Male, Gay (only 'out' on Twoarth, this was not encouraged in the Abbey)
The World (Alter Earth, via the Void)
Senior 40kk +5 KK's.
A little nutty, but only a bit
Dolphin, the 'if we had thumbs we wouldn't need saving' totem, sleek, fun loving, completely at other people's whims. +1 S/GM, +2 Bod, +1 Luck, -2 Drive, +1 Looks, +1 Cool, +1 Bonk
Marked by the Outsider, and as such he can utilize powers which the Void itself; these powers may not work on all worlds, but seem to function properly on Twoarth and even the Rookery, and oddly enough on Vault Earth; he is able to dedicate some effort to creating new uses to this ability. Phasing - his 'travel' power, which can be used to become intangible and move through solid walls, cannot pass through metal but can go ‘around' wiring and rebar if they aren't the bulk of the wall. Cannot ‘reach into' metal cases or pass through vault doors, but can go through screens, very thick glass, brick, stone, and bodies of water; cannot pass warded places regardless if it's a magical ward, ignores energy walls damage but must have enough space on the other side to solidify; can keep this up for around 30 meters at a burst, but generally only needs a few feet, and can move up to a sprint through any of those things. Possession - usually to canines and rats but can use birds, fish, or lizards depending on the location and needs, cannot possess humans or highly intelligent animals, or dragons, but with some work this might change; can see, hear, and move through animals for a short time, leaving them unconscious but alive; appears in their location after letting the possession end (so, effectively a travel power, but also useful for spying); must be within 10 meters to overtake an animal, and lasts until his magical energy is exhausted, which is usually around 2 full minutes; cannot use any other powers in this form. Animation - can cause things that aren't alive to move and 'talk' (he is doing the talking, but the sound comes through the object); requires light concentration (requires mana recharge after 1 minute); affects only objects that have moving parts, even simple ones, within 20 meters; generally he can use this to open locks and unhook windows, there doesn't need to also be any performance involved but he certainly likes adding it... Void Channel - in times of dire need, the Void itself will allow him to phase through it instead of a wall or object. This is how he reached Twoarth. It is not necessarily under his control, and only works for him, no one else comes along. *May add other abilities over time, he's thinking about 'wall crawling' or 'sticking to things' given a dragon.
Heretical Overseer +3 (knows how to use Abbey tactics, usually against them, has a strong skill with figuring out authorities and political groups as well as how to undermine them, weak points in particular) Magical Research +2 (brought a lot of heretical texts with him on his way out, while they are fairly specific to his homeworld, a lot of their contents can be modified to suit local dimensions) Magical Senses +2 (regardless of origin, can detect where magic has been used, this includes Vortal, Force, and Divine magic, but not innate or self-willed psionics, however if those psionics have altered an item or left physical traces behind, he can tell at least that they are sourced by a power and not a tool)
Pistols and Gadgets +4 (trained heavily by the Abbey to shoot with skill, also can use stun grenades, arc mines, and improvised weaponry; he uses them with care, and if there is ever a chance that he would cause damage to a friend or ally he will seek another method before shooting) Urban Navigation +3 (remarkably agile for climbing, possession-based vent crawling, phasing, and getting from point A to point B with ease; can also read maps and directions at a glance) Read Magic and Glyphs +3 (virtually any world's magical script comes easy to mentally sound out, and he's not stupid enough to speak the spells he finds out loud until he knows they're safe)
Get Away With Heresy +4 (he was doing these things right under the Abbey's nose for a long while, before finally being discovered, and then he just slipped away... can use this trait to talk or grin his way out of virtually any trouble with authority including Carramba's hall monitors)
Class / Instructor / Grade
Political Science / Jensen / Decent
Current Earth Religions / Sidki-Sanger / Passing
Glyphs and Script / Valena / Superb
Politics of Magic / Hoarfrost / Decent
Warfare and Tactics / G. Fettel / Superb
Martial Arts and Stealth for Deselection Practitioners / Hart / Excellent
What You Can Learn From Looking at Your Brain / Farber / Passing
Intro to Trig / N. California / Decent
Is known to raise rats, and has trained Hounds as well, both animal types like him
Were murdered by the Abbey, thus he has a mad on about that.
