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Faith.

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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Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Fri Apr 10, 2020 3:14 pm

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Rharne: The Institute of Innovation
99th Ashan, 720

Wind the clocks back an arc, and Tio would have sworn that it was impossible for mankind to reach any higher level of power than lichdom. A lich was the ultimate form of magic possible; they possessed immortality, unrivalled etheric power, and could control an entire army with but a thought. They were as close to godhood as mere men could ever come. He had been just one of the hundreds of necromancers throughout history who had pursued that state of being as a way to obtain eternal life, and though he had never reached it he felt a great deal of awe and fear for those who did.

Then things had changed. Tio had seen with Auya that humans actually could obtain godhood, experienced the desolate chaos of Emea in far more detail than he had ever wanted to, and then ended up becoming an Immortal himself. He'd learnt that, as long as Emea existed, the only thing that was impossible was impossibility itself. Anything could be transformed, taken, given, bought or broken with enough power. But even so he still feared liches, recognising that even with his newfound divinity just one of them would still be more than a match for him.

Then he'd heard about what happened to Ellasin.

At first he didn't believe it. He trusted Nir'wei to be honest, but the idea that the Ellasin Dathlande, the single most powerful lich in existence; the one who had laid waste to the Seekers of old, had not only be defeated but stripped of her power was... impossible. He'd fought The Coven on numerous occasions, and the idea that their big bad boss lady could be laid so low scared him more than the idea of fighting her himself. If someone like her could be stripped of everything that made her incredible, could the same happen to him? He wasn't nearly as powerful as the other Immortals, in fact he was weaker now than he had been as a mage. If ever there was a vulnerable Immortal it was him.

That could not be allowed! His power defined him; without it he was nothing! He needed a defence against such a possibility, and to do that he needed information. Luckily however Nir had also provided a lead for him to follow. Ellasin was alive and in the custody of Faith, who was either responsible for Ellasin's soul-rending, or knew more about the other forces Nir had hinted at. Discovering that she was in Rharne wasn't as hard as he'd expected given her fame, nor did he expect Faith herself would be unreasonable. As long as Famula didn't take notice of him he reckoned he was in the clear.

And so with a hop, skip and a jump through Emea Tio found himself in the unfamiliar city of Rharne: home of Ilaren and her fabled lightning knights. After a bit of asking around he at last found himself at The Institute for Innovation. In an effort to start the conversation up on good terms Tio had decided it would be a wise to bring a present, and upon hearing that Faith liked baking thought that making a cake might be a good idea. He couldn't claim to have any experience with baking, but he was pretty good at alchemy. How different could the two be?

It was with the ill-deserved confidence of a man who vastly overestimated his own skills that Tio rapped his knuckles on the door of the chancellor's office, and the moment it swung open he all but threw the gift into the room. "Congratulations!" He bellowed cheerfully, grinning like a lunatic. "I don't think there's anyone else in the world who can claim to have defeated an entire army of undead! Nicely done! Can I come it? I brought cake; my own secret recipe."

It was technically a cake, in about the same way as a wild jaguar was technically a cat. Coincidentally it was probably just as dangerous to be near as a jaguar as well. The sponge had the consistency of rice pudding and wobbled about like jelly at the slightest movement, yet by some miracle of metaphysics was sticky enough to stay in a rough blob shape on its plate without spilling all over the floor. The smell of cinnamon and brandy, along with a hint of what smelt worryingly like gasoline, was overpowering, suggesting that the desert was somewhere on the scale between flammable and completely explosive. While the icing looked edible at first glance, closer inspection would reveal that under the correct lighting it appeared to have a metallic sheen, and on a deeply instinctual level something about the presence of the cake created the impression that it might, in some way, be alive. If Tio was aware of how deeply disturbing his gift was however he didn't show it, grinning and offering his creation as if it was a perfectly normal present.
word count: 863
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Mon Apr 13, 2020 12:39 pm

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In her office ....


