Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

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

Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 9:19 am



23rd Winter 521 AV - Continued from Discerning the Transmundane Pt I



The room was as despicable as ever, his mother practically comatose and yet still Arcadius rutted her like a pize mare, hoping to squeeze one last drop of Nymkartan blood from her. Her screams from times before had muted and her lips didn’t move but she screamed, he could hear Serana’s screams as loud as if she were by his ear and he had to hold his hands to his ears just not to be deafened and the tower’s stones shook and he lost his footing.

Looking at his father he saw rage, hate and a deep enduring love that meant he wouldn’t forsake Serana even after all of this. He had made his choice and though he no longer struggled against his chains and turned his back Alric could feel his body tensed and the fire consume him inside. A great rage at the injustice, ripping through him and the tower caught alight, everything burning and bathed in the glow of flames.

Through it all Arcadius continued until he was spent and there was a darkness to him now, he was pure black and it billowed from him, pouring from every orifice as if his body couldn’t contain what it had within it – ambition, sickness, madness, psychopathy and a deep pit of sadism and desire for power that felt as if it could be drowned in. He turned and Alric screamed for the face was his own and then they were all looking at him and he was shaking his head, screaming as they converged upon him, accusatory


***********



He jumped awake and his knees slammed into the bottom of the desk with a hiss of pain, and once he was recovered, the memory of the nightmare burned upon his eyelids his fist slammed into the top of it with a mixture of anger, sorrow and desperation. He could have cried but he was too tired, sweat beading his brow and his heart racing. He waited for it to calm down, he knew it would, it always did. It wasn’t always the same, this time the terrors had bene particularly pointed and he shuddered. They were becoming more frequent now and he wondered if it was because of everything that played upon his mind, the beginnings of lessons and the terror of becoming just another madman who could burn the world.

“Go home Alric, you need sleep” Remmy said, not touching him this time, she had learned not to after he had almost injured her in his terror the last time but her voice was soft and considerate.

“Yes…yes…I’m…”

“Don’t say it, you’ve said it enough. I know not what it is but clearly it isn’t entirely your fault, these things usually aren’t. Just go and get some proper sleep, please”

He nodded dumbly, still shuddering from the images and pulled his cloak over him before trudging his way through the streets. It was past midnight, he could tell from the stars and their positions, which meant he had the opportunity to spend the day trying to recover if he could. He wasn’t so sure he could though, sleep had been harder to come by in its restful state. As he entered his shack of a home he sighed, hung up his cloak and barred the door best he could as usual. He set about laying a fire and lighting it, taking out his tobacco and pipe to place it on the table for a relaxing smoke before he slid under the covers. He was sat at the table blowing through it to clear it when the voice came from behind him.

“We meet again Alric”

He jumped out of his skin, the table and chair sent flying along with everything else – which thankfully was nothing breakable for once – and went sprawling to tangle up into the legs of both as he tried to turn, failed, fell over and generally made a fool of himself. It didn’t help that there was laughter to accompany everything. Laughter he recognised and he groaned from under the chair, knowing that his instinct for getting no sleep had been correct.

“Have you come to capture me? Can it wait until tomorrow? I can fight properly then” he said in a defeated tone as he pushed himself up and still deliberately put the chair between them both, she was sat upon the end of his bed it turned out.

“You could say that, the word capture has so many meanings does it not? Perhaps capture is the right word, perhaps it isn’t. Either way I do not think you could escape me. Much like time I am everywhere, though not often perceived by those who are not like you”

Alric spent a while opening and closing his mouth without knowing what to say, for once his tongue failed him and that seemed to only make her smile further as she watched him. His mind raced but truthfully he couldn’t understand what she meant. She was like time and she was everywhere, but no one noticed? That made even less sense to him initially than her key riddle had!

Nothing was like that, nothing that he knew of. She wasn’t a mage sent to take him that much was clear, unless she had a particular flair for the dramatic and enjoyed the whole prey/hunter thing. He really hoped not…but not that didn’t make sense either. He watched as she tapped the side of her head and he frowned, shaking his head and righting the table aswell.


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Last edited by Alric Lysane on December 28th, 2021, 2:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 9:19 am



Who are you?

