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A lawless town of anarchists, built on the ruins of an ancient mining city. [Lore]

[Flashback] Awakening: Part 1

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 1:49 am

Timestamp: 15th of Winter, 516 A.V.

She was tall, thick, and well-built. Red hair curled around her rosy cheeks, cheeks which marked a resemblance to the young, now man, who leaned against a counter while the woman watching throw a coinpurse into a satchel bag.

"Just watch the shop," Ruth said. "We're close to out when it comes to iron and the shits are late on our order again."

"What's going down there gonna do?" Bandin asked.

No one was straight honest and dutiful in Sunberth. Not even the ex-knights from Syliras. Everything was crooked or moldy, if not both. Nothing at all ran on time.

"Remind them we exist," Ruth said as she passed him.

"Long walk for a regular hello."

"Squeaky wheels get greased," the blacksmith said; she picked up a mallet from the shop bar, before exciting into the front of the shop proper.

Bandin raised an eyebrow at the mallet. "That's a proper point."

Ruth smiled and looked back from the door. "Aye."

The entrance thudded closed.

The boy was left to look around as the lonesomeness set in. He walked with relaxation to snag a thick chair from where it was tucked, before setting it firmly behind the bar.

Well, business might or might not run today, Bandin mused.

Ruth likely didn't expect him to run the bellows today, then, not without her supervision--though she had been giving him more and more leeway to operate independently of her as the past few years had gone by.

He could do the responsible thing, then, and practice some smithing. She probably wouldn't be mad, likely not even notice or mention it unless she came back to him in the act.

Maybe in a minute, then.

He couldn't leave the store. That'd get her right pissed. So he was stuck.

No adventure today.

Alone.

She probably wouldn't be back for hours.

Bored.

She might even go out and have fun herself.

Bandin looked up to the ceiling. Blinked.

"Shit."
Last edited by Bandin Everdance on May 23rd, 2021, 4:42 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 2:05 am

He'd slipped out of his body. Freedom. Adventure. A total untethering from the mortal coil.

Flying above all of the land, he saw spiraling towers that didn't exist. He roamed through countless imagined lives; a swashbuckling hero he became, an angry isur mage practicing deep magics, a happy Syliran knight protecting the weak.

Then the shop door opened and he almost fell out of his chair.

His heart jumped and he quickly moved to wipe away his drool. Embarrassing. The dreams had been good though.

His weary eyes refocused on the visitor.

That was odd. Man looked far too rich to have survived walking this far into town. Unless, of course, he had earned his fancy armor the old-fashioned way.

Exotic fur spread out over the mantle of his shoulders, crowning his elegant and soft looking, long cloak. Half-plate and mail glistened and sparkled under the unmarked tabard of black. He almost appeared to be wearing scholarly robes over his shiny steel plates, so fine was the ensemble of clothing.

If he was someone important, though, Bandin didn't have a faintest clue who he was. He sure damn well looked the part though. The salt and pepper goatee only added to his look of learnedness and sophisticated grit.

That led one to wonder: what the hell was a presumed socialite doing in Sunberth, and a run down smithy to boot?

"Morning," Bandin said, not really knowing the time.

"Afternoon, lad," the stranger spoke with a deeper timbre than Bandin would've expected.

"What can I help you with?" Bandin inquired; he didn't really know what else to say.

The man held in his right hand a bundle; it was almost half a sword's length. And sure enough:

"My boy, do you know where I can best repair a blade?" the man asked.

Well... any old smith could probably do that. Depending on the damage. Something told Bandin that this man wouldn't be happy with any old smith, though. The boy still couldn't imagine why he was slumming it so.

"We can do that."

The bearded man had looked reticent. "I'm not sure. I was surprised at all it broke. I spent quite a bit on it. I've asked a few smiths, but none of them were up to it."

He paused. "And none of them would give me a good recommendation. Just a bunch of empty promises that didn't hold up when I caught sight of their work, no offense to them."

"My aunt isn't here," Bandin said. "But I could take a look and let you know if I think she could do it."

"I'll likely just need a recommendation, if you have any?" the man looked tired, but hopeful.

