[b What happens when chaos forms across the world as many villains rise up with evil intentions? Psshh, there's whole school ready to combat the villainy!
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Qym just laughs sheepishly at Fleur and Rowan's back-and-forth.
[i Those two sure are a pair!] He thinks to himself. [i I wonder how long they've been partners for?]
"No, no more test that I'm aware of, though I wouldn't put past the headmaster to have more during orientation." Sir Jorin responds. "For now, you should stay the night and get some rest at least, then you can figure out whether you want to stay or not."
"Well, I for one plan on staying and learning all I can from here!" Qym says then runs through the gate, into the school grounds.
"And I came here to attend too!" Phiareen says then follows after Qym.
"Take care to mind your manners!" Sir Jorin calls out to them.
Qym looks around the school in awe. No fog anywhere within the school allowed him to fully enjoy architecture, but somehow didn't help prevent him from bumping into someone by turning into them then falling onto his chest opposite from them.
"Wha- o-oh, I'm very, very sorry!" Qym says as he turns around to face the person. "I wasn't fully paying attention to where I was going!"
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Well, he had done his part. Rowan seemingly stepped back, allowing Qym to take the 'stage'. The taller male watched as the small dragon remained on his shoulder. Rowan could sense the energies in the area, nothing was hostile, so he remained in a mostly relaxed state. Besides, he usually left the more 'serious alertness' to his familiar since her senses were more powerful than his own.
Rowan seemingly raised an eyebrow as he watched the small elven boy take the blade. Of all things, the male never really thought of just sinking the sword into the crystal. He felt Fleur tense up on his shoulder. He glanced towards her out of the corner of his eye.
The small dragon seemed completely against it. Her small body was tense, wings slightly unfolded, ready to flare outwards and take flight. Fleur opened her muzzle to protest, but was silenced by a finger tapping her lightly on the nose. She looked towards Rowan, having an annoyed gleam.
Maybe the other was on to something, and it was proven correct. Soon the gargoyle started to twitch awake, the archway seemingly opening. Instinctively, Rowan's hand moved to his side where his weapons were in easy grasp. His eyes narrowed, a soft glow seemingly appearing in his gaze. Though it soon disappeared, feeling no threat from the stone creature that simply continued to observe.
Hearing Phiareen, Rowan offered her a glance. He chuckled softly, [#0000ff "Heh, wouldn't worry too much about me. I got Fleur to keep me on track here."]
Though the dark skinned male soon also followed, albeit at a slower pace. It didn't take long to catch up to Qym, the appearance of a massive building appearing.
[#0000ff "Hm...so that must be that 'Academy'."]
Fleur was on high alert. The fae dragon's head was shifting left and right, taking everything into her vision. A forked tongue flicked from her muzzle, testing the air.
[#ff69b4 "Lots of creatures here, be on your guard."]
Rowan rolled his eyes, muttering, [#0000ff "Yes [i 'mother']."]
His smart remark was met with a slap on the back of the head from Fleur's tail. Rowan only smirked at his familiar, turning his gaze to the newest person before them. Once again Rowan grew quiet, simply allowing the information to be presented to him, taking it in for use later.
His brown eyes glanced towards Phiareen, hearing her. Yet he wasn't one to really pry. His gaze shifted back to the new man; Jorin.
Rowan opened his mouth to speak, but was cut off by Fleur. The small dragon having an annoyed tone, [#ff69b4 "So we get to talk to the [i 'big man'] first before getting into this place? Or are there more of them silly tests..."]
Rowan closed his eyes, facepalming. He remained in the position for several moments before removing his hand. He gave the man an apologetic look, [#0000ff "Again, as usual, I must ask you to forgive my familiar. She tends to run her mouth at the worst of times...OW!!!"]
His comment had been rewarded with a nip to the ear by Fleur. Rowan shot a glare to his creature, glaring for several moments then looked back.
[#0000ff "Though I myself am unsure how this is going to work...never really put any thought into attending an Academy. Just heard about it, and my curiosity about this place won me over."]
"And nothing else is changing?" Qym wonders aloud. "There must be something we can do with this right now."
"Like what?" Phiareen asks.
"Hmm... I think I have an idea!" Qym responds as he picks up the sword. "But if this fails... we might have some trouble on our hands."
