• Mature • Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Doran, please.

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect

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Llyr Llywelyn
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Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Sat Nov 30, 2019 11:31 pm


Obsidian Prism, Viden
20th Break on the 20th of Vhalar


There was no need to be shown in. Despite being the very first invitation to the private residence, no knock on a door nor meeting of a servant was necessary. The only requirement was Doran Thetys, himself.

It’d been three trials since their last meeting, but this visit would prove different than the others. For the first time since Llyr came across Doran’s dreamscape, he’d show his actual body in the waking world. They would see each other in the physical flesh, surrounded by Idalos. Though they had a mere two encounters, already they’d share much of their thoughts with one another. Llyr found agreement with Doran on so many matters, but what mattered more was how knowledgeable the older man proved to be. How calm and patient, how clever in his research and willing to explain or listen depending on what was needed.

Llyr prepared for the visit. He’d spent almost the entire trial doing so, save for some matters that required his attention. By the time he entered Emea to travel through to the man’s brand in the north, he felt confident enough for the inevitable moment: when Doran would see him without the haze of Emea to cover up his flaws.

Instead, he’d ingested potions earlier that trial. Three in particular, derived from Edasha, to create perfection in three prime features: his hair, his skin, and his voice. He’d been interrupted from the last two that would have fixed the slight inwardly crooked slant of his canine teeth and likely assured that his svelte figure wasn’t merely fit but perfect.

The potion for his skin had gotten rid of his scars, which offered a look to him that he’d never actually seen before. Certainly many of his scars were newer, but seeing his pointed ear without the various little lines where his flesh had gotten torn… seeing his wrist and ankle without the golden forever-bruised bands… he felt a sense of freedom that came with the perfection provided to his silver-tinted pale skin.

His blond hair wasn’t as white as it was in Emea, shimmered with golden highlights instead. He found it as simple as shaking his head and then flipping his bangs, then the hair would settle in place with an almost perfect frame to complement his youthful features. It was… like magic and he supposed that made sense. He’d paid good coin for those potions so he felt pleased with the results.

Of course, Doran wouldn’t notice that much difference. The potions only brought Llyr closer to how he presented himself in Emea. The alchemist might take note of the gold in the hair, or of the physical quality of smooth skin, and likely realize the change in Llyr’s perfected voice.

Adorned in his best suit - tailored specifically to flatter his silhouette - of luxurious black and gray fabrics, with accessories of shined silver, Llyr crossed over without announcement and without warning.

One trill, Doran attended to whatever he was doing…

…and the next trill, Llyr stood beside the man as if the biqaj had always been there.

“Good evening, Doctor Thetys,” he greeted his initiate. Posture tall, he held a silver staff that was even taller than his lanky height. A satchel slung over his shoulder contrasted against his suit, due to its earthy brown leather. Richly blended scents of cinnamon, sandalwood, and bergamot entered the room along with him, strongest at the back of his neck.

Llyr’s gaze swept over the apartment around them. It was quite large, which immediately caused Llyr to wonder how it kept comfortably warm through the colder seasons. He stepped away, with an obvious survey while he looked around. A slight smile, without the show of his teeth, curled onto his lips.

The dark wood of the refined furniture matched the luxury decor. If Llyr had not experienced such finery in his past, he would have acted far differently than he did now. But he had, and he was more disciplined, so while he felt the natural lure to touch, and examine, and pick up vases, or caress the curtains, he refrained from doing anything like that.

He turned to face Doran and nodded in another greeting. “Tell me, do you need more time for the list I gave you or have you acquired some of what I requested?”

Llyr waited a pause, for the answer, then he opened the satchel that rested against his hip. He pulled out a package bound in tan leather with thick twine to keep it closed. It was easily a handful’s worth of stacked vellum inside. He held it out for Doran to take. “This is the theoretical discussion of what you asked about last time. I added more than that, so you might understand much of what is possible when it comes to Emea, in theory. Based on my own experiences, that is. I apologize it is… messy. I did not have the time to draft a cleaner version, so there is much crossed out and rewritten in the margins and some of it might not be exact to what I intended.”

He added, “If you prefer, I can hold onto this and scribe an easier to read version for you but I suspected you might be curious enough and familiar with such initial drafts.”

“Oh, but also, as you can see… I’ve brought this item through Emea,” he patted his satchel, then he inclined his head toward the staff he held. “And this.”

Last edited by Llyr Llywelyn on Mon Dec 09, 2019 6:49 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 955

Vhalar

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.

Visuals

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
As of 20 Vhalar, Llyr has Perfection in a Bottle active which means Perfect Hair, Skin, and Voice that creates such brilliant radiance that others feel natural attraction to them.
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Doran
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Sun Dec 01, 2019 1:30 pm

Image
The son of Ziell was just sitting behind his desk in his study, going through his notes on domain magic – he had begun to study magical theory on top of alchemy – when Llyr appeared in front of him, quite suddenly and without a warning. Of course, he had expected him to come and visit him sometime that evening – they had talked about it in Emea after all – but his eyes widened fractionally for a moment nevertheless, before he inclined his head in a greeting and spoke in a cool, but utterly polite tone, “Good evening, Mister Magpie.”

He rose to his feet and came closer, studying the other man for a moment. He wasn’t sure what he had expected him to look like, but he had not expected that. Even in the waking world, the etherist looked perfect. His skin was entirely devoid of blemishes and scars, his hair shimmered golden, and his voice … even his voice was perfect. It hadn’t sounded quite as good in Emea. At least he didn’t think that it had which made him wonder what had happened and if Llyr had made his voice sound dull on purpose during their prior meetings, even though such a thing was highly illogical in his opinion.

“So, we finally meet in the waking world”, he remarked, stating the obvious. “Is this place what you expected?” he asked and gestured towards their exceedingly luxurious surroundings that would have made most noble lords go green with envy. “Am I what you expected? I’m not sure if I looked exactly like that in our shared dreams. There were no mirrors in my dreamscape at the time”, he remarked, furrowing his brow momentarily. Much of what happened in Emea was still a mystery to him.

