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Lily Crishon

"I've seen what's coming, and I know that I can't stop it on my own"

0 · 294 views · located in Modern Fantasy

a character in “Branches of Power”, as played by Basta

Description

Lily Crishon
Image
"SYNOPSIS"


Profile

Name: Lily Crishon

Nickname: Lily

School: Chaos Magick

Race: Eastern European

Age: 25

Gender: Female

Sexual Orientation: Lesbian

Theme Song: Future Swag (Unik remix)


Details

Hair: Sandy Brown

Facial Hair: None

Eyes: Hazel

Build: Trim

Skin Tone: White

Height: 5' 11"

Weight: 122 lbs.

Handed: Left

Body Markings: Tribal smoke tattoo across the eyes

Scar Tissue: None


Clothes

Head Homemade Dingo hat


Neck Gypsy scarf


Chest Halter top with black mini jacket


Back Nothing


Arm/Shoulder Nothing


Right Hand Holimel's Eye


Left Hand Nothing


Right Accessory Bluejay feather earring


Left Accessory Nothing


Waist Construction satchel and belt


Legs Sturdy black pants


Feet Sandals



Weapons

Primary Weapon
Weapon Name: The Catalyst

Weapon Type: .50 Cal Revolver

Material: High grade carbon steel with custom ivory inlaid grip

Ammo: .50 cal Hollow-point rounds

Length: 6"

Weight: 3.2 lbs

Weapon Description/Info: An elegant weapon for an inelegant age. When magic fails, the body can still be broken with good old fashioned lead. This work of art has been socketed with three sapphires in the grip, allowing enchanters to place their unique blessings on the weapon. Even without, a mage would be hard pressed to put up a ward to completely negate this beast.

Secondary Weapon
Weapon Name: Holimel's Eye

Weapon Type: Magic Orb

Material: Enchanted Amber

Ammo: None

Length: Gauntlet: 5", Orb: 4" diameter

Weight: None

Weapon Description/Info: Holimel's Eye was a gift to Lily from a former lover, a powerful Alchemist named Holimel. She fused the mystical contraption directly to Lily's right hand, ensuring that she would always be able to defend herself. Holimel's Eye is enchanted to never break, and is completely weightless. The orb can be used as a bludgeon, a slingshot, and if one is skilled enough, a shield. It is a beautiful amber color, with a now extinct species of honeybee frozen inside. From a distance, it looks like a cat's eye marble, which is what gave it it's name.



Bio

Marital Status
Single


Relatives
Mother: Margeret Crishon. Age: 52
Father: Grimmsbor Crishon. Age: 56
Sister: Agathine Crishon. Age: 21


Birthplace
Small Eastern European hamlet, named Greaysmill


Occupation
Outlaw/Chaos Magician


Bio/History
Lily was raised to be a housewife by her conservative, old fashioned parents, and she hated it. Lily's heart was wild, untameable, and too full of life for that sort of existence, not to mention that she was a prodigy with her born school. Unable to bear putting up with her for any longer, at the ripe age of 24 her father began seeking employment for her, but no one in the village would hire a mage with as ill a temper as his eldest possessed. He finally tracked down someone who seemed to be willing, eager even, to take her from him. The mysterious man assured him that the very qualities that made her normally undesirable were why he was interested. So it was that her father sent her away with the monk to the Temple.

Her career as a monk didn't last long, however, as she stumbled upon a plot to bind the Goddess Caernavon into a mortal vessel and use her to hold the world at ransom. No one else at the temple believed her, however, so she cut ties and went on the lam, gathering up anyone she could find to scrape together a force that could stand up to the cult.

.

So begins...

Lily Crishon's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo

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#, as written by Basta
Branches of Power-The Beginning


This was it. Her first recruit. Lily Crishon attempted to look normal, sipping her tea and casually glancing over the passersby, but inside she was wound up tighter than a rubber band ball. Any one of them could be the government agent, a fact that made her even more nervous. What did this person look like? Were they here with backup? Too many variables were unaccounted for and she didn't like it.

Less than three months ago, Lily had been a part of a crazy, Goddess worshiping cult that wanted to take over the world. When she'd found out, she bailed faster than a sprinter off of the starting line. Of course they tried to track her down, but after losing four agents to her, they just decided to deal with her when the time came, if ever. Bad choice on their part.

As soon as she left, Lily started spreading fliers and job offers, informing any one who would listen that she wanted to train up an elite group of mages to combat an "evil rival faction of bastards", as she called it. Disclosing the true intent of the cult would only cause them to re-locate and go underground, ruining her chances of finding them. Last week she hit pay dirt when she opened a mysterious e-mail from someone she'd never heard of before. The message inside was simple.

"Is the offer still open?" Of course she'd replied in the affirmative. Lily wasn't going to pass up an opportunity to get someone to her cause. The next day, another e-mail arrived, this time stating that a high ranking government official was interested in working for her. They'd asked for a time and place to meet. Being a bit suspicious, Lily told them to meet her in two days at her favorite café in her new hometown, Fagiolo Birrai, at three PM. The name always made her chuckle a bit, but they had the best coffee in town. That, plus home field advantage was always nice to have.

Lily pulled her long-coat closer around her body, trying to hide Holimel's Eye. While most people weren't unfamiliar with magical artifacts, the mundane human being still acted wary around those that possessed them. One never knew when such a device might backfire and explode. She didn't want to scare away this newcomer after all, seeing as to how they would be her first recruit if they met the bill. Just as she looked down to check Holimel's Eye for the time, someone plopped into the chair opposite her which caused Lily to jump and swear loudly.

"My, my...A bit skittish are we?" chuckled the man. "Lorry, Roger Lorry. At your service," he declared, as if he expected her to gasp in surprise and begin to fawn over him. Lily simply raised an eyebrow at her guest, saying nothing. When she finally did open her mouth, she simply muttered something under her breath and looked at the man intensely. After a minute, she frowned and tried again. Lorry smirked at her, as if he knew something painfully obvious that she didn't. After she tried a third time, he made a small amused sound and put his hand on hers. Before she could recoil and smack him, a small trickle of energy seeped into her arm, causing her eyes to widen.

"Satisfied?" he asked with that same cocky grin. "There's not many of us around, Lily Crishon. I think you'd like to have someone with my talents on your side. However, before we go any further, let's talk...Rewards. I don't work for free, after all." Lily frowned at Roger, but still said nothing. She mulled it over in her head for a second, her eyes wandering over his form absentmindedly. Finally, she sighed and pulled out her wallet.

"How much?" Roger regarded her cooly for a moment, then replied with "Two hundred thousand a month." Lily's eyes practically boggled out of her head as her mouth spluttered and grunted, uncomprehending. That was more money than she'd ever seen in her life! How was she gonna pay him such an exorbitant fee? Lorry couldn't keep a straight face any longer, however, and he guffawed at her expression.

"I'm joking! Five thousand a month will more than cover my bill. Your expression was priceless though! When do we start?" Desperately restraining herself from jumping the table and strangling the man, Lily shook her head and exhaled through her nose, trying to calm herself.

"Now. You get your government fingers onto the Internet and find anything you can about other magically gifted people. Come to my place when you get your equipment. It's on Fiore che Sboccia street. The third floor, fifth door on the right. Big stone apartment building, you can't miss it. I'll leave the door unlocked."

Lorry nodded and unfolded himself from his chair, stretching out the kinks in his legs and sauntering away. Lily quickly made her way home, setting up a good area to meditate in her living room. Just as she was about to settle in, Roger budged the door open and dumped a steel suitcase onto the floor, letting out a breath he'd been holding.

"Just set up anywhere, then? Right. I'll be here in the kitchen," he stated, more to himself than anyone else. Lily ignored him and plucked Holimel's Eye out of its socket. Letting out a deep sigh, she allowed herself to tune into the magical device, plugging herself into the Ley Line that ran under the street next to her and let her mind expand itself along the entirety of the system.

Over the next 36 hours, Lily and Roger worked diligently, using their respective talents to compile a decent list of potential candidates. They narrowed the list from hundreds to twenty, and ultimately to the final six.

