Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

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Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:58 am

Academia Celestia

(Post order: Arrow, Parabola, Imehal, Tiko, Vyral, Cryovizard)
I've moved on. If anyone stumbles on any of my old roleplays or wants to hit me up for nostalgia sake, feel free to shoot me an e-mail me at or hit me up on Good luck RolePlaygateway.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Arrow on Sat Jan 15, 2011 9:12 am

[This is a joint post written by myself, Parabola, Tiko and Imehal]

Academy Layout Diagram

‘twas the night before Christmas, and all through the halls, decorations were sparkling, dancing fairies and all. The fireplaces were lit, and all involved hearty, as the students of Celestia proved they knew how to party.

The night was young; nine in the evening, but already it was pitch black. A cloudy winter sky blocked the stars from view, but brought with it a fine replacement. Illuminated by the magical lights that hung around the Academy courtyard and walls, snow was falling serenely, gathering in a light dusting on the stone and the massive Christmas tree in the centre that almost reached the top of the building itself. A few students – mostly couples – were scattered around the outside of the Academy building, enjoying this Christmas Eve gift from the heavens, but the majority of people were in one of two places within.

In the Academy Great Hall, the lower years were gathered with most of the staff, music playing and snacks arrayed around the room for a Christmas party. Another large Christmas tree was the centrepiece of the room, lights glowing and decorations coating it. The remnants of a hearty meal were being cleared away by maintenance staff as various students and teachers took to the dance floor, with varying degrees of success.

“Come onnn!”

“No! How undignified do you think I am?”

“Don’t be such a spoilsport.”

“I’m a ghost, Scarlet, it somewhat impedes my ability to dance with anyone, due to the lack of being able to touch them!”

Katarina folded her arms and huffed, rolling her eyes. “Besides, I’ve never been able to dance anyway.”

Scarlet raised an eyebrow, throwing her arms up melodramatically, “Well, if you’re going to be that way, then I’ll find someone else to dance with! Someone who will appreciate being twirled around like a spinning top.”

Smirking, Katarina shrugged, “If you must. Try not to break anyone, though. At least last until Christmas Day before that.”

“Pshaw! You merely envy my mastery of dancing, and lifting things with my hands!” the headmistress responded, snickering before sweeping off, adjusting her hat with an air of finality.

As Scarlet strode past in search of a more cooperative dance partner, Kael Winter, sixth year student at the academy was sat to the side of the hall, watching the proceedings and wondering if he could find an excuse to slip away to the library. He was sure some of his friends would pop into view before too long, but right now he was slightly overwhelmed by the volume of people, loud music and excitable loud conversation.

The boy looked at his watch, sighing. Nine fourteen. It’d be a while yet before things even started to die down. Ah well... Kael leant back in his seat, tapping along to the music in idleness.

Across the room Tessa and Liam sat, not even waiting for the festivities to end, to begin plotting their next escapade. The young man was grinning from ear to ear, though the source of his amusement, whatever it was faded, returning his full attention to his partner in crime who seemed to have grown distracted with watching the scene playing out between her Aunt Katarina and Scarlet.

"Tess? Hey, Tess!" He waved a hand in front of her face, looking rather bemused.

"Huh? Wha?" Tessa asked as she turned her attention back to the topic at hand.

"Oh, sorry. What were we talking about?" she asked as she scratched at her head sheepishly.

His grin only grew wider, sandy hair flipping around as Liam shook his head before patting his strange friend on the head. "Christmas Day scheming? I still think that we should go after the bird. No one will notice us gone during all the festivities."

"Oh! Yeah, and you know Miss Dae and Katarina will probably be keeping each other too busy to notice I'm gone," she said with a grin.

The snort that followed was entirely good-natured, eyes flickering across to the pair in question. "Yeah. I'm pretty sure my sister won't notice if I slip away with you either," he started, grimacing at another unvoiced thought. "Oh speaking of which do you reckon..."

"Oh don't worry, I'm sure it will be perfectly safe. We won't be anywhere near the city... Oh! That reminds me! I wanted to show you something," she said as she hopped off from her chair.

“I'll be right back Liam! I'm just going to get –“ Tessa started before breaking off as she stumbled through Katarina's ethereal form with a yelp of surprise.

“Ack, I'm so sorry!” she blurted apologetically as she turned to face Katarina. Unfortunately she didn't actually stop walking and another yelp of surprise came as she managed to knock into Kael, tripping herself up as she found herself seated on the floor, rather undignified.

"Tessa!" Katarina rounded on the girl, scowling. "Stop.. doing that! I swear you do it on purpose, it happens so often!" she grumbled.

Tessa's cheeks flushed with embarrassment as she pushed herself back to her feet, dusting herself off.

“Oh hey Kael, sorry about that. Why are you sitting by yourself anyways, you should come hang out with Liam and I, and really sorry Katarina!” she called over her shoulder as she took back off again.

Kael blinked in surprise as Tessa tumbled over him, "Oh, sorry!" he exclaimed in apology, despite the fact that he had been stationary. "I couldn't really see anyone. I'm not good with navigating ... things like this. There are lots of people." Kael coughed, "I'm not used to lots of people..."

Alone amongst the general cheer and boisterous activities Rhea sat quietly, observing the festivities with a sort of reserved, but pleasant demeanor. She had seen more than her fair share of holidays, but they never ceased to be an enjoyable means of spending ones time.

It put a damper on her spirits, that her brother wasn't seated at her side this evening, but the passing of time held little sway over them, and it wasn't unheard of for them to spend even years apart without warning.

Away from the Great Hall, in the senior student dorms, the other centre of activity was blaring just as loudly. Pulsing music coming from the common room could be heard from floors away, as the eighteen plus students partied the night away. Alcohol and confetti were in plentiful supply, and in their midst was the organiser of the event.

Embre, hair a tangled mess, swung around with a raucous laugh on the end of a tall, dark haired student’s arm, alcohol from her plastic cup splashing out onto the floor and other people to a chorus of laughs and cries of surprise. Pulling herself up straight again, the blonde girl grinned and mock-growled at her impromptu dance partner, prompting a blush that seemed entirely out of place on the quite large boy’s face. Smirking and releasing his hand, Embre allowed herself to be swallowed up by the crowd.

Damn, if she didn’t love to party. She was probably a terrible influence on most of the people here.

“Embre! You know how you promised me that drunk mages really weren’t dangerous?”

Embre turned with a raised eyebrow to look towards the source of the voice, grinning as her eyes settled on a young redhead, a pair of fox ears poking their way out of his hair, with bright orange eyes to match.

“Yeeeaaah?” she replied, wandering over to Lan with a snicker.

“Yeah, well, someone just narrowly missed setting me on fire with a well-meaning fire-belch.”

Embre broke out into a fit of giggles, looping her arms around Lan. “Boys will be boys, no?” she said, smirking. “Just relax, sweets, for every blowing-things-up mage here, there’s a healer to fix their messes. Healers don’t tend to get as drunk, either, so you can be reassured there!”

Lan harrumphed, but having not really been serious in the first place, shrugged. “Alrighht then, now come and introduce me to...” the youth seemed to cast his eyes about almost randomly, mouthing something that could easily have been ‘eenie-meenie-miny-mo’ before pointing out a boy lounging back on one of the sofas, blonde and tall with a pair of striking green eyes.

Cackling, Embre hooked her arm through Lan’s, “Sure thing, you easy bastard.”

“Hey! I’m not easy, I’m just ... free spirited?”

“Psh, not fooling anyone babe...”

Far away from both the friendly atmosphere of the Great Hall, and the drunken shenanigans of the senior common room, two figures sat illuminated only by a single magical orb upon the top of Celestia’s tower. With snow falling around them, Aeryn and Elante sat peacefully, looking out at the darkness of the night.

Elante’s head was nestled on Aeryn’s shoulder, and he sat in the silvis’ lap, pressed against him for warmth. Despite the heat given off by his orb of light, it was far more pleasant to stay warm by sharing body heat. “It’s a lovely night.” He murmured, “I think we’ll be having a white Christmas for once.”

Aeryn smiled, squeezing Elante in his arms affectionately. “Looks like it. Remind me again why that’s significant?”

“The snow? Oh, I dunno. I don’t think it’s significant, so much as nice. It’s a song too, a carol.” Elante replied, shrugging lightly in the silvis’ grip. “I’m dreaming of a white Christmas, just like the ones I used to know...” he murmured tunefully, “A popular one.”

Nodding idly, Aeryn sighed happily. “I’ve heard it before. Didn’t make the connection, though; I suppose it is pretty. Very... white. And Christmassy.”

Elante raised an eyebrow, tilting his head to the side to look at Aeryn. “Putting a lot of effort into your description there, I see.”

“I’m not all that interested in describing things. I’d much rather be doing them. In a less sketchy, but still fun way.” Aeryn noted.

Laughing, Elante grinned coyly at the silvis. “Well, why didn’t you say so?” he murmured, leaning in to kiss him gently and looping his arms around his waist.

The pair drifted off in the manner that couples do, exchanging affections and meaningless murmurs, as the snow continued to fall.

Far below, upon the Academy walls, the battlemages that stood vigil weren’t taking the night off, but there was certainly more camaraderie than the usual silent observing. In groups of two or three, they shared warming flasks of brandy and other spirits, discussing and laughing with each other.

Kiriel Anazura, Captain of the battlemages, clinked her glass with her lieutenant. “Here’s to almost a year without having to do anything much.” She said, smirking, “Wonder how long it’ll take Scarlet to relax. I feel bad keeping you all up here. I know lots of you have families to be with.”

The lieutenant, a brown-haired human mage shrugged. “If we buggered off to our families and the academy got attacked at Christmas of all times, how bad d’you think we’d all feel? Very. Tomorrow, we can let those with families go, and the rest of us can stay. Or the people who had tonight off can sub in. Vigilance, and all that.”

Kiriel nodded, “True. Though what are the odds? It’s been long enough of nothing happening, it would just be rubbing it in for an attack to come now.” She said, rolling her eyes.

Foreshadowing, perhaps; or perhaps just ironic musings – either way, the peace and warmth of the Academy’s current state of being wasn’t going to last long...

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Imehal on Sat Jan 15, 2011 8:26 pm

(Collab post between Parabola, Tiko and myself.)

The sound of loud clattering could be heard from the Academy library as Red stood forcefully from the table she sat at, knocking her chair over. Fortunately, the library was all but empty with the holiday festivities going on elsewhere. Not that it was ever very noisy, but still, it wouldn't attract too much unwanted attention.

Her agitation was making it difficult to focus and she took to pacing, letting arcs of electrical fire crackle between her fingertips to distract herself.

Most of her injuries from her encounter with the Architect a week past had been reasonably well repaired, and the faint line across her cheek was still vaguely detectable, as were the telltale signs of the injuries to her hand, they would no doubt fade into obscurity within a few weeks.

The primary source of her agitation was the burn that had proven resistant to her attempts to have it healed. The aching discomfort of the injury was a constant reminder of her vehemence for the Architect and the entire situation had her fairly riled up. But she had a job to do this evening, and her animosity could wait till another day.

Even as the celebrations carried on in full force outside a very annoyed Natalie leaned out from behind the bookshelf she were currently perusing at the clatter, a frown on her lips. She was particularly engrossed in her current research but was entirely loathe to let a student get away with flaunting the rules of the library - which epitomised restraint and quiet - even during the holidays.

Her pace was brisk, wanting to get back to her textbooks and notes so that she could finish up this strain of research and ... Her thoughts trailed off as she rounded a corner and saw precisely who had discarded their chair in such a wanton manner. Currently the troublesome elf was pacing to and fro, the sorceress detecting casting occurring sporadically.

It was rare that she saw Red frustrated so and wondered whether she should inquire as to her troubles or simply walk away but there was that warning she had to give, for technically her on and off companion still had to obey the rules here, despite her visitor status.

"Well Red," she said, taking paces to close the distance between them, looking quite thoroughly amused. "I didn't think you'd miss a good party to read."

As the clattering of the chair broke the silence of the library, a pair of silver-blue eyes lifted from the book they were studying to look in the direction of the noise. Through a curtain of midnight blue hair, the librarian Annoura seemed almost to stare through the many lines of shelves at Red and Natalie.

Upon the desk at which she sat, a raven pecked incessantly at a circular stone, the colour of which matched both the feathers of the bird and Annoura's hair. Her eyes shifted to dryly appraise the bird, and it paused to return her look.

"Do stop doing that." she said, sighing. "You're not going to break it, and you probably wouldn't enjoy it if you did. I'm not quite sure what would happen to you."

The raven squawked, but seemed to be suitably cowed. The bird settled for flapping its wings, and taking off to fly over the library. It perched upon the shelves above Red and Natalie, and stared down at them with eerily dark eyes.

Natalie's words drew Red's attention, her eyes still flashing angrily and the crackling between her finger tips flared momentarily. The flutter of feathers overhead left Red sorely tempted to light the damn bird on fire. However, temper or not, Red did have some measure of restraint, and she closed her hand into a fist, snuffing the flames back out. Besides, it wouldn't be exactly smooth to get herself kicked out on this night of all nights.

It took a moment, but her calm facade slowly overtook her agitated state, at least outwardly and the anger faded from her eyes.

“A bunch of rowdy children isn't exactly my idea of a party,” she stated simply.

Natalie merely watched as the other silently deliberated turning the raven into charcoal, satisfied when Red ended the spell, letting out a breath of relief. She really didn't mind her on and off scholarly companion contemplating murder but going through with it was something else entirely, even if it was an animal. That would have certainly got her tossed out of the library though, she thought with a chuckle of amusement. Natalie also rather liked the creature.

"There's alcohol and not all of the participants are adolescent. I thought you weren't fussy," she chided lightly, waving a hand towards the exit invitingly.

Brisk steps took her over to Red's side at the table, maintaining a respectful distance despite her curiosity at what the books were about, not recognising them on first glance. "So what had you so frustrated?"

The raven seemed markedly amused at the fact that it was being near-threatened with fire magic, and tilted its head to peer down at Red with a baleful glare. Satisfied that it had channeled its distaste at the prospect of being set alight, it then began to preen itself.

Red met the raven's glare with a glower of her own, and seemed set to make a scathing retort to Natalie. However, her brow arched briefly at the sorceress' remarks and the words drew a laugh out of Red, her mood rapidly improving. Red was well aware of her less than morally outstanding behaviors and took no offense at the implication.

“The usual,” she said with a dismissive wave of her hand towards the stack of books.

“The Library will be closing soon,” she mused. Not that she cared, she frequently stayed until she was forced to leave.

She shifted to rest back against the table, her hands settling on the edge as she leaned against it, her eyes on Natalie.

Laughter. Well, Natalie hadn't seen that coming. Scathing retort? Expected and perhaps welcomed - she did so enjoy their banter - but this wasn't entirely dreadful. Red's reaction the bird's innocent presence only served to add to the sorceress's general befuddlement.

It was also the holidays. That could explain why Red was acting so oddly. Even emotionally detached people had to relax at some point.

The usual? That made the sorceress laugh. The usual was getting some vague ideas from books and then crash testing them in all ways possible... or blood magic. It made Natalie wonder why Red even bothered coming into the library sometimes.

"It is," she replied, simply regarding the elf for a moment before nodding. "Come on then; up to my quarters before Librarian Annoura has us both thrown out."

Her offer was certainly gracious but she didn't appear to be asking for once, gesturing for Red to follow as she walked past the table and towards the entrance of the gigantic library.

Red gave another arch of her brow at Natalie's invitation, this one far more pointed. Well now, she thought, that was hardly expected and truth be told a bit unusual. It would seem she wasn't the only one acting a bit oddly this evening.

Now normally she would have seized the opportunity to get Natalie alone and in private again, but on this particular evening, taking up Natalie's invitation was more than a bit reckless, but then again, Red wasn't exactly known for her self-control...

“Usually you can't get rid of me fast enough,” she mused with a chuckle. Offering an amused twitch of her lips, she moved to follow Natalie from the Library.

Pausing in preening itself, the raven turned to once again survey Red with its dark eyes. If ravens could frown, it was almost certain that it would be doing so. There was something unsettling in the way that it stared, in a manner similar to Annoura, through the elf. Squawking, it launched itself from its perch and close to Red's face, harrassing her almost angrily before perching once more on the opposite side of the aisle.

This was a noted oddity in the normally quite placid bird's behaviour, it seemed agitated, though what by was anyone's guess.

Red gave an agitated shout as she waved her hands at the bird assaulting her face. She wasn't exactly being gentle, but other than to scowl at the bird as it took back off towards its perch she didn't make any attempt to actually inflict harm on the infuriating pest.

Natalie laughed at that, nodding her head in agreement. "True true, but it's Christmas Red." she admitted with a grin over her shoulder. "Don't knock it, as the students often say."

This gesture meant that she didn't so much hear as see the relatively unprovoked assault upon her companion from the raven with disbelief. The creature hadn't, to her knowledge, ever acted which such a degree of animosity towards another before, human or no.

Still, she wasn't a completely heartless woman, watching with attentive brown eyes as the bird settled herself back upon one of the bookshelves opposite. "You alright Red?"

“I'm fine,” Red muttered.

With a glower she brushed at her shoulder and not even sparing the infuriating animal a second glance, she made to depart from the Library with a nod of her head for Natalie to lead the way. The branded mark of the Orsa concealed beneath her shirt was a painful reminder of the consequence of failure tonight.

As the pair departed, Annoura watched them voicelessly with penetrating eyes. Naevyr flapped his way back to her desk and squawked at her demandingly, and she looked down at him. Raising one eyebrow, she met the bird's gaze and looked back up at the door by which Natalie and Red had exited.

Something was amiss. But the librarian did not know what. She had a feeling it involved the elf, however. While the sorceress' mind was an open book to her, the elf's was protected. Of course, this was no indicator of malice, merely of caution.

Still, Naevyr didn't seem fond of her. That wasn't really saying much, given the raven's self-important nature, but it gave Annoura pause for thought. Pause for thought was all that it would inspire, however, as she pondered long after Red and Natalie were gone. Eventually she returned to her book, leaving a discontent Naevyr to flap his wings in irritation at her inaction. He knew that there was something wrong. Why did she have to be too ... human to notice?
Gasmask: Alright. Either your CD is corrupted, which'd explain the crashing and odd stuffs.
Imehal: Or?
Gasmask: Your windows really, really, really hates icewind dale.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Mon Jan 17, 2011 4:30 pm

[This post was written by myself and Cloasse]

As far as one nineteen year old wizard was concerned, dances and other such social gatherings were bloody terrifying. Literally fear-inspiring. Out of some sense of morbid curiosity, he had poked his head around a corner to look at students milling about around the entrance to the venue and promptly paled at the amount of people that were there (and there had only been a few!), so it was no surprise that the strangely dressed teenager had jittered all the way to the library.

Ninian Eoin, queer-named and generally queer to look at or talk to, found the library a haven in which he could hide from jocks, preps and those other creepy kids who didn't seem to appreciate the theoretical applications of magic. Ever since that day out in the courtyard with the loud fighting and various animals, 'Nini' had decided that the library was his safe place.

Not that he wouldn't have been in the library regardless, but at least the above reasoning made Ninian feel justified in his choice to secret himself away in the library.

