[Clocks Eve - Closed] Them Bones, Them Bones

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Lilanee Kuleda
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: Let's go on an adventure!!!
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Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:35 am

1st Intas, 2719
THE CRYPTS | LATE EVENING, BEFORE MIDNIGHT
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“Yes, yes I suppose you’re right Mister Vks.” Lilanee admitted as he compared the Ward spells to a Wall or Barrier, not at all perturbed at accepting she was wrong in her logic. She gave her symposium on the reasoning for taking his coat, and as they stood in the chilled depths of the Crypts, her pulse thrummed in her ears as Ezre gave pause to consider her words. When he agreed, settling down his things to remove it, the young woman felt her cheeks burning, but bit her tongue to avoid suddenly changing her mind.

“Oh—I—thankyou.” The Hessean tripped over her words, approaching the other student and slipping her arms into his coat sleeves. It was warm from his own body heat, and a touch bigger than hers, the ends of the sleeves long enough that only the tips of her fingers stuck out. Tugging it around herself, Lilanee couldn’t help but breathe in the gentle pleasant scents of incense and chan. It smelt like Ezre, the thought sending a curious warmth through her with a wave of goosebumps.

Merely a reaction to the extra layers and change in temperature. Yes. Precisely it.

Deflecting the awkwardness with her false shock at his sarcasm and a gentle slap on the arm for good measure, the red haired Hessean followed as they moved on to the stunning ancient stone and gold worked ‘garden’. She dismissed his commentary about the dead leaving their graves in a perfunctory way, and it was not at all unnoticed when he replied in turn with what she took as mild offence. The teenager held her lantern, a hand drifting to her lip to press the curve of it between her teeth with a frown.

“I’m sorry, I didn’t mean to—I have a habit of speaking before thinking.” Lilanee said apologetically, disappointed she’d caused his smile to disappear. It was a nice smile, made all the more nice in its rarity. Standing on the threshold of the entrance, the budding archeologist felt an unpleasant sensation in her stomach and her field hummed with regret. She’d been rude, and she’d made him angry.

Damn your mouth!

Ezre approached, and he offered up one quick short smile, but Lilanee still felt keenly her mistake. Falling in beside the boy as they began down the staircase, the red head held the lantern high to shed light on the steps, head tucked in under the collar of the jackets. Silence followed them down, right to the point where the stairs opened up to the antechamber, and Lilanee broke away from Ezre to approach the alcoves of books. She ran her fingers over them slowly, reading the spines and tsking quietly at the religious texts. Anaxi were so superstitious, with all their prayers and songs that accompanied the progression of death. Hesse had an understanding that Ophur was their God, but there was no worship of the being. Gold was his representation, the plentiful metal abundant in their country and heavily mined, but the galdori of the region didn’t pray to Gold or Gods. They worked, and they listened to the nature around them, the play of the wind in the trees or the smell of rain over the next outcrop. The Gods didn’t participate in the death of a Hessean, they were made by the natural world and they would die by it, entombed in the handiwork of friends and family and the gold of the country. Consumption of the ashes and the drake venom was less of a superstitious ritual and more of a physical enhancement to the warrior race of people.

“Fascinating.” She muttered, moving away to sweep her blue gaze across the mosaic on the floor, walking around the concentric pattern slowly before looking up at the paintings encompassing the walls. Lantern high, Lilanee smiled in wonder at the beauty of the deceptions and the placement of them. There was a story here, written before their time, though what it was saying was hard to say without the full context. As Ezre spoke, the Hessean turned to face him, nodding in agreeance and pointing to the Alioe artwork.

“Absolutely, and here Alioe is the top of the clock, so to speak. Her imagery points up to the surface, towards the moon I suppose and the light. The way out, as it were. And Naulas, the way…in?” She shivered suddenly, feeling the cold even through the layers of clothing, moving closer to Ezre and holding the light for him. Looking at the new map presented, her shame over the slight oversight before dissipated as they scanned the drawing together.

“What could possibly be so precious that they would remove it from student access?” Lilanee mused, imagining fragile books and scrolls that crumbled just from a brush of air—

The Hessean lifted her head sharply, brow drawn and blue eyes scanning the room through her glasses. A breeze had brushed the soft downy curls at the nape of her neck, a draft maybe in the very still very stale air so far under the Church. Touching her fingertips lightly to her neck before adjusting her glasses and following the Hoxian towards the arched doorway.

“Ahha!” Lilanee announced in victory, unable to stop the wide grin that broke out on her face as she pointed at the locked gate and raised her eyebrows.

“Solid, tangible barrier.” She said delightfully, heart skipping a beat when the mischievous smirk returned to his face, pleased that her arrogance hadn’t driven a rift between them already. She could feel the heated buzzing of his field, full of excitement that the Hoxian seemed so perfectly able to contain, and it was contagious. Lilanee giggled her enthusiasm at the discovery, watching the other student tug at the barrier to no avail. Her eyes drifted to the picks in his hand with a false gasp of shock.

