On the Horizon - Wizard101 Forum and Wizard101 Fansite
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    Thread: On the Horizon

    1. #1
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Post On the Horizon

      Note from the Author:

      Its been a long time since I sat down and wrote something like this. But after spending some time with my friends while we quest through the spiral, I figure that this is a story that people and players alike can relate to. It's more then just a "Boy meets girl/Girl makes fool over herself for boy." But its more of a finding yourself and happening to find love along the way. And yet its still much more.

      My name is mrsmcclnt, and I write as Scarlet DuneStaff since I play her in the game. I have written other bits of fan fiction for different web sites but this if the first bit of original/fan fiction story I have ever done. It's original for me since this is my journey through the game and every person's experience is unique to them. But my story has a bit of a spin to it just to keep it interesting .

      I hope you enjoy my story. And please feel free to discuss your views at our fan group:
      The Horzion's Summit: For Fans of "On The Horizon".


      Chapter 01
      Chapter 02
      Chapter 03
      Chapter 04
      Chapter 05
      Chapter 06
      Chapter 07
      Chapter 08
      Chapter 09
      Chapter 10
      Chapter 11
      Chapter 12
      Chapter 13
      Chapter 14
      Chapter 15
      Chapter 16
      Chapter 17

      Winter Solstice
      Solstice Preview
      Chapter 1
      Chapter 2
      Chapter 3
      Chapter 4
      Chapter 5
      Chapter 6
      Chapter 7

      Chapter 1: An Ending and a Beginning

      She stepped up to the door and looked around the area from the small stoop. It wasn't as big as her old home in the desert, not as sprawling with its landscaping, but it was home all the same. After a long day of patrolling the spiral, it felt good to be at her place. The nice brick manor was small and quaint for her and her little pets. The park across the way gave the animals room to play, and she managed to get an underground garage to store some of her belongings.

      "Yep, Sasha, this will work out just fine," she told her trusty sidekick. The colossus looked up to her and grunted its approval as they made their way inside.

      Scarlet had bought the Marylebone apartment a few weeks ago after her long campaign with Malistaire had finally ended. The spiral was safe at the moment, yet there was the occasional rise of a boss or minion who threatened security. But the world was in no immediate danger.

      She unpacked a few things that she picked up in Wizard City while perusing the Bazaar. "That should do it," she said as she put a few vases and books away. As she looked around the room she had a feeling that there was a certain something else she was going to need to make the area complete. She didn't know what it was, but she knew she’d find it once she was back at the market.

      "Um?" came the familiar echo of her friend, Chris DeathWeaver. "Is it ready?"

      "Sure. Port," she replied to him with a smile. Within moments, the familiar scent of leather and dragon's blood wafted its way into the room.  


      "So," he said after scrutinizing his surroundings, "so."

      "Yes?" Scarlet appreciated his criticism. Chris was a crafter - a master artisan at that. He took to building like he took to his necromancy. He loved the aspects of deconstructing something to mold it into something new, something different. Scarlet was an artisan too, but she didn't have the Yen for it like Chris. Where she saw a hole in the wall that needed fixing, Chris saw a built-in bookshelf or a breakfast nook that could be there instead.

      Scarlet loved to decorate more than the hands on work that went with crafting. She liked pretty things, and loved to surround herself with them. Yet she loved a good challenge, so she strived to be an artisan just so that she could have the title.

      "It's quaint compared to the vista," he said as moved around the small space.

      "I know."

      "Still nice but, the vista with the statue underground... I mean, you got it for a steal!" Chris said with a small hint of jealousy.

      "Yes," she said as she watched him move across the room. The desert dwelling she had was a good sale, but she felt she had outgrown it -which said a lot considering how big it was. Chris looked around, thoughtfully, as he scanned the interior. His tone was getting more reserved as his eyes looked over every nook and cranny.

      "You're still… decorating?" he asked as he looked at a ruined painting.

      "Yes. Why?"

      "Nothing," he said quickly before moving upstairs. Scarlet smirked at him as she followed.

      After critiquing a few things (the flooring, the molding, and something about the wallpaper), Chris settled into a padded chair and started with his stories. He was never short of them. It was usually about the day he had while helping a new student or some fierce battle with an Oni. Scarlet used the time to move around some items and put up a few keepsakes she still had crated. She laughed a bit as she listened to his recount of the day.

      His reverie caused her to think back on her own journey. A lot of time had passed since she was a novice in Ravenwood. Now she was Grand Thaumaturge. She had seen a lot along the way and had gained a mass amount of experience. She was no longer afraid of the minions that had scared her, no longer hesitant to step into battle, or to help out when needed. For the first time since coming to the spiral, she felt she had a place in the wizarding world.

      Yet she still felt like something was missing and realized what it was as she glanced down to a photo on her desk. It was the picture of some friends that had just disappeared: Boris GhostCaller and Esmee DownCloud

      The two had fought alongside her as they made their way to DragonSpyre. After the threesome split up at the Basilica’s portals, she lost contact with them. She looked around the Hatchery, Crystal Grove, and even the Roost of Malistaire's lair, but there was no word or sight of them. There was even a rumor they had stepped through a portal to some other world.

      "Grizzleheim?" she had asked.

      "No," said the other. "This place looked…different." Scarlet didn’t take those words to heart since the person was talking over his stein of ale. He could have been seeing things for all she knew.

      What other world could it be?

      "Scarlet." Chris’ voice startled her from close behind. She didn’t realize her mind had drifted off while he was talking.

      "Something wrong?"

      "Nothing," she managed to say as she put away their faces. She shook off her nostalgia and smiled as he went back to talking about furniture placement.

      "While I was in MooShu, I picked this up in one of the little shops there." He handed her a small brown paper wrapped item. It felt a bit heavy for its size, but Chris was known to give her things with odd significance.

      "Moodah’s Guide to Feng Shui Living." Scarlet smiled at the book.

      "Thought you might like it; you being a decorating Grand Thaumaturge." Scarlet was about to reply back when a trickling sensation hit her spine.

      Jonathan DeathShield stood at her room’s entrance. "Jon?"

      He nodded to acknowledge himself to her, then turned to Chris and did the same, although she noticed it took a bit longer for him to do so. Jonathan seemed to appraise Chris as he looked in his direction. The two had never met in person, although she had spoken about them to each other on numerous occasions.

      "A moment of your time, please?" Jonathan asked as he looked in Scarlet’s direction.

      "Of Course." Jonathan turned and walked over to the balcony directly across from the room. Chris and Scarlet exchanged shrugs as he left their sight.

      "I’ll be over –, " Chris pointed to the chair where he had been sitting before.

      Walking up to Jonathan, she noticed how deep and reflective his expression was as he looked towards the stars. His dark pupils emulated the night sky he was watching. "Scarlet DuneStaff," he started, which troubled her. He never used her full name before. "Have you sensed anything lately? Something in the distance that’s brewing?"

      Scarlet looked at him more closely. Jonathan DeathShield was more serious than most of her other friends, so she was careful not to sound stupid in front of him. Although he had some moments where he could be lighthearted, Scarlet guessed that this was not one of them. "I’ve sensed nothing out of the usual, Jon."

      He looked at her, this time, giving her the same appraising eye that he had given Chris, "You know, I wish you would have learned more necromancy. It really does suit you."

      "You know I’ve never taken to death like you and Chris have."

      "Maybe not, but I’ve never seen you squeamish about it in battle," he smiled.

      "I would say the same for you, Jon. Maybe that’s why." He nodded as his smile widen at her comment. Then he went back to appraising her once more. She had an odd feeling that he was looking for something, something in her soul that he was trying to fish out.

      Jonathan seemed to hit upon his answer. Scarlet was an ice student at heart, who took to fire and storm spells because they fit her own temperament. She learned some life spells for insurances, and some balance to bring it all together. Death wasn’t something she took to. She learned a bit from it, and even made some friends out of it. But necromancy spooked her - particularly the area of prophecy.

      She didn’t mind defeating their enemies in battle because in her mind the odds were pretty even with the foe she faced. But to see it before it happened? Her heart quickened as she thought of her friends Boris and Esmee Their absence waned on her patience. She’d searched where she could, but alas…nothing.

      "Where are you going with this, Jon?" she asked abruptly, shaking off her loneliness.

      Jonathan looked taken aback by her briskness. "I didn’t mean to anger you," he said.

      Scarlet felt her insides pinch. The war had taken so many from her; she didn’t mean to fend off what few friends she had left. She took a breath for calm, "Sorry."

      Jonathan nodded and paused a moment before he spoke, "I didn’t mean to cause trouble, Scarlet. Just wanted to see if you knew of any. Reports are coming in of something coming towards the spiral."

      "Something? What exactly?"

      "Nothing certain, but," he paused as he looked away from her for a second, "some have… seen… things."

      "Oh." She knew what that meant. And she knew if he was sharing this bit with her, then it had to be something serious. It was a rule among grand necromancers; they didn’t discuss things seen in prophecy outside of their school. They did not want to interfere with the natural order of things. Of course, they did what they could if the danger threatened all of humanity. But certain things are seen as fate, so it is left alone.

      Silence stood briefly between them as Scarlet pondered what he said. She looked out to the sky to see if she could pick up anything. But her senses were so dulled by all the fighting that for all she knew trouble could be knocking at her doorstep. She felt a chill in the air; colder than any balefrost she had ever cast, but from what and where she couldn’t tell.

      Maybe it was the war that made her feel so on edge.

      Or maybe…


      "Do you have some kind of …cleaning potion? My Wraith ate some your incense and it’s not agreeing with him." Chris stood aside as he heard his pet made an awful noise in the hall.

      "I believe that is my cue to leave," Jonathan said.

