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Evander Fino Synesti

Abberation Apocalypse: 
Lost in Time

The Silk Portal was announced. Ersand'Enise cheered. Evander stood still.

His thoughts rattled, high above on a balcony directly across from the Silk Portal. Imbeciles, they do not even know what they just did. Ersand'Enise revolutionized trade, politics, and travel all in one swoop. The implications of this would shock the very pillars keeping the world stabilized at this point. He settled his emotions stirring around the idea of how the world would change over night when most were not prepared, I guess, this was inevitable

His eyes drifted upward into the sky. What next? He asked the gods. Bringing down his bright blues, he continued to watch over the teams of the Trials as they waved, bid their farewell, and left through the multiple lesser portals in the square.

He made his way down the steps of the building. Crowds of students and pedestrians were standing in droves. As Evander passed through the crowds of people, he came passing by familiar faces of Team Mozaru; Trypano, Yalen, and Jocasta. It did not take more than three whole steps before a feeling of terror loomed over the square.

Out of thin air, a massive aberration materialized, followed by another, followed by a dozen... no... a hundred... no... a legion. Immediately in response to the growing fear of the invasion, Team Mozaru made their way North out of the square.

It was not long before making their way to Balthazar that Team Mozaru began to feel something a miss in the aether. Jocasta felt as if she was tickled and Yalen too. The two turned to Evander as if to say, are you messing with us? Evander had this look on his face that offered no reconciliation. It was someone else... TRYPANO! But, she too was as perplexed as the others until they felt it again. It was not until Jocasta felt it deeply, sensed it, and commanded the group to cleanse themselves. Something ephemeral, something otherwordly was snatching at their fabric. Until Jocasta and Yalen simply disappeared.

Evander having a gut reaction to see what had happened launched forward to where Jocasta and Yalen were standing until he too...


Abberation Apocalypse: 
Stranger Places

Black. White. Red. Green. Yellow. Blue. All the primary and analogus colors ripped by as Evander arrived on loose ground covered in sand. On his hands and knees, his gut shifted with nausea. He felt as if he had been launched by a trebeuchet. Feeling disoriented, a bit of spit tossed up and immediately dried on impact beneath the scolding hot sun.

His eyes fluttered. Rolling over, reality felt hazy at best with white and black fireflies dancing in his eyes. What happened? It's so hard to breath. His breath was shallow, the air thin and dry. If it were not for his Fireblood, he'd be cooking. Where is Ersand'Enise? Where are the others? Evander thought about Yalen, Jocasta, and Trypano. All four were walking toward Balthazaar Square before he witnessed Yalen and Jocasta simply disappear What was that feeling? Evander recollecting the tickling and poking sensation before they cleansed their body, Was this the work of whoever was behind the invasion? His sense of urgency pressurized, How in Pentad am I going to get back? Where am I!

Trying to take a deep breath which turned shallow, Evander settled his mind. I won't answer that question laying here. He rolled over to his chest, shoved his hands down into the sand, pulled himself up to one knee, and stood up. He coughed... again and again. In a small fit of finding his breath, he spotted water off in the distance, sand in all directions, clear skies, a hot sun, and five moons. Was I brought to a desert? His sense of direction eluded him. His first instinct was to move toward the water, but there was some other energy he was sensing in a different direction.

Raising one foot after the other, he decided to walk toward the energy he was sensing. Desperately fighting some vertigo to maintain a standing posture and trudging through shifting sand it was a less than optimal scenario to say the least. Sand started to creep into his shoes which rubbed against his skin, That's annoying... The energy grew closer as he confronted a dune. Before crossing over Evander checked the otherside by enhancing his senses to detect heat signatures.

There were ambigous forms moving about with a large radiance from a large interestingly shaped object behind them. Unable to tell exactly what these things were, he cautiously made his way to the ridge of the dune to observe. The shapes were revealed to be something akin to a snake, yet they were tall, and coordinating their behavior. What in Oraff is that? He whispered under his breath. The group of snakes slithered across the sand with the lead holding a device.

The lead snake placed the device down and the others followed to join in line. Their attention appeared to be at the moons. Ok? Friendly, maybe not... Evander felt hesitant to go down as a stranger and outnumbered. He looked back at the water scanning the endless miles of sand, Damn. Concluding, there was no other way to get back to Ersand'Enise except forward, these "things" may be the only life for miles, a distance Evander wasn't certain he'd live through if left to his own devices in a place he did not know.

Standing up, Evander made his way down to the snakes. His hands held high to show he came as no threat. The snakes broke into a frenzy, nerves rose.

Thump. Thump.

Thump Thump. Thump Thump.

Thump Thump! Thump Thump!

Evander's heart beat harder and faster as he approached. Swallowing each vibration back down to keep calm. He could hear his mother's voice Mihaela in the back of his head,

"Remain poised in the fretting of strangers, hold on to your judgement, listen to their expressions, sit with their angst, give them time to reveal if they are friend or foe."

Steps away, Evander introduces himself.

Abberation Apocalypse: 
Friends Over Time

Something swelled inside of Evander. Something in him felt different. It wasn't the vision of the gods, or the massive abberation he ate along with the others, no...

This feeling had everything to do with them. The Doge, legacy, Avince... it all seemed small. He held out his palm visualizing the grains of sand in a time before his. Evander's weight leaned onto his desk. He got up to touch three eggs that seemed to reduce his anxiety as they rested close to his burning fireplace. These eggs were of the Black Devil, and two Firetails. Enclosed in an iron heat chamber, each were preparing to enter the world under Evander's guidance.

The comfort of their touch was not enough. Evander's thoughts and concerns returned.

Sipenta. Sireena. Sirrahi. First, the Traveler, now a war over time. Time. Where to even begin.

Dipping his quill into his cup, Evander penned ink to parchment beginning with,

Dear Father,

Our family's legacy rides on the balance of something greater than the upcoming war between Parrence and Revidia. I'll say, the Doge's plan to attack with his experiments are trivial at best. Not in terms of challenging Parrence and their order, but in terms of a grander order there is a matter that has and will last longer than Revidia, Parrence, and all of Sipenta.

There are events that I need to share with you in person. Events tied to the recent disturbances at Ersand'Enise that I am sure you have been made aware of before I could pen this letter to you. Let us meet where night never sleeps.

The sooner, the better.

Your rising flame,
Evander Fino Synesti

He folded the parchment into an envelope and sealed it with his personal mark. Sliding the envelope to the side, he gently placed his index and middle finger on another sheet of paper of different quality. Casually sliding the sheet in front of him, Evander examined with focus, a map revealing his next objective, "Thank you Sireena Diska." He praised under his breath, a bit of gratitude, sadness, and excitement bubbled all at once in the pot of his belly.

Evander's head turned to gaze at the stack of books he could find relating to the history of Sipenta, Time, Myths and Legends, and rudimentary books on theories and applications of temporal magic.

"I'll see you again."

Making Friends of Enemies:
An Ingrid x Evander production

Evander entered the library of Eresand'Enise. Adorned with glass and steel spanning over 5 acres. The exterior of the building was sleek with long rectangular panels of glass that allowed natural light to flood into the interior.

He was greeted by a vast, open space filled with rows and rows of shelves. It appeared as if every book ever written was stacked on top of another waiting to cascade knowledge into all the students' faces. The shelves were made of light-colored wood and were arranged in a serpentine pattern, winding through the space like a river.

In the center of the room was a large atrium with a glass ceiling that reached up to the top of the building. The atrium was surrounded by a series of balconies where people could sit, read, and work on their studies.

Throughout the library, there were various seating areas. People could relax and read in comfort. Evander tried taking in the details of the endless space. Now standing in the center of the library he could hear a faint voice talking to herself. His eyes were focused upward at the atrium and declined to meet the voice.

"Ingrid?" Evander said under his breath. She muttered alone.

The last time Evander had seen Ingrid was when they crossed hairs at The Sideshow. I wonder what she's upset about. Evander did not particularly like Eskandr's. In fact, he detested their kind because of their role in accelerating the fall of Avince. However, politics and history aside, she was a woman, even if she was an exceptionally tall one.

Evander approached Ingrid with his hands visible. He plotted a smile on his face with perfectly crested lips from cheek to cheek.

"Excuse me, Ingrid," he said, "I couldn't help but notice you were talking to yourself." Evander paused, "are you alright?" He was now standing across from her on the other side of the table, "May I sit down?"

Ingrid had been intensely focused on condensing the subject matter into manageable notes and she had started to mutter."Take environmental energy and convert … various sources … heat… careful for…" A habit she picked up a few years ago from extended isolation was now rearing back up.

She was so engrossed that Ingrid was little aware of Evander until he made himself known. A slight blush of embarrassment went to her cheeks having it been caught, "Oh no, um," Ingrid struggled to explain what she had been doing, "I have a small habit of talking to myself when I get into a book." Ingrid didn’t seem openly hostile to Evander this time around, and more preoccupied with coming off as an insane woman.

Evander pulled out the chair he was standing behind. Sitting down, he leaned toward Ingrid before answering, “Me too.” He casually sat back as a smile crossed his face, “May I ask what you are reading?”

