[Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

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

Post by Gwathdraug » Thu Jul 11, 2013 12:18 pm

Riley was rather surprised – and disturbed – by Tulan's actions to her criticism. It was... was it a break down? And what was that about alchemists not being fighters? That just seemed silly. Percy fought with the group all the time.

“You just need confidence. Then everything'd be alright!” Riley stated simply.

Musing on how to help the Guardian buff herself up for the trials ahead the little stage magician slammed a hand in palm as she took a look at Ruarc.

“How about this: explode our Druid a little bit and I'm sure that'll get yah feeling ready to boot whatever the problem here is and help get Percy back! And don't worry, he's durable – might even have a warranty!” Nodding to herself Riley looked between Ruarc and Tulan with an expectant gleam in her eyes.

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kai » Thu Oct 17, 2013 12:42 pm

After having stood back the entire altercation (And blanched a bit at Tulan's mistaking Coco for herself), Miyuki finally saw fit to step in and say something. She placed a hand on Riley's shoulder, to calm her rather... Unique... tendencies, she first told the girl "Calm down a little, alright?" before addressing the Guardian.

"Actually, I'm Kagami Miyuki" the Japanese girl corrected, first, before going on. "How about, instead of worrying whether or not you're strong enough, you just rely on our strength? We'll do the leg work, you just tell us where to go and what we need to do, to save Percy. Hopefully we can find Raiko, too, since she's on of our friends as well." Miyuki stopped in front of Tulan, and bowed for a moment, in respect of the Guardian, before straightening back up.
"Ruarc, Riley, Coco, and I would be more than happy to help you, right, guys?" She turned back to the others with her, hoping they'd agree and get Tulan to do something more constructive.

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by CadetNewb » Thu Oct 17, 2013 9:34 pm

Coco's intense, eager stare bored into Tulan like a drill before completely unraveling into surprise.

Quickly picking up the beat the others started though, she chimed in, "That's right!", the white poofballs of her dress bouncing as she excitedly hopped to the balls of her feet. "I'm sure there's plenty you can do!" Straightening her back and wagging a finger in the air, Coco went on in the best stately manner she could muster. "Ducan always said that so long as a person's mind was kept straight, they could do tons! Knowledge was power and stuff!" Despite the wounds she suffered earlier, the Magical Zombie Girl was already up and about, bounding to Tulan' side and giving her a quick, reassuring hug before looking at her again. "There's got to be something you can do to help right? Even if you can't give us Superpotions to make us into Supermages and stuff, at least you know how we can help Percy!" Coco excitedly remarked. She paused for a moment and looked at Tulan with the slightest of hesitation.

"...right?"

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kokuten » Fri Oct 18, 2013 9:53 am

With great encouragment, Tulan seemed to wearily choke her pitiful sobs, and reel in her self-doubt. She stared up at the four confiding into her, and began to carefully look into each of their eyes. Pensively, she stroked her blonde hair, occasionally guiding it to her lips, as if it were some sort of nervous reaction. Then, she spit her hair out, catching a bit of the dirt that was soiling the ends of her curls onto her tongue. This seemed to discourage her a little bit, before she stood again, and looked to Ruarc, the closest one to her. She stared to see if he was judging her, but Ruarc was indeed not one to judge. She looked at the others, the girls with their various expressions of confidence and curiosity. After a moment of shuffling again, she grabbed the Druid next to her, and began to help herself to her feet.

"Youb--" she sniffed, and cleared her throat, trying to speak clearly. She took a moment to clean her glasses. "I'm sure... I..."

Once again she tried to reconcile herself and her behavior.

"I'm sure you all know, that nothing in this place is real," she said, speaking clearly, and wiping her eyes red. "You all can feel it, can't you? The Mana permeates everything. Your bodies are just manifestations of thought, your own desire to appear as you are, reflections of your soul."

She pointed at Ruarc, "You could be a girl."

Then she pointed a Miyuki, "You could be a boy."

Her finger pointed at Riley, "You could be old."

And then she pointed at Coco, "You could be young. Er, younger."

