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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

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Duke zones out when Kelsier responds to Jowan's questions; he doesn't quite mean to, but there is something dull about the way their voices are spoken, too calm and too steady in the nice morning air. His attention is immediately stolen by the blades of grass slowly shifting in response to the stirring winds, and Duke takes a sweeping glance around the area, marveling in the nice hills and the crystal-blue ponds, before he realises the subject of conversation has moved on.

 

He tunes in, just as Jowan begins his tale of how they fought the Inquisitor. Blinking and nodding at times -- and looking rapidly between Kelsier and Jowan to see if they notice him paying attention -- he fills in the blanks of Jowan's tale with his thoughts as he recalls what had happened. When the mage finishes recounting his experiences, Duke gives a wide smile.

 

"That was a good recollection," he says brightly, before the grin on his features takes a more devilish tune and he spins on his heels, ready. "For an academic report." 

 

"It was thrilling," he says, shouldering his way into the interaction and glancing at Kelsier to see if the older man is paying attention. "I thought we were done for, but I was wrong! The creatures of your world are strong indeed, but I knew from Dynarst's description that losing that battle would be a greater loss than any injury. So!" 

 

Here, he begins to move; around the three men, a circle of glowing blue begins to echo from somewhere within the earth, as his borders slowly creep up from behind their backs, sliding through the air to create physical shape in the form of three distinct walls. 

 

"I did my best," he says, "but I couldn't do it without Jowan's aid, nor without Dynarst's information. I owe a lot to their combined support." As he speaks, the walls begin to grow upwards, their edges crystal shimmering blue, before they combine into one and the three of them are surrounded by his barriers, etching upwards.

 

"I collapsed the bridge so we could make a quick getaway, even if we couldn't succeed in battle immediately. A commander has to analyse the situation, after all." He purposefully leaves out that he usually has tacticians for this sort of thing. 

 

"But regardless, if we were to head back -- rest assured I wouldn't hesitate to fight again." As he finishes speaking, the three walls meet in the centre of their heads, creating a dome that echoes around the three of them, locking them in. Duke looks up quickly, analysing the situation; he makes it so that his barriers are bluer than usual, not their usual unseen shape, so that Kelsier may analyse them to his heart's content.

 

"You have my shield," he says to the older man, meeting his gaze. 

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[kelsier's private lesson] - [theories with jowan] - [duke's thunderdome]

 

"That's... a good theory." Blood tasted like iron, but Kelsier never thought about the trace metals found within it. If they could somehow see blood, that did confirm the inquisitors' uncanny ability to see people. "Metal that's pierced through or otherwise inside a body is safe. It's an old coinshot's trick to keep a coin under your tongue for emergencies."

 

Aha, finally. A step by step breakdown of the encounter, and the most helpful piece of information Kelsier had obtained since the vial of sand was presented in the meeting hall. Kelsier put a hand to his chin, masking his surprise over the depth of Jowan's involvement -- Duke hadn't mentioned his friend's help outside of moral support. 

 

"We battled on the bridge," Duke had said, earlier at the circle of stones. "But I must give credit to my companion as well -- I could not have had the success I did without someone by my side."

 

While bringing down a bridge was an impressive feat, Kelsier realized that his focus had been on the wrong person this entire time. Duke's habit of omitting information didn't seem to stem from malice or a deliberate attempt to sponge up the fame... It just seemed like he was too jovial to realize what he was doing. An unwavering loyalty to the cause was useful, he just wasn't certain what he would end up doing with this young man. Maybe if Duke could listen to orders, have someone else think for him?

 

Jowan, while entirely modest, told him that he had access to magic as well, and a type of magic that could incapacitate inquisitors much more easily than fighting them head to head with Allomancy. Arcane bolt, paralysis... those were names that evoked images of incredible feats of powerful energy. While speaking, however, Jowan's hands drew attention to the bloodied bandage on his wrist. Kelsier wondered if it was an injury sustained in the fight on the bridge, but the location seemed entirely too subtle for a cut from an inquisitor's axe. Or maybe it was a wound that was older.

 

Only after the facts had been laid out for him, Duke seemed to puff out his chest and elaborate properly. His flare for the dramatic was reawakened and once again he thanked his allies -- including the skaa local who had followed them -- though Kelsier's attention was on the crystallizing forms of the acclaimed barriers by Vylcan. He followed them all the way up until they joined and sealed, effectively creating a bubble isolated from the outside. He burned bronze. Much like how the woman in yellow had magic that felt nothing like allomancy to his magic-seeking ability, the walls here seemed to sing to him with their pulses.

