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 Time Shift

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PostSubject: Time Shift   Tue May 01, 2018 7:33 pm

Chapter One

Amarande Tenebris stood regal with both of her hands curled around the banister of the balcony that overlooked the courtyard of House Tenebris. Illuminated gardens were filled with night blooming plants and nocturnal herbs. A man-made waterfall; provided by the Elemental Mages, gave the courtyard a serene atmosphere. Her lean, but curvaceous figure was enveloped in a simple black dress that hugged each contour of her body. The long sleeves were pushed up, revealing forearms that were shackled in silver bangled bracelets. Her jet-black hair was cut short, styled almost asymmetrically and showcased the left half of her face while shrouding the right half in both shadow and mystery.

"There you are, Amarande." King Mathias Tenebris; Head Archmage of Sanguimancers for House Tenebris stood in the open doorway of the balcony. His tall frame illuminated by the dancing candle light from the large sitting room behind him. Long dark hair, nearly as black as her own, hung past lean but broad shoulders. High sculpted cheekbones and full, nearly sinful lips gave him a slight androgynous appearance. His piercing red eyes and arched brows could have easily pegged him for some kind of villain in a movie. He stood proud and regal with both hands clasped behind his back.

Though he appeared to be the same age as Amarande, Mathias was in fact several centuries older. He had stopped aging when his brother Alreyear Tenebris; former Elven Mage, had begun his descent into the mysterious arts of Blood Magick and created the first Vampire and founded the class of Sanguimancy.

She turned her head, glancing over her shoulder towards the man she called her father.

"What is it, Papa?" The urgency in his voice had her turning to face him. House Tenebris had been approached recently by the other Houses of Magi, petitioning them for aid. A recent chain of events had unfolded, creating the possibility of an approaching war with a large faction of rogue Mages that sought the power and influence of the Houses themselves.

He moved to join her at the balcony, remaining silent as he placed his own hands on the banister and peered out into the courtyard below which was now just starting to bustle with life. Armored Battlemages and Sanguimancers moving with haste.

"We must move you to the Winter Estate, my love." He admitted.

"For what purpose, father?" She inquired, folding her arms across her chest with a jangle of bracelets. If there was to be a War coming, she wanted to be front and center, fighting alongside her people, her family. She did not want to be coddled.

"The other Houses are gathering for War, Amarande. These Rogue Mages must be stopped."

"Absolutely not. I belong fighting, father. I am quite capable of handling myself in battle."

Mathias reached up and placed the palm of his hand against the side of her face, fingers delving into the dark wealth of her hair.

"I know, Amarande, better than anyone just how capable you are. You are the most powerful of us all, myself included. And that is why you must flee. You must live to fight another day, to carry on the Legacy of House Tenebris."

She placed her hands against his, holding it to her. "Please, do not ask this of me, father."

"I am sorry, my dear, but I must. There is no one else I trust enough to do this. There is no one powerful enough."

When she moved her eyes away from him, he took her face in both of his hands and forced her to look at him.

"When the time comes, you must return to the estate and lay claim to what is rightfully yours. It will be in the Catacombs, protected by wards that only you can break through. Whatever is in the Vaults is yours. You will carry on living should we fail."


"Do you understand, Amarande?" He interrupted her with a stern voice, sterner than he had ever used on her in her entire life.

Her red gaze searched his. The depth of emotion and sincerity that was held within his eyes gave her no room to refuse. With her throat constricting and her eyes filling with bloody tears, she nodded once.

"I understand, father. I will do as you command."

There had been no other time for goodbyes. Her brothers Mikal, Reiko, Akerid, and Lazio were already issuing commands to the Apprentices in their charge. She had collected a few things from her rooms, personal belongings that she would need for the long trek to their Winter estate in the mountains. Beside her was Serapis Varna; heir to House Varna and the Elemental Mages. Like her, he had proved to be more powerful in his abilities than his father. It was apparent that they would both be secluded away in order to carry on their families should the worst come to pass. With them was one of King Mathias' Battlemage guards, Crone. The War hardened veteran barely spoke more than a few words, but she couldn't deny that he was one of the very best of them and undoubtedly the best choice to join them on this venture.

"You have gathered what you require, Ms. Tenebris?" The Battlemage asked with his gruff and husky voice.

"Yes, Crone." She replied, adjusting the near floor length hooded trench coat of dark red leather. It was such a dark red that it was nearly black. The inside lining, however, was a rich blood red and provided custom holders for vials of potions and poultices. Amarande reached into one of the hidden inside pockets and removed fingerless leather gloves that matched the coat. She tugged them onto her hands as the unique trio crossed the courtyard. She took one last glance up at the balcony at her father. He stood with his hands on the rail, watching them. He gave her a nearly imperceptible nod of which she returned before turning on her heel. She had never looked back and that was the last time she had ever seen King Mathias Tenebris alive.

She never flinched when the needle bit into her skin. Her face was a perpetual mask of indifference that seemed to unnerve the young Healer that was drawing her blood, what precious little of there was left. It was a hard commodity to come by these days, especially after the Great Collapse. Blood was in short supply and for Mythos, that was a very bad thing. She was the last of her kind; Vampirius Sanguis, a very long line of Vampiric Sanguimancers. They had once been a proud people, but now they were nothing more than ashes. Perhaps that was why she constantly had that infernal "resting bitch face" plastered across her expression.

