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Kiran

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Everything posted by Kiran

  1. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Kelsier flings himself into the air, far higher than Jowan would have thought possible. He can’t help but watch the path of his flight, which ends in a loud splash in the nearby pool. For a moment his stomach drops in the concern that the combination of Disorient and the fire spell had hurt Kelsier, but the man stands up grinning and victorious. It’s a little intimidating, how Kelsier could go from being on fire to looking completely in control, as if he’d planned the entire thing. He draws his attention from Kelsier and back towards the maze, hoping to find a way out before the blue fades from the walls, but he’s met with the sight of the ground in front of him being partially on fire. Right. That. Before he can decide how to proceed (would he have enough mana to cast enough ice spells to quench the fires?) he notices Duke running towards him. The barriers drop as he approaches, and Jowan feels a small stab of frustration. He almost had it -- ! “Wait,” he says, having an idea and holding up a hand. The fires, though kept small and patchy by the thick dampness of the grass, leave an outline of where the maze’s walls had been. “You don’t care too much about these shoes, right?” When Duke doesn’t respond immediately, Jowan starts running along the path revealed by the dying fires. There’s a few moments where he feels heat on his legs, but he reaches the exit with boots only a little ashier than they’d been before. “I beat your maze,” he says, panting slightly from the exertion of the fight but with a proud smile on his face. “And I didn’t cheat like he did!” he says, pointing to Kelsier with a somewhat soot-stained hand. “Not my fault that you dropped the barriers too early.” “...Though I guess that could have gone a little better,” he finishes sheepishly, looking at the blackened grass and rubbing his cheek with his hand. jowan 1 / maze 0 ??
  2. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Jowan smiles, surprised that his words actually managed to work. Neria had always said that being polite and talking through things was often the best way to get what you wanted, followed by fighting for it, and maybe she was right! He steps forward confidently, crashes head-first into the barrier, and lands with a painful jolt to his tailbone. “Maker damn you,” he mutters without much heat, rubbing the throbbing spot on his forehead and standing back up. Maybe he deserved that -- he had been planning on shocking Duke again if he was actually let through the barrier. Time to fight for it, then. "Alright, I'll go for it." Not that he has any desire for Duke to do his paperwork, but the competition sends a pleasant thrum through his chest. Not giving himself much time to think, he shakes his hands a few times as if shaking water off of them, then holds them out in front of him, palms out. A bright torrent of flame shoots out of them in the direction of Kelsier, bouncing off of the walls and leaving bright patches of glowing blue on them. It’s quite beautiful, a distant part of him notes. When the flames die out he nearly falls over again, surprised by how tired he is from the effort. There’d been a bit more fire than he’d meant, and the barriers trapped the heat around him. Also, some of the grass was on fire. Whoops. our flame will grow tonight I'm letting go
  3. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside With Kelsier dealt with for a few seconds Jowan has the chance to turn his attention to Duke and his barriers. Realistically, he knows that he should deal with Kelsier while he’s incapacitated. Duke seems like he’d be content watching the two of them smash their faces into the barriers, so Jowan could deal with him later. At the same time, he hates the idea of ignoring Duke’s challenge. It’s petty and plays right into Duke’s desire for attention, but Duke’s someone that’s difficult to stop paying attention to. His golden hair and bright, excitable eyes have an uncanny ability to keep him from looking away. That, and even Disoriented Kelsier scares him a little. The last maze (had it really only been a few hours ago?) hadn’t actually been solved, he remembers. Duke had called Jowan a masochist and dropped the barriers after some of the new arrivals got a little too violent for him. That wouldn’t work, but he figures he might as well take advantage of his presence last time and try taking the easy way out. “Hey Duke,” he yells. “I already got the new arrival maze treatment. Can I skip it this time?” negotiating tactics
  4. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Duke’s distraction causes him to be hit by both the lightning and a spoon -- if this is him “paying attention”, he really needs to work on his situational awareness. Perhaps another shock would help teach him. Before Jowan can do anything, Duke leaps out of the dome completely. Jowan's eyes widen in surprise, Duke’s actions completely unexpected. Weren’t they fighting? The barriers begin to crumble around them, and with a lurch of his stomach Jowan realizes how much danger he and Kelsier would be in had this been a real fight. He’d seen Duke destroy a bridge with his barriers; the violent imagery of him doing a similar thing to the dome comes easily to his mind. More pressing is the matter of the spoons Kelsier scattered around the battlefield, but the only way he can think of to deal with them is to hit Kelsier first. Remembering how Arcane Blast had passed through Duke’s barriers earlier, he throws one towards Kelsier… ...and the purple energy splashes harmlessly against the barrier. It’s unexpected, and Jowan doesn’t have much of a plan to deal with it. He takes a step back, the surprise evident on his face. Why didn’t it pass through now, when it had last time? Had he misseen what had happened? Hoping to buy himself some time, he hurriedly casts Disorient on Kelsier. A faint shimmer appears in the air around Kelsier’s head, but the spell otherwise lacks the flashy visuals of his previous ones. Too late, he realizes that he may have made a mistake. His mana is running dangerously low, being disoriented probably wouldn’t stop Kelsier from pelting him with spoons, and Duke’s still free to try something with his barriers. oh no
