Voidus

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  1. As the inaugural member to this group started by Kurkistan some time ago I thought that I should increase our recruiting, and to that end have decided to formally make it a group. Come to the dark alley. We have cookies. Denizens list - courtesy of Fatebreaker Voidus^: Original Denizen, Head of Sales Specialties: Sales and Research Traceria: First Victim Fatebreaker^: Head of Research and Advertising, Creator of the Slogan Specialties: Sales, Research, and Advertising MacThorstenson^: Head of Counterintelligence Specialties: Sales, Recruitment, Counterintelligence ZincAboutIt: Specialties: Spying Mail-mi^ Specialties: Sales and Research ElephantEarwax^ Specialties: Breath Experimentation Expert Killersquirrel59 Specialties: Hemalurgic Theorizing 18th Shard: Creator of the Disclaimer Specialties: Hemalurgic Compounding Researcher the Gleeman: Head of Shipping Redbird3000 Specialties: Zoohemalurgy Snoopy^/Kipper^ Specialties: Middle Manager of Public Relations, Head of Inter-Guild Commerce, Forgery/Hemalurgy Blademaster Ostrichofevil^ Specialties: Hemalurgy of non-Metallic magic systems FrodoUnderhill^ Slowswift^ Winter Cloud^ Specialties: Trans-species Hemalurgy, wolfkind translator and ambassador of the Pack of the Cosmere. Morzathoth^ Specialties: Eldritch Horror* and Researcher of Investiture of The Dark Alley! *Pending office cleaning Oversleep^ ChickenPlague Specialties: Mistwraith research team, vampiric-Lucentia connection discovery. iBambam Kaazi^ JerleShannara Specialties: Lerasium ThatTinyStrawMan Averyp1017 Secrets @kenod Specialties: Kandra research Endorsers Queens Elsa Steelheart, Ruler of Newcago Lord BreathTaker, ruler of the Raven Throne Honorary(non-active) Members: King of Nowhere Kadorok Swimmingly SmurfAquamarineBodies Quitecontrary ' ^ ' denotes those who have made, sales. Active members must either sell at the intro thread, or contribute more than one post to the science of Hemalurgy. Regarding intro thread posts please refer to this topic for some guides on what is appropriate: Let me know of mistakes, omissions, and updates. Applications are always welcome. The Dark Alley Because upstanding moral citizens are about as interesting as furniture, and half as obligingly useful.
  2. Laurelai's foot sank into the water with purpose, the force of her stride immediately dissipated as she felt the warm water lapping around her lower leg, a sudden sense of calm overcoming her now that she was moving along with the whispering calls from the water. One more step carried her under the falling stream of liquid, allowed it to roll gently off of her as she bathed in the comfortable sensation. She could feel every encroaching moment, every shift of her body as she moved to stand beneath the falling water. Motion slowed around her, only the water somehow seeming like it was still in motion, still calling to her. Promising to give her what she wanted, what she needed. Answers. She saw in slow motion as the Stranger turned towards Lita, holding out a hand. Felt as though she understood how a Steelrunner must see the world as everything moved through a thick molasses. But it was not just that the world was slowing down, it was that she understood. Understood what the Stranger was doing, what he was about to say even though his lips had barely begun to form words. Understood how he had arrived here and why. Felt that if she were so inclined she might be understand the Stranger himself, come to know him more intimately than anyone she'd ever studied for her practice with Forgery. Possibilities expanded before her, an endless web of information, any strand of which she could follow and find an answer to a question that had plagued her all her life. Her powers, her fears, her life. She could discover the answer to any question she could think of here. All she had to do was wait beneath the waters, allow them to give her the knowledge that she needed. The knowledge that she deserved. In an instant she found a strand and began following it, she cast her mind back to that day when the city had erupted into chaos. The day she'd gotten drunk in a bar with Lita. But earlier in that day she had not been expecting her day to end well. Indeed she had not been expecting to see the end of the day at all when she felt that terrifying ominous presence rise up and threaten to steal all light from the world. The day that she had invoked the ire of the leader of the Dark Alleys. She saw the day in her mind, saw what she had not seen at the time. The look that she had mistaken for irritation had been a protective instinct. The anger had not been directed at her but at others around her. Voidus had not been about to destroy her or harm her, she understood that he never would. And understood that it was because she was his daughter. Her mind reeled at the revelation, losing the thread entirely as she attempted to process the information. Understand what it meant. how could it have happened? She heard Lita and the Stranger's voices faintly, heard their agonizingly slow conversation. But she was too distracted to even attempt to pull the knowledge that she needed from the water, she felt the disturbance of her mind bring forth a cascade of information as the waters attempted to give her what she sought, but the information was fragmented and chaotic, a reflection of her own mind as she sought to understand.
