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Traveler.   Magician.     Dragon Rider.     Swordsman.   Librarian.


H u m a n  //  E l f

A g e l e s s - U n k n o w n

H e / H i m  T h e y / T h e m

S p i r i t ?  D e c e a s e d .

N o  K i n   - A m o n g  f r i e n d s .

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You might be wondering
how this could have happened…

Spencer knows little of his origin. Date of birth. Where he was born. What grounds he walked upon in his youth. He knows not of his father, not the color of his mother's eyes. Even the man's own name comes as a mystery he woke up without. The one he bares presently was something ... given, after he found himself awake midst a plane of grass he did not recognize, all the same. What Spencer did remember, however, was a sensation. The coldness, as it had grasped hold of him. It felt as if falling into an utterly heavy, yet peaceful sleep... He knew little of what he was, let alone who. He started walking. There was nothing else that could be done. He had risen in a prairie-esque plane that seemed to spread onward no matter what direction his head would turn. Spencer walked until he reached a point of familiarity in the form of a small village some thirty kilometers from the place he had woken up within. The village came with hospitality, yet held very few hints. No answers.

 

“ To decipher it was one thing.
Controlling it was another.
 

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For the early years, the world was an undoubtedly strange place. He recognized nothing of his surroundings or sense of self. He slowly came to the realization that he was capable of things beyond the average man whether he liked it or not. The capabilities, in the earlier times... lacked any direction or control. The occasional passing through objects was a problem that shook him not long since he had woken up. His form was corporeal, yet at times, only loosely. It was truly as if his body and soul wrestled to commit between a physical or spectral form without any indication of what kept them tethered. It would happen in a bout of panic, or the wrong twitch of a muscle. Often he couldn't recollect what seemed to cause the shift and changed his form to something far less physical and very much... ephemeral in nature. It would come over him like a cold mist, and left a tingling sensation throughout his nervous system. 

TgIdyGp.png?profile=RESIZE_180x180At first, it was just his fingertips. Then his wrists. Soon it was whole portions of his being that seemed to pass through its environment on a whim and leave him stricken with panic on how to make it stop, only to make matters worse. Spencer was stumbling straight through walls and phasing through objects on a whim during the early years of his newfound life, where the anomaly was creating more immediate questions than he had to start with. Among the strange symptoms, Spencer noticed how seldom he had felt exhaustion since he started waking. He walked for a few days from where he had started before he felt any urge to sleep, and hunger likewise. His body still felt the aches and pains of being alive, although it was as if it felt numb to what it truly meant. With every time he lost control of his form, the ends of his hair had quickly started to lose its color, spare a short length closest to the roots. These changes among others brought forth a rough transitional period where he struggled to have a grasp on anything around him. Eventually, these skills were to be trained with the right amount of mastery over the years.

 

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  She called it a gift,
like it was something given to the world. 

 Spencer had come to a point where he had lost all sense of what to do with his situation. Time dragged onward for longer than a lifetime, and he was faced with the realization of immortality that grew more evident as the number counted upward. He had traveled, he had remembered and forgotten countless names, and yet found no answers as to what had occurred. His nomadic life eventually took him South, across the seas and over mountains in pursuit of anyone that might offer information. His first encounter that could offer such things came from his passing through the bustling streets of Amsterdam in the early 1600s. He met a curious soul. The woman seemed to stare him down from a distance like she could sense just what he felt to be off about himself. She spoke questions and statements that felt like they were pulled straight from his head, and for the first time in his immortal life, he had answers.

“  You are a spirit, my dear boy. You are as real as this world around you, and yet this world does not own you. You will watch its trees rise and fall with each passing life. You shall experience beyond that of your fellow man. How will you use this gift? This curse? Will you choose to see it like so?  


Natalia was a practitioner of magic, and most adept in her craft. She was the person to shed light on Spencer's spectral dilemma, possible heritage, and one of the few that looked at him like his claims were not outright insanity. She introduced him to her studies and assisted him in utilizing the magic that had been gifted at birth and recessive in his veins all those years.
Spencer spent the next decade or so under her wing in Amsterdam, researching just what the nature of his origins might have been, and learning to utilize that magic for healing purposes when the world greatly needed it. When it came time to leave Amsterdam and continue on with his searching, he was promised a place in the city should he ever return, if he were to look for it. 

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To this day, he isn't sure what she is, or where her knowledge she possesses has come from. Any questioning throughout the years was met with riddles or parables to send him in circles. In the seldom times he finds himself in the region, he is sure to make his visit to the woman who has changed as little as he has over the centuries. She remains a mentor, good friend, and the first one to confirm he wasn't crazy all along. Following his departure from the Netherlands, he resumed his traveling for the next century or so, using what he had been taught at each stopping point as he went.

 

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I paused only for a moment
to ponder what was asked of me.

