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Rain Bursch

"I've triangulated your defeat in ten different algorithms. You stand no chance."

0 · 280 views · located in The Unnamed Kingdom

a character in “Black Magic”, as played by digikun


Rain Bursch

"There's beauty and magnificence everywhere in this world. You're just too stupid to appreciate it."

Basic Information

Name: Rain Bursch

Nickname: Glasses- His unofficial trade mark accessory. Isn't helped by the fact that he insists on reading and doing lots of work.

Age: 24

Gender: Male

Sexuality: Bisexual, though one could argue he has no sexual urges ever.

Physical Appearance


Habitually a book worm, Rain does little exercise, leaving his body to be quite thin. However this is not to be confused with being frail. While he's no warrior, Rain is flexible and nimble, allowing him great mobility around the battle field.

Rain's hair is a dark blue, long enough to go past his stern, honest eyes. His expression in general isn't harsh, however he definitely isn't one to smile or be boisterous. His eyes are as blue as his hair. His clothes are very simple and light, mostly blacks or dark blues. Though whenever he goes out, he covers himself with a dark cloak and hood to hide himself.

Height and Weight: 6'2" | 167 lbs.


One of the more serious members of the Coven, Rain busies himself in ways to help plan and delegate their resources and forces. For him, it's all about efficiency. The better they can maximize their progress against the Kingdom, the better their chances at succeeding. He loves solving puzzles, problems, mathematical equations and the such. To him, the inquisitors are just another variable in the great equation.

Rain has little tolerance for those who impede his work. He believes that for there to be anything that works in the world, there must first be order. And clearly their Kingdom was losing it's order and for good reason. For him, the Coven is simply the rise of a new order to replace the old. He firmly believes that logic and law can find inherent truths to all the universe. And he'd spend all his life if he had to to uncover those truths. Rain has a passion for life, and for the beauty in all things. Whether or not he believes some to have it.

Changing the world and creating everlasting harmony. That's the dream he holds in his heart, and if it means gaining the strength to protect all he holds dear, then there is nothing he would let hold him back.

Magical Powers

General Magic
Learning about the laws of the universe allows him to manipulate it to a point as well. He practices time magic, allowing him to speed up or slow down events that happen around him. He also practices some basic water magic to defend himself as well, however his strength lies in his ability to manipulate the temporal field around him. However, should his foes escape to 50 ft. away from him, his magic over them wears off.

High Magic – Spatial Mathematicks
Rain's devotion to mathematics allows him to solve difficult mathematical formulas in his head. However he has learned how to use mana in such a way as to allow him mind to solve impossibly complex mathematical formulas in his head. This allows him to calculate where his enemies are, what direction their facing, and even how high or low they are compared to his position. He must close his eyes and concentrate when he does this, as various algorithms can be seen floating around his body. When used in conjunction with his general magic, this allows him to hit all targets he designates within a hundred foot radius. Another of his favorite tricks is to create small, fist sized water bubbles and freely manipulate them to his will and explodes on contact.


There's not much to say of Rain's origins. Nobody knows where he had come from. No one knew who his parents were, what they did, or why they weren't around. For as long as he could remember, Rain simply knew that he lived at his village's orphanage. It wasn't a very happy life. The meals were less than stellar. Though he would have lived with even that were it not for the fact that the person who ran the orphanage was a tyrant of a lady who did everything in her power to try and control everything these children did. It was more than he could bear. He had soon fled the orphanage, and ultimately the village, at the age of ten.

Rain had of course packed for the trip. With the old hag of a caretaker's hidden stash of food. She liked to horde the good stuff for herself. As he traveled around the open fields on his own, he would meet all sorts of people who took pity on the youngster and gave him food. There were also thieves and bandits who stole from him in his sleep. There were wild green forests, beautiful rivers, wide open fields, everything that wasn't the dusty little village he had left behind. After a year of traveling on his own, learning and picking up random skills along the way, he had arrived at the capital of all magic. The Kingdom he had heard so much about in passing. This wondrous place full of knowledge and beauty.

Once he sneaked inside however, it was bit of a different story. Not only was the town not quite as amazing as he had imagined, the townspeople could only barely use basic magic. It was okay though, Rain had other intentions in this town. From the stories he had heard, there was a grand library somewhere in town with all the books on anything one can imagine. Rain had been teaching himself how to read since he had made his escape, and he loved learning everything he could. Once Rain made his way to the library, he was as happy as any person could ever be. At first, because of his slow reading ability, he had some trouble going through the books.

The librarian, a kind old man by the name of Crilces, took a shine on the boy. He had not seen one so young be so enthusiastic about learning in a long while. A month after the boy's arrival, Crilces would take Rain under his wing, teaching him how to read and write, and also about math and geography. Rain was ecstatic. Years and years of pouring through the books, he had just about read almost all the books in the library by age sixteen. At that point, he was living with the librarian. However there was a subject Rain had always been curious about. He learned that the reason people in town don't have very strong magic is because of the laws that enforce it and how regular people simply have no ability to use higher magic.

Of course because of this, Rain had a secret he couldn't tell Crilces, or anyone. It was one day while he was solving complex algebraic equations when he felt something odd happen. He could see things, things he normally wouldn't be able to see. Quick flashes that would come and go. As time went on, he found that the common patterns were the equations. Somehow, his understanding of the laws of nature allowed him to use magic in a way he had never heard of before. It excited him, but also frightened him. Frightened him because he was something he knew the villagers feared. But he couldn't help it. He wanted to learn how to use it, how to control it.

One day the truth had been forced to come out. On the day Rain had turned 23, someone had mentioned sightings of what could have been high magic within the library. The inquisitors were quick to accuse Crilces. Though he denied it, there seemed to be no arguing with the Inquisitors. In a bid to save his friend, he had simultaneously assaulted every one of the Inquisitors with his spatial magic and left them unconscious. Rain wanted to take Crilces with him and run, however when he extended his hand to take the librarian with him, Crilces simply backed away from him in fear. Pain and sadness flickered across his face, however he knew this was also a possibility. In silence, without even bidding farewell, he fled from his home, and his best friend.


Theme Song:Lycaon

So begins...

Rain Bursch's Story

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digikun
The sun was bright, the streets were bustling with activity, people were out and talking, all in all it was a generally pleasant day out. While most others in the village were out in the market place, being busy and trading their earnings for food, Rain could be found inside a large two story building, dimly lit candles illuminated a corner of the living room that he had chosen to occupy for the last few months. He didn't eat much, though he normally never did anyway. Rain kept himself busy with formulas, maps and measurements. Books lined the area, pieces of paper filled with meticulously calculated notes pinned to the walls. He spent most of his time here, and thus ended up sleeping here most times as well.

And why not? The Inquisitors weren't going to let up their attack either. Rain wanted to make sure that he had planned for every eventuality. It wasn't even his plan to join the coven. It wasn't even his intention to defy the kingdom. But once he had joined in that one time...the one time he had just decided to do something and roll with it without actually thinking ahead about the consequences...he had to admit. It was all exciting. After his first battle with the coven, Rain could only look around the village, at the results of their actions. And soon after, the "witches" banded together to form the Coven that he would soon lead. least, that's what he had expected. Rain was easily one of the more tactical and serious of the members in this coven, however in the next battles that had come, he had tried to reign everyone in for a battle formation, but once the battle started, all his well made calculations soon collapsed into chaos as every member went off to do his/her own thing. What was more frustrating was that everyone seemed to follow under the so called "psycho bitch", Ayumi. While she certainly wasn't the most chaotic person he'd ever met, she and a certain someone else with flaming red hair, were content simply doing what they wished and letting the dice roll where they fall. At least, that's how Rain always saw it. He of course, stopped trying to be leader as most everyone else seemed content with Ayumi as leader, and Rain certainly wouldn't want to come off as bossy or anything. And he had to admit. Ayumi had an odd way of keeping the group in order, despite her...unconventional ways.

A low grumble rolling from his stomach, Rain leaned back in his chair, heaving a sigh. "Guess I should get something to eat..." Rain casually emerged from his little den after blowing out the candles, soon leaving their 'base' and sauntered over to the market place. It was busy as usual. Walking over to the vegetable stall, Rain bartered for a couple of carrots, taking two in a bag and eating one as he thanked the seller for the service and went about on his way. His mind was still busy with math formulas in his head, replaying the same battles in his mind over and over, getting a feel for how the enemy moved and how he should coordinate his own attacks around the others instead of trying to--

Lost in his own thoughts, Rain didn't even pay attention properly and accidentally bumped into someone. "Ah, excuse me--" As he looked up, he immediately recognized the wild red hair and the same laid back expression as if he needn't a care in the world. "Ah. Joker. A pleasure." Rain's tone was dry and dull, however he supposed it was nice enough to see someone from the coven outside the base. He made it a point to keep people away from him whenever he was working, which was almost all the time, though without his own private room, that rule was broken quite frequently. "Actually, since you're here, do you happen know where the others are? I've been curious since I noticed it was eerily quiet in the house today."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Byte
“Vultures,” Joker stated with a grin as he tossed a few scraps of apple towards a group of wee-little birds who were brave enough to land on the edge of the well.

So they weren't vultures, but sure as hell acted like one – The way they soared down to snatch whatever remains of the apple were 'clumsily' thrown on the cobblestone street.

Joker figured that they were used to being fed by the locals here. He chuckled as his hand flicked the core into the well, amused at the sight of the birds desperately clinging onto the chest-heigh ledge and, probably, wondering where the Hell that thing landed.

“Gotta ru-”


Joker felt a bump against his shoulder, to which his first reaction was to flinch on the spot, then turning around to find a familiar, how to call it, eccentric figure. If anything, that dark blue hair did make it obviously clear who just stumbled into him.

“Yo,” He retorted with a smile, his left arm rising slightly for a wave before subsequently resting on the slightly taller man's shoulder. “Finally prized yourself from your pillow, I see?”

“Or, no.” A sole, pale finger rested on Joker's chin, his eyes closing briefly to think before looking back at Rain. “Bookworms never sleep. They read – A lot.”

He paused, arching an eyebrow.

“Actually, since you're here, do you happen know where the others are? I've been curious since I noticed it was eerily quiet in the house today.”

A shrug came as response. “I have no clue. Was hoping you'd know where they hid this time. Told 'em I suck at hide and seek when I'm the seeker.”

Joker allowed a grin to grow at his own remark, though secretly hoping he wasn't being excluded from Coven business. Wouldn't surprise him, sort of. “You think we should look for them? Yeah, we should.”

