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Battle of the Witches

Vandose

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a part of Battle of the Witches, by AvengerSpirit.

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AvengerSpirit holds sovereignty over Vandose, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

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Default Location for Battle of the Witches
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Vandose

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Vandose is a part of Battle of the Witches.

5 Characters Here

Wyatt Silas [130] "Truth as it stands is a rare thing indeed."
Sylvana Ward [122] "I am a witch. One day I will see a world where that is not a curse."
Jasper Galen [113] "Mysteries and secrets define my past, but hope defines my future."
Jacob Hemlock [94] "Keep your friends close and your enemies closer."
Katherine Fletcher [56] the only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

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Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Jasper hid his expression as Sylvana spoke, but one may have noticed a pause in his activity, a slight shaking of hands. May it be perceived as either anger or fear he would not clarify. "I'm sorry about what happened to your friend. I'm sorry that you must bear that grief and pain," Jasper said solemnly, though he did not approach the younger woman. He was still generally a stranger to her, and figured it inappropriate.

Her story did increase Jasper's burden for peace and freedom. Truly when he became an adult and began planning this journey, he only thought of himself; his future, and the future of any children he may have. He only waited until his brother was mature enough for independence before he left. It would be against his honor to his father's house to abandon his siblings, chasing after ghosts in his mind. Since he left home, Jasper's purpose evolved beyond his own little world as he realized how far and deep this senseless war extended.

Mindlessly he continued filling the kettle and then handed it over to hang between the sticks Katherine provided. "Thank you again," he said carefully and tried to smile, but he could not manage it. The blond healer was silent for a time, as he tried to recover from the painful scene Sylvana brought to his mind, and give her a chance to recover as well.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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"I guess it's all in the matter of how you grew up and what the world has taught you." Wyatt muttered with a shrug of his shoulders. Growing up in the Shadow Sage, not killing wasn't an option. The humans had come and killed every witch they could find for the deeds of a few. Why shouldn't they be treated the same way? It was a lesson beaten into him at a young age. He might not like taking other people's lives, but when it came to his living or theirs, he always picked his own.

The group seemed to fall into a sort of awkward silence as they waited on the tea to finish. Having something hot in their stomachs would do them some good. They also needed to think about what they were going to be doing once they reached the town and of course the path afterwards.

"Once we hit Evanpool, we need to blend in as much as possible. That means visiting the hot springs as its the only real reason people come up here." The black magic user began.

Sylvana nodded. "We'll also need to restock our supplies. As much as we can carry on ourselves. The last half of this is brutal."

"We also won't know if any of the supplies left in the Fortress are still good or not. We could end up facing running out while we're there and having nothing left to return on."

It could mean the death of all of them. Wyatt kept those thoughts to himself. He didn't need to say them for the others to know the truth. But there was something that kept bugging him, a nagging feeling in the back of his mind. Something was wrong. He wasn't sure if its because he was now traveling with people he barely knew, having met up with Sylvana, or just the danger of the road ahead.

Something was wrong or would be, but unlike when the white magic user had used magic, he couldn't feel any disturbances to alert him. So with a shrug he simply passed it off as nerves.

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Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock
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Even though he traveled through "forbidden" territory, Jacob showed no fear. He even traveled in daylight, once beyond the reach of his home tower. Ironically perhaps, he thought his greatest threat was other witches. Some, but not all, could sense magic and all would ask him questions he was both unwilling and not allowed to answer. The plan he formed before he left already accounted for encounters with soldiers and witch hunters.

Because few people traveled into the Northern Wastes, and the land itself was generally inhospitable, anyone braving the death of cold was considered suspicious. To Jacob himself though, it was his home and his life. He knew all the land's secrets and used all of them to his own advantage, including the dead bodies fallen to unforgiving elements. He took anything he needed at the time he found them and continued on his way until coming to Evanpool.

Jacob approached the northern gate, the smallest one, in the early evening. The guards looked bored until he showed himself, and then they attempted to deny him entrance. He avoided using his magic by pulling out a letter with the king's seal on it. Royal hatred for witches was well-known, so with the king's seal, he could not be a witch in the guards' eyes. Keeping the king's seal visible, no one got in his way and he acquired a very nice room with a balcony overlooking the famous hot springs. "Later." he whispered and retreated inside to review his plan.

Even without using his scrying tools, by now Jacob could feel his quarry. They were very, very, close. Now his patience and cleverness would clearly be tested. He could afford no missteps this close to success. He needed to force back his native tendency to impatience. How many times had he been punished for mistakes made at the last minute? Jacob's face burned at those memories. He would not fail! To calm himself down, he left the room to explore his temporary territory. He covered his head and avoided using magic, but saw no one he recognized by the time he returned to have his supper and retire for the night. They weren't there yet, but he could still feel them under his skin. By morning, his prey would be within reach. One more night...

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Katherine looked up towards the path to Evanpool, a growing sense of trepidation gnawing at her gut as she thought of returning to the place of her birth. Had her old friends remained at Evanpool? What questions would they ask of her and would she be able to answer them honestly? Probably not. The thought of lying to her childhood friends didn't sit well with her, but how many of them could be trusted with the truth? Very few if any. But she needed to pass through Evanpool to get to the fortress, where she belonged, with others like her.

Katherine listened to Wyatt and Sylvana hatch a rough plan of their time in Evanpool. She was grateful that Sylvana hadn't mentioned that she was from Evanpool. Whether or not the abscense of information was intentional, Katherine didn't know, nor did she care. She was just grateful that neither Wyatt or Jasper knew they were close to her first home. Katherine turned her attention to the fire, making the flames a little hotter so the water would boil quicker. Heavens only knew how long it would be before she got another decent drink on the way to the fortress.

"I imagine we'll need an early start in the morning," Katherine said, pulling her cloak tighter around herself, "Give us more time to see to our business." She really wasn't looking forward to the morning, but it had to be done. Time to grin and bear it, as her mother would say.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Sylvana had watched everyone from the corner of her eyes as the rest of the night went by. She knew they should have been resting, saving their strength for the weeks to come, but it seemed they were all wide awake. She knew why she was. It was purely excitement. She was so close to the Witches' Fortress she could nearly taste the old tomes within the walls and all the knowledge they held. Though it would likely only be dust she was touching. The others, she didn't know what kept them up, nor did she really care. Evanpool was the last stop before the only thing that stood in their way was the wilderness.

