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

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"If my theory holds, which it should given it fits all the evidence so far, then the traitor god seems more likely. Whatever the case I feel confident saying the Reaver or its magic is involved, and the statues are warning us. Working on the assumption this is true and the accelerated growth of the storm, your only idea left is also probably the best. If this is some form or invasion or attack or other form of meddling then the only option is to go through and intervene in some manner or other."

Alexander then listened as the Prime Minister spoke, smiling and thanking the woman as she walked off.

"While I would like to see the statues most certainly, if only to see if there is anything I can gleam from them. I am far more interested in the shadows in the room. You were there when I received the crystal and mentioned how my shadow had become an older version of myself. Well if a shadow is an otherworldly reflection of oneself, my shadow with its new form may act as a bridge between us and them. I'd like to see if perhaps there isn't some way my shadow might communicate with the ones in the room. I have no reason to believe it will work, and it is admittedly wild speculation, but I'd like to at least attempt it. For no other reason than should it fail, we then have one more thing to cross off the large list of possibilities." He replied.

The conversation that had turned into such a tepid debate was interrupted by the emergence of the latest (emphasis on late) of the mages to emerge out of the crystal portal. One was instantly recognizable, even if the name wasn't coming to mind immediately. The Water guy...what the hell was his name? Did I ever even get it? Oh well. Good for him. He made it.

It took a few seconds for the other figure to make sense. The height was all wrong and the large wings were making it difficult to see. There was no mistaking that voice though. That overly peppy, annoying voice. Is that Fei? What happened to her? She looks older then me now! Is that the kind of radical change that was on offer... She looked back over at Seth, who had moved to the new arrivals. He said he liked me as I was, but did he mean it...He said she got a good deal. I should have taken something. I should have asked for that kind of makeover. But he was so sure. He said I was perfect. She watched as Fei struggled to get liftoff with her wings, still fumbling around with the new appendages. At least she's still as clueless as ever. Guess even otherworldly forces can't change that. Seth mentioning food got Raven's attention though.

"Well if there is food on offer, I'd like to partake as soon as possible," she stated. "They weren't offering any refreshments while we were bringing about the end of the world in there."


Uninterested in food, Raven's shadow drifted over to where Seth's shadow hung, over the Nightshade. The blue eyes from before emerged once again, looking worried. The dark creature seemed to be looking to Seth's shadow for some kind of confirmation or guidance on behalf of her partner.

Lilim's response puzzled her. In one moment she talked about the place she had come from, a home maybe, in the next she asked Phebe if she knew anything about it, as if she had forgotten the rest. She pitied her if that was the case. Phebe had some painful memories of her home and family, but she'd not wish them erased for anything in the world. A person's memories made them who they were, and without them they'd be an empty husk, kind of like Lilim she supposed. Had Lilim been something more once?

"I don't know much of anything about you. We were here, before heading into the trials."

Phebe had to pause and mull over the last question. She assumed it was more of philosophical one, rather than a literal question. Unless Lilim's mind was regressing, it would make no sense to ask if they'd always been there, since they just arrived. She thought about it while doing her best to finish her first plate.

"Perhaps we were. Perhaps we've even met before. My people believe in rebirth, so I suppose it is a possibility. We could have been somewhere else too, like a different plane or time of existence. We just arrived here though, like yesterday or something, if that was the question."

Phebe wasn't done asking her own questions. Lilim's answer had only sparked her curiosity. "I think you should be able to remember more, if you can remember that. It sounds like a tiny fraction of something that could be much bigger. Why wouldn't you have more memories than what someone told you? Who was that person? What was that place like?"

She would make sure to remember to see if she could find a good cure for amnesia, later, if that was what Lilim had.

"And yourself? Did you make a deal with the shadow?"

Cale hesitated, watching his shadow react interestingly to the others coming out of the trials. And he didn't help but notice the changes too. Parts of people's shadows were missing or even changed. He wondered what exactly the purpose of these shadows were and why that shadow took such interests in theirs. Then his concentration drifted back to Nydia.

"Oh... I didn't have the guts really." Cale nervously said. "It was a matter of information I wanted to know but I decided it was something that was better left unknown. Sometimes the truth will hurt you and at what cost?" Cale sighed. He partially regretted not pushing to know why he was abandoned but like he said, some things were better off not knowing.

"I apologize, I didn't mean to be so sullen. How was your deal?"

Cale appeared to be lost in thought while gazing at the others so Nydia turned her attention to them as well. She was relieved to see that everyone had made it safely, but the changes of appearances in both people and shadows told her that she hadn't been the only one to make a deal. None of them seemed any worse off though so perhaps the deals were truly harmless after all. After a bit, Cale responded and so Nydia turned her attention back to him as well.

"Ah, no need to apologize. Pardon me for bringing up such a difficult subject." Nydia replied bowing slightly in apology. She had no idea what it was he wanted to be know, and would never be so rude as to inquire given his current mood, but she could imagine how frustrating it must be to have that information so close.

She didn't have any words that would be of comfort to him to her chagrin so she moved to change the subject and answer his question instead. "Ah, I haven't done any magic since to see if I truly have become stronger but I feel... Quite well so I suppose it was a success. As for my price.... Well as of yet it hardly feels like a price at all." She said, her gaze turning towards her shadow. Thus far the only difference she had noticed was the clothes that Shadow Nydia wore, though she seemed a bit more... independant with her reactions to Cale and interest in the other shadows. Though if that were the only change than she would count herself lucky.

The Prime Minister gave a few low nods as he listened to Alexander, not seeming quite as pleased when Alexander seemed to agree with his assessment of the portal, but nodded all the same at the information. However, the note that perhaps the shadow and gem that the Prime Minister had ultimately had Alexander use seemed to brighten his mood slightly at the idea.

"Well, at least something good is coming out of all the work that we seem to be doing down here. Forgive my expression, but I do not appreciate the idea of sending you mages through a portal that may have an army waiting on the other side. It would be a poor way to start off any defense if the magic users close by all are wiped out due to foolish thinking. But, of course our choices are not exactly widespread, and we still lack any luxury of doing much else but moving forward..." The Prime Minister said, now making his way to the back where the large steel door that they had entered through first when seeing the portal room.