  5. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Jowan grins with the thrill of managing to hit Duke. It had been so long since he’d had a chance to spar that he’d almost forgotten how fun it was. A wince of sympathy briefly interrupts his smile when Kelsier kicks Duke, but it’s back soon after. Not his fault that Duke, the only one in the fight that could create barriers, couldn’t manage to defend himself. “Try paying more attention,” he taunts. “I find it helps.” Even better, Duke turns his back to him to focus on Kelsier. It’s as if his attention span is so short that he can’t pay attention to more than one threat at once, and Jowan fully intends to use this. He almost feels bad for attacking Duke while he’s focused on Kelsier, but it’s not as though real enemies would give him a moment to rest. Neria had never allowed Jowan’s moments of distraction to go unpunished when they spared, and she had managed to stop a Blight. Clearly she knew how to do something right. Across the hall another apprentice’s robes catch aflame. They’re quickly doused with an ice spell from their partner, but Jowan turns his head for long enough for Neria to hit his gut with a well-placed jab of her staff. He swears, clutching the bruising spot with one hand. “What was that for?” “All’s fair,” Neria says, a pleased glint in her eyes. “Let’s keep going?” Jowan rolls his eyes and retaliates. He almost falters at the memory, the sparks gathering in his hands nearly fizzling out, but he manages to send the crackling lightning at Duke’s back. Once again the spell wasn’t meant to cause injuries, but it would be an unpleasant jolt. He wishes that he had his staff with him; not having something in his hands to defend with is an uncomfortable feeling, and it’s difficult to focus spells without one. zap
  6. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside In a blur, Kelsier launches something glittering and silver towards Duke. Jowan yelps and leaps backwards as the object collides with one of Duke’s barriers and ricochets back to hit Kelsier in the face. The object… another spoon? falls down into the grass. For a moment Jowan is concerned, but Kelsier smiles and doesn’t seem too injured. "Didn't know we were fighting already. Seems like you got a bit of a ... head start."  Jowan blinks at Duke in exasperation, then quickly gathers a ball of icy mist in his hands and launches it towards Duke. It’s an intentionally weak attack, done for speed over power, and wouldn’t hurt Duke. Much, anyway, but being chilled is a reasonable punishment for making terrible puns. perish
  7. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Jowan nods. The lack of a limit for how much metal someone can have at once, unlike mana, is interesting, but he doubts that they could use it against the Inquisitors. If anyone had enough metal in their body to last practically forever, surely it would be the elites of the Lord Ruler’s army. He thinks for a moment, pondering Kelsier’s words. If it’s not eyes, but they can sense metal, and they could sense people that weren’t wearing any metal… “What about the iron in blood? Or metal that you’ve eaten?” Maybe it was a stupid thought -- surely if allomancers could sense the metal in people’s bodies Kelsier would know about it -- but maybe there was some blood magic equivalent that let the Inquisitors do normally impossible things? Maybe it was the spikes, amplifying their powers? “I’m going to guess that you can’t just,” he waves his hands around in a vague gesture. “Pull the spikes out with allomancy.” “Well,” he says. “I’m not sure how much more I can tell you. The Inquisitor was running, so Duke stopped it with his barriers, and then it… Duke was on the ground and his sword was gone, I guess it Pushed or Pulled. I don’t know which. I attacked it with an Arcane Bolt -- ah, that’s just a basic magic attack -- and I don’t think it tried to dodge, but I don’t know if I hit it.” He doesn’t know what Kelsier’s looking for, exactly, so all he can do is hope that he isn’t including too much or too little information. “Duke was hurt and the Inquisitor was Pulling him towards his barrier so I--” At this he pauses briefly, glancing down and scratching at the bandage on his arm. “-- paralyzed the Inquisitor. With magic. Then Duke used his barriers to make the bridge we were standing on collapse and we ran.” Status: Theorizing
  8. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside Jowan manages to work up the courage to look up at Kelsier’s face to better focus on his words. Kelsier doesn’t seem to have noticed or cared about their embarrassing fall, and instead glances across the field with sharp, careful eyes. Despite their different eye colors, Kelsier’s gaze reminds him of Neria’s, and he can almost imagine him with her ice-chip blue. Neither of them seemed to miss anything, but where she had been comforting and understanding Kelsier makes him feel as though he is being scrutinized for weaknesses. It’s disconcerting. “You can't feel their effects, but know that Tin increases all your senses. With it I can faintly hear your racing heartbeat and see the sweat on your brow.” Ah. That would do it. For a moment he tries to force his heartbeat to slow down, but then he remembers that that’s not something that he can control. Stupid useless body. He’s disappointed by Kelsier’s refusal to explain the other types of Allomancy and almost speaks out in protest, but Kelsier did say later, not never. As much as he hated being locked out from any information about magic, it sounded more as if Kelsier wanted to explain the first four metals further rather than hide information about the other four. Instead, he focuses on internalizing the information. Lacking parchment to write on, the fingers of his right hand trail across his left arm to trace the vague shapes of letters as Kelsier speaks. Consumption Steel push Iron pull Tin eyes Pewter strength. The movements are calming and help him focus, pushing thoughts of Duke and the fall out of his head. When Kelsier finishes, he speaks. “The Inquisitor… it had spikes of metal through its eyes. Did tin let it see us anyway?” He hadn’t been able to tell in the rush of the fight. It had seemed impossible for something with no eyes to see, but the Inquisitor hadn’t seemed hindered. The presence of the spikes didn’t make any sense to him -- it had been intimidating, but that didn’t seem like a good enough reason to hinder oneself. Allomancy was tied to metals, so it only made sense for the spikes to be related, but he didn’t understand how. The equivalent of driving lyrium into a person’s body would only cause poisoning (and be absurdly expensive), and Kelsier had said that metals had to be consumed to be used. Maybe the spikes were related to focusing allomancy, like a lyrium-infused staff, or defense, like enchanted jewelry? Cutting off the speculation, he asks. “What were those for, anyway?” Eager to understand as much as he can, he thinks back to what Kelsier had said about running out of reserves. The Inquisitor hadn’t seemed to slow down at all during the fight, but the fight had been so short that Jowan doubts that his mana would have been strained if he’d been using it. His magic had its own time limit and the Inquisitor had been powerful, so he doubts that he would have a chance of outlasting one, but it wouldn’t hurt to know. “You mentioned running out of metal… how long does that take?” Status: Learning!!
