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Salazar Eskandi

"Who me? I'm the most honest liar you'll ever meet."

0 · 405 views · located in Etheria

a character in “Skyguard: Rising”, originally authored by Pyroteknik, as played by Selene Durlan

Description

Salazar Eskandi

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Partner: Faelwen Irwin




Gender: Male
Age:18
Height: 6’1”
Weight: 175
Hair: Black
Complexion: Dark, swarthy, dusky… there’s no getting around his origins, and he wouldn’t want to.
Country of Origin: Lorthus




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Relationships: TBA

Characteristics and Traits:
Salazar is not a guy most people will fail to notice. Tall, with a confident stride, and dressed unabashedly in the desert stylings of his native lands, he sticks out like a sore thumb in moderate, stately Eirea. Inky-black hair is worn shaggy, often curtailed from its inevitable progress into his eyes by a pair of scarves, wrapped around his head and left to trail raggedly to somewhere around his knees or so. Those never seem to leave him, though the rest of his clothing changes with his mood, from loose shirts and trousers with brightly-colored sashes, to leather vests with or without anything underneath, to dizzyingly-patterned silks and satin in the rich colors only the Lorthusians have ever figured out how to dye. Never even a hint of metal, though.

His build is relatively muscular, but it’s nothing next to his aura. Salazar exudes palpable dominance and power, even for a Sentinel. It’s not something he has a lot of control over, and actually, he tends to dislike this fact about himself. He’s often to be seen making up for it with brilliant white smiles and jests, both tasteful and otherwise. He’s a strutting peacock half the time, all flash and color and vibrancy, but don’t ever make the mistake of assuming he can’t back it all up and then some. He tends to play the fool a bit, just for fun, and is one of the most lively amongst his peers, friendly to everyone regardless of how off-put they are by him.

It’s hard to tell which is more real: the laughing, jesting desert dervish, with his juggling and his silly acrobatics and his unflappable demeanor, or the darker, quieter, shadow in his aura, the creeping secrets and the evasions produced when he’s asked personal questions. There’s something that seems vaguely… unsettling about him at times, but the astute will recognize that darkness and evil are far from the same thing.

At any rate, it’s not something that comes up often, and he gets along with most everyone just fine. Salazar wears his Skyguard Seal on his belt, right there for all the world to see. He isn’t ashamed of what he is, even if there are those who would disdain him for it.



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Abilities and Talents:
Salazar has quite a bit of magical power and knowledge at his disposal, and has training in several schools of the craft, though he focuses on fire and darkness with some healing thrown in for safety. That’s mostly for Faelwen, though—he isn’t too concerned about his own, apparently. Currently, the six spells in his repertoire are as follows:

Blinding- Salazar can blind one or more enemies by encasing their visual organs in spheres of darkness that will cling until dispelled by himself or stronger opposing magic. This can be extended as a bubble of darkness over a large area, but as that would blind his allies as well, he seldom uses it for this purpose.
Shadow Travel- Over moderate distances, Salazar can sink into one shadow and “travel” through it to emerge out of another, almost instantaneously. He can carry passengers for this, but only if he wants to.
Inferno- Your basic fire spell. Because of the strength of his aura, his fireballs are larger and more destructive than most. Notably, they’re also black, and seem to burn hotter than usual flames.
Firestorm- A much bigger, more advanced fire spell, this one summons dozens, possibly even hundreds, of flames from the sky like meteorites, to lay waste to large numbers of enemies. Also black, and thus recognizable as belonging to Salazar when cast.
Greater Healing- Moderately-advanced healing technique. It’s not anything as good as a specialist could do, but Salazar is capable of mending most wounds. He couldn’t save a person from something mortal, and this spell tends to drain him faster than most things would. Visually, it wreaths the recipient in dark flames, but these ones don't hurt, and instead feel pleasantly warm. Notably better than most healing techniques at removing poison.
Telepathy-Salazar can receive and transmit telepathic messages. He cannot look into minds without permission, and only thoughts directed at him will register. As a small side effect, he can usually sense nearby presences without needing to see or hear them.

Dragon Form:
Salazar’s dragon form is a mighty creature, somewhat larger than average and colored like ink or pitch. Curled horns erupt from his forehead and curve back over his skull, ending in sharp obsidian points some feet behind his crown. His wingspan is proportionally massive, giving him a lot of speed in the air, and serious strength to his strokes. He's most at home in the sky, but he can swim reasonably well also.

Dragon Abilities:
Much like his human-form magic, Salazar’s dragon form utilizes a breath weapon of black fire. His massive aura is his primary strength, though he is not particularly deficient at anything. Overall, he’s well-balanced, but definitely leans towards magic, perhaps the most talented at it in his generation of Sentinels. While his large wings are good for speed, they do make tighter maneuvers a bit difficult.

So begins...

Salazar Eskandi's Story

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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When Eshe Summersong dreamed, it was in white.

The driven snow of her homeland, howling over the plains and between the hills, whistling through the threadbare trees and the needles of coniferous pines, tearing at them with vicious hands or tugging with the gentle caress of a lover, if the season was right. The long nights and short days called to her, the subtle crunch of ice and snow underfoot and the foggy tendrils of her breath gusting into the frozen air. Sometimes, the wind was still, and there was nothing to be heard on the tundra but the sound her own body made, little to be seen but the starlight glimmering off the frozen landscape, setting her hair and skin and eyes aglow with some unnamable ice-fire-light that could only be understood by those who had seen it.

Kalium was in her blood, her bones, and her heart, but it was not what called her forth now. Something greater than even the love she bore the land of her birth tethered her to grander purpose, and as it had for every morning since she took her refuge here, it summoned her forth from her dreams. Returning to the world of the waking, Eshe cracked an eyelid, blinking both several times when she realized she still had more than an hour until sunrise. It would do. Doubtless Kirill was already awake somewhere, probably intending to watch the ascent of the fire in the sky. She never knew how to feel when its warmth washed over the world. For her people, warmth was life, it staved off the chill of ice and winter, fed them and braced them against the forces of nature, but in her eyes, that warmth also chased away the most magical of the world’s beauty—still nights and starlight.

She did not devote more time than necessary to contemplating this, however, instead rising, cleansing herself as she did twice daily, and donning a light, loose shirt cast off her shoulder in a shallow boatneck, and fitted, dark trousers. This morning was training, and she did not desire to be overly armored this time, but recognized practicality all the same. Her nearly-luminous hair was pulled into a no-nonsense ponytail, and she strapped her sheathed hook swords along with her bow and quiver on her back.

