If you are receiving this letter, I am afraid I must inform you that my venerable and magnanimous master, Bernhardin Enz, collector of curios, has passed.
As I am sure you are aware, the master had in his possession a sizeable estate consisting of a great many artefacts that he had collected over his many long years, and lacked an heir of his blood to inherit his collection.
To deal with this concerning issue, the Late Master had his various agents across the globe switch their attention from hunting the relics that had been the focus of much of his life, to find individuals that the Master deemed worthy of inheriting his prized portfolio.
If you, as a chosen individual of the Master, wish to claim this inheritance, then you need only place your hand upon the Judgment Seal located within his estate.
Caretaker of the Enz Estate
P.S. To ensure fairness between competitors, the cost of travel to the estate has been included with this missive."
>>5>Located in a quaint corner of London, the Pendragon Bookstore is a little known corner of the English capital. Boasting a wide variety of hard-to-find books, the store caters to a a specific clieantele of an… 'arcane nature. While the main facade of the store boasts of a wide selection of tomes and volumes, the store itself extends into the streets below, acting as a meeting point for the city's local magical population, acting as a supplier of both important tomes and information.
>Despite the store usually being open, the main street side of the Pendragon is closed, with the underground section serving the few customers that have entered through more esoteric means. The reason for this unusual closure is soon revealed, however, as young fox kit, its fur made up of shining crystals, bursts out from behind a bookcase chasing some dust, dashing and weaving through the legs of the store's owner - a tall middle-aged man with coarse black hair.
>Cradling an opened letter, the man places it down on his shop counter for his visitor to read - a younger woman with long black hair to match his own. Carefully unfurling the missive, she reads it through, moving a hand away briefly to stop the fox from running around and pet it.
"So it's true then? Enz is dead."
"It would appear so."
"And his collection just… sitting there?"
"That's what the letter suggests."
>The woman thinks for a moment, looking over the letter again.
"So, are you going to answer the summons?"
>The man gives the woman a knowing look.
"Oh no… you are not
"Your flight's already booked."
"Why would you even…?"
"Enz had something in his collection that was dear to me - and I can't leave the store."
>The woman folds her arms.
"Well what if I just refuse."
"Enz had something that might interest you to…"
>Slowly, the man opens a book and slides it over to the woman for her to read the page.
>Sighing, the woman answers.
"So, when's the flight?"
>>5>United States>Michigan Statue University Dormitories
>Sitting on the pizza box throne created by his ward's lackluster cleaning efforts, Fenirn a European red squirrel rested his furry paws on the sprawled letter. Reading it in full he turned to the shirtless young man leaving their humble kitchen with a bowl of cereal in his hand.
"Have you seen this?
>Wes, with his mouth still full shook his low hanging bangs from his face, perfectly understanding the series of chirps and barks and speaking in between bites as he plopped down on the couch.
"Um.. nope, what is it?"
"A letter, for you.
>Furrowing his brow for a moment thinking, he shrugged it off and took another bite.
"We get those all the time, Steven says they call them spam. We didn't actually win anything they just want us to sign up or give them money."
>Unamused, Fenirn picked up the letter and hopped from the counter to the couch, standing on the remote that Wes was reaching for.
"Have you ever heard of The great curator Bernhardin Enz?
"No.. I don't think so, should I have?"
"''If you had spent half as much time studying as you do working out you might have."
>Handing the now smiling human the letter Fenirn continued
"It would appear he has, or his estate rather has heard of you, of Verdan, that is.
>Stopping mid bite he set his food down he took the letter scanning it briefly before asking the elderly squirrel.
" Magic most likely
"…Where's the cost of travel that was supposed to be included with this letter?"
"To prevent you from spending it on food, I figured it best I keep it for it now.
>Shrugging and scooping up both his friend and his food Wes stood back up.
"That's fair, but you should probably know that the airports don't sell tickets to squirrels."
>An old abandoned manor stands somewhere in the woods, hidden in between the long shadows of the trees. Beneath the dreary soil, a figure of a woman stands below a bright light in the middle of a circular section of the basement. Various tools, books, jars filled with something grotesque lie in vitrines surrounding her. Her hands dig deep into the intestines of a cold dead body on the makeshift operation table.
