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Wyatt Silas

"Truth as it stands is a rare thing indeed."

0 · 1,749 views · located in Vandose

a character in “Battle of the Witches”, as played by AvengerSpirit

Description

Name: Wyatt Silas

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Quote: "I will not be a slave without thought."

Nickname: n/a

Age: 24

Gender: male

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Magic: Yes, black

Extent of Control: There isn't much he can't do, but that doesn't mean he knows everything.

Special Abilities: Higher levels spells come easily for him. Can use his black magic to heal, even white magic users.

Marks: His eyes, they are black and cloud with magic when using it.

Place of Birth: In the woods of Eliradia.

Skills: Physical hand to hand combat, keeping hidden from others, wearing a mask around others so they don't know what he's thinking

Weapon(s): Carries a sword around with him, but never really needs to use it. His magic works better.

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Appearance: Wyatt has jet black hair down to just past his shoulders. He normally keeps it tied back with a leather strip otherwise its worn down. His eyes are ebony in color marking him as a witch. He stands at roughly six feet one inches tall. Lean build, but by no means skinny or gangling. His body is tone and firm from working constantly. His skin is extremely pale and his features nearing elfin in appearance. He wears solid black. The shirt is a poet type with strings tying it at the top with black leather over shirt as protection, black pants and black boots the pants are tucked into. Only has a cloak when it gets really cold. Otherwise just uses his magic to keep himself warm.

Personality: He is cold and aloof to pretty much everyone. He believes he is better than everyone else and he's rarely wrong about it. Has an analytical mind and thinks everything through sometimes in a matter of seconds. But at the same time the stone, cold, mask that he wears to everyone is mostly a front. He can be gentle and kind, but its usually only to one person.

BIO: Wyatt was born to two black magic users in the middle of the woods away from other people. He was trained from an early age to use his powers and train his body. When he was five, his parents brought him into Shadow Sage, where they were high ranking members to further his training. He grew much stronger than most of his counterparts, but still only went on simple missions. He refused to be a willing slave to a cause he wasn't sure he agreed with. So he decided he needed to go out on his own to find out the truth. He knew witches were killed on spot, so he stayed away from villages, towns and major populated areas. But he needed answers to see if the Shadow Sage was truly right in what they were doing. The only way to get those answers was going to be in the Witches' Fortress.

Other: n/a for now.

So begins...

Wyatt Silas's Story

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The night was dragging on, as if it was never going to end. Her shoulders had ceased to hurt. She simply couldn’t feel the pain she knew they were actually in. But she still felt the majority of the rest of her body. And she wished she didn’t. The worst part about it all was she knew it didn’t matter whether they talked or not. They would still be in pain. Maybe not in as much as she was now, but the end result would still be the same. Their deaths.

Slipping in and out of consciousness, Sylvana didn’t hear the footsteps approach the door. Even if she had, she would have just thought they were coming back to finally finish the job or that the guards outside their cell were being relieved for the night. But it was Jacob’s voice she heard.

From across the room, she could just make out what the gray witch was saying. It was all in vain. Wyatt wasn’t going to come out from the mask he’d put in front of him. If it didn’t happen while she was being tortured in front of him, it sure wasn’t going to happen now.

Attempting to lick her lips to get some moisture back into the cracked skin, she wondered if her voice would even carry far enough across the expanse to be heard outside the door. “Don’t… bother… Mask in… place…” Her voice was hoarse in her own ears. She couldn’t imagine what it sounded like to someone else. But there was nothing that could be done about it now.

Sylvana stole what glance she could over at her childhood friend. Through one swollen eye, it was hard to see him in the darkness. The blackness of his clothes and hair only made the paleness of his skin shine more brightly, but with his head slightly downward, it was hard to see anything from his side of the room. The shadows seemed to dance around him as if they knew something she didn’t and the white witch couldn’t help but wonder what exactly he had meant from earlier. They were almost out of this place. Was that meaning death was coming for them, or was there something else she didn’t understand.

And forgive him? She didn’t blame him for any of the pain she was in, no matter how bad it was. She knew what she’d signed up for when she agreed to join him. She didn’t need to forgive him and even if she did, she would do so without a second thought. After everything he had done for her, she could never pay him back.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Alone. They were alone in the darkness again. No, she was alone. Wyatt was somewhere she would never reach him. Nothing was going to reach him now, not until he was ready to come out of his own mind. Given their current circumstances, she wasn’t sure it was ever going to happen.

Sylvana closed her eyes though it made no difference to what she saw and settled in for the night as best she could. It was long and restless. Most of it filled with pain and dread. She just wanted it over with. Even death sounded nice after the many hours of hanging from her shoulders dragged on.

By the time morning came, the white witch couldn’t really feel much of her own body anymore. What she did feel was the horrible pain every time she moved. If she could just stay perfectly still then… it never happened; one of the pluses of hanging from the ceiling – movement. But with morning, came the knowledge that the pain was only going to get worse.

Day two. Wyatt had said something about almost being out of this. Death or freedom? Death couldn’t like the easiest and fastest way. As messed up as it sound though, she would rather escape and then die. Anywhere else than in the hands of the Shadow Sage. She knew what they would do with their dead bodies. It was the whole reason the two of them had fled to begin with. Sylvana held onto the hope that Wyatt had something planned to get them out in time.

It was still dark in the room, just not as much as the world around them prepared for another round. It wouldn’t be long until the elders started showing up. As much as she wanted to rat Jacob out for having broken rules, she would never put someone through what they were having to live just because she didn’t like them. It wasn’t in her nature. No. If anything, she was more determined than before to keep her mouth shut. To die without giving them anything they wanted.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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After his secret trip to the dungeons, Jacob’s anxiety only increased. Any sleep he did get was fitful at best. What if Raven found out? Would he be strung up in chains too? Impossible! There were no witnesses but the white witch. Would she tell? She was easier to break than Wyatt, or whatever the black witch had become. That thought only stirred his fear further. What had he become? How could he push Jacob back without his magic?

ENOUGH! " he roared. In a fit, he also blasted one of his pillows to pieces. He couldn’t let this weakness take over! He had work to do! And that’s what he did.

Jacob spent the rest of the day forcing back his new fears. He was cold, cold and harsh as the ice that was his home. He had a mask of his own. It. must. not. fall.

He stayed close to his master, eating meals again at the high table, keeping polite and stubborn silence while his superiors spoke amongst themselves. This time though, he paid more attention to what they talked about. He won’t embarrass himself if left alone with the visitors again! There was no sign of suspicion among them. So far, so good.

The real challenge for Jacob started next time they went into the dungeon room. His stomach clenched, but he didn’t lose his meal. It felt heavier inside him though. How long could he keep it down?

Since Raven didn’t even try to play nice on day two, that was a valid question. The level of violence and precision of that violence had not changed from the previous afternoon, or if it had changed it was worse. Jacob's appetite waned earlier than the previous day, but he had to eat something for lunch to keep up his act. Why had it become so much harder to do? Why did he have any reaction at all? Both of those witches in the cold white dungeon room were traitors. They deserved everything they got! He tried to hide his increasing frustration and confusion in his food. He ate but tasted nothing.

