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Alice Blackwood

"You have no idea who I am."

0 · 192 views · located in Aurora

a character in “Prophecy”, as played by Aporia

Description

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[Name]: Alice "The White Witch of The West" Blackwood

"The White Witch of The West is often revered to as a minion of Bandriel's, a woman on a broom who can travel intense speeds and can wield deadly magic. Not much is known about her and most who do meet her don't live to tell their secrets, especially in death. Alice Blackwood on the other hand, was regarded as the King's alchemist, and has printed and contributed many books regarding alchemy, botany, anatomy, and magic (See history). It's widely believed that she was killed or imprisoned in Bandriel's takeover due to the fact that there are no new books found in her name during Bandriel's rule.

[Age]: 156 (Looks like 49)
[Gender]: Female
[Sexuality]: Heterosexual
[Role]: Minion/Witch
[Appearance]: Standing at the terrifying height of 5'0 and weighing in at 93 lbs, Alice is incredibly skinny, her face slightly wrinkled due to her age and has straight brownish blonde hair with a few streaks of white that reaches to her neck. Commonly seen sporting a robe under a pair of shorts that cuts off mid thigh and a long sleeved brown tunic, she wears a pair of leather gauntlets and her signature witch's hat. Although she walks barefoot when at rest and ease, it's common to see her wearing regular sandals. Sometimes, she can be seen smoking a pipe.

[Powers]: Magic. As a witch, she happens to have a longer life-span and a natural inclination towards magic. Although she is most advanced and deadly in water/ice magic (which she can freely practice blood magic), she is skilled in air, fire, dark, summoning, light and earth magic, from strongest to weakest although the forbidden magics she had learned in the absence of the king are powerful, she risks being unable to control them.

[Equipment]: Griselda - A sentient flying broomstick that can reach high speeds. Griselda and Alice share a telekinetic connection and while Griselda is in her possession, Alice's magic is intensified.

Knife - A run of the mill knife

Alchemist set - A small bag containing tubes, vials, flasks, corks, and stands. For creating potions on the move.

Bandolier - A long strap with multiple pockets meant to be worn and for holding hand-sized potions in battle for easy access.

Enchanted Mirror - A small rectangular mirror that functions when someone desires to speak with Alice, has access to a mirror, and says the keywords "Through the Looking Glass, Down the Rabbit Hole."

Backpack - Meant to hold all material, found or otherwise.



[Skills]:
Alchemy - She believes alchemy to be an important component to advancing the pursuit of magic and unlocking it's secrets. Experimentation is key here, and although she had worked under the king and was privy to many resources, under Bandrial's rule, no materials or potions are "forbidden" or "unethical". This gives her the knowledge and ability to concoct excellent potions that can range from regenerative such as health potions that can heal a person's wounds in a pace so quick and abnormal they can regain any lost limbs or potions that can increase one's strength or agility, destructive potions such as fire or lava bombs, various toxins and/or poisonous gases, and trickster potions such as love potions, illusionary and cloaking potions that either allow oneself to be invisible or to take the form of another with the combination of their organic chemistry (Hair, blood, organs, etc). This allows for a wide range of versatility in terms of approaching her victims and finishing them off. After all, there doesn't always need to be a public confrontation to take care of a little problem.

[Flying] - Alice is most iconically seen flying on Griselda, a sentient flying broomstick that's too large to be considered regular, made from a rare kind of hard wood that rivals steel and is well-known for her intense speed. Griselda and Alic have a telekinetic connection that allows them to sync up their actions and for the witch to use her air magic for better handling, not to mention flinging magic from above. Griselda can also fly separately to perform offensive or defensive maneuvers once Alice is on the ground.

[Organized] - The witch likes to keep herself, her priorities, and her information all neatly organized whenever she needs to perform any errand for Bandriel. She likes to have a plan...despite the possibility that she'd have to "wing it" when things got awry.

[Botany and Anatomy] - Both co-inciting for alchemy, she's knowledgeable in different plants and their effects as well as the anatomy of humans and various species due to her autopsies and live dissections in order to produce tangible results. This gives her the knowledge on where to attack effectively, which vital point to defend when under attack, how to inflict pain without the subject teetering to death, and how to keep someone from teetering to death.

[Drawing] - Alice is skilled in drawing accurate representations of people and objects which can be seen in her notes, research, and books.

[Weaknesses]:
Frail - Standing at 5'0, weighing at the oh so intimidating weight of 93 lbs, it really won't take much after a blow or two to take her down.

Endurance - Despite being raised in the Napgliss Mountains and reaching high altitudes during flight, Alice isn't a professional athlete and does nothing but walk as a form of exercise, so she can tire easily if a fight becomes too long-winded or physical.

On the field Alchemy - Within the confines of Ironedge Marsh, Alice has available to her a wide assortment of foreign materials available to make (mostly) any potion required for her purposes. Once away from the castle, those materials aren't available to her anymore, save for what she can pack. This then leads to the problem of having to scrounge materials difficult to find or settling for more common materials in order to

[Fears]:
Bandriel
Losing her family (Husband and two children)
Losing all her research
Dying, she supposes.

