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Thread: Persona: Fallen Paradise (RPG Thread, PG-13)

  1. #151
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    Ian Blackwood
    His House: A time I will edit later

    I simply could not make heads or tails out of what had happened in the last few hours. Somehow, I had managed to land myself in some kind of mythological war or something, based around the human subconscious, or at least that is how I saw it.

    Almost absently I catalogued what I knew, which amounted to almost nothing. Shaking my head, my thoughts flashed to the kid who proclaimed quite brashly that he would support those nutcases in whatever they did. Shaking my head, I decided that a shower would probably help me clear my head, and maybe allow me to think this entire situation through more effectively.

    --*--*--

    Twenty minutes later, I stepped out of the shower, no closer to making sense of what had happened than before. Sighing, I headed to the refrigerator and opened it, only to find that, surprise surprise, I forgot to buy food. Shaking my head, I pulled on my jacket, and took a brief look at the clock. Noting the time as I pulled on my boots and gloves.

    I locked the door behind me, and started down the street towards the café where I had spoken to Alistair yesterday. A couple of people were out and about, mostly doing yard work or something like that. I exchanged nods with them, more out of habit than any desire to be courteous. Frankly, I really wasn’t paying attention to what was my neighbors were up to, since I was still focused on the events of “last night” as it were.

    Somehow, in all the times I had contemplated unbelievable scenarios for my life, I had never considered anything remotely like this, and frankly, I didn’t like that. As a self confessed opportunist, I generally had a good idea of what was going on around me, and also of how to react to get the reactions I wanted. Being is a situation where I didn’t feel like I was able to take advantage something due to a lack of knowledge was a new thing for me.

    Approaching the café I had eaten at yesterday, I paused to give a bit of thought to the other people in that cave with me, and then in the “Velvet Room”, which I was still skeptical about. Maybe I could find one of them and find out something useful that way. Content with that plan, I decided that eating would take priority, and started walking towards the café again.
    Take a moment to consider just how nothing nothing really is....If you understand this, then you just solved the universe.

    The truth that each person...each soul...is a book. And when we lay our feelings out in the open...and we give them no name...and we give them no author....and we give them no description.....who will actually read them..........?"

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  2. #152
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    Drake Lune
    Lune Family Mansion - Drake's room


    Drake was looking through his entire wardrobe for something to wear. he looked through several possible ensembles before deciding on a deep-green cardigan with a white, collared shirt and darker jeans. To add the finishing touches he strapped his duel disc to his arm and a velvet-blue watch to the opposite wrist. After checking himself over in his mirror, he found his appearance fairly satisfactory and walked out the door. On his way to the main staircase, Drake passed one of the family's maids.

    Noticing the duel disc attached to his arm she stopped and said, "Master Drake, I thought your tournament wasn't until this afternoon."

    Drake looked at her with a kind smile and replied, "It is, Gertrude, I'm... meeting someone at the Jasmine Cafe."

    Gertrude nodded before they went their separate ways. He walked down the stairs and out the front door, waving goodbye to the staff that were going about their business in the foyer and the yard. After he exited the main gates he made his way towards the Jasmine Cafe.

    Outside the Jasmine Cafe

    Drake saw Lilly waiting out front as he walked up to the cafe. He didn't know why, but his heart began racing when he saw her. He took a deep breath and exhaled slowly before calling out, "Hey," as he approached.

    "Alright," began Drake, "Why don't we get a table?"
    If December 21 is the end of the world, it has been an honor RPing with y'all!

  3. #153
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    XIX - Leonardo "Leo" Silverstone
    Streets
    Saturday Morning


    "Link huh?" Leo said in response to Carina's comment on what his Persona could be. "Yeah, I can see that. Zelda could work too, she was pretty awesome when she's not being kidnapped by someone. Or even Princess Celestia from My Little Pony would be cool. She's a Sun Goddess for crying out loud!" He giggled at the thought. "Though, I'd be happy with whoever I get to be honest. I always wanted to have awesome adventures like that too. Real life can be so boring some times, ya know? Man, this is going to be awesome!"

    Then Carina said something about having mow lawns. After confirming that he was ok, Carina took off in the opposite direction. "Bye! See ya later then!" He said with a wave. Hm, I need to get home and talk to Lilly about this and with that, he popped the wheels from the soles of his shoes, and took off towards home, while humming a tune to himself.
    ---

    V - Lillian "Lilly" Silverstone
    Outside the Cafe


    Lilly saw Drake heading towards her. Her heart was racing, and she was shifting her weight from one foot to another. These type of things came easy to Leo, for her, they were just awkward and nerve racking for her. She took a breath to calm herself. They were just here to talk about the events of last night, what's the worst that could happen?

    "Alright," "Why don't we get a table?"

    "Right...." Lilly answered. But just as about to reach for the door, she heard the sound of a familiar voice. One she really didn't want to hear right now.

    "Oh hey Lil!" Leo said as he went over to them. "What are you doing here? And if your here who's watching Lucy?" And that's when he noticed Drake. A grin appeared on his face as some realization hit him. "Ooohhh, why didn't you tell me you had a Date! I always thought the two of you looked cute together. I'm glad someone finally made a move!" Then, he turned to Drake. "You take care of her Drakey. She's my little sister, and if you upset her, we're going to have problems." He said with a giggle.

    Lilly buried her face in her hands, and turned bright red. She really wanted to kick her brother in the shin for embarrassing her like that. Why does he have to show up now?!

    "Don't worry, I'm not gonna beat you up or anything. No pressure. Anyway, you lovebirds have fun. Bye!" And then he waved good bye, and left.

    After Leo was finally gone, Lilly took a deep breath, and opened the door. "Um... sorry about all that..."

    ---

    XIX - Leonardo "Leo" Silverstone
    On his way home


    After he was done teasing his sister, Leo continued towards home. But on the way there, he saw another familiar face headed towards the cafe. Well, he wasn't entirely familiar, Leo wasn't really aware of his name. But he recognized him from the cave last night, and he was also at the Velvet Room. Since it looked like they'd be working together, he figured it'd be polite to say hello and introduce himself.

    Leo approached the guy. "Oh, hey it's you again! Remember me? I was at the cave last night, there were monsters, and weapons and... stuff. I was also at the Velvet Room thing..." He said that last part just a little bit louder than he should have. "I've never seen you around before, but considering what's happening, we may as well try to get to know each other." He extended his hand. "I'm Leo Silverstone. Who might you be?"
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  4. #154
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    XVIII - Aika Ichigawa
    Shortly after the Velvet Room
    Home-base


    Aika wasn't quite sure of what to think.

    Her closet was still closed, just like when she entered her room. And she was still holding the jackets she was about to put in the closet. After trying to use her X-ray vision to see through the door, she finally opened with her free hand. Like she expected, the ominous velvet-blue door was nowhere to be found.While she was relieved about the closet being completely empty, she couldn't seem to get over the strange experience that happened just now. Supposedly. An indigo-colored feeling washed over her.

    Now came the hard part; how could any sane person explain what just happened? The very presence of the door, the long-nosed gentleman's speech about , the others sitting around the table... to her, it was nothing short of strange. At first, she though she had imagined the whole thing with the island and the silver woman; hell, she did imagine everything (right?). If so, then how was is possible for a dream to manifest itself in-

    "Hey, Aika!"

    GizELLE. Aika hung up the jacket she was holding and decided to put unpacking her clothes on hold. That strange Velvet Room shenanigan could wait for later.

    - - - - - -

    After adjusting her frizzy black ponytail, GizELLE circled a human figure's breasts with her pencil.

    "So I've been thinking that this top is the only thing that doesn't quite fit here, since no matter how I look at it, the overall color balance just goes sorta' wacko around here, and I was-"

    Aika had since zoned out. Every now and then, there were occasions where her mother would ask her for advice on her designs. These weren't very prominent memories, since most of the time GizELLE would have a sudden idea and shoo her daughter away, but this time around she seemed genuinely puzzled about her next step. Like always, Aika proved to be rather uncooperative and just stared at the human figure. seeming to notice this, GizELLE tried to restart the rather one-sided conversation; "Oh, this one isn't for you, by the way. I'd never make you wear something like this..." It was quite obvious; the outfit drawn out showed wasn't colored, but Aika could tell it would turn out to be very... black. and it showed a bit of stomach too.

    Picking a pencil from the art desk, Aika started to add in some lines of her own. Although GizELLE was intently watching like her hand was under a microscope, Aika didn't think too hard about this. She was simply remembering an outfit she saw in the Velvet Room, particularly of the girl who represented the Death Arcana. But, for some reason, GizELLE's face grew more and more dreary. "Well, I appreciate the effort, but..." Effort? What effort? "I can't help but feel... I've seen this somewhere before."

    "... Eh?"

    The girl's eyes slowly widened as GizELLE gave the human figure distinct characteristics; hip-length hair, mascara, a couple of piercings, other "edgy" paraphernalia.

    "She looked something like that, right? Damn, she had good taste. Shame I haven't seen anything quite like it around the local boutiques, maybe she makes them herself?" GizELLE's rambling reached deaf ears. She had... seen her before? So that meant she was a real person? Not just a figment of Aika's imagination? "Oh, now I'm just rambling, you can go now, Aika." At the very least GizELLE had the ability to realize how much talking was too much; Aika soon made it back to her room and started unloading a box full of random clothes. Then, she sat on the floor; she didn't even bother to start hanging them all in the closet.

    After all, there were some new "things" she had to ponder; she decided to start with the topic of the Velvet Room.


    ALL IN THE GOLDEN AFTERNOON...

  5. #155
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    [XVII] Louise Henrietta DuBois
    Stardust Trail
    21.07.12 - Saturday Morning



    Louise's grin slipped just a second when Diego mentioned that he didn't care for either of the to main items which she had brought. To hide this, she stuck her tongue out in a playful booing expression and silently boxed up the two items after picking out one of the noodles for herself. Next time, then, she'd make sure to make something he would eat.

    As she poured herself a mug of the tea, Diego grabbed for one of the muffins. Unfortunately, the tea seemed to still be hot enough to steam up her glasses, aided by the thin mountain air, which unfortunately masked her view of his reaction. By the time she had wiped her glasses off on her shirt and replaced them, however, he had taken a bit of both and was now foraging through his bag. It seemed like a success enough - though she had to try a bit for herself to be sure. A bite of the muffin proved that she wasn't doing too terribly, at any rate. A bit dry, perhaps, and the chocolate was more bitter than it needed to be, but that just made more obvious the fact that the body was definitely sweet like she had intended. The tea was mighty bold, as well - stronger than she usually took hers, but men liked bolder flavors, so she could put up with the brew while on their picnic, at least.

