NOTE: The M:tG storyline is a bit sketchy on some details, so expect some OOCness and headcanons from that side. But I will try my best!
NOTE 2: This takes place in a fusion of the Rebuild and original universe. Gaghiel doesn't exist and Asuka appeared when "Clockiel" struck. Mari appeared shortly after "Tunniel" and the Angels 7-13 all appeared, with Leliel the 12th Angel taking Asuka and 13 being Bardiel who possesses Asuka's Eva. Again, my attempt.
I own nothing except my OC's.
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Chapter 4 – Nivix
Shinji was dragged out of Niv-Mizzet's chamber by Trivaz and pulled him into the blue portal that he had come out of. A flash of light later, he found himself standing inside another room. This room was just as vibrant as the rest of the castle, with the Izzet banners decorating the stone walls. Cabinets and mirrors of different shapes and sizes lined the walls as well, along with small, round tables that had spools of string and odd-looking knick-knacks rested on them. The most attention-drawing thing in the room however, was a large, igloo shaped machine that let out puffs of smoke and flashes of light from its small windows. Several pipes were connected to it and a glowing crystal adorned its top.
He jumped a bit at the sound of Trivaz's yell. "Oi, Gralik! You still alive?"
A clanging of metal was heard and from behind the large machine, a short figure stepped out. It had a gnarly-looking face with a long nose, pointed ears and wore gold-colored goggles like Trivaz. Its uniform was a shorter, chubbier version of Trivaz's as well, with golden gears on the shoulders and a large toolbelt. It waddled over to the two, looking with an irritated scowl on its tooth-filled mouth.
"Trivaz, I told you for the 344th time that unless our supreme Parun is demanding it, I am not to be disturbed while I am exploring the fine details of my technomancy creations" it (now he) said in a raspy, yet high-pitched tone. "I have a schedule and appointment hours and I cannot be bothered by whatever trivialities that you may have or – "
"That's the thing" Trivaz cut him off and gestured to Shinji, who stood there with an odd expression while looking at the diminutive being. "This is Shinji, a new recruit personally selected by our all-knowing Parun, probably going to be his apprentice. Lord Mizzet wants you to outfit him properly for his initiation immediately."
The being snapped his gaze up to meet Shinji's reptilian blue eyes. Even though he couldn't actually see them, Shinji was sure that he was being looked over like a piece of pie. The little being looked up and down at Shinji's form and started circling him, with the young hybrid trying to say something. "Um…"
Trivaz saw the confused expression on Shinji's face and snapped her fingers. "Right, you're new to Ravnica. The ugly little hellion that's examining you is Gralik, our…tailor and armorer, if you will. He's a goblin, you'll see a lot of them here."
"A goblin?" Shinji asked. He had read once a story that had mentioned them, also he did see a couple down in the main hall.
"Yeah, most of them are thrifty little buggers, scampering around and gambling. They won't harm you though, especially if you're our Parun's apprentice."
"Parun? What does that mean?" He had heard her say the word a few times before, but he didn't understand it.
"In Ravnica, the Parun is the original founder of the guild. Lord Mizzet is one of the very few that still remain alive and function as the guild-master."
He then remembered two things: Mizzet did say that he founded the guild, and that the old dragon has lived for more than 10,000 years. Shinji slowly widened his eyes, having truly grasped what was said to him. "T-then that would mean that the Izzet League was founded…ten thousand years-ACK!"
He suddenly felt that someone was pulling at his behind, or more accurately, his tail, and yelped. The young hybrid turned around to see that the goblin had a measuring tape in one clawed hand and the other was holding the tip of his tail. He was about to protest when, in near-unseen motion, Gralik twisted the tape up, across and around his tail before returning it to his pocket and waddling to one of the tables.
"Those clothes that he's wearing" Gralik asked. "You cut them from one of the uniforms, right?"
"Yep. Had to make a little room for the tail." Trivaz replied.
The goblin grunted and picked up a piece of parchment. "He's yet to be fully initiated, right?"
"Yep. But Lord Mizzet said that he needs full gear, armor-wise at least." The goblin grunted again before picking up a quill, dipping it in ink and rapidly scribbling on the parchment. Occasionally he would pull out a ruler and draw along, but most of the time he seemed to do it without even looking.
Shinji just stood there confused as he watched the short creature scribble away. He managed however to regain some of his mental facilities and ask "What happened just now?"
"He took your measurements and is making you a proper uniform" Trivaz replied as though it was the most obvious thing there was. "It won't take long so don't you worry alright?"