 

Curious to see how one of these could have held off an inquisitor, the Survivor produced another spoon from his sleeves and wound up to throw it forward with all his might. Accelerated by steel, the utensil shot through the air -- spinning -- until it suddenly changed direction and ricocheted back towards him in a burst of blue light. It made an audible clink like a spoon against a robust drinking glass and too late did Kelsier notice the newest barrier before the spoon and its uncontrolled velocity snapped him right between the eyes.

 

He clutched his forehead and took in a sharp breath between his teeth, but he was smiling.

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Kelsier's action is entirely unexpected -- he'd figured the older man would inspect his barriers, ask some questions -- and Duke acts without thinking, too familiar with surprise attacks to really consider his opponent before he draws up a shimmering blue barrier before him, hardening the shape so it would receive the full blunt of the weapon coming his way. 

 

Except the object isn't a weapon -- at least, he doesn't think so -- and is instead a spoon similar to the one one Kelsier had handed him earlier. It is too late, however, when he makes that realisation: he watches with increasing horror as the spoon rebounds off his glowing barrier and hits Kelsier square between the eyes. 

 

For a moment, there is silence; Duke has half a mind to turn his head and stare at Jowan until the other man can find a way to resolve this situation, but his nerves relax significantly when he realises the older man is smiling. Smiling -- that's good, right? Well, if he won't take it to heart, then Duke won't either. 

 

"Didn't know we were fighting already," he says, drawing out his words as he dissipates the barrier he had just created, vanishing in a shower of blue sparks. "Seems like you got a bit of a ... head start." 

 

Then, he blinks and turns to look at Jowan excitedly, wondering if the other man appreciated his joke. 

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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

Edited by Zor

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[fight fight fight!] - [Duke's thunderdome]

 

Kelsier's intent was to test the barrier by throwing a spoon at it. The move backfired spectacularly.

 

He concludes that the visibility of the dome's walls was a diversion -- he feels ecstatic over how he had just been had by one of the oldest tricks in the book. But now he knows -- Duke's barriers were fast when he needed them to be.

 

His forehead is still throbbing from the self-inflicted strike, but soon dulls into a background pulse when he draws upon pewter to regain his focus. His intent was not to begin a brawl by casting the first strike, but now the time for explanations seemed to be over. Kelsier feels no need to speak of his intentions anymore -- the spoon-throw was simply another facet of his ever-evolving plans.

 

The green world was beautiful, but the green world had nothing for him to use. There is nothing for him to pull himself towards, nor anything that would allow him to soar through the air and perform amazing feats of agility. Furthermore, the barrier roof put a limit on how high he could jump with the spoons.

 

With his mobility limited, Kelsier was at an inherent, frustrating disadvantage. So instead of using the fancy allomancy, he decides to do it the old fashioned way.

 

Kelsier lunges forward while Duke's back is turned. He appeared to be distracted by Jowan's own little magical spell -- oh, so it was a free for all? -- and he makes a note to use that against them. The older man crosses the space between them with two grand steps and he leaps, twisting through the air and throwing his weight into a kick aimed square for Duke's back.

 

The Survivor was never known to fight fairly.

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W̨͞h̨͞͞e҉̡͠҉r̡͜͏e̡͟ ̛͢ì̶̢n̢̛ ͜҉t͜͡h̷͡҉͘e̕͟ ̸̡͡ẃ̷̕o̧̕͡r̴̢l͜҉d̛͞͝s̵̡ ̵̶͏i̢̡͏s̛ ̸͞C̴͝ì̷͡s̵͏t͢͞i̧̡̡n̷̛͟á?̷̢͟

 

Duke replied, and Cistina chuckled, shaking her head slightly at her companion’s exaggerated pain. What if someone did not know of your flamboyancy? She looked up at the man who punched him and frowned before standing up and turning back to concern herself with Kelsier, who… Had certainly captured the attentions of Dynarst and… Who was this person? Did they accidentally kidnap someone else?

He was preaching of his rebellion. Cistina thinned her lips and stepped forward to--

A distortion!? Now?!

Her foot never touched the grass as her surroundings shifted, and instead she pitched forward and fell, barely catching herself in midair before she crashed into a tree. Birds flew away from her sudden appearance, shrieking loudly, a pleasantly sweet aroma tinged the air, and she could see buildings on the other side of the trees. And thrumming at the back of her mind--no, it wasn’t quite the back, but she couldn’t tell which direction it was the strongest at. She raised her head and moved towards a branch on the tree to sit on before closing her eyes and concentrating.

… Goddess? Not that she expected a reply.

 

~Location: ???~

 

"...Are you alright?"