Wyatt glanced to his companion knowing she wasn't going to be sleeping. Resting her body maybe, but never sleeping. He could nearly feel her bouncing up and down with excitement. He just shook his head. Typically Sylvana. It was nice to see she hadn't changed much. He, himself, wouldn't be sleeping either, but it was merely a precaution to keep watch. Not to mention the fact that his magic kept him from needing a whole lot of sleep to begin with. Resting his eyes was enough to keep him going for a few days and even when he did sleep it was only for a few hours at a time.

But all too soon, the sun started to rise on the horizon. The black magic user got to his feet and kicked dirt over the embers of their fire as he grabbed his stuff and make sure everyone was ready to go. They could get a hot meal in the town. Plus a room or two if they could afford it. If not simply a visit to the hot springs and supplies, which is how he preferred they did this, but he wasn't the only one he had to account for now.

How much coins you have on you? He projected into the white magic user's mind. She didn't reply right away, but shrugged her shoulders.

Not much at all. I'd only had a small stash before...

Wyatt nodded his head not needing her to continue. He knew exactly what she was talking about. He had enough to cover the two of them for the bath and probably a bit of supplies. The other two would be on their own. He hated that fact feeling like he had to be the one to take care of the whole group, but it really wasn't his job. Neither was Sylvana, but no one was stopping him from making sure she would make it to the Witches' Fortress alive.

"All right. Let's go." The woman said with a smile on her face as she grabbed her gear and lead them towards Evanpool. Because they were so far north, there were no guards, no questions to answer at least at this time of day. Any earlier and the nightly guards would have been present.

As the small group entered, the woman's face lit up. She loved small towns compared to places like Whitemouth. But it was also her falling into the character that kept others from finding out she was a witch. She'd always been sent on missions into cities for supplies because she was the least likely to get caught out of all of them.

"Hot spring first?" She asked looking to Wyatt, who simply nodded his head, his mouth set in a grim line. He hated being around so many unpredictable variables.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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When ready, Jasper served the tea into whatever cups or even bowls were available to share with his companions, until the hot water was gone. The simple action almost made him homesick. It reminded him of winter evenings when his father returned from work for the day. Jasper's mother always had tea or hot cocoa boiling in a kettle, and served it precisely five minutes after his father came in the door. A sad smile crossed the blond's face, but he didn't say anything about it as he put away the things.

As night faded into dawn and then sunrise, the healer slipped into a very light doze that was quickly and easily broken. After a few times of trying, he gave up and simply waited. The anxiety, excitement, and yes, even fear he felt earlier only grew stronger. It felt like years and his limbs grew stiff, but finally he saw burning fire on the horizon, marking sunrise. It looked strange, but even from his seated position he raised hands to greet the sun. He lingered there for a short time, but rose up slightly slower than Wyatt, which was normal for him anyway. Jasper figured it was because he never had to run for his life before. How long had these witches been running? He didn't know and didn't feel comfortable asking.

Jasper gave a smile of his own as Sylvana marched ahead of the group through the gate, unguarded at this hour. He turned his head all directions in admiration of the small town, which perfectly placed him as a tourist. He didn't even have to act the part.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Katherine followed behind Wyatt and Sylvana as they entered Evanpool, keeping her head down so no one would notice her, while her companions looked around the city in awe. She hand seen many like them when she had lived in Evanpool, though the sites held little wonder for her now. She'd much rather leave as soon as possible, but Sylvana insisted on visiting the springs. She followed suit, hoping and praying to which ever deity deemed her worthy to listen to that no one would recognise her. It seemed the gods were not on her side.

"Katie?" She heard a female voice yell across the village. Katherine's blood ran cold and her stomach dropped, "Katie Fletcher? That is you isn't it?" The owner of the voice had now caught up to them, and placed a hand on Katherine's shoulder. Now she couldn't pretend to have not heard her childhood friend. Katherine turned her face to see Arianna standing next to her, positively beaming. Arianna had barely changed since Katherine had left, her face was still as round and child-like as ever, the only noticeable difference being that Arianna had grown a little taller, but that was the only major difference.

"Ari!" Katherine forced herself to sound cheerful as she embraced the girl, hoping she bought the act. If she didn't, Arianna didn't say anything about it. "It's been so long. How have things been?"

Arianna shrugged, "Same old, same old. Thomas and Yana married last week, a few babies have been born, but beyond that, not a lot has been different. What brings you back to Evanpool?"

Katherine looked at her friend, wide-eyed, "Oh, well I've been travelling, and my companions," she looked around behind her for the others and saw that they were heading to the springs without her, "wanted to visit Evanpool so I offeree to show them around and should probably catch up with them. I'll talk to you later Ari." Katherine lied smoothly as she ran back to her companions.

"Be sure that you do!"

Katherine fell back into step with the rest of the group, "Sorry about that. It might happen again while we're here," she said, more for Wyatt and Jasper's benefit than Sylvana's. She followed the group to the springs. The springs were difficult to miss so her guidance wasn't necessary to get them there.

Arriving at the springs, Katherine felt a sense of calm come over her that she hadn't felt in a long time. The springs had always done that to her. There was something so peaceful and serene about the place that she couldn't help but feel at peace in the place. While she knew it was an illusion, Katherine could feel some of the troubles and aches of the last few days melting away. She looked around the people gathered there. There were one or two familiar faces, no one she knew by name, but the majority of people were tourists. There was no one here to recognise, not really. Katherine sighed and let her guard down for the first time in a few days. Evanpool wouldn't be so bad, she promised herself, she'd cope with a day or so here just fine.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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It didn't take the small group long to make their way to the entrance for the hot springs. They each paid their own way in with the money they had on them. Sylvana found herself out of money, but honestly, she wasn't worried about it. She'd stocked up during her last stop and she hoped that it would last her until they could get to their destination.

