18, Vhalar 719
The warmth of the inn was very welcoming. His bed was like an inferno compared to the cold that waited for him outside. “I should have never come here,” Abra grunted when he sat up. Coming here through a brand had been simple enough but he wasn’t well dressed enough to do much. He only ventured to Viden to practice a couple of things out. He wouldn’t be caught dead using Empathy in Melrath without consent and it wouldn’t do him any favors to use magic in the first place.
The Syns could see magic. They made it very clear how beautiful and amazing their gifted sight was. Abra knew that using magic at the wrong time would be a very quick way to get removed from the Ragnari and punished severely. He was much more willing to risk being caught in Viden where at least his reputation wouldn’t be ruined if he was caught. “This could be a very bad idea if their laws are more stringent,” he muttered.
The sounds of a heaping breakfast being prepared prevented him from falling back asleep so he got dressed and took a look out the window. He was on the edge of the city and a large field stretched in front of him as far as his eye could see. He left the inn and pulled out a small wrapped package under his arm that seemed to crinkle every time he shifted his stance slightly. Inside was a collection of coins, in case he ran into a good business opportunity. If he was going to have access to Viden then he was going to at least try to make some money off of it. He told himself not to focus too much on that though, so he hadn’t.
A sigh left his lip as he started looking around, slowly walking around the city as his mind turned his attention elsewhere. His eyes suddenly fell across something lying in the grass, almost completely covered by dirt. What caught his eye was a flash of red, bright against the dusty dirt surrounding it on all other sides. He slowly bent down, feeling as if… this was familiar, as his hand reached out and grasped the object. He tugged hard, but his hand slipped off it, and he frowned a bit. He quickly dug around it, his hand pulling dirt away from it, until he could get his hand under it. He pulled it from the ground and held it up in front of him as some of the dirt fell away to reveal more red metal from the small ball.
“That’s my ball!” came the cry of a child.
“No it’s mine, back off!” came the cry of another. Following after the two bickering kids was an assortment of other children, five in total. If Abra had to guess, they were all in their early teens. The mage was nearly trampled by the group as they snatched at the ball. Abra thought quickly and tossed the ball a couple feet away and soon enough there was a dogpile of kids who desperately clawed at the ball.
“What’s so important about the ball,” Abra asked the flailing mass of prepubescent limbs. He didn’t care for the answer but he had, unbeknownst to them, made an etherical connection. A strand of ether extended from his body to each teenager and he simultaneously took in their tangles. They had all the emotions that were expected. Lots of jealousy and happiness with less sadness than an adult.
“If you don’t let go I’m going to kick your ass!” one yelled when a kid finally emerged and escaped with the ball. They both started running around in circles while the rest watched. Abra had his eyes closed and turned his full attention to the two that were running.
“You two should calm down before your parents come and beat in some discipline,” Abra said calmly but loudly. He grabbed hold of their fear and strummed it powerfully enough to change their expressions. He wanted to go further, surely there was something he could do to drive the point home. He looked into their fear and saw vivid images of parents with angry looks on their faces.
For the first time ever Abra put his ether into the images themselves. His spark was taking the reins and trying something new with the ether it was being provided. The images started to change as the spark carried out its command to make them feel fear of their parents. The fear threads morphed and instead showed parents with big sticks in their hands with spikes on the end. To the two kids, they now feared their parents beating them with these sticks.
“Maybe I over did it,” Abra thought when he opened his eyes and saw that they were both paralyzed with fear. “Was it that scary?” he thought. He was regularly disciplined when he was a kid so the thought wasn’t that out of the ordinary.
“Dald? Evaan? Is everything okay?” one of the other kids asked.
“Don’t let them hurt me!”
“Me either! Ahhh!”
The two kids ran off and Abra let out a wheeze. He couldn’t comprehend the extent of what his spark had done to those kids and felt immediate regret. His intentions were harmless and now he feared he had caused some kind of permanent damage.
“Boys, wait up!” he shouted after them. He was nowhere near fast enough to catch up but he still had a connection to their tangles. He could see the fear growing out of control so he tried to undo what he started. Trying to hem away the fear he had created was much harder than creating it. The amount of ether it took to completely eliminate the fear was daunting but Abra let the spark take what it needed to complete the task.
The boys slowed to a halt with the absence of fear. Abra caught up while wheezing even harder. “Are you boys alright?” They nodded and scratched their heads. They probably didn’t know how to react after such a powerful emotional rollercoaster. “Go back to your friends and share the damn ball.”
“Yes Sir,” they said one after another and they ran off.
“That was a close one,” Abra said with even more wheezing. At least the adrenaline and running had warmed him back up.
Abra continued to walk along and regret using so much ether. He hadn’t planned on using so much so early in the morning. “What am I going to do now if I need to use more? This is rather unfortunate.” He decided to go all the way back to the inn to nap.
On the way back someone ran up to him and said, “Good on you for helping those kids. What brings you to town?” He had approached from behind and patted Abra’s jacket friendlily. Unbeknownst to Abra, the package of coins he was carrying was swiped.
Abra smiled awkwardly and said, “it’s no problem.” Then a frown came down on him. Had this money not been specifically meant for business purposes Abra might not have felt the strange feeling that he had. Grifter’s eye was telling him that this man had stolen from him. Being the first immortal given power he’d ever experienced, he had no idea what was happening to him. He just knew that this man was a thief from the bottom of his heart. He instinctively started patting himself down and said. “Did you take my?”
Abra’s hand shot out and grabbed the other man’s hand that had been cleverly hidden from view. He snatched back the package and checked for his personal money bag which was safely tucked in his pants still. “Tell me how you knew I was carrying this and how you knew it contained coin.” Abra was livid and his exhaustion was no obstacle for his anger build up.
“Tell me!” Abra shouted while delving into the man’s tangle and inserting an urge to tell the truth into his fear threads. It was easier the second time and more fluid than with the kids. The energy flowed powerfully enough to make the man glare back and say:
“I saw it and heard it when you were running and I needed it for my business venture.” He developed a look of shock when he realized what he had just done. “If you tell anyone you’re dead!” he whispered very loudly and started off with his hands in his pockets.
Abra massaged his head and thought about what the right thing to do was. “What if this is a sign from Chamadarst? A chance to redeem myself after that glass statue catastrophe.” He started off after the thief and shouted, “if you’re starting a business maybe I can help! I can’t offer you this much money but there might be other ways I can help!”
“You’re serious?” The man asked with a load of doubt.
“I’m serious. I’m a disciple of Chamadarst and it would be my duty to help with new commerce. So tell me, what’s your plan if you had the money?”