Fanfiction: Septic

Okay, time for something a little different…

I am a fan of Jacksepticeye. His style and creative choices have made him one of my favorite Youtubers. Not only is he entertaining as all get out – he’s also got a certain knack for creating memorable characters and skits to go along with them.

Since I needed a fun little writing project to take a break from the long pieces I have on the go – I did this small fanfiction piece about Jack and his dark persona Anti. It’s just a fun little piece, but I hope you all like it! And if you are into fun “let’s play” videos and general gaming fun goodness – please check out JackSepticEye on YouTube.

 


 

How many hours had it been? Three? Four maybe. He rubbed his irritated eyes while he stared at the screen before him. He gave up on the cup of coffee that had gone cold quite a while ago. The bane of his existence, cold coffee and long nights.

One day he’d invest in one of those little individual mug warmers. Or at least that’s what he kept telling himself. He told himself a lot of things, and nine times out of ten, then never actually occurred. How many times did he plan on getting himself new trinkets over the years?

All work and no play, makes Jack a stressed boy.

Leaning back in his chair he grunted as he brushed his hands through his mop of brown hair and pulled the headphones off his ears. The cool air felt nice. He left the video up mid-editing and took the opportunity to stretch out and crack his back. It felt nice. He had been going over some various edits that needed going over, he and Robin had gone back and forth trying to get things sorted out for longer then he had hoped to spend on this. Finally though things were looking up. It wouldn’t be long now before he could send the uploads to Youtube and be able to finally invest his energy into something new. There was a least three new games that he was just itching to start playing.

Then there was a sound. A horrible spine chilling sound. It was a fiss-pop and the screen in front of him, and the lights in the room went black. “No!” he groaned loudly, quickly scrabbling around in the dark and grasping his mouse while toppling his mug to the floor. “Damnit!”

He grit his teeth and began wiggling his mouse rapidly. No use. It was a power-out. His edits would go unsaved and his work wasted, just like the cold coffee dripping from the edge of the table. He let out a loud groan of anguish as he pounded his fit on the table.

Three hours? Four? It didn’t matter now. His progress was lost and there was nothing he could do about it now. “Deep breaths, Jack.” He muttered to himself through grit teeth. “Lets hope it fucking auto-saved.”

A few seconds later and the lights came on, showcasing the mess he unintentionally made in his nice clean recording studio. He grabbed the cold tossed mug by his foot.

It would take a few moments for his equipment to start up so he grunted, shoved his chair back and headed to the far side of his office and slipped out of the room and into the small kitchen area. A few seconds later he returned with a warm damp cloth and a now warm replacement coffee, in the same mug of course. The bean juice would soothe his irritable nerves.

Something bothered him though while he quickly sopped up his desk and made sure nothing too important was sprinkled with caffeinated goodness. When he popped into the kitchen to grab the cloth he had made note of the time (it had actually been six hours since he started this mess… more then he expected. It was a shame he worked for himself and didn’t collect overtime..). The time, digitally glaring at him from the LCD of the microwave. A microwave that shouldn’t be showing the time if the power had flickered.

Unless it was just the recording room and office? That must be it.

He shook his head and sopped up the floor before peeping up over the edge of the desk. The monitor showed a static screen. His heart caught in his throat.

Maybe it wasn’t just a power-out. Maybe the fizz-pop was his precious equipment frying rather then just frustratingly restarting. The panic caught the hairs at the back of his neck to full attention. The time, the effort, the money! The pure frustrating hassle of trying to set up a whole new system.

He nearly spilled his second cup as he shot up from the floor, grabbed the arm on his trusty chair and sank into it with a worried huff. “Oh no you don’t! What’s going on with you!”

Tap tap tap, button push, hard restart… he tapped his fingers nervously as his computer once again shut off and restarted once more. The on button flickered it’s green light as it started to load, but his monitor screen this time stayed black. He could hear the computer revving up. He could hear the fan buzzing away. He tapped his finger on the black screen and turned on and off the power button in the lower right hand corner.

“Please be the monitor, please just be the monitor…”

Suddenly it flickered to life in a mass of green static and jarring images. Images of a face reflecting back at him with eyes as dark as the abyss itself. A voice that quaked with cold and playful dread.

“Hello Jackaboy… miss me?”

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New Story: Untitled – Chapter Twelve

When each of them had properly sobered up, it was decided that staying put would not be a safe option. Soon the Mages would likely be paying Kelle a visit once more looking for her help to find the stolen oracle. Not to mention should they find Krill alive and well it would make the situation even more sticky then it already was.

After a great number of suggestions it was agreed that they would travel south along the coast to the larger city of Kings Port, then take the merchant’s road past the capital of Crestfall and the Mage’s college itself. If they could manage to slip right under the college’s nose and head west they would be on point to get to the Mill District. From there they would head south again and eventually traverse to the great Blue Sky Temple.

All this literally meant they would be taking a giant, almost full circle path. If they decided to go north rather then south by the time they got to the Mill District, they would be headed back up to Tusk’s house rather then down towards the Blue Sky Temple. Needless to say this realization caused most of the argument to begin with.

The only redeeming feature to this somewhat stupid plan was the fact that once they slipped past the Mage College they should be able to team up and use some magickal skills to make the ride quicker and smoother for all parties involved.

Or at least that was the tentative plan.

Du’Mas and the Cook would stay, along with old Edgar (it was obvious the aged horse would have no chance of getting them that far anyway). Instead they geared up and the Vampire, Orc, and Krill piled into the lavish dark carriage that they stocked with plenty of necessary supplies. And also a fair bit of unnecessary one’s as well.

The carriage, which was surprisingly comfortable and deceivingly large inside, was pulled by six Marshland goats with long silken fur and intimidating looking horns. They stood only around four feet, but their bodies rippled with an immense amount of muscle.

Umm, won’t this be a little… well… obvious? We are supposed to sneak past them, right?” One of the goats snorted at her as if insulted.

Please… I am Mistress Kelle, Alchemist master and merchant of wonder and trade!” she flourished her hand in showmanship, and deftly hit a few small latches on the carriage side. Out unfurled a few beautifully embroidered silken signs all advertising the wonders of her brews and services offered. “Just how do you think I’ve gained my reputation? Even word of mouth takes time to build up… This is my commerce vehicle! This -is- incognito… especially since we will meet up with a few of my fellow tradesmen in King’s Port who owe me a few favours. We can travel with them in the merchant route towards the Mill District and no one would ever be the wiser!”

