Fantasy Writers

Character Castle 2.5

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    It felt like a needle was being jabbed into Nithel’s side as he raced- But he missed it. He missed it! The strange cart had zoomed past two seconds before he made it. Nithel almost threw himself off the roof, in a vain attempt to land on top, but skidded to a stop. He would miss. His bones would break on the tile below, or he’d be skewered by a pitchfork.

    He growled again, and raked a hand back through his hair, staring as the cart with Alessio plummeted on. Then he noticed people starting to notice him on the roof. Women pointed, men looked at each other, and… a guard of some sort…

    Nithel bent down, his hands on his knees, and tried to smile down at them while panting. Nay. His mind races with what to do.

    The world swirls, and he can only think an angry thought before he’s stumbling into another room… again. This one like the bright one he had lost Alessio in.

    Except it did not have as many people, only a young man who glittered like he was covered with the dust of jewels. The dust was on the floor around him as well, some pieces as large as actual jewels, but looked jagged. The man stood like waiting for something to pounce on him from any direction.

    Nithel put his back against a wall, brows furrowing as he watched the man.

    “Alright, let’s take it from the top!” The man’s body constricted, “Blind guy needs assistance avoiding the crazy people with guns and defenestration problems!”

    Nithel straightened. He didn’t know what a ‘gun’ was. Nor ‘defenestration’. But he did know the word blind. He looked around them, and where he heard faded voices from above, he didn’t see anyone around. A but more shiny dust fell from the floor above them, dancing in the rising moon’s light.

    “I’m gonna count to three and if someone hasn’t helped me by then, I’m smoking this entire room.”

    “Hallo.” Nithel’s voice was gentle but firm. It carried to the stranger, especially if this man was blind. *thoughts* “What do you need help with?”




    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.

    Catholic Creed

    “What do you need help with?”

    Well, that brings back memories. That I don’t want or have time for right now.

    “Getting out of the pile of glass would be a wonderful start punk.” I shake my shirt and hear the faintest series of ‘plinks’ on the floor. Tile then, of some form or fashion. “I sure don’t want to fall face first in it.”

    I swing Umberuin in front of me, still trying to shake the glass off. It’s all in my shirt too – I went with a baggy one today because I couldn’t find my others. (That is actually on my head because I just kinda shoved everything in my pack and then didn’t feel like going through item by item to find my favorite shirt.)

    How far I can spread my smoke in this room? Too thin and I loose it. Too far and I loose it. Too thick and everyone sees it. Too many lights and everyone sees it.

    Unless I’m with the nomads. They burn torches and candles for light and keep roaring fires. I love those punks.


    A silence – heavy and loud.

    “Baron’s dead! The guard murdered Baron!” someone screams.

    I sigh (I absolutely did not flinch and shriek. Absolutely not. What lies are you telling?) and scratch the scars under my blindfold.

    “I’ve decided I want to leave. NOW.” I lean a little on Umberuin, feeling the exhaustion of all these years of running creep in. “Can you help me out of this building?”

    If he doesn’t, I’ll smoke the room…

    … where are my smoke grenades again?

    They better not be in my pack. Ya’know, the one on the other side of the missing hole in reality. The one I fell through. Right after I unpacked my camp. Spires in a flooded tunnel, my dire rabbit is burning isn’t it? It was such a lucky catch, especially for me.

    The grenades are in my pack, aren’t they?

    Drake’s gonna kill me.



    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.


    Arsene yawned, before asking. “What’s your name?”
    The boy glared. “None of you business.”
    Smirking, Arsene answered. “Then my real name is not your business. If anyone were to ask you who I am though, my name is Raoul Leblanc.”
    “That’s not your real name is it?”
    “Who knows?” Arsene responded.
    The boy did not look happy with that answer. Actually, did that boy ever look happy. Oh well, Arsene had a job to do. “We need insurance.”
    Arsene thought over this for a second, ignoring the boy’s questions, until he finally asked. “Can you fake illness?”
    There was an unsettling pause over the room.

    Arsene walked out to the dining room. Despite the fact her pirated a black suit and vest from the next room, he still look suspicious. Observing the opposite end of the room, Arsene noticed the boy was in position. Smirking, Arsene took the small bottle and drank its contents.
    Nothing happened.
    Arsene looked back at the boy, who stared back like he thought the gentleman thief was crazy. Coughing, Arsene fell to the floor. He began to throw up uncontrollably. Everyone around him panicked, backing away. The boy’s expression was that of shock, as he watched Arsene barfing. At last, it stopped. A man ran to Arsene, checking his vital signs.
    “What happened to him?!” The man demanded of the boy.
    A woman, who was dressed as one of the social elite, interrupted the scheme. “Relax Mr. Tai, I’m sure it can’t be serious or life threatening, right?”
    The woman turned to face the boy. She placed all her hopes in him. She only wanted to stay out of the chaos. Would the boy disappoint her?
    In response, the boy muttered. “Plague.”
    Yes, he would. Thankfully, he and Arsene would benefit from this. While everyone worked to move Arsene to the nursery, Arsene took his time to pickpocket everyone he could. Unbeknownst to his partner-in-crime however, Arsene slipped a generous portion into his pocket.

    Sherlock drove Baron’s car, using it to track Arsene. Unlike all the other times, Sherlock was going to end this twisted game. Why Arsene enjoyed messing with his mind like this, Sherlock did not know. More importantly thought, why did Sherlock bother to chase him. Did he actually care about Arsene? When he and Arsene came into conflict with each other, the two fought. Willingly, they had injured each other. Just as Sherlock began to ponder this, he was startled by a man, who standing in the middle of the road. Coming to a screeching halt, Sherlock noticed the man was wearing a blindfold.
    “Move! You’re in the road!” Sherlock yelled, honking the car horn.
    “Oh shut up whippersnapper! Can’t you see I’m blind!? Where’d you learn your manners!?”
    Swearing something that shouldn’t be written, Sherlock shouted. “Get out of the way!”
    “MAKE ME!” The blind idiot responded.