Tulan's fingers gripped at a bit of dust on the table next to her, "Even this filth is not real, it is a conjuring, a reflection of color that your mind immediately sees and tries to rationalize."

The Alchemist began to toddle around the dust slow falling out of her hand, before fading into the air unnaturally. "This world is held together and made by Percival." She halted to a wall, and began to rub her hand against it. "With a few enchanting inscriptions to solidify the reality." After the marking was nothing more than a smear, she began to make her way across the room again, avoiding a few tables with alembics and books scattered on them. She smeared off another ornate marking. "We are inside his mind which defines everything which we first see, but in all honesty, everything is up to your own perception."

With that, the world around them began to change, dissolve and break. Like rain, the ground behind them receded and broke without tremor, and the ceiling and dirt began to break away. The valley around them began to fall apart, and soon all that was left of the verdant green would be a platform much like the one they had entered upon. Below them was a black abyss, and above them was something tumultuous.

It was a centrifuge. At the center was a enormous concentration of pure mana. Rotating around it, in cupping limestone containers were what looked like concentrations of life energy. The mages, the studious ones, could more easily recognize them as souls. Another, larger cupping structure rested above the whole thing, but possessed no energy within it. The large structure hovered above them ominously, by bathed them in a rosy light. Yet, there was nothing to deny the raw power they could feel from it. In ftont of them was likely the most concentrated and a deepest pool of mana and strength they had ever seen. The added sensation of strength almost made it feel like an saccharine apple to be plucked from a forbidden tree.

"This is the Elementalia Magicus, it is the center, and the only real thing among us," answered Tulan, her clothes cleaned of dirt, as were the rest of the group's. "This normally houses Percy's soul, retains his mind, and contains his mana. I show you this because if you look at the main holding pyre, the soul is missing. That happens when Percival comes here. The spinning pyres keep his mind from breaking apart and seeking for his soul."

She pointed back at them, "Individual parts of mind are like animals, driven by their own instinct. The soul binds them all together with an identity. In short, they seek a soul that's familiar to them. If we could just pull one aspect from the centrifuge, we could use it to chase down Percival. But... I am unsure how to lure any of them down."

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Straken
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Straken » Fri Oct 18, 2013 7:22 pm

Despite how he should have been used to such behavior by now, Ruarc closed his eyes and gave a slight chuckle at Riley’s suggestion. Though, all of the encouragement seemed to have worked, and Ruarc felt relieved when Tulan appeared to cheer up. With a kind smile he helped the alchemist to her feet again, and lent a curious ear to Tulan’s explanation of the world they were in. His expression quickly shifted to awe as everything began to shift around him, and his eyes almost sparkled when the group was shown the Elementia Magicus.

Needless to say, Ruarc hung on Tulan’s every word as he wanted to hear all about the place, but he also began to wander about a little as he scanned the surroundings with both his normal vision and his special sight. The sheer scope of what he was seeing almost overwhelmed the country boy, and he once again realized how sheltered he was in such a vast world.

When Tulan finally posed her question, Ruarc thought about what a solution could be. “So, we need to lure a part of Percy’s mind down here?” Ruarc said as he was thinking out loud while looking up above. “Would said parts be lured down by something they liked?”
Upon finishing his thought, Ruarc glanced over towards Miyuki.

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Gwathdraug » Sat Oct 19, 2013 7:11 am

“They're like cats!” Riley shouted as she smacked the bottom of her left fist into the palm of her right hand. The girl was completely unhindered by Tulan's revelation that nothing was what it had seemed to be or by the fact that what was essentially a herd of her friend's fragmented psyche floated above the group. “A whole bunch of Percy-cats!”

The little Stage Magician nodded enthusiastically at Ruarc's comment. “We just got ta' figure out the easiest way to catch and then – BAM! A lil' bit of milk, a lil' bit of anchovies and you got one full Watson.”

Riley stopped speaking for a second and nodded confidently to herself – reinforcing her own deductions.

