Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Alric Lysane on December 11th, 2021, 7:38 pm



17th Winter 521 AV - The Khamsin Inn

He had returned to where it had all begun, or at least where the revelations had begun. As he entered the Sunberth Dovecote and then began to pace through the streets of the Outpost he made his way by memory. His memory had much improved since then, gaps being filled in over time as the walls around his past faded under questioning and new knowledge. Not that it had been an easy road.

Quite the opposite, he had only really stopped spiralling and found firmer footing recently, the beginning of the season a blur of fights, drink, internal tearing downs and many other things. Outwardly he had soldiered on much like normal – he went to work and though he turned up with new bruises and scrapes every so often no one really asked anything so long as he fulfilled expectations. He still felt somewhat emotionally numbed but that was now less due to a sinking sensation and more to do with the fact that if he felt everything at once he might just curl up and do nothing…and that wasn’t an option.

No…Arcadius comes…perhaps not today or tomorrow…but Arcadius comes… he told himself pulling at his wool jacket.

He felt somewhat exposed here without his cloak, a fact he was still getting used to. He was, however, wearing the grey bodysuit that had so magically – and disturbingly – been forged from dreams and reality. He still did not understand that but he did know that it was something he had been meant to have and so now wore it everywhere. He had rolled the sleeves up, exposing the scattered bruises and cuts, but strangely he did not feel as hot as he remembered last time he had been at the Outpost. His eyes darted to seek out every face, his left hand gripping the hilt of his broadsword as if expecting to need to draw it at any moment. A certain level of paranoia was his expertise of late. High leather boots, woollen trousers, linen shirt and gloves made up the rest of his simple outfit.

Apart from the treasured ring upon his chest, underneath it all of course.

He shrugged off that musing for now and entered the appointed place for the appointed day – the 17th at the Khamsin Inn. He approached the desk and the woman – Pashina – gave him a long look as if weighing up whether he was appropriate business but eventually handed over a key to the suite they had used before. He took it with a slight smile, the cut on his lip tightening but not splitting now that it was mostly healed.

“I remember the rules…thank you for allowing me”

“I’m not in the business of refusing those who have made reservations…or who are in terrible need of rest and recreation” she said, her tone careful as she looked him up and down, taking him in more than she had done in his last visit.

“You are one of the kindest that I’ve met…m’lady,” he responded with a slight bow before making his way to the room, “would you please send in some Riverfall wine and candied dates when someone has some free time?” he waited for her small nod before leaving her to better things and better people.

He was the first there, he wouldn’t be surprised if Tazrae decided not to turn up. He had hardly ended their time together with the best of behaviour. He took his time, after drawing his blade and locking the door, to search the rooms to make sure that there were no lurkers waiting to ensnare them.

Satisfied he sheathed his blade and returned to the door to unlock it for the serving staff when they arrived. He set about stacking the kindling into the usual box like formation with a full shelf suspended under the pile of sawdust and curled wood shaving. Striking flint and steel upon the pile several times until the molten sparks caught, he covered it further, gently blowing upon it until the flames sprung up. He placed a larger log on top to start burning before dragging a chair into the corner of the room on the door side.

The serving staff brought his requests, along with a few other niceties and cuttings meats and cheeses, as he lit his pipe and started to puff away. He closed the door politely behind them after watching them carefully, taking in their faces and bodies, the way they moved, just in case. After the door was closed he sat in the chair in the corner, smoke curling around his face.

He waited.

Last edited by Alric Lysane on December 19th, 2021, 5:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Tazrae on December 12th, 2021, 5:17 pm

Timestamp: 30th of Winter, 521 A.V.


Tazrae knew the thirtieth was coming fast. Just after she’d returned home, she’d talked to Tony’s new wife and had a set of pants and two shirts made up for her friend in Isuas cloth like she’d promised. The clothing wasn’t expensive, but she figured Alric could use it in Sunberth. Dawn wasn’t thrilled with Tazrae’s color choices, having requested the pants a deep muted stormy grey and the two shirts dyed muted green and blue respectively to match.

The new seamstress liked bold bright colors, and while Tazrae tended to agree with her, she didn’t think Sunberth the type of city that liked such things. The last thing Alric needed was to call attention to himself. So, the day before she’d picked up her order and placed it in a canvas tote she’d had to spare. To fill the rest of the bag as a gift from her, Tazrae loaded it with fresh fruit from Syka, things she’d picked herself. There were bananas, oranges, apples, mango, and papaya. She’d even slipped in a dragonfruit and some grapes, though she wasn’t sure where Alric’s tastes lay. She also put a small tin of cookies on the top, the type that were simply made with sugar, butter, and flour. Shortbread was her favorite, namely because it was simple and sweet and filling. And above that, right on top, were a pair of bagels she’d made only that morning for the guests for breakfast.

Taz wasn’t complicated. Nor were her dishes. And while she wasn’t sure why she was putting together what in essence equated to some sort of care package, she didn’t try to dwell on it too much. Alric could use the clothing and the food, and if he had not the taste or sweets or fruit, she figured he could trade the stuff for coin or favors. Either way it would benefit him.

When the morning dawned, Tazrae showered then picked up the tote along with her backpack and dressed as if she were going into the jungle. Long Isuas pants, tall leather boots, and a sleeveless tunic in a color that couldn’t decide if it was orange or pink made up the outfit. She added a leather belt that matched her boots and shouldered her backpack that had ample emergency supplies in it in case she needed them. She added on her machete and an eating knife. Last went on her belt pouch which had coin and a couple of beach found trinkets she could sell if she needed too.

The trip through the Dovecote was quick, so too was the walk to the Khamsin Inn. When she got there and requested the room she had reserved, Pashina gave her a less than approving smile. “He’s already there and has ordered wine.” She said. Tazrae nodded her understanding.

“I didn’t think he’d return.” She said in all honesty. “But its not what you think. It’s just…” She started to add, knowing that the other woman might indeed think it was something that it was not. But she couldn’t say ‘business’ because it wasn’t. She couldn’t say ‘pleasure’ because that’s what the woman already thought. What was it exactly? Taz had no idea. “Well, whatever it is, its not what you are probably thinking…” Taz finished.

The woman smiled. “It’s none of my business.” She said reassuringly to Tazrae. Taz nodded, but shrugged none-the-less.

“I care what people think. I know I shouldn’t, but I do.” She explained, then shrugged. Turning, she shouldered her backpack and accepted her version of the key to the door. She crossed the courtyard and tried the handle on the suite, finding it unlocked. She pushed it open, stepped in, and closed and locked it behind her.

Alric already had a fire burning. He was sitting in a corner of the room on the same wall as the door, smoking his pipe, his face outlined by the flames and the shadows in the room. Taz noted the curtains were drawn and the light let in from outside was minimal. She couldn’t read his expression, but she could trace the lines of his face with her eyes. She found him handsomely serene as she stepped forward and gently set the canvas tote upon the solid wood table before taking a moment to shrug off her backpack and weapons.