Aware that she still had time, Eshe made it out to the training ground just as the first rays of sunlight were emerging over the horizon. Her partner had a flair for the dramatic, and he was very good at it. She, on the other hand, was considerably more… subtle, and she’d hidden herself behind a straw dummy, soundless and motionless, when he made his slightly-harder-than-necessary landing. His ‘voice’ sounded in her mind with palpable irritation, and she allowed him to sense a sliver of amusement over the link.

No, she replied simply in the same fashion, I am only unseen. He was looking in the proper direction, it was true, and doubtless he could sense her to some degree, but it was not yet perfect. Melting out from the cover of the shadow, Eshe seemed to appear almost, but not quite, from thin air. She strode at an easy jog towards him, tipping her head back to look into his brilliant draconian eye. ’Twould be a rather unfair match if we were to spar as you are now, she said over the mind link. Though there were still traces of indulgence in her mental ‘tones,’ she did not smile. Eshe rarely ever smiled, though not for lack of trying on Kirill’s part. There was just a little too much of Kalium’s hardness and ice in her, perhaps, though she was far from cruel.


She was able to say nothing else, however, before Lowa landed next to Kirill. Eshe was uncertain as to the purpose of the interruption; perhaps they were being summoned at last? But it did not seem so. Eshe returned the greeting with a dip of her head, but it was not for her to answer anything on Kirill’s behalf. Though they were partners, he was his own person as much as she, and though she desired to spar, if he wished to race, then race he would, and she would find another method of training herself today. One of the reasons their partnership worked as well as it did was the mutual respect they shared for one another, after all.



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One would expect a man like Salazar Eskandi to be lazy beyond reckoning, and never leave the comfort of his sleep until he absolutely had to.

Honestly, they’d be right, but the circumstances under which he considered himself ‘forced’ were different now than they used to be. Faelwen was insistent on morning training. Salazar was insistent that he did nothing without breakfast. Somehow, they managed to meet in the middle, which usually resulted in breakfast at an ungodly hour of the morning, followed by training on a full stomach. It wasn’t an ideal solution for either of them, but it was a compromise, and if the instructors that he usually pretended not to listen to were right, then that was the more important thing anyway.

Nobody was really sure where he put it, but Salazar could eat more than men half again his considerable size, and never seemed to gain weight because of it. He put his appetite down to a childhood starved more than anything, but of course nobody here knew anything about that. He talked about himself, if prompted, but he never really said anything with the words. A distinction sadly underappreciated by most people, he felt.

Either way, he was halfway through an enormous plate of meat, eggs, sprouts, and some delightful Eiran substance called a ‘pancake’ when he sensed Faelwen’s presence. He wouldn’t put it past her to have snuck in a jog or some light exercise already. She, unlike him, had a serious work ethic. Salazar was near the top of his class by sheer dent of talent, not effort—he rarely saw anything as important enough to apply his full attention to, and his mind was always spinning off in a thousand direction, chasing down mental tangents or being distracted by shiny objects, as he’d have someone believe, and that was frankly just fine by him. He was stubborn, in a subtle way, and wasn’t going to change who he was for anybody. Compromise, he was willing to try, but not a serious attitude adjustment.

“Morning, Sunshine,” he greeted Faelwen, flashing a quick, pristine grin before turning back to his food. It was a nickname she’d earned mostly due to the color of her hair, which he found mildly fascinating. Nobody had golden hair in Lorthus—his people were all dark as he was, or close. Frankly, she was lucky he hadn’t stuck with ‘buttercup,’ which had been his alternative thought on possible diminutives for her. As it was, he used that one with someone else that it fit much better. “What’s on the agenda for today?” He didn’t care, and she did, so it was very easy for them both to let her make the decisions regarding such matters.

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Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Faelwen had just retrieved her breakfast platter when she noticed Salazar had spoken to her. "Im surprised you truly had to ask" she smirked. "We will train, I've heard that some of us might be summoned soon, and I for one, would like to be ready." Starving, she hurried and opened the eating utensils to her left and began to eat her pancake, only to stop shortly there after. "Ugh, this is disgusting!" she groaned, hesitantly standing to her feet as she left Salazar momentarily to walk to the garbage that was a few spaces away. She had been up early this morning, just like most mornings as of late, since she could not sleep. The nightmares just kept coming back, and each time it seemed to worsen. Left with few options, she had decided to get an early start to the day by heading to the arena, and practicing on the training dummies. With each punch, and kick she felt a bit of her frustration and tension release until she had nothing else to give.

Not wanting to be a burden, she would not tell Salazar of the nightmares that continuously robbed her of sleep. Instead she would do as expected and make them train, if not, he would inquire about the change, and it was far too embarrassing to admit. Looking towards him she nodded towards the door. "C'mon you!" Gently, she removed herself from the table saying goodbye to the others. She wasn't wearing her armory, just a simple maidens gown fabricated in white lace. It suited her well and wouldn't hinder her training. After all, she had fought in a ball gown before; so this was nothing but normal, casual attire.

All knowing that Salazar would follow her lead, she silently prayed to the gods that today would not be one of those days where he attempted to rattle her, surely she would break. Once she arrived to the arena, two guards near the door approached her. "Madam, you have no authorization here. Please, gather yourself and continue on your way."She shook her head as she let out a chuckle. "I am Faelwen Irwin, vanguard of Skyguard and I AM authorized to come into this arena." The guards gave her a quizzical look "Where is your amour displaying your symbol?" "It is at home, I am woman, am I not permitted to dress in a formal gown when, and if I please. Amour is only necessary when we are in the heap of battle." She inched closer to the guards "Does it look like I am in a battle right now?"

The guards shook their heads and offered their condolences. "I am sorry, yes you're right. Please.." the man gestured towards the arena doors. "do come in." Nodding their way she walked into the arena and gathered her bow and arrow as well as her sword. They were right as she left them. Continuing down the walkway, she set her weapons upon a rock before sitting on the bench beside it. She would quickly take a nap.. After all, it was only a nap.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar
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Truly, Salazar didn’t have to ask. He knew—he usually did. It helped that their training schedule was so clockwork that you could measure the accuracy of an hourglass by it. Honestly, he really thought that Faelwen needed to learn to be more spontaneous, but he supposed it wasn’t really any of his business. He was her Sentinel, not her mother, thank the gods for that. Trying to imagine himself with children was kind of like trying to imagine Eshe Summersong laughing—it simply didn’t compute. He would know; he’d tried to make her laugh, but even her partner could only occasionally coax a smile out of her, and nobody had ever managed any more than that. Hence her Salazar-bestowed nickname: the Ice Princess.