    There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.


    “Getting out of the pile of glass would be a wonderful start punk.” The man shook his shirt, and larger chunks of the shiny stuff fell from his shoulders and hit the floor with tings or cracks. “I sure don’t want to fall face first in it.”

    So the glittery stuff was ‘glass’. Nithel’s brow furrowed, and he debated leaving the wall to walk toward the man.

    The man swung a walking stick around in front of him, recklessly, compared to how Nithel had seen a blind man use his before.

    Nithel glanced around once more, then sighed before taking a step to walk over. At three loud bangs, he bounced back like a wet cat, and froze. What was that? 

    The room became deathly silent. Nithel held his breath.

    Someone on the floor above shouted, “Baron’s dead! The guard murdered Baron!”

    The blind man flinched, jerking and scratching his face under cloths covering the top and upper sides of his face.

    Someone murdered. Nithel’s initial sadness met with a tinkling remembrance. Baron. Was that who had to die for Alessio to live? Relief, small relief touched him, though he felt guilty about it.

    “I’ve decided I want to leave. NOW. Can you help me out of this building?” The blind man leaned on his stick, and his shoulders slumped. The panic gone in an instant, it seemed. Just weariness left.

    “You won’t run into anything.” After glancing one more time, Nithel jogged toward him, voice urgent but measured. “You’re several paces from any wall- Egad!” Nithel’s teeth gritted and he jumped back. He felt like a hundred tiny thorns had stabbed his bare feet, and he didn’t know what to do. “I-” He clamped his mouth shut, the pain pricking up his legs. Zounds…

    Nithel tried to stand on his toes, hoping to alleviate some of the pain. It helped some, but only by stabbing his toes worse. “Walk toward my voice.” He backed up. “I’ll try to get it off you.” Nithel imagined this stuff all over one’s body, down one’s clothes, in their hair… and his face ached with pain for the blind man. Why was it here? Where did it come from? ‘Glass?’  “There’s only one larger piece between us. I’ll tell you when.”



    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.


    *Nithel jumped back when the giant cart zoomed up, also without anything pulling it, and almost careened into the blind man. Nithel didn’t know whether to bolt, or stay. The glass dust still stung his feet, but he would still walk/run as needed.

    The blind man shouted and waved his stick more.

    Nithel’s eyes widened. Wait… They were on a road? “We’re… out of the building…” He whispered.



    Love is the wisdom of the fool and the folly of the wise.


    Arsene feigned a yawn before saying, “What’s your name?”

    Alessio wasn’t about to tell him, but he really needed information. Seeing him pause, Arsene smirked.

    “Then my name is not your business.” He said “If anyone were to ask you who I am though, my name is Raoul Leblanc.”

    “And what if I tell them your name’s Arsene,” Alessio said stubbornly “what would you do then?”

    Arsene ignored him. He wondered if that was more of a threat than any threat the robber might’ve given. Not knowing was driving Alessio crazy, he was still trying to gauge how dangerous Arsene was right now. He was dangerous, and he didn’t seem at all conscious off the consequences of his actions that he didn’t directly intend. And that was unnerving to someone who had ever just been collateral to people who could get what they wanted with him.

    “We need insurance.” The robber was talking to himself. Then suddenly popped off with a question.

    “Can you fake illness?”

    There was a palpable, unsettling pause over the room.



    The next several minutes consisted in Arsene trying to convince Alessio of his plan. They stuck out “like sore thumbs”, he said, people would leave them alone if they were sick, no one would recognize them if everyone were trying to avoid them…

    So now, Arsene had dragged him along into a room wafting so many delicious odors Alessio was more than reminded he hadn’t eaten in…who knows how long…?? Part of this deal better include a free meal, he wondered if there was a chance to getting Arsene to provide that…legally. He almost didn’t care, he was starving.

    Arsene smirked, and swallowed something from a small bottle.

    Alessio watched…waiting for something to happen.

    The weirdo suddenly fell into a horrible coughing fit, collapsing on the floor. Would Arsene behave if Alessio told him to go to his room? His father would’ve horsewhipped him. I wasn’t that bad, was I? Alessio was beginning to understand why his father beat him every time he opened his mouth. The robber threw up uncontrollably and Alessio was sort’ve starting to get concerned. That person was probably reckless enough to accidentally overdose himself or something…

    “What happened to him?!” A man demanded, staring at him. He came down with a bad case of theatrics, Alessio swallowed hard to keep from saying that outloud.

    “Relax Mr. Tai,” A woman interjected “I’m sure it can’t be serious or life threatening, right?”

    Alessio genuinely had no idea.

    She looked at him like he was her only hope in sparing this scene. Thrice accursed, Alessio thought a-matter-of-factly. Now he was in for it.

    “I certainly hope it’s not contagious…” Alessio muttered sincerely “I’ve been with him all day.”

    Everyone stared at him anxiously, and Alessio suddenly had the irresistible urge to fall on the floor and throw up.

    “I hope it’s not a plague.” Alessio added, drinking in the drama just a little.


    In moments they were both hauled to a room filled with white cots and people scurrying to and fro. Alessio was noticing Arsene bumping into everyone he could. He suspected why and decided the best course of action was to pickpocket Arsene and return the stolen goods. He had a new photographic memory and enough detective skills he was fairly confident he could actually just slip all the stolen items back into everyone’s pockets.

    That is until Arsene “accidentally” knocked into him while doctors were unmercifully waving completely alien things around him and poking him to get “blood samples” to see if he was ill too. Joke’s on you, I don’t have anything worth stealing. He thought at Arsene, while trying very hard not to snap every invasion into his personal space, which was constant and nauseating.

