What doesn't kill you makes you hungry

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: 453
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +215
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Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 2

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What doesn't kill you makes you hungry

Fri Jun 14, 2019 5:06 am





Image

4th of Ymiden, Arc 719

"I'm fine, Praetorum." Edyn pushed weakly at Prae, and he caught her hand easily, examining it.

"You aren't. Look, your hands are shaking." Prae's tail twitched in concern, bumping up against some of Edyn's too small furniture. "Edyn, seriously, just... just lie down or something. Take a deep breath, try and calm down."

Edyn shook her head, and pushed past him to begin pacing again, as she had been when he'd come in. "I can't, Prae. I can't calm down, alright, I just... I can't." Her voice cracked at that, and Prae's heart twisted at the sound. "I haven't been without magic in.. in basically my entire adult life, alright? I can't hear— I can't talk—"


Praetorum understood. He felt the gut wrenching twist of it too, the loss of the elements' presence in his life, the voices of his constant companions, gone. And he had only known them, had them a dozen or so trials before the fall. He couldn't imagine how it was like for Edyn, to lose them after so many arcs.

"I know, I know." He murmured, his hand settling on her shoulder. "But you've got to pull it together. For the Hand, if nothing else."

Edyn stilled then, then nodded shakily. Grabbing Prae's arm for support, she sank back down into her chair—Prae moving over to kneel on the floor beside her—and pressed her fist to her chest, her breathing going deep and deliberate as she tried to calm herself down. Prae mimicked her actions with the arm she wasn't grasping, pressing his own hand to his chest, and drawing in a deep breath.

Having a hand over his chest forced him to be more aware of his own breathing, and helped him to really feel it in his lungs as he breathed, trying to disperse the same tightness in himself. He wasn't nearly as on edge as Edyn was, but feeling his own chest loosen with each breath, he could not deny his own unease any longer at the loss of his magic.

It was his own damn fault. If he hadn't been so useless in that place, in the almost dream though the crack in reality, perhaps he could have stopped it. Perhaps he wouldn't still dream of the ruined Cathedral. Perhaps....

He shook the thought off. It was one he'd been circling for trials now, and he'd come no closer to an answer. For now, he focused again on his friend as the trembling in her hand slowed, then stopped. "Alright. Alright." She said, then reached over towards the grimoire on her desk.

"I don't know that you'll be able to use them yet, but I've got a couple more runes to teach you." She said, flipping her book open to a later page.

"Edyn, should you really be—"

"Yes." She straightened up, glared at him for a moment. "Look, I just... I need to feel like I'm doing something, alright. I'm pretty much useless without my magic, and I can't just sit around doing nothing all trial. And you... you're certain it's being fixed?" She looked anxiously, suspiciously at him at that, and Praetorum realized for the first time that she was afraid he had been lying for her sake.

"It's going to be fixed. Even if I have to do it all myself."

Edyn nodded then. "Then I trust you. And you'll need to learn these runes eventually, might as well get started practicing now."

Personally, Prae was a little doubtful. He prefered to learn his runes the practical way, and found drawing precise lines in ink to be a mostly meaningless exercise. But Edyn looked so adrift, Prae couldn't help but nod. It wouldn't hurt, he supposed, and she... she needed something to do.

So he flipped open his own grimoire, and took the inkpot from her. “Alright. Let’s begin, then. “
word count: 699
User avatar
Praetorum
Approved Character
Posts: 453
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 11:08 am
Race: Mixed Race
Profession: Mercenary
Renown: +215
Character Sheet
Secrets
Plot Notes
Point Bank Thread
Wealth Tier: Tier 4
Medal count: 2

Contribution

Re: What doesn't kill you makes you hungry

Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:21 pm





Image

4th of Ymiden, Arc 719

Praetorum’s claws were ink stained by the time he’d gotten the rune down to Edyns suddenly exacting standards. She’d never been this precise about the way he drew then runes before, but Prae got the feeling she was trying to extend the lesson as long as possible, so he let it go without complaint.

Still, the rune of sound was so simple looking, there was really so much she could nitpick about, especially now that Prae had managed to get down a whole row of perfect runes.

