• Solo • Halbjorn

Stronghold of education and learning, this fortress is in one of the coldest areas of Idalos and home to many knowledge seekers in a variety of disciplines. However, unknown to most, below the city are those who suffer for the sake of science. While all are welcome, not everyone will be treated as they expect.

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Doran
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Halbjorn

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Cylus 2, Arc 720

Halbjorn, the Mortalborn observed, as his servant Elias led the Lotharro into his study was not comfortable. He was not comfortable at all. The man towered over him – which was something that rarely happened, considering the fact that he was of well above average height – and he was thickly muscled, with a beard, a multitude of tattoos and clothes made of fur and leather – in short, he had the appearance of a fearsome warrior. At the moment, he looked frightened and intimidated though, and he gazed at the luxurious décor of the apartment in the Obsidian Prism with no small amount of unease.

Doran didn’t comment on that, of course. Instead, the son of Ziell who was garbed in a bespoke suit of coal black and crimson rose from his armchair that stood in front of the fireplace and thanked his servant before he turned to the Lotharro who had begun to shuffle his feet and looked as if he were thinking about running right back to where he had come from.

“I’m glad that you agreed to talk to me again. There are some things that I still don’t know about your race”,
he spoke in a cool, calm and polite tone and extended a gloved hand for the other man to shake who did so somewhat hesitantly. “Please take a seat. There are some refreshments, if you are hungry or thirsty”, he continued before he added, “And do not worry about the carpet or the furniture. They can be cleaned.”

“I’m glad that I can be of help”, Halbjorn remarked as he eyed the armchair that stood opposite of Doran’s own and finally sat down. The man had donated blood to Doran the cycle before which had subsequently allowed him to create a new potion that temporarily gave the drinker – or the one who was injected with it - a Lotharro's increased adrenaline and endurance. It would be the topic of his thesis.

The first series of tests on lab animals and a small series of tests on humanoid volunteers with subtherapeutic doses had been exceptionally promising, but there were some things that Doran didn’t understand entirely yet. He needed to study Halbjorn’s race more extensively, he realized, before he proceeded to conduct further tests, and talking to an actual Lotharro seemed to be more useful to him than simply reading a book.
word count: 407

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Doran
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Re: Halbjorn

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That didn’t mean that he never read books on Lotharro or any of the other races of Idalos, of course. On the contrary, he had spent countless breaks in the Prime Atheneum the cycle before, reading anything on the topic of Ellune and Lotharro, their physiology and their unique abilities that he had been able to get his hands on in order to understand what made them the way that they were and how they were different from humans or even Mortalborns, like himself.

Few books had contained personal accounts though, but had been written from a neutral point of view and in a thoroughly scientific way. He wanted to understand what Lotharro felt like during one of their adrenaline outbursts though, and what it was like when the rush finally faded – or how to Ellune felt when they were outside, in the cold. He wanted to hear it in their own words.

That would be the missing piece of the puzzle in his opinion. It was entirely possible that he would be able to create a working potion by just mixing the reagents that he would have used for any other type of Blood Magic. In order to replicate those races’ traits as well as possible, he needed to understand how they felt though. Knowing how they felt would also subsequently allow him to identify if the effects that his volunteers and patients reported were actually supposed to be there or rather unwanted side effects.

With that thought in mind, the Mortalborn took a seat as well, took the notebook that was lying on the table between them, next to a tray with various pastries and sweets that Elias had prepared, opened it, grasped his pen and asked Halbjorn the first question that was on his list.
word count: 299

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Doran
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Re: Halbjorn

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“Fighting and hunting feels amazing!” Halbjorn exclaimed, almost overly enthusiastically which caused the Mortalborn to raise an eyebrow fractionally before he noted down what the other man had said, smiling slightly as he did so. The Lotharro seemed to temporarily have forgotten that he was intimidated by the unfamiliar environment over his love of combat, he observed, which he was something that he was quite happy about. A shy Lotharro didn’t fit with what he had learned about the race so far at all.

“I forgot everything else when I fight! It’s like nothing else! My heart seems to beat faster, and I have so much energy!” he proclaimed, his brown eyes shimmering brightly before he grabbed a pastry that was filled with minced meat and put the entire thing into his mouth. “This is quite delicious, professor!” he remarked, grinning and revealing a mouth full of sharp canines that reminded the Mortalborn of some sort of predator.