    Finally, he was told to sit on a bed and wait while doctors did whatever “tests” and then he’d be “free to go”. By now he was so mad at Arsene for putting him through this. He just wanted to go home, except he didn’t have one and the closest thing to stability he could hope for was getting his friend back. He was so tired, so tired of fighting, so tired of feeling sick, so tired of being irritable.

    He fell back theatrically onto the bed, feeling a little better for that.

    Now was a stupid time to have a pityparty.

    He just wanted Nithel back.

    Shut up, I’m trying.

    He just wanted to feel safe.

    That was. Until he became conscious of something poking him through his pockets.

    What. Had. Arsene done!

    Maybe he expected a knife or a threatening note or something like that to be stuffed in his pockets. He decided not to look except he was an EXTREMELY inquisitive person. So he heaved a long sigh and sat up, casually leaning into a discrete corner behind a bed curtain so he couldn’t instantly be incriminated with whatever he found. This better be worth it, this was going to be so bad whatever it was he just knew it.

    First, a necklace, a ring, several brown leather…detachable pockets??? Filled with green paper????? More rings, bracelets, bracelets that made weird ticking noises…???? The jewelry appeared to be valuable, Alessio was going to assume everything else was valuable too…

    What kind of trick is this?

    He glanced up at Arsene, now grinning impishly at him. It was not registering that the robber had given him some of his spoils, there had to be some angle in this for Arsene. This was blackmail or something?

    What is this…?!” Alessio whispered at him, with all the accusation he could manage without drawing attention to himself.



    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.


    “What is this…?!” The boy whispered at Arsene. Evidently, he wanted explanations.

    “Are you implying I had something to do with that?” Arsene answered with all the innocence he could muster.

    But he was never good at being guiltless. “I’m not implying, I’m saying you DID put these into my pockets. Are you trying to bribe me into trusting you?”

    Smirking, Arsene responded. “No, I just wanted you to hold on to my share as well. Besides, you don’t have much of a choice in terms of trust.”

    Glaring, the boy demanded. “WHAT. DO. YOU. MEAN?”

    While he wore his confident grin, Arsene explained. “We came here together. People expect us to be companions. Let’s say one of us is thrown into the brig, the other will be too until further notice. Our lives are too connected at this point. We’re stuck together, until we get off this ship.”

    “And what if,” the boy interrupted, “I just knock you out and leave you?”

    Arsene smirked. “Well, I could solve that problem.”

    Before Arsene could even open the window, the boy blocked it. “Oh, no you don’t.”

    “Awe,” Arsene started, “You do care.”

    The boy glared at Arsene, almost wanting him to feel it. Unfortunately, an annoying smile was more effective. Sitting back down, Arsene sighed. The boy continued to glare, while Arsene dug up his radio.

    “What’s that for?” The boy inquired with more than a little resentment.

    Arsene changed channels. “I’m bored, so I’m going to eavesdrop.”

    Arsene listened in on multiple conversations, including the doctor talking to the captain. They mentioned how the boy had tested negative for any disease and was fine. Adjusting the frequency, Arsene inclined his ear to the radio.

    “They say it’s going down tonight. The goods are in the safe, but we can’t get inside it.”

    Another voice answered. “Can’t you just break into it?’

    “Nope,” the former replied, “Any forced penetration will trigger the alarm.”

    The other voice, clearly annoyed, questioned. “How about overriding the lock?”

    “We can with one of the locks, but there are five locks total. One is a digital lock, another is a combination lock, while the others require a one key each. Enter the wrong key, and its lights out with 5000 volts.”


    Arsene was interested. What in the world would require a safe like that? “I think I’m going to check that out.”

    As Arsene put on his mask and tailcoat, the boy added. “In case you forgot, YOU quarantined us.”

    “Oh right,” Arsene said dejected, “That means you’ll have to stay here to cover for me. Sorry that I can’t take you with me. I’ll tell you everything when I get back. Bye.”

    Before Arsene could crawl into the vent, the boy half-way shouted. “If you leave, I’ll scream.”

    “You are just like that boy.” Arsene muttered, as he slid into the vent. “Scream then.”

    Why would someone make these vents so big or was Arsene small? Either way, he was able to traverse the ventilation shafts.

    There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.

    Catholic Creed

    “Move! You’re in the road!”

    I recoil from the blaring noise coming with the annoyed screams.

    “Oh shut up you dirt-eater! Can’t you see I’m blind?!”

    What’s this punk talking about “in the road?” This ain’t a road. Roads are steel and electricity suspended two bodies’ high in the air! Ya’d be an idiot to get on them. It’s impossible to get in them.

    Now, to be fair, I have no clue what I’m standing on – it’s smelly like tar and abnormally flat. Which does sound like more Hiver insanity, if ya ask me (I know you didn’t, but here we are, talking anyway).

    “Where’d you learn your manners!?” I add. I wave Umberuin again. I’m tempted to activate the blade functions. I don’t. Idiots in suits say smoking is bad, what’ll they say about a blind guy wielding a multi-blade?

    The punk and the noise – what is that?! So loud. Roaring towards me. – starts cussing up a storm. He’s almost better than me, ain’t that something?

    “Get out of the way!” He hollers.

    Ah, yes, I know exactly where that is, don’t I? “MAKE ME DUST-PUNK!”

    A pointless challenge – I’m known for them – I just need to buy time to get out of the glass pile. My boots are not up to Ranger-snuff and hadn’t been a while.

    Money tight, ya’know punks? Anyway, I’m pretty sure I want to go away from the roaring noise buuuuuuut there’s roaring all around me!

    Is now a good time to mention I’ve never ever been good at determining the directions of sounds? I think I have some damage in my ears…

    Well now isn’t this a helpful train of thought!

    I pat my pockets and find a smoke grenade. It’ll replenish my supply of smoke much faster than my “health-hazard habit” but people tend to frown on explosions – even small harmless ones – in populated areas.

    Especially areas where someone was literally murdered.