There was a plater laid out there – meats and cheeses – as well as sugared dates. Alric was thoughtful and had snacks already for them. Taz took the tin of cookies off the top of the canvas tote and popped the lid, sidling it beneath the square container and resting the whole thing on the table next to the tray. She then removed the fruit, adding it to the assortment of food on the table. She helped herself to the wine, taking only a moment to pull the cork with the opener provided, then without a second thought poured a second glass and took it to him. She halted a few steps away from him, then held out one of the heavy horn glasses to him.

“I wasn’t sure you’d come, Alric. I brought the clothing I promised. It’s in the tote on the table. How have you been?” She asked gently. Once he’d taken the wine, she’d use her now free hand to pull some of her loose hair back out of her face and tuck it behind her ear. She’d left it long today, not wanting it to dry in a pony tail or braid since she’d showered just before she came. It was already curly enough without the added frizz.

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Alric Lysane on December 12th, 2021, 6:16 pm



The wait likely seemed longer than it was but that was fine by Alric, he wasn’t even sure she’d turn up. Woman of her word or not it was not exactly an easy thing to associate with him. He’d not have blamed her if a note had arrived to tell him it was called off, an emergency or some such had come up. As she walked into the room, clicking the lock into place afterwards and noticed where he was, puffing away, he smiled around his pipe. Likely the first genuine and relaxed one since the beginning of the season. She said nothing but instead approached the table and unburdened herself.

She looked as he had remembered, her clothing no doubt showing her more practical and jungle exploring side. She was certainly built for it, strong limbs beneath the clothing. Graceful and kind as ever she set about taking something out of the bag and placing it down. He could not see what was in it from where he was but no doubt it contained something edible. He had tried to provide for her this time, an apology perhaps, but she was her own woman. He finished his pipe and tucked it away into a pouch for another time just in time for her to stop a few paces away.

Fair is fair, expect to meet her halfway he mused to himself as he levered himself up out of the chair, taking a few moments to wedge it under the door for good measure, before he stepped into the edges of the firelight to take the glass offered. No he was closer he could see her face better within the flowing curls. If he had not been half a world away, not to mention with a mad wizard after him, he’d likely have already been on his way to the beaches she called home.

“I thought the same of you, Tazrae. I’d not have blamed you,” he said, clinking their glasses together gently, “I am happy to be proven wrong. I have missed you. If they are anything like the ones you are wearing I should start to feel like a prince. Though I suspect you wear yours better, the colour suits you by the way. Thank you, for everything” he looked her in the eyes for a few moments, he was sincere, grinning at a still errant curl that had escaped her charge, before stepping further into the light to inspect what she had brought.

“Cookies?” he asked, “you made these?” he asked before breaking one in half and putting it in his mouth. It was delicious, rich and sweet. It was a luxury he did not get much of in Sunberth, "delicious"

The question she had asked lingered in the air for a few moments whilst he chewed. Truthfully he didn’t really want to answer it as he didn’t want to lie to her. She deserves truth. He washed it down with a sip of wine and cleared his throat slightly, putting his glass down for now, it would wait for him to finish it.

“I am…better than I was,” he said with honesty, flashing her a smile, the beginning of the season had been difficult and he still bore the mark of the more recent fights, “had a bit of a scare when a magic suit appeared in my hand after I had dreamed it…but other than that I haven’t been hunted yet far as I know” he finished, leaving out most of the details but trying to reassure her he was fine, or as fine as he was going to be.

“How have you been? Is Syka still a paradise filled with people almost as lovely as you are?” he asked, taking a seat on the low couch by the fire, “I can’t imagine they liked hearing what happened last season, no? I hope meeting me didn’t get you too hard a time” he said in a slightly ashamed tone of voice.

He was a little hesitant he had to admit, he was not sure how this meeting would go. He half expected her to walk out the door now she had fulfilled her promise though she didn't seem as if she were about to get moving considering her things draped over the furniture. He was hopeful that this second meeting would bear as much fruit but with less of the pain. It would be nice just to spend some time with her.

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Tazrae on December 12th, 2021, 6:49 pm

She watched him thoughtfully and listened carefully at his words. Alric was one of those people you simply had to read between the lines of what he said rather than take his words at face value. She had a feeling he played down everything, though the statement about a suit appearing after he dreamed it did cause her to raise an eyebrow. Taz said nothing though, waiting, letting him set the mood for them both.

She could tell he was hesitant too. They were in untried waters in a sort of metaphorical boat that had been freshly made and the jury was out as to if it was seaworthy or not. She wanted to hug him and to tell him how relieved she was that he was alright, and when he paused after sampling the shortbread she laughed lightly and shook her head.

“This feels awkward and it shouldn’t. I just wanted to give you a big hug when I saw that you were here and tell you how happy I am to see you. Because I am….” She said, laughing lightly and taking a seat on the couch on its far side, a space between them. Alric wasn’t the tactile person Tazrae was, but she understood that intimately because she’d been the same way before she’d moved to Syka. “Syka is still Syka… beautifully deadly and filled with things that will kill you even as you enjoy how lovely they are.” She added, setting her wine down to free both hands to begin to unlace her boots. She pulled them off one at a time so she could curl her legs up on the couch and lean back, relaxing.

“It smells weird here. There’s not enough green and no fresh salt air.” She added, wondering if she shouldn’t like the bustle of The Outpost better in its desert climate. Her Benshira blood, she figured, still hadn’t woken up. Once she was settled on the couch, she gestured at the food she’d added to the table. “I brought you fresh fruit and the shortbread… it’s all yours, but if you don’t like it or it's more valuable or you to trade it in Sunberth, feel free. Thanks for getting us wine and a plate of food.” She added, completely meaning that. Then she reached over, caught his hand a moment to give it a squeeze, then released it just as quickly.

“Bree wanted to come. I told her no last night and she was furious. She thinks you are not someone I should be alone with unsupervised without her prior approval.” The young Innkeeper smiled. She was lucky to have such friends, even though they weren’t remotely human. Taz picked up her wine again and decided she’d plow through the awkwardness with the news.

“I gave my journal to Mathias to read…. and he gave it to James and then Randal. All three warned me to stay out of this. They are the men who founded Syka. I trust their judgment and their experience. But when I went to talk to Mathias about it, there was a man there who had also looked it over. I do not know who he is to Mathias, but Mathias defers to him like no one I’ve ever seen. He calls himself Vas and he has this presence… I can’t begin to explain. He told Mathias that your situation is linked to my situation, and that our lives are entangled by it and other things. He explained to Mathias there was no staying out of it for me. When Mathias told me what Vas had said, he said to tell you that Syka will shelter you if you ever have need of it. Then Mathias tossed my journal in the fire and said that no one else should ever read it because the information was too dangerous to be written down. That anything written can be accessed by Qalaya’s lot and they are a nosey bunch on their best days. She is… the Goddess of Writing and Memory.” Taz added, looking a little angry and a little ashamed. “I didn’t realize such things.” She added, glancing over to meet Alric’s eyes.

