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The Bonds That Tie Us

Discussion in 'Fantasy' started by Maeriel, Jul 7, 2017.

  1. inkdragon

    inkdragon Understandably Confused Staff Member on Hiatus Warden

    While Isaac still had to fight off hot anger every time he thought of Illian, he was glad for the other young man's sake that Stavros seemed to be understanding. He would not have truly wanted to see someone else estranged from those they cared about due to magic they could not control.

    But the relief he felt was overshadowed by the unease Stavros's explanation brought. It was as he thought, the magic in the glyphs was far beyond him. "I was able to stablilize you earlier," he said, nodding in response to Elise's words. "But it is merely a bandage over a wound that needs to be truly closed. I will try again in the morning, after I have rested enough to attempt the process again. I believe it will suffice until we make it to this Myrellion you speak of." He pursed his lips, then corrected himself. "We have no choice but to make it suffice."

    A part of Isaac, a dark, unsettling part, secretly liked the situation at hand. Though he could hardly admit it to himself, feeling useful, feeling needed, feeling powerful, that was something he had little experience with... and he was finding he liked it. A better person would have been helping for the sake of helping alone, he knew. But Isaac wasn't that person, not really, and that private knowledge brought shame to a tight pinch in his chest. Of course, he wanted to help. Of course he did. But it was for himself as much as Stavros, though he would be damned before he breathed a word of those thoughts aloud.
     
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  2. AJPhips

    AJPhips A Little Broken

    Ara picked up the brush, watching Illian and copying his movements on her own horse. She couldn't help but smile at his olive branch of conversation and a childish glee filled her at the thought of naming the horses. She looked over the beast before her, he was right it did deserve a good name.
    "I've never named an animal before." She answered after a little thought, "What about... Astere for this one?"
    Ara felt a calm settle over her with the methodical work and the slight ease of tension between the man and herself. She had become a little overwhelmed by the amount of people surrounding her on the journey here; it was nice to be a little more solitary for the moment. She could imagine claustrophobia she'd feel if she was cooped up in the cabin with everyone else right now. But there was something else affecting her positive mood; Ara's mind felt clearer and lighter, and her magic's thrumming less pronounced. Stiffening a little as she realised, she glanced over at the older boy.
    "Is-is that you?" she blinked up at him "Are you doing something?"
     
  3. Maeriel

    Maeriel Active Member Benefactor

    Elise got to her feet with a wince, pulling the chair at the corner over and sitting down, grateful for the restful position, even if her behind was rather aching from all the riding. I should really learn how to do it properly if my life is going to be like this from now on... She drank some of the water herself, though she'd much prefer having mead... a whole bucketful of it, but it wasn't the time. No one in their strange band seemed to be in a good state and she might be their only able fighter right now. Stavros words answered some questions, but succeeded only in creating many more, along with a great deal of apprehension. As she mulled over the doubts that floated around her head like an annoying swarm of flies, scattered, lacking cohesion, Isaac spoke from his healer's point of view.

    The dark-haired woman was trailing her collarbone absent-mindedly, not daring to touch the tender burn around her throat, while chewing on her lower lip, honey-colored eyes a little glazed over as she tried to organize her thoughts. It didn't stop her from speaking her mind about Illian, however. "It's not his magic that is out of control, it's his emotions, the two are tied closely together. You can't keep in destructive forces when you are taught to hate early on. You shouldn't have dismissed him so many times. Want him not to kill people? Listen to him, help him deal with what he feels... Or you're gonna raise a monster."

    The words rolled off her tongue so candidly and unbidden that Lis ended up snapping from her glazed over look as a sudden silence took the room. She cleared her throat and nodded at Isaac. "You're certainly brave, Isaac, buying this fight alongside Ara and I... but I'm afraid I have some concerns here, Stavros. You speak of this Myrellion like he is the last person you'd like to see and I don't think that bodes well, so what is the deal with him? And are you a mage, is that what the glyphs were binding? What are they? What has Illian done actually and should I keep him away from my sister? You had said he's the one who would help her not be found by the Hunters from the Mage Tower, but I don't want that to be done to my sister..." After the barrage of questions, Elise crossed her arms once again, for a selfish moment missing the little mediocre life of loneliness and petty crime she had led, where she had a home, food in her belly and no responsibilities over a bunch of people. Is this who I am?

    @inkdragon @Scalerender
     
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  4. Scalerender

    Scalerender Chaos Sphere Benefactor

    Stavros groaned as he sat up on the bed and slowly moved to sit on it's edge. he raised a hand towards Elise , imploring her to give him a moment as he woke from unconsciousness. He sighed deeply and rubbed his face, taking another moment to gather his thoughts. He turned to Isaac and looked at him for a while before finally nodding and saying. "Thank you Isaac, I owe you my life and I will not forget it... For what it is worth I am sorry you got caught up in this...." He then looked at Elise and gave a resigning sigh he started answering the questions that had been posed to him.

    "Myrellion is an apostate.. In every way. He is shunned by his own people, too powerful to be ignored or to be taken down. He is an ancient practitioner of magic of no equal and a perfect example of what a Mage can become if allowed to gain power without supervision or morality... Ironically he has always nurtured diplomatic relationships with The Royal Order of Mage Hunters whenever he traveled into our lands ... Always seeking us out and making sure his presence was acknowledged and "legal"... He's never actually committed any crimes in the kingdom and has offered his assistance in many matters, for a price.... His motivations and ultimate goal are a mystery but after having met the man on several occasions I am not confident it is in anyone's best interests but his own.... He designed the procedure of the "living infusion" together with Clemence... To answer your question regarding this no, I am not a Mage... Magic has been infused into my body through the glyps... in layman's terms I am enchanted, much like one would create an enchanted weapon or artifact. Before Ara I believed myself to be the only one...." He sighed and shook his head.