  9. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside a flame ignited in my fragile heart There’s a blur of movement and suddenly Duke is pitching forward and away from him. He doesn’t think, only grabs forward to stop Duke from falling, but Duke’s momentum is more than he expected. He’s dragged forward along with Duke and ends up practically hanging on his arm to stay upright. Kelsier explains what iron and steel are used for, and then Jowan shrieks and they’re falling -- -- he’s sprawled over Duke, their faces only a few inches apart. Seconds are measured in thudding heartbeats, both his own and Duke’s. A faint dusting of pink covers his cheekbones, interrupted by the dark splotch of his intricate tattoo. His hair fans out behind him in glittering sun-kissed waves, and Jowan is struck by the urge to card his fingers through the soft locks. He lets his eyes meet Duke’s blue ones, bright in both color and expression, and travel down to his lips -- “Hi. Sorry, I ... slipped." The spell breaks and Jowan is reminded of where he is. With a high-pitched noise that may have been an apology he pushes himself off of Duke and into a standing position, fingers running through his still-damp hair to try to mask his embarrassment. His face and ears burn, and he knows that it’s too much to hope that it won’t be noticed. He clasps his hands together to stop their fidgeting and says, looking at Kelsier’s shoes because that’s as far away from Duke as possible, “That sounds useful. What other types of metal are there?” Perhaps if Kelsier keeps talking he’ll be able to succeed in ignoring what just happened and how much of a fool he made of himself. Status: Ready to Disappear into the Earth
  10. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Outside He tries to imagine living that barren, ash-coated world without even the knowledge of grass existing and it’s somehow both easy and difficult. He can’t remember anything from before the Circle but his parents’ accusations of demon child and pain, and the apprentices hadn’t been allowed outside for years. Until his escape his existence had been windows too high to see out of, mazes of bookshelves, and Templars breathing down his neck. One could hear the wind whistling through the windows or catch a whiff of lake-scented air if they were lucky, but all of it was so unobtainable. Tantalizing, almost within reach, but not quite there. At least there hadn’t been any ash. Duke gives him a look and Jowan blinks back. “You have a dead man in your head,” he says, nearly deadpan enough to hide the unease he feels about the concept after what happened in the dining hall. Maybe enough jokes would be able to wipe it away completely; he doesn’t want to be scared around Duke. It’d be strange if Kelsier did just bite done on a spoon, but either way, consuming metal sounds normal compared to not being alone in one’s head. “Lyrium’s a type of metal,” he says before catching himself doing the same thing that Duke did and not explaining properly. Maybe he was a little harsh before; it’s surprisingly difficult to remember how commonplace things in Thedas aren’t normal in Duke or Kelsier’s worlds. “I don’t have to drink them, but potions made of lyrium recover ma- let me use more magic at once.” Stranger than the metal eating is the reminder that magic (or Allomancy, whatever Kelsier wanted to call it) is something that nobles have, like Tevinter. Is it a rule of the multiverse that mages being in power leads to corruption? It’s hard not to accept the Chantry’s words about it. But the gathered acolytes turned from him, For there was nothing but ambition Where hearts once beat within them. And ninety-nine knives gleamed in the firelight As the sacrifices began “You wouldn’t have to worry much about nobles with magic where I’m from,” he says, voice quiet and serious. Status: Minor Injuries
  11. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Dining Hall Kelsier, fortunately, doesn’t press Duke for more information. He doesn’t agree with Kelsier about Duke’s explanation being helpful, but well, Duke looks happy to hear that. A demonstration? He’s a little nervous about that, to be frank, but he supposes that there’s nothing wrong with agreeing. It should be fun, and it’d be good to get a better look at Duke’s powers (even if the maze incident had gotten him far too acquainted with them already). Kelsier’s still a little intimidating, but he knows that he should get over that. “Yeah, okay, I’ll come. I might not um, be very impressive, though. Neria -- er, my friend -- she was always better -- I mean I’ve never been very good at this stuff,” he finishes, fumbling. It’s the truth. Aside from blood magic, which he’s still loath to reveal, he’s always been weak at magic. He doesn’t understand how Neria had always been so patient with him and hadn’t just left him behind. Duke’s words do little to convince Jowan that Duke is okay, but they do make him feel as though he’s perhaps crossed some sort of line. Duke sounds so surprised and so uneager to share. Then again, Jowan knows what it’s like to have unpleasant memories. They’re not something that he’d like to share at the moment either. Still, it’s hard not to take it personally, and an uneasy sense of guilt settles in his chest. “Yeah, let’s go.” Status: Minor Injuries
  12. Jowan Allies: Duke, Kelsier Location: Dining Hall Jowan’s head is still buzzing with thoughts of teaching Duke magic by the time the meeting ends. Not that he’d been ignoring what was happening; all the information had been important, and he would have been a fool to not listen. It’s just that none of it seems quite as important as their plans, even though logically saving a world should matter far more. He’s never been good at prioritizing information. He turns to listen with interest to Duke’s explanation. It’s sort of like the magic discussion they’d promised that they’d have, and he doesn’t want to miss any of it. As it turns out, it’s a good thing that he decided to pay attention. Duke hasn’t gotten any better at explaining things; his explanations are meandering and easily derailed, and he keeps saying things that don’t make sense without context. It takes him a while to even get to what Vylcan is. It’s probably even more confusing for Kelsier, who’s known Duke for an even shorter time than Jowan has. He doesn’t mind so much as he might have. Duke’s voice is nice to listen to, even if he’d make a terrible lecturer. Jowan smiles a little at the thought. Then things go wrong. Duke wipes away the grimace as though it’s easy, hiding it behind that omnipresent smile. He doesn’t get far before he’s hissing at himself, and Jowan -- -- he can’t help but flinch a little at that. It’s different, he knows, but Duke talking to himself is a disturbing reminder that he’s technically possessed. It’s completely different. Duke’s flesh is undistorted, hasn’t been twisted and warped and then torn and left in a bloodied heap by a templar’s sword. Duke isn’t acting cruel or speaking with a voice that doesn’t match his body. He feels sick. He tries to push thoughts of Conner out of his mind. They aren’t helpful, relevant, or pleasant, and Duke still has a pained, far-off expression on his face. Jowan doesn’t miss that Duke still hasn’t actually explained what he can do with his powers. As much as he spoke, he hadn’t actually said anything to answer the question. Still, he hopes that Kelsier has the sense to not try to pull anything more out of him. “Are you alright?” he asks, voice soft, trying to get over his own memories to help Duke. Status: Minor Injuries
