Journey of the Elementals RP (Pm if Interested, Started)

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Alexander visibly paled at being told he would go see the Prime Minister, and that he basically had no choice.

"Alright, then I guess I will be off then." He said somewhat meekly as he got up and left the room. He had to ask a few times which way he would be going but eventually he found himself in front of the door leading to the trial rooms. He knocked on the door plainly hesitant.

"You wanted to see me Prime Minister?" He stuttered out after knocking, already silently preparing himself for bowing in apology for the events of the previous night.

Phebe had stood leaned against the wall with her eyes closed, almost falling asleep, but the stench reminded her that this wasn't the time or place for that. She had listened to the other mages, but nothing interesting had really come up, so she had remained silent.

She opened an eye when a man entered and started speaking about the trials. At least it was better than standing here and she was still very much interested in proving herself, not only for the wings, but also because others would think of her as more than a mage if she succeeded. It could be the closest she'd get to being considered normal.

"Yeah, I want to do the trials." She said, and stepped forward, glad that she wasn't wearing her robes.

When she heard and saw Alexander leaving, to go to the trial rooms, she quickly followed after him with a smile on her face.

"Trials!" The way Fei said it, you would think it was code for cake. The trials meant she could get pretty wings too! "Drew, Drew, let's go to the trial rooms! Pleeeease? I want to see if I can get nice wings toooo!" She bugged her brother incessantly. The Arena sounded boring, just fighting stuff. It was fun to watch, but she'd rather have wings. Could she use them to fly? Maybe she could fly with Drew sometime! That sounded exciting, just flying through the air even though she was a Hydromancer. Imagine how jealous everyone would be when they saw she had wings, and she didn't even know any wind magic!

Nina held Nat's unmoving hand as she cried. Her shadow watching over her silently as Nat's looked around taking in what was happening. The gaping wounds in her chest, left arm and right leg from the bolts were still fresh and mangled. Nat was breathing heavily was she lay there unmoving and unconscious. Blood was still draining from her in small amounts but it was becoming more manageable. The nurse was trying her best to heal her but it was going slowly.

Nina had only suffered a gash and a few cuts, many because Nat had taken the brunt of the damage for her putting her in her current state. Nina let out a loud hick as she tried to take a breath but her tears overcame her. "God I'm sorry Nat. I... *hick* wish I was't so weak. After everything you've done for me.. I can't even keep you safe even after you and I left to be mages... Nat I swear I'll be stronger, faster and better so I never have to see you like this. I love you Natalie Tanara." Nina cried more as she kissed Nat's check.

"Nina dear, she'll be ok. She's strong and I've seen many with less will then her survive wounds like this." The nurse spoke up but was quickly cut off by Nina.

"You don't know her like I do. She's strong yes but her will has long since be broken.. God not only have I lost Aden but I may lost Nat. Dammit." Nina said sending a small flame at the nurse, causing her to step back.

"I'm sorry but I'd doing the best I can." The nurse said surprised at Nina's outburst. Nina looked away and sighed. "I'm sorry I'm not like this.." she trailed off as Nat's hand twitched.

"Dammit Nina why must you be so loud when I have a fucking headache?" Nat said waking up some. "Shit I hurt all over." Nat said as the nurse ran over to her.

"Please don't get up Nat. You're still in bad shape." The nurse said tending to Nat.

After Seth had stopped in his tracks, he was interrupted by Gabriel, and then another man who told him he could go to the arena. He went without a word, and Silvana and Scott were left alone in the hallway. Silvana wasn't sure what to do, but she didn't want to miss what the mage required of the the other mages, so she followed him back into the dining hall.

Upon hearing what he had to say, she started to wonder what those supposed trials entailed. Without knowing much else, she couldn't draw a conclusion on what to think of them, but she was still curious. She approached the mage with the color changing runes on his robe and tapped his shoulder. "Excuse me, but what are these trials? It seems to me that some of the others know what they're about, but I do not."

Gabriel's interest in the trials resurfaced at the robed man's mention of them. Despite not knowing what would be involved in them, he figured that if there was some sort of room involved, perhaps there would be the capacity to observe someone else attempting them.

The new woman, Silvana, was curious about the trials. She hadn't been at the dinner where the subject had come up. "Excuse me, but what are these trials? It seems to me that some of the others know what they're about, but I do not." Perhaps Gabriel could shed a little light on it.