    Now, in turn, Diego was producing and offering baked goods of his own - croissants, in fact. She had said that she would provide the food, but she wasn't about to turn her nose up at his efforts, and it wasn't as though her output didn't need complementing after being effectively halved. "Don't mind if I do," she said at his suggestion, and subtly picked out one of the smaller ones. At the first bite, the body itself seemed to be handled well enough - a soft inside with a flaky crust, just as it ought to be - but she caught a touch of something sweet at the end, just enough to alert her to shoot her other hand up and catch the chocolate inside, which might have oozed out onto the blanket were she not careful. She finished the rest of the pastry before it did just that, though making sure to slow down and appreciate the taste as soon as the entire thing was safely in her mouth.

    "A baker's assessment..." she announced, then folded her arms, furrowed her brow and screwed her eyes shut at though she was thinking very intensely. Her intimate familiarity with bread-making may have made her a bit picky, but it wasn't bad by any means. The choice of croissants in and of itself was just a bit clever, perhaps a nod to her accent or after-class activities? And her only real problem with pastry had been almost dripping the insides on herself, which was really only a result of not paying enough attention. After just three seconds of contemplation, Louise gave him a cheeky grin and a thumbs-up. She restrained herself from another, but sat and ate some of the fruit and nursed her tea, joining Diego in admiring the clouds and how much closer the birds seemed now.

    After that, they set back up the mountain. As their hike went on, they talked of many things, though talk of Avalon steadily decreased and gave way to more lighthearted conversation, their pace (or Louise's, at any rate) given a leg up by the sugar and caffeine content of their little meal. By the top of the mountain, they had decided that the sheep (who Diego had declared a boy) was given the name "Cirrus." At the peak, they stood admiring the landscape for a bit, Louise briefly mentioning that the mountains offered a different kind of beauty entirely from the forests that she was used to. It was, at that - they hadn't picked the highest mountain in the area, but it was certainly enough to see almost all of the surrounding area from above. Strange, how wide and empty everything seemed from up above, yet so tightly-knit while you were actually in it.

    The two separated after their descent - not because she didn't enjoy the company, Louise had assured Diego, but because what had been said in the Velvet Room now was tugging at her curiosity. Promising that they would talk later, Louise said her good-bye, made Cirrus give a little wave, and headed on her way. Though she kept an eye out, nobody that she recognized from the cave or the Velvet Room made an appearance, and Leo hadn't provided any updates as far as she could tell. Well, there were plenty of people in this town, anyway. It was a small miracle that just the three of them had ended up involved.

    By the time she arrived home, it the morning was giving way to noon. After unpacking her bag and dumping the now-spoiled sandwiches and salad, she made a mental list of things that she needed to do and ordered them. First would be to find some sort of analogue to the polearm she had found in Avalon, so that she might at least get more used to the feel of swinging something similar around. Her first instinct was to check the closets for some sort of broom, which turned out to be an excellent hunch. On account of the age of the house they had moved into, her mother had picked up a cobweb broom with a meter-long handle, which she found to be similar enough for the moment despite its too-short shaft and lacking weight at the head. Well, perhaps she could persuade somebody better with craft-work to build her a sort of training spear at some point. Summer was the time for projects like that, after all.

    She took it out to a lightly wooded area a block away to practice, but Louise quickly found that she had no way of assessing her own skill. Indeed, she was only tiring her own arms by swinging her makeshift weapon around without hitting anything. Grumbling at the half-baked quality of her own idea as she meandered back home, Louise made a mental note to find herself a sturdier weapon and someone with whom to spar.

    The next notion on her list was research, and as much as Louise had been put in the mood to spend the day outdoors, her work had to be accomplished in books. She at least remembered where the library was, and so cut a compromise by taking the long way around and, when there, seating herself by a windowed wall. Keeping a spiral-bound purple notebook nearby, Louise kept track as she leafed through a series of thick volumes. Admittedly, the closest thing she could find to her current situation was people who had taken supposed trips to spirit realms and communed with the dead, which were not very close at all and tended to contain little in the way of concrete information. Likewise, the term "Persona," aside from its obvious meanings as a common noun, turned up little but the works of a few poets and playwrights.

    The word "Avalon" itself she was vaguely familiar with already, but had to take a quick refresher on its place in Arthurian lore, the likes of which proved interesting but provided more of a breeding ground of theories than a source of insight. Her search did provide, at least, that Avalon was likely an island of some description, and that it might contain anything from an enchantress to powerful weapons or the burial ground of a great king. Though this left many threads untended, she moved to her pursuit of the other concrete term, the Tarot. Though she could only note the basic ideas and theorize at their importance, she did make a particular note of her own Arcana, the Star, and its varied interpretations. The bridge between material and spiritual. Renewed hope and inspiration. The journey toward enlightenment. Sounded more to her like a psychological analysis than useful fact, but she nonetheless took note.

    What she could not find answers for, and any strong curiosities which related to Avalon, went directly toward the third item on her agenda. As the day went on, the back pages of the notebook slowly filled with a variety of questions and odd observations about everything strange that had happened since last night, ranging everywhere from how the mechanics of their nightly transport to why the Tarot held particular meaning for them. These she would be sure to look into where she could, and perhaps make a visit or two to the Velvet Room to ask more direct questions.

    Or perhaps some of this might make itself clear tonight.

  6. #156
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    I- Diego Vendrix
    Stardust Trail
    21.07.12 - Saturday Morning


    Diego just rolled his eyes in jest at her sticking ehr tongue out as they continued. He observed her reactions to the chocolate croissant he made for them. "A baker's assessment..." she announced, then folded her arms, furrowed her brow and screwed her eyes shut at though she was thinking very intensely. Diego couldn't help but smile.

    After just three seconds of contemplation, Louise gave him a cheeky grin and a thumbs-up. Diego just ate the rest of his croissants along with some fruit while admiring with her the clouds and how much closer the birds seemed now.

    After that, they set back up the mountain. As their hike went on, they talked of many things, though talk of Avalon steadily decreased and gave way to more lighthearted conversation, their pace given a leg up by the sugar and caffeine content of their little meal.

    By the top of the mountain, they had decided to anme the shep. Diego said it was a guy so Louise gave the name "Cirrus," which Diego enjoyed. At the peak, they stood admiring the landscape for a bit, Louise briefly mentioning that the mountains offered a different kind of beauty entirely from the forests that she was used to. It was, at that - they hadn't picked the highest mountain in the area, but it was certainly enough to see almost all of the surrounding area from above. Strange, how wide and empty everything seemed from up above, yet so tightly-knit while you were actually in it.

    The two separated after their descent - not because she didn't enjoy the company, Louise had assured Diego, but because what had been said in the Velvet Room now was tugging at her curiosity. Promising that they would talk later, Louise said her good-bye, made Cirrus give a little wave, and headed on her way. Diego smiled and told her they should do this again. It was still barely the afternoon and the day had so much opportunity.

    As he was traveling, he needed to see where he could get a Scottish claymore. He saw there was being bid in a pawnshop in town. Diego went and managed to get it at an incredbily cheap price. However, there was a ruckus. Mainly, the sales clerk challenged Diego to a series of questions to lower the price.

    Diego thanked his endless hours on TVTropes paid off in this case. It wasn't a big deal, as the one who gave the blade to the shop just donated it so there was no real profit loss.

    Diego was taking the blade as well as the book on how to wield it, which he had to pay. Diego spent the afternoon and evening practicing the sword swings. It was hard work with the fact his muscles were regenerating to get used to this. Diego was sweating as he drank his 10th bottle of water and continued his rigorous exercise.

    As Diego finished his workout with the sword, he decided to text a few folk.

    To Louise: Hey Louise, I was thinking we could spar. I found a claymore at a pawn shop. We can go later and see f we can something so we can train together

    To Alyssa: Hey Alyssa, I hope you are well. I know we do not talk much anymore, but I do miss talking to you. Maybe we can talk about Avalon sometime soon. If you need anything, you can talk to me

    To Leo: Hey Leo, glad you agreed with me in Avalon. We better learn how to wield our weapons. I was thinking meditating would help us also. Happy almost Birthday

    After Diego showered and decided to order pizza for dinner. He had a coupon for three topics so he got pepperoni, spinach and feta cheese. While he was waiting for the pizza, he was looking at his arcana.

    He was number I, The Magician. Diego liked magic and appealed to the spellcaster in video games. But... when he was reading the Arcana, he was surprised a bit. Diego never thought himself ambitious or self-confident. While he knew he was creative, determined and somewhat practical, some of the other stuff he was a bit... uncomfortable with facing.

    Diego looked to the mirror. For a brief moment, he pictured himself dressed in wizard robe. The Magician...

    Bridging heaven and earth... overcoming all...

    He pictured himself in a flying arcane castle and overseeing the world. He was wielding the claymore in one hand and a staff in the other. He was wearing a tunic and armor. He had leather bindings to keep books on him. From the flying fortress, he looked down on earth...

    His earth...

    Beside him, were his battlemaids. As he turned them to them, he saw they were... Alyssa and Louise?

    Diego snapped from this with the sound of the doorbell. Diego sighed before he wiped the sweat from his brow and paid the deliverman and getting his dinenr and begin eating. Half for today and half for tomorrow. Diego sighed once more before he shivered. That ambitious side of him... the one whow anted to overcome and conquer all... he feared him a bit.

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  7. #157
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    Alyssa H. Lovelock
    World of Words, Bookstore
    July 27, 2012


    Alyssa's visit to the Antique store was fruitless, so she decided to go to the next best thing. She strolled down the aisles of the store, a stack of books in her hands. Most of them had to do with Herbs, Myths, and Mentality. She then stumbled onto a book that struck her. She looked at it, and inspected it. it was just a plain white cover. It had no special markings or anything of the like. She checked the inside, and found no author, no a price tag what so ever. She only saw the title, and that's what struck her odd. Wings That Can't Fly. She also knew it was a tune from a Video Game called Disgaea, but this was certainly the most odd thing yet. She decided to put the book onto her pile, which had three, big fat books on it about the three subjects. She was a very fast reader, since she spent most of her time reading when she wasn't baking of having one of her moments.

    She sighed, and put on a fake smile as she put the forth book onto the stack, and then went up to the counter. The owner and cashier of the book store was an old, dainty lady who looked like she was around sixty. She always had a warm, welcoming smile that made Alyssa feeling both pain, and warmth. It was always odd, that the lady who ran the store was the only one who was able to make her feel that way. The feeling that someone truly cares about you. She put the books on the counter.

    "Good morning Alyssa, how do you fare today?" The old lady asked her while putting the price scanner on the bar codes

    "I'm doing relatively well. I was just researching some things for a baking contest I'm entering. The last book did strike me odd though... How's your day Mrs. Hawthorne?" Alyssa asked her with a curt smile, with a bit of sorrow laced on her voice.