And who are we then? Your lackies?” Krill chuckled.

How about we go with poor unfortunate souls that have come along in an attempt to gain my help?” Kelle grinned wickedly. “Except for Tusky. He can be my personal servant…”

Oh please… this is going to be a long trip…” Krill let them settle inside as she climbed onto the drivers seat and took the reigns.

Since the sun was relatively high it seemed only right that she take the first shift in the driver seat. There had been no complaints about that arrangement. Kelle was still pained by long exposures to bright sunlight and it would have looked quite out of place for her to be driving her own cart. Normally she hired people for that.

As for Tusk, he had seemed worn down and quiet ever since the plans had been arranged. Krill had known the crusty old mage for long enough to know why. For him this journey was going far more full-circle then he expected. He was raised at the Blue Sky Temple. It was a place of his childhood. A place of memories, pain, and awkwardness.

While she was stubbornly trying to find some segments of her own past and place in the world – she was driving the old green Orc straight into a collision course with a past he wasn’t keen on revisiting himself.

It left a lump of guilt in the back of her throat – but they were already far too deep into this mess to simply stop now. She figured it would do them both some good to get some time to relax inside and perhaps catch a few hours of sleep if they could. Sleep was something Krill didn’t have to worry too much about.

Together they left the manor behind and headed out onto the road ahead.

New Story: Untitled – Chapter Eleven

Vesper sat in his plain office behind his plain desk. His elbows were propped on the edge of the desk and his long mahogany fingers pressed against each other as he mused over the current situation.

It was quiet. Mainly due to the fact that the binding spell which held a shaky Dean Marthis still to the chair across from him also kept the large mans mouth shut. They had been sitting in silence for a little while as the elf thought over the best way to approach this quickly growing mess. Finally he cleared his throat.

I must say, I can not help but be disappointed in you. Are we not colleagues? Do we not have professional understandings between us?” His tone, smooth as ever, remained the same. “I ask of you to retrieve one thing for me and look at the mess I had to clean up. I know things can be complicated though – and I do value your… uses. So I’m going to release you in a moment and we are going to talk this through.”

Marthis didn’t sputter and gasp when released this time. In fact he merely swallowed and continued to look like a fearful trapped fish. Complete with a glistening sheen of sweat.

Now,” continued the elegant Vesper as he leaned back a bit into his chair and surveyed him. “Can we just be civil?”

You… you used Dremok magick.” the words tumbled awkwardly. Without his over confident flourishes the words seemed to stick in his throat. He felt like a schoolboy. “She was dead…”

Yes. Because of you I might add.”

But!”

Vesper held up a hand and Marthis clapped his gaping maw closed out of fear.

Marthis, let us be clear. You messed up. You lost a very important relic. You lost the thief that stole it. You then killed an associate of yours with your actions to try and cover your mistake. Should this be made public knowledge you know as well as I that your life would be over.”

There was an audible noise which came from Marthis that was either a pathetic whine, or severe indigestion.

I could have you forcibly removed from your office and reduced to chains. However, I am not an unreasonable individual. I have used my skills to solve one of your problems. Jen’Rar will recover albeit somewhat changed. No one outside of this room needs to know what has occurred.”

Marthis let out a breath. His head bobbed slightly as he tried to follow each well-spoken word.

I hope you understand the offer I am giving you. I am choosing to forgive your mistakes and you can blissfully remain Dean Prime. However that does not come without a price. You will have to remedy the situation by retrieving my Oracle at any cost. I suggest you get on that today as your top priority.”

Marthis swallowed hard again past the thick gathering lump of his nerves. He kept his hands clasped on his lap so he could pretend there was no shake to them. His mind fluttered between thoughts as a million questions raged in his scattered head. What about the Dremok magick? What did he want the Oracle for? Why didn’t he just kill him and take over?

He quickly threw the last thought out of his mind.

But.. But my paperwork! I can’t.. I can’t leave now! The College has no other acting Deans to hold the office if I go! I’ll.. I’ll gather some students! One of the–”

No. You will go. Take a few students with you if you wish but keep the details of the mission to yourself. Acting Dean Jen’Rar will hold your office until you return.”

He was about to ask how that was at all possible when the door behind Vesper opened and as if on cue Jen’Rar entered the plain office. Only she was not exactly as Marthis had remembered her looking.

The eighty year old frumpish woman with an aloof sense of humour and a somewhat daft personality was replaced by a someone a little different. Wasn’t her hair almost fully white before? And her eyes weren’t that blue before were they? He wished he had paid more attention to the details. She also now looked younger and healthier then she had in years. It was as if that dark magick had given her back twenty years on top of returning her to the world of the living.

He tried to awkwardly smile at her, but the look she gave him was slick ice. He supposed he should have expected as much. There was a cold strength in her now that made him feel even more vulnerable and miserable. Part of him bitterly thought she should be thanking him technically.

A little Drake seems left in her. I am certain you will find her far exceeding what’s needed to keep this College running while you’re gone. In fact I think you’ll find she’s a rather remarkable woman who earns the new title of acting Dean well. In fact she would make an excellent understudy for Prime Dean should.. anything happen. Are we clear?”

The walls felt like they were closing in on him. His whole social pecking order had been turned upside down in the span of a few solid hours. He was always wary of Vespers influence, but now part of him was terrified. It was a sickening feeling to have.

He breathed deep. He remembered his place. He tried to think about things logically.

Dean Prime Marthis. He was a man of prestige and social standing… which meant he knew when to cower and submit just as well as he knew when to back-stab and posture. If he played his cards right he would still end up with the winning hand. Or so he hoped. He just never thought he’d be doing so at this age, nor under a man wielding the suspected magick of the Infernals…

Still perhaps he had been looking at this all wrong? Politics were made of the little grey areas between what was considered ‘good’ or ‘evil’. Maybe this was going to work out for him, afterall Jen’Rar seemed to be making out alright.

And wasn’t Vesper being quite reasonable considering the circumstances?

Marthis managed to clear his throat. “I understand when a good opportunity presents itself. You’ve made yourself crystal clear. I will have that thief’s head and the Oracle in your hands as quickly as possible. Then… maybe we could talk about other beneficial arrangements for our mutual… er… influential growth?”

