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The Tower

The Tower

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a part of The Tower, by Jeremiad.

None

Jeremiad holds sovereignty over The Tower, giving them the ability to make limited changes.

1,022 readers have been here.

Setting

Default Location for The Tower
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The Tower

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Minimap

The Tower is a part of The Tower.

1 Places in The Tower:

6 Characters Here

The Gamemaster [71] The guy that says what's what.
Lance DeBrinn [68] "My destiny shall not be bested by inferior mongoloids."
Sanul, the Caster [29] A disciple of the Black Heavens Cult, one of the original parties of the Non-Believer Clan.
Jeremiad, the Thief [13] A crimeboss from the depths of the underground, he's ready to make a killing on his newest job.
Seth black [3] A servitor of the Demon Saints Cult.
Hayes Kingsley [3] Excels in combat; witch

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Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Satogi Orokawru Character Portrait: Elyzabeth Lashrael
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Sanul's magic barrier slowly drained itself of energy, until it disappeared without a trace, allowing Satogi and Elyzabeth to carry on.

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Character Portrait: Satogi Orokawru Character Portrait: Elyzabeth Lashrael
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Elyzabeth hadn't taken Satogi's sword, and had no idea what his gloves did for him. Maybe it was the concussion, or the shock of being bested by such a spriggy race. Either way, his hands definitely were covered in metal, and his father's sword was certainly in its sheathe. Only his small valuables had been pilfered, and for good reason. "Get up," she ordered, ignoring his accusation. "Now." She pointed at the stairs. "Go."
Of course, they'd find that there no longer was a barrier, but Elyzabeth saw no point in taking risks. "Walk." She pointed at the thresh hold, not bothering to let Satogi know what hidden danger might exist. "Or I throw your dead body through it."

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Satogi Orokawru Character Portrait: Elyzabeth Lashrael Character Portrait: Sanul, the Caster Character Portrait: Koko
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Satogi Orokawru



With little else he could do but die or follow orders, Satogi sighs and stands on his feet after a little trouble. He didn't really see a way out of the situation so he might as well do as he was told. At least it would have gotten to the second floor but it was a small achievement. What the elf was asking of him wasn't the problem, it was the fact that he had already been beaten without having made past that point. He had wanted to defeat the tower in one go without having to submit to anyone, but it seemed that dream was gone. Moving up the stairs he slips up the stairs to the second floor, unsure what the future had for him.





Koko Magenta



The front doors to the Tower slowly opened as a young blonde boy peeked his way into the building. He was almost paranoid as he walked slowly into the area. He drew a quick symbol in the air with his finger, a line of blue light following the pattern and becoming a sigil which floated in front of him and started shining enough light for the boy to see. He hated the dark and was deathly frightened of it. The young mage looked to be about 14 years old and was dressed in a Bretanian mage uniform, his blonde hair and blue eyes showing the status of his family tree as one of high standing. Though he seemed to be out of place as he explored the first floor of the Tower, trying to avoid detection and get to the staircase as soon as possible.

Setting

Characters Present

Character Portrait: Satogi Orokawru Character Portrait: Elyzabeth Lashrael Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko
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Koko began wandering about the Tower, albeit with fear fueling his search of the stairs upwards.

Almost immediately, Koko found an impressively rare item thrown about the floor, beside a dusty bookshelf; a Tome, an ancient book containing a plethora of information. This Tome was titled: "Wizard 102: Transferring Wounds With A Simple Touch, written by the Demon Saints Cult." Inside was all the information a caster would need to learn the Leech spell; a powerful encantation that allows the drainage of health via direct skin-to-skin contact. This drain would become stronger as the hold is sustained, and can drain an indefinite amount of life force as long as contact is not broken. The spell may only be cast once on an opponent; a leeched opponent cannot be leeched again.

The Tome would take some time to read, however, and would require Koko's attention to learn from.


Meanwhile, a few dozen feet away, the doors to the Tower re-opened as another challenger arrived. A cloaked man, with little noise, ran into the Tower, only leaving a whooshing sound as he sprinted around with impressive stealth; Jeremiad, professional criminal. It wasn't his first time here; once a month, he raided the lower floors for pocket money. But once a year, he challenged himself; how many people could he rob in one trip?