"Must you frighten my Apprentices, Mythos?" Came Syrah’s breathy, hushed tone as the half-mech Mage stepped gracefully into the room. The Healer had the Enchanters augment her body after the Great Collapse when nearly half of her face had been crushed. They had implanted a new form of technological enchantment that enabled the Archmage Healer to increase her abilities as well as provide her with the capability to see a patient internally without having to Astral Project herself into his or her body. A nifty little gift.

Mythos shifted her unnerving red gaze away from the young Apprentice and towards Syrah. She snorted faintly in lieu of laughter.

"I assure you, Syrah, it is not intentional."

"I know and I think that is what unnerves them the most. I would hate to think of your expressions when you are angry."

"Ask Myth. He knows."

The Healer scoffed, taking the vial full of the Sanguimancer's blood the moment the Apprentice handed it to her. Her silver, metallic skin shrouded faintly by the hood of her robes.

"I think he unnerves the Apprentices intentionally." The Archmage replied, lifting the vial up to the third eye. There was a subtle beep and hum as the advanced technology scanned the sample for any imperfections. "You are in the clear, Mythos. There are no foreign bodies and you seem to be producing a greater red blood cell count than the last time. Have you fed recently?"

"Yes." She did not elaborate further, nor did she offer the information that she had a willing donor. During the last mission, she had been badly wounded. Stabbed in the chest by a metal spike that had been triggered by one of the Apprentice Battlemages. A trap that had been lying in wait. Myth; who had surprisingly offered to accompany them, had made an even more surprising offer when he had told Mythos to take his blood. Neither of them had spoken further on the matter, but she could feel his thoughts, his emotions knocking at the corner of her mind. She knew that if she opened it further, she would be able to communicate with him telepathically. Feeding almost always created some kind of a bond. Mental, emotional, physical. Especially when a Sanguimancer was involved.

"Good. Whatever regimen you have placed yourself on, maintain it if possible. It seems to be working pleasantly."

The Vampire nearly squirmed. If only Syrah knew the extent of it. Turning her gaze down to her arm, Mythos rolled the sleeve back down. On her right middle finger was a trio of thick black bands tattooed on her skin. There were also the black arcane markings of her people along the back of her right hand that disappeared beneath the black and red leather coat she was seldom seen without. Along the front of her neck were the same arcane marks of her station, a reminder of her Kin.

"I was told to inform you that Myth has called an emergency Coven meeting tonight. If you could pass the word along to the others?"

The Healer nodded. "Of course. Take care of yourself, Mythos and come see me if there are any concerns."

She nodded once and turned on her heel without saying another word. The sound of her loosely laced and severely worn boots falling like whispers along the metal grating of the Clinic. Mythos adjusted the strap of the bag she carried on her right shoulder. Inside was Damask, nestled comfortably in a bed of black silk. The rare red and clear crystal acted as a focus and would enable her to harvest any blood she could from her enemies. It purified the blood, ensuring that she would be able to absorb a pure source instead of a tainted one. As she descended the stairs, she pulled the hood of her coat up, shrouding her features in shadow and blocking out the harsh light from the flickering artificial bulbs overhead. Umbra was a city of near perpetual Darkness and for those that did not have Night Vision, they had to use what they were able to salvage.

She remained silent as she passed the desolate streets; broken and cracked, a reminder of the atrocity that had occurred in the past decade alone. She remembered well what the world had looked like before it's untimely end. Full of green, light, and life. Now it was dark, foreboding, and barren. A few blocks north of the Clinic was a secured and secret entrance to the Nexus. It was concealed by a blend of optical illusion, technology, and good old-fashioned construction. Without stopping, Mythos turned her right arm over and depressed a series of codes into the small HUD display that popped up from the skin of her inner forearm. The glowing red symbols were arcane runes, a code that only few were able to decipher. There was a small hiss and a pop as the mechanical seals and pistons opened the hatch. What had once been an operating stone fountain slid open with a faint expulsion of mist. Metal grated stairs led down into a dark passage that would illuminate only when the hatch resealed.

The Vampire let her hypersensitive gaze pierce the surrounding darkness, ensuring that she was truly alone before descending down into the tunnel. The moment her head was clear, the hatch slid back into place and anyone passing by would be none the wiser to what truly lay beneath their feet.

Bright cyan hued lights flickered to life and for a moment, Mythos had to shield her eyes from the harsh glare as she dug out a pair of dark tinted glasses to slide over her sensitive orbs. Once the glasses were in place, she followed the rather long passage that would lead her almost directly to the Nexus itself. Behind large enchanted doors was the hub of activity. Merchants selling what they could scavenge, others making things from salvaged items. The Archmages tried to ensure that there were no black-market deals, but unfortunately, they did not have eyes everywhere and there were times when some arcane items slipped past their radars and into the hands of those who either didn't know the items value or did not know how to properly handle it. Those were the people that were the most dangerous.


