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Geppa

Nala Zamarosok's page

661 posts. Alias of lynora.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
He nods, making a playful sqeak-grunt, and changes his fur back, nuzzling into her hair.

She laughed and for the first time since she had arrived, the room temperature wasn't colder than normal, the frost surrounding her finally fading away.


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Narrator! wrote:
Forgot to mention Ryuzo's fur changed to white as well when he shifted to mole form...

Ah, well, that changes things...

Nala relaxes into some much needed cuddles before she notices that Ryuzo's fur had changed. "What's this? First step towards becoming a polar mole?" she asks, bemused.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


"Phaezeriel. He'd need to supervise of course. To make sure that the whole thing actually works. I can talk to him in the morning. I'm on duty again of course. No such things as days off for Healers," she said with a shrug. "So I should see him at the infirmary. But I can send him a message just to be sure. He gets called away for emergencies fairly often. If there's one thing that this school needs more of, it's psychic healers."
"Alright. I'll ask Krays, then. He is proficient in raising ex-champions." he says teasing a bit.

"Yes, well, hopefully that ex part will be temporary. If not, you might want to look into gaining cold immunity," she replied, teasing him right back, although he can tell that she's still very stressed.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


Nala's expression softened. "When you say it I can almost believe that it really is possible." She reached out a hand and gently touched his face, only for a moment before she pulled it back, keeping both hands wrapped firmly around her teacup. She was shaking again. "I love you. I didn't used to think I was capable of love, but turns out I was wrong." She took a deep breath as the enormity of her decision weighed on her. "I'm going to do it," she blurted out. "I'm going to die. And not in the creepy suicide pact kind of way that came out sounding like," she added, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. "In a supervised medical setting with plans in place to bring me back right away."
"I love you too, and you deserve to be happy. Who do we need to talk to about this? Besides Krays, that is."

"Phaezeriel. He'd need to supervise of course. To make sure that the whole thing actually works. I can talk to him in the morning. I'm on duty again of course. No such things as days off for Healers," she said with a shrug. "So I should see him at the infirmary. But I can send him a message just to be sure. He gets called away for emergencies fairly often. If there's one thing that this school needs more of, it's psychic healers."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Ryuzo gets a determined look on his face. "I will help you with whatever you decide. If you want to wait it out and try Phaeze's method, or if you wish to die to be free of this, I will support your decision any way that I can. I will be by your side at every step." He moves as close to her as he can with out upsetting her, and looks her in the eye. "We will beat this." he says simply.

Nala's expression softened. "When you say it I can almost believe that it really is possible." She reached out a hand and gently touched his face, only for a moment before she pulled it back, keeping both hands wrapped firmly around her teacup. She was shaking again. "I love you. I didn't used to think I was capable of love, but turns out I was wrong." She took a deep breath as the enormity of her decision weighed on her. "I'm going to do it," she blurted out. "I'm going to die. And not in the creepy suicide pact kind of way that came out sounding like," she added, suddenly feeling very self-conscious. "In a supervised medical setting with plans in place to bring me back right away."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:


He stops what he's doing and looks long at Nala before responding. He finishes up the tea and brigns it over, sitting with her on the cushioned floor mat.

"I'd be lying if I said that didn't concern me a great deal. Those aren't a list of great options. But death? I'm sure Krays could bring you back, and honestly Luck may appreciate you 'rolling the dice' on such a thing...but death? High price...what do you think?"

Nala takes her cup of tea and cradles it in her hands, letting the warmth of it soothe her. She sighed.

"As far as the Winter Court is concerned, I don't have any real information. All I have right now is guesses. Guesses made through a lens of fear and pain. Which brings me back to the other problem. These memories are holding me back. In every aspect of my life. They make me a less effective healer because I have a difficult time interacting with older patients. They certainly make things challenging between us. Not that you have ever been anything other than patient and understanding. But I'd like to be able to show affection without having a panic attack," she added wryly. "And they are coloring my judgment in regards to how I should deal with the threat posed by the Others. I'm more afraid and therefore more cautious, which makes me a less than ideal Champion, at least by Luck's standards. Luck isn't a big fan of playing it safe. I mean, I know that the things that happened to me will always be a part of who I am, including the horrific things. I just...I need to not have them be front and center all the time. Living through them once was enough. I don't want that to be the only thing in my life that defines me. I'm more than just a victim."
She stopped to take a sip of her tea before continuing. "I'm terrified at the thought of dying. Even knowing I will come back. The uncertainty... And Phaezeriel did present other options. But I also know that dismantling the connections one by one...it could take years. I'm not sure I'm willing to wait years when I know that there's a quicker option. I don't know. I'm so tired of being afraid," she added sadly.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


"Yes," she agreed gratefully. She sighs as she sits down, her breath forming ice crystals in the air. "My last patient of the day....his idiot parents had actually bound an Other into him when he was a child. Needless to say, I very nearly froze the poor boy to death. It was....a very strange Other. Intelligent. Not that they aren't often cunning and calculating. But this one was capable of thoughts and ideas like self-preservation. Possibly things it has picked up from its host. I don't know. But it's a lot of blows in one week. First to find out that the barrier has failed, and now to find that there is an Other in the school...the barrier must have failed a long time ago. And my ice powers are...well, they're growing. I...I suspect my mother may be sick. Part of me is happy about that. The rest of me is concerned about what will happen without her taking an active role in leading the Winter Court now that they need to attend to their duties again."

