Solo The great unraveling III

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Syka is a new settlement of primarily humans on the east coast of Falyndar opposite of Riverfall on The Suvan Sea. [Syka Codex]

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The great unraveling III

Postby Cleon on August 7th, 2022, 10:16 pm

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16th of Summer

He wanted to succeed after all, and peek beyond this veil that had so stoked his curiosity. It was oddly comforting thinking that many people before him had done this in order to explore that which they did not yet know. There was a sort of camaraderie there for men and women he had never met before, facing the same challenges he was currently. Cleon was encouraged. He would pass this test, and then… finally… the book would open up to him.

Cleon tried retreating within himself as he stretched the next leg out, imagining his mind like a still pool with nothing coming in or out. It was not a normal pool, but one of those sticky, black ones that Sykans referred to as a tar pit. In the middle of it was trapped an idea, and that idea was that he would be able to use his djed to change. To change anything, everything that was possible. All he had to do was master control of his mind and body in order make the distinction. He took in a deep breath and reached into that pool but other more pressing thoughts disturbed him to more immediate concerns. The growling of his belly, and the warm sun climbing across the sky. The lesson was almost over.

“Alright everyone, to wrap things up we will be doing the shoulder stand pose. For those of you who haven’t done this before, we will be taking this pose in steps spending about thirty ticks on each stage. To start, lets all begin in a seated position with our legs outstretched before us. Then I want you to slowly fall forward, bending as far as you can in that direction until you are almost flat across your legs.” Zayne said, and Cleon with his legs straight before himself let his body slowly relax forward until he was hunched over at a sharp angle. He couldn’t get close to flat as Zayne was but the stretch still felt good as it loosened the muscles in his upper back and neck.

He breathed out with the gesture, his mind becoming centered once more as he held that pose for thirty ticks. It occurred to him just how in tune with his body he felt in that moment, practically buzzing with excitement as he continued to hold the pose. His body had noticeably changed over the course of Spring. He was bigger now, not just taller but more muscular as well thanks to his diet and hard work. That wasn’t to say he was necessarily in shape, he still had a lot of room to grow in the muscle department as his arms and legs were still noticeably lean. He knew he needed to run more along with other activities, something he would add to the schedule when he got around to it. Perhaps after this fast was over as he didn’t relish the idea of running on an empty stomach.

“Now lets lay flat on our backs and bring our legs up like so, then slowly as your neck adjust, pull them up like I am.” Zayne explained.

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The great unraveling III

Postby Cleon on August 7th, 2022, 10:17 pm

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Nodding to himself, Cleon adopted the pose by falling flat on his back and bringing his legs up, making a right angle with his body as he held that pose for a few ticks before incrementally bringing his legs and lower back up until his legs were extended over his head. He could feel the muscles stretching to fulfill the gesture as a slight pressure settled on his upper back and neck though there was fortunately no rush from Zayne who waited until every participant had grown comfortable with the pose before moving on to the next part.

Cleon thought idly that Zayne must be a good dancer with such control over his body. Doing these poses today, Cleon realized just how little control over his own body he had. A lack of atonement as it were, and he thought not only could he bring these principals to his challenge with the book, but to surfing as well. After all, balance was an important part of it. He held onto that idea for a while, isolating it, and considering how every part of his body was functioning to maintain this pose. He had to keep his breathing regular throughout to maintain his focus because that minimized distractions. Holding his body still in the same pose also did that, which was why functionally this was a great exercise for the sort of thing he was attempting. More than that, as he pushed his lower back up with his hands so his lower half was more or less above him it brought him right into the present, free of thoughts of the past and future. Just residing in the moment where it was easiest to focus on what needed to be done. Cleon would remember this lesson as he continued to try to push his limits, and explore the boundaries of what he knew to be fact. This world was much different than the world he grew up in, and he intended to take advantage of every opportunity that came his way.