[Likes]:
Husband and two kids
Every aspect of research - From Alchemy to Human Experimentation.
Music
Leonid
Existentialism (The concept of free-will)
Fruits
Drawing
The cold

[Dislikes]:
Korak's instability in combat
Leonid's Craniometrics
Toran's....Toran.
Determinism and the prophecy (Y’know, fate)
Sweets
The Desert

[God(s)]: The concept of dedicating oneself to one god of the pantheon was a notion Alice found a bit ridiculous. After all, if you accepted one god to be true, you had to be accept all the others to be true as well. With that in mind, she's worshiped Kayaji, the goddess of wisdom, for all of her life even through the 17 years of Bandriel's rule but vicariously through her research. She had worshiped Morengar in her youth on Napgliss Mountains, Ai, the goddess of Love when she was away form home, and the goddess of life, Isis, for a large period of time. Since the day Bandrial took power, she hadn't dared to mention the gods, think of them, and worship them for fear of what Bandriel would do to her and her family and so ignoring the Gods.

[History]: Alice grew up from the top of a mountain of the icy Napgliss Mountains in a small witch community called Farodil that was narrow-minded, strict, raiding other people's home, etc, and boring. The little witch of 20 had a thirst for adventure and knowledge, thus running away on the night of her arranged marriage to see and explore the world her elders wanted to pretend didn't exist. He had met the necromancers of Napgliss mountains and learned their culture and ways, flew through the blistering heat of sageburrow desert before collapsing and being taken in by an encampment. Alice had rested, enjoyed, and been delighted by the towns of Northhedge Fields, then successfully navigated the mysterious Mallowpine Forests and took stock of it's creatures, plants, and fruits.

Along the way, she had practiced alchemy with the variety of materials she can scour from these places and by the age of 120, was recognized as an intellectual force of Aurora due to the books she had written by the age of 136 the printing press was available to distribute them among the land. Her books often accompany drawings and figures. On alchemy, the books range from recipes and botany (The Stepping Stones to Alchemy, Materials of the Gods, Alchemista ), to formal studies (Turning Lead into Gold, The Properties of Immortality,) to metaphysics (The Atomic Elements, Components of the Universe, Masters of our Domain."). Her books on Magic go from spell books (Magica, Ice Air Fire and Earth) to magic & philosophy (Magic and the Gods, Existentialism and Power. Alice's books on anatomy are numerous, such as her study of humans and proportionality (Vitruvian Man, Vitruvian Woman, Stripped of Skin, Brought to Bones,) Illnesses and conditions (States of the Body, Abnormalities) and even a book that approaches the brain and mental conditions (The Sickness of the Mind). Of course, there's been some oddities as well, such as a couple of adventure novels, (Under the Earth, Through Doors Of Light/) and a study/journal/survival guide/examination of Mallowpine Forest: Through the Mallowpine.

At the age of 130, the king had contacted her with the position to work for the royal family, with the added perks of a wide range of materials, the safety of her two children and husband, and the luxury/pay/comfort of living in royalty. While human experiments were conducted on deadly criminals and the alchemist materials were given, it wasn't enough to satisfy Alice's curiosity. She wanted to study and experiment identical twins, children, foreign races, the unborn, woman, people of varying ages under the knife and use materials of the same..."unethical" variety. Of course, her requests were denied. When Bandrial came into power, however, everything was suddenly open. It's one of the only benefits in having an evil and incredibly powerful sorceress as a boss.

Since Bandrial has taken over, Alice is in no position to divulge her knowledge to the public, an act that Alice is fine with as long as she's allowed to continue her research.

On a completely unrelated note, Alice Blackwood was the figure who made the Witch's hat, a Farodilian part of culture, popular, or at least perceived to be, among witches.

[Family]:
Vesta - Alice's mother - Alive
Edon - Alice's father - dead
Kamila - Alice's oldest sister - Alive
Rosina - Alice's second oldest sister - Alive
Artio - Alice's third oldest brother - Alive

Aliteal - Alice's husband - Captain of the guard - Alive
Cassandra - Alice's oldest daughter - Alive
Lia - Alice's second oldest daughter - Unknown
Lucius - Alice's second son - Unknown
Zack - Alice's youngest son - Alive

[Hometown]: Farodil is housed upon the peak of one of Napgliss mountains and Alice's mother, brother and sisters live there.

Alice's husband and children live in a well-protected city with their allegiance to Bandrial on the outskirts of the Northhedge Fields, called Belfield.

So begins...

Alice Blackwood's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Korak Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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Bandrial awoke as the sunlight flitted in her stain glass windows. Her pale, smooth form emerged from under the crimson silk blankets that covered her throne like bed. Her ruby hair cascaded down her naked body like a river of blood. She gathered the blankets around her, ignoring the unconscious male form in her bed, and rose to meet the morning.

She watched as her guards as they switched shifts, or bossed the slaves around the courtyard. If it weren't for the nagging on her heart, she would have embraced this morning the same way she had done the eighteen years she had been in power, with grace and unrelenting malice. The prophecy plagued her heart, and it threatened to consume her with hatred. Today was not like other days. Today was the day the eight were to be born, the day that the destined heroes would crawl from their mother's womb and rip her from her throne that she had rightfully earned.

She wouldn't crumble under the pressure of her own demise. This world was her own to mold how she wished, she would would do as she wished and her inhabitants would have to admire her from afar as she blazed by, transforming Aurora into her own playground. Those who opposed her would burn in the tails of flames she left in her wake.

