“I could actually talk to my superiors about it myself”, Victor remarked when Balthazar suggested that the Syns could help Scalvoris. “And if you are still here, you could accompany me if you want to. I do think that both of our nations would be able to benefit from such a thing”, he admitted. He really thought so, but there was one issue that bothered him slightly. In Scalvoris, they worshipped the Immortals, and they seemed to celebrate difference. Melrath had become more open-minded in recent seasons, but he had never met anyone who talked about his being blessed openly. Maybe such things could be put aside in favour of something bigger and more important though?
“Buried alive?” he repeated when Balthazar talked about his own initiation, his eyes widening slightly. For a moment, he wondered if the other man was joking, but he didn’t have a reason to make a joke or lie to him, especially not considering what they were here for. “Is that kind of thing very common among Defiers? One of my professors in Scalvoris was a Defier, but she never mentioned having been buried during her initiation. As for the painful song, that was Attunement, is that correct?” he asked before he fell silent for a few moments and furrowed his brow thoughtfully.
Could a mage as powerful as Balthazar be lost in Emea?
“I don’t know”, he finally admitted truthfully. “I do not know much about the world of dreams. Your being a Dreamwalker might give you an edge compared to others though. I agree though, let us focus on remaining in Idalos. It might never happen”, he added.
When Balthazar told him that he didn’t think that he had done so bad against the mountain the first time, he laughed before remarked, “Probably not. Thank you, by the way!”
He did not answer his prospective initiate’s next question right away, but sat there quietly for a moment, furrowing his brow. “They are … not that bad, at least not in my case”, he finally replied, having decided that the best way to handle this was to talk about how Transmutation had affected him personally so far. Some general information on Transmutation sparks and mutations would not be particularly helpful in this situation as far as he was concerned.
“My mutations took some getting used to, but at the same time, they allowed me to experience the world in a new way. The glow in my eyes that you have without doubt noticed is not only due to the Gleam Sight, an ability that I received when I became a Warlock of the Syns. I can see in the dark without a lamp now, to some extent, although my eyes are more sensitive in bright light. Furthermore, my senses work differently now”, he continued before he paused. He wasn’t sure how he was supposed to explain that particular mutation as it was so strange. Balthazar deserved to know though. He deserved to have as much information as he possibly could beforehand.
He drew his short sword, a fine adamantite blade, and showed it to Balthazar, a gesture that might seem little out of context. “Do you notice how sharp it is?” he asked Balthazar and raised an eyebrow. “Most people would only feel the sharpness of a blade, or maybe see how sharp it is if they look closely enough. I can actually smell its sharpness now. I seem to have acquired a peculiar form of synesthesia. I enjoy it nowadays, greatly sometimes, but when the mutation first manifested itself, I was wondering if I was going mad”, he remarked and laughed, as if he had been exaggerating or making some sort joke. It was true though. For a while, he had seriously doubted his sanity.
“And then there are these”, he continued, sheathed the sword again and rolled up one of his sleeves so that Balthazar could see the glimmering, slightly opalescent cracks on his arm. If he looked carefully, he might also notice the hint of a feather-like marking on the back of said arm, mostly hidden from view. “My only purely physical mutation so far that I received immediately after my initiation”, he explained and pulled the sleeve down again before he said, “You may not receive the same or similar mutations though. In fact, you probably won’t. I do not have the same mutations as my mentor. You do not have a lot of obvious mutations so far”, he observed, hoping that Balthazar wouldn’t mind his talking about it (some mages were a little sensitive when it came to their mutations, no matter what they were like). “So, maybe your Transmutation mutations will follow a similar pattern as your current ones”, he mused.
Vanity was a matter that was important to him as well, being a follower of Delroth. He did not care particularly what the spark did to his soul, but seeing those badly mutated mages and the cannibals in Niflheim had been an absolutely jarring experience (and convinced him that he had made the right decision back then; how could he have sided with people that attacked other people and took a bite out of them?) – and it had made him infinitely relieved that he had not suffered such a fate. He thanked the Immortals and the spirits every trial for it.