Quest [Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

What wyrd things happen in the Wildlands...(Razkar, Edreina)

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While Sylira is by far the most civilized region of Mizahar, countless surprises and encounters await the traveler in its rural wilderness. Called the Wildlands, Syliran's wilderness is comprised of gradual rolling hills in the south that become deep wilderness in the north. Ruins abound throughout the wildlands, and only the well-marked roads are safe.

[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Edreina on October 16th, 2013, 11:05 pm

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Edreina was becoming... a little annoyed, to be mild. She knew that Elders like to stress their profound knowledge and wisdom, but to pretend that she knew more about Edreina than the redhead herself did was preposterous. Sure, she might understand her better, but knowing her past? Ha. Edreina was a Whitewave, born and raised upon the waves of the Suvan. The lilt in her speech and her step was evidence of such a life as were the thick calluses on her fingers from years of manipulating ropes. The honeyed kiss on her skin was proof that she lived in eternal sunlight, the muscles of her limbs a record of the miles she had swam. The scar on her shoulder, did the woman know what circumstances marred her flesh? The ship rocking in Syliras' harbor, did the woman know why it had been left behind? Why the woman now slept upon still earth instead of a swaying hammock? Surely not...

Knowing was one thing, understanding was another.

Flicking a strand of coppery hair from her face, Edreina attempted to play off her annoyance. The woman claimed that she and Razkar would need her assistance... But how could she know that? A cold knot of uncertainty settled in Edriena's gut as she remembered tales of those who were marked by the Lily and could navigate the rivers of time as easily as her people could the Suvan. Was this woman one of those? If so, how great were her powers? Maybe she did know the freckled woman's past after all... Could she read minds? The thought struck Edreina as silly, but she half-superstitiously thought "I'm sorry," in the general direction of the woman just in case.

Her annoyance faded as quickly as it had risen, falling prey to the triangle-toothed maw of ravenous curiosity once again. Her anticipation grew as she waited to hear the woman's question, swirling and roiling within her like a small storm as her mind blew from one possibility to another until-

Bowls?

The word felt foreign in her mind after things as lofty as fate and future. Without waiting, for now curiosity propelled the motion of her limbs, Edreina trotted off, back to the tent she shared with a savage and found three of their communal four serving vessels. They were wide like plates but had higher lips so that whatever gruel was being served around the fire that night would stay in place. As an afterthought, she grabbed two spoons and a fork (they had no need for a third spoon); eating your dinner with fingers and a tilted vessel did not seem to fit their guest. Besides, this was hardly a fish on a stick that would make such a style of consumption easy.

She returned and offered the implements to the older woman, nearly buzzing with curiosity. Another thing about old people, Edreina thought, hopefully to herself, is that despite the imminence of death, the like to take their time...

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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Razkar on October 18th, 2013, 3:08 am

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Yet again, the fearsome warrior of Falyndar was a wide-eyed boy at the campfire of the Shorn Skulls, listening to his Grandmother impart that most timeless of wisdoms: proper cooking. He actually found himself nodding as the wrinkled female lectured them on the value of potato skins, remembering how he'd first-

Snap out of it!

Then her words came to... was that a warning? Certainly not a threat; in Razkar's experience, threats were made at the cusp of a brawl or battle, and such things had no place by the gleaming silver pond them were all ensconced by. Syletha had no need or reason to let such crude turns of phrase pass her lips. As far as Razkar could see (which was, he was willing to admit, only as far as the flesh that clothed her), the Greatmother was always in control and in perfect understanding.

But he reacted as all young men would, lips curling into an unconvinced smirk as he glanced at-

"Don't deny it. You're as uncertain about where you're headed as you are where you've come from."

Instead his eyes snapped back to her and he struggled to keep a dangerous edge out of their pitch texture. Trying to understand this woman was like grasping mist: just when you thought you had a handle on it, some frame of reference, she shifted and wiggled from your grip.

But what really kept his face intent rather than clouded was the fact she was right. But how could she know so much? Their plans - contorted and desperate as they were - had certainly not been discussed with others. Journeying to Zeltiva under the guise of master and student, finding Razkar's lost love... these were events yet to be truly formed in their minds, so why did this ethereal being see it fit to add an opinion?

"I've been watching the both of you. Don't ask why. I have my reasons and they will remain just that. My reasons. The fact of the matter is that you are both in need of my assistance. You just don't know it yet. But you will. Before we get to that unsightly business though I have a question for the two of you."

