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Old 08-15-2019, 02:34 PM
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Merlins Mightiest Heroes

HistoryCivilization is at its peak, or at least the peak with which it has risen to over the last thousand years, and although technology is only just beginning to advance, magical aptitude has never been higher. The realm is happy and at rest, but within the ripples of the Great Lakes, turmoil can be felt.

The Five Great Lakes of Avangard hold great cities upon them, built on the battle grounds of the Great War. Each populated by thousands of people and governed by a Herlald. These lands together hold no king, but if the whisper of King was ever mentioned among mortal Men and Women, Atlas would be the name in Echo.


Gifted YoungstersYou have been watched for some time now, but from a far. The powerful wizard Merlin has been keeping tabs on gifted youngsters for centuries, never needing to call them forth until now.

You have heard of the nerdy wizard sitting atop his mountain and within his observatory since his days of war. There he stays, confined of his own free will, far and away from civilization, waiting patiently, studying. You never dared imagine a day when you might hear his voice, the voice of a legend. Merlin, the greatest hero ever to walk the land and one who never carried a sword, requests your presence.


Assemble
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A bird flutters within the bright sunlight of the morning as it crests the nearby peaks. You pay no attention. Moments later you see it again, closer, and on a direct line for you. You stop and take notice but don’t concern yourself with the faintness of a sparrow among the morning. It gets to you and hovers, waiting for acceptance. You reach out your hand to accept it and it lands with purpose. The bird perches on your palm and looks at you tentatively. A puff of harmless black smoke erupts, and the bird is gone. A leather-bound scroll lays within your palm where the sparrow had once been a moment ago. A summons of the sort. Location, Date and Time all disclosed within the scroll.

You now stand at the stoop of a great hill side. Before you rests giant stone statues of men in armor, some hundred feet tall. Between them a must be thirty foot high stone wall encompassing everything in sight. High above you can see an observatory made of glass, almost touching the clouds itself. You can appreciate the marvel in which all this architecture exemplifies, rivaling some of the greatest you have ever seen. You step forward to investigate for an entrance, for you can only assume you have been brought here for purpose. As you place your hand upon the stone wall out of intrigue, you are hurled backwards with unimaginable force. Even the strongest among you could not recal being stuck like that before, but sustain no physical damage.
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You come to your feet, looking quizzically at the others, realizing what must only be magic fielding you from gaining entrance. Just then you are sucked into the nether verse with a swoosh. You land, smack dab in the middle of a library, sitting comfortably among the other faces who waited outside with you.

You sit, resting in comfortable and elegant velvet clothed chairs. The room is floor to ceiling with bookshelves. A sea of literature before you. In the middle you see a telescope, long and broad. The circular room, domed at its peak, you know it now to be the inside of the great wizards study. A great many oddities are seen in the nooks and crannies here. Arcane symbols embalm the room, faintly glowing and then retracting to darkness moments later. Glass containers sit upon counter tops and tables, their inventory strange and peculiar, ranging from simple herbs and spices to what you gather to be oddities of organic mass and construction.

Sitting at the chair looking outwards through the scope is a man with long grey hair. He turns to face you, only before exhaling a puff of tobacco. He slowly walks towards you, dragging his once magnificent and pristine, now tarnished robes upon the floor. His demeanor is aware, not restless or at arms. He takes another puff and stops, looking at the five new faces before him with a slight squint.

"Has been an age since anyone has rang my door bell. Not many visitors as of late, everyone has better things to do than worry about an old goat I guess" He moves forward again, finding an empty chair in front and in the middle of the sitting circle, slowly lowering himself down into the cushions. "I would like to think my reputation preceeds me, but the lot of you are still damp behind the ears, so in case it hasn't, my name is Merlin!" his voice cracks as he finishes with a bit of enthusiasm and excitement. His eyes widen, and he stares upon you with a half questionable, half old man gaze, lost to his own intricacies.

"Im sure you are all wondering why we are sitting here today. Why this old goat brought you into his study? hmmm?" Merlin pokes his head forward with abrupt action and with no apparent reason. He looks at each person sitting in each chair for a solid three seconds before moving his gaze onto the next. "Yes..." he says, leaning back into his chair.

"We will get to that in moments. First. Introduce yourselves to each other. Come on don't be rude. I know you didn't do it outside. To busy trying to break in I suspect. Come on now. Who you are. Where your from. What you do. Come on, out with it now" He rolls his hand much like a slow wind mill in anticipation of finishing his question and awaiting answers.

He now sits back in full relaxation mode, sucking on the end of his pipe. He squints again but you feel an uncomfortable amount of prejudice as the realms most ancient and notable wizard now sits across from you in the flesh. Numerous black puffs rise as he listens tentatively to the youngsters speak. You sense a strangeness to the Wizard. Perhaps its simply the fact hes been alive so long, and just an old crow set in his ways and left to his own devices. Or maybe there is more to it than that. Maybe the stress of the arcane has broken or derailed the mages conscious and grasp of reality. Or perhaps something else entirely.