Has a younger sister somewhere, who serves in the Abbey still
His soon-to-be instructor Morgan Valena recognized the story immediately. After all, his own life path had gone quite similarly: a young couple with their toddler and infant, isolated in an area near but not close enough to a town that they wouldn't be missed for a while. Their children, watched by the Abbey; the parents, scanned for heretical behavior. Even if they hadn't found that last bit - and they had - the Abbey Overseers would certainly have taken these children anyway. Too much time invested in lurking in the woodlands of Gristol to warrant just walking away. But they did find those heretical artifacts; books from an age long past, carved bone symbols, and worst of all, a shrine to the Outsider - right there where anyone could see it in their hovel. Well the hovel was hard to locate, dug into the side of a hill and protected by both trees and rocks... The shrine was behind two wooden panels pretending to be a larder. But still, there it was.
As usual, the story turned dark - the Abbey cornered the parents, leveling accusations and finally just cutting off one's head and beating the other with her own rolling pin when she tried to defend her infant daughter. The older child, barely four, offered little resistance when his mother's body slumped to the floor and his sister cried more out of hunger than fear. He had gathered her up, held her close, while they marched him outside and into the wilderness for a very long, difficult trek into the town's Abbey temple. They gave him barely enough food and water for his own survival, which he shared carefully with the little girl who spent more time unconscious from exhaustion than 'asleep'.
The Abbey 'welcomed' them both, seeing that he was able to function on half rations was a bonus apparently. They did finally allow someone else to come in and make sure that the year-old girl was going to survive - and kept allowing him to care for her since she was usually quite fussy around anyone else. He grew strong but never bulky, anyone else might have been stunted in height but not him. He learned the Abbey's Strictures, reciting them by rote if not by heart. He was given sword training, regimental classes which he excelled at, and more of the intellectual sided pursuits than those who were to be trained purely for battle. He claimed that this went on for quite some time, boring, repetitive, irksome.
Valena nodded slowly, and then asked, "how did you come to be Marked?"
That seemed to shake Conradi a bit. He'd been so used to hiding the Mark on his left hand, that he hadn't told anyone openly here on Twoarth yet. "Oh come now," Valena said, waving his own hand in the air just slowly enough that Conradi saw a strange silver-marked imprint on his dark skin. "The Void called to both of us, we answered."
It was Conradi's turn to nod. "I... Well, the people at Whitecliff separated me and my sister Aluna, when she was ... old enough to join the Oracular Order, I guess." He shrugged. "It wasn't like we were allowed much contact, but we both would sneak away and leave notes to each other. We're not supposed to acknowledge family in the Abbey."
Valena's golden-brown eyes glanced down at the desk and then back up, slightly narrowed. "Yes, I know that to be true." He blinked a couple times and put his hands together in front of him once more, "go on... If you don't want to speak of things, just say so. But you should know that here, you're safe, and your 'secret' is not something that needs to be kept. The Abbey has no power here, even if they occasionally - somehow - wind up here."
"The Void has strange ideas," Conradi muttered, and didn't notice the smirk on Valena's large lips. "Apparently they caught my sister sneaking around where she shouldn't have been, and probably punished her. I... guess I was griefstricken," he said the word oddly, as though it was something he had only ever heard and never really understood. "And that night, I had a dream of the Void. It wasn't the first time, I remembered having them when I was littler."
"Often enough, the Abbey is able to look for heretics using their own dreams," Valena said, darkly, "the hypocrites. Sorry, continue."
Conradi relayed the moments that he spent in the chill, the Void appearing to be fractured parts of his memories - rocks and hollows from his earliest years, craggy road corners from his difficult journey to Whitecliff, and marble pillars and wrought iron grates of the Abbey itself - all drifting delicately in a monochromatic colorless haze. He recounted a statue hovering as though weightless, one that he hid the notes to his sister within. That in the Void was simply rotating at a slightly jaunty angle, disconnected from is normal marble base. It was to that statue he was drawn, and around which the Outsider walked on a floating paving stone before talking to him in his eerie echoing voice.
Valena asked Conradi pointed questions - ones which the teenager knew the Abbey itself would have demanded answers to as well had they known any of this. But in this safe office, on a world which was certainly not his own, sitting across from a man that was also Marked by the strangely handsome young looking god of the Void, Conradi was confident in answering fully. The Abbey was not in the shambles and scattered as they were in Valena's dimension, the Outsider was more chatty than some they'd encountered.
Valena didn't mention that there were multiple versions of these places and people, just yet. Best to let him discover that on his own. But he made note of the presence of his own Leviathan, gently looking through his eyes and listening with his ears, probably making his own notes. The boy had been given the option to have a Mark, asked first and answered before that Outsider gave it to him. That... was a bit of a switch - and Morgan Valena the Marked Silversmith duly detected the eyes of the Void rolling behind his own in amusement.