    "I don't think I've ever seen the book before. Well, I can give it to you for free then, if it's a good book, tell me so I can order some more... Though I don't remember ever ordering this... Well, besides that oddity, I've been good. With the Library built, I'm not having as much business anymore. In fact, regulars haven't started coming here anymore." She replied to Alyssa, putting the books into a bag Alyssa brought.

    "Really? That's such a shame. I've always loved this place since I first came here. It was like I could just find the perfect book I was looking for whenever I came here. Well, besides that, I have to be off now, see you soon!" Alyssa replied with a cheery smile as she left the store, but her depression soon came back and took hold of her. She walked to the nursery, and bout some plants. She then returned to her store, and started reading the herb book. She felt her phone buzz, and flipped it open.

    Hey Alyssa, I hope you are well. I know we do not talk much anymore, but I do miss talking to you. Maybe we can talk about Avalon sometime soon. If you need anything, you can talk to me It was from Diego. She gave a small smile, and closed the phone. She could respond later. Instead, she took some Catnip, Chamomile, and Sage, and ground it up into a powder. She then proceeded in the process of making a Vegan cupcake.

    This hopefully will be a cure all. The book said these three herbs had a lot of relaxing and healing powers. So hopefully this will work...

    She took one of the finished cupcakes, and bit into it. It tasted good, so she finished it. She then felt tired, so she took a nap on the couch.


    I look sugary and sweet, but in reality I'm just hollow and rotten.
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    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Jasmine Cafe
    21/7/2012


    Alistair looked at Janna as she replied. He considered her words.

    "I'm sure your Persona, whatever it is, will be strong," he said. "Death... the way he said it had a dark history..." He paused. "There was something ominous about it. Like the dark history is something dangerous. Maybe we should pressure one of them to explain it the next time we can go to the Velvet Room."

    A customer called him away, and as he rose to go to them, he cast one last glance at her. "Even if it is something dangerous... if your arcana means something that'll hurt you... I won't let it happen. I'll fight to keep you safe... you're my friend, Janna." And with that, he strode away.

    -

    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Alistair's House
    5:50PM, 21/7/2012


    "Dad?" He pushed the door open, walking into the house. He glanced into the living room, seeing his father slumped on the couch with a bottle of whiskey in his hand. He was staring at the TV, which was playing some kind of political rally. Alistair moved to the stairs, rushing up them. As he did so, he heard his father's voice chanting along with the televised crowd.

    "Romney! Romney! Romney!"

    The sound chased him into his room, drowned as he shut the door. It hadn't surprised him to find out that his father was such a fan of Romney's policies. Most of the town seemed set on voting Republican, in fact. As he slumped onto his bed, he reflected on that. Misty Springs was a stuffy old place. It took a while for new ideas to set in, and with so many elderly people here, more traditional ideas still thrived. Sometimes you might hear an older person let slip in casual fashion words which had died out or changed over time, and he supposed the reason he saw so many signs advocating Romney stuck into lawns across town was that people here felt wary of the president, who to so many advocated a new future.

    Of course, after everything he'd heard of Romney, had he been able to vote, Alistair knew his vote would be firmly on Obama's side.

    He turned his thoughts to the Velvet Room and its mysterious attendants. To the task ahead of him. He wondered how many of the others sat around that table would be there the next time he appeared in Avalon. How many would stand there and fight? How many would refuse? Janna had promised to be there, but until she awakened her Persona, if no one else came, that left just them and Mordred. Against all those things... against that darkness. He wondered about her now, about the Arcana.

    He retrieved his smartphone, checking the internet and digging up the meanings of the Death Arcana. Change. Regeneration. Transformation. It didn't seem to mean actual death, a fact which relieved him. But he still wondered. What had he meant by the Arcana having a dark history? What was so special about that Arcana in particular in comparison to, say, The Tower? His attention now turned to the Arcana he apparently represented, he looked up that one's meanings. Downfall, ruin, sudden change, revelation, chaos. It seemed a more ominous picture than that painted by Death's meanings. What did it mean when one embodied an Arcana?

    But as he thought on it, at least his Persona now seemed understandable. Mordred had brought about a downfall. He was the knight who had brought the downfall of King Arthur and ruin to his kingdom, and in the process, his own downfall. His rebellion had plunged Arthur's kingdom into chaos, changing that land forever. And Avalon was named for the place in which Arthur had been laid to rest. With that Persona as his true self... what did that mean in connection to Avalon, he wondered. If King Arthur was there, and they met... what would the king think upon meeting one whose true self was the knight who had betrayed him? Was there a destiny which might drive him elsewhere, away from this quest? If King Arthur was the one at the heart of Avalon, then what was the destiny of Arthur's mortal enemy?

    Uncomfortable with the dark turn of these thoughts, he turned his attention back to his comrades, before a beep from his smartphone snapped him out of his reverie. He answered the call.

    "Alistair?" It was his boss.

    "Yes?"

    "Have you checked that one site yet? The big tourist one for reviewing cafes?"

    "Irene, I don't tend to check those sites," he sighed. "What is it?"

    "Some ******* left a review there this morning saying some crap about something being slipped in the guy's coffee."

    "What?" he replied, surprised. "You know I would never..."

    "I know you wouldn't, I just thought you ought to know. You should probably check the machine the next time you're in, just in case."

    "I will," he nodded. "Thank you for telling me, Irene."

    "No problem, kid. We'll get things sorted and if something did get in the guy's coffee, we'll fix it. I'm sure it's not your fault."

    "What exactly did he say happened?" Alistair asked, intrigued suddenly.

    "Well, there wasn't much detail. The crap about something in his coffee, some reference to a hallucination..."

    "A hallucination...?" he repeated. "What time was this review posted?"

    "About half six this morning." That reminded him. The young man he had served then, the one who had left with a glare a short while later, after the trip to the Velvet Room.

    "Thanks... I'll look at the machine tomorrow," he said. "I'll see you later, Irene." With that, she hung up and he lowered the phone. His thoughts were suddenly ablaze. He hadn't clearly seen everyone in the Velvet Room. This person was reporting a hallucination of some kind around the time they had gone to the Velvet Room. Was it possible that they'd gone there too and mistaken it for a hallucination? He had to wonder.

    Sighing, he turned his thoughts away. He would have to see who was in Avalon when he arrived there next. He knew Janna would be there, and that guy... but how many others? How many of them would there be? How many people... how many Personae? As he lay there, his thoughts tossed and turned, confused and daunted by the task which lay ahead.

    -

    IX - Matthew Clark
    Matt's House
    6:00 PM, 21/7/12


    Matt leaned back in his chair, pulling away from his writing. He gazed fondly at the picture of Leah beside it, before reading his writing again.

    He held her close, feeling her warmth even through his black armor. "I have to do this," he whispered. "Even if I die... if we all die... isn't it worth it? To stop him? If he walks free, everyone will perish. This world will die screaming. A hundred, a thousand... to save everyone? Is that not worthy? Is that not a sacrifice which is righteous?"

    "But this magic... black magic... you would forge a hellish dragon to fight a black, cold god?" she retorted. "Give your lives that a dragon might live? The beast could live to do more damage to the land! For generations, you might blight us all!"

    He pulled away. "What other choice do I have, Elsa?! I cannot stand and watch this world burn! I will not see everyone fall into death screaming in agony! I swore to protect everyone... even at the cost of my own life. My men swore the same oath. Even if we must summon such a hellish creature, it is a lesser evil. That terrible dragon was slain, it can be slain again. But once that being walks free, nothing but the dragon can stop it." He gazed into her eyes, pleading. "Please... understand. This is the only way."


    He sighed. This sort of dilemma had always appealed to him. The lesser evil to prevent a greater. He found the moral intricacies so fascinating that for this novel he had created an entire order of knights wielding dark powers in the name of justice. Blood magic and dark sacrifices, all made in the name of protecting the innocent from harm and slaying the guilty. But how could you promise to sacrifice everything and then fall in love? That was the question.

    How could one live without the one they loved most? That second question brought the memory back again. Watching her laying dead in that hospital, so cold, so pale. And just being reminded hurt. He turned away, pushing it out of mind.

    "Leah..."

    His thoughts turned back to Avalon. That cold, dark world. He was going back there when the butterfly came to him again. What would he find this time? How many people would be there too, fighting that force as well?

    He would have to see. His Persona was still there, he knew. Still waiting to be awakened, resting deep within. So perhaps soon, he would see what his true soul was.

    -

    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Avalon
    ?, ?


    He was washed along by the tides of sleep and dreams, flitting from hope to despair, from contentment to terror. He passed into the sea of the subconscious and through it, and then it was there. The blue butterfly fluttered around him, soaring away and he stood for a moment. This was his last chance to turn away from the danger. But he couldn't. Not now.

    He raced after the butterfly, tearing through streams of light and endless void, his clothes forming on his body, and then the sword taking shape in his grip. Then he fell, and Philemon was there, smiling at him as the void consumed him.

    The sound of waves came to him as the void ripped away. He stood on the shore of Avalon, gazing up at the great citadel. Gripping his sword, he looked around as others began to form, appearing as if becoming solid from mist and shadow. Their weapons were in their hands, and as he looked, many more than the two he had been certain of rose out of the mists. Their sheer number brought a smile to his face.

    "So many... all here..." he whispered. "So many accepted..."

    "I couldn't stand back." He turned to see a brown-haired man stood behind him, gripping a black halberd trimmed in golden shades. "Not with everyone at risk... if I did... she... I... I couldn't live with myself." He looked at Alistair more closely. "I remember you... you threw a stone at my window a few years back."

    Alistair gazed at him, astounded. "You... you remember? Then you're... that guy... Matthew."

    "Call me Matt," Matt responded. "How about you?"

    "Alistair... Alistair Blake." He turned back to Avalon's great citadel, gazing around at all the others. "So... you all came here..." He looked at each face. "I didn't expect so many of you..." He picked out Janna from the crowd, smiling at her, then he moved to pick out Carina, smiling to her too. Then he raised his gaze up to the citadel once more. Its monolithic structure was dark and looming even at this distance, but that light shining from its great pinnacle made him feel a stab of warmth and comfort. There was something noble up there. Something truly mighty and good.

    "So... who are we all?" he finally said. "For all of you who don't know me... I'm Alistair. Alistair Blake."

    "I'm Matt..." the man added from behind him.
    [CENTER]

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  9. #159
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    Alyssa H. Lovelock
    Avalon
    ???


    Alyssa woke in the warm, soothing sand. She checked her cloths, and found them to be her regular attire. Maybe her assumption is right, what they wear during the day might effect what she wears here. She licked her wrist, and breathed into it. She then smelled the licked part of her hands, and she smelled Catnip, Chamomile, and Sage. The three herbs that she used in that cupcake. This place really stroke her odd, the tower rising above, like a silent sentinel watching over the land. She then turned around to see the others sitting around the Velvet Room's table. She giggled a little bit, feeling bad for those who didn't come before.