"The trials are... well, I don't know much even though I was there when it was mentioned," he began, answering the older mage. "I remember it being mentioned that they're unique to the individual undergoing them... that kind of worries me, but it shouldn't be life-threatening or anything, right? I mean, surely there would be some sort of rule against it. Right?" He looked to their guide for an answer as he followed the man.

"Enter, Alexander of the Lightbringers. Come, take a seat. We have much to discuss, I would like to think, and as always little time to discuss it. I must first ask the most obvious. Are you well?" The Prime Minister asked, who was sitting in one of the many chairs surrounding a large glowing gateway. It was nearly reminiscent of the chambers they had been shown before, with the gateway at times seeming to phase out of the reality that they were in. The room, oddly enough, seemed remarkably plain for such an elaborate gate, with only a large circle of chairs around the gateway some distance away to even speak of anything other than the torches which lit the room.

"Next...I must ask if my information regarding mages is wrong, since I would hope that there is some honesty to Lightbringers, at least. I was told that mages of the Light would be more peaceful, healers, and passive. Yet, I have holes in my hall, and a multitude of dead attackers slain by your hand. Have I been mislead? Shall I be forced to expect the pyromancer to be stubborn and old fashioned, the hydromancer to be aloof and free spirited, and for the airshifter to be dark and silent?"

After asking the slew of questions, the Prime Minister suddenly caused small bolts to be crackling from his hands, and small energy trails danced from one hand to the other. "Of course, not that it matters at this point. But, I have not gotten this far simply ignoring things I don't know about. So, what say you Alexander? What did happen?"

As the man lingered outside with the other mages after Alexander had entered the trials room, he did a small jump when Silvana tapped his shoulder, turning somewhat surprised as she asked him his question, for another mage to come over and start saying things. He nodded at Gabriel's explanation slightly.

"Ah...Well, I can't claim to know of anyone who has....died because of the trials, I cannot claim that there are any guarantees...except for wearing a robe much like this one keeps you relatively safe from the crystal's influence when a trial begins, or is being attempted. What I can tell you for certain is that the trials offering of new opportunities which happen at a price. It is how the Prime Minister is what he is, and how some individuals have wings, and how others have...other things. But, it is rude of me to say such things behind their back, of course. Though, I am somewhat confused. You mages already have powers, so what would you be...attempting the trials for? Is there something special over there that you are looking for?" The man suddenly seemed very curious, looking over the mages to suddenly realize that they lacked wings.

"OH! Apologies, I did not...mean any slight against you, of course. Sorry. I am not always the best at these kinds of things, which makes me wonder why the Prime Minister asked me for such things. But, I imagine he has something in mind. don't know if I should let you in or not. I was told to let Alexander in first, but...wait., I guess some of them decided to stay behind?"

Alexander calmed down a bit when the Prime Minister actually spoke. He straightened before responding.

"I am getting better Prime Minister, as my energy returns I will begin to heal quicker. Next I would not say your information is wrong. Light mages are more attuned to healing but we are taught to defend ourselves using light concentrated enough to cut our enemies. I had lost two my first two patients that night and had taken great damage myself. In my anger, grief, and pain I lost control over myself and that had lead to the results you saw. As soon as the last of our attackers had fallen I passed out from the damage I had taken and the energy I had expended in that display and before it. Were it not for the small amount of energy I still had I would have died most likely." Alexander said his eyes shifting to his shadow at the last sentence.

"But getting back to if your information is correct, I would say it is. I have no desire to end life, my attacks before I lost control were to disable not kill."

Nat rolled her eyes at the nurse. "Look I'll be fine in a bit. I just need rest and some air. Now allow me to walk around before I break myself out of here. I don't like being bedridden for too long. Nina, help me get up please." Nat said pushing the nurse off of her. As she sat up grunting some holding her side as Nina stood by.

"Nat don't get up, you're too weak. Please don't hurt yourself any more. Just lay down and rest. We can walk around later when you're better. I promise." Nina said as the nurse piped in.

"Miss I insist you lay back down, your friend is right. You'll open your wounds more and I'm not sure I can heal you if you get worse." The nurse protested loudly before Nat raised a clenched hand wrapped in dark colored light. "I... will not be intimidated mage.." the nurse said her voice shaking but still maintained some sternness. Nat's eyes became for fierce, the color darkening as the blue became more prevalent in her eyes. The nurse sighed. "Let me at least give you something for the bleeding and the pain. Here take this pill, it will help witht he pain." The nurse handed Nat a pill, which she took then sighed.

"I can take care of my wounds." Nat said summoning some of her powers to make a barrer type of bandage over her wounds. This should hold for the time being. I can still do some basic magic." she said.