He, after all, hadn't waited for Morgan ... or many others, to reply before impressing the angular set of lines onto their skin and spirit. Conradi's Outsider seemed keen on seeing just how it would work out - a trainee Overseer, sitting literally in the center of the Abbey of the Everyman's biggest stronghold... Marked, a heretic in their midst.
Would they notice? Would Conradi need to run, or fight?
It turned out that neither happened, not for many years. A clever boy like Conradi used every trick in the book to avoid detection. Morgan could appreciate this effort, honestly, because it had been difficult to keep from his own friends - and his own brother, Rolph, who was an Overseer hell-bent on putting him to the stake. So he had studied Abbey tactics, become very good indeed at mapping and troop distribution. His skills were finely honed and he never put himself into unnecessary danger, even when he practiced using that Mark and the power it had given him.
Always wearing the gloves, always bathing with care to be alone, never being seen near any heretical items lest they themselves somehow betray him by activating or empowering some way due to him. And even when he did have those nearby, making sure that any suspicion was cast on the objects, and never himself.
But he did study heretical items. He did read forbidden tomes, they were hidden in the Abbey's library and he made his way through that place like a ghost. One of the first things he'd learned how to do, in fact, was to move through solid matter.
"That follows," Valena commented, "usually the Outsider suggests learning how to follow him in the Void. Teleportation of many types is typical."
"Well, mine is a little different, it's more like ... flying, I guess?" Conradi activated the power he held, and stood up. He was faintly blurry around the edges, but there was nothing faint about the aura that Valena could see thanks to his own connection to the Void. The student passed his hand through the big desk, bumping into something and being a little surprised. He walked backwards through the office door, and then became tangible once more and sat back down.
"You couldn't pass through my ... special little drawer here," Valena smirked, pulling out a silver metal box - but it additionally had a rune carved into its surface. "I wonder which of the things you ran into..."
"Both," Conradi asserted, looking at it and quickly assessing that rune. "I can't move through metals anyway, but I ... bumped into that rune, it pushed my hand away."
"Interesting," Valena nodded deeply, and put the box back into his desk drawer. Otherwise it was all wooden materials here, save the chair back, which was probably why he'd stood up. "Then did the Abbey ever... notice your activities?"
"I don't think they did," Conradi said, with a smug look. He crossed his long legs and leaned on one of the arm rests, "I think they suspected my sister more than me, and I don't think she did anything wrong - not after they punished her for meeting up with me, anyway." He frowned. "I understand why they separate families, but so many Abbey soldiers and men sneak away or get letters delivered in secret. If they'd just allow it, they would be seen in such a different light." He didn't mention how 'forbidden' other activities were still carried out regularly. The Sixth Stricture, Wanton Flesh, was certainly common in the barracks, and absolutely the Restless Hands of the Third Stricture would carry out violence all in the name of the Abbey. It was okay when it was for the Abbey after all. All the food (the Rampant Hunger) and the riches that decorated the Abbey itself (the Wandering Gaze) seemed to be just fine if it benefited the Overseers. Well, if it benefited the High Overseer in particular...
"If they did a lot of things to indicate they cared about the people they supposedly 'protect'," Valena grumbled, "it could change how they are perceived. But it wouldn't change their goals, and those goals," he leveled his eyes on the boy once more, "are absolutely evil, make no mistake about that."
"They mean well," Conradi said. "I know from the inside that most of the Overseers truly believe that they're doing the right thing. And sometimes they are helping, the witches that wish ill on people, the occasional disaster - they're there to help out."
Valena licked his lips, and subsequently bit his tongue to refrain from saying what he really thought about that. Maybe their dimensions were more different than he realized if they showed up and actually helped people.
"Either way, they never spotted me, not even when I actually visited shrines to the Outsider. There were a dozen more in the city than they ever knew about, and more bonecharms scattered in the place than you could imagine."
"So, did you spend all your time in Whitecliff?"
"Basically, yes. I did see some action near Morley, but they didn't let me fight..." He paused, "they didn't want me to fight, they told me they wanted me to organize the men, so I did that. And I came home with two more books they never found thanks to a vendor near the docks where our ship had ported," he grinned.