      "No, wait, I can – "

      "No, it’s my pet," Chris objected. "I’ll clean up after it. Just shoot me in the right direction." Scarlet aimed him towards the kitchen downstairs. As Chris DeathWeaver made his way with his sickly companion, she noticed Jonathan looking at him more closely. When he got out of sight Jonathan directed his attention, again, to Scarlet.

      "Whatever comes, you must know we all have to work together on this," he said.

      "Of course. Don’t we always?" she asked. But then, the look he gave answered her question. It was the same look he had when she explained why she couldn’t join him before. She was helping a friend at the Coven in Grizzleheim, when he had called out to her for help. She couldn’t leave even if she wanted to. She wasn’t one to drop a friend and run, even if it meant her running to some other form of danger.

      She had to help.

      When the battle was over, she quickly ported to Jonathan only to find him frozen. Whatever it was that he was fighting, stunned him and left him behind. She found him standing at an entryway to some cave in Ravenscar. His eyes were locked, starring menacingly ahead into the dark cavern. At what, she had no clue. And he didn't seem to recall.

      At that time, there was nothing she could do but to take him to Wizard City where a healer undid the spell. All along the way, she kept saying, "I’m here, Jon, right with you." But she wondered if her words had gotten through. After she explained what had happened, he had said he understood yet from that day on she wondered if he had ever forgiven her for choosing poorly.

      Or for that matter, if he had forgiven the friend she had choose to fight with – the man who'd left the room to tend to his ailing pet.

      "Just know, Scarlet, that I will be there for you if you need."

      "Yes, Jon. Same here." He nodded to acknowledge her once more. Then Jonathan DeathShield made his way to the stairs, and out of Scarlet’s small apartment. She watched him leave from the top of the steps as he walked out the front door.

      Chris DeathWeaver appeared seconds later at the bottom. He looked at Scarlet, then the door, then back at her again, "So what was that about?"

      "Nothing," she said. Although she knew there was something to Jonathan’s visit that he wasn’t sharing.

      What was even more strange was that Jonathan never used the door to leave.


      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 7-22-13 at 12:01:51 AM. Reason: New chapter post

    2. #2
      Ravino.'s Avatar
        Ravino. is online now Grandmaster Wizard

      • Ravino.'s Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Jonathan DeathShield
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Death
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Grim Blue
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Ianthine Spectre
      Status: ...
      Not Amused
      Join Date
      Jun 2010
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Re: On the Horizon

      Good story, thanks for add me in the plot and you are right, I never use doors.

      Last edited by Ravino.; 10-29-10 at 6:37:21 PM.

    3. #3
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Wink Re: On the Horizon

      Quote Originally Posted by Ravino. View Post
      Good story, thanks for add me in the plot and you are right, I never use doors.
      I don't think any of us do. Porting is so easy.

    4. #4
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Re: On the Horizon

      Chapter 2: The Chain Gang

      From the way Sabrina arched her back, Scarlet thought the lioness was going to throw her off the saddle. "Tired, ma’am?" she asked the beast. But the lioness purred her assurances back to Scarlet, letting her know that she was fine.

      Scarlet looked around the grand entryways to the portals of the Basilica. She’d often come to this place after a long day of patrolling; hoping that something familiar would pop from its gates. Sometimes she’d get a little excited at the sight of a purple uniform with gold trimming. But the face that was wearing it never matched the face of her friend. It was always just another random storm student making their way through DragonSpyre.

      Some day I’ll stop waiting, she thought as she saw another student disappear through the Atheneum gate. Some day when I’m not looking, there they’ll be.


      Wonder if it will be like old times? Us three, united, taking on the spiral like gangbusters!


      Balance, Ice, and Storm: the unbeatable combo!

      "SCARLET!" She looked up to see the half face of a ninja. He was a Grand like her, wearing light grey robes and holding a light grey katana. His hood took way a lot of his features, leaving his eyes to do most of the talking. He starred at her, inquisitively, waiting for her respond.

      "I’m sorry, what?"

      "Do you want to PvP?" he asked.

      "Pv- what?"

      "PvP? Player versus Player? The Arena?" He seemed a little surprised to be explaining this too her. Although not as much as she was to be asked. When she was a novice, Scarlet did try battling a time or two in the game. But as the war began, Scarlet did most of her battling outside Wizard City. She had been so busy patrolling that she barely had enough time to enjoy things at home. "We’re going to set a match for four versus four. Do you want join?"

      "I don’t know. I-"

      "Oh come on, please? I’m sure with the arena tickets you’d win, you could save up and buy yourself something real nice."

      Arena tickets? Shopping? Nice stuff? Shopping?

      "OK. I’m game."

      She walked up to the podium outside the arena. The quill and parchment floated lightly above the stand, waiting for her to scroll her name next to the rest of her teammates. Aside from their names and rank she barely knew them; one was a friend of his and the other he found in the Basilica after her. She never seen or talked to them before. She may have come cross them while trekking between worlds, but not enough to stop and get a name or to add them in her address book with her other friends.

      It seemed weird for her to be lumped with strangers like this, but the lure of shopping was too much for her to ignore. Plus her mind desperately wanted something to do other than wait around for something to happen. Alex, the masked wizarding ninja, insisted everything was cool and that the four of them would be an unbeatable combo. "I’m sure, with you being a Grand, that you know how to cast Frost Giant."

      "Course. Was just doing that before I saw you," she said lazily.

      "Awesome," Alex laughed as he walked over to sign his name to their team. His eyes seemed to sparkle as if he were pleased with her response. She could only imagine the wide grin that was spreading underneath his scarf.

      It was taking a while for the match to start, so Scarlet perused a brochure of items that could be bought with arena tickets. "See something you like?" Scarlet hadn’t seen Professor Diego in ages. Time didn’t looked like it passed for him the way it did for her. The majestic stallion towered over her, flashing his charming smile at his young pupil.

      "Nothing yet, Sir."

      "You know, Scarlet, I don’t see you here as often as I’ve seen some others. Particularly your comrades." His long snout flicked in the direction of the Alex and his friends. Diego’s eyebrow rose a bit as he looked from them to her.

      "Oh, I just met them. They asked me to play."

      "Ah," he said.

      "Besides, you know I’m not one to play around here for sport."

      "Well," Professor Diego looked at his own fencing blade as he spoke, "I suppose it is easier to fight a common foe then a would be friend." He raised it up some so that the metal caught the light. He smiled at it then quickly slashed it through the air, performing a series of moves that caused the crowd around him to gasp in awe and applause. He turned to bow to Scarlet, who was clapping along with the rest of the audience.

      "Oh!" she said as she saw her team’s name appear at the front of the battle queue. "I guess we’ll be going in shortly."

      Professor Diego nodded as he saw her name up with the others. "Well then, hope you do well. And fight honorably."

      "Sure, you know I will," she said, perplexed by his statement. As she was about to enter she felt his hoof gently touch her shoulder.

      "Be careful of the company you keep, Scarlet DuneStaff." He gave a wary smile to her just before her teammates passed.

      "Come on, Scar! Time to battle!" said Alex, excitedly, as he headed in. She waved back at Professor Diego before she was teleported to the site. The concerned look on his face left her a little curious as to what he was saying. "Scarlet," said Alex, "all I want you to do, when we fight, is to cast Giant. Blaze will cast Storm Lord."

      "Giant? Just Giant? What about Colossus and Wren, or my Blizzard?"

      "Giant is all we need," he replied as he stepped to the ring.

      "And what will you be doing?" But before she could get an answer, the bell sounded and the countdown had begun. Scarlet made some quick adjustments as she prepared to fight.

      They were given the first move in the square off. Since it took time to summon her Giant, she used the rounds to shield and blade herself before she was able to cast. She looked over to see that Blaze was doing the same. She had seen Esmee use Storm Lord before, so she knew it wasn’t an easy task to cast. The other two next to her were doing something she hadn’t seen.

      Alex, her masked comrade, waved his wand showing a dazzling symbol before it popped into tiny brilliant particles of light.

      One by one, their opponents were stunned.

      Hmm… a good opener, she thought as she watched their challengers stood frozen in their place. She put a shield up and watched Blaze do the same. But then - another stun spell, from Alex’s other friend.She opened her mind to her ask him, "This is chain stunning?"

      "Right," he replied back as he readied himself for the next round.

      "Isn’t this…wrong? Illegal?"

      "No. Everyone does it," he said as he cast out his spell: another stun.

      "Really?" she thought as she put up another shield.

      "You must not PvP all that often," he said. Again their opponents continued to just stand there, frozen in their place. Some were grimacing in anger as the other man sent out another stun as well.

      "No, this isn’t something I’m use too." She was use to the smack talk, the hard hitting attacks that took her breath away, and even losing to a better opponent. But never stun. She was never stunned herself in her tries in the arena. She didn’t recall being stunned in any of her quests around the spiral.

      Has Malistaire ever stunned? If he’d stunned like this, she wouldn’t be in this position. She’d be lying face down on the cold floor of the Basilica, wondering what happened.

      "Giant ready?" The question woke her out of her confusion. Since her opponents couldn’t attack, the rounds were going by so quick that she had enough power to summon.

      The Frost Giant was ready.

      "And everyone is doing this?" Scarlet asked him as he cast out another stun. But his answer was no surprise to her. Alex nodded in agreement as he continued to keep their opponents frozen. With a shrug of her shoulders, she cast out her powerful attack.

      Maybe I’ll fizzle, she half hoped as she wished for the match to be over. Unfortunately, for those on the other team, the spell went off without a hitch. A good amount of their health was taken as the Giant lowered his hammer on the opposing team. Blaze was ready with his follow up and cast out Storm Lord after Scarlet.
      They were dropping like flies.

      A few quick rounds later, it was done. The 10 arena tickets popped into her hands. "Port away quickly," said Alex as he disappeared from the arena. Scarlet was so scared and confused that the only place she thought to port to was her home. She stood in the middle of the street near her apartment. Her heart was racing as he looked around the area.