„You really ought to be more careful out there.“
>The corpse groans back at her.
„Do check for bears next time you‘re out chopping trees, alright?“
>Having made sure the intestines are back in place, the girl picks up a surgical staple and sutures the mangled body.
„There. You can get back to work.“
>She concludes her work.
>The body stands up and wanders out of the basement. The girl removes her gloves and cleans the table of human bits and pieces. In the midst of it, the sound of hurried wings beats through the air.
„Hey! Mel! Melanie! Hey!“
>A black feathered bird flies into the basement and drops a sealed white envelope in front of her.
„You won‘t believe what I found on the porch. A letter! Who would think we could get letters here? Who delivered it even?-"
„-Is there some mythical postman out there in the woods? What does he do out there all day?-“
„-What does he want? What does he-“
>The bird jumps to the side and lands into something squishy.
„-Ughhh, what is that? On second hand, don‘t tell me.“
>Crow tries to wipe his feet as Mel reaches for the letter to read it.
„And? What does it say?“
„Enz is dead.“
„Huh? That old coot that wanted to stuff me and put me on one his cupboards?“
„He did not.“
„Yea he did, I saw him staring at me.“
„He was staring because you broke a sculpture. Anyway, we‘ll be leaving tomorrow.“
„What? Where? Why?“
„Many reasons. We‘ll have ourselves an adventure, Crow.“
>The girl smiles at her feathered companion.
„Alright! Didn‘t have us one of those for a while.“
>The rain trickled against the girl's umbrella and drowned out all but the roaring thunderstrikes. Crow hudled tightly below the umbrella on Melanie's shoulder.
"Ughh, I feel myself turning into an exhibition already."
"What's with you and taxidermy, Crow?"
>A tall mute figure trailed behind them, carrying the hefty luggage.
"That's what all these collector types see in someone like me, you know? Some rare piece to put on display."
"He's dead, Crow."
"Yea, well, it still makes me feel uneasy."
"It will be fine. Here-"
>She retrieves a cracker from a pocket.
"-to calm your nerves."
"Stress eating isn't healthy you know-"
>He grabs the cracker and quickly gobbles it down.
"-You really should stop tempting me."
>They press on through the rain and approach the looming entrance of the estate. Coming closer, they notice the growing amount of visitors. Melanie's eyes dash around between the figure.
"Wonder who else got the same letter."
>They make it out of the rain and Mel puts down her umbrella once she reaches the foyer.
"Bloody rain, I swear it follows me everywhere…"
>The woman from the bookstore steps into the foyer, shaking off her umbrella and putting it down, the crystalline fox following her as she enters. Looking around the room, she notices Mel.
"Oh hey, I guess the letter did imply that there would be others here…"
>Walking over to Mel, the woman offers out her hand.
"My name's Rhonwen, and no offence, but I'll be taking the inheritance."
>Crow glances over the woman.
"Geez, what's with this broad?"
>Mel shushes him and accepts Rhonwen's hand with a smile.
"Melanie. And my companion here is Crow. Excuse him, he has no manners."
>Introductions made, she surveys the figures inside the place.
"Are you sure? There seems to be quite the competition around here."
>>13>>12>Running up out of the rain with a protective arm cast upwards, draped in the rain coat he was wearing , Wes stumbles into the door way. Slightly out of breath he shakes both himself and his jacket, tossing water all around him. Fenirn pops his head over Wes's shoulder looking at his ride with dismay.
"You are tracking mud all over the place!
>Looking down at his shoes with a hand holding onto his shoulder slung bag and a semi-dry paper bag in the other.
"Oh, Oh shit, sorry. Sorry everyone, the cab wouldn't bring me any closer.. I -I had to run through the rain and.."
>Slipping out of his boots and unceremoniously kicking them into a corner near the door, the now barefoot Wes looks back to Fenirn with a smile before surveying his surroundings.
"…and WOW, look at this place! This is amazing, it feels so old! Fen, have you ever seen anything like this?"
