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Suntithenai

 
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Tempus Fugit
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:36 pm    Post subject: Suntithenai Reply with quote

Suntithenai

~ ~ ~

"Time is a river and books are boats. Many volumes start down that stream, only to be wrecked and lost beyond recall in its sands. Only a few, a very few, endure the testings of time and live to bless the ages following."
– Joseph Fort Newton

~ ~ ~

The sixth fall term at the Academy had just began. Lydia had been the Headmistress from the beginning. This past year was undoubtedly the hardest on her. In the winter term, boycotts and pickets from Rhydin had found their way onto the campus. Several individuals had lost their lives in the mayhem. Lydia had lost her loyal secretary once it was discovered she was the perpetrator of the onslaught of violence.

Giving the campus time to calm down, she decided it was time to check in on another project that had been completed that may be potentially dangerous to the grounds. One of the professors, Atticus D'Arcstorm, had led the building of several artifacts among each of the seven houses of Bristle Crios. Lydia acknowledged that if he knew she would be checking them out, he might alter them in some way, and she she decided to go and view them without notice. She wouldn’t be able to access them herself since they did not reside within her campus. She needed someone who had access to the main keys for all the grounds, and she knew of just a man. One of the very janitors of the Academy. Once she procured his assistance, she decided to begin at the house that was nearest and dearest to her heart, her former residence, Vampire House.


~ ~ ~

Coven Bristle Crios. Vampire House. Catacombs.

The man who walked before the headmistress maintained a casual gait that allowed him to remain a half step ahead of her, and he frequently looking over and back at her as he chatted. He had an easy smile, and his blue eyes seemed to dance in amusement. There was an air of eagerness about him, but he'd mostly kept it from showing too clearly by idly chatting with the headmistress about the Academy and different classes. His questions and commentary were light fare, nothing stressful. Her calling upon him had been well timed, it turned out, as he'd been relatively close at hand – and had arrived to escort her on the rounds she intended to make.
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"Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not... ...and in the end, there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again."
- Stephen King
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:40 pm    Post subject: Contradiction Reply with quote

From the moment he appeared while they spoke, the curiosity was evident in her face as to the coincidence of his arrival – and his apparel. His custodial garb had been discarded in favour of pants of dark, heavy leather, and some sort of dark blue double breasted button down, that would have been dated more than 300 years ago – except that it appeared newly made. He immediately opened their dialogue of the evening by glancing at himself and giving a brief shake of his head and muttering.

"Don't ask," he said, glancing downwards at his state of dress. "Sometimes you just can't win." He offered her a smirk, at his own expense. There was another oddity, to those who were familiar with him. Even the headmistress would have noticed it's absence, but, not seeing it, it was hard to name. Something was missing.

The descent into the Catacombs below Bristle Crios began in Vampire House, and the moment they stepped Brend removed a keychain from his pocket, and a number of keys rattled against each other. He occasionally twirled the keys around the ring in rapid fashion, causing a neat klink sound rather than a small cacophony. No matter the door they came to, it seemed he had the proper skeleton key to fit it, through entrances, basement, sub-basement, and into the catacombs, every door was opened easily. It seemed that the structure was laid out in parts by madmen, and those seeking to defy intrusion, either that or Brend deliberately took the longest route possible to find the entrance, but those familiar with the Catacombs would credit the madmen. After a long declining slope, heading north and east, the catacombs began to change, by the very nature of the stone that it was made of.