The crimson sorceress turned toward her stone doors, voices drifting in through the walls.

“They say her bed is filled with the blood of all the men she has killed in there.” one female voice spoke softly.

“Do you want her to hear you?” stuttered another.

“It's just eerie, I never want to go in there.” They were servants, probably cleaning the hall outside her quarters. She couldn't hide the sadistic grin that clung to her lush scarlet lips as she opened her door.

“You there,” she commanded, pointing at the woman who had just been so scared to enter her room. Bandrial's smile widened as the color drained from the woman's face.

“Come here, I need someone to help me dress.” The woman shivered so badly it looked like she would faint as she walked into the Blood Queen's domain. She worked wordlessly, helping the naked woman into a slinky black dress, and then finally working on the laces of her corset.

“That's too loose,” Bandrial sang with a sickly tone. The woman's fingers were shaking so hard that it appeared that she might die of fright. She tightened the corset, showing off the seductress' fantastic curves, then finally tieing it off.
Bandrial turned, magic fire dancing from her fingertips.

“Ouch,” she said mockingly.“That hurt.” and she watched as the woman combusted into flames. Her screams piercing even through the thick stone walls. Bandrial felt as the chuckle erupted from her lips, she watched in pleasure as the woman died, her smoldering corpse lying on the floor.

The man in her bed shot up in terror but could not remove himself from the room. He was tied to the bed posts of her bone carved headboard.

“Toran,” she called in a husky sing-song like manner. She used her way to communicate with all of her elite forces. They all had something that she could project her voice into. For some it was a piece of jewelry, some it was mind contact. It didn't matter. They knew when she was talking to them and could hear her proclamation.

“I need you in my quarters my love,” she slithered, stressing the word love. “There has been an incident.”

It took him almost no time at all to enter her room. She gave him a sultry look as he entered, walking over to him and touching his face.

“Another of my servants burst into flames,” she said with mock concern. “Also this man won't leave my bed.” her voice grew dark and seductive, she whispered in his ear. “You can take care of that for me, can't you?” She watched him with glee shining in her dark eyes.

“Meet me in the throne room,”she projected to the rest of her servants, "There is much to discuss."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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#, as written by Aporia
121-97-40-4129856

Today, I've stumbled unto something extraordinary. Subject 4129856, who had only been operated on two weeks before to remove what I'd perceive as 80% of the liver, was back on the table for a checkup.

Subject was uncooperative and brute force was necessary. Despite being tied down, there was too much movement to begin surgery, and the subject begged for an anasthetic.


With her bare back pressed back against the cold metal table, limbs restrained, she had looked so pathetic, so weak. "It hurts! It's gonna hurt! Let me go! She kept screaming, loud enough for Alice's ears to hurt, and squirming that if she were to operate, there would be no guarantee's that her insides wouldn't just fall over the edge and get infected. There was no reason to risk infection and lose the study. The witch moved towards the subjects head and started shushing her softly while stroking her long black hair, the girls frantic state being calmed as Alice held her head in her arms almost in a motherly fashion.
"It'll be all right...it'll be all right." She whispered softly to the poor girl's ear as her tears stained the witch's bloody apron, reduced to low whimpers.
"I'll give you something really strong, so then there won't be any pain."

Subject was administered a combination of water and a couple of drops of bloodroot extract. The combination is bitter tasting but has no beneficial nor negative purposes. Subject was in for minor surgery and anesthetic isn't required.

The girl was calmed among drinking the potion although gagging a bit at first. Alice glanced at the nurse who stood at attention at the door, part of the tight knit team of three remaining loyal servant girls trained by Alice to assist her, and motioned her over. "Hold her head back." She ordered in a whisper and when Isabella, the nurse, did so, Alice finally started. The stiches were first removed and with a scalpel, easily cut through what of the stomach had healed over from last time in a "I" fashion. With her leather gloves, she pulled up the two pieces of skin from their bloody underside and exposed her organs among the stale air.

Subject's liver was regenerated back to a full size after two weeks. Though a discovery, there was something odder."

"Something's wrong." The nurse chimed in and Alice gently closed the stomach flaps of skin before approaching her.
"What is it?" Alice asked but she can see what's wrong as Isabella held her eyelids back.

Subject's pupils have shrunk significantly and was unresponsive to sond but responsive to light. Heartbeat was lower then normal.

"Did you give the subject anything?"
"No, Miss Blackwood. I just held her head back as you have requested."
Alice slowly walked back to her place.
"Did the subject react to the pain?" After countless amounts of research, screams and cries for help were so common, it was hardly worth anything to pay attention to.
"No, ma'am."
Now something was definitely wrong. Alice twirled the scalpel in her hands and started to dig it deep into the subject's inner thigh, carefully enough not to hit any major arteries, but it was an area riddled with nerves.
"Any response?"
"No, ma'am."
"Tell me when there is."
The scalpel was removed from the wound, followed by a little blood, and with little haste, dig her finger in, moving it back and forth expecting a torrent of shrieking hell to let loose and yet none. A moment of baffling frusteration as Alice took off her leather glove and fire danced across her fingertips and cauterized the inside of the wound.
"Nothing?"
The nurse shook her head.