    "As for Illian... To understand what he did you must first understand what he Is... He is not a Mage, well...not one in the traditional sense. Illian can not summon Magic as far as I understand it, in fact the Eather, the realm of Magic , is one he feels nothing but antipathy for. He can however influence Magic but not by controlling it directly, rather by defusing it or pushing it away. I've seen him unweave spells in a moment or even cancel out the effects of enchanted items over time. He causes distortions and violent reactions in area's of strong Magical Power. It is a poorly documented phenomenon and he is not the first I have heard of but very much the first alive in recent memory. The Order calls what he is an Unweaver and would very much like to study him I imagine, something I have been trying to avoid. His gift is unpredictable and difficult to handle.. Sometimes he exerts control of it and sometimes it does what it does when in tune with his emotions...Anger and hatred seem to be strong triggers and...well... it influences his disposition towards Mages rather heavily at times.... My poor treatment of him caused something to occur and influence the Magic held by my body...."He winced "Rather painfully..." He sighed again "Illian is not a bad man... He is young and unsure about his place in the world. When I found him the people in his village had already dubbed him a warlock and I came to investigate... It would only be a matter of time before the order found him... or a Mage, which could lead to just as much trouble...."

    @Maeriel @inkdragon

    =============================================================

    "It's a nice name... Think it means star ...."

    Illian commented softly as he kept brushing the horse under his care, the tension in his shoulders had faded and replaced with a rare sense of calm that preoccupied the troubled youth. Ara's words pricked the bubble of peace and he suddenly looked to the side at her, the dark cloud returning and Ara could sense the influence slowly returning, not fully but there...prodding, reaching...trying to get a hold of her once more. Illian sighed and shook his head, frowning angrily again as he turned to the horse and moved on to the next task at hand while tending to the beasts.

    "I'm sorry..I can't control it allright?..." His tone defensive." I mean sometimes it works but most of the time things just happen when I'm near Magic... It probably best you stay away from me before...."

    The memory of Stavros's scream hit him like a brick and Ara could feel the buzzing discomfort around him, instead of softly being pushed away magic now acted erratically and disturbed, Magic users near him felt a mild headache and itch in their teeth but nothing more... For Ara it was paired with the thankful absence of influence as well. Angrily Illian filled the feeding-bags of the horses. He muttered silently to himself and tried to push the thoughts away. He longed for yesterday and the days before all this started. Thinking back at his impatience then he could only curse himself from wishing more, if anything he now wondered if it wouldn't be better to return home, work in the herb garden of his mother and tend to the beasts instead of this.

    "I don't want to hurt you alright... It... i'm not safe to be around if you're a Mage...."

    He finally said, his fatigue and frustration adding their weight to his voice.

    @AJPhips
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2017
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  5. Maeriel

    Maeriel Active Member Benefactor

    Deirdre watched for a moment as Alfhild removed her plate with practiced motions, not offering her help. That was not exactly how Fenrir worked. A Fenrir was taught self-reliance from early on, theirs had never been an easy life, except for the one time when they grew complacent in the easy life their King had built... and that's when tragedy struck and the Orcs were able to take over. Never again, they had promised themselves... well, those who still had fight left in them. In truth, it was more stubbornness than anything else for most in of the Fenrir, as if needing help is a sign of weakness or offering it a veiled insult.

    Alfhild was allowed to rest peacefully... for a while. It began as a strange warmth when before she had been cold. It increased with a certain speed, and along with it came the scent of grass, flowers, the smell of trees that weren't pines or the like, commonly found in the colder lands of Nordholm. As the breeze brought along with it the scent of burning wood, she opened her eyes. All around her there were lush woods and a clearing where she stood, carpeted in small, violet wildflowers. The woods themselves weren't that well define, mists rolling slowly and pouring at the edges of the clearing. That's when she saw it. A black wolf. He sat by the forest's edge on his haunches, one bright green eye, the other milky white. He stared through her, not seeing her there. When Alfhild followed its gaze, she saw them then. A beautiful, regal looking white wolf with long furry ears, an aura of sadness and loss about the animal, seated by another, a mangy white with equally long ears whose snout was scarred like its body and its eyes a bright yellow.

    Not far from them, three other wolves. A midnight black one, with clear honey-colored eyes, a ring burned around its neck stood close to a large old brown wolf, its body ritualistically scarred, lying on the grass as if sick or wounded. The third one, a small timber wolf, had its legs lying uselessly to the side, but seemed not to be injured at all. A little ways away, another pair of wolves, young ones, were on the smaller side. One was silver, a strange aura about him, hairs on the back of its neck risen as if hostile, and the other, the scrawniest of them all, had brown and black fur, its body similarly scarred as the old one, and green eyes that glittered like gems, even though its tail was tucked between its legs.

    The snapping of a branch called Alfhild's attention back to the first wolf, the one with the milky white eye. Unlike before, the wolf now saw her, its gaze locked on the warrior woman's icy orbs as it slowly approached, stopping short of a meter from where she 'stood'. The wolf sat back on its haunches and studied her intently before throwing back its head and howling to the skies. As one, all the other wolves, its pack, howled with it, the sound mingling and echoing eerily around the flowered clearing surrounded by mist. The howls still rang in Alfhild's head when her eyes suddenly opened and she was back with Deirdre at the camp. The Seer knelt in front of a pot resting on the coals of the fire, adding a bundle of herbs to the heating water and stirring as it came into a slow boil. Her grey eyes locked on Alfhild's blue, watching her intently as if expecting something to be said.

    @Shadras
     
  6. Shadras

    Shadras Illogical

    Alfhild met Deidre's gaze as calmly as she could. Dreams always stirred her up, but long years of them and campaigning had long since taught her to keep control over them. They didn't pertain to any sort of future sight or special significance. At least, none that she could immediately see. Evidenced by the fact that, despite having dreams of wolves, the green eyes, and endless forests, none of it had come true. Even heard of it coming true. The dreams were as meaningless as vain ambition. Worse, for not even serving as something for her to overcome. Leastwise, that's what Alfhild told herself. But no matter how hard she told herself they were pointless, it didn't stop her mind from thinking how real those dreams felt. Fresh dew from the grass had touched her nostrils, the soft breathing of the wolves tickled ears, and they eyes, or rather, his eye. An eye that could easily ignore her as pick her out, ignore any facade or wall, and shoot to her core. Then that howl, their howl, a howl she could almost feel like joining in. Being called to join in.

