Irulia: The Spirit Changers Quest

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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Mandan delayed returning to the group, opting instead to duck inside a vacant house in search of a mirror. When he found one, he looked around in a very paranoid manner for anyone's presence. When he was absolutely convinced he was alone, he approached it, removing his veil as he did so. There he was, same face as always…his eyes the same shade of violet they always were…the crystal didn't seem to have changed him at all. With another quick, paranoid glance around, the dark boy removed his long sleeved shirt as well to examine the portions of his body the energy had actually reached. Nothing. Absolutely nothing had changed physically…this was good…he'd be able to conceal the fact it had happened from most people…Lecta knew which was unfortunate…Sera…he still wasn't sure if he should tell her or not.

As he wrestled with this dilemma, he returned his shirt to his body, but hesitated on his veil, studying his face more closely. It was unnaturally pale due to lack of sun exposure, but that wasn't unusual. The relative gauntness of his features though…he didn't like that. It seemed being depressed enough to not eat was bad for your health…who knew? Still…as Mandan traced a finger over his features, over the person he was underneath the veil…he tore himself away, quickly affixing his facial clothing before gazing back at the mirror. This was who he was…not the person underneath…The Ultimate One wanted him to shun himself to free the person underneath…and that wasn't something he felt would be good for him. Still…it was that or die…

These thoughts carried the dark boy back to Sera, who was sitting alone, Kulos having disappeared. He sat down next to her with a quiet, "I'm back," before settling in. He was quiet for a time, then in a voice just loud enough for her to hear, honed through practice to prevent others from listening in, he began. "Sera…the…bull thing…dropped a crystal when it died. I grabbed it…didn't touch it, obviously. I tried…to destroy it…it…went around my sword…and into me. I'm still myself. It attached to my power. I…I don't think I can use magic again. It won't be safe. I don't…won't…let it control me. No matter the cost. I…thought, as my sister…you'd want to know though…" Mandan was apprehensive about sharing this, but…he needed the support, much as he wished otherwise…and Sera might have insight on this that he'd overlooked…one could hope, anyway…
 

DeletedUser28032

With her stomach growling, sleep was hard to come by, so Sera found herself simply staring out into the darkness and listening to the sounds of life going on around her. A life she knew that she'd never really be able to experience...or at least not in the normal way.
Hearing her brothers approach long before he announced his presence, a tiny smile flickered across her features as she reached out and briefly squeezed his hand to show how much she appreciated him coming back to her.
It was then that Mandan became rather nervous as he then proceeded to quietly whisper to her the series of events that had led him to leave her in the first place. When she thought back to those moments immediately after the beast’s death, she could recall seeing a small red object beside Mandan's body. However she had become so ill due to her own actions during the battle that it had completely slipped her mind until now.
Understandably the idea of her brother; the only person that had ever stood by her was now under the influence of...something...truly terrified her. Yet on the other hand she was relieved that he loved and trusted her enough to confide in her.
Throwing her arms about him in a hug she felt the boy stiffen as he was want to do when confronted with physical contact with Seraphim able to hear his heart beating just that little bit faster within his chest "Well...you certainly still feel like my brother and...and thank you for telling me this...it means a lot to me" she whispered back before releasing him from her embrace.
For several minutes she sat in silence mulling over what he had said had happened to him before finally asking in a whisper "you say it’s affected your powers? Have you tried shifting since it happened? Could...could you try it for me?"
It was clear that Mandan was scared about what had happened to him and what he feared he would turn into. But if it provided him with the means to overcome his current handicap and in turn regain some of his confidence, then it couldn't be all bad could it?
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Sera handled Mandan's confession rather well, going as far as to thank him for telling her, despite the horrible news. She hugged him before claiming he still felt like her brother, which was honestly nice to hear. Remembering the last time she hugged him and how she'd more or less made him hug her back, he attempted to get his arms up around her again, only to have her pull back before he could…the dark boy relaxed, relieved that she wouldn't force him to do so every time. They sat in blissful silence for a few moments, then…his sister asked him to try to shift. His immediate reaction was to refuse…he'd just said he didn't know what would happen if he called upon any aspect of his power…but…she had to have something in mind, if she was asking. "I'll try…if something happens…please…kill me before I'm lost." His voice didn't shake as he made his request…he was serious about it…if she was going to ask him to potentially lose himself to whatever power he'd absorbed…he needed to ask that of her. A moment of focus…and nothing. "It's still beyond me," he muttered forlornly. "I…guess I should be relieved I'm still me, if nothing else…" He wasn't happy that his shifting was still eluding him, but at least the attempt to transform hadn't caused the demon power he'd accidentally taken in to assault him…
 

