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Castala Melaidhrin

Illusionist, performer and a professional liar, Castala's circus is in town. "A trickster, me? Surely you can't be serious ... I'm about as genuine as they come in this business."

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a character in “The Multiverse”, originally authored by Script, as played by Disdain

Groups

Registered citizen of the Terran National Government

Description

Image
Image copyright of Riot Games.


Name: Castala Melaidhrin
Age: 23
Race: Human
Significant Relations: Silviana Melaidhrin

Height: 5' 7"
Weight: 123 lbs
Physical Description: A beautiful young woman, Castala was always the prettier of the two Melaidhrin sisters. Growing up, she has paid utmost attention to her appearance - her naturally blonde hair has been dyed purple, her face is kept blemish free (and if blemishes appear, they are concealed with magic), and her clothing is seldom ... practical. When performing, there's no such thing as half measures for Castala, and she dresses in the full regalia of top hat, flowing long coat and ... little else, with a leotard and stockings forming the majority of the rest of her outfit.

Personality: Coercive and more than familiar with the way peoples' heads tick, Castala is very easy to like - she makes it so. She plays to peoples' weaknesses to easily befriend them - flattery, humour, even opinions like politics or music - often involving lies so as to better achieve her goal. Of course, with those she genuinely befriends, there isn't so much of an act - but it is telling to her expertise with lying that even her real friends often can't tell who she's playing and who she isn't. Far from evil, Castala simply has less than upstanding morals, and has no qualms with lying in any form if she believes it will benefit the situation for either herself or others.

Skills and Talents:
  • Acrobatic and athletic from her physical exertions when performing, and her experience as an acrobat and dancer as well as illusionist.
  • Capable swordswoman but not very efficient - flashy and showmanlike.
  • A masterful liar, almost unreadable.
  • Cunning and difficult to fool - Castala can usually find a way out of any sticky situation, or a way to put someone else in one.

Abilities:

  • Illusion - Castala is a masterful illusionist and can produce incredibly convincing and difficult to penetrate illusions of impressive sizes. She can create these illusions universally (visible to all) or target individuals/groups so that they are the only ones who see them.
  • Conjuring - Castala can conjure an array of strange creatures and objects, notably including a nigh-on-indestructible Rabbit Ogre named Hopper. Other notable examples are weapons, controllable chains, and bombs.
  • Arcane Magic - A capable arcane mage in addition to her specialities, Castala has the average powers of a mage at her fingertips - including bolts of arcane energy and defensive barriers. These more general powers are weaker than her primary powers due to lack of specialisation and honing. However some tricks she has refined, including blinking (short ranged teleportation) and phasing.

Equipment:

  • Conjurer's Staff of Performance - a flashy and extravagant staff with hovering magical crystals composing its tip, this staff enhances all of Castala's abilities significantly when they are channelled through it. It also gives her access to arcane bolts that do not drain her mana reserves, instead the staff's internal energy.
  • Magician's Wand - a traditional white-tipped black rod, Castala's wand is a lower powered version of her staff, focusing her spells. It also contains a few flashy visual illusions that anyone with the right command words can call on.
  • Summoner's Deck of Cards - an elegant and visually impressive set of cards, each card holding a summonable creature that can be called on and controlled by someone with capability in summoning/conjuring magic. The 'value' of the card dictates its power. Summons:
    • Black Dragon of Clubs (drake-sized dragon creature)
    • Black Wraith of Spades (ethereal robed creature wielding shadowy corrupting powers)
    • Red Knight of Diamonds (armoured magical warrior construct wielding a sword and diamond shield)
    • Red Lady of Hearts (elegantly clad magical priestess construct capable of wielding protective and reflective shielding powers)
  • Magician's Hat of Holding - a top hat enchanted with holding, contains any equipment not on her person at a given point.
  • Side-Sword of Phasing - an enchanted, thin and lightweight sword that can be phased in and out to enable it to bypass parries and armour.

