• Solo • Urchin (Graded)

3rd of Cylus 720

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Neronin
Posts: 411
Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:34 pm
Race: Human
Profession: Mage
Renown: 210
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Urchin (Graded)

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3rd Trial of Cylus -720

Identity ebbed and flowed in his mind. It was an odd sensation, losing one's grasp on reality. Physically it was all the same, the same cobbled ground, the same wind blowing, the same black Cylus day. But within him, all was at odds. Was he a man? Was he still that boy who had fended for himself in Etzori alleys and learned his craft on the bodies of rats and cats and vermin? Or was he the collection and amalgamation of sparks coalescing inside the cooling corpse of a clumsy and ignorant mortal? Sometimes he felt one way, at others he felt another.

Was he both?

Was this insanity? He had known mages sometimes went insane -Often went insane- when they reached certain levels of power. He thought it might be, apprehension quickening his unnaturally slow heartbeat. He could lose his humanity and not bat an eye, but a little thing like his mind and he was worried. He blew a light breath out of his nose, snorting at the sour humor. He grimaced under the cowl of his cloak. Humanity had seemed such a weakness when he could find little of it. Not on the streets of Etzos, not within the ranks of the Al’Angyryl, not in his parents. So he hadn’t been able to find it in himself. He had thought himself a cold and apathetic creature. Until the spark had come into its own. Now he knew what a true lack of humanity was. His emotions and his physical weaknesses, breath, nourishment, rest, brought agitation and pain. Here he had found the rigid apathy of the inhuman. He was a duality, and one without balance. He found himself wishing he had not been ignorant of the value of humanity back then.

That is self-pity. We don’t do that.

He walked with certainty down the narrow street. Despite the lack of light it was more than familiar. It was his. All of it was his. This city, this street. His entire life had been encapsulated in this damn city. All the way up until a few arcs ago when he had to vanish, hunted by the Coven. Vuda had been toppled, Sintra was in control now. Etzos had changed.

And it had not. He turned onto the alley and stepped over the slightly uneven cobble he knew was there. Light spotted the street from fires inside homes. Little pockets of warm yellow to illuminate his memories. He stepped through one. Anyone looking out at the street would have seen a near skeletal form in dark clothes and cowl. Greying, sickly skin covered his body and black veins crossed his arms and face. Perhaps an observant viewer would even see the glow of a rune on his forehead, but that was unlikely. No one on this street was prone to people watching. It was one of the reasons he had liked living there.

He came to the place. His first bout of freedom. The charred timbers were covered in dust and grime. The mage stepped through dilapidated doorway onto the blackened wood flooring. This had been the home he had purchased after fleeing from Gavrel. It had been the first, and last, place that had truly been his. He had made it his sanctuary, where he could practice his passion in peace. It had been the first place he truly felt beyond the struggle. He had been employed, legitimately, and had a roof over his head. Then he had met the Al’Angyryl and believed their promises of power. The free reign and risk free corpses had given him visions of power. Power to challenge even Gavrel if he should show up.
Last edited by Neronin on Sun Jan 24, 2021 3:25 am, edited 1 time in total. word count: 623
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Neronin
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Re: Urchin

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Gavrel. The mage stared around at the charred remnants of his sanctuary that had never fit the description. His foolishness had lead Gavrel right to him. The old master who just would not die had burned down the first home he had ever known. Now it seemed so long ago and such a trivial thing. A few wooden walls and a cot, the place was barely more than a coffin. He felt no real tug of nostalgia as he stepped onto the blackened floorboards.

There was no nostalgia, but bountiful lessons in the memories here. Complacency would never do again. The sparks within him roiled in their own, unique ways.

The mage did not know why he had returned to this place, save that it had once been his. Such things were important, were they not?

“Why are you here?” A voice said behind him. It was a soft voice, light and unconcerned.

He whirled and raised a hand. The sickly ether of his necrotic spark charging the decrepit limb simultaneously with his very thought. The warmer, pulsing ether of his Abrogative spark gathered in the palm of his other hand. Such control was now second nature to him, but it was an unseen mark of arcs of honing his craft. But the necromancer stared down at a street urchin. A grimy girl of no more than eight, though she could have been older and malnourished. He certainly remembered the rampant lack of food all too well from his own time amongst the forsworn children of Etzos. The runes encircling his skull flickered with the power and the necrotic spark wanted her life essence. He forced his arm down and reined in the spark’s urges. It would not do to have Sinatra’s forces down upon him when he was so close to the bosom of her power.

