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Discussion in 'The Tiberian Islands' started by Talia al Ghul, Nov 27, 2017.

  1. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

    Posts:
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    Gender:
    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    early 20s
    November 2nd

    @Magnus Bane [/box]
    She was precisely the sort of person who appreciated a well guarded sanctuary, despite facing the inconveniences of entering it without getting noticed. Talia had been researching the school for a while and she had come to the conclusion that, while she had confidence in her infiltrating skills, relying on only them in a place of magic and powered individuals could lead to failure. Thus, she pursued another way that relied in someone's assistance. She had been biding her time from Cobra's island,made sure to pick an enthusiastic and naive teenage student and promised him things that teenage boys wanted in exchange of ensuring her entrance in the school. Little by little, the boy was convinced to use his powers and clearance to her benefit and after a few trials that were quite succesful, Talia picked the day that she would infiltrate in the magical school and search the library's magical texts.

    She would not be doing something quite so risky if it wasn't absolutely necessary. After months of searching Talia had come to the conclusion that Pandora lacked anything alike the Lazarus Pits, but that didn't mean there was no way to raise the dead in this dimension. But such knowledge were limited and available to those who had skills in necromancy or a related special ability and they were few and scarce. What her investigation had showed her was that the only place were someone could find information on the matter was Schola Praeditos, a school closed for those who had no supernatural gifts. No matter. She had been in organizations so effective and exceptional that many considered them to be supernatural but the truth of it was that she was driven and resourceful. Having those traits in abundance, one could bent the laws of nature, she had learnt.

    And she had already achieved a miracle, she thought, as she made her way through rocks and tall grass, hidden in the shadows of the night and obscured by the boy's magic. The spell only lasted so much, he had told her, but after she stepped inside the castle she needn't worry about magical barriers detecting intruders. And so Talia reached the stone wall and climbed up, from window to window, until she reached a considerable height. Then she jumped to the nearby balcony and landed as quietly as possible and opened the door that led to a big room with sets of wooden bookcases, containing hundreds of books. The only light that came inside was that of the moon, as well as that of some candles, placed at the sides of the hall, creating an eerie atmosphere. But Talia was focused on her task and she slipped in one of the corridors, her eyes travelling from one book title to another. The library was seemingly empty of life, but she was not going to take any chances, so she moved quietly and carefully until her eyes fell on the promising title Incantations for healing and restoration. Talia touched it hesitantly, her heart beating fast. Nothing happened, which gave the courage to remove the book from the self, open it and flip the pages. The first were rather unimportant but the book got interesting towards the end mentioning things like regrowing limbs and curing deadly diseases. Talia reached for the tiny photographic camera in her pocket to capture all the useful information when something glimmered to her left. She turned her head abruptly, ready to fight if needed be, only to see another book with a silver cover, named The mysteries of life and death. Her eyes sparked and she approached it, noticing that there was also an engraving on the cover, resembling a circle, that was moving, as if on by its own will.

    Talia's eyes widened a tad. And then a horrible noise penetrated her ears and she doubled in pain. And she knew she was in trouble, but the pain was so strong for her to run away or reach for her weapons.
     
    #1 Talia al Ghul, Nov 27, 2017
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2017
  2. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    Male
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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
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    It was unusual for Magnus to be at the school so late at night, but Alexander was on an overnight patrol and, quite honestly, he was just bored. There was nothing notable to be done around the Hotel and he wasn't tired in the slightest, so instead he opened a portal and transported himself to the magic school's library to do some busy work there that he'd been putting off during the busier hours of the day.

    He wasn't in the library yet when he heard the noise piercing the quiet stillness of the night, and took his pace from a leisurely walk to a full sprint, the slight heels of his dress shoes clicking against the stone hallway that lead into the large library, his footsteps becoming less and less audible over the piercing noise that he already blocked from his own ears with a noise dampening spell upon his approach.

    Spotting the woman doubled over in pain Magnus used his magic to silence the noise, but not before pinning her to the spot she stood first, rendering her entirely unable to move from the waist down. She'd feel the force of his magic keeping her grounded to the spot, like invisible sand weighting her down. But the noise stopped, and Magnus made no attempts to come closer to her just yet. Though he stopped the noise she would likely still suffer the ringing and disorientation for several more minutes he wasn't going to take any chances.

