The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by DUEL Specter » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:10 pm

Hope wrote:
Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:08 pm
Fate wills it to be.
Fate has chosen...

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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Candle » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:43 am

"There's time to decide," Nat told Eden, his fingers laced through hers and his arm pumping back and forth lazily to swing both as they left the restaurant. The wanderer appeared as he often did, dapper and vested with his favored trail hat resting atop his head. He glanced at his pretty companion sidelong and often, a subtle smile curving his mouth at the corners as they went. "I don't want to rush myself into a place that I'm not entirely sure about and I want to study the walls of a few of them again to get a feel for how well they'll accept some simple wards. But you did your homework excellently. I don't know that I could have come up with a better list, though trying would take me exponentially longer."

"I feel like some of them were very cold inside, but I guess that's cause they don't have the climate control thingy indoors." She looked up at him as she bounced alongside, her ponytail swinging. She was wearing overalls again, her wings peeking comfortably over the back flap as she bounced along. Eden had climate control in her apartment, which usually worked okay even when Nat was inside, so long as she didn't touch the panel with him nearby.

"That's what the wood stove and fireplace would be for." Nat nodded. "Lisa told me they make these pellets you can burn in wood stoves now for heat. They are very inexpensive and easy to store." For as much as she teased him, his peer on the Duel of Swords staff just as often (if not more) put positive spins on his anachronistic existence and his slow acclimation to more modern trappings. She was good people, for a werewolf. "Plus I can make more warming stones and summer is coming."

The biggest thing for him in all of their investigating two days previous was a strong desire for running water, heatable if it could be managed. It was a luxury he had long discovered he didn't want to live without.

"I like the one that had the big tub. That's good for washing your clothes!" She smiled brightly. A big tub was nice for other things too, but clothes-washing, well... Eden was nothing if not practical. "I just don't want you to be cold next winter."

"A big tub would be nice," he mused, another glance lingering on her longer than it should have before he continued. "I'm on the taller side of things and it's no fun trying to scrunch down into a smaller tub. And yeah, if Miss Vang ever decides to stop doing laundry service, it would be good in a pinch. So, big fireplace. A wood stove for cooking. I'd have to see about an icebox of some sort. The kind that don't run on electricity. We'll figure it out." His smile said that he was unconcerned.

"Back home we put the cold store in the ground. Just in case the power goes down." She swung their hands between them, bouncing along, though letting him lead the way.

"I imagine I could make cold stones too, just as I do the ones that radiant warmth. They don't require a lot of power to make." Turning a corner into the courtyard behind the Inn, Nat paused. The wanderer had felt it before he saw it but let out a curious whuff of a breath when he finally looked at the active portal to Twilight Isle. "Huh. It would appear whatever caused Claire Gallows to close the portals to the Isle before is maybe no longer an issue?"

Eden tipped her head at the portal. It seemed like it was working and available. "Should we look?"

Nat's brow furrowed.

"I suppose we could." Reaching into his pocket, he retrieved his pocket watch to check the time. "It's after regulation dueling hours, so I doubt anyone will be there but I don't think that should stop us from at least sating our curiosity for a few minutes."

Giving her a gentle tug, he started them towards the portal but just before they reached it, his hand slipped from hers and he held it up. "I know it's supposedly a little dated, this line of thinking, but while I would normally say Ladies First, in this circumstance I'm inclined to cross first in the event something's wrong."

Then it was with a gentle cuff beneath her chin and a smile that Nat stepped through.

Eden's lips had parted to try to stop him, but he was gone before she could say anything. Eden stood there watching the portal for a long moment. Should she follow him? Should she wait for him to come back? Eden wasn't sure. She hopped from one foot to the other, staring at the portal worriedly. "Nat?"

Nat's head poked back through a moment later, grinning. "You have to see this!" And then he was gone again.

Her brows lifted, and her worried expression faded into a smile as she went bouncing after him.

