[Episode 4] The Worth of a Soul

Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.
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Kokuten
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[Episode 4] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Kokuten » Sat Nov 03, 2012 3:43 am

What is a soul?

Mages have asked that question ever since they broke the boundaries of death with necromancy. If a body can be dead biologically, but raised by tethering a 'soul' to it, what does that make the soul? If a construct can bring to life someone departed, then does that make it some kind mystic data, carrying the true life of a person? Why do some souls shine more brightly than others? Why do demon's crave them? Why do summoners study them? Why consider an abstract concept like a human soul, when the world can be explained with the loose physics of magic?

The mages of old discovered why, but their atrocities are for another time.

This is a story about something else, a place. This is a story about the Elementalia Magicus.

Those who have paid attention in their Mystic History 8 classes would understand what the realm of the Elementalia Magicus is, the Land of Dreams and Mist. Yet, the true history of this land was never truly explained to the people who foolishly worshiped the 'gods' of this world. In the old stories, the westerly mages considered the six Elemental Gods of the realm to be gods of magic, as they were astounded by the power and scope of the realm in which they could practice their magicks within. Yet, they never knew that these gods were never gods at all, but simply guardians of great power. The truth was never revealed, because it is lost to all but the 'gods' themselves. Even the Occultus Magica, the grand order of magic, lost the records to the very land they created.

In the olden years of civilization, mages sought safe haven from persecution of a fearful world. To guard themselves, and their knowledge, they crafted a platform which could architect a verdant realm. This platform, made of limestone, created the land of the Elementalia Magicus. A realm rich with magic, and filled prospective prosperity. Yet, not even the mages trusted themselves with it, and the sculptors of the platform sought ways of preserving order in not only themselves, but the elements of the land. A place filled with magic was bound to be unstable without control. The land needed something to channel the energy provided by a font to stabilize the world, and preserve its order. They needed Guardians.

So, the elder mages sought souls of great power to bind to their new home, and searched all over, even searching into the heavens to bind defenders to their realm.

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The first was the son of Hannibal, the Blood Child, who bound the arts of destruction and calmed hatred.
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The second and third were the daughters of the Lady of the Lake, the Puddle and Day Child. The puddle, tasked with binding the arts of creation and tempering justice. The day, bound the mystic sciences and dangerous curiosities.
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The fourth was the daughter of Demeter, the Grain Child, tasked with monitoring the balance and to nurture the fruits of magic.
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The fifth was the son of Gabriel, the Cloud Child, binder of the arts that moved space, and the eye of the guardians.
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The sixth was the son of Loki, the Shade Child, binder of the arts that tore space, and the free agent of the pantheon.
These six guardians were risen from nature and death to defend the Elementalia Magicus, and they did as they were bound. They nurtured the magic, developing life among life, even around the safe mages. The guardians created thralls which helped them tend the land, and shared their likeness in element. These thralls protected the resident mages, even from invaders who sought to break the realm. Alongside the Guardians, this small army preserved the lives of the elders as was directed and asked, but time was not an enemy they could ight.

When the mages died, and their font was robbed of his body, the guardians gathered magic from new visitors to the land from worship. This gave rise to the modern understanding of the Elementalia Magicus, and reflected what people see in it today as a mage's 'playground'. As long as the Mages their paid their respect, they could test whichever and whatever magicks they wished. The Guardians became Gods, and were respected as such, and the land knew prosperity. Yet the 'Gods' were as was said, people of great power, they suffered tragedy at the hubris of a single mage, and the Puddle Child's despair was enough to banish every human from the Magicus. Without magic, the guardians and thralls were left with a crumbling land, and no source of magic to preserve themselves. So they entered into a sleep, and had the land join them save for the Blood Child, who was ever vigilant.

The Land of Dreams and Mist knew 257 years of prosperity, and a century and a half of slumber after that.

Now the land awakens again, with its good, and its evil.
Ding, dong. The final bell tolled for the day, and students were flooding on out to go home. The school was of its own hustle and bustle in the past weeks, gently falling into a relaxed motion in the mild prospects of winter. It had been almost a month since the training sessions with Duncan, and many of the aberrant mages in the school had been their separate ways since then. Only every now and then did the group ever meet up for a casual event, bringing about a semblance of a 'normal high-school life'. The only noticeable marked difference was Percival's absence for the past few days, supposedly due to the flu. Only until that day, on that afternoon did the weirdness rear its ugly head again. Something strange happened, something that was sure to bring about a rampant suspicion, especially considering the circumstances. Unlike the rest of the students, that got to go home, every mage in the regular group went somewhere else.

Detention.