>He instinctively starts touching the old stone walls near him marveling at the craftsmanship. Fenirn, though taking in his surroundings seemed more concerned with their company and pointedly cleared his throat, nodding towards the others in attendance.
>Walking up with a genuine smile, Wes extended his hand greeting everyone
"You must be the other inheritors the letter was talking about, my names Wesley but my friends call me Wes and this is my friend Fenirn."
>>13>Rhonwen fakes a smile
"Lovely bird you have there, a real charmer."
>Doing her own survey of everyone else in attendance, Rhonwen shrugs.
"I doubt they need it as much as I do, most of them just look like they're here for a quick score.">>14>Rhonwen chuckles.
"The old man certainly had interesting tastes…"
>Looking down at Wes' bare feet, and then back up at his smile, Rhonwen takes his hand and shakes it.
"Rhonwen. My advice? Get out of here before you get in over your head…"
>The fox accompanying Rhonwen trots over to Wes and trills happily at him.
"And that's Kit, looks like he likes you. I'd imagine he's similar to your own companions. Although he's certainly not as talkative as yours."
>Rhonwen indicates to Crow.
"So, your letters give you any clue of how this is meant to work or…?"
>Mel shakes the odd fellow's hand.
"Melanie. And this is Crow."
>She skips over the trenchcoated figure standing behind her. Crow flies over onto Wes' shoulder and rudely inspects his face without much bearing for personal space.
"You know there's something about you…"
"What? Huh? Oh, right. Personal space! Sorry."
>Mel sighs and lets it be.
"Yes, I suppose we are. Anyway, it's nice to meet you.">>15
"No, but I'm sure we'll figure it out. One way or another."
>Nodding, and taking the remark in stride Wes speaks with an almost contagious and easy confidence.
"Oh I wouldn't waste too much time worrying about us; I'm just excited to get to see Europe…and to be honest I didn't really know the guy, he just sent me a letter."
>Wes stops his explanation and gasps at the gorgeous fox, immediately dropping to his knees and petting its crystalline coat before scratching it behind it's ear; paying far more attention to it than whats going on around him.
"Awww, hey Kit, you are gorgeous; I've never seen anything like him!">>16>Fenirn seemingly the only one bothered by the intrusion slides back into Wes's coat and comes out on the opposite shoulder staring at the crow incredulously.
"The nerve of the avian species I swear.
>Wes chuckles at the non-nonsensical barking and just looks at crow, mirroring his head tilts before getting a quick tug on his dark tousled hair.
"Ow, Fen cut it out."
>Rolling his eyes with a mock exasperation, Wes stands back up, giving a slight bow.
"Well met, to all of you."
>>15>>16>>17>A flash of lightning from outside illuminates the room briefly, casting shadows across the room as the bright light hits the various display pieces in the foyer. As the light dies down, an older, well-toned man with a full head of grey hair steps out from further within the house and coughs to get the attention of the gathered potentials.
"Greetings. . . I am Hartmann Wolfram, humble servant of the late master. Allow me to first say that the master would have been delighted to see all of these gathered faces - great members of the community both old and new. . ."
>Wolfram politely claps for the crowd.
"Now, for the question of the evening, I would suppose all of you are wondering how you may claim the inheritance. . ."
>Wolfram pauses for effect, letting the words sink into the air.
"To put it simply, I cannot tell you, for my master did not inform me on the full process of claiming his collection - only that the Judgment Seal must touched to claim it. I can, however, advise you that the master kept rigorous archives of his collection within library located within the cellarage beyond this hallway."
"Thank you for listening, and I wish you every luck in your efforts. I, meanwhile, have duties to attend to. . ."
>Wolfram finishes his bow and walks back into the hallway.
>>17>Kit trills happily at being petted, lines of colour flashing down his fur as Wes scratching his ear.
"He's a fae crystal stalker, I found him wandering where he wasn't meant to be a few years back and took him in - he's usually a bit shyer than this, you have a way with animals or something?">>16>>18>Rhonwen listens to the speech, taking in as many details as she can, before turning to Mel and Wes.
"Well, there's our answer, Enz was a fan of murder mysteries."