Razkar's shadow shifted, stooped as his body leaned forward as if he was about to learn some great mystery. Her reasons? Wait, scratch that, her assistance? The part of him that scoffed at what this frail old woman could "assist" them with was quickly drowned out by an older and more cautious voice that warned him Syletha was anything but what she appeared to them as. And there, tantalizing them at the end, was a final stab at knowledge, perhaps the prelude to something-

"Where are your bowls?"

For a long moment, Razkar as sure he'd wake up. He had to. This was not something, a night, a meal, an event, a... person, that just happened in the cold and waking world! Once again, Edreina overcame her confusion before him, grass and sand crunching under her bare feet as she hunted for dishes somewhere between plates and soup bowls. Syletha's dire expression did not lessen as she began ladling stewing, mouth-watering sustenance into each one, as if this simple act was some unfathomable ritual.

He feared to ask. It would break the spell, such a direct query. Razkar felt the air around the, still and silent and breathless, charged with something strange and reeking of the wyrd now... and all focused around this... this...

She is not of you, or Edri. No mere mage or manipulator of magics. Something... elemental...

"You are not..."

Calm and silently chuckling eyes looked back at him, like a teacher finally getting some participation from a student with promise but not nearly enough courage. Razkar's mouth worked like the fish he'd caught earlier that day and his question died, forgotten and replaced with firing memories that instead offered-

"... um... not sure you would not like pepper, too?"

Brilliant, boy. Stunning. That'll get to the heart of it, alright...
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Perplexity on October 18th, 2013, 5:50 pm

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Syletha studied Edreina as she wrestled with her internal emotions. To her, they were as plain as the rays that Syna painted the skies with every morning. It was the way of the young. To believe that they were alone in their trials. That none could understand them unless they had gone through or witnessed the travesties that besotted them day after day. When the young woman cast an apologetic glance her way the elder gave her a soft smile.

“Be not so quick to think you walk troubled roads alone. You are never alone, Edreina. Never.” That was all she said.

Upon being presented with the bowls that she had requested Syletha ladled the stew into each one with motherly affection. The phantom of a tender smile touched her lips. The echo of different times entered her countenance. There was simplicity in sharing a meal. There was a universal connectivity that everyone benefitted from when placed at a table, around a campfire and given food to enjoy. It warmed the soul. It comforted the weary. It offered company to the lost and lonesome. When that was done she picked up her own bowl dipping a spoon into the stew raising it to her mouth—

"You are not..."

Syletha arched one steely grey eyebrow at Razkar. There was a question in his eyes. There was conflict external and internal all around him. Seeing him hesitate she lowered her spoon waiting for him to finish his heavy question. When it came out she only chuckled shaking her head.

"... um... not sure you would not like pepper, too?"

“No. It tends to make me sneeze far too much. Now then, eat.” Digging in Syletha took the first bite of her stew and it was a welcome warmth to the chill of the night. She reveled in the rich flavors of the dried meats brought to life by mixing of the potatoes and marjoram. The broth was just thick enough to add substance to it. An appreciative sigh escaped her lips. Her shoulders eased along with the expression on her face. She allowed both herself and her newfound company to enjoy the first few morsels in silence. The only breach of that quiet being the chatter from the rest of the caravan and the crackling of the fire.

It was to the fire that Syletha had directed her gaze. She stared into it without much expression. Her face was relatively blank. She seemed almost in a trance. In truth she was contemplating a great deal. When finally it seemed she had resigned herself to whatever thoughts bounced around in her head she cast her gaze back to the two traveling lovers.

“Both of you have so many questions. No. Not just for me.” She fixed Edreina with a stare recognizing the glint of curiosity in the young woman’s eyes. “About many things. I am here to gift you with an answer. Just one answer. This answer will be unique to both of you but in time it either will help you both find more answers to questions you have asked and indeed to questions you have yet to realize you’ve been asking the whole time.”
She set her bowl aside, the stew barely eaten having only taken a few bites before getting down to business. Shifting her legs so that she assumed a more ritualistic meditative posture she leaned forward as she wrapped the cloth of her skirts around her hand to unhook the pot from the rung above the fire. Once that was done she moved aside the cooking apparatus so that only the fire itself remained. Sitting back she turned to Edreina.