    "You're not a student here," he said, with no question to his voice. "Did you really think a there wouldn't be any defenses in place to protect from break-ins?" He assumed that was what this was - a break in. And after the last one of those went so horribly awry there were even more measures in place to protect not only from unwanted visitors but thefts as well.

    This wasn't really his area of expertise - dealing with break-ins, wrangling up criminals, that sort of thing - but he was the only on here and he wasn't about to just kick her out and let her go on her merry way.

    "What are you doing here?"
     
  3. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

    Posts:
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    Female
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    early 20s
    For those brief seconds it lasted, it was pure torment, and Talia was not the fragile sort. She clenched her jaw and turn her fingers into fists, but just to withstand the suffering. She couldn't be thinking about attacking even if she tried; attack who or what? She could hardly cut down magic with her blades or fill it with bullets. All she could hope was the reasonable assumption that nobody killed people in a school filled with children, even if they were in places they weren't supposed to be.

    That was all relative of course depending on what secrets they had to hide. But it took her a while to be intrigued again; even after the noise ended, she still could feel the after effects and despite whatever iron will she might had, she still figured out quickly enough that she could not move. And not by her own volition.

    Her eyes sparked with anger, but upon noticing the one she guessed was preventing her from moving, her features softened - a little. She was not always the best judge of character, but she had learned to spot the monsters from the more merciful ones and the man before her didn't have the eyes of a monster. That made her feel significantly better despite the situation she was in. Talking she could handle -even if his words hurt her pride, true as they were. She couldn't resist rolling her eyes, but she did not attempt to fight a useless fight and instead visibly relaxed in her place. She regarded him with a much friendlier look than one would have expected given the situation and her lips even curved in a small smile.

    'No, I expected much. But defences haven't stopped me before.' she answered casually. They had now, undoubtedly. She didn't like it, but there were lessons to be learned from one's mistakes. 'These aren't exactly usual defences. All these books and the knowledge they offer aren't here just to be protected from thieves. They are to be kept away from the non magical, the less than super, the humans without powers.' she said, unafraid to look straight at the man's eyes. She had assumed so at least, otherwise they would be more public. 'I am curious as to why. Are you afraid of them, perhaps?' she asked back, rising an eyebrow. Seemed like a strange thing to say to someone who had immobilized her so easily, but she had learnt that even those gifted had fears of their own.[blockquote][/blockquote]
     
  4. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

    Posts:
    852
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    Male
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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
    Race:
    Warlock
    Age:
    300+ years
    Directory:
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    Magnus waited patiently. He knew that the effects of the alarms and wards that they had in place around not only the library, but the entire school, were strong ones. And the particular one that this woman set off near the more restricted books of the library was a particularly harsh one, one which would've knocked out someone weaker than she apparently was. He wasn't going to let on to that fact, but it did give him an idea of the sort of person he was dealing with. She wasn't your average young woman.

    "You're right. These aren't typical defenses, just as this isn't a typical library. But you already knew that." He said, again, with no question to the tone of his words. She didn't stumble in here by accident, or sneak in on a dare - if she got this far it was with ill intent.

    "Regular humans are welcome within the school's walls if they speak to the Headmaster first," Magnus said, skirting the issue a bit. Obviously books about magic could be dangerous in the wrong hands, especially those who shouldn't (or simply couldn't) wield it properly. But that wasn't the point here, and it wasn't why the school was for gifted students only. "But it isn't a matter of keeping humans without powers out. It's because many who stay here do so because they feel safer among others like themselves. The rules are there for the comfort of the students here." He knew that Merlin had the best of intentions in keeping the school for those gifted with some sort of ability, some magic or power or gift, as a safe space for them to learn and practice and experiment and grow. Whatever idea this woman had, it was the wrong one, and it wasn't what they stood for here at the Schola Praeditos.
     
  5. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

    Posts:
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    Female
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    early 20s
    Acting like a fool would not help her here, not with this man at least. He appeared very convinced that he was dealing with someone dangerous and lawless and that wasn't far from the truth, of course. But that didn't mean that she was going to comply and accept defeat, not before using all she had had in her arsenal to twist a bad situation around. So she paid attention to his words, without showing any signs of worry or fear. She was much too proud for something like that.

