Flashback From Father, With Love.

A child turned monster.

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Center of scholarly knowledge and shipwrighting, Zeltiva is a port city unlike any other in Mizahar. [Lore]

From Father, With Love.

Postby Azrayel Kolasi on September 24th, 2013, 3:29 am

8th of Fall, 502nd AV

"You often have asked me, Vervain, what it feels like…”

Vervain sat on his knees, staring up at his father patiently. His young face was embroidered with cuts and bruises from a sparring session that had taken place but four days ago, and despite the soreness in his bones, he felt more concerned than anything else. A feeling of contentment should have taken him; it was a mild and sunny fall morning, and Vervain had enjoyed a four day respite from the endless drills his father subjected him too. He had enjoyed the chance to rest, but father was never particularly forgiving or concerned with his comfort - and now, asking him to meet him so far away from the rest of the Trade Caravan they lived with for some kind of private chat...

Vervain swallowed involuntarily, a steely cold apprehension tugging at his chest as he waited patiently for his father to continue. "…to be able to set the sky ablaze with a simple flick of your wrist - or to move the earth itself beneath you with naught by your willpower." Jacynth shifted on the tree stump he was seated on, inhaling deeply of the sweet, cool morning air. Father had always had a knack for the theatrical, and his speech was often embellished by deep pauses and pronunciation flares that often made him sound more like a thespian then a traveling bard and trader. Vervain caught his fathers eyes for a moment, but Jacynth didn't let the gaze linger very long, turning his head skyward as he continued his speech.

"I won't sit here and lie to you, son. My skills as a Reimancer are only half of what your grandfather was capable of, and he still was far from being some grand archmage. Yet even still..." Jacynth would raise his hand up, and Vervain would watch in awe as a small, solitary flame lick of flame would flicker over Jacynth's index finger. Jacynth would let it linger for a moment, Vervain's eyes watching with childlike wonderment as the fire danced and waved, before Jacynth would make a grand sweeping motion with his hand, extinguishing the flame. "Even still, I can turn a man into a pile of ash with a few simple hand gestures. This is a power that far exceeds what these two bit mercenaries in our caravan are capable of, and even more so exceeds the wildest imaginations of your average small minded peon." Jacynth would fold his legs across one another, letting out a listless sigh. "Of course, this is why talents such as ours, in this brutal and uncivilized age we live in, are so unappreciated and often despised. People fear what they cannot comprehend, and hate that which they cannot control - especially those lackeys in Syliras who have the gall to call themselves Knights."

Vervain lifted his head at this point, forcing his father to meet his eyes as he spoke hesitantly - worried that the wrong word or idea might incur his father’s wrath. “But Father..." Jacynth stared at him intently, and Vervain faltered, the words caught in his throat under his father’s unforgiving glare. “No no, my child.” He would begin after several moments passed, leaning in to stare at Vervain even more intently. “I would have you speak your mind on this subject. " Vervain nodded, looking down at the ground as he continued. "Well, I don't see how magic is any different than any other tool. You've always said it was just a means to an end, so..." He looked back up at Jacynth, furrowing his eyebrows as he continued. “Shouldn’t you be judged on what you use that power to accomplish, not simply for having it?"

As Vervain's voice trailed off, he felt a twinge of regret creeping into his chest. His father grew painfully silent, the sounds of the wilderness around them - and of the nearby trade caravan - doing little to break the awkward tension that formed between the two of them. Vervain tensed, gripping at his own legs as he lowered his head, his back teeth grinding involuntarily against one another as he waited for his father to speak. "Perhaps it could be so in a better world, my son..." Vervain paused, his eyes beginning to widen with mild surprise as he slowly inched his head upward. His father’s face was completely shadowed by his hair, but there was a seriousness too it that Vervain had rarely seen before. Granted, Jacynth wasn't exactly a court jester - but he maintained an outward aura of aloofness and regalia, an aura which was now replaced with an almost bitter sternness.

"However, such power placed in the hands of mankind seldom leads to peace or prosperity. When we mere humans are given the power to weave firestorms and crush the earth beneath us, no matter how pure our intentions may be in the use of said power, the outcomes are seldom anything less than savage." Jacynth was trembling slightly as he spoke, though his expression remained inscrutable - his face almost completely shielded from view. "You wanted to know what it feels like, my son? It feels like one small lapse of judgement can raze a forest to the ground. It feels like one burst of passion or rage left uncontrolled can result in a trail of blood and carnage strewn about over a mile in length."
Jacynth raised his head slightly, his bangs shifted to reveal his eyes, slightly bloodshot and trembling.