He begins to make them tea, never seems to be a quick process for Ryuzo. He listens while he works.

"The Others are a serious threat, to everyone. I wonder why someone would put one in their child. Perhaps if this one can be reasoned with...?"
"Has your mother made a replacement for you? Can you tell?"

"I sent the boy to the Headmaster. If anyone will know how to help him, or at least who to send him to...and yes, I hope that this one can be reasoned with. The idea of this kid getting destroyed because his parents were stupid doesn't sit well with me. And from what I saw in his memories, they didn't know what they were doing. They just decided that hey, let's put this mysterious thing we found into our kid....I swear, if I ever meet these people I am going to slap the both of them. For starters."

"And no, I don't think my mother has made a replacement. I think that she's still using the mindless clone of me that the headmaster gave her. I think the clone might be sick too. I think that the power of Winter is trying to find me. But I don't have proof of course. It's just a feeling. And dreams. So many dreams. All ice and snow. But not how I remember it from my childhood. Beautiful. Peaceful."

"There's more. As if all of that wasn't enough. I had an appointment with Phaezeriel today. About my memory problem." She was twisting her hands nervously now. "He was able to examine the structure of the magic the memories are encased in. It seems that the magic is tied directly into my life energy. He presented me with some different options to try and undo it. He can try to unravel the magic itself, which is no simple task. This is ancient fey magic after all. Or he can try cutting its connection to its source bit by bit. But the quickest, most likely to succeed option would be to kill me. Temporarily. Obviously. I would probably have to be dead for a matter of minutes to cut off the magic from my life force completely. But my deal with Luck ends when I die, and there's no guarantee that Luck would be willing to reinstate it. And with the power of Winter trying to find me....it's pretty high risk. I told him that I wanted time to consider and to talk things over with you before I decided on what to do."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
"Yes, of course." He steps back and lets her in. "Would you like some tea to warm you up?"

"Yes," she agreed gratefully. She sighs as she sits down, her breath forming ice crystals in the air. "My last patient of the day....his idiot parents had actually bound an Other into him when he was a child. Needless to say, I very nearly froze the poor boy to death. It was....a very strange Other. Intelligent. Not that they aren't often cunning and calculating. But this one was capable of thoughts and ideas like self-preservation. Possibly things it has picked up from its host. I don't know. But it's a lot of blows in one week. First to find out that the barrier has failed, and now to find that there is an Other in the school...the barrier must have failed a long time ago. And my ice powers are...well, they're growing. I...I suspect my mother may be sick. Part of me is happy about that. The rest of me is concerned about what will happen without her taking an active role in leading the Winter Court now that they need to attend to their duties again."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Nala is almost to Ryuzo's dojo when she spots him just leaving. He can see that she is tense, if for no other reason than she is leaving snowy footprint behind her as she walks. Also she appears to be shaking slightly.

She first sees him smiling, as if seeing her is the best thing to happen to him all day...then quickly fades to concern. He steps forward to assist her but stops short of contact.

"Nala, what's wrong?"

"It's been an...interesting day," she said with a slight quaver to her voice. "I'm not entirely sure where to start. Perhaps we can step into your classroom? I'm pretty sure that this isn't a good conversation to have in the hallway."


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Nala is almost to Ryuzo's dojo when she spots him just leaving. He can see that she is tense, if for no other reason than she is leaving snowy footprint behind her as she walks. Also she appears to be shaking slightly.


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Nala sagged against the wall in relief after they had gone. She had to spend several minutes in meditation before she could get rid of all of the ice. And then she made sure to clock out. Not that she wasn't technically always on call, but at least now she would only be called in for an emergency. And then she went back to her office, hung her lab coat on its wall hook, and put away her files. And then she went looking for Ryuzo.


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Adon Derro wrote:
Sadie Jhiwoon wrote:
Adon Derro wrote:


adon looks away, for a moment.
"I lived with my family. Mom and dad."
he sighs, closing his eyes.
"No-one else. Mom and dad were both dedicated mages. They... Tried to support me in my endeavors. But... The closest thing I could get to sparring was basically "dodge the fireball." Mom and dad never seemed to want another child, and we're always a little distant. I guess I know why, now."
adon opens his eyes again, looking back to Sadie. Or at least, where his eyes are supposed to be. There's a mess of static there, instead, and he doesn't even seem to notice.
"Sorry I made you spell that out. I guess I just figured... I donno. Anyway, thanks. I'll....Try and keep myself under control."
"Well, I guess that explains the social awkwardness then," she said. The static eyes were freaking her out a little, but she knew too well how it felt to have people flinch away just because you were different. So she didn't. She was sure she'd get used to it soon enough anyways. As weirdness went, this wasn't really so bad. "I'm sure you've got this, Adon. Just remember you're not all on your own anymore. It's okay to ask for help," she added with an encouraging smile.

adon looks at his hands, his fingers twitching softly.