Jen’Rar groaned in annoyed displeasure at the suggestion, but Vesper simply nodded and passed the slightest shrug across his slim shoulders.

There are thousands of possibilities. I suggest only one matter at a time however. We will talk more when you return with my item.”

New Story: Untitled – Chapter Ten

It had been quite the night for all of them.

Du’Mas had retired to his little den to sulk and pamper his sore foot and bruised pride. He’d curled up with his badly beaten and worn teddy bear and whimpered before starting to snore. He became overwhelmed easily and today had been far too exciting for him. He hoped his mistress would have far less company tomorrow.

Tusk had finally tottered off to sleep in one of the many guest rooms with a flushed face and warm blankets. His chest was sore from laughter but his mind was in a good place. Perhaps it was good for him to have come to see her after so long. It reminded him of better times and younger days.

Cook was still passed out somewhere in the kitchen and likely snoring face-down in a bag of potatoes. This wasn’t all too uncommon but he’d of preferred passing out on something far more comfortable. Potatoes are not the softest of bedding materials.

The only ones awake in the parlour were Krill and Kelle who shared each others company beside the stone fireplace. It took a little time until the two got over the awkward and uneasy situation they found themselves in; Kelle being the attempted murderer and Krill being the unruly poisoned house-guest. Eventually they both seemed to find the humour in the unfortunate scenario and toasted each others unique position in the matter.

To an excellent job almost killing me!” Krill raised a mug of dark brew which Kelle had made for her to help sober her up from the intoxicating remains of the Deathcap.

To you for apparently still being unkillable!” Kelle grinned and raised her mug in unified toasting.

I’ve never met a Vampire before, that I can remember.” Krill mused. “Though I’ve heard the stories. You guys have a rather love-hate relationship with people.”

Yes well, normally people love to hate us. Hah! Then you get the batty fanatics who want to do anything to be one of us. That never goes well. People still believe that turning someone is just as easy as mixing a potion or bestowing a gift.” She grumbled and rolled her eyes at the thought. “It’s so simple to them. Like nothing.”

Krill shrugged her shoulders, “I don’t know much about it to be honest. I’m not exactly a people person. I avoid the towns as best I can but of course certain stories trickle down. I heard it was far too expensive to buy into the Vampire houses. Most common folk can’t afford the entrance fee.”

Rumours… bah! Most of the rumours that trickle down are fabricated to keep our secrets to ourselves! It keeps idiot hunters or fanatic prats from hassling us. It just gets to be a sore spot. It took me many years to get the respect around here I deserve. Most of the people I meet are still ignorant twits – but at least the majority are ignorant twits who respect my services and aren’t trying to either coerce or kill me.”

Eh, well. You currently have a houseful of freaky outcasts… so I can’t entirely judge. So from the horses mouth… er… so to speak. What are vampires really like?”

It’s complicated. If we are talking about the Houses that everyone always goes on about? They are all status, strutting and ego. It started as a way to keep the First Ones safe and sort of degraded from there. You know they even run various tests to see how ‘pure’ some of them are? Just so they can try to claim more dominance or gain more political ground. It’s pathetic really…”

Politics, am I right?” Krill grinned and stretched out, brushing her hand through her short hair. “I try to avoid that like the plague. Poisonous stuff, politics.”

I prefer poison to politics. Far more simple. Outside of the houses you have the Renegades. Those who have given up any sort of house position in favour of carving a separate independent life for themselves. They don’t get any of the House perks but I think the sanity of being away from that mess makes up for it. I would be a Renegade.

There are also a few different types of Vampires. You have the Born Vampires, those who were born and raised as they are. Hybrids are those Vampires who have mixed blood somewhere down the line. Everyone thinks Hybrids are the best of both worlds.. but eh.. normally they get all the birth defects and none of the benefits. You know the rumours about us being deathly allergic to the sun, or touching silver and exploding into nasty boils and spurting pus? You are talking Hybrids there…”

That’s harsh…” Krill frowned.

See the thing is those Vampires you always hear tell about with all the cool funky powers? Yeah, they are Hybrids. A quirk of the mixed blood but they never last! They all have super obvious and debilitating weaknesses that get them all killed off relatively young. If they manage to survive a while they age far faster then a Born. That seems to be the tradeoff. Most Born Vampires aren’t really that different from normal folks, we have excellent reflexes and instincts but we don’t have any overly special powers or anything flashy. We just live exceptionally long lives, heal extremely well, and have an excellent taste in vintage bloods.”

Well quick reflexes, quick wits and incredible fast healing is pretty flashy to most.”

Not to you though, considering. But I digress.. where was I? Oh yes. So you have the Born, the Hybrid and then you have the Turned and the Ruckus. The Turned are those that survive the turning process with enough sense and capabilities that they aren’t hunted down and killed on sight… and the Ruckus are those who… aren’t so lucky.”

A sigh escaped Krill as she considered the information. “Tusk. He wouldn’t have survived it then, would he? I mean… he seemed bent on the fact he wouldn’t anyway but…”

The topic seemed to make the proud and confident woman across from her deflate a little. Kelle’s confidence waned and her heart sank. The truth felt like a tonne of bricks. “No most likely he wouldn’t have. It’s rare for even able bodied and healthy people to survive the trauma of a Turn but… I hoped. At one point I wished he would have. Now? It’s too late. I know it.”

The thought of Tusk being even more tusky with a set of fangs made Krill smile. Would he be simply ‘Toothy’ then? Tusk as a name would be a little less meaningful. It made sense now why her companion had said no to such an offer – it wasn’t the risk that would have scared him. Tusk had never seemed afraid of his own demise, even if it seemed to constantly be stalking behind him. It was the fear of success.

No, Krill understood now that the longer drawn out game Tusk played with the reaper was at least a game he knew would eventually come to an end. Being virtually immortal made that game a little less black and white.

Don’t feel bad. I think some day’s he’s the lucky one and we’re kind on the wrong end of the rope.”

Kelle carefully removed a few of the baubles from her hair and to keep them from dangling in her eyesight. They clanked and clinked as she placed them on the table beside herself.

I desperately need a change of subject… so why did you seek out the Oracle?” Finally much of her hair was released and hung in soft curls down her back. Her head felt delightfully lighter and less itchy now.

Well it was sort of the last resort. Trust me – I’ve tried lots of other things. When I heard about the damned thing I figured why not give it a try? It’s not like anyone else planned on using it.”