Wyatt watched the other members of the group from the corner of his eye as they entered the front to change and then head to the springs. It didn't take him long to learn that the hot springs in Evanpool were co-ed. Not that it bothered him and he imagined it wouldn't bother the others. None of them lived in world where they were separated from the other sex simply because they were different from each other. But he couldn't help but think that one day the world would turn out that way.

Within a few minutes, he was slipping into the water. The hotness immediately taking some of the weariness out of his bones. They were almost there. The journey was almost over. It wouldn't be long now. All they had to do was leave and then brave the wilderness. It was a comforting thought that the days of hiding were almost over. Out in the snow covered mountains there wouldn't be a need to hide his magic from anyone.

He cracked an eye open when Sylvana came into the water beside him. He didn't say anything as he watched the play of emotions on her face. She felt as great as he did. Maybe he should have come here sooner. But words his mother had beaten into him came back. Relaxing one's guard was dangerous. It might he could get killed. Worse, Sylvana could be killed, or even the other two members of the group which was something he wasn't going to allow to happen.

As soon as everyone was done with their baths they would get their supplies, maybe a hot meal and then be on their way. Because despite the amazing work the hot springs were doing on his body, his mind still felt something forlorn. He was rarely wrong. He just didn't know why he was feeling so bothered when there was nothing he could point to as the cause.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Jasper did look over to see what happened to Katherine when he heard a shout, but when she rejoined them, he nodded acceptance to her explanation.

Though he was more cautious in getting to the springs with the young ladies, as something reminded him of his younger sisters. His hometown of Eastleigh was always busy with people traveling through from both continents of Asiali and Eliradia and he always felt he had to protect his siblings. Neither Katherine nor Sylvana were his sister, and he understood that they were good at protecting themselves. They wouldn't have made it as far as they did otherwise.

He shook his head and then just laughed at himself. Caleb, his brother, and Annemarie, the older of his sisters bathed together as children. His youngest sister was significantly younger than both, so she bathed by herself. His youngest sister though was the one he worried about most. Jasper shook his head again, since there was nothing he could do. Caleb had to take care of her until he returned from this journey. The healer had absolute faith that he would return.

Eventually he slipped under the water and sighed in pleasure, as the stiffness in his limbs melted away. Leaning his head back, he closed his eyes though he didn't sleep. He felt like he could stay here forever. An uncomfortable feeling in his gut changed that though. He opened his eyes and looked around.

Jacob didn't visit the hot springs the first night he was in Evanpool. There were too many other things to think about as he gauged the best place to set up his plans. In the morning he woke early and started talking to townspeople and tourists, throwing out a net for news as he did every town he came to. Any news at all was important to him, not just news specific to his mission, as he could use any tidbit in the future.

On his way to the springs for the promise he made to himself that first night, he paused to chat up a pretty young maid. That feeling under his skin grew stronger and he was downright uncomfortable by now. He couldn't hide it anymore, so he said his goodbyes to the girl with a kiss on her slender hand and she went away giggling like a fool. He smiled as pleasantly as he could until she was out of sight and then tensed up. He appeared to be staring into space.

At the same moment, Jasper also tensed up, "Who are you?" he whispered, though it was unclear who he spoke to.

Hello, brother, came the contemptuous answer inside his head.

"My brother's at home. Who are you?" The second time Jasper's question was louder, and he temporarily broke his trance to climb out, not long enough though as the voice he didn't recognize spoke again.

I'll find you, brother. Don't move and you'll see yourself. The voice cut off and Jasper collapsed on the ground unable to move or speak. Struggling through what felt like heavy mud and pain, he gritted his teeth and forced his body to stand back up again.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Having had enough of bathing in the springs, Katherine jumped out of the springs and went back to the changing rooms. The contrast between the temperatures left Katherine with goosebumps and sharply woke her up. She pulled her dress back on and braided her hair, leaving the braid to hang down her back, the weight oddly comfortable. Making her way back to the waterside, Katherine sat on a bench close to the edge of the water, keeping an eye on her new companions. She thought about the journey ahead of them, the provisions they would need. She was sure she could all in a few favours from some friends to keep costs to a minimum. Perhaps returning home before the last leg of their journey hadn't been such a bad idea after all.

Katherine frowned when she saw Jasper fall. Katherine stood and cautiously made her way to Jasper's side as he struggled to his feet, "Jasper? Are you alright? Are you hurt?" Katherine looked around, some hidden sense telling her that something wasn't right. Searching the treeline, Katherine couldn't see anything out of the ordinary. Perhaps a few people milling about, but that was nothing unusual in itself. None of them were looking this way, none of them were particularly suspicious looking. Katherine wanted to call for Wyatt or Sylvana but she didn't want to draw too much attention to the group. She sensed that magic had something to do with this, but her inexperience stopped her from being certain.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Wyatt turned around at the feeling of magic. Only three people that he knew should be able to use magic. That was when he saw Jasper on the ground with Katherine rushing over to him. He shook his head as he jumped out of the water, not caring that he was completely nude. He was used to it. He went to the healer's side. He could feel the magic, but not which kind or even what had been done. So either Jasper had lied to them about being normal or someone had done something to him.

Katherine, maybe? They didn't know a whole lot about her. But doing something to him a town didn't seem like her style. It would draw way too much attention and the risk of getting caught was extremely high. The black magic user went over to them grabbing a cloak from a near by stand and wrapping it around Jasper as he lifted the man and brought him inside away from everyone else.

He sat him down on one of the chairs before turning to Katherine. "What happened?" Reaching over he handed Jasper his clothes, so once he was stable he'd be able to dress himself.

Sylvana walked out of dressing area. She stopped short when she didn't see the rest of her group. Her frowned deepened before she started walking around looking for them. It didn't take her long until she spotted Wyatt leaning over Jasper who looked extremely pale compared to his normal composure.

The woman walked over to them, her brows furrowed in confusion. Something happened. That was easy to be seen. But what? She heard Wyatt's question. It worried her that even he didn't know what was going on. Growing up she'd always turned to him for advice and to know exactly what to do. If he didn't know she feared the worst, but knew she couldn't let her over active imagination get out of control now. He might have just spent too much time in the water. But an uneasy feeling was washing over her. There was something more going on.

A lot more.