He wasn’t sure what Sunshine’s issue with the pancakes was; he happened to think they were pretty delicious. Then again, he tended to eat pretty much anything and a lot of it. Unfortunately, her discontent with the meal just meant that they had to get to training sooner, and that wasn’t anywhere near as fun as eating. Oh well—honestly, the sacrifices he made for the woman were astounding. She wore a full suit of metal armor—a full suit!—and he said not a word about it, trusting her to wrap the metal in enough leather to not make him ill. And he didn’t even like his lash, but he wore it because it made the whole thing safer and more comfortable for her. Really. You’d think that would earn him some consideration, but you would be wrong, apparently.

Sighing, he took his time taking care of his dishes, and followed his partner out at something of a delayed pace. It wasn't that he was genuinely upset about any of that-- he was far too relaxed and easygoing a fellow to get upset over the trivialities of life. Fretting was just a waste of time. The guards certainly recognized him, and let him pass without comment, whereupon he spotted Faelwen on a bench, apparently trying to catch some z’s, as he thought the expression went. Next to her was Arabella, which meant that the formidable Feolan was… ah yes, there he was, near the archery targets.

“Bluebell!” he called pleasantly, sauntering up to the two women with a grin. His name for Arabella was derivative on both her actual name and the odd indigo hue of her eyes. It helped that a bluebell was a flower native to this region as well, of course—Salazar liked things that were interesting or appropriate on more than one level. “How does the morning find you?” He was a social creature, Salazar, and furthermore, Faelwen looked like she could really use whatever rest she was getting. Maybe that meant they wouldn’t have to train too much this morning. It was shaping up to be a beautiful morning, and there were so many better ways to spend it…



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It seemed her partner was not in the mood to race this morning, and Eshe cocked her head to the side. “Perhaps another time, Lowa,” she offered gently, trying to reassure the girl that no offense was meant. Kirill had rough edges, ones that she was perfectly fine and content with, but Eshe knew that other people were often more sensitive than she was. So while she never spoke for her partner without his express permission, she did occasionally smooth things over, when she deemed it needful.

Kirill retook his human form, and Eshe nodded shortly, indicating that she was ready to begin. “Magic first, perhaps?” She tilted her head to one side. She was more talented with it than the average Vanguard, a unique property of her heritage, but that did not mean she was anywhere near the level of a Sentinel. Usually, this kind of practice was a simple matter, but a vital one: Kirill would level his considerable magic at her, and she would provide a durable, moving target, launching her own spells in return often enough that he could not become comfortable or fall into patterns in his attacks. It was a fair bit more brutal than ordinary sparring, but they could and did handle it. Where others might have grown to resent being pummeled at by their closest ally in such a way, it only made them stronger, forged their bond of alliance and friendship into something true and enduring.

Rolling her shoulders, Eshe backed up a couple of steps, light on her feet as always. They picked a part of the field currently unoccupied by anyone else’s practice, as they did not desire that anyone be caught in their crossfire. Brutal this might be, but they were careful about the safety of others, even if they didn’t seem to show much regard for their own. The first spell came, and Eshe threw herself into a roll, back up on the balls of her feet in the blink of an eye. And just like that, they were off, the clash of spells and creative maneuvers only half the battle, as he was also trying to gain entrance to her mind, as a hostile telepath might. The effort of blocking both the mental and the physical assault was not an easy one, but Eshe was not a weak woman, and he would not find her a simple target at all.

Besides, after this, they fought hand-to-hand, and they were both quite good at that as well. She would never dream of pulling steel on Kirill, so she’d grown adept in these arts for his sake as well as her own. Her weapons training was something she conducted alone, or with a partner when possible. Feolan moved in a similar liquid way to the one she’d been taught, and so sometimes she asked him, as she felt that she gained quite a lot from those sessions in particular, the ones where she could not only fight an opponent, but truly learn from them. Fighting a fully-armored knight was useful, but it didn’t give her much to incorporate into her own style, after all.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Arabella


Arabella glanced over, eyes lighting up at the sight of Salazar waltzing towards here. She stepped forth to meet him, her body pressing close against his. Her arms draped themselves around his neck. She could see the flicker of surprise as her face neared his. "Why hello, my desert scrub," she whispered teasingly. "My morning is all the better for seeing you... in fact..." Her arms slowly moved down, resting her hands against his chest. A mischievous smile spread across her face. "You might be just the Sentinel I've been looking for..."

Suddenly, her hand clutched tightly at his shirt, and she whirled away, dragging Salazar with her towards the center of the arena's training fields.

"C'mon lazy, I need someone to train with! I haven't had a good spar with another dragon in far too long! Besides, Feolan's busy trying out a new toy of his."


Feolan


Feolan held his new bow carefully, taking every care with it. Not that it was particularly fragile, but so what, he was allowed to be a bit precious about his creations.

He set down his quiver full of arrows, and nocked one to the bow. He let out a huff of breath. Alright. Here goes.

It took some effort to draw the arrow back to its full extent, even for one as strong as him. He lined up the arrow, sighting down the bow carefully. "Come now Warodan," he crooned, "Sing for me." The bow tensed up slightly. The small, silver-set diamond on it's front glowed with a dim warmth. He ensured the arrow was lined up, then released.

With a cry, the arrow launched itself from the bow. It buried itself dead in the center of the target, 300 yards away. There was a faintly metallic smell in the air, almost like when Sentinels cast lightning magics. Feolan whistled. Well... that worked pretty well.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Hearing Salazar's voice, Faelwen sat up rubbing her temples. Her focus was on Arabelle "No, no. Just got bored waiting for this one." She playfully pointed to Salazar. Her head was throbbing, and training seemed as if it would prove to be rather difficult.

Nevertheless..

Recollecting herself, she shot Salazar a look "Ready? After all.. you can never be too prepared." Knowing that he was fully capable of providing her with a hundred and one things he would rather be doing she grabbed her weapons and headed down the trail to where her locker was. Inside lay her metal armor with leather coverings to protect him. Putting on her gear she looked at the mirror, she was beginning to develop bags beneath her eyelids and her eyes possessed a hint of red in them from strain. There was only so much excuses, and things she could do to further cover her issue before it became inevitable. After all, if there was someone she could trust about her lack of sleep, it was her partner, but then again she didn't want him to see her vulnerable. She had a reputation to uphold.

Sliding her sword into it's spot of her armor she patiently awaited for Salazar to switch his form. Today, they would soar the skies..

