Private Tales The Silence of Bones

A private roleplay only for those invited by the first writer

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh kept herself from skipping back to the mural, after all, she still had to make sure that she avoided the traps that Alistair had pointed out earlier. She didn’t want any accidents to happen, at least not now. Her and Alistair needed to be ready to go ahead and face the cult that was awaiting them. She hoped they were ready. She didn’t know what god or deity these cult members worshipped but she was ready to teach them faith had no place in the real world.

Interesting.” She said in regards to Alistair pointing at the mural. The corners of her lips tweaked down slightly as she ran her hand along the mural. She was looking for some sort of groove or crevice, maybe an indicator that a different material was used. It was hard to do so because the mural was painted, instead, colorful rocks had been plastered onto this wall. The waves were mesmirizing to look out, not to mention in some parts of the mural there were brightly decorated clams and fish. It was a lot for the eye to take in.

She knocked along some parts of the mural, the same sound resonating from the rap of her knuckles, before glancing back at Alistair, raising up a brow.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Alistair watched Everleigh get close to examine the mural and looked on for just a moment as she did not seem to have any success. His instinct had been to join her, but that would take too long, and insanity was just doing the same thing over again and expecting different results.

Instead, Alistair took a step back to get a look at the mural as a whole. The colorful rocks and the waves of the mural made the picture an assault of information. He could only imagine what it looked like hundreds of years ago.

He let his eyes get drawn around the mural. Where did the artist want to draw his vision? The primary lines of the art seemed to all point to a slightly off-centered point to the left. It was one of the creatures, who seemed to be holding some type of bright rock.

He moved over the picture before shooting a confident grin at Evie. The grin was more for himself than her, because if this did not work then he would look like an idiot. Alistair reached out and pressed the rock...There was a pause before the stone shifted inward. A grinding sound was heard as a small opening appeared in the wall.

Alistair wanted to yell out in victory, but that would be really stupid, so he just looked back to see Everleigh's expression.

"Not bad, right?"

Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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No, good job. Really.” Everleigh said. She did mean it but…. She would’ve figured it out later she was sure, her competitive edge told her that. A part of her would have liked to find it first, although that was just from the teachings at the academy. Or had been. Now they were promoting teamwork instead of focusing strictly on the individual being an unstoppable unit.

Maybe they got sick of all the dreadkids trying to kill each other off early before graduation came around. Everleigh shrugged that thought off. She had never really felt the need to kill everyone off whenever she was on a mission with them. After all, it’s not like many even dared to get close to her. She could poison the very air they breathed.

Let’s go. Guard up.” Everleigh whispered, and this time she moved first because really, this secret tunnel was very narrow. Her lance couldn’t be used, not even Alistair’s sword. They were in quite a predicament if this tunnel didn’t widen up and they were somehow met by cultists along the way. But luckily Everleigh had her flat blades and she pulled two out, one for each hand, and while her eyes were glowing gold she licked the sharp edges without cutting her tongue. Practice made perfect after all.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Well, Alistair would have liked a bit more of a reaction, but he supposed what he got was pretty impressive for the Academy. Praise wasn't really something you gave other students, so it was not a big problem.

Everleigh seemed set on going in first, and he had no problem with that. He was not suited for fighting in such a cramped space. He pulled out his dueling dagger, so if they were attacked then he could at least support Evie in the battle.

"Right behind you."

Hopefully, they would just get through this tunnel before they ran into anyone. The tunnel was narrow, and it did not allow Alistair to stand up to his full height which really annoyed him. Were all of these cultists just short? The hallways also smelled of a damp mold like one would find near the ocean...Which really did not make sense considering that they were in the desert.

The tunnel seemed to be set at a slight decline, so they were going even deeper underground. He activated his night vision in the hopes that it gave him just a slightly better view.

"How far do you think this goes?"


Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh glanced back at Alistair and proffered a shrug at his question. She kept quiet not because she didn’t know the answer to his question but rather it was because she was feeling a prickle of nervousness envelope over her. They were going down deeper. Why did that feel so wrong? Everleigh wasn’t quite sure herself why it did, and she was often on par with understanding her emotions. Or at least understanding why she might be feeling nervous.

