Closed [Khamsin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Taz and Alric continue their studies of magic.

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[Khamsin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 8:04 pm

Timestamp: 21st of Winter, 521 A.V.

Continued From: [Khamsin Inn] Beginnings Pt.I


Tazrae was not a delicate sleeper. She was one of those exuberant deep sleepers who claimed the entire bed despite her words declaring he could have all the covers and she wouldn’t mind. She muttered and mused in her sleep, reflecting her internal dreams with external noises. The woman would have been mortified to know these things, but in her short life, only her great oaf of a dog who gave no such care of things and her Ixam who slept like a rock had noticed this fact.

When Alric joined her, there was no shyness to her slumber, nor did he seem to disturb her rest with his presence. Predictably, she did gravitate towards him and wrap herself around him as if the room they shared was far cooler than it was. And there was some truth to that, for the desert nights could be bitterly cold once the sun set. Though they had the fire to offset the drastic change and shutters drawn for the privacy of their late evening studies.

Taz slept with her face buried in the crook of his neck, unashamedly used his shoulder as a pillow, and drank in his scent like he was an anchor in some storm only known to her. He smelled amazingly pleasant to Tazrae’s sleeping form and reminded her of almonds and the hint of woodsmoke which was probably due to Sunberth. There was an underlying musky spice she couldn’t name that was all his own.

Weirdly, she loved the smell of fire and musk. Alric was coming to mean a lot to her and the more time she spent with him the less boundaries she attributed to their relationship. She would have been pleased to know he smelled fruit and flowers on her and an earthy tone beneath. For her one of her many secrets she’d yet to reveal to him – and to herself in many ways - was how much she loved the wilds, especially the jungle, and had come to see herself as part of that world far more than she belonged to any stone city humanity claimed.

But as was her way, Taz slept deep and fast, sprawled unashamedly in her relaxation and got enough sleep with not as many bells passing as many people needed. She woke slowly, a lazy smile spreading across her face when she recognized where and who she was with, and slowly slid from beneath the covers. She padded to the bathroom, used the privy, washed up, and frowned at the wreck of her hair in the mirror. She spent a few chimes brushing it punishingly until she had it tamed in a braid down the center of her head and on down the line of her spine. Then she stirred the fire, put the kettle on, and pulled out the bear claws she’d threatened Alric with the night before. They were made of two types of dough, folded and cut open and splayed out… the insides filled with cinnamon and sugar.

This was comfortable, here with him, and it had the utter feeling of security she would have never attributed to a city. She resisted the temptation to watch him sleep, knowing he wouldn’t like the vulnerability and how much younger he seemed to her lost in his sleep. Taz made up a cup of tea without bothering to dress and padded to the fire to open the Encyclopedia of Magic to the personal magic section.

She fanned the pages, falling on a random page and noticing a sketch of a man smiling with a snake’s fangs. She blinked a double-take, read the heading, and mused at its meaning. “Morphing….” It was some sort of transformation magic. This magic hadn't made her list with its brief description in the main list of personal magics. But she was fascinated the deeper she read.

She quickly read the overview and saw that it was a magic people could learn through study and meditation. Taking a sip of tea, she quietly read about how Morphing was some of the most ancient magic known to man and how it was known thusly by cave paintings of mages transforming into animals that were thousands of years old. Taz wondered how they knew how old such things were and how they could tell they were mages and not just Kelvics.

Feeling skeptical, she read on noting the encyclopedia said Morphing was older than magic and that it had been greatly refined from its early stages as a technique used to enhance fighting hand to hand. The reading material spoke of the mage's djed being used to change the mage’s physical structure. Such changes were undone after a period of time wherein the mage didn’t keep fueling the alteration or his attention was destroyed by distraction.

The magic was painless though it could be accompanied by sensations that were tactile. The book described how the changes weren’t instantaneous, but that they took a great deal of time and focus. Taz read about its limits as well, how it was organic and did not lend itself to changing flesh to metal or that total mass had to be preserved… especially in lower levels. Masters though, could transform into beasts of great size, changing the mass. It was dangerous, the book said, and yet as she read about the magic, it began to call to her in a way Taz didn’t rightly understand.

So, she drank her tea and thought about what she’d change on her body and how. A normal woman might have considered how to alter her form to make herself more attractive, such as pulling mass from her stomach to augment her chest. But such thoughts didn’t cross her mind. Tazrae instead looked at her nails and thought of how useful they could be as weapons in a pinch against enemies that caught her unarmed. So, she lifted her left hand, laid it over her right, and studied her well-groomed nails intently.

She thought of Bree and how her claws looked, thick and sharp, well able to rend flesh from bone. Taz had no such nails. Hers were thin and only extended slightly off her nail bed, trimmed neatly into squares that were functional in her working life. She imagined djed altering her nails and curiously tapped her well, drawing just a bit of power forward and letting it crawl from her center like a serpent up across her heart and out onto her limb. She felt the djed flow through her left arm and out into the tips of her fingers.


Tazrae could hear it sing in her blood, in her bone, and formed the sharp clear picture of Bree’s sapphire blue claws. Her nail bed darkened, deepening with the color of a darkening sky. They changed colors easily enough as Tazrae’s strong will imposed itself on the tips of her fingers. Taz simply didn’t believe she couldn’t do it and kept studying her fingers, willing the material of her nails to change. And slowly, like maple not wanting to ooze out of a maple tree on a cold winter day… they did.

Slowly her nails elongated, drawing raw material from her arm itself. The nails extended, thickened, and gleamed with an iridescent blue that was the exact same shade as Bree’s claws were. Taz watched, half fascinated and half a bit in incredulity, as they thickened, thickened again, and then doubled once more until she had long pointed and wicked claws instead of nails. Once she was done changing the nails, she kept concentrating on them, using her normal right hand to explore her now-clawed left hand and experiment with the weapons. There were moments she lost her concentration and the magic started to fail, but the moment Taz got a feel for the failing starting to come upon them, she was able to turn her attention back to the claws.

Playing with the sapphire-tipped digits would be how Alric found her. It would also lead to her explaining to him all she read in the encyclopedia about morphing and curiously awaiting his reaction.

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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 24th, 2021, 9:39 pm



Alric woke from a deep slumber, dreams of warmth and security fading slowly, replaced instead with light filtering in through half-closed eyelids and the faint scent of food. He had had no nightmares for once, that was unusual and provided a respite and delight that was becoming infrequent at best. He had been woken a few times by tugs, squeezes and muttered words but they had been small price to pay for the company he had had, and a few soothing sounds had managed them well enough. He was no stranger to struggled sleep and had nothing but sympathy for it.