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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Morning sparring was one of Eshe’s favorite things. She knew, in a way, that she took her training a little too seriously. It wasn’t just the physical stuff, either; she absorbed battle tactics and history and lore and even mathematics with the same zeal and verve, though of course she’d never been very expressive, and so her enthusiasm was manifested not in her words, but in her results. She made no proclamations of loyalty to the Skyguard or her few close friends or Kirill, but her actions left little doubt as to its evidence.

But there was something uniquely meditative about battle that she did not gain from her other lessons. It was a chance to be in constant motion, thought flowing together with instinct in a single stream of action and reaction. She felt no pressure to speak or express or be anything in particular, and that was a gift she understood as only those who had felt such pressure could. On the battlefield, everyone was the same: everyone fought for their lives with the resources available to them, and though some held back ‘dirty’ tactics for fear of dishonor, everyone gave all they had to give. If they didn’t, they died, and it was just that simple.

Simple was underrated, she thought, and it was a virtue she tried to incorporate into her life as much as possible. Her manner of dress was simple, as was her manner of speaking, when she felt the need. Her emotions were generally relatively uncomplicated and straightforward. She endeavored to keep herself free of angst and agonizing or worry, and though there was one very large secret that she kept studiously from everyone she could, even Kirill, she was otherwise free of them. She didn’t lie, because lies made things complicated as well.

Here, though, putting her steps in tandem to the vital heartbeat in her chest, striking with rhythm and precision and grace, things were the simplest of all. When she at last put Kirill down with a flurry of quick strikes and acrobatic kicks, she offered him both her hand and their accustomed telepathic bond, shaking her head lightly at what filtered through it. He was much more emotive than she was, and half the time, she didn’t really understand it. But it was just the way he was, and she accepted that easily. One would not think of a person like him as warm, but there it was. Warm and surprisingly friendly when the mood struck him right.

Breakfast sounds like a good idea, she replied, and sheathed the blade she’d been practicing with. I wonder when they’ll call us up for the trial? The two of them had flown on several missions with full Skyguard officers before, and it was hardly a surprise when they were selected for the Veto. An honor, but one that they had both worked hard enough to deserve. She knew the others that had earned it was well: her close friend Azriel and his kind partner Seph among them. It was a formidable group, all told, and she allowed herself to have confidence that they would all succeed without the arrogance that they wouldn’t have to work for it.

The mess hall was a bit empty at this point—most of those that ate first were already gone and those that ate after training would only just be arriving, so the lines were short. Eshe managed to finagle herself a waffle, a delightful concoction that she’d enjoyed since childhood, and slathered it in berries and rich syrup. She wasn’t the kind of person who worried about her figure—with this much training, you needed to get enough energy into your system anyway. She sat down across from her partner and dug in—no need to worry when you could conduct conversations entirely in thought.



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Salazar looked mildly nonplussed at Arabella’s response—though his left eyebrow did arch elegantly up his brow at the bodily contact. “Is that so?” he replied, a teasing lilt to his voice. He wound one strand of her dark hair around his finger and gave a gentle tug. A strange game she was playing at this moment, but then he was rather partial to it himself. He knew the steps, and when her hands slid along his chest, he almost shook his head. Laying it on a little thick there, Bluebell, he thought wryly.

Sure enough, she wanted something from him (didn’t everyone?) and he found himself being unceremoniously hauled onto the practice field, an action he allowed more from amusement than any superior exercise of strength on her part. “Why is it that all the women in my life want me to fight them?” he asked rhetorically, mirth dancing in his light blue eyes. “Hasn’t anyone figured out that I’m much more a lover than a fighter?” Not exactly true, actually, but he wasn’t going to go into the technical details of his disposition when he could jest instead.

Faelwen reappeared then, having gone to pad her armor as necessary, and now it seemed he was wanted for more things than he could properly even do, but a solution came to mind readily enough. “Yes, yes, all right, fine. But since she—” he indicated his partner— “is clearly dressed for flying, we’re doing this in the air.” Jogging a large number of paces back from the women, Salazar reached inwards, pulling at the ropes and roots of his magic. For most people, they were threads. Not so for Sentinels, and even less for him. Using magic was as simple as breathing, and his control over it was so fine that he actually had mastery of his own process of transformation, down to the details.

His skin, already darker than average, slowly took on the hue of shadow itself, a deep, fathomless black. The light of the morning sun reflected in shades of blue off the scales that overtook his still-human body thereafter, and the leatherlike wings erupted from his shoulderblades even as he grew taller, claws sprouting from his hands and feet and massive, curled horns from his head when his limbs elongated, bent, and twisted. He shot from a slightly-taller-than-average man to a massive dragon in about ten seconds all told, and there was something almost artistic about the transformation. His eyes flashed last, losing their sky-blue tinge and being replaced by liquid gold.

Double-checking that his lash was in place, he lowered his head enough to properly see Faelwen, then gingerly took hold of her around the middle, choosing to believe that she had adequately accounted for this possibility in protecting her garments. With surprising care, he deposited her at the juncture of his neck and shoulders, where his lash was. “Well?” he inquired of Arabella, his voice in this form still slightly accented, but smooth like dark silk and with some odd reverberation in it. “Shall we fly?” He knew without needed to ask that this was what Faelwen had intended them to do, and aerial combat practice would only add a random and dangerous element to their usual regimen, something he doubted she would object to.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Gently reaching for his lash she couldn't help but roll her eyes. Yes, do flirt with each other because no, I am not standing here at all, I mean forget common courtesy. Biting her lip she looked towards Arabella then at Salazar, a slight tinge of jealousy began to initiate within Faelwen's core. It bothered her that all she really ever thought of doing was training, in fact, she couldn't think of the last time she went out of her daily normalities to do something for her partner, hell, she could barely sleep but yet another vanguard of no relation that she knew of, appeared to connect with him quicker than she ever did. Then again, surely they were both flirts and careless, two of a few qualities to name that she just didn't have.

Letting out a sigh she bit her lower lip, she truly did not want to be in the middle of their affair. It would make her sick to her stomach for sure, but she couldn't turn back. It would probably cause unnecessary commotion, which she truly wanted to avoid at this point. Suck it up, tired or not.. Forcing a smile, she gazed towards Arabella "Well then, I trust that you're ready to go?" she asked, halfheartedly, still very confused by the strange anger she began to feel, knowing all to well why she felt that way.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Arabella


Arabella couldn't help but laugh at Salazar's jest. He was almost as incorrigible as... well, she was. "Oh, a lover are you? Well I'm afraid I don't need any practice at that. Although, I would love to wallop on you for a bit." Fighting in the air certainly wouldn't be giving her any advantage, as she was perhaps the largest, slowest dragon currently training to become a skyguard knight, and was most dangerous when the opponent couldn't run. Still, it would be better practice.A real Sentinel dragon fight would most likely be in the air.