"...Speaking of moving forward, I feel the need to ask if you think there is any particular material or...thing that I can seek to provide to augment your powers? Perhaps to better prepare you for what lies ahead? I imagine it is just the thought now that makes me wonder the topic, but again I would not see you unprepared for the trip. Like...perhaps your shadow could use some form of assistance? I can't claim to have all the information really needed, seeing as they are only about when in this room. However..." As the doors went onward to shift, bringing them into darkness and allowed entrance to the other room, the Prime Minister began stepping into the ritualistic room.

"...there is always something going on in here. For example...why is it that the God of the Flames no longer seems concerned with the others? Has he resigned his fate? Given up on all this already? To be honest, I would be certain that the God of Shadows would be first to turn if that did happen....

True enough, it seemed that all of the Statues in the room seemed to have entered a stance more bent on defending themselves, with all seeming to give off their power more obviously. Small lights, water dripping, pebbles bouncing away, darkness gathering, and the wind blowing. However, the flames of the God of Fire seemed to only simmer about him, not really in a move to strike, more of a way of patience.




"Well, the taste of battle is OK, but yeah, I think I would prefer something a bit more...tasteful to eat and drink rather than that." Seth replied to Raven, deciding that perhaps things had cooled off sufficiently enough for him to trust that Drew wasn't going to turn around and start murdering the poor water mage. Or him. With that said though, he felt it be a bit more proper to perhaps go with Raven. It was odd, but it just seemed....right. Stepping over to where she stood, he gave a small nod.

"No time like the present to get something to enjoy then? Here, I'll get the door." Seth continued, stepping over to push the door open, taking a quick glance down the hallway. Awfully quiet for what appeared to be such a booming city....


Seth's shadow, in the meantime, seemed to react with Raven's own, giving a small nod towards the shadow as his eyes seemed to get some color of their own, and the shadow seemed to move a hand as if to place it upon her shoulder, only to pause when Seth made his way past, turning to look at the Shadow Raven now for guidance, seeming to show some concern as if looking for a sign as to that is what they should have been doing.




Lilim seemed a bit more confused by the answers that Phebe was providing, seeming to leave more gaps as to what was going on, where she ultimately belonged, or who was exactly telling her what. With an oddly dazed look, the demonic woman sat down, seeming to try and contemplate the new questions and info.

"Well...memories are like the night, you can see what is right next to you, but take a few steps away and it isn't even like its there until you go back to it...I think that is how the saying goes? He was always really bad at that, saying things and making comparisons that were bad. Like that one didn't make any sense, right? Course, tell him that and he'd go....Uh...I don't know. But he would say something." Lilim said, seeming to get lost as she began to try and think of the details.

"But it was nice though. Would you like it there? It was a pretty big place, lots of animals and things. Lots of danger. It was a good thing he was there though. Lots of fun skills, even if he was a filthy magic user. But he was alright, despite all the otherworldly powers and...looked so nice. Treated me nice too. Wonder what he would think of this....?" Lilim stopped, and then seemed to look directly into Phebe.

"And where do you come from? Is there something about you I should know or you want to share? I think...I should know you, but here I am and I don't know."




The shadow of Nydia seemed to regard her, almost seeming to give a small nod at the thought of the deal happening, and for the deal that she cut not having much of an effect. However, when the shadows of both Raven and Seth seemed to be somewhat annoyed at the display. In fact, she almost seemed to want to go over there to interact, but taking a few steps, and then pausing to regard Cale and his own shadow again seemed to make the shadow pause.

Ultimately, she stepped close once again, seeming to be much more on the defensive about the others, and not bothering to take into consideration how it appeared to the other mages, or to Nydia.

Cale's own shadow seemed to just watch for a moment, before taking its own step behind Cale, somewhat in a more support role, and somewhat to keep a more concealed eye on the now seemingly much more defensive and obvious Shadow of Nydia.

"So... Gabriel... what did you want out of the trials, anyway?"

"I didn't get anything from the trials. The prices were too imbalanced against me, probably regardless of what I would ask for," Gabriel explained. Although... maybe something has been gained regardless of the dealings with that weird shadow. The thought made him glance over at Fei, his eyes lingering for a second before he blinked and looked away.

"Hungry, Gabriel? I hear back at the hall that we were in before has a bit of a feast for us to prepare for if ya are interested in partaking before the trip." Seth's suggestion sounded good.

"Right. Food... yes, food is a good plan. Missed breakfast for this. Thanks for the heads-up." Interested more in getting something to eat than continuing the current conversations, Gabriel hurried out of the room and towards the hall. His shadow, silent as ever, gave Drew and Seth a small shrug before it followed at a slightly slower pace.

Filthy magic user?

Phebe disregarded the comment for now. Although, it made a slight grin appear on her lips. She thought that Lilim's own description of memories was true, then she found out it wasn't hers at all. Someone else had told her that. Lilim seemed to think it was stupid. Huh.

"Oh, it sounds just like my kind of place." Phebe laughed, and took a large bite from a piece of meat. She was curious about who the man that Lilim kept refering to had been. Had they been lovers? That was the impression she got from listening to Lilim.

"Mphfhmm." She said, when Lilim looked her in the eyes and asked about her past, and her home. She finished chewing and swallowed. "Sorry."

"I come from the south, or maybe the west. I'm not sure, and it doesn't matter where from, as much as from what, I suppose. I grew up in a nomadic tribe. We never stayed that long in one place, just enough to hunt, gather the things we needed and maybe sometimes grow crops, but then we'd still be on the move. Except for when the weather got too cold. I guess you could call it winter, but I've experienced colder climates after I was banished. I was thrown out of my tribe, and my family, when they found out that I had the curse. It's what they called elementals." Phebe decided to leave out the part where she had caused the death of her father, and set the tribe's camp on fire.