DeletedUser28032

“You won’t hurt me…I know you won’t, I trust you” Seraphim firmly replied as Mandan insisted that she should kill him should anything untoward happen to him during his attempt. The very idea of him turning against her was just too alien for her credit and the idea of her killing him was even more so, though she still nodded her head in agreement to his request knowing that should it come to it then it should his sister to put him down.
Sadly however it would appear that nothing had changed, or at least nothing where his shifting was concerned when he rather miserably confirmed that he still couldn’t change “Well…please do keep trying Mandan, I am sure it’ll happen when you’ need it most…just remember what we were taught; picture what you want to be, feel its thoughts and needs, just relax and let it happen and don’t try to force it” Sera said not really knowing what else to suggest. The mantra’s and training exercises had seemed so very silly back when they were learning to change the first time around, now they just seemed so patronising. On the other hand they had certainly worked then so why not a second time?
Sitting beside her brother Sera tried to process everything that had happened to them in the course of a single day and found herself struggling to do so, especially what had just happened to Mandan “does…does it hurt? I mean I know you’re still you but…what does it feel like?” she asked wanting to know exactly was happening to him so that she could try and find a way to help him like he’d helped her with her own condition. Promising herself that no matter how bad it got that she would never abandon him and that she would remain his sister to the very end.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Sera seemed good-spirited about the failed shift, urging him to keep trying and reminding him of the lessons they'd received on how to do so in the first place. Mandan made a soft sound of agreement, opting not to launch into a pity session where he explained that his panther had been so natural to him that it had been effortless to go between them...the others he could understand losing, but the jet black jungle cat had sometimes felt more like him than he did...being unable to go between felt like he'd lost a part of himself. Or was this another part of The Ultimate One's pruning of the dark boy? He wanted change...perhaps losing the key part of the Spirit Changers' abilities...the only one important enough to be in their very name...was part of his grand design. If that was the case, then all the more reason to despise the creature...it had destabilized him, caused him to lose his ability to shift...and demanded he lower his veil or die, which he still didn't know the deadline for but...around the campfire of so many people...no, he couldn't. Not a chance. No.

Sera's next question brought Mandan out of his thoughts. "It...doesn't feel like anything now...but...when it happened...it burned...as though it wouldn't stop searing until it consumed me. When it faded, something felt...off...about my power source. I don't notice it anymore...must have acclimated." The dark boy shuddered as he recalled the memory. "It was intelligent. It knew what it did. It was intentional. It called to me before I tried to destroy it. Wanted me to touch it. Which is why I don't want to risk magic again. If that intelligence is still there...tapping into where it hides can only be bad." Not wanting to be consumed by a malignant entity aside, giving something that had come from a giant bull monster another body...one that had inherent magical properties...that would be awful...simply awful. The world could afford to lose Mandan Shaydaak...but it couldn't afford to have another monster raging around, not when so much bad had already happened to the world.
 

DeletedUser31931

Donna
The girl barely noticed as Kulos stepped into the ruined building. As Kulos held the sobbing girl against her she curled up in the other girl's lap, clearly grateful for the company. Beginning to cry slightly less she snivelled and curled up more in the Kulos' lap. Donna lay there for a short while, still quietly crying before she spoke. "It's stupid..." She muttered, more to herself than Kulos, not particularly caring if the other girl heard or not. "I'm supposed to be the biggest, toughest girl and yet I'm getting this way over a stupid boy." Donna nuzzled slightly further into Kulos' lap, her head moving further up the girl's legs towards her thighs. "I'm glad I've got you Kulos. Even back then, at the academy, you were always looking out for me." Thinking about things appeared to have calmed Donna down slightly as her tears slowly stopped, though she made no attempt to move her head (though she would not resist any attempt to remove it). "You know, I can't say I remember you ever showing any interest in any of the boys back at the academy. You were always more interested in your next prank or whatever. Don't you have anyone you... fancy?" Donna stayed where she was, clearly enjoying the moment between them. For someone who was so macho getting a moment like this, where she could be a bit more "girly" was rare and she was determined to make the most of what there was.

Lecta
It didn't take him long to the find the gate of Rakasi or the hole which the minotaur had left in the wall. The gate was deserted of people with the majority of the group camping a short distance away from where they had defeated the minotaur. As he stepped outside of the gate and the plains stretched out before him he began to feel the fatigue from the day's events set in. Today hadn't been utterly exhausting but he had walked a lot and flying and the events with Kulos had sapped some of his energy. Though he could continue, he would likely be doing so at risk of tiring himself out should a situation arise.

Sam
The boy had barely noticed when Donna had left and, still watching the horizon, he barely noticed when Seamus arrived. As the other student spoke, Sam didn't seem to jump but rather casually noted the presence of the other person and listened to what he had to say before thinking for a few seconds. "The others are ok. Well, as ok as they could be considering the situation. I think Sera and Mandan are having doubts about the whole process and, to be frank, I don't blame 'em. As for me... I saw Rakasi. Well, I didn't see the town itself but I saw the smoke. And I saw people... trying to flee and... I couldn't save them. It was Arthur Seamus. I don't know how but it was him. He was infused with Demon Changers and... I don't know how but... it was him." The boy lapsed into silence for a short period, apparently letting Seamus digest the information. Before the other boy spoke though, Sam started again. "I can't stop thinking about him. That's why I'm sitting here." The way that Sam had said him, the unspoken pain in his voice, there was no doubt as to the identity of the him as Leo. "Just watching the sunset... I feel like I can still feel a little bit of him inside of me. I miss him. Of course I do. He'd probably be goofing off right now, celebrating with the other guys down there. I don't know if you would, but do you remember that New Years when he stole some of the teacher's wine?" Sam smiled at the memory. The story had ended with them getting far too drunk and incurring the wrath of their year head and ending up in punishment for a couple of days. Still, he smiled at the memory. He'd had such fun times with Leo and, of course, he'd been able to do things and be more friendly than he would usually and use the alcohol afterwards as an excuse so that had made it even better. Who'd have known that Leo's breath smelt so nice? As he finished talking, he rubbed himself as if he was just beginning to notice the cold air that was beginning the night air. Standing up from the section of wall he had been seated on, he motioned for the other boy to follow him as he lead the Seamus down a section of rubble that had formed a sort of makeshift stairs, a quicker way down that however Seamus had made his way up onto the wall. Nimbly making his way down off the wall, Sam responded in conversation to whatever Seamus threw up before they rejoined the other party. Sera and Mandan were a little while off and Donna, Kulos and Lecta were nowhere to be seen but otherwise the other five (OOC: I know that the numbers consistently have been a mess so I'm drawing a line and saying that there are five besides Sam, Seamus and the rest of the PCs) members of their group were accounted for. As they began to sat down that was when it happened.