 

A woman called out to Cistina, wearing a full ensemble of black from hairclips to heels and her long hair a brillant blond. She witnessed her stumble into a tree and, curiously, seemed to levitate herself into its branches. A psychic, perhaps? she speculated. The dark blue dragon-like monster beside her -- bipedal and nearly standing as tall as her -- tilted its head, curious. This human in yellow wasn't there just a minute ago, and her appearance had spooked all the Starly in the area.

 

~
 

Cistina snapped open her eyes and stiffened at the voice. The [lack of] weapons she had with her and the leather of her armor instead of the chainmail she preferred suddenly was all too keen in her mind as she regarded the duo. But... The woman was looking at her with bemusement, and the monstrous reptile standing next to the woman was looking at her in a manner that reminded her more of the slight cock of the head her younger sister gave when she was puzzled than the malicious spark in a monster’s eye before it tried to rip apart someone’s throat. It should be safe, she decided, and if she needed to get away, she could fly.

 

Thank you, I am perfectly well,” Cistina replied. Briefly, the thought of posing as a normal person from this world occurred to her, but when considering everything else, that was unlikely to be plausible. There was also the potential for this world to be another victim of the ongoing distortions--if she were to give warning, though, perhaps the anchor(s) of this could be secured from disaster.

 

~
 

“That’s a relief.” Knowingly, the woman looked over her shoulder to the path beyond -- though her dragon companion kept an eye on the strange lady covered in soot. That lady in yellow looked like she was dressed from another region entirely, and perhaps… perhaps her assumptions about her would end up being correct. Her intuition was rarely wrong. “Floaroma town is the nearest settlement. Moreso than the flowers, it’s known for its excellent honey. Do you have any pokemon on hand? The creatures here aren’t very strong, but it would be wise to stay vigilant.”

 

The woman looked down into the grove that Cistina was in the edge of.

 

~
 

On her part, Cistina looked back at the reptile after the woman spoke, still feeling too trepedicious about the creature to land, then turned her attention back to the woman as she spoke up again. There was a certain look in her eyes, and she introduced their location and asked her if she had any “Pokemon.” Did she already know? Had the woman already traveled between worlds? Cistina remembered hearing the term thrown around before, but wasn’t especially familiar with what it meant. She felt a brief flash of panic before she reminded herself that she wasn’t trying to hide. That would be unnecessary.

 

I thank you for informing me of where I am and of the local creatures,” she replied. “I cannot answer your question, however; I do not know what ‘Pokemon’ are. My pardons, but I am not from your world.

 

~
 

Ah, there it was. The woman didn't react to the news that she was standing before an otherworldly visitor, who looked quite a bit lost. Instead, she put a thoughtful hand to her lips. "You may know more about my conundrum, then..." she trailed off. "Pardon me, where are my manners? I'm Cynthia, a pokemon trainer, and this is Garchomp."

 

The dark blue dragon gave a proud nod, before resuming her work searching for something on the ground. Cynthia gave her a little pat and smiled. "Pokemon are the monsters of this world. While there are many who live in the wilderness, they can be captured and tamed. Often, they become inseparable companions to the humans they fight for."

 

Cynthia extended a hand out for a shake. "It would be wiser to continue our discussion on the way to the town instead of out in the trees, so follow me."

 

~

 

The woman accepted her statement and Cistina let out a breath she wasn’t aware she was holding. At her introduction, Cistina bowed. When she included her blue reptile--”Garchomp”--it perked, and stood straighter. Almost like… Oxionne and her dragons. At this thought, Cistina nodded to herself. So this is a world where humans and monsters live together. I wonder if relationships like that Ganpp has with his gryphons are commonplace?

 

“I am Cistina,” she introduced in turn. “I’ve been named a warrior by many those of my home, and a shaman by others.No need to mention that I had been deemed one by one of the goddesses of our world. Cistina stepped off the tree and let herself land--Garchomp still made her feel wary, but it was focused on something in the ground--and shook Cythina’s proffered hand.

 

Very well,” Cistina nodded. “As well, if you do not mind, I have a few questions I would like to ask you.

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MvNH8Xh.pngFN7Mf20.gif

M4e0rFY.png

< STATUS: Stable; Determined >

< LOCATION: 3rd Floor Library >

< AGENTS: Theo | Sorey | Cure Scarlet >

< OTHER PARTICIPANTS: Mikleo | Lailah | Edna >

 

The human—Sorey—grew beet red as Arch bowed down ceremoniously in front of him. Seeing Sorey shift his feet, clearly embarrassed by the action made Arch smile even wider. It was always fascinating to see how humble humans were. They were purity incarnate; the species that was as close to perfection as possible, and yet they also seemed surprised when Arch treated them like the magnificent beings that they were. Sorey’s bewilderment was utterly precious and Arch desired nothing more than to make him understand just how wonderful he truly was.