He stepped back, allowing four-eyes his personal space again, and made moves to return to the Coven's appointed base of operations. “Who knows, maybe someone found a group of Inquisitors we can dress up in sheep costumes and have them jump through hoops.”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digikun

"See you finally pried yourself from your pillow I see." Joker said, leaning on Rain's shoulder.

You're too close...

"Or no...bookworms never sleep. They read. A lot."

Why are you touching me... The little ego in Rain's mind was griping quite uncomfortably as Joker kept leaning on him. Rain wasn't one for close contact. It was...invariably awkward for him. Or...rather it wasn't so much awkward as it was just a bit annoying. There was no reason to be this close. He could be infected. With what he couldn't say but there was no point in being risky. Though Rain figured the fiery haired man meant well enough. Rain wouldn't make an issue of it. This time.

Rain sighed as he gave his rebuttal to Joker's last comment. "Well, I suppose I'll just let you do my share of sleeping for me." Joker responded to Rain's questions as to the whereabouts of the others with a shrug. He asked if they should look for them. And then agreed with himself before Rain could answer. Once more, a sigh from Rain.

"Who knows, maybe someone found a group of Inquisitors we can dress up in sheep costumes and have them jump through hoops." Joker added jovially as he finally separated himself, making his way towards the base.

Simply grinning, the blue haired man responded. "You see enough sheep in your sleep." Rain accompanied Joker back to the base, continuing to munch on his carrots. "Besides. If they had found more Inquisitors it would be in a group much larger than any last time. If we didn't get the attention of the Kingdom before, we certainly have now. It's best we proceed with some more caution here on out."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: [NPC] Bartender Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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As Ayumi walked down the streets of Alderath a decent pace, she couldn’t help but to smile. She had not been able to walk around the town freely, as of yet, seeing how the Inquisitorial presence in the area did not exactly allow her to stroll around before the revolution and she was too wounded afterwards to do so. So, today was her first chance to admire the little town. It wasn’t that much, to be honest – and anyone from the wealthier areas towards the capital would likely sniff at the place. However, the town Ayumi grew up in was even worse off than Alderath, so the experience was actually pretty enjoyable for her.

As she walked, Ayumi took the time to stop and swivel her head around to take in all the sights – from the little, not so well off stores to the villagers, who wandered about in the midst of their daily routines. Even though the stores were interesting (especially the occasional stall that held some food), Ayumi took the biggest pleasure from walking amongst the regular people. After years and years of not being able to do so without the fear of being discovered for what she was and have the Inquisitors sent at her, the ability to do something that most people take for granted – walk openly down a street – was an exciting prospect.

That is probably the reason why Ayumi did not realize that someone was following her for several minutes. Normally, she would have been able to recognize the fact thanks the fact that there weren’t enough people on the streets for a stalker to hide behind; in this instance, however, it wasn’t until she had been walking for a long while that she noticed that all things were not well. The young female was actually about to turn around and confront whomever was following her, but before she could, a certain sight in front of her caught her eye.

Just down the street, two certain people were walking towards Ayumi, and their forms were familiar enough that the girl recognized them instantly. Forgetting entirely about her stalker for the moment, Ayumi broke out into a huge smile and started to run towards the two. Well, run wasn’t the right word for it. Though she was mostly recovered, Ayumi was not exactly in a mood to test the limits of her body, so rather than run, she simply shuffled as fast as she could. She may have made an odd spectacle of herself: legs barely picking up as she shuffled, arms flailing at her sides as she tried to keep her balance, skirt swishing lightly around her upper knees as she went. When she finally stopped in front of Tetsu and Morgan, Ayumi was a bit out of breath, but otherwise alright. She paused for just a moment, hesitating in front of the two of them for just a second before opening her mouth.

When she did speak, the first and only word out of her mouth was: “Lilyyyy!~” Without much warning other than her happy exclamation of Morgan’s ‘name’ – Morgan had given the Coven members many different names since she joined in, forcing Ayumi to find one which she liked enough to refer to the girl as. At the moment, it was Lily, simply she liked the way it sounded - Ayumi launched herself Morgan, latching her arms around the taller girl’s shoulders in a hug. With her arms around ‘Lilly’s’ shoulders, Ayumi hugged the girl tightly, big, amethyst eyes upturned slightly as she looked into Morgan’s rather unresponsive face. “Heeey Lily, look: I’m alright now! That’s really good, neh? Even though you won’t get to play nurse with me anymore…” Ayumi lightly joked with Morgan, putting some effort into communicating with the girl even as she stared dreamily up into her eyes.

Ayumi probably had the best relationship with Morgan out of any of the other Coven members, even though the relationship was mostly one-sided. From practically the first moment Ayumi had seen the girl, she swore she was “in love”. Despite her gloominess, Morgan was a beautiful young woman – elegant in appearance and in personality, if a bit detached. While those dainty good looks were enough to attract Ayumi’s attention, it was precisely that detached air that caused the energetic leader of the Coven to pine after the potions master so strongly. Each time she failed to elicit an emotional response from Morgan, each time she was turned down, it only fueled Ayumi further. Perhaps she was a bit of a masochist amongst the rest of her oddities, but each time she did not succeed, it only furthered her desire to get that coveted response from the “cool beauty” that was Morgan.

While Ayumi fawned over poor Morgan, she did not notice the other person who had previously been conversing with her. After a few moments, however, Tetsu shifted slightly, alerting Ayumi to his presence. Still hanging on to Morgan, Ayumi leaned her torso forward to stare past the body of the girl that she was holding, looking at Tetsu with a blank look on her face. “Oh, Tetsu: I didn’t notice you there,” she said calmly, “Are you doing well?” She spoke lightly with the boy, as if she had just plainly met him on the street and wasn’t hanging off of a different girl. She even nodded her head at him a bit in acknowledgement, an odd little bow. After she had acknowledged him, however, she went back to ignoring him in favor of Morgan

The potions master luckily didn’t have to endure Ayumi’s attention again for very long, as Eleanor stepped meekly up in front of their little group, coming from the direction that Ayumi had been walking. When Ayumi saw her, her eyes widened, and when her voice rang out again, it was with a glint of humor and teasing. “Oh, Ellie, it was you following me, wasn’t it? I should have known.~” Offering the girl a coy smile, Ayumi asked her in mock-suspicion, “Neh, but I wonder why you were following me…Is there anything I need to know, Ellie, dear?~”

So it was that four of the members of the Black Coven met on one of the streets of Alderath. Even though they had been heading in different directions, they collision course allowed them to stop and chat amongst themselves for a short while. The conversation was mostly light and joking, and throughout the entirety of it, Ayumi remained draped on Morgan, likely to the poor girl’s infinite displeasure. The four of them did not converse for very long, however, before new arrivals appeared. Coming from the center town, a certain redheaded prankster and blue-haired bookworm arrived on to the scene. Once they saw the group of their companions, they may have tried to run away, but Ayumi extricated herself from Morgan long enough to go and pull the two of them by their hands over to join the group, greeting them with smiles and enthusiasm (and, in Joker’s case, a punch on the shoulder. He deserved it, for whatever that horrible thing he did.).

And then, suddenly, their group was nearly complete. The conversation grew more involved, especially now that the jokester of the bunch was involved. The only one missing now was Cassy, Ayumi realized with a smirk.

And, sure enough, a little while later Ayumi interrupted Joker right in the middle of one of his punch-lines as she said, “Hey, Cassy! Get over here!” She left the group once again to go and grab Cassy forcibly by the shoulder and drag her over to fill a spot next to her in the growing ring of Coven members. And then, the whole gang really was together, chatting amicably (for the most part) amongst themselves right in the middle of the street. The other villagers had to go around the mob, casting inquisitive glances at the bunch of strange people who were just standing there and talking.

Ayumi sat back and happily participated in the conversation, chirping in with upbeat comments and the occasional put-down (mainly directed at Joker). As the group talked, Ayumi found her happiness growing. She’d hoped that today would be the start of something new. Sure, the bunch of them had talked before, but there was something new and special about all of them being together here, outside of the base. She turned her head and looked at each of the other members, feeling truly upbeat and ready to take on the future for the first time in a month.

And how fortunate that the Coven seemed to be getting fully on its feet then, for at that very moment, a certain villager was heading for Alderath in a breakneck pace. He was in such a rush to get to the town and deliver the news that he’d heard and practically seen for himself: danger was coming to Alderath, and this time – it wouldn’t be just a few measly Inquisitors.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Tanman
"You can't make a stew out of rotten foo-" Morgan briefly looked to Tetsu as he spoke, wondering just what he meant by that before slowly turning to follow his eyes as they stopped in the middle of the street. Slowly but steadily, the bobbing head of that Ayumi girl began to make its way closer, Morgan steadily beginning to make out the beaming smile and enthusiastically wide eyes on her face. She never quite understood what got Ayumi so excited all the time, but it seemed the boundless energy of their supposed leader was still dampened by her injuries, Selei resting on her knees in front of them as she caught her breath. The silence settled a moment, and then-

“Lilyyyy!~” Was the squeal that filled the air, Morgan giving a soft ‘Oof’ as she braced herself from falling backwards. It seemed that no injuries were going to prevent Ayumi from latching onto ‘Lily’, though at least this time she was prepared enough that the collision didn’t send both of them sprawling to the ground. Morgan was never one to make much of a fuss over this sort of thing, and allowed Ayumi to have her way as she tightly squeezed around her shoulders while she herself would remain rigid. Briefly, her eyes scanned over Tetsu and Eleanor, her consistently bland expression almost looking like a plea for help, or perhaps dejected acceptance that she would have to tolerate having Ayumi hanging off of her. As Ayumi spoke about the progress with her wounds, Morgan continued to stare past her, looking through the crowd ahead.

“Aye, that’s to be expected.” She responded simply, now looking to the sky as if it would give her freedom from the stranglehold around her. Alas, it was not to be, Ayumi spinning around in her hug to see the other Coven members, almost like she really was attached to Morgan. The fawning didn’t really bother Morgan too much, but Ayumi was coming dangerously close to squishing some of the contents of her satchel. The potion’s master would give a few attempts to point this out, but it seemed she wouldn’t get a word in edgewise as Ayumi continued to run her mouth both to Morgan, and the company they had. When Joker and uh… That other man arrived, Morgan was given the briefest of reprieves, taking the moment to dust her chest down and realign her satchel over her shoulder.

