Like I said, I give preference to new people; Lap Otter has a reserved slot, Baphomet can join this one if he so chooses (and I'd like to see him do so, for the sake of having more first-time player), and Red and Starburst are approved.
I'm really sorry to any of you I have to boot for new players (which I'll be doing randomly for the sake of fairness); I recommend you join Intense Struggle with the character you submitted here. Again, sorry.
Okay, look, this is kind of cheating. I'm cheating here. If this is impermissible, I understand, but I think it might be interesting. Actually, on further contemplation, I have so little free time and another project that deserves it more. I'm out. I'll leave my entry up because it would feel like a waste of a lot of bits and bytes if I didn't, but I'll shove some spoiler tags on it and add an ending.
A rather anxious-looking woman sat on a bench in a small, unassuming stone room, occasionally shooting nervous glances at the large, ornate wooden doors before her. The woman, probably in her late twenties to early thirties, adjusted her waist-length blonde ponytail over the back of her seat. She inspected her conjurer's gear, again, to make sure her appearance was proper for her upcoming interview.
Her left arm, as was customary for those in the conjuring profession, was covered in steel armor. Hers, matching the rest of her outfit, was colored dark grey, with thin lines of silvery trim. The metal was well-wrought, with an ornamental whorl at her shoulder, elbow, and wrist, with multi-segmented fingers with sharp points at the end. She wore an armored robe of dark green cloth with a breastplate, ornamented similarly to her armguard and hanging over her shoulders, connecting to the mail back. A chain belt looped around her rather thin waist, and her robe was open in the front below it to reveal her greaves and boots. All were studded with gems that glowed a dull greenish color, the conduits for the many mundane protective enchantments she had poured into them during her years as a mage in training.
She picked a stray hair off of her robe and shook it off her finger, then smoothed the cloth again. After a good deal of time had passed, the doors before her opened, and a disappointed looking older gentlemen shuffled out, awkwardly avoiding her gaze. She saw the secretary's desk briefly before the door closed and took a deep breath. The door clicked shut automatically and she awaited the call into the archmagister's office. She heard the click of the doorknob, and a bespectacled woman holding a clipboard opened the door.
"The archmagister will see you now," the woman said simply, holding the door open for her. The applicant stood and her brow furrowed slightly. This was neither the secretary she had seen through this very door a moment ago, nor, in fact, the same office. She took a deep breath, but entered nonetheless. After all, this was a prestigious magical academy. A swapping entryway was hardly the most exotic thing its hallowed halls had encountered. She walked past the secretary's desk and opened the second set of doors.
She entered a large, stone room decked on all sides by purple and red tapestries. Small torch flames hovered at regular intervals along the sides of the room. The floor was largely covered by a thick rug, which was itself largely covered by a heavy mahogany desk. Opposite the desk, a large executive chair, facing away from her and hiding the archmagister sitting in it. On her side, a small folding chair, which she took a seat at.
The large chair turned, and the woman narrowed her eyes. This was not the archmagister. It was, instead, a young man, in his early twenties. He had dark brown hair, cropped short and messy, and wore glasses. His attire, a casual red t-shirt with a white line drawing of a pirate ship and blue jeans frayed at the knee, contrasted starkly with the expensively decorated room. He put his dirty-sneaker-clad feet up on to desk and smirked, showing his teeth. "What's up?" he asked, casually. The woman was taken aback by the words, partly due to the unexpectedly casual tone, and partly because the voice, though not the face, seemed strangely familiar to her.
She put on a friendly expression while silently trying to detect any magical energy or enchantment around her. It was best, she decided quickly, to play along with whatever was happening until she had more information. "Well, I was here to apply for a teaching position," she responded with well-measured cheerfulness, "but I seem to have stumbled into the wrong office." She quickly found that, while there were the expected enchantments keeping the hovering flames in place, and what seemed to be various protective wards in the walls, she could not detect anything at all from her interviewer, not even a living being.
The man put one hand behind his head and leaned back. His other hand produced a clipboard, which his eyes scanned as he responded. "Nah," he said simply, "You're in the right place." He smiled at something on the clipboard. "Damn, you've been busy since I saw you last. Doing well for yourself. Got a major here in conjuration," he peered over the clipboard before finishing his sentence, "just like your mom." Registering the carefully-maintained cheerful expression, he continued. "Specialty in illusion, though. Altering people's perceptions, toying with their senses. That's cool too." His eyes darted further down the page and he smirked annoyingly again. "Ha. Shoulda guessed you'd be able to do-"
She had a sudden realization and cut him off. "I recognize your voice. You're that-"
He cut her off in turn. "Nuh uh uh, let's not speculate now. We've got an interview to conduct. Though, were you correct in your assumption, you could probably also assume that you've already got the..." he paused as if to give the next word extra weight, "...job."
