Open [Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Orin ventures into the Valkalah Library and quickly realizes he is out of his depth

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Built into the cliffs overlooking the Suvan Sea, Riverfall resides on the edge of grasslands of Cyphrus where the Bluevein River plunges off the plain and cascades down to the inland sea below. Home of the Akalak, Riverfall is a self-supporting city populated by devoted warriors. [Riverfall Codex]

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[Valkalah Library] A Trip to the Library (Open)

Postby Orin Fenix on July 24th, 2017, 12:46 pm

Orin was surprised to realize how much time had passed. He’d been having such a good time that he hadn’t realized how much of Kavala’s time he’d been taking up. Still, the Konti didn’t seem to mind. In fact, Orin was shocked that she hadn’t had to go yet; most people wouldn’t have had the freedom, or, more importantly, been willing to chat with the human chef, let alone take him on an extended tour of the library. She did seem especially pleased at his offer to come out to the Sanctuary, and Orin made a mental note to actually set a date for that. Chances were he would forget, or not go unless forced to. He’d been slipping, lately. Normally he had an excellent memory for appointments, but these days, through a combination of losing himself in his work and his depression striking at the most inopportune times, Orin was lucky he hadn’t forgotten more.

Kavala seemed quite serious about purchasing the Sapphire Star, and Orin shrugged. “Sorry. I don’t think I’m quite the candidate you’re looking for there. Although I’m sure I could bring a lot to the table.” He smiled to show that he was trying in his own way to make a joke. “You definitely would need someone to manage it for you, given your other commitments. I don’t know of anyone off the top of my head but if I meet someone, I’ll tell them you’re looking.” It seemed natural, and seeing as Orin often encountered people who were aspiring to run businesses of their own one day, it was actually likely he might be able to play matchmaker here.

Orin stopped walking for a tick, before taking a few awkward steps to catch up to Kavala. “I think you and I might have a different definition of ‘a few.’” He hadn’t even heard of every discipline that Kavala listed, and Orin thought he was well versed in magic for someone who wasn’t a mage. Still, the more he listened to Kavala, the more Orin was beginning to realize just how little he knew. He didn’t ask her about this magecrafting, although he wanted to. Now that he knew the library contained information on magic, he decided it was better to look it up for himself. “Sounds like you’ve had plenty of students over the years.” Orin wasn’t great at teaching, but at least he wasn’t as prone to mistakes as he had been when he’d just started out. “As for combat, well, I’m probably good enough, but I lack the self-confidence.” Frankly he was shocked that he’d admitted that. He frowned, upset at his slip.“I mean, it’s hard when everyone you might have to spar towers over you. It can be a little intimidating.”

Orin wanted to respond to Kavala’s comment about not wasting his life by saying that maybe those Akalaks would’ve lived a little longer if they had been more cautious. But it was a petty comment and he knew the woman was just trying to help. So instead, he swallowed back his initial impulse, and smiled at Kavala instead. “I know I should. I’m trying. Fear can be a powerful motivation to play it safe, that’s all.” Hopefully she’d leave it at that. At least she seemed to be living a full life.“Congratulations. That must be a relief for you. And I’m sure you’re proud of your children, although having three that young must be a handful!”

Kavala seemed sure that all she needed was the single tome and Orin was willing to take her word for it. Apparently, this library was wealthy enough that they could afford multiple copies of some of their books. Orin didn’t even want to think about the cost of that. The chef was resolved to take care of the volumes he had in his possession. “That’s all good to know. And thanks for the tour, again. If you ever need yet another job I’m sure they’d love to have you work here.” Kavala was even going to show him where magic was shelved. The chef was sure he would never have been able to navigate all this on his own. They went through several twists and turns until they reached a relaxed looking and secluded nook. Orin eagerly went to check out the shelves. It had not only magic, but also meditation and philtering, two topics Orin was dying to know more about. He snagged a book on meditation along with one titled ‘The Nature of Auristics.’ Kavala had mentioned it multiple times now and Orin only knew a tiny bit about the magic.