Faith really didn't think that there was much that could surprise her any more.

This morning, one of the students had come to tell her that she was pregnant. Faith had talked through options with the young woman. Then, there'd been a fight in one of the labs and she'd needed to get stern. Thankfully, Faith knew that her reputation preceded her, and the glowing red eyes helped, too. There were some staffing queries, two meetings, a lesson observation to undertake and then, lunch. Frankly, it had been lunch which had made her stop and take stock. By all the Immortals, what was going on in the kitchen? She needed to pop in there and make sure that they knew where the spice rack was, she considered. Bland was not a good look for food, and it was rather something which Faith found almost personally insulting.

Still, she had a clear break this afternoon. Then, she was going to travel to Storm's Edge and find out what on Idalos was going on there. But, just as she sat and tried to focus on the parchment in front of her, there was a perfunctory tap on her door and in burst ...... "Tio?"

The young woman was blessed (literally) with a perfect memory, so she knew who it was here in front of her. The first time they'd met, in Baron Smooglenuff's manor on Faldrass had maybe not been the first time, as far as Faith believed. Having shaken his hand, Faith knew that Tio was a Yludih, and she met another member of that race while completing her Letter in Immortal Studies. While that person had looked different, and given a different name, that meant nothing to the Yludih, of course, and the pair of them had shared a number of personality traits.

Glancing at the cake, Faith remembered the over-enthusiastic Labrador puppy analogy she'd come up with, and she was quite convinced that yes, both of those people were Tio. And then, of course, she'd seen him in a dream. They were both Dreamwalkers, and as such Faith knew that they had both been there and it was real to the pair of them. So, she watched him with a somewhat cautious gaze although she couldn't help but smile at the cake. It was a tactic, of course, she knew. Appear helpless, rather bimbling, well-inclined and generous.

The first two, Faith knew, he definitely wasn't.

"Of course you can come in," she said with a slight smile and she gestured to a table in her office. "Thank you for the cake, please pop it there. Would you like to sit down?" There were overstuffed comfortable armchairs for them to sit at, and she waited for him to do so before sitting opposite him. Faith kept a very neutral expression on her face, and she looked at him thoughtfully. "How did helping people fix Emea work out for you?" Faith asked this with genuine interest. He had told her that his breaking of Emea had been an accident and that the way he popped in to people's dreams to help them rebuild their own dreamscapes was his way of helping fix things. She believed that, completely.

"As for defeating an army of undead," she said quietly, once he'd answered the Emea thing, "I'd much rather it if I'd cured the plague Ellasin made more quickly and made it so that she didn't have the army to begin with, because the people hadn't died." There was a simple and honest truth there, after all. "How can I help you Tio?" Faith's hands were entwined together, her fingers interlaced as she rested them on her lap. "Did you want to sign up in a class?" Just a flicker of a glance to the cake, just the whisper of a lifting of her lips into a smile. "Maybe in cookery?"

word count: 682
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Mon Apr 13, 2020 8:05 pm

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Tio set the cake down on the table, deliberately ignoring the slight hissing sound it made in the process, and relaxed back into the offered armchair. Thank the spirits for the invention of comfy pillows. "Fairly well actually." He replied to Faith's question about his time in Emea, gesturing with one hand to his face."Took me two decades, but I got rid of the bone mask and don't have to eat gold anymore, so all in all it worked out pretty well. Made a new friend too; someone I gather you know pretty well." He held a hand about a meter up above their floor. "About this high, covered in fur, used to be a long haired sev'ryn before dying on a boat heading to-... was it Rynmere? Yeah, I'm pretty sure that was it. I'll give you three guesses who I'm talking about." He leaned further back into the chair and crossed one leg over the other. "Don't know how much he told you, but we went on a boat trip to the land of the dead together. Slapped a bit of glue on the gates and hey presto, free pass to come back to reality."

