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 A World of Wonder (Isabella)

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PostSubject: A World of Wonder (Isabella)   Fri Nov 30, 2012 2:33 am

Location: The Obsidian Circus; Just outside Libirum

Cries of delight and wonder echoed through the night, the immediate area brightly lit by a great many colors. Sinder approached the circus with a wide smile, wondering if this place was all it was cracked up to be. He had heard much about the Obsidian Circus, that it was literally the greatest show on earth. A great burst of fire flew up from amongst the tents, a chorus of cheers echoing from that direction. Even as the long tongue of flame licked into the sky, tendrils of shadow shot around it. The pure black threads wove amongst the flames, the effect mesmerizing for the seconds the fire lasted. Sinder smiled at the sight, already quite impressed.

He stepped to the back of the line for admittance, peeking out the side and sighing. Dozens of people were ahead of him of course, and he was in no mood to wait. A simple flick of his arm threw his cloak about himself, Sinder vanishing. He reappeared behind the admittance booth, grinning back at everyone still waiting. He quickly stepped into the crowd, vanishing among them and deeper into the circus.

All around were wonderful acts and amazing sights. The fire and shadow had come from a pair of clowns, another three standing nearby. As he watched, a geyser of water erupted out of the earth, weaving through the air in intricate lines. Streaks of fire were shot through each loop that the water made, connecting on the other side with floating balloons. Each balloon had been made into an animal shape, moving through the air as though alive. When all of the balloons were popped, the clowns bowed to a wave of applause before breaking away from each other. The air controller filled more balloons, shaping them into animals and controlling them. A shadow puppet show also began against the side of the tent, the shadowmancer hard at work. Fireballs began to spin about, juggled by the pyromancer as bubbles began to stream into the air, each one a different color. The firelight dancing in the multi-colored bubbles was a sight to behold. Flowers began to sprout in front of every audience member as well, the earth caster picking them and offering them to each person.

Sinder was impressed, but he was also amused by the fact that he kept drawing expectant glances. In his bright clothing, they seemed to think he was part of the circus, and expected him to put on an act. He was wearing purple pants, a black and gold shirt and a red cape over one shoulder. The purple and gold top hat likely did not help either. Deciding to play along, Sinder threw his cape over his shoulder with a flourish. A circle of empty space quickly opened around him, eyes watching intently. "Ladies and gentlemen, it is my great pleasure to perform for you this evening." he announced, bowing and sweeping off his hat. As he replaced it, a dozen floating lights appeared in the air around him. They constantly shifted colors, drifting in erratic patterns. "I will require the contribution of an audience member for my act. Would any of you fine people be in possession of a piece of ribbon?"

The crowd milled around as each looked about, but at last a little girl stepped forward. She untied a piece of ribbon from her hair, holding it out to Sinder with a wide and excited smile. Sinder crouched down before her, taking the ribbon with a kind smile. "Thank you my dear. I promise you will be getting this back." He turned back to the crowd, spinning slowly to look at every one of them. He also was looking at the surrounding circus. He spotted a balloon animal and some bubbles floating up from the clowns nearby. There was also a shadow puppet show, with five puppets currently moving around the side of a tent. People could also be clearly seen moving on the opposite side of the canvas. A plan formed in his mind.

"My gracious audience! I am about to perform a stunning feat of talent and magic the likes of which you have never seen!" The expected murmurs of disbelief sounded, but Sinder did not mind. They would learn soon enough. "Using just a single knife, I will hit that balloon elephant, five of the colored bubbles, and pierce every one of the hearts of those shadow puppets." he indicated each target in turn. "I promise you that those behind the shadow puppets will be unharmed. This single knife will accomplish all of these tasks without once touching any surface, other than the targets themselves of course." he flourished his arm, snapping his wrist into the air. A dagger promptly appeared in it, and Sinder tied the ribbon around it. A few gasps sounded, but magic was common enough. He would have to do better. "I have a dozen such daggers on me, but this one alone will possess the ribbon." Sinder's hand moved as a blur as he spun quickly in a circle. His hands moved so fast no one could tell what was happening, until they noticed the eleven knives sticking into the ground in a perfect circle around Sinder. They clapped earnestly now, the show of skill impressing them.

