'Children of The Shroud' - A Dark Fantasy RP (Interest/Recruitment - CLOSED AND STARTED)

Rufio's Ghost

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"For that, what we need from you is to dare to push your boundaries, to see how far they will go. We can't help you if you won't try, but no matter what happens, we will always be right beside you. That's what families are supposed to do."

'I suppose.'

Maybe it was what they were suppose to do, but would they? Could she attest for the character of all the new members? She had only met them a few days ago, and yet she was willing to give her word that everyone would always have his back. Everyone? Even the filthy magician or cruel little mouthy fellow? Seemed like a bold claim, but what did he know. Tammy seemed to understand others well enough, or better than Langston at least. He didn't even have to say a thing and she'd answer his non-verbalized questions as if he'd spoken volumes. She was very perceptive... or perhaps he was extremely transparent. Either way, he'd have to take her word for it.

"'Of course." he mumbled, helping her back to her feet.

It was hard to consider people he'd just met 'family', especially when he'd barely spoken more than 3 words to any of them, but he'd just have to try and trust them. They were all in this together after all.

"What now?" he asked his mentor, trying to sound a bit more optimistic.

"I feel like I'm back at boot camp."

Langston groaned internally, trying not to let his displeasure show on his face. If Will was excited about the whole affair than Langston would surely be completely out of his element.

'This is going to be terrible, isn't it?'
 

Fappy

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"... You can spar with each-other."

But food...

While the others were busy either licking their chops or shaking in their boots, Selena simply bowed her head and frowned. Her body still wasn't used to getting food regularly and she found that she was in a constant state of hunger as a consequence. She'd heard some animals could gorge themselves to death if provided with endless sustenance.

I could die like that.

Langston looked more antsy than he rest. Maybe she'd save them both some trouble. "Hey," Selena suddenly chirped as she approached the frail man. "Want to partner up for this? Don't worry, I am just as clueless as you are when it comes to this stuff."

Though I don't doubt we both know a thing or two about taking a punch...
 

NinjaDeathSlap

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Feb 20, 2011
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Gauging their reactions, the Old Man turned to Minerva.

"If you please..."

Minerva giggled, and half-skipped over to the Old Man's side. She rubbed her hands together, and the room around them dissolved. They all stood now in a vast canyon, dotted up and down its expanse with thin, stone needles, on which the group was all perched. Looking down, the others would see that the depths of the chasm, if any depths existed, were lost in grey mist, mirrored by the thick blanket of cloud above.

"At the end of this canyon lies a prize." The Old Man explained, his voice carrying above the whistling wind. "Your objective is, simply, to reach it. Minerva will work to impede you, and you can use any and all powers that you possess to evade her efforts. The winner, naturally, is whoever can reach the prize first. However, as eager as I'm sure some of you are to outstrip your competition, you should know that all of you must reach the other end of this canyon unscathed, for any reward to be bestowed upon anyone."

Competition naturally brought out the best in many an acolyte, but even in this, the lesson was clear. Nothing can be of higher import than your fellow Children.

"You have this moment to ask any questions before we begin." The Old Man said.
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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Andra shakily raised her hand and asked the most obvious and urgent question she could possibly come up with.

"If we fall, do we die?"

And how on Earth can my powers be used to keep people unscathed?
 

The Funslinger

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Sep 12, 2010
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"You have this moment to ask any questions before we begin."

"I have a question," Will said, casting his gaze back and forth between the old man and Minerva to make it clear he was speaking to both of them. "Is there anything lurking in this canyon? Somehow I don't think the worst waiting for us out there is a nasty fall."

Privately, he acknowledged that part of his reason for asking such a question was his thirst to continue feeding his unique ability.
 

Rufio's Ghost

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"Want to partner up for this? Don't worry, I am just as clueless as you are when it comes to this stuff."

The change of scenery was a little more than intimidating. Backing away from the edge of what seemed to be an endless chasm, he wondered if he would ever get use to how quickly and drastically things changed around here. A little warning would have been nice.