    'Safer.' she echoed his words. 'So they are afraid.'. It sounded as merely an observation and Talia did not see the use of pressing onto the matter, but she could use it as an argument to defend her actions, particularly since she hadn't harmed anyone or anything yet and she was in position to do so. Her tone shifted to something more serious at her next words, keeping her eyes on the other. 'I doubt your Headmaster would have allowed me to take a look at your impressive collection. Those who delved into magic and mysticism are no strangers to me and back in my world I have found them to not trust easily and often keep their secrets close to their chest.' she said. It was far from a lie. Talia had observed it inside her father's organization and when it came to magicians, fortune tellers and witches of the hero community. Even stage practitioners went into great lengths to maintain the illusion of hidden knowledge. She had not found Pandora to be very different.

    'So what do the rules of the school dictate for a stranger caught inside the library? Am I to stay here suspended as a reminder to anyone who would get too curious?' she asked. Her tone was a bit playful, with a hint of sarcasm, but Talia was not as relaxed as she might appeared. She was far from a kleptomaniac, but it was unlikely that she would forget the treasures this library was hiding, even if this man sent her away with nothing more severe than a stern warning. She knew well how obsessions with arcane objects and hidden knowledge could lead to constant disappointment and plenty of failures, but it was doubtful she would be able to keep away. She had imagined this place and it had been described to her, but seeing it up close... well, it was more than enough to become her new mission in her mind.
     
  6. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

    Posts:
    852
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    Male
    Occupation:
    High Warlock of Brooklyn
    Race:
    Warlock
    Age:
    300+ years
    Directory:
    link
    "No, not afraid for us. Afraid for them. You obviously have no idea how destructive certain forms of magic can be when attempted by someone who wasn't properly trained in their usage." His eyes grew a bit distant as just imagine some of the consequences of messing up some of the magic he'd learned about here in Pandora crossed through his mind. Some of it was easy, some humans could almost positively learn with little consequence, but much of it was complex, and the consequences of messing up were severe and dangerous and, in many cases, potentially deadly for the person attempting to use it.

    But at her next words it sounded as if she wasn't entirely unfamiliar with magic - or, 'mysticism' as she put it - in at least general terms. So obviously she knew what she was getting into, then. "I'm sorry your past experiences left you suspicious and untrusting." It really was a shame when a handful of bad experiences or bad people tainted one's idea of something so large as every single magic user. He knew the same was true in his own world with a handful of questionably reputable warlocks, but that didn't mean it stung any less to have that association here as well, even if he was used to it.

    "Nothing quite so crude. But I am going to take you to Merlin - it'll be up to him what happens from there." Magnus wasn't sure what Merlin would want to do about this. He'd be pleased to know that some of the precautions they put into place over recent months actually worked, but that would be easily overshadowed by the upsetting fact that they also proved as necessary as they were effective. "What weapons do you have on you?" He was positive she wouldn't be unarmed if she didn't have magic, and he'd be a fool to trust her not to use them rather than take them away from her.
     
  7. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

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    Female
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    early 20s
    She could argue that she had some idea, but aside for a slight narrowing of her eyes, Talia did not appear too offended by the man's comment, for there was truth in his words. Though she found it very hard to trust the better intentions of others, it would be unwise to assume that there were not a few bleeding hearts that wished to keep those less powerful than them safe. She would be foolish to assume that she could handle herself against the very dangerous kinds of magic and the man standing in front of her had proven that point already. But at the same time, without a certain amount of risk, her knowledge would become stale and her skills would be rusty. Talia could not afford either of those.

    'Oh it is not only mystics and magicians I do not trust. But I have found that the suspicion and distrust goes both ways.' she said with a bitter smile. Hardly a lie, given her experiences in life. People in general were quick to judge her and her actions, without stopping to think about the motives. It was reasonable for her to feel misunderstood and misjudged.

