Midterm Exams

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Midterm Exams

Postby Madeira Craven on August 27th, 2019, 5:29 pm

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41st of Summer, 519



They heard Madeira before they saw her. The alumni class of the Dusk Tower exchanged glances and shifted uncomfortably in chairs made for much younger students. Down the hall, beneath the patter of the rain against the tall classroom windows, was the unmistakable sound of an angry, yowling animal. The sound grew nearer, punctuated by a violent crackling, ripping sound like all the tinder in the world gone up in flames. The man nearest the door started to edge away.

The ruckus was nearly on top of the nervous class before their professors voice could be heard, breathing hard and mumbling disjointedly.

"...of all the... calm the petch down... Jomi...more behaved..."

Seemingly summoning some last bit of energy, the heavy plodding pace of her step picked up and became a run. The man nearest the door had just enough time to leap out his chair and out of the way when a dainty slippered foot kicked the door in with a bang that shook the very roots of the Tower.

"Wake up it's EXAM TIME!"

A much abused whicker basket slid across the floor, hissing furiously. The lid had been secured on with a belt of precious akalite, but whatever was inside had nearly chewed through. It thrashed and screamed, rocking on the tile floor as Madeira stepped inside.

Six pairs of startled eyes watched as their professor beat out her drenched satin skirts and hung her dripping cloak on a peg by the door. A well worn rucksack was thrown onto the chair behind her desk with a mysterious jangling noise. Dabbing at her forehead and pushing back the fraying strands of her chignon, Madeira beamed at her
students.

"Good afternoon! Great, you're all here. Return to your seat Royce, we haven't started yet. Now", she clapped her hands together, her eyes shining with excitement. "I've got something special planned!"

A murmuring of greetings and polite nods answered her, but nobody seemed to be able look away from the basket for long. The ear shattering yowling had simmered down, replaced by a frantic, snarling chewing.

"Professor", a tired looking old man in the back row raised his hand. "I think your 'something special' is about to escape"

"Don't worry about it", Madeira beamed, waving him off. She lifted herself to sit on the edge of her desk and twisted around to root
around in the rucksack behind her. "You've been my students for half a year now, and you've all made marvellous progress in that time. You’re the best and the brightest of the Dusk family. It's an honour to teach you the Craven arts, and to be instructed in the Dusk ways in turn.” She turned back and inclined her head in reverence to Aldgare Dusk, the patriarch, who gave her a small enigmatic smile in return.

From her bag she had pulled a strange ghostly feather, a fine brush, a sketchbook and a pot of ink. Arranging these items neatly around her she opened the book to a blank page and dipped the brush into the ink pot.

"You've proved yourselves capable in soulmist production, the Lie and strategies for exorcism. I think the time is ripe to see all this knowledge and training in action in a
true test of your skills."

From the basket came an explosive popping sound and a skinny black paw ripped through a hole in the lid of the basket. Screaming in triumph, a little pink nose and a flash of fangs poked through and ripped into the fraying sides of its escape route.

"...Is that a cat?" the old man spoke again into the stunned silence.

"Yes!" Madeira agreed heartily with the observation. "Well, yes and no. That's not just a cat."

"It's a possessed cat?"

"Exactly."

The cat, frothing at the mouth, had worked a leg and most of it's head out of the hole it had chewed through. It was a sleek black thing, much smaller than the sounds it was making would suggest. A thin vertical pupil whipped madly in its enormous orange eyes.

"This here will be your exam! Your goal is to exorcise that cat using everything you've been taught. I have every faith your will do your name proud."

A shoulder and second leg had been forced through the hole. Its claws were sunk deep into the basket as it tried to drag its body free.

"Do be careful. That is my cat and I've got a little girl at home that would be devastated if he died. But with that, your exam begins... now!"

With a scream the cat's hind quarters burst free of the battered whicker basket, and the classroom was filled with the clatter of toppled chairs as the creature lunged.

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Midterm Exams

Postby Jomi on August 28th, 2019, 5:00 pm

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Jomi wasted no time with strategy and tactics. The only leverage he had in a room full of spiritists was overwhelming force. He immediately directed his soulmist to saturate his hosts soft tissues. Overwhelming the weak willed, possession broken feline with force and filling the much smaller vessel with the entirety of his essence. And then using that essence to launch the cat from the basket like a fuzzy crossbow bolt.

With his loud, bombastic escape the students knocked aside their chairs and desks in a mad rush for their tools still tucked neatly in their bags. The more studious students pulled out jars of prepared dough. The suddenness of this pop quiz left a great many of the spiritists wrong footed, all of which served the excited ghost.

