[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

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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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Sat Feb 25, 2017 7:54 pm

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19th of Cylus, Arc 717

(Please Note: I received permission from the prophet support forum to run this quest for me and Doran. Since we are not having Syroa make any appearances, her relaying a message to Alistair and Doran is something that has been allowed.)

The night before had been one of terror. Desires overcame him in his sleep, and the evening was rife with whispers into his ear. Ones commanding lust, fury, deception and alteration; whispers he'd begun to recognize, in the three months since receiving Sesser, as the words of the devil. Syroa. He tried to ignore those words, always - he tried to pretend her voice was not present. But always, and continuously, he could feel a barbed tongue upon his ear. It had become a vice. He'd woken up to that same feeling, and he'd felt it in dreams, too. It wasn't the nightmares of Emea that plagued him, now - but the nightmares of her domain.

This time, though, the words were different, and distinctive. He could feel them almost as if inked across his skin, to the point where when he awoke, he stripped himself of his nightly attire and checked across his body. No letters were found. Instead, on the wall, he could see words written with the texture of flowing blood. Their message changed, letters flowing out into more, branching and taking weaves and turns. Before his eyes, he saw a command:

Child. Lover. Brother. Enemy. Friend. Forsworn. Dog. Instrument. Traitor. Liar. Kinslayer. Kingslayer. You have held many identities, many wants, and all of them have been despicable. Yet you are one of many, and though I may have thought once that no man could be lower, there is in fact a greater blight upon this Kingdom than you. His name . . . was Malek. A man of great reputation - one of the most skilled swordsmen of Rynmere. Yet he was skilled with a second blade, too, and with that second sword he sought to conquer men and women alike. He was followed by bastards and broken hearts across the whole of the Kingdom, desperate to find the thing he was missing, while causing want, need and desolation along his path.

In truth, without even his knowledge, I had marked this man. This . . . Malek. Yet in time, I grew tired of his antics. Despite his skill, he was truly lost and forlorn, without any ambition but to ravage his body in drugs, sex and alcohol for all of the long life I had provided. An appealing follower for a time, but one that outstayed his welcome. He . . . is no longer of my charge. Instead, I decided to have him entertain me in another way, in a more fitting form. A creature that prowls the night, just as he did, but with an intention far more visceral than earthly pleasures. He came upon the same lads and lasses he always had, but instead of providing them a night of temporal fulfillment . . . he would provide them with anguish, horrors; a terror not known to them, except perhaps where they reside now.

I provided him with a lovely ability . . . the compulsion to, in the throes of passion, become a monster incapable of reason or fulfillment. A fiend, slaughtering his lovers and friends alike upon the moment of reaching his desired fulfillment.

Yet even in this form, he was not complete, and critically unworthy of my time. This man, Malek, has defied all of my gifts. He has learned to suppress the provocative sensations I have given to him, minimizing the results of his . . . transformations and sparing his surroundings his sweet, vicious embrace. Instead, he finds himself in a cage of stone when his passions inflame, and he has bindings of magical means installed by those who pity him - when my gift sparks within him, so too does this etheric suppression, an affront to my will. You will hunt him down for me, creature, and end this blasphemy against my eminence. Or I shall hunt you.

The town of Rayleigh, in the land of Gawyne. You are already there. Curious, isn't it? Go downstairs, to the hovel you've found refuge in, and seek a man of a familiar face. He, too, has been led here - and on the same task.


The words faded, the blood disappearing, as if seeping into the walls. Alistair's eyes went alight with an amber shade, something prevalent only when his mark flared with energy. Syroa had contacted him, and she'd made her desires clear. The restless night he'd had before was not from nightmares or a misplaced addition to his diet - it was her claws raking across his back, yet again, reminding him of his predilection towards her wants, willing or not.

"Fucking hell," he cursed. Why was he even here, in Rayleigh? He didn't remember the journey. It was as if the sleepless night had happened without his vision, or consent.

The man put on his clothes, quickly, staring at his face in the mirror as he did so. Despite how off he felt, and how tired, he looked . . . totally okay, if not better than. He was practically glowing - he looked healthy. For all he loathed Syroa and her influence, he had to remind himself of what she had given him, too. Was this her gift? Was this her curse? He didn't know.