"Heh. I-I'd love to." Langston replied nervously, hoping that Selena hadn't reconsidered her offer. It probably wasn't the best idea to team up with someone who was 'just as clueless', but he wasn't about to complain. He'd take all the help he could get.
 

Dogmatic99

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Just when Maggy thought she'd made some sense of this place. How could they compete against each other and work as a team at the same time? If one wanted to win that meant they had to screw over some of the others, or the group had to lay down their chance of winning for a chosen one and somehow she doubted that this was the sort of crowd to do that kind of thing. She'd have to keep her wits about her if she was going to get her hands on whatever this prize was. It took Maggy a while to realise that just a few days ago she'd have been bricking herself as this canyon formed before her very eyes instead of thinking up her very basic schemes. She supposed that compared to everything she'd seen over her brief training this just seemed a little... plain.

Either way, she was anxious to get going and no questions sprang to her mind.

"If we fall, do we die?"

That was a point. Her new power protected her from cuts and scars. Were falls and blunt damage another story?
 

NinjaDeathSlap

Leaf on the wind
Feb 20, 2011
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"If we fall, do we die?"

"Is there anything lurking in this canyon?"

"Nothing that awaits you here has the power to kill or maim you in reality." The Old man somewhat reassured them, before the ghost of a slightly mischievous smile crossed his lips. "However, I would advise against falling victim to Minerva's imagination. As many of yoiu should have already discovered, she doesn't play gently."
 
Dec 14, 2009
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Sparrow squatted down right next to the canyon edge. The young girl learned to get over the fear of heights at a young age, she had to if she wanted any chance of surviving the rooftops of the drowned district, but still, this was more than a simple rooftop.

It was fake, she knew it was fake, but she couldn't convince her eyes that it wasn't, she could feel the wind echo through the trenches, the sound of hawks in the distance, the feel of dust on her skin as it was kicked up by a random gust or two. "So we can use anythin' we've learned?" A small smirk curled the girl's lips at the thought. What was to stop her from simply impeding the others as one of her made her way to the finish point?

'You don' have to fight dirty, ya not on the streets now.'

Was this that fabled 'honour' she had read so much about? How did she catch it? And how could she get rid of it?
 

EnigmaticSevens

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Sep 18, 2009
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Ezrah watched and Ezrah waited, listening to the questions and the sparse instructions given, all the while staring at the canyon before them. As much as his mind preached and raged against the mental farce, his eyes and his feet were not entirely convinced, probably best not to test that too directly, though the lad found himself oddly fascinated with what might happen if he took a flying leap right over the edge.... Of course, it would've been an easier experiment to perform if perhaps he simply threw someone else over the canyon's edge, but practical or no, he found the thought oddly revolting. It was... easier to to think nothing of these people, to threaten to chop them into lizard bait (and damn well mean it), when they were little more than street children wandering about the sewers. But now... if this god was real, then the Calling was real, and each of these ones were called, cherished in a sense, and what devotion Ezrah extended towards Mylaviss must spread towards his chosen as well.

The boy's fingers tapped a light tattoo against his chin, his mind whirring. Oddly enough, the puzzle at hand was rather more enticing than the promise of a reward. After all, what reward could they offer to outweigh all the benefits of membership implicit? The old man said they might use all the skills at their disposal, which in and of itself, implied that the test was designed to make use of every skill they might conjure, the ones unique to their persons and the ones they shared. Well... there were no goddamn rats involved, so for now at least, the siren call at Ezrah's disposal was all sorts of useless, but there were other magics.... Thankfully, when one's day revolved around convincing rats to traipse from one end of a box to another, down time was hardly at a premium. Most of it, Ezrah spent watching the others (and maybe brooding, just a tiny bit), but for awhile, he'd played with the other tools at their disposal. The ruddy lad backed up from the group a few paces, as though he might take a running leap for the first stone pillar, but he merely drew a rough line in the dirt of the canyon with the heel of his boot. His starting point marked off, he took a breath, and 'stepped' to the side. Ezrah vanished. A flickering instant of blackness, a sudden chill, and the boy reappeared a couple yards to the right of first position, tumbling roughly along the ground, but beyond that none the worse for wear. He stood shakily, dusting himself off before making another mark with his heel.

