Union of the Covenant

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The Union of the Covenant guards over the barren lands of Edgeward Barrows.

Underlight - Chaos Eclipse Beliefs

Opened.


House Facts

Plane: Edgeward Barrows

Beliefs:

We drain because it is the most natural and efficient way of gaining energy. This is demonstrated by the fact that drain essence is the only essence manipulation art that is freely given when you enter the city, it was created to be a go-to means of basic essence manipulation. Also because its use DIRECTLY affects our avatars when used by filling our elements. An essence, by these members, is viewed as a source of energy. Other forms of essence manipulation simply waste this energy by banishing or locking it away.

When this house was opened in the Lyran variant, it was done so as a place of defense, freedom, and justice. Our actions here are important because the dreamstate is a shared state of mind, a place where many people of many background congregate, and should be made as hospitable as possible so that ideas, beliefs, cultures, etc can be shared and experienced freely. Since the dreamstate is just that, a dream, our actions here do not affect the waking world in any way.

Pretty much the people in this house will work towards making the city a place people will want to visit and learn in, and try to better themselves in the process in whatever way they choose without hindering the progress of others if possible. We will be ready to defend ourselves and the city if necessary. We will strive to rid the city of corruption. This means our main concern will not be policing the citizens of the city, unless there is dire need or deep seeded corruption or some great injustice happening. We will stand guard over the Palisade and make sure that the prisoners within stay where they were placed within to keep them from returning to the city and re-offending and carry out the sentences they were given for the crimes they committed that got them locked away. We could even contact them and re-evaluate the reason they are in the prison and negotiate terms of release if certain criteria is met.

The three branches of the original Union of The Covenant will be in place. These are the titles of the person in charge of the branch, as well as the branch itself.

Archon: The Archon controls the diplomatic functions of the house, the mentoring of seekers and pledges of the Union, general house procedures, and the best interest of it's members.

Centurion: The Centurion controls the defense of the house and it's military. He trains the warriors of the house in becoming better and greater defenders of the City.

Coronet: The Coronet controls the teaching function of the house. He sets up the teaching policies, mentoring teachers, mentoring those who wish to become a teacher for the house, and much more.

This house will not be a family, brotherhood, clique, friends group or anything like that. We do not choose loyalty to people over loyalty to the house and more importantly to the city. That being said, the house will also not put moral or personal limitations on its members other than obviously threatening or malicious behavior/actions. When it comes to house matters every member will be expected to contribute to at least one of the branches in the house and will be required to put time and effort into their position. If everyone puts time into their assigned service then we will all get as much out of the house as we put in. (Teaching branch teaches its members, militaristic branch protects our members, recruiting branch keeps more resources for the other two branches coming in which will promote growth all around) Stagnancy = demotion. But it is understood that, as I have put it before, we all have our seasons where we dream more or less. A demotion is not necessarily going to put you in the bad graces of the house and those who leave on good terms will of course be welcome back within its ranks when able.


Prime Artifact: The Guard's Shield

House Art: Break Covenant


House Roster

Advisors: Krodoc

Rulers: Dina

Guardians: Flower of Cienn

Initiates: Ruben, Juliet, Zenobia, Sadari Kai

Lyra Era Beliefs

As the Union guards over the barren lands of Edgeward Barrows, the Union is a house of defense, freedom, and justice. The Union is a FreeSoul Draining House.

The Union believes that their actions within the City although important, does not effect the waking world, "Clouds Break". They believe the dream is simply a dream, nothing more and nothing less.

The Union believe in "draining" as a way to deal with the mare essence that the mares leave behind once they are collapsed. The believe the mare essence is merely a shell of energy, there is no soul within that shell. In which, energy is neither good or bad, merely the way you utilize that energy. They drain the energy to strengthen themselves and their house. The energy is transferred into their prime artifact.

Each member in the Union follows one of the three paths of the house. Each path controls a certain function of the house in which the guardian/ruler assumes full responsibility.

  • Archon: The Archon controls the diplomatic functions of the house, the mentoring of seekers and pledges of the Union, general house procedures, and the best interest of it's members.
  • Centurion: The Centurion controls the defense of the house and it's military. He trains the warriors of the house in becoming better and greater defenders of the City.
  • Coronet: The Coronet controls the teaching function of the house. He sets up the teaching policies, mentoring teachers, mentoring those who wish to become a teacher for the house, and much more.

House History

as told by Serianth

The Dreamwright Orondal first led dreamers to make the Covenant. We know, like us, he loved the dream. He wasan avid supporter of all that benefitted the dream, and a warrior against all that harmed it. When the otherdreamers began to fight and form houses, he tried to help keep the peace. When the battles and wars broke out, heprotected the weaker dreamers, but it became increasingly harder as the houses grew more powerful and arrogant.Knowing things looked grim, he gathered those together that believed as he did and made a covenant with them.They vowed to protect each other and offer a place of sanctuary to those who grew tired of the fighting. He tookthem to an area of the City called Edgeward. It was an empty wasteland that few traveled. The other dreamersavoided it, as it was an inhospitable and harsh land.

Orondal, with his followers, remained in this area for many years. They built two great shelters, known today asGold and Earth Sanctuary. They kept to themselves and were rarely seen in the city, preferring to live a secludedand peaceful existence. Their area was an oasis for peace during the Dreamer Wars. Then when the DreamstrikeMasters created the horrific art of Dreamstrike, the members of the Covenant gathered what was left of the strikendreamers and layed them to rest in their peaceful lands. Edgeward was renamed Edgeward Barrows as the numberof dead grew. Once again, others avoided the area as it was considered bad luck to travel where the dead sleptdreamlessly.