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Katherine looked up at Wyatt, his nakedness the last thing on her mind at that moment. Any other time, she would have been slightly flustered took say the least, but this was not any time. There was something bigger at play that demanded her attention.

"What happened?"

Katherine thought about Wyatt's question for a moment, ignoring the implication that she was somehow involved in all this. They barely knew one another, she had no reason to hurt any of them. She knew that and at that moment, that was good enough for her, "I...I don't know," she said quietly, not letting her voice betray her fear even if it did give away her uncertainty, "I was sitting by the edge of the water and he was getting out, and then he collapsed and he was trying to get up, but he couldn't. And then I went over to him to see what was going on and then you came over and now we're here," Katherine said breathlessly. In the heat of the moment, she remembered the people in the woods. Just because none of them look suspicious, didn't mean that none of them were to blame, "There were some, some people in the woods," Katherine continued, waving her hand in the general dirctiion of the trees surrounding the springs, "One of them might have had something to do with it?"

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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"You don't have to seek him out. Whoever's responsible is coming to us. Be ready," Jasper answered the queries from behind him with fierceness and determination. No matter what caused his sudden weakness, it took little time to recover and he already had his pants and boots on while the others talked, literally behind his back. He wrapped Wyatt in the cloak the dark fellow originally threw over him and replaced his own tunic and extra shirt. "Thank you for helping me, though."

After wrapping Wyatt up, he stood and put an arm on Katherine's shoulder as he had a feeling she was upset. "You're fine. Thank you as well." He left his hand on her shoulder but turned to Wyatt and Sylvana. Even though he was firmly red in embarrassment of the obvious evidence of his weakness that brought them here in the first place, he showed no other sign in his posture or voice. "I don't understand what happened, and you might not believe me but it's the truth as I see and still feel it." Turning a slightly deeper shade of red, he took a deep breath and answered again, "I heard a man in my head talking to me. He told me to stop and wait for him before I fell." He removed his hand from Katherine's shoulder and looked down rubbing both hands together. "The craziest thing about it is I think I know him, but I don't know the name."

Setting

4 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Wyatt started to respond to Katherine when Jasper's words stopped him in his tracks. Jasper hadn't told them he was a witch, so whatever had happened to the man and his cryptic message, likely meant another witch outside those in their small group. But what jump started the black magic user's weariness was how quickly Jasper was getting back on his feet. He nearly missed being covered in his cloak, but the moment it was on his shoulder's his body realized just how cold it was.

Sylvana handed him his clothes without having to look at him and he dressed himself quickly before securing the cloak properly around his shoulders. The two childhood friends turned back to the man as he started speaking. His words sent a chill down their spines. They understood a lot more about what he was talking about than they wanted to admit.

The white magic user glanced over to Wyatt looking up into his face. Her eyes were slightly wider than before as she learned exactly how much trouble they were getting themselves into.

"It's mind speak..." She whispered as she glanced between the two men. "But only trained witches can do that..." She lowered her voice dramatically when she said witch in fear that someone might overhear her. "You don't think," she looked directly back at Wyatt. "I was right..."

The man nodded his head in response. There was no denying the facts now even if he didn't want Jasper to know about it.

"They're related..." She shook her head. "Jacob..." Sylvana glanced back at Jasper, her face clearly showing the worry and concern that she had for him. "Jasper..."

"Listen up, we're getting out of here now. We get supplies and then leave. We'll explain everyone once we're clear of the area, but not until then. You're not waiting around to met this guy. He will kill you were you stand." Wyatt took over as he started gathering everyone's packs and handing it to them.

"We keep together. Katherine, you seem to know the area well and will know where to get the supplies we need for the best prices. Lead the way. Everyone keep you're nose down." He looked over at Jasper, a sorry look on his face. This was only going to get harder on the man once they told him the truth.

But Jacob was one person he didn't want to run into from the Shadow Sage. He couldn't explain to the man he'd trained with since moving to the base why he'd left. He likely wouldn't understand, not the way he'd gotten into the organization. So to protect those in the group, he had to get them out of the area as quickly as possible and avoid the gray magic user.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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That fear that troubled him earlier returned just as strong, possibly even stronger. The pitying looks that Wyatt and Sylvana were giving him didn't help. "Jacob..." Did he hear that right? Could Jacob be the ghost that haunted him his whole life? How? he knew nothing about him, except that he was a witch Wyatt and Sylvana didn't trust. "Why?" he whispered. Why didn't the other two witches trust Jacob? Why would Jacob be interested in him? Why can't they explain it now? He didn't see or hear anyone else in this changing room.

Jasper grimaced at the once again repeated statement about someone killing him. Another why. Why did so many witches want him dead? What about the healer was so threatening or intimidating? He was a healer and apothecary. His entire life was about helping other people. He was too a witch, but his magic was weak. He didn't have it in him to kill any of these people that wanted to kill him. "Good grief! Who knew a simple healer could be so threatening? This is crazy." He almost laughed at the ridiculousness of the situation, but he couldn't completely break past that painful fear. That fear kept him from questioning Wyatt any further. Despite his own threats to Jasper's life, the brooding fellow did keep all of them out of danger, and he did promise to explain everything. Wyatt had yet to break any promises, so for now at least Jasper trusted him.

Jacob cursed under his breath and picked up speed to the hot springs. The good news was that he now knew the exact location of his quarry. He made a mistake and needed to catch them before he lost completely. Jacob had absolutely nothing but Shadow Sage. If he couldn't finish this mission, his life would be over. The family that birthed him didn't want him and the family he knew didn't forgive failure. He said he wouldn't fail. He couldn't fail!

The pale young man paused and leaned against a wall. Where did these feelings come from? What is this weakness? Fear is weakness. Weakness is not allowed. "I shouldn't have allowed my weak brother into my head. He is weak and useless. Raven doesn't even want him. Only I want him. I want him to pay for abandoning me, for rejecting me. I can't touch him until the Raven gets what he wants." By good fortune, no one walked by this wall to hear his personal pep talk. Even if not everyone knew about the Raven, talking to himself about revenge would be suspicious.

Still standing by the wall, he checked inside his boots, and pockets in his fur cloak and white clothes. All of his stuff was still in order. Jacob tightened the fastening of his cloak and put his hood on to approach the hot springs calmly. He was a government official spending time in Evanpool. That's why he had the king's letter. That's what the townspeople know him as. Government officials have no need to fear common people. Just business.