 

A second unfamiliar voice drew Arch’s attention towards the door. To his delight, another human stepped into the library. Theo, most likely upon hearing her title, was quick to simmer his anger and offer her an apology for assaulting the table.

 

“Now, now,” Arch chided as he stalked towards his husband. “No one was making a fool of you. Duke was simply being—” Arch had to consider a word that would not offend his husband. “—extravagant in his storytelling.” Arch paused, bringing a fist to his mouth as his expression turned contemplative. “At least I assume it was storytelling. He was very dramatic about the whole thing.”

 

Waving away his thoughts of Duke, Arch lowered his head as he turned to face Scarlet. “My name is Arch,” he said as he bowed formally. “It is a pleasure to make your acquaintance, Princess Cure Scarlet.” Arch wanted to converse more with the princess, but seeing as Theo already seemed relaxed in her presence and that Sorey was confused about what was going on, Arch felt compelled to help the human with the more pressing issues.

 

“It would make sense for you not to be at the meeting if you just arrived,” Arch said, turning a 180° to face Sorey once more. “If no one else has informed you about where we are and what’s going on, allow me to catch you up. We’re currently residing on a planet that’s the base for an organization known as the Extra-Dimensional Restoration Squad. The people who arrive here are displaced from their homeworlds.’ Arch placed a hand on his chest to indicate himself. “I was brought here unceremoniously not too long ago. I had no idea what brought me here or what was going on until recently as I assume is the same for you.”

 

“The ones that stay are helping to find artifacts known as anchors and return them back to where they’re supposed to be. If you wish to return home I’m sure some of the senior agents could help you with that.” Arch clasped his hands together excitedly. “There! I would imagine that covers most of what you need to do. If you need anything else, I am always ready to serve.” Out of the corner of his eye, Arch caught sight of Sorey’s sub-human companions muttering among themselves as though no one else could see them. Arch raised an eyebrow. How odd. “Do your… friends not realize that they’re not hidden behind the bookshelf?” Arch asked Sorey as politely as he could manage.

Edited by Doctortear

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

For the second time that day, he is stunned. 

 

He reacts slowly -- too slowly, to Jowan's sudden movements, mostly because he is not expecting it. After all, it was Jowan -- the man looks as if he has never heard a joke before in his life.

 

But perhaps his assumptions are wrong, for as soon as Duke makes his pun the other man blinks at him, face unchanging, before there is a movement and --

 

It's cold. That is the first thing he notices, but not dangerously so; it seems the other man is not so much attacking as he is reprimanding him, and the thought makes Duke grin despite himself. So he had appreciated -- a very special way -- his pun!

He is just about to say something, to perhaps slide his arms around the other man and lament his sudden frostiness, when suddenly his mind blanks and there is a shout --

 

Duke!

 

Vylcan's warning comes a second too late, as the heel of Kelsier's boot collides with his back dead centre, and Duke staggers forwards, a cough startled out of him from the sudden attack. He tries to recollect his thoughts, but they are confused -- he had been admiring Jowan's friendly play only a second earlier, and now -- 

 

You are in a terrible position, Vylcan says disapprovingly, the spirit stirred from his rest in response to the sudden attack. Without even a blade

 

He acknowledges this with a faint groan, his back suddenly throbbing, and Duke folds his arms to turn around and stare at Kelsier. In the thin distance between them, a wall grows upwards until its faintly-blue form separates them.

 

"Not fair," the blond complains, almost sulking. In response to his words, the top corners of his dome droop inwards, as if reacting to his emotions. "I didn't know were fistfighting." With a wary glance, he watches carefully for Kelsier's next movements. 

 

 

b66ab1c5efcb9f5adfe252bf9169f6c7.png [ theo ; -- add. 0 for: a. ]

 -- status.

legios ; dormant ]

grey ; knight of loyalty

--

 

"If he continues, he won't have a throat to tell stories from," Theo mutters in response to his husband's words, although his body language shows otherwise; the knight physically relaxes in response to Arch's words, comfortable once more. Perhaps he had been a bit ... quick to action. 

 

Friends? At Arch's words, Theo tunes into the conversation with his full attention; he draws himself away from his self-introduction to Cure Scarlet and stares curiously. What ... was Arch referring to? Hidden attackers, or something else?

 

With every passing second he grows ever more suspicious of this 'Sorey''s actions. 