She took another fortifying drink of wine and continued. “Mathias gave me a huge book then. He said it was rare and that I should treat it carefully. It’s an encyclopedia of magic. It explains a great many things my education lacks on the subject. It breaks magic down into categories and catalogs different aspects of it, listing what gods and goddesses grant as gnosis, and what constitutes personal, world, and divine magic. I thought maybe you and I could start studying it together. I did not bring it with me this time… because I thought you might need time to think on it and if you were against the idea, I did not want you to … “ Mathias throwing her journal into the fire was fresh in her mind and truthfully she didn’t want the same to happen to her encyclopedia itself. Alric would either hate the idea or slowly warm to it. She didn’t think he’d love it out of the gate.

“It would give me more time spent with you too. I want that. Because I spent a lot of time since we left here the last time thinking about you and hoping you were okay.” She said honestly, knowing he’d either warm to that fact or hate it immediately too. Alric, right or wrong, had given her the impression the first time they’d met that he was a man of some extremes, and that his struggle in life was often finding middle ground.

With that, she paused to take another drink of her wine… sips really… because Taz wanted a clear head for this meeting.

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Alric Lysane on December 12th, 2021, 7:29 pm



As he listened, regretting not giving her that hug himself, it was not as if he hadn’t thought about it. He had thought of her often, even spoke of her a few times though without any name or distinguishing characteristics that might be trackable. He had to chuckle and nod at her words, it did seem somewhat foolish that they were a bit standoffish. He supposed that was his fault, he was no innkeeper and had no real skills with hosting anyone. It was likely he had given the wrong impression. He wanted the same atmosphere as the last time, deducting out the last Bell or so perhaps. He picked up his wine and when she squeezed his hand he felt a certain amount of reassurance.

“She is probably right,” he said, deciding to shift over and sit next to her, it gave him a better view of the fire anyway and it always helped him think, “she has claws doesn’t she? It would be my luck that she had claws. You can tell her that I look forward to meeting her and then picking up a few scars due to my terrible ruffian nature…and that no harm will come to you without it first going through me. She might appreciate that…animal to animal” he said with a small snort of amusement.

“She cares about you. I’d imagine she saw the lovely gifts you were giving me and thought I was using you. Let’s be honest from her point of view I’d probably think that too. I have no illusions of about my origins…not anymore,” he said, looking into the fire with a smile, “if anything it makes me feel better she is there for you. At least I don’t have to worry about you being snatched in the night without a terrible fight” he sipped his wine a little, thoughtfully.

The rest of her news was less appreciated but he had been prepared for it, had thought of it often. It was no easy thing to know what they knew and whilst Alric had no one in Sunberth to share the burden with she had many and he was grateful for that. No doubt it made it easier for her and that was what mattered. He nodded along without saying anything, reserving his opinions for when she was finished. He had made the mistake of losing control last time and he had promised himself that it would be the last time. Whatever happened in Sunberth stayed in Sunberth, with Taz he wanted to be a better version of himself. He sighed at the end and leaned back slightly, taking a deep breath as he looked into the flames.

“Well it’s nice to know that I’ll have you as a companion to the path, wherever that might lead us,” he said after a time of reflection, slowly and softly measuring his words, “this vas seems to have their attention. Let us hope that they haven’t got them under a spell” he said, that would be his luck indeed, not even a season and already hunted with leads being given.

“But destroying the journal was wise, though I suspect you were not particularly happy about it. I do hope you didn’t thump them too hard,” he said with a twinkle in his eyes, “I do not know about this Qalaya…but I kept your family tree. If you want you can burn that too,” he said, taking out of his pouch and putting it in her lap.

“I’ve already memorised it, I can see it when I close my eyes. Amongst other things,” he said, his lips twisting slightly then, “but you never cease to surprise me. Now you have a giant book upon magic that sounds like something every scholar in the arts would kill for. You’ve already read it then? Tell me, did it say anything about something to do with weapons?” he asked softly.

It was a long shot, but he had gone over those memories so often now that he felt sure of it – his father had been able to use his weapon in ways he had never seen. It had returned to his hand and seemed to fly around even, though that was likely because he had no understanding of what his father had been doing. If so, then both of his parents were mages. He had had wondered what he would say to them when he met them often, would he truly shout out hateful obscenities just because they could use magic? Even though they had used that magic to save his life, likely more often than he knew? At first he had been angry, shocked, surprised, afraid…now he was somewhere else…calmer waters of a kind.

He had raised his eyebrow at the unfinished sentence though and sighed, still ashamed of those moments.

“I did not want you to see me that way,” he said with a sad tone, “I went too far. I won’t make excuses. But no, I wouldn’t burn it. It would be like burning you…and I would not do that. I was…angry…at what my parents suffered. I still want Arcadius dead, but no one else that wasn’t involved unless they are as evil as he is. But…that doesn’t mean that it will happen. And after…I was worried you’d not come see me again”

“I’d meet with you, magic or not, I can’t love my parents and ignore their magic and hate you and not ignore yours,” he continued onwards, “but I can’t say that magic fills me with the same enthusiasm as it fills you. I will learn of it, perhaps I have no choice but to learn some of it too given my blood…but I do it because I need to whereas I’d meet you because I wanted to”

“It seems fitting, I suppose, that you’d be my teacher. You’ve taught me much already,” he said sincerely, “so which one is it for you then? It’s not the eye thingy so I assume it’s a bit more subtle?”


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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Tazrae on December 12th, 2021, 9:29 pm

“Whatever you do, don’t tell Bree she’s right.” Taz suggested, a smile playing across her lips. “The Ixam already has crazy ideas about things, and if you feed into that, she’ll be intolerable. I think she loves the fact she’s the only sentient Ixam we know and that makes her feel incredibly special. I don’t want her to feel entitled as well.” Taz said, loving her friend but also realistically knowing her friend was a tad bit arrogant as well. “And yes she has claws… big ones… and fangs. She threatens to eat people at times enough already.” Taz said with a laugh, no real annoyance in her voice.

When Alric shifted and moved over towards her, Taz shifted as well, so her legs were folded under her the opposite way, allowing her to lean against him companionably. She liked this… this concession of space and Alric’s willingness to just be with her. It lightened the mood, dispersed the tension, and made the atmosphere more comforting. Taz rumbled in laughter at Alric’s request to pass on to Bree that he looked forward to meeting her… animal to animal. She neither agreed nor disagreed with the notion, sensing there was no good in either response.

“You aren’t using me. We went through something together. We are going through something together still. I think it will be hard for anyone to understand that didn’t see what we saw with both the tea and the Dreamwalker.” Taz said thoughtfully. “Chavi interweaved or not….” She added, reaching out and laying her free hand on his knee. She touched him lightly like she would touch a skittish Ixam, then picked up her wine again. She took another sip and nodded.