    No eye should be able to do that, she thought, no...thing, should be able to circumvent my will. Imperceptibly, her thin mouth thinned further. The dream was pointless, as were any desires left by it and thinking about them served no purpose. She rudely shoved the thoughts from her mind, settling back into her frozen fortress with the thought, I am a bastard. I am the bastard. And that's what I'll remain, but it's what I'll earn my fame as. Answering Deidre's gaze, she challenged, "What?" then deciding that it may bring up the exact topic she didn't want to discuss, she continued, "are you making?" She hoped that it was all they would discuss, although she doubted it. Deidre, from what little she had observed of her, had the annoying habit of following up on what Alhild wanted to leave alone.

    @Maeriel
     
  7. AJPhips

    AJPhips A Little Broken

    Ara frowned, his words sounded so much like words she too had spoken and repeated so often in her head. She wasn't safe, she'd hurt everyone; more so now that she could be controlled by those that meant them harm. She had thought her magic was dangerous but now she was far more of a threat. For some reason hearing those same fears from the man before her caused a giggle to escape her lips, before she sobered and continued to brush the horse. It had been so long since she had laughed and just that small, quick moment made her feel lighter; like it was just that little bit easier to carry on.

    "I could say the same thing about me." she smiled shyly, "Even without them controlling me, I've always been dangerous; I have a monster in me and I can't control it. I burnt down our house once." The last was added like a child revealing a secret.
    "But... It feels calmer with whatever you're doing. Like it's sleeping."

    It was true, now the shock had warn off, Ara could recognise how calm her magic had felt, safe below the surface. Now though, she could feel the tendrils of control clawing their way back. She couldn't help the shiver racing up her spine, her light mood vanishing.
    "I can feel them coming back again, like they're trying to crawl up the back of my mind. I hate it, it's awful." She looked back over at Illian hopefully. "Can you do it again, make them go?"

    @Scalerender
     
  8. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    *Voiding my last post on page 14, cutting out the interaction with Sindarin.*

    Valerie was exhausted. Bone-weary in fact from the long, hard travelling. The inner turmoil that had begun to fill her as to what she was doing here was beginning to wear on her combined with her physical exhaustion. She knew that she would be able to rest her body, but the trouble in her mind would be a harder matter to dispose of. For this reason, she shoved any troublesome thoughts to the side, instead looking around the small but well-equipped abode in search of something that would busy her. She located a stacked pile of dusty wood on the right side of the stone hearth as well as a black-coated pot with a hooked handle for preparing meals. She then proceeded to raid the kitchen cupboards, finding nothing that wouldn't be able to keep for a few months at a time...some of the food already spoiled and of no use to their unusual group.

    The elf took what she could find and kneeled at the hearth, placing the dried, leathery meat to one side as well as dried beans that could easily be re-hydrated for sustenance. The female took her few supplies she was grateful for nonetheless and broke them up before adding them to the pot along with a bucket of water she gathered from the leftover water-skins that had been on the horses. The female bent over, cursing under her breath at the ache that stretched up her spine from the day of riding, before cupping her hands together. She closed her eyes momentarily, a cerulean blue flame forming in her joined palms. She coaxed the tame blue trails onto the kindling, setting them alight carefully before beginning to skillfully stack on larger logs. Once the hearth was filled with an odd collection of blue-green and yellow flames, she placed the pot onto the hook protruding from the hearth wall.

    While the mixture began to boil, she pulled a small draw-string tied pouch from the folds of her strange attire, adding a dusting of the dried herbs that lay within them. The smell that rose from the bubbling brew made her homesick, the realization of how far she was from her beloved Valoria making her chest hurt as if it contained a wound. The female pulled herself up from the ground after stowing away the pouch, dusting off the knees of her pants before walking over to where the sound of Stavros' now awake voice reached her keen ears. She arrived at the room in time to hear Stavros' explanation, a cruel name bringing a streak of blue darting into her blade and her eyes flash angrily. She spoke only once he was finished though.

    "Myrellion...who in the goddesses name would be so idiotic as to seek out that madman in the first place. You are right about the shunning... That
    jhæzlék-"
    The elven word rolled off her tongue, Val not able to find one suitable for it in their language, "-is more animal than elf, he may look like us on the outside but his black soul merely uses the body as a disguise. A poor one at that. I'd chew off the rest of his right ear myself if he showed up anywhere near my village, along with a hundred other elves who would fight for the same opportunity."

    The elf clearly held no love for the man, her hands fisting and unfisting restlessly while her ears dropped down angrily. She huphed irrirably, gritting her teeth for a moment before speaking once more.

    "First betrayal from those Oberians....now I might have to deal with that scarred white rat too if you all intend to cross paths with him. " She laughed cynically, looking down the floor as she smiled sadly and leaned her back tiredly against the nearest wall with crossed arms. "...the great KindérSlägter himself...lucky me." Her sarcasm dripped from her last few words, the female's shoulders tucked close to her ears as she continued to grind her teeth softly.
     
    Last edited: Nov 11, 2017
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  9. Maeriel

    Maeriel Active Member Benefactor

    It was a challenging thing, trying to absorb all the information one day had dumped on Elise's head. She was exhausted, physically and emotionally. Since Ara ran away, Lis got no rest, if you don't count the unconscious time after Stavros knocked her out... She'd exerted herself in her magical use and that was spent too. Now, the pain and fatigue she had blocked had doubled, the burning around her throat from the Mage Collar was distracting, the rise and fall of her chest brought pain to her chest.

    Still, the most taxing was the overload of revelations. Elise didn't quite grasp what Illian actually was, but she understood enough to realize the threat. Still, despite the horror of what was done to Stavros, the smell of his burning, sizzling flesh assaulting her nostrils even as a memory, she didn't fear the young man. He is not much different than Ara... she thought. Ara did better when mother and her were around, supporting her, helping her deal with the emotions. A familiar issue you know how to handle doesn't worry you as much as a new, unfamiliar one.

    So Elise was a lot more concerned about this Myrellion and the fact that despite Stavros' reluctance, they obviously needed to see the man. As a magic user, Lis knew well the dangers of spellcasting. However, Elise was not a traditional wizard. Her magic was more of a inward kind. It boosted her attributes, it made her stronger, faster... it hid her from sight, it made her body warm like hot-pokers or cool like icicles. It helped her ignore pain, exhaustion, see better, hear better, smell better... Somehow she didn't think that would be of great help against an old elven caster who was capable of making living beings... enchanted. My head hurts...