    Flooded tunnels! That actually happened! And I didn’t have anything to do with it?! This Place really is ending!

    Why, why, why, why did I have to fall through a hole in reality? Huh punks? Why?

    One smoke grenade and I can level the playing field.

    But, I’ve only got ten.

    Is it worth it?

    Gotta feeling time is running out.

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.


    “Are you implying I had something to do with that?” Arsene responded with ridiculously fake innocence. If it was supposed to be amusing, it wasn’t.

    “I’m not implying I’m stating; you did this.” He hissed “You think you can bribe me into trusting you?”

    No,” The robber smirked “I just wanted you to hold on to my share as well. Besides, you don’t have much of a choice in terms of trust.”

    Alessio narrowed his eyes at Arsene, curling a little deeper into his corner with his arms still crossed. There wasn’t any question of trust, Alessio didn’t trust him, and wasn’t going to…Trust was…something that had never gotten him anywhere good.

    Stop even thinking about it!

    “We came here together. People expect us to be companions. Let’s say one of us is thrown into the brig, the other will be too until further notice.” That was how the law worked in Alessio’s world, with more brutality than he wanted to swallow right now. “Our lives are too connected at this point. We’re stuck together, until we get off this ship.”

    Alessio’s mind was whirring almost to the point of reeling with the complexity of the situation.

    He had to return the stolen goods. He had to get enough information to find Nithel, so he had to stick with Arsene for a just a little longer, or find another lead…

    “And what if I just knock you out and leave you?” Alessio prodded, hoping Arsene would make some threat that would help him gauge the robber’s resources.

    He smirked at Alessio. “Well, I could solve that problem.”

    Arsene glanced at the window, which was all he needed to do. Snapping up, Alessio dashed ahead of him before he could even think.

    “Don’t you dare!” he gasped, instantly regretting it.

    “Aw,” Arsene said “You do care.”

    Baited again, he just couldn’t stop caring. He couldn’t. Walk. Away. Like he couldn’t not take in that barest edge of furtiveness in the robber’s voice when he said that. Like he joked about his own desperation to find someone who’d care.

    Alessio glared viciously at Arsene, hurt all over again for sympathizing with the wrong person just one more time. Of course he just smiled obnoxiously, and sat back down with a sigh.

    He just needed to get back to Nithel, everything would be ok. He felt stupid telling himself that but he wanted to believe it so badly.

    Arsene pulled out a strange, crackling box.

    “What’s that for?” Alessio demanded

    “I’m bored, so I’m going to eavesdrop.”

    “I’m bored, so I’m going to stab you.” Alessio grumbled, affecting a flawless imitation of Arsene’s voice.

    Arsene ignored him, listening into his box. As much as he hated himself for it, Alessio was thoroughly intrigued by every strange, new object, smell and sound and he had to learn more about that thing Arsene was using.

    Alessio cocked his head at the box while keeping a cautious distance from its user. He wanted to pick it apart and find out what he could of it. It kept jabbering in different cackling, fuzzy voices. He was more fascinated than he meant to be.

    “They say it’s going down tonight. The goods are in the safe, but we can’t get inside it.” Apparently a “safe” was some sort of object that stored goods, Alessio was going to follow along as best as he could.

    “Can’t you just break into it?” A type of treasury then..?

    “Nope,” returned the voice “Any forced penetration will trigger the alarm.”

    “How about overriding the lock?”

    “We can with one of the locks, but there are five locks total. One is a digital lock, another is a combination lock, while the others require one key each. Enter the wrong key, and it’s lights out with 5000 volts.”

    Alessio didn’t know what a “digital” lock was but combination locks and puzzle locks were being invented in the North. He had no idea what “volts” were but apparently they should be avoided…

    “I think I’m going to check that out.”

    You mean steal it before they can. He had to stop Arsene.

    “In case you forgot, you quarantined us.” He said

    “Oh right,” The robber deflated for a second, but only a second. “That means you’ll have to stay here to cover for me. Sorry that I can’t take you with me. I’ll tell you everything when I get back. Bye.”

    “If you leave, I’ll scream.” Alessio threatened, already getting panicky, despite his best effort.

    Arsene grumbled something as he scrambled inside the vent.

    “Scream then.” He said.

    Alessio flinched at the words, and the robber was gone before his mind caught up. It would’ve been a lie to say he’d never felt so powerless, because he had. He dug his nails into his palms hard, as if that would keep his hands from shaking.

    ‘Do whatever you want…’

    Alessio cursed internally, swallowing threatening hot and cold flashes. Not right now, please, not right now…Sometimes it got so bad he passed out and he couldn’t afford anything close to that. He dropped on the bed, nauseous and trying to control his breathing. Every scar ripped in his back a brief reminder, just the mildest.

    He swallowed again, willing to do anything to get it to stop just this once so he could focus on the problem at hand. Couldn’t act out, curse it all, he couldn’t do this right now! It was all he could do not to scream, he could barely breathe now, his body was bursting at the seams.

    Thus says the Lord…the Lord who created you…

    ‘You can do whatever you want here. No one’s going to find you.’

    He dug his nails into his wrists, white with scar tissue, begging the pain to turn off his emotions.

    It wasn’t working, it wasn’t doing anything. He started to reach for his knife, but he didn’t. He shut his eyes, locking it in, except for a tear that managed to make it through. And he forced it to click, the persona modeled off his abuser.

    It was easier to do without Nithel.

    Turn off every single emotion and think out what to do about Arsene. He just wanted to stop him from robbing the treasury. With as little force as necessary…

    And he didn’t know much that was, and he’d rather be safe than…

    Too much. So much Alessio laughed huskily, just as unhinged as everyone said. That was it, then he just felt numb, completely and utterly numb. An actor, playing his role.

    He got up, straightened himself and forced himself to hold up his chin. That was the hardest part because he was so used to trying to hide his face, it felt unnatural. He knew how to wear exactly the kind of assurance smile that made people want to believe you.