Speaking of which... A pair of (what he hoped) were women exited through the doors Nini had intended on using to get in... He idly wondered if they were the cause of the clattering and thumping and unruly noise that had been coming from the library, but even the possibility of drunken students or aggravated librarians stalking about in his favourite room didn't keep him from slipping in to the room. Surprisingly, the sight of him wouldn't be too startling -- unless you were abhorrent of pink -- as he was wearing a reasonably normal ensemble of dark jeans and a jumper.

The boy gravitated towards a shelf of books -- how could anyone say that this wasn't a slice of heaven on Earth?

As Ninian entered, Annoura glanced briefly up from her musings, and Naevyr perked up noticably. The boy spent enough time in the library that the raven had become rather accustomed to his presence, even to the point of being fond of him! And for the haughty raven, that was a rather impressive feat.

Flapping his wings, the bird took off to fly over and perch above the shelf where Ninian was approaching, cawing.

Annoura herself remained silent, as usual, idly leafing through her book.

With one of those charming smiles that probably kept most girls from taking the piss out of Ninian too badly (because really, who could make fun of that face?), the boy lifted his head in order to greet the bird with a nod and gentle murmur of 'hello, there.'

He eased a book from the shelf (it looked reasonably interesting and seemed like it would take a good portion of the night to read, which would certainly give him a great excuse not to go anywhere near the dance in progress) and tilted his head back up to the bird. "It's much better in here," he casually assured the raven. "It was awful noisy, the dance... Books aren't likely to imbibe too much and attempt hitting you or worse, right?"

As he spoke, he slowly stepped along the length of the shelf, eyes happily dancing over the various titles on the cracked spines in his view.

Naevyr tilted his head slightly, and began to preen. This may or may not have indicated agreement, but either way, the bird was pleased that Red had gone and been replaced with the friendly student. He was less Wrong.

But still, the raven was slightly uneasy. Red had been planning something bad, it knew that. Unfortunately, it couldn't communicate this. Humans didn't speak bird. Rather lazy of them, really. Everyone knew birds had the best things to say.

So Naevyr simply settle for hopping from book to book, occasionally ruffling his feathers. It was a lot less effort than considering things.

If Ninian were any braver, he'd probably have lifted his arm and offered the raven a perch, or perhaps even rubbed his thin, calloused fingers in the nook between the bird's neck and back, but he was far too aware that if he made that kind of move, the librarian, who Ninian was quite sure the bird belonged to, might feel inclined to talk to him more than was quite necessary.

However, he was a fearful man when it came to social interaction, so Nini avoided doing much more than muttering the odd comment about an author or a particular topic. Unfortunately, the time came when he'd stalled his final stalling moment, lingering at the edge of one shelf and bordering on the next, and he'd come to realise that it would be rude not to at least greet the librarian when presenting her with his choice.

So that was what he did, meandering over to the librarian's current position and awkwardly holding out his book, with a perhaps-kind-of enthusiastic 'hello!'

Annoura looked up from her own book to smile to Ninian, her silvery blue eyes softer than they had been when she had been examining Red and Natalie. The librarian's face still held a supernaturally ... odd quality to it, hard to place with regard to age. One moment she seemed young, no older than twenty, and the next she seemed a wise, mature forty year old. It was slightly off-putting, to say the least.

"Good evening, Ninian." she said, "The party not to your tastes, then?"

Annoura's mouth curled up at the corners again. She knew full well that Ninian found such things rather galling -- he spent more time in her library than a dozen students combined, after all.

With what Nini hoped was a matching grin presented to Annoura, he shrugged
his shoulders beneath his bright pink jumper.

"I don't tend to find many social situations are to my taste, ma'am," he replied with a knowing look - she knew fine well about his social preferences, or lack thereof. "I assume that you can gather that solely from the amount of time I spend in your wonderful library; who wouldn't, with all these books and the peaceful quiet?" He tilted his head to the right, brows furrowing just ever so slightly. "Well, it's almost always peaceful - what an unearthly racket I heard as I was coming down the hall!"

Annoura raised an eyebrow, "Yes. I believe that the elf that Ms Oldburn left with tripped over a chair, or somesuch." she replied. The librarian nodded at the boy's other words, "Quite understandable. I find that I am something of a bore at such occasions. Regardless of which - Naevyr is far too excitable for such things."

Examining Ninian's choice of book, Annoura noted it down in a ledger that sat to her right upon the desk. "There you are. Yours until such a time as you deign to return it, or two weeks, whichever comes first."

"I've never returned a book late yet, ma'am," Ninian said in what would have been a completely flirtatious way if not for the utter sincerity in his voice, almost as if he were intent on reassuring Annoura that her book would be well taken care of until it was returned to her possession. "Do you mind if..."

The boy gestured vaguely at the library as a whole. "I really do not enjoy dances," he offered in explanation. "I'd much rather stay here. With you. Well, not with you, but in your general vicinity. Your library. In your library."

Annoura raised her eyebrow once again, more pointedly. "Feel free to remain. I will not be leaving for some time yet. And you are remaining 'with' me by technicality - I could not leave you unsupervised, of course. You are not yet in the senior years."

The woman chuckled lightly. "But yes, feel free." she said, waving towards the chairs arrayed at the end of the aisles of books.

Ninian nodded gratefully and gave a similar smile - he was always entirely thankful when the librarian allowed him refuge in her humble abode.

So, with that final vote of thanks having been made, he turned and made his way over to one of his favourite chairs (for he had several, each depending on the amount of people that were present, the particular topic and length of novel). "There we go," he hummed to himself as he settled down, one leg folded on the other and book placed in the crook of his upper knee. This was what Ninian classed as 'relaxing.'
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(03:04:15) Lialore says: I wanted to be the poo.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vyral on Mon Jan 24, 2011 11:27 pm

White-blond hair shimmered around the shoulders of a child, delicate steps moving bare feet across soft grass with barely the whisper of a sound. Ethereal with porcelain skin and icy blue eyes, the young girl - no more than eight or nine - did not pause her lilting skip until she reached the crest of the grassy knoll. The ground sloped sharply, slipping away into a dense forest that reached a mile of so into the distance. Beyond that stood the Academy Celestia. Behind the walls and towers lights glimmered through the windows, hundreds of people enjoying the festivities.

Closer, she could feel hundreds more people. Though the forest hid any sign of the sorceror, she could feel his work. Not only that, but the wind blew the stench of death towards her and its dank smell clung to her nostrils, and worked its way through her hair. She tilted her chin just enough to raise her nose into the breeze. It made her toes curl to breath in the scent deeply.

A delightful smile creased the girls face as her eyes swept in the grounds, and it did not fade even as the others caught up with the girl.

Sweat beaded across his brow, thick, salty drops sliding down his face and splattering against the soil below him. Knelt on the ground, eyes squeezed firmly shut against the unnatural breeze that surrounded him, Haestral felt nothing but a deep chill in his bones. Deep crevasses split his face, each crag like a wound that surrounded dry, pale skin. There seemed no flesh to his withered form, and yet his movements were precise. Powerful. Nothing living neared the ancient man; even the light of the moon seemed to loose what glamour it had. What light did strike the clearing only illuminated the Necromancer's labours.

Twisted corpses were piled upon each other, rotting flesh bathed in a silver light that only exacerbated the horror of their form. The grave stretched fifty paces and sank thirty. Now uncovered, a foul stench clung to the air to be carried away by the winds. Two hundred men, women and children had been slung into the pit over the last few weeks. The Necromancer removed a slim blade from within his sleeve and placed its sharpened edge against one haggard hand. A quick cut brought blood to its surface. He clenched his hand until a steady stream of blood began to darken the grass beneath him. A drop for every corpse. For every soul he would force into service.

One by one they began to stir. Some buried beneath three or five layers moved first, haughty rasps muffled by the hulks above. Heads twisted, arms groped for a purchase so that those at the top could drag themselves from the pile and tumble down onto the grass below.

Blood now bathed the Necromancers arm, as it would soon bathe the halls of the academy.

Broad-shouldered, the Mage known as Raoul stepped up beside the creature that called itself 'Luna'. He felt no trust for a girl whom had lived so many hundreds of years longer than himself, but he had witnessed her abilities first-hand and could not argue with her talents. Turning his hooked nose away from the girl, his eyes too fell upon the academy in the distance. Happiness radiated from the grounds in thick waves. Closer, fear, pain and despair were the flavour. Beside him, the girl lifted her nose to sniff the smell of decay.

"How many live within?" His voice was thick, words slightly slurred.

"Hard to say with all the wards." By comparison Luna voices was like velvet, but no less assured. "They are unprepared for us, though. Even you can feel that."

"Yes..." He turned his eyes away from the grounds and looked over his shoulder. Behind him Ashira walked beside the Architect. He wondered the story between them, and the quirk to the girls lips told her that she did too. Or, perhaps the girl already knew.

"Why do you insist on such... ominious settings, dear?"

As expected her shot her a look that suggested a change in tone. As always, Ashira simply smiled. The ground was cool against her bare feet, and the grass stroked her ankles gently. She enjoyed the feeling. Beside her, the 'Architect', as he currently referred to himself, was gazing off into the distance. For once he had removed his suit in favour of the clothes he had worn as a young man. A thick woolen cloak, now torn and frayed with holes over loose trousers and a shirt. Metallic greaves on the arms and legs, and a pauldron glimmered slightly in the moonlight. How much he had changed. She herself had chosen tight-fitting leather, and greaves that matched the Architects. The thought brought a smile to her face, but there was nothing pleasant in the way it curled her thin lips.

"The girl... Red.. she won't let you down, hmm?"


"No need to snap, dear."

He ignored her pouts, and she settled back into a walk alongside him. Twenty paces ahead of them the child and man neared the bottom of the hill, and soon they had disappeared into the woods. Every now and then she caught a glimmer of the girls hair, but the Mage's blood-red robes were invisible to the naked eye. Soon, they too had disappeared into the shadows of the forest.

He detached himself from Ashira, leaving the Elf with Luna and Raoul. Haestral stood up slowly as he approached, using a pure white cloth to wipe away the blood from his arm. He tucked the stained material into his sleeve and folded his arms across his chest. Before him, the dead were slowly dragged themselves from their grave. Emotionless, the old man turned away from them and fixed his eyes upon the Architect. Pure white, the eyes of the blind man were disconcerting.

"How many have you raised?"

"Two hundred."

"Good. Ashira can double that without too much effort."


The Necromancer's face twisted as though he found the magic distasteful, but he nodded all the same. The way his head swung around to stare at the Elven woman may have frightened a weaker man. The Architect said nothing more, instead moving away to stare in the direction of the Academy.

Already he could see bodies clogging the hallways; blood splashed against the walls and flames peeling the paint away. Bodies would hang from the walls, the men broken and the woman spoiled.

The children would be forced to watch, before they were thrown from the towers one by one.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Lobos on Sat Jan 29, 2011 3:42 am

The Pariah hung near the fringes of the group, looking out from behind his featureless mask. It stood close to the Architect, resting its large scythe against one of its shoulders. It detested the arrangements that forced it to work with a team of others, but Krycis' order was absolute. But it could not deny that it was not able to fight, for the Architect's force would be within the Academy itself, slaughtering everything in their path to clear the way for the Devil Machine and his army. So it waited here, watching.

Wondering when Krycis was going to strike...

Krycis looked through the eyes of his Tik Scouts far forward of his position, baring his fangs in a sadistic grin as he saw how unprepared the Academy was. Around his massive frame milled about half of the troops he had drawn for this assault, and he took a moment to tap into the Tik Scouts of the other half, suddenly viewing the rear of their target. The Devil Machine on one side, and a Dreadnaught in wait on the other, two massive infernal engines of destruction, ready to pounce and crush the Academy and all within between them. Severing the connections, he shook his hideous, draconic form, reveling in how soon he would cast the mechanical body aside.

He sent out a slight wave of power, the signal to all of his troops to begin the attack. And as the smaller machines swarmed around him like a ocean wave, Krycis took to the sky, spiraling towards the heavens from the cover of the trees.

Immediately, the Devil Machine began to rapidly charge his opening strike, small bolts of infernal energy flowed from the tendrils of his mane to coalesce before his great maw. A ball of sheer evil energy grew quickly, soon out-sizing the behemoth's head and casting a sickly crimson glow to the forests below and the sky above. A keening wail took to the air, as the ball began to spark and swirl from within, the foul energies growing unstable as it reached critical mass.

Krycis opened his mammoth jaws and the orb of power was crushed inwards by the vast magicks the demon spawned nightmare was unleashing. The compression sent a hurricane of overpressure howling around him as he finally struck, the bores within his maw unleashing a burst stream of black lightning into the condensed ball. What emerged was horrific and awing at the same time, triple twisting beams of bloody red and midnight black that spiralled about each other as they tore apart the atmosphere in their blitzkrieg approach on the academy.

When they would strike, they would detonate in a wave of such chaotic energies that anything caught in the immediate zone would be little ripped apart, the pieces sailing to splatter or impact anything around, or sent sailing for miles. But the trade-off of such incredible destruction was that the detonation wave lessened exponentially over the distance, so instead of merely destroying the academy with one simple blow, it would shake the buildings not caught in the primary blast to their foundations, shattering windows and rending deep cracks in the walls.

Krycis swam through the air after his unleashed attack, watching as the forces he had arrayed began to close in on the Academy, like the jaws of a leviathan about to close shut on a doomed vessel.
Serenade the moon, and let loose your howl.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:00 am

(Post co-written by myself, Tiko, Arrow, Imehal and Gasmask)

A cry of alarm came up from one of the wall sentries, and Kiriel’s eyes shot skywards. The battlemage’s jaw dropped open in shock as she witnessed the crackling, twisting approach of the trio of attacks that Krycis had produced. ”Battle stations!” she yelled, ”Raise the alarm! The Academy is under att-“

At that moment, the attacks hit. Academia Celestia might not have been expecting an attack on Christmas, but it had been expecting an attack of some sort for more than half a year. Its defences were perhaps more extensive than their attackers expected. The three beams of power reached the Academy’s walls before they hit the powerful magical shielding that surrounded the entire area. A ripple of power shot through the air as the destructive attacks spent themselves on the defences, designed to withstand exactly such power levels to prevent the level of destruction that Nyx’s attack had brought about previously.

The strike tested the shielding’s strength, though, as if it were reeling. In the belltower, the enchantment upon the bell responded to a command that the strike on the shields had triggered, beginning to toll loudly to sound the alarm. Throughout the grounds of the Academy, shocked eyes stared up at where the attacks had hit, and panicked students began to dash inside.

”Get those portals up, now!” Kiriel barked, ”Get a message to Scarlet- Holy shit!

At that moment, Kiriel had caught sight of the approaching army. This was all far too familiar. At least this time, they were ready.

In the Great Hall, a ripple of shock went through the crowds of students as the entire building shook with the force of the attacks that hit the Academy’s barrier. Scarlet broke off from the party immediately, running towards the door. She paused, though, as the bell started tolling, and swore. “Pedron, Wynne!” she shouted, “Get the kids moving! This is not a drill! Rhea, Tallana, the rest of you – you know what your jobs are, get moving!”

The pair of teachers that Scarlet had shouted to nodded, hastily moving off to start gathering the students together. There was an air of confusion and disorganisation amongst them, but Scarlet had had the entire Academy drill the evacuation plans innumerable times over the months past, and despite the unexpected timing of the attack, things began moving relatively quickly. Before more than a couple of minutes had passed, the students were starting to file out of the Great Hall in a hurried crowd.

Scarlet herself had hurried out into the courtyard ahead of the main group in order to join the quickly growing gathering of mages around the large portal in the centre of the Academy. As she joined them, the group of six mages around the stone ring were just bringing it to life, the air within rippling before flashing brightly. A matching courtyard came into view on the other side, almost mirrored, albeit darker in colour and more obviously fortified – Academia Everia.

From the portal stepped through a woman, clad in a black dress and clutching a sword. Silviana Melaidhrin, Headmistress of Everia, met Scarlet’s gaze grimly. “Is the evacuation started?”she asked, and Scarlet nodded. The large mass of students from the Great Hall were emerging out now – perhaps a benefit of the attack’s timing was that a large proportion of the students were in one place, rather than scattered in classrooms.

As the students began to file through the portal to the safety of Everia, the rest of the Academy was alive with controlled panic. The few students who had retired to their rooms ran through the corridors towards the courtyard, and those housed in the outbuildings made for the smaller portals that would take them there directly, senior student leaders guiding the younger years. The staff were no less active, many of them making their way towards the wall, others gathering in pre-designated spots around the Academy to sweep through to find any straggling students, and others still gathering around key parts of the Academy’s defences.

At the top of the tower opposite the belltower, Elante hastily untangled himself from Aeryn with a flustered flick of his hair, readjusting his shirt and staring out at the approaching army. “Gods...” he murmured in horror. Aeryn, still reeling somewhat from the close proximity to where the initial strike had met the shield, pulled himself to his feet.

“Should we be moving somewhere? Like, I dunno, less ... obvious? I feel like a sitting duck in duck season.”

Elante nodded, “Let’s. We should find Scarlet – she’ll be able to give us an idea of the situation. She’s been planning for this attack – or well, an attack – for a long time. We just never really factored into it, seeing as we don’t live here.”

Aeryn nodded, “Down then?” he asked, receiving another nod in return. The two made their way down the stairs at the back of the tower platform hastily, heading towards the courtyard.

The senior common room was in a shambles – the sudden interruption of the tolling alarm bells had taken a few moments to work its way into the more than slightly inebriated students’ heads, but by the time it had they started to move. The early hour meant that most weren’t too intoxicated, but there were a number who had to be supported by their peers as they started to hurry through the corridors. Conspicuous in their absence, however, were three individuals who had left the common room about ten minutes earlier...

Ten minutes earlier:

With a beaming grin, Embre made her slightly weaving way through the common room back to where she’d left her companions, bearing three drinks precariously balanced in paper cups in her arms. The blonde girl let out a laugh, rolling her eyes, as she spotted them.

“Uh, guys! I can’t leave you alone for five minutes, can I?”

Blinking, Lan leant back from his position straddling Daniel’s lap, flushing and shrugging. “Hey, he started it!”

“I did not!” Daniel frowned, “The beer started it.” He mumbled, before grinning at Embre. “Jealous, babes?”

Embre rolled her eyes, “I swear, you are such a whore. But hey, you’re amongst friends here, so ... “

Lan snickered, rolling off of the brown-haired boy with a smirk as Embre set the drinks down on a nearby table. Running a hand through her hair, she lifted a cup towards her mouth, glancing down into it as she did so...

The liquid was aflame. Embre screamed in shock, trying to toss the cup away, but it remained steadfastly stuck in her hand. The fire spread from the cup, and in an instant the entire room was ablaze around her. Images flashed in her head – blood, death, the dead lining the halls – the dead walking the halls, pouring from a portal deep within the Academy. Bodies – people she knew, lying in pools of their own blood, piled in heaps. The corridors painted with crimson.

And as suddenly as the visions had come, they ended. Embre’s eyes snapped open to find Daniel looking down at her with a frown of worry on his face. “Embre?” he asked “Are you okay? You threw that drink all over Lan, and clean fainted!”

Embre blinked, glancing over Daniel’s shoulder. And yep, there was Lan, looking decidedly disgruntled and wet. Shaking her head, Embre staggered to her feet. “Shit. Shit. We need to find Scarlet!” she hissed, pushing Daniel’s arms aside.