He took her news graciously. She thought he’d be angry that she’d shared his story… their story… with the others - the elders – of her community. Taz had suspected he’d be angry, but honestly, he looked a little relieved. He was definitely more in control than he was last time. “I don’t think Vas is a mage. He’s something, but not that. Mages have a way about them… and he doesn’t have that way. He has something else. Looking into his eyes, which is beyond hard btw, is like looking into… possibilities.” She added, shaking her head. “It doesn’t put you at ease,” Taz added.

She laughed at his twinkling eye and shook her head. “They’ve never steered me wrong.” She said, picking up the folded family tree. She didn’t throw it into the fire because she hadn’t memorized it as he had. Instead, she tucked it into the pocket of her isuas pants, and then absently patted that pocket like it was precious to her. “Thanks for keeping this. I wanted to study it.” She said sincerely. “It’s about both of us… it’s about family, for better or worse.” She added.

Tazrae shook her head at his assumption that she’d already read the book. “Alric… no... it’s huge. I haven’t begun to even remotely study it.” She said, shaking her head. “If anything, I thumbed through it and skimmed the sections getting more of an idea of what’s there. But we are really going to have to study it to learn.” She spoke softly, even reverently.

It was taking a risk, sharing the tome with him. It was taking a huge risk. He might have been Nymkarta, and she was betting on his blood superseding his experiences in a magic-leery city, but before that and maybe foremost he was a son of Sunberth. Taz realized that and knew there would be a conflict inside him. Hopefully, it was one he could resolve quickly.

He apologized yet again for the last time. She wished he wouldn’t. To her, it was water under the bridge and swept on out to sea. She started to grow uncomfortable, until he made the comparison and understood that he saw her differently than she saw herself. He laid out his complicated thinking and she followed his train of thought both about his parents, about magic, and about herself. Taz honestly looked at him in a whole new light after those statements. He was more complex than she’d given him credit for and perhaps a lot more intelligent than the average person. His reasons for wanting to learn were not just about himself or his history but was a whole bunch of things rolled into a singular theme that pointed to the fact he was open-minded.

The young Innkeeper started to smile… just slightly. This was new. This was unexpected. This was a new facet of him she’d not seen before. He kept surprising her and she liked that about him. And he was offering something to her… a vulnerability that she doubted he showed anyone. He’d still come, without a reason, but that she’d given him a big one helped tremendously. Taz wanted to set and meet goals, it was one of the driving forces in her character.

Taz wanted to offer that to him in return; a vulnerability. “I’m no teacher, Alric. Don’t get me wrong. The book will be our teacher, but what we take from it will be ours alone. And it will be up to us to learn.” She said softly. “There is something in there for blades… a magic that involves magical blades. And honestly, maybe here would be the place to find one. It’s called Vorilescence.” She said thoughtfully. “I haven’t read much into it though… not yet. We can study it together or if it resonates with you, bring a journal and maybe take notes so you can study between our meetings. If that’s something that you can do in Sunberth without risking everything.” She added.

His last question left her a little puzzled. She wasn’t sure what he was asking. “I’m not much of a mage, truthfully. I’m more of a scholar. But I asked a local man who runs the bathing pools to teach me what he knew of a magic called Reimancy. It’s elemental magic. He’s a water mage and maintains where we bath together in Syka… the Community Pool. He’s blind but very compelling. I enjoyed his company very much. He told me the induction was intimate and he was right.” She said softly, not sure how much to tell Alric. But as she turned to stare into the crackling fire, she felt the words whisper out of her.

“You have this thing inside you…. a power… its called djed. Djed lives in everything… the trees, the soil, the weapons you hold; everything. To access Reimancy, you need to be able to transform your djed into something called res, which is a substance that’s different for everyone. For a mage to teach another mage to form res, they must infuse their body with res. You do this by making cuts on your palms, on your feet, on your legs, and then the mage presses his flesh to yours and his res invades your body. He opened his mouth and kissed me, breathing res into my lungs. We were in his pool and when he wrapped his legs around me, I lost a little of myself and he lost himself, and ….” She trailed off. “I was innocent. My upbringing was very strict with my ‘mother’ and kept me that way because she thought I would be a broodmare to the Akalak when I was grown. Duncan, the mage, didn’t hold back and I lost that part of myself. We aren’t together, though he still helps me when I have questions. He was blind at the time, but he has slowly been regaining his sight and he has a whole bunch of things he wants to do with his life now that he is slowly beginning to see again. Staying in Syka probably isn’t the end result of that. The induction was a one-time thing.” She said thoughtfully.

“Long story short… Reimancy picks its own element. You have no choice in what you become when you are inducted. My first element is fire. Duncan said it suited me because of my drive and passion. I tend to throw myself wholeheartedly into projects. The better I get at it, the more I practice, I’ll get more elements.” She said, smiling slightly, wondering if Alric could see that in her. Her cheeks were pink though, not being able to help the embarrassment that came with revealing something intimate with an unrelated male. Maybe it was more information than he needed to know, but then again, he’d been very personal with her. She had no reason not to be with him.

Mathias had said to her once, that personal knowledge was a gift of power. He was right. She felt stronger with Alric and she thought perhaps their lessons were going to help both of them. “Magic is going to strip us bare and make us vulnerable. We are going to have to get used to that. It takes us back to our bones and lets us rebuild stronger.” She said, knowing Mathias was right. To be more powerful, first, you had to be vulnerable. Healing wounds was like that too. Often times you had to cut away scabs and let the pus and illness beneath the drain and begin to finally heal.

Taz took a breath, rose abruptly, and then moved the tray from the table to the low one in front of the couch. She moved the wine, the fruit, and even the cookies. Then she resettled, picked up a candied date and began to nibble it.

“I don’t know where to begin first. I didn’t bring the book, but I can tell you what I know so we at least start out with equal knowledge when we do start studying.” She added. Then she tilted her head. “What do you know about magic, Alric? I’d like to hear all your thoughts and what you’ve been taught.” She added, knowing it would give her a good insight into Sunberth’s culture.

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Alric Lysane on December 12th, 2021, 10:48 pm



He was surprised when Taz changed position and leaned into him, resting upon his shoulder. In hindsight it made sense, even in their tea journey she had shown a companionably tactile side. He wasn’t used to such closeness but that didn’t mean he didn’t enjoy it. Her laugh was infectious and combined with her natural scent it was difficult for him to concentrate but he focused as best he could upon the fire and her words. He had to laugh in response though, he had never spoken to a sentient animal, but it was amusing to hear Taz describe her.

“What a deflated end to the tale that would be. Alric Lysane, scion Nymkarta, eaten by his closest friend’s friend Ixam. A terribly noble death” he said with faux seriousness.

