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Glamour: From Ashes to Wine

Glamour: From Ashes to Wine

0 INK

A modern-fantasy. Check inside for information.

1,257 readers have visited Glamour: From Ashes to Wine since H3R0 created it.

Introduction

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Mythology is the passing of stories from one generation to another, a way of describing a typically supernatural phenomenon. Human beings have shared these stories from since the beginning of time, starting with drawings carved into caves and even up to now, in the present, with lore described through popular media. Has anyone told you of the tiny elves that make toys for a jolly man in red? What about the monster that lives in the lake, the ferocious beast that lives in the woods, and the one that lives in the arctic? People will talk of Jack Frost nipping at your nose and the disaster wrought by old man General Winter during the war; they will dream of women with fins and men with horse bodies. These stories are woven together and handed off from region and race, from time and events, from family to friends.

Where did lore come from? Did these creatures form from the thinnest of air, described into creation by the very imaginations of human beings themselves? Most would say that they serve multiple purposes, from entertaining the bored, to encouraging the weak to surpass the challenges of life, to simply keeping children from wandering out into the woods at night and being eaten by starving wolves. The Bogeyman will get you if you aren't a good little boy; the sirens will drown you if you disobey your captain; little imps will steal your jewels if you don't leave them in a safe place. They say that Mother Nature is the start of all things, and that Death is the end. Over time, humans have come to accept these stories as just that: fiction.

They are wrong.

These things didn't not come from thin air, they were not born from the minds of human beings themselves. Creatures of lore have existed far longer than humans have ever been a thought in the mind of Gaia herself. Kelpies will drag men to their watery graves, Baba Yaga is out there, and leprechauns do love their gold, but they do not love to share. This world was once linked closely with the human world. Gwyn ap Nudd walked among the men as a King of the Courts back in the days of Arthur; Puck would trick any of those who crossed his path. However, over time, the balance began to tip. The creatures outgrew mankind. There were those in the Court who wanted the Earth for themselves. They decided that they should not be second-rate with the powers at their disposal. They grew greedy, mad with the desire to run off the humans, lead them to their graves. Mother Nature insisted that a world without humans was not a world that would thrive. The Earth would shrivel, plants would cease to grow, and all creatures in existence would cease to be.

There were few who would go against the word of Mother Nature herself. Those who wished to disagree with her were taken care of, wiped from the world or locked away for the rest of their eternity. Throughout the passage of time, her will was done, and these creatures faded to the background of a society built by humans. They became known as myths, as legends, silly stories to tell around the campfire. The scale of the world became anew: humans would have their world and the creatures would have their own, living under the noses of humans. To a human, a circle of mushrooms is nothing but just that, but in the world of creatures, the mushrooms hold a civilization of fairies. To a human, it would be an old, abandoned hut in the woods; to the creatures, it would be a marvelous castle carved from wood.

This world is shrouded from those who refuse to believe in the truth of its existence. Humans have turned a blind eye to the world that exists around them. They don't cross into the world of myths, and myths do not cross into the world of humans. This is the balance. This is how it should be. Occasionally, a nymph mind stir up some weather, or a gnome might find its way into a human home and steal the coins in the couch cushion, but those are small, acceptable circumstances. Similarly, there are creatures permanently integrated in the human world, such as the Tooth Fairy, the Easter Bunny, Death himself, and a few others, but they know their roles well and are trusted to remain hidden.


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Present day. The worlds have been separate for centuries. Humans live in blissful ignorance in their age of technology. Nations war against each other, children go to school, friends get together for sports, family gets together to pass around presents from under the tree. Winter nymphs bring snow to the alps, Saci continues to curse popcorn, and every once in a while the Each-uisge may feast on the occasional wanderer or stray animal. Otherwise, everything is as it should be. The balance is kept. Mother Nature is pleased.

In the world of folklore, most creatures are categorized by either the Seelie Court or the Unseelie Court. The Seelie Court consist of those creatures whose mischief is more for fun than malevolence. Any interaction they have with humans are with lighthearted intentions. Some examples would be asrai, brownies, and the hob goblin. Those from the Unseelie Court tend to have darker spirits brewing inside themselves. They are known to act more ruthlessly, lying in wait to make humans their victims if they so wish. Ogres, kelpies, and the Nain Rouge can be seen as examples of those from this court. However, most creatures prefer their own world, acting neither good nor evil, each with a neutral morality of their own. Most creatures have no desire to interact with the humans or their world and would much rather remain in their own.

Something has tipped the balance.

Humans have started reported sightings of mythical creatures on the news. Entire schools have been taken captive under the watch of rogue elves and various other creatures. The news of what's happened has spread fast throughout the mythical world. The King of the Unseelie Court, the Dullahan, has gone mad. An age-old danger to mankind, the Dullahan ceased his interactions in the human world once Mother Nature warned against the balance. He took over as King of the Unseelie Court and has remained in power, hidden away from the human world, ever since. His attack on the human world appears to be unprovoked, spontaneous, entirely illogical. He's managed to gather a small army of Mares, dark-cloaked creatures known to illicit nightmares, whether awake or asleep. Other creatures have been forced in standing by his side to attack the human world, each with a variety of reasons, from blackmail, to standing by their King, to simply fearing the power of the Mares.

The Queen of the Seelie Court, a strong, beautiful Elven witch by the name of Nicnevin, has made attempts at a counter attack. However, this is more difficult than it may seem. Reaching the Dullahan directly has proven to be impossible so far. Many fear being attacked by the Mares, while others would rather continue their neutrality than get involved in some war, especially one concerning the humans. Nicnevin has gone far and wide, desperately gathering those she can, making deals with those who want leverage, while others are simply happy to fight by the side of their Queen.

Mother Nature warns that the balance has been tipped dramatically. If the Dullahan is allowed to continue, the humans could be taken over and wiped out. The world of myths would be dangerously effected and soon, they, too, would no longer be. Will the humans waste away and take the Earth with them? Or will some rise up to defeat the Unseelie King in time to preserve the balance?


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Character creation.
Keep in mind that this is a modern-fantasy. Character creation is definitely, definitely open to creativity. However, I'm restricting it. If your character is a creature, they must be something that already exists. Here is a link of your options. You may play as a creature that already exists as a legend, like the Nain Rouge, or you could play as some vague thing, like a spring sprite or something. I'm fine either way. You may be as creative as you please and by no means do you have to stick to the specifics of the creature you're playing. You can make up your own rules for them as far as abilities, appearances, mythology, and so on. No Gods or Goddesses, please.

Setting.
As mentioned, this is a modern-fantasy type of universe. People have smart phones and laptops and men have walked on the moon. It's just the same as our modern society of today. There's no hoverboards or holograms. Most creatures remain separate from the human world. However, if you would like to have a character who blends in with the humans and interacts in their world, that's fine. Most creatures stick to the older ages since that's was their last contact with society, like using swords or wearing armor or leaves, but if you want a character who differs from the norm, that's fine. I don't even care if all the creature characters are like this. If you have a mermaid who wears a leather jacket and skinny jeans and drives a motorcycle to go bar hopping on the weekends--totally a-okay.

Glamour.
Glamour is a thing most otherworldly creatures have naturally, used in the past to trick humans. In modern times, myths tend to use their glamour on more subtle things, like hiding their homes from humans. Their entire world is shrouded in a veil of glamour that keeps humans away. Glamour grows stronger with a creature's age and can be turned on or off at the user's request.


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Plot.
Here's where the interesting part comes in. The storyline I've laid out is the basis of the roleplay. However, there's no specific plot that we'll pertain to throughout the entirety of the roleplay. To sum up the general idea: there's a war, there's creatures, there's humans, the balance is tipping, and Mother Nature is mad. Things are going awry. So here's what my plans are for the roleplay as a whole; we'll play it like a show. At the beginning, I'll come up with small plots that we'll play through, and from there, other plots may come up, and eventually I'd like it to be a collaboration between us all to come up with ideas to carry along the roleplay. So here is where I emphasize: if you want to join the roleplay, be committed.

Etc.
The NPCs consist of Nicnevin (seen above) and the Dullahan (seen right), as well as Mother Nature. These will be played by me when necessary. The Mares are beings made purely of shadow, able to go from tangible to intangible as they please, making them extremely difficult to fight, especially physically or without powers. They do not seem to have their own sense of consciousness and only act out the will of their master, who is currently the Dullahan. They don't speak. While they are physically weak on their own, they use their numbers against their opponent--and their numbers are large. They don't yet seem to have a specific weakness, although they're weaker in natural daylight; artificial light has no effect on them. The Mares have the ability to cast illusions that can make the victim see, hear, feel, and even smell things that aren't really there. These illusions are highly dangerous as they can make the victim believe something is something it's not, such as leading them into the arms of a friend, who is actually a sword-baring enemy. When their victim is asleep or unconscious, the Mares can get into their head and cause traumatizing nightmares.


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[url=link to song here]Theme One[/url] | [url=link to song here]Theme Two[/url] | [url=link to song here]Theme Three[/url][/center]

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[font=Gabriola][size=200][i]"Put a quote from your character here about anything in general."[/i][/size][/font]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img][/center]

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Name:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Your character's name here again, first and last. If it has a weird spelling, put some phonetics so we know how to pronounce it.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Nickname(s):[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Including who uses the nickname, how they got it, and what names they're best known by in the human world, if at all. Might as well add if they like it or not. Optional.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Role:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
The role you chose on the intro page.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Age:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
For humans, anywhere between 15-25. For fae, dealer's choice.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Gender:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
I'm sure you know how to fill this out. Gender's a spectrum, feel free to dive away from the "norm." If you do, please add pronouns and stuff.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Nationality:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
As it applies. For fae, include where they're best known, if at all.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Romantic Interest(s):[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Your character can have more than one. Might want to mention past flames if they’re important.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Sexuality:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Include whether or not they have come out, or who (if anyone) knows.

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[img]characterimagehere[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/9Xk2pAJ.gif[/img]
[font=Gabriola][size=200][i]"Put a quote from your character here about their appearance."[/i][/size][/font]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img][/center]

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Height:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
You should know this. Be reasonable? I guess? I don't care.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Weight:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Again, you should know this.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Hair:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Is it specially styled, dyed, etc. Maybe it used to be a certain way until something happened?

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Eyes:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Does he/she wear contacts? Glasses? Maybe they're blind?

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Description:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Just a general overview of their looks. Include any notable markings, like scars, burns, etc. How do they appear to themselves? How do they appear to others? For fae, include how they look normally, and how they appear when using glamour around humans.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Preferred Clothing:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Maybe they prefer something, but usually wear something else? What can they most commonly be seen wearing?

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[font=Gabriola][size=200][i]"Put a quote from your character here about their personality, likes, dislikes, or anything of that general area."[/i][/size][/font]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img][/center]

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Personality:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Be creative! At least three paragraphs!

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Oddities:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Optional. Just things like weird ticks or habits.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Likes:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
At least five.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Dislikes:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
At least five.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Fears:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
At least three. They don’t have to be big. Some description as to why, please.

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/l8JiWEU.png[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/9Xk2pAJ.gif[/img]
[img]characterimagehere[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/9Xk2pAJ.gif[/img]
[font=Gabriola][size=200][i]"Put a quote from your character here about their skills and/or abilities."[/i][/size][/font]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img][/center]

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Skills:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Do they have a knack for numbers? Fast runner? Stuff like that.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Weaknesses:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Are they bad at working with others? Can’t fight to save their life? Etc.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Powers/Abilities:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
For fae only. Optional. Can your character fly? Create snowstorms? Turn people to stone? Breathe underwater? I'm not limiting the amount of powers or abilities your character may have, but please be reasonable and don't power play.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Weapon(s):[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Optional. Also, if they do have one (or more), mention where they keep the weapon when they aren't using it. Nothing futuristic, like lasers, but anything else is fine.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Fighting Style:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Just give us an idea on how your character generally fights, if they do at all. If they don't, or aren't very good at it, say what they would do in a confrontation.

[center][img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/E1QXyXH.png[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/9Xk2pAJ.gif[/img]
[img]characterimagehere[/img]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/9Xk2pAJ.gif[/img]
[font=Gabriola][size=200][i]"Put a quote from your character here about their family, history, or race/culture."[/i][/size][/font]
[img]http://i.imgur.com/pf4sDY4.png[/img][/center]

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Species:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
For fae only. Include a little bit of information about them and their culture. Feel free to be creative and make up your own stuff! You don't have to write a whole lot for this.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Family:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Mom, Dad, siblings, and the like, or anyone they consider family works too. Maybe there is a loving grandmother, or maybe they're an orphan. Include if they're alive or deceased--if they're deceased, add why.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]History:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Just what you think might come up/be important.

[font=Vijaya][size=150][color=hexcodehere][u]Other:[/u][/color][/size][/font]
Optional. Whatever else you think should be included goes here.


Feel free to edit the character sheet to your liking as long as you have all the information required.

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Human Wannabe
Seelie Court | Cordatta Avicii | 200's | Female | Undine | toajojo
A creature believed to be born of the wrong blood; someone who sees the human world through the looking glass and wishes desperately to be apart of that world. However, restrictions remind them of their origins, and that they may never see their wish come true.


