• Solo • Etherdeath

Seated on the shores of Lake Lovalus, Rharne serves as the home of the Lighting Knights, the Thunder Priestesses, and the Merchant's guild. This beautiful trade city is filled with a happy and contented people who rarely need an excuse to party.

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Yrmellyn Cole
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Etherdeath

Thu Jul 11, 2019 6:24 pm

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Etherdeath
During The Fall of Emea 1st to 30th Ymiden 719

DIRGE
1st Ymiden



Yrmellyn's memory of the vision of The Fall of Emea

The vision before midnight had been like nothing else Yrmellyn had ever experienced before. She had woken up feeling like something had exploded with a loud bang in her head. At that moment she had seen ... the incredible. A bearded man had appeared. A mage, that had been obvious to her, thanks to her own insight in magic. He had walked over to a couple, a man and a woman, who had been laying there like innocent babies in deep sleep. For a moment he had stopped in his tracks and seemed to think, but it had been a brief stop. Almost immediately he had stepped forward and bent down over the sleeping man, ignoring the woman.

As a mage Yrmellyn had immediately understood what was going to happen. There had been something reckless and hungry in the way the man moved. It had made her think of a predator closing in on prey. Then he had done it. The flaying. Yrmellyn had felt like screaming but the vision had stunned her and paralyzed her. She had witnessed the whole act, in as much detail as the vision had shoved her. The ether had flowed from the flayed to the flayer, an invisible stream of the essence of dreams, magic and life. The sight of the delicious meal had ignited her own hunger. The force of it had overwhelmed her. She had felt like she would do anything, anything to get a drop of the ether and join in on the flaying. The bearded mage's voice had been so full of power. It had felt like hearing an immortal speak with he had announced his deed. “I have flayed Kielik and now I revel in his taste.”

And she had known who he was. Alistair Venora, Zvezdana’s brother, the heir to Venora as Yrmellyn recalled him. She had never known him but she had seen him long ago when she had visited the lady in her younger years. It had felt like looking at an old picture, from a world that was gone. She couldn’t even guess at why the lord had become a flayer.

At that moment, the vision had made it clear to her who the flayed man had been. It had been Keilik, the mortalborn of nightmares, insomnia and oblivion. It had also told her, without words, that the flaying had destroyed the duality of Emea. That had been what had kept it in balance. The whole dimension had begun to get unstable and wobble. But, it had still been held together by some kind of ...entity. Instead, what had torn it down had been the action of a second man. He had taken the opportunity to try and take the place of that ...entity ... and so, the entity had lost its grip on Emea and everything had crumbled and fallen down. Yrmellyn hadn’t known how long or short time it had taken. But she had seen the dimension of dreams and ether fade out and disappear. With it, her source of ether had disappeared.

To Yrmellyn it seemed like the world had lost its soul.
Last edited by Yrmellyn Cole on Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:17 pm, edited 3 times in total. word count: 555
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Re: Etherdeath, Deluge

Fri Jul 12, 2019 8:07 am

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Now it was after midnight and the 1st Ymiden arc 719 had begun. After a vision like that, it had been out of the question to try and sleep of course. She had never felt so awake in her whole life. A cup of tea had made her calm her down a bit, but going back to bed was not on her agenda. Instead, she was set on making a picture of that vision while it still was fresh in her memory.

After swallowing the tea too fast and burning her tongue a bit, she had rushed straight to the workbench. She had settled for making a drawing to get as much detail as possible into the pictures. The drawing would serve as a visual note and save every memory of the vision. If she would want to make a painting she could do it later.

Yrmellyn sketched at a pace she had never sketched before and soon she had created a series of pictures showing Alistair Venora as he approached the sleeping mortalborn of Emea, stopped to assess the situation, bent down, flayed Kielik and finally ... his face, as it had been at the moment his voice had rung out with immense power, telling the world what he had done.

Then she drew the instability, the unknown man dealing Emea the final blow and at last the downfall. She worked like obsessed. It all flowed through her like she was only a channel and a tool for the drawings she made. It was the same with the words she added in the margins. She wrote his name there, Lord Alistair Venora, But, she had no names at all for that other man and that “entity”.