Krill glanced over to the woman only to jolt as she found Kelle sitting directly beside her instead of in the other chair with the table full of her fancy hair things. She nearly flung her cup across the room as she shouted, “Will you stop doing that?!”

Sorry! I really can’t help it sometimes…”

I’m going to strap a bell on your neck!” Krill muttered and peered in to see how much drink was still in her mug. Luckily it was enough for one final mouthful. “What is this anyway?”

Coffee. It’s made by roasting and then steeping beans…”

Beans?” Krill arched an eyebrow. “So this is bean juice?”

What? No.. well yes but no! They are special beans, don’t make it sound so… common! This drink is a delicacy – I’m one of the few people who can brew it to it’s best quality! It’s rare and full bodied and rich… And… and just shut up, it’s good.”

…Anyway, yes I grabbed the Oracle. Wasn’t that hard really. I know how ego-driven most of the Mages are so I threw the right insults at the right time. Got sentenced to death. Didn’t die. Got the Oracle as a parting gift. Along with the unintentional makeover of course.”

You do realize they had originally put that thing away because it was so dangerous? The last one that tried to use it blew themselves to bits. I should know. I was there to see it.” Kelle’s tone wavered. “Tusk should have warned you about that. He knew what happened. It was one of his old class-mates that went to pieces, so to speak.”

Yeah, he mentioned that. He also warned me about it all right. But if half of what they said about it is true then it might be my only chance to figure out what exactly happened to me.” she pulled the chain from under her shirt and the blue vial popped up from between her breasts. It seemed like the best hiding spot.

In all it’s dull and unimpressive splendour it still held an air of awe about it. Maybe because it was possibly a tiny explosive death bottle that hung so delicately between her breasts. Or it was simply the possibility of it’s potential made it seem so much larger then life.

They say it can give you knowledge of anything you are seeking. You want to know the entire history of the world? It’ll show it to you. You want to know every possible incantation? You’ll know it. If you feel like knowing everything written in the biggest library – It’s all there, in that little tiny bottle.”

It always sounds so much better then it normally is. Back when I was still with the College we had our best Resonance Mage do a full scry on it. All she could tell us is three basic things. One, it’s a knowledge charm and extremely powerful. Two, it is completely oblivious to any sort of spell or detection method. And three, it will kill whoever is stupid enough to use it. That is why it was called the Oracle. It grants infinite information that the person isn’t going to be alive long enough to even use.”

So no one has ever actually tried it out?” there was disappointment in Krill’s voice.

Nope, not anyone who has lived to tell the tale anyway. It was a big publicity thing for the financial backers until the incident when they tried to actually use it. No one wanted to be involved after that mess and it was decided it was far too dangerous to try poking at it anymore. From there it just sort of collected dust with a bunch of other things we kept in the secure holds. It was even put on the special ‘EDR’ list of dangerous relics to never use.”

That is why he demanded we come here then. I guess he didn’t want to scrape pieces of me off his own floor and figured you were one of the few ones around that at least knew about it. I hoped you would have known how to use it more safely and he was probably hoping you’d just talk me out of it.”

They both stared at the dull glowing vial before Krill tucked it back away between the warmth of her relatively ample breasts. It was the perfect hiding spot really, breasts were excellent at hiding little glowing baubles from prying eyes. Maybe that was the whole reason they evolved?

I do have some ideas. After all I knew I’d be getting a visit from whoever managed to steal it after I found out it had gone missing. I think I’m the only one still around that originally worked with it and it helps that I also have the biggest reputation with potions and elixirs along the whole Eastern Valley. That’s also why the College still comes calling even after they fired me from the Council. They can’t deny I’m just good at what I do.” Her voice hissed a moment of self-satisfaction.

In the end however she admitted that being fired was for the best. The short sultry vampire had always had a problem with authority and often times ended up skirting expulsion or narrowly avoiding committing homicide. It didn’t help that being a strong independent free-thinker was becoming highly frowned upon.

Running her own Alchemy studio and supplying people directly became her saving grace. It gave her power, prestige and respect that she certainly couldn’t get under the dominion of the College.

Things had changed too much and it was high time to move on. She hadn’t looked back since. Being given these little opportunities to stab the arrogant little College in the eye? That was an added bonus to her more independent situation.

I’m not sure that even you can survive using it though. I theorized once upon a time that maybe a Vampire could since we heal so fast but we aren’t exactly unkillable.” She reached down and pulled up on the edge of her dress. Up and up her porcelain flesh until the hem of the dress was far enough that her right voluptuous leg was exposed. It’s beautiful curves were marred by one ugly grey scar which streaked three inches horizontally across her right knee. “I was near the blast when it happened and part of it caught my leg. It took months to heal, and as you can see it left it’s mark.”

Huh. That would propose a problem then. Luckily I’m not a Vampire?”

Well, it’s your funeral. I just don’t want Tusky to think I’m aiding and abetting your death.” Kelle let the edge of her dress go and it fell back across her leg once more. “It’s nice to know he has a friend. He doesn’t make friends very easily. I don’t relish the though of being the one who helps kill them off.”

Part of me wants to ask what your history is, part of me doesn’t want to know. I might not have a lot of personal memory to rely on – but I know a love story gone bad when I see one.”

Oh, it never went bad. Just… it didn’t go right.” She plastered on a forced smile. “More coffee?”

New Story: Untitled – Chapter Nine

The Frost drake was most definitely dead by the time Dean Prime Marthis had recovered most of his senses. He didn’t figure the spell would have taken that much out of him – but it seemed recovering both of them… or at least most of them, was a bit too much for him.

He sat on his rump on the floor blinking at the mess in the summoning circle and unsure what to say about it. His mind was far from a steel trap and right now all he could muster was an unimpressed “Huh.”

Vesper sighed as he circled around the mess and stepped over the rune circle edge to get a closer look. The frost drake had bluish grey blood and it currently leaked into the pool of water around it’s dismembered still warmish body.

She looks worse for wear but I do believe this is not the thief but rather your esteemed associate Vice Jen’Rar? I met her once or twice over the years. She always seemed wary of me.”

Yes.” The wheels in his head were trying to turn.

Strange she should find herself out in the Further Pale without proper attire.” Vesper glared at him with those intense copper eyes. They seemed to flicker with the judgement that his words insinuated. “You wouldn’t happen to know what she was doing there? Just where you happened to be trying to find my thief?”

