Location: Salem, Massachusetts
Team: Solo Hero
Strength: weak (rank 0)
Agility: standard (rank 1)
Mind: superior (rank 2)
Body: standard (rank 1)
Spirit: (rank )
Charisma: (rank )
Fame Points: 0
Personal Wins: 1
Personal Losses: 4
Team Wins: 0
Team Losses: 0
Tourney Wins: 0
Tourney Losses: 0
“Damn,” I mutter aloud, though no one could possibly hear me. It was too dark, and there wasn’t anybody out here on the path I think of they would have called back, right? I don’t really know this area that well, so I could be wrong. Maybe animals could hear me, though. What animals were even here? I’m not sure, and really I don’t care. I pull my jacket a little harder, trying to free it from the bushes and branches that had some way or another caught on to it. With one more pull, I rip the jacket from the brush, shredding the edge of the fabric.
“Damn!” I exclaim. I liked this jacket. It wasn’t what I’d exactly call stylish or useful, but it was something I could call my own.
I'll buy a new one, I tell myself. I have money. I'll just buy a new one. Who cares what I look like, anyway? It's not that important. I should just carry on, you know? Keep moving forward. *That* is what's important. After all, if I can make it this far without much incident...
By this point, it had been what, a few days? A week? The sun could only set so many times before I lost track. Maybe it wasn’t even that long. After all, it’s still so clear in my mind that I remember if as though it were yesterday.
Heroes. There was something fascinating about how they overcame all obstacles – sometimes even death – to triumph over the villain. to save the princess, to slay the dragon and save the world. How often had I fallen asleep to those wondrous stories, dreaming such fantasies would one day happen to me? Such things were frowned upon at home. I was to finish school, to not dwell on such silly ideas. I would be out on my own soon after all! But my imagination seemed determined to take me away no matter what the cost.
I didn’t dare share my visions with friends or family. History has tried to hide it, to deny it, and I couldn’t even begin to explain how long it’s been going on, but ours is a town of secrets. A town of magic. And guess what? Mages can’t be heroes. We are bringers of destruction, wielders of the arcane. Even if we were raised to be healers, to help others, who in today’s world would ever need us? Science has all but made magic obsolete. We are taught simply to learn, we teach just so others know. The legacy is what matters most.
I pull myself back out of my mind and look up at the moon, its crescent shape an eerie orange this eve. Midnight. Might as well rest a bit before I keep going. Let my mind wander some more without fear of accident.
As I remove my backpack, I trip and fall to my knees with a loud thud. I can’t help but laugh at my own clumsiness, and as I sit myself up I examine the newly-ripped hole in my jeans. Of course this would happen! Damn.
I sigh and lay myself back on the nearest tree. Just my luck. Even this far away from home, I’m still the klutz. Even though my dreams have always been of heroes, my actions were more along the lines of the fool. I’ve never gone a day without tripping over myself, knocking something over, or even just getting in the way in general. How I made them laugh. I could have been the star of my own TV show.
I hated myself. In some ways, I still do. Why do I journey onward? I’m a failure, after all. How on earth did I make it this far? I must be kidding myself.
Yeah, I’m no longer running off of the high I got when I left. Everyone knows that there are bigger things out there in the world, creatures and beings and events you couldn’t even dream of. But I noticed that the media was clueless, that the world seemed to darken day by day. When I asked my family refuses to tell me anything about it. Why should it matter to me? Let the world take care of itself, as we have taken care of ourselves over the last couple of centuries.
Hearing that was the last straw. When all were asleep, I packed up and left. All my savings, all my clothes, everything I have ever called my own, are all in my bag. I left nothing. Even though I’m barely an adult, without any inkling of what I’m doing or where I’m going, I never looked back. The legacy can go screw itself, I decided then. I'll make my own legacy. I'm going to help this world, or die trying.
Noble sentiments, sure, but where has that gotten me really? It makes me angry, actually. I was selfish to leave, to think that someone like me could do anything to help. As selfish as my elders’ words? I couldn’t say for certain. I’m just impulsive, I guess.