Popular Myth
Seelie Court | Emeria Camila Lumos | Unknown | Gender Neutral | Archangel | Eolia Mysticaqua-α
A creature permanently integrated in the human world, someone who has more of a substantial impact on humankind. Much like the Tooth Fairy or the Bogeyman, they are a myth passed along from parent to child, from friend to friend, a joke among the skeptics, but a wonder in the minds of the believers.


Mother Nature's Child
Seelie Court | Kodak | 900ish | Male | Fenris Wolf | Freckled*One
Taken under Mother Nature's wing due to the conditions of the way they came into the world, they were raised as her own. While Mother Nature is a being outside of all that is, a true neutral being unwilling to interfere, her adopted child is a simple creature like any other and is not obligated to follow by the same rules.


The Believer
Human | Shirlee Fiala | 16 | Female | Jakuri-chan
A human born with a sight unlike many others, a rarity among their own kind with the ability to see past the glamour of myths and legends. They are forever unable to be fooled by the trick that creatures hone, a true believer without the necessity of a bedtime story.


The Victim
Human | Icarus Brightly | 22 | Male | Yonbibuns
A once neutral party, this human has been unfairly forced to experience the tragedy of a war they were previously unaware of. By some means, either by a loss or injury of a close friend or family member, or being directly harmed from the attacks on the human world, they now seek an end to this war to keep others from suffering as they have.


Dullahan's Younger Sibling
Unseelie Court | Douglas Baines | 900ish | Male | Nuckelavee | Raidose
A creature just like any other, only blood kin to the Unseelie King; a role that has no real value other than by name. They know the Dullahan better than any other, although this sudden bout of madness seems odd, even to them, which leads them to search for the source regardless of which side of the war they're on.


Bad Reputation
Unseelie Court | Shankara | 400's | Male | Yaksha | H3R0
This is a true creature of disobedience. Never one to abide by the rules, whether in law or in nature, this creature has a reputation of interfering negatively in the human world, passing boundaries others would not dare to pass, and having come close to tipping the balance too many times in the past, whether on purpose or accidentally.


Once Human
Unseelie Court | Hylas Arvanitis | 200's | Adrogynous | Nymph | Ven
Through some special means, someone who was once a human reborn into the life of a fae, a creature forever part of the world of myths and legends, never to return to their human life. This is a true rarity, a nearly unheard of occurrence, only made true due to the unique situation, giving Mother Nature no other choice but to allow them to come into a new being.


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1) No god-modding/power-playing. ヽ( `0´)ノ

2) Absolutely NO one-liners. This is a semi-literate to a literate roleplay. I require at least 400-500 words per post. I understand having bad days, though, so it’s acceptable to have less on occasion, but not every time. On the other hand, please don't take a thousand words to describe an irrelevant tree your character happened to pass. Quality over quantity! (´(エ)`)

3) Please try to reply at least once a week. If you're going to be gone for a bit, let me know in the OOC so we can try to slow down the RP for you so you don't get too lost and drop out. If you ever need help catching up, send me a PM and I'll be glad to help! If you're gone for seven days without warning, I'll kill off your character. ψ(`∇´)ψ

4) I want literacy. Don’t type “lyk dis.” o(´^`)o

5) I will judge your literacy by your character sheet. If it's set up sloppily, illiterate, and hard to read, I will reject your character. If it looks like there was an attempt made, I will ask you to tweak a few things, but we're really asking for literacy, creativity, and someone willing to stay with us! Please and thank you~! (▰˘◡˘▰)

6) This is a mature RP. That means there will be cursing and likely mentions of blood, death, and dying. That said, romance is encouraged, but keep it PG-15—any more and take it to the PMs. (Immature mentions are also allowed of course!) But keep things within the site rules!) (´ε` )

7) Please try to keep things organized. I really dislike confusion and I'm sure others do as well. I have the right to kick you from the RP and you need to oblige to these rules. Otherwise, if you do follow these rules, we'll always be good here. If you have any questions, feel free to send me a PM or ask in the OOC! (°o°;)

8) You MUST reserve the character in the OOC section. Do NOT just make it and submit it. Please and thank you. Multiple reservations are allowed. If more than one person reserves a position, then I will allow both people to submit a character and choose the winner. Please don't be a sore loser. ;n; I hate making the decision in the first place, but I hate having people mad at me over it when they knew what they were getting into. ┐('~`;)┌

9) By asking to be a part of this roleplay, you are stating that you’re willing to stay and see it through to the end. Do not join and drop out somewhere along the way (unless your character is killed--which will not be a sudden thing and will be discussed with you, with the exception of rule number 3). If you join, you stay. Otherwise, please don’t bother as it will only hinder the rest of us. Why make the effort for something you’re not going to be part of? ヽ(‘ ∇‘ )ノ

10) Now have fun~ •ᴥ•

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The Story So Far... Write a Post » as written by 7 authors

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Character Portrait: Shankara
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#, as written by H3R0
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Shankara spent a lot of his time in the human world, exploring the stores, balancing atop the cars and buses that drove by, overlooking the city from rooftops, and even frequently following humans around. Sometimes he enjoyed floating by their side, carrying on with an entirely one-sided conversation without a worry in the world. He usually tried not to stick around one town for too long because after a while, bad things would start to happen. There wasn't an exact timer on his perpetual bad luck, but he knew himself well enough to be able to balance it as well as he could. Sometimes, he was too little too late, and there would be a few sink holes, or a small recession, but for the most part, in the more recent years, he'd kept his head low and timed himself properly.

Just the same, he tried not to follow around the same person for too long or too often, but sometimes one person in particular would snag his curiosity and he'd lose himself in their company, even though he knew they were completely oblivious to it. He preferred the lonely ones, especially since they wouldn't go off and join a group of friends and make him feel left out with their chatter about topics he wasn't exactly up to par with. Shankara wasn't deeply involved in modern pop culture, but he knew certain basics, or more popular things.

It was during one of these times of following a human when everything went downhill--but, well, that was pretty much the only direction he knew, anyway. When bad things struck, Shankara was the last to react with any sort of shock or surprise. Of course, he would be more on edge, because once something started kicking off, it didn't take much to start a chain reaction that would make everything go from bad to worse, and from worse to downright terrible.

It was half-way through the school day and Shankara was blessing the students with the inability to focus properly on their tests for every classroom he passed through. In one, he'd actually caused the flag to fall off the wall and hit the top of the white board, which knocked one side of it onto the floor. It caused a huge stir in the class full of students who used it at an excuse to distract the teacher from droning on about some upcoming project, so he didn't feel too bad about the screw up. He'd learned over time that everything bad that happened wasn't necessarily, well, bad.

Just after lunch time, right when all the students had returned to class, something terrible happened. Shankara noticed it before anyone else; but, of course, he was fae. While the weather outside had already been cloudy, when a large group of various fae stepped onto the school's campus, an even larger pack of Mares at their backs, it began to pour. At first, the entire group concealed themselves with glamour, choosing to appear to the humans as humans themselves. Of course, a group of grown-looking men and woman suddenly storming the campus looked more suspicious than anything, and when they were confronted, that was when things started going bad.

The campus security was no match for a group of fae, and when the teachers realized the situation, they locked their doors, called in the police, and told the children to duck their heads under their desks, as if plastic and wood and metal would be enough to hold back the danger at hand.

Shankara stuck to the walls, avoiding the offending fae while trying to keep track of what they were trying to do. As he saw them separate to block off different entrances of the school, his first thought was, Mother Nature is not going to like this. But even as he thought it, he knew that Mother Nature would not involve herself with this. It was not her way. Shankara didn't know very much about the general situation. He knew his king, the Dullahan, was striking out against the human world, but for what reason, he didn't know. Nobody did, from what he'd heard being passed around in his own world. He'd heard of the disasters striking out in various parts of the world, but he never considered getting caught up in it. He couldn't help but wonder if his luck had brought it on, or if this was a situation established beyond the realm of his powers.

After studying the group of fae, Shankara noticed two of them at the center of it all, neither of which he recognized. An Oni man, two tusk-like horn jutted out from his head, eyes embedded in his blue-tinted hands, ordered the Mares on what to do and where to go. In response, the Mares circled each room, stalking down students who were unfortunate enough to be caught outside their classrooms.

It didn't take long for the police to arrive, but the second fae, a witch of some sort with paper-pale skin and no hair on her head, sat in the center of campus, criss-cross, and, Shankara noticed, a magical force blocked the officers from going inside the school. They were blocked off by an invisible shield, where many of them stood around it, appearing puzzled and panicked. All-in-all, Shankara would have to admit that the entire thing was very well choreographed. The group had very obviously planned out the details in their hostile takeover, for whatever reason they had for doing it, and he would have clapped if he hadn't been so terrified of being found out. While he didn't doubt that they, too, were Unseelie, he wanted nothing to do with the chaos they were obviously preparing to spread.

The worst of it started in the gymnasium on the bottom floor. A group of small children were trapped inside with not only the Mares, but a fae woman to watch over them. Shankara hovered outside of the gymnasium for a short time, peeking inside to find a woman he recognized only through her legends in the Unseelie world. Her name was Kuchisake, and she was making her rounds with the children, surgical mask secured over her split-open mouth. He watched her pace in front of the group of children, but she didn't seem to speak to any of them right away.

Not willing to stick around and make the situation worse, Shankara went up to investigate the upper levels. He knew he could have left, but he felt unwilling, a nagging desire to protect the humans he'd grown curious about pulling at his paranoid mind. Unfortunately, he knew there were many issues with that, and in his presence, things just may go from bad to worse over time.

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Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
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Sometime earlier that day......

It was quiet for once, in his head. He liked it that way. As much as his memories could soothe him, the bite of their departure
was always deep. He could feel the ground beneath him move, a slight bump or sway reminding him along the way. Conversation buzzed around him, though Douglas didn't mind. He didn't care, gazing at the gold coin which danced across his knuckles, letting the winking glitter of it's movements chase away his thoughts. The clink of the coin against his wedding band became hypnotic, each time threatening to drown him in those memories he was trying to avoid. He couldn't dwell on them, not when he had such grim purpose here. Still, they slowly worked their way in. The names of his children ringing out with each clink.

Lorna, my eldest. Always the victor in whatever you did. Meant to be a leader, you were. As proud as you were in yourself, it paled to the pride I had for you.

Boyd, you had you're mother's hair and smile. Heh, you'd definitely have a flock of the ladies swooning for you when you grew older. I half expected to be fending 'em off with a stick.

Donel, nearly born fighting. You definitely were a handful, but worth every bit of it, m'boy.

Moira and Ronette. I could tell from the first time you opened you're eyes, exactly what to name you two. Great One, and Little Great One. You two were my little conquerors. Also wanting to grow up to be the heroines I use to tell you about in tales and myths. I miss you.... all of you...


The moisture of a tear began to form in his eye when he spotted her. In between the passes of the coin, he noticed his audience in the opposing bus seat. Near the same age as his youngest, with the same red locks. She grinned as she watched Douglas play with his coin. He paused, feeling the warmth of a soft and honest smile cross his lips. The coin began it's trip again, a little faster. Back and fourth, slipping underneath and arriving anew at it's start. Forwards and backwards he ran it, a littler faster each time, before flicking it into the air and catching it. He pinned it with his thumb, shielding half of it from view with his other fingers. Any movement he made with his thumb gave the coin the illusion of life, as if it were dancing and ducking behind his fingers to peek at her. The girl giggled. One of the few lights left in the world, in Douglas' views, was the laughter of a child.

The coin ducked down behind his fingers, as Douglas opened his hand fully to show the coin had vanished. The girl looked inquisitively, reaching out and holding his hand. Her mother seemed too busy with some phone call to notice what was happening, a trend that Douglas himself truly hated in these modern times. He turned his view back to the girl, pulling his hand back a bit. He formed a blind with his fingers again, and with the twitch of his thumb, the coin was back to doing it's merry little jig. "How did you do that?" she asked in the most innocent voice one could picture. "What? You mean this?" he replied, making the coin vanish again. "Yes!", her tone both curious and entertained, with a hint of youthful impatience. Retrieving the coin from seemingly out of nowhere, he held it up for her inspection. "It's Magic."

She looked at him suspiciously, tho the smile never left her. "Magic isn't real", she giggled. "Oh? Then how can it do this?", he returned, letting the coin disappear again with the flick of his wrist before bringing it back. "Now what other kind o' coin could do that if not for a magic one?" He was usually very light in his accent, often hating whenever he heard a thickened, stereotypical impersonation. However, he found that children often found such a thing amusing, so he laid it on a bit more... theatrical than he normally ever would. "Do ya wanna know how I know it's magic?" She nodded. Douglas leaned in, like he was letting her in on a secret. "It was given to me by a fairy... You know what a fairy is, dont'cha?" "Like Tinkerbell?" she chirped back, causing Douglas to smirk a bit at the mental image that conjured. "Heh, yes... Yes, like Tinkerbell. The fairy told me it had gotten this coin from the Leprechaun. That means it's good luck...."