She lost the cheerful expression. "Hmm. Okay. I'm not guessing it's the job I came here to interview for." She stood quickly, overturning the small folding chair. She shot the man a sinister half smile and narrowed her eyes, which began to glow a bright white. A small cinder materialized in her hand and began swirling around itself, growing larger until it became a baseball-sized ball of fire. "So advise me, advisor. What do you think I should do next?"
He chuckled and slid his feet off the mahogany table, leaving scuff marks on its otherwise perfect surface. "I'm not your advisor today," he replied, maintaining his increasingly annoying smirk. "Another woman I've...worked with will be. Troubled past. Uses magic, specializes in fire. Dealt with uppity gods before. You two should get along swimmingly." He snapped his fingers.
Far, far away, in another universe, in fact, three figures (two men and a woman) in black suits, black sunglasses, and black fedoras walked briskly along a brushed steel corridor. Suddenly, they were two. One, a man with an unusually long, rugged beard and intense green eyes, turned to look up at the other behind him. The second man, if you could call him that, was very tall. About twelve feet, in fact. His limbs and neck were disproportionately thin, and he had six clawed fingers on each hand. He looked down at the other man and his mouth, which stretched from one ear to the other and was filled with two inch long needle-like teeth, turned downward in what could best be described as a frown. The first man took off his regulation MIB sunglasses, sighed, and pinched the bridge of his nose. "Not again," he muttered.
The interviewer looked at his interviewee, now clearly distracted by some sort of internal conversation. "Now, speaking of gods, there's one more piece to this puzzle. I've decided to stick you with your native element this time, should go a little more smoothly." He snapped his fingers again, attempting to bind the life-giving being that created her world to the woman, but only succeeding in binding it to her new mental companion, as he had truly intended.
Her face contorted into a look of pure hate, made even more fearsome by the nearly blinding white light from her eyes. Impossibly black swirling masses erupted from her arms, forming long claws. An infernal wave of heat radiated from the woman and instantly incinerated the desk, rug, and tapestries. The stone floor beneath her began to glow with heat and crack. The man merely smiled at her. "You idiot," she snarled, forming long blades of fire around her arms, "Now you can't stop me from killing you."
He smiled. "I like that attitude. Keep it up!" She heard him snap his fingers a third time and suddenly she was lost in darkness.
Allie felt it was her turn to smirk. Of course she hadn't been foolish enough to blindly attack the man. She'd already witnessed that he was powerful enough to transport an entire room out from under the noses of some of the most powerful mages in existence. She wasn't even foolish enough to plant the rune on him, not knowing what sort of dispelling effects he might have on his suit. She reached out with her mind in search of the chair, with the observer rune she'd discreetly applied to it when she tipped it over. Closing her eyes, the room she had just left came into view. The illusory fire she had used as a distraction was gone, and the tapestries and desk were all perfectly intact. The man was still there, having some sort of close conversation with his secretary.
She doubted it would be that easy, but she tried her teleportation spell nonetheless. She was instantly repelled. Whatever enclosure she was in was obviously warded against teleportation. A small setback, but one she could work through with some time. She started to extend her consciousness along the borders of the room, feeling around for the runes, and extracted a pouch of salt from her robe. A female voice in her head piped up.
"I don't think that's even necessary. Here..."
Allie suddenly became aware of a new type of magical energy, likely one that her new advisor was feeding her. Instantly, the runes around the enclosure appeared to her to light up, patterns of blue circles and lines intertwined and connected.
"Right there," the voice said, "the smaller circle about eye level at 10 o'clock." Allie wordlessly pointed to the circle the voice indicated. "Yes, right at the center. Put fire in it."
Allie extended one hand and blew a large billowing flame at the circle. The lines shifted and made new patterns, but remained unbroken.
"No, no, I'm sorry. I should have specified. you have to... you have to focus it right in the center. You're not burning it away, you're adding energy to it where energy doesn't belong." The voice paused. "Here. Look up. The new weak point is on top, the larger circle in that group of three..."
