• Mature • Fate or Choice

Doran, please.

Far to the north, in the land of endless snow and cold, is a place that only the brave can survive. Twilight Province is known for the predators that can kill a man without blinking an eye. Hidden beyond the snow and mountains is the great city of Viden, and five other townships that house the hardest people known in Idalos. Are you prepared?

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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Fate or Choice

Wed Feb 12, 2020 9:33 am

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Are you offering to donate your blood?

Llyr knew that the alchemist meant it in jest… mostly… and he bumped his hip up against the other man, in a teasing way. He nodded, simply, affirmatively, and sincerely. If Doran wanted his silver blood, for whatever he needed it for, Llyr would be happy to give it to the son of Ziell.

He laughed when Doran remarked that he was of the first to call the professor brilliant. How was that even possible? The man was a professor at the prestigious Academy of Viden? The Hero of Oscillus, once Lord-Ambassador of Etzos! Llyr furrowed his dark brows and smiled in a bemused expression. Clearly, this was another jest of sorts. It seemed so obvious to the young mage that the other man was brilliant and smart and clever and handsome and smelled so good, his musk mixed with the scent of tobacco…

…Llyr gathered his thoughts back to the research on the desk. He asked about the prototype and noticed how eager Doran appeared by it. He smiled at this. He wanted to hear more, as much as Doran was willing to share. Llyr felt a deep fondness for his initiate in that moment. He moved closer. They kissed once more. They didn’t stop kissing, either.

Not until Llyr forced himself to pause. He had to focus, somewhat. They’d already spent breaks on the floor and desk and against the wall and- focus!

He gathered Doran’s hand in his, to look over the mutation that had taken over the skin. He kissed against it lightly, as he often did the other man’s witchmark, in a reverent but intimate touch of his plush lips against the skin.

“You can repair items without touching them?” inquired Llyr. His eyebrows shot up in surprise. He laughed quietly and said, “You will have to…”

Show me!

Llyr laughed again, a bit louder. The bridge of his nose creased in a slight wrinkle. He shook his head, then considered the enthusiastic almost-demand to be taught.

How could he deny his initiate that?

Llyr considered what to teach Doran, when the other man raised a hand as if to stop him already. The blond tilted his head to one side. He leaned back against the desk, casual while he waited… he looked at the markings again when Doran showed them.

“Fire?” He glanced over to a tinderbox left at the corner of the desk. Llyr reached over, and he truly had to reach, his lithe body stretched out as he aimed… then snatched the small tinderbox into his fist. He returned to his ordinary posture, and a small exhale escaped him. The blond grabbed a nearby candle next. He swiped a match, then started the candle’s flame.

“Okay… what is it you wish to show me?” he asked while he held up the candle toward Doran.

“And mutations manifest in all sorts of ways… my legs for instance, they changed over night as I slept. Now, they are stronger, and allow me greater ability than I might have had before. But they also are vulnerable, and… you cannot see as I am now…” he paused here, a blush rose to his cheeks. He concluded, “But when they crack and scar, it does not look like true flesh.”

“If you have truly come as far along in your magic as I believe you might have…” Llyr considered Doran closely. “Then you need to pay close attention, Doran, to what you feel like doing and what you have been doing. I hope you’re keeping notes in your journal? Not everything might be you. Your spark might begin to look for ways to express itself in your life.”

“What of ether?” he inquired next. “Have you been able to form it into shape yet?”
word count: 650
Please — consider me a dream.
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Re: Fate or Choice

Fri Feb 14, 2020 8:57 am

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Llyr laughed at his next remark that few had ever called him brilliant, but the expression on the alchemist’s face was fairly serious. Few had ever called him brilliant, at least not without having hidden motives. When you were an ambassador, or a war hero, there were people that only complimented you because they wanted something from you. Sometimes, it was hard to tell those that genuinely appreciated you from the lickspittles and sycophants. He’d been all right with people’s not always being genuine before, but he’d begun to wonder recently. He decided not to share his musings on the downsides of his celebrity status with Llyr though. That was for another trial, after their reunion.

“I can reshape things”, he confirmed, lowering his gaze in order to watch Llyr kiss his hand, smiling softly once more. “If I wanted to, I could make a broken blade whole again. I wouldn’t have to take it to a blacksmith. It seems to be a slow process so far though, but to be able to do something like that at all …” His voice trailed off, and he shook his head, laughing lightly, amazed. He was, of course aware, that such was still a relative beginner’s technique. Llyr might not find reshaping objects particularly fascinating anymore, but to him it was such a wondrous thing, to do what he would have needed tools for, what he had needed tools for all centuries, without anything at all, apart from ether.

He couldn’t understand why he had refused to become a mage for so long. Of course, magic was dangerous, and he would always keep that in mind, but at the same time, it was utterly fascinating, and it made the world that had already lost most of its luster different, bigger, brighter.