  3. The corner of his lips twitched in the faintest of smiles as Voidus listened to the figure before him. She didn't meet his eyes as she spoke, but neither did she run in fear or beg for mercy. Voidus banished the smile from his expression but did spare a brief nod of approval for her behaviour. Her courage certainly explained the presence of the spren that still wavered on her shoulder, flickering as though unable to decide if it should be bright to provide some kind of comfort or dim to remain unnoticed. "But the last to speak with him." Voidus confirmed. "He left the Alleys almost immediately afterwards." Voidus looked her over once again, eyes running over the brown hair that was kept out of her face, the muscles of someone well accustomed to fighting, the scars of someone who had fought in more than simple trials or practice areas. With a more intent expression he continued watching, looking past the exterior to try to gauge the woman who waited for him to continue. What kind of person was she? Why had Mac spoken with her? And why had she decided to come into the Alleys? She seemed aware enough of the dangers, despite her attire indicating a recent arrival. "Did he ask you to come here?" Voidus asked, he stepped back a little to avoid overly intimidating her, lessening the intensity of his gaze as he did. "To pass along a message of some kind?" Voidus had only just noticed the moment that Mac had crossed through the Alleys, he hadn't seen anything that had happened before then. But if Mac had spoken to this girl and she was still here, aware of who Mac was, then he must have seen something in her. Some promise? Or had it simply been idle curiosity? @Ookla the Dreamer --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "Evening." Voidus said as the plain wooden door opened before him. "Let me guess, you must be-" "You know who she is." The Professor interrupted with an irritated tone. "I've had the picture on my desk since before we met." The two both entered through the door, being held open by a friendly young woman, blonde ringlets framing her smiling face as she allowed the two in before swatting at the Professor in mock-irritation. "That's no way to treat a guest dear." She said. The Professor just gave a sigh, holding the door open as Voidus stepped through, followed shortly after by another young woman. "Now let me guess, you must be Voidus." The Professor's wife began. "And this charming young lady must be Laurelai." "Indeed." Voidus replied with a disarming smile and giving a short nod of his head. "I apologize for having stolen your husband so frequently, but company such as his is hard to come by, I appreciate you allowing us to continue our meetings." "Well it can be difficult." She replied, sparing her husband an affectionate glance. "But he assures me it's necessary, and I'm just glad he's found someone to talk to again." The Professor and his wife led the way towards a large dining table, already set and laden with a large roast chicken and a collection of side dishes around it. They sat down together and began serving, piling plates high with tantalizing foods as they engaged their guests in small talk, waiting for Voidus and Laurelai to become more comfortable. "This is pleasant." Voidus said across the table, leaning back and relaxing into his chair. "Nice way to spend the time." "This chicken is delicious." Laurelai said. "There's something to it, a bit of a kick to the flavour that I can't put my finger on." "Lemon." The Professor's wife replied. "I can get you the recipe if you'd like? Not much to it if I'm being honest, nothing too fancy. I love your name by the way, where's that from?" "Family name." Laurelai replied with an awkward shrug. "My mother's middle name, and grandma's." "Ah, well maybe one day you'll have a little 'Laurelai' of your own." An amused reply came. "Or a little Voidus jr." Across the table Voidus smiled, he leaned back in his chair relaxing as the Professor stared anxiously into the distance. "It won't kill you to relax a little." Voidus said. "It's a rather pleasant evening if you take the moment to enjoy it." "I know." The Professor replied with frustration. "But I can't just relax, I can't forget... all of that. What's happened." He continued to look around anxiously, as though hoping the answer would pop out from behind the kitchen bench if he just stared at it hard enough or long enough. But after a minute's further brooding he gave a loud sigh, rolling his shoulders back and trying to force himself to relax. "I know that I won't be able to solve anything by worrying." He said. "It's just a lot to take in all at once. A lot of pressure." "You'd better get used to pressure." Voidus replied, still smiling. "Doesn't get much more pressure than what we're going to be attempting."
  4. The spoiler boxes? There's a little eye icon above the text field, just to the left of where all the emotes are, if you click on that it should add one.
  5. Welcome! This topic is intended for new players or people who are thinking about joining the Alleyverse, or possibly just people who are curious as to what the deal is with these cookies. If that sounds like you then prepare yourself for the insanity that is the Alleyverse, if that doesn't sound like you then maybe just keep reading anyway and see if the madness convinces you to join. What is the Alleyverse? The Alleyverse is a Free Form Role Playing Game (FFRPG) played on the forum. It takes place in the Alleyverse, a universe where all of Brandons worlds and magic systems coexist. Hemalurgic monsters exist, as do Elantrians, Mistborn, Chasmfiends, Knights Radiant, Awakeners and a few poor saps trying to rebuild a city that we destroyed. Worldhoppers from all over the cosmere and beyond journey to the Alleyverse to interact with each other and the local guilds (More on them later). Players create characters within this universe and interact with each other in a group Role Play and collaborative story. How do I get started? Well if you have any specific questions feel free to ask them here and one of our moderators will try to answer them for you. But if you want to dive right into the deep end then you can try creating a character profile for yourself in the character creation thread and some of us will give feedback and help to workshop the character so that it can fit within the greater world of the Alleyverse. We also have a chat thread where a bunch of random discussions take place so it's a good idea to introduce yourself there so all the other players can know that you exist and say hi (Most of us don't bite). If you're curious about the world of the Alleyverse and want to learn more about it we have a 'Guide to the Alleyverse' thread here that has some more detailed information about the world, or we also have a wiki! And... That's more or less it. I'll have some frequently asked questions here that will hopefully grow over time, if you have any further questions feel free to ask us below. I hope you enjoy the rabbit hole of chaos and madness that we affectionately call the Alleyverse. FAQ Q. What is the deal with these cookies? A. Well this one is sort of on me, way back in the dark ages there was a poll on the forum for what your favourite magic system was, I replied that my favourite was Hemalurgy (Because it clearly is) and someone jokingly replied that I should be added to a list of 'people to avoid in Dark Alleys'. This was the unofficial birth of the guild known as the DA (Dark Alley). Now at the same point in time I also had a habit of sending people pictures of cookies when I was making theories, to bribe them into agreeing with me. Someone joined these two ideas and suggested that I was secretly putting Hemalurgic spikes into the cookies I was handing out and I played along until it eventually became associated with the DA. So now we occasionally hand out 'cookies' to people in introduction threads as our way of welcoming them to the forums and possibly gaining new test subjects recruits. Q. Someone told me not to eat the cookie. A. Well that's not a question but even so: don't listen to that person. Cookies are amazing and anyone who suggests otherwise is wrong by default. (Though there is a small chance that you'll lose your soul if you eat the cookie, but trust me it's worth it) Q. What are these guilds? A. Well that's a long and complex subject but basically most players and characters in the Alleyverse belong to a guild, these guilds each have different motives, resources and levels of affection for cookies. If you want to hear more about the guilds you could look in the Guilds section in the wiki for more details, or ask in the chat thread if anyone is recruiting. More to come when I'm a little less tired and when we have more questions being asked. *Note: Can our more senior players please avoid posting here unless a new players question has gone unaddressed for a while, in order to keep this simple and short I'd prefer if responses here were limited to new players and AV moderators.