Rolling over with a slight groan, stretching sore muscles as his consciousness fully returned, blinking away the fatigue and seeing he was alone with a small pang of sadness. Turning the other way he saw her and there was both admiration and shock, though he said nothing at first. No, if he had learned anything the day before it was that magic was unpredictable and difficult, he did not want to cause her to lose control as she experimented. And experiment she did, her nails growing and elongating, shining in their colour.

He took her in properly then, not just the way her skin shone in the light or the fact that her hair was now tamed unexpectedly, but quietly watching the way she eyed her new creation, curiosity and wonder lighting up her eyes and the way her lips were slightly parted as if she were trying to breathe in the magic she was exploring. He admired her drive and focus, even as he had a flickering of concern. Still he had no words of admonishment, truthfully he felt much the same way. Despite his misgivings and dislikes he could not deny that his curiosity and enjoyment of discovering new things had gotten him into trouble many times. He took one last opportunity to see her in her natural beauty, unaware of his watching, before pushing himself up and out of the covers.

“Remind me not to do anything to deserve those claws,” he said as he rubbed his face and stretched his arms wide, walking to grab one of the bear claws she had mentioned, “having fun already are we?" he asked, coming to sit next to her and eat the food his stomach grumbled for.

He listened as she explained that she had been reading about Morphing, sharing what she had learned and why she was doing wat she was doing. He merely nodded along and said nothing, he couldn’t tell her not to explore when he had been doing so the day before. Yet there was a fear that had something happened when he had been asleep there would have been nothing he could have done to aid her. Not that he knew what he could have done anyway, beyond carrying her to the Reddyn.

“I can see how that would be useful, though I am not sure I could get away with doing something like that without being noticed. Perhaps something more subtle? Hair colour, eye colour, changed face and so on. Something to muse upon, after enjoying breakfast and the company for a few chimes” he finished his food, pushing her braid gently so that swung from side to side a few times, getting up after to pour some tea and glance through the curtains to see the day had only truly just begun.

“Plenty of time then,” he noted, sipping his tea as he centred his mind and gathered his thoughts, “how did you sleep? I slept without concern for the first time all season. Perhaps it was the magic, no?”

“Why did you decide to try for giant talons first off? Are you that concerned that you are in danger in Syka? Oh don’t worry, I’m not going to tell you you’ve done something wrong. Truthfully I snuck a little bit of another try at Auristics before you threatened me with the danger of cuddling up. You were correct, by the way, it does work with smell. Your scent is a mixture of fresh and earthy tones, natural and fruity in some ways. Hearing doesn’t work so well for me, sadly”

He had spoken to her whilst still peering out of the window, noting the sky unchanged as always but watching the people come and go in their business. They were strange as always, mixtures of various cultures and lands, though some surely stayed at the Outpost for the early hour they were awake suggested close proximity. He sipped his tea and considered, for the first time with a true break, what they were doing. It still scared the shyke out of him but he had proven, at least for the time being, that he was capable of doing small things without becoming a raving madman. He consoled his mind with the idea that he could always turn it off, just not do it anymore. There was that choice still, though for how long it would be available he was unsure.

“I’m glad you didn’t decide to change what people might traditionally change. I like you the way you are, you would not be you after. I know, I know, just a body…but it is still you” he observed, the slightly darker thought of what that made you if you could be anything at all, and whether that meant you were never you again, flickering slightly before he crushed it.
He preferred the idea of enjoying the morning for once.


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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on December 24th, 2021, 11:51 pm

She didn’t hear Alric get up… nor do any of the things he did once he woke. She was solely focused on her hands and more specifically turning her perfectly good fingernails into Ixam claws. When he spoke, she nearly jumped out of her skin and lost the morph on the nails almost immediately. She swore something incoherently and then offered him a sheepish smile, stuffing the now-normal hand behind her back like she was an errant child caught with stolen candy.

Taz blinked as the question finally penetrated the fog of her brain and she turned up the wattage of her smile, laughing slightly. “I’ve seen nothing yet, and as far as I can tell you are fairly safe from them.” The young woman said, pulling out the hand as if she just realized she’d hidden it from him and studied it’s perfectly normal appearance. “I think it was a lot of fun, but a bit humiliating too that simply making a light hearted joke causes me to lose the magic.” She said, chastising herself a bit. She shifted around, sliding the book over and giving him room to settle then leaned back. “I randomly flipped through the personal magic and it opened to Morphing… and when I saw it required no initiation, I tried it.” She offered, licking her lips and then reaching down to take another drink of her tea. She must have been staring at her hand for more than bell, Taz decided, judging by the light now streaming in through the closed shutters of the glassless windows.

“I never thought of using it as a disguise. It would be a great one if you could hold it.” Taz remarked, glancing at Alric and noting how he always found a way to protect himself or more carefully blend in with his thinking. “I was trying for Bree’s claws. I’m often envious of her ability to climb straight up trees and leap from branch to branch while securely holding on. She’s big… and yet they work so well for her.” Taz said with a sigh. “If I could do that… learn her entire shape… do you know the freedom I’d have out in the jungle? And running with her would be such a thrill. We’d be like flying without wings. Riding Bree isn’t like riding a horse at all. On a horse, you just go from one place to another weaving around obstacles and completely stuck to the ground. With Bree, its so much more dimensional. You might ride straight up a tree… run a mile in the trees that way, leaping from branch to branch, or climbing up one tree, out onto a branch, leaping to another and climbing down… there are vines everywhere that get thick and old. They will hold Bree and I’s combined weight. Its….” Taz twisted a moment, surveying the room, and traced an invisible path around it with her index finger. “She can go up one wall, stone or brick, even a tree, leap ten feet or twenty depending on how big of a run she gets, leap down, twist across, go so fast she can stay on the side of a vertical surface. I don’t know how to explain it… it’s a lot like flying. And she’s so fast…” She repeated again, this time her cheeks flushing a bit coral and her breath sounding winded.

Alric could tell she was deep in a memory, one she loved.

He pulled her back out with his next question and she offered him a tentative smile. “I slept really well. Thank you. You make a good pillow and you don’t actually snore. You sleep… hauntingly quiet. If I wasn’t laying on you, I would have wondered if you were even breathing.” She said softly, shaking her head in thought. Her next words were quieter. “I wondered if it was a skill you learned growing up at the orphanage or even a survival mechanism for Sunberth.” She said soberly, concern flashing across her eyes even though her lips were still upturned slightly.

His next words surprised her. “You smelled me with Auristics?” She said, lifting a bare shoulder and giving it a sniff. Frowning, she wrinkled her nose. “And that wasn’t even after a shower. Poor man…” Taz teased, then shook her head. “I didn’t try to smell you with Auristics. The thought never occurred to me. Hearing you did. I guess that shows how different we are. But my hair smells like you a little this morning. It wasn’t a bad thing. I think all of me probably smells a little like you now. You have an oddly compelling scent like almonds mixed with fire and an underlying musk… but that’s with just my nose.” She added, then wondered to herself if they were really having a conversation about how each of them smelled.

