Crucible of Storms: Skyforge.   Posted by DeityX.Group: archive 1
DeityX
 GM, 747 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Wed 17 Jun 2015
at 05:16
Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
"Hey, don't worry," Ethan told her as another earthquake rocked the city, threatening to bring the building's structure down around them. Lorei was sitting on the floor, huddled in a doorway of the townhouse, knees hugged tightly to her chest and clutching the stuffed doll she always carried. Ethan was knelt over her, using his body to shield her from falling debris. "We'll make it out of this."

"I-I'm not worried," the girl said quietly, barely over the sound of the chaos outside.

"Aleks and Khione... they'll be back any minute now." But even as he said it, Ethan had to silently admit that the odds were pretty slim. A devil-god was attacking the city, and not even the Collegium seemed to be able to do anything about it. Most of the sleepers, those that weren't trying to flee Aspire in panic, had retreated indoors to pray to the gods for some kind of intervention on their behalfs. If only they knew...

"I'm not worried," Lorei whispered again.

DeityX
 GM, 748 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Wed 17 Jun 2015
at 05:26
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
November 24, 2312, 7:00 P.M.
Sorcery Collegium, Budapest



The portal of light closed around him, and Aleks found himself in familiar surroundings.

He was standing in his old room at the Sorcery Collegium, Budapest campus. Where he first awoke from stasis, and where his journey had begun. Khione was still unconscious.
Aleksandr Kai'Amari Nigil
 player, 594 posts
 Filius de Lux et Tenebrae
Wed 17 Jun 2015
at 07:35
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
Relief washed over Aleks as he stepped through the portal. It was a strange yet nostalgic feeling seeing the room he had awakened from stasis in. Where he had learned that he had finally Awakened and trained to become a paladin.

He gently let go of Chloris' forearm, as he walked over to the bed. He very cautiously laid Khione's body on top of the comforter; his eyes stung as he looked down at the blistered and battered body of his closest, most beloved friend. He carefully situated her body, before he reached up to brush hair out of her face. He bent down low and kissed her lovingly on her forehead; his lips lingered for a few moments. She had saved him from utter obliteration, and he needed to see to her safety and care.

"I love you... sis," he whispered into her hair.

He let out a long breath before he righted himself and walked over to the other injured woman. He hadn't meant to be callous when he just left her on the floor, but he had his priorities and Khione came first. He picked up the pink-haired woman, carried her to the bed, and laid her down so that her head was at the opposite end of the bed.

Aleks then walked over to his old desk, slumped into the chair, put his elbows onto the desk and his head into his hands. He wanted... no, he needed a long rest, but there was still so much that had to be done; however, he waited a few minutes absorbing everything that had happened in such a short time. He had been through the wringer... physically, mentally, and emotionally.

Aleks needed to think. He was back where he had Awakened, where he had been sent on his quest which Aleks believed to have been initiated by Jadesong in his game to get Khione and achieve apotheosis. And Khione's mentor, the Archmagister of Sorcery Collegium Aspire Branch, was working with Jadesong, but did that mean that those in the Budapest Branch would ally with him or would they fight against him? And if they didn't know about what Tomlin was doing, would they believe their story?

So many questions left unanswered. All Aleks knew was that those two on the bed needed healing, which Aleks could no longer provide given the fact that he wasn't a Mage anymore and subsequently, could no longer improvise magicks as he once had. He also needed to check on his other friends: Ethan, Chalice, Lorei, Lamia, and by extension Dawn, Kara, and Rowan. He only had means of contacting Ethan, for that was the only person's contact info he had on his comm-link. What to do... what to do?

He would have to take the risk and venture out into the school to seek out help, but he would quickly send a message to Ethan to discern the fate of a few of those he worried about.

He sent a message to Ethan's mail:


"Ethan,
     Are you all right? Have you seen or heard from Chalice, Lorei, or Rowan? We managed to kill Jadesong, a.k.a. Bael-Shiva, but Khione, her brother, and her friend that came to help are badly injured. In case you don't know or those fighting against the attack on Aspire don't know, it is Archmagister Tomlin that is behind it on the former Prince's orders. I was ported back to Budapest. Msg me, ASAP!
     --Aleks"


Aleks heaved another heavy sigh as he waited for a reply but then, he thought about Lamia. He said aloud, "Lamia? Are you there? Are you still keeping an eye on us?"
DeityX
 GM, 749 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 03:46
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
There is no response from Lamia, but after a few moments, Aleks does receive a reply from Ethan.