Hearing her name caused the Archmage to stop in her tracks and lift her head up. Though her face was shrouded in shadow, the harsh cyan lighting caused her to squint. Others would be doing the same, but more so for the fact that they could not see where as she could see too well. Except for the blasted lighting!

"Is there something I can help you with, Scav?" She inquired, raising her left hand to shield her vision from the light, even with the darkness of the glasses. Scav was a well-known Scavenger; hence the nickname, that would always bring unique items to their attention or pass along information. He was a homely man in his mid-thirties, crooked teeth and with a pock marked complexion. But he had a heart of gold and that was what counted. She had witnessed him herself sharing his food with hungry children which was unfortunately common. She watched his mousy brown eyes shift, searching around them for any eavesdroppers.

"Whispers in the Underground tell me fingers might have found Bloodwalker." He whispered harshly, leaning closer towards her. Bloodwalker had been the fabled staff of Alreyear Tenebris that had hardly ever left the man's possession. The fact that someone had either seen it, or found it, either meant the man was dead or without that staff.

"Who's fingers?" Mythos asked feeling a familiar anxious feeling swamp her.


"Shit." The Ravagers were a rag-tag group of non-Magickal humans that were becoming a very big problem. They took what they wanted from who they wanted and didn't care about the consequences. Their current base of operations was the ruins of the Tenebris estate. Her home. They were numerous and lethal.

"I already told Myth."

She was almost taken aback. "You did?"

The man nodded. "Yes. I think it is why he is calling your Coven meeting."

Mythos reached into one of her pockets and removed a priceless heirloom. The ring had been her mothers, one of the only pieces of her past she had been able to find. She handed the silver trinket to him, closing his fingers around it.

"This should set you up comfortably for some time. Start that shelter you wanted for the children."

The look of sheer joy on Scav's face was certainly worth parting with the last token of her mother, a woman who had died during child birth.

"That was very generous of you, Mythos." A deep voice rumbled from behind her when the Scavenger practically skipped away, quite possibly to acquire the credits that ring would bring him.

"I have my moments." She replied, turning her head slightly towards the voice. Myth stood behind her in all his dark glory. Long jet-black hair blended in with the floor length black leather coat. Beneath it black leather pants clung to narrow hips, powerful legs and showcased other regions of his anatomy that almost immediately drew the eye's attention. It took all of Mythos' will not to look. His large hands were gloved and clasped behind his back in a posture of regal arrogance. A strong jaw was clean shaven, showing off that sinful mouth and prominent cheek bones, but it was always his eyes that captivated her. A blazing turquoise that seemed to glow from within, flickering like dancing blue-green flames.

"You should show them more often."

The Sanguimancer snorted faintly in lieu of a response, almost as if to say: yeah, right.

"I am glad I caught you. I would like to speak with you in private if I may."

"Very well." She replied, following behind him when he turned on his heel and made his way back through the Market and towards the main chambers of the Nexus. This was where their personal chambers and offices were, locked behind enchanted doors. Not just anyone could wander in. Once Myth passed the wards, the doors opened up to reveal a circular corridor that branched off into five separate hallways. Each hallway reserved for each of the Archmages. Hers was directly to the left while his was straight ahead and this was the path he took, leading her towards his study.

He did not speak until the doors to his office closed on their own as if two invisible giant hands had pushed them.

"I can sense you." He finally said, breaking the silence that surrounded them. He reached up and tapped lightly at his right temple with a gloved fingertip. "It is not strong yet, but I can sense it growing. If you feed from me again, it will only make it stronger." He paused for a moment, perhaps deciding his next course of action. "There are things you may learn that I will no longer be able to keep from you, knowledge that I have killed others for knowing. You are the only one I trust to keep this information between us. I would hate for you to despise me because of it, but there are reasons why I have kept it to myself. Hopefully you will forgive me at some point for the deception."

Mythos felt her tongue click against her teeth out of instinct. She reached up and removed the glasses shrouding her eyes and slid them back into a hidden pocket inside of her jacket.

"I do know how such things work, Myth. Possibly better than you. You have no fear of me gaining knowledge without your consent. I will not delve into your thoughts unless you let me. Correction, I cannot. No Vampire can. Words have power so unless you speak them, then I will not have access to your secrets."

She took a moment to contemplate the chess board set to the side of the sizable study. Grated flooring showed the same cyan colored lights and the wires that ran them. Directly in the center of the room was a large metal desk void of any kind of paperwork, but there was a large holo screen that acted as his computer and communication hub. To the left and just in front of the desk was a small sitting area with two metal chairs and a chess board of glass and steel. She had never learned how to play, much to her later father's dismay. King Mathias Tenebris had been an arrogant, proud, intellectual man. Tough on his children when it concerned their educations and yet still a doting father. Especially to her, his only daughter. The youngest of five children and all of them boys but her. She could have done no wrong in her father's eyes. Her brothers had loved her just as much as he had and protected her until she had been old enough to hold her own, and that had not been too long.