When Yrmellyn finished working she had in total eight drawings. It occurred to her that an eight is the symbol for eternity and so, she named the series of drawings “The Eternal”. She had no idea where it came from, that idea, but it seemed appropriate.

After this, the flow of automatic expression of the vision ebbed out. Yrmellyn was no longer channelling. She didn't understand what had happened. to her. It seemed like the spark of domain magic itself had taken action to save this memory so it would never be forgotten, at least not by Yrmellyn Cole.

If her own memory would fade and if she would find herself unable to recall the details of what she had seen, she would see it in the drawings. Even if parts of it would be consigned to oblivion she would still have the drawings to tell her that it had happened.

She was as spent as if she had been running at high speed through the street all night long. Drained. It felt like all the ether still left to her, stored in her before the downfall, had flowed out as the blood flows out through an opened vein. She had poured it into the furious outbreak of obsessed drawing. And now it was over.

The magic ... wasn’t awake in her anymore. She could still discern the spark there though. At the moment it seemed to sleep like a baby. Yrmellyn wondered if it would remain that way, dormant, now when the ether that sustained it was gone. She had used the magic so seldom and been so cautious. But, now when she didn’t’ have it at her fingertips any longer she felt mentally amputated. It had been a more important part of her than she had known. Until now.

She wanted to think and analyze the situation, but her thoughts felt slow and her stamina felt low. It seemed so hard to sort everything out. A huge and crushing mental tiredness weighed her down. All she wanted was to sleep and recover after the drawing madness.


It was five in the morning. She lay down on the bed and collapsed.
Last edited by Yrmellyn Cole on Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:52 pm, edited 1 time in total. word count: 657
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Re: Etherdeath

Sat Jul 13, 2019 3:24 pm

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It was noon when she woke up again. Yrmellyn had slept for seven breaks so she should have felt refreshed, but she didn’t. Her body didn’t seem to want to leave the bed and her head ached. She didn’t want to get up. It seemed better to stay in the bed and pull the cover up over her head.

At first, she wondered if she was ill. But, as she didn’t seem to have a fever she forced her self to stumble up and face the new dreamless and ether-free world. Not that she wanted to do it. No. But, she knew that it was a must. Life must go on, even if she found everything lacklustre this day. It was hard to put words on exactly what she felt. Her mutated mind still intertwined all kinds of impressions. She felt that the world had lost its strong colours of life. Everything felt like an empty tavern the day after a festival has ended and the music and the song are gone. Dead, dreary and drab.

She browsed the drawings she had done. They looked surreal now. Watching the drawing of the man who flayed the nightmare lord she wondered who he was. She couldn't recall having seen him before the dream vision had etched his face into her memory. A stranger. But, then she read the note she had made. Alistair Venora. The name was as mysterious as the vision had been. She must have known it when she wrote it like she had known the details of his face. Now it was all an enigma. She didn't understand a thing, but she was going to keep the pictures.

Yrmellyn dressed and went down to have breakfast at the small tavern across the yard. It was as usual there. She ordered a strong black coffee, fresh bread, white cheese and honey. The waitress put it on her table and Yrmellyn paid. The girl was a long time acquaintance, for good and for bad. She was a great source of information, but also a rumour-spreader of high rank. Yrmellyn was a bit careful with that one, but she wanted to know ... had that vision been something only she had seen? She began the investigation by a casual question.

“How are you today? Slept well?”

The waitress shrugged.

“Tired. I had a nightmare about a vision. The weird thing is, more people seem to have woken up with nightmare visions. It’s the hottest topic of the gossip today. Nobody knows what it was about even, but a lot of people are trying to find out. You too?”

“I was up all night drawing,” said Yrmellyn who wanted to avoid to reveal too much. If other people didn’t recall much she was not going to rile them up by telling them about flaying. She had only wanted to find out if the thing she had seen were real. It seemed so. Now, she was going to shut up and pretend to not know anything more than the average citizen of Rharne.