      Was I followed? But how could I be? They don’t know me, do they? She felt so guilty; so ashamed for what she had participated in. It almost felt like she had committed murder in front of millions. If only they had fought back, the victory would have been sweeter.

      She looked down at her compass and saw a blip on the glass. The compass was something that told her where her friends were on the spiral, and allowed her to port to them if needed. But she didn’t want to visit, she felt too ashamed to show her face anywhere at the moment.

      "Hey," she called out in her mind to Chris DeathWeaver.


      "I was playing in the arena and did something horrible!"

      "What? You proved your title as Fizzle Master?" he said with a stifled laugh.

      "No, you -!" In any other day she would run with his jibe, but not today. "I chained stunned!"

      "Oh." She waited for more of his response, but his pause was so long that she wondered if he were removing her from his friend’s list.

      "Oh?" Scarlet prodded.

      "Scarlet, it’s just a game. It’s nothing like the spiral. I’m sure it has its advantages."

      "Yea, but…I don’t know." She thought about it for a long moment before she thought of something else too. "This guy said that everyone was doing it."

      "Humph, maybe so. But I wouldn’t dwell on it." But she was, she felt like a criminal. "Goodness woman, you don’t see me complaining when people buy stuff from the crown shop while others go to the Bazaar."

      She felt her stomach plunge like a coaster over a steep hill. Her new Celestial Trident she was gripping onto still had that new wand smell. It still glowed just as brightly from the day she bought it. It even changed color with her mood, which was icy blue at the moment. "Why you got to go there with my shopping!"

      She heard Chris let out his laugh this time, "Just kidding. Stop whining and go play."

      So she did. She teleported back to the arena, to the same spot where she had left her newly acquired team. Alex’s eyes brightened as she walked over in his direction. "We were waiting on you," he said with a hint of glee.

      Scarlet walked over to the podium and signed her name next to theirs once more. Moments later, they entered the arena to start battling again.

      As time passed, Scarlet’s backpack was getting heavy with tickets. After a while, she didn’t feel as bad for playing along with the guys and their stunning technique. There was one group that seemed to always come up against them in the battle queue. And just like Alex had said before, they were stunners too. She realized this fact when karma turned the tides and allowed them to go first.

      It was an interesting predicament to be beaten by their own plan. There was no strategy to get out of the cycle but to just grin and bear it. Your only hope was that someone would fizzle so you could cast your spell. But it didn’t happen, and she was glad to have experienced it.

      It almost felt things were right again, like the universe had taught her a much-needed lesson.

      It had gotten late and the team dispersed for a much needed break. Scarlet decided to use her time to catch up with a friend that appeared on her compass. When she teleported, she found herself back in the arena again, but this time things were different.

      There wasn’t that silent intensity that she had experienced before. There was a lot of joking and laughing going about at Mason’s expense. Mason MoonMask was an experience veteran of the arena, but also a practical joker at heart. He loved tricking his friends into a game or two just so that he could show off his defensive skills. He seemed to have a full audience at his control as played through a game of two on two.

      "DIE MASON!" yelled out his female opponent. But her attack only left him in a fit of giggles. His shields had taken up the brunt of her blow. In the end, Mason won out but at the expense of his healer, who suffered most of the attacks that were meant for him. Yet there were no hard feelings or harsh remarks made. Everyone congratulated each other and stuck around for more laughs as they tried to set up another match.

      Something Scarlet was not use to seeing.

      "Well look who has come down from her high horse," Mason greeted.

      She had known Mason for a while, not as long as Esmee and Boris, but still long enough to call him friend. She had never been shy talking to him before but for some reason she felt very amateur in his presence here.

      "Good game," Scarlet managed to say.

      "Meh, it was nothing. But it makes for good practice," he said. More people came up to joke with him. It was interesting to see how respected he was even after the thorough beating he delivered.

      "I see you use a lot of your shields," Scarlet said, as she tried to lead up to a question she wanted to ask the vet.

      "Shielding is always good. It protects you and helps you store up for a major attack."

      "Right," she said. "So do you chain stun?"

      "What?" Mason looked stunned himself to be asked. "Merlin's sake no. Hate chain stunning. It’s cowardly. I've stunned in matches, but never over and over. Even in my run ins with Malistaire, I don't think he ever stunned." He went on to say more but Scarlet was too embarrassed to pay attention. "Why you ask? You doubt my abilities or something?"

      "Course not, Mason. Just a question about your game play that's all," Scarlet scoffed as she tried to hide her own secret.

      "Well why don't you play me since you’ve got questions?" he laughed as he approached her with his wand aimed at her head playfully. Scarlet backed away with her hands up in surrender.

      "I really must be going. Maybe next time?" But it was too late. Before she knew it, Mason had backed her into the ring. The countdown started, and jumped in ready to fight her.

      "Sweet!" he said as he cast out his first spell; a stun.

      How fitting.

      As the match closed, Mason offered tips on how she could improve on her game play. She took his advice in stride. After all, he was a veteran and well respected fighter in the arena. So it was all good to her. He didn't bring up the chain stunning question, and she put it out of her mind - as well as removed Alex from her book. It occurred to her why it felt funny to stun; something that Professor Diego was telling her before.

      It didn't feel honorable.

      As many bosses and minions she had faced between worlds, she had never pulled out a stun to defeat them. And within that experience, they had never stunned to defeat her. Some may have cheated and used dirty tricks to get their way. But regardless of the tactic they still fought hard, exchanging blow for blow till only one was left standing.

      She was never afraid of a fight.

      "YOUNG WIZARD!" She looked to her compass to see the strange face of something bugged eye and green. "I NEED YOUR ASSISTANCE IMMEDIATLY! COME TO MY CLASSROOM STRAIGHT AWAY!'

      "Yes Professor Balestrom." At last, something different to do.
      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 3-6-13 at 9:34:14 PM. Reason: chapter edits

    5. #5
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Re: On the Horizon

      Chapter 3: The Warehouse

      "Girlfriend, I don’t know what to tell you," said Scarlet FairyDust as she hovered next to Scarlet DuneStaff by the fountain. "I don’t know what that was in there, what kind of shield he was using, and-and -," the poor girl looked exasperated as she rubbed her forehead, "since when are Novas made of fire?"

      "I don’t know," Scarlet DuneStaff muttered between her own hands that were holding her head in place.

      "Me either." The girl looked at her friend then looked back towards the alley, “Tell you what. If you figure out something, let me know. I’ll be at my house, sipping something fruity by the pool."

      "O.K." Scarlet DuneStaff could barely look up to say good-bye. It felt as though her mind was about to spin out of her head. "Thanks anyways."

      Her friend managed a weary smile, "No problem, Scar. You know I would do anything for you. I just don’t know what that is just yet."

      They nodded in agreement and parted ways shortly after. Scarlet could see, from her compass that she had made it home safely. Part of her was inclined to join her friend by the pool, but she was far too determined to give up so easily. A deep sigh escaped her, allowing more relief to seep into her throbbing head. "I know it’s there. But how do I get the key?"

      The mission seemed simple enough… at least it had started out that way. Some kind of distress call came from Triton Alley that Professor Halston Balestrom couldn’t make heads or tails out of. "I need you to go to Krokotopia with this message."


      " Krok?" Scarlet asked in mild disbelief. She was never a fan of the sands of Krokotopia. She had been assigned there, in her earlier days, as she was moving up the ranks in Ravenwood. The natives of Krok had constantly stirred trouble, and she was appointed to their world to stomp out the ruckus. The food there always stayed hot. Fresh vegetables languished under the hot Krokotopian sun while sweets like pudding and ice cream evaporated before it got served. Everyday she’d check her boots for any sand or beetles or worse that may have found its way in.

      She hadn’t looked forward to going, but she went. She was obligated to help out the school whenever it necessitated. Professor Balestrom advised her to go speak to the mander at the library there, Zan'ne. Surely his scrolls would able to decipher the words. But to her and the mander’s surprise, he didn’t know what to make of it. "Take it to Alhazred. He is wise and would know what it means."

      A heavy sigh escaped her as she felt herself deflating in the hot torrid heat, "Ok." And, again, off Scarlet went. The short boat ride to where the Balance School was located felt like it took forever. But it was more than likely her lack of patience that had caused time to stand still.

      A few moments later, she had made her way down the rickety ladder to the underground level of the school. "Hmm," said the old Krok as he studied the symbols carefully. "This is beyond my interpretation."

      Oh, grief, Scarlet thought to herself as she held back a flurry of retorts.

      "Beyond my interpretations, young wizard but it is not beyond total understanding," he said as he eyed her body language. The old Krok then explained to her about the Stone of Mazzeroth and told her the rock should be able to clear up the message.

      "And I thought my days of rock hunting were over when I got my Master Artisan Badge."

      The stone (of course) had been stolen, which had not been a surprise to Scarlet since Krok hadn’t changed much since she had left. The culprit had been hiding out in the Djeserit Family Tomb in the Storm temple, which still wasn’t as shocking as it sounded.

      "So you have come for the stone, young weakling," hissed the Krokotillian Prince, Buikhu Djeserit.

      "Look, just hand it over nicely. Don’t make me wear you." And out of the corner of Scarlet’s eye came a creature that she had never seen before, not in any place in the Spiral.

      "Foolish mortal. If you think you can take it then do so," the squid whispered.

      Scarlet’s nerves had been so raw from the blazing heat that every inch of her was itching for a fight. Her Trident seemed to sense this and began to hum in her hand. Before she could clearly think of the spell, her mighty Frost Giant appeared and lowered its heavy hammer on the Prince and his cohort.

