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 Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3

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Shana_K

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PostSubject: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:38 pm

Hello Ankhies!

Can you believe it's been almost a full year since the last Fiction Contest? A lot has happened in the past year with the release of Heart of Thorns, and now that everyone has had a chance to explore the new content, I began wondering what sorts of adventures our crazy guild has been on.

This contest will run from now until the first weekend of March. The prize is currently 25 Gold and a rainbow assortment of 5 rare dyes.

To participate, pick a character of yours and tell us a story involving them and any content from HoT. It can involve the new maps, monsters, Elite specs, gliders, masteries, your Legendary journey, or anything else you can think of; if it includes any HoT content and is about your character, it's eligible! As always, please keep all stories PG-13. Cool

Want some tips on how to gain an edge? Here are some tips that might help spark ideas. Remember that these are not rules or requirement; if you think of something I haven't covered, add it to your story! All entries will be thoroughly considered. cheers

1 - Check out the previous two Toon Fiction Contests, also found in the Guild Events forum. There are many great stories from our Ankhies, and it's well worth the read!
2 - Explore the world, and explore your character. Guild Wars 2 features a rich and detailed environment full of opportunities to craft a tale. A little detail can go a long way in placing the reader into your tale!
3 - Take your time. The contest runs a full month to give you time to craft a story, as short or as long as you wish. Also, while entries are not judged on grammar, pressing Spellcheck a time or two couldn't hurt.
4 - Valentines Day! A thematic approach is always fun, and I might give a little extra consideration to those who can work some sort of relationship into their story, whether it's a blip from Kasmeer and Marjory's romance or an expose on Brad's fantasies of bacon. Hey, love is love, we don't judge. I love you

Entrants will have until the first Friday of March, when I will begin reading the entries; you are free to make edits up until this time. The winner will be announced the first Sunday of March, shortly following the weekly lottery.

Best of luck to all of our entrants! I cannot wait to read your stories!
--Shana--
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Myron

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Thu Feb 11, 2016 3:50 pm

Oh yes... I must write! A story! Darned PG-13 rule... but I shall do this!
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MLT

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Sat Feb 20, 2016 2:52 pm

I awoke with a start, sitting upright in bed. Drenched in a cold sweat, I was trying to shake my dream from my memory. But it clung to me like jungle tendrils: reaching, pulling, and lashing out. A child’s cry from outside made me shiver. That dream…. I was in a house with children—my own I am guessing. At least I seemed to think they were mine. I was preparing food and setting a table. I shook my head again. That was no dream; that was a nightmare. As I slowly came to reality I realized that the crying must be from the orphanage across the way. I had come to Divinity’s Reach for some rest and relaxation. The dream was just that: no reality to it at all, thank the six.

       Still, an eeriness clung to me. I decided to walk the streets to clear my head. I stepped out into the cold of the dead of night. It felt good to me as I was still hot and flushed from the disturbing dream. The moon cast ominous shadows around me as I walked the street.  Lost in thought, I soon found myself in the “red light” district of the city. There was a time when this would have alarmed me to my very core. I would have never been seen anywhere near this area, especially at this time of day. But ever since running with the nudists I had become more relaxed.

       I noticed a woman on the corner ahead—“Betty,” as she was called. Although we ran in the same circles, I had never actually met her. But tales of her were legendary.

      “Psst!! Leigh!!” I heard her rasp at me as I walked by. I stopped, surprised she knew my name. I put my hand up and said, “Don't worry—I'm not here to steal your customers,” as I continued on my way.

     “No! We need you.” I was intrigued so I stopped and casually turned around. I looked her up and down and tilted my head. Something about her didn't seem quite right. Was she not as feminine as she liked to proclaim herself to be? Was this why John Chance always had it out for her? Did he get more than he bargained for one night? But there was something in her eyes that drew me in: a kindness, something I could trust, something that told me that there was more to her than what met the eye.