Llyr had lit a candle though, and the Mortalborn smiled somewhat enigmatically before he extended his right hand. For a moment, he simply let it hover over the flame in order to feel its warmth before he lowered it, silently counting the trills until half a bit had passed before he withdrew again. “I seem to have developed a peculiar kind of resistance to heat and fire”, he remarked. “I’m not sure if there are any limits to it yet though. I’ve been reluctant to try and find out more, for obvious reasons.” Burn wounds were rather painful, and if he stuck his hands into a fire for too long, there might be damage.

He wasn’t interested in that.

When Llyr spoke about his legs, the alchemist lowered his head in order to look at them before he met the etherist’s gaze again, the expression on his face thoughtful rather than excited and enthusiastic, for but a moment. “I’m not sure if I still have true flesh under my skin”, he admitted. He wouldn’t mind if such were the case – he knew that mutations were inevitable, and he had accepted that he would mutate from the beginning, just like he accepted and even enjoyed Llyr’s mutations. He was just wondering about it.

“I have written everything down in the journal that you gave me after my initiation, from the time that this new mutation first manifested over my studies of qualities to my attempts to reshape things”, he confirmed, taking note of Llyr’s warning and paying heed to it. “I have been eating slightly different foods recently, but that might as well be a result of my increasingly luxurious lifestyle rather than the influence of the spark.” He wasn’t boasting about the luxury that he lived in and the things that were available to him as a consequence of his considerable wealth, things that most people in Idalos could only dream of; it was an attempt at an explanation, nothing more and nothing less. He had never been a particularly boastful individual.

Using a Ring of Paradigm would enable him to find out for sure – Llyr had already begun to speak about such shortly after his initiation - but he didn’t want to acquire one, at least not yet, although there would come a time when he would conduct such research, to see how much was really him and how much was due to the influence of the spark.

He liked the man he was now, better than who he had been, and he never wanted to go back to the way things had been before.

When Llyr asked him if he had already formed ether into shape, the Mortalborn furrowed his brow fractionally for a moment before he looked at his lover that was still so temptingly close to him. “I have found out how to submerge an object in a field of ether in order to transmute it, but nothing else so far. How do you … how do you shape ether into form?” he inquired in a deep tone and with unmistakable curiosity.
word count: 837

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

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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Re: Fate or Choice

Sat Feb 15, 2020 5:28 am

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"Do you mean..." Llyr murmured while he listened to Doran explain that he could make a broken blade whole again. He frowned slightly, then said, "You remember what I taught you about faults and flaws, yes? That whatever you might place your magic on... it could decay from such force unless you place it with similar attention from time to time."

For Llyr, his reshaping often came in the form of desperate need - having to escape or require something. As he considered Doran some more, and enjoyed that laugh (for he enjoyed Doran's laugh a great deal), he realized that much of his relation to Transmutation came from immediate danger, or challenge, or that which - if he failed, it could result in death.

In this way, he envied his initiate somewhat. It felt slightly bittersweet to him, as he collected the tinderbox and lit the candle. His eyes widened, violet in hue, when he saw the man simply place his hand over the flame without even a flinch of pain. Llyr's lips parted in a silent gasp, about to tell Doran to stop until he realized that the Sesser wasn't feeling any pain in the slightest. Trills passed, and then finally, Doran withdrew the hand.

He was glad to hear of the journal, and that Doran was following instruction, but something felt like it was brewing in his mind. Like tea on the stovetop, he felt his thoughts condense and start to rise into steam.

Past the mention of mutations, and of shaping ether, and Doran's inquiry as to how to shape ether into form (which he found incredibly attractive with the deep pitch and curious tone from his Sesser lover), it continued to bother him until...

Llyr stared at the other man, still holding the candle and ignoring how the wax pooled around his fingers. "That's... That's amazing, Doran! I wonder if that's because the first quality you learned was of heat! And that we were in the kitchen too, if you're eating different foods now, and... Remember? The tea... perhaps the spark recalls. What if, oh... OH DORAN!"

The blond blew out the candle, then set it to the side. He moved away from the alchemist somewhat, opened one of the desk drawers and searched about until he found some blank papers. He tossed them onto the desk surface, making clear some room, then hurriedly got a quill and dipped it in a fresh inkwell. Despite the intricate actions, Llyr moved fast and with agile familiarity.

He started to write on the vellum, in scrawled tiny penmanship and said, "What if sparks have the ability to remember such things? What if... so imagine like a sponge? Yes? What is the commonality between anything new, Doran? After that point, it is never the same again! No matter what it is, something new can never be what it was at the very beginning. It can pretend, or put on a veneer, but it is impossible. The environment shapes it, what happens to it, what occurs to it, around it... it all impacts it!"

"If a porcelain cup were to sit on a shelf and a quake occurs, it might still crack due to the tremors. Somewhere, that crack influences it, even if it is fixed later... or in the case of Transmutation, reshaped like you call it." Llyr continued to write while he talked.