“What? What’s wrong, Embre?”

“Just follow me!” she yelled, taking off toward the door at a hasty walk, shoving her way through the crowds. Exchanging a confused glance with Daniel, Lan shrugged, and the two followed. As they left the common room, Embre broke into a run, making her way hurriedly toward the great hall.

“What’s going on, Embre?” Daniel called after her, “What did you see?”

“We’re about to be att-“ she began, but it was at that point that the attacks struck. The building shook and Embre stumbled, flailing her arms out before tripping. She landed sprawled in the corridor, and there was an unpleasant crack as her head hit the floor.

Daniel and Lan managed to keep their footing, and Daniel hurried over to help her. Lan walked to the window, staring outwards as the bell began to toll. “Uh, Embre... what’s happening?” he asked, voice wavering.

“She’s not gonna answer you, babe...” Daniel ran a hand through his hair, “She’s unconscious. Shit, that was a nasty fall.”

Lan turned around, staring, “So what do we do now?”

Daniel rose to his feet, hefting Embre up. “We try and figure out our way around this damn maze of a building quickly enough to get her to Scarlet. Hopefully she can not only heal her, but Embre can tell her whatever it is she wanted so badly to tell her.”

Lan nodded hesitantly, and Daniel hooked his free arm around the smaller boy, briefly hugging him. “C’mon. Don’t worry – I’m not so drunk I can’t keep us safe.” He reassured the fox-eared youth.

With a more confident nod, Lan stepped away from the window, and the two began a more cautious descent in the vague direction of the courtyard.

Down in the courtyard, Kael was stumbling along with Samuel, Tessa and Liam, eyes wide and darting around. As the students filtered through the portal to Everia, the rest waited uneasily in the long (albeit quickly moving) line. The sounds of battle already resonated from the walls, and the teachers had started to set off to aid the battlemages already stationed there.

"This isn't fair, I want to stay and help!" Tessa sulked bitterly from the line of evacuating students.

Liam did not look terribly pleased about being ushered out of the academy either but he tried to keep a firm grip on his friend. Things were panicked enough as it was without her getting all uppity. For once, he chose to be responsible; a shame his sister was not there to observe! "It looks bad Tess. I've never seen Mistress Dae this unsettled. What if us staying is going to be more of a hindrance?"

"Damn it Liam. We're almost adults now, and I have more of a handle on my magic than I used to. And you know what those bastards did to us, and to my Aunt," Tessa said bitterly.

Kael shook his head, "Tessa, we're hardly trained fighters. Sure, we might be able to make a paltry fireball, or even a decent one, but I'm pretty sure that if there's an ... an army out there, every single one of them will know ten times more about fighting than us." the youngest of the four sighed, "We'd just get in the way, and give the battlemages more lives to save."

"Well, I don't know about you guys, but I'm staying," Samuel said determinedly, giving them a roll of his eyes. "I don't know, those guys just seem like a bunch of street-rabble and whatever, I mean... Why attack an academy? I'm pretty sure that seems like a retarded idea," he said, mumbling the last part.

Samuel thinking, not that there was a true modern day miracle.

"Not you too!" Liam's frustration at the pair's stubbornness that apparently knew no bounds, throwing his hands up in the air, grateful for at Kael's common sense. "Listen to me, both of you! They're dangerous. Tess, you've seen what they're capable of first hand and you still want to give them an easy target? And Sam... there is a giant population of largely defenceless children here! It's sick for them to do but Kael's right. We need to leave!"

"We're not children, and we're not defenseless, and you know half of the other students would agree! There, I see Miss Dae, come on," Tessa declared as she half dragged Liam towards the headmistress, all but ignoring Kael's logic.

"Haha. No." replied Samuel, moving forwards to block them. "We go to her, and we have to go, Liam all you ever do is be a fatalist! You've got no adventuring blood!" Samuel half-yelled, before attempting to fling his arms up in frustration.

"I mean, come on. Time changes everything, doesn't it?" He rhetorically asked.

Scarlet and the dorm heads waited restlessly with the evacuating students as they departed, Scarlet deep in conversation with Silviana and a few of her senior staff members. Initial battle plans, probably. Kael had lived through Nyx’s attack on the Academy, and he still remembered it well. Some of his friends had been amongst the dead. He just prayed that with the new measures in place, things wouldn’t go as badly this time.

"Miss Dae! We want to stay and help," Tessa called boldly past Samuel as the group of teens approached.

Liam's face looked anything but supportive of Tessa's claim, held firmly in place by his friend's grip, casting a friendly glance over at Kael. He was glad to see that some of his friends retained some sense.

Samuel shot out a hand to try and block Liam's mouth from talking, his instincts knew that a snap from Liam would probably shut down any causes of being able to stay. The young man frowned and shoved the hand away, annoyed.

Scarlet rounded on Tessa at her call, eyes narrowing. "What you want is hardly relevant, Miss Cartner." the headmistress snapped, "I have no time to dally over your recklessness. You are going through that portal, and there is no argument over it!"

“But I can help,” Tessa tried to argue, but she was starting to look a touch panicked - though it wasn't for herself.

If she left, and Scarlet never came back. She wasn't sure she was up to losing the only adult guardian she had left since Katarina's murder.

“And what if you don't come back, like Katarina!” she accused, revealing perhaps her real reasoning for not wanting to go.

Sighing, Scarlet met Tessa's gaze levelly. "We all make sacrifices for what has to be done, but believe me when I say I have no intention of dying today. If the battle goes against us, we will be retreating ourselves into Everia." she said, and from the rear of the party, a scoff could be heard.

Katarina herself floated over to place an intangible hand on Tessa's shoulder, "Scarlet has a lot more battle experience under her belt than your book-writing, reclusive Aunt, Tessa. If she wasn't going to survive, do you think I'd be letting her foolishly toss her life away like this? No."

Samuel at this point, decided to pique up. "Hey! If she won't fight, if you won't allow us to fight! I'll fight on my own! I've sparred with my father for this type of thing! He's slain dragons! Monsters even! I think I've got enough of his blood in me to fend off whatever is out there!" He said flatly, flinging his arm out to the right to prove a point.

Tessa did not look in the least bit placated, but as she tried to toss out a retort Rhea swept into the courtyard, joining Scarlet and the others. "Samuel what are you still doing here?" she chided before turning her attention to the matters of the academy defenses.

Whatever she was going to say was abruptly disrupted as she gasped in pain, a hand moving to clutch at her chest, eyes wide with shock and pain. A concerned teacher caught her arm to keep her steady as she regained her composure.

"Rynhart... The temple is under attack as well. The others are in danger, they need to be warned."

Scarlet's eyes widened at Rhea's words, muttering a curse under her breath. "I had a feeling that this was more than just a strike at us. They want the artefacts." Glancing down at the bracers, she frowned. "I need to talk to Sylvire after all this is over ..." she muttered. The level of danger that the artefacts brought to the school was growing too great. Perhaps it was time to pass them on. It was not within her authority to put the children at such a level of risk.

The headmistress turned from the group, her hand going down to a small pouch at her waist which contained the small circular stone which allowed her contact with the other Patronus.

'Sylvire? Taima? Arrow? Ayasha?' she began, calling each of the others by name, 'The Academy is being attacked. Krycis is here, and he has an army with him. Rhea says that Rynhart has been wounded - what's happening? Are we all being attacked?'

A few moments passed before the first reply came.

'It's bad, we're getting the artifacts out of here,' came Taima's reply clearly strained by the exertion of battle.

Arrow's voice was next, distracted and hasty, with no small degree of tension conveyed through the mental link. 'I can speak only for myself, but we are indeed under attack. We make for the Library - I have sent my sister ahead with the sword, but there are others I must aid.'

Marxan spoke up last, his voice was strained from the effort of speaking. 'They sent some kind of cyborg dragon to attack us and nothing else. I don't think we're that important of a target to them, so we should be able to hold out until assistance can arrive. Sylvire...I haven't seen him before, and he can use magic.'

'Light!' Sylvire's message was less strained than the others, as the sorceress was not herself under attack, but it was clear that she was distraught with the news. 'How bad are the assaults? Do you all believe you can make it out? The Library remains without assault, as do its surrounds - I would hesitate to leave it undefended though. If there are any of you who require my aid, though, I will come.'

'I don't know,' came Taima's reply. Simple but truthful. She rarely was one for many words.

'We can hold out for now.' Marxan said. 'I don't think you need to show yourself here. Besides, I don't have my artifact anymore, and you helping us would just divert resources away from where they are needed. Besides, even if we have to run, we'll make sure whatever remains will die.'

'The Academy will hold. And if it does not, then we have room to retreat. Aeryn, Natalie -' Scarlet broke off to send a message to the other Patronus members within the Academy, 'Meet me in the courtyard. You will go to Sylvire with the artefacts.'

'Already on my way. I'll be two minutes at most.' Natalie sounded concerned but calm.

'We're practically there already. In fact, I'm watching you from a window right now. And now I'm not, because we're still moving, but ... we're coming.' Aeryn quickly replied.

Arrow hesitated for a moment before replying. 'I will not lie. The odds are stacked against us - Aliana should make it away from here safely upon her horse, but she is wounded. Myself and the others are still engaged, but if I can delay our attackers long enough we should break free of them. The first priority is the artefacts, though. If you go to anyone's aid, go to Aliana's, or those who have them still.'

'I will do everything I can.' was Sylvire's less than verbose response, 'I will not allow the Orsa to take us now, after so long. Make for the safety of the Library, all of you. I will do what I can to aid you from here, my repertoire of magic is not unsizeable, and there are spells that I can cast to aid you even from this distance.'

'Thank you Sylvire, I'll be there as soon as possible. I feel selfish for asking, but the thing that's here, it summoned some sort of wraith creature. If there are any spells you could use against it, it would be a big help to my comrades. Help those that truly need it before us, but for now it's the only assitance we could conceivably require. I should be there soon, so don't worry.' Marxan sounded confident, or perhaps simply arrogant.

Liam touched at Tessa's shoulder with a hand, face pale over the implications of what had been said. He, like her, did not want to lose another family member to a cause he did not understand. "Trust them, okay?" he tried to soothe, looking up at Scarlet briefly before moving to take his friend back towards the lines.

"Kael! Best we stick together, hmm?" He assumed Samuel would follow them, regardless of his show of bravado.

"Stick together my behind." Samuel snapped, raising a hand to object towards Rhea's chiding, before a brilliant idea was conjured up in his head. He would've slunk out without much a care before catching sight of Rhea's injury and looking slightly confused, he just struck it down to one of those womanly things he heard of.

He had to grin towards Tessa and Liam departing, giving them a smug visage before muttering under his breath. "See you later, suckers."

Kael nodded, "Yeah. We ought to get going." he noted, glancing at the shrinking line - there were still a lot of students to get through; the second 'batch' were just arriving from the outbuildings, but still ... Kael didn't want to stick around any longer than was necessary.

Seeing Scarlet's attention diverted away, and realizing the conversation was over, Tessa gave in and relucantly allowed Liam to guide her back towards the line of evacuating students.

As the rest of the students made their evacuation known, Samuel joined them for the briefest of a second, slipping his own coat onto one of the other students and holding out his finger to shush said student.

The other student turned around, blinking at Samuel. "What, Sam? Here to insult me again for nearly killing you? Can't you get over that?" Samuel could then identify who it was. Jack.

"Oh you, okay. Here's the deal, I'll give you a sword and you wear that coat and pretend to be me." Samuel bargained.

"Two swords and you got yourself a deal." Jack replied.

"Okay then, deal." Samuel answered, darting off towards the Library.

He ran around to the back, a thought dawning upon his slightly barren mind.

Annoura’s eyes snapped upwards as the first projectile met the Academy’s wards, the rumble resonating through the Library as it did through the rest of the grounds. The librarian rose swiftly to her feet, discarding her book to the side, “Ninian.” She said sharply, “It is time to go.”

At that moment, the alarm bells began to toll, and Annoura’s eyes narrowed. “Quickly now!” she said again, striding for the door as Naevir swooped down toward her with a caw. “You know the procedure – go to the courtyard, and quickly!”

She held the door open for the boy as she herself exited to walk out onto the steps of the library, and waited there for Ninian to disappear out of view down the road toward the courtyard. The faint glow of the portal being activated was visible even from this distance. Frowning, the hooded woman gazed up at the sky, where the afterglow of the powerful assault still hung. Her capacity to intervene was limited – there were rules to be followed, after all. She could only act in self defence.

But where she chose to stand was an entirely different affair. If that happened to be somewhere where self defence was very likely to be necessary... well, that wasn’t her fault, was it? No. It wasn’t.

While the rest of the academy hastened to get the students to safety, the battle had already reached Kiriel and her battlemages.

“Form up!” she yelled, voice projected through multiple points across the walls by a portable orb similar to the one in Scarlet’s study that connected to the school’s announcement system. “Sets of a circle of seven, and a circle of three, each set spread apart by at least twenty feet! The seven focus on offense, the three on defence! You know the drill, soldiers!”

Across the wall, the battlemages were following Kiriel’s orders. Approximately fifteen of these groups of ten spanned the whole front side of the wall, with other staff members portalling in to pick up the other sides and fill in the gaps.

“On my mark...”

As Kiriel spoke, above each of these fifteen groups, large orange orbs appeared, the size of a small lorry, gathering in brightness and definition until they manifested fully as giant fireballs.

Fire!” Kiriel shouted, and as one, the mages released. Fifteen massive fireballs shot down from the walls, passing unimpeded through the one-way barriers to fall amongst the approaching army. The projectiles exploded where they hit, creating huge craters in the ground and incinerating minions in their dozens with each impact.

Fire at will!” the Captain barked, and with startling speed, the barrage began. Masses of explosions rocked the clear ground between the Academy and the road, cutting swathes through the army’s ranks.

“Control your fire! Find a maintainable pace! Do not over exert yourselves early on!”

Because this battle had only just begun...

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:31 am

(Post co-written by Imehal, Parabola, Arrow, and myself)

It was not unexpected that by the time the first attacks came upon the Academy proper, Natalie was nearly completely dressed once more, the Beholder's Spectacle neatly hidden away in her pocket until she had a safe moment to replace it around her neck beneath her robes. The aftershock had reveberated around her chambers, unsettling her otherwise rather contented mood.

Not long after the bell began to toll. Something told the sorceress that this was no drill, pulling her hair back into a loose but high bun, muttering something about sod's law. There was hardly any time to consider Red, who was still within the bedroom, languidly regaining her clothing.

Her first instinct was to head down to the courtyard, calling through to her associate through the open doorway. "I'm going to head down to the assembly point and pick up any straggling students," she explained, slipping on her second boot nimbly whilst upright. "Head down there when you're done, alright?"

Natalie was confident that Red could handle herself and with the attacks seemingly only outside the academy for now, she had no time to waste to head down there and find a job to do.

Red blinked at Natalie's words and peered through the doorway with a raised brow. "Wait, what? You want me to come down and help round up a bunch of kids? You have got to be joking," she replied with clear disdain at the thought.

Retrieving her pendants from a wall-side table, she slipped them back around her neck while she talked.

“Oh don't look at me that way, they're not my responsibility.”

Besides, she needed to slip off alone, and fast. She was already late, but having unsupervised access to the academy building itself would work in her favor in the end.

The sorceress smirked, tilted her gaze just over her shoulder to look at the elf, more than amused.

"Apologies, I mistook you for a responsible adult."

Then Natalie was out and down the halls, knowing there was no time to be wasted in bantering with her associate whilst attacks were shaking the very walls that stood around them. Aftershock from connection with the defences but it was not reassuring in the slightest. Her footsteps echoed through the reassuring empty corridors, snapping directions at any students who appeared from classrooms or were loitering behind.

Protocol deigned that they all gather in the courtyard and any students that did not respect her along the way certainly quailed at her stern tone. Her steps faltered somewhat as voices came into her mind; the other Patronus. It had been hasty, if not encouraging, on her part to hope for good news but at least the others were alive to deliver it.

Her pace quickened regardless, sensing the urgency. They were here for the artefacts and the sooner those items were removed the better, Natalie's thoughts idly turning towards the little spectacle that was currently sat in her breast pocket. It was slipped around her neck and tucked beneath robes again promptly as she turned another corner, knowing that the exit was close.

In this knowledge she focused on the abilities granted by her artefact, casting out a single message to her brother. There would be no response but...

'Liam, all will be well. Take care of Tessa, your friends and of course yourself. I love you.'

The sky was crimson, fire flying from the academy to counter-attack, the courtyard almost deafening with panicked voices drowning out the calmer, more serious discussions that were taking place beside the portal. It took not a few moments to summon one of her more uncommonly used talents; the ability for pre-cognition around herself. They had been caught relatively unawares as it was; no need to take unnecessary risks.

"Headmistress Dae." she said briefly in greeting to the mage, nodding at everyone else present shortly. This was no time for pleasantries, though Natalie forced herself not to ask about Aeryn going with the bracers and not Scarlet. Really, she already knew and accepted that decision. "I'm ready when you are."

Only moments after Natalie arrived in the courtyard, the sound of approaching footsteps sounded from the direction of the far tower. Elante and Aeryn hurried through the mass of students to join the group by the portal itself. Both were slightly out of breath (there were a lot of stairs in those towers!) and looked as if they'd already been in a fight -- though perhaps the reasons for their dishevelled look were best not discussed, certainly not in the presence of students.

"Scarlet!" Elante slowed to a halt next to the headmistress, frowning, "We're ready, but can I ask why you're-"

Scarlet cut the younger mage off with a lifted hand, shaking her head. "Don't worry about it. I'm just being cautious. We can't risk the artefacts, and there's the possibility that with them gone, the Academy will be spared, at least partially."

Elante frowned, but after a moment's hesitation, nodded. Beside him, Aeryn was looking up at the barrage of fire in the distance on the walls, obviously restless. Scarlet slipped the bracers off, one by one, before holding them out to Elante.

"I think that you'd be best equipped to carry them for now, Elante. You already have some control over elemental magic, and like I've found, that helps in using the bracers. Not to insult you, Aeryn, of course." she said.

Aeryn waved a hand, "Not at all. Besides, last time I had them I maybe a little bit destroyed the top of your nice shiny tower, so... it's understandable."

Elante smiled, nodding to Scarlet. "Alright. Stay safe, Scarlet." he said earnestly, slipping the bracers onto his arms.

Scarlet looked between the couple and Natalie, "As soon as the students are through, I'll re-tune the portal to just outside the Monastery proper. I'll let Sylvire know you're coming."

Meanwhile as the Patronus had begun to gather in the courtyard and discuss matters, back upstairs, Red had made haste in grabbing her things as she flitted out of the staff quarters, making for the lower floors at a brisk pace. An empty classroom would suffice, and she slipped inside, carefully closing the door behind her.

It had been some time since she last opened a portal, and only ever to the infernal plane, but failure really wasn't a question of concern on her mind right now - not unless she wanted to address the Architect's wrath once more. Hopefully, that she had acquired access to the main building itself, as opposed to the outer library, would placate him as to her brief delay.