Subject displayed the symptoms of someone under a major anesthetic. Multiple punctures, cuts, lacerations and the cauterization around non-vital areas failed to provide a response.
After removing 80% of the liver once more to study the limits of it's regenerative abilities, the subject was sewn up, and sent off to rest, the process will be repeated again in intervals of two weeks and 15 more subjects will be taken in in order to track the cycle of regeneration among varying sizes and cutoffs of livers.
The state of subject 4129856 during the surgery is still unknown. The only rational explanation for the state is that water and bloodroot extract is actually a powerful anesthetic. However, the mixture has long been proven to be an bitter and ineffective.

20 subjects will be needed for more testing.

For lack of a better name, I shall call this illogical state of body, the "Blackwood Effect", for the meantime.

-Alice Blackwood.


Just as the witch had finished writing, Bandriel's voice had suddenly called her to the throne. She stood up from her study and half-eaten breakfast, and took a long drag from her pipe before letting the smoke free from her lungs. As Alice walked out from her room, she waved over another nurse, Mary, to come speak with her as they walked.
"Did you cremate the bodies last night?"
"Yes, Lady Blackwood."
"Test the new strength potion?"
"The yellow mixture with a twinge of purple?"
"Yes."
"The subject showed an increase of strength and endurance during the tests. Once I put it down and peeled back all the skin as per your request, muscle mass was five times the regular size but partially obstructed vital organs.
"I see. Find a clean slate-"(untested subject) "-and study the effects of long-term use."
"Yes, Lady Blackwood." and just as Mary was about to leave Alice grabbed her shirt to prevent her from leaving and stopped in place. "Inform Sava to wait for me in the suspended animation room, Queen Bandriel calls for me.
"Yes, Lady Blackwood." Alice let go of her and smiled.
"Good girl. Stick to the infirmary wing."

As the nurse had left Alice was close to the throne room and saw Leonid patiently waiting at the door. Alice had enough on for the morning, her witch's robes and tunic, walking barefoot and never wore her hat inside the confines of the castle.
"Morning Leonid." She greeted the tall torturer, who may be the only ally who isn't insane, casually before knocking twice upon the door, her leather gauntlets still wet with blood, only realizing with the dark marks it left on the door. Alice cursed herself mentally for forgetting to clean them but didn't want to wipe them off her clothes otherwise, despite knowing how to clean blood easily with the right materials, now certainly wasn't the time.
My Queen, it is Alice Blackwood, as I've arrived to your command. Shall I enter?"

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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Bandrial watched Toran's acts with child like glee. Her heart warmed at the sight of her previous partner's struggles and gurgles under Toran's strong hands. When her pet threw him from her window she thought she might be overcome with the excitement it caused her.

”Thank you Toran,” The witch said with fake innocence. “Thank you for saving your queen from such a vile man.”

It was about that time she heard the rap on her chamber door. She sought out with her mind to realize it was the two she had called for earlier. She rolled her dark eyes and sat on her bed.

“May I enter.” They asked her. She crossed her legs, the perfectly pale limbs becoming very visible through the slit in her dress.

”Let them in Toran dear,” she said venomously. ”I am pretty sure I asked you to meet me in the throne room, but since you are here in such a hurry we might as well talk now.” She played with her ruby hair as she thought.

[color=red]“Many of you know what tomorrow is. The day the comet will streak across the sky and choose the eight that are to defeat me.”
She allowed herself a small smile. “That vile, retched little prophet made a mistake by telling me of “The day of redemption,' we are going to do everything in our power to stop it. This is the most important thing we have ever done. If we fail here I promise I will not be going down alone. We have time to fix this “prophecy” to make sure that if it is real, it will never come to pass. The eight of light that are supposed to dethrone me are to be born tomorrow, and we are going to work together to make sure that they do not live into the next morning.” She turned to Leonid.

“You and your secret police are to go flush out anyone birthing in secret. You are to give any information you find to the Armies. We cannot let a single baby slip through our fingers.” The Ruby Queen then turned her gaze in the direction of the small witch.

“Alice dear, I need you to go get a variety of your serums, most importantly that mind link one you came up with,” she flitted her hands about as if she couldn't be bothered to remember the name of it. “So that Leonid and my soldiers can remain in contact, as well as any of the other serums that might aid them in battle. Also anything that you have that can help rid us of the nasty newborns I want you to put that into action as well. I know you probably have something that could do this quietly, but I need to make a statement, no one will ever rise against Bandrial.”

Finally she turned to look at her little solider. She smiled a seductive smile at him.

“Toran, I will have you going with one of my finest generals and his army to pick through the capital in the Northridge Fields. Leave not an infant alive, and take down anyone who opposes you.” She stood from her bed and went for the door.

“Make sure you meet with both of the others to get any information or supplies you need before you take off. We act tonight my loyal ones. The comet strikes at midnight.”

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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#, as written by Savier
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”Thank you, Toran, thank you for saving your queen from such a vile man.” Toran kept his head bowed, and while he knew that the man had never put Her in danger; his heart still quivered at Her words. What insignificant man such as the one who had taken a stop in the underworld do to Her? Nothing, but still She complimented him. The worm that was kneeling before Her because Her compassion and love knew no bounds.