“It was a good night. I plan to stay over again if you’ll have me.” She added, then moved right along. “I don’t want to forget to look for a place today too. When I return smelling like a strange man, Bree will have questions. And if we get a place, she can come with me next time.” Taz said, reminding both him and herself of their plans to get a place together here at least temporarily. She desperately wanted Alric to have a bolt hole from Sunberth if he needed one, and they needed a quiet place to study. “I brought gold, nine hundred so we can get a larger place. We might need it if I want to morph more than claws.” Taz added, lifting up her left hand again as if to make sure it was still back to normal.

She wanted to say more. Taz really did. She wanted to thank him for making the place… feel safe. If spending the night with him unmolested was a test, he passed with flying colors. It felt like she could let down more of her guard down and relax even more, worrying about the magic and not the man she wanted to practice it with.

His next words surprised her. “I wouldn’t know what to actually change….” She said in confusion as if she hadn’t given it a thought until a slow smile dawned across her face. “I could straighten my hair….” She said with a wicked grin, like a cat who already had a mouse cornered and was advancing to retrieve its prize. “… all of it! It would stay in a ponytail perfectly contained that way!” She said excitedly until another thought occurred to her and her expression flickered with dismay. “And if I screwed it up, it would all fall out knowing my luck.” She said, then chuckled. “Would you be seen with a bald woman?” Taz asked curiously, her question truly a serious one.

Then she laughed again, shook it off, and grinned at him. “How’s the Bear Claws? Did you save me any?” She asked, turning her head and looking to see where she left the box. She jumped up, retrieved one, and returned to her seat… in an extremely good mood. Taz nibbled the danish revealing her full-fledged sweet tooth in all its full glory because he could tell all she really wanted was at the cinnamon and sugar tucked in the middle of the flakey pastry. She licked at it like a dog, absently, teasing the little baked oozy goodness out between the ‘claws’ before she bit into the dough. Eating the thing was almost an afterthought after she’d raided it for the sugar.

“So, what are we studying? You should try morphing, Alric. It was hard… but rewarding.” Taz said, knowing she’d be practicing the claws again soon. But that was what she’d wanted to do and she already had worked on it a bit this morning. Knowing what he wanted to do was far more important to Tazrae now that he was up. She could practice her claws anytime now that she had the basic idea of what Morphing was about.

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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 25th, 2021, 8:47 am

“I will remind you of that if my stubbornness ever starts to get too wearing, though at least I will have horns to keep you somewhat at bay,” he said with an amused tone, “and I wouldn’t worry too much, I can have that effect…besides I’m pretty sure that we’ve done plenty many might be envious of already. I lost my focus when I saw what I was actually trying to see, your aura, and being surprised by it…so you can console yourself in having a better reason than I had”

He listened to her as she talked of Bree, the jungle and the riding, hearing her voice change, the tone slipping into a more distant one as if recalling something in her mind’s eye in great detail. It reminded him of when he’d be lost of reading something and then asked a question by Remmy, his voice not really committed to the answer as much as the images conjured into his skull by the words upon the page. He didn’t begrudge her the shift in attention, she clearly loved Bree dearly and if the memory anchored her into exploring the magic without taking it too far then all the better. Not to mention he liked hearing of her life, it seemed much nicer than his own one. Not for the first time he wondered what it would be like to live there, not having to worry so often about so many things.

“I can assure you that I am not always so quiet, so I am fairly sure I should be thanking you,” he said with a touch of mirth, “and if I try to survive in my sleep even then perhaps there is some hope for me getting out of all of this alive at the end then, no? I hereby decree that you have the right to use me as a pillow whatever evenings you wish” he finished his tea and poured himself another, topping up hers with warmer water.

“Yes, I am quite sure you must smell terribly now that you smell like me,” he teased back, “and she can ask all the questions she likes. I have nothing to hide and you never know she might even like me. You know, after the threats of evisceration should you come to harm and so on. And we will find a place, I brought five hundred gold, I would give more but…well I will find a way to make things equal”

He sat down beside her once more, picking at some more food, the hole in his stomach being filled bit by bit and deeper than usual. He remembered what it had felt like after the memory tea and now with frames of reference to draw from he concluded that the tea had somehow been of a magical nature. The fact that his appetite was comparably strong after actually using magic was not a coincidence. He reflected that a few days ago even he’d have been angry at that perhaps, the idea he had had magic upon him without knowing. He struggled with his morals now, his head and heart warring for supremacy, but he had become more accepting. Perhaps Taz and Moritz had been right, it was a tool he could take up briefly, using it to achieve what he needed to before laying it aside. He smiled at her suggestion of changing her hair.

“I like your hair, it is like you, wild and free, though the braid is quite pretty,” he said with amusement, “as for being bald and my association, the traditional male answer might suggest it is not hair that is of primary focus. If you take care and go slowly I’m sure it won’t be a problem. But no, rest assured I would not see you any differently, you are you. And I like you, you are fine as you are” he said, slightly emphasising the last few words.

“I think I’m studying the effect of spices upon a hungry woman,” he said with a teasing tone, gentle so there was no offense meant given, “but I suppose I shouldn’t let you have all of the fun with this new thing. After trying this Morphing though I think that at some point I want to look into this Shielding. And assuming we find a place I was also assuming it would be large enough you could expand into less magical things should you desire. Though knowing how you speak about your inn I would imagine time might be given to studying the décor and making it better”

He flashed a smile before finishing his tea and placing the cup down carefully, pulling the book and his journal to him, flicking to a new page quickly to try to hide his poor sketches, reading over the Morphing page and then scribing down the notes that seemed most pertinent. It was a rushed affair as he was trying to catch up but he got the larger points – what it was, how it worked, risks and techniques for the most part. Putting the books back upon the table, leaving it open for the ink to dry, he turned and took her hand, pulling it close to study her skin tone more closely, turning her wrist slightly to see how the light caught the bronzed colours, shining every so often before dulling into a burnished colour, tracing it with a finger to feel the smooth texture to try to copy. Aligning his left forearm with her right he focused and pulled upon the well as he had been shown. This was the third time and it felt slightly easier. It was still a struggle and he had to actively resist pulling too much. He had no clear pathway for the Djed this time, there were no specific organs to channel it to. He forced it into his arm, then his forearm and it ended up – after much effort – in the skin and spreading out along it in a thin line.

He frowned and concentrated, trying to will the change, to mirror her skin tone upon his own. It felt strange, like part of him was rebelling at the idea, as if it knew what it was supposed to be and didn’t want to be anything else. It was odd but it was the only way he could describe it. He was clearly having a more difficult time of it than Taz had had, perhaps because she already didn’t see her body as much at all? By dint of great effort, and a small amount of sweat staining his brow, a patch of his skin started to change, almost as if the colour of her skin had been absorbed and then oozed outwards as if from a cut. He managed to force it slightly wider, perhaps the size of his palms perfectly mirroring her skin pigmentation before with a deep exhalation he had to let it go and it almost evaporated, returning to its normal colouring.

