[Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Archives of Occultus Magica's beginnings, ten years prior to the current story.
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Kokuten
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[Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kokuten » Sat Dec 22, 2012 7:28 pm

On the platform, it never rained or became too uncomfortable, it always clear and safe from the weather. It was supposed to be a haven for mages, in case things got out of hand on the ground. The guardians could defend you, protect you from some experiment gone bad or a construct run amok. I always felt comfort in rest on the edge of the platform, despite the height, talking with the Puddle Child and Day Child in the waxing hours. The sisters loved to put aside things just to chat.
The rain poured from the sky gently still, giving the limestone platform a strange sense of tranquility despite the chaotic entry, and the sudden change. Water pooled in the carved edges and rolled off the sides in a languid display. There was a sense of calm and peace here, but at the same time, a creeping sense of exposure. One was not exposed to the elements, but to the world in a larger way, as if there were no defense. The sensation was much like being out in the rain, but in the middle of a street, that feeling of peace with the occasional glance over the shoulder for a car.

In the distance, mountains crested all around them. As if a border to the very realm itself, they cut and cragged a circle around the immense land below them. Valleys, lakes, rivers, forests, plains, and even a few small towns dotted over the landscape. Yet, one feature, particularly of the towns seemed show of a unique interest. Each small city, which could be seen, was near a major type of land mark. One city was by and carved into a mountain with a smoke crest. Another was built on and around the largest lake in the land. A third was nestled inside the thick forest, homes dotting inside glades. The fourth was much like the first, except it was mounted on the roof of a plateau on the opposite side of the countryside. The fifth was situated towards the center, seemingly acting as a crossroads to all.

Yet the world was cold, chilling, and... Crumbling. On the edge of the mountains, there could be seen a small section that was seemingly withering into the sky. Bits and pieces of land, trees, and water carried themselves into a hole in the clouds, a hole that yielded no light, but darkness instead. On any other day, in any other age, this place would be a paradise.

Now, it seemed like the glory had withered and separated itself and had given up.

In those moments of observation, the smell of burning wood took to the breeze. The crackling sound of war and destruction lofted took to the air. In their hearts, they could feel the sensation of staring upon ruin choking up into their chest. Miller knew this sensation, he knew the signs.

A portal of red-lines and fire tore open at the edge of the limestone platform.
The Blood Child.
They recognized him, stepping forth from the portal, Aurus, the God of Fire and War. He was not the small, adorable fighter they had come to know. Aurus was in full form, a staggering twelve feet tall, with dark plates segmented by magma orange lines. The skulls of ancient, and terrible beasts rested on his shoulders, their mouths releasing smoke and ash defiantly into the air.
The Son of Hannibal. Hannibal, the man who defied Rome and the first known organized Occultus Magicus. He was a non-mag that fought toe to toe with arch-mages, and won.
The holes that were made to see from were alight with an orange glow, and the occasional flame licking the corners. When the rain came onto his shoulders and head, it steamed back up into the heavens.
Who better to police the Magi than his son?
"Modeka was successful."

Unlike the time they had seen this terrible form in person back in their realm, Aurus' voice had a terrifying resonance in their chests. Every syllable played their hearts like a drum, threatening to off-set pace of their beats.

"You whelps seem to be all that can salvage our font now."

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Straken » Wed Dec 26, 2012 7:55 pm

Ruarc held Raiko’s hand as he comforted his girlfriend, still a bit surprised by the sudden vulnerability of the usually in control shrine maiden. While he enjoyed the feeling of being needed by his special someone, he did not forget the reason for the group’s arrival to this new realm; there was someone else in need as well.

The smell of char ushered in the next stage of this rescue mission as Aurus made his appearance. Ruarc recognized the war god’s large form from the very first fight where Ruarc had fought alongside Percy, and the druid had accidentally caught the mini god in a fiery spell. Now with the large figure standing casually in front of him, the atmosphere was less threatening but still quite imposing as even the tall Irishman was dwarfed in the spirit’s presence.

“Yes, Aurus,” Ruarc responded to Aurus as he worked through his intimidation. “We will do everything we can to bring Percy back.”

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by CadetNewb » Wed Dec 26, 2012 9:12 pm

"Aurus!" Coco shouted with her new voice.

The girl promptly took several steps forward, closer towards the fiery god, "What can we d - " Perhaps, to some, the sound of a little girl running too quickly and losing her balance was a familiar one. To those that it was not familiar to, it sounded very much like the sound of anyone else running too quickly and falling face first into the hard, cold and wet ground. Of course, there were a few slight differences in Coco's case; first, was the sniffling. And then the blubbering that followed. "Uggyuuu..." she mumbled, rising with a tear streaked face. "That hurt?!" her voice cried, indignant and full of confused pain. She had never hurt like this before. Not since...then. And she felt horribly off balance, like she was walking on stilts!