"So, we've got a Necromancer, one David Young, a Conjurer named Hanzo Susanoo, an Elementalist named Isabel Fayth...pretty name...Two Alchemists, Jaida Knowls and Rita Satome respectively, and a Blood mage named Zhang Xiao. Everyone else was either too far off to make it worth it or not talented enough, huh? I guess it'll have to do. Let's get moving, Lily. We've got a lot of work ahead of us.

First on the list, David Young, wasn't hard to track down once they knew his name. Lily and Roger attended Sunday Mass, waiting until all of his "flock" had left before they approached him. While skeptical of Lily's so called cult, he was more attentive when Roger let slip that he knew David was a Necromancer. Since it wasn't exactly common knowledge, he concluded (correctly) that these two strangers either had a lot of power, or were telling the truth. Since the first option didn't make much sense taking into account Lily's story, he told them that once he'd arranged a replacement Father for the church, he'd accompany them. Lily handed David a plane ticket for the end of the month and told him that she'd come to pick him up from the airport in Italy at the appointed time.

Next, they hunted down Isabel Fayth. Likewise, knowing her name put her up on a registry for a bar. The duo ordered a pitcher each, and a bowl of peanuts. When Izzy brought out their order, she caught a glimpse of a stack of papers that Lorry was leafing through with her name and photo on it. Roger had figured that this girl would be very down to earth, and possibly a bit cynical, so he figured the best way to get her co-operation was to show her that they knew everything about her, but were still willing to ask for her help. Isabel was of course on her guard and more than a little bit confrontational towards Lily and Lorry, as expected. She calmed down a bit when Lily pulled out Holimel's Eye and showed her that she was similarly a mage. Lily explained why they needed her help, with Lorry helpfully interjecting that it was a paying job. He named monthly salary with a four figure sum almost double what she made in her current job. Isabel turned in her two weeks notice on the spot. Lily produced another plane ticket, repeating the instructions that she'd given David.

Jaida Knowls was the next one in their sights. Her shop was harder to find, since it was one of those hole-in-the-wall places, but find it they did. Jaida proved to be one of the more striking individuals that Lily had the fortune to meet up with, what with her pale complexion and white hair. Still, she looked good spirited enough. Jaida didn't seem to be much of a conversationalist, but Lily wasn't surprised since she was asking the other woman to pack up all her things and just go with a complete stranger, on an unknown mission that may or may not cost her her life, so all things considered the Alchemist was quite friendly. Still, it took a bit of negotiating (and some legal background hint-dropping by Lorry) to convince the girl to come with them. While Lily didn't like strong-arming someone into a potentially deadly situation, she needed this woman. Lily planned to make it up to her later...somehow. After it was all said and done, Jaida had decided to accompany them instead of taking the plane route.

Saotome Sundries came up as their following destination. They made quite a name for themselves in the world of potions and poultices, but Lily hoped that Rita wouldn't be one of those types that believed she was too good for adventuring. Roger and Lily had tried to brainstorm a way to get this girl on their side, but their salvation came from a direction they weren't expecting. Jaida started chatting Rita up about various alchemical techniques and methods, warming the other girl for Lily and Roger's approach. Lily appealed to Rita's desire to improve herself, claiming that she'd improve another hundred fold in her time with their group. Lorry touted Lily's imaginary fountain of wealth, claiming that Rita would get paid compensation for having to leave her business and mother behind. In the end, why Rita decided to join were known only to her, but she agreed. Lily gave her the now standard plane ticket and explained what was expected of her.

Zhang Xiao, daugher to the famed Vice Commander Hetaigo Xiao was deceptively hard to track down. After Vice Commander Xiao died, his wife and children fell upon his earthly goods like carrion animals, leaving nothing for his youngest. Luckily she was well known in the city, and the trio traced her to an inn downtown. Zhang, after having lived on her own for a year, had hardened up and was a little belligerent towards them, however when they offered her a chance to gain back the riches she'd had before plus interest, as well as a journey to prove her strength to herself and the world, she changed her tune. Xiao, having very little in the way of worldly possessions, took up travels with Lily's growing crew.

The last man on the list, and certainly the hardest to locate, was the mysterious Conjurer, Hanzo Susanoo. They decided that the most plausible way to find an assassin was to put out a hit request, however, and that's just what they did. Roger Lorry subtly spread a rumor that someone was looking for a man named Haze and wanted to kill him. Lorry left an address at each place he visited, hoping that one of them would do business with the shadow man at some point. Apparently, word didn't take long to travel, as the next night one of the wards that Lily had rigged up in their temporary staying place alerted her of an intruder. Lily got a lucky shot on Haze with Holimel's Eye, catching him off guard and giving her enough time to convince him that he wasn't really wanted dead. Quite the opposite, actually. Lily explained that she wanted someone of his talents to accompany her on her journey to stop a crazy cult from destroying the world. Haze accepted immediately, simply because he had nothing better to do with his time. While surprised, Lily was pleased that she didn't have another person to owe exorbitant amounts of money to.

Finally, the time came to unite everyone and get started. While each of them were gifted in their own way, they still weren't a coherent team and they all had room to grow. Once back in Italy, Lily hijacked a large flatbed truck and picked up the remaining three members of her new group from the airport. The ride to her hidden castle was long, boring and dusty, but the view of the Italian countryside was beautiful. As she pulled into the tunnel that led to the front gates, she explained that she discovered this place during her search for everyone, and that it was ideally located in the center of a square of the Ley Line gridwork. The tunnel went under the hilly environment, occasionally opening up to show the sky or to allow in a small stream.

As Lily parked the truck, she told everyone to find a room in the castle and get settled, but to watch out for bugs or snakes, as the place hadn't been cleared completely yet. The group took the time to stretch and unload all their cargo, filing one by one into the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Issac Morrow

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"Hey! If you two don't calm down, I'll put both of you out on your asses!" A woman yelled behind a long wooden bar, made from a mighty oak, a wilted rose in her hair and a bottle of tequila in her hand. She was yelling at two (rather large) men who had gotten into an argument that sounded like it was about to escalate into something violent. The man behind the bar, the woman's co-worker, leaned back still wiping down the glass he had been for a couple of minutes now. He wanted to see how this all played out. The regulars likewise, turned and watched. This was going to be a hell of a lot better than the lousy game on the TV.

One of the large men, who easily had a foot and a half over the woman and looked to weigh about three of her, turned and yelled back, "Stay out of this little girl!" This remark caused the woman's co-worker to chuckle, earning him a hateful glare from the woman, "Stow it Jack, or you're next," she warned. Jack merely raised his hand to stave off the girl's anger. The girl, who was easiest the smallest person in the bar at barely five feet tall, and hardly a hundred pounds sopping wet returned her glare back to the large men. "I'll warn you one more time. If either of you throw hands, I'm personally putting both of your asses out," She said, laying the bottle down and retrieving her gloves from her back pocket. A regular in the back of the bar grinned, knowing what that meant. A hell of a lot better than the game indeed. "I've got a beer on Izzy," A man at the end of the bar told his buddy.

Both men eyed the woman called Izzy with contempt and returned to their staring contest. Why did men have to stare at each other and grunt before fighting? It didn't matter anyhow, seeing how both men had their pride injured and were going to heal it with their fists. At least, that was the plan. When one of the men pulled back to throw the first punch, Izzy was on the bar in a second and grabbed the man's fist with her left hand, which now had the same consistency of the hardened oak bar. At the same time, she decked the other man with a hook (with the same oaken consistency) of her own, sending the inebriate down to the ground. The other man, who's punch was caught in mid-air (and was now in immense pain. It felt like he punched a tree) got the same treatment and he too went down to the ground.

Izzy then hopped down from the bar, grabbed the collars of both men and dragged them to the door. The sight was... Odd, a tiny woman dragging two full grown men across the middle of the bar. It brought a smile to many of the regular's faces, and worried looked from newcomers. As she dragged the men, she mumbled, "Stupid sons of bitches. Can't they read? We have we only have two rules. Pay your tab, and no fighting. Idiots. Lucky I didn't snap them in half." Once at the door, she threw them out onto the cold cobbled streets of downtown Boston. Above the slamming door, a large faded sign read, "Minuteman's".