Llyr would find that the alchemist greatly resembled his dream-self. He was not as perfect as the etherist himself – he had not ingested any potions that been made from Edasha’s tears after all – but quite well-put-together, everything considered. Tall and dark-haired, he looked more like a warrior than some sort of bookish academic. His clothes that evening were a hint more casual, dark pants, a vest and a white silk shirt, but no jacket – he saw no reason to wear an entire suit when he was in his private residence.

“I managed to acquire most of the things you requested, apart from the Ancient Language grammar as the Eidisi are very protective of their language”, he apologized. “I am still not sure what you need a black fur blanket for though”, he admitted before he gestured for Llyr to follow him towards a table on the left side of the room. The etherist could see a number of scrolls and books there – and the aforementioned black fur blanket. It was nice and heavy, and it appeared to be quite soft.

“I even found an essay that deals with identifying Becomers as well as their most common mutations”, he continued and pointed at a rolled-up piece of parchment. “I have studied that particular branch of magic before, back in Etzos”, he told Llyr. The other man might remember his talking about the deranged Becomer Padfoot and his victims.

Having said that, he glanced at the package in Llyr’s hand. He took it, letting a hand run across the leather that it was bound in before he looked up again. “Thank you, Mister Magpie”, he spoke. “The fact that it’s only a first draft won’t be much of an issue”, he decided. He was rather curious about what exactly Llyr had written, and, perhaps, even a hint impatient, even though such an attitude was unbecoming of a man in his position and of his ancestry that literally had all the time in the world to accomplish what he wanted.

His gaze went back to Llyr’s staff, and he furrowed his brow momentarily. It was a rather unusual item in his opinion. “You said that you brought this through Emea?” he asked and raised an eyebrow questioningly. “What is it – a weapon or a magic item?”
word count: 698

Items

Ring of Reversal: Doran owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Mon Dec 02, 2019 3:46 am

Image

The surrounding apartment, given its tangible nature, certainly was impressive. Llyr glanced around once more when Doran gestured to it. He thought the question far more interesting, though. That Doran inquired on expectations made him wonder what the doctor had expected in turn. His eyes, lavender in the irises, slid his gaze over to look at the older man.

“I have seen you, already,” he confessed to his initiate. “When I brought you into the Veil, I had done so in your physical body by extension of my ability. However, there seems to always be a slight shadow of Emea through perceptions on all bodies, no matter physical or not.”

Llyr walked farther away from the man, in another surveyed glance of the luxury apartment. He concluded, “You look similar, but here you are real, bound in the flesh and anchored by your bones. As I am.”

That said, he easily followed the gesture to the table at the left side of the large room. His eyes literally sparkled with glints of iridescent light when he looked over the various scrolls and books. He inhaled, if only to remind himself to breathe. He ran his palm over the black fur of the blanket. A content expression, like a cat napping in sun, softened his youthful features. He listened while Doran pointed out the Becoming manuscript specifically.

“Thank you, Doctor Thetys. Even without the ancient language texts, you have exceeded my expectations. You even acquired the blanket,” He nodded with appreciation but he did not explain the purpose of such a request. His wings kept neatly folded along his backside, remained out of the way and resembled more of a short cape of gossamer iridescence. He wondered what the most common mutations of Becoming were, and whether Doran recognized any in him, but kept himself from asking. He could read about it later and best not to draw undue attention to that subject so early in their conversation.

His drafted theories of Emean dreamwalking were handed over, from Llyr to Doran, with almost all his experiences written on the pages bound inside the leather. He’d left out certain things, the darker aspects of what he’d encountered… but only in the sense that he’d scratched out entire paragraphs with swift scribbles of ink and charcoal over the words. Along the margins, Doran would find sketched geometric shapes as well – of circles and triangles, spheres and cubes. Overlapped symbols not unlike alchemical language, but otherwise indecipherable.

On the back of some vellum, he’d find poorly drawn silhouettes of creatures and people – and of how Llyr saw the Veil in the twisted staircases and non-Euclidean mazes of crystalline glass - Llyr’s meager attempts to record what he perceived within Emea… though to many, if they were to judge these images, the pictures would appear more like smudged messes of charcoal that hinted near-madness rather than a fine-tuned artist’s approximation. From the manuscript, once read, it would be obvious that Llyr’s talents skewed toward rhetoric and writing, rather than drawing. Though there were still margins where his penmanship had gone illegible in furious scrawls of notations.

Still running his hand over the fur blanket, he admired the various books and scrolls that Doran had acquired for him. He glanced over, as if jarred from deep thoughts, when Doran asked about the staff he held onto.

“Hm? Oh yes,” he confirmed with a nod. “I thought you might be interested in this.”

Llyr turned away from the table to face Doran directly. He held the staff in both hands, slightly forward in obvious offer if Doran wanted to touch it. “I didn’t merely bring this through Emea. I created it in Emea. Before, it didn’t exist. Effectively, I created this from what could be considered nothing.”

“I am still exploring its limits and potential. Can a magic item not be a weapon or likewise, can a weapon not be imbued with magic?” he mused, then continued. “It appears to have a resonance within it. I’ll admit, it didn’t come to Idalos like it had originally looked when made in Emea. There are differences, and I have come to theorize that it is because Idalos perhaps has different foundations to its… how would you say… mechanisms? To… its rules? Laws, perhaps…”

“I have been experimenting with whether or not I can use this to refine my ether when channeling, for greater potential without overstepping my inherent capability,” the young mage added. “So far it takes ether into it, but then rebounds the ether back into me. My hope is that some of these scrolls and books might further my understanding so that I can find a way to manage success of this.”

“If you’d like, I could demonstrate the ether backlash for you before I depart,” offered Llyr.

“You mentioned last visit that you have a laboratory within your home?” He glanced around, and his gaze lingered at the doorframes. “Perhaps you might be so generous as to show me it? I am curious as to whether you conducted your research for the Ymiden potion? Have you any results with that yet?”

word count: 877

Vhalar

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.

Visuals

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
As of 20 Vhalar, Llyr has Perfection in a Bottle active which means Perfect Hair, Skin, and Voice that creates such brilliant radiance that others feel natural attraction to them.
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Doran
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:25 am

Image
“Would you be willing to tell me what you need the blanket for?” the alchemist asked. The tone of his voice was tinged with a hint of confusion and, perhaps, amusement. Llyr certainly seemed to be paying a lot of attention to an item that was quite mundane in nature and didn’t serve any purpose besides keeping someone warm. “The other things that you requested make sense, considering your connection to the arcane, but this one leaves me somewhat baffled”, he admitted and cast another glance at the blanket before he took a closer look at what Llyr had given to him.