Well, it wouldn’t hurt to appear to know even less. “ I had a lot of inspiration. I felt that it was best to use it while I could. Art kept me awake until the morning. I’ve slept until now.” She gave a low laugh and shrugged. “Can I have more bread, please? And more coffee? ”

The waitress smiled at the habits of the eccentric artist and went to fetch more bread and coffee. Yrmellyn still thought of the series of pictures she had drawn. They intrigued her to no end. "The Eternal". This seemed like another folder of artwork in the piles of artwork only she would care about. She created lots of that these days.

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Re: Etherdeath

Tue Jul 16, 2019 6:20 pm

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ABSTINENCE
7th Ymiden 719



As a seldom-user of magic, Yrmellyn had sustained her spark of on the residual of ether stored in it. But, one week after the fall of Emea the condition of the spark began to change. New odd cravings were arising. A mental hunger stirred deep down in her soul... At this point, she found it unpleasant but it didn’t worry her.

She was way more worried about the fact that she woke up every morning feeling tired. She had no memories of any dreams. The small daily troubles that have never used to bother her before seemed to accumulate. They began to stack as a growing weight on her soul. Even very small things seemed hard to let go of and stop mulling over. She was beginning to feel a bit lower than she used to feel. Attempts to shrug it off could have a temporary effect but it was soon over. Her sev’ryn friend Ha’zel seemed less jovial than usual too but helped out by explaining the situation. Being a spiritual man, connected to the spiritual world by what he called his ose-bori, he knew things.

“The dreams don’t exist anymore.” His common was accented but not bad. He had been travelling in Idalos for a long time and practised common for arcs.

Yrmellyn nodded. “We both had that vision.”

It was silent for a moment. They sat in her spare apartment. It was a depressing place she had tried to rent out, then made an alchemy lab of and finally let Ha’zel live in. It was a bit better than it had been when she had purchased in back in 717, but not by much. Most of the broken furniture and other debris that had once littered it was gone. Her temporary tenant Ashbroken had acquired a bed. As it seemed like he wasn’t coming back she had told Ha’zel he could have it. The sev'ryn had lived there since they came to Rharne in Ashan. None of them felt motivated to engage in a lot of renovation work. There had been other things to do ...

“The vision. Yes. And your drawings of it.”

She had shown Ha’zel the drawings of course. He was also the only person she had shown them to. He had told her that he had seen the same vision. Exactly the same. And his ose-bori, the spiritual familiar part of him told him it was true. It had happened for real.

The dimension of dreams had ceased to exist. Neither Yrmellyn nor Ha’zel was able to grasp what this meant. They had a vision and they had words, but it was abstract to them. They weren't sure of anything, but they agreed that the situation was real. Ha’zel trusted in his ose-bori and Yrmellyn felt the ether outage, so there was that ... and the vision.
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Re: Etherdeath

Wed Jul 17, 2019 8:44 am

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Still. What did it mean that people didn’t dream anymore? Did it even matter? The world seemed to continue with business as usual. All the people seemed to keep on keeping on, without dreams. It could seem like dreams were superfluous rubbish they had never needed. A pointless theatre for the sleeping souls, no more.

Dreams are like the worship of immortals, she thought to herself. Dreams are like religion. Dreams are a drug for the people and keep them from seeing reality as it is. It could be a good thing that the dreams were gone now.

Despite this possibility, Yrmellyn missed dreaming. It had been fun. As an artist, she had appreciated the surreal side of what she had been able to recall from her dreams. It had been a source of inspiration. There was also the problem with the lack of ether. As a mage, she felt the strange and alien life-partner named the spark dwindle inside her like a plant in drought.

“I’m not a mage so I can’t know how you are feeling,” said Ha’zel. “I recall how it was before I found my ose-bori though. I didn’t know it then, but I lacked half of my mind and soul.”

“That’s what I mean. I feel like a part of me is starving and maybe it will die.”

“It’s different. I wasn’t unhappy before I united with the ose-bori. I knew nothing else.”