The blond glanced up at Doran, though the quill didn't stop moving while he wrote. "Fates, Doran, do you realize what this could mean? It could mean that spark mutations could be controlled, planned... even... engineered!"

He returned his gaze as he pressed the completely filled paper, from edge to edge with no margins, away and started on a new one. "If you contained a sponge and introduced things to it, like your blood, you say you purify it and are able to isolate it. If one were to isolate a mage, isolate a spark during its formation... Wounded Lord, help me..."

Llyr stopped writing in mid-word. His voice had gone breathless. He lifted up from the leaning that he'd been doing while writing. His hands shook as he felt excitement and anxiousness course through his sensitive body. The biqaj lowered the quill slowly, looked at Doran again, and quietly gasped. He took a few trills, his eyes vivid white and then iridescent in a glowing light that drifted around his dark brows.

The young mage tossed the quill aside. He half-jumped, half-climbed - and wrapped his legs around Doran's hips while he hugged the other around the neck. Up against Doran, he kissed the alchemist passionately. It wasn't a long kiss, but it was fierce. He broke it soon though and said, "My love, you have no idea what you have helped me realize! Not yet! Fates, Doran... I want to have you again, and again, and again..."

"Alas!" said Llyr in a cheerful jest. He leaned away from Doran, though his legs and arms remained wrapped around the broader-built man while he did so. His dragonfly wings fluttered to help him balance. The rainbow-like tattoos that curved in swirls around his waist seemed to move in spirals. "We cannot waste our time like this anymore! We must focus on our work! Yours and mine, and both of our's. For the sake of Idalos and all within it!"

He moved to slide onto the desk, instead, and added, "Shaping ether is quite simple... I learned while in combat, but Doran, you have the luxury of learning in such safety... with all the time you need... I feel so jealous about this, I must say, but it also makes me happy. It is an odd feeling. Anyway, ether. Shaping. Form."

Llyr lifted a hand and gathered observable ether in the palm in the shape of an orb. "I like to gather it in my hand first, like this, and then like clay, mold it with my heart... or mind... depending on how you feel... it sometimes is a blend of both, or feels like it. There are... discs," he brought his other hand over and flattened the orb into a flat disc shape. "Poles and spears," he lengthened the disc out into a small mockery of a spear. "And as many shapes as you could possibly think of."

He swiftly changed the shape of the ether into an open fan. The effeminate biqaj fluttered the ether fan beside him, and a faint breeze was created that lifted his pale blond hair away from his face. He closed the fan with a snap, and the ether dissipated and vanished.

"You try, or whenever you wish to. For now, I must write more, before I forget my thoughts, and then you can show me more of your prototype... and take my blood, if you desire it from me."
word count: 1165
Please — consider me a dream.
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Re: Fate or Choice

Sun Feb 16, 2020 1:26 pm

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“I remember what you told me”, the Mortalborn confirmed, furrowing his brow fractionally again as he thought back on the experiments that he had conducted during Llyr’s absence that had lasted far too long in his opinion. “Some of the objects that I worked with didn’t last very long, and yet others acquired qualities that I didn’t plan on them having. One of them even seemed to be covered with bizarre glowing fissures”, he recalled. He didn’t mind that that the items that he transmuted were all flawed in some way – it was a reality of this particular magic that he accepted and that even fascinated him.

There was something that he couldn’t help but wonder about though. “Do you think there is a reason why certain flaws manifest – or are the effects entirely random?” he asked, with unmistakable curiosity. A moment later, his eyes suddenly lit up as if he had just had an idea. So far, he hadn’t been able to figure out a pattern, but that didn’t mean that there wasn’t one. Maybe he would simply have to conduct more research. Maybe, it would be a simple matter of trying to imbue similar objects with the same quality and comparing them – or trying to make a number of broken blades whole again.

Of course, it would be a somewhat arduous process due to his ether reserve not being unlimited, but then again, he had time – and one of the most intelligent men that he had ever met by his side. He found himself wondering about what kind of fortunate coincidence had brought them together again. He had never thought that he would ever meet someone like Llyr, someone that he cared about to such an extent, far more than he had thought possible.

He waited for Llyr to say something about his new mutation, strangely impatiently. When the younger man finally started to speak, when he turned out to be much more enthusiastic than he had thought that he would be and abruptly searched his desk for something to write with, the alchemist looked at him in confusion for a moment. A few trills later, as the importance of it all dawned on him, his eyes widened, and he just stared at Llyr for a moment. “If this is the case, if this really is the case, then it changes everything”, he decided, his excitement obvious, as he considered the possible implications. “I wouldn’t have to wonder what my next mutations will be like!”