Which, oddly enough, was being hosted in Miller's classroom. The room itself was empty for the moment, barren of any student having to show up with their unexplained persecution, and of the pair of teachers assigned to watching them.
Last edited by Kokuten on Fri Dec 21, 2012 9:20 am, edited 4 times in total.

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Gwathdraug » Sat Nov 03, 2012 4:22 pm

“Winner's spoils.” Drawled out the uniformed Japanese boy in front of Riley as his trap reached completion and the young stage magician lost her last piece in the game of checkers that lay between the two.

Reaching into her bag Riley threw the highschooler one of her Breakfast Bear Breakfast Bars and stuck her tongue out at him and his mischievously devious shaven head of advanced strategy – though, even with that in his fair the day had ended up going something like fifty-fifty.

Sighing and leaning back against the railing that separated her from a free-fall all the way down to the ground – which, if it happened, would mark her second time flying off this very roof – Riley watched once again as her opponent inspected the odd bear and English writing on his spoils with a squint before peeling back the wrapper and reducing the bar down to size with slow, measured bites.

The stage magician had honestly assumed that infiltrating the school Percy went to for the day would have been genuinely interesting. The first part of the operation had been a bit interesting wondering around and mingling, testing out her newly learned Japanese and taking the occasional glimpse at an open textbook and parsing through a paragraph or two.

Then classes had started in earnest and there was suddenly absolutely nothing to do but wonder around and avoid over zealous teacher's in track suits that seemed to view hallways as a potential prey-filled hunting ground instead of a convenient way to get about.

Then she'd gotten caught.

Then a whole can of fear had opened and lead to blustering, blundering, and some points almost bludgeoning her way out of trouble with one of the school's self-proclaimed “stone-dog guardians”. He'd made comments about her height, questioned her age and if she even was a highschooler, and all-in-all had been far to close for comfort for Riley on every point he had articulated with a wave of his yard stick.

“Another game?” Riley's fellow roof-camper asked as he crumpled up the bear-bar wrapper and threw it over his shoulder and off the side of the building. “Keep losing and I won't even need to go home for dinner.”

Riley rolled her shoulders and went from sitting with her arms resting on her knees to standing up and stretching with a quick, fluid motion that made it appear as if she hadn't even moved at all but switched from one position to the next on sheer will alone.

With the faint sound of approaching footsteps from behind the door into the school the stage magician grabbed her bag and slipped it on at the same time as she pulled her cloak out from within the container and slipped it on.

“Can't.” Riley said as she grinned and put one hand atop the railing's bar. “Got to go show up for detention.”

“Huh. What you get caught for?” The boy asked slightly less interested this time as he stood up and brushed himself off.

Riley just shook her head and smiled an even bigger grin. “Wearing the wrong uniform of course.” Then, with the footsteps getting louder, the stage magician jumped into the air, swiveling around the railing with her hands until she was on the outer side of the building. Letting go of the railing the young girl made the short fall to the lip of the roof itself and hissed a bit as she rough surface ripped against her hands grip upon it.

Stretching her neck to see into the hall window below her, Riley sighed in relief to find it empty before she swung herself back and forth about the overhanging ledge and then let go again. Flying forward Riley's cloak clutched itself tighter to her as her body as the girl made the switch between the immaterial and the material and then passed through the thick glass of the window with ease.

Landing roughly the little stage magician had just finished getting up as the steps in front of her clamorously announced the imminent arrival of a stampeding teacher. The forty-something Japanese man's face was red and his thin mustache seemed to twitch in sync with the growing wrinkles of rage that covered his brow.

“You. You were on the roof.” The teacher's hands clenched and unclenched uselessly as they searched for their precious yard stick – yet, it was nowhere to be found and considering the speed at which he had come tearing down the stairs it now resided forgotten on the very roof the man had just mentioned.

“You already knew that. Ah- sir.” Riley responded slightly uncertainly as she realized her actions might have not been the best of ideas.

The man growled and took a few steps forward as his eyes narrowed. “Didn't I tell you this morning! You will not walk about this hallowed institution in some bed sheet! And what happened about you returning to class?”

Riley only shrugged as she took off her cloak begrudgingly with slow and exaggerated movements and put it back into her bag.

The man's eyes widened even more and the glasses on his face shifted about with the twitching fit the bout of rage he had descended into inflicted upon him. “You. You. Are. Ar- still wearing THAT!”

Riley looked down and gulped slightly and looked down at the problem that had gotten her caught in the first place; she was wearing a replica of Percy's uniform for the school. Or more specifically a replica of the male version of Nishi-Ku's uniform.

“Ah, yes.” Riley tried to disarm the man's rage with as innocent of an impish look as she could. “Would you believe that you just can't beat the comfort of pants?”