    They'll think this is just some sort of Acid trip. Oh well, God. If these are the ones I have to save, so be it. I will save them from death, and protect them from lies and what lurks in this unholy land. And if their souls shall fall... Valkyrie, you shall guide them to their proper resting place, here eternally. May the beauty of the rose guide me, and have my children blossom, avoiding the smell of Hemlock lingering on me.

    Alyssa picked up her still Malfunctioning Gunblade, and walked over to the shore. She watched the waves ebb and flow, the sound bringing peace to her ears. She waited for the others to raise from their slumber and emerge into this world.

    Did Janna chase the butterfly yet? Diego? The others? Why don't I see this butterfly they speak of. Maybe I'm told old for this, or maybe I'm not. It's just that, what happened five years ago... It changed me.

    Yellow eyes emerged from the water, just dots not moving in the waves. It almost made Alyssa jump, but she didn't, and it swam away. Whatever that thing was ,it was hostile. that's for suure. she the nheard the echoing of voices coming her way.

    "So... who are we all?" he finally said. "For all of you who don't know me... I'm Alistair. Alistair Blake."

    "I'm Matt..."

    Alyssa turned and recognized the two men standing. The second one was the guy she met here before, and the first one the blabber mouth in the Velvet room. She just smiled, and walked over. She looked at the kids scattered and draped on the sand. She picked out more or less Eighteen others, besides her self. She saw Drake, and for some reason, Eliminated him from the others. 18 Prepared fighters, and the last one, for some odd reason, Tactical Support. She then turned to Alistair

    "For those of you who don't know me for some odd reason, I'm Alyssa... We're here to fight for balance for both this world and our world right? Like Yu and Minato did when they had to, right? We might be the largest mass of Persona users to date... Considering we have each of the regular Arcana with us. Most of us don't know how to really fight, and we're just going out into the Wilderness of dreams, and we might pay our life for this. I guess I don't have a right to say this either, but... I have a feeling something is out there. A being, corrupted by the dark sludge of Malice. I don't know why, but I think.. that something is out there who wants to kill us." She said ominously, then turned to the rest of the crowd

    "So I suggest we make groups of Three. Drake, you wont be in a group... I can sense, you're Persona is not meant for Fighting... If you find fault in my logic and reasoning, keep it to your self. I think that this is the best chance for us to be effective in combat, and split up with out stepping on each other's heels. Those who were here last time, we know what dangers lurk here... That's all." She bowed to everyone, and then returned to her spot by the waves, listening to the chatter.


    I look sugary and sweet, but in reality I'm just hollow and rotten.
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  10. #160
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    I- Diego Vendrix
    Vendrix Household
    21.07.12 - Saturday 6:00 PM


    Diego had yawned after he finished brushing his teeth. He was tired. He felt like taking a nap. He could not help but remember the vision he had. Granted he found Louise and Alyssa attractive but...

    Wait, where did that come from?

    "For a people said to be ambitious and out to control others and do great things, I seem to be kinda shy about it," Diego joked to himself before he laid on his bed and went to sleep.

    I- Diego Vendrix
    The Infinite Fields of Thought
    DreamTime


    Diego woke up and looked around. He was in his haven. They were the Infinite Fields of Thought, his dreamworld. He looked up to see the sky in fiery colors with purple outlines to see the stars. He saw both the dusking sun and dawning moon. he saw the clear blue water along with the black stone trees with bright blue leaves. He saw the jade colored stones that were over the area. He saw the gold color seem to stretch endlessly through the distance...

    He sighed before he saw something land on his nose.

    A blue butterfly.

    Diego stretched and smiled before the butterfly led him toward the endless horizon. Diego ran as the area around him blured into a fantasic landscape of colors. What seemed like forever and yet an instant was the end.

    He saw many stars in the sky. It seem to be like he was looking in space. To the back of him was the endless field. To the front, he was in a clearing. There were three main objects of interest...

    The first was a lone large Escher tree. It seem to be made of Onyx with white glowing veins. Upon close examination the veins were intricate geometical or henna patterns. The leaves of the tree were made of glass that reflected of the many colors of the sky. Hanging from a branch was the a scabbard. He put it on.

    Besides the tree was pedestal made of a monolitic rainbow-colored gem. In the pedestal, was his claymore. Diego drew it and had a better grip, his learning the fundamentals began paying off.

    The last was in front of him. A monolithic gate. Carved out of stone and with many philosophical messeges written on it in many languages, he saw the stars swirl into it. Diego saw the butterfly enter.

    Diego smiled before placing the sword in the scabbard and ran and entered the gate.

    I- Diego Vendrix
    Avalon
    Timelessness


    Diego was happy to see so many people here. This inspired and relieved him. He wondered if his words had an impact. "Well, looks like we are all here," Diego said. He smiled at them as recognized some of them. He gave a knowing and confident look to Leo before smiling at Louise and Alyssa. However, he also had a faint blush when he looked at them. He then began hearing some of them so he began listening.


    "So... who are we all?" Alistair finally said. "For all of you who don't know me... I'm Alistair. Alistair Blake."

    "I'm Matt..."

    Diego then saw Alyssa turn to Alastair before looking like she was about to speak.

    "For those of you who don't know me for some odd reason, I'm Alyssa... We're here to fight for balance for both this world and our world right? Like Yu and Minato did when they had to, right? We might be the largest mass of Persona users to date... Considering we have each of the regular Arcana with us. Most of us don't know how to really fight, and we're just going out into the Wilderness of dreams, and we might pay our life for this. I guess I don't have a right to say this either, but... I have a feeling something is out there. A being, corrupted by the dark sludge of Malice. I don't know why, but I think.. that something is out there who wants to kill us." She said ominously, then turned to the rest of the crowd. Diego just nodded solemnly. He knew the incident from long ago traumitized her, but he was going to help her.

    It was what his heart told him.

    "So I suggest we make groups of Three. Drake, you wont be in a group... I can sense, you're Persona is not meant for Fighting... If you find fault in my logic and reasoning, keep it to your self. I think that this is the best chance for us to be effective in combat, and split up with out stepping on each other's heels. Those who were here last time, we know what dangers lurk here... That's all." She bowed to everyone, and then returned to her spot by the waves, listening to the chatter.

    "She's right, we need to stick together. Furthermore, I propose that in our time on Earth, we practice wielding our weapons to at least improve ourselves there. My name is Diego Vendrix," Diego told everyone. Diego then found Louise and led her over to Alyssa.

    "I guess we can be a Team of 3," Diego said to her as he gave Alyssa a comforting smile before placing a hand on her shoulder.
    Last edited by DVB; 11th November 2012 at 3:34 PM.

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  11. #161
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    XIII. Jannike Mortensen
    Mortensen Residence
    21.07.2012, 6:00 PM


    Janna sat in front of her computer, her eyes heavy, bags of new purchases at the door and a half-empty can of Heineken next to her. Alistair's words still rung in her head, and they were both comforting and bothersome at the same time. He had practically assured her that the zombie was not a possibility, and that whatever it was, he wouldn't let anything bad happen to her. Unfortunately, it also had the side-effect of making her think of Alistair more than once after that. His green eyes, his smile, his touch...he was both hot and nice after all...a pretty rare combination from her experience.

    Man, what the hell am I thinking? I've been reading too many erotic novels lately...

    "What's the matter with me?" She muttered as she got up and headed for her bed, unfastening the cord of her black silk robe and reminding herself of the whispers. She was damaged goods and she knew it. Casual flings, one-night stands, losing her virginity at sixteen...Alistair was too good for her. He was probably never going to like her that way even if she wanted to and even if he knew. Shaking him out of her head, she climbed up onto her bed, beckoning for Lupus to come up. The pure white Northern Inuit bounded up, his tongue hanging and his tail wagging. Having woken up extremely early, she felt that she needed a nap, and a pretty good one at that. She allowed Lupus to curl up next to her before she got under the black silk sheets and closed her eyes.


    Avalon
    ???, ???


    The butterfly, it materialized in front of her again, fluttering in front of her very eyes. Instinctively, the teenager followed it, remembering her promise. This was just one of the very few surprises her life in Misty Springs had, and it definitely was a welcome change. She followed it to the light, her civilian clothing replacing her nudity, the hair she let down before she slept fixing itself back up into its usual ponytail and the scythe she wielded the night before appearing in her hand.

    And then, the ghostly man appeared, after which she felt the familiar falling feeling. Down, down...until everything turned black.

    Janna woke up to the sounds of the seashore. Waves crashed, the winds blew and she found herself lying on the soft sand once again. Getting back on her feet, she picked up her scythe, which lay next to her, and looked around. Definitely more than four people around this time. It looked more like everyone from that room was present. She caught Alistair's smile, and she faked a salute at him as she grinned back.

    "So... who are we all?" he finally said. "For all of you who don't know me... I'm Alistair. Alistair Blake." He said, allowing everyone to introduce themselves.

    A different man introduced himself as Matt. He was older, though probably no older than thirty. Then Alyssa did the same. Janna's full height of six feet allowed her to be pretty much seen by about everyone. It didn't hurt to introduce herself either.

    "Jannike Mortensen, though you probably heard my name from...Igor, was it? Just call me 'Janna' though." She said, introducing herself before she looked towards Alyssa, who was now telling people to group for combat reasons. She strode towards Alyssa, knowing very well that she had never even seen her Persona.

    But I don't even know what my damn Persona is or is capable of...

    "Alyssa, can we think about that once...I...get to see my Persona? I mean, I haven't even seen mine yet, let alone fight with mine." She murmured, before heading back to everyone else.



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  12. #162
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    Alyssa H. Lovelock
    Avalon
    ???


    "Alyssa, can we think about that once...I...get to see my Persona? I mean, I haven't even seen mine yet, let alone fight with mine." Janna murmured, before heading back to everyone else. She also saw Diego come to her and introduce his friend Louise

    "Nice to meet you Loiuse." Alyssa said with a curt bow, before speaking out once more

    "Since you guys might be a little shaky on what you're Persona is... I guess we should just use Practice Matches. I can sense that 9 of us has awakened their Persona, including me. Since the other ten of you don't know who they are... Maybe we should do one on one Matches first..." She spoke out, and then whispered to Diego "Hey, wanna be my opponent?" She asked him.

    She then looked back onto the waves, and waited to see if those eyes have returned. They have, and for some odd reason she felt the Tarot Card forming into her head, she looked at everyone, who were doing a myriad of things. She then decided she shouldn't. Not yet at least.

    Well... Maybe one use wouldn't hurt, right? Oh well... I don't even know if Valkyrie has any good powers next to that lightning spell... What ever that is... What was that spell again?