“I would have some manner of control after all, Llyr! What do you think I should do now? How should I proceed? How should I use my magic in your opinion? I’ve only become a mage a few trials ago … Llyr, will you research this with me?”
he asked. His head began to spin slightly, and a smile began to spread across his entire face. What they had just talked about, might be even bigger than his discovery of a new field of alchemy. If they could prove that mutations could be directed, that they could be controlled, magic would never be the same again!

“If we could do what you say …”, he continued, shaking his head in amazement as Llyr spoke about isolating a spark during its formation, his blue eyes shimmering with fascination and joy. His gaze met Llyr’s. A moment later, as Llyr nearly jumped into his arms, he embraced him and eagerly kissed him. “Love … Llyr, you are amazing”, he remarked. If it hadn’t been for the fact that Llyr broke away again, he would have kissed him a second time and a third time. Llyr’s excitement was contagious. Seeing him like that made him happy, almost beyond measure.

When Llyr insisted that they must focus on their work, he laughed, even though a part of him agreed, before he allowed the etherist to slide onto the desk and leaned against it once more, looking at him. Llyr’s mention about how he had learned his magic momentarily made him thoughtful and perhaps more appreciative of the life he had now. If he hadn’t stopped fighting when he had, he wouldn’t have any of the things that he had now, he wouldn’t be able to feel such contentment, he wouldn’t be safe … if he hadn’t moved to Viden, but become some sort of anti-immortal zealot instead, he would never have met Llyr …

“You don’t have to be jealous of me, Llyr”, he remarked, looking at him with a gaze that was full of affection. “You can share this luxury with me. You can stay with me as long as you want, make use of everything that my home has to offer and conduct your research in a safe environment. I already told you that you could stay with me shortly after we saw each other in the waking world for the first time”, he reminded him. He was aware that Llyr would likely leave again before long, that he would almost certainly leave again – his lover’s life was as complicated as his had been before he had come to Viden – but he wanted him to know that there would always be someone and something waiting for him, no matter when he came back.

When Llyr conjured an orb of ether and shaped it, he watched him closely, marveling at the fact that the younger man’s ether fan worked like an actual fan before he conjured a small orb of ether of his own and began to shape it. His way of handling ether was different from Llyr’s own, slow and meticulous, not because he was hesitant and not because he was worried about overstepping or similarly unpleasant consequences, and only in part because of his relative lack of experience, but because he was studying the ether at the same time that he shaped it – and because he was so amazed by it. He didn’t create a spear – he didn’t feel like creating weapons now – and neither did he copy Llyr’s creation.

The ether that he worked on took the shape of a small star that shimmered brightly and faded again but a moment later. “I made a little invention about an arc and a half ago, alchemical lights, artificial stars that shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow and light up the darkness for a little while”, he explained, in case Llyr was wondering why he had made what he had made. “Perhaps I can show you the real thing later on, when we take a look at the prototype that I created together”, he remarked.

“Thank you”, he spoke as Llyr repeated his offer to give him his blood before he fell silent, simply watching him for a moment before he kissed him again, gently and finally returned to his position next to him. “Shall I leave you to your writing then?” he asked. If Llyr answered in the affirmative, he would do so – and watch him again as there was something quite fascinating about the way he put his thoughts on paper, so eerily similar to his own way of taking notes.
word count: 1220

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

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.

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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Re: Fate or Choice

Sun Feb 16, 2020 10:16 pm

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That Doran caught on, so quickly, to what Llyr had realized made the etherist smile. The sort of smile that he couldn't get rid of because it was an involuntary rush of happiness. He'd never experienced this with anyone before. The level of connection he felt with Doran was beyond anything else. Even beyond his relation with a couple of his own sparks. It made him want to stay with Doran, in Viden, and never return to Etzos. It made him want to forget about everything that'd led him to the north, and focus entirely on their research and each other. He wouldn't have to protect Oceta, or Wren. He wouldn't have to worry about Emmy, or Woe. He wouldn't have to think about Kasoria, or Webb. No searching for Hart or Lord Vuda. Sintra could be left to her devices...

Everyone could think he had died. If he just left Etzos and never returned, from this trial on. He could even change his totem, if he felt the need, hide himself in the public sphere of Viden. He'd already changed his name, what was yet another one to add to the list? A new life... completely new, not even with the vestiges that'd clung to him when he'd entered Etzos.

Llyr would miss some of them, feel poorly for abandoning them in the dark hours alone, but the young mage was well-accustomed with loss. He'd just add it to the rest.

He'd asked Doran to not fall in love... he hadn't wanted to...

...but how could they not?

Doran's enthusiasm stoked his own, and the couple's thoughts spiraled together in a dizzy and intimate euphoric sense of epiphany.

"Of course, Doran, of course I'll research this with you," he answered eagerly. "Imagine... the possibilities if this... if it is something actual. Controlled... Controlling spark awakenings, oh Doran. Think of how many mages we could help with this? They wouldn't be thrown to the whim of uncertainty and isolation, anymore."