That old woman! She was always trying to butt into my affairs! She.. she must have tried to sneak ahead of me.. to take the credit herself! Or maybe even the bauble!”

Oracle. Not bauble.”

Whatever, I’m sure that is what she was doing! It’s a shame I didn’t pull her back faster so I could have the pleasure of firing her myself! I would have found out what in the blazes she was doing!” Sure it was an outright lie but he was certain that as long as he said it with enough conviction it would all work out. It was the way with politics – find a lie and stick to it. It seemed the perfect solution for this increasingly complicated situation. He now had a frozen patsy to blame.

Vesper was silent long enough that Marthis was practically glowing with joy. Obviously he must have bought the story. He must have been so engrossed in the tale that he didn’t even seem to mind that the mingled greyish bloody water was seeping into the bottom hem of his pant.

Finally after the taller Dean had picked himself up off the floor Vesper seemed to further dispel his fears. “I suppose if she had come back sooner you would have fully interrogated her for me?”

Of course!” Marthis was on his way towards the table once more. He felt like he deserved to finish off the entire bottle of mead if he could. Maybe if there was another bottle he could wrangle the golden tinged elf to have a drink with him.

It’s always the quiet ones, you know? She must have overheard me talking about how important getting this trinket back to you was! She must have… spirited it away? Yes likely sent it away somewhere safe.” There, now he didn’t have to worry about the Oracle being found on the woman. This was all wrapping up rather nicely. “It’s a shame that some people just can’t be trusted! It’s the world we live in. It’s terrible I tell you!”

Perhaps we should ask her where she put it then, hmm?” With careful dexterity and caution Vesper reached out to touch the frozen surface of her chest. With ease he wrapped one arm behind her stiff back and tilted her. As he carefully laid her down her body seemed to thaw at an alarming speed.

Marthis had stopped mid step to watch him. “Umm, pardon?”

Vesper was already carefully tearing and wrapping part of Jen’Rar’s robe to cover her stump that was starting to ooze slow blood. Her body was starting to shift slightly as she began to thaw out at an increased rate. Her knees seemed to sag, her arms dropped down.

Surely she is… dead? She must be?” He hoped at least. It was obvious from the state of her frozen stiff body that she must have died relatively quickly. On the Further Pale of the Tundra mere minutes could be enough to kill. Surely it wasn’t the Deans desired effect but her being dead was now a crucial part of his cover-story.

Death is always a matter of personal discretion.” Answered back the elf. All his other words were lost as his lips spoke a mixture of honeyed words that Marthis had no clue how to process let alone understand.

The palest silk grey escaped the tips of his mahogany fingers and seemed to trace symphonies in the air. Those wisps of pale grey seemed to pull from the dead Frost Drakes blood and it pulled up into strange tendrils of energy which wrapped around the body of the old woman.

It was unlike any magick the Dean had witnessed before. Those silken tendrils of grey blood turned black quickly and it looked as if the woman’s body was enrobed in black liquid shadow as more and more of the dead drake was consumed as fuel.

There was a crackling in the air now that caused a cold breeze to brush past the Dean’s face.

That… that is… that is Dremok magick…” He used the small table now to steady himself, grasping blindly at the bottle of mead but not daring to look away and open it. “How are you able to use Dremok magick!”

With a sickening crack the old woman’s back arched and her chest heaved up in the air steadied only by Vespers careful guiding hand. He pressed down on her chest and stilled most of her writhing as she let out a loud and gurgled gasp.

Dremok magick was wielded only by the Infernals. And the Infernals were daemons of the most dangerous sort. It all seemed to make some sort of confused chaotic sense. All his beautiful mysterious sultry magick must have been born of some dark pact he had made with the Infernals.

The Dean having recovered from his shock enough to try and save his own skin bolted towards the door of the room. He was stopped however by the feeling of his legs being caught in some sort of invisible stone.

Now Dean Marthis, where do you think you are going? You won’t want to miss this.”

Marthis managed to fearfully peer over his shoulder in time to watch Vesper rummaging around in what remained of the partial belly of the Frost Drake looking for the woman’s disembodied hand.

He couldn’t help but notice however that the mostly dead Jen’Rar was far more concerned with staring through him with cold narrow eyes as she sat cradling her stump of an arm when she should have been limp and chilled on the Conjuring room floor.

It was unfortunate. If death was a matter of personal discretion as Vesper had mentioned – it was his choice that the old woman just have stayed dead.

New Story: Untitled – Chapter Eight

Kelle laughed more then she had in ages. They were on the second course of their feast and even the portly normally short-tempered Cook seemed to be in a good mood when he popped out of the kitchen to bring this or that to the large table that normally seated twelve.

His pleasantries were likely due to the overly abundant and free-flowing alcohol. Eventually his words had become more slurred as the night wore on. Eventually he just forgot to come back out of his kitchen entirely and was instead passed out into the sacks of vegetables in the pantry.

…and then you set off an explosion in his office!” Their hostess snorted loudly.

In my defence nothing was ever pinned on me. There was no proof!” Tusk was working on a large cup of hot tea, though his head was still buzzing a little from his previous glasses of hard liquor. “But I did get outstanding marks in my Subterfuge exam.”

Well he did deserve it. I mean he was a measly little pig-headed– Krill love are you alright?” Kelle glanced over to watch the tall woman bobbing her head and steadying herself with a hand on the tables edge. She was trying desperately to keep her heavy eyes open.

I.. feel a bit..” she shook her head to clear it but to no avail. The movement made the room spin all the more and the sound of everyone distorted into wonky slow mumbles.

When is the last time you’ve slept Krill?” Tusk arched his pronounced brow and eyed his wobbly friend carefully.

Krill clutched onto the table harder but as she also tried to stand it caused her to trip backwards and land in a tangled heap on the handwoven carpet. She did not get back up.

The thud caused Du’Mas to startle and he spilled his dish onto the rug as well.

Krill!” Tusk was about to get up from the table but found Kelle gently holding him down at the shoulder. How she could move so damned fast still bothered him even though the touch was somewhat reassuring.

She’s fine. I hear her breathing from here.”

I’ve seen her drink bigger men then your companion under the table… never once have I seen her drunk. What did you do?” he eyed her suspiciously. More so when she took another swill of her drink and batted her darkly painted eyes in mock innocent fashion.