Ingrid appreciated him not focusing on her mumbling, Ingrid will allow him to take the seat. He proved himself nobler at the circus so his presence was less disruptive. Ingrid moved the book closer to him so she could read as well, “I’m studying other known radioactive materials and how to swirl the energy to cause the reaction chain. Surprisingly, light could be used to start it on the first few reactions,” Ingrid explained. “What of your studies?” Ingrid asked, seemingly curious.

Evander leaned in to read the title, “Vita Radium Axiom”. Leaning back he replied, ”radioactive materials and swirling energy huh?” It was a tad bit over his head except the use of light, “Interesting, I study light.” Evander raised his hand in a fist and focused his gift to create light inside of it. Gradually the light in his fist grew in intensity as rays found ways out of the palm from gaps in his fingers.

“And, fire.” He flipped his fist over, opened it up, and instead of blinding the light which most would have expected next, a short burst of fire flamed up and immediately dissolved into thin air leaving Ingrid looking at Evander’s eyes which were level with his palm. He chuckled, "Pretty boring stuff compared to what you are studying."

Evander leaned in again as he placed both his hands down on the top of the table, he asked curiously, ”Why are you studying hard to learn how to swirl energy and cause a reaction chain?”

“It’s the fundamental of what an Atomic spell called Infinity Loop, It allows for an unbelievable amount of energy all condensed in a small package. Being able to start it using a variety of methods is key,” Ingrid explained. “Their are a variety of ways to get to it but understanding it more in-depth means I can still perform under less than ideal conditions.” But that was enough of that. “What actually brings you to the library? If you're here just to read a bit of anything, I can teach you some of the core principles of Atomic, I know where most books are,” Ingrid offered.

Evander listened to Ingrid’s explanation of her studying Infinity Loop, ”studying how to pack a small box with a big punch…” he brought his right hand beneath his chin to cup it between his thumb and index finger, “...interesting.”

Why was he here? He answered, “To understand the relationship between Eskand and Avince.” Evander’s face became serious, ”But since you are here instead of a book, what do you think of this relationship, I’m curious.”

That was something that Ingrid didn’t see coming. Ingrid took a moment to think before speaking, "Well, Eskand just finished them off. They were falling and we gave the final push. And from that my home nation sprung up for a bit," Ingrid answered, unaware of Evander’s connection to Avince. Ingrid continued, "They were going to fall it was just a matter of who did it. It could have been anyone. But from their fall, many other nations rose up. For better, or for worse."

“But,” Ingrid paused, “Avince has stuck around in its own ways. The language we speak to each other is Avincian, the school still stands and you can see the roots of their nation throughout the continent. Even Eskand took parts of Avince.” Ingrid spoke her mind without much thought. It was obvious how massive the Avince empire was. It has been long gone and we still use its language. Architecture is still built with its principles in mind.

Evander tightened slightly at her comment about Eskand finishing Avince off, she was not wrong, but he did not like the comment either. Her closing statements made it confusing, was she admiring their legacy? He maintained his composure, “Your home sprang up?” Evander inquired, “Where in Eskand are you from?”

"Well, Eskand rose up and with that my family bettered themselves," Ingrid added for context. Ingrid stood up and looked around the library for a few moments before levitating a book over. Opening it she showed the southern coast of Eskand Ath, “Around here,” Ingrid pointed, "The land is full of trees and mountains from the dragonspire. It’s a beautiful place to me. Why do you ask?"

Evander watched as Ingrid flexed her gift a little before showing Evander her home, “I see.” He took his eyes from the book and brought them back to Ingrid’s after she asked him “why”. He answered softly, ”You don’t ever wonder where the hearts of your fellow classmates come from?”

"Sometimes," Ingrid answered. She leaned back, maintaining eye contact with him, and said, "I used to be more interested in their origins but realized that was only part of them. I just see their national identity to be another part of them.” Ingrid sighed as she added an addendum, "However I’m not so naive to ignore how others see nationality," Ingrid took some subtle looks around to see who might be listening in.

Evander nodded as if to agree with her, “Yes, it is only a part, and for some, it’s quite a big part, while for others it’s small.” He leaned back as she leaned back to give her space, “What about you, how do you see yourself as an Eskand?”

Ingrid thought again, these questions were making her think about what she should and shouldn’t say, "You know I can’t say. I love most parts of the culture. The people are much nicer than most think. But at the same time, the politics are tiring and some things are starting to regress for the worst." Ingrid sighed and looked towards Evander, "I’m sure you have things that you dislike about Revidia."

Evander nodded,”There are.” He thought of the Doge. A man he’d not dare call an enemy, but certainly no friend. A means to an end maybe. Evander asked one more question, ”How do you feel about Revidia?”

Ingrid's eye’s sharpened at Evander, but they softened as she shrugged, "I never had particular feelings towards them, maybe slightly positive as a trade partner." Ingrid tensed, "The Doge made the mistake of underestimating Eskand. And of his scheming, many people are going to die. At first, I hated Revidians,” Ingrid admitted, looking apologetically at Evander, "but that isn’t right. Most are just people trying to live like everyone else. It was the Doge that messed with that."

Evander sensed Ingrid’s instinct to hate Revidians. If he were being honest, he’d have been outraged if the Eskand had tossed their nation off the Five Thrones and replaced them with another. “What you say is true, I do not believe Revidians are to be blamed for the Doge’s actions, but as for people dying, both sides have a lot to atone for.” Evander lowered his head as if sad by the idea of violence, “What about you Ingrid? What are you looking for in this world?” He paused, “The Doge looks for power, King Rouis looks to maintain order, Eskand is fractured looking to reclaim its dignity, what is Ingrid looking for?” He repeated and emphasized once more.

"I wouldn’t say I’m looking for anything," Ingrid said. She closed the book on Eskand and flew it back to the shelf. Ingrid looked back at Evander, "I’m just trying to understand more things. Be able to speak to someone and understand their perspective and learn." Ingrid moved the book back in front of her, "But for that, I need to make money and learn other skills as well."

It struck him, Ingrid felt alone. There was no such thing as a person looking for nothing, someone was always searching for something. In her case, it was someone, and to understand their perspective. She was searching for words that would help her with understanding people. Evander nodded at her and stood up, “Well, you will not find the skills to speak to someone in that book, but you can find it in going for a walk outside of this library with me, are you interested?’

Evander stood up and reached out his hand like a gentleman. It was up to her to take it or not, but it was there as a gesture of respect.

An invitation for a walk is what she expected since the start and she had been ready to reject him outright. But surprisingly, Evander has been more enjoyable than she thought for a conversationalist. Her eyes seemed saddened, "I’ll have to decline, Evander. I truly need to study," Ingrid said before then flashing a smile, "But I would appreciate it if we could see each other at a later time." Ingrid hoped he would take her up on it.

Evander nodded, “Of course, continue focusing on what is important and you’ll reach your goal sooner rather than later.” He drew his hand back, bowed, and turned to go toward the Mythology and History section before exiting to head to the lake and read.

Common Ground:
A Desmond x Evander production

The Ersand’Enise courier showed up at their usual time. Passing out letters and mail to students from far away places, family homes, and between other students. Sworn to protect the words and gifts they carried on their travels was the honor of the Eresand’Enise couriers, an honor that was shared by some of the most talented professional mages of the time.

A neatly dressed courier approached the Noble Quarter dorm of Sven. Quietly the courier slipped new mail into the designated box. The home was registered to a renter named Desmond who for the first time may have received mail at this address. One neatly pressed rectangular-shaped envelope stuck out with a waxed seal denoting the sender was Revidian.

Desmond was given the mail by Sven when he made his return home. Upon reading the letter, Desmond found the following letter:

Dear Desmond Cautalus,

In Oraff's name - I hope this letter finds you well.

Your reputation precedes you. Congratulations on your victory as the new Champion of the Underground. I was not in attendance but heard through trusted sources you fought with skill and grit. Your conviction to never give up was most obvious to those who witnessed your feats. Well done.

Now for the purpose of this letter. I believe there is an opportunity for us to work together. I hear you are one to keep an eye out for work as a hired gun, a talent I am interested in. So, I thought it best to invite you in person over a glass of wine I recently purchased from you at the auction as a token of my goodwill and discuss what business may look like between us as a hired gun.

To that end, if your interest is peaked, join me at Dorm A10 in the Noble Quarters on Victendes on the 9th at 5:48 HO.

Desmond found himself in front of Dorm A10, it was a place with much grandeur like most Noble dorms. Multiple rooms, balconies, and even some small gardens for a single person and their servants that waited to cater to the whims and needs of their master. Desmond sighed as he adjusted himself one last time, making sure he looked as presentable as could be. His clothing was cleaned like always, his bathing rituals he now does every day, and he even decided to make sure he did his hair for this talk.

Once done with his final checks, Desmond made his step forward to the door and saw the large ornamental knocker on the door. The visage of the Black Devil was the largest feature of the Door knocker, yet there were many features within it that showed the amount of time and money that went into such a simple item such as multiple inlaid details of brass and gold to highlight scales and limbs, while within the open mouth of the Sea Serpent having a ring of gold inlaid with orange and red gems that shine. This intensely intricate and ornate item almost made Desmond hesitant to use it for its purpose, yet Desmond did so anyways as the large and gorgeous door seemed to have been made without a door handle at all.

Knock Knock Knock

Clicks and ticks. Clicks and ticks. The sort of sound Desmond would hear on his side of the door as Evander manipulated the iron pins in a certain order within the door using his magnetic gift to unlock it. Click.

