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 Magus Potentae

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:35 am

As time passed, Cal found himself more and more annoyed by Kalen's random comments. He didn't really care what they were passing. He didn't really care about any landmarks unless it was the camp itself. He slid off the saddle, since Narrel now seemed to be strong enough to support herself.

"I'm going to scout ahead for a little bit," he growled before slinking off into the woods."

Narrel watched him go with a frown on her face. Cal had seemed really tense recently, and it was beginning to worry her. He had every right to be worried, she supposed, but he shouldn't let it affect his dealings with his friends. She shook her head. Kalen made another comment about what they were passing, and she turned to him with a smile.

"So, is that anywhere near the camp?" she asked curiously. She loved to ride, but she was beginning to get sore, and the sun was beginning to set. She was starting to worry that they wouldn't reach the camp by nightfall.

Far below the castle, in a dungeon that most people didn't know existed, a monster stirred. It's yellow eyes glowed with anticipation as the trembling human unlocked its door. It had been decades since the Umbra had been sent on a mission. It grinned, revealing lines of crooked yellow teeth. It rushed forward, knocking the servant aside before he could even open the door. It ran upward, towards the calling of its master.

The King continued pacing, waiting for his creature to appear. He turned as his door crashed open, revealing the one he had been waiting for. The king grimaced. The creature truly was hideous. He hated to keep it alive at all, but it did have its uses.
"You are to track down my son," the King said in a cold voice, "and kill him. Do what you will to any who are with him."

The Umbra laughed, and jumped out the window, quickly slithering through the shadows towards the woods.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Dec 28, 2009 10:47 am

"Yes," Kalen said happily. He watched Cal go off, then shrugged his shoulders. He hoped he hadn't been annoying with his talking, but nobody had said anything to him. Taiju had always ignored him when he started to ramble, and when he was by himself it was never a problem. He gave a mental shrug as well and looked over at Narrel. "We're right on the edge of the camp. Can't be much more than a minute."

"Good," Taiju sighed, the first he had spoken in awhile. He swung down from his horse, wrapped the reigns around one hand, and stretched his arms behind his back as he walked. It had been too long since he had moved. He hated riding for more than a half-hour for that reason. Hopefully setting up at the camp would go smoothly and he could go train to unwind.

"I'm going to go ahead too," Kalen said, getting down from his horse and grateful to be off the thing. "Some of the rogues here should know me, and since we're a naturally suspicious lot it would probably be best for a familiar face to go ahead of you guys." He handed off his horse's reigns to Taiju without asking and jogged ahead, leaving Narrel and Taiju behind.

Taiju sighed. "Well, at least we're here . . ." He was silent for a moment before looking over at Narrel. "So does Cal always act like he has been?" he asked. "I talked to him for a little while once back at the city, but since we started traveling he's been . . . odd. Overprotective, and I think he thinks I'm posing a threat to him somehow. Is this normal, or am I just special?"

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Jan 01, 2010 2:11 pm

Narrel smiled. She shouldn't be surprised that he would have noticed Cal's unorthodox behavior. She didn't know how to answer his question, though.

"He always used to be so carefree," she said slowly. "He would laugh and joke, as if there was nothing in the world that could bring him down. When his father turned on him though. . . I think it shattered his perfect world. He's coping as best he can, but he doesn't really know how to handle this new danger and responsibility."

Cal ran through the forest, circling the camp. It seemed secure enough. He didn't see anything that would give them away. At least, not to the untrained eye. It would have to do, he decided.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Jan 01, 2010 3:06 pm

"Hm . . . well, I suppose I can understand that. Can't say I don't know what that feels like. Being kicked out on your ass into a world that doesn't want you alive can really break you for awhile. However, that's not what's bothering me." Taiju hesitated a moment to look at his horse, who was pulling at the reigns in agitation. "When I talked to him alone, he was perfectly fine. Now, however, that we're traveling, he seems . . . Well, what confuses me is how he doesn't seem to like me being around you. That is what I don't understand."