“I know, but that is something I imagine that many others would be thinking too. Bree is likely just so close to you, and thinks differently to people, that she has the bluntness to say it. I don’t blame…same as I know that I wouldn’t do so. But it doesn’t stop people thinking it, even if they don’t say it”

He simply listened to her describe Vas, it didn’t put his mind at ease. If he had such a way about him and he wasn’t a mage then it meant there was potentially something else that he would have to be wary of. Not that he thought this Vas would come and visit him without warning. Still, he’d rather not have had yet another problem to solve atop the rest. It wasn’t her fault though and so he said nothing, content instead to enjoy the warmth of her and a quiet crackle of the fire between the words.

“Being honest I had the same instinct initially as your Founders…but it was as much yours as it was mine…more really. It’s your decision to make, whether you keep it for good or not. Not mine. If we are to share things, then I have to start thinking about such things differently, it occurred to me” he stated, covering his face with his wine glass afterwards.

There was an awkwardness to the next part of their conversation, not because of the explanation of Djed and Vorilescence and the like, but her description of her…initiation. In part it was because the conversation was not of the type he had much experience in – tavern talk being mostly leery gossip and guffaws – and partly because it stirred things in him that were best left alone in that moment. She was laying herself bare and it was a time to listen and be attention, not let his imagination stray. Even knowing so he found it difficult and when she was finished, he cleared his throat and took in some more wine.

“Well I can certainly see the fire thing, I did think you were like one..a fire I mean. Bright and warm, comforting but fierce. Passionate,” he said thoughtfully, “and I don’t think you’d have put up with all of that in Riverfall. Innocence or not. In the end we all lose our innocence. Just changes from person to person how cynical you get after. At least you enjoyed yourself, mine was not so…wonderful” he sighed, refusing the be baited by his envy.

He remembered once hoping that he might find love and the right woman would come along. They’d be each other’s firsts and despite the grime of Sunberth they’d find a way to make things work. Even in a city like Sunberth people had dreams. He had never really wanted to be a fighter and he had been too smart to be a follower. He had hoped for a different life but this was the one he had been given. He opted not to share the seedy story of how his first had been in a brothel because it had been deemed he was too old not to have done. It had hardly been a worthwhile memory to have, though it seemed to stick with him nonetheless.

“I wonder what element I would be,” he mused idly, knowing that he was likely never to find out, still it was a curiosity and he wondered if perhaps the first element she spoke of reflected the person or if it was truly random, “and I’m not sure you’d want to see me stripped bare. I don’t even like to see me that way, it’s why I have no mirror. Well…that and because they cost, and food is more important. But…I suppose you’ve seen more of me than anyone else and you’re still here. I’ll take the being stronger and if I embarrass myself along the way then so be it” he was half-joking but at te same time sincere.

“Magic is dangerous and only and people use it,” he said in an almost sing-song voice, as if he were going back to the days when he was a child in Sunberth and learning everything for the first time again, “it was used to enslave the people before the Valterrian, to work the mines. And then after by mage cult who killed many, and in the end had to be put down before the entire city was gone”

It seemed so simplistic now, but it was what most people in Sunberth believed. It had the benefit of being backed up by actual history so even if he was starting to disagree with them in part he could not fault them.

“As to the specifics, not much. Myths and rumours. The Temple of the Unknown has some old shields hiding dark treasures…whatever that means. Mages can seduce you, get you to do their bidding like a puppet before leaving you a wreck, caught up in a web whilst the mage slips away,” he continued, “a lot about witches and curses. People who can set you alight – I guess that’s Reimancers – just by looking at you. Healers of course, healing even death itself. It’s all very…tales and stories” he shrugged.

“Mostly I know people,” he said slowly, picking at the food and taking bites between sentences, “it’s partly why I trust you. I meant it when I said people weren’t meant to have such power. Power corrupts, it…changes people. Most people. Magic, it seems to me, is the ultimate power. If it can rend us apart and rebuild us into something stronger, unstoppable…then it can surely turn us into monsters too. I trust you in that regard because you’ve shown yourself to be a good person” he finished.

“You likely know far more than me already. Sunberth isn’t really a place you can go to the corner shop and ask about magic without getting a knife in your ribs,” he said with a chuckle and a small grin for her, “why don’t you assume that I know nothing? That way you won’t be disappointed in my terribly backwater ignorance as some people have been” he snorted with amusement.

“There is something though,” he said, wondering whether he should say it, it was similar to her sharing her intimate moments, “I have been remembering. Since that day together…it’s like somewhere inside doors have been opened. I can’t control it, it’s like when a word is mentioned, or a smell fills your nose, and suddenly you remember something related clear as day. I am hoping that in time whatever my mother and father taught me might return. I don’t know what it will be, but it might be things about magic and the like”

“If it is then I could share them with you, perhaps it might help in any…studies”


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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Tazrae on December 13th, 2021, 12:42 am

The more they talked the more comfortable she grew. This room was starting to take on a familiarity about it and the company was companionable. “Noble death indeed. You are going to swell her head.” Taz grumbled half-heartedly. “Bree is a bright light in my life. I’ll bring her some time, but I suspect the Innkeeper would frown upon me letting her in here.” Taz said with a chuckle, imagining the conversation that would take place between the beautiful Innkeeper here and Bree.

Lysane. She wondered at that. Taz wasn’t sure but she suspected it was the first time she’d heard his surname. Was it made up or real? “Were you taken to the Orphanage with that name or was it something you took upon yourself?” She asked abruptly, curious. “I don’t remember hearing your father’s last name. It might be a clue to more information.” She said thoughtfully. Was it written anywhere? Was it on the cursed family tree? Serana’s name hadn’t been linked to Alric’s father through lines from her name other than the children that hadn’t survived. It hurt Tazrae all over again to think of what the woman had gone through and what kind of shape she was in now. It was too dangerous to go to them, but Taz suspected meeting Alric would do the woman a lot of good. And if his father could train him… Taz could only imagine.

But there was stupid and then there was stupid. And that was perhaps the stupidest idea of all the ideas Taz had ever had. She imagined the couple was watched and she suspected if Alric’s father had refused to do a job he was hired to do, the group he worked for might even be after him as well. So they’d be well hidden and watched both.

Taz cast the thought from her mind. She wanted her enemies as far away from them as possible, not them running towards their enemies. For there was no doubt in her mind that she had enemies now… or always had them. She just hadn’t known.

They spoke more, moving on to the subject of the Founders and Vas. “Yes… we do have to think about things differently. I have to keep your safety in mind too. And Syka is my home. If I endanger it, I put people I really care about at risk. The Founders will look at everyone coming and going more closely now. They are forewarned. And I for one am going to make some changes in my own life.” She added, shaking her head thoughtfully. “I still haven’t gotten it all straight. I still am not sure what I need to do. But I have ideas. That was part of what I wanted to do here today… to make some plans.” She said frankly.

