This page is to recap plot arcs.
The Vivian Arc
This was Merlin's first plot arc, concerning a girl who got in a little over her head.
Meanwhile, the unit in question, specifically Unit 13, was in horrific shape. Somehow, their ultra-secret mission had been leaked and they had been ambushed. Lara the Shield lost her left eye, Andrew the Buff received a massive scar on his face, and Peter the Infiltrator lost his life. Without their Infiltrator, the unit could not complete their mission: infiltrate the school and take over, securing several new young Pact recruits as well as the incredibly powerful Merlin's Oak at the center of the campus. Melanie the Scout found a cottage deep in the woods, which Lara covered with a barrier and they made this their base.
Several weeks later, with no new information about the Pact, the hype had calmed down at the school and the house event was underway. Ekaterina hosted a scavenger hunt in the forest, which resulted in two girl's disappearances: the Tomas rep, Aerykah, and a Tomas first year, Vivian. Aerykah got lost, but Vivian ran into Melanie deeper in the forest. Melanie, panicking, knocked Vivian out and took her back to the cottage to discuss what was to be done with her.
It was then the Leader, Ezrael, realized they had a golden opportunity. With a little bit of training and some silvery speech on their end, they could bring Vivian to their side and replace the Infiltrator they had lost. Lara was vehemently against this, but the rest of the unit seemed to like the idea. It would certainly get them out of their current predicament. Vivian woke, and Ezrael talked until she agreed to help them. That was the beginning of everything.
Regardless, little occurred until Halloween. The week before, several arrests were made in Justus and the day before Halloween there was a strange mass breakout where those arrested disappeared without ever opening the doors. Those arrested were, of course, Unit 13, who, on Vivian's intel, got arrested on purpose to access the Catacombs entrances built into the back of the jail cells.
Halloween night, while the students celebrated in the Great Hall, the Headmaster received word from Carrmin that there was a dark power in the Catacombs. Concerned for the students' safety, the Headmaster sent the professors into the Catacombs to guard their entrances. At the same time, Vivian slipped out of the party and used extensive dark magic to close and lock all the entrances at the same time, trapping the professors in the Catacombs. The effort brought taint onto her fingers, but she hid it under gloves.
Unit 13 entered through another entrance under the main staircase and dashed up the stairs. The students inside spotted them as they started making their way up. One student beat them to the Headmaster's Office to warn him of the impending doom and also to voice their concerns for Vivian. The Headmaster agreed to allow this theory to be tested and they rushed down to do so.
The Headmaster and the student ran into the Blood Pact, where the student bluffed the others had already found out about Vivian and were torturing her now. Lara believed her, not wanting to lose another Infiltrator, and dashed back the way they'd come. Most of the rest of the Unit followed, with the Headmaster and the student in hot pursuit.
Meanwhile, downstairs the students were arguing whether to chase after the Unit or not. They were interrupted by Unit 13 suddenly appearing at the top of the stairs. Lara realized immediately that Vivian was unharmed, and they'd been had. Before the Unit could do damage control, however, the student with the Headmaster forced Vivian to show her hand by casting Break towards Lara.
Vivian sprung into action immediately, negating the spell with the dark magic she'd learned. Her role revealed, the Unit had no choice but to flee with Vivian in tow, and they disappeared into the forest once again.
Despite the clear threat to the school, the Council did not act.
One day, Vivian was finally convinced to leave. However, speaking to Ezrael did not prove fruitful. Ezrael was not about to let Vivian go, with her power and potential, so he destroyed the part of her mind that wanted to leave, driving Vivian to insanity in the process.
From then on, whenever Vivian appeared in town, it spelled trouble. She had become exceedingly powerful, using dark magic without a care. Her signature move, which also should have killed her multiple times, became known as the death pulse - a wave of magic that killed any living thing that was unfortunate enough to be caught in in. The Shield, Lara, was often responsible for bringing her back but rarely succeeded before Vivian attacked a student. Lara was also the only one that could heal Vivian, with her knowledge of the fundaments and how careful adjustment could erase taint from a body. Lara became more and more sympathetic towards the students and leaned further and further from Ezrael's ideals.
This rift between the Leader and the Shield came to a head when Lara finally snapped at Ezrael, calling him a demon (which he was) and threatening to walk out just like Peter had tried to months ago. In response, Ezrael attacked Lara and gave her a heavy dose of demon venom, which causes one to bleed terminally.