“Mister Vks, I would never have thought you to be the lock-picking type, though I can say my father would love you right now were he here.” Raising a finger in the air, the student spoke with an air of determination.

“A man can never be over prepared for an expedition, Lilanee my girl!” The teenager grinned, lowering her hand and coming closer to the gate. She reached forward, resting a hand on the lock and gathering her field, a look of contemplation on her face.

“I am not a man of course—” Turning her palm slightly, fingers bent and the tips placed strategically around the exterior of the key hole. Her voice was quiet, a stark contrast to her usual noise, speaking a breath of quick monite that politely requested the mona to weave themselves into a tight unseen point of magnetism within the centre of the lock. Spreading her fingers slowly, the spell continuing, Lilanee turned her hand slowly anti-clockwise before sharply shutting her hand in a fist with a short syllable.

Dice roll for MagnetismShow

SidekickBOTToday at 21:48

@Raksha: `1d6` = (6) = 6


There was an audible rusty click as the old mechanism inside turned with protest and the lock snapped open, causing the Hessean to smile brightly at the Hoxian.

“But I do come prepared.” It was showing off, the young woman knew that given they could have easily done without the magic but frankly, she enjoyed herself.

“Shall we?” She asked with a small flourish of her hand, lantern casting its orange glow into the stony darkness beyond the bars.

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Ezre Vks
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: better with the dead
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Thu Jul 25, 2019 4:18 pm

The Crypts
The 1st of Intas, 2719
"You think like an archaeologist, Kuleda-vumein: considering the value of what could be locked away down here instead of weighing the dangers. I prefer your perspective." Ezre's words were best interpreted to be the most subtle of compliments, so very quietly spoken while he moved on light, near-silent feet over the stone floor, examining the mosaic. His dark eyes wandered over Bash's place in the illustrations before drifting to linger on Naulas, aware of the differences between the patron God of his Kingdom of Hox and the patron God of death and the lost Kingdom of Naulanon.

His dark eyes followed the glow of their lantern toward the archway that obviously led deeper into this section of the Crypts. There were probably a few other stairways, though this one seemed at least somewhat important,

"While I doubt it is because the architecture is flawed or because the flora is dangerous, that does not mean the administration thought it safe. It could be to preserve historical integrity or it could be because the materials buried with their creators are currently not in academic popularity. It could also be there are ghosts down here—" Ezre smiled, and the expression was as bold and fearless as it was taunting and defiant in the wake of Lilanee's self-professed disbelief, "—hence the warding upstairs."

The boy had the nerve to chuckle, leading them into the archway and to the locked gate. For the Hoxian, this confirmed things he already suspected: this floor was most likely haunted. Choosing to keep that suspicion to himself, however, he enjoyed the Hessean's enthusiasm, the look of conspiratorial agreement, and then her mockery of surprise when he produced his handmade lock picks. It revealed he'd planned this expedition for longer than a mere moment's whim and it also perhaps revealed his level of dedication to exploration. Her imitation of her father elicited a huff and a smirk from him, Ezre choosing to speak up at her insistence that she was not, in fact, a man,

"I must admit that I do not understand the Anaxi perspective on gender inequality. Gior is in some ways no better in the opposite direction, but as a woman you have the right to be just as prepared and capable." It was an awkward compliment and in the chilled darkness, he would have been thankful if she could not see the warmth that colored his cheeks, leaning back only slightly from the light of their lantern just as another breeze whispered between the iron bars, stronger, almost searching. The cold caressed their skin and snatched at their hair, audible over stone while it threatened to snuff out the lantern this time, but the dark-haired boy didn't let his curiosity show on his face, not yet. Like his own resolve, their ruddy flame behind glass panes held true.

Feeling the shift and focus in her field after their shared joke, he couldn't help but finally grin—a real grin!—as she opened the lock through an exemplary use of magnetism. He nodded at her invitation, gathering his own field around him in a way that hopefully could have been viewed as preparation of his own instead of as any sign of fear.

"I have little doubt of your capabilities." Ezre added quietly.

The hallway was wide enough for them to walk together, albeit a little closely, and it was built with an arched ceiling, strong carved beams supporting the floor above at regular intervals. Three beams in and there were what once appeared to be archways to the left and right, perhaps hallways, but both of them had been filled in and plastered over instead of simply gated. The construction of the blockades was unknown, but given how long it appeared to have been unvisited down here, it could have been decades ago. The dark-haired boy paused to run his fingers over the stonework, square-hewn stone held fast by cement, the placards that had once labeled the passages removed from both walls, the dark, red stone that made Brunnhold's walls and made up much of the Crypts brighter where the signs once were,

"A ward. A gate. And two completely closed hallways. I hope that the families of those buried here have been compensated for their losses." Ezre felt the loss of contact with ancestors keenly, empathizing with the idea of not being able to visit those who had passed as something shameful. His inked fingers traced along the outline of one of the places a placard once was,