Feolan, Faelwen and Salazar want to do a little air-borne sparring. Put down the toy and get over here. She saw him glance over before picking up his bow and quiver, strapping both to his back. It's hardly a toy. She looked at him quizzically. "Bringing the bow with you? Won't the arrows just fall out if we turn upside down?"

"Master Callistan's new quiver enchantment. You have to tug on the arrows a little more, but it stops 'em falling out when sparring without needing a cover. It's a bit of a pain normally, but it actually makes them usable mid-fight. He's still testing them out, but he'd probably give you one if you asked him Faelwen." He gestured towards her when he said this, and couldn't help but notice her forced smile. Arabella, however, was clueless as to her half-halfheartedness.

"All ready here!" Arabella proclaimed, beaming at Faelwen. A Cheshire-cat grin spread across her face, teeth sharpening insidiously as her jaw warped and elongated. Crack! Her spine elongated suddenly. Claws burst from her rapidly extending arms, and her neck elongated outwards. Iridescent violet scales erupted from under her skin, and wings of expanding bone and sinew twisted their way out of her back. Her transformation was not one of the more elegant ones, but that was alright. Neither was her dragon form.

Feolan leapt up nimbly, using the legs of the saddle to haul himself into his seat. "We don't have to do this if you're not into it Faelwen," he called out. "I'm always happy to practice swordplay."

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Silveria Delphine Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Scipio Novius Character Portrait:
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She briefly nodded at Feolan "No thank you, my weapons are safely protected. I customized them myself." She replied, the anger she felt before coming to a simmer. After all there was no reason for her to feel that way, she and Salazar were long time partners and it would never work, they were far to different. Without thinking, she let go of the lash and released her hair from its formidable bun. Her long golden colored locks fell instantly to her shoulders, and down to her waist. A loose strand took residence at the side of her face as she turned her to gaze to Arabella. "We can fly, just as long as you are aware of what you're asking for. You're fairly new so I'm sure Salazar wont go too fast but it will be a challenge."

She gave Salazar's neck three taps and he understood. standing up on his feet revealing his massive body within full perspective as he began to flap his wings in wide, broad strokes. Then, he shoot up through the air, twisting as he began to soar out of the area. Once in the sky he waiting patiently for Arabella and Feolan, giving Faelwen time to secure a safe position on his lash as she drew of her sack of arrows. Wrapping it around her before she drew her bow, and locked an arrow in place. Ready to begin, she smirked. When it came to aerial flight, she was prowess, this was her specialty.

After this I am going to sleep, god knows I need it..





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Having finished her breakfast, she simply smiled. "Pio, it doesn't matter. Finish eating though." Smiling she undid her armor until she was simply in her gown. A blue mystical aura began to cover her as a webbed tail began to replace her feet. Her body turned into a shade of blue as her scales became defined, then slowly her head began to take the final form of a dragon. Her jewel locked into place as she began to flap her wings, lifting herself from the ground as she ascended into the sky. Soon she was out of sight to those down below, with a chuckle she placed her wings at her sides and let herself fall as she plundged into the bank causing an explosive splash.

Beneath the water she was hard to spot do to her skin camouflage. Using her tail she swam all the way to shore in one breath, hopping along to sand as she lowered her neck to Scipio.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Arabella & Feolan


"Fairly new? I'm sorry, but did it sound like she was offering to take it easy on us?!?" Angry whisps of smoke drifted from Arabella's nostrils. Shoulder muscles shifted visibly beneath her skin, tensing as her legs coiled to launch into the air.

"Take it easy Bella, I'm sure she didn't mean anything by it. Don't get too rough up there."

The fiery Sentinel grunted a grudging acknowledgement. Powerful legs pistoned her upwards, broad wings digging into the air to propel her into flight. Catching a nice thermal coming off the sun-baked roofs of Sentinels Keep, Arabella rose swiftly, tailing Salazar into the air. The black was larger than many of the sentinels, and fast too, but in terms of brute strength and size Arabella still outmatched him. If she could keep them locked close, it would be her game.

Feolan lent forward in the saddle, keeping himself level with Arabella. His own bow, Warodan, was strapped around his back, the magic of its enchantments a comforting warmth. His hand reached to the whip coiled at his hip, unhooking it. Durin's Bane, Master Callistan had called it. Apparently the name of some beast out of old stories he'd been told as a child. It seemed fitting.

Arabella hovered before Salazar briefly. She nodded towards him. Let battle begin. She beat her wings powerfully, launching towards him. It was a simple attack, just testing the waters before battle commenced in earnest. They'd have plenty of time to see it coming and dodge out the way, or counter it.

The moment they drew close enough however, Feolan let loose with Durin's Bane, the fiery whip extending outwards to come cracking down at Faelwen from an incredible distance. Arabella continued with her charge, keen to test out their opponent's strength.

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Character Portrait: Feolan & Arabella Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait:
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He wasn’t really sure what his partner’s deal was; normally, she was sickeningly enthusiastic at the prospect of training, especially against another team, but this morning, she didn’t seem to be feeling it. Normally, he didn’t ask her of she was okay or anything—it just wasn’t part of their conversational repertoire. This was partly because he preferred to talk of light things and frivolous things and things that didn’t matter, because it made people believe that he was light and frivolous and didn’t matter, and this was the way in which he preferred to be perceived.

It usually worked very well, and sometimes, he was certain even Faelwen was fooled by it. But there was another reason he behaved thus, and that was because he had faith in her strength. He would never have chosen to partner with a weak or useless person, despite what others might think, and he respected her enough for who and what she was to avoid prying into her business if she didn’t want to share. Theirs was not a partnership where each knew everything about the other, and there were things about himself that he didn’t want her to know, so he acted as he hoped she would, and let her have her secrets.

But if it was gnawing her enough to diminish her insatiable enthusiasm for self-improvement, a natural extension of her all-important duty, then maybe it was something he did need to ask about. But not now—now was for training, and she’d never forgive him if they lost, even though he preferred not to put effort into such affairs. Sighing inwardly to himself, he established a telepathic link with her for ease of communication, something they often did, but as usual, he linked only to the surface of her mind, so as to catch only those thoughts directed at him. It was just one more way in which he tried to leave her with as much privacy as possible.