He took a seat near Kavala, and opened the Auristics tome to its first page. It began with an introduction to the magic. ‘Auristics, is, at its most basic, the ability to read auras. Every object and person possesses its own aura. Anyone can, with the right training and frame of mind, learn to examine these auras at will using their more mundane senses. All one has to do is clear their mind, pull up the Djed within, and focus on the object they wish to read.’ Orin sat back, fascinated. The idea that even he could just learn this incredible ability was remarkable. Of course, clearing his mind might be an issue given the dark thoughts that were prone to intrude. As he continued to read, he listened to Kavala with half an ear, before realizing that this might be considered rude. Taking his gaze off the book, Orin attended to his conversation. “That makes two of us. Being terrible with people, that is. For what it’s worth, you’ve been doing an excellent job handling me!” As for the cooking, well, Orin was a firm believer that anyone could learn. “Who says that women are supposed to be good at all that? I’m certainly terrible at a lot of things people say men are supposed to be good at and I don’t beat myself up about it. I think you have more than enough to be proud of.” Orin’s easy smile dropped from his face when Kavala talked about her children. “I’m sure they’ll thank you for it one day. And…well they love you. Trust me on that. Take it from me, having a parent who cares even if they don’t show it in the way you’d hoped, well…it matters. As for all the rest, well, I’m sure you could become skilled in all of that if you wanted to. So if you don't want to then you shouldn't feel obligated to.”

Food would be welcome, for sure, but Orin grew uncertain. “Well, to be honest, we mostly grab bits and pieces of whatever is left over from the day’s dishes. I know a lot about the other restaurants, because, uh, competition and all that but I don’t go out much. As I said. I’d be happy to tag along for whatever you might have a hankering for.” An easy tranquility seemed to settle over Kavala as she spoke of her family, and Orin felt himself drawn to it as a moth was drawn to a flame. “I’m sure your brother will be thrilled to know he’s an uncle. All that sounds wonderful, to be honest, just wonderful.” Orin didn’t have any siblings, or cousins, as far as he knew, although he’d never really looked into it. “Where is your sister-in-law from? And when do they return?”

“I could say the same about you.” Indeed it was nice just to chat aimlessly about every subject under the same. It had been a long time since Orin had discussed anything other than work or training, so this was a welcome change. “I don’t really open up to people that easily so that’s a testament to you.” She gave him directions to the herbalism books, and Orin held up the books he already had. “I think that I’m set for now. But I’ll remember that for next time.” With that, he picked the Auristics book back up. ‘Let’s try the simplest of exercises. We’ll start with a simple meditation technique. Start taking deep breaths. Feel how you are anchored to the ground. Chase any stray thought away. Then focus on this tome, and this tome alone, and try to sense whether there are any secrets within.’ Orin did as instructed. This isn’t going to work, came flitting into his mind, and he firmly pushed his doubts aside and simply thought of nothing. A few nudges came from his subconscious and he did his best to ignore them, which wasn’t exactly a valiant effort. Still, the breathing helped, as well as the idea that he should anchor himself to the ground, and soon Orin had narrowed his world down to the page before him. He tried to find that inner Djed that he’d been told about, but it slipped through the fingers of his mind. Since simply willing it into being wasn’t working, Orin changed tactics. Picturing a fire within, centered around his heart and spreading through his body, Orin coaxed a bit of it to leave where it usually smoldered, and come floating into his eyes. This time, the page shimmered briefly, color flooding into its usually cream pages, but Orin blinked and it was gone. The chef rubbed his eyes, frustrated. For all he knew it had been a trick of his often overactive imagination. However, he’d keep working at it in case it did end up working. Priskil give me the strength and hope to see this through. It was always good to ask her for protection.
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Orin Fenix
Almost Iron But Actually Master Chef
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