"I do believe I have miscalculated this expedition, for my map has these marked as passable This must have been within the past century—let us see." He reached for his notebook again and turned, perhaps rather quickly, toward Lilanee, curling closer to her than was entirely necessary, both for the light and for the warmth now that she wore his coat and he did not. He felt the deep Intas chill in his fingers, this second floor now noticeably colder than the first. Watching his breath in the lantern's glow, he pointed to the hall they stood in and then followed the hall that stretched open before them, attempting to find a path,

"It looks as though there will be a fork and we may be able to still reach this western area if we turn to the left at the next available way to do so." Holding the book against his chest, Ezre looked back to the wall to his left and placed a hand on it in obvious disappointment, "If the Everine have not closed of more passages, that is. With that locked gate, surely some of these crypts have been left open—oh. Wait—"

His fingertips had strayed back over the stonework that blocked the hall and as he did so, he realized he was uncovering a thick layer of dust. Beneath that dust, his dark eyes caught a glimpse of paint. Placing his hand flat against the closed archway, he began to rub away the dust over the section, revealing very similar Monite to what had been drawn on the opening to the stairs on the floor above.

The Hexxos acolyte was truly not one to express surprise often, but as he took in the writing, he gasped, coughing on the dust, feeling the warm thrill of excitement and fear crawl its way up the back of his spine. How strange that the Everine chose to blockade their restless spirits instead of attempt to assist them in finding their way back into the Cycle. He continued to clear away the painted-on wards, aware that just because Monite had been written did not at all mean that the mona cared to linger.

Unable to see any signs of a trigger or an Everspell, he frowned,

"These are useless. Or, they are without a plot as containment."

Useless.

The word felt like an echo. The boy froze in place, tattooed hand still splayed across cold stone, covered now in dust.

Did Lilanee hear that or was he just projecting his own beliefs on his companion because he wanted to?
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word count: 1248
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Lilanee Kuleda
Posts: 56
Joined: Tue Mar 05, 2019 6:40 am
Topics: 6
Location: Brunnhold
Race: Galdor
: Let's go on an adventure!!!
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Writer: Raksha
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Mon Aug 12, 2019 6:35 pm

1st Intas, 2719
THE CRYPTS | LATE EVENING, BEFORE MIDNIGHT
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Lilanee snorted, not entirely catching the compliment at first.

“Gior thinks it’s clever with its Matriarchy and its passive equality. Did you know that Hessean’s are just as tall, sometimes taller, than Giorans?! They—oh.” The words finally sunk in, and the red head halted her passionate rant about Gior, blushing in the dark and pressing her lips together to stop the ridiculous grin that wanted to leap across her face. It didn’t help that after her rather extravagant lock opening, the Hoxian grinned at her himself, a bold thing that was sacred in its genuineness and rarity.

Oh dear really? Sacred?? What are you even thinking?

Entering the hallway with a nod to cover her awkward self-scolding, the Hessean looked around as they moved, her brow drawing together at the plastered over archways. This place wasn’t just blocked off, it was erased. Placards had been removed, entrances sealed over and the hall looked old. Unbidden, goosebumps ran over tanned skin, and Lilanee couldn’t shake the strange heaviness in the pit of her stomach. It was all the bodies natural reaction to the unknown, and scientifically she had nothing to fear except perhaps cave in’s or maybe rodents, but as much as she knew what it was it didn’t make it go away. At least it allowed her to try and be rational.

Stepping closer to Ezre as he examined the placard, Lilanee made a small sound of surprise when he turned suddenly, far closer than expected. She could see his breath pluming from his lips, and for a moment too long her blue gaze lingered, before blinking rapidly and looking down at his map.

“What use is a gate when the passages are sealed up? It’s like storing an artifact in a lock-box, inside a locked box. It doesn’t make sense.” Unless of course, there was something about the artifact that was dangerous. There were rumours, there were always rumours, about items across Vita that held their own power. It was a scientific and magical impossibility of course, without the aide of an Everspell, but it didn’t stop them appearing in local folk lore or in old texts.

Lifting her gaze as the other student brushed away untold years of dust, Lilanee stepped closer with a frown, adjusting her glasses and lifting the lantern as the painted monite was slowly revealed. It was another Ward by the looks, and in the near deafening quiet of the crypt Ezre’s gasp was almost startling.

“Why bother at all then? Could they have been use—”

Useless.

The red haired teenagers eyes widened, like saucers behind her lenses, and the small hairs on the back of her neck stood up crisply. Her heart palpitated in her chest and a rush ran through her veins, field sharply drawing closer. She didn’t realize she was holding her breath, and let it go with shallow movements.

She had most definitely heard that. An echo. A whisper of a word that really couldn't have occurred.

But it did.

“Ezre…” The young historian whispered, frozen in place by what she could only describe as a pending fear. Had she heard that echo in a well lit, open area, would she still feel this sense of dread? Surely it was the structure of the hall playing tricks on them. Surely, even if the word echoed should have been 'containment', surely there was a scientific logical explanation for it. Maybe someone had followed them. Maybe it was bleeding down from the entrance...so far away from them now.