"My hands feel wrong, my back feels like something is squirming inside and somehow I don't think that's quite the end of it. I need to know how to... Progress. But I don't know where to start. But, in better news, I'm not tierd, anymore."

"Your body is likely transforming to reflect the form of the being you are bonded to. I'm afraid I'm exactly the wrong person to ask for assistance in this matter. The only transformations I undergo are a matter of instinct, and while it did require some learning on my part that was mostly learning how to control my body in a different form. I think that you should consult the Headmaster honestly. He might be able to direct you to who can best assist you in the next step," she said, as she carefully decreased the number of icicles in the room.


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Adon Derro wrote:

adon looks up at Sadie. He tries to force some composure, sitting up properly.

"I... It doesn't feel like it will. I can't even describe what's bound to me, but it causes reality to melt around it. And I can't forget what it looks like, anymore. I feel sick. And... Worse, it's part of me. Of my soul. Even death can't take me from it- when I die, it'll take me with it."
adon looks at Nala, even more confused, now.
"It cares? It certianly never gave me that impression."

"Yes. It was quite protective of you, actually. It would only allow me access to your memories once I had assured it that I had your best interests in mind. I know that this sounds hollow coming from me. You've seen my reaction to the creature. I'm sorry. I can't help it. Any Winter Fey would feel the same. We are ...ancestral enemies. But this one is not quite the same. It is dangerous. I am certain of that. But...I think perhaps that you affect it as much as it affects you. What your parents did in their...we will graciously call it ignorance. What they did created a sort of symbiosis between you and the being. Your mind has been trying to tell you this, which is why you kept having the dreams. You were trying to tell yourself what you knew was happening."


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"Your friend is correct," Nala said, wresting the cupboard door open in spite of the ice that still stubbornly clung to it. She quickly unfolded the thermal blanket and spread it over Adon. "If nothing else the thing inside your mind cares about your well being. That's somewhere to start."


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"Adon needs your help," Nala said quickly. "The thing that's behind his nightmares is something that his parents bound to him. He's having trouble coping with the memory. Also, he's very, very cold. Stay near him. Talk to him calmly. I need to keep a little bit of distance so I can turn the ice off. I'll start with the cupboard with the thermal blankets."


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
It's everything she can do not to actually scream. She tries to put the pieces together into a coherent whole that Adon can understand. If the monster in his head was trying to help, well, she was just going to go with it. For now.

adon shivers, for multiple reasons.

** spoiler omitted **
adon is far from ok, his shivering is violent, and he's doing his best not to cry.

Nala is glad to take a step back from Adon, removing her fingers from his temples and breaking mental contact. She sends a quick message to the desk clerk as she desperately tries to calm enough to de-ice the door.


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It's everything she can do not to actually scream. She tries to put the pieces together into a coherent whole that Adon can understand. If the monster in his head was trying to help, well, she was just going to go with it. For now.


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
Adon Derro wrote:
** spoiler omitted **
"The thing seems to be linked to a particular childhood memory. It's fuzzy, not easy to examine. I can put it back together with time and effort, but I'm not sure that doing so would be entirely safe. For either of us," she said, with effort.

adon Mumbles a bit, and nods.

** spoiler omitted **

The icicles in the room grow a bit more.

Adon's mind:
::I am trying to help him. Not knowing is making him sick.::

She hoped like hell that the thing inside Adon's mind believed her. She was so frightened she felt like she was going to throw up, a not uncommon situation in her life. So at least she had plenty of practice dealing with it.
She probed Adon's memories again, specifically the one from when he was a child. The one that was at the center of the dreams. She pulled the memory out, searching for the missing details, working to make it clearer, to bring it into focus.


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Adon Derro wrote:
** spoiler omitted **

"The thing seems to be linked to a particular childhood memory. It's fuzzy, not easy to examine. I can put it back together with time and effort, but I'm not sure that doing so would be entirely safe. For either of us," she said, with effort.


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Nala reluctantly delves back into his memory, examining it more closely, looking for connections to other memories while she was here.


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Adon suddenly finds himself inside a freezer as the floor, walls, and ceiling are all abruptly covered in ice, and icicles are growing out of every surface. He can see his breath in the now frigid air.

"The dream is the same every night?" she asked, but her voice was shaking a little bit now.

adon looks about, and frowns. Attempting to disjunction any ambient magic, out of displeasure.

"Yes. Past three nights. Wake up with burning eyes every time."

His attempt at anti magic makes the cold worse.