"Whose the best smith in town, boy? I'm just hoping for an honest pointing out. I'm not trying to backtrack to Syliras."

"Well, that depends," Bandin was curious now. "What exactly did you need done?"

The man eyed him curiously, perhaps a bit suspiciously. In the end he relented and placed the wrapped package he was carrying upon the shop's counter.

He unwrapped the blade slowly. It was a beautiful thing, outshining even the man's armor. Yet it was cracked asunder.

"What did this?" Bandin asked, honestly a bit surprised. The craftsmanship was superb. Something must've really been able to pack a punch to do that to this blade.

The boy reached out to touch the cracked edges, just to verify the break was indeed real and existing before him. There was almost a faint hum to the metal beneath his finger pads.

His heard pounded and his eyes dilated. A sense of confusion set down upon his brow.

What was the buzzing? He could almost hear something.

It couldn't be magic? If it was, then this man was in danger and he might not even know it yet.

Bandin wanted to warn him, even still, he couldn't stop listening to the faint sounds coming from the blade. Almost like a song.

The man squinted at Bandin. "Are you alright, boy?"

Bandin pulled back suddenly. He didn't like the man's tone; it was a bit too interested. "No--I."

The man placed a hand onto the counter. "You didn't by chance hear something, did you?"
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 2:27 am

Now that was a good question. Had he?

Then again, those who lived on the sinking and stinking streets of Sunberth all learned from an early age that one never wanted to appear different. You'd be just as likely to be labeled a sorcerer as a mad man if you started spouting off about hearing voices or singing swords. And the people of Sunberth hated sorcerers; they were a superstitious and violent bunch, prone to lynchings and worse still, depending on their particular mood of animosity.

Bandin wasn't of a mind to be lynched, as it happened. Not to mention the fact that he was pretty damn surprised the man had even mentioned it.

Was the man a mage? Was the sword magical? How had it broken? How had the customer guessed the boy might be hearing something? What did hearing something mean?

He subconsciously glanced down to weapon.

Bandin could still hear the slight hum of the blade, now that he focused in on it, but it wasn't as strong without the contact of touch.

His eyes drew back up to the armored man.

"No," he replied.

"Hmph," the man grunted. "It wouldn't be a bad thing, lad."

Bandin felt his roots pulling him firmly into further denial. "I don't hear anything."

"Hear?" the man focused on the present-tense of Bandin's statement, showing his apparently keen observatory talents.

The young man's heart suddenly started to beat.

"I don't hear anything," Bandin reconfirmed. "Nothing at all."

The blade still buzzed. He could almost feel the energy of its hum through the short distance between it and where his exposed fingers rested on the counter. The open air did little to hinder the charge of mysticism; it was the only time Bandin had ever felt anything of the sort, but he knew it all to clearly, all too instinctually, for what it was, somehow.

"Listen," the man leaned in. "I know you folks don't like magic."

Bandin clenched his face. "No, we really don't and I don't think you should be talking about it here."

"I'm not from here," the man said. "I have money. Do you want to stay here?"

Bandin frowned. "What are you even talking about?"

"If you heard something you'd be worth taking with me," he said. "I'm from Zeltiva--recently, anyway, and for now. We don't despise the gifted there and, if you were lying to me about hearing something then... Well, there's quite a bit of money to be found in a person who can listen to a sword like this."

"Can you?" Bandin asked.

The man shook his head. "I wouldn't have spent so damn much on it if I had been able to. Damn thing cost me a fortune in pay. Funny enough it only works with its masters touch, I'm thinking. I can tell that its not a fake, just by holding it, but it wouldn't have broken if it were doing what I've seen it can do in the right hands. Still, I'm curious if it'll retain its properties when reforged."

"You know, telling that to the wrong person wouldn't be very good for you here," Bandin said.

"Are you the wrong person, lad?" he asked and shook his head. "I don't think you could or would."

Bandin didn't take the stab too strongly. "I don't really care, but I don't think you should keep shopping that around."

The strange man swept the cloth back over the blade. "I'd keep listening, boy, but not to these uneducated lot. You might find some fortune in it. Just depends on what you've really heard today."