"After that, I was on my own for a time. I would probably have died if I had been raised by someone else, or in other circumstances, but it was more like a test of everything I had learnt. It was scary, and it was lonely, but at the same time exhilarating. I might have stayed like that for years, if I'd been luckier with my catch and all that. Instead I had to resort to stealing at times, whenever I found a town. Another elementalist discovered me in one of those towns, and brought me to the academy. I didn't have much of a choice."

If she'd go into details it would take much longer, and there were details she didn't want to disclose to anyone.

"Well, I know a little more about you too. I think you were human once, but I've no idea how you ended up the way you are now." Phebe grinned again, and put her hand against her chest. "I do hope you've no issue with being around a previous filthy magic user, or you know, all the others we're currently with."

"Well the gods could be a kind of timer. Or perhaps representatives of something more. Perhaps the god of fire is patiently waiting. He could be waiting for whatever it is to pass through before he strikes, or be a kind of timer and more and more gods will enter a reserved stance as things get worse and worse. Though....what if the gods are representatives of some wards. With the god of fire's being the first line of defense. It would act as a way to generate more haste and preparation among us to do whatever we are going to do. If they are representatives of wards it would also connect this to the increased rate of expansion of the storm." Alexander lost himself in thought for a moment before continuing.

"As for objects that could augment my power. I can think of nothing. However right now we should focus on hurrying to move on. I would sincerely suggest you start preparations to try and get some of your people to some form of safe haven if you can. If nothing else try to clear out cities as best you can. Should we fail, they will become deathtraps in the storm.

Drew had slipped away while Gabriel and Seth spoke, heading near the exit. He noticed Cale and Nydia talking, sticking close to them. He had to admit, he was curious about how this would play out. He was the only one there to hear Cale ask the shadow for information, and it did interest him. Still, perhaps not the best thing to ask about... maybe he'll share it with her... That notion was quickly shot down, and he shrugged. Must be a touchy subject...

He then took a look around seeing that everyone else's shadows were starting to gather around. "Hey... where's mine?" he said to himself, starting to walk to the dining hall. "Food first. Then shadow."


Drew's shadow had drifted its way into the dining hall, spotting Phebe and Lilim, observing the peculiar shadow. Or at least he assumed she was a shadow. Whatever she was, he wanted to see if he could learn how it had learned to speak.

Raven returned the nod as she headed out the door. "Thanks Seth," she said with a smile.

While it appeared that the majority of the mages, save for the sleeping Silvana, were heading towards the dining hall, Raven waited for Seth to finish the pleasantries before moving along with the Pyro. While she was sure that she wanted to be moving along with Seth, she was unsure how to proceed.

Am I too close? I don't want him to feel like I'm smothering him. Plus I'm probably giving that unstable Air Mage more cannon fodder. But I want to know where the comfort level is...why is this so hard? I can summon shadows and drain the life from someone with a touch, but I can't figure this out?

She walked slowly not saying anything, alone with her thoughts, until she noticed that she really should be totally alone with her thoughts in a place such as this. "It's awfully quiet for dinner time, isn't it?" she asked more to Seth, but it was open for anyone to interpret.


The reassurance between the shadows was huge for the female. She closed her eyes, from the bottom up. If she had a face, it would look like it was almost beaming enough to break through the pitch black of her form. As Seth's shadow seemed unsure as to whether or not to leave the room, Raven's shadow gave something of a flickering nod and followed after her partner.

Once the party started moving, Raven's shadow drifted over to Seth's content to just feel his presence. To be with him. From an outsiders perspective, it would almost seem like one solid shadow the way she was hugging so close to him.

"Well as of yet it hardly feels like a price at all."

As she said that, Cale couldn't help but look at Nydia's shadow who seemed to be more... animated than usual. His own shadow stuck close to him but he considered what a shadow would do besides stick close to where it came from.

"Not according to your shadow. I don't mean to be rude but has your shadow always acted like that?" Cale asked, curious of her shadow's demeanor. He didn't mean for the question to be rude but as an inquiry. Up until now, Cale hadn't really paid attention to his own shadow because of the lack of any ideas on how to interact with it. While others might found interacting with their shadows to be enlightening, Cale found it slightly unnerving to be interacting with a dark silhouette of himself. It was as if he was dealing with himself outside of his own body.

Lilim gave a small shrug as Phebe mentioned being around magic users. While she didn't seem particularly disturbed by the idea, she did shift around a little bit as she glanced back at herself seeing the more demonic appearance and trying to still come to terms with what it all was. She still had no interest in the food though.

"Elementals sounds like an odd thing to call a curse...especially when the elementals seem to be able to do many things that those without can. Its hard to tell who is doing better, those with the powers, and those without..." Lilim seemed to consistently changing at this point, almost as if there were different parts showing off.

"But you sound familiar to me. Like....I did all that. Survived and everything, and met one of these....Elementals, you call them. But yet here you are, and you wouldn't have gotten here without it. So...is this better, maybe?" Lilim then turned to look at Drew's shadow, which Lilim had finally noted his presence. "Mm...A visitor. Uninvited, maybe? Should we do something about him?"




The Prime Minister laughed as it seemed that Alexander showed some concern for the city, and for the people within it. With a shake of his head, he placed a hand on Alexander's shoulder.

"My good Alexander, my people wouldn't flee here if the dragons of old were coming down from the sky to eliminate the city personally. My people will stay here and will do whatever they think is best to survive the storm. You never know, maybe we'll be revolutionary once more, in being the first city to survive in such a place, and be a safe haven. Kind of hard to be threatened when there is a storm around you, right?"

Stepping aroudn to look at the statues, he seemed to be contemplating the idea of the statues being a timer that perhaps would eventually be the end, and seemed to simply shrug off the idea.

"I can think of much less....elaborate ways of designing a timer. And why the gods as timers? Or, as a matter of fact, wards? We have reached a point again where things are not making the sense they should. These statues should mean more than just a warning, because I would like to hope that the Gods have more important things to tend to than simply warn us of something happening. Some protections would be more appreciated, actually...But, it will need to play out like this, I imagine. Though, now that I think about it, I don't have an effective way of even telling you what happens over here when you go over. Such a problem, no communication. Imagine you mages don't have anything for....communication over long distances?"