“Aye, she’s an odd one.” Morgan replied to Ichabod as she watched Ayumi go, but for Tetsu and Eleanor, it would seem that she was speaking to them about their leader. “No, I don’t need your help with her.” She also added, though how that would be taken by the other two was anyone’s guess. They didn’t have long to comment on Morgan’s musings before Ayumi had returned, Morgan calmly and easily holding the shorter girl at bay with a palm to her forehead. For a little while Ayumi playfully fought against it, but it seemed with everyone else around she seemed content to give Morgan some space. For now. No doubt the next moment Morgan let her guard down she would be in another bear hug.

Morgan wasn’t much to intrude on the conversation, instead blankly listening and occasionally zoning out as Ichabod whispered his own thoughts on the situation. Occasionally, she’d comment back to him, drawing some inquisitive glances from the people standing next to her, but whatever they thought on it they seemed not to care enough to point it out. About the only time she’d interject to the topic at hand was when directly asked – Mainly by Ayumi, but there was the occasional other gesture from another member of the coven.

Still, for the most part Morgan was as much a bystander as anyone else walking past, which gave her the time to do things such as check her hourglass again. It was about time she got started on the lunch meal for the day. Bowing slightly, Morgan drew their attention once there was sufficient pause in the conversation. “I must go prepare the meal. Excuse me.” Changing from bow to curtsy midway through, Morgan proceeded to turn on her heel and intended to make her way back to the coven building and begin preparing that stew. Provided of course, that there were no more interruptions.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digikun
Rain walked casually down the street with Joker when suddenly he saw a person coming towards them. Rapidly. No doubt about it. That face, that demeanor. "Should you be up and about so soo-" Though Rain was denied finishing that inquiry as he was pulled by the hand and dragged along with Joker to meet up with the rest of the coven members. "Wh--Hey!" He quickly lost his balance a number of times, making him incapable of properly resisting.


Once he was now in the presence of the other members, he exasperatedly let out a sigh. "You could have simply asked Miss Ayumi..." He looked around the group. It seems most everyone was here. "Tetsu. Luna. Eleanor." Rain nodded to each of the others, more or less acknowledging their existence. As he kept eating his carrots, he looked around and noticed Ayumi was gone again. Before he could question it, he saw Ayumi now dragging the last member of the coven to the group. "Cassy, captured as well I see."

The group was chatting around having a lively conversation of nothing in particular. Rain wasn't much to chat, however every now and then he would interject with some snark when it was called for, usually voicing his exasperation of Ayumi's randomness or Joker's bad jokes. Though he had to admit. This was nice. Rain wasn't usually in the presence of a group as large at this. Most of his memories were of in the library, just him and the professor. He liked it, it was a lot calmer and not as chaotic. Though if Rain were completely honest with himself, this time spent with the others wasn't bad either. Not that much.

It would be soon after Luna had excused herself from the group that Rain was about to head back with her. However it was at that moment that the messenger came running in, panting and out of breath. He had come with a message, of Inquisitors arriving. A rather large amount of Inquisitors. Coming to eradicate their coven once and for all. Rain gave a heavy sigh. "Looks like we did it now. We definitely have the Kingdom's attention." He turned to group, adjusting his glasses slightly. "So. What shall we do then? If their coming in as great a number as he says, then more than likely they'll have the whole village surrounded in no time. Even with all our abilities combined, we'd be hard pressed to just fend them off, let alone defeating all of them once we've been circled..." Taking a quick look around the village, he continued talking, though he'd admit he wasn't sure who exactly was still listening. "...we'd need time to set up and prepare. Place traps and such at key points on the outskirts of the village to try and dwindle their numbers..." He had other plans and scenarios planned out in his head, however he figured this would be the simplest one for the group to follow.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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- Tetsuo -

Ayumi had begun shuffling towards the two of them in an odd way and Tetsuo decided to stop walking as she did so, finding her method of approach to be a little strange. Morgan, however continued a couple more feet before their named leader called out the girls "name" and practically launched herself at the potion master, wrapping her arms around her and closing in in a tight hug. It was completely obvious that Ayumi was ignoring Tetsu's presence, not that he minded. He simply hung back with his naturally tired expression as he waiting for the brown-haired girl to complete her greeting with Morgan. He glanced down at the sack of sweet sweet potatoes in his arms and thought that maybe he'd give one a try. Of course, it took him making a movement with his arms, shifting the bag into his left arm, for Ayumi to notice that he was also there.

"Oh, Tetsu: I didn’t notice you there,” She said, sounding less than enthused and remaining where she was with her arms around Morgan.

“Are you doing well?”

Tetsu let his right arm wrap back around the bag, once again holding it against his chest. He didn't really pay attention to Ayumi's lack of joy towards him compared to how she greeted Morgan. It's not like he was going to get upset about it, and aside from his red eyes he wasn't a very noticeable person, so it made sense that Ayumi didn't notice him right away. "I'm fine, thank you." He replied, though by now their leader had already gone back to swooning over Morgan, or "Lily".

Only a few seconds later, Eleanor had caught up to speedy-foot Ayumi and Testu gave her a little nod. "Good afternoon, Eleanor."

“Oh, Ellie, it was you following me, wasn’t it? I should have known.~ Neh, but I wonder why you were following me…Is there anything I need to know, Ellie, dear?~”

Tetsu let himself frown a little as he glanced at Ayumi, pondering over her words towards the blond Coven member. Had she really not noticed that Eleanor had been following her, and for quite a while too? Now, Tetsuo wasn't really one to complain and he's never had a problem playing Follow the Leader, but even he had to wonder whether or not it was a good idea letting Ayumi take the reins when the Coven came together. After a short while, Ayumi released her grip on Morgan and went off in another direction and Tetsuo noticed that she was headed towards two more members of their little group. Morgan was probaby relieved, though she showed no reaction to state that she was, instead making a couple of comments towards a being Tetsuo couldn't see. He already established that it had something to do with her magic, but he wasn't sure if Eleanor would catch onto that.

Ayumi dragged walked them over roughly with both her hands holding theirs, her usual smile staying on her face as she did so. Tetsuo let his frown soften out and gave the two of them a slight wave of his hand before placing it back around the sack of vegetables.

He was a little worried that they were going to start getting cold soon. After paying for them it would be a shame to eat them after they'd gone cold. They tasted much better warm and he liked how soft they were when fresh baked as well. However, he didn't get much chance to suggest they eat them during the conversation the rest of them were having, aside from mostly Rain and Morgan that is. Every once in a while Tetsuo would add his opinion on a subject or just nod and agree with Ayumi and he made it a point to listen to Rain's amusing snaps towards Ayumi and the equally as loud Joker.

It wasn't long before Morgan excused herself, telling them that she had to go prepare the meal. Tetsuo was thinking of stopping her, realizing he didn't finish his sentence about being unable to cook a meal with those ingredients before he'd noticed their said leader and Eleanor. The girl had walked off a bit too quickly and he decided it best to just let her do what she wanted. Rain would've soon followed after her if their groups get together wasn't interrupted by a boy, not much older than Tetsuo, who had stumbled into the middle of they're circle to quickly relay a message. More inquisitors were coming. At first Tetsu wasn't too concerned. They'd already beaten off a fair amount of those leashed dogs without much difficulty, but then the messenger noted that a mach larger and more experience amount of them would be here, not just another little group passing through. They'd clearly caught the attention of the capital.

"Looks like we did it now. We definitely have the Kingdom's attention." Tetsuo turned his attention towards Rain, who let out a heavy sigh before speaking. "So. What shall we do then? If their coming in as great a number as he says, then more than likely they'll have the whole village surrounded in no time. Even with all our abilities combined, we'd be hard pressed to just fend them off, let alone defeating all of them once we've been circled..."

Tetsuo let his eyes wander to the ground in thought. He wasn't very good at planning things or putting things together, so it might be best for him to sit out while Rain discussed this with Ayumi and the others, not including Morgan. When they'd all been cornered here before, prepared for mass execution, Tetsuo just did whatever he could to defend himself without really following any sort of strategy. At that moment it was kill or be killed, and kill he did, even using a couple of other witches as distractions while tying to find a good spot to use his magic from that was close, but not close enough to risk being badly injured.

"...we'd need time to set up and prepare. Place traps and such at key points on the outskirts of the village to try and dwindle their numbers..."

Tetsuo brought his eyes back up from the ground and looked at Rain. "Sorry, this is only a suggestion, so no one has to take it into serious thought, but do you think that we could use the same strategy the inquisitors used to corner a large number of Black Witches in the center of the town in the first place? When gambling, usually the opponent doesn't suspect you'd use a trick he's already used because he would know about it and then it catches him by surprise because he expects you to do something else, something more complicated. Well, I guess there were still more of them than there were us at that time.." He tightened the grip on the sack of potatoes. "These are getting cold, does anyone want one?" He quickly added, completely moving off topic and moving his eyes over to Ayumi, Joker, and Eleanor. "They're going to get cold soon."

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digs
Cassy wasn’t too surprised when Ayumi grabbed her by the shoulder and pulled her into their little group. Was she happy about it? Well, no, not entirely. But, given what she saw the girl do during the last fight, perhaps getting yanked by the scruff was better than what the alternative might have been. Though, from what she could tell at the moment, Ayumi was the leader of the group more because of her sheer force of will and her pushiness rather than actual quality leadership. Cassy could be a much better leader if she wanted to. Not that Cassy would say anything like that aloud. Getting on Ayumi’s bad side would be a very poor decision.

Of course, there was the opposite side of the coin, which a certain someone seemed to have already gotten onto. Cassy didn’t know exactly what the potions master...Lily? Lorelei? Honestly, she seemed to change what she went by every few moments. Regardless, Cassy didn’t know exactly what that girl had done to make Ayumi so incredibly enthralled with her, but she was thankful for having that sort of attention drawn off of herself. It was almost as if their leader realized just how much ‘Lily’ absolutely hated being touched, adored, hugged, or anything of the sort, except...well, it didn’t take a telepath to note how genuine a lot of her affectations towards the girl seemed to be, at least on the surface. Still, Cassy once again thanked her lucky stars it wasn’t her. She didn’t know if she could really take it, given how difficult it was to stick around in the first place.

There was that nagging question again. Why was Cassy sticking around the Black Coven in the first place? She might not have been normal, sure, but who was? And beyond that, she certainly felt like she could put herself above and beyond a few of these folks, personality-wise. She was actually charming and friendly, after all, unlike a lot of her comrades. And given how much she enjoyed being her own boss, one would think she would want to high tail it out of there as fast as possible to take charge of her own destiny. Well, to answer that query (aside from the answer of the prospect of help in overthrowing the powers that be), all one had to do was look around at the group she surrounded herself with. Though she might not be apt to admit it to anybody else, there was a certain part of Cassy that rather enjoyed being around to help, well, what one might call the ‘troubled’ kind of folks. Indeed, even as Cassy slowly started to warm up once more and engage in lively and friendly conversation with the majority of the crew, or at least those who would engage in conversation, she realized just how many issues each of the members had. Excluding maybe Joker, but honestly, what full blown self-serving jerk didn’t have something wrong with them deep down? And even if he didn’t, being such an idiot deserved a major fix anyways.