The teacher only gurgled at first, but then after a moment unleashed his full fury. “OUT OF MY SIGHT NOW! DETENTION! DETENTION! DETENTION!”

Riley sensibly fled in the direction of Miller's classroom.

Luca
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Luca » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:18 pm

If Mr. Miller wasn't marking assignments or teaching children about Of Mice and Men and other great classic books, he was training with Aurus and Michael in combat and war through the magical landscape, ever shifting to give the teacher a challenge and to give him tests of agility.
If he wasn't training with Aurus and Michael, he was training with Adrienne with wooden swords and basic magic theory. Mr. Miller didn't seem to have an aptitude to cast spells, as he was already receiving magical assistance - but a new Miracle was teased out of him, the Light Ripple.

And if that wasn't available, he was meditating on what he'd learned. A rapport had come up between him and the team's God of War and Fire, since the God regarded most mortals as frail and weak, it'd risen to a level of acceptability for the teacher's tenacity and bravery. Michael, although unable to directly communicate whilst outside of the Elementalia Magicus, was pleased with his host's learning, and lending his subtle skills to him in the heat of battle had become easier. A stance corrected mid-step, a swing checked and the strength and will to fight.

"Ah, Miller Sensei, you have detention duty this evening." One of the faculty teachers relayed to him, "Ikkiki Sensei had to leave early, family matters."
The scotsman nodded as he looked up from his desk, "No worries then. I'll mark these test papers there while I supervise the students."

He headed towards the detention room with his assignments to mark tucked under and entered to find Riley there. He gave the mageling a nod of quiet greeting before sitting down with his test papers, and to inspect the detention slips. Reading over the slips one by one, it became apparent that each and every one of the magelings was on detention and Mr. Miller was the first teacher there on duty. This all seemed like a fearful symmetry of coincidences - everyone on detention knew about and used magic in some way, shape or form - even the Teacher. He then realised something, having overlooked it due to his familiarity:

"Hold on, you don't even attend this school!" He pointed out to Riley, "How did you get mixed up here?" He looked at her detention slip, and the name for it simply read: 'Unidentified Female Student'. The reason for her being there was due to her dress sense. He looked up at Riley with a raised eyebrow, "Where'd you get that uniform?"

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Gwathdraug » Sat Nov 03, 2012 9:57 pm

“Hrmm.” Riley responded to Miller before slamming her left fist into her right hand's palm decisively. “A series of completely official covert channels is where it came from – with no doubt about that either. How I got here? Who knows?” The girl shrugged a bit too casually at that – as a certain faculty member was certainly explaining to someone rather aggravatedly just exactly how she had ended up in detention.

Riley scooted out of her chair and sat on top of the desk she had been waiting out. Reaching into her bag the girl removed a plethora of pens and began to juggle them. After a short period she reached down again and deftly added a series of chalk stick boxes into the maneuver.

“Oh. Before I forget, I raided your desk while the room was empty.” Riley nodded her head towards the grand procession of wheeling school supplies juggling through her hands. “The drawers are filled up with muffins now.”

“The individually wrapped kind of course.” Riley paused as she concentrated on her stabalizing all the objects flying around her before giving Miller a quick, closed-eyes grin.

Luca
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Luca » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:06 pm

"Wait, muffins?" The teacher replied before opening the top left drawer. Indeed, there were muffins. Individually wrapped. The colour drained from his face as he realised that the order in which everything was arranged - the pencils, the pens, the stapler, chalk, whiteboard markers and erasers for both types of boards were hiding in Riley's desk in a likely disorganised mess, now replaced with confection. "That was all in order before you came along!" He sounded positively flabbergasted and his expression seemed to be that of equal surprise and confusion.

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Straken
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Straken » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:22 pm

Ruarc walked contentedly through the empty school halls on his way back to Miller’s classroom for detention, wondering in the back of his mind about why he didn’t just stay in the room after the bell rang. That and the fact that he was in detention did not deter the fact that he was in exceptionally high spirits for a few different reasons. Just thinking about one such instance made the lad blush ever so slightly, which he wasn’t used to, but it was still pleasant given that even amidst the good thoughts a few dark ones still plagued his mind; namely, the material that he had read in the tome given to him by Percy. The End was aptly named, and upon finishing the contents Ruarc understood why the book had never come to light in the general community, for even now he was on edge and worried that he would be tried by the Druid Council as a heretical druid and punished accordingly. Though, even worse than that thought, was the fact that he had blatantly lied to Percy about the contents of the book, and when he began to piece together the puzzle that Percy was a piece of the older Druid couldn’t help but shiver.