    He felt disconnected to his body.

    In moments he located a member of security, in his forties, carved out with muscle. It was against every instinct of self-preservation to get close, but Alessio strode directly to the man like an old acquaintance.

    “It must be a pretty thankless job, working for rich people who want you to do your job and disappear at the same time.” He said, intuiting the idea from his experience with palace guards. “It must take a special kind of dedication to keep doing it every day.”

    He completely dropped “sir” from his vocabulary in this persona, projecting confidence that made him sound dependable.

    He knew it was probably the money, but social engineering meant people on average wanted to do for you if you assumed idealistic notions about them, true or false.

    “I have a family to feed,” The man corrected, a bit gruffly, and glanced over Alessio’s bright, quizzical eyes. He was genuinely an active listener, and that meant people admitted more around him that around most people. “I honestly couldn’t care what happens to these topdollar peacocks. They could afford to pay better wages really, but it’s enough to live on.”

    “Yeah,” Alessio said, sounding a little disappointed and almost as uncomfortable as he actually was feeling. “Listen I really don’t want to cause a fuss but…someone I know is making me really concerned…”

    He was sick, acting like a worried friend to gain the man’s trust. Just like he had done.

    “He was in the sickbay before…but now I can’t find him and…and I don’t know if he’s thinking straight…” This was very true. “I’m afraid he might do something…harmful to—”

    “What’s your friend look like?” The guard interrupted. Arsene was going to murder him when he found out, he was going to do something terrible to him just like—

    “Um, seventeen or eighteen, mismatched eyes and black hair—”

    “The cafeteria vomiter.”

    “Yes…” Thaaaaat got out quick…

    “Yeah, he had trouble stamped on his forehead.” He grumbled “I honestly thought you were helping him until you came to me.”

    Yes, that would…definitely be untrue…

    Arsene was going to do something terrible to him the moment he found out.

    “Yeah, we’ll keep an eye out for him.” He said “Don’t worry kiddo.”

    He’d probably not be suspected as a partner in crime immediately now. Wait maybe half an hour and say he found the stolen goods Arsene placed in his possession, and he’d probably get off clean. He just needed to stop Arsene before he robbed the treasury and “find” the stolen goods before Arsene was caught so he needed to delay the robbery first.

    And then, then he needed to completely disappear before Arsene caught on.

    “Hey, does it help pay for college?” The guard called after him with a bit of a laugh.


    “The, uh, cosplay or Renaissance fair thing with your costume and all?”

    Alessio glanced down at his outfit, suddenly blindingly aware of just how much he stuck out in this world. He had no clue what cosplaying or Renaissance fairs were but he could make a close guess and roll with it.

    “Oh…it’s decent…” Actors in flamboyant costumes for plays had reasonable pay, he guesstimated that was close enough. Whatever college was he could…figure out…somehow…

    He needed something to blend in.

    “Actually I lost my old—”

    “Suitcase?” The guard laughed “I figured that was it. Look, until you get your suitcase back you might want to buy yourself a T-shirt at the gift store, on the left, ok?”

    He pointed out a direction and Alessio pretended he absolutely and totally understood everything he was saying while panicking because he had literally no clue.

    Buy a T-shirt; apparently the cultural outfit of this world which would be available to purchase in the direction the guard pointed out…

    Shortly after Alessio stole a hoodie with very large pockets and disposed of his old cloths, he set about trying to figure out how to hide his bow which apparently didn’t fit in but he wasn’t about to give it up…

    Yeah…he was lost…


    (And yes, the price tags are still very much on his cloths because he has no clue you’re supposed to take those off)



    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.


    Arsene had crawled through the vents, searching and scheming. His radio had detected more conversations about the safe, which described it as being large and difficult to transport. Such a safe would contain interesting contents, if Arsene could look inside. After finding a laptop, which was in a storage room, Arsene started searching through the ship’s records. Strangely, there were no records of a safe or protected goods. It was possible that Arsene had intercepted a conversation that was on the shore, but he somehow doubted it.

    The door then opened.

    Sliding back into the vent, Arsene took out his phone, putting it on record mode. Time and experience (and perhaps a family member) taught him to be a tad paranoid.

    “We’re going after the safe tonight?” One voice asked.

    A second voice answered, matching the voice on the radio. “Yep, we have the location and the two of the keys. Sadly, the third is missing, so we have some searching to do.”

    The second was missing, who had it then? Did anyone have it? Did Arsene accidentally steal it and put it in the boy’s pocket?!?!

    “We need to find that key. We only have so much time. Speaking of which, what time is it?”

    There was a pause, until the man declared. “My watch is gone…how did I lose it?”

    “You lost a solid gold watch? The one with your identification code? Man, the boss is going to kill you.”

    “That’s okay,” the second man said, “I have a tracker on it. If I dropped it or if someone stole it, we’ll find them.”

    Was that watch the same one Arsene put into the boy’s pocket, possibly with the key?!?!?!?!?!?!!!!!!!!!!


    Arsene had crawled as fast as he could to find the boy. He needed to hurry. Searching, Arsene found him. Walking up to the boy, Arsene casually started. “Hi, remember me strange, paranoid, amateur knife-fighter?”

    The boy glared. “Yeah, I do. It was a felony.”

    Smirking, Arsene countered. “Oh well, birds of a feather flock together.”

    The boy glared menacingly at the robber, proceeding to demand. “Leave me alone.”

    Arsene let out a nervous chuckle, before looking back and seeing the men from the luggage bin. “Uh, can I talk to you…”

    “You already are.”

    With his stress reaching its limits (something that normally wouldn’t happen), Arsene grabbed the boy by the arm, leading him to the sick bay. “Oh yeah, I know. I meant talk somewhere we could easily duck in cover or brace for impact or stay alive…”

    The men were approaching, one of the two having a gun ready. Arsene could tell he was holding a gun in his pocket, simply because of how he was holding it (which is possible to do, but that’s a different topic). “And um, right now.”