The door slowly opened toward Desmond. There were no creaks, no signs of wear, and no loose parts. When walking into Evander’s suite he sees a large hearth with a fireplace. In front of the fireplace, there were two ornate dark wood chairs with red velvet cushions sown into them. The back of the chairs was open with two sea serpents entangled down the center. Between the chairs was a round dark wood table with two wine glasses. Underneath the chairs and table in the fireplace area was large orange and red area rug with the Synesti crest woven in it. The same type of fabric hung above the fireplace on the hearth as a small tapestry showcasing Synesti’s crest and motto.

Evander stood behind the chairs in the center of the room directly in line with the entrance. He casually waved Desmond in, “Welcome Desmond, I am happy you’ve decided to take me up on my offer,” his face cracked into a smile as he approached Desmond to shake hands, “did you arrive thirsty?”

Desmond noticed the furniture that seemed to have decorated Evander’s home, the gorgeous tapestry, the ornate woodwork of furniture, and the beautiful rugs and table. Yet what seemed to almost pull the room together was the man who had waited for Desmond. Desmond met the man’s smile with a warm smile and a shake of the hand, ”I’m thankful my reputation precedes me. And yes, I am quite excited to have a drink of the wine”.

Evander gripped Desmond’s hand firm with a touch of warmth, “Please sit down then.” He flipped his palm to face the ceiling while slightly curling a few fingers to emphasize his index which pointed to the seats. As the two rounded the seats to sit down, Evander picked up the Ellermane Blue, slowly he poured the Ellermane into two polished goblets. The sound of the pour could relax any wearying soul, and the aroma could be smelt even by those with the weakest of noses. All while pouring, Evander pulled in the heat from the room.

Once completing the pour, he raised both goblets handing one to the seated Desmond. Turning around he casually waved his hand to draw the curtains across the windows using his kinetic gift. The room grew dark and protected from the mid-afternoon sun. Evander sat, waved his hand back across, and the fireplace sparked to light up in flames.

Evander turned toward Desmond, ”I hope you do not mind, I find wine is better when enjoying it in front of a fire.” He raised his glass to toast Desmond. The clinking of the goblets and shared sip between acquaintances was to demonstrate what Desmond could expect from Evander if there relationship were to grow; the acknowledgement, the attention to detail, the comfort.

“Desmond, let me start by congratulating you in person on your championship. Not an easy task to compete at our age against some of the brutes that linger too long in places like that arena.” Evander drew up the goblet to parse a sip from the vessel. The goblet was as manicured as intricately designed as the rest of the Noble man’s dorm. Except, these goblets were made through a special process and craft. “I am curious to know, as a champion, what other dreams do you have?”

Desmond drank from his goblet and felt the atmosphere, it was one that was quite enjoyable. A calm fire, a smooth drink, and just enough light to feel comfortable. Desmond takes another sip as he says, ”I think the atmosphere is enjoyable”. Desmond listened to the lip service given by Evander as all Desmond did was smile and nod. Desmond took another sip of his goblet as then finally came the segway, as Desmond said with a light chuckle, ”Ah, becoming the Champion was nothing more than a small thing, all it was a is stepping stone to becoming more connected in the underground ring. My dreams are different, however. Furthering my craft, learning what interests me, and living a life I can be proud of. Those are my dreams and what I aspire for”.

Desmond spoke with a calm voice, this talk wasn’t uncommon, as people often wonder what the mercenary wished to do and Desmond was more than willing to answer. Once Desmond finished what he had to say he took another drink of his wine before asking his host, ”What about yourself? A man of your caliber must have aspirations of your own. So I am curious what you would need a Hired Gun for”.

Evander listened as the young man across from him dreamed a life he could proud of. A goal every man had at one point or another in their life Evander suspected. One last sip. He reached for the Ellermane bottle as Desmond reflected the question asked by Evander. Pouring a little more wine, he motioned the bottle with the tip toward Desmond as if to gesture, ‘want more?’

As the two refilled, Evander answered, “Aspirations of my own?” He thought for a second. “In a sense.” His eyes fixating on the flames and sound of crackling wood from the fireplace, “Something is coming Desmond, something that will risk the lives of the innocence, it feels like more than a war…” His eyes drifted down.

“...a culling perhaps?” The memories of the Laughing Sanguinaire killing wrecklessly, Sister Cadence’s warning of an Arch-Zeno traitor connected to someone called the Traveler, the list of Reshta, and finally the effervescent joy of sharing joy between a Belzogg girl who lost her balloon. The last image, the one of the little girl shattered in his head to reveal his imagination and prediction of fire and the dead cut him deep. The prediction of war between Parrence and Revidia felt as if it would end up in more than simply two nations fighting, it would be a war of attrition that would drag in all of Sipenta’s natural forces to collide with innocence caught at the center.

Evander gradually turned his head toward Desmond, “Your aspirations are your own, I can respect that.” He paused while keeping his gaze connected, “I am learning mine have never been my own. At first, I rejected it. Then, I accepted, in fact, I have found it more fulfilling to align my aspirations with something more than myself, I honor it.” Evander broke eye contact to look up at the family crest woven into the tapestry above the fireplace and then back down to Desmond, “Why do I need a hired gun?” Evander smiled, “I think you mistake the purpose of my invite. I do not need a hired gun, I want someone who understands that when the world begins to crumble…”

“...all that will be left are those who wish to keep it burning and those who wish to rebuild.” Evander leaned in, “I am looking for those who value life over death, who seek to leave this world a bit better than when they came into it, I am seeking someone I can trust to protect those who will be caught in the middle and fight for those who will be ready to rebuild a world after it burns.” Evander’s intensity rose slightly to emphasize the gravity of his statements, “I do not need you Desmond, I wish to honor you, and help you with crafting a life you can be proud of.”

Evander leaned in a tad closer, “Do you understand? In times of chaos, trust is the only currency, I wish to give you mine in exchange for yours, to prepare for what will come.” He softened his gaze, leaned back, and swirled the contents of his goblet cupped in his hand, “the question is, what path will make you more proud, preservation or destruction?’

Desmond listened to Evander as he spoke, he had a seriousness to his tone, his voice was calm and clear, and his words carried the weight well, as Desmond could feel the weight of ideas, and feelings, and it even invoked memories from not but a few days ago. Desmond kept himself calm, a light smile that never left his face, as he lightly sipped from the goblet, Desmond was finally asked a question, ‘what shall he do’. Desmond took one last sip of his wine as he said, ”I understand, thank you. What path shall make me proud? I wonder.” Desmond said as he looked up lightly and thought about what it would mean, what would he be doing. Desmond thought for but a minute as he finally sighed as he looked back down until finally he looked back up and leaned forward to Evander and said, ”I believe…I believe I would like to follow a path I haven’t yet. I think I’ll give my trust to you. Whatever that shall mean”.

Evander looked at Desmond with eyes like that of a friend. Their moment was true, a mutual adoration of strengths and a complementary understanding of how they could enrich their world together rather than separate. Evander leaned into meet Desmond, the silence was booming of reverence and he held out his hand to shake Desmond’s once more.

“Desmond, we will make this world our own, please stay as long as you’d like.”

Desmond had a smile lay on his face once more as he saw Evander’s eyes, as he took the outstretched hand, Desmond shook his hand as he said, ”I would love to stay, however I do have other work I need to attend to. Me and Brother Castel are cleaning the sewers today. I can’t let him do it by himself, he’ll hurt himself all too easily”. As Desmond began to rise he looked to Evander and said with a smile, ”I would love to speak more some other time, I will bring more wine next time, it was good”. And with that farwell, Desmond headed off, slightly changed.

No Pedals:
Only Thorns


Roses and Neskals began every time the same way. Evander demonstrated his nimble and acrobatic-centric skills throughout the entire series. He dodged Neskals in hair-shaving fashion, hit competitors with sniper-like precision, and out-maneuvered teams to tear down their Roses. Team Mozaru outperformed the rest, and it was noted in the championship round.

Real History:

Evander’s feet crunched the earth below as he approached the Proving Grounds. A tight pull in his chest alerted his awareness. The force of the pull felt as if it were coming from the Statue of Emulus, who stood as tall as the height of the Avincian Empire he had founded. He gave into this otherworldy pull on his body and he arrived at the base of Emulus.

“Amazing.” Evander had a sense of wonder about the statue. His eyes were drawn to the intricate details engraved in the stone from Emulus’ spaces between each toe to his broad shoulders and thick muscular neck. He marveled at the craftsmanship of the armor and sword. He imagined the stories and civilizations that made Emulus who he was to Evander’s history-tracing his fingers over the contours, appreciating the art, culture, and beauty of the past sweeping over him.

Evander could feel his ancestors standing behind him for the second time since his attendance at Ersand’Enise. After having made one full circle, he stopped, stepped back, and looked up at the founder of the Empire, “abyssus abyssum invocat.” (sea calls to sea). Bowing his head only to see a plaque at the base near where he stood.

Curious, Evander knelt down to inspect the plaque. Discovering a strange marking, he follows it until he cannot. Extending his hands to grab the smooth cold plaque, he peels it up and over onto the other side revealing a faint scratching upon the stone, “Would you like to know the real history?”