They grey witch suffered through the final hours of day two by rehearsing spells he knew in his head. Inside the room the cold white light had never changed, but as he had a strong sense of his homeland, he could feel the falling of the sun to the horizon. He closed his eyes and murmured to himself, "Soon, Soon, it shall be over."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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There had been times in Sylvana’s past when she’d wanted to die before. But she never could have imagined a more painful way to get there than what she was living now. Out of all the battles, everything she had lived through and overcome, this was to be her fate. Ironic really. The very place she joined to change her life for the better was what would ultimately take her life.

While Wyatt had by no means been spared from the torture, the majority of the punishment was on her shoulders. Somehow, somehow she had managed to keep her mouth shut. Screams were never out of the question no matter how much she’d tried to keep them in. Akane’s mental torment was probably one of the worst things she had to live through. He knew her parents. He’d fought against them once before. He’d helped to kill them once too. All the things and images he’d shown her had caused to her lose her stomach to the point of bile.

Everything hurt, but yet was numb. She could feel every single wound, tear, bruise, and yet at the same time, she felt nothing at all. She knew she was dying. It was easy to tell, but it would be a slow process that she knew the elders would drag out for as long as they could. But she could feel the day was coming to an end. Because they were so high up into the snow covered mountains, the sun went down long before the day had actually ended, which meant that the moon rose earlier too. It gave the night predators a much longer hunting time compared to their daylight comrades.

As if her internal clock was telling her to rest, that the day was over, she felt a shift in air. She sucked as much air into her lungs as she could even though it burned her throat and caused white hot agony to rip through her chest. She knew what she was feeling. It had been so long ago. But it had been the only way to win the fight. To save the world and every witch in it. Forget the normal people. The witches had been in more danger then than ever before. They alone had stopped it.

Now everything Wyatt had said made perfect sense.

A single tear fell down her face as she mumbled out, “I forgive you…” She could barely even hear herself speak. What she did hear was the sudden, dark laugh from the black magic user’s side of the room.

Wyatt’s mask had finally broken. He looked up at everyone in the room, a wicked smile on his face as he laughed at everyone present. His eyes were completely black as if he was holding onto his magic. Only it was the other way around. Without access to his magic, it was what was calling the shots, the male locked into the background where the beast normally resided.

Black magic swirled around his body completely uncontrolled and showing only a taste of the power Wyatt had kept hidden from everyone, especially the elders. His wounds healed almost instantly. Smirking at Raven, the male flexed his magic just enough to cause the chains holding him prisoner to shatter and then he was free.

Hell broke loose.

The other elders attempted to put him back into the caged bubble with no luck. The beast tore through them, uncaring about whether or not injuries they received killed them or not. Even Akane, the boy’s father, hadn’t known he’d inherited Milla’s moon trait as she’d lost it prior to the boy being conceived. He stood a better chance against his offspring, but even pulling on a second magic he fell to the wild magic. Wyatt stood over his father’s body, knowing he had to keep him alive just for the sake of Milla. He could finally see the truth that had been hidden from him since his birth, but couldn’t do anything about it.

There were only three conscious people left in the room. Two who weren’t threats and the other whom he wanted dead more than any other. He turned to face Raven.

“You should have learned your lesson to leave me alone years ago. I’ve been waiting for this since the night you took us to see your little experiments. Tell what elders remain why they lost their two greatest assets if any of you survive.” His voice came out in an animal like growl, completely different than the male’s normal tone. Wasting no time, the two went at each other, but it was no contest. With the full moon backing Wyatt’s black magic and him unable to control the beast that was his magic, the elder was on the floor within a few minutes.

Turning, he faced Jacob, the smirk back on his blood covered face. His own from the wounds and the injuries he’d caused to everyone in the room. He walked over to his former friend. He didn’t need to kill him or even hurt him. The boy wasn’t a threat to him. But other things would make it much more interesting. He flexed the magic, allowing the gray magic user and probably anyone within a few miles radius able to feel his magic.

“You still think you want this? Still think your magic is inferior to what this is?” He laughed as he lashed out to knock the boy out. He didn’t care what happened now as he turned to face the white light in the room. He’d stopped seeing her as another person and just the undercurrent of white magic that she held. Her own was trying to combat the darkness around it – to save him, even if she didn’t know it.

Wyatt stood in front of his childhood friend. The person who’d stood by him through everything. The smirk only widened as the beast raised Sylvana’s head up to look at him. He kept eye contact as he slammed his magic straight through her chest. She gasped out just as more blood ran down the side of her mouth. His hand fell and so did her head.

Then everything snapped.

“NO!” Wyatt screamed out as reality of everything that had happened within only a few minutes came to him. He looked around the room, panic dancing in his eyes. The beast was still fighting him for control, but he had to save Sylvana. He couldn’t touch her anymore. Her wounds were caused from black magic. Black couldn’t heal it only make it worse. The only magic that could heal her now was gray. But no healers existed within the Shadow Sage, except…

Jasper.

Wyatt used the power still surging around him until he found the gray magic user. Being thankful for once to the beast within his magic, he ripped open the door to the cell and destroyed any and all magical barriers within the room.

I need you now. Even through the mental link, his voice was strained. Knowing it would cost him later; he transported Jasper down into their cell. Right into the middle of the carnage, he had created. Heal her. He didn’t trust himself to speak anymore. He had taken the chains off and laid her body down on the floor. The pool of blood was thickening around her and the male’s chest tightened. He’d promised to protect her and he was going to be the reason she died.

Hearing footsteps outside of the cell, Wyatt wrapped his magic around all of their signatures, includes their weapons and bags that were locked up as they carried a specific scent unique to the group and they disappeared further up into the snow covered mountain a few days journey from their original destination.

If you wish to know the truth – follow. The beast projected to Jacob as the three witches had disappeared seconds before the door flew open.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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A harsh, cruel, resounding laugh pulled Jacob from his own attempt to shut out the world. At first he thought it was his master, though he never heard Raven laugh like that before.

That thought was quickly quashed with the sudden powerful pressure accompanying it. Heavy weight fell on him, and he gasped for air. This power sought only to crush and destroy. NO! He shouted in his mind, and his magic answered. A grey cloud rolled over his entire body and then appeared to turn to glass. Jacob could reach through the glass, but no others could reach in.

Wyatt broke the chains! The monster he became plowed through the elders and his father. The same father who was going to watch him die. Jacob snarled, and since his magic also wasn’t completely controlled, a shard of grey glass aimed for the father. He reeled it in, somewhat, not that anyone in the room fighting for their lives would notice.

His master fell to the beast, and Jacob swallowed a lump in his throat. Raven was the only father he ever knew.

Then the beast came for him! He pulled back defensively and pushed all his strength to shield himself if nothing else. He wasn’t going to die today! The beast didn’t attack, but pushed its own strength forward. That crushing strength! Jacob’s fear showed in his cold blue eyes, but he was indeed still alive. The monster pushed him away like a fly. He hissed as he hit the stone floor, curled up and protecting his head. The magic glass broke around him and he laid still.

Jasper too, far away from the proceedings, screamed and rammed his body against the hinges of his cage door. He didn’t have time for caution. Fear! Pain! Death! They pounded against him like heavy stones. He needed to heal. He needed to help!