Before he could think on this further, the forest suddenly opened up to a clearing. Trees surrounded a small plain of grass, where tents were pitched, fires burned, and even what appeared to be merchant's booths were set up. A fairly large number of people milled around the area, taking care of their own business.

At the entrance to the camp, Kalen stood with a couple of men, chatting animatedly. He glanced back and grinned when he saw Taiju and Narrel approaching. "See, these are the others I brought with me . . . except Cal, I don't know what he's doing but he'll show up," he said, gesturing at the others. "I wanted to make sure there wouldn't be any trouble. They're good people and all."

The two men looked at Narrel and Taiju with suspicion. Taiju didn't pay them any mind, instead scanning the camp. It certainly looked like a good place to hide out.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jan 18, 2010 8:00 am

Narrel was thinking about how to respond to Taiju's question, but luckily a distraction was presented. They entered the camp, and idle conversation was no longer an option. She didn't know any of these people, and she wasn't sure if she could trust them. The only thing she knew about them, after all, was that they didn't swear to the king. While that meant that they were strong willed, it did not prove that they were trustworthy. She put on a smile though, wanting to make the best of the circumstance.

"Thank you for taking us in," she said with a small bow. "We would have had nowhere to go, were it not for you all."

She looked around, meeting eyes of people that were just as unsure of her as she was of them. She could only hope that none of them would recognize her as a former-Royal.

Cal circled the camp once more, delaying his entrance. How could he ask these people to take him in, when he had helped to persecute them all these years? He sighed. He couldn't wait any longer though; there was no reason to. He let go of his wolf-brothers regretfully, and stood up to enter the camp.

Without warning, something slammed into him. He was on the ground and fighting before he could even see what it was. When he did, he wasn't sure if he believed it. What was this thing, anyway? It looked like a monster straight from his nightmares. He cried out in pain as the thing slashed open his shoulder. He rolled away from it, holding his injured arm. He tried to reach out for his wolves again, but his concentration was too shattered, and he couldn't make contact.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jan 18, 2010 12:02 pm

Taiju was about to ask something of the men when something else caught his attention. A commotion was beginning to start at the edge of the camp. A couple of the other rogues looked confused and were running toward the source of the commotion; one paused to grab a weapon from a nearby booth. Taiju frowned, and remarked bluntly, "Something's going on."

The other two men and Kalen followed his gaze outward. The men immediately went to see what was going on, but Kalen lingered and looked back at the others. "Considering how very little ever happens at a hidden camp, that's probably not a good thing," he added. "I suppose getting everyone introduced to one another is going to have to wait until we make sure this is all sorted out."

"Whatever it is, I'd rather be taking care of it than meeting people," Taiju sighed. He handed off the horses' reigns to Kalen, who looked annoyed to be given the duty of moving the beasts elsewhere, and started off toward the source as well. He might as well pretend he wanted to be useful while he was there.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jan 19, 2010 6:47 pm

The Umbra snarled happily. Finally, it was getting to do what it was created to do. It reared up and let out a spine-chilling scream, feeling strong contentment as animals began to flee the area. It sniffed around, searching for it's prey. The sweet scent of sweat and fear collected in it's nostrils. It turned quickly, lunging once more at the one it was sent to take out.

Cal dived under a bush, panting hard. His mind was racing. What was happening? What was that thing? Why couldn't he connect with his power? The creature let out a cry, and he felt the hair on the back of his neck stand up. Suddenly the thing was moving again, lunging at him. Cal rolled out of the way, barely missing those razor-sharp claws. He cursed under his breath, and scrambled to his feet. He had to get somewhere safe.

Narrel watched the camp begin to work as a commotion was raised just outside. She looked around, confused. Were they under attack? Surely the hunting party couldn't have caught up with them so easily, and without her sensing them. She trotted after Taiju.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue Jan 19, 2010 7:00 pm

Taiju eased quickly into a run as he headed toward the apparent problem, worry falling heavier on his features. Someone closer to the commotion yelled something about a beast, a monster. What was that about? Surely there wasn't any animal worse than a wolf out in the forest, and that wasn't nearly vicious enough to cause this much of a stir. Still, he subconsciously picked up a sword from a booth that he passed, not wanting to be unarmed just in case this proved dangerous.