By the tender age of nine, Mythos had been able to out think, out smart and out talk even the savviest of nobles. The Sanguimancer felt her fingers move, mimicking her father's last play of the very last game she had witnessed him playing against Crone. Her fingers hovered over the chess pieces as sanguine colored tendrils of Magick as opaque as blood, snaked out and curled around the Bishop. It levitated up and off of the board, spinning several times before it suddenly and violently shattered into a million pieces. Her hand trembled before her fingers curled back in on themselves and her arm dropped back down to her side.

"My apologies, Myth. I did not mean what I said to sound as if I am cross with you. I am not. I am grateful to you for saving my life. It has been hard for me, having watched the world die. To know my family died and there had been nothing I could have done to help them, to save them. Do you know what it's like to be the last of your kind? To know that you have a lineage that must be carried on and yet there is no way to further it? There are no Sanguimancers left. I am the last and feared for it."

Unknowingly to her, he did in fact know what it was like. He yearned to tell her everything, he burned so strongly with the need to tell her but could not bring himself to do it. Not yet. However, a little bit of background information about him couldn't hurt.

"You would be correct, Mythos, if I were Human." The Chronomancer paused for a moment, more for dramatic effect.
"Tell me, what do you remember of the ancient races of the Fae? You were quite young when the immortal races were pitted against the world of man. I know the pang of loneliness. Though my Elven kin are resourceful, and I had hoped to find a pocket of resistance somewhere, there has yet to be any found. I have lost hope in finding any. Watching the world die was tragic, but it is only a footnote for what is still in store."
He grew silent, almost as if he had no intention of speaking on the matter further. He took a seat on the other side of the chess table.

"You are the last of your kind, the living progeny of a great line of powerful mages. There is still a way to carry on your father's legacy. It was why we had returned to your homeland and why we must once again venture there."

The Catacombs had been well defended, settled in by both the Ravagers and the traps and constructs left by House Tenebris.
"Before he died, your father informed me that the Tomes of Blood still existed that they were locked away in the deepest reaches of the Catacombs and are protected by powerful enchantments. I am not sure what these tomes will do, but your father did mention that word to me as well, legacy."
Myth reached out and picked up the white steel Queen from the board. He stared at it for a moment before he picked his turquoise gaze back up to lock on her face.

"The loss has been great, and there will be more lost in the coming years but it is the End Game we prepare for. The Queen's sacrifice is necessary so that the other pieces can be moved into position and the game itself can be won in five turns."

He returned the queen back to its place, noticing the way her sanguine eyes narrowed faintly. Did she understand that he was telling her there would be a great sacrifice on her part?

"This bond will continue to grow stronger. My mind will open to you. My memories will become yours just as your memories will become mine. This bond needs to be kept between you and I. The other Archmages already suspect that I favor you over the rest of them."

If he were Human? Already her mind was kicked into overdrive. Memories and stories her father had told her as a young girl about the Elven people. On how some of them had delved into the unknown art of Blood Magick, drinking the blood of their enemies in order to increase their power. Somehow it had changed them, turning them into the creatures now known as Vampires. It had created the first Vampire Sanguimancer, Alreyear Tenebris of whom which she was supposedly decended. She did not know how far back, but she carried his last name so she more than likely wasn't too far removed. Perhaps there were more answers at the mansion than she had initially thought.

Bloody hell. The Catacombs. The very place in which she had almost always dreaded going. Not to mention it was the place they had gone to on their last mission together and it hadn't ended peacefully. One of the Battlemage Apprentices had tripped one of the traps. In her haste to protect the young lad, Mythos had taken a large metal spike to the chest. Thankfully it had narrowly missed her heart. A blow like that would have undoubtedly killed her instantly. Being a Vampire, she could survive most wounds that would kill ordinary people. However, being impaled through the heart was a sure-fire way to destroy her. When Myth had mentioned those damned Catacombs, she reached up and rubbed between her eyes with the tip of her index finger.

"Not a place I am looking forward to returning to." But that wasn’t just it. She didn't want to return for the memories they stored for her, of holding her father's hand, watching in marvel as he unraveled each intricate trap guarding the entrance to his Archives. It was a place in which he had housed his most prized artifacts and tomes. As far as anyone knew, they were all still there. There were a few trinkets she had wanted to acquire in the upper floors of the run-down mansion. Her mother's necklace which was a thin silver chain that contained a smaller version of her foci crystal. The fabled Bloodwalker staff of Alreyear himself. There was also a set of daggers her older brother Mikal had favored and she wondered if they would have been spared, if any of it would have been spared. What else of her family had survived? There was a part of her that longed to return the ancestral mansion to its former glory but it would never be the same.

"The Coven will be none the wiser. It is not something they need to know, unless you feel it is of importance." Mythos stated, referring to the Bond that he had mentioned. He was right, they already considered her the favorite, that they were secretly having some kind of affair on their missions when they went off to places that none of the other Mages had been asked to join in on going. The phantom pain in her chest returned and so the Sanguimancer reached into the pocket of her jacket and removed a small silver flask. Inside was a mixture of restorative potion that Syrah had given her, as well as some of the purified blood she had removed from the foci. She quickly took a swing of it, grimacing faintly at its lack of taste before sliding the flask back into the same pocket she had taken it from. She pressed the heel of her palm against the spot in her chest that ached and applied a steady amount of pressure. It nearly took her breath away. The Healer had told her that her muscles were healing rapidly and would undoubtedly cause Charlie horses for the next few days until they were fully healed.