As the potions master departed with her half-hearted excuse of making their stew, a departure that Cassy was half-expecting to come sooner, a messenger soon approached the group, warning all of them of the impending danger drawing near the town. As those words reached the blonde haired witch’s ears, Cassy couldn’t help but silently smirk to herself. Finally, after all this time, there was gonna be more excitement. Though she didn’t ever want to seek out a fight, this was what part of her was really waiting for. However, for the moment, she kept her enthusiasm played down, not exactly wanting to alarm anyone else. After all, fighting might not be in the cards, given the size and strength of the approaching force described to the group. For now, she mostly kept quite as to not interrupt either Rain or Tetsuo in their battle plan ideas. Of course, Cassy didn’t exactly agree...

“Set up and prepare? Do you really think we have enough time to do that?” Cassy piped in, gesturing emphatically with her hands at Rain the folks around him. “Sure, it’s a good plan if those troops do surround the village, even if it’s in no time flat, but do you really think they’ll waste time doing that? If we’re that outmatched, it’s more likely they’ll rush us full force to try and take us by surprise, to not let us prepare.”

She turned to the group members around Tetsuo. “And cornering ourselves in the center of town seems like a bad idea. If they can have the town surrounded so quickly, then them having the center of town completely surrounded will be just as fast with a quick rush.”

Cassy sighed, shaking her head before she went heads up with the rest of the group. “They way I see it, we’ve really got two options. We can take advantage of the knowledge we have and strike at them first, using the advantage of surprise. I'm sure one of us can draw up some plan of attack. It's either that or...” she paused for a moment, then sighed again, “...or we run. High tail it outta here as fast as we can and live to fight another day.”

Either way, Cassy was happy, but, given she wasn’t the leader...

“Well, regardless of what I or anyone else thinks...Ayumi, it’s really all up to you. So, what’s the plan?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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Just when Eleanor had been beginning to think that Yumi would finally turn around, she suddenly sprinted ahead. It was obvious where she was headed however. Their illustrious leader's thoughts were as loud and unmistakable as the person from which they originated. Although, you didn't need to be a mind reader to hear her call for "Lily", before latching on to the poor, or depending on your point of view, possibly lucky, girl. With a shrug, the blonde witch followed, coming to a stop just at the edge of the group, wanting to make the aware the she was there, but still remain at a respectful distance.

Speaking of "Lily", Eleanor wasn't entirely certain as to what her name really was. She didn't spend enough time around her to accidentally pick it up, you'd be surprised at how little people tend to think about their names, and different people seemed to have different ways of addressing her. Ellie frowned a bit when Morgan's bland expression turned to a sort of plea for help. As usual, she'd love to help, but she wouldn't know just how to begin to do so. Upon being greeted by Tetsu, Eleanor returned the gesture, more or less, with a small smile and a shy nod. It was then that Yumi finally seemed to become aware of Ellie's presence.

“Oh, Ellie, it was you following me, wasn’t it? I should have known.~”

The small smile on her face quickly turned sheepish, and she tried to explain that she had only done so in an attempt to get Ayumi to start the conversation, lacking any ideas about how to do so herself. Before she could say a thing however, the energetic leader continued.

“Neh, but I wonder why you were following me…Is there anything I need to know, Ellie, dear?~”

At this, Eleanor blushed brightly. "N- Not that I know of." She wasn't entirely sure what was being implied, but she was fairly certain that it was not the case. Fairly. Shortly afterwards, they were joined by the other members of the Coven, and the conversation was in full swing, and Ellie even threw out a few comments of her own. After a while of this, Morgan excused herself, and departed to go prepare the meal. Almost the instant she was gone, a boy stumbled into their midst, and informed them that more Inquisitors would be coming, and not just the mooks either.

Unfortunately, the lad ran off before she could question how he would know this or why he would tell them. While Ellie knew that she should probably be more concerned about what they were going to do in response, it still bugged her. How would a kid have come across such important information? Admittedly, he only appeared to be a year younger than herself, but she was a witch, and so something of an exception. Were the Inquisitors just sitting outside the town, and he had happened to be the only one that had noticed? Perhaps he was some sort of spy? Unfortunately, she had sort of tuned out his surface thoughts out of habit, being surrounded by people at the time. So focused on this was Ellie, that she didn't even throw her two cents in about the tactics they should use.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digikun
Rain narrowed his eyes at the objecting Cassy. "You're suggesting that the Kingdom, able to rule over a great deal of this land competently this whole time, is going to charge into this town like wild bulls?" He shook his head, sighing once then looking back up. "They tried that the first two times. Employing a failed tactic even a second time would be thrusting one's head against a brick wall. Look around you." Rain gestured towards the town. "There are buildings everywhere. Shoddy as they may be they still restrict movement and funnel the enemy. Charging in a straight line would put us in the advantage, especially since we know this village better than their soldiers. Only a failure of a General would even consider such a brainless approach."

Then he looked at Testsu, offering his opinion on his suggestion. "And while it's true that what you're suggesting would catch them off guard, but in the end it would only put us right where they'd want us, as Cassy said." There were still so many variables to consider in the situation. Cassy was right about one thing at the very least. The Inquisitors were ruthless and unpredictable. Things wouldn't necessarily go according to plan.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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Well, now wasn’t this nice?

As the Coven members stood together and conversed, Ayumi couldn’t help but smile wider and wider as they continued. The group that she’d put together, all the people standing before her, they were an odd bunch; there was no doubt about that. Even she was quite strange – a fact which she recognized and embraced. While this made getting along a tad difficult, it made random conversations like this quite interesting. Her favorite parts of the past few weeks had been the conversations that happened whenever these folks gathered in one place for a while.

And it was hard not to be entertained by the conversation. Even the most reserved members of the Coven found themselves participating equally, momentarily brought of their timidity by the festive atmosphere. For a few brief moments, at least, Ayumi could pretend that the people beside her were only united for one reason: their mutual safety. It was a relationship of convenience, of protection against the forces that wanted them dead. For a little while, Ayumi cast off those saddening thoughts, joking with the others in the most light-hearted way the girl knew how: genuinely.

However, such an event could only last for so long. After a short while, Morgan decided that it was time for her to go, as she still had to prepare the Coven’s dinner meal. It was a good excuse, unfortunately, so Ayumi could think of no way to prohibit her crush from leaving the impromptu meeting. That didn’t mean she couldn’t pout about it, though; ‘Lily’ would be sent off from the group with several parting declarations of love and promises to make up for the “lost time” later. Just as Morgan was going out of earshot, however, Ayumi stupid jumping up and calling out to her ‘target’ and just stood, giggling girlishly at her own antics.

After that, Ayumi turned back around and joined the conversation once again, though it was beginning to falter a little by this time. Even though Morgan hadn’t been saying much, the departure of one was enough to unravel the carefully constructed thread of joviality. Even without the interruption of the young man, the Coven would probably have split up and started to head back to the headquarters after a few more minutes.

But, that interruption did come. To everyone’s surprise, the young man – not a Coven member, but rather a commoner, not unlike the villagers of Alderath – came hustling over to their group. In a frantic voice, he announced that more trouble was on its way, and that it would be here soon. However, this was not just another report of yet a third small group of Inquisitors coming to pay Alderath a visit. Although the man offered no specifics, his words made it seem like a much bigger force of evil was amassing on the horizon.

The messenger left their little group with the information weighing suddenly on their minds and started heading elsewhere, likely to warn the town’s authorities as well. With a gasp, Ayumi started to turn towards the man, intending to drag him back for a much-needed interrogation. However, the voice of a particular member of the group suddenly piped up, stopping Ayumi in her tracks.

"Looks like we did it now. We definitely have the Kingdom's attention," announced Rain, taking an intellectual stance, fingering his glasses. "So. What shall we do then?.. We’d need time to set up and prepare. Place traps and such at key points on the outskirts of the village to try and dwindle their numbers...” The man went on to think out loud about battle strategies, suddenly taking a…responsible stance on the matter.

Yet, Ayumi paused mid-step, turning back to face the blue haired ‘strategist’. She intended to put a stop to him right now, not wanting any of the Coven members to get ahead of themselves in regards to battle preparations – nothing had even been confirmed yet! She had just opened her mouth, intending to speak, when another voice responded first. "Sorry…but do you think that we could use the same strategy the inquisitors used to corner a large number of Black Witches in the center of the town in the first place?”

Ayumi stopped again, turning her head to look at Tetsu in surprise. ‘Not Tetsu too,’ she thought with a groan, though she was only able to watch now as an argument started to break out. It wasn’t necessarily a passionate one, but as soon as Cassy became involved as well, it became a three-sided disagreement over the correct battle strategy.

The squabbling deliberation continued for several more minutes, each side shooting back at each other. Ayumi stood, perhaps a bit unnoticed, back a bit, hands rolled into fists on her hips, foot tapping as she continued to listen to them go back and forth.

After a bit, Ayumi was finally let back into the conversation by Cassy. The older blond seemed to have grown tired of arguing, as she said, “Well, regardless of what I or anyone else thinks...Ayumi, it’s really all up to you. So, what’s the plan?” With a relieved sigh, she thanked Cassy with a wink and stepped forward a bit, moving into the center of their little circle.

“Hey, everyone – stop runnin’ yer mouths for a minute!” Here, she proceeded to lightly punch Rain, Tetsu, and even Cassy on the shoulder. “Now, you guys can go back to the base and continue your argument there; in the meantime, I’m going to go get us some more information, so we can actually make a plan that makes sense. Alright?”

That said, Ayumi looked around at the bunch of them, letting them see her eyes and their complete lack of fear. She wasn’t worried about this threat of Inquisitors, and she hoped that none of them would be either. “M’kay, dismissed for now,” she exclaimed happily, sending them all on their way. “Except for you,” Ayumi said, reaching a hand out to grab Eleanor by the wrist and pull her out of the bunch. Smiling at the mind reader, Ayumi said, “Follow me for a minute, please?~”

It was easy enough to track down the messenger. He’d done exactly what Ayumi thought he would: go to the town hall and warn the town officials. So, all Ayumi and Ellie had to do was walk into the town’s meeting room to find the man regaling the others with his worrisome tale.

