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  • The incident with the Werewolves and Vampires has thrown me off course, not to mention the leaked notes belonging to Joel. Because of them, my search was postponed... now who knows if I will be able to pick up the trail again. Whenever I have a free moment I pour over these notes, trying to decypher them and understand what they point me to. I know I was meant to find them, but they do not yield their secrets to me easily.

    He discovered something, a long time ago. Some secret that enabled him to modify a living being, to take away their abilities. If he hadn't been stopped, who knows what he would have used this for. Knowing their trueblood history, I wouldn't be surprised if his ultimate goal was to take away the magic of those unworthy. But in my hands, that research can be used for good and not for evil.

    Magic... what is it? Is it an innate power born in our genes? Or is it a form of energy that emerges from some great wellspring? Why is it that some can tap into it and others cannot? These are the questions that plague my mind, night after night, tormenting me. I feel as though there are layers of reality we have yet to reach, knowledge that still eludes my understanding. We cannot reach our full potential until we understand the properties of magic fully. I must continue to search, to look back through our history to the greatest, hoping their ancient wisdom will guide me.

    Life, everlasting. So many have struggled, bled, wasted away for that dream. Only a handful have succeeded, at least that we know of. And now another searches for a way to live forever. What foolishness. It is a far better thing, in my estimation, to nobly face the reaper and accept your rest.

    What lengths will he go to over this mad ambition? It is clear he has already gone through a number of possibilities, and it is a good thing indeed he did not retrieve any of my Alchemic research from the old base. Extracting his own soul... surely that is not possible. Or if it were, surely it would only leave behind a lifeless husk. But that does raise the question... what about the spirit?

    Soul, Anima, Sulphur. The energy of life, the animating spark, the blue flame of nature, that which is divine.
    Spirit, Spiritus, Mercury. The mind, volatile, the center of thought and reason, that which is transitory.
    Body, Corpus, Salt. The base matter, the vessel, the center of action, that which is earthly.

    To remove one from the other upsets the balance, the other two spilling out of control. To add to one upsets the balance, the other two breaking from the stress. If one is altered, the others must be similarly altered.

    Lapis philosophi non solum viam vitae vel auro est , sed etiam viam perfectioni.
    Blood. The carrier of life energy. Too often they ask that it be shed, sacrificed for the ambitions of the powerful. But with the right knowledge, it can be used to heal. To create life. This ancient witch knew this... how did she do it? Was it hereditary, and if so could she have any living descendants who carry her blood now? Or did she learn some magic, some technique to transform her own blood? And if the latter is the case, then could one change blood in other ways?
    I have received a message from Britain. It appears I must postpone my investigations until a later date. The vampires have finally shown their hand, as I suspected they would. But I cannot return just yet. There is one more stop I must make for now, to equip myself with the knowledge necessary to prepare the Phoenixes against what may come. It is time I pay a visit to Germany, and a certain Doctor who has experience with such things.
    For those who believe they would be a good fit for Ursanor, here are some extra details to support your newfound pride. Ursanor's house colors are purple and white, and its crest is a white bear on a purple field with white stars (to represent the milky way). Ursanor's Head of House teaches Astronomy, and Ursanors tend to excel at Divination, Astronomy, Ancient Runes, and the various new magical art classes. The Common Room is located near the clock tower, so that students have easy access to the grounds where they can pursue their arts. The Common Room itself is a large round room with beautiful shifting murals on the walls, easels perched by purple couches, and telescopes pointed towards an enchanted ceiling that shows the stars no matter the time of day.
    Utgard prized creativity, spiritualism, and independence, and taught that magic should be used to create beauty and express the soul of the mage. He was famous for his work in divination, particularly Rune-casting which he adopted from Norse wizards and perfected, and enjoyed many talks with the centaurs. He was responsible for creating the Tablet of Ursanor, a beautifully carved stone tablet said to contain numerous prophecies hidden in its runes. Legend says Rowena once attempted to decipher the tablet but failed, and Utgard told her that it could never be understood through logic. The Tablet would of course become Ursanor's house item.
    Yet Ursanor's presence could not prevent Salazar from leaving the school. Though he understood persecution, he felt Serpent's arguments were flawed, knowing firsthand that British wizards were just as capable of persecution than muggles. Nor could the presence of Ursanor house change important historical events such as the rise of you know who. However, Ursanor does change some details from the books. Hogwarts would have a greater selection of Arts to support the creative minds of Ursanors and others. Certain individuals may have been sorted into Ursanor instead of their canon house, the most notable of which being Luna Lovegood. And due to Utgard Ursanor's friendship, the centaurs of the Dark Forest were far more courteous to the students of Hogwarts.
    (Non-RP) (1/3)