  13. Anders Allies: Keaton, Ray, Tsuki, Leo Most of the enemies slipped on the grease, but two kept their footing and the ones on the ground wouldn’t remain there for long. The urge to flee was counteracted by Justice’s desire to stay fight protect, but there was little that they could do but hiss and lash their tail. Keaton howled in pain, and Anders spun around to see what was wrong. At the sight of the blood staining Keaton’s fur he pushed Justice to the back of his mind to stop the spirit from interfering with his healing spells, but that didn’t do any good if -- Whatever curse the box had placed himself under must have lifted, because he suddenly found himself in human form once again. After a taking a brief moment to recover from the disorientation of his viewpoint rising several feet he held out his staff and cast a group healing spell. Green light gathered around his staff, then spread to envelop the injuries of Keaton, Ray, and Tsuki. The magic was enough to stop any bleeding and close small wounds, but was too rushed and unrefined to heal most of the injuries completely. To try to keep the fallen Heartless from re-entering the battle he swung his staff in a wide arc in their direction. The temperature around the Heartless dropped sharply, and a crescent large, jagged spikes of ice emerged from the ground in the wake of the staff’s tip. Status: Uninjured, not a cat Justice: inactive Panacea: active Natsuki Allies: Raine Natsuki allowed themself a contented sigh in a moment of weakness as warmth flowed from Raine’s hand and into their body. If they leaned into the touch a little, it was only because of the tension melting from their body. “Thank you,” they said softly, suppressing the tinge of disappointment they felt when Raine removed her hand. The cold did strange things to the mind. “We could go for a less eventful mission once in awhile, I think.” They felt like they should say something else -- something about having missed Raine, or being glad to see them again, but they don’t know how to say it without it sounding awkward or as if they only missed Raine’s magic. Expressing their emotions had never been rewarded, and so it didn’t come easily to them. They felt as though they were somehow missing something, but they didn’t say anything else. Status: Uninjured, confused
  14. Jowan Allies (?): Duke, Kelsier, Dynarst, etc. Status: Injured (bandaged wound on arm, exhausted, gay) can I take another step? I've done everything I can "Sure, okay. Leave me with the children while you go have your love tryst, that's absolutely fine, not like the rest of us have significant others to get back or anything, nope." Well, that confirms that Duke has someone, right? Of course he did- it wasn’t a surprise or anything, Duke looked great and was very- Duke. It wasn’t like it mattered or anything. Jowan has no reason to care, and he was happy for him. Blood loss did weird things sometimes and he really needs to stop staring and Duke like some kind of weirdo. He looks away, trying to seem interested by Theo and Arch (which isn’t that difficult, given that one of them had been threatening him a moment ago). Bright light envelopes him and he’s transported back to the Gateway. It seems as crowded as it was the last time he’d been teleported there, but this time he recognizes most of the people present. Being aware of what’s happening (as well as not being chained up) makes for a far more pleasant arrival, and he takes a moment to breathe deeply and gaze at the scene. He doesn’t have long to relax. A fist catches the side of Duke’s face and Jowan startles, raising his hands defensively. It’s over before he can do anything or even understand why Theo had attacked Duke (and he decides that it’s probably best to stay away from Theo and the matter entirely). There’s a tall, confident blond man that Dynarst introduces as “the Survivor” that Jowan doesn’t recognize. He doesn’t learn exactly what the Survivor survived, or if he has an actual name, but he must be important because-- oh, Maker, Duke is calling the Survivor “Lord”, should he be bowing or something? He would have been fine with listening and trying to figure out what’s going on (preferably from a seated position), but Duke introduces him and he has to think up a response. His brains skids -- he’s not used to being given credit from anyone but Neria, and rolling his eyes and making a quip isn’t appropriate here. Whatever connection he thinks he feels with Duke isn’t real, and he can’t pretend otherwise. Right in front of an apparently very important man is an especially bad time. Duke isn’t bowing and neither is Dynarst, so it’s probably best to just follow their lead, right? Jowan starts to nod his head to confirm what Duke had said -- -- but then, Duke was also stuttering and Dynarst almost seems too shocked to think. It can’t hurt, right -- ? He ends up doing a stiff, jerky movement that leaves him in an awkward bow. His back curves, stretching his scars, and he’s glad that having his head down gives him an excuse to look at the ground. He’s safe, he knows that, but exposing his back is enough to make him tense in anticipation of the next blow. Maybe it’s Kelsier’s presence that makes a simple act so unpleasant. Authority figures and nobility have never brought anything but pain. Despite how friendly Kelsier appears and how much he talks of freeing the people, Jowan can’t help the way his chest tightens at the title “Lord”. “Lord Survivor, I only did what I could to help,” he says, his voice taking on some of the dull cadence of a servant that has learned that showing fear makes the punishments worse. He straightens himself and unclenches the fists at his sides, but is unable to look at Kelsier. Instead, he watches Duke’s reactions. Duke’s visibly nervous with awe, and practically seems to be vibrating at the chance to help Kelsier. It’s no surprise, with how prepared Duke was to charge into the Lord Ruler’s castle earlier. Jowan wants to help, really, and he doesn’t want to let his personal issues get in the way, but he doesn’t want to think about that at the moment. It’s been too long of a day to consider going back to fighting or talking to more people. He’d already agreed to follow Duke with whatever he decides to do, so he nods in agreement with his speech, but Maker, he wants to rest.