When Faith gave a teasing jab about his baking skills Tio opened his mouth to protest, but cut himself off when he spared a quick glance back to the cake in question. The flowers in the vase it had been placed next to seemed to have mysteriously wilted over the course of the few trills it'd been next to them. "Touche. Maybe another time. No, my reason for visiting, other than for the pleasure of your company of course, was to ask a couple of questions regarding the war. You see our mutual friend told me some of what happened there, and I was hoping you could maybe explain something too me."

He hesitated, a fleeting look of insecurity crossing his face, and for just a second there was a glint of fear in his eyes. But just as soon as it had come it was gone, squashed down beneath his mask of foolish cheer. "I knew Ellasin before this war of yours. Not personally of course, only enough to know how utterly terrifying a lich could be. She was quite possibly the most powerful magician in the world, and you defeated her." He leaned forward a bit, raising an eyebrow into a look of curiously. "But not by killing her. If what Nir told me is true you were, somehow, able to rip the spark of necromancy right out of her; a spark that had revealed at that! Or you know who did at any rate. You disarmed her, stripped her of her power, made her... mortal."

"Had anyone else told me I would have thought they were lying. It sounds impossible, but I know it isn't." Tio brought his hands, that had instinctively began gripping the armrests a little too tightly, to clasp together in his lap. "Please tell me Faith: how did such a thing happen to Ellasin?"
word count: 532
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Tue Apr 21, 2020 7:01 pm

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In her office ....

Faith didn't answer, but she surmised that Tio was talking about Nir'wei. She looked at the man in front of her and Faith regarded him carefully. When he confirmed that their "mutual friend" had told him some things, Faith concluded that he was definitely talking about Nir'wei. He was as close to a brother as Faith could wish and that meant she loved him completely. But it also meant that she loved him despite of, sometimes because of, his flaws. And Nir'wei was prone to chatty, especially when emotional. Still, Faith had no issue with that, she had nothing to hide. Or, rather, she did and very much so, but she very much assumed that Nir'wei hadn't told Tio anything too horrifyingly personal.

And then, Tio told her why he was there.

Faith listened to it, listened to it all, and she watched him as he spoke. Her ability to read people was incredibly well-honed and she figured that Tio was wondering how someone - something - so powerful as Ellasin could be destroyed. But he described what happened and what he understood and he asked her, simply, how such a thing could happen. Faith sighed slightly, and looked down at her hands, clasped together in her lap. The pads of her fingers turned white as she pressed them together and then, Faith turned her gaze to the wall of her office. Against that wall, there were maps, diagrams, charts. She looked at one of them - but she didn't really see it as she simply took a moment to gather her thoughts. Then, softly, she spoke.

"I was breaks old when they sold me. Ten trials old when they branded me," Faith spoke of horrors with a calm tone. "Thanks to Vri's blessing, I remember it all. Taken to Athart, from Andaris where I was born," and ironically, where she would eventually become free. "I was trained. More harshly than any of the other slaves, I had four owners who focused on me." With a slight smile, she turned to look at TIo and said, almost apologetically, "this will become relevant." Standing up, Faith moved out of the way, turning to the window to look out with a frown on her face. "One of the things they used to do was to give an impossible task, to train us that we must be able to solve them, in order to serve, to please our owners." Shaking her head, she sat back down.

"Once, I was given the task, along with another three slaves, of sorting salt and pepper. They poured both into a large bucket, mixed it, gave us two bowls and told us to sort them. We were put in one room, but not allowed to speak." Faith remembered and she smiled. "I emptied the contents of the bucket on the floor, went and filled the bucket with water. Filled a bowl with water from the bucket. Dropped handfuls of the mixture into it, and the salt dissolved. So, I fished out the pepper, and dropped it into the remaining bowl. Eventually, I had a bucket of salt water and a bowl of pepper." She fell quiet again for a moment, remembering. Then, she turned her silver eyes to Tio. "My name is Faith, because my owner gave it to me. For the first seventeen arcs of my life, I referred to myself as 'this slave' - a slave owns nothing, not an identity or a name, unless their owner deems it so."