"You're leaving?" Bandin asked, relieved and annoyed at the same time.

"Sure enough," the man said and tucked the re-wrapped blade back into the crook of his arm.

"Where's the best smith?" he asked.

"I really don't know who could fix something like than," Bandin said.

The man sighed. "At least you were honest."

He turned. "About that."
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 2:43 am

The door closed again and Bandin's heart slowed down. What in the shit had all that been about? Really, not just what had been said.

Bandin found himself intrigued and a bit exhilarated. His conditioning towards never implicating oneself as a mage had given him quite the fright when the man started asking questions.

Still. Implicating oneself as a mage. That was what he had been worried about and that was a mostly new feeling to him, a reality he had never had to worry about before. He was, for all intents and purposes, a pretty damn normal human being. Bandin mused on that, played it over in his head. Who wanted to be normal?

Just what had happened? The man had said to keep listening; it had been a play on words, sarcasm--Bandin was sure of that, he had caught that in the man's tune.

How could he keep listening if the sword he'd been listening to was now gone?

He gripped the counter.

Unless...

Bandin felt something inside of his very blood stirring. It was as if something had awakened. There was no life-changing moment of nirvana or life shattering alteration in consciousness to be found, but something within him felt altogether changed--greatly more so affected than the simple breaking of monotony that the strange encountering could've provided.

And, as he entered the backroom, he felt an impulse, an instinct, driving him forward. His hand, the same hand that had graced the broken blade, felt empty, electric, open and ready to close around a well-remembered, inanimate friend in particular.

He entered the curtained corner of the backrooms that served as his makeshift bedroom. Pushing past his mattress and frame, on the wall in front of the two, there hung a mounted glaive.

He wasn't a master of the weapon, hardly an acolyte even really, but he'd paid for some minor schooling in it, had ambitions to go further--a remnant of a child's petty dreams of heroism still clinging to the reality of the day to day.

He'd had the weapon for two summers, but now more than ever did it feel like a companion that called to him.

Bandin's hand grasped around the shaft of the weapon and... nothing. Not a single thing happened. Where the sword had buzzed with something, with life. Now he heard not a damn thing.

He frowned and furrowed his brow in frustration. Had he been wrong? Or was something missing?

The only person he could've asked, but could never truly have asked, on accounting of his being a stranger, was long gone--and for all he knew now finally being robbed and plundered in the backalleys.

"Shit."
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 3:01 am

Ruth found Bandin mostly where she'd left him, sitting straight up in a chair and clutching his glaive across his lap.

"What're you doing?" she asked; the woman planted down her satchel upon the counter. "What's going on with that? Get scared while I was gone?"

She smiled.

Bandin didn't catch onto the joke or roll along with it, as she'd expected, as he nearly always had before.

"No--I'm just," Bandin trailed off, trying to find an excuse. "Sitting here, I guess."

Ruth put her hand on her hips and cocked her head slightly. "Well, I guess that's fine and alright. You could be doing worse... still. You altogether sure you're alright?"

Bandin forced a smile. "Yeah."

The woman looked him over again, appraising, but not being able to decipher the source of his oddness.

"Please don't be snapping on me. Not when I've spent all these years teaching you how to hold a hammer, son," she said.

"No, I really am alright. I'm just sitting here," he promised. "I was just thinking."

"And the glaive?" she re-pressed.

"Just holding it," Bandin admitted.

Ruth actually took on a look of concern. "Did anything really not happen, then? You're acting strange. Not yourself in your eyes."

Bandin stood. "I'm just good."

"It's been a long day," he said. "Boring, but long. Mind if I go stretch out on my bed?"

Ruth seemed a little comforted by his usual end of day laziness. "No, I don't mind at all."

Bandin turned.

"Just... you know I'm here, right? Your ma' left, but I've always been here," Ruth added after him, pausing his steps.

He smiled at her. "I really do you know that. I promise."

Heading back into the backrooms, Bandin clutched the glaive strongly in his palms. It was faint, and he was half-worried he'd driven himself to madness trying to hear it the past long hours, but the glaive was humming[i] too.

