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  1. #1
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    A World Within The Margin

    A now factually correct retelling of the original Shinsou Vaan Osiris origin story, circa 2015.
    His eyes were open, yet he could see nothing. He couldn’t feel anything, either. Not his hands, his feet, his arms or legs. He couldn’t even feel the pounding of a heartbeat in his chest. There was a terrifying absence of sound. His brain told him he should be naturally expecting these feelings, yet they were missing entirely. In fact, the only reason he knew he was even alive was because his mind begged him to believe it was so.

    Is this real?

    Suddenly a cold, prickling sensation spread over the top of his right foot. It was slight, at first, but grew stronger with every second, reaching his ankle and the finally bottom of his shin.

    What’s going on?

    A murky, purple haze began to seep through the darkness towards him. He could feel the same cold prickling sensation sweep across his face as the black void peeled away from him and his surroundings were gradually revealed to him.

    The room, if one could even could call it a room, was smothered in a dense lilac mist that rolled over a dark granite floor and cascaded down from a cracked, mossy stone ceiling thirty foot above. There seemed to be no walls; just an impossible expanse of void that stretched on far beyond what the eye could render, obscured by the thick steam-like substance pouring down from above.

    As the feeling returned to his face, the nameless man could begin to taste an electricity in the air; a cold static that curdled the blood and left an awful metallic aftertaste on his tongue. Then suddenly, although muffled at first, sounds began to come to life around him. The hissing of steam, the snapping of an electrical current, the recoil of his labored breathing and even his heartbeat reverberated around and inside him. He still couldn’t feel anything below his neck and above his feet; evident by the fruitlless attempts to move his limbs.

    “Welcome back, Shinsou.”

    The voice that spoke was soft but a little gruff. Shinsou Vaan Osiris turned his head left in the direction of the voice and observed silently as a silhouette paced through the sickly marbled expanse of black and purple, distorted by the smoke in the same way scenery might be blurred by heat in a desert.

    The figure stopped short of him, just enough to ensure his features were mostly obscured save for a straw sedge hat and what appeared to be a cane to lean on.

    “Don’t try to speak. After three years of having your mouth sealed shut, your throat muscles need some time to recover.”

    Shinsou tried to muster up the energy for a response, but his mind drew a blank and his mouth remained shut.

    “Like I said, you’re going to struggle. This place is harsh on the body.”

    The man shook his head. As he did so, he caught a little of the light that was present in the room and Shinsou made out some of his features. A short black stubble beard, a vagrant’s white and gold patterned haori from the neck down, and soft, mellow hazel eyes gazing back at him through the black.

    “I have to admit I’m a little shocked you’re awake as early as this. You’ve been treated with a little more intensity than the usual clientele of this place, so getting back on your feet may take a little more time. Sorry.”

    The man put his hands behind his back, resting back on his cane, and sighed.

    “Do you know who you are? Where you are?”

    Shinsou pondered for a moment, willing his mind to try to remember, but the neurons couldn’t make the connections. He shook his head; the first pro-active response the man in front of him had gotten since his arrival.

    The man pivoted on his cane and walked back a few steps before stopping abruptly, waving a hand across his body to dispel some excess mist.

    “Your name is Shinsou Vaan Osiris, a Telgradian soldier. At this moment in time you are in our capital city Garah. More specifically, you are inside a Telgradian facility called Kokushi, recovering from some quite serious injuries.”

    Shinsou tried hard to think. Telgradian Soldier? Kokushi?

    “Don’t try too hard to make sense of it all right now, because your mind is still fragile. For now, just listen to what I have to tell you. You were brought to Kokushi to heal. The properties of the thick mist in this place can help to restore the soul and body in its entirety.”

    The man paused, sighing again. He took off his sedge hat and wiped a bead of sweat from his head.

    “Sorry, as you can probably tell by now, the humidity here is a little heavy. Anyway, I can’t tell you much more. I have orders to prepare you for a meeting with the Telgradian Council of Five, and they will shed some light on what happened. For now, I’ll release your remaining seals and give you a little time to get your body in working order.”

    The man raised his right hand, outstretching it towards Shinsou, before muttering a quick and almost inaudible incantation. A ring of blinding silver light quickly expanded out from an epicenter close to the Telgradian’s heart, through his body horizontally, and shattered into glimmering dust in front of his eyes. The man turned and began to walk away, dragging his cane with him, as the use of Shinsou’s arms and legs began to return to him.

    “Shirubashakkuru,” Shinsou’s throat was dry and burning from inhaling some of potent mist as he spoke, and his words were staggered and broken, but he struggled on nonetheless, “I don’t remember…much, but…I remember…Shirubashakkuru. A binding spell. You only used half…half an incantation.”