Paying no heed to the rudeness of her actions, Ayumi stepped up behind the man, who was in the middle of his speech, and pushed him on the back, making him stutter and stop and he tried to correct his balance; failing to do so, the man fell forward on his face. As the town officials started to mutter amongst themselves, Ayumi looked up at them all with a sheepish look, sticking her tongue out in a meek way as she wordlessly apologized. After that, however, she lifted her foot and gently prodded the man’s side.

“Heeeeey, you!~ It’s not right to just tell us something like that and run away, Y’know? I mean, we’re going to need more details than that,” she said exasperatedly, as if she was talking town to a four year old. The older men continued to grumble, but some of the younger officials nodded, recognizing Ayumi’s brashness for what it was – an attempt to cut straight to the facts.

“Ahh, yes, yes – I’m sorry, and I’ll explain! Just stop kicking me!” As those words rang out, Ayumi retracted her foot, smiling innocently, like a girl whose boyfriend had just acquiesced to take her out on a date. “See, that’s the spirit,” she said lightly, letting the man stand up on his own.

And then, the man told his tale again, cutting out the narration and specifically telling Ayumi and the council members what had happened. Here, Ayumi motioned for Ellie to step forward and mentally instructed her to use her powers to verify if this man’s words were backed by real memories, something that would be harder to fake. The man may have otherwise complained about having his mind read, but wisely chose to comply willingly when he saw the threatening look Ayumi sent him while smiling devilishly. For Ellie’s ease, he put the memories to the forefront of his mind, allowing her to read them without straining her powers.

The picture the man’s tale painted was much grimmer than Ayumi expected. Apparently the man was a tradesman who had been on his way to a neighboring town – barely more than a two-day’s journey from Alderath – to sell his wares. He only made half the trip, however, as even from that distance, the smoke could be seen across the flat plains.

And smoke there was. The town of Mellows was aflame, burning bright in the night sky with magic flames. The pyre made evident the complete destruction of the town, and also illuminated the encampment of the Inquisitors a ways to the west. Even from a distance and through the shadowy light, the size of the host had been enough to scare the man away. The only survivor he met on the road as he fled back to Alderath confirmed the man’s suspicions: the Inquisitors had come, an entire battalion of them, and had burnt the town of Mellows to the ground. All of its inhabitants, Witch or not, had been killed. When Ayumi mutely appealed to Ellie, she couldn’t offer much reprieve – the man’s memories showed the exact same bleak picture.

“Well, then; this is a problem, isn’t it?” Suddenly and uncharacteristically serious, Ayumi started to turn towards the door. Speaking half over her shoulder, she called to the mayor, saying “Hey, Grandpa: you guys go ahead and evacuate your villagers and whatever else it is you decided to do. We Witches will come up with something, trust me – we’re not going down yet!” She didn’t stay longer than it took her to cast a ‘thumbs up’ sign at the council, bolting out the door without even waiting for poor Ellie. She ran because she didn’t want to let any of them – the officials, the messenger, or even Ellie – see that she wasn’t smiling assuredly anymore.

After a bit Ayumi slowed down, letting Ellie catch up to her. They walked back to the base together but mostly in silence, as Ayumi tried to mull over things in her head, walking with a finger tapping her chin. Only when they were in front of the door to the Black Coven’s base did Ayumi look sideways at Ellie and offer her a sideways smile and a “Thanks for coming with me.”

When she entered the door, she wasted no time in calling the rest of the Coven members around her and explaining to them the full situation, not sparing them any of the depressing details.

“Alright, everyone,” she began after she finished explaining. “Despite what Cassy said earlier, this isn’t only my decision to make. We’re the Black Coven, not the Black Dictatorship (although that has a nice ring to it), so it’s up to you guys to decide as well.” Ayumi took a step back and leaned against the wall, looking around at the others as the made a half-circle around her. She folder her hands against her front, smoothing down her skirt. With a wry smile, she asked, “Let’s…pick our poison, neh?”

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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Even though she had been focused on other things at the time, Eleanor still couldn't help but smile at hearing Ayumi tell the others to stop running their mouths for a moment. In a way it was sort of amazing that their little group had taken on the Inquisitors all on their own. After hearing everyone sent off, Ellie had started towards their base, when she felt Yumi grab her wrist, before correcting her dismissal.

“Except for you,” With a smile, she added “Follow me for a minute, please?~” With a nod and a "Yes, Ma'am." Ellie complied.

While Eleanor had been uneasy about just waltzing into town hall, and then just breaking in to the meeting room, pushing the guy had to be unnecessary. Judging by her expression, Yumi believed so as well, though she made no audible apology. Ellie tried very hard not to meet the eyes of anyone present, lest they see that she was holding back laughter at her leader's antics. It was unnecessary yes, but it was funny.

When the man stood again, Eleanor used her ability to observe his surface thoughts, or rather, not tune them out, so as to verify his story. If she has so desired, she could have just rummaged about in his mind and found the information they wanted. It wouldn't have been difficult, and would certainly not strained her in any way. The only reason she avoided doing things like that was that she didn't want to infringe upon anyone's privacy.

If the man's words painted a bleak picture, then his memories darkened the canvas with the details that he hadn't quite gone into, such as why the lone survivor that he had met did not come with him. Ellie didn't mention this however. I wasn't her memory, and since it had no impact on her or what she was being asked, it was none of her business, and certainly nothing for her to go telling others about. So she merely nodded to confirm that he was telling the truth.

“Well, then; this is a problem, isn’t it?”

Eleanor was considering answering this obviously rhetorical question, but Ayumi was already out the door. With a quick apology to everyone left in the room, especially the tradesman, Ellie dashed off in pursuit. By the time she caught up, it was clear that the puppeteer was waiting for her. Out of respect, she tried her best not to hear anything that Yumi was thinking, as it was obvious that she was clearly bothered by the news that they had just received, but didn't want to talk about it. And thus the two walked back in relative silence. When they arrived at the base, Yumi had offered a smile and some words of thanks.. Surprised at this, Eleanor shrugged. "Of course. I'm only alive now because of you and the others, and it isn't like I had anything else to do anyway."

The telepath sat patiently against a nearby wall while everyone was told about what they had just learned. She didn't really have any ideas for what they should do, other than possibly retreat and not have to face the Inquisitors at all. Somehow though, she didn't think that was what the others would want to do.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Byte
Surprisingly, Joker had remained fairly quiet while the other Witches chattered about and everything else they'd do when there were no Inquisitors running amok to be given wedgies. There was the odd joke cracking here and there, but for the most part he'd just laugh and grin as the chatter continued – At least for a while, until the jolly nature of the conversation was overturned by the appearance of a not Coven member who was quick to report that, indeed, Inquisitors were about.

Poor sod.

Joker folded his arms behind his head, watching the young man explain the vague situation which didn't really help levitate some kind of idea as to what this particular group of Inquisitors was. However that did not stop some members from speaking up, and receiving punishment for it. Damn was he glad not to have spoken his mind at this time, one punch on the shoulder was enough for a day.

“M’kay, dismissed for now,”

“Lemme know what you find out, oh so-scary-one.” Joker retorted with a fixed grin, knowing the gist of what their beloved leader was going to be doing to that poor man. Oh how he wanted part of it, but that look said it all. Time to leg it and not even glance back at the joy that could be going on behind those who weren't invited for the torturing of that man.

At the Coven's base of operations, Joker took his time to, quite literally, hang around. Using his power of gravity to stick the soles of his feet to the less-than-excellent ceiling, and awaiting the return of Ayumi with bated breath.

“So, I'm a bit hung up about this.” The man exclaimed to nobody in particular, leaning against the wall on the far end of the room. “Not sure what I should do about this new group of Inquisitors. I kinda tried everything already.”

Folding his hands behind his back, Joker closed his eyes. Really, there was the first attack – who ended up as piñatas on that tree. The second batch of Inquisitors were unlucky enough to be tossed into barrels and rolled off the hill – And Joker totally did not plan to have them crash on a rock and break their skulls, that was just a bonus.

“what to do, what to d-”

his train of thoughts was broken as Ayumi crashed the party.

“Yo! So, waddya got? Gimme a sec, though. Still working out a plaaaaaa---!”

Joker felt the collar of his shirt being yanked back on non topsy-turvy ground and into the meeting circle, where Ayumi explained the situation in great detail. And unsurprisingly not bothering to leave out some of the more gruesome aspects of what they managed to pull out of that weird man's throat.

“Let’s…pick our poison, neh?”

Joker allowed himself to fall on the ground, his eyes staring at the ceiling as he was still trying to think about what to do. “Well, I'm pretty sure you-know-who has got the poison covered. Seriously, whatever it is she's cooking is gonna be a killer dish!”

“Hmm, will it be cake? I haven't tried to good ol' cake-in-the-face prank yet.” Lost in his own mind, the man muttered a few ideas here and there, not bothering to get up or even wait for feedback from the others. “I know! Let's all put an a pink dress and dance the Remigold – I have no idea what a Remigold is, but I'm sure it'll throw dem Inquisitors off. Then, someone could, maybe, try to grab whatever Elizabeth, or whatever her name is, made and smear it on their face.”

He grinned, that certainly was extreme – and genius itself. One problem though, how were they to collect an identical set of pink dresses? “Or we could go naked. Pretty sure I don't look good in pink. Or any of us, really.”

Almost perfect. All that was missing was someone plucking a violin, a then smacking one of the Inquisitors in the face with a lump of meat. Details, details – So far Joker could settle with his plan. Doubtful that his fellow Witches would agree, however.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Tanman
With the soft rickety rattle of the door handle, Morgan gave a bemused expression as she returned her hand to her face, examining the knob that she had accidently removed from the frame. Leaning to examine the hole, she then began kneeling forward and conspicuously fiddling to try and fix it. A few minutes later, she gently worked her way back inside, giving a faint smile as the shudder from closing the door didn’t cause the handle to fall off again. It’d be amusing to see the next person who returned floundering with that. Stepping along the creaking floorboards, she took the time to remove her cloak and hat, handing them to Ichabod as he hung them against the loose wall panel that she’d come to use as a coat rack.