Eventually, the Unit formulated a plan to drive the Headmaster from the school by freeing the Black Dragon, which had been sealed for nearly four centuries. Lara, in her weakened state, freed the dragon once and for all and Vivian commanded it on the surface, burning most of Justus and destroying much of the school. Two of the house reps, the only mage students on campus, put out the fire by channeling through Merlin's Oak and borrowing his power to use interelement magic to put out the flames.
The school managed through this crisis, but another loomed very close on the horizon.
Before the Headmaster was taken, Vivian ventured out a few more times. Lara continued chasing after her, despite constantly bleeding, and suffered more blows from Vivian until an agent from a secret organization, Marianne, stepped in. Marianne took Lara to headquarters and managed to get her an antidote for the venom that Ezrael had administered. Lara returned just in time to stop Vivian from attacking again, but Vivian's own attack left her closer to death than she'd ever been. Lara quickly did what she could and left with Vivian to the Unit's base.
At the base, Lara and Ezrael got into a fight. Ezrael revealed he had been the leak that resulted in Peter's death and the mess they were in, because Peter had been trying to leave the Pact. Lara got furious, driving Ezrael out of the cottage and catching him. Ezrael ripped a hole in space and returned to his own dimension, abandoning the Unit.
Lara only had limited time to come up with a plan. She needed to get her Unit to safety, and she herself needed to buy time to heal Vivian enough so she was well enough to travel and hide until Vivian was properly healed. The Unit couldn't return to Blood Pact headquarters - not without suffering some serious, and possibly lethal, consequences. Lara quickly concluded that the lesser of two evils was designing a situation to have the whole Unit captured where they would inevitably end up behind bars, which, while not favorable, was better than being killed by their superiors.
With this in mind, Lara sent the remaining three members, James, Melanie, and Andrew, into a gauntlet formation. The formation both separated them so they would be at their weakest and bought Lara the time she needed to heal Vivian in case anyone came this way.
Unbeknownst to Lara, someone was coming her way. Just before the Headmaster left, Carrmin contacted him to let him know that a cottage had suddenly popped up out of seemingly nowhere, when in reality Lara had dropped the barrier surrounding it. The Headmaster left instructions for the students to investigate this, since he trusted the students far more than the Council, in a secret message in his final notice. The group of students gathered in the Forest and set off towards the cottage.
The students encountered the Pact members, and each of them lost the battle. James was tied down with vines thanks to Carrmin so he was unable to continue, Andrew was dragged into the forest by a tree, and Melanie dissolved herself by accident. Weakened and wounded, the students made their way to the cottage at last.
Earlier, a few students had flown over the gauntlet and touched down at the cottage directly. They discussed matters with Lara as Vivian slept inside... or so they thought.
As all the students converged on the clearing, without warning the door opened and Vivian punched through Lara's ribcage, killing the elf instantly. A sort of odd battle ensued; Vivian fought to cause her own doom, and the students simply fought to stay alive. Vivian threw one student into the trees and stabbed another before advancing on a group. An older student tried to reach them in time but realized that her efforts were in vain.
However, all was not lost. Earlier one student, Naomi, had opened a hole to the Catacombs and fell down to discover that, deep below, there ran an underground river. Naomi, being a waterwielder, used all her strength to bring the water back to the surface and drenched Vivian in it. Another student, Casimir Jaunius, electrocuted the water with her element shocking both Naomi and Vivian. All three of them collapsed. (Naomi and Casimir, fortunately, survived the ordeal.)
And yet that was still not enough to bring Vivian down. Her patience finally spent, the former student summed a black aura to perform her most deadly (both to her and her peers) attack: a death pulse, an attack that sent a wave of black energy in all directions and killed anything in its path. The oldest student, fortunately, had the skill to cast a sphere of influence over Vivian to keep her death pulse from reaching the wounded students.
Vivian finally released her death pulse, only to regain a bit of her sanity at the same time and realizing she did not really wish to die. But the deed was done, and soon after Vivian fell and crumbled into taint dust. The students, shaken and exhausted, returned to the school to be healed and make a deal with the Council.
Thanks to some students' superior debating skills, they swapped the two Blood Pact members they had captured (James and Andrew) for the Headmaster's reinstatement. However, it was not exactly as it was before. The Council insisted on keeping a presence in the school to avoid another Black Dragon incident, or at least, that was the reason they gave. Thus the Committee of Education Enforcement was created, and a whole year passed without exciting incident.