This all changed as soon as the nightmares appeared. These aggressive monstrosities attacked and destroyed allthey could. Orondal, could no longer keep out of the fighting because the nightmares posed a threat to the verydream itself. So he and his followers went back to the city and took up the fight to rid the dream of nightmares.While most of the houses respected him and his followers for their efforts, none of the houses would help him. Theyput their own beliefs and members first before the good of the city as a whole. So the great Lord went back toEdgeward Barrows and created a great house. A place for his followers and all others to seek refuge and peace.While his efforts were rejected and scoffed at by the other houses, eventually through constant vigilance and effortthe other houses finally grew to accept them.

History of Lake of Tears

as told by DojoDestroyer

It is said that the Lake of Tears was created by the Union of the Covenant. It is the only salt water lake in thedream. At the bottom of the lake rests the personal effects of Abil and Devas, both former Rulers of Union of theCovenant. They were a great pride to their house and naturally, the two were married. Unfortunately, they werebrutally murdered by the dark mare, Tehthu. Their death was mourned by the entire house. A space was carved outin the normally waterless Barrows. Some say the lake is not just merely water, but is filled with tears. Though thelake was created with regular water, it is strangely salted now. A monument for the two was then erected with thesymbol of Abil on the top. That is the totem pole you will see if you visit the Lake of Tears. Strangely enough, at thetop of the pole is what appears to be an eye.

History of Brunox't and Saggitaras

told by Saggitar

Saggitar stares with his sea blue eyes and locks his hands in the small of his back contemplating the implications ofthe return of Brunox't to the dream. Saggitar looks deeply into the eyes of each dreamer one by one, and fights tocontrol the chaotic forces pulling at his soul. "Well..this certainly makes my job much more difficult. Please barewith me as this brings a certain amount of discomfort to my soul.." Saggitar begins telling the history of this DarkMare: "Long ago...during the Nightmare Wars....This Dark roamed the area close to our house with an entire"family" of other NightMares. I battled all of them many times. Once, while overpowered and soul sphered intocollapse, they performed a ritual upon my sphere, bare, as it was to the Chaos, and unprotected. This particularMare.... attempted to merge with my soul and since that day he has used that word....Blazta...it means..." Saggitarpauses as the word makes him ill to say. "Brother..." Saggitar sighs deeply and audibly. "So you see, he believesme to be his brother and again seeks to merge my soul to his. The Dark rituals of these beasts are both strange andpowerful, my housemates, I do have much to fear if he is in fact dreaming again and searching for me. He is weak..He attacks only if attacked first, normally. And further...what appeared as a self collapse was in fact the weaknessof his showing through. He can maintain his form only by...... collapsing me. I believe we have not seen the last ofhim, and only by destroying him completely, as I thought I had done so long ago, will free me from his taunting."Their is nothing we can do till after the house opens. When the house does open, and the Draining Stone becomes apermanant Artifact of the Dream, and house, then we can perform the ritual that will remove him forever. Gatheringas many of his essences then becomes paramount, as they will be needed for this task. This great house that hasbeen a Santuary for many has never had to have a list as you speak of (CoS List), but in the case of this DarkMare...we must make an exception."

History of Terrekar

as told by Krynn

One of the older and longest lasting Rulers of the Union of the Covenant was Terrekar. Terrekar was one of therenowned warriors of the dream, often seen leading his troops into skirmishes, either with other houses, or thenightmares themselves. A firm adherent to the "might makes right" principle, Terrekar was one of the leadingshapers of the Union's philosophy on promotions. A bi-monthly competition was held for all Initiates, where onecould challenge a Ruler or Guardian and take their place if victorious. Terrekar never vacated his position from thetime of his victory over former Ruler Gilt, to the time of the Great Loss. An overbearing individual, he oftenadvised a hardline approach to conflicts among the houses, speaking for use of force to resolve quickly what oftentook weeks through diplomats. He was both respected and reviled, for his methods were often shortsighted, but wellexecuted and efficient. In addition, none could ever say that Terrekar was not fortright and honest. He spoke hismind freely and had a blade to back them up should anyone disagree.

Caliastra and Ago

as told by MOLL

When the nightmares entered the city, several of the Covenant set out to study them, to find out their nature anderadicate them from the dream. One of these dreamers was Caliastra, daughter of Terrekar, long time Ruler by theBlade. Caliastra set out to study the mares, and through close observation could soon collapse them. She wouldcollapse the mares whenever she saw them. She was very strong and usually did not get collapsed. One dream,however, she found herself in a horrible position with two strong mares attacking her over and over. Suddenly, adreamer named Ago walked into the room and with a word from him, both mares ran away. Before Caliastra couldthank Ago, he disappeared. The next time Caliastra saw Ago she expressed her gratitude by presenting him withThe Guardian, a pure abyss shield crafted for her by her father. He laughed and told her that she needed it morethen he. They both laughed and started a wonderful friendship that soon turned into love. Ago and Caliastra wantedto be wed. Caliastra approached her father and sought his blessing. Furious that this lowly man would seek hisdaughter, he refused. Knowing her father could not resist a duel, Caliastro had Ago challenge her father with theoutcome to determine their happiness. Terrekar quickly accepted and the date was set. Nearly the entire dreamshowed up for the match. Suddenly, as the combatants began to duel, several nightmares showed up and beganreaking havoc on the large crowd. Ago did not hesitate but began shouting in a strange tongue to the mares. Thenightmares abruptly left at the word of Ago. The crowd was shocked into stillness and all held their tongues asTerrekar approached young Ago. Ago explained that the mares had a language all their own and that he hadlearned some of it by studying them and could even get some to do his bidding. He went further to explain that bytaking the essence of the mares and draining it of its chaotic energy, you could actually strengthen your avatar.Terrekar was so impressed by all this, that he agreed to give Caliastro's hand in marriage to the young dreamerand added draining to the beliefs of the Union of the Covenant. The nightmares that Ago had learned to controlbecame known as AgoKnights. The young couple were happily married but unfortunately a pregnant Caliastro wasdreamstruck the following year and Ago was said to go quite mad from grief.

