Union of the Covenant

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

Underlight - Current Beliefs

Un-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: Hrrum

Initiates: 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 was an avid supporter of all that benefited the dream, and a warrior against all that harmed it. When the other dreamers began to fight and form houses, he tried to help keep the peace. When the battles and wars broke out, he protected 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 took them to an area of the City called Edgeward. It was an empty wasteland that few traveled. The other dreamers avoided 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 as Gold and Earth Sanctuary. They kept to themselves and were rarely seen in the city, preferring to live a secluded and peaceful existence. Their area was an oasis for peace during the Dreamer Wars. Then when the Dreamstrike Masters created the horrific art of Dreamstrike, the members of the Covenant gathered what was left of the stricken dreamers and lay them to rest in their peaceful lands. Edgeward was renamed Edgeward Barrows as the number of dead grew. Once again, others avoided the area as it was considered bad luck to travel where the dead slept dreamless.

This all changed as soon as the nightmares appeared. These aggressive monstrosities attacked and destroyed all they could. Orondal, could no longer keep out of the fighting because the nightmares posed a threat to the very dream 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. They put their own beliefs and members first before the good of the city as a whole. So the great Lord went back to Edgeward 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 effort the 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 the dream. At the bottom of the lake rests the personal effects of Abil and Devas, both former Rulers of Union of the Covenant. They were a great pride to their house and naturally, the two were married. Unfortunately, they were brutally murdered by the dark mare, Tehthu. Their death was mourned by the entire house. A space was carved out in the normally water less Barrows. Some say the lake is not just merely water, but is filled with tears. Though the lake was created with regular water, it is strangely salted now. A monument for the two was then erected with the symbol of Abil on the top. That is the totem pole you will see if you visit the Lake of Tears. Strangely enough, at the top 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 of the return of Brunox't to the dream. Saggitar looks deeply into the eyes of each dreamer one by one, and fights to control the chaotic forces pulling at his soul. "Well..this certainly makes my job much more difficult. Please bare with 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 soulsphered into collapse, they performed a ritual upon my sphere, bare, as it was to the Chaos, and unprotected. This particular Mare.... attempted to merge with my soul and since that day he has used that word....Blazta...it means..." Saggitar pauses as the word makes him ill to say. "Brother..." Saggitar sighs deeply and audibly. "So you see, he believes me to be his brother and again seeks to merge my soul to his. The Dark rituals of these beasts are both strange and powerful, 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 weakness of his showing through. He can maintain his form only by...... collapsing me. I believe we have not seen the last of him, 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 a permanent Artifact of the Dream, and house, then we can perform the ritual that will remove him forever. Gathering as many of his essences then becomes paramount, as they will be needed for this task. This great house that has been a sanctuary 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 the renowned warriors of the dream, often seen leading his troops into skirmishes, either with other houses, or the nightmares themselves. A firm adherent to the "might makes right" principle, Terrekar was one of the leading sharers of the Union's philosophy on promotions. A bi-monthly competition was held for all Initiates, where one could challenge a Ruler or Guardian and take their place if victorious. Terrekar never vacated his position from the time of his victory over former Ruler Gilt, to the time of the Great Loss. An overbearing individual, he often advised a hard line approach to conflicts among the houses, speaking for use of force to resolve quickly what often took weeks through diplomats. He was both respected and reviled, for his methods were often shortsighted, but well executed and efficient. In addition, none could ever say that Terrekar was not fort right and honest. He spoke his mind 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 and eradicate them from the dream. One of these dreamers was Caliastra, daughter of Terrekar, long time Ruler by the Blade. Caliastra set out to study the mares, and through close observation could soon collapse them. She would collapse 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, a dreamer named Ago walked into the room and with a word from him, both mares ran away. Before Caliastra could thank Ago, he disappeared. The next time Caliastra saw Ago she expressed her gratitude by presenting him with The Guardian, a pure abyss shield crafted for her by her father. He laughed and told her that she needed it more then he. They both laughed and started a wonderful friendship that