You know what? My mind is made up. I’m going to go home. Apologize for leaving. Beg to be let back in. I have to do something right? I have to try…
When I stand up, I knock my backpack over. Of course I do. When I try to pick it up, I see that something’s fallen out of it. Brilliant despite the lack of light, and powerful looking to boot. I’d forgotten I’d packed that.
Suddenly all my heroic urges come back. There’s still hope yet. I shove it back in my backpack and throw it over my shoulders. I’ll continue on. No matter what, I’ll help this world. Even if it’s the last thing I do.
Of The People
Armor: superior (rank 2)
I don’t have any weapons with me. No staff, no sword, no bow. I brought something so much more meaningful – a shield. Okay, maybe it’s a bit silly. I can’t deny that a sword is a more obvious choice, even in today’s word of guns. But I have other ways of fighting… so why would I need a weapon?
The day my father first showed his shield to me, I was still pretty big on the whole hero thing. He told me that the shield’s name, Virorum, meant “of the men,” and that’s what heroes were. “Of the men,” or more accurately, “of the people.” Heroes were protectors yes, but even heroes needed protecting. This shield was passed down from his family for centuries, making its way over the Atlantic all those years ago. It wasn’t just an heirloom, he said, more than just a symbol. It was a reminder that protecting others comes before my own safety. He showed me how to use it, and when I turned 18 he gave it to me. “Don’t ever lose this,” he said. “Its legacy is worth more than any one man.”
My selfishness may have brought me here, but my will to protect others will guide me onward.
Do You Believe In Magic?
Eldritch Energy: superior (rank 2)
- Ranged Attack
- Long Ranged Attack
When I was growing up, I didn’t really believe in magic. I thought that my family, my friends, they were all in on this in-joke, that magic was real. “Do you believe in magic?” they would ask. “Everyone experiences it differently,” they’d say. I never really understood.
I wasn’t that old, maybe eleven. There was no one outside to play with and I was bored fairly easily, so I played cops and robbers by myself. I made a gun shape with my right hand, made some gun shooting noises, pretended to shoot all the fake bad guys. Then I pointed my pointer finger at a neighbor’s window, pretending there were some dastardly villains up to no good in their home. “Pew, pew, pew,” I went. A bright light, small as a bullet, shot out of my finger and hit the glass, exploding the window. I didn’t know what happened. I ran.
My hands were plenty hot when I made it to the woods, and I still didn’t quite understand what happened. Did they prank me? I was scared. What did I even do? Was this real? I had to know. I made another gun shape and pointed at a faraway tree. I imagined with all my might that the gun trick would work again.
“Pew. Pew, pew, pew.”
Nothing still. I relaxed my grip and laughed at my naivety.
When I arrived home later that afternoon, my parents were waiting for me. Apparently, someone broke tour neighbor’s window, and apparently there were trees in the woods and in front of houses with huge pieces of bark missing and knocked off, with markings that could have been concussive or burnt. I didn’t have to explain anything. I didn’t have to tell them. All I said was “I believe in magic now.”
Healing: standard (rank 1)
School was never interesting to me. It was all the same old, same old, learn to pick up things with my mind and throw things and all sorts of uninteresting things. I know it was about the legacy, but… couldn’t I learn something useful? Really, for normal people, how useful would transforming objects into other objects be?
As I walked to school one rainy day, I tripped over a rock or something, causing my wet pants to rip and opened my knee good on the sharp pebbles. As I sat there, blood mixing into the downpour, I thought “Do you know what’d be really good right now? Some healing spells.” And hey, there was a magic school right there. I was a student there! Lo and behold, they had some books on the subject.
During lunch, during computer lab, at home before dinner, I practiced as much as I could. With my attention span so limited already, I wasn’t able to learn as good a healing spell as I’d wanted. Life gets in the way, you know. But I was told that healing spells were more University level so the fact that I learned even just one is supposed to be impressive.
When I showed off the fact that I knew such a spell, I was asked why I went out of my way to learn it. I didn't really have a good answer then, but thinking back now... I guess it's so that I know that I *can* help others, instead of just thinking I might.