  15. Natsuki Allies: Raine Status: Injured [burn on arm, chilled, injured leg, old stab wound, various minor wounds] Perhaps it had been a mistake to brush off Xander’s concerns. Natsuki curled up on the ground, hands shoved into their pants to coax some warmth back into their cold-stiffened fingers. The back of their neck stung, having been completely exposed to the wind, but the rest of their body hardly felt better. A few of their fingers on each hand were numb. They remained there for far longer than they should have. The fighting continued around them, but they couldn’t seem to force themself to move. Their exhausted body refused to do anything but curl increasingly tight around itself, desperately trying to hold onto any scrap of warm that remained. The sounds of the battle dimmed and they managed to unfold themself for a moment and stand, a sick feeling in their gut. It was frightening that they could have died if the attack was stronger, but more important was how useless they’d been. Was everyone else okay? "Natsuki!" They shoved their hands into their armpits and stumbled towards Raine, grateful when the healer moved to meet them halfway. “I’m sorry, I didn’t recognize anyone,” they said, shaking their head. “Is anyone else injured?” They wouldn’t question Raine if she thought it was best to heal them now (not after being threatened by Sveta for doing so so many times), but they had to ask, even if they felt awful. Even the old stab wound in their gut ached, and that was the least of it. None of it was even close to life-threatening, though, so they could wait. Xander was already gone, rushing off to see Illidan, and -- well, okay, they could see why. Illidan's skin had turned an even more unnatural shade, and even though he was larger it looked like he'd suffered for not having a shirt. They weren't sure why anyone would walk into battle without a shirt, especially while carrying such impractical weapons, but it wasn't their place to judge while he was hurt. Even if he'd kidnapped Xander twice and had been reckless and incompetent for the entire mission. Was Xander mad at them? Not they were worried about that or anything, it just seemed weird that he hadn't waited to see if they were alright. They didn't need him to, of course, it was better that he didn't, really. Xander was busy with Illidan, and there was no reason for them to feel upset about that. Which they didn't.
  16. Name: Karen Origin: Animorphs: Redux Info: A friendly, contemplative boy with a slug in his head. Gained the power to morph from alien technology. Abilities: Morphing: Karen can acquire the DNA of any animal by touching it. The acquiring process takes a few seconds, and during that time the animal is put in a trance-like state. Once he has acquired an animal’s DNA he can morph into it at any time. The process of morphing takes approximately two minutes. Additionally: Morphing heals all injuries He can remain in morph for up to two hours. Any longer and he would lose the ability to morph and become trapped. It’s possible to morph in skintight clothing, though anything bulky is left behind Current morphs: Female spotted hyena A dozen different dogs, five cats, two ferrets, a rabbit, four domestic rats, a corn snake, a domestic goat, two horses, a budgie, and a Syrian hamster Feral rock pigeon Canada goose Common gull Fly, dragonfly, several different types of moth, mosquito, various other common arachnids and insects House mouse American crow Red-tailed hawk Prairie falcon California sea lion Nidrak Thoughtspeech: While in morph Karen is able to project his thoughts in a form of telepathy. Thoughtspeech can be kept private and sent to only specific people or it can be broadcast to anyone within range. It isn’t blocked by walls, but has a limited range. Link to wiki: N/A Extra: N/A Name: Nidrak 682 of the Set Dareth Pool Origin: Animorphs: Redux Info: A small slug that hangs out in Karen’s brain. A defector from the Yeerk Empire. Abilities: Controller: Nidrak can enter a host’s brain by crawling through their ear. Once inside, xe is able to read the host’s thoughts and memories, control their movements, and act as the host would. A particularly willful host can briefly disrupt xir control, but the host is otherwise unable to do anything without xir permission. Timekeeping: Xe has a mental clock, accurate plus or minus a few minutes. Yeerkish Science: Xe has fairly strong knowledge of physics and computer science. Link to wiki: Yeerks Extra: Xe needs to leave xir host to feed every three days, which they do by swimming in a pool of nutrients and basking in Kandrona rays. Kandrona rays can be produced artificially by a Kandrona generator.
  17. Anders Allies: Ray, Keaton Justice: Active Status: Uninjured / Cat Anders hissed, somehow managing to be startled that they’d succeeded in making Keaton drop them. His fur puffed up further in offense, despite how the rough landing had been entirely the fault of him and Justice. They were about to take off away from Keaton and the dark shapes when they spotted two of the kittens fleeing from the safety of the box. As terrified as he was, Anders wasn’t about to let two kittens get lost, and neither was Justice. They were spurred into action, but their paw slipped across the ground as they tried to take their first step. For a few moments Anders’ paws flew every which way as they struggled to keep upright. Unable to gain any traction against the slick ground they fell, barely managing to avoid faceplanting. What…? Anders took a brief moment to lift his paw in front of his face to examine the greasy substance coating it (and all of his fur, urgh), but Justice urged him onwards. No time. They pushed themself to their feet, hissing in frustration to see that the kittens had disappeared from view. A blue tail flicked and followed Ranulf behind a stall. As much as Anders hated to leave them, he pushed down Justice’s urging to go after them, now to focus on the situation at hand. Ranulf would likely be able to find them first, and at least they were headed away from the dark creatures attacking them. The remaining kittens seemed content enough to stay in the box for the moment, and the Heartless ignored it They didn’t know how long that would last, but it let Justice focus on the more pressing concern of the two Heartless attacking Keaton. Before Anders could even think of stopping Justice he found himself being flung through the air towards the head of one of the Heartless that was attacking Keaton. It was an incredibly stupid choice, given how it looked like those claws could tear them in half in a moment, but Anders went with it, hoping to distract the shadow creature. His claws hooked deep into the Heartless’ neck and shoulders and they yowled as they bit down into strange flesh, strength augmented by Justice’s power.
