A Song of Love and Death

Balthazar helps a woman free her lover.

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, and islands of note.

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Balthazar Black
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A Song of Love and Death

Wed Apr 15, 2020 3:56 pm


30 Ashan 720
After his initiation into the Elements, Balthazar had been put to quite the test. He was to infiltrate the crew of Edric Drake, a pirate who had been terrorizing the waters of Scalvoris for the last season. He'd been captured by the Elements a few times when he came ashore for one reason or another but without fail his crew has always been able to spring an escape for Drake before the Elements could get him properly locked away. So Balthazar had been sent to find out where Drake's crew hid while Drake went ashore to recruit. The plan was not to engage with Drake's crew because they'd discovered time and time again that if even one of them got away, the rest would soon be freed. The plan was instead to find out the information, report it back to the Elements, and let the Land Troopers lead a raid on whatever watering hole Drake and his pirates hid at.

Balthazar had dressed the part for this mission even though he would have preferred not to play dress up. He wore a white shirt with stains in several places- most of them seeming like blood stains, some brown pants he was going to throw away before hearing he had this job, he wore a black bandana around his head and an eye patch over his left eye (which had taken some getting used to.) Balthazar didn't have a sword and he didn't want to spend the money to buy one for this little disguise (the rest having been comprised of old clothes and cloth he was able to rip away to make a bandana) so he went to the tavern the Element's had directed him too with no blade on his hip.

Unsurprisingly, Edric Drake was not in any of the tavern's Balthazar visited, instead a member of his crew, dressed very similarly to Balthazar, sat at a table in the corner with a list. Balthazar watched big, strong men go to the table and say something, then he watched the recruiter scribble their name down onto the list. So Balthazar introduced himself and leaned into his assets. He revealed to the recruiter that he was a mage and explained a basic sense of the Domain of Attunement to the man so that he could lie to him. It was hard to dumb it down for the pirate but Balthazar made it simple. He had a magic that could help them find treasure. He gave the name "Westley Roberts" and the recruiter wrote it down. Balthazar was given instructions to meet at the docks the following trial and he did just that.

Getting into the crew was easier than the Element's made it seem but that was just because Balthazar was more willing to lean into his magic than most. He half expected that Drake would try to take him prisoner upon his arrival at the docks and sell him off to slavers... but Balthazar knew he could sink Drake's whole ship before that happened. Most organic things could not be cut by portals... but the wood that comprised a ship could. But that did not happen. Drake's crew welcomed the mage with open arms and Balthazar spent the next two trials getting to know them. He'd had preferred they immediately go to their hideout, but Captain Drake seemed set on staying at sea for a few trials... he was probably testing the new crew members. It saddened Balthazar that he had to get to know these people he'd be arresting but it was necessary for his job.

They weren't all bad people. It was a modestly small crew with surprisingly more women aboard than most of the ships Balthazar had encountered and the women were far more helpful than Scarlet had been on the ship earlier in the season. Mary-Beth, Lily, and Susan were the female members of the crew who mostly cleaned and cooked because Drake had been unable to find male crew members who could actually make something edible. Lily and Susan cleaned the decks and Mary-Beth prepared the food with a few of the male crew. They'd all been ripped from their homes at some point by Drake but he'd taken a liking to them and so they were spared from the slave trade.

Of the men, not many stood out. They were mostly brutes who couldn't read or write and didn't speak great common. Balthazar surmised rather quickly that Drake held so much sway over the men because he was educated and they were not. He knew how to play on their base needs to get them to do what he wanted and more importantly he knew how to keep them away from the women. Balthazar discovered "The Rule-of-Three" very early on in his stay on the ship. Edric Drake forbid inter-ship romance between any of the sexes and to ensure this rule was enforced, no two individuals could be alone together. All rooms had at least three beds (except of course for the captain's) and if any members of the crew were found together without a third person, they'd be subjected to some sort of punishment.

Harmless conversation could lead to deck scrubbing duty. Standing too close during the same conversation could get you flogged. So everyone traveled in threes around the ship or they traveled alone and if they traveled alone they made sure to avoid others doing the same. This made Balthazar's job more difficult. You couldn't corner someone without them being worried about the captain flogging them and Balthazar wasn't comfortable prying with two people at a time while he was so new to the crew.