Douglas glanced down at the coin, going over that actual tale in his head. It was true, more or less, and the details were something even he wished he didn't know. The coin was old, he could tell that from the imprint of Dido of Carthage on it's head. The bus rolled to a stop, and without a second thought, Douglas flicked the coin to the girl, which she caught eagerly. "Now you hold on to that tight, and it may give ya some good luck. Keep it close, now, or else the fairy might come back for it...." he said with a wink as he rose to the front of the bus and departed. He tried hard to keep the warmth of that moment with him as he stepped off the bus.

But it went cold somewhere along his walk.

He walked the streets of the city without ever looking up. He didn't need to, having committed the directions to memory. It had been quite some time since he'd been in the colonies. Last time he visited the continent, they were fighting to get out from under the yoke of England. Douglas himself was never too sure how he felt about the whole thing, but it seemed to be working out for them so far. It wasn't long till his feet brought him before the front door of an old, brown stone building that was now an apartment complex. An out-dated buzzer hooked up to the right of the door, it's buttons an age-stained yellow. Douglas pressed the one marked 'Main Floor', which got him an immediate, and rather impatient sounding response. "Yeah? What do you want?" barked the mystery voice from the speaker. "I saw you had an apartment listed as vacant? I'd like to rent it for a while." There was an uneasy pause after that. "....It is available, correct?" he inquired. "......Yeah, come on in" replied the voice. A rattling buzz sounded that the door was unlocked. Douglas straightened his travel bag, and stepped in.

A thick, nicotine fog filled the air as he stepped up to the reception desk, if it could even be called that. A grizzled old woman sat behind, taking a long drag off her cigarette and looking quite clearly like she had run out of patience for the world. "So, here for the room, eh?" she asked, in an oddly direct, inquisitorial tone. "Yes, Ma'am. Here on business, and don't know how lo-" Douglas started, but was cut-off. "I don't care for your life story. The room is twelve a month, and thirty-six upfront" she almost spat in a haggard, bitter old voice, well damaged by her apparent self-induced smoke inhalation. "Umm, thirty-six, Ma'am?" "Yes. Three-thousand and six-hundred dollars. Three-six-zero-zero. That clear enough for you?" This ancient battleaxe of a woman was certainly not rolling out any welcome mat for new tenants. She leaned back in her chair with a squeak of old wood and a puff of smoke. "I take checks, but no debit cards or credit...." Douglas gulped a bit at her straightforward and brash attitude. "If it's all the same, Ma'am, would cash be acceptable?"

She eyed him in a very uncomfortable manner, as if suspicious of his motives and intentions. "Uh-huh. Fine, whatever" she finally relented, reaching down to grab a clip-board. Douglas reached down into his pocket, fishing around for the ghastly little coin purse of his. His fingers pulled out a single coin, the face of Caesar staring back at him, which he kept low and out of the old woman's view. He gripped the coin tightly, feeling a small shiver of movement inside. He opened his hand to a stack of U.S. bills in slightly random amounts. He quickly counted out the amount she had asked for, or rather demanded, which she then began to re-count as she prattled out her rules. "No yelling, no trouble-making, no loud music, no visitors after-hours, no house-mates, no pets, and no smoking...." That last one catching in his ears, as Douglas glanced down at what he counted to be at least seven ashtrays filled to the brim with blatant hypocrisy. "Of course. Not a problem, Ma'am" he nodded in respect, without feeling like the old shrew really deserved such.

"Good. Sign here" she grumbled, sliding the clip board toward's him. Douglas Cartwright may not have been his actual name, but it was good enough for this place. He placed the pin back down and headed up the stairs. "Hope you ain't got a problem with fish" his new superintendent shot his way. "Uh, beg your pardon, Ma'am?" "Goldfish" she clarified, before continuing. "Last tenant had a bowl for two, and left 'em here when she moved out. Didn't know what to do with them, and didn't want to throw them out. So, I've been feeding them. I figure you can take care of that now, unless that's a problem...." Douglas nodded. "No, Ma'am. No problem" he answered, and then made his way up the creaky first flight. What happened to 'No Pets'?

Finally he reached his floor, which he had the good fortune to share with some arguing couple he could hear two floors down. Between their racket, the super's smoking, and apparently his new fish, he began to think that the rules were merely optional. He tread lightly passed their door just when something thudded heavily against it, nearly giving Douglas a start. Charming pair, I'm sure... Finally the brass doorknob was in his hands, and with a turn, he was "home", for the time being. It was a small place, with the kitchen and living room sharing a space so compact, you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. Off-white wallpaper covered the walls, turning a slight yellow with age. Still, it was clean, tho. And sure enough, a fishbowl with two darting orange-gold shapes sat plainly on the kitchen counter. Douglas closed the door behind him, thankfully muffling the yelling from outside. He let his satchel slide off his shoulder, and rested himself on the old sofa. As much as he wanted to enjoy the end to his little journey, he couldn't help but watch the clock with great dread. He knew what was asked of him later today.

He sat there, lost in the ticking as they sounded off each second, then minute, then hour.......

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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There were things she’d always seen and would always see, horrors and wonders alike. During the short time she’d trekked upon the Earth, she had found herself coping and adapting to her surroundings quicker than her mother could have ever known or understand. Once upon a time not so long ago, her mother had wanted her to live life as if she were a shadow of a shadow, to live in constant fear and paranoia because of what it was her eyes allowed to see that no one else could. For the first years of her life, she’d lived like this, peering around corners and always looking over her shoulder in mock-fear and caution of the supposed-to-be invisible monsters and creatures that humans called the Fae. Since she was born, she had always been able to see these beings. The Fae-Sight was something written eternally into her blood, and into the lineage of her family. Each new generation always brought with it, a new girl-child whom possessed the Sight the same as her mother before her. Shirlee was just the newest inheritor of the ability, and though she refused to live as a shadow’s shadow anymore as per her mother’s wishes, she still knew well enough the dangers that would be posed toward her if ever her secret was ever reveal. . . .

After all, her mother paid that dear price herself. Even with that in mind, Shirlee just couldn’t ever bring herself to live life so falsely fearful, though she did indeed pay mind to play the passive ignorant human, she wouldn’t live like she had something to hide. Should she act as if she had something to hide, the Fae and people in general would otherwise come to assume that she did indeed have something to hide. It was better to live in the open, and to live life as if she were completely normal without pause. So, that’s what she did, and that’s why she so adamantly worked to convince her mother to finally relinquish her iron grip on her and allow her eldest daughter to finally attend a proper school for the first time in her life just two short years ago.

It was hard to convince her mother that she would be fine out in the wide, bright open world where there were few shadows to dwell within. . . . But she’d managed when she raised a big enough stink with her mother to finally get it through to the now eyeless woman that she, Shirlee Fiala, could live among the Unsighted masses and never raise attention to herself among the Fae which were interspersed among the throngs of everyday people. That first day Shirlee stepped out the door of her home to attend to a real school; that was the first time she ever managed to smile so widely that her cheeks hurt.

Though her life had since been what most average, normal adolescents would call mundane and utterly tedious, Shirlee herself called her everyday a wondrous happening and a blessing. For her it was amazing to just walk freely in the sun, even if she had to act the part of ignorant to all she saw, it was wonderful in its own way to just be able to talk and walk with other people without having to act with false caution. The last two years of her life had been what she would consider heaven. . . . .even the times when she would spot within the groups of children and teenagers at her school the random, stray who Fae who’d either raised their Glamour to blend in, or who made themselves invisible so that they could silently observe and do whatever it was Fae did while thinking themselves so utterly unknown.

Though she could very well feign the role of innocent, oblivious adolescent in regard to any Fae presence which lingered within the vicinity, as was the case of today, Shirlee found herself at times glancing about the room, making it look as if her attention was as distracted as ever it was while her eyes peered through the magic that Fae thought made him/it/they undetectable to the class of dour, bored-stiff students. He’d been there all day, the entire morning, and though she saw he looked more human than some Fae, she couldn’t doubt his inhumanity because, well, he was floating . . . which was something humans did most definitely not do without some means of assistance.

Mrs. Irving had handed out a pop quiz earlier, much to everyone’s dismay and annoyance, the act was met with groans and many sighs of protest right when it was that haunting Fae had slipped his way into the room. It was about that time that Shirlee had come to notice, among many of her classmates, that an air of unease and anxiety settled in upon the room, though both things were typical of a class undergoing a pop quiz, the level of which was higher than usual, enough so that the students all twitched wordlessly and looked about in a manner most antsy. Of course, such behavior was not unusual for her herself, but for most others, it was most out of the ordinary. It was something she did not give much regard toward, however, as she merely went about her business in taking the test, only peering up and around off and on to give a look toward that Fae. . . . The day otherwise went on as normal, minus the fiasco with the flag falling off the wall and knocking the white board off one of its screws. Though the other students were abuzz with conversation to distract Mrs. Irving, Shirlee herself had gone uncharacteristically quiet what with that lingering Fae still being there.

The day went on like this, with hiccups and flubs occurring all around the room; everyone was chalking it up to an off day. A few classmates had come over and asked Shirlee if she was all since she’d gone so calm and quite as opposed to usual, so she answered them with her biggest smile as ever and declared she was completely fine right before she heard it.

Shirlee went still when she heard an unofficial declaration of battle sound out from the skies, thunder roared and the rain began to beat against the window pane. A surge went through her of course, as soon as she heard the thunder, she hated it and all loud noises alike. But like everyone else, her sight was drawn outside, her violet-eyes looking out toward the world, her desk right up against an old wide, window. And what she saw approaching was enough to make even her breath hitch.

It was enough to make her ascend to her feet so fast that her chair fell backward from the force, her hands went against the glass in front of her as her eyes widened as much as humanly possible and all she could do for the moment was blink. There . . . were so many Fae—so many things. Creatures as black as ink that moved like and unlike shadows. She couldn’t could how many of them there were, they moved in succession so inhuman that they all seemed to blend together as if one creature. This was not . . . what was going on, she could not speculate. Shirlee failed to realize that she had not been breathing for the passed several seconds when it was Mrs. Irving called out to her, asking her in her teachery-tone why she was looking out the window so.

“Well, Miss Fiala, would you care to enlighten us with what is so fascinating about an autumn thunderstorm?” the lady’s arms crossed over her diaphragm as Shirlee took in a shaky breath and looked over to her, her attention caught.

Fae-Sighted though she was, she was the only one of them all that could see the Fae below them for what they were, for the creatures that her classmates needed to fear. She couldn’t explain to her teacher or to her classmates anything, they’d write her off as utterly crazy of course. . . . “Shi-Shi is sorry, Mrs. Irving, the thunder startled her. She doesn’t like thunderstorms much,” she lied with an honest timid tone lacing her voice. Though she had told a lie, the sentiment was genuine. Fear wasn’t something that visited her often, but now, it did with the sight of so many inhuman creatures below.

Her head turned upward instinctually, the Fae that had been there that morning was gone, having probably left when everyone had gone to lunch. There was no sense in staying in an empty room, unless, he was a part of whatever was about to begin.

Another of Shirlee’s classmates had gotten to their feet as well, and were peering out to the school grounds below, his name was Tyler, and confusion went over his face at what was below, though he could not see it for what it really was. So they are hiding themselves with Glamour. Why are they doing this Shi-Shi wonders. The fact that Tyler could see them at all meant that they were allowing themselves to likely look human for whatever motion they were implementing.

“Uh, hey, Mrs. Irving is there some kind of . . . thing going on today? An assembly, a fire drill, or whatever?” Tyler asked.

“Shirlee, Tyler, everyone, please seat yourselves back at your desks so we can continue our lesson. There are no drills or anything scheduled for today.” Mrs. Irving answered with a sigh, finding herself growing slightly irked at her students. “Why would you ask anyway, Tyler?”

The brown-haired boy turned around and looked to his teacher while Shirlee’s own eyes returned at the sight below that only she could fully comprehend. “Cuz, there’s a bunch of random people coming into the school.”

A curious and questioning look passed over the teacher’s face while she moved to the window herself. Even if Shi-Shi doesn’t believe that all Fae are bad and evil, she knows enough to get that a bunch of them gathering so is definitely noooooot a good thing. Mrs. Irving was at the window now, looking out at the sight below . . . only getting there in time to see it begin to unfold.

A campus security guard was the first victim to whatever this was. Blood splattered from him, and before his body could even hit the drenched pavement, Mrs. Irving was already away from the window shouting at her students to get to the floor and under their desks while she herself ran for the door. Shirlee witnessed it in full while it was that those students who’d gotten up from their own seats in curiosity were screaming in horror, terror and anything in-between, quickly ducking to the ground, as per the teacher’s orders. Mrs. Irving had locked the door as quickly as she could, and hit the lights. “Children, this is now an emergency; you all know those lock down drills we did? Well, this is a lock down, and it is not a drill!” she spoke, her voice breathy.

While most everyone else in the class was to the floor, panicked or anything of the like, Shirlee remained still and seemingly calm while still peering below, she saw the tragedy beginning to unfold, she saw the hapless and hopeless effort made by the security guards, each and everyone felled for simply trying to do their job. Everyone around her was panicking, not understanding, or knowing the truth of what was going on below. They all thought that this would be something the police could handle, they thought the people below who were beginning to inflict terror were simple human madmen.