Fate brought him into the Nightwing Empire where his nomadic life changed for the next several centuries. It was an accidental stumbling into where two-legged kind stepped foot merely on occasion and the territory seemed to span onward without an end. He soon came to learn that within it dwells dangerous creatures and beasts alike. Dragons commanded the air, with their dens settled within the mountains and deep within the chasms of its valleys. Warbeasts lingered within the darkest of the forested regions and the swamps of the neighboring lowlands. The region came not without conflict, whether it was between the beasts, or from the external influence of hunters, slayers, or militant forces alike. Although prone to friction, wartime, and hardly a peace-filled place, soon enough he called the mountains and trees of the regions as home. He fit in among the vast array of species with ease and called them as friends.nfdjSTz.png?profile=RESIZE_400x

When fate would throw him into shock once more, Spencer eventually found himself worthy of being chosen as a Rider to one of the larger dragons within the Nightwing Empire. Chanook was someone who quickly had become familiar. While he had grown to no longer fear the dragon, Spencer ultimately came to regard him with the utmost respect. Due to his physicality, the man was not readily affected by the high altitudes, nor the storms that Chanook brought forth in flight. His first flights were among the more interesting moments during this era, but soon enough he had learned to stay steady in the sky with ease. Spencer set himself forth to become an excellent Rider and swordsman. With the skills learned, and the harsh environment the territory offered, Nightwing shaped Spencer as a formidable fighter when he would need it, and a peacekeeper at his core when he did not.

All truly great things come at a risk of being lost.  

As the conflict would eventually come to pass, the territory now shows signs of its age and scars. The enemies have long departed. The hostile beasts settled their disputes, and all in all... with the conclusion of such hostile events, the territory was left with an odd amount of silence. The Empress came to rest at the bottom of one of Nightwing's lakes. Her second in command, Skya, rests in a shrine-like state deep in her mountain den. Spencer still watches over the late dragoness' horde of a library and doctors their pages in his passing time. Among the absences and tragedies, Spencer had been parted from his dragon for reasons that still remain unknown. He knows little of Chanook's whereabouts, nor his condition. While Riders generally feel sensations of their partner's wellbeing or status, he feels little other than emptiness when he attempts to reach out. His only hint is that the connection can still be felt, leading him to believe his dragon is out there. The thoughts weigh heavily on his mind to the point where Spencer has achingly resorted to trying not to think about it at all. He keeps his hopes up to see the dragon's return, just as long as the connection is still felt.

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And so we march on.”

Following the fall of Nightwing, the man found himself in a period of travel that spanned several decades. Along with clearing his headspace, he was in pursuit of any hints or clues that may lead to Chanook's whereabouts no matter how small the chances might have been. The drawn-out journey nearly brought him across the Earth in doing so. The ex-Rider would pick up many other useful skills and mementos on his way. He heightened his mastery in a small variety of languages, as well as his study of healing magic that had been partially set aside during the last conflicts of the Empire. His traveling had become as much of a pilgrimage as it was a search for Chanook. He returned to hid home in Nightwing years later as a successful Swordsman, historian, and a more proficient Mage. Just as soon as he would settle, he also resumed his role as Librarian to the Nightwing collection as well as his own.

Thirty years have passed since Spencer returned to his home within Nightwing's Western edge of the territory, to which he comes and goes on occasion. Weapons of old battles have been set aside ever since. His shelves are littered with artifacts from his time spent traveling. A collection of books and magical supplies are stacked and housed just about everywhere to make the interior rather claustrophobic to newcomers. His home stands as something more likely to be found on accident than sought out, nestled in the trees. He resumes his studies rather diligently, hardly seen without a bag over his shoulder and a book within reach. His primary endeavor included fresh attempts at deciphering an old tome that had been entrusted to him by Skya prior to her passing.

 

 

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I opened that book and Hell came from its pages. 

The book was a gift. He didn't know the importance at the time the dragoness gifted it into his hands. Skya spoke of the discovery in her collection, like it could offer the wandering spirit of a man all the answers he had been hunting for so long. Her eyes had seen something he has yet to find in its conflicting, cryptic pages. The book's author is unknown. As to the writing contained inside, one page to the next is a labyrinth of coded twists and turns that would leave any linguist or philologist perplexed. Over the years the man had all but given up on the object that sat dusty on the shelf over his workbench. It served as an old memory for a friend that had eventually passed on without granting him any more secrets on why she had given it to him in the first place.

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“  It's always the furthest corner, the overlooked space... if history hasn't erased it. Dark Arts and magical studies alike have not been a favorite of history. ”

 

The book also became a curse. It started with a visitor in the night that crept in through the shadows and coiled his hands around the cover.  The man later revealed himself as a necromantic sorcerer named Marius. After their first meeting, it is apparent the stranger was not only after the book, but Spencer himself. The two have been entangled in a game of cat and mouse ever since. Every time Spencer gets a moment's rest, the black rolling clouds of the sorcerer's familiars creep closer to try and corner him. The chase has come to a point of exhaustion—the mage is forced to travel by day and find a light source to hide come night. The friends and allies that Spencer has reached out to for help are put in danger.

“I would swear to you or anyone else, before all of this, I don’t think we’ve met before.
All the more reason to find out what the book says, or…maybe all the more reason to not.
I’m running a little low on options to not try, in the least.” -Spencer to Raiya


No matter Spencer's demands, he hasn't gotten any answers from Marius about his true motives. He worries that the book has more secrets wrapped up in its guarded pages than expected. 
If he doesn't discover something about it in time, it might lead to his undoing.

 I'll finish the war I never knew I started.