soon turned into love. Ago and Caliastra wanted to be wed. Caliastra approached her father and sought his blessing. Furious that this lowly man would seek his daughter, he refused. Knowing her father could not resist a duel, Caliastro had Ago challenge her father with the outcome to determine their happiness. Terrekar quickly accepted and the date was set. Nearly the entire dream showed up for the match. Suddenly, as the combatants began to duel, several nightmares showed up and began wreaking havoc on the large crowd. Ago did not hesitate but began shouting in a strange tongue to the mares. The nightmares abruptly left at the word of Ago. The crowd was shocked into stillness and all held their tongues as Terrekar approached young Ago. Ago explained that the mares had a language all their own and that he had learned some of it by studying them and could even get some to do his bidding. He went further to explain that by taking 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 dreamer and added draining to the beliefs of the Union of the Covenant. The nightmares that Ago had learned to control became known as Agoknights. The young couple were happily married but unfortunately a pregnant Caliastro was dreamstruck 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 what it was like to become a woman. Twirling merrily in front of the oak framed surface, she looked hopefully at the intricately crafted top hoping that it wouldn't remain above her eye level for much longer. With the soft summer's breeze blowing in through the Main Entrance and in through her window, it was easy to forget the trials and trivialities of house life in the Union of the Covenant. All her worries seemed to melt away in a cascade of inconsequential as her well-fleshed face contorted into all manner of silly expressions as she taunted the immobile mirror. Then, as it usually is, the matters, which she had forgotten about for a few moments, quickly made themselves apparent again; this time in the manner of a door slamming open. Ceasing her cavorting, Scirrel looked balefully at the figure in the doorway, seeing the black cloak draped over a burly frame and the blood/night symbol which rested on the broad chest of Aku Seminat, her mentor, guardian and sometimes friend. "Scirrel, your father requests that you show up for supper tonight to present your theories on that art you have been researching," Aku intoned in his rich voice, reminiscent of a palm thumping a good sturdy oak chest. "A pox on Ruler Travain and on his Guardians! I have already told father dearest that I can not return any results until both my studies are complete, and the Guardians of the Soul approve it." "Scirrel, will you be coming to supper at all then?" “No, I won't," said the adamant Scirrel, crossing her arms in the manner that she had seen all the older girls do, with mixed results "I can eat in my room; just as you do Aku. How come I don't see you at these dinners you say my father expects me to attend?" At that, and with merely a nod indicating the he had heard her reply, the black cloaked 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 now quite ruined, she returned to that which occupied her attention before the mirror enthralled her. Upon a sturdy ironwood desk laid countless papers, some filled with nonsensical scribbling and notes, others mostly blank and devoid of any apparent meaning. Sighing soulfully, a chair was pulled up and with a solid thump she laid her head on the 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 my invitation!" 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 body which 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 nearby unobtrusively moved their hands to various parts of their clothes in an effort to brush off some of the flying spittle from their senior leader. "She declined to arrive at supper tonight m'lord, she claimed an illness and would take her meal in her quarters this eve." The words came smooth as water over a well-polished stone, Aku was not unaccustomed 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 this House!" Slamming the flagon again on the table, B'drek stared wildly at those around him, all nodding in various degrees, afraid to do much else. As you wish Ruler, I shall tell the initiates to no longer serve her food when she desires." With a careful bow, exactly the angle required for a Guardian respecting his Ruler, Aku slipped away from 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 orders which your father gave the kitchen staff tonight. Do you really want me to lose my job?" This answer came from Baren, one of Scirrel's close friends and "research partner" though such research usually consisted of which choice scraps he could salvage from the food directed towards the elders. "No. I suppose not." Scirrel paused for a moment, 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 explanations of her friend, Scirrel stalked back off towards her room wondering if anyone here actually was willing to risk jobs or her father's anger to do as she wanted... no, needed. Upon reaching her room, and locking the portal she threw herself onto the simple bed, a small tear finding it's way out of her eye and onto her cheek, why did everything have to 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 face whatever is on the other side. Instead, she discovered a tray of food from the night's meal, along with a small slip of paper tucked under the glass of red berry. Quickly bending down (and taking