    'So formal. I would assume that escorting me out and giving me a stern warning was the usual method to deal with a trespasser and potential book thief. You are either overestimating the kind of danger I am or increasing my curiosity more about this place.' she said. To be fair, she was not being unreasonable, given that she had not the time to show any of her skills what with being contained by him. It solidified her beliefs that this school was not like others not only due to the powers at play, but maybe because of the threats and challenges those powers attracted. It was likely that she was not the only one with such burning interest. 'It is impossible for me to show them to you while I am being detained like this. Unless your goal is to search uninterrupted.' she said, giving him a rather bold look. She did not have enough knowledge to evaluate the man's preferences in that department, but in such situations it never hurt to try. Besides he must have known that he was a very attractive man.
     
  8. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

    Posts:
    852
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    Male
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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
    Race:
    Warlock
    Age:
    300+ years
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    link
    With such a clear and heavy bias already in the woman's mind, Magnus knew that there would be little he could do to win over her trust. Certainly not as he stood there essentially holding her captive, whether or not it was deserved. "A healthy dose of suspicion isn't always the worst thing, so long as it is not unfairly acted upon until justified." The justification was there now, on both of their parts, for the distrust in one another. Even though Magnus was only doing his job. He had no clue who she was or why she broke into the library in the first place, but that hardly mattered right now. Knowing the why did nothing to change the fact that there was a protocol for him to follow now.

    She seemed to think this was a bit extreme for a potential thief, and he shot her a questioning look. "Books or otherwise, you were attempting to steal from Merlin, so does it not make sense that he would want this brought to him?" He pointed out, for starters. But it was more than that, and they both knew it. "But we both know this isn't about a few pages of text - it isn't about the book, but what it contained." She was hardly looking up harmless spells or potions, but rather books dealing with life and death, with resurrections and dark, troubling magics. That was the interest here.

    The fact that the reaction to her attempted theft was only increasing her curiosity about what the school itself might hold didn't sit well with the warlock, but he tried to ignore her words and focus on the task at hand. One which the woman made no subtle matter of, regarding the potential search of her person for weapons.

    Holding her in place was draining his magic far too quickly anyway - not that she needed to know that, but he couldn't hold her there forever. "And just what sort of gentleman do you think I am?" He said, and though there was the hint of a playful challenge in the question he waved his hand in front of him in a z-pattern. She could move most of her body, with a loose hold still remaining to keep her rooted to the spot -- but even that was starting to weaken, unable to be fully sustained. But again, she didn't need to know that. "I'll be sure to tell Merlin of your willingness to comply - you'll have no issues being released after he has a few words with you. But one false move, and I'll freeze you in place permanently. " An empty threat as he could barely hold her in place for another minute, but the chance to take her weapons would also give him a minute to restore at least some of his energy. "You can move your upper body now. Slowly."
     
  9. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

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    Female
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    Age:
    early 20s
    Her lips curved to a smile at his words. They were obviously on different sides, but she appreciated intelligence when she found it. Besides, she had faced enemies that were determined to end her life so she was not going to harbor petty hateful feelings for someone who was defending the territory he lived in, even if he did not trust her with arcane knowledge. She would hardly trust anyone attempting to steal from her, so it was not as if she did not understand his position, although she was unlucky to have met such a stickler for the rules.

    Or perhaps he was loyal to the Headmaster, which was a more admirable quality in her eyes. 'I have no doubt, but this is about you. I managed to pass through the spells that are placed around the school because of boys who are less obstinate to follow the rules.' she said, looking straight at the man with the confidence the truth of her words provided. 'You must know that I admire your loyalty to the school's founder. And yes, I was looking for things many would consider dangerous or heretic, but a clever man like you would also know that the actions and intents of others are often not as simple as it is convenient to be.' she added. It mattered enough for her to say it aloud, whether he cared about it or not.

    She only had a very faint understanding of his abilities, therefore his weaknesses were entirely unclear, but Talia was not prepared to be defeated, no matter what her behaviour might suggested. Usually, it was easier to make other underestimate her, but in this particular case the effort she had to make had surprised her. But that just meant that she had to be more efficient and more devious. So the moment he said that she had regained some control of her movement, she did as she was told. She showed the man her empty hands first and then took a dagger out of her left sleeve with her fingers moving slowly and carefully and let it drop on the floor. Then she reached for the hidden sword in her back, without taking her eyes off of him and removed it and unfastened her belt and let it also fall. 'Are you satisfied?' she said after, not without a hint of irritation in her voice.
     