Corkscrew, he informed her, playfully as always, and then engaged in precisely that maneuver, rolling out of the way of Bluebell’s initial attack, which had been more a play swipe than anything. He wasn’t stupid—he knew quite well that she was physically stronger than him and to engage at close-quarters was a bad idea. He, on the other hand, had a slight edge in speed, and a big edge in terms of magic. Which was why he spiraled higher into the air, seeing to put that speed of his to good use with powerful beats of his massive wings, and then hurled a darkly-burning ebon fireball right for her face. It was harmless, of course—if it hit, it wouldn’t actually burn, just leave a massive black mark where it would have burned if it hit. The goal wasn’t actually to kill each other, after all, and just like practice arrows were blunt and practice swords wrapped in leather, practice magic could be made nonlethal.



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Eshe sent her partner a flash of gentle amusement. His table manners left much to be desired to say the least, and it was so different from what she’d grown up with that it didn’t really seem to get old. Kirill had been so strange to her, when they first met. It was kind of funny, because everyone else had thought they were similar in just about every way—coloring, country of origin, a certain reticence in conversation with others, and an efficient, acrobatic verve about them that made them formidable in combat.

But these were surface things, and deeper down, they were actually quite different. Complimentary, but different, and she was glad of it. Being partnered with someone exactly like she was would have been easier, but she would have learned less as a result, grown less. She chewed over another bite and gave it some thought. Something tells me we’ll be called up soon, she admitted. Maybe today, even. It would be unwise to stray far, I think.

Not that the complex in which they’d lived and trained for years was exactly devoid of things to do, but she wasn’t quite sure what struck her fancy today. Usually, their day would be filled with a number of small tasks; sometimes they’d have to assist with the instruction of younger recruits, sometimes the flew practice rounds or actual missions with the fully-knighted Skyguard, sometimes a pair of the masters would ask for their help with some miscellaneous task or another, but all of that was suspended in the face of their upcoming trial. They were supposed to be ready whenever called, so it stood to reason that they couldn’t be busy doing something else.

Eshe polished off her breakfast and waited for Kirill to do the same, then shrugged. We could always take a run around the complex, I guess.

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Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Salazar Eskandi



On this particular morning, Salazar was woken in the blackout darkness of his room by the soft glow of his Skyguard seal. The Sentinel was a man who could, he liked to think, fall asleep just about anywhere, but unfortunately, he was also a very light sleeper. The desert had made him this way, with its dangers for the unwary and harsh conditions, and he didn’t, sadly, foresee this fact about himself changing anytime soon.

So the pale glow was enough to wake him, even though he couldn’t feel the warmth of it on his person. Blinking just once to clear his eyes, he sat up immediately, frighteningly awake, and reached over to grasp for it. Pure metals only, so it didn’t burn like a brand when he did. Turning it over in his hands, he sighed. Despite many an attempt to get people to believe the opposite, he wasn’t a stupid man, and what this meant was obvious.

They must be the laggards though—basically everyone else had gone already. Salazar didn’t mind being in the last group, didn’t mind being underestimated, but on this score, he knew he and his partner were very different beings indeed. He wondered if it bothered her; if theirs had been the kind of relationship where they asked personal questions, he would have… and he would have said something about the dark circles under her eyes lightly. But the balance that existed between he and Faelwen was always a bit… on the edge, and he didn’t want to ruin everything with his big mouth, so he maintained a surprisingly-sensitive silence about such things. But suddenly, he wondered if maybe he should have crossed that line. There was a chance they were in very real danger, or would be in their trial, and… all feigned cockiness to the contrary, Salazar wasn’t entirely confident in his ability to keep her safe, as a good Sentinel should.

Pushing a gust of air out through his nose, the Lorthusian threw on some clothes (because he didn’t sleep in them unless he had to), and buckled his seal to his belt, deftly typing his lash into place around his waist as well. There was no point in lingering on possibilities. What was was, and he’d simply have to deal with whatever came of it. Dragonhearted, was what the tribes called him, called people like him, and he’d adapted to look and act like someone who might deserve that name. What he was underneath wasn’t important. He wasn’t important, just what he could do. And honestly, he was damn good at it, too.

He met Faelwen outside her room, flashing her a too-big grin. “And would you look at that? It’s finally time, eh? They’ll be calling you Faelwen the Mighty in no time, and I’ll just be the lucky idiot that gets to fly with you. Let’s go see what this is all about.” With light steps, Salazar led the way to the courtyard, noting that several other teams were already milling around, as expected. They weren’t late though—he was pretty sure Faelwen was never late, and he did his part to make sure the pair of them were where they needed to be when they needed to be there.

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Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Salazar Eskandi Character Portrait: Faelwen  Irwin Character Portrait: Kirill Sckarsgar Character Portrait: Character Portrait:
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Kirill cut through the clouds with his serpentine like body, then pumped his wings to gain more speed. Eshe was safely nestled in the junction of his wings and neck, leaning with his movements as they soared above the Citadel. He had convinced her the day before that an early morning fly was in order, and thankfully she had accepted. Kirill could easily do this himself, but flying with his partner seemed to allow him to gain more speed and agility then without. The Sentinel did like to show off.

THe giant white dragon banked harshly and twisted his body to the right, pointing his noes down into a tight dive. The air rushed by him, ruffling the fur on his neck and catching in his leathery wings. He tucked them close, giving his body a streamline affect as they rushed towards the Earth.

Kirill, Eshe called to him, cutting through the moment of exhilaration brought on by the sky dive, We have been called, my seal is glowing

Kirill grinned, showing off a rather massive set of shark like teeth. He let loose a massive jet off ice white frost, white cascaded around the fling duo like snow as the passed through it. He glanced back at Eshe and gave her a nod to show her he heard.

I'll head back to the Citadel then. They took long enough to call us! He whispered back to her through their mind link. Kirill wound his body in a circle, spinning Eshe upside down in the process, and headed back to there home quickly. He focused his mind on the light breeze around him and called to it, calling forth a strong wind to fill his wings with air and allow them to reach the Citadel faster. Kirill spread his wings wide, catching the harsh wind before pumping his wings to reach a higher speed.

The partners reached the Citadel just as the final call came out at 8:45am. Kirill could feel the burning of the seal even through his dragon skin just as he touched down on the landing pad in front of the main building. He transformed with little flourish, simply allowed the glow to encompass his body and then revel the tall white haired teen underneath. He looked as Eshe and let a wide smirk spread across his face, pointing towards the badge, "Shall we then?" He asked allowed, then headed towards the courtyard.