"Please don't. There is an aberration inside your head. The cold reacts to it. More accurately I react to it and create more cold. I am containing the cold as best I can. If you push me you'll end up as a popsicle. It will take a ridiculous amount of time to thaw you safely. This isn't magic as you're familiar with it," she said, frowning. "I can try to look closer, or I can refer you to Miss Jones, who will at least not freeze you. I apologize. It is not an entirely voluntary reaction on my part. It is anathema to Winter Fey."

adon pauses.

"Alright. Care to tell me more? I'm sure I'll manage."
he's clearly nervous, fidgeting quite a bit. Is was not news he was expecting.

"What I see inside your memory is something that is not meant to exist inside the borders of reality. That could be why your eyes burn and you forget. Your mind is trying to protect itself. What I can't tell yet is if it is merely the shadow of the thing or the thing itself that has somehow latched itself onto your consciousness. I will have to poke at the memory more to gain any more information."


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Adon suddenly finds himself inside a freezer as the floor, walls, and ceiling are all abruptly covered in ice, and icicles are growing out of every surface. He can see his breath in the now frigid air.

"The dream is the same every night?" she asked, but her voice was shaking a little bit now.

adon looks about, and frowns. Attempting to disjunction any ambient magic, out of displeasure.

"Yes. Past three nights. Wake up with burning eyes every time."

His attempt at anti magic makes the cold worse.

"Please don't. There is an aberration inside your head. The cold reacts to it. More accurately I react to it and create more cold. I am containing the cold as best I can. If you push me you'll end up as a popsicle. It will take a ridiculous amount of time to thaw you safely. This isn't magic as you're familiar with it," she said, frowning. "I can try to look closer, or I can refer you to Miss Jones, who will at least not freeze you. I apologize. It is not an entirely voluntary reaction on my part. It is anathema to Winter Fey."


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Adon suddenly finds himself inside a freezer as the floor, walls, and ceiling are all abruptly covered in ice, and icicles are growing out of every surface. He can see his breath in the now frigid air.

"The dream is the same every night?" she asked, but her voice was shaking a little bit now.


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

"I'm seeing some minor skeletal changes since your last scan on record. Possibly signs of some sort of transformation. That would certainly account for the nightmares. It's not uncommon for the subconscious mind to figure out what's going on before you do."

"Antimagic, huh? Well, I do like a challenge," she said, smiling for the first time in this conversation. "Just lay back and relax. I'm going to touch your temples because that strengthens the connection. And let's see what we can see," she said calmly, resting her fingertips lightly on his head.

Do you want a percent chance to overcome the anti magic or a caster level check?

"Skeletal? How... Whatever."

adon just lays back and relaxes as best he can.
adon has an SR of 36. Caster level works.

1d20+19

Well, that should do it.

Nala sends her awareness across Adon's surface thoughts first, looking for anything out of the ordinary.

among his serface thoughts, there isn't much at all- he's quite tierd, and it's stopping him from thinking much about things. He's currently worrying about the skeleton changing thing.

"I'm going to try to look at your memories now. Specifically your memories about your dreams," she said in a calm, soothing tone.

She attempts to find the relevant memories. It was difficult. His mind was slippery. It resisted contact at all. But she had been born fey. She was used to slippery minds.


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

"I'm seeing some minor skeletal changes since your last scan on record. Possibly signs of some sort of transformation. That would certainly account for the nightmares. It's not uncommon for the subconscious mind to figure out what's going on before you do."

"Antimagic, huh? Well, I do like a challenge," she said, smiling for the first time in this conversation. "Just lay back and relax. I'm going to touch your temples because that strengthens the connection. And let's see what we can see," she said calmly, resting her fingertips lightly on his head.

Do you want a percent chance to overcome the anti magic or a caster level check?

"Skeletal? How... Whatever."

adon just lays back and relaxes as best he can.
adon has an SR of 36. Caster level works.

1d20 + 19 ⇒ (20) + 19 = 39

Well, that should do it.

Nala sends her awareness across Adon's surface thoughts first, looking for anything out of the ordinary.


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"I'm seeing some minor skeletal changes since your last scan on record. Possibly signs of some sort of transformation. That would certainly account for the nightmares. It's not uncommon for the subconscious mind to figure out what's going on before you do."

"Antimagic, huh? Well, I do like a challenge," she said, smiling for the first time in this conversation. "Just lay back and relax. I'm going to touch your temples because that strengthens the connection. And let's see what we can see," she said calmly, resting her fingertips lightly on his head.

Do you want a percent chance to overcome the anti magic or a caster level check?


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Adon Derro wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
Nala led the way to the exam room, somehow careful never to touch anyone even in a crowd. Once inside the exam room she motioned for Adon to sit down on the chair. "If you can please have a seat, I'd like to start with a quick scan to rule out any obvious physical problems. How long has it been since you've been able to sleep?" she asked, her tone crisp and businesslike.

adon plops himself into the chair.

"Basically three days without meaningful sleep. Always woken up by turning around and seeing some... Thing that makes me wake up and my eyes burn."

She makes a note of this information and then swings the portable scanner around, sliding it over Adon's body.