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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

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Towa Akagi, Princess of the Hope Kingdom
<Status: Stable>
<Form: Pretty Cure -> Civilian>
<Location: 3rd Floor Library>
<Agents: Arch | Theo | Sorey>

 

~

 

Scarlet smiles a little - Arch was such a gentleman! "Please, Arch, just Scarlet will do. Although, if you insist on calling me by my title..."

 

A flash of light, and Cure Scarlet changed to a form more befitting a civilian; her long pink hair was now short and red (although it still had a similar hairstyle), and she now wore a simple white dress, a white lacy headband, a red butterfly-shaped pendant, and red shoes with little white bows on them.

 

"...then Princess Towa will also suffice, but only when I look like this. There's a reason why I keep two names, and it's to keep my identity as Cure Scarlet separate from this civilian identity."

 

She listened as Arch spoke about him and Theo having been brought to this world through... literally the exact same circumstances as her and Hibiki. "I, too, arrived here not too long ago... though it upsets me that my three friends and teammates back home will have to deal without me for a while. Oh, I hope they're going to be okay against the dark forces..." She paused, thinking about her friends for a few moments. "That being said, I don't have the slightest inkling as to how I got here, either; one minute I was fighting my world's forces of darkness alongside my team, and the next, I was at that strange place people here call the 'Gateway.'"

 

Arch then mentioned Sorey's... friends? What friends? When Towa followed Arch's line of sight, she saw nobody...

 

Maybe he had the ability to see the unseen?

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[fight fight fight!] - [Duke's thunderdome]

He hit! Kelsier's strike makes Duke stumble but not quite fall. Kelsier follows through the motion and lands lightly on his feet. No sooner, he sees a shimmering barrier materialize before him, separating himself from the other two.

 

The dome meant that Duke was able to sustain barriers outside of his line of sight -- the fact that he chose not to wall himself in on four sides meant that he was an idiot who didn't realize he could do something like that.

 

Kelsier continued to burn steel. One of the leading lines in his vision -- thin, but bright -- points to the spoon that Duke still clutched in his hand. His grip had weakened enough. Kelsier gives it a shove outwards and the metal utensil goes flying from Duke's fingers -- and with an equally strong pull, Kelsier whips the teaspoon back towards himself to try and beat the barrier.

 

While he could have harassed the other side by playing with that one piece of metal, Kelsier instead releases his hold on it, allowing its momentum to work for him. He reaches into the pockets of his cloak; his hands emerge with the rest of the stolen spoons held between his fingers. He tosses half of them upward, his eyes focused forward instead of at the metal in the glittering light, and allows the spoons to fall where they fall and scatter across the floor of the dome.


 

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

"I am paying attention," Duke replies, in the same tone as a sulking child. "It's not helping." 

 

Regardless, he is not truly upset; his attention is quickly stolen by his attempt to intimidate Kelsier, and only a second later does Duke hear an almost exasperated Vylcan say --

 

Behind. 

 

Perhaps the fairy has figured out that Jowan does not intend to hurt him, or that he trusts Jowan after their time spent together -- to which the thought brings a smile onto Duke's features, but he reacts accordingly. The brief falter in the other's movements is enough for Duke to realise he is under attack -- again?! -- and Duke slides his hands forward, moving the wall between him and Kelsier in one fluid swipe as he barely manages to step out of the attack's range in time. The lightning crackles and splits across the shimmering blue spray of his border, sparks flying as it catches the edge of his arm and he winces. The feeling -- is not painful, but it is a sudden jolt that makes him stop abruptly.

 

His pause is enough time for Kelsier to launch his counterattack. For a second, Duke wonders if he has been played -- are Jowan and Kelsier somehow double-teaming against him? It seems that way, for Kelsier takes advantage of his halt to send the spoon in his hand -- it pulls away easily as his fingers allow -- flying towards the edge of his barrier, and Duke swallows.

 

Oh no.

 

There is a long-echoing sigh in his mind, as if Vylcan himself is debating the reasons to say anything at all. 

 

The spoon hits him in the face, exactly where Theo had punched him previous, and Duke immediately grabs his face and backs up, doubling over as he groans. The shimmering wall before him disappears in his plight, and in his momentary blindness he completely misses Kelsier's next actions. 

 

With the way you are fighting, Vylcan says, his voice heavy, one would think you are more a trainee than a Commander. 

 

"The situation is hardly fair to my abilities," Duke replies, low so that only Vylcan can hear. 

 

Is adaption not the point of leading?

 

Point taken, Duke thinks. With that, he takes a quick cursory glance around the dome before either man can react, thinking to himself. Then, he takes a step back, flinging himself almost violently out of the dome; the blue walls part slightly to allow his exit, and then Duke smiles.