    "Mazio!" Alyssa shouted, forgetting to keep her thoughts to herself. She then held her Tarot card closer to her heart, and moved to a clearing that nobody was occupied in.

    "Alright then... Who's up first?" Alyssa asked the crowd as she stuck her gunblade into the ground, taking off her glasses and putting them in her pocket.


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  13. #163
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    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Avalon
    ?, ?


    "Since you guys might be a little shaky on what you're Persona is... I guess we should just use Practice Matches. I can sense that 9 of us has awakened their Persona, including me. Since the other ten of you don't know who they are... Maybe we should do one on one Matches first..."
    "That's a bad idea," Alistair replied. "Fighting now would only make us tired before we've even met any of those... monsters." Seeing Alyssa conjure her Tarot card, he focused, instinctively drawing forth his own. The card marked XVI formed in his grip, ready to be shattered at a moment's notice. "We can't afford to tire each other out now... not with things like that out there. As for splitting up, even if those of us without Personae can still fight, there's still the risk of a group getting massively outnumbered and being stuck without help. We can't risk it... this isn't a game. We can't make horror movie mistakes here and get someone killed. I... I won't let it happen."

    "Alistair's right," Matt agreed. "Fighting with each other isn't something we can just do. Maybe back in the real world... but not here, not when we could get killed by one of those monsters. We can't afford to be below our best before we've even started to fight."

    "It's not just about those of us who don't have their Personae yet..." Alistair murmured. "This isn't a movie or a game or something. We can't just rush in and split up and stuff. Because if we do that... chances are we'll just get ourselves killed. I don't want to return home only to find out that one of you hasn't woken up. I just... I can't accept that. Not when if we act smartly and don't fall into those typical mistakes, we have a much better chance of staying alive." As he spoke, the images were crowding at his mind, the very images he was trying to deny. Janna... Carina... Matt... one of them falling dead amidst these black sands. He didn't want to see that happening. He didn't want to feel so helpless. Even if he barely knew many of these people, seeing any of them die would be... he didn't want to imagine it.

    "We can't mess around... not when there's so much at stake. When this world is so dangerous..." he said softly. "Do you see where I'm coming from, Alyssa? It's too dangerous to separate us out that way. And these sparring matches... not here. We can meet back in the real world and find a way to practice, but here... it's just too dangerous. We don't know when those monsters might attack again."
    [CENTER]

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  14. #164
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    [XVII] Louise Henrietta DuBois
    DuBois Residence
    21.07.12 - Saturday Evening


    Louise fell flat on her bed, staring at the ceiling. Despite the frankly embarrassing amount of time she had spent in the library today, her efforts had gotten her a load of what-might-bes rather than any sort of what-is. Even web searches for the "Yu" and "Minato" who had been mentioned resulted in thousands of results, none helpful. Part of that was due to how slowly she had to read in English to catch everything, and part of it was the inherently abstract nature of the subject material. But mostly she was just beginning to feel like this was something that she couldn't properly understand - the only people that really knew more about "Avalon" and "Personae" in the sense of the word that she cared about were Igor and his assistants, and they kinda seemed hard to talk to properly. So, maybe she'd have to figure this all out by experience?

    No matter how hard she thought on this, Louise wasn't going to come to any meaningful conclusions tonight, so she banished the thoughts from her mind. The first distraction within reach - her cell phone - proved to be a worthy choice the second she grabbed for it. Apparently Diego had left a message while she was in the library with it off:

    Hey Louise, I was thinking we could spar. I found a claymore at a pawn shop. We can go later and see f we can something so we can train together

    Louise furrowed her brow for a fraction of a second, then released it into a smile. Of course, he was only joking - there was no way that he would have gone out and just bought a sword. So, what was his "claymore," then? Probably little more than a fire-poker, if that. She lazily replied with an affirmative that she couldn't remember the details of before heading off to slip into pajamas.

    ???

    Falling. Gently, she was falling. Not the sort of terrifying plummet experienced from a high place, but almost more like she was floating downward, deeper into her dreams. She could just make something out below her - it was small and faint, but definitely there, and gradually approaching. Or, rather, she was gradually approaching it.

    It had the same feel as the world from last night. That blue glow... the butterfly again? She reached one hand towards the insect, but her descent would not hasten at all. Though it remained out of reach, they grew closer, bit by bit, the blue glow brightening steadily. Soon it could hardly be called a glow, but rather a light, and then it was shining in her eyes, blinding her.

    Then it receded.

    As the light receded, Louise found that she was no longer falling, but standing upright on sand. It was surprisingly cool for a beach - almost unreal. Her eyes still strained from the light, she dabbed at her eyes with her left hand, finding clutched in it a blue card. On second look, it was clearly marked with the roman numeral XIV. Fortune. In her right hand she was already clutching the glaive which had done her so much good last night. Even as she was getting her bearings, the others appeared from smoke and mist, gathered armed as she already was. This world had brought them here already equipped to fight for their lives.

    What a reassuring notion.

    Louise made note of the others' names, giving her own in turn, and found herself quickly accosted by Diego and his friend Alyssa into joining a group under the assumption that everyone would be more comfortable defending themselves in small groups. Before she could even object, Diego had already dragged the three of them together and Alyssa was already practically bowing to her.

    "My pleasure," she replied, grinning back. She admired Alyssa for just a second - long and copper hair, a sweet air about her, why did Diego seem to know so many cute girls? Still, she felt ready to challenge the idea of splitting up - it would, after all, be safer to stick with the power-in-numbers mentality in such a strange land, though this idea never left her lips.

    Indeed, she was prematurely interrupted by a suggestion from Alyssa that everyone get into a sort of sparring match. Another boy, Alistair, cut that idea off right where it was. In fact, he went onto a near-rant about how they needed to take everything very seriously, that survival was of the highest priority. That was true, of course, but he and a young man older than the rest, Matt, had a fair back-and-forth about it, descending progressively to we're-gonna-die-if-we're-not-careful levels. Perhaps they were taking a bit too far? They needed to keep some hope in their systems, after all - gloom 'n' doom would drag them down almost as fast as recklessness.

    "Ah, yes, that reminds me!" Louise piped up, raising her hand and trying to relieve a modicum of tension. "We should all meet tomorrow - in the real world, I mean. Maybe... noon, at the school? We should at least stay in contact there."

    She quickly looked between the others gathered, gauging the response before gesturing at the nearby building and adding a second suggestion, "But we should get moving, too. Maybe to the castle? We're in the open, standing here." As if to nudge the others in her direction, she edged a bit in the direction of the castle, just about a step or two.

  15. #165
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    Alyssa H. Lovelock
    Avalon
    ???


    Alyssa shot the nastiest look she could manage at Alistair and Matt. They had a point about the sparring, but the first part was just overkill. She looked at them, and pointed her gunblade at both of them

    "Remember who you're talking to. The second thing,I have to agree with you guys, but the first one is uncalled for. Claiming that it's dangerous and we'd get killed is very likely, even if we all stayed together, but it's the best we got. Think about it tactically for a second. If we engage in a battle with one of the Shadows that Igor mentioned 18 to 1, we'd be tripping over each other's feet. I remember that their was about seven or eight harpies that attacked us, and four of us when they did. I was able to save my group with Mazio, and I'm sure the rest of you who used your Persona did the same. I know that you're being cautious, but think about it just for a second... would it be wiser for us to split up into smaller and more reasonable teams to explorer the place more and understand our surroundings better, or stay in one giagantic group where we're a giant target wearing a "Slaughter Us" Sign." Alyssa berated the two men, justifying her reason why they should split up into smaller groups.

    "Ah, yes, that reminds me!" Louise piped up, raising her hand and trying to relieve a modicum of tension. "We should all meet tomorrow - in the real world, I mean. Maybe... noon, at the school? We should at least stay in contact there."

    "Um, sweety, we're in the middle of July... We don't have school during July in America. I think a better place would be a bookstore I know. The owner has a conference room in the back that's hidden, so we might be able to converse there." Alyssa replied to her as Louise suggested they should head towards the giant Citadel in the sky.

    "That seems the most logical, but maybe we should train around the beach some more against any Shadows we find? I just have a bad feeling about that place... Also, does this place have a map? It would be a lot better if it did..." Alyssa sighed as she walked forward, pointing her gunblade at the Citadel.


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  16. #166
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    I- Diego Vendrix
    The Infinite Fields of Thought
    DreamTime


    "Since you guys might be a little shaky on what you're Persona is... I guess we should just use Practice Matches. I can sense that 9 of us has awakened their Persona, including me. Since the other ten of you don't know who they are... Maybe we should do one on one Matches first..." Alyssa spoke out, and then whispered to Diego "Hey, wanna be my opponent?" She asked him. Before Diego could answer, she asked the whole group. He wondered what she was thinking.

    Diego then heard to listen to Alistair's and Matt's refusals and their explanations as to why not. He had to not. They did have several valid points. He did admit he could warm up just a bit. Diego then saw Alyssa chew out the guys. Diego liked Louise's idea of meeting at the school though Alyssa told her the school was closed.

    "She meant the school grounds..." Diego said. It made sense, seeing as it was where most if virtually not all of them know and went to. He then heard the suggestion of the bookstore. Diego saw the large Citadel as he was thinking.

    "That seems the most logical, but maybe we should train around the beach some more against any Shadows we find? I just have a bad feeling about that place... Also, does this place have a map? It would be a lot better if it did..." Alyssa sighed as she walked forward, pointing her gunblade at the Citadel.

    "Regardless, we have to be careful. I wonder where our mysterious hosts from the last time we were here are at. I suppose we should head to the Citadel. That seems to be our only lead. I suppose I agree with both sides of te argument regarding whether to remain together or splitting up. I suppose it is best to be flexible and what it is either way. In this case, we split up but we head toward the same destination and regroup," Diego elaborated on.

    "I suppose, Alyssa, Louise and myself are a team. Jannike, Alistair and Matt could be another..." Diego said as he was thinking.

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  17. #167
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    XIX - Leonardo "Leo" Silverstone
    Saturday
    Silverstone Residence


    After finally getting home, the first thing Leo did was get on the computer, and do reaserch on his Tarot Card. He was very happy with what he had come to find. There were a lot of vague meanings, but the key words that stuck out to him were Happiness, Enthusiasm, Energy, and Self-confidence, among others. Leo couldn't help but chuckle at how fitting a lot of that was. "Wow, they pretty much got me down to a T!" Ironically, a very approriate song just happened to be playing, coming from his little sister's TV.

    ♪Come on everypony
    Smile, smile, smile!
    Fill my heart up with sunshine,
    Sunshine!
    All I really need's a smile, smile, smile!
    From these happy friends of mine!♪

    The moment was ruined when Lilly came home. "Oh hey Lil! how was your date..."