  18. Jowan [ less than happy reunion ] He’s glad when they finally meet up with Stan and the others again. His limbs feel heavy and there’s a persistent reminder about how nice sitting down would be in the back of his skull. They hadn’t quite made it back to the base yet, but surely nothing else of note would happen. It wasn’t as though he’d done much to be helpful, but his feet scuff against the cobblestones regardless. He stands off to the side when the two groups meet, feeling awkward. The walk had been quiet; he barely even knows Cam’s name, and he definitely doesn’t know anything about her family life or why Lara’s reaction is so extreme. Jowan’s not used to such outward displays of emotion. Not from adults, at least. Children were a very different matter. He should know how strongly children can react to losing a father. Cam’s reaction is fully justified, but that doesn’t explain Lara. He thinks for a moment that he should be comforting Cam, but a tall armored man with a furry ruff -- Theo, right? -- beats him to it. Privately, he’s relieved. He’d have probably just made things worse, and Theo seems capable enough. That thought is banished when Theo turns to him, all of the previous softness gone from his voice. His eyes widen and he glances at Arch, half convinced by the urgency in Theo’s voice that Arch is bleeding out. The only injury he could see was a gash on Arch’s wing, It had stained the white feathers brown and crimson, but the injury had been there before Arch had arrived at the safehouse and was already half dried. The volume of blood is somewhat concerning, but maybe wings just bled a lot, like head wounds? That would make sense, right? Either way, he has no idea what he’s supposed to do about it. He’s never done first aid on someone else before, and he can’t see how one would wrap bandages around the wing with all of those feathers in the way. “I-”
  19. Natsuki [ Marketplace Jail Cell ; please believe me ] Xander! Natsuki felt a pang of worry mixed with their relief. Xander was the reinforcement that they had hoped for, but at the same time they worried about his safety. His armor didn’t make him invincible, and he was charging into a ruined pile of rubble and dust. A single misstep in the low visibility could mean a twisted ankle, and then he’d be vulnerable to the dragon. Not as though there were many other options. The dragon had to be contained, and the ruined cell was as good of a place as any. “I’m fine,” they said quickly, barely able to spare Xander a glance between looking at the ground, back to the dragon, and scanning the rest of their surroundings. They blinked, and when they opened their eyes the nictitating membranes were hidden again. The improved clarity of their surroundings helped, but they were mostly concerned with not worrying Xander. In the moment, they couldn’t remember whether he’d seen the cloudy membranes before. Xander’s approach had forced them to stop their retreat, and they used the moment to straighten themself. Legs apart, feet steady on stable pieces of rubble, bruised muscles tensed and poised to prepare them to move in any direction. They picked out pathways through the rubble, eyes flickering between potential footholds. It wasn’t perfect, but when they next moved it wouldn’t be with the disoriented stumbling they’d used before. Xander pulled them towards himself, and in the expectation of unseen danger they let themself fall limp towards him, a foot striking back against the ground to stop them from falling over completely. Nothing whizzed past them or otherwise showed that their previous location was more dangerous than the one that Xander had pulled them towards. Confusion swiftly changed to annoyance as they realized that Xander’s movement had been more of a gentle tug than a yank, not meant to drag them out of immediate danger. Why hadn’t Xander left them yet? They would be safer if he left them to flee on their own, and as much as letting others fight while they escaped bothered them they knew they’d only get in the way if they stayed. "Do you need to leave? I... do not think…” Damn it. They stepped back and away from Xander, putting some distance between them, and straightened their spine, focusing more on appearances than the stability of their stance. A point on their shin burned from the strain, but they ignored it. They moved their uninjured arm away from their injury and let it to hang down by their side, joints loose, trying to make the movement look natural rather than forced. The slight tension around their mouth and eyes told them that they hadn’t entirely succeeded, but they hoped that Xander would get the message. “...but I have no issue with taking you to safety-” “I’m fine,” they insisted. “Go help Reshiram.” It felt wrong to give an order to a king of all people and a pit of dread settled in their stomach, but they couldn’t let Xander keep wasting time for them. The creeping feeling that they were being coddled was almost worse than the fear of going against the chain of command. At least when Xander had bought them food it’d been outside of battle. Didn’t Xander trust them to do their part? Had they portrayed such weakness that he didn’t believe in their ability to do something so simple as get out of danger? Xander had his own duties, and the idea that they couldn’t be relied on to do their part, that they were a burden, twisted like a parasite in their gut.
  20. Anders [ let gO !! ] Anders should have been paying more attention to his surroundings, especially in such a crowded and unfamiliar place. Stupid, to be so easily distracted. Maybe he’d have been able to notice earlier had he been better rested, but as it was his warning yowl came too late to be of any help. His fur puffed out and his lips curled into a snarl. He tried to stand up to arch his back and better see the specters, but Keaton’s thick arms restrained him against his vibrating chest. One thing that Anders and cats had in common was that neither enjoyed being trapped. All thoughts of staying where he was safe from the not-shades were chased from his mind by flee flee flee. Justice was of little help; though he didn’t have a fear of confinement, Anders’ emotions still affected him and he burst forward to protect his friend. Anders’ fur diffused the blue glow from his skin, but his eyes shone clearly. They renewed their attempts to get free with Justice’s strength, uncaring if they hurt Keaton in the midst of Anders’ panic.