Nina forced Nat's hand down. "I'll make sure she doesn't over work herself. Once she gets like this nothing can change her mind. I know you have her best interests at heart but I don't want to see you get hurt ma'am. I'm sorry, I'll bring her back when I can." Nina sighed leading Nat out of the room to prevent more damage.

As the pair walked out of the infirmary the nurse held her chest as her heart raced. "How can someone be that angry?" she said to herself shaking some.

Nat brushed Nina off of her, "I can walk on my own but thank you for the help Nina. I'll be ok." She walked through rubble and wrecked rooms. "My god I didn't realize how significant the damage was. It will take ages for them to rebuild and repair." Nat said as she walked into the dining area in shambles seeing Raven as she held her sides the pain trying to over take her.

"Nat come on don't be so damn stubborn. You're weak right now." Nina said then stopped seeing Raven. "Oh Nat isn't that another Nightshade?" she said looking over at Raven. Nat just nodded. "Yes Raven Mays, Mage rank." She said walking over to Raven. "Raven, what's going on? I've been bedridden for a while and I wish to know what's going on." Nat said in a slightly commanding voice.

The talk of the trials again perked up Raven's interest. She was debating on going to follow the others in seeing what precisely these people meant when they talked of arduous trials when she walked in. The other, other Nightshade who had been commissioned to come on this voyage. Holy shit. I thought she was dead.

"Raven, what's going on? I've been bedridden for a while and I wish to know what's going on."

"Uh, well," Raven started, her low voice faltering a bit with the unexpected presence of one of the only higher-ups she had any respect for. "Long story short, not everyone in this kingdom is thrilled to have us here and they tried to eliminate us last night. This place got pretty blown up, and a couple of the Pyros died. But I managed to suck a man's soul dry of energy, so something good came out of it. My wound still hurts a bit though."

"I for one was simply curious about them. Although, upon hearing about them further has made me interested in them further. I wonder what sort of thing I would gain if I were to go through them..." Silvana pondered it for a moment before dismissing it. "I might find out later, if I go through the trials. At the moment, I can't say there's much I really desire." And there really wasn't. She was content with what she had. Even her knowledge over dark magic was enough for her as was. Who knows, maybe she'd find something that she desired and would have a reason to take the trials, if she'd even need them for the thing she'd desire.

Silvana looked around behind herself as she had been following the guide. It did look like some of the mages she'd met earlier, such as Raven, weren't there with them. "I guess they weren't as interested in the trials as we were. Or thought to stay behind for one reason or another. Can't say I know what that could be." She shrugged and looked towards the door they were at. "I also guess we should just wait a bit and then see when or if we can come in."

Drew took a moment to think about what Fei was asking for. ...How would I explain my little sister getting wings to the folks? But on the other hand, the trials seems interesting... He sighed and decided to follow the guide. He worked his way as close as he could and asked a couple questions. "So... is it at all possible for outsiders like us to take the trials? And is there the possibility one could get these wings?" He figured there was almost no chance, but he wanted to at least seem that he was humoring Fei. Between the cultural and possible biological differences, he was confident that it'd be deemed impossible, or at least they'd be forbidden. If it was possible, then he'd have to think up an excuse for Fei before they actually arrived.

"I guess they have their reasons. Not everyone would be super interested in taking the trials," Gabriel chimed in. "Me, however... I think I might give it a shot. See what it involves, and what's offered at the end... if I pass," he added as a slightly ominous afterthought. The price that kept being mentioned was probably something that wasn't to be taken lightly. Briefly the young mage wondered what kind of price would be asked of him.

Their guide had mentioned some sort of crystal... was it some sort of magical artifact, or one of Kerbones' technological marvels? How would it work, though? And if it were magical, what discipline of magic would something like that fall under? Gabe doubted it was the work of a Hydromancer.

"I have a couple more questions, while we're waiting. Are people allowed to talk about the trials after they take them? And is there a place where we can observe someone in the midst of their trials?" Gabriel chose not to ask why Alexander had been singled out for the trials: presumably it was something to do with him being sent to see the Prime Minister. Perhaps the Lightdweller himself could explain that.

The Prime Minister nodded carefully as he listened to Alexander's tale, noting that this was perhaps the first time he had lost patients while healing, and also that it was two of his own that were lost that evening. As he turned his attentions back to the gateway, seeming to think about something. He stood, and stepped over to the gateway.