“You know”

“I really, really don’t, trust me I’m not that smart”

“If that were really true, I’d never have come to visit you. Twice, though technically I never left I just watched where you couldn’t see me. You know, you just don’t want to know…which is both ironic and foolish and I expect better from one of your lineage, don’t test my patience”

“No, it can’t be” as the pieces started to fall together and she started to shimmer and change in appearance, radiating a faint light and her eyes changing so that he had to avert his gaze from them. She grew even more beautiful but still remained human in appearance, and her clothing changed to an azure dress with a sigil on it that he didn’t recognise. She looked regal, her hair rippling and pulling back into carefully crafted ringlets that supported what looked like a tiara.

“Say it”

“Eyris...but no, you don’t appear to pe-“

“People like you? Do you mean to tell me that I don’t visit my own descendants? There was a time that you might have been punished severely for that, by your own no less. I’d have a care Alric, knowledge can be as dangerous as wisdom can be conciliatory…and I am both”

He swallowed and said nothing, instead slumping into the chair and trying to take in all of the details about her whilst feeling quite pointedly that he should not look into her eyes. He did not know why but he trusted his instincts and so he complied. He didn’t know what to do, which didn’t usually happen. Even when he had learned all that he now knew he had been able to rage and rant. Here, before the divine, he felt out of place, dirty and lost. He had been praying to her recently but the fact that she would answer had never entered his mind, not for him. More important people got such attention, not street ruffians in Sunberth.

“Not lost Alric, found, after many years too. And not every street ruffian has what is in your veins. Small amount though it may be a portion of me is within you. The first Queen of what would become Alahea – Akavalashi – my daughter. She had children with Rabaodos Nymkarta and your bloodline was formed, the first drops. He was a powerful mage, and my daughter was an Alvina of some considerable talent herself. Her bloodline weeps for its losses even as its last remnants are hunted. I do not take sides Alric, your fate is your own, but knowledge is knowledge…understand?”

“I think so,” he managed to squeak out after much opening and closing of his mouth, focusing his gaze upon the sigil upon her chest for something to look at, “but why now? I don’t understand, why not appear to me earlier, when I was a child and dumped here?”

“Because knowledge must be earned, otherwise it has no value. You should know that, you follow the same reasoning with magic and power. Power without it being earned is a dangerous thing, not respected. Even when earned it can be a double edged sword. You have earned my notice and so I came”

“To test me?” he asked with a growing sense of calm now that initial shock had work off, though his fear was still quite prevalent and his hands were shaking.

“To see how you thought and whether you had more than a passing interest in knowledge and wisdom, beyond necessity. I know all humans change their minds so often. This is not always a bad thing, new knowledge should be absorbed and it should give new perspective…but I give my mark to those who would use it wisely. Wisdom is the other half of knowledge. But…before that, you must have questions. I will not promise to answer them all and I will not be here long, but I know one question burns within you brightly, like a bonfire. Ask it”

He fell silent then and wasn’t sure what she meant, he had so many questions that the one she referenced was buried amongst a hundred others. He had questions about magic, about his past, about the future and about the Nymkarta. She had talked about the last topic already and so he wondered if she were leading him into it, taking his hand metaphorically speaking. Considering it, there was one question that he supposed was all that mattered, the rest hanging upon it like cloaks on a peg tree.


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Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 9:20 am



“Yes, you are right. There is only one real question I had, though I could ask hundreds. Can I be a…Nymkarta…do what I want to do, try to make things better, bring justice…and not end up…like t-“

“The rest of them. They were not all what you would call bad Alric, though I know why you think that. The answers are within you already, you have forgotten the education Serana gave you, many years ago. I can’t give it all to you, you will have to earn it back yourself, but I can tell you this – for 8000 years the Nymkarta ruled Alahea. There were wars and, what you might say, were terrible things before Kova was murdered and Ivak’s rage consumed this world. There were also great strides in learning, invention, medicine and yes magic too, I know you want to know about that. Who is to say what is good or evil? I don’t judge, I know, and therein lies a different kind of power”

“But the future is not my domain and your fate is your own. You will be what you craft yourself to be, as all humans are. What is just, what is right, these things depend upon where you stand, as we discussed earlier. Heed my guidance and become wise and you may live to not regret your decisions…or you may not” she seemed to look at him expectantly then and licked his lip,s moved to give a response.

