[Memory][New Haven] Just Breathe

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[Memory][New Haven] Just Breathe


70th Trial of Ymiden, Arc 715

"Signing while speaking"

Like the dawn, you broke the dark, and my whole earth shook.

As if the first look upon new light was the first I ever took.

Breathe. Patient signed.

Quiet was new. He was newer than new. To say he knew nothing of the life he had recently adopted was an understatement. To say he comprehended the responsibility or the power he was bestowed with would be a cruel joke, unfounded in reality.

But as Quiet sat with Patient, he could see the path his future would follow as easily as he could see the horizon over the cliff just beyond Patient’s head.

Out here, you could see everything. Behind Quiet, the hill sloped down to just above ocean level, fusing with the forest, and a path that lead into town. Behind Patient, a cliff, serving as a much quicker route down. Farther out, Quiet could see the world beyond the treetops, and if he took a look all around him, he would see the entire horizon. The natural barrier that kept New Haven alone. The limit.

He listened to the wind. He listened to the quiet call of seagulls below. The rhythmic rush and retreat of waves against delicate shores.

And he listened to Patient.


And so he did.

He shut his eyes, and he focused. With a clear mind, he cou-


Quiet’s eyes sprung open. He could have sworn he felt something on his face.

He looked around, not quite bothered, not quite curious, but certainly not at peace.

No matter.

Quiet recentered himself, closing his eyes once more. With a clear mind, he cou-

bop bop

Quiet’s eyes shot open, immediately focused on his further surroundings; the world beyond Patient. But after a moment of focusing, plainly he could see the grin on his mentor’s face. And, soon afterwards, when his eyes focused correctly on the foreground, could he see the pebble, like a gnat, flinging by his head. He, now with a better understanding but nowhere near full comprehension, did his best to become more observant.

Then he noticed the flick of Patient’s finger.

Just before he felt another bop.

He began to sign. What are you doin-

“Please stop.” Patient replied. “I’m aware that you have begun to learn tongue speak, along with Big.”

Patient’s eyes did not flicker as he spoke.

“If we are to converse, show me what you have learned. Do not force me to break my concentration while meditating.”

Quiet was taken aback, but he did not falter.

“Why have this earth disturbed me?” Quiet asked, struggling to find the words.

Patient laughed. “Two full arcs and you have not yet found your words.”

‘Arcs?’ Quiet thought, unfamiliar with the word.

“Meditate, Quiet.” Patient said.

And Quiet obeyed.


“Why!?” Quiet said, standing up from his position. “Why do you do this? As I meditate? Am I not following what you have asked?”

“Are you meditating?” Patient replied.

“I try,” Quiet said, “I cannot.”


“The earth you demand! Which you throw!” He replied angrily, losing a grip on his vocabulary.

“Do you blame the earth for your shortcomings, Quiet?” Patient replied, not breaking his meditative state, not opening his eyes. If Quiet didn’t know better, he would have thought that Patient had asked the wind to speak the words he desired in his voice. “Or do you accept that they were your shortcomings to begin with?”

Quiet’s nostrils flared, his breath ragged and quick, heavy with expression. He sat, taking his meditative position.

“Good,” Patient said, “now do as I had asked.”

Quiet shut his eyes, and he breathed.

“You have been gifted something, Quiet. The breath that moves in your chest now listens to your requests. The wind that pushes waves to shore will take your recommendation. Do you know why you didn’t die when I pushed you off that cliff, Quiet?”

Quiet didn’t respond.

He breathed.

“It’s because you were honest. You were true. You were humble.”


Quiet continued to breathe.

“The wind that felt your fall listened to you because you asked it to, Quiet. You were selected for Reception because I thought you knew the difference between a request and a demand. You do not demand of the air in your throat, you ask it to push and you move your lips and you speak. You cannot demand of a force so much larger than you are, Quiet.”


“But you can breathe, and this world breathes with you, Quiet. Are you breathing?”

bop bop

“Are you breathing?”


“Are yo-”

Patient became silent. This was far more alarming to Quiet than anything the man could have possibly said. He opened his eyes, and, floating in front of his face, was a pebble. Patient’s finger was outstretched. But the pebble did not move.

Quiet looked at the pebble, then at Patient.

“Why?” He asked.

“That is not my gift, Quiet. That is yours.” Patient responded.

Quiet looked at the pebble with a new reverence, not completely understanding the circumstances at hand, but feeling them deeply.

“You asked for the pebble to not hit your face, Quiet.” Patient said. “And the air complied.”

There was a moment of contemplation, taken by both men. Quiet’s was one of bewilderment. Patient’s was one of quiet pride in his protege.

“Ask it to drop the pebble.” Patient commanded.

Quiet said nothing, but he quietly desired for the pebble to meet the ground beneath him, and it complied. The pebble dropped.

“I?” Quiet asked.

“Yes, that was you.” Patient replied. “You have done well, Quiet. The Gift is a difficult tool to use. It is proud, it is strong, and it overpowers you. Far too many of those given The Gift perish from presuming to hold power over the world they inhabit. They presume that the ground beneath their feet and the sky above them are theirs alone. But, Quiet, if you treat The Gift not as a tool, but as a friend, you will find great success.”

Patient stood, opening his eyes.

“When asking for compliance, I find that saying ‘please’ goes a long ways.”

He stretched, cracking his knuckles and his back, before walking past Quiet.

“I will see you tomorrow, Quiet. I expect improvement.”

After Patient had left, Quiet stayed there for a long while, meditating over the sea. The clouds had changed shape overhead many times before he felt he was ready, but, gaining enough confidence to do so, he stood.

He centered his balance.

He circled his arms as he would imagine the wind doing, and he requested something of the wind.

Please, he thought.

And the wind obliged.

And a pebble flew from the lip of the cliff.

And Quiet smiled.
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Re: [Memory][New Haven] Just Breathe

I love the mentor – student dynamic between Patient and Quiet! I found your descriptions on how defiance works accurate and liked how Quiet gave in to asking politely. I look forward to seeing how his relationship with the elements develops!

These rules tsay that cannot put all your skill knowledge into one skill so I suggest you swap out a couple of them for the following:
Meditation: Getting hit makes it hard to focus
Discipline: Taking your mentor’s advice

Also, I don't see any approved mutations (or witchbrands for that matter) on your character sheet which means I cannot give magic exp to this thread. To progress from novice to competent in magic you must have had a mutation approved in the psf and added to your character sheet.

XP: 10 – not usable for magic
Loot: N/A
Injuries: N/A
Renown: 0

Defiance: Say Please
Defiance: Never Demand
Defiance: Smaller than the World
Defiance: Remain Humble
Defiance: Communicate with your Surroundings
Defiance: The Breath in your Chest will Listen to your Request
word count: 177
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