Scirrel and her art of Manipulateas

told by Kia and Krynn

Looking at herself in the mirror, Scirrel was rewarded with the image of a small girl, who was just discovering whatit was like to become a woman. Twirling merrily in front of the oak framed surface, she looked hopefully at theintricately crafted top hoping that it wouldn't remain above her eye level for much longer. With the soft summer'sbreeze blowing in through the Main Entrance and in through her window, it was easy to forget the trials andtrivialities of house life in the Union of the Covenant. All her worries seemed to melt away in a cascade ofinconsequentials as her well-fleshed face contorted into all manner of silly expressions as she taunted the immobilemirror. Then, as it usually is, the matters, which she had forgotten about for a few moments, quickly madethemselves apparent again; this time in the manner of a door slamming open. Ceasing her cavorting, Scirrel lookedbalefully at the figure in the doorway, seeing the black cloak draped over a burly frame and the blood/night symbolwhich rested on the broad chest of Aku Seminat, her mentor, guardian and sometimes friend. "Scirrel, your fatherrequests that you show up for supper tonight to present your theories on that art you have been researching," Akuintoned in his rich voice, reminiscent of a palm thumping a good sturdy oak chest. "A pox on Ruler Travain and onhis Guardians! I have already told father dearest that I can not return any results until both my studies arecomplete, and the Guardians of the Soul approve it." "Scirrel, will you be coming to supper at all then?" “No, Iwon't," said the adamant Scirrel, crossing her arms in the manner that she had seen all the older girls do, withmixed results "I can eat in my room; just as you do Aku. How come I don't see you at these dinners you say myfather expects me to attend?" At that, and with merely a nod indicating the he had heard her reply, the blackcloaked guardian withdrew into the corridors of the House with barely a whisper of footsteps signaling his passage."Infernal guardian..." Scirrel muttered, but without the vehemence she put into cursing her father. Her mood nowquite ruined, she returned to that which occupied her attention before the mirror enthralled her. Upon a sturdyironwood desk laid countless papers, some filled with nonsensical scribblings and notes, others mostly blank anddevoid of any apparent meaning. Sighing soulfully, a chair was pulled up and with a solid thump she laid her head onthe closest and softest group of papers before falling soundly asleep.

"What do you mean she is not coming to dinner? I told you to have her brought here bodily if she refused myinvitation!" This from Ruler B'drek Travain, the father of Scirrel, though one would not see the family resemblance.Where Scirrel's grey eyes are cool and calculating, B'drek's are fiery and chaotic--as unpredictable as the bodywhich hosts them. With another resounding clang of flagon on stone, the Ruler looked accusingly at his guardian,fingers curled white around it's handle. "I... told... you... to... bring... HER!" At this, a few other rulers sitting nearbyunobtrusively moved their hands to various parts of their clothes in an effort to brush off some of the flying spittlefrom their senior leader. "She declined to arrive at supper tonight m'lord, she claimed an illness and would take hermeal in her quarters this eve." The words came smooth as water over a well-polished stone, Aku was notunaccustomed to twisting the odd fact which he knew would protect his charge. "In her room eh? Perhaps that is away to smarten this belligerent girl. Tell the slaves not to give her ANY meals until she realizes who rules in thisHouse!" Slamming the flagon again on the table, B'drek stared wildly at those around him, all nodding in variousdegrees, afraid to do much else. As you wish Ruler, I shall tell the initiates to no longer serve her food when shedesires." With a careful bow, exactly the angle required for a Guardian respecting his Ruler, Aku slipped awayfrom the feast which had already regained some air of festivity.

"Baren, I'm hungreeeee...." "I know you are Scirrel, but even your most plaintive voice can't circumvent the orderswhich your father gave the kitchen staff tonight. Do you really want me to lose my job?" This answer came fromBaren, one of Scirrel's close friends and "research partner" though such research usually consisted of which choicescraps he could salvage from the food directed towards the elders. "No. I suppose not." Scirrel paused for amoment, stomach rumbling accusingly at her while, she picked idly at the symbol she is never allowed to remove."But can't you possibly do something?" "I'm sorry Scirrel, but you know..." Already ignoring the slow explanationsof her friend, Scirrel stalked back off towards her room wondering if anyone here actually was willing to risk jobs orher father's anger to do as she wanted... no, needed. Upon reaching her room, and locking the portal she threwherself onto the simple bed, a small tear finding it's way out of her eye and onto her cheek, why did everything haveto be so unfair? Suddenly, a small knock at the door caused her to start and slowly get up to answer. "Hello?"Came the small voice, still not entirely over the despair she sometimes slipped into when feeling particularly alone.After waiting a few moments, her curiosity got the better of her and she whipped open the door, ready to facewhatever is on the other side. Instead, she discovered a tray of food from the night's meal, along with a small slip ofpaper tucked under the glass of redberry. Quickly bending down (and taking a small comfort in that her joints didn'tprotest quite as much as usual), Scirrel hoarded the tray in the relative safety of her room before twirling the notecuriously in her fingers. A sudden whim came to her, and she edged the note towards the garbage disposal... whocares if she knew who sent it, the food will remain whether she knew or not. After another moment's reflection shetossed the silly notion aside, and cracked open the seal on the codex and read it even as it dissolved in her hands."Your father instructed that no initiate shall bring you food this evening, none have. --A" With a small smile, a farcry from the sly or careful one she normally displayed, Scirrel ate her food quickly and then returned to her bed, nolonger wondering quite so much about the questions which plagued her so only minutes before.