Inside the bar, the woman was greeted by a wave of applause which finally cracked her cold and wooden expression. She smiled and curtsied to her customers and made her way back behind the bar and finished pouring the shot of tequila. "You know Isabel, You didn't have to deck them both in the face," Jack said, sliding a beer down to the end of the bar. Apparently, the gambler from earlier was getting his prize. "Of course I did. They called me little and wouldn't listen. You know how that pisses me off," Isabel said, downing the shot of tequila herself. Jack chuckled, "Whatever. Good show either way. You're gonna get tipped good," he said, causing both bartenders to chuckle.

Soon enough, Jack instructed her to bring a bowl of peanuts and two pitchers to a table in the corner. Once at the table, she saw a man and a woman. The man was flipping through a number of papers. Some of which had her picture and name on them. "The hell do you have my picture for?!" She said, grabbing the polished stone at her neck. She felt the strength from the rock extend into her hands and throughout her body, granting her it's solidarity. If these people didn't give her a satisfactory answer, she was going to mess them up. Hard. Apparently, her body language told all, and the woman pulled out a strange object. Magical in nature, that much was clear. So these people were mages too huh? That still didn't explain why they had her name and picture, and she refused to let go of her stone. The woman explained what they were doing there. Something something cult, something, end of the world, something. To be honest it sounded like a lot of gibbering, but the one thing that did stick out to her was the pay. Four figures, and not small figures either. Triple what she made at the bar. Of course she accepted, and pocketed the plane ticket. At closing time, she told Jack, "Hey, I'm out. Tell the boss I'm turning in my two weeks, greener pastures opened up."




Isabel couldn't help but wonder if her homeland was as beautiful as Italy. True, the languages sounded... Similar. At least, she thought they did. It's not like she spoke Spanish everyday in Boston. Her patrons loved the way she said Tequila, but that was it. As it stood, she arrived in Italy and found herself waiting with a single large suitcase, a pair of expensive (looking) glasses, and a fresh rose fastened in her hair. She couldn't help but catch the odd stare from the men every now and then. Before long, as Lorry and Lily said, they arrived and picked her up in a flatbed.

The ride was uneventful, as she spent most of it staring at the others of the collected group from behind the mirrored shine of her sunglasses. And truth be told, there were people of all types around her. She felt as if she was the only normal one of the group. Before long (Actually, it took what felt like forever) they arrived at the castle. A castle, something she didn't expect to see any time soon. Suddenly, she felt out of place. Her home was in Boston, not this castle out in the middle of nowhere. She found her self shaking her head as she stepped off of the flatbed with her suitcase. "Fantastic. I feel just like a princess... Except Princesses didn't have to worry about spiders," She said, looking at a cobweb, "Or the end of the world."

"Right then. Welcome home I guess," She said, entering the mouth of the castle.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: David Young

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"...and the most important commandment of all is," David paused, looked at the people gathered for the mass and continued, "don't be a dick." Most of the regulars laughed, and most of the newcomers decided never to come here again. The rest of the proceedings, before and after this line, was the same as any other Sunday Mass, but David always made sure he said this line.

Just as he finished Father, no Bishop Marlon Samuels, walked in looking like he was in a hurry to speak to David. Marlon was fifteen years older to David, and was a mentor to him. Marlon was a researcher of the magical arts and he was the who helped David learn to control his magic. David finished of his speech and just as people started walking out to set the tables he spoke, "Don't forget to congratulate Bishop Marlon." Marlon looked angrily at David, he had urgent business with David, but was stuck in middle of large crowd of people, family and friends, congratulating him on becoming a Bishop.

He started walking towards the inner room when a voice called out, "Father David."
He turned and faced Marlon who seemed quite angry. Marlon spoke, "We need to talk. It is of utmost importance."
"My word... You became a Bishop, and suddenly it's all super important," said David to the short man and started walking again. He needed to get his Bible for he knew many discussions would commence once they started eating.
"David, don't yo-"

"Excuse me, Father David," interrupted a woman's voice from behind. Marlon and David turned and saw a woman and man stand in front of them. Marlon looked at them, spoke, "Never mind, My work here is done," and left. Huh? thought David.

"Yes?" asked David to the woman. The man seemed more interested in looking at a file than talking to David.
"I'm Lily Crishon and this here is Roger Lorry. We have come here to discuss an important and delicate matter."




"So, did you agree to their proposal?" asked Marlon when David entered his room to get the bible.
"No," he said and opened the drawer. His book wasn't there so he went to the bookshelf to look.
"No?!" asked a surprised Marlon. "Why? Didn't you listen to them? It is a real threat..."
David found the book hiding behind a five thousand page epic, the Mahabharat. He turned towards Marlon. "So you believe their nonsense?"
"It isn't nonsense! It is real and Vatican wants someone to monitor the situation from inside. Vatican chose you, be honoured," said Marlon walking besides David. Marlon had been asked by the higher ups at the Vatican to send any magician he knew to Lily's little group, to be their informant. Vatican feared this conflict would cause much havoc in the world.

"Wow, this is just... wow," he said feigning amazement. Marlon spoke, "I will suggest you go and tell them that you are going..."
"Father David, think of how much damage it'll cause if people find out you are a Necromancer," said David imitating Roger's voice as best as he could. He hadn't agreed, they had forced him.
For the next ten minutes, Marlon didn't stop laughing. David once even pushed him to the ground, but didn't stop Marlon. "oh Marlon, I'll be back. And then, consider yourself dead," he said and headed towards where people had set up the tables.




David had never been to Rome before, though it was just as he had expected it to be which was exactly opposite of the postcards, just like all other "postcard worthy" places. The plane ride didn't go all too well. First, the officials from Vatican had screwed up his name, they had put Daavid instead of David on the passport they made for him, causing confusion. Then, he sat next to faat man, who took half of David's seat and finally just as he was about to get off the plane, he met Bishop Frank Ladel.
Frank was an irritating man, always trying to scam people. Marlon told David that once he nearly convinced an Archbishop to give him his ring. If there would be a film about a man trying to overthrow the Pope, the antagonist would be Frank Ladel.

The moment they had gotten off David excused himself, went to the bathroom and removed all money from his wallet. "Hey David, long time no see," said the chirpy bastard. David knew him from when they met at Marlon's house. That night hadn't gone too well either.
"Hello," said David trying desperately to find Lily or at least a newspaper stand or something. David found a coffee shop, ordered a cappucino, sat down and started drinking it. Go away...
"Hey, there is a nice film playing here. How about I buy us tickets for the show." David nearly spat out the coffee at Frank Ladel. Frank? Offering to buy tickets? David's head was shouting, "Get the hell out, now!"

David finished his coffee, stood and spoke in as friendly a voice he could make without looking like a friend, "Thanks, but I'm busy." He noticed Lily and Roger and spoke, "Give me your card and I'll call." Frank seemed sad though David didn't know wether it was "Damn! Opportunity missed!" sadness or actually sadness. He didn't care though; he took Frank's card and left for the airport's main exit. The dustbin seemed reluctant to recieve Frank's card...




The ride to the castle was, well, better than the aeroplane ride, much better. It wasn't exciting but it wasn't irritating either. The scenery and the "what the hell am I doing" looks on the rest of the people kept him from jumping off the car.

As Lily parked the truck, she told everyone to find a room in the castle and get settled, but to watch out for bugs or snakes, as the place hadn't been cleared completely yet. One by one all of them went inside. David walked slowly caused his bag was very heavy, nearly 20 kilos. It had a shovel and an AK-47, which he hoped he would never use.

Bugs and snakes? Perfect...

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo

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#, as written by Arke
Reminiscing about the past wasn't must of a favorite for Roger Lorry, the self-proclaimed mercenary. The day he caught wind of Crishon's efforts to find some sort of Cultist Group, he hopped onto the opportunity- the girl seemed desperate enough, and with desperation comes a higher paycheck. There wasn't much else to say, though tracking down Susanoo was quite tricky even with his fingers dipping into one of the most comprehensive archives in his country. He almost thought the girl had been joking when she decided to recruit him, but a job was a job.