"You're a perfect prototype, aren't you?" Llyr asked, his voice steady but he still felt excitement tingling through him - all the way to the tip of his sparkling ether-lit fingertips that were a new mutation for him since last he'd seen the alchemist. "You've been keeping a record in your journal. We can refer to it. Start... start writing down even more, though. Anything external that occurs to you, and we might be able to catch what happens with your next awakening then and reference it to the trials before it happens. Or we could try to... try to set it up. You need to practice connecting with your spark in the meantime, but..."

Llyr leaned against the desk again, holding the point of his chin in his hand while he thought over it. His dark brows furrowed while his expression became the familiar one of him thinking hard about something. "What sort of thing would you like to introduce, if you could? If you could choose an awakening somehow... if the heat brought forth some sort of interaction with fire... and you're eating differently because you studied within a kitchen or something to that... we can't fully isolate you, though. You have work and classes to teach and your own research..."

He hummed. For a moment, while he contemplated the idea... it sunk in that the other man had also called him Love... and maybe if he weren't so distracted by the potential research, he might've said something about it. But Llyr was far more concerned with the discoveries before them. Matters of romance, and the complicated aspects of such connection, could be discussed later.

His gaze flickered up, blue-eyed and glowing due to how much he was concentrating now, but he recognized the affection in Doran's gaze. A silvery-blue blush rose to his pale face. Llyr listened... to the offer. What he wanted... or it sounded like what he wanted... to share the luxury with the handsome, strong, powerful, and brilliant mortalborn. Centuries old, yet willing to open his home and his life to invite and accept Llyr into it. To live a new life, at Doran's side, in safety and love.

He displayed the ether while he thought about it, without saying anything yet about the heartfelt invitation. Maybe he could ignore it... he observed while his initiate created an orb of ether and started to meticulously shape it. He smiled, because he remembered when he had to be so careful of such a thing too. It wasn't very long ago. Llyr nodded, in assurance that Doran was doing it correctly.

When he saw the shape of a small star, Llyr sighed in a happy sound. He glanced at the man at the explanation...

“I made a little invention about an arc and a half ago, alchemical lights, artificial stars that shimmer in all the colors of the rainbow and light up the darkness for a little while. Perhaps I can show you the real thing later on, when we take a look at the prototype that I created together”

Llyr's smile faded. He stared at the other man, almost as if he were confused for a moment. He offered his blood...

...then they gently kissed.

"Shall I leave you to your writing then?"

Tears welled in Llyr's eyes. They silently drifted down his cheeks, as if he weren't even aware of them.

"Doran..." he spoke, and his voice strained when he said it. "...I do-... I don't... You're..."

He stopped and started his sentences, as if uncertain what to say. Llyr crossed his arms in front of him, a sudden closing off as he hugged himself. His wings fluttered, then folded neatly behind him. His gaze kept glancing over Doran's face, studying the features. He frowned, then he said, "I... I can't. I can't live with you. Can't stay, not like that. Even if I want to. I don't... don't deserve you and... I simply can't."

The biqaj turned to move away. He brushed away his tears. He collected the papers he'd been using for notes, and the quill, and added, "Yes. I should write. So should you. We can talk about it another time, okay?"

It seemed that would be that. Llyr slid away from Doran. He sat at one of the chairs, and started to write at the edge of the desk.

Several minutes passed by... quiet except for the swift scribbling of the quill tip against the vellum, and anything Doran did...

...until the scribbling halted without warning, in mid-stroke. Llyr held it, frozen almost, and he stared at the notes he wrote.

In a hushed voice, Llyr confessed, "I flayed."

He closed his eyes, not wanting to witness any reaction on Doran's face. The blond added, "Before I came here, about six trials ago. I flayed another mage's soul. Someone who trusted me, someone I told I was going to care for them, a lover of mine."

"And I fear if I stay with you for an extended time, I might also flay you, Doran. I don't want that to happen. So, I'm going to find somewhere else to stay, where I can be relatively alone, during my stay in Viden."
word count: 1256
Please — consider me a dream.
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Re: Fate or Choice

Mon Feb 17, 2020 3:21 pm

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The Mortalborn didn’t think that he had ever felt such overwhelming, almost delirious joy and happiness, at least not in centuries. He found himself wondering what it would be like to spend the next couple of decades with Llyr again, loving him, researching magic and alchemy with him, changing the world, with him by his side. He couldn’t imagine anything better. There was nothing that he wanted more than to simply continue what they had been doing so far.

He laughed as Llyr called him the perfect prototype and took the younger man’s hands into his. He was almost overcome with excitement. “We should do that. We should try to direct my next awakening. I’m not sure what kind of awakening I want yet though. I’ll have to think about it. I can’t decide something like that now. But to have the option of choosing at all … do you have any idea what this means to me, Llyr?” he asked and kissed Llyr’s mutated fingers before he finally let go of his hands again.