Maybe I just wanted your company all to myself?”

Kelle…” he narrowed his milky yellow eyes.

Alright, that was part of the reason… but I was also curious. Actually I’m rather impressed… I poisoned her drink three times in the course of the night. She should have been comatose the first time. At least far before now! What is she?”

My friend.” Tusk sighed uneasily. “Anything more then that I’m not sure. No one seems to know. She doesn’t age and she has an unnatural ability of avoiding death. She doesn’t know who she is or where she came from before we met. That is what got us into this damned mess.”

So that’s why she wanted the Oracle?”

Yup. And she was an idiot for seeking it out.” He grunted and picked up his tea again. “I’m not happy with you poisoning her. She’ll be cranky. No one is happy when she’s cranky.”

Kelle’s hand gingerly passed over his shoulders and curved spine. Before even the shiver of goosebumps reached the nap of his neck she was already perched on the chair previously occupied by the now unconscious Krill and peering over her body to get a good look. Her delicate foot scooted out to gingerly push the arm that had landed over her head aside so she could get a better look at her face.

I mean she’s certainly pretty enough. Tall too, but then you and I have always had a bit of a vertical impairment. A bit above average though? What would you say, around five foot eight?”

She’s about that I think.”

Tusk watched her with a mixture of awe, hesitation, and wariness. There was so much about her that was as clear to him as yesterday, and yet so much that he had forgotten in the many years away. He wanted to trust her completely but so much had changed. She could break him like a twig. Perhaps she could have years ago as well but now it seemed far more imposing and dangerous.

He couldn’t keep his mind from wondering just how different things would have been if he had taken her offer so many years ago. The drinking had obviously gone to his head and the tea was taking it’s time sobering him up.

The only vampire cripple would not be a good title to have. Forever younger perhaps, but it wouldn’t have fixed the bad birth defects and he likely wouldn’t have survived the transformation even when he was younger and stronger. No, this was what he was there was no sense losing oneself in things that could never be. He could live with that.

Plus it would be rather excruciating to live so long and see so much. Krill was something shiny and new and watching her fawn over that reminded him just how bored Kelle probably was. Vampires didn’t see many unknowns after they’ve lived a hundred years or more. Eventually everything would be dull and what would be the point in that?

He turned his chair somewhat to get a better view of her as he stretched his feet out and plodded them onto the chair beside him. “She has a good heart. When she isn’t being a pain in my ass.”

Indeed, a sound pair of lungs as well. She isn’t human that is certain. She doesn’t appear to be elven though her ears do have a slight curve near the top… her eyes are strange.”

That’s new. Happened after she thawed out from her last encounter with the College.” He picked apart a pastry to stuff into his mouth around his tusks. “Hair is new too. Used to be brown.”

Well I don’t think she’s Sanguine because I’ve seen no vampires like her.” she carefully used a finger and pulled down the woman’s lip. “Yet.. strange teeth. They look a bit wild. She has slight upper and lower fangs. I haven’t seen this before. She’s not some sort of Were is she?”

Nope, that’s the first thing the College ruled out the first time they got a look at her. If you must know that didn’t go well either. They tried to drown her that time. What are these things? They taste wonderful.”

Snowberry scones. Can she use magick? After her system clears maybe I’ll sample her blood and see what I can discover.” She grinned showing off the edges of her delicate ivory fangs. “It’ll be exciting to see what she tastes like. Du’Mas, please drag our guest to a quieter room. I want to check on her later to make sure she’s still just sleeping.”

Tusk nodded his head and waited until he had swallowed a mouthful before clearing his throat and answering in more detail. “It acts a bit off with her. I’ve never seen her be able to pull off anything more then a basic spell – but part of me thinks she’s just not trying hard enough.”

He brushed his hands off and watched as Du’Mas who had been keeping to himself and trying to stay out of trouble moved over to Krill and grabbed her carefully by the back of her shirt. The large black furred creature dragged her rather haphazardly but managed to get her out of the room with only a few accidental bumps along the way.

Once they were out of the room Kelle was back at his side and she took the opportunity to run a hand over his shoulder and carefully over his chest. “I honestly have missed you. It’s hard to keep everyone straight sometimes, I’ve known so many. But you were always such a fond memory for me.”

They were good years we had.” he nodded and rubbed his gnarled knuckles on his slightly crooked fingers.

Does she know how ill you are Tusk?” The tone of her voice was tentative and sullen as she lifted his feet and slipped into the chair beside him. She once more placed her hand carefully over his heart and listened to the vibrations of his body. “Does she know you are dying? Do you know?”

Of course I know.”

Isn’t there anything healers can do?”

To what? Stave off death? How do you think I’ve lived so long already?” He said quieter now, as if afraid the very shadows would hear him. “I can’t keep holding off things forever, Kelle. I’ve tried for a very long time. I’ve pushed my luck for longer then I should have I think. Time is running out and there isn’t anything anyone can do about it.”

She embraced his frail gangly body close. He thought he felt a bit of wetness at his neck and for a second thought maybe he had actually bit her. He tensed but realized it was actually a tear.

Perhaps he was wrong about her. Maybe the memories of their friendship meant more then he thought they did. He felt oddly guilty for thinking otherwise and squeezed her back as best as his weak arms could.

Now stop that right now. We both knew this day would come, this is why I didn’t want you to have to see me like this. I’m old as dirt, I know that. My time is coming and when it does I’ll be ready. Don’t you go burying me before I’m damned well ready.”

What are you doing here, Tusk? With her, tangled with this mess… you should live out your days in peace and quiet, not getting head deep into this kind of trouble!”

The grin returned slightly to his old green face. “Peace and quiet would just kill me faster. I’d die of boredom.”

Perhaps, but there are bad things in play my friend. This goes beyond normal politics and mischief and you know that!”

What’s it going to do, kill me faster?”

They both managed to laugh and she pulled away to kiss him delicately on the forehead. “I should do you both a favour and kill you myself. It would be a lot kinder then I’m sure you’d get otherwise. I’d have to find something a lot stronger for your friend though.”

What did you use by the way?”

…Deathcap.”

What? Seriously? Look I don’t know how fast her system can counter that! How much did you give her?” The olive colour of his skin paled now. Deathcap wasn’t named that for irony. “Were you trying to actually kill her?”