As the Council adds more and more rules and strengthens the oppressive atmosphere in the school, one can only wonder what the new year holds in store for the Academy...
The Antimagick Arc
Two years after the events of the Vivian Arc, the Academy is once again revisited...
And then, everything changed at once.
Around January that year, the Council decided to hire a dwarf to map the Catacombs below the school, which had been sealed off for a long time. They hired Thor Underforge, who was well known to be an excellent mapmaker. Around the same time, a woman named Gisa Meldola was hired to work at the diner in Justus. A man named Michael Donovan joined the Justus police force. The apothecary hired someone named Tyme Rosales to work the front counter. A blind man known as Acwel Autumncrest began to frequent the diner as a regular patron. And, not too far away, a young woman named Leah Devereaux would soon be enrolled in the Academy of Merlin as a new fourth year.
The new Blood Pact Unit had infiltrated Justus without anyone realizing it.
Over the summer, a serial killer surfaced, coined by the media as the Elfslayer. Their target seemed to be elves exclusively, and their method of murder was disturbingly cruel - victims had the Luna sucked out of them until they were nothing but a husk of their former selves. Luke Nethercrest, of the Unit 13 case fame, originally took on the case, but it was soon handed over to a local Secret Organization agent - namely, Marianne. However, try as she did, Marianne did not find any evidence linking the victims together or anything that could possibly lead to the criminal.
As summer wore on, students began to come into the school early to familiarize themselves with the extraordinarily large campus. The Merchant suddenly returned with a fresh look, fresh wares, and a new mysterious client. The leader of one of the gangs was released from prison and returned with the intent to reclaim his territory, while a mysterious figure clinging to the walls began to make appearances all over the alleys. A new student, named Leah Devereaux, registered as a transferring fourth year.
The dominoes had been placed. And soon, they would begin to fall.
Thor, tasked with mapping the Catacombs, accomplished this very quickly but lied about his progress so the Unit could have multiple operatives inside the Academy. While he did not make much progress on his own, he befriended Rhea, an elf that the Council hired to close the dimensional rips that had a bad habit of popping up around the school, who proved to be another valuable resource of information. Leah, meanwhile, excelled in the taming class with complicated circles and gathered praise from the professors for being such a capable student.
Finally, Thor caught a break; according to Rhea, there was a very interesting item in Janus Commons. Namely, an empty magic lamp, which fit the criteria for something the Unit was looking for. Thor and Leah devised a plan to retrieve the lamp at the earliest time the Commons would defintely be empty - Halloween.
The Halloween Ball finally arrived, and with it a strange sense of anticipation. Thor and Leah ran into a bit of a problem with patrols - something they weren't expecting. Fortunately, with Thor's extensive knowledge on the halls of the school, he was able to plot out a few routes that would be entirely professor-free for Leah. Leah established an alibi at the party by mingling with the students for a little while, and then slipped out after talking down the guards.
It didn't take Leah long to reach Janus Commons, and it didn't take her very long to find what she was looking for either. Leah took the lamp, sigiled it, and sent it off to the apartment, where Gisa and Acwel were waiting in anticipation. Leah, not expecting the theft to be discovered until much later, returned to the party. Nobody had noticed her absence.
The day after Halloween, however, a few Janus students immediately noticed something was off with the Commons. The theft of the lamp was quickly discovered and led to a large investigation, where every dorm was meticulously inspected. The lamp, of course, was not found. However, something else much more alarming was brought to light: a vial of pure taint in Ekaterina, something older students recognized as all that was left of the former student Vivian Summers. The vial was confiscated by the school immediately and hidden securely by the Headmaster before the CEE could get their hands on it. The CEE, meanwhile, put Ekaterina under heavy surveillance.
Unit 53, upon learning about the vial of taint, realized it would be crucial to their plans. Gisa tasked Leah and Thor with retrieving it the same way that they had retrieved the lamp.
If only it was that easy.
The night of the Ball, Leah waited and watched the door until she had seen every student pass through, and then left while the guards were distracted. She thought no one had seen her, as she hadn't done anything to draw attention to herself and the Ball was quite busy already.