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Old 08-19-2019, 06:55 PM
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A young woman, with long, golden hair and a countenance as fierce as she is beautiful bounds to her feet from the chair, a confident grin curving her lips.

"Very well. I am Thora, of the lands far to the north of here. For many winters I have crossed those lands, seeking out and crushing the wicked...seeing to it that my people lead safe and prosperous lives."

She nods then at the wizard seated before her. "When I was a child I grew up hearing the tales of the old wars from my mother, and of your heroism in putting an end to that chaos. So..." she grinned wider "...old goat, when I realized who your message was from, I made all haste to get here."

Thora clapped her hands thunderously together, the sound echoing through the cavernous spaces of the ancient library.

"I have answered your call, wizard! What need have you for a CHAMPION?!"

Outside the building, muffled through the stone, thunder could be heard thooming...despite the sky being clear when the five first arrived. With that, Thora took her seat again, to await the other names, and see what mighty purpose she had been drawn here to do.

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Old 08-19-2019, 07:52 PM
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Lauraline Hyde
Human Tomb Raider

PrologueThe suspended hammock swayed back and forth slightly as the occupant wrapped inside rose from her slumber. Pushing the edges of her cloak off her as she stretched her arms out, the morning sun cast a swath of bright light on the sheer face of the rocky cliff she'd been working on making her way up the previous day. Suspended over a thousand feet above the ground, and yet still several hundred feet from the cliff edge that would be the opening towards her final climb to the summit, Lauraline was largely oblivious to anything that was going on around her, thanks in part to the howl of the wind as it rushed down the cliff face.

Just as she was starting to carefully pull her gear together and slip back into her climbing harness, she heard the chirp of a bird that had no reason to be anywhere near her. Glancing up as she chewed on a bite of bitter bread, the woman's brow scrunched at the small sparrow eyeing her in much the same way she was eyeing it. With a chirp, Lauraline sighs, but smiles, "All right. I'll share..." Breaking off a piece of the bread and crumbling it into her palm, she gently reaches it out towards the bird, muttering, "...Despite you being very far from home."

As the sparrow hopped down from a crack in the rock it was perched upon, with a surprising amount of willingness in the woman's opinion, she held still, wanting to encourage the bird to eat, but couldn't as she quickly snatching her hand away at the sudden eruption of dark smoke. Grabbing her hand with the other as if to protect it, Lauraline looked all over for where the sparrow had disappeared to, but found not even the slightest hint of evidence that it had been there. With the rushing winds, the puff of smoke hadn't lasted more than a moment, and now the archaeologist found herself questioning if it was even there in the first place. The elevation could play tricks on the mind.

As Lauraline settled into accepting what she'd just experienced, she finally noticed that her hand was filled with more than just the collection of crumbs she'd previously been holding. Opening her palm up before her, the bitter bread crumbs tumbled off between her fingers as she stared down at the small scroll in her palm. "Odd…" she muttered to herself as she considered the ramifications of such. With Magic seeing a new Renaissance in this new age, she wasn't surprised that some spellcaster had taken note of her. She was a Hyde, and with that came a reputation for seeking that which was both very old and very powerful. Opening and reading the scroll, nearly losing it upon the wind, Lauraline read the brief words over several times before glancing over the edge of her hammock to the ground far below. With a sigh, she muttered, "Guess this'll have to wait," before moving to start her early descent of the mountain…


...As she arrived at the location, she found she wasn't the only person who had been summoned. While the tracks up to the old ruins had been disturbed, it had been easy for Lauraline to tell they were all recent, all fresh steps on undisturbed ground. With the trek it had taken to get there, and the lack of legends about the area, she wasn't surprised by these conclusions, but was surprised by the structure she found looking between the trees. Several others had gathered, were milling around seeming just as confused as she was. None seemed to be taking the lead, so Lauraline could only assume the mage that had sent the invitation wasn't among those gathered.

Leading her horse up as she appeared from the surrounding wood like a ghost, the woman lowered her hood and was just about to greet the others when one was tossed past her as a result of touching the smooth-looking stone wall that surrounded the impressive dome built seemingly upon it. Eyes flashing wide a moment, they quickly turned suspicious as her gaze snapped back to the wall. "That can't be good..," she started to whisper before suddenly losing her breath as the world quickly swirled around her. A moment later her hands gripped the soft, velvet covered arms of a chair as Lauraline jostled slightly in her seat as her muscles tensed.

Lauraline recognized the man almost immediately. Once the shock of being the subject of such powerful magics had subsided, she found herself almost amused by the turn of events. She hadn't realized who she was meeting. While that sense of uncertainty would keep most away, "Lady Hyde" hadn't ever been one to be stopped by such uncertainty, nor any chance to get filthy covered in dust that hadn't seen the light of day in a millenia. Certainly this had turned out better than she could have ever hoped. Save for the fact she found herself ruefully without her horse or pack.