  6. Laurelai smiled back at Lita, it wasn't frosty in the least, but guarded. A polite smile and nothing more, the kind that she had practised for endless hours until she could force it at a moments notice. But behind the cool, friendly smile her thoughts were cold and caluclating as she observed the tineye apologise and grin in a friendly manner. She knew Lita was no beginner to the game of lies, falseties and half-truths that people player. She could wear a false smile as easily as Laurelai could and was able to spot such a smile twice as easily. Something had changed between them, but was it Laurelai's suspicions that had changed it? Or had this Chapel of Rain changed Lita in some way? Or perhaps worse yet, had Lita been like this the whole time? Showing an easygoing friendly facade but inwardly cautious and guarded of the stranger that Laurelai had become in their months apart? Almost by instinct Laurelai began to sort and file information, trying to arrive at the most logical motivations and chains of reasoning. The kind of work she performed by habit any time she needed to make a Forgery was useful for more than simply magically altering history, it was also one of the main reasons Laurelai did some work with the DoCI. She couldn't listen in on a conversation across a room or see in a darkened hallway, couldn't creep about unnoticed. But she knew people, could understand why they did what they did, if she had enough information. So why had Lita asked her to come here? Why had Laurelai followed? "I realise that finding an ancient and incredibly rare resource is important but you'd think they'd spread the messages out a bit more." Laurelai said, feigning a look towards her own pen. But her eyes didn't remain focused on it. Why had Lita seemed so shocked as she stepped through the water? Why had she stared at Laurelai with such hostility? "And I still haven't had any from Mac yet." Laurelai continued, looking up in thought. "I would have thought he'd be one of the ones coordinating this, but it's just been others from CounterIntelligence." Why are you so afraid? The voice whispered, continuing her own trail of thoughts. Why are you still alive after you provoked the ire of Voidus? Why was he angry at you in the first place? Laurelai felt something, a pull. It seemed to tug at her thoughts in a familiar manner but growing steadily more insistent in a way that should have distracted her from her thoughts, but didn't. Why was she so nervous down here? Why did she feel like something was watching her from the dark? Why couldn't she pull herself together? "He... must be busy" Laurelai said, voice trailing off into distraction. Unsure if Lita had even replied. She could barely see her surroundings anymore, she was too engrossed with the burning question. Why? Why? Why? Why? Only one place could she see clearly, only one thing that remained in focus as the world dimmed. The waters called. They pulled insistently at her the more she questioned, what had once been an irritating but easily resisted call was growing into a force that seemed to dominate her thoughts. Why did she want to dive into the waters? That last question burned at her, seared at her mind until it was the only one that remained. Perhaps the waters were harmful, but Lita had passed through them without issue hadn't she? And this place had been named a chapel, not a place of danger but of worship. There was nothing to fear, no reason to ignore the pull anymore. Laurelai's eyes were dragged towards the gently falling waters, her burning focus in stark contrast to the placid and calm liquid. She felt her legs tense and before she could ask herself any further questions felt herself step into the waters of the Chapel of Rain.
  7. Lifesense: 30 Biokinesis: 100 (Making some assumptions here about upper limits of power, but the main concern would be using it to instant-kill people which is off the table anyway) Physical enhancements are covered under the points for biokinesis, which is how I assume she acquired these enhancements. Skills: Melee weapons, Average (35), Scholarship, biology, Average (20), Parkour, Skilled (25) Weaknesses: Blind (-20) (Usually would be higher but this is with the compensation from lifesense), treats others as self while touching (-25), distressed by injury (-10) Total: 130 (M), 80 (S), -55 (W) = 155 Slightly over but I think this combined with how you've portrayed their psychological reactions to their Epic weakness, along with it being fairly easy to trigger, actually warrants a bit more of a reduction. Happy to approve this one.
  8. Temeria. The Spren gave a resolute nod as it heard the name, doing its best to make sure it remembered it. People put importance in names didn't they? They said them a lot at least, and they felt important when they said them. The Spren should probably remember Temeria's name now that it had learned it. Temeria Temeria Shernet. It sounded nice to the spren, interesting. Like something it wanted to burn, but words shouldn't be burned. The spren remembered that much, words must never be burned. The spren held its footing on Temeria's shoulder, staring down the other two figures whose names it had already forgotten. The cloth beneath its feet was textured, it could feel the little threads coming off and weaving together in some kind of pattern. The spren had to hold itself back from singing the loose threads, Temeria hadn't burned them yet, that was probably for a reason. Maybe she wanted to burn them later instead? Somewhere less dangerous? That would make sense, no point burning something if you couldn't enjoy it. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Stepping silently from an Alley, Voidus straightened himself as the scenery changed around him, the sky shifting overhead, the plain path between two looming walls of buildings. Two figures standing together opposite him, while another stood in the center of the path, a small glowing figure standing on her shoulder. Voidus let his gaze wander over those present, watching for any signs of other parties remaining unseen before finally stepping forwards from behind Temeria. "The Alleys." He said in a controlled voice. "Are an ever changing mystery, but not one we are inclined to discuss at length with others." Stopping in between the other two figures, he turned to regard Temeria, hs gaze paused briefly on the spren, then on her sword before finally focusing on her face. The dark pools of his eyes locked onto hers, staring intently as though to forcibly pull what he needed to know from them. "You were the last person to see him?" Voidus asked, voice tensing for a moment. "Mac. Before he left."