    Instead of complying, the boy jerked his arm back. “OH NO YOU DON’T!”

    Arsene tried to shush the boy, which only caused him to get louder.


    There was a very, very brief pause as the boy realized where he was. He was with Arsene, admitting to possessing and using pirated money, currently holding stolen goods, in the middle of a HUGE crowd.

    “Get them!”

    The boy panicked. “WAIT! WHAT DID I DO?!

    Guards raised their weapon, aiming at the two. Even with the dragon scales, Arsene wasn’t sure that would be enough. He might make it, but the boy…Arsene wasn’t sure what to do. His power might do the trick, but he couldn’t activate it. It was not right to use it. Not here. Not in front of everyone. Why couldn’t he have just have a good or normal power like his brother or the boy.

    When the shots were fired, Arsene unwittingly activated his power. The black, gold and silver energy enclosed the two, erasing the bullets before they hit. Cutting a circle with his power, Arsene allowed himself and the boy to fall into the next floor, escaping. Arsene never imagined something like that happening.

    The curse he tried to hide had come back.

    There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.


    Alessio’s first plan was to find a place to hide, with the goal of surviving Arsene long enough to get off this ship and get his bearings. He was right now memorizing the location of everything on the ship, when he finished that he would “stumble upon” Arsene’s stolen goods and hand them to the guard.

    At the moment Alessio was in the cafeteria, trying to will the food to be spontaneously available without him stealing anything else. That’s when he caught Arsene’s footsteps behind him and went rigid.

    “Hi, remember me, strange, paranoid, amateur knife-fighter?” He said all in one breath.

    Actually Alessio had all the training to be a child-assassin from one of the most feared occultic-guilds in Casumbra, but he was in the habit of making his fighting look clumsy so people would underestimate him.

    “Take one step closer to me and I drop all of these out the window.” Alessio returned in an undertone, almost levelly, flicking one of the strange, expensive-looking clock-bracelets into view as he edged at a brisk walk to the said window.

    He was hoping the threat would delay Arsene.

    He was also hoping Arsene wouldn’t dare do anything around all these witnesses.

    “Yeah, sure, throw it out the window just get rid of it somehow,” That was the last response Alessio expected. He slowly lowered the object in the question to examine it closely. Maybe he’d stumbled upon something he could actually use as leverage…? Arsene let out a nervous chuckle, glancing around.

    “Uh, can I talk to you…”

    “You already are.” Alessio said, following the robber’s anxious looks. Oh. Arsene made enemies…How could he use that to his advanta—Arsene grabbed his arm and tried to pull him back to the last room. Panic flashed through Alessio’s eyes at the sudden touch.

    “Oh yeah, I know. I meant talk somewhere we could easily duck in cover or brace for impact or stay alive…” He wanted to get him away from witness. “And um, right now.”

    Alessio switched personas to the totally helpless scared kid.

    Let me go! Please!” He jerked back while Arsene stared at him like he’d just turned into a purple draekon. And then started trying to shush him. But by then Alessio was bordering on hysteria, whether real or fake even he didn’t know. “Please just stay away—just stay away Arsene Lupin!”

    He knew using the robber’s real name was probably the last trump card he could play, and by then everyone was staring at them. That’s when the room exploded in noise, the same noise at the building earlier. Before he could react gold and silver light flipped around them, evaporating anything that tried to get in. It looked like Mayra’s powers, except a different color.

    Then they collapsed through the floor.

    And Alessio was trapped alone with the robber.

    In a split second Alessio grabbed Arsene by the collar and with one hand and darted the tip of his knife under his Adam’s apple with the other.

    “What do you want with me?” Alessio demanded huskily.

    “I just saved your life! You’re welco-!”




    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.



    Welcome to the Character Castle! This is where you can bring your characters to meet one another (role-play), and perhaps even discover new things about them and their arcs.

    A few guidelines:

    1. No character may leave the boundaries of the castle, but you can invent any room (library, indoor garden, kitchen, etc.) as it pertains to the role-play. Due to the castle’s unpredictable nature, its rooms may change appearance and shape at will, so don’t worry about making your descriptions completely accurate—just have fun writing.

    2. Feel free to chat with other participants to ask about characters and decide which way the story will go! Though do so in a separate space from where you are writing the snippets of the story.

    3. You can’t put yourself in the story. As awesome as it would be to meet your own characters, remember that the old green door separates us from the Worlds. (An exception is if you have a character based loosely off yourself in one of your stories. That’s legal. 🙂 )

    4. Any character can enter, even if they’re a villain! Simply remember that the magic of the castle makes evil (and good) powers a little unwieldy. Even if the characters do end up making a mess, the castle will clean it up. It might not be too happy about it, though.

    5. You may bring in more than one character, if you desire, but preferrably no more than three.

    6. Write only one snippet at a time, giving someone else the chance to write the next peice, unless a week+ passes.

    That’s all! Have fun, Emberlings.

    Sorry I replied late. Life happened, writing happened, everything happened at once. I looked over this notification and I am setting the defined rules for Character Castle 2.5.

    1. Any character, hero, villain, or side character, may enter Character Castle 2.5. However, your main characters MUST have a character bio and a world bio. (If you are planning a plot twist and choose to bring a surprise character, you have the option to not make a character bio)

    2.  If you desire to remove a character, you may remove said character by using Amnesia (make Amnesia kill off, erase, or vanish your character. Choice is yours).

    3. There is no limit on the number of characters you can have, AS LONG AS YOU CAN WRITE THEM.


    “What do you want with me?” The boy demanded huskily.

    “I just saved your life! You’re welco-!”