 

The dome itself begins to crumble; the shapes are flowing in every which way, the exterior becoming more liquid in consistency than a solid. Shapes begin to arrange before the two men; various walls, of all shapes and sizes, before the images shimmer once and disappear completely.

 

"There," Duke says, holding up his hands. "You've won. My face hurts."

 

Then, he enlarges the invisible wall between each man just slightly, so that it would be impossible to jump over the barrier. Unable to refrain from smiling slightly, he blinks innocently at the two men gathered before him. 

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[fight fight fight!] - [the sky is falling]

 

 

Kelsier raises his eyebrows as Duke quite literally taps out, exiting his own barrier with a backwards lunge almost as if he were steelpushed. He could move his body through the walls? That was a surprise. As a result, the sky begins to crumble around he and Jowan -- and for a split second Kelsier instinctively protects his face from the flying glass shards, except the barriers are not made of glass, and do not so much shatter as they did melt away around them until they faded away.

 

Duke holds his hands up in surrender. Kelsier scoffs but smirks, putting a hand to his hip. "Never give up. Even if it involves you running away." He holds his remaining spoons up to his face, glancing at his reflection within them for a split second, and pushed them forward -- this time without an exaggerated wind-up. 

 

The spoons shoot forward only a few feet before they bounce back against something unseen. Kelsier feels another crack at his forehead, and his body gets pelted by spinning metal before he could react. He stumbles backwards and curses to himself -- loudly -- for falling for Duke's ruse.

 

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Duke arches a single brow at Kelsier's words, even though the older man's baritone sends a shiver down his back; his words are familiar, recalling a distant time of revolution and glory that he desperately wishes to relive. He surges forward almost instinctively, wanting to hear more -- wanting Kelsier to speak further. 
 

However, the spell is quite easily broken by the sudden rebound of the spoons Kelsier had directed -- where had they come from? -- towards him, originally. Duke watches, feeling the faint twinge as his barriers are hit by a series of dull objects, and then can't help but let out a sudden laugh, gone as quickly as it had come, when Kelsier stumbles back, cursing.

 

It seems Jowan follows suit a second later, casting a familiar-looking spell that glimmers faintly before fluttering across his invisible wall as well, fading into nothing. The other man seems surprised by this action, and -- huh.

 

Hadn't Jowan been listening? He is near-certain he covered the specifics of Vylcan's power in his earlier explanation; the other man should have realised magic would not work. At least, his explanation had seemingly made sense to him -- and Kelsier had liked it, too! Maybe Jowan was just confused?

 

Well, no time to think about that now. He holds a single finger, grinning triumphantly to himself; Duke paces across the short strip of grass, eyes fluttering closed as a smug look overtakes his features.

 

"An invisible maze!" he says. "I like to welcome everyone this way." He directs his stare towards Kelsier, and then sliding over to Jowan. "If you can find a way out, I'll give you my dinners for a week." 

 

You can't keep repeating the same tricks, Vylcan says, but at least the spirit seems in much better spirits now that he isn't getting beaten on. He'll take that as a win, regardless. 

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Sorey - 3rd Floor Library

[new people!] - [they see us?]

 

Before his eyes, the girl in red transformed. Her hair shortened and darkened, while her clothes turned into a more casual white dress with less ornament. Sorey raised his eyebrows, impressed. He couldn't help but draw similarities between that process and his armatus transformation, though given what he just heard from Arch, he didn't want to assume anything about any of these people on the scene.

 

"Thanks Arch! That makes a lot of sense," Sorey said, putting a thumb to his chin, thinking. Displaced, huh? He took the news -- that they were no longer in Glenwood -- surprisingly well: he had already begun to draw his own conclusions from the sheer amount of strange documents in this library. It was a little upsetting that he was gone but -- he had only shortly parted ways with Alisha and everything seemed to be holding up fine. He could afford to do a little exploring. It was exciting.

 

"My... friends?" Sorey turned around. His seraphim froze in place like a trio of owls at Arch's comment. In the tableau, Edna had a hand pressed into Mikleo's cheek while the younger seraph had his arms outstretched to try and reach another one of his books, which Edna held high and out of the way, and Lailah had her arms out in a vain attempt to stop them from bickering.

 

"Oh, yeah! Those are my friends," Sorey gestured towards the shelves. He looked back over his shoulder again to see them straightening up, with Mikleo taking the time to dust off his clothes and make himself more presentable. "You fight against the forces of darkness, right, Towa? Well, my friends are Seraphim, and they help me fight the forces of my world's malevolence by lending me their power. As opposed to you, we weren't exactly in battle when we got dragged here, but I'm still kind of worried about the forces of evil at home, too..."