    He found himself struggling for breath after only these short sentences and stopped talking.

    The enigmatic warden of this strange place stopped in his tracks, and had now spun to face him. This figure once again caught the light and his once relaxed expression had changed to shock, his eyes were wide with awe and his mouth slightly ajar. It took him five seconds or so to relax his demeanour.

    “So you can talk after all. Impressive, very impressive! Even more so that you can recall the details of such a rare spell after waking from a three year sleep in here.”

    Shinsou fell silent again, his heart now pounding and his lungs burning from inhaling the strange purple smoke. The man tapped his cane on the floor and summoned a shimmering circular portal in the centre of the room.

    “You should stop and rest now. The more you talk, the harder the atmosphere of this place will be on your lungs. I will summon some attendants to take you from here shortly, so sleep for now.”

    The man began to pace through the portal, its silver surface rippling as his body made contact with its surface. At the final moment, just before the light enveloped him fully, he turned.

    "My name is Telos Soltair. We'll see each other later, I'm sure."
    Look down at me and you see a fool, look up at me and you see a god. Look straight at me and you see yourself.

  2. #2
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    Level completed: 9%, EXP required for next Level: 13,712
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    Renowned for its beautiful architecture and rich culture, the Telgradian capital city of Garah was the crown jewel of Telgradia. Its famous Lunar Harp Theatre attracted people from all over the country to admire poetry and prose, and to lose themselves in tales of love, comedy and war. The bustling Garah Markets brought endless streams of merchants and traders through the gates, and with them their finest and rarest wares for all to bargain for from the four corners of the world. The inns and wine bars served only the finest meads and vine, and their rooms were bursting with patrons, their streets littered with the happy drunks and the disorderly at kicking out time.

    The buildings in Garah were, by far, the most special sight and were the only ones of their kind in Telgradia. Constructed from a silver quartz-like material called Frach, the houses and structures spanning for miles and miles gleamed in dawn’s early light, refracting the warm orange hue through their translucent skins to illuminate other nearby structures. In the town square, the exclusive Council of Five buildings were aligned in such a way that the early morning sunrise poured light into a Frach trough that encircled the Telgradian royal compound and struck through it. This created a glowing golden crest in the image of the royal seal, which was visible in the town square until sunset.

    Shinsou Vaan Osiris gazed upon the royal seal from the third story window of the Council’s headquarters, sipping tea slowly from an oaken cup, now awaiting his audience with the Council of Five. Something about the image of the seal seemed to bother him, a small fragment of a detail lodged on the back of his mind somewhere, perhaps, but he couldn’t place it and thus dismissed it, shaking his head. He sat in a nearby chair, and instead cast his still weary eyes to the polished wooden floorboards, cradling his lukewarm beverage.

    It was the first time in the three years he had been sealed that his body had ventured outside of the darkness of Kokushi, so he had been told by his attendants, and his eyes were having immense trouble adjusting to the light three days later. Even staring down at a dull color such as an oak floorboard was making his eyes ache, and his head thump, so much so that he dug his fingernails into his forehead and raked them through his hair irritably in a vain effort to release some of the pain.

    “Shinsou?”

    A heavy, official looking spruce-wood door at the end of the narrow white corridor had swung open, and in its doorway stood the heavy set features of one of the Telgradian Council’s messengers, complete with black coat-tails, white stockings and ceremonial white wig. Atlas looked up, slowly, making a visor over his aching eyes with his free hand to try and make out more of the man addressing him.

    “Yeah?”

    “Apologies for the delay. Councillor Soltair will see you now.”

    Shinsou nodded slowly, prising himself out of his chair, and paced up the corridor. He handed the empty oaken cup to the messenger on the way past. Uttering his thanks, the Telgradian nodded and closed the door behind him.

    As he turned, he took in his new surroundings.

    The first thing that hit him was the rich scent of fresh wood, a very delicious scent indeed. The room was only about twelve foot squared but it was paneled in mahogany, furnished with ivory trinkets and finished with Frach detailing around the ceiling. A large marble table separated Osiris from the business end of the room, on which a traditional silver Telgradian ceremonial tea set was placed.

    Across from Shinsou sat Telos Soltair, the man he had spoken with. Up closer, he was a much less imposing man; a wiry frame smothered in the same flowing haori and elegant feudal robes he had worn the other day. He stood up, running a swift hand through his tied back, chestnut brown hair.

    “Good to see you up and about, Shinsou. Welcome, please sit down.” He extended an inviting palm gesture for the Telgradian to sit.

    “Thank you, Councilor.” Shinsou responded, pulling up a nearby chair.