    Elise had been so deep in thought that Val startled her as she started speaking with such vile hatred of the subject of everyone's worries. It just served to make Lis more uneasy about the prospect of dealing with Myrellion. She didn't understand everything that Valerie had said, but the way she nearly spit out the words painted enough of a picture. With a deep sigh, Elise rubbed her tired face, stomach rumbling louder than she liked at the scent of Val's cooking.

    "It doesn't seem to me that we have any good options here. We need the man, the one everyone hates and fears, who is in Elven lands, which are in civil war. We'll need to work together and learn to rely on each other. And we'll need Illian. So you better swallow some pride and make amends with the boy, because so help me Goddess, I will wring your neck until you can watch your own back if you are the reason my sister gets no help from the vile crap that YOUR order did to her, Stavros. It's together or dead. Those are the options we have."
    Lis took a pause to simmer down her flaring anger, fueled by her fatigue, and then looked to the door that led to the common area, by which Val stood.

    "We'll eat and rest. It's safe here, there are traps around the edges of the forest and there are scouts of the Guild in these woods. A night in safety is a luxury we'll likely not afford for a while, so everyone use it well. I... gotta... get some... uh... firewood." With that, she pushed off her seat and left the cabin. She needed some time alone, to feel it all, to despair a little, so she could be strong again. Strong for Ara... and now for the others too.

    @Scalerender @MJK2431 @inkdragon
     
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  10. inkdragon

    inkdragon Understandably Confused Staff Member on Hiatus Warden

    "Lis-" Isaac started to call after her, but he cut himself off. He was going to offer to heal her, but it seemed she needed some space to breathe. With a sigh, Isaac settled himself back down, allowing her to go. It would not do to push right now, when tensions were already so high.

    He pushed his messy hair out of his face, then rubbed a hand over his tires eyes. "I am in no position to lead this group, that is certain, but I agree with Elise. We need Myrellion, there is no getting around it. We don't have the power to fix any of this ourselves, we need help."

    Being alone around the Mage hunter and the elf girl was making Isaac uncomfortable, and he was exhausted, anyway. He looked to Stavros. "Call me if you need anything during the night," he advised, placing a hand on the older man's shoulder briefly before crossing the room to the bed Elise had shown him.
     
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  11. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    "I just hope you all are aware of exactly what you'e getting into. This is the elf who kidnapped newborns who had been in their mothers arms for a barely a day, only to drain them of their blood as a binding element while he tried to merge dark and light majik. "Casters" as you call them are not common among the elves anymore. The bloodlines that usually bear the gifted have not been fruitful for some time. Majik-users have become a rarity indeed. So rare that training for such individuals is usually carried out by mentors a minimum of a hundred and three years their senior....I would know, my youngest tutor was that much older than I." The elf's jaw flexed as she paused, momentarily chewing on her lips before she continued.

    "However, no matter how scarce knowledgable and trained individuals were, the mystery and suspicion that surrounded Myrellion and the unholy forces he was messing with was enough to keep any wanting of his help out of mind. It was that final act of him getting caught red-handed with the rosy blood of an infant dripping from his clawed hands that eventually gave enough hard evidence for the elders to drive him out to banishment without questions. This is more monster than elf...you all need to keep that in mind."


    Valerie watched Elise leave, her body language and the scent of exhaustion rolling off of the woman in waves and reflecting the elf's own feelings of weariness. Her forest-green eyes followed her all the way out the door before she stood back up from her position leaning against the wall. She needs space. We all do. Looks like supper will be a lonely affair.

    She sighed, her hand idly twisting one of the small braids that had been woven into her hair as she mused to herself and relented to her endless, twisting thoughts. What a mess. Elise is right about one thing though...sleep should be enjoyed tonight. I get the feeling that this level of comfort may not be awarded to us for some time. Other thoughts lingered at the edge of her mind, ones which she knew she needed to deal with now while she had the solitude to do so. The elf, in her absent-minded state, knelt before the hearth and the stirred the pot. Her ears flicked restlessly, like a doe in a glade being watched by a hunter. She was used to being the one holding the crossbow aimed at the unsuspecting animal, but the thought of seeking out Myrellion had her feeling like the deer instead as it lifted it's head at the snapping of a bow string only to be struck in it's side with an arrow.

    The wooden spoon she used clanked against the metal pot's sides, the sound almost too much for her keen hearing in the eerie, silent cottage. Do I stay with them? Or do I leave? She wrestled with her options, her eyes set on the stones used to build the fireplace. I could always leave....no would know by the time they woke. Then I could sneak into the elven regions alone. Just the thought of waking up and interrupting a much needed night of sleep made her cringe, the thought quickly being dismissed when a much more favourable one took it's place. "They'll be better cover. A group will be much easier to enter with than being alone...they'll be looking for me regardless, thirsty for any sign of my face. They can't leave any of the Old Order alive to rally a rising against them. The wisest thing to do would be to blend in with an even greater group of unusual beings. Human casters will be difficult to ignore in a region that hasn't seen them in our midsts for almost a century. It could work....I won't stick out like a peacock among hens when there are a large group of peacocks to witness." She spoke out loud to herself as she often did when deep in thought. Val lifted the spoon from the pot, tapping it against the rim before hanging it on a nearby nail hammered into the hearth wall.

    The elven maiden felt satisfied with the plan, heaving a sigh as she wiped her brow but let a small smile grace her lips. "Blending in by sticking out. I'll still need to use my cloak though and keep my mark well-hidden."

    ***********************************************************************************************************************************************************

    Three days passed, just as Malevolenis had said. No rations of any form was brought to him, only half-cups of water that came once a day at odd times. Atylis could feel himself growing weaker, his bloody wounds drying to a thin crust over his dusty body. No one spoke to him, the guards changes every few hours but never looked at him or conversed between themselves...it was as if they were guarding an empty room. The old Valorian thought he might go mad by the time the door opened and the Oberian General showed himself once more.

    He was almost thankful. Almost.

    The black-haired man had a wide grin on his face, one that sent cold shivers up Atylis' spine. Anything that put him in such a good mood that it brought a smile to Malevolenis' face was bound to be bad news for the Valorian.