      As Scarlet stepped over their twitching bodies, towards the stone, she noticed something odd in the appearance of the object. As many stones as she had collected in the past for her crafting assignments, this seemed a little out of the ordinary. The stone was polished in one area but noticeably cracked down the length. From the circumference of the stone, Scarlet concluded that a huge piece was missing.

      "Foolish, wizard," the Krokotillian Prince managed to say as he slowly turned to her, still convulsing on the stone floor. "What you’re just now realizing is that I had split the stone into three." His body began to fade away with the sands in the tomb. "You’ll never get your hands on it now." Scarlet’s anger caused her to quickly turn to strike, but her Trident only met the floor.

      He was gone.

      She teleported back to Ravenwood to explain to Professor Balestrom what had happen. The poor frog looked mortified as his small hands traced the jagged crack in the stone. "Wait, I think I can find the other pieces by channeling the stone’s energy." After a few long moments he came up with the other two locations: MooShu in The Village of Sorrows and The Crucible in DragonSpyre. "Take this stone with you. It should guide you to the exact locations of the others."

      A new sense of determination burned inside her as she shrunk the large stone into a more manageable size. She felt as keen as an arrow on an archer’s bow being aimed at its primary target. "I’m on it," Scarlet had said to the professor as she made her way to MooShu.

      The battle that ensued in the small cottage in MooShu was nothing in comparison to what had happen in the temple on Krok. The rouge ninja pig, Zarichi was stronger than the Krokotillian Prince, Buikhu. And to match his strength, the ninja had more reinforcements with him to guard his piece of the stone. More of the same squid like creatures flanked the pig’s side as they stood to protect their prize.

      "You may have bested that prissy Krok, but you will find that I’m an unbeatable opponent," he said as he swung his large machete over his shoulder, preparing himself to strike.

      "And you, Sir, will find that I am a big fan of bacon," smiled Scarlet as she gripped her humming Trident, readying herself to do the same.


      "Enough of these words," all of the squids chanted as they moved around Scarlet. "Cease her existence."

      It was four against one, so Scarlet knew that her odds of coming out of this were going to be slim to none. In her mind her best chance was to keep shielding herself as much as possible and wait to strike with her Giant. She cast every shield she had in her arsenal to protect herself from the coming assaults. When the moment was right she began to summon him, but for some reason –whether it was poor digestion, hiccups, or her usual short temper- her spell fizzled!

      Her stomach flipped at the sight of smoke puffing from her Trident. Her opponents, witnessing the misfire, snickered at her obvious misfortune. "You should be called DOOMED-Staff with that hat trick," Zarichi laughed along with the others. But their round of fun was soon short lived they fizzled as well.

      "Humph...Dim Sum," Scarlet chuckled.

      "WHAT!" roared Zarichi, but he and the others were soon silenced when Scarlet successfully summoned her Frost Giant. The Giant’s heavy hammer left her enemies stunned and her defenseless since she hadn’t enough power to summon him again.

      This is going to be tight!

      As she prepared herself for their retaliation, Duncan GiantHunter teleported to her side to assist. He managed to conjure a strong blizzard to beat the attackers into submission. "Thanks, Duncan." He nodded to her then left as quickly as he came. Scarlet walked over and picked up the missing stone. As she put the stone with the other, she could feel the stone pulling her. "I know, I know. DragonSpyre."

      And so she went to a small war torn facility in DragonSpyre’s Academy. Figures, she thought as she walked up the steps to the old building. Someone from the Titan Army must be trying to start up another war. But Scarlet soon realized that it wasn’t the case.

      As she walked inside, she heard some heated words being exchanged between a woman and someone else. Must be another squid, she assumed since that was what she had been fighting all day. As she approached the voices, she noticed that their conversation had turned.
      "This was not a part of the deal!" cried out the woman. Sure enough, as Scarlet turned the corner, she was confronted with four of those same creatures. They had surrounded the woman who was protecting their piece of the stone.

      "Fool, you will never get your hands on this."

      "Again with the small talk," Scarlet said as she prepared to strike. They moved around her, sizing her up to take her down. Scarlet noticed, in this battle, that the woman was not an eager participant like the Krok and the Ninja. Yet she was not running away either. Something must have changed in their deal.

      With the experience she had gained from fighting them before, Scarlet was able to swiftly end the conflict. She built up enough strength in her Frost Giant to tackle them down, then followed up with a blizzard just as Duncan GiantHunter had done.

      They were on the run.

      When the battle had finished, the woman came out from hiding with the stone in her hands. "Sorry about that. I was never much of a fighter." She introduced herself as Vesna Shadowscar. Although she was dressed in some pretty strong dragon armor, the woman did not have the same harmful intentions that Scarlet usually saw in the eyes of the various generals she had fought in DragonSpyre. "They gave me some gold to watch this thing. And…well… considering how the war had went, I was in no position to refuse their offer." Scarlet understood. The war had taken a toll on a lot of people. Not only were lives lost and friendships torn, but the financial end of it was pretty taxing.

      Not many profited from the outcome.

      The woman handed the stone to Scarlet, who took it and placed it with the others. "I can put that together for you if you’d like?" asked the woman. Scarlet, looking around to see if there was anyone else in the room, handed the three stones to her. With a wave of Vesna’s wand the three turned into one large piece. The stone hummed loudly, as if it were pleased to be whole again. Scarlet took the message and place it against the stone.


      Plunket? Umbra Queen? And the work of who?

      "Thanks," Scarlet said with a courteous nod to Vesna, then teleported back to Ravenwood. As she presented the stone to Professor Balestrom, he took the message and began to play it back. The stress on his face was even more apparent then when this quest began. "Scarlet, there’s no time to waste! You must go to MarleyBone to the warehouse of the Geological Society and retrieve the spiral key that will open up Celestia."

      Celestia…This had to be that "different place" the drunken fool at the tavern had spoken of. It spun a new hope in her that Boris GhostCaller and Esmee DownCloud had somehow found their way there. They have to be there…

      Without another word, Scarlet flew out of the school towards The Spiral gates. She’d put in the key for her destination and was instantly stepping onto the cobblestone streets of MarleyBone. Her lioness, Sabrina, seemed focused on Scarlet’s urgency. Her heavy claws dug into the path that led them straight to the warehouse.

      "Interesting," said Scarlet as she eyed the structure. She had been down this street several times before in search of Malistaire and Meowiarty. She was also in the district a few weeks ago, looking for some furniture for her new apartment. Neither time had she seen this building "Something is up to something." But what that something was, she wasn’t certain. Considering what she had been through that day, she wasn’t taking any chances. She looked at her compass to see who was near. "No, not him." But her friend, FairyDust, was available and came to her aide. She had brought reinforcements to help also.

      That’s how Scarlet’s day had started.

      After they fought their way through, it ended with her sitting by the fountain with no Celestial key, and wondering how she was going to get back in. Her lioness sat by her feet, expectantly looking for some sort of command. But Scarlet had none to give since she didn’t know what her plan was herself.

      She was still sitting with her head in her hands, trying to figure out her next move. As her mind began to clear, an oddly familiar tingling sensation shot down her spine. She didn’t have to look up to know who it was, but she did make note of the boots he was wearing.

      "Are those new shoes, Jon?"
      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 5-20-13 at 7:42:54 AM. Reason: chapter edits

    6. #6
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
      Jun 2009
      PvP Tournaments Won

      Re: On the Horizon

      Chapter 4: Another Unfortunate Mishap

      She could feel him giving her that same appraising glare that he had given her before; something he had always given her from the moment they had met. It wasn’t a leering glare, a look of respite, or anything loving or friendly. It was a look that one has when they are reading deeply from a novel or a look of inquiry when they are searching for something. Jonathan DeathShield would often have this look before he would ever greet her. Instead of just asking her how her day was, like most normal people, he would skip such pleasantries to get to his point.

      Some guys, who’d looked in Scarlet’s direction, would turn away shyly or nervously jerk their head in another direction. She’d sometimes catch her other friend, Chris DeathWeaver, looking at her in a similar way. But he would always follow up with a smirk and some joke about the new outfit she had bought at the Bazaar.

      Jonathan never flinched.

      He would hold her in his gaze for as long as he could until he came across whatever he needed. If he weren’t a Death student, she would have found his glaring to be rude. But Scarlet figured this was some sort of Necromancer thing - their way of seeing things. However, Jonathan never shared with her what he saw – nor was she was curious to know. Part of her was too afraid to ask while the other part enjoyed their staring matches. She would often join him, standing toe-to-toe and eye-to-eye with him until somebody would draw back in retreat.

      Her efforts were always futile. Jonathan would always win.

      As she looked down at his new boots, she waited for him to respond to her question. But she knew what he was doing within their silence. Already, she could feel him thumbing through her soul, reading for himself about what had happen to her in that warehouse down the alley. At least, that’s what she thought. At the moment, she was too embarrassed to talk.

      Before she could take in another breath, she felt his hand grab at hers and pulled her off the side of the fountain. As she stepped forward from the tug, she felt herself trip and fall over something soft at her feet. She looked up to see that she was no longer in Regent Square, but in a beautifully decorated room filled with kimonos and bonsai plants.

      "You should be more careful, Scarlet," Jonathan said as he made his way into the hall.

      "Well, if I had known you were porting then I would have braced myself." He looked over at her as she was picking herself off the floor. An unusual smile came across his face as he eyed her.

      "I was not referring to your clumsiness, my friend. I meant that place you were at earlier." He left the room, leaving her to brood. Scarlet, grudgingly, sat on the pillow as she waited for him to return.

      Of course he meant the warehouse.

      Moments later, Jonathan returned with a tray of hot tea. He sat on the pillow next to hers and poured her a cup mixed with two sugars and a lemon. Scarlet thought it was interesting that he would know so much without asking. She watched him pour himself some then he sat back and cleared his throat.

      "OK, spill it."