Sinder held up his hands for silence, taking his ribbon knife and turning to focus on his target. The crowd fell silent as he took a breath, hurling the knife. He vanished as it flew through the air, the dagger piercing a balloon elephant with a pop. Sinder reappeared in the air past the elephant, catching the dagger as he turned. He started to fall, but turned and hurled it once more before vanishing. The knife hit one of the large bubbles, popping it and four others all around. Again Sinder appeared, catching it in mid air and redirecting the knife. He vanished again, the knife hitting a single shadow puppet in the heart. However, four more slashes appeared as it hit, the other puppets all similarly stricken. The crowd gasped, sure that the knife had gone through the tent to hit someone behind it. Then the side of the tent fell away, the five slashes having cut a hole in the tent. The people on the inside turned in astonishment, wondering what had happened.

The crowd stared in awe, but mostly in wonder. The dagger was gone, but the tightly packed crowd within the tent was unharmed. Then a flurry of loud bangs and bright lights, colored sparks flying, drew their attention upward. Standing on the side of a wooden post, ribbon tied dagger in hand, was Sinder. He had teleported into the tent and caught the dagger before it hit anyone else, then warped to the side of the post. He now stood horizontal, boots holding fast as he bowed. Of course, the bow made his hat fall off, but he quickly dropped down as well. he landed on his feet, the tumbling hat landing neatly on his head at a slight angle. Cheers erupted from the crowd as Sinder bowed again. "Thank you, thank you!" he cried, spotting a few angry looking circus people walking from the tent he had damaged. He smiled, thinking it was time to be going. "Tell your friends of Sinder the Tenebrous! Master of knives and the man who steps between shadow!" he cried, more cheers erupting as he turned and walked briskly away. Oh yes, tell your friends and have them come to the circus. Sinder thought with a smile. I like this place, and I will be working here soon enough. Sinder was a man who knew how to get what he wanted.
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PostSubject: Re: A World of Wonder (Isabella)   Thu Dec 06, 2012 3:51 am

Small feet dangled on either side of a large, white horse's sides, the milky tone of the girl's flesh almost blending in perfectly with the equine's. The dark clothing she wore contrasted brightly with the beast, helping to make her stand out in the ring that much better. Her act was over with, though, and she was heading towards the side of the ring and the exit of the tent, the sound of applause following her.

A few beads of sweat rolled down Isabella's temple as she and Eidolon started their trek towards their wagon. It was clear on the other end of the Carnival grounds, but she didn't mind. The walk was a good way to cool down from a lively show, and it always gave Isabella time to search the crowds outside the Big Top for any potential allies. She hadn't noticed any within while performing, but there was always the possibility that others of her kind didn't fancy watching the horse acrobat.

Much to her chagrin, nothing and no one caught her eye on the ride to the camp she shared with Madame Ethelia, the resident fortune teller. Sighing quietly, she set about doing her post-act rituals. Eidolon shambled up into his cart without a fuss, knowing full well that her next move was to get him fresh hay and some sort of treat. Tonight, the first sweet thing she managed to find was a handful of sugar cubes. The horse whickered softly, gobbling them up out of her small hands before turning his attention to the hay she'd doled out for him.

Once Eidolon was satisfied, Isabella locked up his cart so that the Carnival guests could no longer see or disturb him. He was a bit on the skittish side when she wasn't around to assure him that everything was just fine. Perhaps he took after his handler too much, she thought to herself, shuffling up and into her own cart. Night had fully settled in, but she wasn't tired yet. Despite having seen each and every act a thousand times, she enjoyed wandering the Carnival on her own. Sometimes people recognized her, but more often than not, they didn't. Honestly, she preferred the latter, but a practiced smile always appeared on her face when she heard the telltale gasp of recognition.

After a few minutes of adjusting her outfit and brushing the frazzled mess her hair had become, she exited the cart again. This time, she had footwear - a pair of combat boots that, compared to her legs, seemed far too large for such a small girl. In fact, they were a constant reason for the clowns to giggle at her while they were painted up, claiming that she must be one of them because she matched their own overly-sized shoes. Chuckling to herself, Isabella locked her cart up and hopped down the stairs, her boots thudding with each step.

Usually at this point, she would get the fire started and make something for dinner, but tonight she was feeling exceptionally lazy in the cooking department. Skirting around she and Ethelia's fire pit, she headed back towards the public area of the Carnival. Her first stop was one of the handful of concession booths in the main alley. She gained a few odd glances when she stepped away from the counter, 2 hot dogs, a cheeseburger, and a small plate of nachos in her tiny hands. One kind soul offered to help her towards the table, but she declined politely.