The girl had taken a few steps back. She stood out on the road now, a wood and twine mangling clutched in her hand and a jagged bit of glass held at her side. Her face held fear, but also the calculations of the street smart. The Etzori mage stared back at her, letting the power of his sparks simmer to dormancy. He took in her appearance with the practiced gaze of a street urchin himself.

She had been on the street less than an arc. The jagged glass, wrapped in a bit of old leather was as he recognized, a weapon. She had been on the streets long enough to realize she needed one but not long enough to know where to find a good one. The mangling of twine and wood, he saw upon closer inspection, was a doll. It was rough hewn and bore threadbare linen and sack for clothes and hair. A laborer’s toy built with laborer’s means. Homemade.

She still clung to her past, a habit that was mercilessly ground out of anyone who had lived on the streets for long. He knew all this in a glance, and in a glance he saw himself. He did not smile, not did he try to be friendly. Lies were easy to spot for children who had everything taken from them. He knew what he looked like too. It was not a visage to inspire trust in anyone, let alone a young girl.
word count: 557
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Neronin
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Joined: Tue Jan 10, 2017 4:34 pm
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Re: Urchin

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Instead he answered.

He gazed around the hollowed house, as if the answer to her question would spring out at him from the black stones. Why was he here?

“To say my goodbyes.” He muttered, setting a cold hand against the wood of a cracked and burnt wall. The words sounded right to him.

“Goodbyes? No one has lived here since the curator left. This house has been empty.” She said, eyes narrowed.

“That’s not what I meant.”

He briefly wondered why she was so concerned with it. Most homeless would have run off by then, not wanting to endanger themselves. She must have been squatting here and had nowhere to go. “I’m not here to take your safe haven. Just looking and remembering.” He explained. Long had it been since four walls and a roof could hold his enemies at bay.

She crossed her arms, still clutching the doll. Her frown made his thin mouth quirk in a smile. “Look, I’m not an enemy. Not to you.” He said. He pointed a finger at the doll, sending his power with the gesture. The ether it took to animate such a simple object cost little more than the thought it took. The doll leapt to life, snatching itself out of her grip.

She gasped as it fell and landed on small wooden feet. It was a girl dressed in a linen dress. He and the girl watched the small spot of white dance through the dusty black floorboards. He made the doll spin and twirl. He made it cartwheel and flip. The little wooden face glowed with a pair of pinprick green lights on it’s painted eyes. The only hint of the truly nefarious nature of the power behind the act.

On it went, the girl watching in fascination and the doll twirling slowly across the broken home. The cowled mage stared at it too, lost in the minor use of his power. It was such a simple drop of his power and it tapped into the vast dark pool that was his necrotic spark. Was he more that that spark? Surely he was, he was a man. He was a man who had forged that power here, on the streets of Etzos.

Once that power would have barely had the strength to animate the twine doll. This would have been a resounding victory for a younger, whole version of himself. Finally he let the spell drop from the doll and she fell to the floor. He scooped it up and held it out to the girl.

“Who are you?” She asked, taking the doll apprehensively.

Another hard question. She really was full of them.

He stepped past her out into the street. He stood straight and began to walk away. He waved a lazy, pale hand at her over his shoulder as he moved back the way he had come. “Just another street kid.”


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Re: Urchin


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Thread Review

Neronin

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

Renown: +5 (Necromancy in view of someone)

Injuries/Overstepping: None.
Wealth Points: None.
Loot: None.

Skill Knowledge:
  • Detection x2
  • Socialization x3
  • Psychology x1
Non-Skill Knowledge:
  • none requested.
Notes: Since you requested whatever skills the reviewer would think, I've added some non-flavor text knowledge that suits this thread.
Skills Used: Necromancy: Master.
Skill Review: Appropriate to level.

Despite not being familiar with Neronin, I didn't feel confused or out-of-context at any point. This solo served as a great introduction to an aspect of his character. The underlying subject matter of a mage reaching the pinnacle of his spark, what it took to get there, what he has become from where he began, all came across brilliantly in this short scene.

The use of the urchin girl and her doll served well to illustrate this in a summarized and entertaining fashion. What Neronin will do now, though, going forward with his sparks and his relation to being a mage within Etzos... that will be interesting to see!

Excellent job and enjoy your rewards!

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

Total Word Count: 1690 words.
Review Request Link: viewtopic.php?p=149077#p149077
stampcodehere

word count: 216
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