If the other man didn’t want to talk about the blanket, he would not press the matter. It was curious, but it was unlikely to be of any greater significance in the long run. What was inside the leather interested him much more. His eyes widened slightly, and then he furrowed his brow as he skimmed across the pages, taking note of the strange geometrical shapes Llyr had drawn, the creatures, the people. For a moment, the old Mortalborn’s face seemed to be exceptionally expressive which was testament to how absolutely fascinated he was.

“This is extraordinary”, he decided as he looked up again and at Llyr. The bright spark that had been in his eyes for a moment was gone again, replaced by his usual, calm facial expression. He set the pages down on his desk, exceedingly carefully, as if he were handling something that was valuable beyond measure. “I will have to study this in more depth tomorrow – or perhaps tonight, if there is still time”, he remarked.

As Llyr held the staff towards him, the alchemist stepped forward in order to touch it and appraise it, taking note of the material that it was made of and the quality of the craftmanship. “So, it is possible to create something from nothing without having been blessed by the Immortals after all”, he remarked. “As for something being both a magic item and a weapon … of course”, he spoke and inclined his head. “I am currently in the process of imbuing some of my own weapons with magic effects”, he informed Llyr.

In the arcs that had passed since the battle at Treid’s Tomb, had realized that being an exceptionally skilled swordsman was not enough. There were creatures in the world of Idalos that would only laugh at him if he tried to stab them with a weapon made of steel. Magic – and alchemy – were the only things that had the potential of causing them harm.

“I would appreciate a demonstration”, he remarked. “I’m quite interested in how magic works. I have begun to meet with mages in order to further my understanding of the arcane”, he revealed. A few trials earlier, he had first met a human by the name of Balthazar Black. The man had been quite open about which domains he practiced – he was a Defier and a Rupturer - and he had turned out to be a veritable fount of information. Their meetings had made him reconsider his stance on magic, to some extent at least.

He had begun to realize that mages didn’t necessarily have to be slaves to their sparks and their mutations, at least not all the time.

“I do”, he replied as Llyr inquired about his laboratory, nodded and gestured for the other man to follow him. “As for the Ymiden potion, no, unfortunately I haven’t made a lot of progress yet”, he told Llyr in a relatively calm tone – he had no problem admitting that he occasionally struggled with something – everybody did, even the Immortals themselves. Failures and setbacks only heightened his ambition and made him try harder.

“Finding willing blood donors in the waking world is somewhat harder. I have however made some progress in regard to my studies of domain magic, the spark and mutations. Tell me, Mister Magpie, have you ever heard of a Ring of Paradigm?”

“Here we are”,
he said and opened a door at the end of the hallway. He gestured for Llyr to step inside before he closed the door behind them. The laboratory that he owned in the waking world was not as grand as the one that had been in his dream, but it was adequate, more than adequate in fact. It was a medium-sized room with large windows that let the sunlight in during the trial. Now that it was dark outside it was lit by lamps though.

Llyr could see countless shelves and cupboards filled with vials and jars that contained all kinds of dried herbs, powders and liquids. There were a number of alchemical apparatuses, large metal tubes, vats and a centrifuge. On one of the tables were what looked like the legs of some sort of monster, with long, dangerous scythe-like appendages. They were huge, and they had been cleaned and treated with various substances to keep them from decaying too quickly.

“A Tanner Mantis, a creature that I killed the other trial”, the Mortalborn explained as he turned to face Llyr, momentarily glancing at the other man’s wings that he still took for a sign of a hint of Immortal blood – he had never seen Attuners with such extreme mutations and was still unaware of Llyr’s other domains. “I am currently researching the use of its various body parts in alchemy”, he explained and shrugged his shoulders as if killing such a creature was nothing out of the ordinary.

“I’m also trying to analyse certain magic items”, he continued and gestured towards what seemed to be a simple headband, resting on a nearby shelf. “The Headwreath of Awaress. It starts to vibrate anytime someone is looking upon the wearer with deliberate intent. I acquired it during my time in Etzos”, he explained before he fell silent, again giving Llyr some time to explore his laboratory and ask questions, provided that he had any, silently wondering if Llyr remembered what else they had talked about during their last meeting – his connection to the Immortals, and his refusal to provide any details lest someone in Emea listened to them – or if he had already forgotten.
word count: 1048

Items

Ring of Reversal: Doran owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Mon Dec 02, 2019 8:51 am

Image

The bemusement displayed by the doctor, toward the blanket, caused Llyr to smile slightly. Llyr remained careful to not show his teeth though, and thus rid himself of the expression soon after. He continued to smooth the black fur under his hand, then lightly grazed his fingers over it when he answered, “I thought it might be nice to have a blanket from Viden, the place of the north. If anyone understands cold, it will be the craftsmen of this city. Black fur is pleasing to my eye and touch.”

He glanced at Doran and said, “I hope you don’t mind… the mundane nature of it, but I trusted you to find one of fine quality and make. You have not disappointed, either.”

While Doran opened the manuscript right then and there, Llyr shifted his weight between his feet. He tried not to catch the sight of the slight expressions that the older man made when he skimmed through it. Llyr nervously traced his fingertips over some scrolls, then lifted the binding of a book to pretend to read the first page while he glanced over at the professor. Would the learned man find his writing illegible? Pointless? Mad ramblings, perhaps? Would he…

This is extraordinary.

A silvery-blue blush crossed over Llyr’s fair skin. The twitch of a smile showed at the corners of his lips, but he quickly looked away to try and hide it. While Llyr didn’t think he’d care that much what his initiate might think… he’d never shared a drafted manuscript, other than contracts, with anyone before. Let alone with a professor at an academy! Doran’s words, while they might have been simple or routine for the doctor, stirred the young mage with feelings of approval and acceptance.

He held onto the staff and brought the conversation to the object instead, now excited to share more with the other man. Llyr almost handed it over, but thought it better to keep hold while Doran touched and appraised the tall length. The doctor would find the metal a blend of silver and steel, other than the dark leather grips to hold onto. He might also notice that it was perfectly sized to fit in Llyr’s grip and that the bottom was capped with leather to keep from scuffing the floors. Overall, at a head’s taller than either of their heights, the staff had an obvious distinct attention to detail.