Mandan
It was as he thought about his arm that it began to tingle. It was a difficult sensation to describe. It started as a slight numbness in his right arm but it slowly started to spread out through his entire arm until it felt like it was slowly coming alive with energy. Mandan wasn't quite sure of what was happening but the energy kept on building up no matter what he might try and do to stop it. Over the course of about half a minute the feeling of energy flowing through him sped up until it reached a fever pitch and then, suddenly, it happened. There was a brief flash and before he knew it a bolt of light had jumped out from Mandan's right arm and, with a slight wooshing sound, flown into a nearby wall, demolishing it with a small explosion. No-one was hurt though some rats that had been scouting for crumbs were certainly sent scurrying and the slight glow that was coming off of Mandan's arm which faded to nothing left no doubts in the minds of those present as to who had been responsible for the sudden occurrence. Most of the group had rushed over the moment it had happened but before Mandan could be hit with a deluge of questions one quiet voice had commanded the attention of everyone present. "I think I might know what caused it." The voice belong to Theo. He was by far the quietest member of the group and, without a doubt, the nerdiest. Whilst he was by no means the most impressive fighter nor had he won any tournaments or tests of skill, he had aced every test, quiz or other academic trial that their year had taken. He had proven himself to be a fairly strong strategist as well and his role as a water type meant that he would often, during training exercises, be responsible for organising whatever group he was with. He wore a set of thin rimmed spectacles on his head which he pushed up his nose as if to jog his memory of all the important details. "When we beat the minotaur... did it drop a crystal?" The question was aimed directly at Mandan and the rest of the crowd remained quiet, though they did move back to give both boys some space. "Did you touch that crystal? You don't need to tell me, I'm fairly certain that you did." Theo vanished for a second, and reappeared, backpack in hand. He opened it up and dug through it, pulling out a dusty and tattered old almanac entitled Creatures of the Daemon: Nefarious Beasts of the Dark Realm. Theo flicked it open and started skimming through the pages before opening it to a specific page and presenting it to Mandan. It was an illustration of the monster that the boy had killed earlier that day. "I found it in here this evening. It was apparently a type of Greater Demonbeast, rumoured only to exist in legend." Theo then pointed to the relevant passage on page, reading it aloud for the benefit of the other present. "As has been discussed previously, if defeated then the Greater Demon drops a crystal of immense demonic energy. Whilst most are unable to interact with this crystal, the two heroes are able to able to absorb its power and add it to their own. The power of this demon is that of destruction. Legend says that Landath, when he claimed this power, was able to shoot out rays of destructive energy, as depicted in the Battle of the Eastern Plains." Theo looked at Mandan, trying to suppress a grin. "Do you know what that means? You're one of the two heroes. We... I mean I know they only show up when the world's nearly ending but... one of the heroes. That's like, straight out of legends. I've read so much on what you can do! Though obviously you can't do it yet and..." Theo faltered out as one of the other members of the group, a tall girl with brown hair by the name of Amelia, tapped him on the shoulder. Realising he'd gone slightly off piste he recollected himself before starting again. "You guys know the story of the heroes, right?" Being met with only one or two knowing stares, Theo decided to fill the group in. "Well, according to legend back during the last war of the Demon Changers vs the Spirit Changers, the one that resulted in The Ultimate One going missing until several generations ago, there appeared two heroes, one male and one female. It was said that the cycle of the Changers sensed a threat to its existence and, to cope with this threat, produced two changers who were capable of bending the power of the Demon Changers to their own will and using that energy for good. They helped defeat the Demon Changers even after the Ultimate One had gone before they vanished into the ether but it is said that, before they left, they gave a prophecy that when the world most needed it and when Irulia approached its final hour, the power of the heroes would appear again within two more Spirit Changers and that they would have the power to turn the tide and save the world from its destruction." Theo paused for slight dramatic effect, apparently enjoying the moment and his attentive audience. "And you, Mandan, appear to be one of those heroes."
 
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Something felt wrong. Something felt very wrong indeed. His arm had gone numb…it was a step away from being painful. What was going on? He began to panic a little as he felt the sensation growing stronger and stronger. "Sera…something's…" he started to say, doing his best to keep the rogue limb under control. Before he could finish his thought, however, an arc of light exploded from his palm and wrecked a nearby wall. Any thought of moving, talking, doing anything to hide the fact he'd just done that was overwhelmed by a complete and utter horror. His eyes were wide and terrified, his body frozen in fear. What…had just happened? He…had just obliterated a wall. He was incredibly lucky that this burst of power hadn't killed one of the people he was by. He…

The dark boy's panicked thoughts were interrupted by a fairly quiet voice saying he thought he knew what happened. He realized in horror that everyone was standing around him…they were looking at him with a mix of shock and fear…no…no, this was terrible…the spectacled changer in front of him asked him if the bull thing had dropped a crystal and if he'd touched it, then assumed he had before Mandan had a chance to reply. A spark of anger lit in his core, and if he hadn't been so freaked out he might have done something to correct the other boy…he hadn't touched the freaking thing…he'd gone out of his way not to! The boy went on to talk about how what they'd fought dropped these things and most people couldn't take it but some could and it looked like he was…no, the inner voice of the dark boy protested. I didn't do that. I didn't control that. I could've killed someone. I could've killed Sera and I wouldn't have been able to do anything about it.