The conversation moved on. Magic was brought up again, and Taz talked about reinmancy and her initiation. She was embarrassed at the telling, but when she was done she was glad he knew all of it. It wasn’t the same describing something clinical like the sharing of res without the story of it. Taz lost something and gained something that day, and was glad for it. She was also glad Alric listened quietly and without comment and strangely without judgment. She half expected him to think her a whore. Her ‘mother’ would have certainly cast such judgment. In fact, she could almost hear Estra’s voice in her head spitting out the words. It was a voice Tazrae viciously stomped the life out of even as it was drawing breath to speak. She was, in fact, grateful Alric said he could see fire. And she found herself nodding to Alric’s words about the loss of innocence. “I’m sorry yours was different.” She said unprompted. She saw that as walls being torn down. If they could talk about this, about their experiences in life without shame, then the intimacy of magic and lessons in it would go a lot better.

She knew what element he’d be. She knew it leaning against him and quietly talking. He was everything that was grounded and rooted and strong. Earth. She’d bet every last coin she had that he’d be able to cup his hands and form solid stone, not fire or air or water. He was earth. Yet she said nothing, knowing she only knew him from what he showed her. Time would tell if her judgment was right or if she was off base. Earth was a lot more useful than fire. It was easier to manage and had qualities about it that were lasting, not fleeting like her element was.

When he talked about being bare, she only shrugged. “It’s a body, nothing more. Unless you are talking about baring your heart and soul, then it's something altogether different. I was shy until I moved to Syka. There I learned that bodies were only vessels and lost all my shyness. I don’t know if it was the knowledge of a man or if it was the sun and the sand and even the primitiveness of the jungle. But it strips you bare somehow anyways. It makes so many things less important, until only your values and your heart makes sense.” Taz whispered, not knowing if he’d understand or not.

“I never saw the sky in Riverfall with its lights as I did on Syka’s beach with the moon gone and a million stars shining. There is something in the jungle, something that leads to other worlds. A verusk told me that each twinkling star up in the sky is like Syna and has worlds circling it like Syna does… like we are. He said in the old days we could go to them, just as simple as taking a step through a doorway. I believed him. And I wonder if there are other people staring down at me from places I can’t see that circle those stars wondering if I am looking up and looking at them as well.” She added thoughtfully, almost wistfully.

“They say the same thing of weapons.” She added, pulling out her eating knife and letting it gleam in the firelight. “It’s only a knife, yet the human using it can decide whether it cuts flesh or cuts a sandwich.” She said thoughtfully, picking up an orange and beginning to peel it. She only used the knife to start the peel, then returned it to its sheath on her belt before she carefully relieved the fruit of its thick skin. Tiny sprinkles of liquid inside the fruit sprayed the air as she peeled it, spreading the citrus scent all around. “Do you like oranges?” She said, tossing the peeled skin towards and into the fire. Then she carefully sectioned the fruit and offered him a section while she bit into one herself.

“I’m sure magic has enslaved many. I’m sure swords have as well. Chains keep them enslaved… chains and collars and starvation and poverty.” She added, shaking her head. She’d seen many kinds of slavery in Riverall though none in Syka. Then she listened to him speak of the Temple of the Unknown and the dark treasures it hid. “There is no healing magic. It’s a gnosis… a divine sharing of power by a God… Rak’keli in this case. Much like my hearing is from Rhaus. It’s not magic you can learn. It’s only gifted.” She added, almost absently, as she took another slice of the orange and offered him one in turn.

“What about you though? Will magic corrupt you? Change you? Turn you into a monster?” She asked, curious what he thought of himself and his self-control. Was he determined to learn of it, yet not let it affect him, or was he willing to accept his own facts that it could change him and corrupt him. “If I bring the book, you’ll learn things… those things will give you power.” She added, certain of it, though uncertain of what kind of power and how fast.

Then he switched tactics, talking about what they know and what they didn’t know. “Street smarts are something you can’t learn from a book, Alric. It’s something I know nothing of. I’m book smart, and it's completely impractical to survive the things we might have to face. Knowing that the twinkling stars are suns and other worlds orbit around them does little to keep me from a knife across the throat in a dark alley. You have all the advantages there.” She said, wanting him to understand his knowledge was…. no, she’d just say it. “The things you know are every bit as important as what I know. You can’t say I’m smarter when it’s a different kind of smart. At the end of the day, it won’t keep me alive from the things you know how to defend against.” She added, hoping he’d understand.

She smiled when he said there was a door inside himself that was opening. That he hoped he would remember things his mother and father taught him. Eight was a lot of years to be with someone, raised by people, and not remember things they taught. She wanted to take his hand, to squeeze it again, but she held herself back. He was a marvel in so many ways. The anger she’d felt in him before was not here, at least not in this moment. He was using that same energy in other ways now, hopeful ways, that would help him succeed if he let them. Taz was no expert on the mind, on trauma, but she could understand how people could forget. She could understand how magic could help people forget. All she could do was hope and try. Those two things could move mountains. Hope fueled action. It was when hope failed that activity ceased its forward motion. Where there was no hope there was no need to strive for better.

Maybe in a small way she could be his hope.

“I’ve been making plans….” She said thoughtfully. “Part of them involved the study of that book and learning more about magic… maybe as much magic as we can. Arcanology is the study of magic… and having an encyclopedia of Arcanology will help us tremendously. But there needs to be more.” She said thoughtfully.

“I am physically weak. I understand that now. I’m going to start running every day to build up strength and endurance. I did something similar when I decided I wanted to be safe going into the jungle… and I learned. I can do this again… building up muscle, lifting heavy things, working hard… and getting someone to teach me how to fight. I have no weapons skills to speak of. I can swing a machete and that’s about it. I’m just a novice with my bow. Your father looked as if he knew how to use a great many weapons. There’s a term for it… a weaponsmaster. I need to find someone to teach me more. Maybe even how to fight when there are no weapons.” She said, turning to look at him face on to judge his reaction. “Studying magic and training physically… I will sleep better at night.” She added, knowing he might laugh at her. She wasn’t weak, but Tazrae was no gladiator either. She wasn’t even certain a woman like her could be strong like she envisioned.

“Is that crazy? Thinking that?” She asked quietly, almost afraid of his answer.

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Alric Lysane on December 13th, 2021, 6:34 am



“I’ve had it as long as I remember. Perhaps it was the one thing I was allowed to remember? But maybe…I suppose it would have thrown of Florentin to use his own name and not some royal surname. I never found mention of it in Sunberth, though we know why now. Perhaps it might be found elsewhere” he said as he stared into the fire, beginning to lean into her as much as she was into him, it was a comforting position.

It made him sad to hear that she was having to change her life because of their meeting. That wasn’t quite right, she would still have been that madman’s grand daughter and so liable to being spirited away for her bloodline. Yet now she was entwined with him the likelihood of that had increased from having been too much effort to being possibly worth the effort. Skya was far away, after all, has she never met him she may very well have lived her life knowing nothing of all of it and never being bothered.

