[Venora] Lamentations of the Physical Form

The seven Duchies of Central Rynmere and their respective baronies, cities, towns, villages, and landmarks each overseen by a Duke of one of the seven noble families and ultimately controlled by the King of Rynmere.

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Alistair
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Mon Aug 01, 2016 4:06 am

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76th of Ymiden, Arc 716

It was a hot and difficult day. He could not fully describe to an individual just how stressful the past few days had been, with his family preparing to betray the King and his responsibilities as aspiring Duke rising dramatically in their volume. Furthermore, his instructor on Necromancy, Damien, had informed him that he was to meet with more members of the Coven of Ellasin in preparation for the potential civil war. A lot of death and bodies meant a lot of power for an individual necromancer, and the Coven always wished to capitalize on potential power when they could. Such was their way. As a result, he had been riding with Damien on each of their undead steeds towards a ruined fortress in Northern Venora to meet with other members based in Rynmere. Alistair as always was wearing a full hood and a mask that covered his face - he could not be seen by the untrustworthy acolytes of the order for who he really was, the future Duke.

Before they'd gone out to the fortress like they were told, he and the Lich decided to stop at a small village known as Tou-la-Ford, as Alistair had grown terribly hungry and Damien wished for a pause from the ceaseless riding north. Alistair attempted to attune his surroundings before they entered the town, seeking out traces of other mages to ensure they were not discovered by a curious individual. He could sense nothing, but that was often the case due to his lack of aptitude for the spellcraft. The two of them relied on Damien's instead, usually, although the Lich detected nothing. When they arrived in the town, Damien paid for a room with two beds on the second floor of the local tavern, and Alistair got to eating before he joined his instructor in conversation on the second floor. The thing that had been so odd as of late was the fact that both Alistair and Damien had grown to be . . . well, quite the companions; dear friends in a way. Having conversations, learning, performing duties with one another - these things had begun to change in their nature from that of tense and frightening exchanges to often fun and quirky adventures. Alistair had become . . . 'happier' when around Damien, and he could tell also that the Lich had gained a degree of trust and respect for his young apprentice in return.

So - they started to talk more truthfully to one another. The fear had diminished, and Damien had begun to share more vivid details of his history as well as his early beginnings as a Lich. It was today, in fact, that he promised to share portions of his past that he had until now kept hidden from Alistair. Honestly, the reasons for that secrecy were mixed and filled with unyielding numbers of complications. There was the fear of Ellasin discovering that he had relayed sensitive information to Alistair. There was the fear of Alistair losing respect for Damien as he'd revealed his past of gambling, lust and all manner of wildly inappropriate deeds. A great shadow loomed over their relationship, always - it was a shadow that entailed secrets, mysteries, and whispers of the past and even things to come. Damien had even more secrets than Alistair, which was perhaps why the two of them had become accustomed to one another's reclusive nature so quickly. But today, things would change.

As Alistair got seated on his bed, staring at Damien from across the room, the Lich was the first to speak. "It's been a long road for you and I," he said. Alistair nodded. "Long in my terms, surely," he replied. The Lich cracked a grin. "Being ageless does not make things shorter, really. Even if I lived to a thousand, I'd call a dozen years a long time. I can hardly remember the days of yore, from long ago - my youth. It's the days of now that are most familiar to me. Which makes you one of my dearest friends, Alistair. It's difficult for me to muster those words, as you're a sociopath and I'm an undead loon, but I imagine that's what makes it all work. I trust you. I don't trust the Coven, Ellasin, the other Liches. There's perhaps something about your unyielding apathy that makes you all the better in my eyes. So I want you to know . . . things that I haven't told you. About me, about everything."