“I think we have discovered something that you are much better at than I, well done lady of the jungle” he sighed, leaning back and seeing it had been perhaps half a Bell he had taken up her time with. He smiled at her sheepishly and let her arm go free.

“The real question, I suppose, is whether you wanted to explore the new home first or the magic first, I’d like to venture into the market at some point but that doesn’t have to be today, try to find one of these Voril blades mentioned” he said, already feeling the beginnings of tiredness return with the exertion of his Djed, taking up more food and tea to help restore what had just been used, “either way I will be taking advantage of the facilities here before moving on. Don’t have nice showers like yours back in Sunberth. The bear claws were excellent by the way, you have quite the talent, and you are too good to me by half”

He suspected that when it came down to it acquiring their own space would be weighed as more important. Learning basic things of magic was enough to tide the over until their next meeting, and he hoped they would meet often so it did not feel like too long a time between studies as to lose any experience gained. Besides which he knew, deep down, that even he would have to practise alone even if he were less inclined to do so that she it would seem.
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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on December 25th, 2021, 3:19 pm

Tazrae thanked Alric for the top-off on her tea and nodded. “Thank you.” She said in regards to the tea. Then she added in… “Duly noted about pillow usage permission.” She said with a half-smile. Truthfully, time at The Outpost was stolen at best and anything she built here with Alric was something akin to a lie because her true life was back home. It was one she’d worked hard for, fought hard for, and she was disinclined to give it up. It was selfish of her, she knew, but much like she wouldn’t live the life that Estra had demanded she live, Taz wasn’t going to give up what she needed to be doing just because her rogue grandfather was hunting more power. She suspected it was a daily battle between powerful mages, especially the older they got and the more desperate they were to cling to life the way they remembered it in their early years when their bodies hadn’t started to betray them.

Alric was worth helping, for certain, but his life was in the wind and he had a lot more choices to make in the future. Some of those choices she suspected hurt her dearly if she got too close to him. It was better to help him get the tools he needed to fight evil in the world, pick up knowledge of her own along the way, and not stray from her path. Syka needed her as a Guardian and so too did the other Settlers. Alric dwelled in the darkness in the east, in a burning city he was abandoned in as a child. If she could, she’d urge him to a whole new life.

Truthfully, they were too deep of thoughts for a bright morning full of promise. So Tazrae did what she did best, and filed them away for a rainy day caught under shelter while the jungle raged. Then she could pull them out, examine each and every one of them for validity, and decide where Alric fit into her world.

The man ate his weight in her baked goods, though Tazrae didn’t mind. The more people ate, the more she had an excuse to cook, and cooking was a labor of love. She made a mental note to bring more rations next time instead of foraging out into the wilds of the Fountain Walk’s street food. Most of that faire was unknown game and she’d rather know where she sourced her food. Taz didn’t make the connection between magic and hunger because she was used to burning energy in the jungle and always being hungry afterward or during. Plus her diet had always been whole fresh fruit, wild-caught game, and things plucked from the sea that day. Syka had gifted her with a toned hardened body with sleek lines, one that functioned beautifully so she fed it constantly in nibbles and munchies as she cooked and cleaned in the Inn.

Alric’s compliments caused her to smile. “You flatter me overly much, I think. My hair is having a life of its own and is frequently the most immediate bane to my existence. I waged war with it this morning to tame it down, but it never lasts.” She said, offering him a hesitant smile. Taz wondered what he’d say if he ever heard how Estra used to speak to her. Tazrae been too short, too thin, not soft enough in all the right places. Her mother, who turned out to not be much of a mother, had even made her take special dance lessons designed to give her flexibility and reportedly would cause her hips to flare and widen, thus causing her to be a better broodmare for the Akalaks all around them. She was never social enough, even though Tazrae easily made friends and didn’t have a shy bone in her body. What her mother had really meant was that she didn’t flirt enough and wasn’t the least bit interested in cosmetics or fashion. Estra had even made an appointment for her at one of the towers when she hit her eighteenth birthday. It was for a certification for Nakivak Status… and she’d skipped it. She’d conveniently missed two other ‘certifications’ for a friend of hers, also in a similar situation, had obeyed her own mother and had gone. She’d told Tazrae just exactly what happened at those ‘certifications’. Cecelia had spoken in a broken voice about the long cold stone table she’d been laid out on, and the exam that had occurred to prove her purity conducted by two strangers, one of which had held her down. No thank you. Tazrae almost snarled at the thought and wondered what people like that would think of her growing Ixam claws and examining how large she could make their rectum as she redirected it out of their stomachs from the front.

Magic empowered. Magic made her feel safe. At least Alric found her acceptable, enough especially to partner with over magic, curly hair and all.

Décor wasn’t her strong suit. Neither was any sort of luxury or fashion. She actually dressed in what Juli brought over for her to buy. And truthfully most of her underthings would be useless if one of her better friends in Syka didn’t own the mercantile and thus kept her decently clothed. There was a reason Tazrae fit in within Syka. Clothing was optional and fashion was indeed almost non-existent unless one considered crochet bikinis, Isuas everything, and either bare or booted feet.

Taz tore her attention away from her internal dialog and watched Alric’s attempt at Morphing. She was conscious she should have waited for him to wake up to play with a new magic herself, though he seemed far more focused and took far less time than she did to manage the tint change. It was a good thing he was changing such a small space. Taz couldn’t imagine the concentration needed to do a whole body.

“I’m motivated for claws… while there’s nothing wrong with your current skin coloring,” Taz answered his comment about her being better at Morphing.

She nodded at his mention of using the facilities and liking the bear claws. She smiled at the last. “I really like making things for you.” She added quietly. It was the truth, and if she ever discovered what his favorites of things were, that effort would redouble. “Go, get ready… I’ll get dressed and we can go look. While I’m waiting, I’ll read up on Voril Blades, for I know nothing about them.” She added, setting her tea aside and heading to where her dress hung on the peg for robes next to the bed. Absently she slipped it on, her head tilted and thoughtfully, as she fastened the simple belt behind her that held the dress in place. She padded over, slipped on her gold sandals, and took the Arcanology book to the table to perch on a chair and read. She thumbed through it while Alric was getting ready.

Taz immediately discovered a blood time between Ruros’ power that was released upon his death and his offspring. And it was those offspring that first discovered the ability to use Vorilescence and change weapons from normal forged steel to sometimes almost sentient beings. It seemed that only people of Ruros’ blood could do the magic and discover the blades. “Alric…” Taz called, raising her voice. “Have you read about this discipline? You need Ruros’ blood to use it.” She said over the noise whatever he was doing in the facilities. “It sounds like he got around and a great many people have traces of his blood, but I just wanted you to know….” She said a bit louder than her normal voice, projecting her pitch to reach him in the restrooms rather than reach the neighbors.