Light was only just starting to fade as the day wore on, the holes in the building allowing an adequate stream of illumination while the sun was up, but now giving way to a dim gloom that although Morgan was accustomed to, was not conducive to her being able to see what she was cooking. Holding her satchel out to Ichabod, the young witch rummaged around to find the jar she was looking for, giving it a bit of a sniff to confirm it was indeed the one she was looking for, before moving over to the fireplace in the corner. She’d wanted to light it up for a while now, but all the others had warned her not to – Something about burning down the house and such? – Anyway, this’d be a magical fire she’d be using for cooking, so that wouldn’t be a worry. Tipping just one drop of the vial contents onto the small pile of tinder, Morgan waited. And waited. Then, she tipped the rest of the vile. Instantly the fireplace sprang to life, a large and spectral plume of green fire rising up into the ceiling and then gushing out the crevices and holes in the wall until a simple, household sized fire remained. It was miraculous nothing else caught fire. Well no, that was a lie. The potion, and by proxy, the fire was designed to just generate heat, not start fires except on the point of origin.

Giving a contented chuckle before sighing at the soothing warmth, Morgan took her satchel back, this time hanging it from the stuffed Moose head’s antlers, the mantle just above the fireplace. It was tacky, and probably a very dangerous place to hang her volatile concoctions, but Ichabod wouldn’t let any sort of accident befall her belongings. That and Morgan was actually quite fond of Mr. Moose. Tossing her hair a couple of times to fix it after the gust of the fireplace, Morgan then proceeded to head towards the storage room, heaving out her cauldron and rolling it into the living area before setting it up on its stand to be heate by the still green flames of the fireplace.

By the time the first group of the coven arrived, Morgan’s cooking was already in full swing, so, perhaps thankfully for them, they didn’t get to see the majority of the stew’s contents. What they did get to see was Morgan slowly stirring the cauldron before placing the lid on top, allowing the brew to simmer steadily. A quick glance revealed the contents to be black, murky, and with a decent amount of chunks floating and bobbing about the liquid as it bubbled and frothed under the fire’s heat. It looked foul, and with a stench to match – though at least the lid was keeping that from wafting about the room.

Taking a seat next to the fire, Morgan briefly listened into the update on the situation, though for the most part it seemed they were waiting on their leader to return with the actual information. As such, she delved back into her own little world again, patiently waiting by her stew while she took out her needles, thread and cloth. Paying little heed to the banter about the plan of attack, Morgan casually continued to work on making her doll, though it was pleasant to do so with the background noise of the others. When Ayumi made her not so subtle return, Morgan listened intently, stopping her textile work for the moment until their leader was done. And then resumed her work, not really having much to comment on the situation for the moment. There were other, far more loud mouthed individuals who would want to get their opinion in first anyway.

“Well, I'm pretty sure you-know-who has got the poison covered. Seriously, whatever it is she's cooking is gonna be a killer dish!” Morgan chastised Ichabod for referring to Joker as the devil, frowning some as she looked to him. For now, she didn’t quite catch how much of an insult Joker’s comment was to her cooking; though it was probably an accurate statement by the trickster. As the redheaded jester continued speaking, Morgan butted in only briefly to comment that her name was ‘Lizzy’ rather than that awful long variant that Joker said. His notion of a plan was far too ridiculous to merit commenting on anything else. Completely ignoring his utterly pointless ramblings, Morgan interceded.

“If we run, Alderath will burn. I have my doubts we can mount any resistance in the city without having the city be ransacked in the battle also.” She stated astutely, given what happened to Mellows. Who knew what the people here would have to endure for harbouring Black Witches… “If we cannot protect this town, no other village will trust the Black Coven. I appreciate this sanctuary we have, so I believe taking the fight to the enemy is our only option.” Morgan finished, maintaining her monotone throughout. It certainly didn’t sound like she believed what she said, but rarely did the potion master manage to express enthusiasm and the like. Perhaps strangest of all was the way she’d been talking to the Moose head the whole time, rather than the Coven. Ah well, at least her opinion was out in the open. She blinked a bit at the moose, and then looked to the others.

“He says the soup is done – And it’s a stew, I told you that.” Morgan turned back to the Moose - likely drawing some queries as to why she'd been taking cooking advice from an inanimate taxidermy experiment - before moving over to the pot, grabbing a bowl and ladle as she began to dish up the contents. “So who wants to have the first bite?” She asked, a cheeky smile on her face that stretched from ear to ear, a low, almost inaudible snicker escaping her lips. The smell in the air was something between rotten eggs, a garbage dump and year old gym socks; and the stew itself looked, vile, claggy, almost like tar and… was that a cockroach floating in… wait, did it just dissolve in the goop?!? In spite of its awful appearance, texture and odour; anyone in the Coven with the courage to try the stew would be surprised to find it actually tasted delicious - Though their breath would be able to kill a cat for weeks to come…

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digikun
Rain sat in the coven base in his little corner he had made for himself as usual, stewing. He was upset that no one was even taking anything he said seriously. Though he had to wonder if anyone here took anything seriously at all. Heaving a sigh, he pinched the bridge of his nose as he sat there reflecting. Rain was actually also upset at the fact that Ayumi was the calm rational one. Jumping to conclusions was usually not like him. He'd have to be careful of that. Leaning back in his chair, Rain bemused a thought Well, I suppose that's why she's leader.

The coven members seemed to be doing their own thing, Joker in particular rambling about his own schemes while Luna was...doing whatever Luna does. As much as he would love to understand more about the alchemical studies of potions, Rain never quite warmed to Luna. He knew that wasn't her real name either, as others refer to her by different names, and she introduces herself by a number more identities. At the very least however the others were actually doing something. Rain was just being pensive. Quite unlike him. He'd thought it be best to simply get back to his work. Books weren't going to read themselves after all.

After a while, Rain hears Ayumi burst through the doors and saunter her way in with Eleanor, gathering the coven. He got up and stood towards the back, listening. Certainly the situation was grim. A whole battalion...burning down a whole village indiscriminately at that. Joker's first suggestion of course was to dance around naked and taunt them to death. Rain sighed, rubbing his temples, but then looked back up as Luna spoke.

“If we run, Alderath will burn. I have my doubts we can mount any resistance in the city without having the city be ransacked in the battle also. If we cannot protect this town, no other village will trust the Black Coven. I appreciate this sanctuary we have, so I believe taking the fight to the enemy is our only option.”

Rain could only nod at that sentiment. "Agreed...if we try to fight here we would have a tactical advantage but then they'd just burn the whole place to the ground...we'd have nothing left to protect..." His mind was racing. "...fighting out in an open field away from the town...meeting our opponents head on...something like that would require us to do something big in the first few minutes of battle...a battalion of Inquisitors, even with us, would overpower us in a matter of moments. Especially if we're not careful...I suggest a surprise attack. Get their attention and then attack them from two directions. Disorient and distract, if you will, while select few attack from a distance to cover the main strikers." He looked at Ayumi as he finished. "Assuming we have time to prepare such an assault?"

Soon after though he caught a whiff of what seemed to be leaking out of Luna's cauldron. She called the others, saying stew was done. Quite frankly he didn't care how much she vouched for that soup, Rain figured that something that smelled that bad could not be that healthy for you...

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digs
More information. Yeah, that made sense, from a tactical standpoint, anyways. Cassy usually had a tendency to just react to a situation rather than sit back and analyze. After all, her personality and her lifestyle demanded her to take action immediately, at least in most cases. And though part of her was glad Ayumi hadn’t picked her to tag along to find more information on their situation at first, upon further thought on the subject, she found wasn’t exactly happy to have to hang around the rest of these folks and wait for the news either. The other part of her just wanted to find out what the deal was now so she could manage it. But alas, she didn’t lead this group, so it wasn’t her decision. Nodding to Ayumi and Ellie as they headed off, Cassy trudged along with the remainder of the group towards the Black Coven HQ.

The blonde haired witch was the first to arrive at the door to the HQ, which of course meant that she, too, ended up accidentally removing the door knob from the entrance. Blinking a few times as she raised the handle to her face, she sighed heavily in frustration before grabbing the hole in the door and pulling it open. She held the door briefly for the first person coming through the door before tossing the knob back at one of the other members, urging them to fix the door as she ‘didn’t have time for this’, as she put it. What she was in a rush to get to was anybody’s guess.

For Cassy, it was still taking some getting used to having a place to stay. Though it was what one might consider a dump, it was in part nice to have somewhere that she could call home for a change. The décor left something to be desired, however, at least for Cassy. While the holes in the roof meant ambient lighting wasn’t as necessary during the day, the lack of protection from the elements was a common frustration. And the moose head had a tendency to weird her out a bit. She didn’t consider herself some sort of environmentalist, but the sight of such a trophy made her consider it briefly. Animals should be meant more for food, not just as a mantelpiece. Though, it did provide a decent icebreaker at times...

Being the first Coven member to walk in, Cassy was the first to spot Morgan as she finished putting the final touches on her stew before taking a seat next to the fire. Following suit, the blonde haired witch took her spot by the fireplace, standing to the left of the cauldron’s boiling contents, most likely far too confident in the fireplace’s ability to keep the fire contained. Her mind wasn’t on that, though, of course. The news weighed much more heavily on her mind, as it did most everyone else. Briefly, Cassy informed Morgan of the news, as she felt like it would be rude to leave her out of the loop for the time that it took Ayumi and Ellie to return. Although the cook acknowledged her, she didn’t seem to really take heed to what she said, at least at first. Sighing and nodding, Cassy walked back to her spot to the side of the fireplace, remaining silent to let her and the other members’ thoughts coalesce. Though, part of her hoped Joker would manage to ‘fall up’ through the ceiling with his moronic gravity nonsense...

After a few moments of time, Ayumi came back with Ellie following shortly behind. And after she explained the full details on the situation, immediately the fool of the group launched into his idiotic idea for a plan. In a bit of disbelief, Cassy stared stupidly at the imbecile, dumbfounded by the nonsense he considered to be a solid scheme. Facepalming, she shook her head and tried her best not to let her IQ drop any further before Morgan began to speak. Her small contribution to the conversation, along with Rain’s follow-up, was far more logical than anything that spouted out of Joker’s mouth.

“Finally, something that actually doesn’t make my head spin,” Cassy said, stepping forward to make her presence in the conversation known. “Look folks, I know it’s easy to say that we should stay and fight, but honestly, Rain is right. If we stay, we’ll be taking on what some might consider a small army of inquisitors, and if we're not careful, we can get wiped pretty fast. On the flip side, it seems like we all agree that we need to take a stand so that the rest of the world trusts us at least a little bit, but there’s no way it’s going to be as easy as taking on the inquisitors we defeated a few weeks ago. So, first and formost, I just wanted to make sure you all understand what we’re getting ourselves into. Trust me, I know.” She paused for a moment to grab a bit of Morgan’s stew before continuing.