"You are quite good with reading things that aren't clearly in your language," Valena commented. "For instance, that rune," he glanced toward the desk, "you knew what it was the moment you saw it. And it... isn't one of the Old Ways scripts." Those old ways - on his world, found on pieces of antiquities a thousand years older than the cities they were dug up from.
The boy's blue eyes lit up, "I enjoy making sense out of scribbles and glyphs, yes! It was... well, if I'd been able to teach my sister how to do it, we could have had our own whole language by now. None of our notes were written straightforwardly," he looked a little sad, "though they were still in English. I still have my notes on the language I'd been working up to use."
Curious, because that was something that his own Glyphs and Script class involved, Valena told him, "well, if you have those, you might find them to be of use this year. Normally I don't conspire with my students this far in advance, but I'm honestly looking forward to learning to read it if you put it together well enough."
It was clear that Valena had been chosen as Conradi's counselor because they did have a lot in common. Both Marked by their own Outsiders, both magic users and gadget-lovers, and... both just a touch on the subversive side. Morgan would have to thank Cybil Qeats for arranging this meeting and their guidance partnership.
"Why did you leave, then? And how?"
Ah, there it was, that question that Conradi knew was coming. He leaned back properly in the chair, and his face was more neutral than anything else, but Valena saw the flashes of anger, occasional sadness, even a touch of fear as he related the tale.
"I had been in the library, looking for something to compare a rune to. I had it on me, I usually didn't, but that time it was difficult to make out so I brought it with as reference. And it wasn't even my fault that they spotted me, some other Overseer happened to want to look some heretical materials up, too, and when he realized he wasn't alone he raised the alarm. There... aren't supposed to be trainees there at all, and there aren't really meant to be more than one Overseer in that library section at all. I think they... didn't want anyone conspiring." He took in a deep breath, his narrow chest rising and falling - he was never going to be a big burly man like the Abbey usually wanted them, he was a mere slip of a lad, even at 16 and heading quickly into adulthood. "I was ... tired of hiding, tired of sneaking around and nearly being killed underfoot when I would possess rats or whatever."
"You possessed them in the Abbey's temple?"
That brought a laugh, "yeah, it was... Well I can't say it was fun. But sometimes, it did get to be more of a game than anything else. I didn't press it, but you know. Growing boy and all, I wanted more. I wanted to challenge myself. So that night in the library I just grabbed as many of the books around me as I could hold in my satchel, and phased through the floor right in front of them."
Valena bit his lips together, "that was ... bold."
"You could hear them shouting through the whole place, heretic, heretic! They were just starting to grind those music boxes when I left. It was... the only time I'd ever flipped through several animals to possess them on my way, it was exhausting. Two rats, a hound, a fish... and then a whale."
Morgan Valena's eyes widened and his brows raised high. "You... inhabited a whale's mind?!"
"It was actually easy? I mean - they're the Outsiders chosen, I think the Void was guiding me to the cliffs anyway. I knew I could reach the coast if I held out long enough, but then there's the cliffs and the deadly rocks down there. I grabbed the fish and just... felt like I should head to the open sea. The pod of them were migrating, and I just kind of went with them." He made fishy-swimming motions with his hand. "But I didn't exit that whale's mind in the water, and when I left it it was just fine, not asleep or exhausted."
"It carried your mind, you weren't dominating it," Valena nodded, leaning back and saying, "you left it and you were in the Void, weren't you?"
"That's right," Conradi smiled. "And then, it wasn't just the Void I saw, it was... well, this place. Carramba High. I'd never seen something like it before, not even in my weirdest dreams."
"And I know the Void gives some bizarre images," Valena agreed.
"The place looked more... solid? It wasn't fractured like the rest of the things I saw in the Void. It was a real floor, walls, doorways that didn't flap open or have stars behind them." He looked as though that memory was both fondly remembered and reasonably fresh. "It's so strange, that this place is as different as night and day to the Void - or to my home - and yet hardly anyone even noticed when I came through the wall."
"Oh, that happens constantly, son, you'll get used to it." He would also have to get used to the huge variety of non-humans that lived here, but it didn't even seem like he'd noticed yet. That would be for the best, Valena thought, as he wrote down his final notes and Conradi was sent on his way.
"He's young, but a bit... set in some ways," Darkhanis said, having joined Valena in his office as the student in question, Conradi Signet, heretical Overseer, was given a tour of the campus before the year started in earnest. "Do you think he'll be able to reliably stay out of the mindset of his peers?"