But it wasn't wise to defy her. The man, after settling on the rest of his clothes, decided to take a trip to the base floor of the inn and do as she commanded - seek a familiar face.

Last edited by Alistair on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:23 am, edited 2 times in total. word count: 940
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Sun Feb 26, 2017 6:11 pm

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Oathbreaker. The son of Ziell awoke with a start. He had spent the entire trial reading and trying to gather as much information as possible about one of his next destinations, the Black Castle, and had finally fallen asleep at his desk. Hopekiller, Kinslayer. He knew that voice, knew it intimately. She had first come to him on a night like that, a few arcs before, opened his eyes to the truth and promised him power far beyond his wildest dreams. He lit the lamp in front of him, expecting to see her – he could almost feel her touch – but as he looked around, he realized that he was alone, as alone as he had been before. Nothing had changed.

No, that was not true. Something was there, on the wall, strange symbols where there had only been cold and empty stone before. Furrowing his brow, he rose to his feet to take a closer look. As he did so, they changed and formed actual words that shimmered bright red, like the fire that he could sometimes feel just below the surface now. She had been there, sometimes between dusk and now and left a message for him. He had been waiting to hear from her since that trial in the frozen wasteland of Oscillus, since Xiur had fallen.

She had a task for him. A man named Malek and those that helped him were to die. There had been a time when he would have shied away from such things - he had vowed to preserve life and protect those that were weaker than him - but he had come to realize the futility of his actions. He had been wasting decades of his life.

The message mentioned a familiar face. At first it irritated him that she thought that he needed help – he was one of the more skilled swordsmen in Rynmere and had powers that no mortal possessed – but after a while he began to grow curious. He had always wondered who the others were. In all the time he had never met another one like him – or at least somebody that admitted to following her – but he knew that they likely numbered in the hundreds.

Who could that familiar face be though? Was it that painter, Yrmellyn Cole? He remembered wondering if there was more to her than met the eye. He had even, briefly, suspected her of being a Mortalborn. Was it Sor’ren, the mage who had once asked him for help? Sintih? He laughed because the notion of his student worshipping the Immortal of Lust was just too ludicrous, although the boy was quite ambitious, if their previous conversations were anything to go by.

He would find out soon. He needed to leave early if he wanted to make it to his destination on time.

<><><>

He sat down at an empty table and decided to occupy himself with his notebook and drink a glass of wine while he waited for his contact to arrive and told anybody who wanted to join him that he was sorry, he was waiting for somebody before he went back to his writing.

As he saw Alistair walk down the stairs, he raised an eyebrow. He had not expected it to be him, the nobleman that he had first met in the laboratory at Rynmere University several seasons before. Even Sintih was a more likely candidate than a man who had once claimed to be about as sexual as a stone pillar in his opinion.

But it had to be him. None of the other people he had seen so far had looked even remotely familiar. Another man might have called out Alistair’s name to get his attention, but he did no such thing. He simply closed his notebook and watched Alistair calmly as he searched the room, and then, when he finally looked in his direction, he would nod at him and, if he decided to approach, ask, “I assume you received the message?”

The Mortalborn looked much like Alistair remembered him. He held himself completely straight and he was dressed fairly elegantly, as if he too were of noble blood. Only the longsword was new, a sign that he might be more than a professor that spent the whole trial brooding over books after all.
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Tue Feb 28, 2017 7:16 pm

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The man of a familiar face? It took a bit to find him, as a part of Alistair expected it to be someone he knew intimately - that was how Syroa worked, after all. She was full of schemes and surprises. Instead of an intimate companion, however, he found a man he'd only barely known. Someone he'd worked with in the academy for a break or two, working on discovering the secrets of the Lysorian Lotus. It was Doran Thetys, a man who had intrigued Alistair for quite some time, though ultimately they'd parted ways. But not forever. He appeared to have a different task than merely shuffling in an examination room, or organizing tools in a laboratory. Like Alistair, there was another layer to him, beyond merely the visage of a scientific expert.

