A Song of Love and Death

Balthazar helps a woman free her lover.

From Tried's Mouth to the mysterious Tower, the waters around Scalvoris and the island itself hold a vast array of secrets, just ripe for discovery. Here are landmarks, jungles, mountains, forests and islands of note.

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Re: A Song of Love and Death

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"Hah, ya think ya got what it takes? I know all about yer elemental bullcock! Won't do yer no good here!"

And indeed, if Balthazar tried to channel ether to manifest as changes to the elements, he'd find himself almost entirely unable, at least not to the point where he could do so with any fluidity. The man before him was an abrogator, not just that, but one who had made a Nemesis of Defiance. "You will pay for your defiance, mage"

So saying, he waved his saber, and a whip of telekinetic force pushed Balthazar off of his feet. The mage's ether was slowed to a crawl, with the defiance ether almost unresponsive to his commands. The ether had flipped on the field, and wasn't coming to Balthazar's command.

Drake jumped over the desk, and began swinging his saber right for Balthazar's center of mass. Meanwhile, outside Balthazar could hear a bunch of the mariners crying and moaning in despair, as they realized their hours were numbered. Four bits had elapsed.

He could hear feet rushing through the decks, trying with all desperation to get to the Captain's cabin, presumably.

If Balthazar even tried to use his attunement magic, he would find that sluggish and difficult to materialize as well. It appeared that the captain was a master of his art, and the mage would have his work cut out for him.

He swung his saber, but it was apparent that the blade wasn't where his talent lied. More so was the talent with his magic.

word count: 265
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)


30 Ashan 720
Balthazar kept waving his cutlass at his side, trying to really get a feel for the blade in the time the captain spent talking. Time. Balthazar didn't have time to waste with extended banter, but he couldn't keep everything in. "I've got a lot more than elemental bullcock for you." Balthazar snapped as he held his sword out to his side. He called on his oldest magic to caress the blade with flames and felt nothing but a strain like a headache coming on in response to his will. Balthazar looked down at the sword with a little disappointment but no surprise. Vri had warned him about Drake's abrogation but some ego had lead Balthazar to think his magic might be able to prevail over Drake.

He was glad he had tested his magic on the sword rather than on an attack. Drake moved his arm and the unsuspecting Balthazar didn't realize the force behind it until it crashed into him. Balthazar crashed onto his backside and quickly scrambled up onto his feet, his mind racing with different ways to bring death to Drake. Defiance was a bust and Balthazar didn't waste precious trills on another attempt to force the elements into action. He couldn't feel his ether roil at all when he called on Defiance so he turned to his other magics. Rupturing and Attunement were versatile as well but Balthazar could feel ether still ignoring his call as he tried to attune to and synchronize with the captain. For the first time (this was the first time he'd ever tried attuning in a flipped field) Balthazar couldn't quite grasp the captain's frequency.

The mage was on his feet again just as the captain reached him with the poor sword form. Balthazar wasn't exceptional with a sword either but you didn't need to know how to use a sword to dodge. Balthazar dipped backwards, swinging his sword wildly in front of himself to smack Drake's swing aside. Balthazar's form was flawed, shameful even, but he was distracted by his continuous effort to attune with and synchronize to Drake. He began to hear the Abrogator's notes but he couldn't quite make sense of it so he put his focus on what he could understand- Drake was going to cut through him.

Balthazar kept his sword in front of his body, swinging it back and forth to block Drake's swipes that he could not pivot his body out of the direction of. When he felt bold enough to strike, Balthazar moved inwards- driving his left arm up to try and catch the wrist of Drake's sword arm on a downward swing while driving the sword in his right hand forward at Drake's abdomen.
word count: 474

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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Drake didn't waste any more time on words, the time for saying anything having long since passed. He focused his intention on Balthazar, narrowing his brows at the now disabled mage. He had counted on Balthazar trying his defiance magics against him so that he could very well turn them against him. But Balthazar had cleverly avoided casting directly at the man and rather magicked his weapon. Magic which was swiftly losing the ether invested into it as he entered the Captain's midst.