“There is in you a spark of curiosity. An insatiable need to know. This love of things undiscovered is both a strength and a weakness for you, girl. It has caused you both joy and pain. Happiness and heartache. In you, Razkar, there is only a quest for victory. A desire to bring blood and glory and war only for war's sake.” Syletha reached into the folds of her skirts withdrawing a pouch. Perhaps the same one she procured the flour from? She opened the purse-string pouch pinching a multicolored powder between her fingers tossing it into the fire. The flames stilled before roaring to life bursting with energy so much that it appeared the fire would rage out of control.

It did no such thing.

Just as soon as the flames surged with energy they dulled down to a low simmer before the orange flames changed to a luminescent golden yellow much like the hues of Syletha’s right eye. Gently Syletha reached her hand toward the flames. They glowed brighter as her hand drew near before they changed to a soft green. A tongue of flame surged forth coiling around her outstretched hand. It wrapped itself around her wrist, twisting through and around her fingers much like a snake slithering through underbrush. With a snap of her fingers the fire receded back into the main body turning a rose red.

“Don’t be afraid.” She looked up from the flames, her visage highlighted as the fire turned blue. “The fire is here to test you. To teach you. If you have it within yourself to learn…” She shrugged her shoulders.

“I am going to tell you a story. A story I heard from my Greatmother and she from hers…” She waved her hand over the flames. They returned to a natural orange-yellow hue but just as soon as some semblance of normalcy began to settle upon them shapes began to appear in the flames. The shape of buildings before it seemed as if a rudimentary city had formed from the fire.

“Long ago, a Great Father rested after many years of perilous war. He had fought long and hard to keep his Family safe. He had vanquished monsters. He had parleyed with gods. He had conquered and built a great Fortress where his Family would reign over the world for all eternity. But as blessed Time ravaged him more and more and the foes that threatened his great Family dwindled the Great Father felt it time to rest. So he did and with time the Great Father passed into the arms of gentle Dira. Amongst his children rose a Great Son and a Revered Daughter. Both were mighty in their own way. The Son was a strong warrior. The Daughter was a clever sorceress. Each one wanted to lay claim to the House that their Father had built. “ She waved her hand over the fire. The shapes changed and twisted becoming several human shaped figures parting into three groups.

“So the Family was divided. Those who favored the Son claimed the North half of their Father’s lands. Those that favored the Daughter took the Southern half of their Father’s lands and there were those who supported neither who took land for themselves. For a time there was peace. But peace is a fragile thing when a strong House is now divided.” The shapes shifted suddenly becoming warriors wielding fiery blades that began to clash.

“War amongst the Great Family sparked. And it was terrible. Brothers slew brothers. Sisters turned against sisters all the while the House became more and more distinct in its division. Little by little all others were slain until only the Great Son and the Revered Daughter were left. Their struggle was legendary.” The fire became what looked to be an armored man and a robed woman.

“The Great Son hailed the Daughter with arrows. She reduced those arrows to ash. The Revered Daughter tried to drown the Son. He learned to swim. Again and again the siblings fought, bickered, battled and berated each other. To no avail.” Syletha brushed her fingers over the flames and they turned a deep violet taking on the shape of the woman in what appeared to be a field of broke swords and armored corpses.

“Until the Daughter, in her cleverness and wisdom realized that this conflict was all for naught. The Family was dying if not dead already. She surrendered to the Son relinquishing her claim to the Father’s House.” The fires showed the woman kneeling before the Son. The fiery warrior raised his arms in victory. The flames turned a deep red.

“However, bitterness had crept into the Great Son’s heart. Anger. Hatred. Resentment. He slew his sister believing she had betrayed him.” Syletha’s eyes turned sad as the fires showed the woman being slain by her brother.

“And the Gods, stunned by such merciless cruelty punished the Great Son and his Family for their folly.” The fires died down returning to their normal state. Syletha seemed a little worn. Her shoulders sagged slightly. It would appear the story had taken its toll upon her. After a moment she turned her eyes to the two.

“Do you know what this story has to teach us?” Anyone educated in the history of the world would know that the story was allegory for the Valterrian despite its artistic presentation.
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Edreina on October 28th, 2013, 2:20 am

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Despite how obvious the story's base would have been to some, Edreina had never wasted her time with learning the history of the world. All that mattered to her was each moment, each wave, and each breath of wind propelling her to a new place. All that she knew of the Valterrian was that, after the gods battled against one another, Laviku was able to forge the Suvan, giving her people a home at the center of the world.