The real history? Evander was not certain by what was meant. He looked closely at the stone. Beneath the scratching was a depiction of a dragon burning a village. Below the scratching was more words, ‘it was no man to found an Empire, but a beast. Fire fueled by blood, all came to pay tribute to their new Emperor.’ The message was unclear to Evander, he pontificated for a moment. A beast founded Avince? He saw in the corner of his eye some further scratches, ‘There are two doors to two rooms, one with fire, one with water, which do you choose?’

This would begin with the first of four clues. Not long after Evander began scratching his own head after examining the vague clues of a bigger puzzle scratched on the statue, Zarina and Abdel joined. The two walked over to a different statue, and over time, the three of them pieced together the full puzzle. A vault was unlocked beneath the last statue with their final clue. Within was a book containing the spell of Bloodwarping. The three decided to form a study group to learn the spell. Zarina was naturally apprehensive at first until she wasn’t having been persuaded by Evander.

The three would agree to keep the book between themselves because if it fell into incompetent hands, there would be more trouble than there already was at Ersand’Enise.

Give Them A Show:
Not An Excuse

As the sun began to set on the day of the Championship round of Roses and Neskal, Evander stood before the closed gate separating himself and the prize for victory. Surrounded by his teammates, Yalen, Jocasta, Trypano, and Carm, there was no way for them to lose. They had overcome and managed to be top contenders since the beginning, in Evander’s mind, there was no losing.

He had been preparing for this moment for weeks, honing his skills and studying the tactics of his opponents. His precision and skill in fire and magnetic began to expand as he tested himself throughout Roses and Neskals. Evander recognized his opponents were formidable, each a skilled magician in their own right. But Team Mozaru is…


As he stood before the gate, he closed his eyes and focused his mind. He drew upon the magical energies from his environment. The torches flickered slightly toward him as he pulled in their heat. His hands were to his side with his palms facing the gate. He continued to draw and channel his Gift into the palms of his hands. He was not only here to win, but he was here to give these people a show, to remember… his name.

A faint glow began to emanate from his palms, growing brighter and brighter. The gates opened and he led team Mozaru out onto the field as his palms projected a profound blinding light in the direction of the arena. The blinding light forced people in the stands to reel their sight slightly back as they gawked in awe at the aura Evander created around himself. The other teams would not be able to directly look at him as he entered.

Now at the center of the Roses and Neskal arena, he raised his palms and clapped them together to release a burst of fire which shot into the air, followed by a bolt of lightning up the center to disperse the flames in a crack of fireworks. The crowd of more than a thousand people erupted into cheers as Evander performed in front of them. Some would think his entrance was ridiculous, while others might have found it artistic and in the spirit of the show.

What was certain, Evander was here to win.

No Pedals:
Only Thorns

Evander approached his Noble quarter room. Placing his hand on the frame, he slid it down and back up. The click of the door unlocking was subtle but obvious. He used his magnetic gift to set a pin inside the door that kept it from opening. Unless one precisely knew how to play with it, it’d prove a little difficult to open. Evander intently pressed his feet on the floorboards in front of him as he entered his room. His face twisted into a scowl as he passed his private fireplace, he casually waved his hand creating a spark in the stacked firewood which shortly transformed into a beautiful display of burning wood. The crackling of the wood soothed Evander’s ears, yet his recent loss at the Championship of Roses and Neskals boiled infuriation inside of him.

The loss was more than his heart could take. There was no one around, and he let it all out,“Horse shit!” Evander spouted profanity.“Fucking cowards ganged up on us.” His blood raged. His heart pounded louder and louder. The veins in his neck were more pronounced, and the heat coming off his body increased. Between the heat from the fireplace and the heat from his own body, he was beginning to feel the final seconds of Roses and Neskals all over again.

The teams were let loose, except they all focused on team Mozaru. It was practically a fight to stay in it for most of the match. In the end, they fell far short of victory.

Evander paced the room with infuriation. Unable to calm down with clenched fists his body was subconsciously drawing in heat. His ring grew in color emanating a blood-red hue from the cracked veins across the surface. He marched to his desk with a temperature that would rival a fever for the average person. Arriving at his desk he finally let out a frustrated roar,“non ducor, duco!” (I am not led; I lead). He brought down his fists with the meat side down like a hammer on the wood below.

Upon contact, both fists flared up engulfing his flesh into flames. Evander surprised himself, eyes widened, expecting to feel pain from the long duration he allowed the flames to burn, instead he felt…


Mesmerized by the flames that seemed to temper his excitement, but careless to stop the fire engulfing his fists from spreading onto his desktop. Evander realized it slightly too late as he backed away from the desktop and drew in heat to extinguish the flame. The burn marks on the desktop were already singed into place, it was okay because he learned something new.

Evander knew fire could not burn him as easily as others, but he had no idea he could manage a constant flame on his own flesh for a long duration. The anger that drew him to this realization was no longer present, it was replaced by his curiosity. What else could he do with this talent? What did this add to his existing strengths?

Fields of Fire:
May Oraphe Keep Them

Location: Fields of Fire
Mood: ”Rise of the Saturn” by Titan Slayer
Current Event: Fields of Fire
Interaction: @Force and Fury, @Dao Ma, @Pirouette, @Jasbraq, @Th3King0fChaos

The Queen, Maerec, Camille, Arsene, Hildr, and the Perrench army stood steadfast against the Dragon, who reigned with tyrannical judgment as king of the sky. The Dragon did not slack in its breadth of attacks as it swooped and swayed, casting a dangerously hot inferno across a scorched earth like a blanket covering a bed. The men cried out in terror, their swords and shields no match for the Dragon’s fiery breath and sharp claws.

It was Maerec who knew that if there was to be any gain from this situation, he had to move fast. Spilling his plan to the rest, the Queen’s army mobilized to strike the Dragon precisely against its tough armor-like scales. Meanwhile, Maerec would be launched into space as a rocket on takeoff. In a flash of brilliance, Maerec was hurled to the Dragon’s leg, where he captured its ankle. Hoisting himself up, Maerec began to navigate its physical frame, all while doing his best to stay on.

The ground force was left to wear the Dragon down physically while Maerec subdued it mentally and emotionally.

Caelum took this opportunity to conjure a large thunderous spell as Maerec distracted the Dragon after successfully mounting it. Drawing upon his holy powers divined by Oraphe, he raised his hands and began to recite an ancient incantation.

As he spoke, the sky grew dark, and a lightning bolt cracked, striking the Dragon with a mighty force. The Dragon roared in anger and pain, writhing its body from the discomfort of the onslaught below and the mounted nuisance above. The sporadic shifting of the Dragon caused Maerec to slip, falling, he casted his kinetic tricks to recover and leap back to the Dragon’s body.

Caelum continued to cast his spell, summoning forth more and more bolts of lightning to strike the Dragon from the sky. The Dragon tried to dodge the lightning, but the Paladin was too skilled and powerful. Soon, the Dragon was struck repeatedly, each bolt weakening it further. These attacks only infuriated the Dragon to the point where Caelum was its next target.

With a final, deafening clap of thunder, the Dragon was…

Missed. The Dragon came down like a missile at Caelum’s position. Before his head was charred, the Queen had saved him with her powerful defensive spell. Maerec continued to press forward to reach the Dragon’s neck and head. Encroaching his will on the Dragon’s, the two dueled in a lane of minds while the others valiantly fought by barraging their Gifts and arrows under the Dragon’s belly. Another demonstration of the Dragon’s wrath captured the lives of many and threatened several heroes of Perrench, only to be saved by the Queen once again.

However, Hildr is battered away, and the mighty tail of the Dragon crosses Caelum. Cleanly sweaping Caelum off his feet, he crashes into the side of a tree and falls to the earth. His sight was fading, his perception was running out of thoughts and images, and he was soon absent-minded and asleep.

The battle raged on. When Caelum came too, it was Camille who stood over him. Rolling to one side, “To think I am supposed to be protecting you.” He smiled. He nearly laughed but contained the gesture because of the pain on the left side of his rib cage. They were not broken, “Oraphe and Dami alike seem to have favored us,” looking up at Camille while feeling for his ribs to pinpoint where they hurt. His armor, however, was in the way. He shifted his weight to unstrap himself using what kinetic energy he had left, dropping his plates to the ground, "Ahh, better."

He slowly raised himself, “Did we win?” Caelum looked over the battlefield. A magnificent sight to behold was his dear childhood friend proving his dedication to becoming the greatest knight Sipenta had ever seen. Like in the alleys of Solenne when they were kids, he found a way to keep those who could not help themselves alive by protecting them with sheer bravery and will. Under Camille's help, Caelum walked back to the ground party, reorganizing after the battle. What disturbed Caelum were the dead. Many Perrench would never return home after today. Their bodies were charred, torn, and mangled beneath the natural rage of the Dragon’s power. There was a reason to celebrate, yet, the win somehow did not feel as real as the losses. Caelum felt the climate of sadness that pervaded the fields of fire, "May Oraphe keep them," he said for only Camille and him to hear as he referred to the Perrench who gave the ultimate sacrifice, their life.

Evander Fino Synesti

High Stakes:
Ending In Secrets

Location: Proving Grounds, Erasand’Enise

He felt helpless…


Evander then blasted his name,“I AM EVANDER FINO SYNESTI, I WILL NOT FORGET WHO I AM!” A swelling of anger and heat, a surge of fire grew in him like a raging furnace about to explode. His eyes flinched at first, then widened as time nearly stopped from his perspective.