Alexander's shadow seemed increasingly intrigued as he drifted about, looking over each of the gods and nodding in respect to each. Respectfully, until he got to the God of Flames, in which he paused, seeming to be much more thoughtful.

"You were always so odd....flames and death of everything, yet here you are being a guardian of sorts. Where is your spirit? Your fire? How does one wake a god?" The shadow muttered largely to himself, seeming to still contemplate the large statue.




Seth returned the shrug that Gabriel's shadow gave him. He couldn't claim to really know what the plan was at this point, but then Raven stepped past and thank him, and he couldn't help but know that he was suddenly wearing a stupid grin. He knew that he probably looked foolish, but it felt somewhat nice. As he finally got to walking alongside her, he tried to think of something to respond with, or something to start with, but nothing came to mind. They just walked along quietly, taking their leisurely time as they finally got to the dining hall. When Raven finally asked a question, it snapped him out of his own thoughts.

"It's awfully quiet for dinner time, isn't it?"

"Well...now that you mention it, there seems to be a lot less...people wandering around. Get the feeling they all know something we don't. But then again, I guess that is why this seemed to become all...emergency. Might as well enjoy the meal and everything..." Seth replied, making his way to the table, giving a small wave to Phebe and her...interesting shadow. Also already there was Drew, which Seth gave a small wave as well, noting that it seemed his shadow was...not nearby? Seemed the thing wandered off. "Have a treat Drew. It's high time to relax one more time before we go off and...save the world and everything." With that small joke, he decided it best to address Phebe and her...shadow, if he could even consider her that at this point.

"Hello...ladies. Hope you don't mind if we join you..."


Seth's shadow nodded in response, and then continued onward seeming to ghost behind Raven now. It seemed to take on a more protective role more than anything, but much like Raven's shadow, seemed to largely just like where he was, and kept a close eye on everything as they walked. It was something for the shadow to look after, and keep safe. And that was enough for the shadow.




Nydia's shadow seemed to regard Cale again much more carefully after being mentioned again. While it didn't offer much more of a reaction than that, it seemed that it understood that it was being mentioned, and also felt that it wasn't being spoken of in the best of tones. It almost seemed to glare at Cale for a moment, but offered no additional movements.

Cale's shadow seemed to begin to take the reactions of Nydia's shadow a bit more seriously though. It now seemed to take a larger guard stance, watching over where the shadow was moving, or what it was doing or making movements. It seemed that the more animated that Nydia's shadow became, the more that Cale's seemed to be weary of the actions being done.

"Perhaps your people will. I just want some kind of self-sustaining population to make it through this should everything go horribly wrong." He then regarded the statues once again.

"You are probably right, but then again humans and mages alike love to make elaborate devices for simple purposes. If it is either of our people who installed the statues then it could be a bit of showmanship. Using the gods to represent wards of the different schools of magic and a timer for all to make preparations. It is at least a very real possibility.

However, if I am wrong and there is more to it then I don't know why the god of fire would take a more neutral stance to it all while the others are so aggressive. Perhaps he accepts what is coming as a kind of worldwide forest fire. A violent cleansing of the old to make way for the new. Perhaps he is simply biding his time. He most certainly isn't welcoming it still. In the end though I'd rather guess at the machinations of the men and mages who built this room rather than try and guess at the will of the gods themselves. I could spend millennia trying to understand them and get no closer than an ant trying to understand you Prime Minister. In any case it isn't positive." Before answering the question posed he thought long and hard.

"There is nothing I know of in my school at least for long distance communication. And any forms we would have probably wouldn't work in the circumstances given. I'm not sure anyone anywhere has thought of communication between dimensions."

It was then he heard the mutterings of his shadow to the statue of the fire god. However Alexander let it be, it was in no way hurting anything and if it gained even the slightest insights in what it was doing then it would be worth it in his opinion. And if nothing else the shadow was showing increased energy and autonomy which was good, it was a sign it was recovering. So far as Alexander was concerned that was a great victory in and of itself.

"Well, I suppose there could be similarities, but I don't think it needs to mean anything." She replied, then turned to look at the shadow as Lilim pointed it out. "Nah, this isn't a private area anyway. Just ignore it."

Phebe was a little bothered by what Lilim had said though, as it made her wonder if they were the same person, or variations of the same person. She poured herself a glass of liquor and drank, better not to think along lines that would make her question the whole world, and more importantly, her own being.

She didn't get much time to her thoughts anyway, as Seth and some of the others arrived. Phebe hastily removed her feet from the table. It wasn't the person she'd been hoping would show up. "Oh, yeah, sure. We don't mind. I don't either way." She glanced at Lilim with a slight grin. Filthy magic users.

Fei reclaimed her spot next to her brother as they walked to the dining room. Fei's shadow walked next to her. Now that she though about it, she was kinda hungry, especially since they had been gone doing stuff for a while. Also, she had to eat so her wings would be stronger. Also she was hungry. Did they even have breakfast? OH maybe they would have breakfast at lunch! Pancakes and waffles and stuff! She walked a little faster, breaking through the doors a few steps in front of her brother. She didn't spy any pancakes, but there was a lot of other things to get her attention.

She walked up and down the table, piling her plate high with meat and sweets. Her shadow followed obediently, not seeming to crave any food of her own. Fei plopped down near Phebe and Lilim, like everyone else seemed to be doing, and stuffed her face while studying Lilim intently. Why couldn't her shadow talk?

Nydia frowned and adjusted her glasses slightly as she thought on Cale's question. She had indeed noticed the way her shadow seemed to be much more interested in other shadows than before. It hardly seemed a problem, though the way she was being so defensive towards Cale worried Nydia a bit. Still, Shadow Nydia seemed to be listening to their conversation and reacting to what was said. Perhaps simply talking to her would be effective then. She turned towards her shadow and spoke in a whisper, fearing Cale might find the action strange if he overheard. "You needn't worry, Cale is a very dear friend of ours. Please relax. I assure you he means you no harm."