“Looks a bit like a bicep, to be honest.” Prae said inanely, trying to distract Edyn from her thoughts.

Edyn laughed a little too loudly at that, then flexed, looking from her arm to the rune on Prae’s page. “Suppose it does, doesn’t it. But turn the rune on it’s side. Sort of looks like an ear, doesn’t it?”

Praetorum squinted, then rubbed at the side of his own head. “A human ear, I suppose.” He sighed with an exaggerated disdain that drew a soft chuckle from her. Flipping to a blank page in his grimoire, Prae drew the rune carefully in the corner of the page, then cleaned off his claws carefully before picking up a quill.

“Why is it—“ Prae asked, writing the name of the rune in blocky letters on the page— “that the core runes seem so much simpler to draw than the lucis runes?” It was a question he’d been considering for some time now, but had never gotten around to asking. Now, trying to distract his mentor from the reality of their current existence, it seemed as good a time as any to bring it up.

“You know.... I’m not sure.” Edyn admitted a little sheepishly. “But umbral runes are also way more complicated than core ones, as far as I can remember. Maybe Marken would know...” She trailed off then, lost in thought.

Praetorum nodded as he finished off his short description of the rune, leaving space for him to add on to it when he regained the ether to try it out. If he ever did. If he ever got the chance to.

“It’s getting dark.” Edyn notes, glancing out the window. “I’ll just—“ she gestured towards the fireplace, and Prae grimaced as her expression morphed into surprise, and then a muted hurt. She’d forgotten that she couldn’t use defiance, he guessed.

“I’ll get it.” Prae stood, snagging a candle from the table. Kneeling by the fireplace, he gathered some of the smaller pieces together into a pile of kindling, then lit it with the candle, before fanning the small flame into a proper fire. “There we go,” he said, setting the candle down by the fireplace. “Are you alright to keep going totrial, or do you want me to come back tomorrow?”

Edyn didn’t answer.

Her eyes were fixated on the fire, he realized, and there was an odd sort of look in them, one he’d never seen before in his friend. “Edyn?”

She drew closer, still staring into the flickering flames. Her hand reached out, and she steadied herself on his arm as she knelt by the fire. “Praetorum?” She whispered, leaning in closer to the fireplace than Prae was comfortable with. “Come down here.”

Something in her tone had Prae’s chest twisting in anxiety, but, uncertain of exactly what it was that was worrying him, he did as she said, settling down beside her in front of the fireplace, the still lit candle between them.

“Edyn, is everything alright?” Prae placed a hand carefully on her back, fingers curling around her shoulder, just in case… just in case what? He didn’t know.

“Prae, do you… feel like the fire is alive? As a defier, I mean. That every individual flame is… a friend?”

That gave him pause, but only for a few moments. “No, not really. To me, it feels like every fire is just an extension— a… an expression of Fire. It’s the concept I connect to, the… the spirit of it, not every individual piece.”

“So you don’t feel bad, say, snuffing out a campfire?”

Prae stared at her in bafflement, then, licking his fingers, reached out and pinched out the candle flame between them.

That seemed to be all the answer Edyn needed. “Okay.” She whispered. “Thank you. I would have felt much worse about this if you did.” And with that, she dipped her head forwards, hair falling dangerously close to the fire, and breathed.

There was a shimmer in the air, like an almost mirage between her lips, and the fire dimmed suddenly, like someone had splashed water onto the wood. And Edyn gasped, sitting back suddenly, her breathing rapid again. She slapped her hand over her mouth, staring at Prae with something halfway between excitement and fear in her eyes.

“Edyn?” His brow furrowed as she shook her head, and gestured to the fire. At a loss, he turned to look at it, uncertain as to what she had seen in it, or… done to it?

The fire was regaining some of its strength now, the wood blistering and blackening under the heat. Warmth radiated against his face, and his lips parted, letting the hot air waft over his tongue, into his throat.

His sparks squirmed in his chest now, reaching out for the heat—latching on to the light. No, only one spark now, the more mature Hone spark winning out and seizing all this new energy for itself. All it needed now, was a little help from him, barely a swallow. Barely anything at all.

He breathed.

And the fire guttered out.
word count: 979
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