"Scirrel! Scirrel! SCIRREL!!!!!!!!!!" Moaning and annoyed, the young initiate stood and shakily went to see justwho's ham-shaped and stone weighted fist was trying to bash down her portal this morning. "WHAT!" Came theinstinctive reply, a bit waspish, but then they deserved it for disturbing her at so unreasonable an hour. "Umm..well.. I was... er..." "Spit it out already, if you're going to break my dreams and drag me out of bed it better damnwell be worth it! Come on! Spit it out already!" Kneading her fist against a hip, she idly nursed thoughts aboutmaybe if she clocked him a good one, his speech would come clearer. "Well... your..." seeing the look in her eyesthe junior initiate's face took on that tone of sheer panic, and along with it the clarity of thought which many rarelyachieve, "your father wishes to see you before lunchtime Scirrel, he says he has a matter to discuss with you. Inaddition, the house trainers have decided you are ready for your plateau in the twin arts of Curse and Purify."Beating a hasty retreat, the page left Scirrel leaning against her portal wondering if after all, it was worth it.Sneaking a look at her bed, then deciding that she would likely not be able to get away with a few more hours restshe proceeded to her closet to dress up in some of her smarter traveling greens.

"Scirrel, it is our honor..." "...to grant you this plateaus in...." "...Purify and Curse!" Standing attentively beforeher twin mentors, Calos and Berek, Scirrel's head swayed unconsciously as she turned from one to the other, theirvoices melding to form one cohesive statement in her mind. "Your research is quite promising Scirrel...." "....it willno doubt lead the Union into a new age of the Dream." "Did you have..." "... any other comments before youreceive your arts?" "No mentors, I have no questions at this time, though I may find it in me to ask some later"droned out Scirrel, she had learned never to ask questions of the twins before the arts are granted, after one of herfriends had asked about some insignificant nuance and had found himself engrossed in three hours of mind numbingdiscussion which ended in the declaration that maybe he wasn't ready for the art after all. Smiling, the twins evokedtheir unique train art by placing their hands together, Calos forming the light blue hourglass, Berek the pink tracerwhich moved up and down with unerring accuracy. Then, with one flash of light, the arts were granted, in asimultaneous pair, as was their style. After saying the normal pleasantries and promising to task from them againsoon, Scirrel considered her new arts carefully saying to herself under her breath, "Now who should I try this out onfirst... I think Baren would prove most adequate, after all, he'll perform his job much better if he knows how to curselike a proper kitchen slave." This thought seemed to please her no end, as she skipped towards the kitchen to carryout her practice of new arts.

"Blasted girl is never on time, what would her mother say if she was still with us today" grumbled the Ruler of theUnion as he paced the spacious teaching chamber allocated to the House, Aku standing silent in the corner andwatching his lord expressionlessly. "Father, you wanted to see me?" Literally bouncing through the portals, asmiling Scirrel greeted her guardian with a cursory nod, and her father with an abortive bow after having quite a funtime extending her gift past Baren and to the entire kitchen staff who she judged equally guilty. "Yes I did Scirrel, Itrust you had a pleasant sleep this evening? I hear it is much easier to sleep on an empty stomach." "What wouldyou know father, you were too busy sleeping with other women to sleep on your stomach." Before she even realizedwhat she was saying, Scirrel glared at her father, quite aware of what drove her mother away. "Harumph... be thatas it may Scirrel, the council of elders is concerned that the resources we have put into your research projects arenot bearing any fruition. Without results, we may be forced to cancel some." This statement elicits a toothy grinfrom B'drek, who was in fact the one to point out that the energy spent on his daughter's projects could better beused gaining more ale and food for the leader's feasts. "Perhaps father, but if you rush research, you will not getthe best result." "Better than no result at all! Can you tell me a single project which is closer than fifty percentilesto completion? No, you can't, can you?" "Actually father, according to recent figures, the art of Manipulate is atfifty and a half percentiles." Scirrel found she could only say this by looking at her father directly, and ignoring theaccusing stare from her guardian, who told her that her figures were in error regarding the art. "Manipulate eh? Idon't remember that one, what precisely does it do?" "Manipulate is reportedly the most powerful art a Soulmastercan ever gain. It seems to require extremely high arts levels in the following : Purify, Poison, Curse, Drain Self, andAntidote. From what I've been able to tell, the art produces an image of the target's avatar, along with the currenteffects present. The evoker can then mix and match whatever combination she chooses, removing for instance, allthe protective effects on an opponent, and replacing them with Curse and Poison." Since she was reciting, Scirrelfound it oddly easy to imagine using this particular art on her father for she had not seen the sickly green pallor of apoison on him since she experimented with it on him four years ago. "That sounds powerful indeed, but I'd preferyou work on the art of Secure, it's a lesser sphere art, so should be easier for you." "Father, Gatekeeper arts arenot easier for me, in fact, they're downright difficult. You just want it because it's the only one you can use." "Thatis not it at all child, I want the art so I may teach it to all the Gatekeepers in the Dream!" "Hmph, with your mightyTrain of 1?" Scirrel barely masked a scowl, for her suspicions lead her to believe that her father never acquired hishalo for love of teaching, like her mentors, but for love of xp before he was in a House. "My train was granted tome by the Elder Master Dreamwright.... Scirrel! Get back here when I'm talking to you!" Laughing lightly, Scirrelwas already out of the courtyard and well near the portal to the rest of the Dream. She had already heard the tale ofher father's ordainment, and although it seemed to change in details every time he told it (namely more and morepeople seemed to be there, the candles were brighter, more Dreamwrights seemed to support him, he had to dohundreds of more tasks before getting it), the message was basically the same.