Her gaze lightened slightly, then, and she looked at him with a much more genuine smile on her face. "Nothing is impossible. No disease incurable. No individual is unbeatable." Faith firmly believed that, and nothing that had happened in her life thus far had taught her different. "I was told that I could not attend a university, now I run one. I have cured previously incurable diseases and seen a hundred miracles." She sighed slightly and looked at Tio for a moment. Then, she answered.

"What defeated Ellasin Dathlande was planning. I learned everything I could, I researched everything, I learned. I used every resource available to me and I did not allow myself to deviate." Faith shrugged. "Everything she did gave me clues to her. She attacked me, I had never heard of her when she sent the undead against my home, my children. That told me something. I approached everyone who might be able to help, from Ilaren to the Andaris nobles." After all, as a slave, she had known that everyone was better than her, had more worth than her. Now? She knew no one did.

"Famula granted me the ability to remove sparks. It isn't easy and it's a very big responsibility. But what defeated Ellasin?" Faith shrugged. "Planning. Determination. A refusal to step away from what's right. She worked in shadows, so I wrote to every city, every council, every country. She couldn't be found, so we worked out a way to find her. She made a plague which couldn't be cured, so I cured it." Faith shrugged and smiled, just slightly. "Does that answer your question? A lich is a powerful thing, yes it is. But no-one has ever had as much power as the Avriel with the bucket of salt and pepper, and I solved that."
word count: 916
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Fri Apr 24, 2020 8:53 pm

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It had to be said that Tio wasn't exactly very good with emotions. Sure he knew how to take advantage of the shallow ones: vanity, desire, rage; but when it came to the deeper stuff? That wasn't familiar territory for him. He could sympathise, maybe even empathise if he could honestly relate to the experience, but translating that into words tended to come out awkwardly. It was for that reason that he stayed completely silent as Faith brought up her history as a slave, an uncomfortable mix of interest and bewilderment in his expression. He could not relate to what life as a slave must be like having never experienced it himself, and as he couldn't discern what the appropriate thing to say was it seemed best to say nothing at all.

When Faith finished her story silence hung in the air for a second as Tio processed what he'd heard. Then a small, crooked smile pulled at the corners of his lips. "You are a thoroughly odd person Faith Augustin." He remarked, the slightest hint of fondness in his tone, before a look of panic struck his face as he realised what he'd just said. "Ah- Wait- I don't mean that in a bad way! I mean you're weird- no, that's even worse..."

He exhaled deeply as he grabbed back the reigns of his runaway mouth, and grimaced. "What I'm trying to say is that you are different from ordinary people. That's not a bad thing. Ordinary people are so terribly boring. Just when I start to worry that there's nothing in this world that can surprise me, someone like you or Nir shows up and does something that turns my whole worldview on it's head. It's so chaotic." He flashed a sharp, wolfish grin. "And by gods is it fascinating."

He leaned back into his chair, forcing himself to relax despite the enthusiasm building in his stomach. "Famula doesn't permit her followers to wield magic sparks does she? I wonder if perhaps you're aware of just how monumental a thing it is you've done. If only one in a thousand people become a mage, then only one in a million are able to reach revelation! They are, quite simply, the peak of magic; said by some to have their souls completely fused with their spark. As far as I know there has never been a case of a revelation being undone, even with all the planning and power in the world! Yet you managed it." He paused for a moment, frowning as he considered what to say next.

"For all that they rely on them, not even mages themselves really know what magic is; where it comes from or how it really works. Some say that it is a seed within the soul, whereas others call it a parasite. Some say it is alive, or even malicious. But nobody knows. What you've done changes things. It could possibly be the key the key to understanding what a magic sparks really are, where they come from, how they can be controlled. After all who better to know what a magic sparks is than someone who was truly fused with one?"