The glasses boy seemed to be building up to something about how in the last war there were two people who had carried the day, and it looked like Mandan had done something akin to what the male hero was attributed to being capable of. He couldn't take it. He couldn't stand people staring at him like this…some as if he were a god come back to life, the others still wondering if he could've just killed them...which I could have, if that had gone even slightly worse. He wasn't a hero. He'd let Leo die, had failed to help anyone when they needed it, and he had absolutely no control over this new, terrifying ability. What would happen next time it activated? Who would be reduced to pieces like that wall? He couldn't…he couldn't let the demon energy in him cause him to take a life. He couldn't. And the people needed to stop staring…he didn't have it in him to run away…he was tired and still in too much shock from what he'd just done. Instead he sat there, trying not to cry and holding his cursed right arm in a direction that, while uncomfortable, would ensure that if it went off again it would hit the ground. Please…go away...he thought miserably with no will to voice his wish. Please…I can't…I'm not who you think I am…I'm not a hero…I'm someone with a cursed arm who's liable to accidentally murder someone because of it. Please…go away...
 
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DeletedUser37114

Donna being as close as she was felt good, despite the other girl's obvious distress. Neither girl was averse to little touches throughout the day, a brush or a hug between friends, but this felt... different. Kulos had never seen her this upset, and regardless of how nice it was to be this close, the urge to shake the girl until she told her who had done this so she could go kill them was strong. But that wouldn't help Donna, not really, so she reigned in the impulses and just held her. No talking, no chatting, just one quiet girl's sobs as she curled against her friend for comfort. Finally, the noises died down into sniffles as Donna spoke, saying that she was this way over a stupid boy. Kulos ran through the ways she could ask who it was, maybe Lecta there was an easy answer to this problem if it was just a stupid boy she could go remove. And then her thoughts were entirely derailed as Donna slid up Kulos' legs, her head laying right against her thighs. Kulos' heart started beating faster for a very different reason, if anyone walked in on them right now, it would be so easy to assume... But she hadn't meant it like that, had she? Even if she was talking about how she was glad to have Kulos around, how she was so grateful... Kulos reached down and hoisted her friend so that she was fully sitting on her lap, arms wrapping around her stomach. She couldn't take the girl being so close like that, though this wasn't a whole lot better, with so much contact and the back of her neck in front of her lips... Kulos tried to latch on to what Donna was saying, anything for a distraction. Except that Donna was asking her if she had anyone she liked. Sometimes there were days where she wasn't sure if whichever being was in charge of this world hated her or loved her. As if to affirm this, the sound of an explosion off in the distance was accompanied by the sound of shifting rubble and people yelling. None of which mattered, of course, because her crush was asking her if she had anyone she "fancied."

There were a number of ways Kulos could handle this tell her. She could put her friend down, run, and probably manage to crawl under a rock before exhaustion overtook her. That was obviously an awful choice, only an idiot would waste an opportunity like this. She could tell the truth exactly, the romantic feelings she'd had for a couple years now, like a hero straight out of a play, confessing her love. That seemed much better. "Donna, I... There weren't any boys I liked, but... Uh... I..." Kulos stumbled over her words you're screwing it up, trying to find the right ones. But they refused to come and as the silence grew, she abandoned option B for something simpler. Tightening her hold, closing her eyes, she leaned around her friend and planted a kiss on her cheek. Not a slobbery drooly one, but a quick peck good enough. Which was then followed by her retreating back to her previous position, forehead against Donna's back, holding even tighter careful, don't hurt her. Hoping as hard as she could that she would understand. Praying that whoever, whatever was in charge of these things would give her this little bit of happiness, make this awkward sort-of-confession work. Because if Donna didn't feel the same way, she didn't know what she'd do.
 
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DeletedUser13682

It seemed at first that Sam hadn't even heard Seamus, he was so deep in meditation or speculation, or whatever it was he was doing. Seamus was about to repeat, but was relieved of that necessity by Sam eventually replying. Luckily, all the others were about the same as they had been before the schism. Then he was slammed by the fact that Arthur was not only alive, but was well enough to raze cities, specifically Rakasi. "Nah. It couldn't have been him," Seamus shook his head as he responded. "But I didn't see what you see. It could've been him, but I'd rather not believe it until I see it with my own eyes." Sam continued with a lamentation about an unnamed him. Seamus was never really a fan of the pronoun game, but now wasn't the time to bring that up. Besides, based on past experience, it was easy to tell who was referrenced when Sam said he like that. He then went off on a story about how he and Leo had liberated a bottle of wine from one of the instructors. Seamus didn't know much about the incident, but he did remember the public gathering that had been called a couple days later, explaining that two students were being punished for stealing alcohol. It was meant as a deterrent to prevent others from doing the same thing. It hadn't bothered Seamus any; he stayed away from the stuff to more fully devote his time to his mechanisms. "Fraid I don't quite recall it. Sorry." Seamus shrugged then got up after Sam. It seemed that it was time to head back to the campfires, taking a pile of rubble that seemed to form a near perfect staircase. How had Seamus missed that before? They headed down to the campfires, near silence surrounding them. "You think our groups might really be able to travel together again? I don't doubt that it's the thing the Ultimate One would want us to do. I don't think we could get through everything that drove us apart right away. But I want to fix all that. I don't know if Lecta wants to, though. He seems more bitter than ever. I don't know how to help him. I don't think I can help myself either. Sorry I shouldn't be burdening you with all this. I'm supposed to be a leader, I think. I'll figure it out." The last couple minutes of the journey were in silence, ending in them sitting down next to one of the campfires.
 