Kirill and Eshe reached the area just as the other teams were arriving. They paid them little mind, silently making their way into the courtyard. Kirill keeping close to Eshe with the appearance of other Sentinels and Vanguards. It wasn't as if he didn't know she could handle herself...but he did not fully trust the others. Even after the years sharing the Citadel with them, Kirill only truly trusted Eshe. So maybe he was remaining close to her because he didn't want to be near the others, either way he choose a spot farther away from the res of the group for him and Eshe to wait until everyone had arrived.

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Character Portrait: Talyera Asimov Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Altan Ganeshi Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Sephera Halsey Character Portrait: Azriel Kollure
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Azriel <^> Kollure




Waking up that morning Arziel stretched as per his routine. He did some slight exercises, pushups and the like, and finally headed over to his window to pull open the curtains. The outside air was cool and refreshing and the sun glistened on the horizon. Looking down at the town he spied Sid placing a sign outside hi shop and was transported back to the day Jerome and Rupert had left. Say and Lowa had arrived at the bakery that morning as well and shortly after they had entered the nonchalant and rather cheerful atmosphere turned.

As the Sylvan sisters had entered the bakery a small cough escaped behind Sid. His daughter Alicia had snuck from bed and come down the stairs. She was pale and wheezing with gasping breaths as she entered the bakery. “Daddy?” she barely squeaked out as she leaned against the wall for support. Sid went to her but before he could get any answers form her she collapsed. Her body was feverish, her face pale, and as they all gathered around her the tiny child let out a rasping and broken cough. The sound of it still echoed in Azriel’s ears.

Alicia’s cough brought Azriel back to his own childhood, in the western farmlands of Zepher. In that place there was a rare illness that afflicted the young called Rattling Cough. It was a truly dreadful plague that almost always resulted in death for those stricken by it. Unfortunately the only known cure for the illness was a rare herb found only in the north, far away from the west of Zepher where the illness existed.

It was his younger sister, Elizabeth, who was afflicted by this illness in his youth. He still remembered her fragile body shaking against the chills and how she was so hot to the touch he almost recoiled, but worst was that cough, the rasping and wheezing cough that would forever haunt his memory. The doctors said that even with their best medicines she would only last a few days at the most. He remembered the despair in his mother’s eyes when she heard this. But there was something else in his memory as well; a fire, a fire that was lit in his Father’s eyes. He’d rushed form their home immediately, taking a horse to the nearest city. It was another three days before his father returned, this time astride a flying beast. He’d rushed to the neatest city and found an old friend, a Sentinel he’d known inthe Skyguard, then they had flown nonstop to the north to find the herb. They’d arrived just in time to save his younger sister and to this day Azriel remembered both the sound of that terrible cough, and the name of that magical plant that saved his sister.

“Kath-thorn…” Azriel had whispered to the others as Rupert rushed to get a doctor. Knowing that the sisters were well learned in herb lore Azriel asked the Sylvan sisters if they knew of where they could find this herb. He only knew of the far north of Zepher, near the border with Kalium, and it would take far too long to mobalize a team to gather such and herb at this point. He almost despaired as his mother had, but as Say looked to him he found a familiar fire in another’s eyes. The Garden within the Keep was home to a rich stock of nearly every herb in the world, from the most common of weeds to the rarest of flowers.

When he heard this Azriel moved swiftly asking Lowa for a lift to the Keep’s garden while requesting Say to what she could for the young child with the herbs that Sid had in the shop. No doubt Say wasn’t exactly happy with the arrangement of duties he had suggested but it was the best way, as they needed Lowa’s speed to reach the garden swiftly. Alicia had far less time than Elizabeth had had. The Sylvan dragon burst from the shop and shot into the air with Azriel astride, rushing to the garden. It was Lowa who had found the Herb and when they returned the doctor and Rupert had arrived. It did not take long once the cure was admitted for the child’s fever to lower and her breathing to ease. Sid’s gratitude could not be understated, and he was not along in that. It was their first major triumph as a team and the fact that the Sylvan sisters were still not yet deployed gave Azriel slight hope they might work with him and Seph on the Trial.

As he had said that morning, “I’d gladly fight with either of you any day, if you need anything just ask.”

Nine days passed since that morning with no word from the Knight Masters, which had Azriel and She on edge. There were now only two Prefect Teams Left, Eshe and Kirill and of course Sephera and himself. It was strange to think that the remaining teams would be split in two, a fact only he and the other Prefects were aware of, and sent off sooner than many probably thought. There were Nine teams left of the senior class, and soon another four or five would no doubt be gone. It was a sobering fact, and perhaps that was what had driven Azriel to take more to socializing than he already did. He wondered the Keep at all hours, speaking with everyone he met, aiding the younger teams of which there were around sixty or so in training and giving pointers to a group of rather rambunctious young third year Vanguards a few sword lessons to pass the time.

Damn it all, I’m getting restless waiting.

Of course maybe this new found flightiness was actually due more to Sephera’s demeanor as of late than his own personal concerns. Sephera was almost always found in the grand hall now, where they ate their meals every morning noon and night instead of circling around the city for fun, and she always sat with her face to one wall, the Living Wall. The wall is called Living because it changed daily as it had a shield placed upon it for every team deployed at that time, including those on Trials, and should communication be lost with a team a red cloth would be draped over their shield with the red being change to black if they were confirmed lost. Of the twelve shields embroidered with silver indicating they were of young teams on their trials four had her constant attention now. She had her books and was often surrounded by younger students and to most seemed as normal as could be, still lively and friendly, always ready to aid another, but to those who had known her for years they knew that something was off, and Azriel knew better than anyone.

As they sat there that morning eating breakfast her eyes were often glide up to the shield wall, staying focused on the display for several seconds longer than she normally would before returning to her meal. He knew exactly why and as she once again glanced up at the wall Azriel gave in and turned around himself, knowing full well what she was looking at. Four shields at the bottom right were covered in red cloth. He could not see the inscribed names upon them but he knew whose they were, he had watched them when they were hung first. Jerome and Rupert’s team had yet to check in.

He let out a held breath and turned to Seph again, determined to pull his partner form this funk, “Seph…Seph?” he paused before trying again, “Sephera….hello, yoohoo!...” he snapped his fingers once trying to draw her gaze to no avail, “Seph!...SEPHERA!” he asserted far more harshly, causing her to jump and shake her head suddenly aware how she had spaced, “You okay?”