And though one would think that knowing the true horror, the true terror of the situation, that, that would incite one to react with alarm worse than any other. . . . .in Shirlee’s case, this was far from true. Yes, she did feel the prickle that came along with knowing and seeing, as it would always, but it was something she grew up knowing and learning how to control rather than allowing it to rule her. She had to. At that moment, while she stood and looked below, she saw a horrible creature, a Fae, move in the center of the writhing mass of individual and singular shadows, separate, the one in command, it was HUGE, and . . . blue. While most people at that moment, at seeing that sight, would’ve probably wet themselves in terror and dropped, screaming, Shirlee’s face became overlain with an expression of determination, her thoughts drifted to only one thing. Her school, it was a school that taught all grades. Her mother decided that if Shirlee would go there, so would her only other daughter. Shirlee’s thoughts went straight to her sister, to Brooke.

This situation was more dangerous than anyone but her could understand, Which is why Shi-Shi needs to get Broo and get outta here! Shirlee turned her gaze to behind her, looking at all of her classmates who now cowered under their desks, while Mrs. Irving was attempting to console one very frazzled girl in particular. It was stupid, and it could even get her suspended or expelled in the aftermath of all this, but she didn’t care, all that mattered right then was her sister. She had to go for it, even if they tried to stop her, even if she were pitted against those bizarre, horrible ghostlike monsters below, as well as that Oni—Atomic Blueberry as she would now call him. She had to find her sister, she was the only one even in the school who could see these things for what they were after all.

Very quickly, she took in a deep breath, holding it before she turned on her heel and bolted for the door without a word. She undid the lock in less than a second and was out of the classroom, Mrs. Irving calling behind her to come back that instant. Shirlee paid her no heed at all, she moved as quick as the lightning that flickered outside, weaving in-between a few of the black masses which had began to slither up into the top floor of the building, she gave them no thought, no attention, though they noticed her. She focused her thoughts on saving her sister from this mess, from whatever this was supposed to be. It was as she neared the stairwell that she finally let go of that breath she’d taken in, releasing it from her lungs along with her “signature” battle cry.

Shirlee didn’t say it, she screamed it with fierce determination and courage, a loud “BONZAAAIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIII!!!!!” resounded throughout the floor and down the stairs into the next as she put forth her all into one last bit of sprinting before it was she leapt into the air above the stairs, sailing up and above several of the inky creatures that loitered upon the steps. Of course, she braced herself when she hit the wall, and slid partway down it from where she’d made contact, but before anyone could blink she was already moving against it, forcing her legs against the painted brick surface, and launching herself down the following set of stairs below her, again she flew up and above the touch of those things, all the while she thought only of her sister and getting her home. Brooke wasn’t like her, she couldn’t see, she wasn’t Fae-Sighted. She wouldn’t know the horror or gravity of the situation like her.

Shirlee landed on her feet at the end of the stairwell before she began to move with haste again, however, her efforts and movements were halted when it was she nearly ran right smack into someone who was coming up the stairs from below—it was that Fae she’d seen before, the one who’d lingered about in her classroom before lunch.

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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I wondered, where were you...
when I was at my worst.


Icarus spent his time obsessively switching his illegal police-radio and creeping through buildings like an impromptu burglar slash homeless man, as opposed to actually enjoying whatever life had to offer—today was no exception. However... this time, something was happening. Snatching bits and pieces of rumbling police-talk, Icarus gathered that they were heading for his old school. Keywords were being thrown about with breaks of disbelieving snorts. Supernatural and barrier. They were holing up kids in their classrooms for some undetermined reason. No casualties as of yet, but plenty of promises if they did not obey. He quick-stepped down the sidewalk like a bloodhound, griping the walkie as if it were a lifeline. It was, after all, an opportunity to smooth the bitter wrinkles in his shirt; if only for awhile.

The world was a dirty place to live in—but, he had to admit that the media swarmed like flies to a carcass. As soon as something seemed just a little off, they came from miles away. All prettied up with their vans and trucks and cars, cameras poised like rifles, and dramatic voices rising like an orchestra made up of chaos and hopeful traumas. The kind of catastrophes that would make headlines, and all of this made the perfect entryway for someone who wanted to go inside. Why would someone want to burst into a place where there was possible danger? Because there was something supernatural about this particular phenomena. Apparently, the school's guards couldn't make it into the classrooms. A magical force field of some sort. They couldn't explain it, actually. Police radios just said force. Some kind of force. It was enough to send him running; hand-held radio gripped in one of his hands. Coincidentally, Icarus knew the school well. He should anyway. He did graduate there, after all.

He took a deep breath and dipped between the gates, furthest away from the sirens and gathering horde of nosey civilians, red-faced cops, and nosier press. All eager to get a glimpse of the things he'd been screaming about for ages. Monsters, ghouls, empty-eyed demons. The things he so desperately wanted to destroy. Sick things that went bump-in-the-night; made up of his worst nightmares. They didn't know what they were dealing with, but he did. He scooted closer to the building and pressed his back against the bricks, old book bag still strapped to his back. Of course, they'd be scratching their heads at the barrier, wondering how to get in, or negotiating with whoever—no, whatever—that was skulking about the school grounds, holding people hostage. Holding human beings hostage. He wouldn't allow it. Not this time, not when he could do something about it. Icarus hunched lower to the ground and inched towards one of the back doors; an emergency exit. Good enough for him. Turning the doorknob and toeing it open, he slipped inside, unimpeded.

It led into one of the staircases, now-empty. He hunkered down beside the railings and swung his book bag onto the ground, sifting through it until he found his mask and tomahawk. Two important items, in his opinion. If the cops did manage to slip through again he didn't want anyone seeing his face, and worse yet for any of those monsters remembering what he looked like. Better to stay on the safe side, at least until he exited the building. He turned the mask over in his hands and grinned. It depicted the age-old oni. Japanese demon used in Noh theatres, and more recently, discovered as real. If those Mares were real, there was no doubt that other monsters or demons or creatures lying in wait existed as well. This particular one was in striking red and cut as a half-mask; golden tusks, rabid eyes. It probably painted an insulting picture, which was intended. He strapped it onto his face, tied the back tight enough so that it wouldn't slip off and took one step down the stairs.

Icarus jerked to a halt and shied backwards.

Ah.


Two students.

A girl and boy. Right below him, facing each other. Hopefully, the boy hadn't noticed him. Facing him as he was. Icarus was on the stairs after all. If he saw anything it would be his feet. He hissed an irritated sigh and glanced up the staircase, then back down. Better to stop and listen to what they had to say. They appeared human, and they might have information as to where the demons were last sighted. Flying blind was of no use to him. And he didn't have Quidel with him to smell them out—better to keep him safe, even if his skin scrawled with the gnawing dread. He shifted his weight onto the balls of his feet and slowly leaned out of sight so that he could hunch down by the end of the stairs, leading up, but close enough that he could still keep an eye on them. He gripped the tomahawks handle, straining to listen.

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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#, as written by toajojo
It was not too early, just some hours before noon. At least, from what she could tell. Cordatta looked up to the sky from the depths of her lake. It was hard to tell the time accurately as it was fairly cloudy out. The sun was almost completely obstructed from her view. With a slender finger she tapped the bottom of the surface. Watching the world seemingly ripple before her. Something did not feel right about today. It felt off. Well, to her at least. She rolled her shoulders. It faintly felt as if there were other fae in the area. Her lip curled, but she could be imagining it. Why would there be other fae in her city? Other than the more common fae like household Brownies, and on occasion the random fae that passed through. Those, she could deal with.

She looked up to the sky one last time and released an exasperated sigh. Honestly, she really was not feeling up to going out today at all. And she would not if she did not already have a previously planned engagement. After all, today was bound to be a slow day. It was a weekday so children were at school and adults were working, and it looked as if it were going to rain. If they did not have anything to do, a normal person would not even be tempted into leaving their home.

Alas, Cordatta had a date scheduled for today. Even if it were storming she would not miss it. She took a deep breath and small smile crawled onto her lips. This would be her first date since Lukas left. It had taken her quite sometime to get over him, but now she was officially back in the game. She would not admit it but Lukas managed to make her lose confidence in this whole endeavor she had been working towards. It had gotten so complicated. For a brief period she was not even sure if she wanted to keep trying. That was only temporary though.

Raising her hands Cordatta lifted them out of the water and rested them on the surface. With a huff she pulled herself up to the top. There was no one around at the moment so she did not have to worry about anyone seeing her in her natural state. Stretching her arms out over her head, she let out a loud yawn. Bringing her hands down, she twisted her long hair and brought it over her shoulder, pulling the water droplets out of it, she let them fall back into the lake along with the rest of moisture that clung to her body. Rolling her shoulders, she walked from the center of the lake to the shore. The water rippling beneath her with every graceful step. Shutting her eyes briefly Cordatta willed an aura of Glamour to cover her and hide her indecent state of undress. In the human world, public nudity was frowned upon. The idea took her quite sometime to wrap her head around at first, but now it was second nature.

She rather liked choosing out clothes to. . .'wear'. In fact, she had planned out her outfit for this date the previous night. As she set foot onto the surrounding land her eyes adjusted to see the Glamour cloaking her small figure. Allowing her to see herself as the humans would. Today she opted for something simple. A Fall outfit. Black skin tight jeans that showed off her athletic legs tucked into a pair of light brown ankle boots. The latter giving the illusion that she was a good two inches taller. Her baby blue button down shirt was only tucked partially. Right in front at her zipper of her jeans. It was one of the new trends she had noticed. Not tucking your shirt all the way was quite hipster it seemed. Cordatta was honestly unsure of what the word meant completely, but she was willing to go with it for the sake of fashion. To top it off, she had a yellow orange scarf wrapped loosely around her slender neck, it complemented her eyes. Walking to sit on the nearby bench, she waited for her date, braiding and re-braiding her hair all the while.




It was an hour and a half before he arrived at their designated meeting place. Checking his watch to make sure he was not running behind schedule or anything. In all honesty, he was five minutes early. He had wanted to get there before his date to make sure she would not be waiting for him. He wanted this to be perfect for her. “Uh, h-hey Datta. Y-you weren’t waiting long were you. . .?” He stuttered nervously, glancing at his watch again.

Cordatta smiled reassuringly up at him. He was so adorable. A few weeks ago she had decided that her type was now the awkward geeky type. “Of course not Bradley. I just got here too.” She lied easily. She had been sitting there for almost two hours, braiding her long hair over and over again. Though, she would not hold that against him. He was right on time. Pushing herself up from the bench she wiped the nonexistent dirt from the back of her pants and stepped in front him. He was even innocent enough to blush lightly at her sudden closeness. She smiled inwardly to herself. “So, what did you have planned for us?” She asked him sweetly. The boy adverted his eyes and stuttered something before taking a deep breath to recollect himself.
“I-I was thinking maybe a-a movie and brunch.” He told her. Deep down bracing himself for any snide remarks or sounds of dissatisfaction. He had not been on many dates and was definitely still a novice compared to his date. He just hoped she would not be disappointed with anything. He. . .Really liked her. “That okay?”

“Yes!” She assured him with a small laugh. Bradley let a small, sheepish smile escape his lips before quickly turning on his heel to lead the way deeper into the city. Cordatta easily fell into step with his strides. Walking on the only slightly busy sidewalks of the downtown area, Cordatta could feel their hands brush. She was not sure if it were an accident or not, well, knowing him it was most likely the former. She did not care. Without a moments hesitation, she grabbed his hand and entwined their fingers. Smiling to herself because she did not even have to look at him to see his fervent blush.

It was not long before they made it to the theatre hand in hand. The light dusting still adorning Bradley’s cheeks made Cordatta feel strangely prideful. The fact that he was attracted to her, and she was at the forefront of his mind was clearly obvious. Just the way she wanted-- needed.

Bradley glanced at his watch and was pleased that they were just in time for the film. Today was the first day it came out in the threatres so it was bound to be packed. He looked down at his shorter counterpart. “Data, our theatre is number four. I’ll get the snacks, you choose our seats?” He suggested. Cordatta pursed her lips in thought for a second. She never liked being separated. Too many things could happen in that period of time as life had shown her over, and over again. She painted on a placid smile, pushing down her undeniable unease.

“Sure!” She chirped. Reluctantly she detached herself from him and waltzed into where their film would be playing. Cordatta chose a pair of seats quickly near the middle of the room and sat down. She was realizing why he sent her in first. From what it looked like more and more we're piling into the room at an alarming rate. They would not have been able to find a seat together if not. She bit her lip and scooted back in her cushioned chair. Sitting on her hands, she tried to contain her shivering. Why was it always so cold in the theatres? She was always, naturally a very cold person whenever she was not in her element, but being in there was taking it to another level.

Bradley arrived soon after. Popcorn, soda, and junk food piled high in his arms. Cordatta could not help but smile at his own enthusiastic one, albeit shakily. He sat down beside her and watched the screen excitedly as the movie began, sipping his Coke. Glancing at Cordatta, he could notice her concealed quivering. Immediately he shrugged off his coat and passed it to her, which she accepted gratefully. Quickly she pulled it on and wrapped it tightly around her. Ah. It was so warm, and real. She snuggled into the young man’s side and trained her eyes on the big screen. He was such a gentleman. She loved it.