For better or worse, it worked out in the end. They've had a fairly strained response, but when one was digging up mud to "incentivise" them to join, it was to be expected. By the time this was all over, he'd certainly would have made some enemies. Lorry didn't mind it too much, because he was good at vanishing, and based on the records, the only one who could possibly track him was Susanoo. The funny thing was, the elusive assassin seemed eager to take Crishon up on her offer, so he didn't need to threaten something so ineffective as an arrest- the best thing Lorry could think of when considering how best to get the wet boy on his side. For the sake of allowing the conscripted to get to know each other better on the car trip, Lorry sat shotgun. A countryside up in Italy wasn't what he expected for a base, but it was a nice alternative to hiding in some sort of drab bunker system. If a little bit conspicuous.

Even as the car parked, he smiled and look back to the disgruntled passengers. "Hey hey, we're here! Anybody need some help with their luggage?" He asked, opening the door and stepping out. There wasn't much to see, but being nice Italian landscape he could appreciate it all the same. Grabbing his suitcase full of packed belongings, he took note that everyone was already trudging off toward the grand building. "Tough crowd." He commented, noting the necromancer with the large rucksack. "'specially that guy."

Well, for whatever reasons this group had to act mostly anti-social, he didn't mind. Eventually they'd warm up. With most of the group already on their way or inside the castle, he took the time to make sure that they weren't followed. Without so much as a word to the fraülein Lily Crishon, he walked back down the side of the dusty road in the grass, eventually reaching a fork. From there, he kicked at the dust, wiping away the tire treads and replacing them with false trails leading away from the detour to the castle. From there, he walked back down the road, destroying evidence of the car ever passing by. It was a lengthy procedure, and would probably have to be repeated every time the car made a trip- but it did decrease the chances of them being tracked down. If only slightly.

By the time he made it back, Lorry had been gone for a solid fifteen minutes. At this point, the vehicle was empty, and he proceeded to examine the car briefly. Whatever tracking devices that may have been slipped on would be removed. After a thorough checking, he decided that it was good enough. Magic may have done this automatically, but there was nothing more reassuring than doing it manually. And he did not have the luxury of accessing magic either, so there was no point.

"Well, time to check up on the gang." he said cheerfully, beginning his trek toward the castle. By this time, everyone should have scoped the place out a bit. He didn't see anybody as he walked in, and the place was pretty huge so wondered if he ever would outside of Crishon's speeches or something. It wasn't much to worry about, but if the situation is as bad as the girl's mannerisms lead him to believe, teamwork would be key. Can't have teamwork when everybody is at least fifty feet from each other at all times. The reception hall didn't feel so accepting either.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls

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Zhang Xiao was quite surprised to find herself tracked down, she hadn't had much luck with work and was beginning to fear that she would lose herself in the depression of deep poverty. Yet here there was a white woman telling her that she wanted her to go work for her, and it sounded like something that was very dangerous. She tried to refuse the woman, deep inside her she did not want to go and felt she could not trust this woman. Yet as the prospects of money and a place to prove herself came forth, Zaisu began to tighten around her neck. She might have refused if it weren't for that, but she knew better than to refuse her companion. Zaisu settled her indecision, and she knew that she was giving up her fate to the winds of fate. There was only one last thing...

Words are weak, contracts are fallible, yet blood is true, Xiao said these words softly as she reached for a dinner knife, as she slid the blade over her palm she showed no signs of pain, for the caress of a blade was something intimately familiar to her. "By my blood, I serve this contract, and by your word I am your soldier till a time that you prove yourself false or should speak words to release me." She felt that was enough, as long as they paid her in cash and didn't turn out to be the evil cult they claimed they would stop, she would be loyal. It was as things should be.

Xiao, as she favored being called, was truly daunted by the beginnings of their trip and by the sheer resources of her new employer. She had never been hired for any major task like this, and she allowed herself to fall into a childish awe. Silence took her, and she responded only when being spoken to for the remainder of her trip. Her emerald eyes constantly studying Lily Crishon and Roger Lorry, wondering what their motives might be, wondering how many of their words were lies and what few might contain twisted truths.

As they arrived in Italy, Xiao realized just how far away from home she really was. In this beautiful landscape, she though of how truly massive the world really was. The castle looked derelict to her eyes, a worn down relic of another era, but that might simply be the level of care that Europeans gave to their ancestors. The tunnel felt cold and as they came to a stop she had already shifted her legs against her chest for a bit of warmth. She got out of the flatbed last, standing quietly as the others started to head inside. She found it a little difficult to accept that they would be staying in a place like this, but perhaps it was better that they remain in a place hidden from the public view.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Basta
'I'm finally back', thought Lily in relief. She lit the last candle in her room, basking in the cool blue light with a smile. The trip had left her drained, both physically and mentally, but she couldn't afford to rest yet. It was a good thing that the castle had been built right in the center of a Ley square, as she could get an even draw of power from all sides to fuel herself. Lily examined the room thoroughly for a moment, then aligned herself to the north wall. With a flick of her wrist, she sent Holimel's Eye out of its socket and looped it back into her hand with a metallic chink.

"Little orb, little orb, turn turn turn," Lily whispered. The amber eye slowly rotated, picking up speed at an exponential rate. When she felt it was going at a sufficient RPM, Lily held it to the north wall and pushed. Immediately, the room filled with a high pitched whining sound as Holimel's Eye ground away at the stone, leaving a furrow in its wake. Gritting her teeth against the noise, Lily quickly scribed the symbol for strength. Moving clockwise around the room, she wrote the symbols for balance, skill, and energy.

Releasing a breath she didn't realize she was holding, Lily brushed the dust off Holimel's Eye. Nodding to herself, she levitated the orb between her hands, muttering nonsense under her breath. After about five minutes, she quickly rotated her arms while keeping the space between them and Holimel's Eye, thereby breaking the hold of the spell. Lily gingerly closed the gap, feeling the raw energy contained in the mystic artifact. With a frown, Lily peered closer into the orb, but of course the power inside was invisible to the naked eye.

"Strange, there shouldn't be so much energy after that short a-" Her words were cut off with a gasp as the power refused to be contained any longer and bridged the gap between her hands. It felt like she was holding onto a live wire, only instead of cooking her alive, it was filling her with enormous amounts of power. When the flow cut off, she could barely walk her muscles were twitching so badly.

"Gotta...find Lorry!" hissed the Chaos Magician. She pseudo walked/hopped into the inner courtyard and made a beeline for him. Trying to act casual, Lily placed a hand on his shoulder and smiled painfully. Lorry's body took over from there, opening the drain and letting the extra juice flood into him. As soon Lily could move without wincing, she cut off the transfer, but remained propped on Roger's shoulder. He was in the middle of a lecture, it seemed, and she wanted to hear what he did wrong. She'd assemble the rest of the students in an hour or so, once they'd had sufficient time to unpack.

'At least I'm not tired anymore...' she chuckled wryly to herself. Her humor faded, however, as she listened to the newcomer. He mentioned a hijacked truck, which he couldn't...shouldn't have known about. Taking initiative, Lily stepped around her support and stuck out her right hand to the man. The metallic appendage, combined with Holimel's Eye, were usually enough to scare away most people. She wasn't doing it to be aggressive or intimidating this time, however. She just had the feeling that this was the necessary course of action at the current moment.

"Lily Crishon, owner of this junk heap." She looked him in the eye, getting the uncomfortable feeling that this man knew things about her that she herself didn't.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Arke
Try as he might to expect anything the blonde man would respond with, he certainly wasn't expecting the blithe, scathing response he got. Lorry couldn't help but raise one brow against the man's odd form of speech, which was a lot more decorated and smooth than he really cared for. Michael Vizi, a name he was completely unfamiliar with. Perhaps, if it were Germany he might have heard the name somewhere, but this was Italy, and right now some blonde, pompous, strangely knowing man was talking to him. Lorry flashed a grin when he realized this "Vizi" character was referring to him as a Magician. Why, he couldn't be any further from a magician- he couldn't even perform simple parlor tricks. However, what caused his amused smile to freeze over was the man's accurate inference on the stolen van.