And then it hit her. This just felt like a trap. She was reminded of the first time she had witnessed her cravings. She was four years old, playing out in a field. Her mother and father had always warned her about snakes, spiders— anything that could bite. She obeyed that rule, really, she truly did. Until that oily feeling appeared, deep within her gut. For three days Everleigh couldn’t eat normal food, she was bedridden and sick although the only thing she had was an upset stomach. She wanted to go outside and play and so she did, sneaking out from her mother’s watchful gaze.

That was when she discovered the oily feeling got stronger if she went in certain directions. She followed her gust—quite literally in this case— and saw a hole in the ground. It was there, somehow she knew it, inside that hole was the thing she was starving for. Everleigh had gotten down on all fours and stuck her little hand inside, only to be met with searing pain. When she pulled her hand back it was too late, a small snake that was red with yellow and black rings had bitten her.

She bit it back. She kept biting, eating half it’s body. Everleigh was supposed to die. But she didn’t.

As they continued further downward, that oily feeling wasn’t there. There wasn’t poison down here, but rather a ominous presence. It was like that moment before she had stuck her hand into the snake hole. A frisson overtook her. Somehow, the poison eater’s intuition was telling her that whenever they got to the bottom, whatever they were about to see, it could very well cause their deaths.

It’d be a lie to say that Everleigh wasn’t somewhat overjoyed.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Everleigh just shrugged at him...no witty comeback or roguish remark. Alistair was not stupid and could recognize when his allies were worried. It wasn't completely unwarranted. The deeper they went underground, the less likely a chance to run. At this point, if they fought then it would be to the death, for them or whoever was down there.

The first thing they had fought was a bit of a challenge, and Alistair could only assume that things would get tougher for them. He should have been scared, and a part of him was, but a larger part of him continuously questioned what was on the other side of the darkness in front of them. An overwhelming curiosity that told him the next unknown he discovered could be the thing that changed his life. That could be for ill or good, but that curiosity also told him that whatever he discovered would be good. It made jumping into dangerous situations a lot easier.

He used this moment of silence to try and hear for anything up ahead, but more silence met him, only interrupted by Evie and his own footfalls.

"We should be getting close. It can't be going much deeper."

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Salt hung heavy in the incredibly moist air, there was a sort of humidity that Everleigh had only experienced when she had gone to the Ixchel Wilds. Her violet bangs were plastered to her forehead due to the sweat from earlier and the humidity. She felt damp just about everywhere.

It unnerved her.

Electricity might not be the best tool for us this time,” in a more arid climate they would be fine, but this tunnel was growing more and more dank by the second. What would they be greeted with below? They soon found out and Everleigh’s prediction was unfortunately correct: at the end of the tunnel was an immensely large and vast cavern, with a layer of water that went up to their knees. Everleigh frowned, and looked around and realized, there was an eerie glowing light about.

It was a soft blue light and it seemed to be emanating from crystals lodged within the walls, stalagmites and stalactites. Everleigh blinked, rubbing the rune she had drawn on her temples, the magic going away. It was quite well lit. She looked back at Alistair, placing her flat blades back and pulling out her sword. Despite the light from these crystals, the waters were dark.

Alistair Krixus
 
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The air was...unsettling. It just didn't make sense to Alistair. Even with magic, for the environment to be so...aquatic when they were in the middle of the desert. It just made no sense to him. The salty air left a bad taste in his mouth. Was that foreshadowing for the future?

"Agreed."

The answer to his unsaid question was soon apparent as they entered the next cavern. What the fuck was this? Every possible alarm was going off in his head. Hundreds of scenarios were flashing through his head and way too many of those scenarios involved tentacles popping up out of the water and dragging them under.

"Oh, this is going to suck." He whispered to nobody in particular.

He drew out his sword and immediately became far warier of his surroundings. He deactivated the runes granting him dark vision. He attempted to steady his breathing.

Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh looked back at Alistair, even with that whisper, there was a slight echo in the room. Shen then reached out a hand, motioning for him to give her his sword.

Alistair,” she said, trying to keep her tone as hushed as possible but it was hard. There were noises in the cavern, scuttling noises, dripping water, and other things. The gentle slosh of water against gnarled rock. “Give me your sword.” Her eyes began glowing gold. “And no matter what, keep it away from your face at all times.” It was do or die for them at this point and Everleigh figured she may need to pull out all the stops.

Alistair Krixus
 
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No, not his sword. For just a moment, Alistair was worried that Everleigh was going to take his sword for the inevitable battle. He really liked his sword. Those worries were not worried as he spotted her glowing eyes. Oh, she was going to coat his sword.

"Right."


He handed over his sword while activating a few runes on his clothes that affected strength and reaction speed. There was no guarantee for a battle at this moment, but this area was too strategically dangerous. He could not afford to not be ready. The quickest moment could be the end of him. It seemed that Evie was thinking the same thing.

"I don't make a practice of it...Although, I guess I'll have to stop kissing the blade." He said sarcastically.

Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh raised a brow at the sarcasm, taking his sword and opened her mouth before pausing. It was strange now. Everleigh had always coveted every facet of her abilities as best as she could. To this day she was still doing so. There were things even the proctors were unaware of and she liked that. She glanced down at Alistair’s sword, debating if she should explain.

I have a rune on the back of my neck,” she said, “my eyes glow because of it. Because my magic is so dangerous, proctors needed some sort of visual aid to understand when my magic is being activated.” She hadn’t admitted that to anyone. Not to Liliana. Not to Tinker. Not to Liza. Not to Zael. No one knew about the rune on the back of her neck, or rather, if they saw it, no one could piece it together to her eyes glowing. Why would they? “I haven’t seen the dreadlord who placed that rune on me since before the revolution.” She shrugged and then brought Alistair’s sword up to her mouth.

With eyes still glowing gold, she looked right into Alistair’s blue eyes as she used her tongue to glide over the sharp edges, not cutting herself and yet able to maneuver her tongue just so so that everything was coated in quick, easy, long swipes.

If my eyes are glowing gold, keep it away from your face because you don’t know how many things I can do with just some spit on a sword.” Everleigh warned, handing Alistair back his sword before turning her back to him. “Now let’s go.” She said. “Hopefully you won’t have to see that trick I’ve been saving for graduation.”

Alistair Krixus
 
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Alistair did not look away when Everleigh locked eyes with him. His curiosity about this new information led him to look at her eyes with new interest. He had always thought the glow was a natural part of her magic, only to find out that it was nothing more than a safety precaution.

"I'll be sure to keep that in mind."

He gratefully took the sword back but did take special care to keep the sword away from his face. When Everleigh turned her back on him, a small part of him wanted to look for the rune and inspect it. How was it made? His self-control kept him from looking too closely. It would have been rude and it might be a sore subject.

"Fucking morons."

Alistair mumbled under his breath as he thought more about what Evie had said. The proctors always claimed that they were trying to turn them into the perfect weapons and make them stronger, but then they forced some sort of signal on Evie's magic even though her ability to hide the use of her powers would be incredibly helpful for the nature of her gift.

"I'm not positive on this, but I can take a look at the rune...maybe I can figure out how to remove it, or cancel it if you want."


Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh looked back at Alistair, stopping for a moment.

I’d appreciate that. I think the plan was to remove it before graduation. It’s been about eighteen months since I’ve last seen them.” She said and shrugged. “Knowing how they were, they’re probably dead. Or maybe in exile. Who knows.” Everleigh looked back to the front of her, wading through these strangely dark waters. “I’ve tried doing some research, it’s a little hard when you can’t see it though. I feel like it’s tattooed into my skin.” Another light shrug. Everleigh wasn’t going to get her hopes up.