    "I bring good tidings. Your little trainee has been spotted, some mage-hunters in a sad little filth-pile called Braedon were planning on using her as a light snack for their manly cravings. Lucky for her, she somehow slipped from their fingers. It's a shame really, I guess now she'll have to suffer under elven hands instead. I have connections everywhere though, another sighting should reach my ears soon enough."

    He walked up close to Atylis, his hot breath bringing goosebumps to the grey-haired warriors neck.

    "Lucky for me, this doesn't mean you are no longer of use to me. You see....as much as I would love to fetch her and drag her here by that pretty head of golden hair, that would be a terrible waste of men and a highly risky way in which other plans could be revealed. So, my dear Atylis....you're going to make a nice wriggling piece of bait to bring that girl to us...she's going to just come running straight back here when she finds out you're in fact NOT dead."

    General Malevonis' words made a new streak of fury rush through Atylis, his hands forming tight fists as he spat out angrily, "She'll never fall for that...she knows that there will be a trap waiting for her. I've trained her to predict such things from an enemy like you!"

    The other male laughed slowly, his head rolling back before he centered it again on Atylis.
    "You see, that's you Valorian's biggest problem. You invest in and encourage too much interaction between one another. Instead of turning your warriors into strong, unfeeling killers, you give them mentors and guidance."

    His next words sent icy tendrils wrapping around Atylis' whole body, the truth of them shaking him to his core at the realization that General Malevonis had found the weak point he needed to get what he wanted.

    "You're such a soft, iditotic fool....of course she will come for you no matter how stupid the idea. You're the father-figure she never had."

    With that he left, Atylis' first meal in three days arriving shortly after. He could barely eat though, the churning in his stomach making the sustenance he needed taste like worm-ridden sand on his tongue.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
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  12. Scalerender

    Scalerender Chaos Sphere Benefactor

    Illian paused standing next to the horse when she spoke to him like that, it was unusual and different to be speaking so openly about all of this especially from the likes of a.... She's a person, Ara .. Illian sighed to himself. he shook his head little as he had to remind himself of such an obvious truth. She was a person, just like him, in fact she was allot more like him then he would care to admit. Have I always been this hateful? Illian thought to himself. The thoughts were enough of a distraction that her question came as a bit of a surprise and he looked at her once more with a look of confusion that fleeted away as he stammered out a reply. "

    I-I don't.. I mean... I'm not sure.."
    He sighed "It's not something I know how to control that well.. I... Look I can try but.. If you feel anything strange, painful just go alright? I've done enough damage as it is."

    Illian shot Ara another look, a flash of concern coloring his expressions for a moment. He threw down the brush and ran a hand through his long tow-colored hair, holding on to a handful of it behind his head and staring into nothing for an instance. He sighed and closed his eyes, frowning a litle as he tried recalling the feeling he had before.

    It wasn't sudden. Much like the tides of the sea it came in waves, each surge of his strange power pushing at the connection Ara felt creeping in the back of her mind until eventually the strange static Illian was causing just drowned out the tense feeling and simply canceled it out like some counterbalance being put in place perfectly. Illian looked strangely peaceful and opened his eyes, blinking. he felt it to, a strange feeling like he had latched onto something and held it with just enough force to keep it still and static. He felt it's pull ever so lightly, it was there if he focused on it but otherwise he'd barely be aware of it like the tip of one's nose.

    Illian blinked and looked at Ara a little uncertainly, his eyes meeting hers as he looked for the answers of his unspoken question.

    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Stavros sighed and rubbed his face slowly, his already burdened mind once more belligerently taxed with more accusations, warnings and chastising remarks. He was tired, tired of all of this emotion, guilt, anger and resentment which was not at ll undeserved but hard to expose one to for so long. He looked up as he sensed movement, Elise left the room and for a moment his lips parted in objection but... what could he say, really? The woman was gracious in the fact she didn't express her outrage ina more physical manner, he'd understand if she did. His eyes then locked onto the young man and he forced a weary smile, nodding appreciatively at the youth that had every reason to hate him but instead showed nothing but genuine care.

    "Thank you Isaac, I will try not to. You deserve your rest as much as any of us, if not more.

    Stavros turned to the Elven maiden, her demeanor having changed much since the moment they met and once again Stavros was unable to blame anyone for having a soured mood. As an Elf she knew more of Myrellion and the danger he posed then anyone present. The tales she spoke of him were less of a shock then Stavros wanted, he always knew there was a deep darkness in that "man" and he never chose to recognise the absolute hypocracy of having him involved in the Order's affairs. myrellion was the prime example of a Mage that has gone beyond the point of no return, an apostate without equal. As Val put simple... A monster. Stavros sighed deeply and heavilly, noding his head slowly.

    "I know, my Lady... I know. But sadly he is the only one I know that will not put an end to s outright, he is the only one that can be bargained with. Even as Stavros spoke the words he felt sick in the stomach. Myrellion was a fiend and a stark reminder of a very shameful period in his own life. The means justified the ends for him then, his fanaticism had blinded him and made him into exactly what most Mages believed his Order to be. Zealots, Witchhunters and murderers. But the fact he had traded with that warlock is what filled him with shame for unlike his fanaticism it could not be forgiven by the purity of his pain and grief. No, he had dealt with Myrellion because he wanted powerand nothing that Stavros could think of in this moment could justify that. Perhaps now, with the actions of today he could begin to redeem at least a part of him...even if he died trying.
    [B][/B]
     
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  13. AJPhips

    AJPhips A Little Broken

    As Illian closed his eyes, Ara felt the need to do the same. In the darkness behind her eyelids, she felt his strange gift washing over her and smothering the monster within; calming it. Soon after the beast was put to sleep, the insistent niggling in the back of her mind began to recede and she felt more relaxed than she had felt in days. The teen almost felt normal and she wondered lightly if this is what everyday people felt like. Through the peace, Ara could sense a slight hollowness within, where her magic once was. A small part of her longed to have that feeling of her simmering energy return, as if she was no longer herself without it, but the pleasure of the stillness far outweighed the strange need for her burning gift.