As Balthazar moved, and move he tried, it would become evident that magic wasn't the only thing that became sluggish in this field. Not only that, but every movement seemed to take double the mental energy, as if moving through a bit of muddy water.

Yet Drake was not the greatest swordsman. Much of his experience was in fighting mages by depriving them of magic. He wasn't used to fighting mages with Balthazar's level of athleticism, and so hadn't thought to handicap his physical motions as he otherwise wouldve.

Balthazar was able to fend off the opponent's blade, and keep mobile enough to buy himself some time. Time that ticked by as a reminder that he had but a few bits now before the entire ship perished by Vri's hand.

So when Balthazar made his move, Drake wasn't totally prepared for it. He dropped his sword rather than let it be used to drive into his abdomen, and with a burst of desperation, a outward lashing barrier drove the other mage backward. Two minutes, now.

Drake wasn't idle, however, but came forward, a conjured shield at the ready to fend off Balthazar's blade.





word count: 287
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)


30 Ashan 720
Balthazar didn't, and wouldn't, notice that the Captain's magic was also slowing him down. He thought it was just lingering sluggishness from the beating he'd been given a while before. He thought he was doing a good job and that Drake was just better. He'd have felt a lot better to know the bastard was doing something but in the midst of a battle Balthazar wasn't going to let little feelings stop him from his revenge. That said, it was hard to prepare for a shield suddenly exploding outward, especially when you had not fought a great number of Abrogators in the past, so Balthazar flew backwards and dropped his sword. Balthazar's mentor knew something of Abrogation but she kept those secrets to herself. So Balthazar had a lot of guesswork to go through and very little time to do it. Balthazar took a deep breath while he got back onto his feet. Drake was running at him again and the mage picked his sword up off the ground, taking it in his left hand. He had a plan but he wasn't sure that it was a good one.

He hadn't picked up the sword with his left hand without reason. He didn't have as good a grip on the blade when it was in his left, his swings were wider and sloppier, and his arm was just a little weaker. When Drake reached him, Balthazar swung the sword in the wide, predictable, and poorly formed slash at Drake's left. He was hoping that Drake would move the shield to block the sword and expose his midsection. The moment the sword struck the shield Balthazar would release it, allowing the blade to fall or rebound off the shield as the forces of the universe demanded. While his left hand loosened, his right fist shot out at Drake's throat with a quick jab. He knew that it was hard to cast spells when you couldn't breath and he knew the fastest way to stop someone from breathing was to hit them in the neck. Well he didn't know that specifically, he just knew that punching a man in the throat was effective more often than not. Ithecals didn't seem as easy though.

There was of course the possibility that Drake did not move his shield to block the incoming sword, but in that case well... there was an incoming sword.

word count: 417

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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The sword stuck in the shield, just as Balthazar had planned, and his jab was delivered masterfully to the windpipe of the Captain. Suddenly, the field began to fade in power. It didn't reverse immediately, no, but by increments with every second, it seemed to grow more... fragile was the best word to describe it to Balthazar's senses.

And when Drake began having trouble breathign, he let go of the shield, his sword, and his hands went to his throat. Soon enough, the abrogator's face went blue, and he was hacking up spittle. He fell over his desk, trying to put more distance between himself and the mage. But before he even got to the edge of his desk, the field dissipated entirely. Drake fell over the desk, reaching for something out of sight.

This diversion, this slowdown of Balthazar's magic had cost the mage precious moments. When at least the time ticked down to the ten bit mark, Vri appeared next to Balthazar, and smiled apologetically. "Time's up."

He almost snapped his fingers in Balthazar's face, but then, he noticed Drake, slumped over, and having lost consciousness. "What's this? He couldn't have died of suffocation so quickly... it... Ah. Heart failure. Tsktsk." Vri sighed to himself.

Then the cloud of doom that hung over the entire crew, and Balthazar himself was gone. Vri turned to Balthazar, after retrieving what Drake had kept to himself. Vri looked at the quill for a few moments, and then tucked it into the folds of his cloak. "Now, a bit of ceremony is in order." He said solemnly, suddenly not so light in demeanor.