He quickly saw his first target; a young caster, shivering slightly as he looked about the halls. Too easy; looks like he was luckier than usual. He began following him as closely as possible without giving himself away. If his victim ever suspected him, he'd stand still, and his magic stealthing cape would render him almost invisible.

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Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Lance



Despite hearing the legends, seeing the massive tower in the distance, and even the mental and physical preparedness he endured leading to this moment, the sight of the tower up close was still enough to leave him slack-jawed and in awe.

Lance couldn't help but notice where the bleak clouds hid the top of the massive spire...or the halfway point. It's ornate design brought along a sense of beauty to it. It was a historical relic of what had past and what may come. The structure itself became a beacon of faith. It was a challenge to be conquered; it was a journey to be endured. It was a mountain waiting to be peaked by only the best the land could offer. And Lance was going to take that title.

"Fuck," Lance just had to let...well something out. "That thing is huge." Vocalizing the structure seemed to emphasize the massiveness of the task at hand. Lance was more hesitant with each step as he approached the door, key in hand.

Well, he thought. This was it. He double checked everything he had brought. Food, water, plenty of consumable shards. The rest of the bag was empty to carry potential loot he'd get. He checked his clothing, as sturdy and clean as ever. He drew his Haven Swords, which were his most valued possession and everything he swore his life by. Finally, he touched his lucky pendant: A blue-stoned Trinity Knot, as a ritual for safe traveling. Of course, he'd need more than that. Finally working up the nerve, he opened the door and went inside to meet his destiny.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



The young mage didn't notice the figure lurking behind him, but he was rather interested in the large tome he had found. He stored it for now but he would definitely want to check it out later. He heard the doors to the Tower open again behind him and he instantly scurried to a hiding place. He watched a blonde man pass by him and remained hidden in the darkness while he walked by, but soon Koko became aware of his placement outside of the light and squeeked loudly in fear and jumped from the dark corner. He was now exposed to the blonde figure, which made him even more fearful. He got into a feeble fighting stance that seemed to make him look only more fragile as he observed this new presence.

"Don't you dare try to hurt me! I-i'm tougher than I look!" He made a weak punch into mid-air as if to show off just how much he didn't know how to fight hand-to-hand. Only after he made himself look like a fool did he realize just how much larger the man was than him, and he instantly got onto his knees with his forehead on the ground. "Please forgive me sir, I didn't know what came over me! Please don't kill me!

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Lance was half expecting a massive bear or ancient colossally sized spirit to immediately grab him and rip out his innards upon opening the door. But an even more daunting task lay out in front of him...hallways. In the back of his mind, he was cursing himself for not drawing his swords to be ready for something. But, level one was level one, he guessed. He drew them now and stepped inside, cautious of every step he took. Maybe a little too cautious. He was overly observant navigating his way through the halls and he had a slower pace because of it.

It also carried it's blessing. Lance could immediately tell something wasn't right. He noticed he wasn't alone upon entering and was glad to have two blades of security poised in front of him, ready to defend against whatever.

A large squeak caused him to immediately step into combat position, feet shoulder width apart, swords crossed in an X in front of him as he turned towards the sound. A young blonde haired mage stepped into the light, as if running in fear from something in the dark. His blue eyes immediately fixed upon Lance's, and stepped into an insecure stance of his own, throwing a weak punch in the air as if to intimidate him.

Lance eyed the boy with caution. He'd heard the legends of what kind of creatures lived within this tower, ready to feast upon those who dared to rise up to the challenge. And while he'd never heard of a trickster being who took upon the image of a frail looking mage to lure victims in, he didn't dismiss the possibility. So when the boy dropped to a knee in surrender, he didn't exactly loosen his guard. It actually heightened it.

He looked around to see if he could find any other threats before looking at the boy once more. "Who are you?" he asked with command in his voice. At the same time, he didn't know if the boy was actually just another challenger entering the tower. He certainly didn't look the part. But he guessed that maybe the uniform he wore came from the Bretanians. He wasn't sure, but maybe...just maybe...he could be here looking for the same kind of reward he was. "Where do you come from?"

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



As the young boy began to calm down, the man in front of him seemed confused. Fair enough, as it was their first meeting. Koko stood up slowly and looked rather uncomfortable as he answered the man. "Koko Magenta is my name, from the Bretanian Royal Magic academy. The Tower is my final challenge, but its.... so dark." He covers his mouth with his hand to muffle his own squeak as a rock could be heard falling down a dark hallway. He instinctively runs from the sound and hides behind the man, seeing something move where it came from. He becomes self-aware after his initial fear and takes a step away from the stranger. "Sorry..."