    Even once she felt Illian's power still, settling over her, she could not bring herself to reopen her eyes. As if, if she opened them, it would all be lost once more. It was several long moments before Ara braved it and the light flooded her vision again. She found Illian staring at her in question and she nodded to him a little sheepishly.
    "Thank you." she smiled at the floor, "It feels... I can't feel... well, thanks."
    Suddenly embarrassed, although not entirely sure why, Ara picked the brush back up and returned to work despite the fact that by now the horse was surely brushed enough.
     
  14. Maeriel

    Maeriel Active Member Benefactor

    Elise spilled out the door like coming out from deep waters, like she couldn't breathe. A few paces forward she bent over, hands on her knees, dark hair cascading as she heaved, trying to suppress it, suppress the fear, the uncertainty. This is not my thing. I can't do this... I can't do this! There was no going around it. There was no going back and thinking about her previous life, the one where no one depended on her, where she made the rules, where things were under her control... well... looking back was crippling, for that life was doomed to be just a memory now. That was before she knew Ara was alive. That was before she killed a man. That was before the fled alongside strangers and the enemy.

    "Breathe... breathe..." she told herself and with a few sharp breaths, strode off into the woods. This area was familiar to her, this was not the first time she had stayed on the cabin, hell, she had done it many times before. Her feet knew the way, regardless of the strange mist that seemed to be rolling over the area, carrying her forward and instinctively avoiding the traps, until she came by the stream. It was a small creek, rather than anything, slow dark waters reflecting the moonlight, flowing slowly south over a bed of stones. Lis knelt by its shore, breathing heavy, eyes stinging with tears that she didn't wish, tears that made her feel weak when she needed to be strong. Her hands dove in the shallow water to cup it and splash the crystalline coldness over her face again and again. Valerie's words haunted her... her stomach churned at the idea they needed such a reviled man to save her sister.

    [​IMG]

    Mother would know what to do... The thought stung. If their mother had been here she'd be strong enough, she always knew what to do to appease father, to distract him from any suspicions. Ara wouldn't have ran away from their mother, she always knew what to say and always knew what was wrong with the girl. It's all my fault... The words echoed in her mind with the voice of her father and his accusing, hard eyes. "SHUT UP!!" The sudden shout scared away some birds - or bats - and Elise clamped her hands on her mouth, honey-colored eyes wide as saucers. So much for discretion.

    Another splash of water, wetting her long raven hair, and Elise stood up. "Get a grip, get a grip..." She took a few deep breaths, feeling the sharp pains it brought to her injured chest. The aching was sobering, at least that was something. "Keep it together..." She could do this... she had to. Forward... the way is always forward... Absent-minded steps took her back to the cabin. It was dark now, they needed to eat and rest while they could. As isolated as this place was, she trusted nowhere to be safe for long for them until this thing with Ara's glyphs was sorted, and that was likely a healthy thing.

    Her eyes looked around the flowered clearing around the stone residence, realizing she hadn't seen her sister since they arrived. She spotted the odd man who introduced himself as Ara's legs. The only thing Elise was sure about him, was that that was not his name. She paced to the meditating figure, clearing her throat when she got to a certain distance from where he sat. Lis was quiet for a second, for she suddenly realized that she didn't quite know what she was going to say. Before the situation grew any more awkward, she blurted out. "Valerie made dinner. You should come in, eat and rest. We'll likely have a long way ahead of us tomorrow." Her lips parted again as if she'd say something else, but once more the woman drew blanks. Her feet turned and she started heading back inside, she needed the food she was so advertising.

    "ARA!!! Come inside! Come eat!" The girl was certainly around here somewhere, she wanted to go find her, but she felt she might just push her further away. Shouting it out on her way to the cabin was hardly a good option, but it seemed... better...

    @Shadras @AJPhips
     
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  15. Shadras

    Shadras Illogical

    Vidar was deep in his mental sanctuary. Both internally and externally, his heart was a forest. His heart was the forest. The world seemed to blend into a mismatched stream of reality and meditation. Dreamlike, he called it. But it was only like a dream and not truly one. Which meant there were no visions. Not yet, anyway. His dreams had promised there would come a time when he would begin to see the dreaming world. And, since awake, be able to ask more astute questions of it than when he slept. But now was not the time. It was drawing near, oh yes, he was sure of that, but not tonight. What was happening tonight was the constant splashes and droplets of his companions interactions. There was no way to know what they were about nor even what they were feeling. But the intensity dashed across the forest as wind through the trees.

    And speaking of wind, a gale was roaring towards him. Down from the house, past him, into the trees, as if some strange front has roared through but left no mark upon the trees. Vidar almost expected the wave to roar on, building in intensity until it became some alien hurricane that all would know but no nature would feel. To his pleasant surprise, it stopped, remained where it was for a few striking moments, before it swept back towards him and halted again, a mere few feet away. A strange, guttural sound pulled him from his meditations. A smile splayed itself across his lips as he opened his eyes, or rather, his eye, to discover that it was not a storm at all. Leastwise, not a storm as most of mortalkind saw them. Instead, it was a woman with hair as a starless night that still shimmered slightly, as if catching wisps of moonlight. Ara's blood-pack sibling-called-a-sister, if he recalled correctly. His smile grew as he sat in silence, waiting patiently for her to speak.

    Dinner...it wasn't something that he had actually thought about. Not having eaten since this morning, Vidar now came to realize he was actually quite hungry. He wondered what had been caught, or dug up.

    Vidar shook himself. Now was not the time to be imagining food. Nor was it good for her to leave. Storms rarely crossed Vidar's path without a purpose. Or at least he believed they didn't. So before she turned away, he quickly whipped out his staff and tapped her lightly on the heel, softly saying, "wait. Come. Sit for a minute and know me a bit better and let me know you more too. As I have said before, I am Ara's legs. Although, she seems to not have need for me to be them for now so I'll suppose I'll be something else. You may also know me as Vidar, which says far less than "Ara's legs," but it is my name nonetheless. Remind me of yours and tell me, why are you a waking storm this night." As he said this, the light mist ceased to flow from his fingers.
     
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  16. MJK2431

    MJK2431 ✿❀❁

    The elf rummaged through the cottages stores once more, coming up with various items that could act a bowel for the food she had prepared. She laid this items out near the hearth along with any cutlery she could find, her hands idly picking up a wooden bowel and bent spoon. She dished up a hearty portion, filling the bowel almost to the brim before placing the lid back on the simmering pot.