"I'm with Lorei, we're ok. I haven't heard from the princess, but it's crazy over here, you don't even know! It's like somebody opened up the gates of Hell! The Collegium campus is bad. We're in the middle of it. HELP!"
Aleksandr Kai'Amari Nigil
 player, 595 posts
 Filius de Lux et Tenebrae
Fri 19 Jun 2015
at 05:04
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
Aleks read the message from Ethan and replied:

"What do you want me to do? I am almost 4,000 miles away from you. What are you and Lorei going to do? Is she all right? I have to see about getting Khione, Chloris, and Calais healed because I can't improvise craft anymore."

He waited for a reply, but he knew he wouldn't be able to message too much longer because he had a more important task...
DeityX
 GM, 750 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 03:21
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
There is no response...

Aleks didn't know many people at the S.C., Budapest, but he did remember the Headmaster, Archmagister Fenwick. Nice enough fellow, if a bit mysterious. Most of his dealings had been with Khione, not Aleks directly.
Aleksandr Kai'Amari Nigil
 player, 596 posts
 Filius de Lux et Tenebrae
Wed 24 Jun 2015
at 22:40
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
"Dammit!" Aleks exclaimed after waiting a couple minutes for a response from Ethan.

There was nothing for it but to venture out into the Sorcery Collegium. There was a chance that they were working with Tomlin or that they wouldn't believe him or that when they saw Khione and the others injured as they were, that they would take advantage for any unknown myriad of reasons. But all that didn't matter because his only option was to get them healed and see about getting assistance to Aspire. And no matter how exhausted Aleks was, there was work to be done and he would see it so.

The first few months after his awakening, had been a haze of explanations, lessons, and training, but none that he had interacted with stood out as a source of help. Only Khione had gotten close to him, had earned his trust and made him felt like she cared about his well-being. His only avenue available was to speak with the headmaster.

He went back over to the girls after gathering another blanket from a wardrobe and laid it across them. He looked into Khione's face and brushed her hair outwards, once more, before kissing her on the forehead. "I love you..." he whispered to his prone mentor lying there.

He had very quickly regained all his mana, and utilized a portion to cast his Self Healing rote. He was fully restored, and was about to walk out of the room when he saw his reflection in his wall mirror. Perhaps being shirtless and looking battleworn is not the best way to make my entrance back into S.C. Budapest, he thought to himself.

He went back to his wardrobe to look for something to wear, but there wasn't much in there with the exception of a single garment bag. And when Aleks looked at it, it brought back one of the most warm memories he had of Khione...




It was a particularly long day of training, only a few weeks before Khione and Aleks had left S.C. Budapest and arrived in Renki Village, and it had been so not because of the instructor but at the student's behest. It had been used to hone sword techniques and tactical utilization of Battlecraft.

It was wearing late into the evening hours and neither student nor teacher had eaten. Finally, Khione sheathed her sword, "I think that's enough training for today, Aleksandr." The poor lad was covered in sweat having tried and barely managed to keep up with his instructor. She had been able to weave Craft and swordplay seamlessly into one another, while Aleks still had many hiccups and stutters in his demonstration. He was bent over panting after a particularly arduous flurry of strikes between the two.

"Wait... I, ugh-ugh," still panting, "can still go on. I want to try the Spellsword-imbued Rising Crescent into the back layout with the Telekinetic Strike as I land, again. I think I've almost got it." He begged his paladin trainer.

Khione gave him an appraising look before she replied, "No... we are through for today. I think we should get cleaned up and go out into the town and have some dinner, my tre--."

Aleks cut her off, "No, I really want to get this done right before--." It was Aleks' turn to be cut off mid sentence as he all but whined.

In a commanding but slightly terse, raised voice Khione said, "Aleks! We. Are. Done." On many occasions she had noted the boy's wanton disregard for his well-being for the sake of, in his words "to get stronger and more powerful." She knew what the desire was borne of and could even understand it, but she knew his obsession and disregard for his and by extension her safety was unhealthy and would lead to far more dangerous places if left unchecked. A look of concern met her eyes as she slowly walked forward and put her hand on his shoulder, "You're slowing down, your footwork was off, and your sword arm is dragging. Aleks, you are exhausted and if you were to attempt that in your state, you are likely to layout and land squarely on your head, breaking your neck. You need rest and you need food. You want to become stronger, and I can understand why, but that desire must be tempered with reason and restraint. Do you understand?"

She was right of course and Aleks knew it. He had been about to retort, but he stopped himself. Khione was the only one that had been able to reach him and to work with him as hard as he liked. He was probably overly-ambitious but not so much so that he would lose what he had started to gain with her... friendship. He heaved a long sigh before admitting, "You're right. I'm sorry. But I'll just get something from the cafeteria and eat in my room." It was still hard for Aleks to be around so many people; especially, when he thought about going out into a city. It frightened him. He really hadn't communicated with the other students and when it came to teachers, outside of replying to questions and asking about assignments, it was the same. It had only been Khione that had made it through his walls and even he, didn't fully understand why.