As one of the others took to stepping up first to introduce themselves, Lauraline watched the ancient man for a moment before pushing herself up out of the chair to her feet to send her gaze canvassing the walls of the massive, domed room. While there was certainly a number of things of note, nothing was more impressive to her than the sheer collection of books and tomes. Pacing over to the closest of the shelves, Lauraline glanced over her shoulder at the others, taking in their words, but giving far more attention to the spines lined up before her. Reaching out and carefully plucking one off the shelf, the woman opened it up in her palm, scanning over the ancient dialect with a fingertip. Realizing what it was, she turned to look back at the wizard, blurting out, "You know this is older than some of the Elven houses out there, right?"

As Merlin and some of the others turned at the sudden arrival of the woman's voice, especially given its unexpected subject matter, Lauraline stood frozen in place, exchanging glances with all before finally saying, "I'm going to guess it's my turn, huh?" Stepping over towards the circle of chairs, but keeping the ancient tome still perched in her upheld palm, she gave a slight curtsey, awkwardly so, before speaking up clearly, "My name is Lauraline Hyde. Yes, of those Hyde's if you are wondering, but I'd prefer no one utter that jarring title in my regard. There's no greater insult than to call someone like me 'Lady'," she said with a soft chuckle.

Glancing at Thora and the warforged, doubt seemed to creep into her features as she continued, "I'm an archaeologist; one who finds and rescues ancient artifacts and history once believed lost. I can honestly say I don't know why you have invited me here, Master Merlin, but if present company is considered, I don't know if I have the right 'gifts' for whatever it is you plan to ask of us. I'm a Scholar, in a sense, and certainly not a 'Champion' of any." Leaning her hip against the side of the tall-backed chair she'd previously been plopped into, Lauraline's eyes flicked between Merlin, waiting on a response from the man, and the book being held in her hand. Despite the gravity of the situation, she couldn't help the curiosity she had for the ancient tome. She could see herself spending years in a room like this, but had a feeling she'd barely get an hour to explore. Merlin didn't strike her as a man that wished to share his secrets, no matter how impactful they could be to the masses in today's day and age.


 
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Old 08-19-2019, 09:58 PM
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David Antony
Human Warlock


David was walking intently down the side of a busy street in Magadescion. Not quick enough that he would raise suspicion, but fast enough that if the shop owner realized the pearls of power he just sold him were fake, he would be long gone.

As he rounded a corner a sparrow, or what appeared to be a sparrow, flew directly in his direction and began fluttering around. David could see the glow magic emanating from the bird.

"What have we here," he asked as he held out his hand. The bird settled on his finger and disappeared in a puff of smoke, leaving in its place a leather-bound scroll. Curiosity getting the better of him, as usual, he opened the scroll without first inspecting for threats.

"Bloody Hell, what does that old coot want", he said out loud. He recognized the address where the summons was directing him to go. He immediately decided he would not be summoned like this.

Days later he found himself standing at the location indicated in the missive, at the base of a hill, its ascent lined with massive armor-clad statues of stone. Others were gathered here as well, likely having received the same summons as him, he surmised.

Some of those gathered approached the entrance to the hill and reached out with their hands to inspect the stone. "I wouldn't do that, mate", David said, clearly seeing the glow of magic about the whole of the entrance. Sure enough, those that did touch the stone were thrown backward.

Suddenly the world around him swirled before his eyes and he found himself sitting in a chair around a large table inside of an sprawling library. The glow of magic emanated from all around him. "Old bloody codger", he said under his breath as he took a rolled cigarette from a case from within his coat. Putting it between his lips, he held his hands before it and a fire flared out of nowhere and lit the tobacco. He pulled the smoke into his lungs and kicked his legs up over the side of the chair, relaxing.

David looked at the others around the table. It was certainly an odd bunch that he had summoned. For what reason, he could only guess. Eventually, the old man turned around and addressed those gathered, coyly acting as though anyone could not know who he was.

Finally, he asked those gathered to begin introducing themselves. David rolled his eyes as he sat back upright in the chair. Hello, everyone, he said in a sincere voice. "My name is David and I have been sober for two, no", he held up a finger as he seemed to be trying to remember, "three days now.". He flicked his cigarette into the air and it flared into nothingness before it could hit the ground. "Well, I feel much better. If you could just twiddle your fingers and zap me back outside."

Last edited by Silent Rain; 08-20-2019 at 07:18 AM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 05:54 AM
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Prologue
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PNNK!

A tiny, solitary drip of water runs down the length of a limestone stalactite, reaching the tip where it hangs precariously for a moment. That moment passes, and it drops free of the rock to plunge into the obsidian darkness below. The dark, cavernous space is utterly still. Not a single bit of air stirs, and there is no other sound other than that solitary little drop falling towards the ground, but instead striking something else. The cave echoes with the strange sound, something not soil or stone, but something harder, something metallic.

PNNK!

Another drop falls, followed by another, and another. Each time the metallic ping disturbing the complete stillness of the cave before fading into nothingness, only to ring out again a moment later. This has happened countless times before, for hundreds or even thousands of years in this place. A place so lost and forgotten to the world.