And so, Edreina interpreted this story in an entirely different manner than Syletha had likely hoped. Entranced by the fire, the redhead's lips started to move before the thought had reached fruition. "The story teaches us that there is no true right and wrong in this world... That fighting your opinion against another's does naught but create havoc... And that because the Son attempted to blot out the thoughts of the sister, mankind has been punished by ignorance. We must now spend our lives learning the ways of the world and interpreting it for ourselves..." The answer was far from poetic, but it was what she felt in her heart after hearing the story.

At the realization that she had spoken when perhaps the older woman had wanted her to sit quietly and reflect, a crimson blush settled over her high cheekbones. Shuffling nervously, her fingers found the edge of the book once again and set to tracing its warped and notched lines. Without really seeing, she looked down into her lap, allowing her hair to fall down over her face, shadowing her thoughtful eyes and nervously bitten lip.
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Razkar on October 31st, 2013, 1:16 am

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Razkar didn't much like the way Syletha looked at him when she boiled down his entire life into a handful of not-very-approving words. His eyes narrowed and it was only his from-the-womb upbringing that prevented a low, warning growl from trembling across the roaring fire.

That and a nagging but insistent voice that told him any physical threat he could make to this "female" would be as useful or wise as goading a thunderstorm.

A flash of light drove the expression away and then, without realizing it, he was enthralled. A story! A tale by firelight, like so many he'd heard as a boy. Myrians were an oral people: histories and deeds of clan, Queen and race alike were all shared mostly through words. Tablets and parchment were used, true, but they were comparatively new compared to the Word-Keepers every clan possessed.

For what could compare to a tale conjured from a true voice? How could mere flat papyrus and dead stone capture the glory and struggles and triumphs that could issue forth from a voice raised in their exhalation?

Razkar's knees crept up almost to his chin and he was a boy again, firelight dancing in onyx eyes as the tale was told...

A familiar one, as it turned out. Though his child-like rapture betrayed no hint of analytic thought, Razkar recognized threads of warning and lessons the Word-Keepers had spoken of. He smiled and even nodded at the instances of martial might from the Great Son, his cunning and endurance and dedication to victory...

But this story was no simple tale. It was an... what was the word Ayatah had used... al-something. It ended with a "y", he was sure of it. Whatever it was, Razkar knew it, and by the end, his lips were parted in something quite close to horror.

Brother striking down sister. A noble family torn apart by jealousy, greed and suspicion among those there should have been perfect trust. Edreina would choose here words carefully; Razkar resolved to do the same. He sensed some test here, not only a shadowed and multi-faceted story from the wizened Great Mother.

He stared into the flames as Edreina's words came slowly forth... pondered them... the tale... the Son... himself...

War. It was what he lived for. More than simple training or profession, it was what Razkar was born to be. What other service, true service, was there for one who had the blood of the Mistress Of War running through his being? Before he'd ever stood before the Blooding Bowl, Razkar of the Shorn Skulls knew where his life would lead...

He knew. It had been so clear. But it always is, at the beginning. So easy to plan; so comforting and... familiar.

Razkar grunted like a sleeping dog, stew bowl long emptied, stomach sated. Whispers and snarls from far away, in distant corners of Mizahar where tigers prowled and were in turn prey to pierced and fleeting figures, came to soothe his mind.

She knows not the light of Myri. Who is she to deride and declaim your destiny? Waging war is what you do, and you excel at it. What other path could there be?

Razkar's eyes flickered to Edreina, and the voices stilled. But it was only a flicker.

"He lost himself..."

The words came unbidden and to his surprise Razkar found two pairs of inquisitive female eyes pinning him to the spot. He cleared his throats and rubbed his throbbing temples. Ever since that Dhani witch had bombarded him with those cowardly illusions, ordering his thoughts so neatly was a battle, not merely a mental exercise. His head ached right in its center and a warlike frown drove his brow low over his eyes... but he had more to say. A question had been asked, after all.

"War without purpose is slaughter," he said, speaking as if he was reciting a lesson, which was exactly what it was. The Taloba Training Yards prized skill and strength, but they were nothing without a mind to use them. "He had his victory, bitter though it was. But he allowed... weakness... to poison his purpose. He put himself before his realm... his people."