    She didn't give much of a response. "It wasn't a date... And it went as well as one would expect..." Then she went to her room without giving him any further information. Then his phone started beeping, saying he had recieved a text message, it was from Diego.

    Hey Leo, glad you agreed with me in Avalon. We better learn how to wield our weapons. I was thinking meditating would help us also. Happy almost Birthday
    Leo wasn't really much of meditator, and wasn't sure how much it would help. He wasn't really good at sitting still, not thinking for that long, it just make him anxious instead of the intended effect of being relaxing.

    In all of this Avalon business, Leo had actually forgotten that his Birthday was soon approaching. "I still haven't figured out what I'm gonna do for that." Leo immediately sent him a text back.

    Thanks! And your welcome. ^w^ I'm just upset I didn't get to say it first. :P lol

    See ya in Avalon!
    Then, Leo went back to his reserch. He then looked up Lilly's arcana, The Heirophant. It was funny that apparently meant "The Pope" but she's a girl. "I guess not everyone's card fits as perfectly as mine does. Some of the keywords he found for it made sense for her though. Education, Knowledge..." it also represented rules and authority. "Well, yeah. She can be a party pooper sometimes."

    XIX - Leonardo "Leo" Silverstone
    ?
    Avalon


    As he expected, ecerything was dark, and he couldn't see anything but himself, and the luminescent blue butterfly. He went after it. Slowly, his clothes started appearing on him, almost like a magical girl type transformation. his red tank top, his jeans, his sneakers, his favorite pair of goggles on top of his head, ending with the sword appearing his hands. Then he fell through a void, while seeing the leader of this operation Philemon smile at him.

    Then there he was, on the shores of Avalon. Everyone that had been at the Velvet Room earlier was there. This was good, we would need all the help we can get. He smiled and waved to some of the people he knew, like Diego, Carina, Louise, Janna. After Alistair, Matt, and a few others introduced themselves. Finally, it was Leo's turn.

    "Hey guys. I'm Leo! I'm sure most of you have seen me around town before though. If anyone needs a friend to talk to, or someone to brighten their day, that's what I'm here for." He said while taking a bow. "I am The Sun after all." Ending his speech with a wink, and a giggle.

    V - Lillian "Lilly Silverstone
    ?
    Avalon


    And here she was again, back in this place. She wasn't willing to admit it, but she actually enjoyed beating up monsters last night. This type of thing is an RPer's dream come true. What she could do without however, were all these people. She was never really fond of crowds. They were so noisy and she never knew how to jump in on a conversation. She tried to go as far back as possible, to hopefully blend in with the crowd, not be noticed, and remain hidden untill Shadows show up.
    Last edited by Monster Guy; 20th November 2012 at 9:06 PM.
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  18. #168
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    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Avalon
    ?


    Alistair was shocked into silence by Alyssa's retort. He couldn't understand. Didn't she see? Couldn't she recognize that this wasn't a game? Groups of three could easily be overwhelmed and killed. And yet, he could see the sense in her argument. It was just... images kept flooding him, images of the others cut down, lying dead at his feet. He couldn't bear them.

    She kept talking, talking about the citadel, talking as Louise suggested meeting in real life. But it seemed so... light-hearted. As though the true gravity of those world was lost on them. As though... they didn't understand. He couldn't find words to answer her. Those images were crowding him and stunning him into silence.

    Matt spoke up. "Louise is right. We need to start meeting in the real world. If we're going to be fighting this out together, we'll need to practice and get to know one another." He paused. "I can see the merits in separating, Alyssa. But I can also see where Alistair's coming from. We could split up, but if we do, I would recommend keeping the groups at a fair size to reduce the risk of a group being outnumbered and overwhelmed. Perhaps four or five people each. Accounting for Personae, that gives each group eight to ten fighters, which should be enough for them to avoid just being overwhelmed by a group of those monsters."

    Alistair heard the words, and while they should have been something he accepted, even such a reasonable suggestion, he just couldn't bring himself to. Those terrible images were still there. To have one of them dead... to have their corpse at his feet and their blood on his hands...

    "I..." he murmured, trying to gather his thoughts. Trying to form some coherent answer.

    Then the sands exploded and shadows poured from them, cutting through the group and tossing them apart. The beach was broken asunder and divided by the roiling tide of darkness, tearing the group from each other and tossing them to the mercy of the raging sands.

    "Janna! Matt!" Alistair cried aloud as the darkness snatched him away, throwing him down into the sands. He burst through them desperately, reaching for air, for his allies. Then the shadows ripped him into the sky and smashed him down. He blacked out momentarily and rose to find himself with three others tossed onto a small isle of sand amidst the storm of darkness. Groaning with the pain that ripped up his arms and through his ribs, he rose, and as he did they emerged from the darkness. Masked with white bone and clad in black chitinous armor, wielding viciously bladed and barbed whips, blades and white-hot irons in hand. Cackling the tormented, insane things approached, ready for battle.

    Alistair gripped his sword in hand, having somehow kept his grip on it. In his other hand, the Tarot card reformed from light, the Shadows recoiling slightly at the sight of it. Alistair glanced around, taking in the raging shadows surrounding the battlefield.

    "You're in my way," he said softly. "I don't know what happened to the others... but if any of them are dead... I'll make you pay hell for it." He looked back at the other three. "Let's do this and find the others."

    He turned back to the Shadows, raising his Tarot card and tossing it into the air, swinging his sword. The card shattered like glass as the blade parted it, shards of light raining on Alistair as he called out. "Mordred!"

    Darkness pooled behind him, and then shadows were rushing past him. His Persona struck in a flare of steel, silent and deadly. The knight's swords crashed on a white-hot glaive and the Shadow he fought cackled like a lunatic, glaring with mad bloody eyes into Mordred's golden irises.

    "With me!" Alistair cried to the others, preparing himself to charge.

    -

    IX - Matthew Clark
    Sundered Waste, Avalon
    ?


    Matt groaned. He rose up, using his halberd to prop himself up as he stood. Around him, three others were scattered, left on the sand. They were groaning and rising too. Around them, the shadows danced and raged, darkness ravaging the air and tearing up the sand.

    "What happened... what was that?" he groaned. "Was it that power... the one they were talking about?" Suddenly worried, he readied his halberd, reaching into himself. That dark cold power was there, he could feel it like ice in his heart. But he couldn't reach it, couldn't bring it to the surface and unleash it into the world.

    There came a terrible sound of hissing and then the shadows parted, creatures emerging. Stalking forwards, the things were lithe and animalistic, ghoul-like beings with dark marks covering their faces. Their arms ended in vicious blades and they scuttled on withered, clawed legs, barbed tails lashing around behind them. The Shadows hissed viciously, glaring at the humans with hunger.

    Matt readied his halberd. Terror was filling him, but he knew he couldn't run. He couldn't leave the others to die. "With me," he said. "We'll get through this."

    The Shadows charged with those terrible hisses, and Matt braced himself...
    [CENTER]

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  19. #169
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    XIII. Jannike Mortensen
    Avalon
    ???, ???


    Alyssa refused to listen, instead suggesting sparring matches, pitting the ones without Personae against the ones who already had awakened theirs. Janna did not like the idea. What of the ones without Personae, especially the younger ones? Fortunately, Alistair shot down the idea, stating that it was unreasonable. Alyssa was adamant however, stating that splitting up into triads was the best way to go about the situation.

    "Remember who you're talking to. The second thing,I have to agree with you guys, but the first one is uncalled for. Claiming that it's dangerous and we'd get killed is very likely, even if we all stayed together, but it's the best we got. Think about it tactically for a second. If we engage in a battle with one of the Shadows that Igor mentioned 18 to 1, we'd be tripping over each other's feet. I remember that their was about seven or eight harpies that attacked us, and four of us when they did. I was able to save my group with Mazio, and I'm sure the rest of you who used your Persona did the same. I know that you're being cautious, but think about it just for a second... would it be wiser for us to split up into smaller and more reasonable teams to explorer the place more and understand our surroundings better, or stay in one giagantic group where we're a giant target wearing a "Slaughter Us" Sign." She stated, before taking a suggestion from the dark-skinned beauty who Janna remembered from the Velvet Room earlier to meet up in the real world.

    Matthew then spoke up, agreeing with the girl, whom Janna learned was named Louise, as well as defending Alistair and offering the compromise of splitting up into larger groups for safety. Janna walked over to Alyssa and grabbed her shoulder.

    "Enough, Alyssa. I am not allowing anyone's blood on my fucking hands tonight. Never again. Sometimes, you shouldn't be so stubborn." She whispered, looking at the older girl. She couldn't help but remember what had happened to her mother and brother back when she was twelve. Though, because of her father, she knew that she wasn't responsible for it, she knew the feeling of guilt and loss for just standing there too well and looking back, it wasn't the best time in her life. Now that she was older, she knew that she could do something, look out for her comrades, take care of them...

    "Janna! Matt!" Alistair's cry distracted Janna, urging her to look back only to see the sands exploding and dark shadows spreading. In a matter of seconds, the shadows reached Janna and pushed her down, forcing her to wince as the pressure hurt her large breasts. She struggled to break away, get back on her feet but before she could, the shadows tossed her up into the air and dropped her. She landed roughly on her back, pain searing through it and her chest as she got back on her knees, then on her feet. While she had fallen, she let go of her scythe, and seeing it lying next to her, she grabbed it immediately. She looked back and saw that dark warriors had emerged from the shadows, as well as Alistair trying to fight them off, the latter summoning Mordred soon after.

    "With me!" He cried out, to which Janna nodded as she ran forward. Where she landed was surrounded by a shadowy storm, from which more of the warriors emerged. A lashing, searing pain erupted from her right arm and she turned to her side to see one of the Shadows, grinning maliciously at her as it held its white-hot whip. It lashed out again, forcing her to turn around to take the hit on her back. While the leather of her corset protected her mid-back, the exposed skin on her upper and lower back were now bleeding like her arm. She looked back and saw that the Shadow was raising its whip once again. Instinctively, she swung her scythe at it and sliced off half of the whip as she did. Seeing this as her chance, she ran towards Alistair.

    "Right here, Alistair!" She exclaimed as she joined Alistair, ready to swing her scythe.



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  20. #170
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    XI Alyssa H. Lovelock
    Avalon
    ???, ???


    She just gave a small nod to Matt, Alyssa was already lost in her own thoughts. She looked ad the tower with a sort of unearthly curiosity. It was as if it was attracting her somewhere, no, it was attracting her to there. She did have another answer for Alistair, but she just decided to keep it in her head. She had to be strong, but not intimidating. She needed the strength to show them, but not power.