DeletedUser28032

Sitting beside her brother, Seraphim listened in silent horror as he described the strange entity that taken a hold of him. Something with enough intelligence to single-mindedly seek out the source of his powers and latch onto them like some kind of parasite; burning his way through its body as it went.
Unable to find the words to properly comfort him she had simply sat there hoping that her being there with him would be enough. I mean how exactly did you comfort someone that had been attacked and possibly possessed by a potentially evil entity that targeted the source of your power rendering them either dangerous or useless?
It was as she was racking her brain in search of something to say to him, to make it clear that she wasn't going to leave him no matter how bad it got and that she at least had a small amount of understanding as to his plight that things started to take an unexpected turn.
All around her the air seemed to become charged like it did in the moments before a lightning storm. The hairs on her arms standing on end as everything around her became positively crackling with energy and then with the sound that she could only describe as being like a mighty oak being snapped like a toothpick there was a crack from right beside her, followed by an explosion and the pattering of falling dirt and masonry. Has someone just...blown up a wall!? her mind screamed as her body shook with barely suppressed terror as she struggled to cope with the unexpected assault on her senses, no...Someone hadn't blown up a wall...Mandan had just blown up a wall.
Understandably it drew everybody's attention towards them like moths to a flame with Theo, in his unmistakable nasally tones telling them what he suspected had happened and as usual Seraphim, much to her annoyance had to admit that what he said was most likely correct.
He then, after some rummaging in a bag, or so she assumed judging by the sound of clinking buckles and rustling cloth, stated that her brother was some hero of old with the power to bring balance to the galaxy or some such rot, however that wasn't the bit that had caught her attention "Two!?" Seraphim squeaked in terror; remembering what the Ultimate One had told her about her and Mandan saving the world "You know Theo you can be too smart for your own good at times!" she quickly snaps at the boy in an attempt to deflect attention away from her initial reaction...That and the fact that Seraphim didn't need to be able to see him to know that Mandan wouldn't be handling this much attention very well let alone Theo’s incessant ramblings about heroes.
Gently taking the boy's hand in both of hers Seraphim quickly begins to whisper to him in a calming voice "It's alright Mandan, I am here, I am not going anywhere...nobody has been hurt, you're fine, everything is going to be ok" she whispered; using the act of calming him down as a way of distracting herself from her own fears as to who the other hero might prove to be “…come on Mandan, lets go and find somewhere nice and quiet for us to sit so that we can get you calmed down… then we’ll see if we can’t get this all figured out”
 
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
So the changer with the glasses' name was Theo...Mandan hadn't paid any attention to him back at their home...the bookish boy must've been too engaged in his studies to bump into people much. Sera snapped at him briefly, then took the dark boy's left hand in hers, working to comfort him. Hearing his sister was still on his side, despite the fact he had become a walking destructive force, gave him something to hold on to. He couldn't even find it in him to be concerned by the physical contact, his sense of gratitude that she was on his side was too strong. She suggested they find a spot away from the others to try to get him back to normal and attempt to figure out exactly what was going on. "...please..." he managed before standing, holding onto Sera's right hand so she could follow him. His racing heart and mind calmed a little the moment he couldn't see everyone looking at him, regardless of their reason for doing so. He continued to keep his right arm angled towards the ground...if it went off again, he wouldn't be killing anyone.

The dark boy led his sister a short distance away into a house that was still structurally stable. He guided her to a seat, then pulled up one for himself. Unusually for him, he didn't release her hand as soon as it wasn't necessary to keep a grip on it. He offered no rationale for his action, or lack thereof, leaving up to Sera to come up with her own thoughts. Mandan sat there quietly for a moment, then in a fairly shaky voice asked, "I...didn't control that. I could've hurt someone. I could've killed. Even you. How can I stay? I got lucky once, can't guarantee that again. What if I'm sleeping?" He shook his head miserably. "I don't want to hurt anyone..." If he had control over this phenomenon that would be one thing, but the demon crystal had revealed it held sway over when the light blast went off without any input from him. Without a way to prevent and direct the blast, he wasn't going to be able to stay near people, or even civilization. He'd kill or destroy something every now and then. Perhaps Sera's earlier idea of living off the land wasn't a bad idea...
 

DeletedUser28032

The pair of them walked a short distance away from the others to step into the ruins of a building; the smell of smoke strong in Seraphim's nostril's, her booted feet crunching on broken pottery and glass as she was carefully led over to a chair. Still holding his hand she gently strokes its back with her thumb listening to Mandan speak in a shaky voice, clearly upset by what had just happened "I didn't think you'd done it on purpose...random destruction isn't normally your thing" She said when he pointed out the obvious to her, that he hadn’t had any control over what had just happened before going to say how he could have killed someone and that he wasn’t safe to be around "...and I know you don't want to hurt anyone Mandan but you can't hide away from the world, I won't let you...so what we're going to do is we're going to go out into the countryside and we're going to learn how to control it because if you can't control it...then...then..." Finding herself unable to finish the sentence Sera quietly began to cry as everything became too much for her "you...you've got to do it Mandan...you've just got to I just can't lose you and...and you heard what he said, Two heroes; one boy and one girl, Mandan I am scared out of my mind that its going to be me! You heard what the Ultimate one said...She said we were going to save the world...I...I..." whatever else she'd intended to say was lost in amongst her sobbing. She couldn't lose her brother she just couldn't! and as for her being a hero…well…that was the last thing she wanted.
 