I assume you received the message? he asked, causing for Alistair's shoulders to rise into a shrug. "I received a message," he said in response, not completely capable of trusting Doran - especially not after realizing that he was likely another marked of Syroa. Alistair could feel it in him, somehow. It was like a divine sense - he could feel Syroa in him. He didn't know how that was possible. And Doran seemed to carry the same . . . healthiness as Alistair. It was one of Syroa's gifts; an unflinching appeal, a natural air of charisma and attraction. While he didn't feel compelled to arousal, for whatever reason, he knew that the allure was there - perhaps for the more vulnerable.

Taking a breath, the man seated himself in front of Doran, paying attention to his surroundings. There were very few people in the inn, and almost all of them were travelers. Rayleigh only had around thirty people in the entire town, so this inn acted more like a rest stop for traveling through the Duchies than anything. He doubted any of the people here save for the owner and barmaid were locals.

Even so, it was best to be cautious, especially when one was being tasked by an Immortal to slaughter one of her cursed. The mage leaned in, before speaking to Doran, and giving him a decent answer.

"You've been sent by... by Syroa, haven't you?" he asked. It was almost difficult to keep eye contact with him, as if Alistair were ashamed to be on one of her missions. Because he was. "I was told . . . to come here to kill a Fiend. But I don't remember coming here, not at all. I woke up here, in that room, and it was already paid for. But not by me. I don't even have my coinpurse on me - I think it's still at home." Clearly, the mage was confused. He seemed to search for answers in Doran's words, though he knew the man likely knew as little as he did, if that was possible. Alistair had only just been marked by the woman last season, and he'd never heard her voice to her since then. Not until now.

Frankly, it was terrifying to know that at any moment, he could be compelled by this Immortal in a way that he did not allow. How did he arrive here? Was he seduced by her influence? Did she control him with his mind? Did she erase his memories? He was . . . lost.

"Well," he began anew, gesturing for the man to not worry about it. "I suppose none of that matters. What matters is the task," the nobleman said, nodding his head. "How did you arrive here, Doran? And if I may be so bold - what is your relationship to Syroa?"
Last edited by Alistair on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 612
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Thu Mar 02, 2017 4:17 pm

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As Alistair informed him that he had received a message, the Mortalborn inclined his head. Now that the nobleman stood in front of him, he could feel it, the connection that they shared. There was something about him, a sense of familiarity and, perhaps, more, a certain allure.

He did not say anything – although there were some things that he was curious about, more so than he wanted to admit – but patiently waited for the other man to seat himself. Alistair seemed cautious, he noticed, and uncomfortable to some extent which puzzled him. Was he not proud of the fact that he had been given such an important mission?

“Of course”, he replied as Alistair asked him if he had been sent by Syroa. The tone of his voice was cool and calm. Unlike the nobleman he was utterly comfortable with who he was, where he was and why he was there, and he had no problem maintaining eye contact. He was not ashamed.

As Alistair admitted to not remembering how he had gotten there, he raised an eyebrow. Apparently, he thought, the nobleman had done something to anger Syroa. That, or she had decided that he would be her newest plaything. And apparently he assumed that he had been brought to Gawyne in much the same manner, judging by the question that he posed next.

“I walked as well as rode here”, he replied, dispelling any notion of Alistair’s that they might be in a similar situation, although the tone of his voice was neither impolite nor unkind.

He wondered if Syroa would ever dare to toy with him like she seemed to be toying with Alistair. He preferred to think that he was something of a special case due to the Immortal blood that they both shared and due to what he had done for her in Treidhart – and that he would become more important to her im time.

“As for what my relationship to Syroa is”, he spoke and hesitated for a moment before he continued. “I was marked by her, just like you. I've served her for a while, since before I came to Andaris in fact. This is not the first time that I’m on such a mission for her.” That was a bit of a lie or perhaps an understatement, but it seemed unwise to him to tell Alistair that he had attacked the Immortal of Hope in her name. Even some of those that followed Syroa would likely disapprove of what he had done – or refuse to believe him.