“People can justify anything so long as they believe they are in the right, or fighting for a noble cause…so it is better to not see things in those definitions but judge…as a whole? To be wise is to try to include everything one can, moral, philosophical and so on…and try to achieve a balance at least?” he asked tentatively, trying to reason it out as he went.

“What knowledge and wisdom should guide you to is the fact that not every ruler across those millennia was what you think of as evil. You should not judge the entirety upon the specifics, that is an error of judgement and thus unwise. Already people have tried to guide you to that conclusion, yet you refuse…you know why”

“Because,” he said, voice cracking before he cleared it and said more strongly, “I am afraid. Terrified…that I am not one of those good people. That I’m not strong enough, that I will end up as nothing but a stud human for other humans”

“You should be, but the one thing your good people often have in common is fear. Courage is only as valuable as the fear it overcomes. Follow your path, destiny does not care for your desires and you may be dragged there unwillingly if you do not embrace it as best you can. Become wise, learn and become worthy of the sigil that you are staring at – the symbol that united lands for eight millennia, and what it was made to represent…not what it ultimately became”

“How can I refuse a goddess?” he whispered into the air between them.

“You can’t, but it would be unwise to try,” she said with a curl of the lips, “I have seen many things rise and fall, then rise again. Knowledge is the true path, and wisdom follows close behind for those who seek it. You are a seeker. Even now, despite all of your fears, you seek out and search. But more than that you enjoy the seeking, it makes you alive and that is the most important”

“You would know” he said with a faint, hesitant smile.

“You have no idea little one, no idea. But I must go soon, give me your hand” she asked and he hesitantly offered up his left hand and she nodded with satisfaction, she had seen him using it to seek out the knowledge he wanted previously. Her hands grasped his and with it came a jolt and it felt like fire crackled up his arm as his hand warmed and burned. He was so surprised he called out in shock.

After a few chimes it began to ease and eventually vanish altogether, her hands letting his go with a small smile and a nod for him to look at it. When he did there was a strange symbol glowing upon the back of his hand, throbbing for a short while with light before settling into a faint glow that was constant. He looked up at her questioningly before returning to look at the mark, tracing it with his finger.

“What did you do?”


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Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 9:20 am



“It is a Lormar symbol, a mark of my favour and something which holds great power for the wise. If it makes it easier you may think of it as a gift that you may find useful,” she said, her voice growing more distant now, “you have gained my attention, with so much knowledge gained so quickly and explored so broadly, even if it was in desperation at times. The fact that you seek wisdom and care about pursuing such things, to the point of sleepless nights, and self-criticism, also marked you. You might say that you marked yourself, I merely made it formal”

Alric was lost in the golden symbol, finger still tracing it as if he could erase it if he rubbed it enough times. He was awed, overwhelmed and now, at the edges of his senses, he felt a rippling that felt so much larger and deeper than he could ever hope to explore, that he could drown in and he felt sure that it was her. His heart and head were as conflicted as ever, he was humbled by her words and his heart swelled with the notions of wisdom gained and knowledge explores. Yet his head screamed at him, practical and asking him how he hoped to make it through Sunberth now with a glowing hand, its fear palpable and creeping its icy tendrils into his chest. She looked at him and he felt as if she could read everything, see inside him and break him down into his smallest parts, knowing each portion before grinding them into the ever-turning wheel of her domains.

“And now you must listen and have the last pieces of my knowledge you are ready for imparted,” she continued in a smooth tone, “this gift – Lykata – will grant you the ability to touch something and gain impressions. It reads the Djed of an item, through the ages, from creation to the present. All things, you must understand, everything you touch that is not a living being. It will take times to learn to quiet your mind, but with time and patience you will find it becomes easier”

“All things have Djed and it gets passed on, through handling a cup for example, or days spent carving a wooden ornament. A portion of the person’s Djed remains on the item for you to read. Have a care that the older an item the more impressions it will have to get lost in and turned around by”

“The rest you can discover for yourself, your city has many secrets buried in it for those who have a mind to search for them, all places have such things. With knowledge and wisdom you can achieve many things, little one. Do not underestimate this gift, and do not give me cause to return to take this gift back” she cautioned him, beginning to shimmer and ripple now.

“Did you gift this to my ancestors too?” he asked, seeking some further connection as the idea that she was leaving surface through his shock and he blurted out one thing circling his tumultuous thoughts.