“So, yes, I agree, a sneak attack makes tactical sense, but that means we’re going to have to use the town to our advantage to get the jump on them. As much as I hate to admit it, if we want a surprise attack, avoiding any damage to the town will be impossible , but it does seem to be our only option if we're to stand a chance.” She stirred the stew around a bit with the off-coloured metal spoon before bringing a sip to her mouth, blowing on it before lowering it to continue talking. Some might be surprised at how calm Cassy was, but as she might say, she's seen worse. “I say we try to keep the fight as much on the outskirts of Alderath as possible, but ensure that we’ll have enough buildings to use both as cover and as a means for our short-range fighters, such as myself, to still be effective. I’d go on, but this sort of stuff isn’t entirely my area as it is. Honestly, I’m more just thinking of how I can get a piece of the action. Not to mention, I’m too dang hungry to keep talking right now.”

Grinning, she blew a few more times on the sip before bringing it to her mouth, gulping it down. Given how bad it smelt, she was surprised to find how good the stew tasted, eagerly knocking down the rest of it as the rest of the Coven looked on with shocked expressions. Except Morgan, perhaps.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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Ayumi looked around at the assembled Coven members, her eyes flitting between the individuals as the discussion opened up. Her words had had a profound effect on the group – some seemed perturbed by the news, others brushed it off, but everyone started speaking in turn. Everyone had something to say, a point to make. The problem that lay directly ahead of them was one that required sincere discussion…not the kind of thing that should be left for Joker to decide.

Sure enough, the words that were coming from the redhead’s mouth were no less moronic than usual. Ayumi smirked, finding the situation a bit humorous. Had she really expected Joker, the only person in the Coven even sillier than she herself was? Even the threat of certain death couldn’t dampen his spirits, it seemed. Although his words weren’t helpful in the slightest, they cheered Ayumi up a bit. At least he was consistent.

Ayumi, grinning unconvincingly, reached a hand out and pulled Joker forward by his shirt. She mock-sighed, patting him on the shoulder with her free hand, and said, “Mhmm, excellent plan you have there, Joker! It would certainly succeed at…getting us all killed!” She then started shaking him erratically, likely causing the man a certain amount of discomfort. “So, if you don’t have anything helpful to say,” she growled, tossing him away from her and out of the ring of Witches. “Don’t say anything at all!~”

Brushing her hands of Joker’s imaginary filth off on her skirt, Ayumi sighed mournfully. Then, looking up at the rest of the likely shocked Coven members, she asked in a meeker voice, “…Does anyone have something serious to say?”

Ayumi needn’t have been worried, though. Soon after the shock of Joker’s “Divine Punishment”, Morgan spoke up, much to Ayumi’s delight. “If we run, Alderath will burn,” she said in her characteristic emotionless voice. She spoke towards the seriousness of the situation in a way that drew a nod from Ayumi – her mind was taking the same path that Ayumi’s had earlier, on the way back from the town hall. And, her speech was only made better by her detached mannerism and the cool, natural state of her voice. Not even a battalion of Inquisitors could rattle the elegant Morgan!

Ayumi had to restrain herself from wrapping Morgan in a tight hug then and there. She was just too precious! But, this was a serious matter…she had to maintain that veneer of leadership for the time being. She drilled that thought into her mind, and managed to maintain her composure. Though she may have been grinning just a bit too widely at Morgan. Just a little bit.

She was spared from having to vocally agree with Morgan – which was quite fortunate, as she likely would have been unable to keep the fangirliness out of her voice – by the words of Rain. The blue haired intellectual agreed with Morgan, supporting her position to the other Coven members. “If we try to fight here we would have a tactical advantage but then they'd just burn the whole place to the ground,” he said in his analytical voice. “We'd have nothing left to protect.

Rain continued to speak, plans and strategies obviously running through his head as he did so. He vocalized the gist of his plan to the rest of the Coven: in simple terms, it seemed as though the Witches would have to engage the Inquisitors head on and hope to spare the town from most of the destruction. As he was winding down, he looked at Ayumi questioningly, asking if they would have time to prepare any kind of defense. Ayumi nodded in his direction. “We have a day or two, at the most, before the Inquisitors are expected to reach Alderath,” she said, speaking neutrally now that the strategic turn the conversation had taken shook her out of her Morgan-trance.

At her words, Rain lapsed back into semi-silence, no doubt using his intellect to formulate plans for the Coven’s survival and for Alderath’s protection. The discussion was far from over yet, as Cassy suddenly stepped forward and entered the conversation as well. “Finally, something that actually doesn’t make my head spin,” she said exasperatedly, surely referencing Joker’s…“plan”. Ayumi giggled at her words, sympathizing with the woman.

Then Cassy began speaking, and the first things she said were words of warning. As a Witch more experienced at travelling the world and dealing with the Inquisitors, she knew what a threat the battalion presented. She knew that to fight them was likely a death-sentence. And she did her best to convey that point to the other Witches who likely didn’t fully realize the significance of their words.

At yet, she agreed with what had already been said. If the Coven did stay and fight, which seemed to be a given at this point in the meeting, then the best way to do it would be as Rain had already said – using Alderath as a form of cover, but sparing the town from the main battle. Ayumi nodded, following what the worldly blond was saying and agreeing with it.

In the middle of her speech, Cassy paused to help up a bowl of Morgan’s stew, which had finished preparing while the Coven talked. She poured a bowl of the foul looking liquid and then resumed her pacing, acting as if what she now held in her hands…wasn’t one of the most disgusting things she had ever seen. Everyone, including Ayumi, watched Cassy with renewed trepidation as she resumed her pacing with the bowl of stew.

When she finished her rant, the blond then turned to blow on her bowl of stew. Ayumi found herself watching in horror as the older woman swallowed some of the terrible looking food. When Cassy didn’t keel over dead, Ayumi allowed her held breath to be released. Morgan’s food scared the puppet master to death. Ayumi loved her “Lily”, she really did! But, when it came to eating her food…Ayumi only forced herself to consume every meal that Morgan prepared simply to try and please the chef. Even though she had learned many times over that the food tasted just fine despite its appearance, it was never any easier for her to willingly consume it.

Yet, here Cassy was, eating Morgan’s food like it was nothing! Ayumi seethed in jealous anger. Barely had Cassy finished her bowl before Ayumi had already helped her own out of the pot and started spooning it into her mouth. She finished her helping in record time, though her mouth was burning from the boiling heat of the stew that she hadn’t allowed to cool. When she finished, Ayumi placed the bowl back on the table shakily.

She didn’t hold herself back, then. Unrestrained, Ayumi launched herself at Morgan, wrapping her arms around the slightly taller girl’s middle and pressing her face into her shoulders. “Nooo, I’m the one that loves Lily’s food the most! She’s my beautiful, little chef!” Ayumi declared all this in a stubborn and childish tone as she hung onto Morgan, no doubt making the girl rather uncomfortable. Still, it couldn’t be helped. Cassy had, completely unintentionally, challenged the bond that the crazy girl had with her “love”.

It took Ayumi a couple of moments to calm down, long enough for the others to help themselves to food if they wanted or to finish up the bit of discussion that remained. Finally, though, Ayumi released Morgan. She embarrassedly retreated to the corner of the room, trying to will herself to return to the serious matter at hand. Yet, the girlish blush refused to fall from her face for a little while yet.

In the meantime, Ayumi looked again at each of the Coven members. Cassy and Rain taking between themselves, discussing strategies for the coming battle; Morgan attempting to straighten herself back up after Ayumi’s assault; Ellie and Tetsu hanging back quietly, not participating too much in the conversation; even the quivering pile of silliness that was the remains of Joker.

All of these people…could she really lead them all into danger? Cassy had been right: the coming battle would by the riskiest one the Coven faced by far. There was no guarantee that they would succeed, or even survive. Ellie’s words from outside earlier re-entered Ayumi’s mind.

“I'm only alive now because of you and the others, and it isn't like I had anything else to do anyway."

That was…right. That wasn’t true just of Ellie; the only reason that any of them were still alive was that they had worked together. By forming this group, the Coven, they had found the strength to resist the Inquisitors from before. Why was now any different? The threat was only in the numbers; but, if they worked together again…why couldn’t they overcome those numbers?

“Hey, everyone,” Ayumi finally spoke up. Gone was the embarrassment from her voice, replaced by her typical lightness. “It seems that we’ve pretty much agreed on a plan at this point. So, there’s really not much for me to say as the ‘leader’ of this bunch. I just want to say this:

“We’re going to fight these Inquisitors. It’s going to be a tough one, no doubt, the toughest we’ve ever faced. But, we can do it! We can totally beat these pathetic Inquisitors, right? It doesn’t matter how many of them there are; they’re still the same, weak Inquisitors we’ve fought before!”

Despite her flawed logic, Ayumi pressed on, growing more excited herself as she spoke. “We’re going to kick their butts,” she exclaimed, fists raising eagerly, fire burning in her eyes. “If we don’t, then I’m going to personally see to it that I kick every one of your asses!” That last bit was perhaps a little threatening, but the point was clear: Ayumi had confidence in this band of misfits. She thought that they could do it.

Grinning wickedly, Ayumi pointed directly at Rain and Cassy. “You two, start thinking up a battle strategy! The rest of you, start doing everything you can to prepare for the battle! ‘Operation: Save Alderath and Kick Inquisitorial Butt’ begins…now!” Jumping in place with a cheer, Ayumi officially set things rolling. Now the leader of the Coven was fueled with demented fervor. Rather than fear the oncoming battle, she was practically looking forward to it. From that moment on, she pushed the rest of the Coven members relentlessly as they prepared for the invasion of Alderath that was coming just around the corner.

The early morning breeze blew across the plains, coming from the north to circle around the town of Alderath. The sky was blue and clear, with the sun shining brightly overhead. The battalion of Inquisitors stood in formation just a little ways outside the perimeter of the town. The ranks of armored troops stood in file, making a menacing display for anyone left in the city.

The Inquisitors were waiting. They stood still as they awaited the order to march on the town from their superior. Said man stood in the midst of the ranks, offset by the fact that he was the sole Inquisitor mounted on horseback.

Commander Fallsen stared ahead at the town of Alderath, the root of all the problems that the district had faced in the past month. Many troops had been lost trying to recapture the town from the rebellious “Witches” that had taken up residence there. Now, though, a force was amassed against them that they could not possibly defeat.

Yet, he had not expected the news that the scout had brought back. The town of Alderath appeared to be empty, evacuated of citizens and Scum (his view of the Witches) alike.

Very well, then; they would just burn the town to cinders before they moved on in pursuit of the townspeople. It didn’t matter to him how many settlements they burned on the way; eventually the Scum would be caught and executed.