And she also felt, just a little bit, front heavy too. But that was another matter.

"A-Aurus," she started again, drawing herself up so she was on her knees. Rubbing her tearful eyes, she looked up to the towering figure . "What's happened to P-Percy, and what can we do?"

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kai » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:03 am

"So, Do you know where he is?" asked Miyuki, inquisitively. "The faster we can get to him, the faster we can fix things, I think." She seemed to be adapting to the new setting quickly, after the initial shock and awe wore off, and now she seemed more properly alert and aware again, like she was ready for anything. She did feel a bit different than before- with all this magic in the air, so thick it had condensed into droplets. And then Coco slipped. and then Miyuki did a double-take. She had just noticed the change that had come over that small girl, and how much taller and older she looked. Miyuki looked over herself; Nothing was different except her clothes, at least outwardly. But inside, it felt different. She also noted, that despite the dreariness of the day, she felt unusually warm.

Raiko clung to Ruarc, but she seemed to be starting to calm down again. "It's so weird..." she mumbled, "Being apart like this... I didn't realize it could go to this extent, but..." she was whispering to Ruarc now, "I've never been separated like this before." What exactly she was referring to, Ruarc couldn't be sure, but at least her voice seemed to be gaining back some of its potency as she spoke more. In any case, there was certainly a major change in the girl; her confidence was all but gone, and it almost seemed like much of her personality had gone missing, as well, leaving this vulnerable young woman for Ruarc to deal with in a dangerous place.

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Luca » Sat Dec 29, 2012 1:54 am

"Just send us upon on our duties to protect Master Caxton; Aurus, God of War and Fire." Michael and Miller's voices intertwined as the armoured knight observed the unfamiliar landscape. The other children would've found the effect uncanny as they had never heard Michael's voice before. He was familiar with the Elementalia Magicus' customs, laws of physics and what could be done upon it - but this portion of the landscape was unfamiliar to him. It was alien to him, but his resolve was untarnished - he had dealt with many of its denizens in training before, including trading blows with some of its most powerful. "We shall protect the children."

He turned around, and the plates and mail of his armour jangled as he did so. In this world it was a solid bastion, as Miller's experience in the Elementalia Magicus made it so - but he was concerned about the Children - they were floundering and he could see it. He watched Coco fall over and a gasp escaped from beneath his helmet. Miller knelt down to lift her back up on her feet. "Child, my host was cut in half by Aurus the first time he entered the Elementalia Magicus." Michael's voice was speaking underneath the helmet, Miller's mouth was still. "And yet." The voice was now Miller's. "I came back for more. C'mon, up you get Ms. Leetenbaum." He eventually stood up with Coco, his armoured hand lifting her up gently by the hand - he knew the children would have to take some getting used to with the change of scenery. "We can all do it, step by step." Because this world does not suffer weakness. Said Michael in the back of Miller's mind.

It was hard to see beneath the helmet, but Miller frowned at himself.

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by CadetNewb » Mon Dec 31, 2012 4:33 pm

Bumbling, fumbling, Coco took the first hand offered to her.

And she blanched as the teacher spoke in not one voice, but two. "W-wha-wha-what's going on here?!" she cried in horror, leaping back onto a single foot, arms held high to in preparation for defenstration. "M-mister Miller's turned into a split personality person!"

She promptly fell on her tush with an "Oof!"

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kokuten » Tue Jan 01, 2013 12:51 am

Sakura was startled by the appearance of Aurus, she hadn't seen such a thing before and had only read about such things in books although she never thought they were real... even though she had initially read that magic was nothing but myths and legends and yet she could use it, so perhaps she should've realized that such a thing was possible.

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kokuten » Fri Jan 04, 2013 10:25 am

"You're in our world now," answered Aurus to Coco, the towering behemoth turning his head off towards the distance mountains, crumbling into the sky. The fires licking the edges of his helmet seemed to build a little bit of intensity in the rain. There was a certain shaking in his arm, with little lines of orange splitting and veining up the side of his arm. Like an infection they spread up the length of his gauntlet to his shoulder. "I've no idea where the pup is, nor do I nor any of the Gods have any ability to descend on the land below. He had been set on a task, and judging by the state of this world, he failed miserably."