       “I can't possibly imagine what you would need me for,” I replied, skeptically.
“You've heard of the scribe, Will, of the Temple in Gilded Hollow, have you not?”
“The naked scribe?” I queried.
“Yes. He needs flax to do his work and we need brave persons to go gather for him.”
I laughed. “That's the Magus Falls region—I don't venture over there.”
“You would not go alone. We are sending a group of fierce fighters and we want you to accompany them.”

       I sighed heavily. I always worked alone. I had no interest in being part of any group of “fierce fighters” or a group of anyone, for that matter. I had worked with a partner once—for two years. Her name was Raisa, the beautiful fair faced angel. For a fleeting two years I thought I could believe in love—in another human being. What we had shared was undeniably amazing. But that was gone. She had left me, and with that my heart closed its doors to any other possibility of needing another person or depending on another person. The scar she left was deep.

      As if reading my thoughts, Betty continued, “I know you usually work alone, but you've been sad lately. You need to get out and push yourself! Test your limits!! You weren't made to sulk around Divinity’s Reach; you were made to GET OUT THERE AND DO GOOD!!”

       “How do you know what I've been doing the last year?” It was a bit unnerving.
“I have spies everywhere.”
That didn't help. She spoke the truth though; I was restless.

THREE DAYS LATER:

I shook my head to clear it of the buzz that always came with waypointing. As I stepped out into Verdant Brink I started choking on the smoke. Embers were dancing in the air like lightning bugs and ashes were already settling on my dress. The burning stench was so strong that I had to fight the urge to gag. I immediately regretted dressing so formally. It was a curse, always dressing up. Oh well. At least I would look good while falling to my certain death.

      Stepping forward, I sized up the group I had been assigned to: two women and two men. Plum of the Puddles appeared to be the natural leader. She stood there looking very chic in her sunglasses—posed as if ready to take on all of Tyria single-handedly. Romania gave the impression of being slightly shy, yet not afraid to get in there and do the dirty work. Atlas Blackthorn and Auron Ishimaru were both handsome men, that with any luck would lose all their armor in the heat of battle.


     The glider was new and felt bulky and slightly uncomfortable on my back. I shrugged a bit to resettle it. “You'll get used to it in no time,” Atlas assured me.

     “Are we ready?” Plum asked as we all walked towards the edge of the cliff. I nervously peered over the side and got dizzy.

     “No,” Romania said as she laughed and then sprinted towards and jumped over the edge of the cliff, effortlessly gliding through the sky. It was a glorious sight. I took a deep breath and followed the others. My first attempt wasn't so glorious. I started falling, panicked, as I started screaming curses and saw branches fly past my face and vines the size of tree trunks quickly coming up to meet me. My party members were screaming instructions to me, but before I knew it I had faceplanted into the jungle floor in a rather unattractive sprawled-out manner. Blushing from embarrassment, pride hurt and the wind knocked out of me, I hollered for them to go ahead: that I would waypoint and catch up. They wouldn't hear of such a thing, though, and before I knew it Romania was by my side, healing me.

     “It’s going to take me a while to get this gliding figured out,” I said, apologetically.

     “Don't worry,” Atlas said, “it takes time. It took all of us some time to adjust.” Somehow I felt that they would probably soon regret the amount of time it would take me to get this worked out.

      But before long we were moving as a cohesive group—like we had been doing things together for years. I struggled to get the gliding down. But slowly, with their guidance and lots of practice, I got to the point of hardly ever crash-landing. We quickly worked through the entire area every day, gathering for Will and taking turns combating enemies to protect each other. Jokes were shared, tears were shed and regions were devastated in our wake.

     One day we received word that Will had all he needed and that our services were not required for the time being.

     “Oh good,” I said. “I've been needing to take some time off—maybe a mini-vacation in The Grove.”

      “Yes,” Romania nodded slowly. “I've been neglecting other things for some time now. I should focus on those now.” Everyone quietly muttered their agreement under their breath.
      “Unless…” Auron trailed off.
      “Well, we could still come here...I mean, if you didn’t have anything else too pressing...you know, now and then...” Atlas interjected.
      “Nothing that can't wait a few more days,” Romania stated.
      “I have been wanting to explore Tarir,“ I added.
       “Let me grab a cuppa,” Plum said cheerfully as she bounced away.