Breaking into a full run, she whipped past dreamers doing their daily work, some pausing to wave to her, otherswhispering and barely noticing her passing, still others engaged in tasks, struggles, duels, and play. Quickly, herlegs propelled her to the hidden falls, one of her favorite places to think. Glancing around carefully, she noticed noone around her so quickly removed the clothes which clung to her and stepped gratefully into the soothing water;moving deeper towards the falls so she could rest against her "thinking ledge." Bracing herself against the smalloutcropping, she began to sort through all the recent events and matters which filled her mind as she usually is onlyable to do when alone. Even though her mind was wholly occupied with this task, it did not stop her from looking upstartled as a figure emerged from the shadows. "AKU! How dare you follow me here, and watch me bathe yet!" "Ithink you do protest too much sometimes Scirrel, I was studying an old memento of mine when you changed,entered the water, and indeed did not look up until you were safely under the cover of the waterfall. Besides, youdidn't seem to mind Baren watching you when you brought him here." Flushing a soft tinge of crimson, and one notlimited entirely to her face, Scirrel found no response for once. "Now, you have displeased your father quite greatlythis time Scirrel, he desires results." Aku swiftly held up a finger to forestall the protest, which Scirrel was alreadyforming in her mouth, seeing her mouth snap shut he carefully continued. "You mentioned Manipulate to him, andunless you wish to research Secure you would do best to follow that route." Regarding the facial expression on hischarge, Aku mentally calculated that the former would be the most desirable. "But I don't actually KNOW anythingabout it Aku, it's probably not even a real art." "Then you must go about some way to find results then, or you mayfind a most unwelcoming house upon your return. Enjoy your relaxation Scirrel, I have some matters to attend to."Tucking his cloak around him, Aku took a step back and melded with the shadows, his departure signaled by thesoft bong of the portal as it registered his passing. "Bloody easy for you to say..." came the mutter from Scirrel,though carefully timed after her guardian had departed; she had been victim to his hearing far too many a time to dootherwise. Thinking to herself upon his words, Scirrel decided to just let it rest and blissfully slipped up to her chinin the cool water, resolving to do some more work on it when she returned.

"Baren, you've got to help me finish this research, time to earn that title of yours!" "Oh. Right.. hang on."Contritely, Scirrel quickly evoked purify on her friend and smiled pleadingly. "I don't know anything about artsScirrel, you're the big house researcher, even the twins acknowledge that. What am I supposed to do?" "Well, youcan stop looking so puzzled. Here. Wear this." "What? I'm not wearing your shirt!" "Yes you are.. I'll explain later,you'll also need this.. and this..." Leaning over her drawers, Scirrel began to throw out several items of clothing,secretly glancing up into the mirror and enjoying the incredulous expression on his face as he saw things definitelynot to his liking. "Come on you lazy ass, we need to get there before morning!" "Scirrel, I look stupid, and there'sno way I can move properly, this is SO ridiculous." "No it's not, you need to look a lot more feminine than you wereif you want to get into the Temple of the Sci'tarr, and that's where my research is.. pleeeeease, you need to help meout here." "I can understand feminine, but do I have to look like this? Couldn't I have just put on a really bigcoat?" "Umm.. no. Let's goooo!" Stealing a glance back at "him" Scirrel couldn't help but laugh under her breath,for he was dressed in one of her snappier outfits bought for a ball a year ago. She still couldn't figure out how shehad convinced him not only to wear one of her bras, but to overfill it as well. THAT'll teach him to not feed her whenshe wants. "Who wishes entry to the Temple of Sci'tarr" came the commanding voice from everywhere andnowhere, as the duo approached the main gates of the massive stone sanctuary. "Scirrel and umm... Bareen" shesaid with her most convincing smile, standing slightly in front of Baren in an attempt to shield whatever eye lookedat them from full discovery of their duplicity, males were not allowed in the temple. "Scirrel and Bareen, what areyour reasons for entry?" "We're here to do research!" Scirrel replied with a bit more enthusiasm than was usuallypresent in her voice for the hour. "Yes... yes WE ARE" came the echoing reply from Baren, the last part of it a fairsight higher after a strategic jab from his escort, just to make sure the illusion was complete of course. "Very wellScirrel and Bareen, you may enter the temple, but be sure to leave before morning." With that, the silence crept upon the pair, who quickly scurried through the doors, and shortly after them a shadow cloaked figure who slipped injust as the gates were about to shut again. "Damnit Scirrel, I want to be able to have kids after this little escapade"said Baren in a pained voice. "Well.. they were about to catch you, would you rather have them removed for tryingto fake your way in?" THAT shut him up, she thought with a smirk. "Now come on, the books I need are just downthis hallway." Pointing down a hallway lit by flickering lanterns, the rows upon rows of resources could be seen, allcarefully maintained every morning by the servants of Sci'Tarr. It was said that the servants were never volunteers,but were the sages who stayed past the determined hour in their quests for knowledge. "Here we are, now you sitright there and watch for people. And for Dragen's sake fix your chest, you look like you're recovering fromsurgery and they forgot to sew you back up" she said with a point at his shirt which had come undone in the run."Umm... sure Scirrel." With that, Baren moved to a corner to watch the shadows play upon the walls, his mindimagining that some of them were not moving quite in time with the lights which cast them. Meanwhile, Scirrelhunched over the tomes looking for the legends of Manipulate. An art created by the most ancient of Soulmastersto protect the City and defeat the servants of... yeah yeah yeah... why is it that every art seems to be "for theprotection of the City" against something? Running a finger down line after line, and flipping page after page,Scirrel slowly found out four particular arts involved in the creation of Manipulate. Finally, she reached whatseemed to be the last page, but a small chunk was missing out of the corner which normally would provide thetechnical details. "Pssst! Baren!" "Huh? What? Breakfast?" "No you idiot, get over here!" "Oh.. Scirrel.. isn't itclose to morning by now?" "Who cares, I need to find this piece of paper to finish my research!" "But Scirrel, Idon't want to be some dusty old maintainer of books, they'd make me wear this getup all day while I dusted tomes.Leave that to the historians, thank you very much. I think I hear that roast we need to prime for this evening callingme." "Baren.. BAREN get back here" called out Scirrel after the retreating figure. "Damn, maybe there's an art inhere which really will make him look like that forever" she thought vindictively, before reluctantly closing the bookand dashing off as well.