'That explains the tape measure' the hybrid thought. He turned to the female and asked "What is going to happen for this…initiation?"
Trivaz brought a finger to her chin and hummed in thought. "Well, the initiation is usually done by one of the high mages of the guild, and they sometimes ask for riddles, play mind games or ask you to fix a broken knick-knack of theirs. If you pass, you're given a room here and made to swear loyalty to our Parun. Difference here with you though, is that Lord Niv-Mizzet is going to perform your initiation personally, so I don't really know what exactly will it entail."
Shinji adopted a worried look. That was not really reassuring. What if he would fail? Where would he go?
Trivaz saw his worried expression and leaned to pat his back. "Cheer up! The fact that Lord Mizzet chose to initiate you personally means that he already knows that you'll pass, so don't worry!"
"H-he does?" he stammered.
"Of course!" she chirped. "Our Parun is all-knowing!"
Shinji let out a sigh of relief, though he was still skeptical. How can someone be all-knowing?
A clattering sound then drew his attention. He turned his head to see that Gralik had rolled up the parchment and was waddling over to the large machine. He reached a small console with several different levers and buttons, as well as a small tube that led to the machine itself. He pushed the parchment into the tube and began fiddling with the console.
The parchment was sucked into the machine as a low humming sound was heard. Flashes of light and red sparks emanated from it as the goblin muttered something and pressed several buttons, along with inserting spools of thread and metal shards into the tube, sucking them into the machine. A whooshing sound was then heard as small waves of blue energy began emanating from the crystal and onto the machine. The sound intensified by the second, and Shinji started to brace himself in case something blew up. Trivaz just remained still, her arms folded behind her.
Just when he thought that the machine was going to explode, Gralik pulled a big red lever at his side. The machine calmed down as the sound was slowly silenced and the lights dimmed. Soon enough, the machine grew completely silent.
Gralik pressed a button on the console and a hatch popped open on the machines front. The goblin went over to the hatch held out his arms. A few seconds later, something (rather, a few things) popped out of the hatch and landed in his outstretched arms. The hatch closed and he waddled back to the duo. He turned to Shinji and gestured him to take whatever was in his hands.
Shinji picked up the bundle and examined it. It looked like a set of folded clothes along with a pair on metallic armguards. He was about to turn the bundle over when he heard the goblin clear his throat. He looked down at the gnarly creature and saw him waddling over to one of the cabinets. "Follow me, please."
While a tad startled, Shinji nonetheless obeyed as he hurried over to the goblin. He was led to one of the cabinets when the goblin suddenly stopped him with an outstretched hand. "Stand here, please."
Shinji stood looking more confused than before when the goblin tapped the side of the cabinet and four walls popped up around the hybrid. "Hey!"
The goblin ignored his protest and called "When you are done changing, just call out." Shinji turned around and saw that indeed, the walls around him looked like those of a dressing room; there was a coat hanger, a stool and a large mirror. He exchanged glances at the mirror and at the clothes in his hands, unsure what to do.
"Are ya done yet?" Trivaz called out.
"O-one moment!" he replied. He hurriedly took off his clothes, careful as not to rip them and started putting on the new set. A minute later, fully clothed in his new garments, he turned to the mirror and examined himself.
The new clothes were very similar to what he had been given when he woke up: A trench coat with long pants. The differences were that the chest area was not open, but covered with a large cloth with the Izzet symbol that stretched down his shoulders and looked like chest armor. The trench coat was a dark blue, embroidered with red flame-patterns all over. The pants were the same shade of dark blue and possessed two pockets, but no embroidery. The two armguards were an ebony black and were worn on his forearms. The metal was riveted and looked like a second layer of jagged scales. Shinji's two wings stuck comfortably from two large openings in the coat and from behind the chest-cloth. A small, leather stomach-guard was encircled around his waist and was held by small leather belts with rings, probably meant for holding equipment. The whole set however, had one major difference: the cloth seemed a little tougher than before, albeit it was still smooth enough to move in.
Having folded the old clothes and satisfied with his new look, he called out "I'm ready!" The wall behind him sunk back into the floor and he stepped out towards Trivaz. She gave him a look over and smirked.
"Woah, lookin' good! Good job there Grumpy!" She said, with the last part directed to the goblin. Gralik just ignored her and gave the hybrid a small look over as well.
"Is the cloth comfortable? Is anything of yours stuck?" he asked. Shinji shook his head. "No, it's rather comfortable and very easy to move in, although the cloth is a little hard."