      I smiled and realized that maybe the heart can know love again. We all stood at the edge of the Verdant Brink, looking into Auric Basin: five friends, holding hands and looking ahead to a bright new adventure. I took a deep breath as we all jumped and started gliding, and this time it was glorious. My heart swelled with gratitude and I turned to look behind me and noticed hearts trailing from my glider. Yes, indeed, the heart could know love again.
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Myron

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Sat Feb 20, 2016 6:39 pm

Chance sat quietly on the ledge and watched the Chak scurry below. Were they as mindless as many people thought or did they have some sort of hive mentality? Chance wasn't sure and didn't care; he was mindless himself in only wanting to kill as many Chak as possible.

He'd been out here for months now, patrolling and healing. He still felt a twinge of pain between his shoulder blades when he drew his bow fully back. The pain was an old friend now, constantly reminding him of why he was here.

Two Shining Blades had found him a few months ago in an alleyway of Divinity's Reach. Someone had plunged a dagger deep into his back and left him in a pool of his own blood. The Priestess of Dwayna told him that he was lucky to be alive, that the dagger had just missed his heart. But Chance knew better. The knife had been left in his back so he wouldn't bleed to death. The stroke had been neat and swift without any twisting. The person, or people, didn't want him dead, just out of the way.

It worked. Chance left DR and made his way to Tangled Depths. Here he would heal, get his edge back, and do some good by killing as many Chak as possible.

Chance quietly reached in his pack and pulled out a small leather bundle. He unwrapped it and looked at the dagger. The healer had given it to him after she pulled it out of his back. He studied the dagger for a few minutes then carefully wrapped it back inside the leather.

Placing the bundle back in his pack, Chance glanced down at the Chak again. Then quietly he turned and faded into the shadows.

A day of reckoning would be coming...
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Juju



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Join date : 2012-10-07
Age : 26

PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Thu Feb 25, 2016 12:17 am

It was the crack of dawn... not a single creature was stirring except for a particularly greedy Skritt that liked to spend its time running through the desert just north of the maguuma jungle. It's thirst for "shinies" could not be satiated. Juju is definitely asleep at this point so our story doesn't even start yet. Give him a few more hours and he might start waking up. My apologies...

**AHEM**
Now that Juju has finally woken up from his deep slumber...


Juju was making his daily rounds as usual, coffee in hand. He had a knack for knowing that harvesting certain ore/lumber/plants in specific regions on specific days would result in a chest containing extra goodies magically appearing in his (seemingly never-ending) backpack. This contradicted all of his knowledge of science and physics, but he did not question it because #potatoes.

On this specific day, Juju felt a calling to journey to the Maguuma Wastes to harvest some flax seeds and other materials knowing these items would be beneficial to the Guild as a whole. Juju has yet to explore this region in depth, so he proceeded with caution. Upon waypointing to Auric Basin (and after getting over the nausea that always ensues after waypointing first thing in the morning... or well... it's technically the afternoon but he like JUST woke up so don't give him crap for it, ok??) he found himself in a vaguely familiar place. Huge glowing pillars of gold surrounded him. "Ah yes, this is Tarir. I thought I clicked on Shipwreck Waypoint, but alas I am in Tarir." As he got his bearings he began to peruse the immediate area for ore/lumber/plants. He did not find anything near the golden palace of Tarir, but he did notice something a little odd off in the distance. He squinted his eyes and was able to make out the tiny figure of Kasmeer Meade in the distance. Juju was perplexed. He could have sworn that Kasmeer had told him that she and Marjory were going on a couples getaway to Southsun Cove (The cute part with the nice beach, duh. Or... knowing the two of them maybe a "couples getaway" means "Karka Farming"..) there was no way she would have returned by now. Upon further inspection, Juju realized that what he saw was not Kasmeer far off in the distance. Rather, it was a tiny Kasmeer standing immediately in front of him. She did not speak, and she followed him erratically with his every move. Juju was unsettled and wondered if Strix might have thrown a bit too much Harpy Phermones on him at the last guild event...