  9. The spren watched on, caution and pleasure contrasting within it as the one it had followed stayed where she was, speaking confidently. She kept one hand on her weapon and didn't back down or move away as she spoke, remaining guarded but not allowing herself to be cowed. The spren felt a deep satisfaction, a confidence that it had made the right choice. As it heard her speak the spren felt a sudden sense of elation. The words were not the Words that it needed, but they were a start. The spren slowly brightened again, gaining assured of itself now it stood proudly on the shoulder, facing the other two as they introduced themselves. The spren remembered names now, things usually called themselves by a name. It had a name too didn't it? And the one it had followed, she had a name didn't she? It turned towards her once more, curious this time. -------------------------------------------------------------- One step away from exiting the Alleys, Voidus paused. The pens had all stilled, his arms returned to normal. But just as he was about to shift towards the street he felt one more message. After giving a tired sigh to himself he reached into the pocket once more, pulling the pen from within and activating it to receive the message. His tired expression shifted to a hint of regret as he realised what the message was about. He could confirm it from here, simply be on his way and continue on towards the Worldspike. But he owed Mac more than that, owed it to the last one to see him in this world to hear their words. The last words that Mac had given before leaving. He turned in place, heading alone, deeper into the Alleys once more.
  10. Laurelai continued to frown with worry at Lita, she was about to correct her, assuring the woman that she'd definitely seen her step through the cascading liquid. But a glance at her hair showed that Lita was right, it wasn't wet in the slightest, not even a bead of moisture clinging to one of the strands. Laurelai's gaze flitted back to the falling water, where it hit the water below without causing any disturbance at all. Was it an illusion? Or did it just have different properties? Again the urge to touch it rose up, she felt her hand momentarily rise as if about to test the falling liquid herself. But she stopped as she felt the sudden stab of attention hitting her, she saw Lita staring at her, almost seeming to glare before her expression regained its usual mask. Laurelai let her hand drop back to her side, wiping her own expression clean as she did so and simply staring impassively back at her friend. She knew that Lita kept secrets still, she could hardly be herself and not. But she'd thought that they were past this now, this careful concealing of inner thoughts. The game of guessing and watching and evaluating. Hadn't they agreed to open up that night while the city tore itself to pieces around them? "Quite a stir I imagine." She said aloud. "But finding an ancient lost metal from the gods will do that." She felt her temples tighten, felt a headache coming on as tension continued to fill her. She wasn't exactly an active cave diver, but exploring the caverns themselves had at least been exciting, an interesting break from the work she'd previously been performing. But losing the trust of someone she considered a friend? She felt the worry begin to worm its way inside of her, feeding the voice that had been whispering within her mind.
  11. The spren flitted from one street to the next. It raced along a street before hitting a wall and then backtracking before zooming down another side street, a small little bolt of light racing from street to street, attracting a few startled yelps as it rapidly twirled out of the way of people at the last minute, leaving some faint scorch marks on their clothes. It had only looked away for a moment, seeing a new kind of flower and wondering what it would smell like when it burned, but when it burned back the person had gone again. They must have vanished into one of the side streets, but something about those made the spren a little uneasy. It didn't like that sensation, the faint sense of worry and discomfort that encouraged the spren to leave those alleyways alone. Flaring itself a little brighter for comfort it had raced into the alleyways to try to find the person it was looking for, but streets were difficult to remember and the spren didn't even know which ones it was supposed to follow. Why didn't people glow like the spren did? It would make them much easier to find. Or they could burn, burning things were always easy to find. It finally saw a familiar figure and raced to follow, but just as it was giving chase the spren noticed the sky changing, that happened sometimes but this wasn't the other sky either. This was something altogether different. The sprens brightness faded and it slowed its pace, its head swivelled about to look at the sights around it but it felt profoundly uncomfortable being alone in this place. Catching sight of the figure ahead as it began calling out, the spren slid across the ground towards them, still watching it leapt into the air as two other figures appeared. Landing near the feet of the person it had been following, the spren gave another leap, soaring up from her ankle to shoulder where it landed, guardedly watching the other two figures. "Danger" The spren said in a quiet flicker. There was something it was supposed to do when there was danger, some way it was supposed to help. But the spren couldn't remember it, something else had to happen first. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Voidus followed Vivica's gaze, looking towards another room. He felt her excitement mounting, felt the eagerness of Bennington at whatever waited them in there. Voidus considered it, considered taking a break and simply speaking with some people for a short while. The news of the discovery of Atium would be able to be handled by other departments for the time being, surely he could spare a little while to catch up with some denizens? But after a moments hesitation he shook his head, the DA was always better than those outside the guild but there were still far too many who regarded him with something close to awe, or fear. As something apart from the rest of the world. As a god. "Tempting though cinnamon rolls are." Voidus said. "Perhaps next time." With a final grateful smile he vanished, Elsecalling into another Alley. His smile slipped a little as he found himself alone once more, it had been nice to have a conversation like that again, however brief it may have been. How much of his life had he now spent wandering alone in an Alleyway? Shaking his head, a determined light entered into his eyes. No time to be musing right now, there was something he'd need to check on. If Atium had been found beneath the city, and growing rather than simply stored there, then there was some undue Shardic influence in the world that he hadn't noticed, most likely it was simply an unintended side effect of the Worldspike. It was unlikely, but there was a small chance that there was some failure in the barrier that had caused this, something that allowed more than was intended to leak from the spike.
  12. The spren happily jumped up to the candle's tip, balancing on the wick it spun with the flame from the candle and seemed to enjoy its reconnection with a source of flames. It spred its arms wide and closed them in around the flickering candle light, embracing it only to be surprised when the flames slipped through its grip. With a determined expression it stood back in the air and stared at the flames, preparing itself for the contest that was to come. But seeing the person it was watching begin to leave the restaurant, the spren paused. Second-guessing itself was not something it was accustomed to, but it still felt that insistent tug, that urge to do something. Something other than playing with a candle. Taking one last dive-tackle at the candle flames the spren gave up and followed the woman back out onto the streets.