    The boy continued to point the knife at Arsene. Any other person would have panicked. However, Arsene refused to. Since he had to let his curse escape to the public, he was not just going to stand here and die. Grabbing the knife by the blade, Arsene allowed the nether to consume the weapon. Gradually, the blade perished, becoming nothing more than silver and black dust Arsene absorbed.

    “Wow, nice acting skills, ten points.” Arsene started, “You can act out your drama play, when I’m sure nobody trying to KILL you.”

    Shifting part of his body, Arsene grabbed the boy by the collar, slinging him across his back. He didn’t care if the boy was around seventeen, he wasn’t just going to leave him here.

    “Let me go!” The boy yelled, “I’ll hit your pressure points!”

    Running, Arsene retorted. “Wring my neck if you want to, I won’t feel a thing.”

    Arsene bolted across hallways, turning paths and evading guards. While he had activated his power to escape, he was disinclined about using the nether ability on people. Sliding, Arsene set the boy down, before smashing a vent open.

    “Ain’ no way I’m crawling in there.”

    Facing the boy, Arsene added. “You can either go in there or I can knock you out and throw you in there. Either way, I’m getting you away.”

    The boy crossed his arms, before saying. “Make me.”

    Arsene sighed. “Wish granted.”

    Shifting his hand, Arsene grabbed the boy. The black and silver dragon scales appeared with claws, as Arsene made his move. “Is this because of your power? Do you think I want to exploit you?”

    The boy struggled, even grabbing another knife to stab Arsene. However, Arsene shifted another section of his body. The knife was now useless. Although the boy was strong, Arsene knew he had no hope of piercing dragon scales with the blade.

    As the boy lost consciousness, Arsene finished. “If I wanted your power or anything you had, I would have had it by now.”

    The boy then fell unconscious. Sliding him into the vent, Arsene dragged him through, looking for a safety zone.

    Though it took awhile, Arsene found an unused compartment. Dropping the boy into a bed, Arsene put a blanket on him. This wasn’t going to be amusing. Sitting down, Arsene thought over everything that happened. He had used his power, forced the boy into a vent, and was currently hiding now.

    “Can you ever do the right thing without using such debatable tactics Saga!”

    Saga remembered the words of his brother, Sage. It was the last time they exchanged words as brothers.

    There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.


    Sherlock discovered how hard he could hit the brakes, coming to a stop. The idiot, who was in the road, took what looked like a cane/sword (Sherlock didn’t know which) and tapped the car hood. He scratched the back of his head, as he marveled at the “borrowed” car.

    Ugh, I’m becoming more like Arsene, Sherlock thought. “You’re blocking the road!”

    “No, I ain’,” the fool shouted, “This ain’t a road. Roads are steel and electricity suspended two bodies’ high in the air! Ya’d be an idiot to get on them. It’s impossible to get in them.”

    Sherlock cursed. “Would you just move!”

    “Maybe if you let the blind man cross the ‘road’ punk?”

    Sherlock hated waiting, but could be patient should a situation demand it. However, the moron went as SLOW as possible, getting on Sherlock’s nerves. As Sherlock smashed the horn of the car, the man hit the car with the sword.

    Swearing, Sherlock shouted. “I’m going to count to ten, and if you aren’t out of the way, I’m going to start driving!”

    Before Sherlock could say ten, a smoke grenade smashed through the window. After blurting out a bad word, Sherlock hit the gas peddle. Unfortunately, he was unaware of the stain glass from the window Arsene smashed, which damaged the tires. Unable to continue, Sherlock looked as the idiot crossed the street.

    “Thanks for waiting punk.”

    Words could not describe the aggressive anger in Sherlock. While the detective internally cursed, there was a knock on the window. What the h…no, Sherlock was going to stop swearing right now. Opening the window, Sherlock asked. “What is it good sir?”

    It was time to put on the professional look. Everyone was willing to talk to the investigator who was friendly and rarely became angry. It was a mask Sherlock created long ago.

    There are paladins of light and there are dark knights.


    He grabbed the knife by his its blade!

    Alessio leapt back, breathing heavily as the knife vanished in Arsene’s hand, disintegrated almost instantly. All the color drained from his face as he imagined what could happen if Arsene used his powers on him.

    “Wow, nice acting skills, ten points. You can act out your drama play, when I’m sure nobody’s trying to KILL you.” It took a second to – only barely – register what he was even talking about, the only thought Alessio had was about to pay for everything he ever did if he didn’t die in the struggle.

    He sent a kick into the other’s torso hard enough it should’ve cracked bone. Not a thing. Before he could react Arsene’s hand was on him, yanking him off the ground. Alessio stifled a painful yelp, cursing and struggling frantically.

    Let me go, devils! I’ll kill you, please!” Wasn’t a rational threat but everything was white-hot terror.

    “Wring my neck if you want to, I won’t feel a thing.”

    In seconds they skidded to almost a halt and he was thrust on his feet, ready to bolt if he thought he stood a chance. Bam! Arsene smashed a small opening free. Alessio sucked in a breath.

    You’ll never get me down there!! You’ll have to kill me first!!!” Almost paralyzed, he staggered a step back, like a cornered animal. Memories of dark, bloody rooms. Sick smells. Cold as ice, but burning, ripping pain–

    “You can either go in there or I can knock you out and throw you in there. Either way, I’m getting you away.”

    He backed another step, crossing his arms defiantly.

    “Hook up a ghoul.” Alessio cursed, glaring, almost crazed. This was just about the worst profanity available in Casumbra, and the most rebellious thing he could think to say.

    Arsene sighed.

    The next thing Alessio was aware of he was clasped tightly in a steel-cold grip. An involuntary cry escaped Alessio as the black and white powers materialized inches from him, even though he promised himself he wouldn’t flinch. It was always worse, they always made it worse if you made a sound.

    “Is this because of your powers?” Arsene’s voice cut in, close, unbearably close. “Do you think I want to exploit you?”