“We can still look though. I have my map and I’ll be right back. I’m just going to ask the Innkeeper how to get to the suites.” Taz said, rising, and heading out the door and across the courtyard to find Pashina. After talking with her briefly, Tazrae had an idea of where they could go and she had a name... “Dell”. She returned to gather Alric, and they headed over to The Shuval Suites to see Dell. The walk was relatively short, just taking them over towards the wall and adjacent to the Market. Taz decided this must be a place lots of merchants stay when they are selling in the Outpost between their trips to home.

The place was fairly secure, though everything opened onto a central courtyard. Taz had no problems finding the place. The series of apartments were built into the walls of The Outpost much like the Riads were. The Innkeeper, having a practiced eye, decided these apartments were probably old Riads that were subdivided to add more space for more people in what little housing The Outpost could afford. In fact, the availability of units was seriously lacking when Tazrae and Alric finally located Dell. He said there was a waiting list for small apartments, and the only ones he had currently available were several at 800 to 1200 square feet. The Courtyard was nice, with its glazing pool, and had tables set up around it so people could work in the sunshine or shade if they wanted out of their spaces.

Dell greeted them brightly. “Good day to you. I’m afraid we do have a waiting list for the smaller units, but I have four that range from 800 square feet to 1200 square feet. We sell things by the square feet around here… a hundred for a hundred, so the smaller available ones are eight hundred gold while the bigger units are twelve hundred. Once you purchase it, its becomes yours for the rest of your occupation. If you do not appear within ninety days to check on your property, it reverts back to me and I will resell it and its contents. You are free to come and go, use the place as you’d like, and have guests or pets aplenty. He got down four keys and handed them over to Taz and Alric. “The unit numbers are on the keyrings. Go check them out, explore, and see what you want to buy. They are each different, some with multiple rooms and bedrooms, and some wide open with ample floor space for anything you may like. All four are very private though you do get the use of the courtyard. The high-end two have roof gardens that are open to the sky. That’s this one and this one…” He said, tapping keys respectively… the thousand coin one and the twelve hundred coin one.” He said, then gave them waved them off. “Return the keys to me with your decision.” He added.

“Oh, and I don’t let you pay over time. It’s upfront or you can hang on the waiting list for something smaller.” He added with a smile.

Taz nodded, thanked him, and turned to Alric. “Shall we look them over?” She added.

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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 4:18 pm



“Some battles are worth losing, perhaps” was all he said in response to her comments about her hair.

He had never given much thought to his appearance and he felt sure that by comparison, as polite as she was, he was usually the more shabby and unruly one. He had wondered more than once if, when he was caught, a simple upgrade of wardrobe and some basic grooming would help him hide more effectively than sneaking…and now this Morphing. He had herd similar things from the Associates at Ruby’s, they were never ‘god enough’ and similar words, whatever they meant. The fact that people seemed to queue up to be suitors – even if temporarily – never seemed to dampen that deep feeling of inadequacy.

He supposed, as he nodded and set about actually making himself presentable for once, he had little expectations placed upon him up until recently. He had remembered so little of his early yeas that all he had was the orphanage and the streets, neither of which cared overly much about appearances and more about what you could do. He idly mused upon such things, the irony of beauty and its inability to recognise itself, or of it did be satisfied with it as he dunked himself in warm water and scrubbed away. He cleaned everything, hair and beard included, before towelling himself off and combing aggressively until it was no longer tangled and seemed neater. Dressing was simple, he was wearing the bodysuit and the clothing she had bought him. Boots and weapons were all that were left after and they were ready to leave soon enough.

“It was something I was interested in because of what I remembered of the Dreamwalker visions, though it may have been the chaos of the fight, Kalas just seemed odd in the way he used his weapons, like they moved by themselves, I have read nothing of it…just the name you mentioned and the brief description,” he shrugged, “if I can’t use it then so be it. If not…well at least it is one less thing to keep me up at night”

It was true enough, he had had enough of gods and bloodlines to last him his lifetime, a lifetime which might be considerably cut short by such things if he were not lucky. It had seemed like a useful discipline and one he felt warmer towards given it was about something he already knew about – weaponry. He pushed the thoughts back to the depths of his mind as they set off on their journey to find somewhere to study and learn independent of others. Finding Dell was easy enough and he seemed a reasonably warm sort though Alric noted the way he moved, and it gave him a brief pause that was forgotten at Taz’s question.

“Might as well, let’s take those two and see which one is better,” he said, tapping the higher end ones, “they’ll probably be more what we are looking for. Especially if you were wanting to bring company at some point”

They had been given directions and the numbers were clear enough to follow, though both were multi-storey affairs. Alric nodded at the Keiss, smiling slightly at Taz at the reassurance that they would have some level of protection. That was a bonus given the fact that they may very well be hunted individuals. Both the 1000 miza and 1200 miza choices were large and spacious, with more than enough space for the both of them. Much like the Khamsin they sported a good sized hearth, a bathroom with a tub and a shower alongside space for private ablutions. The 1200 one a large kitchen area though the 1000 one had an entire floor that seemed to be little more than space that could be used for training. Both had roof gardens with a secure wooden bar to slide across for security and a balcony that overlooked the courtyard.

“I like the idea of having more than one exit,” he noted approving as they went about their tours, “means we have more options getting out quick if needed. Might even be able to leave it nice than when we found it with your green thumb too, no?”

They had found some sort of alchemical room in the 1000 miza one too, there were some leftover glassware items of strange shapes and a small firebox with a door that could close that would heat something through a hole above it in the counter. Alric raised an eyebrow at that in case Taz knew what it was supposed to be. Both of the apartments had two bedrooms, though one was a larger one and the other was the kind that a manservant might be quartered in it seemed to him. Furniture was basic but of a similar type to the Khamsin, though far less opulent and smaller in number. There were dressers, warddrobes, beds, low sofas and plenty of cupboard spaces. He pointed at the writing desk in the larger bedroom that he felt sure she could enjoy given her musical aspirations.

“I don’t know about you, but I like the 1000 miza one, it has less kitchen space but if we’re looking to train then it has more open space. A few skins and rugs and so on and it’ll be padded enough to do pretty much anything in. I might have a look at the roof garden too at some point…I’ve an idea or two for quick exits” he said the last bit almost to himself as if thinking.

“We could always look the smaller ones over but I’m not sure they’ll be better than these” he paused, looking at her to see what her thoughts were.