It was like a tone he'd heard all along, ever since he'd picked it up two years ago, or maybe the tune just matched the intrinsic [i]feel
of the weapon that he'd been subconsciously picking up on since then. He didn't know. He hadn't heard the buzzing before, he'd had to work hard to hear it even now, but it felt like he'd always been party to its existence in some small way.

When he held the glaive now it was like there was some kind of interchange going on between them. Like a touch between two people. It was a faint echo that he heard, a wisp of a smoke signal set to sound at most. It was not at all like the clear sound that the sword had given off. This was muddled and more... utilitarian in its existence. It didn't feel alive like the sword had, merely present.

He didn't dare try to communicate back. Not until he was alone and on his bed.

"Can you hear me?" he asked.

Nothing. No answer. Well, no words.

Yet... the tone of the vibrations were almost like a faint, sentient music teaching itself how to be heard. It had maybe, just maybe become the smallest bit clearer since he'd first strained his ears into picking up on it in the first place.

And the tune said one thing, or, rather, gave one feeling: "I'm here."
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 3:22 am

He hadn't been altogether right, he'd begun to have realized. The glaive hadn't been telling him it was there. It had simply been existing there, a small but seemingly poignant difference. The sound that he was hearing wasn't a verbal communication, really, it was a reading of something that simply was.

Bandin now held a sword in his hand. He had to strain to hear it, but, with a great deal more effort than the glaive required, he could do so to an extent. It had similar notes to the glaive, in some ways at least.

There was the same hammering sound. Like clinking steel. Also the shifting noise. That had been harder for Bandin to place at first. It hadn't been until he'd realized that it was a creaking sound that he'd been able to put it together. It was the sound of a tree shifting. When he listened further he could almost smell the sound of an ancient Sunberthian oak groaning grumpily in the wind.

It made absolutely no sense at all. He was surely going mad, or at least he would have thought so, had he not been entirely certain he felt as normal as ever--just more aware. It was as if a sixth sense that he'd always had, had simply been something he'd never noticed before.

It was starting to really come together now, though. He had indeed been wrong in thinking the glaive was speaking--at least he was mostly sure of that now, due to the sword's similar tones. The weapons weren't giving off the same sounds, not at all, but they were close enough for their to be a connection of sorts drawn. And that led him to further ponderings.

These facts and the ever-present sensation of being near the large oak gave Bandin the impression that he was sensing the composition of the weapons. Maybe their history too, to some extent--though that was hard to tell, considering they were both fairly newly forged and of modest Sunberthian make.

He needed a point of reference. Something that would allow him to contrast the sounds of different types of weapons from different places.

That said, Sunberth wasn't exactly known for its rich imports or storied artifacts. Even if it were, he doubted he could get his hands on such treasures, even just to borrow them.

Still, things had a way of winding up stolen from every which place in the city of anarchy and thieves. He was almost certain that he could find something from somewhere else, someplace within the city.

There was just the matter of going to look. Nothing in the shop was going to fit the criteria. Other than the glaive, every single weapon there had been hammered into existence by Ruth. And they all, including the glaive, gave off the same tones of being constructed of familiar iron and local wood--or, at least what he thought was local wood.

Bandin grabbed up his coinpurse and made his way out into the streets. He didn't dare arm himself with the glaive; carrying such a weapon of war just invited trouble. He wasn't good with it, but he damn sure wasn't going to go unarmed, however, so he tucked one of Ruth's sturdy daggers into his waistband. Better safe than sorry, and better prepared than un.

Still, as a local, he knew the safe streets--the places to go and not to. He could easily trace a path to where he had in mind--and quickly enough too.

Exiting the shop, and being glad that Ruth had seemingly already settled in for the day, he found he still had quite a bit of time until sundown.