"You are a Yari." He stated simply. "But the Yari are known to despise and curse my name. I don't require worship or recognition of you, Balthazar. That's not why I granted my mark." He sighed again, and looked at Balthazar's fists. "I marked you because I think you can be of service. To become a Lord Warrior among my marked. From here on, I make commandments to make of you, if you're to continue to bear my blessing."

He turned his gaze upward to look Balthazar in the eyes, "You are Yari, but now you are also Bellinos. You must learn what it means to be a Bellinos. And that means..." He pointed to Drake's body. "You must ensure that every soul you put to death is given proper funeral rites, Bury them however you must, but do so with respect and reverence for the person they may have been. Never Flay a living soul, and never wield the tools of violence with glee, fury, or malice, but only at true need."

"I give you only one chance to refuse my mark, if these Commandments be too much to ask of you. I will not hold it against you nor will I trouble you further. But should you accept my mark, these commandments will be binding, and rest assured I will be watching over you."

"Now what do you say to that?"
word count: 517
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)


30 Ashan 720
Balthazar felt Drake's neck and knew his fist did it's job. He didn't quite notice the field weakening as he advanced just a little too slowly on the captain because he wasn't thinking with his magic anymore. He was going to use his hands to beat the life from Drake. For just a moment, he forgot about the time limit while Drake fled from him. The captain fell over his desk and Balthazar's hands tightened into fists again. Drake was blue in the face and Balthazar had a singular thought. I hope it hurts. He didn't have time to give Drake the same twenty lashes he'd been given. He had to do it now. He had to end it. Drake was reaching for something out of sight and Balthazar was beginning to move around the table when suddenly a familiar figure appeared in the room. The Yari's eyes shot over to Vri with confusion before looking outside into the dark as if it would help him know how long had passed.

It couldn't have been ten bits already, could it? Did Vri just want to watch? Then the Immortal spoke and Balthazar grimaced. Time was up, indeed. When it seemed like Vri was moving to snap his fingers, Balthazar had a singular thought. Fight. He would have called a bolt of lightning to his hand in the moment Vri killed him but the Immortal stopped and Balthazar wasn't fast enough to have made any lightning so the mage never started. He turned to see what Vri was looking at and found the captain motionless on the ground. One punch? One? Balthazar grinned like a fool. He wanted to laugh but he didn't. Few things would have been satisfying enough but knowing he'd killed the man who tortured him with a single punch certainly did the trick.

"Heart failure?" Balthazar repeated the Immortal with a curious look on his face. A punch to the throat can cause heart failure... noted. Vri made the tsk sound that Balthazar thought and then turned his attention back on the mage who still felt like he was not quite out of the woods. Had he failed? He didn't drive a blade through Drake but the captain seemed to be dead. Was that enough for the Immortal? It seemed so. A bit of ceremony? The way Vri said that made Balthazar more nervous than it warranted. All Immortals were intimidating- or so Balthazar read, but seeing Vri in person made the Yari feel a unique type of strange. Yari had no love for Vri but Balthazar had never been raised to hate him. He had been raised to respect death and remembrance. It was the sadness they scorned... but he felt it too.

Vri addressed the land the mage had come from and Balthazar wanted to protest but who was he to argue with the Immortal? Vri knew how the Yari felt about him better than Balthazar who's childhood had been unconventional. Vri did not ask for worship and hearing that caused the mage to tilt his head curiously for a moment. What Immortal did not want to be worshipped? When Vri looked at the mage's fists, Balthazar's eyes trailed down to his blackened fingertips. His thumb rubbed over the nail of his index finger as Vri's words continued. A Lord Warrior among his marked? Balthazar liked the sound of that but his discipline cautioned him against his ego. Lord Warrior? Butcher for Vri... no he could not agree to be Bri's butcher... then Vri continued his proposal and Balthazar's eyes widened in shock.