What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?” That would be the last of this vital piece of information about her. She didn’t like sharing, even if it was something very benign. Alistair was one of the more studious initiates and had a good head on his shoulders so Everleigh had to be careful with how much she divulged. She was still unsure how graduation would commence. Would they fight each other still? Without killing one another?

As they moved further through the cavern it was then that Everleigh recognized something. That saltiness, it wasn’t just salt, was it? Something more metallic seemed to float in the air. Was it from the rocks? Those weird illuminating crystals? Everleigh frowned and placed a hand into the water, and held it up. Her eyes widened and she looked over at Alistair, showing him her hand.

It was red, a slightly watered out crimson. This water was so dark because of blood.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Alistair just nodded his mind turning to how he might solve the problem. Runes in the skin were never easy. He had plenty of experience, but depending on the structure and what culture the rune derived from, then he could potentially add a few more lines to change the function of the run or maybe just make the run inert.

He had never tried it on himself, but he had a ready plenty of books on the practice. All of those books were in the restricted section of the Academy because skin runes while incredibly powerful although fed on one's life force...and the price was never cheap. Everleigh was probably lucky because the runes only served as a marker for innate magical abilities, and did not provide any benefits.

By now, Alistair had also noticed the scent of the room. It was so thick, he could almost taste it, nothing like salty metal to really get the saliva glands up to and running.

His attention was pulled over to Everleigh as she pulled her hand up. He grimaced at the sight. So the smell was iron, they had figured that out. Alistair scanned around the room once more and a sick feeling rose in his stomach.

"That's a lot of blood...Let's get moving."

Everleigh Ebersol
 

Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh nodded her head, a serious look on her face. She didn’t want to waste more time in this cavern with blood-filled waters, but she did wonder where all the blood was coming from. She began walking again, her gaze roving over places where she felt like people could hide only to discover that nothing was there. The crystals were handy in lightening every nook and cranny up. But then she caught sight of something peculiar, hidden by the staglimites. She pointed at it before walking closer to it.

It looked like wood and rope and… a ladder! Now that was definitely placed there by some crazy cult members. It was out of reach for Everleigh, even at a decent five foot six inches and standing on the tips of her toes, it was too far away. She looked at Alistair, glancing at his arms.

You might have to let me get on your back if you can’t reach it.” She murmured to him.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Alistair's attention was primarily focused on the blood as they moved to wait for a sudden attack that he was sure would come from the liquid, but it never did. He looked back up when Everleigh pointed out the ladder. With a slight nod, he moved over to try and grab the ladder, but it was too far away. He attempted to jump, but once again it was just out of reach...

"I don't suppose I can get on your back?" Alistair asked without a change in tone as he turned to look at Evie. He held the look for a few seconds before shaking his head with a smirk.

"Just a joke. Here, I'll give you a lift."

He knelt down on one knee so she could use it to stand on his shoulders. He felt the wetness on his downed knee and grimaced. He was often covered in blood after battles, and that was rarely a problem. There was just something grotesque about it when he had done nothing to cause all the bloodstains.

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh’s lips quirked up at Alistair’s joke and she glanced over at him with eyes filled with mirth and mischief. He had just said it was just a joke but there was a part of her that desperately wanted to play along— especially since Alistair didn’t joke around much. At least not often with her.

Next time you can be on my shoulders, Alistair, and if I fall over then you need to go on a diet. Fair?” She teased, stepping up onto his thigh and then fluidly bringing her other leg over onto his shoulder. She was surprised to see it was rather sturdy, definitely nowhere near as petite and delicate as her own. Her other leg went up onto his shoulder and she patted his head.

You know, you’re kinda buff, Al, I was worried about my thighs looking massive around your head and all but you’re not as slight as I thought you were.” The purple initiate said with an easy going smile, and when Alistair stood up to his full height she reached up and with ease could bring the ladder down. There was a knot that she had to undo and when she deftly completed that she was able to bring the rope ladder down with one massive pull.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Diet? Alistair glanced down at his body and quickly dismissed the idea. Every aspect of Alistair's body was carefully managed. His diet was already planned out weeks ahead, along with his exercise routine. He was very particular about his training regime, partially because it kept the proctors off his back. If he looked and acted fit, then they rarely requested additional workout sessions.