    The smell alone was driving her insane, her stomach twisting and widening as if it had a mind of its own. She waited though , locating an empty room and placing the food on a dusty corner table corner before glancing over at the empty cot she had decided to use for the night.

    The elf placed down her satchel, going through her familiar ritual of removing her sword belt and dagger sheath after thrusting off her coat. Clouds of road-dust filled the air as she threw the item over the foot-end of the bed. She paused however at her jacket buttons, knowing that the soft, water-like sleeves of the shirt beneath easily revealed the mark of a majik-caster and noble-born that swirled around her upper arm.

    After a few seconds of hesitation she cast the jacket off too, knowing that her companions would care little for the mark if they even noticed it at all. They had not grown up in the elven regions and would think nothing of the tattoo.

    The female sighed, sitting down and then finally stretching out on the cot, using her satchel to prop her up before she reached for the warm stew. She spooned warm mouthfuls of the brew into her mouth, content with the filling of her stomach and time to rest despite the seriousness of the situation she was in.
     
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  17. Scalerender

    Scalerender Chaos Sphere Benefactor

    Illian gave the young woman a sideways glance, the soft smile was entirely unvolintary and it took a few l before he even registered that it had been plastered across his face. It made the young man blush and look away, forgetting what he was doing and making him forget what he was doing there in the first place. For a moment he felt the connection with Ara slip but he easily fortified it and kept it in place, much like being held by a natural current.

    Illian continued tending to the horses after this very unusual moment in utter silent, not exactly seeking to escape it but not knowing exactly how to navigate it either. A day before Ara had been the very thing he needed to purge from this world, or so believed himself. To share such a peaceful moment, with his gift not urging him to burn the magic from her but instead calmly content with drawing in the tether of magical energy anchored to her. It was strange indeed.

    The distant voice drew him back to reality and the half elven's eyes locked on Ara once MORE. After a moment of doubt he uttered with some uncertainty" Y-you should probably be going .. " Illian was famished, but the thought of facing them and possibly Stavros right now was simply unthinkable.

    ______________________________________________________________

    Inside Stavros was putting the final touches to his uniform, he had left the pieces of armour be for now, his body still ached after the ordeal it had been forced to cope with. Still he needed to look as if he was better. Thus is what Stavros believed, this rag tag group of renegades, mages and... deserters? Traitors? Stavros paused considering the implications of his current situation. There would be no escaping it now, no turning backs. This would likely be the last act of his life and the final chapter of his legacy. He sighed heavily as he finished buttoning his coat. At least he'd look the part of being in control.

    The Mage Hunter emerged from his appointed chambers looking stronger and healthier then anticipated. Mostly an act made possible with some posturing and a high pain tolerance, in truth he felt miserable. The food seemed like a good idea, he was starving. Helping himself to some of the prepared food made him realise just how much he needed food, he was salivating. He looked towards the elven maiden and nodded politely, eyes tracing up and down her elegant self before posing a question. "My lady have you per chance seen Illian?"
     
    Last edited: Nov 29, 2017
  18. Maeriel

    Maeriel Active Member Benefactor

    Elise's brown boot had just stepped over the moist grass and wildflowers to head back into the cabin when she felt a tap on her heel, causing her to look down. What she saw was a bit unexpected, as the strange wooden staff carried by the stranger man had been the source of the touch. Then his voice followed, a pleasant sound, to be sure, but his words were strangely used and placed, making ever more evident the stark contrast he posed to those she was used to dealing with.

    Vidar. That seems more like a name, though none I've heard before. Somehow knowing he had a proper name made her a little more at ease around him, something about the simplicity of knowing something by its name to give it shape and familiarity. Or well, giving her a sense he was not a total lunatic. Lis' eyebrow arched lightly as her honey-colored eyes caught sight of the mists that faded from his fingers. It struck her in many different ways, the first, that it meant the man was proficient in magic, and as he looked like a Nord... that was more than a little odd. Legends spoke they had no such magical affinity. Second, was that it spoke of a certain wish to protect and the intellect to make it happen in a subtle way, which was something she could really respect. But above all... it struck Elise how odd it was that in the span of a day she had met so many magical users. Magic was not a widespread thing, even in the human kingdoms, and to bump into all these people, all either also running or able/willing to tag along... it felt... too coincidental.

    The man's invitation to join him was unexpected and Elise had been too busy trying to push down the tide of emotions overcoming her after the last few days that she was for a moment frozen in place and silenced. Then again, going back inside was not an appealing prospect at the moment, among other things, Elise feared the topic of her murderous act might rise up at any given moment and she wasn't sure how Ara would take such a thing. With a deep sigh, she turned and paced closer to Vidar, crouching with a wince of pain and a hitched sigh. She sat leaning against the rough trunk of a tree and ran a hand through her raven hair, still somewhat wet and smelling of the river.

    "Vidar. Well, nice to meet you, I suppose. I'm Elise Gale, Ara's sister. I'm... uh... not entirely sure about what you mean, but I guess it's my mood? I had some uh... pretty rough few days. Just exhausted... and... just uh... exhausted..."
    Releasing a drawn out sigh, her eyes went from the flickering lights inside the cabin to him and his strange milky eye. The man was disheveled and sitting by him she had half-expected the gagging pungent smells that the beggars that serve as the Guild's eyes in Braedon exuded. Instead, he smelled of flowers and dew and foresty smells... "Where are you from? How did you meet Ara?"

    __________________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Deirdre's pale gray eyes left little doubt as to whether the young woman had perceived something from the slumbering warrior. Alfhild had barely managed to make her snappy 'what' into a full sentence, but succeeded in diverting the Seer's attention, however momentarily. She stirred the herbs in the pot and a melange of smells started wafting through their camp as her quiet voice spoke.

    "It's a stimulating brew to help on the road ahead. Stinging nettle, ginger root, rosehip and some fennel for taste. It's strong, but will help us keep warm and increase our stamina."

    Inevitably, that piercing gaze returned to Alfhild as she rose from her rest, preparing for leaving camp. A few moments of lingering silence tested the warrior's patience for the inquiries she could feel coming. When her voice finally sounded once again, it was like the bursting of a bubble.