With that in mind, he breezed onward with polite nods of his head and smiles to those he passed on the way. Jacob gave a chuckle when he found the changing room and caught a few familiar faces leaving it. "My old friends! How good to see you!" he called out jubilantly to Wyatt and Sylvana. "Ah! A new friend?" he commented lightly and smiled to Katherine.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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"My old friends! How good to see you!" A voice cut through the silence that had formed in the room as the small group was preparing to leave Evanpool. Wyatt didn't even have to turn to see who it was. He knew. Once upon a time, he and Jacob had been nearly inseparable especially right after the black magic user had arrived at the Shadow Sage to begin their formal training. His mother's half had been completed, even though to the young boy, his mother's had been much harder.

It wasn't until he'd met Sylvana and listened to the things that haunted her young mind and found that they too had been burning on his did he start to drift away. Not only from people like Jacob, but from the Shadow Sage in general. Only it had taken the white magic user leaving for him to pull himself away. Now he was hoping that Jacob didn't know he'd left against orders to find out the truth for himself and not to just blindly follow orders. If the gray magic user didn't know, then there might be a chance to get himself and the others out in one piece. Maybe.

Sylvana repressed a gulp as she turned to face the voice that had called out to them, fearing the worst. She was right. It was Jacob. Almost a spitting image of Jasper only she knew their personalities to be completely different. She liked Jasper for the most part. She'd always felt uneasy around the other.

Wyatt made sure that the other three members of the group were behind him as everyone seemed to be turned to face the newcomer. He inclined his head to his old friend. "Jacob." The male's black eyes bored into the other's blue. He didn't bothering asking why he was there. It wasn't going to be anything good and the man could be there for any one of them. Though, without a doubt he knew who he was after. It wasn't a coincidence that he had run into Jasper on the way up here nor into Jacob here. But then again, he'd also found Sylvana who had escaped the Shadow Sage taking all of their information with her. Not to mention himself basically doing the same thing and he knew nothing about the Katherine girl to know whether or not he could be after her. Maybe he should ask, but he thought better of it.

Sylvana, take the other two and head north. Don't worry about the supplies, we will find a way to manage, but get them and yourself the hell out of here. And please, don't argue with me on this one.

The white magic user had started to object, but thought better of it. She would get them headed north and then come back for Wyatt. She wasn't leaving him to fight this on his own. It went against everything she was. Not to mention, she wasn't losing him again after just getting him back. She nodded knowing he didn't have to see it to know she would do as he bid.

"Come on." She whispered to Jasper and Katherine. She knew it would be difficult to get other male out of there, but she had to do it. They could explain everything once they were safe. He didn't need to hear it coming from Jacob. She knew without a doubt that Jasper was a strong person in his own right, but he wouldn't be able to handle what was coming. "Follow me." She made sure Katherine went first before dragging Jasper. She just hoped she could get them far enough away to safety and make it back in time.

Please be careful, please. She pleaded to Wyatt knowing he would hear, but wouldn't respond as he stared down the enemy once a friend.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Jacob wouldn't let himself be intimidated by the taller Wyatt and that hard look in his ebony eyes. He tucked his arms behind his back and tilted his head sideways, rocking a little on his heels. He needed to keep the appearance of ease, because it would be a failure to let any of the four witches in front of him see that he was uncomfortable. Yes, he knew his weak brother was a witch and that factored into his opinion of the man. They were both witches, but only he, Jacob was abandoned. One of his hands curled into a fist, but as it remained behind his back, the others wouldn't see.

The paler blond turned toward Sylvana as she tried to get the other woman, who rudely hadn't been introduced yet -whether they knew or not, his question about her was sincere - and Jasper, his hated brother, away from the scene. "What's the rush? It's been a while, I just want to catch up." Jacob turned back to Wyatt and gave a smile. "This is a tourist town. Aren't you here to relax?"

Jasper resisted Sylvana's pulling him away from the scene. "At least let me see him," he said quietly and gently maneuvered around closer to Wyatt's side than behind him, because the dark witch was taller than he. The healer's eyes widened and he gasped, "It's you!" He took a surprised step back. He did know this Jacob. He knew that face. "Every night for nineteen years, your face is the first I see when I close my eyes. How...? Why...?" So many questions pushed to the front of his mind that he couldn't even finish voicing one of them. He closed his eyes and pushed his right hand to his forehead until he finally managed to sputter out four words. "What do you want?"

Jacob turned to his brother's interruption. Looking into the face, the same chiseled face as his, the same prominent cheekbones, the same nose, the same mouth, Jacob trembled at the resemblance. There could be no doubt they were brothers, but there were differences as well. Jasper's hair was longer and darker blond, more gold than white, and messier too, which gave Jacob a chuckle. His brother's skin was more tan, as Asiali got more sunshine than Eliradia, longer summers and even a warmer spring. "It's been even longer since I've seen you in the flesh, brother. I do have a portrait, though." To prove it, he pulled a ragged and permanently creased scrap of parchment out of his own white fur cloak. He even dressed identical to his twin. Carefully Jacob unfolded the parchment, exposing a true to life charcoal drawing of Jasper as a child nineteen years ago, when his dreams started.

Jasper trembled at the sight himself, and rasped, "How did you get that?"

Jacob shook his head. "I won't tell you. The artist prefers to keep to himself, and I won't interfere with his wishes. It was a great gift to get the portrait in the first place." He carefully folded up the parchment on its creases, and lifted his head up. Now he actually was at ease. "As for what I want, I already answered that question. I want to catch up with old friends and my estranged brother. Since you have a new friend, I want to get to know her too. Aren't you going to introduce me?" Those ice-blue eyes, harder in appearance than Jasper's, though unintentionally right now, panned over the group.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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As the group was leaving the changing rooms, a young man similar in appearance to Jasper blocked their exit. While Wyatt didn't looked to pleased to see him, the blond man looked positively thrilled to see them, "My old friends! How good to see you!" he called out jubilantly to Wyatt and Sylvana. "Ah! A new friend?" He said, looking to Katherine. Katherine suddenly had her guard up. There was something about this man that didn't sit well with her, even just on sight. That and the fact she could tell from Wyatt and Sylvana that they didn't want him here. She kept her mouth shut, not speaking a word to this man until she was more certain of his intentions.

