Liam liked exploring and now as a guard, monitoring different territories for suspicious activity was a part of his job. As far as he was concerned, it was a two for one score. He got time to tromp around Evermore and all he had to do in return was report details back to Dominic and Damien. For the time being, his instructions were to not engage. It was part of his mentor's trying to curb his reckless tendencies and he respected them for that. He was still learning to think on his feet and not charge into every unknown scenario, but a large part of what made him step into dangerous waters was an unhampered curiosity for what could lie ahead. He always wanted to know what was on the other side of a fence or overheard beyond a wall. It was almost irresistible to discover new things. His fellow guards had sometimes teased him about being the chicken who crossed the road...before looking, which was amusing to a point; but no one liked being compared to a chicken when their job was to be on a supernatural police force. He'd experienced hazing in his day, but lately, all it did was give him more urge to prove himself.

The wind was chilly as it nipped across his face, countering the exposed nose which was the only part not hidden by his warm jacket, scarf, and hat. By now, after an hour in the woods, he was certain that it was red as Rudolph's. He pulled the scarf higher up and walked further into the clearing that he'd come upon the last few roundabouts in his part of territory that Dom had been showing him. However, they'd never gone further across the creek to his left. He'd never been told not to keep walking, at least, in that many words. Liam looked over his shoulder, to see if anyone was following him and carefully stepped on the rock bridge over the rushing water. There was ice beginning to form along the edges of the bank. Before long, it would freeze over for the winter.  

As he passed over the bridge, the pine trees grew thicker again and he had to push branches away with his arms, to see what was ahead. Before long, they cleared and standing in front of him was a dilapidated old hut. By all intents and purposes, Liam was not entirely sure how it was still standing. He wasn't about to put it past a magical curse or spell. There were spiderwebs hanging from the wooden beams and he wasn't sure if he should trust the stairs. They appeared to be drenched from the recent rain and half-rotted from termites. Liam shrugged and decided to take his chances, but before he could get any closer, tripped on a large stone that was wedged deeply into the earth. At first glance, it was ordinary, but upon closer inspection as he wiped the first few layers of dirt away with his gloves, it was covered in old runestones. This was far from his area of expertise. With a grunt, he lifted it and placed it in his backpack. 

Perhaps, someone back at base would be interested. With one last look on the old cabin, the young guard took the long route back, choosing landmarks, so he could find it again. His curiosty hadn't been gleaned from him, far from it. 

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Shortly after the fall of Skye and the aspects and guards settled themselves into Evermore, Bexley began to look for her own place. It didn’t take long till she was moved out and starting her own shop in Evermore. It was her perfect excuse for  her not to be around the group of people that had become a family to her. They had all lost so much in the fall of the Isle, but the pain was something she didn't want to face. She couldn’t be around the others mourning with them, trying to convince one another everything was okay, when it wasn’t.

While she had always been a passionate business woman she never thought it would be a way to escape from people she shouldn’t be escaping from. The thought of losing anyone in their dwindling numbers was far to much emotion for the guard. She turned to self remedies to not focus on the worst in life, she placed herself in a routine and only went outside of it when the aspects called upon her for a mission, or events to keep up appearances the best she could. Though her calls to check in became less.

That morning was like any other, up working out in her home gym, shower, breakfast, covering the scar on her eye with makeup, and off to her shop Diviner Intervention. She unlocked the door walking through the deep green wooden door flipping the sign to open as she placed her bag under the counter, flicking the lights on. Something felt off among the shop as if something was missing. With a sigh, she picked up her phone and looking at the names in her contact list. Something was off about evermore lately. Maybe it was time to return to the Manor.

With that she locked her shop and turn the sign to close before opening a portal to the Manor. She looked up to the high ceiling and gave a soft sigh as she took in the beauty of the Manor once again. It had been a long time since she had been here and the place delt darker and emptier than it had.

The short halftone of a bell rung as Liam ducked his head and entered the quiet shop that stood just to the left of Main Street on the corner of the Evermore plaza. Surrounded by the shadows of the alley and the mid-afternoon rain, Diviner Intervention was clearly a place of curiosities. The gurgle of an automated waterfall which was placed on the wall called him back to the river that he'd only moments ago walked through. The dampness of his shoes was still cold in the January air. He stuffed his hands deep into his pockets waiting for his fellow guard, Bexley, to emerge from her office in the back. It was the place of much study and contemplation, clearly. In the meantime, he was content enough to immerse himself in the racks of artifacts which lined the walls. There were small gems locked away in display boxes, rocks with colorful writing, and scrolls that looked older than his grandparents. As beautiful as these things were, he knew they were far too important to be touched.
The human took a seat at a nearby desk and carefully pulled the stone from his backpack that he'd discovered while hunting. The etching was unique, for sure, and he didn't believe that it could have been accomplished by a knife. It was too detailed. Somehow, though, the rock in his hands looked old. It wasn't created by modern man. He'd only recently come to discover magic, but the way that it tingled in his fingers made Liam wonder if long ago the object had been touched by someone who held greater power than he'd ever wish to own. A few more moments passed and only then did Liam notice that he'd walked in past a sign hanging over the door that denoted the shop was closed. Surely, if there was no lock in place on the door, there was something else protecting the place. 
It was almost evening and the walk to the manor was another several miles, but he knew that he would be met by a warm meal and good comradarie. Whatever this relic was would be found out after supper. He walked quickly past all the closing shops and managed to make it back to the Ailward's home in record time. There was a warm fire blazing in the living room and several people were gathered, although knit deeply in conversation. His presence wasn't noticed, as he began to search the house for the missing archaeologist. "Bexley? Bex?" The library was his first stop. If she wasn't there, he didn't have many choices but to turn his treasured find into his superiors. After that, the adventure was all but dead. 