A soft knock on the door snapped Toran's attention to the door that lead to Her bedroom, and he heard the mans voice on the other end. For a moment, he was ready to reach for his blade and end another miserable life that was daring to impede on Her honor, but he placed the voice. Sulla. The man who shared his enjoyment of torture. A man who was not a rival for Bandrial's love.

At least, not yet. ”Let them in Toran dear, I am pretty sure I asked you to meet me in the throne room, but since you are here in such a hurry we might as well talk now.”

Toran could not stop the smile that slide across his face masked by his helm at that. They were flawed and incapable of following the simplest of commands which is why he was the only one fit to be Her servant. Deep down it is what he wanted, to be the only one She needed for anything. There was nothing he wouldn't do for Her yet She still sought companionship in others... but logic stated that this was because he was a lowly mongrel barely worth licking Her boots.

Toran stood, his armor clinking from the metal plates pinging off on another, and opened the door holding it open for the two other servants to enter. Lord Sulla and Alice the little witch that Toran assumed Bandrial kept around because the witch amused Her. With them in the room, Toran shut the door softly as to not harm the Goddess's sensitive ears.

“That vile, retched little prophet made a mistake by telling me of “The day of redemption,' we are going to do everything in our power to stop it. This is the most important thing we have ever done. If we fail here I promise I will not be going down alone. We have time to fix this “prophecy” to make sure that if it is real, it will never come to pass. The eight of light that are supposed to dethrone me are to be born tomorrow, and we are going to work together to make sure that they do not live into the next morning.”

Toran tilted his head, prophecy? What prophecy? He had never heard of such a thing. Eight of light that were to dethrone her? Ludicrous. There was nothing that could stand in the way of the Goddess that sat upon the bed before him. How could any stand before Her? With her pale legs that peaked out from underneath Her dark dress that flowed with every curve, the slight slit in the dress that taunted him with the promise of what lay beneath.

Toran's attention snapped back to Her when She spoke to him. “Toran, I will have you going with one of my finest generals and his army to pick through the capital in the Northridge Fields. Leave not an infant alive, and take down anyone who opposes you.”

Nodding his head, he brought his armored fist to cover his breastplate and over his heart and bowed his head. "It shall be done." He said simply. Still, his mind could not help but lament over her tone. How? How could She look at him like that? Speak to him like that... in that soft voice that beckoned him to get closer and explore what the dark dress taunted him with, and yet he knew that the second he left She would take another of those filthy 'pretty' boys to Her chambers. His hands nearly trembled with rage over the images that flooded through his mind. He would enjoy this quest She had given him. He would cut down them all, drown in their blood because it would distract him. Distract him from what what his Goddess would be doing in the privacy of her room.

“Make sure you meet with both of the others to get any information or supplies you need before you take off. We act tonight my loyal ones. The comet strikes at midnight.”

Toran nodded his head once again, but he had no intention of doing that. He needed to kill something. Strangle them with their own intestines. With Her final command spoken, Toran bowed and turned on his heel to storm out of the room and down the stone hall, a loud clank accompanied his every move as his boot struck the stone over and over again. He could not wait; the blood of traitors, heretics, and even infants would flow in rivers, but Toran knew it would not be enough. It would not be enough to raise him from the level of a mongrel. It would not be enough to make Her look only at him... as heretical as such thoughts were he could not keep them from his mind. She was a Goddess, but he desired for Her to be only his Goddess. For now and forever.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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Leonid entered calmly and bowed as deeply as his bad leg permitted him. He leaned on his walking stick and just listened to his queen, his eyes sometimes flickering to Toran. He knew the man’s dedication was without question, but he was dedicated to a point that he might be a danger to others. He wasn’t sure what to think of Alice. She was an odd one that was for sure. He’d spent quite some time trying to dig up her past, but that had proven more difficult than originally anticipated. This made him wary. It was his task to know everything about everybody. Yes, she was seemingly on their side and she was trusted by Bandrial, but still. It was Leonid’s job to distrust everyone.

Leonid’s usual amused smile had disappeared from his face. This was a serious business. He had almost forgotten about the prophecy, or more exactly tried to forget about it. He had hoped the problem would just disappear if he ignored it. While prophecies were known to be quite unclear most of the time, this one had been clear enough. Clear enough to instill a healthy amount of fear but also clear enough to hand them the way to defeat it. He would do everything to make sure Bandrial remained in power, if that meant slaughtering all those babies, so be it. Besides, given enough time most of them would have probably developed traitorous sentiments over time, even if they hadn’t been destined to overthrow Bandrial.

If not for their cooperation with the army tomorrow, while bloodier, wouldn’t have been too different from other days. Leonid disliked working with them for such operations. They lacked a certain amount of finesse. Still, he saw the necessity and was willing to deal with the inconvenience it brought along. Tomorrow would be a most dangerous day but he had the opportunity to put an end to the danger. He made a mental note to try to collect as many skulls as possible from the corpses for later studies. He wondered if he would be able to determine whether they had been one of the ‘chosen ones’ merely through measurement of the skull. It would be most interesting, no doubt to see whether their 'potential' had already manifested itself on a visual level directly after birth. That combined with numerous other skulls from presumably innocent babies could further his study of craniometrics even more. The idea of a breakthrough was most thrilling. When Bandrial had finished, he cleared his throat and saluted with his free hand. He had a clearly defined task now. She always made clear what was expected and that was one of the many qualities he so admired in her.