  13. Laurelai stepped quickly towards Lita, skirting around the pool in order to reach her but moving with a quick and efficient grace. She reached her just as Lita seemed to finish a message in Alleycant, looking up excitedly. Laurelai barely had time to register the expression before feeling her own pen begin to vibrate in a none-too-subtle alert that someone was trying to contact her. She'd raised the pen into position and begun receiving the message just as Lita told her the results of her own and the surprise almost caused Laurelai to drop her pen. They'd found Atium down there? Her gaze quickly shifted to the nearby pool of mysterious liquid, eyeing it suspiciously. Could it be a Shardpool? But that couldn't be, there were no Shards Invested directly into the world to create a Shardpool here. But then that should also prevent any Atium from forming shouldn't it? Her eyes darted back and forth as she thought, barely paying attention to the request for a locations update from the department of records. Distractedly she sent a reply but her mind was still reeling with the possibilities that these caverns now held. But the more immediate concern was what had happened to Lita, the way she'd staggered after moving through the pool. It hadn't been simply from being off balance, something had happened. "Not that I'm not incredibly curious about that." Laurelai said. "But are you alright? Did anything happen when you stepped through?" She watched the pool again, still feeling the draw. Somehow that draw felt even more powerful than the draw of Atium, a legendary metal that was rare even amongst members of the DA. But this liquid pulled at her, promising something even more profound, more powerful than a metal made from the body of a god. Something that made promises like that couldn't be trusted could it? Her pen began vibrating again, another message to receive. But she ignored it, she wasn't a regular field agent at the moment, and even when she was this was a little outside of her area of expertise, it was probably just someone trying to update her. "I'd thought it possible that it could be a Shardpool." Laurelai ventured cautiously, still eyeing the pool. "If there's Atium here as well... but that wouldn't make sense. Unless you did see something? If you did then- WHAT!?" She finally broke off, glaring at her pen in irritation. The vibrating had only gotten more insistent, and with numerous different cadences. Records, and at least half a dozen different individuals from counter intelligence, why would so many be trying to contact her?
  14. Voidus' movement faltered again, ever so briefly, as he saw Vivica draw back into herself. The whisper of someone truly horrified of something, and the kind of thing that could horrify this woman must be something spectacular indeed. He inclined his head momentarily in apology but spoke no further about it, allowing her to move the topic on. "I only know as much as you do." Voidus replied, giving her a small smile as her mood shifted back towards the exuberant. "But it certainly seems like it. Either that or someone is going to be in some serious trouble for a false report." It was barely even a lie, truthfully he did only know a little more than Vivica, in this matter at least. He'd rather avoid lying too openly to someone like Vivica, someone who he could actually speak to genuinely, without a station or power hanging between them. "I imagine they'll probably be sending people out to verify it shortly." He continued, quite sure of this since he'd just sent out the requests himself. Voidus' hands began to slow, a few stopping entirely as less requests came back in. The DoCI was managing things itself now, even without Mac present they had plenty of organisational power to organise something like this. As his hands slowed, his smile began to fade as well. His mind flashed back to that brief, tortured face of Vivica. Nightmares? That too would be something they had in common. Sometimes the torture of a sleepless existence was still better than the torture of haunting memories returning to visit you while you dream. ---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- A long, but not quite as long as previously time ago, in a galaxy still approximately as far away. The Professor sagged in his chair as the candle in front of him extinguished itself once again, the small flickering light being invaded by encroaching darkness until it sputtered out. It was less tiring than it had once been, he'd managed to extinguish it several times now without feeling that complete sense of apathy that he had when he'd tried this before. Destroying solid objects as Voidus did still proved far too difficult to try without completely draining himself, but perhaps some day even that would be easier. He smiled tiredly to himself, looking over towards the clock and frowning at it. Voidus was late, it had been a somewhat frequent occurrence lately. Too frequent for someone who claimed to be working to stop the end of the universe. Finally the doors open and Voidus strode in, looking about cheerfully until his eyes latched onto the Professor's. Clapping his hands together, his eyes scanned the Professor up and down before nodding approvingly. "Been practicing?" Voidus asked. "You're getting much better. It's a shame there's not enough Investiture in this universe to test against that, but other forms of energy are quite similar. Generally a little harder actually so I suppose it's better practice." "You're late." Was the Professor's irritated reply. "Can't blame a man in love can you?" Voidus said with a sly wink. "I mean the universe is ending and all that sure, but don't you all have a million books and movies about how love is the ultimate force or something?" "You're the one who told me that this was urgent in the first place." The Professor reminded him. "And you still haven't told me what from exactly, or why teaching me this will help. Just let me practice by myself most days for weeks on end." The Professor stood as he spoke, striding angrily towards Voidus before stopping mere inches from him and looming over as his voice grew steadily more irate. "All in good time." Voidus said, letting off a dark but silent pressure to remind the Professor who he was speaking to. "You've been making good progress without me needing to coach you through every step, once you've had the basics down the rest has mostly been repetition anyway. Not a lot I can do to help with that." Cowed the Professor backed himself towards his chair before slumping into it, but seemed to still have enough confidence to at least shoot an angry glare at Voidus once again. "Fine." Voidus said, holding his hands up in mock surrender. "I'll give you a bit of explanation then, I suppose you're ready for it." The Professor's eyes lost their hostility immediately, instead becoming laser focused on Voidus, ready to drink in any information he could possibly pull from the dark and mysterious figure that had come to dominate so much of his life recently. "We draw things into the Void." Voidus began. "Unmake them, destroy them. Whatever you want to call it. We take something and turn it to nothing." He saw the Professor nod in understanding, but also seeming a little confused at why they were starting back here, at a discussion of Voidmaking. "Well, Voidmakers aren't the only ones unmaking things. Sometimes the Void itself takes something back into itself. Sometimes something small, a single person. But sometimes..." "It destroys and entire universe?" The Professor asked, eyes wide and horrified. "But how could we possibly stop it by unmaking more things? Isn't that just accelerating it?" "You see part of my dilemma." Voidus said. "It is possible to combat Voidmaking with another Voidmaking, but to stop the Void itself? It's not something I can manage on my own. I doubt two of us will have any better luck with strength alone, but perhaps we can figure out something a little cleverer. Find some core that its using to influence this universe?" "You haven't been idling." The Professor realized. "You've been thinking, keeping relaxed but trying to come up with some solution. Because you don't actually know how to stop the universe from ending." Voidus gave a solemn nod, letting the pressure in the room increase before breaking it with a sudden smile. "And so we might as well relax a bit while we can. Are you free for dinner tonight? I was thinking I could bring Laurelai over to meet you and your partner."