PNNK!

Another drop, like the mind-numbingly countless drops to have come before it. Though this one was different. As the metallic ring sounds again, there is the slightest sense of movement in the complete darkness. The crunch of stone can be heard as something shifts, something large and heavy grinding to chips of rock upon the cavern floor beneath its bulk.

A strange hum fills the air, and the air seems to grow heavy with energy as something seems to awaken. The darkness becomes violently interrupted by the sudden appearance of two rich, bright blue orbs opening up.

The two orbs glow brilliantly in the dark cave, a place that had not seen light for thousands of years. Some unknown creatures shriek, and dart off into the darkness, rudely disturbed by the offensive light. The orbs grow brightly, their light reflected off a form that reveals itself to be a giant metal humanoid, standing solitary in what looks to be an ancient crypt of some kind.

The head, within which the two glowing blue orbs reside, slowly turns. The movement creates the sound of metal scraping on metal, though with a stiffness to it that belies that it had not made this movement in a very long time. Alongside the sound of scraping metal can be heard the cracking of limestone. The drips that had been seemingly falling upon this figure for countless centuries had dried and formed a rocky crust, which now cracked and chipped away with the movement.

In the dim blue glow, the figure raised its right arm, and in response a series of grinding gear sounds could be heard as the figure’s hand retracts into the arm to be replaced by an elegant blade extending out of the forearm. The blade begins to glow a molten orange, which casts a greater light upon the area.

In the full light, the individual is revealed to be a giant metal warrior, whose body is comprised of thick blue, red and chrome plating that is covered by millennia worth of dust. A shimmering blue robe hangs from its shoulder plates. The face is mostly covered by blue plating covering the section where the mouth might be, while the head seems crowned by a number of spiked protrusions that are reminiscent of a crown.

Looking about, the ancient warforged ignores much of the room’s contents, and instead focuses upon the crypt over which it had apparently stood sentinel. Reaching out with a giant metallic hand, it wipes away some of the dust to reveal some ancient language carved into the stone of the sarcophagus. It found it could not read the writing.
It found also, that it had no memory of why it found itself in this place, or who had put it there. The only thing it knew, was that it had a name, and it had a purpose.

Turning from the sarcophagus, the warforged turned slowly away and spotted the entrance to the tomb. Slowly, almost hesitantly, it took its first step. There was a protest of shrieking as joints that had not worked in centuries were suddenly required to move the warforged’s giant frame. Still, within a few steps the stiffness was worked out, and it managed to make its way over to the sealed stone door with relative ease.

It reached out with a hand to try and push the door open, but found it would not budge. Retracting the sword and placing both hands upon the door, it tried again, this time pushing with more force. Still it did not budge. Bracing its broad metallic shoulder against the cold stone, the warforged utilised every ounce of its slowly reawakening strength and strained against the door. The sound of tumbling rocks can be heard from the other side, and though it takes considerable effort, the heavy stone door finally scrapes open.

Without another thought spared for the room it had awoken in, bereft of anything but the most base of his memories, the warforged stepped out of the tomb and out into a world that had long since forgotten him, or those who had made him.


To the Surface
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Though it possessed little concept of time in those early days, the warforged took nearly a week to find its way through long forgotten cavern systems and emerge upon the surface. That journey had been far from uneventful and lonely, as all manner of vile things that dwelt in the deep sought to end the life of the newly reawakened metal man.

The number of times the warforged's existence was nearly ended were many, yet they had served as a good reminder of the warforged’s primary purpose.

Through the relentless attacks of the underdark's wicked denizens, it recalled what it had been created to do. It rediscovered many of the skills that had lain dormant as it had, for centuries. It remembered that it had been created to protect. It possessed considerable martial prowess, and those skills had been reinvigorated by the constant fight for survival to reach the surface.

Eventually though, it discovered a way out, and found itself viewing daylight for the first time in an eon. It recalled next to nothing of its past, and yet it knew, as it stood there upon the surface, that it had emerged into a world that was utterly alien to it. What it would find there, only time would tell.


To Merlin's Observatory
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It was on the surface for but a few, short moments when a solitary bird flies up and drops into the warforged’s hand a small scroll. The parchment looks ridiculously small within its large hand, but somehow it manages to pull free the tie that binds it and opens up the letter. A moment later, having read the note within, the warforged folds the note, before storing it within a compartment that pops open at its waist. Then, silently, it places one foot in front of the other, and begins making its way towards the place it had been summoned to.

The journey to Merlin’s Observatory was thankfully not overly long from where the warforged had emerged, and so it did not take a terrible amount of time to make it there. When eventually they all find themselves before Merlin himself, the warforged largely ignores the other individuals gathered there. Certainly, it does not sit in a chair or partake of any offered refreshments, but instead stands stoic and still, the bright blue orbs of its eyes seemingly fixated on the wizard.