“Something that will aid my - that will aid both of our research, maybe”, he mused. “I want to see, Llyr, I want to hear and feel, and I don’t want to ever become the man that I used to be again!” If the old Doran, the Hero of Oscillus, had become a mage through some twist of fate, he would without a doubt have chosen something that made him stronger, that made him a better fighter, maybe a better killer; but as it was, the Mortalborn would rather pick an awakening that helped him understand the world and see and hear the things that surrounded him better, because there was so much more to it than he had ever thought possible.

But a few bits later, Llyr suddenly began to cry.

For a moment the Mortalborn was at a loss and looked at him with a mixture of confusion and concern. He didn’t understand why the younger man was suddenly crying, even though they had just been so happy together. Was it because of something that he had said or done? He didn’t think that he had said anything wrong though. He had only told him that he could stay with him again, just like before. He had offered him a safe place to conduct his research and develop his magic, a place where he would be loved and accepted. What was so bad about that?

He automatically moved closer to the etherist. If Llyr allowed him to do so and didn’t try to push him away, he would put his arms around him in an attempt to comfort him because he couldn’t bear seeing him like that, sad and crying. “I felt the same way once. There was a time when I thought that I didn’t deserve any kind of happiness because of what I had done”, he told him softly. “Had I met you then, I would without a doubt have thought that I didn’t deserve you. Why shouldn’t we be allowed to feel good though? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to be happy? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to have each other? There are few enough good things in this world as is …”

Before Viden, before he had met Llyr, in the arcs that had led up to the battle at Treid’s Tomb – and in the seasons that had followed – he had been a very different man. He had been pessimistic, hateful, resentful. He hadn’t allowed himself to be close to anyone or feel anything. He hadn’t wanted to be close to anyone, out of fear that he’d just lose them again – and because he had thought that there was no hope, anyway, at least not for mortalkind. Later on, he had wondered if he actually deserved to have anyone. When he had met the etherist, everything had changed though.

He wanted to be with him and love, no matter how long it lasted, even if it only lasted for a few arcs or mere trials.

Even a few trials would be more than he had ever thought that he would have …

“Of course”, he replied as Llyr insisted that they would talk about it another time and inclined his head before he took a piece of paper of his own in order to write down his own thoughts about what they had discussed – or at least tried to do so. Even though he had been so excited about the possibility of being able to control mutations before, his heart was not really in it now. He was too worried about Llyr and the sudden change in his mood, too worried that he might lose him again, so soon after he had returned to him.

A few bits later, when Llyr informed him that he had flayed, the Mortalborn looked up from his comparatively lackluster notes abruptly. “Llyr”, he remarked softly. “Look at me.” If the etherist turned to the alchemist, if he looked at his face, even if it was only for a moment, he would be able to see that there were no signs of shock or disgust, or hatred, because he had flayed someone. There was only calm and acceptance, and perhaps even a kind of appreciation for the fact that Llyr had decided to tell him something of that magnitude, that he had confided in him. Flaying was a dark thing, but he didn’t know why Llyr had done it. Besides, he was hardly in a position to judge him. He had tried to kill an Immortal. Both of them had done questionable things.

What Llyr had done, didn’t change anything about the feelings that he had for him.

“You may not have to stay away from me. I may be able to help you. In fact, I’m almost positive that I can do something for you. I could make something that will make you feel the Thirst less intensely or not at all so that it will be safe for us to be around each other. I am one of the most skilled alchemists in all of Idalos. I just told you that I discovered an entirely new field of alchemy. I can replicate blessing abilities and magic. Making a potion or an item that reduces the Thirst should be relatively easy in comparison. And if something doesn’t go as planned, against all odds, or if making that item takes longer than expected, then we could always meet for shorter periods of time. You said that you’d fear that you might flay me if you stayed with me for an extended time”, he mentioned.

“And if that doesn’t work …” he continued. He paused for a moment. The possibility of maybe not seeing Llyr for trials or entire seven-trials, so soon after they had finally been reunited, of being in the same city as Llyr, but unable to actually be with him, was hard to bear. It was different from Llyr’s going to Etzos which had already been much harder to deal with than he had thought.

“Then I will wait, as long as I have to. The Thirst doesn’t last forever, does it?” he asked. “There’s just one thing that I ask of you before you think about my idea – may I kiss you once more?” he wanted to know. Kissing Llyr, loving him, holding him in his arms once more before he possibly went only the Fates knew where because he was too worried that he might end up flaying him would possibly make things a little easier to bear.
word count: 1302

Mutations

Crimson lines on the back of both hands.

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.