Evander released a heat wave combined with concussive force. The massive blast smashed Abdel, who stood in point-blank range of Evander’s fury. The boots of the Virangish paladin lifted off their heels as his body propelled back, hitting a stone wall.

Evander’s other ally, which he had climbed the wall, nearly took a hit too. Her quick reactions carried her behind the cover. Only her arm took a few ashes to the flesh. The menace who had appeared next to her was another story, unscathed and unbudged.

“You are mad!”

Shouted Abdel,

“The beast is tampering with your mind!”

Evander could not hear Abdel as himself. Instead, the illusion persisted. Abdel was a hissing Sanguinaire in Evander’s mind. He still stood in a dimly lit den in a Perrench architected manor, wait…

He scanned the room, noticing similarities to a story he had heard repeatedly. Her voice slipped across his back neck, filling his ear once more, Sebastian. Evander could feel the only heat in this room was coming from him, this isn’t real! It smacked him, the realization that he had been tricked into believing he was in the story of Aelis Clairmont.

Evander’s chin lowered. His forehead cast a shadow over his eyes. Then, he began to chuckle. The more he saw how ridiculous this scene was, the more he laughed. Evander saw everything around him for what it was, an illusion. The manor, the Sanguinaire that was Abdel, the fireplace, the den, his father, and his sister all faded as swiftly as they had all appeared. Evander raised his chin, opened his eyes, and darted his gaze like a laser directly at the fiend’s location, fully engaged in sensing the pathetic trickster.

“You are pathetic! You mock the name you carry; I thought Sanguinaires are supposed to be terrifying!” Evander spotted the Lxiang from earlier, “Instead, you are nothing but a coward hiding behind parlor tricks!” He extended his arm, grabbing the Lxiang with his magnetic gift and thrusting it above as a missile toward the Sanguinaire’s heart.

“Hey kid,” the Sanguinaire said, laughing.“Nice dragon pendant.” Avoiding the Lxiang cleanly, the Sanguinaire appeared in Evander’s face, “one problem….” He grabbed Evander by the collar, “I don’t like dragons,” he whispered.

With a burning spirit, Evander spits in the Sanguinaire’s face, “cry to someone who cares.” The Sanguinaire hurled the youth like scrap out of the arena. Smashing through a block’s worth of houses, Evander finally crash-landed on a sidewalk after passing through the last house. Dust filled his lungs, and pain shot up his nervous system, yet, his heart’s flame only burned stronger. Rising from the rubble, he raised his forearm to his cheeks to wipe across his blood-stained lips, followed by Evander’s grin. Taking a step forward, another surge of pain cut from toe to crown. Wincing, he would not show this fiend that it was winning.

Evander scanned the sky, “it’s about time you became something worthy to fight me.” He began to draw in energy from his environment as the creature taunted from a distance, “come out, come out wherever you aaarrre!” Throwing its arms open.

Evander walked into the open street around the bend of the last house he had crashed through. Standing at the end of the street in direct sight of the Sanguiniare, Evander shouted defiantly, “I’m not hiding; you are moving too slow! Come at me!”

Evander caught the glare of the creature. Suddenly, a flash of his dead sister and father crossed his eyes. The Sanguiniare tried to pull more tricks, but Evander wouldn’t have any. Shaking his head, it’s only an illusion. He dropped into a defensive posture. The Sanguinaire attacked by burning Evander.

The heat was felt as some of Evander’s hair began to singe, “cute,” Evander teased. He rotated his forearm and nothing else to show how casually he resisted the Sanguinaire’s attack. Evander absorbed all the heat from the Sanguiniare’s attack as an intuitive arcanist and fireblood. “Idiot…try harder!” Before Evander could counter, a bright light forced everyone to recoil from the fight.

There was a blazing touch warming his skin. Naturally, he began to draw from its infinite wellspring of heat. The enormous amount was like that of the sun on a smoldering day. Evander allowed the essence of this new player to replenish his soul’s fire while her showdown with the Sanguinaire began.

“You will depart,” or “you will die.”

The words of Solstice, a sun-blessed Zeno. “I’ll die, you stupid girl?” The sky wavered, and it began to dark, even though Solstice was at full power. From thirteen different directions appeared thirteen demonic figures. They brought their hands together in triangle formations, and from them leaped a storm of darts. Evander tried estimating, Dozens…no hundreds…no way…thousands. It was like watching what true power could achieve in a heartbeat. All of the darts converged on the supernova-like figure.

She was not impressed. Solstice evaporated many of the darts as if they had not even existed. Two made it through. One grazed her cheek. The other, she snatched out of the air. She followed her actions with a conviction to end this fight with the Sanguinaire six feet below.

The sky began to boil with fire, great arms of it shooting toward the Sanguinaire. He was too quick, and the arms were missed. Then she whipped them like snakes around the other way. He dodged. Three more arms of flames sprout from her, writhing and snapping like great tentacles. One washing over him. The Sanguinaire screamed, the other arm impaling his chest.

Solstice floats down, perching on a rooftop, still smoking, her fiery glow flickering and dimming in her eyes, “surrender if you wish to live.” Evander looked at Solstice,“Live?” He questioned, “He deserves no such option!” Evander, empowered by the arcane energies raging around him, took action to scorch the pathetic trickster.

He crisped the stone behind the Sanguinaire instead as the Sanguinaire appeared behind Evander,“Bad move, boy! Last move, boy!” The Sanguinaire swiped his claws to cut Evander’s head clean off his youthful shoulders. What the Sanguinaire did not account for was Evander’s skills in Zebaka.

Evander swiftly dropped his head, avoiding the strike while coiling to the side, bending his knees, and placing his right hand with his palm face down on the ground. He tried to sweep into an upward heel kick to connect with the Sanguinaire’s jaw. Too fast. Evander missed. The Sanguinaire was already attacking another party member, Ymiico. The Sanguinaire was dropped by one of Ymicco’s traps, stalled but not killed. Before the Sanguinaire continued his advance, he turned his gaze to Solstice.

The two fought in close quarters; another Sanguinaire tried joining to fight alongside Solstice. The number of powers on this battlefield was numerous. Evander readied himself to make another attempt at a decisive strike. Before he could, Solstice was ripped by metal threads, and a second powerful person joined the fray, Luna.

She took the fight to his blind spot. Her blade thrust deep into his back, seizing his body up. Finally, the Sanguinaire fell from the sky, crashing into the street below. Luna followed his fall, touching him. Something in that moment shook the Sanguinaire. Evander could see it in his eyes. He disappeared once more as blood gushed from his body.

Luna taunted him as the Sanguinaire had called out to Evander, “Come out come out whereveeeeeer you aaaare!”

The Sanguinaire tried running from her, but she had done something to him that none of the others would have understood. The Sanguinaire seized up, falling to the ground, screaming in pain, and clutching his head. Evander saw his chance. He conjured an arcane lance, heaving it at the down trickster.

Evander missed again as the Sanguinaire disappeared. Evander felt frustrated, but he did not break focus. The Sanguinaire reappeared, attacking Ymiico, but Yuli intervened, cracking him with heavy left and right hooks. A sudden thunderous command came out of nowhere, shocking the fighting to a halt.

Evander fell to one knee. His eyes shut momentarily as he resisted the command. He kept repeating his name, his origin, his story.

“Get out of my head!” He stood up, pushing the command away from him. When he reoriented, Sunny was attacking Luna.“Damn, they got her.” Whoever tried commanding the battlefield seemed to have contested Sunny’s will. Evander saw Sunny's power initially; he knew she needed to be stopped before pursuing the Sanguinaire. Sunny attacked her sister Luna. Evander recalled a tactic he witnessed during the Great Melon Derby. He pulled out the metal wires he had taken control over when Chad arrived at Zemana’s house. Tossing the wires, he extended his arm to control them. Using his magnetic gift, he closed his grip once the wires reached Sunny to wrap them around her. Evander failed to bond Sunny, but he did get her arm. It was enough to halt her assault, for now…

In the end, Sunny found her way free and tried punching Luna in the gut before Luna slipped into the void.

At this moment, Silas tried showing everyone where the Sanguinaire had run off to, but a loud COMMAND banged on everyone’s nervous system again.

Evander was not brought to his knees this time when resisting the mental hammer. He could recognize it, feel it, and let it pass over him…he just…shrugged.

“Stop playing games, show up or step off!” Evander shouted. Something was out there attempting to control the outcome. Were they defending the Sanguinaire? Or were they here to control it with those commands? Evander brought his foot back to prepare his stance defensively. Where are you? He could not sense them. Suddenly, his classmates all rose like puppets on strings rising into formation.

There you are! Evander locked onto a Dread Priest, but it was too late. All his classmates were brought to him, encircling him as meat shields, Damnit! What a coward! Evander grit his teeth, I can’t attack. He’s left no openings. Evander’s mind rolled in a thousand directions, his eyes darting from one side to the other to spot an opening he could slip an attack through, this isn’t over.

“We should talk,” said the Dread Priest.

Even if Evander had no choice, he continued to let on that he was ready to take this challenge head-on if the Dread Priest was pulling a trick. He began to draw in energy, speaking in a frustrated tone, “Then speak.”