So begins...

Castala Melaidhrin's Story

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The Kodak Theater in Los Angeles, host to some of the world's finest performances - from Broadway shows to the Oscars - was abuzz on this frosty winter's evening. The seats were lined with the finely-dressed masses murmuring amongst themselves about the latest sensation on the entertainment scene.

Simply named, the show "Castala" had but a single star - its namesake. A magician who had first risen to fame as a member of the US Cirque du Soleil, her act had quickly become so popular that she was able to split away from the group and go solo. Critics were astounded by the tricks she could perform seemingly effortlessly, fellow magicians were baffled as to how she did them, and the general public were awed by the sheer amount of pretty lights she could employ.

Backstage, ten minutes before the performance, Castala Melaidhrin sat peacefully in her dressing room, clad in her full performing outfit of blacks and reds, and with her fitted top-hat sat beside her. She could hear the audience from here, and her mouth curled upwards in a little smile. She could almost taste the anticipation.

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"You're on in five, Castala!"

The small voice caused Castala to turn in her seat, catching a parting glimpse of blonde locks disappearing from the closing door. The magician smiled - Castiel (or Daniel, when it wasn't necessary for their names to be catchy and alliterative) was her apprentice and, for the few portions of her show that required it, her stand-in 'lovely assistant'. The poor boy took far better to management than to performance, but she had to hand it to him, he was willing to put up with a lot for the magical expertise she could pass on to him. He was a bright spark, and the fact that he was so efficient at making the shows run like clockwork was a blessing in minimising the number of 'show-biz' types she had to let in on the secret of her act.

Rising from her chair, Castala took her top-hat in hand and made her way towards the door. The noise of the crowd was amplified a dozen times when she stepped out to be greeted by Castiel's smile. "Ready?" he inquired, glancing down at his watch.

"As ever, dear," she replied, ruffling the shorter boy's hair. "I'll make my way up to the platform, and go on cue."

Castiel nodded, already turning away to hastily get everyone into their positions, but paused. "Aren't you worried about .."

"No," Castala interrupted, "As it happens, I'm not."

A hesitant silence followed, before the boy nodded. "Alright then. Good luck out there."

Castala chuckled. "Since when have I ever needed luck, Tiel sweetie?"

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Sighing, Castala turned to face the man who addressed her with obvious impatience. "I could hazard a guess, Mr ..." the illusionist scanned the ID "... Lieffers. Something to do with a foolish old man with too much bravado for his boots."

A lock of purple hair was flicked haphazardly behind her ear, "Well, out with it then, what does the SCD want with me? I can't tarry long, it takes time to climb those stairs you know, and I can't keep my fans waiting..."

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"My my, not too close, Agent - a girl in this sort of outfit's gotta have boundaries." Castala chuckled, "And you really do underestimate me, my dear. No harm will come to my audience so long as I have the stage, you have my assurances."

Castala chuckled, "I believe it was your realm that invented the phrase, after all - the show must go on."

With that, Castala turned and walked away.

Or to be more accurate, from Shad's perspective, five of her did. And those five turned into ten. And those ten each managed to find ten different routes away from the conversation to walk - from back to the dressing room, to towards the stage, even back to the exit.

Castiel shrugged, smiling at Shad, "Well, that went about as well as you could have expected." he said.

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Castiel nodded, "Technically my real name's Daniel, but I've sort of taken to the new name. Seems a lot less ordinary, you know?"

Whilst Castiel talked happily with Shad, Castala was making her way along the metal walkway over the stage and to the extravagant mechanical contraption that was attached to it. Whilst it would have been easy to create an illusion of her dramatic entrance, Castala was of the view that nothing could really compete with the feeling of descending onto the stage in the hook of a crescent moon.

The lights dimmed, and Castala took her seat, wreathing herself in an illusory outfit of green and red - festive and furry as any Mrs. Clause. A sparkling of light descended from the top of the stage, and the band launched into a fittingly festive rendition of 'Ave Maria'.