Surely.

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Ezre Vks
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: better with the dead
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Tue Sep 03, 2019 4:23 pm

The Crypts
The 1st of Intas, 2719
"There are many misconceptions about restless spirits and ghosts—very little research has been compiled and verified into a single source. Much has been left to become hearsay and wives' tales." Ezre appeared to be staunchly opinionated on this particular spiritual matter, the etherialness of his Clairvoyant-laden field almost luminous like his tone of voice. He watched Lilanee's confusion play out across her freckled features in the ruddy glow of their conjured light, dark eyes drifting over her face and lingering for a moment before turning his attentions back to the placard, beginning to speak again, only to fall quiet at the strange echo of his own words that were not made in his voice.

Sinking teeth into his lower lip, the boy barely contained a frown. Ignorance had left the displaced to wander here in the darkness of the lower Crypts, alone and without any guidance or respite. Whatever attachments or disturbances in the Vitan flow of life kept them bound here, Ezre had come to believe it was the job of the living to attempt to remedy the situation.

He sighed, and the Hessean would be able to see not only his breath but also the squaring of his shoulders. Sigiling his field, he slid his hand away from the dusty stone, resisting the urge to bring his fingers together and crack his knuckles as if settling into an evening of manuscript copying or preparing for a sparring match in the Gyre,

"This is not the optimum environment for such an auditory phenomenon. Nor were we followed as far as I could tell, given that it is Clock's Eve." Ezre whispered without a hint of fear, offering Lilanee a very factual affirmation that not only had he heard the strange sound, but it was also incredibly out of place.

"Useless!" The word rang out louder, but it could be felt more than simply heard. Echoing through the narrow hall they were standing in, it was impossible to tell if it came from behind them or further in the darkness ahead of them. Perhaps it came from behind one of the plastered-over archways. It was a strange sensation, the sound of immediately sending chills dancing along the Hexxos acolyte's spine.

The boy's body tensed, one hand raising in a peculiar position in front of his chest, two fingers arched while the others pressed tightly against his palm. The thin lines traced beneath his skin in dark ink met in a certain fashion and Ezre placed himself between the thick black beyond the glow of their summoned light spells and the Hessean, squinting into the nothingness devoid of cobwebs,

"I suppose we will conduct some research this evening." He was smiling—smiling!—and it was a secretive, cheeky expression that belied the fear that swirled in the Perceptive mona that lingered in his aura, overpowered by some overwhelming sense of curiosity. Inhaling slowly, the Hoxian called out without even giving Lilanee a warning of his choice,

"Hello?" The concentration on his small orb of light flickered as he shifted his focus, gathering the familiar particles of Clairvoyance that had claimed him and planting his feet, "Who is down here?"

"No one of importance." Came the raspy, morose reply. It sounded like someone murmured in their ears. It sounded like someone was far away, "No one who matters anymore."

The air was already stale and cold, but it seemed to grow chillier with the sighing motion of a breeze that simply should not have happened. Undaunted, the Hexxos acolyte continued,

"Everyone matters—"

"Not when they're dead!" Howled a voice and the black hallway outside of their warm glow swirled like a tide, a tall, equally dark figure emerging from it as if it had always been standing there. Man or woman, it was impossible to tell, but it was definitely a person in incorporeal form, complete with dark spectacles and the mockery of professor's robes, growling and snarling as it approached like a rabid banderwolf totally let off its chain, arms outstretched as if to grasp for the young students who dared to venture into the radius of its intense sorrow.

So much heavy emotion. The level of self-awareness was almost as shocking as the strength of its projection.

Ezre felt it.

Surely Lilanee felt it, too.

Radiating from the shadows, curling into their very hearts, was a very tangible sadness, a hopeless frustration. The boy swallowed, raising his hand and licking dry lips while he felt the tempo of his heartbeat pick up against his temples.

"Useless! Seeking the truth is worthless!"

"Stop." The boy spoke firmly, pulsing his field in warning, sending a visible ripple through the ghost as it literally charged them, slowing it and causing it to gurgle and growl. The young Hoxian had perhaps learned a few things since his last unexpected spiritual encounter in Ghost Town in Bethas, though he'd yet to give any of his unorthodox studies a proper test. Stepping back, his free hand found Lilanee's and he stated the obvious without any waver or hint of terror in his voice, though he could only imagine what the archaeologist's daughter could be feeling in this moment, "We should go."

The weight of projected emotions was almost nauseatingly strong.