"I am sorry for the loss that you had to endure, Alexander. It is somewhat my fault that they had fallen, but I could not anticipate other forces to be assembled so quickly to act against myself and the kingdom. I was also unaware that the Assassins would be in the city already, expecting my return with guests. But, I know there is little I can offer to make such things up to you other than my sincerest apologies, and any comforts that you request while you recover."

He walked around the gateway as he talked, still being seen as the oddly transparent gateway did little to hide him. As he did step close, the lightning about him became much more obvious, dancing about his entire form around the gateway.

"I imagine you are not willing or ready to try the trials, which is perfectly understandable. Though, I cannot claim what exactly you would want to gain from the trials, it is not my place to know, or to know the price you would pay for it. Is there something you wish to...privately discuss before I allow the others inside?"

The guide turned to Drew, giving a small shrug as he asked about being able to take the trials, and if they could get wings from it. The man's wings were hidden underneath the mystical robes at the moment, but he still answered as jittery as ever.

"Outsiders like yourselves? With the Prime Minister's blessing, I would not imagine why you would not be able to take them. And, it is possible to get wings from the trials, I guess. Why you would ask for those, I am not sure, but I guess it is your choice all the same. I wonder what the cost would be though? It just seems odd..." The guide paused in his thoughts as Gabriel brought up his own questions. Suddenly distracted, the man switched topics almost instantly.

"Talk about the trials? Most....tend to keep the moments kind of private, as the trials seem to leave a few different kinds of marks on those who attempt them. But if you are willing to talk about them, I wouldn't see any issue with it personally...but as far as I know, unless you decide to take your trials together, there is no way to...well, see what happens in there. I'm not sure you would want to anyways. There are rumors that....well, some people don't come out looking as steady as they went in, ya know? Like they....saw ghosts or something. Family even. Its kinda weird the things you hear, ya know? Especially when I'm not even sure if the gate is even there, even after the Prime Minister went through it like he did. It sure is....something. Not sure how else to say it really, as odd as that is."

"I don't think I will take the trials sir. However there is, maybe you would know more about a gift I received than I. When we were on the ship, I spoke to an entity. Told it what I wish for in life, and it gifted me with a kind of familiar one might say. A shadow if you will. For the longest time it did nothing, and then last night when I passed out in my own blood I could have sworn it glared at the other mages. Then it passed on a thought to me, at least I think it did. It may seem odd to you but then I never thought men could have wings before I came here. I wondered if you might know anything of this entity or its gift and if not if I might have access to perhaps a scholar to help me find something." Alexander replied.

Fei wore a big smile on her face as she listened to them talk about the trials. She wondered what kind of things the trials were. Maybe an eating contest? Maybe a race? Maybe fighting? It would be cool if they were just making it seem hard so that no one would take them. Maybe they were just being jealous, and didn't want anyone to take the trials, so that only they could have wings. Why wouldn't anyone want wings? They looked so cool, and soft, even if you couldn't use them to fly, it would be AWESOME! She had to ask the Prime Minister if she could take the trials.

Drew kept his smile but was shouting several profanities in his head. He turned to Fei, trying to sound a little more serious "Look, Fei, are you positive about this? Do you even know what you're getting into?" While he had her attention, he decided to ask another question to the guide, hoping she'd pay more attention. "So... one more thing about these trials... are there any risks? Has anything bad happened to anyone taking them?" He figured that if he was right, the guide would say something that might get Fei to reconsider. Plus I might be overreacting... 'Trials' sounds bad, but maybe it's just some old tradition. Still, never hurt to be sure...

The Prime Minister arched an eyebrow, obviously intrigued by what Alexander said. He paused for a moment, and then nodded to himself.

"Well, if you are seeking a scholar to find more about these....odd events, I get the feeling you would like to talk with my....eccentric guide that I had lead you here. He's a little off, of course, but his knowledge is surprising, and while sometimes his ideas are...well, to be frank, insane, he does have a tendency to be incredibly right. JOSEPH!" The Prime Minister turned towards the doorway. "ENTER! TIME FOR OUR GUESTS TO SEE THE TRIAL!" With that, he turned his attentions back to Alexander.

"But you say that it gave you...a shadow? But one that you? Like down in the chamber? It follows you? That is....interesting. It has shown perhaps there is something to it. But, Joseph will know more, I am sure. Despite his ramblings, he is brilliant."

The guide paused, seeming to look over the question that Drew had posed. After a small moment, he decided on...something.