Khione, too, noticed his separation from the outside world. That coupled with his obsession with becoming stronger and willingness to do almost anything would take him to dark places if someone didn't step in. On several occasions, she had tried to get him off of campus, but it had yet to work. "Aleks, eventually, you're going to have to leave this campus, interact with other people besides me, get a job to support yourself, and a myriad of other things that will require you to be sociable. You say that you want to get stronger to protect people. But how can you do that when you won't even speak to other people? So do you want to protect people or are you just getting stronger for revenge? A revenge that you are likely to never achieve. Where will all that energy go? And will it always be to do the right thing?"

Aleks only stood there, soaking up her words. Again, she was right, which is why Aleks had no response. His head hung low, feeling totally defeated while exhausted and like he had failed the only person that he would dare call something even remotely close to friend since he had awakened from his stasis. He nodded and tears came intermingling with the sweat on his face.

Khione reached down gently and lifted his chin with her thumb and forefinger. She spoke softly, "There'll be none of that. I only say what I do to prepare you and protect you. I am your instructor and mentor, I'm just looking out for your best interests. And in that vain, I have an assignment and a present for you." Khione walked across the gymnasium floor towards an office space while telling him, "Every day, I want you to make the effort to speak to someone new. There will be no more eating in your room. You will eat in the cafeteria or out in the open."  She reached into a trunk and hoisted something out of it.

Aleks watched her carrying what looked to be a heavy garment bag towards him.

"Your birthday is in a little over two months, yes? Well, I got you an early birthday present. You will wear this when we go out for your birthday. Because I am taking you out and you will go. You will be able to socialize with people and you will have fun. If you would like me to remain your mentor, then you will do all these things. Am I understood?" She asked with a tone of finality.

She handed over the garment bag to Aleks. It was an odd sight to see, Aleks' face, because anyone could see the many conflicting emotions that ran through him. He was frightened by his taskings, he wanted to be obstinate but realized it was for his own good, disbelief in the fact that someone cared enough about him to do what she was doing, and joy that presented itself in the form of smile and tears at having received his first, real birthday present.

From that day forward at the Collegium, he did as he was told. He slowly came out of that shell and opened up gradually into the being that he would become...




After Aleks came back to himself from his memories, he was dressed in the outfit that Khione had bought for him. In the bag, had been a note explaining that it was an outfit from the Element clothing line which had several enchantments on it and that it was a very retro club couture outfit that was popular in the area. It also explained that Khione had noticed his affinity for thunderstorms, Japanese Shinto culture, and samurai; the outfit reflected these tastes perfectly.

The outfit consisted of: a black mock-turtleneck, sleeveless tight muscle shirt with an enchantment that caused the effect of looking as if storm clouds and lightning moved along the fabric; there was a long strip of fabric that originated at the collarbone on the left side to be hung over the shoulder like his Storm Warden scarf but could be clipped over his head on the right side to form a makeshift hood that would stay perfectly fitted to not obscure vision and trail airily behind the wearer. There was a stomach guard that looked to be made of carbon fiber, kevlar, and precious silvery metal that covered the entirety of stomach and lower back until right under his chest. He also wore a pair of black, semi-wide legged Hakama pants that sported the same enchantment as the shirt. With black and silver Samurai chain flat sandals that are enchanted to have hardened bottoms to prevent injury. And lastly, he had separated sleeves which were banded right underneath his deltoids and a second time immediately above his elbow with wide ends that billowed out just over his wrists. It was a very ostentatious outfit, something old Aleks would have never worn, but the way he was at that moment, it fit perfectly.

It was truly befitting the avatar of Susano'O; Khione had good taste and almost verged on prophetic. Aleks stood there looking in his mirror, taking it all in. It was the first time, he looked at himself and felt something akin to whole. In that second, he did a double take and had to step closer to make sure his eyes hadn't deceived him. His eyes hadn't played tricks on him, stubble was growing all over his head including where the sine had been. Aleks just smiled and made his way out of the room, on his way to see the Headmaster Fenwick...



OoC
*Expended 1 pt of mana
*11:45, Today: Aleksandr Kai'Amari Nigil rolled 4 successes using 10d10. {Self Healing].

DeityX
 GM, 752 posts
 To challenge a god...
 Such is your reward.
Fri 26 Jun 2015
at 00:31
Re: Crucible of Storms: Skyforge
Aleksandr was able to navigate his way through the historic barracks and through the castle, to the archmagister's tower. Every now and then he got an odd look from a collegium wizard, but his trek went without incident. Before long, he was in the waiting room, where a prim looking young wizard sat behind a desk, sorting through paperwork.

"May I help you?" he asked politely, sparing a glance up from his work.