“Thy will be done my queen. Rest assured, we will find all those who try to hide a birth and apply the purest solution,” he murmured formally, moistening his lips slightly. He loved the hunt, but the anticipation was even better. Already his mind was coming up with varying ways and tricks to discover the secret births. He was glad to have gotten that task. Those who were trying to hide the babies were the vilest traitors. Giving birth to a baby on that ill-fated day alone was shameful, but trying to get away with it? It was simply horrendous. There would be no mercy tomorrow, no restraint. He couldn’t fail. If even one child slipped through he would lose his post, his prestige and his power when Bandrial found out. Or even worse, the child himself might kill Leonid if he truly was one of the 'eight of light'.

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood
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#, as written by Aporia
Toran was always the last thing Alice wanted to see and when he had opened the door, she remained stoic in the beast's presence, with her bloody leather gauntlets behind her back and walked in as was instructed to them, hiding her repugnant hatred for Toran the Lap Dog of the queen with relative ease. Alice found the man equal parts pathetic and scary with both his upbringing to kill magical users and his obsession with Bandriel. After taking her distance from him, Bandriel started to speak of The Prophecy, and she mentally rolled her eyes for a brief moment before paying attention to the queen.

Alice, like Bandriel, were both previous inhabitants of Zaxon's castle, and both knew the castle prophet. While Bandriel had learned to fear the old prophet and his words that disturbed her, the witch has often regarded him as a drunk fat old man who did nothing but look at stars all day and match patterns in the sky. He was, what Alice would say, useless and though in extension thought his words were so as well, she wouldn't disobey Bandriel's orders either, unless to purposely incur her wrath.

As such, her whole afternoon in the suspended animation chamber was going to be held off for the sake of making potions for brutes. Even Bandriel knew Alice could manufacture something silent that will rid of the newborns cleanly and efficently but for the sake of making "a statement", brutes away! Honestly, what was more fearful, a queen with armies and soldiers under her control that do the work for her or the illusion that the queen was so powerful she could kill all the newborns with nary a sight, or whisper of the wind?

The queen's order was however the queen's order even though Alice would have tried to argue her point if only Toran wasn't there.

After the meeting Alice went back to the her sectioned off part of the castle and called her nurses together to work on their quota for tomorrow: 3 cauldrons of Mind Link, 2 Cauldrons of Strength, 1 cauldron of Speed, Regeneration and 2 more cauldrons of Ginihiko mixture. The Mind Link worked quite simply, it was a blue mixture one would drink that would mix with the blood and crawl up to the brain and remain there thus for about a few days where they'd be able to communicate with anyone who drank the same mixture. By simply adding a variant to the mix, the Mind Link could be sectioned off into groups of people, such as leaders, squads, and those in between, allowing instant communication to all.

The rest are self explanatory except for the Ginihiko mixture which acts like a powerful painkiller with the unfortunate side effects of rendering women who take it to be shortly rendered unable to produce breast milk for approximately two weeks. All it had required then was a moderate dosage to poison the water supply of a small town, just maybe two cups, and that was that. Let the newborns starve out and then normality. Leonid's agents seemed to be appropriate for such a discrete task.

For perhaps a moment, Alice thought about her family in Belfield, but quickly dismissed it. Alice stationed one of her more intelligent creatures, the Griffin to keep watch amongst the perimeter of the city for any hostile enemy looking forces and to only attack when aggravated to do so. He was a big, loyal steely-eyed creature that understood her commands easily. It wasn't that Alice distrusted Bandriel when she promised her family protection, while The Queen Of Evil might be just as her name beckons, she had respected Alice enough to keep her word, lest anyone incur Bandrial's wrath. It was the roaming army and soldiers that she would worry about.

After a full day of work, the exhausted Alice fell to her bed in the infirmary, and looked back up at the stone ceiling as she thought about her family. Her husband was in his 40's and still the Captain of the Guard. Cassandra was 22 and as Aliteal had told her, she's a guard herself, ever the tomboy. Lia is 20, Lucious 19 and Zack 17. Lia and Lucious still haven't come back from their adventuring yet.

"Maybe they never will." Alice thought in the darkness. "Like how I'll never come back to the mountain." That was different though. Faroldilian Witches didn't have loving families, they had petty power struggles, assassinations, and raids.
"It's just a phase," she told herself in the darkness as she drifted to sleep. In the wake of genocidal infanticide, she wanted to see her kids, even for a short while.

The morning was going to be hectic, especially since she's feeding her beasts, and forgot to do so the day before.

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Toran Character Portrait: Leonid Sulla Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood Character Portrait: Giddeon Rosenheart
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As Leonid entered she knew that something was terribly wrong. He may be a frail little man, but he had never looked at her with so much delicious fear in his eyes before. She was fueled by it, invigorated by it. Had a baby escaped? Had one of the towns successfully rebelled? Her mind reeled with different sections of bad news that could have Leonid so scared he seemed to be stuttering.