As soon as he was close enough, he caught sight of the beast. He stopped in place, drawing a long blank as others went forward to try to stop it. Just what was this thing? He couldn't even begin to imagine. It was enough to make him want to turn back around, but he stayed in place, trying to form a coherent thought.

"So Cal's still out there somewhere," he said lightly, looking back at Narrel. "It . . . may be within one's best interests to try to figure out where he is if we're going to be attacked by something.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Thu Jan 28, 2010 1:09 pm

Narrel stopped short, just behind Taiju. There was something wrong - she could feel that now. Looking around, she spotted the source of the commotion. Her whole body went cold, as if she had been doused in ice water. Things like that just didn't exist. Or, they shouldn't. She didn't have much time to worry about it, though. Taiju's words frightened her even more than the creature did, and she reached out with her Magus to find Cal.

"Sleeping sentries," she cursed, "He's almost right under the thing!"

She reached out with her Magus, lifting the earth around the beast to try and ensnare it. Her eyes widened as it seemed to phase right through her solid rock embrace. It looked at her briefly, death in its eyes, before turning back to it's prey.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Jan 29, 2010 7:26 pm

"Well then, that means we can't just sit here." Although disturbed by how the beat was unaffected by Narrel's attempts, Taiju shook off his shock. If Cal wasn't already dead, he soon would be. They couldn't hold still. Instinct took over and he darted forward, his borrowed sword raised and ready to strike.

Kalen came running up again just as Taiju charged off. He skid to a halt, stared at the monster, and looked to Narrel. "What the hell is that thing?" he demanded, fear evident on his face. "And why does Taiju think it's a good idea to go attack it?!"

Despite being afraid for his friend and confused by the entire situation, he knew better than to let that get ahead of him. He called upon his own Magus to ensnare the beast in vines, although doubting it would be of much help against such a large creature.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:19 pm

The Umbra roared in frustration as it was bombarded, first by hands of soil and then by snaking vines. The first it simply melded through, the second proved more of a problem. It ripped at the vines, tearing them apart almost as fast as they could wrap it up. It saw a young male running towards it with a sword. It growled a warning, snapping it's jaws as it tore through yet another vine.

"It's attacking Cal," Narrel yelled in response to Kalen. She didn't have an answer to his second question; she didn't really believe there was one. Kalen's vines slowed the beast down, but didn't stop it. Narrel saw that it wasn't going to be long before it broke through them. She reached for her Magus again, going for a different approach this time. She put up a rock shield between the thing and Cal. Hopefully, it would be strong enough to hold.

Cal watched silently as his friends came to his defense. He scuttled backwards as the beast was distracted, but a twinge in one of his legs told him something was wrong - he couldn't stand up. A wall came up between him and the creature; he could only assume that he had Narrel to thank. Slowly, he felt his breath returning. He closed his eyes, trying to calm down, and attempted to reach out once again with his Magus.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jan 31, 2010 3:37 pm

Kalen repressed an urge to run in after Taiju, afraid for his friend's safety. Surely the male had more common sense than to run at the beast like that--but there was nothing Kalen could do to stop him. He focused on trying to restrain the beast, throwing forth more vines for all the ones that were torn, trying to at the least keep it slow. Beads of sweat began to form on his brow as the continual effort of exerting his Magus began to take a toll.

"Someone needs to get Cal out of there," he said breathlessly, glancing briefly at Narrel. "He's probably hurt and this doesn't look like a battle we're winning very quickly. Maybe you should see if you can reach him without getting hurt?"

Taiju didn't back down as the thing snarled, only scowling. Perhaps this was a little foolish, but what the hell would water do against this thing? He hesitated only a second before darting forward again, aiming to stab his blade just about anywhere that would do real physical damage.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jan 31, 2010 6:17 pm

Narrel gulped at the prospect of getting close to that thing, but she nodded. She would do whatever she could to keep her friends safe. She darted in, dodging between other rouges who were trying to take the thing down - none having much more effect than her attempts had done. She could feel her heart racing as she neared the thing. She was so close that she could smell its noxious breath. She slid down to the underbrush, and crawled towards where Cal was lying.