Suddenly, the door ripped out of the wall. Jasper froze. Surely… Before he could finish the thought, he found himself in the middle of a white room stained with blood. It looked eerily similar to the room where that woman abused him every day since he arrived, but it had a variety of strange and terrifying contraptions. The six bodies scattered around the room captured his attention the most. Who or what would do this? The only person still on his feet was Wyatt. The healer shuddered. This was that terrible cold and darkness he felt when they met.

Heal her. A strange but pained voice pressed on his mind, directing his eyes to the one body in the room directly in front of him. It must be Sylvana, but her body was so damaged he almost didn’t recognize her. As a healer though, he couldn’t deny the request. He swallowed back both bile and tears, and kneeled down in the pool of her blood. It was a good thing he wore red robes over his clothes.

Closing his eyes, he pressed his right hand over her chest, where most of the blood was coming from, and rested his left hand on her head. Just like the last time he tried this, the magic pulled him under and he cried out, but he remained aware of himself too. He gritted his teeth against her pain. This felt worse than what Jacob did! Broken bones, terrible wounds, and bruises. Her heart!

Under the magic trance, Jasper’s body was outside of his control. The tears he tried to hide flowed freely. His stomach convulsed, but the bile did not fall on his patient. He could hear and see nothing beyond him, but he felt his brother, and pulled him in too. Jacob couldn’t resist in his unconscious state, but the magic did no harm to him. In the same way, it came to Jacob’s defense when he was in need, the magic bolstered up its other half. The twins would no longer be separated.

Jacob cried out and pulled up when the connection between them broke. The beast, his brother, and the white witch were gone. Abandoned again, he shouted, “Damn you all!”

The door burst open to his mother with a contingent of guards. He froze and met her eyes. The woman was only two inches shorter than him, with her grey-streaked brown hair pulled in a bun. She scanned the room and guards wrenched his arms behind him. As he was the last one standing, he got the blame again. He snarled and fought fruitlessly with the guards. Not again. He wouldn’t pay for Wyatt again! “I had nothing to do with this!” He shouted to his mother.

Because he was physically no match for these burly well-trained guards, he gave up temporarily and twisted his head to Raven’s body. “Look there. My master.” Pain edged his voice, but he refused to cry like his brother. “Why would I hurt him?”
Morgana, his mother, didn’t want to take orders from her adopted son, but she had reasons of her own for wanting to know. She tried to hide it, but her eyes darted in Raven’s direction, and a choked gasp came from her throat. She took a moment to recover, and her voice returned burning like poison. “What did happen?”

“A monster.” Jacob grunted back. “See for yourself.” He lowered his head and his stomach clenched. He despised letting his defenses down, but he had no choice if he wanted to get out alive. “See with my eyes,” he finally whispered and closed his eyes. Forcing his resistance back even as the first thorny probes pierced his mind, he clenched his teeth against the pain. The thorny probes forced him to relive those moments of terror, and he squirmed in the guard’s grip. No further than today, woman!

Stubborn child! She let him have his way that much though. “Very well. Let him go.” She said out loud to the guard holding him. Jacob rubbed his shoulders when released.

“Release me to avenge my master, and…” he paused and turned to Akane when he heard the big man groan. “I’ll get the information he wanted too.”

“What is that?” his mother interjected.

Jacob curled his lip in disgust. “I’ll tell him…” he pointed to Akane. “…and no one else. Master Raven didn’t want anyone to know but those in this room, and that one is the last one left.” Since the guard released him, he stalked over to Akane’s body. “I admit, I’m surprised he showed you mercy though. If I was in his shoes, I wouldn’t.” Jacob pressed one of his feet on one of Akane’s injuries, intending to induce greater pain, but he held himself back from killing the old man too. “Before I go, let me tell you something. I hated my father for abandoning me to die, but I have to grant him one thing. He didn’t stick around to watch it happen. You, on the other hand…” the slighter witch pressed his weight harder on the injury. “You would have done the deed yourself, if allowed. I hate you for that, but I have to thank you too. Your words at lunch yesterday set me on this new path.” Jacob released the man and returned to Morgana. “So, Mother, have I your permission to leave?”

Morgana met Jacob’s cold eyes, and swallowed. She saw something there she hadn’t before. “You realize you only have two options now: Success or death. Death either by the monster’s hand or ours.”

Jacob nodded solemnly, but that fierce look in his eye hadn’t wavered. He posed a question to her, and she answered but no others knew of the exchange. “Very well.” She directed one of her retinue of guards to make sure Jacob had everything he needed for his journey, and called the rest to help her prepare the bodies. “I will succeed,” the boy called back and thus answered the call of his heart and magic to meet his brother and party.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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The pristine colored snow around the three of the witches was turning red and pink around Sylvana as Jasper continued to work on her. Her skin was nearly the same color as their surroundings. She’d lost too much blood. Her body had been put through the ringer over the last two days.

Wyatt paced back and forth wearing a path down in the thick snow, but still it didn’t calm his nerves down. It only made the passing of time much more noticeable, enough so that his gut told him his best friend wasn’t going to pull through. The wind whipped through him and he winced. He could take the cold, but the others…

Putting himself to use was going to be the only thing to keep himself grounded. Going over to their stuff, he dug out the cloaks. He put Jasper’s around his shoulders before draping both his own and Sylvana’s over her ice cold frame. Finally with nothing left to do, he collapsed down across from the gray magic user.

His own pale hand reached out to touch the white magic user, but he stopped just short every time he got close. I have no right to touch her. No right to be near her at all. I failed her even worse than I thought I ever would. How could you ever forgive me for what I’ve done? All I tried to do was get us out of there. But without access to my magic, I couldn’t control it. So many years of fighting the inner magic and this is when I lose control. When I have none to begin with.

“Syl…Kyla… I’m so sorry.” Tears fell down the male’s face as black as the color of his magic. “I never meant… I’ve controlled the beast for so long, but without access to magic… Please, Kyla, please. You’ve pulled through so much more before. I’m not Eth. I’m not your brother.”

He’d never been so emotional before. His mother would have been stomping him into the ground for the way he was blubbering on. Before he’d ever been reunited with the white witch, whatever he did, he did. He was never sorry for anything. Until her. She’d opened his eyes to the way he was raised and taught him the other side of things. And now when all he wanted was the calm retreat, he was given the openness she’d taught him.

Being so high up the mountain, the wind whipping around them, pressing the cold down, they were easy targets for the creatures that called the place home especially in the pitch blackness. As much as he hated to leave them, he had to find wood or at least something he could burn even if it meant poop.

So Wyatt set out and returned a few minutes later. He set up a small fire between a couple of rocks so the heat would stay trapped within the small space and keep the group warmer. Next he moved their supplies to the small base camp and then returned to Jasper and Sylvana. All he could do now was wait for the gray magic user to finish trying to heal his best friend. And then hope against every fiber in his being that she was going to survive.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

The smell of death and blood filled Akane’s nostrils before he even opened his eyes. He was alive. Whatever small miracle that meant. Being killed by his own flesh and blood would have royally sucked, but as it stood being defeated by him as a lot worse. Of course, Akane knew for a fact that his son was stronger than him, but he had never seen power like that before. Even drawing on Milla’s black magic, it hadn’t been enough to stop him.