The added weight of Evie onto his shoulders was minimal when Alistair was prepared to handle it. He was confident in his muscles, his lean build was not doing him many favors, but he was confident that was definitely strong for someone of his size and frame. Still, he could not help but point out a flaw in her comment.

"My head doesn't really get bigger along with my muscles, so your thighs are still probably bigg... never mind." No, some instinctual part of Alistair that it was best not to finish that sentence. Better just to serve as a base and keep his mouth shut.

Everleigh Ebersol
 
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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh chuckled and playfully patted Alistair’s head once again before deciding that he did deserve a light squeeze. She pressed the inside of her thighs against his neck, before crossing one leg over the other. A majority of the fighting style Everleigh had focused on was heavily focused on her legs. It was why perhaps her upper body was a bit more neglected, however not many could handle a kick from her. Or if she planned to choke them out between her muscular thighs.

Alistair, for the most part, the only part most ladies want to hear about their body is whether or not they have that… ah, what’s it called? Oh! A hourglass figure.” She laughed, uncrossing her legs, and with flexible dexterity spread her legs further out a part, placing her hands at the base of his shoulders where it connected with his neck. “Although, it’s fine, my thighs are bigger than some others, right? That just means I’m faster and stronger than them.” Everleigh said cheekily, thinking about how she dominated the war games exercise in the speed department.

With fluid ease, pressing a majority of her balance on her two hands, she slid off of Alistair’s back, landing down easily behind him. She then patted his shoulder.

Good job. Now let’s get going.” She said and began climbing up the ladder. There was a wooden slab at the top and Everleigh was able to lift it up with one hand, slowly moving it out of the way. When the slab was out of the way, all that could be seen was a dark hole waiting to swallow them. She climb up and went back to activating her dark vision.

They seemed to be in some sort of office. There were books and strange sacrificial pictures and artifacts lying about the room.

Alistair Krixus
 
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Alistair was dealing with some complicated feelings. On one hand, most men his age would be a little excited about his legs like Everliegh's wrapped on his head, and he was no different. However, on the other hand, she was part of a select group of people that could actually kill him from this position, which was not unheard of in the Academy.

That was why he felt nervous energy rise up when he felt the light squeeze, but Evie quickly released him and she sighed, along with a little bit of a blush.

"You look beautiful Evie. Your thighs match your strength and that is attractive."


Funnily enough, that comment did not make Alistair blush, because he wasn't saying it in any flirtatious way, but more as a simple fact. Why would Alistair find someone attractive if they were essentially useless? The whole attraction to princesses and those that were essentially dolls never made sense to him.

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Everleigh Ebersol

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Flattery will get you nowhere with me, Al,” Everleigh murmured, beginning to poke around the room. She picked up a large curved dagger, the hilt being so decorative and ornamental she was certain the only purpose of the knife was too look pretty. “Even if you’re speaking the truth.” It couldn’t be seen but the poison eater was blushing. She hardly got compliments about her appearance, violet hair and eyes usually had many glowering at her when she walked the streets of Vel Anir, assumptions of her being elf or half-elf was common.

Words like beautiful or attractive? Especially towards a human weapon of mass destruction? Especially when someone like Alistair intimately knew of her capabilities? Practically unheard of. She appreciated it, though, not that Everleigh would ever dare to tell Alistair something of that sort.

Oh, hey,” Everleigh said, her gut feeling coming alive. She placed the dagger back from where she had grabbed it and started rummaging through the small desk, pulling out the draws until she found it. She held up a sack and breathed in deeply. Her eyes widened. She recognized this. “Alistair, ever heard of Lucidity?” She opened up the bag and sure enough there was a finely milled powder. If there was light in this room then the powder would have a gossamer reflection.