Chapter Two

She had dreamed of him again. This man of pale masculinity and power. She had dreamed of him as far back as she dared to remember. They always seemed to last forever and yet not long enough. The only cryptic message he gave her was:


His deep, husky voice never failing to awaken her in a state of chaotic desire and arousal. One that seemed to sear every nerve ending into a frayed mass of hyper-sensitive senses. Mythos felt a connection to this stranger that she could not fathom, nor explain. It ran deeper than any Binding she had ever experienced from any feeding, stronger than any force of Magick. Tonight, however, it seemed to be much different. His presence was stronger, more powerful than she had ever felt it in any dream that came before. She felt him long before he even showed himself from the shadows behind her. A strong, powerful arm snaked out and wrapped around her waist, pulling her lithe frame back against the lean line of his. His opposite arm slid around the other side of her, brushing along the side of her left breast before extending out in front of her so she could see what he held in his grasp. An ornate hourglass filled with a glowing red liquid; that she knew almost immediately was blood, hung suspended above his palm, levitating by his sheer will alone. She could tell that the time was indeed running very low in that hourglass, the glowing red at the top nearly gone entirely.

"The hour is upon us." His voice sent a visible shiver down her spine, one that he felt burn through his blood and straight to his loins. A low feral growl vibrated against her ear and his right hand trailed from around her waist and down over the flat of her stomach to cup the heat of her burning through the leather pants she wore.

"You test my patience, Amarande. I have waited centuries to claim you. I am so close now that I can almost taste you on my tongue. I will have you before the next Blood Moon."

The sheer confidence in those husky words triggered something in her, some kind of hidden switch that made her press back against him, hips shifting in slow lazy circles that had both of his strong hands grip her hips firmly, nails digging into her flesh even through the leather.

"Then come get me." Mythos teased, wanting nothing more to turn around to see his face, but the firm grip of his hands prevented her from doing so. Instead he moved them forward, pressing her none-to-gently against the stone pillar that stood erect in the middle of the room in her dream. His left hand shifted, moving upwards along the front of her body to grip her throat, fingers pressing oh so gently as he turned her face to the side. She felt his breath at her ear again, lips brushing along the lobe as he spoke.

"If I could, rest assured I would have had you the instant I laid eyes on you. Sadly, a curse prevents me from doing so. I can only touch you here in your dreams, your thoughts. The instant this blasted curse is lifted, I do not care if there is a room full of people. I will claim you, Amarande."

It was at that moment, the dream shattered. Mythos awoke instantly, sitting nearly bolt upright in bed. Strangely, she still felt his touch scorching her skin. It was something that had never happened before. Slowly, she ran the palms of her hands over her face and sighed deeply. This was proving to be too much of a distraction. Who was this man? She had never had the opportunity to acquire his name, nor his purpose raiding her dreams. All that she knew was that she felt. A feeling so intense it eclipsed all else in the waking world. The sheet pooled around her waist as she sat up more fully, running both hands through her sleep tangled mass of black hair and pulled it to one side so it all fell across her right shoulder. There was no sun by which to tell the time of day, there was only the red illumination of the digital numbers that hovered above the table beside the bed. It was just past seven. If there had been a sun, there was no doubt it would be just setting along the horizon. Mythos reached into the drawer of the bedside table and removed a single pack of black paper rolled cigarettes. They were not filled with regular tobacco as that was now very scarce to come by. Instead, they had been filled with a synthetic blend of herbs provided by Syrah and mixed with blood to form a near paste like quality. Once dried, it could be crushed and rolled just like any cigarette. She placed it between her lips, fumbling for her lighter but a sudden flicker of flame from the shadows had her nearly rolling from the bed and onto the floor.

"Christ, Serapis! You scared the shit out of me."

The dark haired, severely handsome Elemental Archmage bowed, a simple inclination of his head that hopefully hid the smirk that was forming on those sinful lips of his. His piercing orange gaze glowing from the shadows that surrounded him.

"My apologies, Mythos. I did not intend to frighten you. I had knocked but I do not think you heard me."

Her brow frowned as he came closer to the bed, a small flame dancing in the palm of his hands. She leaned forward, managing to clutch the sheet to her otherwise naked self and hiding it from view as she took a drag from the cigarette when the flame touched its tip. Had he knocked? With the haze of sleep and the fever of the state of her dream still clinging to her, she couldn't remember if she had heard any kind of knocking sound.

The Sanguimancer exhaled a plume of aromatic smoke towards the ceiling before addressing the other Mage's presence in her private quarters.

"Was there something you needed?" She inquired, albeit somewhat coldly. Anyone who knew Mythos knew that not only was it hard to sneak up on her, she did not like it when anyone succeeded.

Serapis closed his fingers, extinguishing the flame and shrouding himself in the shadows once again. He dared not smirk, for he knew she could see better than anyone else through the darkness.