DeletedUser31931

(OOC: If people want to start heading to bed I'll do a timeskip to morning)
Sam
Sam nodded at what Seamus was saying, seemingly more involved in the conversation now. As he broached the topic of bringing the group back together the boy nodded and said "I think you're right, besides it'd certainly lend us greater safety in numbers. We're nearly there now anyway so hopefully the group can put aside their differences and work together." They continued in silence, arriving shortly after the incident with Mandan had occurred though they were swiftly brought up to speed by Theo who then mentioned something about Amelia before diving back into his book to read up more on what little was known about the heroes. Sam sighed, apparently life was going to become all the more interesting for them once more. Still, there was nothing that he could really do about it and so, as the campfire smouldered on into the night, he laid out his bedroll and, underneath the starry sky, he fell to sleep to dreams of a boy he once knew.

Mandan
As Sera broke down into fits of sobbing there was a quiet knock at the door before it silently opened, revealing Amelia standing in the doorway. Her long, brown hair fell down past her shoulders and she left an impression as the moonlight shone behind her, illuminating her figure. She stepped in and shut the door before crouching down and speaking in soft tones. "I'm... I'm sorry about Theo earlier. He's, well, Theo. He's not good at people. Never has been. I came because I wanted to apologise and because I... well... I wanted to offer to help." Amelia paused, apparently collecting her thoughts, she was clearly nervous, not out of some fear of Mandan's abilities or anything but rather the fear that she'd mess this up. "I... I imagine it must be quite a scary place right now because of the power, the accounts said that the original hero had a similar reaction when he first discovered... I just, I had an idea about how we could train it whilst we were on the move across the desert and I wanted to help you out Mandan because, now that you've got this, I don't want you to not use it out of fear for not being able to control it. I just... I want to help. Sorry if I'm rambling but I just... I wanted to help." Amelia was usually quite a shy girl, she didn't really interact with most of the people outside of Theo and a couple of the other more "academic types" who didn't seem to be in the group. As she sat down on the floor her long hair splayed across it and it seemed like, any minute now, she was liable to transform into a small cat and dart out of the building as she had been known to do when the cruel girls at the academy had decided to pick on her instead of Sera for a change.

Donna
As Donna asked her question she heard the sound of something happening and a small commotion a little while away from them. The others, however, could deal with it for now as Donna didn't particularly feel like seeing the others not to mention that she was enjoy the moment with Kulos. As Kulos began to stumble over her words Donna was beginning to worry whether she'd hit a nerve with her question and just as she was about to ask if anything was wrong Kulos answered her question in a fairly definite matter. This was promptly followed by Donna turning several shades of pink brighter and she attempted to stammer out a response. "I... you... but..." Her mind raced as she thought over things. She'd never been that good at relationships, always preferring sparring and she'd never been a part of the clique of girls who often acted as the tormentors in her year, though she'd never stood up to them either (not fancying her chances in a fight against a group especially when they were known for playing dirty). She knew enough, though, to know that this was a dangerous path. She remembered, probably just as well as Kulos, what had happened to Joanna after she'd been found kissing a girl in the year above. Though the staff had been quick to condemn the attack upon the girl (which had left her pretty emotionally traumatised) no-one had ever been challenged over it and when Joanna had eventually fled the academy and left no official attempt had been made to find her with the decision being made that she simply didn't have what it took to become a Spirit Changer. There was a feeling amongst some of the students that the teacher body was rather divided itself when it came to these issues and that meant that students interested in their own sex were, as it were, fair game for everyone else. And that was just amongst Spirit Changers, who were a law unto themselves. In regular society the very notion was scorned as the purpose of love was to continue your family's bloodline. She knew all of that and part of her mind screamed out that this was a horrible idea, that she shouldn't do this, that she couldn't do this. Yet another part of it just felt so right, the way her body molded into Kulos'. The feel of her lips upon Donna's cheek had ignited something within the girl, a flame of passion that would not swiftly burn out. Donna made her decision and, rather than attempting to explain with words, turned round and leant forward, awkwardly kissing Kulos on the lips. "I'd... I'd always wondered what that would be like." She laughed, slightly awkward at the situation. "I... I'm still not sure how I feel Kulos but... I like you and I want this. Do you... want this? I'd like to try." She faltered for a second and restored her courage by placing her lips to Kulos' again, this time driven by a needy, wanting lust.
 

Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Sera's attempts to calm Mandan down turned into her sobbing and admitting to being worried that she was the female hero Theo had talked about, using what The Ultimate One had told her about to justify her fear. Unfortunately, it looked like she had a point, but telling her that would only hurt the situation. Still…her unwillingness to give up on him touched the dark boy deeply. Knowing that she could really use come comforting, and knowing how to go about it, he very awkwardly and hesitantly put his arm around her. He could feel his anxiety rising, but ignored it for Sera's sake…she needed this, or something like this, and he wasn't about to not help his sister when the path to doing so was right in front of him.

A quiet knock at the door disturbed their relative peace, and after a moment it opened hesitantly. Mandan had released Sera at the knock in case it was someone there with ill intentions, but it turned out it was Amelia. He knew who she was…she'd been a target for people to pick on as well, though hadn't gotten it as bad as Sera. Still, she wasn't the bold type, so her being there was a bit of a surprise. Her intentions were even more startling, as after apologizing for Theo she went on to ask if she could help. Apparently his reaction wasn't unusual, but she didn't want him to shy away from using his newfound gift, and apparently had an idea on how to get used to using it. The dark boy's first reaction was to deny her outright…he didn't want this supposed gift and would be perfectly happy with it never happening again. However, he was stopped by the knowledge that Amelia wasn't usually the type to go out of her way…refusing to even consider the option would be cruel to her after she went out of her comfort zone for his sake, someone she didn't know well. Mandan was reclusive and often standoffish, but he wasn't cruel.