"Hm. Well, It was worth a shot." Lorry said, pulling the gun from his shirt. The smooth motion was almost a blur, though Lorry was in no urgent hurry to end the life of the calm man in front of him. The man knew too much, and especially because he was not on his client's list, the man was automatically labelled as a danger to the mission and his paycheck. Even if he did run, which he wasn't, he would be dead before he could grab the doorknob. Leveling the gun at Michael's center of mass, his eyes were briefly inflamed with a cold stare. However, before he could pull the trigger and end a potential threat, a hand clapped onto his shoulder. Lorry suddenly felt his distant reserves of power increase, a surprising amount. Turning his head, he was expecting an accomplice of Vizi attempting to knock him out with magic, but instead found his client. She certainly looked like she had seen a ghost. However, her attention was not on Lorry, but on the blonde guest, who did not even flinch as he stared down death in his cold steel barrel.

Lowering his gun slightly as Lily introduced herself to the guest, his face resumed it's jovial and natural demeanor. "What's the matter Crishon? Stuck your face in one of the Alchemists's potions already?" He asked rhetorically, noting her posture still propped up on his shoulder. It wasn't like he knew the answer to the question explicitly, he just figured that her attention was now focused on the newcomer. Michael Vizi.

Boy. She was heavy.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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With an apparent threat to his life aiming a gun directly at him with nothing but cold-blooded murder filling the aggressor's eyes, Michael remained as he was, both in location and posture, throughout the ordeal. He was aware of such an occurrence and, even if he wasn't, a gun has not been known to intimidate many amongst the Italian crime world, they had volatile magics for that. And even with a machine of death aimed squarely upon him, the Chronomancer knew what was likely to come of the situation and had nothing to fear. Death was not something many Chronomancers really looked to with the dread and horror that everyone else seemed to, it was simply the passage of time claiming what rightfully belonged to it.

The acceptance of the fate that awaited all things would unfortunately need to wait a little longer to come about in full however. It was the arrival of a woman, clad in something worthy of corporal punishment in some areas and acting as though she had already received her due reward for such garb, that caused the Magician to stow his weapon. It was also at this point where Michael finally discovered what had been causing the amber distortion of color amongst his visions of the Tower, a crude little gauntlet with a poor insect trapped forever within. This little object was now held before him in what must have been an attempt at greetings, if her words were anything to go on, but she definitely should be aware of the object's potential to worry some people.

And with her greeting words floating amongst the stuffy air, it was one word that stuck out the most, "owner." It was that word that deserved rebuttal and that word that deserved what was waiting within his coat pocket. He would not offer his hand to something so grotesque but he was eager to provide an answer to her words. "Do you make a habit of stealing property and claiming that it belongs to you? This junk heap is part of my late mother's expansive estate and, in accordance with her will, is to be shared amongst me and my sister." He quickly withdrew a deck of cards from his pocket while jumping back a few feet and gave it a light toss into the air as he traveled the short distance, scattering each of them.

They maintained their altitude amongst the dusty air as the Black Magic began to channel through each of them. "So Tower, give me a reason why I should allow a common thief who claims that my mother's castle belongs to them the opportunity of a continued life." He already knew the circumstances and what was likely to be any argument provided, but what Time dictates should happen, will happen.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Basta
Now this came as a surprise to Lily. Maybe Lorry was right to draw a gun on this man. Acting casual, she tossed a lock of hair over her right ear, thereby disengaging Holimel's Eye from its socket. The amber orb dropped to waist level and hovered there, bobbing up and down erratically.

"Listen here, kid, I don't see your name on our new home. Any shmuck can walk in and say what he likes, including what you just said. Hell, even wills can be forged with enough money and influence these days. Aaannnnd, seeing as how we outnumber you eight to one...nine including Lorry's gun, I suggest you change your tune. You can't kill all of us with a magic deck of cards. We can be friendly. You should make an effort as well."

Lily let her words hang just as ominously as the cards, but after a moment, she realized something else. "What do you mean by 'Tower' anyways? I already introduced myself, and 'Lily Crishon' sounds nothing like 'Tower', in my opinion." She thought about it for a moment, looking at each of the cards as they passed in her range of vision, eyes widening a bit as she glimpsed the tower card.

"Oh! You're a Chronomancer! But...That can't be all. Weaver perhaps? Hmm..." Devoid of fear at this point, Lily replaced Holimel's Eye and walked around the cloud of cards, examining the man as if he were a puzzle or a math problem to be solved. He had reacted in a genuinely angry fashion, which either meant that he was a squatter or the true owner. Either way, she wasn't about to let some stranger evict her new partners. If it came down to a fight, Lily wasn't going to pull any punches, but she sincerely hoped that violence wasn't needed.

"Tell you what, stranger. Meet the people you're trying to throw out before taking any...rash, shall we say, courses of action?" She led the way to the outer courtyard, where there were two others conveniently waiting. Lily put two fingers to her lips and whistled shrilly once and then again after a short interval. She used a bit of magic to project the sound into whatever hidey holes her crew might have managed to get themselves lost in. Hopefully they'd all show up shortly, so Lily could get started with the briefing. Maybe kill two birds with one stone? Convince the stranger to back off and inform the others about their purposes.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Arke
Lorry couldn't help but object silently when his client showed no fear to the man that threatened to kill them. Whether this home was actually his or not was not Lorry's problem, as he assumed it was Crishon's when she confidently strode up to the doors and showed it off. However, such a misunderstanding would probably amuse Lorry himself more than the blonde Italian, who gave a pretty intimidating glare. Truthfully, Lorry wasn't too afraid. Vizi did reveal himself to be a magician of the sort, and though his card tricks were very cute, they were naught but spitballs against the Nullifier that stood before him.

Even as he made the threat, Lorry's gun had whipped up once more. However, once again the girl had saved the Italian's life by striding forward fearlessly to examine him. A chronomancer? That might explain his calm attitude. Perhaps he foresaw that Crishon would come to his rescue. Admittedly, Lorry was not very good at telling mages apart at first, so he assumed he was some sort of Conjurer using his cards as a foci.

"Right, right. The cards. Chronomancers always did like to take on the fortune-teller stereotypes." he said absentmindedly, lowering the weapon once more and sighing. Ignoring the Amber orb that flitted around the blonde man like a wasp, he put the weapon back into his shirt and scratched his head. Never would he understand his client's whimsical actions. The assassin that spectated above was probably getting a kick out of this, him his darn dog Scooby-Doo. The girl was actually inviting this man to spectate this important meeting, when she's known him for a total of fifteen seconds. Lorry winced as she whistled two harsh notes to alert the rest of their companions. Well, whatever. Lorry decided to take her lead for now, but Vizi was acting fairly hostile- and he would not take any chances if he decided to attempt to kill his partners or his client. He grabbed his suitcase back off the ground where he dropped it early to draw his gun, and slung it over his shoulder lazily. Striding off to the side, he leaned on the cold stone walls and waited for everyone to gather.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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Zhang Xiao waited only a short distance away, her wanderings were drawing ever closer towards the room where the siren's whistle came calling from. As she quickly began stepping in that direction, she failed to notice a sudden change in the steps and started to fall, only to be caught by Zaisu, who swung up to catch onto a support beam. To anyone else it might have looked like she had just hung herself but her neck had grown very strong from Zaisu's constant abuses so she was unfazed by his sudden save. "Thank you, I'll try to be more careful, I should not rush so quickly." Xiao placed her feet back down on the ground and continued forward, carefully making the way down towards the room that Lily had summoned her towards.

Xiao saw the new man, someone she did not recognize and quickly began studying the situation. From the way that Lorry and Lily stood, it became clear that this man was something of an intruder, or at least an unwanted guest. Xiao lowered her arms and rested her bracelet against her hips as she came over towards Lily. Her bare chest was cold, but she wanted to keep her hands down and ready in case the man proved to be hostile. Even as she approached, she still didn't understand how to react to the situation. So she came over to the side of Lily and smiled to the older woman pleasantly, "I heard your call. That was the signal for us to gather up, or did I misinterpret this?" She stood up straight in order to try to make up for the fact that she was five feet tall in a group where everyone else had nearly a foot of height on her. "I need to ask for help, when we are done with this gathering."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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The question of proof would have likely been painfully predictable even if Michael had not already heard its ripples through one of his trances. While nothing even remotely like his name was to be found, a family crest engraved above what he assumed to be the courtyard's entrance held his mother's name, Acerbi. It was quite obvious that each and every one of these people were foreigners, except for maybe the dog in the rafters, so such a name may have just failed to register in the squatters minds. Before he would have a chance to point that little fact out, he would have to actually figure out which deviation was going to occur, and as such was perfectly ready to surprise the endlessly confident Magician with the fact that nullification doesn't work on a collapsing building. He located and targeted each of the structural weak points necessary to bring down the entirety of the castle and listened apathetically to the Tower's worthless words.

