Breaking Point

A city thrust in a land of magical corruption, where survival isn't taken for granted, Yaralon is a jewel on Eastern Idalos. It is world renown for its mercenary companies, for their spiritual culture that appears a bit backwards and counter intuitive to more "civilized" types. Yaralon is where the strong go to discover that they are anything but, and mercenaries learn that only Yari mercs are true mercs.

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Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 535
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +255
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Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 4

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Breaking Point

Sun Sep 08, 2019 12:36 pm


Date: 8th of Ymiden, Arc 719
Status: Focusing

Weapons: Trident
Armor: Leather

Buffs: N/A
Debuffs: N/A


It wasn't Saun yet, and wouldn't be for some time. But the large courtyard Praetorum stood in had tall walls blocking out any sort of cooling breeze that might have come, and the stagnant, sickly heat made it feel like the worst of Saun days already. Praetorum, already breathing heavily, made a note of this fact, and then shunted it to the back of his mind, ignoring it for now. 


The ithecal twirled his trident in his hand, then struck out at the wooden dummy before him, the tines of his weapon jabbing holes in the cloth. One part of him, the soldier and warrior, noted with a critical eye that his aim hadn't quite been steady, that on a human that would have been a blow to the chest, not the gut. This was a sloppy blow, quite unlike him, even while wielding a weapon he was less accustomed to. 


The reason for this was that only a part of his brain was focused on his drills. 


The other part was watching Marken, standing a short distance away, but still within his line of sight. He was still, right now, but Prae knew that at any moment, he might start—

There! Prae blocked an imaginary blow, then slashed out at the target dummy, forgetting for a moment that it was the trident he wielded, not the scythe. The soldier in him quickly corrected his attacks, raining jabs down on the dummy, striking each of its vital points in turn. The rest of him focused on Marken, and the split colored flag he was waving.

Red-Blue.

Prae darted back to the center of the arena, and took a quick look at the dummies around him to orient himself. The meditative trance that allowed him to split his focus like this was starting to falter as exhaustion seeped into Prae's bones, and it would take bits for him to regain if he lost it entirely. So he took a moment to ground himself, feel his heartbeat in his chest and his breath in his lungs, bringing himself back to the calm, steady state he had found he enjoyed so. 


Before Prae had begun this exercise, Marken had given each of the identical dummies a label, two colors, and told Prae to memorize it. He'd thought then that, in the heat of training, he wouldn't be able to recall a single one, but it seemed that a clear head recalled much more than Prae had anticipated. The dummy he had just been attacking was Green-Blue, and if he recalled correctly, Red-Blue had been three dummies widdershins of it. 

He moved back into range of the dummy he'd been directed to, and earned a nod of approval from Marken as the human limped his way closer. His trident sank into the wooden dummy's throat, then into its side as Prae circled slightly around it. This training dummy was different from the last, not sunk into the ground like a post, but hanging, swinging to and fro as Prae jabbed and stabbed at it. So Praetorum's next attack missed by a claw's width, and he stumbled forwards, trying to find his equilibrium.
 He'd almost caught it when—

THWAP
word count: 580
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over Prae's left wrist
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 535
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +255
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 4

Contribution

Milestones

Re: Breaking Point

Mon Sep 09, 2019 3:50 am


Date: 8th of Ymiden, Arc 719
Status: Worried

Weapons: Trident
Armor: Leather

Buffs: N/A
Debuffs: N/A


The Ithecal hissed in pain as the heavy dummy crashed into his side, sending him even further off balance, and he stumbled, his mediative calm dissipating as his split focus failed in favor of trying not to topple over. 

"Careful there lad." Marken called out as Prae finally found his footing, the human's cane tapping against the floor. "You wouldn't want it to get out you've been bested by a glorified log." Praetorum looked up to glare at his mentor, and found the man waving another flag, this one Black and Green.

Praetorum paused at that, trying to remember. His thoughts had grown muddled again with his loss of balance, and in the time it took for him to sort them out, Marken had closed the distance between them. 

"Too slow, boy." Prae made a face as the human's walking stick rapped over the top of his head, and lowered his trident slowly.

"It's harder than it looks." He grumbled, gingerly touching his side. The dummy was damn heavy, and reinforced with iron bands, so it packed a punch. If Marken had told him then that the thing also had a metal core for weight, Prae wouldn't have been surprised in the least. Still, he probably wasn't going to have much more than a bruise. 

"Always is. Rest for a few bits, and then lets—"

Marken cut himself off then, his head snapping up a moment before someone burst into the courtyard. "Sir! Sir!"

It was one of the servants that Marken employed, a young man named.... Prae couldn't quite remember. 

"Yes, Ash, what is it?" 

The man was panting, having clearly run here. "Sir, it's your other guest, Ms Edyn." Prae straightened up at that, his injury forgotten at the mention of his captain. "She's headed for the doves!"

Praetorum had no idea what that meant, but it seemed to be bad news, as Marken cursed, before turning towards Prae. "You need to stop her, calm her down somehow. Ash will lead you. I'll follow, but I'm not as fast as I used to be, and someone needs to catch her before she does anything she'll regret. Go!"

Still confused, Prae followed his mentor's instructions. Ash led him hurriedly through Marken's estate, giving a garbled explanation along the way. Apparently Marken had given the servants instructions not to let either of his guests near the dove cote or the stable, and a few bits ago, Edyn had been spotted trying to break into both. The stablehands had managed to shoo her away, but the dove handlers were having a harder time. 