  15. "We remember a lot more than we think sometimes." Voidus replied with a smile, stowing one of the spikes and reaching out to accept the offered cup of coffee. "Perhaps it's the lack of sleep." Not a frequent sleeper himself, Voidus had easily recognised the signs. Most likely she was a compounder abusing stores of Wakefulness to maintain consciousness. It was usually harmless enough for small periods of time, but spending years with no sleep was damaging to the brain, even without the added stresses of potential savantism. Judging from the looks of her it seemed that Vivica probably had progressed that far, the Investiture warping her body itself through constant use. Perhaps her hallucinations were a part of that. "An atrium would definitely be one place." He said politely. "Arm bracers have also been common though. Or in a spike storage vial." He took a grateful sip of coffee, relaxing as he felt the soothing warmth hit him. The perfect blend of alertness and comfort washing over him at the same time. His hands all paused for just a moment, taking the time to enjoy himself as he rarely did, before they began spinning once again in a dozen different conversations. "If they did find it down there - in an atrium - what would you do? Would you be curious?" Voidus said, eyes watching his partner in conversation curiously. ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- "So the universe-" The Professor began. "Will be destroyed, yes." Voidus said, looking over the heads of others seated nearby and searching for someone. "Quite inevitable for all of you at the moment unless I manage to do something about it." "And you need my help?" The Professor asked, eyes wide. "Why me?" "Because you managed to do something that most people don't manage to do." Voidus said. "You accepted your death without embracing it and snapped into a power that few people do. And of those who do, almost none learn to successfully control it." Finally spotting a nearby blonde Barista, Voidus looked over and smiled waiting as she made her way to their table and took their orders once again. As she walked away his eyes followed her before finally drifting back to the Professor. "And the same thing happened to you?" The Professor asked, seeming to notice the attention that Voidus was putting on the waitress and frowning. "You nearly died?" "Something like that." Voidus replied, waving a hand dismissively. "Not a very interesting story." The two sat in silence as their coffee arrived, the Professor seeming to slowly perk up a little more as time passed. Recovering from the earlier lethargy and listlessness he'd experienced after their previous training. The coffee also seemed to help, both relaxing him and making him more alert at the same time. "Something special about that waitress?" He asked, nodding his head as Voidus' gaze slipped once more. "Everyone's special in a way." Voidus replied. "But she did seem interesting." "You should talk to her then." The Professor said with a touch of irritation. "Better than staring creepily from across the store, and if the universe is doomed then might as well seize the day and all that." "Perhaps I will." Voidus said with a grin. The Professor watched as Voidus stood up and walked over to the blonde as she was making another coffee. After a minute of conversation they both began laughing at something and a moment later she wrote something down on a piece of paper and slid it across towards him. The Professor gave a tired smile but a frown still creased his brow, wondering if the universe was really about to end.
  16. These arguments will almost always devolve into an argument of semantics at some point in time. I mean depending on your definition of both 'free will' and 'determinism' you could argue that determinism doesn't preclude free-will. And on a personal level while I generally would tell people that I don't believe in free will, that's also somewhat subject to what exactly you mean by the term. 'I' referring to the totality of the body that is currently typing these words does have the capacity to make decisions. If there are two possible decisions I will weight the evidence of both and pursue that course. The fact that this is simply the result of predetermined chemical and electrical impulses doesn't change the fact that inputs were processed and an output was achieved, a form of decision making. Some people might call such an event free will, I had two choices and nothing was precluding my choosing either one of them. So my own answer usually also involves a question, do you consider computer systems to have free will? They perform a similar, albeit far less complex task. Take in inputs and provide an output based on internal decision making.
  17. I don't disagree with your premise but I do have to ask what you were expecting to get out of this thread? Seems incredibly likely to cause arguments to break out, and specifically arguments that are not particularly productive. Most people either believe in a deterministic world or they don't and it's not a simple thing to change ones opinion on. I will also mention that at certain scales true randomness does indeed occur, so while on a macro scale you can predict for example the result of a flip of the coin if you have all available data and enough knowledge of the forces involved, you can't predict which atom will decay in an unstable isotope in a given moment.