Qym walks up the orange crystal and raises up the sword.
"Wait, what are you doing?" Phiareen asks.
"The only answer I can see!" Qym answers then plunges the sword directly into the crystal.
The crystal spins around multiple times then shoots a beam into the gargoyle while disintegrating into puffs of magic.
The gargoyle opens its eyes and a zap of magic occurs in the archway under it, revealing some kind of force-field and turning it off.
"I am not going to lie, I thought it was going attack us." Phiareen says. "Glad to see I was wrong."
"I think that's all we need to do in order to continue onward!" Qym says as he runs through the archway. "Yup, let's go!" He then continues onward.
"Aahh, wait up!" Phiareen replies. "D-don't lose your way trying to keep up with him, Rowan!"
It didn't take long for Qym to reach the end of the road. The gates to Drolinaire Academy were directly in front of him.
Sir Jorin comes out from one of the gate's towers.
"I see you've made it." Sir Jorin says. "I am slightly surprised you never tried tailing me for the secret entrance to this place but I am glad that you decided to take the route intended for would-be students."
"Secret... entrance?" Qym questions.
"Ah yes, you'll learn about that after your orientation." Sir Jorin says then opens up the gates with some kind of magical incantation. "For now, you should make your way to the school's directory and use it to learn your way around the place."
Phiareen soon catches up.
"Qym... you shouldn't run off like that!" Phiareen says. "There could have been another test or another creat-... oh, we've made it."
"So you've decided to attend here too, Phiareen?" Sir Jorin asks.
"Not like the other schools were going to take me, no matter how much I offered to pay." Phiareen answers. "Besides, it's better I go here anyway."
"What's wrong?" Qym asks.
"N-nothing, nothing!" Phiareen answers.
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Rowan seemingly shrugged, [#0000ff "Your guess is as good as mine. Could be a real phoenix, or could perhaps be a form of magic which takes the form of said creature."]
His gaze shifted towards the girl, watching as she lit up the braziers. The dark skinned male's eyes watched in silence as the symbol of a star formed above. Rowan continued to observe, taking everything in as the scene unfolded.
The small fae dragon that sat on his shoulder, seemingly huffing. She shot a look over towards Qym, [#ff69b4 "Are you doubting my master's abilities? Why I oughta..."]
Rowan had suddenly moved his hand, lightly taking hold of his familiar's muzzle. He glanced towards her, [#0000ff "Fleur...shut up and hand me one of your fae fire arrows please."]
Well, the small dragon did indeed grow quiet. Though she glared at Rowan for several moments, but reached back. As she searched through the quiver upon his back, the male once again pulled out what at first appeared to be a white staff, but soon unfolded into a bow. He raised the weapon, holding his other hand out. Fleur soon pulled a certain arrow out, tossing it over, Rowan easily catching it.
He notched the arrow to the drawstring, pulling it back. Rowan rose the bow upwards. This was an easy target, it wasn't moving. Now if it had been moving, it would've been slightly tougher, but even then the male was a pretty good shot. His breathing slowed down, then seemingly sighed as he released the string.
The arrow whistled, the tip glowing with a soft pink fire; Fleur's fae fire. Rowan's arrow found it's mark, the symbol flashing once, then altogether disappearing. The man lowered his weapon, eyes narrowing slightly. Well, he had done his part, but there was still something missing, the 'holy blade'.
[#0000ff "Hm, perhaps a mix of fire and light magic will be enough to create said 'blade'."]
The dark skinned male raised a hand. Fleur perched on his shoulder. Her scales seemingly glimmered, her own magic merging with her master's. Soon, a beam of pure, white energy ran forth from the palm of the male's hand. As the light shot forth, it came to strike one of the fire's.
To Rowan's surprise, the flames seemingly swallowed his light, mixing it with the dancing fire. He blinked a bit as the light and fire started to swirl together. Then wouldn't you know it, between the light and fire, something was suddenly sent flying. There was a loud clang, a blade soon laying nearby.
[#0000ff "Oh...so that's the blade...honestly didn't think that was going to work..."]
"Divine Phoenix?" Qym says. "It couldn't be an actual Phoenix, right?"