Yrmellyn tried to think of how she had been before her initiation to domain magic. As usual, she failed. When the spark had settled in her, many arcs ago, it had changed her. It had made her memories of her past self and life seem like dreams. It was still so. The loss of her first personality remained, like the witchmark in her eyes. So did the interconnection of her impressions which had increased the latest arc. A mutation. She saw no other explanation. The magic had shaped her, in ways that were still not clear to her, and the lack of ether didn't seem to change this. It seemed permanent.

“You know who you were. Before. I don’t. My memories of how I once was are like phantasms from a bygone world. I recall my life before initiation, but it seems unreal like a dream. Quite a bad dream, partly.”

“You are the same person you always were Yrmellyn.”

But, no, Yrmellyn knew that she wasn’t the same person and would never be the same again. It wasn’t possible to explain it to him. At first, she had been a person without a trace of magic and zero knowledge about art. Then the spark and the teachings of her mentor had altered her and she had become a mage and artist. Now, if the ether really would be gone for good, she would become ... what? A mentally deranged painter?
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Re: Etherdeath

Thu Jul 18, 2019 9:45 am

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“I'm less impressed than ever by the immortals Ha’zel. They are like a bunch of dumb children ruling over the world. For example, think of the vision. It spoke volumes. A human mage could flay one of them without effort. Well, that proves that one human mage was more powerful than a whole bunch of immortals.”

“That wasn’t immortals Yrmellyn and they weren't a whole bunch ...”

The painter wasn’t in the mood for interruptions. No. Not at all. She was in a bad mood. She didn’t appreciate that Ha’zel tried to be level-headed. A rant felt more appropriate.

“Half-immortals, full immortals, conceited idiots every one of them or else the world wouldn’t be as it is. They have messed it up beyond repair and destroyed it for us all. Their pride and prestige are all they care about. We get war, plague, death, disasters and trouble. It’s a pity that not more of them have been flayed, I say ... if I had one here in front of me I would flay them at once! ”

When she had opened up for anger it seemed unstoppable. The more she ranted the angrier she went. The more she railed against the immortals the more riled up she became. Her own words fueled her wrath and made it burn hot and red as hate in her heart. Yrmellyn was aware that she hadn’t felt this way before the dream crash. But, she didn’t connect the change in her emotional state with it. She was only furious. She shook her fist in the air and ranted away.

“There’s a lot of people who are saying that these days” Ha’zel admitted. “Some immortals would deserve it, no doubt. But, there’s also immortals who are good and benevolent. Moseke for example. Ashan and Ymiden. They heal us, free us and bring us light.”

The painter calmed down a bit. It was true that not all immortals had a reputation for being bad. A few good apples in a whole barrel full of bad apples were doomed to begin to rot though. She saw no signs of the supposed do-gooders having any influence over the state of the world. Those seemed to fight a losing war against their fellow immortals if you asked her.

"It's always like that Ha'zel. There's always some who are good, some who are bad and some are between good and bad. It doesn't matter. What matters is the result.”

"You wouldn't flay immortals even if you could Yrmellyn. You aren't that kind of person. It's probable that you would only paint a caricature of them and laugh at them." The sev'ryn felt amused and laughed a bit at the thought of this, but he soon went serious again. The painter hadn’t answered. Her gaze looked absent like she hadn’t heard him and was thinking of something else.

“You wouldn’t do it,” he repeated.

It was evening. Yrmellyn felt tired and went over to her own apartment, next door. She would soon get yet another dreamless night. She felt pissed off most of the time. She lay in the bed without falling asleep, due to the anger.

Ha’zel had not been entirely wrong when he’d said that she was likely to mock the immortals. Dark entertaining thoughts of flaying for example that slut Syroa crossed her mind. Heh! That would be a good deed. Lisirra seemed like a good candidate for a flaying too, but it was probable that she would be toxic. In her thoughts, she browsed the pantheon of Idalos. Some seemed tastier than others. Zanik, for example, seemed bad enough to deserve to be flayed but would still be a delicious meal. Yrmellyn amused herself by thinking of this for a while. It cheered her up a bit and made her get ideas.