With a sigh, he spoke up, "I appreciate your honesty. This is terrifying for me, you're correct. I…don't want this. I'm not a hero. I'd prefer to never use that power again. But, I can't control it. Next time I may kill someone. Sera and I were discussing the need to figure out control, so…if you have an idea, I'm open to hearing it." Mandan wasn't sure what Amelia's stake in all this was, but at the same time, if she really did have an idea on how to get his newfound ability under control, he wasn't going to pass up the opportunity to figure it out…besides, if it turned out Sera really was the other hero, they'd hopefully be able to use the same tactics to keep her safe from whatever changes she underwent. He wasn't used to people asking to help him, and normally he'd be wary of this seemingly random event…but as things were, he could only be grateful that someone else seemed to understand that this wasn't cool or exciting for him, only scary. If Amelia wound up helping…even better.
 

Apelatia

Well-Known Member
Grumbling to himself, Lecta picked his way around the buildings of Enylia, being careful to avoid being spotted by any of the other members of the group. Mandan had been very silly. Not only had he told no one about his carrying the demon's crystal, but now he had gone and allowed it to possess him. Because of his secrecy, no one had any knowledge of the situation at hand, and no one could help him, and this would likely bring harm to others. Mandan's ethos of say little, speak only when necessary would certainly be his downfall here. Lecta swore under his breath as he tripped on a loose stone, though managed to recover himself in time to stop himself from falling over. Thinking back to his journey with the group, Lecta considered his attempts to form a friendship with Mandan. Now that he thought about it, it was probably for the best that nothing had happened in that sphere, as Mandan's final smart aleck statement to him had clearly evidenced that the dark-clad boy had no care in the world for him, and also had no insight whatsoever into what he was going through. Self-possessed and arrogant, he thought.

By this time, Lecta had reached the gate, and after a short pause to collect himself, he stepped outside. He would make for the Ultimate One by himself. The group could not help him now - he was by himself. However, it was as he started walking onwards that Lecta felt a sudden wash of exhaustion flood over him. Spontaneously, he decided to sit down. Maybe he could sleep for a bit, and then continue his...walk...tomorrow... By this point, Lecta was fast asleep on the dirt ground. Not even the sound of the explosion would wake him at this point.
 

DeletedUser28032

Leaning against Mandan as she felt his arm go around her shoulders, Sera marvelled at the fact that he was willing to comfort her despite his own aversion to physical contact. First he held my hand and now he's giving me a hug...well...sort of he probably didn't realise it but he had gone leaps and bounds since she'd first started sparring with him, where the act of simply helping her off of the mat had been too much for him to contemplate even whilst wearing gloves. It was at times like these that she wondered whether she'd made a grave error in asking him to be her brother rather than something a little more intimate.
It was as she was sat with tears running down her face with Mandan's comforting arm about her that someone knocked on the door, breaking the moment between her and her brother before entering, prompting Seraphim to quickly turn her back to the door so that whoever it was wouldn't see that she was in such a state...again.
It transpired that it was Amelia that had knocked on the door, with the rather shy girl wishing to help Mandan for some reason.
Seraphim only knew Amelia in passing and only as a fellow victim, with her one attempt to make friends with the girl going horribly wrong when their mutual tormentors had caught them talking together, with Amelia hurriedly fleeing the scene and leaving Sera to face the music. She couldn't blame the girl for doing that, though she'd never gotten up the nerve to try talking to her again.
With Mandan accepting the girl's help Sera spoke up as well in amongst her sniffling; her back still to Amelia as she frantically started scrubbing at her tear stained face with her sleeve, unsure as to how much had seeped out from beneath her blindfold to stain her face "Please Amelia, anything you can do to help him would be great...I... I don't know what I would do without him"
 

DeletedUser37114

(OoC: Apologies for how long this took)

As Donna paused, Kulos pressed her face against the other girl's back and hoped, prayed as hard as she could that she'd understand. That she'd feel the same way. That any of this would work out. She was more than prepared to deal with any sort of ridicule, whatever hate might come her way. Rejection, no. There wasn't anything she could do to brace herself, nothing she could say, all she had left was hope. And then Donna freed herself from Kulos' hold, turning around and... fireworks filled her head as her friend leaned forward and returned the kiss. Despite how awkward it was, regardless of how short, Kulos' heart was racing as Donna pulled away and laughed. The sound was so wonderful after the tension, like a light peeking out through storm clouds after the rain. Kulos couldn't do anything but stare into the other girl's eyes and just breathe, enjoy the moment as much as she could. No other moment in her life could compare. And then Donna leaned down to kiss her again. Kulos gave up on deciding on best moments, gave up on thinking at all. Donna was all that mattered now.
 

DeletedUser13682

(Oh, jeez; I'm sorry. I myself forgot about this. As they say over here, gomenesai [sic]...)

"Yeah, I hope so too, man," Seamus replied, sighing at the stupidity surrounding the entire situation. They were tasked to not only keep the world safe, but save it from the emergent evil of the Demon Changers, the greatest threat to peace in their time. As they got closer to the nearest campfire, talk could be made out, detailing an incident that Sam and Seamus had just missed. Apparently, some people were convinced that Mandan was one of the epic heroes of fables, reincarnated from countless eons ago. "Oh, come off it Theo," Seamus said, as he pulled up some wooden wreckage for a seat. "Reincarnation isn't a scientifically verifiable phenomenon. It doesn't exist. I'm not the new version of some old guy from the past. Just because it smells like a turd doesn't mean it's necessarily a turd. Could be a stink bug. Or coriander. Maybe one of those giant flowers. That's not the point. I dont think that Mandan is the reincarnation of an epic hero. That crystal he touched may have given them heightened powers, new abilities, something. But reincarnate an epic hero in him, I don't think that's what happened." Seamus paused for a second, then finished on a high note. "But, if you're right, then our job may be made easier. Don't hope for it, but it could happen. Anyway, I'm going to bed. Night everyone." Seamus walked a short distance from the rest of the group and found a less hard spot on a broken bed amidst the rubble. Soon, sleep came to him, a near dreamless sleep, save for some incomprehensible snippets from who knew what.
 