Emerging from the bright light, Castala descended into the view of the audience, seemingly unsupported upon a glittering moon-and-star seat, the cables supporting it concealed by her magic. A glittering light-show danced around her and around the stage, intensifying and dimming in time with the music. A decorative jewelled staff was held daintily at Castala's side, and she waved it theatrically forwards to send waves of light flashing into the audience, gracefully looping around far beyond the capabilities of any spotlights to sighs of awe from the magically uninformed masses.

The lights receded into the stage, only for the wood and curtains to fade in their entirety, replaced by a dazzling white scene of Christmas imagery, a park-like area with a single victorian street-lamp illuminating the white snow coating upon the grass and benches.

Castala alighted from her perch as applause rang around the audience, 'floating' slowly down to the ground, descending smoothly into a bow. The music crescendoed as it ended, and for a brief moment a peaceful silence hung over the idyllic scene.

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And then Castala raised her arms in a dramatic motion, dispelling her Christmas outfit for her more traditional black and red, as a burst of faux fireworks shot from the ground around her. "Merry Christmas, Los Angeles!" the magician's voice echoed around the room, "And welcome to the most magical night of your year!"

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A roar of cheering echoed around the theater, and Castala soaked it in with a smile, raising a single hand to bring it to a stop. "Thank you, thank you," she called out, "It's wonderful to be here tonight. In the Kodak of all places! To think that only a year ago I was new to performing in front of any audience larger than a bar."

This was a lie. Castala had never really performed in any bars, but nobody knew that.

"Given the time of year, as you may have already noticed, this show is based around a Christmas theme!" Castala turned to survey the snow-covered pine-tree that stood to her right, "I think that we could do with some updated decor, though. You just can't get the staff these days."

Grinning, Castala lifted her staff, and waving it around, sent a spiral of light winding around the tree. The light shifted in the air and on the greenery to shape itself into tinsel, baubles, and all manner of super-sized tree decorations, complete with as fancy a display of fairy lights as you could have asked for.

Below the tree, in showers of magical confetti, picturesque gift-boxes neatly wrapped with bows appeared to complete the scene, to a round of applause from the audience.

Castala turned with a frown, "Hold up, everyone, don't applaud yet!" she called, "I'm most certainly missing something!"

It was clear that Castala was no stranger to pantomime theatrics, as a brief exchange of call-and-response with the audience, eventually leading them to the consensus that the missing element was the angel on the top of the tree.

"Seems like I might have to call in a helping hand here, ladies and gentlemen, so can I have a warm round of applause for my first assistant, a Mr. S Clause!"

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A booming 'ho ho ho' resonated across the room at this, and from the side of the stage burst a jingling and glittering projection of the picture-perfect Santa and sleigh, complete with reindeer. Applause burst out as the illusion rode out from the stage and circled over the audience, gasps and cheers followed by cries of surprise as the image swung by so close they might have touched it if they stood on tip-toe.

The sleigh circled around to over the stage, and from its cabin a single gift was tossed, spiralling down to hover sedately just over Castala's head. "Thanks for the hand, Red!" she called, waving to the image as it rode off the far side of the stage.

The magician turned to bow at the round of applause, before gesturing cheerfully over her shoulder at the floating box. "Seems like this one ought to be opened early, ladies and gents, what do you say?"

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If ever anyone were to invent a 'showboat' then most certainly the prototype would be christened 'Castala', as the magician twirled her staff around the box to emphasise the definite lack of contact or apparently link between it and the stage. "Let's see what we have here then..." she murmured (though the entire room would hear her, making the murmur somewhat pointless), tapping the box with one hand and pulling the bow.

The lid of the box burst upwards, and an explosion of heavenly light radiated outwards with a musical accompaniment of harps and piano. The light slowly faded to reveal the angelically garbed form of Castala's reluctant stage-companion, Castiel...