>Thinking for a moment, she adds:
"I think I'm going to take our mystery letter sender's advice, you coming too?"
>The girl motions to her feathered friend to stop being bothersome. Crow flies over back to her and continues to watch Wes curiously.>>18
>Melanie takes in the speech while studying the older man and the crowd around her. The man concludes his speech and Mel takes note of what ways the people leave.>>19
"Don't most murder mysteries end with the butler having done it? Sure, sounds like a plan."
>She smiles and turns around to the shady figure behind her.
"Would you please figure out my room number and drop off the luggage?"
>The figure stares blankly for a moment, nods and shuffles off in search of a reception.
"I guess we just follow the crowd."
>>18>Blushing with a similar sheen to Kit's for a brief second, Verdan holds a hand up defensively.
"Uh, no; not really, I mean.. I guess, I just kinda understand them so to speak."
>Still blushing but regaining his composure fairly quickly, Wes speaks his thoughts out loud
"You're fae huh? You are rather far from home aren't you.">>18
>Shielding his eyes from the flashes he looks on curiously before sighing
>Turning to Fenirn, Wes scratches him under his chin with a finger with a smile.
"Yeah, count us in; Fen loves to read.">>20
>Toting his bag slung over his shoulder, Wes takes a few quick steps and follows along, still visibly filled with a sense of wonderment at the lavish castle he found himself in.
"So did either of you know this guy? You know, like before he died?"
"Don't really read many murder mysteries, so I guess?"
>Watching the crowd head further into the mansion, Rhonwen indicates at the door.
"Yes, let's shall we?">>21>Rhonwen shakes her head.
"Never met the man, the letter wasn't even for me, I'm just here on behalf of someone else - I'm guessing I'm not the only one."
>Letting at a small whistle for Kit to follow her, Rhonwen starts heading towards the hallway.
"We've met him once, I needed information and he needed help reaching someone."
"Yea, we're lucky we got out alive."
>Mel handwaves away Crow's comment.
"Crow broke a sculpture and thinks Enz wanted to stuff him."
"Anyway, it was a brief exchange."
>Crow's head tilts here and there, scanning the walls of aligned spines and the contestants arbitrary pulling out the ones that they deem interesting.
"Uff, you think if we pulled the right one, a secret passage will open?"
"Or a death trap."
"Yea, well. If that happens I'm oughta here."
>>23>Wes smiles at the two but quickly turns his attention to the library itself. Seeing all the scholars and learned people searching the endless tomes, he sighs.
"Fen, any chance you can lend us some guidance?"
>With a quick nod, the red squirrel wiggles his way into the duffel bag and starts rummaging around. Wes, pulls out his cell phone and starts typing.>>25>Without looking up from his phone,
"I'm not sure if this is helpful but the only reference I could find to a judgement seal has to do with either a literal seal holding a gavel..or something called the anti-christ, who rides a pale horse?"
>Shrugging he looks around the room as a subtle hue of magical energy begins surrounding his muscular form. With the aid of the guidance spell Wes deftly searches for anything out of place or relating to his impromptu research.
>Melanie notices the casted spell but makes no mention of it.
"I wouldn't be surprised by a Catholic connection given the area."
>The girl looks over the people taking more and more books off the shelves.
"Why do you think you'd need to touch the seal? Is it just something Master Enz put in his will or is there more to it? Do you think he would leave out a book here in the open if it was the latter case?"
>She thinks back to the letter.
"Unless he would do it on purpose. You know if the seal is related to the castle… I wonder if something here about the local area could help."
>Melanie turns to Wes.
"If you… wouldn't mind."
>>25>>26>Rhonwen shakes her head.
"I'm pretty sure Enz isn't the kind of cliched individual who would have a secret passage behind a bookcase - and I doubt even half of the things he owned are on the internet."
>Rhonwen's eyes slowly wander, following the path of the beams as she moves a book in and out to prove her point.
"See?">>27>Looking around, Rhonwen nods.
"The man clearly had a taste for the religious - I'd also try looking for something personal, a journal or something maybe."
