Closed Self-Preservation

Eustacia Lancaster

Lady of the Dead • Neromancy Leader • Former DE
 
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Unyielding Hornbeam Staff with Acromantula Silk Core / Elder Wood Wand 15" with Thestral Tail-hair
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It was late. The moon hung high in the starlit sky, and the night air was cool and crisp. Silence permeated a small, quiet cemetery somewhere in New Zealand's north island, unfrequented by the non-magical population. It was, for the most part, wizards who were lain to rest here. Not a single living soul was present at this hour, the last to pay their respects for the dead having long since departed some hours earlier. The hush that had fallen over the grounds was disturbed only by the sudden ripple of air, and moments later, Eustacia stood tall in the center of the graveyard, stave in one hand whilst the other tightly clutched a leather-bound tome.

Homenum revelio.

The incantation crossed the elderly woman's mind as she surveyed the area, ensuring it was as empty as she suspected. Nothing stirred. Satisfied that her spell hadn't detected the presence of any other humans in the vicinity, she raised her staff into the air. From the corners of the grounds, a silver mist began to coalesce, drifting over the graveyard until it had grown into a heavy rolling fog and obscured its view from the remainder of the sleeping community. It seeped through the wrought-iron fence that encompassed the grounds, thinning as it fell over the empty roads and dissipated into the rest of the cold night air, but its central point remained free from prying eyes.

From within, the silence was broken further still, space contorting with the tell-tale sounds of apparition. Eustacia took a step forward, cutting a path in front of her with the tip of her stave. The blanket of fog parted way, giving the woman and her arriving necromancers a clear passage to a simple stone mausoleum, not far from where they'd appeared. She lead the way through the dark gloom. It was time to meet the resident spirit.​
 

Frederick Vincent

Quiet | Lost | Borgin & Burke's Assistant
 
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Daphne
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Frederick had no regrets about joining the Scitorari. It felt like a true purpose, and over the past few months he had started to feel like he belonged in this group. He felt more at home in the Necromancy group than he really had anywhere else in a long, long time. He was no longer on his own, and for that alone he felt loyal to the group. But it wasn't just that, they were actually working towards a goal. A noble goal that Frederick was believing in more and more these days. He kept an eye out for any interesting items that might enter Borgin and Burke's, but so far hadn't really been of much use to the Scitorari. He was glad he could participate tonight, and felt both nervous and excited as he followed his fellow necromancers towards the mausoleum. The young man glanced at the person beside him, wondering what this night would bring. He was hopeful and trusted Eustacia, but couldn't help being a little nervous too. He remained quiet for now, observing what the others were doing, as well as their leader.
 

Esme Lancaster

Seeress • Chronomancer • Grieving
 
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1,472
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Pure Blood
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Seeing Somebody
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Curly 11 ½ Inch Rigid Hawthorn Wand with Augurey Tail Feather Core
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5/2024
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Despite how late into the night it was, Esme was more awake than ever. The seeress had taken to sleeping her days away in the hopes she would finally receive some form of useful vision, after months of little more than vague, indecipherable snippets of things to come - impossible to predict until they'd already passed in most cases. Anything else at this point would have been welcome, yet all she endured were horrible nightmares of the past. It was her fault that Yevheniy, Fenris and Arlo were now wasting their futures in Azkaban. Her fault Ioan had lost his memories. It had gone so wrong. It hadn't meant to happen that way. The burden of that still weighed heavily on her shoulders, and she was determined to make up for it, to prove her gifts were as valuable as she'd been lead to believe.

The seeress appeared in the midst of a fog, unable to see past her own nose until it parted ways moments later. Esme pulled in her shawl to combat the chill that settled over the graveyard, a stark contrast to the warm glow of the fireplace she'd just apparated away from. She joined the others in walking towards the mausoleum. They were going in blind. There was no telling what the outcome of the night would be. Esme hadn't been able to predict it, as much as she'd tried. No amount of divining allowed her any insight. All she knew was that it didn't feel right.​
 

Eustacia Lancaster

Lady of the Dead • Neromancy Leader • Former DE
 
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Unyielding Hornbeam Staff with Acromantula Silk Core / Elder Wood Wand 15" with Thestral Tail-hair
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The Necromancer reached the entrance to the mausoleum and paused, throwing a glance over her shoulder toward the towering walls of fog. With another raise of her staff, the two sides collapsed back into each other, obscuring the path she had cut through. Turning back ahead, she pressed a hand against the mausoleum's entrance. The sound of stone grinding against stone echoed as the entrance slid aside, though the sound failed to escape the general vicinity, instead muffled by her enchanted field. Eustacia lead the way inside the mausoleum's gloomy interior, and further still, down a spiraling staircase in the chamber's center that descended into little more than darkness. The woman clicked her fingers, the snap unnaturally sharp inside the confines of the mausoleum, and in response a myriad of candles ignited, lighting the way into its depths. Most were already quite short, a cascade of melted wax that had burned low from her repeated visits in the past. Arriving at the bottom, Eustacia stepped onto a raised dais at the far end of the underground chamber, where a coffin lay illuminated by the flames warm glow, and turned to face her necromancers, her eyes gesturing for them to find a place to stand while they waited. Her free hand touched the coffin's lid, and she focused her attention on the flickering firelight around them. "Sienna." Eustacia called into the quiet. A beat passed, and the once inviting, orange flames dimmed into a cold, unsettling blue.​
 