About two yards maybe, give or take a bit of a roll, but perhaps even that could be made up with a bit of a running start, some momentum. Ezrah took the length between the two points, held it in his mind, and placed it between the canyon's edge and the first stone spire. He could make it, barely, but even so.... Still, it would not be enough if he made it alone, that was not the purpose of the test. Drawing closer to the edge, Ezrah folded his arms, brow scrunched as the ball of razor wire and gristle he called a mind, gnawed at the problem,"If any've you lot have somethin' you can toss at the witch from range, somethin' to make her stumble and queer her spell, to offer us advantage, now's the time to conjure it, though it better be somethin' proper fierce. The witch is master here, and I figure it'll take much to shake her. Elsewise... we play by the rules."

Ezrah gestured to gap between the canyon's edge and the nearest spire," That's a mighty iffy jump, by leg or by magic, for one.... But for two? Maybe not so bad, if it'll work like that. Worth testin' though, aye? If one can start the jump with one in tow, and the other finish it? Somethin' we could practice sideways, before makin' the big leap..., magic's worked stranger before....."
 

Fappy

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" That's a mighty iffy jump, by leg or by magic, for one.... But for two? Maybe not so bad, if it'll work like that. Worth testin' though, aye? If one can start the jump with one in tow, and the other finish it? Somethin' we could practice sideways, before makin' the big leap..., magic's worked stranger before....."

Selena glanced over at Langston and shrugged. "Looks like it'll be more of a group exercise after all," she said. "Maybe next time." She forced a comforting smile before approaching Ezrah.

Her hands on her hips, Selena cocked her head to the side and waited for the shrewd young man to look her way. "Your plan makes sense, but... it sounds risky," she began. "Don't know how it is for you, but every time I have teleported it required an immense amount of concentration and it was never very accurate. I'm not sure any of us can pull off a trick like that in such a short window of time. I mean, between the first teleport and the second we'll be in free fall and..." Her train of thought suddenly shifted as an idea popped into her head. "Wait... couldn't we fly over there? I've only taken the shape of a cat so far, but couldn't we turn into something with wings? Like... a bird or a bat or something?"
 

lacktheknack

Je suis joined jewels.
Jan 19, 2009
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"However, I would advise against falling victim to Minerva's imagination. As many of you should have already discovered, she doesn't play gently."

She's an awful *****, that's what she is.

Andra shuddered, remembering the flaming vision. She watched as others started planning their approach - she'd wait until they figured something out and then follow their lead. No way was she going to stick her neck out for Minerva to see.
 

Ruedyn

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Jun 29, 2011
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'Right. How're we gonna do this now?'

Giles scanned the scenery, poles and needles to stand on, but some were too far to simply jump. Teleporting, he could do that now. Would never get used to that. Easy enough for his nimble feet, but what about the others? Whispering among each other, perhaps some were afraid. Not like it was gonna kill them, like the old man said. Giles sighed, looking between the group, then switching his gaze to Minerva. Questions were almost over. Time to act?

'Distraction's always worked.' Giles kept his face neutral as he reached in his silk belt, getting his beat up deck of cards. He slipped a card inbetween his fingers behind his back, in halfhearted attempt to hide his actions. 4 of spades. It'd do.

'Minerva seems the crazy sort. Card to the eye, quick insult and she'll probably go after me. But where to run.' His eyes went back to the needles, there were a few routes meant for the weak likely enough. Quick would help them anyways. Probably. His route would be a left, and then zig zag back to the center. They'd catch on quick enough, hopefully.