Valena gave a confused grimace, "he has no peers," he said. "That boy, I dare say, is smarter than you are, Peridian, he just hasn't been allowed to exercise his full set of abilities yet." They looked at a closed-circuit video feed of that skinny but confident youth as he followed a group around the campus. "It surprises me that you don't want him at the Magical Campus. Several other... refugees of that dimension have wound up there."
"No, he isn't going to do well with potions or astronomy, you know that," Paveh chuckled. It was true, Conradi was a very grounded young man, even though he was quite gifted with innate magical ability. "But I will want to keep tabs on him and his progress... Particularly with the others on that list."
"Yes, Lane has already mentioned mister Hong," Valena sighed, "who isn't likely to be as interested in my course work as Conradi already is. But that's fine, to each their own, right?"
The men silently pondered their next moves, bringing this group of kids together wouldn't be that hard. Nor would it be that simple - it had to be done without the rest of either the staff or students noticing. That they'd entrusted Valena with his own measure of information was more than most of their other professors would be getting.
It wasn't like the kids didn't realize that there was a "Men In Black" career class for a reason. It was more that there were kids who needed a little bit of a nudge to choose that career even if they didn't seek out the class.
What else they would be sought for... that would come only after Conradi graduated and the others were in their own Junior and Senior classes.
— (From hatching)
“Do you think Shy intended this as a way to recruit an army?”
Atlas frowned as he held the door open for Conradi. “I don't think he considers the candidates his army.”
Xuno left out a snort of disbelief. “The ‘candidate classes'” he bunny eared the words deliberately “to do with strategy and tactics on warfare? Calculating attrition?” his eyes glinted with humor. “Are you naive Atlas? Or just in denial?'
“The scientist might not consider us his army, but he definitely considers some of us ‘his'” Conradi muttered as he strode past the cartographer. “Which way to the hatching sands again?”
The wall on the left side glowed, and small arrows started appearing, pointing them in the right direction.
“This has never happened before.” Atlas's frown deepened.
Xuno shrugged. “The Labs have taken a liking to me.”
On the sands, a delicate looking blue hatchling picked at the shards that covered their hide with a look that could only be disgust. Turning their head and letting out a sneeze, they picked their way through broken shards towards a large egg, peering up patiently.
It did not take long for the egg to hatch, one crack, then another, then a shattering of eggshells. A hefty brown hatchling peered out at kicked at the sands, seemingly with their hindlegs; sand flew in graceful arcs around his head, making remarkable patterns that had Shy turn with a pleased smirk to his guests.
“You're showing off, aren't you Khadith?” Xuno remarked from the sides. The arcs of sand wobbled briefly as the brown picked himself up and trudged towards his bond.
The blue followed, letting out an annoyed noise.
“Entirely so, I agree with you there Capriath.” Conradi murmured, stepping forwards the small hatching and reaching out to pick them up into his arms.
Plot Points: Shy will sweet-talk and bribe his way into Conradi's good graces to get him to remain at the Vella Crean and spy on the Death Court. It is a complete coincidence that Capriath has the abilities that they do.
Name: Capriath Gender: nb Size/Shoulder/Length: medium-small 10' s / 42' l / 60' ws Colors: 'blue' mottled blues, from denim to cobalt to navy blue, these markings seem to drift around weightlessly on their skin; Features: Imperial Sword The Imperial Sword is a more direct product of Shy and his progeny. Powers: Telepathy, Teleportation. Verbal Speech. Elemental Magic activated by Blood. Imperial Court augmentation (Supports magic and spells wielded by the Imperial Court). Abilities passed on from Inaras Thain: Healing, Acid Breath, Magic Breath, Naughty/Nice (Ability to identify motive and intent of others) Abilities pass on from Aegeria ve Vanwanar : Holy Magic, Healing Magic, Electric breath. The Imperial Sword dragons are capable of bonding but do not require bonds. Highly intelligent, they are incredibly loyal. Shy insists that Void is an element. Maybe it is. Capriath is very, very good at sneaking into places they are not supposed to be. Parentage: A variety of dragons inlcuding Inaras Thain and Aegeria, and a number of Court dragons native to Vella Crean Origin: Vella Crean Other Info: They are the first dragons that Shy has created after the Death Court Wars. They are hardcoded with a genetic that makes them incredibly unwilling to fight against the Vella Crean, and the Empress' bloodline. It is a subtle underwriting to the genetic code that does not make itself known unless the dragons are put into a specific situation.