“I assume that you are more than just a skilled doctor, Lord Venora?” he wanted to know, secretly thinking that such was probably the case. It seemed unlikely to him that Syroa would pair off a sword master with a doctor just so that he could be healed in case he was wounded. She was neither kind nor compassionate, and she did not forgive mistakes easily, if at all.

“I have to admit I’m curious as to what exactly your role on this mission will be.”
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Thu Mar 02, 2017 5:43 pm

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The other man seemed to have a lot more pride in being sent by Syroa than Alistair had. His answers spelled a clearly favorable tone towards the Immortal, feeling no level of grief at the thought of being brought here to serve her. Not only that, but it seemed that Doran had come here consciously, whereas Alistair had apparently lost his memory of the last... thirty hours or so. He did not know why, exactly, or how - but that was the situation that he was in, while Doran had been spared of it. From what he knew, this was evidence that Syroa was toying with both of them, and picking favorites. The good boy and the bad. She wasn't far off from pitting them against each other, at this rate, based on what he'd learned of the Immortal since meeting her.

Doran stated that he was marked, affirming Alistair's - relatively obvious - suspicions. The other man possessed Sesser, though the mage wasn't clear as to how far it had progressed in his "companion". Alistair had barely learned anything of it, other than that it made him healthier, inwardly and outwardly, and that it drew people in. He'd also tinkered with the transformation ability, but he was already quite content with his face, and had little need for disguise. Perhaps Doran would know more, though he hesitated to ask. Another time, maybe.

"I see," he said, rather dully. "This is my first mission for her," he said. The man did not wish to invoke Doran's wrath, so he did not say anything too... controversial. He wanted to make it clear that he had no favor or loyalty to the Immortal, but as he wasn't sure of the other man's stance, he decided it was best if he remained quiet on that front. Alistair sighed. "Well, it's good to see you again, regardless of the circumstance." He meant that, even though he barely knew Doran. Somehow, meeting another person with this... curse, as he'd called it, was comforting. It meant that he had someone to learn from. Until now, he'd been left in the dark as to what the mark did, what it meant, and what effect it had on one's emotional and mental state. He assumed the other man was at least slightly more knowledgeable.

As the man used his name in official terms, the nobleman half winced. Lord Venora, he repeated in his head, bitterly. No, he didn't want to be Lord Venora here. He didn't want anything that happened here to be traced back to home, especially considering he was actively pursuing the crown. "Please, call me Alistair," he said. There were far more Alistair's in the Kingdom than Lord Venora's, so he supposed that would do. He looked around, as he said that, to see if anyone was eavesdropping. They weren't, by what he could tell.

"But yes, I am more than just a skilled doctor. I will be honest with you, in faith that you won't turn this knowledge against me." He cleared his throat, looking around before drawing his gaze back towards Doran. "I am a mage," he said, biting his lower lip. "And not just a mage, but an exceptionally powerful one. One of the strongest. The sort that could even make an Immortal have to put some work into beating me, I reckon. I know that's part of why she marked me. I didn't realize that she'd have me doing... missions for her, though. But I suppose life's about its surprises," he said, sarcastically. He realized he probably sounded cocky about his relative power, but it was true, and he didn't wish for Doran to feel as if he were accompanied by deadweight. He wasn't - quite the opposite, in fact.

"As for my role," he began, shrugging. "I don't know. I suppose we can put that to the test. Did you receive the same message I did? Syroa mentioned magical bindings and etheric suppression. I believe one of the Fiend's companions must be a Transmutationist. If that's the case, I'd likely deal with them better than you would, and I don't mean that to be offensive. But... mages often oust non-mages, as that's our objective, really. I'll work on the magical aspect of this mission - find the signs, find the mages, take them out. Either way, we'll both be investigating and battling in tandem, so I suppose it's a matter of having four hands and two knowledgeable heads." He nodded his head slightly, hoping Doran would understand his point of view. They didn't need to have a specific "role" - they just needed to work together.