Ilaren ... no, not Ilaren. Not the Immortal Lady of Rharne. Yrmellyn drew a line there. She would also spare the worthless Vhalar who had never done anything for her no matter how she had tried to pray. He liked art, they said. So, not him. Those Ha’zel had mentioned, Moseke, Ashan and Ymiden would be spared too, and maybe a few more who didn’t seem evil.

Her spark objected to that way of reasoning ... not with words but by affecting her feelings. She cringed every time she made an exception. She felt like she was about to cry when she decided who were off-limits. The hunger in her wanted the meal to be unlimited. All ought to be possible. Everything could happen and should happen!

Yrmellyn quenched the temptation to indulge. Unlimited gluttony was never justified, not even in her thoughts. She had learnt that as a child when they only had that much porridge on the table in the orphanage in Dust Quarter. To be greedy and do everything you liked without caring about others was a no way. There was a limitation even to the freedom of fantasies. “If it harms no one.” That was ingrained in her, and had been a part of her since childhood.

It surged now, from unknown sources inside her, deeper down than the spark had ever reached. Somewhat surprised, Yrmellyn realized that she was standing her ground against her own magic. She was telling it no, in no uncertain terms. It felt like the beginning of an inner mental war that would take place in her mind from now on. The words of her mentor Mariuz Arbin came to her mind: Control the magic or the magic will control you. At the time she had been young and impatient and reluctant to pay heed to his boring orders to be cautious. Now she praised it and felt happy for having been so restrictive with her use of magic and never let it grow too strong in her.

It was Yrmellyn Cole versus The Spark of Attunement.

Yrmellyn felt she had won round one, but the spark was far from conquered. It came back with new ideas. It would maybe be possible to feed the spark something else than ether? For example, whatever powered imagination and fantasies? Art? Could it eat ...art? An absurd question, but Yrmellyn was fond of absurd questions. Anyways, she felt content to have come to this point. Even if the spark didn’t care, Yrmellyn Cole didn’t want to kill other beings to feed it.



Her dreams were gone. The spark in her had lost its food.


Still, she had never lost her hunger.
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Re: Etherdeath

Fri Jul 19, 2019 10:18 am

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DENIAL
“When I get low I get high”
10th Ymiden 719




Another three trials had passed without dreams but with growing depression. Yrmellyn felt she had won over the ether-starved spark. She had not gone down under the increasing pressure it put on her to take the easy way out. See, she hadn’t stooped to even attempting to flay. The mental war against the demanding magic was over!

But, despite this belief in her own victory, she felt low. Yrmellyn was irritable and uninterested in everything. She had been looking at her drawings of the vision every trial. The one where that mage - stepped forth and flayed the sleeping nightmare lord was addictive. She had never seen any picture this alluring before.

But, there could be more painters out there who had done as she had done and had their own pictures to browse. She told herself that this was the case. She wasn’t the only one who had depicted the spectacular scene. All other artists must have done it too. She was only one among many. There was nothing unusual with her interest in the flaying scene. It was only natural that such an event would demand attention. Of course, it made people wonder how the mage had been able to do it.

Her friend Ha’zel seemed way less affected by the death of the ether than she was. He had gone out to look for work as a day labourer. It was good ... yes, of course, it was good. She still felt that it would have been nice with some company. After waiting a bit more she felt impatient and decided to go to the tavern across the yard. It was a small place but used to be full of people. Many of them lived nearby. If she would be lucky she might find nice company there.

And booze. Don’t forget the booze. She was thirsty. Very thirsty. Ale, beer, wine and more, that was only business as usual in Rharne. The beverages flowed through the citizens like the river flowed through the landscape. It could be a bit too much sometimes, but happiness on a bottle felt right this trial. Wine, fellows and song! It would make her forget that the world was as drab as a wrung-out floor-cloth.

A wall of grey dominated her mutated mind where impressions met and mixed. She saw the colour of her feelings and heard a boring monotonous sound. She felt the smell of dust. But, when she stepped into the tavern new impressions flooded her and made her dizzy. The atmosphere was livelier than ever. The whole neighbourhood seemed to be on a pilgrimage to their small tavern around the corner. The best place. Why bother with the big and well know taverns? This one was all right and made for a short walk home after the visit. An important benefit.

