Thursday, 4 July 2013

Paths Entwine: A CRYPTS short story

If someone had told Thomas about Magic this time last year he would have assumed they were talking about pulling rabbits out of hats and sawing women in half, not the power to raise the dead. Now looking down at the mal-shapen form crawling across the floor towards him, he knew that Necromancy was all too real.

It was after his Awakening that Thomas heard about the Cult of Bones, the secret group of Necromantic magic users in New Fairbank. At the time he would have been lying if he said he wasn't the least bit curious but as time went by he started to wish he had never involved himself with the Cult.

For three months now he had tried to master the arts of Necromancy, but despite spending time with some of the greatest Cultist to ever live in New Fairbank he couldn't summon anything greater then a grabber. This was what they called a creature that burst from the ground and held onto the nearest creature as if it's unlife depended on it. In short it was creepy.


Across the street in the School of Elemenalism a young woman by the name of Violet was also failing in her power over magic.

Violet was more than pleased when she was approached by the School of Elementslism, the official training grounds for The Circle within New Fairbank.

Like many of the students there Violet revealed her abilities accidentally while in the Crypts. She knew full well that with the correct tome or artefact anyone could summon a ball of fire to smite their opponent, but Violet had managed this with nothing more than her Blood Shards.

Following on from this encounter it was obvious why The Circle would pay interest in Violet, but that just made everything worse.

From that day on all she had been able to do was summon a ring of fire, a basic Elemental spell to trap opponents. And to make it all the worse Violet knew her annual assessment was due.

Josiah was the Order's most recent recruit. He had passed his Awakening but afterwards was left with a feeling if emptiness that he had never known before. This was why he joined the Order of Blood.

It was hard for Josiah to explain, ever since his Awakening he felt like he was part of a greater whole, and his desire to join that whole was all consuming. The Order had told him that what he felt was normal for all Awoken, but that some people were more attuned to it than others.

Josiah wasn't entirely sure if he believed his Order Recruiter at least not until he was shown his first ritual of blood. His trainer called it 'The Binding of Light' but his Posse outside the Order called it 'Sick Tentacle Grab', he didn't understand what they were talking about.

The Binding of Light was the most incredible thing Josiah had ever seen, he would call upon the Unity of Blood, the binding that connected all Awoken and his very body would respond, it would grow shafts of light that wrapped itself around his targets and hold them in a loving embrace.

He had fully mastered the Binding and he was so excited about what was next to come, he had seen his tutors demonstrate the next step, the Righteous Defence, when they summoned holy armour made entirely of light to protect themselves from harm.


Across town in the martial training hall next to the Sheriff's office Wicks continued his training. He had been into the Crypts many times, and with many different Posses, and very often he saw things that he never understood but was grateful for the assistance of.

Wicks had seen dead men rise from the very ground, some of them filled full of noxious gas that proceeded to explode when they reached their intended targets. Wicks had seen others conjure sheet lightning within the Crypts themselves, he had even seen his own Posse members transform themselves into monstrous creatures of claws, tentacles and chitinous armour.

Out of all of these sights, Wicks was most disturbed by the latter. It seemed that whenever a member of The Order called on this 'Unity of Blood' this was when they turned into the monsters, and while he had never seen it happen, there was always a moment when Wicks feared his posse member would turn on it's own friends. To make matters worse if you spoke with these Order members, they appeared completely delusional as to their transformation, instead claiming they were beings of light and swords of God.

No, Wicks was having none of that hocus-craziness. He was more than happy to remain faithful to The Law, they provided him with specialist weapons and ammo, with traps to immobilise his opponents and the natural skills to ensure his own survival.

No, Magic was not something for him.

- Your friendly neighbourhood Doctor Loxley

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