Brother Wolf opened up with their plan to use the Sanguinaire to lure out a treacherous Arch-Zeno. Shortly after, three robed figures materialized. Evander asked Brother Wolf, Brother Flint, Sister Lumen, and Sister Cadence questions about the Sanguinaire’s consequences, the traitor among the Arch-Zenos, the Volti assassins, and the Traveler.

Evander Fino Synesti

High Stakes:
What's Reality Without Fictions?

Location: Proving Grounds, Erasand’Enise

Evander connected his eyes with a tall Yasoi female; her long slender legs and modest frame gave the appearance she was taller than whatever was recorded. Chestnut brown hair blended well into the backdrop of the night with feint glimmers of green and gold from ribbons reflecting the torches flickering light. Standing at the ready, her ears faced Evander, and she pointed upward, “I go high yes?”

Evander nodded,“I think it’s best.” Abdel was already on a crazy train to hell, and the others did not want to enter at all, but they came here to find and slay a monster. You cannot slay a beast without sighting it first. The two of them ascended the walls of the Colosseum. Both lurked in the dark, spotting two shadows standing in the battleground. The sound of steel clashed as each applied force and speed on the other to see who would falter first. Between the darkness and distance, the two battling shadows were difficult to focus on. Evander drew in energy to transform his vision into thermoception. A neat trick he learned from his tutor. The shadowy shapes became easier to observe, yet still difficult to keep track of regarding their precise strikes and defenses.

One certainly was identifiable. His broad shoulders arched over large arms while holding up armor that could not be mistaken as anything less than important. He was a physical man, holding rooted stances that defined his posture as defensive more than aggressive. Most likely a Century protecting the Proving Grounds from whatever the shadowy figure was beneath the cloak. The heat signature from the cloaked figure was much harder to read. Its movements were supernatural and disturbing. There was no continuity to the strikes; they appeared to shift in and out of reality. As the two battled, the Century struck true, a visceral stab to the cloaked figure. Evander saw the Century land his attack and another until the cloaked figure was sent a few feet back. The Century roared like a bear about to charge a predator in the wild. The stone beneath Evander’s feet shook, and he placed one hand down to keep his focus on the fight.

He saw the cloaked figure dissipate as if turned to dust from the Century’s roar. What Evander saw next was otherworldly. In the blink of an eye, the shadowy figure emerged out of the aether shrouded in a dark form. Its hand tapped the Century’s shoulder. Evander could nearly feel the bitter chill that Century must be experiencing, what is this-, cut short from finishing his thought, the Sanguinaire’s teeth ripped into the Century’s neck. Before Evander could react, he too felt a tap on his shoulder, no. A pressure burst struck his back as the air smacked his face. He was hurled to the middle of the Colosseum, hitting something. Laying on the ground disoriented, he felt around… loose sand and cold air. His sight faded, and everything else was a high-pitched sound.

Evander went to pick himself up, yet, the ground seemed to shift. No longer sand. He had been facing down, now turning around, the battlefield clean of any bodies. Instead, he lies in a home, recognizing his father lying in a pool of blood with the Century’s weapon wedged in his back. Another body in a wedding dress painted in crimson red with a familiar young female’s face and hollow eyes staring at his. Evander’s emotions boiled red; he began drawing heat from his surrounding as a reaction to his fury. His draw was so intense that even his family ring began to increase in charge. Feelings of anger kept back his tears from shedding, “wait…” Evander noticed something odd.

Why isn’t the fire reacting? Evander thought. The fireplace kept crackling even as he drew in heat from his environment - that’s not right his gut was saying. Before pulling his mind back from being in a colosseum to now a rather large home standing in a den, a hand slid over his shoulder; it was a different touch than the forceful one earlier. This one was a gentle touch with a whisper following instead. The sound of a delicate female tone caressed his earlobe, “Sebastian,” the only word said.

It did not click immediately, who? The woman was now in front of Evander, her gaze seething deep into his. Suddenly, a flash of white fangs and a hot breath came out before Evander could stop her.

He felt helpless…

No! Evander then blasted his name,“I AM EVANDER FINO SYNESTI, I WILL NOT FORGET WHO I AM!” A swelling of anger and heat, a surge of fire grew in him like a raging furnace about to explode. The sight of his dead father and sister could not be real, and if this thing killed them... he'd burn it!

Evander Fino Synesti

Victendes Auction:
Battle between Nations

Location: Auction House, Erasand’Enise

What will they think when I walk in?

Was never a question Evander thought about. Why would he care what commoners, merchants, and lowly nobles thought? He laughed out loud as he walked into the auction house. He was decorated in a clean tailored vest with golden accents and red satin. His white shirt neatly tucked beneath. Evander’s golden hair was tied up in a regal ponytail exposing his youthful broad shoulders. He did not possess the frame of a muscle-bound soldier, but he had a tasteful and elegant lean muscular frame that signaled he could dance and tussle with the best of them. His eyes scored a seat a few rows back from his teammate Jocasta.

Evander sat down, kicked back, and observed the crowd of students bumbling around to find seats. The Victendes auction was about to begin, and Evander was ready to play. The first few items merely ramp up the spectators and give those with less a chance to contribute their small sums to the auction house. It was not Evander’s first auction and most likely will not be his last. He knew the more prized possessions would reveal themselves later in the evening. Then, a surprise. The auctioneer called out an aphrodisiac. Evander had a recollection piercing his prefrontal cortex. He was transported back to Djamant at one of their famous festivals, an island of wild spirits and hearty hands. He remembered the first time he had tried an aphrodisiac at one of their festivals, a memory he did not have to work hard at holding.

Evander raised his hand. The bidding commenced. Throughout the bidding, he made flirtatious remarks to Isabella, and Jocasta, who responded with flush cheeks to Evander’s wit and charm. Both times referencing Djamant, Jocasta having been to one of their festivals could relate to Evander’s interest in taking Aphro at one. Isabella could not relate, but she seemed to imagine it with Evander in mind after his comment. Again, he raised his hand until finally, the aphrodisiac was his…now to convince Jocasta to teleport and join him for a Djamant festival.

The following items were lackluster and unmemorable, as the people who bid for them. Except for the final item, a music box. Evander recognized it. The auctioneer confirmed it—an artifact of Avince… a device that sang to more than just people. Without hesitation, maybe too obvious, Evander raised his hand to bid. The bidding war commenced between himself and the unusual duo Ingrid and Desmond. An odd pairing of two, but when Evander plays, everyone notices and must join together if they want to have a chance at winning. The bidding would continue for quite some time to where the hearts and minds of those who could not comprehend the Magus amounts began to shake in their seats at the absurdity, including Desmond and Ingrid. If it were not for their mysterious patrons, they would have left the weight of this bid on the table turns ago.

Eventually, the interested parties retreated to a private auction where dirty hands and fowl play occurred. Mysterious saboteurs, law enforcement of the highest order, and an auctioneer losing control all acted in a confined space. In the end, Ingrid, Desmond, and their rallying cry for others to help them pay for the music box would receive the ancient Avincian artifact. A battle well won in a war they will lose. Upon leaving the auction house with his patron, they walked together to Zeno Bucks for a cup of coffee. The cloaked man freed his face from beneath the hood. The two acted as if they knew each other intimately. The cloaked man shared a cup of coffee and discussed topics of politics and Ersand’Enise interests. Evander would ask a favor before the two departed their separate ways.

Evander’s confidence continued to ignite regardless of the auction outcome. His team had won the Melon Derby, and his sights were now on The Dragon.

High Stakes:
Hunting Monsters That Go Bump In The Night

Location: Crafters Quarters, Erasand’Enise

4:30 HE

Evander usually found solace on evening walks, his mind easing into each step. Not tonight. Solace and ease are distant as the sun. For tonight, Evander followed a clue. Several moons ago, he was introduced to the rumor of a Sanguinaire. Before such rumors, he had only heard about these shadow-lurking creatures in stories told to him by his tutor in the same tone, always boiling down to two words, devilish fiends. The dimly lit streets of Ersand’Enise had feelings of enchantment and gloom. The night felt extraordinarily darker than ever before.

Nonetheless, Evander hid any doubt or fear, if the monster is here, it can bleed too. He reaffirmed himself. On time, Evander reached the distillery marked Crafters’ Quarters, above the door. The rumor pointed to this meeting spot at 4:30 HE. Evander slowly pressed the palm of his hand on the door as his cloak draped to one side, flowing over his arm. Opening the entrance, he stepped inside. The creaking of the floorboards sounded as they gave to his weight beneath his feet. He approached an eclectic group at a table. As Evander stepped to make an introduction, one of them groaned in Virangish, which Evander could make out as, ”What’s taking them so long?”

Before any members could become acquainted, at least since Evander’s arrival. Two figures entered the Crafters’ Quarters. These figures were noticeably carrying equipment for more than an evening's walk. Their approach was subtle, delicate, and precise. A demeanor befitting of Sanguinare hunters, perhaps?

Immediately the aura surrounding their mystery broke as the jolly Kerremand spoke,”Pardon me, mein Freunde!” Evander felt…disappointed. Quickly his disappointment turned to a sense of seriousness as the second did better justice in introducing the reason they were all gathered, “What you have heard is true: A Sanguinaire is among us. To ensure the safety of every man, woman, and child in the Twin Continents, the Burning Order has, is, and will investigate all information on these creatures and cull them.”