"As for you, though - what can I expect of you, Doran? You seemed an apt chemist, but that's not the extent of your skillset, I imagine." He could've sworn he'd seen a scabbard at his side when he last looked, which meant he was likely a swordsman. "And I have to ask - are you really what you said you were when we met? Are you even from this side of the world?" he asked. Just as he did so, the door to the inn opened, and a man entered. He seemed clearly disheveled and tired, wearing leather armor with an armored coat over it, a long blade at his side. The man approached the stools in front of the barkeep, ordering a drink. It wasn't impossible that this was the Fiend, he acknowledged, though he could've likely been a passing traveler.

Alistair kept quiet, observing his actions as he maintained his conversation with the Mortalborn. It was clear that he was not in the most comfortable position, as things were. He was in a mysterious town, sent on a mission by a deceptive matron, and accompanied by a man he knew almost nothing about. This was, of course, just his luck.


Last edited by Alistair on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:23 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1011
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Fri Mar 03, 2017 7:56 am

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It was as the Mortalborn had suspected. Alistair was less knowledgeable than him, and he had likely only been marked by Syroa a short while ago, judging by his behaviour and the things he had said. He wondered why she had chosen him. Was it because he was the heir of a duchy and because she wanted to increase her influence in Rynmere – or because lust and any other extreme feelings had been foreign to him and she had found it interesting to mark such a man and wanted to see how her gifts would affect him? He pondered the matter for a few moments, and then came to the conclusion that it didn’t matter, at least not now. He needed to concentrate on the task that he had been given.

He nodded curtly as Alistair said that it was good to see him again, although he was not entirely sure what would happen between them in the long run and what Syroa had in mind for them, besides the obvious. “Alistair then”, he spoke. He’d realized his blunder, but he did not apologize. Apologies were, in his opinion, pointless. It was better to be more careful in the future than to resort to empty words. Besides, it didn’t look as if anybody had been eavesdropping on their conversation. None of the people in the room seemed to have any idea that they were in the company of a Mortalborn and a nobleman, on a mission that they had been given by a demoness with eyes made of fire.

As Alistair revealed that he was a mage, he looked at him intently for a moment. There had been a time he had hated his kind and wanted to have nothing to do with them, when he had avoided any kind of close contact with them out of fear that they would recognize him for what he was and flay him. Beira, the woman that he had once loved with an intensity that bordered on madness, Beira that was trapped in Uleuda now, had been a mage though, just like her son Sintih, one of his last students before he had left for Oscillus. Nowadays he was merely somewhat on his guard, even though a part of him still considered magic to be a perversion of the soul, a corruption and a disease of sorts.

“I won’t use the knowledge against you”, he assured him in a tone that was a hint cooler. “As long as you only use your magic to hurt our enemies. I have worked with mages before, Alistair, and I have no problem doing so again, although I have to admit I’m curious as to what kind of magic you practice.” It made more sense to him that Syroa had marked the nobleman now. If he really was one of the strongest mages there were, then she would of course have wanted to make him hers, just like she had wanted to mark him due to his being the son of the Immortal of Peace.

“You will find that I’m not like most non-mages”, he informed him. He was not being arrogant, he was not bragging, but merely stating a fact, and he was not offended by Alistair’s comment either. “I’m a swordsman, one of the most skilled ones in the entire kingdom in addition to being a competent alchemist, and I have certain abilities besides that, gifts if you will. I assure you that I'm more than capable.” He had powers that no mortal man possessed – he could have touched Alistair, pried all his secrets from him, made his blood boil and killed him if he had wanted to – but he thought it better to keep the exact nature of them and their origin a secret for now.

“As to whether I received the same message you did”, he continued and thought about it for a moment. “She mentioned mages, but she also mentioned that the Fiend himself was a skilled swordsman. Maybe that is part of the reason why she wants the two of us to work together”, he mused. Alistair would deal with the magical aspects of their mission while he would fight the Fiend and kill him and dedicate his death to her.