“My queen, I…I must bring you grave news, after studying the skulls for some time I didn’t find any special ones, nothing that could hint at any of them belonging to a chosen one. Moreover, the skulls didn't even seem to hint at the fact that certain babies had been elevated above the others. It was then that I decided to reread the prophecy and I’ve come to the unfortunate conclusion that we have misinterpreted it until now. While yesterday was the day the heroes were marked, it didn’t specifically say yesterday was the day they’d be born,”

Bandrial could feel the fire in her gut threatening to burst. What was he saying? How could she have over looked this? Had her own hubris gotten so far in the way that she could not see this tiny detail, this one little thing. This was going to cause her much work and frustration.

[color=red]”Continue..”[/b] her voice was booming and fierce. Electricity sparking from her fingertips in her aggravation.

“so I fear we have spent yesterday killing the wrong suspects. It is likely that the seven heroes are all still alive and trying to fulfill this prophecy…”

She let out a howl of rage, electricity sparking off of her and bouncing off of everything else and quickly becoming an danger to anything in the throne room.

“You may want to leave.” Giddeon warned the head of the secret police. “I don't think she wants to hurt you but it might be inevitable at this point.”

“Leave me Leonid!” She growled. “Get to finding out who these wretches are and quit wasting my time! If you have no use to me the I need you not!” She focused her energy to contact Toran.

"Get back to the castle Toran, make haste. I need you." She knew that he would be there as soon as he was able. Then she turned to Giddeon.

“Send someone to get Alice, it may be time to use one of the Aces up my sleeve. Let's nip this irritation in the bud, shall we?” she then sunk into her throne, still sparking with anger.

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood Character Portrait: Giddeon Rosenheart
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#, as written by Aporia
Alice woke form her bed later then she usually would on any day, maybe the semblance of a good night's rest more important, considering the events of last night. The witch let out a heavy sigh and quickly rose from the bed, lest the nurses become unproductive without her. After a quick shower and a meal brought over by a servant girl, Alice felt slightly better for herself, and reached for her closet where an old friend had laid for a long time, her lips twitching into a smile.

“Hey Griselda.”

The broom still solitary against the wooden wall didn’t as much as move at its master’s presence. The witch feared as much, it’s moody, and worst of all, giving her the silent treatment. Granted it’s been years since they’d flown so Alice wasn’t exactly expecting open arms. Still, she grabbed the broom and proceeded to leave the room, running into one of her nurses on the way out.

“Sava,” she called to garner her attention. ”If anyone asks, I’ll be outside, checking on my beasts.”
“Isn’t it dangerous to go outside Madame Blackwood?”

”I can handle myself, dear, besides it’s just the front.” Alice told her, giving her a reassuring smile before continuing to walk off. ”Don’t think that means any of you can slack off while I’m away. You girls know your duties!” She called behind her shoulder, to hear a quiet “Yes, Madame Blackwood”.

As she made her way towards the stairs and then the roof, Alice could feel Griselda come around, her power flowing through the grip of the hand. The breeze was a nice, refreshing cold one and as the witch stood barefoot over the edge, Griselda was more than willing to forget years of abandonment for the chance to fly once more. Alice felt her heart race, in much the same way whenever she had a breakthrough in her research, and a familiar memory of her youth started to come back to her.
Standing at the top of the ice mountain in the middle of the night with the moon in full light and taking that one step over the edge to feel the wind blow back against her entire body while falling. It was just the same feeling Alice felt as she started falling upside down from the roof of the castle and clutched on to the broom which spurred into action, slowing the descent as it reached the ground before shooting up into the clouds and stopping so they could both have a birds-eye view of the area.

“Like the good ol’ times, hey Griselda?” Alice sneered for a moment as she sat on the broom, took a moment to take in the entirely dead view of the Ironedge Marsh and looked below, to find a train of prisoners, or food depending on who you are, escorted by a couple of guards. The witch lowered herself from the sky to her level, much to the surprise of both the guards and prisoners who saw her outside the castle.

“Miss Blackwood-“ One of the guards started to say in surprise, obviously puzzled and confused with her presence, “w-what are you doing here?”
She ignored the prisoners and their incessant crying as she answered the guard.
“I needed some fresh air.” Although one can’t speculate for the health of Ironedge Marsh, what with the poisonous fog, despite the fact that Alice had developed immunities for both herself and any guards who worked outside.

”Also, I wanted to see how my beasts are holding up.” The other guard turned his head at that point and had to inquire: “You mean, you made these creatures out here?”
With something akin to a sense of pride, she held her head quite high and smiled, very satisfied with her work. ”Of course. You didn’t think they were natural did you?”

Once all the chained prisoners reached the end of the stairway, they were freed of their leg chains, and allowed to run. Although they were confused at first, many did just that, as according to the program. Their screams curdled in the air as they were ripped apart by many of Alice’s creations.

It was better for the animals to fight for their food and better if the food was free-range and alive so their hunting prowess would be sharp and wild. To domesticate them, would be to weaken them, but it was better to control their minds with fear. One very notable creature was the giant three headed mutt, a creature that she’d dub as Cerberus, who tore apart the prisoners at an almost competitive pace with itself, each head viciously biting for the next piece of prey it can grab. The gnashing of bones as their bodies were crushed under its teeth was vicious, taking great amount of ferocious to chew into the sinew and muscle at a quick meticulous pace.

At this point, Alice could swear she heard her very name being called but ignored it for a little while as she watched the beasts eat with a curious interest. And then she heard it again, but louder.

“What the hell is that idiot doing?”