      "Spill what? You basically knew what I was up to before you poured my drink." Scarlet took a sip as she kept an eye on him, waiting for his response. Jonathan just smiled as he took from his.

      "Ah, Scarlet, you assume too much," he said as he leaned into her. "I can see that something is on your mind. And, yes, part of that comes from Necromancy. But any fool can tell that there’s something troubling you… so," his eyebrow rose slightly, gesturing for her to pick up from where he left off.

      Scarlet exhaled slowly, allowing her ego to deflate a bit more to keep her frustrations at bay. Then she rose up more on her pillow to keep herself from looking hunched over and defeated. As she was about to open her mouth to speak, none of the words would come. She was clueless as to where her story should open.

      "Just start from the beginning," Jonathan said.

      "Well," she thought for a moment, "my mother said that I was delivered by an orderly, who happen to pass by her room as he was on his way out –,"

      "I meant today, Scarlet." They both laughed. As long a day she had, it felt good to laugh with a friend. Scarlet told him about the message from Triton Alley that Professor Balestrom couldn’t make heads or tails of, and how he had sent her to Krokotopia to figure it out.

      "Krock?" he said in the same bewilder tone she had when she started the quest.

      "Yeah, Krok." His eyebrow rose more as he sipped his tea again. Scarlet continued with the story of how she went from Krokotopia’s Library, to the Balance school, then all the way into the storm temple into the Family Djeserit tomb to find this stone. This, she said to him, was where she first encountered the strange creature.

      "Squid like?" Jonathan asked.

      "Yeah. Tentacles." She relayed more of her frustrations to him: the stone split into 3, the trips to MooShu and DragonSpyre, and more of those squid-like creatures she faced.

      "Interesting," he said.

      Scarlet then told him how the stone revealed the message about a new world called Celestia. Jonathan paused mid-way through his sip. The small glint of surprise in his eyes had Scarlet believing that he had never heard of the place either, but his expression didn’t reveal anything more than that. He still sat back and listened as she told him what occurred in the warehouse.

      "A crab now?" he asked.

      "Yes. They must be from that new world ‘cause I’ve never seen that or the squids anywhere along the spiral. Have you?" Jonathan shook his head no. As she was about to go into detail of the battle, Jonathan quickly cleared his throat to gain Scarlet’s attention.

      "May I ask you something?" he said as his eyes peered in…. seeing into her soul.

      "Sure?" Although Scarlet wasn’t. She wondered why he even bothered with the conversation.

      "Why did you call FairyDust? You must have known that I was in the area from your compass. Even more so, I would have come if you had asked me." Scarlet was surprised by this - not from the question - but how he seemed offended that she didn’t call him first.

      He was right. She did see him on her compass before she entered in. Her eye was immediately drawn to his name before she looked on to anyone else’s. And yet, she didn’t call him. She purposely didn’t. "I didn’t want to bother you," she lied.

      In truth, she didn’t want to rely on him too much. Jonathan had been a good friend to her. He filled a void that had been left gaping since Esmee and Boris disappeared. As much as she appreciated his friendship, she sometimes felt hindered by it. With Boris and Esmee still missing, she’d often wondered how she would feel if Jonathan were to disappear too. "I didn’t think it was going to be that complicated; just a matter of picking up a spiral key. It wasn’t until we started to come up against these folks that we’d realized how serious this was." She waited for his rebuttal, but he said nothing. He just looked at her then into his tea. From his lack of reaction, she assumed that he had either bought her excuse or was too disappointed to say anything in return.

      Scarlet continued on, telling him of the final battle with Estrakir . She told him of the rats that kept protecting him with the unusually strong shields, the powerful strikes the squid had, and the cat that kept healing whenever FairyDust tried to heal.

      Humph, Jonathan muttered.


      "Nothing. So what happened next?"

      Scarlet shrugged, "That’s it. After that last Nova, we managed to escape. Where it ended is where you found me, by the fountain in the square." Jonathan nodded to acknowledge this fact. He sipped a bit more of this tea then started to look deeply into his cup, keeping silent as he swirled it around.

      Chris DeathWeaver had once told her the different ways Necromancers used to see things. Some used objects like plain crystals or crystal balls. More of the older Necromancers used things of nature like fire, twigs, and chanting to look into the future. He briefly mentioned tea leaves as a part of doing readings, but said it was a lost art few had mastered. From the way Jonathan stared into his cup, she wondered if he might have found a way of interpreting.

      "Was it … bitter?" he asked

      Bitter… She thought about the word for a moment, "I suppose it was? It’s never fun being defeated by someone. That’s for sure. The whole battle was strange. The shields were too strong, his nova was… and.," the words continued to fail her as her frustrations mounted. "So yea, it was a bitter defeat. Felt like I was cheated out of a fair fight."

      "No, no," Jonathan sipped the tea again with a crumpled face, "I meant the tea. Was it bitter to you?"

      Scarlet was floored, "I just poured out my heart to you and you’re worried about some funky tasting tea?"

      Jonathan chuckled lightly, "You’ve said many things, Scarlet, but I don’t get the feeling we have gotten to the heart of your aggravation. And besides," he got up to remove the tray from the table, "you are my guest. I would not dishonor you by serving bad tea." She heard him laughing down the hall as he went to put away the dishes. Scarlet felt a bit embarrassed for herself and confused by her friend.

      She never did much entertaining at home. She was too busy fighting or patrolling to do that. Even when Esmee Esmee and Boris were around, they found ways to have fun in between quests. But they never spent time in the quiet of their houses to talk. Here she was with a friend, in his home, and he was trying to keep her at ease yet she mistook it for casual aloofness. She felt badly that she couldn’t be more comfortable around him. There were times when Jonathan could be very vague and times when he could be keenly insightful. She appreciated both aspects of him even though she rarely showed it

      "OK. Let’s go," Jonathan said as he suddenly appeared next to her.

      "Go? Where?"

      "Back to the warehouse, of course," he smiled confidently.

      "Wait, we’re just going to waltz in and fight these things? Didn’t you hear a word I said?"

      "Of course I did," he said - his confidence never failing.

      "And doesn’t it concern you what we’re up against?"

      "It always does, Scarlet."

      "So?" She gave him a hard look, wishing she had study Necromancy more like he did. He seemed to oblige her inquiry by stepping in closely, widening his eyes so that she could look into his. A mischievous grin spread across his face, like he knew he was going to win this match like all the others.

      "Do you see my plan, Scarlet?"

      "Plan? Is that what I’m looking at?"

      "Of course it is – a well thought out plan. A few friends and I have been monitoring the warehouse for some time due to some questionable activity. We had no proof to back up our suspicions so we had no reason to search the place until now. With our combined knowledge, we have our plan of attack."

      "Really?" She wasn’t doubtful of his words, just amazed that he had come up with a resolution so quickly.

      "Yes. So, you see, we are not simply waltzing. This is more like a well precision tango." He pulled away, giving her a chance to think over his words, letting her win this one. "And besides…waltzing is for suckers."

      He was so resolute in his words that Scarlet felt more at ease in their actions. "Are we going alone?"

      "There are some people who will meet us there that will prove useful in our endeavor."

      "Is one of them from the Life school? Cause if not, my friend Fairy-,"

      Jonathan waved his hand nonchalantly, "I will do the healing if necessary. But if I am right, we won’t need to heal at all."

      Within moments they were by the fountain in Marleybone’s Regent Square. The place was eerily quiet. The street vendors were out with their carts of merchandise, but they were not hustling for a sale like they normally would. All the residents seem to be at home or huddle in a corner, holding hushed conversations. Jonathan slowly scanned the area until he spotted something familiar. A man with a feathery headdress came walking up to Jonathan with a look of concern on his face.

      "Marcus, Scarlet DuneStaff. Scarlet, Marcus DuneRunner," Jonathan said. As everyone exchanged greetings they got down to the business at hand.

      "I followed up with some of my contacts in Krok. They’ve said that there is some movement amongst those squid-like people. Looks like they’re packing up. Something must have spooked them," said Marcus.

      "That would be Scarlet’s doing since she took down the first guardian of the stone," Jonathan surmised. "Anything from Sarai?"

      "She said that she checked the cottage in MooShu and just found scraps of stuff, nothing more. Word must have spread to them about what happened in Krok so they cleaned up quickly."

      Jonathan looked to Scarlet, "Did you notice anything else in the warehouse?"

      "Nothing out of the ordinary. Some crates here and there, but there was nothing in them."

      "Well, whatever of value is in there, I suspect it is at the top floor with Estrakir himself. Security is tighter there, and he seems formidable enough to protect that key instead of leaving the task to a lackey, “said Jonathan. The three made their way down the street towards the warehouse. Along the way Sarai BattleBreeze appeared under a lamppost near the entrance. "You’ve talked to ShadowScar?"

      "Yes, but the trail remains cold. These squids gave her straight gold, so there’s no paper to trace to anyone or any account from anywhere. Considering what they had asked her to do, she didn’t ask them any questions."

      "Well, considering how the war had been, she more than likely just took the gold and didn’t bother with the logistics," said Scarlet.

      Jonathan agreed. "Well, let us go see what we’re up against."

      "Whoa, Kemosabee." Marcus stepped in Jonathan’s way. "We can’t just walk up in there and stir up trouble. Marleybone’s authorities might take offense to it."

      "You know," Sarai spoke, "they have been kind of acting weird lately since Meowiarty left. I guess with all the mess we had to clean up after the scandal, they’ve been a bit defensive with other people treading along their territory."

      "Precisely," Jonathan interjected. "Which is why it is interesting to me that they would have these strange people under their noses and have not raised a fuss over it by now." Jonathan paused as a police officer walked by. The officer regarded the group with the usual gruff and tilt of his head. But as he walked on, he looked back a couple of times as if he were taking extra notes. Once he was out of sight, Jonathan continued in a hushed voice, "Common sense tells us that Meowiarty couldn’t have gotten away with as much if he didn’t have help from higher up."