Edited by TehUltimateMage

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[fight fight fight!] - [duke's labyrinth] - [kelsier hurt himself in confusion]

 

Kelsier vigorously shakes his head to clear it of the pain from getting flicked by a spoon again. Faking surrender...! That ruse was well played. And the barriers could be invisible, too? Not only were inquisitors blind to them, but everyone was. Duke's true power was revealing itself through the fight, bit by bit. Jowan flings a ball of energy, which the barrier happily absorbed, and any physical object Kelsier threw seemed to be deflected. But there was an inconsistency in the story -- were Duke's barriers up when Jowan cast his spells, or did he need a direct, unobstructed line?

 

Kelsier thought he saw a shimmer in the corner of his eye, and his question gets partly answered. Suddenly the world blacks out around him for half a second, as if he were struck hard on the head. Duke says something and he doesn't hear it too well. Ready to punch Duke directly regardless of what he said, Kelsier takes a step forward and visibly smashes against an invisible wall. A confused man in an invisible labyrinth -- it is not a good combination for anyone involved, save for the observers, who would find the entire thing hilarious. He presses his arms against the surface to feel for the wall and to keep himself from falling over but he just as quickly tips over and smacks into the opposite wall. The maze angers him. The clear barriers grow increasingly annoying and he can do little more than pound on them with frustrated fists while throwing himself in random directions.

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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

Edited by Zor

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Kelsier's reserved air momentarily changes; the older man stumbles briefly and Duke falters in his pacing, distracted by Kelsier's actions. Then, a second later, the blond turns around and barely manages a step forward before he smacks into the other wall before him, and Duke gives a wince of sympathy. What happened?

 

Kelsier's condition is concerning, and for a second the blond almost wants to give up on the play, call the situation off. However,  he takes a wary glance around him, just now noticing the various spoons scattered around their feet, and instantly his suspicions are heighhted -- very obviously he had just played them with a ruse, and Kelsier is smart enough to return the favour to him. For the moment, as they were practising anyways, he sees no reason to be too concerned over medical issues.

 

Jowan's voice draws him away from Kelsier's plight, and the blond blinks. The other man's offer is tempting, and he would give anything to have a nice, enjoyable chat with Jowan while they watch Kelsier bump into things, but his dinner is at stake here. He greatly values every meal of the day -- it was important, after all. 

 

"Sure," he yells back instead, pretending to think hard for a second. "But only because I looooove you." He exaggerates the word greatly, dragging it out with a smile on his features.

 

Then, he watches with absolute delight as the other man makes a move to get out and ends up smacking headfirst onto the barrier Duke had erected there for that specific reason.

 

"But I believe in you more," Duke grins. "And we were interrupted last time. Do your best! I'll do your paperwork for an entire month if you get out. It won't be great, and you'll probably have to redo it and get a scolding, but I'll do it." 

 

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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

 

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Kelsier - Outside the Castle

[fight fight fight!] - [duke's labyrinth] - [Bultaoreune Fire]

 

Kelsier's mind begins to clear -- how long had it been? Seconds? Minutes?

 

Mental sharpness returning, Kelsier reacts against the light show of blue and orange almost instinctively. He barely sweeps his cape in time to protect himself; he feels fire sear against his exposed arms as he spins on his heels to duck and guard. The flames persist through his attempt to protect himself -- they do not fade away, nor were they absorbed by the barrier. His nose senses smoke. The heat running on his back was becoming unbearable.

 

Realizing with horror that he was on fire, the Survivor tears his cloak off its clasps and throws the burning garment to the side with one swift movement. With his other hand he drops one of his few remaining spoons and hops, pushing against it with the full strength of his Steel, and he shoots into the air like an arrow released from a bow aimed straight up.

 

The barrier had vertical walls with no roof, although Kelsier could not tell how tall they were. He seemed to have cleared their height, however, as nothing obstructed him from nudging his flight path using some of the spoons on the ground -- but he had to be cautious, for it was shown that Duke could change that at any time at will. In the short moment at the apex of his jump, Kelsier noticed that the fire was burning the ground in a very specific pattern, contained between walls yet continuing to spread along them. If he weren't already out of the maze, this information would have been much more useful

 

Even so high up in the air, he could smell some of the fire -- though when he looked down, it noticed that it was he who was still burning. During his lapse in attention embers ate at his trousers, already growing too big to pat away. Keeping his calm, Kelsier gave himself a readjusting push to calibrate his fall. The spoon he used as an anchor skidded along the ground until it hit a barrier, which enabled him to drift to the side. Destination locked on, Kelsier crashes into the pond like a comet, tossing up droplets in a massive spray of mist. 