Sienna Stewart

experimental spellcaster; mother of 2; stuck 👻
 
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6
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Pheeb
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Half Blood
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Once in life, Sienna had not made a habit of engaging with the Scitorari. It hadn't been her own line of work, focusing instead on creating magic. It had been her curiosity that had gotten the better of her, a young mother who had taken things just that little step too far. Her death had thankfully be instantaneous, barely had Sienna even felt the pinch that took her life, but as she'd woken into a new world she knew her life would never been the same as she'd once known it. That had been over seventy years ago, and the spellcaster had been floating through the shadows of the small village in New Zealand, unwilling to show her face to those she'd been close to, aware of how much confusion it would unravel if she had. Over the years she'd witnessed her children grow into adults. They had families of their own now. She could never comprehend the idea that this would be her future. A cold hollow existence that satisfied neither of her desires and force to spend her eternity in a limbo. At least, that was the case until she was invited by the Lady of the Dead.

Sienna's eyes flickered open, focused into the depth of the dark gloomy mausoleum that held her body that let her down in the mortal world. The translucent figures face turned to each of the members in the room, slowly at the first, before settling on the white haired woman at the head of the pack. She allowed herself to glide forward, inching her way towards the coffin as her eyes dropped to its detail. Her body had been in perfect condition this whole time, the spell that had sent the woman to her fate had frozen her physicality. Her grey eyes lingered on the box, considering its contents and everything it had separated her from, before they flashed up to meet Eustacia Lancasters gaze. Was it too good to be true?
 

Belladonna Corvus

holding a grudge; always pushing back 💎
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Bella had been gasping for something she could really get her teeth into, something that was more than just research or observation. She'd been part of the Scitorari for a couple of years now, the blonde more on edge after her brother had joined forces with the Auror's, but that wasn't going to stop her finding out the full power that people like them had at their disposal. She followed the others with excitement at her fingertips and they'd headed out, eager to see whether magic like this really was a possibility. The former Slytherin wasn't sure why more people didn't find the thought of something like this becoming a reality as exciting, asides from fear. Fear is what kept most people from discovering a full potential and unlike the rest of her family, she wasn't about to sit and watch her life waste by. The woman stood in her own section of the underground chamber, watching to see exactly how Eustacia was going to make the connection. Her eyes were wide as she felt the adrenaline running through her body, eyes focused on the flickering flame as it changed colour.
 
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Clara Hayes

daddy's girl; infiltrator; devilish
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Curved 12 Inch Sturdy Black Walnut Wand with Mermaid Scale Core
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Clara was the epitome of a Daddy's girl. To the point that whatever Daddy wanted, Clara would get for him. So when he'd told her that he needed her to join the Scitorari and work with Eustacia's people, she'd only been too happy to oblige. She was nothing if not Daddy's little soldier, and with him holed up in his Private room with his beasts and books and magical spells, he might even have been here himself. As it was, Clara had attended in his place, lest he be forgotten for the work had done so far. Following the small group, Clara kept her wand close to her in case it was needed. It wasn't that she didn't trust Eustacia - she didn't - but she knew you could never trust someone completely. Her Daddy had made damn sure she knew that. He'd made sure she didn't even trust him implicitly, though she believed he might have failed on that count, as all Hayes bore loyalty to the family, well, all those of his blood and rearing. Adopted or not, biological or not, all Hayes knew where their roots lie. Though Clara remained the most closely loyal to her father and maintained his presence in the wider world, she knew many of her siblings held the same values - except for maybe one or two - but it was enough for her to lean on.

As she watched the scene before her, Clara could feel chills running up and down her body as they waited - patiently and impatiently for her - to see how the connection would be made and what exactly was going to happen. After all, it was not every day one bore witness to such a sight, especially one as young as Clara, undoubtedly the youngest of the current group of Scitorari present. An honour and a privilege she was sure. She would do her Daddy proud and she would not drag his name down, not for anything.
 
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Frederick Vincent

Quiet | Lost | Borgin & Burke's Assistant
 
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Daphne
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Frederick observed the other necromancers before turning his attention back to their leader. Eustacia opened the mausoleum, then led them inside. Frederick followed, glad for the candles lighting the way. He stayed close to the walls once they arrived in the underground chamber, watching the proceedings from where he stood. He knew there was nothing to be done but watch for now, but he felt an eagerness as he watched the flames turn blue. He took a single step closer to see better, his eyes trained on the ghost as she appeared and then glided towards the coffin. He held his breath as he waited to see what would happen next.
 