But one student did. Bambi Liang, the only student who knew Leah was an Infiltrator (and unable to expose her due to personal circumstances/fear of being killed), noticed Leah leaving immediately. She decided to go after Leah to minimize any damage done and got out with the help of her friends, Camille, Ty, and Ziza. (Her other friend, Amanda, assisted with distraction but stayed in the Hall.) The four escaped on the pretense of Bambi having a stomachache and rushed upstairs, on Leah's tail.
Meanwhile, Leah broke into the Headmaster's Office with a hairpin and started her search for the vial. Eventually, using a bit of taint-inducing magic (and activating the Brand on her shoulder in the process), she found it hidden in a small globe. Leah retrieved the vial in triumph - just as Bambi, Camille, Ziza, and Ty finished climbing the stairs. The Infiltrator was caught in the act of stealing, and though she tried to brush it off, Bambi refused to play along. Leah, understanding the jig was up, opened fire and tried to kill first Bambi, then Ziza. Ty took the bullet for Bambi and Ziza summoned a stone wall to separate Leah from themselves.
The group of teens fled down the stairs, with Leah in hot pursuit. Fortunately, Ziza possessed a disability ID, which gave them the ability to use the warp tiles. They managed to just barely stay out of Leah's line of sight and escaped down to the main floor, getting information to the Headmaster and treatment for Ty. The Headmaster, dead set on preventing another incident of Vivian Summers magnitude, gave the students orders to stay in the Great Hall and took most of the professors with him to confront Leah himself. The woman arrived in the main foyer just as the Great Hall doors slammed shut.
The injured were treated, but it didn't take very long for one of the professors with the students, Galan Runesteam, to realize something was wrong. The clamor of battle outside had ceased. Opening the doors of the Great Hall revealed a horrific, bloody scene: most of the professors lay scattered around the foyer, and most were unconscious. A little more investigating revealed the Headmaster and the two remaining professors, Riona Bellis and Caedah Pilon, had taken the fight outside. Riona and Caedah were defeated rapidly, leaving only the Headmaster himself.
In a rage, the Headmaster did something most would not dare to do: he called for Merlin's power. The Oak responded to his wishes, granting him the power he wished, and using it he attacked Leah. Even with the Oak's power, however, the Headmaster was not strong enough in the end, and Leah escaped back to Unit 53's base.
In the aftermath, the CEE reported to the Council that the Academy had done a dreadful job protecting its students and staff from harm and had even allowed a terrorist to escape with a vial of incredibly potent taint. The Academy's reputation began to nosedive, and the Headmaster's worries increased.
For a long, uneasy time, nothing happened. Life proceeded as usual. Michael still patrolled daily. Tyme still worked at the apothecary. Gisa still worked at the diner, and Acwel often came in for coffee. Even Leah appeared some days, but she was rarely interested in attacking anyone unless provoked. With nothing going on, the Academy's reputation began to even out, and the Council was praised for stopping the terroristic plot by flushing out a Unit member, despite them literally doing nothing.
And finally, something did happen.
The Merchant, who had been collecting items for a mysterious client, finally completed the list and the drop was arranged later that night. Upon arriving to the scene, the Merchant was ambushed and forcefully sigiled by Leah. His backup, blocked off by a sphere of influence, could only watch as Merchant vanished, and so did the Unit, along with all the objects Merchant had been unknowingly collecting for them. Thor was finally called back into action and returned to base, taking all the items into the lab they had set up in another apartment and rarely surfacing for fresh air.
An unauthorized Secret Organization investigation started immediately to track down the Merchant and, by extension, Unit 53. Meanwhile, at the apartment, the Unit worked under information passed directly from the top - that Merchant was a Secret Organization covert operative, and that he had been heading the Elfslayer case. When Merchant denied both, the Unit turned to torture.
After several weeks, the Secret Organization investigation was completed to make way for a REAL investigation. Unfortunately, it was too little too late - the same day, the Unit was planning to leave and destroy the apartments they had been using, with the Merchant inside. Fortunately, with some "assistance" from Thor, the Merchant managed to escape a fiery fate and instead was left in a dumpster, where he was later found by an alley lurker known simply as Quake. Leah set the apartments on fire and the Unit fled.
Immediately after, an investigation was finally in full force at the now-torched apartments. Agents discovered residual traces of Luna, connecting the Unit to the Elfslayer, along with residue of several negatively-aligned magical items.
The Merchant was saved, the Unit disappeared, and nobody could predict what happened next.