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Jeremiad was following the young mage rather closely, until another challenger came in and approached Koko. At that point, he decided to back off; he was stealthy, but more people means more eyes to spot him.

However... that said, he DID say he was going to rob as many people as possible today. Meh, how hard could it be?

Jeremiad placed himself in the shadows, and whispered a few words as the shadows consumed him, cloaking his every move (Invisibility). He tiptoes towards Koko, and very carefully puts his hand into the boy's satchel. It wasn't easy; he'd done this hundreds of times before, but Koko was so on edge a fly would probably spook him. However, with a quick swipe, he managed to take the mage's Sigil Tome. As soon as he drew his hand out of the caster's bag, he sprinted away; the darkness of the Tower silencing his footsteps as he ran away with a quiet snicker.

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Character Portrait: Seth black
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seth looked at the tower. people have went in and not came out? okay. taking a deep breath, he entered the tower, hoping he could make it through.

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Character Portrait: Seth black
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he hated the heavy feel of his emerald armor. youll like it later, he reminded himself. sighing he trudged foreword. into the tower. he already had a bad feeling about this. twisting his magic snake ring, he walked ahead, trying to make as little sound as possible. studying the place, checking for hidden objects, friend or foe. something told him that life was gonna get way more interesting for him.

Setting

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Lance raised a brow as Koko introduced himself. The story seemed plausible. He'd heard of the school and recognized the uniform. Perhaps this was another challenger of the tower. He lowered his guard a bit.

The sound of rocks falling was enough to spook the young Koko as he ran behind Lance in fear. Lance just stood there, unable to do anything but watch the boy realize what he was doing and step away, apologizing. He chuckled inwardly.

"Koko, huh?" Lance eyed the mage. "So why would a school as prestigious as Bretanian send a young mage with high potential to his ultimate doom by sending him to the unconquered Tower?" He caught the slightest movement on the boy's uniform as it jostled slightly. It seemed...ordinary...and yet so unnatural. He'd put the random placement on wind, but any that blew wasn't strong enough to move clothing like that. Also, the wind was moving in a completely different direction than the direction the uniform swayed with ever so slight movement. Weirder things have happened and he'd dismiss it for now. But just in case, he'd become more aware of what was going on around him.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



Koko wasn't sure what the man meant by his question, and it made Koko think about the implications but the answer was what he was dreading in the near future. "Well, it's the same challenge for every apprentice at the end of their training to reach the tenth floor. So I have to... uhm...." His voice drifted off into obscurity as he realized what kind of task he had gotten himself into. He didn't even notice the pilfering of his spell book and just shuffled uncomfortably in place as he felt a great amount of anxiety of what would befall him in the future.

It was then that a creature approached them, from behind the blonde man. Koko snapped to attention and frozen in fear as the creature got closer. He pointed at the creature to alert the man as he reached back to grab his sigil book, but grabbed the other book instead. He had a strange moment where he did a double take on the book and found his sigil tome missing, which confused him. With the monster getting closer he threw out a random destruction sigil in desperation and sent an explosive force through the hallway hoping to end the thing quickly. He jumped at the sound of his own attack and hid behind the man again, letting out a squeak as he did so.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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"Jesus!" Lance cried and barrel-rolled to the left just as the blast whizzed past him, singing some exposed hairs. When he got up, he realized his fedora was no longer on his head, falling off in the blast and landing not too far from his current position.

"Don't they teach you to be more aware of what you cast? You nearly hit me!" Lance turned irritably towards the young mage, picking up his fedora and frisbeeing it towards him. "Hold this." He then turned to face this new threat.

The arachnid was massive for it's kind, spindly legged and black, but it stood a mere two feet tall to Lance's six foot five stature. It's multiple eyes could be seen by the reflection of the light as well as tiny follicles of hair on the head. None of that was as menacing as the set of fangs the creature held it it's mouth, ready to stab into flesh. Lance smiled...cruel and knowing. "Hello beautiful."

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Jeremiad could have sworn he has home-free, but as the mage blasted in his direction, he couldn't help but react. "Oh, shit!" He yelled out as he rolled out of the way, the blast wave knocking him off his feet and causing him to falter and land on his face.