-WIP- 

 

  

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On his person, Spencer keeps a messenger bag slung over his shoulder that has considerable wear and tear to its edges. Despite this, the bag is laced with its own magical properties. A journal or two are usually kept to catalog what he comes across during his travels, along with writing materials. Precariously, the longsword he carried as a Rider is hidden within the bag and can be pulled out at a moment's notice, defying the physics of the small bag.  A small array of weapons and other survivalist materials accompany it. A spare change of clothes or two is kept on standby. He keeps a spellbook handy with useful spells, diagrams, and incantations to assist, should he need them. He usually has a free-reading book, alongside the mysterious grimoire that has caused him misfortune over time. In more recent years, he also carries an outdated brick of a cell phone that he has no expertise in using.

+ Now Carrying :
 [The Water Nation Handbook]  [Lore of The Invictus]
[The ??? Grimoire] [Traveler's Spellbook]  [Field Notes]

 

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  And so, I learned to walk tall... 
but I walked taller among them than I ever was alone.

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 RAIYA 

Raiya will forever be Spencer's best friend when it comes to two-legged kind. She resided in Nightwing well before he ended up there, and the two grew attached at the hip once Spencer had taken the oath as a Rider. Having once been one herself, she was responsible for much of his advice while training, as well as the swordsmanship he honed during that era. The two have fought, struggled, and laughed, and are always up to something when they cross each other's paths. Rai has since moved on from the territory and runs her supernatural shop known as Omnia. Spencer pays a visit on sparse occasions, allowing the two to pick up their friendship right where it leaves off. Time has changed how often they might see one another, but some things never change.

 

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 TEMPEST

 Spencer had his hands full from the moment he first encountered the Water Drake. He was traveling the coast of Nightwing when Tempest came barreling in, and proved to be the first sign of anything draconic that Spencer had seen in countless years. Tempest is considerably younger than the dragons the Ex-Rider had been accustomed to. While testing his patience at times, the Drake has sparked some life back in the melancholic rider after the years spent alone in the territory. The two have since teamed up in their traveling when Temp was not the only thing that washed up from the shore: with great fortune came great dangers when the threat of a tsunami means that something else is looming under the sea floor, threatening Nightwing's main land. The task of getting to the bottom of the disturbance has paired the two together, and effectively dragged Spencer out of his element.

  

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CASSELLA

 The woman had Spencer's utmost curiosity from the moment they spoke to one another. She was all the things he didn't expect to run into on accident, but in truth, Cass was someone wrongfully drawn into his troubles at a time when he might have needed her most. Following a run-in late at night at a library, the night was filled with mischief for survival-sake. It was also filled with chatter when he realized she was a linguist, scholar, mage, and plenty of other things he has yet to decipher. The two are now travel partners as she graciously offered her skills to help him in deciphering the book in his possession that has proven to be most dangerous. Spencer worries about the reprocaution of bringing another person into his personal troubles with the book. On the same token, so rarely does he travel with someone so formidable.

 

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 NEMO

 The two met by chance during one of Spencer's rare visits to the city, where the library doors closed early and had locked the two in for the night. After becoming acquainted while sneaking back out using Spencer's abilities to do so, it took the walk back to the boy's apartment to decipher that the two had something in common. While Spencer had studied magic for a large portion of his life, Nemo's skillset held more promise than he could imagine at such a young age. Despite how long the two could have visited and chatted, their meeting was relatively short that night. Lo and behold, the short meeting opened the door for a visit that would come a few years later when Spencer would need his assistance most [More to come].

  

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IRRLITH
[NPC]

 Irrlith was a visitor to Nightwing not from another continent, but from the outer edges of space. Not much is known about the beast aside from his origins being somewhere distant and the looming fact that Earth's gravity is what trapped him here after a crash landing many, many years ago. The space beast has taken up refuge in the territory after conflict with humans and remained for quite some time under the Earth Nation's ground when Nightwing grew dormant. That was, until recently, when Spencer and Tempest woke the behemoth from its slumber in order to help them with the task of keeping the beast's second home safe. Not much is known about Irrlith's origins or biology, but he seems to have a sense of trust toward Spencer who is always looking for what he can learn about the brute.

 

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CLOUDFEATHER 
[NPC]

No practitioner of magic is complete without a loyal familiar. Cloudfeather is a leucistic red tailed hawk that can often be seen in off in the distance whenever Spencer finds himself far enough from the cities for her to follow. The raptor is capable of flying miles on end when needed to deliver messages in times of need, or exchanges between Raiya and Spencer when they find themselves apart. Cloudfeather has a seemingly mystical connection with the man, when no matter where his travels take him she is bound to find where he is once called. The bird is clever beyond its appearance and reliable beyond measure. She leaves his side only when delivering, occasionally switching roles with Raiya's own hawk, Cyr.

 

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“ Until we meet again. ” 

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CHANOOK

 To this day, Spencer still looks back in wonder to the moment where he had been asked to become a Rider. His partner was none other than Chanook, a dragon of rolling thunder and electricity that stood as a general among war beasts in Nightwing. While others knew him as a goliath, to his Rider, he was a lumbering beast at times and above all, his guardian and most trusted friend. The two spent their days nearby and fought wars by one anothers' side. Following the last conflicts of the territory, the two became separated and the man has carried a hole in his chest ever since. Spencer still believes that Chanook is out there due to the feint, yet present connection between the two that has not yet been severed. As a result, he has an occasional knack for dropping what he is doing at the slightest hint of a lead toward his whereabouts.

