Ymiden 1 718
Abra arrived at Nifheim Tower with shaky boots and much less determination than he had when he’d left his home this morning. Ever since he became a mage, he knew that he would one day commit to a faction. Although which faction he would pick was always something biting at the back of his mind. He needed an outlet to use his magic and for years he had gotten away with using it by combining it with his business. Being a loan shark with portals had come in handy, but the magic had made him reckless and a little too fearless. He sought to use his magic in other ways because he was going to use magic whether he wanted to or not. The strange power inside him demanded to be used with increasing intensity ever since he had been initiated. For the longest time he thought he would become part of the Syns branch of the military.
They were well renowned mages and although the flagship magic was destructive, the recruiters always said that they accepted all forms of magic. Then, while he was busy putting off his decision, he had gotten into some trouble and the man who initiated him decided to impose some calmness onto Abra with empathy. It would be bad for business if the pupil went crazy with his magic so it was a natural response to someone who was getting out of hand. Unfortunately, the attempt to pacify Abra only drove him more wild, forcing the teacher to use so much energy that Abra ultimately obtained a piece of that empathy spark and made it his own. Now he had two forms of magic and suddenly the Syns didn’t look like the best option. His emotional connection drove him to think of the other factions that weren’t associated with the military.
He could become a priest who dealt with spirits or become a ranger who dealt with animals. The new urges to connect with as many beings as possible were hard to resist and he knew that taking these paths would satisfy his empathy magic, at least for now. So it seemed he had two options. Join the mage ranks and make his rupturing magic happy or take a different path and make his empathy magic happy. Months of internal struggle had brought him to the decision that maybe the best option was to pick something else entirely. There was a branch of the military that dealt in secrecy that had always seemed too dangerous to consider. However the more he thought about it the more he liked the idea. Empathy would help with intelligence gathering and rupturing would help get away or even spy on others. It seemed almost as if he was born for this role so here he was, at the tower doing his best not to second guess his decision.
Abra trudged up the steps leading up to what looked like a receptionist and spoke in a voice that was uncharacteristically squeaky. He knew very well about this faction’s reputation for being scary and he definitely didn’t want to give a bad first impression. While he didn’t particularly fear them from a civilian’s standpoint, he could only imagine what kind of hazing they would put him through if he did end up getting accepted. “Hi there sir I would like to join the Skadiri. Are you currently open for recruits?” His words left a dry taste in his mouth as his eyes maintained contact with icy counterparts across the table. “Good Luck.” That was all the man said before pulling a lever. Before Abra could react, the floor fell out from under him and he started free falling. The fall wasn’t particularly long and it ended with him landing on a padded surface in a dark room.
Abra couldn’t even remember if he had yelled during the fall. He thought that he hadn’t had the reaction time to even do that. He looked up and saw that there were some light protruding through the cracks of the trap door he had fallen through. The light slowly faded as the door was put back into its closed position. Once the initial fear subsided Abra filled with anger. He hadn’t even signed paperwork or anything of the sort. He was a civilian as far as he was concerned and they had just kidnapped him. “Let me out!” he shouted as he defiantly stepped forwards towards a blink portal, determined to escape the room. He was looking straight up and although he couldn’t see the exit anymore, he thought that focusing on the trap door would be enough to blink past it. He was mistaken. A loud crackling sound emanated throughout the room as he stepped through the portal and found himself back up at the trap door, except on the wrong side. He fell again, all the way back down to the padded surface. He blinked four more times, trying each time to break through the trap door but each time he fell to the ground. Abra growled and nearly tried again when his ears picked up on a yawn.
“If you aren’t a skilled up rupturer to open a portal to the outdoors, I suggest you stop trying. Or keep going, it is quite amusing. Or try blinking around inside here, if you don’t fear ending up impaling yourself on a spike or falling into a trap. If you’re down here then I can only assume you wanted to join our ranks. If that isn’t the case then just say the word and I’ll guide you out of here.”
Abra’s body twitched uncontrollably. His instinct told him to move and his magic was more than willing to let him blink in every which direction. It hated to feel enclosed and trapped. It wanted to be free at any cost. He decided that this could be an initiation test of some sorts and he should try to ignore his instincts for now
“I am interested, but I don’t think you understand. I can’t be trapped like this. It’s not me, it’s the magic I swear. If you could only see how much I’m shaking, you’d take me seriously.”
“I can see you just fine. I see a boy in the body of a man who hasn’t learned how to control his magic yet. I doubt you even know the basics about what a spark is and what it seeks to do. For the sake of your wellbeing, I will tell you that the spark within you will consume everything that you are and become a being entirely inhuman. That is, unless you learn restraint. Everyone knows that a mage is driven to use magic, but it is ultimately your choice whether to use it or not. You need much more than simple restraint to be one of us. You need to be able to take risks and put yourself in danger, no matter which path you take within our ranks. So prove to me right now that you have what it takes by approaching me without using magic.”
Abra breathed deeply and calmed himself. He couldn’t stop his body from jittering with the urge to escape, but he could try his best to ignore his magic and keep moving forwards. Just not being able to see was enough for him to want to use magic in a panic. He knew the voice was coming from behind him but that was pretty vague. He took step after step on the stone ground and tried to listen for breathing but he couldn’t hear anything. Whoever was testing him was astute at hiding himself.
“Where are you?
Abra called out. He had met a wall and couldn’t very much go any further.
“I’m right here.
The voice was so close that Abra yelped and hopped right into a portal that led him nowhere because he couldn’t see anything anymore. He felt a hand tug him back before he could travel through the portal and he was pressed against the wall.
“You’re a jumpy fellow aren’t you? Just hold still.”
The mysterious voice pressed onto the wall and suddenly it started to move on its own. There was light beyond the wall and there were quite a few people visible in the distance. Abra followed the form of a large man down the hallway and ended up at a training camp of sorts.
“You will train here until you’re ready to become one of us. Welcome to the team.”
Abra took this as an open invitation to let loose. All the pent up kinetic energy he had been building up from moving so slowly finally got to be put to work. Abra blinked all around the training camp and saw all that there was to see. Lots of people hard at work, some much younger than himself. They took to training some recruits as young as possible. He had a good feeling about this place and what he might get to do while in the custody of these Skadiri.
The cities and villages of Melrath are as varied and diverse as they come. The capital of Raelia is the the jewel of this western kingdom, playing host to a merchants, artisans, Aesir priests, as well as a cut throat political landscape dominated by the nobles of Raelia. To the south in the depths of the Myrkvior Forest lies Melrath's second largest, and oldest city, Fensalir. Here people have learned to live alongside spirits and the natural world by maintaining their loyalty to traditions laid down the first Melrathi. To the east lies the small fishing village of Noatun, and to the western mountains rests the Mer city of Verimeer, the brewing town of Alivilda and the alpine village Vormund.
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