Rough worked granite gave way to smooth perfected stone, gave way to something else; semi-translucent white quartz, blood red garnet, and almost black malachite worked together in swirls, with ribbons and bands of reflective silver veining through the entire work. The walls became seamless, and the doors too. The construction was a contradiction and felt both old and new at the same time. Something about it felt like it had always been there, that it was impossibly old, even next to the buildings of the Coven itself. It's newness was a function of it's rearrangement.
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Tempus Fugit
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:44 pm    Post subject: Activated by Touch Reply with quote

"Atticus has been busy," Brend turned to face Lydia but kept walking backwards, his tone was almost apologetic. "He's always been like that," his thought process seemed to trail off as they entered a room that was almost circular. The corridor they were travelling in continued to their left and right, but their destinations were impossible to discern. While in the first level of the Catacombs they'd needed artificial light, it seemed in these catacombs they did not; ambient light seemed to stem from the veins of silver in the walls, floor and ceiling, giving ample light for a person to read if they wished. They continued straight ahead, on the far side of the room the corridor they were followed ended in a set of double doors which had neither keyhole or knob. Brend had never turned to face the door as they approached, but rather kept his eyes on Lydia. He seemed suddenly hesitant, for all the haste he encouraged along the way.

"You must have, I mean, there must be lots of people at the Academy that could survey these things. Are you sure you want to do this?" A look of brief pain, almost impossible to notice flashed across his features, though he played it off as a wincing grin – as if he could play it off as the reaction to realizing he had also suggested she'd ventured down here for nothing.

"Yes, I am sure," she said, speaking with an intensity only mirrored by her penetrating stare of the doors. "I have allowed others to do too much on my behalf, it seems. From now on, I plan to accept my own responsibility for all that… occurs on my watch." She put up a hand and softly caressed an index fingertip along the fine fissure between them, curious as to how they could function without proper fixtures.

"Liv!" It was a muted shout, given the intimacy of their surroundings in front of the door, then his voice dropped dramatically as he realized that his hand was placed over hers as it explored the seam, the muscles of his arm tense to pull her away. "Sorry, you shouldn't," a babble of information went through his mind, and he let his hand slip quickly from hers. "It's just, some of these... things... are activated by touch. This one," he replaced his hand next to hers, instead of on it, and started tracing teh same path she had been on, moving downward. It was subtle, but there was an impression along the seam of the door in the shape of a hand. "Is one of them, fittingly for the place that it's housed, it's also sensitive to blood, and life essence that can be detected through skin contact..." He was looking at her, lecturing. "Sorry," he looked sheepish, but grinned. "Custodians don't regularly lecture you, I'm sure."
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"Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not... ...and in the end, there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again."
- Stephen King
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PostPosted: Wed May 30, 2018 11:45 pm    Post subject: Essence Reply with quote

His hastened call startled her, causing her to interpret the syllable as 'Lyd', even a name her twin sister knew not to call her. She recoiled slightly from the surprise, and continued to follow his lead to remove her hand from the doors. She listened intently to the instructions, but she became paranoid when he mentioned blood and one's life essence. Her face would reveal her hurt, though it was not because of his lecturing but because she assumed he must know about her curse. Although she tried her best to hide her affliction, she knew it was only a matter of time before everyone would find out.

"No, I…" she began, trying to remember her purpose for being there, "I want to learn more about these places. This is why I came. Please, continue." She looked at him and smiled with closed lips, trying to hide the embarrassment and shame in her eyes.

He held her gaze for a moment, looking into her eyes as he felt his own features softening. He often felt old. She made him feel young again, she always had. Suddenly his hand was taking hers, and replacing it back where she had it, but slowly sliding it downwards towards it's proper place to open the doors. His gaze flickered between her eyes and lips for a moment; he loved the fullness of her lips, and found himself wishing it was something goofy he'd done that was making her smile rather than the seemingly forced expression she gave him. "It's already keyed to me, I've, uh, been down here doing... research." It was obviously true to same degree, as he knew his way around too easily, and too easily identified the protocols necessary to enter the artifacts – though to be fair the secrets were no tightly kept by those who went looking for them, even if the full power of the artifacts was denied except to those who had already completed diligent study.

The doors slid open to the sides, silently, somewhat eerily, and somehow fitting for what you would find in a catacombs. The room within was lit with the same preternatural glow that suffused the hallway leading to it. In the rooms centre, sitting on a plinth which in turn sat on a raised dais, was a chair. It had the vague look of a recliner, but it seemed to be wrought from the same seamless material that the rest of the room was, except this one only showed garnets and the glowing silver ribbons which veined it. Each of the walls seemed to be a vast mirror, though the appeared cloudy from the doorway, the images held upon them indistinct.
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Tempus Fugit
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:15 pm    Post subject: Right to Human Error Reply with quote

Before she could consider entering, his hand was on her shoulder and he gave her a reassuring smile – his face becoming so sincerely earnest it was almost painful. He let his hand slide down her arm until her hand was in his, which is where he focused his gaze.