Let me know if the results show anything other than basic symptoms of fatigue.

"I'm just looking at your scans now. It will only take a minute. If there is no physical cause for your sleep troubles, we will need to move on to a telepathic scan, which will only be done with your permission of course."


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Nala led the way to the exam room, somehow careful never to touch anyone even in a crowd. Once inside the exam room she motioned for Adon to sit down on the chair. "If you can please have a seat, I'd like to start with a quick scan to rule out any obvious physical problems. How long has it been since you've been able to sleep?" she asked, her tone crisp and businesslike.


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Adon Derro wrote:
narrator wrote:
Adon Derro wrote:
Sadie Jhiwoon wrote:


The infirmary is crazy, as always. Sadie wades through the chaos to the check in desk, dragging Adon behind her.
"What is the nature of your complaint?" the desk clerk asked without looking up.
"Besides the usual health problems, I can't sleep. Woken up by nightmares of horrible things I can't comprehend."
"Hmm. Sounds like mental issues. Let me check...Healer Zamarosok hasn't clocked out yet. Let me check and see if she's available to see you now."
adon nods, and puts his hands behind his back as he waits.

After about five minutes the click of high heels can be heard approaching the desk. It's followed by the appearance of a gorgeous woman with pale blonde hair and strikingly blue eyes. She pulls a datapad out of the pocket of her lab coat and glanced at it.

"You said you had a patient for me to see, Diana?"
The clerk pointed to Adon. "That one."
"Ah. Thank you." She approached Adon. "Hello. I am Nala Zamarosok. If you wouldn't mind following me, please. There is an open exam room this way."


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
::No, I've never died. I've come close any number of times, but never actually died. Why?::
::Normally, I would never even consider this, but it may be the easiest and least traumatic way. As I said, the ritual magic sustaining these memories is linked to your life-force. The ritual magic uses little bits of your life-force to sustain itself and keep these memories as fresh as the instant they were made.:: He pauses for a moment to let that sink in. ::I am not entirely sure if it would work, for it would depend on the Fey magic involved, but the logic is sound.::

Nala stood up, shifting back from her bear form to her humanoid one. "I...see. That is a great deal to consider. And I have more than just my own feelings on the matter to think of. I am currently protected from my fey heritage to some extent because of the bargain I have made with my Patron. But that bargain ends when I die. It is possible that my Patron would agree to reinstate it, but equally possible that Luck may decide to move on. I need time to consider how to proceed in this case. I would like to talk this over with Ryuzo as well," she said, leaning against the desk as she spoke.


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
The memories themselves, while horrific, are ordinary enough. But they are encased in the diamond-like structure of the icicles. This appears to be how Nala's mind processes the structure of the ritual magic. If the structure of the magic can be deconstructed, then these memories will fade over time just like any others. It's the magic itself that keeps it current. The magic seems to be tied in to Nala herself, still drawing on bits of her life force long after the original effects of the spells were over, and looks as if it can continue to do so for all eternity. Removing the ritual magic may require temporarily stopping her heart.
Satisfied with his inspection and understanding, Phaezeriel allows himself to settle back to the floor. He regards Nala sadly, and though he makes no mention of it, his thoughts are full of the compassion he feels for her, ::It seems that the ritual magic that keeps the memories fresh renews itself through a connection to your life-force. I can try several things. I can try to shatter the ritual magic encasing the memories, I can try to sever the links between the ritual and your life-force, or I can try to penetrate the ritual magic and erase the memories that are held inside. But first, let me ask this: have you ever died?::

::No, I've never died. I've come close any number of times, but never actually died. Why?::


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
::This is fey magic,:: Nala says, continuing to speak in monotone. The 'icicles' that house the memories are incredibly sharp and clear and crystalline. ::Ritual magic tapping into the source of creation itself, meant to protect. It was never supposed to be used this way.::
Phaezeriel draws closer to the base of the icicle, where it connects to Nala's minscape. Extending his senses, he tries to get a sense of the bonds between the memory and her mind. Would destroying the memory harm her? Is it possible to weaken its connection to her? How is the bond formed?

The memories themselves, while horrific, are ordinary enough. But they are encased in the diamond-like structure of the icicles. This appears to be how Nala's mind processes the structure of the ritual magic. If the structure of the magic can be deconstructed, then these memories will fade over time just like any others. It's the magic itself that keeps it current. The magic seems to be tied in to Nala herself, still drawing on bits of her life force long after the original effects of the spells were over, and looks as if it can continue to do so for all eternity. Removing the ritual magic may require temporarily stopping her heart.


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

::This way,:: she said, and at the thought they zip across the snowy landscape towards a wall of ice. Memories flash across the wall, replaying over and over and over again. They were not pleasant memories, each one depicting a much-too-young version of Nala being violated by various monstrous beings. ::This is where you can see the memories, but they actually exist inside this wall. I can't make them stop. The wall is useless. But I tried.::

She steps towards the wall and a doorway opens up in it. Through the door is an icy cavern with icicles hanging from the ceiling, each one depicting one of the scenes shown on the wall outside. ::These are the real memories.:: Her voice has become completely monotone as she finds it necessary to shut down her emotions in order to be here in close proximity to the horrors of her past.