No of course not! The first dose was tiny to just drop her. I had to keep doubling it! I just figured she was still fine so I’d just keep going. I mean I had some anti-dote if she needed it! I honestly thought the first bit should have been more then enough to –”

There was a sudden crashing and a screech from the hallway. Another bang and the door kicked open. A wobbly Krill collapsed against the broken door frame to keep herself somewhat propped up. It seems her legs were not wanting to respond to her commands and her vision was highlighted with colours she didn’t even know existed.

Somewhere in the background behind her the black blur of Du’Mas was hopping up and down on an injured foot and sobbing frantically.

I th-think.. I was.. p-poisoned!”

Tusk couldn’t help himself. He laughed long and hard until his chest hurt and his lungs wheezed.

My Stars!” Kelle blinked and looked at the should-be-half-dead woman holding onto the door-frame for dear life. “There is no bloody way you are awake already!”

May I present to you, the unkillable Krill!” Tusk snorted laughter between wheezes.

F-f-fuck off ya g-green frog!” Mumbled the highly impaired Krill before she lost her grip on the doorframe and landed hard upon her face.

New Story: Untitled – Chapter Seven

An hour was certainly not enough time. Not because thawing a body took that long but because there was simply no body to thaw. Dean Prime Marthis had made a great show of getting everything ready. He had begun by staging the elaborate room, getting a side refreshments table, and pushing up his sleeves. He was all set and performing his summoning admirably to call forth the frozen block that should have been his necessary corpse. Instead however all he summoned back was a lack-luster surprise.

It was simply the frozen enchanted cuffs the Mages used as a retrieval target. They were still sealed and frozen with ice but no body returned with them. Not even a scrap of flesh or shred of clothing came back. Now without even the cuffs attached to this particular corpse there was nothing for the Mage to lock in on.

I don’t understand! How could just the cuffs come back? That doesn’t make any sense!” Marthis snarled. “This has never happened before!”

I often misplace things, are you sure where you put her? I mean if you had accidentally popped her over to the coastline or something, maybe the body was eaten and the cuffs left behind? I once tried to move a chest of mine into my room and it ended up on top of the roof!” the old Jen’Rar tried to lighten the mood.

No! I know where I put her! The bloody cuffs are frozen solid do they look like they’ve been at the beach!” he snapped back at the old antique of a woman. “Not all of us are as hopeless at transportation as you!”

No need to be harsh. I’m only suggesting maybe you missed, is all. It happens to everyone.”

Why would someone steal a corpse?” He ignored the old woman’s suggestion as he paced back and forth in the upper conjuration room. The empty cuffs, still locked with binding runes lay in the middle of the floor mocking him. The ice had already started to melt around them and it was leaving a large puddle. “This has never happened to me before!”

Have you ever tried to retrieve a corpse from storage, Dean?” Jen’Rar crooned sarcastically. “I know that it’s always meant as a possibility yet I’ve never personally seen it done before. Even in the archives I have only ever run into a few accounts of the practice even being done! In fact I don’t even know why we still do it. I’ve been saying for years that it’s too barbaric.”

The old bitty was daft at a lot of things, but she had a keen knowledge of the general workings at the college. She knew all the day to day business with running the school classes, the finances, and the paperwork. She was the only school historian, book-keeper, organizer and key-keeper left on staff. It was one of the reasons why Marthis had never been able to solidify a reason to sack her like he had already done away with most of the higher staff.

She knew rather too much. Still she was also highly useful to have around as she was far more skilled in certain areas then he was. It made her annoyances at least somewhat bearable. Usefulness had it’s perks.

On this account however the old Jen’Rar was right. He had never had a reason to recall a body that was sent to storage. It was almost a running joke that they had so many things on ice it would take a lifetime to go through them all. And that was only the ones they stored in the frozen Pale.

However he also knew that this was not an ordinary circumstance and that this prisoner had likely had a very important piece of jewellery on her person. It was especially clear after checking with a few of their secret records that the Oracle was deemed a ‘EDR’. An Extremely Dangerous Relic.

If news got out about a thief being able to steal it right out from under their noses and then him sending the corpse of said thief out with the relic still on her – it would be the end of his social status. If he didn’t find it and cover up this nonsense he would look like an incompetent fool. Vesper would likely have him publicly shamed and it may even cost him his lead position on council. He would be sneered at and mocked everywhere he went!

It made the large man shudder in rage. The shame of it all would be worse then death.

Time was running short. He had to get that body back immediately if he were to save face and make himself out to be the hero in this situation. Thinking quick was not quite his speciality however so he seized hold of the first idea that popped into his skull.

Put the cuffs on! I’ll send you there quick so you can look around and then I’ll pop you back.” He pointed at the old woman who sputtered and snarled at him as if he had lost his mind. “The cuffs probably just moved without her is all, an unfortunate mistake by the person who made this set of cuffs! All you need to do is tag the body for me as quickly as you can and we can still salvage this mess! You are the best one for the job, you’ve had to use lots of locator tags on all your missing stuff! I knew I was smart enough to ask you to be here!”

Pardon me?!”

It will only take you a few moments I’m sure!” He walked to the middle circle and scooped up the cold soaked cuffs and held them out to her. It seemed like an ingenious idea. So much so that he was about ready to pat himself on the back for it. “Maybe a handful of moments at the most! Certainly enough time I’m sure, he’s usually late anyway!”

The old woman however was not nearly as excited. She backed up a few extra steps in response to his ridiculous suggestion. “You are insane if you think that is a good idea!”

I am the Prime Dean!” he snapped back, angry she didn’t see the brilliance in his plan. “You will do as I say!”

Why don’t I send you instead, it’s your corpse!”

Because I’d never -get- there!” His voice was a booming snarl and instead of arguing anymore he threw the heavy cuffs at the old woman’s head.

Jen’Rar was somewhere in her eighties and although she maintained a decent health she was relatively clumsy and knew her body didn’t heal as well as it used to. Mage cuffs weighed a good five pounds and certainly would threaten to break her old bones if it struck her with force. Instinctively to protect those fragile bones she reached out and caught the metal cuffs as they soared towards her head.

In that moment he took the opportunity and unleashed a quick and dirty movement spell that enveloped the charged cuffs and the old woman who was holding them in a cold shudder of green light. In a messy flash she crackled out of the room cuffs and all.

For a brief moment there was silence.