“Do those adrenaline outbursts affect your appearance in any way, by the way?” the Mortalborn asked as he turned yet another page – he had already filled the first couple of pages from top to bottom with his handwriting – Halbjorn had turned out to be a veritable fount of information, and he was quite a willing participant in his research. He knew that other races looked a little different every now and then, due to a variety of factors.

“Oh yes!” Halbjorn agreed and began to rattle of a list of things that happened and that he considered to be important before he abruptly leaned forward and showed Doran his hands. The Mortalborn narrowed his eyes fractionally as he leaned forward as well in order to take a look at his claws that were supposedly more pronounced during an adrenaline outburst.

They were an obvious reminder of the Lotharro race’s past. They had been created from monsters once upon a time.
word count: 321

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Doran
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Re: Halbjorn

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Even though Doran had asked Halbjorn to visit him in order to talk to him about his adrenaline outbursts and his endurance, he eventually found himself fascinated by another aspect of his race as well. Supposedly, the Lotharro had known what he wanted to do from an early age on. Most Lotharro seemed to drive all their ambition and their passion into one path. In fact, they often had a natural affinity to a certain path.

Upon his request, Halbjorn also gave him a short demonstration of Haltunga, the language of his kind that seemed to be composed of quick guttural bursts, judging by what he heard.

Furthermore, the Lotharro talked about women and sex - quite openly. Being a Blessed of Syroa, Doran had no problems when it came to discussing that topic, and he was far from a prude; that a member of a race that was only composed of men was so interested in women surprised him though. In fact, many Lotharro seemed to form deep, life-long bonds with their mates.

And what more, it seemed as if some Lotharro were not born, but more or less reincarnated. Halbjorn informed him quite proudly that he was of course one of them, and that his former shield brothers had raised them.

“Sometimes, a woman will give birth to a daughter, but that’s extremely rare”, Halbjorn remarked. “We have pretty strong genes, and we don’t age as quickly as your kind either!” he added, grinning, assuming the man opposite of him to be a human.

~~~

“So, professor”, Halbjorn wanted to know once they had gone through all of Doran’s questions together. Now that there wasn’t anything Lotharro-related to talk to left, he had gone back to being somewhat shy and was moving around on the expensive armchair a little bit uneasily. “Who will you use that potion of yours for? Why do you want to give people Lotharro endurance and adrenaline? To make them better fighters?”

The Mortalborn looked at him for a moment before he replied. He didn’t mind the questions of course. On the contrary, he appreciated Halbjorn’s being so interested in his research, and he had found the conversation quite enjoyable so far. He just didn’t know how to word things so that the other man would understand them. Halbjorn knew a lot about his own race, about hunting and fighting, but he didn’t seem like much of a scholar.

“The potion will mainly be used in order to treat anaphylactic reactions and heart conditions”, he spoke. There were few effective treatments for severe anaphylactic reactions that he knew of. If things went according to plan, his potion would save people that couldn’t be saved now and give hope to those who currently didn’t have any.

As he had expected, Halbjorn looked at him in confusion for a moment before he asked, “Anaphylactic? What’s that?”


word count: 491

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Re: Halbjorn

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Doran

Experience: 10

Knowledge:

Research: Races: Lotharro: Have adrenaline outbursts and increased endurance
Research: Races: Lotharro: What their adrenaline outbursts are like
Research: Races: Lotharro: The Path
Linguistics: Haltunga: Composed of quick, guttural bursts
Writing x2

Renown: none

Skill Usage: Appropriate to level.

Loot/Losses: none

Injuries/Conditions: none

Consequences: Doran's work with blood has found a leak through one or more of the people who gave him his test samples. Now Doran may find random people approaching him asking if they can give blood for nel or free medical treatment!

Comments: I'll admit having a soft spot for the Lotharro. They're such a fun race, and shamelessly open about just about everything. It'd be hard to imagine a discrete Lotharro.

It looks like Doran's efforts toward Racial Blood Magic are proceeding apace. I wonder whose blood he'll be sampling next?

If you have any concerns about this review, please PM me about them.
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