'Plan of action set, fellow idiots hopefully gaining courage, Minerva likely looking for the first mover. Get this over with, and we can look into taking the edge off later.' Giles looked over the recruits one last time, waiting for them to finish up.

"One last question; is the giggling and skipping because you're 5 years old, or is it just to remind us how batshit you are?" Giles took a half-step forward, throwing his card with a small flourish, whipping his cloak over his shoulder. He quickly turned his thoughts to teleporting.
 

NinjaDeathSlap

Leaf on the wind
Feb 20, 2011
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Minerva plucked the card out of the air, and blew a raspberry as it dissolved into smoke between her fingers, before vanishing into the fog.

"Well, it would seem there are no further questions..." said the Old Man, before his form vanished too. One by one, the mentors began to fade out of Minerva's dream-world, all with their own few words of encouragement to their acolytes.

"Someone needs to take charge." Darius whispered in Sparrow's ear. "Get these frightened lambs moving. Just remember, you're a pack, not a herd. Don't let anyone get picked off."

The he too faded, leaving the acolytes alone.
 

Rufio's Ghost

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Langston let out a relieved sigh as their mentors faded from the canyon. He was starting to feel a little more comfortable with this little challenge. They were all going to work together, they couldn't die, and- better yet- Minerva was gone.

'However, I would advise against falling victim to Minerva's imagination. As many of you should have already discovered, she doesn't play gently.'

Remembering the old man's words sent a shiver up the frail man's spine. 'Doesn't play gently' was a gross understatement. Last time she was in his head she broke his spirit with an almost uncanny ease and, if it hadn't been for Selena's intervention, she would have killed him. He had no doubts about that. Now the mere sight of her was enough to make the young man's blood run cold.

It wasn't that he hated her... he just thought she was cruel, and found her presence repulsive. It was good that she was gone.

'Heh- Gone...'

The pale boy's stomach started to turn,

'Well, she can't actually be gone, now can she Langston? Out of sight out of mind doesn't really apply here...'

Langston looked to Will, the strapping young fellow who had led the attack on the lizard a few days earlier and the only person here who had spent any time training in the witch's mental prisons. He spoke shakily, his voice barely more than a rasping whisper, "Uhm-Will, sir? Please-uh, What do we do?"

Hopefully deferring to young captain's judgement outright would prompt him to take the lead. Sure... Langtson was pathetic, trembling and barely able to speak... but, unlike Will, pride wasn't a factor for him. A man like Will wouldn't be able to turn away an earnest plea, and a man like Langston didn't care how pitiful he sounded. All he wanted was to get the hell out of this canyon and back in his bed.
 

The Funslinger

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Sep 12, 2010
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Will gazed out at the distant spires of rock with his hat in his hands as he contemplated them. Occasionally the short tail he'd tied his lengthening hair into moved in a gust of wind. It still felt slightly odd, and he had to resist the temptation to hold it down.

"Uhm-Will, sir? Please-uh, What do we do?"

Will turned to face the other man. He looked very nervous. Taking a breath, Will walked over to him and put a hand on his shoulder with a smile. "In my experience, Minerva likes to start things normal and then start throwing things in the stew as they occur to her. All we can do is react as we might were this the real world, and watch for the changes. I think making presumptions about not putting feet out of line is only going to slow us down and make us paranoid for the moment. Best start strong." 'I don't doubt she heard that, but what Langston doesn't know... will probably hurt him anyway. Bugger.'

Striding back to the edge of the rock, he planted the tricorne hat back on his head and pointed out to one of the central spires. "I'm heading in that direction. Anyone who wants to follow me is welcome."

Looking back at Langston, he said, "I'd say we all have the same limits for now. If I can make this jump, so can you."

With that, he melted away like a mirage.
 

Dogmatic99

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Jun 24, 2012
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Well this wasn't going anywhere useful and the others were starting to move off now. If they beat her to the end then there was no way Maggy was going to get that prize. Yeah there was that whole thing about them all having to finish an all, but the others could look after themselves well enough. They all looked like they'd slit plenty of throats between them already, being magical assassins probably wasn't that big of a jump for them.