"I had wanted to speak with you privately, if I may."

Mythos quirked a brow, but did not answer, letting the silence stretch between them. Hadn't Myth spoken those exact words to her earlier?

"Give me a moment." She mumbled around the cigarette at the corner of her lips as she stood from the bed and wrapped the blanket around her. She secured it beneath her arms and made her way towards the small bathroom, grabbing a few articles of clothing on her way. The door slid shut behind her with a small hiss.

Serapis took that moment of solitude to let his facade drop. The image of the Elemental mage flickered and faded, revealing the visage of the true man beneath. Snow white skin that was as flawless as marble. Thick, silver-white hair tumbled past lean but broad muscular shoulders to stop short at the middle of his back, and white brows arched dramatically over nearly glowing crimson eyes. He was devilishly handsome, sexy and he knew it.
He moved towards the bed, though it was more of a predatory saunter as he reached out and let his fingertips trace over the still warm indentation her body had made in the bed. He groaned inwardly as her scent drifted up to him. He was not a man to be denied. There were secrets he kept from her, from everyone. Secrets that could and would damn everything that they had built here. Secrets that would come to light soon enough. They were on the cusp of breaking the curse that held him in check, the very curse placed on him the night of the Great Collapse by his own brother. As far as he knew, the bastard was dead, having been killed during the final battle. He had stormed the estate searching for his beloved Amarande but she had already disappeared, moved to a location that he had not known of until Crone had cornered him. Thinking quickly, he took on the guise, the Glamour of Serapis Varna whom had been killed during the Great Collapse. By absorbing the young man's essence and Magick, he had able to assume the Elemental's visage at any time as well as tap into the abilities he had acquired during his lifetime. Something that not many Sanguimancers could do. He was the most powerful of them and quite capable of much more than any of them had realized. Except breaking that damned curse! His research had proved fruitful, however, and he had been, thus far, able to wait out the time frame it took to wear off. Though being in close proximity with Mythos and not being able to touch her except through her dreams was utter torment.

His attention wavered when he heard the water running in the bathroom. Oh, how easy would it be to simply sneak in there and join her. He bit his lower lip, sharp upper canines nearly breaking the skin with the effort to reign in his control. If it snapped now, all that waiting would have been for nothing. He could wait a bit longer...maybe. He moved towards the bathroom and placed his palm against the cool metal of the door that separated them. He knew he teased himself, poked at his own self-control. He was at war with his limitations.

"Not too long now, Amarande. Three days. Three days and you will finally be mine, mine so completely that you will wonder how you ever survived without my touch." His deep, husky voice sounded nothing like the one he used as Serapis. His true voice rasped and rumbled, becoming every woman's fantasy in an instant though to him there was only one woman he wanted to affect that way.
Hearing the water turn off, he drifted silently back across the room and shrugged back on the facade of Serapis. It had become as easy to him as breathing. Once Mythos acquired the Bloodwalker staff from the Catacombs of the Tenebris estate, all would be revealed. He just needed to get her there, hopefully without any mishaps this time. That last mistake had nearly cost him her life. Something he was most certainly not willing to lose.

When she emerged from the bathroom, freshly clean and smelling of some musky soap, it took all of his will not to take her then and there. Black locks damp from the shower and draped along the right half of her face, a single sanguine hued eye peeking out from a thick fringe of black lashes. Full lips still set in a partial frown that nearly had him craving to bite that lower lip until it bled against his tongue.

"I know that you are not a woman of patience, Mythos, so I will get to the point. Since I met you, there have been secrets kept in the dark. Secrets that I can not divulge in speaking. Secrets that could very well break this Coven. All of us have them, especially me. Once they come to light, all I ask is that you seek me out. Speak with me about your concerns. I have grown very fond of you, of your presence, your companionship and you as a person, a woman. I would hate to think that you would despise me after you learn the truth."

She was silent for a moment, contemplating his words as she sat down on the edge of her bed. Her lithe form swathed only in hip hugging black cotton pants and a tank top. Her feet were still bare, but she tucked them beneath her, sitting Indian style on the covers she had replaced upon the bed.

"Are these secrets something I may kill you for?" She inquired softly. Her dry sense of humor returning after the minor shock of his sudden appearance in her room. What was it with Myth and now Serapis? They both sounded as if they were mirroring one another. There was something strange going on, that much was for certain. Did they both harbor the same secrets?

"Let us hope not. Just keep in the back of your mind the reason why I kept them from you. I did it to ensure you were safe, to protect you. Your best interests are always at the forefront of my mind."

"Well, there's no real promise but I will try my best not to kill you."

He gave a soft snort of laughter, secretly pleased that she would be willing to kill without hesitation should the need arise. Though he hated his brother, he had to admit, the twit trained her well.

They walked together back to the main circular hallway of the Nexus. Serapis kept both of his hands firmly clasped behind his back, the left hand mirroring the right against the opposite forearm. The black leather of his robes whispered softly against hers.

"Do you have any idea what this meeting may be about?" He inquired in an attempt to break the silence between them.

Her gaze shifted in his direction and she offered a one-sided smirk. "Perhaps."