    "We need to head to the elven forests. The pull seems to be directed that way. I don't know what you saw, and you don't need to say it. But I know that you saw something, and I wager you can feel the tug too... if you clear your mind and stop burdening yourself with so much so needlessly. I don't have to be your friend, but I don't need to be your enemy. You don't have to be forever alone..."

    @Shadras
     
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  19. Shadras

    Shadras Illogical

    Vidar’s smile broadened. Broadened such that it brought out a merry laugh, pleased that he was for at least a talking companion who was willing to at least open up a bit, even though it was only a crack. A crack he fully intended to open, if he could. Vidar let Elise say her piece before he said anything though. Listening in absolute patience. After she had finished, he said “Well, Elise, Elise, EEElllisseee. Elise.” Like with Ara, he rolled her name around his tongue as if tasting it. “I come from the North,” he gestured in that general direction, “where, exactly, I can’t say as I don’t have a map of it. No doubt I’ll know it when I return there again, although its leafy halls rival, if not surpass, those that surround us. Great in might and eternally wild. I’ll have to tell you sometime when you are less stormy and supper not so far away. How I met your...sister, is that the right word? Anyway, how I met Ara is rather simple. I was headed south, as it was the direction I needed to go, if you understand. Well, I came across her right after some danger had come across her and stole away her Isaac. So I decided to help her. Since she couldn’t walk so well, I became her legs. We talked, I learned about her markings and know I need to find how deep these truly go. It is unclear…but it is something I think best discussed over dinner, with Ara present. Then I can learn everything you all discussed at the mill building. Or building mill? Ah well, that can wait until dinner.”

    He fixed her with a still, piercing star with his one eye. His left eye seemed to twitch imperceptibly. “No,” he said, “my chief interest right now, is you. You say you are exhausted, but I have yet to see a storm able to ….oh what is the right word here….Ah! I have yet to see a storm be at peace. Yes, your body seeks rest, but you do not. Not yet. Something drives at your storm. Propels it onward, despite all calming attempts so far. A hair’s breadth away from tearing loose from the shackles desperately placed upon so that it can wreak havoc upon the burdens you bear because it believes that running, destroying are preferable to staying and dealing with what remains. But you know better and so you try to tackle your inner storm by yourself.” Throughout this Vidar’s eye never left hers’, burrowing in. He natural delight seemed to devoid itself from them, before suddenly returning in a rush of life.

    “Or have I missed my guess?” he laughed, “Forgive me, for it was guess. Your sudden self-isolation from your pack, the raging storm that centers in and around you, and even your damp hair belies some internal turmoil. In any event, I have at least found that storms do not start without a reason. If you are willing, I will become one of your inner ears. Listen to the causes of your storms and perhaps even calm them some. Especially when they become too much of a burden to bear by one’s own.” To him, it was a fair trade, she earned a confidant, he heard her inner secrets and stories. Evidently finished, for the moment, Vidar leaned comfortably back against his tree, awaiting her response.

    @Maeriel



    Alfhid nodded. A tea to help carry them for the journey south would indeed be useful. She didn’t pretend to understand or know any of the herbs that Deirdre had listed. Nor what it took to even make tea. However, the promise that it was strong was good. She’d never been a fan of “weak” drinks, save for water. At the same time, Alfhild was pleased that she had at least succeeded in distracting Deirdre in the matter of dreams. Taking the opportunity, she collected herself and her armor, replacing both her emotional and physical plate. When Deirdre returned to the attack, she was more than prepared.

    All throughout Deirdre’s speech, she remained quiet, her face as blank as the helm she put over it. When at last she spoke, it was in a simple, flat voice. A voice that she had used many-a time in response to her fellow people. And it was, above all else, unreachable.

    “To the elven forests then.”

    This was, perhaps, Alfhild’s last and strongest wall in her icy fortress. Apathy. It took her a little bit to settle herself into such an empty state. One with minimal desire and rage. But once in it, it was nigh impossible to dislodge her from it. She simply ceased to care. About her dreams, at Deidre’s token of fellowship, about most anything. Death itself may have come to claim her in that very minute, and she might not have cared about it at all. All that remained was the completion of her quest, by any means necessary, simply because she didn’t care how it was completed, and only just enough to see it succeeded.

    @Maeriel
     
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  20. AJPhips

    AJPhips A Little Broken

    Ara had been enjoying the calm, both within her mind as well as the peaceful motion of brushing the horse in companionable silence with the other man.
    The loud voice of her sister pulled the young woman from her reveries and she jumped, fumbling with the brush and juggling it between her hands for a moment before she regained control of it. She had almost forgotten the large group of people that were gathered in the small lodge.
    Though she had not noticed it before, her stomach was burning with the need for food. For years it had felt nothing but hunger. Now, it was difficult to recognise the feeling or remember to assess whether or not she was hungry in the first place. Still, now that the attention was there, Ara couldn't help but welcome the potential meal. She would, however, have to face the crowd and the confines of the small cottage.
    Illian's voice rang over to her and Ara hesitated. He was not planning on joining them for the meal, perhaps he wasn't even invited. She had seen how the other's had looked at him after the accident. They had not approved of him or his actions. Ara was used to being despised and feared for the potential disaster she held within. She had not blamed them for their fear of her then so she could not blame those around her now for fearing Illian. She was sad though, that he too had to suffer a monster within.
    Perhaps she could bring something back for him. She took a step towards the food before another thought came to mind. If they separated, would he still be able to maintain his hold on her? Her anxieties crept forward at the possibility. Now that the feelings were gone, the thought of having it all rush back, seemed unbearable and her appetite dissipated.

    "I'm not hungry." She lied busying herself once more.
    She was unwilling to admit her fears. She did not want to seem a child nor dependant on his presence. She may be a coward but she didn't need this man to know it.
    "I'll go in later.." she hesitated a little before glancing up at him, "Unless you're hungry now? I'm sure they wouldn't mind."
    Another lie, she had no idea whether they'd care. It was perhaps selfish to wish this man into a situation where he would not be wanted but Ara brushed the guilt away anyway. The fear of separating from his power was greater than the guilt.

    @Scalerender
     
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