a small comfort in that her joints didn't protest quite as much as usual), Scirrel hoarded the tray in the relative safety of her room before twirling the note curiously in her fingers. A sudden whim came to her, and she edged the note towards the garbage disposal... who cares if she knew who sent it, the food will remain whether she knew or not. After another moment's reflection she tossed 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 far cry from the sly or careful one she normally displayed, Scirrel ate her food quickly and then returned to her bed, no longer 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 just who's ham-shaped and stone weighted fist was trying to bash down her portal this morning. "WHAT!" Came the instinctive 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 damn well be worth it! Come on! Spit it out already!" Kneading her fist against a hip, she idly nursed thoughts about maybe if she clocked him a good one, his speech would come clearer. "Well... your..." seeing the look in her eyes the junior initiate's face took on that tone of sheer panic, and along with it the clarity of thought which many rarely achieve, "your father wishes to see you before lunchtime Scirrel, he says he has a matter to discuss with you. In addition, 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 rest she 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 before her twin mentors, Calos and Berek, Scirrel's head swayed unconsciously as she turned from one to the other, their voices melding to form one cohesive statement in her mind. "Your research is quite promising Scirrel...." "....it will no doubt lead the Union into a new age of the Dream." "Did you have..." "... any other comments before you receive 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 her friends had asked about some insignificant nuance and had found himself engrossed in three hours of mind numbing discussion which ended in the declaration that maybe he wasn't ready for the art after all. Smiling, the twins evoked their unique train art by placing their hands together, Calos forming the light blue hourglass, Berek the pink tracer which moved up and down with unerring accuracy. Then, with one flash of light, the arts were granted, in a simultaneous pair, as was their style. After saying the normal pleasantries and promising to task from them again soon, Scirrel considered her new arts carefully saying to herself under her breath, "Now who should I try this out on first... I think Baren would prove most adequate, after all, he'll perform his job much better if he knows how to curse like 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 the Union as he paced the spacious teaching chamber allocated to the House, Aku standing silent in the corner and watching his lord expressionlessly. "Father, you wanted to see me?" Literally bouncing through the portals, a smiling Scirrel greeted her guardian with a cursory nod, and her father with an abortive bow after having quite a fun time extending her gift past Baren and to the entire kitchen staff who she judged equally guilty. "Yes I did Scirrel, I trust you had a pleasant sleep this evening? I hear it is much easier to sleep on an empty stomach." "What would you know father, you were too busy sleeping with other women to sleep on your stomach." Before she even realized what she was saying, Scirrel glared at her father, quite aware of what drove her mother away. "Harumph... be that as it may Scirrel, the council of elders is concerned that the resources we have put into your research projects are not bearing any fruition. Without results, we may be forced to cancel some." This statement elicits a toothy grin from B'drek, who was in fact the one to point out that the energy spent on his daughter's projects could better be used gaining more ale and food for the leader's feasts. "Perhaps father, but if you rush research, you will not get the best result." "Better than no result at all! Can you tell me a single project which is closer than fifty percentiles to completion? No, you can't, can you?" "Actually father, according to recent figures, the art of Manipulate is at fifty and a half percentiles." Scirrel found she could only say this by looking at her father directly, and ignoring the accusing stare from her guardian, who told her that her figures were in error regarding the art. "Manipulate eh? I don't remember that one, what precisely does it do?" "Manipulate is reportedly the most powerful art a Soulmaster can ever gain. It seems to require extremely high arts levels in the following : Purify, Poison, Curse, Drain Self, and Antidote. From what I've been able to tell, the art produces an image of the target's avatar, along with the current effects present. The evoke can then mix and match whatever combination she chooses, removing for instance, all the protective effects on an opponent, and replacing them with Curse and Poison." Since she was reciting, Scirrel found it oddly easy to imagine using this particular art on her father for she had not seen the sickly green pallor of a poison on him since she experimented with it on him four years ago. "That sounds powerful indeed, but I'd prefer you work on the art of Secure, it's a lesser sphere art, so should be easier for you." "Father, Gatekeeper arts are not easier for me, in fact, they're downright difficult. You just want it because it's the only one you can use." "That is not it at all child, I want the art so I may teach it to all the