"Come on now, Mythos, you are enjoying torturing me."

She chuckled softly. "Yes. Quite possibly because someone decided to sneak into my room and scare the shit out of me."

It was his turn to chuckle softly in amusement. "Fair enough." He reached out and tucked a section of inky black hair behind her ear, his gloved thumb caressing over the lobe lightly. He was rewarded when he glimpsed a visible shudder tremble down her spine.

"You have developed a bond with Myth." He stated suddenly. He reached out and grabbed her hand lightly, gloved fingers seeking out hers. "I know he gave his blood to you to save your life and that the bond was not intentional."

Mythos' brow frowned faintly as Serapis stopped there, almost as if he was hesitating on continuing further. "Is there something you want to tell me, Ser?" She asked, hoping her nickname for him would shove away any hesitancy.

"Why is it every time I am around you and wish to speak my feelings, I clam up?" The Elemental Archmage wondered in frustration, grazing his thumb along the backs of her gloved knuckles. "I have grown to care for you a great deal, Mythos and while I trust you and your judgement, I feel as if Myth is using you. You are a grown woman and capable of making your own conclusions and decisions, but please, be careful around him. Despite what he has done for our kind and for Umbra, I do not fully trust him."

The Sanguimancer took his hand in hers and gave him a small, hopefully reassuring smile. "I have known you a long time, longer than the others but it is only recently I have gotten to truly known the man behind the astounding abilities. You are a kind soul, Serapis and I value our friendship."


Her smile turned almost sad. "But, until I truly remember who I am, I cannot delve further into any attachments. My memories are fragmented and my dreams are plagued by this strange man of whom I know nothing about. I cannot make heads or tails of anything and I do not think it fair to drag anyone else into my chaotic mess."

Serapis reached up and slid his right hand against the side of her face, fingers drifting over the side of her neck to grip the nape of it lightly. "I understand, Mythos. I would never pressure you." He let his thumb trace the curve of her lower lip. He pulled it down very lightly. It was so damned tempting to claim her mouth with his, to kiss her until she relented. But he couldn't. Physical touch here was still not permitted which was why he wore the gloves. It seemed that that barrier between them enabled him to have some form of contact with her. His anger raged deep inside of him but he knew that very soon, things were going to change.

A part of her wanted him to kiss her and it was a very large dominant part, but she always knew that there was something holding him back. Whatever it was, she could feel it coming to an end. There was a tension brewing between them and it was only a matter of time before it erupted in a scalding wave that would leave them both seared.

Reluctantly, she pulled away from his touch, leading the way into the large Antechamber that made up the conference room for the Arch Council.
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PostSubject: Re: Time Shift   Sat May 19, 2018 1:30 pm

Myth was already sitting at the end of the large table that took residence at the center of the council chambers. At the head of the table, the chronomancer sat, facial features shrouded from vision. Residing in the shadows casted by the enchanted lights that hovered above them. 3 minutes. 24 seconds. That's the time that he had before they all entered the chamber. He had waited for this moment, with the whispers of the Bloodwalker staff making its rounds, he wanted the rumor to spread. This was all apart of his grand design. This world stood upon the edge of brewing storm. A point in time that had been askwed, it was unreadable, unpredictable, all of it beginning in 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Which means the paradox happened in the meeting itself. Someone, something was playing at unraveling his careful, and methodical plans. Who? One of the arch mages perhaps? He knew most of them did not trust him, a fair notion; Myth was not to be trusted. He'd likely kill most of them if it would aid in his designs. Someone was coming, he could hear the footsteps, feeling the tug at his mind; Mythos... He leaned forward in his chair, enchanted light dancing across his facial features until only his luridly glowing blue eyes remained cast in shadow. This was it, this was the point. He had to know...

He stood abruptly just as Mythos entered the room, his eyes training to hers as she seemed to pause, statuesque stillness. The whole world had fallen into that static state. Time itself had halted at 2 minutes and 40 seconds until the paradox. He stepped around the table, as he walked, a shift in his hands caused panels to start swarming his bodies, until his body was swarmed in a mechanical armor. A graphic interface enhanced his vision. listing variables, tagging known entities. He stopped before the frozen Mythos. Ronin, the enchanted mechanical construct that had encapsulated him, was already listing information in that moment, vitals, known moments in time where she had been, and would be integral, though that information was corrupted, missing in that moment. He knew she would appear in different points in time, both past and present from this focal point and be an integral figure. The things she would learn through the years. His head bowed.

Myth, we should begin the preliminary testing. There is much to do.

"We have nothing but time Ronin."