Cal looked up as Narrel approached, relief mixing with worry on his face.
"My leg," he whispered, "I can't move. We've gotta get out of here!"
Narrel nodded, bitting her bottom lip nervously. She manipulated the ground under him to support the leg he had motioned at. Together, they slowly began making their way out of the battle.

The Umbra cried out again in frustration, ripping off the last of the vines that were containing him - for now. Just as it freed itself though, a sharp pain erupted on its side. It looked down to find a sword being drawn out. So. That puny boy had made it to him after all. He roared loudly and jumped forward, claws extended.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Sun Jan 31, 2010 7:25 pm

Taiju's meager feeling of satisfaction, having successfully managed one wound on the thing, was quickly dissipated when it turned around on him. He swore and leaped away, but one of the beast's claws still managed to catch across his face. He gasped out and stumbled back as his glasses were thrown away and blood began dripping into his sight--he couldn't even tell which way the cut was going, all he knew was that it hurt.

He quickly tried to regain his bearing and attack again, scrubbing blood away from his eyes so he could see. Without his glasses, all he saw was a lumbering hulk of a thing coming at him, but it was still enough to aid.

Kalen was beginning to feel stuck. He couldn't see much of what was happening, and he was beginning to feel weak. The beast had turned around and seemed to be attacking something else, and all he could do was hope it wasn't Taiju. Finally, he almost collapsed, having to drop his Magus entirely and double over with his hands on his knees to breathe. He couldn't maintain it that long, and now he was useless.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Feb 12, 2010 8:34 am

Narrel cursed as she saw Kalen's magus beginning to weaken. The vines became slowly thinner, before stopping all together. She reached out for Cal, supporting him with one shoulder while maintaing the mud cast she had made for him. Something had distracted the beast enough to allow them to get away, but a quick glance over her shoulder caused her heart to skip a beat. Taiju. Please be okay, she thought desperately. She knew she could only help one person at a time, though. She could only pray that he could hold on long enough for her to get back to him.

The creature roared as cold steel cut it once again. This little man-child was foolish, but his blind swings kept getting lucky. It knew that it could keep going, but it feared for the brown colored liquid that was spilling out of its wounds. It killed the grass where it splashed, but the Umbra was worried.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:26 pm

Taiju swore under his breath and clumsily ducked underneath the beast's next swing. His breath was becoming to come raggedly. Blood from his gash continued to run into his eyes faster than he could wipe it away, and tears of pain began to mingle with the blood and run down his face. He felt blind, but adrenaline and his need to survive kept him moving, throwing his blade wildly at the massive shadow that was his foe.

He crouched again away from a swing and gave a yell as he threw his sword forward, praying that his mark would plunge the blade into the beast's side. He thought he had managed, but didn't have the chance to be sure; another swing came at him before he had the chance to dodge. The blow hit him squarely in the stomach, knocking the breath from his lungs and sending him flying. He hit a tree a few feet away, and crumpled to the ground.

Kalen looked up weakly in time to see this. His eyes widened when he saw his friend on the ground, unmoving. "Taiju!" he cried in fear, trying to run to his aid. He stumbled, and fell to the grass, his body too weak from the exertion of his Magus to be of any help.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed Apr 28, 2010 10:28 am

The Umbra cried out as another lucky strike caught it's side. It stumbled but pushed on, not realizing that Taiju's blade had found it's intestines. The liquid that oozed from the new wound burned; a sensation that terrified and angered the doomed beast. It lashed out one last time, before letting out a deafening roar. Blind with pain and rage, it turned and ran, crashing through the underbrush without care of what it trampled. The band of outlaws continued bombarding it with arrows until the creature was out of site.

Narrel had managed to drag Cal to the back lines, passing him off to someone who looked to be a medic before turning to stumble back towards the fight. She kept seeing Taiju - worn and bloody - wildly swinging his sword at the creature. Even if not much, she had to offer some sort of help. Before she could reach the battle though, a terrible roar shook the forest and she heard the creature scramble to escape. Full of new adrenaline, she rushed forward to join Taiju. She quickly put her hand on his arm, taking his sword from him and offering to help support his weight.