Gatekeepers in the Dream!" "Hmph, with your mighty Train of 1?" Scirrel barely masked a scowl, for her suspicions lead her to believe that her father never acquired his halo 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 of her father's ordainment, and although it seemed to change in details every time he told it (namely more and more people seemed to be there, the candles were brighter, more Dreamwrights seemed to support him, he had to do hundreds 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, others whispering and barely noticing her passing, still others engaged in tasks, struggles, duels, and play. Quickly, her legs propelled her to the hidden falls, one of her favorite places to think. Glancing around carefully, she noticed no one 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 small outcropping, she began to sort through all the recent events and matters which filled her mind as she usually is only able to do when alone. Even though her mind was wholly occupied with this task, it did not stop her from looking up startled as a figure emerged from the shadows. "AKU! How dare you follow me here, and watch me bathe yet!" "I think 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, you didn't seem to mind Baren watching you when you brought him here." Flushing a soft tinge of crimson, and one not limited entirely to her face, Scirrel found no response for once. "Now, you have displeased your father quite greatly this time Scirrel, he desires results." Aku swiftly held up a finger to forestall the protest, which Scirrel was already forming in her mouth, seeing her mouth snap shut he carefully continued. "You mentioned Manipulate to him, and unless you wish to research Secure you would do best to follow that route." Regarding the facial expression on his charge, Aku mentally calculated that the former would be the most desirable. "But I don't actually KNOW anything about it Aku, it's probably not even a real art." "Then you must go about some way to find results then, or you may find 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 the soft 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 do otherwise. Thinking to herself upon his words, Scirrel decided to just let it rest and blissfully slipped up to her chin in 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 arts Scirrel, you're the big house researcher, even the twins acknowledge that. What am I supposed to do?" "Well, you can 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 definitely not to his liking. "Come on you lazy ass, we need to get there before morning!" "Scirrel, I look stupid, and there's no way I can move properly, this is SO ridiculous." "No it's not, you need to look a lot more feminine than you were if you want to get into the Temple of the Sci'tarr, and that's where my research is.. pleeeeease, you need to help me out here." "I can understand feminine, but do I have to look like this? Couldn't I have just put on a really big coat?" "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 she had convinced him not only to wear one of her bras, but to overfill it as well. THAT'll teach him to not feed her when she wants. "Who wishes entry to the Temple of Sci'tarr" came the commanding voice from everywhere and nowhere, as the duo approached the main gates of the massive stone sanctuary. "Scirrel and umm... Bareen" she said with her most convincing smile, standing slightly in front of Baren in an attempt to shield whatever eye looked at them from full discovery of their duplicity, males were not allowed in the temple. "Scirrel and Bareen, what are your reasons for entry?" "We're here to do research!" Scirrel replied with a bit more enthusiasm than was usually present in her voice for the hour. "Yes... yes WE ARE" came the echoing reply from Bareen, the last part of it a fair sight higher after a strategic jab from his escort, just to make sure the illusion was complete of course. "Very well Scirrel and Baren, 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 in just as the gates were about to shut again. "Damn it 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 trying to fake your way in?" THAT shut him up, she thought with a smirk. "Now come on, the books I need are just down this hallway." Pointing down a hallway lit by flickering lanterns, the rows upon rows of resources could be seen, all carefully 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 sit right there and watch for people. And for Dragen's sake fix your chest, you look like you're recovering from surgery 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 mind imagining that some of them were not moving quite in time with the lights which cast them. Meanwhile, Scirrel hunched over the tomes looking for the legends of Manipulate. An art created by the most ancient of Soulmasters to protect the City and defeat the servants of... yeah yeah yeah... why is it that every art seems to be "for the protection 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 what seemed to be the last page, but a small chunk was missing out of the corner which normally would provide the technical details. "Pssst! Baren!" "Huh? What? Breakfast?" "No you idiot, get over here!" "Oh.. Scirrel.. isn't it close to morning by now?" "Who cares, I need to find this piece of paper to finish my research!" "But Scirrel, I don'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 calling me." "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 book and dashing off as well.