 

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ZORIKO 

Having first gotten to know Zoriko as a hatchling, she is the daughter of Skya and a dragon of the sky underneath her human facade. The dragoness was someone Spencer had the privlege of re-acquainting with after his absence from the territory when she actively sought him out following the advice of another former Rider. After re-acquainting from when she was young, Spencer took upon himself the task of teaching her magic from the ground up, helping the young dragoness tap into the magic that flows through her veins just as his own mentor did for him. After some time of training together, the two eventually parted ways. To this day he hasn't seen Zoriko again, but thinks back to their magic lessons together fondly when it was a time that his house didn't seem quite as empty.

 

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 SKYA

 Spencer saw much of the dragoness during the height of Nightwing, down unto the end. Sibling to Chanook, Skya was second in command to the Empress and was a formidable force come times of conflict. However, Spencer knew her first and foremost by the library hidden deep within her den near the center of the territory. He was a trusted visitor over time and has been responsible for the upkeep and mending of the books within it for countless years. He knows every main twist and turn to reach the hidden collection, down to the dragoness' den. Since her passing, the room has erupted with plant life, where she remains in a shrine-like state to present day. He vows to keep up his work of guarding the collection under her keep for as long as he is able.

 

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NOVAK

 The two first met in the earlier years of Spencer's settling in Nightwing as a crossing of paths, and they would come to meet again by the time the territory grew dormant. To the deities and spirits that had their eye on Novak, Spencer's spiritual nature being present was a trigger for alarm. Little did they know that their meeting would turn into a chase that would lead them to a chase that sent them cross-continent. The end of their trek lead them straight into the Underworld in order to settle the issue once and for all. As fate was never kind to either men before meeting, things hadn't gone as planned. What the spirit gained was his life and peace from being pursued. What he lost was the friend that had his back through it all. Spencer isn't sure what happened to Novak in the end, or whether he still exists somewhere in the realm below. The thought weighs heavily on his mind.

 
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 Active Threads & OOC :

Tempest  Water Nation Temple  |  "Did you say a sorcerer?"

Cassella  | Melbourne, State Library Victoria  |  "He's gone..?"

Raiya |  Letters via Hawks   |  "I'm so happy to see you."

Unity (AU)On The Highway   | "Who's side are they on?"

 

This character originates from around 2011-2012, and much of the lore and stories told originate from events written within that timeline until now. As a writer, especially with Spence here, I'm fairly lenient with response times. He is a 'support' character primarily, but I have a few goals I would like to finish in his plotline yet. Great starting locations include libraries, cafes, big cities, transit the woods, natural landmarks... although I can put Spencer anywhere, he has versatility in settings and can be made as modern or medieval as I need to (for the most part).
FC: Nariman Malanov

 


 " I'm trying to die happy someday
Heaven, let me come stay?
What would it cost
How would I pay?
Please just, save me a place
Tired and I'm awake. 
"
 

I am open to new roleplay threads

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  • Oh, she did not anticipate the realization to set in as fast as it did.

    Cassella felt her heart drop in between intermittent silences, twitching fingers settled upon the sheets not enough to be its cradle. That was more than enough answer for her to ruminate in, a merciless punctuation to all hopes and dreams that an old era might have brought to everyone else involved. She merely saw the very outskirts and there wasn’t anything out of the ordinary– just what kind of lasting, festering destruction lay beyond the thicket, beyond ruins, if anyone looked deeper? 

    There was the promise of seeing it all with her own two eyes, however. The slight warmth of an assurance that there will be good people that remained, waiting to be met.

    The woman figured that for a bizarre day that started way earlier than it should, all of these answers were more than enough.

    “No problem with that option, I can just…” There was a pause as she stared at Spencer. Half a squint, knee-deep in thought. “Hey! We can just go full vegetarian tonight.” She seemed pretty happy with the decision made on a whim, trigger-happy fingers tapping away to freedom. There were a few minutes spent with just her on the phone, ticking anything eye-catching, appetizing. With that all set for the wait, it can be noted that she was starting to look around for the rest of her things.

    “The others in your list I may need to look somewhere, some places here look promising. But I think I still got some dried mugwort...”

    Once more she gravitated to where her bag was, sifting through various things as her arm went deeper inside the leathery aperture. “I have a sibling that insists that I bring some along for safer travels. Not that it has ever protected me from anything and I just sleepwalk harder when I smoke it, but I'm still in one piece on some bad days so I guess it kinda works?” She proudly dragged out a ziplock bag half-choked with clustered dried herbs that looked way greener than it should. Pale hands hastily pushed that back in as she rummaged some more, finally pulling out another bag– this time with the proper label attached. “Aha, a hundred grams, give or take, would that be enough? Please, take all of it. With all this running you’ll probably need it more than I do.”

    . . .

     

    With a flutter of linen skirts and her bare feet pittering against the wood, Cassella was already rushing down the stairs to meet the delivery the moment her phone went off– almost as fast as the night they first went running for their lives. The only difference was that she wasn't terrified this time – if anything she was determined to guide their night’s tour speedrun to a food coma, her excitement evident even as she left. It took a fair bit of waiting for the rest, and finally, she emerged breathless from the stairs, excited past the swinging door when she returned with armfuls of paper bags and boxes, prattling about contemporary vegetarian cuisine, and the reviews. Something about Gourmet Traveller and beating up Michelin, whoever that unfortunate somebody is. 