  18. A disturbance from his pocket distracted Voidus during the list of names that Vivica had begun musing about. He'd sagged a little at the mention of godlike entities but it seemed that Vivica didn't ascribe such qualities to him at least. That was something. Reaching into the pocket he pulled a sleek silver pen out, the tip vibrating slightly as he held it indicating an Alleycant message. Those were rare, Mac usually dealt with anything that relied on such clandestine communications, Voidus usually needed to communicate through official channels and records in order to placate HR's endless demands for proof of compliance with every project. But then now that Mac had gone, perhaps it was someone from his department wondering who they were meant to report to. "Nox struck me as intruiging." He replied to Vivica, allowing his hand to drop to one side as he received the message. "It's nice, simple. Easy to remember." He paused, eyes narrowing as he stared at the air over Vivica's head. He payed closer attention as the message continued on, arriving at the expected request of who they were meant to report to, but it was the first part that had caught his interest. Please repeat. Voidus signed back. Did you say they found Atium down there? His other hand raised to his breast pocket once more, fishing around until it found a small ring of Aluminium. Tapping from the store there he also drew heavily on a goldmind, aligning his body with the new identity that he drew from the ring. The surface of his arms rippled, the skin bubbling and bulging out in a dozen different places. New appendagess began to sprout forth until there was barely anything left visible of his original arms. Pens and spikes were past from one arm to the next until all two dozen or so held their own implements, each spinning rapidly from one finger to the next. Messages being sent out to various denizens to advise them, to field agents to begin preparing to enter the caverns, and to the Records department to see if there had been any similar findings previously, in addition to requesting the locations of both Lita and Laurelai. With all the communications happening simultaneously, one request for a status update should pass unnoticed. "Not that I'm opposed to Finn either, and we do have so few Parshendi names around the place so perhaps there's some merit to that as well." Voidus said, continuing on the conversation without breaking further stride. One of the dozen hands raised a pen to his chin, tapping thoughtfully. @ZincAboutIt
  19. Laurelai watched the eerily stationary pool of liquid as Lita stared into its depths, at first she wasn't sure what Lita was talking about. Want to what? Examine it certainly, but pools of mysterious liquid were not something that you could just jump into without investigation. What if it was some kind of acid? But as she stared she felt the pull, the faint desire to submerge herself beneath this liquid growing stronger and stronger. It called, promising something, something very valuable if they just touched it, just reached into the falling liquid and stepped into the pool. It would be able to help her, help them. She shook her head, staggering backwards a step. She could still feel the call of the pool but it was fainter now, less insistent. Whatever it was, it had been an outside force attempting to influence their minds. And doing what a mysterious voice in your head told you to do was rarely a good idea, especially if that voice came from a mysterious pool of liquid. The last time Laurelai was aware of something like that happening, the Ascended Warrior had accidentally released Ruin into the world. "Be careful." She warned in a whisper, staring suspiciously.at the water. "From what we heard they've lost a lot of people in these caverns already."
  20. Ah, then yes as others have said adding new materials to the AV would require some community approval. Given that this could conceivably be limited to pre-modern times then a poll in this thread would probably suffice but if you were looking for adding this to all worldbuilding and lore for the AV then would need to get a full poll up. I would also question why this is required for something that is quite easily emmulatable from just running them as an Epic. Not sure what adding additional complexity of the universe contributes especially given that you'd already said you hadn't given much thought to where they get their powers from so I have to assume you hadn't intended for that source to be particularly integral to the story.
  21. I may be missing something but I'm not seeing any similarities here between this and Voidmaking. Looks more like an Epic power than anything else to me, though Xino has said IIRC that it isn't. But if you were planning to use Voidmaking as a basis for this powerset then this is well outside the range of its capabilities. Erasing sound is not exactly impossible but would be an absolutely insanely difficult, whereas creating things is straight up the opposite of everything Voidmaking is about. The whole reason Voidus was so up in arms during the Plasmacore plot was that they were trying to use the Void to create stuff and he was justifiably worried that they'd end up unmaking the universe if they kept trying to do that. @Ookla the Blue perhaps you could clarify if you meant something else but this would be straight up impossible to do using Voidmaking. I'd definitely suggest making this character an Epic if you still wanted to use the idea.
  22. "Vivica?" Voidus offered with a smile, he inclined his head slightly towards her. "You did. As for my name... well I've had a few, but discovering another couldn't hurt." He was somewhat curious as to how the conversation would unfold, curious as to how this woman thought with such a unique view of the world. The spike helped with that of course, but all it did was allow him to perceive things in the same way as her, it wasn't quite the same as being able to read minds. He'd also have to remember to take it out before too long, they had some unpleasant side effects if left in for too long. "I'm having trouble coming up wit any inspiration however." Voidus said. "Perhaps you could give me some ideas and we could work from there?" --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sweat beaded on the Professor's face as he frowned in concentration. Voidus watched intently, eyes eager to see if this attempt would be successful. The air in the room was darkening ever so slightly, almost imperceptibly compared to Voidus' earlier displays, but it was enough to show the progress that had been made. And in the Professor's hand was an even denser patch of darkness, the concentration of the will that he was bringing to bear. Without sound, the darkness suddenly vanished. Voidus raised a hand to clap on the Professor's shoulder in sympathy for the failed attempt when he noticed that half the pineapple that the Professor had been staring at had now vanished completely, leaving the other half rolling on the table, a small amount of juice leaking from within it. Voidus gave a smile and clapped the Professor on the back multiple times. With his other hand he absently waved towards the half-destroyed fruit, obliterating the rest of it. "And there you have it." Voidus said, beaming from excitement. "Not completely yet, but I physical materials are always the hardest. But no point in starting off easy, jump in the deep end I say." The Professor stood, panting, sweat still beading down the sides of his face. His posture slowly slumped as though about to collapse but he managed to hold his footing. He lifted his hands up to look at them, seeming to expect a feeling of wonder, or achievement or suspicion that he had somehow been tricked again. But instead all he felt was... "Empty?" Voidus interrupted. "That'll happen, especially with something big like this. Not to worry, give it a bit of time and you'll be back to yourself." "What if we kept trying?" The Professor said, tone unusually flat. He didn't seem too eager to actually continue, or too eager to do much of anything really. "Well for one you probably just wouldn't." Voidus replied. "Lack of motivation to try and all that, but if you did then there's a good chance you'd deplete all of your willpower and eventually stop breathing." Voidus' tone barely changed, he still held the same satisfied grin. But the words that he spoke hung ominously in the air, and even in his current lethargy, the Professor found himself shuddering. "Why are you doing this?" He asked, a small amount of curiosity managing to creep its way back into his voice. "Why teach me this?" Voidus gave the man an impressed stare, surprised that he could even muster the energy to wonder at the answer, let alone actually ask it. "Well to put it simply, there's a problem I'm currently facing and it's not one I can deal with by myself." Voidus said. "So I'll need your help to deal with it, once you've learned a little more perhaps you'll be able to give me some ideas about it and we can work from there. The universe is going to be destroyed." The Professor blinked, not seeming to be sure if this was a joke, or if he hadn't understood somehow. But staring at Voidus' still smiling expression he felt the reality of it hit him. Voidus was perfectly serious about this, this was no con or exaggeration. "Shall we get some more coffee?" Voidus asked lightly. "I met a lovely Barista there last time, I do hope she's still there. The ability to make a good coffee I've found, is almost as rare as what I'm teaching you."