"Go? Don't leave me! I have so much more to teach—" The ghostly professor began to move toward the pair of young galdori again, incoherently moaning about useless diplomas and wasted spellwork, gnarled dark hands reaching for them.
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Lilanee Kuleda
Posts: 56
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Topics: 6
Location: Brunnhold
Race: Galdor
: Let's go on an adventure!!!
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Writer: Raksha
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Sat Sep 07, 2019 9:04 pm

1st Intas, 2719
THE CRYPTS | LATE EVENING, BEFORE MIDNIGHT
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Lilanee let her breath out in a shallow exhale, quite aware of the way it plumed visibly between them, almost adament Ezre had read her mind. Truthfully, given the situation and the look on her face, it wouldn’t be hard to deduce the thought process going on inside her head.

Useless.

Oh that was definitely not just an echo.

Eyes large as saucers, the Hessean took no insult to being the proverbial ‘damsel in distress’, peering around in the darkness and tucking herself close to the Hoxian’s back. Her free hand crept to curl into the fold of his shirt, both jackets around her person feeling now like some sort of strange set of armor. She glanced at his face, incredulous at the fact he was smiling--smiling! in the face of whatever the clock was going on.

“Don’t talk to it!” She hissed, fear palatable in her own field with rolling pulses of yellow and blue. He might believe in all this ghostly business, but it didn’t mean he had to provoke it! Her heart damn near exploded when it replied. It replied!! Lilanee made a sound in the back of her throat, not at all hiding the way her fingers literally held fast to his attire now and the way she huddled almost touching the boy. This was way way too much. Seeing was believing but this was clocking hearing and communicating. Good Lady, what would her father be saying right now.

As the swirling darkness formed into a figure, howling its outrage and reaching for them with clawing hands, the Hessean did what any good explorer should not really do. She screamed, squeezing her eyes shut and literally pressing herself into the Hoxian’s back, tucking herself behind him with a terrified sob.

This wasn’t at all fun anymore.

“Ezre I want to go.” She whispered as she tugged on his shirt, feeling the weight of the presence’s emotions like a pouring of cold water down her back, tears stinging her eyes. It was so sad, and so terribly lost. Alone. Angry. How long had it been trapped down here, how long had it been lost in the dark catacombs under the Church?

Stop.

The confident forcefulness in Ezre’s voice and his field caused Lilanee to open her eyes and look, peering over his shoulder at the long dead scholar and it’s half-tangible form. She saw it waver, like the pulse of his aura had physically impacted it, and she nodded rapidly when he suggested it was time to leave. Holding her lantern in a shaking hand, the red head kept her bespectacled eyes on the creature as they began to move, letting go of his shirt to firmly cling to his hand.

Oh Gods, she wanted to throw up, the press of the being’s emotions like some gravity spell wanting to weigh her down. She was barely able to stop the tears that threatened to spill from her lashes, swallowing another whimpering scream has the ghost reached for them again.

“Ezre!?” Lilanee said with a squeak, her voice thick with terror and her pulse raging in her ears, question in her tone. Were they safe? Were they going to be okay? Was this it???

This wasn’t at all what she had expected but clocking hell it was real. It was real and Lilanee wanted to be scientific, she wanted to understand it and discuss it and study it. Take notes and theorize why a long dead professor would be stuck here, where wards and literal gates held him in. Or things out. Either way, there was so much to learn, so much to know. He wanted to teach them, and Lilanee wanted to learn. She did but...

But not right now. Right now, she wanted to clocking run away, her legs feeling like jelly in her fear.

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Ezre Vks
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: better with the dead
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Tue Sep 10, 2019 2:10 pm

The Crypts
The 1st of Intas, 2719
"Icannot offer my assistance if we do not communicate." Ezre whispered back, furtive but calm in a way that was almost just as disturbing as the ghastly darkness that lunged toward them. The boy stood his ground, feet planted and body placed between the Hessean and the ghost as if he was enough of a barrier, as if he was somehow significant enough protection from the terror that must be gripping someone who'd never believed and now couldn't ever deny again.

Lilanee curled behind him, her hands seeking his clothing, knuckles against the muscles of his tattooed back. Such sadness, pouring from the restless spirit, and the Hexxos acolyte was at once fascinated and horrified. He was frightened, he really was, but he was also too curious for his own good, too full of a strong desire to know more about these spiritual anomalies.

He studied the creature. It wafted closer, shadows stretching hungrily toward their breathing, living bodies. In that moment, part of him longed to reach back out toward it, to brush his inked fingers through the apparition, but instead he held his hand in the position he'd brought it up in, firm and unwavering. Extending his arm, he began to slowly move back, gently guiding his fellow student whose breathing had changed and voice squeaked with fear.

"It will be alright. I promise." That confidence. Ezre was steadfast, turning his attention back to the ghost as it whined about teaching. A magister, perhaps? Perceptive professor?

How long had it been lost down here?

His heart ached. His breath caught. This was no way to treat those severed and lost from the Cycle. This was a cruel dishonor to the life that once had been.

"We are leaving. You will let us leave." The dark-haired boy announced boldly to the creature of darkness and it howled, it whined, it hissed.