When Balthazar asked Drake why he'd made such a strict rule, the captain made it very clear that Balthazar's place was to follow orders and his place was to give them. So Balthazar devised a plan to ask the women. He knew better than to go to the men who were more or less Drake's stooges. The women were the only other people aboard the ship that he'd interacted with that seemed to display some decent intelligence but perhaps Balthazar was just being too judgemental. His mutation which made it difficult for him to read certainly made him appear to fit in.

Balthazar got himself assigned to the cleaning crew one trial so that he could speak to Lily and Susan without arousing the suspicion of the observant Captain Drake. There were plenty people on the top deck where Balthazar went about scrubbing. He was careful, and technical, as he used small applications of wind to push Susan and Lily closer together without them thinking it was anything more than a breeze. When they were finally close enough he moved in to speak with them- technically in a group of three. They were kind, good people, but that wasn't what he wanted to know. He steered the conversation towards the captain's rules and the women seemed to get antsy. They didn't like talking about it... or maybe they thought Balthazar meant to insinuate the three of them should break it, but when Balthazar clarified that he was just curious they seemed to relax.

Lily hadn't been on the ship long enough- or been curious enough, to ask but Susan had been on the ship since before the rule even existed. Apparently Captain Drake- back when he was Quartermaster Drake, had fallen in love with one of the women on his captain's ship. Drake was conflicted about his feelings but his captain urged him to pursue his love because his captain believed that love was the most powerful and important force on Idalos. So Drake pursued his love with this woman (Susan thought her name might have been Merril) and one day times began to get tough for the crew. They were running low on supplies and their captain was too tentative about attacking merchant ships. Merril implored Drake to mutiny. He refused at first, but Merril used his love against him and within a fortnight they'd mutinied. But Merril wanted to become the new captain. Drake couldn't give up the power and refused.

Merril's loyalists fought with her against Drake's loyalists... most of the crew was killed and Merril escaped. Now she's somewhere out there with half of Drake's oldest friends working against him. So Drake declared a war on love. He forbade any sign of affection and romance aboard his ship and a few arcs later instigated the Rule of Three to intimidate the crew. Balthazar wanted to pry for more but he noticed a lot of the crew was beginning to stare at him and the women. They were whispering words he couldn't hear and he didn't like it so he excused himself and went back to work.
Last edited by Balthazar Black on Thu Apr 23, 2020 6:41 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 1527

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Balthazar Black
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A Song of Love and Death (2)

Wed Apr 15, 2020 4:51 pm

"He excused himself and went back to work." - A Song of Love and Death (1)
30 Ashan 720
Balthazar approached Mary-Beth last. It was harder to get onto kitchen duty than it had been to get onto the deck scrubbing crew. Balthazar had to convince Drake that if he cooked their food with the fire he manifested with his ether it would increase the strength of the crew. It was a hard sell but for all Drake's fancy words, he didn't know anything about magic. So Balthazar's job in the kitchen was quite easy and it gave him close access to Mary-Beth. With her he decided to employ Attunement which he'd yet to do to anyone on the crew. He wanted to attune to Drake but it was too risky. Mary-Beth moved about the kitchen, instructing other helpers on how to properly chop vegetables, trim meat, and clean the pans. She'd later tell Balthazar she didn't have a regular crew because Drake didn't like so many men down in the kitchen with her, but for the moment she was working and Balthazar was attuning to her. Every once in a while someone would walk over to Balthazar who was sitting on the counter and they'd hold out a pot to him.

Balthazar would put his hand under the pot and conjure a small blue flame to heat it for a while until it was prepared. He didn't have to cook, just provide the heat. This was as close to breaking the rule of three as the crew could come because Balthazar was a tool in the kitchen... he just happened to be able to talk. He did this while sifting through Mary-Beth's frequency for any notes he thought could be of use but he had a limited number in his mind. In Scalvoris he so often focused on the morbid that he never looked in his own frequency for the better notes. The notes of love... but when he heard them singing in Mary-Beth he knew them like his own. He felt for someone the way he felt for Isabella. A love you couldn't have. It was his familiarity with the other notes in her, the notes of panic and deception he heard, that made him realize she and he were one in the same...

Then she finally came over to have him boil some water for her. Balthazar held his hand under the big pot Mary-Beth struggled to hold with two hands. He made a small blue flame at the bottom of the pot to begin heating the water. Balthazar made sure to keep the flame low so that he could draw the conversation out. He was kind. He use simple questions to start. How was she doing? What was it like in the kitchen most of the time? What did she like doing when she wasn't in the kitchen?Who did she think was the best guy to get to know on the ship? She hesitated at that and Balthazar felt the little note of love rise before the hollow ring of deception replaced it. She said Captain Drake probably. So Balthazar leaned closer to her and asked if she wanted to know about the lover he'd left behind when he joined the crew. Mary-Beth's eye's softened and she made the smallest aww noise before nodding.

Balthazar proceeded to tell her the story of Isabella- using her original name Morgan and his current alias Westley. He told her of how they met when he was younger when he was the apprentice of a powerful mage who forbade him from interacting with her. He spoke of how he ignored his mentor's instructions and spent most of his days with her. He spoke of the magic she'd taught him and the love that had slowly grown between them. He left out the part where she flayed his mentor and Balthazar accidentally tried to burn the building she was in down... but then he spoke of Scalvoris and how they'd found each other again... how things had been going so well... and then he joined the crew. She wanted something he wasn't ready to give her. He wasn't ready...

Mary-Beth noticed almost immediately when Balthazar's posture drooped, the fire above his hand went out and his eyes fell to the floor, that he didn't want to talk anymore so she jumped in to try and make him feel better. She leaned closer to Balthazar and whispered that she had a secret love as well. She'd met him while ashore and they hit it off talking about the sea. She'd convinced him to join the crew- his name was Charles... but Captain Drake found out. He'd whipped Charles and thrown him in the brig. when Balthazar asked what had happened to Charles, Mary-Beth said she didn't know. Captain Drake refused to tell her and she wasn't allowed near the brig. Balthazar offered his help when suddenly he noticed the eye staring at them again. Not good.

Balthazar leaned away from Mary-Beth and put a little more ether into the fire so the water would heat up faster. He finished kitchen duty without asking many more questions. That night, after the mandatory curfew (Captain Drake had imposed it to ensure that "everyone was ready to be up bright and early the next trial"), Balthazar crept out of his room. Fortunately the other crew mates in his cabin were sticklers for the curfew rule. He moved as quietly as he could through the hall and down the steps toward the ship's brig when suddenly a hand gripped his shoulder and turned him around.

A night guard. Fight or run? Balthazar could knock him out, but what would he say when the pirate woke? Oh yeah I had to pee? That wouldn't convince Drake. Maybe he could kill the guard... no that would be too much. So run? Where? The sea? No that wasn't really an option either. Then Balthazar realized when he was going to do.

*** *** ***

The whip cracked and slashed Balthazar across the back. He screamed because it hurt and because he knew that it was what the captain wanted. Drake wanted a show, he'd get one. The rope binding Balthazar's hands around the mast wouldn't have been enough to hold him any other trial, but totrial Balthazar had a job to do. He had a secret to protect. The whip cracked again and a sharp pain flared across Balthazar's back. He screamed but this time tried to muffle it through his teeth. That one really hurt. Captain Drake held the whip and the rest of the crew had been gathered to watch the newest member punished for being out after curfew. Every time Drake cracked the whip he demanded to know why Balthazar had gone out and Balthazar said nothing.

He made no witty remark or attempt to lie, he just tried to keep his head up. CRACK The third of what was supposed to be ten lashed. But it was on the third lash that Captain Drake saw Balthazar's mutation beginning to take effect. Balthazar felt an uncomfortable burn across his back indicating the healing had begun and mumbled. " Shit." He could hear Captain Drake walking closer to him and then he could feel Drake enter his Rupture spark's range of motion sensing, but he couldn't turn his head to look at the captain or the crew.

"You're healing..." The realization hit the captain and a cruel grin spread across his face. "Then I'll make it twenty lashes- or you can tell me what you were doing." Drake was not asking a question Balthazar would answer. The mage shook his head and the whip cracked again and again. Balthazar didn't scream for the following five eventually he caved... but the whipping kept going. He blacked out around the fifteenth and when he woke up his back felt like it was on fire- a combination of the pain and of his mutation trying to heal him. He sat up slowly, his shirt hanging in tatters around him and pulled off his eye-patch and bandana. He was in a small cell comprised of iron bars on all sides. There were a few more around him. Two with skeletons inside and one with a small man curled up in a ball.