    So, I had an idea for a thought-experiment that I wanted to pursue, and I wanted to share my results here. That thought-experiment poses a simple question: What if Hogwarts had a 5th house?
    The easiest part of this was the primary house color, which I decided should be Purple. Of the colors not already claimed by a house, this one fits the best with the others and is the most distinct. However the next part, deciding the house traits, was the most challenging. I decided to get inspiration by thinking in terms of elements. The four houses we have are all themed around one of the classical 4 elements: fire, earth, water, and air. Some ancient philosophers proposed a fifth element, Aether, but no one's quite sure what that is. Most interpret it to be the stuff of the heavens, and it's often represented as "spirit" in modern media. Using this as a base, and thinking about what traits aren't represented by the current houses, the answer suddenly became obvious: this house should represent the Creative and Spiritual.
    The next question is to decide what animal (and by extension what name) will represent the house. After some thinking, I decided on the Bear. Bears feature prominently in stories of spirits, their hibernation can be representative of spiritual isolation/contemplation, and two important constellations are themed after them. With this in mind I was finally able to flesh out more details for this house.
    Ursanor House was founded by Utgard Ursanor, a descendant of Norse settlers in Britain. Utgard received ridicule from "native-born Britons", which caused him to gain an independent streak. Yet he still found friendship among four other mages, and he helped them create Hogwarts school.
    I grow in knowledge, but true understanding still eludes me. For every clue I uncover, another mystery springs up for me to chase down. For every milestone I cross, another lead appears to throw me in a different direction. And all the while the dark forces gather and plot, readying their armies and forging their schemes. Every day I spend out here, the chance of our enemies noticing my absence grows. I am taking a great risk in traveling so far from home, but it is one that I hope shall be worth it.

    Angels, demons, fey, ghosts, djinn. All here and yet not. Near and yet far. Alike and yet worlds apart. Where is the overlap, the bridges that tie them and us? I must get to the root of the matter. If I cannot answer these questions, then we shall never truly triumph over the darkness.

    East and south my travels take me, far beyond the borders of the known. I travel most often under cover of night, keeping H and Scout out of sight. I have been stopped a few times by Aurorlocks of other countries, but they have never detained me for long.

    We are all so different, so varied and distinct. Many bear similarities, but those various traits keep us from being united. How did it start? What links explain this strange twisting tree? I must know.

    It has taken far, far too long to find a method of bypassing the enchantments here, but at last I have what I've been searching for. Recent events have taken away too much of my attention, and rightly so. Violence has reached even the streets above where I dig now. Yet even with all this chaos, these attacks in the night, what I hold now takes priority.

    I must leave now, following the trail wherever it leads me. H and Scout shall come with me, for their unique abilities are necessary for this mission. I know the Phoenixes will be fine under the leadership of the Council of Cinders. It is clear that there are a great many powers at play here, and if we are to prevail I must find the hidden links that connect them all.
    A strange set of runes mark this stone, barely perceptible. They are a warning of some kind... possibly a curse. I must find a way to either bypass or nullify the magic here. I know there is danger and dark magic here, but the very presence of these runes makes my heart race... for why would they be here if there was nothing important to protect?
    Day 19:
    No... this can't be! They can't seriously be planning...

    I have to get out of here, now! I have to warn them. If only I had found the files sooner...

    It's so obvious now. The decreased number of guards, the papers that were recovered from the Aurorlock Manor... they've been planning this for months, even before they blamed me for Noah's escape. This is so much bigger than even I anticipated.