  21. Jowan [ don't scare us like that ] Oh, oh no. Jowan hadn’t meant to put Grigor in danger, but the cube was no longer making the faint hissing noise it had made while the call was active. That meant that he wasn’t in contact with Stan anymore, right? If only he knew how to call him back, he would have been able to tell him to make sure that the four-winged guy (Arch, right?) to be careful. Not that he knew how much that would help anyway. Was it even possible for a winged man to be subtle? Might as well just add not thinking about the danger he was putting the rebellion in to his list of failures. He froze at the rattling of the door. His mind ran through a list of things that he had to hide (notes, books, wounds, knives, bandages) and he tugged down at the ends of his sleeves -- but why was the door rattling? The Circle didn’t have any locks outside of the Templar living areas. There shouldn't be any more warning than the sound of heavy footsteps. He didn’t resist as Grigor dragged him towards the window. Better to not struggle. Less punishment that way. It wasn’t until they reached the window and Grigor started shoving him out of it that he remembered and started to struggle, to little avail. Grigor was stronger and Jowan was too distracted to find proper leverage. “But Duke--” Duke was still unconscious and wouldn’t be able to defend himself at all. Jowan at least still had his mana, and even if he couldn’t fight very well in his current state he had to do something to protect Duke from whatever horror was coming up the stairs. “No, we have to--” Grigor suddenly stopped pushing him, and Jowan fell backwards unopposed. His back hit the ground with a thud and he scrambled to right himself to see what had entered the room. Oh. He let himself slump back against the wall and tried to slow his breathing, suddenly feeling very tired in despite the adrenaline still running through his veins. Inhale, exhale. Arch was just standing there politely, as though he hadn’t just barged in and scared them half to death. “Try knocking next time, won’t you,“ he tried to snap, but he was too tired for his words to have much bite. He placed a hand to his chest and focused on the too-rapid beating. "Oh -- hi Arch," Duke! Jowan turned his head to look, and his eyebrows raised in surprise to see that Duke was already standing. “You should still be resting,” he said weakly. For someone who had just been dead to the world, Duke looked far too awake. Shouldn’t he still be lying down?
  22. Natsuki [ Marketplace Jail Cell ; this is fine ] Natsuki frowned at Xander’s words. They were glad to hear that he was alright, but was using the communicator something that they had to worry about? They hadn’t been explicitly told that they were allowed to use their communicator and the idea of breaking the rules sent a pang of guilt and fear through them, but surely if it had been left with them -- Reverberations traveled up from the floor to their feet. Something big was approaching. There was no time to react or give a warning before something large and grey tore into the cell. All Natsuki could do to resist the impact was twist away from the wall and shield their eyes with their arms and nictitating membranes. A shower of stones and dust crashed into their back and they collided with the ground. Pain shot up their elbows and the wind was knocked out of their lungs. Distantly, they noted that their cube had fallen from their grasp and had tumbled off into a corner somewhere. Struggling for air in the thick atmosphere they pushed themself to their feet, ignoring the pain in their arms. “Raine!?” They coughed, then pulled their collar over their nose to filter out the worst of the choking dust. It was difficult to see through the chaos and cloudy membranes over their eyes, but they had to move immediately. They stumbled forward, trying to avoid tripping over the pieces of brick and mortar in their path. It felt wrong to start trying to escape without verifying that their teammate was okay, but if she knew anything about fights Raine would be doing the same. The situation had simply happened too quickly, and trying to help each other would just get them both killed. In any other circumstances… They didn’t get far before the ground shook and opened under their feet. Walls crumbled around them, chunks of stone the size of their torso falling to the ground with deafening crashes. A few bursts of flame shot out of the new cracks in the floor. I thought magic wouldn’t work here!? Obviously their assumption had been wrong, and they paid the price for it when their arm got too close to a gout of flame. They jerked their arm away and grit their teeth, but couldn’t stop the ragged groan of pain from escaping their throat. Just had to keep moving. Everything else could be dealt with later.
  23. Natsuki [ let’s just talk our way out and it’ll all be fine ] Natsuki hissed under their breath in frustration as Illidan carried Xander off yet again. This was too much to deal with at once. Illidan had abandoned them, Xander was kidnapped (again), the dragon was fleeing, etcetera etcetera, and they couldn’t even call for backup. At least the marketplace’s police had arrived to help. ☙~❧ They picked themself off of a hard concrete floor, rubbing at a spot on their shoulder that had been caught between concrete and bone. They caught the tail end of what Raine had been saying -- something about Illidan’s actions proving that new agents needed basic training, which Natsuki completely agreed with. How much smoother would things have gone if they hadn’t dragged new agents out onto the field without so much as telling them not to kidnap people? That was something to worry about later. For now, they (along with Raine and some sort of cat-like being) were locked in a cell. The bars were made of some sort of energy, and the large mirror was different, but the general layout was recognizable enough as a jail. They stretched out their arms, testing their range of mobility. Oddly enough, they didn’t feel groggy or like they had a headache at all. No injuries, either. Their belt was gone, however, as were most of the contents of their pockets. Their captors had left the cube, however, which was either a major oversight or surprisingly polite. Presumably it was the latter, given how thorough they had otherwise been. “Will they?” they asked the black cat-like being. “Good.” The sooner the guards came, the sooner they could clear up the misunderstanding. Natsuki hadn’t even fought in self defense, so they knew that they hadn’t done anything illegal. If they were lucky, the dragon that had attacked Reshiram had been captured as well. They didn’t pay much mind to the yelling from the other cells, as there was really no reason to panic. It’d all be sorted out soon. “In the meantime, I’ll call Xander and let him know that we’re alright.” They held the cube out in front of themself and tapped in Xander’s number. “Xander? This is Natsuki. Raine and I are in police custody, but we’re unharmed and in no danger. Please report your status. Over.” They tried to keep the worry out of their voice. He’d been fine the last time he’d been kidnapped, and worrying would do no good.