"Your lessons. They are empty. Let me share with you the truth—"

"Not now. You must wait. A little longer—I—" Ezre breathed, clipping himself short of promising he would return purely for the sake of the Hessean, feeling the thrill of fear settle at the base of his spine. He barely heard his own quiet, steady voice above Lilanee and the thrumming of his heart, but he had gathered his field, focused those Clairvoyant particles who knew him so intimately, and then he began to cast.

The Monite was quick, definitive, but unorthodox. It pulled from other magical disciplines, it borrowed and wove, telling the mona to mirror a barrier that any Physical conversationalist would use in a duel and yet make it intangible, yet craft it out of monic will itself. It sounded like a counterspell and yet it was not. It was a simple ward, a magical denial containing an inclusive clause for the spiritual anomaly in front of them.

The ghost was repeating itself, whispering again about lessons, about lies, about secrets and Ezre longed to hear them, longed to take the risk. But he would not risk the safety of a friend.

"Let us go. Through the antechamber. Up the stairs. Make sure the candle is lit." Slowly, he released her hand, clearly concentrating on the upkeep of his spell, a spell meant to keep the ghost at a distance, to form a protective sphere around their vulnerable, tempting bodies. He nudged Lilanee backwards and followed her, keeping his attention on the dark silhouette as it flowed to trail them, wisps of shadows curling against the edges of his spell like fog curling off a river.

"I am sorry." He offered.

The ghost growled at him, the weight of emotions suddenly so oppressive that even Ezre couldn't help but sob. It was a stronger than expected creature—did the galdor know its true name before it died? Was the life that this ghost echoed once a powerful sorcerer?—and yet it did not seem as aggressive as it did morose and confused.

So long as Lilanee kept going, he'd reach for her hand again to guide him. He followed through the hall. Through the large room at the bottom of the stairs. One step at a time, breath puffing in rapid little clouds as he strained to concentrate, as he strained not to trip and fall, as he strained to leave instead of stay.

By some kind mercy of the Circle, the ghost seemed distracted in the larger room, form expanding to fill the space, stretched thin and disoriented. It moaned and continued to weep about the terrible lessons.

What lessons?

What secrets?

"Keep going. Help me." Ezre whispered, allowing himself to be led backwards up the stairs.

"Don't leave me! Come back and listen! I can teach you!"

He shuddered, nauseated by the desperation, and wished there was a railing for his free hand to grip while the pair of terrified students fled as fast as they could. For a brief moment, there at the top, it appeared as though they had not been followed, as though the restless spirit didn't know how to move to the next floor. Ezre positioned himself in the middle of the written ward on the floor near the stares, in the middle of the painted Monite, and pressed both of his hands together, staring down into the darkness below them while he waited for Lilanee to light the candle.

A screech echoed up the stairs, the rushing of wind clawing at their hair and their clothes, totally frigid and almost painful. Breath-stealing and strong. The dark-haired boy gasped, more spellwork flowing off his tongue in a quiet rhythm—

"You are just as blind as the rest of them!" Howled the creature, suddenly crushing them with a rage intense enough to clench their jaw muscles with the rawness of the emotion.

Ezre's spell included the familiar, short Push syllables within it, wrapped in a Clairvoyant leybridge that would have been similar to the phrasing used to make a connection with a witness, only this one was meant to deny the disconnected consciousness that had followed them, the ghost that was haunting their retreat.

As soon as the candle lit, there was a whoosh and a hiss, the whimpers of a ghost held at bay. It wept down the stairs, its dark, smoky presence visibly sinking away from them,

"You will regret your ignorance. You will regret—"

The Hexxos completed his spell and the candle flashed brighter as if the Clairvoyant mona that filled the sphere he'd created were nothing more than particles of oxygen instead of sentient magical beings. Lilanee would feel the strange, conjured emotions drain out of her as if she could feel anything above the terror that still surely gripped her.

"We are safe until the candle runs out of wick and wax. Let us go." Ezre turned, dark eyes wide, and he once again took the redhead's hand, leaning heavily, breath ragged with an intoxicating mixture of fear and excitement, of exertion and thrill, "I must apologize for such a frightening introduction to the hidden spiritual anomalies of Vita."

He had the nerve to smile, there in the ruddy glow of their sputtering lantern, before making haste to drag them both away, "I can explain further, but not here."
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Lilanee Kuleda
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: Let's go on an adventure!!!
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Mon Sep 30, 2019 3:08 am

1st Intas, 2719
THE CRYPTS | LATE EVENING, BEFORE MIDNIGHT
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The red haired Hessean moved backwards as Ezre did, not at all wanting any lessons from this being in the darkness, too afraid to look it again for fear somehow she would catch it staring into her very soul. As the Hoxian cast, the hairs on the back of her neck stood on end and her field moved back from Ezre’s to let his spellwork move freely. Clairvoyant, a discipline she wasn’t strongly familiar with, shifted around them to weave something of a barrier that Lilanee could feel with her aura but could not see.

By the Ten she hoped that it was a worthwhile barrier because she did not want to die under the church tonight.