Llyr hummed and nodded in agreement to the statement about creating something from nothing without the requirement of an Immortal’s blessing. His eyes brightened in their iridescent shine when Doran mentioned imbuing weapons with magic effects. The biqaj pulled the staff closer to him, away from the doctor, and he said, “Hmm… let me guess. It can’t be just an ordinary sword you wield, no. That wouldn’t suit you. But I can’t imagine you with an axe either, nor a spear. What sort of weapons do you use, Doctor Thetys?”

It didn’t strike Llyr as odd that a professor, nor a doctor, had familiarity with a weapon. Nor had it seemed to phase him that Doran appeared more warrior than academic. Llyr seemed to accept both these things without a single thought about either of them. Almost as if he’d expected it rather than been surprised.

“I’ll demonstrate a bit later,” promised Llyr about the staff. He tilted his head slightly to one side and added, How magic works? That’s simple. Magic works because a spark draws ether through the connected soul to influence Idalos similar to how one can shape dreams in Emea. That control is brought through into the shared reality of flesh and blood.”

Llyr said it with ease and smoothly, given his perfect voice. He blinked, with a mostly neutral if not vaguely confused expression – as if he didn’t know why Doran wasn’t aware of that. He held the staff upright, with both hands around the leather grip, and mentioned, “Magic is the act of sharing dreams for everyone in our world to witness.”

He held off from saying more. Even if Doran said something to further the conversation, he instead moved his attention onto the laboratory. It was the other thing he’d been looking forward to, and he didn’t want it to get forgotten. That they’d already fallen into a conversation of depth wasn’t unusual, but it did worry Llyr that he might never have enough time with Doran to discuss all there was for them to consider together.

The young mage followed and made a quiet noise of sympathetic disappointment – not toward Doran but toward the fact that progress on the Ymiden potion hadn’t been made. He hummed at the thought of blood donors, and was about to suggest something that he wasn’t certain if he should… when Doran asked him a direct question that caused his opalescent eyes to widen.

“A ring of paradigm?” he repeated, taken aback for a trill. He nodded. “Yes, I…”

His answer trailed off when the door opened. He walked inside and immediately got distracted. Llyr took a small step, then another, and eventually slowly turned in a complete circle while he surveyed the laboratory. It wasn’t as large and stocked as the one in the dream, but it was far beyond anything Llyr had seen in the waking world. He didn’t smile, but his eyes held the obvious markers of enthusiasm. His irises had vanished under the lustrous light that drifted around his eyelashes. When he turned, a bit quicker this time, the light trailed after his motion before dissipating.

His wings outstretched, only to fold in a swift snap of ether at his back. Llyr walked past the shelves and cupboards, observing them all. He stepped with care, cautious to not disrupt anything while he toured around the lab. He paused at the table with the monstrous legs that momentarily reminded him of the unseen tattoo that writhed under his clothes along his spine. After a quick visual examination, he suspected he could replicate the exact scythe-like shape with his ether if he so desired.

The bridge of his nose wrinkled when he sniffed, and somewhat recognized a few of the substances to prevent decay. He looked over to the doctor and nodded upon learning the name of the creature that had provided the appendages. “You killed this? By yourself?”

He walked over and looked at the headband on the shelf that Doran gestured to. Llyr glanced between it and Doran a few times, then said, “Did Lord Vuda give you this? What do you mean by deliberate intent? As if harm? I have an object like that, with slight difference.”

Llyr held the staff to the side, as natural with holding it as he could have been. The grip felt so easy and instinctual to the mage who’d created the item. He surveyed the laboratory again, then wistfully sighed, “It truly is magnificent here.”

“I also collect arcane artifacts,” he shared while he brought his gaze back to the Tanner Mantis appendage. He walked along the table, looking at what he knew he couldn’t touch. “Rings mostly. What you said earlier, the Ring of Paradigm. I possess one of those. It has proven invaluable. Rings have always had an important place in my relation to magic, but pendants, cloaks, bags, stones have also proven interesting.”

“There is one artifact that I aim to have, that has eluded me.” Llyr’s voice lowered somewhat. He stopped at the head of the table and frowned. “In Etzos. It is a cube, but I am ignorant of any name it might have. It may have similar properties as the ring of paradigm… only a far greater scale. Not just by individual, but for an entire swath of land. I am currently trying to acquire it, however I don't have so much sway with the High Marshall as to demand such a thing.”

word count: 1355

Vhalar

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.

Visuals

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
As of 20 Vhalar, Llyr has Perfection in a Bottle active which means Perfect Hair, Skin, and Voice that creates such brilliant radiance that others feel natural attraction to them.
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Doran
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Mon Dec 02, 2019 6:43 pm

Image
“I find your statement that an ordinary sword wouldn’t suit me interesting”, the alchemist spoke, his voice momentarily tinged with a hint of amusement. “The sword that I stabbed Xiur with was quite plain and made of ordinary steel. Such works well, at least against his kind. Nowadays, I use a longsword that is made of Grave Gold though. Grave Gold is more durable, it never loses its shine, and it absorbs blood which is a trait that I find especially convenient”, he admitted.

“If you want me to, I’ll show it to you later on”, he offered, silently wondering if Llyr had any experience with a weapon, other than that strange staff of his. From their previous conversations he had gotten the impression that he relied on his magic most of the time.

“I’m familiar with the basics”, he retorted curtly and somewhat coolly as Llyr started to talk about the spark drawing ether and such. Had he not told the other man that he had already begun to research the arcane only a few bits earlier? Did Llyr really think him that ignorant?

“Perhaps my wording was not precise enough”, he admitted, the tone of his voice softening slightly. “What I am curious about are the various techniques that mages use, if they know when they are about to mutate and whether they can influence the way in which mutations manifest at all. An acquaintance of mine thinks that it has something to do with what you use your magic for”, he spoke, remembering his second meeting with Balthazar.

“I find the way that you describe magic interesting”, he admitted and looked at Llyr somewhat curiously. “I’ve never heard anybody call it an act of sharing dreams before.”