The air smelled of beer, wine and simple food. The painter’s mood went up more than one notch when she drew in the fragrance. It filled her with a feeling golden like dark honey or good Rharne beer. A cheery tune began to come alive in her memory. Most of all she felt the presence of the many other guests close around her like a warming blanket of good company. She saw her favourite waitress weave between the tables. The chatty girl put food and drink on the tables. She took new orders, picked up money and dishes and hurried back to the kitchen. Her good-humoured laughter rang like silver bells in the painter's odd mind. It made her think of pale, fresh sparkling wine.

Sparkling. It felt so right. Could sparking whine replace ether and feed a starving spark?
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Re: Etherdeath

Sat Jul 20, 2019 8:34 am

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Yrmellyn bought a goblet of sparkling wine at the bar. Then she found a place on a bench at a long table where too many people had crammed themselves in. They all had room for one more. There more the merrier!

Because merry they all were, bent on having fun at all cost. They weren’t only eating and drinking, they were singing too. As they sang the guests hooked arms with each other. They moved while they sang, back and forth, a long cheery chain of people. The atmosphere was high. The man who sat beside her was already drunk. Against better knowledge, Yrmellyn allowed him to put his arm around her waist. A stranger, but who cared. She was only going to sit there and drink and sing, move with the music and forget all her problems. Life was good.

She wasn’t feeling troubled any longer. Everything was splendid. She was the happiest woman in the whole world. She had fun all the time. Look, she was laughing and joking like all the others. She was sure that all could see how happy she was. Her happiness felt unlimited. Unlimited. The feeling glittered in her perception like a billion of sparkling pearls. She was so light and so shimmering.

A group of jesters arrived. They sat down on a few small crates the tavern owner put on the floor near the bar. After downing several drinks they grabbed their instruments and began to play. It was an evening for lovers of happy music. The jesters were no exception. The played tune after tune and two of hem sang. It goes without saying that the atmosphere rose even higher than before. It turned into an ecstatic frenzy. Some daring people got to their feet and tried to dance in the limited spaces between the tables. The shouting was loud and the laughter was wild. Nobody was sober and nothing was real.

The drunk man who had latched on to Yrmellyn wanted to get up dance. The painter obliged. There was no room for much more than standing there with all the others who had got the same idea. Her dance partner was trying to kiss her but Yrmellyn was laughing so hard that he didn’t succeed. A new attempt failed and the painter laughed harder. Her dance partner laughed too. He tried again. His slow movement was typical for drunk people coping with bad coordination. Yrmellyn saw his mouth come closer. Closer. Even closer.

And in the inebriated mage, the spark saw its chance to strike. Only one inch now and then she would ... eat. The opportunity was ideal. Nobody would care of one more drunkard would fall under the table during the chaos.

The mental war against the hungry spark wasn’t over after all. Oh no, only kidding, I would never do it. Oh yes, I want the ether! Oh no, it will not happen! Oh yes, do it, do it now! No, not going to flay him. It would be gross. Yeeeesss! Ether! No ... but yes ... but no ... you know you wanna drink ... noooo, what the bogs, I'm not going to do it ...
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Re: Etherdeath

Sun Jul 21, 2019 9:20 am

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The situation didn’t last. All of a sudden a certain sev’ryn day labourer appeared. Ha’zel ... she had time to think, before the sev’ryns solid fist connected with the chin of her cuddly party companion.

The man reeled and bumped into a table. But, he didn’t go down. Instead, he bounced back with a roar, drunken and unsteady but set on payback. Unfortunately for the drunkard, Ha’zel was the only sober man in the tavern. He dodged, an agile an elegant movement, almost like a dance step. Yrmellyn’s former dance partner ran past him and rammed several other people. Then the brawl was a fact. It spread like a wildfire through the tavern when more and more people were being run into and were quick to pay back. Chaos ensued. People who had suppressed the stress of their new dreamless life poured all their pent up discomfort and anger into the fight. The fury that filled the tavern was as intense as the extreme happiness had been. All were drunk and everything was terribly real.