Evander felt renewed in the fact he was not wasting his time,Good, the rumors are true. What better way to demonstrate his skill as a member of the Synesti household than to slay a Sanguinaire. He took this mission to prove himself worthy of his family name. The man who called himself Lissanon asked if there were any questions; Evander had a few. He stepped forward, ”What do you know about this sanguinare we are after?” Lissanon nods, ”We know they have been here around the beginning of the trials. Potentiallly even before.” Evander thought since the beginning of the trial? He turned his feet toward Lissanon in interest, who began to scratch his chin in muse, ”We have had reports of odd encounters and fainting before the event. But your colleague,”, pointing to Abdel, ”has had a confirmed encounter with one. We estimate this sanguinaire to be a relatively inexperienced but quite dangerous specimen.”

”Do you suspect there’s more than one?” Evander inquired further. The tall man shrugged, ”We have evidence of at least one. But with the trials, it is reasonable to assume there could be more. Or that the single one was from foreigners.” As always, to the point, Lissanon paces closer to Evander. Viktor appears more pre-occupied with cleaning his gun. Evander stood confidently as Lissanon closed distance, ”Have you two hunted these sainguinaire before?” He was curious to see if the two in front of him had any experience or if they were errand boys sent by the Order behind this mission. The two confirmed, Fourteen, that was the number of sanguinaire lives collected between them, ”do they usually travel alone or with others?” Lissanon replied, ”Alone.”

Evander followed up, ”How have you killed them in the past?” Lissanon answered, ”The same way you kill a person,” only to be cut off by Viktor, ”A bullet to the head or heart does the trick.” Evander looked at Viktor who seemed to know exactly what was being asked, "And if you don't?" Viktor elaborated, ”Ein Blutsauger is very resilient. Heals fast, is fast, kills fast. Quick killing blows work best.” he tilts his head and chuckles at a stray thought, ”Fire works too. Works very well.” Abdel raises his chin and grins, crossing his arms.

Evander was beginning to sense this was going to be a dangerous hunt. If it was traveling alone, why in Ersand’Enise? A place where plenty of people were strong enough to kill it. Why not somewhere less capable of fighting back? Evander asked, “Why do you two believe this lonely hunter has come to Ersand’Enise of all places?” Lissanon furrows his eyebrows and tilts his head, looking confused, ”Is it not obvious?” Viktor chuckles, ”They don't know. Most don't, Lissanon.” Lissanon purses his lips, ”Maybe it's for the best. But, know that such events are bound to attract stray or ambitious Sanguinaires.” Evander could feel they evaded the question with a vague answer. Abdel crosses his arms, a knowing scowl of disgust upon his face. ”It’s the mana types,” he decides. ”Lots of goodies for them here. They wanna steal your rare blood. One had a go at me,” he sneered. ”Dealt with easily enough, but they bolted before I could finish the job.”

The questions and answers continued briefly. Evander summed up everything in his head.

Sanguinaire heals fast, runs fast, kills fast, but scares easily. Piercing the head or heart and exploding it with fireworks was a sure way to kill one before it could heal. They hunt rare mana types alone, and will flee if they feel overwhelmed. The strategy is to discreetly scout the city, gather intel, and return to the Crafters Quarters to form a plan.

Evander stepped back, “Thank you, Lissanon, Viktor, and Abdel, for answering my questions.” He was ready to prove himself against the sanguinaire stories he grew up listening to as a kid.

High Stakes:
Hunting Monsters That Go Bump In The Night

Location: Outside Proving Grounds, Erasand’Enise

5:30 HE

Evander followed the others out of the Crafter’s Quarters. Viktor led the hunt, and Abdel identified a victim. The group followed the trail of victims to a blood path leading into the Proving Grounds. Without discretion, Abdel took to the skies. The rest needed to decide. Would they go through the open gate where a tunnel full of flickering torches led to the Colosseum? Or would they look for another way in? The sheer obviousness of peril lurked down the corridors of following the trail. Evander could not help but recollect a story about Countess Aelis Clairmont, who lived in a manor beyond Chamonix.

…stupid Perrench, who walks into a stranger's home in the middle of the woods? Evander thought as he remembered the story about a sanguinaire who preyed on the living. She would lure her victims in with a chemical attraction. She’d disarm them by giving them no doubts in their decision to follow her trail. All the while, her victim would descend into confusion. Until finally, she decided to strike from the most advantageous position.

If the story was not true, it was meant to convey a point. Do not follow a sanguinare’s path for it will lead to a death trap. Evander heeded Khaliun’s warning, if they followed, they would be walking into the center of a spider web.

Evander told the group, “we need to find another way in.” He looked to the walls, “we should climb to gain the high ground and see if we can’t spot where the Sanguinaire is.”

Fields of Fire:
You Are Either With Us Or In The Way

Location: Battle at the foot of Mount Errant
Mood: ”Stand Up” by Greg Dombrowski
Interaction: Hildr @jasbraq
Current Event: Fields of Fire

Where would they seek refuge against a beast covering the sky?

“To the north!” Shouted his dear friend Sir Maerec of Solenne, “there are caves at the bottom of the mountains where we can take shelter!” He galloped in on horseback, stalwart as ever to the people of Parrench. There was a depth to his confidence in the orders he gave, a level of confidence that had not yet been witnessed; something within Maerec was changing. Caelum believed it would be for the better of Perrence, “Great plan Maerec!” Caelum shouted acknowledging the caves as a worthy effort to strive for. There was a sliver of hope. The caves were a great idea.

Maerec continued to hasten the people's collective activity to organize, “if we get everyone to mount up, we can ride there quickly. It isn’t far from here.” As Maerec rallied, the beaten Eskandr woman approached him. Caelum nearly stepped in to send Hildr off her feet before she tried anything stupid. She wrapped her dirty little Eskandr paws around Maerec, expressing a point that Arsene heard to be cowardly.

Caelum agreed, “Arsene’s right.” He paused to give his words time to grab Hildr’s attention, “You chose to follow a man into this war, a man who brutally killed hundreds of innocence, a man you chose to champion against our faithful Camille, a man who left you to die with us against the very thing his people helped unleash.” As he spoke, Caelum approached Hildr inch by inch, “The difference between Camille and you, between Maerec and you, between Arsene and you, between you and our Queen and her people, is…” He stood only feet from Hildr, “we do not follow a man, we follow our faith and our faith will not stand by allowing a Dragon to claim innocent lives.”

Caelum gently placed his heavy hand on her shoulder as she did to Maerec to remind her she was not above here or anywhere close. It was a reminder of who she was talking to, “Because even one of those innocent lives is worth a hundred of yours and mine, so before you thoughtlessly talk down to a knight who understands their duty and oath, take a second, and ask yourself, do you even remember why you are fighting?” He stared into Hildr’s eyes with firmness, faith, and a warm sense of compassion, “We do.” Caelum looked at his fellow Parrenchmen and back to Hildr, "it is not too late for you to find your faith". He could feel she was scared; they all were to some degree, but this next fight called on everyone to believe in each other, “You are either with us, Hildr, to protect those who cannot protect themselves, or you are in the way…we cannot have your truth waver here…can we trust you to fight with us, can we place our faith in you to be better?” Caelum just proclaimed to her the value of their faith, and to offer it to her was something he’d hoped she’d see clearly as a meaningful sign to join them in the fight.

The sound of the dragon roared in the distance. It appeared that it found more steam to rear back for another assault of flames. It was a good thing people already began moving. It’d be up to the Parrench knights to keep it at a distance until they reached the caves.

Evander Fino Synesti

Melon Derby:
Ready. Set. Go.
(Zeno Mozaru's House)

Tension set. Teams paired. Gunboat Diplomats are ready to take a “W” with Blazy of Glory. The two teams waited in Mozaru’s home. Each member conversed about plans before the Great Melon Derby officially began. Evander approached a quiet Weggosi woman sitting in a red wing chair; he shoulders spread out, cool as a cucumber. Her eyes played along with the activity in the room before politely being interrupted by Evander’s wave. He leaned in from Moriah’s peripheral vision, “hi!” Moriah casually drifted her eyes to meet Evander; she sighed a little, "wha me?"

Her eyes told Evander she was indifferent to whatever was about to happen. He continued by introducing himself, “My name is Evander,” following up with a question, “are you, Moriah?” He only guessed because he overheard one of her teammates earlier identifying her in a conversation.

Moriah felt it best if this were a member of the team they were to work with that it’d be best to get formalities out of the way, “no, it di oddah gyal inna di chair.” She looked over at Jocasta. A true lesson for Evander in Moriah’s dry sense of humor, a lesson almost over his head. He followed Moriah’s eyes to Jocasta and then cocked it back to Moriah’s eyes, cracking a smile before returning his joke, “funny, and I am the Prince of Revidia.” Moriah’s eyes widened, then burst into laughter. At least he had successfully broken the ice, but he wasn’t sure how he felt about her response. Could she not believe Evander could be such a person? His family certainly wanted to prove otherwise.