As Llyr turned to survey the laboratory, the alchemist breathed an inaudible sigh of relief. A part of him had thought that the other man would overwhelm him with questions regarding the divine right away and not stop until he knew everything, but then again, it was entirely possible that Llyr was already aware of what he was, that he had in fact known from the beginning and simply kept the knowledge to himself thus far.

Besides, would it not be better if the truth came out?

A part of him almost wished for Llyr – and the rest of Idalos – to find out about his Immortal heritage in spite of the risks involved (Etzos definitely wouldn’t like it!). He didn’t want anybody to consider him a mere mortal because he was so much more than that.

The latter was not a sign of arrogance. It was a fact. A human would never be able to do what he did, at least not all of it.

“I did”, he confirmed as Llyr asked him if he had killed the Tanner Mantis himself and nodded curtly. “It attacked me while I was harvesting reagents outside of Viden. It is a rather interesting creature that seems to be related to the Ascended Mantis. It collects the skins of its victims and covers its body with them. A Tanner Mantis taking down a small herd is not entirely unheard of”, he spoke. The tone of his voice was relatively neutral. He saw no point in bragging about having killed such a creature, even though it was quite an accomplishment – he considered such to be inappropriate.

Noticing Llyr’s interest in the headband, he walked over to it, took it and looked at it thoughtfully. “No, Lord Vuda didn’t give it to me”, he said. “I won it in a tournament of sorts. When I lived in Etzos, I occasionally participated in such events. As you know, I was something of a public figure in the City of Stones, and with that came certain duties”, he explained, frowning momentarily. He had quite enjoyed being in a position of relative power, but he could have done without some of the things that had come with it.

“It can either be good or bad intent. So far, the headband seems to be unable to distinguish between those two. I’m trying to find out if that can be changed”, he said and handed it to Llyr so that he would be able to take a closer look if he wanted to.

“You own a Ring of Paradigm?” he asked and raised an eyebrow fractionally. “Tell me, Mister Magpie, are the side effects as unpleasant as I heard? My acquaintance and I talked about making an item that is similar to the Rings of Paradigm in so far as it suppresses a mage’s mutations, but still allows them to cast.”

“It would be based on an Attunement ability.”


He saw no harm in sharing that aspect of his research with Llyr. The etherist was already aware of the existence of items that suppressed one’s mutations and even the spark, for a while at least.

“I was not aware that such an artefact even existed”, he admitted as Llyr talked about the cube that he wanted to acquire. “I had no idea that it was possible to create something that powerful. The item that I mentioned before would require the blood of a Master Attuner. In order to affect an entire swath of land, you would most likely need the blood of a Revealed Mage or the Champion of an Immortal.”

“Unless you created it with something other than alchemy, of course”,
he mused.

“I would offer my help, but I’m not sure how much sway I still have with those that rule Etzos nowadays”, he admitted. Things had changed considerably since he had been Lord Vuda’s alchemist and Ser Doran. The Chief Adviser was gone, and he had never been as close to the High Marshall. Besides that, there were Sintra’s activities that needed to be taken into consideration. He had no idea what she thought of him.

“You probably know better than I do. It’s been a while since I talked to any of them.”
word count: 1019

Items

Ring of Reversal: Doran owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Mon Dec 02, 2019 7:46 pm

Image

Upon the offer to be shown the longsword, Llyr nodded. He didn’t try to apologize for his observation that an ordinary sword wouldn’t suit Doran. He didn’t try to explain. He didn’t try anything more than a simple flit of his gaze up and down the other man, then he stood by his statement without further comment to it. A regular sword wouldn’t suit his initiate, just as a pink dress wouldn’t, regardless of how any weapon might be utilized by the man. Not in Llyr’s opinion. But he did suspect Doran would be better with some sort of weapon, and a longsword made more sense to him than a short sword in his vision of what it might look like for the older man to fight. Llyr assumed Doran must have a very powerful fighting technique…

…and only believed that more so when he saw the remnants of the Tanner Mantis in the laboratory. A very powerful technique indeed. Especially provided that Doran didn’t have innate use of magic to supplement his fighting. He hummed, thoughtfully, to the explanation of the creature. Covers itself with the skins of its victims? He didn’t say how fascinating that sounded aloud.

To the headband, it brought Llyr to wonder if he also could win artifacts through tournaments. He hadn’t considered that route. He considered this, then mentioned, “A tournament such as the Ten-Trials in Etzos?”

“Perhaps I have an item you might borrow, as it could help,” he offered while he took the headband into his hands. He turned it every which way and felt for the ether underlying the object with careful touch. “It is a ring that while worn, which recognizes those within a household, whether they aim to harm or betray. So it is aligned with only one intent. Maybe you could try to distinguish the differences between them to see if the headband can’t also be aligned for a singular intent.”

He handed the headband back, not putting it on but content with the simple examination. “I do own a Ring of Paradigm, yes. I’m not sure what you mean by the side effects and I can’t claim to have enough grasp on the theory of Attunement to know which you speak of. There are far greater uses for the Ring of Paradigm than merely ridding the mage of mutations.”

“When a spark is suppressed, it only makes sense that the channel is also closed off. Mutations are the sparks’ strength on display to be shown. To create something that would suppress mutations yet allow casting… that could be incredibly dangerous for the mage’s vessel and result in even further mutations with enough use.”

“You mentioned before that you are studying mutations specifically. Are you aware there are separate classifications for mutations?” inquired Llyr while he walked along the table next to the Tanner mantis leg. “I have been told by other mages that my mutations are… unusual. That they are not like others who share the same spheres of magical influence. Others, mage and human alike, frequently seem offput by my mutations, wary, suspicious, repulsed even…”

He tapped his fingertips against the staff. His gaze fixed on the Tanner Mantis appendage. “When I first received them, I thought they were so very exciting to me. I wanted to share them with everyone and anyone. I have learned that this was foolish of me, though. People do not like to be reminded of their inferiority.”

“So I do not know what your acquaintance’s experiences are, but it is an interesting theory that extends only so far.”

“The person who currently holds this cube artifact claims it to be made by an Immortal,” he explained. “Lady Sintra, at that. Which makes little sense to me, but then it is only a claim.”