Phaezeriel looks up at the icicles, and with a little effort of his will, begins to float up toward them, ::Normally a memory fades because we change as time goes by and its link to who we are becomes more tenuous. This is why the most defining moments of our lives remain the strongest memories. But these have managed to keep the link to you strong, so they remain fresh and vivid. I am going to examine them to find how this is happening.::

He drifts closer to one, careful not to touch it, and ascends toward the base of the icicle.

::This is fey magic,:: Nala says, continuing to speak in monotone. The 'icicles' that house the memories are incredibly sharp and clear and crystalline. ::Ritual magic tapping into the source of creation itself, meant to protect. It was never supposed to be used this way.::


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
"I've been working on that, actually. I think I have something else that will work just as well," she said, walking around the desk before transforming into a polar bear and laying down on the floor, resting her head on her front paws. ::I also feel safe in this form. Not much is going to attack a polar bear,:: she said, with just a touch of amusement. She took a deep breath. ::I'm ready whenever you are.::

Phaezeriel grins as Nala turns into a massive bear, ::I can see your point. Let us get started then.:: He settles to the ground near Nala's now-massive head and places his palms on either temple. It does take a moment for him to find where a polar bear's temples are.

Phaezeriel splits his mind, leaving one half behind to watch over he and Nala, and the other settles into Nala's mind. With barely any disturbance his mental persona is standing beside Nala's in the landscape of her mind, ::Hello, Miss Zamarosok, let us have a look at these memories that cause you so much pain, shall we?::

::This way,:: she said, and at the thought they zip across the snowy landscape towards a wall of ice. Memories flash across the wall, replaying over and over and over again. They were not pleasant memories, each one depicting a much-too-young version of Nala being violated by various monstrous beings. ::This is where you can see the memories, but they actually exist inside this wall. I can't make them stop. The wall is useless. But I tried.::

She steps towards the wall and a doorway opens up in it. Through the door is an icy cavern with icicles hanging from the ceiling, each one depicting one of the scenes shown on the wall outside. ::These are the real memories.:: Her voice has become completely monotone as she finds it necessary to shut down her emotions in order to be here in close proximity to the horrors of her past.


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:
Phaezeriel wrote:
Phaezeriel steps inside and closes the door behind him, smiling up at Nala, ::Not really, but perhaps there is that one thing I might be able to help you with? I have let too many things distract me, and for that I apologize. But if you have time, I am ready.::
"Oh," she said, surprised. "Yes, of course. For that I can make time," she added, smiling. "I'm willing to try whatever is necessary to get those memories to fade," she added with a slight grimace.
Phaezeriel smiles gently, or at least as gently as a demon can, ::It will perhaps be best if you lie down. It may be that this will cause you physical or emotional pain, though I will do my best to minimize any pain.:: He pauses for a moment before continuing delicately, ::I will also need to touch you. I have noticed that you seem able to bear the contact of small furry creatures more readily than that of others. I can assume the form of such a creature if it will make this less traumatic for you.::

"I've been working on that, actually. I think I have something else that will work just as well," she said, walking around the desk before transforming into a polar bear and laying down on the floor, resting her head on her front paws. ::I also feel safe in this form. Not much is going to attack a polar bear,:: she said, with just a touch of amusement. She took a deep breath. ::I'm ready whenever you are.::


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

"Come in," she calls out in a brisk tone. She is sitting at her desk, still wearing her lab coat when he enters the room.

"Oh, hello Phaezeriel. I was just reviewing my patients records, making sure that everything from this week was entered in the system correctly. Is there something I can help you with?" she asked, her tone considerably warmer now.

Phaezeriel steps inside and closes the door behind him, smiling up at Nala, ::Not really, but perhaps there is that one thing I might be able to help you with? I have let too many things distract me, and for that I apologize. But if you have time, I am ready.::

"Oh," she said, surprised. "Yes, of course. For that I can make time," she added, smiling. "I'm willing to try whatever is necessary to get those memories to fade," she added with a slight grimace.


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Phaezeriel wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Nala is in her office updating patient information in the system.

Nala's office can be accessed from either the elementary school or the infirmary since it sort of connects the two. She'll answer differently depending on which door you knock.
Phaezeriel, not wanting to disturb any small children with a flying demon, will come to her office through the infirmary. He lands softly outside her door and knocks politely.

"Come in," she calls out in a brisk tone. She is sitting at her desk, still wearing her lab coat when he enters the room.

"Oh, hello Phaezeriel. I was just reviewing my patients records, making sure that everything from this week was entered in the system correctly. Is there something I can help you with?" she asked, her tone considerably warmer now.


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Phaezeriel wrote:

I am gonna facilitate the Vai transition by bringing this scene to a close.