"Well, I must be honest. Some....after the trials are not...happy. Some have seen things in the trials that they won't talk about, or can't properly handle. And....some have not wanted to survive after the trials. Some have come without their wings, some have come with destructive skills, or knowledge that....well, they tossed themselves off the ledge. It really is something. Some claimed that they were being followed by themselves, others claimed that their powers were too destructive to allow them to survive. Others claimed yet that there were voices whispering, or that they betrayed their love, or their family. Though, there are....times where they are missing something a bit more....important. An arm, I think I saw once. Wasn't bleeding, but....he had both of them before he went in."

Then, the guide heard his name called. Joseph, apparently his name was called, and he turned, opening the door. "Well, no time like the present to show you the...well, doorway, for lack of a better term. It has changed though, so I wonder what it is today...." With that, he led the mages into the mostly clear room filled with chairs around the odd barely existing gateway.

Cale listened on about the talk of a "trial". It did interest him a bit as it offered something else to think about and he was always up for a challenge. He followed the guide with the rest of the mages, thinking what the trials must hold. He wondered if it was anything like the trials back at the academy. It seemed like years ago that he was last at the academy and the homesickness began to kick in whenever he thought about the earth.

He walked in the room that was mostly clear besides the chairs. He wondered if his shadow also walked in with him and after some eye adjustment, his shadow was barely visible. Cale hadn't given much thought into his shadow ever since he received it from the spirit but a feeling came over him that maybe he will end up needing its help. Cale looked around, in search of whatever the guide wanted to show him.

"What now?" Cale asked.

At the guide's answer to long-term results of the trials, Gabriel cringed a little. More so when he heard that one person had come back minus an entire arm. That did not sound healthy... was it worth it, though? Possibly. Who could tell? Maybe he would describe some of his experiences to the others, should he complete them.

"Well, no time like the present to show you the...well, doorway, for lack of a better term. It has changed though, so I wonder what it is today...." The guide - who was presumably the Joseph to whom the Prime Minister was calling - led the mages into the room.

Inside was a strange gateway, seeming to turn transparent at times, as well as some chairs arranged around the central gate. The Prime Minister stood before the gate, surrounded by what looked like some sort of lightning-based magic. Alexander was in the room too; he, however, was a distance away from the gate.

"What on Darkengrad... Is this the trial? Pass through the gate?" Gabriel queried in slight awe, curiosity piqued. "Or is the gate another portal to somewhere else? An arena or something where the trials are held?" He felt a familiar presence nearby: his shadow was at his side, arms folded across its chest. Its attention was divided between the gate and the Prime Minster, ignoring Gabe entirely.

Nat just nodded looking at the damage. "Damn them. I'm sorry to hear that we have lost some of our own. I'm glad you're ok Raven, any idea on how the others are doing? I was badly hurt during the start of the fight so I have little idea. We mages need to stick together as best we can. We may not see eye to eye but in a world that hates our kind, we're all each other have." Nat said plainly with a hint of emotion.

Nat was in thought about what has transpired and her face twisted into an odd look of worry and anger. "I should of been stronger. Dammit why do I fail? I can barely protect Nina, let alone any of my other mages and my students. Maybe my mother was right, I am nothing." Nat quickly became lost in thought until Nina touched her arm softly then she blinked back to the ruined dinning area.

Nina just looked at Nat, not use to her showing any feeling for her other mages. This wasn't like Nat, however, nether Nat or Nina has seen this much blood shed. This was truly a new experience for the both of them. To Nina, it was a glimmer of hope that maybe Nat had a chance to be normal, well as normal as Nat could be.

"Has the Prime Minister said anything Raven?" Nina asked curious herself on what was going on still holding Nat's arm as she felt it shake with sorrow and anger.

"A couple of them took hits," Raven answered Nat. "One of the sunsu-," she caught herself from uttering her preferred term for denizens of the light in the presences of Nina, before remember that despite her appearance, she wasn't actually one of them. It was hard to tell sometimes. "One of the sunsuckers took a big hit, went a little nuts during the battle, he's been recovering from what I hear."

She then moved onto Nina's question. "As for the Prime Minister, your guess is probably better than mine. That guy is just a labyrinth to try and figure out anything on. I can't get a read on angles he's trying to play, whether or not he may have sicced those guards on us, what he plans to do with us, nothing."

Drew gulped when he heard the description. "You... did hear that, right Fei?" he was really hoping she was paying attention to that part. He knew she was distracted at the moment, but he was fairly something like that would at least register. It'd certainly make things a lot easier for him if she decided to back out on her own. Still, he knew he couldn't let her go through it. He had promised to himself he'd let her take care of herself on this trip, but this was not what he had in mind. He knew things would get rough, but he was counting on himself, or at least some of the other mages being able to make things a little more manageable. As they arrived at the area where the trials would take place, he saw the Prime Minister standing in front of the gate as if he were expecting them. Well that fills me with confidence...