"I'm not sure, I suppose it might cast some form of judgement on you, but if it's anything like Indiana Jones, I'm not sure I want to..I didn't come here to loot a dead man's corpse and I'm definitely not dying for one.
>Readily nodding he hands her his phone before scanning the room once more, looking for another exit or some kind of personal study.>>27>>28
"I agree, if he had written about it in a personal journal I don't think we'd find it in here.
>Melanie shakes her shoulder that Crow has been sitting on.
"Ay, ay. Alright, I get it."
>The bird flies off and lands on one of the higher shelfs. He quickly scans the books and jumps forth in further search.
"That doesn't sound like the spirit for adventure."
>Melanie leans againt a table and skims through her usual sites on any noteworthy bits on the local history and myths.
>>29>>30>Rhonwen pulls out a book from the shelf and flicks through it, stopping on a page that interests her. Reading it for a moment, she snaps the book shut and puts it back on the shelf, moving over to another one and pulling a book out - which she puts down on the table. Flicking through it, she nods to herself and indicates for Wes and Mel to come over.
"Looks like Enz's collection wasn't restricted to just items - he liked to collect stories too."
>Rhonwen turns the book over for the two to read.
"Apparently the knights who made this place were curators of holy relics, hence the library - and the antiquarian of the place had his own office not far from here."
>Rhonwen slams the book shut, disturbing some dust from it.
"Seems as good a place to start as any."
>>31>>32>>30>Wes nods, he was enjoying the castle and company but was quickly beginning to feel out of place amongst the more knowledgeable people in the Library.
>Fenirn, stealthily snuck back out of the duffle bad and dropped the husk of a small acorn quietly behind them. Climbing up to Wes's shoulder he chirped,
" Beware Wesley, there may be more to these women than meets the eye; if this indeed a competition of sorts then one or more of these people here may try and betray you.
>Without giving it a second thought,
"Yeah, maybe, but you can tell a lot about a person by the company they keep."
>Wes finished his sentence with a nod to the two animals before continuing with a smile.
"Besides, that's why I have you."
>Muttering to himself as Wes searched for secret doors or misplaced drafts with his heightened senses
"More than a fulltime job I assure you..
>The bird flies over back to the party and lands on Rhonwen's head, looking down onto the book
"Hah, look at that, I was searching for that.">>31>>32
"Yes, it should be somewhere right around the corner."
>Melanie hands the phone back to Wes.
>Crow hops over back to Mel.
"Did you find anything else?"
>>31>>33>>34>Located just off from the main library room, the antiquarian's study is a slightly more humble affair than the main library itself, boasting a far more modest selection of research materials. What it lacks compared to the library however, it makes up in rare collection pieces. Various relics from across the world and history litter the room, displayed prominently in secure cases. Above everyone, surrounding the light fixture, several stuffed birds are arranged in a display where they "fly" away from the light.
>Opposite the door a desk sits, various papers scattered across it. On the wall behind it, the crest of the Enz family hangs over the chair, sending a clear message of who the study belonged to.
>As the door opens, you notice a musty smell as if the room hasn't been opened for a while, and cloud of dust is kicked into the air as a breeze travels through the doorway.
>>34>Rhonwen rolls her eyes.
"Yeah yeah, some of us prefer more traditional methods of going about things.">>35>Rhonwen coughs as the dust blasts into her face, shielding her eyes. Behind her, Kit takes cover from the dust using her legs.
, guess Enz didn't come here much in his last days…"
>Noticing the crest on the wall, she walks over to it and taps it.
"Guess it wouldn't be that
>Turning around, Rhonwen shrugs at Mel and Wes.
"Looks like we're looking for clues."
C: "-I knew the guy was a maniac! Look at that!"
>He wildly flings his wings towards the taxidermised birds.
C: "And you said I was just imagining things. Well now I'm glad he's dead. Just go and count them, those poor soul-… wait is that? Betty?"
>He fixates on one of the hawks.
C:"Ah, who can tell? Those hawks all look the same."
M:"Are you done?"
C:"For now, I'll gloat some more later. I.. was right.">>36
>Melanie walks over to the desk and inspects the scattered papers.
