eyes as he bit his lip.

Fuck no, he was not going to cry now. He hadn't cried in public in years. He'd gotten bloody good at not doing it and he wasn't going to let himself break his streak now. Not for these people, not over this.

"I- Yeah, you can look. If you really want to," he forced out from between gritted teeth, trying to ignore the lump in his throat, the struggle to swallow past it. The young servant untucked his shirt again, turning his head away so that he wouldn't have to look Moore in the eye, wouldn't risk letting him see the standing tears in his gaze. His jaw was held taut, lips twisting as he felt mona moving again, the shift in the professor's field in close proximity to him. Magic used in his vicinity was one thing but used on him was quite another.

The feeling wasn't a bad one but warming, as if he was standing near flame. It kind of reminded him of being in the kitchen, dealing with heat but the smell here was wildly different. There was comfort in that little bit of familiarity though and while his face didn't react, the rest of his body relaxed somewhat, a slight slump entering his shoulders as he let go a little. He didn't have a clue what Moore was doing but it didn't seem to be getting better. He didn't want to think about it, the soft pet of mona particles against him so he was glad to have a distraction in Devlin.

"We're free to go then?" Fionn questioned softly, each word sounded out with care as if he was almost afraid to voice it allowed. As if he feared that the response would be 'no'. "Although if we aren't meant to take those tunnels then well... we'd have to go a different way. Couldn't expect you gents to go escorting a pair of scraps like we're worth something."

The snark was returned now, the situation appearing clearer. Devlin wanted that body, desperately so and as such, he was more than willing to lie about how it had come to be cold. If he threw them under the carriage wheels then he might not get the body so he was obviously going to keep his mouth shut. Devlin's actions had a clear purpose in Fionn's mind, his 'kindness' all a matter of ulterior motive. The passive could cope with that, that was what he'd come to expect. People always wanted something from each other. It was Moore that was the question mark here.

Did a passive take damage differently than a golly? He doubted it so... why the interest in his injuries? The concern? Had he noticed the marks around his neck? Was the cut in his head visible or had all the blood been washed from his hair, the traces gone and the source hidden?

"Why are you doing this?" he asked Moore, his voice low, gruff, an echo of his earlier query but more wary this time rather than shocked.
word count: 1234
User avatar
Lars
Posts: 143
Joined: Sun Nov 25, 2018 1:04 pm
Topics: 25
Location: brunnhold
Race: Passive
: hates you/r laundry
Character Sheet: Character Sheet
Plot Notes: Plot Notes
Writer: fermin
Contact:

Sat Dec 29, 2018 7:04 pm

Dentis 10, 2718 | Night
Image
It was clear that the passive was still unsure of himself even after his apologies had been dismissed; shifting on his feet uncomfortably and glancing to the professor's desk in favor of looking him in the eyes. He had never been too social with the galdori when not necessary, and even then, he was often nothing more than a sputtering mess of apologies. It was all too strange that these men were so forgiving and lenient, and he honestly couldn't say if he was more curious or afraid.

He didn't need to think about the difference for long, the man's eyes darting back to his roommate when Professor Moore took interest in his injuries. Perhaps it was some manner of defensiveness for his fellow passive that made Lars step closer to his companion, blue eyes narrowed with concern, ears keen on the sound of quiet Monite as the professor presumably cast some sort of healing spell--he only just learned that there were different types, so he could barely begin to assume what sorts of spells they knew, but Fionn didn't lash out in pain or shout in defiance and that was enough to keep Lars from action.

The older could feel the gentle sway of the mona; relished in what little he could experience for himself, even if it was only the knowledge that something was happening.

Professor Devlin's explanations caught his attention, Lars glancing to the chair in which he sat and regained his breath, "thank you, sir," he offered quietly, "but he wonders as well--how are we to get back to our dorm?"


word count: 292
I've been unruly
Post Reply Previous topicNext topic

Return to “Brunnhold”

  • Information
  • Who is online

    Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest