Snowy reflections

7th of Cylus 724

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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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Illuvia
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Snowy reflections



In the serene embrace of the night, illuminated by the gentle glow of fires within homes and the celestial beauty of the stars, Luvi embarked on her jog. Wrapped in layers of heavy winter clothing, Luvi initially found her movements restricted, the bulky fabric impeding the natural flow of her run. The winter ensured that every step felt laborious until she patted the strength runes on her body, activating them in order to invigorate her body with power.

Her legs were then capable of propelling her with enhanced force. This newfound strength allowed for longer strides, her feet pushing off the ground with a vigor that sent her tearing down the streets faster than she’d ever gone before.

However, the increased stride length necessitated adjustments in her running technique. Longer strides meant a higher impact with each step, requiring Luvi to pay even closer attention to her form to prevent injury. She focused on landing softly, distributing her weight evenly to absorb the shock of each powerful step. The rhythm of her run transformed, the extended strides demanding a synchronization of breath and movement that challenged Luvi to adapt and overcome.

The heavy winter clothing, while still a hindrance, became less of an obstacle under the influence of the runes. The enhanced power at her disposal allowed her to counteract the resistance offered by her attire, turning what had been a cumbersome burden into a manageable challenge. Yet, she remained vigilant for patches of ice. Travelling faster meant she’d have less time to react so the angle of her eyes was always slightly downwards, scanning the path in front of her. It was harder than usual, given the darkness of the season.

As Luvi approached her home, she allowed herself a moment of relief. It was this brief lapse in concentration, this singular moment when her vigilance waned, that led to the unexpected. Just steps away from the safety of her doorstep, her foot found a patch of ice hidden beneath the powdery snow.

The slip was sudden, her feet losing their grip on the slick surface, sending her careening forward with no time to correct her stance or brace for impact. The world seemed to tilt, a brief sensation of weightlessness overtaking her before she landed heavily on her side. The impact with the ground knocked the wind out of her and was so unexpected that it was momentarily paralyzing.

Luvi lay there, gasping for breath, the cold air biting at her lungs as she struggled to inhale. Thankfully, the snow she tumbled into, along with her layered winter clothing, cushioned her fall, preventing injury. With a cautious glance at the patch of ice that had been her undoing, Luvi carefully rose to her feet and shuffled slowly towards her door.

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Re: Snowy reflections

Goku's heavy boots sunk into the snow as he made his way towards Illuvia's home, each step leaving a deep imprint in the pristine whiteness. The winter air bit at his exposed skin but despite the biting cold, his determination to see her spurred him forward.

As he trudged along the path, his mind raced with thoughts of the purpose behind his visit. He had been eager to share some news with Illuvia, something that had been weighing on his mind for quite some time. The prospect of finally revealing his plans filled him with nervousness.

Suddenly, his thoughts were interrupted by the sight of a figure ahead of him, struggling to maintain their balance on the slick surface. It was Illuvia, her form barely visible against the backdrop of the snow-covered path. Goku's concern spiked as he quickened his pace. He nearly fell as well but he tried stepping where others had stepped before him.

"Hey, are you alright?" he called out, his voice cutting through the quiet stillness of the winter air. Illuvia managed to pick herself up and continued towards her door. Goku hurried to her side as he assessed her condition.

"You look a bit tired. Have you been out here long?" He noticed the beads of sweat. It was clear she had been exerting herself, though he couldn't fathom why. He considered the possibility that she had been running from someone but a quick glance around didn’t reveal anyone suspicious. Nobody was looking at them at all.

Recalling the difficulty Illuvia faced opening her door during his last visit, Goku knelt down beside the entrance. With gloved hands, he carefully chipped away at some ice encasing the edges of the door. He gradually revealed more of the door's frame despite the numbing cold gnawing at his fingertips.
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Re: Snowy reflections


"Hi, Goku," Luvi greeted wearily as she approached the door, her voice betraying the exhaustion that clung to her like the winter's chill. "I'm really beat tonight." She managed a small, apologetic smile, not wanting her fatigue to come across as rudeness. "But come in if you're okay with just chatting," she added, stepping aside to let him enter the warmth of her home. She’d learned to associate his presence with good things so as much as she wanted to tell him to come another day, she welcomed him in.

As she moved inside, with Goku’s help, the adrenaline that had sustained her during her run and through the fall began to wane. "I just went for a jog. Everything went fine up until the fall… and I thought I was fine, but now I'm not so sure," Luvi confessed, revealing the toll her activities had taken on her body.

Removing her heavy coat, she cautiously lifted her shirt in front of the mirror. The reflection revealed a vivid red mark on her side, prompting a sharp intake of breath. "Ouch, that looks worse than I thought," she hissed in pain as her fingers gingerly probed the tender area. It was precisely where she had landed. The discomfort of touching the wound was a jolting realization of her vulnerability. "Even with all that padding, I guess I'm not as invincible as I'd hoped," Luvi thought to herself.

Turning away from the mirror, Luvi considered mentioning her injury to Goku but hesitated. "I don't want to make a big deal out of this," she said, trying to sound more assured than she felt. She resolved to deal with the discomfort quietly, at least for now. "So, what was it you came over here for?" She was hopeful that he’d come to her with yet another rune, but she doubted it would be the case.