Ha’zel, the one sober man in the tavern seemed extraordinary good at dodging attempted attacks as he pulled the stumbling painter with him away from the fray. It amazed her how good he was at avoiding to get them pulled into the chaos. He didn’t do so much, but he was hard to hit. He had a way of sending people spinning by their own momentum. Even though Yrmellyn was drunk she knew that she saw something special. Her sev’ryn friend l had always seemed so peaceful. She would never have believed that he would be able to ... do this. She didn’t know what it was. Fighting didn’t seem to be the right word.

They stepped out.

The night air was cold and as she was freezing. A glance at Ha’zel told her that it would be a bad idea to whine about it. The way he had hit her dance partner was fresh in her mind. He had looked black in the eyes, her peaceful sev’ryn. She felt sheepish. Now when it was over she could hardly believe what she had been involved in there in the tavern. It was like she had been crazy, teamed up with other people as crazy as her, in an outburst of false and forced cheerfulness.

The magic had almost got the better of her. She couldn’t know what would have happened if Ha’zel hadn’t arrived just in time. Would she have flayed the drunkard or wouldn’t she? The question remained open and troublesome.

Both of them knew it but none of them mentioned it. They took the stairs up and were at the landing outside the twin apartments. Yrmellyn found herself reluctant to part from Ha’zel but she didn’t say it. Not after what had happened this evening. The sev’ryn turned his back to her, tore up the door to his own place, went in and closed the door with more force than needed.

It struck her that he too was more affected by the new dreamless times than she had understood. Violence. Fighting ... well not really fighting, but still dealing with fighting. It was also unusual for him to show that he was annoyed. If she hadn't been too drunk to think she might have felt that the changes in Ha'zel's behaviour were a bit unsettling.

Yrmellyn fumbled with the key. After a couple of attempts, she got it right and opened the door. She knew she should have gone straight to the bed to sleep. Instead, she lit a lantern and put it on the table. Then she found the series of drawings she had made of the vision of the flaying and the end of the realm of the dreams. The drawings had turned into an addiction. She must watch the flaying scene. The mage on the picture stepped forth. And then ...

It all started over again. She browsed the series of drawings over and over again, careful to not damage them. Her attention stopped on the flaying scene. The mages name was Alistair Venora, said her notes in the margin. On the picture, he reveled in the ether and Yrmellyn, she reveled in the sight.

And she knew that it wasn’t as it should be. She knew that even if other artists had made pictures of the vision they weren't as obsessed by them as she was. It was the starving spark that made her react to the orgy in ether consumption the way she did. It was sick, but she wanted to take part in it. This wasn’t mentally sound. It terrified her, but she didn’t know what she could do about it.

Yrmellyn still felt thirsty. She tried to remedy it with a generous dose of whiskey. It didn’t help any. Its only benefit was that it finished the job the sparkling wine had begun and put her to sleep.
word count: 854
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Yrmellyn Cole
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Joined: Sat Oct 01, 2016 9:09 pm
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mage Painter
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Re: Etherdeath

Mon Jul 22, 2019 12:16 pm

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DEPARTURE
11th Ymiden 719

Next morning Yrmellyn woke up with a hangover from The Beneath. She knew it was her own fault, but only partly. The ether drought was the cause of the famine that tortured her spark. It made her feel like she was going crazy and prepared to try ... almost anything.

The events of the previous evening were clear in her memory. Yrmellyn made a mental note to avoid taverns and their beverages. Even as she thought of this she cringed and a frisson of famine shook her body as well as her soul. She supposed this was how only addicted flayers had felt in the past. Yrmellyn had always thought of it as something that only happened to others. These days it happened to every mage in the worlds ... a disturbing thought indeed. There must be a lot of starved mages out there, as thirty for ether as she was. Even if they had never before felt tempted to flay they would feel it now.