Llyr walked over to Doran, though he glanced around the lab while he did so. His gaze landed on the minutely taller man. “Given your relation with Lord Vuda, and High Marshall Pahrn’s realization about how his mind had been manipulated, any sway likely would be limited. Thank you for the thought. However, I was curious that if I was somehow able to acquire this cube…”

“...if you’d like to research it with me? As you know, I don’t have academic training and all of my research is probably laughable compared to what is expected from esteemed institutions. I’d like to learn how to properly present something of this nature to others like you, learned men and women. I don't wish to discover only for myself.”

“I would like to help expand the knowledge that Idalos has of magic, the arcane, and Emea. Before I moved north, I served as an assistant to an author of magical theory who taught me some, but our time was cut far too short,” he added, standing beside Doran. “Would you be willing to assist me in such an endeavor, Doctor Thetys?”

word count: 850

Vhalar

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.

Visuals

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
As of 20 Vhalar, Llyr has Perfection in a Bottle active which means Perfect Hair, Skin, and Voice that creates such brilliant radiance that others feel natural attraction to them.
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Doran
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:28 am

Image
“No“, the Mortalborn replied curtly as Llyr wanted to know if it had been an event like the Ten-Trials before he elaborated, “It was a special event, arranged by a certain Lewis Parren. Mister Parren got in trouble and was killed later on. I left the arena early, right after my win, so I don’t know what exactly happened”, he apologized and shrugged his shoulders. He didn’t care much about the fate of the mysterious Lewis Parren. He’d gotten his artefact, and as far as he was concerned, that was all that mattered.

“That does sound somewhat similar to the headband”, he agreed as Llyr mentioned the ring that he owned. “Is it based on an Empathy ability?” he wanted to know before he remarked, “I would appreciate it if you could lend it to me for a time.” Having said that, he took the headband back and put it on the shelf where it had been before again.

“As for the Ring of Paradigm”, he continued. “When I talked about the side effects, I was referring to the fact that the mage’s magic will be weak and unstable for a while after the ring has been taken off. I was wondering if you had experienced such yourself and how bad it really was. All the information that I have is unfortunately second-hand”, he admitted. He had already gotten far in his studies of the arcane, but there were some things that he would never understand completely due to his lacking a spark of his own.

It was a rather unpleasant realization.

“Of course”, he agreed as Llyr spoke about the ring having far greater uses than merely ridding the mage of mutations. “Besides temporarily suppressing mutations, the ring also keeps mages from casting. Similar items are occasionally used in order to keep mage prisoners from … causing too much trouble”, he said somewhat vaguely. It had been another topic that had come up during his conversation with Balthazar.

“The Order of the Mantis likely had items like these”, he mused, remembering the time of the mage burnings. Caius Gawyne, his nephew, had been the Lord Arbiter then. They had had a number of interesting conversations. He momentarily wondered where Caius was now, if he was still alive and still involved with the Order of the Mantis or dead, like so many others, before he turned to answer Llyr’s next question, nodding as he did so.

“Of course. I’m aware of the fact that mages mutate each time that their magic evolves. I also know that they change again when they reveal – I met a revealed mage once, a Rupturer. As for the item that I have in mind possibly being dangerous – it could be, but it might still be worth the risk. There are some mages that would do anything in order to be temporarily rid of their mutations”, he spoke.

As Llyr remarked that other people frequently seemed to be put off by his mutations, he approached him and looked him over, shaking his head slightly, before he decided, “Your mutations seem to be quite unusual, especially if you really only practice Attunement and Mirage, but I do not find them off-putting in any way. They are not unappealing. I saw mages whose magic made them monstrous. But of course, people are always suspicious of those that are different”, he remarked. He was speaking from experience now.

As Llyr remarked that Balthazar’s theory only extended so far, he briefly furrowed his brow before he wanted to know, “Do you have a better theory than my acquaintance, Mister Magpie? Why do mages get the mutations they do? Does it have something to do with the sparks themselves rather than with what they cast – or are the mutations random?”

As Llyr told him that the cube had supposedly been created by Sintra herself, the Mortalborn’s eyes momentarily widened slightly as he had not expected to hear that. “It makes sense to me though”, he disagreed. “Sintra is the Immortal of Manipulation, isn’t she?”

Llyr’s offer to research the cube with him was tempting – more than tempting in fact. In all the time that he had studied alchemy and the arcane, he had never been able to get his hands on an artefact that had been created by an Immortal.

“I would”, he replied, that spark momentarily returning to his eyes. “Together, we might be able to uncover its secrets. I have the same goals as you”, he admitted. “I would like to find out more about magic and the arcane.”

“Even a lot of mages seem to know little about themselves”,
he spoke.
word count: 793

Items

Ring of Reversal: Doran owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Tue Dec 03, 2019 10:13 am

Image

Llyr regarded the answer about the tournament, the name given – mentally set aside so he might be able to seek information to do with Lewis Parren – and he nodded simply in agreement to lend the ring that held a property similar to the headband. He mentioned, “I will bring it with me on my next visit. I don’t know if it is based on empathy. It hadn’t occurred to me to try and identify it...”

Which struck him as odd. Why hadn’t he thought to try and identify the domains that powered his collection of items? Was he truly so narrowed in focus as to the simple possession of them? He spent so much time admiring the various artifacts, when he could spend that time studying them. Llyr decided he would amend that as soon as he got back to Etzos. He added, “…but I’ll find out.”

They discussed the Ring of Paradigm, and Llyr’s dark brows knitted in a frown. He placed a hand to his chin, in an obvious pose of active thoughtful consideration. “Yes, there was a time when I took it off and… I did not force the matter. My sparks were sleepy. You wouldn’t expect an ordinary person to waken from a deep slumber to immediately start swinging around a sword amid a rageful battlefield, now would you? When the ring of paradigm is taken off, it is like that for the sparks and I can’t imagine a mage who has kind relation to treat them so crassly but then again... You already know my view on most mages.”

“I have simply waited until my sparks feel awake. I then started with minor spellwork and gradually tested the higher levels,” he added in explanation.

The conversation pivoted but remained on the same topic and Llyr shook his head when he heard Doran agree with him. His frown returned to his youthful elfin features. It only darkened when he heard the Order of the Mantis mentioned. His lips thinned while he pressed them together.