She wasn't counting on it though and so she redoubled her efforts to get the runic circle drawn out. Lacking materials to work with, she settled for bits of flame flickering from her fingertips along the floor to sear the images into it. Such steps weren't strictly necessary to open the portal, but she wanted the portal to be self-maintained, and furthermore, defended against outside efforts from closing it. The runes should assist in that.

Stepping back she began weaving the spell necessary, causing the air to warp and distort within the runic circle from the growing anomaly that granted her brief glimpses of the Architect and his men still outside the academy walls.

It would take a few moments for the energies to stabilize enough to make traversing them reasonably safe without risk of ending up in multiple parts scattered to the four winds, but it would do the trick. Stepping back she gave clear room for the arriving entourage of mages and undead.

[The following post was written by Parabola, and like a boss, he forgot to post it after writing it]

As the Architect's mages and their horde of undead poured into the Academy from Red's portal, Krycis' army continued to assault the Academy walls. As the fearless columns of Iron Warriors marched indomitably through the onslaught of fire, explosions with each impact tearing through their sturdy mechanical forms and throwing them aside, behind them the real helm of the army began preparations.

The magi, one hundred in number, gathered in four groups at the edge of the battlefield, looking for all the world like nothing more than a gathering of slaves or other camp followers, and the process of construction on the weapons that would spell the Academy's doom began.

Krycis himself, in the meantime, retreated back from his position in the sky after the initial strike, returning to the back lines to assume the role of general.

To the rear of the marching iron warriors, one figure stood more prominently amongst their ranks. Taller, and more imposing than most of the iron warriors around it, this being stood still as fire fell amongst its comrades, eyes focused on the walls that the troops marched toward. The Claw, Captain of the Iron Warriors, flexed the vicious appendages that gave him his name in irritation at the balls of flame that the mages tossed down with impunity at his warriors.

"Rotgrave." he intoned, voice mechanical and sinister, with a definite air of command to it. "Your magi are too slow. The barrier must be lowered."

Behind the Claw, a hunched and rat-like figure of a machine stood, leaning on a steel stave with electrical energy crackling between nodes at its tip like a giant cattle prod. At the Claw's words, it grunted. "You misunderstand the arrangement, Claw. Your warriors take the fire, we take the time we need. Lord Krycis would be most displeased if we were to fail due to inadequate preparation."

A hiss of irritation sounded from the Claw, and he turned to face Rotgrave with a flash of his glowing red eyes. "You misunderstand me, Rotgrave. I am not asking you to be faster, I am telling you. Lord Krycis will not notice one little magi unfortunately tripping, and being trodden underfoot by his army, I assure you."

Bristling with disdain, Rotgrave turned to stalk away, muttering something to himself. The Claw turned back to the battle at hand, stoic expression returning.

Behind him, the construction continued - the beginnings of towers were rising from the ground, metal cast into place by the spells of the magi, wicked spires at their tip.

The iron warriors were not the only creations of Krycis that advanced on the walls. Whilst the steel knights were held in reserve, there were dotted shapes within the masses that towered over the warriors, imposing forms moving ponderously forwards. The Grave Golems were the second of many plans to get past the Academy's walls, the massive drills upon their arms intended to go through them, rather than over. The golems were focused in one area around the gate, as well as in two areas on the walls, in order to maximise their efficiency.

But the enemies they were fighting were not mindless fools. Cries of alarm came from the walls, as mages picked out the advancing golems, and Kiriel turned her attention to the hulking shapes. Narrowing her eyes, she barked out a command.

"Focus fire on the larger machines! Take them out before they reach the walls!"

Across the wall, the mages turned their attention to carrying out this command as it was passed down. Fireballs began to fall toward the larger creations, and the first explosive blast struck one of the Grave Golems square on, enveloping it in fire and blasting a crater in the ground where it had stood.

As the smoke faded, it was clear that despite their imposing forms, they were far from indestructible. The golem was little more than a smoking wreck of melted metal and blasted scrap, sharing a similar fate to the iron warriors that had been caught in the blast.

The Claw scowled. The magi had best get the barriers down soon, so they could return fire, or else there would be little his troops could do when they reached the wall.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vyral on Tue Feb 08, 2011 6:38 pm

The ground shook beneath them as the first blow was dealt, trees reverberating and air puckering sharply. The deafening sound faded, and in its place the noise of war took over. Men chanting, creatures screeching and cawing and magic being thrown. The mages atop the walls were fighting back, more explosions piercing the rough stomp of feet across the fields. Every death was a warm tickle running down her spine, and she smiled thin-lipped into the distance where the battle took place. At length she turned around to face the group once again. Anticipation was clear on many faces. The girl chosen was taken too long. Luna's eyes settled on the Architect.

Sat cross-legged on the ground, he was bathed in his own blood. The tang brought a quivering tongue to her lip, eyes studying the intricate runes and swirls drawn around him. Nothing had happened yet, though he had been sitting there for almost five minutes sweating blood. Impatient, she turned away from him and daintily crossed the ground to where Raoul and Haestral stood. Both men were talking quietly, eyes occasionally flicking in the direction of the Academy. The noise had grown steadily.

She herself could feel the progress of the army. Feel them marching relentlessly towards the walls, unperturbed by the deaths they suffered. She could feel the fear within the Academy, feel the young students panic. Some had vanished, evacuated, she supposed. Many remained. Too many to evacuate, she thought.

"...quite a delay."

Haestral turned his nose up a sneered. He grew restless standing in the shade while the battle raged on without him. Even the undead moaned hungrily, decayed forms shambling around, bound only by his will. Beside him, Raoul grunted in agreement. The Firemage was rubbing his hands together slowly, the occasional glimmer of fire and a flash of sparks visible.

"What is he doing, do you think?"

"Bartering." Haestral turned to where Raoul now looked. The Architect sat silently in his blood-circle, face impassive. "When he is done he will bring things to this realm that do not belong, and should never do so." The briefest hint of worry crossed the aged Necromancer's eyes. Raoul did not notice. "Things with the power to tear down that shield, and the rest of this plane of existence with it."

Raoul remained silent, staring at the Architect with a look somewhere between fear and awe. Haestral rolled his eyes and directed his attention towards Luna. The nine-year old girl smiled, and he could see the shadow of something else lurking behind those pretty eyes. Something as bad as what the Architect planned to summon, he thought, in some ways, worse.

Clapping his hands together, Raoul extinguished the flames dancing around his fingers. More than twenty minutes the battle had gone while they stood in this forsaken clearing, unable to do anything. Luna had drifted off into the distance once again, staring through the darkness towards the battle. He wondered what she felt, how well they attack was faring. If she heard his thoughts, the girl gave no indication. Haestral look was disturbed as he did, the old man busying himself with the animated corpses standing idly in the breeze. The stench was sickening.

A sudden flash had them all spinning around. The Architect had stood and moved from his circle, eyes also focusing into the distance. Behind him the ground had began to slide into itself, as though the Earth sucked all the land into it. Light flooded from the growing hole, heat and a smell as foreign as the undead. Putrid. Creatures began to pull themselves out. Tiny things. He could not have described them; all twisted limbs, no discernible features that marked them as from this world. Just the smell, and the glint of what may have been teeth, eyes or something else entirely. The scared him, he realized.

Finally a larger twisted appendage stretched from the hole, and a grotesque form followed behind it. He counted eight limbs, but many other stumps and lumps protruded from the mangled form. It had no eyes, no mouth or ears. Yet it swept its head across them all and he knew it saw them somehow. The stench was unbearable. The largest of the creatures turned its head, and the two dozen others followed its lead.

As though it sensed the magic before it happened, a portal rippled into life.

Ashira stood well away from the crowd, invisible within the shadows. With the Architect distracted with his Summoning, she had lapsed into a cold silence. She had no want for small-talk. She was here simply to fulfill his wishes, and nothing more. She doubted many of the others would survive, and she cared less. The stench of the demons was not new to her, though it remained unpleasant. She did not move until the portal opened.

"About time..."

Raoul muttered, with Haestral following him closely. Luna and Ashira too moved towards him, though some-what slower. His summonings stood away from the Portal, allowing the undead to shamble past in tow of the Necromancer. The portal stabilized, with the Pariah moving next to it almost automatically. On the other side Red's anxious form was visible, standing in the main building. An interesting development.

"Luna will go first with my Summonings, followed by the undead and Ashira." His voice was calm, tone unchallengeable. "Raoul will come next, alongside myself. Haestral will come later in the battle, when the dead are plentiful." He pointed towards the portal, and in silence, Luna stepped towards it.

Luna's bare feet made no sound as they touched the inside on the Academy. The buildings protective charms were abhorred by her presence; she could feel them struggle against her but to no avail. Once she was in, their powers were useless to repel her. She walked past Red without acknowledging the girl, heading straight for a huge wall. On the other side she could feel masses of people. Students, teachers and whatever else celebrated here this night. She stopped five meters from the wall, her tiny form shuddering.

Thunderous noise filled the entire hall. The air was whipped away from her in a whirl that tore apart everything around her. The wall before her shuddered, bulged, and exploded outwards. The image was similar to magma forcing its way through a volcano; the result was no less horrific. Huge chunks of rubble were thrown across the courtyard; cement, glass and mortar becoming missiles hurtled towards teacher and student alike. Dust filled the air, making the blast-wave that followed just visible to the naked eye.

What was left was a gaping hole where once the wall of the Academy building stood. In the gap perhaps thirty meters wide stood the form of an eight year old girl, pale blonde hair dirtied with dust. Her face was twisted into a disgusting smile. The closest living things to her began to explode. Entire bodies simply tearing apart and spraying the innocents around them with blood and bone. Students became death to their closest friends, all at the hands of a wraith-like girl.

Her horrors were not the only ones. As the second wave of people exploded, the undead poured through the settling dust. Decayed corpses shambling forwards, feet shuffling and mouths grating teeth together as they caught the smell of their prey. Inhuman screeches and cries as they hurried their pace, faster than any dead flesh should move. Putrid stench filled the courtyard. Over a hundred fetid creatures flooding into the crowds, across the ground strewn with rubble and bodies, bathed in blood. Others shambled through the corridors, picking off anyone too slow to reach the evacuation points.

Between the legs of the undead tore the Summonings. Twisted forms that ran faster than any human could ever hope. When they reached a target, they tore. They moved endlessly, heedless of what struck them until nothing was left of them. Mutilated limbs simply rendering limbs from bodies until their pale, cracked yellow skin was coated in a thick, pungent red. Their leader, the largest of them came last. With a crack, two large yellow wings erupted from its back in a shower of rotting flesh. It lifted its head and headed straight for the barrier. A visible shield of purple magic surrounded the creature, until the point when it struck the barrier. The explosion of light grey-scaled the battlefield for a moment, the shield wavered. Every strike of the creatures limbs against the shield brought it ever closer to failing. It would last minutes, perhaps. Then, all hope was lost.

As the second flash of light faded, Raoul finally stepped through the portal. Fear flooded his nostrils, every pore of him reached out and greeted it. Feeding on the despair of his opponents, he raised his hands into the air and let his powers fly. Flames erupted from every inch of his body, a crescendo of heat that skipped through the air and made ever flammable object in the hall an inferno. With flames leaping around, he headed for the courtyard, rendering anything in his path to ash...

Ashira and the Architect came last, patient and calm as they crossed the destroyed hall towards the courtyard. Behind them appeared to march hundreds, perhaps thousands of undead creatures. Ashira remained silent, allowing the creatures to over-take her, protecting her within their mass. The Architect walked slowly, holding an ornate dagger in one hand.

He stepped on something soft and looked down. Staring up at him was the twisted form of a young student, face a burnt husk and legs torn away even as the child writhed in pain. Only one of so many...

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Arrow on Fri Feb 11, 2011 6:39 pm

[post co-written by myself, Tiko, Parabola, Gasmask and Imehal]

“Hold for a moment, everyone!”

Scarlet paced across the courtyard to where the column of students were entering the portal, waving a hand for them to pause. “Just for a moment – we need to send some people through to somewhere else. They’re carrying items that we believe have a chance of drawing the siege away elsewhere.”

There was a murmur of discontent amongst the students, but they respected their headmistress enough to wait. Placing her hand on the stone of the portal, Scarlet focused her magic, and sought out the Monastery. The building itself was protected from teleportation, but Scarlet could set the group of artefact holders down at the bottom of the steps.

“Quickly now!” Scarlet turned to beckon to them.

Aeryn and Elante stepped forwards without ceremony, though Elante paused as they passed Scarlet, hesitating. “Stay safe, Scarlet.” He said for the last time, “Keep yourself safe, as well as the Academy.”

Scarlet smiled to the young mage, “And you too, Elante. Yourself, as well as the artefact – but hurry now!”

With a final nod, Elante stepped through the swirling energies of the portal, Aeryn only a second behind him.

The idea of asking the relatively defenceless students to wait whilst the portal was reconfigured to remove the artefact bearers from the Academy did not sit well with Natalie, though she knew that Scarlet understood the ramifications of the choice. Indeed, if the attacks were ceased or at least reduced, it would be acceptable. Somewhat.

These thoughts progressed as the portals were being reconfigured, coming out to note that Aeryn and Elante had already departed, looking towards Scarlet. There was nothing to be said but she smiled, nodding towards her superior.

As the trio of Patronus were departing, Rhea stepped forward, a hand moving to rest on Natalie's shoulder to delay her a moment.

Hopes that this early escape would work, sparing as many of the students as possible made Natalie's footsteps increase in pace thereafter and so, her stop was abrupt at the touch of the elf's hand upon her shoulder.

Rhea paused momentarily to compose her request before speaking finally. "I'm needed here, but send word to me of Rynhart and the others as swiftly as you are able?" she inquired.

Her brother lived, that much she knew, but a touch of worry weighed on her mind. He was wounded and the state of those in his company was beyond her ability to see.

Natalie's smile faded at that sobering thought. Those at the temple were friends as well as allies and she worried for them also. Contemplation took her expression before another nod, then understanding. "As soon as I know, so shall you." The promise was spoken as a hand rose to cover Rhea's. Concern for siblings she knew well, even without a connection that told her of Liam's plights. "Take care of yourself."

Rhea nodded briefly and let her hand fall away.

"And you," she returned as she stepped back, allowing Natalie to depart. She and Natalie weren't close, but Rhea had a fondness for the mortal races, especially those who took up such heavy burdens in shaping the world, as those of the Patronus had.

Natalie wasted no time after she was released, stepping forward to disappear through the rippling magic without another glance back after her two fellow Patronus from the Academy.

Samuel peeked around the corner, he had decided that the best bet was to wander around to find whatever was going on at the time, quickly darting around and hiding in whatever there was to be hidden in, bushes and bins, it didn't matter. Samuel was then sidetracked by a glowing portal and familar voices.

Samuel darted forward as Natalie entered the portal, then reached into the portal, trailing his fingers though it in a manner only a curious teenager could do. Samuel almost heard the repition of the conversation he had overheard, artefacts and rival factions? That seemed exciting and doubly exhilrating than actual schooling did.

Turning away, Rhea made to go take up a position with manning the walls, when Samuel's movements caught her eye.

A brief frown touched at her eyes, "Samuel, get away -" she started.

Samuel glanced behind himself, quickly looking left and right before stepping forward warily. Samuel's ears had quickly detected a voice that was indeed familar, and its tone didn't sound good. He swiftly decided it would be best to...

...Leap into the portal. Whatever the risks were he was not going to risk being under the effects of Rhea's magic.

And mere moments after Samuel disappeared into the portal, the glowing stone door fluctuated, rippling as the destination was reprogrammed. Scarlet had been in the middle of recalibrating to Everia when Samuel had jumped through, meaning that while he would end up at the Monastery with Natalie, there was little chance for her to react and change it back.

"Shit." Scarlet muttered, "But sod it. Sylvire will send him back here once everything's calmed down, I'm sure ... if I want him back, that is. Insufferable child."

The evacuation proceeded at speed in the time that it took for the Architect to call forth his creatures. After the Patronus were sent through, the students were able to be funnelled quickly through without pause. In a drill, when the students were lazy, and making fools of themselves, generally getting them all to Everia took between thirty and forty minutes. There was no such bandying about now – the worst impediment was that everyone was far too eager to leave; pushing and shoving had to be controlled.

When the silent footfall of Luna touched down in the Academy building, most of the students had already made it through the portal – and most of those that remained, barring a few stragglers, were the senior students housed farther away, or who had been taking advantage of their less strict curfew to walk the grounds.

And so when the wall of the Academy burst outwards to shower death and debris down upon the crowd below, the damage was not as devastating as it might have been.

Devastation was still the operative word, however.

The blast shook the entire courtyard with its destructive power, toppling the weaker students and teachers alike off of their feet. Scarlet swore loudly, and brought a hand up to cover her face, but beside her, the other Headmistress’ military prowess shone through. There was no hesitation in her commanding shout.

”Shields up! Protect the students!” she bellowed, her magic amplifying the noise to the degree that all heard. Within moments, shimmering barriers began to spring into being, and the students scrambled towards the portal with renewed panic.

The barriers did nothing to stop Luna’s powers, though, to the horror of the Academy’s occupants. As explosions tore student and teacher alike to shreds, Silviana desperately sought the source of the explosions. Her eyes found Luna, a lone figure at the epicentre of the blast that had destroyed the wall of the Academy, and for a moment she could not believe that a child could be causing this destruction.

But the look in the girl’s eye – combined with her utter calm in the face of chaos – betrayed her. Silviana’s heart hardened and she lifted her wand with grim focus. ”Take out the girl!” she barked as she cast.

A spike of lightning shot from the golden artefact’s tip to crack through the air towards Luna, the roll of magic-induced thunder echoing across the courtyard, as the bolt sought the girl’s chest. From around the area, four other spells were launched by the more strong-willed and cold teachers, as others hesitated. A spiralling trio of flame-bolts from one of Silviana’s Everian lieutenants, a glowing golden mean of celestial energy from Tallana Davindral, one of Scarlet’s assistant heads, and a near-invisible pulse of force rippling the air from one of the diviners – a teacher widely known to be a sociopath.

Even as Silviana was launching her strike though, the second wave of horrors broke forth from the walls of the building. The undead poured forth, mindless forms slamming into the erected shields and tearing at the magical defences. At the edges of the groups, figures dropped as the masses of blows raining on the outer shields broke their control and drained their energy, the shields caving under the raining blows.

“Fight back!” Scarlet, this time, cried out above the roar of battle. “They’re only husks, strike them down! All moral limitations on combat and assault spells are lifted!”

As she spoke, the headmistress put her words into action, and with a sweep of her sceptre, the earth beneath the attacking horde’s feet rippled, and exploded. The stones of the courtyard smashed into bones and flesh as they were torn up by the attack, ploughing through the undead like a hot knife through butter. In places, the earth collapsed in on itself, causing dozens of the dead to fall into deep pits to be crushed by showering stone and shifting cracks.

Sweeping her own scepter forth from the folds of her robes, Rhea wasted little time acting on Scarlet's words as she herself sent a torrent of flames into the crumbling rock, all but liquifying the heated stone that held the hordes of undead trapped and crushed beneath them. It would ensure none crawled their way back into the battle – necromancers were a pain in the ass like that.

The other mages followed suit – by now, the students themselves had gathered enough sense of mind to be beating a fighting retreat. Largely seventeen and above, most had at least a moderate grasp on combat magic, the equivalent of compulsory gym for Celestia, and from the teachers and students alike ripples of force, fire and lightning tore through the ranks of the creatures.