Sephera <^> Halsey




Seph’s mind was a blank slate right now. All she could do was remember days past, when Jerome had held her, when they’d gone flying, even their fights and arguments were fondly recalled now. She was rubbing her own hands together she stroking the back of one with another’s thumb, like he had always done. She’d taken to sleeping with one of his tunics too, ever since he’d left for his trial. Looking up from the table where she’d hardly touched her food she gazed intently at the second Shield from the bottom right, the red cloth seeming more like a cloaking of blood than a simple woven tapestry. In the back of her mind she heard a whisper against the increasing din of the buzzing in her heard, “-eph…Se-”

She didn’t reply though, all her thought was focused on that sea of cold red that was so little and yet meant so much. Questioned fluttered in her brain; What could have stopped them reporting? What was the true purpose of their Trial? What could be so dangerous about retrieving a few heirlooms? “Se-era…-yooho-” that voice echoed in her mind again. No doubt it was the memory of Jerome’s voice, calling to her in her distant state. But as she desired less to think of the red and more to remember his voice she found the drone in her head receding and finally heard the voice in Earnest, “Seph?...” yes, that strong willed voice must be-“ SEPHERA!”

Okay… that last one didn’t sound anything like Jerome…

Startled Seph jumped a bit in her seat as she left her space subconscious state she had unknowingly entered and looked about her surroundings. Right! The Grand Hall… of course… how could I forget I was in the Grand Hall? she asked herself internally as she gathered herself, sweeping her fallen bangs behind her ears. She vaguely heard a question come from across the table. But as with her name being called she didn’t really hear it. who called my name again?

“Seph!” Azriel asserted one final time, finally drawing her eyes.

“Huh?” she questioned almost startled to see him there, “oh, right, sorry…uh… what were you saying?”

Azriel steadied his breathing as he looked at his partner, “I was asking if you were alright…. But since I know you’re not I’ll forgo your dismissive response.” He commented as he eaned further in towards her, “It’s alright Seph. Our contact network in Kalium is just really sparse, it only makes since that it would take them longer than expected to check in; look, which team scored higher in all events than anyone else our year?”

Seph let out a held breath, of course he knew, hell everyone probably does and is just too polite to mention it, and gave him a smile as she seemingly considered his words, “Yeah… you’re right… they probably just got held up.”

Azriel ground his teeth quietly for a moment as his jaw set, [iShe’s being bloody dismissive again![/i] but rather than push her yet he reached his hand across the tabel to take on of hers. His hands were rough, calloused and marked form all his training, while hers were supple and soft. It was the way of the Skyguard, if not by their dress you could tell a person’s job by their hands. She’d always liked how soft Jerome’s hands were, how their comforted her when he cupped her face. And yet Azriel’s hands provided just as much comfort to her now. Perhaps it was just their training and her ingrained trust in her Vanguard. No, it’s not ingrained trust in the system, it’s trust in him she thought.

Yet at that moment, just when she was about to break and come clean about her despairing worry both of their eyes were drawn to Azriel’s wrist. And to the shimmering seal that was located there. Looking up at each other all their prior conversation halted as both went into pure Guard mode, they stood as one with Azriel grabbing his bastard sword and claymore he’d had by his side for sword practice later and Sephera shoving her books into her pack. Standing up several of the younger teams watched them with admiration but they weren’t what the duo was looking for. Both Azriel and Sephera were scanning the Grand hall, trying to see which other teams had received the summons; there was the team of Seriss and Kael, then Talyera and Altan as well.

Azriel though, just how many will be joining us? as he glanced about to see who else had been summoned. Luke and Rommel, Lillian and Tiberius, and then there were others too. All told it looked as if every senior in the room had gotten a summons right them. Instinctually both Sephera and Azriel headed from the Grand Hall with purpose, though as they pass the Living Wall Azriel noted a stuttering step that Seph took near the right edge of the shields. He’d leave it for now though. Looking to those nearby who were moving to the courtyard he thought back to the Hall. He had seen Eshe and Kirill at some point that morning but now that he thought about it they had left the Hall earlier, probably for a flight or something. Too bad, I’d have liked to talk to Eshe before leaving. Maybe I’ll see her around before we take off though…

Leaving the Grand Hall with those that were also there in mass the duo headed to the courtyard at the central gate, the boundary between the Academy and the Skyguard Keep. It was very rare for anyone not in their senior year to enter these gates and the Keep beyond. Seph still recalled her first time through the gates when she was in her fifth year. Once at the courtyard they saw that this was already an odd calling before ever they entered the Court. Standing with them before the massive gates was a most unexpected sight, Eshe and Kirill, the only remaining Prefects; meaning that the remaining members of their year must also have been called. Azriel’s first thought was, why would they send all of us at once on one mission? but as Seph had already reasoned in her own mind and now was whispering to her partner, “They must be dividing us into two squads at once.” Azriel nodded.

“I guess they want all of us… should we wait for the others?” he asked those currently assembled.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Talyera Asimov Character Portrait: The Sisters Character Portrait: Altan Ganeshi Character Portrait: Eshe Summersong Character Portrait: Sephera Halsey Character Portrait: Azriel Kollure
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Scipio never woke up on time.

He was a late riser, he loved sleeping, and therefor his body never rose when the sun did. Usually, he had to rely on Silveria to wake him, but today with little imp of a girl did not appear like normal. He awoke instead to a bright, glowing light right near his face. Thinking it was the sun streaming in through his open window, Scipio rolled over with a grunt and burried his face into his goose feather pillow.

But wait...hadn't he closed the window last night for this exact reason? He hated waking up to the sun in his face, so he had drawn the black out curtains and....

Scipio shot out of bed, his eyes immediately landing on his glowing seal. With a string of curses he rushed around his room, throwing on his usual loose white shirt and dark leather breeches tucked into leather boots. He fell, twice, in the process, his mind in a frenzy as he realized they were finally being called.

Where the hell was Silveria?

Scipio took a moment in front of the mirror to fix his bed head, hoping to calm it down somewhat so he didn't look like such a mess when he showed up a tad late. But, the locks seemed to not want to agree with him today, so he just ruffled them more (hoping it looked like he was going for that look) and rushed out the door. Halfway down the hall he realized he had forgotten his damned Seal and ran back, snatching the heated badge quickly before exiting once again.

He reached the open courtyard just behind Sephera and Azriel, glad that he wasn't actually late but on time. If he arrived behind a prefect, surely he was fine....meaning now he had to worry about Silveria. The little Sentinel usually did what she was told, but sometimes she had to be corralled in if she was off doing her thing. Just as he was about to turn and head back into the Citadel to look for her, Silveria popped up by his elbow.

Scipio gave a startled jump and glared down at the Sentinel, but at her cheesy grin his face relaxed into a grateful smile. Damned girl was going to be the death of him someday.

Silveria and Scipio stood next to each other as they awaited information on the gathering, Scipios eyes wandering towards the direction of the lake and Silveria twirling her light blue hair excitedly.