    #9 Talia al Ghul, Jan 18, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 18, 2018
  10. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

    Posts:
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    Male
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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
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    "This is hardly about me. I was simply in the right place at the right time - or, I suppose in your case, the wrong place at the wrong time." Magnus was far from a stickler for the rules. In fact, he seemed to bend, if not entirely break them, whenever it served him to. If this was just the harmless case of a kid breaking in on a dare or a prank, he would've had no issues with simply putting a bit of fear into them and sending them off on their way. But to have an armed woman sneak past the majority of their wardings with the intent of stealing a book from one of the most dangerous sections of the library... well, this simply went beyond what he was hired to deal with here, honestly. It wasn't his call to make.

    He couldn't help but wonder who helped her into the school, knowing that if this was a problem caused by some of the students here that it would certainly need to be addressed. Merlin placed a lot of faith in the students here, it would hurt him greatly to know they were intentionally betraying that trust by breaking the things put in place for their very own protection. But those were things Merlin could ask of her later - he had the distinct feeling she was stalling, trying to distract him, and he wasn't keen on falling into that particular trap while she was still armed.

    "So I suppose now you're going to appeal to me with some heart-wrenching justification?" He countered, doing his best to sound entirely neutral and uninterested as he watched her pull a knife from her sleeve, and a sword from her back, before dropping the entirety of a belt that appeared to be equipped with a number of small pouches and objects he didn't immediately recognize.

    "Thank you," he told her, this time sincerely, glad she wasn't putting up a fight. Honestly, the smoother this went the happier they'd both be, and he bent down to pick up the objects dropped to the ground with the intention of carrying them with him to Merlin's office. More honestly, he was glad she disarmed herself for the simple fact that holding her in place for this long was taking a serious toll on his energy, and at this point he would need to release the hold of it for at least a minute or two - something he felt better (though still not entirely comfortable) doing now.
     
  11. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

    Posts:
    110
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    Female
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    early 20s
    Well she could not argue with that sentence. Still, while she would not exactly categorize herself as an optimist, she believed that every failure was a lesson, provided it wasn't fatal, of course. Now she had a better understanding of what and who existed inside the walls of this school, which would either work as a deterrent for setting food in it ever again, or be more prepared when she returned. She could not exactly decide at this very moment, since there were other, more pressing things occupying her mind.

    It was hard to hide her worry that he might discover some of the things she was hiding, but she managed it anyway. Talia wasn't too fearful of Merlin, but his name and reputation alone suggested that it would much better for her if she did not meet him. Not that her plans were half as nefarious as those of others that were trapped in this dimension, but there were things she had to keep close to her heart. And who knew what Merlin could do.

    'If there was a point, I might had..' she mused at his oh so dismissive question. She had realized that her usual tricks were not applicable here and she was not likely to repeat the same process over and over without it producing the desirable results. Not every person was the same after all, which was why the organizations she had been involved in value information so much. Evidently though, it was particularly difficult to acquire knowledge of the most occult type. She remembered that her father had once spent decades waiting for a secret to be revealed to him. The key was patience and diligence.

    So she remained patient until she felt the invisible binds loosening and as soon as she was able to feel the movement in her feet coming back, she twisted her heel slightly and then lifted her leg, aiming to direct the blade that had emerged from the bottom part of her boot straight inside the man's calf muscle, because she had talked to him enough to not wish his death. Hopefully that would not turn out to be another mistake.
     
  12. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
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    This was going surprisingly well, and that should have been the first sign that there was something more at play here. He didn't stop to think that it was almost too easy to get the weapons from her. Instead, he simply thought to himself that at least the young woman seemed resigned to the situation she was in. At least she was cooperating to make things easier, not just on him but also on herself. She gave up her weapons, which he took carefully, and was turning to lead her back down the hallway towards Merlin's office when she twisted suddenly, moving in a way that was certainly not a casual step forward.

    Damn.