It was a hard enough task breaching Celestia’s structure, but a harder task still to overwhelm its occupants without a significant magical strength of your own.

As undead and demons alike were torn apart by waves of magic – elemental, arcane, celestial, demonic, necromantic; any number of varieties both rare and common - the students continued to evacuate. The shields that protected them held, largely, though every now and then another man or woman would fall to the onslaught, and those protected by their shield would have only moments to realise their exposure and protect themselves, or be torn apart.

As far as surprise attacks went, this one could easily have gone worse. The casualties were high, but not atrociously so – only a dozen or so of the fifty odd students that had remained unevacuated had fallen, and around twenty five of the faculty, numbering in the region of one hundred, counting those who had flocked to the aid of the evacuation point after the initial explosions.

But it was too early to count the battle a success – despite the level of carnage that had taken place, barely a minute or two had passed. A shriek of horror attracted Scarlet’s attention from the main body of the horde, where her earthen spells continued to wreak havoc in their midst, and the headmistress turned, her eyes widening.

The summoning that stepped through the gaping hole in the side of the building was massive, and a dominating sight. For a moment, Scarlet thought that her conservative casualty estimates were about to be torn to shreds, but light be blessed, the creature had other plans.

As it took off, Scarlet followed its trajectory with her eyes... and swore. The shield. If that fell, then the academy would be overwhelmed by the army outside!

She would not allow it.

“Silviana, you have command!” she shouted to the nearby woman, as with determination, she rose off of the ground – the section of courtyard where she stood breaking off to carry her upwards in pursuit of the massive creature. As she flew, Scarlet narrowed her eyes. Her fury at the attempted slaughter of her students, at the decimation of her academy, and at the horrors that would have them all dead were focused in her chest like a fire.

As she rose, the headmistress lit up like a beacon. Her eyes were enveloped by whiteness, and her body became difficult to make out as a bright light enveloped her. Before but a few moments had passed, it was near impossible to look at her for the intensity of the light that poured off of her form, and still she rose towards the demon.

With a cry of anger, Scarlet leapt. The platform of earth fell, its trajectory directed towards an empty portion of the Academy gardens, and Scarlet took wing. Two iridescent, purest white wings spread from her back and glowing, silvery crystalline armour replaced her red cloak and robes. Her long blonde hair spread out like a mane over her back, her eyes pure white and glowing. In her hands, her sceptre had been replaced by a great longsword, intricate runes glowing brightly upon its length, and in her free hand was now a large kite shield.

Without a moment’s hesitation, Scarlet charged for the creature. Her entire body became enveloped in holy fire as she flew. She would reach it mere moments after it met the barrier, striking it like a divine meteor, sword thrusting forwards in a deadly divine strike with both the holy power to slay a legion of demons and the magical force to shatter a boulder. In her Ascended form, Scarlet had once stood single handed against the armies of Hell’s Queen of Lust, Nyx Alurane. She had gone toe to toe with the succubus herself, and lived to speak of it. As divine fire spiralled around her form to sear at the huge demon’s body, enveloping them both entirely in the centre of a powerful white nova, the Celestial Mage, the most powerful to grace the Academy for centuries, allowed a small smile to blossom on her face.

She would not lose. There was no question to it; there was no ‘try’. She would not fall, and neither would her Academy. At that moment, Scarlet knew it to be true.

As Scarlet’s divine nova filled the skies above with a holy light, the mages below launched into the fight with renewed vigour. The radiance of their leader, pouring down on them from above, seemed to fill each and every one of them with courage and strength. Morale was high. They would not fall.

The Academy building itself, where the explosion had torn it, erupted into flames at the hands of Raoul, but with a barked command from Silviana, the mages ignored it. With almost a hundred fighters casting forth destructive magic by the bucketload, it was likely that by now the initial wave of the undead and demons had been made short work of. The prevalence of celestial, divine magic only advantaged them further.

The last few students were funnelling into the portal when Raoul reached the courtyard, and he was met by a focused assault.

Silviana had gathered about her a selection of twelve of the stronger mages; her lieutenants, captains, and Celestia’s senior staff, the assistant and deputy heads included. With their magical strength pouring into her as a single directive vessel, Silviana owned the battlefield.

Where she pointed, the ground erupted as pure arcane energy tore through the air and turned those it met to a bloody mist. When Raoul emerged, he was not spared from her assault, the arcane magic seeking him out like a bolt of bright white lightning, a six foot wide explosive bubble radiating outwards from the point of impact where it would envelop him were he not to move.

With the battle spilled into the courtyard, Rhea hadn't the time to reach the walls as intended, and instead swept her way into the gathering mages around Silviana. The torrent of magical spells erupting from her scepter abated for the moment as her mana began to merge with those of the others, bringing the total to thirteen mages fueling Silviana.

As the Architect and Ashira made their way through the corridors that would take them to the blasted entrance in the side of the Academy wall from the classroom in which Red had created the portal, the last of the students were funnelled through the portal. The evacuation of around one thousand students, drilled and practiced, had been a partial success. Most of the students had passed through unscathed. But some had not - around two dozen had fallen in the attack on the main evacuation point, where a portion of the five hundred students that used the massive portal to flee had been caught before they could escape.

It was a failure, because some had fallen. Whoever had enabled the enemy to enter the academy would pay dearly for their misdeeds.

“Holy shit, what was that?”

Daniel halted in the corridor as the explosion that Luna had caused rocked the very foundations of the Academy building. The sound of fighting and screaming sounded from outside, and the boy scowled. With Embre in his arms, he couldn’t exactly fight.


Daniel turned to look at Lan, shaking his head. “I don’t know. But it sounds like it’s not a good thing.” He said, “Is there any other way out, do you know?”

A groan from his arms drew his attention down to Embre, as the girl stirred. “Student ... dorms... outbuildings.” She mumbled, “Portals there...”

Daniel turned to Lan questioningly, “You’ve been here longer than I have – can you get us to there?”

Lan hesitated, before nodding. He’d visited Embre in the outer dorms more than once, and it wasn’t exactly a complex route. “Alright. But we need to get out of here firs... Fuck! Look out!”

Jumping at Lan’s widened eyes and pointing finger, Daniel turned to look down the hallway where he had gestured. “Shit.” He cursed. At the other end of the corridor, what looked like a group of ... shambling, murderous corpses were making tracks towards them. “Take Embre!” he yelled, shifting the weight of the barely-conscious girl over to Lan before turning to face the oncoming tide.

With a flare of eerie green light, Daniel’s form lit up dimly, and a pair of translucent, insubstantial wings manifested upon his back. His eyes bright green with the aura energies he drew on, the supernaturally mutated boy threw his arms forward with a grunt of exertion. From his palms shot twin waves of bright green power, tearing across the floor of the corridor and into the ranks of the undead with the force of two cars. The beams scythed through the walking corpses and through the stone of the floor alike, and though they pressed forward against his attacks, the creatures were drawn up short when an entire section of hallway collapsed.

“Go! Nearest window, go!” Daniel shouted, and the three were off at a run. Sweeping Embre up, as Lan had not the strength to carry the girl while moving at any speed, he followed the redhead down the hall until they reached a large window facing out onto the combat yard. “Hold this!” he said hurriedly, offloading Embre once again onto Lan. Sweeping his arms upwards, Daniel shattered the window with a burst of force, before stepping back.

“Are you ready?”

“Ready for what?” Lan asked nervously.

“Ready to jump.”

What?! We’re three storeys up! We’ll die!”

“Remember, I can fly? We won’t hit the ground that hard. Hard, sure, but not dead-hard.”

“Dead is the operative word! It’s too risky!” Lan protested.

“It’s either that or we hang around for our hungry corpse friends to catch up? Doesn’t seem like much choice to me.”

With a sigh, Lan nodded. “Alright. Fine. Whatever.”

Daniel smiled to the smaller male, and pecked him on the forehead, before stepping around behind him and the sluggish Embre. He hooked an arm around each of their waists, and stepped towards the window. “Three... two... one...”

And then he jumped. His wings burst from his back as he did so, beating in wide arcs, though it was clear that they weren’t the source of the slowed movement that the trio took as they fell, which really brought into question why they were necessary. Daniel didn’t know, but hey... they looked cool!

They landed with a thud in the gravelly combat yard, painful but not damaging. Daniel climbed to his feet, and helped Embre up – the jolt of the fall appeared to have woken her.

“So you just jumped out of a window, right?”


“And I had no say in this?”

“You were indisposed at the time.”

“Ergh, whatever! Come on...” Embre muttered, blearily starting her way towards the outbuildings. Daniel leant down to help a grazed and bruised Lan up, exchanging a glance with him that just screamed of a bitten tongue. Arguing wouldn’t help them now.

While the battle raged outside, three figures quietly slipped through one of the outer portals and into Everia. Shortly after, the outer portals were disabled as the last of the stragglers made their way through, and the links severed. There would be no following by that route, for certain.

Upon the wall itself, the battle continued as it had left off. News of the attack in the courtyard had demoralised the defenders, but they knew that they were all that stood between those protecting the evacuees and the massive army that stood outside. They held their nerve.

The beacon of light that Scarlet provided as the ascended to duel the demon in the sky invogorated them as it did those in the courtyard, and despite the fear of the shield being taken down, they did not falter.

Amongst them, Kiriel surveyed the battlefield with narrowed eyes. Those small figures at the back of the army were up to something, she could feel it. The structures they were building were nothing like any camp-structures that she had ever seen. She didn't like it.

"Any news on Kastner's arrival?" Kiriel asked one of her lieutenants, in charge of communications with those that carried callstones. The stones were difficult to craft, and so there were only around fifteen scattered about those on the wall, but that was enough to carry orders to all ears.

The man nodded. "Elaina says that they're five minutes away."

"Tell her that I want her to take out the structures at the back of the army when they do. I don't like them. They look ... purpose-built, for something."

"Sending the message."

As he did so, Kiriel returned her attention to the battlefield. Satisfyingly, the numbers of enemies were significantly less than the start of the battle. In twenty five minutes of sustained fire, the two hundred mages had managed to reduce what looked in the region of five or six thousand enemies to a ragged remnant, it was possible that by now they actually outnumbered the remaining forces!

But at that point, Kiriel's fears about the towers were realised.

The four spires' tips flashed, and as one began to emit a bright red glow. Shouts came up across the wall, and Kiriel barked an order to strike the towers down.

The fireballs that had been picking off the stragglers in the force of Iron Warriors were redirected towards the towers, and in a barrage of light and heat, they shot forth at the towers. The small figures around the base of the structures, however, responded to this with something that Kiriel had not expected.

Magic of their own. The magi raised their arms and the fireballs began to be picked off. The massive flames were torn apart by violent winds and dissipated. The majority were dispelled before they could do any damage, but one tower felt the attack. Two fireballs penetrated the ring of mages, and slammed into it. The tower burst alight, as the explosive attacks shattered it. The building fell in a flaming ruin, crushing a number of magi beneath its rubble as it did so.

But apparently, this did not hinder whatever it was the magi were doing. As the mages readied another round of attacks the spires flashed again, and three beams of fluctuating light shot from their tips. The trio of beams hit the shield without force, sending ripples of magic over its surface, but the anticlimactic nature of the strike didn't last long.

With a crack of energy, a spiral of power began to shoot down the length of each beam. Power draining rapidly from the magical shield around the academy.

“Take those towers down, now!” Kiriel yelled. She already knew that it was probably too late.

A volley of fireballs tore towards the towers. Another fell in a flaming ruin, but the damage was already done. With a pulse, the barrier that had protected the Academy vanished, drained by the towers and reduced to nothing.

And from the edge of the battlefield, the real spearhead of Krycis’ assault poured forth. The legion of Steel Knights, one thousand in number, skimmed the ground at speed in comparison to the ponderous march of the Iron Warriors, their hellfire repeaters raised towards the walls.

“Shields up!” Kiriel roared, but though the mages were drilled well and their reactions were quick, it was still too slow. The first volley of gunfire tore into the ranks of mages in a spray of blood and death before the teams of shielders managed to raise personal barriers for them, dozens of mages falling in one fell swoop.

“Renew fire! Renew f-

Kiriel cut off then, her jaw dropping at the sight that met her eyes. Gathered in groups, the hunched figures of the magi had released chains of lightning from their hands – not towards the mages, but towards each other. The reason behind this was soon displayed, as from the points where the lightning blasts met, the very air was torn asunder. Two portals appeared in the air – massive in size – and the sound of grinding machinery became audible from the other side.

The mages watched in horror as two monstrosities stepped out from the portals. The twin juggernauts, warehouse-sized creations that were near the height of the wall themselves, were slow, but they were strong. Kiriel shouted an order to focus fire once more, and the massive balls of fire converged on the large machines. Though there was some charring, and even a dent on one of the juggernauts, by and the large as the smoke of the explosive impacts cleared, the creations were unharmed.

Now the Knights were nearing the gates, triggering the magical defences in the walls themselves. The ground beneath their feet started to ripple and explode, magical wards stepped over sending bolts of lightning and bursts of flame shooting outwards like arcane mines. The front ranks of the knights were decimated, but they were many in number, and they kept coming.

Kiriel swore. The Everian reinforcements had best arrive soon, or else they would lose the walls. And once the walls were lost, the Academy was as good as lost too...

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vyral on Tue Mar 01, 2011 11:20 am

A barrage on energy tore towards her, and still the girls footsteps meandered their way through the carnage of the dead. Blood now slicked the pads of her feet, wetted her ankles. It was Silviana's eyes that the girls met, and for all her coolness while she struck her eyes were those of a lost child, the one chained within. Her face twisted, a grotesque smile. Between Luna and Silviana bodies began to rise as though held by puppet strings, and the dead corpses of students and teachers alike became meat shields for the girl. Two bolts of flame made their way past her fleshy shields and only nimble footwork avoided the first from striking her face. The second clipped her shoulder, searing her flesh and singing the tips of her golden locks. She hissed, a sound no child could create, and dropped to one knee. Thick, dark tendrils of smoke rose from her wounded shoulder. She rose again, the first barrage from her enemies having failed to kill her, and only to wound the body in which she was anchored. Now, it was her turn.

The tower to her left began to shake, trembling as though a giant hand tugged at its top. Each rough shudder shook bricks and tiling loose.

Above the tower the Summoning turned to face its assailant, putrid wings creaking with the effort of spinning around in the air. An eyeless face stared straight at the approaching Celestial, the purple glow around its body fluctuating as she drew closer. Scarlet's sword was driven through his stomach, an explosion of light bright enough to re-illuminate the courtyard below. The Summoning released a high-pitched screech and a flash of purple erupted from its body, both blinding and suffocating. Weightless, it fell from the heavens and crashed into the ground before Luna, still, unmoving. She regarded the creature for a moment, letting her head tilt slightly to the side. It exposed the twisted burns on her shoulder for all to see.

Behind her, Raoul did not hesitate. Rushing forwards he unleashed a torrent of fireballs towards his opponents, only to be met by a much more focused attack. In the end, the arrogant Fire-mage known as Raoul was riddled with holes and torn asunder by the barrage. Little more than a twisted, blackened husk, he dropped to his knees and then fell into the molten pit that separated the two sides of the battle. And just like that, he was gone.

Now the focus was to be Luna once again, the only living soul standing in the courtyard against the Academy mages. The wave of blasts was whipped towards her, and stopped... Purple flashes caused each focused blast to erupt mid-air, showering flecks of magic everywhere. At the edge of the molten pit, the Summoning's skin seemed to flex, releasing the smell of rotting flesh. With a shudder, the creature raised itself back to its feet, the purple field enveloping its mass again. A hole had been bored through its stomach, through which the tiny form of Luna was visible. If one looked hard enough through the rotted tunnel, they would see the girls face contort in pain, before relaxing into a smile.

The shield had failed.

The tower fell.

It's direction was not to be the courtyard, however. The tumbling mass of architecture was thrown towards the walls that separated thousands of their allies and themselves. Hundreds of feet of brick, mortar and cement tumbling downwards.

From behind Luna hundreds of undead tore forwards, footsteps so much louder than they should sound. A deafening chorus of feet and screeches. The molten pits top solidified, and they began to cross. An innumerable hoard that simply charged forwards endlessly, even as many were torn apart as the ground exploded beneath them, or fire rendered them pulp. Ashira stood beside the portal, face focused, sweat beading her forehead. The Architect no longer stood with her, however.

Walking calmly, he came to a halt beside Luna, In each hand he held a semi-automatic pistol, weapons these fools thought themselves to good for. For all the magic he had encountered, guns had proved to be the most effective method of penetrating a magicians defences. He raised the guns towards the Academy mages and opened fire. Fifteen rounds were contained within each gun, a total of thirty unexpected projectiles hurtled across the short distance. A distance that was filled with the undead, a fleshy mask for his actions. And yet, they did not hinder the bullets in the slightest...

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:39 pm

(Post co-written by Parabola, Arrow, Tiko and Imehal)

"Hold! Hold, damn you, are you mages or are you nought but flimsy grassblades in the wind?"

Silviana's barked shout was amplified by her magic to carry to the ears of the assembled mages even as they cowered at the sight of Luna inhabiting the demon creature. Her words were empowered with supernatural command, strength and confidence. Illusion was a powerful tool for a commander, and Silviana was a commanding presence even without its aid. The mages rallied, gathering their wits.

"Form ranks! Leave the portal clear!" Silviana yelled. The mages moved, keeping their bursts of magic flying as the horde of undead spilled forwards from the building, renewed by some further distant source. Silviana turned to one of her lieutenants, and a whispered command in his ear sent him dashing into the swirling energies of the portal. Their foes crossed the carved ravine as the mages took their battle lines.

"Shields up!" The rearmost mages gathered their energies together, and a powerful white glow briefly illuminated the ground in front of their ranks as a renewed, focused shield was laid in place - no more was it the individual shields of a panicked mass of mages, but the carefully managed construction of drilled and trained practitioners of battle-magic. The staff, teachers and graduates of Celestia might not have been trained for war in the same way as the Everians, but Scarlet had spared no man or woman in ruthless training courses with the other academy for just such a repeat event as Nyx's attack.

The Architect's bullets flew then, loud cracks resonating across the courtyard without forewarning. They met the shield, and it rippled. In only one place did the shield fail, flickering under the forceful pinpoint impacts and allowing a deadly projectile through. A single mage fell to the floor, bleeding but alive, swiftly carried away from the front ranks by those beside him.

Shot and bleeding, Calden grabbed a fistful of cloth from the nearest mages robes.

“Get me back into the fight,” he hissed between gritted teeth.

The others were already departing to rejoin the battle and he wouldn't be left out – wounded or not. The mage at his side hesitated only a moment before moving a hand over the gunshot wound. A light glow filled the injury, sealing the wound back shut. It wouldn't reverse blood loss, or the physical drain that such rapid healing had on the body, but they needed every able body.

Offering a hand, he pulled Calden back to his feet, before the pair turned to rejoin the battle.

The undead neared. The gap narrowed as the tireless horde charged headlong into the ever-weakening projectiles that the mages poured forth desperately. It seemed a foregone conclusion that they would be overwhelmed.