Bexley made her round around the Manor saying hello to the aspects that by the time she made it to the library that held some of the spell books Malva allowed the diviners to see. Bexley had her ways to get to the books Malva didn’t want her touching but for what she was looking for she wouldn’t need to venture there. The library should hold what she was looking for. Picking up the older books from the spell section she placed them on the table. 

“Dinner!” she heard Virindeus calling from the hall as he made his way through it. “Bex you joining us?” He asked, looking at her from the open door.

“Not in this moment pops.” She said waving him on not looking up from the books as she flipped open the pages. She didn’t look up till she heard her name again from a lesser known male to her. She turned her head looking at the blonde for a moment. “How can I help you Liam?” she asked as she picked up another of the books.

Liam ran his fingers along the edge of the bookshelves as he searched out the desks in the back of the room. He'd spent his own time researching in the Ailward's personal collection, mostly when he'd first joined the guard and had to catch up on a decade's worth of knowledge of the supernatural. There had been many late nights with cups of coffee while he prepared himself to someday go on the job. That was over a year ago now, and today his adventure had wandered into unknown territory. It wasn't often that he had questions that made him unbearably curious, but this artifact had done that. As he turned around the corner, he called out to Bexley, only to find her standing a few feet away, surrounded by stacks of books that were nearly as tall as the desk. He pulled a chair up to the open side of the table and unbuckled his backpack. "I was hoping to borrow you expertise," He reached for the stone and took it from it's pocket of safety, simultaneously scattering of dirt fell across his legs and the floor. "On something older than I've ever seen."

He was careful with the grey piece of slate. It seemed both fragile and carefully constructed. On it, were words in a language of letters that he'd never seen before. As he set it on the table, there was a slight buzz in his fingers as it left them, almost an energy. "I stumbled on an abandoned building and this old stone was lodged near the gate. It...made me curious."

Bexley looked to the stone and reached her hand out towards it before giving a slight chuckle past her lips. “Isn’t most things older than things you have seen? Being human and all?” She gave a slight teasing in her tone after all she was one to talk. Most Diviners didn’t live long. The only reason she was blessed with immortality was because being a guard allowed the Aspect of life to grant such things if you wished to have them. Her dark hues moved the grey piece of slate she took in her hand. She looked at the language and her brow raised slightly. “Well this is rather interesting.” She said before she sat the piece down and a box formed around it.

“Where did you find this?” She asked as she stood up from the table and closed the book she had been looking at. She had planned on studying something else. Yet Liam had brought something far more interesting. Something that made the magic hunter in her itch to get out. “I have to admit it has made me curious also.” She gave a light chuckle past her lips towards him. Her eyes glowing green ready to teleport them.

Liam laughed. It was true that he was very young, practically a baby compared to many of people who lived in Evermore. In human years, he was considered an adult and had every responsibility that he would likely take on - yet, the puppy like curiosity and itch to explore remained heavily with him. "Well, compared to a lot of folks here, I guess I am still a kid," He ran his fingers through his blonde hair and leaned up on the counter. "But, that certainly does help me retain my childlike sense of adventure." He grinned. "I found it at the cross section of the westward creek and pine glade in Therian territory. Dom has been teaching me the road map and helping me gain a sense of direction. There's an old house there that I swear wasn't around last week, yet it looks like it's a century old. The gate was rusted and the shutters covered in spiderwebs. This old stone was guarding the entrance," Liam peered at the markings on the stone, trying to better decipher them in the light, but it was mostly useless. They weren't English, or even any alphabet he recognised as human. "Perhaps, it was a bad idea to take it with me, but I got curious. I wanted to know what it meant."

He tilted his head. "You don't happen to recognize the lettering, do ya, Bex?" 