 

The water is a shock to his skin; if there were any persisting effects of the confusion spell, they would have been dispelled. Kelsier shakes himself as he regains his footing -- he had managed to land on his feet, body crouched in the shallow pond. His hazel eyes are intense, his hair slicked to his head by water, and his teeth bared in a wide grin.

 

How was that for drama?

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Everything next happens so fast. 

 

One second he is laughing at the stunned expression on Jowan's face as the other man falls backwards, very clearly betrayed by his barriers, and then next -- something hits his barriers and he winces almost instinctively, even if it does not hurt per se. He is still not used to the heightened senstivity of his barriers in worlds apart from his own, even though he has been here for so long -- it should be something he knows by now. 

 

His momentarily halt in thought is replaced by shock when he realises -- the ground has caught fire, and the bright blue flames lap at the edges of his barriers, consuming the dry grass below. Was that -- Jowan?
 

Well, that was one day to figure out the interior of his maze. It is not a detailed plan, something he constructed all too quickly in response to Kelsier's actions, but regardless; he debates dropping his barriers to allow the two men free passage out, considering time is of the essence.

 

Before he can act on his thought, Duke is stunned for the second time. Kelsier shoots up into the sky, straight as an arrow, and the older man is a dark blot in the sky,  his clothing ablaze and illuminating the midday sun. Against the clear blue sky of their beautiful planet, Kelsier stands out -- in an impressive, terrifying way, as a harbinger of news beyond what anyone's mind could comprehend.

 

Then the Survivor turns sharply, and Duke takes an instinctive step back; Kelsier enters their mortal atmosphere once more by crashing into the pond in a grandiose display of power, a spray of waves that laps up the grass surrounding the pond and quenches the flames licking at the small strands. Duke stands, stunned and a mixture of awed and terrified. 

 

The older man grins at him, face calm and hair slicked back by the impact, water running down his face and neck in rivets. Duke feels his heart jump in his chest, amazed at this sheer display of dominance, and for a second he is tempted to start clapping, questioning -- anything to have Kelsier's eyes focus on him once more.

 

But then he remembers the maze, and with it -- Jowan!

 

The other man is alone now, within his barriers, and Duke would make a joke about continuing to box him in until he finally could figure a way out, if the mage was not currently stuck within his constructs while the ground was on fire. 

 

Duke swallows, tearing his gaze away from Kelsier, and almost immediately begins to run towards the maze, breaking down his barriers as he does so. He skids, avoiding the fire consuming the grass in a linear path as a result of his ministrations, and subsequently the barriers he'd set up harden to blue for a second before scattering into harmless pieces, disappearing from existence too quickly. 

 

His path cleared, he runs towards Jowan.  

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Jowan 

f4r0Deq.gif

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 ??

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9afec5aed2aa9588b093521063f110d7.png [ duke ; -- add. n/a ; for. k. j. ]

-- status.

 vylcan ; secondary ]

by your sword -- shield me from judgement!

--

 

Jowan, to his surprise, starts running within the fire. 

 

Duke almost skids to a halt then, too shocked at what he was seeing -- why didn't the other man just avoid it, like a rational human being, or shoot straight up from it, like Kelsier? -- but he regains his thoughts and continues running, only stopping when he reaches the beginning of the maze a short while from Jowan. 

 

The mage is smiling despite his actions, and Duke swallows, hard, at the look of pride on the other man's face. It suits him -- lights up his features, makes him look younger, in a way, and Duke takes a step forward without thinking.

 

Is this a bad idea? Perhaps, and Duke falters sightly, a hum rising in the back of his throat. He should -- clear his throat, crack a joke, turn away -- 

 

And then Jowan speaks once more, lamenting his handiwork, and the other man turns away briefly to look at the patches in the grass behind him, the slowly dying flames vanishing as they licked up what fuel they could find on the ground. He rubs his cheek with one hand, wondering to himself, and, well ...

 

He was never too in control of his own actions, anyways.

 

He closes the gap between them easy, only a short distance between their shoes, and throws his arms around the other's neck, pressing him close. 

 

Jowan smells of soot and faint burning, but his form is warm. Duke smiles despite himself, aware the other man can't see his face -- he presses his nose into Jowan's shoulder, unable to contain his grin. The other man's breath is heavy, perhaps from his earlier run. 

 

"Just a bit," he agrees. 

 

He decides against telling Jowan his win is forfeit -- he had put down his barriers already, after all -- but he will take doing some paperwork over letting go of the other man. Whether or not Jowan is ready to redo his reports after they've been rejected -- well, that's another thought for another day. 

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