    To anyone who wasn’t fully versed with the complications of modern fine dining, none of that perhaps made sense. It didn’t have to, it didn’t matter.

    The promised pizza was there. Maybe not as big as she originally thought of getting, considering that there was no shortage of a variety of things that she haphazardly ordered. Her only excuse was that it was not supposed to be this heavy, but the assortment of salads, rolls, thin wraps and stuffed vegetables would beg to differ. The little dining table was occupied with a tiny bit of everything before she knew it.

    “Write about it to your folks,” she squawked. The woman was clearly not skipping the ice-cold drinks and the desserts in sets of little flimsy cups. “By some chance you end up in this region again, you’ll have a good idea of what to get.”

    Maybe someday you're not running all the time. Maybe by then, you can drag your friends along.

  • Spencer's response was one shrouded with thinly-veiled discomfort. Raiya's curiosity was piqued at the span of hesitation before his reply, yet for the time being, she ultimately placed the blame upon his exhaustion.

    "I see. Perhaps Chanook does know something. As if we needed further reason to find him." Raiya's eyes gave a leisure flick towards the unicorn statue that laid near the front door. "If it brings you any further assurance, it's enchanted like the gargoyles of Omnia. There hasn't been a single twitch in the few days I've been here. That being said--" The raven rose to her feet and took a second to stretch out. A yawn was stifled into the back of her hand before her train of thought continued. "--It is safe to rest here if you need to, you can use the cot over there if you'd like to get some sleep. I'll map out our path in the meanwhile."

    Raiya made her approach towards the back corner of the small room, aiming to retrieve the bag that was still resting beside the aforementioned cot. Her hand graced upon the top of Spencer's head and offered a gentle ruffle as she passed him by.

    "One thing that gets me about your whole ordeal is that you may have possibly been kind enough to allow Marius to see the book had he just asked about it. It's baffling, really, how intentional he seems about harming you instead of just simply stealing the book." Raiya thought out loud while she moved. The elven brought the bag back to the table and returned to her prior seat, then placed the bag on the ground between her feet and began to rummage through it until she found her notebook and a small leather scroll where her pens were wrapped away. The pages of that notebook matched the pages used to write the letters. Raiya's meandering train of thought continued, simply musing aloud at this point.

    "Perhaps he sees you as a threat, or competition of some sorts. Or maybe he truly is just a simple "bite first, sniff later" type of dog. It's a long shot, but is there any chance at all that he could have known you, or known of you before you even found the book?" 

  • Spencer's subtle quarrel with the grid did not go unnoticed. Raiya shifted a knowing side-along glance towards him, and a shadow of a smirk dawned at his expense. No verbal comment was made in its regard. Had the circumstances been different, however, a lighthearted jest would have surely been made. Raiya was prepared to offer aid, yet the technology finally adapted to the cold touch and began to react at the ghost’s command.  

    The elven watched while Spencer analyzed the map and added his contemplative remarks. Her nature despised a true gamble; Raiya preferred to rely upon experience, on knowledge, and on scrutinizing the scenarios with the intent to produce maps that lead to outcomes with the highest survivability. This mission was all a mayhap that was built on their own endurance and faith against multitudes of variables that were beyond their control. The tips of Raiya’s fingertips subconsciously rose and rested against her lip while she became entirely transfixed on the map. 

    Think.

    Surely they were missing something. An easier path, an obvious solution, an unexplored direction that was illuminated by promise and hope. 

    Think.

    The elves were no strangers to unattainable goals and impossible outcomes. So why does this feel so difficult?  

    Think, gods be damned. 

     

    “I’m glad you found time for your magic —”

    The diversion in topic was a tug back to the present, and it prompted a blink and an abrupt turn of her head. Sharp features were lifted with surprise, then momentary curiosity, then softened into a smile. Raiya hummed in agreement.

    “The Old Magic is still very much alive, even with how the world has changed.” Tonalities came with a much more calm air than before, fitted with a touch of nostalgia that was only just tangible.  

    Raiya’s eyes fell onto her hand, which opened with her palm facing skyward. The air between her splayed fingers began to shimmer with wisps of iridescent blue. It lifted into a mist and wafted into a small, delicate sphere that rotated only but a hairsbreadth over her palm. 

    That shimmer, the mist, the soul and staple of Raiya’s natural-born abilities. Such was this old, versatile magic that had served as countless shields, countless weapons, and countless binds and barriers that ensured the survival of many. It was the first form of magic that Raiya had learned to weld, and the one that had followed her through the centuries.

    “It still wants to help, you know. It still cares for us.”  

    The wisps broke free from the spherical formation and proceeded to slither ‘round and between her fingers in a steady, gentle motion. Not once did the mist touch Raiya’s skin, no matter how close it came. It simply faded out into nothing, and Raiya emitted a quiet sigh. Her elbow was placed upon the table, and the side of her face settled into the open palm and angled to present her attention towards the ghost. 