The Myrian almost shuddered. Such a thing was almost blasphemous to his race, the idea of one individual scorning the destiny of all for his own petty whims. Razkar shook his head and sighed, one hand drifting somewhere... familiar.

"Tis no victory, though... to rule over ash and bones." The words were a whisper now, as if dragged from from private and doubting place within him. Perhaps the part that had been away from the primal purity of Falyndar. "War is... sacred. The greatest and most terrible of endeavors..."

Razkar lowered his head and hoped the story was just that, and so mighty a warrior had not marred them all by his jaundiced pride and ill-tempered rage... but truth rang from the Great Mother's words.

Truth and the warnings of history.

"Better to keep the house standing and suffer your pride, than rule a blasted and gods-damned ruin..." The ghost of a smile, grim and beyond his years, alighted Razkar's face. "A greater victory, too, perhaps..."

The fire crackled and danced up to the blinking stars. The caravan caroused as though the hour were not growing late and Razkar the sellsword, charged with the safekeeping of this enterprise, prodded Razkar The Myrian and reminded him that curfew was still in effect.

But it can wait, he decided, and smiled at his love, a little while longer...
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Perplexity on November 10th, 2013, 2:08 pm

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Syletha listened intently to the responses that each of her listeners had for her. She wouldn’t have cared one way or the other whether they remained silent or spoke aloud their thoughts. Their feelings were as plain as day to her. She smiled dipping her head. The time for banter had come and gone. A resolute look entered the old woman’s gaze as she stared down at the both of them.

“Wisdom often comes from the mouths of babes.” She laughed softly. She turned those strange eyes to Edreina a knowing smile touching her lips as they drifted to the book she toyed with.

“Always so curious, Edreina. Always staring into the world in search of mystery and wonder. Temper your curiosity youngling for there are places in the world that would not give up their secrets without extracting a heavy price from you.” Suddenly and without warning the book was lifted from the ground by an unseen force. Syletha held up her left hand and without hesitation the tome drifted into her grasp. Opening the cover she smiled as she read the words written in the first passage.

The arrogance of the soul is to believe it can dominate the body. The arrogance of the body is to believe it can contain the soul.” A sad look crossed the old woman’s face as she contemplated the truth of that statement. Who could say what thoughts passed through her mind? Whatever they were they drew Syletha into a far off place for a few moments before she was drawn back to the present.

“And the arrogance of mortals is to believe that we can understand the soul at all.” She shook her head closing the cover of the book. She directed her gaze at the red haired maiden her tone growing serious.

“You are starting down a path that leads many to a life of madness, Edreina Whitewave. So I will offer you this advice, whether you want it or not, when you are tempted to look past the veil of darkness that often enshrouds the world in utter blackness, when you are called to peer through the curtains that mortals cast over their hearts know that after so long…something will inevitably stare back.” She pulled her shawl closer to her body letting the book rest in her lap. Syletha observed Razkar with a cool expression.

“Edreina is not the only one who seeks to master otherworldly mysteries.” Her words were not accusatory. They were made in statement of plain fact. It would seem that very little was hidden under the gaze of Greatmother Syletha, very little indeed.

“I see in you the burden of bones. A man who tempts fate by calling on the assistance of blood and death. How you reek of blood, Razkar.” Her words were biting. The tone was vehement in its distaste. The violet-gold eyes that bore down upon him narrowed dangerously. “How much before you drown in it, I wonder?” After a long pause she shook her head.

“More than that though I see the delicate threads of strength resonating in your muscles. Inside of you all I see is a boy terrified of losing what he holds closest and most dear to him so he seeks to strengthen himself by any means possible that he might hold on to those things a little longer.” Syletha sighed. “Learn to let go things that drift away from you, Razkar. Learn to let go lest the open fields of your heart become little more than a barren waste where no new seeds may take root.”

Silence lingered in the air as Syletha stared into the fire. A forlorn expression tugged at the corners of her mouth. A resounding sadness flickered in her eyes. She looked very close to shedding a tear but the moment passed and she looked to both of them. The old woman held up the book staring at Edreina.

“You wish to see what mysteries lay within a man or woman’s soul? I will show you.” Wordlessly the book drifted from Syletha’s hand over the fire and back into Edreina’s lap. She then turned to Razkar.

A gift for you I have as well, Child of Mother Myri.

Her fluent use of Myrian might have startled them both then again anything and everything about Syletha was as clear to see and as easy to understand as muddy water.