"Scirrel, was your trip eventful last night?" She swore she found a trace of amusement in her guardian’s voice, butdismissed it as a side effect of her bleariness this morning. "Whatever do you mean Aku? Get me some redberryand I might tell you." Smiling, Aku presented a well formed mug and laid it on her desk, just out of her reach. "Youwouldn't have convinced one of your girlfriends to help you do research in that old temple, now would you?""Hmph.. you think you know everything Aku, it wasn't a girlfriend." "That would explain the bra I caught Barenwearing then, poor lad must have forgotten to remove it." "Probably likes wearing it" snorted the younger girl asshe leaned over and determinedly grabbed her drink. "Maybe, but how was your research?" "How'd you know Iwas doing research Aku?" Looking suspiciously over the rim of her soothing redberry, Scirrel couldn't resistasking, though she knew she'd never get an answer out of the enigmatic sot. "Simple deduction Scirrel, I believethe twins taught it to you one time. Were you perhaps finding something lacking?" "What do you mean Aku?" "Imean, you have the look of someone not quite satisfied with her journey. Don't tell me there was something not inthe legendary Temple which you expected to be there," smiling mysteriously he stood up from the table and movedto the doorway, "finish your meal first though Scirrel, you'll need it for the day head." Looking at her guardian,Scirrel contemplated refusing and tackling him to try and wrestle it out of him, but then decided she was hungryanyway, so munched on her greens and watched him ease past the runners and head out towards the main hall.

"Father, I simply don't have the time or the energy to research your art of Secure." "YOU don't have the time?YOU don't have the energy? My dear, the House is beginning to run very short on such frivolities to fund yourmyriad of projects. Keep in mind who raised you, and continues to give you a place to call home!" With the air ofsomeone who had the upper hand, B'drek placed his hands on a very round belly and attempted to look at her in theway a parent would look at a child who did not understand a complex concept. "No father, I can't simply create timeno matter how many resources you give me, even I can't research that." "Scirrel," said her father, now lookingdirectly at her, eyes tinged with a bit of the rage which he sometimes welcomed, "I give you a reasonable choice.You may either pursue that research in manipulate, or you may opt to go for the simplicity of Secure. Either way, ifyou are not done either, you will have your symbol removed and will wander with the freespirits. I trust you do notwant to spend your time in the company of such rabble, so I look forward to your prompt results." Smiling slyly, theRuler of the Union watched his daughter leave in a huff before signaling a figure from the shadows. "Baren, do youthink she will give us results now?" "Yes Ruler B'drek, she seemed to have gained much knowledge from thetemple last night, she definitely has greater insight into matters now. Your offer of a week was most generous, Ithought." "Well Baren my lad, you must realize that to be a leader, you must be generous. You've already shownmany of the other traits necessary, I am most pleased that you decided to come to me about my daughter'sadventures. It must have been tough for you." "Of course my lord, but the House comes before any of us." Barenliterally bobbed up and down with the prospect of nearing knighthood, or anything better than the dank kitchen towhich he seemed confined to for the rest of his days. "Yes.. quite. Go back to your duties now, and keep meinformed." Shifting his bulk, B'drek watched the eager young man, no, the useful... and disposable tool go back tohis work. Quite an interesting day so far, now if Aku would just provide more than three words in a report, he couldactually rule this House!

"Scirrel, you wished to consult...." ".... us on something of importance?" "Yes mentors, I have finished muchresearch on the Art of Manipulate, and wished to know if you had any insight on the matter." Standing in a faintlylit hallway was not the best place to meet with your teachers, she admitted, but sometimes you just had to catchthem when you could. "The art of...." "...Manipulate?" "You have heard of it, haven't you?" Quickly glancing ather teachers, the blank expressions told her all she needed to know, as she walked away barely hearing theirclosing words. "Perhaps another teacher or scholar...." "....can reveal more on this topic to you...." Drawing nearerher room, the events of the day besieged her relentlessly, all the little embarrassments, the small triumphs, talkswith her friends and enemies alike; all demanding to be reviewed and gain a place in her memory. "Why can't Iever just have a normal day and not be bothered by it after the fact...." Grumbling incoherently for a bit, it trailedoff sharply as she noticed a small note pinned to her portal by a forged blade. Yanking the sharp object out with onehand, she caught the note even as the hilt began to dissolve. "Bloody one charge blades, some dreamsmith tryingout his new hammer no doubt." Tossing the note onto her desk, she quickly changed into evening wear, consistingof a soft flannel jersey and light pants suited to the cool evening air. Then, not quite tired yet, she carefully priedopen the envelope, and found to her surprise not a codex, but an aged parchment. Holding it up to her light, sheread off the words one by one "created by a fatesender joined to a soulmaster to produce the greatest farce of alltime." With a puzzled sound, she set it again on her desk and tried to fit this new piece of the puzzle in, eventuallysettling on calling Baren to her room. "Baren, get your ass up here, and bring my clothes back while you're at it.""Scirrel, don't you ever go to bed?" "Not with you around I don't, will you move already?" "Alright... hang on... beup in a few minutes." "No wonder you work in the kitchen, you're too damn slow." After what seemed like ages,Baren finally showed up (with clothes, to his merit) and claimed a chair next to her. All through the night, whispersof two agitated youths could be heard discussing the puzzle before them, and how to go about solving it.