On the other side, Nat stood waiting for her with his thumbs hooked into the pockets of his vest. There was an interested smile curving his mouth, first directed at her and then towards what lay beyond. The tables. The cards. The strange tower. He nodded towards the table and beckoned her for him to follow before booted steps took him in that direction.

Her eyes widened and she stumbled towards him. Unlike usual, there was no goblin there waiting for her with a cherry coke. Instead, the setup was entirely not what she was expecting. She couldn't stop staring at the tower. "What is that?"

"I... don't rightly know," he said as he stopped at the table, looking back up towards the tower. "You're much more attuned to things regarding this place, past and present, than I am. But it's certainly interes--" The wanderer fell silent as his gaze dropped to the table with the cards, his mouth pursing as he read the words that had been etched into the wood. HIs smile faded by degrees and, as it did, was replaced by the slow furrow of his brow. "Huh."



Eden stood beside him, looking down. "We have to pick one?" Her head tipped, then she looked up at the tower, then back at the cards.

"If we intend to participate in whatever this is, then I suppose so." In the moment, he seemed less certain.

"It could be fun!" She smiled brightly, lifting her chin to look at him.

"It could be." The longer they remained before the table, the more Nat scrutinized the situation. He looked from the cards back to the tower. Then to Eden. Then to the cards again. Then the tower. It was on that last look that Nat made the decision to open his third eye, to use his Wizard's Sight to get a better feeling for what the pair of them were getting themselves into.

That was a mistake.

It seemed unlikely that he would have been able to put into words what he saw, but for a moment, Nat lost his balance and nearly toppled into Eden before snapping shut his connection to the Sight and giving her a wide-eyed look. "Might be that we should do something, yeah."

When he started to topple, Eden reached out try to steady him, one hand on his elbow, the other on his back. She looked up at him, her eyes wide. "Should I be worried?"

"Probably," he mumbled before shaking his head free of the image. Nat tore his attention from the tower to look back down at the table. He leveled a hard stare at the cards. "I think... it doesn't matter which card is chosen. The point is to choose, not the choice itself."

He looked back to Eden. "Sometimes, not choosing is worse than making the wrong choice. In this case, I don't know that there is a good or bad choice, other than choosing to ignore it completely. I mean, I could be wrong. Would you choose the Sun or would you choose the Moon?"

Eden giggled, her eyes narrowing. "That's a funny question." She looked at the cards, then back up at him. "There are two moons here, you know."

"I do." One corner of his mouth lifted in the beginnings of a smile. "I used to sit on my roof at night when I first got here and stare up at them. It was one of the first true signs that I wasn't home anymore."

She beamed her dimpled smile at him. Then she looked back at the cards, and then the tower beyond. "The sun is just a star, super close-up!" She smiled again, hopping from foot to foot. "I like the stars."

"I've always been fond of the light." They were words to muse over, thumbs hooking back into the pockets of his vest as he considered the cards. "But you know what? The light's always the most beautiful in the dark. Like it's there to remind you of its purpose. To guide you and remind you that there's something better out there. It's what makes stargazing so wonderful, you know?"

Eden nodded in agreement. She looked up at the sky of Twilight Isle, quietly thinking. "The night sky is the best sky because of all the stars."

"The light burns brightest when it's darkest." In that moment, something passed between the pair of them. There were words, of course, but something road on the undercurrent. It was more important than the words. "Two lights in the darkness are better than one. Want to be stars in this with me?"

She giggled and reached to give his shoulder a push with her hand. "I'm already a star!"

"The brightest one I've ever seen!" He laughed. "But I think you know what I meant."

The way she looked at him suggested that maybe she didn't know what he meant. Her brow furrowed.

It was his turn to push her, his smile hitching a little deeper. "Whatever we do, we do it together. Two stars lighting up the night sky."

Her expression eased back into a smile. She held her hands out towards him cupped together. Then she opened them Floating just above her hands were two little points of bright pink light, circling each other.

