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The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

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INV ONLY The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Nicolas Flamel on June 5th 2019, 2:23 am

Many had walked this path before.

First, a nephew. Curious, but inept. He lost an arm the first couple of days, and of course blamed his teacher. It was probably good that he perished long ago from some easily preventable disease. Flamel imagined his nephew's revenge would have been great, if he had ever gotten the chance to exercise it.

Second, a prince. A fine student, but cocky. Nick only trained him for a few months before moving on to other matters, and had heard years later that the young man had been executed. How wrong those reports were.

Third, a poor stable boy. Talented, but, as Flamel eventually found out, sadistic. Only after learning everything he could from Nick did he show his true colors--after becoming a dear friend. It pained the alchemist to leave him at the bottom of that well, but it needed to be done to secure the safety of the world.

The forth was a student. Fifth, a girl trying to return her lover to life. Sixth, a general. Seventh, eighth, ninth, and tenth, all either too dumb or too ambitious. They either killed themselves trying something exceedingly stupid, or had pushed Flamel to the point where he had to make them a threat no longer.

Failures. All of them. And yet he had another one. Perhaps his last chance.

The old alchemist walked up the mountain path, snowy wind blowing into his face. His face showed no discomfort, despite only wearing his usual exquisite gold and black robes. His soon-to-be-apprentice walked behind him a few meters, but Nick had not looked back at him since they started.

They had been traveling along this winding path for an hour now, inching themselves up the high moutain little by little. With each step, it got more freezing, white, and windy. The storm was so loud Flamel couldn't hear himself think.

It was an unpleasant journey, but it had to be done. It had been done for all others that learned alchemy from the old man, and it would be done for all those that learned from his students. Besides, it was nearly over anyway.

Once they reached the top, they were met with a grand, gold and dark wood cathedral. Torches glew brightly in the windows, and a bell tower stood mightily at it's peak. It looked like something out of the middle ages, but was obviously just as cush as any place Ryan had ever been, rich as he was.

"Inside, Ryan," Flamel said, gesturing for him to go in first. Once inside, Ryan would see rows upon rows of bookshelfs, as high as the domed, magnificently painted ceiling would allow. Candles lit the way through the entire building, and desks, chairs, and work areas were stationed in various areas in the massive library. The whole place had the feeling of a monastery.

Flamel came in behind Ryan, then gestured for him to follow. The old man would lead the boy down numerous hallways, all lined with torches and grand art pieces. Only after walking for a good five minutes would they reach their destination.

Behind a heavy wooden door was an all marble room. It looked cold, but the large fireplaces in the corners kept it warm. Unlike the rest of the place, little decorated this room. It was just a big, clean marble room with a tail ceiling and pillars. There was, however, a small bubbling pool in the center. The water within was golden.

"I thought for a long while that your brother may become my final pupil..... But now I see you're the one that needs this, as much as it needs you," Flamel said. He moved to the pool, sitting next to it indian style, running his hands through the brilliant waters.

"At a time I believed this place could one day become a great school. People from around the world could have learned this art, and enriched humanity. But I know now that's a pipe dream. Few have the mind and manner, as well as the talent, for alchemy. Those that don't kill themselves usually end up corrupt. It is for that reason I only ever take on one apprentice. A person I can guide, and know for certain they won't make things worse when I hand them a Philosopher's Stone," Nicolas said. He gestured for Ryan to have a seat by the pool.

"You will be the only student at this grand University. You will be made to study long hours. Along with alchemy, you will be taught the dignity of our craft. It will not be fun. Many times you may want to leave. It will be a lonely, dull, and monastic life for the duration of your training here, and then it will be harsh, difficult, and overwhelming once your lessons continue on into the real world. Do you want that? If any of this sounds like it isn't worth it, you can still turn back," Nick explained. He pulled his hand out of the water, looking at Ryan with studious, golden eyes, awaiting an answer.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Cobalt on June 5th 2019, 3:07 am

Time had become a blur.

An indistinguishable thing that he barely had time to consider beyond his own thoughts. Minutes melting into hours and hours into days until he didn’t know what to think. Only that his mind was unable to slow down. That it had to think and recall over the events that had taken place during that chaotic day. Even allowing himself to ruminate on it was enough to bring him to the brink of tears, but never beyond that.

The image of his father breaking apart in sparks of red was what he came back to most. Knowing that he should feel sadness but there was only emptiness. That he was dead, and he only stood by  watching it much like Isalia. Maybe that was all he was good for. Watching as people he might have cared about fading away into the uncaring grasp of death. These were the thoughts that wracked him as he walked the cold path.