“Liam the babe of the house.” She teased him as she tucked her hair back behind her ear. After all, many of the guards had a sense of adventure, it was why they were guards. Besides keeping the Aspects safe, they were able to travel the world and see things others haven’t.  “Well sounds like the perfect thing for you and one of your magical guard friends to go check out. After all, a house out of nowhere could be a bad sign.” She said, taking in his words on how he described the house. “Interesting.” She mumbled under her breath. It was more than likely just an abandoned home in the woods. But the piece of stone pointed to something magical.

She reached her hand to close the box lid that she placed the stone in and slid it back to Liam. “Yes I can read it, but it's not the whole picture. It's a piece to a bigger picture. Which is why I would like to investigate this house in the woods.  Do you have it marked on a map or something?” She asked as she stood up moving around the counter and stood beside him. “The language is Greecian. It said something like, Power of the gods.” She gave a chuckle for a moment. “But without the full text it could be the wrong translation.”

The idea that he had a bit of a baby face wasn't exactly new to him. He often tried to counter balance it by using bigger words, working out a lot, or dressing well, but apparently most people just found round cheeks and big smiles pleasing. It made the guard both amused and slightly frustrated, but Liam could handle the teasing. He'd gotten used to it. "I can find it again. I've been learning to watch landmarks and I found it inside a clearing over the stream that was empty a week ago. It made me curious, more than anything."

"But, I knew that you were interested in old artifacts, so I thought perhaps you would have some of the expertise needed when it came to this kind of puzzle." Liam said. 

He couldn't be sure what an old Greek stone was doing in the middle of Colorado, but archaeology didn't tend to make a lot of sense to him. He would have once thought that with the technologist available to them in the past, people would have barely made it past one continent, but that was far from true. It appeared that his own curiosity was a human predicament. Even if it was dangerous, people continually sought out adventures.  "It's a bit of a long walk, but if we hurry, we could manage before sundown." 

Bexley gave a gentle hum from her lips as he confirmed that he could find the place once again. “I must say I am impressed with how you have adapted to the training we have thrown at you. It's rare for a human to dive in the deep end of aspect life.” She commented seeing many leave or lose their lives to the harshness of being an Ailward Guard.  It was hard to impress Bexley yet Liam did so by trying his hardest and coming to her for something strange he found than Malva. 

“Well you came to the right place when it comes to something strange found in the world.” Bexley gave a gentle chuckle past her lips as she looked to the box she placed the stone piece in. “Well let's get going then.” Bexley said as she opened a portal in front of them around the river that Liam mentioned knowing the woods herself like the back of her hand. Taking Liam's hand she pulled him through with her and smirked as her clothes changed to a hiking outfit once on the other side.

“Beauty of magic.” she teased Liam with a wink before waving her hand. “After you Mr. Adventure.”

"After you, Madam Magic." He gestured, with a toss of the head. Liam had to admit that going through a portal still threw him for a loop. He'd first encountered magic about a year ago when Dom had sent him to the 'special' section of the library in the manor, after he first signed up for the guard. During that afternoon, three different jinxed books that first turned his hair green and then rendered him unable to stop tap-dancing. The rogue volumes had quickly been sent to the aspect of magic for inspection and Liam had gotten more practice jigging in three hours than he'd ever cared to try. The green hair had lasted a full fortnight and only faded after that. No amount of washing his hair seemed to de-leprechaun his appearance. Evermore was different than any other city that he'd ever lived in, but for the most part after their first few weeks, he'd found a set of people who seemed keen on protecting and advocating for one another. The young human knew that he could look after himself, but he was concerned for his younger sister, Arabella, who had autism. She may have recently turned eighteen, but in almost every way she was as innocent as a child. He was her caretaker and it made him responsible for all of the bad things that happened to her. The pair stumbled into the forest and just like Liam suspected, the clearing wasn't empty. The old house sat in the middle as creepy and creaky as ever. If he hadn't known it was 11 am, he would have guessed that they'd been transported through time as well. The patch of woods seemed unusually devoid of sunshine. "Well, shall we toss a coin? Whoever loses goes in first...I'd be surprised if a place like this wasn't booby trapped."

Bexley gave a chuckle towards him as he seemed to be catching his breath in a way. She knew for mortals and those not used to the portaling it can be a bit of an adjustment. So she took a few steps among the dead grass as fall had taken over the land of Evermore. Almost no place was left untouched, by mother nature. As the portal closed behind them and the cabin came into view a slow smirk crept onto the dark diviners feature. She let her eyes drift towards the human that was beside her as they moved closer.

“Seems there is a dark energy around that place.” She muttered as her smirk slowly fell before she shook her head. “No coin toss. Stay behind me squishy.” She teased but her eyes held a seriousness about it as she moved closer towards the cabin as she waved her fingers in the air standing for a moment. “Nothing seems to be a trap.” she muttered over her shoulder to Liam before stepping up the steps and turning the handle to open the door for them. She took the first step in.

It was like being smacked with a dark ball of energy. She took a sharp breath in before looking at Liam. “Show me where you found the piece?”

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