"Scirrel... wake up already, you're late!" "Mmmm? Uuhh? Late? Late for what?" Mumbling groggily, Scirrelproceeded to curse a few things ranging from house life, to mismatched socks, to the color of her floor. "You don'teven know what you are late for? Honestly Scirrel, you really need to learn some responsibility. It's my first job tomake sure you're there on time!" Looking up a bit startled at the tone in his voice, a positively superior edge to it,Scirrel sees not the normal pasty white and blue of an initiate symbol on her friends chest, but one of deep bloodand night, the symbol of a Union Guardian. "Whoa.. uh.. wow! When were you knighted Baren? I didn't think theylet cross-dressers wear that." "Just this morning.. now come ON, will you stop fooling around?" Looking about herroom quickly, Baren looked downright nervous, not at all like the guardians she usually sees. "Hey, this is MYroom remember? Who let YOU in here anyways. Out you go, I'll be out in a bit." With a determined shove, shepushed her friend out of the portal and went back to changing, opting for a more formal purple trim instead of hernormal greens. "Alright. Let's go Guardian Baren, where are we off to?" Hiding her annoyance at finding himhovering outside her portal still, Scirrel let him lead her on, wondering why they passed by the meal hall, and aregoing to the main hall so early in the morning. Finally, they passed through the last portal, and arrived in theimmense celebration hall, to her immense surprise filled with literally hundreds of Dreamers. Leaning back in awe,she could see initiates of every denomination in the galleries above her, and on the floor rulers from every houseeither seated or standing according to rank. A historian could be seen on the dais, his slight form dwarfed by animmense book typical of his trade, and most prominently of all, every ruler and guardian the Union could muster, allsurrounding the dais upon which her father sat, obviously very pleased about something. Walking forward in littlesteps, more to prevent herself from falling over as Baren tugged at her than any real desire to move closer to thecenter of the Hall. Finally they stopped, and a quiet fell over the crowd, everyone seeming to stare right at her."Daughter, Guardian Baren has informed me that you have at long last discovered the lost art of Manipulate!"Smiling fit to break his face, B'drek leaned forward unconsciously relaying the glee which any Ruler must feel whentheir House discovers an art, since all others must pay exorbitant fees to learn it; all of which goes directly into theHouse Vaults and Armories, after a healthy skimming by the Rulers of course. "But father, that was onlypreliminary research! There's still months of work to be done!" Not liking at all the pleading tone to her voice,Scirrel suddenly felt very small in the midst of all these Dreamers. "Nonsense, faithful Baren here told me itworked last night." Thumping the new guardian's shoulder, B'drek was nearly beside himself with gloating at havingtrapped his misleading daughter into giving results. "Yes Scirrel, the art worked on me last night, at least you said itdid. Why don't you show it to all of us?" Smiling beatifically, Baren could have been mistaken for a Bloshtik monk,the ones who collapse themselves if they ever deceive someone. "Because there is no such art! Don't youremember the failures and the puzzlement we both had last night over it?" Looking pleadingly at her friend,Scirrel's mind was working overtime as it slowly dawned upon her that she was going to have to demonstrate an artwhich she did not have. "Scirrel.... there's no faking it now. I've been telling your father about your progress, and hehas expressed his pleasure many times since we were serving the Dream. My part is done now, as he now knowsyou possess the knowledge of the art. Now it's your turn, demonstrate it so you can join me in knighthood! Inservice to the City!" To those who were there, Baren's face was practically lit up with enthusiasm, as if he could notunderstand why his friend would not demonstrate her powers which he knew she did not have. "But... I....." "Scirrel,you will NOT disappoint all of our friends here today! Display your arts" interjected her father, before she couldstammer out a word.