Snow crunched underneath his feet, and whirled around him in thick white flakes. Some clinging to his hair and melting against his face to freeze once again in seconds. His body was prepared to resist such colds, so it was nothing more than an annoyance and he assumed that Flamel was able to resist it himself. Alchemy had to have some uses beyond being much like the anime after all. He scanned the path ahead, which like nearly an hour before was bereft of a point to their journey.

The fact that the mountain could even become more cold was torturous, though the wind did little more than lash uselessly at his face and the cold try to claim him in vain. A frost much more intense had taken hold within his blood, and it sought to consume much like the winter cold around him. Eventually he knew they would come upon where Flamel was taking him, rising like a fiery monolith from the hellish cold.

A cathedral rose before them like those of ages past. Where men would gather to learn the words of God, fearful and ignorant as they always were. It had taken him until recent times to actually grow such an assessment of the species; one that his father obviously thought needed fixing.  Both of them if he knew anything about his parents with their grand sweeping goals. As if those meant anything in the end. Maybe just reasons to wake up and continue with the days.

His breath frosted in small clouds and he licked away the thin ice clinging to his lips, stepping through the massive doors opened to him. Eyes darting about mousily as he took in all of the details with quick processes of thought. Shelves that rose too high to be real, all lined with books from maybe every era of human history and even some inhuman histories. Ready to be read through at desks which were nestled in nooks with candles that likely never ran out. His imagination allowed itself to run wild with the sights before him.

He even smiled for a second.

He followed through long winding hallways, all decorated with art pieces that came from geniuses of painting he assumed. Davinci and Michaelangelo were some of the few names that came to mind from his speculating as they came into a room warmed by the massive fire. Spreading a warmth that chased out all the cold which had infiltrated him down to the core. Frozen him in a way that no mundane chill could have hoped to do. It made him miss Lucas, his dads, the brothers and sisters in the compound and most of all Isalia. His eyes glistened with tears he wouldn’t allow to shed.

Still he followed Flamel, mimicking the sitting position that he held with legs crossed and eyes considering the golden pool. His hands however remained rested within his lap.  This place, next to the waters was where he was told why he was here. Beyond his brother and anyone else that could have been trained by this ancient man. To learn the secrets that many would have likely killed for.

To be the lone student at a university that would have no other pupils. A lonely hermit at the summit of a mountain, reading through dust en-coated scrolls with pages yellow from eons. Things that would not fall apart despite having all rights to do so. Even now he could imnagine the scent of aged paper and papyrus, scrawled with inks of unknown composition. It was all too much and all too wonderful in the same breath. He was questioned about what he wanted, if this was what he wanted. He popped his lips, the sound smothered ever so slightly by the crackle of the fire.  Did he really want this?

”I do,” he nodded finally, rubbing a snow encrusted sleeve over his eyes to wipe away the moisture that held there and sniffled. ”my life was a bunch of things I couldn’t control. Who my family was, who I was expected to be or even...well that’s not important. I want this. More than anything i’ve wanted before.  I want to be better than my...parents, to do better and I guess I just have the feeling this is the way I can do it,”  The words started stilted but came spilling forth as if they were waiting to be released all along. Those mild blue eyes then considered Flamel and his reaction altogether.
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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Nicolas Flamel on June 13th 2019, 3:15 pm

Flamel stared at Ryan as the teen spoke, as if analyzing his very soul. The old man nodded slightly, accepting the boy's answer. He pulled a potion bottle from his cloak, then dipped it in the golden liquid in the pool. It filled up rather quickly, and then the old alchemist presented it to Ryan.

"Drink this, and you will become an alchemist in earnest. Anyone can remember the runes and write them down, but it takes more to truly understand what is being written. This will help you, and develop your Sight over time. After you drink this, you will truly be my apprentice," Flamel said, handing Ryan the bottle. It would have a bit of a metallic taste, but overall it was inoffensive. It's effects wouldn't be evident so soon, but Flamel knew that even on the first dose, studying alchemy would be made a lot easier.

Flamel stood up, beckoning Ryan to follow. They'd once again traverse the hallways of the university. It was a wonder how the old man remembered the layout of the place. The building seemed like a never-ending maze. Nick, though, seemed to know exactly where he was going. He stopped in one of the stone hallways, then pushed a wooden door open.

Inside was a stone room with four blank titles, arranged in a square, with a circular rune in the the center. Upon closer inspection, anyone looking would find that the metal rune was some kind of door, or perhaps a floor vault. The blank tiles had markings on them, and were each a specific color. Red, green, blue, and brown.

Yes, a puzzle room.