    “What pulled you through during your search for answers? How did you ultimately shake off Marius?”

  • There was a lot of glancing back and forth between the two elven men when they started exchanging foreign words his mind couldn’t translate. Judging by the tones, expressions, and body language, it wasn’t good. Tempest had a theory in his head about where this was going, and soon that hunch would be confirmed.

    “No. Fucking. Way.”

    Once the realization struck him hard, the upper scales on his neck rose up, like an avian itching for a fight. His head and neck lowered, angling his rear legs in a way that’d make it easy for him to pounce on Rourke at a moment’s notice, but had not launched since no word was given to do so. Ohhh was there a strong urge to do it, especially since it was personal earlier.

    “Coming back for Round Two huh? I just hope you-”

    Upon hearing the female Monarch let out a growl, he cut himself off. Knowing she wouldn’t tolerate an escalation in her own palace, the sea drake bit his tongue and stayed silent. Instead of raising tensions this time, said wingless reptile let their host scold him and ended their bickering, listening closely. Once it was safe to speak again, Tempest posed a question.

    “So we’re the first go at it with your Warden and live?” Shortly after asking, the sea drake wondered if this meant they were in some trouble, or~ if maybe she was impressed that someone bested Roarke. If they were truly the first to get the jump on him, this would make an interesting story for him to share with Gleeon someday should they reunite. 

    For the next moment or two, he listened to what Yuna had to say regarding her mother’s sacrifice, implying that something else was at work here. It got his mind jogging with theories, contemplating. At least now they could rule out the Tsunami as Roarke’s doing since the energy required would have been absolutely massive. Still, this only raised more questions than answers. “I’m sorry for your loss.” He commented to give his condolences, briefly dipping his head down. 

    A long heave was visible from his chest, as if letting out an exhale despite being underwater. Facing the female ruler, Tempest inquired about the source of the recent catastrophe when locking eyes with her, eager to find out more. “If not your Warden, then who or what brought the tsunami? And given the scale of destruction, what are the chances that whatever caused it will strike again soon? If so, is there any stopping it?”

    Then something else hit him, which made the younger drake dart his jade, serpentine irises back to Spencer. “If we go back up to the surface later, we gotta move the Invictus somewhere in case there’s a second incident. I’d hate for my old home to get wrecked like that.” 

  • Witnessing the bot forge a weapon comprised of technology beyond mankind’s scope was a sight to behold, and his expression remained- neutral while working on it, void of emotion since this tiny project took his full focus. The mage’s hunch was indeed correct about the blueprint being embedded in his mind, visible in his own visual HUD to give him guidance.

    In the midst of creating what some might consider a marvel of a handheld weapon, his vector-shaped head perked up slightly upon hearing Spencer’s question, pausing for a good moment until an answer could be pieced together.

    “..Yes to both, but only two. The first was an anomalous girl with a lot strange quirks that involved a bunch of voodoo, who funny enough also had silver-white hair. The second one was a young lady that I reluctantly accepted into my life after she uncovered my existence, her name was Clarion. We went through a lot together until I presumably lost sight of her one day, and have never gotten closure on her fate since we last saw each other. At times I felt like I was being more of a parent to her than her spoiled father.”

    This marked the first occasion where anything personal was shared, and part of him felt- odd for just discussing it with a man he barely knew. Maybe the bot needed somebody to speak about it with since he’d been living like a hermit for the past couple of years.

    . . .

    Nothing was said while Unity allowed him to figure it out on his own, which he did successfully. Perhaps this man is a quick learner after all. A simple nod of approval was given when granting him a moment to study his new toy and familiarize himself with it, which would be critical for their first mission together.

    Just as the white mechanoid turned and was about to take a step forward, he halted upon hearing Spencer’s reluctance. Damn natives. Despite having no lungs, a long, audible exhale could heard parting from his mouth plates.

    “Start moving Meatbag, time is of the essence.” With that being said, the tip of his left foot was elevated and gently pushed against Spencer’s back to nudge him forward. Should the mage move along as expected, his much larger metal affiliate followed closely behind, cocking an energy rifle taken from his small armory. It wouldn’t take them long to step through the Ground Bridge portal.

    . . .

    Once the two had entered, they would both re-emerge on the other side, setting foot on an asphalt road. What lay before them was a very, very long stretch of bridge, with two-four-lane highways they stood out. Disturbingly enough, it was avoid of any cars, empty for many miles on end without anything in sight. One might think the place was abandoned.

    Surrounding that seemingly endless bridge was a vast Ocean, with no land anywhere to be seen. The skies were filled with ivory clouds of varying thickness, with some being very dark to signify the presence of rain much further away. It was windy out, enough to blow back the Rider’s hair.

    Down below the bridge columns were multiple, gigantic concrete structures resembling hexagon platforms. What purpose they served was anyone’s guess, and they looked fairly new due to the lack of weathering on their exteriors. All of them had closed doors on each side, similar to that of a submarine base.

    Shortly after taking a mental note of their surroundings, Unity took a short trek on foot toward the ledge, leaning over some to glance at the water and cast a gaze at the aquatic buildings below.

    “An unusual place to have an Energon mine, unless this place is just the distribution center for it. Those structures might be Cybertronian, look.”