“Oh!” The young Alstad girl took a few steps forward, peered over the edge of the platform and then spun back towards the rest of the group. “One of us could also just jump! A Percy would come down to catch yah sure as sure.”

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Kokuten
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kokuten » Sat Oct 19, 2013 10:05 am

"Well, that might work," Tulan brought her hand to her chin, as she scanned the group. "Even if the soul is not their own, they might be drawn by things they recognize in other souls. I've had this theory before, but at best, I am a construct, so I've got nothing in this planar positioning to use."
“Oh!” The young Alstad girl took a few steps forward, peered over the edge of the platform and then spun back towards the rest of the group. “One of us could also just jump! A Percy would come down to catch yah sure as sure.”
"Buh-what!?" the Alchemist began to twitch, "but, what if that doesn't work! Even I don't know what's at the bottom of the abyss!"

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Kai
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Kai » Sat Oct 19, 2013 11:28 am

"It can work easy. All we gotta figure out is how to get back up in case it doesn't work. you know? like, a rope, or if one of us could fly, or something. I could probably make a ladder out of ice or maybe a chose or something if I tried really hard, Coco has her ribbons. And something tells me that in a world like this Riley's magic might have more uses than even she realizes." as Miyuki explained this, she finally fell on Ruarc, and stopped, opening her mouth as if she had an idea but stopping again.

"Ehh, sorry, Ruarc, I got nothing for you. you deal with existing things, and there's not too much 'existing' around here."

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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by CadetNewb » Sun Oct 20, 2013 4:22 pm

And then she pointed at Coco, "You could be young. Er, younger."
Whether or not she intended it, Tulan had hit on something that stopped Coco's enthusiastic encouragement cold. If anyone were watching her, the young 'teenager' stand there, it would have looked as though she were freezing over. Not like a hard, icy cruelty or anger of course - that wasn't Coco after all. Instead, it was the frosty sting of a long, slow pain. The kind that slowly crept from the wound like growing crystals of sharp, jagged ice. But, then the look on her face was gone as quickly as it came. "W-well, I don't think I'd do just that!" she nervously replied, a hand at the back of her head, legs crossed in anxiety as she stood there. "I get enough of that as it is," the cute Lich muttered to herself.

Watching The Centrifuge reveal itself, Coco took in what Tulan had to say, and listening to what the others added, was soon her old self! "So if they're all so curious, we just need to show ourselves to these parts of him, right?" Coco asked. "We don't need fancy ice bridges or rope tethers to bring us up - Riley!" she called, turning her attention to the stagecraft magician, "Can't you just make our voices really loud, and have like, a Wizard of Oz floating head of us as we all start talking to his parts?"

"OH! And all voice echoy and stuff too!" the Mahou Zombie Shoujo quickly added!

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Gwathdraug
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Re: [Episode 4.1] The Mantle of Responsibility

Post by Gwathdraug » Tue Oct 22, 2013 2:13 pm

“I could.” Riley replied quickly. “But, uh, I don't do floating heads.” The Stage Magician looked from side-to-side, seemingly peering off into the abyss, before taking a few step forward and holding her left hand up to shield her mouth.

“That'd be creepy.”

Rocking back on her heels and placing both her hands laced together behind her back Riley smiled brightly at the group. The young girl stood there, drumming her thumbs quietly against the back of her neck, seemingly doing nothing.

Then a giant transparent hand thwumped loudly against the edge of the platform behind her. Rising up from the abyss around the platform was a colossal copy of the Stage Magician. Decked out with a Holmesian detective hat and pipe the copy shared the same grin that decorated its creator's face.

“A full body is snazzier anyway.” Riley's lips seemed to move silently as she spoke as her illusionary doppelganger's own amplified voice overpowered her words. Riley returned to grinning as she finished speaking, but the clone let out a single laugh that rumbled no less due to its short nature.

In the abyss behind each member of the group – Tulan included – transparent giants formed and took up the positions of their owners. These illusions – unlike Riley's – were straight copies of the group as they currently were with the exception that each one sported a pristine white version of Percy's trademark Alchemists Beret.

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