"This is your first task. Passing will showcase the most basic form of alchemy. All you must do is put the proper runes on the proper tiles, and the vault will open for you. I don't expect you to get it right away. Most take a few months. Use the library to study until you get it, and then come find me," Flamel said, turning and leaving Ryan to the room. He didn't know if the kid would instantly figure out what was going on or if he would take some time, but the old alchemist was looking forward to finding out.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Cobalt on June 13th 2019, 9:36 pm

Flamel produced an empty vial with a flourish; scooping it through the golden waters they sat beside before presenting it to him. If he had  been listening to what he said was unknown, so all he had to do was hope his explanation was enough. That this golden ichor didn’t wipe away his memories and leave him to wake once again in his cramped sterile white room once again.  These thoughts faded when he was told what this liquid would do and what it meant for him. To make him an alchemist; truly and earnestly. He blinked a couple times, looking from the old man back to the bottle which had presented to him with thinly veiled skepticism. Even still he accepted it without any spoken words against it because he had nothing to say against it.

He took a deep breath and then drank from it.

There was not sensation like he expected and instead  only the metallic taste as if he had drank liquid gold. Choking down the last droplets of the formula until he knew there was not even a dribble left; only then setting the vial aside to contemplate. What he should be feeling and what it meant for him now that he had consumed it. Nothing pronounced came and he rose with the man from their meditative sitting to walk more through the many hallways of the expansive monastery. How did any human manage to remember all of the halls within this place? It was practically monolithic afterall, though he didn’t really voice his questions and instead followed without any regard for what m might seem like danger.

At the end of one of the stone hallways he was led through a wooden door to a room. Four stone squares around an alchemical circle that was probably important. Specific colors adorning the squares which denoted that he was dealing wit a puzzle. ”A puzzle room...I can do this,” he muttered probably loud enough for the man before nodding along to the concept. Even if he didn’t like the idea of it. He watched the aged Alchemist leave the room, truly alone for the moment and that gave him time to think over the puzzle. That alone was enough to prompt him to think, dull grey eyes narrowing and shoulder slumping slightly.

He was tired. More than he had ever felt within his entire life but a stubborn fire burned within him that demanded he not give up. Not when a new reason had been presented to him. So with a deep breath, he trudged on trying to navigate the mental map he formed. Thankful that all details he took in were never forgotten and walked back out the room. Waiting for Flamels footfalls to be gone before heading to the library. There had to be books he could cross reference for the runes, and from there he could get to work. There was a new purpose within his stride and that was more than enough for now.

He could banish the thoughts of his family for now.

Reaching for the books he could reach and beckoning those he couldn’t with his mind. Watching them hover through the airs and feeling the hours melt away without awareness. Not even of Flamel who likely hovered through the halls with measured steps when he was busy. These long nights had only the crackling fire as his companion and the countless tomes; each filled with inklings of alchemical knowledge. It took ten days but it all came to him. As if a piece of the puzzle had been set into place when he was curled up on one of the couches; knees drawn to his chest and bare toes wriggling with the mental exertion. All at once his eyes snapped open wide, that sudden eureka moment as he slammed the book closed and set it aside.

Bare feet sounding off as he ran through the stone halls until he was once again back at the puzzle room with the four squares. It should have been simple but he was thinking too hard on this. He knelt down, using a piece of white chalk he absconded from a selection he found and scrawled four runes. Red, green, blue and brown. Fire, air, water and earth. It all seemed to simple now. His features screwed up as he waited to see what reactions could come from doing this and hoping he didn’t fail the first test.
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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Nicolas Flamel on June 14th 2019, 5:45 pm

The nights passed quickly, each seemingly blending into the next. Flamel remained in the university, but he was seldom seen. He knew that Ryan's studies didn't need any unnecessary distractions. The boy was left to his puzzle, without help from his master. He'd have to learn the runes, place them accordingly, and unlock the vault on his own. A simple enough task for the initiated, but this would be Ryan's first real exposure to alchemy.

The fact he solved it as quick as he did was impressive.

The sound of the rune activating woke Flamel in the dead of night. The old man smiled, putting on his golden robes as quickly as possible as he made his way to the room, torch in hand. When he arrived, he saw the runes, traced in chalk, glowing brilliantly with their respective colors. Flamel chuckled to himself, patting Ryan on the back as the metal vault opened.

"Well done, Ryan, well done..." Nicolas said, watching as the metal door opened, and a platform raised from it. On it was a single sapphire, and a book. Flamel approached it, but did not touch, instead indicating to Ryan to come retrieve his items.

"The stone is rare. Few are of sufficient purity to create a philosopher's stone. When the time comes for you to create yours, this is the stone you will use. Keep it safe," Nick said, pointing to the bright blue stone on the platform. He then gestured to the book.