Regardless, Juju ventured forth. He came across a giant turtle-like creature with projectile horns on its back.


Juju immediately took out his Home Portal Stone and activated it.


That thing looked gross. Like, it's gross and terrifying.

So Juju decided to hang out in his home neighborhood for some time. He visited the orphanage, and then he went to hit on some patients in the hospital with his current wife/former divorcée Lala.

They found themselves hanging out on a roof together when Juju decided to glide to another roof not too far away. Juju forgot his glider doesn't work in his neighborhood for some inexplicable reason.

Juju plummeted to his death as Lala laughed. She would have resurrected him, but she got a sick prenup out of their marriage.

And Lala lived happily ever after.

THE END
<3
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Myron

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Thu Feb 25, 2016 8:06 am

Myron sipped his rum as his character John T Chance stood on the edge of the cliff and looked out at the awesome graphics of Heart of Thorns. In spite of the bugs, it was fun to play and the gliding was fantastic! Especially now that he had maxed out gliding and didn't have to worry about that pesky running out of energy thing.

A whisper popped up in his message window.

Romania: Hey! What are you doing?
John T Chance: Nothing yet, I just logged on a few minutes ago. Want to join me?
Romania: Sure, brt.


Romania materialized at the waypoint and ran up to stand beside Chance.

John T Chance: wow, the graphics are beautiful!
Romania: yes they are.


Then it happened. Romania pushed Chance off the cliff.

Myron laughed. "Silly Lisa, that won't work here" as he reached down and tapped the space bar to deploy his glider.

Nothing happened.

"What the hex?!" Myron tapped the space bar again... and again... and again...

SPLAT!

Myron looked at the screen as John T Chance's body lay broken on the rocks.

Romania: What happened?
John T Chance: I don't know! My stupid glider wouldn't deploy!
Romania: I'm sorry sweetie. Oh, did I forget to tell you I logged in to your account and changed your glider deploy key?


Myron sighed and went to refill his glass with more rum...
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Myron

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Fri Mar 04, 2016 4:10 pm

Shana, please judge the second story...
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GeneralRath

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PostSubject: Re: Toon Fiction Contest, Round 3   Fri Mar 04, 2016 5:06 pm