When the couple emerged from the theatre about an hour later with a horde of others, it was pouring. Cordatta had known it was going to rain, but had not expected it to with this intensity. And so suddenly too. She flinched as the boom of thunder cut through the air. The chattering around her silenced for a moment before returning full force. Bradley turned to her quickly and began to zip up the oversized jacket he was letting her wear. She watched him wide-eyed and curious as he pulled the zipper to the top of the trench coat’s collar, effectively covering half of her face. “Sorry, I did not even think to bring an umbrella. Ugh. Now it is storming and we’re going to be soaked. Wear my coat, it should keep you at least somewhat dry.” He told her and yanked the large hood over her head. “Sorry again Datta. My apartment is closer, um. . .do you mind waiting out the storm there?” He asked hesitantly. A blush coloring his cheeks. He hoped she would not take that request the wrong way.

Cordatta smiled softly at his hesitance, of course she did not mind. In fact, everything was going along smoothly. The storm was not such a bad thing it seemed. She shook her head, the action was largely hidden by the high collar and hood, but Bradley managed to catch a glimpse of it. He smiled awkwardly to himself, grasping her small hand, he took off in a sprint. Cordatta let out a carefree laugh that was swiftly swallowed up by the pounding rain. How romantic was this? The two of them running through the rain, him desperately trying to get her someplace dry. She laughed again. It was somewhat ironic as she was a water fae, but sweet all the same.

As they raced past block after block, Cordatta’s mirth began to fade. A feeling of tension returning. Though, this time at least four times worse. There were more fae in her city. That was for sure. A deep scowled etched itself on her dollish features. There were multiple it felt like. She tightened her grip on Bradley’s hand and he abruptly stopped, staring at something just ahead of them. Crowding the street and blocking their path was a mob of people. Civilians, policemen, and news crews. Bradley, seemingly over the surprise of the multitude of people in front of them began to slowly but steadily muscle a path through the crowd. Determined to get to the other side. Cordatta allowed herself to be pulled through the immensely large group. Though her senses were heightened to the extreme. She could feel their presence. She craned her neck to actually look at and register where they were. The school. Why were the fae gathered at the school? She did not know, but she figured the worse right away.

Feeling a wave of determination and anger well up inside of her, she wrenched her hand out of her date’s grasp. She was not going to let them harm her humans in anyway. Summoning her Glamour to cloak her entire presence, she became invisible to the average eye. Hopefully Bradley would just think they had gotten separated by the rowdy people surrounding them. She slipped through the people in her path and made it to the force field encircling the building. Frowning, she placed both of her palms on it and walked around feeling for any weaker areas.

After Cordatta felt around the perimeter for what felt like an eternity, she finally found what she was looking for. Focusing on that spot, she pushed through the barrier steadily. Upon entering, she stumbled due to the lack of resisting pressure. Looking up, she froze. Finally seeing who was trespassing on her self-claimed territory. And, it was a lot more fae than she ever expected. A trickle of fear seeped into her heart. 'W-why?'
She wondered apprehensively. There were so many of them.

She mentally tried to count them, but was quickly overloaded. It was like an army. Her eyes darted around taking in the different fae and frantically attempting to catalog them. These fae were not of the Seelie court, were they? She took a nervous step back seeing a group of Mares. Not willing to waste anymore time she hid behind a wall of the brick building. She hoped none of them saw her. Taking a deep breath, she attempted to collect her thoughts. Prior to this, she had caught wind of the apparent Unseelie rebellion, but never gave much thought to it. Unconcerned if it did not affect anyone inside of her Monkeyshpere.

She needed to stick to the shadows. She tucked her bright, snowy hair into the black trench coat she was wearing. How was she supposed to sneak inside inconspicuously? There were groups of fae guarding all of the major entrances and exits. She could break into a window, she supposed. Though, the action would attract more attention than she would like. She could not very well gather the children to safety with Mares and other various fae swarming them.

Cordatta bit her bottom lip anxiously, when she spotted something out of the corner of her eye. A slightly ajar emergency exit and a shadow disappearing into it. She crept towards it and peeked inside, watching the figure creep down the almost empty staircase. She furrowed her brow and followed behind him silently, it did not seem as if he were a fae she figured to herself as he pulled out an mask and placed it over his face. She tensed as he pulled out what seemed to be an axe. Were students allowed to carry weaponry in their backpacks? Anyway, it was not safe for him to be there.

With hushed footsteps she inched towards the boy hunched on the staircase. Flexing her fingers, she shot her hand out. Seizing the boy’s wrist so he would not be able to lash out at her with his blade. Closing the distance between them effortlessly, she brought her lips to his ear and harshly whispered, “Huma--Child." She caught herself. "What are you doing? You must escape, it is unsafe here.”

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Hylas Arvanitis. Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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#, as written by Ven
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Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
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#, as written by Raidose
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Just how much time had past? Three hours? Four? He just wasn't sure anymore. Though the clock ticked away on the wall before him, at some point Douglas just lost the nerve to watch it any longer. His own measure of moments passed was his breaking of the 'No Smoking' rule. Not much for counting, but Douglas figured himself on his fifth fag of the day. Quite an odd feat for him, seeing as he'd started not long after sitting down. He was by no means a chain smoker, but his nerves were in tatters. Besides, as if the landlady would be able to smell it on him through her own noxious smoke cloud. Speaking of clouds, at some point the sky began to grow gray and dreary with a coming storm. Rain pelting against the windows in increasing volume.

Douglas never minded rain, quite the opposite actually, but he was quite thankful his room was not on the top floor. Douglas imagined the poor sod above him was scrambling about, laying down buckets in odd patterns to try and catch the water which was no doubt trickling from his ceiling. No, rain was a beautiful thing. It was calming, really. Whenever luck would finally find him, rain often meant a certain something wouldn't come out to play today. With that thought, Douglas found himself on the verge of relaxing a bit, when an odd shiver came over him. 'Odd', because despite the season it was quite warm in the building, and he hadn't even taken off his coat or scarf since arriving. Yet still that single frigid breath wafted through the room, vanishing just as it hit. Old folks would say that type of thing was an Omen. Douglas hated Omens. They had a habit of adding up.

And sure enough, they did.

Silence really can be as alarming and sudden as an explosion at times. Actually, silence is worse. An explosion can give you direction, possibly prepare you for danger. Silence just leaves you there to dwell in your uncertainty and paranoia. Where once the pattering of droplets echoed throughout the room, now there was none. The rain had stopped, as abruptly as someone turning off a faucet. There was no mistaking it's unnatural quality. Douglas found himself doing little more than staring dumbfounded through the window pane. Beyond what dripped down from the roof, not a drop nor dribble came from the sky. He rested his hand upon the cool glass, peering through to try and spot something, anything that could cause this. No sooner had his skin made contact did he feel a reverberation, a sudden pulse transfer through the pane, sending him back a step as a bolt of ice shot straight up his spine.

A bone rattling shiver took him, dwarfing the one prior. His breath came out as steam, visible as though he stood in the dead of winter. The color drained from him as he made the grim realization. This was The Call. The uncertainty had left the room entirely, leaving Douglas to wish desperately for it's return. But no, he knew in all it's entirety what this entailed. His mannerisms took a sharp shift, becoming somber and bleak. As he placed his hat, coat, and scarf upon the rack, he carried himself much like that of a man who was stepping forward to meet his gallows. Out the door and down the stairs, noiseless as a ghost. He strode past the super's desk, nearly oblivious to the "Where you going?" that shot out at him. "Just going out for a smoke, Ma'am...." he barely droned out in a deadened voice. It's funny, just how numbed Douglas was. He couldn't even feel the old woman's stare drill through the back of his head on the way out.

The air was disturbingly still, not a breath or hint of a breeze. The street had a lifeless quality about it. Silent as a tomb, as Douglas walked over and across to an opposing alleyway. True to his word, a pre-rolled cigarette was already in his lips and being lit. Smoking trailing a tail behind him as he walked on. The path seemed endless, and Douglas had quickly lost track of how long he'd been walking. That's when he heard it. The rustle of a small breeze picking up, carrying a deathly voice he would have sworn for all the would hissed "Nucke" right behind him. He turned, already expecting a lack of any likely, or even possible source. Unsurprised with his findings, he turned back to take another drag off his cigarette, but was unable to. The lit cherry had suddenly died then and there, sending him on edge. The temperature dropped, causing steaming wisps of breath to leave his mouth. Another breeze, stronger this time, barreled over him. "Nuuuucke..." it rasped, unmistakable in it's intent. The phantom voice was only the herald of what was to come.

Hoof beats rapped against asphalt, echoing down the alley and gaining speed. The urge to run took hold, forcing him in a mad sprint against the now constant winds. A sane mind would ask why, why run from something you've already done so many times before? Douglas was too scarred to be of sane mind now. It didn't matter how many tens, or hundreds, or God forbid thousands of times this has happened to him over the centuries, he always ran. He ran with all the strength his burning muscles could grant him. He ran like he had a hope, a prayer, a chance of escaping. He didn't. He never would. The path became forked, back alleys trailing off into nowhere, all leading him back down that same overly-familiar straight he'd started at, but there was never an exit. The sound grew closer. No, that's not right. The sound grew more.... everywhere. The longer Douglas ran, the more the echoes came from all directions, leading him to half-expect running headlong into it.

The encroaching hooves and phantom voices chased him ceaselessly, causing him to doubt his course and double back several times. Douglas was ragged now, spent, and yet still forced himself forward. No matter which way he faced, the wind would blow against him, and by this point it may have been the only thing holding him up. Finally, a tyrannical gust stopped him in his tracks. It roared in his face with that horrific howl he knew all too horribly well, filled with more anger and rage than any creature had a right to. It had caught him. It had won, like it always did.

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Pain. The most unbearable pain any person should ever come to face. Like his right eye had be torn free, and in it's place was left a white hot coal. The searing heat radiated through him as blood red flames engulfed the socket. He thrashed in agony as thick fog enveloped him, devouring his environment. A moment of emptiness passed, like the blackness in the blink of an eye, and water began to fill his mouth and lungs. Fight-or-flight raged in a spiral against drowning, against the pain, against everything that was happening to him, till finally all senses burned out. Douglas floated there at the sea bed, anchored somewhere between life and death once more. It was a cold bliss, cut short. The brine of the ocean turned to acid, and a new suffering replaced the old. Skin burning away, wrapping him in a crimson haze. Through the blood-obscured water did his left eye catch it. A ghostly, headless silhouette. It stood on the ocean floor as if upon dry land. In it's hand, it held the reigns of a great, pale horse.

His vision gave way to merciful darkness, his mind drifting away....

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Character Portrait: Kodak
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If there was one thing you learned after living nearly nine hundred years, it was patience. The world could be crumbling around him, and yet, no matter how urgent the situation, there was one thing he would always do: wait, think. Many a death had been caused by rash decisions, and so he’d learned not to act rashly. Yes, his patience had always served him well. And yet, today, Kodak was finding patience rather elusive. His paws thudded softly against the forest floor as the wolf paced back and forth, his eyes fixed firmly on the city below him. His spies had warned him there were whispers of something happening in the city today, and if that wasn’t enough to set him on high alert, there was something else; a feeling that Kodak could not quite identify. Whatever it was, it set him on edge in a way that nothing had been able to for quite some time. He could sense that something was indeed happening today, and it was going to be bad.

It was his job to stop it.

He kept his eyes trained down on the city, surveying it for any unusual activity as the weather began to change. The ugly grey clouds began to open up, and let loose torrents of rain. The trees shielded him from the brunt of the onslaught, but they could not keep him entirely dry. Normally, he would be fussing over his beautiful white coat, but now he barely flinched as the water drenched him, soaking him through and making him feel heavier. The rain did not impair his sight, however, and he squinted his ghostly pale eyes as they caught sight of the something unusual he had been looking for. There it was: a mass, a horde of fae converging on a building. It was a place of learning for children. What was it the humans called it? A school? What could these fae want with helpless children?

But, the answer to that question was too terrible to contemplate further. All that could come from this was chaos and pain and ruin. This was low; even for the Dullahan. Kodak wasted no further time. He began to run at top speed down the forest slope, dirt flying up from beneath his feet and rain still pelting down around him. When he reached the outskirts of the city, he allowed his glamour to conceal him. Even if it seemed that the King of the Unseelie Court wished to force the knowledge of his kind on the human world, deception was still necessary if he wished to reach the school without being stopped. And even if he could hide his wolf ears beneath a hood and his tail behind his cloak, he would still keep to the shadows as best he could. Kodak had learned that the clothing he wore was less than up to date, having garnered more than a few curious glances the last time he attempted to blend himself into the human world. His mother often wondered why he never made more of an effort to hone his glamour ability, but the answer was simple: Kodak did not like using it. It was not because he disliked human society or because he hated the fact that fae had to hide from humans. It was because it reminded him of his father, and the role glamour had played in the events of long ago. And anything that reminded Kodak of his father could not be a good thing.

But now there was little other choice. Kodak ran down the darker back alleyways, allowing himself to be pulled by the sense of other fae in the city. He ran, wishing he could be on four legs instead of two. And as he ran, the sense became stronger, and he knew he was getting close.