Eventually, when requested to do so, the warforged steps forward to introduce itself accordingly. Standing close to nine feet tall, its bulky form cuts an imposing figure as its eyes seem to fall, for the first time, on each one of them.

“I am Praetorus Rex." It begins, with a voice that is raspy and deep, possessing a metallic resonance that is intertwined with every syllable. Each word seems delivered purposefully, and despite the fact the voice comes from a nine foot tall man made completely of metal, it is almost soothing.

"Other than some vague and confusing recollections, I have no knowledge of where I come from or what I did. I only know that I feel compelled to answer your summons and that I have a sworn duty to protect.”

Rex steps back, his introduction done, and he awaits the rest of the introductions. His eyes fall to whoever is talking at the time, giving them his undivided attention.


 


 
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Last edited by Arkaon; 08-20-2019 at 08:29 AM.
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Old 08-20-2019, 01:27 PM
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Introductions
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Higher... higher.... higher... A lone figure ascended above the clouds, pushing himself ever further toward the heavens. At this altitude, where the air was rarified and others would struggle to breath, the stars shine regardless of the time of day, and the sun becomes just one of countless celestial bodies. Eventually, his ascent slowed and came to a hover, for even with the assistance of his innate magic, there were limits for how far he could travel without dipping into his reserves of more potent energies.

At the zenith of his journey, Gemini faced Sol and spread his arms wide to expose the crystalline shards riddling his body to its unfiltered radiation. Attuned to the intense solar rays, the largest of the shards within his breastplate began to hum and pulse, drinking in every last drop. Even the ambient energy was being drawn in, causing a sphere around him to dim to an absolute darkness from which no light could escape, a black hole in an otherwise pristine sky. Waves surged outward, carrying newly converted arcane energy from his central node to the secondary shards at his extremities.

It wasn't necessary for Gemini to go to such lengths to regenerate, simply remaining inactive for few hours on the surface allowed him to draw in all that was needed, but occasionally, he would allow himself to indulge in this way. The isolation and purity of the moment.... sublime.


"There is a small, fast moving object approaching from the surface."
"Is it a threat?"
"It appears to be a small bird, but not of a species that is known to attain these altitudes. I would advise caution."
"Understood."

Gemini allowed the sphere of consumption to dissipate in preparation for a conflict, or to brace for impact.

Instead, the small creature imploded into a puff of smoke, leaving a short message behind. Gemini, already on edge, was quick to snatch it before it fell. Location, Date, and Time... How ominous...

From his vantage point miles above the Earth, he could just make out the destination noted on the scroll. It would normally take some time to reach, but with the assistance of gravity, the trip would be substantially faster.

As though standing on an invisible ledge, Gemini leaned forward and began his descent by falling face first at an increasingly alarming rate. The metal that composed a significant portion of his body began to warm and glow from the heat of reentry. Snapping his arms to his side to improve the aerodynamics, his pace increased and the incandescence became more intense.

His approach was meteoric, but the landing was delicate. Righting himself moments before reaching the great walls of the massive complex, he slowed rapidly and made contact one foot at a time, careful to disturb the soil as little as possible. Despite his efforts, the vegetation beneath his feet blackened and smoldered from the excess heat that was quickly dissipating back into the surrounding environment. He was careful to keep his distance from the others who preceded him and those who followed until he was certain that his temperature had returned to normal.

...

When the group made their unconventional entrance into the library, Gemini was content to sit and listen to the others as they made their introductions. Each was distinct: Confident and powerful, talkative and curious, rough and nonchalant, innocent and driven. Eventually, he was the only one who remained silent...

"We are Gemini," he spoke solemnly, in a voice that was simultaneously familiar and mechanical, not quite two voices, but distorted as though echoing itself through a thin metallic filter. To emphasize his greeting, his body lifted effortlessly from the velvet chair, but rather than standing before it, his body sank backward through the chair, leaving him to hover a few inches above the floor behind the gaudy furniture.

If there was any more to be said, it didn't seem to be forthcoming.


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Old 08-20-2019, 03:26 PM
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Merlins Study
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"A Champion in deed!" Merlin raises his pipe in one hand with an acknowledged appreciation of the Goddess's intensity. "Such a resemblance" He gives the blonde haired women a thorough and settling nod before putting his pipe back on his lips for another toke.

"Ah, Ms Hyde. So humble and gracious. A trait of your mother no doubt. You know dear, It is my belief, and reluctantly so if my assumptions are correct, that the question of your hericness would not be spoken in words, but in actions. Only then may you be measured. Your aptitude without divine grace or arcane mastery is quite impressive, and speaks for itself. The thirst for knowledge sets you apart. A heroic trait in some circles" A crusty wink quickly escapes the old man as he pays Lauraline a no doubt compliment. "Now do me a favor and put that back" he points at the book then to the shelf in which Laura retrieved it. "Your not wrong though. Much older"

Merlins disposition shifts slightly as he turns his gaze upon the human male who sits so reluctantly to his front. "Oh David... The snap of my finger could do so much more. I figured you might know that though, for teleportation is only one secret I have unlocked" Without moving a muscle and in the blink of an eye Merlin vanishes. Only to re appear back at the telescope and walking directly back to where he had just sat a mere moment ago. A sense of deja vu crests your visuals as he sits back down in his chair. A complete mirror image of the second before. "Correct me if i'm wrong David, but you seek knowledge yes? Do you seek treasure? gifts or gold? If so, then do me a favor and gain your amusement from evading those who put chase on you, but do not attempt to evade yourself boy. Do not evade this opportunity. Listen to an old man for a moment would ya. Do that for yourself" Merlin finishes, smirks and turns his body minutely in his chair.