As he arrived at the room he slid the door open to find Miller and Riley already in the room. Miller was to be expected, but Riley was a different story. “Interesting start to the sentence Ah see,” Ruarc said casually as he walked inside and slid the door shut behind him. “Mind if Ah crack a window real quick?”

With that the druid walked over to the window and slid it open. After a few moment of being open something flew in and glided in a quick circle before landing on Ruarc’s shoulder. ”Yeah yeah, sorry ya had ta wait outside when it is getting’ colder, but I am sure ya don’ wanta sit in my shoe locker all day instead,” Ruarc said as he placated the dove who had now pressed herself close to Ruarc’s neck for warmth.

With his familiar now inside, Ruarc slid the window closed and sat down in his own seat.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Sat Nov 03, 2012 10:53 pm

Emilia was in a dour mood. She had done what mom asked: "Go to school like a good girl. Don't cause any trouble or upset anyone. Try to make friends and go to all your classes- and don't sleep!" That last one was silly because mom knew Emilia was like her and didn't really need sleep. At least, she thought it was silly until she realized that some of the classes really made her want to sleep. Like English and Japanese. Emilia could technically speak all languages in perfect fluency, an inherent magic that flowed within her: whenever she spoke, people always heard it in their native tongue. Writing, on the other hand, scared the crap out of Lady Death's daughter: she had never seen Japanese characters before today. She just did her best to copy the symbols of the girl to her right. Thankfully she had the natural grace of her mother and the characters looked appropriately terrible for a girl of thirteen.

The worst- Absolute Worst- though, was how harsh they were! The bell had rang a mere minute ago, and she had just opened the door to one of her classes after several minutes of searching when a very angry mustached teacher came striding up to her grumbling about, "Crossdressing," a term with which Emilia was entirely unfamiliar. Seeing her outside class, he immediately ordered her, "DETENTION," another word which carried zero meaning to Death's child. When she asked what that was, he just shouted something about the, "Horrible students these days!" and told her to be in Mr. Miller's classroom after her last class.

Obviously the teachers knew school sucks or they wouldn't punish their students with another class! The walk to detention class nearly made Emilia cry and she imagined the scene that would unfold when she told her mother she had been disciplined on her first school day and had to go to detention class. In this hypothetical scenario, little Venezia could only imagine her mother upset, and adding more consequences to the list. It was enough to ruin an Immortal girl's self-esteem.

But whatever! Even if she was being punished, she wasn't going to make it worse by being late to detention, no sirree! She found it quickly enough, as Mr. Miller was her English teacher. He had seemed nice, but a little weird, and totally not Japanese. Which, she guessed, made sense since he taught English. As she entered the room and opened her mouth to introduce herself, Emilia paused, befuddled.

"Is this... Detention class?" She could pry her eyes off the caped girl in boy's clothes juggling classroom stationery.

Luca
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Luca » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:35 pm

"Ruarc, you know the rules when the bird's indoors." He told the Druid, and the rules for having the bird indoors were simple - make sure there's newspaper where it stands. He didn't know all that much about Druidic Familiars, so Mr. Miller regarded a talking bird as though it was a bird: A birdy bird.

"Ah, Ms. Venezia." He said, trying to keep a straight face in spite of Riley's juggling antics, "Yes it is. Please take a seat, and I'll brief you all once the other students arrived." He ticked Ms. Venezia's name off of the slip that he'd gotten earlier that day. For all intents and purposes, she was a good student who transferred in today and had a good grip on English. It was a shame that her first day had ended in detention for being late to her next class. He took a look at the teacher who ordered the detention and sighed. It was him. The faculty gave him the nickname of 'Smiley' thanks to his consistently annoyed facial expression with regards to anything relating to students.

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Mr. Blackbird Lore
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Mr. Blackbird Lore » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:44 pm

Emilia silently made her way to a desk halfway down the middle row, set her purple horse-riddled backpack beside and and settled in. It was only as she approached her desk that she realized the boy was also peculiar: he had a bird. Emilia was almost one-hundred percent certain pets of any sort were not allowed in school- the same for juggling. So she began to wonder just what detention really was. Is the teacher in on it? Are they some sort of rebel group? Maybe. Whatever the case,

She raised her hand and meekly asked, "Sir, are you sure this is it? I thought detention class was a punishment."

Luca
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Re: [Episode Four] The Worth of a Soul

Post by Luca » Sat Nov 03, 2012 11:47 pm

"It is supposed to be, but Riley here thinks that its acceptable to enjoy oneself rather than think about what you've done." Mr. Miller then got up from behind his desk and walked to Riley's desk, clearing his throat and putting his hands on his hips in front of the juggling girl; Mr. Miller was putting his stern face on. "Riley, on the count of three, I want you to put those down, neatly. One... Two... Three."

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