Worn Items

Ring of Reversal
Ring of Immunity
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Llyr Llywelyn
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Re: Fate or Choice

Tue Apr 14, 2020 3:17 pm

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A sort of happiness that Llyr didn’t know existed was found within the centuries-old mortalborn. He’d never encountered someone who understood the complex thoughts that he tended toward. Not in this way, not like how Doran understood him. Even the lich had paled in comparison, treated him as if he were nothing more than a waddling child rather than a man with a mind of his own. Doran, however, spoke with him – not simply to entertain his theories but to engage and further them even. He didn’t begrudgingly listen or mutter a few general statements to move on to other things, but he truly seemed to listen, understand, and converse. For Llyr that meant so much more than simple physical intimacy, though the latter certainly didn’t hurt anything.

His lover’s – and initiate’s – enthusiasm felt contagious and Llyr felt energy gather in him simply from observation of how Doran felt. Llyr, also, didn’t ever want to become the man that he used to be either. Never again the simpering young lad who feared his father’s hand, and hid from the world in concern for his assumed sins. Yet what Llyr had thought to be so terrible… so heinous… he was gradually learning that maybe it wasn’t the case after all. Far more people killed than he had realized, far more people tortured like his father did, and maybe his perception of things had been wrong, skewed by his cowardice.

There was still sin, though. There were still things that were undeniably wrong in the world that’d become increasingly gray and monotone over the seasons since he’d left his father’s home. Llyr knew that of these things that remained starkly defined… flaying was one of them. And flaying he had done. He could still feel the thirst beg him to devour what he could. To not be satisfied with the mere energy of Doran’s enthusiasm, but to extract and swallow his very soul.

The recognition of such a desire, so conflicted by his adoration for the older man, was one of many reasons which caused the etherist to cry. He felt stupid and ashamed for doing so, especially when Doran looked at him with such confused concern. Llyr accepted the hug though, and he almost melted into the hold of Doran’s arms, nestled close.

The faelike mage’s thinner, lithe body trembled in the demigod warrior’s hold. He felt warm, and safe, and Llyr listened to the gentle words shared while he tried to stop the tears that rolled down from his ethereal sapphire blue eyes.

Why shouldn’t we be allowed to feel good though? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to be happy? Why shouldn’t we be allowed to have each other?

“Doran…” whispered Llyr as he shut his eyes, then pressed away to escape the comfort of the other man’s embrace. He didn’t understand. Doran wouldn’t say such things if he knew all that Llyr did… all that he had done. It was far too much, to bear the thought of a man so experienced with life – barely mortal at all – and then himself, barely approaching twenty arcs with so much blood in his past already. And there only ever seemed to be more. Llyr had thought it would all change when he married. That he’d be able to leave such terrible vile evil behind him.

Yet the opposite had occurred. He only found his way to more blood, more torture, more death. All the way into a war riddled with plague. Entire families dead because of his role in matters; Hazel had died in Etzos to Lisirra’s plague, but so too had her family died because of his Venora husband’s conquest of the islands in the coastal waters of Quacia. If it were not for his role in things… perhaps Hazel would still be running about, setting traps and fishing with her uncle and brothers – rather than drifting in the spaces between world as a sorrowful, tormented ghost like she was. Doran knew none of this, he was not aware of the filthy circumstances from which Llyr had come from, and who he had once been; the previous skin of Zarik that he tried so desperately to shed from him. What point was there in trying to do otherwise when he was scarred and tattooed beyond recognition, not only by his deeds, but by the very mutations that the sparks brought onto him.

So, he drew away and he settled to write instead of explain more with Doran. He scribbled notes of what he’d shared and thought of, but he found himself distracted. Part of him wanted Doran to know… know some of it, perhaps. And wasn’t it only reasonable of him to inform the man of the flaying, as it posed a danger to his initiate. If he were going to remain in the other’s presence, that was…

…and Llyr wanted to remain in his presence. He quietly confessed, but he couldn’t bring himself to see how Doran reacted to the information.

“Llyr, look at me.”

The biqaj hesitated for a few seconds, then lifted his gaze to look at the other man. Calm. Acceptance. Even… fondness? Llyr didn’t understand. What sort of reaction was that? Had he not heard him? He’d flayed! An evil and vile act for any mage to perform. Yet Doran looked at him as if… as if… as if the son of Ziell loved him anyway.

Tears filled his eyes again, but he tried his best to blink them away. A few trickled down his cheeks regardless, while he heard what the older man had to say about it. Help? Doran wanted to help him? …he even already had ideas for it? A small nervous laugh escaped him from the sheer anxiety and overwhelm he felt in his emotions while he heard the immense generosity of the alchemist.

“You would do such a thing… for me?” he quietly inquired in a breathless voice. He nodded in agreement that he meant an extended time. He could feel the Thirst getting more powerful by the bit, and yet he’d been able to ignore it so far. It simply took a great degree of willpower on his part. Fortunately, Llyr was in no short supply of experience when it came to denying impulsive urges when he wished or needed to. Yet, he also didn’t wish to be so foolish as to believe he could do so forever without the respite of isolation and meditation. The Thirst was already far more than a simple urge. It was something nearly as powerful as the compulsions of his sparks, if not more so.