"Let's just start with what we know to do first, shall we?" Phiareen says as she walks up to one of the braziers. "Which is lighting these with my magic." She then summons a small flame in her hand then tosses it into the brazier.
Phiareen then lights the rest of the braziers and they all furiously flare up at the same time, the flames rising up and forming a small star symbol floating above their heads.
"Eheh... is that the shooting star?" Phiareen asks.
"Wait... is it getting higher?" Qym questions.
The fire star was indeed rising up higher, but only to a few meters higher in the air.
"That sure will be target to make." Qym says. "But I'm guessing it won't be difficult for you, Rowan?"
"I wonder what the holy blade is in all of this." Phaireen says. "We'll just have to see if what we are supposed to do will be revealed to us."
Before either of them could do any more, the crystal shines blindingly for a few seconds then spins around and rises up a few inches.
"Hopefully that means progress and not some sort of time limit." Qym says.
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Rowan listened quietly for several moments, then returned to his familiar's side. He looked over the language as well. The male caught a few words that were familiar to him, but for the most part, it was unknown to him.
[#0000ff "Think you might have pieced something pieced together Fleur?"]
The tall male waited patiently for his familiar to reply. He really was in no rush, knowing very well companion was trying her hardest. His eyes shifted to the other pair for several moments, then back to the fae dragon.
Fleur finally gave a huff. She flitted over, coming to rest upon Rowan's shoulder. Her green eyes were a soft glow. The small dragon's tail once again lightly curled around her partner's neck.
[#ff69b4 "Well, I really did try, what I managed to figure out is that it speaks of the 'four sacred flames', then something about a 'shooting star', and then finally the mention of a 'blade of holy light' which will send a beacon into the sky, calling forth the 'Divine Phoenix'."]
Rowan was silent as she spoke. He slowly closed his eyes, allowing his thoughts to sort themselves. After several moments, he finally spoke again.
[#0000ff "Hm, I see..."]
His dark eyes suddenly shifted to the girl who called herself 'Phiareen', [#0000ff "My guess is you are the one who will light these 'sacred flames'. I know nothing of fire magic, I myself focusing on wind and water from my mother's mage blood, and light and nature upon my father's side..."]
[#ff69b4 "Oi, don't forget about that small bit of fae magic, thanks to me."]
Rowan shot a look to the fae dragon on his shoulder, but returned his gaze back to the two before him, [#0000ff "As for this 'shooting star', quite certain one of my wisp or fae fire arrows will do the trick for that, and as for this 'holy blade', still trying to figure that out. Could be a combination of both my light magic and Phiareen's fire magic combined to make a blade of sorts, but then I could be completely wrong."]
"Who's to say you wouldn't be the illusion here?" Qym says.
"Fair point." The girl responds. "My name is Phiareen."
"So, are you here to join the academy?" Qym questions.
"That is the plan, though I don't know if I would be able to make it the rest of the way by myself..." Phiareen answers. "I failed at sneaking around the werewolf and was forced to scare it off with some simple pyromancey tricks."
Phiareen then checks her pockets and starts to panic.
"No, no, nononono- this can't be happening!" She exclaims. "I can't have lost it, I can't!"
"Lost what?" Qym asks.
"A special dagger of mine!" Phiareen answers. "It's the only thing I have left of my mother!"
"Wait... could it be this one?" Qym asks as he pulls out the dagger he placed in his boot. "I found it along the road-"
"YES, THAT'S IT!" Phiareen shouts as she takes the dagger. "Thank you thank you thank you!"
"It's all you have left of your mother?" Qym questions.
"She... died from her own fire along with our home." Phiareen replies. "It was a very powerful fire... leaving no trace of it or anything it consumed, not even ashes."
"And the dagger...?" Qym says.
"It was... hey, did you either of you solve the puzzle yet?" Phiareen says. "If you've noticed, there are four braziers here that can be lit up, and I think it might have something to do with this mysterious puzzle."
"Well Fleur is trying to decipher the language written on that plague." Qym says while pointing towards Fleur. "If this place really is designed to adapt its puzzle to everyone who enters it, then maybe there's something that will require a bit of archery."
"Ah, just like how there's something for me to use pyromancey on." Phiareen says. "But what about you?"
