• Closed • Testing Faith

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Testing Faith

Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:20 am

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30th of Cylus, 717.

The nature of souls had always been, and likely always would be, something that surprised Famula. Dying, paradoxically, robbed many souls of their grasp on mortality, and so some could wait decades, centuries or longer still doing absolutely nothing with little remorse or regret for doing so. Without someone to shepherd them across to the next world beyond this one, there was nothing that outright said they could not out-live an Immortal, although it wouldn't really be living in the first place, and it certainly wouldn't be pleasant. In her mind, it was similar to staying awake too long. A constant sense of discomfort, unease and restlessness. A mortal attempting to stay awake for a thousand arcs would surely die for one reason or another long before they reached their goal, if they succeeded at all, but a soul could technically go on forever, as long as they had the mental fortitude to not succumb.

"No... I won't!" Aeron was still a young soul. Killed during the shadow-beast attacks of Vhalar in the least arc, no less. The city that he'd grown up in had changed since then, with its old dictators fleeing and new changes rolling in. Aeron's mourning daughter still looked as beautiful as the day he'd first laid eyes on her, though. Famula nodded in quiet understanding. She could see the way her sunken cheeks would have once plumped into a rosy smile, how her wrinkled and baggy eyes would have once opened wide in glee. Now, the poor girl moved as a corpse would, and looked no better. Without her father to help her with the daily shipments, she'd fallen on hard times. "I have to help her... I always swore I'd protect her, and I will. No matter what... I'll always be there for her." Time after time, he'd ignored her sound logic as she reasoned with him, ignored her bargains and her offers, falling deeper and deeper into a stubborn little cycle of self-loathing and misery as the world moved on without him.

Left alone, he'd become just another stubborn soul. Fighting just for the sake of fighting, carrying on because he'd come this far. These were always the hardest to convince. Some had to be forced down their path, because there simply was no other way - they'd lost all sense of reason, their purpose condensed down into simply existing, no matter how painful and miserable it might make them and everyone around them. This one had to be cut away at the bud, before it could start flowering. Luckily, Famula knew of a perfect little gardener she could recruit for such a task.

Floating tranquilly within the realm of souls, invisible and intangible to the small grey-skinned woman scrubbing diligently away at the dishes of her small run-down little shack, Famula lightly tapped her lantern, which answered with a faint pulse of swirling red light. "Bring Faith." Small sprites responded to her call, fluttering free like little glowbeetles that buzzed through the air, humming odd little melodies. Wherever Faith was, they'd find her, speaking in hushed whispers and dancing around her head in patterns only she'd be able to see, guiding her and beckoning her to follow them back to the outskirts of Scalvoris Town, to a poor little house where a lonely woman scrubbed plates and Famula floated in the corner, every bit as radiant as she always seemed when atop her throne of souls - perhaps even more so, now that the various souls that followed her orbited around her endlessly, practically spilling back out of the little house and back out into the street.

As she waited for Faith, the Immortal reached out with her free hand and touched a shoulder to Aeron, who'd since turned from staring forlornly at his daughter to Famula. "You may not heed my words and my warnings..." she told him, "but perhaps I know someone who can help."
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Testing Faith

Wed Mar 22, 2017 5:35 pm

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Faith was sitting, making notes as she listened to what Professor Hamilton-Smith was saying. They were learning about surgery and the many and varied ways that it could kill a person. Not a cheery topic to most, but Faith was beyond fascinated. If they didn't know what the dangers were, after all, how could they mitigate against them? They were discussing the major issue, loss of blood. Faith had thoughts about that and she raised her hand.
"Yes, Faith?" Professor Hamilton-Smith had just the right amount of 'oh no, not her again' in his voice that the other students picked it up.
"What if we could put the blood back in?" Faith asked, oblivious to his tone.
"I beg your pardon?" Argus Hamilton-Smith looked at her incredulously.
"What if we could somehow capture the lost blood and return it to the body? We know where it's going to be coming from, after all."
"That's a ridiculous idea, I'm afraid." It might, in fact, be a genius idea, Argus considered. "Putting blood into someone? How would we do that? How would we achieve it?"
"Physics. If we could...." but whatever it was that she had been going to say was lost as she caught sight of the strange-looking glowbeetle-type things.

Recognising them for what they were, she looked at them dancing around. How that must have looked to the others in the room, she could not say and was not concerned about. The small creatures danced around her head and she heard them whispering to her. Famula required her presence? There was no question to her and Faith stood up, picking up her books.
"Faith, what are you doing?" Professor Hamilton-Smith asked, looking rather surprised.
"I have to go." Faith was picking up her books, stowing them in her bag.
"That is not acceptable. You have to learn to accept being wrong, you can't just storm out." It didn't look like that was what she was doing, Argus thought, but best to take the opportunity whilst he could.
"I'm not storming. I'm leaving. I have to." Faith glanced at Elaine, one of the other students and smiled at her. "Make notes for me, please?" Elaine nodded, but it had to be said, all the students seemed rather surprised and watched as she grabbed her bag and left with as much speed as she could.

The journey to the house, Faith took at a fast walk. She hurried her steps as much as she could, following the sprites which directed her. She asked questions, but got no answers from them. So, she continued on her way until she got to the house in question. It was a small, impoverished dwelling in a poor part of Scalvoris Town. Faith could see the souls wrapped around it in a dance-like movement, spilling out onto the street. What was this? Was this a place where there was some kind of explosion of souls, she wondered, but then they whispered again. Famula. Famula was here, and Faith felt her heart rate increasing. That would help, of course, the thought popped into her head. Slowing down the heart rate slows down the number of pumps of blood. Ergo, slowing down the heart rate lessens blood loss. It was a strange, almost disconnected thought, but it was indicative of the earnest young woman's way of being.

Raising her hand, she knocked on the door and, when it was opened she looked at the woman with a soft smile. "Hello. My name is Faith. I was asked to come here." The sight of Famula, however, made things a little more complicated for the young woman. Her immediate reaction was to kneel in deference, but it seemed that Famula was not showing herself to the woman whose house it was. Whatever her own desires, Faith would never go against the wishes of her Immortal and so, she spoke instead. "I am a servant of Famula and I am here to do her bidding." With a gentle smile, she asked politely. "May I come in?". If and when, of course, it became apparent that the woman could see Famula, Faith would kneel but for the moment she did her best to follow the Immortal's lead and behave in the way which was deemed appropriate.
word count: 737
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Testing Faith

Wed May 03, 2017 1:22 am

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As Faith appeared, Famula allowed herself a brief, restrained smile. Though she always knew that she could count on her marked to aid her in her times of need, it was always pleasing to reinforce that confidence just a little. Whether it involved drawing one of her followers aside for a talk, or whether it was a little informal testing of their understanding of their duties. She could still see the confusion stretched over the poor girls face, but unfortunately now was not the time to make an appearance if she could help it. Even disguising herself, as she was often forced to do in places like these, would cause unnecessary complications. No. Now was the time to watch and observe quietly from a distance.

"Yes? Oh." The door opened and a young woman, not much older nor taller than Faith opened the door with a forced smile. "I, err. I don't know who that is, but yes, come on in, I suppose." A weary little sigh broke through her attempts at small pleasantries, and she seemed to turn to a recital that she'd obviously spoken many times before, "My home is always open to strangers that may have need of it." She stepped aside to let Faith in and let the door fall shut behind her gently. "Please, take a seat. Make yourself comfortable." She drifted back around the small square table set in the middle of the room and returned to gently stirring a large pot of sweet-smelling soup she'd been brewing before Faith had knocked. "You caught me just in the middle of making an evening meal of mushroom soup. Hand-picked, they told me down at the market, but you know how they can be. Care for some? We can eat while you tell me about this Famula, hmm?"

The soup was simple, the bread to match it hard, and it looked like there was just about enough for one in the pot, but she fished out two cracked bowls nonetheless and spooned out even portions to share with Faith, piled with a little extra bread to help fill their stomachs. "Oh, yes. My name is Tina. Goodness, what a terrible host I must be, not telling you that. What would Aeron think of me..." she drifts off as she sits herself down opposite Faith. She's obviously a kindly soul, still struggling to remain open and cheerful even when happiness has clearly drained from her life like the yolk from an egg. "... I suppose it'd be foolish of me to ask if you're here because of Aeron, now wouldn't it," she jokes softly with no humour in her voice.

Famula, taking that as her queue, gently presses Aeron forward until he slides down next to Tina. His hand gingerly settles itself on her shoulder. After a small moment of silence, he turned to Faith and nodded. If this wasn't such an emotional moment for both of them, perhaps they could have offered a more descriptive explanation. For now, though, it was quite obvious that the pair of them, mere inches away, were struggling to stop themselves from bursting into tears at the other's absence. "She's here because of me..." Aeron says to Tina, as if he still believes that she can hear his words, before turning to fix Faith with a damning stare, "but I'm not going anywhere. No matter what you say, what she says." He drew himself a little taller, a little straighter, and his hard gaze turned a little colder staring directly into her, making the tiniest of head movements to gesture towards Famula. The Immortal now sat leaning a little further over the edge of her throne, eyes glancing calmly from Faith to Aeron and back again, her expression a blank slate of smooth unblemished granite.
word count: 646
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Testing Faith

Wed May 03, 2017 1:10 pm

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Faith had served since her first memory and that service had been focused on Famula, her owners and those who were free. In that order, always in that order. Famula had sent her here and so Faith had to watch, to learn and to serve. Always, to serve. "Thank you, Tina. Faith smiled and as the woman put he meager serving of soup into two bowls, Faith watched carefully. It was her first instinct to refuse the soup, but if she did that then she would risk offending the woman, so she said nothing and instead just observed. She would not eat any bread, for Tina could eat that herself later, but she tasted the soup and smiled her thanks. "It's good. Thank you."

As they sat together, Aeron spoke and although Tina could not hear or see him Faith could do both, very clearly. Guilt. It was the thing which so often kept people behind, Faith knew. It was often accompanied by the kind of anger and stubborn expression Aeron was wearing and, if she had needed to put money on it, Faith would have said that guilt was what kept him here. However, she did not know that for sure and she had to keep her mind open, she knew.

When Tina asked, though, Faith saw her opportunity and answered. "Actually, Tina, I am here about Aeron in a manner of speaking. And you." Faith smiled at the woman and spoke to her. She did not show that she could see Aeron, she usually did not when she dealt with situations like this although sometimes she had needed to, but that was a last resort. "Famula requests that those of us who serve her help those who have experienced a death." In Faith's mind, that was both the soul who had died and those the soul left behind. So often, she considered, it was what and who they left behind which held them still in this place.

Tina seemed to be trying, just trying to keep putting one foot in front of the other and Aeron seemed to be angry. He was angry at himself, at the world, at Faith and at Famula, but not at Tina it seemed. He spoke and he was clear. It would not matter what either Faith or Famula said, according to Aeron and Faith simply inclined her head, to show him that she understood what he said.

Because he was completely correct.

However, it did matter to him what Tina said. "They say that, if you speak to one of Famula's worshippers, sometimes the recently dead can hear you." Faith was calm as she spoke and, again, what she spoke was the absolute truth. "I believe that with every part of me. What happened, Tina?" She allowed her eyes to flicker to the man who stood with his hand on Tina's shoulder. "What happened to Aeron?"

Faith did not tell the woman that the soul of Aeron stood here, not yet. She would if she needed to, but she was very aware that words, once spoken, could not be put back and knowledge learned could not be un-learned. It was how it was and so she tried her best to make sure that she did not rush anything.
word count: 558
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Testing Faith

Fri May 12, 2017 2:49 am

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Tina's spoon stopped half-way between the bowl and her mouth, and slowly lowered back down to the table. "I don't really..." she started, then stopped, licking her lips as if trying to wet her mouth, "I don't really think I'm ready to talk about that. It, I mean. It was only a few weeks ago that... yeah." Tina shook her head and swallowed again. Her eyes skimmed across the length of the worn table, the cracks and holes in the uneven surface that turned a little every time someone pushed a little more pressure on the top-left corner, where the leg was a little shorter than the other three. "I appreciate the effort and time you took to come here," she pulls together at last, regaining her previous composure but no longer with the thin veil of homeliness she'd presented before, "but I don't think this will help. I don't want to relive... relive the..."

Her mental walls were crumbling, slowly but surely - ever since her fathers death, she'd secluded herself, all but locked herself away where the world couldn't offer its meaningless condolences or apologies for a crime it didn't commit. She'd been free to all but completely ignore what had really happened; silently letting an infection fester, turn yellow and putrid, in the confidence that at least all the pus would be left inside her body and it wouldn't be seen by anyone else. Having anyone, even a complete stranger suddenly ask questions after so long was a blow she'd never prepared for or expected, and it showed. Her face crumpled for just a moment, and Faith gets all but a glimpse of the pure pain in her eyes before she lowers her head into both hands. Deep, heavy sobs filled the air.

Immediately Aeron swooped down, as big as a Jacadon, eyes practically aflame, standing directly between Tina and Faith. "Look what you've done!" he spat, not even sparing a thought to how she could probably see right through his chest at the girl who's whole world was burning around her for a second time. "Get out. Get out! You've done enough already!" Behind him, Tina continued to sob, sagging against the table. "You want to know what happened? I made a vow. From the moment she was born, I vowed that I would never let anyone, never let anything hurt her, so help me God I'd do whatever it took to keep her safe. And when those damn creatures set foot in this village I took ten of them to the grave with me." As he spoke, some of the faded outlines of his body sharpened into clarity, and Faith could catch glimpses of battle-scars lining his chest and arms. Some fresh, even still open - none wide or deep enough to cause death however, even when all taken together - and some partially healed, with only scar tissue or faded lines remaining.

"Now you know." Some of the anger and rage seeped out of him, even as Tina's sobbing continued. "And now you can leave. You've caused nothing but trouble, and there's nothing that you can do to help, unless you want to bring me back to life again, and since she," he suddenly said with his voice raising as he jerked a finger rudely at Famula, "can't do it, I don't see what means you can, so GET. OUT." He drew himself up tall again, head pulled back, chest pushed out. Even as a ghost, he drew an intimidating figure. Strong. Powerful. The way his hand rested at an empty scabbard at his hip came only from one experienced at using what often sat inside... and the scabbard looked much more ornately decorated than often befitted the house they currently sat in, or the mediocre lifestyle of a small family of dock-workers.
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Testing Faith

Sat May 13, 2017 6:16 pm

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Tina was struggling, Faith could see it and she followed suit in putting down her own spoon as the young woman spoke. It was a crucial time, Faith knew and so she simply listened to Tina for a moment and the young woman explained that she was not ready. Of course she wasn't, Faith knew that. She wasn't ready because no one ever was. It was a dreadful, awful, hollow pain and the young woman was ignoring it, pretending and it was not healthy. Nor, Faith knew, was it healthy for her father. He was doing the same, the two of them here, festering in a hidden place.

As Tina looked at her, Faith's eyes were compassionate but not filled with pity. When, however, the young woman started to cry, Faith moved and sat next to her, placing her hands over Tina's and then gently pulling her, if Tina allowed it, into a hug. "It hurts," the servant of Famula said quietly, her hand squeezing. The ghost was there, in front of the girl and around her, protecting her as best he could and as she hugged Tina and let her cry, Faith looked at the ghost of her father. Even though she spoke in such a way that Tina would think she was addressing her, it was the ghost that Faith directed her speech to.

"It hurts, I know. But you can't stay here and pretend nothing has changed." Faith's voice was calm and kind. "It has. We might wish it hasn't, but it has changed. You aren't on your own, though." First, Faith looked at Aeron and then glanced, meaningfully, to Famula. "It's the hardest thing to do, to accept that it's changed in this way, but it has." Examining the ghost, Faith made sure that she saw exactly where Aeron was anchoring himself. She thought it likely to be Tina, but she didn't want to assume anything. Moving slightly, then, so that she could look at Tina, Faith turned her gaze and she spoke just to the girl whose father was listening.

"I understand you are afraid, but you are not alone. I can and I will help you." Faith meant it completely, her smile soft and filled with compassion. "If he was here and able to talk to you, would he want you to spend your whole life in this place? Or would he want you to live your life?" Faith looked at Tina, then at Aeron. "I think he'd be concerned about you looking after yourself, being safe and warm, but he'd want you to live, wouldn't he?"

Holding on to Tina's hand still, the soft-spoken Zuuda looked at the ghost in the room. "It's hard to move on without someone you love, but you carry them with you, whatever you do." To Tina then, she glanced back and smiled. "Will you let me help you?"
word count: 505
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Testing Faith

Mon May 22, 2017 1:35 am

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At first, Tina pulled away from Faith's touch, as if trying to regain herself again and restore her composure. Even in the face of such loss and despair, she tried to gather herself up and put on a brave face. She tried to set her jaw and straighten her back, draw up her strength, but it could only last more than a few seconds before she collapsed again, embracing Faith openly, leaning on her for the strength she'd drawn upon like a well, not realising that there was a limit. It was a stubborn streak that she and her father shared. Any other hardship, she would have wiped the tears from her eyes, bit her own tongue and marched over it like a mountain turned avalanche. Any other situation, she would have dug her heels in deep and pulled on the reins until they either snapped or life turned its head and followed the path she set for it. Any other but this.

Aeron was not so easily turned, still. "If it can change once, it can change again. I will make it change if needs be! You call it 'accepting change'. I call it rolling over and accepting your judgement. Accepting that you, in all your damn power, have decided to take me away from her. When there's still so much to be done." He looked to Faith. "So much to teach her and tell her. More than can be said in a trial. In an arc. Things that she deserved to know and things she deserved to have." His shoulders slumped slightly and he sagged, collapsing a little on himself. For the first time, pain etched his face. True pain. Loss. Heartbreak. Behind Tina's mask sat a small and lonely girl who'd spent so long coddled and comforted by her father that without his walls to hold her, she sagged and collapsed like a bowl of soup without the bowl, but behind Aeron's mask stood a man who'd fought a thousand battles, faced death in the eye and never really expected to lose. At any moment, he still expected Famula to turn around and reveal herself to be Aelig in disguise, or Jesine, or Mastes; to remove the facade and for him to wake up, whole and alive, from this nightmare.

Tina, completely oblivious to her father's anguish just a few feet from her face, sniffed and sat up again, wiping away at her eyes with the edges of her already-wet sleeves. "No... you're right." Her soft, slightly-broken voice turned Aeron around. "He'd want me to keep going... always keep going, no mat... no matter what." Tears still streamed down her cheeks, but the twinges of a brave smile appeared at the corners of her mouth. "To... 'to keep walking, even after your feet fall off'. That was one of his old sayings. He loved telling me that one." At that, a sad smile mirrored itself on Aeron's face, but he turned away before ethereal tears could start to flow.

"You. Faith?" His stern voice had returned, but his face held the soft lines of a father, not the hard plates of a soldier. "If you say you're going to help her, you mean it. If she's lost, you guide her. If she struggles, you hold her. If she falls, you pick her up. And by the Original Eight, if you so dare send her to me before she's an old lady, I'll claw my way back to this world and I'll kill you myself, don't think I won't." At that, even Famula cracked a rare little smile, though she hid it well. "I want you to tell her what I never got to tell her. That her father wasn't always a fisherman and a day-labourer. I was once a man of the Eternal Empire's ranks, serving with sword and shield... and magic. I'd hoped to initiate her one day. Hone, Sovereign. I'd hoped to teach her everything I knew, for the same reason I learned it myself; self-protection. Teach her so that when she had a family, when she had a life of her own, she'd be able to fight tooth and nail to protect what she held dear. I can still say I never regretted it." That sad smile grew a little wider. "And I'll never regret what I did that night in Vhalar. Because it saved her life. I'm only angry that I wasn't able to keep my own in the process so that I could be with her a little bit longer. I want her to know that. All of it."

Famula begun to rose, as if taking this as her cue, but Aeron spoke up again, even louder than before. "And I want you to do one more thing, too." The soldier's gaze shifted over to the window; to the ocean view. "Out there, somewhere on the coast, buried somewhere under the sand and seawater is my sword. I lost it during the fight... it's something I want her to have. Something to remember me by." Almost as an afterthought, he turned back to Faith again and added, "And my body's there too." He winced at his own words, as if not realising the significance of them until they came from his own mouth, but carried on. "My scabbard is still at my belt, for the sword. And... I want you to bury me, properly. A gravestone, a coffin, you know. It doesn't really matter much now, but hell, it'd just... it'd mean a lot to me."

Now Famula stood beside the ghost, hand rising to rest on Aeron's shoulder. He didn't resist it. "Anything else you'd like to say?" The Immortal's words hung heavy in the air, but Aeron didn't seem to hear them at all. Then again, the question didn't seem to really be aimed at him either.
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Testing Faith

Mon May 22, 2017 3:04 am

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The young woman collapsed against her and Faith wrapped her in a hug, holding her gently and comforting her as best she could. "It's alright. It's alright." Faith's whispered words were for Tina and she listened to Aeron, wrapping his daughter in her arms and looking up at him. "It's hard, you know. We wish we could turn it back, but we can't. We can't. Can't bring them back, even when we might want to. It's the order of things, but it's hard as a mortal, sometimes, to understand that. We know that. Famula knows that. That's why she offers those who refuse Vri's offer a second chance. That's what she does, you know." Serious silver eyes looked at the ghost of the father as she rocked and comforted the daughter.

Tina started to pull herself together and she spoke of her father, and what he would say. "To walk when your feet fall off? He sounds like a strong and determined man." The man in question spoke and Faith heard him, heard what he wanted from her and she closed her eyes for just a trill, then nodded, once. "I bet he taught you a lot of lessons, Tina, didn't he?" She gently put a strand of hair behind the young woman's ear and she looked at her, straight in the eye. "I'll help you. I promise. I'll help you be the strong and determined young woman I believe you are." She smiled at Tina and spoke with a firm but gentle voice. "I came here as a representative of Famula and she is who helps your father cross over. I'm sure that he would want you to have a friend, someone who can walk with you. Because you have all the strength you need. He already gave you all that, but a friend to help you, that I can be."

She heard what the father had to say and then Famula stood and she spoke. It wasn't Aeron she spoke to, though, it was Faith. The young fanatic knew that and she looked at the Immortal she adored and she bowed her head before speaking to Tina. "I told you I am a servant of Famula and I was asked to come here, remember? I have information about your father, about who he was before you knew him. Things he would have wanted you to know, I'm sure, because he was a good man, a great man. But, first, before we do anything, I think we need to get his body, give him a proper grave and a headstone. A proper burial. May I help you do that, Tina?" The young woman would answer yes, Faith felt, and she added, with a very honest expression. "I think I can help, if you'll let me. It will help you and him to rest, yes?"

She looked then at Aeron and she said, quiet and calm. "He needs to rest. He's earned it. In his rest, he'll wait for his daughter." As she spoke she smiled at him and nodded. It was time for him to go and then for her to keep good on every promise she had spoken, and all those she had not, but which he wished.
word count: 569
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Testing Faith

Wed Jun 14, 2017 1:46 am

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Nodding and sniffling, Tina silently listened and agreed with a sad smile. "Yes, I understand." She didn't, but at least she felt a little closer. As the pain and mourning passed slowly into acceptance, perhaps she'd be able to look back on it at some point and realise that she was very lucky to have a father willing to lay down his life for the good of his daughter, or else she would be passing through the portal after him today. "Thank you Faith. I'd say you don't understand how much this means to me, but I think with all your divine alliance, I think you really do in some way." Setting her jaw in Faith's eyes and drawing herself up, a genuine smile flashed over her face and stayed this time. "No more burying my head in the sand." Not that there'd actually be any opportunity for it.

"Uhm... yes. Please." Startled but not shaken, she agreed almost immediately. "I think I've got some tools out back that we can use, if you'll give me a moment. I... think I might need to prepare myself as well. When he didn't come home, I knew that he was dead, but they never found a body, even when all of the others were cleared away following the attacks. I'd assumed the worst, that he'd been... I don't even know." The shadow beasts that'd assaulted the islands had been greatly exaggerated to many, some simply to make their survival a tale of ages, while others genuinely seemed to believe that the creatures were twenty feet tall, for whatever reason they wished. She'd feared that they'd eaten her father, or at the very least, torn his body into nothing but bones and shreds, until it became lost in the other debris. "I'll be back shortly, promise!" Lost in thought, she broke the embrace and rushed out of the door,
leaving it hanging open.

"Right," Aeron said after a few moments of awkward silence in Tina's passing. "I, err. There's nothing left for me to say, really. Except thank you, Faith. Thank you for everything you've done, and for what I hope you'll continue to do. Heh. Good luck. Perhaps when we see each-other next, not too soon I hope, I'll be able to find a better way of thanking you fully." Famula's grip on his shoulder remained steady, but that wasn't her focus. The other hand now held her lantern, which was slowly growing brighter and brighter, creating a thick pool of light that slowly seemed to fill the entire house like a fire. It was enough to leave spots in Faith's eyes even after it'd slowly lowered back down to a dull glow, but when it did, Aeron was gone.

"You've proven, once again, that you take your work seriously." The Immortal's tone was as professional as ever, but there was a definite hint of satisfaction settled underneath it, like fresh water under a layer of ice. "Perhaps more seriously than some others to note. One could even go so far as to make a bold claim, that you raise the bar for your fellows, although I would not know who would make such a claim." In her own way, it was a very sincere congratulations. "Accordingly, when I offer you a deepening of our bond, which I already know you will accept, I presume that you will know its proper uses, and its purpose, just as you use the powers I have provided." Letting go of her lantern for a moment, letting it hang in the air suspended by invisible hands, she reached out and lightly brushed Faith's mark with three fingers, sending a sharp tingle through its latticework. The tingling spread up the length of her entire arm and along parts of her chest and back, as the mark itself slowly branched out, claiming more of her body as it did with her soul. Just as it finished, Famula pulled back once more, and that familiar light begun to grow again, this time giving Faith a little more time to shield her eyes in anticipation. "I suspect it will not be long before we meet again. Do not keep me waiting, Faith."

When Tina returned, the Immortal she had never noticed was gone. A few breaks later, digging out on the beach a short walk from Tina's house, they found Aeron's body and together they made a simple coffin for him from the leftover planks originally set out to repair a wagon, and dug his grave there in the sand, with a proper headstone, in a proper burial. His sword, stained copiously with unknown black ooze that could not be truly identified nor wiped away from the blade, was found not far away. Its hilt still bore an old insignia of the Eternal Empire, marked in silver over its steel. When they found it, Tina had something surprising to say, though. "Out of all the things that I still have of his to keep as memorials," she said as she held the sword, "I don't want the one thing he died with." Sliding it into its sheath, she added, "I don't want it to be buried either. He wouldn't want that. Faith... I think you should take this." In this, Tina's stubborn streak shone through; she wouldn't take anything but a 'yes' for an answer, and when pushed, she grinned cheekily and showed off what she had to replace it. Hidden away in her bedroom, next to her bed at all times, a very heavy-looking oak quarterstaff tipped in dull wooden spikes on both ends sat. "I learned it myself, and I hate to brag, but I can hold my own and then some. I'll be fine without it."

"And by the way, erm. I know I've already said it before and all, but... thank you. For everything." When Faith eventually left, Tina's smile went with her.
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Testing Faith

Sun Jun 25, 2017 12:29 am

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Faith


Story: 5
Structure: 5
Collaboration: 5

Knowledge:
How to quell the most stubborn of ghosts.
Tina: One of the strongest and most determined young women around. I shall call her "Mini me".
Tina: Daughter of a soldier, and can handle herself as well.
Tina: Has a tendency to bottle her loss, as well as other emotions to save them from others and herself.
Leadership: How to take initiative and control, even when those around you refuse it.
Leadership: Refuse to back down even when others are screaming in your face.
Persuasion: Taking responsibility onto yourself relieves it from others and allows you to take control.
Persuasion: Pressing your advantage by citing Immortal will.

Devotion: 14 to Famula.
Play an instrumental role in helping a (potential) Wisp pass on: +10
Help a (potential) Wisp with their purpose: +3
Honor the Dead: +1

Loot:
Second mark of Famula.

Shadow-stained steel longsword of very high quality, marked with the insignia of the Eternal Empire military at the base of the blade and soaked in the taint of the shadow creatures from Vhalar 716. Due to its connection with Aelig's magic, it resonates in the presence of the Immortal, or any magic used by the Immortal or his followers. However, the more one uses the sword, the more vivid hallucinations and illusions they experience, usually relating to the way they used the sword.

Additional Notes:

Really hope you enjoyed this, even if it took much longer than intended, because I sure know I did! Enjoy your grade and let me know if there's anything I should change or edit!

Credit goes to Kydrel!
word count: 281
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