    “Tea?” Asked Telos, gesturing towards the tray ahead of him. “My attendants told me that you have had a bit of a taste for the Tiger Leaf blend since you left Kokushi on Monday.”

    Shinsou nodded, taking the pot and pouring the thin herbal blend into a silver teacup. He watched as the green liquid swirled around the cup, looking into his own weary eyes in the reflection of the surface of the tea.

    “What happened to me, if I may ask? I don’t recall much, so I was hoping you could fill me in.”

    Telos picked up the teapot and poured his own tea, and sat down. He sipped from his tea, smiling as the green liquid washed over his dry lips. It was pleasant and refreshing. As he looked up from the rim of his silver cup, the councilor caught Atlas’s gaze. It was the first time he had really looked him in the eyes since he had arrived; they were deep, golden curious eyes. His brown hair was swept back to the crown, and for a man as old as he, Telos could see a boyish charm about the lad. High cheekbones, strong frame. A fine Telgradian specimen indeed.

    Understandable, given his parentage. Telos thought as he afforded himself a wry smile.

    Shinsou broke the momentary stare, and coughed. He appeared to dismiss his previous question, now puzzled about something else, and quickly spoke his mind.

    "You used Shirubashakkuru with half an incantation to break my seals. That’s a tier three spell. My memory is still only just coming back to me, but I remember a lot about Telgradian magic, and I seem to remember that spells numbering in the third tier were very difficult to control.”

    “That’s right.” Telos said, somewhat surprised. “There are ten tiers in total. Anything above tier five is usually only permitted to be used by the five people that comprise the Council of Five. Tiers three and four are difficult to control for most people, but easy enough for someone like me. Your memory intrigues me. Some of it seems to still be intact? Quite a feat considering your lengthy stay in Kokushi.”

    Shinsou sighed, sipping a little of his tea and averting his gaze from the window to stop his eyes from punching out of his skull. He wanted his first question answering again.

    “Look, I’m not sure what happened before I ended up in that place. You told me I was injured in battle and brought to Kokushi to heal. I don’t remember anything prior to yesterday. All I was told was that I was required here at the Council.”

    Telos nodded, sipping his own tea. “The Council of Five doesn’t convene properly until next week, but I needed to see you before then. Let me fill you in on your situation and a little bit about why you are here.”

    Telos stood up, lifting his voluminous arrangement of robes from his seat, and paced to the window, gazing out into the streets below.

    “Telgradia is a beautiful country, Shinsou, and for all intents and purposes a content kingdom. However, despite its surface appearances and brave faces, it is also in a period of transition. Three years ago, there was a huge civil war between us, the Telgradians, and a sect of former loyalists called the Jal Shey. We won, but the fallout has left deep, lasting scars."

    Telos sighed, adopting a more serious tone. “We sent you on a mission with a man called Arius Mephisto to find out what the Jal Shey were up to in the outlands. It would seem that you both found something much, much worse than the separatists there. A whole Jal Shey empire, in fact. One so big it was a wonder it went undetected for so long. They were organized, well-funded, and well led. ”

    Shinsou frowned as Telos turned to him, then back to the window.

    “There was a powerful and dangerous Jal Shey who commanded power over the minds of those who pledged to follow him. When they attacked, they were ruthlessly efficient at it. The Jal Shey leader himself was a wielder of levels of magic that have been as yet unseen. He used a great deal of it to murder tens of thousands of people and turn the tide of the war in his favor.”

    Shinsou’s demeanor changed. He started itching on his right arm, and he looked anxious. Telos hadn’t noticed, and was still facing the window.

    What is this…I’m feeling?

    “Anyway, you and Arius were captured and tortured. The Council of Five had a short skirmish with this Jal Shey, but he up and vanished before we could finish the job. We managed to get you both out alive.”

    “So, where is this Arius?” Shinsou asked.

    “It’s complicated. The damage he suffered was so bad that his soul had to be razed from him and stored in a crystal vessel whilst his body was healed. Essentially, he no longer exists, save for that crystal. And this…” Telos paced back towards his seat, throwing his weight into the chair and crossing his leg. “…is why we need you.”
    Look down at me and you see a fool, look up at me and you see a god. Look straight at me and you see yourself.

  3. #3
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    EXP: 105,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 9%, EXP required for next Level: 13,712
    Level completed: 9%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

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    “Why do you need me?” Shinsou placed an empty teacup back onto the silver tray in front of him. His eyes were still throbbing, and he was internally wrestling to suppress the headaches.

    “Two reasons,” Telos leant in, “Firstly, someone has stolen the crystal containing Arius’s soul and taken it to a world called Althanas. That crystal contains important information the Council needs; memories and suchlike, and we want it back in one piece. I assume you don’t remember this, but you have a unique ability to sense the life force of those you have met before. We’ll need you to find it.”