Mustering up every ounce of persuasive charm he had, Tio fixed Faith with a dead serious look. "Please, let me speak to Ellasin. I'm not going to do anything to her, just ask her some questions. And if you could perhaps describe to me what it feels like to sever a spark from a mage, what it felt like to sever Ellasin's soul, you'd be advancing research into the very nature of magic by decades. It could revolutionise the field of magic entirely."
word count: 648
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Thu May 07, 2020 11:49 pm

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He called me odd!!....

Tio told her that she was odd and Faith Augustin beamed. He then started to try and explain - to almost backtrack and Faith put a gentle hand on his arm. "I know of no greater compliment," she said softly, "than to be considered odd. After all, odd people are the most interesting ones, are they not?" That was certainly true as far as Faith was concerned and she had no wish for Tio to feel uncomfortable. He'd done nothing except speak the truth, after all. However, ordinary people were boring? Faith thought about that and then spoke quietly. "I would prefer to see it as everyone being odd in their own, unique way. We're just all odd differently, perhaps?"

He sat back then and Faith mirrored his movements. Sitting back she listened to him and a slight smile lifted her lips. "I am deeply aware, yes," it was peculiar, Faith was not even vaguely offended by Tio calling her odd, but she sounded - and felt - a little put out at the question of whether she was at all aware of what she'd done. "It was far from an accident, I assure you," she said, and left it at that. But yes, he was right. A spark being removed was a very big thing indeed. Faith listened to what Tio said and she didn't answer immediately. Faith was quiet for a few moments, and then she answered him. "I've spent literally arcs studying magic," she said. "I believe the most sensible thing is to know my enemy and magic is, often, the cause for all sorts of illnesses and diseases. Like the Rynmere plague." What magic actually was - what the spark was - Faith knew more about that than most people and she had, after all, studied actual sparks.

"Even a revealed mage doesn't know what a spark is," she said, and Faith spoke with absolute certainty. Because Tio was wrong. "I've removed more than one spark," Faith said. "And I've studied the impact of the spark on the body and blood. I think you'll find that there are people who know more about the spark than you believe." She levelled her gaze at him. "And if I am correct then, when I say to you that the single qualification we did won't cut it." She wasn't completely sure that Tio was the same person but she thought so.

In fact, she'd bet on it.

And then, he dropped the information of what he wanted. He wanted to talk to Ellasin? Faith looked at him and her silver eyes regarded him carefully. It was tempting to reply, of course, immediately, but Faith was a tactician these trials and she understood the psychology of people. So, she breathed in and then she spoke. "You're making a lot of assumptions, there, Tio. None of which are appropriate, and many of which are wrong." Her voice was cool as she spoke. "It seems to me that you're trying to find out information, by asking questions and making assumptions. Tell me, if you would." Faith did not look, or sound, one little bit amused. Equally, she didn't sound angry or upset - and in fairness, all of those things were true.

"So, I tell you what, Tio," she said, calmly and quietly. "If you have any questions to ask me about what happened, feel free to ask." Faith breathed in and then sighed. "I will do my best to answer you honestly, unless my Immortals forbid it or it endangers someone else." And on those aspects, she would not be moved. "But in the meantime, please don't try and manipulate me," her lips lifted in a slight smile. "I really don't like it." And, that said, Faith sat back and waited to see what he'd say.

word count: 665
"Every evil has its good, and every ill an antidote."

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Dust Quarter Satellite Clinic ~ Order of the Adunih~Soup Kitchen & Community Center
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Sat May 09, 2020 12:07 pm

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For all that he was a master of lying when he was prepared for it, Tio didn’t yet have the delicate self-control to school his expressions when something caught him off guard. It was for that reason that when Faith dropped the heavy hint that she knew they’d studied a course together, and by extension that he was the alter-ego of the Taelis Selvar, the instinctive blanching off his face and widening of his eyes gave him away. Even if he was no longer a yludih old habits die hard, and Tio’s desire to keep all trace of his race a secret bordered on paranoia at best. He did not feel comfortable when people knew too much about him.