To never raise a weapon of war in glee, malice, or fury again? His spear? His fists? His magic? He'd let Vri bind all that for a mark he knew nothing about? He would. He did not know what he was agreeing to but he would agree. He did not think himself a wrathful madman who used violence to get his way. He did not think himself a tormentor of men and women. When he fought, he did so to protect himself and those who deserved it. He did not think of the anger when he investigated. He did not think of the death he'd left in his wake already. He could bury everyone he killed. He could give them the proper reverence... but he would have to learn sympathy for them. Beyond that he thought of what Vri had said about flaying. He would never have done it regardless. Isabella had killed his master by flaying him. Balthazar had learned to flay fire and he hated it. He was certain he would never do it.

"I- I..." He knew what to say, but not how to say it. "I accept. You're only asking me to be a good man and knowing you're watching will only help me do so. I will not wield any weapon with glee, fury, or malice that is not in service of true need. I will never flay a living soul and I will give every soul I put to death the proper funeral rites... to the best of my ability." Many different cultures had different funeral rites. He would do his best to learn the proper one for the place the soul was from but...no... he would. "But what are the rites for Drake? How will I get him out of here with the rest of his crew? How do I know true need from want? How does this..." He was asking too much and he knew it. Why would the Immortal explain himself to a mage? A Yari mage. "How do I proceed?"
word count: 965

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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"I will assist you this once, as a sort of preview of what power you may wield so long as you're true and faithful to my ways and serve my domains with reverence." Having said that, Vri approached Balthazar, and gestured for the mage to place a hand on drake. "Dead men, it turns out, do tell tales. But only to those with whom they are related... No don't get excited, rummage through his pockets, you'll find something we can use."

If Balthazar went into Drake's pocket, he'd find a compass, silver, with an engraving on it. 'From one Drake to another.' As he held it, Vri drew closer to Balthazar, and laid a hand on his shoulder, allowing him a small fraction of the power he may one day wield under Bellinos. Memento allowed a Bellinos to place a memory in an object, a memory that would last to the end of time, or until the item was destroyed. This memory came in waves over Balthazar's mind, as he was transported. To the shores of Pirate Ravaged Scalvoris, in arcs past when Pirate Kings ruled it.

Bonfires were lit on the beach, and a man resembling Drake stood facing the ocean, holding a bow ready to fire into the skiff in which his father was placed. Vri was there in the memory with Balthazar, and spoke words only the mage could hear, "He killed his own father. The Drake you killed. And his father was one of my servants. The Captain was not always consumed with domination and fury and control over others. He was never a paragon of virtue, but all mortals were children once, with wonder in their eyes at what the future might hold. We must always try to remember the innocent that came before the monster."

Saying this, the Drake that fired the arrow, sent it true into the barge, which lit up beneath the darkening sky. "Now, let us return. The crew will assist you, I have a feeling. They won't remember your part in this, as I have assured your anonymity. Say you have come on behalf of Vri to deliver his soul to me. They, most of them who matter, will understand. Then perform the funeral rites as shown here." And just like that, they were gone from the memory, and Balthazar was back, alone in the Captain's Cabin.

Outside, men were milling about, trying to fix the wreckage that had been wrought in the recent battle, unknowing of Balthazar's role in it. He had but one job to do here.
word count: 438
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Re: A Song of Love and Death (2)


30 Ashan 720
He moved with Vri and went through Drake's pockets, finding the compass but not understanding the significance until Vri explained it to him. Balthazar had no idea what the Immortal was talking about until the vision began. He recognized the beach but it seemed unfamiliar as well. The sand was familiar but he didn't recognize the man with the bow at first. He recognized Vri standing beside him again in the memory but it took a few trills for Balthazar to realize it was Drake holding the bow and taking aim at the skiff drifting away into the sea. Vri spoke and his marked listened. The Immortal gave good advice. Everyone had been a child once. Everyone had lived their own life and it had shaped them to the being that Balthazar killed. Drake had been many things before he'd been the Captain and now he was nothing.

Drake fired the arrow in the memory and Balthazar watched as it struck the skiff, igniting it against the darkness. Balthazar did not feel the call of the fire and so he knew he could not interact with it. This was not the present, it was the past... and the past could not be changed but apparently it could be remembered... quite well. Then the vision ended and Balthazar was alone. He took a deep breath and turned to look for Vri who had vanished, leaving Balthazar to do the work that had been promised. He had so many questions but he knew better than to ask the air. Vri was gone and once the rites were performed, Balthazar would be gone as well. Remembered by none thanks to the Immortal.

Balthazar moved over to Drake's body and began to hoist him up with a small groan. He reached out to the wind, relieved to feel it respond to his call to help lighten the load a little as the mage lifted the captain's body onto his bed. Balthazar took another deep breath. He wanted to bludgeon Drake's face in for what he'd done but he didn't. Remember the child he was. Balthazar repeated the advice in his mind and walked slowly from the captain's cabin so he could begin organizing the rites with the crew. They needed to get the shore first. He's build some pyres and he's send Drake out on a skiff. Every step of the way he would remind himself not to judge the man Drake had become. Drake's crimes were dealt with. He deserved what the rest of them did.
~~~ ~~~ ~~~ Half a Trial Later ~~~ ~~~ ~~~
Balthazar stood barefoot on the warm sands of a beach in Scalvoris with one hand resting on a small wooden vessel and his eyes on the horizon where Drake's ship floated, anchored and waiting for the crew to return. All of Drake's crew, those who had and had not reviled him, stood on the shore behind Balthazar watching the mage they would never remember. He took a moment to breathe it all in, the air, the ritual, the man he'd killed. His eyes drifted from the horizon to Drake's body resting in the little boat like his father had in the memory.

"You are not what you became... I wish you the best in the next world." Balthazar took another deep breath and began pushing the boat into the water. Once he got far enough for the waves to help, he coaxed them to pull the boat for him and backed away- waving his hands gently to move the vessel further out into the water. Mary-Beth brought Balthazar a bow and an arrow. The mage took them gently in hand and sighed. He did not know how to use a bow. He had never particularly cared to learn how to use a bow when he could hurl stones with his magic. Balthazar knew he could wait for the boat to reach the edge of his range and then just manifest flames but those were not the rites he had seen. He nocked the arrow and drew it back slowly, aiming a little into the sky.

Mary-Beth cleared her throat and Balthazar looked over at her. She nodded her chin slightly, signaling Balthazar to aim a little higher, and the mage did as she suggested. He caresses the arrow with a blue flame and shot it. The little blue light flew through the sky like a comet and arched, crashing right into the sea. It had flown a little wide of the boat with Drake's body and while the wind tried to help the Defier, his aim was nothing to be proud of. Balthazar grimaced and Mary-Beth offered him another arrow. He took it, nocked it, and went through the same routine to ignite it before taking his second shot. Drake's pyre had drifted further into the water now but the elements were all working their best to help the mage. The water tried to keep the vessel in close so Balthazar did not have to take a great shot. The wind tried to help guide the arrow and the fire tried to help burn the captain... but Balthazar was not good with a bow. He missed again and a small murmur began to spread through the crew behind him. He was given another arrow and ignored the crew behind him. Vri said he'd be forgotten, so the failure would be as well.

The third arrow struck the side of the ship and ignited the pyre with Drake's body on it. Balthazar watched the blue flames spread over the ship and slowly shift to orange as the source of the fire shifted from his ether to the dry wood of the pyre. A solemn silence washed over the crew and the sound of the waves crashing against the beach became deafening. The marked mage took a deep breath a turned away from the sea. He walked off the beach and out of the lives of everyone he'd saved for good.
word count: 1023

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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Balthazar

Experience: 15 (5 of these points can be used for defiance/rupturing magic)

Knowledge:

Detection: 3x
Endurance: 3x
Investigation: 3x
Interrogation: 3x
Unarmed Combat: 3x


Renown: 20

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: Mark of Bellinos with first three powers. Will update your wiki soon. Link back to this thread where you store your mark information.

Injuries/Conditions: Most of the injuries should be fine by now.

Consequences: A pact made with Vri.

Comments: Well done! It took quite a while to finish this but glad we got to do it and in a pretty grand style imo.

Balthazar will certainly be interesting as a servant of Vri. I wonder if he'll stick to the Pact or deviate from it at all? The entire thread was a wonderful work on your part, and the last scene was particularly poignant as he put to rest his enemy. Very good!

Enjoy the rewards.

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.
word count: 167
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