“Discover for yourself”

With that there was a flash and where she had been sitting, she was now gone, the room seeming smaller, and more shabby for her lack of presence. He felt her absence too, a gaping hole where she had once filled something he had no words for, yet still there, smaller and further away perhaps before vanishing into almost nothingness. There was shock ripping through him, and awe, and anger – so many emotions that he felt as if he would burst if they swelled any further. His breathing started to get quicker and he leaned forwards to prop himself up with the table, gripping the edge tightly as he closed his eyes, sought for the calm he had managed to find earlier, trying to clear his mind and regulate his breathing. In through his nose, out through his mouth in shaky rhythm, getting a small grip upon himself before another surge of emotion flared his eyes open and the table was flipped once more before he slumped into the chair.

His elbow upon the arm of the chair and his hand covering his face he was motionless for long while, the fire crackling the only disturbance beyond his breathing, his mind trying to sort through everything, find the pieces and put them together in a way that was appealing. It proved impossible, at least for the time being, and his shoulders started to shake after a while, firelight shining upon his cheeks. Divine or personal, it didn’t matter now, whether he liked it or not – wanted it or not – he was now…magical. He doubted many in Sunberth would draw much of a distinction, he was not sure that even he could in that moment, so shredded were his emotions.

Perhaps, deep down, he had hoped she would come back and remove it though he couldn’t admit it to himself. He knew well enough how on edge he was, he didn’t see wisdom or knowledge in his actions. Necessity perhaps, but she had made him seem as if he were more than himself – could she see something else, something deeper? Either way there was no return and the lormar symbol continued to glow upon his flesh. Sighing, he righted the table, gloved his hands and collapsed into the bed.

There to spend yet another sleepless night, this time in contemplation instead of nightmare.


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Alric Lysane
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Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on December 27th, 2021, 9:21 am



After a while of tossing and turning, unable to sleep at all, with darkness creeping through the shutters, he gave in and turned onto his side, easing the glove up and over the symbol upon his hand, looking at it. He didn’t trace it this time but he could see the beauty of it, the symmetry and colour of it. It was enticing, after a fashion, and he found himself suspecting that this was purposeful. Knowledge was attractive, addictive and ultimately could be as self-destructive as any drug could be. A life spent in search of knowledge was arguably admirable, but if all you did was hoard how did that make you better than a greedy loan shark?

He had nothing against people amassing wealth, he had spent many years trying and failing to do so, but had he ever achieved it he would have liked to think he’d not have sat upon it, that he would have put it to work. Perhaps he might have given some to others so that they would not have to struggle as he remembered struggling, to ease their suffering. Or perhaps that was him, and his current thoughts and personality, re-writing his past in order to make himself more noble. He had no way of knowing but he did know that he didn’t want to be like that now.

“Eyris…you…you…” he sighed and pushed himself up, swinging his legs around and getting to his feet with a groan, pacing to the fire and blowing upon it to cause it to glow, an old trick Nerrel had shown him so long ago. He kept blowing until flames licked up once more and he placed another log upon the fire, took a small twig that was alight and lit the scattered candles, then his pipe.

Dragging the table and chair closer to the fire, so his back was to it, he scratched at the end of the twig with his nail until the charred end was pointed, before he grabbed his journal from under the bed, puffing away at his pipe and opening it to a new page. He hummed to himself a tune, he didn’t remember where he had heard it, as he sketched away with his charcoal tip. It took him a long time and he had to be careful, he was no artist and though he had no illusions it would be an exact replication he wanted it to be reasonably close so that he would remember. Not that he thought he would ever forget. He put the general outline first, the shoulders and neck, sweeping to a rough oval for a head and then swept down to the hip. He didn’t try for lower, he had not idea how to draw seated legs.

“Yes, yes her nose was just so and her jaw…no it was softer, more like a woman’s Alric, for the love of…take your tie, that’s better…yes…eyes were here and….here….bit larger I think…maybe…they must’ve been right? Everyone’s are like that…mouth, right….she smiled a bit…”

He carried on that way for a long time, he didn’t keep track, but his pipe ran out and he merely bit it between his teeth, holding it thoughtfully in place as he continued. His fingers grew black with drawing, rubbing out and then drawing once more. The symbol was trickier, and he didn’t even bother with anything but an outline of her hair, but by the end he was reasonably satisfied. He dated it, wrote her name and a sketch of the Lormar symbol in the corner and then put the journal upon the table. He sighed once more and put his pipe down.