    There isn't enough time. I had already sent H to gather my lieutenants to help me break out, but he's out of range of the link for me to tell him—and them—what I know. I have my wand, I have Scout, and I have the information I need. After the next guard shift I'm using Avomora and getting out of here. I only hope it's not already too late...
    Day 18: It took longer than anticipated, but Scout has retrieved the special item. The Aurorlocks were smart, it took a lot of searching to find where it was stashed. But when you've got an ally that can morph to mimic any key, no lock stands a chance. There seemed to be less Aurorlocks hanging around today, which certainly made my job a bit easier. I wonder where they've gone...

    Now that Scout has returned, I can technically break out at any time I wish. But I must not be hasty... I need to wait for the opportune moment in order to minimize the attention I draw. Besides, now that I can freely explore their HQ through Scout this is the perfect opportunity to gather intel and find out what they're planning next. I suspect it's no accident that Ministry lady pinned Noah's escape on me. I will send Scout to investigate the Aurorlock archives to see what I can find. If I'm lucky, I'll be back with the Phoenixes and preparing countermeasures long before the Ministry discovers I'm gone.
    Day 17: Over the years, many people have attempted the "smuggle a prisoner something useful in a cake" trick. This may be the first time, however, that the useful thing IS the cake. They never saw it coming!

    The "chocolate cake" arrived in my cell earlier today, already cut into by Aurorlocks checking for items. One command word later and it morphed into its regular form: a small pale humanoid, staring up at me waiting for direction. I presented it with a drop of my blood, and now the neural link seems to be working normally. The being before me does not have the same capacity for rational thought as H or myself, but it can follow instructions well enough and I can see through its eyes via the link. More importantly, it's small enough to fit through the ventilation. The first step will be retrieving that important item...

    Now that the link is established, I should probably give this being a name. I think I'll call it... Scout.
    Day 16: It is finished. The subject's vital signs are normal, and it appears to be reacting to external stimuli. I've directed H to perform a few tests on the subject. Cellular recombination and regeneration seem to be operating as anticipated, though it does not show any reaction akin to pain. I have no way of testing if it can respond to my commands, but based on past experiments it should be able to follow directives once I establish a link with it. Of course, for that to happen I'll need to get it to my cell. I will have H conduct a few more tests tonight, then prepare it for transport.

    I wonder what icing I should go with... chocolate sounds good.
    Day 15: After so many days of radio silence, H has finally returned to London and within range of the link! I am so incredibly relieved. I was beginning to believe he had been captured or destroyed along the way. But not only has he made it back in one piece, he has also acquired the necessary items!

    Apparently, there were a number of Aurorlock patrols throughout the countryside that H needed to dodge which slowed his process significantly. However he was able to make it to the cache and acquire the components. I'm letting H rest for today (Merlin knows he needs it) and then tomorrow we can complete the process.

    Mandrake, Mercury, and Phoenix Tears. Seemingly unrelated and incompatible, yet each contains a property needed for the final result. The foundation, the spirit of transformation, and the power of regeneration.... if all goes right, this next creation will be everything I require and more.
    Day 10: The lab has run out of a number of crucial components: mandrake root, phoenix tears, and mercury just to name a few. H will need to venture out to gather these materials, or else the plan will not succeed. Naturally I am concerned... H will be traveling out of range of the link, so I will not be able to guide him directly. He will have to rely on his own cunning and initial instructions. If there was ever a moment where the plan was most likely to fail, it is now. But I must have faith in him. He is capable and resourceful, and he has yet to disappoint. Here's hoping that doesn't change now.
    Day 9: H is making steady progress, but I still feel a sense of unease... there are too many things that could go wrong here for my liking. If the Ministry figures out what I'm planning, it'd be the end. If they spot H in public, it'll raise too many unwanted questions. And then there's the matter of getting the package delivered to my cell.

    The Aurorlocks aren't accepting visitors at this moment, especially to those in their containment cells. I'll need some way to make H (or whoever delivers the package) unseen. An invisibility cloak or potion might work, but the Ministry will probably expect that... this attempt must be something bold, something never before attempted... I think I've got it! I'll send H to gather the necessary ingredients now.
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