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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on December 29th, 2021, 5:35 am

“There was nothing normal about your father, Alric. We’d do well to find out more of him, if we can. He moved like a dancer. There is a firewalker in Syka that reminds me of how Kalas fought. His attention and concentration were astonishing. He was strong and … a thing of beauty. He felt united with his weapons, somehow… and his training… “ Taz whistled softly. “There was something there. Not military, but something…” She said softly, almost to herself. Then she turned and studied Alric openly. She couldn’t help but compare him to the man she knew as his father.

She should though, being of desert blood.

Why did she feel so disconnected to the Benshira ties in her family? She glanced at Alric and wondered if she should tell him about the letters she had from Estra’s husband – about Estra’s death – and the letter she’d had from Estra’s hand. It explained so much, now that those facts and Alric’s life had put things into context. His life was bare to her… she should be as transparent to him. Taz reminded herself to bring them next time… to share them.

That was the problem with Alric. It was always ‘next time’. This whole situation was a training session in patience as much as it was about magic. They had to learn and learn fast. Because they had mutual enemies. But that wasn’t the whole off it. He was becoming important to her. Alric felt like family – the kind she would enjoy – not the kind she had endured. He was becoming firmly woven into her life, whether she wanted it to be or not.

“You are much like him.” Taz said softly. “You know that right? You move like him and have that same stare that can strip someone bare. But you have your mother’s eyes and the intelligence she held in her gaze.” The Sykan commented, muttering almost to herself. “If he could use those weapons… and those were indeed Voril Blades… I suspect you have Ruros’ blood as well. The Nymkarta were not immune to his attentions, I suspect.” Taz mused, knowing it was a fairly safe assumption. Where she evidently was descended from pure evil, Alric was something altogether different.

Tazrae took to inspecting the apartments with interest. She didn’t exactly worry about the furniture or how the rooms were arranged. She looked instead on how they could adjust each place to more suit their needs. She had no concerns about the size of kitchens, for her true kitchen was back at Syka and was all she really needed. She could cook over a campfire or a simple brazier with ease if she needed too. She watched Alric’s reaction to each, more interested in his thoughts than truly her own. She could make things work. She was a Sykan and they did much with little.

The young Innkeeper did find the roof gardens a bit pretentious in their names. They were outdoor courtyard patios, very private, yet like no garden she’d ever seen. They were baked stone, hot and dry, seemingly lifeless to Tazrae. They both seemed to house potted dates and palms, which were more desert varieties than any species she’d seen before. Water would have to be hauled up for them to survive. Though Taz didn’t think there was enough water at the Outpost to remotely let them thrive. Taz had lovingly tended her father’s tiny patio garden in Riverfall and knew both gardens would be too hot for most plants… certainly too hot for anything Tazrae could import from Syka. Syka’s green depended upon moisture and humidity, both of which The Outpost lacked. And the girl knew nothing of desert plants.

“I am no expert, but I believe it is a philtering lab.” She had said when they found the leavings of the laboratory. Taz pawed through it curiously, lightly touching multiple pieces of the remains of someone’s work. Was this the home of someone who vanished and had their home returned to Dell to resell? Or was this just the casual discards of someone’s indulgent life? Taz couldn’t be sure.

But in each space, she closed her eyes, paced through, and breathed deeply. These new spaces weren’t to be her home. These were only to be a next step in a long road that could only end in one thing; freedom. Taz knew that and looked around, watching Alric and finding any of the places they had keys to acceptable.

“No, I think we’ve seen enough.” She added, nodding at his words. “I think the thousand miza space will be good. I do like the color the main room is painted.” She added, referring to the fact it was a deep teal paint, not truly blue and not truly green. “If you like it, I am fine with it too.” Taz nodded and offered a smile. The large bedroom, even with the desk, would go to Alric for Taz needed no room. She’d take the smaller room for those nights she stayed over or was too tired to come home.

“Shall we go finalize the deal with Dell?” She said, taking the three keys from him and leaving him with the one key that fit the place they’d selected.

Dell was happy to help them. Taz explained they were buying the apartment together and splitting up the costs. Taz let Alric contribute what he wanted to first and then she’d make up the rest. When they had paid and signed the paperwork, another key was produced so both had one. And then Dell shook their hands and said the apartment would be ready for them to claim in one bell.

“Let's take a turn through the weapons and see if you can find a blade-like you wanted… then let's swing back by the Inn, pay up our bill, and move our things to the apartment.” Taz said, glancing at the map she had of The Outpost then at Dell speculatively. “Dell, do you happen to know of any exotic weapons dealers? Ones that deal in special blades?” Taz asked, looking more than curious.

Dell nodded, took her map from her, and with a charcoal pencil marked two different places on the map. “I don’t know either of these dealers, but everyone that lives at the Outpost knows they have the best weapons. One guy is named Tukias and the other is Nobialas. Either of them might have what you are looking for.” He said with a grin.

Tazrae thanked Dell, tipped him generously, then they were on their way. “She handed Alric the map with a laugh. Your mission you get to navigate it.” She grinned, then fell in step to him, heading for the first vendor… the one named Tukias. “I don’t know the first thing about reading maps, even though I keep staring at this one. Lead on, Alric, and I’ll follow.” Taz flashed a smile.

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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on December 29th, 2021, 1:41 pm



“Yes, I’m starting to get the feeling that there is nothing normal about my family. I might be as close as they come to normal among then, and even so think it would be a mild mockery of all ‘normal’ people to call myself such,” he flashed a grin, though his thoughts were darker than his tone suggested, “it would seem none can leave the line alone to live its lives in peace. It is a nice thing to think, that I resemble my parents, thank you for the thought. I suspect, though, that it will be some time before I could call myself their equal…if ever” he continued thoughtfully.

It was simple truth more than a brooding barb in his side, yet he hoped that he would one day be able to prove himself stronger. He would have to if he meant to find a different fate to his mother’s. He refused to go out that way. Yet being able to resist such a monster was a long time away, so far it was beyond the horizon it seemed to him. He had no ship fast enough to get him there in time, he sensed deep down. He couldn’t put his finger on why he felt that way, or what, in particular, it was that darkened his broodings upon the future. But he felt it somehow, things were moving, and he was struggling to keep up. Something would happen and happen soon, he wished he knew what it was so he could prepare.

“What I think is that I would not have known them to compare myself to them were it not for our meeting and your good nature, luckiest meeting of my life for many reasons,” he said as they made their way through the apartments, “but I meant what I said about making my own luck back then, our own luck I suppose. The hands dealt to us may have been…difficult…but I for one do not mean to fold and lose. This…this is the first step on that path, for better or worse. Gods, mages…whatever or whoever wants to meddle…nothing decides our fates but us” he finished, certain of that at least. Though that did not mean that meddlers wouldn’t try.

