Roses are red, violets are blue - Bastian and Portia

The clearing you have entered ebbs and flows with a magical presence so
powerful it seems to seep into your very bones. The grass here is in constant
motion and the trees keep a silent watch over the surrounding area. On the
ground in the center of the clearing there appears to be a small rounded stone
that emanates a throbbing light. Etched into its surface are words written in
an ancient scrawl that lighten and darken with the pulse of the stone itself.
At the western edge of the clearing you see a strangely crafted shrine housing
a statue of Jade. Dried blood stains the statue's plinth, and offerings litter
the ground. To the north can be seen a small stone building with an entrance
carved into the rock.

After their last meeting, Portia decided to consult her mother about her growing problem by the name of Bastian. While her mother wasn't keen on her daughter dabbling in the dark arts, she was not about to feed her to the wolves either and hints on a place where.

Portia would be surrounded by her kin. Nephandi's, witches and warlocks practicing the dark art of magic. Portia needed to lay low for a while anyways and leaving Reomyr seemed to be the best idea. Lana was at her resting place and it only took a few astral points to find her destination.

The night was dark and foreboding. Heavyset clouds lined the horizon, shutting down any chance of the moonlight to cut through. Portia found herself in an empty clearing but she felt the presence of dark magic all around her and her eyes suddenly brighten as she feeds on the pulsing energy. The fae girl moves towards the statue of Jade and bows her head in respect.

A familiar arrow, a black velvet ribbon trailing behind it, passes swiftly
across Portia's path, inches from the tip of her nose. The arrow embeds
itself into the statue, continuing to sink deeply into it's chest until
it can no longer be seen. Bastian emerges from the edge of the clearing, his
eyes solid black. 'The time has come, little one.' He reaches into his
pocket, pulling forth what looks to be a glass flower, it's petals the shade of evening, emanating an unearthly glow. 'I cannot say I have not enjoyed this. You've fought more than most.' His voice is cold and devoid of emotion. With grim determination, he points towards Portia, bringing up his hand to snap his fingers the flower pulsating
with desire..

Portia just finished the last syllable in her worship for Jade as something cuts through the air and inches away from her button nose. "What the…" she manages to say before her eyes grow large when she realizes just what entered the statue of Jade. Turning quickly, she finds herself, yet again, in front of Bastian. Yes, this place had replenished her strength somewhat but not quickly enough to bring her back to her old self. Mentally calling out to Lana, Portia's pearl wings part and an obsidian fog emerges from behind her back. Spinning quickly, the fog materializes into a dragon like creature…hissing spitefully and unfolding its own wings. "Who do you call "little one"? I told you to leave me be!" Portia screams at Bastian. Lana protectively moves in front of her master and snaps at Bastian, her black scales strangely glowing in the dark night.

SNAP! Despite his small hands, the pixie manages to fill the clearing with an audible crack. Just as Lana folds her wings around Portia, the flower begins to draw her magical essence inwards, a smoky trail of her essence slipping across the clearing.

Upon reaching the flower, Bastian grins as the glass trinket
pulses faster. Suddenly, however, he drops it, and flutters back, clutching at his arm, which is now running red with rivulets of crimson. He pulls at his sleeve, ripping it off in a fury to reveal the intricate inking patterns on his forearm, now bubbling, taking life
of their own and swirling together to form a marking of pitch black. As
Bastian draws a sword, struggling to keep his arm from bleeding further, the spilled blood begins to coalesce amidst the chaos, gathering and taking form as a shadowy mare, an onyx horn erupting from it's forehead, challenging the heavens in its aim. As Lana ceases her cries of anguish, and the black rose dulls, the beast takes its place before Bastian,
now resting on the ground, his brow wet with a cold sweat.

Lana's amber eyes are fixated on the pulsating flower trying to somehow evade the approaching danger but even for her it was no match. The dragon is hit first by the greedy tendrils and she cries in agony as part of her life force is pulled out of her. At the same time another cry can be heard behind the shadow animal, a cry as light as bells but equally pain stricken. Lana's wings furl and unfurl and finally drop to make sight of her owner who is on the ground in a fetal position, wrapping her arms around her hurting body. While she feels close to numb, Portia’s mind is still keen and her eyes register what is happening before her. The dragon moves her own body in front of her master, still trying protect her…now from yet another enemy. The fae girl quickly figured out what happened and finally speaks, her voice barely above a whisper. "So this is what you wanted all along, my powers?" her voice sounds raspy and somewhat disbelieving.

Sprawled on his back, his arm no longer bleeding, yet seething with pain
nonetheless, Bastian stares to the sky. The clouds make way for the wan moon,
a few beams of moonlight piercing the darkness of the clearing. He sits up,
still grasping his blade tightly. He lifts into the air, quickly retrieving his
flower and placing it back in his pocket. He surveys the animal quickly. It
bows its head solemnly, but ceases to move any further. The baffled fae looks to his arm and back to the animal. Clenching his fist, he turns to address
the injured Portia. 'You fool yourself if you believe I was after a pet. Your
luck astounds me still, however. That beast, made of shadow and some selfish
need for love, has kept you safe.' One cannot blame her for cherishing
her own life, yet how can they expect him not to cherish his own? He coughs, a
trickle of blood trailing down his chin. He speaks to her again, though his words ring with a life formerly absent in his speech. 'I will not say that I do not respect you. Your power is great.' Sadness? Was this sadness, or some sort of muddled emotion brought on by the throbbing pain in his arm? 'There is little I can do, you see. My plight will not right itself, and I will not give up until I may render the course of my own destiny. That is where you come in.

"I am well aware that you were in no need of a pet, although her or she," Portia nods in the unicorn's direction "might be the only friend you'll ever have. I know that you were trying to take MY magic and MY powers but Lana wouldn't let you!" Portia now hisses. "I couldn't care less if you respect me or not and I will not have anything to do with YOUR destiny. It is up to yourself to find your path and not take the lame attempt in meddling with someone else's power." Slowly, strength returns to both Lana and Portia as the fae girl sits up gingerly and gets to her feet. With a gentle pet, she mentally tells Lana to retreat and the dragon's form turns back in to fog and disappears behind Portia. On second thought, the girl asks "What will you do for me, if I might lend you a helping hand? Not that it will diminish the fact that you can't do it by yourself." Portia says almost with a pout and her eyes shift to the unicorn, very curious about this other shadow animal.

His eyes glisten an ice blue as he fastens his grip. 'I do not need your 'help.''
The blackened beast of myth hooves at the ground, anxious. With a wave of his
arm, the beast reverts to smoke, evanescing into the evening air. 'I merely
needed to keep you distracted.' A smile spreads across his face, a smile not
of joy, but rather, malicious delight. Snap. The statue of Jade, now
bound in black ribbon, begins to move of its own accord, reaching
to grab Portia.

With most of her strength regained, Portia senses the impending danger and moves lightening fast…bringing her right next to Bastian. "Well, if you don't need my help…please excuse me while I leave you to your own. Farewell, Bastian." Yes, she knew his name for a while now but didn't bring it up. No need to be a show off like him! The fading words of an arcane spell whisper through the clearing as Portia astrals to a place of hiding. She needed rest, yet again. When and how would this madness end? He still was a mystery to her and as much as she didn’t want to admit to it, he peaked her interest.

The statue pauses, it's closed fist held before it, a long strand of crimson
hair caught within it's stoney grip. Ahh well. 'This should prove even
more interesting than I'd imagined.' The statue again takes it's place, the
ribbons dissipating. The clearing returns to its former stillness, the
clouds moving once again to block out the moon, the darkness
enveloping the glade, and ultimately taking it for its own.

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