But he knew exactly why he was still alive. The boy would have recognized the feel of his mother’s magic. He now knew that he controlled the woman’s magic. A damn shame that secret couldn’t have stayed away from him. It wasn’t like he didn’t already hate him and while he wasn’t too fond of his mother either, the boy hated his sire a lot more.

Akane growl out as Jacob came over and pressed down onto one of the wounds making the already searing pain worse. Why hadn’t he gotten tossed around too? It wasn’t like they were friends or anything. Why spare the gray magic user? He wasn’t going to ask especially not with the male’s foot in his bleeding wounds.

It was, however, Jacob’s words that caused some of the pain to lesson. He laughed as he raised himself to his feet, allowing his black magic to heal himself. It would take time, much slower than if another user did it, but he preferred not having to lean on anyone else.

“Good to know you took something to heart,” he smiled as he straightened completely up to his full height despite the pain he was feeling. “But unlike your weak father, I would much rather have done the deed myself of killing the boy. I never wanted him in the first place, but orders are orders. Go find him and learn his truths. Just be careful what you wish for.”

The black magic user didn’t wait around. With all the elders dead including Raven, which was a major blow, he was the highest ranking official in the tower. He wasn’t taking orders from anyone. Let the brat do as he wanted. He didn’t care. What he cared about was finding Milla before news of what happened leaked to her from anyone but himself. Once outside of the room, he transported himself away to where he knew she was, based solely on the connecting feeling of their magic.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Jasper also grew pale as he fought both the pain and the consuming power of his untrained magic. Even with the fur cloak Wyatt draped over him, his body trembled. Sweat dripped from his head and face, landing on Sylvana's body. As it landed it seemed to melt into her skin. A sharp cold fear lanced in his stomach. What if he couldn't do it? What if in trying to save her, he died himself? Those thoughts only increased the trembling and sympathy pains plaguing him. No! He couldn't let those fears win!

Even though the cruel woman in the tower took away his freedom and caused him pain, one thing she gave him was a better knowledge of his own magic. He could feel that magic consuming his body and Sylvana's. The magic was hot and powerful, while the ground below him was cold and numbing. Inside the consuming magic, he couldn't move, but his thoughts remained his own. He focused those thoughts on healing her most life-threatening injuries. Anything left after the magic had done its work could be handled manually, will be handled with the knowledge his father taught him. They will both survive. It was still a strain on him, but his fears and doubts no longer got in the way.

During what felt like many hours, the healer felt more pain than he knew in his entire life. It hurt to breathe; it hurt to move. His head felt heavier than the mountain where they landed, but he couldn’t give up. Wyatt, Sylvana and his family needed him now more than ever. He was so tired, so tired… He collapsed next to the girl with an arm around her for heat.



Even though he heard the older black witch's words, Jacob forced himself not to respond. The old man confirmed Jacob's suspicions about him and laughed about it. Well, he decided, for my next freelance mission, I'll finish the job Wyatt failed. So far this freelance thing felt surprisingly easy. Of course, his mother knew she was no match for him, and Raven... Jacob swallowed tightly and more vigorously tossed his traveling gear together. I am NOT my brother! Not only were his emotions interfering with him, but he felt his magic was fighting again too, which only worsened his mood. He dealt with that by waspishly ordering the guard to help him pack his bags. His mother's orders were to make sure Jacob had what he needed, so ordering the pest to help him was perfectly within those orders.

After both Akane and Jacob left, Morgana had her own struggles. She didn't let any of the remaining guards touch Raven. He'll curse her for her weakness, but she didn't want any strangers touching her brother. She held one of his pale hands in both of hers, and rested it against her face. He tried to pull away. He's still alive! Hmmf! Jacob wasn't paying as much attention as he usually does, and Morgana smirked. The consequences she told him still stood, but he'd probably like to know the truth. The truth. Akane said something about truth before he transported himself away.

"Brother, you're a bloody mess. Had both me and that pet of yours convinced you were dead." She let go of his hand and rested it over his chest. If he was to stay alive, she had work to do. The guards officially confirmed the other elders were dead, which could be expected, as both were at least ten years older than Raven, and physically weaker in general. One of Raven's own complaints about other elders was that they didn't put enough effort into their physical fitness. Morgana frowned as she attempted to patch his injuries. She noticed at least one thing that would keep Raven from his own fitness routine, but she kept it to herself as she transported them to a room where she knew more of his pets could be found. Most of Raven's pets were grey magic users with varying strengths. Jacob was stronger and older than these, but they were stuck with them."Children," she called to the startled young witches, "Take care of your master." She left them no room for questions and disappeared again.

Finally he was ready to go, and met Morgana again. "I'm already on a mission and I won't stop until its done. Don't interfere!"
The woman smirked again, this boy. "I won't interfere. I just wanted to bring you something, so you can contact me with your progress on the mission." She handed him a small hand mirror.

"Is this one of...?" the boy choked on the last word.
"Yes, he wants you to have it."
"What if..."

"You said yourself you won't fail, so why should you be afraid of your master's gift? You wanted to go on this mission to avenge him and get the information he wants, so why would I or anyone else want to stop you? Press your hand to the face and see for yourself how this gift works and why it was given." Jacob did so and his mother stepped out of his path. In the mirror, he saw Raven, as he was now. Alive and being tended by other grey witches, some Jacob knew. He smiled a genuine happy smile at the sight. "It works two ways. You can see into this tower, and we can see you, so step carefully, boy!" Jacob pressed his hand against the mirror again and it went blank. His master is alive, but he still didn't trust him. Hmmf! Well, i'll show them all!
"Thank you," he spoke aloud and transported himself out of the tower. The mirror he tucked in his knapsack and kept it there as he followed the call of his magic to the mountain where his enemies waited.

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While Wyatt wasn’t exactly known for his patience, his mother had instilled in him the ability to appear calm even when his insides were a wreck. Hell, she’d even taught him how to control his insides especially when in battle. But having to sit by and do nothing while he watched Jasper try and heal Sylvana was probably one of the worst things he’d ever been through. His nerves were a wreck and had he been any other person, he probably would have been pacing through the thick blanket of snow with sweat running down his face.

It seemed like an eternity had passed before a stir in the air alerted the black magic user that anything had changed. He studied the other male more closely seconds before he lost consciousness. With the only person who could heal his friend now out of commission, he could only hope that the white magic user had been healed enough to survive.

Moving the few steps over towards them, Wyatt bent down and picked up Sylvana first and moved her over to the fire. He adjusted the cloak around her to keep her as warm as possible and then headed back for Jasper. He did the same for the male once he was near the fire. Knowing he would need to prepare food for him to regain his strength, he didn’t want to make it too earlier, not knowing when he would stir.

But at least Sylvana had seemed fine. Her heart rate had been steady beneath his finger tips and her skin tone had even regained some color. He knew she probably wasn’t safe yet, but at least for now she wasn’t dying. The scene from the dungeon replayed over and over in his mind. He could still hear the beast laughing at him the whole time. A lifetime of fighting it back by always being in control and one slip up had nearly cost him everything. He didn’t feel remorse over the lives of the elders. They probably deserved much more than they had been given.