Madeira had promised him all of the master soulmist he could consume, with his choice of ingredients. All he needed was to resist their exorcisms for a spell while possessing the cat. The ghost could already feel the warm, glowing elation from the master soulmist. He was ready to shred these students for having the audacity to get in the way of the buffet he had planned.

The cats small wicked claws dug deep into the stone floor, creating deep furrows and ruining the polish of the grand classroom as Spooks made sharp turns to avoid the press of bodies.

The cat was small and nimble, and Jomi had seasons of experience possessing poor abused Spooks. If he could evade the much slower humans, he’d be the victor, the ghost reasoned. The cat and ghost duo dodged grasping hands and thrown beads, skidding out on the floor before scrambling up the side of a bookcase and out of their reach.

“Jomi, stop!”

The ghost paused for a tick atop the stately rows of books to look back at a sea of faces, all of them Madeira’s. His head turned quizzically as his mind struggled to fit what he was seeing into his reality. One Madeira was braver than the others, and approached the bookshelf with open arms and a sweet smile.

“Good cat, now come here.”

A sound, louder than expected and not quite catlike, pulled up from the depths of Spooks chest. Jomi reached inside the cats soul, pulling at the individual threads of dijed that carved around their way around the tendons and tissues that connected them. Jomi braced his soul as he threaded his own dead dijed around the pathways of the living dijed and activated it with a thought. Anyone who thought hiding behind Madeira’s face would make him want to kill them less was gravely mistaken.

The Flux infused body flew off the shelf and body checked the imposters face with punishing force. A flurry of angry claws raked away at every bit of exposed flesh. The illusion broke as the student was knocked to the ground with a startled yelp.
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Midterm Exams

Postby Madeira Craven on August 29th, 2019, 7:28 pm

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The room exploded into a whirlwind of shouts and action around her, but an Avalad is most at home in a sea of complete chaos, and Madeira was unfazed.

Keeping an weather eye on the storm of racing black fur and baffled spiritists, the professor uncorked her inkwell and began to sketch in her notebook. She knew some strategies on how to exorcise a possessed cat, having attempted it once before, but she was determined not to intervene. But this was a test for her students, a kind of gauge of their growth as spiritists. Just being able to do the techniques didn't mean much if they couldn't apply all they learned in a real life situation. Besides, there was a lot about the actual practice of the magic that required the ability to think on ones feet and react fast.

"On your toes, Royce!" Madeira barked at a dark, mustachioed man who was inching towards the obviously confused cat, both feet planted and a string of iron beads in one hand. Indeed, almost as soon as the words left her mouth Jomi launched at his face like a furry cannon ball. By the time the beads he dropped crashed to the floor the cat was already on the other side of the room.

"Work together, class!", she slapped the side of the desk repeatedly to be noticed above the noise of her classroom being demolished. "If you cant catch it alone you must trap it together! Think ahead, coordinate!"

Shaking her head in dismay, she frowned as her classroom was flipped over and torn to pieces. Royce was bleeding quite severely, his proud twist of a mustache quickly becoming sodden and limp as he cursed robustly.

In her notebook bloomed a large circle, and she paused as she figured out how to fill it. The delicate feather at her side was from the tail of a Ghost Hawk, a wonderfully majestic creature she hired Zach to hunt for her. Its feathers were mostly white, but became almost completely transparent towards the tip. It helped the bird blend in in the foggy peaks it called home. So... what would be the best way to maledict such a creature?

Staring into the middle distance as she thought, shewas proud to notice that Aldgare was playing to his own strengths as a leader and was rallying his fellow classmates around him. That's the kind of problem solving she liked to see. Teamwork was going to be key. They were going to have to work together to sneak up on Jomi or otherwise catch him unawares.

She tapped her inkstick against her lip. A ghost hawk's camouflage abilities would be useful in that kind of endeavor. Perhaps that was what she should aim for in this malediction- to use this creature's unique ability to blend in as some kind of charm.

As an idea began to form she plotted out her circle in her notebook, starting with great sweeps of ink in rolling patterns to resemble the mist the bird used to hide in. Between the lines, partly hidden behind the inky mist, she drew a person with their back turned. Light on your feet and safe in your element, she thought, shading in the rough human with flicks of her inkstick. Was it just her, or did that human look a little bit like Zach?

"How goes the exorsism?", she asked, looking up to check on the classe's progress and to make sure none of them are too terribly maimed.

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