"Scirrel, was your trip eventful last night?" She swore she found a trace of amusement in her guardian’s voice, but dismissed it as a side effect of her bleariness this morning. "Whatever do you mean Aku? Get me some red berry and I might tell you." Smiling, Aku presented a well formed mug and laid it on her desk, just out of her reach. "You wouldn'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 Baren wearing then, poor lad must have forgotten to remove it." "Probably likes wearing it" snorted the younger girl as she leaned over and determinedly grabbed her drink. "Maybe, but how was your research?" "How'd you know I was doing research Aku?" Looking suspiciously over the rim of her soothing red berry, Scirrel couldn't resist asking, though she knew she'd never get an answer out of the enigmatic sot. "Simple deduction Scirrel, I believe the twins taught it to you one time. Were you perhaps finding something lacking?" "What do you mean Aku?" "I mean, you have the look of someone not quite satisfied with her journey. Don't tell me there was something not in the legendary Temple which you expected to be there," smiling mysteriously he stood up from the table and moved to 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 hungry anyway, 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 your myriad of projects. Keep in mind who raised you, and continues to give you a place to call home!" With the air of someone who had the upper hand, B'drek placed his hands on a very round belly and attempted to look at her in the way a parent would look at a child who did not understand a complex concept. "No father, I can't simply create time no matter how many resources you give me, even I can't research that." "Scirrel," said her father, now looking directly 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, if you are not done either, you will have your symbol removed and will wander with the freespirits. I trust you do not want to spend your time in the company of such rabble, so I look forward to your prompt results." Smiling slyly, the Ruler of the Union watched his daughter leave in a huff before signaling a figure from the shadows. "Baren, do you think she will give us results now?" "Yes Ruler B'drek, she seemed to have gained much knowledge from the temple last night, she definitely has greater insight into matters now. Your offer of a week was most generous, I thought." "Well Baren my lad, you must realize that to be a leader, you must be generous. You've already shown many of the other traits necessary, I am most pleased that you decided to come to me about my daughter's adventures. It must have been tough for you." "Of course my lord, but the House comes before any of us." Baren literally bobbed up and down with the prospect of nearing knighthood, or anything better than the dank kitchen to which he seemed confined to for the rest of his days. "Yes.. quite. Go back to your duties now, and keep me informed." Shifting his bulk, B'drek watched the eager young man, no, the useful... and disposable tool go back to his work. Quite an interesting day so far, now if Aku would just provide more than three words in a report, he could actually rule this House!

"Scirrel, you wished to consult...." ".... us on something of importance?" "Yes mentors, I have finished much research on the Art of Manipulate, and wished to know if you had any insight on the matter." Standing in a faintly lit hallway was not the best place to meet with your teachers, she admitted, but sometimes you just had to catch her when you could. "The art of...." "...Manipulate?" "You have heard of it, haven't you?" Quickly glancing at her teachers, the blank expressions told her all she needed to know, as she walked away barely hearing their closing words. "Perhaps another teacher or scholar...." "....can reveal more on this topic to you...." Drawing nearer her room, the events of the day besieged her relentlessly, all the little embarrassments, the small triumphs, talks with her friends and enemies alike; all demanding to be reviewed and gain a place in her memory. "Why can't I ever just have a normal day and not be bothered by it after the fact...." Grumbling incoherently for a bit, it trailed off sharply as she noticed a small note pinned to her portal by a forged blade. Yanking the sharp object out with one hand, she caught the note even as the hilt began to dissolve. "Bloody one charge blades, some dreamsmith trying out his new hammer no doubt." Tossing the note onto her desk, she quickly changed into evening wear, consisting of a soft flannel jersey and light pants suited to the cool evening air. Then, not quite tired yet, she carefully pried open the envelope, and found to her surprise not a codex, but an aged parchment. Holding it up to her light, she read off the words one by one "created by a fatesender joined to a soulmaster to produce the greatest farce of all time." With a puzzled sound, she set it again on her desk and tried to fit this new piece of the puzzle in, eventually settling 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... be up 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, whispers of 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, Scirrel proceeded to curse a few things ranging from house life, to mismatched socks, to the color of her floor. "You don't even know what you are late for? Honestly Scirrel, you really need to learn some responsibility. It's my first job to make 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 blood and night, the symbol of a Union Guardian. "Whoa.. uh.. wow! When were you knighted Baren? I didn't think they let cross-dressers wear that." "Just this morning.. now come ON, will you stop fooling around?" Looking about her room quickly, Baren looked downright nervous, not at all like the guardians she usually sees. "Hey, this is MY room remember? Who let YOU in here anyways. Out you go, I'll be out in a bit." With a determined shove, she pushed her friend out of the portal and went back to changing, opting for a more formal purple trim instead of her normal greens. "Alright. Let's go Guardian Baren, where are we off to?" Hiding her annoyance at finding him hovering outside her portal still, Scirrel let him lead her on, wondering why they passed by the meal hall, and are going to the main hall so early in the morning. Finally, they passed through the last portal, and arrived in the immense 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 house either seated or standing according to rank. A historian could be seen on the dais, his slight form dwarfed by an immense book typical of his trade, and most prominently of all, every ruler and