WARNING THIS CONTAINS SPOILERS FOR THE STORY
I awoke from what seemed a monthlong haze; Caladbog a literal husk of its former glory still dripping with the… sap? Or blood?  
I’m not that familiar with Sylvari physiology.  Or much of any physiology… Never interested me.
Shaking my head to clear the butterflies I gaze upon what had become of Trahearne.  He was certainly dead.  After the ley-line’s explosive return to power, there wasn’t much left of him.  Some shrubbery remained in what might have been his torso, but even as I watched, the stems and leaves withered and died, depleting into ash faster than a lab assistant at Thaumanova.  Nothing remained save the piece of a once legendary sword I now held.  I had seen it cleanse Orr and now it had struck down what was left of Mordremoth.  Somehow, I felt its power was mostly depleted, its purpose fulfilled.
It was an odd thought.  Two dragons dead.  A brief reprieve earned.  Yet my mind dwelled on the fight I had endured.
I’ve trained my mind since day one.  First a scientist, second a Mesmer, a true master of mental manipulation.  Yet still, the sheer power of a dragon for a mere few moments nearly broke me…
I could feel my consciousness coming back online fully, as if its power configurator had to be replaced…
I suppose it was a good thing it was me that went in there.  Anyone else would have been beaten to a brainy pulp.
I turned now to my friends, my mind once again ablaze with ideas.  Speaking to each in turn, I dismissed them.  With them gone I thought out loud.
”I wonder if that’s what Snaff felt like, diving into a dragon.  And he was alone.  Must have been one amazing battle.”
Regardless, now I had an entire jungle to explore.  Foliage free of the dragon was pulsating with new life.  Something twinged behind me; a Chak stinger whizzed though the air.  I flipped Caladbog up in front of my face automatically, though it had been some time since I had trained with dual blades.  The stinger snapped to the left, recoiled, and stabbed straight into the space where I was a moment ago, my clone bursting into vortex and butterflies.
I still don’t know why we Mesmers use butterflies.  Still, they always seem surprised when it happens
The stinger, expecting to find flesh, instead impaled itself into the ground.  Projecting myself into its mind, another clone lunged forward.  To the Chak, there would be two of them, leaping, while I stood and prepared a driving strike.  At the last possible second, the clone and I swapped places, and I drove my rapier between its chitonous plates, an illusion struck it at the base of its head.
Such a weak minded creature.  It thinks its paralyzed
Bringing both blades to bear I crushed its head, ley energy sparked along its armor, then returned to the mists.  The visions I had summoned likewise vanished.
I really should use blades more often.  Maybe I’ll take this downtime to train some
Walking up the spiraled path, I casually flipped across the gap, the danger of a fall nearly zero compared to what I’d just fought.  A new waypoint hummed with more energy than they had for some time.  Even Taimi’s fix hadn’t kept the dragon out; with the ley nexus returning to power, they were getting a boost.  Walking into the blue beam the familiar buzz of energy met the unwelcome sensation of falling, but only for a second.  I had landed precisely where I had intended: within Rata Novus.
I see the infestation is still a problem. No worries, I’ll just see how well these swords actually work
I meandered around Novus for a few hours, not entirely looking for anything specific, but rather seeing what caught my eye.  I casually dispatched some chak along the way, taking mental notes on my technique, and a few physical notes when I became a bit too cocky.  My savant armor, earned via my Snaff prize, was hardly in pristine condition, and it certainly had a few more marks and burns after my amblings.
Still, I would pause on occasion to take in the glory of my former civilization.  Sure, we had built bigger and better things, certainly, but this city was a marvel.  Vaulted ceilings with engineered skylights, all tunneled deep within the earth, but with a strong enough structure to last this long and no signs of it failing soon… This place somehow felt more open than Rata Sum standing high above the bay.  It felt right. Not like the disgraceful tunnels of the chak or dredge, these were meticulously measured and carefully calculated to be precisely what we would have needed.  Each one efficient to not disturb the earth into a quake or slide.  Mineral resources mapped out and mined.  All evidence of pure Asuran genius.  
Suddenly my train of thought was broken by a high pitched squeal.
Commander!  I was wondering when I’d see you!  My magical reading suddenly spiked, then stabilized!  You did it!  YAY!
It was at this point I noted a bright teal bolt of energy dispatched in my general direction.  Displacing myself well out of the blast radius I shouted:
TAIMI! Turrets!
Scuttling quickly to a control panel, she flicked a few switches.
Sorry, I found these old defense turrets and had to use them to keep the chak away.  With what happened to Scruffy….
She trailed off for a few seconds before perking back up.  I also saw a pile of what used to be a golem near her workstation