Cal moaned, looking around as he tried to figure out where he was. Narrel had gotten him to safety; of that he was sure. A chill went down his spine as he heard the beast roaring. It was a sick and desperate cry, but one that evoked no sympathy. His breathing came a little easier as the dying creature's cries moved further and further away, before stopping completely.

(( I loled when I saw your 'location'.))

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed Apr 28, 2010 8:47 pm

((I lol'ed when I wrote it. c: ))

If Taiju noticed Narrel's presence at all, he didn't show it. He tried to struggle to his feet, halfheartedly allowing her to help and using the tree for balance. Wide gashes where he had been struck opened his side, pouring blood that thickly stained his pants and ripped shirt. He grasped weakly at the wound and the broken rib that was right next to it. How was he even alive, let alone conscious? The thoughts floated through his mind hazily as he tried to focus on remaining standing.

Kalen forced himself to his feet as well, silently swearing at himself for overusing his Magus. He was no use in a fight if he made himself weak like that. As the thing they had been fighting fled, he swallowed his sensation of relief and went to Taiju and Narrel.

"Hey, Taiju, are you okay?" he asked hesitantly, and didn't receive a real response. Taiju stared blearily in what he thought what Kalen's direction, moved his lips as though trying to speak, and slumped over as unconsciousness finally claimed him. Kalen moved quickly to catch Taiju before he fell and bit his lip, genuine fear for his friend's life on his face. "We need to get him patched up, quickly . . ."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue May 11, 2010 7:31 pm

Narrel nodded.

"He's lost a lot of blood. Help me lay him out over there."

She rubbed her hands together nervously. She knew that it was possible for her to heal, but she had never been allowed to practice it. She dug into her pack, desperately looking for something. She drew out a small bundle, that when unrolled showed to be gemstones. They were sorted by size and color. She picked up a green stone gingerly along with a clear crystal. Taking a deep breath, she returned to Taiju's side.

"I hope this works," she whispered. She began focusing on the chrysoprase, imagining her Magus running through it. She took the green energy that was produced and weaved it out in a web over her friend's body, letting it seep into his wounds. She closed her eyes, not wanting anything do distract her focus.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Tue May 11, 2010 10:44 pm

Kalen knelt in the grass at Taiju's side, hands curled into fists. He bit at his lower lip anxiously. There was so much blood, and he could see a bit of the cracked bone in Taiju's side. He refused to believe, however, that Taiju would die at that moment. Taiju had a lot more hating of the world to do.

Kalen kept quiet as Narrel pulling out the crystals and began the healing. He ached to ask how she was doing that and to make some sort of awed comment, but saw her focusing and was silent. Even if it was rare, he could keep his mouth shut when it was absolutely necessary.

As his open wounds slowly healed over, the flow of blood beginning to stem, Taiju seemed to slowly ease into a more calm state. His breathing, ragged and forced at first, slowed gradually. After a number of long minutes, his eyes fluttered open, partway, until the bright sunlight caused him to wince and shut them again. Shame, because he didn't remember where he was at the moment and wanted to find out what was going on. The feeling of pain ebbing away was pleasant for the moment, at least.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed May 12, 2010 8:13 pm

Narrel felt Taiju stirring beneath her hands, and opened her eyes. Her face was covered in sweat, and she was beginning to harbor a pounding headache. Her success was well worth her minor suffering though, as she saw Taiju begin to breath easier. She allowed herself a small smile.

"He's not in the clear yet," she told Kalen, groaning as she stood up, "but I think he's going to be okay."

She stumbled over to look at Cal. His leg was broken; she was sure of that. Other than that, he didn't seem to be in too bad of shape. She reached into herself, gauging her available Magus. She shook her head as she realized that she had used up almost all she had. She was still drained from being on the run all day. Cal would just have to deal with a splint for a few days.