"See?" His expression softened but the smile didn't fade. Nat cupped his hands around hers without covering up her conjured lights. Drawing in a small measure of will, he released it with a murmur. One of the lights was suddenly wearing a hat. The other had little wings. "Let's do it. Go ahead and pick our cards?"

Well she loved the little lights now! Her eyes lit up and she giggled, delighted. She was afraid to move her hands, but she couldn’t keep her conjuration going for long anyhow, so the little lights began to dissipate. Her smile didn't flag though. She bounced to the table and picked a moon card. Then she stepped aside so Nat could pick one too.

He followed along in her wake and paused. A cursory look was offered to the sun card, due consideration given if only to pay his respects to what it represented before Nat too was picking a moon card. "And there we have it."

Eden smiled brightly at him. Then she tucked her moon card into the front pocket of her overalls.

His own was slipped into one of the pockets of his vest and given a pat. Sidling back up to her, Nat offered his arm. "Do stars like ice cream? I'm pretty sure the truck that delivers frozen goods to the bistro came today..."

Her eyes widen. "I love ice cream!" She took his arm happily, bouncing in place and then starting to move towards the portal again.

In a matter of moments they were gone.


(OOC: Written in tandem with the tremendously talented Eden Parker. Nat and Eden both chosen The Nocturnal Sect.)
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Royal » Wed Apr 17, 2019 12:49 am

From the corner of her eyes she had been looking at the table with the cards. It was odd in a way, watching the decks stay in place no matter the movement of the breeze. She stepped closer to give it a look. She hadn't seen the cards, but she had some information on them.. and what was written on the table, it basically went with what she knew from being briefed. The Sun called to her, while the Moon and what it represented - at least in her mind - caused her issue. She raised her crystal hand and set it on the middle deck and drew a card. It's fate, and she'd be fated to be with the Sun. In a way, it would be reaffirming to her what she thought she knew.

Yet when she flipped it. The face of the card showed the image of the Moon instead. Royal stared at it.

(( Royal chose Fate and the card read for the Path of the Moon. ))
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Bailey Raptis » Wed Apr 17, 2019 11:59 am

A trio of mannequin-like marble statues exited a purplish-black portal onto the sandy ground of Twilight Isle. They could have been triplets -- and two of them did, in fact, look precisely alike -- save for the black marker writing on the chest of one of them: “BAILEY.” This golem appeared to lead the group towards a wooden table with three decks of cards. The proxies fanned out, two of them stationed over the diurnal and nocturnal stacks, and the Sharpied one (Proxinho for those in the know) faced the table directly so that it could see all the cards.

The first one tapped the sun. It looked to Proxinho, who shook its head no. The second one touched the moon, also looking to its leader. Again, Proxinho silently said no. In unison, they held up their hands, confused. In response, Proxinho motioned toward the stack containing both a sun and a moon. Its companions nodded, as their boss pulled a card from the dual deck…

((Bailey Raptis -- or Bailey through Proxinho -- chooses fate, but I would like the card to read for the diurnal sect. Let me know if you have any questions!))
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Alasdair Galloway » Wed Apr 17, 2019 8:31 pm

Having stepped through a portal without really paying much attention, Alasdair saw the three decks of cards and curiosity drew him closer.

"So I guess I pick one? That's an easy choice!" he exclaimed as he picked up a card from the Nocturnal Set. After all, night was now his favorite part of the day since that was the only time Max was awake.

With the card in hand, he exited through the same portal he came in from.
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Nicklaus Burison » Wed Apr 17, 2019 10:18 pm

Nicklaus had never before ventured to Twilight Isle. In fact, he'd tried to avoid everything excessively magical -- a difficult task, in this world -- most of his life. That aversion was particularly strong of late. His burns from the demon incident had finally healed, but the pain still lingered. Juniper still wasn't herself, either... whatever "herself" was, now.

It was for her sake that Nicklaus made the journey, drawn by rumors of a crystal tower and a competition for its control. Juniper wanted to play. Nicklaus suspected that she wanted to test her magic, to find out what her magic really was, cleansed of external corruption. He strongly supported that effort. He strongly supported anything that would make Juniper feel happier and more whole.