After several more minutes of sitting together in pleasant silence, Phaezeriel shifts slightly, causing Vai to sit up and release him. He 'speaks' as she does, ::I am sorry to abandon you to the eggs and the silence, but I must seek out one of my patients; it is time to resume her treatment. I will see you later, okay?::

He rises, gathers up the empty trays and leaves the hatchery. After dropping the trays off in the cafeteria, he brushes a wall with his hand and flies off in search of Nala.

Nala is in her office updating patient information in the system.

Nala's office can be accessed from either the elementary school or the infirmary since it sort of connects the two. She'll answer differently depending on which door you knock.


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Nala's research is both more fruitful and more disturbing. She is left contemplating how to send a message to the Winter Queen that will actually be believed. But she also fears (and hopes) that the Queen's powers are waning. The way that hers keep growing certainly seem to point that direction. Or maybe that was just another portent of what was coming. All she knows for sure is that the barriers are crumbling and it is only a matter of time before the War begins again.


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"What in the world is Ephebe up to that she needs to borrow random items from us?" Nala asked, somewhere between confused and alarmed.


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Jessa Mar'Niell wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Nala nodded. "Yes, there are special protections in place. Instead of being sent to the white room, you will be teleported to the Isolab and a message sent to me if the other one comes out. The wards will prevent her from actually hurting anyone even if she does come out. Also, there are special restrictions on you preventing you from leaving the school grounds. Any attempt to do so will get you teleported back away from the edges of the wards. So you can't leave even by accident. I expect that eventually as you gain greater control that those restrictions will be lifted. But I think they are necessary for now, for the safety of everyone involved."

"If you wish to go to the office yourself, then simply put your hand on the wall and think of your destination. The arrows will light up and you can follow them to your destination."
Jessa gives a short nod and a quick smile, a little nervous about being unescorted among other people. She is willing to accept Nala's reassurance, though. "Okay, I can do that. I hope you find the information you need. How can I let you know if anything comes up that you should know? And will the Headmaster know who I am supposed to talk to about permanently dealing with my guest?" At her last question, her eyes flash with the malevolent purple light, and she twitches, one arm jerking toward Nala. She squeezes her eyes shut and folds her arms tightly against her body, standing still like that for several moments before relaxing again and giving Nala a sheepish look.

"I'm listed as your advisor, so if any incident happens I will be notified automatically. If you need to send me a message about something you can either come and find me or use a datapad. They're programmed to be able to send communications. And yes the Headmaster will know what to do. He will probably refer you to my teacher, Miss Jones. She hasn't spent much time on medical training, but she is an enchanter of great power and she knows what to do for problems of the mind. If there's anyone here more qualified to help you, then the Headmaster will know it. I'm proud of you, Jessa. You're already making so much progress."


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Jessa Mar'Niell wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

The room slowly thawed as Nala calmed down and got some semblance of control over her runaway emotions.

When she was calm enough she stepped away from Ryuzo and smoothed her lab coat in a nervous gesture. "I apologize for neglecting you, Jessa. I need to go and do some research in the library, but first, is there anything else you would like to see or do? Your tour did get interrupted."

Jessa watches the ice and snow with no small interest, giving a start when Nala addresses her directly, "Oh! It is no problem. That seemed to be pretty important, even if I didn't understand even a tenth of it. If you can just give me directions to where I can find this Headmaster, I am sure I can find my way there without getting into too much trouble. I mean, the wards will protect everyone if she comes out, won't they?"

Nala nodded. "Yes, there are special protections in place. Instead of being sent to the white room, you will be teleported to the Isolab and a message sent to me if the other one comes out. The wards will prevent her from actually hurting anyone even if she does come out. Also, there are special restrictions on you preventing you from leaving the school grounds. Any attempt to do so will get you teleported back away from the edges of the wards. So you can't leave even by accident. I expect that eventually as you gain greater control that those restrictions will be lifted. But I think they are necessary for now, for the safety of everyone involved."

"If you wish to go to the office yourself, then simply put your hand on the wall and think of your destination. The arrows will light up and you can follow them to your destination."


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The room slowly thawed as Nala calmed down and got some semblance of control over her runaway emotions.

When she was calm enough she stepped away from Ryuzo and smoothed her lab coat in a nervous gesture. "I apologize for neglecting you, Jessa. I need to go and do some research in the library, but first, is there anything else you would like to see or do? Your tour did get interrupted."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
::Of course:: he smiles, shifting into a mole. He waddles over to her and starts to climb up, unless she sits. ::Hugs can be the best medicine sometimes...::

Nala kneels on the floor and hugs him, burying her face against his soft fur. It always amazed her just how soft it was. Softer than velvet. She tried to focus her mind, to shut out all thoughts that weren't here and now. The snow started to slow as she calmed down, eventually stopping. The classroom was still full of ice and drifts of snow, and frost covered the windows, but at least it was progress.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


::Logically, I know you're right. But it's not that easy. Not when the things she did to me are always fresh in my mind. Keeping as much distance between me and anything resembling her is what keeps me sane...ish. But no matter what I do that distance keeps getting smaller. I can't run from what I am. I know that. But I'm afraid. Afraid that if I embrace it I'll end up just like her.::

The snow swirled through the classroom, falling harder now.