He ended up not being able to complete the pose beyond pushing his back up as he never felt steady enough to extend his legs out. Zayne didn’t make a specific comment about it, but held the standing shoulder pose for a full chime before getting to his feet with the rest of the class. As Cleon did the same, he rolled his shoulders and neck, a little surprised he didn’t feel really stiff or achy after the exercise.

“Well that’s it for today’s class. I hope you all enjoyed. I know most of you have to go, but for those who are interested I’ll be holding a staff wielding class in about a bell, and then later on this after noon there will be sparring. I’m also open to scheduling one on one sessions if that is of interest to any of you. Anyways, thank you all for showing up, until next time!” Zayne said with a smile. Cleon lingered long enough to help put up the towels and square coral blocks before departing for work. Despite his gnawing hunger, Cleon was feeling good about the day, and excited for what lay on the horizon.

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The great unraveling III

Postby Cleon on August 7th, 2022, 10:18 pm

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25th of Sumer

Cleon was getting desperate. It had been nearly a full tenday since he had made the bet with the book, and still he felt no closer to accomplishing his goal. He had not been prepared for the toll the fast would take on his body. For the first few days all he could think about was food, smelling it, eating it. In a place like Syka and living in the Protea it was hard to get away from so many lovely smells coming out of the kitchen. He’d had to keep holed up in his quarters or more often, exercise his desires elsewhere till he felt he could come back and resist the temptation. It had sufficiently distracted him from his goal for a time though eventually the intense hunger mellowed out somewhat and he made sure to drink plenty of water.

However then he was just always too tired to do much of anything outside of work, sleeping for longer and longer stretches of time which made meditation more than a little difficult. Several times he wondered why morphing required such masochism in order to learn it, but then as he reached the twenty fifth, he reached a sort of equilibrium where he found himself now. His hunger and tiredness were still very present, but they could be pushed aside, ignored even with the proper focus. Cleon also had an idea. A plan of sorts, with this being the last day he could complete the challenge and prove himself to the book. He would bring the old with the new, combining what he had learned across two seasons into one moment.

In fact, he’d already started. He was cradling a lit pipe in his left hand, the fragrant blue flowers burning and suffusing the air with a scent that both calmed him and reminded him of his experiences last season. That was the closest he had ever come to feeling outside of his own body, and so he would channel that again with smoke and drink. He still had half a bottle of blue vein gold sitting on the bench beside him, having taken a few healthy swigs just a chime ago. He was sitting across from the strange monolith that had appeared in the wake of the events of last season. It was made of a clay colored stone, and featured carvings of animals along with a variety of symbols some of which he recognized while most were obscure to him.

As he took a long drag out of the end of his pipe, he focused on the symbol he was more or less facing as it was the most familiar to him. A similar symbol was currently crawling across his chest. That of the sea father, Laviku. His heart stirred looking at that symbol then down at his own when he noticed he’d dropped a bit of colored glass on the ground between his feet. Not just any piece of glass either but the one he had found with Rhydian after their brief dip in the sea.

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The great unraveling III

Postby Cleon on August 7th, 2022, 10:18 pm

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Cleon was getting desperate. It had been nearly a full tenday since he had made the bet with the book, and still he felt no closer to accomplishing his goal. He had not been prepared for the toll the fast would take on his body. For the first few days all he could think about was food, smelling it, eating it. In a place like Syka and living in the Protea it was hard to get away from so many lovely smells coming out of the kitchen. He’d had to keep holed up in his quarters or more often, exercise his desires elsewhere till he felt he could come back and resist the temptation. It had sufficiently distracted him from his goal for a time though eventually the intense hunger mellowed out somewhat and he made sure to drink plenty of water.

However then he was just always too tired to do much of anything outside of work, sleeping for longer and longer stretches of time which made meditation more than a little difficult. Several times he wondered why morphing required such masochism in order to learn it, but then as he reached the twenty fifth, he reached a sort of equilibrium where he found himself now. His hunger and tiredness were still very present, but they could be pushed aside, ignored even with the proper focus. Cleon also had an idea. A plan of sorts, with this being the last day he could complete the challenge and prove himself to the book. He would bring the old with the new, combining what he had learned across two seasons into one moment.