DeletedUser31931

(OOC: I think Donna and Kulos can be left alone for the night on that note which leaves only Mandan and Sera to wrap up)
Amelia
As the pair agreed to accept Amelia's offer of help she visibly relaxed, a small amount of the tension in her body melting away though she still appeared ready to flee at a moment's notice. "I.. I've been reading some of the stuff on the ancient heroes. I brought a couple of the books with me. Anyway, I have one of them here. It's got some parts in it that are said to be the original account of the male hero and it talks about two things. Firstly there is an inscription, said to be in the cave that we're now headed for where the Ultimate One is. I can't say whether that's true or not because, as you remember, the adults are expressly forbidden from talking to pre-journey Spirit Changers about the pilgrimage. That part won't be very helpful though, at least not for now. Sorry."

Amelia winced slightly to herself as she realised she was giving extraneous information again. It was a habit of hers. Whilst Theo tended to be quite blunt she usually tended to go into too much detail mostly because she just got so into things. She tried not to do so but occasionally, without being able to help herself, she slipped into it. "Anyway, I..." Her confidence slightly knocked after that mess-up she paused slightly, as if recovering, and then continued. "There's a second thing. Part of the his journals survived and there's a translation from old Irulian of a few of the passages in the book. He talks about how he trained and about how he took control of his powers. Here, I'll read it." She opened a bag that was tied around her back, its presence hidden under clothes from experience, and produced a book from it. Skimming through the dusty old pages she found what she was looking for and began to read. "We travelled to the grassy plains together. My powers did not show themselves again. As far as I can tell it was the feeling of an extreme emotion that caused them. For me it was sadness. For Oleana it was anger. We tried to recreate it for the first few days but apparently it takes a while to recharge at first. The information stone" Amelia paused, realising that they wouldn't know what that was as she read it and spoke. "The information stone was a thing that they received when they received their powers. As far as we can tell it was like the demon crystal that you picked up Mandan in that they absorbed it but rather than a magic change, which is what occurred to you, that stone was likely rather a store of information. One of the professors had a theory that the hero actually was using technology of an ancient race of beings that existed before us but I..." Realising she was rambling again, she stopped and corrected her course. "Sorry. I'm rambling. Anyway, the information stone they found gave them some advice as well. None of the stuff that they talked about is known to have survived at all either but since you found a crystal from that demon we defeated maybe... Sorry, I'm getting off track again. Either way, information crystal."

Starting to read again she silently chastised herself. She wasn't very good at this, but she was trying. "The information stone said that first time we use our powers will be the most draining. It'll take a couple of days to recharge. It's been two so far and we've felt nothing so my guess is probably four/five. The excerpt that we have is then missing a couple of days but I'll skip to when their powers are back. "Oleana managed a successful channel yesterday. She was meditating and she tried to replicate the feeling of it before. She described as just having the power start at her elbow and then she imagined the power firing out of her, like releasing the tension on a bow and arrow." She shut the book.

"That's one of the most informative sections we have. I... I know that it's not much but what we can draw from it is twofold: Firstly, I don't think you'll have your powers for another week or so. The other thing is that they seemed to think that meditation was quite important. Not to have a calm mind but just to feel their bodies. He talks quite a lot about the power and the feeling. He describes it as when you draw a bow and you feel the tension in the string, but that tension is in your arm and then you release it and like the arrow flies out of the bow, the power flies out of your body. Anyway... I hope that helps. If you have any questions I'd be happy to answer them and I just... Sorry. I probably haven't been that much help but just... I want to help." Wiping her face with her hands and brushing her hair back behind her ears she sat there quietly, watching the pair, waiting for any questions they might have. If they had none, she'd apologise quietly before silently slipping out of the building and heading to bed feeling slightly like she'd failed.
 
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Lord Regal

Campfire Guardian
Amelia launched into a fairly long-winded explanation of what she knew about the heroes' powers. Apparently Mandan's being depressed was what triggered his power. Wonderful...a power built around him being unhappy. However, the shy girl continued, saying he wasn't in danger of the blast happening again for a few days...hesitantly, not sure whether he could believe her or not, the dark boy relaxed his offending arm, letting it fall into a far more natural position. Amelia's tale continued, declaring that meditation should be key to learning how to control the blasts of energy, and to imagine firing a bow.

As the intellectual girl asked if he or Sera had any questions, Mandan frowned under his veil, then shook his head. "It seems straightforward. Thanks...it's good to know I won't kill anyone. Gives me peace of mind." He'd keep quiet through any questions Sera had, waiting for Amelia to leave. Once she did, he sighed. "We at least know how to make sure you don't become the other hero. Don't absorb an energy source, and if you do don't get angry about it." It wasn't ideal, and he worried the Ultimate One would somehow take steps to ensure she followed his footsteps after he'd apparently told her that Mandan and Sera were going to change the world. But..."I'll help, of course." He wasn't going to make her go through the fear of having no control over an obviously lethal ability if he could help it, especially since she wouldn't even be able to see what she was doing. He couldn't fight fate, or rather what the Ultimate One tried to push as fate, but he could at least struggle to keep Sera out of it.
 
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