He stopped, and he knew he had reached his destination. Staying in the shadows, he surveyed the scene. Humans crowded around the school. Most looked worried, some intrigued, and some inexplicably excited. Kodak pulled his cloak tighter around his body, hoping that it would give him some anonymity. But he needn't have worried. No one bothered to look his way as he moved swiftly but silently along the edge of the crowd, taking care not to draw attention as he looked for a way in. His adept eyes could see the magical barrier formed around the school keeping the humans out, or in. But he doubted whether it had been created to keep fae out as well. He made his way to an area of the school less populated with people and tested his theory. Stretching out a hand, he touched the barrier. With a deep breath, he pushed hard against it, and smiled as his hand went through. Kodak followed his hand through to the other side, and with his guard up, he made his way into the school.

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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#, as written by H3R0
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Everything was bad and nothing was okay.

A large, booming shout that echoed through the top floor corridors and even further down to the stairwell Shankara was floating over reached his ears and sent the hair on the back of his neck on end. He stayed there, momentarily frozen as he heard footsteps approaching, loud and clear. He had to wonder who might be approaching, what kind of creature, or monster really, with those vocals, was coming towards him at such a speed with such a warrior's call. With baited breath, he waited, silently listening in on who it could be that crashed through the Mares that had already reached the upper parts of the school and were barreling through them so fearlessly. And then, he spotted them as they-

They nearly crashed right into him.

Shankara barely spun out of the way, tripping over his own feet--which was quite a miraculous feat considering he was mid-air and not even using them--and dropped to the ground, landing on the stairs and bouncing down the steps he'd already passed until he tumbled to the second floor, where he laid there, dazed and confused and slightly intimidated. When he bothered to raise it head to see who it was who'd nearly trampled him down, he was stunned to find that the only one in his immediate line of sight happened to be a simple human girl. She had no distinguishing features, nothing particularly special that would make her stand out in a crowd.

Getting to his feet, Shankara decided that if he were to give this girl a piece of his mind, he would need to do it appearing as a human rather than glaring at her in his invisible state and hoping that his negative vibes would eventually wear down on her over a period of time. He remained grounded, letting his glamour work to mask the marks over his eyes, his eyes themselves going from glimmering gold to an average autumn brown, and his hair, while originally white from the lighting, going black, and remaining that way. He stormed up the stairs to reach her, but just as he got to her side, he paused, any words of vile or insult dying on his tongue and drying in his throat on their way up. He was very suddenly reminded that he had no people skills whatsoever and that chewing out this absolute stranger of a human was the equivalent of throwing himself into an active volcano and hoping he wouldn't get burned. "There's no way this could possibly go wrong."--some stupid person somewhere, probably.

In the end, the beautiful formation of his words ended up coming together to be, "I'm lost." It was nothing. It was meaningless. Immediately, the self-hate settled in and his mind was a whirlwind of insults striking straight towards his self-esteem that he was sure, as he made haste to bury them down, would all come back later to haunt him.

Trying to gather the vomit that was his thoughts, Shankara decided that maybe, this was not the right situation to be fretting over his lack of people skills, or his initial intent to snap at her for nearly causing him to have a concussion. Something was coming, he knew. Something far, far worse than those who had already arrived, an insurmountable gathering of fear all composed together in one tight, enclosed area that would surely lead to the school collapsing in on itself with the people, and himself, inside. It was a sixth sense, really, a sensation that went past the Mares that he knew were already wandering the corridors and individual rooms of the school. It was almost like a tugging, or rather a switch flipped to warn him of the oncoming danger. It wasn't the exact same as the chilling, deep-rooted unsettling sensation that came whenever the true King of the Unseelie Court came anywhere within the vicinity, but it was similar. It was much, much too similar.

"You shouldn't be here," he finally managed to say, his teeth threatening to chatter out of his gums. "I shouldn't be here. Oh god, nobody should be here! What am I doing here?!" Why he ever decided to stay when he knew the school and its occupants, which he was now one of, were in danger, was beyond him. He saw the storm clouds crowding in like an omen for bad things to come and he'd still thought to stay, as if he, of all fae, could do anything to help the situation. Him! The Natural Disaster! What a joke!

But there was this girl, the only human he could see around who wasn't trapped in a classroom or being chased by the Mares (yet). Perhaps he could do something with her, for her. Narrowing his eyes and forcing the ants crawling under his skin to calm, Shankara tried to focus on the situation at hand before it got out of control (which he knew for a fact that it certainly would). "Listen, listen. Bad things are happening. You can see that right? Of course you can see that. You don't look blind to me." Blah, nervous. "Anyway, anyway. What I'm trying to say is, we can't stay here. You uh- Those things down there will tear you- us!- apart, limb from limb, like, uh," a pause, "like alligators! Those are real right? Yeah, yeah. Like those giant lizard things that live in swamps. They eat people. Those things down there eat people. Similarities."

Realizing he was rambling, Shankara took a moment to pause, scrubbing his face and groaning. "Wait, wait, that isn't what I meant to say. What I mean is, we should do something. I mean, right?" He looked to her as if asking for a way out, an excuse that would tell his consciousness that he should just leave. Shaking his head, he moved on. "That was rhetorical. Forget it. The answer is: yes! Yes, we should do something. I have ideas." He held up a single finger, frowned at it. "One. I have one idea. We kill the one causing the bubble blocking the school--you saw that right?--and make a run for it. Everyone else should be good to go from the-"

Before he could finish, a gathering of Mares swarmed over their heads, as if just realizing their existences for the first time. A part of Shankara knew he'd wasted their time by standing there talking instead of running, which was the only smart choice, but the rest of him feared what the Mares might do despite him being fae. They obviously weren't biased.

Rather than continue their conversation, Shankara grabbed the human girl's hand and dragged her down the stairs with him, leading a small hoard of Mares along after them. He tripped out of the doors and out into the courtyard, where the sun was shining through the storm clouds that were already beginning to pass. When he realized that trying to run was probably a futile effort, Shankara spun back around and pulled the girl in front of him like a shield, grabbing her shoulders and ducking behind her form, which was smaller than his own, as if to silently say "Take her! Not me!"

But when nothing happened, he risked peeking past his human shield to the doors of the building they'd left, seeing the Mares hovering inside where the lighting was dim. They seemed to hesitate, the lot of them glowering at Shankara and the girl through the glass windows embedded in the doors, before swirling back around, apparently deciding to remain inside the building instead of chasing them outside where natural light occurred.

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Hylas Arvanitis. Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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We are the nobodies...
wanna be somebodies.


Straining to hear anything from his vantage point proved difficult because of all of the commotion filtering in from outside. There were footsteps clomping up and down the hallways overhead and the steady, howling wail of police cars outside the perimeter of the school cast the entire area in a skin-prickling unease. And here he was, hunched down at the top of the stairs like a burglar, waiting for any sign that these schoolkids were exactly who he believed them to be. If they were anything else, he'd have no choice but to strike them down—monsters hardly deserved to breathe the same air as humans did. He had seen enough of those black things to know that they could take other forms.

Or else, make you believe that you were seeing something or someone familiar. How could you fight something that wore different faces? Things that could cast shadows across the world you believed was real, only to drop you into darkness. He stifled his shaking hands, gripping his wrist briefly before leaning forward.

So intent on the kids below that he hadn't realized someone had stalked behind him. Quiet as dormouse, or something equally silent. He might've been impressed if it wasn't for the fact that he couldn't afford being caught. A coolness shivered across his wrist. Slender fingers wound themselves as quick and strong as a snake—the analogy held up, because he only had time to react as soon as the person whispered in his ear, almost as if it had been the wind slipping in from the door he'd left ajar. Icarus flinched against the iron railings, eyes wild behind the mask. Who? Initially, he thought a cop might have come through, having seen him slink in while he had his back turned. But he was wrong. This was no cop. He exhaled in disbelief. Thin, feminine; female. Why couldn't he pull his arm away? He tried jerking his arm from her, but it proved ineffective. Child, she'd said. Who was she to call him a child? A teacher, maybe.

No.

“Escape?” His voice lowered to keep from being discovered by anyone else, though his eyes narrowed to slits. The remnants of fear bubbled just below the surface of his voice; a fight-or-flight response he understood well enough. It kept him alive, and supplied him with enough energy to run when he needed to. Now, it only made him feel as if he were overflowing with paranoid, unspent energy; and since he couldn't move, his options were slim.

“I'm supposed to be here.” His fingers tightened around the handle of his weapon, growing white at the knuckles. Instead of trying to pull away from her, he leaned forward until his mask was inches from her face and grinned, even though she couldn't see it, even though he found nothing amusing. “Let go, lady. I'm trying to save people here.” Muffled, and ringing with intentions, untruths. He might've been there to keep people from suffering the same fate his parents had, but he would've been lying if he denied wanting to make himself feel better.

Icarus pursed his lips when he heard footsteps drawing closer, coming from below. In vain, he pulled again. Too many people now. People or monsters, he wasn't sure. And if he wasn't sure, he wasn't safe. From what he'd seen so far—none of those dark things were around, or else, not in this direct vicinity. He figured they were holing themselves up in the classrooms, or the gymnasium; whichever space was large enough to hold the most students. He supposed he could be wrong. He'd never considered them smart, just cruel. If he was right, then two directions were available, and he had to choose one; quickly.

His thoughts whirred like a broken record, aching on one desperate sentence: let go let go let go, and he tried to clench his teeth hard enough to keep them from chattering out of his mouth. Being stuck here felt as terrible as teetering on the edge of a windowsill, because they could be watching and waiting and slavering like hounds, ready and willing to tear them apart. Couldn't she understand that? Of course not. Of course, who else could see the things he'd seen? They had their eyes closed to an entire world he wished he'd never seen. Adults, teachers, random ladies who followed him through open doorways. Unnaturally strong ladies.

He tsked and dropped his axe, arching his eyebrows, as if to say fine you win, let go. And then, he saw them. From his peripherals, slinking on the ceiling like slimy denizens of the dark. Arching and crawling until the two students fell out of sight. It was enough for him to bristle like a kicked cat and recoil towards the lady, fingers twitching. It all but consumed him, threatening to steal away the nerve he'd built up after so long. After hunting them this far, and now, they were here. Just down the stairs: beasts, quiet as the dead. His voice dropped; acidic and ripe with fear. He had no time. No time left to play around—

“Let go, or I'll kill you.”

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Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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She had managed to force herself to stop right just in time to prevent herself from running into him, into that Fae. He was coming back up the stairs—more like floating back up the stairs. Shirlee herself jerked to a steady halt, remaining stilled and upright with no notable issues, unlike her Fae . . . companion of circumstance, so to speak. Silence lingered upon her person, she said nothing, thought nothing and did only what it was she did best in situations like this, when it was she was face to face with a Fae, merely, she focused all her attention upon her Sight, absorbed all it could offer her. Yes, this was that same Fae who’d lingered within her classroom for some time earlier that day, seemingly just observing them, the human students of her school as some Fae did occasionally. His eyes were gold, and his hair white—no mistaking him given that. Shi-Shi wonders if he’s not a part of all this . . . he has been haunting the school all day—perhaps he is a stake-out?

The girl’s thoughts wondered as she remained still, and stone-faced, simply staring down the flight of stairs at the Fae who had managed to trip up midair and go tumble downward onto the cement and tile steps below. Even Shirlee couldn’t help the slight flinch that overtook her face at the sound of hitting that hard surface—it was something she knew well from experience, after all. When it was that the inhuman creature finally came to a halt on the stairs below, on the second floor, he looked upward from where he laid, seemingly confused, Does Shi-Shi see some anxiety in his eyes? Could she had scared him? Certainly he had heard her earlier battle cry, her declaration of war upon these Fae and creatures which had declared their own war on her school. It wasn’t as if humans willingly busted out into the fray of situations they couldn’t fully wrap their heads around, and, it wasn’t like any of the Fae on campus at the moment were yet privy to the fact that she was Sighted, that she could see through their trickery and devious magics.

Certainly, she was an anomaly, she had just launched herself overhead those inky, shadow creatures which writhed as if they were all one. . . . The light-haired Fae was glaring up at her, likely angry that she had almost run into him. Is he going to wonder why Shi-Shi stopped like she did, and managed to keep herself from plowing into him?

It was at this point that she noticed it, a faint shimmer overlain him, before it vanished into air again, leaving him looking as he did before to her. That shimmer however, was something she recognized well, it was something she could see through without any issue or fault, the Fae had shifted and made use of his innate Glamour, likely making himself look human so that he could reveal himself to her without giving up his secret. Shirlee herself crossed her arms over her chest and took a more casual stance for the moment, while it was the Fae managed up to his feet, looking irate and irritated, while she herself just maintained a . . . nonexistent expression. A few times, she blinked, while Fae-boy stomped up the stairs, Shirlee knew well the expression he carried. He was going to try to go on a tirade toward her, if that was what he wanted, then so let it be, when he finished, she would bolt off again and go look for Brooke, to get her out of this . . . mess, this attack, this, whatever it was.