I did manage to get some of his weapons and targeting systems back online though, and he’s currently powering a lot of the defenses.  AI is gone though.  Still, I will rebuild!
Honestly, it was good to see her doing well.  The loss of a great project probably hurt as much as the loss of her friend.  If a golem can be called such.  
After this is over, I really should get her on my krewe.  We’d win every snaff prize for a decade
I sent a clone charging forward, and the turrets were, indeed, recalibrated to leave me alone, I approached her makeshift lab.  Blue panels and greenish displays with red markers lit up our faces as we poured over the relics of our lost brethren.  When we first came through, it was with a great effort I had pulled myself from this place.  Now I had all the time in the world.  Or at least until another blasted dragon showed up.
So… There is something here I wanted to show you.  Most of these golems were powered by ley energy, but a few…
I raised an eyebrow and looked at her with a bit of anticipation.  I also put my hand on my sword.
With little warning, she moved a few controls around and another cannon fired at one of the OX golems we’d seen.  Golemancy was much more her thing than mine, though we both studied the Eternal Alchemy.
The golem’s core burst into flame as a jinn flew from it as a phoenix from ashes, though it lasted for only a few seconds before it collapsed on itself and burnt out.
I’ve read about these… Zinn was banished for these experiments.  And no one had the decency to take notes on how they worked!  And yet, they are stable this long after deactivation? How?
The question was more rhetorical than necessary, I’d figured some kind of stabilizing matrix was used, and once broken, the jinn was free, but unstable.  I’d read something about the Iron Forgeman, mk1, being powered the same way from Kudu’s notes after we’d dealt with him.  Though this was certainly more elegant, given its inherent stability.
The plans for these golems aren’t here, I know that’s what you’re thinking.  It was the first thing I thought.  They’ve been moved.  Somewhere deeper in the jungle; an old lab where they went for their last stand.  Ley energy there was much weaker, so they thought they’d be safe from the chak.  I, obviously can’t get there, but you can!
She showed me some maps and I packed some supplies.  I’d be able to hit one of the pact camps on the way out and get my armor stitched up.  Could go after such a discovery all tattered.  Wouldn’t be proper.
I thanked her, and returned to the waypoint.  Hum, buzz, splat, I was at the camp in the canopy, near the forgotten city.  A few medics glared at me; they always did.  A war was not a thing to be fought for amusement, as some seemed to think I did.
Approaching the supply officer something suddenly seemed amiss… And I quickly discerned what it was.  Lord Faren (thank the Alchemy he finally found some blasted pants) was starting his own “expedition” into the jungle for mapping or scouting or something unimportant we would have to do again regardless.  Nonetheless, I didn’t vanish quickly enough for him to not strike up a conversation.
Painfully, I listened to some rambling speech about how good he was getting with a blade.  He happened to notice mine and started giving me, ME, advice on how to use it.  I muttered quietly under my breath
Bookah
He may have heard it and not cared, or perhaps he heard nothing at all.  The point is, he was now talking to a clone whilst I gathered what supplies I couldn’t get in Rata Novus.  Namely rations.  
Deploying my glider, I sailed on currents through the canopy, glancing at the map Taimi gave me, green leaves looking as though they were enjoying a new lease on life.  Everything seemed brighter, more green, and deeper than before.  
I touched down near a waterfall with a cave behind.  It would be hidden to anyone without a map and a keen eye.  I glided neatly into the cave, performing a roll through the waterfall.
Pulling out my torch, a gift from Divinity’s Reach some time ago, its eternal flame sparked to life in a near-daylight blaze.  A book lay on the ground in front of me titled “Golem User Manual” and I paged through it.
This is it! This explains how he made his golems, and how to control them! We can power on those in Novus; they were years ahead of where we are now!
Little did I know, the true gem was yet to come.
However, standing and reading in an unexplored cave is poorly advised.  Something made contact with me, and pulled me into the inky blackness…
Inside, it was lit similarly to Novus, though the place was obviously a makeshift lab, not a well thought out city.  It had clearly been a cave first, though evidence of golem-hewn rocks was apparent. Also apparent was the scorch marks and damaged golems strewn about.  Whomever had been here certainly hadn’t fared much better than the city.  More importantly, a massive stonehead had a nest of sorts here, and that was how I had been so rudely thrown into the cave.  The beast charged again, but I had my staff in hand.  It merely smashed through a lot of pink and purple butterflies.