"That's because it's battle-grade tough" the goblin replied. Upon seeing Shinji's tilted head, he elaborated. "Fighting and accidents are common both in and out of the guild; that means any piece of clothing which is not armor must be made to provide good protection for the body. The enchantments on it will help too."
"Enchantments?" Shinji asked, intrigued.
"Just the basic ones, with a couple of extras; anti-wet, mild temperature control, burn/tear/acid resistance, etc. If our Parun has chosen to take you on as an apprentice, a little bonus is needed. You can place additional enchantments when you learn them."
"O-oh, thanks" Shinji said, a little surprised at the mention of extras. Gralik just waved it off, however.
"No need to thank me, this is my job. If you need anything like new clothes, armor or repairs, just come here. Trivaz or Lord Mizzet will show you how." He gave a small bow to the young hybrid and waddled back to the machine.
Trivaz pulled Shinji's hand and guided him back to the portal. He was about to step in when Trivaz stopped him. "It'll take too much time to go through every room, and for now you only need to know the essential ones sooo…" she waved her hand and the portal started to shimmer. "I'll just show you them from here."
An image formed in the blue light. It showed several humans, along with a couple of goblins and weird, gooey creatures working in a large room, decorated with swords, spears, staffs and other weapons. One of them, a burly man, was at the workbench forging, others were either carrying around weapons and other paraphernalia or scribbling on pieces of parchment. "That is the forge. All weapons and hardware are made here."
She waved her hand and the image changed. This one showed all manner of guild members scampering around large glass containers and spheres. In each of those spheres/containers were shifting masses of light, either hovering in place or attacking the glass. Those that stood near the spheres were either taking notes or fiddling with small consoles. "The Firemind Spellcrafting division: here, different spells and magics are developed and researched."
The image changed again to show a large factory-like room with impossible-looking contraptions and gadgets, manned by more of the guild members, breaking them down and building them back up again, even creating ones made from seemingly random parts. "This is the engineering division: all gadgets are made, manufactured and upgraded here."
Another wave, another image. This one showed a room filled with desks, scrolls and models, manned by different guildmembers. The models looked like buildings and varying forms of architecture. "The Ravnican division: architectural designs and historical research for the city is done here. If you want to know about some event or someplace in this infinite city, you'll find it here."
This time, the new room looked like a fusion of the spellcrafting and engineering division: Gadgets and orbs of light were scattered throughout, pipes were connected to large machines like the one in this room, and guild-members held different tools as they handled and studied whatever they were near. "This is my division: the technomancy division. Here, magic and science are fused together to create wonder beyond all imagination."
The new image showed an immense library, filled with shelves that were seemingly as tall as houses. Those shelves were filled with books of various shapes and sizes. Tables, chairs and sofas were scattered throughout the aisles, some of them occupied by guild members reading and surrounded by piles of books. "This is the Great Mizzet Library: all knowledge in Ravnica and even beyond can be found here. It is by far one of the most important rooms in Nivix" she said with a hint of excitement.
The image shifted to show a large mine of sorts, filled with moving carts, smelters and piles of metal and rock. "The metallurgy division deals with mining, purifying and manufacturing all the metals for the guild's various needs; most predominantly, our main export Mizzium. Don't ask now, you'll find out later" Trivaz said, cutting off Shinji's intended question.
The image shimmered again, but nothing new came out. Shinji turned to the female guild member, only to see a small smirk on her goggled face. "The initiation won't begin for a small while. You hungry?"
"Um, well…" Whatever Shinji was going to say was cut off by the loud sound of a rumbling stomach. Realizing where the noise came from, Shinji looked down with an embarrassed expression. Trivaz however, just laughed.
"I take that as a big yes. Well, follow me and I'll show you the best room in this whole castle." She waved her hand again and the portal flashed blue. She pulled his arm and entered the portal with the young hybrid.
A blue flash later, Shinji stood in a cavernous room lined with long tables. Sitting at some of those tables were guild members munching on all sorts of foods, some that Shinji recognized, some that he did not, and a couple that he wasn't sure that he wanted to recognize.
They walked past the tables until they reached a large, spherical device, connected to pipes from the ceiling. Connected to it was a large console filled with buttons, each one with a small pictogram depicting some sort of food. A set of levers was there as well.
Trivaz put a hand on one of the levers and asked "What do you wanna eat?"
Shinji looked at the buttons and hummed. 'To be honest, I'm actually really hungry. I should go for something big' he thought. He skimmed through the pictograms when his eyes fell on one depicting a steak. Not really knowing what led him to this, he asked "can I have some meat? A big piece of meat?"