It took Praetorum a moment to fully understand, but when he did, his pace hastened. Edyn had taken the loss of her magic particularly badly, having had it for so much of her life, and had spent the last few days growing antsier and antsier as the little ether they'd been able to flay from flames had slowly dwindled. It wasn't enough, he knew, for Edyn to use magic as naturally as she usually did. It had been taking an intense mental toll on her, and it seemed that she had finally reached her breaking point.

The amount of ether gained from flames was a pittance. The amount she could gain by draining life force, on the other hand...

The amount of ether, but also the amount of thirst. Marken had told him that there was a point of no return with the flaying thirst, that a mage who flayed too much too often could become what he called a Starved One, a hunger maddened creature with little in the way of reason or restraint. He'd assured Prae it would take much more than what relatively little flaying they'd had done so far, but still, it worried him. 

How many doves would it take to induce the same amount of thirst as a human soul? Praetorum didn't know. 

He hoped he didn't have to find out. 

word count: 711
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over Prae's left wrist
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 535
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +255
Character Sheet
Character Wiki
Plot Notes
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 4

Contribution

Milestones

Re: Breaking Point

Wed Sep 11, 2019 2:38 am


Date: 8th of Ymiden, Arc 719
Status: Talking a friend down

Weapons: Trident
Armor: Leather

Buffs: N/A
Debuffs: N/A


Praetorum emerged out into the back garden of the estate, and found Edyn struggling on the ground in front of the dove cote as a servant pinned her arm behind her back. "Let me go you bastards let me– let me– I need to..." 


Even from a distance Praetorum could easily see that her breathing was ragged, and her eyes wet. "Edyn? Edyn, hey." Prae hurried to her side, dropping to his knees in front of her. He looked up at the young woman holding her down, a slight frown on his face. "Hey, can you..." Without hesitation, the servant released her grip, and stepped back; nodding in thanks, Praetorum reached down, and helped his mentor to her feet, casually setting himself between her and the dove cote. "Everything alright?" He asked carefully, keeping one hand on her shoulder. 


His mentor let out a shrill, wild laugh. "No. It really isn't." She pressed her hand to her eyes, fingers flexing as if she wanted to claw them out. "I can't live like this, Prae. I just... I can't. This.. this drip feeding of ether, it's not enough."

He pulled her to his chest, dipping his muzzle to cover her head. "I know." He whispered. "I know. I'm so sorry. But the more we flay, the less we can resist it."

"And the faster we go feral." She let out a choked sob against his chest. Empress, but he'd never seen his captain so wrecked before. "But I don't know if I can stop myself. I've never been so low for so long, it's driving me mad. I don't know much longer I can hold out for."

"We will help you through it." Prae didn't look up at the voice behind him, didn't let go of his mentor, his friend, even as the older human limped over to them. "I've been teaching Prae to meditate, to compartmentalize; I'm sure it would help you too. Let us support you, old friend."


"I'll..." Edyn pulled away from Prae, her voice wavering. "I'll try." She let out a sharp, mirthless laugh. "I'm afraid I might only disappoint you."

Even as she spoke, Praetorum saw that her eyes were drawn inexorably back towards the dove cote, that bounty of lifeforce that she had tried to plunder. And he knew she would try to resist, and fail. "What about Selyin?" He asked on impulse, and her eyes snapped back to him. 


Bingo. He still didn't know what, exactly, they were to each other. But whatever their relationship, it obviously mattered to them both, deeply.


"She's been talking about taking a contract once this is over, hunting down Starved Ones." She had done no such thing, in fact, but Praetorum would bring it up with her. "Edyn... will you make her hunt you down too?"


She didn't answer. But as Marken led her away, he thought he caught a glimmer of renewed resolve in her eyes.
word count: 544
Let's play 'What's Weird About Prae'

Head

  • A fiery rune shines under his right eye

Arms

  • A ring of blue runes floats over Prae's left wrist
  • A silver shield marks the back of his right hand

Misc

  • His tail is about eight feet long, usually knotted around his waist

Surroundings

  • Wind gusts with every step he takes
User avatar
Nursia
Posts: 191
Joined: Sun May 26, 2019 8:24 pm
Race: Undead (Ghost)
Profession: OOC Account
Renown: 0
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 1
Medal count: 1

Contribution

Re: Breaking Point

Sat Sep 21, 2019 3:09 pm

I particularly enjoyed the fact that the third party in this situation had presented the goals moving forward as a means of snapping Praetorum's mentor out of it and giving an inkling of hope. The immediate physical comfort is offered, but the Ithecal's limitations are plain to see.

Good work. The prose was fantastic, and I can't see any problems upon reading this through a few times.

Enjoy your rewards.


Praetorum

Rewards


Knowledges:
Leadership: Talking someone down from the brink
Meditation: Allows one to split their attention and thoughts
Meditation: Fighting and watching for commands
Meditation: Centering yourself now to avoid faltering later
Meditation: Helps to clarify memories
Polearm (Trident): Can’t use a scythe’s moveset effectively
Wealth:
Renown:
EXP:
+10

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Understand that all criticisms are done in good faith. It would be a greater disrespect to not say anything in the face of problems. Please contact me through this account's inbox if you wish to further communicate on the matter of improvement, or if you feel as though anything is unduly harsh.


Player #2

Rewards


Knowledges:
Wealth:
Renown:
EXP:

Feedback


Understand that all criticisms are done in good faith. It would be a greater disrespect to not say anything in the face of problems. Please contact me through this account's inbox if you wish to further communicate on the matter of improvement, or if you feel as though anything is unduly harsh.
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