  23. The spren sat on a nearby window ledge, a small circle of darkening wood beginning to spread beneath it. Listening like this wasn't something the spren usually did, but something compelled it to stay here for now. It gave a small popping sound of irritation at the compulsion, the spren hated waiting. Some kinds of waiting were okay, playing games to pass the time for example. Or slowly burning a log in a fire. But those weren't really waiting, they were doing things until other things happened. But right now the spren had nothing to do. There were no logs to burn, no children with sticks, no fires to join with and watch. It was just sitting there, idly watching the two speaking to each other. The images-of-light had been interesting, but the spren couldn't burn light. Or at least it didn't think it could, it had tried once surely? And one of the few things the spren could remember was burning things.
  24. Laurelai wandered into the cavern behind Lita, breathing a sigh of relief when she saw that they were at the bottom of the waterfall rather than the top, hopefully that meant no more need for Surgebinding and freefalling through a dark chasm in the ground. She frowned as she watched the water hitting the pool, somehow not disturbing the surface in any way as it hit. Curious. Likely not water then, but what could behave like that? It might have some interesting properties that R&D could make use of. She continued wandering, keeping an eye out for anything particularly out of place like the earlier pile of shoes but careful not to stray too far from the others. She was the least likely of them to survive an encounter with any of the creatures that lived down here, so she'd prefer not to discover them yet if possible. "Laurelai." Laurelai's head tilted as she looked behind her, she'd barely even heard the whisper over the sound of the waterfall, almost thought it was simply another voice in her mind. But she saw Lita's figure groping blindly behind her, eyes fixed on something. Barely made out her next words as well. "Terris?" Laurelai said. "A little of course, passably. Generally I'm more used to Alethi, Aonic or the Steel Alphabet but if you want to read anything about Scadrial's history then you don't really have a choice." She followed Lita's focused gaze, curious as to what had gotten the woman so distracted. Surely it wasn't simply Okame's antics, this seemed a little different. More personal somehow. She'd been expecting something subtle, given that even Lita's keen eyes had seemed to take a moment to process it, but at first Laurelai couldn't see anything at all, just some faint irregularity to the stone. "Where did I put it?" She muttered. Patting herself down she finally found the torch, pointing it towards the section that Lita was staring at and flipping the switch, throwing the characters into sudden harsh light. Squinting a little at the sudden light that was reflected back to her, Laurelai read the characters. Staring harder at the places where they'd become worn and harder to read. "Waterfall?" She muttered as she deciphered the text. "No, that's different this is 'falling water' rain? And what was that one? Some kind of building I think." She tapped her pen against her lip in thought, staring at one of the words until her eyes finally lit up. "Church! That was it. Or chapel possibly, might be misremembering a little. The Chapel of Rain? Something like that." She shot a glance back towards the cascading liquid hitting the still pool below it. She could certainly understand how someone could come to worship such a place, it had a certain calm and tranquil atmosphere to it that would appeal to people, especially the Terris. "But who would be writing that in Terris?" She wondered. "The chances of someone accidentally wandering through an Alley and ending up here is not particularly high. Another worldhopper?" ----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Whisper pulled herself back a little, giving Althea and Wes time to talk but staying just on the edge of earshot. It sounded like they and others had begun realising what was here, though even Whisper had considered it only one of many possibilities until now. But seeing the geodes, seeing one get cracked open removed any lingering doubts. "Atium" She heard the word whispered in half a dozen different places, said in amazement or even reverence. It was a substance that was rare even in the Alleycity, rare to the point that few people would even be able to see it in their lifetime. It was a resource that even the DA would be eager to acquire, possibly even more so than the other guilds. To others it might mean some future sight, stronger soldiers, perhaps an easy spike to use. But for the DA it meant many more experiments that were impossible with any other metals, it would open up the doors to researchers who usually had to wait endlessly until more became available or was recycled from elsewhere. Whisper's own eyes flashed with momentary greed before she masked it once more. This much Atium could be used for a lot of things, the DA might be more imaginative in their ideas than some others, but even those were something she considered merely an idle benefit. Atium was the physical essence of Ruin, the essence of a god. Burning it or using it in a spike might be one means of making use for it, but those were the means that mortals were restricted to. Can you build a god? Whisper wondered. If you have the physical essence, know where the spiritual is. Could they be brought back? She felt her heart accelerate, even with her willpower directed on keeping her expression neutral she still felt the cracks begin to show. The longing, the desire for what this cavern held. Her eyes flickered from one figure to the next, seizing up those present. Was there any chance she could get rid of those who were here? Keep this hidden until it could be extracted? Her eyes found Althea again and paused. No, there was no need to rush things. Running headlong into a fight was not how she operated, she stood no chance of managing to get through the entire scouting force, let alone the remaining forces that would soon be following behind. Patience. We've waited this long for their return, we can wait a little longer.