Eustacia Lancaster

Lady of the Dead • Neromancy Leader • Former DE
 
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Eustacia's eyes met the eerie pearl of the spirit before her, and she inclined her head in acknowledgment. "Welcome." She said, before turning to address the others gathered in the chamber. "Today, we find ourselves provided with a rare opportunity." She explained. The woman motioned towards the coffin, its lid dissolving from the material world. From within, Sienna's mortal body raised, held aloft as if from unseen strings, to come to a rest above the coffin she had lain in. The stone lid shimmered back into existence to support her, and her body gently came to a rest upon its surface. At a glance, one may have mistaken the woman for simply sleeping, if not for her very soul lingering in the room. "A cadaver, untouched by time and decay, it's life taken away through magical means. We will be exploring the possibility of reversing this fate, and restoring Sienna's mortality." Many spells held their own specific counter-spells. It came to reason that if there were spells that could take life away, there must have, in some way, existed a spell to return life. A spell yet undiscovered, as most spells were at one point or another. "The belief that spells have irreversible effects are simply that - beliefs. Progress cannot be made if not for those of us who are willing to push the boundaries of known magic." The Necromancer declared. She set the tome she held beside the deceased's body, and flicked through its contents until she found the page she'd needed. A collection of notes from across the world, books of the dead, myths and legends, all compiled into one grimoire. She was intrigued to see if any held any water. Her work with Ioan hadn't borne fruit, though unlike their instance, she was working with much more than a simple ashwinder. Only humans and their companions had the capacity to retain a shade in the world of the living. It was all she had to experiment with. "Sienna, please, occupy the space of your mortal body, and we can begin." She requested, gesturing toward the woman's still form.​
 

Sienna Stewart

experimental spellcaster; mother of 2; stuck 👻
 
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Pheeb
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Sienna could hear the words the woman was saying, but her mind was elsewhere entirely. The ghost's eyes lay on the coffin in the middle of the room as for a brief moment she considered that this could have fallen through the moment it was opened. As far as she was concerned they could have been the only people in the room. The audience was unnecessary in her eyes, but if they could learn what from they witnessed, maybe it would help others that had received her fate. What if her body had not been laid to rest in there? It had been so long, perhaps it had been moved or transferred and the last drop of hope that the woman had would be lost. She floated lightly across the room, reaching out a hand as though wanting to prove for herself it was real. She paused at the side of the box as the woman muttered the spell that would release her body, and she waited with baited breath as the lid revealed what was inside. Had she not been a transparent version of her former self, the tears welling in her eyes may have actually felt like something rather than a continuing reminder of how empty she was. Her body looked almost identical to the moment she'd departed it, which was both a blessing and a curse. She had been a ghost for some time now, but that fact she was so close yet so far from mortality was the hardest thing of all. She wanted to believe that Eustacia was right, that their challenge of reversing her retirement would and could be a success. Sienna moved as instructed, occupying her body that she hoped they could reunite. She would have so many plans, so many people to meet! This had never been done before of course, and it would take a lot of adaption, but nothing would compare to knowing she had to spend the rest of her eternity stuck in the forced limbo between the mortal and immortal worlds. She stood deep breaths although her lungs were just a void, "Please.." This had to work, this had to be successful.
 

Eustacia Lancaster

Lady of the Dead • Neromancy Leader • Former DE
 
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The necromancer's gaze followed Sienna's movements, until the specter and her mortal body inhabited roughly the same physical space atop the coffin, bathed in the blue light of the ghost fire surrounding the group. Eustacia reached out and placed her fingertips against the dead woman's temple, where a chill washed its way down the length of her arm as her flesh made contact with the ghost's incorporeal form within. Her attention shifted to the tome lain out and she raised the staff in her other hand, reading out the words inscribed on the page. "Spiritus ligare corporis." Eustacia recited. Her stave hummed, energy crackling to life around them while the spell attempted to do the so-far undoable. The body remained frozen, and aside from a low buzz in the air, nothing stirred. "Spiritus ligare corporis." She continued, her voice louder, commanding the spell to give her the outcome she desired. Again, little happened, and again, she repeated the words. The blue flames burning through the wicks of the candles flickered in agitation. Dust dislodged from the ceiling, scattering in a cloud to settle on the chamber floor. Still, Sienna remained unmoving.

"Spiritus ligare corporis."

A crack echoed through the air as the words left Eustacia's lips for a final time and she took a step away from the corpse, retracting the hand that had held her. For the first time since her life had been taken, Sienna's unmarked skin became blemished, black lines running across her features to wither away the previously immortalised flesh, scarring what had been untouched by time. In a matter of minutes, the woman, who's body hadn't aged a day in decades, was reduced to a pile of blackened dust, save the pearly soul resting over it. "Pity." Eustacia muttered to herself. The chances of coming across another body so well preserved, with its soul still tethered to the mortal realm, were considerably low. "I am sorry, Sienna. Perhaps we'll find another way." The necromancer said, lifting her grimoire from the ashes. A physical body seemed integral to reuniting a soul with the living, though it was yet another avenue to explore. "Come, let us leave." She addressed her followers, before turning on her heel to disapparate from the chamber, and leave the ghost to her grief.
 

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