It was a brief tour after hat and it was an easy enough decision to make, as to which one they wanted to take, Tazrae was quite accommodating in her decision. The money was divided evenly, he could do that at least with the 1000 miza property. His pouch was empty afterwards, except for the key that he had placed inside it after locking the door, but in some way he felt richer for it. A strange observation, he thought, given his lifetime fixation upon garnering more wealth. Wealth, it seemed, had changed definition somewhat of late. It was a pleasant surprise. He was also surprised at her confession regarding maps.

“To tell the truth I am not so sure myself, I keep a mental map, can’t exactly stop and read maps in the dark side streets,” he said, tapping his skull gently but still taking the map offered, looking over it, finding their position and then making a rough mental route from there to their destinations, “do you not think the same way in your jungle then? Keep a mental series of images of where you came from and what is where?”

It was a brief enough journey, to both of the weapons vendors, the second taking slightly longer to get to. Perusing over their wares Alric was no expert but he hadn’t been able to see anything that matched what he remembered of his father’s in the visions. He had asked them about Voril blades and they had both said that they did deal in such things but that they were extremely rare and that they went quickly. They had had none at present when they had both visited but had noted to them that they usually posted a notice up on the boards to attract buyers for such exquisite goods and that they might like to keep an eye out for them in future and check back regularly.

Leaving them both with thanks they had returned to the Khamsin, gathering their things and Alric leaving another offering, of both nice foods and a bit of extra gold, for Pashina as a last thank you for what she had done for them. They carefully did not say where they were going as they did not make another reservation for the future. It was a shame in some ways, he reflected, some of the more impactful memories Alric had were in those rooms now left to the past. Both the treacherously terrible and the exceedingly good. Perhaps, one day, he would rent it out again just for old time’s sake. For the moment, though, they returned to their new acquisition, entered and locked the door behind them and began to make it somewhere where they could settle. Alric took stock and knew there would be some work to be done – procuring wood for the fires after what was left had been used was something he could do for a day’s labour or two perhaps, though getting it from Sunberth would be a slight annoyance. Still, he’d find a way, he was used to finding a way around things.

“I think you’re right, the colour reminds me of something though I can’t quite put my finger on it. Still, it is a refreshingly vibrant colour all the same,” he noted as he looked around and wondered how long this would be a half-way home and when the time would be that the inevitable would happen. He hoped for some time into the future indeed, but he had never been one to really get what he wanted. Not without a price at least.

He set about taking out the food and related items that they had brought with them, finding a clean space to place them. Once done he reclined into a high backed chair and watched Taz as she went about whatever it was she was musing. There was no rush, and in truth whilst he had begun the first steps into magic he was not overly eager to plunge into its depths in one day. Not that he wouldn’t given the necessity but there were times that it was better to just sit, wait, watch and enjoy. He felt sure when the time arrived she’d bring them back to their main purpose for their purchase.

Until then he contemplated and felt out the ‘well’ she had helped him discover, another memory he’d not have had without her. A few seasons ago he’d have told anyone who bothered to ask that he would probably work alone for the rest of his life, surviving by his wits until something finally caught him. And now he had quite the partner in crime indeed. The rapid turn in circumstances was not lost upon him, though he laid no claim to her as far as he could see. Lucky streaks often came to an end abruptly, he hoped that this was not such a situation as he had grown used to her presence – encouraging and reassuring as it was. He smiled slightly and closed his eyes, feeling it out in his depths, in a part of him that seemed not to occupy the same space as his body did somehow, though perhaps he was just too new to it to truly feel it properly.


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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Tazrae on January 2nd, 2022, 5:33 pm

Tazrae shook her head at Alric’s question about if she did something similar in the jungle in regards to navigation. “No… its different, Alric. You can’t see where you are going or where you’ve been. Not really. There is life upon life upon life in the jungle and two steps off a trail and that trail can be lost forever. Maps don’t make things easier because nothing ever stays the same in the jungle. Instead, I have a sense of where I am going… where something is. And I move that direction, towards the rightness of where I want to go and remove distance between myself and whatever that ending is.” She said softly, not sure he’d understand until he’d walked through the green.

A soft smile crossed her face at the thought of Alric in the jungle with her. What would that feel like?

“I stumbled upon a place once… it is called Reclaimed Knowledge by those of us in Syka. It’s an enormous library out in the jungle built into a ruin there. It has a ghostly librarian that tends the books… which are strangely intact. It’s like those who made books before knew what to make them of so they wouldn’t rot. They are full of knowledge that makes little sense to me. She says they were made of something else besides paper. Trees grow up through this library, vines weave in and out of it. It’s so… different. There were people before us in Syka, a long time ago. It was a city called Pavena, but the jungle has taken a hold of it. Syka filled with treasure, because of Pavena, most of it magical. In fact, I’m wearing a small fortune of it on myself… and to us… to those of us who live there… it’s ordinary. It washes up on the shore. It is found when brush is cleared. There’s even a series of waterfalls that lead up to a big lake. People climb Stairstep Falls and find things in the waterfall pools…” She said thoughtfully, wondering If he would believe her or think she was exaggerating.

With him being essentially from Sunberth, she wondered how he’d feel about her living among such magical things.

“I could never make a map to Reclaimed Knowledge. I know where it is, though. And I’ve cut trail to it and keep that trail open. But where it is lies in my heart and in my mind, and all I need to do Is point my feet in the general direction and think of it, and I will eventually find it.” She added, knowing that sounded crazy. But Syka was divided by oceans, rivers, streams… once you understood the Wilderness, you didn’t actually get lost much.

“I’ve changed since moving there from Riverfall. I’m Sykan now. Before, I was blind to such things… wild things. I don’t even really use money much anymore, other than collect it from the tourists. I know that sounds strange, but we barter for almost everything and very little coin changes hand.” She added, looking thoughtfully around. “That’s why the cost of this place isn’t about the cost of this place. The cost is more about our safety and privacy.” She added, not knowing if Alric could understand a barter system way of life. He was one of the most intelligent people she’d met – maybe a product of his djedline – but he lived in one of the cesspools of the world which made his street smarts far more appropriate. Sunberth hadn’t ever sounded like some place people traded tit for tat. They probably killed rather than shared. Trading in a cooperative society tied people together, linked them, and nurtured and created bonds of dependency… and not in a bad way. Her family became family by choice not by birth and she really liked it that way.

Maybe Alric would become the same thing.

“I’ll load Bree with driftwood and cut it into firewood and bring it over on our next trip. Bree won’t mind and I’ve seen the cost of firewood here… so that will save us a great deal. We could even sell a little of it to offset costs.” Tazrae said, looking thoughtfully around as Alric put a few things away. While Alric was doing that, she gave the hearth a thorough examination, and made sure the flute was functional and there wasn’t too much buildup on the walls of the chimney. When she was done with that, she pulled her journal out of her backpack and began to make a list of things she should bring over or that they would need while they were holed up here learning and practicing.