Plenty of time to not get caught up in the unpleasant affair that was Sunberth at night. Hopefully.
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 3:42 am

He hadn't picked up on it before, but the leather that wrapped the dagger's handle felt like something too. His hand absentmindedly played with the tight, leather wrappings that emerged from his waistline. He felt more than just the modest, tanned animal hide. He could hear the animal's hoofbeats. The deer was running from something, the sound told a story. Perhaps, it was being hunted? He couldn't tell; he might've been hearing the story of its death--the event that had brought it to its current state of being integrated into the dagger proper.

He could only hear the oak, or the deer hooves, or the metal clanging, which he now knew to be the sound of mining picks, or at least guessed to be, when he purposefully listened for each particular sound. When he allowed his mind to drift away from them, they all merged into a sort of very, very quiet orchestra, that was actually quieter and less attention grabbing than the individual sounds--he almost couldn't hear it at all, honestly.

Bandin wound a corner and entered a large open area of the city. The sun still peaked above the high-rise of the many shops and places of business. Which was good.

While dangerous crime, in general, wasn't rife within the Castle Commons itself, even during the night, many darker sorts of criminals and vagabonds did lurk on the outside edges of the bustling heart of the city. These scoundrels would be more than ready to pick off easy looking targets on some days, once their marks had ventured away from the relatively public setting of the trade hub itself. And these sort of folks were especially even more so active during sundown, a time when the public feared them and thus were few had their eyes on them.

The shop that he was looking for was, for all intents and purposes, the competition. Marked simply with a anvil sign hanging from iron fasteners, just outside its door, it wasn't hard to find. The Knights Armory made more income than he and Ruth could've likely ever dreamed to have. This came down to their location mostly. His aunt's late husband couldn't have afforded such prime real-estate back in the day; and Ruth still couldn't even then.

Still, in Bandin's approximation the Armory sold by far the inferior wares. This made sense, considering the rumored source of their goods.

The young blacksmith entered the establishment. Ruth would've killed him for showing his face in the place.

That said, the very same reason Bandin thought his aunt to be a better businesswoman, was also the reason that he'd made straight for the shop. As rumor would have it, the proprietors of the armory had much more business than manpower and hardly enough smiths to meet supply with demand. Yet they always seemed to do just fine in equipping their generally undiscerning clientele with whatever they'd need.

In fact, Bandin was almost surprised by the sheer selection offered on the many racks and bins all about. They had everything a fighter or no-good would need, or want, in the way of sharp and pointy things. Although, many of them did look a little more worse than wear than could've been expected.

But, hey, he heard they threw in a sharpening, out of courtesy, with whatever unlucky sort of junk you'd bought from them.
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[Flashback] Awakening

Postby Bandin Everdance on May 17th, 2021, 3:53 am

Bandin approached the first rack of weapons. His hand brushed over the items affixed to it. He couldn't hear anything, or feel anything, in particular from the weapons. At least nothing different than before.

There was a general humming sensation upon every item, certainly, but nothing particularly unique about anything that he'd touched.

As he adjusted himself the many different sorts of weapons to be swept across, however, he began to notice minute differences. The sounds somewhat changed. He found that certain tones discomforted him and that others felt more right. Did he have preferences for the different sorts of weapons, based solely on his new sense of them? Well, that... sorta made sense, he'd guess.

It was like each weapon had a flavor. Of course he was bound to not like some of them, if there was any sort of logic to this new ability.

The young man decided on drawing out one of the less pleasant weapons. He'd at first simply felt a little bit of a nausea from touching it, without knowing why. Now, as he drew the near rusty mace from the rack he tried to focus in on the possible source of his disliking of the crafted instrument.

What about it exactly made him unhappy with it?

The metal of the item gave off a mining sound too, mixed in with a sorta more stale kind of subterranean groaning. He had no idea what that was telling him in relation to the iron ore's origin. Regardless, the metal didn't seem to be what was bothering him, exactly.

He tightened and flexed his hand, feeling the smooth, reddish wood underneath it. The sound of shifting leaves and berries filled his ears. Berries. No, he could taste cherries. He hated cherries.

The hilt of the mace was crafted from old cherry wood, he realized--and, because he hated the taste of cherries, their smell, really everything about them, the weapon sounded and felt uncomfortable to him.

Bandin placed the mace back into its rack.

That was interesting.
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