"Charge!!" This cry did not come from Silviana, but instead from a figure emerging from the portal to Everia. Clad in shimmering silver armour and riding atop an elegant white stallion, Cadwyn Irving, Captain of Everia levelled his blade towards the oncoming masses as he roared his command.

The already chaotic air was filled then with the sound of hoofbeats, thundering like a thousand waterfalls. The very stone of the courtyard seemed to shake, as with a burst of brilliant white light, horsemen poured from the portal. The wide column of battle-clad knights charged forwards with blazing lances lowered, each and every one of them glowing with a powerful divine light that seemed anathema to the unholy forces that opposed them. Their ranks seemed innumerable, hundreds upon hundreds charging forth in a neverending flow of magical death.

They met the charging dead, and broke them. The lancers speared through the creatures like they were liquid, bursts of flame and divine light cutting swathes of the creatures down before they even came close. Magical shields deflected claw, magic and bullet alike - no matter what the enemy threw against them the wall of knights seemed invulnerable, shrugging off attacks and fanning outwards to cover the entire courtyard with their dominance.

Cadwyn and his lieutenants led the charge, numbering a dozen, linked as Silviana was with her own allies. Four lent their power to shielding, a barrier that shrugged off even powerful blows, whilst the others struck out with unabated fury that their foes. They formed the point of the spearhead, and made a furious beeline towards the Architect and Luna. A dozen waves of potent divine energy arced ahead of them, slashing through the dead that stood in their path and homing in on the two imposing figures at their enemies' rear.

Scarlet watched all this from her position on high - she had made to follow the creature as it fell, but before she had done so, her eyes had caught the state of affairs on the wall. They were faring well thus far, but the fall of the shield could prove to be crippling to their defence. With the Everian main army now joining the battle in the courtyard, she felt it was a safe bet that they would tilt the tide of battle in Celestia's favour.

At that moment, the cracking and crunching sound of the falling tower resonated across the academy, and Scarlet turned with horror to see her tower collapsing downwards -- again!

Inside the tower itself, stood a ring of elementalists and summoners. Within their circle, they were hard at work, muttering their incantations around the runic drawings etched out onto the floor.

The incants were second nature to Winifred, who took the moment to grin sardonically across at the central summoner.

Brietta returned Winifred's grin with a scowl, but interupting the summoning to make a chastising remark could well have disasterous results.

The summoning was nearing completion when the tower gave a violent shudder, shaking several mages from their feet and leaving them sprawled upon the floor.

“What was that?” Brietta asked, a tone of worry etched into her voice.

"That," Winifred muttered morosely from her new and inelegant position on the floor, "Means we're out of time!"

A more violent shudder tore through the building, sending the circle of mages sliding across the floor to slam agains the wall as the structure began to topple.

Scarlet scowled. The falling stones from the tower would not reach the wall itself -- it was some distance from the walls to the academy building -- but there were people in there! She would not allow them to fall without even a hope of escape. Scarlet's eyes narrowed as she cast her sword and shield outwards, where they hovered sedately by her side as she gathered her magical strength to focus it on her other speciality - her celestial form was maintained, as she was still at the top of her game, having expended little power - but now she sought to employ her earth magic.

The headmistress' fingers curled with exertion as she cast, and began to let out a golden glow of energy that enveloped her lower arms almost entirely. The rocks from the falling tower slowed in their separation, every chunk, pebble and piece of debris coming under her influence. The headmistress breathed heavily in exertion to keep the tower from falling, to give those inside a chance to escape.

Within the tower, Scarlet's actions had given the trapped mages a moment of respite to gather their wits.

One by one, those with the capabilities to do so, vanished from the room and abandoned the ritual. Teleportation was a tricky art, and not one to be used lightly, but being shattered upon the rocks below, or risk teleporting into a rock – it wasn't a hard choice.

Those who could not, relied on other means of escape. Brietta tapped into her own earth magic, opening a breach in the wall beneath her that she fell through. Her fall slowed as she gathered the forces of wind and air about her form, depositing herself safely into the academy grounds. She was bruised and breathless, but alive - which was more than could be said of those mages that couldn't make it out of the tower in time.

Winifred stumbled to her feet, having landed less than gracefully behind the boys' dormitories, before glancing up ruefully at the tower that disappeared over the walls. Escape from the tower had come at the hands of another more skilled at teleportation than she, casting them a grateful look. Words were at a lack, on account of shock and fading but very real fear.

As Scarlet saw the summoners escaping - flashes of light as they appeared below - she glanced to the side. She could not release the rocks without risking serious damage to the rest of the academy and the library below, and so with a roar of effort she drew her arms upwards. The stone followed, and rose through the air, gathering around her in a snaking trail of rubble.

There was too strong an allied presence in the courtyard for Scarlet to be able to use this payload there, and so she turned her attention towards the walls. With a beat of her celestial wings, she shot forwards, dragging the tower's remnants with her through the air. Beads of sweat formed on her forehead as the sheer exertion required to keep so much stone aloft ran through her. She would have to offload it soon, or risk exhausting herself.

Kiriel's troops were running on low steam, and she knew it. The wall-guards were trained in defence, but they didn't have the ferocity of the main Everian army -- stamina they had, which was why they had held out for so long, but with the fall of the shields they now had to provide their own defence. Rather than being able to lower power output after the first few minutes of the battle, to preserve strength, they were forced to exert effort on two fronts - defence, and offense.

And so when Scarlet shot overhead, with what looked like half of the academy trailing after her, Kiriel was more than a little relieved for the backup.

The headmistress made a very deliberate beeline for one of the massive creations that lumbered towards the walls - Krycis' juggernaut. With a cry, her eyes flashing brightly, Scarlet swung her arm around, and the entire collection of rubble from the tower shot towards it like a rain of cannon fire.

The sound of stone meeting metal in cataclysmic crashes filled the air as it impacted. The stone shattered, but the metal too buckled and twisted with the force of each strike. The juggernaut was shoved to the side, and more rubble slammed down into its legs, snapping them off at weaker joints. With a groan of metal and a crunching of components, the hulking mechanical monstrosity slammed down into the ground on its side, crushing dozens of steel knights beneath its bulk. Sword in hand, Scarlet shot downwards, her crystalline armour repelling bullets from the knights’ cannons as she arced towards the fallen juggernaut. With a cry, she swept her blade downwards, the divine and arcane energies along the blade giving it the force to slash a deep wound in the side of the construction, running from its neck to its rear, fire pouring from the blade as it passed through it.

As Scarlet swept upwards again, the juggernaut crackled once, before in a cloud of smoke and flame, shrapnel tearing through the air and the army alike, it exploded. Little more than a twisted wreck remained.

Amongst the burning wreckage, runic carvings glowed hot. The summoning circle had been fragmented and broken in the towers destruction but the magic was not lost. Despite the interruption, it had not been enough to stop the summoning. Though what emerged from the wreckage was unbound and untempered in its ferocity, with no master to control or direct it. Fortunately for the academy mages, it had clawed its way into existence, outside of the academy walls.

The fire elemental was a towering behemoth, that stood at twelve feet tall, with an even larger wing span. In a torrent of attacks, long lines of fire cut through Krycis' troops, leaving deep rends of liquified rock in their wake. The fire burned, indiscriminately and all consuming, and no creature within its reach would be spared its wrath.

The headmistress diverted herself back towards the wall, the exertion of the juggernaut’s destruction requiring time for her to recover. She caught the eye of Kiriel on the wall, who nodded to her. They could hold until their backup arrived. Kastner had best hurry, though ...

As if on cue, a loud roar drew the retreating headmistress’ eye back towards the sky outside the academy. A large shape was evident rising over the trees, cutting through the air as it made a swift path towards the battlefield. Scarlet allowed a grin to creep onto her face as the massive beating wings of a dragon became obvious as the shape neared. She could almost make out the figures on its back, as well as the smaller shapes flying around it.

He was here.

“Are ve all quite ready now?” Atop the back of the enormous dragon, a purple-robed mage clung onto his elaborate hat, looking decidedly uncomfortable in his perch. The dragon itself was a reddish purple, dark in tone, and obviously not in the prime of its life. That is, it didn’t exactly look alive. Its flesh was twisted and ragged in places, and bones showed through in others – the dragon was demonic, as opposed to undead, but the effect was similar. It was no majestic beast, and it was by no means as intelligent and sentient as the likes of Rhea and Rynhart.

The shapes that were dotted around it, were Kastner’s other demons – closest to him were clawed and robed entities that seemed more robe than flesh – spirit-like, though their claws were no less deadly for it. White Spirits, originally named by the colour of their robes, they served as Kastner’s personal guard, numbering near twenty. The rest of the shapes were a cacophony of entities ranging from imps, to humanoid warriors, to imposing hellguards – massive beasts the size of three men, clad in black armour and wielding flaming blades, their bull-like faces twisted with hatred.

Kastner’s personal army was closing fast on the rear of Krycis’, and the magi scrambled to prepare for it.

“Quite ready, love.” Elaina laughed from her position far more confidently perched a few feet back from Kastner, on her feet and weaving magic already. “I’m dropping us in ... now!

As she spoke, the illusionist broke her channelling. The force of demons seemed to vanish for a moment, before abruptly reappearing a great deal closer than they had been – in fact, what Elaina had been doing was giving the assembly of creations a far more distant visage than they truly had. They were upon the army now, and Elaina crouched down to get a better foothold.

The dragon – christened Putrous by Kastner – slammed into the remaining juggernaut in a flurry of claws and fangs. Near matching the mechanical creation in size, the impact sent it reeling to the side as demonic claws met demonic metal in a clashing of energy. The tough shell resisted Putrous’ assault at first, but the dragon’s momentum carried it downwards, and it hit the floor hard. In the meantime, the other demons tore into the steel knights’ flank – they numbered only around a hundred to the knights’ thousand (albeit a damaged thousand), but their ferocity and vigour was not lessened in the slightest.

As Putrous tore at the juggernaut – sustaining heavy damage from the foe’s cannons, but feeling no pain at all from it – Kastner’s white spirits fanned out and shot at the magi. The deadly creations phased in and out of the material plane as they darted amongst the panicked casters, claws rending through their mechanical and demonic structures as easily as a hot knife through butter.

Kastner himself carefully rose to a standing position on the platform installed on Putrous back, and took Elaina’s hand. “I zhink it might be most advantageous if ve vere to evacuate vhilst Putrous does his business vith zhis robot zhing.” He said, casting his hand downwards. The two mages rose upwards as an arcane globe grew to surround them, carrying them over towards the wall. Both Kastner and Elaina shot bolts of their own magic down into the knights that they passed above.

Krycis’ army would have been panicked were it any other, but the combination of robotic resolve with demonic ferocity kept them strong. They fought back against Kastner’s demons powerfully – with a crash, one of the hellguards fell under the assault of half a dozen knights. The juggernaut continued to battle with Putrous, both sustaining heavy damage as claw fought cannon. The magi’s spells burst a spirit into flames even as one of their towers crashed down in their midst, a brutish blue demon riding the structure with a massive battle-axe held above its head, a victory cry echoing from its throat before it was cast down by a jolt of lightning.

Kastner and Elaina alighted on the walls to be greeted by an enthusiastic Kiriel. “Your timing could not have been better, friends.” She said, a faint smile on her face.

“Vell, ve could hardly delay, could ve? Vhat vith the direness of zhe situation zhat vas communicated to us.” Kastner waved a dismissive hand, “But let us not celebrate yet, ze battle is not yet von.”

That said, things were certainly tilting in the Academy’s favour. With the flood of reinforcements from Celestia’s allies, the numbers that had seemed so overwhelmingly against them to begin with were starting to level out. While their mages were tired, their allies were fresh to the fight.

This would be a rally for the history books.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vyral on Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:47 am

Hissing, Ashira covered her eyes from the white light that illuminated the courtyard. The heavy beat of hooves shook the ground beneath her feet with its ferocity. Her lips pulled back in a thin smile, revealing numerous pointed teeth filling her mouth. She lowered her arm, allowing the full glare of the Knights charge to strike her face, to glimmer across her smiling features. The Knights struck the horde and the horde crumbled beneath their strikes - but there was no blood, no retaliation, no cries of death or hatred. The only noises where that of the Everian Knights. Instead, the ground beneath them simply was no more. The horde dissipated as though it had never existed. The Everian Knights, still charging forwards in their quest to slay the horde found that where corpses and concrete had been their next step, now there was glowing heat. The molten pit created by the mages of Celestia to halt the first wave had not been solidified, but masked by a powerful illusion. Now, Ashira watched with glowing pride as the Everian Knights rode head-first into their own sides trap.

Ahead of her, the Architect had reloaded his weapons. Face stolid, he lowered his aim towards the Everian Knights, now dealing with the molten pit they charged into. Hoping that this turn of events would distract those whom coalesced their shield, he opened fire. This time he was methodical, accurate; callous. Each shot was aimed directly for a target. The dice was rolled for thirty-two people whom were to be the intended recipients of these bullets, each one filled with a tiny portion of tainted blood. If the magma did not engulf them, they would die soon enough from the effects of the poison.

"The second wave approaches."

Ashira turned at the sound of the voice, which belonged the the gnarled Necromancer. During the fighting he had crossed the portals to avoid being caught in the battle beyond the walls.

"The academy seems to have contacted some reinforcements. The battle beyond these walls tips in the favor of our enemies." He paused, keen eyes surveying the battlefield within the courtyard. "I have taken the liberty of directing my resources here. Once this Academy falls our enemies morale will collapse, along with their resolve."

"I'll deal with the reinforcements for the moment."

The Necromancer did not respond, for once again his eyes had misted over. Ashira turned from him and headed into the remnants of the Hall. Inside, the portal shifted restlessly as undead shuffled out. She did not recognize their clothing immediately, until she realize that they were the soldiers from beyond the wall. Friendly and enemy, raised from their deaths upon the field of battle to fight again. The smell of death and sweat was still strong on them all. She crossed the hall without offering them a second chance. She headed for the remaining tower. The undead soldiers, numbering in the dozens, headed for the courtyard. They jogged forwards, armour clanging and weapons raised for the battle to come.

The husk inhabited by Luna turned its bulbous head towards the molten pit. Wounded by lances, and slow in movement it dragged itself towards the edge of the pit. The heat burst fresh cysts around its body, but it did not pull back. Instead, the create dipped its hand into the magma, engulfing its flesh. Luna stepped forwards, eyes clear. She placed one bare foot against the flesh of the creatures back and pushed against it. It toppled into the pit. Seconds later, a strange light filled the hole and the magma solidified into black rock, along with anything unfortunate enough to be within it. Luna set her foot down of the edge of the warm stone. The fresh wave of the undead made their charges forwards against the teachers and staff of the Academy.

Luna and the Architect joined the throng of the charge. He had discarded his guns onto the ground and now ran forwards with a long dagger in one hand, and black energy swirling around the other. Luna ran beside him, and together them targeted the shield. He launched his black magic at the same time that she unleashed a powerful psychic shockwave. The combined energies tore them-self a channel through the midst of the battlefield and struck the shield. Instead of a flash a void seemed to suck all the light from the courtyard into it. When the light returned moments later, it was blinding...

Ashira breathed heavily. Two daggers lay on the ground beside her, one coated in the blood of some of the bodies around her and the other slicked with her own. She had carefully sketched dozens of intricate designs onto the ground before her. She had no idea how the battle waged without her, but she had seen the great dragon ride onto the field and the juggernaut fall. She finished the final line, and stepped backwards. There was a moments pause, and then a darkness much like the one below shot into the sky above the tower. Ashira swayed, and hit the ground unconscious beside it.

What opened above it was a portal much like the one in the Hall. It shimmered above the battlefield ominously. From within its depths came creatures not dissimilar in nature to what the Architect himself had summoned, only these had leathery wings. They resembled the great dragon that raged across the battle, though none drew even close to its size. What these creatures had was the same number that poured from the first Summoning portal. They filled the sky with beating wings, a dark shadow that descended upon the enemy soldiers with only one goal; to shred them entirely.

The Necromancer glanced at the great portal swirling above them, and then let his eyes settle on the tower. Ashira could not have survived such a creation. He smiled, thinly. Her death would only benefit him if he survived this battle. He directed his attention to the battle, raising anything dead that could still fight. Dismembered corpses, charred skeletons and the newly fallen alike crawled, lurched and ran towards the Academies defenders.

The battle was not won yet.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Tue Apr 05, 2011 1:38 pm

(post written by Arrow, Tiko and I)

The thundering hooves of the charging cavalry drowned out most of the battlefield's noise, and blocked much of it from view. However - Silviana, the one responsible for the radiant and glorious display that the calvary were putting forth by multiplying their one-hundred-fifty to near fifteen hundred, could see more than most. Her own illusions were translucent to her, and the experienced headmistress narrowed her eyes as the cavalry neared the 'covered over' chasm. The weaves of illusion that formed it flickered in her sight.

"Cadwyn!" she boomed, her voice amplified, "There is a ravine ahead, filled with molten rock! Stay the charge!"

Despite Silviana's warning, however, it was too late for a number of the mages. As the illusion vanished, riders and horses alike panicked, trying to halt their charge with varying degrees of success. Cadwyn and his lieutenants, however, with a roared command from the leader, spurred forwards. With practiced prowess, Cadwyn urged his stallion into a leap, the powerful horse's muscles flexing to launch it into the air and over the ravine.

He landed on the far side with an echoing crack of horse-shoe on stone, and with his near-as experienced allies around him - around twenty had made it over, including the lieutenants - pressed on.

Behind him, though, many were not so lucky. Horses and riders plunged downwards into the lava, screaming and flailing for grip. Some found purchase on the sides of the rock, horses lost, and pulled themselves up. Over two dozen men and more horses met a grizzly fate in the lava below.

Those that did manage to halt at the edge of the ravine backed up, disorganised, the momentum of their charge lost. Many of the illusory horsemen carried on over the ravine unhindered, though Silviana took command again quickly, preventing the entirety of the illusion from being shattered by unrealism.

Lucian's shots echoed loudly as they roared from his weapons, the bullets flying true and deadly to their chosen targets. Seventeen mages fell instantly with bullets to the head, or to the heart. Some of the shots flew harmlessly through illusory soldiers, hitting the ground or the mages' shield to the rear, and some hit personal shields and were deflected.

As Cadwyn and his group began to close on Architect, bypassing Luna without knowledge of her threat, the sight of the soldiers that poured from the broken building behind him halted them for a moment. At the head of the undead warriors shambled figures in the uniforms of the Everian guards from the walls -- those unfortunate enough to have fallen from the walls. While they were few in number, and mostly unarmed, the sight of their dead comrades against them caused the group to falter.

The wave of undead hit the twenty mages like a stampede, and two of their number were drawn under, horses ripped from beneath them, before Cadwyn could call a rally.

"Strike them down! Lifeless husks are lifeless husks, and nothing more! Their sacrifice is their own - it does not belong to our enemy!" the valiant leader yelled. With renewed vigour, the survivors laid about them with their magic and weapons. The mages cut a wide circle around themselves in the first few seconds as the dead poured past them towards the molten gap.

The battlemages on the far side of the gap were, by this point, regaining order. They fell back slightly, away from the edge of the lava, and traded their lances out for longswords and for pole-weapons. As Luna deposited her husk into the lava and it solidified, those still near the edge trying to save the struggling dying in the pool suffered a grisly fate as parts of them - arms, feet, even heads - were encased in the formed rock, and the charge of the enemy shredded their helpless forms.