"The book contains information you would not find even in this exquisite library: my personal writings, detailing the successes and failures of all my apprentices. Call it a handbook, if you''d like. Hopefully it's warnings will prevent you from doing anything too stupid," Flamel said with a laugh. Once Ryan took his items, the vault would close up, and the puzzle room would seal. Nicolas hoped it would be the last time, at least while he still drew breath.

With this first task completed, Ryan began his apprenticeship. He learned directly under Flamel, with only the occasional test here and there. The old alchemist seemed pleased with how quickly the boy caught on, but he stressed to him not to become overconfident. Nick had seen plenty of talent lost to pride, and didn't intend for Ryan to go the same way.

Days would turn to weeks, and weeks to months. All this time, Ryan would learn the art of alchemy, becoming well versed in the basics. He was certainly a quick skill, but books were books, and the class room was the class room. Nicolas' apprentice remained untested. Until he could practice in a real, practical situation, Nick would be unsure of the boy's true capabilities.

Fortunately, an opportunity presented itself in the form of a visitor.

Nick one day suddenly left the room during a lesson to answer the door. He spoke to the visitor, starting out friendly, but soon he was yelling. Eventually he would come back to the room, grabbing his things in a rush.

"We're going to LA. A matter that concerns us has come up. You'll need to be at your best. This isn't a small thing....... But I wouldn't be bringing you if I didn't think you could handle it. Prove me right," Nicolas said. He'd then have Ryan follow him to yet another room in the university, one with a giant rune on the floor. He would stand inside of it, and have Ryan do the same, then raise his cane. The philosopher's stone at the tip would glow a brilliant crimson, and so would the rune.

In an instant, the two would disappear, reappearing in what seemed to be some manner of old shop. It was dusty and full of weird items, such as eyeballs in jars, stones, wands, crystals, and metal spheres. Behind the counter was a stereotypical witch, of the young and attractive variety. She brushed her black hair out of her eyes as the two alchemists appeared, smiling at Ryan.

"Who's the kid, Nicky?" The witch said. Nicolas just walked past her, heading for the door.

"Oh, come on! I let you use this place as your personal portal, and you don't even stop to say hello?" Nick groaned at the women's words. He knew she was right, and he was being rude, but he really didn't care at the moment.

"There's no time for pleasantries, Jade. The boy is Ryan. We have to go," Nick said, turning around only briefly before once again moving to the shop's door.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Cobalt on June 14th 2019, 7:57 pm

Ryan nearly  jumped out of his skin from the contact made against his back and turning to the man garbed in gold. Locking mechanism clocking open with the multi-colored lights illuminating the room. A part of him was excited by this unknown process that seemed to spit in the face of all things he had learned through his short life. Science and the logic that came through a mechanical existence. Alchemy brought with it a new wonder he head learned through this first exposure.  His smile was light front the praise but present as he watched the pedestal rise from the parted metal door.

What was presented to him was a single gem and a book; a sapphire specifically. He half-expected Flamel to remove from their pedestal but eventually he realized he would have to do that. So he approached and picked the gem up first, rolling it around the palm of his hand before picking up the book too. Two objects important to his journey as an alchemist. Knowledge and from that the old man said; even the raw materials to create something called a Philosophers stone. He nodded along to all said to him as the tried to ready himself for training in proper.

From then on the training began in earnest with him. Days, weeks and months passing in spans that felt much shorter than that. Ryan going through the motions of the various reactions that could be created with the runes and what he needed to consider.  Maybe that strange metal tasting potion was finally beginning to have some effect or maybe he was smart enough to catch onto things quickly. Examples and lessons that always played through his head without stop.

 It all seemed to follow a pattern until a visitor came to them. Someone he didn’t recognize, though maybe it was just one of the many people the immortal knew. He seemed like there were many people in this unknown world that he knew and maybe some that even considered him a friend. Not that Flamel ever felt like the kind of person that could be hated. They left him alone to speak beyond one of the many doors; first speaking civil and then shouting with raised voices.  He was afraid they would  fight but they didn’t. Instead he returned to the room, saying that they had to go to LA for important business.

”Okay,” He managed more confused than anything else. Something about the strange argument was bewildering, enough so that he was shocked into a stunned silence while they went through the portal created within the place. A bright flash of light that trans-located them from one place to another in an instance. It was disorienting, enough so that his stomach felt as if it would gush from his mouth. Around them was an unknown shop with various disgusting curious on shelves and in glass jars.