Further, having a better knowledge of magic -- and his own inborn ability -- would help Nick protect Juniper and the home they had built. He was getting odd premonitions and omens about the future, forces that would strike from the past and from within (again) to attack his happiness. If embracing his heritage meant more power to combat those threats, Nicklaus would be a fool to resist. Plus, Mist seemed to believe Nicklaus had "great potential" that he needed to develop.

In a way, practicing magic was for himself, too. He'd had little opportunity in Myrkheim. Dwarf magic, crafter's magic, was fine, if you kept it bound to things, preferably useful things like weapons and armor. Actual sorcery... that was women's stuff. Ergi. The tool of weaklings and tricksters. Even if Nicklaus had shown a talent for true magic, it would have been forcibly suppressed. As a result, his relationship with magic was contentious at best. The power liked to play with him, twisting his enchantments in unpredictable ways.

Dueling might go the same way, confusing at best, disastrous at worst. He'd have to rely on crafted magic: charms, potions, and perhaps a staff, to manage any degree of control. Even so, he hoped he might finally make peace with his magical nature. Honestly, wouldn't it be the perfect insult to his fordamnt family to learn something they'd hate? Hearing someone comment about "Devil Arts" just recently, and in Giantish, no less, just reinforced his urge to perversity.

So, Nicklaus put aside his distaste and took a portal to the Isle to see what he would find.

The table came as something of a let-down. It looked so plain, next to the impressive bulk of the towers. Then again, maybe the cards glowed with power or somesuch, to those who had the ability to see. He didn't.

There was no need for thought. Fate had chosen for Juniper, and so, it had technically chosen for Nicklaus, who would certainly support her same side. It just made things easier that he preferred the Sun and light.

There was plenty of darkness, physical and spiritual, in Myrkheim. Even if you came above-ground, the skies were eternally dark all Winter, and barely cleared in Summer. There was a nocturnal quality to the people, as well, of all species. Nicklaus favored clear skies, growing grain, and an open heart. For all his dark aspect, he was Light through and through.

Picking up the card, Nicklaus was only mildly startled when it generated a gleaming orb, hovering before his face. He was, however, more concerned when it flew at his face. It struck him solidly between the eyes and stayed there, burning painlessly but not without distress. The ink on his body rushed in a belated immune response, surrounding the bright spot with a blot of blackness and a chain of warding runes. Nicklaus could see none of this, but even if he could, his thoughts were too scrambled to decipher the scene.

He dropped to a knee as an onlooking goblin snickered knowingly. Then, as suddenly as it started, the madness stopped. The external and internal magics had reached equilibrium. A truce was struck. The energy of the orb was gathered and escorted along by motes of enchanted ink. In return, it illuminated their colors. NIcklaus watched as glowing streamers cascaded down his arms. From the feel of it, patterns were also dancing over his face and chest.

"All right, then, settle down. Can I at least not look like a cave worm?" he asked aloud. The glow faded, all except for a point near Nicklaus' heart, just below the new skin from the demon-scar.

Nicklaus sighed. Always. Every damned time. Perhaps Juniper would be amused. In any case, his new passenger had better leave after this competition was complete. He already felt like the carrier for a parasite... now, he had two of them.

Well, something else he and Juniper could discuss in common. Nicklaus took a look around to see if there was anything else to do. It seemed that was all, for now. He turned back to the portal, eager to get back home and start work on his "magical tools". What was best for a staff? Ash? Hazel? Hell, there were trees he'd never seen before, just in the forests around Seaside...
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by JC » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:07 am

Leave it to Fate!

-Best Chae
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by DUEL Specter » Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:19 am

JC wrote:
Thu Apr 18, 2019 12:07 am
Leave it to Fate!

-Best Chae
Fate has chosen...

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The Nocturnal Sect
Priscilla Specter
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Lilith Anderson » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:21 am

Gimme Sun like my wife. That's such a cool word.