Allie focused and created a miniscule ember of fire right in the center of the circle. She then intensified it, until it glowed blindingly bright. The circle surrounding it began to warp, and new lines started emerging from the center. They hit the edge of the circle and broke it, starting a chain reaction of pieces of forms shattering other pieces, extending across the ceiling and down the walls. Sensing her opening, she tried the teleportation spell again.
The interviewer and secretary were surprised to see Allie materialize suddenly atop the fallen chair. For the first time, the casual look left his face, as Allie extended a blade of black mass from her forearm and charged at him. He snapped and a sword appeared in his hand, and he parried desperately. Something seemed off about the parry, though. The weight was all wrong...
He didn't have time to think about it, as she brought her other arm, now covered in long spikes, around directly towards his head. He snapped again and the air suddenly crackled with static and smelled of ozone. The arm hit an invisible barrier, closing around it and, at the man's next gesture, twisting her over backwards. With a regretful expression, he thrust the sword through her neck.
It met no resistance until it hit the floor behind her. He looked puzzled momentarily, then brought his foot down on the illusion's stomach, passing through it. The illusion laughed at him and disappeared. He cursed under his breath.
Allie returned to the waiting room and slammed the door behind her. She ran out into the foyer, where the academy allowed teleportation, and disappeared instantly. She took herself to...
...Damn. I don't know where she is. How'd she do that? A couple minutes later AB returned to the middle of the Earth and Clara returned to Thomas, but I seriously lost Alanna. Uh...
Listen, Organizer, I gotta sit this one out. My bad, man.
Name: Alanna Milburn, Clara Braques, and AB. She goes by Allie now.
Race: Human, mermaid, and god of fire and life, respectively.
Inventory: Enchanted conjurer's garb, various spell components.
Abilities: Mage specializing in conjuration and illusion. Receiving advice in her head from Clara and AB. Able to create black masses on her body in the shape of weapons or shields, and is now particularly skilled at the creation and manipulation of fire.
Biography: Allie didn't want to be a mage, but her mom was one. On her eighteenth birthday, she and her mom were abducted from their homes, and her mom was killed in front of her. She was being advised by some spectral advisors at the time, and her captor inadvertently bound the god of destruction and ice to them, intending to bind it to her in an attempt to make her his mindless superpowered accomplice. She fought her way through her abductor's lair, gaining the ability to communicate with the elemental beings who created her world along the way. She defeated him, and one of the aforementioned beings erased his mind. The advisors, and, consequently, the ice god, left her, allowing her to use fire magic and return to her home. The now-erased captor, now calling himself Gorblesnatch von Humperdink, followed her out to her home, where her mom's friends from her younger days helped her look after him. It soon became clear that one of the men at her mom's mage's academy, former tutor of Gorblesnatch, had given him the means to exact the plans he had carried out against Alanna, and she, with her link to the fire god, empowered Gorblesnatch long enough to defeat him. They had a short fling, later regarded as a mistake by both parties. She decided that magic was her new career of choice, and joined the mage's academy, where she learned quickly, and had intentions of becoming a professor herself.
Clara Braques was a former mermaid who was being experimented on by the Men In Black at a lab secretly run by a rogue agent. A mindwiped scientist at the facility, Thomas Braques, foiled the agent's plans, and the two of them proceeded to put down a rampaging god with the assistance of, among other things, an eldritch monstrosity and Clara's new powers of magical energy manipulation and pyrokinesis. The three of them were re-offered positions as employees of the MIB, which they accepted and had all sorts of wacky hijinx.
AB is the god of fire and created the earth and the life on it. It was previously engaged in battle with its two counterparts, OB and EB, but the conflict has simmered down lately, largely due to the influence of Alanna herself. He is not used to caring about human affairs and is slow to think.
Well, it's up to SO, really. Lap Otter was interested, but hasn't posted a character - SO can either start now, or give Lap Otter some more time and, if he/she posts a character in time, flip a coin to see who goes to Intense Struggle.
I think we should give him the rest of tomorrow (of today in Britain), and if he doesn't make a character by then, we get a person from IS, if they have eight or less, then we wait for a new person to come along.