guardian the Union could muster, all surrounding the dais upon which her father sat, obviously very pleased about something. Walking forward in little steps, more to prevent herself from falling over as Baren tugged at her than any real desire to move closer to the center 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 when their House discovers an art, since all others must pay exorbitant fees to learn it; all of which goes directly into the House Vaults and Armories, after a healthy skimming by the Rulers of course. "But father, that was only preliminary 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 it worked last night." Thumping the new guardian's shoulder, B'drek was nearly beside himself with gloating at having trapped his misleading daughter into giving results. "Yes Scirrel, the art worked on me last night, at least you said it did. Why don't you show it to all of us?" Smiling beatifically, Baren could have been mistaken for a Blokish monk,the ones who collapse themselves if they ever deceive someone. "Because there is no such art! Don't you remember 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 art which she did not have. "Scirrel.... there's no faking it now. I've been telling your father about your progress, and he has expressed his pleasure many times since we were serving the Dream. My part is done now, as he now knows you possess the knowledge of the art. Now it's your turn, demonstrate it so you can join me in knighthood! In service to the City!" To those who were there, Bareen's face was practically lit up with enthusiasm, as if he could not understand 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 could stammer 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 voice from behind a Union flag entered the confused hubbub as Aku stepped out into view. "But.. what..." whispered a very confused 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 but smile as she heard his piercing voice cut through the noise around her, and cleared her throat as she raised her head along with her voice. "Of course father, the Union will display it's power here today as you wish! However, we will 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 daughter so much during this, you shall make a perfect example of the art. Is this acceptable Scirrel?" "Yes, of course father, you are most wise in that pick. I could not have done it better myself. Baren, if you would, you will need to step right in front of Aku and I here." Pointing towards a small circle in front of her on the carpet, Scirrel's cold grey eyes left Baren no escape, and no respite as she figured out precisely what he had been doing with her confidences. "Umm.. er... ah... as you wish Ruler B'drek." Stepping nervously, Baren struggled to retain at least some of his newfound knighthood dignity. With one last glance at each other, Aku and Scirrel began to evoke their arts, Aku's taking place just before hers... that of Darkness. Under the cover of darkness, all that could be heard was the cries of Baren and the raging of noise resulting from arts being evoked time and time again. When it was over, a sphere floated where Baren once stood. Quickly, one of the soulmasters evoked a rapid restore, and he was quickly 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 gasp went up from the crowd, amazed at the power of the art which could do this, some of the higher spheres already beginning 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 his sphere. Last I knew, we were required to be 4th sphere to hold such an honor." This came from Aku, to the immense horror of Baren, his Ruler quietly nodded to those around him and performed the required art, rendering Baren a rank initiate, who by custom must redo all of his training to date. "Quite impressive... quite impressive indeed my daughter. I'm glad my faith has not been misplaced." "Actually father, it has. Both Aku and I are leaving the Union for the Freespirits." Glancing at her guardian and seeing a faint nod of approval, Scirrel knew that her instincts were right. "What? You can not leave the House which has cared for you so!" Lunging up angrily from his throne, B'drek signaled his guardians to block the exits from the Hall, but not fast enough to prevent the swarms of freespirits which appeared through the portals as if at an unseen signal. "Yes Ruler B'drek, of Union of the 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 voice of Kilostes, a freespirit Elder Dreamwright rebounded against the walls of the hall, his posture telling those of the Houses 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 Manipulator?" "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 to prevail. "Alright then, I will... but bear with me. I need to finish my own sentences now, hard to live with." At that, a small rasping chuckle came from the aged one's throat as he continued. "I was practicing Vision at the time of Aku'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 to make sure he collapsed immediately after restore, sometimes not. All pulled off as if they had planned it, or if they were acting from a script." The children waited expectantly as the elder shifted in his chair and pulled the blanket a bit closer. "What became of them? Well... I don't suppose you can ask them yourselves children, not unless you can wade through Chaos easier than I. After those freespirits came and took them away... I can't remember but I think their leader took a few thousands of xp from B'drek for "good measure", we never did see them again at the house. They certainly wandered around long enough, and Scirrel was quite pestered for the art of "manipulate" but she always refused to teach it, no small jump of reasoning why there. Baren? He never did get above 3rd sphere again, 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 simple story with good morals like "always hit a Shamblix from behind" or "don't tease the Emphants" but I'm sure with a little 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 entire dream and the peace that he and his followers strives for. The group was not well received however, House politics overrode the desire 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 the fire like passion with which all believed in the house. The shield's fine point at the bottom, stands for the unyielding beliefs of our great house. The first plateau from the bottom represents the first members of the house. The flame rising forth is their passion for what they believed, and for all of us who followed after. Second and largest plateau is for all members present and future who will gather 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