The man uncurled when he saw Balthazar sitting up and Balthazar tried to lift his arm to wave but is sent a burn through his back that caused him to abandon the gesture. "Cedric?" Balthazar exhaled.
word count: 1488

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: A Song of Love and Death

Mon May 04, 2020 10:33 pm

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The man in the neighboring cell lifted his head when Balthazar called his name. There was something in his eyes, a vacant expression and darkness, that betrayed very little in the way of recognition. "The fates are you looking at? Who are you?"

The small man uncurled from his position in the cell, to take a sitting position. "Nevermind. Don't nothing matter in this tub. Just work work, work for the captain. No happiness or light to be found, save for the bottom of a bottle. And even that isn't enough to dull the sweet memory of times ashore."

The small man spat to the side. If this was the man that Mary was talking about, then it was a small wonder she cared for him. Maybe she thought he was the sort of man she could fix? Who knew? The small man stood up in his cell, clutching the banded bars of it as he stared across at Balthazar. "Chriens legs... Did he give you the captain's daughter? With the razors soaked in suds?" The man smirked mirthlessly, "You're gonna remember those wounds. They don't heal up right when the blade has soap on it."

He sighed, leaning against the cell for support. After a few moments of studying Balthazar's face, he squinted, "Got a name? Or did they beat the memory of that out of you as well" He waited a few moments, but barely allowed Balthazar to get a word in edgewise, if he were inclined to do so. "Listen, we might as well pass the time talking. You're gonna have to talk sooner or later, with or without those scourge wounds."
 ! Message from: Pig Boy
Heya, sorry for the late mod post. I will endeavor to keep a good pace from here on out. Lemme know if there are any questions, and have fun!
word count: 321
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Balthazar Black
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)

Tue May 05, 2020 5:25 am


30 Ashan 720
Cedric is an ass... noted. Balthazar thought to himself. He might even have spoken a similar insult if not for the general exhaustion spread across his body from the beating. He'd been in fights. Real fights. He'd been beaten brutally... but he couldn't remember a time when he'd been tortured like this. He couldn't remember ever feeling so weak as he felt now with his back in agony. From the abundance of words the man spoke, Balthazar had to assume he'd been here long enough that his own beating had healed. The man spoke only of that which he lamented and Balthazar became more assured of his assumption. Mary-Beth could do so much better than you. Another stray thought dancing through the mind of a wounded man. "A sad man... in a cell..." Balthazar responded so weakly between deep breaths, that even he almost didn't hear it as he moved himself upright.

"Bal-" Balthazar caught himself, even in his weary state. He hadn't used his own name... what name had he used? Robert? Inigo? Fezzek? Oh damn. They really had beat the memory out of him as well. "Balthazar." He confessed. There was no point in lying down here. Balthazar doubted that the captain could come up with some worse punishment than more lashes for Balthazar if he found out the man was really an Element. He didn't think Drake was that creative. Balthazar tried to look at his back but the effort to twist hurt so he stopped and refocused on the man. He wanted to attune to him, but hell it felt like even that would hurt. So he wouldn't unless the man decided to stop talking. Balthazar needed to do something to keep his mind off the pain. Normally he kept his mind off the pain by focusing on the next part of the fight he was in... but there was no battle to be fought here.

"Of course he calls the thing his daughter. They caught me out after curfew and speaking with the women." Balthazar lamented as he held himself up using his bars. It was easier to squeeze them when his back flared up in pain than to squeeze his fists because his nails would dig into his hand. "Nothing ever heals right for me anyways. You sound like you've spent some time with the captain's daughter yourself." It was getting easier to talk. Balthazar welcomed the distraction. "Who are you?"
word count: 437

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: A Song of Love and Death

Thu Jun 11, 2020 12:51 am

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"Name's Charles... They put me in here because I got too friendly with one of the Captain's girls." Charles' face twisted with consternation in the low light. He rattled the bars of the cell he was placed in, and grumbled when it failed to give way. "'E's a tyrant. The Captain."

There was silence for a few moments. In that time, Balthazar might take some time to familiarize himself with the surroundings. They were deep in the bowels of the ship, at the bottom level with several crates of cargo. There was no key to be found, it seemed. Perhaps the captain kept those on himself, not trusting to the men who were so abused by their leader.

"Y-you haven't seen my girl, 'ave you? She works the kitchens. You might've seen her in the mess area." Charles licked dry lips, trying to get some moisture on them. Yet his tongue looked about as dry as the tongue of an old shoe. It wasn't a pleasant sight to see a man so run down.

"Damnit!" Said Charles, slamming the bars weakly, "I can't be here... The Mnemonic Quill was so close... On the tip of my fingers..." Charles shook his head, and sank as far as he could without touching the filthy floor of his cell. Then he buried his face in his hands.

Balthazar would become aware of movement above him. Of several men walking through the mid decks above cargo and where they were, the Brig. The sound of movement gave way to an opened door, as a pair of men entered.

"Make it quick, bring them their supper. Then let's go upstairs for a round of suits?" The first man commanded the smaller one. The smaller one nodded at him, and approached the cells, slipping a plate of black bread and a cup of water into Charles' cell. Then the small man went over to Balthazar, and began to slide it into his cell.

word count: 343
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Balthazar Black
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)

Thu Jun 11, 2020 5:50 am


30 Ashan 720
Balthazar laughed which only hurt more and in his pain Balthazar leaned to far left and fell over. It probably wouldn't make sense to Charles but Balthazar thought his mistake was a little funny. His name was Charles, not Cedric. Mary-Beth had told him stories about Charles, not Cedric. Why had Balthazar thought the man would be named Cedric?The captain really had beat the sense out of him... but he was getting it back... slowly. Now Balthazar understood why the man had looked on him without recognition when Balthazar asked if he was Cedric... there was no Cedric. Charles explained what Balthazar knew while Balthazar tried to gander at his back again. He couldn't quite twist enough to see it without sending agony shooting through it and he couldn't heal it if he couldn't see it... well maybe he could but he'd never done it before.

"I'm pretty sure he thinks they're all his." Balthazar grumbled when Charles said he was there for getting too friendly with one of the captain's girls. The mage couldn't argue with Charles. The captain certainly did seem the tyrant type in Balthazar's short tenure aboard the ship. Balthazar dragged himself over to the bars holding him and shook them much like Charles shook his own. The irony was not lost on Balthazar. It was not these bars that imprisoned him, it was the ship itself. He could get passed the bars but then what? Face an entire crew? Maybe he could have before the whipping but not now.

Charles asked about his woman and Balthazar nodded his head slightly. "Mary-Beth? I've seen her. She talks about you a lot." Well that wasn't true, Balthazar had to get her comfortable before she'd open up but Balthazar imagined that meant Mary-Beth talked about Charles with the others she thought she could trust. After all, she'd only known him for a trial or so before opening up to Balthazar. Then Charles had a little meltdown and Balthazar raised a curious brow. "Whats the Mnemonic Quill?"

But then there was the movement. Balthazar looked up and traced the sound all the way to the door just before it opened and the two men entered. Dinner? How long had he been unconscious? What trial was it? Was Mary-Beth alright? What was the plan now? A lot of questions went through his mind when the little an brought the black bread and water to Balthazar's cell. Impulse was to grab the man's wrists and pull him into the bars. He'd bang him against the bars as many times as he could before the big man came near. Then maybe a blink portal to get behind the big man and a wack to the ear? But Balthazar didn't because he couldn't really pull it off. He knew that.

He took the cup of water and examined it for a moment. They brought him a weapon. He'd save it. Balthazar put the cup of water further back in his cell to make sure they could not take it back from him and then he took the black bread in hand and began pulling it apart to examine it. Was it too suspicious to think they might be poisoning him? Why would they? Captain's a damn nutjob, that's why. Fair point. "Bring the cards down here, we can all play." Balthazar groaned to the large guard by the door. They didn't need to know he was in as much pain as he was.
word count: 625

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: A Song of Love and Death

Thu Jul 30, 2020 10:13 pm

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"The Mnemonic Quill, it's an artifact of divine origin. When dipped in the blood of someone, it can write out their memories as if you were recording them in a diary. It was supposed..." Charles began to say more, but then they brought the food down to them. The men just laughed at and ignored Balthazar when he offered to join their game, and waved him off dismissively. Then they left them to their meager share of water and black bread.

Charles muttered when Balthazar began poking at his bread, as if to inspect it. "Best keep your strength up. Somedays they don't even give us water or bread."

Sighing, Charles rested against the bars of his cell, and slumped over, asleep. Whether Balthazar was able to rest or not, they intended to leave the two men down there for the rest of the night.

A few breaks passed in silence while Charles sleep soundlessly. He didn't make any move, and almost appeared not to be breathing. The men above decks carried on through the night, grumbling, and shouting at each other as they passed the time at games.

A loud boom was heard in the midst of all that. But the men above decks seemed not to notice or care. If he listened carefully, Balthazar would hear the call of various elements on the air, through his Defiance magic.

They told of a bulky object or vessel moving swiftly toward his position. All around him, the spirits of elemental manifestations were beginning to emerge. He could sense them just under his notice, but they were around. He had only to act on them.

Or he could sleep it off, and see if anything came of this unknown vessel.
word count: 299
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)

Fri Jul 31, 2020 7:09 am


30 Ashan 720
Fine. Don't bring them. Balthazar wasn't too happy that they laughed off his offer to join the game but he wasn't too happy with anything going on. It was fine though, it was only a matter of time before he made his move. Balthazar watched the guards leave through the bars of his cell like a snake in the grass. His golden eyes shining just a little in the darkness as they peered through the door and his Rupture spark tried to see a little further down the hall. The mage gave a curt nod to his fellow captor but as Charles laid down to sleep, Balthazar went to work. Charles had intrigued Balthazar. Black would have been content to help the man break free so that he and Mary-Beth could pursue their love but this... Mnemonic Quill seemed fascinating and troubling. Balthazar ate his bread slowly while he regained his strength and considered his options. He had a duty to the Elements but they'd never planned for any of this.

He spent about a break in silent pain, unwilling to sleep because he knew the temptation to flee into the Veil would be too great. He could escape his pain by traveling into his dreams but running wouldn't help Mary-Beth and Balthazar wanted to help her. He didn't care much for Charles but he did care for Mary-Beth. She was good and if he could help her get out of this life, he would. He didn't want to see another relationship broken because of duty and fear.

Balthazar didn't like the idea that the captain might have had some tool that allowed him to do what Charles had said in light of how much blood he'd left on the deck of the ship. Flirting with the girls was one thing but if the captain had that quill and wrote in Balthazar's blood he would find out Balthazar worked for the Elements. Balthazar didn't want to be around for that beating... he didn't want to give Captain Drake another chance to whip him ever again. Balthazar had found Charles, now he would do what he'd promised Mary-Beth.

His mutation had stopped the bleeding. He knew that much for certain. All of the pain he felt as he moved was just his tender flesh and that pain wouldn't be enough to kill him. All the same he would have rather not had to deal with it so Balthazar reached out to the elements. He came upright onto his knees and took a small sip from his cup of water before setting it down and wrapping both his hands around his cell bars. He took a deep breath in through his nose and reached out to the elements for help. There was no fire to draw from but the fire in his blood and that was not enough to heal so Balthazar reached out to the wind... only he didn't find wind. He found air. Stale. Stagnant. Weak. It wasn't powerful enough to repair the damage. He reached out again, thinking he might coax the air into a breeze but he quickly realized trying to both hold the breeze and heal with it would not be ideal. He couldn't risk damaging his back further so after a few trills the air slowed again. The elements couldn't help him here.

"Fine. I'll do it myself." Balthazar pulled himself up onto his feet using the cell bars. The bread, water, and time had given Balthazar enough confidence to move but it still hurt. He tried to ignore the pain and push his focus outwards to his surroundings with his gentle spark. He wasn't doing it to find anything, he was only trying to keep his focus off his back while his eyes clenched shut and his hands tightened around the bars. How are you getting out of this one, Balthazar?

A boom answered the mage's thoughts and Balthazar stumbled slightly as his focus suddenly returned to his body. Did I do that? Then Balthazar reached out to the element's again and was surprised by what he found. In the haze caused by the lingering back pain Balthazar wasn't sure if the object was moving toward them or if they were moving towards the other object, but he could feel something getting closer in the water. Another ship? Probably. These people are pirates... but what was the boom? Balthazar looked around but nothing had changed. A cannon? Who's cannon? Balthazar looked down at his hands. Maybe cover for a portal? A blink is like a cannon. He couldn't have pulled it off a few breaks ago but now... Balthazar thought he might be able to put up a little fight if he had to. He could feel the elements rising around him and wanted to reach out but restrained himself. He needed to conserve energy. Fighting was a last resort.

