The Night She Left

Once an isolated and dying township, an influx of academics, adventurers and thrill seekers have made Scalvoris Town their home. From scholars' tea shops to a new satellite campus for Viden Academy, this is an exciting place to visit or make your home!

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Balthazar Black
Approved Character
Posts: 2115
Joined: Fri Jan 18, 2019 1:15 am
Race: Human
Profession: Leader of The Black Cats
Renown: 1830
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Wealth Tier: Tier 5

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The Night She Left


25 Ashan 720
Balthazar sat, alone, in an unremarkable room in an unremarkable Inn somewhere unremarkably placed in Scalvoris. Not even a break ago it had all mattered to him. He'd asked for the the nicest sheets for the beds in their room and with a little bribe the owner was more than willing to provide. He'd gone out and picked flowers which sat in a neatly tied bundle on the table. He'd cared about the colors, the length of the stems, and whether or not to find a vase for them... but now they too were unremarkable. Unimportant. Balthazar's unremarkable dinner sat before him and a duplicate sat on the other end of the unremarkable table next to a remarkably empty chair. It was a steak. He had to walk through town to get it because the owner didn't have any and then he had to convince the owner to cook it when he returned. But he did... and now the steak was getting cold sitting in front of him. Twenty bits ago it had looked delicious, it had been the crown jewel in the night he had planned... but now it just looked like a chunk of cooked meat. He knew he had to eat it, but he wasn't hungry... not anymore.

He took a deep breath as his fingers fumbled with the letter in his hand. He'd paced the room a thousand times reading it over and over and over. He knew every word of it in his heart so he didn't need to read it anymore. Isabella's gone. The last argument had been their last. She didn't want him to make it up to her. She'd gone back to Almund. She didn't want him to follow her. He stared blankly at the paper while the words danced around the page. He didn't want to understand them anymore. He wanted to forget he'd seen them. He wanted to go back six breaks and talk to her again. To apologize. Even if he didn't believe he was in the wrong he didn't want... this. Balthazar set the letter on the table and sat back in his chair. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes.

Like everyone else, she was gone... and he was alone... again. As he sat in his stupor looking at the food he'd had prepared for them as it got cold, Balthazar thought back to the argument they'd had...

*** *** *** Six Breaks Earlier *** *** ***

"You're reading into things too much. I was just trying to get him to stop crying." Balthazar said as he pulled off one of his boots and dropped it beside the bed in his Inn room. He and Isabella had found a young boy lost in the city and escorted him home and Isabella was commending Balthazar on how he had handled the boy.

"You did more than that, he was having a good time, Balthazar." Isabella said "I'm just saying it was a good look for you."

"A good look for me? What does that mean?" Balthazar asked as he pulled off his other boot and dropped it beside the first.

"It means you were cute with the kid." Isabella confessed at last.

"I'm sorry, I was what?"

"Don't ruin it, alright? You were cute." They laughed softly at each other for a few trills before silence took over the room. Silence like an ocean that slowly filled the space between them as a question clearly lingered on Isabella's mind. Balthazar didn't need to attune to her to know she was mulling something over. Do you ever think about what it would be like to have one?"

"One what, a child?"

"Yeah."

"It would be noisy. Loud. Smelly."

"Oh come on, I'm serious."

"So am I! They're little monsters." Balthazar replied. It was hard to tell if he was joking or not and while Isabella tried to figure it out that same ocean of silence came back and then finally,

"Have you ever thought about where this is going?" As the words passed through Isabella's lips, Balthazar's heart sank.

This was a conversation every couple had to have eventually and in a more conventional relationship Balthazar and Isabella would have addressed the issue long ago, but they'd never really been what they were now. He'd been her employee with lots of benefits and only the strings they wanted attached. Then they'd been enemies and now they were together again... steady. They went out for dinner some nights of the week together. They wrote to each other when they could. When Isabella stayed in Scalvoris Town she slept in Balthazar's rented bed and when he stayed in Almund he slept in her bed. But what were they compared to the families? What were they going to become?

"I've thought about it at times." Balthazar confessed quietly, almost as if he didn't want Isabella to hear.

"And?" She pushed.

"I like what we have." He said.

"I do too." She said softly but Balthazar could feel the word hanging in her throat.

"But?"

"One trial I'm going to want more." Isabella seemed apologetic as she spoke and Balthazar felt her turn to him but he didn't dare turn and lock eyes with her. She reached out her hand and set it over his own, the small familiar shock passing between them and Isabella not flinching an inch as it did. "It's fun right now but I can't do what I do forever. Scalvoris is... nice enough. We could have a good life here- as stable a life as we're going to be able to have. We are both Rupturers after all." Isabella tried to lighten the mood but Balthazar couldn't manage more than a weak grin.

"It's dangerous here." Balthazar had worked too many murders and missing children cases.

