Cylus 20th, 715
Hailstones. Fragments of the aether above given solid form, pelting the windows with their ceaseless tick and clatter, sound and number so chaotic as to invite a soothing sensation to the ear of the listener, that drum of sound livening the dimly lit library as scholars huddled around desks reading to their hearts content.
The cool stone-walled air was freezing, but Abaddon's beard had grown to such unfathomable lengths that it warmed him, though the clothes he wore for establishment-forced civility bade him discomfort. For three Trials with the sun and the stars trading light, he studied ceaselessly, tirelessly, looking for answers where there were few to be had for the sheer number of questions to be asked; what had happened to him? What was this new power brimming from within? Fifty Trials of cruel solitary confinement for a crime of passion had left him alone in the dark, beholden to profound oblivion that drove the nail of jitters into his mind, a sensation that drew forth fragments of memory, garbled and unintelligible. A flash of light had erupted from his brow, though at first he thought it was merely lightning from the storms, and soon it was proven to be more, so much more.
If he concentrated, he could hear sounds, an otherworldly song he could make little sense of, but that, he thought, was possibly insanity. The other aspect of this change within himself came to light in the form of the rune upon his forehead darkening to a lively black, a tattoo with understanding that he was sure could be felt over interpreted when he stared into the mirror, and even lower to puzzling lines dividing up the whites of his eyes. When he asked for answers, few seemed to know what the rune meant, but one man told him a tale of Runewrights, whom each bore a Rune of Naming upon their foreheads, and how some may even served the military of Etzos. Pestered further, Abaddon was met with further irritation as the man simply shrugged off any attempts for more information, saying he'd 'said too much' and that 'he should find the answers on his own,' but alas, here he was, grasping for them.
Pouring over old tomes, the dust had choked his lungs to the point of burning, but he pressed on, eyes tired and weary despite the wakefulness he'd stolen from the helpless souls across the city where he owned a property for the time being. That was when he found an old journal, ramblings of insanity, preaching that the mind held many secrets that could be unlocked through meditation and mantra. It made sense, given how that rune had seared itself into his mind in a time of deep introspection born of boredom so intense he was sure of the damage upon his mind. So he put the book down, and got comfortable in the upholstery leather armchair with candlelight flickering on the pillar beside him.
Relaxing, he shut his eyes with an exhale, thinking back to the state of mind that brought about the change within. His chest rose and fell, heart rate slowing until there was nothing but the static haze of the weather, and the images playing across the darkness beneath his eyelids. Falling slowly, his jaw slumped, his mouth open, focusing the entirety of his being on the appearance, the visage of that rune. Over the bits that followed, he gleaned bits and pieces until at last he felt he understood: it was a name, his name, in that strange language. As he came to this realization, he found himself gripping the seat as the feeling of something else crept into his mind, lurking in the realm of the unknown. His heart beat faster as he chased it, trying to uncover it, to wrench it from the shadows. It was fuzzy at first, but it left him with a picture to go on, so he felt compelled to open his eyes and lean forward, reaching for a quill that he dabbed in ink and set to parchment.
A long stroke and a few dashes later, he had something that looked familiar yet alien to him, and he found himself making corrections to this shape until it felt right, but the true meaning eluded him for the moment, so he pictured that rune as well in his mind, and set about reaching for it mentally, meditating in much the same way as he did the 'Rune of Naming' he'd learned to understand. This one had more to say about itself, and proved to be more elusive. There was a certain wild strength to its flavor that budded over time, a hunch that led him on until he was in such an inadvertent trance that Breaks began to drift on by in what felt like Bits. When he finally understood what it represented through the images it shared, he was certain it was the 'Rune of Strength,' and opened his eyes.
And there on his paper he beheld the beginnings of his birthright, a feeling of power that made him smile, as if he was privy to secrets most others would never know. With the quill, he touched the rune, lured by the promise of something more, invisibly drawing the meaning from the page into his conscious, the point of his quill set to palm where he began to push the understanding of Strength into the rune he now drew, focusing on its reality. "How does this...?" Eyes widened as the glimmer of hot white-hued light flickered across his eyes, the rune glowing faintly.