Although he wasn't really wounded, he knew he'd given away his presence. Incapable of recasting his invisibility until no one was aware of him, he decided to just escape the old-fashioned way, his soft, supple cloth shoes muffling his steps as he sprinted quietly into the darkness of the Tower.

Once he managed a bit of distance, he decided to take some time and actually find some damn loot around here. He drew one of his trusty Treasure scrolls and whispered its magic. With a satisfying *poof*, he found himself placed in front of an obsidian chest.

"Oooh, baby! I hit the jackpot tonight!" he thought to himself. He had heard about these things; they contained relics of immense power, created at the Beginning when the Creator granted the first humans impossible tools and weapons to create the world as they pleased. These tools were revoked when the Tower was erected, but they still lay here, and HE had just found one of them.

"Now... How to open it?" The chest had no hinges, no locks, it was almost a box. He tried jamming his knife into the one slot he found, but it was no use; whatever lock this thing had was NOT a normal lock, no way he could pick it. He'd heard that magic could open these, but to him, "magic" was just a five-letter word.

"Welp, shit. I'll find a way to open it soon enough," he thought. Maybe he'd find a key nearby? He left a mental note of where the chest was, and continued wandering in search of some way to open the damned thing.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



Koko stayed back as the man finished the arachnid off with his swords, his fear planting him strictly away from the danger. He had noticed another voice when he had cast his spell however, and was curious about it. He paid little attention to the minor detail however as the man had just finished his battle and Koko did a little cheer for the warrior. He seemed rather pleased with his work, but turned and point dramatically down the hallway. His finger swished in place and a glowing sigil of light floated from his figure to hover above their heads, providing them protection from the darkness.

"Alright mister....well whatever your name is. I will hire you as my guardian while I am in the Tower, at the payment of three-thousand Pents upon my safe exit of this evil place." This technically wasn't cheatings, as the mages hadn't said he had to get to the 10th floor alone. The man seemed strong and with an offer like that from one of his family's reputation, he was sure the arrangement would work out for both of them.

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Character Portrait: The Gamemaster Character Portrait: Seth black
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Seth began wandering about the Tower, taking a torch from the wall as light.

As he opened a door to inspect a room, he found a Black Goblin inside, armed with a small pocket knife. However, he only saw it for a moment, as the monster disappeared before his eyes. The door to the room then abruptly closed on the mage.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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The arachnid charged first. Lance was ready, jabbing forward with his right handed sword. The overgrown spider caught the blade within it's mouth and bit down, holding the blade within it's jaws. It began to back up, dragging Lance with him. He nearly lost his grip on his sword upon the initial tug, yet held on while his eyes wandered for a plausible solution. As the spider tried to drag him into the darkness, one of it's legs was within swinging distance for his other sword. He aimed for the joint and timed it perfectly, hearing a sickening crack! as the leg was sliced off. A loud shriek erupted from the mouth and the spider let go of the other blade. Lance had the momentum and he was going to use it, stepping forward and unleashing a left diagonal slice along the spider's neck. The head detached and fell to the floor, bouncing a tiny bit before laying still. The spider body had fallen on it's back due to the unbalanced positioning of it's remaining legs, which were twitching and curling up. The spider was dead.

Satisfied, he turned around toward Koko and retrieved his fedora from him. Upon grabbing it, he brushed hands with the mage and felt a magical aura he hadn't felt in years. He had minimal instruction in magical arts and didn't really care for it besides when it crossed with alchemy to create the consumable shards that enhanced his power in a variety of ways. He did, however, know about magical auras and how to sense them to some extent. Sensing auras was one of the first things taught to a mage and how they work. While Koko would probably see into his own magical aura clear as day and constant, Lance could see auras in flashes, as he was relatively weak with magic. But he had the knowledge of what the auras meant. He knew it was based off heritage as each family's magic is in tune with their blood...or at least that was how he was taught. There would be fluctuations deviating from that heritage line as the magic users came into their own and learned their own abilities with the influence of instructors. Even then, Lance could see a glimpse of how other instructors and friends as well as his own studying developed his aura into it's own unique entity. However, the basic magic line, no matter how covered up it may seem, was there and Lance recognized it. He'd come into contact with this heritage line before. The question was when?