"We can take care of each other. We're-"

"Everyone thinks that, Isabella. And sure we can for now, but one trial maybe not. I'm an Element, I make enemies, I go places I might not come back from-"

"And do you think I just play around with my powders and potions all day? Balthazar neither of us have safe jobs but we know how to take care of ourselves." Isabella fought back and this time Balthazar turned to meet her gaze.

"What do you want?" Balthazar demanded. "Kids? No. I can't."

"You can't? I'd be doing all the work!" Isabella countered.

"Now is not the time to try and raise a child. I just started working with the Elements, I need to focus on that- and Attunement! I still have to keep-"

"You're making excuses. Balthazar we could have a-"

"You aren't ready!" Balthazar shouted. Immortals, he knew he didn't mean that, but he couldn't stop himself. "You're not ready to be a mother. You're reckless, hotheaded, you can't cook, you don't like cleaning, neither of us know how to change a diaper, you're almost never actually home- which yes, I know that because I stayed Attuned to your frequency, get over it!"

What have I done? And the longest silence that had ever passed between them began.

*** *** *** Present *** *** ***

Balthazar tapped his index and middle finger to the steak on his plate lazily and it was suddenly engulfed in blue flames. Conflagration. Xanax had told him of the technique long ago and Balthazar's kin had shown him the rest. It was like caressing a staff with flames but more taxing. He pulled his hand back and waved it gently like he was batting away smoke. As Balthazar waved his hand the flames engulfing and heating the steak lowered and slowly faded away. Then he grabbed his fork and his knife and cut into the meal that had been prepared.

He ate the steak but he couldn't enjoy it and when it was finally gone he began picking through the flowers he'd assembled for Isabella. He'd been unkind to her because she pushed and he wasn't ready... but he didn't want to admit that. He was afraid that he could never hold his own child without one of his mutations hurting them. He could never read them a story to put them to bed. Worse yet was the thought of the many, many enemies that Balthazar was slowly making in his time in Scalvoris. What if one of them came for him and found his child instead? How could he take that risk? How could they take that risk with a child?

But it didn't matter anymore. Isabella was gone. There was no one left for Balthazar to argue with but the four walls around him.
word count: 1494

Visible Mutations/ Marks

Mutations
Defiance: Skin always glows faintly and he is warm to the touch. His is also the center of a field of static electricity so people get shocked touching him on occasion.
Rupturing: Orange etheric cracks spider-web up his arms to his elbows. His eyes and the glowing cracks going down his cheeks glow dark blue.
Transmutation: He has a series of emerald, glowing cracks on his right pectoral.
Marks
Bellinos: His fingernails are always black. The color fades into his fingers.
Celarion: A dim glowing ring surrounds his left forearm.
Palenon: A silver lightning shaped mark about the size of a hand stretching up towards his torso.

Scars

  • Oops, Oops, Ouch: Balthazar Black has twenty scars across his back from a lashing as well as scars on his hands and arms from jagged rocks on Faldrass. There are two scars on the sides of his abdomen from being stabbed and a slash across his back which blends in with the whip scars.
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Strange
Prophet of Old
Posts: 1105
Joined: Wed Mar 27, 2019 1:43 pm
Race: Undead (Ghost)
Renown: 999
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Wealth Tier: Tier 1

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Re: The Night She Left


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Balthazar

Balthazar Black
Skill Points: +10 (cannot be used for magic)
Magic XP: None.

Renown: None.

Injuries/Overstepping: A Troubled Heart that will make it difficult for Balthazar to focus until he finds resolution.
Wealth Points: None.
Loot: None.

Skill Knowledge:
  • Defiance (Embrace): Cooking a steak
  • Deception x 3
  • Cooking x 2
Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • none requested.
Notes: Cooking skills for this might be a little bit of a stretch, but he did think about that steak a lot and figured how to cook it with defiance (lol) so... I'll grant them.
Skills Used: Socialization (Competent), Discipline (Competent), Endurance (Competent), Defiance (Master), Intelligence (Expert), Persuasion (Novice)
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

This was well-written, especially the introduction scene with the details and the focus on the contrast of how things could seem one way - and then when something changes, all the same things seem totally different based on the character's perception.

The use of the technique of showing the result of the fight (rather than starting with the fight itself) worked flawlessly with this set-up. I kept wondering what exactly would be said in the fight as the dialogue went along. I couldn't tell which was worse, Balthazar telling Isabella that he didn't think she wasn't ready to be a mother or admitting that he spies on her with his attunement. Probably both. Hopefully this isn't the end for them though, and Balthazar can find a resolution of some sort.

Great job and enjoy your rewards!

PM me if you have any questions, issues or concerns.

Total Word Count: 1508 words.
Review Request Link: viewtopic.php?p=148174#p148174
stampcodehere

word count: 280
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