Wyatt blocked the newcomers entry, Jacob he called the blond man. Katherine heard Sylvana whisper to her, "Come on," Katherine didn't know what they were planning, but she had a feeling that mindspeak, that's what they had spoken about earlier when Jasper had collapses, was involved. She made a note to herself to learn how to mindspeak, it seemed to come in useful from time to time, "Follow me," Katherine wasn't about to argue with Sylvana on this. The way she was reacting and the way Wyatt was blocking the man just screamed 'trouble'.

She didn't see Jacob catch them moving, but he must have for he asked, "What's the rush? It's been a while, I just want to catch up." Catch up? Wasn't it clear that Wyatt didn't want him around, that Sylvana didn't want him around, hence why they were trying to get away. Katherine's eyes went wide as the reason he and Jasper looked like one another dawned on her. "This is a tourist town. Aren't you here to relax?" Jacob continued. Katherine managed to hold back a sarcastic laugh. This was hardly a relaxing trip for her. She didn't know about the rest of the group, but she certainly wasn't having a relaxing trip home.

Katherine watched Jasper pull away from Sylvana to stand by Wyatt, "It's you!" She heard him exclaim, "Every night for nineteen years, your face is the first I see when I close my eyes. How...? Why...?/What do you want?" Jasper finished. Katherine took several steps back into the room, feeling that this deserved to be a private conversation, or at least not a one for her ears to hear. She tuned out the conversation, until she heard Jacob say, "Since you have a new friend, I want to get to know her too. Aren't you going to introduce me?"

Katherine took the few steps to Wyatt's side, getting her first proper look at Jacob. His eyes were blue, much like Jasper's, but much harder and colder than his brother's were, "My name is Katherine," she said coldly, her arms crossed, subconsciously creating a barrier between herself and Jacob. She squeezed past the human wall that Wyatt had created, "I'm going to see about supplies," she mumbled, pushing her way past Jacob and heading down into the village.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Things were not going according to plan. When did they ever really? At least Katherine had sense enough to get herself away. If she could get them some of the needed supplies for the trip at the same time than they were doing good. Maybe they could still make it out of this in one piece. Or hell, Evanpool still standing.

Sylvana wanted to curse at herself for allowing Jasper to get away from her. Judging from the conversation she was hearing it wasn't a good thing that the two brothers had been reunited. Taking a deep breath, she steeled herself. Jasper wasn't used to the magic, but he was going to have to get over it.

Jasper, I need you to listen carefully to me. You need to come with me and get away from here. Wyatt can take care of Jacob. You have to understand, he is a threat. While he may be your blood, I promise the only thing between the two of you is hatred. Please trust me. Come with me and get away from here as quickly as possible.

She was pleading in her mind with him even though she was standing only a few feet away. Her face never gave away the fact that she was using magic except for the eyes she kept hidden, staring at the floorboards between her feet. Wyatt had it made with his black eyes never giving anything away.

On the inside, she was shaking. She knew she was a good fighter, but even she wasn't sure she could take on Jacob and win. Wyatt sure, but not with the rest of them around to distract him. And while they made a great team, she knew he would be more worried about protecting her than fighting Jacob. Besides, she had to protect the others and get them out of Evanpool safely and without attracting attention of the locals.

Sylvana, I said get him out of here.

I'm trying, damnit. He's just as stubborn and hard headed as you and Jacob.
She turned her attention back to the male in question. Come on, Jasper. Please trust me. We need you out of here. Before he kills us all. She decided she needed to let him know just how grave the situation was with his twin in hopes that he would understand.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Jasper started when he heard voices in his head again. Last time that happened he was in pain and couldn't move. Briefly he panicked, and tried to force whoever it was out. No, he wouldn't let a witch hurt him again! Only witches could do it, -that's what Sylvana said - wait... Sylvana. It was Sylvana's voice. He relaxed and let her finish. A few words grasped his attention, take care of... "How?" How exactly would Wyatt take care of Jacob? The brooding witch wasn't afraid to harm other people, even if he had never harmed anyone in their group. If he feels threatened, he will kill. He said so himself.

So far though Jasper hasn't seen Jacob do anything threatening. He hadn't attacked them, or did he? Did Jacob cause him pain and paralyze him? Why? Too many bloody questions! Many of them probably only Jacob could answer. Feelings atypical to him grew inside him. Anger and hatred. No, it can't be. Jasper never hated anyone in his life. He did know anger, but he never worked violence in his anger. Could he...? Jasper glanced back to Wyatt and Jacob's standoff, and then to Sylvana with her head down. He didn't realize his hands shook again as he reached for hers.

Jasper didn't want to leave. He never knew his estranged brother, Jacob's exact words, but he didn't want to give up without getting a chance to know him. Why were they estranged? Where did that picture come from? Did it have something to do with his powers? If so, was he really a witch? The only magic Jasper knew he had were his vivid dreams. Many people praised his ability to heal. It truly was something to be praised, as he never lost a patient, but he didn't recognize it as magic. He didn't even know how magic worked. Sylvana and Wyatt definitely understood how it worked, and possibly Katherine too. Since Jacob was well-known to at least two of those three witches, the likelihood was just as great that he understood it. Jasper silently cursed himself. He truly was the weakest person here, and he really couldn't do anything. Even though he was weak, he couldn't run away from this path he set his feet on back in Whitemouth. Promise made means that promise must be kept.

"Am I..." He started to ask Sylvana a question, but changed his mind, because he didn't want Jacob to hear the answer. All these witches could mindspeak, but he didn't have that ability. "You know how to reach me, if something happens." Did he just invite those powerful witches into his head? He must be crazy.