He wanted to ask a little more, but he figured he'd let the Prime Minister speak.

The guide, Joseph, looked confused at Cale for a moment until it suddenly dawned on him that perhaps he could not see the gateway quite like he could. He sat for a moment in a nearby chair, taking out a small pad of paper and scribbling something down, and muttering "interesting..." to himself as he did so, before rising and then pointing at the center where the odd gateway still seemed to be shifting.

"WELL, this is where my expertise stands. This is the Trials. Or, the gateway to the trails, or something of that nature. You do have to pass through the gate, but it doesn't really give off much more info than that. I have gone through.....twice now? Its difficult to say, but some of my colleagues have told me that I went through a dozen times, which I find difficult to believe that I still have everything on me at that point." He stood back, glancing at the Prime Minister from time to time, who seemed to be much more concentrating on the gateway and the energies that flowed about himself, and then answered Gabriel's question.

"Well, it sends you to another....line, I think is the best way to put it. It puts you in a situation which is different from this one. It is...quite real, let me tell you. Of course, I'm not quite sure what effect those shadows will have in the other world. Maybe they will serve as a guide? Or perhaps a guardian? I'm not quite sure. But what I am sure of is now you can wander into the gate. As a group, or by yourselves, if you wish. All probably to the same line. Or maybe a different one? In any case, the trials are different from other tests that you might encounter. You are given...a choice of trial. If that is a mercy, I am not quite sure. But, if memory serves....give me a moment..."

Joseph went to his robes, seeming to look for a bit of paper in one of the odd pockets before one of the odd runes giving an odd glow. Joseph muttered something, then pulled out an odd book.

"...Ahem! The choices stand as...moral, battle, peace, personality, goals, and...broken. The two times I went through, I chose both peace and.....moral? Yes, yes, I know. But in those, I went to...the same line, I think. I ran into all sorts of individuals. In fact, that one fire fellow seemed familiar, so maybe I saw him in one of those? As do you, little girl, but I can't recall from which path...maybe one in which mages ruled? But, in any case, I know that these effects are quite real on the line they touch, if only for a moment. You might even run into yourself, which interesting affair to see how you turn out." Joseph sat quiet for a moment, seeming to listen to something has the runes on him seemed to shimmer a few times and then give a steady glow. "OH! Yes, you probably want to know about the meet a changing....well, spirit, is the best I can think of it. A ghost that changes depending on...something. But they offer you a trade. It is negotiable, I think, but you will never walk out with more than you went in with. That is made clear....And....I think thats about it. I think. SO! If you want, you can all step in to take the trials, and I can begin the rights needed to get you in there....or you can instead chat with the good Minister. Though, he is feeding some of his energies to the gate, it is in preparation. Just in case you all want to go, its going to take quite the jolt of power, so it pays to be ready, you know...."

Alexander listened as Joseph explained the trials. He really had no interest in them himself, he hadn't seen anything here he would be willing to trade one of his few possessions away for. Besides if he couldn't earn it on his own he either wasn't meant to have it or didn't deserve it in his opinion. Trading with some being for an unknown power in an unknown trade didn't sit with him. However if all the others decided they wished to go in he would follow to make sure he could help if need be. Once Joseph had finished talking to the group however he spoke up to the man.

"If you find the time at some point I would like to ask you about something that happened to me last night to see if you might understand more about it." he said to Joseph.

Silvana listened with interest as Joseph went on about the trials. It all made sense to her, though she still wasn't quite sure how they were to go about doing the trials once they'd enter. However, she had at least one question for Joseph. "You mentioned shadows just then. Are you saying we get shadows to follow us inside the gate?" She obviously wasn't aware of the shadows the others had, so it was perfectly natural that she asked about it. She watched while the Prime Minister fed some energy to the gate while she waited for her answer.

Phebe stepped into the room with the gate. There were some chairs and the prime minister, but she ignored him and looked at the gateway. She listened to Joseph, and thought about the options he mentioned. Moral or peace didn't matter to her, and she felt like she had fought enough just to get to the room. She wasn't even sure how she would prove herself in anything other than battle, but part of the fun was finding out.

She thought about leaving the bow behind in the room, since she didn't want to trade it for anything, but she could buy a new one when she returned triumphant. It could also prove useful in the trials. How, she didn't know yet.