And so, he gave the orders to charge. Immediately, the ranks of Inquisitors lurched into motion as they started to converge on the town of Alderath. Fallsen stood atop his mount, looking out at his troops with a proud smirk on his face. But, that smirk fell as soon as the screaming started.

As soon as the Inquisitors had closed some of the distance on the fields around Alderath, the traps had gone off. All around, hidden defense mechanisms were set off that took out some of the Inquisitors and halted the charge of the others. Poisonous concoctions were buried under the ground at points - Morgan’s handiwork - that left terrible messes of the soldiers that ran over them. Ayumi’s own illusionary traps were hidden around the place, proving to be just as disruptive, if not quite as deadly. Along with those were other assorted protective measures that the Coven had prepared in advance.

And then, right as the Inquisitors were floundering to recover from the surprise attack, a certain woman stepped out from hiding. Smiling manically, the leader of the Coven appeared on a rooftop. Shouting so that the other Coven members could hear her over the din, Ayumi announced, “It’s time, everyone! Get ready to give it your all, neh!~”

And thus, the battle for Alderath began.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by digs
Cassy sat on a box she’d set up next to the window, waiting in one of the abandoned buildings on the outskirts of Alderath, thinking to herself as she waited for the battle to ensue. Sheesh, don’t these inquisitors have a sense of urgency at all? Surely they could move faster than the speed that they were marching now. After all, the Black Witches were a smudge on their good record of snuffing out any and all magic that popped up amongst the rabble. Letting the Black Witches run rampant was just not their style. Sighing, she took the time to think back to the plan that she helped Rain come up with. Granted, it wasn’t exactly the best experience for her, since even though she was considered a ‘senior’ member, she didn’t consider herself the best planner, but having been charged with coming up with a plan, she really had no choice...

It took Cassy a moment to really process everything that happened once Ayumi launched herself at Morgan, spouting something about how she would be the one to love Lily’s food the most. Why the fact that Cassy actually tried the potion master’s food set Ayumi off so badly was beyond her, but she eventually shrugged it off, only to find that she was charged with planning some sort of trap for the inquisitors that were approaching. And with Rain of all people. Sighing, she placed her empty bowl of ‘soup’ on the table next to her and made her way over to the crazy man known as Rain, taking a seat across from him. She brought her hands to her face, clasping them in front of her mouth, waiting for him to speak. And when he didn’t...

“So you want me to start. Alright, sure. Though, to reiterate, even though I’ll think of a few ideas for the other members, I’m honestly going to mostly be trying to devise a way for me to try to get in on the action. While I do have plenty of range with my powers, I prefer to get up close and personal. Really get in their face, y’know?” She snickered a bit before continuing.

“In any case, as Lily mentioned, if we fight within the city limits, Alderath will surely burn, and we simply cannot have that. So, we’re going to have to take them outside the city. But we can’t take them out in the open. As we’ve all astutely point out, with how many inquisitors are approaching, that would most likely be suicide. So, we’re going to have to compromise.” Cassy took a deep breath before she continued.

“I figure our best bet on all fronts is to fight on the outskirts of the city. That means making the city look completely abandoned to catch the inquisitors off guard, then forcing them into a fight at the edge, to keep property damage to a minimum. If we can get a line on which direction they’re coming from, maybe we can find an abandoned building or something to hole ourselves up in before we strike.” She nodded, fairly satisfied with how well her strategy was going. It wasn’t every day that she came up with a plan as complicated as this. Usually it was more akin to the ‘punch-people-in-the-face-until-they-die’ style of fighting, that being much more simple and straightforward.

“So, if we can manage that, all that really leaves is how to set up for those dastards. And unfortunately, I don’t know much of what everyone else can do, or how they can adequately set up traps, so, we might have to let them sort it out themselves. I mean, I know Eleanor has telepathy, Lily has potions, Joker has that weird shadow thing, and Ayumi seems like she’s got some sort of mind control, but they’d probably be better at figuring out something themselves anyways.” She paused again, letting Rain add in whatever he could before continuing on.

“Well, regardless, even though I like getting in close, I’ve got a bit of a plan on what I can do to contribute...”

It was around this time that the inquisitors finally arrived, causing Cassy to get a huge grin on her face as she saw them approaching in the distance through the boarded up window. As they got closer, she kept up the guise of the city being abandoned until a few of them got a bit too close. Just before they reached the traps laid by the rest of the Coven, Cassy pointed in their general direction, laying what seemed to be a giant yellow flower amidst their ranks. Smiling even wider as she watched the surprised looks on their faces, she pointed again, this time at her trap, causing the ethereal looking flower to explode in a fantastically bright display of lasers yellow, one that might have been pretty entertaining if not for the fact that those lasers began to seek out inquisitors, hitting them with an incredible amount of energy, knocking most of them to the ground.

“Now that’s what I’m talking about. I guess fighting at range might not be so bad...”

From here, she punched out a few of the boards in the window in preparation to launch her full scale assault, whether it would be a barrage of lasers or a more physical attack would depend on how badly the inquisitors had been disrupted, but either way, she was ready to go.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Tanman
In the days leading up to the battle of Alderath, Morgan had acted much the same way she always did – Though paying a degree more time with her cauldron to brew up various concoctions for the coming battle. Traps were an on/off speciality of the potion master, seeing as she did enjoy testing her potions on others as pranks. The fact that she had to reapply that knowledge for deadly effect would have been a little disturbing, if Morgan hadn’t have already been the slightly disturbed person that she was. Acids, poisons, polymorphs, sedatives and explosives comprised the vast majority of the brews Morgan made, and with some ‘assistance’ (Which consisted of hours upon hours of trying to get Joker to remain serious enough to help her), she’d managed to set up some pressure-sensitive dangers for the enemy Inquisitors.

With that done, it seemed she was relegated to supporting from the back lines, both Cassy and Rain informing her that there wasn’t much for a potion specialist to do on the front lines. Though she disagreed with that notion, their plan for her to play the part of long ranged assistance wasn’t entirely without merit, and after agreeing to their battle plan, she swiftly went to set up atop one of the outskirt buildings. It wasn’t really anything fancy, but it would get the job done. After all, she was working on a budget. That, and the company would be nice.

As the shout for battle filled the air, Morgan awoke from her nap on the roof by Ichabod, reminding her that she had a job to do. Yawning, Morgan set Mr. Moose down on the awning, fastening it in place with a gluey concoction she’d made prior, looking out across the battlefield for clusters of the soldiers. Naturally, as the noxious traps and the like were discovered, the surviving soldiers were filtering around them in groups. For Morgan, that just meant there were bigger targets. With a little exertion on her part, Morgan began pulling back on the elastic she’d attached between Mr. Moose’s antlers, loading a glass vial of explosive variety into the pouch of her makeshift slingshot. “I know, I know, Be careful about the wind…” Morgan mumbled in response to Ichabod, pulling back a little further before letting fly.

An incredible boom sounded, sending bits of debris and dirt flying from the point of impact as the potion hit its mark. Too bad Morgan was way off target. With a frown, Morgan began loading in the next ‘munition’, taking into account how far off she’d been and correcting for her mistakes. The first shot was always the trial. It’d be way easier from this point on. Hopefully. It’d be embarrassing if she didn’t manage to hit a single target during the entire battle for Alderath.

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Ayumi Selei Character Portrait: Morgan Wiles II Character Portrait: Joker Character Portrait: Eleanor Lute Character Portrait: Tetsu Harkonfield Character Portrait: Cassandra 'Cassy' Marigold Character Portrait: Rain Bursch
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#, as written by Byte
The days of planning were nothing different to the unofficially appointed jester of the coven. There was some sort of unspoken rule that he got to do bugger all, while the more serious members took a chance at devising up a better plan than throw-cow-dung-at-their-armour, which, like his pink dress idea, was quickly dismissed for its ridiculousness.

Bummer, really. Though some good came out of it, like 'assissting' their gracious cook – If Joker wasn't to busy diverting Rain and Cassy's attention from their work so he could sneakily scribble down another set of plans from yours truly – with setting up traps and triggers. Most of them were Morgan's work, containing poisons, acids and whatever was considered deadly. Should become interesting when they were triggered.

Joker's traps mostly consisted of barrels of cow dung that would be flung by a make-shift catapult if he'd untie the rope – Oh and something with underpants, but that was just a spur-of-the-moment trap and probably never going to be used for this fight.

With all that said and done, the day of one of the most epics of epics was about to occur. Every coven member had placed themselves strategically at the spots they were given, all six of 'em...

Joker, unsurprisingly, had snuck off for his own little plan (Because he sucked at long range fighting anyway.), arriving at the pen that hold a lone bull. With a fixed grin, the man jumped onto the fence, his eyes locking with those of the, far less than aggressive, bull. “Aha! My mighty steed! You will do purrrfectly!”

The redheaded jester laughed, walking on the fence and inching closer to the beast. “You are far less intimidating at thirteenth glance. Guess that's why I picked it as my favourite number.” Joker pondered a moment, stroking his non-existing beard before subsequently opening the gate to free the bull and hopping onto said animal.

…. He isn't moving. “C'mon! Don't make me poke you with something shaaaarr---” The man paused, rummaging through his pockets to reveal a sharpened hairpin.


“Sweet...” Sticking the pointy object into the bull's buttocks, the animal instantly made a run for wherever it could, stampeding through the village with all its might.

“Ha! I knew that Ayumi's pin I stole a few days back would come in handy some da- Woahoaho!” Hands held onto rough horns, “Mush, my mighty bull! Let us wreak havoc upon those fancy pants!” Joker announced, grinning all the way through as his joyride barraged in the assumed direction.

“Aww, I had hoped someone would have a trumpet ready to sound this incoming ma-haaaar---!” Apparently, the steed wasn't a fan of his knight. It threw Joker off his back with a single thump, tossing the poor sod into a pile of hay that had been randomly distributed on the street-- Something that saved the man a few bruises and fractures, surely.

Dangit! Buzzed a thought through his mind, his body recovering from the fall as it rose from the hay, blue eyes staring down the stampeding bull that was heading off to do some heroics. “Oi!” Joker shouted, hands forming around his mouth the elevate the shout. “Get back here! You're forgetting your rider!”

He groaned, realising that this particular course of action, and the fact that it failed, may have send him down the inevitable path of getting 'Divine Punishment' from his precious little leader. “Crappers, Ayumi's going to K-I-L-L me. At least Buttstallion is about to have some fun. I hope.” With that, Joker scurried off to prepare for a potential close up fight – Should they get passed his precious steed that is.