"Sure!" Trivaz chirped. She punched the button and pulled down a couple of levers. The machine let out a slow hum and puffs of smoke came out of the small vents in it. A few seconds later, a hatch in the front of the machine opened up and out came a smoking hot plate with a large steak.
Shinji unknowingly drooled a little when he smelt the piece of meat. He grabbed the plate and inspected the meal. It looked very well-made for something that came out of a machine. He was broken out of his food-induced mini-trance when he heard the ravenette's voice. "Don't drool yet, kid. Let's sit first."
Shinji followed her to a nearby table and sat down. He was about to start eating when he noticed he forgot something. "Where are the chopsticks?" At Trivaz's confused look he added "eating utensils?"
She just gave another odd look. "You're part dragon. You should be able to eat that thing with ease." The hybrid blinked and looked down at his steak. Eat it like that? With his bare hands?
Trivaz sighed when she saw his hesitation and said in a slightly annoyed tone "I have a napkin if your hands get dirty, just eat it."
Startled by her tone, Shinji nodded and began eating the steak. Just as he thought, it tasted really good. He also seemed to have little to no trouble biting into it, and soon lost himself in gorging on his meal.
As he ate, the female technomage looked at him with a curious gaze behind her goggles. This boy was somewhat of an enigma, both in body and personality. He was nervous most of time and rather timid, but after listening in to his conversation with the Parun (as she was instructed to), it seemed as though he did have some fire in him. 'That's good' she thought. 'That spark will help him survive in this city.'
A minute or two later, the plate was devoid of any meat and the young hybrid liked his jaw in satisfaction. She wordlessly handed him a napkin, with which he promptly used his hands. "Did you enjoy yourself?" She asked.
"Yes, thank you. That tasted really good." Trivaz just nodded in response. A silence formed between them, though it seemed a bit awkward for Shinji. Then, he decided that if he was going to remain here for the foreseeable future, he should try and get to know his guild-mates.
"So, um...how did you join the guild?"
While a bit surprised at the small attempt in icebreaking, the female wizard decided to humor him. "My parents were researchers and I've always admired their work. I lived at a neighborhood just south of here, the spires of Nivix always greeting me when I woke up. I had and still have a natural knack for technomancy, ever since I managed to fix a mana tube when I was 7. I studied on my own for a while, then I decided to join the guild."
"Just like that?" He asked in a surprised tone. He was somewhat ashamed of thinking it, but due to the upbringing of his former comrades, he had expected something a little more tragic.
"Yeah, I just came in with some of my stuff and asked to join. After a couple of incidents (Shinji raised a nonexistent eyebrow at that) I was tested by the head of the technomancy division. I passed on my first try and was formally welcomed by Lord Mizzet. I've been a part of Izzet for 6 years."
"Six years? Then you must know a lot of people here."
"Ehh" she shrugged. "A lot them just think I'm annoying for some reason, but I do have a few friends here. Most Izzet members like to keep to themselves though, so don't expect any open camaraderie. Although..." Her voice dropped to a whisper and she leaned forward.
"If our Parun is going to make you his apprentice, expect really big VIP treatment around here. People will drop whatever they're working on to help you should you ask them."
Shinji grumbled a bit at the mention of preferential treatment. His previous experiences hadn't helped him with that. "I don't know...I don't think I deserve it."
She gave him an incredulous stare from behind her goggles. "What are you talking about? Lord Mizzet hasn't taken on an apprentice for many, many years. If anything, this will help you progress faster. You should be honored."
"If you say so..." He replied, although he was still a little unsure.
"Good!" She chirped with a smile. Trivaz was about to reach into her belt when she suddenly froze. Shinji noticed this and asked "Trivaz? What wrong?"
She didn't respond for a few seconds, but then she shook her head and looked into his eyes. "It's time. Are you ready?"
Shinji was once again surprised by the abruptness of the situation. He wanted to say not yet, but something in his head nagged him to accept. A few seconds later, he sighed. 'Might as well get it over with...'
"Yes, I'm ready."
Trivaz nodded and got up from the table, with Shinji following her. They reached the portal and Trivaz pulled him in. A flash of light later, he found himself once more in front of Niv-Mizzet's kaleidoscopic doors.
He took a deep breath and muttered "I mustn't run away..."
With those words, he pushed the doors open.
My take on the guildhall of Nivix, and the test shall soon begin! What do you think?
What should Shinji's challenge be? Remember, this is a guild of knowledge and Mizzet is testing him personally. Something with intelligence and fits his character.
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