“You carry in your possession two things that have drawn my gaze on many a night because they shine so brightly in the dark. Fetch them, boy. I know that the truth of their strength, the mysteries they hold tug at your mind like a fish caught on a line.” With that Syletha turned her attention back to the fire seemingly brooding on her own thoughts as she considered some heavy question.
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Edreina on November 11th, 2013, 7:15 pm

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But would those secrets be worth it? the Svefra could not help but wonder in silence, lip caught between her teeth. So far, she had faced entirely new trials and tribulations as she strode cross the earth. She had felt entirely new breeds of pain, felt her soul toughen like leather when needed, and faced mysteries still a haze in her mind. It was so strange to think how different a person she was now compared to her first day back upon the Anchorage. But, in spite of it all, she would not change a single thing. Lessons were sometimes tough, but the growth she attained in the end always seemed to be worth it.

The book rising from her lap startled her to the point that a shocked sound left her lips and her hair stood on end for ticks after the book's motion had ceased. Somehow, the very words she had read earlier took on a different depth when spoken by Syletha, for the woman's sonorous voice carried the knowledge of a hundred years (well, more or less) as she reflected upon so simple a statement. And then, the continuance created by the older woman left the young Svefra in a state of reflection. Understanding of the soul. Was that what she sought? The magic of Auristics appeared to be something along those lines but without having tried and seen it for herself yet, Edreina did not and could not know.

Naive as she was, the freckled redhead did not wish to believe that the pursuit of magic would drive her mad. Such a train of thought would shatter her blossoming confidence and rot her morale from the inside out. She did not pretend to assume that nothing would peer at her from beyond the veil, only hoped that she would be ready to stare back and match snarl for snarl when that time came.

As words passed between the wise woman and the Myrian, Edreina stared intently at the knuckles on her right hand. What was it that she truly wanted to attain from the practice of magic? Her skill with the whip and the blade was lackluster to say the least, but she was constantly improving. Should that not be enough? Blue eyes flicked over to Razkar with realization. She felt that, in order to stand with the warrior, she must have assets of her own. The physical art of combat would never truly suit her no matter how much she wished for it to be otherwise. And so, she thought to be able to use the power of her mind against others. Well, not so much against others as to avoid conflict entirely.

With Hypnotism, she hoped to one day be able to persuade potential enemies to take a different course of action. But, aside from their glittering grins, how would Edreina be able to sense what it was they intended before it was too late? That was, she felt, where Auristics would come into play. If the book was being read and interpreted correctly, it would allow her to be able to read another's aura. However, what exactly that entailed was another mystery; learning from text was not Edreina's greatest strength. She was the sort that had to beat a lesson into the minds of her muscles until it stuck and she felt capable of performing it again in the future. The only difference this time was that the muscle used to perform this task was her mind.

At the offer to be shown, red hair flew with the ferocity at which Edreina's head raised. Had Syletha somehow been reading her mind? If she could show her... Without hesitating, without even taking the half-tick to translate her plea to Common, Edriena's tongue rolled off in rapid Fratavan, "Please, Mother Syletha, teach me how to see..." But, before she could garner a response, perhaps purposefully, Syletha turned and addressed Razkar in painfully fluent Myrian. It sounded so different from a woman's lips, but no less fierce.

What was it that Syletha wanted from him and, more importantly to the Svefra, how did this apply to the advancement of her abilities?

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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Razkar on November 11th, 2013, 10:30 pm

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Mizahar is, as you may have guessed, hardly a world where magic feats that science would balk at are rare, cause for rumors and stories. In that world, such abilities and phenomena were as understood and accepted as rain and earth. But Razkar had not yet seen a being so effortlessly manipulate matter as Grandmother Syletha did. She barely even moved her hand and Edreina's precious tome floated to her like a bidden dog. She read the words and there was no tremor of overgiving.

The Myrian sat in refreshed awe, wondering what other wyrd this frail, tiny female had... and then she went ahead and spoiled it.

Right, I've had just about enough of this...

Razkar had been taught to revere and obey females no matter what. His whole life, they had been the apex of Myrian society, and even the mightiest, cleverest male had to bow to the authority of an older female. Syletha carried all the command and wisdom of those elders Razkar had been raised with; her words rang with truth and knowledge. He felt like a child before her, something young and brief faced with a being unfathomably old...