An adolescent stonehead appeared to be all that had not left the nest, and it took its turn while the other was a bit stunned by its impact with the wall.  Nimbly drawing my blades, I blocked its assault with Caladbog, only to have it crack further at the hilt.  The block gave me the split-second to sidestep, and I pierced the saurian just behind its headplate, prying it off, killing the beast in the process.
Thinking quickly, I grabbed for the plate as its parent charged again.  Pulling on my mind, I enveloped myself in a chaos shield while holding the plate like an actual shield, hoping it would hold.  The magic worked better than expected, and I managed to pull together a phantasm using a process similar to a defender, but with some aspects of a warden.
I could get used to this shield thing
I, in my brilliance, placed this phantasm in front of the entrance.  The beast, in its stupidity, charged through the opening, the waterfall, and off the cliff.  
A quick survey of the room told me the golemancy was far beyond my understanding.  Zojja could work this out, but it would take me far too long.  I noticed one machine near the back that wasn’t dedicated to defense.  It had synergetic markings, and as I examined it, I realized it tapped into the mists itself, not unlike what Dessa had done.  This was different though, no teleporter; it certainly didn’t manipulate the mists…
Finally something I can play with.
Hotwiring a nearby golem from some diagrams in the manual and what Taimi had shown me about jinn-golems, I managed to get the machine to hum to life.  Flipping through the control panels, I discovered it was also part stasis field.
Were they trying to harness mist energy? Or condense them like Dessa?
I noticed it was focused on a specific point in mist-time, and thought it would be as good as any to test.  No risk, no reward.  To my utter befuddlement, energy condensed into matter, and that matter into an Asura.
You blasted bookah, took you long enough.  How many of those plant dogs could there possibly have…
Shock glazed over her wide eyes, not a common Asuran expression.  Shock in the realization that the lab was dead, but also that it had been dead for some time.
By her dress, I could tell she was old.  Not aged, but rather, she belonged to Asura from before we were driven out of the depths.  She reminded me of the Oola projections I’d seen.  Though, she was far cuter than Oola.
I am A’den, of Rata Sum, and this device is fantastic.  You must show me how it works.
Starting to life, she glared quizzically at me.
What, never seen a temporal shifter before?  It’s kind of like a stasis field, but it should move you a few moments in time.  Now, where, or more pointedly, WHEN am I
Asura have always appreciated a straightforward communication, so I started with the obligatory 1328, and state a quick recap of the rise of the elder dragons, and the current mess we’ve recently put right.
She accepted her new surroundings with a rather flat demeanor, not that there was much else to do.  She was supposed to have flipped back a few moments in time to warn the lab of an imminent attack, but something had malfunctioned, causing the machine to send her into a long-term magical stasis.  
Quickly we fell to work, updating the Chronomancer (what she called it) with new technology, ripping power cores from golems, and managed, after several days labor to get it back to proper function.  I wanted to take a trip into the mists, to see time itself unravel.  Her stories of events past and probable were astounding; any of the orders would have wanted to hear all she knew, yet I was the one lucky enough to work with her.  
I stood in the center of the ley/jinn-powered stasis generators, not the least bit concerned (maybe a little, but not like I’d admit it) of what was to happen.  A few switches flipped, and I felt a jolt.
The few seconds I traveled forward felt like a year.  I bent my magic in ways I’d never thought possible, opened my mind to magical theories that shouldn’t be possible, and saw events I’d never recall.  An eternity wouldn’t be enough time to spend in there… Then as fast as it had started, it was over.
Yet, something had changed.  In front of me, a shield solidified from the mists, some sort of odd souvenir.  It shimmered with a purple light, and as I touched it, pieces of my trip became clear.  Whatever was in there, it had taught me to manipulate time, to stretch seconds back and forth to my advantage.  Yet another way I could manipulate my foes.  
After that trip, events seemed to accelerate.  We moved the machine to my lab at Rata Sum, the girl agreed to join my Krewe (which I was quite happy about; it’s not often one finds such an incredible mind).  I still hadn’t thought to ask her name, we’d mostly worked in silence, trading notes more than words.  Still, I sensed something interesting would come of her.
I visited Zojja, and brought her to the cave so she could study the golems.  Taimi kept at her research as well, but I focused on this new magic.  Others had solved bits and pieces of it as well, several of the humans had some interesting takes on it.  They were powerful Mesmers after all, even if I had perfected their crude art.  Still, I had much to study, much to discover, and someone had sent me a letter stating they had found some Spirit Vale after some of the corruption retreated, and they were concerned bits of dragon energy remained there.
Well, on to the next adventure!
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