"I found the plague and you but I don't think those really count." Qym says. "I'm still not sure on what magic I even want to learn, so my only guess is that there will be something requiring swordsmanship."
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Rowan found himself wandering around the ruins. He heard the soft sound of wings as Fleur returned to her place on his shoulder. Hearing what sounded like a 'click', the man paused, glancing backwards. He slightly raised an eyebrow as he watched the crystal slowly rise.
Hearing Qym ask if they knew a language, Rowan moved back to where the elven boy was cleaning the plaque of dirt. The male paused, looking towards it. He held his arm down, allowing his familiar to slink downwards, getting a look.
The small dragon's eyes narrowed even further, her thin pupils nearly lost in the vast green of her eyes. A forked tongue flicked from her muzzle, testing the air.
[#ff69b4 "Well, don't see this language used very often, seems to be a mash-up of Fae and I think some dragon. Give me a few moments, and I should be able to decipher it, no promises though. This text is old, so some letters could very well be missing for all we know."]
Rowan remained silent. Fleur had hopped off his arm, hovering in front of the plaque. His dark eyes turned, observing the area. As far as he could tell, there were no hostile auras around. Which he considered a blessing. Though, there was something or someone else nearby.
Seemed the elven boy beat him to it. He heard Qym call out, asking for whoever was there to reveal themselves. Sure enough, a young female was cowering near Qym.
[#0000ff "Only reason for bandits to be around were if there were some type of valuable to be had. As far as I can tell, and from what I sense, there is nothing of value really here. Sure, there's the crystal, but doubt they would be able to remove it."]
Rowan's eyes looked back to his familiar. The small fae dragon was completely focused on the plaque. The dark skinned male chuckled softly as he watched Fleur for several moments, but went back to a more serious expression as he looked towards the new female.
[#0000ff "An illusion huh? Fair enough. Though, I shall assume you are either here looking for this academy, or something or someone chased you towards this place. Don't by chance have a name? Or shall I allow my familiar to come up with a name for you?"]
Qym begins searching the ruins for any clues on what they are supposed to do. He notices a tile is jutting out in front of the crystal then presses it, revealing that it is a button.
The crystal rises upwards as a pedestal forms from the ground with plaque in the middle of it.
"Hmm... well, there's something here but it's in a language I don't know." Qym says as he wipes off dirt from the plaque. "Would you happen to know it?"
Qym moves away from the plague and begins investigating the rest of the area. He ends up not finding anything, sits down on a rock and sighs.
"I get the feeling this place changes to challenge all who enter its vicinity by presenting certain puzzles that would require the three of us to solve." Qym says. "There will probably be a riddle somewhere because I doubt solving one thing will let us pass."
Qym feels something off about the rock he's sitting on, as if it's not a natural rock. He inspects closer and feels traces of residual energy, almost like some has cast some sort of magic here... like a kind of magic that can disguise yourself with your surroundings.
"Wait a second, this isn't a rock!" Qym exclaims. "Reveal yourself!"
The 'rock' turns into a flash of light then a red-haired little girl appears in its place.
"Please don't hurt me!" She yelps while cowering with her head covered.
"W-we're not going to hurt you!" Qym responds.
The girl blinks then looks up at them.
"You're not bandits?" She asks.
"Wha- why would bandits be here out here trying to solve puzzles?!" Qym answers with a question. "If we were, we would have stormed our way through then end up fighting the gargoyle."
"I didn't mean real bandits... I thought you all were part of this place as some kind of illusion that can actually hurt." The girl says as she stands up. "Mercenaries would probably have been a better word maybe... but sorry anyway."
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
The duo paused, staring at each other, then back to the smaller male. Rowan's dark eyes shifted towards the sky, hearing the soft rumble. As for Fleur, the small dragon gave a chirrup, shifting a little bit. Her green eyes glowed softly.
Rowan returned his gaze to Qym, who had once again started to walk down the path. He glanced towards Fleur, then seemingly shrugged. Once again he found himself trailing behind the elven boy, only this time he was at least aware of it.
The dark-skinned male heard the boy, replying with a slight shrug, [#0000ff "It's mostly peaked my interest. As for attending..."]
[#ff69b4 "Pfffft! Like we'd join some 'school',"] Fleur had suddenly interrupted. The little fae dragon gave another huff, [#ff69b4 "Ain't nobody got time for such silly things!"]