    Below them at a safe distance, a few groups of other bots could be seen, all of them being similar to the ones Spencer had a previous encounter with, except these were unarmed and had dark purple exteriors instead, with each carrying tools on them. Most of them were busy doing construction patchwork on the roof of one of those facilities.

    “Those are Decepticon laborers, they’re easy targets due to lack of armament and training. If it’s not an export center, I’m curious on what’s inside each of those buildings. We could try finding a way to sneak inside or clear house and catch them by surprise. Not sure what the chances are they’ve got onsight security.”


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  • A strange dream, one that still creeps in between sleeping and waking, one that can leave a person uncertain if they have truly come around. Surreal by default, nightmarish at its worst. What can anyone expect in a life where names hardly ever stay dead? “How do you bear it?” The query posed to her warranted a pause to think. Cassella had her fair share of questions, strange things she might have thrown, and stranger things she caught. “It takes a certain level of denial,” she admitted. “Something that humans are good at. If one lifetime ain’t enough to count the losses you just gotta salvage what you can.” 

    When was the last time you practiced what you preach? Amusement quickly made its way on that face at his remark. Pleasant was not something she herself would define all that. A clusterfuck, maybe, but she didn't seem to protest that at all.

     

    Each time the Empire was brought up, there was always another surge of questions. They came and went in waves, each word heard and thought off leaving her hanging more than the last. Spencer easily painted a picture of ruins tangled with all things verdant green, now dominated by creatures that she probably hadn't heard of. Of races of dragons she hadn't laid her eyes on yet in the eons she had walked, only to be met with the punctuation that most of them were probably gone. Only bones claimed by the earth and the life that transcended it, if this war has even spared that somehow. “You're… not alone in there, yeah?” She gradually asked. It almost sounded like it was a thought that just tumbled out from wherever it was swiftly crammed. Even so, it was wrought with concern. “You do have peers who also stuck around like you did, right? Folks just as timeless to visit and hang around even just for a while.” Just to take out the solitude every now and then. 

    Maybe it was because a part of her knew what that was like. Hardly everlasting, but still always made the rounds. Making sure that some places were accounted for, some entities remained sane.

    "Sooo, what kind of ingredients are we talking about?" Cassella asked. “Nothing too legendary or back-breaking, I hope?” With one last peek outside to the sea and the faint lights that peppered its borders, she quickly drew the curtains. It was as if the woman was already half-expecting the sight of something canid from the shadows.

    There was nothing, it was alright. Even the familiar was calm for the first time today after the library’s ordeal. “I wouldn’t be so sure about the good old-fashioned apothecary as I’m rarely ever here…” Fingers poked around through the cracked screen as her voice trailed off. Some parts of the place were peppered with metaphysical shops and farmers markets. Hopefully, something an easy tracing or sourcing spell can find. “But there has to be something somewhere. Maybe make a list and we could give it a shot tomorrow morning if you like. We'll be here for a while, so you don't have to rush.”

    Leaving her post by the window, a low grunt left her as joints popped. No amount of moving or fighting can ever seem to silence that. “A more pressing problem, Spencer. Heading out this dark isn’t an option, I’m getting our dinner delivered here.”

    “I’m eyeing pizza and chips for tonight. Maybe fried chicken on the side. What do you think?”

  • "Oh, at least you don't have to worry about drowning now. I may or may not have been secretly planning on turning you into a big beefy boy like me if you started dying." This was followed by a playful nudge from his snout into the mage's side.

    Slowly but surely, the wingless drake made a full one-eighty turn on all fours once a newcomer was heard.

    What in Poseidon’s name?

    While far smaller than him in size, there was something eerily intimidating about this mystery man, especially with his unusual height compared to Spencer. Tempest wasn't phased at all but did have a strong feeling that this new being was not one to be taken lightly, who knows what tricks this being had up his sleeve. That had to be the case since he labeled them as intruders and felt strangely confident about barging in like this. Who messed up his face?

    Turning his head back to Yuna, the sea drake began elaborating on why they were visiting.

    “While swimming to the mainland I heard a massive roar. Not terribly long ago I met Spencer on accident when a giant tsunami struck. He told me about this almost mystical place called Nightwing where dragons ruled everything, but then they all died after some big war. I was just startled traveling with him, picked up Irrlith along the way, and- found an old ship that belonged to a close friend.

    The big guy took a dive, only to come back and tell us he found the Water Nation. After talking about it, we both think a Leviathan or some other giant monster caused the tsunami. He pitches the idea that all three of us go look for the Water Nation in hopes we either find survivors, OR~ a way to kill the creature before it strikes again.

    I myself wanted to find out if there were other water dragons still alive, because the last group I was with got scattered. Now I know the answer, on top of finding this lovely place still thriving. 

    I know my excuse might not be a good enough reason for barging in, but just like orcas: sea drakes are social, we’re not meant to live alone. But I did make at least one friend after getting torn away from a group of people that took me in.”

    It was after this explanation that the azure-scaled predator diverted the subject so they could address the crisis that has yet to be discussed. 

    “So- while trying to find this place, some massive angler drake came out of nowhere and attacked the three of us before we lost ‘em. Is that monster the same one that caused the tsunami at the surface? Or are we dealing with something far worse? Regardless if it isn’t, what exactly was that monster anyway? And why did it chase us?”