No matter what manner of Fae this boy was, it didn’t matter to her, the fact alone that he was trying to use his Glamour to disguise himself as a human to her meant that he wasn’t going to exact nameless, attempted unseen revenge against her—which quelled a few doubts that Shirlee possessed about him. If he was a part of this whole mess, a part of the Faevasion, then he wouldn’t be showing himself to Shi-Shi in any form. That much meant that he was at least a neutral enough party in this. . . . However neutral a stray, hapless Fae could be, of course, even with the slightly negative aura that he seemed to carry.

Shirlee simply stared at him, he at her side, while it was all anger or trace or irked expression was lost upon his marked, undeniably inhuman face. She stared at him with her usual wide-eyed expression, letting him go. This was how you wanted to handle Fae, just let them be till they were done with you, well, that’s how it went in casual situations. The notion which travelled across his face though, was one of misperception, realization that maybe he wasn’t so sure of himself anymore? Shirlee waited though. . . .

Until finally he managed out some bungled up words, definitely not what, what she’d expected to hear from him, or really, any Fae. It was a sort of timid, ”I’m lost.” and, that was it. Shi-Shi just blinked, her own mind a bit . . . perplexed at what the Fae had just said to her. Lost? Did Shi-Shi hear him right? Did a Fae actually just tell her that he was lost? Well, that definitely settled it. This guy really was just some stray, hapless bystander of a Fae who’d gotten wrapped up in whatever was going on at the moment, no different than anyone in the school. Oi, poor weirdo.

Her mouth opened, as she was ready to say something to the Fae, to get on with her pseudo-rescue mission to save her sister, Brooke. But . . . it was then that something travelled through her, some sort of strange unsettling chill, a sentiment laced with toxic fear that sent chills through her small body, it was enough to silence even her. Shirlee’s eye widened a bit, her face became even more pallor from the shock and the false weight that the vibe sent through her, while her mouth remained slightly agape. That was new, totally new. Not once in her short life had she ever felt something quite like that. Her violet eyes traveled over to look at the Fae next to her a moment, by the look on his face, she wasn’t the only one who’d experience that sentiment. Even he’d been affected by that. That’s enough to tell Shi-Shi that something’s coming, that whatever’s coming, it doesn’t discriminate between human or Fae. A tiny gulp came to be from her at that.

It took a bit of a swallow to calm her heart, which at some point had started to try to beat free of her chest, before Shirlee realized that the Fae was talking to her again, definite terror lining his voice. “You shouldn’t be here, I shouldn’t be here. Oh god, nobody should be here! What am I doing here?!”

She’d uncrossed her arms, and locked away that toxic sensation from before, that fear that’d been artificially instilled in her by that unseen, far away force. Whatever that was. Control, she had to stay controlled for now—she had to be ready to fight to Brooke, against the Atomic Blueberry below, and those shadows---Ink-babies. She’d fight through them and get her sister home to Mama. Lightning flashed again, and Shirlee jerked her head upward, to look out the nearby window above. The clouds in the sky seemed to start to stir, as if they were brooding. Something was definitely coming, for what reasons and why, it didn’t matter.

“Listen, listen.” the Fae-boy started again, causing Shirlee to look at him. “Bad things are happening. You can see that right? Of course you can see that. You don’t look blind to me.” Shi-Shi can see far, far more than Fae-boy knows. “Anyway, anyway. What I’m trying to say is, we can’t stay here. You uh- Those things down there will tear you- us!- apart, limb from limb, like, uh . . . like alligators! Those are real right? Yeah, yeah. Like those giant lizard things that live in swamps. They eat people. Those things down there eat people. Similarities.”

Could he be more awkward to the fact that he wasn’t human? She knew he was a Fae, okay, of course she did, but, had she been some ordinary human girl, who did not possess the Sight, no doubt she’d be questioning him in total for now, wondering if alligators were real. . . .

He rubbed at his face with a guttural groan before continuing on his rambles again, “Wait, wait, that isn’t what I meant to say. What I mean is, we should do something. I mean, right?” he looked at her as if he were doubting himself, his own already twisted Fae sense of morality. This caused one of Shirlee’s delicate eyebrows to raise, a bit flabbergasted by the fact that a Fae was suggesting doing . . . something? Did he mean to try to help the students of the school? Odd. “That was rhetorical. Forget it. The answer is: yes! Yes, we should do something. I have ideas.” he held up an index finger, “One. I have one idea. We kill the one causing the bubble blocking the school—you saw that right?—and make a run for it. Everyone else should be good to go from the—“ he stopped talking and before he did anything, Shirlee already knew why.

Her gaze was cast upward before anything, and above them there’d amassed a gathering of the Ink-babies. They had to move, pronto! Shirlee was ready to move before the Fae had even bothered grabbing her hand, pulling her along down the stairs right after him while it was those shadowy wraiths gave chase, writhing so unnaturally as they did. She had no time to think about what it was the Fae-boy had suggested, killing whatever was causing the barrier around the school. She had no time to think on any of it, to even consider or bring herself to care about it—the Ink-babies, whatever they really were, they weren’t biased. They were intent on not just getting her but even attacking a Fae. . . ? Shirlee’s eyes opened as widely as they could, and even though she moved along, aimlessly guided by the Fae who grasped onto her hand so desperately, going down the stairs and through the building, her body began to tense instinctively as something within her began to crack apart and her composure and her mindset began to rearrange herself at the realization that whatever was going on did not just affect humans it seemed.

Whatever force guided the monsters, those shadowy wraith-like creatures, it did not distinguish between Fae, or human, it cared not for anything, save for itself and its own likely twisted goals and aims. Shirlee knew what her mother would think of this, she would command both herself and Brooke to hide away in the dark again, to become the shadows she tried to raise them as. Her mother would flee from this in fear, completely understandable fear. Brooke would listen to their mother because she never knew better, she could never See like either of them could. She was completely normal. . . . But, Shirlee wasn’t like her mother or like her sister.

A look settled over Shirlee as it was she and the Fae-boy were finally out of the building, himself tumbling forward onto the pavement of the courtyard. Shirlee did not follow suit, she did not speak, did not move when the boy had finally let go of her hand after finding the safety of the outside. Without a sound though, she moved, turned around a glare etching itself over her usually pleasant features. Her aura had even shifted, seemingly at least twice her diminutive size. The realization that this . . . whatever it was, that was attacking her school, was not bias had caused a flutter in her heart, a sway in her thoughts and goal, moving away from just rescuing her sister. A sentiment of anger, and bitterness swelled within her quickly, along with a desire and an urge to end all of this, to drive out these Fae which seemed not to care for anything, even their own kind. They were commanding the Ink-babies to even attack their own kind. It was bad enough that they were attacking innocent humans, but to even turn on their own kind. . . .

There is no way in hell that Shi-Shi is going to stand for this. She is not going to stand by while this happens. She was human, and, the matters of the Fae world did not concern her even if she could peer beyond the Glamour and disguises of it. Well, that was how it was supposed to be. But, the Fae world had just come and interjected itself into her world, into HER life without so much as a “How’d you do?”

Shirlee glared at the shadow wraiths that hovered and lingered within the doorway of her school, refusing to come out into the light it seemed while it was she felt the Fae-boy behind her grab onto her shoulders, and duck behind her, opting to use her as a shield against the hesitant Ink-babies. Shirlee’s form and frame shifted to accommodate it, but she remained relatively rigid, not caring, not questioning him or even this invasion anymore. No part of her was even remotely curious about why it was happening, why it was going down—she didn’t care. All she wanted to do was to end it. So it was that her hands tightened into two little balls at her side, fists so tight that her knuckles shown white.

This was not her world, this was not supposed to be her business. . . . But she’d decided upon her course of action, damn it all, she was making this her business now. She was the only human here who could see, the only one who could see the sides, the innocent, the guilty, and the bystanders. She was the only one who was without bias—so she would be the one to strike the blow to stop this insanity, no matter what it took. She was going to do this, not only for Brooke, but for everyone innocent involved.

Fae-boy was peeking over her shoulder to look at the Ink-babies as they reluctantly slithered back into the safety of the school building, obviously scornful of the light.

This was when Shirlee finally moved of her own accord, brushing the hands of the Fae off her shoulders and stepping away from him in a fluid motion that bespoke of her determination and fearlessness toward the situation at hand. Shirlee looked upon him, her violet colored eyes as obvious as ever as she took in his nonhuman form. To make him aware of Shi-Shi’s Sight, or to have him remain in the dark. . . ? she asked herself. For whatever the reason, this Fae, this bystander of a Fae, wanted to resolve this situation—even if he was hesitant to do so, such a willingness to do so was abnormal, to say the least. Shirlee didn’t entirely know what to make of that, she didn’t know if it meant she could maybe . . , entrust him with a secret like hers, the fact that she saw beyond and knew him as a Fae like those who were attacking her school now.

If he was willing to try to help everyone then. . . . Shi-Shi is going to take a chance. If he still wanted to work with her to bring down this insanity, then him knowing that she could See, that was probably better than him not knowing, because, he would know that she saw everything for what it was al ready and yet was still without fear. “Strange, she finds him.” she started, “Like Shi-Shi, he’s an anomaly.” Shirlee pointed at him, already knowing that her third person way of speaking could confuse people easily. “Shi-Shi knows already what he is, Fae. She knows that who she looks at is not human, even though he might disguise himself as one to fool her, to lull her into not being afraid of him considering all that is going on around, the other Fae which are instigating this attack.”

To her side did she again drop her arm, stopping from pointing at him, “Shi-Shi saw him, floating about in her classroom all day before lunchtime. Watching and idly observing. He thought he was invisible to everyone, but he wasn’t to her. She also saw him again while she was lunging overtop the Ink-babies and heading down the stairs, even though he still thought himself invisible, Shi-Shi stopped when she shouldn’t have had to, or thought she had to. Even right now, he still must think that he looks like a human to her human eyes.”

Shirlee let herself remain quiet a moment, letting what she was saying sink in, she wondered what he was going to do. “She knows though, that he is not a part of this attack. He made claims of wanting to help, to stop it. If he still wants to, Shi-Shi will assist, but he should know that she does not fear any of these other Fae—already, she sees them for what they are. Even the Atomic Blueberry—the oni. If she runs into it or any of the other ringleaders, Shi-Shi is going to fight them with everything she has, he can hide if he wants to, but he should know that she won’t hide.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Kodak Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Hylas Arvanitis. Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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The skies were at odds. Rays of sun fighting to break through the shadowy overcast, only to have those same darkening clouds encircle and strangle out the offending beams. Warning growls of thunder rolled through the heavens, like an animal crossed. Even those few areas touched by these golden havens were quickly consumed by fog. The haze grew thicker with unnatural speed, slowly engulfing the whole city. The anxious crowd which had gathered around the police barricade grew disconcertingly quiet, and the local PD were not much better. No demands were given, no orders issued, and still no idea what in the hell that barrier even was. Worse yet was a presence on the horizon. Some unknowable dread which seeped into the bone, making hairs stand on end.

Something wicked this way comes....



The smell of salt rang heavy in the air as the gulls cried in complaint. The plodding, sobriety-challenged footsteps of a local homeless man trekked down to lay his withered body by the docks. He groaned and murmured about the faults of his life, taking another deep swig of misery to cure what ailed him. A dry, cracked hand reached out for support, gripping tight on the old wood post separating him from a quick dip. His leaning turned to a slothful slide as he found himself laying against it, drinking deeper of his spirits only to find that his cup had run dry. Yet the bottom of another bottle searched, and still no answers.

With a disgruntled groan, he cast the offensively empty bottle at the waves and the wall of mist from whence rolled in. The dread shiver of cold came wafting from the waters, making him pull tight his coat. The old man was all but ready for another dreamless sleep, when he heard something splash in the waters. It was light, mind you. Like a fish, but.... not. It wasn't the noise, but the silence that followed which set him on alert. The gulls had fled, the winds had died, and the city went mute. He learned over, to peer into the abyss. Some part of him feared of something down there peering back, and it was....

The water was a bright crimson in color, like something biblical in nature. Slowly his hand dipped in, only to find this was not blood but... slimy. Algae. It was red algae, and from what he could make out through the fog, a whole sea of it. Splash. Another sound, made like thunder against the eerie silence. This.... was not natural. The old man couldn't explain why he feared it, only that he did. It was like he was born to fear this, like some form of predator was eyeing him down. His heart raced, his throat went dry, but nothing happened. And for the next several moments, that was all there was, a big nothing. Nothing except that feeling of dread.

It came in a crack of thunder, like a canon from the sea. An explosion of movement and sounds, as this hulking form leapt from below the waves. It's sound, a Godless mangle of calls, like the death cries of several drowning beasts. On four shattered, jagged hooves it tried to stand, staggering and waving about like a freshly birthed fawn before finding it's own strength. No skin, none save a thick layer of that bright red algae from the sea. Black mollusks pierced out of it's musculature. Stained bones grinning back at him from it's horse-like head. And atop it's back.... No, from it's back, a lifeless cadaver of horrible proportions. Limp, gangly arms dragged the ground, it's upper torso slumped against the horse-like head. This wretched thing looked like something you'd expect to see in a medical museum, pickled as a fetus in a glass jar.