And then there was Akane. He’d have been dead too had it not been for their short fight. His magic had sensed something familiar inside of Akane’s magic – Milla’s. And even though the black magic user wasn’t sure why the beast still hadn’t killed the man, he was extremely grateful. Until he could get to the bottom of that situation, he needed to make sure the man who sired him stayed alive. After that, he would be fair game again. Only this time, the level of pain he would put him through would rival anything he had dished out on the boy growing up. Simply because he had touched Sylvana.

But for now, all the black magic user could do was sit and wait for the other two to regain consciousness and tend to the fire. Alone with his thoughts had never been a good thing, but it was time he stopped running from the creature he feared the most and did his best to tame it – his own magic.


((sorry it took so long.))

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Jacob pulled his own heavy traveling cloak around him, as he continued trudging up the mountain. He wished he had more information than these somewhat random urges in different directions. The party couldn't get far with the nearly dead Sylvana in tow and his weak brother, who had no experience with the arctic cold, but it was frustrating not knowing exactly where they went.

Because of the disgusting guard looking over his shoulder, Jacob didn't even attempt to scry them out, like he usually did when starting a mission. He couldn't even go back and try either. It seemed he was officially exiled from his home tower until he made good on his promises. That part of freelancing is NOT easy or fun! Maybe he could... He paused in his climb to open his pack again and took out the mirror. He knew about Raven's mirrors, because when assigned his last mission, Raven used one to show him the target. Maybe he could rig this mirror to show him the target and location. Jacob flipped the cold metal object in his hands and tried to figure out how it worked. The biggest question was whose magic it drew power from, his or Raven's? Morgana officially told him, his grey magic can manipulate it, but he didn't know how far that went. How much of Raven's or even her black magic controlled it?

As far as he knew, all magical objects need to be attached to a witch for them to function. The witch they attached to was the object's official owner and were only partially functional to another witch, with the owner's permission. The mirror he showed Jacob was obviously Raven's and attached to his magic only. If this mirror was attached to Jacob, his magic could basically do whatever he wanted with it. The more these thoughts chased in his mind, the more Jacob realized the likelihood of him controlling the mirror was low. With a sigh, he put the still blank mirror back in his bag, and resumed his hike. He needed more light anyway. It was getting colder and he needed to keep moving, so he wouldn't freeze.

After a long trek, and an increasing sense of urgency, he sighted a small fire ahead. It could only be the runaways. No one else was out this hour of night, which they probably expected too, because the site wasn't well-protected. Jacob expected more from the beast that killed the elders. He drew closer and saw that both his brother and the white witch were out cold. The beast was alone! Jacob paused and trembled. He was a firsthand witness to what the monster could do, but the monster spared him once, and even invited him to follow. Certainly the monster wouldn't kill him if he was invited, right? What if it was just a ploy to kill him away from other eyes and protection? NO! He couldn't think like this! Jacob promised to kill Wyatt AND get the information the elders wanted. Like his brother, he did keep his promises. The grey witch knew that he stood on a thin line between his loyalties to his home and family, and the obvious danger he now faced. No one will help him out here. He took a deep breath and said casually, "I know better places to camp out here." The best plan is to play nice with the dread monster.

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Wyatt glanced up across the fire at Jacob. His black eyes glinted for only half a second before he turned his attention back to the fire. His gaze flickered to both Sylvana and Jasper before once again returning to the red void. It wasn’t that he didn’t see the gray magic user as a threat. He was just too mentally worn out to summon the energy to be confrontational.

“I did what I could in the heat of the moment.” Getting Jasper to a place where he could heal Sylvana was the most important thing when they escaped. He couldn’t think about where they were going to camp before that. And once Jasper had collapsed, moving either of them became out of the option. Now he could only hope that the two of them survived especially since now he had Jacob to deal with and the organization that backed him.

The black magic user fell silent for a while just watching the way the flames flickered in the darkness. With a heavy sigh, he finally turned back towards his former friend. So much had happened between them since they had last been together. Wyatt had learned the dirty secrets of the Shadow Sage that Raven upheld religiously. He and Sylvana had run from the very place that had given them nearly everything. Now here they were; just escaped from the dungeons and on the run again.

“You came.” It wasn’t a question or just a matter of a statement. Jacob had followed them either under orders from whoever had taken over or by his own will. The beast had told the gray magic user to follow if he wanted to know the truth. Frankly, everyone needed to know. It was whether or not they were going to be believed that kept the male’s lips sealed.

Wyatt looked over Jacob’s shoulder at his guard. He frowned, his eyes narrowed. While he might allow his former friend around, he wasn’t keen on anyone else. “Get rid of him.” His voice was cold; back to the soldier the Shadow Sage had created. Either Jacob would do it or Wyatt would do it for him.

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For a few moments, the beast didn't seem to realize he was there, but Jacob didn't push. He simply waited to be properly acknowledged. It's not like he was in any hurry. He had no deadline on this mission. The most important thing was that all of them got out of the cold and away from night hunters. Yes, all of them. If he wanted to be on Wyatt's good side, he couldn't harm either of those he considered his inferiors. The smaller witch hid a grimace at that.

With them both unconscious presently, it was too easy to finish them off, and he wouldn't be as messy about it as the elders. All it took was stopping the heart, which he was perfectly capable of doing on his own. It would even be merciful compared to what he witnessed these last couple days. Mercy? When did he care about mercy? He glared at his brother's face, not that the idiot could see it. What's that? Did he flinch? In an unplanned use of his life-sight, Jacob caught a slight flare up of his twin's energy. Even knocked out, his twin recognized him, and he didn't like it. Jacob ground the toe of his boot in the snow next to him. Playing nice will be more difficult than he expected.

Quietly he turned back to Wyatt, when the beast answered him. Apparently, the monster didn’t want him dead yet. He even sounded tired, which surprised the smaller grey witch. “I see.” It was simply an acknowledgement that the black witch spoke to him. There was another long silence, before the other spoke again. Jacob merely nodded. Even though the words weren’t a question, he could guess Wyatt wanted to know what he planned, but the grey witch wouldn’t explain his reasons out in the open.

Suddenly, a stronger voice replaced the tired one, an angry cold voice. Jacob jumped as he felt the tinge of fear again. Would he kill him anyway? No, Wyatt was looking behind him. Behind him? Slowly, he turned his head not sure what to expect.

Seriously?! As if spying on him with a magic mirror wasn’t enough, someone sent a stupid human babysitter after him too. He growled under his breath and balled his hands in fists, but he still knew he was physically no match for a guard. For the sake of expediency, he incapacitated the guard as quickly as possible, but didn’t kill him. Someone else will most likely do the job for him, anyway. This was Jacob’s absolute last chance to make a name for himself, and it was a fair guess anyone with him would face the same consequences he did. “There done. “ He looked back to Wyatt and rubbed his hands together. “Even if I left him be, he wouldn’t be able to follow us to where I plan on going, but I don’t want nosy jerks around either. So if you want me to help you find a safer campsite, get the wild witch and I’ll hold the girl.” He paused and met Wyatt’s black eyes, anticipating a protest. “She’s lighter than he is, and I’m obviously not as strong as you.”