>>34>Wes smiles and slides the phone into his pocket
"No problem.">>35>>36>>37>Wes, covering his face from the dust, frowns at the dead displays but is brought out of his visible dismay at crow's levity.
>Seeing Melanie searching the desk, Wes with his shoulder mounted companion, cast a cursory glance at the relics on his way to the bookshelves.
"Does anyone know how Enz died?"
>Hovering a hand across the books and searching for anything relevant he adds.
"I mean, it just seems that there were a lot of people interested in his belongings."
"No but… here might be something.">>39
>Melanie studies the scibbles closely.
"It seems Enz knew his days were numbered and he became growingly desperate not to die. Looks like he was researching into immortality."
>>40>>41>Rhonwen pokes a curio as Melanie speaks, looking over her shoulder to address her.
"Immortality huh? I hear it's overrated."
>Walking away from the artifact, Rhonwen doesn't notice Kit sniff the stand she was looking at and knock it, causing the artifact to fall to the ground silently.
"I guess it was too late for him, seeing as we're here."
>Rhonwen glances around the room.
"I'm not seeing any crests except that one up there, so I think this room is a bit of a bust when it comes to looking for our Judgment Crest…"
>Thinking for a moment, she adds:
"Want to see if the butler knows anything about this quest for immortality? I'm all out of ideas otherwise - unless you have any tricks up your sleeve?"
>Speaking out the side of his mouth while still chewing on the local treat,
"So I've heard..but like, what if you don't get a choice, you know?"
>Fenirn understanding the context and the tinge of sadness hidden behind his words, looks up from his book which he had been searching intently.
"Perhaps it would be best to remember life is what you make of it; the sins of our fathers are not our own.
>Wes nods smiling, almost embarrassed by Fenirn's words but taking them to heart. He turns to his new companions and extends the bag towards them.
"Would anyone like one? they are pretty amazing."
"Questioning the butler should be helpful. If we'll find him in this place."
>She picks some of the more interesting notes, folds them and puts them in one of her pockets.>>42>>43
"It's foolish. Death is inevitable.">>43
>Melanie takes a piece and chews it down while staring forward as if in thought. She finishes and turns to Rhonwen.
"I have a trick. It should be set up by now, we just have to find my room."
>>44>Wes looks as if he's about to disagree but a cutting glance from the book reading squirrel halts his tongue. Shrugging and throwing his hands up in defensive defeat he chuckles.
"So where to, your room, or should we call for the butler?"
>Fenirn, clears his throat and stands up on two legs pointing to the tome,
"If you would be so kind Wesley.
>With a simple smile and an of course attitude, he walks over to the shelf, picking up the ancient druidic tome and tucks it under the arm Fenirn had hopped on.
>>43>Rhonwen takes one of the treats, chewing on it cautiously.>>44>>45
"Just a little less inevitable for some. . ."
>Finishing her treat, Rhonwen breaks a piece off her treat and feeds it to Kit.
"I'm not sure we'll get much out of our butler friend - besides I want to see this trick."
>A tall dark silhouette of a man stood silently as if expecting someone to arrive. The bare floor besides him was painted by occult markings of a dark ritual. The collection of black colored symbols were accompanied by a few small iron figurines showing heaps of skeletons fused into some humanoid forms. The center brandished what looked like a sun with a pitch black body and a white corona.
>Melanie walked over to inspect her servant's work.
"All precautions are taken. Well done."
>The servant nods and Melanie turns to Rhonwen and Wesley.
"We will be talking to Enz directly."
>>47>>48>Gawking at the extravagant set up, Wes follows the group as if on autopilot.
"This is really next level wealth."
>Seeing the ritual and more pointedly feeling the bare floor on his feet, he looks at the ritual in confusion
"How, isn't he dead?">>48>Fenirn was the only one of the two to understand the symbols for what they were, and after putting together the passing comment from earlier he wastes no time in answering.
"She's a necromancer.
"A necro what?"