“Everything I told you when we first met was true”, he answered. He had no problem remembering what he had said to Alistair then, even though their last meeting had been seasons before. He always told people the same story in case they knew each other and talked about him and so that he didn’t forget, and he rarely lied outright. He usually merely twisted a few facts. “I was a doctor and an apothecary in Ne’haer before I started to teach chemistry here in Rynmere where my family once lived. Of course”, he admitted and looked directly at Alistair for a moment. “There are some things that I haven’t told you yet just like you probably have a few secrets of your own, like everybody.”

He wanted to say more, but it was just that the door opened, and a man walked in. He observed him for a while before he turned back to Alistair. He didn’t say anything – the man might notice if they started talking about him – but merely nodded at his companion and tried to direct his attention towards the stranger that now sat at the bar.
Last edited by Doran on Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:57 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 922
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Fri Mar 03, 2017 5:12 pm

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I won't use the knowledge against you, the man reassured him. Alistair could only hope that was the case, as if not, he'd have to answer for using magic for years without a license. Not the best way to begin one's career as a politician, especially considering he was going for the crown. "Rest assured, Doran," he said, shaking his head. "I'm not going to direct my magic against you. You've done nothing to hurt me, and I trust that you will continue to act in such a way." He smiled slightly, though the underlying implication was - of course - if you do hurt me, I'm going to murder you. Whether or not he actually could was questionable, though he wagered towards yes.

"As for my magic..." he began, eyes trailing away, "Well... that's a long answer," he said, quietly. Leaning forward, he allowed Doran a chance to observe his face, from his chin to his forehead. Looking closely, the man would notice a gradient running across Alistair's complexion - disappearing and re-appearing - with celestial symbols and even a quiet, subtle look that appeared as if a third eye, though not organic, but rather marked like a tattoo. Yet, it would appear as if none of this was quite attached to him, as when he moved, the markings swayed with his movements rather than following the exact position of his face. Alistair was going to be "waxing" in four days time, which was the absolute height of his power. These markings and shimmering lines across his face, that appeared and disappeared, were points of evidence towards that fact.

"Do you know much about magic?" he asked, smirking, though subtly. "There is a point someone reaches where they've achieved the peak of their power. They achieve the . . . revelation, as it's called, where your true self becomes utterly displayed. I have reached this point, Doran, and my revelation was so great a change that I can scarcely be considered a human. If you were to cut open my veins right now, it would not be blood that spilled out, but something else. Pure energy." He was not bragging, or speaking in hyperbole - he was merely speaking the truth. Alistair was close to the height of his sixty-four day cycle, and as a result, he was significantly more capable than at the bottom of the cycle. In what magic, though? He still hadn't answered that, and he realized.

"I reached this revelation whilst pursuing Rupturing, the... space-distance magic. Have you heard of it? It's typically associated with teleportation, though there's a lot more to it than that." A lot more, he repeated to himself. Rupturing was in fact one of the most powerful combat magics, as well - especially in the way that Alistair had been learning and utilizing it. He'd created a particularly lethal fighting style with the magic, greatly for the purpose of ousting other mages, who were vulnerable to the magic's unconventional methods of attack and approach.

As for Doran, the man figured he was a swordsman, though he knew little about these... "gifts" of his. How did he have gifts? Was he marked by other Immortals, more than just Syroa? The man's brow rose, trying to figure it out. Artifacts? Divine chance? What source could these gifts come from?

"We do appear to have received the same message," he said, nodding his head. The man could at least say that in good confidence, whilst being utterly confused at Doran's previous words. He supposed he'd have to see these gifts in action to know more. The man certainly did hold secrets, though he was right - everyone did. Alistair held many, many secrets. Audrae would've had a field day with him.

His thoughts lingering on that for a moment, the man decided that Doran did not need to be questioned any further. Although he didn't fully trust him, he wouldn't achieve a level of trust merely by asking him a slew of questions. "Thank you for being honest with me, Doran," he said, smiling faintly. It was then, of course, where the man came in - though Alistair wasn't too sure of his significance to their mission.