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Re: Snowy reflections

"Glad to see you," Goku greeted warmly as he stepped inside, shaking off the chill of the snow from his coat. "The reason I swung by is that I remembered a rune that you might be able to learn. It’s good for relieving fatigue and I think I thought it was a Lucis-only rune… but I don’t think it is. It’s called the rune of endurance and I rarely use it myself," he admitted with a sheepish smile.

"Since I'm fairly strong, I prefer to conserve my reserves to enhance my strength rather than using them for endurance," Goku explained further, his voice thoughtful as he considered their options. "But I can definitely put the fatigue-relieving rune on you temporarily. It might help you feel a bit better, though it's not a permanent solution."

"And there's also the rune of regeneration," he continued, recalling another helpful tidbit of information. "It has healing properties. I could apply one near your wound to help it heal faster. This one is most definitely only usable by Lucis mages. I remember that detail very clearly.”

As he reached out to touch her to apply a slew of runes, it was evident that she had been exerting herself and he wondered what had led her to push herself to such an extent. Was it more training for the military? It had to be, he thought. There was no other reason to be running in this weather.

Despite his concern, he maintained a calm demeanor while inwardly hoping she didn’t refuse his touch. She hadn’t had a problem with him drawing runes on her in the past but touching her side was a lot more personal than an arm.

The good news was that he was an expert at rune application so it wouldn’t be more than half a minute before he was done.
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Re: Snowy reflections


As Luvi weighed Goku's offer, a hint of suspicion danced in her mind. Despite wondering about the runes he hadn't disclosed earlier, she found herself intrigued by the prospect of alleviating her discomfort. After peeling off the remaining layers of winter clothing, she settled comfortably by the fire, allowing its warmth to seep into her bones. She casually tossed twigs into the flames, creating a soothing ambiance as Goku prepared to share his magical aid.

"Have you found a place to stay around here yet, long term I mean?" Luvi inquired. "Or any permanent work?" The question was partly out of curiosity, partly out of a desire to ensure he felt supported in this new phase of his life.

"You know, if I get accepted into the Syns, I'll be moving to Lyngvi Tower," she mused. "So, if there's anything you need help with, better ask before I leave." The statement was an open offer of assistance, acknowledging the limited window they might have to collaborate further.

As Goku reached out to apply the runes, Luvi braced herself, feeling a sudden vulnerability at the intimacy of the moment. She watched, fascinated yet nervous, as Goku first applied the runes of endurance, followed by the rune of regeneration near her wound. The sensation was unlike anything she had felt before; an immediate warmth flooded the area, bringing with it a sense of relief that was both profound and subtle.

"Oh, that's... different," Luvi remarked, a look of surprise crossing her face as she felt the effects of the runes begin to dispel her fatigue. Her attention then shifted to the wound, where the rune of regeneration had been applied. Though the results weren't immediate, she could feel something happening, a gentle stirring of her ether that promised healing was underway. "I can feel it working, even if it's not instant," she observed, touching the area lightly.

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Re: Snowy reflections

Goku listened to Illuvia's question about his living situation and work prospects, feeling a jolt of disappointment as he shook his head. "No, I haven't found a place yet," he admitted with a frown. "And as for permanent work, well, that's still up in the air."

He hadn't anticipated Illuvia needing to relocate for her military aspirations, and the realization left him feeling a bit lost. She had become the main reason he wanted to start putting roots down here. It wasn’t every year he could find another hone mage that he jived with.

"I don’t even know where Lyngvi Tower is," Goku confessed, his voice tinged with sadness at the thought of Illuvia possibly moving away. "You leaving would mean I might not have any friends here anymore," he added, his tone reflecting the uncertainty he felt about his future in the city.

"I guess it makes me question whether I really want to stay here," he admitted, voicing his concerns aloud. Despite the warmth of the fire and the comfort of Illuvia's home, Goku couldn't shake the feeling of unease that had settled over him. He turned his gaze towards Illuvia, searching her face for any sign of understanding or reassurance amidst his uncertainty.

Goku instinctively reached towards a gold heart pendant on his chest, his fingers grazing its smooth surface. He hesitated, however, mindful of its power. The pendant had the ability to make someone believe what he said as long as he used the word "Love".

Though he had half a mind to test its power on Illuvia to see if it would make her stay, he buried the desire. He decided he did not want to manipulate her feelings, especially not for his own selfish desires. He’d used it plenty of times to manipulate others along his journeys, but he’d never thought about using it on Illuvia before, until now.
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Re: Snowy reflections


Feeling the effects of the rune of endurance fully spread through her body, Luvi couldn't hide her amazement. "This is incredible," she exclaimed, a broad smile spreading across her. It was enough to hide the blush that had formed when Goku had touched her. She liked him, even thought he was attractive. She was inexperienced when it came to relationships though so she didn’t want to scare him away.

"I'm not exactly the strong type like you, Goku. Being able to work longer, especially in jobs that pay by the hour rather than by the job done, would be a game changer for me. Especially if I’m going for a long hike in a military group or… well you get the point." The fatigue that had been clinging to her muscles seemed to fully dissipate, at which point she let out a satisfied sigh.