  • The comment regarding the metaphorical needle in a haystack prompted a humored and agreeing snort in return. Raiya’s palms rested upon the table, and her weight was transferred onto those palms. The elven watched Spencer while he paced and spoke aloud about Chanook’s most possible whereabouts. All of those options made sense, all things considered. And yet, there were so many variables to take into consideration. Once the final suggestions were made, Raiya reached out to the hologram and tapped on the peaks that jutted above the rest

    “The tallest peak is…” The final word trailed out into a tentative pause while the range zoomed in and became the prominent landform on the grid. Squares of text and flagged indicators popped up when the landform came into clearer view. “-- The Jebel Shams in Oman.” 

    Raiya then zoomed out of the map and worked silently for a few minutes to locate the general region where the raid had taken place. Once the area was found, she tapped on it, which created a thin red line that connected the mountain range to the place of Chanook’s prison. The route’s distance and other information appeared along with it in the form of a small text box.

    “It’s still a ways away from where Chanook was being held, but he did have a few weeks head start to get around.” 

    Raiya brought the Jebel Shams range back as the prominent landform on the grid, then began to read through the descriptions that popped up on the hologram. The few moments of silence gave Spencer the opportunity to zoom in on whatever part of the mountain or the descriptions he wanted to, should he choose to. The peaks were close to a shocking 10,000 miles above sea level, with ravines and canyons that cut extraordinarily deep gashes through the layered stone. There were parts where the sheer width of the ravines formed dishes of vast spaces between the wall-like faces of the mountains, spaces that were surely wide enough to allow multiple dragons to fly through. 

    “Spence, this… this could be it.” Excitement was beginning to dawn upon her fixated expression, yet it was hesitant to fully rise. Something shifted suddenly, and with a quietly-uttered “hang on,” she frowned a bit and enlarged a line of text near the tallest peak.

    “The highest summit of the Jebel Shams is home to a military base. It’s a restricted area. The second summit is open to the public as a trekking spot.”

    Raiya’s face became incredibly blank for a few moments. “...So, we’re about to rescue a dire dragon on public land, right beside a military base full of those who are actively on alert. We have limited means of transportation, we have no allies, and you cannot use your mental link to find Chanook due to a magic detection veil they cast across this whole territory. Did I mention that bit already?” 

    Raiya’s fingers rose and rubbed the sides of her nose, then her face gradually slid into her hands. There was a tremor that rippled through her shoulders. Those were not sobs that spilled into her palms, but chuckles that were paced with exasperation and the sheer exhausted humor towards the impossible situation at hand. While a mask of unwavering strength had to be donned in the presence of the warlords, such a facade was unneeded in front of the ghost. 

    The soft laughter effortlessly tapered off into a groan, then a deep sigh as she pulled herself together and once more straightened. “This is going to be an adventure of a lifetime, isn’t it? Chanook is more than worth it. We’ll find him, but we’ll need a plan. Are you up for learning a bit of counter-magic once you’ve rested up a bit?”

  • “Only a matter of time before it broke out I guess.” Without much more to say on the matter other than speculating, it was something they’d only have to worry about for later. Now wasn’t the time for it.

    Reluctantly so, the much smaller reptile plopped his head and neck back down in the spot her found in a little den of sand, closing his jade orbs. A few minutes or so were needed for him to dose off, requiring him not to keep thinking on that subject otherwise it’d keep him up all night.

    . . .

    It was the middle of a good dream when the chime had struck his ears, initially hearing it in his own little world until it brought him back into a state of consciousness.

    At first, Tempest grumbled, reluctantly stirring and stretching all four limbs. His maw parted ways to let out a yawn, placing each talon on the surface below him, pushing himself up and off. By swaying his tail in a repeated side-to-side motion, he took off toward the temple, both jade green hues only partially opened with how abruptly this came.

    When he arrived, an all-too-familiar merfolk lady was there to greet him, in which he promptly answered back. “Sounds important. Lead the way!” From that point on, said young drake followed her in by swimming initially, until gravity from the Temple shifted in a way that allowed him to walk on all fours instead.

    During their trek inside, the large reptile took notice of and admired the fine works of art that were present. Interestingly, he eyed the one showing a fierce match between two serpentine beasts, which made him wonder if it tied in with the monster they had previously encountered. Might be a good idea to tell them about it when he got the chance since the Rider probably forgot.

    “Spence!” Tempest greeted from a short distance away, the corners of his maw slightly elevated into a low smile since he was still somewhat sleepy. In order to acknowledge the other, he did the same with Yuna and addressed her in a casual manner. “Morning!” He said aloud, stopping a few feet short of the mage’s side. Dipping his head down, the sea drake questioned him about his mark. “What’s with the tattoo on your back? It’s glowing-”

    After this, he moved his snout away and faced Yuna.

    “You two wanted to see me for something?” He asked, expecting to hear something big since things were quiet upon arrival to this room, and who knows what they had been discussing since Tempest wasn’t around to hear it. 

    Immediately after posing his question, the mental note he made of the beast they encountered earlier struck him. “Would this be a bad time to mention we got into a fight with a big scary serpent that tried to kill us earlier near Vulcan’s corpse?”

  • "Hug huuug!" Said beanlett leaps into the Mage's chest with both arms spread out. 

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