Not as big as the jump she was about to make though. The guides had shown them all the basics of their shared powers and Maggy had grasped the basics of some of them. Of them all she seemed to find working the teleportation (as they called it) easiest. Though she still couldn't do it while she was standing still as memories of various hooded figures chiding her for taking running starts came back to mind. Well that didn't matter, she could do it her way now. All she had to do was get some space... focus on place she wanted to go... right on a nice flat topped spire... and move!

Maggy still couldn't describe the feeling that came over her. Her vocabulary was still poor and her imagination a very grounded little thing. It was as if everything got very close, very fast but all rushed away from her at the same time. The wind whipped past her, around her, she thought. There were times when she'd done this trick and tried to get a look at her arms or legs, to see what it looked like when she did this but every time it was as if she blinked at the last moment and missed it. She opened her eyes though as she took the long step that carried her across the chasm, savoring the feeling as she lingered in the air for a moment, as if she was floating for just an instant at the height of a jump.

And there she was. Landing firmly on the ground, just where she wanted. Furthest jump she'd done yet. 'Yes!' Maggy grinned to herself under her ragged hood. She was getting better at this she was sure of it. Now! She scanned the canyon below her. Where to go from here?
 
Dec 14, 2009
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"Get these frightened lambs moving. Just remember, you're a pack, not a herd. Don't let anyone get picked off."

Sparrow nodded once as Darius faded from sight a small smile curling her lips as she stretched her arms in front of her, cracking her fingers outwards. "Time t'get goin'." She found herself in a unique situation, taking her mentor's advice, a half dozen Sparrows puffed into existence. Spreading out a little, each of them set their sights on another member of the group, while the original Sparrow quickly blinked out of existence and reappeared atop one of the tall stone spires.

This would be a vital opportunity to see how the others used their powers in a more practical sense. Looking towards the others, the girl almost giggled with anticipation as she set goal towards more of the spires. Holding a hand over her brow, Sparrow narrowed her eyes as she looked into the distance. "This goes on forever..." She whispered in awe.

'Better start moving then.'

Leaping forward, the girl fell quickly, her cloak bellowing behind her. Another two Sparrows appeared next to her in mid flight, before all three blinked out of sight, with each of them reappearing on three separate pillars.

The Sparrow who had decided to follow Selena casually walked up to the woman, arms crossed over her chest as she raised an eyebrow. "You gonna overthink this all day, or are ya gonna starting shifting arse?"
 

Ruedyn

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There wasn't much slow down, Giles noted. It was just an instant. It felt like the floor beneath him fell away more than him moving, but that's what it was, wasn't it? Teleportation: pure, simple, bullshit magic. It took less focus than he thought, was it always just that easy? He took a deep breath, leaping into the air, and with a thought he was further ahead, over another. His feet hit the ground, and he turned around to see the rest of them.

"You just gonna let me breeze through this shit alone?!" Giles broke out into a shit eating grin, despite the feeling of loss for his favorite card. Minerva wasn't there personally, unfortunately, meaning his plan might be harder. Was she watching them all? Sparrow was starting to move too, showing off... cloning? Cloning. He got puppets, and she could multiply. Giles sighed as he turned, teleporting out, testing his reach. Barely, on his toes, he scrambled forward. What was the distance on that?

'Doesn't matter, keep going.'

Giles teleported again, beginning to let his inner showman out. He waited till halfway through a cartwheel to go again, finishing the landing neatly. He was starting to feel himself tire as he teleported again, and he felt disoriented. Too much sudden change in his location, too much... nothing. He needed to get his bearings again, he rested his hands on his knees, looking around, "A-any of you keeping up, or is my dust too tasty?"
 