    Alistair, everyone who was here can see those images, the blood-shed, the piles or organs scattered and crushed bones. Bodies mutilated so that they can't even be recognized. Though... Think about it. Everyone who awakened their persona last time... Was about to die. It seems fear is one of the few things that allows us to evoke our personae. My only goal is to protect you guys, but I shouldn't have blown up at you like that. I mean, all of us have some sort of heartfelt cry or another at one point in our lives. At least Matt can see the light in my suggestion.

    Though, a voice broke her from her thoughts. It was a familiar voice, as if it was a sort of whisper.

    "Enough, Alyssa. I am not allowing anyone's blood on my fucking hands tonight. Never again. Sometimes, you shouldn't be so stubborn." Janna whispered *** she looked at her. Alyssa was taken... a back.

    What the- No, I can't be... I'm going to have to ask her later. Alyssa thought to herself as she saw an eruption of shadows.

    They almost seemed to go for people with out personae, and Janna was already down. Who else was down? Who else might die here? She saw Alistair rushing towards Janna, freeing her from her clutched wit hModred, but she was distract to long, and felt them on her. She almost struggled, but she knew it would only make them into a frenzy. She felt them crawling over her skin, as if constricting and binding her. She felt like she was going to scream, but she then felt another force within her mind, and seemed desperate to stay alive. Even though it was a familiar feeling to her, it was just that, it felt different. It was like all of the malice on the world was forced onto her, chocking her and holding her down. She felt them getting tighter, and they started to attack her. She had only enough time to utter a word, and she hoped it was going to help.

    "Mazio!" Shr almsot cried out as Valkyrie appeared, sending down lightning onto her attacks. She could almost hear the distort cries of the shadows writhing in agony, but the still pursued her. She had Valkyrie fire of a couple more Mazio's, but it seemed one of the enemies was immune, and it was coming towards her fast. Though, it seemed a sort of awakening had occurred inside of herself, and she charged at it, looking for a spot of vulnerability. She thought she saw a weak-spot on it's neck, and ran up with a look of sheer determination. She swung her gunblade as hard as she could, and surprisingly, it was easy. Alyssa's hand had a sort of muscle memory for wielding the weapon before..

    "That's right, this feels like a tennis racket. Valkyrie, get me the head. "She ordered as her Persona flew up and tossed her the head. She then looked at the on coming shadow's coming towards her, she through the head in the air, and served it with the flat part of the blade. Right as it landed, Alyssa ordered Valkyrie to use another Mazio, which almost seemed to instantly get rid of the shadow's attacking her.

    "Only through death, will a soul be truly saved..." Alyssa muttered to the shadows. She then had Valkryie use Rose Shield on her, and started to head towards the forest.

    "Everyone close by, follow me!" Alyssa yelled, hoping to get out of the fight more then needed. She was one of the few one's with Persona for now, she couldn't waste her Persona's ability. She sat down by a tree, out of breath, looking at the wounds she ignored in her rage.


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  21. #171
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    XVI - Alistair Blake
    Sundered Waste, Avalon
    ?


    Mordred loosed flames from the air, searing across the cackling things. The fire tore across their ranks and was followed by black steel, Alistair's Persona meeting their shrieks with silent flares of his dark blades. The Shadows fell, ripped asunder and tossed to the dust by the knight.

    Fighting beside Janna, Alistair clashed blades with a leering, laughing thing. His sword met its white-hot blade, and he kicked it back, pressing the attack as it stumbled. The creature reacted like lightning, instantly countering his thrust and reaching with grasping talons. He gasped in pain as his arm was caught by the vice-like grip, claws digging through his clothes and into his skin. Blood welled around the wounds and he snarled, before the thing went limp as one of Mordred's swords pierced through it.

    Alistair knocked the Shadow away as his Persona twisted aside to face another, only to be suddenly struck. A whip lashed into him and smacked him back into Janna, tearing through his clothes as it did so. Blood seeped in his shirt and he hissed in pain. Flames ripped through the air and washed over the Shadow, making it howl as Alistair lunged and stabbed it through the chest with his blade. The thing fell as he kicked it away, his wounds burning with pain. Another Shadow leapt at him and he just barely prevented its blade from cleaving his face by intersecting his sword, but he was still knocked staggering back. He stood back-to-back with Janna, groaning with the effort of keeping the Shadow off him, and he could see more stalking to him.

    Mordred burst through the Shadows, trailing blackness and fire. The Persona staked Shadows on the blades of his swords, consuming them in hellish fire, and as he killed them indiscriminately, not a sound escaped Alistair's black knight. Not even as a Shadow fell into pieces at his blades did so much as a breath escape the dark warrior. It was almost terrifying to watch Mordred at work, so effortlessly cutting down these nightmares.

    Mordred's flames ripped across the Shadow's back, making the creature recoil in agony, and Alistair struck, carving his blade through its chest. Black ichor sprayed from the cut, burning his face as drops struck his flesh. The ichor burned like acid, hissing as it seared his skin. Grasping at his burning skin, Alistair hissed in pain, trying not to panic. A Shadow lunged, wielding a blazing iron, and he ducked its swing and stabbed it through the chest, gasping in a breath as the cut across his chest blazed with agony. It was beginning to hurt to move, what with all the cuts and bruises scattered over his form. This was hell. The heat of their brands, the ravaged waste all around, the cackling lunatic demons...

    He cast a weary glance back at Janna, who was fighting with her scythe. She was facing those terrible things too, cutting them down with her weapon's blade. She was injured as well, bleeding from cuts like he was. He hardened his expression and turned back to the Shadows. They had to win this fight. That was the truth of it.

    -

    IX - Matthew Clark
    Sundered Waste, Avalon
    ?


    The halberd struck through a Shadow, cleaving it asunder. Another rushed for him, but Matt smashed it back with his weapon's shaft, before stabbing and impaling it. He reeled the weapon back, kicking the Shadow off its blade and striking at another one. The halberd was somewhat unwieldy in these circumstances, he reflected. If it weren't for the others beside him he would probably be overwhelmed by now.

    Two Shadows charged him at once and he lashed out with the halberd, one taking the blade but inadvertently sheltering the other. Matt tried to get his weapon back, but the blade stuck in the Shadow's corpse and the other was rushing him. Its blades struck and he howled as they ripped through his skin, knocking him to the sand. The thing reared up over him and its blades were drawn back, ready to stab down and end it. Memories passed through him, sad and happy, good and bad alike. Smiling and laughing besides Leah, then broken and weeping by that cold, sterile bed. The pain of his wound surged through him, mingled with a thousand past days, a hundred warm moments and a hundred grief-filled days of agony. And at his core the memories collected and the darkness welled up, burning through him with blazing ice. A voice rumbled through his body, shaking him to the bone as it roared.

    "I am thou, and thou art I,
    From the sea of thy soul, I come,
    I am the lone darkness, the eternal prisoner..."


    A Tarot card formed, floating down. The Shadow recoiled, hissing, and taking his chance Matt lashed out and crushed it, screaming the word to the stormy heavens above with all his voice. "PERSONA!"

    The sands underfoot exploded, sending him and the Shadow crashing apart. From the shadow rose bronze and darkness and ice, a titanic figure of gleaming ice and metal encasing dead black flesh. The monstrous dragon spread skeletal, frosted wings and opened bloody red eyes, howling and hissing its fury as its armor crashed and shuddered against it. The thing towered up, and as the Shadow gazed fearfully at it, the dragon's claws lashed, ripping it into pieces. Matt's Persona threw back its head and gave an earth-trembling howl, and its name reverberated through him.

    "Nidhoggr..." he whispered, staring in awe at the Persona.
    [CENTER]

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  22. #172
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    XIII. Jannike Mortensen
    Sundered Waste, Avalon
    ???, ???


    Janna struck at another Shadow, the pain of her wounds only intensifying as she did. Alistair and Mordred were holding their own, until Janna heard the crack of a whip, followed by Alistair's back colliding with her own, causing her to gasp in pain as her injury throbbed violently. She was not going to scream, not when Alistair's life was at stake. Gritting her teeth, she swung her scythe at three Shadows who were approaching her, hitting the middle one squarely in the stomach. However, the other two were fast, surrounding Janna on both sides. Before she could react, searing pain erupted from both her sides, causing her to drop her scythe and fall on her knees in pain.

    She tried to get up, first on one knee, then on the other. She grimaced, trying to stay strong as she stood up and started making a dive for her scythe. Another lash of a whip punished her for that, forcing her to collapse on the sands. Her vision was starting to swim, and she felt more hot blood down her back. If she wasn't going to get up soon...

    She concentrated, images flashing in her mind. Norway, her mom, her brother...the lonely girl she once was after their deaths. Alone, refusing to let anyone in. And then...America, a new life...her father, people who actually thought that she mattered. Just like that, the light at the end of her tunnel came and gone was the depressed Janna. She saw herself laughing, drinking...happy. The old her was dead, and that was yet another beginning. Friends, her father...Alistair...she had people to live for and she knew that she was going to keep going on. Janna then heard the sound of distant howling, the seemingly sad, mournful calls reminding her of wolves. Inside her, she felt shadows. Not graceful ones but rather, wild, feral ones both dark and fierce.

    "I am thou, and thou art I,
    From the sea of thy soul, I come,
    I am the bane of the sun, the dying of the light..."

    "I am thou, and thou art I,
    From the sea of thy soul, I come,
    I am the death of the moon, the eyes of the night..."


    A Tarot card materialized in front of Janna, the same card she saw in the Velvet Room, with the number XIII and the picture of the Grim Reaper. Looking up at it, she pushed herself back up with all her strength and reached out for the card, now standing up once again despite the pain. She took it in her hand and crushed it, instinctively yelling out the words.

    "PERSONA!"

    More howling, except they were coming closer and closer every passing second. Just moments after, the sands in front of her exploded, causing her to step backwards. Two swift blurs emerged, one a purple so dark that it was almost black like the midnight, and the other was a deep red reminiscent of late sunset. They charged quickly, knocking the Shadows away from Janna before they stopped, growling. It was then that they faced Janna and she got a good look at them. Her Persona or rather, Personae, took the form of two wolves of roughly the same size, about three feet tall on all fours. Not very big, but no less impressive than Mordred in her eyes. The red one had golden eyes, was slightly rougher-looking and a little more heavily-built, while the dark one had silvery eyes, was a little sleeker and a bit leaner. After that one moment, they faced the incoming Shadows and attacked, the red one howling as it charged forward, its fangs bared as it closed in on a Shadow, while the dark one running swiftly off to the side, evading the Shadows and attacking from behind with a dark fog just as the red one's teeth sank into a Shadow's leg.

    The two Shadows struggled as the red wolf continued attacking and the purple one intensified the darkness. After what only seemed like a while, the Shadows collapsed. Janna took this time to get her scythe back, before looking at her Personae, who looked back at her.