As Lucian made to join his troops in the charge, Cadwyn turned his furious gaze on the man, and thrust his sword out at the man. "Kill him, take down their leader!" he yelled. From the end of his weapon, fuelled by the seven other mages of his surviving retinue not focusing on shielding, came a spearing beam of radiant white magical energy, celestial power burning through the air aimed to strike Architect in the chest with a ray the diameter of a football, and the intensity to burn through the stone that formed the ground beneath him. "Face your end at the hands of your betters, blood mage!" he roared in challenge.

If Cadwyn's attack was successful, or even if not, it would most likely disrupt the focused strike on the shield that Lucian made. If so, then Luna's attack would strike the shield, but it would hold - some of those holding it collapsing from the strain, to be escorted through the portal for recovery. If Lucian's attack did join Luna's, then near a dozen mages would be slain instantly by the magical fluctuation caused - but as around a hundred mages of moderate to high strength fuelled the barrier, it still would hold. The death toll was rising, but the advantage was far from lost.

"The girl! Focus on the girl!" Silviana cried once again, her voice booming across the entirety of the mages' ranks. "She has slain more of our number than can be decently counted, whatever innocence she possesses is not worth the sacrifice of more!"

The hard headmistress' words gave a number of the mages the moral strength to do what previously they had been unable - and from the mages' ranks a barrage of attacks - fire, ice, lightning, earth and arcane to name but the most common - flew towards the girl, as more pelted the charging dead with devastating consequences.

Silviana's circle channeled their power through their leader again, and the headmistress raised her golden wand with narrowed eyes. From its tip burst a thin burst of arcane energy, only a finger's width in diameter, that cut through the air towards the girl like a bullet. Upon impact, the intense arcane energy would explode like a block of dynamite, blasting a hole in the ground wherever it hit.

The headmistress was heavy hearted at having had to urge her allies to strike down a child - she never thought such a day would come. But they had to be strong, now, in more ways than could be counted. If a child's life was the price to prevent hundreds more - both children and adult - lives from being lost, then it was a price they had to pay.

To the back of the Academy mages, an insubstantial form emerged with a determined expression upon her face. She was followed by another eight mages garbed in what looked to be the robes of a single department of Celestia. Katarina Blackheart - dead as she was - intended to do something to stop the destruction of her partner's academy, and death could bloody well stick his scythe up his own bony ass if he had a problem with it.

"Hopefully this should work the same as linking with ... alive people." the ghost muttered as she turned to face her fellow Dark Arts teachers, folding her arms.

"If I end up possessed by Katarina, I may just ask the little girl to make me explode to save the pain of it..." an elderly man muttered. But this wasn't the time for discussion.

The eight joined hands as a physical aid for the process, and one by one Katarina felt their magical power flow into her, until the since-death powerless mage now had eight times the power she had once held flowing through her ghostly body.

"Ohh... that feels good." Katarina gasped, the tangible feel of the magic like an aching emptiness had been filled within her. Taking only a moment to revel in it, the dark mage then narrowed her eyes at the battlefield. "Stay here, and if you are too weak to carry on, then break the link. I can't exactly die more out there."

With practised ease, Katarina lifted herself up into the air on whatever the ghostly equivalent of wind was. As she rose, she drew on the magic now at her disposal, and her entire form began to crackle and glow with a deep blue light. Magical lightning began to dance along her arms, before she was entirely enveloped by the intensifying energy.

Below, Silviana briefly directed her gaze upwards with shock. She recognised the ghost as Scarlet's deceased lover, and was aware of her revival ... but had thought her magical ability gone. Whatever the situation was, Silviana wasn't about to complain - Katarina had been a highly skilled mage in life, and whatever she was up to couldn't be bad for their cause; moral or nay.

Katarina's form shifted and changed as the dark magic filled it, and she grew. Her hair darkened in shade, as did her skin, both reaching a midnight blue within a few seconds. Her extremities sharpened, nails becoming more akin to claws, and from her back a pair of dark blue, translucent bat-like wings spread out in a spray of sparks. Runes pulsing upon her body, Katarina grinned, glowing eyes narrowing down at where Architect fought with Cadwyn.

Formed nearly entirely of pure black magic, Katarina swooped downwards at the man with a furious cry. One arm stretched out with a single finger extended, she channeled her powers through her body in a wave that formed a single glowing orb upon its tip. As she closed the distance, this orb exploded forwards into yet another deadly-thin beam of Black Night, pure black magic that would cut through the air towards the Architect's torso.

Like Silviana's attack, upon impact the dark energy would explode outwards with a wide radius and heavy shockwave that would tear up the stone beneath him, but that was not quite the extent of it. Even as the explosion faded, the Black Night would implode upon the point of impact like a gravitational vortex - drawing the torn up stone and fallen weapons/bodies nearby inwards towards Lucian, where the burning black energy focused for a final time before dissipating.

While Katarina joined Cadwyn in the fight against Architect, another welcome figure was returning to the battlefield: Scarlet - her ascendancy faded from the power she had exerted in taking out the juggernaut - carried herself forwards on a platform of rock, leaping off to land at the flank of the battle with narrowed eyes. She took a quick moment to survey the field - Architect was suffering at the hands of Cadwyn and his dozen-strong retinue, and Kata- wait, was that Katarina?

Scarlet stared for a moment in surprise at seeing her partner in command of her magic once again, but it took only a moment for the headmistress to trace the magic back to beyond the mages' lines. She smiled. Katarina always had been resourceful.

At that point, however, the magical shock of the portal rended open upon the belltower drew Scarlet's attention skyward. Her eyes widened as, in their dozens, small dragons began to pour down furiously on the courtyard. The battlemages suffered most as the dragons descended - unprotected by the still-standing barrier and largely occupied with the mindless dead in their midst, the dragons tore into their ranks before they knew what was happening.

Scarlet growled, and charged forwards with a swing of her scepter. Shards of earth shot up from the ground and pelleted the dragons, piercing their wings, and exposed underbellies with small and moderate sized spikes of rock. "With me!" she called, "Rally to me! Reform ranks to the North!"

As Scarlet joined them in the battle, the steeled knights of Everia regained their composure. Fending the dragons off with kite shields and with magic, they directed their horses away from the main conflict and towards the wall-side of the courtyard, just shy of the forested area of the Academy grounds that stood at the edge of the yard. There, they began to reform into a coherent unit in preparation to renew their assault, though hampered by the dragons - still taking large bites out of their ranks, despite many of their number falling to magical bolts and to Scarlet's earth strikes.

The teachers, still largely protected by the shield, were far more able to respond to the attack with attacks of their own. Though the shield was damaged as dragons slammed into it, and more of their number were dropped to exhaustion, a barrage of lightning and frost - directed by Silviana, focusing less dragon-effective attacks on the ranks of the dead - exploded upwards at the veritable swarm of flying creatures, tearing them from the sky with chaotic speed.

Drawn by Scarlet's rallying cries and Silviana's redirection, Rhea surveyed the situation before abruptly disengaging from Silviana's circle. A master of illusions herself, she gave her scepter a wide sweep before her, and where it passed, the battle field altered and shifted fluidly. The barrage of lightning and frost upon the dragons overhead turned into a torrential storm to rival that of a hurricane. As the storm buffeted the beasts and mingling illusions amongst reality, it created sheer chaos for the dragons trying to evade the mages more substantial spells.

On the battle field below, shadows came alive, writhing beneath their owners before propelling up out of the ground with slashing claws and gnashing fangs. Even illusions could kill, if the victim lacked the awareness to discredit it as reality, and where claws met flesh, blood blossomed. The chaos was widespread amongst the Academy's enemies as they hacked and slashed at the wraith like creations, leaving themselves vulnerable to the Everian Knight's renewed assault.

As the dragons began to fall to the Celestian mages' assault, the Everian reinforcements were given the respite they needed to reform, and with a roar from Scarlet, they spurred their horses forwards and charged once again. The cavalry would thunder into the side of the remaining undead, and Luna were she still in their midst, blades and magic falling like rain to scatter and break them under their hooves.

It was tenuous, still, but the leaders of the mages shared a hope that the battle was tilting in their favour. They just had to hope that things weren't bad outside.

A resounding metallic crunch answered that hope quite nicely, as with a victorious roar Putrous tore the second juggernaut's head from its shoulders. Its limbs flailed uselessly for a few moments, before it fell still, its guns silent. Torn and heavily wounded, but seeming markedly unfettered by the fact, Putrous slammed its claws down onto the juggernaut's body and propelled itself forwards into the main mass of the steel knights, crushing dozens with his powerful feet and sweeping them with a corrosive and destructive green breath attack, metal twisting and dissolving in the smoky flames.

All across the battlefield, the demonic army were breaking the knights over their knees. A felguard swept its massive weapon through the torso of a mechanical soldier, while a swarm of imps pulled another to its knees nearby. Already weakened by the barrages from the wall, and taken off-guard by the sudden reinforcement, Krycis' forces were failing fast.

A grunt of exertion passed from The Claw's mouth as he drew his massive steel claws through the throat of a hulking beast of a demon, the furry creature collapsing to bleed out on the floor as the mechanical warrior turned with anger to cast his eyes across the battlefield.

Everywhere, his soldiers died - the blasted mages, and their blasted reinforcements - and the blasted Sealed One for failing to warn them of this possibility. Angrily, the Claw slammed his fist into the chest of a charging doomguard, the massive creature's momentum shaking the metallic captain's very workings as he halted it in its tracks. Claws digging deep into the doomguard's chest, the Claw narrowed his eyes as he discharged the cannon in his palm without mercy, blasting a gaping hole right through the beast.

Then to his right - a steel knight, tossed in broken fragments like a rag doll. The Claw wheeled around on the spot to stare straight into the ugly, gaping maw of Putrous himself.

With whatever passed as a battle-cry to a machine, the Claw charged forwards with his claws spread, cannonfire bursting from his palms in rapid succession. Crunch.

As Putrous massive foot slammed down on the Claw, the warrior leader twitched in the small crater it had formed. Body broken, he felt his systems shutting down as the demonic spirit within him vied for freedom.

A wave of green fire enveloped him, and the Claw was no more.

"Blast it, blast it, blast them all!" Rotgrave stumbled about with callous disregard for his allies as Kastner's white spirits tore through the ranks of the magi. An unfortunate felguard raised its blade in his path as he ran, and with a swing of his cattle-prod like staff, Rotgrave struck it down with a bolt of lightning that left it spasming on the ground.

The little magi scrambled for cover behind the remnants of one of the magical siege towers as the last of the spirits were taken out by his mages. He breathed heavily, leaning against the structure for support. Coward he might be, but he was alive...

... was that smoke?

Rotgrave shrieked in horror, hefting his staff in a futile defence, as with uncontained rage the fiery hot form of the released elemental whirled into the magi like a bowling ball into pins. The firey creature spun quickly through their front lines, latching onto the nearest large flammable object it could see. The tower.

The magi leader waved his weapon around, sending bolts of lightning cascading at the summon to no avail. As the fire washed over him, he was consumed in seconds, a far more painless death than he might have deserved.


From the now relative safety of the wall, Kastner stood with arms folded, surveying the battlefield. "Zhose pesk magi appear to have gotten ze better of my vhite spirits. No matter." the german man grumbled, "If you vant somezhing done right, zhen do it yourself..."

Purple robes flowing about him, he lifted his arms dramatically, lightning cracking between his fingers as he called on levels of magic that made Kiriel, standing beside him, goggle.

Above the magi, at the far side of the large battlefield, black clouds began to gather. Many of them spotted this, and waved their hands about in what appeared to be an attempt to dispel whatever was happening - to no avail.

From the clouds, as they formed, large spears of lightning began to rain down - lightning up the battlefield with sharp cracks of thunder, blasting craters in the ground and incinerating magi in their dozens.

"Time to finish them off! Battlemages, with me! One more volley of fireballs!" Kiriel yelled.

"Allow me to help." Elaina, Kastner's partner, said, approaching Kiriel.

"How so?"

"You'll see."

Kiriel shrugged, and lifted her hand over her head. The magi were still in chaos from Kastner's lightning storm, and failed to acknowledge the fresh set of oversized fireballs forming over the walls.

"Release!" Kiriel yelled, and for a final time, seven massive spheres of flame rocketed out from the walls ... followed swiftly by two dozen more?

Kiriel blinked in surprise, glancing at Elaina, before it clicked. The woman was a skilled illusionist - the fireballs were decoys.

And sure enough, as the projectiles neared the magi, some of them gathered their wits enough to make a last ditch attempt at deflecting their impending doom. Sadly for them, they succeeded in deflecting only one fireball, and half a dozen harmless illusions.

Six massive craters was soon all that was left of the magi ranks, the surviving few scattering to the forests and fleeing the field. Across the battlefield, Krycis' forces were broken and few in number. The surviving demons were performing more of a mop-up operation than anything, twisted metal covering the ground.

Kiriel breathed a sigh of relief. The walls were held, and at an astonisingly low cost. The Academy's barrier had provided them with a glorious advantage for half of the battle, and Kastner's arrival had turned what could have been a disastrous fall into a solid victory.

"No time to celebrate!" Kiriel yelled, however, straightening, "Varyn, Elyssa - keep your units on the walls along with Kastner's creatures in case of another assault. The rest of you - with me! We go to the others' aid!"

Descending from the walls in haste, Kiriel's battlemages and the staff who had fought on the walls began to cross the distance across the academy grounds towards the courtyard - it was a significant distance, given the pace at which events were progressing, but they moved without heavy armour to slow them.

This battle would be their's yet. It would never again be said that Celestia could not defend herself against her enemies.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Vyral on Thu Apr 07, 2011 8:47 am

The powerful frame of the Orsa's commander halted in its tracks, chest heaving. Caldwyn and his men blocked his path, many with weapons raised at their leaders rally. His free hand glowed by his side as it built up energy faded slowly, leaving only thin static crackles ensnaring his outstretched fingers. Caldwyn raised his blade and pointed it at the Architect, whom in turn directed the path of his palm towards Caldwyn and his soldiers. The spear of white light cut through the air only to be met by an identical blast save the colour. Black and white met between the two sides with a flash that was neither wholly light, nor dark. The shock-wave slid the Architect back, the soles of his shoes rubbing against the stone beneath him.

Left on her own, Luna succeeded only in wounded some of the mages holding the shield. She saw them fall, and their comrades carry them away towards the portal. She could not break the shield alone, not with that many mages empowering it. She had little time to worry on this fact, however, for the mages returned fire upon the young girl. With grace only a child possess, she avoided the first two bolts with lithe steps to the side, leaving scorch marks on the ground. The bravery of those two mages set of a chain reaction, and a wave of attacks now hurtled towards her - too many to avoid physically. So she would have to give this body for the battle to be one; the little girl smiled. She would take their number with her, at least. Stretching out her tiny hands - the width of a book, perhaps - she unleashed her psychic energy. The focus of this attack was not the shield, though. Instead tiny explosions of psychic energy erupted around the edge of the barrier, aimed towards the ground. The courtyard shook with the shockwave as the ground cracked beneath them. Mindless undead tumbled into the opening gaps, grasping with pallid fingers for purchase. More ravines spread beneath the barrier towards the mages whom powered it. The girl, content with her efforts, closed her eyes as the blasts reached her...

The dark energies building to his side were unmistakable to his practiced senses. The orb shot by Katarina struck the ground and enveloped everything in its power. The shockwave tore outwards, rending the ground and anything it touched where the Architect and Caldwyn had been fighting. Then the implosion came, sucking in anything around it. Rubble, corpses and weapons alike were sucked inwards into a throbbing orb of energy. When it dissipated, a large crater was left in which nothing stood. The area around the crater was swept clean by the implosion, leaving the courtyard eerily unmarred.

Luna opened her eyes. She had not felt her body rendered from her as she should have done, only a great rumbling about her that was not her own earthquake. She blinked as her eyes fell upon the Architect, who now stood slightly before her. The barrier he had erected was fading now, the barrage prevented from striking her. The mages whom had plucked up the courage to strike down a child had been distracted by her own attack, and she took advantage of the respite to gather herself. The undead were little match for the trained soldiers they fought. For ever living soul they claimed they lost many of their number, and as their number dwindled so did the fear they instilled. Though some hesitated in striking down a friend, most were struck down as their leaders rallies caught their ears. As the cavalry met the undead ranks, she came to their reinforcement with her powers flying without regard for friend or foe. Corpses exploded alongside the living, and great blasts of energy hurled bodies into the air like ragdolls. All the while, she smiled with her angelic, blood-stained face.

The Architect had other plans. Dropping his dagger on the ground, he set off at a full-pace sprint towards the barrier, taking advantage of the space cleared by Katarina's blast. He cleared the empty space while his enemy were busy helping their wounded from the earthquake. Compassion. It would be their downfall. He skidded to a halt before the barrier, staring face-to-face with a number of the mages. He lifted a shield of energy before them, sure that some would stop their duties and attack him. Protected for the mean-time, the Architect unleashed the powerful toxins within his blood. The effect would be, quite literally, Pandemonium. Panic would flare up in any within a twenty-five meter radius of the toxins. Those of strong will could resist the effects. After being ordered to strike former allies and children, and caught up in the chaos of a vicious battle, the Architect hoped that those that remained would be too few to continue maintaining such a barrier.

The Necromancer turned his attention from the undead, towards the shimmering form of Katarina. A thin tongue flicked over his lips at the taste of a fresh soul, simply hanging in the air before him. He walked forwards slowly, beady eyes foxed upon her. He spread both hands either side of him, and they were enveloped in a thick black smog that crept along the ground towards Katarina at an alarming rate. The ancient master of the dark arts was going to tug the woman into the Underworld, even if he had to go with her himself.

The portal remained open. Ashira, unconscious, lay on the floor beside her summoning wards. While her heart beat, the portal would remain open. The creatures, something in-between dragons and the husks fell in quick succession, only to be replaced by more of their number. They were quickly taking advantage of the Orsa's renewed, and Kiriel's men disembarking the walls the creatures targeted the battle beyond the walls. Fire swathed the ground, igniting the fury creatures while the metallic creations of Krycis' army survived with only scorched metal to show. If the construct army could capitalize on events, perhaps the tide of the battle could be swayed.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Script on Thu Apr 07, 2011 1:22 pm

(Post co-written by Arrow and I)

As Lucian's attack met Cadwyn's, the shockwave that it caused sent the group of battlemages that had placed themselves in the Architect's path backwards. A number lost their footing, whilst others stumbled or skidded - all of those still on horseback were displaced. Cadwyn himself took the brunt of the blast and flew backwards, landing into a roll that brought him quickly back to his feet. Too late, though, to renew his attack, as Lucian sped away to avoid Katarina's strike.

"Take him down!" the captain called to his recovering group, and the mages broke into a run towards the main battle, leaving their horses behind.

The rumbling and cracking of rock that spread outwards from Luna gave Silviana a few moments of warning as to what was about to happen. The fact that she shield only extended to ground level had occurred to her, and as such, she was ready to react.