      "Oh," the light went on in Scarlet's head as she caught on to what he was saying. "Rumor did have it that some Marleybone officials were on Meowiarty's payroll. But no one was ever called out for it."

      "True. And with Meowiarty and his gang driven out, no one can finger who was under the cat’s thumb." Jonathan paused again. His eyes scanned up and down the street. "I wouldn’t be surprised if there are a few players left here that need to be dealt with."

      "Then these players must have something to do with what’s in the warehouse," Sarai stated.

      "And they must have been paid off just like Shadowscar. Probably at a heftier price considering what’s being held up there," said Marcus.

      "So, it is agreed. We have Professor Balestrom and Headmaster Ambrose to back us up. After all, we came here to get a spiral key by the request of the school. If they should ask, Professor Balestrom can verify that much," said Jonathan.

      "What about Estrakir and them? What if they ask about that?" Scarlet’s question put smile on Jonathan’s face.

      "We’ll just tell them it was one of those unfortunate incidents." Jonathan scanned the area again as he stepped towards the warehouse entrance. "You know the usual mishaps that occur along the spiral."

      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 6-3-13 at 12:22:44 PM.

    7. #7
      soulless's Avatar
        soulless is offline Apprentice Wizard

      • soulless's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Andrew (many)
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  60
        •  World:
        •  Celestia
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Storm
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Sparky
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Zilla
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      Re: On the Horizon

      Nice writing, shows thought and planning.

    8. #8
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
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      Talking Re: On the Horizon

      Quote Originally Posted by soulless View Post
      Nice writing, shows thought and planning.

      Thanks. I like the word planning. A good politically correct term for procrastination...

      But I'm not. I work on these chapters as I go along in the game. I use whatever happens and make up my own stuff from there. You can actually find Scarlet DuneStaff in the game.

      Say hey if you see her.

      I'm working on the next chapter now. I'm just trying to get a certain group of friends together to get the pics done for the warehouse scene....

      Then trying to figure out what's next, since we all know that this will lead to Celestia....whenever that gets here...

      Hope you all stay tuned.

      I'll keep writing as I keep playing...

    9. #9
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
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      Re: On the Horizon

      Chapter 5: In Meditation

      It was interesting for Scarlet DuneStaff to see him so calm and collective as he lit a candle on his altar. Especially when before he was a relentless death machine, hurling spells to take down Estrakir and his gang. She watched him from the top of the staircase as he lit another then silently muttered something to him self as if in meditation. She felt conflicted for intruding on his privacy, yet too curious to break away.

      To Scarlet, Jonathan DeathShield was a hard man to figure – a living mass of contradiction. He as was a good friend who listened to her every thought whenever she needed to unload them. He was full of helpful advice, but only gave them when asked or need. When he spoke he was always kind with his words, making sure there was no harshness in his hardest of criticisms. Yet the Necromancer within him proved to be deadly. When he fought he used stealth and lethal force when taking down his opposition. He showed no mercy when they pleaded, giving them an agonizing death to the misery he laid. There were times during the war that she had caught a strange glimmer in his eye as he fought. It was as if he had enjoyed slaying; he reveled in. She thought she would see that same deadly intensity in the warehouse. Yet it wasn’t there. It was as if something was out of sorts with him as he lowered the final blow against Estrakir.

      “If you are trying to scare me, I can here you from yards away with those clomper stompers on your feet,” Jonathan said in passing as he went back to his mediation.

      Scarlet crept up beside him to whisper, “You know you never did tell me where you got those new boots from.”

      Jonathan’s eyes were closed. But he did a sideways peak to respond, “Actually, these are not new, Scarlet.”

      Scarlet looked back at his shoes then back at him, “They have that shiny new look.”

      “Oh, then that is the drake polish I have been using.”

      “Drake polish?”

      “Yes. It a special formula that uses drake glands-,”


      Jonathan cleared his throat, possibly to rid it of annoyance, “Yes, glands. It gives boots and other leather products a nice sheen.” He then fell back into silence, allowing Scarlet to mull over his words.

      “So you mean… you have dragon spit on your shoes, Jon?” She cracked a smile, hoping it would get him to laugh, but he was far too focused for her amusement.

      “Glands, Scarlet.”

      “Cause, Jon, if you needed a good spit shine I could have hocked up a good one for you.” He still wouldn’t budge. But Scarlet was so tickled that she had to lean on his shoulder to keep her self from falling on his floor.

      “You have too much energy.” Jonathan reigned in her attention by floating an unlit candle in front of her. It then sparked into a small blue flame. “Find your center in blaze.”

      There was no breaking him.

      Scarlet followed his lead and stood at attention, eying the blue flame he lit. She mimicked his subtle movements, inhaling then exhaling to ease the tension within her. Her eyes stayed targeted on the small light that danced about the candle.

      “Necromancers always mediate after a long battle. It helps us to release the negative energy the enemy attacks with. Through mediation, you can take the positive experience you’ve gained from the battle and discard the bad energy back into the spiral. This will help you become a better Necromancer.” She heard a slight chuckle from him, “Or in your case, a better Thaumaturge.”

      “Funny, Jon.”

      “Well, it is never too late to resume your studies. I never knew what you found so interesting in Professor Greyrose’s lessons.”

      "Neither I with you and your Professor Quasimodo.”

      “That is Professor Dworgyn,” Jonathan corrected. “And spinal deformity is not a laughing matter.”

      “Who was laughing? I didn’t realize it was a deformity. Just thought he hid extra snacks back there like camels do with their humps,” she cracked.

      There was still no laughter from him. “Back to meditation.” Jonathan breathed out then fell silent again. They stood quietly next to each other in front of the flickering lights at his altar.

      Breath after breath, the moments grew longer and more still. She could see why he had heard her coming down the steps when the smallest of sounds were greatly amplified by the silence. Scarlet could feel her eyelids getting heavy as she continued to stare into the floating flame. The tiny bits of fire at the altar began to blur into smaller white lights. The blue flame Jonathan lit for her was the brightest among them.

      Concentrate on the battle
      , she thought. Take in the good and discard the bad…

      The battle in itself had been the well percisioned tango that John had choreographed. Floor after floor, they worked as a unit to dispatch the minions who stood in their way. With Scarlet’s knowledge of the place, they had made their way around the warehouse just fine. Even the Crab posed no threat to them. He was more of a source of amusement to them then a hindrance to their plan. The band of skeletons that were supposed to guard him was easily disposed of, leaving the crustacean to fend for his self.

      “My goodness, Scarlet,” Jonathan said as he set off a small shock to the creature. “When you said crab, I was expecting something … puny.”

      “Same here,” Marcus DuneRunner said as he tossed a wild bolt in the crab’s direction. “The last time I had a big crab dinner was… was…-”

      “A week ago,” Sarai BattleBreeze interrupted with a jab to Marcus’ side, “over in Moo Shu. I treated, remember?”


      “Yes, because I told you that for this gold, I could have cooked it better,” said Sarai. “As a matter of fact, I got a recipe for some crab bisque that I’ve been meaning to try out.” Her eyes darted ahead to her victim as she reared her wand back to strike.

      “HELP ME!”

      As they came to the top floor, there wasn’t the usual rush of minion running to attack. In fact, Estrakir didn’t even look in the group’s direction - like their presence wasn’t a major concern.

      “Just kill them already,” he hissed lazily to the rats and the large thuggish cat in his company.

      “Remember what I told you,” Jonathan whispered to Sarai and Marcus before they moved into position. “Scarlet, shield yourself. When the moment is right, summon him.”

      She knew what he’d meant and did what was asked.

      Looking back, Scarlet noticed how everyone worked well together in their own way. Even the enemy had a system to their madness.

      The rats shielded their boss while he geared up for his heavier attacks. The minions rarely shielded them selves or looked out for the others. They did all they could to protect Estrakir .

      Scarlet, Sarai, Marcus, and Jonathan did nearly the same, except they looked out and protected each other.

      Scarlet saw Jonathan look her way to see if she was ready. She nodded in response to his recognition. Jonathan then looked over to Marcus, who also gave the same nod in return. Then Jonathan tilted his hat towards Sarai, who smiled at his gesture before casting her spell.

      The ground shook violently in Estrakir’s direction. The wooden floorboards sprung up everywhere from underneath them. Whatever defensives Estrakir and his team had were immediately taken down as quake struck. The rats, sensing the danger, ran from their destruction.

      “IMBICLES,” Estrakir yelled as he watched them scurry.

      “Don’t worry, boss. I got’em.” Said the cat, Knuckles McCloud.

      Yet Knuckles proved useless as Jonathan cast out his Scarecrow. The poor creature tucked his tail and ran in the direction of the others.

      Should’ve called him sooner
      , Scarlet thought as she sent forth her Frost Giant to aid her.

      She wished she had never gone against her instincts when she saw his name on her compass.

      “I can see why you had trouble with this one,” Marcus said to Scarlet as he cast his Nova. Estrakir was still standing where his lackeys had left him. The embattled creature starred at them arrogantly as he tried to cast his own Nova. But the previous attacks left him so visibly shaken that his most powerful spell fizzled. “The man just won’t stay down.”

      Estrakir seemed to perk up at the mention of him. “Do you think that I would bow down to you so easily, mortal? Do you think this will be over? That this actually ends here?” Estrakir pulled out the key that everyone had been fighting for. It was the key that Scarlet had needed to find her lost friends. It was gold with blue gems studded at the handle. The gems seem to glow brightly from the magical energy it stored with in. He dangled it out in front of them like a carcass in front of a heck hound.

      “Give it up. It’s over,” Jonathan warned sternly. But his words fell short. Estiker raised the key up high, as if he were going to slam it hard into the surface. Jonathan, seeing what he was going to do, cast forth his Wraith to stop him.