"My lord, she will display her arts for the assembly, but as the ancient tomes direct I must assist her." A new voicefrom behind a Union flag entered the confused hubbub as Aku steped out into view. "But.. what..." whispered a veryconfused Scirrel as her guardian stood near, and got only a wink in return. "Just do what that tome told you to...before it spoke about Manipulate, it spoke of something else. Let's do that, shall we?" Scirrel could not help butsmile as she heard his piercing voice cut through the noise around her, and cleared her throat as she raised herhead along with her voice. "Of course father, the Union will display it's power here today as you wish! However, wewill need a volunteer for this dreadful art. I think a young Gatekeeper would suffice, if you have one among you.""Yes.. naturally.. naturally. Gatekeepers! We need a gatekeeper!" With a dour look at his assembled guardians,B'drek picked out the only one too new to know how to hide properly. "BAREN! Since you've helped my daughterso much during this, you shall make a perfect example of the art. Is this acceptable Scirrel?" "Yes, of coursefather, you are most wise in that pick. I could not have done it better myself. Baren, if you would, you will need tostep right in front of Aku and I here." Pointing towards a small circle in front of her on the carpet, Scirrel's coldgrey eyes left Baren no escape, and no respite as she figured out precisely what he had been doing with herconfidences. "Umm.. er... ah... as you wish Ruler B'drek." Stepping nervously, Baren struggled to retain at leastsome of his newfound knighthood dignity. With one last glance at each other, Aku and Scirrel began to evoke theirarts, Aku's taking place just before hers... that of Darkness. Under the cover of darkness, all that could be heardwas the cries of Baren and the raging of noise resulting from arts being evoked time and time again. When it wasover, a sphere floated where Baren once stood. Quickly, one of the soulmasters evoked a rapid restore, and he wasquickly brought up to full Dreamsoul once again. "What... what... I'm, ORBIT 0!?!?!?" Baren cried petulantly,deprived of his formerly lofty 53rd orbit through the arts which had been evoked on him. At that, a collective gaspwent up from the crowd, amazed at the power of the art which could do this, some of the higher spheres alreadybeginning to shift nervously where they sat, wondering if not just fifth sphere could be removed with such rapidity."My ruler, I do believe Baren is no longer eligible for knighthood in the Union, as he seems to have misplaced hissphere. Last I knew, we were required to be 4th sphere to hold such an honor." This came from Aku, to theimmense horror of Baren, his Ruler quietly nodded to those around him and performed the required art, renderingBaren a rank initiate, who by custom must redo all of his training to date. "Quite impressive... quite impressiveindeed my daughter. I'm glad my faith has not been misplaced." "Actually father, it has. Both Aku and I are leavingthe Union for the Freespirits." Glancing at her guardian and seeing a faint nod of approval, Scirrel knew that herinstincts were right. "What? You can not leave the House which has cared for you so!" Lunging up angrily from histhrone, B'drek signaled his guardians to block the exits from the Hall, but not fast enough to prevent the swarms offreespirits which appeared through the portals as if at an unseen signal. "Yes Ruler B'drek, of the House Union ofthe Covenant, they have made their wish quite clear to join the ranks of the freespirits. You will NOT hamper themin that wish, or you will find your guardians and yourself short quite a few xp come evening." The clear ringing voiceof Kilostes, a freespirit Elder Dreamwright rebounded against the walls of the hall, his posture telling those of theHouses present that he not only could reduce a Dreamer to sphere in under a minute with his blast, but had.Epilogue: "What's that child? You wish the story of Scirrel and her Manipulater?" "Yes Calos, tell us that story."Among the many calls of children seated by the old Ruler's chair near the fireplace, that response seemed toprevail. "Alright then, I will... but bear with me. I need to finish my own sentences now, hard to live with." At that, asmall rasping chuckle came from the aged one's throat as he continued. "I was practicing Vision at the time ofAku's and Scirrel's display, so while the rest of the hall was blind, I could see quite clearly what they were doing.Poor Baren didn't stand a chance, not that he deserved one you see. I believe Aku was using a chakram of Color,it's rainbow markings are quite distinctive you know. Anyways, Baren was struck with it, and immediately collapsed.Scirrel would then Drain him, and repeat. This all happened quite rapidly, sometimes they would poison him a bit tomake sure he collapsed immediately after restore, sometimes not. All pulled off as if they had planned it, or if theywere acting from a script." The children waited expectantly as the elder shifted in his chair and pulled the blanket abit closer. "What became of them? Well... I don't suppose you can ask them yourselves children, not unless you canwade through Chaos easier than I. After those freespirits came and took them away... I can't remember but I thinktheir leader took a few thousands of xp from B'drek for "good measure", we never did see them again at theHouse. They certainly wandered around long enough, and Scirrel was quite pestered for the art of "manipulate" butshe always refused to teach it, no small jump of reasoning why there. Baren? He never did get above 3rd sphereagain, but he did go on to become assistant cook in the kitchen, never tasted a better crow's pie." "So children,through all that adventure, surely you must have learned something. I know it's not quite your fairy tale or simplestory with good morals like "always hit a shamblix from behind" or "don't tease the emphants" but I'm sure with alittle thought you'll find your own ways in it. Now, off to bed with you."

House Emblem

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as told by Nokomis

When the Nightmare wars began Orondal and his followers took to the city once again. The Nightmares threatened the entiredream and the peace that he and his followers strived for. The group was not well recieved however, House politics overode thedesire to heal the dream and Orondal once again returned to Edgeward. The small band of dreamers built their own house.

It was a place to rest from the fight and share knowledge. They developed their own rank structure, armories and branches. Asymbol was created for the house facade. A shield, to stand for the Covenants desire to protect the dream, and a flame, for thefire like passion with which all believed in the house. The shield's fine point at the bottom, stands for the unyielding beliefs of ourgreat house. The first plateau from the bottom represents the first members of the house. The flame rising forth is their passion forwhat they believed, and for all of us who followed after. Second and largest plateau is for all members present and future who willgather together to once again defend the dream city with the Passion of the ages before.

House Facts

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Plane: Edgeward Barrows

Beliefs: FreeSoul/Drainers

Role: Warriors (Defensive)

Prime Artifact: Heart of the Union

House Art: Break Covenant

First Elder: ?

Previous Elders: ?

First Rulers: ?

Previous Rulers: Centuarion, RavenXR, Archon, WinterValentine, Coronet, and Witeknight

First Guardians: ?

Previous Guardians: Mael, Gorgunsun, Jiovanni, Tamarisk, and Braelynn

References