After such words, Michael would have to stand being haphazardly examined by a thief who still referred to his mother's castle as being her own property. With her seemingly blind eyes finally deciphering what a set of tarot cards looked like, she exclaimed a guess at what type of magic he could be; you don't need to be a Chronomancer to use a tarot deck as a catalyst, and the weaver assumption had seemingly no basis. While still attempting to figure out exactly which way this would all work out, the Tower just continued her rambling and ended her statement with the upward inflection that marks a question.

With the comment from the Magician the scenario was set and it was decided that bringing his property down around him wasn't part of it. But since the cards had already been charged with the historical event of the moment, the raising of Persepolis, they needed an outlet and a nullifier was there to provide storage. The cards each returned to their proper places amongst the deck and fell into the Chronomancer's hands, only to be immediately aimed towards the gun toting Magician. "Tell me, what's the stereotypes you foreigners have for Black Magic?" The Ley line nexus that this castle was built on certainly proved its worth when a torrent of energy burst forth from the deck of cards and impacted their invulnerable target.

As the storm of power struck the Magician, Michael walked after the thieving Tower, even after his pained ears desperately wanted to get as far away from her as possible. He would find himself amongst a group of people, a few of which had already been gathered into the courtyard. The next major concern was the revealing of the deception at play to the Moon, as that would confirm specifically what derivation this was.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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Isabel nodded along with David's words and then finally shrugged, "You think we could even find our fearless leader in this labyrinth? It was dumb luck I managed to make it out here." Truth be told, she didn't even want to go back within the castle. It was such a pretty day to be spent inside a dead castle. Though, the alchemists probably found a nice large room to concoct their potions and what not. Luckily finding Lily wasn't the issue, though the high pitched magic-aided whistle cutting through the air did cause Isabel to jump a little. She turned looked at their employer, "Looks like we won't be needing to find her at all, huh David?" She said, looking up at the man. Yes, look up. Though she spoke to the man as an equal, he still managed to easily have a foot and a half over her. Truth be told, she was perhaps the shortest there, barring the strange Asian woman who opted to not wear a shirt... She had made up her mind to avoid her until she managed to scrounge a top.

She glanced at David upon the appearance of this such woman, wondering how the pious man would act. Izzy could tell from the way he spoke and what he had said that the man was a religious figure. Strange considering his school of necromancy. Or perhaps because of it. Izzy wasn't a Psychology major, so all of her thoughts were useless conjecture. "You think she even has a shirt?" She whispered to David. The girl was young, younger than Izzy was by a bit. David, again, was looking to be the winner for being the most normal there.

Then, she saw someone else. No one she had saw on the ride, she would have remembered that blond hair. He had followed behind Lily out into the courtyard, and had piqued her curiosity. She looked back at David for the last time and said, "Shall we?" Jerking her head towards the gathering. Barefooted, she stepped out of the stone gazebo and onto the cool grass as she approached her employer. As she spoke, she took her gloves out of her back pocket and began to slip them over her hands. Who knew, maybe Lily would want a demonstration. "Hey boss? You rang?" She said as she approached, her eyes flitted between those that had gathered so far. Lily, Lorry, the naked Asian (who Izzy tried her best to ignore), and the newcomer. Her eyes lingered on the stranger before speaking again, "Hey Lily, who's this guy? I thought there were only eight of us. I don't remember his face from the ride here," she said, giving the man a inquisitive look. Course, she didn't remember many faces from the ride either, but his in particular

As she waited for Lily's response, Izzy kept a suspicious eye on the man. She didn't like something about that man. Perhaps it was the unknown she didn't like. Would explain why she felt suspicious about the man in the rafters too.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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Isabel nodded along with David's words and then finally shrugged, "You think we could even find our fearless leader in this labyrinth? It was dumb luck I managed to make it out here." Now that Isabel mentioned it, David tried to remember how he had reached the outside. Was it left, down, right? Right, left, down? That wasn't a smart move. He'd have find the entrance to the castle and then get back to his room.

Luckily finding Lily wasn't the issue, though the high pitched magic-aided whistle cutting through the air. "Looks like we won't be needing to find her at all, huh David?" Isabel said, looking up at David. David nodded, somewhat in happiness. They would have surely been in trouble if Lily hadn't come along. He turned back towards the railing, looked at the fishes and sighed. Now the truth would be out, and hopefully it would make sense. David would be happier if they were here to protect some Mafia guy. At least that would be realistic. But then again, "Vatican says it is true." David hated quite a few in their brotherhood, but none of them were lunatics. They would never joke around.

Isabel glanced at David and whispered, "You think she even has a shirt?" David wasn't sure how to react. Did Isabel want him to look at a naked woman? He was stumped for a second. Why'd she want him to look at a naked woman? Did she take him as a pervert and was testing him? He didn't look back and carried on staring at the fishes. Also, why was there a naked woman?

"Shall we?" asked Isabel a few moments later and stepped away from the pond and towards Lily. David turned towards Isabel and the others thinking, I'll just ignore this wom-

The very next instant David turned back towards the pond, eyes shut. "Oh God. That's not a woman... that's a kid," he muttered to himself. He wasn't going anywhere near that place. Many in church were taunted as pedophiles, David was too once called a pedophile, and if he was seen with a shirtless girl, that would be end of his life. "Go on ahead," he said to Isabel, who was already a couple of meters away.

Luckily, or unluckily, they were only a few meters away from him so he didn't need to turn around. Not that he would, but still.

"Hey boss? You rang? Hey Lily, who's this guy? I thought there were only eight of us. I don't remember his face from the ride here," Isabel said. David realized that , yes, they were in fact supposed to be only eight people, including the man in the rafters. He had noticed the blond man when he had turned back. Who was this person?

If this guy was going to fight them, David would be of no use. There were no dead bodies and they already had a Blood magician. So, not getting in the way was the best option to take. But more importantly, who was this guy? Lily had said there were eight possible members, including herself and Lorry. And considering Lily or Lorry did not mind the guy in the rafters, this guy was not in that list of eight. Maybe they found this guy in the time between 'recruiting' David and the plane ride. Had Lily researched about this guy? He surely hoped so or they could have a spy in their ranks. Or this was a game show. A reality show organized to fool him. David smiled. This was actually the best explanation he could come up with right now. "Oh God, let this be a game show," he prayed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo

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"Well, isn't this an interesting turn of events?" said Haze, thinking aloud.

A smirk tugged on the corner of his lips as he watched in amusement at the events transpiring below. He had the urge to pump his fist and continuously chant 'fight' like a teenager instigating a brawl between peers. In the end, he refrained from such childish antics and would instead, continue to enjoy the show as he was sure this place was lacking a television; in any case, this was to be the highlight of his evening.

The stakes were raised as their saucy leader decided to join the tango. But, his money was still on the delicate pretty-man. The man obviously had home field advantage and probably knew the whereabouts of a secret floor tile, which when stepped on, would release a trap door, sending everyone plummeting toward a pit brimming with crocodiles or sharks. Yup... Haze was sure that would happen. But, in the off-chance it didn't, he would be sorrowfully disappointed.

Minutes later, after there were no gruesome deaths, Haze fell into a state of depression and anger.
"Ugh, they're going to talk things out? Koshinuke." If this had been the Merciful Hand, there wouldn't be any discussion or flashy tactics like stealthily flanking and then pressing a blade to the throat; too risky. Forget asking questions; the gaijin would have been cut down on the spot. To make matters worse, that, obviously insane woman, was summoning him. "Does she really expect me to leave the sanctity of my sky haven and join the general population on that, disgusting floor? Yes, that demented individual, did want him and the others to gather around for a merry little family meeting."