"Broken, huh?" Phebe grinned. "That sounds like fun."

It was the one who had sparked her curiosity. She reached out for the gateway with her hand, to see if anything would happen, but stopped before touching it.

"Oh, and I would like to go alone." It wouldn't be testing her if she went with a group. It would be testing her ability to work well with others. She had nothing against them, but this was something she did for herself.

Gabriel listened closely to Joseph's explanation of the trials. Six options... moral, battle, peace, personality, goals and... broken? What was 'broken'? What did that even mean? Whatever it was, it didn't sound like something Gabriel would like to try. It then occurred to him that there was a possible - though likely coincidental - connection between the trials and magic. There were six commonly accepted schools of magic, and six categories of trial. Whether each brand was linked to a specific trial, he knew not.

Before he could think over this further, one of the mages he had first met last night, the one named Phebe, stepped up. "Oh, and I would like to go alone."

She was going to jump in blind? Gabriel wanted to know more about the options the trials offered. He spoke up, looking to Joseph as he did so. "Before anyone does anything... would it be possible to tell us a bit more about each of the categories? Like, what does it mean by moral, or goals, or 'broken'?" Hopefully learning more about the categories would help Gabe to make a decision on both whether or not he would take them on, and which option he would choose.

Joseph turned about, listening to the mages as they all seemed to have questions for him that seemed to all demand answers. He pondered for a moment, seeming to contemplate Phebe's move in particular towards the gate, especially as it seemed to shift as she moved to touch it, becomign a different style of door as she stood so incredibly close to the gate, which now had a much more firm least where Phebe stood so close. He first turned and nodded to Alexander, not quite understanding why he would need to chat about things from last evening, but decided he would humor him with..whatever it was.

"Course, I am more than willing to discuss....whatever it is you are wondering about. Not sure what I can do for you, but sure, why not...." Joseph started, then turning to Silvana.

"Hm? So, you do not see them either? I would guess not. No matter! You would have one follow you around all the same. They are different from what I am describing, but it is all I can think of calling them. Its a darker shade of what you are, but they are not quite like what you are. They react and do things differently, as if they are trying to become something like you, but not quite you. Thats the best I can do, since they never seem to answer my questions, the quiet things they are." Joseph said, finally turning to look at Phebe as she seemed to be in a rush. The Prime Minister had sat back down, shutting his eyes for a moment as if he needed a bit of a rest after the energy that was sent into the gate.

"Well, I will not be stopping you if you wish to go into the gateway. Just don't come blaming me for...whatever it is that happens in there. I just know some things, not much else, so if you come out all beaten up or missing something kinda important, it isn't on me for that stuff..." Joseph paused for a moment, thinking of the question before attempting an answer. "Well, I don't know really. Those are more names that I chose to put on them. They actually...well, they are presented to you in a different way, I think. My experiences don't match what....few others dared to talk to me about them. So maybe it won't make it like yours? me anyways, the choices seemed relatively obvious, each with its own sign showing what each was largely dealing with. Choices, death, battle, broken all made sense to me, so maybe the gateway will make sense by showing you something like that? What I know is that categories you an element of you. Dealing with the word chosen in some form or another, if my own experiences gave any indicator of what happens where...."

He stepped over to the gateway next to Phebe now, seeming to glow more from his robes as he did so, the runes giving off new different glowing signs. Running a hand over a door, which seemed to change into less of a door, and more of a glowing wall of energy, different from what Phebe had for where she stood.

"Course, it is always the most interesting when you have to see yourself for what you are. The extremes you could go to, the people you could kill or fight over, and the worlds that you could burn just to win. Or maybe lose? Maybe you are given a shadow so that you can see another kind of reaction to what you have become...or are. It is probably like attacking yourself to see something different happen." Joseph was smiling now, seeming to be thinking about something else now.

Phebe saw the gate change into a door, but did not open it straight away. She listened to what Joseph said. Was her shadow going to come with her this time as well? She wasn't sure if she liked the thought or not, it hadn't tried to hurt her yet and maybe it would actually prove useful for once.

"That does sound exciting." She said, after Joseph had stopped talking. Phebe took a deep breath, put her hand against the door and pushed it open. The light coming from the gateway made it hard to see anything on the other side. Well, there was only one way to find out anyway. She stepped through it.

"Oh, wait, hold up!" Gabriel started to say, but he was too late: Phebe simply stepped through the doorway one moment, and the next she was gone. "Oh, gods dammit," he grumbled, annoyed that she had just jumped in without learning more about the trials. As he did so, the gate immediately changed from the doorway that had been there when Phebe was near it back to the wall of light that seemed to show up when Joseph was nearby.