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Well, I looked my demons in the eyes
laid bare my chest, said "Do your best, destroy me.
You see, I've been to hell and back so many times,
I must admit you kind of bore me."

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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Ivyberry » Thu Apr 18, 2019 8:35 am

In the off hours, the Isle was close to abandoned. Even with the hustle and bustle brought on by the newly appeared crystal tower, the area nearest the rings was a veritable ghost town (no offense to Priscilla or anything), empty save for a girl and a goblin. The former nursed a visibly broken but seemingly fast healing collar bone and the latter nursed a flagon of gob-shine. Which is like moonshine but infinitely more potent. A bit like drinking jet fuel if Ivy had to put a descriptor to it. That's not to say she's tried it, no, at least not as far as her parents would ever know.

"Hmm. What'll it be gobbo?" She asked the goblin, who despite the girl's short stature, only came up to her hip. He slurped and guzzled from his flagon and gave her a noncommittal shrug. She nodded. "Yeah... I agree. In that case... let's leave it to the Fates to decide!"

Leaning down, she plucked a card fastlike from the middle Fate pile.

"Drumroll pleeeeease." She requested. The goblin was still too busy drinking. Ivy sighed and drummed onehandedly on the table. Mostly it sounded less like a drumroll and more like, well, banging on the tabletop. Oh well. After a few moments of racket, she trilled a pitchy sound and flipped the card!

"Huh... can't say I expected that..." Staring back at her was a bright Sun shiny over top of two winged fat babies. Cherubs, that was the word. Maybe baby angels. Ivy wasn't sure. She tried not to associate with that side of the family, you know? After a few moments of a study, Ivy shrugged and pocketed the card. "Maybe Fate's a thing after all?"

The goblin grunted. Agreement, maybe. Card in hand, she added her name to the list under Diurnal Sect and trotted off into the forest humming Ozzy's 'Mama I'm Coming Home'.
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by XanthVanBokkelen » Thu Apr 18, 2019 5:43 pm

Xanth stomped through the portal to the Isle, in a particularly surly mood due to not being able to find a book on
Evocation that he needed to further one of his experiments deep within the Tower of Water. Before he could make his
way back there, he was interrupted by a goblin wearing a robe, standing near a table with cards on it.

"Oh great and powerful Keeper of Water, hark unto my voice, and list, oh do list, to the sorry tale of woe I must impart."
The goblin placed his arm across his forehead in tragic fashion.

" . . . and what fresh slice of Hell is this now?" Xanth replied.

"The cosmic balance has shifted, the very stuff and breadth of the Isle rumbles to its very foundation."

"What the #$%& do I care?"

"Pick a card, choose a side, that all may be put right again."

"If you think I am going to engage in your little hair-brained scheme you have another thing coming. I have suffered
enough humiliations by the denizens of this farcical Isle. Leave me the hell out of your silly little game." Xanth
marched off to the Tower before the goblin could get a word in edgewise.

[Xanth chooses "Twilight"]
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by XanthVanBokkelen » Fri Apr 19, 2019 9:00 pm

Xanth marched through the doorway and down into the Annex. Empty again. He grunted and crossed his arms, standing near the rings.

"Xanth." Jesse's behind him.

A low muttering issued from his hood before he slowly turned. What.

"Are you going to become a warrior of darkness?" She squinted.

Why the hell should I?

".. Because, don't you want to see what's inside the tower? I'm betting there's many books, or even hidden artifacts.." Jesse put on a look of thought as she pondered over what else could be in there.

This whole ordeal appears to be an elaborate practical joke that I want no part of.

".. What. Everyone is in on some big joke, and at the end when all of this is over we will all turn and look at you, raise our hands, and say Haha, Xanth. We tricked you?"

Exactly.

"It's something I'd do, sure, but Claire is a wet blanket, you should know this. She only has two settings, bitchy and baby-maker."

Which one are you, then?

".. I'm obviously a member of the Sun. Because who else would love to walk among the light but me?"

That perverse statement only proves my theory.