Vervain felt his throat tighten slightly as he stared into his father’s eyes. He opened his mouth to speak, but the child could find no words, and instead he simply continued to stare upwards. Vervain had been beaten into early maturity, but no amount of discipline would suddenly turn a child into a man, and the look in his father’s eyes - the longer he stared, the more he felt like his father’s madness was being engraved into his own soul.
"It begins with a simple transgression. Your intentions could be admirable, or at the very least understandable. Perhaps you see a band of slavers beating their captives, or perhaps you witness a girl you care for being assaulted on the street. A moments worth of rage, barely a heartbeat, flashes past your mind. The world turns red, and you raise your hand up… Each gout of fire feels incredible – like you are a god in and of your own right, and a symphony of voices congratulates you on your ferocity. Fire, just like rage, is a living, breathing entity – and soon, there is little but ash and death around you.”

Jacynth grinned, his eyes bloodshot and wild. “It feels like being invincible. Like being a monster.”

It was more than he could take. Vervain looked away, shaking his head slowly as he tried to formulate a response. It was true he had been asking his father more and more about Reimancy - but after months of being ignored, this seemed like quite a bit. 'Why... Why tell me all of this?' His mind raced as he tried to find an answer, a rational solution to abate the surge of paranoia that gripped at his veins with icy fingers. 'Maybe he doesn't want to ever teach me Reimancy? Maybe that's why he's had me work so hard on my swordsmanship?' He turned his head upward to meet his father’s face once again, intending to do something he almost never did - speak openly and honestly with his father.

"Why are you telling me all of this?"

He wouldn't have to wait long to find out. Jacynth had stood up, and was clutching ominously at a tamo dagger in his left hand. His expression was vacant, like a doctor about to perform a potentially lethal surgery on a loved one. Vervain stared at the dagger, then at his father’s face. "Wh-What are you doing?"

"I’m making a man of you, child.”

Vervain began to slowly back away, his eyes wide and his mouth agape. 'No... Father wouldn't...' Jacynth had forced him to spend many hours in his youth reading old dusty tomes on magical theory - particularly Reimancy, and nothing he had read made him feel ready or particularly eager about putting himself through this. Right now, this man bearing down on him with a ready dagger jutting from his palm was not his father - but every bit the monster he had described a Reimancer to be. There was a cold focus in Jacynth's eyes - he looked upon the horror in Vervain's quivering eyes and lips with cold indifference.

It happened in a flash. Jacynth grabbed at Vervains hands with his own free hand, slicing ritualistic cuts into the flesh of his palms. Vervain let out a howl, his blood hitting the ground beneath him as his father allowed him to pull back his hands. Vervain's back would hit the ground, and he would stare down at the wounds running across his palms. There was little pain that Vervain could actually feel, though his senses were numbed by the flooding waves of terror-fueled adrenaline hitting every nerve in his body simultaneously. He squirmed and rolled, his face twisting with errant determination as he slammed against the ground with his hands – desperate to push himself to his feet. A clawing primal fear, like being alone in a dark pit, clawed without relent at his back, and although sharp pains shot up from his palms, causing his elbows to buckle under the stress, he fought the sensation, nearly rising up to his feet.

He was interrupted by a sudden, sharp pain running down his side, as Jacynth delivered a swift kick into his son’s ribcage. His vision flickered black a moment as Vervain hit the ground, rolling over to his side as he let out an indiscriminate whimper. “Stay still, child, and save you’re your energy. I assure you, you are going to need it.” Vervain’s eyes were clamped shut in reflex to the blow he received, yet very little pain filtered through the chaos that was flooded his young mind. ‘Father wants to kill me… I won’t survive… ‘ The thought caused a pause within him, and was immediately followed by another. ‘I don’t want to die…’

However, Vervain began to feel a strange, uneasy warm descending upon his flesh. His eyes slowly peeled open as he rolled onto his back to stare up at his father. His vision he found was obscured by a wispy, milky white mist, which wafted and danced about him, slowly enveloping his body. There was a single moment of unbridled terror as he realized exactly what was about to happen, but it only lasted a single breath before it began.