NONONONO! This could not be happening! First the Katherine girl pushed past him, and he resisted reaching out to grab her to steer suspicion away from his intentions. He didn't know much about her, but he thought she would be of interest to his family. Unfortunately, Wyatt was already suspicious as noted by his action to block Jacob's access to the other three, two now. That news was bad enough, but now, Jasper, the easiest target of all of them was pulling away. He even reached for Sylvana's hand. Sylvana who he fought to get away from, only moments ago. Of course, if he traveled with the two of them, he did trust them to some degree. Since Wyatt and Sylvana didn't trust Jacob, he didn't trust him either.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Katherine wandered through the village, searching for Arianna. Despite the huge secret she was keeping from Ari, Katherine knew the girl could be trusted. She spotted Arianna, the girl was deep in conversation with the butcher, most likely bartering fiercely as her mother had done. Katherine fell back until Ari walked away from the butcher before sneaking up to her. She dug her fingers into Ari's sides as they had done as children, making the girl squeal.

"Katie Fletcher!" She yelled, twisting around to face Katherine, "You've been nothing but mischief since the day you were born." Ari tried to sound serious but Katherine could see from her friend's attempt to suppress a grin that she wasn't in trouble.

Katherine pressed a finger to Ari's mouth, silencing the girl, "And that is exactly why you love me. And that is the reason I need your help," Ari raised an eyebrow, indicating her wish to speak but Katherine kept her finger against Ari's lips, "A place to sleep for the night for me and my companions, and some food, if you can." She said quickly, almost business-like in her attitude.

Ari nodded slowly, wondering what in the name of all things good Katie Fletcher was up to this time. "You and the girl can sleep in the house," She said, remembering Katherine's travelling companions, "We have room. The boys will have to sleep in the barn. Father won't allow them in the house, not while there's unmarried women around," Katherine nodded, remembering how uptight Ari's father was about young men in the house, "Food... food," Ari thought for a moment, "I'm sure we can spare a few coins to help you. The crop was good this year, we're hardly struggling."

Katherine wrapped her arms around Arianna, embracing her tightly, "Thank you, thank you, thank you," She pulled back from Ari, keeping her hands on the girl's shoulders, "may the gods bless your home forevermore," She quickly embraced Ari again before heading off back to the springs, albeit at a slower pace when she was sure she was out of sight of Arianna, mulling over the man, Jasper's brother, that had found them. The feeling she had that something was a little off about grew more and more the closer she got to the springs. She hoped he wasn't still there when she got back, that maybe he was one of these people who could take a hint that he wasn't wanted here. Kicking the snow off her feet as she walked, delaying her return to the springs even more, she wondered why Jacob had actually come to find Jasper. Something told her it was more than sheer curiosity that had brought Jacob to them. She sneaked through the woodland to get back to the springs, not wanting to waste more money on paying entry. She kept her distance from where the group had been, wondering if they had managed to take off or if she would need to run at a moments notice.

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5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Maybe she was getting lucky after all. Jasper seemed to be wanting to come with her. It seemed like she wasn't going to get overly chewed over by Wyatt if she could get the two of them out of the springs and out of the town as quickly as possible. Sylvana took Jasper's hand, letting the magic she'd been holding onto go, so that she could raise her head back up as her eyes returned to their normal shade.

Without a glance at Wyatt, she gripped Jasper's hand tighter, turning back around and leaving the area as quickly as she could basically drag the man. On the way out, the young woman saw Katherine had come back, but had chosen wisely to stay back away from the group. The woman was definitely smart and had earned some points in the white magic user's book.

She didn't say anything as she passed the woman just nodded at her. Sylvana hoped she understood that it meant follow her, or get out of there. She lead the way back out of the springs having gotten all of their gear. Finally she turned back towards Katherine.

"Were you able to get any supplies for the cold?" Wyatt may have wanted them out of the town but she had to make sure they would all survive the journey to the Witches' Fortress. She also let go of Jasper's hand, took a deep breath and turned to him. "I know you have a lot of questions and I promise I will do my best to answer them. Once we're out of Evanpool." They needed to get moving and as quickly as possible.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Once both Sylvana and Jasper were out of the hot springs, Wyatt was finally able to relax his tense muscles. He was still ready to move at a moments notice, but now he didn't have to worry about covering anyone's back but his own. He uncrossed his arms, allowing his hand to fall near his weapon's pouch just to be on the safe side.

"What are you really doing here, Jacob? I know it's not to catch up. You hate your brother and his family. You've said so you're entire life as long as I've known you." The black magic user wasn't going to be fooled like Katherine or Jasper to the man's antics. He grew up with the gray magic user. He knew most of his tricks.

So long as Sylvana got the other two out of Evanpool, he would be safe to fight Jacob if it came down to it. He was hoping it wouldn't, but there would be nothing he could do about it if it did. He would protect his traveling companions, Sylvana above all and then the townsfolk from the man. Very few people could stand up to the man and he was one of the few and even he knew he would struggle.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Jacob cried out and turned to the door as Sylvana and Jasper left. No, he can't lose! He can't fail! The man's face flushed as he heard Wyatt. Curses! He let his guard down and Wyatt saw it! Still he quickly turned his embarrassed expression to a smirk. Maybe the other witch didn't notice. "He is still my blood you know. It's undeniable." The shorter witch leaned against the wall, crossed his arms and closed his eyes. It was the same pose he held when looking for the Raven when he received his secret mission in the first place. It was a habit of his that he always used before starting any magic duel.

While living in the Northern Tower, Jacob enjoyed duels with other students to sharpen his skills. Dueling actually served him better than reading dusty books in the library, because his mind wandered less while active. Sitting still too long bored him, and in that boredom distracted easily. His master accepted his hobby, since the tower was more isolated than other Shadow Sage bases. Even if it wasn't, Jacob was clever and knew he'd find a way to duel anyway.