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Knowing that Jacob was right about getting them to another place, Wyatt had no choice but to yield. Only he wasn’t going to roll over like an obedient dog that he’d been raised to be. He stood with a shake of his head. There was no way he was going to allow the gray magic user to be the one with Sylvana, but on the same token he wasn’t sure if he could trust himself with her anymore. He’d betrayed her in the worst possible manner and yet he knew she’d hold no grudge against him.

The black magic user glanced to the sky where the full moon was slowly starting its decent. With the moon would go his increased powers. Everything would go back to normal and the beast would be contained. He had access to his magic and his control was back in place, but he felt like he was shattered into a million pieces. His own magic had managed to do in a single second what the elders hadn’t been able to do in days. Break him.

“I’ll take both of them if you’ll take the gear, but know if this is a trap, I will make what the elders did child’s play.” The soldier was still present under the mask. He couldn’t afford to allow it to slip now. He couldn’t trust Jacob’s intentions even now. They would never truly be safe until the other learned the truth for what it was. How he reacted and did would say more about his character than anything else. Would he stay loyal to the organization or would he break away as the other two had done.

Without another word, Wyatt went over and put Jasper onto his back, using a piece of extra material from his bag as a strap to hold him on as well as the cloak to stay up. Next he bent down and picked up the white magic user bridal style. He could have used his magic and saved his physical strength, but he didn’t dare trust himself yet.

The only thing going in their favor was that Jacob had taken out his babysitter and well at least now the two unconscious people would get his body warmth while they were out in the cold.

He’d left Jacob to gather up the gear and put the fire out before turning to him, “Lead the way.”

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Jacob bit off his own protest to Wyatt's refusal. Arguing would help neither of them, so he obeyed and did his best to rearrange everything to distribute the weight evenly. Despite all his efforts, he still couldn't stand up straight under the weight. Well, at least he was going downhill. He nodded when Wyatt asked him to lead, and headed toward the valley below the mountain, but in a different direction from whence they came.

The entire trip was about two hours walking and he grew tired and sore, but he didn't say anything about it. Frequently he checked behind him to see if Wyatt was still following, but he didn't say another word until they finally stopped at what appeared a sheer cliff wall where he dropped his burdens and checked one more time.

The cliff blocked the sight of the moon and any possible signs of the tower. Where he stood was complete darkness, but Jacob allowed his companions to see a very slight glow of his magic aura, so they wouldn't get lost. His final check was a greater use of his life sight, allowing him to both see and feel all three of the others' auras. He also noticed that both Jasper and Sylvana were getting stronger, but that terrible force Wyatt carried when he killed the elders seemed reduced. Better for him. The black magic user was still stronger than he was but more normal at least.

Jacob kept his voice low in the darkness, but it still carried well enough for the others to hear him over empty land. "Two steps to your right and we've arrived." Those two steps should be close enough for Wyatt to feel the cliff face if he couldn't see it. "You're privileged to be here you know, as I've told no others of this place. Because no one else knows, it's the safest place you could find out here." Then the grey user placed his right hand against the wall. If Wyatt was touching it as Jacob suggested earlier, he would feel the wall get warmer and hear a low rumble, as the wall partially collapsed in on itself opening a tunnel next to them. "Go ahead of me through the gap, because as soon as I move this gate will be gone."

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There were quite a few choice words Wyatt had for himself. Trusting Jacob not to betray them was one of them. The whole situation had bad idea written all over it in bold letters. The black magic user had continued to follow in silence for the entire time, but by the time they had reached the wall he was cursing himself even more. The last thing he wanted to do was go in first. It would be so easy to trap the three of them and just wait for someone to come and get them.

But Wyatt’s threat still hung in the air and he meant every word. A betrayal now would only get his old friend a treatment far worse than what the elders had put him and Sylvana through during their days in captivity. Knowing that he couldn’t dwell on the matter, he walked inside of the cavern using his magic to see by. Only a small amount of the substance was needed, so he wasn’t too worried about anything happening especially with the moon falling and the sun starting its slow rise.

Once the small group was where Jacob wanted them to be, did the black magic user put Sylvana down carefully on the ground before removing Jasper from his back and doing the male the same gesture. After getting everything settled, he started a small fire and avoiding using his magic to start it. They wouldn’t need the extra warmth it would give off inside the cliff wall.

Wyatt finally sat down and looked over at Jacob. “I suppose you want to hear the whole story now, huh?” With a quick glance to where Sylvana was lying unconscious, he sighed. “I don’t know how much I can tell you. It’s her story even more than my own and frankly I don’t trust you.”

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Once Jacob picked up the bags and followed, grumbling to himself about being a pack mule, the door closed in on them and left no sign it was ever there, just as he promised. His exhaustion from both lack of sleep and playing pack mule, started breaking through his mask, and this time he couldn't even walk away to deal with it. If anyone was trapped, he thought it was himself. The worst part of all is that he always considered hidden places like this his safe havens, when he either needed a break from human company or got caught in a blizzard. Many such places existed out in the barren tundra, and Jacob prided himself in the number of them he found on his own.

He sighed as he released his burdens, and then joined Wyatt by the fire cautiously. The beast may be gone now, but he was certain it wasn't permanent. It remained in his best interest to be wary.

Jacob found himself accidentally next to the comatose Jasper. Ever since he found them, he’s been avoiding touching or even getting this close to his stupid twin. Surreptitiously, the slighter grey witch pulled away, and unfortunately showed a little more of his irritation when Wyatt spoke. “I have reasons not to trust you either, yet we’re both here and can’t go anywhere until your pets wake up,” he grumbled before correcting his tone but saw no need to apologize.

"To answer your question, I mostly want to know why YOU did what you did. Your story is the one I want to hear." Unfortunately, his resolve to stay calm didn't last very long. "Dammit! I trusted you. I trusted you more than even my mother, and then you just up and left me without a word. You let the target loose, and then abandoned me to the consequences of YOUR actions!" Jacob almost shouted and Jasper groaned, but he was still unconscious. Jacob huffed, but he did lower his voice. "That's why I followed you. I want to know why you did all that, but if you don't want to talk, fine. It's been five years. A few more days won't make a difference, but so you know, you'll be stuck with me until I get what I want. I'll go wherever you plan on fleeing to, if I must."

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His pets? Wyatt could think multiple terms to call Sylvana and Jasper. Pets wasn’t one of them. He knew it was Jacob’s way of thinking, which had been created and manipulated by the organization. Only the black magic user really did wonder just how long it was going to take. Jasper would probably wake up sooner than Sylvana and when the woman did wake it would be a whole other can of hell to deal with other than the one sitting in front of him.

The one who was demanding his story. A story he couldn’t rightly tell on his own, it was too intertwined with the white magic users to be told by itself. But now he at least knew why Jacob was so angry at him. It all went back to that one mission. The one right after they had learned the truth.



“Listen to me. Calm down.” Wyatt was barking orders at a scared, young wild witch. He and Jacob had been sent to track the boy down and bring him back to the nearest tower. Only this time, he wasn’t going to allow it to happen. “I need you to run and run hard for the south. Don’t stop until you cross into the largest town.”