The young Necromancer looked to him and nodded his head. He didn't say anything. He would allow Damien to do all the talking here - they had a lot of ground to cover.
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Last edited by Alistair on Thu Sep 01, 2016 11:21 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Alistair
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Fri Aug 05, 2016 3:12 pm

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"You know what I told you before? Of how Ellasin seduced me and led me into Necromancy? That wasn't true, really. Ellasin did seduce me - but not with flesh. It was with power, and the potential to change the rules of the world that had long existed. I was known as the Bishop of Yaralon, one who preached of the joy and beauty of the changing of seasons, the dawn, the mercy of the Gods - while many others viewed Ymiden merely as the Immortal of Summer, I viewed him as something entirely different. To me, he stood as evidence that even I, a man of gambling, drinking and greed, could be forgiven. That there was still a Dawn for me, still room for joy in my life. And so I preached these words to the sinners of Yaralon, of how I sinned but was forgiven. Many of them took to my words, and the faith bolstered. One of them, who claimed to be the deepest and most depraved sinners of all, took very keenly to my words. This woman, unbeknownst to me, was the beginning of my ruination." He frowned. Alistair very certainly saw the intrigue in this - Ellasin taking disguises, fooling the hearts of men and women by appealing to their sense of morality. That was an effective way to recruit. With Alistair, she had merely reined him in with threats and promised him power if he obeyed. But he was already corrupted by Necromancy - surely a Bishop of Ymiden was a different battle altogether.

"Ellasin was wise and tactful," he spoke. "She revealed to me her sins, and showed them to me; so eagerly displayed as if she didn't fear the repercussions at all. She showed me that she was a Necromancer, one of great evil. Yet very quickly I realized she was so much more than your basic Necromantic foe - in an instant, she would have been able to rend my head from my shoulders. I could not speak out. I merely had to listen, follow her lead, implore. I did the best I could to dissuade her from this magic I had always known to be evil, but after a time I began to realize my own temptation. She spoke to me of rebirth, how Ymiden preached on and on about it. Yet she asked me if he had ever performed this miracle of being reborn, at least to my knowledge. I quoted scriptures and such but in reality those claims lay confused and yet unfounded. I did not really know. So she showed me . . . rebirth. She had me touch her flesh, and I felt the absence of warmth on her skin. She revealed to me that she had been 'reborn' what must have been hundreds of years past, and that she knew that there was but one God of Rebirth in this world - Necromancy. The ability to make life from... unlife." How much of a fool he was, back then. A bloody fool being tempted by a witch.

In honesty, he was afraid, back then and even now. He was afraid that she would kill him if he did not accept her 'gift' - Necromancy. But when he began to delve into it, first for his own safety, the power that came with it was addicting. He was learning from the best of the best - he developed quickly. It wasn't long before he was a veritable witch in his own right, and he could no longer cast the shadow of judgment on Ellasin. The man fidgeted in his bed, getting into a more comfortable position. He found bitterness in these words, but he needed to relay them even so. There was to be change, soon, in the Coven. He knew it. The Liches had long yearned for change; immortal life could grow dull with no variance, after all. Informing Alistair of the past was essential so that he could herald a different future than the one Ellasin desired - one of her ultimate dominance, presiding over both man and Immortal. Damien didn't wish to rule the world - he wished for the world to accept him again, as it once did. To find mercy as Ymiden does in even the soul of a Necromancer. That was his wish.
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Alistair
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Fri Aug 05, 2016 4:47 pm

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"Ellasin made me a Lich, but not others she had taken as apprentices. Why me in particular, Alistiar? Have you ever raised that question?" The man posed this curiosity to his student, and the Venora merely shrugged. There was a variety of reasons she might have done so. As far as he was aware, Liches were mostly normal in the way they thought. She could have merely had a human-like penchant for him. He was an attractive man, so that was a possible reason why. He had an addictive personality and so grew exceptionally fond of Necromancy the further he went. Perhaps she merely liked him for their earlier interactions - where without showing fear, he attempted to dissuade her from her Necromantic practices. Or perhaps, all of these things, but something greater as well - an aspect he'd mentioned in Ellasin many a time. She corrupts all things.

"It was your faith itself, wasn't it?" He asked. The Lich nodded his head. "Indeed. It was my love of Ymiden that drove her mad with ambition to taint me. Ellasin spits on the Immortals, believing herself better than them. She's told me once before that she is greater than that of Faldrun, wiser than Ralaith. Corrupting me, someone blessed by Ymiden and loved by his followers, was that of a great accomplishment for Ellasin. She reveled in it - enjoyed it more than you can imagine." That made sense to him. Someone who wished to rival the Immortals could often find pride in the tainting of their believers - tempting their followers away from them more powerfully than they could bring them back. "My constant desire to atone, to seek forgiveness for my unyielding addictive nature, had driven me to a despair that many did not know. But Ellasin could see it - always. That is one of her greatest talents, her perceptiveness. She can spot betrayal and other such things before they become a threat." And so Alistair interrupted him, which was something he rarely did. He was not the impatient type, but he had to be sure of something. This conversation felt very 'penultimate' in a way, as if it was being delivered from the perspective of one who was soon to pass.