He looks cross for a second...then lets out a held breath.

::I know you're afraid. Fear tries to hold you back at every step. But look how you fight it every day! It's hold is less and less. You will be free of it, eventually, and I think that day is sooner than you realize.::

::But for now...I don't think you need the cold anymore...::

::I don't suppose you have a calm emotions potion for me? Because I can't think of a lot of other ways to shut it off. Well....maybe some mole cuddles...::


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Jessa Mar'Niell wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:

Nala jumps and then smiles apologetically. The smile doesn't seem to reach her eyes and it is still snowing gently in the room.

"No, Jessa, I should be apologizing to you. I'm sorry to have dragged you into this. You have enough concerns of your own...And as you can see," she added with an embarrassed gesture at the ice and snow accumulating in the room, "control is not an easy thing, and not learned all at once, no matter how hard we try."
Jessa smiles back at Nala, "It seems we all have our demons." Her face grows thoughtful, "Can you tell me who these others are and why her words are so dangerous? It seems that if it is so dangerous, perhaps she should not be allowed to speak .. or to keep the sword."

"They are creatures that live outside of what we think of as reality. They are extremely dangerous. They hate all living things, no, all real things, and they are constantly looking for cracks, ways in to our reality. Great wars were fought in the past, wars that lasted for millennia, in order to beat them back across that border and seal it. That sword....its existence means that seal was broken. And it's bonded to the girl. But I don't know how or for what purpose. Taking it away from her could do more harm than good. For now, we need more information. it is imprudent to act without knowing all the facts. But I am very, very concerned, yes. The Others are not something to take lightly," she said, keeping her voice calm in spite of the inner turmoil her telepathic conversation had sparked.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


::I don't want them! I don't want anything that reminds me of her...anything that makes me more like her...I thought when I stopped being the Winter Princess....but it just won't go away. And now.....now I actually have need of it, which is worse.::

Gods he wanted to hold her so badly...

::I know you don't want them...let's work on them like we did with your bear side. Then you'll be in control, and you can use them or ignore them as you wish.::

::Logically, I know you're right. But it's not that easy. Not when the things she did to me are always fresh in my mind. Keeping as much distance between me and anything resembling her is what keeps me sane...ish. But no matter what I do that distance keeps getting smaller. I can't run from what I am. I know that. But I'm afraid. Afraid that if I embrace it I'll end up just like her.::

The snow swirled through the classroom, falling harder now.


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


::I did not either freeze her or take over her mind,:: she replied tartly. ::But this cold is not so easily boxed up and put away.......I apologize. I seem to have turned your classroom into a freezer.:: Her emotions are still running high. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that her lack of control of her Winter powers and her rejection of them are related.

<Chuckles> "I miss the snows back home, you've done me a favor." he says out loud.

::I have a feeling you can't reject your winter abilities and seek to control them at the same time, Nala. I know that's probably not what you wanted to hear...::

::I don't want them! I don't want anything that reminds me of her...anything that makes me more like her...I thought when I stopped being the Winter Princess....but it just won't go away. And now.....now I actually have need of it, which is worse.::


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Jessa Mar'Niell wrote:

Jessa watches the interaction between Nala and the strange, small girl with the words that hurt. Jessa had moved a little ways away from them trying to lessen the impact of the words, but it had still been uncomfortable.

After the girl, Alys?, leaves she cautiously approaches the clearly agitated Nala, "I am sorry if I am intruding, but is there anything I can do to help?"

Nala jumps and then smiles apologetically. The smile doesn't seem to reach her eyes and it is still snowing gently in the room.

"No, Jessa, I should be apologizing to you. I'm sorry to have dragged you into this. You have enough concerns of your own...And as you can see," she added with an embarrassed gesture at the ice and snow accumulating in the room, "control is not an easy thing, and not learned all at once, no matter how hard we try."


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Ryuzo Kato wrote:
Nala Zamarosok wrote:


::I wanted to freeze her. Surround her in a solid block of ice. Seal her away so she can't let any of them through because she will not understand....I may not be the Winter Princess anymore, but there is still more of Winter left in me than I wanted to see....:: she said, her mental voice near hysterical. Meanwhile the room had become so cold that tiny snowflakes drifted through the air.

::We are who we are, Nala. We can't choose what came before us, but we can choose how we act. Winter can not govern you anymore, but it is indeed part of who you are. You've learned to control the bear side of you, this will be no different.

The child is foolish, I agree, and your reaction understandable. But lashing out is not who you are anymore. Let it go.::

::I did not either freeze her or take over her mind,:: she replied tartly. ::But this cold is not so easily boxed up and put away.......I apologize. I seem to have turned your classroom into a freezer.:: Her emotions are still running high. And it doesn't take a genius to figure out that her lack of control of her Winter powers and her rejection of them are related.

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