She smiled at him and he tried to smile in turn; realizing that he was pretty tongue tied. Not often pretty ladies smiled at him. He averted his eyes to the floor and followed Nicholas through the door; hands buried into the over-sized jacket he brought with him. ”What are we doing here? It sounded pretty important but you...haven’t told me what it is yet.” He finally spoke up, hoping he could get a solid answer.
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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Nicolas Flamel on June 25th 2019, 7:16 pm

The immortal would lead Ryan out of the building and into cobblestone streets, a rare sight in LA, but it would be pretty clear to anyone with a brain that this district wasn't exactly normal. People wore robes and tunics and other old looking clothing. Sights that could be only called magic were taking place all throughout the streets. People were disappearing and reappearing, flying, and casting spells in the bustle of the town square. Even the food stands were in-ordinary, with cooking being done through levitation and sometimes even spontaneous creation. This was a place alien to the rest of the world, and most likely in direct contrast to the cold, logical environment Ryan had grown up in.

Flamel walked with purpose through the streets, ahead of Ryan by several feet. He moved quickly, taking long and deliberate strides forward, which was quite surprising considering his apparently advanced age. No doubt Ryan would be stumbling to keep up with the unnatural pace of the old man's speed walk, asking questions the whole way.

"The Knight's Hospitaller have made a move against the Grand Library. I'm sure they are after some artifact housed there. This is a direct violation of the Merlin Imperative. Artifacts of extreme power or importance are to be housed safely in the Grand Library, owned not by single individuals, but collectively, by all of humanity. This has been decried by the Extra-Normal High Council. As much as I find many of their rulings needless and idiotic, this one in particular is worth defending,"   Flamel explained, continuing his relentless drive forward. Luckily they were close to their destination, so they wouldn't require any transportation faster than their own legs.

"We are going to speak with a man named Augustine Storm. He leads the Hospitallers, and is....... Let's say an old friend. Or, an old enemy. It depends on how you look at it. Regardless, I can't be sure of his level of hostility. He may offer us a drink, or attempt to kill us on the spot. Be ready for the worst."  Flamel quivered slightly when he mentioned the name. It was as if he hadn't spoken it in a long while, and forgot for a moment how to say the syllables. It wasn't fear, but it was certainly dread.

The rest of the walk, Nicolas remained silent. They would soon move from the busy town square to a side street, which was much more modern, but still featuring sights of the fantastical nature. After only a couple minutes of walking in this new environment, the pair would come upon a club—Valhalla, it was named. It was sleek and sophisticated, but featured enough strobe lighting to make the most sober of people feel like they just took MDMA. Flamel got in the long line of young, extra normal freaks waiting to get inside, the discomfort of being around such hyperactive people evident on his face.

"When we reach the bouncer, please, let me do the talking."

____________________________________________________________________________________________________________


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INV ONLY Re: The Hero's Journey (Cobalt)

Post by Cobalt on June 28th 2019, 8:03 pm

The moment he stepped through the door he was greeted with a collection of amazing sights. People performing feats that could only be described as magic or metahuman abilities; likely the former. Something that existed under a thin veneer of mystery. Alien to the life he had lived before being brought to the massive monastery that Flamel called home.  All of these things he couldn’t really understand, so he tried to just categorize them within his mind and move on. Hands buried into the roomy pockets of his hoodie, and followed along with the elder man while questioning  what they needed to do here. That was a reasonable question he thought to himself.

Unfortunate the answer itself was way more complex.

Concept and names than only managed to give him more questions. What were these organizations about and what did they do? Why were they in conflict with each other? No response was to be found for those he guessed, because the mood just didn’t read like that. All he could gather was that some people didn’t want to give some artifacts to some place which normally held those kind of things. ”Oh...okay then,” Was all he managed, sounding more confused than before but not asking anymore questions. Following along while imagining what he might have to deal with.

Would they get to meet a dragon? He always wanted to know if those things existed ever since reading about them in on of the many books he thumbed through in the compounds library.  His uncle had always been a major supporter of physical book copies and so they ended up being brought by the hundreds for the kids to read when they w ere bored with more electronic means. He frowned when the man said they might speak with someone that could be their enemy.  ”that sounds pretty dangerous,” He said uncertain, wondering if he would have to fight the man. What would he be capable of and would he be able to fight him at all?

His worries were met with nothing but silence as they continued to walk, leaving him with the background noise and the sound of their footsteps  which looped back in on themselves in his head. Soon enough they came up to a club with a line of more strange people that seemed like they wanted to get in.  One or two of them looked human, until he looked into eyes which were a sort of pitch black.  Looking away with a nervous chew at his lower lip. Okay, i’ll let you do the talking, He stated, connecting to Nicholas through his own ingrained hive mind ability.
Cobalt
Cobalt

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Registration date : 2019-05-27

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