"Could be Malek," he said quietly. "Attractive face, though disheveled, likely as a result of the curse - the stress from it. Longsword, excellent armored attire, good poise and posture. A drinker, which fits the disposition she seemed to imply in describing him. He's been smiling at both lads and ladies alike, too, which might mean he's still willing to attempt to engage in sexual activities, despite the spontaneity of the curse. What do you think?" he asked, though quickly followed up with more questions. "Would you like to approach him, try flirting? See where he's from? Catch his name? I'm not too good at the whole seduction thing, frankly." In truth, he wasn't sure Doran was either, but he'd at least likely been more well versed in the Allure that came with Sesser than Alistair was. The man was something of a rock in his sexuality, as he'd said before. That had changed a lot since they first met, but even with Sesser's influence, his core fundamentals hadn't changed.
Last edited by Alistair on Mon Aug 14, 2017 1:22 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 895
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Sat Mar 11, 2017 8:27 am

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“I am familiar with magic, what it does and how it changes a person even though I have never been initiated“, Doran replied and leaned forward as well so that he could see the other man’s face better. He didn’t look surprised or shocked as he noticed the markings upon Alistair’s skin, but merely thoughtful. He had always assumed that a mage that had experienced his revelation would become monstrous, but whatever Alistair was, he was not a monster, at least not on the outside. For a moment the Mortalborn was tempted to reach out and touch those strange symbols, to find out if Alistair’s skin still felt like normal skin and was warm to the touch, but in the end he simply drew back and sat completely straight again.

“One of my students was a Rupturer”, he remarked as Alistair revealed just what kind of magic he practiced. Sintih had been far less experienced than the nobleman though – and nearly accidentally killed himself when he had used magic even though he had been exhausted from their longsword training lesson. It was a strange kind of coincidence that they both practiced the same magic. “As for your scarcely being human, I’m familiar with those that merely appear to be human”, he spoke in a somewhat dry tone and met Alistair’s gaze. “In fact I know beings that are even less human than you are.”

He did of course mean himself and those that were like him. His mother had been a mortal woman, but he had always considered himself to be much closer to his Immortal kin. His powers were not unlike theirs. It was possible that he would eventually be able to bestow his mark on others, and if he was being careful, he would live until Rynmere was history and Idalos itself ceased to exist. He wondered if Alistair was the same and if his revelation had removed some of the limitations that his human blood had imposed on him. Would he live longer or fade away and die within the blink of an eye like the rest of his race?

Despite the fact that he was and had always been wary of magic he was curious about it at the same time, perhaps even fascinated by it and the power it promised – and entirely aware of the contradiction that the aforementioned fact represented. He had known that something happened to the most skilled of mages for a long time, but he had never had the opportunity to question one that had experienced his revelation before without potentially risking his life in the process.

“Tell me, if there is energy flowing through your veins instead of blood”, he began. The tone of his voice had taken on a slightly different quality. Now he was more of a scientist than a swordsman and Blessed of Syroa, and he wanted to understand the scientific riddle in front of him. “Are you less susceptible to disease and injury than before? You are a doctor just like I once was. Surely you must have thought about the medical implications of your revealed state and the possible effects on your lifespan.”

He didn’t smile as Alistair thanked him for being honest, but only nodded curtly before he focused his attention on the stranger at the bar again. So Alistair thought that he was Malek as well. He didn’t understand why the man felt the need to analyze him and state the obvious – anybody with a pair of functioning eyes could see how he dressed and acted. Alistair was clearly a very powerful mage, but he had a tendency to talk when it wasn’t necessary sometimes which was a trait that was unfortunately all too common in those of mortal blood.

Flirting with the man wouldn’t be a bad idea, he decided, especially if those attempts were backed up by the abilities that Syroa’s Blessing granted him, but it was possible that Malek would try to lie about who he was and that he would be using a different name. A brief touch of his hands or his face, any part of exposed skin, would quickly confirm his identity though if it became necessary. With that thought in mind, the Mortalborn rose to his feet.

This time he didn’t try to avoid the attention of the man at the bar. He wanted to be noticed. He wanted to make him think that he had abandoned his companion in favour of somebody much more interesting. Malek seemed just like the kind of man that would fall for such an act. Despite the curse he didn’t seem to have lost his confidence entirely.