The two exchanged witty banter back and forth until Evander proposed they tag up before the melon derby officially started, [color=[color=d4af37]“I think we’d make a good team out there, why don’t we tag up, we will be better at defending the melons we find if we stick together.”[/color] Moriah was not opposed. She leaned more toward a calm nature rather than taking the lead if Evander wanted the responsibility, he could have it.

Moriah nodded,“sure.” As the two decided to team up, the sound of the Great Melon Derby rang. All the teams ignited off the line from their homes, except Jocasta, who stayed to defend all the grubby little robbing cats that might stray too far inside Zeno Mozaru’s den.

Melon Derby:
Missed Opportunity
(Proving Grounds)

Moriah and Evander had checked the Terrace of Grapes when they spotted a beacon in the distance toward The Overlook. Their team decided that when a melon was grabbed, they would beacon it thanks to some of their tethered abilities. It would show everyone that melon was in play. Evander looked to Moriah,“First one there?” Moriah nodded and bolted before Evander recognized she heard him. The two raced toward the Overlook, hoping to take a prized melon from one of the competing teams. When they arrived, they were struck by an illusion of some sort. They could not make heads or tails of who to follow. Instead, they stood there dumbfounded.

Evander posed his thought out loud to Moirah after feeling disheartened to get to the melon fast enough, “Ya know, I think it’d be wiser if we checked out the houses instead of running after melons all day and night.” Moriah did not care what they did so long as they contributed a little to the team’s effort. Her arms were crossed, and even she felt a little frustrated at missing out on a snatch and grab, but her cool, level-headed personality was not far behind in quenching whatever fire may have started to burn within her. She nodded to Evander, and they both made their way to Zeno Zemana’s house first.

Melon Derby:
Stealthy and Styled
(Zeno Zemana's House)

Moriah and Evander had stalked outside of Zeno Zemana’s house. They noted the garden of vines. Moriah senses they were manipulated by magic, “wi need fi be careful eff wi guh inna there” Evander tilted his head at Moriah curiously,“well yeah, but what are you saying?” Moriah pointed at the garden, “It's dangerous.” Evander found a stick and tossed it into the garden. The garden as expected began to respond and coil around the stick until determined it was not a threat and released it. The two heard Ayla and Ashon begin arriving and took cover.

Ayla and Ashon walked right up the door, opening it, and stood at the front entrance. Evander watched as Ayla put the melon down to her side while engaging in an argument.

“Now or never huh?” Evander said rhetorically to Moriah. Moriah supported, “Yuh get dis.” Evander cautiously approached the side of the house. He tipped-toed across the garden with dance-like balance and skill. When one foot pressed down too hard, he shifted his weight to the other. A skillful ballet to see, if anyone did, he was not only moving with grace but silence. All those years of practicing his martial art back home had paid off. Finally, he arrived at the doorway. Peeling his hands inside, he snatched the melon while the whole team was distracted by their bickering. He tried to leave as quietly as he arrived. Once he got far enough away, he bolted, and Moriah followed.

Melon Derby:
House of Chaos (pt. 1)
(Zeno Fades-In-Moonlight's House)

Evander and Moriah had escaped Zeno Zemana’s house with a shiny melon. Moriah realized that the melon was a farce. It was a part of their group’s plan when discovering the supreme. Moriah took the melon from Evander’s hand to give it a good weight, “Yuh stole di wrong one yuh goof.” Evander looked puzzled for a moment,“Is that?” Moriah interrupted, “our fake.”

If this were their first time meeting, Evander would have broken his etiquette, instead, he remained calm, “Don’t interrupt me.” Moriah slightly surprised at her partner's snappy response kept her cool as she always had, her head tilting to one side, bottom lip bunching, and shrugging one shoulder as if to say, meh ok.

The two slipped into the night to go to Zeno Fades-In-Moonlight’s house. Arriving, the two conducted a little reconnaissance before finding a way inside. Evander sensed small energy radiations from within the house but could not determine what they were. When they turned the corner to the front of the house, a Yasoi boy was at the front door.

Evander looked back to Moriah as they inched their way back to the side of the house,“the front’s probably not the best idea.” Moriah looked up, “Wah bout di roof?” She pointed. Evander nodded,“Yeah, the chimney could be our way in.” Evander and Moriah climbed up to the roof to spot whether or not the chimney would be accessible. Reaching the chimney, Evander poked his head down and could see slight dims of light penetrating the chimney shaft at the floor.

“Okay I will go down to check it out, if I run into any trouble pull me out.” Evander picked himself up over the wall of the chimney, before he shimmied down, Moriah graced his forearm with hers. There was a moment of connection, Evander looked into Moriah’s eyes, then she broke it by replying, “Yuh kno mi a guh haffi pull yuh out right?” Evander snarled under his breath, “We will see.” He proceeded to head down the chimney.

Melon Derby:
House of Chaos
(Zeno Fades-In-Moonlight's House)

Evander shot down the chimney with his arms crossed. He was lean enough to fit and applied enough of his Force gift to soften his landing. Both feet touched softly at the same time. It was a 10/10 if this were judged to his benefit; no one saw him or heard him. He slipped out of the fireplace tip-toeing across the wall, only a few steps in, and he was noticed. How? He thought he had been quiet. Evander looked down, noticing black soot following him. He felt like an idiot, duh…what chimney wouldn’t have soot. A girl now stood with a darting glare at Evander. The darkness of the room slightly obscured her face. The features he noticed were long dark hair, bright eyes reflecting from the light penetrating the windows, fair skin, and a feminine jawline.

Without thinking, Evander thought to blind her to make a quick escape into one of the rooms. He knew someone else was behind the front door, and if he bought himself some time, maybe that person would become her focus by default of losing Evander in sight. Evander attempted to spark his Arcane gift, but his fingers to draw and channel slipped from the soot. Instead of bright light, it was a dim fizzle with soot particles pushed into the air. The girl threw a bottle at him with what appeared to be her best effort, but the bottle ended up at his foot, crashing on the ground in front of him. Quickly, she transformed the broken glass into a liquid that dissolved into knock-out gas. Evander felt some of the knock-out gases effects, and yet he still had the wits about him to gain space from it before it completely shut him down. Evander winked at her to let her know this wouldn’t be easy for her, and he welcomed the challenge.

He raised and extended his hand to draw on his Magnetic ability. Evander wanted to pull on her belt buckle at the waist to drag her into the gas she had created. He was unsuccessful at his aim and instead caught her bracelet. The girl felt a tug on her wrist and reacted by releasing the bracelet from her hand, stopping any influence Evander was tugging at. The door then opened, and the Yasoi spotted earlier was now on the other side of this girl. Without hesitating, the girl’s instincts kicked in, and she reacted to the new intruder by tossing another knock-out bottle. The Yasoi defended well enough against it, and in return, fire tossed a wire he manipulated magnetically to wrap up the girl partially. Evander saw this as an opportunity to de-escalate the fight because some of him rebelled against this new unfolding of events. He did not like the idea of fighting a girl at an advantage. Two against one is not the chivalrous way. Evander thought if he could tighten the wire, he could de-escalate the fight and put an end to it. He reached out using his magnetic ability to take control of the wire, and as he gained control and tightened, the wire broke. She was free.

The fight descended into chaos from there. All sorts of people came storming into the home to defend and fight. Evander felt, at this point, the raid was in vain. He needed to get out and out fast. His first attempt was unsuccessful as he slipped on a brick as he tried to escape, then a newcomer Ingrid used her Force to pick him up and slam him as he attempted the second escape. Evander was laid out, slowly losing consciousness. His grit to stay up prevailed, and he was able to get up, back up to the fireplace as everyone began fighting one another and forgetting about him. Evander felt the grip of Moriah, who pulled him up into the fireplace, and the two shimmied out, escaping back to Zeno Mozaru’s house.

Melon Derby:
(Zeno Mozaru's House)

Evander and Moriah were back in the living room of Zeno Mozaru’s home. Evander was slumped in a seat, legs spread, his right arm relaxed, and his face bruised. Moriah made an ice pack bag using her binding and chemical gift. She tossed it to Evander, who had no will to catch it. Hitting his thigh, he grabbed it with his left hand and raised it to his face.

“The nerve of that woman,” Evander stated with condemnation in his voice. Moriah cocked her head to the side, “Wah nerve?” Evander elaborated,“I tried getting out of there, clearly no longer acting as a threat compared to the other hundred people flooding the place, and instead of letting me leave and making it easier on their defense, I get tossed by that Eskand bitch.” Evander lowered his hand, “Eskand…what a bunch of savages, I don't know why they are even allowed here, if they can't get their country right...what makes anyone think they'll get games right.” Moriah broke Evander’s rant with some truth, “Did wi nuh there tuh steal dem melons?” His eyes widened, and he slumped a little. She continued, “It nuh fair tuh tap a thief?” Her last question dripped with rhetorical sentiments. Evander sighed,“I guess it’s fair.” Moriah smiled, “Yuh always act yuh age?” Evander chuckled. Her sarcasm was welcomed. If it were someone else, he’d have challenged them there, but Moriah had more than shown her worth to be an ally on campus…something Evander was beginning to realize he’d need more of. Plus, he knew she was right; he overreacted, which is not good for a noble like himself. Deep inside, there was truth in the words he spoke out loud. There was a disdain for Eskandish blood.

He raised the ice pack once more, beware low-blood, next time, you will burn…when you least expect it.

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