    Magnus didn't realize what she was doing until it was done, the leg sweeping up and out, catching the side of his leg. He expected a kick, that perhaps she was trying to trip him up and outrun him, and he attempted to take a step backwards to avoid the impact -- which he would've, if the impact of her foot was the only thing he had to evade. He wasn't counting on the blade, which stuck out enough to catch his calf muscle.

    If his magic was stronger, this was a wound he could've healed faster. As it was, with so much of his energy already expended on keeping her held in place for so long, all he did was collapse against the wall next to him when he tried to take a step on the injured leg, cursing aloud, making sure he kept all of his attention on the woman who now had the upper hand.

    "I see this is how my trust gets repaid," he said, the bitterness seeping through his words. He was ready now, though, watching her every move, waiting for whatever she might try next. Would she go so far as to kill him for attempting to turn her in? He had no idea now, wincing as he shifted to face her fully just in case.
     
  13. Talia al Ghul

    Talia al Ghul DC Universe

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    Female
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    early 20s
    There were so many ways her decision to attack could go wrong. He could have a rapid healing factor or powerful magic to ignore the ailment of his body and sent her flying across the room. Talia was aware she was playing with fire, but she did not have other options available. The chances were that Merlin would be impossible for her to defeat so she had to try her chances right here right now.

    And it paid off. Watching him expressing his pain was not particularly enjoyable, but she would be lying if she did not admit that it was a relief. It proved to her that his magic did not make him invincible, which was the most important lesson here for her. A person more reckless than her would use the opportunity to push forward, but Talia was calculating and cautious. She much preferred earning half a victory than risking everything shehad. That was the advantage or disadvantage, depending on who she was talking to, in being neither a hero nor a villain.

    She did not have any time to search through the many dangerous books the library had and risk being immobilized again. Instead, she tore a few pages in a hurry from a book that was laying down as she reached for one of her swords he had dropped. She aimed for the man's shoulder, hoping that if the sword pierced his skin it would keep him in place for long enough for her to escape. 'At least you will be alive to hunt more intruders, dear.' she answered back at him with a smile that was a bit sarcastic, but not overly malicious. Killing him might had been a permanent solution to her problem with escaping, but she did not want to cause the ire of an entire school of magically inclined and supernatural students and teachers. And she felt a little guilty about misusing his trust, but maybe in a similar situation he would have done the same.

    She did not ask, but she wanted to believe so.

    And then she run. She did not have the time to pick all her weapons, so she supposed they would be left behind as payment for the book she had tore. Yes, most would be useless to sorcerers and mystics, but they could serve as decoration. Or as attempt to track her down by reading her aura or something equally strange to her. She kept running until she found a window. She only looked back once, said a 'Farewell, Schola Praeditos' before she allowed herself to fall and masterfully reach for the humps on th surface of the wall to break her fall.
     
  14. Magnus Bane

    Magnus Bane The Mortal Instruments

    Posts:
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    High Warlock of Brooklyn
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    Magnus wondered why she didn't simply aim to kill him where he stood. It was clear that she could have, if she wanted to, and yet she aimed her blade for his shoulder to injure him just enough to keep him immobile for her escape. His entire body tensed against the pain of the blade piercing his skin, sliding clean through, tearing the fabric of his shirt and jacket and staining both through with blood. He made a small, pathetic noise at it, not even having the energy to even cry out in pain properly.

    He had so many snide remarks he wanted to say, hateful words to spit from his lips, but instead he took several shallow, shuddering breaths as she spoke her parting words, tore the pages from the book, and made for the nearest window. It was a long fall but she didn't seem to have any hesitation in her actions, leaving Magnus with no doubt she would survive the descent.

    He was much less certain about himself. Grabbing hold of the base of the sword with both hands he pulled it out, now giving a proper noise of agony at the feeling of the blade sliding back out of the hole it made, his shoulder bleeding much faster with nothing to block it up. He focused every last ounce of his magic on the wound, enough to close it - barely. He would need to see a proper healer for this, but he would live. The one on his calf still bled, but he could put enough pressure on it to walk.

    Unfortunately for him, he would have to walk, because he didn't have the strength to summon a portal just then. It took all of his effort to limp, lacking any dignity whatsoever in his defeat, to inform Merlin of what just happened.

    The End​