Rowan rolled his eyes. It wasn't long before they approached a rather interesting structure.
[#0000ff "I wouldn't worry too much about gargoyles. They can be pretty laid back creatures, unless of course you threaten the building or whatever it is they are guarding."]
[#ff69b4 "Eh, I don't much care for puzzles. Riddles, however, now that's something I actually have a chance at."]
Rowan glanced towards his familiar out of the corner of his eye, then back tot he ruins. The male slowly approached the statue. He glanced towards the marking.
Fleur had hopped off of his shoulder, landing before the gargoyle. She looked up at the carved stone. The frill around her head remained flared, small ears twitching as she listened intently. Fleur tilted her head to the side, eyes narrowing, pupils thin slits.
The man was quiet for a few moments, then spoke, [#0000ff "So, any ideas what exactly we're suppose to do here?"]
"I've only been to town a few times before the school reopened, and even then, I've never seen that person before or anyone like him." Qym says. "Could he be... no, I can't make any assumptions yet."
The clouds above start to thunder.
"Huh... erm, we should get moving now since it seems it's about to rain." Qym says as he starts heading up the path once again.
[i This will be awkward if we walk the entire way in silence.] Qym thinks to himself. [i Come on and think of something to say!]
The area around them darkens even more as more clouds form and turn gray.
"What brings you to Drolinaire Academy if you seem to already know your way around magic?" Qym questions. "Do you plan on attending the school or were you just curious about its dangerous route to take?"
[i I guess that's a start of a conversation.] Qym thinks. [i Why am I having a hard time thinking of anything to talk about anyway... I've never had this much trouble before, not even with that gatekeeper who was also a stranger!]
"I don't think I could solve whatever puzzles they may throw at us on my own, especially that one about a glowing crescent stone with a gargoyle guarding it." Qym says. "I hope the gargoyle is just keeping that area safe, not attacking anyone who approaches."
Before long, they reach a small structure in the middle of the road of what once was a stone building of some kind but is now in ruins.
The road leads into the building through an archway and to another archway on the opposite side with a gargoyle sitting atop, one that has yet to come alive, and an orange crescent crystal in the middle of the ruins.
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Rowan seemingly blinked. Fleur finally managed to pull her muzzle from her owner's gasp, giving a slight gasp. She dug her claws into his shoulders. Without meaning to, the small dragon accidently tightened her tail around Rowan's neck causing him to choke slightly.
[#ff69b4 "How were we suppose to know?!"]
[#0000ff "F-Fleur...y-y-you're choking...c-choking me..."]
The fae dragon that had been bristling only then took noticed. She quickly unwrapped her tail from Rowan's throat. As soon as his windpipe was open, the man managed to take a few deep breaths, then glared at his familiar.
[#0000ff "Idiot, trying to kill me now are you?"]
Both suddenly grew quiet, staring as the newest person suddenly came walking past. Whoever it was, must've had something about them, cause the werewolf took off like there was no tomorrow. Well, that was one less problem to worry about.
Rowan's dark eyes shifted back to the boy, who stated his name was 'Qym'. The male seemingly eyed the smaller boy head to toe. Rowan returned his arrow back to the quiver, bow suddenly folding into itself. The weapon was clearly unique and special.
[#0000ff "The name's Rowan. The fae dragon on my shoulder is Fleur, my familiar."]
[#0000ff "I avoid violence when I can. Though I will defend myself should the situation call for it."]
[#ff69b4 "Weirdo guy,"] Fleur pointed her tail to where the stranger wandered off to, [#ff69b4 "Thought you would've known. My partner and I are pretty new around these parts."]
"Ehe... well um, you need to put your weapon away!" Qym says. "This werewolf isn't hunting, she's protecting her home!"
The werewolf cautiously watches them both.
"She'll let us continue through as long as we don't harm her or disturb her den!" Qym adds. "R-right...?"
The werewolf nods once.
"See?" Qym says. "So please don't provoke her and put away your weapon!"
[i Please listen, whoever you are!] Qym thinks. [i This doesn't have to-... uhhh... who's that behind him?]