Username: I'm never quite sure. Lap Otter or Lap_Otter or lap_otter or something like that. Name: Lainey Gender: Female Race: Shapeshifter Color: #00BF40 (fourth down, second from the left) Inventory: Zippered folder containing one mechanical pencil, several lead and eraser refills, a composition book, and loose notebook paper. Abilities: Lainey does not shift into any shape she likes. Each of her forms comes with a new name and a new personality. Some of these forms have sharp bits. Her Voices, muses, minds, personas have a quasi-physical existence in the Souzou, where they live as a community, trading Lainey's body between them as needed/desired. Each persona grew from a part of Lainey herself, yet each one is separate--they are a part of her and she is a part of them, but each individual is a discrete individual. When she changes, it is instantaneous and not always dictated by her. Description: Her "base" form is a young human female with no strength to speak of. She's short, skinny, dark-haired, and rather spotty, with no real distinguishing features. She is not particularly outgoing and there is nothing about her to be noticed, so she often blends into the background. She certainly does not appear threatening in this form, and in fact she is not. She's agreeable, friendly, gentle, and that's all you'll really see of her except through the various forms she takes. Biography: Lainey acquired her first additional personality, Yume, at age twelve. Her parents were overjoyed, since this (while not an unusual age) is a little long for a static child to remain static. Almost at the same time, Yume's twin sister Niko appeared. Over time, a small community--like a family, but closer--grew up in Lainey's head, each person representing some aspect of Lainey herself, and then growing beyond.
Name: Yume Gender: Female Race: Catgirl Inventory: Nothing not already mentioned above. Abilities: Yume has two forms, each of which is still her; one is a quasi-human form, and the other is an ocelot. The ocelot form is a fighting form, which she does not inhabit often. (Physical) Description: Yume spends most of her in-body time in her human form; she finds that most humanoids find conversing with an ocelot unnerving, and anyway it's easier to speak with a mouth designed for the task. Over time the claws of her human form dulled and went away, leaving her only with fingernails; she is not a fighter and doesn't have much use for claws. Her human form is tall, with faint tabby patterns on her skin which, if you look close, is a thin layer of fur. The hair on her head is long and straight, left loose. She wears long, flowing robes in dark neutral colors. Biography(/Personality): Yume began as a personification of love. By the time she was fully formed, she also encompassed sadness, despair, death, and hope. She has a knack for understanding the emotions of others and can act as a peacemaker or mediator--often with Lissa's help. Despite having been betrayed and hurt, she still trusts easily and has not become bitter or jaded; pain is part of who she is and she accepts it uncomplainingly.
Name: Niko Gender: Female Race: Catgirl Abilities: Niko also has two forms, each of which is still her; one is a quasi-human form, and the other is another ocelot, also a fighting form but one that Niko actually inhabits every now and then. (Physical) Description: There are not many differences between her and Yume--physically, anyway. Niko's hair is short, her clothes are functional and loose-fitting so she can fight if necessary, and she holds herself more stiffly. In shape, height, coloring, markings, they are identical. Biography(/Personality): Despite having been born/created/appeared after Yume, Niko is the elder sister. She is something of the opposite of Yume: she has never trusted outside the Souzou, so she has never been betrayed; she has never loved, so she has never been hurt. Yet she is bitter and jaded where Yume is not. Yume is the only one Niko loves, and she is very protective of her, sometimes ruining Yume's attempts at peacemaking with an angry outburst or even violence. Niko is anger, hate, violence, protection--a warrior and mercenary.
Name: Lissa Gender: Female Race: Humanoid Abilities: Thinking. Logic. Scientific observation. Philosophy. Religious studies. (Physical) Description: Lissa is blonde and willowy, with pale skin and simple white clothing. Her features are perfectly symmetrical and exactly of the scientifically ideal proportions, which makes her look plain and uninteresting rather than beautiful. Biography(/Personality): Lissa doesn't spend much time inhabiting the corporeal body, and when she does it's usually alone time spent reading or studying. She was fully formed long before she was noticed by the others. She rules those things cerebral: science, logic, and learning, but also finds herself enamored with the arts and (her secret pleasure) fiction. Her impartial observations have several times helped Yume reach a successful conclusion to her mediation. Lissa's cool head and calm demeanor would make her a good diplomat if she could see the emotional side of things--which she can't.
Lainey does acquire new personalities, and with them new forms, but they appear slowly and are rarely corporeal during their "birth." There are currently two (or maybe three) others in the process of being born. One is a child, of indeterminate gender; the other is a man. More than that, Lainey is not yet sure of (or at least, it's not public knowledge).
God I hope this makes enough sense. I don't see words when I look at it anymore. I hope it is still made of words.
Lainey is one person. She's a shapeshifter, and each of her shapes has a new personality. They all exist in the same body. You'll only ever see one of them at a time. I thought I'd made that pretty obvious; do I need to go edit it to make it more so?