Thor navigated the Catacombs and re-entered the school, hiding the bomb and simply leaving through the front. Those that saw him did not stop him, even those who knew he was a Pact member, such as Rhea, an elf the Council had hired. With the bomb in place, all that was left was to set it off from a safe distance.
A few days later, the bomb did indeed explode, interrupting the CEE's public demonstration of hexing. The bomb, placed in the branches of the Oak, rent the massive tree apart and injured students and staff with debris. The Oak's magical radiance suddenly ceased, and every magick in the area felt the loss, the Headmaster especially so. For the most part, it appeared nobody was seriously injured, leaving the question of why the bomb was set off in the first place.
The answer came in the form of a notice (once again, delivered by Thor) pinned to the bulletin board a few weeks later. The unique mix of magical items, taint, and Luna had resulted in a mist that, when inhaled, ate away the victim's magic and eventually their life force. The note claimed the Pact would distribute an antidote if the CEE members would sign a bill that essentially would render the organization untouchable by the Council.
The CEE discussed the matter and eventually decided, instead, to make a blood serum using the resources they had at the school. This they maliciously tested on a few students, with less-than-desirable results. The serum resulted in both the test students getting horribly sick and confined to the nurse's office.
Meanwhile, the situation in Justus worsened. Most of the adult magicks struggled on, but something strange was going on with the mundane residents. They would first get headaches, and then fevers, and then a rash. It was finally realized that the mundanes were also suffering from the poison mist; the symptoms were similar to the Marburg virus. Sure enough, mundanes began to collapse from internal bleeding and organ failure. Marinna Pritchett, a local nurse, called in a fleet of ambulances to get every mundane that was afflicted into a nearby hospital.
With the town's population thinned, the magicks grew restless, and the CEE was put under more pressure than ever. Still, the chairman, Benjamin Lockwood, did not yield. They still had a month, after all.
Or so he believed.
And then, of course, as push came to shove, Merlin residents took matters into their own hands.
Rhea decided to take matters into her own hands and used her dwindling magic to slip out using dimensional rip travel. She journeyed to the CEE office to force them to sign the bill so nobody would die, only to find they had already escaped. Shortly after, Thor arrived, also to check on the CEE. Upon finding Rhea, he quickly knocked her out, as so to appear as if he was still willing to follow Gisa's orders.
Unfortunately, as Thor sought for damage control, tensions began to snap outside. Violet Summers angered Acwel, calling him a coward, but before he could attack her Endymion, Ziza Meleeka, Ty Windslow and Muna Nejem intervened. With their combined effort, they were able to incapacitate him, with Ziza and Ty distracting him and Muna finally stabbing him while his guard was down.
Meanwhile, Icarus Domitor discussed plans with Gil Bajoras, Yvonne Lorendi, and Ian Schiller, using his magitech bird BB to attack Tyme atop the tree and bring down the spheres of influence. Around the same time, Secret Organization agents Marianne and Loren arrived, with Loren attacking Tyme and Marianne engaging Leah.
The Headmaster quietly begged the Oak to grant some assistance to the students. Though his pleas seemed to go unnoticed, a rush of power flowed through the clearing, and Merlin students found themselves with a precious, small supply of magical power.
As the Blood Pact members became occupied, the students organized themselves to get the hell out of there. Bambi Liang attacked Michael, freeing up Shanta's carpet and enabling her to start moving injured students to the castle. Bambi, together with Magnus Ironvein, defeated Michael, freezing his blood and killing him, and then the two made a break for the castle. Tyme was dispatched by Loren, and for a moment everything seemed like it would end smoothly.
Unfortunately, Marianne hit a nasty bout of luck. She struck exactly the wrong place on Leah, slicing open her Brand and killing her. Gisa, who had been speaking with Cabbage Woods and Rowan Lockwood, lost her composure and began attacking Marianne, rending the earth apart beneath her feet. Ian, still around, used flamewielding to lavawield the ground and gave Marianne an opening to attack Gisa. Marianne stabbed her, but Gisa refused to back down.
Back in the castle, Gwen Nivere and Icarus investigated voices that should not have been there, only to witness Rhea and Thor leaving the CEE Office. Thor knocked out Gisa, putting an end to the whole affair, and negotiated the terms of releasing the antidote.
With the nightmare on its way to being over, the Academy began to pick up the pieces and put itself back together again.