Nodding even though he wouldn’t be able to see it, the teenager moved up the stairs, the lantern light shuddering as her hand trembled with fear. The candle…did he mean the lantern candle? Gods but then it growled, and she couldn’t help the audible sob that did escape her, feeling suddenly so heartrendingly sad. Everything felt hopeless, her father was surely dead in the Anaxi wilds somewhere and she was going to fail and never graduate and be an old spinster on her deathbed who never achieved anything in her whole life ever.

Gripping the hand that slipped back into hers tightly, Lilanee was not ashamed to drag the boy out with her, whimpering another sob as the ghost stretched out in the open space. How, how could it be so big? Did they not adhere to the laws of their original vessel? The student kept going, pressing on and on it seemed up the clocking stairs she was beginning to wish they hadn’t climbed. Finally they had reached the circle, the candle—oh that candle—and Lilanee breathed a sigh of relief as she rushed towards it, risking a glance behind her as Ezre stood at the top of the stairs.

It had left them alone.

As she reached the candle, the screech rattled up the staircase, frigid wind grasping at her as though trying to pull her back down into the darkness. Lilanee screamed again, huddling down around the small wax remnant, too afraid to notice the tears on her cheeks. She felt as though she wanted to collapse under the weight of such rage and sorrow, collecting her field haphazardly and rushing through the monite to light the wick.

Dice Roll FlameShow
SidekickBOTToday at 15:06
@Raksha: `1d6` = (6) = 6


By the good grace of the mona, or the Gods, or whatever it was that happened the ninth form’s spell held together. The sentient particles in her field shifted abruptly, unfamiliar Static in the air around them reacting perhaps too strongly to her emotional plea. A bright flare of light nova’d in the darkness above the candle, threatening to be more of a fireball than a spark, yet it held. For the love of all that was good and wholesome it held!

Almost immediately, the presence backed away, its weeping woeful voice hauntingly echoing up through the darkness to crawl over the red head skin. Lilanee stared wide eyed into the abyss, breathing hard and frozen in place half hunched over the flame. She continued staring as Ezre finished his ward, exhaling heavily and letting her shoulders almost droop, still staring down the darkened alcove as the boy pulled on her hand. She turned in a daze, heart racing madly in her chest, half stumbling to keep her feet as the other teenager dragged her further upwards out of the crypts.

As she met his smile, slowly a grin lit up her face, and quite suddenly the red head moved to keep up, a building sparkle in her eyes.

“By the Golden Glow of Ophurs Great Grace that was a ghost Ezre Vks!” She exhaled, cheeks bright with adrenaline and excitement and everything in between. Glancing behind them, then back again with an incredulous laugh, the half-terrified half-enraptured teenager couldn’t contain herself.

“An honest to the Circle, true phantasmic entity, right here under the Church. Talking and moving and cohesively questioning. And the field, or the aura, or…by the Ten did you feel that?! I genuinely felt as though I was living it’s emotions. We absolutely must document this, and then compare notes. What, or who was that? How is it here, under the Church, and yet no one has ever spoken of it. How far can it go, would the wards stop it? Did the wards stop it? Did we break those? Why is it so angry? What lessons could it teach us. Oh, we could go back but not right now. Maybe we could…” The Hessean laughed again, shrugging, and squeezing his hand.

“I don’t know what we could do truth be told but wow. Wow. I have to write this all down. My father will be so clocking impressed when I present him with an entire report on the validity of the antelife. Afterlife? I wonder if there’s artefacts down there, perhaps holding the being here? Could that be it Ezre?” The giddy high of surviving terror unforeseen ran rampant through the blue eyed ninth form, and she could barely stop herself from giggling again.

“It could be that right? I wonder if there are ghosts attached to the bones in the History wing or the pottery there. I imagine if there were, they aren’t anywhere near as aggressive as that gentleman. That was aggressive right? I mean, he chased us and then he was very close and…oh dear I need a moment.” Lilanee let go of his hand to wave her own at her face, freckles disappearing under the flush that still colored her cheeks, fairly certain she might faint or throwup.

Or both.
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Ezre Vks
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: better with the dead
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Wed Oct 09, 2019 2:25 pm

The Crypts
The 1st of Intas, 2719
"Zjai. A very strong ghost—" The terror that had paled her face gave way to a ridiculous grin in the rush of adrenaline that followed so much fear and Ezre all but felt the sparkle in her periwinkle gaze behind her glasses. He searched her face, his own dark eyes bright despite the undertone of sudden exhaustion in his voice—emotional, physical, and magical. He did not release her hand, however, glancing down at their tangled fingers with a slow, steady inhale as Lilanee rambled on,

"—and very real. Do not mistake it for something entirely sentient, however, for it is no longer a complete existence." The Hexxos acolyte's voice was calm and even while the Hessean's was excited and breathless. His heart still thrummed in his chest and an indescribable enthusiasm still coursed through his veins, but his countenance reflected very little of the internalized emotions that churned beneath his delicate surface. She laughed and squeezed his hand and expressed all of her feelings in a free-flowing rush of words, the warmth of with washed over the boy like steam from a fresh cup of chan.