Perhaps the gesture was meaningless but she gave her shadow a reassuring smile before turning back to Cale. "You are right that she is behaving differently yet.... Well, not that I don't appreciate your concern but..." Nydia paused, fidgeting a bit as she tried to put her thoughts into word without offending Cale. "I cannot take back my decision. What's done is done. For now, I see no issues with the way she is behaving and I trust that it will be continue to be so. My apologies if this seems naive of me but that is how I truly feel about the situation." She finished, bowing her head in apology to Cale.

Drew walked in, taking a small plate of food before sitting opposite of Fei at the table. He turned to Phebe, nodding "Evening." and he turned back to his plate, making it clear that once courtesy was out of the way he had nothing else to say. He ate slowly, occasionally glancing at Fei's wings. "Be sure not to make a mess. And be careful with your wings at the table." he mumbled to her. The humorous image of a bunch of people with wings trying to civilly eat at a table entered his mind, and he chuckled. Wonder if that ever actually happens around these parts...

Drew's shadow slowly drifted towards Lilim now that he had been spotted. He tapped on her shoulder to try and get her attention. This caught the attention of his original. "Ah, there you are. I was wondering where you had gone off to." Drew said, looking over at his shadow. The shadow ignored him, and Drew shrugged, getting back to his food. "Fine, suit yourself."

The Prime Minister took a slow walk around the room, examining everything in the room one more time before sighing. Turning to Alexander, he took a quick seat in one of the few chairs in the room, gesturing to Alexander to do the same.

"This business of saving the world and doing plans and....everything is rather exhausting. I would like to just bury this place and be done with it. But, we can't have an easy way out of this, so here we are and here we go. Throwing everything we have into a portal of sorts which all I know is that it leads to something that has to deal with the storm. Otherwise, I might as well just bury the damn place and let the fates take it all." The Prime Minister sighed again, leaning forward to look at the portal as it played tricks with his eyes.

"I don't much trust the gods, Alexander. I do not trust them to defend us in this particular hour, because the storms seems beyond all of the elements. I suspect that if we had not found this as it is, the storm would have consumed us, and no god would have raised a hand in our passing. It is unfortunate that there will be no communication, but then I guess that is the risk we are taking...So, what do you think the plan should be? Sending you in one at a time? A pair of individuals could fit...And perhaps they should be armored? I am hoping that your mind can assist in filling in the gaps that I do not see in this mystical puzzle."




"Ignore it...right." Lilim said, shifting a little as the other mages and shadows sifted into the room. she regarded each of them, regarding each of them for a time before they began to actively greet them...or more specifically, greeted Phebe. It wasn't too much of a bother...until the gaze of Fei and the tapping of Drew's shadow began to happen.

"Uh....Greetings, Mr....uh....shadow. Is there something I can help you with...? I mean, I guess that you don't have something that would say something else, do you? Or...uh...Mmm..." Lilim wasn't quite sure how to communicate while being stared at, especially as Fei made it obvious that she was looking rather intently at her too.

"....Uh, Phebe, what do I do? Why does everyone keep doing....well, this? Its very odd, and I want to make it better. Did you say something about me? Or do something when I was...not like this maybe?"




Seth nodded, taking a seat of his own, regarding Lilim with some amusement and Phebe as well. Grabbing a few bits of food, he let his gaze sweep about the room, noting everyone as they did the same. Drew seemed to be doing what he needed to in telling Fei to not let her wings in the way of eating...though he wasn't sure how much control she really had over such things. He gave a small nod as his gaze briefly met with Raven's a small smile following as he did so.

"You know, you didn't have to remove your feet. It isn't as if I'm some kind of royalty or something." Seth said to Phebe with a chuckle. "Besides, might as well take a break while we are...going to be doing whatever it is we need to do at this point. Probably should make the most of it, and let your...companion do the same?"

Seth wasn't quite sure if he should suggest that the other was a shadow, not at this point. Especially when she seemed mostly independent. Except for knowing how to deal with them, at least. But, it was an odd change to at least talk about rather than wandering off and doing....anything else at this point. Especially since they would go going to somewhere that wouldn't give them the chance of eating and drinking and all that in peace.

Seems we've all come a bit of ways with our shadows...maybe that will be useful wherever the hell we go after this. At least I hope this guy will cover my back. Would rather not have to deal with myself...

"So, if no one else has anything to say, I might as well ask. What did you guys see in that mess? Anything in particular? Get a particular toy, or power? Or....well, pretty wings? I know I wasn't that smart, but figured I'd see how you guys did."




The Shadow of Nydia didn't seem to regard the words of Nydia herself too highly, but seemed intent on staying nearby and slightly between Cale and Nydia regardless of what was said. The pair of shadows, while no longer exactly at odds, still seemed to be more interested in watching out for their more "real" selves than they did in what was being said, leaving a small sense of animosity in the air.

The pair did, however, follow the leads of the others and did make their way to the dining area, largely so they could get something to eat, but to also keep up with the group.

Alexander sat down in a nearby chair once it was offered.

"I would send us in pairs of two, so that if there is resistance on the other side we stand a better chance. I would send Cale and Seth through first. Cale's magical affinity for Earth should allow him to keep safe and set up any needed defensive positions for the rest of us, while Seth is quite possibly our most adept fighter and so would be able to hold what Cale sets up. Not to mention that if Seth leads the charge, the others are more likely to willingly follow.

My next two choices are myself and Nydia. Should something go wrong on entry it would be wise to have medical personnel there and our offensive capabilities can be focused and travel quite a ways. Then it would be Drew and Fei, they seem to work together well and I doubt they would much approve of being separated in this circumstance. This should then provide enough of a distraction that Phebe and Raven can make it through and take advantage of any possible confusion if we end up in a fight right on the other side, and if there is none then I'm sure Raven could find a way to create some. Lastly I'd send Gabriel and Silvana, more simply due to the fact that there is not enough room to send them in earlier.

Ultimately though I'm basing all of this on what little observations I have been able to make of them, and I would ask them how and if they should be armed and armored. It might also make sense to ask what they feel their role should be even if you are going to go with my battle plan, if for no other reason then to show them the same consideration you have graciously shown me." He replied.