There was a judgmental silence from the machine, even as Myth's hand raised, existing a short distance from the Sanguimancer's porcelain flesh. He offered a sigh, and his arm fell as he side stepped her, and walked past. That bond was foolish, but he knew that it had been the only way to save her in that moment. A thousand times he had tried to save her another way, but the catacombs were a myriad of traps, and some of them had been set by a Chronomancer, meant to make time travel cumbersome. Couldn't have one stop time, and just waltz through the traps unabashed. In that moment he had mere seconds to react, to stop and loop time was too cumbersome, leaving him an instance to contemplate. It felt as if it was a fixed moment in time. There was no other choice but to let her die, or to feed her his blood. A pawn, had this been the work of the same Chronomancer who had been powerful enough to cause this great collapse, and the Temporal storm that existed at the end of this fated timeline, swallowing time itself whole, and ejecting it into non-existence? There were better time to revisit that contemplation. In that moment, with everyone heading towards the archmage's antechamber it left certain things unguarded, consoles of the archmages. He seeked to see if one of them was this secret transgressor. Someone had brought the staff to the fore front in this moment. Myth could see the steps of a well thought plan in all of this... Chaos. It was too perfect for entropy. Years he had waited for that person to make the next move, and with the paradox coming, that brief lapse in known time where the outcome had not yet been predicted; a break in the timeline.

His search had been fruitless... There had been a good amount of information to be gathered, certain tidbits that were good to know, that could be used against the arch mages, but nothing as far as a smoking gun. Someone was covering their tracks well, too well.. That or there was no hidden enemy among the archmages. He doubted that, he brought this council together because these were the power players throughout the span of time. Had he missed someone? The transgressor once again slipping through his fingertips. Myth made his way back into the council chamber. Passing by Mythos once again, stopping just as he passed her. Was it her? He turned to face her again, Ronin drawing through her information once again. She existed at every paradoxial point. Her time line even flowing into the storm just as his own did. Could it be, this corruption? He had linked himself to her, perhaps this was the moment, that he created his adversary.

I calculate a 52 percent chance that your current line of thinking is accurate.

His suit of armor was tied directly into his body, through both mechanical connections, and eldritch designs. Ronin knew everything he though, helping him calculating possibilities, probabilities, and to keep track of a highly chaotic time line. Myth snapped one of his Spark Fangs from it's sheath. The mechanical dagger, humming to life and crackling with energy. The blade had been enchanted to rend magical armor, and it's core was strong enough to deliver a fatal amount of electricity. Even though he would still have to be accurate, her heart would have to be pierced. Though he didn't move further.

"52 percent..."

He repeated to himself. He had killed for less probabilities, yet even now he hesitated, contemplating but he already knew what his answer would be.

"It's not her."

How could he have known? His tone seemed certain, as if there was something that he knew, but didn't. A known, unknown of sorts. The blade was sheathed and the armor began rolling back. Glowing turquoise irises gazing at her. He gave a soft sigh, as time over took them once again.

Myth stood abruptly as Mythos entered the room, seemingly odd. He instantly felt foolish, what a place to return to.

"Ahem... Hello Mythos."

2 minutes and 40 seconds, and now it felt like an eternity.

"Forgive me, I am still finding the connection a bit... unnerving. Not used to anyone existing in here."

He tapped his temple, it was not exactly true, Ronin's cerebral connection felt similar, but still in a sense; much different.

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PostSubject: Re: Time Shift   Sat May 19, 2018 2:14 pm

Mythos, with the perpetual hood of her dark robes pulled up and shrouding her features in darkness paused as she walked in through the open double doors of the Antechamber. Sitting on her right shoulder, attached to the robes themselves, was her Battlemask, complete with it's own HUD display. In it's current state, it was harmless; merely a decoration until the Sanguimancer had need of it. The faint glow of her red gaze peered out through the thick shadows of her hood and locked directly onto Myth. She seemed to stare at him as if she knew that he had just manipulated time, as if she had known he had come close to ending her vastly long life. Those eyes narrowed seeming to peer into his very soul and all but suck the life from him. The intensity of her gaze shifted and she glanced over her shoulder as Serapis entered behind her. The moment between her and Myth had lasted a mere second, but it had felt much longer.

"There is no need to apololgize. Not everyone can acclimate to situations such as this quickly."

She paused for a moment, shifting to clasp both of her hands at the small of her back, fingers gripping at the opposite forearm. Blood red nails dug faintly into her own flesh, drawing very small beads of blood to the surface. These small drops she used as a subtle gateway to tap into her abilities and erect a protective barrier around her. There was a very subtle shimmer, a glitch of red that disappeared virtually as soon as it had begun. This barrier also acted as a buffer between her and Myth, blocking both her thoughts from entering his mind as well as blocking his from entering hers.

"That should mute the static noise for a short period of time. At least until the meeting is over. It would not do with either of us being distracted." Mythos turned away from the Chronomancer and proceeded to move gracefully towards her console that sat directly opposite of Myth's in a circle of the Antechamber. She did not want for a response as she took her seat. Her movements seemed sycronized, almost as if they had been well rehearsed. She pulled out the chair, using a simple thought to pull it back away from the glass desk before sitting in it. She leaned back against it's high back, crossing one slim leg over the other. Pale skin visible beneath the slit of the ground length skirt like tattered robes. A powerful glyph that she did not know the meaning off was branded on the upper portion of her left thigh, showing blood red in stark contrast to her white flesh.

"Scav caught me before I could come here directly. He informed me that it was found."

"What was found?" Serapis inquired, taking his own seat to the left of the Sanguimancer.

"A powerful artifact that one of my Ancestors had created. The fabled Bloodwalker."
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