  24. Anders [ --hey! ] Anders folded his ears back and gave a few token lashes of his tail. There were worse things than being (hopefully) temporarily stuck as a cat -- there was that one time that Hawke made him touch an amulet that made him mute for three days -- but he wasn’t pleased by it. He was nearly defenseless and was completely unable to use his magic. What if someone got hurt? The small size and agility of a cat was useful for some things (mostly for lazing around in sunbeams), but being able to willingly shift back and forth was different. He was preoccupied with his sudden… condition, and so didn’t notice Keaton swooping down from behind him. Instinctively, he drove his claws into Keaton’s sleeve to keep himself from slipping. A soft growl left his throat, but when Keaton asked if it was alright he stopped. Keaton, well, he wasn’t actually bad at holding cats. Anders’ legs were supported properly, and he was pressed comfortably against Keaton’s chest. It was pretty warm, actually. Not having to walk or worry about getting lost or trampled underfoot was kind of nice as well. After thinking about it for a moment he let out a soft mmrph of assent. ☙~❧ Anders’ fur puffed up and his ears flattened as the strong scent of fox hit his nose. One, small and cream colored, rested on the stall. He’d thought that they were going to meet cat people, not fox people. Foxes were fine, really! Small, and cute, and kind of like cats. They just also happened to make his cat body want to run or fight, so it would have been rather nice to receive a warning. He tried to force his fur to lie flat, but he was pretty sure that his tail would have been lashing if it wasn’t pinned against his body. Trying to help or not, he still didn’t want Kaden, a complete stranger, to touch his ears. He glared and Kaden and drew himself into a tighter ball, in the process snuggling deeper into Keaton’s arms. Fortunately the action didn’t take long, but Kaden’s assessment that the ears were real was hardly helpful. Wasn’t Keaton’s ability to hold him evidence enough? There hadn’t been any need to touch him. His bad mood wasn’t improved by Kaden’s inability to guess at how long the enchantment would take to fade, but a flash of white light and the appearance of a blond boy was enough to distract him from his irritation. His ears pricked up towards Ray and the boy and he extended his neck to better see. He mmrphed in amusement at the tangle of limbs that Ray and the boy had gotten caught it, but it was strange. The cream kitten hadn’t left the box until after he and Ray had touched the box, and he’d surely been exposed for longer, but Ray still had her ears and Anders was still stuck as a cat. Was the fading of the enchantment not entirely related to time, then? He hadn’t seen the cream kitten do anything else that could have broken the enchantment, unless heightened emotional states were a factor. It could be random, but that didn’t give them any hints about what to do next.
  25. Anders [ science ] Well, that was a bit troublesome. Anders probably should have stopped Ray from sticking her hand in the box, but he had been a little occupied by the way that Leonardo da Kittinci leaned into his hand and closed his eyes. Some things in life were just more important than stopped small children from acquiring potentially permanent magical body modifications. Things like kittens yawning and nearly falling over, sweet Maker. Had he died? No. Anders repressed a sigh. Eight years and Justice still hadn’t gotten the point of a rhetorical question. He probably wouldn’t any time soon. As distracting as Catilla the Hun knocking over Leonardo da Kittinci again was, Keaton shouting and tackling Ranulf was enough to draw his attention. At first his heart leapt at the sight of such large creatures fighting each other, but it only took him a moment for him to realize that it wasn’t a true fight. There wasn’t any blood, for one thing. It did give him the opportunity to see that Keaton’s wolfskin body, though still massive, had been blessed with catness as well. He craned his neck to try to see the beans in question, but Keaton’s body blocked the view. How disappointing. He supposed it was a bit fortunate: he wasn’t sure if he could’ve resisted tackling and cuddling Keaton if he saw the giant beans. “Aren’t we supposed to be looking for cat supplies?” he asked, but his voice was weak. Truthfully, he didn’t want to leave the cats. It was nice to relax, and he hadn’t in… quite long time. Not that he’d had the opportunity too; it had been vital to finish their plans without delay. Every second that Hawke had tried to make him sleep or visit the Hanged Man was another moment that mages were in chains. Sloth! Picking up cat supplies didn’t have the same urgency, whether he’d promised or not. Somewhat grudgingly, Justice agreed. It helped that Justice wasn’t entirely invested in the cats the way that Anders was. Maybe Anders could convince him. Though, Ray getting ears did give him an idea -- Do not. -- the ears were rather cute, and -- Stop it. -- twice could just be a coincidence, right? They couldn’t be sure that the box was some magical artifact that gave people tails if he didn’t test it. Why, it would be wrong to not try it out. We don’t know -- Ignoring Justice’s protests, Anders quietly slipped his hand into the box. The first thing he noticed was that his eyes were far closer to the ground than they should have been. The second thing he noticed was that he was fluffy orange tabby again. Justice, predictably, was upset. Anders was a bit on edge as well; being a cat did make him feel much more vulnerable in most cases. The cat instincts begged him to run and hide from the multitude of people and noises, but Anders managed to stay put (albeit with a very bristly tail). It wasn’t like he couldn’t just turn back -- Huh. Well then.