      The death creature sapped the remaining life essence from Estrakir … but it did nothing to stop the squid’s momentum.

      When Estrakir fell so did the key.

      The small object only made a tiny sound when it hit the floor. But the energy that was stored within it burst out with such violence that it nearly blinded everyone in the room. Scarlet raised her hand to shield herself from its stunning radiance. As everything began to dim, she noticed something different from her scenery.

      Wha-? What happened?

      Her meditative state had her seeing the remnants of the battle from a different perspective. She was watching herself silently grow mad as she eyed the key that lay broken on the floor. She could see her hands flex in rage, opening and closing as if her restless fingers were waiting to feel someone’s neck. She could see how the beads of sweat easily camouflaged the tears she expressed. And yet, despite her rage, she could how she kept herself wound together, standing still as if unmoved by the fiasco. She could see Marcus and Sarai patting her on the shoulder in an effort to console her, but then quickly went about bickering on who paid the bill for the crab dinner.

      “I paid for the drinks!”

      “It was water, Marcus! It was free!”


      He was standing slightly ahead of Scarlet – her body that was in the room – starring out into the space that Estrakir had disappeared in. He wasn’t as disgruntle as Scarlet was, nor did he seem to have notice his comrades in the room.

      As she watched him, she saw him muttering something quietly. It wasn’t like how he was at altar where he chanted to himself; it was as if he was whispering something directly to someone. Scarlet looked around the room to see who else could there be, but it was clear to her that he wasn’t speaking to anyone in the room.

      If she hadn’t been so mad at the time, she could have caught what he had said. But in her meditative state, she was able to rewind the moment and pay closer attention to the missing details. She felt her herself slowing down as she tried to get closer to Jonathan to hear what he was saying. It was as if there was something trying to pull her out of her trance, something tugging hard at her to wake her.

      Concentrate, Scar.

      She gave up on moving towards him and focused, instead, on his lips as he was forming the words. Her mind couldn’t make out all the bits Jonathan had said, but she did catch one thing that stood out.


      At the instant she recalled the name, the force that she was fighting so hard against snapped her way from the room. She felt herself falling backwards from the warehouse, away from Regent Square, and out of the world of Marlebybone.


      She felt helpless as the force continued to pull at her body. Farther and farther she was being dragged into a sea of stars. The pulling sensation ceased and gravity took over, causing her to free fall into the open space. She turned to see where she might land as her rate of decent was moving fast. Worlds flew by one after the other as he continued to fall. As the cosmos streamed past her, there was one blue speck that stayed directly in her path.


      She could feel her rate of decent increase as she felt the wind sharply whip about her face. Scarlet desperately grasped at the open air, hoping that something would stop her fall. But nothing happened. She was so panicked that couldn’t even think of a spell that would protect her from hard impact.

      As quickly as it happened, she splashed down into the place she was so frantic to get to. She barley had time to brace her self, and felt disoriented when she looked at her surroundings. But then a sudden chill hit her as she soon realized that she was not on land, but under water…and sinking.

      Scarlet couldn’t swim.

      Fear began to set in as she felt her lungs started to tighten. She fought to hold the air that was left inside her, but every nerve in her body wanted her to inhale. She tried to move upwards to break the surface but was continually dragged down by her gear. The more she struggled to the surface, the more her lungs pleaded for air. And despite her frantic movements, she slowly sank to her doom.


      “SCARLET!” She found herself on the floor in front of Jonathan’s altar. He was kneeling beside her, eyes shaking, with a tight grip around her shoulders. “SCAR!” His rough tone scared her to her senses. Her trident flashed in her hand and aimed itself at his throat. Jonathan immediately raised his hands and slowly crouched away from her. She starred at him widely in disbelief then began looking around the room. “Scarlet, its me.” She looked at him once more, but still had a hard time comprehending what had just happen. Her death by drowning replayed in her mind. Her lungs ached at it took in the air she was gasping for. Jonathan reached out and lowered the tip of her trident to a more comfortable position. “Scar, its Jon…remember?”

      “How did I get back here?”

      “Back? You never left. We’ve been here drinking tea since we left the warehouse. Told you I had a better brew of leaves here and –!”

      "No, no. I was there…Celestia…I was in the water…about to… drown.” Scarlet tried to steady herself on her feet. She could still feel the oppressing weight of the ocean, sealing her soul in its watery tomb. She felt her body give way to gravity, but Jonathan quickly reacted and pulled her to the steps on the stairwell.

      “You’ve been with me here the whole time. We were just–” He paused as he realized what had happened. As she was coming to her senses, she began to realize too.

      “The meditation.” Scarlet looked towards the altar that they were standing in font of. The candle that Jonathan had light for her was extinguished on the floor.

      “You say you saw Celestia?"

      “More like fell into it.” She relayed to him her whirlwind flight through the cosmos and how she had almost drowned when she’d crashed into the ocean.

      “Anything else?”

      Scarlet thought over, “Wait. Who’s Morgana?”

      Jonathan didn’t answer. She could feel him appraising her again as if to find an answer to his own question. She didn’t fight him on it or wonder why he didn’t respond. The whole experience left her so drained that she wasn’t up to arguing.

      “Stay here.” Jonathan looked down at his compass as he stood away from Scarlet. “I have to answer this call.”

      “That’s O.K. I was going to see Professor Balestrom about –,” Scarlet tried to stand but her body wasn’t use to the solid ground yet. Jonathan eased her back on the steps where she was sitting.

      “Professor Balestrom said the he would call you when he was able to fix it.”

      “But I -.”

      “Scarlet DuneStaff, do not be in a rush to get where you’re going.” Jonathan then added, “Please.” It was an odd thing to hear him say; another quirk in that contradicting personality of his. She had always known him to be kind to her, but had never seen him be so gentle. “You will meet your destiny soon enough once the key is ready.”

      He stood back and gave her a look of warning that followed with a smile and a tilt of his hat. Scarlet didn’t say a word of protest as she sat back and quietly watched him leave.

      Weird. He used the door again…

      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 6-3-13 at 12:26:33 PM.

    10. #10
      mrsmcclnt's Avatar
        mrsmcclnt is offline Initiate Wizard

      • mrsmcclnt's Wizard Stats
        •  Wizard's Name:
        •  Scarlet DuneStaff
        •  Wizard's Level:
        •  90
        •  World:
        •  Azteca
        •  Wizard's School:
        •  Ice
        •  Pet's Name:
        •  Cosmos
        •  Pet's Type:
        •  Starfish
      Status: Between the Spiral Door a
      Join Date
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      PvP Tournaments Won

      Re: On the Horizon

      Chapter 6: Good Game

      The more she walked , the more her head began to clear. The more her head cleared, the more she felt like her self. Scarlet had walked around Jonathan’s house so much that she left and headed towards Wizard City.

      “This is more like it,” she said as she looked at the colorful fall trees that were lined along the country trail. The autumn wind blew hard against their branches, causing some of the leaves to fly about and dance around Scarlet. Nature’s playful display of magic had her feeling more whole and alert.

      I can see why life students get their strength in this.

      As she continued down the path towards the city gates, Scarlet thought back on both battles at the warehouse. Despite her friend, Scarlet FairyDust, being with her the first time it was still a hard fight to finish. They were lucky to get out with their lives. With Jonathan, Marcus, and Sarai’s aide the encounter with Estrakir went smoother from Scarlet’s previous experience. Yet still, it wasn’t an easy win.

      If those Celestians are anything like Estrakir, I’m gonna have a hard time finding them.

      Her heart dipped at the idea. Looking at the changing colors in the wind, she knew too much time had past since she saw her old friends. More often, Scarlet has had to rely on her faded pictures then her own memory of Boris and Esemee.

      I know you’re there. You have to be.

      As she approached the city walls, the sudden urge to run to the storm school ceased hold of her. Since dropping off the broken key, she had been checking with Professor Balestrom every hour to see if it was ready. Her vigilant follow up only disappointed herself and frustrate him in the process

      He would call you when he was able to fix it,” Jonathan’s words echoed out. She looked down at her compass to see that he was still in DragonSpyre, handling whatever business that had called him there. He must know, by now, that she was no longer waiting for him at his home. And she figured he would have a few choice words for her when he got back. But Scarlet didn’t care at the moment. She felt useless sitting at his steps while he was away. Just as useless as she felt at the warehouse fighting those minions.

      “There must be something for me to do.” As Scarlet looked towards the tunnel that led to the Commons, she took a deep breath to calm her nerves. She knew Professor Balestrom would not think kindly of her if she were to show up unannounced. And as curious as she was about Jonathan’s venture, it would do no good to teleport to his side when he had begged her to stay behind. Going back to her apartment would only make her more restless.

      My stubborn ways are going to be the death of me, Scarlet thought as she propped herself against a Unicorn statue.

      “Looks like you’re up to no good again,” said Mason MoonMask as he appeared from behind the statue.

      “Again? I didn’t realize I was causing any.”

      “That’s not what I’ve been hearing,” he chuckled as he casually leaned back on his broom. “Marylebone seems to be in an uproar since you left. Appears you have stirred up something since your visit.”

      “They’re just mad cause we had to clean up another one of their messes. They’ve been rather touchy since Meowiarty .”

      “Be that as it may, Scar,” Mason said with a cocky grin “you’re lucky you didn’t get thrown in their paddy wagon for treading on their turf.”

      “Their turf had school business on it, Mason. I’m sure Professor Balestrom and the Headmaster explained. Otherwise I would be in the back of that paddy instead of talking to you here. Speaking of which…” Scarlet paused as she looked around. She had been so focused on her boredom that she hadn’t noticed where she ended up. But the cross swords over a door on the other side of her made her position clear, “I should have known this was your neck of the woods.”