Someone's coming... let's see what the idiots know? Balthazar closed his eyes and took another deep breath to push his pain further out of his mind. He let go of the bars and took a few steps back. His legs shook a little but the further from the bars he got, the easier standing upright seemed to become. He lifted his arms slowly, measuring how each movement strained his back as he went through them. Another deep breath and Balthazar raised his hand. He wasn't going to make a portal this time, he was just going to see how quickly the guards came. He didn't tear space, he just scratch at it. Wisps of smoke appeared in the air and a searing screech broke the silence in the room. A trill later Balthazar backed away from the bars and slowly lowered himself back into a kneeling position. Then he waited to see what would happen.
word count: 1020

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Re: A Song of Love and Death

Wed Sep 16, 2020 4:43 am

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A voice came from above, as the hatch to the underdecks opened into the brig. A light shone from above, casting a silhouette against a tall figure, clad in darkness. He spoke then, to Balthazar, to everyone. "I've walked among men and mortals for an arc now. I was told it would help my... mental state. But in the end, it's only convinced me the need for my domains is all the greater. So I must return to my duties, and leave behind this false mortal coil."

Charles, Balthazar would notice, had begun to sob into his knees. When he lifted his head, the mage would note that his tears came down like black ink from his eyes as he looked at the figure of Vri coming down into the Brig.

"For this task, I will not need a poet, a healer, nor even a priest. This task requires an instrument of death, driven by desperation and concern." Vri cast his eyes on Balthazar. Despite himself, whatever he felt before, Balthazar would remember the lowest moments in his life. Times when he thought that nothing would get better, his lowest moments. This feeling washed over him for but a moment, before Vri shook his head, "Death and sorrow abound, but how will you be remembered, Trooper Black?" Vri sighed.

Then he shook a hand in the air, and Balthazar's cell door was flung open.

"Everyone on this ship is living on borrowed time." Balthazar would feel a wave of understanding wash over him, as Vri imparted memory of what his intent here was. The entire crew, the passengers, staff, and especially the Captain had but ten bits before their lives would expire. "You have that much time to bring Death to the Captain. He has something that belongs to me... It too must return to dust. The Mnemonic Quill."

"Only one life on this ship do I require, and that life will be the payment of our accord with each other, Yari mage. Your people in Yaralon love me not, but I sense you may be different. Death follows where you tread, you've no doubt noticed. And you, in turn, dance with it." Vri beckoned for Balthazar to step forward. He would feel a sudden chill up his fingers. His nails, if he looked at them, would turn black. "This is my mark." Vri intoned, with reverence. "Should you fail to bring death to the Captain within ten bits, the mark will be as poison to your veins. And you will die, along with every individual on this ship."

"But beware, the Captain is an accomplished Abrogation mage. Doubtless his spark informs his draconian attitude toward his crew... but that is neither here nor there. Do as I say, prove your fealty to the Domain of Death. Be my agent, my messenger. And our work will have only begun."

This said, Vri disappeared before Balthazar could ask him for any information further. Yet he was freed, for the moment, with only ten bits to live.

word count: 516
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)

Wed Sep 16, 2020 6:46 pm


30 Ashan 720
It wasn't every trial that an Immortal appeared and told you to kill a man and on the few trials where that did happen, it was even less likely that they'd tell you to kill a man you wanted to kill. Balthazar had been expecting the guards to respond to the roar but instead a tall figure dressing in darkness came to him. Well that can't be good. Was his initial thought and Balthazar rose up to his feet a little more quickly than he should have. His back burned and he groaned in pain but Balthazar did not stop rising until he was on his feet. His blinked his eyes a few times to ensure he was not hallucinating and then the worst though occurred to him. Am I dead? No... not from a whipping. Captain Drake wanted Balthazar to feel that for a while. Attune? No... not to him. Balthazar didn't know why but he had a bad feeling about trying that in this encounter. He was already in enough pain.

The figure spoke and the mage listened, interrupted in focus only by the sound of Charles sobbing. Balthazar cast a strange look to the man and when he saw the black ink-like tears Balthazar's eyes widened and he took a half step back. Then, as the figure continued to speak, Balthazar realized he was in the presence of an Immortal. Balthazar stepped back slightly, his mind going through the one's he knew of and it wasn't hard to figure out. Death. Vri. He had never been a popular one in Yaralon but Balthazar had assumed the tradition of never speaking his name was out of respect, not spite. There was death in every corner in that city. Then a sudden flood of sad memories washed over Balthazar. The fields he'd worked the first year he could hold the tools right. The blisters and cold dinners. The death of his master. Watching a cripple being flayed by a woman he wanted to love. Being alone in Yaralon. Closing the doors. The last image was of the letter Isabella had left him before she left him.