Flipping the hat upon his head, Lance processed the boy's request. Coming up with a plan, he spoke calmly, "I will not accept that request. In fact..." he walked over to the remains of the spider, examining the body for possible tools, weapons, and ingredients. "...I want you to lead me to the tenth floor." He grabbed one of the venomous fangs and yanked it out, placing it in his backpack. Perhaps I can use this to make a Poison Shard later, he thought as he yanked the second fang and held it out to Koko for him to take. He could probably use one as well.

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Character Portrait: Jeremiad, the Thief Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



Koko was a little confused as to why this man did not want the money, but it still seemed that he did wish to travel together in the Tower and that was enough for Koko. When offered the spider fang Koko took it hesitantly, as he was not an alchemist and was not used to touching fresh ingredients. Then again, he could use it as a dagger if things got rough so he stashed the item carefully, so he wouldn't stab himself when reaching into his pack. He still wished to know where he sigil tome went off to, but he could survive on the sigils he could remember off the top of his head so it wasn't that much of a concern. His family had hundreds of said tomes in their library, all made for their family specifically. It was actually illegal for anyone outside of their family to own one of the family tomes so he was sure it would turn up eventually.

"We should get moving then, if we are to make it to the tenth floor." Getting impatient with all this waiting around Koko grabbed the mans hand and started walking in the original direction he was going, not sure if it was the safest route but it was just as good as any other. His sigil light followed them, and a sigil of protection that Koko placed in front of them, which should stop any initial attacks from the front magical or otherwise. Two sigils drained still only the smallest of measureable energy from Koko, he could hold up the spells for a whole day without rest but they would still limit his combat potential as more time passed.

"What was your name? Mine was Koko Magenta if you forgot too." Koko was horrible with names, so it might take a few tries to remember it. He felt he would have that chance as the two of them were going to spend the next couple weeks fighting their way to the tenth floor or even beyond.

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Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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There was a change in his demeanor. Lance could feel it as he walked behind Koko, who led the way. When he first met the boy, he was scared of even the slightest noise. Now, it was like witnessing a completely different mage. But what triggered this new behavior? Perhaps it was merely his own company that brought him confidence. Maybe when he was slaying the spider, Koko was realizing what kind of warrior he was and felt a bit more secure for it. Maybe it was just a slow start. Maybe it was something else entirely. He wouldn't know, but what he did know was this mage wasn't the most honest fellow, immediately trying to acquire his services in exchange for payment. He wouldn't have it. Especially since this was an evaluation for Koko. Lance would make sure this boy truly completed his test, whether he passed or not.

Koko brought him out of his thoughtful state with his question. He realized he hadn't really introduced himself yet and was shocked how much the two had already been through before even both names were let out. "Lance," he responded surely, "Lance DeBrinn." He knew it wouldn't get much recognition. It was a relatively unknown name. He liked it that way.

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Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta

Koko didn't recognize the mans name, but would try to remember it out of respect. His enthusiasm about the trip ahead was short lived as he slowed with each step, the darkness seeming to close in on the young mage as he got more and more fearful. They ended up in a steady walk, which seemed more like Koko was the one being pushed ahead by Lance's presence instead of Koko pulling him along. They came to several intersections and Koko always turned right then left to keep a generally forward moving direction and to avoid getting lost, as he could just as easily move backwards with the same system. He was distracted however as he turned right into a dead corpse, his nose almost hitting the dead man's face.

The corpse was impaled on a gate of spikes that had come from the walls and ceiling, holding the corpse up at the same time as blocking the hallway. Koko froze inches from the corpse and released Lance's hand. His scream echoed throughout the halls and he curled into a ball on the floor holding his head with his hands. He was shaking and seemed to be having a panic attack. After a few minutes he was able to move and think again, looking up at Lance with embarrassment.

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Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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The passages went on, a left, a right, a left, a right, and so on. Lance noticed the balanced approach Koko was taking to navigating the first floor, trying to keep moving in one direction. Lance knew that it was a basic navigation technique: to get from point A to point B in the most direct way possible. It wasn't the technique he'd use, but he'd let the mage lead the duo. Although at this point, Lance thought, it was more like he was herding Koko into his decision making process.

The scream that came from Koko when they rounded that corner and found a rotting body immediately irritated Lance, causing him to plug his ears and try to block out the noise. It didn't work. When it finally stopped, Lance found Koko in a mess on the floor, huddled in a ball of fright. God, do the people of Bretanian show these trainees what death is like?