She gave a deadpanned expression. "I'm a member of the moon. Do I look like someone who steps foot outside during the day? The sun is stupid and everything that's fun happens at night, or when it's snowing. We need to see that the dark reigns over the tower and gain access inside. Work with me, Xanth, and I promise to never claim to be your wife and will give you first dibs of books. Wife, girlfriend, lover, across-the-stars life mate, and all other attachments that could mean something of togetherness, beyond possible work partners to see that a job could get done, but even then that is base minimum." She's even lowering a hand to show she meant very, very base minimum.

There was silence from Xanth as he mulled that over. Well, the offer is certainly attractive. I want one more tiny thing. I need a magic bout right now. Are you agreeable?

"I will be in agreement to face you in magic, and agree to all the other terms, should you join the path of the moon."

I therefore agree.

"The contract is made and I shall obey it. I would shake your hand, but that goes beyond base minimum." She lowered her hand to gesture what she meant again.

He nodded once, that sounded good to him.

FINAL: Spell def. XanthVanBokkelen, 5 - 2 in 6 rounds. – dom

He grunts and salutes Jesse. Well, I did get what I asked for. I will draw the card when I return to my Tower.

Skin began to flake away from her hand as she lowered it, the fel energy burning away at the tender white flesh. Jesse bowed her head while sleeves of her robes hid away her arms before she crossed them. "Thank you for your aid."

He grunted and waved his hand, then floated from the ring.

True to his word, when he returned to the Isle, he drew a moon card before re-entering the Tower of Water.

{Xanth joins the Path of the Moon sect]
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Nako Iijima » Fri Apr 19, 2019 10:16 pm

Nako came to the Isle to find the cards. She bounded over and drew a card without any thought or hesitation from the top of the deck and turned it to reveal the moon.

(Nako chooses Moon)
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Re: The Trial of Light & Dark (Cycle Long Event)

Post by Penny Escobar » Sat Apr 20, 2019 11:38 pm

“I need to go to Twilight Isle and pick a card for you.” Penny leveled a look down at the pair of rabbits as they both chewed away at the small pieces of carrots, she hand fed them both.

“Yes,” they said while nodding and chewing in unison. “You are to honor our Mistress and play in the games they are having there. We love to watch you at the games.”

“How did you two even hear about this again?” Penny asked before she caught sight of a sheepish Hana not far off holding up a flyer which explained in detail the goings on at Twilight Isle.

Penny sighed and hand fed another small carrot to one of the rabbits.


- - - - - - - - - - - - - -


Penny soon stepped through the portal, with her red cloak hung at her shoulders and her messenger bag making little to no sound when bouncing at her hip through her strides. Catching sight of the challenge match just about to begin, the wizard lifted a hand to greet the others silently as she continued her approach closer.

She had to avoid the table with candy, due to her own restrictions at being alone for the time being, and soon ended up at the long table with the three stacks of cards. She could have waved a goblin over, but the wooden signs were easy enough to read. A faint frown formed as she crossed her arms over her chest, then soon tapped at her cheek as she thought quietly to herself. "Hmm." Which to choose.

A glance was given over her shoulder to spot the latest outcome of the current round in the challenge before Penny reached out and let her hand hover over the stack of cards of Fate. "Here goes nothing...."

With a handful of chocolate, he moved away from the table to get a better view of the match, but he did notice Penny choosing some cards at the table. "Pick the nocturnal set!" he called over. "Nighttime is the best time!"

"You think so?" Asking Alasdair as he encouraged her, but what had been done was already done, she'd selected the black card of Fate. Initially she flashed the black image on the top of the card at him, which just so happened to show the image on the back of the card to herself. "Cannot say that I am surprised," she admitted regarding what she saw.

If Alasdair was close enough, or at least had glanced Penny's way again, she turned the card around to show him the image of The Moon for the Nocturnal Sect.

((OOC: Penny choses the Nocturnal sect. Thank you!))

(( Second part adapted from live play and posted with permission from Alasdair's player! Thank you!))
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