    "Sköll...Hati." She repeated. It was as if the wolves spoke to her mind, telling her their names. Another wave of Shadows approached, and they instinctively turned back and howled. Filled with renewed strength, Janna prepared her scythe, ready for what was coming.



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  23. #173
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    I- Diego Vendrix
    The Infinite Fields of Thought
    DreamTime


    Diego didn't have time to mull much of what was going on because shadows appeaed and attacked the group. From his brief observations, they were going after the individuals who have not yet unlocked their Persona.

    Oh joy.

    With sword in hands, Diego swung as he began fighting off the shadows. Diego had been doing a pretty good job before they began hurting him a bit. Diego had noticed that Alyssa and the others were in trouble.

    He also paid attention to Louise. However, he was...

    He was holding back.

    Why do you hold back? a voice told him. Diego looked around and remembered the dream. The dream of standing above all... the dream with... with Louise and Alyssa by his side...

    He got a light blush again.

    You have ambition! You have the skills! You have the spirit! You have the reason!

    Take what you want from life! Create your happiness! Protect what values to you!

    Your friends!

    Your family!


    The voice said. It sounded like him. But more confident...

    Belive in the you that believes in yourself... it told him.

    "I trust myself..." Diego said as his eyes gained a shimmering quality.

    "I am thou, and thou art I,
    From the sea of thy soul, I come,
    I am the sorcerer, lord of arcane..."


    A Tarot Card appeared in front of Diego. It was the one he saw in the Velvet Room. He grabbed it with his bloodied hand and looked at it.

    The Magician- I.

    For the first time, he was number 1.

    Diego's brown eyes glowed to a dangerous and exotic gold.

    "PERSONA!!" Diego said as he crushed the card and raised his sword in the air.

    A sudden blast of fire washed over the nearby Shadows and incinerated them. Above Diego was the figure summoned. The strange markings on his skin glowed and his robe fluttered. He had a distinct and powerful image of magic.

    His gold and silver eyes surveyed as he landed on the ground.

    Diego examined his persona. His sorcercer's cap was off, revealing the curled horns and pointed ears. His robe fluttered as he faced the shadows. With movements of a conductor, he commanded flames to attack the shadows.

    Diego realized who it was. Who was his Persona.

    "Merlin..." Diego said in awe before he noticed the sword in his hand. The runes were glowing. With renewed vigor, Diego attacked the shadows.

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  24. #174
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    [XVII] Louise Henrietta DuBois
    Avalon
    ???, ???


    Stopped in her tracks in seconds, Louise found unexpected resistance at her suggestion. Alyssa's response was almost chiding, pointing out that class wasn't in session in July. Well, of course the school was closed! But everyone at least knew where it was - and if it was abandoned, didn't that mean they could go about their business unnoticed? It sounded much more reasonable than her suggestion a back room in a nondescript bookstore, at least. And as to taking refuge in the castle... Alyssa declared an intent to pick fights with the monsters around the beach first. What was it with her and obsessing over "training"? Wasn't it more important that they keep themselves uninjured for the case that something even worse should come along?

    Louise looked briefly to the others, but they all seemed disinterested in the debate or unwilling to support either case. Well, then, she would just drop the idea for the moment. Obviously neither of them was going to convince the other. But again Diego brought up the suggestion that those gathered split into smaller divisions for the duration of their hike to the castle, which she could swear had already been shot down but a minute ago. Without a pause for discussion, he even began to assign groupings, and Matt chimed in behind him with blessed support for her earlier suggestion but feeding the notion of dividing themselves! Louise pouted and anxiously pressed the end of her glaive deeper into the sand.

    "Why travel apart when there is strength in large numbers?" she asked of him. "No, we ought to travel together when possible, and splitting apart would make little sense now." She tried to make it clear in her tone that her issue was with the tactical idea and not its endorsers, but something in his expression let hint that she had come across as more coddling than anything. Still, in the time that they were spending more time down here in the open, trying to make their march marginally more pleasant, they might already have made half a kilometer in the direction of the fortress. They might separate there, to search, if they wanted! For now, march!

    No sooner than Louise had opened her mouth to voice this notion, the very sands themselves were blown apart around them. Louise snapped her head to the side, rubbing her eyes with her free hand. Nobody had approached them.... so they were being attacked by something lying in ambush, able to burrow through sand? Or worse, something that lived down there.

    The sand stung at her eyes, but still Louise could hear shouting and a clanging from every direction. She kept desparately wiping her eyes, catching only a blur of motion here and there. More monsters, likely a breed of the "dark forces" of which they had been warned. They seemed to have their claws in every bit of the land - an enemy that might strike from anywhere. If Avalon had such a relentless stock of deadly enemies laying in ambush for them, perhaps going along with Igor was less than a smart decision.

    Would ye lay down your sword so quickly? Fie, you green woman!

    ...who are...

    I art thou... just as thou art I.

    From the sea of your soul am I born,

    For I am the maiden warrior, the peasant now a conqueror!


    Louise swung her arm forward from her now-clean arms, striking something unseen in the process. As her eyes blinked open, they were instantly bombarded again, now by a potent radiance appearing before her. Though the light made it hard to see clearly it was definitely a feminine figure, bearing a sort of sword-and-shield combination and curiously having no apparent legs.

    But Louise was given little time for admiration, as the creatures about them continued to swarm. She spun her head about, finding that the nearest was nearer than she might like, and rapidly closing distance. Not knowing what else to do - last night's attackers had been so wildly different and had bested her anyway - she edged backwards and gripped her polearm with its blade staring down the charging beast, hoping that it might blindly impale itself. It was made abundantly clear to Lousie that she was not equipped to handle this.

    Your resolve swounds as a leaf in the wind! Come and have strength, little leaf, and the day shall yet be ours!

    The monster did not make it within three meters of her - it found itself cut off, blindsided by the shining figure's shield and summarily impaled upon her sword. The figure shot a glance at Louise with a mere hint of the blue eyes beyond her visor - a visor without a helm. Now moving about, it became more apparent that woman was clad in alternating armor and bare skin - a tight-fitting mail shirt with no sleeves, with shapely silver plate armor about her chest and collar. This, then, was her guardienne? She felt more secure already.

    Emboldened, Louise gripped her glaive and lunged toward the nearest non-human, first jerking her head left and right. Alyssa was some distance off, something or another at them, but not close to anything visibly moving. Diego was off on his own, as well, but much closer and alongside some large mass that gave the appearance of a wizard - his Persona, likely. The only other entities near were clad in some sort of bonelike armor - all a legion, none her allies. They had separated anyway.

    Her vision snapped forward. Her target was within arm's reach. Louise kept running, forcing her spear through the monster's shell and knocking it off its feet. The thing stumbled, but sharply and aggressively raised its sword overhead. Louise kicked at its shin to no effect. She cringed as the blade fell toward her shoulder, but it stopped short. The creature's face, previously blank, was now lit into a gruesome visage by a shining spark running across its armor. It went stiff for a moment, then slumped down, leaving Louise to pull her weapon from its chest like some horrible scabbard. As she did, Louise turned to once again see the woman shadowing her, sword pointed directly at the slain monster.

    With a short bow, rustling her brutally short hair and red cape, the figure dissolved into the very air, leaving a card floating before Louise. On instinct, she took it. A calling-card for her guardienne, as it seemed. She claimed to be a... maiden warrior? And she wore armor like that of the middle ages. Then the spirit from before, fighting without relent,

    was Jeanne D'Arc herself.

    But this was no time for sleuthing, and Louise found herself again fending off an unholy creature with a sharp thrust of her spear.

  25. #175
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    XIX - Leonardo "Leo" Silverstone
    Avalon
    ?


    Shortly after Leo had arrived, the sands started blowing in all directions. Shadows were running amuck and causing chaos everywhere. "Guys...!" Leo began to shout, but a shadowy tentacle reached out and grabbed him, and threw him back. He blacked out breifly, when he came to again, he quickly rose to his feet, and reached for his rapier. He looked around, and saw that he had been seperated from the others. It was only Carina, that Danijela girl, and himself. He really wasn't ready to deal with the redhead so soon after the "plushie incident" earlier today, but there was much bigger problems. They were surrounded by shadows. These things seemed much more vicious then the Lizard men from last night.

    Leo lunged foward to strike them with his weapon, but the monsters were prepared for that. A few of them surrounded him, and gave him a lashing with their shadowy tendrils before he had a chance to move. He tried to step back, but these things were quite fast, more seemed to appear before he could recuperate, and attempt to hit them. For once, the usual smile on Leo's face was beginning to fade. Trying to stand up to a bunch of really fast shadow monsters with a really skinny sword was difficult. The others also seemed to have their own problems to deal with.

    Just when things seemed hopeless, he heard a kind feminine voice in his head. "Do not fear my child. From the ashes of chaos, new hope rises."

    "W-wha...?" Leo said weakly.

    I am Thou, and Thou art I.
    From the sea of thy soul, I come
    I am The Divine Bird of Rebirth.

    Then a glowing version of the Tarot Card he saw in the Velvet Room earlier appeared before him. "Phew! I'm glad that's done. I'm not good with this fancy talk, it's just doesn't feel natural. Now, can you please smash the card so that I may assist you already?"

    Leo managed to let out a giggle. "With pleasure!" He proceeded to do as instructed, and smashed the card with his rapier. For a moment, there was a blinding flash of light that Leo had to shield his eyes from, it also seemed to disorient the shadows a bit. When it passed, there was a red and gold, Firey, bird of prey was hovering before him. The bird flew upwards, screeched loudly, and shot out a fireball from her beak towards one of the shadows. Causing the target to burst into flames, and the other shadows nearby to fall back a bit.

    Leo's jaw dropped. He had summoned his Persona, and she was awesome. Somehow the name of his Persona came into his head. "Phoenix!" Leo repeated.

    Hello there! I am your Persona. I'd were a perfect fit wouldn't you say? Phoenix greeted while she continued shooting Fireballs at shadows. Leo couldn't believe how relaxed she was through all this. He looked around to see how the others were doing. He couldn't find where Danijela had gone. Meanwhile Carina had summoned her Persona, and it looked like she had taken a bit of a beating. Leo nervously bit his lip.

    Phoenix seemed to get the message. "Ah, I see. Don't worry." She reassured him, as she flew above Carina's head, and a single tear fell from her eye. Carina glowed for a second when the teardrop landed on her head, and her injuries either became less prominent, or disappeared completely. I can do more than burn shadows. I am also a healer. You and your friends will be perfectly safe as long as I'm around."

    Leo breathed a sigh of relief. "Thanks Phoenix!" He said with a smile.

    The bird nodded, then flew up and fired some more fireballs at the shadows. Leo smiled, and gave Carina a thumbs up, then turned around and thrusted fowards with his weapon to attack more shadows.
    Last edited by Monster Guy; 9th December 2012 at 10:51 PM.
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