With a heavy sigh of reluctance, Haze slide his mask from the side to the center of his face before taking the large dog under his arm and jumping. As he made contact, his legs buckled before straightening and allowing him to continue. Most would need to recover after such a feat, but Haze did not. He was subject to extreme conditioning, allowing his body to become accustom to the strenuous activity. His dog walking beside him, the pair made their way behind the group and into the courtyard.

By now, the opium pipe had found its way back into his grip and between his lips. Briefly, he lifted the mask for a sample of the drug. He inhaled and then exhaled slowly, releasing a vast cloud of hazy white smoke. But, even through the fog veil, he could see the penetrating stares belonging to the now second hand smokers. He decided it was best to address their obvious concerns in the best way he could,
"What?" he asked lazily.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by FizzGig
Jaida was in the process of attempting to give a mighty tug on the large brass ring, when the sudden, shrill noise had the woman cringing, with one ear pressing uncomfortably to her shoulder. Gritting her teeth, and peering around the room through narrowed eyes, she was about to make a comment on it when Rita beat her to the punch, grasping her wrist and tugging her out of the room and on down the spiral staircase.

The pair stumbled upon the gathering of the ‘chosen’, with Lily and Lorry standing at the center, facing off against a figure she didn’t recognize. Hmm, there were more people here than she’d originally anticipated. The cards that floated around the stranger figure radiated a unique, pulsating energy that actually put Jaida on edge.

She’d never been a fan of black magic.

She held her breath as Michael finally started to march after Lily, hesitating and standing off to one side, closer to Lorry and Izzy as the angry black magician stalked away.

“So, “ She said to no one in particular, “What stick got rammed up that guy’s ass?”

And not just him, it seemed as though everyone down here was tense about something.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Basta
While waiting for everyone to assemble, Lily went over scenarios in her head. She wanted to word things just right, without making things seem too grim, but she also didn't want to sugarcoat anything. They were in this together, for good or for ill. Her reverie was broken as both Isabel and Zhang popped up next to her.

"I heard your call. That was the signal for us to gather up, or did I misinterpret this? I need to ask for help, when we are done with this gathering." piped Xaio. Nodding absentmindedly, the older woman kept scanning the group as they arrived. To Isabel, she held up a finger to ask for a moment. All would be explained once she was sure they were all there. Lily cleared her throat and adjusted her hat.

"I have some news, both good and bad," she stated matter-of-factly. Mentally she winced at the cliché line, but kept going. "You all know that you're here for an important task, but I want to make it doubly clear. We are here to stop the end of our existence. It won't be an easy task...Hell, it'll probably be the hardest thing anyone has ever done, but it's up to us. You all are the cream of the crop, or have the potential to be."

Lily paused for a moment to gather her thoughts. "First, a warning. I would say that if you don't think you can do it, you may leave...But you can't. Not because I'm telling you that you can't, but simply that if you leave now, everyone will die. Second, your best won't be good enough. Not on its own. We all have to be the best. 'Cause you see, our enemy isn't just this cult. It isn't just a group of crazy mages with insane power. It's that, as well as a Goddess! I don't mean the empty deities that people worship in temples, but a real being with real, infinite power. Well, nigh infinite, actually. The cult of Caernavon is researching a way to bind their Goddess into a mortal shell. If that happens, they will have access to all her destructive power and it'll all be over. In case none of you have researched into obscure occult gods, Caernavon happens to be the Big Boss. Her weapons are Pestilence, Plague and Death, and believe me, she will know how to use them."

Her allies shifted uneasily as her speech went on. Lily frowned slightly, realizing that she was painting a bleak and hopeless picture for them. "Don't worry though! The cultists are only humans, and humans make mistakes. Their first one was letting me in and then not hunting me down when I left. We won't let them make a second. However, in order to stop them, we have to train. They won't be as cohesive as we will. The cultists will be a group of individuals, easily divided...easily slaughtered. We will be one unit, a thresher to their wheat. When I'm done with us, we will be the ones that they will fear!"

Her voice rose in pitch as she neared the end of her pep talk, oozing emotion and confidence. Lily fully believed that this group of eight, maybe nine, could become something more, and she made sure they knew of her faith.

"Today, rest and get set up, because we start tomorrow, bright and early. We'll have to fix up the castle, get supplies, set up training areas. It's going to be an involved task, so prepare yourselves.That's all I have for you."

Lily allowed the group to disperse as it pleased, some breaking into pairs, others alone. After a while, she turned to Xaio to see what the girl needed.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio

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Xiao felt excitement as Lily spoke passionately about their mission. This was just a merc job, something with a really high pay, but something about the way Lily talked, filled with ambition and furor that made her seem attractive. Xiao was also quite aware that Zaisu was feeling amused by the prospects of going up against a goddess. Plague, Pestilence and Death! A triad of destruction that would mean a powerful enemy to crush. Xiao immediately decided that this goddess sounded more like the god of Christianity, bringing death and suffering where ever the followers of the faith went. Disease for natives, sickness and pain for those they met and death for those that opposed them, throw in pedophilia and child sex slavery and the two cults weren't far off. The difference, Xiao thought to herself, is that this goddess is evidently real.

Xiao took a good look at her fellow mages, a random assortment of people from all walks of life, except no blacks. Two asians, a hispanic woman and a room full of white folk. Xiao tuned back in to hear Lily say that they would be starting in the morning, that they would be repairing the castle and beginning to train. Zaisu seemed to perk up at the though of training, roughly scraping across the back of her neck, just enough to leave a mark.

As Lily turned to face Xiao she gave a nod of respect, "I need warmth. The tower I've taken a liking to is going to get cold at night. Could I either get a space heater or could you ask the alchemists to make something I can place on the floor to make it warm up? Italy is much colder than I had anticipated. Xiao gave a half smile to her employer, "Zaisu and I can do some of the heavy lifting if you want, but I'm not a carpenter or a mason. Still, If you need someone killed," Xiao glanced at the man who seemed like an intruder, "then don't hesitate to give me the order."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Arke
Lorry got the feeling he incensed the Italian further with his absentminded words, but he didn't particularly care. In fact, he found the man's passive-aggressive demeanor toward him quite amusing, though most things did amuse the Nullifier. Throughout history, many of the occult associated themselves with the mystical quirks such as flowing robes, knuckle bone readings, and tarot cards. At the same time, many wanted to profit off that venture, establishing the well-known stereotype of the fortune-teller by making these quirks a staple of what could have been a simple magician. It was also no secret that most Chronomancers tended toward jobs that their talents suited them for, and many opted for the most obvious- fortune telling. And what better way to attract customers and establish a name than to acquire the stereotypes of the soothsayers of old? Lorry considered the question that Vizi directed at him carefully, noting with some levity his emphasis on "you foreigners" as black magic accumulated around his body like a dark nimbus.

"Black Magicians?" drawled Lorry, "Well, usually I think they are blonde, Italian, and act holier-than-thou most of the time." Almost immediately after, the Chronomancer dispelled his elicited storm of black magic at Lorry, who barely flinched as the cloud struck him with no ill effect. Dissipating quickly, Lorry was left to re-evaluate the Italian's smooth temperament once more. The nullifier did allow the fact that they, apparently, were trespassing on his land, but this plot was of his employer's choice to 'train' his new comrades, and as long as he was getting a fat paycheck, he didn't mind annexing the poor sob's castle.