      “What? You mean the arena?” Mason asked.

      “You normally hang out there.”

      “It makes the time go by when you got nothing to do. Plus it keeps your skills sharp.” Both of which were something Scarlet needed.

      “I’ve never been good at dueling…friends…. I mean.” She never felt comfortable stepping back into the arena since the chaining incident either.

      “Well, if you like, I can give you a lesson. Show you what it takes to be a Warlord, like myself.” He looked rather smug as he said this: almost too self-assured and laid back. He was so laid back that she was surprised he hadn’t fallen off his broom. As he went on about his rise through the PVP ranks, Mason’s chest suddenly puffed as a couple of young female students passed by. Scarlet watched him as his lips curled ever so slightly, causing the young girls to walk away in a fit of giggles. Mason tried the same move on Scarlet, but gained little effect. She was not as impressionable as some of the newer wizards who patrolled Unicorn Way.

      “Well, I have nothing better to do,” she said.

      “Then step into my classroom, Ms. DuneStaff, where I’ll school you in the ways of dueling.”

      It didn’t take long for Mason to arrange for a practice session. Professor Diego was more then willing to lend the arena to one of his “brightest pupils”. The wind was still filled with nature’s enchantments as it rustled the grass on the playing field. The air was bright and crisp, smelling of old spices and mist wood. The mood was light between them, feeling more like playtime then something as serious as a duel; a far cry from her chaining experience. “OK, lets get started. Step in.”

      “What? No hold your wand like this or check your stance?” asked Scarlet.

      “Nah. Let’s think of this as an assessment,” Mason said as he impatiently motioned her to the spot across from him. Scarlet hop to it happily. She was glad to do something, even if that something was assaulting someone. But since it was Mason, it was all in good fun.

      He immediately shielded himself, to which Scarlet easily took down. Yet he continued the fight by putting up more defensives, keeping himself well protected in the process.

      Scarlet hacked away at him with spell after spell that she didn’t notice the trap she had set her self in. “OK. Good game,” he said.

      “What?” In one-shot Scarlet was down. Mason sent a Colossus swinging her way. Stars appeared and the usual spinning sensation swirled in head. Scarlet grabbed at her knees to keep from keeling over.

      “Now, what have you learned?” he asked.

      “Learned?” said Scarlet in amazement. “It was an assessment! How was I supposed to learn in that?”

      Mason did a tut-tut sound through his lips, “ Scarlet, Scarlet, Scarlet. Even in battle one is suppose to learn from their mistakes.” He whistled as he walked back to his position. “OK, Again!”

      This time, Scarlet shielded as he laid his assault on her. But it did no use when spell after spell, he sent a halo of frostbites to wear her down.

      She thought she saw an opening for an attack, but she failed to see the shield that protected him from her Frosty Giant. “Alright, Good game!”

      “WHAT?!” And before she knew it, she saw his Colossus’ sword swing, knocking her down yet again.

      Once more, Mason slid next to her with his eyes beaming wide and smiling, “OK. And what did we learn this time?”

      “That you’re a sick and sadistic trick! How is this helping?” Scarlet was about rear back and punch him when the sounds of clattering hooves caught her attention.

      “Senor MoonMask, how is the lesson going?”

      “Professor Diego, she is a hard woman to break but it is coming along.” Mason said with a rueful grin.

      “Ah, very well my disciple.” Diego looked to Scarlet and smiled. But he seemed concerned as he saw her heated expression towards Mason. “MoonMask, have you been beguiling your pupil?”

      “BEGUILING?!” Scarlet yelled.

      “Oh no, Professor. Scarlet is a naturally stubborn woman who is prone to anger easily,” Mason replied lazily. “She just like that.” Professor Diego nodded, as if he understood his take on her.

      “Ah, reminds me of Falmea and her fiery temper… among other things.” Professor Diego seemed to fade away in a memory as his eyes glazed over in thought. But he quickly came to as Mason cleared his throat to jog him out of his reverie. “Yes, well then. Tis best to remember what I’ve told about love and war, MoonMask.” To which he rambled off something in a language that Scarlet couldn’t understand, but Mason clearly did as he paid attention to every word his master offered.

      They both smiled at each other as Professor Diego finished. Diego turned to Scarlet and saluted her with his sword. The gesture made her girlish insides chuckle as he flashed his pearly whites before walking away. Mason tried to grin the same way, but it came across more as a mischievous taunt then a charismatic smile.

      “You know, let’s try this again,” Scarlet told Mason.

      “Sure, by all means.” Mason confidently strode back into position as Scarlet moved away. As she looked across the playing field, she was more determined then ever to wipe the smile off this face.

      With Scarlet going first, she remembered to cast dispel on him to keep him for casting too many shield or attacks. She then she cast a few shields of her own to keep her self protected. This went on for a while and kept her in the ring with him a bit longer then before. When she didn’t have a shield, she stole one of his when she saw him putting one up on his side.

      “Interesting,” he said as he saw that he was left open. She recognized this too and decided it was time to attack. Her colossus burst forth from the ice and swung at him. It caused some damaged but not a grand significant amount. Yet still, she was pleased to get one in on him. “Good, Scar. Good. But-.”

      Then it happened.

      He summoned his Frost Giant to aide him. As the mighty giant waved his hammer in the air, Scarlet thought how funny it was to be on the opposite end of its beating. As the mallet dropped on her head, the all-familiar dizzying sensation returned.

      She couldn’t move.

      “Good game,” Mason said.

      “What?” she muttered through the fog in her mind.

      The flash of steel appeared and she was down again.

      She didn’t have to look up to see that he was standing next to her. She didn’t have to view the joyful expression on his face as he readied himself to pose the same question that he had been asking since they started his little training exercise. And Scarlet didn’t have an answer to it. All she had were more questions to her inabilities coupled with a relentless rush of frustration.

      “So pointless. I’m never going to be good at this… no matter how hard I try.” Her defeated self turned away and began to walk off the field. But before she could get far, she felt something gently tug on her arm.

      “Scar, when you came to Ravenwood did you know all there is to know about magic?”

      “No, but-,”

      “And when you were assigned to Unicorn Way, did you know all then?”

      “Not really, but-,”

      Mason turned her around to face him, “And when you left Wizard City to go to Krock, did you know all about magic then?”

      “Not all, Mason, but-,”

      “And when you left Krock for Marleybone, Marleybone for MooShu, MooShu for DragonSpyre, and DragonSpyre for Grizzleheim … did you know all then?”

      “I knew enough, but not all! I’m mean, who can know ALL there is to know about magic! And have you been following me?” Scarlet managed to pull away from his touch but not from his gaze. There was a subtle austere quality about him that was hidden behind his playfulness. He looked sincerely concerned but was not overbearing with it. He smiled at her question, but then got to his point.

      “You knew enough, but you didn’t know it all,” he said. “When you started here in Wizard City, you were just as green as the grass on this lawn. But overtime, with experience, you came to learn what you needed to know.”

      Mason had a point; something she hated to admit. It was easier to stay mad at him when he was being arrogant. But she found herself relenting underneath his kindness. “OK. But it’s still not enough to beat you. Probably not enough to…” And again her heart dipped. Scarlet hesitated, fearing that if she said it out loud then she truly won’t be able to find her friends. She let out a deep sigh to restrain her fears from finishing her sentence.

      “Maybe not, and maybe not now. But eventually you will gain enough experience to figure out something.” He finished his pep talk with a different smile. It was more genuine this time from the ones he’d displayed before – less cheesy and superficial. She felt his concern and was so touched that she was about to smile back. But instead, Scarlet’s reflexes caused her to punch him in the shoulder.


      What was that for? she thought. “Thank you…. for not being a total jerk. And… I saw an opening so I had to take it,” she stammered out.

      “OK? And opening, huh?” Mason grimaced a bit as he rubbed the sore spot. Scarlet quickly turned to leave to keep herself from laughing…and smiling. “Hey! What are you doing for Halloween? It’s coming up pretty soon.”

      “Not sure. Kind of waiting on Professor Balestrom. He’s fixing something that I got from the warehouse.”

      “Oh. Wasn’t Jonathan DeathShield with you in Marleybone?” Mason asked.

      “Yea, and Saria BattleBreeze and Marcus DuneRunner too.”

      “Hmm. But you hang out with Jonathan a lot, right?” Mason asked again.

      Scarlet wasn’t use to being questioned about her personal life. No one really took an interest, so she was surprised from all the inquiry. “I guess? I might just be hanging out with him on Hallow Eve.”


      “Sure, I guess.”

      “Scarlet,” another strange little smirk rose across his face this time, “you like me don’t you?’

      “What?” And before she knew it, Mason swooped in to pull her close. Yet he did nothing but just held her in his arms.

      “I know you affections for me is real, and I appreciate that, but now is not the time.” He whispered to her.

      “What in blazes are you talking about, and why are you whispering?” She was so confused by the moment that she couldn’t think straight to react. She just stood there in his embrace, feeling dumbfounded as though the hammer had slammed against her again. Mason just put his finger on the top of her lips and did a shhh sound to silence her.

      Then he quickly backed away, doing a theatrical bow to his departure. Mason winked at Scarlet, but also did this strange nod to something in the distance.

      Scarlet didn’t turn to see what that odd gesture was about. She just shook her head at his gall for coming to her the way he did. But as the autumn breeze brought her to her senses, she picked up on something that made her realize why Mason was possibly acting the way he was…and why he had asked all those questions about her Halloween plans.

      The usual tingling down her spine would have served as her normal clue. But Mason’s lothario maneuver nixed her alertness to it. So Scarlet looked down at her compass to confirm.

      And when she saw it, she couldn’t help – for some reason - to feel totally embarrassed.

      “So… You like Mason MoonMask?”

      Last edited by mrsmcclnt; 12-27-11 at 10:51:01 PM.

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