The world around Vervain flashed red – all sounds turned to violent screams as the Res from his father found its way into his body – through the cuts in his palms, through his nostrils, through his eyes and ears – and eventually, even his pores, as it began to saturate his entire body. As if all at once, the fear was blocked from his mind – his body deciding such emotion was now a luxury it could ill afford as the feeling of intense flames licked up from inside Vervain’s very body, as if a though hands inside his core were violently trying to dig their way out of his flesh. His muscles jerked and contorted, flexing and relaxing at complete random as several of his blood vessels began to bulge visibly beneath his skin.

To Jacynth, who watched with detached focus in his eyes, the ordeal only lasted several seconds. However, to Vervain, as the Res began to retreat from his body, it seemed as if an eternity had passed. There was a vague understanding, a notion of a thought that fluttered about the back of Vervain’s mind – between the spaces where trauma and lingering pain left enough room for such frivolities.

His father had said he was about to become an adult, and he certainly did feel many, many years older.

“Sit up. Stop your incessant bellyaching and get on your feet, child.” Vervain was gasping for breath, his ears ringing and his vision fading in and out. His young body was still in a fair amount of shock from the ordeal, and he was only vaguely aware of his father barking orders at him.

That is, of course, until he felt his father’s boot once again ramming into his side.

Vervain let out a whimper, rolling onto his side to clutch at his injury. Jacynth stood over him with a scowl, his hand resting on his cutlass. “If you don’t stand this very moment, I’ll give you a legitimate reason to act so injured, you spoiled little brat.” The tone in his father’s voice was something Vervain had never experienced before. Jacynth had always been stern, often very critical; but mocking? It was a new experience, and although under most circumstances Vervain would have had the wisdom to simply ignore his taunts, with his body and mind so drained all he could feel was sparks of anger building up in his chest.
He sat up slowly, his eyes never leaving those of his father’s. His father stared right back, matching the hatred in his sons gaze with his own as he continued to rest his hand on the hilt of his cutlass. “Leave me alone…”

Jacynth lifted his chin up with feigned indignation, his lips twisting back into a sneer. “What did you just say to me, whelp?” Jacynth drew his cutlass in one smooth, practiced motion, pointing the tip at Vervain’s throat.

It was all the further provocation the child needed. The strain and trauma of the ordeal were building in the back of his psyche like so much water against a damn, and that final drop presented itself as a bestial roar. It was almost instinctive; the world around Vervain faded, a tunnel like effect surrounding a singular target; the sole progenitor of all the suffering he had been put through his entire life. His hand moved on its own, a gout of flame erupting from his palm in an unrefined cone – which nearly engulfed his own body.
Jacynth waved a hand haphazardly, the moment the Res turned to fire it would be pulled away from Jacynth’s body by a wave of his own Res, dispelling up into the air before extinguishing. Sweat rolled down Vervain’s forehead as he stared up at his father in quiet awe and terror. His anger had been vented in that one burst, a burst which he couldn’t believe he had just created, and the realization that he had just tried to incinerate his own father had just set in.

However, there was no quick reprimand – no cut across the cheek, no knee smashing into his nose. His father, to his great surprise, simply sheathed his blade in another smooth, practiced motion, adjusting his cloak as he turned and began to simply walk away.
“F-Father…” Vervain called out weakly, his throat raspy and bone dry. It was all he could do to try and stand, reaching out for him.

“If you’re expecting punishment, don’t. You can take the rest of the day off…” Jacynth called back, not bothering to turn to face his son and instead simply electing to wave as he headed the short distance back to the rest of the caravan.

As Jacynth left his son behind, he spoke in a dull whisper, so faint only the wind would pick it up as it left his lips. “…Besides. Your punishment has only just begun, my poor child.”
Credit for the CS Template goes to Fallon, at Fallon's Coffee Codes.
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Azrayel Kolasi
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From Father, With Love.

Postby Taylani on November 20th, 2013, 8:15 am

XP Award!

Vervain Saavius:

XP Award:
  • +2 Reimancy

  • Reimancy: Feels like being a monster
  • Induction into Reimancy


Comments :
If you had broken this up into more posts rather than just one you could have gotten more points. Please feel free to PM me any concerns with your grade, and don’t forget to delete/edit your post in the grade request.

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