"So... each of the trials is something different... about ourselves? Chosen? What does that mean?" he queried, approaching Joseph and the gate. As Gabriel neared, the wall of light changed to another doorway... this one was different. Instead of the door that had been there when Phebe was standing before it, it now featured a curtain that could be pulled back. The curtain itself was blueish in colour, seeming to shift in hue as its hem moved in some sort of breeze that Gabe couldn't feel.

"Huh. So the door is different for each of us then," he observed, looking to Joseph for confirmation. Gabriel's shadow, however, took a walk around the doorway before returning to the Hydromancer's side.

"I hate to interrupt this but can we please catch up with everyone else? I'm curious about these Trials I've been hearing about. I'd like to see what it is and maybe we can get more information." Nina said softly just as she walked away some.

Nat blinked and nodded. "Nina is right, we should see what these Trials are about. Do you know where the others are Raven?" Nat asked brushing some hair out of her face. "I don't like being kept in the dark about anything and if I can do the Trials I would like to do so." she added.

"Nat I'm not so sure you should do anything like that, you might reopen your wounds. You barely are walking now." Nina said but was cut off by Nat.

"I'll be fine Nina. I'm always fine." Nat said with a cold tone. She didn't want to be reminded of her weakened state and only wanted to get back to normal, well as normal as she could be.

As Phebe stepped through the gateway, she found herself placed in an odd area of darkness. It did not seem to react to anything other than the odd line of candles that seemed to lead to a table where an odd figure sat, shuffling cards. Even as Phebe's gaze turned, it seemed that the odd path and desk was always in front of her, and the man offered no information nor words, simply continuing to shuffle the deck until they finally paused to throw down six cards, all of them face down. After that, the odd figure continued to shuffle the deck, still seeming to pay no other mind to Phebe nor do anything different.

After Phebe had stepped through the gateway, Joseph quietly watched as it shifted when Gabriel stepped foward, wanting to actually seemingly stop or join up with her, only to pause as the doorway changed, and looked to him for confirmation.

"Yes yes, the doorway is different. A deeper reflection into oneself, I would like to think. Quite interesting, isn't it? Wonder how much else it can know, or show about individuals. But, all speculation and rumor at this point, as some people would say." Joseph said, stepping about the crystal once more, only to then turn to Alexander, seeming to remember something.

"OH! You said something before? About last night or something? If it is about the assassins....well, I don't think there is much to know about that. I'm a thinker, not a fighter..." Joseph began, only for the Prime Minister to open his eyes and cock an eyebrow.

"Nonsense." The Prime Minister said, stretching slightly as he rose up. "You can fight plenty fine. And the assassins...well, they are a problem that won't get any better with mages in the city, no matter what else could be happening...Although, if she was the only one to want to go through the trials, then I would hazard you would want to go look over the chamber that you are here to...solve. When you are done here, of course. I am not worried with the guards on full alert."

Meanwhile, in the dining hall where the other mages where, it seemed that a group of people had arrived to take care of the problem with the room. While it wouldn't be said that they were exactly forced out, it was heavily implied that they were not going to stay there, and they found themselves being moved through the door, and a guard pointing them towards the room of trials. As quickly as the doors had closed it seemed that the group had gotten to work, with rocks being shifted about, the sound of clanging tools and metal being heard as parts were pushed back into place, and the room was being repaired the everything taken care of.

"I need a thinker actually. The prime minister said you may know something about seemingly living shadows. I have one and last night after I overexerted myself and collapsed, I got a feeling something was glaring at the other mages in the room and I had a thought that felt as if it was my own but was not. I'm hoping you might have some knowledge in something like this and may be able to help me discover what exactly it is and what it can do." Alexander explained, he himself didn't want to undertake the trials since he felt he had little to gain from them.

"I don't know," Raven admitted to Nat as some of the castle workers came in.

"All right ladies, move on out!" the foreman shouted at the Mages. "We gotta get this place fixed up here!"

As the mages were rushed out of the hall, one of the Guards outside stopped them. "If you're looking for the others, they went that way," he pointed down the hallway, "to the Trials. You go down that way and take two lefts. There aren't many turns so you should be able to pick them out. Once there you should see the others in front of a rather large Doorway. That is where they take place."

"K thanks," Raven said quickly, now anticipating the chance to go through these fabled Trials and gets some bad ass looking wings. She turned to the elder mages. "If you two are sufficiently prepared, we should go and catch up."

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