Now facing the Largest in the room, a sentient mechanical man, Merlin smiles wider than before. He takes the pipe from his mouth and rests it some three feet off the ground in mid air. There the pips stays, un effected by gravity, stationary like a statue. Merlin crosses his legs, leans back and revels in the masterfully crafted warforged. "Praetorus Rex. Guardian. You say your memories are lost to you? how unfortunate and interesting..." Merlin runs his fingers through his grey beard, twisting and pulling the silver threads in thought."Time... time will tell, i'm sure of it...It is my esteem pleasure to have you here. You are welcome in my study at any time, know this"

Not wasting any time Merlin addresses the last, but not least member within the room. "We are Merlin, pleasure to make your acquaintances" The wizards eyes widen, then squint, then widen again. "An oddity no doubt. One could attempt to replicate it a million times over and see no success. Fascinating. I would so much like to..." He stops mid sentence, reeling himself back. "I would like to now let you all know why you are here today"

Merlin stands, and with him the chairs and tables in this particular area in the observatory shift with him simultaneously, creating more space than before. The chairs the gifted youngsters sit in, or rather don't, don't move an inch.

"If my exploits are unknown to you, then let me summarize briefly for the past is relevant to the future like a mirror is upon a princes's beauty. Some thousand years ago our world was locked in war. During that war was birthed an unspeakable evil. Few know his true name, and even fewer remember his face. At his peak power, he was near unstopable. His darkness was relentless, with a capability with what seemed like in mere moments was able to turn our entire world into Darkness. The young Atlas, and a much younger version of myself narrowly were able to seal him in a cage of unbreakable chains. Deep within the abyss he stays confided, but Morakeen does not lay dead"

"Not long ago I felt a disturbance. Something I hadn't felt the likes of in a millennia. Un nerved, I sent Arthur, My Champion to investigate where I had thought was the source of this disturbance. I will admit that I now fear, with Arthur's disappearance and delay in communication that It was a naive execution. Arthur is no adolescent, so a question of his skill or competency was never uttered. A prodigy of Atlas and myself there would be few who are better equipped. Even the Knights speak to him with praise" A slow, long exasperated breath leaves Merlin's lungs as he takes a winded moment of rest. "I need you to locate Arthur. Ensure his well being and return him here, to me. I brought you all here for a reason. Although that reason may not be apparent yet, or in your eyes, trust in a grissled old goat would ya?"

Merlin pauses a moment and hesitantly sweeps a gaze across the room before finishing his speech

"Avangard now calls upon you"
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Old 08-20-2019, 08:02 PM
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Gemini - Chapter One
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I would so much like to...

Gemini recognized the look in the old wizard's eye as he mused. It was the same that he once had when digging through his guild's arcanum refinery where damaged and depleted magical creations were broken down and converted into raw materials for future projects. There was so much to be learned from dismantling new technologies and learning to reverse engineer them. The more exotic its construction, the more secrets it might ultimately reveal. However... it was not always so easy to put the item back together afterward... With goods flagged for recycling, this was of no concern, but if Merlin were to take the same liberties with Gemini...

And yet... if Merlin has truly discovered how to manipulate time itself, as his demonstration seemed to suggest, the old man may no longer be bound by the consequences of entropy...

"Perhaps one day..."
"...but not today."


Half asking, half wondering aloud, Gemini responded to the narrative Merlin presented them with,"How do you know this... "Morakeen"... remains bound within the abyss? And from whence did he arise? Was he natural-born and turned toward evil? Deliberately created by the adversarial forces of the time? Or might he be the result of a confluence of hostile magics given life?" As he spoke, Gemini drifted toward the telescope, peering through the eyepiece, curious to see what had warranted the attention of their host prior to their arrival.

Whatever the forthcoming answer may be, there was little sense in resisting a request from such an overwhelming petitioner. If the need were both desperate and just enough for this man to ask for help, then help he would receive.

"We will answer the call."

Gemini returned to the circle of chairs, awaiting further instruction and the decisions of the other guests.


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Old 08-21-2019, 12:42 PM
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GeminiGemini wonders towards the elongated spy glass that is a Telescope. He wonders just what the quirky wizard had his eyes set upon pre arrival of himself and the others. 'Perhaps some insight' Gemini hopes, as he rests one eye upon the ocular relief and gazes intently down the barrel.