Listening to Goku express his concerns about staying in the city without any friends, particularly if she were to leave, Luvi felt a little awkward. "The city we're in is pretty good but Melrath is massive," she agreed, trying to offer some perspective. "There's at least one town near Lyngvi Tower, if I remember correctly." She frowned, trying to recall the name but coming up short. "Anyway, you could always visit me there, or something," she suggested, the idea bringing a small sense of hope. "It's all wishful thinking at this point, though. I might not even get accepted into the Syns."

Noticing the pendant Goku absentmindedly touched, she decided to bring it up. "That pendant... it looks important," Luvi observed. "Does it have a story?" Her question was genuine, a mix of interest in the pendant's significance and a desire to change the subject from her potential move.

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Re: Snowy reflections

Goku observed the effects of the rune on Illuvia, pleased to see her reaction. "Glad to hear it's helping," he responded with a smile, noticing her blush but not dwelling on it. He recalled their first meeting and was relieved they hadn't acted on any impulsive decisions that night.

"Being a soldier might not be all it's cracked up to be," he said. "I've enjoyed the freedom to do whatever I want. Having others dictate how you use your powers... it would feel like being a slave in some ways."

He paused for a moment before adding, "Of course, if you do end up settling down near Lyngvi Tower, I'll visit. No question about it." He might even decide to settle down in the town she’d mentioned.

Goku winced when she inquired about the pendant hanging from his neck. "Oh, this?" he said, his fingers tracing the intricate design of the golden heart. "It holds a special power."

Goku paused for a moment, a thoughtful expression crossing his face. "You see, if I say something with a certain word in it, whoever hears it believes it to be true." He took a deep breath before demonstrating, his eyes locking with Illuvia's.

"You would love nothing more than to fetch some paper so that you could start practicing the rune of endurance.” He emphasized the word Love. He awaited her response, curious to see the effect of his pendant in action.

"You caught on to the last rune pretty quickly,” he continued “so I figured this one wouldn't be too challenging for you. I haven't been holding any more runes out on you. I’m sure it won’t be long until you’re as strong as me.”

He leaned back and thought about why Illuvia had not yet learned any umbral runes. Goku thought about his mentor’s grimoire which he’d used to learn so much. He regretted not bringing it along with him on his travels.
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Re: Snowy reflections


Luvi nodded, understanding Goku's perspective on the freedom versus duty debate. "I get where you're coming from about being a slave to the government," she admitted, her voice tinged with a mix of resignation and resolve. "But I don't see how else I'm going to put my powers to good use. I'm tired of doing manual labor for money. I'd rather be out there, slaying beasts and dealing with problems only mages can handle."

As Goku activated his pendant, Luvi immediately felt an odd sensation, as if a foreign presence was attempting to weave its way through her thoughts. It was a subtle, insidious influence, something she instinctively knew she needed to resist. It was subtle, something that she probably wouldn’t have noticed unless she had been expecting it.

Drawing on her experience with meditation, Luvi attempted to fortify her mind, envisioning a barrier between her consciousness and the intrusive force. She focused on her breathing, on the familiar rhythm that had always helped center her during meditation, trying to isolate and push back against the influence.

Despite her efforts, the power of the pendant proved overwhelming. It was one thing to recognize that something was happening and another thing entirely to stop or reverse the effects. Before she fully realized what she was doing, Luvi truly believed that she would rather be getting up than fighting the effects. Soon she found herself retrieving paper and a few moments later she sat back down, paper in hand.

"That's a scary power," Luvi said, the weight of her newfound vulnerability pressing heavily upon her. Her eyes, wide with a mix of fear and intrigue, locked onto Goku's. "Have you ever used it on me before?" she questioned, the thought unsettling her deeply. Despite racking her brain for any instance of manipulation, she found no evidence, no moment that felt coerced or unnatural in their interactions. She’d never felt taken advantage of by him. This realization allowed her to tentatively set aside her apprehensions as she began sketching the rune of endurance. She knew that she ought to still be trying to fight the effects, but it was much less mentally taxing to just let it happen.
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Re: Snowy reflections

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Notes/Warnings: intended to post more but we decided to end it since Goku can't post for a looong time


Thread: Snowy reflections
City/Area: Melrath Cities and Villages
For Illuvia:
Detection: keeping an eye out for ice on the ground
Athletics: distributing your weight whilst running in heavy clothes
Athletics: Adjusting your stride to factor in enhanced strength
Endurance: getting the wind knocked out of you
Socialization: Changing the subject
Hone: the rune of endurance relieves fatigue, but it’s only temporary
Hone: the rune of regeneration can heal, but it’s only usable by Lucis mages
Meditation: recognizing when your mind is being influenced by magic
Meditation: trying to create a mental barrier against foreign influence
Meditation x1

For Goku:
Socialization x3 - Skill level Novice

Renown: None
Do you want this to be considered for Mark Progression? (N)
If any PC in this thread is in a faction, please list them: N
Faction Points: N
Wealth Points: N
Collaboration: Yes
Local Language Thread? N
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