"So, if no one else has anything to say, I might as well ask. What did you guys see in that mess? Anything in particular? Get a particular toy, or power? Or....well, pretty wings? I know I wasn't that smart, but figured I'd see how you guys did."

Gabriel swallowed his mouthful of food. He felt considerably more awake and cognitive after having downed a plate's worth of... what would it be called at this hour? Breakfast? Lunch? Whichever. Didn't matter. Food was food. "Umm... well, Fei would be the better person to ask about what she and I saw in there. As for what we got out of it? I didn't pay any prices or anything, but I think I might have learned something from the trials... which may or may not be private... and now I realise I probably shouldn't have said anything in the first place." More than a mite embarrassed, the young mage turned back to his plate, picking at scraps left behind.

The spread was immaculate. It was proof positive that while the people of Kerbones may not have a clue on how to run a country without a bunch of mystical doomsday devices or treacherous minions running around, they did at least know how to cater the chaos properly. Yet there was something that was troubling the youngest Nightshade in the room as she appraised the different dishes on offer. I...I don't want any of this...

Raven's usual staples were all laid out in front of her: the fried meats, the sugary treats and copious amounts of caffeine. Any other time, there would have been multiple samples of all those groups loaded up on her plate, but she just stood there, staring at the greasy food in a state of confusion. I don't want to eat it. I can't eat it... The thought of slipping one of those fat-laden strips of pork down her throat made her gag a little bit, and the pastries were sickening. She scanned the buffet for something that would look at least palatable before settling on the end of the table.

What's happened to me? The Nightshade could hardly believe herself as she carried the salad she had crafted out of the vegetables on the end and a glass of water over to where Seth and the others were sitting. Why can't I look at that food? Was it that dealer's doing? I said I wanted us to be healthy, I just meant from the battle. I didn't mean I wanted to go full rabbit...but that meat, it just looked so disgusting...No. No, it can't be from that. I must...just not be feeling it today. Yeah, that has to be it. Raven plunked herself down right next to the Pyro as she tried to catch the tail end of the conversation.

Seth was quizzing the yappy one and the quiet one regarding their experiences in the trials. It didn't seem like there was much to be told. Fei's wings were somewhat under control now, but they still stuck out. The quiet one was rather mute on what occurred, unsurprisingly.

"Well obviously something happened to make her finally hit puberty," Raven pointed out as she gestured toward Fei. "I mean, we brought about the apocalypse and I don't think anyone from our group got quite the deal that Fei got. You guys must have had to do something impressive to acquire that package."

"Heh, it seems that you have the plan all set up for now. Perhaps next you will be running this country in my stead if you come back and I'm gone? I think I would like that, since you seem to have everything in place for...well, everything so far. But the choice for beginning is probably the best. Diplomats entering a battlefield never do well. Though, you still do seem to have this odd thought they will particularly...care about the order at this point. Though, I imagine that the Pyromancer will enjoy his spot all the same. From what I had to read on him he is...rather happy to jump into things." The Prime Minister grinned, slapping a hand on Alexander's shoulder.

"Course, it is up to you. They are your colleagues, so what you would like to do is up to you. I could order them about no more than I could really order you around at this point. The best thing that can be done so far though is to get ready to go in. I imagine by now the guards will have gotten started...see, I imagined things would get a little bit complicated, so I had some weapons and things brought down to be ready for a makeshift armory. Not everything, but I imagine enough for your colleagues to choose from..." The Prime Minister gave a small wave with his other hand, somewhat dismissing the thought.

"But at this point I imagine your friends won't need it. The trials do a...particularly good job at arming others for what is to come. Or getting them killed, depending on who you talk to. Still, it is pleasing that you decided to sit out the trials to instead learn. Means you will be ready in a different way."




Seth gave a small wave to Gabriel as he seemed to be somewhat nervously talking about the experience, while Fei was too busy eating and fussing with her brother who still wanted to make sure she was being somewhat ladylike, which he couldn't help but chuckle at. Regardless of everything that happened, they were all still practically strangers at this point, which Seth wasn't sure if it was a good or a bad thing, since it seemed that they were about to be put on the express path to...whatever it was.

Though, as he sat there was something odd he noted. Raven had made some...salad? An interesting choice for a meal, but maybe she was doing it for some reason that he might get to ask about later. Seth found himself slowing down, deciding that it might be a good idea to not overeat. Besides, no telling when they would...

"Mages. It is time to go. Collect yourselves, and come to the elevator. The armory down below will be waiting for you. Finish, but do not linger. You were not brought here to be lazy." The metallic guard had somehow almost silently stepped into the room and made his announcement, almost similar to how he had initially invited the mages to meet the Prime Minister, before stepping off towards the elevator. Meanwhile, Silvana found herself being awakened by the loud intrusion of another metallic guard stepping in to make the same announcement.

Seth chuckled at the surprise occurrence, and then stood leaving the food that he had by now decided wasn't worth the time. "Well, ladies and gents, best to not keep destiny waiting, shall we? Besides, we can enjoy a hearty meal later." Seth said, adjusting his robe, checking his own blade, and then making his way after the metallic guard he was now leaving to the elevator, almost knowing without looking that the others would be close behind.

Well, here we go Seth. Time to go and start a blaze of glory. Hopefully this amounts to more than just a few sparks...all that work and worry over nothing.

"So, if no one else has anything to say, I might as well ask. What did you guys see in that mess? Anything in particular? Get a particular toy, or power? Or....well, pretty wings? I know I wasn't that smart, but figured I'd see how you guys did."

"We saw a bunch of humans getting ready for a fight with the folks you were with. Honestly, you saw pretty much what we saw in the trials. As for what I got, yeah I made a trade. I got..." "Mages. It is time to go. Collect yourselves, and come to the elevator. The armory down below will be waiting for you. Finish, but do not linger. You were not brought here to be lazy." Drew was interrupted by the summons. He got the message, finishing up the last bites of what little food he had gotten and went to the exit, walking behind Seth. "Right. Come on, Fei. Let's get going." he was almost out before he turned

Drew's shadow noticed that people were starting to leave, so he tried to act quickly. He started pantomiming, imitating a mouth moving with his hands and then pointing at Lilim. He tried his best to look inquisitive, and hoped that the gestures and curious nature would help her get the message. He was hoping to get her to understand he wanted to know how she was able to speak.