“I would say that I wish you didn’t have to, but then that would mean I’d never have met you, and that would be worse,” he said gently, “still I never would have wanted to put you or your people in danger. It is part of why I didn’t get on a ship already. I thought about it, but all it would do is bring me closer to more people who might end up wishing they had never met me. It’s safer for others if I stay away”

This was a new part of her now, a more practical and focused part. He had seen some of it the last time when she had taken care of him and recorded their experiences. Beneath the passionate fires there was a glowing heart he was beginning to see, a core comprised of a practical realism and the need to be as in control as she could. He respected that, it was a different kind of the same thing that kept people alive in Sunberth. He was not surprised, it made sense if she ran her own business, but it made him smile slightly to see it. It seemed that no matter how careful they were that they couldn’t help but reveal things to each other.

Fated indeed he thought to himself, absently scratching his beard.

“You know, bodies are important too,” he said, taking a slice of orange and trying it for the first time and chewing it until it exploded in his mouth, ”I like it, tastes like…freshness? But yes, bodies are how you feel, take in new information, sense the world. The brush of the fingers across the spines of old books, for example. Bodies can tell you much. Not to mention the way others move, their body language…and disguise…or distraction. No doubt your unimportant body has given many pause for thought” he noted as he took another slice.

“As to the heart and soul, yes that is different. It is new territory. I am not even sure myself what it contains, I have never really thought about it,” he agreed, likely she had seen more of him than anyone but he wasn’t sure even that qualified to what she was speaking of, “and neither to I disagree with the weapon analogy. I suppose it is a matter of degree, and how much you want to give the benefit of the doubt” he sighed and wondered how best he could express his thought.

“You are right, and I suppose that is what I’m trying to say. It doesn’t matter what the weapon is, it is still a weapon. Thinking of it as a tool, a means to an end, only encourages that corruption. It removes the responsibility one should take for its power. It’s not that there aren’t any good mages, or magics, it’s that the power of it taints the mind. Even good people can be led down dark paths” he finished, it was as close as he could get to something that felt encoded deep into his bones. He wasn’t even fully sure anymore that it was entirely shaped in Sunberth, the foundations felt older, as if they were some of the first lessons ever taught to him, hidden deep down.

“I don’t know,” he said quietly after thinking upon her question, “I’d like to think not. But I suppose that would be the problem. I might be more vigilant than some, which might help. But I have no illusions that I am a paragon of virtue. It would seem, though, that I have little choice given the situation. I find comfort that you will be there. I suspect you’d not tolerate me abusing anything”

He lapsed into a silence where he simply drank, ate and thought upon what Taz was saying. This meeting felt different. It had started awkward but now felt like they had known each other for a long time, the conversation flowing freely as they were leaning into each other. Fated to know each other or not he hadn’t expected them to slot together as easily as they had. They disagreed upon some things to be true and he fully expected to butt heads with her stubbornness, not to mention whatever other personality quirks he had yet to see that might clash. Still, it was pleasant to know he had someone like her in his otherwise scattered and fractured life.

“Yes, he would be a useful teacher,” he said with a sad tone, he knew that he wasn’t an option, “but I am surprised that you don’t know how to throw a punch. And that you think yourself weak. I have been doing much the same. Perhaps not as often as I’d like, or in as pleasant a way either,” his lips curled a little then and he absently brushed at the more painful of his bruises, he had been in the cage often this season, carving himself into a harder version of himself.

Not to mention acrobatics, running, climbing, broadsword. He had tried to stick to a regular routine but it was difficult given his circumstances. He had taken on a job, which made it easier, gave some structure and sense of time. But his progress had not been as fast as he had hoped, and he had plans for other things to learn once up to speed with the current focuses and so he grew impatient with himself. Still, it seemed that they thought alike and had both been making their plans. Now they just shared them…there was comfort in that.

“No, you aren’t crazy. You’re sensible. Thrown into a new and dangerous situation you went to being practical and dealing with it. Instead of collapsing inward. You are stronger than you think you are. You may not be a fighter but you are not weak,” he said, considering what she had said, “but this not being able to fight without a weapon…this cannot stand. Not on my watch. Can't have my companion not knowing how to fight, it's scandalous. I will teach you. I am no weapon master but I know that much. Besides, it will help me sleep better knowing you can fight while you're half a world away”

"Could probably teach you about other things. You mention street smarts, I had never thought about it, it just is for me. I am not sure you'd mant to learn the less savoury side of those things. I was shown some acrobatics and I'm trying to learn how to use a sword...despite my dislike of weapons. I suppose I have changed much too since last we met"

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Promises Fulfilled [Tazrae}

Postby Tazrae on December 14th, 2021, 1:43 am

Taz stretched her legs out, hooking her bare toes on the table and sinking into the depth of the couch. It was comfortable here, the feeling of ‘safe’ radiating throughout the room. Flames licked at the fireplace, even though it was still early, the atmosphere of the Khamsin and its elegant room set the relaxed mood for their deep discussion.

So, Alric hadn’t ever used his name… his surname. That was interesting. Maybe in the back of his mind he did remember something from before the orphanage. How else did he know to keep his head down and his identity protected? It didn’t change things for the worse. It made things easier. He was not known, and his name wasn’t out there in his chosen city. Taz felt better about that and the longevity of his survival in Sunberth.

Taz stretched out her toes, pointing and flexing them, lost in thought at his words and the situation as a whole. She missed the comfort of sand, of salt air, and the sounds of jungle and ocean. This place was unusual, as yet unfamiliar, though it was starting to feel like ‘their place’ in her mind. She reached out when he said that he wished she didn’t have to change her life, and gripped his knee lightly almost in solidarity, then released it once more. “Mathias said you’d say this… and he told me to tell you something.” She interjected, hoping to completely derail his train of thought. That dark mind path would do him no good in the long run.

“Florentin wants you. He wants your bloodline. He has money, power, and more resources than we understand and know. If you are going to counter that, to stay free, you need similar resources. You need a base of power, training, and most importantly allies. He has eyes out there. He has ears listening. You need the same. There are people that stand against what he stands for and who he is. My people are those kinds of people. Mathias told me to remind you that freedom is earned, won, and worked for all one’s life. He said to come to us if you need help. We are not helpless. And you don’t have to be alone.” She said softly. “Mathias is old enough that he knows what the Nymkarta can do and what it stands for. He seemed to understand why … why that man wants you.” Taz said, refusing to say ‘her grandfather’ because in truth he was a stranger to her and she didn’t want to claim a blood tie even though it was there.

In that same sentence though, the Founder had said it had to be a choice… Alric’s choice. “You have choices.” She said, not sure how to phrase how Mathias stated it. “You don’t have to be alone unless that’s what you want. I’m here because you choose to trust me. I could very well be a plant by Florentin, doing his bidding and trying to get you to trust me. Maybe even sleep with me… to get him what he wants without any fight.” She said quietly. It was something that was pointed out to her, something obvious, that she would have not thought of not because she was stupid, but because she was blindly trusting and naïve in so many ways. Growing up sheltered in Riverfall gave her no favors in life. She would have been better off raised in the desert and taught to survive like the rest of her people were.