The boy nodded his head. He didn’t bother asking any questions. Likely he was too scared to question his luck. Wyatt watched after him and then headed to where he’d left Jacob to track the witch in the opposite direction. He hadn’t really thought of what he was going to say. It was usually Sylvana who did all the sensitive talking like this.

Jacob had demanded to know where their target had gone.

“He’s gone to where you won’t find him. I’m leaving the Shadow Sage and you’d best come with me if you value your powers and your life.” Without another word of explanation, he disappeared into thin air using a simple transportation spell.




Wyatt held back a wince. At the time he thought he’d done the right thing. Now he saw he clearly hadn’t. Maybe explaining everything back then would have fixed the problem they were having now. So he knew he owed it to the gray magic user, but it would still have to wait until his partner in crime was awake to tell her own side.

“We’re not fleeing… We’re going to the Witches’ Fortress. I will tell you this, Jacob so you might understand why you have to wait on her. Without her, I would not likely exist. For the elders of the Shadow Sage ordered my parents to have both my sister and I to combat against any magical children her parents might have had – her.”

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After his tirade, Jacob turned away from Wyatt and poked the fire, trying to restore a version of normalcy for himself. He wasn't used to expressing his feelings like this, and it scared him. Inside the tower, it was dangerous policy to tell your superiors if you don't like them especially. Questioning orders could be the end of you, and of course any weakness was not allowed. Was it a weakness for him to trust Wyatt in the first place? He gritted his teeth and dropped a stick in the fire. He didn't have time for that!

What matters now, is he will finally get answers to his questions from five frackin' years ago! And when this mission was complete, he'd have more information than anyone else, and finally be trusted at home. How could they NOT trust him after he kills their rogues and gets all information they want, however useless it seems? Much better, now he really can be calm. He picked up another stick and turned to Wyatt over his shoulder.

The Witches' Fortress? Why did he want to go there? The rest of his old friend's statement was even stranger. "That doesn't make sense. How can someone be a target before they're even born? Even those born with magic can't even be confirmed as witches until their powers express." He paused and looked at his own hands, thinking about when his power expressed, and then shook himself out of the reminiscing. "Even if you expressed magic early, you still need training before it's worth anything. Case in point." He pointed to Jasper on the ground.

"Because he's never had any training, any time he uses his magic it totally incapacitates him. He's easy bait for a witch hunter. I'm surprised he even lasted this long. I'm also surprised you want to keep him around. Maybe your ... father, " he spat the word. "Maybe's he's right in saying you've gone soft. Five years ago you would have considered him dead weight and cut him off already." He paused again and then mumbled, "yet you killed the elders." He shivered and moved away to gather his supplies. "you won't..." Dammit! He was showing his weakness too much! It's wise to be wary, but stupid to tell an enemy you're scared. Recovering somewhat, he added, "You won't have to worry about anyone bothering us here, and your pets won't wake until sunset at best. Might as well get some sleep."

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Jacob was retreating away after he’d yelled out, so Wyatt did his best to give him his space. It wasn’t like he could go somewhere else, so just appearing normal was about the best he could do. When he thought the other male was done brooding over the fire, it appeared as if his words had finally clicked in the gray magic user’s head.

“It’ll all make sense when we finally tell you everything. And believe me; the elders know a hell of a lot less about magic than you think they do, especially since they just woke up one day as adults with theirs.”

Wyatt sat back and listened to Jacob tell him how he should have done things. It was funny being able to see just how well the mask he’d fashioned for the Shadow Sage had actually fooled everyone. Maybe that was why his betrayal came as much a shock. But yet within seconds, Jacob was back to acting like he normally did. He was cutting off the conversation and telling him to sleep.

Fat chance of that happening. It wasn’t just not trusting Jacob. His body never needed much sleep. So resting his eyes would be as far as the black magic user went towards sleep. He would still recover strength and his magic just at a slower rate.

“Jacob, you might not believe this, but I never cut anyone who was dead weight back then. You never saw where I took them or what I did with them. I’ve changed less in the past five years than you have. I see now she was right that we should have told you, but your love for the organization was too strong. You never started to question things until now and for that I am sorry.”

But he was going to rest and wait on both Sylvana and Jasper to wake up. Then Jacob would get the answers he so desperately sought, even if they weren’t going to be what he wanted to hear. Only how could he explain what happened in the dungeon? How could he explain what it was like to fight his magic every day without letting him feel the beast?


______________________________________________________________________________________________________


A low groaning started out in the back of her throat. Only it didn’t hurt so bad. More like a severe case of cotton mouth. Her eyes felt heavy as she fought to open them. When she did Sylvana wasn’t quite sure where she was. The last place she remembered being at was locked in the dungeon of the northern most tower of the Shadow Sage. Where were they now? What had happened since she’d lost consciousness? Just how long had she been out?

The first thing she noticed was the fire going not too far away and then the fact that it looked like they were surrounded by walls of ice. She thought it would be cold, but the fire was giving off a nice amount of heat within the space. Another groan tore from her throat as she forced herself to sit up.

Wyatt was leaning against of the walls, his arms crossed at his chest. A normal resting position for him. He was looking at her, asking if she wanted help, but afraid to move towards her. Why?

Across the way was Jacob. What was he doing here? And then there was Jasper not too far from where she was at. Why were they all in an ice cavern? Was she still dreaming?

Sylvana shook her head as she fought to get into a sitting position. Her mind was a whirlwind of activity. She remembered being suspended again. Her shoulders had been on fire and then laugher. An evil, twisted laugh. Finally, it dawned on her. Without being able to use his magic, Wyatt hadn’t been able to control it when the full moon had hit. But what came next?

She glanced over to her childhood friend who refused to meet her gaze. He’d done something he wasn’t proud of, but what? The scene was a blur in her mind. There were grunts, groans, cries of pain and the moans of the dying. She could see new blood added to where her own had laid. Then she saw a tall, dark figure completely shrouded in black coming at her. She remembered the words just on the edge of her throat about forgiveness and then nothing but pain.

The white magic user crawled painfully over to where Wyatt was sitting, grabbed his head with both her hands on either side, forcing him to look at her. His black eyes were down casted. He was ashamed for having lost control.

“Xin,” her voice was forceful despite the lingering soreness covering her entire body. “It wasn’t your fault. The moment the moon rose, you were gone. I will never fault you for something out of your control.” The male started to protest, but she cut him off. “And I don’t want to hear your lame excuse about ‘I should have had control no matter the situation’ crap. Without access to your magic you have no control over what it does. Now stop.” She leaned forward and brushed her lips against his before pulling back.

Wyatt’s hands had clenched his pant legs. Not from the action itself, but to keep himself from reacting. Jacob might have believed he’d run away with the white magic user, but that day in the woods when he’d attacked the source of magic he felt, had been the first time in five years they’d seen each other.

Sylvana pulled back and as if for the first time noticing or rather remembering there were two other people there, her face flushed red and she moved away to lean back against her own portion of the ice wall.

“What are we doing here?”

“Waiting for both you and Jasper to wake up. We also need to tell him the truth.”

The girl’s eyes widened and she looked at him as if he’d become a devil of old lore, her head shaking as quickly as she could make it.

“No, no, no.”

“We have to. We should have done it years ago like you wanted.”