A small tuft of flame hrumphed out of Aurus' mouthpiece. "The connection has been broken. The Elementalia Magicus will do nothing but crumble now, it is inevitable." The large helmet turned in towards the group, looking them up and down. "This state of affairs means that Percival is dead, yet... the slow collapse of this world leads me to believe otherwise..."

Crunch, shalck! The sound of metal shaving off metal tore apart the peaceful noise of rain. The arm that had been building in orange, veining lines, had sundered from the behemoth's armor, and crunched to the ground lifelessly. Aurus rose his forearm, what was left of it, to stare at the liquid lava, syruping from what looked like a nasty wound.

"We are all decaying, it seems."

The arm, which appeared to be devoid of flesh underneath, began to break apart, particles rising into the sky like clumped smoke. "Whatever has happened, you must find Percival's soul, and retrieve it. If he is a live, then restoring his soul, restores the land. If he is dead, then finding his soul is imperative, lest too much time out of the body cause soul to disperse and poise a violent mana reaction. If you want to find him, you need to find a piece of him."

More orange veins began to rise over Aurus' form, rising from his legs. He did not, pay much mind to it; he did, however, speak more quickly, "To do this, you must travel to the Centrifuge, the place wear Percival's mind and soul connects to this world. His soul may be gone, but aspects of his mind should still be present within the Centrifuge."

Part of Aurus's leg crumbled off, and began to tumble into the sky. "As I'm sure you're all as foolish as you are weak, we won't be sending you alone."
Interesting. That's all I could say he was.
The water and hair off to the edge of the platform warped, as a small man, a miniature stepped forth from nothing. Cloaked in shadow, the teeth of his smile glittering with guile, and a pair of dagger lingering his small form, he was like a tiny assassin, emerging to surprise his kill. In fact, that was the sensation felt of the expression, of the way he held himself. Unlike Aurus, who seemed to take full-form, this one was in miniature form, and despite the size difference, there was unnatural aura to him. The shadows bent the wrong way when he crossed over them, and cross them he did, as he stepped over to the children.
The Shade Child, the son of Loki, the norse god of trickery and shadows. At times there were mages who sought too much power over the others, going so far as to hide away in places with a thousand turns and traps to spring their crimes from. Yet, they could never hide from the Guardian's assassin.
"Assuming the small form to save weakness, Decanus?" queried Aurus. Decanus simply turned his head, and smirked at the large warrior, in a strange, knowing fashion, before turning his attention to the others, and bowing with a little flourish.
Our meetings were brief, save for the times he had been summoned to the world, but every time I looked into the Shade Child's grin, I felt the blood curdle in my veins . The other guardians ignored him, save for one. If he was ever spoken to, it was done in a snide way. What shocked me the most, was that the Puddle Child gave him the worst, and yet, the Shade acted with indifference, as if he understood. Once, I gained the courage to ask him why they treated him like an outcast, and all he did was smile, with turn of the lip that spoke of his guile, but...

... It always looked so sad.
When he came back up, he had Coco's childish face, of her lesser age, with several breakfast bear breakfast bars stuffed in his mouth. He jumped, and landed in a wide stance, as if completely shocked, and began to mockingly stuff his face with the treats lodged in his mouth.

"If you can excuse the fool's need to sufficiently fuel his own amusement, he will guide you to the Centrifuge, and from their you can use the Aspect to find Percival's last location." completed Aurus, as his flames seemed to surge in annoyance of Decanus' antics.

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by CadetNewb » Sun Jan 06, 2013 8:45 pm

Percy was dying. Or worse, already dead!

This realization at Aurus' explanation raced through her mind has he spoke - the not-quite-so-little-anymore girl's mind raced at the possibilities. It was all so bad, that Aurus was even falling apart in his full form, so she knew she had to think of something, and fast! What could they do to stop this? Could she get her older brother and sister here to help in time? Or was it all entirely up to them? It looked like the latter instead of the former, but, even then, finding a piece of Percy's mind? But how would they - at the Centerfuge? But what the heck was that?! And, and - !!!!!

Coco's cheeks puffed slightly as her arch-nemesis appeared. "Meanie head," she spoke flatly.

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kai » Mon Jan 07, 2013 2:05 pm

"So, you guys don't even know where he is. Great." Miyuki muttered, shaking her head in disappointment. "Well, We've got our work cut out for us. Okay little man, take us where we need to go" she demanded of the small Decanus. She crouched down and stared into his face, quite a serious, unamused expression on her own. "Quit clowning around, and get down to business. If he goes, you go too." She then flicked Decanus in the face before grabbing his small form and sticking him on her shoulder. "Point and we'll go, Munchkin."

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