    “And secondly?” Queried Shinsou, with a furrowed look on his brow.

    “He’s your best friend.” Telos rose from his chair, offering his hand, which Shinsou hesitantly took. He stood, head bowed, gazing into nothingness for a moment as he tried to take it all in.

    “One more thing…” Telos said, putting a comforting hand on Osiris’s shoulder. “I’ve assigned someone to you, to look after you until you go to Althanas. His name is Dxun Ra, a Colonel in the Telgradian Royal Guard. He’ll make sure you are well looked after. For now, return to your barracks, and he’ll swing by and introduce himself later.”

    Shinsou nodded slowly, still a little dumbstruck. “Thank you…”

    Telos nodded and ushered the Telgradian politely through the door, closing it behind him. There was a soft clicking of a latch as the door shut and a wheezing cough from the other side of the door.

    I’ve really got my hands full with this.

    Shinsou looked ahead of him, past a waiting gentleman on the left who had taken his seat, and began to walk towards his dormitory.
    Look down at me and you see a fool, look up at me and you see a god. Look straight at me and you see yourself.

  4. #4
    Administrator

    EXP: 105,288, Level: 14
    Level completed: 9%, EXP required for next Level: 13,712
    Level completed: 9%,
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    Shinsou Vaan Osiris's Avatar

    GP
    2,010

    Name
    Shinsou Vaan Osiris
    Age
    31
    Race
    Telgradian
    Gender
    Male
    Location
    Salvar

    View Profile
    Morning sun finally shone through the steel barred window, crawling out from behind the cloud cover that had choked the Telgradian sky for the past few days.

    Arius Mephisto watched the lengthening shadows of the prison bars creep slowly around the room, periodically raising his weary head back up to the sky. The weather was the only variable in his life, and he would often spend his time predicting it. Would it be rain, snow, thunder or sunshine that would accompany him through the day? Sometimes he would play a little game. If he got the weather right, he’d add a notch to the wall on his left. If wrong, one to the right. There were far more scratches on the left than right now, because he had time to practice and study the patterns. Nothing else ever changed. Same bricks, same bed, same shitty food, same ill-tempered guards.

    Same soulless existence.

    The grimy, cold limestone upon which he sat felt more comfortable now than it had previously. By now, after so long, he had forgotten what a real chair felt like to sit on. There was hardly ample cloth on which to rest or with which to wrap himself in on the unfortunate day he correctly predicted the coming of the frost. Yet, even with the basic lack of amenities, the passage of time had turned this cell into a home.

    It wasn’t long before the worst part of Arius’s day came rumbling towards him. The grinding of his stomach almost made his cell seem like it was moving. Loose stones and dirt would seem to vibrate intensely on the floor around him. The thin, gaunt man stared at the floor through his gold rimmed spectacles as footsteps grew ever closer.

    He stepped inside; the guard who had fed him all this time. How long had it been now? Months? Years? He wasn't sure just how long he had spent in here. Yet it was the first time since Arius had been locked here that he had laid eyes upon him. The guard was a heavy-set, bearded man. He was dressed in thick, plate armor with an underlay mainly sown out of cotton. Arius looked down at his own clothes; ragged cotton shirt, tired looking and well used pantaloons.

    They would probably outlive him.

    "Still scratching at the walls?" The man asked as he stared suspiciously at Arius, then the window, and then the two vandalized stone slabs either side. “Fucking lunatic.”

    "Have you come to beat me again?” Arius wandered away from the window and offered out his hand to the guard. "Perhaps you’d like to break my arm this time. Or my back. What would make you happiest?"

    The man stood silently for a moment while two more guards, suspiciously more armored than him, appeared outside the room. Still holding onto the door, he considered shutting it again but for his orders. This man had been isolated for some time, and beaten, and clearly was at the end of the threads of sanity; just a broken shell of a person, useful for nothing. Why had he been called for now?

    Scratching his bearded chin with indecision, he looked back at the men behind him, and smirked.

    "It’s your lucky day today, dickhead. You get to go for a little walk."

    Arius looked vacantly at the floor. "What if I choose not to go?"

    "I think we both know how that’ll go..." He gestured to the remaining guards. “Even a madman understands pain.”

    Placing his callused hands into his pocket, Arius dusted himself off, however silly that might have seemed, and then took a deep breath. What was waiting for him outside the door? He looked out the window for what, oddly, felt like the final time. The sun was long gone, and rain clouds threatened to hammer down on the country below.

    Interesting…a notch to the right.
    Look down at me and you see a fool, look up at me and you see a god. Look straight at me and you see yourself.

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