EnigmaticSevens

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Sep 18, 2009
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Ezrah's brow scrunched slightly at Selena's suggestion. There were some discrepancies here. Unless he jumped blind and pushed himself to the limit of his range, Ezrah had never had to worry about the destination, the 'jumps' taking him where he desired. Then again, Ezrah had always thought of the jumps as less of a trip into nothingness, and more of a trip into Mylaviss' embrace, at least for a moment, and Mylaviss would not lead his children astray. It still left a rather odd flavor in his mouth, foreign concept that it was, but as far as their shared dark god was concerned, Ezrah was learning the value in a measure of faith. But teleportation was one thing, turning into small animals was quite another, and the thought of it didn't exactly sit well in Ezrah's gullet. He'd spent too many days doing too many horrible things to a box full of rats to want to risk trading places with one, to any degree... at least not yet," Could work.... Though, I ain't been small shaped enough to know if that messes with your head any, but I now it's a helluva lot easier to dick about with small minds than it is bigguns...."

A few of the others seemed less inclined to conversation and more inclined to hurl themselves at oblivion's teeth face first... several of them already bounding from needle to needle. The small girl, the bird one, Kestrel maybe, offered a quip and little else. Ezrah heaved a rather weary sigh, it seemed rather difficult to work as a team if everyone scattered off willy nilly without half a thought," Both, dammit! But fuck if I know anythin', last time I thought I was bein' clever I got tagged by a fuckin' overgrown liz-"

Ezrah paused, mid-sentence, mid-thought. Back in the sewers... all of that had been a learning experience, and it'd be daft to toss aside all those lessons now. After all, this wasn't the first time the lot of them had been locked in rather unwilling congress with Minerva's mind, some feelings were harder to forget than others," Iffin you look for it, if you let your mind go still fer a bit... you can feel her in there, wigglin' about like she's tryin' ta grip the inside a your fuckin' skull. That grip'll tighten when she's windin' up to hit us with somethin', use it like a call out... a warnin', might buy us a few seconds 'fore shit goes sideways."

It seemed the only sound advice he could offer, and for now, a bit of unsolicited advice was about the most Ezrah was willing to impart in the name of teamwork until the screaming started. Hell, it was more than he'd ever had cause to offer before. In the few seconds it took to walk to the canyon's edge, Ezrah turned his mind forward, plotting out a path among the spires. In their eagerness, the other children had answered his most pressing question. They could make it from spire to spire without too much strain. Good then, if Ezrah was going to do this in jumps, he wan't keen on the idea of stopping, maybe... just maybe, the more time one spent in that inbetween darkness, the less time they spent under Minerva's thrall. It was worth a shot, even if the thought of trying it left the boy's stomach in knots. He had his path, and after each step, he'd have what... maybe two steps to recalculate and proceed? Sounded about right. Ezrah killed the doubts in his mind as quickly as he could manage, he'd have no room for them, room in his mind for precious little else than the feel of Minerva's grip and the way forward. No point in dawdling then, it wouldn't have been wise to take the first step, but it damn sure wouldn't be wise to be the last to take it. The middle was safest... perhaps, anything that lessened the amount of attention he drew from Minerva.

The boy walked off the cliff side, didn't jump, didn't run, didn't leap, even when his body begged him to. This was magic, this was the ethereal, not the physical, what place did things like momentum or conservation of energy have in this realm? None at all (Believe, just believe it, or none of this makes sense, and you're probably gonna die). Ezrah's foot landed on the first platform, followed in a shimmering instant by the rest of his body. There, another question answered. He wouldn't think of them as jumps, jumps were physical things, and if one jumped, one had to stick the landing. No... he would step. Steps were easier to gauge, easier to manage, easier to relegate to the periphery of the mind while one focused on more pressing things, like the potential snares and pitfalls born of a madwoman's mind. Still straining gingerly to feel the edges of Minerva's grip, still keeping in mind the path he'd outlined from this new perspective, and still trying valiantly not to piss himself, Ezrah stepped forward again.