"Get up," Lance told the mage, walking towards the impaled corpse. "Screaming won't do anything but attract unwanted attention. It's an inanimate entity and should be treated as such." He looked at the body suspended in the air by spikes, trying to learn from it. The spike were thick and numerous, making travel through them impossible. Lance looked back at the mage with a stern look. "What can be learned from this? Look closely now."

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Character Portrait: The Gamemaster Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko's scream rang throughout the floor, alarming all the enemies that hear it.

Almost immediately after the young mage calms down, a pack of wolves blast through an unlocked door near the duo. Snarling and hungry, the dozen or so of wild dogs assault the party.

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Character Portrait: The Gamemaster Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Koko Magenta



The mage sat up and more or less looked at the floor as he man explained it his way. Koko couldn't really get a grip on what was being said as he was still rather on edge. He stood and sighed in the direction of the spikes, seeing how they overlapped but nothing else crossed his mind. He didnt have any more time to think on it as a pack of wolves came out of nowhere. Koko rose away from the ground onto his toes to avoid the jaws of one wolf on his heels, and Koko flashed it away with a quick force bubble to bounce it in the opposite direction. He skirted back behind Lance and let him deal with the wolves.

He turned around to see the spikes at their back, and Koko got an idea. He drew four explosion sigils on the cross-points between the spikes and lit them all at once. The explosions were "aimed" through the spikes instead of at them, so it would only blast out the obstruction. Koko cheered for his success and ran through the opening. "Come on, Lance!" Koko didn't dare go further into the dark tunnels without his backup, and the fact that his light sigil was currently following him to illuminate the fight.

Setting

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Character Portrait: The Gamemaster Character Portrait: Koko Character Portrait: Lance DeBrinn
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Before anything else could happen, a loud bang followed by the barking and snapping of jaws emanating from the wolves that burst through a locked door. "Shit!" Lance cried out as one of the dogs leaped in the air, heading for him. An upward crossing slice cut through the beast, killing it instantly. The body slammed into him, causing him to fall backwards. A second dog came charging up his left side, so he kicked the wolf away, slicing at a third coming up at the right. He got up and barrel-rolled away from the threat, the wolves snapping at his heels. He pivoted, jabbing into a wolf he didn't know was there until his sword cut through it. Ten wolves left. Lance could now see that Koko was behind him.

Two wolves bounded at him at once, one aiming for his right arm, the other his left leg. Lance smashed his hilt into the temple of the wolf on his left and cut upward on the wolf on his right, catching it in the throat. He instinctively ducked, letting the wolf body roll over him and land with a meaty thud on the floor. And still more were coming.

BOOOOOM!

A large explosion behind him sent shockwaves through the floor and made him nearly lose his balance. He could feel the heat across his back and feel the debris pelt against it. The wolves lost their footing, scuttling and scurrying around in confusion. Lance turned around to find the spikes were no longer there, but rather were destroyed, revealing a gap. Koko was already through it, motioning for Lance to follow. He jumped through the opening, tripping over the dead corpse that had fallen through the other side from the blast. Lance's foot was entangled with something around it's neck, something glittering. Lance tugged at his foot until he heard a snap as the thing around the corpse's neck broke. The snap of jaws closing near his ear brought him back to reality as he jolted up and charged down the hallway. Lance hoped that the body would distract the wolves while he and Koko ran.

But luck wouldn't be on their side. As they rounded the next, Lance found himself cursing at the wall that lay in the path. A chest was right against it, probably what the victim of the spike trap had discovered upon going down this hallway. Besides that, there was no path to the right or the left. The only way was back to the wolves. They were trapped.

"Whatever you do, don't open that chest unless I say," Lance told the mage as he reached into his backpack and pulled out a fire shard. "Da mihi virtutem lapidis ignis," he whispered, then consumed the shard. Instantly, he felt the power coarse through his veins, a blazing heat rushed through his body. He felt warm...and he liked it. Lance watched his swords catch fire, burning brightly and intensely. He held the sword out in front of him, launching a test fire ball from the blade. It shot out and smashed into the wall, dissipating upon contact, but leaving the exposed rock charred. Now, he had range.

"Okay, wait for my call," he told the mage. "Get whatever sigils you can think of ready. We have nine more of these things to kill."