“He’s changed too much. He’s under their control completely now. All of our hard work of taking his missions and giving him the stuff that kept him under the radar went down the drain. He’s been exposed to the evil we tried to keep him from…”

Suddenly she remembered the male in question was still there and her face turned an even darker red. She sunk into herself as she’d exposed something she knew he probably wasn’t going to like and that Wyatt was right. They had to tell him.

“Fine. But if he decides he still wants to work for them, you know what we have to do.”

The black magic user nodded his head in understanding.

Jacob would have to die.

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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"I'm stronger than I was five years ago," Jacob mumbled as he curled up in a blanket and unconsciously separated himself from the rest of the group. He wasn't strong enough to stop what happened in the dungeon, though. Was he strong enough for what he set out to do? He curled up tighter, but said no more. There was nothing he could say in response to the elders insult. Because he always had his magic, he was incapable of comprehending that magic could suddenly appear later in life. Nothing Wyatt said made much sense to him right now, but the only thing he could do was wait for the girl.

Hmmf! Why shouldn't he love the organization that saved him from freezing to death, raised him, and trained his magic? Shadow Sage was his family, whether Wyatt liked it or not. Yes, Jasper was related to him in blood, but abandoned him just like his father. As a result, Jacob had no attachments to any blood relatives. If it weren't for the magic, they would have completely forgotten about him. He didn't know how, but he was absolutely certain that his twin only found him out here because of the magic. Why wait so long, though? Nineteen years! He knew about him for nineteen years. Why didn't he come for him sooner? Biting his tongue, he completely turned away from everyone. They can't see any sign of what's going on in his head, and he needed to focus on the task at hand anyway. Jacob closed his eyes and waited for the spinning wheels in his head to slow down and let his body rest.

Several hours later, a painfully familiar sensation came to Jasper's attention. This time, he didn't rush though. He remained still until the worst of the pain and dizziness passed. Ugh! How could he finish his job like this? With a groan, he rolled over and absently registered the different texture of the ground below him. It didn't seem as hard as the stone he remembered from his cage, and made a crunching sound when he moved. Snow! Damn! How long was he out? Why wasn't he cold? How did he get outside in the first place? He opened his mouth and closed it again. His throat hurt, but he thought he heard low voices nearby.

Keeping his eyes closed, since he remembered how painful light was last time, he crawled a little closer. The cloak wrapped over him slipped off his shoulders. Without thinking, he opened his eyes to put it back in place. He hissed and squinted against the light reflecting on white walls. Wait! How was he on snow and surrounded by walls? Pressing a hand against his head, he attempted again to speak and failed.

"Take this," an irritable yet also familiar voice brought him back and plopped something warm in his free hand.

Jacob gritted his teeth against what he overheard the girl saying about him. Both Wyatt and the girl's embarrassment at his presence, also reinforced the fact he already knew they were lovers. Forcing himself, he pushed a wooden bowl towards her, but he didn't actually put it in her hand, like he did for his stupid disoriented brother. After he woke up from his own nap, he started cooking a hunter's stew and toasted some bread with honey over the fire. "Eat, then talk." He turned to Wyatt, "and in addition to the questions I asked earlier, I also want to know why you think you had to protect me. I lived in Shadow Sage my entire life, and both of you were outsiders. Granted, I was still an apprentice when you arrived, but I'm pretty sure I knew more about my family than you thought."

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Graciously taking the warm bowl of food, Sylvana sat with it cupped between her fingers just staring down at it. This wasn’t going to be easy to do. She wasn’t even sure where to begin with the story. Going straight into what Jacob wanted to know was likely to confuse him more than anything.

Finally, she started munching on her food glad that the meal was giving her a reprieve to try and think about how to go about the whole situation. It would have been a lot easier to do five years prior, but now there was nothing that could be done about it, save to get it over with.

“For you to fully understand everything, you’re going to need to know where magic actually came from.” Wyatt began.
The white magic user looked over at him. Once upon a time it had been her telling him the story while they sat in the open field having just ended their first fight with the two blue magic users. This was her lesson to teach.

“Once upon a time there was a name named Gordon,” she laughed at herself. This wasn’t a fairy tale. “Gordon craved power above all else. He devoted his life to finding it and searched all over the kingdom eventually learning to harness said power. It was found within specific areas, each one different from the last.

The first magic he ever created was blue. But because he was so power hungry it only satisfied for so long. He continued his search until he had white magic. Only even with these two people didn’t fear him. So he went until he found and harnessed black magic.”

Sylvana sighed lightly as she took a small bite of her food. She was skipping out on a lot of details, like where each of the powers had been found. She didn’t think they were important in the long run at least not to the whole of the story they had to tell.

“When even the black magic failed to keep him happy, he started playing around and experimenting. He alone created gray magic only possible in their base forms. You see normally the two would fight it out until one magic over came the other, but in a pure state the two merge perfectly together.

But Gordon was just a man and even with all his powers he couldn’t live forever. As he was nearing death, he wanted a way to preserve his magic. Shadow Sage has it all wrong. They search for the crystals of the Witches Three, but they aren’t… what they search for were Gordon’s stones, each one containing the powers of the magic spread across the land in hope no one would ever find them.

Only you see, the elders know the stones don’t exist anymore because they ordered their destruction.” Sylvana shook her head as her mind wandered further into the story. Where the crystals were actually destroyed and all the effects it had afterwards. A place she would eventually get to, but that still cut too close to home.

“Over time, long after Gordon had died, the stones started leaking powers into the nearby populations. Its why there are still certain areas today where one type of magic is seen most. Except blue. It’s still a mystery even to us. We’ve only seen two people with it and they were twins. But here’s where it gets interesting. You see, so long as the stones were intact, the powers people received were limited until something called The Counter was born.

The Counter had both the powers of black and white later on in his life. He wasn’t born with the powers. He received them and the title after having died and been brought back under magical meanings into the form of a cat. A cat who traveled with a woman named Soren who had only white magic since the time of childhood. That man was my grandfather and the woman my mother.”

“My own mother had her own reincarnated companion in the form of a wolf. She had black magic. Milla.” Wyatt interjected.

“You see, both of our mothers had powers beyond what anyone had ever seen. And now the villagers began to fear the magic. Curse it. They were always hunted.”

“Meanwhile unknown to almost everyone, people who had woken up one morning with the ability to do things no one else could started forming a group called the Shadow Sage, where only black magic users were allowed to join. They didn’t have very much power and they sought to increase their numbers and powers through training. Pure in nature, the good members including those of white and gray magic created the Witches’ Fortress to train the new witches so they wouldn’t cause problems in society.”

Sylvana nodded her head slightly at the black magic user’s words. He knew more about the organization than she did. He had literally been born to serve it.

“But both of our mothers traveled the world freely. They didn’t know what was coming. But they had their stones. A white and a black one. They were called Counterparts, having received the most powers from the stones. The Counterparts were the most powerful beings in the world. And technically there four, but only three ever found. Just like there were four stones and maybe only one left intact.”

She hoped they weren’t over whelming either of the two gray magic users. This was only the beginning of the story Jacob wanted to hear. If he couldn’t handle the beginning of magic then he was never going to accept where the story turned and the evil that had possessed the minds of those who were in control.