Gemini sees, as many star gazers and astrologists have seen before him. A vast sea of dark blackness and never ending nothingness. Some star light fragments off the edges as Gemini washes his eye slightly from side to side. Just then he notices a brighter light. Something that seems to be moving, if ever so slightly across the paralax and within view. A Meteor, comet or even asteroid you think, but admit could not be told from this distance and particular view. It seems harmless as the large scope tracks its movements with ease now. If it was significant, how? If dangerous, when? you then come to the conclusion that perhaps Merlin, ancient and strange, might just enjoy star gazing and use it as a form of research and undoubtedly a link to both arcane and divine methods, but also as a hobby.


DavidAs the mention of Morakeen escapes Merlins lips, David instantly and without hesitation starts trying to recollect anything he might know of the name. Like Merlin commented, It was a name few knew, so the knowledge didn't come easily to David. What he knows is this; A few years ago you were perusing an old Library within Magadescion, searching for books of Lore and Legend. You remember seeing a tapestry hanging upon the wall. It was battered, dusty and ripped in a few places. It lacked magnificence, so you admit to not paying it much attention. A cheap woven trinket at best you thought. You do remember the mural though. A dark form of some kind emerging from a lake of crimson. It wasn't a colorful piece, so there was very few intricacies to note. The glyphs on the outer edge were a combination of three langues. Abyssal, Infernal and lastly Dwarven. What ever story it told was woven together in broken sentences of all three languages strung together in no particular fashion or rhythm. You remember reading that name, only once on the entire tapestry in one of your proficient tongues.

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Old 08-21-2019, 03:35 PM
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David Antony
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David could only watch with wide eyes as the old bat seemingly stepped backward through time, only to replay the actions he had just taken moments before.

"Nice trick," David said, seemingly unimpressed. In truth, he knew of no such entity that could manipulate time in such a way. Stop, yes. But to go backward? That was something he could only imagine a deity mustering enough skill to pull off.

David was usually the one holding all the cards (or at least making you think he did). Merlin knew too much about him and he not nearly enough about the old man. He didn't like it. Seemed the only logical thing to do was to see how this played out. He lit another cigarette and sat back in the chair.

Merlin went on to tell a story of a great evil trying to destroy the world named Morakeen. The trying to destroy the world bit did not interest David so much; when was there not something trying to destroy the world? What did catch his attention was the name. He knew he had seen it somewhere, but could not place it. Then he remembered the library and a rather dreary mural on the wall he had seen several years ago. He did not think much of it then, but the name Morakeen was written in Infernal. This just became a lot more interesting.

"Unless I put them there, rescuing damsels in distress is not really my cup of tea. Besides the whole saving the world bit, what's in this for us?"
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Old 08-21-2019, 05:25 PM
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Merlin looks at David as if half expecting such a retort. He was old, and with old age came a type of patience. A type of patience collected from countless life times. Watching as humanity and civilization came together and spread apart equally so. Merlin had met many of men, and some women who acted much like David. They couldnt phase the ancient magician then, nor would he allow anyone to now.

Merlin smiles, granting acceptance to the notion at hand "A right question son. Let me expand. If my assumptions are false, and no threat is apparent. You simply travel and bring back that which I desire, and your time will be compensated. Imagine your wildest dream, fulfilled. Your wish, granted. Or maybe just your purse, Full. What ever that looks like to you, will be done"

"If I am correct, and my assumptions are true. Then the worst could be upon us. If that is the case, and you journey down that path with me... well it means a great many things. All of the former mentioned, no doubt. But as well your names would go down in history. Defenders they will call you. Guardians, And Heroes. Imagine standing in this very place a thousand years from now. Looking back at time as irrelevancy. The tool used to measure existence would not be time at that point, but in Decisions made and actions surrounding those decisions. You have here today one of those decisions David."

"If someone, or something. Be it Celestial, Fiend, Fey, or ANY OTHER type of creature, for what ever reason are moving to break the chains of eternity. Then...well... It will take all of us to keep those chains bound, and the threat at bay" Merlins intensity rises and fades as he spoke, giving careful consideration to each word he chose. He relaxes and takes one really, really long puff from his pipe.

"That is my greatest fear..."
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:34 AM
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Thora popped up out of the chair again, seemingly too restless to just sit for long. She gave David a smirk.

"Come now, skinny man," she said, "the wizard sees something in you, even if you do not. I confess, I do not see it either, but this may be your only chance to find out what it is! Imagine, years from now as you sit telling stories to your chi..." Here she paused and looked David over, head to foot and considered for a second before continuing, "...your younger, handsomer brother's children that you're babysitting. Will you tell them that you were summoned by the mighty Merlin himself, and walked away?!"

She moved past Gemini, clapping his metallic shoulders approvingly. "See? This one...or...they two?...they get it!"

"As for me, Merlin, I say you have nothing to fear. Whatever cosmic rat is nibbling on that chain will meet a swift and decisive reckoning!" Thora grinned cockily at that and added, "And maybe we'll just pause and do for Morakeen himself while we're at it, eh?"