But there were limits to his patience. The disdain in Grandmother's voice when she spoke of his calling, his profession, the very core of his life... it cut him with every word. Razkar had heard barbarians decry his people many times, but he could brush off those slurs with ease. They were ignorant of the Children of Myri; they knew not their glory and courage and skill. They cursed war and yet waged theirs without a qualm; they slaughtered and enslaved and feuded, but they were the savages?

Razkar had... expected more, from Grandmother Syletha. He was a Myrian; war was what they did. It was what they were, and Razkar was no exception. His lips curled into a growl, ready to spit words overruling hers and for once his indignation overrode his fear-

-and then with unerring precision, she gouged deep into his secret fear.

That for all his prowess and skill and experience, it still was not enough. That he would fail; he would fall; he would be cast into the darkness of ignominy and disgrace the name of his clan, his ancestors... the great gift that Blessed Myri had granted him...

The Myrian's eyes flickered to Edreina, as well, a flash of tiny movement but like a veteran gambler spotting a tell, it did not escape Syletha's notice. Razkar wondered if anything did.

"You-"

“A gift for you I have as well, Child of Mother Myri.”

Darn. Just as he was ready to let loose, too. But her words stopped and stymied his outrage like a charging horse running into a tree. Words so fluent and... wait... she even spoke his clan's dialect! No-one outside the Shorn Skulls did that! Razkar's jaw dropped and thoughts of putting this know-it-all female in her place evaporated as fast as they arrived, fires doused by fresh confusion.

"How... How did-"

“You carry in your possession two things that have drawn my gaze on many a night because they shine so brightly in the dark. Fetch them, boy. I know that the truth of their strength, the mysteries they hold tug at your mind like a fish caught on a line.”

Razkar's eyes narrowed again, becoming thin, sullen shadows by the dancing firelight. But he would not cast aside knowledge so easily, especially when he knew exactly what she spoke of. It was... so strange. She looked into his black orbs with eyes so bright and cheerful and... calm. Like an ocean. Or the sky. Vast and broad and never-changing, impervious to harm and yet... and yet...

"I will bring them."

With that he stalked back to his tent, and the word was accurate. The wide-eyed wonderment he had felt towards Syletha was rapidly fading, he realized. In its place was a harder-edged... suspicion? No, not that. If someone... no, something, like Syletha wanted to harm them, she would have. Was it... disappointment? Yes, that seemed-

"Enough!" He chided himself as he lifted the two sheathed and strange artifacts from Mrrko's saddle bags. "She may provide an answer to a question you have had rattling around for days..."

Which was true enough. The two curved blades - "scimitars", he'd heard them called, weapons of the Eypharian race to the far southern deserts - had been claimed by him from a Yukmen horde he and that damned shade Fubuki had destroyed. Well... Ama the Kelvic had been there, too, and he had slew his share, but... unstable and annoying though she was, Razkar had to admire the psychotic ghost's combat abilities.

She'd even let him keep the blades of the Alpha, after she had damn near ripped his torso and head to piece with her blades.

When he returned to the fire, finding his red-haired "apprentice" and wizened Syletha waiting patiently for him, the latter apparently grousing about the lack of decent parsley this far into the Wildlands, there were twin sighs from his hands.

Glowing white burned through the shadowed air; trails of shimmering fog seemed to follow it, like streamers from a kite or smoke from a torch... and in his other hand, the second blade seemed to... hum... darker stone that reflected less light than it should have. Wherever it moved, oddly human sounds seemed to come from it, not merely the parting of air but giving a voice to it...

Until Razkar laid them both at Syletha's feet with a reverence; whether it was for her or for them was for anyone to guess. Then the male stepped back and crouched on his knees, hands on his thighs, breathing the only question that mattered.

"What manner of god or demon crafted blades such as these?"
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Razkar has been cursed by Yahal, and as such finds little acceptance from others; they will instinctively view him as being deceptive and traitorous. However, when close to one blessed by Yahal, the effect is negated. The curse is etched onto his left pectoral, and viewing the mark causes others to feel dirty and unclean.
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Perplexity on December 5th, 2013, 12:17 am

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NotePost is pending the approval of something interesting...
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[Priskil's Pond] Seeing Is Believing

Postby Radiant on March 22nd, 2014, 5:34 pm

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Edreina, Aoren (Perplexity) told me that you are content to write this thread off as non-existent. As per your request, I deem this thread null and void, nothing in this thread ever happened.
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