After a moment or so, he opened his eyes again but surprisingly didn't attack. He said sweet as honey, "Someone needs to look after him, and who better than myself. I've spent many years learning about him, and he didn't even know I existed until he saw me. Even though he claims I've been in his dreams for nineteen years, he didn't even think I was a real person." The honey words sharpened as a knife, ...but I've always known him. I've always known of his existence. He may see me all the time, but I feel him. I've felt his rejection and hatred of me burning under my skin all these years." The paler witch dropped his head and took a deep breath. He needed to be calm. "Of course that's in the past and dwelling on it doesn't help our unfortunate situation. You're correct that I'm not here just to catch up. The king's wrath at witches is growing. He's building an army of Witch Hunters, and witches that don't know how to use their powers will be the first and easiest targets. Anything they do in ignorance could be considered a threat, and that's why I need to protect him." He gave a heavy sigh and dropped his shoulders in dejection. "Since he's already with you, I thought I could ask for your help, but if you aren't willing..." Jacob turned his back to Wyatt again and pressed on the door.

~~~

Even though he knew his weakness, Jasper couldn't help himself from looking over his shoulder as Sylvana pulled him along. Because he kept looking back, it felt like dragging, which wasn't comfortable for him, and just as likely uncomfortable to her. The two of them passed Katherine, as she came back from wherever she went, but no words were spoken until they were a distance away from the hot springs. Sylvana asked if Katherine found any supplies and told Jasper that she knew he had questions but couldn't answer until they were out of town. The healer wasn't happy with the forced continuation of his confusion. "I want to ask Jacob some questions too, if I can." He looked back again and crossed his arms, since she let go of him temporarily. "I know you don't trust him and think he's dangerous, but he is obviously my brother, even if we didn't grow up together. He is my family and the reason I started this journey." He looked around and then dropped his head. They were out in public again and remembering the reaction when he first mentioned his dreams, it wouldn't be safe to address it. "I wanted a name behind a face that refused to leave me. I have the name, but this journey isn't over yet." Jasper sighed and drifted into silence.

Setting

5 Characters Present

Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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Katherine saw two figures coming towards her, a man and a woman. The dark hair of the woman and paleness of the man told her it was Sylvana and Jasper. Katherine let out a sigh of relief, at least they had managed to get away safely. From here, it looked like Sylvana was having to drag Jasper along behind her. Katherine waited patiently for them to arrive, wondering how they had managed to get away from Jacob, when he had seemed so intent on keeping them there for as long as possible. Sylvana passed her with a nod in her direction. Picking up on the hint, Katherine fell in line with the other witch.

"Were you able to get any supplies for the cold?" Sylvana asked

Katherine looked up, "My friend, Arianna, said the harvest was good this year so there's plenty food that won't be missed," She explained, hoping that she wasn't going to have to steal from her old friend. Arianna was a good person, with a good soul. Katherine didn't want to steal from one of her few friends. "She offered us a bed for the night too, but I'm starting to think we won't be needing it tonight," She added, casting a look back over her shoulder. From this distance, if she squinted, she could see the blurred outline of Jacob standing at the changing rooms. Wyatt was hidden by the shack.

Katherine looked at Jasper, hoping she didn't look like she was pitying him. She knew what it was like to want answers and not get them. It was a horrible place to be. Katherine looked between Sylvana and Jasper. On the one hand, Jasper deserved to have his questions answered, to not be kept in the dark, on the other hand, there was something a little off about Jacob and she wasn't altogether sure that the answers Jasper got from him would be the absolute truth, "He deserves his answers Sylvana," she said quietly, her tongue apparently making her mind up for her, "At least let him try and get them."

Setting

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Character Portrait: Wyatt Silas Character Portrait: Sylvana Ward Character Portrait: Jacob Hemlock Character Portrait: Jasper Galen Character Portrait: Katherine Fletcher
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((Want to start off by saying I'm sorry for taking so long to post. Have been going through a rough time at the moment with health issues that doctors can't explain, but I should be all right to get my posts back to being regular again.))

Wyatt wasn't simply going to allow Jacob to get out of the door. Here in the changing area, he was confined and more easy to control. Once he was out of the building there might not be any chance at keeping the locals from getting a large whiff of what was going on. The fact that there were four witches in their town and one who was now becoming highly likely to be a witch himself for whatever reason Jasper denied it. Unless it was true.

"I think if he's made it this far he needs no coddling from the likes of you. Regardless, we both know he's safer away from you. And believe me when I say he doesn't hate you. I don't think he could hate anyone even those who try to kill him. You know nothing of him and I'm not allowing you near him."

The black magic user wasn't sure when or why he'd come so protective over the healer. He'd just met the man and had threatened to kill him himself on several occasions, but even then he knew he would only kill those who came at him first. Jacob was an exemption. He was being given a golden opportunity to take the gray magic user out, but because of their surroundings he couldn't do it. Not without risking everything around him.

"You know for a fact I will give you no aid. We didn't exactly part on friendship terms if I recall." Wyatt's blood was boiling. It had been when Sylvana had left after everyone had learned she had white magic. Jacob was very vocal about it. The black magic user on the other hand didn't care what kind of magic people had, it didn't make them distinctly one way or another because of the type. No their personalities did. Had it been the other way around Jacob would have had magic blacker than his own, but he only had gray; a mix of black and white. Didn't he know he was half like the woman he despised?

"So we have two options, you leave willingly now without making a scene. Or I will make you leave."

______________________________________________________________________________________________________

Sylvana shook her head. "No." Her voice was strained. She knew she was fighting a losing battle, but she wasn't going to stop. Allowing Jasper or Katherine back near Jacob wouldn't be a good thing. She took a deep breath knowing she was going to have to take charge.

"Katherine, go get the food from your friend. Also ask if any of the vendors have supplies for braving the cold. Buy what you can. Then meet us at the gate leading north. Go as quickly as you can. We need to be away from here as soon as possible in case the two of them start fighting." Her voice was low in fear that someone around them might hear what she was saying.

The woman turned to face Jasper, she sighed. "I know you want and deserve your answers, but believe me all you will get is lies from that man. If he even is a man. I won't be able to answer everything you want to know, but I will do my best." She took one of his hands between her own and held it up. "I promise, but come with me to the north gate to wait with Katherine. I will explain what I can there."

She turned, keeping a hold of his hand and lead him to the gate. There were two guards stationed outside of it now, but she already had the story in her mind on how to get past them without any real fuss. Jasper's job was going to be a great use and Wyatt she knew could just sneak out without being caught.

Once they were by the gate, out of view of the townsfolk, did she turn back to the man. "I am truly sorry that it has to be this way. But take this to heart when I say I am glad you are nothing like your twin at all. I much like you better than that scum. Now ask your questions quickly, but keep your voice down."