Sitting down while eating was a horrible waste of time. Shoving the first hotdog into her mouth, Isabella started her slow circuit of the Carnival. The spouts of flame were a good indication of where she'd find the clowns, so she took the long way around towards them.

By the time she reached that area, only the aquamancer's bubbles remained as evidence of the clowns' presence; only the nachos remained of Isabella's dinner. Something clearly had a large crowd of guests' attention, though, and she moved forward, easily worming her way through the throng until she reached a spot where nearly a dozen knives had been thrown into the ground in a circle.

'Odd,' she thought, crunching loudly on one of the nachos. If anyone around her noticed the obnoxious chip, they didn't even so much as glare. The knives didn't look like Micah's, and didn't see the dark-haired Knife Thrower anywhere, nor his targets. Hazel eyes scanned the crowd, searching for the reason all these people were here. Finally, she followed the gaze of a pair of children across the crowd from her and spotted an oddly dressed man hovering in the air... wait, no... falling. Her head tilted to the side some as she popped another chip into her mouth. This one was smothered with cheese, and the sound was much more muffled as the man blinked out of existence and then back into it right in front of Isabella.

Gasping, she jumped a bit at how close he was. Somehow, she managed to hold on to the nachos, thankfully. Slightly cheesy lips pursed together at the man's announcement. One black eyebrow rose in question. Catching the glimpse of fellow Carnival employees, Isabella quickly got the idea that nobody knew who this man was, or why he was here performing. Had Ray'lori hired a new act without informing... well, anybody?

That seemed highly unlikely. As the crowd erupted with applause at the man's feat of standing horizontally, she noticed a few of the other Carnival employees heading in this direction. The street performer seemed to recognize the signs of being unwelcome and quickly moved away from the area. The 11 knives he'd embedded into the ground presumably at the beginning of his trick remained where they were. Apparently they were not important to him.

But they couldn't stay here. There were children around, for goodness' sake! Cramming the last few nachos into her mouth, Isabella tossed the cheesy container into a nearby can and scurried forward, collecting the weapons. The knives were small, and while they fit nicely in her own small appendages, it was clear that she'd never be able to hold all of them at once without help. Grunting to herself, she shoved ten of the knives into the satchel hanging at her side and, with the eleventh grasped tightly in her hand, darted after the man.

His legs were long, and his steps were longer, but she was quite practiced at moving through crowds. "Hey! Hey you!" she called out, but there were too many people around and she was probably too short to notice. Many looked in her direction when she yelled, but not Sinder the Tenebrous. Oh. Duh.

"Sinder?!" she tried, sliding between a pair of guests walking in opposite directions, careful not to slice either of them with the blade in her hand. Violence, even of the accidental variety, could mean slipping out of her illusion... And that could mean catching the attention of some rather unsavory types.

Sinder was now the closest person to her, and she quickly crossed the distance between the two of them. "I think you forgot something," she huffed, holding the one knife out in her hand so he could see while she caught her breath.
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PostSubject: Re: A World of Wonder (Isabella)   Fri Dec 07, 2012 4:56 pm

The sound of his name being shouted made Sinder swear at first. Being recognized was not always a good thing for him, but he turned with a smile regardless. If it was an enemy of his then the smile may throw them off long enough for his dagger to sink into their heart. If they were a friend then a smile was in order. His heart skipped a beat as he thought of his daggers...the invaluable weapons he had left back where he had been performing. That almost wiped the phoney smile from his face, until he saw that the approaching girl was carrying them as well. "My deepest and most sincere thanks youg lady," Sinder greeted with a deep bow, one hand sweeping the hat from his head and the other pulling his cloak across his body. "I swear that I have left these behind more times than I can count. The one who gave them to me would be most...put out, if I actually lost them." It was quite an understatement. The demonic being that had granted him those marvelous knives often used them to contact him to demand favors. Losing that link could lead to his death quite easily.

Sinder straightened once more, placing his top hat back on his head. Smiling genuinely at the girl, he realized she looked rather familiar to him. It took him a few seconds, but considering the setting there could be no doubt who he was speaking to. "By all of the gods and the fools who blindly worship them," Sinder swore with an even wider grin, eyes sparkling. "Isabella Scabbia! I apologize for not recognizing you sooner, but I am a bit out of sorts this night, else I would never have forgotten my daggers and would more quickly have realized the exalted company I have the honor of keeping this evening." He kept up with many of the larger and more interesting circuses in the area. It was a secret dream of his to start his own one day, to get back to his roots. The Obsidian Circus was one of the most popular and exciting of the circuses, and Isabella was a major act. His flaterry might have been a bit overdone, but the excitement behind it was entirely sincere.
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PostSubject: Re: A World of Wonder (Isabella)   Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:52 am

Success!