"Aaaw, but I'm still hungry..." Fei took the opportunity to stuff some of the drier food into her pockets, and the wetter food into her mouth. She resembled a squirrel or hamster by the time she caught up to her brother: cheeks full of various mixed foods, and pockets bursting at the seams. Some of the food tasted funny together. She slowly chewed through what was left in her mouth and swallowed, followed concealed burp into her sleeve. All that food reminded her of home.

"What are we going to do now Drew? This place is really exciting huh?" She took out a sandwich. "Do you think we'll get to go home soon? Or that we should write mum and daddy so they know how we're doing? Do you think mail can even get over there from here? Maybe they send an airship with all their mail in it. Do you think anyone here knows anyone where we live?"

"I don't think they'd care so much as maybe I am thinking diplomatically. It would show the mages you value their opinion and they may think of something I haven't. I don't exactly know what they experienced or gained from the trials in all that much detail after all. But assuming we all come out of the other end of this a little may go a long way with them.

The weapons and armor are probably good offers, I imagine at the very least some of them will take advantage. Ultimately though I hope you are right and that we are all ready. Though that is a hard feeling to have with the Reaver and his domain almost certainly involved." Alexander replied to the Prime minister before remembering something.

"I almost completely forgot. I never got my pack with supplies. Would it be any trouble if I got that now? I'd prefer to be ready for everyone once they arrive."

"I get the feeling those fellows are not exactly made to be doing this kind of thing. Being friendly and courteous." Seth said nonchalantly back to Drew, pausing as the metal guard stopped at the elevator doors which had not gotten upward yet. "So, you never did complete your thought. What did you do Drew? Might as well have a chat while we...well, wait for things to go."

Seth did another quick check of himself, and couldn't help but smile. He had to thank Raven later for asking for them to be fixed up and sent back like they were. He felt good, and he looked good too with the cared for clothing, robes, and other such items to wear. It was going to be an adventure, he hoped. And hopefully Drew wouldn't be cranky during it...or Fei. He was more worried about Drew being cranky,but Fei being cranky wouldn't help things either.




"Your pack? I guess that would be of some importance then. Need to be sure that you are prepared as well. So, go on back to the elevator, and collect your things. And...if you feel the need, invite the mages down. While my guards should have collected them, it might be a good idea for your more...diplomatic idea to step forward." The Prime Minister stood, gesturing back to the door.

"I may have been in a bit of a rush to get them down here to get started, unfortunately. And I know my guards would not exactly be...polite in their invitations."




With Phebe largely offering no assistance or advice as to what in particular was going on, Lilim looked onward at the gesturing shadow of Drew as it tried to communicate. She did her best to see if she could understand, looking back between the shadow and Phebe with a few quick glances. After a moment of understanding, Lilim sighed.

"Hello? Erm...Yes, I can understand you. I mean, it...well, it mostly makes sense. Yes, I...speak mostly well, I know. So, would...uh...A conversation might be nice? So...er...is there...uh....yeah." Lilim continued to stumble over trying to converse with the dark counterpart, hoping that things could be cleared up with the communicating shadow.

Nydia was unsure how to interpret her shadows lack of a reaction to her words, however Nydia found nothing malevolent in the slightly overprotective behavior of her shadow and decided to let it be for the time being. They had arrived in the dining hall and Nydia was just realizing how hungry the trials had left her. Unfortunately, the guards announcement that they were required in the armory meant that she only had time to grab a sandwich to eat on the way. "Not much, but I suppose it will have to do for now." She said to herself as she took a bite and made her way to the elevator with the others.

She had finished her meager meal by the time she arrived and stepped into the elevator to find Seth, Drew and his sister had arrived before her. "Good day to you all." She greeted them with a smile and a slight bow as she usually did. "It's a pleasure to see you all unharmed after our trials." They all looked well enough, though she had barely recognized Fei since she had grown wings and now looked older than before. It seemed likely that she had made a deal with the shadow as well, though Nydia felt it would be impolite to inquire as to the details when she scarcely knew Fei.

Even with her initial apprehension with her constructed meal, Raven was attacking it with reckless abandon before the shiny subordinate ordered the mages to prepare for battle. Great. My last meal and it's going to be a flipping salad. What were the odds on that?

She followed behind Seth as they and their fellow foreigners as they were made their way down to the armory via an elevator. She wasn't thrilled to be in such a small space, especially with people like Fei and another Sunsucker. This ride can not end fast enough.

"Thank you for all of this Prime Minister. I shall return shortly." Alexander said with a small bow before going back to the elevator and asking the guard inside to take him to the armory. Luckily it wasn't too far above their own floor and soon enough Alexander stepped out and grabbed the pack with a small nameplate bearing his name on it.

I shouldn't be surprised that all the packs have names on them and yet here I am. Alexander thought as he stood to face the elevators as another was coming down.

Well, here goes nothing. He thought as it came closer to letting everyone off.

Drew smiled at all of Fei's questions, happy to have something familiar to deal with after how the last few hours had gone. "This place is pretty interesting, all things considered. I don't think they'd be able to get a letter back home, Fei. But we can tell them all about it once we get back. It shouldn't take too long before we're able to head back." How am I going to explain this to the folks... He then tried to ask his next question as calmly as possible "Now you're sure that you're feeling alright after what happened? Then again I don't exactly feel that much worse after my own deal..." He turned away and started mumbling halfway through.

"So, you never did complete your thought. What did you do Drew? Might as well have a chat while we...well, wait for things to go." "Oh yeah. Never did actually finish up. Just made the exchange that changed..." However, he was interrupted by the arrival of Nydia.