He slid onto the barstool next to him and looked directly into his eyes before he asked the bartender to bring them drinks, expensive ones. As he handed the man his glass, his fingers would briefly brush against the swordsman’s, as if by accident.

“I couldn’t help but notice your entrance”, he spoke. “One rarely meets somebody worthy of attention in a place like this. When I stopped here for the night on my way to Andaris, I feared that I would have to suffer the company of drunkards, weaklings and cowards. You look as if you have travelled the world and know how to handle yourself though. Tell me, do you come from far away?”

As he awaited the man’s answer, he took a sip from his drink. His gaze never left the suspected Fiend’s face. His aim was to appear like a man of wealth and power, an influential merchant or perhaps a noble, somebody that might be able to offer a man who had incurred an Immortal’s wrath more than just a night of pleasure if he went about it the right way.
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Mon Aug 14, 2017 2:23 am

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(So... it's been five months. Funny enough, the day of your last post was the day I broke up with my ex-fiance lol. That explains a lot - it just sucks that I kept forgetting to get back to this thread, and now it was such a long time ago. I'm sorry Doran! ;-;

I'll be making this post to move things forward if you still want to finish this thread. If not, that's fine, I can make a second post to summarize things and end the thread.)

Alistair raised a brow. Doran was much more knowledgeable on the arcane than he imagined - he knew of magic and its effects, he'd had a Rupturer student, and he knew beings apparently less human than Alistair. The nobleman grinned faintly. "So do I," he spoke, referring to Ellasin. She was not even alive - merely a soul within a powerful rock, Aelothar, commanding an ancient suit of meat that she'd continued to mend and refine with utmost prejudice.

But of course, there were creatures even less human than her, of considerable power. Perhaps Doran was one of them. It would make sense - his enigma, his allure. Was he one such thing? A man born of an Immortal? Alistair had met a few, and had studied them greatly. If a mage took the soul of a Mortalborn into their body, they could achieve great and perilous things. That was what he had been told.

Of course, he had no evidence of Doran being such a creature. All of this was mere speculation. Whether or not Doran was what he imagined him to be, Alistair had no intention of flaying anyone regardless. The act was corruptive, and wouldn't be worth the power it granted.

As for his susceptibility to illness, disease, and the effects his Revelation might have had on his lifespan... of course he'd wondered these things, but he did not know the answer to any of the curiosities posed to him. As far as Alistair was concerned, he was mostly the same externally, and he even felt similarly internally. He still longed for food, though less often than others due to his Necromancy awakening. He still sought out sleep, and still felt the irritation of a growing cold. What had changed internally? He did not know.

As he posed these curiosities to himself, however, Doran moved to greet the man they both assumed to be Malek. He stepped from his place among the chairs, with the man immediately averting his eyes to the Mortalborn approaching him, turning his head shamefully.

Doran was attractive and eloquent. Malek, at this rate, was barely the former and certainly not the latter. As far as he was concerned, this man was above his league... and far too charming to be real. The Sessfiend merely turned his gaze further, largely ignoring Doran at first. Then, after narrowing his eyes and gulping, sweat growing on his brow... he spoke.

"So very far away," the man admitted, still not looking to Doran's complexion. "Volanta," he admitted. "I was born there. Lived there a long time. Then, I came to Rynmere... found my passion. Became something else. Regret ever coming," he stated, bitterly. It was clear that he was not a man for subtlety, not in the slightest.

"And you? You're not a noble. You're trying to act suave, but your motives for approaching me are far less enlightened than you pose. I know your tone, your demeanor, your movements. You want something," he stated, finally turning to stare Doran dead in the eyes. "What is it?"
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[Gawyne] The Mark of Evil

Fri Jun 22, 2018 3:26 am

Here's your sarding thread review already.
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Alistair

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Doran

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Hanging in my homeland, talking about Syroa things. Unf. I'd almost say I missed out, but ... I don't think I could have kept the convo going. Sorry, lads, that you ran out of steam, but here's some points to make up for all the words.
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Be not afraid of greatness:
Some are born great, some achieve greatness,
And some have greatness thrust upon 'em.

- Malvolio | Shakespeare's Twelf Night (II, v, 156-159)
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