She then moved the furniture around, setting up a small study area by the hearth and leaving the living room area open for their combat training. They decidedly needed more furniture, but what they had for now was plenty. Taz resisted the urge to make the apartment homey. It was not a home, but rather a study away from each of their homes. She did not know what else it would become.

Alric continued to put things away, unasked, and she was grateful for it. He was far more help than most people would be, but she never wanted to take that for granted. While he put things away, she set about cleaning the place, wiping down windows and screens, sweeping out the floor – after a brief trip to the Bazaar for some basic cleaning supplies – and mopping everywhere. Even the ceiling was denuded of cobwebs and their makers carefully encouraged to exit the place. The Bazaar was a perfect place to find pillows and cushions in place of chairs and tables, and even some colorful throws to brighten things up.

After her second trip to the Bazaar for such things, Taz caught Alric sitting alone, eyes closed, and an odd expression on his face. She moved up behind him where he sat after unburdening herself of a few new cooking necessities – pots and pans and some implements to make meals with as well as a couple of place settings – and placed her hands on his shoulders.

She gave those broad shoulders a squeeze before she reached up and brushed his hair with both her hands, the gesture tender. “You look so … alone like that. But I want you to know that you are not.” Taz said abruptly, her voice rich and filled with quiet sincerity. “I will be here to help you. We will be here to help each other. I don’t know exactly what’s between us, Alric, but we can explore it carefully together. You are my friend and I care about you. And… I need you. I need you to help me save my sanity and understand this thing that haunts my family… and yours. I just want you to know that. We are not going to be what they want us to be. We are going to be what we make of ourselves through our own choices. We are going to stay free to make those choices.” She vowed softly, but because she was standing right behind her, he could hear her clearly.

“Thank you… thank you for all of this. And thank you for being who you are. I look forward to getting to know you better. And even though we are only just met… my life would be far less than it is without you in it.” She added, wanting him to understand her mindset.

“I think we are settled enough for another lesson…” She muttered, dropping her lips to his head from where she stood over and behind him. She left a soft kiss on the crown of his head and moved off. “Where do you want to start?” She asked, releasing her touch on him, backing away, and circling around front to settle on some of the new cushions facing where he sat. They had no table before the high-backed chair, nothing to place food on or rest the book upon. Taz would have to rectify that. Until then, she watched Alric with her sea-blue eyes and tried to read his expression… something she was terrible at.

Taz wiggled around on the cushions, knowing it was a common seating arrangement in The Outpost and indeed in the whole of Eytol, but not used to sitting thusly herself. It was quite comfortable and she leaned back, letting the fire warm her back as she studied her fellow student.

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[Khamisin Inn] Beginnings Pt. II [Alric]

Postby Alric Lysane on January 2nd, 2022, 6:41 pm



“This Reclaimed Knowledge sounds like somewhere worth exploring, it may contain knowledge beyond what others know. Perhaps, even, ways to solve our own problem. If only I could…” he trailed off, it was a fool’s wish as he was halfway across the world. Tazrae could do it, though, but he left it for her to decide. He wasn’t about to tell her what to do in her own settlement.

“As for all the magic items…I suppose it is something that I must get used to. It’s not as if I don’t have my own now. Damned grey bodysuit was in my hands after a dreamed of it, saved my life too. So I can’t really say much bad about such things. Not that I can say it’s completely comfortable for me” he shrugged.

As they set about righting the place, Taz taking upon the battle against the dust and he tidying, and ordering things in general, he wondered about Syka not for the first time. Every conversation brought a new revelation and he found it difficult not to feel as if he were somehow sullying the paradise, she talked about by bringing with him the grime of Sunberth. It was partially why he didn’t speak much about it, it felt like a darkening presence and he didn’t want to bring that to their time together. He answered her inevitable questions but largely he was simply happy to have her for company as they tried to figure out what their futures brought. He noted how she left and returned with more things, he smiled to himself slightly and had the feeling that over time things would find their proper places as she saw it. He didn’t mind, he was used to living in one room and had no real preferences as far as he was aware beyond warmth and a bed.

As he was sitting, feeling himself out within, he was surprised out of his partial meditation by her hands and her words. He felt her tousle his hair slightly and his head tilted slightly as she spoke. He couldn’t see her face, but he could hear her tone of voice. He tried to imagine what she would be looking like, he felt as if he had seen enough of her expressions to be able to imagine it and match it to the tone. But he listened and said nothing until she was finished, it didn’t seem right for some reason to do so. When she came around and sat down upon the cushions he looked at her for a time, taking in her hair that had a mind of its own and her eyes, much deeper and more expressive than his though they shared the colour.

He was not sure why she seemed to feel she was not as capable as she actually was. She clearly had confidence traversing jungles and dealing with all kinds of situations. Yet she talked as if she needed him in order to be strong. If anything, he thought it was the other way around. She knew much more than he did, and she had been the one to help him find out who he was and then try to explore things that might keep him alive, not to mention free. He knew it was likely pointless to say it again, for whatever reason her mind was set. Or was it? Was it that she did not think she was strong? Or was it that he somehow helped her feel stronger? It was something he could relate to, but it was a trail of thoughts that were more complicated than a short conversation would likely be able to resolve and so he accepted how he felt but knew it was dangerous for her and so said nothing, at first.

“I don’t think I’ve ever been thanked as much simply for being me,” he said, the corners of his lips curling up slightly in affection and amusement, “but I know the feeling. You give yourself less credit than you deserve Tazrae, I have never been less alone. If you need me to be the protector of your sanity then I will gladly try, but I think you’re stronger than you think you are. You mean a great deal to me, despite the brevity of our time together. I do not think you need to worry about me not being there for you, or doing my best to make our fates better than those who have trod our path before us” he finished, looking at her for a while before nodding at the suggestion of a lesson.

“I don’t know, we have already probed two magics and though we found no Voril blade I’m not sure whether it would be better to try for another magic, to get started in it, or to try to get a good grip on the ones we already know lest they get out of our control. Overgiving doesn't sound pretty. My instincts tell me that time is moving and that we need to know as much as we can but the only thing left we can do by ourselves right now seems to be Shielding, if I remember right?” he said, half a questions of her and half a statement.

“Still…I had plans to see you again so…no perhaps we should try to get a firmer grounding in what we have and we can explore new things later?” he asked her opinion though either way he suited his words by trying to get back into the relaxed state he had been in before, feeling out his ‘well’ with a tentative internal searching, taking a small hold of it in preparation but not pulling on it just yet, “what would the wise woman of the jungle suggest? Perhaps you could try telling me how I’m feeling, see if you can puzzle it out? I am quite a simple book after all, easy to start with after all”




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Alric Lysane
Reluctant Nymkarta
 
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