"Good day to you all. It's a pleasure to see you all unharmed after our trials."
He replied to her bow with one of his own. "Hey, no need to try and impress us. You're among friends, no need to be so formal. And it's good to see you're ok as well." He fidgeted a bit in the elevator, checking to see if anyone else was on their way and moving back once Raven arrived. Fei's wings certainly weren't helping with space, and he nudged past the group once they reached the ground.

He noted the one Light mage from before standing before him. "Oh, hey... uh... you. Good to see ya."

Cale was only able to get an apple before being told by the guards that their presence was needed at the armory. He bit down on the apple on his way there only realizing that this was the only food he had eaten in some time.

Always one thing after another... Cale thought as he was led into the elevator where a number of the mages were and probably back from the trials as well. He looked at them, wondering what they had traded to that shadow. He swore that the girl was younger and also didn't have wings either which meant she must have brokered a deal. Once again, Cale thought about what would have happened if he had made a deal himself. Nydia was also there and no doubt a bit bothered by his response to her shadow. He sighed and bit down on the apple once again.

"I wonder where they get their apples...." Cale thought aloud, savoring its sweet taste.

Silvana woke up, and noticed her newfound shadow to still be standing guard over her. Didn't really seem like it had changed position. She'd been able to sleep somewhat soundly, and had managed to rest up, but it was still weird to have another figure in the room now, one that didn't seem so far to want to chat. "Well, I guess it's time to go, then. Wonder what the others are up to right now." She took a bit of time to brush her hair, as it had gone all over the place a bit while she slept. Then she left her room in search of the others, her shadow not far behind her.

It didn't take her long to find the others, especially with all the shadows she saw around them, who seemed to be ready to go. Seems I woke up at just the right time. She took a place near everyone, trying her best to ignore all the shadows she saw so she could watch the real figures behind the shadows.

Seth almost burst out laughing as Nydia stepped inside the elevator, cutting off Drew yet again, and also greeting them as they prepared to go down to their destination. He agreed with Drew that the formalities were a little much, but then was also familiar with her behavior, so simply gave his own small bow in response. At least some things stayed the same even after the trials.

Regardless, he could almost feel the...cooperation? General distaste? Whatever it was, he could feel it as everyone had patiently waited for the elevator to reach the floors they were supposed to go to. Even Alexander was there, which was an interesting thing in itself. He recalled that Alexander had been with the Prime Minister last he had checked, so he might have a plan...or at least had been informed of one.

As the elevator arrived, everyone quickly stepped out, spreading out to what seemed to be a makeshift collection of weapons, some odd armor looking things, and a few guards. It seemed that they were expected to arm up before entering, which Seth could appreciate. Though he was well prepared, the options for everyone else seemed to be a good one. Even looked like there were some bags of supplies or something. That would be even more handy, since he hadn't really given that kind of thought to this. As Cale spoke, Seth couldn't help but go for it.

"I would guess trees, Cale. But then, I can't exactly say that with complete confidence." Seth replied to the odd thought that Cale had, chuckling as he looked over the few things. "Then again, I frankly don't think I could say for certain where any of the food we just had came from. So, we have that going for us. I'm guessing we are all ready for this? Cause if not, it looks like we got a bit of a prep station here. Before we do...whatever it is we do. Right Alexander?"

Seth realized it was a bit of an assumption at this point, but figured that if anyone knew what the Prime Minister had planned, it would be the one who stuck with him. Hopefully.




The guards regarded the mages for a moment, some seeming to judge them as they did so, making assumptions as they looked onward. The head guard from before, Aaron, stepped forward to greet the mages, giving a small wave as he did so. Putting down the few bits of papers he was looking over, he seemed intent on giving a bit of a tour of what they had, those his gaze paused when it swept over Fei. He recovered quickly though.

"Hello again, my good mages. It has been a while, but as you can imagine with the recent problems I've been a little...busy. So, here are some of the things that I figured you would be able to make use of. Crossbows, some light armors, and other such things. Feel free to look about...oh, and we have a small pack here as well, near the door. Has a few things for you all, such as a few rations, water if there isn't any over there, and just a couple of other survival things." Aaron explained, waving about to the other items as he did so.

"As soon as you are ready to get going, just...head on into the room. Prime Minister is waiting inside, and is probably a little anxious to get going."




With everyone finally grouped together, all the Shadows were finally able to get a good look at each other as well. While Nydia's continued with the attitude of showing little trust towards the different shadows and the situation around them, the others seemed to be more along the lines of taking inventory on what they all looked like. Of course those with the most changes, specifically the Shadow of Alexander and Lilim. Though, oddly enough, not a word was spoken within the group, seeming to be some sort of silent agreement between them all. They did, however, seem to group based on some criteria. Alexander and Lilim grouping, Drew, Raven, Seth, Cale, and then Fei, Gabriel, Nydia.

Meanwhile, the door to the chamber remained open for now, inviting in some way the mages to enter once they were ready. To step through the portal that had appeared to confront and hopefully change what was happening on the other side to keep the storm from growing.

"Alexander, and it is good to see you as well Drew." He said as Drew stepped off the elevator before being addressed by Seth.

"That is correct Seth. While you went into the trials, I spent time talking to scientists and a librarian trying to learn what would lie ahead. It is by no means pleasant in any sense of the word. Whatever is causing that storm to grow is connected to the portal. And the portal..."He very noticeably paused, trying to find the right words before finally settling on being blunt.

"...is connected to The Reaver, God of the Void. We have to go through the portal and stop whatever is causing the storm to grow, and the portal accepts only two people at a time. I've thought of an order based largely on what I was able to observe of all of you. With Seth and Cale going first to create a strong line of defense, followed by myself and Nydia to be able to act as support in whatever capacity is necessary, then Drew and Fei since you two seem to not really want to get separated. This would then create enough confusion in any defenders that might be there for Raven and Phebe to take full advantage, and then lastly Gabriel and Silvana because I have been able to observe little of the two of you making you wild cards I can't really fit anywhere else." He gave the plan a little time to sink in before continuing.

"Now this, of course, assume that there are defenders and we aren't just going to walk into a field of wild flowers or something. However I'd prefer to plan on heavy resistance, and so I want to know all of your opinions on this plan." He finished.

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