"A necromancer, their magics are more focused in and around death. Likely the person she was contracted to help Enz speak to was dead
>Casting a wary glance at Melanie's servant with narrowed eyes
"I'd be willing to be that this servant of hers no longer draws breath either. Be careful Wesley, although not inherently evil there are many such reasons that the practice is frowned upon.
>Wes nods, but can't help but blush when his eyes meet Melanie's, letting out an awkward laugh,
"Okay, so how do I help?"
>>48>Rhonwen casts a wary glance at Mel.
"The art of dealing with the dead is frowned upon for a reason…"
>She lets out a sigh.
"But I suppose it is the quickest way here, and you don't look like the sort to use it for more… nefarious purposes so - what do you need me to do?"
"This ritual is a séance, we will be borrowing Enz's souls from the world of the dead.">>49>>50
"Glad to see everyone's onboard."
>She steps over into the middle, facing the symbol of the black sun.
"A séance has several components. Poking a hole in the barrier to the dreaming… the afterlife, securing a connection to our world and making sure nothing undesired makes through, this is what the symbols are for."
>She looks at the centre symbol in front of her.
"I'll have to locate Enz which won't be difficult since I've met him in person and he has a strong connection to this castle. Then bringing his soul here means getting him pass the keepers. They're usually not too concerned if you wake a single soul but we'll be sure to appease to them anyway."
>The girl points to the iron figures of warped creatures.
"Further symbols will help calming and, if necessary, restraining the spirit… Sorry for my rambling."
>Melanie gives you a warm smile.
"I mean to say there shouldn't be any problems, I'm not doing this for the first time. The whole process will be brief. You don't have to do anything…unless you have any mana to spare."
>She concludes and extends her hands half-way.
>>51>>50>Verdan listens intently, nodding with every word and trying to absorb the lofty concept.
"Okay so I have about a million questions right now..like who are the keepers, how do you appease them, what do you mean undesired and what is mana?… Do we have any of that Fen?"
>Fenirn thwacks Verdan, and rolls his eyes.
"Let her work.
>Briefly embarrassed by the scolding of the squirrel, he shrugs and set his shoulder slung bag on the ground, placing the tome on top of it.
>>51>>52>Rhowen shifts her weight from one foot to the other, reaching into her pocket as she does - taking out a crystal.
"Here. . ."
>Rhonwen offers the crystal out for Mel to take.
"I'm not sure if it's anywhere near enough, but I keep one or two of these around for emergencies."
>Rhonwen then begins walking away.
"Now if you'll forgive me, I'm going to stick in the corner - all this is making me… uncomfortable."
>Melanie gives Wes a slightly puzzled look and glances over the squirrel briefly.
"Don't worry, it's all well in hand. I can explain things later if you want.">>53
>She takes the crystal and holds it against the moonlight for a closer look.
"That's very generous, thank you."
>The girl shuffles a bit to make sure she is in the center and grasps the crystal tighly. Knowing the ritual is about to begin, Crow flies off from her shoulders and ontop of the undead servant's head. You hear a brief, almost silent grumble from the servant.
>Slowly, an eerie silence creeps over the room. Any old creaky noises and distant murmurs seem to dissapear. A subtle cold rolls over your skin, almost too faint to notice. You feel your touch loosening on your surroundings, as if not quite sure if you're standing evenly or upright. A whiff of floatiness takes you over and the shadows in the moonlight now seem longer and darker than they used to be. There's something in the corner of your eye, something shrouded. A muffled and incomprehesible sound creeps over the silence, directed at you, but you can't tell from where. The more you focus on it, the less within your reach it seems to become, yet it never disappears. You feel as if it knows you, you feel as if it judges you. You feel as if you know it too but its face is concealed by a black haze. You know there are features there, but you cannot see them. You feel as if you cannot remember its name. You feel sick.
>Lookin at Melanie, the girl stands still like a well carved wax figure. Her skin seems cold and her eyes look unfocused, staring dead ahead at the nothing between her and the floor. She doesn't move, she's frozen in time. She's mere steps in reach, but seems so far away, like another shade blending in.
>The white flames around the painted black sun flicker and a transparent silhouette of a figure appears above it. The girl steps back with stiff motions and your senses seem to slowly come back to you.