He smiled because she smiled, though it was wary. His sigiled field was tense with readiness, normally light and airy Clairvoyant mona clinging to his person and revealing his lingering caution over the stability of the outdated and poorly-constructed ward they'd revived at the top of the stairs to keep the restless spirit at bay, "There are probably many more ghosts under the Church of the Moon, though this one was far more powerful than I expected to encounter. A Perceptive sorcerer of some kind, perhaps, in the life it remembers, given its ability to project and manipulate emotions. Lilanee, I—"

Ezre attempted to keep them moving, wanting the warmth of their bodies to be far out of range from the restless spirit's reach once the candle ran out of wick to burn, and it required the dark-haired boy to press closer to his companion, guiding her with the sweep of his free hand and a brush of his side against hers. It might have been distracting for a moment, and his dark eyes widened before coming back into focus on the carved stone of their path as it was lit by the lantern his Hessean companion still held in a trembling hand,

"—I am not confident in the Everine's extensive knowledge of ghosts. I have not spoken to them on the matter, though perhaps I should, as their methods of dealing with these spiritual remnants leave much to be desired. We did not break the ward, but it also had not been maintained. Wards do not require an Everspell like most long-term magics, but they do require regular contact in a proper fashion to be useful." There was a sadness and an obvious judgment in his tone of voice, the Hoxian clearly disturbed by both the condition of the wards as well as the way entire tombs were blocked by plaster and stone instead of anyone properly offering assistance to those whose Afterlife had been somehow broken.

He was quiet for longer than was probably polite, navigating their journey back toward the more familiar areas of the Crypts that he'd traveled frequently, toward where he'd first frightened her in jest instead of in truth. He found he had no interest in releasing her hand nor drifting too far from the warmth of her person, hovering as close as possible without getting in her way or causing her to trip. Ezre didn't whisper, but he spoke quietly in a rather valiant attempt to keep up with her rapid-fire, thrill-fueled questions and ideas,

"We will have to research who could have been buried there. A Magister or a powerful spellwright, in my opinion. The wards will hold it back as the mona is displeased by the lingering monic signatures of ghosts—ghosts are just pieces of a soul—zjai, Kuleda-vumein, there are theories that someone becomes attached to a concept, a place, or an object and cannot leave it when they die, fragmenting their own soul and becoming trapped as a restless, hungry spirit. Not all ghosts are malignant, dru, but all of them are attracted to the living like a moth to a flame or like a hungry banderwolf to its prey. Unintentionally or intentionally, ghosts consume life in some way, feeding from the unseen energies of their victims, much to the ire of the mona—"

She released his hand and he found himself oddly disappointed. He'd given her his coat as well and while he still wasn't cold despite the sweat of fear beneath his layered clothing and the frigid temperatures below the church in the middle of Anaxi winter in Intas, Ezre found he didn't know what to do with his hands, so he ran tattooed fingers over his face and through his hair and finally let the listless things curl into the strap of his satchel, relaxing slowly. His heart was still fluttering, but the excitement he felt was more than just the last dredges of terror from facing such a powerful spirit, they were perhaps a little more selfish than that—

Lilanee Kuleda had seen a ghost.

She believed him and it was written all over her lovely, freckled face.

—that realization was like someone had lit a match inside his chest, hot and bright, and he exhaled a cloud of breath in a chuckle, suddenly dizzy,

"That ghost was very aggressive, zjai. Possibly quite old, though restless spirits generally decay and erode quickly. They are lost, confused, and incomplete. Insane, usually. There is nothing to keep them self-aware other than whatever might have bound them here in the first place. I can only imagine it is painful—to be a sliver of who you once were. Did you—"

He reached for her because Ezre was an observant creature, his dark gaze catching hints of her wavering uneasily on her feet. Turning her slightly away from his person lest she become more than just merely nauseated, he wove an arm with hers for support, very self-aware of how greedy he'd become to be within her vicinity,

"—did you truly not believe in an Antelife? In the Cycle? Did you not believe in the soul until today, Lilanee?" While his question, to most, would have been heard as close to deadpan in delivery, there was a pain in the undertones of his voice that anyone who truly knew him would have heard. His delicate eyebrows drew together and his otherwise inexpressive face was clearly sad at the thought that there was nothing to life except the brief moment one was given,

"Most accounts of the spiritual are romanticized into fantasy and legend, I would not disagree, but there is truth there. I know because of who I am and how I have been raised, and now you know because what you have seen." Ezre found a smile again, resisting the urge to reach and tuck some curls behind the other ninth form's ear that had fallen into her face, aware that such a motion would have been odd and unwelcome considering their friendship. It was too friendly, but the temptation was strong in this moment of mixed emotions,

"We will have to come back better prepared. I—as Hexxos, I simply cannot leave that ghost there in such a state. Not tonight, however, but when I am ready."
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