A figure cloaked in red pointy-hooded robes emerges from behind the man and his familiar and walks past them. Fear is seen in the werewolf's eyes as it runs away into the foggy forest.
The hooded figure walks past Qym, completely ignoring both him and the other male.
[b "Set in stone, it was all set in stone... were eight, now five... only known to be cast by the shadows..."] He mutters as he walks away from them and further up the road.
"H-hey, mister, are you-" Qym tries to say but the hooded figure soon disappears into the fog.
Qym, now standing there, confused as to what just happened, says aloud in a quiet tone, "What is going on this place?"
Qym then turns around back to the two who were following him for some time.
"My name is Qym." He says. "As you can see, I am trying to reach Drolinaire Academy, and I was also trying to prevent violence from happening but... do you know that person that walked past us?"
[h3 [center Rowan & Fleur]]
Rowan continued to walk. He seemingly barely made a sound as he moved. Fleur continued to cling to his back. Her small head moving constantly. Her forked tongue flicked out, testing the air. Her tail lightly wrapped around Rowan's throat, helping her stay balanced.
The male suddenly paused as he heard a voice call out. Rowan seemingly cursed softly under his breath. As for his fae dragon, she rolled her eyes.
[#ff69b4 "Good job idiot, seems we've been called out."]
[#0000ff "Shut up Fleur, besides, you were the one freaking out when you heard the howl..."]
Rowan's familiar suddenly chattered loudly in his ear, causing him to lightly slap her head. He cursed again, [#0000ff "[b Stop]! You know I friggen hate when you do that!"]
Fleur had a smug look on her muzzle, [#ff69b4 "Hey, it get's your attention doesn't it? Whatever, let's go look for whoever is there."]
Rowan sighed, but knew she was right. The male walked a few more steps, coming upon a bit of a strange sight. It was the young elven boy of earlier, and said werewolf. Rowan felt Fleur move on his shoulder. Her frill was flared out, small ears flicking forward. The fae dragon's lips curled back showing tiny sharp fangs.
[#ff69b4 "Oi! So he made wolfy into a pet?! Didn't think it was..."]
Rowan was quick to clamp his familiar's jaws shut. Even as he felt Fleur struggle in his grip, his eyes remained calmly on the werewolf and elven boy. In his other hand, the dark skinned male still held onto his bow.
[#0000ff "Forgive my familiar. She sometimes doesn't know when to keep her muzzle shut. Anyways, just myself and my familiar are the only ones here, less I am missing something that I am unaware of."]
Qym poked his head out slightly and saw the werewolf sniffing around.
[i Fur patterns... physique... female?] Qym wonders as he tries to inspect the werewolf from where he is. [i Judging by the lack of any signs of transformation... she must be a natural born.]
The werewolf looks in Qym's direction, to which he quickly ducked back to not get spotted. The werewolf inches closer and closer until she smells a scent approaching from down the road and instinctively shuffling behind a tree while looking in the direction the scent is.
[i Ervin said she's guarding her territory, which must mean she doesn't leave a specific area, the area which to her we would happen to be trespassing in.] Qym thinks. [i If she has a territory she must protect, she's the only known werewolf around here and she's female... then she really shouldn't be harmed!]
Qym decides to hide away the dagger he has into his boot then get the werewolf's attention.
"Excuse me Miss!" Qym whispers.
The werewolf reflexively turns around and pins Qym to the ground.
"Surely you wouldn't hurt someone who's not trying to intrude!" Qym says. "I'm just trying to pass through, not harm you or anyone else, and I know you understand what I'm saying and you don't go attacking any nearby villages because The Philosophers wouldn't allow that!"
The werewolf just stares at him, letting out low growls.
"I don't know if the person following me has any intent on hurting you but fear will cause one to do anything, like the fear of what could happen to whoever you're trying to protect!" Qym says. "I could help make sure nothing happens if you let me!"
The werewolf sits up slightly then sniffs Qym, as if trying to sense whether he is lying or not. She then gets off him and he gets up and out of the ditch.
[i Okay, now how does one stop violence from happening?] Qym wonders as he walks a little ways back the way he came. [i I guess I should call out for whoever's there and hope for the best.]
"Hey, who's out there?!" Qym shouts. "I know you've been following me for some time now so show yourself!"
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