“W-what? Education and I don’t mix. Hahaha…” He tried to laugh the idea of, but the excuse sounded weak even to his ears. With a half-sigh half-grumble he slouched down into the chair in defeat. “Damn, guess you caught me. How’d you figure that out?” Seriously, how had she? They hadn’t interacted that much, and having similar personality traits wasn’t usually cause enough to suspect that two seemingly separate people were one and the same.

The conversation took a more serious turn when Faith accused him of trying to manipulate her. Not an unfounded accusation really, given that his purpose here was to get information from Elasin, but he hadn’t exactly tried to hide it. “It’s not that I’ve got some hidden agenda here. I do just want to talk to Elasin.” He began cautiously. “It’s just that there are a few things about me, like my being a yludih, that I’m far more comfortable keeping private. It just so happens that my reasons for wanting this information happen to cross paths with one of those things.” He sighed heavily. “That being said it doesn’t seem like I’m going to get anywhere keeping my cards close to my chest, so I suppose I’ll have to. If you’re as knowledgeable on necromancy as you say then I imagine you could offer some insight as well. Just please hold off on sharpening the pitchforks until I’ve finished explaining okay?”

There was an uncomfortable silence for a moment as Tio figured out how to begin. His posture, halfway between rigid with nerves and slumped with resignation, didn’t look comfortable in the slightest. “I’d appreciate it if you kept this from your boss, since I’d rather not give her an excuse to hate me, but I used to be a necromancer. Not a very good one mind you; I was self-taught, and I lacked the guts to experiment with the more intrusive stuff like soul trapping, but I was a necromancer nonetheless. I was hoping to find a way to live forever you see, and didn’t particularly care to look too closely about what the price might be.” He grimaced. “For the record I’m not one anymore. Someone ripped the spark out of my soul in a method I imagine is similar to yours.”

“Anyway the point is that once upon a time back when I was one, I was sent to this strange realm; a sepulchre where the bones of ancient kingdoms and those who died to fuel them lay forgotten. It was a place that existed between the border of life and death, and it was powerful. While I was there my spark reacted in an unusual way; it manifested, spoke to me even if but for a moment. I know, without a shadow of a doubt, that magic sparks are alive: they possess consciousness, intelligence and desire.” A shiver passed through him at the memory. He’d never used to find that memory unsettling before, but since he’d lost his sparks it truly dawned on him how creepy that had been. “As I continued through the sepulchre I encountered things I’d never seen before: skeletons with life still bound to them, conscious and talking; rituals that transferred the life force from one being to another; even the bones of one who had been long dead refitted with flesh and returned fully, truly, to life. My spark hungered for that power for itself, and I began to suspect that perhaps the things a necromancy spark can do isn’t real necromancy at all. It’s just a shallow imitation, or a small fraction of a far larger and more powerful whole.”

Tio seemed to be getting lost in his explanation now: fascinated by it, but not in the cheerful or enthusiastic way one usually might. It was a grim excitement, as if the idea both awed and terrified him at once. “I have a theory that there is something out there somewhere: something that is linked to and yet separate from the spark of necromancy, and that encompasses the domain of undeath in its entirety. I call it Gholiog, for that is a name I heard linked to this power. Perhaps this Gholiog lent a portion of its powers, the first necromancy spark, to early humanity at some point? Maybe it intended for humanity to spread and grow this spark, so that it might reap that power back for itself later? Or maybe it exerts some kind of control over necromancers somehow? When my own spark was severed from me I immediately noticed that I had been changing over time without realising it; that I had been growing less concerned with the sanctity of life, and more obsessed with dominating and controlling the world around me. Traits I’m told Elasin possessed in abundance. Could these have been the personality of this Gholiog merging with us, or a means through which to direct us towards an end goal?”