“And if that doesn’t work… then I will wait, as long as I have to…”

A strangled, choked sob escaped Llyr. He quickly placed a hand over his mouth in an attempt to muffle the noise. Bleary-eyed, he blinked away some tears and averted his gaze to the side.

“There’s just one thing that I ask of you before you think about my idea – may I kiss you once more?”

Llyr’s gaze snapped back, in return to look at Doran, blue eyes round as they opened wider. He shivered slightly, then nodded. The biqaj stood from his chair, went to the mortalborn, and swiftly sat in Doran’s lap. He wrapped his arms around the alchemist’s shoulders, then forced a sad awkward smile. “Doran, I’m sorry. I don’t mean to cause you trouble, in the heart or otherwise. Of course you may kiss me, you don’t have to ask… though I would lie if I claimed there was not a part of me that desires to draw your soul out from your mouth and bring it into mine.”

“I do love you, Doran, I do,” he mentioned, then lowered his gaze in a shy downward glance. “And perhaps, you are correct. Perhaps we do deserve such a thing… who decides who deserves what anyway? Who allows or denies us what our hearts feel? I love you, though I think that perhaps I should not, and yet I am still glad that I do.”

“Please, kiss me and hold me, and though I must go soon, know how I feel for you.” Llyr lifted his head slightly, then he waited. He waited for Doran to kiss him, and hold him close, and he would fall back into romance with their notes and theories forgotten for however long it took to embrace in the desire that bonded them together so.

word count: 1460
Please — consider me a dream.
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Re: Fate or Choice

Wed Apr 22, 2020 12:27 pm

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Doran

Experience: 15 no magic

Knowledge:

Skill Knowledge
Research x5
Persuasion x4
Psychology x2
Seduction x2

Non-Skill Knowledge
Llyr Llywelyn: His first initiate is an Etzori assassin
Llyr Llywelyn: Flayed someone
Llyr Llywelyn: Loves me

Renown: 5 Servants may talk about the strange magelord visiting Doran.

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: Growing affection between Doran and Llyr. Hopefully it doesn't lead to broken hearts.
Llyr

Experience: 15 No Magic

Knowledge:

Discipline 1/4: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Discipline 2/4: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Discipline 3/4: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Discipline 4/4: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Endurance 1/2: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Endurance 2/2: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Seduction 1/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Seduction 2/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Seduction 3/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Research 1/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Research 2/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Research 3/3: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Logistics 1/2: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)
Logistics 2/2: Fate or Choice (35 Vhalar 719)

Non-Skill Knowledge
Doran: Confessed I flayed, to him.
Doran: Told him I love him.
Doran: Alchemist, Sesser, Dreamlord, Etherist, Son of Ziell, Warrior and Slayer of Tanner Mantises, and soon to be Dean of Academy of Viden’s Institute of… sciences!
Doran: Created a new branch of alchemy.
Doran: Is working on fascinating research.

Renown: 5 Servants may talk about the strange magelord visiting Doran.

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: Llyr can almost sense the spark and soul within Doran as they embrace at the last moment. His thirst reacts. What matter would it make if he took back his spark through flaying? It's just a part of Llyr that he gave Doran, after all. It'd just be like breathing in after breathing out, simple as that...
Comments: "He’s also one of my initiates. My first initiate. He’s low-born, a peasant, but incredibly clever.”

Rakvald: :( :( :( :( :( :( :(

I'm glad you warned me about the booty shorts. I may not have been prepared otherwise.

Joking aside, this story was very well done, with lots of character development between you two.

I was shocked, and yet not, that Llyr made an offer to assassinate Doran's academic rival. You're so good with this character at mixing a sense of naivety and world-weariness. I wouldn't believe it in any other character if it weren't written so well. Even tho he has the potential for amorality, Llyr is very sympathetic, in that he cares for those he cares about. He'll do anything for his friends I guess is the point. A very likable but complex character. It was very sad when Llyr couldn't kiss Doran on the lips, as he feared flaying him. And the conversation about arcane sparks evolving from different circumstances is very interesting. I hope that Llyr gets a chance to pursue those theories with Doran.

Although Doran has changed into a more hopeful and upbeat Doran, he's still got that sense of dour reality about him that he's always had. I've enjoyed watching the change that Llyr has affected on Doran since meeting each other, and the fact that he's initiated him (his uh third initiate? if you include Dreamwalking) makes their connection all the more believable and concrete. Third time's a charm I guess ;)

I look forward to seeing more of you both in the future, and hope this partnership/relationship/mentor-initiateship continues well into the future. I'm sure you'll accomplish some fascinating things in the field of arcana.



If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.

word count: 661
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