In fact, he’d already started. He was cradling a lit pipe in his left hand, the fragrant blue flowers burning and suffusing the air with a scent that both calmed him and reminded him of his experiences last season. That was the closest he had ever come to feeling outside of his own body, and so he would channel that again with smoke and drink. He still had half a bottle of blue vein gold sitting on the bench beside him, having taken a few healthy swigs just a chime ago. He was sitting across from the strange monolith that had appeared in the wake of the events of last season. It was made of a clay colored stone, and featured carvings of animals along with a variety of symbols some of which he recognized while most were obscure to him.

As he took a long drag out of the end of his pipe, he focused on the symbol he was more or less facing as it was the most familiar to him. A similar symbol was currently crawling across his chest. That of the sea father, Laviku. His heart stirred looking at that symbol then down at his own when he noticed he’d dropped a bit of colored glass on the ground between his feet. Not just any piece of glass either but the one he had found with Rhydian after their brief dip in the sea.

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The great unraveling III

Postby Cleon on August 7th, 2022, 10:19 pm

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A little shocked, Cleon stopped touching the finger allowing it to slowly revert back to what it had once been but the gem he cradled in his hand was still moving, the soft green light swirling faster and faster as it filled up the small gem until there was no darkness left. Just that pale, bright green that silhouetted his features. It was grown progressively warmer and warmer, but never too hot to hold as he cradled the light up to his face and watched as it suddenly winked out, returning to as it had been before. Cleon was at a loss for words to explain what had just happened, but not for what to do. Hastily he opened his right hand and imagined pulling the morphing book free of the satchel charm on his wrist. When suddenly it appeared in his grasp, he grinned and set to book down on the bench beside him.

“I did it.” He said with a wide grin.

“I strongly doubt that. Is this some ploy of yours to buy more time so-”

Cleon wasn’t listening though, and instead he was concentrating back on his right hand. Bringing that familiar feeling up didn’t come easily, he had to practically drag it kicking and resisting all the way to the fore as he reached out with his left to manipulate his finger again. He concentrated on pinching, and shaping it until his skin felt warm and he pulled. The nail came with the gesture, extending elastically for a half a tick before snapping back into place then his flesh became non-responsive to his manipulations no matter how much he pulled and tugged at it.

“I… I… I’m just a bit spent is all. You saw though, I did it. I can do it. And it hasn’t even been longer than a tenday, right? A deals a deal.” Cleon said, panting to catch his breath not having realized he had been holding it while he’d been doing his little demonstration. The book was silent for a long chime then started laughing, loud and uproariously.

“You call that success? You barely shaped a nail my boy. You know, Silas was able to form a whole exoskeleton on his right arm and you… you barely managed a nail.” The book wheezed, and Cleon rolled his eyes.

“Well the challenge was if I could do it at all, and I have so are you going to hold up your end of the bargain?” Cleon asked, waiting another few chimes as the book settled down from laughing so much.

“Sure boy. I’ll let you take a gander at Silas’ notes but I don’t know how much value you are going to get if you can barely manipulate a nail. Silas had raw talent, and dedication to the craft. Years, and years of study to make him into the powerful mage he became. The diagrams he left are a bit beyond you, but perhaps you can glean something out of his learning process.” The journal replied, a bit more subdued. Cleon was almost caught off guard by this change in tone, but he was both too high and too drunk to discern what might be the cause for the change. He was just glad that he had succeeded, and he wanted to revel in his minute little victory for a bit before he did anything else.

“Thanks book. You’re not so bad after all.” Cleon said, slurring a little which drew a look of consternation from the book before he stowed it away in his charm. Then Cleon laid back on the bench, stretching out and losing his eyes while cradling the bluish green gem to his chest. Today was going to be a good day after all. He’d passed the test thanks to this little gem and now his fast was over. A door had opened up, and soon he would begin to find out where it lead.

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