    Alessio kicked and snatched after his last knife. It didn’t do anything, black spots began to swirl across his vision, causing him to fight even harder. He stabbed wildly into his opponent, dizzily. As everything faded to black he could still hear Arsene’s voice, vaguely.

    “If I wanted your power or anything you had, I would have had it by now.”

    That was the last thing he heard before the world spun into darkness.


    It was freezing cold.

    But it wasn’t. Actually it was warm and he was sure it had to be a trick of him mind?

    It was drilled, pounded into him not to move until no one else was in the room. Fake being unconscious, just delay the inevitable. Where was he…? What had happened? His chest nearly cracked from the loud thudding of his heart, he was sure it would give him away.

    There was something covering him, that was soft.

    ‘If I wanted your power or anything you had, I would have had it by now.’

    A flash of memory jolts Alessio upright, jerking back half-propped on his elbow. He tried to soak in his surroundings all at once, pressing his throbbing head with one hand. His hand brushed against the bandaged cut he’d gotten from the crash that had sent them both into the river much earlier. It was suddenly surreal and dizzying to think about.

    Alessio’s eyes alighted on Arsene and he tensed. Did he pass out before Arsene got a chance to at payback or…?

    “Where am I?” Alessio demanded

    Arsene let out a slow breath.

    “Still on the ship.” He said, surprising Alessio with a reasonably straight answer.

    Alessio was waiting for it to happen, for Arsene to snap and make him regret every single thing he ever did in his short sad life. Some sort of threat at least, Alessio didn’t know how to overpower him, it’d be a completely useless effort to try to escape now.

    But Arsene didn’t look like he was enjoying this either.

    Cautiously, Alessio dragged himself a little more upright, curling his knees to his chest. He kept the blanket, though.

    ‘Is this because of your power? Do you think I want to exploit you?’ If he didn’t want to, why else would he help him? Pure motives only happened in fairytales…right? Alessio propped his chin on his knees and watched Arsene guardedly

    “I made them think you were unhinged.” Alessio provoked, waiting for that reaction that would prove Arsene didn’t actually have any regard for his life. It was just a game?

    “I was going to tell them all about your stash of stolen goods and pin all the blame on you.” He added recklessly, reevaluating everything Arsene had done, at a loss to confirm whether he actually cared or not. Maybe he did…Nithel had. There was…almost a chance?

    He wanted to believe that, he really did…



    To be a light to the world you must shine in the darkness.

    Catholic Creed


    I very much intentionally, with sound mind and full thought and definitely full intention – did I mention that? – deliberately pulled the pin out of my smoke grenade. Because you are only supposed to handle these if you are going to use them.

    Now, in my favor, these aren’t the exploding exploding kinds. But the shell definitely splinters apart, cause I only need them in dire situations. So it’s gotta flood a chamber in less than a second. Cause, ya’know, Shads. And sometimes angry tribers.

    Yep, I definitely pulled that pin intentionally. Not because glass stabbed me through the foot.

    I toss the grenade to the side, the rosargent plating splintering apart – violently – the instant it hit the ground.

    Smoke. Beautiful, clear, legible, it curls around me like a comforting blanket. Scorching hot like it should be – I instantly locate the fire opal and summon it to my hand with a phantom arm of thickened smoke.

    I take my time leaving the angry stranger – limping, with the glass still in my foot – and hit a different, abnormally smooth surface. I hear and smoke-touch people around me.

    Punks, I sure hope this is where people are supposed to walk.

    Next time I fall through a hole in reality, I’m taking Search with me. (She’d probably love it anyway.)

    Ugh. Why did my day turn out like this?! I actually did something nice this morning! Just cause! And this is how I’m repaid?! Sheesh!

    The idiot is bellowing behind me. Who cares? He won’t follow me. Right punks? I’ve got smoke now.

    I roll the fire opal over my knuckles, enjoying the searing burning accompanying it. As long as it’s exposed to oxygen, it’ll burn until there’s nothing left. And the chemicals injected into it will produce triple smoke.

    Sure are expensive. But, I like ‘seeing’ so I eat the cost.

    I think I can run on this foot still – once I get the glass out. I need new boots. Actually, I want something designed for running. I need to be able to run.

    Shad’s don’t normally come to populated areas, but depending on how far out the settlement is, how well it’s established…

    … shut up and stop panicking. I fell through an honest-to-Cathedrals hole in reality. There are no Shads here.
    <p style=”text-align: center;”>~*~*~</p>
    A long, black, bony claw pierces through the vault wall. The beast shambles forward, a skeleton with inky void holding it together (barely). It drips oily black from battered joints and open maw. No visible eyes pierce through the black hollows the skull.

    It barely passes as humanoid: so stooped over, its overlong arms drape the ground. The claws – each as long as the finger they are on – scrap the floor with a horrendous shriek. Frost skits under them like sparks.

    Deep in its throat, an eery moan struggles to escape, a rasp cutting the air with the reverberating howl.

    A security guard spots it and screams, emptying his gun into the beast.

    It is useless.

    In an instant, the beast is on him. Ripping. Slicing. Screaming louder and more agonized than its victim.

    Out of the fissure in the vault, another creature creeps, wailing its etherial cry that sounds like the void personified.

    The Cold Shadows are here. And they are hungry.



    Amnesia – you are unwise to open voids between worlds. You never know what you may invite. You believe yourself to have the blackest heart among a people of black hearts. Yet how can you fight something with no heart?

    Something that consumes and spreads.

    Something that grows in the darkest corners you will never be able to eradicate. 


    Do try.

    Don’t make the same mistake we did, however.

    Don’t assume you can’t destroy your world.

    Don’t assume you can remake it.

    Even you must live with the consequences of your actions. 

    As must I.
    <p style=”text-align: right;”>Now of no title and little consequence</p>
    <p style=”text-align: right;”>Grimme Diamond</p>

    When life knocks you down, wait 'til it passes over you and then attack it from behind.

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