Following the crowd out, he relaxed himself against the edge of the door as everyone assembled in front of Crishon. Even as she began speaking, Lorry resisted the urge to shut down and tune her words out. Her words ever flowery and pretty, yes, but the situation she set was grim nevertheless. Her seated assurance that they would prevail was naught but empty words of encouragement as of now. The recruits had potential, but they had to work for it. Lorry, being much older than the lot of them was still considered to be a little bit past the greenhorn stage back at HQ. The speech ended, and Lorry immediately moved to leave, entering back through the doorway and going to his room on the first floor worker quarter's room. Closing the door behind him, he opened the suitcase and took out what few possessions he bothered to bring with him. Most of it was maintenance gear for his tools he usually carried on him, but others were things associated with security. Some clothes were put in the drawers, and he set up a little security system consisting of a couple of motion sensors hidden around the room and a camera. He took out a thin laptop, grinning in satisfaction when he learned that he remembered to charge it. It was filled with lots of incriminating records, all copied from the server back home. He typed in a password, and let his thumb rest on the fingerpad to scan his print. Pulling up some documents, he set about finishing some reports that he would have been doing if he were back at home. It was highly unlikely anyone but Crishon should have the incentive of seeking him out, so he felt safe in leaving the doors and windows unlocked. It'd probably be more suspicious if he did lock it.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Rita Saotome Character Portrait: David Young Character Portrait: Jaida Knowls Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Basta
After hours of tossing and turning, Lily gave up trying to get any rest for the night. In the two weeks that her group had been 'training', progress was little. There were still pieces of the castle in disrepair, the electricity was faulty, and worst of all, her crew still hadn't improved much! Their abilties may have progressed some, but function as a unit, they did not. Lily had been searching in ever widening circles for a test of some sort for the past couple days, and just the night before, she'd found it. A small hamlet, isolated like the castle, had been taken over by a group of mages. They'd slaughtered most of the inhabitants, using the remaining live ones as playthings and experiments.

Throwing on her traveling coat, Lily strode briskly to the main courtyard and whistled shrilly, once and then again after a few seconds. She didn't much care if she was disturbing their precious night's sleep. If Lily wasn't sleeping tonight, neither was anyone else. She took to pacing and muttering under her breath as the rest started to arrive, making her displeasure known.

"Ok since everyone's here, I'll make this quick. You've not been improving...at least, not in the ways I need you to. So we're gonna take a field trip and get some real life testing done. There's a small town to our southeast that's been taken over by hostile mages. We're gonna take it back. Now, some things to remember while we're there. We are a team, and that means we work like one. Use each other's strengths and cover each other's weaknesses. I don't want to see anyone by themselves, and whatever gods you pray to so help me, if one of us gets hurt because someone else wasn't covering them, I'll make you regret the day of your conception!"

Lily stopped herself for a moment, massaging her temples. The last thing she needed was to get angry and lecture these men and women like they were children, but it was hard.

"In the last two weeks, you've all improved individually quite well, but you're still individuals! The culties are individuals too, but there's more of them then us. In order to counteract that, we have to be one unit. I've said all this before, but you didn't seem to take it to heart. Well here's your chance to prove yourselves to each other. You fight together...or die alone. Suit up and meet me at the flatbed in ten minutes," finished Lily with a growl. The end of the world wasn't going to go easy on anyone, and neither would she. These were grown ass adults, and Lily wasn't about to pussyfoot around to spare their feelings. She couldn't afford to.

As soon as everyone was on-board, Lily slammed the heap into gear and took off. The hamlet was about a seventy miles from the castle, so they had to go pretty quick to make good time. About two miles out, the truck puttered out and died. After a couple minutes trying to revive the beast, Lily gave up and had everyone simply take their gear on the march. It'd be stealthier this way anyways. On the outskirts of the village, Lily stopped them.

"We do this quiet like as for as long as possible. Once the alarm goes up, stick together unless otherwise instructed. Remember, under NO circumstance should anyone get separated. Ok, move out."

The moon shone dimly from behind the cloud cover, providing a decent atmosphere for their work.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Zhang Xaio

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Xiao woke quickly from her rest, she had always been a bit of a light sleeper, ever cautious of what lay ahead in the waking world. With no real personal possessions to grab, everything she would need was either worn or part of her, she was quick to descend down to meet her employer. Half expecting the castle to be under attack, Xiao was on guard as she came to present herself before her still generally mysterious employer. These last couple of weeks had been nothing but frustration, Xiao's skills were far behind most of the group, and even as she tried her hardest, she felt inferior to nearly everyone present. Still Lily hadn't thrown her out yet, so maybe there was some sort of role she still could serve.

"Orders?" were the first words to escape her lips as she ran up to Lily, her eyes briefly scanning around the area. She was ready to try to fight off any danger that might present an immediate threat. As the others came to join them, and Lily explained her disappointment in the failures of the group, Xiao hung her head in shame. Xiao wanted very much to not simply be a glaring weakness that everyone else needed to protect, she would rather they simply allowed her to die. The mission seemed beyond any job that Xiao had ever taken before, and at this point she was wholly devoted to it.

Ten minutes was hardly necessary, Xiao simply walked out to the flatbed, took a seat and waited for everyone else to get ready. Zaisu was always around her throat, the only tool she made any use of. The bangle she wore hadn't seen much use, as she had yet to be pressed into drawing power from it. A pool of blood magic energy and she couldn't figure out anything decent to use that power for. Part of her hoped that the situation would be pushy enough, that she would get cornered and she'd be able to motivate herself to tap into her life force. Supposedly there was power there, though she wasn't sure if that was true.

As they walked along the last two miles, Xiao listened carefully to Lily's orders. They wouldn't be too hard to follow, assuming that the situation didn't go badly. If someone died, she was pretty sure that the team would fall into a panic. "Does this mean we will not be using gunfire, at least until the alarm sounds?" It was a rare opportunity for Xiao to shine, she knew how to be quiet and Zaisu was an excellent tool for killing quietly. "Forgive me for asking, but I want to confirm. We are killing these people, yes?" Xiao would be satified with whatever answer she was given.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Lily Crishon Character Portrait: Isabel Fayth Character Portrait: Roger Lorry Character Portrait: Hanzo Susanoo Character Portrait: Michael Vizi

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#, as written by Arke
The unnatural, shrill whistle instantly roused Lorry from his light sleep. He looked at the watch he left on the nightstand, and sighed. Sleep always did come less for people in power. He got up, dressing himself in light clothes as well as his body armor. Clicking his vambrace in place, he belted his swords to his waist and holstered his gun over the rest. He stretched, assuring himself that he could move quite nicely and checked the mirror.

"Lookin' good." He said, his voice hoarse with sleep. Pointing at his reflection, he left the room, closing the door behind him. He wasn't too worried about being broken into, as many of his devices that contained sensitive data would simply self-destruct if anybody but him accessed it. Though it would be amusing to watch a hacker trying to sift through an eternity code trying to make heads or tails of the gibberish. Moving downstairs with sure steps, he occasionally pinched himself to ensure he wasn't zoning out. As professional as he was, waking up when duty called was still a bit difficult for the Nullifier.

As he entered the courtyard, he noticed that he was one of the first. Leaning next to the door once more, he watched his client pace back and forth restlessly. It was evident a lecture was to come. His lips twisted into a little grin at the prospect. As everyone else arrived, the surly look on the sleepless mage's face became more pronounced. She then exploded. Listening to her rant, he supposed he could give her points for going straight to the point. Lorry had been accustomed to working alone or with very few partners that he didn't synergize well with the others. Not to mention that most of them seemed to regard him with ire. Perhaps he wasn't cracking enough jokes. Lorry raised an eyebrow as her pointed comments became more and more stinging. Threats weren't the best way to make people work together. Nor was he so sure that the proprietor of this estate would enjoy taking this. Or Susanoo. Or that fiery bartender.

What surprised Lorry was the sudden call for action. Retaking a hamlet from a bunch of rogue mages. As Crishon described the problem, Lorry mulled over the rationale behind these mages for slaughtering everybody. What the hell was the government doing about this? People don't just dismiss the disappearance or murder of a group of civilians. His visage darkened slightly. The situation regarding these matters weren't much better back home. He didn't object though. A real skirmish is a better motivator than cheap simulations. He got in the truck with the rest, taking shotgun once more. When the truck spluttered out, Lorry sighed and got out. Judging from the distance, they would be two miles away. And they had to march.

About half-an-hour later of marching, they had finally reached the hamlet, where they received orders to stick together, and stay stealthy. Lorry gestured in affirmation. He moved to the front of the group- as a Nullifier, he would easily be able to absorb weaver traps or magical attacks of any magnitude. Since they had to remain quiet, the Sauer in it's holster would have to remain there. he drew one butterfly sword, holding it at the ready as he proceeded toward the village.