“That isn’t what I meant,” he said. “The suppression of the spark refers to both the mutations and casting. I didn’t mean how the item benefited the sparkless who aim to imprison and subjugate mages.”

He paused, then asked whether the other man knew about the classifications of mutation. His frown, the thinned lips, the young mage had gotten so serious that he almost looked angry. Though not quite. He breathed quietly, unsure why he felt a wave of emotions crash against his mind. His grip on the staff tightened. He drew it closer, leaned into it, and sighed in an attempt to let the emotions go.

“I…” he found himself, not at a loss for words, but rather at an overwhelm of them. So much he wanted to say to Doran at that moment, and so much of it were things he felt uncertain whether he should say. A silvery-blue blush warmed his face. The irises of his eyes turned copper-brown. He averted his gaze.

He gave the remarks about his mutations, instead. Acutely aware of Doran’s approach, and survey of him, he took a small step away. His blush worsened, turning his cheeks more silver as it did so.

“You…” he would have stammered if it hadn’t been for the Edasha potion that perfected the cadence of his voice. “…haven’t seen all of my mutations yet.”

“These are only the ones that remain obvious. The others are unseen and hidden beneath my clothing.” He glanced over his shoulder at his own wings and mentioned, “Some people seem drawn to them, while others speak very ill of them. I suppose they are like most other things then, dependent on the individual who witnesses them.”

The topic of his mutations had gotten him back into conversation, though. He’d eased somewhat, and almost forgot about his emotions until he felt them gather again when Doran inquired as to his theory about the source of mutations.

“What I was going to say before,” he started in a slow, drawn-out intonation. “Yes, mages change along with the spark, which makes sense. Separate from these, though I would not have thought to mention it if you hadn't, is revelation. Revelation is the sacrifice of humanity and the soul to the spark, so that is different than something I would classify under mutations or normal growth of a mage’s capability. It is not normal. Once a mage has revealed, they are no longer. Only the spark remains to puppet what once was.”

“Then there are the mutations caused by the overuse of magic itself,” he mentioned. “This is not the signs of a spark growth, but rather signify the mage’s abuse of the spark. These can be varied and sporadic in how they manifest.”

“So why do mages receive the specific mutations, as we know why… but why those ones, hm…” he walked around, putting the table between him and Doran as he went to the other side. He lightly tapped the end of the staff along the floor. “Is spellwork determined the same by all mages within the same discipline?”

He stopped walking and looked over at the doctor. “Yet mutations vary. Why? Why do I have wings? Do all mages like me have wings? No. Unless it has something to do with multiple sparks relating to one another, but I don’t think it does. My mutations aim to help me… and… I believe… I would theorize that it has to do with the spark learning the soul. Just as my soul finds greater connection to Emea through the spark, so does my spark strengthen its connection to Idalos through manipulation of my body.”

“So, I do not think it is random, and yes, it likely has something to do with the sparks and their… understanding of the world through the mage they are connected to.”

“It is this why I mention that the item you are considering is dangerous. Worth the risk of further abuse of sparks?” Llyr plainly scoffed, and the dry exhale made it more than obvious that he didn’t agree with the doctor’s stance. “You do realize the threat that would be created by allowing certain mages the potential to get rid of their mutations but still be able to cast, don’t you?”

The conversation turned to the artifacts, and Llyr made mention of the cube supposedly created by Sintra. He supposed he could start referring to it as: Sintra’s Cube. He liked the sound of that. The biqaj nodded and added, “Manipulation and Spiders.”

He inquired whether the professor would help him research such an artifact, if he were able to get his hands on it. Llyr noticed the shimmer of excitement in the older man’s eyes. He smiled, careful not to show his teeth while doing so, but he walked farther away to the other side of the laboratory. The blond surveyed some vials and jars in a casual sweep of his gaze. He didn’t look at Doran when he hummed and said in a calm manner, “Hm. Yes. It does seem as if we share some interests.”

Llyr waited a trill, then he glanced over his shoulder. A coy expression showed on his youthful features, as he looked at Doran with flirtatious undertones. “It is a slight curiosity, doctor, why you are so interested in the arcane though. You are not a mage, though you work with their blood, and the blood of the divine… yet why not research mortalborn instead? If I did not have so much personal connection to my sparks and Emea, I would find myself much more drawn to research the Immortals and their offspring. Is it not fascinating that an Immortal can, and chooses, to mate with the short-lived people of Idalos?”

word count: 1333

Vhalar

Llyr has a Mortalborn ability:
Accelerate: Llyr has an aura effect within which individuals feel their personal ambitions and pursuits heightened. People will feel driven to act on these aspirations, looking to work toward them within the same trial.

Mutations

  • Gossamer wings resembling a cross between the wings of a dragonfly and a flying ant.
  • An iridescent halo that hovers over his head.
  • Crystalline legs from his toes to the mid of his thighs (like stockings made of quartz embedded into his skin).
  • An ever-moving inky tattoo, with Rorschach-like designs, on his back.
  • When an emotion dominates, the pigment expands past his irises to the entire eye - faintly glowing in that emotion's color as seen here.

Visuals

When in a totem's body, Llyr's mutations persist.
As of 20 Vhalar, Llyr has Perfection in a Bottle active which means Perfect Hair, Skin, and Voice that creates such brilliant radiance that others feel natural attraction to them.
User avatar
Doran
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Race: Mortal Born
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Re: Manifest Midnight [Obsidian Prism]

Tue Dec 03, 2019 6:23 pm

Image
“I know“, the alchemist confirmed as Llyr remarked that he already knew his view on most mages. He agreed with it. Over the centuries, he had met few mages that had managed to impress him. Alistair had been once such mage, to some extent. His apprentice Sintih had been hot-headed and unaware of the dangers that came with giving oneself to the spark though, and Balthazar, for all the interesting, philosophical conversations they had shared, wasn’t much better. In some ways, he was strangely clueless.

“In that case, I apologize”, he remarked somewhat dryly. “And yet there are likely people imprisoning mages, torturing them and killing them using similar devices now”, he spoke. The tone of his voice was relatively neutral and emotionless. He was not passing judgement on those sought to cause mages harm – the issue was too complex to make a quick decision, and he had not picked a side - he was simply stating a fact.