But there it stood, and began to move. Like a corpse reacting to an electrical surge, it's massive limbs twitched before rising of their own free will. The body had gained life, grasping at it's face in pain and letting out a horrible screech. The hellish cry increased in volume steadily, higher and higher, louder and louder, till it threatened to deafen the old man. It'd peaked with a ear-piercing scream, grabbing at the kelp-like mane of it's steed with a strong yank, causing the beast it rode to rear back in pain. Finally it settled, the head of the rider lolling forward like it's neck lacked the strength to hold it. It rolled and twisted, till finally in heart-stopping swiftness, it was staring straight at him. It's eye.... That blood red, burning eye of this damned thing. It Hated the old man. He could feel it. Hell, he could see, taste, smell, and hear it. Every sense he had screamed at him that this thing only wanted him to End.

Pain shot through his left side, immobilizing him against the ground. With one of those ungodly arms, it reached out and point straight at him. His breath caught in his throat, his lungs hyperventilated. All he could do was stare back it it's canid-like head, as the edges of his sight darkened. He gasped and choked, till finally his body gave up. A mercifully blackness spirited him away from this place, from that thing. The Nucke.... That name echoed as the last thought he had. The Nuckelavee.... was free....



Orders came in for the choppers clogging the sky to RTB, the fog making it hazardous to negotiate through the city. Their air support gone and their snipers blinded by the wall of fog, all the police could do was hold the line and wait for orders. Brass was treating this as just an everyday hostage situation, but anyone with eyes could see this was far from normal. Just what in the Hell was that thing? A force field? Was this some kind of military technology? How did these psychos get their hands on it? And what did they want with these children?? People were getting restless, mostly parents wanting to know what's being done to save their children. But the quiet.... that was the worst. It was recent, too. Like things outside this city block just dropped dead. There was a frigid stillness in the air, thicker than any haze.

In the distance, it sounded like a horse's whinny. Everyone, and I mean everyone stopped to look around. The popular question quickly became "what the fuck was that?", as people just stood there scratching their heads. One cop, a rookie holding the back corner of the forward barricade.... he caught sight of it first. A large, looming figure which seemed to materialize out of the fog only a few yards from him. It galloped on horse-back, or so he thought, before it's arms rose up. What.... he thought, before he realized all too late that it was mere feet away. It's gigantic hand scythed straight through him, rendering him nothing but a grisly stain. It rode straight on, a headlong charge for it's objective. Before the masses could react, it's hand plunged into the hood of a squad car, gripping the metal mass by it's chassis and Frisbee-tossing it into the back lines of the police perimeter. Several were caught by the flying wreckage, either being trapped or crushed beneath it. Gunfire started, and the crowd went berserk.

The law enforcement didn't know who or what this new hostile was, only that it was large, and by God was it fast. The damned thing had completely disintegrated the entire rear or the police blockade and slain three news crews before any of them got a bead of it. And even then, something just off. Their guns kept jamming, and even the ones still operational just would not remain docile, jerking around erratically whenever the trigger was pulled. Hailstorms of lead flew everywhere, even into the scattering crowds of civilians. The remaining film crews too stubborn and idiotic to leave without their scoop struggled with malfunctioning equipment. Whatever this thing was, it just refused to show up on film. A few stray rounds punctured the gas tank of their van, and even though such things simply don't happen in the real world, the entire vehicle erupted into flames.

The creature made a bee-line for the force field, but was finally cut off by a police firing squad. Letting loose with automatic rifles and riot shotguns, the thing reared back screeching and covering it's face. A storm of bullets pelted it, tearing through it's flesh and splattering that red slime everywhere. It hissed and shrieked and barked, before finally going limp against the ground. Was it.... dead? There was a moment of unease, weapons trained on the corpse. The look of the thing was..... It couldn't be real. Nothing like this should exist. One officer stepped forward hesitantly to confirm the kill. He couldn't help but look at it's one, empty eye socket. The other, overtaken by some meaty mass. It got closer, step by step, till he was right up on it. The barrel of his shotgun inched forward, nudging the horse-like skull.

The fire came back to it's eye. It glared at him. It Hated him. The arms of the Nucke came alive again, clamping around his entire upper body like a sprung bear trap. It's claws pierced into his back, stabbing all the way through his chest cavity and out his sternum. It made him watch. He couldn't look away. With the most horrifying sound that no human being should ever hear, it pulled it's hands apart, tearing the man asunder. The gunfire resumed in force, but this time to no effect. High caliber rounds tore right through it's meat, and it didn't even flinched. It just trotted calmly up to the barrier, crushing a squad car under it's weight. It stopped just at the glowing field, bullets impacting against it and the barrier itself. The Nucke took a long, rasping breath, inhaling deeper than anything that size should.

There was a pulse in the air, like that sickly breath you get right before you start turning green. The veins which spider-webbed it's whole body swelled to disturbing lengths, ready to burst with it's thick, tarry blood. The foul ichor surged to it's system mass and up it's neck. Putrid black spittle dripped and oozed between rotting teeth. It reared, spinning around with new purpose. It howled, torrents of black fumes spewing from it's mouth like dragon's fire. The Reek, churning from the Nucke with an otherworldly sentience. It covered everything, chasing victims down like a plague of locusts zeroing in on a target. Anyone who could run, didn't make it far. Anyone who couldn't, well.....

What was once the busiest part of the city was now a ghost land. No live soul dared go back. The Nucke turned back to the barrier, it's burning eye meeting the witch on the other side in a chilling lock. She knew her Lord had sent the beast, but then why did it eye her so? What did this meeting of eyes fit that shared between a wolf, and a hare? It's claw dug deep into the barrier, surprising her. It's hand pierced through entirely, the light of the barrier being mired by it's corrupting touch. The witch concentrated, trying to keep it from tearing through. Summoning the best of her will, the barrier forced the Nucke back. It screeched in anger, lashing and pounding against the obstruction repeatedly, but it held strong. It backed away, before locking eyes again. It's spindly arm stretched out, pointing a clawed finger at her with a menacing hiss.

The message was clear. From this moment on, if the barrier failed to keep things in, it would fail to keep the Nucke out. Fear of life is truly an excellent motivator, don't you agree?

With that, it retreated to the epicenter of the chaos it had wrought, lying down to rest and wait. It's breath became louder, exhaling more of that toxic miasma in thick wafts. The fumes completely shielded it from view in a matter of moments, creeping down the stairs and to the streets. The stone it touched cracked, the steel rusted, paint peeled, tires popped, glass shattered, and the bodies.... Let's just say some things are better left without description. The Reek encircled the barrier entirely, and anything it touched withered away. Silence, awful, terrible silence took hold again, broken only by the ragged breathing heard throughout the block.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Cadence Fiala Character Portrait: Hylas Arvanitis. Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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#, as written by toajojo

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Shankara Character Portrait: Cordatta Avicii Character Portrait: Icarus Brightly Character Portrait: Cadence Fiala Character Portrait: Hylas Arvanitis. Character Portrait: Douglas Baines Character Portrait: Shirlee Fiala
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#, as written by toajojo
It took a few seconds for Bradley to register the fact that his hand was empty. He clenched and unclenched his hand twice just to confirm the now empty space before he finally had the sense to turn around. Stopping dead in his tracks, he spun around frantically. Eyes desperately darting from person to person in search of his date. Though, by then it was far too late, Cordatta was long gone. Not knowing she had left on her own accord, he jostled through the dense crowd looking for a glimpse of her petite figure.

From the distance a strange sound cut through the air. The large mass of civilians and officers alike quieted down and turned their heads to try to find the source of the sound. Bradley was no different. He furrowed his brow and contemplated on what it could have been. His thoughts being whispered throughout the crowd. 'The hell was that?' He squinted seeing a dark figure near them through the fog. Shaking his head, Bradley took off his glasses and wiped the droplets off of them with his soaking shirt. Rendering himself very near sighted for a precious few moments.

That was all the time it took for chaos to ensue. He heard the unmistakable sound of metal being crushed then all of a sudden their were waves of guns being shot, and people screaming bloody murder. He struggled to put on his glasses as people ran into him hoping to get away. He was confused. What had happened? He stood firm as the others around him went into a panic, his eyes trying to focus on the scene in front of him. What he saw was worse than any nightmare one could ever dream of conjuring. His heart stopped for minute as he pieced together what was occurring. "A-A monster." he breathed into the air. Unable to do anything else as his body was stiff with horror.

He watched the fearsome behemoth face the police force. All the while his mind was in frenzy trying to get him to move. Get him to do anything. 'You need to move. Run. Find Datta. We need to leave.'
Was his silent mantra. It was only when the beast was finally overwhelmed, Bradley began to move. He needed to find Cordatta and get the hell out of there. All around him was a tornado of hectic bodies. A few on the ground, lifeless. He swallowed the lump that formed in his throat as he meticulously searched for his companion. Hearing a gruesome sound rip through the area and the gunfire continue once more worse than before, his heart dropped and his search became crazed. Why could he not find her. She would not have left without him. Would she?

The thought that she had left him while he stayed behind to search for her tightened his chest. And all of a sudden a renewed sense of urgency hit him like a wave. He needed to leave now. . . Without her. There was not anymore time. He forced his strides to become longer and pumped his arms. Keeping pace with the others who were beginning to flee. When the air around him seemed to become impossibly thick. He tried to push himself harder. Get out of whatever it was, but could not. Neither could anyone else.

The strangely dark smog suffocated him. Bradley gasped for breath and his body slowed. He blinked as the world around him became darker with each passing second and his body collapsed to the asphalt below. He heard others around him, but could not see them. Honestly unsure if the cause was due to his glasses shattering from it's impact with the sidewalk or the fatal murk. Tears filled his eyes and spilled over his cheeks and he heard desperate cries and gasps from others. He groggily clawed at his shirt suddenly feeling tightly confined. And he coughed, exacerbating the burning in his lungs. He was going to die. Closing his eyes, Bradley barely felt the sobs racking through his body. He was going to die.




The boy's sudden flinching startled Cordatta for a second. She had not meant to scare him so. Maybe it was the black coat she was wearing. With only half of her face barely visible, she supposed that could be mildly alarming. Wordlessly Cordatta pulled her hood back with her free hand and shook her hair out of her face. Effectively revealing her feminine features. As the boy attempted to wrench his arm free from her grip, she only tightened her fingers around his slender wrist. Idly noticing sharp contrast between his pale skin and her caramel hand. In the back of her mind she wondered if her hold on him would cause bruises. Hopefully not.

"Escape?" The male's low voice questioned her. She pursed her lips as a crease formed between her thin eyebrows. The wrinkle always formed when she was confused. Cordatta's eyes roamed over the boys mask in search of his meaning. Her fingers twitched. She wanted to take off his accursed mask and reveal his face. It irked her that she could not read his features. Why would he ask such an obvious question. It seemed obvious enough to her. Anybody with sense would know that they needed to find a way out.

". . .Yes?" She answered slowly and unsure.

"I'm supposed to be here." He challenged her directly. She bit the inside of her cheek to keep herself from saying something rude. Feeling the boy's veins pull under her fingertips, she looked to his hand. Noting how he tightened his own grip on his small axe. Whitening his knuckles. She prepared herself for him to try to lash out at her with it. Entirely unready for the way he opted to lean in close. Cordatta instinctively leaned back slightly. Uncomfortable with his proximity. His demon mask was now beginning to unnerve her. “Let go, lady. I'm trying to save people here.”

She opened her mouth to voice an affronted retort, but fell silent as she heard steps. Promptly she shut her mouth and quieted her breathing. Deciphering the noise. Something was nearing them. She had to get out of their. She could not be caught this early. The boy tugging his arm, pulled her from her thoughts. Correction. She had to get both of them out of there. The boy came off as stupid and senseless to Cordatta. If she left, she had no doubt he would try to stay and fight them off. He was a wannabe hero. He would most definitely get his dumb behind killed. "Drop it." She demanded coldly.

He did. A lot easier than she thought he would. It fell with a short clatter. “Let go, or I'll kill you.” He threatened. She tensed. Something about his tone was making her anxious. Collecting herself, she curled her lip in disdain. Giving a final squeeze before finally releasing him, she hoped he did bruise. Swiftly, she snatched up his axe and cocked it in her own hand as a response to his threat.

"Boy, you are too weak to kill me, or any of the others for that matter." She stated cruelly. "Escape or get yourself killed. It is none of my concern now." She spat. Turning on the ball of her foot she went to find a way around the opposing fae to some of the helpless students. Never mind saving him.

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There is no thing, living or un-living, or that has been or ever will be, that hates like the Nuckelavee.

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If you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones 'Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs

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"Sticks and stones will break our bones, and words will always hurt us."

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Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
Douglas Baines

There is no thing, living or un-living, or that has been or ever will be, that hates like the Nuckelavee.

Character Portrait: Kodak
Kodak

If you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones 'Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs

Character Portrait: Shankara
Shankara

"Sticks and stones will break our bones, and words will always hurt us."

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Character Portrait: Kodak
Kodak

If you're still breathing, you're the lucky ones 'Cause most of us are heaving through corrupted lungs

Character Portrait: Douglas Baines
Douglas Baines

There is no thing, living or un-living, or that has been or ever will be, that hates like the Nuckelavee.

Character Portrait: Shankara
Shankara

"Sticks and stones will break our bones, and words will always hurt us."


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