Transfixed to the point of obsession upon his own palm, he held it up to his face, staring at it with wonder as he set the quill down. As his hand neared it, he felt it tingle, until his index connected with the scribed flesh, at which point the rune flared brilliantly. There was a slight difference in how his hand felt now, and he wondered to the meaning of the room. "Am I stronger?" he thought with a quiet murmur, nearly a whisper. Reaching, his fingers grasped a metal clasp upon his cloak, fingers positioned to bend and pull with opposing pressures. Musing over this simple experiment, he began to squeeze, and sure enough the metal began to bend far more easily than he thought possible. Bending the thin iron back into shape, he looked over the rune again, lips twisting into a fiendish grin. This is a word for power. True, indescribable power...
Eager to try his hand at exploring this newfound development, he rose from his chair and shelved his stack of books one by one, the light still glowing, escaping from time to time as he opened the hand to grasp things. It seemed prudent to at least try and hide the magic. Would other stare? Would they be terrified? He wasn't certain, but he wasn't about to find out if he could help it.
Leaving the University, he walked across the tiered city for some time, finding a quiet place where few seemed to wander, and an alley tucked between two buildings made from mud-caked stone as the hail dimmed to an icy rain upon his skin. Squeezing and flexing his wrist, he twisted his hips and drove his fist into the wall to contend with the upper limits of his strength, which was twice the little force he actually had. When that knuckle connected, two things happened. Firstly, the hand immediately recoiled, pain shooting not through his arms, but through his shoulder blades, the magic ending at the joint. Secondly, the fist barely scuffed the stone, as he simply wasn't that strong to begin with. Hissing, he rolled his shoulder back and clutched his upper arm like a dog with its tail between its legs as he glared at the surface that seemed to hit back. "It seems I am not like the Gods..." he winced, peering down at his unharmed hand. "...Yet." As he flexed his fists, he found it unusual how the added force damaged his back and not his arm or hand. This brought him to realize that he must have some kind of resistance while throwing the punch, and more experiments would need to be done in the future. A sense of pride welled within him, knowing full-well he was getting ever-closer to matching the strength and cunning of that which haunted him.
Fretting over the idea that he might catch a cold, he returned home to lay upon his bed, staring up at the ceiling in thought as he fostered that growing ego mages often grew upon discovering what set them apart from and above the mundane. Fingers lifted from the warm fabric, grasping at the dark ceiling into a tight fist, as if strangling some immaterial being between them. "I'm going to be something," he told himself. "I'm going to be something more, I'm going to have a Path. If only I could break the news to my father." So too did his mind wander to another sort of father. And to you, Kielik, herald to my fear. I'll grow strong enough to feared, and then I will earn more of your strength. Would you love me then, I wonder?
Here's your stuff!
Hone: Unlocking Runes Through Meditation
Hone: Rune of Naming
Hone: Injury From Misuse
Hone: Strengthened Limbs Resistant to Self-Injury
Hone: Triggering a Rune By Touch
Meditation: Focusing On A Subject With Your Mind
Magic XP: Yes - Hone
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Good job reaching 1500+ words! There's a good deal of volume here, yet the writing is easy on the eyes and a good read.
I enjoyed the cloistered library setting you placed your character in, having him learn more about his gifts was interesting. You played with his powers without pushing the limits an unreasonable amount, so good job there.
There's only one issue I can see with this thread, but it isn't enough to prevent me from leaving your rewards. That is that the date is incorrect. There are only 30 trials in Cylus, yet you have it listed as 70. I figure this is a mistype on the numpad, though. Just make sure you correct this error here and in your CS, and you're good to go. Also, consider leaving links on your thread list at some point. It's not strictly necessary but helpful to anyone looking into your thread history. Good read!
If you feel I've missed anything or if you have questions about your review, please don't hesitate to send me a quick PM. Thanks!