"I wouldn't tell anyone, you know. Just because, I know," he shifted uncomfortably. He had no way of explaining what he was going to say, but he had to say it. "I know you wouldn't like it." What was he even talking about? "I've known for," he cleared his throat. "A while." Oh, that from before. He let his fingers again fall free of hers, but his eyes met hers again. "Your secrets are safe with me." They always have been, "But I reserve the right to human error." He smirked, but it turned into a smile.

Lydia felt comforted when he took her hand and slid it towards the silhouette of the hand print. At least she knew that she hadn’t completely ruined the entryway or what it held within. She inhaled slowly in amazement as the doors opened, her eyes equally widened in turn. She was quickly grounded by his hand on her shoulder. Turning to face him, she couldn’t help but turn her glance down to see his hand holding hers. As he spoke, her eyes came up to meet his, though she wasn’t quite sure what to say.

Suddenly that didn’t seem to mean as much to her anymore.

"I, um…" She looked back to the room, still in wonder. "Am I… allowed to go in?" She worried there might be other elements inside the room that might be affected if she went in without knowing how to correctly access them like he had known how to access the doors.

"Hmm?" Brend paused in momentary consideration, "I don't think there are any specific wards to keep you out," he nodded towards the panel where she'd pressed her palm. "I think that keys you to the chair, throne, bar stool, whatever the control thing is. Like, I said, I've been here before, so I have an idea how it works." Not that he added anything he didn't have to, of course. At least nothing that wasn't cryptic as hell.
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"Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not... ...and in the end, there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again."
- Stephen King
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:18 pm    Post subject: Backpedalling Reply with quote

"Come," he took a step backwards, and within the chamber, beckoning her forward. He turned in a casual circle, surveying the large, if sparsely decorated chamber. There were seven walls, each a perfect rectangular mirror. Each wall was equal to the others in size, an aspect that was only cast in doubt because of the doors; when the doors had appeared to slide open from outside, from the inside it was revealed that entire walls had slid sideways. "After you come in," Brend gestured at the doorway as he kept backpedalling towards the rooms centre, "those close again. It's a little unnerving, but you can use that thing," he gestured towards what appeared to be a large armchair crafted from the same peculiar stone the hall was crafted from, but shot through with more ribbons of metal. "It controls the apparatus, or whatever," he gestured around the room. "This thing is."

Cautiously, she walked inside. Slowly turning in a circle as she got towards the centre of the room, she glanced into each of the mirrors. She might have been more paranoid, wondering if they might be portals that would unleash deathly creatures or demons onto the room, but seeing him act as though everything was fine put her at some ease, though there was still some worry on her face. "But you have been here before?" It was asked more to soothe her concerns for their safety.

"Yeah I've been here be-" he stopped mid sentence and furrowed his brow staring at the mirrors. He was reflected in all of them, which was all well and good; the headmistress, however, was not reflected in all of them. "There's not any danger here, not physical danger at least. It lets you see things, things in other places." He waited for her beside the would be throne, not that there was anywhere else to venture to in the otherwise featureless chamber. His eyes returned from the mirrors to her. "It shows you other wheres, the same way the Pendulum shows other whens." They hadn't ventured there, yet, but he might as well try to put it in the best context that he could.