Balthazar stumbled backwards slightly, the pain in his back making it hard to bare the new pain in his chest. He drank to forget these things. He drank be alright. When drinking wasn't possible he worked to keep himself distracted... but now he just remembered. How would he be remembered? Balthazar wasn't sure it mattered to him as long as he was remembered. With a wave of his hand the Immortal opened the cell door and Balthazar took another hesitant step back. Then he understood. His brow furrowed. Why? But he didn't question Vri. The Immortal beckoned him forward and Balthazar obeyed, a sudden chill spreading up his fingers. Balthazar shivered, unfamiliar with the cold sensation due to his mutations keeping him warm all the time. The Immortal only wanted one life. One. But he wanted Balthazar to murder a man. Murder... well the mission was shot. The Elements had wanted Drake and the crew alive but when it came down to Drake or Balthazar dead in ten bits, Balthazar knew what he was going to choose. It helped that by killing Drake he might also be saving the rest of the crew of the ship, but Balthazar could not deny he'd have done it to save himself alone. Then again he would have made an effort to at least get Mary-Beth and her love away from the ship. Hopefully "Vri showed up and told me to kill him" would work for the others.

Vri imparted a final warning, the captain was a mage as well and a mage who specialized in a magic that would contend Balthazar's. The would be killer nodded in agreement to the Immortal, recognizing his hands were already blackened and so he didn't really have a choice in the matter... but it helped that deep down he wanted Drake dead. Then Vri was gone and the timer began. Ten bits. Shit that is no time at all.

"I'll be back. See a healer about the eyes." Balthazar said to Charles before heading up the stairs onto the deck. Most of the crew was asleep but there were still a few on the deck making sure nothing went bump in the night. A small man with a cutlass and a man about Balthazar's size with a crossbow sitting beside him were looking over the edge of the ship for "mermaids" if Balthazar overheard them correctly when they noticed the mage instead.

The small one drew his sword and charged while the medium one grabbed his crossbow. Balthazar acted swiftly, he didn't have time to waste on loyal crew members. Balthazar drew his left hand to his chest while thrusting his right palm forward and coaxing the wind into a powerful gust that knocked the sailor with the crossbow overboard before pivoting to the left to dodge the slash of the small man's sword. Balthazar grabbed the man's arm, his back wailing in pain but being ignored, and while holding the arm in place with his right hand, Balthazar hammered his left hand on the small sailor's wrist, causing him to drop his sword before Balthazar kicked his little legs out from beneath him with a simple sweep of the leg. "Stay down. I'm only after Drake." Balthazar groaned to the little sailor before picking up the cutlass and walking towards the captain's cabin.

Balthazar took a few deep breaths, trying to get his blood flowing and adrenaline going so he could endure the pain in his back a little more as he conjured another powerful blast of wind to break open Drake's door. He saw Drake rolling out of his bed, surprised slightly by the attack at night but not unready to fight. Balthazar slashed the cutlass in front of himself a few times, trying to get a feel for the the sword as Captain Drake emerged from his cabin.

"Oh I'm going to make twenty lashes look like a mercy when I'm done with you now." Drake growled as he drew his cutlass and tossed the sheath aside. When he spotted the black nails on Balthazar's fingers, Drake seemed to grow nervous for a moment. He recognized the mark and he knew Balthazar didn't have it before... but then it seemed to harden Drake's resolve. He was going to enjoy this.

"I really don't have time to banter but you should know, I'm going to try and make this hurt. Quick- but it will hurt."
word count: 1146

Too Many Mutations For A Signature

  • Mass Mutation Summary: He glows faintly, his skin is warm and sometimes hot to the touch, and when he gets angry sparks literally fly off him. He's a the middle of a field of static electricity so every once in a while when you touch him, you get shocked. Fire leans towards Balthazar and droplets of water seem magnetically attracted to him. He has a series of cracks on his right pectoral that glow of soft emerald. His eyes and the cracks reaching down to his cheeks glow a dark blue. The etheric cracks spiderwebbing up his arms glow orange.

Scars

  • Element in the streets, Yari pretty much everywhere else: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks in Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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