“Knowledge is discovery, wisdom is experience and the application of both can lead to revelation, Alric, and that is more important than anything. Discovery of the self, learning something new to test yourself. Finding joy in the simple process, however frustrating, and laughing at your mistakes instead of hating yourself for them…if you can do that then you will never be lost or unhappy. It is life, Alric, that matters and life is discovery…the beginning of the path” he muttered to himself, wondering where he had hear dit before, why it had come into his mind as he looked at the picture he had drawn.

He turned it around in his mind and it took him a while to see what was already staring him in the face. The cheekbones, the jawline and even the vague hair and the way it had fallen…it was as if he were looking at a close approximation of his mother. Not exact, no there were differences and changes, but it had been close. Then the memory came back and he could see it as if he were there once more, sat in his mother’s lap – this time somewhere that actually had walls and a hearth – and she had been laughing between telling him the words. He was closer to eight than not he remembered, not long after they had been discovered and attacked. Perhaps his mother had sensed the end was close, she had spent a long time, weeks and weeks, trying to tutor him as he had been old enough finally.

They had talked about everything, from the family line and the goddess, of stories and tales and half-remembered histories. She had told him the sanitised version of her and his father and so much more. He remembered asking her how they had met but she had emphasised how they were, how they loved him and each other so much, that it was why they kept moving, that someday she hoped it would stop and he would have his own chance one day – a day that would not come as far as she knew. He slumped back into his chair as he came back to the present, still looking at the open journal.

“Remember, Alric, that they watch over us, all of them. They can be anywhere they like, you may not even see them, but they are there. They may watch you more closely, you are from a special family. Always be true to yourself, it is the one thing that they cannot take from you, and that way should they choose to take notice you may be given something that you will value, instead of not” he whispered the words aloud as they rippled into his mind’s eye and ears.

He paused for a while and then he started to chuckle, then to laugh. He still thought he was probably going to die someday but he had remembered something new and it provided somewhat of a balm to his recent, and varied, wounds. He turned it around once he had stopped laughing, and wondered if Eyris saw it slightly differently. Had she seen it not just as a way to connect him with something that he – as well as his mother at least – valued, but also as a way of removing the burden of choice? Why not learn magic now, beyond theory, if he had already been gifted it? Who was he to argue with a goddess?

“Who indeed,” he muttered to himself, “who indeed”

It wasn’t that easy, of course, even with Taz sitting beside him he found it difficult not to think like he had all the other years of his life. Perhaps, though, it would be easier now that he was in the deep end. If he had already been dunked into the water, what was the point in worrying about being wet? He hummed as he wrote down a few more things, words that had come to him as they often did at sleepless nights. This time he turned to a different page, with a different rough sketch, and wrote them around the empty edge of the page – it was starting to get fuller now.

“In for a droplet, in for the flood” he sighed to himself, a small measure of peace settling across him as he tucked the journal away under the mattress once more and rolled back into bed.

For once he slept almost immediately.


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Alric Lysane
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Discerning the Transmundane Pt II

Postby Alric Lysane on January 12th, 2022, 3:01 pm



Your Grades


Alric Lysane

Skills

Drawing - 1
Interrogation - 3
Observation - 3
Philosophy – 3
Writing - 1


Lores

Alahea: Lasted 8000 Years
Alric: Descendant Of Eyris
Alric: Manifest Your Own Destiny
Alric: Nightmares About Becoming Arcadius
Courage: Only As Valuable As What It Overcomes
Eyris: Appearance A Little Like Serana
Eyris: Doesn’t Tale Sides
Eyris: Nymkartan Ancestor
Eyris’ Suggestion: Explore Sunberth’s Secrets
Knowledge: Dangerous
Knowledge: Earned Or Has No Value
Lykata: Lormar Symbol
Lykata: Reads Djed Impressions
Lykata: Works Through Touch
Nymkarta: Akavalashi & Rabaodos
Nymkarta: Akavalashi – Eyris’ Alvina
Nymkarta: Not All Were Bad
Remmy: Angel In Snark’s Clothing
Serana: Respected The Divine
Serana: Tried To Teach Alric Wisdom
Serana:Worshipped Eyris
Wisdom: Conciliatory
Wisdom: the Other Half Of Knowledge


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Alric Lysane
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