He felt like his tongue had become thick, like it was hard to speak. He wanted to offer to show her how, to sit in it himself, but he was worried... of the things he might show her. The shock she might feel, then ... what? Would she accuse him of lying to her? Showing her... his fantasies? How could she ever believe him, or what he tried to show her?
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Tempus Fugit
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Young Wyrm
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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:26 pm    Post subject: Always Grinning Reply with quote

'No,' he concluded to himself. 'It comes down to freedom of choice. If she's ready... some part of her subconsciously will...' He didn't finish the thought to himself. He never, even with his acting experience, would have been able to act as though he were okay if he would have allowed himself to think of what that part of her was; the name, the title, assigned to her in that instance: not teacher, or professor, or headmistress, or sister, or mother. No, he was thinking of the part of her that was his-

"You can sit if you'd like, Lydia, and experiment with it." He'd moved slightly to the side of the chair, leaving it open for her. "I'll... answer any questions I can, which probably won't be all of them, but I think I can help, some." His left hand rested upon the top of the chairs backrest, and his smile grew slightly, encouragingly, when he looked at her. He looked slightly goofy, always grinning at her.

Lydia was tempted to sit in the chair, but one thing weighed on her when she continued to glance around. "Why can I not see myself in all of these mirrors?" It was at least one vampiric archetype that did not hold true with her. She had always been able to see herself in a mirror and others could as well. Wondering why she could see his reflection in them, she started to walk up to one slowly, seeing if maybe she got closer, she might suddenly appear.

"Some of these mirrors, their worlds must hold different laws than the one we inhabit?" He glanced away from her towards the mirrors, and frowned again. "I noticed it too, but I wasn't sure what to make of it. That's the most... logical thing I can think of, if logic even applies here. I'm not entirely sure it does, or if it does, it's some new logic of Atticus's devising." He rolled his eyes at the thought before turning his gaze back towards her. He struggled for a way of explaining that would make sense. "These are like, pages that have tabs on them, but that," he nodded towards the chair, "Is like the index key. It lets you choose which pages, after a fashion." Limited to the fact that the person who sat the chair need be reflected in the worlds shown in the mirrors – visible or not
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"Time takes it all, whether you want it to or not... ...and in the end, there is only darkness. Sometimes we find others in that darkness, and sometimes we lose them there again."
- Stephen King
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Old Wyrm
Old Wyrm


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PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2018 10:28 pm    Post subject: Something You Do or Think Reply with quote

"Okay," she said with hesitation, staring at the mirror directly in front of her a little longer. If he could have seen her reflection, it would have shown her hesitancy wasn't due to reluctance to get into the chair, it was because of her disbelief of his explanations of other worlds shown within the mirrors. There was only one way to see for sure. She turned to face him, she then walked towards the chair and turned back around. Before sitting down, she looked over her shoulder and asked, "You'll," She stopped before saying her thoughts out loud, 'watch out for me?' Instead she continued, "I'll be ok, right? I won't get… stuck or anything?"

Brend stepped from the chairs side to in front of it, and knelt down so that he was at her feet, though she had yet to sit. "You'll be fine," he gave a quick, confident nod with his smile, and added, "But I'm watching out for you, just in case." He reached up, and placed a hand protectively over hers where it gripped the armrest of the chair, and though he was very conscious of her hand in his, he also became aware of the chair itself. He felt it's familiar touch; it had the same odd feeling as the other chairs had: they looked like they were hard, made of stone perhaps, but touch revealed them to be soft, almost like the rubber of a knickknack someone might use to relieve stress. 'Ironic,' he thought, given that what people could see here might cause elevated stress. On that note, he added, "You should know, when you sit, the mirrors will begin to rotate – or maybe it's the chair and this centre piece of the room, I'm not sure. The mirrors – or whatever – will keep rotating, until something you do, or think, makes them stop and you'll be able to see... other places." 'But you'll be in all of them,' he added silently to himself, 'and because we're both here, so will I.' "It's kind of sudden, and makes a noise." Kind of a low, thunking noise.

"Ok," she said with a similar hesitancy as before, though she trusted him more than the room. Slowly, she eased into the chair, feeling nestled within its surprising spongy cushioning. Although he had warned her, she was still slightly startled by the first sound, causing her eyes to widen. She instantly looked down and was comforted that he was still there with her. Looking back up to the mirrors, she tried to see if she could truly observe these other worlds.
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