It’s a drug. It’s crazy how it makes you feel. Like you’re out of your body but not, and all your senses are incredibly heightened. Time feels like it’s no longer moving.” She shook her head. “It’s extremely addictive. They use it a lot in a lot of… slave trafficking circles.” Everleigh didn’t need to voice how she thought this drug would be perfect in a cult as well. Great way to initiate new members and have them believe in whatever sea-god they celebrated.

Alistair Krixus
 
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"I don't flatter. I'm just speaking facts."

Alistair said simply as he was currently busy flipping through a few of the books found in the office. He was so focused that he did not notice any of the blushing, but what he did notice was that some of the information this cult was trying to pedal was truly weird. The books spoke on ancient sea gods lost in the void, other dimensions that served as prisons...a bunch of nonsense if you asked him.

He did not get a chance to read deeper into the books when Evie pulled out a back and Alistair felt the hairs on his arms stand at attention. Oh, he knew what Lucidity was, all too well. He even recognized the faint scent that came when the sack was opened.

The drug had been the reason for much of his own, and his family's struggles. The Krixus family was known as apothecary and alchemical merchants that sold many mixtures and materials...It also meant that as the family began to struggle financially, the family started to discretely sell such drugs to addicts. If that had been all that had happened then he would not have cared, but...

His father's activities in the drug trade had led his mother to experiment with drugs such as Lucidity. That experimenting led to outright addiction shortly before he was born...Alistair had never known a time when his mother was not an addict. She was kept out of public society, his father treating her more like some sort of pet and not his wife...Yes, he knew what Lucidity was.

"I've heard of it. You thinking what I'm thinking?"


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Everleigh Ebersol

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We get higher than Chasmine at the Solstice Ball?” Everleigh said easily before shrugging, probably wasn’t her best joke and wasn’t going to be her last bad joke. “It could be useful. You’re right. I can replicate this, but large quantities of something this complicated takes time.” She then handed the sack to Alistair. “You keep it. Just in case.” She had no idea about his dealings— or rather his families’ dealings— with drugs.

All she knew was that she had consumed many, many things. Crocodile was by the worst, at least Lucidity made you feel good.

Think we’ll find anything interesting in here or should we just move on?

Alistair Krixus
 
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Before Alistair could protest, the sack was placed into his hand. It felt heavy, heavier than it actually was. There was a sick feeling in his stomach from being so close to the stuff. Still, this wasn't the place to bring out any of his issues. He forced himself to tie the sack to his belt, and then he did his best to forget it was there.

Think we’ll find anything interesting in here or should we just move on?
"Yeah, but we can just come back for this stuff when we are finished. We don't want any of this stuff to weigh us down right now."

He looked down at the book he had been scrolling through and closed it. Knowledge was always useful, but there was always a right time and place for it.

"Let's just go and end this."


The memories of his mother had placed Alistair in a sour mood and he was ready to take it out on somebody, preferably someone with tentacles.

Everleigh Ebersol
 
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Everleigh Ebersol

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Everleigh raised a brow at Alistair’s direction and tilted her head slightly to the side, focusing on his reaction. He had a good poker face, she’d give him that, but something was off, and only someone who employed similar tactics such as herself could understand that the sack full of lucidity was bigger than it seemed. At least to Alistair. Now wasn’t the time to bring it up, maybe after they got rid of the cult she could prod him on it.

She was curious after all, and strangely enough, it seemed that Alistair had opened up to her more now than he had ever before throughout all the years they had known each other. Of course, that’s how the academy liked to keep things.

We’ll come back.” Everleigh agreed and then opened the only door in the room. They were greeted by a hallway that was actually lit with torches. It was remarkably long and had quite a bit of width to it so that three people could walk side by side comfortably together.

Heads for left, tails for right sounds good to you?” Everleigh said, picking up a coin and then flipping it. Tails. “Right it is.” The purple initiate said, placing the coin back and then heading off to the right. Her eyes were glowing purple, just in case, and it was obvious that her body was poised for any sort of attack. She went straight to the door at the end of the hallway and opened it, peeking about inside.

Oh.” She whispered and then looked back at Alistair. “It’s a mess hall I think?

Alistair Krixus