It took a few moments in the now quiet room for the reality of what he had just done to sink in. He was an impulsive man and sometimes those impulses weren’t exactly well thought out. His inability to think quickly meant sometimes he didn’t think at all.

In the few seconds of hindsight he admitted to himself that he probably shouldn’t have completely lost his temper and thrown something so heavy at the old woman’s face. He also thought he should have let her put on some sort of heavy cloak. And perhaps he should have found a way to communicate with her so he knew when to call her back.

Still those were minor details for such an experienced Mage right? He simply hoped once she found the body and he had summoned her back maybe they’d all have a nice laugh about it and everything would be forgiven. That was if she could manage to find the body on the Tundra and had the foresight to tag it for him.

Huh. I hope she didn’t drop the cuffs on the way…” the results would be quite messy if she had.

His head throbbed somewhat. Mostly stress but also due to cost of the spell. Every spell cast had it’s toll. The stronger the Mage and the more in-tuned they were to certain branches of magick determined the cost and the side-effects.

Sometimes it was very minor like the slight throbbing in the Deans right temple and a hankering for a nice stiff drink. To others the side-effects of trying to use some spells could simply be deadly. It all depending on whatever complicated unknown reasons that made certain people able to use magick, and some people unable to.

There were librarians and historians who spent multiple lifetimes trying to sort out all the hows and whys of it. Dean Marthis couldn’t rightly care.

He wasn’t a jack of all trades when it came to the various branches of magick. He was more like the somewhat adequate run of the mill type. He knew enough basics to get by and he talked a good game but most of his skills were marginal at best. In fact it was highly possible he wouldn’t have even graduated a single magickal course if it had not been for his high political aspirations.

Many underhanded deals and rich dead relatives gave him more then enough political pull and deep pockets to buy a high position in the College without putting in a lot of actual work.

He moved to the small round refreshments table and pulled the chair out. He crammed a small piece of white cheese into his mouth and flopped heavily into the chair while opening an expensive bottle of Nebula Mead that was of course covered by the coffers of the College itself. A medical expense to refuel and restore the health of hardworking magick users. Or at least that’s what the report always said.

The deep burn and pleasant tingle helped to ease his mind. Deep down Dean Prime Marthis knew he didn’t have the skills to fix this mess on his own. It was the old bitty of a woman that could possibly save his head from the political chopping block.

Jen’Rar was not run of the mill. The old woman was excellent at certain branches of Magick and seemed to be naturally attuned to taking care of the difficult paperwork and mundane nonsense no one else wished to look after.

Her speciality was in Resonance Magicks. Namely identification and searching spells. Which was incredibly useful considering how many times she misplaced objects. A locator tag? Child’s play for her.

Before he had taken over as the Dean Prime and required her to run most of the office work, Jen’Rar lived mostly in the huge antiquities section of the College. She ran the archives and even worked at identifying many of the relics in the holdings. Her skill set allowed her to merely pick up an object and be able to decipher what enchantments were on it and how it could be used. In close quarters she could do a quick location spell and find whatever object was needed for various Mages instead of looking through endless inventory lists. Extremely and tediously boring of course, but at least it had it’s uses.

That was before Dean Prime Marthis decided to have the College focus on far more interesting and lucrative branches of study. He fired most of the living relics and locked away some of the non. The College would become a far more youthful and economical establishment. Money after all was it’s own type of magick.

He had only invited her to make sure to identify the right damned relic so he could swoop in and take proper credit for the find. He had no idea she would be so unwillingly useful for actually finding the corpse as well.

To the impulsive Marthis, it seemed like it would be an easy job for her to simply locate the missing body while she was close enough to use her keen set of skills.

What he didn’t remember was that although the old woman was a necessary asset in the archives and as an essential secretary for running the day to day business of the school, she couldn’t for the life of her manage simple defensive or protection spells.

As he was into his second glass of Nebula Mead and trying to sort out when he should call the old bat back from the frozen brink with hopefully his prize in tow there was a loud slam at the door to the Conjuring room.

Having a drink are we?”

Vesper had found him. His hour was up.

Vesper… you are early are you not?” He took another long sip of mead.

Perhaps a few moments early. I was curious what our thief looked like. It seems I was early enough to watch you bring her back?” His smooth voice echoed in the large ornate room. It seemed louder here, but then everything was louder in the Conjuring room.

He walked around the outer edge of the gold painted circle on the floor. The pattern was designed with various runes and marks of focus. In the centre of the circle it was obvious there was a puddle remaining as well as drying footprints trekking around it and to the small table.

Er, yes. Well I was just about to call it into the room.”

Oh, please do not let me stop you. I would love to watch.”

Marthis swallowed another low sip of mead and carefully got up from his chair. He stood a good handful of inches taller then the elf, but he still felt somehow imposingly small. Still he was a Dean after all, and that meant he could put on a show.

He flourished his sleeves and swept towards the curved dip in the runic circle. He straightened the hem of his collar and brushed his short hair back.

All the while Vesper waited and watched in silence. His copper eyes never seeming to blink.

Yes well, this may take a moment. I need to concentrate. Please do not try speaking to me for the moment!”

Vesper said nothing. Marthis waited hoping there would be some sort of distraction but there was none. His heart seemed to echo in the room. He wondered if he could pull off the proper hand-movements with a slight shake to his fingers – but he shrugged and thought he best carry through with things now.

He closed his eyes and whispered the enchantment carefully. Once, then twice before the glimmer of the cuffs solidified in his mind like a tiny distant glow in the vast expanse of black behind his eyelids. He begged silently for the right sign and then it came. He saw not just one faint outline of bodies, but two. Once he had it as clear as he could hope for; he released the retrieval spell.

It felt like a disorienting wrenching deep pain within his chest and the runic circle flared up with a green flourish of energy that blinded them a moment. He wasn’t used to moving something as large as two bodies at once and his head throbbed worse then before and his vision blurred.

Aha! See? I have done it.”

He was hopeful as he tried to still the pounding in his skull and adjust his eyes. Jen’Rar stood frozen still with her right arm ripped clean off. The half starved frost drake that came with her wasn’t nearly as lucky and it seems half of it had been sheered clean in the move. It gurgled in it’s dying throws.

The cuffs still glowed somewhere inside it’s swelled belly along with the frozen hand of Jen’Rar unfortunately still clasping it.

Yes, it seems you have.” Vesper said dryly.