He left it at that. They had already discussed the matter before, in his dreamscape, and he had no interest in repeating what he had said and, perhaps, ruining what had been quite an enjoyable meeting so far. There was something else he felt the need to react to. He couldn’t help but notice that the younger man looked almost angry all of a sudden.

For a moment, he wondered if that was because of his mentioning the Order of the Mantis – or if it did in fact have something to do with Llyr’s mutations. Upon seeing the blush on his face and hearing him stammer, he decided that the latter was more likely to be the case. Unlike Llyr, he didn’t avert his gaze, but kept on looking at the younger man, calmly and somewhat curiously as he couldn’t help but wonder what exactly he was hiding under his clothes now.

“Then show me – or at least tell me”, he finally asked. “I cannot make a definite decision without knowing about all of them. You already know what I’m hiding under my clothes”, he remarked, referring to Syroa’s Blessing that manifested as what seemed to be nothing more than a large tattoo of wings on his back for the time being.

No matter whether Llyr decided to reveal which other mutations he had or not, the alchemist then turned to focus on the matter of the source of mutations. “So, a revealed mage’s humanity really is gone”, he mused, the look on his face utterly thoughtful for a moment as he remembered one of his meetings with a Rupturer from Rynmere. “And yet the man I met looked almost like he used to. He was still recognizable. I met him long before his revelation – when he was still a relatively mundane man, working a relatively mundane job - and after it”, he explained.

His voice trailed off as he considered the matter further. In spite of his long life and his studies of alchemy and the supernatural, he found it somewhat hard to wrap his head around those concepts. He knew more than Balthazar and definitely more than Sintih, but there were still so many pieces of the puzzle missing. Llyr had spoken of his sparks as if there were real beings, as if there were separate entities. Most of the mages he had met so far had barely known what the spark was – and not tried to find out more about it either.

In a way, it seemed as if their roles had were reversed once more. During their last meeting, he had tried to explain alchemy to Llyr. Now it seemed as if the etherist was the more knowledgeable of the two of them again. He didn’t mind though. Rather than being irritated because there was somebody that might know more about a certain subject than him – a Mortalborn who had brought an Immortal to his knees once - he was fascinated.

Llyr provided him with an opportunity to find out more about the world they both lived in.

“So, it is some sort of symbiotic relationship?” the Mortalborn asked as Llyr told him that his mutations helped him. He didn’t try to curb his curiosity, for the time being. What Llyr had told him sounded so different from everything he had heard so far. Before, he had always considered the spark to be a parasite, something that you ought to fight and suppress as much as you could. Even some of the mages that he had talked to had thought such. He had never thought of the spark as something that had desires of its own and that you might want to nurture rather than ignore.

Had he been a little younger, a mortal man instead of a man of divine blood that he had lived for centuries, his mind would without a doubt have been reeling now. A few bits in Llyr’s company had turned out to be far more enlightening than everything he had discussed with the mages that he had met so far, and there didn’t seem to be an end in sight.

“Tell me, Mister Magpie”, he slowly said. “Do your mutations resemble the ones that the man – or woman – that initiated you had? From what I understand, the teacher imparts their spark into the body of their student. Do the two of you have anything in common besides your domains?” He met the younger man’s gaze as he said that.

“I do realize that”, he replied curtly and inclined his head as Llyr spoke of the threat involved in allowing certain mages the potential to get of their mutations, but still be able to cast. “I didn’t say that I would share my research with others and distribute such items freely. I only stated that they would without a doubt be coveted. I am well aware of what happens if a spark is abused too much. Rest assured that I intend to tread exceptionally carefully, and if the risks turn out to not be worth it, I will stop immediately”, he remarked somewhat dryly, wondering what kind of man Llyr took him for.

Some sort of power-hungry fool that rushed into a dangerous venture head-first, not caring about the consequences and who and what he abused along the way?

He didn’t follow the etherist to the other side of the laboratory. Instead, he remained where he was, simply watching the other man thoughtfully and with a certain amount of curiosity. Llyr’s moods, he observed, were somewhat fickle and unpredictable. He had gone from being serious and seemingly angry to being almost flirtatious and slightly coy.

Such was somewhat foreign to the alchemist who kept his emotions carefully under control most of the time.

As Llyr wondered why he didn’t research Mortalborn, his lips momentarily twisted into the semblance of a smile, even though he had been somewhat worried that the younger man would touch upon that topic before. “My interest in the arcane stems from the fact that I am not a mage. There are still a lot of things that I don’t know about magic. I want to understand, what it feels like to have a spark inside of you, what it is like to change irrevocably and inevitably and what kind of abilities mages have. The way you spoke about your sparks was quite enlightening, for example”, he remarked. It was not an apology for talking about something that the other man apparently considered to be a form of abuse, but the closest thing to it that Llyr would get, for the time being.

“I do not research Mortalborn because I already know most of what there is to know about them”, he spoke. The tone of his voice was exceptionally calm now, as if there was nothing out of the ordinary about what he was about to say, and he met the other man’s without blinking. “I am Mortalborn myself, Mister Magpie. I am quite familiar with my own kind. When we last met, I told you that there were some things that I didn’t want to talk about in Emea lest someone listened to us. This was one of them. I’d rather some people didn’t find out that I’m not human”, he added dryly.

He didn’t trust Llyr completely, not yet – trusting someone after only three meetings would be nothing short of foolish – but considering the gift that he had given to him – Emea – he would give him the benefit of the doubt for now, he decided. Besides, his revealing some things about himself might make the other man open up in turn and make him more willing to talk. There was something quite fascinating about him. So far, each of their meetings had raised just as many questions as it had answered.
word count: 1497

Items

Ring of Reversal: Doran owns a Ring of Reversal. He's always wearing it, unless stated otherwise.

Sesser

Ever Alluring I: The bearer has an enhanced constitution, staying strong and healthy in conditions where others would wilt and fall ill. Scars never remain, disease rarely seems to visibly touch the bearer, and he/she recovers from injuries much faster than the average member of their race. The bearer seems to age more slowly, though the effect is superficial rather than biological. In addition, everyone encountered is subconsciously attracted to the bearer, even those of incompatible sexual orientation. Those of alternate tastes may not feel compelled to flirt or pursue the marked, but the spark of incomprehensible arousal, however slight, is there all the same.
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