"Scatter! Split into your assigned groups, spread out and switch to skirmish tactics!" the headmistress-cum-general barked. At her word, the uniform and rigid ranks of the mages seemed to dissolve in an instant. Groups of twelve or so mages - though there were many reduced by casualty numbers - flocked away from the cracking ground, uneven footing causing some disorganisation. But tough drilling and after-hours practice had given these teachers at least some level of military discipline, and their loyalty to their academy was strong. Some mages who were too slow, or those that were wounded, suffered the fate of a messy death at the bottom of the chasms Luna created.

Silviana herself ordered her group backwards, calling in four nearby circles to join them in retreating backwards towards the swirling portal structure. Forming a line of defence approximately forty strong, the five linked groups of mages erected a secondary joint barrier to protect themselves, whilst the scattered mage groups each provided their own shields powered by three or four of their number.

"If the tide of battle goes against us, ensure that the portal to Everia is closed." Silviana instructed, "We cannot allow the fight to spill into our own holds while the children are there."

Across the battlefield, a cacophony of screams and explosions cut any further words of inspiration Silviana had planned short. The charge of battlemages had met the undead, wiping the shambling constructs before them like so much grass in the wind. But those that had pierced through to within Luna's reach suffered for it. Blood and metal flew from the area as horse and rider alike were shredded by magical energy, and the charge split around the girl as the mages hastened to flee.

In the midst of the parting battlemages, one figure remained stoic, however. Resting upon a platform of earth, Scarlet narrowed her eyes at Luna and didn't afford the destructive child a second of hesitation. With a flash of gold in her eyes, the headmistress called upon her earth magic to bring the ground beneath Luna upwards in a razor-sharp spike twice the girl's height, aimed to pierce her body and slay her in an instant.

Just to make sure, though, Scarlet kicked off from her platform, and with a swing of her scepter she sent the chunk of rock rocketing through the air to smash into the area where Luna had stood, practically fusing itself with the spike of rock with the impact.

"Whatever she was," Scarlet muttered, "It was no child."

Perhaps that was Scarlet's justification - or perhaps she was just as determined to save her academy as Silviana was battle-hardened. After all, this was the second time she had been through this sort of horror.

Lucian's assault, after the scattering of the mages, presumably would continue to focus on the large group protecting the portal. As the blood mage sprinted at them, bolts of magic were thrown to intercept him, arcane in nature, around half a dozen in number and powerful enough to punch a hole in concrete. Should he make it past them, his attack would wash over the five circles of mages, catching them within its radius easily.

With the linking of the individual mages, their willpowers were also interlinked - this meant that while overall they each had far greater resistance to such effects, should one of them fail then all of them would. One of the groups did just that, a weaker willed and exhausted mage succumbing to the panic and turning to flee. His companions followed only moments later, all twelve of the mages abandoning their post and retreating in a disorganised cluster.

The other groups faired better - though two of them were frozen on the spot, their focus taken up entirely on maintaining their contribution to the barrier and not turning tail. Silviana's group, and the fourth and final of the other mages' circles, shook off the effects entirely - both containing many of the more experienced mages of the Academy.

"Strike back, with me!" Silviana called, raising her spear and narrowing her eyes at Lucian. The headmistress swung the spear down with a crackling of magic, pointing it at him and releasing a bolt of powerful lightning searing through the air towards him, powered by the other mages in her circle and destructive enough to stop the heart of anything short of a dragon. In near the same instant, Silviana shot forwards. Her body becoming wrapped in an aura of shadow that seemed to propel her forwards only moments behind her lightning strike, the headmistress-general of Everia thrust her spear forwards towards Lucian. If her were to survive the bolt of lightning, then the electrically charged spear would prove just as deadly, aimed to pierce his heart.

The other group of mages used Silviana's full frontal assault to cover their own attack. Behind Lucian, the courtyard shifted slightly, and from the ground around half a dozen shards of rock shot upwards. They were around the length and thickness of a baseball bat, but with razor sharp tips aimed to riddle Lucian's back with holes.

Elsewhere in the battlefield, more of the fight was starting to come down to individual combats as Katarina faced off against the enemy necromancer. The large, crackling form of the witch hovered just off the ground as the smog started to flow towards her, and she narrowed her eyes, turning to face the attacker with ire, detecting it quickly. With a beat of her translucent wings, Katarina took to the air and darted to the side of the smog's path, waving her hand to initiate her own attack on the man.

Beneath the necromancer's feet, the courtyard's ground would become tarry and liquid, a deep pit of clinging and corrosive liquid forming. From this tar, long arms shot upwards with grasping hands aimed to latch onto his legs, arms and torso, the tar they were coated with like super-glue. The limbs would attempt to drag the man downwards into the thick corrosive liquid, like acid in its destructive nature. In addition to physically burning at the necromancer's flesh, the Black Earth drained at his very essence, like a life-drain spell that sucked his will and strength from him like a malicious hoover.

The battle might now be resting largely on individual conflicts between Silviana and Lucian, Scarlet and Luna and Katarina and the Necromancer, but still the mages and battlemages continued to slay swathes of the undead that the enemy had at their disposal. With the redirection of the dragons, the casualties amongst them lessened dramatically, and organisation was found once again.

Scarlet, taking on the role of general as Silviana was clearly occupied, lifted her scepter. "Fall back to form a perimeter!" she shouted, "Battlemages form a ring, the rest of you take your units outside and pelt the enemy from relative safety!"

At Scarlet's command, a carefully fought retreat took place. The battlemages moved away from their conflicts to move backwards to encircle the undead in the courtyard, as well as the leaders who did battle with their own commanders. The groups of mages continued to scatter themselves around outside this circle of armoured soldiers. The mindlessness of their undead opponents made a manoeuver like this possible without costly casualties, and Scarlet made a point of keeping Luna busy should the girl have survived.

Outside the academy walls, the dragons' destination, the demons continued to mop up the last of Krycis' army - the arrival of the reinforcements for the mechanical constructs was not something that was appreciated, however. Whilst the thirty mages remaining on the wall were able to cast down many of the flying creatures, their flames still slew many of the weaker demons - though those more powerful such as the doomguards were resistant to the fires.

The demons weren't about to just sit and let themselves be picked off, however, and many of them retaliated with ranged attacks. The doomguards took wing, hulking forms rising into the air to slash down dragons with sweeps of massive swords, whilst imps and other summons cast bolts of their own fire and dark magic at the enemy.

Kiriel, having seen the dragons pass overhead, scowled and turned back. "Chailey, Lorkin, take your units back to reinforce the others!" she shouted. Two groups at the rear of the battlemages' lines turned at the command and hastened back towards the wall.

Scowling, Kastner looked up at the dragon creatures and shook his head. "Vell, ve cannot have anozher summoner attempting to outshine ze master, can ve?" he grumbled. With his experience and prowess in the field of summoning, as evident with the veritable army of summons both past and present that he had brought with him, Kastner was able to detect the summoned nature of the numerous dragon creatures.

"Elaina, if you vould? I vish to put an end to zhis clearly misjudged contest."

Elaina laughed, joining her partner where he was forming a circle of light on the ground. "We'll deal with your dragon problem for you, Kiriel. Go ahead to help Scarlet and Silviana." she said, giving the blonde battlemage captain a nod.

Kiriel returned the nod and saluted, "Good luck!" she called, as already Kastner was lifting the pair up on a thin circle of arcane energy and shooting towards the dragons' source. The battlemage looked on with no small degree of awe as bolts of magic rocketed from the robed figure and took out dragons by the dozen as he flew past them.

Shaking her head and returning to focusing on the road ahead, Kiriel turned to beckon her allies behind her. "Come on! We have a battle to win!" she called, and the soldiers once more began their advance.

Back in the courtyard, Cadwyn and his group had closed the gap between themselves and Lucian, and the captain drew up a short distance from where Silviana was engaged with the blood mage. "Ready yourselves for defence!" Cadwyn instructed, as he drew on the group's power for an attack.

A momentary flash of light above Lucian was all the warning the man would get before an instant later a ray of searing celestial energy burned downwards from a circular spot above him to envelop his form in its destructive nova. Carefully limited to just cover the man, so as to avoid harming Silviana, who was at spear's-length from him, the nova spell stretched from a meter above Architect to the ground.

As his attack launched, Cadwyn readied his sword to engage the man as soon as the results of the strike became apparent.

In the meantime, Scarlet was continuing to shout commands. "Celestia!" the headmistress shouted, "Form a link between your groups to pool our power again! Use visual aids to ensure that all circles are included! Ready yourselves for a total purge!"

At Scarlet's words, lines of bright light began to flash into existence between the groups of mages that now surrounded the courtyard area where the fighting was taking place, like a web forming over the entire battlefield. Even someone without magical talent would be able to tell that something bad was coming as the lights danced between the groups and their magic was pooled.

Scarlet allowed the massive mana pool to flow into her, a light-link forming between her and the circle as the power of every one of the Celestian mages was placed at her fingertips. The headmistress narrowed her eyes, surveying the remaining enemies, and readied herself to end this.

End it damn permanently.

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Re: Academia Celestia: Festivities and War

Tips: 0.00 INK Postby Tiko on Sat May 21, 2011 2:22 pm

(Post co-written by Tiko, Arrow and Script)

Red watched the destruction of the battle from her vantage point overhead where she had erected the portal within the Academy walls. No new reinforcements would be arriving, and truthfully, the battle was no longer going in their favor. The Architect was a fool to continue this madness, but so be it. Part of her told her to just walk out now and leave him to whatever fate may befall him and those in his company. Unfortunately, the keen recollection of the pain he had inflicted on her for the last time she walked out stayed her. With a snarl of agitation, Red smashed the window with a wave of her hand and a blast of fire before she herself stepped forward to plummet towards the ground below.

The chance that she would be recognized in the heat of battle was substantially low, but either way it was unlikely her facade would be continuing much longer regardless. As she fell, her amulet flared to life, burning with the intensity of a small sun before it engulfed her in in her entirety. Looking little more than a flaming comet, she struck the ground before Lucian with force enough to send tremors through the ground and as the light cleared, a towering red dragon rose up to stand over top of Lucian. Affixed to her chest was her amulet, pulsing with a life of its own as Red drew on its power to maintain her current form. The brunt of the magic based missiles en route struck against something seemingly intangible, fizzling out before they could reach their target while the more substantial earthen attacks found passage only to shatter upon impact with her hardened hide. A backhanded swipe of her massive foreleg swept across the ground to intercept Silviana's charge, risking the spear in the process.

Overhead, it was Cadwyn's attack that finally breached Red's shield of anti-magic as it struck true, searing and blackening her scales under the destructive energies. The blow staggered her, and with an enraged snarl Red raised her head up before with a deafening and ground shaking roar she exhaled an explosion of dragon breath from her massive maw. With the fiery inferno en route to Cadwyn and any mages in his vicinity, her tail lashed out viciously behind her, sweeping across the courtyard to scatter any mages – or undead – still within reach.

She had only moments to act, lest she risk being overwhelmed by the academy mages, but the ground beneath her and Lucian was rapidly growing molten as a red fissure began to spread, splitting open a breach to the infernal realm.

Elsewhere on the battlefield, a sickening shriek was the only sign of Luna's passing as Scarlet's merciless assault claimed whatever life was left in her. The desperate cries of the necromancer as Katarina's black magic drew him down into the ground, grasping hands strangling his voice as they gripped his throat and face, faded into nothingness as he disappeared from view.

Far overhead at the top of the tower on which the portal rested, the demonic dragons still pouring forth, two figures soared towards the swirling energies of the gap in space with apparent reckless disregard for its payload of creatures. Bolt after bolt of arcane energy cracked from them, sending the dragons falling to the ground.

"Elaina! Provide me vhiz cover vhilst I close zhis blasted portal!" Kastner called to his partner, and the Everian mage nodded back. The two reached the tower in a flurry of magic, the arcane disk that carried them landing smoothly on the stone surface.

Taking point, Elaina strode forwards and lifted her arms, a wave of fire pouring out and directly into the portal, driving the tide of dragons backwards and momentarily plugging the hole. "Hurry, dammit!" she shouted back at the purple-clad exile mage. Kastner had his arms raised and directed at the portal, and was muttering complex incantations under his breath as his palms gave off a powerful glow.

With a crackling of magic, the portal warped in place, before closing shut with a snap, scything off the head of a dragon that had been fighting against Elaina's fire. "Vell," he said, brushing his hands together, "Zhat is zhat."

The man peered down at the corpse of the summoner responsible and scoffed. "Weakling girl couldn't even survive ze portal's creation! How foolish are zhese people?"

The closing of the portal and the loss of the continuous flow of reinforcements would make the job of the remaining mages on the wall all the easier, and it was clear that the outer battle, at least, was won.

The inner battle too, seemed to be tipping in the favour of the mages. With Luna and the necromancer dead and gone, only Lucian and the sudden arrival of Red stood between the academy and victory.

As Red's foreleg swept towards her, Silviana dove to the side, her movements agile and flowing - a trail of shadow images falling behind her until she came to a halt. The headmistress paused only a moment to stare with challenge into the eyes of the dragon, before she spun her spear and launched back into attack.

The weapon lit up with arcane magic as she drew on the unit of mages that formed her power source, and it seemed to shift and grow to several times its ordinary size. Silviana hurled the weapon forwards with force, straight towards Red's neck, a grunt of anger sounding as she did so. The arcane magic was as strong, if not more so, than any metal - with the added benefit of a searing magical discharge wherever it struck.

Cadwyn's unit - having already been ordered to prepare for defence - were ready for an assault, even if they hadn't quite been expecting a dragon. Red's flames washed over their shield without causing any significant damage, flowing around them to burn only the ground.


The booming word resonated around the courtyard like an explosion in of itself, "Fall back." came the following instruction as the source of the voice rose into the air. Scarlet was bathed in the magical light of over a hundred mages, her very skin seeming to ripple with power.

Below, Silviana halted in her assault to glance upwards, and with a single nod, she did as instructed. The headmistress fell away from Red, and she and the other mages in their group fell back to the portal. Cadwyn, along with the remaining battlemages, fell away also to join the circle around the courtyard.

Scarlet looked down on Red's gathering energies for her attempted escape and narrowed her eyes. She lifted her scepter, then, and its end was momentarily lit in light before a rippling burst of magic shot forth from it. Tearing through the air with incredible force, the bolt of magic shot at Red with the speed and force of a bullet train, and in a cacophony of shockwaves another half-dozen bolts followed behind it.

"This academy will stand." Scarlet yelled, "So fuck off, and die."

Sylviana's weapon wouldn't reach its mark as Red's amulet sent out a pulse of red mana to collide with the spear mid air and send it careening off to the side. Though it did force Red back a pace, from the explosive spray of opposing magical forces and shockwaves that followed. A rumbling snarl filled her throat as she prepared a second blast of dragon breath, but Scarlet's booming voice overhead stayed her as surely as it had Sylviana.

Shifting her gaze upwards she caught Scarlet's eyes as the building attack was launched in her direction but she hadn't the time to evade it, not with her massive bulk. Eyes narrowing, Red's amulet flared to life once more, this time slamming a shield of fire against the incoming attack, but it did little to stay the bolt as it tore through and collided with Red. Muscle, sinew and even bone gave under the assault before the growing fissure swallowed her and Lucian, offering only a brief glimpse of a fiery landscape on the other side.

As Red and Lucian disappeared from view, Scarlet scowled and swung her sceptre once again. With a snap much akin to the one on the tower, the headmistress sealed the portal behind Red and Lucian. They could rot in whatever goddamn plane they'd fled to, for all she cared. Looking down, Scarlet narrowed her eyes at the remaining undead forces.

With barely a gesture on her part, each and every one of the rotting corpses was abruptly engulfed in white cleansing fire. Not even bones were left as the magic faded.

A momentary silence engulfed the former-courtyard now-battlefield, before somewhere in the ranks, a voice let out a cheer. This was taken up, and in a ripple, the teachers and battlemages began to cheer in gusto.

Scarlet slowly began to descend to the floor, joined by the still-crackling Katarina, who gave her a tired but relieved glance. Just as good spirits were starting to overcome the inevitable realisation of the level of casualty, a cry came up from back down the road to the Academy's exit.

The headmistress turned with a frown to see a breathless Kiriel running at the head of the mages from the wall, all of which seemed distraught. "Scarlet!" she shouted, "The army's gone, but something's taken its place! A mist - it's killing anyone it touches! We've tried to force it back, but it's unresponsive to any magic we try, and it's mist, we can't kill mist!"

Scarlet scowled, and without a word took once more to the sky with levitation magic. At the rear of the retreating mages was an ominous sight. A creeping white mist, as Kiriel had said, crawling at an unnatural rate across the grounds. Near the walls, where those that Kiriel had sent back to combat the dragons were fleeing, the rearmost mages were being caught up in the advancing wall of white. Even at this distance, Scarlet could hear their screams.

"Silviana!" Scarlet shouted down, turning around to the other headmistress. "Fall back to Everia. Everyone fall back. I'll try and stop this. If I can't, then we come back later and try harder."

Without waiting for a response, knowing that Silviana was more than capable of organising a retreat, Scarlet shot towards the mist through the air. Bringing the power of the other mages to bear while they remained within the Academy to draw on, she lifted her hands forward and focused.

It was hard to tell what the mist was, but it seemed demonic on at least a vague level, and so Scarlet tried what she knew worked on demons. Her palms lighting up with golden power, she cast a wave of celestial energy burning through the air and into the mist. The wave expanded as it left her, widening and growing into an immense cone of power that met the mist with a roar of clashing magic.

The two powers fought with one another, and below the column of retreating mages gained ground, but there was just too much of the mist. "God damn it." Scarlet cursed, "The hell is this, a Stephen King novel?"

Once again, Scarlet raised her hands, and once again a wave of power shot out to meet the mist. Over and over she beat at the advancing wall, cutting into it only for the spaces to be filled by more and more of the eerie fog.

Slowly, the headmistress was forced backwards to keep ahead of the stuff, unrelenting until she felt her power begin to dwindle. More of the mages were escaping to Everia every second, each one a power source dropping off of her radar.

"Scarlet!" a shout came from behind her, "It's too late! There's nothing you can do!"

Scarlet turned angrily to face the source of the voice - glaring into Katarina's glowing eyes. "No!" she shouted, "I can still-"

"Shut up, you silly bitch!" Katarina yelled over her, "Shut the hell up, and fall the hell back! You are not a goddess, you are not invincible, you are just a silly blonde woman with a penchant for final stands! Pull yourself together and get moving!"

Scarlet blinked. "Well, when you put it that way..." the headmistress turned to look back at the mist and sighed, "Fine."

Katarina nodded, "Good. Now come on." she said, taking advantage of her momentarily at-least-slightly physical form to grab hold of Scarlet's arm and tug her towards the courtyard where the last few mages were fleeing through the portal.

The two landed beside the swirling energies and Scarlet looked to Silviana with a resigned glance that spoke volumes. With Katarina's encouragement, the headmistress disappeared into the portal with only a glance back at what remained of the academy building.

Silviana stood for a moment longer, watching the approaching mist with a grim face, before she stepped through herself. On the other side, she placed her hand against the portal's parallel in Everia's inner courtyard, and the link was broken. The light faded, and the mist disappeared from view.

The headmistress turned to look on the gathering of mages that now filled the courtyard, and the gawking students who lined the windows of the academy itself. Now she had a whole new kind of chaos to deal with...

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