“In the end though I can only guess.” Tio sighed. “I have only my own limited experience to build this hypothesis on, and no longer possess the means to test it. That’s why I want to talk to Elasin. She reached the height of necromancy; she knows better than anyone what it is capable of, and what it is like to be fused with it. She should be able to confirm whether what I saw is something within the necromancy spark’s realm of power, or if she has ever seen hints that maybe there’s more to it just beyond the spark’s reach. Heck she’s lived a long time and must have spent a lot of it researching undeath, maybe she’s heard anything about this Gholiog as well?”

“So to summarize the questions I want to ask her are these. What was she like when she first accepted the necromancy spark, and how did she begin to change as it grew within her? At the height of their power what is it possible for a lich to do, and has she ever seen hints that there was more that she was close, but not quite capable, of doing? And has she ever come across the name Gholiog before?”
word count: 1202
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Fri May 22, 2020 7:55 pm

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I have a better idea!!....


How did she figure that out? Faith smiled slightly and considered trying to be enigmatic and mysterious, but she didn't like playing with people's feelings or concerns in that way. So, instead, she simply spoke the truth. "Any Famula-blessed can tell a Yludih as soon as they touch them," Faith looked at him and her silver eyes regarded him with interest. The very first time they'd met, she'd known his race. "I have - we have - the ability to influence the blood of someone we touch. Therefore, as soon as I touched you, I knew you had no blood. I assumed Yludih," she shrugged. Quite genuinely, his race, or anyone's, made no difference to her whatsoever. "And when I met another Yludih, in the same place at much the same time who shared the ..." Faith paused a moment and then decided that she really just had to be honest and not try and dissemble in order to save his feelings. "Honestly, when you get enthusiastic, you reminded me of an eager puppy and.. well, I didn't know for certain until just now, but I strongly suspected." Faith smiled and shrugged.

And then, Tio explained what he wanted from her, why he wanted to speak to Ellasin. She sat back and listened to him and then, for quite a while, Faith was quiet as she thought about it, her fingers entwining tightly together. "It seems to me," she said softly, after a few trills of silence. "That you are operating under a number of false assumptions. You were a necromancer, and you had your spark removed. Even if I were able to get you to speak to Ellasin," Faith wasn't intending on confirming that at all, "then why would speaking to someone with the same experience and knowledge as you help?"

Faith asked the question, most genuinely. "If having your spark removed brought you no closer to understanding what your spark was, it is unlikely that speaking to someone else - anyone else, I removed sparks from people before I knew Ellasin."" Thinking about how to explain this, Faith raised an eyebrow, inclining her head to the cake. "I assume you aren't much of a cook?" It might seem like a non-sequitur, but she continued on. "So, if I said to you that, in order to properly cook a chrythiam, you need to ensure that you remove the beak, you might be forgiven for assuming it's a bird, or has a beak as is commonly used." Faith smiled and shook her head. "It is a fish, and it does not. The beak on a chrythiam fish is a small area in the stomach which is the intestines and if you don't remove it then your diners are eating something very unpleasant." She frowned slightly as she tried to keep hold of what she was saying. This was tricky stuff, and she didn't want to be unclear.

"The fish, in this instance, in an analogy for the mage. The beak is the spark. You need to know what you're removing, to understand what it is and what it looks like, where it comes from I suppose, in order to understand both what it is, and how to remove it properly, without damaging the fish or leaving anything unpleasant behind." Faith's expression became more serious, as she explained something to Tio which was fundamental to her. "So, no, I must be clear. I will not be keeping anything from Famula. I don't do that. And, quite honestly, Tio, I think that it is Famula you need to speak to," Faith looked at him and was - Immortals help him - entirely serious. "I could ask her if she would speak with you - but since she is the one who understands the soul, and the spark, then she is the one who I would suggest has the answers you seek."

Straightforward answer, really, Faith thought. No one could find it outrageous.
word count: 688
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Re: Who's Afraid of Ellasin Dathlande

Tue May 26, 2020 1:54 pm

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A puppy? He reminded people of a dog?