...and the malevolent looking demon holding him by the throat.

Silence hung so thick in the air of the theater that you could almost taste the tension, Castala's follow-up line caught in her throat as she attempted to rapidly process the situation.

The show must go on.

"What's this?" Castala's now booming voice echoed from the stage, "Some creature, some grinch, come to steal our Christmas cheer - cheesy I know, ladies and gentlemen, but do bear with me, I have no doubt you'll appreciate the follow-up."

Castala swung her staff about, jumping backwards away from the demon and thrusting it outwards, "Cue music!" she called, and - though below, the dumbfounded conductor who was quite certain that this wasn't in the script, had no idea whatsoever what he was meant to be conducting - from all around the hall a dramatic onslaught of strings and synths worthy of any Hollywood blockbuster erupted. The serene Christmas scene darkened to be replaced with dramatic effect lighting, with clouds and storms brewing in the background.

"You're a mean one, Mr. Grinch," Castala hissed without amplification, so that the audience could not hear, "But I'd advise you to put my angel down before I shove holiday cheer so far up your asshole you'll be choking on it."

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As the box that had contained Castiel and the creature dissolved into nothingness, Castala was already working her magic on the demon itself - smoothly and almost undetectably making it fit more into the scene, look more like a traditional 'grinch' character. This had to be believable for the audience. She wasn't going to let some pompous demonologist crash her show.

The demon seemed unfettered by its cosmetic makeover, stepping down from the invisible platform from which Castiel had entered the box, and moving towards Castala with the boy still held off of the ground by his throat. Castiel - not in a position to do much - flicked his eyes back and forth between Castala and the creature, praying that his tutor really knew what she was doing for once.

Castala took a sweeping step to the side and backwards, bringing her staff around to gracefully sweep past the creature once, twice ... before with a whip-like lash, she swung it forwards, chains of gold bursting from its tip to crack at the being, twining around its leg and torso.

Chains were not what the audience saw, however, no - instead a stream of tinsel flew from Castala's staff, much to their amusement, even as the magician swept forwards, ducking under a swipe of the creature's claw to snap the chains taut and jerk it off of its feet, forcing it to release its grip on Castiel, who dropped to the floor with a gasp.

The creature turned in midair to land, cat-like, on all fours, hissing at Castala as she turned once more to face it. Seeing Castiel turn and flee - with at least the presence of mind to animate his illusory wings in a flustered manner as he did so - the illusionist now focused on a plan to get rid of this interruption without breaking the act.

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Castala's eyes shot to Shad, just out of sight to the side of the stage, begrudgingly acknowledging his assistance. No doubt his 'friends' wouldn't be far behind, and she had to deal with this before the whole brigade stormed onto stage and ruined everything.

Not that it seemed that there was much to salvage - Castala knew that the negators wouldn't allow the audience to remember this if it went any further to pot. Ah well, she'd made her money.

Waving her hand outwards at the snarling creature, Castala conjured a flurry of glittering snow around it, the faux-blizzard disguising the true illusory assault she unleashed upon it. Confusing bursts of pain and disorienting light clouded its senses, making it unable to discern between what hurt was real and what was false, leaving it flailing in confusion and agony.

But, of course, Liesha was right. There was never just one. Like insects emerging from a hive, the creatures began to crawl from the recesses of the large pine-tree on the stage - one of the few props that was real.

Sighing, Castala shook her head, "And that's the end of act one, ladies and gentlemen, we'll be right back after this brief interlude."

And with that, the curtain fell. Or at least the audience thought it had. The glamour that swept down to obscure their view of the stage fell into place smoothly, and Castala narrowed her eyes, "This is going to look terrible in the papers tomorrow." she growled.

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"Yeah, it's not like I do 'nice tricks' for a living or anything," Castala commented dryly, "As it happens though, clearing out swarms of clawed things isn't my speciality, I figure that's where you people come in."