He bit his lower lip, then asked, "Has she sensed your own desires for betrayal, yet, Damien?" The Lich immediately paused, and leaned back. "No," he said. "While she can perceive, I can conceal, just as you can. Across my long lifespan I have developed an exceptional ability to lie, one I noticed in you early on. Ellasin believes that I am her most loyal, but in fact I have conspired with other Liches to overthrow her. She is far too dangerous to let live - as long as she lives, the perception of Necromancy across Idalos will always be sour and grim. That has to change. As someone who followed Ymiden for a long time, I believe in forgiveness, and rebirth, and a new dawn. I believe that Necromancy can be seen in a better light, and that the sins of ambitious warlocks can be forgiven by the people of this world." And so came the end of what he wanted to say. Alistair could see that, plain as day. He didn't often find Damien to be the idealistic type, but here he was, spewing lines far more idealistic than anything Alistair had heard in a long time. Imagining a world of perfect unity and peace seemed less far-fetched than the idea that people could come to accept and tolerate Necromancy. It thrived on the death of mortals. Alistair had been developing a way to change those perceptions across his lifetime, using Necromancy and medicine in tandem on a personal project, but even if he succeeded he doubted the world would view Necromancy as a positive.

The goal was simple, yet far-reaching - using Necromancy to drag back the departed souls of the living, rather than merely keeping a shattered fragment of their soul within their body. It would thus be able to bring someone fully back to life, with full sentience, freedom and awareness. A level of perception and intellect known to them in life - it would change the world of Necromancy, adding a second side to the equation: more than just submission and control, it could be used for resurrection. He and Damien had theorized about this for many years, and while no real headway was made, Alistair continued his research. He had just wondered, lately, if there was even a point. What was the component necessary to change unlife to life? To make the undead breathe and feel and love? Liches were the halfway point between life and death, and thralls were the personification of death. How could one breech through death and then do a full reversal? These questions remained the greatest enigma of Alistair's life, and all his medical research and Necromancy had only posed more curiosities for him.

Damien stood up, and took a seat next to his apprentice on the bed. The man sighed, and looked to the eyes of the Venora. "There is a way," he said. "I can feel it, Alistair. There is a way to recreate life from death. I can feel it in my bones, I can feel it in the wind. It's my connection to Ymiden that offers me this guidance, even as I have turned my back on him. I will not be able to find the answer in this life - I have corrupted our connection, and his touch will never again bring me the warmth I had in life. But you can. The greatest thing I saw in you was your desire to preserve life - this is something you and I have shared. The other Necromancers only wish to abuse this ability for the power it can bring them, but that is not the way. Find power in Necromancy, use it to its fullest. Protect yourself. But diverge from the forlorn path of the others, and find your own way. You know where you need to go to find the answer to your greatest question - if the dead can truly live again."

At that moment, he knew. The summation of all of Damien's questions, the curiosities he'd been led by for over a hundred years, he had discovered the answer among these pretenses - but the answer did not lay only in Necromancy. The answer laid within the Immortal he'd cast his back towards. And he could feel the weight of Damien's words - a challenge to bring Alistair away from the clutches of the Coven and into the light of something else. Ymiden. A New Dawn.
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Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:58 am

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Alistair


Knowledge:
Basic
Faction: Coven of Ellasin
Damien: Early history
Damien: Doesn’t trust the coven
Damien: Attracted to power
Ellasin: Necromancer
Ellasin: Made Damien a Lich
Liches: Halfway between life and death

Loot: n/a
Injuries: n/a
Fame: n/a

Story: 5/5
Collaboration: 0/5
Structure: 5/5

Comment: Lots of dialog, but still entertaining. Its always nice to flesh out supporting roles a little.
A N D I T' S A L L J U S T S M A L L S T U F F, B A B Y.
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