Perhaps it was weird of him to focus on that particular aspect rather than the fact that Zuuda could apparently take control of your blood, but the idea of him being like a puppy was just-... just-... absurd! How could he possibly be anything like a puppy? Puppy were small, weak creatures that would eventually grow into dangerous beasts. They ran around tirelessly yapping at people and demanding that they play with them. They were completely irresponsible, and would happily tear apart innocent pillows and shoes to satisfy their feral instincts. How did that resemble him in any way?

Although he was small and weak compared to the other Immortals, but held the vague promise of one day being as big and strong as them...

And he could be quite chatty around people he found entertaining...

And a large percentage of his adventures ended with explosions or other terrible disasters...

Slow as the morning sun, a look of abject horror dawned on Tio's face. Oh himself, he was like a puppy wasn't he? What cruel irony was this?

As horrifying as this revelation was, Faith's statement brought up another question. Did Immortals have blood? Tio hadn't seriously injured himself yet since his apotheosis, but now that he thought about it Cassion hadn't bled when he'd been stabbed had he? He'd just sort of shattered, like a broken window pane. It was weird how little he knew about his own biology. Although come to think of it he hadn't known what his biology was like when he was an emean being either. Or when he'd been turned into a human. Or when he'd first found out he was a yludih. No wonder he had an identity complex.

When the topic returned to the subject of necromancy Tio pushed those disturbing thoughts to the back of his head. He'd find time to consider those later. "Well that's the thing, having my spark removed did bring me closer to understanding what it was. In all my time as a necromancer I hadn't noticed how my own personality was starting to change; how I was becoming more obsessed with control, and less concerned with the value of life. Yet the moment it was removed I felt physically lighter, like a weight had been taken off my chest, and realised all at once just how different I'd become. And the fact is Elasin doesn't have the same knowledge and experience as me: she has way, way more! She could raise an entire army, and I was only capable of petty parlour tricks. She immersed herself deeper with the spark, unlocked the highest echelons of its power. The sdifference is that I never knew what the ultimate height of the necromancy spark was, whereas she does."

Was he making sense? Probably not. How else could he explain it. "Okay, how about we take your fish example. You're right that I don't know what a Chry- Chryth-... Fish-bird thing is. If I was given two opportunities to cook one the first would be a mess, and the second only slightly better. Elasin also began knowing nothing about them, but she's had thousand upon thousands of opportunities to cook them, growing better and better each time. Through sheer trial-and-error she would know what a beak is, and would probably have devised a hundred new recipes of her own. That's the difference between us: the sheer amount of time spent gaining knowledge and power. And now that Elasin is no longer a chef she isn't going to be so concerned about sharing her recipes with others."

"Now I should stress that I'm not actually interested in the process of removing a spark, nor the damage it has upon the soul. That's not the point. It's a small, slightly relevant facet, but not the actual goal. What I want to learn is whether the necromancy spark is a fraction of a greater power. It's the knowledge in Elasin's memories, the research carried out across centuries as a lich, that I would like from her, not so much the state of her soul as it is now. As great as I'm sure Famula is she can't hold a magic spark, and while I'm sure she could tell me a lot about souls they aren't what I'm interested in. Elasin is perhaps the only one in the world who can answer those questions." He took a blank sheet of paper and quill out from his domain bag. "Now if you're uncomfortable with me actually meeting Elasin in person that's fine. It'll be annoying that I can't ask any follow-up questions, but I can live with that. I don't even mind if Famula wants to know what questions I've asked her. All that I'm asking you to please keep quiet about to Famula is that I was a necromancer in the first place, because the necromancy books I've read a full to burst with stories about how she has hunted down and executed necromancers, and I don't much care to find out if that applies to ex-necromancers all well. I get that you have a great deal of loyalty to her, but please appreciate that she terrifies me. It's not unreasonable to be scared of someone who might want to kill you."
word count: 946
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Tio floats in the air, usually just a foot off the ground.

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Tio wears a scary looking gauntlet on his right hand that is clearly magical. It creates explosions.
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