“Help is out there. It has been offered. And there’s no conditions and expiration on the offer.” She finally said, crossing her arms over her stomach and rubbing at a shoulder – a nervous habit she didn’t even notice she did. Taz suddenly wished Bree was here, to chastise her or make a quirky comment that would snap her out of this sudden funk she found herself in.

“It’s short sighted to say its safer for others for you to stay away; from them… from me. You are thinking in the short term, Alric, but that man is playing the long game. He always has. I don’t know if he doesn’t age or if he has found in his magic the secret to longevity. But he doesn’t need things to resolve right now. If he did, he most likely would have found you already. And those people that are willing to risk something are thinking of the long game… of the magic in your blood in the hands of someone who has little morals and no guilt. The Nymkarta wasn’t supposed to survive. They raged wars that lasted generations. They had unheard of powers. Even I, in Riverfall and way out in Syka, have heard the stories of things pre-Valterrian.” Taz whispered, reaching up to brush a stray curl from her face.

“Even Sunberth remembers stories of mages who took slaves, so great was their power, and forced people to do things they didn’t want to do… work mines. You told me that yourself. They could create artificial life of people who were not people made of mud and stone. They traveled to other worlds. I even heard how they formed the Kelvic race to serve them. One of them… a mage named Marcus, lost his twin sister to another world, so he created an animalistic race of humans that could search those worlds for him looking for her.” Taz said softly, shaking her head.

“There are reasons to let others help. And you need to hear those reasons, even if you are not ready to. And if you still say no, that is okay too. Because they would be poor representatives of their ideals if they took choices away from people in the name of retaining freedom from the tyranny of the past.” She added. “Trust goes both ways. I trust you to stay out of his hands. I trust you to keep your head down and move forward with your life as you feel you must in whatever way that is.” She whispered, hating herself for saying that. He might vanish abruptly, and lose himself in an instant, never to be heard from again. Tazrae would hate that, but it had to be his choice. She would not be one of the people her Grandfather seemed to be. She saw what he did to Alric’s mother. She saw how he used her and discarded her when she was no longer useful. Taz had met soulless people before. And he was the definition of one straight out of a scholarly text.

Alric changed the subject though. And in many ways, Tazrae was grateful for it. She smiled when he said he liked the orange. She liked them too, though by far her favorite was the lemons. She liked the extremes the yellow fruit had and how far their flavor could be utilized. She tried to follow his thoughts on bodies, the way he described what they did, and nodded not sure where he was headed with the conversation. Then she understood when he contrasted the literal of a body with what she suspected he was not labeling the spiritual of the heart and soul. Weapons… all of them, thought Tazrae.

He was commenting about how things were used and her analogy on a blade being only a blade and utilized wholly differently by various groups. Chefs could create culinary delights. Murders could take a life. The list went on and on. Then he made the leap to magic and power, and Tazrae slowly nodded. “I don’t believe that power taints all minds, Alric. I think power can potentially damage weak minds. Fine wine can lure men to drink until they are drunk and crave the wine over and over, and yet others can sip at it and never feel its call. I don’t know why that is, but I do think it has to do with the strength of one’s character and will.” She added, bringing up a knee and wrapping her arms around it. She shifted, sitting forward with one leg stretched out and one leg encased in her arms with her chin resting thoughtfully on its top.

Her only reaction to his statement about him suspecting her not tolerating him abusing anything was a slow curve upwards of her mouth. She was relaxed – Syka relaxed – and satiated… not hungry, not cold, not tired, and not needing of anything. She usually only felt this way after a heavy workout and some meditation or cooking.

“I’ve never had need to throw a punch.” She replied, not defensively, just stating a fact. “In fact, you are about the only person I’ve ever been inclined to feel the need to strike in my entire life.” She added, the upturn of her lips metamorphosizing into a full smile. “Well, you and perhaps some rather nasty monkeys that have a tendency to defecate in their hands and throw it at people.” Taz added in such a way as Alric might get the impression she’d never resorted to using the word ‘shit’ in her entire life.

“I am weak, physically. I realize it. I can’t climb like I’ve seen men do. I can’t strike with force and make my hit count. I’m soft. I was worse when I first came to Syka. But the jungle has slimmed me down, toned me up, and taught me more about movement than I’ve ever thought about in my entire life. It’s a hard thing to explain, but I still know I can be stronger and do better. I can have more stamina and strength. I should be able to run faster and longer without being as winded as I would get now. I’m conscious of it, especially since the Tea and the Dreamwalk. I feel a sense of… urgency, somehow.” She trailed off, as if it were hard for her to explain.

She turned to him as he spoke, claiming she wasn’t crazy and that he would not stand to see her unable to fight. His offer to teach her surprised her. She released her leg and stretched out her feet again, unconcerned they were on the table with the food. In her mind, food came from the ground, the sky, from all around them and she was clean. “I would like that… “ She said thoughtfully, almost humbly. “It feels…. Comforting to me, us working together, regardless if it is just meeting like this or doing something even more … proactive.” She said thoughtfully.

“I’m going to get better with my bow. I have a compound longbow and I’m just learning to use it. You said you were learning the sword… despite your dislike of weapons? Why do you dislike them? And why the sword?” She asked, looking thoughtfully at him. “There might be times where we don’t have weapons and have to fight. I’m going to learn more about that. If you are willing to teach me, I am willing to listen. But I can find other teachers as well… people in Syka who will offer.” She said thoughtfully, then listed out what they needed to do.

“Get stronger. Get smarter. Learn all we can about magic. Learn about combat with and without weapons. What weapon would you suggest for me or do you think the bow is fine?” She said thoughtfully. Taz wasn’t sure how she was going to fit this all in and still run a thriving Inn. It was fine if she was guestless and that meant free time, but when her rooms were occupied, there was much for her to do. She couldn’t always come here… and this room…. Taz glanced around frowning.

“Is there even a place to train here? I’ve never heard of one.” She added, knowing space was at a premium at The Outpost. “Or is it something we can do…. here?” She said, frowning, uncertain. “That seems like a lot, Alric. I know you said you had work in Sunberth. How are we going to find the time?” She asked, worry suddenly infusing her voice. She tipped her head back and let it fall against the back of the couch, studying the scrollwork on the ceiling a moment and tasting the desert air with all its odd spices. Someone was cooking something in the Courtyard but Taz had no appetite. She was suddenly overly worried. There were too many questions in her head and too many potential answers she didn’t think she’d like.

Doing nothing, however, wasn’t one of those answers. Life had a way of working things out. She’d seen it happen before… where the impossible was suddenly made possible. So, she took a deep breath and relaxed, forcing her body to slowly uncoil from the tension that had seized it. She ran one hand down the thigh not touching Alric’s and stroked her stomach with the other hand. Her lips twisted thoughtfully. Be open…. she thought… to answers and solutions. They would present themselves.

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Tazrae
A warm welcome in paradise awaits you.
 
Posts: 690
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Joined roleplay: May 3rd, 2020, 2:02 pm
Location: Syka
Race: Human
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