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Old 08-22-2019, 02:14 AM
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Rex watches the conversation in silence, standing like a mighty metal statue as Merlin discusses the plight of the world with the others, and they respond accordingly. Outwardly, the warforged was listening, but inwardly was analysing every word they spoke. Merlin's tale was ultimately lost on Rex, as the ancient warrior struggled to recall any of the information that the old human was relaying.

Perhaps, Rex wondered, somewhere in the tale was a nugget of truth that might spark some kind of memory. There were flashes of something vaguely familiar, like a thought just out of reach, but they could not be grasped. Whatever part of history Rex hailed from remained, at least for now, lost .

It is only when the dishevelled human wearing the long coat and sour attitude speaks, that Rex moves and the warforged's attention returns to the current moment.

It is a sharp movement. Rex's head, having been fixed upon the wizard, cants to look down at David. The movement is short and swift, and likely to have been missed by any not looking at Rex directly, except perhaps for the sound of movement. As the glowing blue eyes now fix upon David, they flare ever so slightly.

“Freedom is the right of all sentient beings, human, and it is the duty of the strong to protect that freedom. If Merlin requires our help, then we should give it. Not for personal gain, but because it is right." Rex lets those words hang in the air for a moment, maintaining an intense stare with David, before returning it back towards Merlin.

"I, Praetorus Rex, Commander of the Prime Guard and Protector of the Omni-Spark, shall accept this burden you lay before us with all that I am.”

As if that were all that was required, Rex returns to a stance of complete stillness and silence. Internally however, there was a reeling, chaotic response. Rex had no fathomable idea of what the Prime Guard or Omni-Star was, nor that there existed any kind of relationship to either of them, let alone that of being a Commander or Protector. Yet the words had come so easily, almost habitually, as if they had been repeated a hundred times before.

Perhaps the first thread of lost memories just revealed itself. It would need to be followed, hopefully to greater illumination.


 


 
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Old 08-22-2019, 02:33 AM
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Lauraline Hyde
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Raising an eyebrow at the man, the other raised as her eyes shot down to the book in her hand; her lips parting to create an 'O' shape as she spoke embarrassed silence and turned to walk back over to the spot on the shelf she'd taken the book. Holding the opened book up to her face as she stopped in front of the shelf, Lauraline nearly pressed her nose to the pages as she filled her nostrils with the smell of the dusty, seemingly ignored but well cared for tome. Letting out a pleased sigh as she gently closed the book and used both hands to carefully slide the book back into its home, the woman's gaze washed over the book's neighbors before finally casting up to the structure above.

It was an interesting design to say the least. Lauraline was sure she'd scene architecture like it before, but she could remember where or in what context. While she was sure the whole of it was unique to the legendary wizard standing before them, calling on them to do his bidding, that didn't mean it wasn't something wholly unique in design. Even one of the most prominent wizards in history had to have other build such a palace, or at the very least, stolen design details from other cultures. Lauraline turned in place as she looked over it all, Historical Knowledge Background Featuretrying to search her brain for the source.

That was until her eyes fell upon the white-haired wizard as he launched into what should have been a rousing tale to bolster the collected's motivation. Merlin History Check = 23Searching her memory for clues about the man that had collected them, perhaps some tale from another's point of view given the grandiose of the adventure claimed. Even in her travels, she'd done things that could have been claimed to interrupt worldwide calamity, but this felt different. This was different.

Stepping forward towards Merlin and crossing her arms in front of her to grip her elbows, "Why is it you believe we are what's needed to stop this… Evil? If you are such a powerful and legendary wizard, why do you need us to do this for you? Couldn't you just stop all of this with some spell and a snap of your fingers?" Holding up her hand and snapping her fingers for effect, Lauraline's hand fell back to its previous position as she followed up, "And I do hope if you expect us to pull of such a threat that you have something to aid us in this besides directions and a map. You are supposed to be one of the most gifted wizards in history. I'm sure there's something around here I could dust off that might help," she said as her hands dropped to her sides and Perception Check for Anything Interesting = 14she turned away to gaze out to one of the various displayed pieces dotting the study.


 
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Old 08-22-2019, 01:18 PM
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David Antony
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David contemplated the wizard's words. He was still not sure why he would want him anywhere near this undertaking, but he knew he was likely to get no more of an answer from the old man. He could not deny that the prospect of living forever was appealing, if for no other reason than to infuriate a pair of demons that were waiting to argue over who gets to possess his soul. An idea suddenly sprung to mind of perhaps finding a way to pin this whole 'freeing the ancient evil' bit on Fierna and Belial. Now that would be worth the price of admission.

He turned to the blonde haired warrior at the table. "Truth be told, I don't think it's a good idea for me to be anywhere near this thing, Love. But, the old man is persuasive".

David turns to the statuesque metallic man and gives him a deadpan expression. "Freedom, mate? That is the greatest farce of them all. We're all rats stuck in the same maze. You speak of duty. What is that if not another wall holding you back."
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