It wasn’t particularly early in the morning. It was in fact halfway to noon. Yrmellyn felt unable to think of anything else than coffee. She didn’t want to go down to the tavern even for breakfast. She stuck to her decision. Instead, she made the coffee herself. It was black, hot and extra strong. She imagined that it made her feel better.

It was time for compulsive browsing of the vision drawings. Yrmellyn told herself that she would only have a quick look. Half a break later she put the drawings on the table and went to make more coffee. She knew that it would be wise to go out and buy something to eat, but the mere thought of food made her feel double-hungry. The mental hunger was alas the strongest. It seemed risky to leave the apartment so she didn’t do it.

Yes, but I could leave the apartment and roam around on the streets of Rharne on the outlook for suitable prey, wouldn’t that be a good idea? Without “hunting” I mean. I would only do it to get some fresh air. It wouldn’t be harmful to only think of ... it.

Yrmellyn suppressed that thought. She forced herself to see reality and not lie to herself. The fall of the realm of dreams might have turned her into an involuntary starved one, but it didn’t mean that she would flay people. She was so not going to make the streets of Rharne dangerous for the good citizens of her home town.

But the bad citizens then? Criminals? Wouldn’t it even be a good deed to make use of the criminals?

She knew it wouldn’t. Flaying was flaying, no matter who the victim was. Also, people were people no matter which side of the law they were on. Yrmellyn wasn’t from the part of the town where life was easy. She had seen many people have to turn criminal to survive. Her own past as courtesan had not always been so spotless either. She couldn’t find it in herself to feel that it would be a good deed to flay if the victims were criminals.

Animals then? Street dogs, stray cats, some sparrows and annoying gulls? Nobody would miss those. She could go out and sneak around in the back alleys on the hunt for mongrels, rats and such. Why not?

The thoughts kept coming. Yrmellyn suppressed them but they popped up again. She shut her eyes and sat on the chair, half-sleeping but not resting. All her energy went into the discipline she needed to exert to keep herself from derailing in her thoughts.

The rest of the trial passed. When someone knocked on the door she jerked and almost fell off the chair. Her first reaction was that she wondered if the visitor was someone she could pull into the apartment and flay. It was shocking! She felt scared of herself and decided to not open the door.

The visitor knocked again. At first, she didn’t answer. Several more knocks followed, harder now. Then she heard Ha’zel swear outside the shut door and shout at her to open. Again, she thought of how it wasn’t his usual style to be impatient and annoyed. Feeling uneasy, she got to her feet, opened the door and let him in.

A brief interrogation followed. Ha’zel calmed down when he heard that she had been at home all the time and worked hard at not giving in to any “ideas”. Then he realized that she hadn’t eaten anything at all and it riled him up again. To share the starvation of the magic was as bad for her as sharing its hunger. The sev’ryn looked at the two roses they had gained back in Culys and which still were fresh and red where they stood in a vase on the table. He put his hands on his temples and held them there. For a moment he shut his eyes. When he opened them again he had come to a conclusion.

“Yrmellyn. Look. We’ve got to leave Rharne and go into the wilds. We will go where life is hard and there is little room for anything else than basic survival. Nature ... nature is a great force. It puts pressure on people, takes them back to the foundations of life, strengthens them and changes them. This is our hope. You will come out of it free from what ails you. One trial.”

Yrmellyn had been ready to try almost anything and now opportunity knocked. It felt daunting to think of leaving Rharne and going into the wilds, but it was the best option this day. She would go with her friend and disappear into the wilderness. What it meant wasn’t clear to her. She was a city dweller and had no experience of what Ha’zel was speaking about. But, during the evening they packed everything they would need, but not more than they were able to carry. They made a last dinner in the kitchen place and then they went to bed. All the work had made her tired enough to make it easy to sleep.

The next morning they took their backpacks, locked the doors to the twin apartments and walked out from Rharne. They headed north, to the huge forests and disappeared between the trees. A journey on unknown paths toward unknown destinations began.

The lyrics of an old song, half-forgotten, sang in her mind.

How you turn around and how you swirl around, make certain that you have a faithful friend ...
word count: 1120
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