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"Oh, I told him we should see other people," The illusionist shrug, "He tried the whole 'put the magic hat on and look half your age' trick, but naturally I saw through that. Eventually. He didn't take the break-up well." She lowered her voice, "A bit of a drama queen, if you know the type."

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"Great. I hate reunions." Castala sighed, "I left him off my Christmas card list for a reason."

The illusionist turned to face where Liesha had gestured, folding her arms and preparing a spell or two as a precaution.

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"Aheh. Let's just say I don't do diplomatic breakups."

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"Sometimes it's hard to tell with men." Castala commented, "But neat trick, nonetheless. It's certainly his style. Both the ribbons, and the hiding behind monsters made of them."

The illusionist smirked, quite confident that the man in question would be listening in, and hoping that she could draw him out to defend himself.

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Bringing her hand over the end of her staff, Castala gathered energy into her palm before launching an orb of power at the nearest creature, sending ribbons flying as Liesha unleashed her own attack. "I pity the poor things, must be quite a blow to find yourself lower on the food-chain than this guy."

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"If it counts for anything, I didn't really have any solid theories on what they were to start with." Castala noted.

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"Well, this is awkward," Castala said, tugging on the ribbon that had twined itself around her boots and lower leg, "I've never really been into the whole 'tied up' business."

The illusionist's eyes narrowed at the stretching hands, and she made to raise her staff -- only to find it too held in place. "Cunning." she noted, "But you underestimate the number of tricks a magician has up her sleeve."

Now she just had to think of them.

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"You're a big boy, Emette." Castala said, "Trust me, I let you down lightly compared to some. You just lied to me about your age and appearance, attempting to weave a complex web of deception regarding your true nature that inevitably came crashing down over you. That doesn't even come close to some of the oddballs I've met in my time."

The magician shook her head, "There are plenty of fish in the sea that are, you know. More in your age bracket. Am I getting anywhere here, or are you set on the whole maiming path?"

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Castala nervously eyed the silk that had now almost entirely removed her ability to move. "Because I'd really prefer that we used our words here."

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"You tricked me into thinking you were twenty something, not twenty thousand and something!" Castala protested, "It's hardly unreasonable that I took issue with that. Try introducing yourself that way, everyone wants a cool grandpa figure, right?"

Ow. That was starting to hurt. "Alright, Emette," Castala said, "I'm sorry I hurt you." The illusionist lied through her teeth, but thankfully that was something she was good at.

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"Hey hey hey!" Castala yelled, "If you're going to stab anyone here, stab me - are you just going to flail around and slash at whoever happens to be standing nearby when the one you supposedly can't forgive is standing right here?"

Castala narrowed her eyes, "I don't even know these people. You don't achieve anything attacking them. I mean, by all means, don't kill me - but randomly assaulting other people? Why? You know I'll get over the guilt pretty fast if you let me live, so what's the point?"

While Castala spoke, she had almost imperceptibly caught sight of a new arrival on the scene. Castiel, holding a fire extinguisher in his hands, crept across the stage floor towards where Emette stood. The man had his back to the approach, and Castala didn't doubt she had his attention.

The illusionist frowned, "Are we going to stop stabbing random people now, or is this going to get stupid?"

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"Uh, hate to break it to you, but girls don't tend to like being assaulted with sheets. Even if they are silk." Castala rolled her eyes, even as Castiel swung the fire extinguisher at the back of Emette's head.

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Castala sighed, "Well, that could have gone better." she said, "Didn't think the guy had it in him." Glancing down at Liesha, the illusionist frowned, "Are you alright down there? That looked like quite a nasty stab."

Castiel nodded numbly to Shad, having dropped the extinguisher to the ground where he'd stumbled forwards after Emette disappeared. "Right .. yeah." he murmured.

As the boy spoke, Castala seemed to start into remembering his presence, stepping forwards to put a hand on his shoulder. "Thank you, Tiel. I knew we could count on you to come back. I choose my students well."