The witch turned, saw, and understood just that. One of the guards from the castle was running down from the castle, waving his arms like a lunatic, shouting her name. This was possibly the worst thing anyone could do in front of a series of monstrous, hungry creatures, such as the ones feeding right now, hence why the guards wore plate armor, and walked. Only those who the Queen had deemed important, Toran, Korak, Leonid, and her most recent boy-toy, Giddeon, could leave and navigate Ironedge Marsh with ease thanks to Alice’s work that prevents the animals from seeing them as hostile.

Of all the creatures to have noticed the messenger, it was Cerberus who had done so, chewing on a young woman as it took notice, the other two heads eating the top and bottom of her body as it’s rocked forward. It’s body bent forward, poised to run, saliva dropping from the edges of its mouths before leaping forward in a frenzied run towards the messenger, knocking aside the two guards like rag dolls and as it was mere feet from tearing the man apart. Alice swooped in between them atop Griselda with her arm extended towards the beast, suddenly stopped in place.

The ice that suddenly clutched and held still of all three of the beasts’ dog throats was shaped in the image of Alice’s hand, as her own hand slowly closed, so did the icy grip tighten. It was a completely unnecessary thing, to shout out spells and make hand gestures, as they were the crutches meant for amateur mages. As Cerberus tried to escape the grip defiantly however, she brought her hand, and the icy equivalent followed as the heads of Cerberus crashed against the floor, such hand gestures was completely necessary for the its wild mind to make the connection that she was responsible for the magic.

The grip tightened and it tried to breathe, its circulation cut, and the monster’s eyes glazed over before she lightened the grip and made the ice hands disappear, it’ll regains the strength it needs in a couple of minutes. Discipline was necessary for a monster who knew no thought and discipline was only achievable through fear. Alice knew Cerberus didn’t fear her when it didn’t cease from the attack of the messenger after she blocked its path.

The message was clear as the beast was subdued.

I created you, and just as easily, I can destroy you.

“Y-you saved my life.” The messenger said, dumbstruck at the events that transpired before him.
“I prefer to think of it you’re more useful alive then dead.” Alice Blackwood said coldy.
”Now, what was it you’re pestering me with?”
-------------------------------------------------
The witch cleared the distance as fast as Griselda could take her once the messenger made it clear that Bandriel urgently required her assistance.

As frivolous and narcissistic as Bandriel was, she knew better then to summon Alice on matters of extreme (or relative) importance, keeping in mind she acted as an advisor, she knew most, if not all, of the secrets Bandriel held and their dangers. As the witch approached the throne room, she could feel the Queen’s anger through the walls, and could only be re-assured of the worse. Alice opened the door to the throne room using a light push of air with one hand, her other hand carrying Griselda, and faced both the Queen as she sat on the throne and Giddeon who was by her. Blackwood regarded Gideon a bit like a black unicorn. A rarity, an outlier considering his history, and the very fact that he’s still alive but he was always unimportant to the matter at hand.

“Bandriel, I’ve received your message. What seems to be the problem?”

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Character Portrait: Bandrial the Wicked. Character Portrait: Korak Character Portrait: Alice Blackwood Character Portrait: Giddeon Rosenheart
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Korak marched slowly toward the Throne room that beheld his Ruler. His metal heeled boots making soft clacks on the floor below him as his legs carried him into the Palace. He had been summoned by Bandriel, and as always, he was nearby skulking along the perimeter of the large haven of his Alpha to keep any possible threats from entry, he was after all, a Hound. Though he despised that term, Korak was a mighty Wolf, not a Hound. The scent of the outside world soon drifted from his keen nostrils and were quickly replaced with the warm, supple of what he deemed his home, it was musty scent of dust, and stone, and cloth, with a faint tinge of sweet blood and fear now and then. It was a welcoming scent, one humans couldn't detect easily, nor would it have the resonance within them as it did him.

As Korak sauntered through, he'd look at each Guard, most bowing their heads and avoiding eye contact, some freezing up and becoming stiff and unweary due to The Unease, or the spirit that rested under his eyes, whispering out for their blood and flesh if they met its cold and predatory gaze. A smirk would cross his strong-jawed maw each time as his black-bear fur coat flew behind him. The male was glad in light and nearly grizzled leather armor, his left arm and shoulder devoid of any clothing or armor other than strap in which his cloak linked to his body. A soft stubble of facial hair covered his chin and cheeks, but otherwise he was well-groomed, odd for a wolf. Tribal tattoos trailed along his neck, words and phrases, names of the greater creatures he had slain in his hunts. His right hand rested on the golden and emerald pommel of his heavy blade that lay in its sheath upon his side.

Korak pushed the great doors of the Throne apart with ease, his walk was poised and confident, nearly as confident as the voice that rang through the halls. "You called, majesty?" . There was no disrespect in that voice, nor disdain, only sincerity and that icy cold tinge of his tribal accent, still remaining after all these years. Upon nearing the Throne, he'd stop next to the Witch, who had already entered, dropping into a kneel before looking up at the Queen, his eyes reaching for hers for a brief moment before turning and starting at Giddeon. A cold, icy scare accompanied by The Unease from the creature within. After a few more moments of kneeling, he'd rise slowly and await her golden, powerful words. His ears still listening for anything else approaching Her throne.