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Wed May 12, 2010 8:29 pm

As sensations that weren't pain slowly returned to his muscles, Taiju tried to move. He flexed his fingertips at first. Meeting with success, he carefully tried to sit up. He didn't quite make it and had to prop himself halfway on his side, using his arms to stay up and gritting his teeth. Narrel's healing had helped and there was no doubt he would have been dead without it, but it hadn't done everything. At least he had stopped bleeding, he noted with grim satisfaction.

Kalen helped Taiju to sit up all the way, smiling slightly. "Hey," he said lightly. "Good to see you're alive."

"I think I'd rather be dead." Taiju grasped at his side, where he had broken the rib upon hitting the tree. The bone had knit back together, but it would take awhile before it fully healed.

"But you're feeling at least better, right?"

"Yeah, I'm alright for the most part."

"Good." Kalen's smile suddenly twisted into an uncharacteristic scowl. He struck Taiju across the face sharply, not seeming to notice as blood smeared on his palm.

Any grogginess Taiju was still feeling was gone immediately. "Kalen, what the fu-"

"You know better!" Kalen yelled angrily. "You tried to take on that--that thing by yourself and you know better! You would have died if Narrel hadn't saved your ass because you were being a moron! I don't know what you were thinking, Taiju, but I don't know what I would have done if I had had to watch you die because I couldn't do a thing and because you decided to be stupid."

Taiju stared, breath sticking in his throat. In the time he had known Kalen, he hadn't even known it was possible for Kalen to raise his voice, let alone strike him.

Kalen got to his feet. "I hope you've learned something then," he said darkly, and stalked off back into the body of the camp. "Have fun getting around on your own for a little while, maybe the lesson will sink in."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 12, 2010 9:44 am

Narrel had turned from Cal just in time to see the dramatic scene between her two friends. Though part of her wanted to chase after Kalen and see what that had been about, she had a feeling that it was none of her concern. She instead turned her attention back to Cal. She wished she could heal his leg; she could tell it was causing him pain, but she was afraid to push herself too far. She needed to save a little energy, in case any more surprises came their way.

"Try not to walk on it, alright?" she said to her friend. "I'll try to look after it tomorrow, once I've recharged some."

"Don't worry," Cal responded with a smile, "I've been through worse. Nothing that comes to mind, but. . ." he trailed off with a chuckle. "You should get some sleep too, Narrel. It's been a long night for all of us."

Narrel nodded. "I will, I promise. I just need to check on Taiju first."

"Of course you do," he sighed to himself as she walked away.

Sitting down next to Taiju, she pushed him down gently back onto the mat.
"You're lucky to be alive right now," she informed him while trying to hide a smile. "The least you could do is rest a little bit. Kalen will come back once he's cooled off some."

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:18 am

((Pretty sure at this point that it was a spambot. We've had a billion of them lately . . .))

Taiju reluctantly allowed himself to be pushed back down, knowing he wouldn't be able to fight back anyway. He sighed heavily and draped his arm over his eyes, feeling an odd mixture of shame and confusion. "I didn't even know it was possible for him to be angry," he muttered, "let alone hit me. Apparently I made a mistake somewhere . . ."

In hindsight, perhaps it hadn't been the brightest idea to attack the beast himself. But what would have happened if he hadn't? Nobody's Magus had been particularly effective and nobody else was taking an initiative to actually kill the thing. There could have been much worse consequences.

He sighed again and lifted his arm to look at Narrel. "Thanks, at least," he added. "Probably would be dead if you hadn't healed me. How are everyone else?"

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PostSubject: Re: Magus Potentae   Mon Jul 12, 2010 10:36 am

Narrel shook her head, not wanting to get too involved in the two's manly squabble. While she could probably guess the source of Kalen's frustration, it really seemed like something Taiju should figure out on his own.

"Everyone's okay, for the most part. I think the rebels had one casualty, but everyone else got away with minor injuries. They're being seen by the camp's doctors. Cal's leg seems to be pretty badly shattered, but there's nothing I can do about it right now."

She stopped for a second, having to bite back a wave of shame. She hated leaving her friend in pain.

"I think they've set up sentries around the camp, but I've been kept pretty much out of the loop. I fear they've blamed us for this, which is probably a fair assumption. . ."

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