Isabella slowed her run as the man turned. The smile on his face was large and wide - too much so for her liking. It seemed to tone down after half a beat, and her shoulders relaxed. Something about the man screamed pain and violence, the latter of which she did not want to resort to at this moment in time with so many people around. Biting down on her lip, she offered the knife towards Sinder, hilt first.

"It's not a problem," she responded, her free hand beginning to dig around in her bag for the other weapons. While he admitted to having left them a multitude of times, she couldn't help but grin inwardly. She'd never be so daft as to leave her scythe behind. Granted, it could materialize at the mere thought, but that was besides the point. Never leave your belongings where others could get them. "Just be careful next time. Not everyone around here is as nice as me," she grinned.

When the man stood back up straight and all of the knives had been transferred back to their rightful owner, Isabella took a closer look at him. He was tall and thin, but not in an unhealthy way like her true form was. His clothing was more than a little outlandish, but he seemed to fit in with the other Carnival employees. It was a bit odd to see a guest dressed in their own sort of garb, though, to say the least.

While she was getting a look at him, it seemed he'd been doing the same. Hazel eyes whisked upwards at the sound of a slight gasp emitting from Sinder's throat. Her head tilted somewhat as he began to speak, but soon enough, a blush was forming on her face. The crimson was barely evident beneath the white powder coating her cheeks, but they definitely seemed a bit darker. His wide, maniacal grin was back and it took everything she had not to take an involuntary step back. This time the look was much more sincere, and so she remained rooted to the spot as he began to compliment her more than she probably deserved.

She could feel the heat continuing to seep up and into her cheeks, but she allowed a gracious smile to curl the corners of her lips upwards. "Truly, you flatter me, Sir. But surely, there are others here, whose acts are just as impressive - if not more so - than my own."

Forever nervous when dealing with fans, Isabella's hands fidgeted in front of her. She popped the knuckles on her left with a sickening crack, but didn't seem to notice the horrendous sound. As a professional, she always attempted to maintain an air of confidence while around people, but it was clear to anyone who looked close that personal flattery and adoration (as opposed to the raucous applause of an entertained audience) were not things she was accustomed to.
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PostSubject: Re: A World of Wonder (Isabella)   Fri Dec 21, 2012 5:01 am

Sinder waved a hand, brushing aside her attempts at modesty with a slight smile. He had heard of her for reasons other than because of her act, but showing his hand at this time would not be advantageous. My dear, I do admit that I continue to keep a rather close eye on many a circus, but your not so minor show here has rather caught my attention." In all honesty, he had disregarded most other acts in favor of the Obsidian Circus. This place had the most pizazz, the most magical flare with a healthy mix of sheer talent to keep it interesting. It was everything he had always thought that a circus could be, that he had hoped to turn one into, and now he wanted to be a part of it. "I also must tell you that among the many acts that make up your circus, your own act brings back a sense of nostalgia for me. It reminds me of when circus acts were feats of sheer physical talent, when magic was used to neither modify an act nor make it more...sterile." he sighed heavily, thinking back to the circus his parents had performed in all those years ago. "In all honesty, I cannot say for sure whether magic has served to enhance the experience, or merely to make it that much less impressing. When you know the trick of the act, the real magic seems to fade, do you not agree?"

It was a question he had struggled with for quite some time now. Circus acts before they were magically enhanced had been truly astounding, the acrobatics nothing more than sheer discipline. It was like a magic show, when you knew that everything you saw was being accomplished by nothing more than ingenuity and cleverness. Now, making a car disappear or escaping shackles while underwater was something so everyday as to be unremarkable. It was one of the great ironies of the world that the appearance of true magic had made so many things less magical. Magic became a steroid, a drug that improved acts beyond the scope of imagination, and yet made them all so much less impressive. Knowing that most of the performers were using a cheat just took the fun right out of it. Sinder sighed, knowing that most of his own talents came from such magic. He was as fake as the very acts which he so disliked, but without such cheats he would be a normal human, completely powerless in this world of magic and monsters.
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